I don't think I'm cut out for the SM role and I don't know how to tell DH
I’m not really sure what to do. I’m a 37 year old woman and I’ve been married for 4 years. My husband is 39 years old. He has 2 children by a woman that he was never married to. Typically I would not even get involved with a man that had 2 kids, especially if the mother was still living and the kids lived with him. I knew him before he had children so I let this go and gave him a pass. They split up when the children were 8 months old and 1 ½, so they were really young. While we were dating he was going through a custody battle. I do admit that I lived in my own little world, and in my mind I pictured us having 50/50 custody. That would allow me to still get my alone time with him. Actually, he got primary custody of the children 2 days before we got married. We were all evaluated by a psychiatrist and his ex was deemed to have a drinking problem & was a compulsive liar, therefore she was granted daytime visitation only. The children were not to spend the night with her. I became a full-time mother on Thursday afternoon and I got married on Saturday. At this time the kids were 2 and 3 years old and I was 33. This was in 2010.
Through the years his ex has put us through so much. She knows how to push his buttons and he typically reacts. The first time they went to court we ended up over $40,000 in debt from lawyer and court fees. We had to pay a portion of her lawyer fees too. I was very resentful because although we both have good jobs, we had to have an inexpensive wedding. I’m still upset about that.
In 2011 we worked out an agreement (out of court) that went against the psychiatrist’s recommendations. We allowed her 1 overnight visit a week and every other weekend. This was ok because I did not often have contact with her, as she would typically only shows up about every 4 to 6 weeks and exchanges were done at day care. I didn’t like the fact that I had kids all the time and I hated it when my husband left me alone with them. I loved when she did show up because I finally got time without kids, but at the same time I didn’t feel like spending time with her was a positive thing for the children. She would often drop them off at night after giving them candy, she had them in her car with no car seat or booster seat, the older daughter has told us that she’s seen mommy and her boyfriend have sex multiple times, mommy walks around the house naked, mommy and her boyfriend are fighting and sometimes they hit each other, and sometimes they did not bathe for days. It was all stuff I would never subject my own children to.
Fast forward to the end of 2013. We bought our first house in an area that is way above our budget. A family friend gave us a really great deal on the home. I knew from the beginning that once she saw the house there would be problems. It’s happening again. She has never paid anything for the kids education, childcare, or after school care & she barely buys them their own clothes. They typically share clothes & underwear with her boyfriend’s children (by the way he is married). We have always paid for everything. I have a huge problem with spending so much of my income on someone else’s children, but I knew that was part of the deal when we got married. We knew what city she lived in, but we didn’t know exactly where. It turns out she lives 1.5 miles away from our new home.
On top of her being in my face all the time and all of a sudden wanting to see the kids every day, my husband changed companies and look a lower paying position due to safely reasons. Although we have primary custody of the children, we have continued to pay her child support of $375 a month just because it’s cheaper to keep her quiet. Well, since we moved we had to get afterschool care which was $800 a month for both children (then in kindergarten and 1st grade). My husband communicated this to his ex that we cannot afford to pay all of their childcare anymore and that he would be filling with the court to have the child support re-evaluated. Before he told her I warned him that he owes her no explanation and should not tell her his intentions. At first she was ok with this, and then she came back later and said that she wanted more money. He emailed her the link from the state’s child support calculator and it determined that she would in turn be paying us! She was livid! Now she has asked for 50/50 custody and we are back in court. The funny thing is I told him that she would ask for more money as soon as we moved and bought a house.
His BM (baby mama) has lied on so many things and put us through so much I often park around the block from my house and have to convince myself to go back into this chaos. We have been back in court since late 2013. The drama started when BM filled paperwork with the State child support agency claiming she has primary custody of the children and has never received any child support. He was sent to collections with over $70,000 in overdue child support payments. My husband’s wages were garnished and all bank accounts with his name on it were frozen. We only had money because I keep a separate bank account; everything had to be put on credit cards until this was worked out. My husband had to go to our bank and get copies of all the checks we’ve written to her over the years. Oh, and the state took our tax refund. It took several months to get this cleared up. Luckily we had money set aside; otherwise we wouldn’t have had the money to pay our mortgage. Her excuse for doing this? Ops, she turned in the wrong paperwork! The social worker even called her to verify that she had primary custody and has not received any child support and she said yes! This phone call was made as my husband & the children were in the social worker’s office! Mistake my arse! Oh, and we found out she was collecting money from welfare for his 2 kids, plus another child she does not have custody of either. Again, the state tried to go after him for not supporting is children, when we have custody of them. She filed to have his paycheck garnished in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside County. I didn’t know this but none of the counties talk to each other so he was being garnished for all 3 counties. I know she’s trying to ruin us. The youngest daughter asked if we were going to have to move and when I asked her why she said “mommy said she was going to make daddy lose his house.”
These 2 girls have always had challenging behavior & I can’t imagine adding another child to the mix. They have been kicked out of daycare and regular school for being disrespectful, yelling, kicking, screaming, and one of them threw a stapler at another child. I have sat outside on the curb several times because I couldn’t make myself go back inside the house. I have cried myself to sleep, praying to God that this was a dream. I’ve had a neighbor come over while I was sitting outside on the curb and ask me if everything is ok because of all the screaming. I opened the door and let him see that the children were safe. Dani was actually standing in the door screaming and demanding that I dry her off after her bath. While driving I’ve pulled over on the side of the road and made them get out my car while I called my husband to pick them up. There were screaming, kicking the back of my chair while I was trying to drive. They yell at me, call me stupid, ugly, and tell me they hate me. Oh course none of this happens while my husband is home (he works a rotating shift). I’ve been thinking about leaving off and on for the last 2 years. It’s because of their behavior that I never want children of my own. I told my husband I would never bring another life into this Jerry Spring drama. I will probably resent him for making me choose this, but I couldn’t live with another person that acts the way these 2 girls do. I would probably walk away just like his ex did.
