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Now I find out he feels like I don’t help enough!

SMIT's picture

Has anybody ever had this kind of bomb dropped on her? After two weekends of family gatherings at my sister’s houses, I found out that DH feels like I never help out with my 5 year old SS. DH thinks I take excellent care of him when it’s just the three of us at home but that anytime we’re somewhere else, I apparently just let DH do all of the work and I go do whatever I want. WAIT A MINUTE!!!

SS is a smart, self-sufficient little guy AND every family gathering involves 20-30 people at somebody’s house and everybody looks out for the little ones. That’s just how my fam is. I also have a wonderful husband who’s an excellent dad but who doesn’t give me a chance to take care of SS’s needs when we’re anywhere else but home. DH hovers and doesn’t give me an opportunity to help get SS’s food from the buffet or to sit next to him and make sure he eats. I always took it as DH getting stressed out about how SS was behaving in front of other people. Turns out, I’ve been the one stressing him out by “not helping.” WTF?! He never told me this until yesterday. Apparently, I was supposed to just step in and do this stuff. News to me!

So, we had a tense couple of hours at our house. I left to take a drive and clear my head. We talked more when I got home—of course, I cried—and got it worked out. We were able to kiss and make up and enjoy a good dinner together.

We both have some work to do. DH says he won’t back off but I’m supposed to step in and make him back off. I don’t agree with it—I think it’s something where we BOTH need to change our behaviors but I’m going to work on my end of things and hope that DH comes around to realize how he’s contributed to the problem, too.


septembers_child's picture

Excuse me..But why are YOU ecpected to HELP HIM WITH HIS SON at your social family gatherings?? Let me say it again...HIS SON... This is your responsibility WHY??? I am at a total lose as to how your man suddenly feels its YOUR responsibility to handle HIS kid when you are a function involving HIS FAMILy OR YOURS??

Gosh, Did you sign adoption papers?? Did you marry his kid?? If not, sounds like he is bitching because he is being held responsible for WHAT IS HIS RESPONCIBILITY!

By the way, perhaps you should ask DH what he would do and did do to moniter HIS KID in social situations BEFORE you were around...Seems he is trying to dump HIS PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY off on you and your not biting the bait and that is whats pissing him off..

Did you marry HIM or HIS KID??? He is totally and completely 150% WRONG on this...Ask him if he was wanting a companion for himself or out looking for a "mother" for his son??

Krissy's picture

First he says that you need to help more, then he says that he will not back off? Talk about mixed signals! Whatever happened to asking for help if you need it? "Hey honey, can you get Johnny a drink while I go use the restroom?" or "Honey, I want to go talk to XYZ, will you keep an eye on him?" You are supposed to "make" him stop doing for his son?? So, in essence, you have to take care of his son and also take care of DH and his inability to stop hovering?

I actually believe that the stepparents should take some responsibility for the Skids when in public, at a party, etc. ONLY when the two adults discuss who will handle what. In time, I guess it just comes naturally and roles are developed, but since things aren't nailed down yet, he needs to make it VERY clear what he wants you to do, and you let him know whether or not it is okay with you. You shouldn't do anything you aren't comfortable with.

edited because I didn't say what I meant! Smile

septembers_child's picture


I respectfully disagree. HIS KID IS HIS RESONCISLITY. In social situations or other wise...Marrying a man does not equal marrying his kids..In fact, the problem with a good many "blended families" is that the men are out looking for a "women" to be a "mom to their kids" and not looking for a companion for themselves..

If men were looking for a companion for themselves and not a "mother for their kids". They wouldn't expect the women they are dating, about to marry, or married to to accept ANY responsibility for THEIR CHILDREN in any given situation...

What would that man do if the new woman wasn't around???? Tend to the kid during their visitation ALL BY THEMSELVES...Why should the bio dad's responsibility and expecatation EVEN REMOTLY SHIFT onto the new wife??

i don't think they should...Their is a huge difference between a man who happens to have children looking for a companion for himself or looking for a "mother to his kids"..I see it now...I just wish I would have seen is six years ago...

