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Not trying to be insensitive but...

Marilyn's picture

Hesitant's entry had me thinking: Firstly, I wouldn't want to be hanging out with my soon to be husband & another guy I slept with in the past. I just think that's wierd, & don't think guys don't think about that when they are in those situations. They're worse than us & they think about what we may have done with that ex-boyfriend! Secondly, I hear "putting the kids first" so much, and I do think it sounds nice, but honestly, I feel like if exes want to be so friendly to the point like they are old friends, why didn't they/don't they "put the kids first" and just stay together. As much as it sounds outdated, I really believe truly "putting the kids first" means staying together even if you don't want to be together anymore. Some situations can be very unhealthy, like the constant bickering and explosive arguements that happen when couples are unhappy, but if the parents truly "put the kids first", then they will have to figure out a way to keep that away from the kids. I mean, as stepparents, that's what's expected of us to do. Or if someone isn't in love anymore, "putting the kids first" means staying in the marriage and making it work anyway, for the kids' sakes. I just don't get how people who break up and then find "the love of their lives" or their "soulmates" can turn around and constantly talk about how they need to "put the kids first", and expect the new stepmom or girlfriend to put up with BS or overly-close, or what someone previously called "emotionaly intimate" behavior between the man and the ex. I mean, speaking from an honest place and not trying to sound insensitive here, but I feel like: the kids were not "put first" when either party decided to end the relationship, so why am I, someone who isn't even their parent, always expected to put up with certain behavior in order to "put the kids first"? The kids haven't been "first" since the relationship ended! If you really want to TRULY put them first, get back with the ex and stick it out until they are grown. Sacrifice your own happiness for their sake. But don't try to find your own happiness and drag the new person into anguish and negativity and confusion in the process. Unfortunately, when parents break up the people who lose out most are the kids, and starting a new relationship and trying to be buddy-buddy with the ex isn't going to make the kids feel better, cuz you still won't be with their mom, and it's going to mess up your new relationship as well because she'll be pissed off, so no one will be happy on either side. And the man who is trying to play the middle will be stressed out too. *whew* just venting guys, sorry!
Oh, and I don't think it's a matter of being insecure or jealous really, I think it's a matter of feeling like the DH/BF needs to s@!t or get off the pot!


happy's picture

I never looked at it that way.
Your honesty is a revolation. I truly can see what you are saying. I thought about my kids when I got my divorce.. Here is how my thinking was.. I was 23 had a 2 year old (almost 3) and a baby boy who was 6 months old. and in all honesty he was like the fix it all baby. You know what I mean. I had thought about leaving him for a long time but was scared I would not be able to make it on my own. Anyways. My thought of the kids was if I wait till they are to old like teenagers they might turn to drugs and alchol and if I do it now (then) they will adjust. Although it was an adjustment for all it has somehow been ok. My ex and I are not Best Friends.. His GF and I speak and are nice to each other. But she gets his version of things and never ask for mine which is to be expected. So I chose while they were young. Factors that weighed in were he could not even walk into the house with out me instantly getting ANGRY.. I did not like him. And then it started like we would argue all the time and I did not want that for my kids because I grew up for awhile that way. SO it was not pretty. SO I left, I have since dated two other men and then met my new husband (again we met when I was 16 and him 25) and we are married and have a pretty good life (except for the moment) I am just being a bitch.. For many reasons.. Anyways.. What you say makes total sense.. If everyone is doing it for the kids sake and they come first then why not stick it out.. I mean I can see being civil to one another because that is a must.. Just for SOME sense of the word NORMALSY whatever the hell that means..
SO I hear you and I think you make a good point..

