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Marley555's picture


ive been with my g/f for a year and she has 3 kids age 2,6 and 9.

im constantly feeling like she undermines me.

the kids have a good relationship with her ex and id never seek to be their parent, ive always said im their friend.

now we are discussing living together and every time i even try and break up an argument with the 6 and 9 year old (not in a discipline way but in an present adult way) she always interjects and i feel like a passtime babysitter.


has anyone else experienced this sort of thing or perhaps can help me articulatenit better?



ndc's picture

In my opinion, if you are going to live with her and be an adult in the house, you need the authority to deal with bad/annoying/disrespectful behavior from the kids.  Not if she's right there AND is dealing with it herself, of course, but in other situations.  Even a babysitter gets to break up an argument.  It is not reasonable for her to expect you to put up with arguments and other behavior issues without the ability to do anything about it if you are living in the home. 

I think it is reasonable for her to put some parameters on the behavior you may correct and the discipline you may impose (agreed upon in advance), but I wouldn't be willing to be just a passive bystander in my own home.  And she needs to back you up and not undermine you, or you will never have the respect of the children, which I think is important if you are an adult in the household and presumably paying for your share of that household.

Good luck - it appears there are already some red flags here, so you might want to proceed with caution.

ldvilen's picture

I'm not a man, so I'm hoping maybe some of the men on here can interject, but when it comes to SP'ing, I have learned to go with my gut.  With step-parenting, you usually are what you feel, no matter what anyone else will tell you.  So, if you feel like you're a passtime babysitter, that is probably true.  Everyone else around you, incl. your SO, may deny that is true, but you have to look at it from your own perspective vs. theirs.  After all, really!!  What parent doesn't want a free babysitter!?  So, if you say to them, I feel like the odd-one out a lot or like I'm just around to take care of you and your kids, of course they are going to say, "Oh, No!  That's not true. . . yada, yada, yada."

They may even love you, but it is only when you are near or put in the step-parenting role that you may start to see you are doing and giving up a lot for your partner and his or her children and getting ___what? in return?  Your SO may think that he or she is so special that it is worth you sacrificing going out with someone without children all just for them and their wonderful kids.  They may think they are one A-1 package deal for you.  Are they?

I'm a bio-less SM, who was never married, until I got married to a man with two children about 20 years ago.  I realize now that he really got quite the sweet deal--I did it all for him and his children.  Not every day (they resided mostly with BM), but I stuck it out with him and the kids thru thick and thin.  Then his kids got older and distanced themselves from me.  Maybe they just wanted bio-dad and BM and that's it.  I don't know.  But, when you give it all for years and love someone else's children, and they grow up and go Pfft!, it hurts like there is no tomorrow.  Then, you look back and ask yourself what did I get for my efforts?  His kids are all fine and have kids of their own now.  I, for one, know it is partly because of what I did for them.  BUT, as far as his kids are concerned, and others, I'm sure they'd tell people I did very little for them.  I did a LOT for them.

I  guess what I'm trying to say is that as sweet as kids are, you need to also look at the future and the great unknown of what these kids could be like in the future.  You'll be doing and cleaning and helping them out with this and that, going with them to family events, but you won't (well, maybe you will because you're a step-dad) be getting many thanks or hugs or kisses or cards or presents, etc.  It is kind'a like being a part-time BM or bio-dad with a lot of time-consumption and investment and drama, but getting very little of the recognition that comes with being a true mom or dad.  You do start to feel like you are sacrificing your life for someone else's children, who may or may not reciprocate.

Some people can be quite selfish.  My husband was and is not a selfish man by nature, but like most bio-parents, he thinks as his children of being some sort of bonus to me and that's all he sees.  He doesn't see that to pretty much anyone who didn't give birth to 'em, kids can be baggage and drama, and sometimes in the worst kind of way.  Think about that.

If you move in with this woman, are you going to be her he-man, handyman, free babysitter?  She'll be able to come and go as she pleases while you sit off to the side and let her run the show?  Think about that too.  If you are not going to be a full partner, why would you want to marry someone or move in with someone with kids?  If you had your own kids, it might be more of a 50:50 deal, but personally I think kid-free adults hooking up with kid-enabled adults comes with many risks, way more than if you just went with another kid-free adult.  Is it worth it?  Only you can answer that.

Evil3's picture

I just deleted and rewrote my response four times. It keeps turning out way too long. I cannot even begin to tell you how excluded I was. I was in agony my entire 24 marriage.

I have already told my DD19 to never ever ever ever ever marry a man with brats, especially girls.

It's agony! If you're already feeling like "just the babysitter, and you already aren't allowed to step in and handle annoying kid behaviours that will go on in YOUR home, then run like the wind.

captjacksprrw's picture

Please reach an agreement asap with your GF.  I have been married 7 years.  We never did define my role and we did not set adult boundaries, child boundaries or clear expectations for life around the house as a family.  Very big mistake and I'm paying for it with now a ton of relationship rebuilding work with my DW.  It caused me ... without realizing it ... to become a little bitter and a lot angry and hurt.

Tell her how you feel and then talk about it in depth.  example; clear back when my YSS was 16, he was given $20 to go to the gas station and get a soda.  They had some promotion and he spent $12 on this massive plastic bucket drink and then realized he was short for gas.  When I said well xxxxx  that was irresponsible of you the bear paw came out and I'm only now forgiving her for things like that and forgiving myself for not establishing clear boundaries.

Rags's picture

If she is pulling this shit and marginalizing you this early in the relationship it will only get pregressively worse.

Move on. Do not sacrifice yourself to this woman and her kids as a pay check, live in baby sitter, and beck and call boy.

Dizzyjell's picture

You will regret it. These are red flags and it only gets woree.