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So, why do YOU stay?

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

There was a comment on my last blog that kind of made me feel like I had to explain my reason for staying with my DH. The comment wasn’t rude or anything... it was worded respectfully, but it got me thinking! I see so many of us here complaining about how we don’t like our stepkids or how our partner is a bad parent or how the BM causes problems, etc. So, why do YOU stay?

Despite having an annoying, fake, disloyal, self centered, attention seeking SD full time, our life isn’t awful. My children are happy, healthy, smart, and thriving. My DH is my best friend. We’ve been friends since childhood, and we have such a strong bond. We live in a nice, beautiful house where everyone has their own room, it’s comfortable, and always clean (I’m slightly OCD, haha). My DH and I split the shared bills, and have our own individual financial accounts. We both work hard at our jobs and at home (cooking, cleaning, etc.). For the most part, we make an incredible team. So yes, his daughter drives me nuts and annoys me more than anyone EVER. I don’t like the narcissist that she is growing up to be. Her father makes some parenting choices that I don’t agree with at times. Useless BM and psycho grandma cause problems every now and then. But aside from all of that, our life is pretty good and we are actually blessed compared to many others out there. So, that’s why I stay. Will I always stay? I’m not sure. Most of the time, I don’t want the stupid SD related garbage in my life anymore. Some days, I can deal with it better than others. I guess time will tell!

So, why do YOU stay?


SteppedOut's picture

I didn't. No way in hell could I could take one more day. When I realized nothing would change for the better and was steadily gettimg worse I left. It took me days to execute my departure. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

That’s good. I’m glad that you were able to escape. If I ever need to, I can only hope that executing my departure is as easy for me as it was for you.

Cooooookies's picture

I love my DH, he's a great husband and he puts me first.  I'd never ever let BM2 or SS ruin that.  I had a nightmare first marriage to a man who literally destroyed everything.  I know a good man when I have one...even if he is a bit of a soft parent.  No one is perfect.

Steptalker2's picture

I stay for DH. I think of skids as DH’s relatives I have to put up with.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

That’s a good mindset. I’m sure you’ll have to “put up” with them less as years go by.

tog redux's picture

I stay because DH was not the problem, he parented his child well, he protected me from BM, and he always put me first. BM was the problem, and with SS grown and no longer visiting, there is light at the end of the tunnel in terms of getting out from under any legal obligation to BM or SS.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

I am happy that your DH did everything the way that he should have (in terms of parenting well and protecting you from BM). I see those of you on StepTalk who talk about how the kids are grown up now and things are better. I honestly hope to be there someday!

justmakingthebest's picture

My home situation is much like yours:

  • My kids are happy and thriving
  • My husband is my person. He is my best friend, he is loving, and caring and thoughtful. 
  • OSS19 really isn't an issue any more than my own teens are LOL
  • I love the home we made
  • Financially I am better off than I was as a single mom and DH is better off as well.

I am happy 97% of the time in my life- that 3% of dealing with court and BM2 bullshit and the hurt from SS14 isn't worth throwing away the best and happiest relationship of my life. My house is full of moments and memories that make my heart swell with love and joy. BM2 isn't going to take that from me.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

That’s awesome. I am happy to hear all of that!

I think it’s so easy to complain about the bad stuff on here (for me anyway, haha) that it probably makes it seem like everything else is crappy, too. But the only bad part of my life are the SD related problems. And those will eventually go away... one way or another!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm going to be super real on this post. lol

Some days, I honestly don't know.... Life is stressful, there's so much baggage, he won't make Psycho pay the COURT ORDERED CS,  I don't feel he's kept a lot of the promises he made back in December when honeslty I was on the cusp of calling it quits, we have so much debt form the ex, bills are high, his family is overbearing, honeslty I could go on and on.

BUT, other days.  I see him, I watch how he interacts with the furbabies, he just does super cute and flirty crap, or sends me a message leeting me know how great I am,  plans with me, honestly does his best in some nasty situations.  And I love this man.  I do still believe we have POTENTIAL for a great future if we both work for it.

