My Spouse or My Kids?

My Kids or My Spouse?

You married for love. You married forever. But you never expected your marriage would involve having to choose between your new spouse an...

Friday, January 29, 2010

My Kids or My Spouse?

You married for love. You married forever. But you never expected your marriage would involve having to choose between your new spouse and your children. But here you are, torn between your parental instinct to protect and put your children first and your desire to make this marriage work by forming those ties that bind - and quickly!

One of the toughest choices I hear about, working with stepfamilies, is the painful decision biological parents have to make when their children from a former relationship take sides against the new spouse. What you had hoped would become a beautiful new family is suddenly a living nightmare of demands, hurt feelings, and having to settle battles between the people you love equally.

In fact, this conflict between spouse and children is at the root of most stepfamily divorces. Whether it's a straight challenge of "them or me," or another battle that comes from the tension caused by that conflict, the parental urge and confusion tears hearts apart. It's just more than many parents can stand, so they quit on the marriage. Or the stepparent surrenders to the feelings of being chosen second after the kids.

Where Should Your Loyalty Lie?

There is a link between a parent and their child that transcends location or frequency of time together. The love between you and your children will continue throughout your and their lives. Although my own mother has been gone for ten years now, I still love her and think of her almost daily. She will always be in my heart.

You will never lose that connection with your babies, not even if you remarry, when they marry, or if they move across the country. Your hearts will forever be linked. They say parents and children are "blood relatives," and that makes sense in more than one way - your hearts beat out your love and concern with each pulse.

The same should be true for your loyalty and connection to your spouse. You may not be connected by blood or DNA, but the vows you made when you married are as binding. 

When you wooed and won your sweetheart (can you remember that time?), you demonstrated and spoke guarantees that were part of the reason they accepted your proposal. Whether your particular vows included traditional statements such as "for richer or poorer," "in sickness or in health," or "til death do us part," you were making that age-old promise to remain faithfully loyal to your partner no matter what.

Unless your vows included exceptionary clauses, such as "unless my kids get difficult," or "but only as long as it's fun and easy," you placed yourself in a position to either be true or to be a liar. And you did this with your full conscious mind and will. No one made you get married. No one coerced you into stating and signing, in front of God and many legal witnesses, your sacred promise to remain married for the rest of your life.

Now, in most cases, becoming a parent was not such a considered, consciously determined, publicly committed-to situation. (Of course, some of you did adopt or take extraordinary measures to become pregnant, but for many, it just miraculously happened.) The beginning of your relationship with your baby was probably one of surprise and on-the-spot determination to love them. And, while this does not lessen your commitment to your child, it does place the two issues — your relationship to your child and your relationship to your spouse — on different levels. 

Ask yourself, the next time you're feeling pulled between your spouse and your children, which one of these two did you beg, bargain, and make great promises to in order to get them to be yours for life? The answer is, certainly, your spouse. You have a pledge of loyalty to him or her. You laid your reputation and your good name on the line in your guarantee that you would never turn your back on them.

I'm not suggesting that you should not take the greatest care possible of your children - far from that! I am, however, suggesting that you show your children how seriously you take promises and vows. That you teach them to be honest and true by your example. That you keep your focus on your commitment to love til death do you part, no matter what.

Where should your loyalty lie? Where did you swear it would?

God bless you as you struggle with these issues. I fully understand the difficulty in it. If you need help in making your marriage relationship more reliable and more enjoyable, I'll be happy to help you. But whatever you do, give it your all. Your spouse, and your children, deserve to see your commitment daily.




83 comments:

Anonymous said...

Then perhaps I shouldn't marry, if I'm not ready to put this person ahead of my kids?

STEPcoach said...

Thank you for writing ... it is not so much a matter of putting one ahead of the other. Rather it is a matter of demonstrating to your children the importance of marriage. If you were married to the father of your children, you would have the same responsibility. If, for instance, your son refused to obey his father (your husband), would you agree that your son should obey his parents? Of course you would. (Provided your husband was not asking your son to do something harmful to himself.)
You would be teaching your son the importance of a marriage partnership and loyalty to your mate.
It is the same in a second marriage. You are not placing your husband before your son, you are simply showing him the way a marriage should properly operate. As long as you and your mate (stepdad) agree to do what's best for your mutual children, your partnership will be a teaching tool to them, not a betrayal.

Anonymous said...

I have 2 children from previous relationships...they have gone thru a lot....my son has been super difficult...my husband of 2 years wants to move out of state after he gets his degree and wants to leave my son with his dad that wants nothing to do with him...says his dad needs to deal with him...how do you choose between your husband and your child?

STEPcoach said...

This is not an unusual development in stepfamilies, unfortunately. Stepkids are the number one reason for marriage trouble in 2nd and 3rd marriages. You don't say how old you son is, and this can make quite a difference. If the boy is 2 years old, he has no control over his actions and the responsibility is fully on the adults. If he is 17, however, he is old enough to take some responsibility for his actions.
Also, you say his father wants nothing to do with him - why not? Do they have a history of problems, is his father untrustworthy or abusive, is the father just irresponsible regarding his son? All these factors matter a great deal, too.
A stepfather signs a contract to love and support his wife in all situations when he marries. running away from that contractual promise is a crucial decision. He must consider carefully the ramifications of this long lasting and deep reaching choice on his family for years to come.
And finally, a biological parent in a stepfamily has huge responsibilities, too. You have to decide how strongly you feel about the vows you made to your husband. Depending on the age of your son, whom you stand with can have critical effects on his understanding of marriage loyalty later in life when he is a husband. Do you want to teach him that children come before husband - wife, or that vows of marriage are above all else? (NOTE: his age is one of the most vital factors in this decision.)

I will be happy to help you and your husband work to a comfortable solution in this matter, but I will need to talk to both of you by phone if not in person. In 18 years of counseling stepfamilies, I've dealt successfully with this same issue many times. I can help you, too. If you will be willing to both work for your marriage, your family, and your futures.

You may contact me through this forum or more privately email me directly at stepcoach@gmail.com

I wish you the best, for yourselves, and for your children.

STEPcoach Bob Collins

Anonymous said...

This is the life im lving, but a little different. I have been with my husband for 9 years, he has a daughter that he has had custody of since she was a baby, she is now 18. Since the day we met she was a little out of control, I always thought somehow she would change. As she has gotten older she has caused so much turmoil in our relationship! I walked out the door 4 years ago and was gone for over a year and he constantly called and begged me to come back, with promises that things would change. Well im not writing because they did, his promises were empty and she is worse than ever. 18 not going to school, unemployed and does nothing to help around the house, for her life is a party and her father is funding it. The fights with my husband over this crap is totally out of control, and I find myself looking for a apartment again. I want out! I am treated like a second class citizen, my wants and needs are always put on the back burner becuse of this unruly young adult. I asked him if hes happy with his choices and all I get is "thats my kid". So, im what im saying is, I have been put 2nd in this mans life and I dont want to take it anymore. And im out!

Anonymous said...

My husband has an adult male child from a previous relationship. We had not even been together 3 months when this high school dropout, no ambition having, disrespectful, and rude "child" came to stay with us. The young man chooses to stay locked up in the room and not socialize or speak with anyone. My husband think I should initiate conversation and activities with this grown a** man yo bond with him. I have tried to talk with him for approximately 2 years and still to no avail. My husbands complains I am the malicious one because I choose not to force the issue. Heck he's grown and he can choose who he wants to deal with. My husband has placed him before me and states "he will continue to "help" him. I'm tired of this and sometimes don't want to come home.

Anonymous said...

If I had knew all this I will never consider remarriage. The stress I have lived the last years is way more than I can stand. After 5 years I have just choosed my kids. I know I can be wrong decision but I am stressful to dead and will do anything to reconnect with my teenage daughters from now until my last breath in life. I blame my husband for five years for choosing him during that time. I am sorry for him and us together but at least relieved and calm. My house is starting to feel like a home again this week. Chances I regret later for for now I do not think so. Someone should advise couples considering remarriage before they do.

Anonymous said...

After 5 years of being together and 2 yrs of marriage i still constantly feel like i am required to choose between my husband and my kids. I dont think he should be the ones punishing them, and when I dont when he thinks i should it becomes a real big fight. I am not happy at all. I don't want to live like this anymore.

Anonymous said...

I've been together with my wife for over 10 years. She's got 2 girls (13 and 18 years old) from a previous marriage, which are living with us in London, United Kingdom and I have a daughter (14 years old) from a previous marriage, who lives with us only one month every year during school holiday, the other 11 month of the year living in Bulgaria with my ex.
Recently, my daughter asked me if she can move to study in London this summer, as, undoubtedly, studying and getting employment in United Kingdom is a better future than in Bulgaria. I spoke to my wife, she agreed to this and my daughter obtained her mum’s agreement too. My wife then told me that she changed her mind, as life would become more difficult and costly. I understand her point, but I was by her and her kids for all those years, regardless of being difficult, so I consider reasonable that she accept my daughter.
I am trying to resolve this for weeks, but she tells me that she won’t accept her and we are to divorce if she comes.
I would really appreciate some opinions.

STEPcoach said...

