You are here

Tired of feeling alone

TooTired's picture

Finally got the courage to create an account and ask for help because I can’t handle it any longer. My DH and I have been together for 4 years. DH gets SD every other weekend and every other week when school is out. SD was 7 when we met and everything seemed great in the beginning. After we had been together for a while I started realizing DH is a Disney dad. SD didn’t know what it meant to be told no which then turned into SD telling DH I was mean because I expected basic manners and respect. DH would also immediately get defensive if I said anything to SD. This hurt me a lot because SD and I would do all sorts of fun things together. At that point I realized I needed to disengage. I’ve been disengaged ever since but it seems SD gets more disrespectful as time goes on and she gets older. DH leaves SD with me when he has to work and SD will hardly say a word to me and spends all of her time on her phone. She doesn’t pick up after herself and expects to be catered to and always get her way. SD also doesn’t know how to entertain herself or be independent which means I am normally left with her and at least one of her friends. I feel like a prisoner in my own home when SD is here because I have to make sure I don't say or do anything to upset her. I don’t know how to talk to DH about this because he gets so defensive. Sorry for the long condensed post but I’ve felt alone with all of these feelings for so long now. TIA for thoughts/suggestions 

Comments

Aunt Agatha's picture

Feeling alone in this life stinks.  That's why this site is so valuable!  Welcome!

If you've not read Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin, You might try that.  It helped me early on not feel so bad that I was struggling.

Hang in there!  It's not impossible, but it certainly is challenging, especially if your DH is a Disney dad. 

TooTired's picture

Thank you. I'd be worried DH would find me reading it and be upset that I need "help" being a SM. Like I said he's a Disney dad and doesn't think SD does any wrong. *insert eye roll*

Aunt Agatha's picture

Or just be honest.  You are trying to be a good step mom and seeking advice.  He's got to pull up his big boy pants and be a parent and allow you to figure out your role.

Thisisnotus's picture

I feel ya!

I leave the house when I'm here without DH with SD....she sleeps late so I try to be gone before she wakes up. 

TooTired's picture

Oh I envy you. DH and SD would both freak out if I left her home alone. She won't even run out to the car right outside our front window to grab something if it's dark out let alone stay home by herself. 

Delilah's picture

Time to FULLY disengage and refuse to look after sd when dh is work.

he doesn't get to dismiss your feelings, refuse to support your right to basic manners from sd and then dump sd and friend in your lap while effectively muzzling you through fear e.g. your tip toeing around them is demonstrative of this.

 

TooTired's picture

I know that if I ever said no though that he would be mad. Sometimes he'll tell her to ask my if someone can stay but like I'm going to say no? I know if I did he would ask me in front of SD why the friend can't stay. 

Delilah's picture

HE would be mad? He's entitled to his opinion and choices in life but so are YOU. 

 

Cover1W's picture
  • SD was 7 when we met and everything seemed great in the beginning.

It does doesn't it?  Fun!  Everyone is new to each other.

  • After we had been together for a while I started realizing DH is a Disney dad. SD didn’t know what it meant to be told no which then turned into SD telling DH I was mean because I expected basic manners and respect. DH would also immediately get defensive if I said anything to SD.

Been there, done that.  DH still is protective of both SDs and is super sensitive to anything I say.  Agree with the comment about read Stepmonster.  This is what drove me to StepTalk - the bind of responsibility without authority.

  • This hurt me a lot because SD and I would do all sorts of fun things together.

It's always better when the skid is having fun!  You are the fun one!  You are not a parent!  You are there to entertain and be back up 'mommy' but only the fun parts and pay for things!  But...slippery slope - if you start NOT doing such fun things then the games begin and now you are selfish and mean.

  • At that point I realized I needed to disengage. I’ve been disengaged ever since but it seems SD gets more disrespectful as time goes on and she gets older. DH leaves SD with me when he has to work and SD will hardly say a word to me and spends all of her time on her phone.

Why does your DH leave her with you?  Are you not working?  Does he not have access to a child-minder or child care other than you?  Have you and he discussed, like, really seriously sat down and discussed how if you are RESPONSIBLE for her under your care that you have the AUTHORITY to make your adult decisions?  If he doesn't agree then he gets to hire a child minder or whatever - and does he give that child minder the AUTHORITY over his daughter? 

Second - if she ignores you, good. Let her be. If you have no authority to get her off the phone and make her interact, then good for you.  Ex:  I've been alone with SD14 all day. I've seen her once for a few quick words, but other than that she's been in her room.  I've been up and doing things for 9 hours.  She's been in her room for 8.5 of those hours. Not.my.problem. She feeds herself, DH cleans it up. 

  • She doesn’t pick up after herself and expects to be catered to and always get her way.

Then you don't pick up after her, right?  You are disengaged?  DH picks it up or it gets trashed, or donated or "disappears" right?  I had this issue.  DH either cleaned it up or after 24 hours it was clear no one else cared, so I did with it what I wanted.  And get her way with what?  Example? OSD would always want some horrible crap meal but that does't mean I cooked it.  It meant I cooked a good meal for everyone and if she didn't want it then she and/or DH could make something else AFTER I cooked our dinner. If getting her way meant something I disagreed with, I either ignored, or refused to participate in. No wishy-washiness.

