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Time to have some tough talk with him. Lines in the sand must be drawn. And if he doesn't agree, start moving away from him slowly so that he gets the point.
sounds more like playing games than family life two wrongs don't make a right ,
 
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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Ari345 is right in airing her grievances. On the one hand, she probably does not get a single say on raising his kids (Ari345, please confirm this is the case,) and on the other, she has to condition her quality time to HIS daughter-centric life. She's in a tough spot and is 100% in the right if you ask me.

Time to have some tough talk with him. Lines in the sand must be drawn. And if he doesn't agree, start moving away from him slowly so that he gets the point.
thanks very much, its a tough subject to talk with anyone face to face with, also non of my friends are in this situation so I don't feel id get the answers I need. me and my husband usually discuss the kids however ultimately he will make the final call on anything even if I think its not the right one, and I get that to a point, those discussions usually stem around discipline, he's a soft touch so they usually get away lightly with him where as I'm more stern (loose privileges etc).
as I said before I 100% never thought this would happen and id have to step up to be a full time mother, people who say step parents 'know what they are signing up for' absolutely DO NOT, and it is mentally exhausting some days. however i can see that they are both happier here than with there mother and I suppose I have just got to take that as something we are doing right! it is a happy home there's no doubt, I could just be that little bit happier some days.
 

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thanks very much, its a tough subject to talk with anyone face to face with, also non of my friends are in this situation so I don't feel id get the answers I need. me and my husband usually discuss the kids however ultimately he will make the final call on anything even if I think its not the right one, and I get that to a point, those discussions usually stem around discipline, he's a soft touch so they usually get away lightly with him where as I'm more stern (loose privileges etc).
as I said before I 100% never thought this would happen and id have to step up to be a full time mother, people who say step parents 'know what they are signing up for' absolutely DO NOT, and it is mentally exhausting some days. however i can see that they are both happier here than with there mother and I suppose I have just got to take that as something we are doing right! it is a happy home there's no doubt, I could just be that little bit happier some days.
all very true and I am happy to see that you said that it is a happy home and that you just want it to be that little bit better ,

most of the time it is best to not get involved with their battles tell them to drop it if you can and sort it out between them , often I find drama queens are very fast too work it out when the drama is taken away

let them know you don't want any drama from their mothers house spilling over into your home and explaine why it is best to pull together and that they only have each other
 
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We did try this a few weeks ago, we went away for 2 nights in our camper van and we arrived back to a mountain of complaining and sorting out arguments the kids and bio mom had over that period of 2 days, one being that the children were made to sleep on the sofas! and we just thought what is the point if this is going to happen every time.
Well done for trying it! Did you have a good time while away?

"sorting out arguments", between who?

"what is the point?" Don't give up on this. I think you did the right thing.
Send them to Laurentium

He will straighten them out, I promise.
I don't work with teenagers. If this was my case, I'd work with the couple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well done for trying it! Did you have a good time while away?

"sorting out arguments", between who?

"what is the point?" Don't give up on this. I think you did the right thing.

I don't work with teenagers. If this was my case, I'd work with the couple.
we did have a wonderful time! the arguments were a lot between the youngest and bio mom, mom had said that she couldn't talk or even look at the youngest without getting into a row. but then on talking to the youngest she said that her mom and her mothers partner ''wind her up'' by arguing back and forth and it spirals from there, however we rarely have this here, she is usually well behaved with the exception of an occasional blow out with her sister, this is a child with a short fuse anyway so the last thing she needs is winding up! bio mom denies this when questioned about it, so there's nothing more we can really do or say.
 

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This is unfortunately not an option. Bio mom decided to have 2 more children with another partner and not enough room to house all 4 children. The can go for dinner but do not have a room or bed to stay in. I know it’s very irresponsible and selfish of her but what can my husband do or say 🤷🏽‍♀️
Can't they sleep on fold up beds in the living room? People do that when they have people staying, we have.
 

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I don't work with teenagers.
Smart man.

You do not work with teenagers, they work you over.
Badly.

You cannot argue with hormones, those chemicals can make hedgehogs into angry leopards.
 

