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Feeling Overwhelmed

SAHsigh's picture

I seem to have descended into a malaise I've read all too often on this site. I'm hoping that sharing this with others in similar circumstances will, if nothing else, give me the sense that I was able to get it off my chest.

I have twin SKs (SS/SD8) that currently live with us full-time. BM moved 800 miles away in July 2016 and lost her petition to relocate SKs with her. The current CO states that twins will spend all major school holidays and the majority of summer with her and the rest of the time they will be here with DH (and myself). DH filed for CS now that custody is 80/20 and was awarded a reduced amount because he waived BM's obligation to pay for childcare. BM was pretty ticked off that he was awarded anything and appealed -- the appeal reaffirmed that she should be paying more but they gave DH some kind of monthly credit to accrue against BM should she ever try to take him back to court for custody or CS again.

Prior to this, there was a 50/50 CO in place since DH and BM divorced about 6+ years ago. The previous order had no CS provision in part because BM makes a significant amount more than DH. Details aren't really necessary but DH waived BM's CS obligations in part to "keep the peace" because they each got 50/50 time with twins and both make enough money to handle the expenses of their kids without assistance from the other parent.

Now that BM has been ordered to pay DH CS, her crazy has ratcheted up another notch. She says her and her current husband are going to file for divorce (they have a 3 year old together)and she and her soon-to-be-ex are trying to move back. She also told DH that she's going to take a lower paying job , get 50/50 custody again, and make DH pay her CS. (Side note: DH's attorney doesn't think that'll happen because she'll be assessed at her earning potential.) She's telling DH now that once her oldest son (17 year old from a relationship prior to DH) finishes school this term, they'll be trying to move back around June.

BM has always had boundary issues and my DH isn't assertive enough to get her to back off. She goes from making wild accusations and threats to DH (and sometimes me) to trying to be BEST FRIENDS (even with me). Last night she had SD8 interrupt their FaceTime communication with each other so BM could show DH what her soon-to-be-ex made on his new 3D printer and so her 3 year old could talk to him. SD8 after the call tells me that BM's "best friend" sent her a picture of the mostly melted snowman we have in our front yard and that this friend keeps sending her house listings within 4 or 5 blocks of our house. There were a few times before BM moved away where she forced her way past me and into our house when DH wasn't home. BM makes me very uncomfortable and ticks off a lot of my danger flags.

SS8 hasn't taken well to the new living arrangements. Understandably, he really misses his mom and wants her to come back (or to move there). The end result has been that he's been really, really hard to deal with. He instinctively compares EVERYTHING I do to his mom and he's been treating me VERY poorly. I used to be a lot more hands on with the twins but these days, I am trying to make myself as scarce as I can without being accused of "not being a part of the family." SD8 seems to be doing just fine with the new custody arrangement but she also misses her mom -- she's just not acting out the way her brother has been. Before anyone accuses me of it -- I am not replacing their mom and I've never tried. I'm just doin' what needed to be done and I'm not trying to pretend I'm something I'm not.

I had been trying to encourage and make arrangements for DH and I to have a date night at least once a month or so. It's been a lot for us to take on and I feel like our marriage isn't getting the maintenance it needs. DH has been rather un-agreeable to getting a babysitter. We don't live in an area where we have family readily available so I was looking into hiring a suitable babysitter. DH thinks that if we're going to get a babysitter, it should be a) his parents (they live 3.5 hours away) or b) a sleepover where the twins are sleeping at another friends' house. I've asked more about his parents helping us but when they do make themselves available, he doesn't want to "waste the time" not visiting with them. (We see them about once or twice a month.) I don't see the twins being mutually invited to a sleepover anytime soon, especially because their mixed gender twins and a lot of people have hang ups about that. To complicate matters even more, DH has been doing a ton of overtime and it's meant that I've been the only caretaker at home with them quite often -- even more so than ever before. We need a babysitter and DH found one -- ME.

I know this is a tune a lot of us have sang before but this ****ing sucks.My husband bends over backwards to "keep the peace" with BM, who will never find peace. BM is going to move back and take him back to court and we'll be doing this over and over again until the twins are adults. DH gives me lip service about the issues with SS8 but there's been and probably won't be any change in his behavior. DH agrees that it's not appropriate for BM to be interacting with him beyond what's appropriate for the twins but he's not sure where to draw the line with being polite and cutting it off so he does nothing. It's totally creeping me out that BM's buddy is taking pictures of our house and sending it to BM with listing for houses to move in just a few blocks away. It's not right that I can't get a babysitter for even just a date night. I feel used, abused, unappreciated, and overwhelmed.

