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I’m at a loss

Mommy22's picture

im not really sure what I’m looking for here.. maybe advice, maybe suggestions, maybe someone who’s been there, maybe a listening ear, maybe just to get it all out... anyway, I’ll try to make this as short as possible... here goes...

SO and I have been together almost 4 years. We have 2 children together & he has one from a previous marriage (50/50 custody). When we first got together, he painted this pretty picture of how awesome of a father he was. It didn’t take long to figure out there were many problems. 

I have done my damndest to try & treat her as my own from the get go. I’ve bought Easter baskets, i pick out clothes for school, curled hair, put make-up on, went out to eat & to local activities, wake up & get her ready for school, take her & pick her up from school, keep her while he’s working, etc. I’ve also tried to teach things such as responsibility, picking up after yourself, using manners, keeping your room clean, respect, that you don’t get every toy in the store every time we go, etc. 

Lets just fast forward throughout the years. I have been kicked (in the stomach, while pregnant), yelled at, when I try to help I get eye rolls or smart remarks, I get dirty looks from across the room, refusal to do what I ask, etc. from the SD.

SD also had hit windows (in the home & in the vehicle), broken clothes hangers, broken lamps, pulled her hair out, slammed doors, and most recently compulsive lying. She has lied on me and she will lie saying her half brother (5 years younger than her) has hurt her. 

SO gets mad. Just a few examples are when I’ve asked her clean up after herself, he’s mad. If a toy got taken away bc she didn’t pick it up, he’s mad. If we’re in the store & I comment she already has 5 toys in the cart, she doesn’t really need another, he’s mad. Any type of discipline I’ve tried to establish (only time-outs or taking a toy away), he’s mad. After a work day, I’ve tried to explain to him the behaviors I’ve dealt with all day, so that he can discipline & give consequences, he’s mad. He has accused me of trying to interfere with his time with her (bc I asked him to see if he could get our son to eat), he has told me I’m mean to SD, he has told me that I deserve to be treated the way she treats me. I am not allowed to hang/sit out pictures of our children unless there is a equal picture of SD. Our latest “conversation” was about bath time. He became very upset when I said our kids needed to bath bc he was afraid that would interrupt with SD’s bath time. 

I’ve basically had to disengage. For my sanity, for the lack or respect, to not get in another argument with SO. I’ve also told him that if he doesn’t want me to discipline the bad behaviors, he needs to hire a babysitter.

He had admitted he feels sorry for her and he doesn’t want to discipline or give her rules bc he wants her life while at his home to be happy. There are absolutely no rules, no consequences, nothing. He will either ignore behavior, tell her to stop over and over, or on the rare occasion he takes something, he gives it back within minutes. He will threaten to do things, but he never follows through; and she knows this. She has voiced “it don’t matter what I do, I’ll still get _____”. Recently I told SO we could not continue to live in the same home with children having different rules. 

Thats just a small overview. What do I do? How can I make this situation better? Will it ever be better? Is this a normal blended family life? Am I crazy? 



SteppedOut's picture

It doesn't sound like your husband (or sd) will ever change. The only thing you can do is change your mind. Can you make it "ok" for you (and your children!)?

For the record, I couldn't. I left formerSO.

ndc's picture

My problem with this situation wouldn't be the different rules for the kids, it would be the lack of support from my husband and his constant prioritization of the SD. I could not live with that. I doubt you can disengage, either - I'm sure he'd be mad at that, since it seems to be a theme.

My only suggestion would be counseling or a parenting class where he could learn that kids want and need rules, structure and discipline and that the way he is parenting SD is hurting her.

Mommy22's picture

i have suggested counseling.. even family counseling with the entire family. He’s not interested.

ndc's picture

Do you think he could muster up some interest in counseling if there was a consequence for NOT doing it?  And are you to a point where you'd issue an ultimatum and follow through on it?  It really doesn't sound like anything is going to get better without some big changes.

Mommy22's picture

I, honestly, don’t think he would react well if I gave a consequence for not doing counseling. I can see him being livid. In his mind, counseling is stupid. I have issues ultimatums on other things, unrelated to this issue. He says I’m suddenly “making rules” and he doesn’t take well to “being told what to do”. He feels as if I’m just trying to “boss” him. 

