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Advice Needed

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I'm on a phone so I apologize for the formatting. 

My story is a bit long. I am married and have one bio son age 8. I have 2 SS ages 11.5 and 9. I lived with my SO and SK's last year for 3 months with my bio son. 

I had to move out after 3 months because the environment was chaos. Luckily my house didn't sell so I was able to go back easily.

My SK's would not listen to me, my bio son developed difficult behaviors due to the environment and missing his old school and home, and my SO wouldn't help with any household chores, going to bed at 7pm and leaving me to deal with getting the kids to bed at night and didn't help most mornings before school. I was trying to do it all while working FT and driving 1.5 hours each way to work. I lost 40 lbs and wasn't sleeping due to the stress, so I knew I had to go. We decided to try to make our marriage work in separate houses. 

SO was on an antidepressant which he claims made him just void of feelings. He stopped taking the antidepressant about 6 months ago. I still resent that period of time because it was hell. 

Back to current time. I'm living in my house in a different town and my son is doing well. 

My SO has his son's FT except EOW and he works weekends for 6 months through late Spring and Summer

 I've been watching SK's EOW  with my bio son, through 6 months last year and about 6 months this year, while SO works. 


The SK's fight relentlessly:  hitting, choking eachother at times, calling eachother terrible names, block eachother from the internet over video games. They are also not expected to keep their rooms clean, pick up toys strewn all over the house, and throw their dirty clothes on the floor and wet towels from the shower. My SO says it's just easier for him to clean up. It's like he expects nothing from them. 


When I watch the SK's I have to constantly separate them, put them in time-outs, take privleges, and it's constant all weekend long. My bio son starts acting up as he sees the behaviors from SK's. 


I told SO I cannot watch his kids anymore as they do not respect me, talk back, and it's making me anxious and dread even being around. 


SO said an expectation of his is being a "family" and spouses watch eachother's kids to help out. 

I never agreed to watch his kids this much and fell into it honestly. I wouldn't mind if they weren't so badly behaved but I cannot take it anymore. 

My SK's act up with their Grandma when she watches them during the week while my SO works. SO says she just stays consistent in making them behave and that's what I need to do. SO says the kids don't see Grandma and I as authority figures and he cannot tell them to, as they will just blow it off. 

SO wants my bio son and I to eventually move back and be a "family." I told him I am not uprooting my child again and not coming to a house where the kids run everything. He claims if I lived here they would respect my position as an authority figure. 

I think that's a load of BS. I think my SO has failed in parenting and now his kids are out of control. I don't waht my bio son to live in a house like his. My bio son has been parented where he respects others and has consequences for bad behaviors. 


I'm thinking I just need to end this marriage. I'm not watching his kids next Sumner while he works when they behave so badly. I've lost respect for my SO as a parent and as a husband. I feel like he views me as a nanny and expects me to give my all when I get very little in return. 

Any advice on this? I've tried and tried to talk to SO about this and he remarks I'm being selfish and he's tired of talking about nothing but problems.  I'm tired of living this way. 




Lifesahellofaride's picture

The mom gets visitation EOW per their custody decree. SO and bio-mom do not get along. 

I'm sure bio-mom would watch her kids more, but he will not ask her to and expects his mom and I to watch his kids. He doesn't want her having extra time. 

She has filed for full custody so they will have court at some point. 

Gimlet's picture

So instead of letting their mother have time with them, and it sounds like she wants it, he wants to dump them on you or grandma?  What, just to get back at his ex? 

He sounds like a terrible parent and an even worse partner.  I would not stick around for this.


justmakingthebest's picture

If he won't respect your feelings and work with you on a solution- than he doesn't actually respect you as a partner.

I agree on some level that spouses in blended families help eachother- but we shouldn't burden our partner either. These kids are causing you nothing but stress. It is either time for them to go live with BM and you go to EOWEnd or maybe even 50/50 week on week off would be enough of a repreave from them. 

Either way, if your husband isn't stepping up-coming up with a solution that works for you... It might be time to seperate again. Not saying divorce but maybe not living together is the best option at this time.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I have not lived with SO in 11 months because of all of this. I left late last year after living there 3 months. 

Bio-mom lives an hour and 15 minutes away but has filed for physical custody. SO is fighting her to keep her at EOW visits only. I think bio-mom has noticed her kids have extreme behaviors and thinks they would be better off with her. 

SO thinks it's unfair to have his kids travel "longer" from bio-mom's to their school in SO's town. When in reality it would be no longer to travel to school because the bus picks them up at his house an hour before school anyway. 