Her insistence that she will divorce if your daughter comes to live with you sounds like much more than a spur-of-the-moment objection. What other issues have occurred over the ten years of your marriage that would lead your wife to refuse to share her home with your daughter? I find it difficult to understand her inflexible stance on this request unless she has other reasons to object. Can you provide more information - either here, or directly to me privately at stepcoach@gmail.com ?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for responding to me. I will be in touch with you via email.
I hope for a happy ending and positive comments in here afterwards. ;-)

Anon said...

I agree that you chose your spouse; however, I also believe that you have a deeper responsibility to your children BECAUSE you didn't choose them, nor did they choose you. I have seen firsthand in my own husband what years of borderline abuse from his stepmother caused - all because his father chose his wife over him consistently. Not only did this dynamic his damage my husband's self esteem well into adulthood- he still suffers from severe anxiety - but it destroyed his relationship with his father. Your blanket approach is extremely detrimental to families with dealing with actual problems, not simply unruly or annoying children. My husband is the best person I know despite years of horrible treatment from his stepmother and acquiescence by his father that continues to this day (well into our thirties). I have begged him to cut contact but he needs to do it in his own time. Your "advice" that you should choose your new spouse over your children is shameful and quite frankly ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

My Husband (a minister) and I have been married for 2.5 years. He and my 17 year old, get along when my husband feels like it. He doesn't really want anything to do with my Daughter whose now 20. Just recently he threw my son out of the house because my son didn't speak to him one day. He told him he would never amount to anything in College and he cant read. He will be graduating from High school in a couple of months with a 3.2+ GPA. I am torn to pieces. My husband knew what he was getting into at the beginning. Over the last 2.5 years my relationship with my parents, and sister and other family members has been strained. He tells me all the time that they don't care about me, and he don't want nothing to do with them. He asked for a Divorce (for the second time).He just recently told me that if anything goes on with my kids or family he doesn't want to know anything. And if my son ever "punch me in the face" he just going to walk out the house. Once a month at least anything no matter how small will make him go off. So for the last week anytime I come home I began to feel sick. My chest begins to hurt, my throat gets tights, and my body gets hot. There is so much more. Right now I am lost I don't know what to do.

Beazyshambles said...

I have all but given up on my 26 year marriage. I have talked endlessly with my spouse about her putting her now adult children's needs ahead of mine. Needless to say it has caused a lot of conflict, and I really don't want to be involved with her kids at this point. Now my stepson has twins and that has added even more problems. My parents say it's obvious what goes on and that it's only going to get worse with grandkids involved. I do get angry about this and then get accused of being hard to get along with. My stepdaughter told me she thinks I wish they didn't exist and that if my wife and I ever break up, she will have no reason to speak to me ever again. I just don't know what else to do because my wife will not admit she ever does this. She just blames me for family stress. She says things are fine if it is just the two of us but get anyone else involved and there is a problem. I say that as soon as the kids show up I become invisible or am just expected to do whatever they want. She is on the phone with them daily. We still get a 27 year olds mail at our house. We cancelled our 25 wedding anniversary vacation plans that we had for five years because her son decided to get married at the exact same time of those plans. He was fully aware of the plans and she was mad at me for being upset about it.

Unknown said...

I know this has been up since 2010 but I'm hoping someone reads this and can give me some advice. I have two children from a previous marriage, ages 8 and 10, both girls. I'm happily married for the second for three years now. My husband has some health problems both physical and mental, but I love him none the less. Now I'm faced with a dilema due to a problem he has. When he was younger he was molested by his father, but he's always been great with my kids, they love him!!! But he was online, became curious and the authorities found child pornography on his computer. 35 photos go be exact. I know he has problems, and he told me it wasn't exciting to him, just a curiousity. Given that, my mother says if I stay with him through this she will be forced to take me to court and remove my parental rights, which is only half since I have joint custody, my ex is also on board with this. They say because I support him that I must be OK with it. That is false, I'm highly pissed! But I love him, and want to help him through this. No, I don't want him around the kids right now. He has not been charged with anything yet but I'm sure he'll have to register. I want to protect my kids, but I need to support him as well. Unfortunately, my family and my kids father are making me choose, though his family has been supportive. Someone please tell me, what do I do??!! I love my kids, I can't live without them, but my husband is my soul mate, I can't live without him either.

DCD said...

I have been married to my present husband 28 years. When we married, I had 4 children from a previous marriage; he had none. Naturally, my loyalties were divided between my new husband and my children. I tried my best to be attentive to all of them, but in all honestly the were the ones that got the shorter end of the stick when it came to attention and time spent.
My children have been mostly silent about the neglect they felt, though from time to time they have told me, in no uncertain terms, that I always put my husbands needs above theirs.
As adults, they seem to be bitter about the perceived neglect. My youngest, a daughter even went as far as to write a long letter to me about their feelings. She says they still feel I should pay them more attention than I do, and though I try, it's very difficult to juggle the needs of a husband, ailing father, ageing mother, 14 grandchildren and two great grandchildren. And yes, four adult children.
I would love some advice, and especially I want to know what to say to my children that won't make me sound defensive, or that I am hurt or angry at them.

Anonymous said...

I am ready to leave. He has put his 17 year old son before our marriage since the beginning. He has lived with us full time for 5 years now. He has no job, smokes pot and does NOTHING around the house but trash his room and complain when his clothes are not washed. Not alone cannot explain the reason he carries over 1000 dollars in his wallet. My husband makes every excuse possible and I have lost every fight. My husband knows my feelings and has for years. He insists I am the crazy one and he looks thru his own world with Rose colored glasses. I am not asking him to pick me over his son but I am the one who said til death do us part and he does not realize his son will not be around forever like his own spouse will. His son pretty much rules the roost and has no respect for my husband. I am done

anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. My 12-year-old son has lived with us throughout the marriage. For the last year and a half, his 28-year-old daughter has lived with us while finishing nursing school. My main issue is with him, rather than my stepdaughter. Although I know she is in school, my stepdaughter only worked for the first few months she lived with us. She often sleeps most of the day if not in class and studies at night. I provide a lot of her food too, since she doesn't have an income. However, my husband rarely criticizes her, but he never misses an opportunity to criticize my son for not doing enough chores or playing his games too much, even though he has school and band everyday. I have in response to his criticism, made occasional comments that she could do more as well, which of course aren't received well. Am I missing something?

anonymous said...

My husband and I have been married for 3 years. My 12-year-old son has lived with us throughout the marriage. For the last year and a half, his 28-year-old daughter has lived with us while finishing nursing school. My main issue is with him, rather than my stepdaughter. Although I know she is in school, my stepdaughter only worked for the first few months she lived with us. She often sleeps most of the day if not in class and studies at night. I provide a lot of her food too, since she doesn't have an income. However, my husband rarely criticizes her, but he never misses an opportunity to criticize my son for not doing enough chores or playing his games too much, even though he has school and band everyday. I have in response to his criticism, made occasional comments that she could do more as well, which of course aren't received well. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Im in a relationship where before we moved together i told my spouse her daughter didnt like me, and they didnt believe me. So that we moved together now she see's it. Her daughter doesnt speak to me, when she walks into the house she doesnt say anything, i gave her a bed, because she didnt have one and didnt even say Thank you. I let her daughter know we need to talk about this, and she was rude saying she dont have to respect me, and said its not my fucking house its her Mom, and that she dont give a Fuck what i say and think. I was so pissed because it is my house, and she does has to respect me. Oh i forgot she is 24yrs old, have nothing going for herself, and cant keep a job, and smokes weed all day everyday. Im so stressed what can i do. This is just the least of whats happening, sorry for all the curse words just wanted you to see what im going through

Anonymous said...

My current wife and I are currently separated. We are working on ourselves and deciding weather or not this marriage is good for either of us. My eleven year old daughter from my first marriage does not like the fighting and does not want to come back and live with us (at times when I have her) if my current wife and I were to resolve and get back together. My daughter's mother has also said that she does not have to and would/will keep her from coming over. What do I do in a situation like this?

Unknown said...

Looks like maybe I am the dumb one for staying

Anonymous said...

I am torn between my 11 year old son and new partner. My last relationship was with my sons dad for 11 years it was not great we argued daily and he wouldnt do anything with us. I then met someone really beautiful who loves me so much and i couldnt believe that true real love exists. The problem is my partner cannot stand my son, he doesnt know we are together as my new partner is a woman, whenever i approached tbe subject hypothetically he said he would leave home if i was gay. He gets rude and jealous to her and its really difficult. I now keep them apart but my girlfriend wants me to move in with her and her family (mum and brother) and start a new life but not with my child. I love her dearly but being in the middle like this is killing me, i literally dont know what to do because ive never had so much love given me but my maternal instinct it yo ne loyal to my child.

Unknown said...

My situation is a bit different. My daughter is 17, never been in trouble and doing great in school. My husband, whom has no children of his own, is always starting arguments with me because he thinks the kids disrespect him. If they leave a dish in the sink,he starts a fight.
Most recently, my husband took my daughters boyfriend home. The next day he told me that he thought he heard them talking and he thought they was showing body parts. Now I personally would have addressed the situation that night, but he didn't tell me until the next day. So I talked to my daughter and she said that,that's not what the discussion was about and provided her own explanation. I believe her and have no reason not to. But now my husband thinks that I don't believe him. I believe the both of them. He even stated himself that he "thought" he heard what they was talking about. Am I in the wrong for believing my child and my husband? Because it gets really tiring defending the both of them and being in the middle.