Marilyn's picture

...that your timing was a good idea. My BF broke up with his girlfriend when the kids were barely 1 and 2, and I've always considered it a blessing that the kids were still very young when we started dating (2 & 3). He never wanted to marry her and finally decided to leave, but he felt bad for the kids. But because the kids were so young they've always known me to be in their lives, thank goodness. (I have nothing to do with them breaking up by the way. That was before I even came into the picture.) In the beginning, we went through sooooo many arguements because he thought I didn't understand, but in actuality he had a very hard time establishing boundaries for the simple fact that 1)he didn't know what they should be & 2)he still felt super guilty about the breakup. I remember our first Father's Day, he went out with HER and the kids to a fair! Can u believe that? Well, I didn't say much at the time because I was trying to figure out what the heck the boundaries were supposed to be, too. Fast forward 3 years later and now we are in a much much much better place. We do separate birthday celebrations and holidays, and he only talks to her about the kids, and even then it's very cordial. He is extra careful of not being too buddy-buddy with her because we've agreed to that (I'm not in contact with any of my exes; I just don't believe in staying friends with the ex thing), besides the fact that she is pretty rude to me. I've always tried to be friendly and speak to her but when I'm around she refuses to look in my direction, or she'll keep her back to me, or she'll literally run when she sees me coming. She speaks badly about me in front of the kids, and told them not to love me, etc. So it's quite annoying, especially because she tries to be so nicey-nice with him. So he keeps it cordial with her. He usually understands where I'm coming from, especially since he is super territorial over me himself. So he gets it. I've never been in a situation where the sight of someone I was with made me angry, but one of my closest friends is in that same situation, so I can see where you were coming from on that one. He doesn't even have to speak, but his very presence drives her up the wall. It's wonderful that you're now happily married (with the expected growing pains of course!) Smile

OldTimer's picture

One thing that some therapist would argue is that actually putting the kids first, is what was the fail of the relationship. They argue that it's the order of marriage, family, career, and children depend on this order. (Someone here once said that, and it stuck to me, because I realized, yes this is true.) It's that stability that children are needing.

So, in reality, if you did put the children first, you are disrupting the central core of the relationship. It's interesting though, because we as Stepparents are EXPECTED to bring the children first, yet that would mean that we are neglecting our partner, our relationship. Catch 22 isn't it? :?

Marilyn's picture

And you're right! I read that in every single thing I read about blended families, and marriages in general: the marriage relationship is the core of the whole dynamic. I agree with you on that!

BIOMOM's picture

So with your question, may I be so bold as to ask why you feel you were dragged into your current relationship?

I am a bio, my ex and I divorced because we did not want to sacrifice the happiness of our child. Unfortunately, people do divorce. If you are saying that those who divorce put their own happiness before their children's, then you are quite mistaken.

I did not drag anyone into a relationship with me, nor do I intend to be dragged anywhere....except maybe my lazy ass into the shower right now!

Janice Smile

happy's picture

points on this subject. I can understanad what BIOMOM and Step Mom are saying as well as you Marilyn. I think it totally depends on the situation you are in.
The other thing is I have heard that too. Put your marriage first. I am glad my first marriage did not work out because of my current marriage. But when I was in therapy for my first divorce, she said that I was suppose to put my ex first over my kids. And there was no way in hell that would ever happen. Probably because we were to far gone to begin with. I guess if he and I both would have made more of an effort then things would have been different.
But then again I also believe in the fact that my husband and I met 12 years previous to us getting together.. So we came together 12 years after meeting once. And I think that was GOD's plan for me. To have our children with others but come together later and grow old together. It was fate as I see it.
I am very sorry to my kids but life is what it is and you can feel sorry for them or you can teach them that even though it did not work don't give up. And besides no marriage is prefect, and I think that I have seen many couples who have been married for years who are not happy but they put on that smile and fake it because they had children with them. So what is right an what is wrong?
I think that in the best interest of MY family I did the right thing. I am hapy now I am in love for the first time unless you call your high school sweetheart true love. And to be honest it was not fair to my ex to stay married and not love him. He deserves love just like I do. Does that make sense..
Smile Happy

BIOMOM's picture

Makes sense to me. I happen to think that everything happens for a reason, and we are all exactly where we are supposed to be.

StepMom say's "karma", maybe that's what karma is?

When I read this original post this morning, I only threw out a smidgen of what I really wanted to say. But for Marilyn's sake, I figured I'd spare her my thoughts until I could better reply without the anger. Glad I did that. Whew!

Now, totally off post.....

