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Thoughts on boundaries

AlmostGone83's picture

I have a confession to make... I should have never involved myself with a man who has kids. I made a mistake. I had absolutely no idea the issues that come along with it. I was clueless. I didn't give it much thought. I was younger and had other things on my mind. All the problems that come along with dating or marrying a divorced dad were not even on my radar. Sure I knew DH had a daughter and we saw her EOWE and that was fine but did I think about the future? Did I think about the what if's? What if BM is crazy? What if SD turns into a spiteful brat? What if she moves in with us and drives me crazy? What if I can't stand her? No I didn't. I didn't honestly give it enough thought. 

I wish I had found a website like this when we first started dating. I wish I had these volumes and volumes of stories to read. I would have ran for the hills. I am so envious of the people who find this site before things get serious. They have a chance to turn around and walk away before everything gets too tangled for them.

Now that Little Idiot is out of my home, I know I can never go back to having her living here. It was awful. I don't care that she is only 21 and may not be ready to be on her own (honestly it seems like kids today whine that they aren't ready until 30). I can't ever take her in. I'm scared she will never leave. I don't care if it destroys my marriage, I just can't live with her. Does that mean I don't really love my husband? I don't know. I guess so. I don't love him enough to put up with her in my house and have him stick his head in the sand and pretend everything she does is fine.

I don't care if she falls on hard times. I don't trust her enough to work, to be responsible or even clean up after herself. I don't trust her to ever leave again on her own without a major blow out like it took the last time. I can see what is happening and it's still the same old story. Yes she is working to pay for all her fun stuff and sponging off step daddy. He pays the bills, she buys clothes. Her plans for college are foggy at best and her grades are not good enough for high ambitions. She doesn't even care enough to research it and find out for herself. BM is the same way "I'm gonna do this, this and this" and everyone cheers and then nothing ever happens because you have to work for it.

Anyway I'm not sure what the point of this is ... I guess just to vent my thoughts.


tog redux's picture

I don't think any of us go into it fully knowing what will happen, or what to expect. I planned to be StepMom of the Year, get along great with BM, not step on her toes, get close with SS ... ha! I quickly realized I needed to never, ever speak to BM and keep SS at an arm's length. 

I would not in a million years agree to live with my SS21. If BM were to die tomorrow, I'd be okay with DH helping SS get set up in an apartment, etc, but no way in hell is he living with us.  Same concerns - no work ethic, immature, etc.  Thankfully my DH agrees with me on all of that. 

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

about boundaries.  SD19 moved across the street from me so I'm ready although I haven't heard from her.  My mother is definitely causing me problems though.  I am beginning to think her retirement plan is me!  She's constantly asking me for money so I had to read his posting very closely but here is what he wrote.

"Imagine a scenario where you don’t let people take advantage of you, where you never have to fix other people’s problems unless you truly want to, where not every little thing your family, partner, friends, colleagues do bothers or worries you, where you barely remember what it feels like to be embroiled in bullshit at all.

Now imagine that scenario playing out, day after day after day. Wouldn’t you like that? Of course you fucking would. Anyone would.

That’s what strong, healthy boundaries give you. Here's how to set them:

1. Define them.

What will you tolerate or not tolerate in your life? What behaviors will you accept or not accept? From your family, your partner, your friends, your mailman, your Tinder date.

2. Decide what the consequences are if someone breaks one of your rules.

It will be difficult to think of what to do when this happens, and it will happen. So decide from the get-go.

3. Communicate the above clearly.

Make your boundaries known. This is particularly important for the people closest to you. It’s probably OK for the mailman to not know all your boundaries (save the basic ones for them, like not breaking down your door to deliver mail), but it’s absolutely not alright for your partner to not know when they’d be crossing the line.

4. Follow through.

If someone crosses your boundaries, do what you said you would. Be compassionate, but be firm.

