Kids are mostly grown and we survived. Or did we? Need advice about future after blended kids are grown.
My husband and I met 13 years ago and instantly fell very much in love. He was outgoing and fun, a hard worker and good to my kids. Instantly fixing broken bikes and giving piggy back rides, I was thrilled to death to have found someone to complete me and my kid’s lives. Both divorced a few years prior, I had 4 boys ages 4-10 and he had 3 girls 8-13. Our kids knew each other from attending school together and from living in a small town. They seemed to get along great. We thought together, we could make anything work and married within a year of meeting. In pre marital counseling, the preacher repeatedly asked if we knew how hard it would be to blend families. We both nodded but really had not a clue.
Looking back, there seem to be more bad memories than good. He turned out to be an alcoholic. I really thought he was just a social drinker for the longest time in hind sight I should have taken longer to get to know him. I was 28 at the time though, young and blind.
His daughters in my opinion, we’re spoiled long before I came into the picture- over compensation by dad for guilt he felt that their mother left for another man. Whatever they wanted, they always got, no matter the expense financially or other. They were irritated by having to share once our families blended and the attention not being only focused on them anymore.
The oldest stepdaughter moved in with us full time right after we got married, I think in part because she was concerned that she was losing her father and wanted to keep an eye on things, in part because of the resentment she had in watching her mom sneak cheat on her dad with her and her sisters in tow. She was an emotional wreck and in constant trouble at school.
We also had my 4 sons living with us full time, the middle daughter every other week, and the youngest on the weekends. I was the main caregiver over the years for all.
As the girls moved further into teen years they became disrespectful to me and my children, often acting shady and vindictive. For example, they took my cat I’d had a long time and together with their grandmother- dumped her in the country. I didn’t know until several years after the fact, I just thought she had run away.
The girls would get together and gang up against my sons, 1 who has a mild form of Aspergers, and they would put them down and make fun of them saying things like “I wish kids with autism could go to concentration camps like the Jews did”...just complete hate and spite filled brattiness, and of course their father never intervened, down playing things and my feelings about them.
My husband, when drinking would treat my kids the same, and sometimes his kids the same, with put downs and name calling- (no wonder why his kids acted that way, right? It’s a cycle really).
Rules he had for the boys were not the same for the girls. I recall we had stairs in one home and if my kids would get caught running up or down them, he would force them to slowly walk up and down them 20 times, but his kids could ride down them in pillow cases for another example. (Needless to say I have 13 years of resentment towards him. My kids might also but currently state otherwise).
We separated for 18 months after the first 3 years of hell- I filed for divorce, but he begged me to take him back and said things would be better. I foolishly agreed.
I took him back and things were better for about a year. Then his drinking worsened and his girls became more the focus of his verbal abuse during his drinking rages- I grew to feel sorry for them and felt I had a duty to stick things out to be there for them, in spite of how they treated all of us- as it occurred to me they were products of their environments and worthy of love and forgiveness.
The oldest step daughter eventually moved out.The younger two girls graduated and moved on to college and started having babies, my oldest went on to college, then there were just 3 at home. I stuck it out not wanting another failed marriage or to let any of the kids down. I convinced myself that we as individuals are meant to be servant to those in need, and that I’d be letting a lot of people down if I didn’t stay, and that things would be better once all the kids were raised!
As of today, we are down to just 1 at home,( a senior in high school), and I can confidently state- things are not better. In all honesty I think I stayed too long with the best of intentions.
Our 2 girls and 1 boy (oldest) are college educated and doing great in life (I will say thanks to my guidance) 2 more boys also in college (1 with Aspergers headed to law school). One daughter has two kids and lives with her mom at 20 (mom raised that one). 1 son home still.
In the end, the girls grew up and grew to love and respect me. The oldest daughter is very close with my boys and considers them brothers- They were in her recent wedding.- one positive highlight to it all. The grandsons call me mamaw and are a joy to be around.
My husband however, drinks just as much as he used to, has no emotional attachment to my kids or clue what is going on in their lives
My kids don’t love my husband, they don’t hate him either.
I fear fear at some point damage caused to them by emotional abuse from him over the years, will surface some day, though they assure me they are fine.
I want to leave. I want to create a happy life and prepare for my own grandkids some day. I want peace. The only thing holding me back is losing relationships that took 13 years to forge, with my step daughters...that and hurting my step grandson (4), whom I have grown close to with.
I also worry about what would happen to my husband and have fear that if anything bad happened to him I would be blamed and forced to live with guilt the rest of my days.
Or what if I go and he finally gets better and then finds someone else and is happy?
I can’t envision my husband ever changing. Or him embracing my kids and future grandkids the way I have his. They deserve better, I deserve better but I’m scared to make the change and to leave.
Yes I’m co dependant, yes I need therapy. Yes I want advice or to hear about similar stories and final outcomes. No I don’t want your criticisms. I criticize and second guess myself and choices multiple times a day...