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Feeling very "done with it all"

JSB_84_UK's picture

I saw a similar thread in which somebody said they were feeling like leaving the situation they were in.

Short version, I have reached the point of feeling resentful towards my partner and honestly, the step kids as well. I genuinely feel every day that if it weren't for my biological son, I would have left so long ago.

If we're talking percentages regarding my partner, I would say 90% of the time there's some issue around work stress, step kids' Dad being useless, step kids' autism, her recently diagnosed autism... The list goes on. The remaining 10% is where there's no drama or arguments. I just feel like I can't take anymore. I have entirely lost myself in this relationship and yet feel incredibly trapped because I can't imagine being without my son for any length of time.

On the rare occasion I do go out to see friends, I miss him and feel guilty. The rest of the time, I'm cooking, cleaning and providing for two other children that aren't mine and are hitting teen stage. The problem with that teen stage is I imagine when they're your biological children, you have slightly more tolerance, when these kids start sassing me I can't help thinking "Really, I don't even have to put up with this, I don't owe you anything!"

There is more to the whole story than I can really fit in here... I just want out at this point but also the idea of only seeing my son 50% of the time makes me so sad.

Hate is a strong word but there are definitely moments when I feel no love at all for anybody in this house other than my biological son.



SeeYouNever's picture

I totally understand. Seeing how being in a step family messes up kids so bad has made me second guess a lot of the fights that my DH and I could have had. I know how SD has been messed up through all of her parents fighting and I couldn't bear the idea of not having my kids with me all the time.

Though it works both ways. I know my DH is afraid of a second divorce and if I so much as imply it during a fight he will back off.

ndc's picture

Is your relationship with your partner the relationship you want to model for your son? Do you want him to have a miserable father? Being in a healthy situation with a happy parent the 50% of the time he's with you is better than being in an unhappy, tension filled household 100% of the time. 

JSB_84_UK's picture

Occasionally it is but most of the time it feels as if the house is dominated by anxiety and other autistic traits which in turn make me feel on edge. Funny thing is that when the step kids aren't here, it is an entirely different dynamic. Almost as if they feed off each other, Mum and the step kids that is.

I hadn't really thought about it like that before. They all seem to play into each others traits. Anxiety, forgetfulness, disorganisation... I went out for 3 hours last week and it was up to Mum to hold the fort, there was food in the fridge, deliberately easy but fresh meals that took 20 minutes to make... She ordered out, I got home the house was trashed and then she yelled at me for tidying up. I hate waking up to a messy house so I just thought I'd sort it myself.

Normally if I'm here, the kids have chores they do but that went out the window and I was only gone for 3 hours.

ESMOD's picture

In your prior post you said that when they are there there are 5 kids and 2 adults in a 2 bedroom home.  How is that at all workable.. and how can anyone expect that there wouldn't be a ton of anxiety and drama from everyone?? That home is too small for everyone to be in... there is no privacy.. no space.. no one has proper space.  I am not saying that kids can't share a room.. but how is it even working with one bedroom to split among 5 children.. are kids sleeping in the living proper room of their own? 

As to the preteen sass.. at that point they are old enough to hear that you won't accept being talked to rudely.. but honestly.. if their complaints are about the home situation.. I don't blame them for being frustrated too.

What are you and your SO doing to improve that situation for everyone?  Or.. maybe it would be better for you to go find your own place.. with space.. ?

I see from the comment below that I misread the prior post and I'm guessing you are a stepfather to these kids.. and it is the other home that is so cramped.  I'm sorry.. when I see biofather here.. it's almost always the poster's spouse.. mostly women posting and all. (I left my original post above for context.. though I know I misread it).

That being said.. I think that that situation has to keep the kids in some amount of stress most of the time.. so that probably does bleed over to your household.

Your situation must be extra difficult because it isn't just kids getting into teen years.. which with hormones bandying about are challenging enough already.. your two SK's also have spectrum issues that probably make it even more difficult to manage their emotions.. and the result is probably not that pretty at times.

I would primarily suggest your spouse is the one that needs to step up and manage this issue with her older kids.  A tactic that could be somewhat successful would be to separate the child.. or children that are causing the drama when it occurs.. kids are allowed to have their feelings.. but they can't inflict them on the rest of the household.. if they are ready to calmly relay their needs.. fine.. if they are acting out? they can sit in their room alone and talk to the wall.

I know your child is young now.. and at this point, there is little way they won't be exposed to their sibling's acting out.  But.. it can also be used as empathy.. that their older siblings have extra challenges.. (age appropriately).. and there is also the ability for you to temporarily remove yourself and young child from the area when something explodes too.  

I would try my best to disengage from the skids drama and let it sit firmly with your partner.. I know it has to  be frustrating to watch her catch hell from those kids.. but they are her kids.. and she is responsible for raising them.. and that means even when they aren't at their best.


ndc's picture

I think his prior post said the 5 kids/2BR situation was at the skids' bio-dad's place, not his own.

JSB_84_UK's picture

Thank you for reading then re-reading. It definitely helps to feel listened to.

I am at a point as a step father and a partner to people with autism where frankly I don't think I can continue to cope and still be a good biological father to my 2 year old.

I want to put him to bed every night, read him a story and give him a great big hug when he gets back from nursery (I work from home and my partner picks him up) but today for example, she got in, had a face like thunder after a disagreement that I thought was resolved yesterday and turned it into an all out yelling match. I won't pretend I didn't give as good as I got.

Last week she told me I was very supportive and had been brilliant and how much she appreciates what I have done and continue to do for my step kids (and her) but then just one week later she says I make everything about me and that I don't offer any emotional support. Then says I've said things I haven't said... It's too much to cope with on top of trying to be a step dad, biological Dad and just the normal every day stresses of a recent house move (into a bigger place so the kids do have their own space here at least).