Just nosey, Blum 3 how did you come to meet your husband once, 12 years prior to "hookin' up"???

happy's picture

My husband and I met in my sisters wedding, I was 16 and starry eyed and he was 25 and married with two kids. We were paired up to walk down the aisle together.. I seen him that day and never again until my sister mentioned him to me and how he was divorced on August 2nd 2003, went on our first date August 3rd 2003 and well here we are. well 15 years ago now almost 16 now anyways that day of my sisters wedding we talked alot but there was just something there. I could feel it in my heart.. And my sister could not talk about him in front of me ever. I would get angry with her.. Stupid huh... LOL
He was married to his ex from the time he was 18 till he was 34... SO I think GOD made a Crazy plan for us that many years ago and we both got divorces and ended up together. I never ever loved anyone before him. Ever. I had a lot of bad memories with the past men in my life (father and the man that raised me who left) I just figured for a long time with two relationships that went south that maybe I was destined to be alone.. But that is not the case. I am rambling. I am sorry. That is how we met..
Funny thing is my sister who's wedding we were in, does not like me anymore. I mean she will always love me but she is so jealous of my life that she really does not talk to me unless we are at my moms. But I guess that is something she will eventually (won't hold my breath) have to get over. Because we are married..
Happy Smile

BIOMOM's picture

That's sooo funny! How can people begrudge anyone's happiness, least of all a family member. My sister is not all that happy with me these days either. Since my Mom passed away, our relationship took on a very sloooooow decline direction. We were best friends, talked to each other at least 2 times a day.

When I met my significant other, after 2 failed marriages, she as well as others, did not see in him what I immediately saw. I had divorced my first ex, he was our hometown boy. Everyone knew him, loved him. My second ex was a very smooth operator with looks to match. Could have just stepped off the cover of GQ Magazine. He took me on the ride of my life. I'm actually lucky to have survived that one!

My current (and last! :p) is the sweetest and most loving and generous person I have ever met. Never married, no kids. Guess what our biggest problem is? MY kids! I came here to gain insight on my son's stepmom, and basically stayed because of what he and I go through.

Anyways, when we met, he had hair longer than Cher from her early days. Tattoo's on every visible surface of his body (and some in other places too :P). Of course along with him came the rest of the image, Harley bike, leather, chains, etc. He was someone that I nor anyone else I knew would ever look at twice! (Mostly out of fear, LOL)

Well, my sister just couldn't get past "the look". He has since cut his hair to above his ears, traded his everyday leather in for some denim and flannel, and is unrecognizable to his own family. Mind you, I had NOTHING to do with his appearance changes.

We have been together 5 years, and there is not a day that goes by that I don't thank God he found us. He is currently undergoing treatment for liver cancer, but keeps up the facade of a positive attitude. When first diagnosed, he decided to forego the treatments and take what was to be. That has been the only time that we went head to head about anything that didn't involve my kids. I cried, begged, bartered, and threatened. A few days after his decision to decline treatment, I took the kids to my sister's for 2 nights. I left on a Thursday, and called him continously. On Saturday morning his Mom called me on my cell to say that she couldn't reach him and she was worried. Why? Because he went for his first Chemo treatment that Friday morning!

That was in September. Today, besides the enormous amount of weight he has lost (and hair), he is doing well..... One day at a time.

Hugs to you!

stamina's picture

...that you have someone so terrific in your life. You are so right that we sometimes get caught up in image and forget to consider the person on the inside.

One other thing, in reference to your comments about telling kids "the truth". Where would we begin...would we tell them about the ex's mistakes and character flaws, ours as well, those of their father. For what purpose? So they would like us more? Them less? Is that really what life is all about? Would that make our troubles with sks easier? Kids rarely turn against one of their parents and if they do, there are repercussions for that too.

For me, I think that I know what I am up against in terms of sks and ex and second marriage and so I have to decide if I am up for this or not. Is this the life that I want or not, with all the good, the bad and the ugly? Each of us have to answer this question for ourselves. It doesn't get easier with time. Our perspective may change with time...that is our choice. We choose to be happy...or not.

BIOMOM's picture

My best friend was constantly being threatened by her exhusband, he couldn't wait until the kids were "old enough" so that he could tell them what a slut their mother was. (She cheated)

She actually sat her kids down (aged 12 and 15 at the time) and admitted to them of her sins including an abortion! She was so paranoid and such a wreck from his threats and constant badgering, she thought she was doing the right thing. Not because she is so stupid, but she was soooo scared he wouldn't wait and tell them sooner rather than later.

