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I have been married for 11/2 years and the honeymoon phase didn't last more than 2 months. Here's the issues:
We are a blended family. He has 2 kids that I raise. His ex hasn't seen or spoken to their kids in 2 years. She is an addict and alcoholic. I have 3 kids that I split with my ex 50/50. He's a great dad. My current husband and I have totally different stances on how to raise children. He sits back and lets them do whatever...I'm super uptight and strict. This is a huge problem. His 12 yr old son doesn't follow a single rule that we have in place. He has done so many things I couldn't even begin to list them. The most recent being that he invited people I told him not to for his birthday sleepover(I teach at the school they attend and therefore there are certain kids I would rather not have at my house around my kids). Well even after doing this his dad allowed him to have the party with the all the kids he invited. I took my other kids trick or treating and the next Monday at school I find out from one of the other 6th grade students that he got into our internet and downloaded porn for himself and all the other kids on their phones (BTW not the first time hes been caught putting porn on his ipod). I was LIVID!! He got his stuff taken away for a week...I had to clean the mess up with the parents and at school...and I never got any type of apology. We can't leave him alone for a moment even though he is almost 13. We ran to the store last week just to find out he had been masturbating on our couch where his 7 yr old sister could see. His dad gets mad at me when I expect him to do something and says I just don't like him. To be honest...I don't. I have given him chance after chance and it ends the same every time.

The kids issues are our biggest problems but there are others as well. I'm too critical of him and his kids in his opinion...I probably am to some extent.

I caught him talking to some woman he went to high school with on FB about a year ago. Saying stuff like he didn't know if our marriage was worth it. And sharing deep feelings with her that he has never shared with me.This was the first time theyd talked since high school. I felt so hurt but didn't want to throw our marriage away.

He got very mad at me at one point and screamed at me that he would never love me as much as his kids and I was stupid if I thought he would. This also devastated me and it is hard for me to get over...and also causes me to have bitterness towards the 3 of them...I'm always the outsider.

Almost all intimacy is gone. We havent slept together in the same bed in months. We have sex maybe once every 3 weeks. It used to be 4 times a week. I try constantly just to get rejected. He swears he is not having an affair.

I have now become completely bitter and hateful...I tell him constantly to leave and I cry myself to sleep many nights a week...all of which he ignores.

He now says he would like to try counseling because he doesn't want a divorce but so much has happened is there any point in trying it???
 

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Go to counseling. You guys aren't effectively communicating and I think it could make a big difference. If it fails, at least you can say you tried to the kids.
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Thanks Pepper...I have made an appt but I get more and more angry by the day...hope we can make until the appt.

Also my husband has had the occasional problem with ED and he buys medicine online for it...he has it shipped to his moms house because he says its embarassing and private. When he picks it up I have found that he keeps it under his car seat in his car. is this strange? Am i being naive with the whole affair thing?
 

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I personally would be far more embarassed about having it sent to my mom's house if I were him... But perhaps because of the oldest son's lack of boundaries it is his way of keeping up his masculine persona to him.

I personally don't think he is cheating (especially since HE suggested counseling). However, if you are that concerned it may be prudent of you to get a VAR.
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We have a blended family too. My 2 girls 14 and 10. His girl 12. Our two girls 3 and 2.

I feel for you. This blended family stuff isn’t easy. My SD’s mom is also an alcoholic. However, her mom would never give up custody because that would mean giving up child support and how would she be able to afford to drink every night and still pay her rent if she didn’t get that?

So we only have my SD about 30% of the time. At one point I alone had my SD more than either parent did, but that has since changed for varies reasons.

We also had the MANY fights over my SD and the lack of parenting on my husband and her mothers part.

The best advice I can give is to disengage. You simply need to step back and let your husband be the parent. This is NOT your child. These problems existed before you came in the picture and they are not your problems to “fix”.

I know, I know. Your thinking how can I just step back and do nothing when this is happening in my home and around my other kids? You have to walk away from it. At first your husband probably will do nothing, my did. But after a few months he got sick of dealing with the same crap I was. Now I think he is harder on my SD then I had ever thought he would be and often I feel bad for her. One day I said something to the affect of giving her a break of she would hate coming to our house and he actually said to me “don’t you see she is just being manipulative like her mother!” I tell you what – two years ago I would have fell over from shock to hear that. I still am a bit taken a back at times when he gets tough.