Learn waaay more about boundaries, here:  "

acef92's picture

Im with you. Never in a million years imagined my life would be like this. Some days I feel so miserable, so unhappy, Im just not the same and I don't know if I would be the same again. I hate my SD, I really cant see her, I do not care anything about her but unfortunately I have to tolerate her every single freaking day, I can't believe how a kid can change your life in the worst possible way. Thanks for sharing your thoughts (hugs).

futurobrillante99's picture

You can't know what you know until you know it.

And now you know.

I hope your post helps someone else out there, but I'm afraid some of us just have to make the same mistakes to learn our lessons.

bearcub25's picture

I read everything I could but us stupid women think we are different or we can make things change.

bearcub25's picture

My kids were both out of my house by 20, and I was with DSO during that time, so it was very easy to transition to the skids being out at 18 if they weren't going to college.

I did allow YSS21 to stay for 2 months when covid started last March.  DSO helped him get a job, get his first apartment and the little asshole quit his job a week after moving in his place and then moved out of his place the next week (DSO was out $800).   YSS ran back to Mommys which is nothing but a drama fest.   BM's landlord, HUD, kicked him out of their apartments and luckily DSO has never entertained the idea of YSS moving back in wiht us. 

caninelover's picture

I actually thought it would be fun.  No parenting burden on me, she would be out of the house after college, and maybe pop over for visits, holidays.  I thought it would be fun.

What I didn't know was how damaged these kids can be.

It would be fun with a normal SK.  Not a toxic NPD kid.

I found this forum shortly before disengaging and agree it would have been nice to find it sooner.  I wouldn't have felt so alone and guilty.  Now I know my reactions are pretty typical for the experience we've had.

But knowing what I know now - I would still be with SO.  I do love him so that has always helped.  Things are good now and we'll deal with the future with Bratty as it happens.

missgingersnap2021's picture

OMG this line - "Her plans for college are foggy at best and her grades are not good enough for high ambitions. She doesn't even care enough to research it and find out for herself. BM is the same way "I'm gonna do this, this and this" and everyone cheers and then nothing ever happens because you have to work for it." so hit home for me just now!!!

I literally had a momentt of weakiness last week where I forgot I'm not allowed to get invloved or care about SD and her future, so I went to the library and got all these books on different careers since she has no idea what she wants to do or where she wants to go to school. DH and SM are doing NOTHING to help her with her college plans and it breaks my heart! Yes I have some major issues when it comes to her but they are issues with DH. If DH would let me be me I would have a much closer relationship with SD and want to help her through this. BUT after getting them and putting them in  her room to show her when she gets her Wed I pulled them out and put them in my car to return. Why? Becuase DH wont appreciate it or back me up and urge her to look at them. SD wont take the initiative on her own. And if BM found out she would probably get pissed and act like I am over stepping. 

So instead of her maybe just maybe finding a college where she would be going away, becoming indepenedent, living her own life not teethered to mommy and dadyd and finding a major and then a job she is passionate about. she will end up at a community college, wanting to spend all her time with BM and DH, amking few friends and doing the bare minimum. 

My end game with her is pretty simple: If she ends up happy, DH will be happy and then I will be happy. It's like dominoes. But I have to sit here powerless to do anything....

NoWireCoatHangarsEVER's picture

I work for the utility company and her check to pay her power bill bounced.  It was $50.  I guess the stripper business can't be as lucrative as SD21 said it was.  She's had that apartment one month I think.  This can't be good but it's not my problem.

AlmostGone83's picture

Nope nope nope... she can moonlight as a phone sex worker to make the electric bill. Not your problem 

JRI's picture

SD59 moved in and out of here 4 or 5 times over the years, each time bringing and spreading trouble, drama and chaos.  Whenever she couldn't cope with reality, run back to Daaad. I was in "save poor SD" mode for years.  This last time, she was here 10 months and stole every valuable metal she could find, terrorized us with her drug habit and robbed a neighbor.  

I love DH83 deeply and we have made a wonderful life together after many travails.  But when she left, I told him if he ever let her move in again, i'd leave him.  Yes, even though he loves and needs me and is old and has cancer.   Never again. 