I have noticed the girls only act this way around women. They have no respect for women. My husband thinks I’m wrong, but I think it has to do with their relationship with their mother. The school actually keeps a calendar of when they have bad behavior and it’s typically after they come from their mother’s house or if they know mommy is picking them up from school.
First of all, I never really wanted to be anyone’s mother (let alone stepmother) and I do find it really hard. I have zero maternal instincts towards these children. I love working with kids, but that’s different. I love knowing that I only have to see them certain days and times and then they go back to wherever they came from. I’ve tried to change and adapt, but it makes me upset thinking about “acting” this out. Again, in my perfect world I was only going to have to deal with his kids every other week.
I do things with the children because I’m expected to do so, not because I want to. I do have a big problem with that. I do admit that I knew BM was crazy and I ignored the signs. I do love my husband and I love the girls, but I don’t like them as people. I think they have moments, but that’s it. Just moments. I don’t have friends or family over because I’m scared what kind of behavior the girls will have; I also avoid taking them places alone because of the same reason. My house is also a complete mess. I grew up in a home where everything had its place. My house typically has several days of pajamas, clothes, shoes thrown about the floor. People use the restroom and don’t flush the toilets. Dishes are left in the sink overnight. I would absolutely never have my mother over. I only recently started to let my sister come over. I would never choose to have children if I knew this was how it was going to turn out. My husband has told me several times that he never intended to have children or marry BM so I find it hard to understand how this even happened. They were together 5 years before his first daughter was born. After the first daughter was born he said he know he didn’t want to stay with BM, but they went ahead and planned on having a 2nd!!! What kind of ignorant crap is that? A part of me feels like if he was conscious enough to plan a 2nd child with someone he knew was already a hot mess, then he should be adult enough to get back with BM and live with his decision instead of dragging other people into this crazy mess.
My life revolves around what BM does and the crazy kids. There have been many times that BM was supposed to pick-up the kids and she would call at the last minute and say she was sick & would not be coming. My husband then took on the task of looking for last minute childcare when she did this. At the same time when we are ill, we don’t call her and say we won’t be picking up the kids. Another example is a few weeks ago after I dropped the children off with BM’s boyfriend; she chased me down the street yelling, screaming and honking her horn at me. She kept repeating “you are messing with my family bitch; you are playing with fire bitch.” She knew I was home alone that night so she texted my husband and told him to tell me that she will see me later that night. I knew she wouldn’t dare cross my property line, but I was still scared all night long and got no sleep. I was even more upset that my husband didn’t come home from work to comfort me. I felt like he didn’t care if he came home to a dead body in the morning.
I have this constant recurring dream. I’m lying at home in my bed and I hear a noise coming from the kitchen. I immediately know there’s someone in my house and they are coming to kill me. My car keys, shoes, purse and cell phone are all right next to me, but I don’t move. I’ve got plenty of time to get out the house, but instead I pull the blankets up and get comfortable. I watch as a dark figure comes over to me and starts to strangle me. I don’t try to defend myself until I pass out and then it’s too late. I’m comforted knowing it will all be over in a few minutes. I’ve been having this dream for about 2 years now. There are times when I wake-up disappointed that it wasn’t real. My husband thinks I’m overreacting and my therapist thinks my dream is my inability to make a decision and stick with it. I’m definitely not looking to end my life.
I know he’s doing right by his children by raising them, but at the same time I feel like I’m not being good to myself by staying in this situation. I’m slowly dying. My husband gets upset with me when I want to do something with my friends every time both of us have days off work. I haven’t told him that I don’t want to do family time. I only want time with him. I just took the family because it was a package deal. I feel like such the evil stepmother. When the girls come back from their mom’s house they are always angry at the world and crying. I love when they go over there because I get my quiet time, but I know it’s not a good place for them.
At this point in time I honestly don’t think there is anything he can do to make things better. I just don’t want to be around these people. It’s draining me. I think the only thing that would satisfy me is if all traces of the kids disappeared one day and he was ok with that. Everything else is just a Band-Aid on an artery.
I do want to leave, but I feel like a failure and I’m running from my problems. In this case I don’t think there is anything I can do. I believe this will go on until the kids are out of the house. I’m already on antidepressants and seeing a therapist. I have only told 1 of my friends about this and none of my family. I’m embarrassed I’ve got myself caught up with these people. They all know that I don’t do drama. I don’t want to live like this. Am I wrong to leave? What should I do? I never thought I would be the one person to get a divorce, but the thought of staying here makes me want to sit in a dark corner and rock myself into a permanent sleep.
As of last week BM gave up both legal and physical custody. There is a court date set for late October so BM can sign over her rights. I know DH is relieved, but I'm in a panic. There is no way I want to spend all my free time after work and weekends with skids. I'm not sure what to do. He was so happy, while I think my life is officially over. DH asked me would I adopt the skids, I told him no. I didn't even have to think about it. I know it hurt his feelings, but it's the truth. I don't want to be around them if I don't have to & now I have to be around them way too much.
Am I wrong to leave? I just don't see how I can have an enjoyable life if I stay here....