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Why is the smell tester apparently so broken in blended families?

Rags's picture

Why is the smell tester apparently so broken in SParents?

It is even worse in BioParents. They can't smell themselves much less their spawn.  Behaviorally speaking.

For some reason many of us think that reeking stench out of a partner smells like roses.

The same with how many of us consider skids.

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

Scratch one-s head

But.... they are only kids.

But, I am married to her/him.  

But, other than THAT he/she/they is/are great.

When do we as SParents call the stench for what it is, and start taking care of ourselves instead of sacrificing ourselves repeatedly to a tragically flawed partner, their broken failed family baggage kids, and their X(s)?  Not necessarily to end the relationship. More to end the tolerance of the stench and start hosing them all down with Lysol.

Figuratively of course.

I know every situation and every person is unique, but, there has to be some basic standards that apply.  There  has to be an enough is enough threshhold.

AllIwantisapeacefullife's picture

This really resonates with me!

I think I got the kick up the backside I needed recently to start putting myself first and start surrounding myself with more peace and positivity. Why do we endure things we were never responsible for creating?!

I feel for the future of this world with a generation of dysfunctional, incapable and selfish children being raised. Who will wipe our arses when we get old? Not them haha!

Harry's picture

That there's something wrong with people with kids who divorce .  Destroying there kids life. I am not talking about people who are physically abusing there SO.  OR are going to jail.  But people who have kids and can't for the next 20 years not have an affair. and Stop doing drugs , gambling, ect for the next 20 years to raise there kids. To be functioning adults. The parents who wanted kids but didn't understand you have to give up things to raise kid.  [ see...  affairs, gambling, drinking. Drugs .. they don't understand me.. the spark is gone ]

these people can't run their own life so they divorce think this is the miracle cure for there problems.  Bring other people into there disfunction.  Buy not making a clean break from there ex.  Expecting there new SO to eat there shi*.   Looking for that big " HAPPY FAMILY. " The one they could not get in the first marriage. But not  figuring out. this was there only shot at it.

To answer your question.  You are not going to like it.  Bio parents don't really care about there kids. The parents say to hell with my kids  I am looking for my own happiness.  I will divorce, screw up everything in my, my SO, My kids life. Then Find a new SO. ..the " SOULMATE ".  Who rightfully. .really don't care about there SK.  They care about themselves. and want to do soulmate things. You can't do soulmate things in front of the kids ..So the kids lose.  And what is easier in life then not care??   If the kids are disrespectful, it's to hard for the parent to do something.[ see want to be happy]  SP disengaged. So nobody does anything about the kids. As in if they really care the parents would keep the family together. But that's takes hard work 



MorningMia's picture

Why is the smell tester apparently so broken in SParents?

It is even worse in BioParents. They can't smell themselves much less their spawn.  Behaviorally speaking.

For some reason many of us think that reeking stench out of a partner smells like roses.

The same with how many of us consider skids

Other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?

This is great! So many of us see things as we want them to be rather than how they are. We hold onto hope that things and people will change. And/or we listen to people whose advice we should not take. 

My smell tester kicked in at the two-year mark and I put the hard brakes on the BS. But the tester got rusty now and then and needed oiled a few times to get it running properly again. 

SMto3's picture

I think the smell tester wasn't stronger than my biological clock. I had been wanting a child all through my 20s but was stuck in a relationship with someone who very clearly told me he didn't want marriage or more children. I left that relationship at 29, and I met DH shortly thereafter. So there I was, approaching 30...and really trying to just find a "good enough" man to have a baby with. There were certain things on my checklist. A man without a drug/drinking/smoking habit, a patient and hard working man, and someone who willingly wanted kids and marriage. DH checked all the boxes. 

Where DH and I went wrong is when he switched his work schedule. With him around, things were different, because he was aware and involved with most things pertaining to his kids. After a few months of the new schedule he had for work, I knew I wasn't really cut out to be with his kids alone most of the week, but at the time I decided to actively stop trying to maybe see if this was the right situation for me...I was pregnant. Fate, right?