SO will never agree to EOW unless court forces him to. He feels since he's had physical custody for 5 years he's the household they are used to and better than bio-mom's. 

I honestly think SO does not care how any of this effects me. I'm just supposed to watch them and shut-up about it. 


justmakingthebest's picture

Sounds like it is time to move on and start over. Find an actual partner. 

I have had 2 divorces and am in my 3rd marriage. Now I swear to God that I will be a widow before I am divorced again, but you know what- I am happy in my life for the first time ever as an adult. I got married the first time at 19 so when I say as an adult- I am for real-real. 

Lifesahellofaride's picture

Glad you found happiness. I'm ready to be happy again. I feel like I've wasted 2 years of my life with my SO. We've only been together 27 months. 

I would not have married him had I known how it would turn out. He acted completely different before we married. I will never get married again. 

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I've read about that and I think that is my scenario. 

He was so very nice in the beginning and his kids acted much better also. I don't know what in the hell happened to his kids between now and then, other than him just stopping the discipline perhaps. 

The first 6 months he didn't even ask me to watch his kids. I also found out in time he doesn't ever "think" about intimacy. He sure pretended to in the beginning. That's not something you should hide from someone. 

He swore he was such a faithful and "nice" guy. A huggggge red flag should have been when he told me all of his major relationship partners left him and he couldn't understand why. 

His house was always clean in the beginning when I went there. Guess what. His mom was cleaning and doing everything when she stayed there to watch his kids. 

How he tricked me so well I will never know. I ignored subtle things I should not have. 



justmakingthebest's picture

My 2nd was a bait and switch and abusive. On our wedding night he told me that he owned me now. I slept alone crying while he was getting high in another room. I was too scared to leave and take my kids and go home.

Picardy III's picture

How did he manage childcare in those 5 years before you came along? Dumped them on Grandma? 

Lifesahellofaride's picture

SO was married to a woman (not bio-mom) that worked PT around the kids schedules and watched the kids when SO worked. She left after a few years and then Grandma watched the kids. 

SO recently admitted after I inquired, he let his former wife do all of the disciplining as he had "trouble" with it. 

I think she saw her future and bailed. 

Chmmy's picture

Take your son out of there. He can't force you to come over and watch them so just don't show up...obviously warn him. Tell him to find a babysitter. I was a babysitter/nanny since I was a teen and I'm now 47 and I just left my most recent nanny job because the kids are 15 and 13. I got paid $20/hr. Let him pay someone. Trust me, they will leave and he will be stuck again. He has to know that his kids behavior is not ok. This is not your responsibility and 20 other people are going to chime in and agree. Your responsibility is to your son. It's a beautiful day, take him to a park, a museum, the zoo and see what your life should be like. Do it before it's too late and he learns behavior from them. He will start to act like them to get his way. He sounds like a sweet boy but he will change in that environment

Lifesahellofaride's picture

Thank you for your advice. I'm taking bio son this weekend to an amusement park as I refuse to watch SK's. SO has called his mom to watch them. SO is not happy and said he shouldn't have to ask his mom when she helps a lot in the Summer. Well I don't csre. I'm at wits end. 

The way it is at SO's house I will never move my child back there. I work FT at a very high-stress, demanding job. SO knows this and still expects me to deal with the hell EOW his kids put me through. 

My child deserves good quality time with me, not time spent in chaos. 

Winterglow's picture

Point out that the kids have a mother and that if they spent more time with her then his mother and you wouldn't HAVE to take on his responsibilities for him. Does he even understand what "being a parent" entails? 

Lifesahellofaride's picture

SO would just say he doesn't want bio-mom to have them as he thinks she is a bad influence, but then tells me if she didn't live an hour and 15 minutes away he would let her have more time with them. 

I'm done trying to talk to my SO. He never listens to anyone's opinions but his own. I've had it. 

Kes's picture

I thought this was priceless: 

"I've tried and tried to talk to SO about this and he remarks I'm being selfish and he's tired of talking about nothing but problems".

Pardon me, YOU'RE being selfish????  That's rich, coming from someone who expected to be able to retire to his bed each evening at 7pm and for you to get the kids to bed and off to school in the morning.  It's a shame you married this guy before you knew how the land lay.   He wants you to come back so that you can carry on where you left off, being nanny, housekeeper, chief cook and bottle washer. 

"He claims if I lived here they would respect my position as an authority figure "  yeah, right, haha, was that a flying pig I just saw?  

Gimlet's picture

Right?  He's a lazy POS, lying in bed whie she takes care of his out of control kids, and she's the selfish one. 

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I sat there in utter pissed off shock when he called me selfish. In my opinion, my SO is the epitome of selfishness. 

