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DH and I got into a fight and I gave up

1dad4kids's picture

DH complained to me again about SS11's weight. I have talked with SS11, he understands he is over weight. He is not willing to do anything about it at this time. While at our house he eats appropriate for his age and height, and we serve only nutritious foods to the whole family. 

He is overeating at BM's. It's very clear. DH recently pulled up at BM's and saw her groceries as she was unloading and he didn't see anything nutritious. Not even a fruit. Just a bunch of packaged foods and sweets. Their entire family (save for SS11's younger brother) is overweight, obese actually. 

DH can't talk to SS11 about his weight because BM attacks DH when the conversation even comes up. Claiming he's making SS11 feel bad about himself blah blah. It's been years and years since SS11 stepped on a scale at my mom's house and discovered he had "gained weight" and went back to tell his mom who tore DH a new one. 

At any rate; DH doesn't know how to discuss it with BM. There is literally no way he can bring it up that she will be receptive to it. I asked him if he'd like to try mediation and he said yes and asked me to find out some info. 

So I did. Because that's what I do. And DH talked with the mediator and then completely shut it down. He said he thought BM would just be so offended that she would just walk out. He didn't even want to try. 

I'm sick of buying new clothes for this kid and her keeping them. She has 4 brand new outfits over there and when SS11 tried to bring them back he told me she said she needed them to send him in next time. In actuality she needs them because he can't fit any of his clothes due to his constant weight gain. 

I told DH I was done. That he wasn't to speak to me about SS11's weight or clothes again unless he plans to actually do something about it. I swore at him, locked myself in my office to "work" and typed up this blog instead.

I love my DH but honestly he's being such a wimp about this. This lady is going to ruin SS11's life. I screamed at DH "I CAN'T CARE MORE THAN HIS BIO PARENTS, I'M DONE!" 

We rarely fight so I'm pretty upset about this. But also a bit relieved to not have to hear how disappointed DH is in BM's unhealthy lifestyle anymore. 

Comments

CastleJJ's picture

Sometimes, you just have to learn to pick your battles. Your BM is awful and will stop at nothing, similar to ours. Everything with these BMs is a constant fight. We, DH and I, absolutely disagree with how SS9 is being raised in almost every aspect of his upbringing, but in our case, BM has sole legal and physical custody with DH having 6 weeks visitation per year, so we really don't argue with her on anything. It just isn't worth the fight, and being the narc that BM is, anything we say or any concern we bring up will just be another game for her to play or a situation to manipulate. In the end, BM will always play the single MOTY card and we will always be the deadbeats criticizing her parenting. We tried to "right the wrongs" through court to give SS a fighting chance, but the system failed us. At the end of the day, if SS9 grows up to be a narc or troubled or attention seeking due to BM's emotional neglect, it's on her; we have done all we can do. 

You are in the same boat with SS. You have a new court arrangement set up. You feed him healthy food at your house and try to encourage healthy habits, but you can't control how BM raises him at her house. Even if you have 50/50, he will still have unhealthy habits 50% of the time, which likely won't change much for him. If he ends up with diabetes or other health conditions due to obesity, its on BM and you know you did everything you could. While it isn't right for DH to expect you to intervene and address the situation, he is right that he likely wouldn't have gotten anywhere with BM on this conversation. Any concerns about skids with these HCBMs is an attack on them personally, as Mothers and their parenting abilities, and they immediately will jump to the defense with no compromise. 

tog redux's picture

Yes, I agree with all of this. And, OP's BM eats poorly and is overweight too, and since she sees SS as an extension of herself, any mention of SS's weight is an attack on her personally and as a parent.

Also, it's pretty near impossible for an 11-year-old to turn down junk food at his mother's house when everyone there is eating it and telling him it's fine.

The only thing he could possibly do is mention his concern to SS's doctor, but it's hard to believe the doctor hasn't already brought it up with BM (but maybe not, some doctors don't address that stuff).

As for the clothes, either just deal with buying new ones, or send him back in the clothes he wore from BM's.  We just bought tons and tons of clearance rack and thrift store clothes so it didn't matter what he wore where. 

 

1dad4kids's picture

I went out and bought 10 pairs of pants from a thrift store that were 3 sizes larger than the last size and if they had a zipper he couldn't wear them.

The good news is we discovered he can fit his Dad's pants (for now) so DH is giving him the ones he doesn't wear. Just have to hem the legs.

yougotthis's picture

Ugh I hear ya! My 3 skids aren't overweight but the my youngest skid SD8 is started to get chubby and it happened really fast which is the worry. All they eat at their mothers is fast food. They'll come back on our week and tell us how they had white spot Monday then McDonald's Tuesday pizza hut Wednesday A&W Thursday etc. Since we can't control what BM does or feeds them on her time we try to be as healthy as we can on ours and hopefully they learn something about healthy choices from us when they're older. 

