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skids driving my wife nuts!

betterman's picture

I am overseas and have been since Mar, 2008. My kids were always
a little "needy" ( that's polite ). I have three from previous. 13 boy, 11 girl and
6 boy. My wife has a boy,8. It has got to the point that my own family is asking
her how she puts up with them (this past weekend).
From a distance, what can I do?
I love my wife and though she has faults, she has been great to them but
the time is running thin. My Ex is not to be considered due to her being part
of the problem. Ex has them the majority of the time.
My kids also like and seem to love my wife.

Any help would be appreciated ladies.


2Bloved's picture

What is really going on here? When my BF was deployed, I had his 3 EOW. Sometimes a week in a row, sometimes every weekend. It was generally a mutual decision between all of us. It was hard at first though, b/c the kids did not see me as a disciplinary figure. They always knew to listen, but I was by no means a hardass when it came to them. It was hard at first. They walked all over me. Some weekends I did not want to have them, b/c it WAS so stressful. But BF made it clear that while he was gone, I was expected to take his place. It took me breaking down for him to realize how unfair his demands of me were.

Is that what is happening? Have you inadvertently made your wife feel like she is obligated to have your kids while you are gone? Doe she feel like if she does not want to take your kids sometimes, that it will be a reflection of her love for you, since, of course, your kids are an extension of yourself? Is she able to discipline the kids? BF's 3 kids are "needy" also. Extremely high maintenance. Esp. the youngest. They just could not self-entertain. I had to adapt to that. It took a month for me to finally break, and I had to tell them that if they could not be respectful of me or my home, then I would not be able to take them next weekend, or the weekend after. They cried and said all they do at their mothers is watch TV, and they want to see me. I told them that unless their attitude changes, they will not be able to.

I cared more about what my BF thought about me than I did about my peace of mind. My friends noticed that the Wed before visitation, i would become tense and snappish. That woke me up. At times, I hated having to cancel plans b/c the kids were coming, or having to drive back and forth and spend so much on them. But I couldn't tell him, b/c I did not want to dissapoint him, or them. But once the pressure came off, once I realized that my not taking them for one weekend will not kill anyone, visitation became fun again.

2Bloved's picture

when are you due back? Are you able to keep in touch with her thru chatting or webcamming? DSN calls? Try sending her flowers randomly. This might not help with the sk's, but I loved getting surprise flowers from BF while he was gone. Try sending her videos of your every day life, so she can still feel connected to you. BF took a camera over with him, and would make little videos of his day, then loaded them on to the laptop, burnt them on to a CD, and sent those to me. Let her know how much you appreciate her, and let her know that YOU UNDERSTAND what she is feeling, and HOW HARD things must be for her right now. Even though you are the one deployed, life still goes on at home. My BF had to understand that. He did not have to worry about school for the kids, clean laundry, homework, dinners, carpooling, work, commuting, grocery shopping. He only had to take care of himself.

betterman's picture

I do everything I can to support her and let her know she is appreciated.
Pics, e-mails, listening, vids, send gifts time to time. She has the skids
every other weekend through Mon. am's.
I am due back in April for 3 weeks. I have to come back for finance reasons.
Maybe for just another 90 days, have to find a job in the states.
I am not in the military, I am a contractor so we need the money. Wife is
unemployed right now. Economy is awful. I was a stay at home dad for a few
years and know the issues with the day to day life with kids, any kids. Not easy.
I have never put ANY demands on her. She is taking the kids at will and has done a great
job. My problem is how do I take the issue with her or the kids.
By the way, taking care of myself WITHOUT the support of the military in Afghanistan
is a full time job alone. I get paid well, but roaming these streets
for Gov. business is nerve racking!
Your words mean a lot to me, thank for responding!

stepmom2one's picture

If my H was over seas I would not take his daughter EOW. And we have a BS together ( 1 more on the way). I would have the ex keep the kids till he got back. So give her props for trying her best and keeping them here.

You are the one the kids want to see and spend time with, there SM is not the person they are there to visit. If your wife is having trouble might I suggest that she take the kids 1 weekend a month instead. That way the kids get the point that if they do not behave they can not come over and your wife gets a bit of a break.

betterman's picture

Plenty of time for breaks, she is unemployed and only has the skids every other weekend
through Monday AM. I have made it clear to her to have them when she wants to, no demands
from me. My kids really love her and have a good time. They just don't respect adults or
my wife too much.

melis070179's picture

I would tell her that if she has the kids & they become disrespectful, they are to be sent back to their mother's. Thats really all either of you can do. If the kids want to see her, they need to be respectful, and if they're not, they go home.

"Nobody will ever win the battle of the sexes. There's too much fraternizing with the enemy"

2Bloved's picture

The respect is obviously a big issue. Why do your kids not respect adults? I agree with melis..if they are not being respectful send them home. My BF's 3 were being bratty, I took care of it. Also, I have a friend who go out of the mlitary and is now a contractor in Afghanistan. He originally was going for one year, but has been gone now for 2 and loves it. You can't beat making 250,000 a year, which is what he is pulling now.

Now, back to the subject. I would love to be unemployed and just go to school and be a homemaker during that time. Now, I do work full time and go to school full time after work, and still try to run a household. But, I cannot be dependant on a man for anything. I really think there is more to this issue than she is taking the kids at will. Are you SURE she doesn't feel that since she is unemployed and you're gone that she HAS TO take your kids EOW? That will breed some resentment. I see that she is unemployed, and has plenty of time for breaks, so therefore should not mind taking your kids EOW. That is the message I am getting from you. That since she is not working, she should be taking care of the kids and helping you out while you are busy supporting your families. And if that is- I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH YOU. (Sorry, but I do). Except I can't wholeheartedly agree with you since they are disrespectful to her. You're right, this is a hard one.

Another question is- why is she not working? What does she do with her life? Does she volunteer in the kids classrooms? Her kid is 8, I don't see why she can't find a job to help the family while he is in school.

I think it's wonderful that you are supporting your family any way you can. Maybe if she can find a job and her own identity and get a feeling of self worth, things would be better.

Try an experiment. Tell her that you understand the stress she is under, and how hard things must be for her. Therefore, you are going to call your ex and tell her to keep the kids for a month and see how things go. See how she responds. See how your phone conversations go with her once your kids are out of the picture.

now4teens's picture

All of it.

*having his ex take the kids for a month

*having his wife get a job! Yes, Yes, and Yes!!!

*sending the kids back to the ex if they do not show respect to the adults
(written house rules need to be discussed & posted for the
whole family!)

"Of course things worked out nicely for Carol Brady...she had a live-in maid and Mike's first wife was DEAD!"

2Bloved's picture

I hope things get better.