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I need advice. Close to calling it quits and sad.

MrsMiserable's picture

I have posted on here quite a few times about all of the drama with our crazy, manipulative BM and my skids from hell. I am finding this all so hard to deal with. It's complicated though and I wonder if anyone else has been in a similar situation. DH and I have completely co-mingled and blended our families. Our kids actually get along great 99% of the time and usually spend a lot of time all of them together hanging out when they are all at our house. DH is a very caring, supportive, loving, romantic husband. His biggest downfall is he is a lazy parent and neither him nor his ex have ever really disciplined the skids or taught them how to be respectful little people. Especially with all the drama with BM, DH is too afraid of hurting the skids feelings to ever follow through with discipline or make them behave. SS11 is just gross. He has zero manners and is just nasty. SS9 has no manners either, chews with his mouth open, and never washes his hands but is also a bitchy little drama queen who is constantly complaining or pouting about something. 

Then you have my bios. DD is 9 and DS is 11. Same age as the skids so I know damn well how kids this age CAN behave. And I have always been pretty strict on my kids and it has paid off. They are clean, respectful, helpful, and all around pleasant to be around. Everyone compliments me on what great kids they are. And I know my DH sees it as well. He will make comments about he wishes his boys behaved the way my kids do. Well they could if you put in any kind of effort in parenting them!! DH is great with my bios and they absolutely adore him. He treats them just like he would his own flesh and blood. He chaperones field trips, coaches baseball, helps with homework, and is a really great stepdad. The only thing he's horrible at is discpline and follow through which luckily I have that covered on my end with my bios. 

What sucks is how messed up our little blended family is because of the skids. I know I sound like a horrible person for saying this but our family would be perfect if the skids would go live with their crazy mother full time. They are miserable all the time and don't enjoy any of the same stuff that we do. Truthfully neither one of them are happy unless they are in their room in front of a video game. DH is an athlete and loves sports. My DS does as well. They watch games together and DH even coached little league last year. DH, myself and my bios enjoy being outside, fishing, going to the beach, riding bikes, etc. Skids hate all of the above. When we try to do anything as a family the skids spend the entire time bitching and complaining and making the rest of us miserable. And the problem is, there's nothing they enjoy that we could all go do. They hate EVERYTHING except video games at home or going to the local arcade. That's it. 

Now we have a 5-day trip planned to my family's beach house for spring break. I have been looking forward to it for months. The house is on a canal, we'll be 10 minutes from the beach, we have a pontoon boat right at our dock that we can take out. So I start telling all the kids last night our plans for spring break next week. Bios are super excited and start making plans. They are telling skids how awesome it is and about the dolphins that swim right up to our dock, the beach down the road that we can take the puppies to, how we can take the boat out and go snorkeling... Both skids get that miserable look on their faces that they always have and immediately start complaining. Why do we have to go for so long? What else is there to do? Are there any other options or do we HAVE to do that? Is there wifi? What if they don't want to go on the boat can they stay home alone?

I am so pissed at this point. In the original parenting plan DH was given ALL of spring break every year with the boys. So we are stuck with them. What I would love to do is tell them to go spend the week with their mother. I have no doubt they are going to make us all miserable and ruin this trip. DH just keeps saying "I'm sure they'll have fun. Once we get there it will be fine. If they don't want to do some stuff I'll just make them or stay at the house with them while you and the kids go out." I wish he would finally just lose his shit on them and tell them to stop being such unappreciate little brats and try to enjoy something in life. I can't even talk about our trip anymore because they are already ruining it and it's still a week away. And it's ALWAYS like this with them no matter what we try to do. I told DH I really think he should just let their mother have them for the week if she will take them. We will ALL be happier. Obviously these kids don't have any interest in spending their break with us. He absolutely refuses. "It will all be fine" is his answer for everything. 

What advice does anyone have? How am I supposed to deal with this?? I am at the end of my rope honestly and sat at work this morning crying because I am so beyond frustrated witht he whole situation I'm stuck in. 

MrsMiserable's picture

I should add that when I say the four kids all spend a lot of time hanging out that is when my bios play video games with the skids or watch movies with them. Once in a while BS11 can drag skids out of the house to ride bikes with him or play basketball but that usually lasts about 10 minutes and they are back inside. 

MommaLlama13's picture

Wow, besides the fine details, I would have thought this was something I wrote! I don't have any helpful words (I'm sorry), but I just wanted to let you know that you're not alone. I'm honestly starting to think happy blended families (with kids from both) are fake. I feel as though all I do is try, BM NEVER comes around, yet I'm never doing enough. It's frustrating, to say the least. ::hugs::

Booboobear's picture

I feel a booboobear terrible analogy coming on but i feel like im going to get clunked on the head with a bunch of virtual of shoes belonging to various steptalkers. My analogies are not that good but I try to be helpful.

Booboobear's picture

I was rewatching the handmaids tale again the other day.  almost all scenes are of "Offreds" face.  she is careful about what she says, but they cannot control her thoughts.  SHE IS PISSED.  OPPRESSED.  NOT LIKING WHAT IS GOING ON. READY TO KICK ASS. 

