You are here

Worried my relationship will end because of step children issues.

Tired and disillusioned's picture

I have registered on here in the hope I can get some friendly and kind advice, I have recently lost my father so I am feeling a tad delicate. I will try to brief - I have been with my partner for 11 years he as 2 step children (now yound adults) who live with their mother (his ex) they have always tolerated me and made it clear they do not want to establish any form of relationship with either me or my 2 children (around the same age) they have never been rude to me just treated with me indifference. I have always tried very hard to get on with them and join in with any activities/take them on holiday etc but it has always been difficult, they simple act very quiet and we get 'yes/no' responses from them, conversation has always been difficult. There father met me shortly after he left their mum so I guess they see me as part of the reason they never got back together. I get on very well with my partners family who warned me from the outset his children are very spoilt and demand 100% off his time and attention. Ater 10 years myself and my children have acceted we will never have a great relationship with them and it has stagnated at we see them once a year at Christmas on Boxing Day. They choose not to visit but see their Dad for meals regularly fortnightly, I now feel I cannot attend due their obvious attitude I am invisible. Not once in 10 years have either of them thanked me for their presents (I always pay half) thanked me for the huge buffet I do them (and pay for) each year or even send me a Xmas card or wish me a happy Christmas. It makes me very sad. Things have now come to a head as my partner and I have been paying for his ex's property for the last 10 years (under mortgage) due to kids being under 18, no court involved it was the right thing to do as she only worked part time, the house is in his name. he has always explained to them from the age of around 15 that when they both became adults the house would have to be sold as we could not pay for it indefinately, my daughter started University 3 years ago and this has put a huge strain on our finances as we receive only part assistance (his daughter and son get full due to their mum being single on low income) they have both always said they understood and were okay with this. My partner put the house up for sale last year and received no interest, house sales around here have practically stopped currently, we had no choice but to move in temporarily and give up our rented property so we were only paying for one house. My partner explained to both of his kids the reason and it was temporary only until it can be sold it also needed a lot of work doing to it which we are in the process of doing as we think this was hindering the sale. All appeared okay. Gradually his step daughter has distanced herself from him and stopped replying to his messages/calls etc. Xmas was approaching and I told my partner I was starting to feel a little uncomfortable with things as it appeared all was not well, In advised him to talk to her. Shortly after this my father suddenly passed away I was very close to my Dad and to say I am devastated does not come close. SD was aware of this and therefore I am so angry and upset that she chose that week just after his death to call my partner and call him a useless father, she stated he never puts them first and me and my kids always come first (opposite is true) she said he has never been there for her and she is disgusted with us both for moving into the house (I do understand this) she had a long rant about I make no effort with them etc. my partner was in tears when she ended the call. I was furious. My partner has been there 24/7 for them both too much so I think hence they do not understand he has other people to think of (his mum has Alzeimers and he is carer as well as working) her timing is what has upset me so much, I have had so much to deal with over Christmas, losing my dad, arranging his funeral and now I have all the Probate stuff to deal with. She refused to come and see us Boxing Day as usual and stated ' I used to be a child and had to do things I didn't want to now I don't' my partner then left me alone on Boxing Day to take them both out for dinner. I feel so hurt and angry. Angry at her for causing do much upset at a very difficult time and angry at my partner for not fighting my corner. If this had been my kids they would have got a severe talking to re the inappropriateness of the timing and the fact I have always been kind and welcoming to his kids. We are in the situation now where she has not apologised to either of us even though she is fully aware why we had to move in (cannot say I was happy about it! Its plain weird living here) and she has been so selfish her dad is always there for her, he cares for his mum works FT and he has supported me with my father through his ill health. Currently I have no contact with his kids, he is due to go out with them later this week and I feel so upset and hurt. I have asked him why has he never sat them down and gave them a talking to about their treatment of me but all I get is 'I don;t know what to do' I am tired of being treated this way and he does nothing to support me. Sorry this is no long a potted 10 year history. I am not unsympathetic to how she feels re the house its weird for us too! I would also piont out even though his ex was not joint owner he have her half the equity, we have taken out a joint loan to pay her!!


Tired and disillusioned's picture

Excuse my awful typing

eminem's picture

I feel for you i do ive been there myself dad passed away 7 years ago never even bothered to turn up at his funeral even though the church was a 5 min walk from their home .u need to distance yourself away from them otherwise you will crack thinking about it ,we dont talk here about his kids as only causes problems as they only use him for there satisfacton no xmas card no presant 

2Tired4Drama's picture

First let me give you condolences on the loss of your father.   As you can see, you will get more sympathy from strangers than you will from your stepkids.  Keep that perspective utmost in your mind. 

Start by reading some of the posts on the "Disengagement" forum here on StepTalk.

