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Is this drastic enough to break up over?

AnonBee2319's picture

I’m really struggling on many fronts and need some sound advice. So sooooo glad I found this forum.

I have a 7yo SD whose BM is a psychotic hypocrite litigious... she’s literally everything you don’t want in a BM.

SD is extremely spoiled and because of this, is extremely overweight. My partner and I have literally received court notices about her “1200 calorie nutrition plan” SD is supposed to be following, so if we give her a slice of pizza or a lollipop it’s a gigantic issue. However we receive regular reports from SD that she frequently eats pizza, Chinese food, and ice cream sundaes for dinner at BM’s house. Which, whatever. Her insanity and over indulgences are only hurting her own kid who is morbidly obese and has blood pressure problems. I do feel bad because that’s not the kid’s choice.

What I can’t deal with it the constant coddling over her shitty behavior. She will literally get a tiny microscopic scrape and “can’t walk” the entire day, and we need to go buy bandaids, and she requires 5,000 medications for every little thing (Dramamine, allergy pills, you name it we need to have it on hand or the kid freaks out, despite the fact that she’s getting carsick because she never gets off her iPad). 

If we take her ANYWHERE (to the mall, to the park) she will “have to go to the bathroom” 8 or 9 times an hour. She’s not going, she’s just doing it so her dad will take her.

He doesn’t ever tell her no. There’s no discipline. There’s not even a real relationship. He just tells her how cute she is for 9 hours one day a week while she whines for food and we can drop her off. 

Am I just heartless? I’ve tried everything but I can’t stand this anymore. I have children of my own, I know kids are tough. But the final straw came yesterday when she wouldn’t share her toys with my little one. I said “Honey in our house we need to share with each other.” She had a total meltdown and made us call her mother who said “She doesn’t have to share if she doesn’t want to.” I am just feeling so done with this situation.

ldvilen's picture

Considering your BF appears to be spineless, then yes, I'd say that is drastic enough to break up over.  I'm not going to comment much on the other examples given above, because some of those can be explained away.  But, your DH going along with his 7YO daughter making him (and you) call her mother to get mom's permission over whether or not she has to share toys says enough.

No, you are not heartless; your DH is just an ineffective parent.  He doesn't know how to parent.  All he knows how to do is go along with whatever BM wants.  It should be BM's house, BM's rules.  Dad's house, dad's rules.  But, apparently dad has no idea what a boundary or rule is.

Also, given some of the examples above, it almost appears as if BM is using her child to a) get attention for herself, and b) still keep her ex- in her life and as a puppet on her string.  BF appears to be going along with her on this.  Munchausen by proxy syndrome (MBPS) is a relatively rare form of child abuse that involves the exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker.  It is rare in its full form, but I've known of far too many moms who go into a panic just because their kid has a little sniffle not to think that versions of mini-MBPS may be more common than one might think.

Manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH = Step Hell.

ESMOD's picture

I don't think kids need to automatically share everything.  but, if you don't share, you need to go to your room so that others aren't being teased.

Siemprematahari's picture

You are not heartless, just fed up! Your H's inability to say no and parent his daughter has real consequences. This is a form of child abuse and he needs to take action before she ends up in My 600 Pound Life series. Her out of control eating is stemming from some trauma and she urgently needs therapy to address whatever issues she may be having. Is this an option that he and BM can talk about and actively participate in?

notarelative's picture

Dad who defers to BM, who says the child can do what she wants and dad allows it. Yes, drastic enough for me.  It's bad now, but will only get worse over time. (Unless you both go to couples counseling and he finds his spine)

Has this child been to the doctor lately? Overweight and constantly in the bathroom is  huge red flag for diabetes. 

As for the 1200 calorie diet, dad should talk to the pediatrician about it. He should ask for a referral to a nutritionist to learn what he should be feeding the child on his time. He should not be relying on info from BM.

megansider's picture

What you are dealing with is a coddled, spoiled child, a crazy ex and spineless husband. It will not get better but only worse. 

Monkeysee's picture

Yep that’s definitely enough to leave him over. The spinelessness would be enough for me, but I wouldn’t be able to sit there & watch someone kill their child with food either. I’d really struggle with that, it’s nothing short of abuse. I feel sorry for this little girl, she’s only 7 years old. Her mother’s actions & her father’s spineless attitude are setting her up for nothing but failure. This is not your mess to clean up though, that’s on them.