For now, I'm sneaking away to the gym while DH is home.

Stepped in what momma's picture

You're right, he has a babysitter already. Sweetly ask DH how he will feel about a babysitter once you are gone and see if that helps your situation. I pity the fool that is more scared of his ex wife than the woman that sleeps next to him.

BM forcing her way past you in to your house more than once coupled with the way your DH treats you makes me think you might be a door mat for these folks. Is this how you like being treated? If you don't then be the change you want to be.

ybarra357's picture

These kids have 2 parents, neither of which is you.

You need to step up and shut both of them down. Don’t allow yourself to be used as a convenient babysitter. You shouldn’t have to ‘sneak away’ anywhere. Just tell your DH that you’ll be going out. Do you have a job outside of the home?

Stop allowing BM to force herself into your home. If that were me? I’d be calling the police and having her charged with trespassing.
It also sounds like your DH needs to grow a spine. Keep the peace? That’s code for, I’m a chicken$hit.

You can stop this madness.

SAHsigh's picture

This double sucks. So much for going to the gym. DH just got a dispatch and he is leaving me at home with kids again. "It shouldn't take long" and "I can get the groceries on my way back." Damn it, I was looking forward to being out of the house. Sometimes I can only get away to get groceries...

Ybarra357, I have full time job with normal business hours. I make okay pay for this area but DH is definitely our breadwinner. I think his status as breadwinner coupled with recently irregular hours means he's calling all the shots on what I can or can't do.

Damn it... damn it... I wanna cry now...

ybarra357's picture

Well I would like to slightly correct my above response. It's YOU who needs to grow that spine. Stop allowing yourself to be used. No, just because he makes for money does NOT mean he can call the shots on your life. STOP IT!!!

SAHsigh's picture

I get your point but ... well, it's not like I walked into this and said, "Hey! I like being kicked around! It's fun! Oh, and while you're at it, please walk all over me..."

I'm definitely being mistreated but I wouldn't make it my fault. I also wouldn't say that I'm a total victim, but I'm certainly not to blame. You know how it is... "if I knew then what I knew now..." well, I wouldn't be doing this! That's for damn sure.

Stepped in what momma's picture

At the end of the day it doesn't matter whose fault it is all that matters is that you are unhappy.
You know why you are unhappy, you know what you need to do to fix it so the ball is in your court.

bitsnpieces15's picture

You have the voice. Use it. Meet him at the door and go to your friends or parents. Let him feel the responsibility of baby making. Couple days of no loving will change his tune

CLove's picture

I read your post, and can relate to being creeped out by over-involvement that does not involve children by BM. A year ago, I moved in to be with SO full-time, and had found a text sent to him by BM that was very sexual. He said "yes, she texts me some zingers like that every once in a while". I really hit the roof; but SHE thought it was cute and funny. She thought I was acting in a jealous manner - when in truth she was not respecting my relationship and boundaries. BM has continued to be a thorn in my side.

Luckily SO does not pay any CS, and we live close to her, so we have 50/50, and it has been somewhat ok.

HOWEVER, last week, when dropping off SD10, she couldn't find parking, and was late to work, so she busted into our home (the door was unlocked to let SD10 come inside) and yelled at us and said "eff you both you are A$$ holes..."

My sweetie - he did not read her the riot act, and asked me back off. He has a very sweet deal and doesn't want to rock the boat, and I don't want to make his life harder in any way. WE already struggle, to pay bills and any disturbances would upset the balance we have managed to create.

BUT STILL, I so want to tell her "eff you, raging hippo".

You are trying to make everyone happy, meanwhile no one apparently is trying to make YOU happy. So you should really make some changes and step back from your role as primary caregiver. I used to caretake SD10 when SO would go fishing...ALL DAY. That got very old.

So, do yourself a favor, and create some YOU TIME and some space. DH needs to put you and your relationship first.

sunshinex's picture

You need to go out before he leaves you with the kids. If he calls/texts, tell him you're sorry but if he had asked you to watch them you would have told him you have plans. If he leaves them with you before you have a chance to get out of the house, call him/his work and tell him he'll need to come home because you made plans to be out and they can't come with you. Tell him your plans involve drinking/whatever adult activity you can think of that sounds likely for you so the kids will need to go somewhere. He'll have to leave work to arrange this since he so rudely left them with you without asking.

