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Im sure im not the only one

malantlep's picture

With as many people on this site, i cant be the only one where step kids behavior and lack of discipline from their mom/dad has caused romance issues with their spouse??

I have been married for almost 3 years now and the first 2 were great with my wife. The kids behaviors and being needy all the time has really taken a toll on the romance in our marriage. I do not get along with the SS at all! Have been butting heads with him from day 1 since his mother and i got together 5 years ago. I figured he was going through a stage and would eventually grow out of it. As time went on, his mom would baby him and anytime we had any alone time, he would text her, yell from other room...etc that he needed to talk to her and she would stop and go right to him. We could be in a serious conversation, watching a movie together, trying to be intimate, whatever we were trying to enjoy together in our little free time we would have together. 

For a while i just chalked it up to him adjusting to having a male in his life and the jealous deal, but now he is 18 and does the exact same thing. Last year it seemed to get more frequent and i got to the point where i just wanted to go to sleep or watch a movie in quiet. My wife has been upset and has kept bringing up its been 6 months.....8 months....over a year....since we have had any intimacy. I am just so irritated at that kid and so tired of not being able to spend quality time....not just sex...because he is always needing to talk to her and interrrupting our together time, that i have just no interest in intamacy with her anymore. After all the interruptions, texts, yelling from the other room and she jumps immediately i just gave up. 

I have no interest in looking elsewhere whatsoever, i just dont have any urge to be intimate and pretty much work, spend time with my dogs and enjoy my free time in the outdoors having my quiet time. 

Anyone else dealing with a similiar situation? If so any solutions that you have found to get intimacy back or do you just lack them for good?

tog redux's picture

Many, many people on here have the issue of a partner who babies and enables his/her kids, to the detriment of the marriage. 

I'd say from the outside that your marriage is over - what keeps you there? If you still have hope, maybe marriage therapy would help. 

Rags's picture

First, I would say that it isn't you who gave up.   Your wife never has been your equity life partner.

The good news is the incubus spawn is 18 and can be gone in short order.  Also, at 18 you can have a serious man to man with him and set him straight.

The worst that can happen is that he will go tearfully latch onto mommy's tit and she will call it quits with you.

Not much down side and no great loss if that happens.  The upside is he may take the man to man to heart and you can then sit your wife down and set her straight on how the marriage will either progress or end.  That needs to happen anyway.

I would rather go down in flames while taking action than just wilt away. 

SeeYouNever's picture

I'd say most steps feel this way when the skids are around if their SO is lousy parent, it's just that a lot of us only have this EOWE or less. I know that I am not at all attracted to my DH when he acts like SD farts rainbows. I think he made the connection that he wasn't getting any when eh was being an indulgent guilty dad so he started actually parenting SD. Of course SD wants fun with him not a real and healthy relationship so she stopped coming. You win some you lose some. It helped our sex life and now we don't have to spend tons of money going to the movies/trampoline park/mall/coney island. 

As sick as it sounds your wife is getting all her emotional intimacy needs met from her son and expects you to fill in the physical part. No one wants to feel like they are being used for one thing like that, it's a lonely existence. 

BethAnne's picture

If I were you I would write down some version of your post for your wife and give it to her. This will help her to understand why you have not felt like being intimate with her recently. That would be a good starting point for you two to try to work out a way out of your slump together. As much as you have settled into your comfortable life, I am sure you would like to rekindle the intimacy and feel like you have your wife's attention again. There are many ways that you could move forwards and start trying to create a more condusive atmosphere together but that relies on your wife seeing the situation for what it is and taking steps to create space for her relationship with you. 

malantlep's picture

I will give that a try and maybe that will work better than having a conversation only. Maybe reading something first then talking about it might spark something where she understands where im coming from.

Thanks for the reply.

Jojo4124's picture

Is the problem as SHE neglects you to run to ss. Emotional incest...great books out there on the topic. She gets her emotional needs met by him and has none left for you. Because the other man (most affairs start emotionally) is her child, it is hard to see that she has replaced you. I am divorcing a man who is wrapped up in his daughter. Sickkk

Enmeshment of this level usually doesn't go away and the ppl involved in it rarely admit it, therefore see no need to get help to stop it. My stbx said he'd read a book with me about emotional incest, then he threw the book away. That was my answer plus I caught them sneaking around half naked together twice. It does happen.