When it started to stink for me, was probably at around that time, and it was because when I would tell DH the things he needed to know (hey your 14 year old got in about an hour before you did at 11pm, or hey your 9 year old half assed his homework), he didn't do actual parenting. When I had my own kid, I realized that I made the mistake of thinking that just because DH had custody of his kids and cooked for them, and was patient, he was a good dad.  But the reason he got custody...was actually because BM was a "worse" parent, not necessarily because DH was a "good" parent. He was just a "better" place for the kids to be.  And what I actually thought was patience....I found out a few years later was actually laziness. DH is not a consistent discipliner. He doesn't like being the bad guy, or staying angry or holding a grudge, or actually enforcing punishment, and now I wouldn't say that that's patience, I would call that laziness to parent.

When I had my own, I realized the amount of work and consistency it's taking to raise someone who is accountable for their actions, goes to school when they don't want to, and being looked at as the "bad/strict" one because I can see through kid shit. I don't know that even for my daughter I have on rose tinted glasses. But I do love her more than anything.  


Rumplestiltskin's picture

It's funny how when people see a man taking care of kids by himself, the first reaction is "Wow! He must be an AMAZING dad!" They get congratulated for keeping the kids alive and tossing them a Happy Meal now and then. And you're right. The reality is that they may have just procreated with an unfit woman. Multiple times. Also, i think some of these guys like the attention they get for just being out in public alone with kids. The more feral the kids act, the more attention and sympathy they get. 

Rags's picture

"Single" dads for some reason get significant attraction points when they have a young kid.

When we were in school (DW in undergrad, me in grad school) I would take SS out on weekends for dad/kid time so DW could study in a kid free quiet house. The number of times I was approached by young single moms and young women with no children was notable.  I was in my mid 30s at that time.

Most notably was when my entire family went for a hike at Enchanted Rock (Google it. If you find yourself in the TX hill country make it a point to see it).  We had all hiked to the top.  SS was about 5yo.  I had kid duty watching my son, my niece, and my nephew.  They were running around on top of the rock hiding from each other, etc.   My kid sat on a cactus and yelped "Daddy! Pokies!!!"  I started the cactus needle extraction process from his pokie covered butt.  Young bikini clad sunbathing college students appeared enmasse out of nowhere.  I was quickly surrounded by flirting young women who were pulling spines out of my kid's ass.  Rubbing aloe vera on his rump, trying to give me phone numbers, etc... Mom RADAR keyed in for my wife and my SIL and they came up from the sunny side of the rock where they were sunbathing.  As soon as my kid gleefully exclaimed "Mommy!!!", the coeds disappeared like a rapidly evaporating mist.

DW still will upon occassion give me crap on the Pokie!!! incident.

Of I were 30yrs younger and single. I would be volunteering to watch the young kids of friends and family just for the trolling bait value.  I would bribe the kids to call me "Daddy!"


Kidding of course. Mostly anyway.


CLove's picture

Super duper attractive! Chick magnets Biggrin

Works for women too - men love dogs...I had John Corbett pet my dog and smile while on a road trip with my bf at the time Biggrin

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

@Rags, some of us were never married before but came from solid family backgrounds. Some things that we just assumed would be in place because we grew up in a family that was run well, organized, and discplinary yet loving would result in that being the norm. In reality, my DH also grew up in that same family background and he exhibits those behaviors. Where things went wrong is the kids were over indulged (my take on it was because he felt guilty of their life circumstances with his ex) - SKIDs never had choirs, did whatever they wanted and that was that. It's led to them being extremely self serving and making incredible bad adult life decisions but now the two of us continue to make good decisions for US and I don't allow the SKIDs to impact me too much finanically. I did for awhile but after the monetary waste and their continued attitude of entitlement I realized wow these are big boys and when I was their age I wasn't living off my parents. So they are both attemping to fly - we weaken once and awhile but my resolve is that they are capable and should figure this out. I am surprised that they don't get a little embarrased asking at their ages. 

