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Can it work if your values are so different?

Forevertired's picture

Long time lurking, first time posting so forgive me for the long post. I’m 28 and live in the UK and also what’s known in old terms as a HFA (high functioning autistic). 

I have been with my partner for together since June 2018. SO has two daughters: SD20 and SD11. SD20 isn’t my SO bio child, he adopted when he married his ex wife. He left her two years before we got together due to her stealing his money to gamble and going out getting drunk, doing speed and being a crap mum.

The BM is what you would consider to be ‘Jeremy kyle’ material. She’s never worked, very self entitled and is defrauding our disability benefits system. She has ‘ME’.and she gets full whack of the benefits money saying she’s too tired to clean her house or leave it. But, this woman managed to go to the pub 4/5 a week, take speed and coke and she’s proud she can drink 76 cans of cider in a weekend bender. She can afford to buy takeaway every night and buy lots of expensive stuff which they don’t take care off. BM is very overweight, SD20 is 10stone overweight and SD11 is about 1/2 stone over weight. BM is now pregnant again as she openly tells people it’s so the council will have to give her a better house and she’s about to be reassessed for PIP (the new scheme and it’s much harsher) so in order not to have her benefits cut or have to work she’s got herself pregnant. This woman is a hypochondriac, if she or the kids cut them themselves she makes out like they have lost a leg and 10 pints of blood. BM is a very lazy parent, she wants and acts like the SDs friends. SDs aren’t really academic, SD11 is ‘sick’ a lot because she can’t be bothered to go to school. SD11 lives 0.6miles (along one straight road with a mild incline) from school but refuses to walk and demands to be driven. I have issues with SD20 but that’s a whole different lengthy post. In the beginning I was very nice, I give them a lot of space and time (and still do) when SD11 comes over (SO has her every Wednesday and EOW). SD11 tells BM that we leave her out and ignore her, which is bolllocks as 2/3 of time I’m not there. She gets upset if we kiss and SD11 is just all over him when we are out. 

Im really struggling with his children. I was brought up very differently with rules and boundaries. I was taught never to take or touch anything that wasn’t mine, if I wanted to I had to ask the person who owned it. Also I never ever went into either of my parents bedrooms (they seperated). It’s sad but I really love my things, I look after them, save them for special things, due to the HFA I can remember how, where and why I brought things very vividly. I don’t mind sharing if asked. The SDs were brought up where they can just take or use each other’s stuff, they have no respect for other people’s things. I’ve came home several times and SD has been wearing or using my stuff. My SO knows very clearly how I feel about it. SD11 has been told not to touch or take my stuff. I came home from shopping today to see she had taken and used up my washi


Forevertired's picture

..tape. This may seem small as insignificant but the tape I’ve had for 5 years was a present from Japan which I can’t replace. I had it out in my bedroom to add a bit to a present for a special friend. She came and took it from my bedroom. 

SD11 is very lazy too, she doesn’t have any manners such as please and thank you, she burps and farts. She hardly washes and treats dad like a bank. I’m so bored of hearing ‘I want this’. She ruined my holiday last July, we fell out as she wouldn’t even walk a mile. SO and I have talked he finds it difficult to parent her as he’s scared of losing her through being a mean dad. BM is always waiting in the wings to turn SD11 against him. SD11 fakes illness a lot, it’s very much a learnt habit from BM. 

i just lost it. I can’t take it no more, I told my SO I’m leaving. Can people with very different values be together? I feel such a cow. I wanted to marry and have children with my SO but I don’t want to have bratty overweight self entitled ignorant kids... 

sweetstepmama's picture


tog redux's picture

Good for you. This site is full of women who jumped in and had children with men whose parenting had created entitled and feral stepchildren.  They either thought "love was enough", or that they could take over the parenting and make it work, or they blamed the children and BM for the problem; and they are now stuck in crappy situations with men they can't respect and difficult stepkids who just get worse and more powerful as they age.

Having a similar worldview in marriage is very important.  Find someone who shares yours.


Curious Georgetta's picture

To leave. It is not a question of what can others  tolerate, but instead what can you tolerate?

If you cannot tolerate the behavior in the household, better for you to find a partner whose parenting style is compatible or at the very least complimentary with yours.

Do not think of it as right or wrong . There are just different perspectives and views

Some people .are flexible and can adjust or tolerate the differences Others cannot or choose not .  Wherever you fall in the spectrum is your night place.