Anonymous said...

I'm in a dilemma. I have 4 kids at home, 2 boys 9 & 11 years and 2 girls 14 & 17. I'm not married but have been with my boyfriend 5 years living together 3 years. My bf wants my 2 oldest out of the house due to their disrespectful behavior towards him & me at times. I love this guy and he has been a blessing in our lives and has done more for my kids than their dad.(they don't have good relationship with their dad). I see how my bf is done with their disrespect cuz I am too, but I can't bare to not have them here(where are they supposed to even go at those ages) or have to not have some type of relationship with them. I feel like I'm stuck between choosing my kids or my other half and I don't know what to do.

Sadandconfused said...

My husband and I got married a year ago. His son is 7 mine is 3. I'm now due any day to have our son. The problem for us is his son lives in Indiana and mine lives in Texas. We have been living in Texas for almost the whole marriage. Before we got married we lived there. The stress of being away from his son caused a lot of problems for him and is so hes currently there. My question is should I move up there and work on our marriage because I don't want to be without him or do I stay here and not leave my son.. I'm not sure which is worst.. I could use some advice..

Anonymous said...

MY HEART IS BREAKING...my husband and I only married 5 months ago. He had a very messy divorce with a woman who hates me and vowed to destroy me. He has an 18 year old daughter who is extremely academically bright. She manipulates, has constant anxiety attacks and insists that they be alone without me. He basically had a fit the other night saying his daughter needs him and rushed out screaming and swearing at me because he wanted to meet with her. The whole situation is out if hand and I am seriously considering leaving this marriage. I am lost.

Anonymous said...

Today is Father's Day and I'm at the library writing because my husband decided to celebrate himself with his grown children who are rude and disrespectful to me just because he remarried. One of his "children" is ex step-son from prior marriage and he and his new baby and girlfriend are actually at my house and the young lady was giving me dirty looks. I told my husband and he got angry with me for saying anything about it because he didn't want anything to ruin his day smh...We have been married for 18 months and he has been divorced for 6 years. I can't imagine going thru life like this. I will not tolerate the disrespect from the young adults and I shouldn't be put in this position by my husband. of his two biological young adult children, the daughter is blatantly sarcastic and he corrects me in front of her whenever I say anything at all, but the son is respectful of me because he used to live with us and his problems were with his father and I helped him .

troubledstepmom said...

My husband and I have a total of six children. Three are from his previous marriage oldest 17, and twins age 11. I have one from a previous relationship age 11 and we have two together, ages 5 and 9 months.
We have been together 6 years and married 2 years. I am on the verge of leaving him and filing for divorce. His relationship with his daughter 17 years old is more like husband and wife. He looks to her for advice and support in my absence and when we are in disagreements. I have shown love, and respect to her only to feel betrayed and second to her. They both blame me for having destroyed their relationship when I got together with him. I feel so hurt. I did nothing intentional but found she was his priority and she needed all his attention so I tried to get him to open up to other children in our home. Not sure in their eyes this is what they blame me for but that's the only thing I can honestly say they must have both not been ready for.
They are a team and I am left out it seems during day to day activities. She has turned us against each other during critical times in our relationship with her boyfriend issues while I was pregnant. I have come to my final decision of asking him to have her live at her mom's instead of with us or I am leaving and divorcing him. My heart wants to stay strong until she is on her own for the sake of my children but it's so painful I don't know if I can take another fight or dissagreement. What is your advice?

Unknown said...

My husband had an assessment opened up on him by CPS due to slapping my son and leaving a mark. Prior to that about a year before I had experienced some domestic abuse from him and we separated. We reconciled and are now at a point where he says my 7 year old son needs to leave or he leaves. He says that my son is too difficult to deal with and the stress is too much for him.He's got me in a pinch bc we are due to have our second child together in one month. We also have a one year old. What would you suggest?

Anonymous said...

What about if the spouse has harmed your child but you don't want to lose contact with your stepchild who you love as your own?

Anonymous said...

Me and my wife has been married for 11 years and we have had a great marriage and she has 2 daughters from a previous marriage that I have raised with her, and she is letting them decide if we should be together cause I'm strict as a parent, (I don't spank never have and never touched them at all) but I expected them to do chores around the house. Now they claim I'm to mean and my wife has asked me to leave until they say it's ok for me to come home. Me and my wife has a 11 year old that has no say in the matter, just the 16 year old and 15 year old. I've asked about us going to counseling but I was denied of us going...pleaseverything any advice would help me alot thank you

Anonymous said...

I have two children from a previous relationship. 11 and 12. My 12 year old has down syndrome. My husband and I have been married for 3 years and have a 2 year old together. Our problem lies with my 11 year old daughter. Both my husband and my daughter both say they dont like each other. He thinks she is manipulative, and lazy and disrespectful. He doesnt think I am strict enough and so on. I look at her as being sensitive, a sweet girl and her attitude, well she is a child. Children make mistakes. He doesnt seem to look at it like that, and I feel like if she breathes wrong he gets mad at her. He is often negative towards her, so she avoids him and doesnt speak to him. He takes that as disrespect. I have been the middle person, always defending him to her, and her to him. I back him up with discipline, but sometimes I disagree with his tactics, as I do with our daughter together. He tells me I put her first, and dont consider his feelings. I dont know what to do anymore and we are on the brink of divorce. He doesnt seem to want to try and repair their relationship, as I have made suggestions for them to go do something fun alone, so they could get to know each other. he is not interested. She tells me he makes her feel bad, and that she thinks I value his opinion more than hers. And I do worry about him affecting her self esteem, as I grew up with a step father who wasnt very nice to me, it did affect me. Who do I choose in this situation? I dont know what is the right thing to do, and I am giving up on trying to make him happy.

Anonymous said...

I have raised my son alone, and am proud of what a responsible young man he has become. Working and paying his own car and insurance and personal needs. My husband and I dated for 5 years before marrying. After marriage, my husband did not want to make room for me in his home, as he "would have to get rid of stuff". Well, yes, that's what happens when you combine homes. So, we live separately, me with my son. My son and I have a close relationship, and we planned for him to buy my house so I can live with husband. My husband calls my son "the other husband", which I find disturbing and offensive. Now he says he had given me a time frame to move (even though he refused to make room for me) now my time up-he has never before mentioned this to me-and he said he is moving in with my son and me. I know this will bring more troubles, as he complains about my son all the time (his son has been in jail, has a child, and is receiving welfare).
How can I turn my back on my son?

Anonymous said...

Feeling uncertain about my husband's commmittment. We have been married for 3 years. I knew when we were dating, his relationship with my now step daughter (SD) was unusually close. But I attributed my feelings to coming from a family that encouraged emotional independence in order to perservere through educational demands and reach goals. Meeting her during the dating process was pleasant, but my now husband was what I thought understandably nervous. Well, we planned a beautiful wedding and I invited her to be my maid of honor. The gross displays of inappropriateness started there. At the altar, she rolled her eyes and heaved deep breaths during the vow exchange. My husband neither believed me nor sympathized with my dismay over this behavior. Instead, he shortly after the reception where she made inappropriate comments, invited her into the wedding suite (a place I thought was sacred). In the middle of our wedding night, she called asking for gas money. He left to give it to her. On our honeymoon, while out of the country, she called requesting he find a way to pay her rent....the list goes on. Not to mention 95% of the time she addresses me as "Hey", although I have told her she may address me by my first name. My husband says he has addressed this with her, but regrettably no change in her behavior. SD otherwise is cordial enough, but far beneath what I deem a degree of reasonable propriety. We relocated from the Midwest to the South after my mother passed. He did not work the first year, paid rent for SD althogh she was living with her bio mom. I bought a house and he did not provide assistance for down payment or financing. He does help financially (about 30% of monthly costs) but not without me asking. Now, there is a heavy campaign to move her (now 21 yo and a college grad) into the marital home. She has no job prospects. I feel it would be marital suicide to allow this as my husband does not acknowledge the blatant disrespect. I feel as though I am turning blue in the face attempting to explain to him that getting her an apartment nearby is not a good idea. She will likely attempt to spend a lot of time at the house while I am at work. I feel visits should be scheduled, given the history, but my husband certainly would not comply. I think he loves me, but I feel deep inside she is the priority... and at my expense emotionally and financially. Am I unreasonable to want to maintain a healthy distance and continue to voice my feelings against her moving 3000 miles from home to live in a $1000 per month apartment with no job. They seem desperate to be close to one another. He tells me she is distraught. I feel the bridge for now at least has been burned. Shouldn't he demonstrate more clearly his marital committment. I know marriage involves compromise and sacrifice, but to what end? Please help!

NeedHelp said...