Gucci's picture


Besides that, completely disengage. At this point, he may be upset by it. But you cannot live with a child that is not yours and keep doing the things you are doing for her, and still be treated that way. 

I am a middle school teacher. Kids NEED and THRIVE off of rules and structure. They act like they hate it, but it honestly is what is best for them. 

Mommy22's picture

I absolutely agree. Kids do thrive from rules and structure. I think the lack of could be part in reason for the outbursts. 

Steppedonnomore's picture

Your SO has told you that he thinks you deserve to be mistreated!?!?  He has no interest in counseling or anything that could make the situation in your home any better. I feel sorry for his child since he refuses to parent her. If I were you, I'd be working on an exit plan.

Mommy22's picture

Yes, he told me I deserve the way she treats me bc I am mean to her. No, no interest in counseling. Honestly, I feel sorry for her too. She is going into life with absolutely no skills. & I already see stuff happening. School personnel has commented on her lying, her moods, problems making friendships. Grades have gotten worse. Taking provocative pictures (she may not realize they’re provocative, but still). I think SO feels it will eventually get better. It’s not. I told him a long time ago, “if you think it’s bad now, wait until she’s 16”. I have tried to get him to parent. I’ve offered advice, suggestions, even tried stepping in and doing it myself. It just doesn’t work. 

marblefawn's picture

Does he fight you on rules for your kids? I'm assuming you're allowed to discipline your own, so maybe use that as leverage? As in..."Honey, do you think our kids are unhappy because we impose a bedtime? Because we make them pick up their toys? Do you think we should do away with all rules so they'll be happy at home?" Let him figure out what you're getting at.

On "interfering with SD's time," well, that's just ridiculous. SD knows there are other children in the household. She will never learn to "wait her turn" if she doesn't have to do it at home. You have to convince him that it's OK for SD to feel like part of your bigger family by learning someone else's needs might come first and at times her needs will come first.

My SD was much, much older when I had to convince my husband he should not stop a dinner party to take a call from SD or leave me alone in a hotel so he and SD could take a long walk on the beach ALONE. Honestly, I hated SD then, but at some point I realized HE had setup this grown woman to think she always came first no matter what else was going on in his life. It was so weird.

The way you do it (or the way I did it) was by showing him how he was crippling SD and treating this woman like a little girl. I didn't do it alone, though. I had two therapists telling him he was doing SD a disservice by never letting her learn to wait or learn to let more important things take precedence over her needs sometimes.

I don't think there's a parent in the world who doesn't know deep down that kids need structure, they need to learn their needs can't always come first. This is what you very gently need to put forward to him. Show him he's indulging himself at SD's expense by giving in to her all the time.

Your SO won't make SD happy by setting her up to expect the world to put her first. It's unfair for these dads to give SDs the illusion that the world is at their feet. Try to make him see this disservice and that's he indulging himself by refusing to parent. Part of growing up is realizing this and it's much less painful learning it a little bit as they grow than finding it out the way my SD did at 25. If your SO artificially fosters a world with no one but SD in it, it will hurt when she finds out the truth.

Mommy22's picture

Everything you said, point on, I agree. & no, he doesn’t fight me on rules for our kids. He has told me, “ you sure are hard on them” when I’ve set consequences for not listening. To which i replied “good, that means you’ll have good children”. I try to point out things like, not giving something when they whine bc that will teach them they can get what they want by whining... or don’t jump up every time they want something; they can learn to wait... He will try to follow my lead with our children, but not with SD. 

Iamwoman's picture

It sounds like you're better off without him. I can't get past you being "kicked in the stomach while pregnant."

If I were pregnant and one of my skids kicked me in the stomach, I know for a fact that my DH would ban that skid from our home from that point forward until the end of time.

Certain behaviors are just simply unnacceptable. Abuse is one.

ybarra357's picture

Exactly what I thought.

OP, Jesushchrist, kicked in the stomach while pregnant?  This ‘man’ greenlights your abuse. Eff that noise. 