I said yes, I'm selfish when I moved and uprooted my child to be in your house and had to leave because you fell apart and the kids were out of control. I forgot to mention, I discovered he was having a 2 month long emotional affair online at that point also, when I got the hell out of there. 

He claims his anti-depressant caused the affair because he didn't care about anything or anyone during that point. 

I should not have given him a second chance after I moved. Since we are married I thought maybe he would change and put effort in. It's a shit-show. 

I'm beginning to see I married a toxic person and I'm fed up to my forehead with his BS. 


Gimlet's picture

He claims his anti-depressant caused the affair because he didn't care about anything or anyone during that point. 

Oh bullshit.  Prozac had a blunting effect for me (before I found out that I am not a candidate for SSRIs) and it didn't make me have an affair or anything like that.  Feeling numb doesn't mean you lose your moral compass, lol.

So he didn't go to his doctor and work with him/her on it, but instead just used it as an excuse to have an affair and sleep all day? 

What is making you hesitate to end it?

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I was hesitant to end my marriage because I had hoped things could change, but they never will. 

I also think SO has gaslighted me so much that I was second guessing myself. I don't second guess myself anymore. I've been thinking about divorce for months and I know in my heart I need to. 

He's put me through so much my resentment grows by the day. I know some people throw this term around carelessly, but I'm a healthcare professional of 17 years with a lot of training in psych. I believe my husband is a narcissist. 

I have a trial for my late dad's estate in a few weeks, after that stress is over I am going to file for divorce. Seeing others that are SP's telling me this situation is awful has helped solidify my thoughts. 

I'm so glad I posted. Thank you. 


ESMOD's picture

I'm sure you have some legal representation in your father's estate issues.  Please ensure that this estate is soley held by you and not comingled in any way with marital finances.  Your STBEX does not deserve to benefit in the slightest.  The great thing is that you can show in court that you have both been independently supporitng your own respective households.. it should hopefully be a simple legal disolution.. you aren't living together.. very little that will need to be legally unwound.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I had SO sign paperwork stating my child would be the beneficiary of my dad's estate if I were to pass away, it was required if he was not to be the beneficiary since we are married. 

I also saved evidence of his emotional affair and warned him I will use it if I filed for divorce and he tried to take half of my assets. I would hate to play hardball, but I defend myself appropriately.  Our state is no-fault but I've kept all of our banking completely separate etc. 


Lifesahellofaride's picture

Thank you. Lately I have felt so stressed and down about this situation, and quite foolish for giving it a chance after I moved out. 

I can only remedy this by making my future different and that's what I intend to do. I also truly can't believe my SO has been this selfish knowing of my impending estate battle against my deceased dad's girlfriend. 

SO even knew I've been doing a lot of the evidence gathering for estate court, which is hectic and stressful, then oh,  I'm selfish for not wanting to watch his kids. 

The more I think about everything the madder I become. 

ESMOD's picture

I think if you read your post and it was coming from a stranger you would be "oh dang.. this is a no brainer.. what the heck is she still doing with this guy?"

1.  He constantly pushes virtually all of his responsibilities for the home and kids on you

2.  Your child was suffering in the home environment.  Now, I won't say that I think that sometimes kids do need to learn to deal with things like new schools etc.. and I wouldn't give a kid that much power.. but it seemed to go beyond that.

3.  His kids are not parented by anyone but you and respond accordingly.

4.  His wife didn't have full custody is always a warning sign since the courts almost always prefer the mother over the father.. so what went on there?

You seem like you are doing well and fully supporting yourself financially.. I'm curious.. when does HE take turns watching your son so you can do things? I'm guessing never.  Look... yes married couples do help each other out.. but it's mutual and normally married couples can live together not apart due to extreme dysfunction in one of the homes.  He seems to have an awful lot of excuses for why he can't hold his end of the rope up.. you seem to be carrying both ends..and getting none of the benefit.  INstead of being thankful for your help.. he is angry you won't do more.. and is keeping his kids from a mother that wants them at the same time..

I would put this circus tent in my rear view.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

Thank you for your response. When bio-mom and SO split he had a custody decree drawn up stating he would have physical custody and her EOWE visitation. 

Bio mom had no money and nowhere to go so she agreed to that. SO claimed bio-mom made him go broke in debt so there wasn't any money for her to go after.

SO told me bio-mom moved around from family members to her own places. Who knows if any of it is the truth.

I spoke to bio-mom some on the phone as she wanted to try to co-parent through me, as SO refused to tell her much of anything except when the kids had to go to ER or something serious. 