Decide if you can handle your wife giving another man what should be for her spouse...

malantlep's picture

She feels sorry for him because his father hasnt been in the picture and is trying to make up for it by babying him. 18 and he still acts like hes 10!!! She has told me this before when we spoke and even though i have said that he needs to start fending for himself, she feels like she needs to help him through life so he wont fall down. 

I understand you need to be there for your kids, but there is a time when they leave the nest and start their own life. She is not wanting him to leave the nest and he commented that he is afraid to move out and be on his own. I told her that in no way is he staying and will be moving out because i cant do it anymore. 

Im hoping that when is leaves, maybe there can be more romance between date nights again. I do miss that with her. 

She needs to stop feeling guilty because their dad hasnt been there for them and be the mother and not give in to everything they want.

Merry's picture

Except that her way of "helping him through life" is actually crippling him.

That boy needs a launch plan. What skills does he need to live on his own? Can he manage money? Cook a meal? Shop within a budget? Do basic cleaning? Laundry? Reliably hold a job? Set a goal, make a plan to reach the goal, and launch. If she won't do that, then she doesn't really want him to be a successful, independent adult. HER needs are fulfilled by keeping him dependent on her. Sadly, it's pretty common around here.

malantlep's picture

He doesnt have any skills whatsoever! He has not held a job for the past 2 years. He had a job at a hardware store 2 summers ago and worked there for 1.5 months at 2 days a week and basically quit because they asked him if he would work an extra day to put stock away...that bridge was burned. Then he had a job for about 3 months recently and was mad because was cutting into his time on the weekend hanging out with his friend?!?! There is not work ethic at all...never since ive known him and ive tried to instill that in him but the mother always makes excuses for him. 

He cannot budget money at all. Always spending it on supplies for his truck so it looks "cool". I told him since he was 15 that he should be saving money for when he moves out after graduation and that it will cost him about 3K with deposits, bills, etc. He hasnt saved anything toward that and last i heard had $700 in his account a couple weeks ago. He keeps his truck clean, but expects everyone else to pick up the house, do dishes, yard work...he doesnt contribute with anything. This is why im making him GTFO of my house after graduation! I cannot and wont do this anymore. If he hasnt learned skills by now, he wont learn anything else from me at this point so its going to be school of hard knocks. 

I know people think im being to hard on him and mean by making him move and not come back, but he has been a leech the entire time ive known him. I shouldnt have to put up with his laziness and not contributing in my house. If anything ive done him a huge favor letting him live there this long! The boy needs to be kicked out of the nest and learn on his own.

failuretolaunch's picture

I don't think you are mean at all. This is the next thing I face. SS has now finished college and I can see the next issue being him getting a job. His mum will make excuses for him. At the moment, granted he has just finished so am allowing a grace period, he just lays in bed and watches a tv he's just been given. I've told my partner that he needs to get a job now, she agrees but I can already feel that even though she agrees she is not going to do anything about it and lap up his excuses. The only thing I can do, which sounds childish is go on strike. I take care of the home at the moment. I already don't empty or load the dishwasher, I don't empty the bin and I am finding other little things that the grown up Skids can do. I can see my partner is pi$$ed off with it but if she says anything I will refer her to her adult sons who do bugger all around the house. I have tried and tried to get her to put a simple rota in place but that has never happened, so she has to deal with the dishwasher and bins now, next is the cleaning of the house if the do nothing, I won't be doing it.

I read hear it's called the burning platform. Make it so uncomfortable for them to be in the house they go and get a job or get out. Problem for you is your partner and she will just coddle and make excuses.

Rags's picture

You are the only one who actually gives a shit about this kid's future.  Coddle mommy and the rest of the coddle squad really don't give a crap about this kid becoming a viable adult.

He nor they will likely ever recognize this fact, but ... that is really not your problem.

Stay the course and take care of you.

failuretolaunch's picture

This is what I feel with my partner. Although not as bad as you, I feel she lets him lie to her, take the pi$$ because she doesn't want to upset him. She is trying to find all kinds of reasons for his behaviour. Maybe he does have the issues she says he has but there has been no diagnosis and I feel he now has a good excuse to turn to when he wants sympathy because she has filled his head with this stuff. I could be wrong but that's how I feel.

I've been asking her to tell him to get keys cut for at least a month because he lost his. So I have to always open the door to him or her as she gives him her keys at any time of day and night. He even went to the hardware store where you can get keys cut the other day and told her to tell him to get them done. Did he, did she. She just lets him get away with crap, this is a small example but tells you the bigger story.

