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New to the Forum...just need to vent and figure out what to do.

stepparent74's picture

I am a BM of two boys, (18 and 20 who have the same dad). I have a live in boyfriend who has two BD's, (6 and 17 who have different moms). We have been dating for 2 years now. I have already raised mine and after an extended period (7 years) not dating I found my boyfriend. He is a fiery man which is both awesome and horrible. My 20yo and his 6yo live at home with us. My 18yo is living a college campus life and his 17yo lives with her mom. The relationship has been rocky the whole time. Worse in the beginning because he had just separated from his wife. (Yes they are still married but legally separated.) I thought I was finally going to have my freedom from kids and all that entails (finances, freedom of time, freedom to take more risks) until I met him. I made this as a conscious decision but am frequently doubting my decision. I adore him. Our problems are basically and likely the same as everyone elses here. I feel awkward when his kids are here even after 2 years. The 6yo is severely ADHD as is boyfriend which makes things tense when she is here. Sunday-Thursday basically. She is bossy, nosy, has no concept of personal space and lies and manipulates to get her way all the time. And worst of all she wants constant praise and attention. She can be like a vampire sucking the life out of you. We don't allow it but that takes just as much or more energy to correct her. Every time we get her back from her mother we usually spend the rest of the week trying to straighten her back out. Slowly this has gotten a little better. What makes me feel awkward is him. He gets home and we go to the bedroom to talk a minute before we come out to hang out with her until bedtime. He usually wants to always watch TV and lounge on the couch. If he snuggles with her, or rather when he snuggles her, he behaves as if he feels he has to cuddle us both at the same time. This makes me very uncomfortable. She is not my kid and we have not bonded enough for me to feel comfortable with that. Its not like we are mom, dad, and kid. One happy little family. I am a stranger still. This is the only time he tries to include me with her is when he cuddles her. I believe this is only because if they are snuggled on one side and I am alone on the other side of the sectional couch then he feels that he is ignoring me. I would rather that honestly!! And when we go out together I feel like a third-wheel. I usually feel neglected and alone despite him trying to include me in cuddles. Our cuddle time is ours. He can cuddle with her during the day I have him every night. I think it is important that they spend time alone together without me. She obviously needs that. Would I feel like a third-wheel on the couch?.....Yes, but it feels very unnatural to me. He gets upset because I get "cold". My biggest problem though is that I can't have real conversations with him. If I were to try and talk to him about any of this he would get pissed off and react instead of listen and problem solve with me. This too is making me question whether I made a bad decision or not. He loves me. He quit drinking alcohol to stay with me. But he has issues that he still needs to work out to catch up emotionally after being a drunk for so long. I am trying to stand by him as he works on himself. But I also have resentment because he and my oldest son have issues. I find that my resentment comes out towards his little girl instead of him. I know it shouldn't but if you think about it it makes sense. These are the thoughts that cross my mind. He doesn't give a shit about my kids why should I put in so much effort for his? He doesn't buy them birthday presents why should I help pay for his daughters? This is how it plays out. Last night this brought me to tears. Its a lose, lose situation at this point. I lose him or I hang in there and slowly work it out and hope that I don't have an insurmountable mound of resentment.... Any advice from those who can relate or have overcome any of this would be greatly appreaciated.


purpleflipflops's picture

I stopped reading after you said you were dating for 2 years and he's still legally married.

stepparent74's picture

Judge much? Legally separated. This is the world we live in. Sorry I don't live by your standards...

purpleflipflops's picture

I don't even have high standards. Ha ha!

I got together with DH right before his divorce was final, but there was a final date. There was no legal separation. There was no question of him "will he go through with it or not".

That being said, I actually did read the rest. You are taking me as judging you just because he's still married.

The fact that he IS still legally married (and you didn't post anything about him doing anything about the actual divorce) means that he has some issues going on. Much deeper issues that YOU cannot solve on your own.

You've been with him 2 years, he's married to someone else and there's only so much advice people can give you.

purpleflipflops's picture

Oh for sure! I guess I might be old school and I wouldn't be able to get past *that* part of it. It's not a moral thing for me - I'm actually a very open-minded person.

