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How step children can cause friction in your marriage.'s picture

So here's the scenario: A couple is happily married. The woman has a child who lives with the new couple. The husband has had children from a previous relationship. The husband's children have not accepted their father's new wife. And there is always friction. How does the wife deal with this situation to command respect from these children while avoiding bring friction into their union? What should the husband's role in all this?


Noturbabysmama's picture

I totally disagree with your comment that it's okay for the kid to "destroy the house, refuse to do chores". This is YOUR home with your husband and they are the children regardless of who gave birth. Why does everyone talk about disengaging here? They are children who will someday be adults. It is the role of ALL the adults in their life to give them the tools they need to succeed in life. There isn't a college, job, roommate, significant other who will not expect them to contribute their fair share. It is our job, all of our jobs to teach them by example. Disengaging is not the answer. I expect no more from my SC than I expect from my BC. Period!

stormabruin's picture

Perhaps the SP is under no obligation to raise kids who disrespect them, but if self-preservation is the name of the game, does that not include making our homes OURS? If my DH refused to parent his children while they were in OUR home, I wouldn't hesitate to step in & demand courtesy & respect for me in my home. THAT is part of self-preservation.

Thankfully my DH is not a guilty parent & hasn't been in the time I've known him. I can't imagine living in a house with stepkids ruling & me not speaking up. In that case, I'm allowing them to run my home.

DH & I have rules for our home. We expect each other to follow them, & anyone who enters is expected to follow them as well. Top of the list are RESPECT & COURTESY. We pick up after ourselves. If kids are in your home, parent or not, that gives you the authority to enforce the rules. Otherwise you're turning your home over to the kids.

bioandstep2009's picture

Where is the LIKE button when you need it. LIKE this comment very much! I think if one is truly able to disengage, that's great but I can't seem to do it totally. I wish I could be indifferent but I just can't. I certainly can't let SS do whatever the hell he wants while I am under the same roof and if DH does not correct him on something, I will certainly do it if I'm witness to whatever behavior needs correcting. I'm home with him in the afternoons since I work from home so I've had to put my foot down, enforce rules and correct behavior. As far as I'm concerned, he's a kid, I'm the adult and there is a hierarchy to be followed in our house, step parent or not. DH has the same authority over my DD as well. Now, at BM and her hubby's house, she has 3 stepkids full time plus SS EOWE and she does the completely separate parenting even in the face of gross disrespect from the skids. It's an "inmates running the asylum" situation over there!

CricketDECoco's picture

Completely agree! I'm in a relationship now and I feel like I'm being forced to raised this boy and he isn't even technically my step yet. And I'm seriously having second thoughts whether I want to take this relationship with his dad any further because of this boy. He's a 10 year old spoiled brat with a sense of entitlement like I've never seen before and COCKY! My son is 20 and off at college, I raised him as a single mom since he was 2. I would've been the first person to knock my son down a couple notches to adjust his attitude and made him check himself before he went walking around acting and talking like he's some king sh•t and holier than thou. Now it didn't take the village to create this child and it didn't take the village to make this child believe that the world revolves around him. The village didn't drop the idiot to make sure this kid was entertained at all times creating a lack of imagination. The village didn't decide one night it was such a grand idea to conceive this child. No, it doesn't take a village. It takes the parents. But once baby Sad becomes problematic let's call the village. It's a crock.
I've raised my son on my own and I'm damn proud. I was very young when I had him & I feel like I should be entering this new fun carefree stage of life but I don't because of this kid. I love the man I'm with and he too sees problems with his son but doesn't know what to do. I've heard excuse after excuse. I keep telling him that he's not my responsibility. The kid is a liar. He's gotten both his dad and I arrested, I got a misdemeanor for "false reporting" because the punk lied and our police department took the word of a 10 year old over mine. His dad's is a whole other story, it's a mess. I wish people would stop thinking children are so damn innocent. They'd have to be ignorant to believe that they are. Or they are being manipulated by the child. Especially the ones that say, "oh my child would never...." Really! Get off your high horse so reality can smack you across the face!

paul_in_utah's picture

Don't feed the troll. At least not until the troll has walked a few thousand miles in my shoes.....