So the real question isn't exactly why do I stay,  but how long am I willing to wait and work for the future?  Or does it get overwhelming before then?

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

So the real question isn't exactly why do I stay,  but how long am I willing to wait and work for the future?  Or does it get overwhelming before then?

I am 100% with you on that! Sometimes it already feels like it’s too overwhelming... but like you, I’ve got a paragraph of bad and a paragraph of good. It makes coming to the utlimate decision extremely difficult!

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Exactly that. I mean yes, I could dwell on the awful, but there's also good in there and dreams packed in.

So now's just for waiting and seeing and making decisions (which would be easier to make in a vacuum minus all emotion).

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

I know EXACTLY how you feel. Waiting, seeing, making decisions... yes, yes, and yes!

Evil3's picture

I saw a title of a book that best describes why I'm still with DH. "Too Good to Leave, to Bad to Stay." I never read the book, but I remember seeing it and that's pretty much how my marriage feels.

An example of why I stay is that recently, I went away without DH for five days. I came back to my car detailed, gas tank filled up, new furniture in the house, new applicances, and a bunch of other work done in the yard that I've been wanting to get done. DH always does that. I actually have to be careful of what I mention to him because he jumps to it to please me. His love language is defintely gift giving and acts of service.

DH will also jumps through hoops to change ANYTHING, except the one thing I want the most. The second I mention an issue that makes me unhappy, he turns himself inside out to change. I really appreciate it. However, the one change he doesn't stick to is the one that causes him to act like SD30 is his drug. He'll try and do well for a period of time, but then out of the blue, BOOM! He's back all over SD like white on rice. I never know what triggers it. I don't know if she says something or what, but DH and I can be doing very very well for quite a lengthy period of time and then he succumbs to his drug. It drives me freaken insane. I've even told him flat out that I can handle the mini-wife crap if I was given a reasonable explanation as to why he allows it and why he's so obsessed with her. He just says, "I don't know."

I do appreciate that he does take the risk of losing SD when he changes dynamics on her to make me happy. I do recognize the risk he takes, because she is the type of person what will cut people off for very little reason. It's just that DH "forgets' or melts or something. It's like living with an addict. You never know when they'll cave. However, the rest of our marriage is great. We have fun together, we share passions like fitness, we are partners in our house, DH caters to me in every way other than the SD issue. I'm aware that DH's reason for being a guilty dad has changed over the years. When SD30 was a child, DH felt guilty for divorcing BM. Now that SD is 30, DH feels guilty because SD is still single with no prospects in sight. It's not looking good for her either, because when she does date, she never gets second or third dates. I think DH knows that the way he raised her has something to do with SD still not finding someone like all of her peers have. She has expressed sadness over that and DH feels very badly for her. So, the guilt continues.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Aww! My DH is like yours in that he caters to me, is always willing to change, and jumps at every opportunity to do things for me. I, like you, have to be careful what I say around him because he will do it. Yesterday, I said, “Chowmein sounds so good.” Within five minutes, he was on the phone ordering me some and he went to pick it up... no discussion, no hesitation. It’s like that all the time.

It’s hard for me to hear that your SD is 30 and still a problem causer or an annoyance in your life and your marriage. My DH doesn’t do the mini-wife thing with SD, so I can only hope that if we stay together, she won’t be an issue once she’s an adult. Fingers crossed...

flmomma08's picture

I left a couple weeks ago, BUT it wasn't even because of SD/BM issues. DH became a drug addict and turned into a person I didn't even recognize in a very short period of time. I knew there was no hope when he refused to go to rehab and get help. So that is the end of my story. It still makes me sad because when I look back, our life was pretty normal, aside from stupid crap with SD and BM. I honestly don't even know what happened. He's not the same person I married, that's for sure.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Oh, no! I’m so sorry... I commend you for leaving though! It takes a strong, smart woman to leave a situation like that. Some women make excuses or spend their whole lives trying to convince themselves that the addiction will go away one day. It’s better, in my opinion, to move on. It’s not your job to fix anyone. Good luck with everything.

advice.only2's picture

I wasn't going to stay, until I found this site and learned about disengaging. Once I disengaged that almost ended my marriage as well.

