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We went to counseling

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I will start off with the positive. SO was 100% brutally honest about how horrendous his kids behave. But, I feel that is something he had to do, as the counselor has been working with both of them and already knows.

Here comes the rest. SO tried to completely lie about his parenting abilities and his relationship with the girls. He claimed he is a no nonsense strict father who has just not had any success making headway with Thier behavior. He completely denied the 4 months of depression he suffered while precious SD 14 was living with BM and how he has been walking on eggshells since her return so as to not upset her.

So I took upon myself to completely throw him under the bus. I repeated statements he said like " I have to he careful what I say to her, you know how she gets". SO did  admit they had multiple arguments this weekend. So the counselor asked him what consequences he used to address the behavior. He claimed he put his foot down, made her go home and told her he would send her back to BMs. So I again corrected him and told the counselor how he really gave her money and took her shopping and out to eat everyday since she has been back. 

Kudos to the counselor for saying just the right things to break SO down and remove his tough man exterior making him vulnerable.  

SO admitted he doesn't know what to do, he admitted he was happy to rely on me to do it all. But the best was admitted to allowing me to be the bad guy before I disengaged so he could keep his role of good guy with his kids. He also admitted to his anger towards me for disengaging and putting it in him to parent his kids, which resulted in them being angry with him and he lost his role of being adores by them. 

The counselor told him flat out it's not a parents job to be thier friend. Its a kids job to do whatever it takes to get and behave any way they want. It's the parents job to not let that happen. 

Only time will tell if he gets it or not. But, he knows I am staying disengaged and it's on him to parent his kids. 


Kes's picture

Sounds like you have a good counsellor - they are as rare as hen's teeth - and I speak as an ex counsellor myself.  

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

You aren't kidding about that. Luckily I work in the field and know who most of the quacks are. I picked this counselor because he specializes in children with behavioral disorders and has been doing for 40 years. Plus he is a guy and my SO is more likely to relate to him. 

tog redux's picture

You know, his willingness to completely lie and paint himself in a good light says a lot about his character.  He wants to look like a good parent, but doesn't want to actually do the hard work of being a good parent.  Do you think he will make any changes, or just be angry at you for making him look bad in front of the therapist?

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

Only time will tell. I'm not mad about the lying. He truly is in an abusive relationship with his kids. You see the BM tortured him.  Everything from trying to have him fired from his job, have him arrested, hiding the kids from him, never ending court battles. Plus in the end he lost everything he had worked so hard for. I do not believe he ever recovered from that. When we first started dating they had been broken up for more than 10 years and you could see he was still completely intimidated by her. 

So take his daughter who is a clone of her mother and uses the same exact weapons of psychological warfare. It triggers his PTSD from all those years of psychological abuse. 

Deep down he knows the truth, it's a defense mechanism to live in denial. He is codependent. Will that ever change ai don't know. I do know that if he can't break free from his toxic relationships I can't be a party to it.

tog redux's picture

I don't know - my DH went through pretty much all of that, including being alienated from his son for over 3 years, and he didn't turn into someone willing to lie about himself to look good.  I think you may be giving him too much leeway here - if he's that troubled, he should be in his own therapy.