Bottom line is that you do not need to have any kind of relationship with your stepkids.  They are not worth putting ANY emotional energy into.  

It sounds like you already have the foundation for disengagement, since your partner/DH visits them on his own and out of your home (where ever that may be).  Keep it that way.   Don't ask your DH about them and if he starts talking about them, change the subject.   Don't bother to include them in any holiday activities/meals etc.  Let DH go and visit them on his own as long as he doesn't negatively impact any plans you've made for yourselves.  

As for finances, you need to sit down and be VERY clear (with pen to paper) on who is paying what, and for what.   You need to be absolutely firm that you will NOT be doing anything further which will support or financially favor his ex wife nor adult kids.  If your finances are not separate, make them separate and keep them that way.

Don't make any big announcements that you've "disengaged" - just practice it.  Don't be involved with his kids, don't ask about them and change the subject when they come up.  This is about the only way you will have peace in your marriage.

Good luck to you.  


Tired and disillusioned's picture

Thank you for your kind words, I guess disengagement is the way forward but I find it very hard/painful

sammigirl's picture

Sorry you lost your Father.  I went thru almost the exact experience one year ago.  I miss my Father very much.  Then, we here have hate and discontent  with  the  drama.

2Tired4Drama is spot on!  Please read that post over and over.  

Disengagement is extremely difficult and hurtful.  It is a form of grief.  Just know it will get easier.  You never get over the loss of a loved one, it gets easier to live with it.

I am totally disengaged from my SD, six years now.  It takes time and being honest with yourself.  I focus on moving forward.  You will wake up some morning and realize you don't care any longer.   

You are ahead, and have the door already opened for disengagement; go forward, step thru, and shut the door behind you.


AyeGavalt's picture

I've tried this disengagement tactic...

Re "Don't be involved with his kids, don't ask about them and change the subject when they come up."

I feel my own partner sees what I'm doing, let's me do it, but just eeks me back in again gradually... for instance, SD bday in a couple days. This is the kid that it took an act of God to get to send a fax FROM the house her mom BOUGHT her for college yesterday and it was so sloppily done as to be useless. Meanwhile we're supposed to take her out for dinner??? JUST KILL ME. Please. So I don't have to go!! Lol

How to be disengaged when FORCED to do shit for and with these ingrates?!  I'm just not the person who plays fakey fakey well...

Gimlet's picture

Oh girl.

Your husband paid for his ex's home to give his kids a place to live because she was underemployed and chose to work part time, he's allowed the kids to treat you poorly, and he chose to give BM half the equity in a house that her name was not on and for which she didn't pay???  And you had to take out a loan for that??  Is he daft??

Oh f*ck that.

His daughter states she's an adult, now it's time to act like it.  What an entitled whiney brat.  

If he wants to chase after them, that's his business.  I would go completely no contact and let him know that you don't want to hear about them, see them, smell them, or think about them.

I'm livid with your husband on your behalf.  He has some serious boundary issues.  What would happen if you split finances?  I would not want to be on the hook for that loan, that's f*cking insane.

ESMOD's picture

Maybe he felt the home was basically a joint marital asset.. and that was why he did it?   Not sure why/if it should have been in their divorce decree.. though.

Gimlet's picture

In the decree, fine.  Not in the decree, no way.

It sounds like SM moving into the home was one of SD's issues and I'd imagine that the loan was part of the need for that because clearly OP didn't want to do that. 

It seems like dad took care of the skids and ex and that wasn't good enough for skids.  

I would disengage so hard and honestly, I'd have bigger issues with my husband's lack of boundaries and expectations.

Tired and disillusioned's picture

Thank you so much for your reply. I guess he gave her half as he felt it was the moral thing to do as he would have had to have done that if they had been married or her name had been on the deeds. I respected him for that and re the loan I have gained in the long run as there was equity in the house when he signed half of it over to me so even though I am reponsible for half the loan I have am a little better off with the equity taken into consideration

Gimlet's picture

You sound like a very kind and fair person who has really taken the best interest of everyone into consideration.   It's unfortunate that in stephell that trait often goes unnoticed, unappreciated, and in cases like yours, even punished.

2Tired gave good advice.  There is nothing wrong with disengaging.  You've done everything you can and then some.  This is not your fault.

ESMOD's picture

I'm so sorry for the loss of your Father.

I agree with the posters who are advocating that you give yourself permission to disengage from these young adults.  Obviously, by now, there is no point or prospect of you having a close relationship with these people.  I would continue to be fine with your DH seeing them on his own and fortnightly (had to look that up.. every two weeks..haha).  It isn't excessive and he appears to be ok with you staying home. One thing that I might ask of him (though you won't know whether he does it) is that you should be "off limits" as a topic of conversation with his kids.   