You need to make it clear that he MUST ask you or YOU will put them back on HIM. Because ultimately, they are HIS responsibility... Not yours. If he makes a big fuss about you telling him he needs to come back and get his kids, you can remind him that legally they are his responsibility and by definition he abandoned them leaving them with someone who didn't want to take them. Let him know he either comes back and gets them or you call someone to get them over to BM because they've been abandoned.

Before DH and I got married and I set some boundaries, DH got into the habit of going to work and leaving SD with me. Finally I told him he needs to get a sitter and started going out RIGHT before he started work. He actually ended up losing his job because he called in 4 days in a row thinking eventually I would stop leaving before he started work because I wouldn't want him to lose his job. He was wrong LOL i wanted boundaries more than I cared if he lost his job. He should've got a sitter the day I told him to!

When he lost his job, I told him SD better go to BM's since he wouldn't be able to afford her/daycare until he started a new job. He understood pretty quickly that I wasn't a live-in nanny; I was his girlfriend at the time and I was my own person with my own schedule and his child was NOT my responsibility. I liked going to the mall with my girls on weekends or out for coffee at 10 oclock at night on worknights and I wasn't about to lose that because he didn't feel like getting and paying for a sitter.

Acratopotes's picture

mmmm why not find a teenager in the area to babysit....

then if you want to go to gym and Dh tells you he's out, simply get the teen to watch the twins and go to the gym...

if DH returns and has a tantrum, smile and say, sorry Hon I already had plans, and well twins are still alive so what's the big deal? Then you simply do this more and more till DH is comfortable with the babysitter... and see you can have date night Wink You just have to be clever around this Hon...

twoviewpoints's picture

I think you're too nice for your own good. You absolutely need to start thinking of yourself and your needs. Forget for a minute that these twins are your stepkids. Pretend for just this minute or two that thy are your own kids. Would you be ok with being stuck doing nothing but occasionally going to the grocery store by yourself? Would you be ok with no one being able to babysit your children except for sleepovers? I'm betting not.

So why are you 'ok' with your stepchildren being weights around your ankles? You're very good with these twins and they a very lucky to have you, but you're not their mother. You are not the parent. Your husband is being unreasonable and he's burning you out. Every woman, whether a mother or a stepmother, needs 'me' time. What would your husband do with his children if you were to run out the door and never come back? He'd figure it out and make arrangements for someone to watch his kids.

Don't tell me he'd have to send them to Mom, because you know he wouldn't do that. He fought too long and hard to keep these kids here. The thing is, you make it too easy for him. He doesn't have to face the reality of having children 27/7 day after day after day, because you do it all for him.

He's not realizing (or even attempting to) how difficult it is to be and do what you are and have been doing. Yes, he needs a sitter. If you feel a need to go to the gym, you need to be able to pick up the phone and arrangements for whoever to tend the kids for a couple hours. He seems to think that if he personally isn't with his kids, you must be. IDK if it's because he believes Mom will say the kids should come to her if he's just leaving them with a sitter, or if he's really clueless as to your needs and the needs of your marriage. You need 'me' time. The two of you as a coupe need 'us' time.

If his parents are willing to babysit and have the twins occasionally, he needs to take advantage of it. They live a few hours away. No biggie. He can ask they meet halfway on a Friday late afternoon maybe once a month and met again late afternoon on Sunday. If you want to spend a couple hours on a Wednesday evening going to the gym , there needs to be a responsible adult lined up (maybe several) that is trustworthy and quite happy to have the kids those couple of hours. Whether that be a neighbor, a friend from work, someone from church , a HS girl you know who wants to earn a bit of cash.

And there should be no guilt over it. Back to pretending these were indeed actually your kids. I can honestly say I have never had a problem with walking out the door for 'me' time and leaving husband to do 'daddy duty'. My kids aren't that young any more but when they were, yes, I made certain to take time for myself. I didn't have three kids with my husband by myself. He's as capable for being caregiver and tending to his children as I am. Together we have five kids (one mine, one his and three ours)and we've been together many years. We didn't get here by holding off couple time nor 'me' time.

You need to stress to your DH how important individual and couple time is to both of you and both your needs. He needs to understand , yes, you love the kids, yes, you love him , but dammit Mister, *I* need more than being a SM and your wife 24/7 day after day. Every woman with kids in the house, a job, and husband with responsibilities still needs to be able to have 'me' time. To relax, regroup, refresh our attitudes, pamper ourselves , have adult conversation with other adults blah blah blah.

If my sole identity had been Mom/Sm and Mrs. Twoviewpoints , I wouldn't have been married for thirty plus years. Nope. Wouldn't have happened.