I step back and let my husband hadle it all. So if the school has an issue – he needs to deal with it. Other parents have issues – he deals with it. If stepson is having a birthday let your husband handle it, take your kids and go to a movie or something. You don’t have to give stepson a birthday party, you don’t have to buy him a phone or pay the bill, you don’t have to give him the password for the internet, you don’t have to give him a ride anywhere if he won’t be respectful, you don’t have to cook him a meal he won’t appreciate, you don’t have to do ANYTHING because it isn’t your kid.

You’ll be surprised how fast your husband will be on board with you once all that parenting falls on his shoulders. He’ll look to you and you can simple say “sorry, but I tried and I wasn’t backed up by you.”
 

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Thanks Pepper...I have made an appt but I get more and more angry by the day...hope we can make until the appt.

Also my husband has had the occasional problem with ED and he buys medicine online for it...he has it shipped to his moms house because he says its embarassing and private. When he picks it up I have found that he keeps it under his car seat in his car. is this strange? Am i being naive with the whole affair thing?
It's very odd that he keeps it under his car seat. Why does he need it with him when he's out and about? I'd definately be snooping around to find out what's going on.

There are some good books dealing with step parenting. You would benefit from reading some. So would your husband.

Your husband needs to be the one who parents his children, not you. This is especially true with the 12 yr old son.


I think that you have bitten off more than you can chew. The 12 yr old has a mother who is an alcoholic and addict. Then to add insult to injury she has not abandoned him. This kid's chances of turning into a productive member of society are very slim.

I married a man who two children whose mother was like this. The children were D10 & S12 when we married. Raising them was very difficult. They are now in their mid 20's and following their mother's example. Children often maintain a very strong bond to the parent who abandon's them.

From my experience, your very troubled step children will be causing a lot of problems with your own children. This is what you have brought into their lives. Think hard about this. Do you really want this around your children.

I am saying this because looking back I realize that I was wrong to bring my step children into my son's life. Thank goodness my son seems to have survived it. He's doing well. Is in college and has not followed in the path of addiction, etc. But he's very torn up about his step-siblings. He told me over the xmas break that he feels that he has lost a brother and a sister because he cannot have anything to do with them the way they are now.

You need to think long and hard about what you are doing to your children.
 

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When my husband and I met, his daughter was 14. Although we got along well enough, I had many concerns about her. He let her basically run the streets - stay all day at her boyfriend's house without ever having met his parents, for instance.

I came to this relationship as a woman whose three daughters were raised partly under their dad's influence. He had custody while I was on active duty. They came to live with me during their teen years, and I was very strict. Every summer, they'd visit their alcoholic dad's and had no guidelines to speak of. They'd grown very resentful and we were alienated to a significant degree.

Because of that, I had doubts about my own parenting. It seemed I'd been too strict - and looking back, I was, but at the same time, I'm happy to say my kids never got into trouble with the law, other parents, or became pregnant prematurely.

I confided to my husband that I did doubt my methods were "correct." He was clearly very close to his daughter, and my girls were much closer to their dad than they were to me. Two of the three even moved back to live with them as young adults. (The third married and doesn't live near either of us.)

But I couldn't be ok with the risks I saw with his daughter. I believed she was getting high, and she'd been arrested twice for shoplifting, had a mouth that got her into trouble a few times with teachers, and was not doing well in school. He had made it clear that he wasn't going to relinquish any of his parental duties and that he would indulge her however he saw fit.

I told him I could not and would not watch her future go down the drain, and that as much as I loved him, I needed to live away from that kind of environment. He did not want that at all, and made it clear.

To make a long story short... We worked together and hashed out differences. He opened his eyes to the things I saw, but I didn't confront her myself. I took my concerns to him and put them squarely in his lap with a reminder that he had duties to both her and to me. I wasn't always happy with his decisions, but I reminded myself that her life was hers to live, not mine.

She was getting high. Later discovered she'd been doing so daily since 7th grade. She still does, as far as I can tell. She failed several drug tests we gave her and ultimately decided to move in with her biological mother, who wasn't even in her life for over a decade. But during the last few years, this girl has also brought her grade averages to As and Bs instead of Ds and Fs across the board. She's starting to see that reality is not even remotely as comfortable as her life was when she lived here, and she's only been gone a couple of months.

I believe that what is going to happen will follow the same lines as my daughters. Now that they're in their mid-20s, and finally making their own way in life, they've bonded with me more than ever before. When they have problems, it's me they ask for guidance.

I've come to believe that a kid'll grow up and develop their own values with or without your influence. Yes, you *can* influence them, but it won't be easy and the effects won't be seen until they're at least 24 or 25 years old.

I recommend researching "teen brain growth" to learn some things that may help you, or check out my article at Troubled Teenagers: Help and Hope.

Best wishes!
 
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