I don't blame you for getting mad at your hub. Like you said you can't care more than he does and if he's not gonna actually do anything about it stop complaining about it already! 

JRI's picture

My DH used to do that, too, complain about kid issues that he either caused himself or that he chose not to address.  The classic was DD who was often out too late in her car with her BFF.  I would ground her but good ole Disney Stepdad would "have a serious talk" with her and give her "one more chance".  Then, when she was late again, he'd whine to me!

These situations around overeating and weight are close to my heart.  Long story short, my younger sister, about 5'3", ended up near 300 lbs, had diabetes and other issues, and died 2 years ago.  She started overeating as a child, our family had the "clean plate" thing going on which I now think of as obesity training.  The other 2 siblings and I managed to evade it as adults but imo she used food as a comfort.  Years of psychiatry and therapy couldn't touch this problem.  You are doing all you can do if you are modeling healthy eating habits.  Just hope he evades it all as an adult.

thiscantbenormal's picture

As others have already said you can't control what he eats st her house.  I'm sure his pediatrician says something to bm already and at every visit.  

On the clothes issue...stop buying new. I shop consignment stores and kid consignment sale events for my daughter and find great clothes for cheap.  

I get your frustration though.  Been there done that.  

thinkthrice's picture

Again due to MOTY Girhippo feeding them nothing but fast food and junk.  The Gir and her clan are Amazonian and not in a good way.  ANNNND the Gir and her BM, Battleaxe Galactica, think of themselves as professional chefs. 

Chef tried to continue this by making "kid friendly" (TM) meals which were UNHEARD of when I was a kid.  You ate what the adults were eating,  period.  Same way i raised my bios.  Had a clean plate policy but we had a lot of fresh vegetables and meat/fish was pretty much considered a side dish, with sweets maybe once in six months.

Chef was soon exhausted from all the "special food catering" for the ferals and started insisting they try what we were having.   Not an issue at the Gir's place because she has the same junk food eating habits as the ferals.

End result was that YSS ended up PASing out over a home cooked meal as he wanted "Mic N Donals" mcnuggets.

Love when they complain to SM about bad habits the HCGUBM MOTY start and that they continue.   Not realizing that "family" court should be renamed to "BM's VIP Court."

lieutenant_dad's picture

I can't speak on whether SS is overweight. However, I can speak on 11 year old boys and clothes/body changes.

Both of my SSs grew WILDLY between 11 and 14. I swear, we were buying "new" clothes every month because they got taller, or put on weight before they got taller, or just put on weight to meet their new frame. When clothes were on sale, I started buying 2-3 different sizes at once, knowing that they'd grow into them quickly.

Now, I'm not telling YOU to go buy SS new clothes. That needs to be on DH. However, be prepared to see a constant rotation of new clothes. Some of the weight gain is going to be typical for a preteen entering puberty. Again, no idea how overweight he is, but if 50% of his time is healthy eating and he's still doing some swimming a couple days a week, he may also be packing on muscle under the fat which makes his weight higher and makes him look stockier.

What does SS's doctor say? Is he concerned about SS's weight and eating/exercise habits? If the doctor isn't concerned, it's going to be extremely difficult for a mediator or court to cause much of a stink with BM.

As much as it may bother you about SS's weight, what's important for kids is teaching them good habits. Your DH knows he can't convince BM to do what's in SS's best interest, so the best approach is probably to try and teach SS good habits and empower him to make the best food and activity decisions he can.

Ultimately, this isn't something you should expect DH to fight BM on. He won't win, SS will be back in separate therapy, BM will take him to a variety of pediatricians until one says everything is fine, she'll be even more grumped, etc. Yes, his health is important, but he's 11. He's learning that eating healthy + exercise = lower weight and crap food + no exercise = higher weight. He's learning to eat nutritious food and like it. Unless he was morbidly obese or his doctor was saying "he is going to have serious problems", this needs to be something you let go. I know that you're doing that, but you need to REALLY, internally, let it go.

tog redux's picture

I agree - but she has said before that he's considered obese, so I don't think it's a growth spurt pending issue. 

thiscantbenormal's picture

I was going to say in my post that he will probably have a growth spurt in the next few years that might even him out.