Is this post line still open? I remarried and have three kids. My new wife hates my ex and thinks ex is always messing things up with schedules and the kids (which is not really true). We have been together for 2 years, married few months, but thing worsen. Few weeks back, while my three kids in the living room, late night, new wife and I arguing because she thinks me and ex are ruing her (new wife) life and she got so angry and mad, she hit me (my ex-wife never hit me once in 13 years), grabbed the bed sheets to strangle herself and grabbed two letter openers to stab herself. I kicked her out and she stayed at a friends for two days, threaten me that she call the police on me saying I hurt her (because she had bruises when I had to hold her down from hurting herself while the kids were here) and she was really defending herself (which she even told the pastor the truth and that lie will not hold well), and will have the police go after the ex, just because she "wants justice against me and ex." New wife is very tense and stressed and OCD beyond control (my place of books and toys for the kids is "too much"), but will not take meds. Now my ex has the kids and the kids are never allowed to go near new wife. My kids no longer can come over (forget Christmas with them). My pastor is trying to help us, but is it worth it if I can not have my kids over? I can not spend money out of the home, so I go nothing to do but get them entertained at a park for hours and hours, every couple of days???

Anonymous said...

I have been in a relationship for 11 years now. I have a son (15) and daughter (12) from a previous marriage. My son was 4 when we divorced. I met my current fiance who also has a daughter (now also 15) from a previous relationship, about 8 months there after and we instantly connected. At that stage I had nothing and had to rebuild myself. My ex had custody of the kids however with her lifestyle she lived, the kids were exposed to alot, their living conditions was very bad, not alot food, clothes, values, hygiene. It eventually ended up by my ex's parent intervening so that the kids can stay with us. They have been living with us for over a year now, they are very quite, but do not seem react correctly to my fiance who is a very strong and honest person. We end up having fights as I feel sorry for my kids and it is creating a wedge between us. At this stage the only option that my fiance and ex's family suggest is that the kids be sent to boarding school. I dont know what to do as I do not want to rune my kids future, however I also believe that I have a responsibility to my fiance for being there for me. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

This article is awful. My dad remarried a mentally unstable who routinely verbally abused my sister and me. He always took her side and eventually this woman took him for everything he had.

Anonymous said...

I was asked by Sue when we were both in our golden years (and both widowed) to be her partner for life. Her grown kids resent my intrusion into the family. I tried for years to become accepted but gave up when realizing it was of no use. They come to visit, I feel awkward, neglected, rejected, left out. Sue believes and has told me the following: 1. That she has told them how much she loves me. 2. But that this doesn't matter to them and that they will never stop resenting me. 3. She could never, nor will ever, tell them to accept us both or else. I feel "sacrificed" for the sake of her not losing her (grown) children. She has tried to set an example of commitment to me with them. But that doesn't matter to them. So I suffer this "disconnection" from them all in our own home. When they leave, it is relatively peaceful and life is back to normal. But when they walk through the front door, I have no alternative but to escape this uncomfortable situation, remaining isolated and alone until they are gone. Please help.

Anonymous said...

My husband has paranoid personality disorder. He and my children (from a different relationship) had a goid relationship from the beginning . Now we have been married for 2 and half years and his disorder has gotten worse. The constant lack of trust or just paranoid has caused some issues as he dorsntvsee his kids 2. And now my daughter wants me to choose between her and my husband. My daughter us 18 and i love her dearly.

Anonymous said...

I find it helpful to read about other step-mom's that feel like they have been not receiving the emotional support they need from their husbands. I have a very different situation in that my stepdaughter lives in Australia and we only see her 4-6 weeks out of the year. However, when she is around or calls she is the number 1 priority. For a while I just dealt with it because it doesn't occur that often and I realize it's out of guilt, but recently after my husband and I suffered our own loss of another unsuccessful IVF attempt and she was in town, it was very evident just how hurtful it was. He worried about her emotions and did not offer any emotional support to me over and over. I now realize this will always be the case. I will always take the back seat to her. I wish I would have known this prior to getting married. It's not a feeling a wife should ever have to feel. It is betrayal and so hurtful, especially when they are your number one and it's not reciprocated.

Quiltingranny said...

I disagree with this post on several issues. The first being not all step-parents give a hoot about the step-kids and the second is some step-parents or potential step-parents are simply not meant to parent. My son is in a relationship with a horrible woman. In the beginning we thought she was amazing and after a few months it became obvious that she is the evil step-mother. While her youngest is allowed to go around hitting, telling people he is going to kill them, she thinks this is funny. When I told him to not hit me, she advised me 'I'll discipline him when I think he needs it.'Her teen daughter doesn't have to do chores, can have her boyfriend over behind closed doors in the dark under the covers, never gets any consequences. On the other hand, our grandchildren have to pick up her dirty dishes, rinse them, do her chores and frequently lose their cell phones for not removing a speck of dirt off the floor. Prior to the holidays and during, she began staying out late at night, not coming home saying she was out shopping...really, the malls close at 10 and you are shopping at midnight? When my son asked her to marry him, she got up and stormed out leaving a very awkward silence. She kicked my son and his kids out, but he keeps calling her and last night she told him, his daughter owes her an apology because she told her 'you don't love my dad, you don't deserve my dad if you can't see how much he loves you then you are truly stupid.' We all see it, the verbal abuse he takes from her the moment she walks in the door, the posting on FB of selfies and her kids but not any of he and her or his kids. It is all about her and say what you want, I say dump her and move on! NOT all relationships should become a marraige!

Unknown said...

I have only one biological child. My 8 almost 9 year old son. I divorced his dad when he was just a year old. I remarried in 2013 and love my husband dearly. He has custody of his two daughters ages 8&6. I've been the only mommy they know. The first 2.5 years of our marriage my husband worked in the oilfield having 7 days on and 7 days off. Then he got laid off. He has been home for a year and just recently got a job for a trucking company. He now has no set schedule or days off. He also is 140 miles away. This was not our plan. He wanted to drive trash truck but this opportunity came and although I asked him not to take the job he said he had to for our finances. He has been gone for over two weeks and has no idea when he will be able to come home. Although he is not OTR we cannot afford for him to come home nightly. So he has been staying with our friend. I am struggling with him being gone and am not handling it well at all. I share custody with my ex for a week on week off arrangement of our son. I have never minded him being gone but after having him home for a year and us agreeing that he wouldn't go back to being gone. I have completely lost my shit. I don't know what to do. I don't want to be without my husband but I am not able to get my ex to come to any agreement or compromise where our son is concerned. I have separated from my husband as this whole ordeal is causing me severe anxiety and panic attacks. I have never been a needy person or co dependant. I have always had a job and provided for my children. However I am not adjusting to this arrangement well at all. I miss my husband so much. I've tried to explain this and he says he loves me but cannot quit his job. I'm a wreck. I am a mom to my son and a wife to my husband. I have to make a decision for the overall well being of my mental health and wellness. I feel like I have to choose between my husband and my son. Not because my husband has asked me to but because I cannot go on like this. Do I divorce my husband and risk losing my girls as they are not mine legally. Or do I move closer to him and let my ex husband become full time caretaker of our son. What type of parenting plan would we need. Most important what type of mother does that make me? What would that say to my son if I made that decision? What does it say to my children if I decide to divorce instead. I'm so broken hearted and confused.

Anonymous said...

I am ready to leave. He has put his 18 year old son before our marriage since the beginning. He has lived with us full time for 5 years now. He has no job, smokes pot and does NOTHING around the house but trash his room and complain when his clothes are not washed. Not alone cannot explain the reason he carries over 1000 dollars in his wallet. My husband makes every excuse possible and I have lost every fight. My husband knows my feelings and has for years. He insists I am the crazy one and he looks thru his own world with Rose colored glasses. I am not asking him to pick me over his son but I am the one who said til death do us part and he does not realize his son will not be around forever like his own spouse will. His son pretty much rules the roost and has no respect for my husband. I am done

Unknown said...

I've been remarried for a year and a half. My daughter is in constant "I don't wanna be here" I've explained to her in many different ways that our situation is not going to change, but she won't give up. I'm at a loss w a 7 year old.
My New husband does have three girls of his own. They ALL get along very well but she still insist that it should just be her, her brother and I.
Any advice would be great. This child of mine is VERY head strong! HELP

Unknown said...

I'm in a horrible situation where my partner is wanting to split up due to me not getting on with his son (10). I get on great with his 8 year old son. We've got a 4 year old daughter together.
His eldest son does a lot to try to get a rise out of me and wind me up. Sadly last week it worked all too well and I ended up yelling at him.
His sons mum has now said I'm not allowed around the boys.
I'm faced with having to leave our home and start again with our 4 year old. I feel so heart broken.

Unknown said...

I have been with my husband for 6 yrs. He has 2 daughters. 12&11. I have a daughter from a previous relationship age 12. My daughter is polite,follows rules, gets good grades and helps out. His 2 are rude, failing in school, lying, and talk to me with no respect at all. I have done a lot for these girls. I'm the one taking them to appointments, packing lunches and trying to make their life great. But every time I try to parent his kids he tells me to leave them alone or don't bother them. I have NEVER raised my voice to them. I'm just trying to help. He always picks them no matter what. I always turn into the bad guy. I have been nothing but wonderful to these kids. I treat them like they were my own. But I just keep getting pushed away. They no they can make us fight. All they have to do is tell daddy that I said something to them and he comes down on me. I love my husband very much and those kids but I'm at the end of my rope. I try to talk to him but he just dismisses me. I don't no what do. Should I just shut my mouth and not say a word? Should I leave? HELP ME!!!