I want out but feel incredible guilt at the situation that leaves her in as well as the step kids having one deadbeat Dad and a step father leaving.

This is to say little about losing time with my son. It's just not how anybody thinks their life is gonna go I guess...

JSB_84_UK's picture

About 3 years and 2 months ago, I meant my partner. I knew she had kids and she did tell me that they were autistic. At the time, it was all very new and we just agreed to see how things went. That was November 2019. The Christmas of that year, although we agreed we would not share our relationship with the kids this early, a situation arose whereby I felt obliged to step in and do "the right thing". Their Dad wouldn't agree to get Christmas decorations down from the attic in the house they had lived in as a family previously so I suggested I would do it because the kids were really looking forward to putting decorations up on that day and had been told that's what was happening. At this point SS was 7 and SD was 10. My partner and I agreed that we would just say I was "Mummy's friend" and it stayed that way until about February 2020.

We took the kids out for the day to a wildlife park then out for dinner and explained that Mummy and I were going to be together... Fast forward a month, the pandemic hits and the kids are off school. Things escalated from there where I was going over to help out with the kids, partner gets pregnant and now here we are... After the Christmas decoration thing, I have found myself doing lots of things like that. Replacing a fridge, cleaning out two skips worth of accumulated garbage form her house etc... Buying a house which she would never have been able to do but I did it for my biological son mostly.

Now here we are with our second much larger house (much larger mortgage) and she is still unhappy.

It's just starting to feel like no matter what she has and no matter what I do... It's not going to be enough.

I was living on my own in a one bedroom flat when we met, perfectly content but just looking to meet somebody to see what could blossom... Now here I am, 3 kids, a mortgage... I just want her to cut me some slack that I don't always say the right thing, I apologize and for her not to drag it out for a week and be appreciative by her actions, not just words that are retracted when she feels low.

justmakingthebest's picture

Autism is hard. It doesn't get easier and there is a good chance that the child won't leave your home for a very long time, if ever! I know my SS(almost)23 has no signs of being able to move on his own. We still can't get him to shower regularly or even cook for himself. His biggest thing is opening a can of ravioli and microwaving it. I still have to leave a note to cover the bowl and how long to cook it! If I don't he calls me with questions. 

Some days it is exhausting and more than I can handle. There isn't a BM around that can take some of the time and I get a break. I have become the only real mom he has ever had. 

The difference for me is, I walked into this with no rose colored glasses. I 100% knew exactly what I was getting in to. DH provided me with his psych reports and testings before we even moved in together. I talked to SS's teachers when he was still in high school. I researched and investigated and had everything I needed to know before I made the decision to even live with DH. --- You were sucker punched. 

Have you guys considered marriage counseling? You have a lot on your plate with the new baby, new mortgage and new marriage. None of this stuff means either one of you is at fault- but it's really hard. Maybe she doesn't know how much this is affecting you too. Sometimes that 3rd party can really help with communication and your love languages. I am super guilty (and so is dh) about showering people in my love language and not in theirs. It makes a difference in how things are received and how we heal. 

Barelycoping's picture

Hard to find step parents to step children with autism. More than one for that matter. My step children are SD 18 now severe on the spectrum SS19 not so severe. This will be my fifth year in. Blessed with a bio almost 2. It's a lot. Am slowly getting to a place where I cannot imagine this strained blended situation the unforseeable future. The mental emotion strain gets to me many times these days. If I went to details I would need a triology of novels. Try your best to read that book to your little one hug them good night I suppose a midst the chaos, find special room for you and bio little special memories. I do. No advise per say just solidarity, am kind of right there with you.

JSB_84_UK's picture

Really appreciate the message of solidarity. It's almost as if there is no advice, there's no way out of this situation that doesn't result in massive damage all around.

Well, honestly for me there is... It would just involve my partner taking a step back, regardless of her current emotional state and just looking around at everything she has because of me. The fact that the step kids can read, bathe, use cutlery, have any sense of direction, responsibility, self care... 90% of that is down to me. The stability I have provided has been noticed by schools, church, family, family friends... It's just when she gets in her negative headspace, it all disappears. There is a very warped sense of reality in which I am somebody that is an enemy to the kids, doesn't listen to her and her problems (I do, every day and she has a cup of tea and dinner waiting for her when she gets in from work even though I have been working all day as well).

Honestly, if she would just see that and go "you know, this man has given everything to me and my children. Maybe I should just back the F*** off."

I don't see that happening any time soon.

Rags's picture

up 50% custody.  Do you have family in another state where you can move with your son and file for divorce there?

If your partner is such a failed parent that his failed family progeny are intollerable, why would you default to 50% if there may be other options?

If you can move beyond the local visitation radius  before the divorce process starts, do it.


JSB_84_UK's picture

I'm in the UK and I would never go as far as saying my partner is a failed mother. She has had her challenges and hasn't always made the best decisions but how many of us can say we nail it every time?

I think the rules are different in the UK and my family/support network are all in the same city.

My preference would be that he does have me 50% of the time and his Mum 50% because I feel that would be better for him and his relationship with both of us.

Rags's picture

In the US men/dads are at such a disadvantage in family/divorce courts that you would be hard pressed to get custody of your toddler.  50/50 would be the best you could hope for and even that would be nobsure thing.

How about disengaging on parenting and interface with your SKids?  Leave them to your DW to handle other than to shut them down when they are behavi g inappropriately.

When they act out, remove them from the presence of anyone else, or, take your toddler and gain some space while mom deals with her prior failed family progeny.

Take care if you and the little man.