Ispofacto's picture


"he told me I deserve the way she treats me bc I am mean to her"

What The Ever Loving Fock.


tog redux's picture

I could never respect a man who intentionally raised a dysfunctional human being just to make himself feel better.  He wants her to be "happy" in his home, so that means no discipline? How does he expect her to function in society for the rest of her life if she believes she can do whatever she wants all the time.

So f****** selfish.  I would divorce him.  Ugh, this stuff makes me so mad. Neglecting children under the guise of being a good parent.

Mommy22's picture

It’s almost like he’s clueless. He’s more of a “here & now” type parent than a “future” type parent. Like, here’s a tantrum so He’s gonna do whatever will make it stop fastest. Which is, give in. A couple nights ago she refused to eat what was being fixed for supper; so, he was going to fix her something totally different just for her. He’s enabling her bad behavior. 

Oh, we’re not married. Doubtful we ever will be. 

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

Yeah the thing that sticks out to me is that it seems like he acknowledges bad behavior and is OK with it, so long as HE feels good about it. It's pretty selfish parenting, to know what you're doing is hurting your child-- yet continuing to do it. Pretty selfish as a partner, too--- to continue to do things that puts your marriage at risk, knowing it impacts the happiness of your spouse and functionality of your household. 


He seems very, very selfish. 

Mommy22's picture

He does acknowledge the behavior, the lying at times. What he does about it, is say stop, quit, I don’t want to hear that anymore, etc. Or he will threaten he will take away this, throw away that. But no real action. In the rare event that he has taken away the iPhone/iPad, he’s given it back when she’s cried or asked for it. He also knows if he takes these things, he will get a tantrum and he’d rather avoid that. I don’t think he views it as hurting his child, rather he’s lessening the chances of her being unhappy.

Siemprematahari's picture

So many red flags here. He doesn't want to go to counseling so that's already established that he won't even attempt to remedy the situation. He's not parenting her and doing a great disservice by allowing SD to do whatever she wants with no consequences. What kind of example does this set for your kids who are clearly seeing the different type of treatment? SD needs help, because she sounds like a out of control Gremlin. The fact that she's kicked you and destroys what's around her is alarming.

Your H with his guilty parenting and head in the sand is a problem. I personally could not be with a man that has no backbone, doesn't support me, or isn't even willing to do counseling. He's telling you everything you need to know with his actions. You are better off by yourself because he's not uplifting or adding to your life in any way. Also, this little Gremlin of his I wouldn't be able to have around not even 50/50.

Reflect and do some soul searching. What is best for you and your kids?

Mommy22's picture

He and his mothers mindset is “you can’t punish her for everything” and “pick and choose your battles”. They’re both afraid once she gets old enough, she will choose not to live at Dad’s if she punished, held accountable, or “unhappy”. 

I dont think my kids are old enough to see the difference just yet, but they will. I’ve told him they eventually will and he can explain to them why the difference is made. SD does notice the difference and has voiced it.

gulity “parenting” and head in the sand “parenting describes him to a T. And i agree, that’s the problem. SD is a product of her parenting, or lack there of. 

I guess this post was part of my soul searching. Thanks for your response  

CLove's picture

Run girl, run. You can obtain child support, and if you are not married, definitely do not do that! Get out! Your children will see how you are being treated and will think its okay. Your partner is not a partner to you, he is already partnered up with SD. She sounds pathalogically bad, and its only going to get worse.

Are you preparing to leave him? Honestly, that is a horrible way to live and the disengagement will only take you so far. There are other issues and he has refused to work on them, is "gaslighting" you in addition to allowing you to be abused, while SD watches happily. Google gaslighting and narcissism. You will probably recognize this in your partner. If you are young enough to bear children, you are young enough to start over easily. If you are old enough to have and raise children, then you are old enough to be a strong independant woman who should be respected and queen freaking bee of your own household. He doesnt own you. You or your children. You are not married. Get out before the abuse "kicks" (as reference to you being kicked) into a higher and higher gear.

Often abuse is like boiling a frog. You put the frog in cold water, its good. You gradually up the heat and the frog cannot decide when to jump out and eventually the water begins to boil. Dont be a frog in boiling water.