Anonymous said...

I have three kids from a first marriage, and two kids from current. Due to disruptions from my ex (getting kids to spy, secret phones/emails, and other major intrusions), I felt it was best to leave town before kids got too screwed up, as co-parenting wasn't working. Now, my 11 year old son (who lives ~ 6 hrs away - (8 in the winter - we live in Minnesota), wants to live with us. I want him to live with us, but my current wife is saying that if I want him to move down that I have to move out with him. He's a good kid (she knows that), but is afraid of the ex somehow manipulating and causing hardship. This 'choosing between wife and kids' thing is a horrible, horrible feeling. I appreciate the advice given in this blogpost, but the thought of telling my son he can't live with me (and the way my ex will use that to further her parental alienation crap) is killing me.

Anonymous said...

I've been married 7 years. Blended family. My spouse and I have a child together, so 3 kids total. My husband does not treat them equally and favors his own over my other two. We have had great difficulties parenting or even keeping a marriage a float. Needless to say, I've left over him telling my two kids he no longer wants the financial burden of them. He has since asked me to LEAVE my two kids and just carry on with he and our shared child. I'm not even considering this as its appalling and infuriating that he'd feel I could "leave" a 11 year old and 8 or ask me to CHOOSE him or them

Anonymous said...

I'm divorced and in a new serious relationship. We've been talking about marriage and buying a house together and having a baby. I have a 7 year old girl from my first marriage. I feel like my daughter and my boyfriend are not connecting or bonding. I feel like have to choose between them on who gets my attention. He keeps making rules that are making her resentful of him. I know some rules are good but sometimes I think he doesn't understand the need of a parent to comfort your child and make her happy. When I choose his way it breaks my heart for her. When I choose her I feel like I let him down and I'm scared he thinks less of me or will want to leave me one day. I dont have the comfort of being married yet knowing he can't just easily walk out the door but I want to be. I'm just scared even after marriage even after she sees he's not going anywhere and that he's a real father figure that these issues won't go away. I'm trying. I don't know if anyone else is. Why can't they just love each other the way I love both of them.

Adele said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Hi. I hope this is still active! Let me first start with some background information I met my second husband in 2006. He was an immigrant from a South American country. At the time he was married and had 2 boys (at the time 9 and 6). My husband and I married in 2012 when his boys were 15 and 12. We petitioned and were granted a Visa for his boys to immigrate to the US in 2014 (ages at the time 17 and 14). We had a very rocky road with the acclimation of the kids. The oldest was dupped into coming here by his mom (because he was following a very bad bunch of kids) and the younger one just wanted to come because his older brother was coming. The boys had a little trouble adjusting to school but otherwise seemed to be doing ok. Summer of 2015 the youngest began starving himself (when he came he was chunky - no fat). We entered him into treatment for 6 months in March 2016. One month was inpatient treatment. When he was released he seemed to be doing OK but his attitude starting turning bad. One day he turned to me and said "I don't care about you, you don't need to care about me." That did it for me. I literally asked my employment to give me special hours so I could transport him back and forth to the outpatient program for 5 months. I did everything to make sure that they both felt welcomed and loved in my home. We had him in private counselling after his stint in the hospital but he quit about a month into it. Just stopped talking. Now in 2017, we found some evidence that he may be injecting synthetic steroids (i.e. a note he wrote with the name of the roids, cost, how many syringes, how many times a day, etc.). On top of that I found a bottle of unopened estrogen blockers in his room. Last week, his father found that he is using bitcoins to buy items on line that totaled $285. I simply cannot stand the stress and aggrevation he causes. My husband turns a blind eye (suffers from Guilty Father Syndrome for leaving them in 2001). He wants "proof" that the is injecting but won't go find the proof. I am at my wits end with this situation. I was put at the bottom of my husband's priority list before our marriage and now again I am put at the bottom. He lashes out at me and my daughter (he helped raise my daughter from the age of 5) when something happens with his sons. I told him my feelings about the steroid situation and the situation with his youngest son in general - I can't trust him, he lies all the time, we helped him and he didn't learn anything while he was in the hospital and now he is possibly injecting himself with illegal substances, etc. and he just turns everything around on me. I just don't know what to do. I am ready to pack it up and leave.

reanna said...

I have been married for almost 11 years. We both have kids 4 him and 2 me but none together. He has one that has put me down and run me in the ground and he has yet to defend me. I have one that is wanting to come and stay with us for a few days and he says if he comes he's leaving. What do you do to that. Now mind you the son is in a bad way right now and needing some help but he says the he is not gonna be under the same roof as him. My son has had a few chances but he has never been w/o food and a home. What do I do?

Anonymous said...

I have a unique situation. I have remarried my spouse who is my children's step father. I would say that the previous divorce was caused by confusion and commitment to our children above our commitment to one another. We decided to take another stab at it. It was pretty clear early on that he wasn't fully committed to the relationship and now even puts his dog before me. But, because I have committed to this relationship I have decided to put myself aside and put the focus on having a happy home. Unfortunately, things just aren't that easy. About a year ago my 15 yr old daughter accused my husband of touching her inappropriately. My husband of course denied the accusation and an investigation was done, coming up inconclusive. I chose to stay with my husband because I just couldn't come to the belief that he would do such a thing. My daughter went to live with her father and a division was made within our family. Half of my 5 children choosing not to talk to me. A year later, I have gotten my daughter into therapy. She still stands by her accusation but wants to have a relationship with me and so has decided that she will put that aside so that she can be with me. Two of her older siblings still do not talk to me due to the situation. I wouldn't say that my husband's and my relationship hasn't suffered from the situation. We have lost connection and now live mostly as roommates. I just question if I'm on the right side of this whole mess. Was it pride and fear of being wrong again that led me to stay with my husband, and what if I'm wrong and he's lying and my daughter is truly suffering. I just don't know how to proceed. I miss my children and the togetherness that I had created within our family that is so torn now. Where do I start to clean this up?

Anonymous said...

I have been married 4 yrs and we lived together 10... all of these years have been difficult... my husband has an adult daughter that hates me and does things to start arguments between he and I ... I moved out for 2 yrs before we was married and she moved out of state... when she found out we moved back in together she moved back in town and started again he said I’m gonna stand by you and he did til we were married... while we were on our honeymoon and got married she called the night before and blessed him out how could he marry me I was mean and all kinds of stuff... he stood by me but it’s four years later he ask for a divorce because he feels I hate her and my family hates her.. she’s a spoiled brat that lives off her daddy but I don’t hate her I think she should have had her bottom spanked as a child so she would learn respect but she didn’t obviously... I love him but I don’t know how to deal with why I’m last in line for his affection! He pays her bills and believes everything she says and it’s lies! I tense up when she’s around and try not to breath wrong because I know she will make an allegations that are in true and I don’t want to fight and argue... I mean if I must I wish it was over anything else but her... I just need some advice please before I blow my top!

jennifer said...

Hi! I have a huge delima. I have been remarried for 7 years, snd my two girls now 15 and 17 have live with their grandmother ( on their own free will) 45 minutes away. I love my husband with all my heart, but they expect me to be with them where they live! I don't know what to do. Put my kids first and leave my husband.

Unknown said...

My husband and I have been married 9 years and all of our children are 29-32 years old who are all married. I thought I had a good relationship with his daughters and we decided to move when my husband retired back to the state his daughters live in. It became obvious after we moved they could careless about me. In 15 months there have been several issues and I have discussed these with my husband but he refuses to acknowledge any wrong doing on their part. I spoke to both girls separately about incidents and both quickly started putting me down to the point of calling me an introvert. Since then when I attend events I'm cordial and went in with zero expectations from them. But can't help to notice they avoided talking with me. We received multiple invites for 3 weeks in a row for birthdays, engagement parties and baby showers and since we live several hours away required us to stay in a hotel every weekend. After talking with my husband I declined attending a baby shower for 1 of them. The other one contacted me and said it was wrong for me not to attend a "life event" for her sister. My husband and I decided to keep peace I would attend. When I left I vowed to my husband I was done trying to please them because both of them completely ignored me. Needless to say I feel like I'm their puppet that they can demand I attend then they are rude to me. The final straw occurred when the 29 yr old got married. I attended the bridal luncheon and rehearsal dinner without them speaking to me and I want to say I tried to speak to them but they were always talking with other guest. At the wedding reception I was able to to talk to both girls but it was very obvious they did not want to talk with me. I complemented both of them being gorgeous and the wedding was beautiful both of them said "thanks" and turned and walked away without saying anything else. To top it off I was not considered to be part of the wedding party and was not included in ANY pictures at chapel, even though the other pictures being taken of family members and other guest. I sgared with my husband of my disappointment and he agreed it was wrong. After the honeymoon and when I was not there he asked his daughter why I was not included in any pictures and her response was "I forgot". My husband thinks thinks that's a good reason and is now angry with me because I now refuse to attend anything related with the girls. I feel and have told him he will always side with the girls. Needless to say our marriage had suffered a lot as a result of all of this. I asked him several months ago if we could move some place else because I think living this close to them has put a huge burden on our marriage. Before we lived a 20 hour drive from them but always flew to attend the most important events which included college graduations, engagement parties and weddings. My husband always attended birthday parties and visited frequently by himself. After moving here our disagreements have increased and all are related to the girls. We are now in marriage counseling and I'm contemplating a trial separation which would mean I would move back where we moved from that's a 20 hr drive away but is where my family and friends are. My husband thinks I should continue to attend events and I'm wrong to have set my boundaries which includes not joining him on trips to see girls. I have a son from my previous marriage with 4 kids currently they are 12 hour drive from us. My husband has accompanied on less than 10 trips to see my son and grandkids in the past 9 years and I have been to that many for his girls in the past year and half alone not too mention all of the ones we flew here to attend. It's a one sided relationship and I figure I should cut my losses now because it will only get worse.