Now, I ask you....what did that solve? Other than relieving her guilt I imagine? It only proved that her ex was such a scumbag, he had the mother of his children at the mercy of his children. Sad isn't it?

Okay, yeah, she was stupid! Blum 3

happy's picture

How horrible that must be. Its sad that you have to go thru it but I bet it has made you a much stronger person. Which is what life does to you.
Where I think its sad is well ok a few reasons. #1 you finally found that one person who you absolutely adore and cancer is something that can end that. Now hopefully GOD will put him in his hands and let you keep him for a long time.
Secondly he's a nice guy, why is that it seems the nice people always end up with something so horrible and the "Sexual abusers (Child and Rapist and Domestic violence people just live there lives out in prison. Why take the good people when there are so many bad people.
My husband always says because really we are in hell here on Earth. And from where I sit sometimes I wonder if he is right. Not that my life is not wonderful but there is always something. It can never be smooth for more then a day. You know..
Peace to you. I am off today well I am at work right now but I am leaving for the afternoon.. My hubby is home too :-)...
I love your story.. And we have just one more thing in common. SISTERS who are ate up with I call it jealousy.
A little more though on my sister.. She has always thought since she has known my husband that he is good looking and a good father and husband, where as her husband is a drinker, he barely spends time with her or the kids, they really just have no marriage other then sharing a house and name.. They never but maybe once a year go out to dinner alone together. Her kids are wild animals.. They do nothing but scream (and I mean scream). She cannot take them to the grocery store with out something tragic happening. Its sad really. And my sister is about 350 pounds along with her husband at like 400 + pounds. I am tall skinny and not bragging but nice looking. My kids are well behaved and the other thing I think that eats her up is I am a divorced woman. She believes in marrying once and that is it. Which is the way it is suppose to be but in reality it just does not work out that way. We are just so opposite. I am very outgoing and friendly and she is very shy and closed from the outside world. She has not girl friends and I have plenty and then some. I am always on the go. My husband built our home with his hands 10 years ago, and its pretty. So there is just so much that she is so consumed with jealousy for me that she cannot be happy for me. She holds grudges against everyone for stupid stuff.. Which all boils down to she is not happy with herself or her life and will not change it because her husband makes good money and she does not work and WILL NOT GET A JOB.. She does not want to work. So she is just a very bitter unhappy sad person.
There I said more then enough.. Talk at you later..

Marilyn's picture

I'm definitely NOT an advocate for staying in a marriage if one really feels the need for divorce. I can say that I definitely woulndn't stay if I really wanted to leave! My point stemmed from reading Hesitant's entry, and from then reflecting on my past experience. I don't feel like I was dragged into my current relationship, but I DID feel like I was dragged into unnecessary drama, altho I guess I did go willingly because I saw the light at the end of the tunnel. My point was mainly that as stepparents or future stepparents, we are sometimes on opposite sides of the fence when in disagreements with our DHs/BFs when it comes to boundaries & certain situations concerning the kids. & a lot of times we have to be on eggshells because naturally they can be quite defensive, and during those times, the explanation, "It's for the kids!" or "I have to put the kids first" is always thrown out there. & then what can we say? Anything we say after that, we become the insensitive, selfish bad guy.

For instance, in the beginning of our relationship, when we were discussing boundaries, the hypothetical situations such as "What if the kids are begging for me to go to the park with them and their mom?" or "what if one of the kids are sick (as in a bad cold) and can't leave the house, can't I spend the night over their house?" or "shouldn't I still do things like 'family outings' so the kids still have their stable structure?" And when I objected, his response was "It's not about their mom. It's about the kids! I won't sacrifice their happiness! etc, etc, etc." Mind you, he's never been married. He knew he never wanted to marry her before or after the kids, & knew she wasn't The One for him. According to him & his family, he knew that long before they even had kids, but you know how things can happen. That's a whooole other story. But I digress!

So when he'd spout "stable family structure" and stuff, I was rolling my eyes. Anyhow, you can imagine how pissed off I was going back & forth with the boundaries issue. But that was in the beginning when we were still ironing things out. Before we started dating, he was casually dating other people, but nothing serious, so he didn't really have to go through the process of setting up any real boundaries.