You cannot fix others and in many instances there is no need to fix you.

If this is not your Mr Right , just keep looking. You don't .have to change your views to keep a situation  in which you are not comfortable.




Forevertired's picture

It just hurts a lot and SO is begging for another chance. I feel like such an awful person. I don’t want to drive a wedge between him and his daughters because our values are very different. He tells me he wouldn’t parent like that if we had children. I feel very selfish and weak that I can’t deal with someone touching my things or their lack of manners. I feel very selfish that I’m trying to preserve my own feelings by leaving...

SteppedOut's picture

Why do you feel selfish trying to preserve your feelings? Your feelings matter just as much as his do!

Allowing his kids to have free reign over your stuff is not ok; don't let him try and make you feel like this is an out of norm request! And living with anyone (kids or not) without manners stinks. Most people cant put up with that nonsense. 

Also "he would parent your children different". So? Different rules for kids in the same house? That's not going to go over well with you or your future children.

Love is not enough. Sharing the same values and morals is extremely important. 

susanm's picture

Have to agree here.  He would not parent the same way with your children?  Because your children would be more valued?  Or he has given up on his first set of kids?  Or his current kids are holding him hostage for the rest of his life so he has to be friend instead of dad?   What exactly is he trying to say to you here?  If he is willing come clean with a "look - I know full well that I messed up big time on these kids and I am going to do everything in my power to fix it" then that would be worth a chance.  But it sounds like he is telling you that he is just writing off his past mistakes without bothering to even try to repair the damage and the ones who will pay the price are children who will grow up believing they have no rules.  Not a great recipe for a successful future outlook for them.  That is not a good advertisement for "please procreate with me!"

hereiam's picture

"SO and I have talked he finds it difficult to parent her as he’s scared of losing her through being a mean dad."

Being afraid of his child is no way to parent. If he "loses" her because he disciplines her as a parent should, then they do not have a real parent/child relationship to begin with. No parent should be at the mercy of their child, it's just not how it works.

I don't blame you AT ALL. I'm weird about my home. I don't like living with other people (DH is lucky I let him live here) and I don't like people going through my things (but I think most people don't like that). When my SD27 was young and came over, I told DH that the minute I thought she was going through our personal things or stealing from us (or getting information for BM) I didn't want her here anymore. 

But, my DH did not let his daughter call the shots and he taught her basic respect for adults and other people. We would not have made it, otherwise.



Forevertired's picture

The house belongs to my SO so I can’t really tell him I don’t want her here if she touches my things... After the first argument about her laziness on holiday I told him he had one chance to parent her better. I told him he was being used and manipulated to which he agreed. Admittedly he has tried to parent better which has resulted in a lot of crap from SD11 and BM. Any good work is just ruined when she goes him to BM. It’s like trying to continuously fill a bucket with a hole in. 


In regards to the discussion about that he would parent differently with me. I asked him to explain that further. He said he means as tho he knows I would want to bring a child up very differently, no drugs or drinking benders, I wouldn’t want a home filled with unhealthy food, I would want to be strict about school and manners. He was young when he had SD11 and feels he would do things very differently now. 

Evil3's picture

It can work with a shared bio child. When I came onto the scene 23 years ago, I decided against having bios, because my SKs were feral and my DH was totally blind to anything they did. He didn't tell them anything. Not even so much as "chew with your mouths closed," and "don't pick your nose." An example is the kids would pick their noses and wipe it on the carpet and DH would sit there with a stupid grin on his face totally ignoring what was going on. It drove me insane. My SKs were fed a 100% junky diet and ended up obese and they weren't required to do any chores at all nor any extracurricular activities.

I got pregnant and had a conversation with DH about how I don't think we'll make it as we have completely different parenting values. I told DH that I wanted our baby to be raised with values, expectations, chores, self discipline and manners. DH admitted that he did not ever address these things with the brats but he was totally on board with raising our DD very differently. DH confessed that he was always so afraid of losing his brats to the all-might BM that he felt that if he said one wrong word, they'd go poof never to be seen again. My DH wasn't afraid at all of parenting DD properly. We still made some mistakes along the way, but DD was definitely raised differently from the SKs.

So, parenting a bio together can work. However, my SKs, especially the mini-wife, continued to drive me insane and that was a whole other level of hell and it got addressed separately.