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I dont know how to do this

newtothis84's picture

So I've known my boyfriend and his kids for almost 2 years. I've recently started a relationship with him in late April. We know we want to get married and be together. I get along really well with his kids, always have. He's even asked his  oldest how she feels about me moving in and is getting married and she was excited!

I'm struggling with a few things on how he handles (?) her. He doesn't really hold her accountable for her actions. She doesn't seem to have any responsibility. Maybe she was never taught? For example, if she whines enough about having to do something or just does a half ass job at it , like dishes,  her grandparents ( who live with us ) or her Dad will swoop in to do it. If she's dramatic enough, she doesn't have to go to school because she has a stuffy nose ( current situation). How do I approach this and let him know that this, and some other things, need to change? 

I know it takes time to get the family dynamic going. Him and I have amazing communication. I've expressed my thoughts and frustrations to him multiple times. He hears me and acknowledges me and says he'll work on it but he hasn't and I find myself going through the same thing. 

How can I get through to him that this all affects me now too and I'm continuously frustrated by the same stuff?


STaround's picture

You say grandparents live with us, whose house is it?  

newtothis84's picture

His house. This is why I dont know what to do. We plan on doing big stuff like me moving in in March and getting married. I've pretty much been living here for a few months and he refers to it as ours. 

Harry's picture

Moving into a home with SK and his parents, or grandparents?  What can go wrong ?  How old is SD ?  You most likely are not going to change SK. They are what they are.  Your SO and Grandparents are happy the way things are now.  They are not going to change.  You either have to change and except this is the way things are or move on. 

Disneyfan's picture

Don't bother him with things that do not have a direct, negative impact on you.  Him or his parents cleaning behind her shoes impact at all.  Now, if he expects you to do the same, then you have a problem.

Moving into their home and expecting all of the adults change how they are raising the girl is just asking for trouble.

You and his daughter get along and she's excited about the marriage.   While his parenting choices may not be perfect, he is doing something right.

Step-girlfriend's picture

Oh man. Definitely get this straightened out before you move in. This is the kind of thing that can fester and grow and before you know it you hate this skid with every fiber of your being because you just can't stand to watch her whine to get her way anymore.

I would suggest having a talk about how you both will handle things like chores, punishments (who does it, what your role is, etc), and the type of behavior that is acceptable, as a pre-cursor to you moving in. You can tell him you just want to get on the same page before you move in, to try and cut off any issues before they happen. You could even say that you read an article about the kind of issues that come up in step-families, and that it's good to talk about it beforehand.

What I did, is tell my SO that I expect everyone to contribute to chores, as part of the family. Families help out, no one should be the sole maid. I also said that I think it teaches responsibility (it really does). My SO and I sat down then (I had to make this happen because my SO certainly wasn't leading the charge) and made a chore chart. At first, he didn't enforce it. It was always me nagging. I told him I needed his help because I can't be the bad guy, and he did step up. He now makes sure they do their chores every day, and it's a pretty seamless system with almost no complaining from skids, because they know they can't whine and get out of it. Whining to get out of things doesn't get them very far in our house.

Same with the whining and dramatics to not go to school. Seriously. She is playing everyone like a fiddle!

Sounds like the grandparents need to be involved in this also (after your SO and you decide how to handle things, if there are new rules in place, etc, tell the grandparents what they are and that they will need to follow the new structure as well). You are going to have your hands full, living with an SD AND grandparents...good luck!


Disneyfan's picture

So she should go in and change the dynamics of the whole home because she doesn't agree with their parenting style?  

I think this will create resentment towards the OP from the grandparents and the SD.

It may be better to speak to dad about her concerns the wait and see what steps he take on his own.  If he doesn't make the changes after hearing her out, then chances are he is fine with the way things are.  

She will then have to decide if she can live with that or not.



Step-girlfriend's picture

Any time a couple moves in together, changes and adjustments are made. Yes? I don't see why that should be different just because skids are involved. I don't believe people move in together and whoever is moving in is just supposed to "deal with it". She has every right to have her feelings considered. Everyone is capable of compromise, and I don't think expecting compromise is unrealistic. I do think that expecting someone to move in and just deal with everything the way it is unrealistic. Like I said, my SO adjusted and made changes when I moved in, and he will even admit that the changes are good for the kids. Skids don't resent me either, and maybe I got lucky, but we still have a good relationship. I would have been miserable had things stayed the same, so we worked together and implemented changes that everyone could live with. It worked for us.

I agree with the last part of what you said, which is why I suggested talking to her SO BEFORE she moves in officially. That way if he says that he doesn't want to make changes or compromises, OP can decide if this is something she can live with or not.

Disneyfan's picture

Revamping ones(or 3 folks in this cases) parenting style is the same as compromising.

If the grandparents and dad want to run around fixing chores thst SD half asses, that's their business.  That doesn't mean the OP has to do the same.

My ex's daughters did the baby talk crap with him.  It drove me nuts, but I didn't push him to correct it.  Whenever they spoke to him that way I ignored it.  When they tried it with me, I checked them.  They learned quickly that baby talk worked with their dad but not with me.


Step-girlfriend's picture

Yes, because someone else always cleans up after the skid, and it doesn't affect the SM at all.... right. How many times does it get left to the SM to clean up? Women often have higher standards of cleanliness, so we don't want to see messes all over. I really do not understand the line of thinking that you shouldn't try and get this figured out before she officially moves in. As I said before, talk about it first, hear what her SO's response is, and make the choice then if this is something she can live with. I never once said she should come in guns-blazing like a dictator, demanding certain changes. Settle.

Disneyfan's picture

The OP didn't say there is a mess left for her to clean up.  The other adults are doing it.  She moving into a home that grandma has been the woman of.  Do you really think grandma is going to step aside and let the OP just revamp the way they do things?

I just don't understand wanting to change/control something that doesn't have a negative impact on you.

Siemprematahari's picture

Would you feel comfortable getting married and moving into your H's home with his grandparents? Before getting married have a heart to heart with him. You said you both have great communication so tell him how you feel and what expectations you have and see if you can compromise.

If these things that bother you do not get addressed they will fester and lead to resentment.

tog redux's picture

I think it's common for women to jump in and think they have to fix what's wrong with the man's parenting - but really, it's not your place to tell him how to parent, unless he asks your advice. 

It's different if you decide that you can't live with her behavior, and let him know that, and he CHOOSES to change his parenting so you will stick around.  But don't go in "telling him what has to change".

So instead of the conversation being about how you expect him to change, it's about what you think you can live with.

newtothis84's picture

You all have very valid points. I'm honestly so happy because I'm not the only person in this situation and i know I'm not being crazy! 

My SO and I have spoken about these issues a few times. When we spoke, there weren't any ultimatums or telling him what I think he should do or anything like that. I was clear on what I can live with and things we can all work on. I feel like because they are his parents and his kids, he's really the only one who can make things happen. 

How can I word this to him? I feel like a broken record

hereiam's picture

If you feel like a broken record, that means nothing is changing, which means he's not that interested in implementing change. That's what you have to think about before you actually move in, can you deal with things AS IS?

I completely understand that these things are annoying but your relationship is still relatively new, and you don't officially live there, telling everybody what needs to change might not go over so well.