Harry's picture

You can not let BM make control what goes on in your home. Your DH is a bad patent or no parent at all, just a babysitter. Next thing BM will tell you what to cook, what to buy and if you should have sex.  Don’t know how you can live like that. Or would want to live like that.  Having a 7 YO control your life. 

AnonBee2319's picture

I’ve brought up the diabetes thing before to my bf. BM absolutely refuses to acknowledge that her over indulgence plays any part in this. 

The first time I met SD, I was shocked by how big she was. It’s not good, it’s not healthy. But we literally get papers from her lawyer about this “diet” she’s on and how we feed her foods like pizza and candy. Total bs, she refuses to eat any of the very expensive and healthy foods I buy, and then complains to BM when she gets home that we didn’t feed her dinner. The list goes on and on. She complains about everything. I could write a book.

Sleepovers are supposed to start with her relatively soon, my bf and I just moved into our own home together. But I swear to god listening to her whining yesterday I mentally snapped and was like “I don’t want this kid spending the night. Ever.” ALL it’s going to bring to my life is more stress  and bullshit. 

marblefawn's picture

Yes, more stress and bullshit. But you're in it now that you're shacking up. If you'd posted before you moved in together, well...that was sort of when you were in a position to not end up hating your life because the only easy answer to a skid like yours is to never live with him as long as she's a minor in the household.

I tried this approach and my SD still nearly ended my marriage early on. Just so you know -- it does not get better because they get older or because they know you better or because of any damn thing except the SD sees some advantage is giving up the fight and getting on with you. Mine never did see an advantage and it's the source of all the blemishes in my marriage.

I have an only-child SD who I rarely saw when we began dating, but I could sniff out trouble nonetheless with this one. I waited until she was out of high school to get seriously involved with her father and that still wasn't long enough for SD to grow up. We waited until she was out of college to get engaged -- oh, and she got a master's so that was a long wait. Wasn't long enough. SD was still calling him daddy, insisting seeing him alone, and giving me the willies when she slithered onto his lap. Um, yea...

The thing's not really about your SD's age. It's about the dynamic and it started long before you showed up. Maybe you have the generally indulged kid. Or maybe you have the "Daddy's Girl" SD -- a weirdo dynamic fostered by society as a good thing, a cute thing, but with daughters of divorce, it can become a kind of twisted, sick thing when these girls end up competing with a new spouse. How are you going to fight it? I can tell you it's a fight better avoided than fought because it wrecks your marriage even if you win a couple of battles along the way. And there's likely a BM out there pushing the new spouse's alienation by the skid -- a stealthy move best masked by declarations that ALL DAUGHTERS NEED TIME ALONE WITH THEIR FATHERS -- as if it's totally normal for a kid to dictate who may attend and who is banned from their presence. Anyway, BM loves it because it can only push the new love interest out.

And you're not really seeing a kid super indulged by her parents, AnonBee. What you're really seeing is codependence -- her parents are compelled to do the wrong thing for her because they can't say no to her --  even to your SD's peril (morbid obesity kills!) her parents WILL indulge her because they can't say no. That's like a heroin addict shooting up knowing she might die with every fix - it really is a dysfunctional, sick, dynamic. You will either become part of their codependence or you'll fight it, but fighting it is lonely and ugly, especially because you're already an outsider, and she's not even your kid nor is she ever likely to really like you anyway.

So there's the rub: she's not worth all the work you'll have to do; no one will appreciate you for being the one to address her problems; your own peace, sanity and relationship will be negatively affected whether you address the girl's issues or not; and now that you live with him, you'll have nowhere to get away from this.

I never lived with my SD. And for the first 3 yrs of my marriage, I didn't even live with my husband -- we were in separate cities. But even that late into our marriage, when I finally did move into his house to live with him for the first time, I was pretty shocked at the full depth of his entanglement with his daughter -- who was away at college at the time! He dropped everything when she called and she called A LOT. He'd stop a movie we were watching just to chat with her while I sat there looking at the blue screen. She'd pop over when I was out and ask HIM to borrow my books (he'd say "sure!") when by this time, the little darling was obviously to everyone (except her father) avoiding the actual me and indeed, being a snarky mean girl when she was around me.

I guess I'm saying, you've got the full picture now that you dove full in and moved in with him. All you can do is move out or learn to chip away at their dynamic and hope you can make a change before you get the shits of it and move out anyway. At least you've found this site -- it's a buffet of approaches to what ails your relationship. Honestly, though, if this guy ain't Jesus Christ himself of the dating world, do yourself a favor and find a better guy. Good luck!