ESMOD's picture

When I first met my DH and we had our first few conversations.. I think I asked him three times if he had kids.  He finally said.. you know.. I have told you twice already why do you keep asking.  I told him maybe I hoped the answer would change???

As a childless woman in my 30's.. I didn't know a ton about raising kids (other than being raised by parents myself..haha and some peripheral experience with people with kids).  I didn't know WHAT to expect.. what was expected of ME? I told DH that I understood his kids would always come first and he told me that "NO... they won't always come first.. you are who I want to be are a priority to  me too".  

What I did think was that since I was a reasonably intelligent and pleasant person and didn't like drama or conflict that I would probably get along with his Ex.  That I was mature enough to understand that sometimes a relationship doesn't work out due to issues on both sides.. so maybe she had HER legit complaints of him too?  So, I was going to take the "she is crazy" with a grain of salt.  And.. for a while it worked until she realized her kids liked me.. then I became "enemy number 2" behind my  I mean... I can on a rational level understand that he owed CS and I didn't begrudge that.. but there were times he struggled to pay it.. and she got nasty.. overly nasty about it.  When she stirred up that anxiety in my home.. my dreams of a civil relationship evaporated.

But.. your boundaries are reasonable.  You should not have to allow her to live in your home.  Now, if your DH feels that he needs to help his child in the future.. and he is capable of doing that without looting shared resources.. that should be his call as well.  That is a boundary he can have with his own finances.  But... he should not force you to have her live in your home!

MissK03's picture

 "And.. for a while it worked until she realized her kids liked me.. then I became "enemy number 2"

DING DING DING!! That was me but, I was #1. 

MissK03's picture

I was completely naive on what the future was going to be in my relationship. I figured I'd be fine! I get along with everyone, skids weren't that young (8,11,12) SO and I would have our EOWE to ourselves, he got "along" with BM (aka he was afraid), everything would be great. LOL yeah that didn't go as planned.

As ESMOD said... BM was jealous I got along with skids, SO was happy, SO and I were vacationing with skids and on our own and she realized I wasn't going anywhere. She had her own life but, that control was still there and she was losing it. She didn't like that. Granted I started to see her true colors very quick but, it didn't escalate for 2 years.

I wish I found this site sooner with approaches with SO and boundaries we desperately needed, the court thing, and just other factors. 

Now, when SS17 moves out (who knows when) I hope SO won't let him back. SO's brother is 54 and still in and out of his parents house.. Currently there now. SO  will not make that mistake like his parents. He has flat out said that. I think SO will reach a breaking point with him and that will be end. That's my guess. We will see... 

BPDHell's picture

I never even thought of myself as a stepmother until I found this forum a few months ago!lol Because his kids were all adults when we married, I guess I just assumed I was just another random adult in their lives, like extended family you only see at holidays and such. And I assumed WAAAAYYYY too much that they would be similar to other young adults their age that are in my life; like my own kids, my kid's friends, my friend's kids, other millenial/gen z family members, and coworkers. Man was I wrong! The SKs have been completely left behind by their own generation even, sadly. Heck. DH didn't even realize how broken his kids were until the last year or two! And here we are, again trying to get one of his kids to move on with their lives, 5 years into our marriage and long past when all of them were officially adults! But we have an agreement, written in blood, that nobody moves back in once we get this one, who's 30 btw, out. Nobody. If he feels the need to raise another adult child because they again f*cked up their life, he'll have to do it elsewhere. The revolving door on my house is closed for business!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

One of the lovely things about being a member of ST is getting to see the arc of others' step journey.

We've seen you go through some heavy poo. And I like this stronger, fire -tempered version of you very much. Strong spine coupled with a strict No b.s.policy. Very nice!

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I also came into this relationship with rose colored glasses. I liked kids, my experience has always been they like me back.

I thought providing a comfortable stable home wouybe met with gratitude and appreciation. I even had experience with HCBMs from raising Dear Neice.

I never in a million years expected the be hated and despised by children I was kind to.