The last time I saw SS he was a pudgy 13 yr old that looked like a short 9 year old....he's 16 now and we have been told he is now taller than his mom. Which I'm quite surprised because the adhd meds that bm insisted all 4 of her kids be on is known to stunt growth and it wouldn't surprise me if he has a chromosome disorder.  I'm not sure if he's still pudgy or not. I haven't seen a pic and will happily live my life never seeing his psychotic face again.

advice.only2's picture

Stop sending him back to BM in new clothes, send him home in the clothes BM sent him over in.

As for the obesity, aside from having him eat healthy at your house there isn't much you can do about BM's house. At some point SS will start to become more aware of his body and he will begin to feel the peer pressure of being a fat kid. He will struggle and he will get picked on. He's going to have a hard time and maybe that will give him the incentive to change his habits, or it will send him further down the eating food for comfort rabbit hole.

Your DH could encourage more activities with SS rather than just sit and whine about his child's eating habits. Because it's not just all about food. How often does DH take the kid outside for physical activity? If the kid whines about it, oh well forced family fun kid. He whines to BM and she has a fit, too bad BM it's on my time and I'm spending time with my son.

1dad4kids's picture

He goes to school in the clothes. DH picked him up from school and he'd be wearing theme day clothes (pajama day, etc) and his clothes wouldn't be packed in his school bag. So he has to get sent to school in clothes from here. 

He's already getting picked on. I don't know if it's due to his weight or awkward personality. SS11 has a nutrition course through swimming and a diet plan they are supposed to follow but BM doesn't GAF. 

DH plays with all the kids, SS11 spends much if his time outdoors but you can't exercise weight off if you're eating more than you can possibly burn. 

We are hopeful that 50/50 will turn things around a bit

Gimlet's picture

You can't outrun a bad diet.  Most of weight loss and maintenance is diet, as you know.

It's hard to see something like this.  You care about the kid, you see the negative impacts in his life, you know that a solution exists and you're willing to be part of it, but you cannot control at least half of the equation. 

It's frustrating that BM doesn't care about something that is so core to his physical (and mental) well-being.  All you can do is continue to make fresh, healthy food available.  HIs mother isn't going to change, but as he matures he will see that you do things differently, and he will have the experience of eating a balanced diet at your home, so he will have context when and if he decides to make a change.

halo1998's picture

SD is overweight...she used to be obese but since entering high school she tries to eat better.  Her efforts however are hampered by Beaver's constant diet of fast food/take out food.  Beaver is very obese...think 250+ pounds at 5 foot 2.  We try to help out SD but it is an up hill battle.  SD also likes to skip our healthy meals to eat raman and crap later.  

As far as clothes...we had a standing policy..you wear what you wore from the Beaver's back to the Beaver's.  Saved a lot of clothing issues.  AT 14 almost 15 SD can wear our clothes back and forth but the standing policy is...if all your clothes are at Beaver's..too bad...where what you have left here.  We don't care if you don't like, etc.  Your clothes your problem.

justmakingthebest's picture

I would stop buying anything for your house that doesn't have an elastic waist band- basketball shorts, sweat pants- screw it, at least there is some wiggle room in those. 

My only other idea with the mediator would be instead of discussing weight, discuss healthy active lifestyle. SS needs to be in one sport activity year round- wrestling, football, basketball, swim team, dance (One of my friends son's love his hip hop class!), baseball- whatever. At least there would be some activity- from there maybe some simple weights and a yoga mat for him to do some strength building- it might light a fire in him after a little while. He will hate it at first, of course, but he might come to love some of these things! 

CastleJJ's picture

If I remember correctly, BM had SS11 overscheduled in activities including swimming, so he is definitely getting physical exercise. I believe excessive sports was a source of contention during their court battle because BM was overscheduling to PAS. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Gotcha!!

Makes you wonder how a kid that is so active is so over weight. A normal kid involved in a sport and semi healthy eating doesn't have weight problems.

Has he been check for other things? Thyroid, diabetes, etc? 

1dad4kids's picture

It is an overeating issue. He openly tells me about it. He is aware of his weight problem but BM told him his Uncle was"chubby" until he hit puberty and now he's apparently an MMA fighter so SS11 thinks that will magically happen to him when he matures into his adult body

justmakingthebest's picture

Sure- all "chubby" kids suddenly hit puberty and become muscle machines- no work needed.

Maybe suggest he talk to his uncle about how hard he had to work and all of the things he had to do in order to become an MMA fighter. LOL 

1dad4kids's picture

Here's the kicker, he's never even met his Uncle. It's probably not even true and he maybe isn't even a real person...

Merry's picture

This is a tough situation. Unless BM changes her lifestyle to support a healthier lifestyle for SS, there's nothing you can do other than what you already are doing -- fresh food, exercise, healthy choices at your house. Until SS is old enough, mature enough, and with sufficient will to take responsibility for his own health you really can't do much more than modeling a healthy lifestyle.

