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Feeling a little lost and overwhelmed...

Nicholelynn's picture

My fiancé just recently got full custody of his 15 yr. old daughter and 12 yr. old son.  For the past five years his ex has had full custody and just this past May she signed over her rights.  No it was not court ordered, it was voluntary. And then she decided to move 2 hours away. So the kids don’t see her all that often and I know that is affecting them tremendously. 

While we were dating and the kids were living with BM, his daughter would constantly call him yelling and screaming about her mom.  That she was drunk and throwing things, breaking things, etc., that she locked the refrigerator and they had no food... things like this.  Just to give you a few examples.  The children were constantly unhappy, for the most part unsupervised and allowed to do whatever they wanted and just living in a dysfunctional environment. 

Now fast forward to today... The 4 of us live in what I feel, is a safe and healthy environment.  My fiancé and I try to show what a functional and loving relationship looks like.  We try to keep a clean home, one that they can be proud of.  Their wellbeing and happiness is absolutely one of my top priorities.  Getting involved with my fiancé, I was aware of the situation and the fact that it would be the 4 of us all of the time, and to be honest, I was happy about that.  Oh how naive I was…  

Just this past Friday evening, I yelled at SD (still learning about these abbreviations) for the first time ever.  Actually, I raised my voice at her.  And let me be clear… It was a stern speaking tone that I used towards her.  And why did I address her in this way?  Well I saw a text message she sent to her father threatening to burn our house down.  Now let me go back  a little... Right after my fiancé separated from BM, their house did burn down.  The kids lost everything.  And no it was not SD, it was caused by the dryer… just want to make that clear.  So for her to make a threat like that, I told her that she could not send things like that.  That saying/texting things like that were not something to joke about.  Well, when I raised my voice at her, she had her mom on speaker and BM called the local cops on me and requested a wellness check. 

The police department showed up and of course I was questioned.  Turns out, BM is well known with the local police department because apparently they were called at her residence quite a bit when she lived in the area.  Needless to say, the police officers asked a lot of questions, and explained to SD that me yelling at her does not warrant them coming to check on the situation.  That I am an adult figure in the house and that we both need to respect one another.  I thought that the talk the police officer had with SD would have a positive effect on her… well it did not.  A few minutes after the cops left, my fiancé and I were in the living room watching t.v. and SD text him from her bedroom “when are you going to put her to bed so I can get some water.”  No respect or accountability was taken from her.  

The next morning, of course SD is still very very angry and accuse my fiancé of choosing sides, and not caring about her feelings.   That me being in the home has caused her to feel like she does not belong there.  That her mom would never allow her BF to speak to her the way I spoke to her.  That something is wrong with me because what middle aged women would agree to live with a man and his 2 kids… just a few thing that were said. 

Well, BM called SD and the two of them were screaming at each other and BM told SD that she was going to drive the 2 hours to “beat my ass”.  So now BM is threating me… and telling her own daughter this.

So needless to say, since Friday tensions have been high in the household.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated...


tog redux's picture

Well, the good news is that you aren't married yet!

This is going to be a huge issue for the next many years. You have a 15-year-old SD (strike one), a BM who is willing to dump her kids but still wants to interfere (strike 2), a fiance who does not appear to be parenting in a meaningful way (strike 3).

Tell your fiance that since you are not their mother, you will not be functioning in a parenting role AT ALL. All parenting and discipline will be left to him, and you will be like a "friendly aunt" type person - helping out where you feel you want to help out. 

Let him get control of his kids and get this sorted before you marry him.

ChamomileTea4Me's picture

Had 2/3 BM's threaten to "beat my bum"...nip that in the bud right now!  Lay down the law with your SO (kids don't need to hear this) that BM is not allowed inside your house for any reason and you don't need to directly communicate with BM ever...for anything.  I've worked that way for YEARS and it's worked well for sanity.  Just let them know you don't behave that way with people and you won't tolerate interacting on any level with one who does.

As far as SD15's brattiness...she's coming from a household where she may not have gotten everything she needed, but she was allowed to do what she wanted with little to no supervision.  I hate to tell you this, but she's right at that age where teenagers naturally start to want less supervision and more privacy.  If she's now in a situation with more 'confinement', she's going to lash out.  Her dad is going to have to be the one to make house rules, expectations, and consequences abundantly clear so they can't blame you.  If you try to get in the middle of that, you are only setting yourself up to be the scapegoat.  That has been my life for the past few years, and trust me when I say no good comes of that!  

I'd recommend reading the forums and blogs on Disengagement.  I know it's not what you want to hear, but I would also hold off on any wedding plans until you work through some of this.  You've had a life changing event happen with skids coming to live with you.  Take care of you and give it all time.  Glad you're here! <3

CLove's picture

Yes, you were definitely naive in getting into this with the rose-colored glasses of "rescuing" your future SKids from a dysfunctional situaion. But you are definitely NOT alone in this.

SDs at 15 are at their worst I am convinced. Especially since she learned certain patterns of behavior already. She has learned to lie and manipulate. Push ALL the hot buttons. My SD Feral Forger was a little over 15 yo when I started my relationship 5 years ago. Unfortunately she is JUST like her mother, with all that entails (if you read my blogs you will understand in more depth), and there will be no easy fixes for this.

Therapy might help. It cant hurt. Except that when Feral Forger went to a doctor, she was prescribed heavy medication and ha started drinking to "wash them down". But it sounds like she is an angry teen who is going to play you and BM against each other.

