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Struggling with my feelings in my marriage and with skids

MRBDDB's picture

I can't believe I'm even speaking these words but I've really grown unhappy in my marriage.  The majority of my feelings are related to my SD's and my husband's lack of parenting.  

My OSD20 stopped by last evening for a few minutes which she never does but her ugly attitude as soon as she walks in the door made me realize how grateful I am I did not allow her to move back in with us.  She doesn't even have to say anything, it's the expression on her face and this isn't anything new, she's been this way her entire life.  Mad at the world.  

Then it's sprung on me that SD17 will be staying extra time with us this week.  Do I have any control over that?  No I don't but my DH does not communicate with me.  

Later last evening there was another incident that my BD25's dog jumped up on SD17's bed and wouldn't get down and my DH came in and was rude to my daughter's dog and shoved her off.  My DH and SD's are not dog people.  Then I overheard my SD saying how she couldn't get my BD's dog out of her room.  I've heard her several times when she thinks no one is listening talk rude to BD's dog.  I am a dog lover so that kind of stuff REALLY gets under my skin.  To me, how people talk to and treat animals, speaks volumes.  (I'm not saying she mistreats our dogs because she doesn't, but you can tell she isn't a fan).

So when my DH came to bed last night I was just angry over the way he talked to my daughter's dog.  But it's not even about the dog, it's everything else underneath that's been boiling over inside and out in me for a long time now.  

I don't like who I've allowed myself to become due to this steplife.  I'm unhappy.  I have a lot of other stressers in my life, especially with my own BS22 who has struggled with addiction.  I feel overwhelmed and just unhappy.  I know my own happiness is my responsibility, not anyone else's.  

I find anything and everything my DH does, especially when it involves his daughters just drives me mad.  I try and pick my battles, mind my own business and stay within what I can change and what I can't.  It's so hard sometimes though.

I love my DH but when I think about life long term, read on here how it doesn't get any better even after skids have left home and become adults, I secretly ask myself is this the life I really want?  I take my marriage vows serious but I've let so much resentment build for so long that I'm having a hard time moving past it.  I see how my OSD acts and I think, I really don't care to be a part of this for the rest of my life.  My DH deserves a relationship with his kids but I honestly do not care to have one with them anymore.  I hate I feel that way too!  I try hard to be a good person in life but I've just had it anymore!

I'm really struggling with my feelings and I hate it's come to this.  My DH and I had a really rough first 5 years of marriage.  We have been in a better place these last 5 years but the past few months things have shifted for me and I'm just in a bad place.  Yes, I go to see a therapist but that's been more to work through the my issues with my son and myself.  The issues of being a SM is just another pile of crap.  I'm sure my DH would be open to us seeing a therapist but the thought of working through all this makes me feel even more tired and overwhelmed.

MRBDDB's picture

My therapist talked to me last week about how I choose fight or flight response in my life.  I realized driving to work this morning, I'm going in flight mode right now in my mind in regard to my marriage.  I feel like in doing that I'm letting my SD's win and any other negative thing that I allow to come against my feelings toward my marriage.  I'm trying to find that middle ground but I'm struggling to see it.

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

So sorry Sad

My opinion is for you to step back and take back your life. Let your DH have and handle the relationship with skids. You do not need to participate, especially with the adult skid. Live how you like, enjoy your DH and DD. Don't let the ungrateful skids dictate your happiness. 

But you still need to address deal breakers with your DH. If you let things slide it will continue, ultimately creating the turmoil you feel now. 

Will your DH join you in therapy? It may be beneficial for him to understand how and why you have these feelings. 

In our life, our relationship is number one. Above everyone else and always will be. Without a solid adult foundation everything else falls down. Don't get me wrong we still argue at times but resolution happens quickly as we make it a priority. 