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My husband and I have been very happily married for 2 years together for 6, he has 2 teenage girls 14 & 15 from a previous relationship. Before we were married the children were spending half the week with us and half the week with their bio mom.. now they are older they both have predominantly lived here with us especially since we got married, They probably go to see their mom once a week but don’t stay over. Before this were were going on holidays, days out, weekends away ect. But now we can’t do anything because the girls are to “old and cool” to do anything with us yet they are very irresponsible girls they argue and fight and bicker constantly and we just can’t risk leaving them to just get on with it because I’d genuinely fear we would not come home to a house! Im now started to hate on my husband for what feels like I’m putting my life on hold because of his kids? I’ve chosen not to have any and he was happy with that due to his two being handfuls he doesn’t want to do it all again. I know it won’t last forever and they are nearly grown up but still .. I feel like I’m stuck in Groundhog Day! Any recommendations welcome!
Why can't he make the girls go to their mother's house when you two want to do a holiday?
 

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ever since I met my husband they have always been a handful, I fortunately set proper boundaries as soon as I came into their life so they haven't been horrendous here. however I think when mom and dad were together the kids ruled the roost and didn't have any discipline so they argued and fought constantly, this still happens occasionally here but when it does you know about it, the whole house goes into turmoil, to the point where I've left the house on numerous occasions.
they do have respect for us but it seems absolutely non for their mother, and her basically kicking them out to live with us has only added fuel to the fire with their relationship with her. but everything she's done in her mind is totally justified, she doesn't seem to take any responsibility for her children and has just shunned it off as '' well you wanted to live with her dad'' which was never the case, they didn't have any choice.
but yes you are totally right, I want some time for us.
a couple of weeks ago I said about going to the cinema to watch a film id wanted to go and see and he responded that the younger daughter might like to go and watch that to, and I did get the hump I will admit because I just wanted it to be me and him, I'm not entirely sure whether that was the fear of leaving them in the house alone together for a few hours or him compensating for their mother never taking them anywhere.
I would like to point out here that maybe, just maybe the mother isn’t the problem, and it sounds like your husband is.

I see two women at their wits end, two unruly girls… and a very passive dad who seems to stand back and let the two mother figures play war over who was a better mother figure, because guess what, he wants to be the great father. So you are burdened with these issues, their mother too doesn’t know what to do anymore and the poor girls really turn it on eachother. A group of 4 females fighting it out with eachother. While dad is littered with praise by you, and just gets to keep going, much as he did in his first marriage. The great dad. Mum is bad. Dad’s a saint. But in effect, he’s allowing all of this. You’re not living, the girls are not living, and the first wife didn’t get much of a fair go either.

I’m yet to hear a single stepmother lay any praise on the first wife. She’s always touted as the drama queen (yet look at the drama you find yourself in).

It sounds like he was the same in his first marriage with the girls, and he’s now doing it to you. Think about how you and the previous woman are really living the same lives. Really think about that.

A poster abuse said, ‘what their bio mum did to them’. But how is he really being a good dad by being this passive across two marriages? You’re suffering, and worrying more about his needs and his girls’ needs. And I guarantee you, his first wife was doing the same until the marriage finally ended. I am sorry for your predicament, but it’s not your job to be the mother figure, he’s set a high bat for you by painting the ex as a problem. A common occurrence.
 

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My husband and I have been very happily married for 2 years together for 6, he has 2 teenage girls 14 & 15 from a previous relationship. Before we were married the children were spending half the week with us and half the week with their bio mom.. now they are older they both have predominantly lived here with us especially since we got married, They probably go to see their mom once a week but don’t stay over. Before this we were going on holidays, days out, weekends away ect. But now we can’t do anything because the girls are to “old and cool” to do anything with us yet they are very irresponsible girls they argue and fight and bicker constantly and we just can’t risk leaving them to just get on with it because I’d genuinely fear we would not come home to a house! Im now started to hate on my husband for what feels like I’m putting my life on hold because of his kids? I’ve chosen not to have any and he was happy with that due to his two being handfuls he doesn’t want to do it all again. I know it won’t last forever and they are nearly grown up but still .. I feel like I’m stuck in Groundhog Day! Any recommendations welcome!
@Ari345 ,

I've followed this thread with interest, because I haven't seen too many people give you concrete, practical suggestions. So speaking as a step-mom to seven children, allow me to chime in.