Weight issues are similar to other addictions and it will take massive effort on SS's part to make changes in his life.

I'd go gray rock on DH whenever he starts wringing his hands and fretting over this. Nothing you can do. Very little he can do until SS is older.

 

Thefatherismyfamily's picture

SD is overweight too. She's 16 and 5'6 but she weighs more than her 6 feet father. She eats only foods made from white refined flour sugar and fat (FSF) at BMs house. For Christmas her mother gifted her a case of prepackaged ramen and a portable ramen to go cup (the kind with a lid that you can put in the microwave during feen emergencies).  When she's at DHs house and she starts feening for her FSF fix she whips up some plain muffins with whatever she can find in the cupboard. We throw those disgusting muffins away when she leaves if she hasnt finished them. Because of her extra padding she loves big shirts so I have to buy men's extra extra  large shirts for her Christmas gifts. I don't ever get involved when it comes to her weight. It's not worth it. Not my kid.

CLove's picture

Munchkin at 5'2" is over 150. And she doesnt excercise. And she likes sweets. Her mother, Toxic Troll is obese at over 200 and 5'3". I make healthy foods and encourage healthy eating. But there is only so much a stepper can do. Her bra size is now D. And No one but me buys them for her...

Drives me crazy when TT will drop off candys and pies for munchkin while at our house, on our time. I dont have any candys, or cakes or pies. 

Jcksjj's picture

Sorry, it's frustrating because it's out of your control. Has the doctor talked to him about his weight at all? Maybe that would sink in to him a little more.

 

1dad4kids's picture

His doctor is a parent pleaser. He was my daughter's doctor but I couldn't stand how he agreed with everything I said and never had his own voice. "Well if you think she needs medication then let's get her some". No, sir. I would like you to tell me if she needs them, I did not go to medical school and I'd rather not give her meds if not required. 

DarkStar's picture

SDnow22 was a chubby kid and slimmed down in high school with activities and healthy meals prepared despite her love for fast food and carbs carbs carbs. She is now 200+ pounds at 5'2" and gets bigger every time I see her. It's sad, to be so young and be so big......she's REALLY going to struggle with weight when she gets older

SD18 is following in SD22's footsteps. I refuse to have Ramen noodles, Hotpockets, or Totino's pizza rolls in the house, since that would be all she would eat. We eat healthy home-cooked meals. Once she is out of the house, I predict her weight will increase dramatically.
We've had all the talks about eating healthy, drinking water, exercising......NMCNMM

New_to_this's picture

I agree, you can't do more than the parents do. It took me a long time and a lot of frustration about my stepkids' weight to finally let go. Well, I guess one positive is they got their vaccine way earlier than even my parents, who are in their 70's.

And it annoys me to heck that DH will continually ask me what to do about his kids' weight issues, especially after dr's appointments, but can't muster up the will-power to do things that I suggest. BM has even asked DH to tell me to make foods that SS will eat *eyeroll*.

You need to let it go. It'll drive you nuts. I also serve nutritious foods at my house to my own kids and for family meals. But, to deal with SS, I buy the groceries and I ask DH what he wants for SS...then I just buy it. It doesn't get seen by my kids. SS's soda and chips stay in the garage and go directly to the basement. My kids don't go down there. I always end up buying seven bags of Doritos and three 12-pack cokes every week for him.

Plus, I just do what I've done since I've known them. I eat healthy and in moderation. And, I explain to my kids the importance of that.

I've also realized nothing that I've ever done can make people change. DH was also overweight and addicted to sugary drinks and fried food. Nothing I ever said helped. What changed him was his mom being told she needed heart surgery (bypass). Then suddenly, he got serious, lost weight and kept it off.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

The only thing you can do is have SSs pediatrician make a referral to a nutritionist/ dietician.  Maybe some education for both SS and DH will help. But it also might not. At least SS will be made aware of future medical complications from his weight.

I have the same issue here. YSD is 4'11" and 150. SO tried to convince himself she would grow into her weight. I knew better and that she was going to be short in stature, as she started her menstrual cycle early. This kid has an eating disorder. She has always been a food hoarder and an emotional eater. Until that is addressed she will always be overweight. 

Times have changed so much. In the past the peer pressure to be thin and get boys attention would often be a catalyst for better eating and weight loss. But those social pressures don't seem to exist anymore. When I attended one of YSDs school functions 2/3 of the girls in her class were overweight. 

In addition to that most young girls these days don't seem to have a sexual preference so they don't care about what boys think.