Once I finally stood up for myself and stopped being the scapegoat for DH/Meth Mouth/Spawns behaviour it was easier to care less and focus on myself, my kids and even my DH more.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

That’s good. I have noticed that the disengagement method has really seemed to help a lot of people on here. I think disengaging would only make things worse for me.

MissTexas's picture

this page. People who share common issues come here to vent, get advice, offer support (depending on what phase they are in with regard to step issues).

That being said, though I don't care for SD and my DH's enmeshment with her, and though this is a BIG DEAL for us, it is ONE facet to our marriage. It's a daily struggle, and the struggle is REAL.

On the other hand, there are MANY other details that are very positive and desireable. It's very easy to magnify the negative and fixate on it and allow it to steal your joy, but you have to put your head and heart in a better place, for your own sanity and self-preservation. 

I will not go into details, but DH and SD have done some very wrong things that involved lots of  collusion,

The good news is, since SD's blowup in DH's presence, he has seen her for exactly what she is, and has been so humiliated and just absolutely disgusted and shocked by it all, so we are on the same page with that, (& because of it, we have become closer) and because of HER CHOICES , I don't have to face her or be in her presence again. Everything happens for a reason, and what seems like a horrible event (and even is one) can actually  work for the better.

So now that I've taken you the scenic route, the bottom line is, I LOVE HIM, and he has been my absolute world for many years. As hurtful as these things have been, my love for him, and our past memories and experiences have eclipsed SD and her headgames. If you never experience what pain and disappointment are, you will not fully appreciate your joy. You can't have the "testimony" without the "test."  It's similar to not having a rainbow without the rain. Growth can come from these experiences, and I know he realizes what he did was wrong (there's much more to the story than just the small pieces I disclosed), and he also sees that if he were to continue on that path, he would die old, lonely and alone because I made it clear that I will not continue to take his daugther's abuse, and she has written him off, so who will be here for him if he doesn't figure out how to be a husband? Nobody! He will be in a care facility.

This man has shown me things, taught me things and been a good hearted person to most everyone he meets and comes in contact with, He would do almost anything to help anyone. His heart is beautiful. His only downfall is at times, he has allowed his daughter to be in the wife's role and vice-versa.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

This was great to read! It’s nice and refreshing hearing the positives that people experience through all of the negative sh!t that steplife has brought into all of our lives. I am glad that you are where you’re at with your DH. Makes me feel like there could be something to look forward to when SD is grown up and can make HERSELF the center of HER OWN WORLD.

MissTexas's picture

We've had to put up with a lot from her. Throw in the classic narcissist monkey wrench, and there you have it, but that's her problem. She is married w/o kids (thankfully), but I know her poor DH has seen this side of her many times. He's a good guy who got a bad seed, unfortunately.

I hope your situation gets better when Sd is grown and gone.

My misconception was that with "grown kids" we would have time to focus on us and do what we wanted to do. No in-laws to contend with (been there done that, and knowing what I know now, that was a cake walk comparitively speaking).

Incon_freaking_ceivable's picture

There are things I love about my partner, but they are very much overshadowed by my disgust at his weakass parenting and total lack of spine with BM.

The only thing that is standing in my way is DD. The idea of his having visitation with her while he has his older children without my being present terrifies me. At least now, I am here to keep her as safe as possible and to minimize their influence on her as much as possible.


NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Honestly, I would feel the same way and to me, that makes so much sense. The good thing is that your DD won’t be a kid forever, so you can just hang in there for now. At least you can hold onto the fact that life can be different one day if you want it to be!