When you were dating your spouse, you say you two "went on holidays, days out, weekends away, etc." The reason you did these little getaways is because you were DATING and did not live together and see each other 24/7. Once or twice a month, you'd get together for a weekend, and do a little trip together to spend adult-time--probably on the weekends when the girls were with their bio mom. But DATING is not marriage. I understand that to some degree you had hoped that the fun of dating would continue into marriage, but dating is living two separate lives and periodically getting together to do something fun (and thus you don't see the more routine parts of life), whereas marriage is building a new, different life together, being together through the fun AND the routine. So you don't only see the fun, handsome, polished, polite side of him (and his girls), but you also see the boring, practical, unkempt, bad breath, funky, imperfect side of all of them! You were dating a man who had teenage girls--so if your vision of marriage was that he'd stay as fun and entertaining and exciting all the time...that's just not reality. Dating = seeing only the best of someone. Marriage = seeing ALL of someone (good, bad, ugly) and loving them anyway because you made a commitment to each other. So practical advice #1: Adjust your vision of marriage. It's not going to be a "forever date"--that's unrealistic. It IS going to be intimately sharing yourself with a loving man who is also sharing himself with you--ups and downs, good and bad.

My next thought is that both of the daughters are teenage girls: 14yo and 15yo. In child development, especially for females, this is one of the toughest times, because honestly that 13-14 stage is crazy. Yes, I get that they bicker and drive you nuts, but this is actually pretty age-appropriate for where they are developmentally, and if you think of it as a stage in their development rather than an attack on you (or an attempt to steal their dad's attention from you), I suspect it might help. This isn't personal against YOU per se. Partially it is what teens are like at this age, and partially I suspect they are a little behind because their own mother abandoned them, and partially I suspect are angry at her (bio-mom) but unsafe to express that to her due to losing her love, so they express it around someone who IS safe--you and their dad. So practical advice #2: look up and study some child development, and find out what is just normal teenage development. Child Development: Young Teens (12-14 years old) | CDC Child Development: Adolescence (15-17 years old) | CDC

My next thought is specifically about the girls and being a parent. In real life, the two girls need a mother and a father. Their bio mom doesn't seem to want the job, which is an ENORMOUS blow to them. In some ways they may view you as competition for their father's attention, and yet in real life they need an adult female role model. I've been there--it's a thankless job! In my own life, my Dear Hubby had 5 kids and mom essentially walked out on them for about 10 years. They went to her house for a visit for one weekend a month: going Saturday coming back Sunday. We had them all the rest of the time. We fed them, clothed them, paid all the bills etc. like parents do, and it was UNFAIR!! 50/50 would have been fair, but that wasn't real life. So yep, it is not fair, but it is what it is...and in real life the kids need it. So be a female role model in their life. Do it for them, because you're an adult and they are children (even though their bodies look older). Do it because life isn't fair and you are the grown up. So practical advice #3: Life isn't fair--do it anyway.

My next thought is literally just practical ideas about your marriage and family. These girls are your family now, whether they feel that way yet or not. They are your step-daughters. So I'd recommend a family meeting where all of you sit down and you literally schedule certain days: X-day is the day you and dad have your own time together (do whatever you want to do). X-day is the day the girls and dad have a day together. X-day is the day YOU and the girls have "girl day" together. X-day is the day the whole family does stuff together. And I personally recommend one day each week. As an example, after my divorce I had two kids and my exH wasn't very involved with them, so I did exactly this: scheduled days for each of us. Tuesday was Son2's day and we ate whatever meal he wanted for dinner, and watched whatever show he wanted on TV. Son1 went to his room and did what he wanted on Tuesday. Thursday was Son1's day, and we did the same thing: he got to pick meal and watch TV. Wednesdays, I had MY day and went to my support group and ate out with the girls in the group--the kids were "on their own" but I had some things sort of prepared for them to just warm up. When I was with Dear Hubby, and we had 5 kids living at home, we did the same thing: Friday was movie night--whole family invited. Thursday was family dinner together. Some kids wanted their own night and we called it by their name "It's Affaircare Night!" And then one night a week was OUR night...and we gave the kids some prepared food they could warm up and some games they couldn't usually play during the week...and we went and did OUR thing for fun. So practical advice #4: Give everyone one night, and you be part of it. Have girls' night with them. Welcome them into your life and set up one night each week to date your husband.

