Desperately need advice..
First I thought I would set up the situation:
Me (Bio Mom and Step-Mom): divorced from my first husband, have a very good (friend) relationship with him, remarried to my 2nd husband for 1.5 years
My Husband : divorced from his first wife, very hostile relationship, absolutely 0 co-parenting
The Kids: 2 girls A-7 B-8 and 2 boys C-4 and D-4
My ex husband and I have a very good relationship and are on friendly terms, I am even friendly with his current girlfriend. It is of the highest importance to both me and my ex-husband that our kids have as stable of a childhood as can be expected after divorce, and we have worked hard to maintain this despite our differences. When I married my current husband, there was a lot I did not know, this is my error in choosing a partner-- but I wonder if there is any way this can be rectified so it does not lead to yet another divorce?
My current husband and his ex-wife have a VERY hostile relationship. They are not on speaking terms and in our 2 years together, they almost never have been. She has used restraining orders, CPS threats, and the court system to harass him non-stop. There has been police involvement due to this, but never any charges filed. I thought this was ALL her at first, but of course I now realize that it is likely BOTH of them contributing to this terrible situation. Anyway, for her part, she works the night shift and is never home with the children. They are left with babysitter after babysitter, and even though they have a home they are constantly rotating between her two boyfriends homes with the children sleeping on the couch. There is no structure in the home at all. The children have no rules to follow and nothing is expected of them.
At our house, the situation is very different. My biological children have always lived in a structured environment and are used to it, we keep the same rules for everyone and expect everyone to follow them. In the 1.5 years we have been married, my step-children have not adjusted to this environment at all. The eldest one is constantly acting out, lying, and displaying inappropriate behavior. The youngest one seems to hate it at our house, and spends most visits throwing tantrums and refusing to eat anything that is not candy or cookies. I am an mean parent, although I am strict on some things, but the youngest one hates me so badly he barely will even look at me and certainly will not speak to me. I do not understand why, as the extent of my discipline has been time-outs, and I mostly leave the discipline of my step-children to my husband.
The oldest child is also starting to become quite a bad influence on my biological children. She has told them about things I REALLY do not feel they should know about at their young ages. For example, she told my oldest biological child that her mother has "many guns" and that her mother even "bought her a gun." This is only one small example of that issue.
I do not know what to do here, I am really at the end of my rope in dealing with this situation. I want the best for my biological children and I feel my #1 duty is to protect them. Of course I want the best for my step-children as well, but I feel much of this is out of my hands and there is nothing I can do to help.
Thank you for any and all advice.