Rags's picture

My background and parent example is very similar to yours.  Interestingly, because of that, I was floored by the antics of my XW.  I was entirely unprepared to address her, her issues, and behaviors.  I likely would not have ended that marriage for quite some time when she played the D card. I am eternally grateful to her for doing that though I can and will never forget what she did during our engagement and while we were married. It was so beyond my paradigm that I did not recogize what in hind sight was right in front of me.

Her stuff was counter even to the facade that her parents had in place of a quaiity, honorable, solid marriage and family.  20yrs after the divorce, I learned that it was all a shell.  Federal felon convict level embezzlement, etc....  When that surfaced I had any number of a-ha moments over things that caught me as odd during my time in my XIL's sphere of influence.

I did learn though.   I am blessed to have the relationship that I have with my DW.  It is our version of the example my own parents have lived.  

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Sometimes when you "lose", you win. This is the very casebook example. Way to go @Rags. 

BanksiaRose's picture

Or: rejection = redirection. That's my mantra anyway. I'm sure if anybody dug in their memory, they'd see how multiple events that seemed like a major loss at the time turned out to be a blessing. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

@BanksiaRose hadn't heard that but yes, rejection = redirection- I like that ! Thank you for sharing. 

MorningMia's picture

I'm so glad you said this. My parents were divorced, but it never occurred to me to resent or be anything but accepting of my stepfather or my father's GF (who played a part in my parents splitting). Call me crazy: I wanted my parents to be happy; they were not happy in the marriage. Although there was some hostility (mother toward father), we kids did not play into that or play any role in any hostility (I did have the mini-wife sister who exhibited jealousy toward GF, but not hostility, etc.). Friends of mine with divorced parents were very much the same. . . they got along with the step parents. This is the way I (naively) thought it would be in every step situation. Imagine my surprise!  

Evil4's picture

My smell tester was broken because for one, I got the old bait and switch. DH actually disciplined the SKs when we first got together. It was the second we got home from eloping that I literally "investigated," because the change was so sudden and drastic. I tried to find out if BM said something or if SD did. SD wasn't an infinitely clingy cling-on mini-wife and DH wasn't at all indulgent or a Disney dad during our courtship, so it didn't occur to me that I'd get "demoted" to a lowly level and never get my needs met as a wife.

The other reason I didn't have an odour detector was because, and I've admitted this many many times on Steptalk, that I was raised by two insane parents, one of which was my very cruel father who never saw me as doing anything right or having any value as a human being whatsoever. When people are raised in abusive homes, they are taught: 1) that they just aren't as lovable as everyone else, if at all, so they accept crumbs; and, 2) how they're treated is their fault for not ever quite being good enough or getting it right as a friend, wife, daughter, student, or whatever else their role is. We over function, be doormats, and sell our souls, and constantly try to change whatever fault or deficiency we have and one day we'll be fixed enough, good enough to get that fulsome love that we so badly want. 

Being raised in such an unhealthy home causes a whole different mindset than it does for those who were brought up in homes that are on the normal scale. I have been faced with questions and comments like, "why do you stay," "how could you let your parents impact you like that," "how did you not know that your parents were jerks," "how did you not see the red flags," and so on and really these questions don't help at all. It actually makes us feel worse and serves as confirmation that we're defective and just don't think like everyone else. While people brought up on the normal scale can't fathom why abused people tolerate crap, those of us who were raised to never forget that we suck, deserve nothing and are worthless can't fathom how confident people can stand up for themselves and not lose everything. It's a completely different mindset. It took me a lot of therapy to learn about my mindset and to change it and it takes a while to get in touch with your worth when you've never known it was there.