My final thought: your idea of "dates" sounds like it involves a little trip or a hotel or a fancy dinner out, etc. I would recommend that you reconsider that definition of "dating." I date my current hubby ALL THE TIME, and yet we don't often leave the house! We have a night every night of the week, Friday we have Pizza/Movie Night, Saturdays and Sundays we do get out and about and hike, ride motorcycles, or go out on the ATV...but we also laugh together, talk to each other, and just date all the time...because our idea of a date isn't "going somewhere and spending money" but rather "being together and enjoying the time". So final practical advice #5: How can you date your husband that does not involve "taking a trip and going to a hotel and going out to dinner"? Do you both like car shows? Ballet? Football games? What can you do that is something you both enjoy?
 

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I was raised in a blended family like this.

My suggestion is this:

1. Your step daughters probably have some emotional issues due to the divorce and their mother's choices. These probably exhibit in their behaviors. They more than likely need therapy.

2. You and your husband need to agree on a common parenting method and he has to enforce that you are "in locus parents" and not them.

3. As a couple, you need to clearly establish boundaries and consequences for the daughters behaviors.....and enforce them.

4. You obviously were aware he had children and chose to marry him. Do not try and force him to choose between you and them, that is patently unfair, and leads to no one winning.
I agree with this, except she is not trying to make him choose between her or the kids.

Sleeping on the couch at their mom's is not ideal, but it's not terrible. We have a large home with a spare room. We regularly have overnight guests. People in their 20's. Seldom do any of them sleep in the bed. They sleep on the couch. Our couches are comfortable, but I doubt more comfortable than an actual bed.

It's raunchy that the girl's mother stopped caring for them, but if she's willing to have them over, sleeping on the couch isn't the end of the world a few times a year. Another idea would be for the girls to stay at friends or grandparents. When my kids want to get away with their spouse, we are happy to take the children.

The girls need to be taught how to get along with each other. You four, as a family, need to have each other's backs. This is taught. Their mother basically gave them up. You have stepped up to parent them. (Bless you.) You and your husband need to come up with a plan to resolve the issues. Parenting out of guilt is a recipe for disaster.

I know a woman who teaches the Nutured Heart approach to parenting, Yael Walfish. She posts a lot on LinkedIn about her approach. Here is her website: Family Enhancement LLC – Inspire Greatness within
Ask about her six week course. It's online. I believe her program is non-sectarian. I think this could be a big help in solving the behavioral problems. If you contact her and tell her your situation, she will tell you if her program is right for you or she will direct you on how to get the help you need.

Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
 

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My husband and I have been very happily married for 2 years together for 6, he has 2 teenage girls 14 & 15 from a previous relationship. Before we were married the children were spending half the week with us and half the week with their bio mom.. now they are older they both have predominantly lived here with us especially since we got married, They probably go to see their mom once a week but don’t stay over. Before this were were going on holidays, days out, weekends away ect. But now we can’t do anything because the girls are to “old and cool” to do anything with us yet they are very irresponsible girls they argue and fight and bicker constantly and we just can’t risk leaving them to just get on with it because I’d genuinely fear we would not come home to a house! Im now started to hate on my husband for what feels like I’m putting my life on hold because of his kids? I’ve chosen not to have any and he was happy with that due to his two being handfuls he doesn’t want to do it all again. I know it won’t last forever and they are nearly grown up but still .. I feel like I’m stuck in Groundhog Day! Any recommendations welcome!
When a person marries someone who have children from a previous relationship, they are not only marrying the person but also the children including the other parent of the children who will always be in the picture and can be regarded as a third party in the relationship. The whole lot come as a package.
Your husband will always be his 2 teenage daughters, dad and you will never be their mother no matter how much effort you place into being close with them.
You should have realised this when you married your husband and why I would never marry a woman who has a child or children from a past relationship unless their parent had died.
This is the situation you have placed yourself in and it`s not going to change until the girls grow up and leave home.
I can only suggest that if you and your husband want to have holidays or weekends and days out that you insist the girls stay with their biological mother until you`re back home again.
Explain to your husband what you have explained to us in your post and how you feel.
Otherwise you`ll have to consider your way forward if you feel this present arrangement is not working out for you.
Think about it.
 
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