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DH has full custody of SS

Gh4975's picture

I think we need a separate group for step mother's whose DH's have full custody!  Everyday is a struggle.  I knew a blended family wouldn't be easy,but I didn't think it would be this hard!  DH wants me to be more affectionate(I don't feel it)with SS & less strict(somebody has to!).  He shows favoritism to SS & I guess I show favoritism to our son together.  We're very divided.  I don't know what to do.   I'm so stressed & unhappy. 

ImFreeAtLast's picture

Tell your husband it's his other son's mother's job to mother hin. Not yours. It's not your problem she's a criminal, it's your husband's.

Loxy's picture

I often think about whether DH and I would still be together if he had full custody of the skids and (sadly) I think the answer is no so I really feel for you. The first 5-6 years of having the skids were all just misery for me and I could not have coped if that had been full-time, as it was I had to go on antidepressants for a period to cope with the skids half of the time (50/50 custody).  

How long have you had SS full-time? I'm assuming the likely scenario is it's permanent until SS is an adult? Does your DH have any support from family, ie that could take SS (maybe even overnight on a weekend here and there) to give you a break?

Bio parents always want their partners to love their kids but the reality is that's very difficult to do. Have you been to counselling as a couple? It really helpd my DH and me to navigate all the emotions and unrealistic expectations that comes with a blended family. I would also recommend counselling on your own too to work through your feelings. You need to work out some way to take the pressure off yourself, both physically and emotionally. 

Things only started getting better for me when I left go of the pressure I was putting on myself to love my skids and just accepted that whatever will be will be. That took me years and years to get to that place. After that, I stopped dreading the skids coming over so much (although I'll always see it somewhat as a chore) but I've got to a good place of acceptance I guess. That being said, I'm still coming from a place of 50/50 custody which is so different to your situation. 

I could handle my SS15 living with us full-time, and I'm sure he will in the near future as soon as he works up the courage to push the matter with BM but I absolutely could not live with SD16 full-time. I've never bonded with SD16 in my 14 years of step-parenting her, and while it's hard for DH to see, he understands how difficult she is and gets it. Your DH also needs to understand that love and affection do not come naturally between a step-parent and skid and may never actually happen. This is where I think counselling could really help him to understand and stop putting pressure on you. 

Best of luck!!!!

Gh4975's picture

Well yes he will have permanent custody for 5 more years.  There is a custody hearing next month though & DH is worried about bio getting custody!  It's kindof crazy though since she's been incarcerated & has been in & out of his life. Ss told his mother & grandmother that he wanted to live with them or his aunt because I'm to hard on him!  He was even crying!  I felt a little bad,but I think it's ridiculous because I expect more out of him & want him to do better.  I don't mistreat him. He isn't my favorite person and I'm not good at hiding my feelings.   I also told DH that when he stays with bio mom or his aunt it's a different environment.  He doesn't have school or chores etc it's vacation & his mother spoils him that makes up for her crappy treatment for almost 13 years!!  I've lived with DH & SS for 6 years.  Other people on here have said that he wanted custody, but wanted me to raise him!   I would like therapy, but DH won't go

Loxy's picture

I don't know much about how the courts work in the US but I would think it's likely that BM would get some custody if she can prove she has a stable environment. It's understandable you would want that given it would give you a break. I can also understand why DH fears it. BM sounds like a nightmare. 

I also don't hide my feelings about my SD16 as well as I would like. I just don't like her and find her so irritating to live with and so my frustrations constantly boil over. SD says that she doesn't feel loved or valued at our house but we think that's mostly because we tell her what she needs to hear and BM tells her what she wants to hear and enables her irresponsible and bad behaviour. 

If DH expects you to do a lot of the work, as your post suggests, but won't go to counselling then I would question his commitment and why you stay? I know you have a child together but I don't believe we do kids any favours by staying in unhappy or unhealthy relationships. Further, you say you are miserable and you son would be picking up on that and that's not good for him. He deserves a happy mum and you deserve to be a happy mum. 