MRBDDB's picture

Thank you for this and the reminders of what is and isn't a priority.  It's a battle some days.

marblefawn's picture

Go to couples therapy. Tell the therapist how decisions that affect you are made without consultation with you (such as the SD coming for a week to stay with you). Any therapist worth the money will tell him he must always, ALWAYS say, "Let me check with MRDBBD first." This gives you a chance to put down your foot or even negotiate for two days rather than a whole week. Without that, you don't even have a chance. This is really important: it gives you back some power, it makes your husband realize he may not make decisions in a vacuum putting SD's wants above your needs, and it puts SD on notice that she might not get what she wants every time because it puts you back in the picture where you haven't been for a long time, if ever.

This is exactly what we went through and it helped. I didn't always win, but SD finally realized there was someone else in his life who would now be weighing in on her requests. And my husband finally realized there was someone else in his life who would now be weighing in on her requests.

And we got this straight in the first or second visit to the therapist, so don't be overwhelmed at the prospect of starting over with a therapist on new problems. When you see a third party willing to level the field toward you, you might take on other issues with the therapist. You just need someone on your side and it might just give you renewed energy to fight this stuff a little harder. Good luck!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

A big part of my disengagement journey was seeing my H for who he really was and realizing I had a H problem, not a skid problem. I felt badly let down by my DH, resented his cowardice, and became REALLY angry with him, as for years he had let his kids and family scapegoat me for actions and inactions belonging solely to him. I was disgusted, disenchanted, and furious with  my DH for several months, after which the anger lessened as I moved on to the acceptance phase.

The anger you're currently experiencing is part of the process of disengagement. It isn't permanent, and comes with realizing just now much of your current unhappiness stems directly from your spouse. You're waking up, recognizing some inconvenient truths about your self, your marriage, and the man you're married to. This stirs up a lot of those stuffed down feelings as well as fresh ones, so yes, exhausting stuff.

You have an awful lot going on just now, and unless you feel your marriage is in immediate danger, I'd let it drift for a bit while you focus on yourself and your son's issues. You're entitled to your feelings, but the anger can be really draining so I hope you take good care of yourself. (((hugs)))


MRBDDB's picture

It is a DH problem and not a skid problem.  I mean I think I knew this but when you said that it was an ah-ha moment just now for me.  I know deep down A LOT of my frustrations I feel toward my SD's aren't even about them, it's about the way my DH has improperly handled things or just not handled them at all.  How he's not put me first but them instead (not always but there have been instances where he should have had my back) and how he's not parented them.  

At the end of the day when I really think about it, it's my DH I resent and in a HEAVY way.  There are so many other things I resent him for that i don't even speak about.  It just keeps building and I'm to the point the smallest things make me want to explode and divorce him!  

No, our marriage is not in immediate danger, unless I choose to push it there.  I know there are days I need to reel myself in and put the focus back on me and the things I have control of and realize the things I don't.  

Just like the dog issue last night, I was so mad over pretty much his tone with my daughter's dog I went and slept on the couch!  I was fuming mad.  Picking my battles is a hard one right now for me.  


fairyo's picture

Most marriages that end in divorce are ended by the wife. It is easier for man with an unhappy wife to stay in that marriage than it is for an happy wife to keep an unhappy husband.Generally women tolerate men having affairs more than vice versa. The problem you have is certainly with your DH who doesn't seem to be taking your unhappiness seriously. Does he seem happy? I'm no expert on relationshios and have failed miserably at most of mine- I think this is because I get sick of always pandering to men's problems when mine get overlooked or disregarded.

I think counselling is a good starting point, but self realisation and complete honesty are also very important. 

Under stress we do have a fight or flight response- after fighting as much as I could I then flew. Even now I wonder that my whole life changed in that split second realisation that I was leaving before I was pushed- my X was making my life intolerable because he lacked the guts to be honest and open with me. Now he can make me the bad cop and say I walked out on him- let him think what he pleases, I know the truth.

I stayed in a difficult marriage for almost twenty years because my vows meant a lot to me- now I am much more cynical about the whole marriage thing. 

I think you are aware of your own power in choosing to stay or leave, but only if you stay on with terms that ensure your needs are being respected and valued will that be a choice for you. Otherwise it is a choice for him. When (if) you leave, make it on your terms- that is where your power lies.