Look, they don't like you and will think horrid things about you, true or not.  He can't stop them from thinking what they want.. and as long as those thoughts remain "in their heads".. that is their business.  On the flip side, I would give him the gift of not bringing them up.. unless it was absolutely necessary due to some logistical issue.

I would give up on the Xmas boxing day celebrations.  As they get older, they are likely to couple up and have other invitations.. I would suggest that he do one dinner or meal out with them on one of those two days.. and the rest of the time is spent with you.. unless you happen to want to travel over the holidays (I HIGHLY ADVISE IT).. then he can have a 'makeup dinner" and give them whatever little gift he has bought them (with his own money). 

ITB2012's picture

I'm sorry that this all is happening at once. Some of it was there before but I'm sure while you are raw from the loss of your father that it all hurts more.

This seems pretty straightforward. Your DH may not know what to do, but you do. You already seem to be leaning toward what I'm going to put below. And you can tell him: "It's okay that you don't know what to do; I do." And then you can inform him of what you are doing:

-you tried while they were children but now that they are adults and do not want to have a relationship, you are okay with that and will not have one with them.

-he is welcome to see them outside of the house but they are no longer invited to your events (they have stated they won't come anyway, so no more invites that make people uncomfortable and bring up bad feelings on both sides).

-you won't be spending any of your money on them, he will have to adjust the level of gifts and other things to fit within his budget.

-you are clearing out the space in your head and your life for other things.


And remember, their bad behavior is not a reflection on you it is their bad behavior, let them own it. Don't expect an apology, it's not gonna happen and waiting for one won't let you move on from this.

piegirl's picture

I too am so sorry for the loss of your dear Dad. It is just horrible of your SD to make this difficult time even more difficult. It does sound as though you and your DH have done absolutely everything you can for these skids - ungrateful brats!

I would also make a greater expectation of DH to have your back. He needs to expect respect for himself and you from his adult children.

(((((hugs for you)))))

Tired and disillusioned's picture

Thank you for your kind response I guess I am half way there allready re disengagement it just saddens me thats how it has to be I worry it will cause resentment from him towards me as he will probably become angry towards me if I refuse to engage with them? I am  not sure he understands totally at the moment but I am not sure how long that will last. Blood is always thicker than water so they say

sammigirl's picture

Keep in mind, if someone else had married their father, it would be the same.  

This is not you.  This is on them.  You are a kind person.  Be kind to yourself and make your life easy for you.

I quit chasing my DH and his grown disrespectful kids.  Now my DH realizes how it could have, but never will be.

I will NEVER step backwards for repeated abuse.

Kes's picture

So sorry for the loss of your father.  I agree with previous posters, ie read the disengagement section.  Expect your partner to support you a bit more regarding his awful adult kids and demand that he do so.  My DH took 10 yrs to realise he had treated me shabbily regarding not having my back with his daughters as they grew up. He was so scared of losing the relationship with them that he dared not challenge them on their awful attitude towards me.  If I had a chance to do it all over, I would not put up with this treatment.  Thankfully, in the end he did change, and sets boundaries with them now, otherwise I wouldn't still be here. 

eminem's picture

kes i to have this same problem and im glad yours was sorted i dont think it will ever happen here and there has been times when i feel like just walking away from it all as they are so disrispectful.they now have their own kids and thought things would have changed but 7 years on if anything its got worse ,they are on the phone constantly telling tales on each other their mother their mothers boyfriend their granny u name it and want him to get involved in all rows that occur .my husband is an old age pensioner now goes to see grandkids once every few weeks doesent feel like their his grandkids (his words) i stay away cant be around all that drama my husband is not a well man but they dont care they only ring to tell him the latest drama that has nothing to do with him but is afraid to say anything because they bully him and say u never care about us it goes on and on and on 

Tired and disillusioned's picture

Thank you all so much for taking the time to reply your responses have cheered me up today I was beginning to think I was going a bit nuts with it all and I made the mistake of asking for advice on netmums and was met with a barrage of abuse hence I deleted my account and my one and only question :-( 

Rags's picture

Your Skid's are a product of your idiot husband's failed parenting.  You are dealing with the loss of your father and by your side is where your DH needs to be.  Rather than sniffing the tails of his toxic pelvic projectiles with his tail tucked between his legs.  

I do not know if this failed husband and father is salvageable.  For sure do not invest further in him until he steps up and puts you and your marriage as his priority.

My condolences on the loss of your dad and on the abject state of idiocy of your husband.

Take care of you.

CLove's picture

Cyber hugs.

Those ungrateful cretins do not deserver another ounce of your attention (and $).

Follow all the advice here...

StepUltimate's picture

My condolances, losing your dad.