News 4 You said...

I have been with my husband for 15 years but married for 5 years. When i got with my husband i had a son with my ex...my son was 4 years old at the time we met....i told my husband in order for me and him to be together that he would have to except my son and he said ok....we moved in together after a year aha everything was ok....then my husband got locked up for 6 and half years...mind you before he got locked up i became pregnant with our child at this time my first child was going on 8. So fast forward i had my second son in june of 05 and my husband was taken away from us aug 05...so that left me with a soon to be 8 year old and a 2 month old son...fast forward my husband comes home when my first son is going on 16 and our son together is 6 going on 7...all these years he's been gone its just been me and my boys...and my fiancee at the time comes home trying to lay down the rules in the house...i so understand he is the man of the house now but i feel that he can't just come home and start telling the boys to do this and that...fast forward my husband was raising his voice at me and my oldest son came and asked me was i ok and my husband flipped and try to put his hands on my son and i jumped in the way and told him not to put your hands on him...so he moved out and said that i chose my son over him...and i dont see it like that...im just a mother trying to protect her child. My husband constantly asks me which side an i with his or my son.....i told my husband i will never turn my back on my son and my husband gets all upset and say that he wants to bring harm to my child and i feel it shouldn't go that far? Now he is stating that he wants a divorce and i told him ok. Was i wrong for trying to protect my child? I love my husband dearly and i love my son! I feel a man should never ask a mother where do they stand...please help!!!

Anonymous said...

I have been married to my wife for 14 years. We were high school sweethearts and lasted until we were both about 21. During our separation she married and had a son. They divorced about 4 years after marriage. We re-connected when her son was 3yrs old. We took up where we left off when we were younger, she soon became pregnant. We married 3 months after our daughter was born. At that time she had joint custody of her son with her ex. He re-married and had a daughter. They were discussing custody and they were planning to fight. At that time we didn't live in the best area and i knew our residence and school zone would be under scrutiny. We didn't necessarily have the income for a custody battle. I've always felt like a boy should be raised by his father. I talked my wife into giving custody to her ex and his new wife. We got him every other week and all summer. 4yrs after our daughter was born, we had a son. My mother-in-law became unable to sustain her residence after her boyfriend died suddenly of a heart attack. I sold my house to move in with her so we could take care of all the bills and let her keep her house, the house my wife grew up in. So now we are in a better area with better schools. I never had a problem with my step son every other week and during summers. Fast forward, now he's 16 and he and father are having difficulties. His dad is now divorced for the 2nd time. My step son comes to live with us for the summer. He doesn't want to live with his father anymore. It is revealed his father held him down and choked him. My wife takes all the steps and we gain full custody. I am all for it. Everything is good for that year. Now he's 17 and he doesn't want to do anything but play video games. He's become very disrespectful to me, my wife and his nana. We had an extra vehicle, I pushed him to get his learner's permit so we can teach him to drive over the summer and try to get him to get a job. We live in an area with lots of opportunities for employment for a teenager. He fails the permit test, and doesn't want to get a job. He wouldn't study and failed twice more. That became a huge fight when he disrespected me by not studying, not trying to find a job so we can give him a nice truck that is just sitting and waiting. My wife says it's too late to teach him respect. She's told me several times i am not his father. So i leave it all to her. I'm over being disrespected so we bump heads a lot. Recently it became physical, we got into a heated argument as i turn to leave his room, he shoves me and tells to get the eff out of his room. I turn back around my mother-in-law wraps her arms around me to keep me from reacting. She's 80. So I don't react. At that moment he seized the opportunity to grab me in a choke hold. Of course now I break free and lift him in the air and turn around and slam him down in the hallway and maneuver to where the choke is ineffective as he's telling me "I am choking you out." I tell him no you're not I can talk, I can breathe. So now i have my wife and his nan telling me to let him go. Automatically I am the bad guy. He lets go of trying to choke me and tries to put my eye out with his thumb. Respecting his mother and nana, when I break free I get up. Inside I was raging. Every part of me was fighting the temptation to hurt him. The wife tells me to get the eff out of her house. And he starts screaming all kinds of crap how he hates me and other stuff. After a year of disrespect and him being lazy, I am the bad guy. My wife blames me for her guilt of giving up custody, when I suggested it and told her my opinion, i didn't make her do anything. That guilt makes her tell me that she will never choose me over her children, 2 of which are mine as well. He will be 18 shortly has no ambition to be anything other than a video game addict. He doesn't do drugs thank heaven. I am ready to walk out. I can't take it.

STEPcoach said...

Hello Jennifer,

I’m sorry you’re stuck between these two desires. I know you want to be right there with your babies, especially as they are growing up and turning into young ladies. I understand.

But, you swore 7 years ago to put your marriage before anything else in your life. Your husband is counting on this, you are establishing the rest of your life on it, and your daughters witnessed their mom vow to do this.

If you waver now and, in all sincere love, pull back from your husband to run to them, you will be teaching them to do that in their own lives. A great part of our responsibility as parents is to teach our children how to be adults when they grow up. That means keeping their vows - whether to spouse, job, God, or to you. Your example now will show them what you believe to be important about honesty and responsibility.

Tell them with love, but tell them what they NEED to know. Explain that a spouse (husband or wife) has a special commitment that goes beyond all others. It has to be this way for anyone (including you, Jennifer) to be able to have the confidence in their life they need. It sounds like they are well taken care of and loved, between you and their grandmother; and you are easily within driving distance, so they know they are not abandoned.

I know it is tough, but parenting is tough and good parents are tough, too. Show those girls that they have a mom who loves them enough to teach them what is right, not just what is easier for your heart. Your daughters have something that many, many other children don’t have, but need - a mother’s sincere love. Plus Grandma’s love, lots of interest and concern. They have chosen not to live in the house with you and your husband, but they are close in your heart. Never let them forget it.

God bless you in this hard but important task. If I can help any further, please feel free to ask!

<----------------------->
STEPcoach Bob Collins
Certified Family Mediator
http://www.FamilyMediator.ORG
479-522-7490

Unknown said...

I would be interested to see what your take is on this. My mother passed away in 2009. My dad remarried a couple years later. For Thanksgiving this year we all went to my stepsisters house which was find. For Christmas Eve, we are going to my Dad and Stepmothers house which all the family will be at including my stepmothers children and grandchildren. For Christmas dinner, my side of the family is having a dinner at our house and my Stepsister is having dinner at her house. I did invite them over however her in-laws are coming into town (they did not counter the offer). My dad originally advised that him and his wife will split up for Christmas dinner because she wants to go to her daughters and he wants to come to our house. Well the S-Storm happen and now my dad has to decide between his family and hers. I feel as if we are ALL doing Christmas eve together, what is the big deal with them splitting for 3 hours for Christmas dinner? What is your take here?

Anonymous said...

