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I don't think I'm cut out for the SM role and I don't know how to tell DH

BM never's picture

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....

Poodle's picture

I don't agree with those interpretations of your dreams. Everyone has their own approach to dreams, but my interpretation for what it's worth is that you feel that your personal space, home and marriage have been intruded upon by a murderous character. It's pretty obvious to anyone reading that that would be the BM and now, unfortunately, her role has passed in your mind to her children (for very clear and reasonable reasons). Your car keys and shoes are symbols of your opportunities to leave. Your phone represents your ability to communicate your concerns or reach the outside world and normality. The purse is your power, your independence, or your inner self or your sexuality. To me the dream is far more than an inability to make a decision. It's a death wish/repression dream whereby you feel so hopelessly immobilised or in need of comfort from the marriage that you will sacrifice all your independence to stay put. Part of you knows you are cutting yourself off from the world. Part of you wants to escape your situation, but giving in seems easier. In a way you are the shadowy murderer yourself as well as the victim. I wonder if self-medicating is the immediate answer frankly. You maybe need to feel as desperate consciously as your dream conveys that you are subconsciously.
You know what everyone on ST is going to say to you -- run. You feel it yourself but you are not doing it. How about looking at the problem in another, non-verbal way, use the imagery and do some dream realisation therapy? Put the shoes, the phone, the purse and the car keys in front of you and think about your situation keeping them in front of you whilst you muse. Or, put them by the bed before going to sleep and see if you dream different. Let your subconscious mind unlock its message and give you its wisdom. At the moment you're not picking up your own phone call to yourself, it seems to me.

ybarra357's picture

After reading your story, I'm blaming your DH for most of it - it seems apparent that he is foisting his parenting responsibilities onto you and you are accepting it, yeah I get that BM is useless, but come on. No, you DON'T have to do anything with these kids hell, you don't even have to watch them if you choose not to. And he isn't 'doing right by raising them' they are HIS kids - he SHOULD be raising them if BM bailed! You must extricate yourself from this madness, either DH can step up or you step out!!

Poodle's picture

I've just looked at your headline again. "I don't know how to tell DH". Yes you do. YOu've said it really well in your post. Get him to read the post or something else similar that you write down. If he tries to undermine what you have written, tell him you want to go as a couple for therapy. If he won't go for the therapy, you have the answer you need to take the next step.

hollyissad's picture

Nobody deserves to go through what you are going through. This point deserves repeating: nobody should have to be treated this way.

Being a stepparent to a child is hard. So hard. I don't think anybody could understand how hard it is until they have done it. I've been doing this for less than a year now, and there are days that I want to rip my hair out, and scream and cry because I don't know if I can make it. But then I look at my SO who has my back every step of the way. Who treats me with the upmost respect, and does not tolerate rude behavior from his daughter, and who gives me full rein to say what I have to say or do what I have to do. He backs me up completely, and helps me through what is definitely NOT an easy transition. I am supported.

You are not supported. He absolutely should not expect you to watch/parent his children all the time. This is unfair. I have watched SD5 exactly once for an entire day. I was under no uncertain terms asked if I would be willing to do this, and I agreed. It is never expected of me that I do anything. It is greatly appreciated if I do, but certainly not expected.

I think we put up with things because there are enough pros to outweigh the cons. There are enough happy days to make the bad days more tolerable. I had a REALLY bad day yesterday with SD5. But I know that there will be much better, happy days to make up for it.

The question you have to ask yourself is: are there enough happy days for you? Or are you trapped in a storm that you need to find your way out of? Only you know the answer to that.

hangingbyathread6's picture

This post is so sad, it makes me want to reach out and just give you a big hug and offer you a shoulder and a glass of wine.

The overwhelming feeling of feeling like you are stuck because you feel the "right" thing to do is stick with your DH and the fact that you are completely miserable is such a terrible way to go through your life. I was there once, only it was my 1st husband and my three bios. I finally made the tough choice, that although I never thought I'd get divorced, there was just no other answer unless I was willing to spend the rest of my life feeling trapped in a situation that was so unhealthy.