I also think that sometimes that bullshit can sneak up on you. I just experienced a very lengthy bullying experience at work that finally got resolved and parties are being dealt with and it is now the debriefing period where upper management is talking to us to find out when, where and how it all went wrong. I actually had to stop and think and honestly, I think a lot of abusers are narcissists or on the scale. They wear masks, and they put their own spin on things and sometimes their con artistry is good enough that you don't see it coming full force. It sneaks up on you like death by a thousands cuts. At least that's what happened with the most insane bully I've ever seen. Apparently, my teammates have said the same thing. It snuck up on them. 

Anyway, to make a long story short, I tolerate nothing now. I think when a person really knows themselves and values themselves, they won't hesitate to implement the Fuck Around and Find Out Program, which is actually how Bully Boss finally got dealt with. 

Oh, I'll add that SDIL29 and BM have gotten what they call "super close." No one in the family can understand how SDIL doesn't see BM for who and what she really is. Well, I have a theory. SDIL grew up in a very loving family with tons of siblings and cousins. She is close with everyone and her parents are very kind and supportive. SDIL grew up to know her worth and she has a lot of confidence. The reason she got super close with BM and didn't see any red flags is because it never occurred to her that a parent could be like BM. That is something that is just not on SDIL's radar. The rest of that family thinks she'll find out soon enough, but when you're brought up in a super loving family in which everyone loves and respects one another, you think that that's the norm because for you, it is. SDIL got drawn in by BM because why would she need to protect herself from a parental figure when parental figures are all rainbows and kittens. 

Rags's picture

Me too!  It was the second we got home from eloping

My XW pulled her flip as soon as we walked into the honeymoon suite after the wedding reception.  I carried her across the threshhold, she immediately dashed into the suite spa bath, and stayed in there for hours.  When she came out, she was in a holey sports T-shirt and granny panties.  I lever saw her in the bride lengerie she had shopped for so diligently.  Never. 

When she joined me in bed she lost her F-in mind when I rolled on my side to kiss her.  "DON'T TOUCH ME!"

She was not a virgin. Though we had not been fully intimate during our engagement on her request that she wanted to remain abstinant until marriage.  I honored that.  Not knowing that abstinance was a never ending thing in her mind, for the most part. At least within the bounds of marriage. Outside of marriage, she was tapping anything and everything that came within reach.  In the 26mos we cohabitated while married, I can count of less than two  hands the number of times we were fully intimate. The number is 7 to be exact.

She tolerated zero physical contact during our honeymoon until the last day.  It took me any number of years to come to the likely epiphany that she was probably menstruating.  I can't think of any other cause beyond her being BatShit crazy which she most certainly was.  Not only no physical contact, but, she would dispappear for  hours at the resort.  As it turned out, she was hanging out with a newly married couple that we had met on the flight to PV.

I married a beautiful engaging young woman and went to bed on my wedding night with a harpy from hell.  The woman I married never showed up in the marriage.  Never.

Like your SDIL, I was raised in a very loving family by very engaged tough firm parents.  I had zero ability to see XW for who and what she was.  I learned.

I'm sorry that the family you were raised in are who they are.  I am thrilled that you are who you are.  Stay focused on living your best life.

Give rose


StepUltimate's picture

... from a Covert Narcissist. Once we were legally married, the true Mr. Hyde came forth. Raging, selfish, gaslighting Disney Dad. 

This journey (=now divorced, as detailed in my blogs) revealed to me that my own dad is a Covert Narc. Before all this, I just thought he was an alcoholic. Your post really resonates with me Evil4 because in spite of my previous years in Al-Anon Adult Child of Alcoholics plus 12-step eating disorder recovery from annorexia & bulimia, I was "set up" perfectly for my now xH. 

So glad I'm FREE of that now & so grateful for StepTalk! Ya'll are my people. Biggrin

Rags's picture

I am so angry for you.  Thrilled that you are on to living your best life. But angry that you had to deal with all of that.

It is not necessary for people to treat others that way.

Keep taking care of  you.

Give rose

MorningMia's picture

I love your FAFO Program! Sadly, many of us need those programs in our lives.