I’m at a loss
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?