Krissy's picture

I wanted to clarify something...when I said "you need to agree to it" by "need" I didn't mean that you must say "yes." I just mean that if he wants help from you, you've got to agree (or not) first and foremost before anything happens. He can't just expect it. It has to be a conversation and he has to make sure it's okay with you before just doling out responsibilities.

I 100% agree that his son is his responsibility, ultimately, but I also think that as his wife it's okay to help. Again though, you need to feel comfortable doing that. And it's okay to say no.

I am about to divorce my STBX for many reasons, but his son and his ex are at the top of the list. He is one who doesn't ask--he just expects. And like an ass, I went along and did for his kid, did for him...and as soon as I became vocal about NOT wanting to be shit on, I was told that no one asked me to help so I don't deserve any thanks. Nice, right?

Anyway, sorry for the confusion. Again, I DO NOT think that it is your job to take care of his kid. Helping to support him as a father is great, but if you start to feel taht you are being taken advantage of, or that his demands are inappropriate, SPEAK UP. Don't just go along.

septembers_child's picture

i am right where you are and I totally understand where your coming from now..Please accept my apologies if I came across wrong...

Krissy's picture

It was me who sounded like a Stepford Wife. Smile

I also wanted to add that if Smit is at a party at HER family's house, shouldn't DH be doing most of the caring for DSS anyway?? One of the things that used to kill me about DH was that we'd go to my parents' house for holidays and he'd lay in the recliner watching football and fall asleep. I had to run after a toddler AND his son because poor baby was so tired. If I got mad, it was "well, YOU wanted to come, I didn't, I'd rather be at home relaxing...."

CplStv's picture

Hello, when You Chose to Get involved with a Man Who Had Kids, IT WAS A PACKAGE DEAL, just like it was for Us Guys, when We Chose to Become Involved with Women Who Had Kids...

If/while You were/are maintaining SEPERATE Households, You Wouldn't have ANY Responsibility for THEIR Kids, or They For YOURS, I agree, but When You BOTH MADE THE CHOICE TO BECOME SERIOUSLY INVOLVED/Share a House/Apartment/whatever, You ACCEPTED That Resposibility, just like They Did...

If You thought/think Differently, You are WRONG !
Do You expect Your SOs to Be Responsible For Your Kid/s ?

If Not Why?

I Know I'm probably going to catch a lot of crap over this, but I Speak From The Heart, I LOVE MY Skids, like They Were Mine, and WILL Protect and Care for Them, At Their Choice, even if Lisa and I EVER Split Up, permanently, Which I HOPE NEVER HAPPENS...


Kids are the Best and Worst Things We can do to Ourselves. When We have nothing else worth living for, We'll go on, for Them, but Oh How We Miss Our Freedom...LOL

Gwen's picture

Someone else can probably say this better, but in my heart and home there's no way I would say your kid, your problem. I am not their mom and so certain obligations do fall on DH, and I defer to him and BM when the rubber hits the road on key decision-making. But I am DH's wife, I am the female lead in this household, and I am their SM. I am my skids family. I love them dearly. I wouldn't have married my DH otherwise. There are very lovely people on this site who don't love their skids dearly and I cannot blame them for that--I lucked out with wonderful beautiful skids (who are pains like all kids, but at bottom wonderful beautiful.) But either way, I think a SM has some basic responsibility to care for skids and protect them as their husband's partner. I totally agree that some DHs probably assume too much and look for a live-in babysitter/caregiver rather than a real partner, but that sounds more like a marriage problem than a step problem to me. The step thing just highlights a defect in the DH's character.

Just my opinion and I know some vehemently disagree with me. We can agree to disagree, just wanted to pipe up here for the sake of balance and in support of SMIT's post.

In that regard, SMIT I would have been totally taken aback by comments like that under those circumstances. What a shocker! I am glad you were able to work it out. Perhaps your DH was feeling panicky about the underlying issue of connection between you and SS and feeling guilty about SS/divorce again, as opposed to actually feeling truly needy? Either way, congrats on talking about it finding a place of understanding. The sucky part is that's usually accompanied by our tears and heart pain! I wish there was another way.