I would just feel that those 2 years are temporary. I have *no* right to say/feel anything regarding this behavior and I sure as hell wouldn't move in/combine finances/household anything until it was over with. Way too much at stake.

stepparent74's picture

Thanks for elaborating....I understand you better now. Life is so complicated and messy. No black and white, no easy answers or choices. I am an earnest open ear. I have not had anyone to talk to about any of this until today. Its all been in my head. I read some articles and then found the forum and thought it would be good to at tleast get it off my chest and see because sometimes other people can see things we can't.

purpleflipflops's picture

I'm sorry that it sounded like I was judging you. I'm glad you are here and felt comfortable enough to post what's been going on.

I just don't see any good with this guy. You said in another post that you moved in with eachother because of your hectic schedules. Did you know it was going to be like this?

I don't feel a bond with SS13 as much as I do with SS15. I have NO issues with SS15 and he calls me the "best step mom ever". He melts my heart. SS13 had some very major loyalty issues and I tried to be sympathetic. I really tried. No matter what, it took time. It took a lot of adjustment for everyone. I feel SS15 is my kid from another mother. Ha ha! SS13 --- no. If it were just him, I would be like most SM's on here and leaving the house every moment I could. I think I learned a lot about love and patience over the years. I HATED (sometimes still do) when SS13 is around, but I am still watching tv/hanging out/going places with the whole family because of SS15.

Anyways, maybe you need to see if you can form a bond with SD? I once, in the beginning, changed my attitude towards SS13 and that helped A LOT. Inside I was, "who gives a sh!t if BM pees rainbows!!!!" and my response was, "Oh how beautiful!" SS13 will never know how I feel and I'll keep it inside of me until the day I die. DH does know most of how I feel and he's supportive. I tried to have that bond with SS13 and it's just not there. I've spent a lot of one on one time with him, have taken him out shopping, out to eat - just try to have an US day. I now don't put much effort into him. Even DH said the other day, "You favor SS15 more than SS13". Yeah, so what?

Sorry this is so long...

stepparent74's picture

It's all good....Thanks for sharing...really. Its refreshing to know I am not alone. And, I didn't know it would be like this. Also, his 6yo didn't move in with him until after he moved in with me. It was the 17yo who lived with him but she stayed with her mom this school year to go to a better high school. 6yo BM didn't have a stable place to live with her BF so she gave dom custody to my boyfriend in the separation papers. Things were worse when she first moved in but over the school year she has gotten better.

BSgoinon's picture

My divorced took 7 years. My ex was just dragging his feet. I finally had to force him to finish it so DH and I Could get married. I threatened to collect child support. Terrible, I know. But it worked.

stepparent74's picture

She left him and is initiating the divorce. Sorry to hear your divorce took so long. And whatever judging here. 7 years is way too long.

Glassslipper's picture

Talk to him about his defensive behavior when you try to talk about his kids/parenting.
That's my only advice.
My DH was EXTREMELY defensive and would defend or toss anyone else he could under the bus to avoid seeing his own faults/errors.
I stopped discussing the faults and only focused on his defensiveness for a long while till he learned how defensive he truely was. He still is but not as much as before.
Good luck!

stepparent74's picture

Thanks GlassSlipper....He is extremely defensive and it makes me defensive back because he starts attacking, so talking can be impossible at times. Thanks for your advice. I will focus on our being able to talk. If we can communicate I believe we could work out anything. But if we cant talk to each other it will get worse and end badly. Thanks for listening!


Glassslipper's picture

Smile I had some links to articles that helped me online, but I've deleted them as things got better.

Google "defensive spouse" it might help you to help him.

stepparent74's picture

Wow! Glad to hear it helped too. Thanks....I am google queen and will definitely do that!

ybarra357's picture

Welcome - I hope you find this site helpful.

Now for your post - I'm gonna give you my honest feedback. Based on what you've written here, I'm not too optimistic on things working out.

stepparent74's picture

Sad Thanks fo the welcome and thanks for your honesty. Time will tell, but it isn't looking good right now.

stepparent74's picture

We moved in together because between his hectic schedule and mine plus our kids, we never got to see each other which created its own problems. We would have to wait 12ish years for her to grow up. I agree that if this continues though it will get worse and end badly. Your suggestion will definitely be my last resort to save us!!! Worth a try.

stepparent74's picture

Priceless, thanks Supperbuggin3!
One- It is and with few benefits.