I understand your frustration and if you'e had enough and happy living like you are then make it work for you. No matter how much I say things to my partner, it just doesn't get through. I've disengaged lately, so all the crap is hers now. Only when your partner and mine get fed up will things change, I think you can talk until you are blue in the face and trying to talk only leads to more frustration in my case and maybe yours because no change occurs.

Gong to look up Emotional incest now.

Good luck, but carry on doing what you're doing if it works for you and if your wife asks you why you are distant then you can maybe use that as a chance to talk. If you want to talk, I recommend doing it in a public place where you have to lisen to each other and not shout / argue.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

You are in a difficult place. I am currently struggling in my relationship with SO as well. I hold on to the memories of how great we once were.  But it has been so long I am ready to give up and accept that part of our relationship is gone. 

It takes two to make a relationship work and without both parties working together it will not change.  

In my situation SO has become so consumed by BMs alienation of SKs and his desire to hold onto having a relationship with them he has forgotten who is still here with him. Who has been by his side and put up with BMs crap and SKs abuse and horrific behavior for him. 

Over the past year having to deal with SO taking out all his frustration on me the one person who has stood by his side as well as neglecting our relationship because he is consumed by the drama and guilt has caused so much hurt it has turned into resentment. 

Now even the smallest issue is too much and I just want to walk away from all of it. I don't know how I feel about him anymore. I don't know if staying with him is worth it. What am I getting out of this relationship? 

I did what you are doing and for a year spent time being busy to cope. But now I just feel like I want a life without stress and drama. I feel like I would be happier alone.

I am going to counseling for myself. I am seeking clarity so I can make the best decision for myself. 

malantlep's picture

so you understand exactly what im talking about it sounds like! My wife treats me really well and would do pretty much anything for me....except keeping the kids in check. I have spoken with her about it and it ends up with her getting heated and raising her voice telling me sorry im such a bad mother. 

She does alot for her kids as she should, but feels guilty since their father has been out of the picture and is trying to make up for it by not upsetting them and giving them what they want...when they want so they are happy. That is my issue! I really dont see it getting any better even though the oldest is almost gone. Maybe i should try counseling? I do love her and would do anything for her also but seriously why be married when there is absolutely no intimacy??? It truly feels like i have a roomate that just sleeps next to me. I know she feels the same because she has mentioned many times about it being X amount of months since weve had sex. I just dont really feel like it in general. Too many times that kids needed her attention and instead of telling them its our time together, jumps right up to see what question they have, or some story that all the sudden they feel is necessary to tell her at that moment. It has just been such a big turn off that i just shut down and said no more. I feel as you do in being happier alone. My dogs are great company for me and i spend more time with them than with my wife. Thats pretty sad.

I hope that the counseling helps you. Keep me posted on how it works out. Hope you find the clarity your looking for.

failuretolaunch's picture

sorry im such a bad mother

My partner did this too. It's just a way to deflect the conversation and not deal with the issue that you raised. If she says it again just say yes you are, because you pander to him and you disable him instead of enabling him. He knows what he is doing, he is controlling and manipulative and he will take these behaviours into a relationship he has with someone else. Only a child needs that constant attention and need and because his mum has allowed it, he has not grown out of that stage and they both seem co dependent on each other. It's weird.

Jenny Morgan's picture

I feel your pain . My partner does the same with her 11 year daughter  and she has only one and that takes up all her emotional  time!

My partner just got a puppy for her daughter as well so now by 10pm when we actually have quiet time ( puppy and child in bed) she is moody , tired and irritable . So just watches TV for 30 mins and goes to bed . Turns away from me . If I try and talk about it she gets angry and turns it on me telling me I am unsupportive.  

I don't know the answer... I think counselling or writing it down . It depends if your partner is even open to looking at the problem . If not then I fear you need to decide what will make you happy. Accept this is how it is and enjoy time with your dogs or whatever or move on . 