Bio-mom tried to warn me SO is extremely selfish, controlling, a cheater, and in time I'd see it and could reach out to her after he destroyed me mentally, as she had been through it. 

I thought bio-mom was just trying to start trouble and SO told me she was "crazy." I don't think bio-mom is crazy at all and I've seen his true colors. 

SO never offers to watch my bio son so you are correct. I can never do enough for SO and he never thanks me. 

I'm done with this crap sandwich! 

Gimlet's picture

It seems like your SO's idea of a marriage being a give and take is only when you are giving and he is taking.  Like the others have said above, he's not only expecting you do take up his end of things but angry when you won't do even more. 

He seems to have no regard for your needs, your happiness, or your mental/physical health.  What kind of partner watches his wife lose 40 pounds from stress as she works herself into the ground and then throws a guilt trip on her?  And then has every excuse in the book for why he can't help her.  Certainly not a good one.

You sound like a good mom.  I have a grown daughter and I can tell you from the other side that you only have so many weekends with your son before he's off on his own.  I would not want to waste any of them watching your SO's unparented kids, because you're giving up 50% of your time with your kid and exposing him to that nonsense too.

This isn't fair to either of you.

Winterglow's picture

Marrying someone does not automatically make you his servant. Apparently your DuH didn't get that memo. Please stop looking after his kids EVER. They have two parents who could and should be looking after them or at least finding a sitter. These kids did not become your responsibility when you married their father. What did he do before you were around? Let him go back to that. Next time he expects you to keep his kids decline politely and remind him that they have a mother...

Please enjoy your trip with your son and ... make a habit of having something to do and somewhere to go every weekend from here on.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

I'm going to really enjoy this weekend with my son. It will be amazing to be free of the chaos. 

I'm not watching his kids anymore and will be filing for divorce. I don't believe he will change, he's had plenty of time. 

Your description of a servant is right on. That's how I feel. 

premiercatch's picture

I mean this with nothing but complete respect!!!  RUN ~ U FOOL.  I have lived this type of misery for years.  I keep going back out of fear to be alone and fail.  I was married @ 16 w/ a kid,  I never got to live a life of my own or figure out who I even am.  Still don't know!!  I am now damn near 43 years old and stuck in a situation that is horrifying, it effects so many aspects of my life.  I also have deep seeded hate toward my SD whom is the culprate of the issues that then were facilitated by her father.  There were NEVER any boundries set for this girl and it shows now @ nearly 30 years old.. no job, brand new baby, and she is about to be homeless because her BM is relocating.  I primise this will NOT get better if anything it will destroy you from the inside out.  Your son deserves to have his mom @ her best!  U deserve to be at your best, the years w/ you son will fly by and you will completely regret not being able to give him you at the top of your mom game.  Close this chapter of your book and start fresh.  FOR YOU!  I wish you the absolute best of luck.  It will be one of the hardest things to do but after the fact you will be able to breath. 


tog redux's picture

Wow. Yes, get out, and let's hope BM gets custody. He sounds like a very toxic person, straight down to trying to cut their mother out of their life. She should be the one picking up the slack here, not you. And let me guess - he doesn't want her to have custody so he doesn't have to pay her child support. 

There's nothing in this for you, except misery.

Merry's picture

If your DH didn't make any changes after you moved out, after only three months, then he never will. He's blaming his dysfunction on his medication. And while that can have an effect and I have heard people describe it as feeling numb, they don't abandon their kids and have emotional affairs. They solve the problem with the medication so they can function. Hell, they're ON antidepressants so they can function. WAY too many excuses from this one.

But, no, none of this is your DH's fault. He probably thinks it's your fault for not "helping him" more. 

Make a plan, get yourself free of this, and keep your son on the right path.

Iamwoman's picture

There is absolutely nothing good about this guy.

He had an affair (that would be automatic divorce for me).

He dumped his parenting duties on you.

He has mental health issues and uses his issues as an excuse to act like one of the most selfish twats to ever grace the pages of Steptalk.

His kids are out of control. They don't respect you. They never will.

Your son suffers from your husband and his spawn.

Your husband neither loves nor respects you. When a man loves a woman, he goes out of his way to ensure her comfort and peace of mind. 

He is also a misogynist. Child rearing and house chores are not women's work.

He is not marriage material, and he never should have started dating. He tricked you. Time to move on.


Advice for future relationships: The only expectations that should come along with a relationship are respect, consideration, loyalty, commitment, and friendship.

The other things (who does laundry, who pays bills, etc.) are daily negotiable tasks. As for parenting, that is the job of the bio-parents. It is nobody's job to parent a child they didn't either create themselves or adopt. Anything a step does is a gift - never an expectation - and should be treated as such.