Two- I worry about that a lot but I also think I could be a good influence but it is limited as SMish figure. We have not truly bonded but she likes me as does the other daughter. Or at least they don't dislike me. Perhaps indifferent about me. My boys accept him for me but they don't love or sometimes like him.
Also, BM bothers me. I don't "deal" with her. He does, and its very separate. Like we are two families in one house. I usually don't know when shes coming home on Sunday or Monday until its about to happen. Or his other daughter wins a competition and I find out as he is telling someone else. This is not absolute. Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. Definitely not a priority.

Three- I have been working on my voice for awhile now. I thought I was strong in that area until I got into a relationship after 7 years. I could speak up at work and in life but apparently not in relationships. Definitely need to work on that and quit being so scared of confrontation. Sometimes there is no avoiding it and it needs to happen. I hate feeling resentful. I know its bad, hence reaching out to talk. I think I will focus on learning how to communicate effectively with him. If nothing else it will make me better and stronger even if it doesn't help us.

twoviewpoints's picture

"But I also have resentment because he and my oldest son have issues. I find that my resentment comes out towards his little girl instead of him."

Why is your 20yr old adult son still living at home? Does he work fulltime and have a launch plan? What type of issues does your boyfriend and son have?

stepparent74's picture

This gets hairy. My 20yo has Klinefelter's (which simply means he has an extra chromosome) This causes low testosterone and he will never be able to have children. He also has narcolepsy sleeping disorder but is mild. These conditions make him lethargic and he is emotionally sensitive. He recently got a job. He has been there for 2 weeks now. He has no car and I couldn't take him to work until recently because of my ex-job. Despite this my boyfriend has some good reasons to have issues with him because he isn't easy just like the 6yo but very different. His big complaint though was that he wasn't working and plays video games all day. The real issues between them though stems from his drinking problem. My boyfriend got psychotic drunk one night and he physically attacked my son without provocation. He didn't know what he was doing at all. He doesn't remember anything and he made no sense when he spoke he was so drunk. Not excuse, just facts. I called the cops on the boyfriend and he went to jail. This happened about a year ago. Long story short, he quit drinking from that moment forward (which has been wonderful and he has been working on himself since) but me and my son were sober and remember it while he doesn't and there is some resentment there too. He has worked to repair the relationship but my boyfriend equally ignores both my kids for the most part. Because of their age he would like to pretend they don't matter. He would be happier if I didn't have kids cause then he would have me all to himself and I could be there 100% for him, his kids, and his life. That's what I think the truth is. He wants my son moved out now. But Nathan has issues that will have him here a little longer than normal. I think he finds the SDish figure thing difficult too. And all that is the ugly truth. I feel like I will get a lot of judgement here but it is what it is. I am not some perfect woman trying to be with a imperfect man. We both have baggage and issues but we are both willing to work on ourselves. That's the only reason I would be with him. But you can only be willing to fix what you can see is broken. Because...."Knowing is half the battle" `G.I. Joe

purpleflipflops's picture

Wait, hold up. He laid hands on your kid? No wonder why there's even more issues. How can you not see the situation you are in?????

Please name 1 thing you like about your BF....

You are wanting non-confrontational advice, but throw the above in the mix???? I'm glad you called the cops, but do you really think this will be the last time it happens? My sister is a 911 dispatcher and deals with domestic calls all the time. Cops are always out a 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc time and it can be years apart.

Why are you still there?

stepparent74's picture

Thanks JasperCat31....great advice! LOL on the "bullet points" and I love the " are his priority and she is his responsibility.". I have not heard that before.

AllySkoo's picture

The only new thing I'd offer is to write it out instead of having a discussion - and tell him you want a written response as well. You said he (and his daughter) both have severe ADHD - that means that he very much is "in the moment", more so that people without ADHD understand. Adults with ADHD have to *consciously* think about the results of their actions - whereas for neurotypical people we know intuitively that "If I say THIS it's going to hurt her feelings and/or piss her off", your DH literally does NOT know that unless he stops to think about it. And if he's getting defensive, he's not stopping to think. Making him read - and even more importantly, making him take the time to WRITE - will give him more opportunity to think about it. He might still get defensive, depending on what you say and how you say it, but it might be a better option for opening a true dialog about the issues.

stepparent74's picture

This is the best advice I have ever gotten on the subject and its less confrontational which I prefer!! I thought about doing this because I like writing and I feel it is sometimes the only way to be heard completely, but I thought it would be weird. Not sure he would accept it but I think I could more precisely express myself that way because I would have to think what I wanted to say ...I love the idea of him writing back but I am not sure if he will go for it. Brilliant addition to my thought!