Keep us posted...keep venting...if that helps.

Mommy22's picture

No, we are not married. I haven’t been “planning” to leave, per se, but I do own my vehicle and do own a home. So that’s in place. However, I do worry about, if i do leave, visitation with our children. How can I trust him to parent our children and keep them safe from SD’s shenanigans?

yes, venting has definitely helped. 

CLove's picture

You cant trust him to parent, he doesnt want to change and you wont be able to protect your children.

Rags's picture

You know what to do. So do it.  MOVE!  And if  you have family out of state, move out of state and get your two young ones as far away from this shallow and polluted gene pool as possible. Do not risk exposing them to their toxic violent shallow and polluted gene pool elder half sib any more than absolutely neccessary. Sell your home and get  your life, your children and your assets as far away from this toxic situation as you can.

Nail your STBXSO to the wall for a pile of CS for the two kids and minimize the risk of exposure by keeping far enough away to maintain a long distance visitation schedule rather than an EOW/EOWE standard schedule.

My SS-26's SpermClan is a bunch of manipulative semi toothless morons.  My bride left the state for college and took SS with her which relegated the SpermClan to long distance visitation of 7wks/yr. 5wks summer (We got 10 days of visitaiton in their location any time after the first two weeks of their summer visitaiton. The rest of their summer visitation completed after our 10 days), 1wk winter, 1wk spring

As the SpermIdiot added three more out of wedlock spawn by two other baby mamas his financial ability to maintain visitation dwindled. There were a number of years where the SpermClan did not excercise any visitaiton due to not having the money to pay for their half of visitation travel.  Fine with us.

Good  luck protecting  yourself and your babies.

NarcissisticSkids's picture

It will NEVER get better,,you can tell by other blogs forum comments I have made -I have been through the mill for 25 years. What struck me about your post is when you said your SO lets the brat get by with no rules, and plenty of perks. I put up with that crap for years with my DH and his sons, now am reliving ugly manifestations with his 3 yr old grandson. DH picks the child up from “school” 3 days a week- wines and dines the spoild little brat...every time he takes him to chucky cheese, pizza, cookies and new toys EVERY TIME. The kid throws himself on the floor kicking and screaming if he doesn’t get his way, or I try to make him pick up his toys, I GET YELLED AT.....My DH finally admitted the truth to a relative of his that was visiting from out of town- we were all talking about how “wonderful” grandchildren are, when DH admitted that he wants his grandson to like him- it wont do any good to give him rules, because he does not have rules at his house, why should he have rules at ours. DH says if he gives the kid anything he wants, the kid will like him. Guess what? I dont like either one of them..........I could go on for hours, but I just want you to know -I doubt things will change-

Mommy22's picture

Just an update. Today has been one hell of a day. Fits thrown, I’m talking yelling, screaming, falling down in the floor, kicking fits. SD refuses to listen. If her father told her “get your socks on,” she went to do something completely different. If he said “put on your shoes & coat,” again SD would go do something totally irrevelevebt, just to not do what she was told. After being told over & over, items started getting took - iPad, tv, doll, etc. Each time something was took, that was another fall down in the floor fit. SD accused her father of hurting her. She then accused me of hurting her. Obviously, not true. I’m sick of it, I’m tired of it. I’m sick of the home being in a total state of chaos. I’m tired of everybody being in shitty moods. I’m done with it. I’m done with a 8 year throwing temper tantrums like a 2 year old, I’m done with the lies, I’m done with the accusations. This is ridiculous!

ndc's picture

False accusations would be the end for me.  This sounds like a situation where you are much better off without SO and his daughter than you are with them.  I'd be taking myself to a lawyer tomorrow to find out how to get the best child support and custody situation possible (meaning as little time with SO and his crappy parenting as possible) for the mutual children.  Since your SO is unwilling to make changes or work on the situation, there's really no point in remaining in this relationship.  It won't get better and it will probably get much worse.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Your husband is an ahole. No wonder he already has a divorce under his belt. He throws you under the bus even though you’ve done so much for his awful demonspawn.

What an idiot!