Harry's picture

Picking your battles, doesn’t work. As in your case.  You must make everything a battle.   Why is BD 25 still in your home ?   And BS 22 is in your home. Both did not move on yet.  SD 20 I get dose not live with you. And SD 17. Is still doing visitation.   When you have BD 25 and BS22 still in the home you really can’t say much. I am sure if your BK would not be in the home a lot of this would not happen .  DH did not see this as your future   Whey so you expect him to say. SD 25 and her dog is running the home 

MRBDDB's picture

My BD was visiting last evening and where did you read I said either of them live at home?  My children have been on their own for years.

Rags's picture

I find that middle ground is often very shakey.  Firm ground is rarely in the middle.  It is on the side of right rather than compromise.  That is not to say that there is not firm ground on the outer edge of right that is towards common ground but.. it is rarely found at a truly common point... unless both partners in the adult relationship at the center of the blended family are firm in making each other and that the relationship the sole top priority.

As a change agent leader kind of guy I cringe any time I see a chart of priorities with multiple #1s on it.  There is only one top priority. All else is below that.  In any marriage, the marriage is the only #1.  Above kids (regardless of their biology), above Xs, etc....  Kids are the top responsibility but never the priority over the marriage and the partners to each other.

SoDisappointed's picture

”In any marriage, the marriage is the only #1.  Above kids (regardless of their biology), above Xs, etc....  Kids are the top responsibility but never the priority over the marriage and the partners.”

That is why my 10 month marriage is ending. My skids are a$$holes, but the problem is my DW. Her putting her kids happiness above our marriage killed any chance we had. We are not responsible for our grown children’s happiness. We ARE responsible for being committed to our marriage and our spouse. 

Stillfaithful's picture

I'm new to this forum,  and am glad to see some grounded,  and not emotionally reactive/ pushyadvice givers here. I haven't read every response because I'm going fast and feeling pressured to spend time with sk's..just heard one crying but won't go into my aggravation about this normalcy. 

First,  I admire that you expressed one of the hardest things you are experiencing,  not being happy in your marriage. There are many things I have not had the gumption to even write. Second. I rattle on what many have said- DH is open to therapy so this is a major time and opportunity to go. My advice is to interview therapists well and choose together so that you both go in having some say in gender,  age,  approach,  etc.

Lastly,  I get what you're saying about building resentment, and I like that you realize it's not about what happened with the dog on that day, but about years of stuff.

May I ask,  what are you doing to decompress and enjoy life outside of family?

MRBDDB's picture

I'm not doing enough to decompress.  Honestly when I think about it, next to nothing.  I do attend Al-Anon meetings but I really do need to work on self-care much more than what I do.  I basically sit in a glob of mess called life right now.

Stillfaithful's picture

I truly believe that self care will help you manage emotions and feel more resilient with all of the stress around you. When I first read about disengagement, it seemed like the opposite of what my H and I agreed marriage would be like. But you know what,  I had to preserve myself so that I wouldn't lose it, and communicated with him afterward about what was going on (why it took me longer to get home after work;  why I chose to do lengthy projects when sk's were here,  etc).I withdrew a bit during times that I would be most distressed. It helped! It actually helped me to realize I had been neglecting things that I personally enjoyed. I became more empowered while communicating to H, knowing that I wasnt 'trapped' and victim in a cycle of abuse. 

What are some things you like to do - what experiences/activities go you enjoy?  Self care is only part of the resolution but it's a necessary part. 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

This is going to sound a bit random. The posters above have some golden advice as well, but have you thought of coming up with a hobby to help take a lot of your frustrations out? Kickboxing was a life saver for me. It gave me an outlet for all the agression and anger and stress that I feel and it's really helped keep it from piling up to the point I feel like I'm drowing like it used to.

Regardless of what you decide to do otherwise, I think you coming up with a hobby for yourself would be good for YOUR emotional health Smile

MRBDDB's picture

I think that is a great idea and advice.  Kickboxing would be so good to release frustrations!  I'm not sure due to  bad knee if I could do that but finding a hobby is something I need to do.  Healthy for me, helps with self-care and keeps me out of my head.  

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Exactly. I know the frustrations of step-life just kind of pile up sometimes. So you need to focus on yourself and having an outlet!