AnonBee2319's picture

The most baffling and heartbreaking part in all this is that he is FANTASTIC with my kids (was married 10 years and divorced 2 years before I met him). He truly loves and cares for them as his own and bonded with them right away. They have zero conflict. So the fact that he can’t parent his own is pretty bad and has made me lose a lot of respect for him.

marblefawn's picture

I husband was always so good with my nieces and nephews, saw things the way I do, etc. But with his own, he is lost.

And you do lose respect for them. But try looking at it differently...

At least for me, when I started looking at my husband's inability to parent as no different than his inability to grow hair in that little circle at the back of his head, it became easier for me to drop the WHY? WHY???? and move on to the OK, doesn't matter WHY, how am I gonna deal with them?

So stop asking why and get straight into how you're going to manipulate the situation to be bearable for you because it might take years to know for sure if this can be saved. Or toss him out.

futurobrillante99's picture

My XH2 started out being great with my kids. What was there not to like? None of them lived with us and none of them were mooching off of me and having me clean up their problems.

Then, as time advanced, and his kids' behavior became more problematic (and I had to live with them so I spoke up), he would criticize my kids and my parenting out of jealousy.

flmomma08's picture

Yes it sounds bad enough to break up over, but just understand the real issue here is your bf's shitty parenting. BM could be the most horrible person on the planet, but if your bf doesn't allow her to dictate what goes on in your home, you can make things work.

ndc's picture

Any one of spoiled, ill-behaved child, controlling BM and weak, spineless dad who won't parent or stand up to BM is a problem.  All of them together = step hell.  It would be enough for me to leave.

EvilStepMom1977's picture

My skid is 9 and weighs in at 160.  She has massive hygiene and bladder control problems and I'm sure the weight doesn't help.

I have two kids.  My daughter is perfectly perportioned and my son needs to gain a few lbs.  He's autistic so it's a problem at times. 

I used to treat my kids to pizza or whatever but I've had to stop when my skids are around because they have no fucking control.  If I do buy pizza, forget about leftovers.  I buy 1 large between 4 kids and I tell my skids: here are your two pieces.  Eat carrot sticks if you're still hungry.

Whenever I see my step I think of that girl on This Is Us.

That's who she is going to be if she doesn't pull it together.  

CLove's picture

She decided to weigh herself the other day. She is 5' and I am 5'5". She weighs 163 I weigh 160. We both got quiet for a few heartbeats and then she said she would try cutting out sugar, to see what would happen.

Our big problem (and hers) is that her mother is morbidly obese at 5'3" 220 lbs and likes to buy her treats and "goodies" like ice cream and candy, and fast food. At our house we have chicken, fish, or steak always with veggies. She always remarks how healty we eat.

Im like, well its just as easy and its cheap to buy frozen chicke and veggies. Fast food is not really food (although I love fried foods sometimes!!!)

shamds's picture

She shouldn’t because that means the same rule should extend to you but lets face it, she’d chuck a major hissy fit.

overexaggeration of injuries and stuff yup my grown adult ss does this. A little scab on his foot and it needed to be bandaged, he had a fever and walked like a woman who just had a csection... hubbys family rolled their eyes. Its just attention seeking. You don’t give any attention they learn to not pull this shit anymore because no one gives a stuff but they may try amp up the attention seeking for a while.

Even pregnant women don’t pee 8-9 times an hour... maybe 4-5 

theoldredhen's picture

I am always outraged at hearing reports of morbidly obese children, particularly those as young as your BF’s little girl. Since young children eat what their parents provide, putting their health at risk with an unhealthy diet is a huge parental failure.

It truly baffles me, how BM and your BF can be so cavalier about their daughter’s well being. If they truly loved the child, they would make a sincere and concerted effort to improve her diet.

The parents must be aware of the diseases associated with obesity; high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease to name a few. I can only imagine the emotional damage that the child is undergoing, being taunted by her peers. It’s inevitable that she will have self-esteem issues that will follow her throughout life.

In Britain, morbidly obese kids have been ‘taken into care’ i.e. placed in foster homes rather than have their future destroyed by neglectful and, yes, abusive parents! 

AnonBee2319's picture

We have been in counseling for a long time, for all kinds of issues. I think my breakthrough moment has been, his child is everything to him and my children are everything to me. And at the moment I feel like their mom is being sacrificed to a situation they didn’t ask for. 

Usually when I feel like this I give it a few days and see a way out. But for months now I’ve been wanting out. This is a very sad and difficult situation.