But, yes, I suppose "it's for the kids!" can be somewhat of a trigger in me. He & I definitely, I think, keep in mind how things affect the kids in everything we do (unlike BM who says negative things about us in front of the kids, & then I have to smooth it over with "Your mom didn't mean it when she said that," meanwhile seething inside). But the ridiculous stuff that used to be expained away with "but it's for the kids!" aren't issues of contention anymore.

I definitely can say that putting in the time has been worth it. We're much stronger and have a better foundation now. I feel like we've been through more in the last few years than some couples have been through in 10! But I know you ladies on here all know what I'm talking about firsthand! Smile But even though sometimes the babymamadrama can put a hamper on things, I do really love the fact that he's never been married before. That was honestly one of the bright spots in the whole picture for me. I never wanted to be a second wife, at least, not during my first marriage. Not that there's anything wrong with it, I just wanted my First (and hopefully only) marriage to be my husband's First Marriage as well. I'm all for "the Second time around," but not before I give the First time around a shot! I can't help it, I'm big on "Firsts!" lol! But so is he! So that's something we both look forward to doing for the first time together.

BIOMOM's picture

Funny how in the beginning of your relationship, your significant other told you how his kids would come first, always. And yet knowing that you didn't agree, the relationship progresses......

I understand the eyeroll when he mentions the "family structure" or "for the kids" comments. It's kinda like, "Uh yeah, when its convenient for you, its about the kids"..... I see that a lot.

When I originally read your post I knew what you were saying/asking, yet I couldn't imagine how naive a person could be to ask such things. And then I realized that until you are actually IN the situation, no one can assume the pressures and questions that come up. That's why we're here! Unfortunately, too often, we all ponder the same questions.... And unfortunately, there are no answers. And sometimes the answer is not what we want to hear!

I am just glad that I didn't post my initial reaction to your post.
You may not know this, but I AM one of those "Crazy Bio's" they post about so often here. LOL!

I do have a question for you though....

You had mentioned always wanting to be your future hubby's first bride. First marriage for both. I understand that. But what happens when you give him YOUR first child, but his second?

Just wonderin' Dirol


Marilyn's picture

I've thought about that since knowing he was The One, and I feel like it wasn't what I always envisioned growing up, BUT, there is a reason for everything and there's a reason his kids are in my life as well. Maybe for extra love and guidance. I don't know, but I'm sure there's a reason! lol! plus, I know we have a lot of "firsts" to do with "our" first child, even for the simple fact that we'll all be in the same household so he can be a lot more hands on in the parenting area. He doesn't feel like he is with his 2 current kids because they are in a different household.

Our philosophy is pretty much, when they are over there with their mom, they're with their mom. When they're with us, they're with us. He doesn't try to tell their mother what she needs to feed them, how she needs to handle situations, etc. And she doesn't do that on her end either. We just do our best to guide them when the kids are with us. For instance, she lets them run wild, we don't. The daughter can be sassy, and I calmly but firmly let her know when she is being rude. Early on, we got the kids to stop all that juice drinking and start drinking more water, as well as take healthy kids vitamins. I wasn't trying to interfere, but I couldn't bear us eating so healthily (we're into organics), and then see what the kids were eating all the time. They didn't want to eat what we made because they wanted the fast food and the packaged tv dinner stuff. That's what they were used to eating and they refused to eat our food. We couldn't stuff it down their throats, but it didn't feel right to be eating a healthy meal and then looking at their plates with all that junk. Still, we do what we can do.

It's been a pretty easy process after the initial couple years of the "boundaries issue". Still, the BM speaks badly about me, his family, and I think him too, but we don't address it. I was really pissed off and hurt when his daughter told me that her mother said to not love me, but hey, what can you do? They're her kids, and she has the opportunity to say whatever she wants whenever she wants because they live with her. So we just do what we can do on our end, and hopefully actions speak louder than words. But I do hate that SD seems guilty for loving me sometimes (and I know that she does love me!). At the same time, it is what it is, and I'm not going to make myself go crazy over stuff I can't control. I feel blessed to have him, and I know he feels the same, and we do the best we can with the kids when we have them (which is usually every weekend unless something comes up on either end), and that's that.

And I totally don't think you're a "crazy bm!" You have lots of good insight! Smile