Indianamom's picture

I have a SS the same age and he was a constant stressor in my relationship with my SO, he is a slob, rude, uses foul langauge, he is the most obnoxious person I have ever had to encounter. I tried my hardest to be supportive to my DH, helping him get SS in school when he came to live with us full time, fixing meals, keeping the house up etc....but the constant interruptions in our time, doing destructive or outlandish actions to get the attention focused on SS started to deteriorate mine and SO's relationship. I woke up one day after a pretty rough weekend with this and just decided it was ENOUGH. This man I'm with is so very good to me and my child. I've started listening to the Nachokids podcasts and I officially Nacho SS18- I do NOTHING for him anymore, I won't cook meals when he is home, buy anything special for him, he asks me questions I refer him to his father, I'm not even going to his graduation next week. I no longer try and make it comfortable for him at our house, I even shut off the internet when me and my DH go to bed.  The only part of interaction I don't nacho is when I hear him raise his voice and be disrepectful to my DH, I will rip him a new one for  that as he thinks it ok to treat him the way he does. He will learn some respect or he can GTFO- but I'm not sacrificing my relationship for him. I totally get how it happens and the resentment that builds. There are days that I wish SS would be humbled and someone outside our house shut his mouth for him and tell him about himself- just know you are not alone and your SS can't live there forever. I've have 2 grown sons so I've been through the whole teenage boy thing but my children never acted like this. If your relationship with your SO is important , its time to fight for it.

Rags's picture

I recognize how blessed I am to make my life with my amazing bride.

She struggled with standards and goal based parenting as many BPs in blended marriages often do.   So did I actually.   But... she..... and I ..... realized that to counter the lazy manipulative entitlement minded bullshit in the blended family opposition we had to direct our parenting efforts toward the goal of SS launching to viable adulthood.

The three of us had our struggles along that path but ultimately we were fairly successful.  The pride I see in both the eyes of my bride as she sees the skid thrive as an adult and the pride he has in himself are the greatest reward in my life.

The sad thing is .... that it really does not have to be as difficult as so many in blended family situations seem to make it.

Good luck and stick to your guns.  I am hopeful if not confident that a couple of years down the road your bride will gain clarity and your marriage will thrive once the launch occurs and everyone has time for that new normal to settle out.

failuretolaunch's picture

You're right, it doesn't have to be that hard. It's only hard because the two adults in a relationship whether they have step kids or not, are not on the same page. I've seen the same situation with my mum and my dad who have a child 12 years younger than me, my brother. When me and my older brother were growing up my mum and dad were on the same page, but for some reason they fight against each other when it comes to my younger brother, in all honesty I think it's my mums problem for some reason. My brother has issues and she has been so protective of him and my dad hates it and can't deal with it. I think my younger brother has emotional issues that my dad can't deal with, but instead of my mum and dad working together tey just fight about it and it has caused so much problems.

A house divided, is a house that falls.

malantlep's picture

In a talk i had last week with my wife, i said that exact thing to her about being on the same page. I said we need to sit down and talk to the kids and both of us explain what consequences will be when they do not listen, misbehave etc. Her reply was fine whatever you want to do. You can tell them. 

What i was trying to explain was that it isnt whatever i want to do...its what WE will do together and that by making it me doing the talking is making me out to be the bad guy and her consoling them and being the good parent. 

The talk actually went nowhere, but i felt better being blunt and totally honest on where i was coming from so from this point on i just checked out and am going to just handle things my way since i have no back up. If it causes her to get upset and decide to leave im good with that. Im not going to worry about feeling anymore, i am going to make myself happy and just enjoy spending time with my dogs in the outdoors. 

There was some weight lifted for me after that talk and i know exactly where i stand and that things will not change with her so now i can move forward and not feel guilty about making her upset in dealing with her kids.

malantlep's picture

I am hoping that by him leaving it will improve things, but the closer it is about a week and a half now....the more upset i can see she is that he will be moving out. We got into a big discussion just a few days ago and i was trying to just have a heart to heart talk with her once again. As soon as i mentioned her kids, she blew and started getting angry and defending them and wouldnt listen to what i had to say. I stayed calm and just told her that the oldest is moving out and is no longer going to be in my house. She said that she is his mother and should have a say about it. I told her its my house and i am booting his ass out once he graduates and i am not budging. I told her that i have dealt with his shit for 4 years and ive had enough so she can be upset with me all she wants.

Even though she wouldnt listen to what i had to say and got on the defensive right away, i felt alot better speaking my mind and flat laying it down to her. There was no mincing words and i was blunt and to the point so there will be no confusion to where they "thought" i had agreed he could stay or whatever. 

At least some stress was taken off my plate last week. I am over all the drama and at this point if she decides to leave im fine with it. No sense in having all this stress in my life. Ive pretty much just checked out and just do my own thing at this point. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

The only she should be upset with is herself for enabling him to be dependent and needy. If that's how she chooses to raise her son she can find a way to do it but outside of your house. 

When you have an uncooperative partner you are put in a position where you have to make the best decision for yourself. How they respond to that decision is up to them. If enabling Thier children means more to them than their relationship that's a decision they have to live with.