Jsmom's picture

Disengaging for many of us protects our sanity. When we continuously try and assist in parenting these kids and get slammed for it, we have to disengage. I disengaged when things got so bad, it was either that or my DH would be divorced a second time. Even being disengaged, we still argue over BM and her lack of parenting and my husbands continually not trying to rock the boat.

Disengaging doesn't mean that we are mean to these kids, we just chose not to parent them. We continually repeat to ourselves when they do things that our bio's are not allowed to do, "Not my Kid". It helps and unless you have beaten your head against the wall against a spouse and a BM who want you to take care of their kid, but have no say in how you do it, Disengaging is all we have.

I didn't give birth to these kids and I should not have to take care of them. Trust me if I did, they would not be the people DH and BM have created.

MomAtHome05's picture

I have to agree here, although it is sad to have to disengage at all. I never thought it would be like this, and to be honest, I can't just 'not care' fully. That is not my personality. But I have to tune out to a degree or go insane with my 2 sd's. They fully hate me and hubby does correct them but not as much as I would like or I do with my children.

Done WIth It's picture

One can't demand respect from anyone. It must be earned.

There are people easy to get along, there are people who aren't easy to get along. What do you do with people yoy're uncomfortable with, you stay clear of them.

On top of so many young people feeling entitled and they're being damn near being royalty, anything you do with the father is taking something away from them. They'll want your lifestyle and what you have. IT's a fact of life. They are envious of you and not going to allow any joy, because they feel they're doing without while you and DH are enjoying life.

They're like anyone else with the mind set. Not good to be around. So when in their company, you remain cordial during their antics, you love the man, so you're courteous to his children. But it ends there. You owe them nothing but being considerate. When they mess that over, they've earned nothing.

This doesn't get better. People are what they are. They're either nice, or they're envious. Envious is very difficult to be around. So just cope with it and keep enjoying your life. None of us are promised the ideal life. So get out of your marriage what you can and try to stay cool around the unhappies.

AVR1962's picture

That is one loaded question! I think the biggest factor in making the relationship work comes from the bio parents and I do mean both of them. They chose to divorce and they each need to do what it takes to respect the other one's new life and make it as good for the children to go from one home to the next but that only seems to happen in the most ideal sitautions. if you do not have the bio parents support you can anticipate problems. You do have the right to make the rules, discuss these with your husband, the boundaries you will draw and ask him what his expectations are.

I'll give you a quick example.....married husband who had custody of his sons and I had custody of my daughters. Bio mom was extrememly difficult, filled the boys' with lies and reaped heart with hate. I, on the other hand eventhought my ex was not easy to deal with, told the kids they had 2 dads and 2 moms and I expected my girls to respect their father as well as their stepmom, and stepdad. When the girls would complain about their stepmom I did not side with the girls nor did I tear my ex's wife down, I never confronted her. Even after she and my ex divorced after nearly 20 years of marriage I openly gave her thanks on Mother's Day for her part in mothering my children. Today the girls are 25 and 30 and have a good relationship with both their steps and both their bios. The boys on the other hand ahve been extrememly angry, full of blame and only get along with bio mom.

MomAtHome05's picture

You are correct in your breakdown of the family structure! At least, that is how it should be, and what we strive for in our home.

SKAYE's picture

So what do you do when your husband doesn't put you before the children? I have a SD16 and a SS13. My husband has joint custody of the children. The SD16 never comes over anymore. We live 30 minutes away but she says she doesn't like it here, it really disappoints her dad so anytime she calls to ask for $$ he feels like he should give in because he never sees her. Recently she was announced to the public as a school function and gave her parents names as if they were still married.... because she didn't like the way it sounded she said to say two different last names. Now the SS13 comes over but I don't get a lot of respect...I feel as if I have to tell him to flush the toilet, throw the trash away, put the dirty clothes in the hamper, chew with your mouth closed...things a 3 to 5 year old could do. He has told me he didn't want to talk to me because he doesn't like me. Actually, a lot of the things with the SS13 are boy stuff, I do realize that... This is my first marraige, it has only been 2 years. I have no children of my own. So I have a lot of adjustments to get used too!
I actually wish the SS13 would live with us fulltime. There are more rules and structure here at our house than his mom's house. Not much disipline there, so we have no support with what we do here.
When we first got married I went out of my way to do everything for the kids. But since they have started treating me like crap, I have backed off.