Ispofacto's picture

Before you start thinking of ways of talking this out and getting him to see reason, I have to tell you:

These behaviors are deeply ingrained bad habits.  They are addictions.  All three of these people have poor coping strategies that would be hard to fix if even only one of them had a problem AND wanted to fix it, which they probably don't.  All three of them have problems.  This is a lifetime of bad learning they are living.

My DH really really lurrrrrves me, but it has taken almost losing me for him to improve his stupidity just A LITTLE, and he's STILL codependent.

Living in this disfunction is like living with chronic pain.  At first it seems doable, but after years and years of it not getting better (and it won't), you will go crazy.

Please don't do this to yourself.


AnonBee2319's picture

To leave. Went to see our therapist and told her I was done. Just saying the words were a relief. I can’t do this another week. I can’t sit there and pretend. 

Merry's picture

Then it’s the right decision. Keep looking forward and be prepared for him to beg and make all sorts of promises if you’ll take him back. 

Enjoy your new-found oxygen. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'm sorry Made you call the mother? Who then had a say in your house???

The kid doesn't get to make the calls. And the BM DEFINITLEY has ZERO say in your household.

Your BF is being spineless if that all worked.

AnonBee2319's picture

Yup. I’m also starting to come out of this fog like... he moved in, I’m taking on all this responsibility. He knows commitment is really important to me, I don’t see a proposal on the horizon. What am I actually doing? Love is not enough. The more I ask myself what I want the more the answer is “not this.” He proposed to his harpie ex on a mountain, I can’t even get a promise ring.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I'd be frustrated too..  You just want a relationship that's going somewhere. I'm glad you're making decisions for you. They're hard, but I'm sure you'll come out on top in all this Smile

ldvilen's picture

Unfortunately, it takes too many of us women too long to see some of these men for who they really are. . . Yep, nothing attracts a woman to a man like a spineless, ex-enmeshed, life-sucking commit-a-phobe with children who can do no wrong.  Right up there with hooking up with a drunken old sailor with syphilis.  Romantic, not.  

Yet, it is amazing how many divorced men in those shoes expect the new woman in their life to just love them to death anyway and accept them for who they are, because to them, they are a "good father" and highly desireable. Help

Rags's picture

Why would you call BM regarding a behavioral problem with a kid in YOUR home?  BM gets to say that the flounder of an SD doesn't have to share in your home if she doesn't want to?  Really?




If SD is on a court ordered diet, then starve her ass in complete compliance with that diet when she is with you.  That way the only violations are occurring at BM's and this can be used to bare BM's ass regarding her killing this kid. When this kid fries her pancreas at 15, has heart disease at 20 and keels over at 30 that has to be on BM and not on you and DH.

Stop giving SD free access to BM when SD is on Daddy visitation.  Stop giving BM any access to  anything that occurs in YOUR home.  Stop enabling BM and SD in their manipulative crap.

Just STOP!

When SD gets a scrape she can walk until you get back home and get a bandaid, when she whines confront it, march her to a corner by a twisted ear, plant her nose in the corner and she can stay there until she knocks her whinney crap off or until you get tired. Whichever happens first.  Daddy needs to be cut short on his praising her for being cute when she is  being a whinney little shit, or not so little shit as the case may be.  Since she insists on playing with her tablet while riding in the car, screw the dramamine, let her ralf in a bucket that she can then carry to empty and clean before the next car ride... or better yet.... just run the tablet over with the car. End of problem.  When she starts the trips to the bathroom every 5-10mins thing, tell her no. She can hold it for 3 hours between bathroom breaks or she can piss herself. Her call. Or just put her in a diaper before you go out in public with her. Unless... she has been Dx'd as a diabetic.  If she is an uncontrolled diabetic she will have to have a wagon with a piss bucket in to drag around. Trust me. This I know from personal experience when I was Dx'd as a T-1 diabetic nearly 39 years ago.  This is where compliance to the diet comes in.  If this is the case she should not be eating any sugar or carbs. Here culinery life needs to be nothing but meat and green veg.

And finally, no. You are not heartless.  You seem to be the only adult who is not actively trying to kill this kid with over indulgence.

All IMHO of course.


AnonBee2319's picture

I have these intense moments of frustration that sound like frustration with the kid, but in reality I CARE A LOT about her! Like, truly I do care. I think divorce sucks for kids and none of this is her fault. She is bright and can be really funny and sweet. I’m a human and I think I let the crazy hysteria surrounding the situation make me want to run, but it’s not HER. You know?