  • SD also doesn’t know how to entertain herself or be independent which means I am normally left with her and at least one of her friends.

OK, and if she has a friend over, do they entertain themselves?  If an 11 yo (SD11, right?), then they can be clingy. I more than once told either SD that "that was enough I need to do things and go find something else to do otherwise I WILL give you something to do..." i.e. vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the kitchen, weeding the front yard, etc.  It only took a couple times of me saying this before they stopped.

  • I feel like a prisoner in my own home when SD is here because I have to make sure I don't say or do anything to upset her. I don’t know how to talk to DH about this because he gets so defensive.

If you are really disengaged then there should be no reason or need to say anything.  She can make her own food right?  (I'm betting this is part of the problem) If not, show her how to make 2 basic things, let your DH know and be done with it. Don't address her except for being polite.  Yes, No thank you, pass the beans please, Good night, Good morning - what else is there? 

I spoke with my DH about this in short bursts. Like something happens, let it rest for a day, then on neutral time, with no SD there, talk about it with him.  Use "I" terms not "you" or "she" terms, keep it neutral.  Do not get angry or upset. "Hey, DH, I was feeling X the other day when I was 'cut out of the conversation/was told to not say xyz to SD/expected to cook lunch for her' - I was wondering if there's a reason why you feel that it's important that I do this.  And if so, since you have given me the responsibility for doing xyz, it would be helpful to me to have authority to decide on xyz."  Then give an example of how you see yourself doing it differently (do NOT bring up what actually happened! Do not tattle on the SD!) and discuss. 

 

TooTired's picture

I was working up until we just had our baby and I’m now going to be a stay at home mom with the baby. But we haven’t talked about the responsibility/authority for SD because he gets so defensive with anything regarding SD so I don’t bring it up. Uh no if SD doesn’t pick up after herself then I have to. Ex. SD left her cup on the table and I purposely left it there to see how long it would sit there. DAYS. After I think 3 or 4 days I couldn’t handle it anymore and threw it away. And getting her way with anything really. Like if she doesn’t want to go somewhere she pouts and makes sure everyone else is miserable. Yes SD is getting ready to turn 11. And they sometimes will entertain themselves but they’ll do something for 5 minutes then be bored and want to do something else or make a mess in the kitchen or want me to take them somewhere. If I tried to tell her to do something her jaw would probably fall to the floor and she’d probably call DH and say I’m being mean.  And I try to not say anything but there are certain things like making a mess and not cleaning it up or basic respect/manners that she can’t seem to do that are hard to bite my tongue on. I feel like I should be respected in my own home and not treated like a maid/babysitter/cook/last thought. But no she can’t make her own food because she acts like she can’t do anything for herself and she’d just make a mess and leave it. I guess my biggest obstacle keeping me from making any progress is feeling like I can’t discuss any of this with DH. He’s pretty hard headed and not so open to others thoughts. I love my DH but I just can't figure out how to talk about these things without him getting upset and defensive. 

Cover1W's picture

Have you tried talking with him on neutral time? I have to do this with DH.

And maybe your DH needs to start DOING rather than you talking to him. You can be neutral in your talking with SD too. Give her a choice, she doesn't take it then it's on her. She's not 5 any longer. If your DH asks remain neutral...I asked SD this she didn't want to, that's all...if he doesn't believe you over her you're going to have bigger problems.

NotCinderellasmom's picture

I met my DH when his daughter was 8 or 9. Now she is in her twenties and things are not better. 

The thing about desengaging is sometimes it backfires. Or it did for me because sometimes ignoring the SD attitude or not saying anything when she leaves a mess and let DH pick it up, is SD takes that as your scared of her or you are not allowed to say anything to her. I hope I am explaining correctly.

Anyway good luck because over the years of reading these blogs and being a stepmom for over 10 years I can say it does not get better unless your DH handles her.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

You give your DH two choices. When he is not home, and SD is there, you have full authority to parent her in any way you see fit and he will back you up 100 percent. If he doesn't want to give you that authority, then he hires a babysitter or sends her to daycare when he is not there.

 

TooTired's picture

I haven't talked with DH about it but I can't imagine he would EVER give me full authority even when he's not here. But if he sent SD somewhere else then that's going to make me out to be the evil SM that won't even watch her own SD when she's home, won't it? 

beebeel's picture

I'm getting a strong vibe that you are afraid of your dh's anger. Does he yell/scream/throw shit? Or are you just that conflict avoidant? If his anger scares you, end it. There isn't anything to save here. 

TooTired's picture

DH has never shown me any physical anger or anything like that but I do also try to avoid conflict. He has a very 'my way or the highway' kind of attitude and especially when it comes to things involving SD. 

Cover1W's picture

That's not an adult way of dealing with it especially since he's demanding you DO have responsibility for her. You are not a child.