It is extremely important that your Fiancee has your back and doest just accept her behavior. He really really needs to shut that down. Feral Forger said the same exact things "you need to choose your child over your girlfriend/now/wife" - it seems that all SDs really go from the same playbook. i eventually disengaged. You might have to, to a certain extent.

Now as to BM's threats against you, you will need to document and record. And perhaps get a RO against her.

WTF...REALLY's picture

 What did your fiancé do when she sent him that text?

How he reacts to the situation is of utmost importance. More important than what the mom is going to do and more important than what you are going to do in regards to this child. When she treat you this way, it’s vital that he steps in and lays down the law very strictly with his daughter. That this behavior is unacceptable. 

Nicholelynn's picture

This is going to sound awful but he did not respond to those text messages. As he unfortunately does often.    I am genuinely convinced he is afraid of upsetting her, of yelling at her.  Which is god so awful!!!  I feel as though he is trying to compensate for the last 5 years.  This is no excuse, and I am not trying to give him an out, I just feel that he has no idea on how to handle the situation.  He still looks at SD as though she is that sweet 8 year old girl bThis is going to sound awful but he did not respond to those text messages. As he unfortunately does often.    I am genuinely convinced he is afraid of upsetting her, of yelling at her.  Which is god so awful!!!  I feel as though he is trying to compensate for the last 5 years.  This is no excuse, and I am not trying to give him an out, I just feel that he has no idea on how to handle the situation.  He still looks at SD as though she is that sweet 8 year old girl b

WTF...REALLY's picture

 I can tell you from experience, you’re screwed. A dad who treats his daughter like she can do no wrong when she is clearly mentally unstable is a boyfriend that is going to make your life a living hell. There’s literally nothing you can do to make the situation better. I wish there was a fix but if you want to stay with him, you need to disengage as much as possible. 

SteppedOut's picture

Agree. Sorry OP, but if your boyfriend is "unable" to properly parent, you may as well plan your exit. 

Harry's picture

If DH is not home, SK should be with him or he should arrange care for them. It go to BM.  you are not the fall back babysitter, actually babysitter have more control then you. You can not fuction or any adult can not fuction in a home where you can not say boo to SD with out SD and BM causing drams as police being called for no reason.  DH must nip this right now.  SD should be punished, and he has to talk to BM.

No can live like this,  if you give SD a inch of control you are going to lose forever.  DH must teach SD to respect you. What she is doing is showing no respect.  You may have to leave for good if this does not get handle ASAP 


Exjuliemccoy's picture

Fellow formerly naive rescuer of a damaged, hardbroke SD here *waves*

First off know this - those skids are damaged permanently. They already are who they will be,  just with a sprinkling of teen hormones on top. They are accustomed to violence and chaos and dysfunction; it's what feels comfortable to them. Don't make the mistake of thinking you can help them.

Secondly, odds are that they will return to their BM as soon as they possibly can. Doesn't matter how kind, giving, or loving you are. You're just the bi!ch their dad lives with, so you need to decide how unhappy you're willing to be for the next several years.

Thirdly, it is absolutely crucial that your SO draw some cement boundaries with his kids about a) causing drama in your home and b) how he expects them to treat you. Understand this clearly: if he's not willing to get a whip and a chair and be the warden, you are screwed my dear. Those kids should be in individual and family couseling, and there needs to be clear house rules with consistent consequences.

Next, you need to lay down the law with your SO. Nice has no place at this stage for either of you. You need to serve notice that he needs to alpha up and wrest control away from these angry ferals, or you will be leaving because things aren't working and you will not allow his baggage to control your life to the degree that police are visiting your home. A coup just occurred in your home, and right now a 15 yo girl and a woman who lives two hours away are running the show. If your SO doesn't assert dominance now, the inmates will be running the asylum. You need to make him understand that you're willing to help him work the problem, but only if he's willing to roll up his sleeves and be the bad guy. If he wants to keep you, he must protect and put you first.

Lastly, that teen needs very serious consequences for the drama she caused, starting with losing her phone and all electronics for a few weeks. As for BM, all contact should be blocked and a Cease and Desist letter should be mailed booting her out of your lives. She is a poisonous influence, and the very best gift your SO could give his kids would be a few years free of her.

Nicholelynn's picture

Thank you so much for this.  My SO's sisters have told me this repeatedly.  They know the BM all too well and are familiar with this entire situation.  They dealt with her for YEARS…They have even come out and said that these kids are hopeless when trying to “fix” the past 5 years living in that environment.  You are right, the dysfunction feels normal and right to them.  I am not trying to save them, I just want to help them grow up to be happy, functional adults.  But deep down I know that may not be possible… Thanks so much for your kind w

Evil3's picture

Luckily, in my situation, no one has threatened to kick my ass. If they did and if my DH didn't do enough to satisfy my need to have my man stand up for me, he would be the one on my shit list even more so than the threatening person. That's a cop out that the guy doesn't know what to do. Do not let him off the hook. Tell him that you don't feel safe and you can't be with a man who doesn't have your back. Ask him what's in it for you to stay with a passive man who doesn't seem to give a shit that his lady is being physically threatened. That one would be a deal-breaker for me. A man who sits by and acts all proud because he simply didn't respond to those texts and thinks that that is enough would make me sick and I couldn't have nooky with him for a very very long time if ever.