I would seriously consider making counselling a condition of the relationship continuing as otherwise this misery and resentment you feel will eat you up and have negative consequences for your whole family, most importantly you and your own son. 


Gh4975's picture

Well biomom's charge was endangerment of a child so I wouldn't think she would get any custody,but who knows?  DH still lets him stay with her and I used to think it was a bad idea,but it does selfishly give me a break.

I really don't know how much more DH expects from me as far as parenting. It's ridiculous!!  He's never satisfied!  I agree about having a better environment for our kids,but I keep trying because I think separating would be worse.  I will have to give up soon though.   

I can't really afford counseling this forum is my free counseling.  

tog redux's picture

How nice for your DH that he gets to dump parenting on you and then criticize how you do it. Time to let him take over being the parent. I hope BM does get some time with her son (provided she's safe to do so), as that will give you a break. But just because you marry a guy with full custody doesn't mean you have to become that child's parent. 

ESMOD's picture

Yeah.. THIS...

He needs to step up and take the burden of parenting his kid off of you.  Perhaps it would be easier to have a more amicable and caring relationship with his son if you weren't charged with  the task of keeping him in line?  If you were no longer his authority figure and could relate on more friendly terms? maybe it would be easier DH?

Loxy's picture

Because that would be inconvenient for him, he wants you to do all the hard work but he wants to control how it's done. Can't you see how disrespectful your DH is to you? He hasn't made you an equal parter in his life, he's made you his servant. 

The sad truth is this will no change unless you force the matter ie hand over all responsiblity for SS to DH or force counselling to align on expectations and roles or just leave him. 

tog redux's picture

Why would he want to? Then he'd have to parent. So you have to decide if you are ready to stop doing some things and make him start parenting his kid. 

JRI's picture

My SKs were visitIng for the first 4 years and it was the most difficult period of my life.  I had 2 bio kids of my own so that made 5 kids within a 6-year age span.  It was a combination of unclear schedule (which resolved into every moment they weren't in school), transition issues and my unpreparedness for being a SM.  Things got bad and as a last ditch effort before leaving DH, I went to counseling, DH refused to go.  Counseling changed my life. 

Coincidentally or not, that summer OSS13 came to live with us full time.  He and I had always got along so I was fine with that.  A surprising feeling was like having a new baby - a feeling that my family had changed.  Two months later, unexpectedly, SD15 moved in after a big fight with BM and a runaway.  6 months later, YSS9 moved in.

To my surprise, life was easier once they lived here full time.  Im not sure why that was, perhaps no transition helped.  Also, we heard less of BM's opinions..  Counseling led me to involve myself more in my family life.  DH and I grew closer.  It wasn't all rainbows and unicorns but it sure beat the visitation years. 



Loxy's picture

I'm glad it worked out well for you but this wouldn't work for anyone who has a skid they don't like / can't bond with as is the case with the OP. I'm in the same boat with one of my skids. I would be fine with my SS15 living with us full-time and expect he will do so in the new few years but there is just no way I would ever agree to SD16 living with us full-time - I can barely stand to live with her half the time. 

JRI's picture

You're right that it was more difficult with SD and YSS, neither of whom I liked as well as OSS.  But for us, overall, having them all here full time was easier than the back-and-forth, BM-dominated years 

Loxy's picture

Yes the interactions with BM can be very taxing and I must say I'm soooo looking forward to when the kids are adults and we don't have to liaise with BM very much (if at all). 

MountainMom's picture

I think this is a great idea. It's hard dealing with being the primary custodial stepparent because you get accused of pas and you have to give more time even when it might not benefit the child.

sleepymeg's picture

because one is your son and the other one isn't. If DH thinks you're too strict then he needs to step in and parent his son. SS needs to follow the same rules of the household as everyone else. He can cry about it all he wants but he's still a child and it's not up to him to decide where he lives. 

Even if your husband won't go with you, it's still worth it to go to counselling. Hopefully it will help you find the strength to deal with the situation or the strength to let go.