My husband left me this year and moved in with his adult daughter and her husband and children. There is a history of alcoholism in my husband's family as well as he is chronically ill from a 40 year history of alcholism. This adult daughter (who is my stepdaughter) appeared to be supportive of the marriage in the beginning but changed after her father/my husband lied to her on several occasions about me. My stepson is very supportive of me, but my husband and his daughter have an unusually close, unhealthy relationship (I suspect there was abuse) and the daughter is manipulative, in general, and a poor parent (one of her children is incarcerated in a juvenile facility because she neglected him and her other children have behavioral issues). She has 3 children with 3 different father and an ex-husband and now a new husband. My husband has complained about me to others including my family. I have one son who is in college and my husband resents any financial support of me or him and told me that is the reason he left. In the beginning of the marriage, he was supportive but then changed. He is also an alcoholic with a lot of health issues so he is not a rational thinking or acting person, anyway. I have done research on-line and found that my issues are common in blended marriages. I am still experiencing a lot of emotional pain as well as severe financial trouble because of the separation. I have not filed nor plan to file for divorce ever. I have spoken with attorneys for general advice. I am also a Christian and do not believe in divorce, although this is my second marriage. My son's father (my first husband) is also abusive and helps when he can (financially). People need to think really strong and hard and get counseling BEFORE they re-marry with children. My old boss who was at my wedding said that people say they loved getting married again but the children were a problem. My son was always respectful to my husband and still is. I am still in shock that my husband left and his daughter is/was very instrumental in that separation and its aftermath. She has blocked my number in his phone and sent an email about the house we were renting that was disrespectful. My husband and I talked about reconciliation but she got wind of it and is blocking it. I think she just wants him for his money and helping her out and her mother (his first wife) is behind it also. I am also still shocked that my husband is acting this way and allowing others to control his decisions although he says they are not.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have been living with my common law spouse for 5 years. We have 5 adult males between us. His eldest and my eldest are married and have children. His boys live close by us and all 3 of mine live in a different country. His eldest son wants his mother to be at my husband's family's home for Christmas this year. His marriage with her ended very badly and I came into his life 10 years or more after they divorced. She has been nothing but horrible to me and is continually trying to get back with him. She has not been very kind to him either. I am completely against her being at any holiday or family barbeque that is held by my husband's siblings. My husband told his son that she can be there without discussing it with me first. We had discussed weeks earlier about the possibility of us taking my 82 year old mother out of town to my brother's this year for Christmas. It's an hour and a half drive from us. We spend every Christmas at his brother's since we've been together. He totally disregarded my hopes for this Christmas when his son asked. His son says he only gets to have Christmas once every 3 years due the fact that he has to split Christmas between his mother and his father and I. Part of my problem with this is that that his son spends 95% of his free time with his wife's family. They have been to our house maybe 5 times since we moved into a place that accommodates everyone over 4 years ago. I have been by my husband's side for his kids and grandkids birthdays and such no matter if his ex is there or not. I have helped out his ex father in law many times. But I draw the line when it comes to his ex being at his family's functions. We are struggling right now and he refuses to see my feelings and how stressed out I am about this situation. We have both separately talked to our dear long time friend about what is going on and my husband stated to him that his kids take priority.And if his son ever asks for his mother to be at a family occasion he will always say yes. So basically I have to spend every second Christmas with his ex being present. I think I should end this marriage because I feel I have no voice or choice when it comes to what his son wants. His youngest son has never asked for such things. I have babysat my husband's step grandson by myself before his natural grandson was born. And babysat both grandkids by myself. I go to watch most of their sports they participate in. And if I'm out shopping and see something I think they would like I will buy it for them just like my own grandchildren. I feel he is being very unfair to me. He says he really loves me but I'm not sure he knows what love and supporting one's spouse is all about. Or am I just being selfish???

Anonymous said...

It's so sad to see so many comments on here not unlike my own. I will keep this as briefs as possible. My 2nd husbands hates my older son from my first marriage. He is 20 yrs old living with us full time as he has issues with his father and his new wife. He is going to school full time and getting good grades. He is a good kid but not overly ambitious. My husband wants him to live with his father at least 3 days a week. He said he hates him, calls him bad names and doesn't speak to him. It is causing so much friction in our home that I am at my wits end! He threatens me at least 3 times a year he's going to go find an apartment. He has his own problems which include gambling, drinking and only working part time. He is tolerant of my younger son for now but says he really doesn't like him either - says he's turning out like the other one. I don't really know what to do in this intolerable situation.....

Anonymous said...

So, I have been remarried for a year and I have two daughters, 8 and 9. My husband had no kids and he is having to learn how to fit into the disciplining area. He chooses to take a harsh approach by verbally demeaning them. If they do something he feels is wrong he is quick to jump on them and start saying things like "you are a brat, where is your head, etc" and it continues until they are completely humiliated or distraught and broken. When I try to approach my husband about his methods in private he gets upset and says if I did more he wouldn't have to or he just gets mad I'm hounding him once again. So then I am left with a broken child who feels less than and an upset husband. What is the answer here because my instinct is to leave the marriage because my kids are being verbally abused and I don't want them left with long term damage from this.

Anonymous said...

I was with a girlfriend for less than a year she fell pregnant unplanned I think at that time we both realized it was over we split up and have both found new partners. I explained I had a child on way to new girlfriend on after first date. My son was born four months later it was hard for new girlfriend I can. Imagine we have tried to have my son for once a week over night it seemed to suffercating for her. so change to every other weekend to get a couple of weekends back. I love my son now he's seven months old and now my girlfriend who I love so much and we have such a great time together says I gotta choose between them its all to much I'm torn between my responablity and my true love what ever I decide I might regret please help

Anonymous said...

Please can someone help! I am married and have 3 children, a 19 year old daughter, 14 year old son to a previous marriage and a 4 year old son with my husband. In October my husband got charged for DV this was fuelled by alcohol and whilst he has been away has admitted he is an alcoholic and now attends AA meetings and has done so well. He is now coming back home and my middle son has decided to leave the home and live with his dad. My son has been amazing support through the bad times and there has been a few. He has said it’s either him or my husband. He wants to come home but won’t whilst my husband is here. I am broken hearted. Please advise.

Anonymous said...

So I have been in a relationship for 3 years now that started while my spouse's daughter was in high school. It has always been just my girlfriend and her daughter. Well I respected her putting her daughter first then because she was a minor. She graduated and went to college and all I had to "compete" with for attention was just her job so life was great. Well her daughter moved back home not even a year later now I am back at feeling like the third wheel when I feel like I should be more of a priority. My girlfriend and I argue often because she said the love is the same but ahe has to split her time. I feel like it shouldn't be that way and she should put the effort of our relationship higher than nurturing her 20 year old daughter. But I don't k ow how to explain that without her feeling like I am trying to break them up. I just want to feel like she is trying to live life with me. Overall I am the one who hasn't been married or had kids but I don't feel like that is a priority right now for her because she's been there done that. But she will say she wants to. I just want her to put as much if not more effort into us than her making sure of her 20 year old daughter's every move.

Unknown said...

Hi, needing some assistance on my current situation. I have a 10 yr old son to my previous partner whom I broke up with when I was 4 months pregnant. I met my current partner 3 years ago and we have a 1 yr old daughter and I’m currently 6 months pregnant with a little one due in May. My current partner was married previously and has 2 children aged 9 & 12. Every time his children had come to stay with us each 2nd weekend I would notice a lot of resentment and jealously towards my son,and my son would always felt like he was bullied by my partners elder son. I found this quite hard to watch and hear yet tried to ignore it and hoped they would sort it out as they got to know each other and avoided the situation as much as I could by trying to not have us all in each others faces, as my son is very much both an extroverted and introverted personality which I absolutely love about him yet my partners children are introverted in personality and I find it really hard to communicate with them when around . My current partner has been great yet all our arguements are on how to raise my son, he seems to always be at my son telling him what he does wrong and his tone is always sharp n spiteful towards him and I wish he would just ask or instruct him in a comfortable tone yet he says my son doesn’t listen hence the reason he speaks to him like he does. Over Christmas his children were with us and I have found they were devastated we were having another child I realise they feel abandoned as they only see their dad once or twice a year as they moved further away, and in the past I try my best when they come to stay to make them feel loved and welcomed, yet I god it hard work as we are all different in personalities, but I am finding this too much to deal with and want to leave with my son at the moment as I’m just sick of my partner talking to my son the way he does and keep asking myself does he resent my son also? Just the way his son resents my son?? as my partner always threatens he will take our daughter with him and I can go with my son. It really hurts as my son is starting to love him like a dad and gets so upset when we argue and takes my partners side as he doesn’t want us to break up I’m just saddened that he thinks it’s just normal to be spoken to so horribly yet I’m just seen as babying my son and the more I do he will become inadequate to deal with life being independent as he gets older from my current partners perspective. If there’s anyone that can assist in advice I’d appreciate it. I just want to live a happy cruisy life where I don’t feel like we are walking on egg shells and my sons not being accused of doing something wrong or intentional when 95% he’s not he’s just being a kid!!

starkist2323 said...

Hello. I have been married for 13 years. My 23 year old daughter and my husband have not had a great relationship. They now get a long pretty good. He has a lot of anxiety and gets in bad moods a lot. He doesn't act negatively towards her really, but she says she can feel his negativity and she is always complaining about how awful he is. How can I get her to stop doing this without hurting her feelings. She is VERY sensitive. If I said you are hurting my feelings when you talk so bad about Ben, she would probably get upset. He used to treat her badly sometimes. He did, and he and I got in many arguments about it, but he has since then apologized to her and tried to make amends with her. Anyways, even though they seem to get a long, she only speaks about him in negative ways and only remember negative things from the past. I do not want to discount her feelings but I wish she would let things go now and move forward. Please tell me what you think would be the best way to handle this.
Thank you!
Kelli

Sad said...

My son (13) and my new wife do not get along. I'm pulled between them every day. I don't know what to do. My son wants to spend every minute with me. The only time I can work on my marriage is when he goes to his bio mom.. which she once a month.

Not sure what to do said...

So I married a woman with six kids the oldest moved out so we have a 13 year old girl 10 year old twins boys a 8 year old boy and a 4 year old boy that stay at home she works days I work nights I don't get home untill 1030 11pm most nights and can't wind down untill 1 to 2am most nights to have to turn around and be up by 630am to help get kids off to school due to her having to be to work by 7am well the problem is I'm tired and have a hard time staying awake in the morning after I get the older kids to school by 730 the youngest bus picks him up at the house at about 9:10am in the time between 730 and 9 while he is watching cartoons I have falling asleep in the chair and she feels that me taking a nap while he is awake is putting him at "Risk" and she feels that because of this our marriage is not going to work what am I to do????

Indya said...