It's good you are going to counseling, although I wonder if your counselor has experience with blended families...I think if not, you should possibly look into another counselor. I think the interpretation stated above by another SM of your dream is a little more spot on than what you have been told, which makes me wonder if your counselor is not familiar with the stress, drama and tension having a blended family entails (skids, BM's etc)

If you can get your Dh to go to counseling I think that would be good. If you are having the skids full time, I'm not going to lie, it's going to be rough. There are many days I really wish we didn't have PC of my skids. Having a good counselor, and finding this site will help...as will confiding in a good friend. That's what good friends are for. They wouldn't want you to be embarrassed, they would want to support you, help you, and make you feel like you again. Think about that...identify the one friend you can count on...most likely she knows lots of embarrassing stuff about you, this won't shock her, and will help you feel better.

I give you credit in not putting up a fuss and continuing to give BM CS when you had custody. No way in hell I would have allowed that. Matter of fact, a big point of contention between DH and I for a long time was WE had custody and SHE DIDN'T pay CS. As for the bullshit with lying and getting garnishments, I hope you can get that resolved and get your financial life back in order. Having financial issues weigh you down adds to the overwhelming feeling.

Keep posting. Vent as much as you need. Get it out. Most people here are so good at giving another perspective and some positive reinforcement and advice. Maybe consider getting away on your own for a long weekend or a week depending on what you can swing and reflect on if you can find positives in the blended life you have or if being on your own would be your best option. I also recommend getting those girls into counseling. It sounds like they really need it and if you don't it is only going to get worse.

Again, big hugs to you. I'm so sorry you find yourself in this position.

BM never's picture

My therapist does not have experience with step-families, nor does he work with children. I really like him, but I don't think going to him is helping my current situation. I tried to find a therapist for step-families, but haven't found one, yet..... At this point I don't even know if therapy will help me.

Orange County Ca's picture

Have you husband read your Post and all the Comments below it. Ask him what he would do. If he's honest he would say he would leave and regardless of what he says tell him that's your decision.

This is ridiculous. You're doing all the work, taking on all this stress, cook, maid, chauffeur and sex partner for what? To make up for his stupid mistakes (yes twice - he's a slow learner) and her ineptness as a parent and human being.

Tell him to move his pillow to the couch and start making the preparations you need to be. Hell you can't even drive home without trepidation. Do you know what you're doing to your health? Literally - statistics show that living under stress will leave you with more physical ailments such as diabetes and a shorter life span. This guy worth dying for?

oncechoosetosmile's picture

So sorry you have to endure this.I think everything you are expressing sounds like you are on a brink to depression-and it is very understandable.Just like in your dream you are paralyzed and don't move even you are in immediate danger.Honey, what you are going through is dangerous and it eats away all your happiness and energy.And the only person who can make it better is you, at least for a start. These children are not yours and the least you need to do for your own mental sake is to take on all the responsibility for them.
Just because you still function it doesn't mean that you are not far away from a total break down.You need to protect yourself now .I think you need a little break at least to regain some energy and clarity.Can you escape the situation for a few days and staying with family or friends as a start? long term I believe you need regular breaks, far less responsibility and much more time for yourself .I also believe you need a therapist or coun celling to help you to clarify what you want and what not.If this means that you can't stay in your marriage at least you have the support to get out of it.Or couple therapy.Good luck!!

counseling.advocate's picture

I am so sorry you are going through this. This is extremely sad. First, don't adopt the skids ever. Even when things temporarily get better. If you were to ever leave then you would likely share custody, or just sign your rights away and they would lose another mom.

I think of leaving sometimes and I am not sure if my situation is even this bad. Look on the bright side, BM is gone and that was a major stressor in the relationship. This could make the relationship get better over time and the kids' behavior could begin to improve.

DH will need to give them guidance and support through this loss to keep them from acting out and keep their emotions in check. He should not use this as an excuse to let them disobey house rules and should be the primary enforcer of the house. He should step up.

Like a previous poster stated... Show him this thread. Print it out and let him know how you feel and how much support you have.

If you feel you will never ever be happy, the way you deserve, you need to leave.
I however, feel I could be happy, which keeps me in my relationship.

Hugs!

astroud68's picture

I'm new to the group and wonder how your situation turned out? It's been a while.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Show your posting to your husband., he will begin to understand your 

feelings and perspectives on your marital experience.

He may come to share your view that leaving is in your best interest.

Good luck as you move forward on your journey.