Please don't settle for anything less than being treated like a friend, an equal, and a queen in your partner's eyes.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

This is great advice for future relationships. I am not going to get into a serious relationship for a very long time and doubt I will ever marry again after this. 

I've been financially independent of others since I was 17 and I will continue that. It makes leaving this easier so I am fortunate there.

I feel badly for people stuck in bad relationships because of financial hardship. 

My dad always told me to go to college and to work hard and never let a man take care of me financially. I don't knock women that are SAHM or the husband is the breadwinner, I just want financial independence because it is important to me, personally. Each person has the right circumstances for themselves. 

If a future SO really loves me they shouldn't mind not being married. I may go to therapy after this to figure out why I put up with this as long as I have. 

I need to learn not to give when I'm getting nothing in return. 

ndc's picture

I don't usually agree with this advice, which IAmBack gives frequently. In this case,  however,  I wholeheartedly agree.  

advice.only2's picture

you are validated in thinking you should divorce him. Nothing you have written about your DH sounds like he has an redeeming qualities to even entertain this delusion further.

ndc's picture

I have read nothing in your posts that would justify you staying with this man.  He is using you, just like he used his last partner, like he uses his mother and like he'll use his next partner after you come to your senses and get out of this relationship.  At least his mother is related to his heathens - you are not. He sounds incredibly selfish, and to not send the kids to a BM who wants them makes no sense if he can't handle them without pawning them of on others. 

At least you got your son out of his house.  Now take the next step and get both of you away from this user and failed parent before he destroys you. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, i fail to see what he does to make OP's life any better at all, ever. All squeeze no juice.

hereiam's picture

he remarks I'm being selfish and he's tired of talking about nothing but problems.  I'm tired of living this way. 

Follow your gut. HE is the one being selfish.

shamds's picture

Was this explicitly discussed pre marriage or assumed? I'm guessing assumed which was his mistake.

he is cuckoo to think anyone would want to look after his ferals.

i certainly would never stay married to someone who made home life so miserable and unpleasant... I certainly wouldn't stay married to him and live in another home like i'm some dirty mistress and mistake..

what has this man done to address the issues?? Absolutely nothing right??

Lifesahellofaride's picture

My husband had always wanted us to live together and I agreed to that, but he never told me he expected me to watch his kids so much. 

I work a very demanding job with a very good salary, and he was expecting me to cut back my hours to live with him and be fanily centric. 

I did for a period of time but when I lived with him it was chaos with me having to take care of the entire house, laundry for 5 people, getting the kids to bed and up and going for school. He would take his sleep meds and leave me to deal with the kids at night. 

I burned out very quickly and high tailed it back to my house that didn't sell ( a blessing in disguise!) 

I think he views me as a caregiver and maid and I'm tired of it. I like living in my own house where my child behaves better, away from his 2 kids. 

He allows them to play video games after they do their homework and eat, the entire evening before bed. Im not a fan of that at all. I don't allow my child to have that much screentime. 

His kids leave their wet towels and dirty clothes in piles in the bathroom and their rooms are horrific. 

I got so tired of dealing with it, I used to kick their piles of clothes into the hall so my husband had to pick them up. 

My husband says he's trying to "be a better man" "the man I need." Maybe if he parented his kids we could get somewhere, but he's very selfish and self-centered so I give up. 

CLove's picture

Im sorry you had to go through all that. it really sucks when you realise that you wasted valuable time and resources on a void such as your soon-to-be ex.

But get thee to a lawyer pronto. I would reccomend this ASAP, although you are dealing with the stress of your fathers estate. He might get a clue what you are up to, and start doing things to sabotage. Definitely watch your credit, in case he opens accounts and takes out loans, etc. Best thing is to see a lawyer...

AND take care of YOU. Get some you that you arent watching his bratty spawn, you can focus on whats important.

Lifesahellofaride's picture

Thank you for your advice. We have completely separate finances and I only changed my last name to his on my driver's license. 

It's a good thing I was so busy I didn't have time to change my name with my banking and social security administration. 

I told him after his emotional affair and putting me through hell after my dad died, if I decided to end it I would file for divorce pro-se online and he damn well better sign it or I'd bring a shitstorm down upon him, one like he could never imagine. 

He knows I have a lot of dirt on him and said he would not fight me if I ever decided to divorce. 

I did most of the work for my custody battle I had with my bio-child's dad, so my husband knows I will go war mode if I must. I hope I won't have to, but if so, bring it. I have much more money than he does so a court fight would last much longer on my end and he knows that.