I have a situation I could use some advice with. I have 2 children from a previous relationship 10 and 7. My fiance lived with us for 4 years and had a drinking problem. One night the drinking got bad and I was forced to call the police. He is now sober and I have found out that I am pregnate with his child. He has turned his life around and has been sober for 5 month. He has no intentions of ever drinking again and wants to out our relationship back together. I want this also. He has changed and became a different man. However my 10 year old is afraid of him now because of that night. She has made it very clear that if comes back home she will stay with her father ,whom I have joint custody with, and never come back to my house. And her father agrees with her. So how do i chose between my 10 year old or having a happy relationship with my future child and his father. It's his first child and wants to be apart of all of our lives. I am so torn between my daughter and the possibility of a wonderful future with my fience.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I'm currently in a horrible situation.
I still own the house our family live in with my Ex ( my Son's father)
The other day my son who is 14 out of anger told his stepdad that he could come and go out of the house as he pleased as his Mum and Dad own it!
True we do own it, but my Current husband pays all the bills and the mortgage on the property.
My Husband now refuses to have anything to do with my son and is also saying the same about my daughter who is 16.
He say's it hates the kids and can't trust any thing they say!
How am i supposed to live like this. I Love them all.

reanna said...

So I have stepkids there is really only one that pushes my buttons. I have known this family for years before marrying into it. I feel like I have been put on the back burner for a good while and for good reason. I bought a house so I could be closer to my work and we were renting the other out. We had talked about what we would charge for rent to help me out on the new house and when his kids decided to rent it he went on what the payment was so he is out of pocket money paying insurance and taxes. Now mind you he has gave me nothing on any bills at the new house. When ask why he didn’t charge what we discussed he said no I’m not gonna rip my kids off. So I just said ok I’ll make it on my own. Now beings I have a appreciation dinner for all the managers and their spouses managers are mandatory to go now his daughter has her third wedding on the same night. I feel like he could tell her no he has other plans but he said she would never forgive him. I will say I told him just don’t worry about it make her happy and he said he hasn’t decided so I turned in two people attending now I’m not sure he going because he had to turn into her if he was going and he said yes. So I know that he is probably not going with me. I will say this child has more than once tried to get her dad to leave me. I just don’t know what to do.

girls forgot said...

My husband and I have been married for 10 yrs. He brought 2 children into the marriage. I have accepted them as My OWN. But my stepson is now-12... my husband has put him first...top priority and the 16 yr old daughter and I are left out.
We are treated as after thoughts. The 12 yr old loves the fighting and in turn time with only his father. this is choosing his son over his daughter and I is leading up to serious issues between father/daughter and looking like Divorce for us.
how can I get him to realize there s more then just his son? how do I get the son to stop encouraging his father to act in such a way?

Unknown said...

Omg ive been so desperate for help. I stumbled upon this read it and tears just started flowing everything u said is how i feel i love my wife she makes me happy i have 3 kids (im a lesbian) the kids Re biologicaly mine my wife hasnt had children my kids r my life i love both my kids and wife but i feel torn those are my babies and shes the love of my life but ahe nags at them constantly and sometimes i swear i feel in my heart that she dont like them and i think she would rather it be just us i love my kida and wife and i feel like i have to pick one if it came down to it my kids i would choose 100% but i would also be loosing the love of my life i dont know what to do i feel like i have to constantly defend them from her nagging and negative attitude with them please help

Anonymous said...

Remarried 7 years ago. Been with my husband for 9 years. My daughter left house at 19 cause she didn't like my husbands negativity. He is a good man, hard working and cares about my kids. Now my 15 year old son wants to go live somewhere else because he can't take the negativity any more. I understand what they are saying but i also made the vow to honor and be with my husband till death do us part. He does not hurt me, but i am sad a lot. We had civil marriage and then got allulments from church to remarry in church, as we wanted to be together into heaven. I want to keep my commitment and show children how to work through hard times, and we have had PLENTY!!! But how do i just let my son go??? My heart is torn in 2 :-(

Anonymous said...

My husband and I have been together 5yrs n married 1. He has 2 children from a previous relationship and I have 1 from a previous relationship then we had 1 together. So we have 4 girls my oldest is 15 his 2 are 11 and 8 n our little one is 3. His girls had never lived with us full time untill this past school year it was HELL they both lie all the time and start drama between their parents whenever the go to vist there mom and tell her lies and how horrible it is to live with us. They then come baxk and tell us all the horrible things at there mom's. On top of that the 8 year old has a huge steeling problem she has stole things from school on multiple occasions to the point she was not Allowed to have a backpack at school anyy and stole very sentimental jewelry from my oldest and took to school and gave it away she also has been steeling money even from my purse and her baby sister's piggy bank. Also random things like toys or can you or food. It has caused huge issues in our marriage. Their mom took them back and said they hated it there and she would have her child being caused a thief and that she has never stole from her so what we were saying was not true....present day she has left the girls with her mom for 2 months now and plans on leaving g them there for this school year so now my husband wants them back in our home and I know this will tear our marriage apart.i just don't want them living with us. I feel like I won't even want to be in my own home. What do I do lock up everything I own so it won't be stollen. The stealing is my biggest issue and we tried everything to get throto her that that behavior is NOT ok. What do I do?

Anonymous said...

Hello! I'm having a very hard time right now. My husband and I have been together for 7 1/2 years. We have 3 kids under 5 together and he has a 11 year old daughter. She lives with us a week and her mom a week. I came into her life when she was 4. Her mother has like 13 diff mental disorders and takes no medicines. This child has been through hell and back and I've helped try to guide her. She's got counseling over 4 years now and she's just getting worse and worse. She's now awful. Now outwardly most of the time but sneaky and just a bad kid when nobody is watching. She has hurt kittens in the past and her moms son who is two- she is now pulling his hair and things when she isn't watching. I've heard her say mean things to my kids when she doesn't think anyone is listening. She is a pathological liar and worries me because she has like NO empathy towards other people. Her moms house is no longer so awful for her but she still isn't a good example. She is now accusing adults of things to people so they will call children and youth on them. She says she will go after adults if they make her mad. Not little accusations either. She says what she thinks people want her to say but I don't think she actually feels sorry or anything. She's very self absorbed. Husband is gone and have been watching her for months alone and he visits time to time from the State Police academy. She's accusing me of things to her mom and counselor to try to get me in trouble, had a severe tantrum here that scared my kids and went on for an hour and restraining her didn't stop her until I called the police. I NEVER wanted to make my husband "pick" and I'm just not happy. I havent been in a long time. My kids deserve more than an unhappy mom and an exhausted and unhappy dad. It's unfair to me and them that work takes his energy and court is so nasty with her mom and always has been that that is always going and his daughter is always an issue. There is nothing left for us from him. It's exhausting not trusting her and making sure I know where she is and not alone with my kids. I don't trust her. My husband understands but is in denial with the truth of the matter.
I can't live like this anymore and if I tell him us or her I feel like if we stay together he will hate me anyway. But it's too much anymore. She's getting a pysch soon but that doesn't mean anything cuz no medication will help you develop empathy or the narcissistic behavior and vindictiveness of going after adults. I'm at a loss on what to do but tell him I just can't help raise her anymore.....
I saw this coming and I told him what I would and wouldnt be able to deal with and my kids are still affected by when she screamed and lost it and I called the police a few weeks ago. My son saw her and first thing he said was "Please don't scream in your room again".

Any advice?

STEPcoach said...

Hello Anonymous,
Hello, boy! You’ve got a hard time going on, don’t you. Since you’re married, you can’t just leave the situation. But you want to protect your young children. If your husband is not willing to help, you need to take some steps to protect your children and yourself.

First of all, if your husband, the 11 year old’s father, is gone so much of the time he probably needs to adjust visitation so that the girl stays with her mother most of the time. It is not your place anyway, as a stepparent, to be raising his daughter for him. We stepparents should be willing to help our spouses with their kids, but NOT to raise someone else’s child for them. Not only is that not your responsibility, but it can become dangerous for you if your stepdaughter accuses you of abuse. You could lose custody of your own children.

If I can meet with your husband and you together - by phone or video chat if necessary - I could probably help him see the seriousness of this situation. I have helped many couples work out a solution to similar problems. But I need to talk to both of you.

Do you think he will be willing to work with me on your problems?

Anonymous said...

I am married to my new husband 2 years ago after the father of my two kids aged 7 and 11 died.
i am deeply in love with my new husband. I never felt like this before.
But my new husband is very jealous of my kids. And he forces me to choose either him or my kids.
I tried a lot but there is no way to convince my husband. He went to therapy and nothing changed.
He even started verbally abusing my kids a few months ago. Everything is getting worse everyday.
He constantly tells that i must choose him because he is my spouse.
So i decided to leave my kids with their father's parents.
When i told my decision to my family they threated to reject me if i do this.
But i have no choice. My husband is really very determined. I will lose my kids and also my family.
I cry all the time. But i decided to choose my spouse.

Anonymous said...

You should also show your spouse how seriously you care & love your kids. For instance if your spouse starts to abuse your kids divorce. Or if your spouse is not fair to your kids you should warn your spouse seriously. As biologic parent you are the only person in this world whom your kids trust. Your spouse can live without you but your kids cannot live without you. So trust between your kids and you must be stronger than the bond between you and your spouse. Never do anything that will damage this trust.

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