I realized that this is the same expression that my skids had/have.  THEY ARE PISSED. OPPRESSED. NOT LIKING WHAT IS GOING ON. READY TO KICK ASS.

They took her away from her family and are pretending she is in this new family.  NOW ITS NOT JUST LIKE HANDMAIDS TALE, BECAUSE IN STEPFAMILY, we are NOT RAPING and forcing women to have babies for us that we will call our own, so you all don't freak out cause I said this analogy,

but lets just pretend for a moment that our stepkids are PISSED. OPPRESSED. NOT LIKING WHAT IS GOING ON and READY TO KICK ASS. (just like Offred.) and Sirena Joy takes her to the baby shower party where the greens celebrate the reds babies like they gave birth to them.  The greens are enjoying.  the reds are not enjoying the party.  The reds have their rights and their free speech taken away permantly.  Sirena Joy and other greens laugh about giving Offred a cookie which is not allowed. then Sirena Joy gives Offred the cookie as a treat.  Offred puts the cookie in her mouth obediently then goes out to spit the cookie because she is PISSED about the whole situation.  She looks like she is going to get revenge.  *end scene*

so these stepkids had a life before we came into it.  they hate what is happening to their life and blame us for the changes.  they are not going to appreciate everything we do for them because they are PISSED, OPPRESSED, NOT LIKING WHAT IS GOING ON and READY TO KICK ASS. 

I don't know the answer, I only have the (BAD) analogy.   

Like Sirena Joy taking Offred to the baby shower, we are taking skid to the vacation with who we think is our family, but maybe skid does not.  The food tastes like bile to them because of the fire in the back of the throat. They don't want to disappoint dad with offensive behavior when it all feels like a punch in the stomach, so instead of going all ballistic, they let out little bursts of rebellion.  

so what should we do as stepparents so that we are not the OPPRESSOR in this situation?  I don't know.  

anyway, your doing good with what you can do and I hope you feel better soon.  25 years later and I did everything I could think of to make them happier.  Their expressions look like Offred's expressions. 

 

ldvilen's picture

Stepparents would never be the oppressor in this situation, because they were not involved in the decisions, particularly the divorce decisions that mom and dad made.  Stepparents in this situation would be just as much like Offred (PISSED, OPPRESSED, NOT LIKING WHAT IS GOING ON), because, as we all know, Stepparents aren't permitted to intrude on the "real" parents' parentiing.  That's why so many of us who come here to Steptalk are READY TO KICK ASS.

ITB2012's picture

My DS is mere months older than OSS, and OSS and YSS are close in age. In addition to their behavior, my skids are short and DS is tall. People, even my inlaws, would describe DS (who half the year is same age as OSS) as a young man and the skids as children when they spoke of them ("such a nice young man" vs "such sweet kids"). The skids were allowed to act younger than their age (including being catered to to prevent tantrums), while DS was expected to act his age (at a minimum).

tog redux's picture

See, to me, part of being a "caring, supportive, loving husband" is parenting your damn kids so their behavior doesn't drive your wife crazy.  I don't know how you can separate those two things. I'd be so angry at him for allowing his kids tp wreck everything that's good that I would no longer want to apply any of those adjectives to him as a husband. 

Evil3's picture

Been there done that. DH and I met at the gym. We are super active and raised our DD19 to be super active. She's an accomplished gymnast and now attends the gym to be able to train in figure competitions after she graduates from uni. SKs are another story. They were always super lazy and weren't happy unless they were sitting and eating while zoning out on computer, video games or whatever other electronic they could find. DH had absolultey no parametres around electronic time. It was carte blanche.

When it came to active vacations, it would drive me insane that my DH wanted his lazy, nothing-but-junk-eating brats to come along. They were so out of shape that they couldn't do a thing. We went on a bike ride around the Vancouver sea wall and SD went on a double seater with DH. He almost got heat stroke and found out it was because SD just dangled her legs and let DH do all the work the whole time. Even when DD was 5 she pedalled on her little bike. It was ridiculous. SD would collapse to the floor and lay in store aisles because she "was tired." OMG! It was sickening! Of course DH wouldn't dare leave his babies out, especially the mini-wife.

So, what I did was, just took DD and we did our own thing on trips. It's not ideal but at least we didn't miss out on walking tours, swimming, snorkeling with seals, and constantly being on our feet. We even did a 12 hr walking tour and had a blast. There's no way the SKs would have or would have even attempted it. Soon enough, DH saw the difference between how we raised our DD and how he didn't raise the SKs. DH missed out on a lot, which really bothered him because he's an athlete. When we got back from the last trip that the SKs came on, BM took them for their yearly doctor's appointment and at ages 13 and 15, they had sky-high blood pressure and cholesterol. SD was even checked for type 2 diabetes. DH was alarmed. Of course he didn't do anything about it, but at least DD and I never missed out. After that trip, DH didn't even want the SKs to come along. He was even honest with them. He actually told them, "you fight tooth and nail to not get healthy enough to partake and I'm not going to keep missing out. I do not pay thousands of dollars for vacations for you to play video games in the hotel room."

Just go and have a blast with your bios and let your DH tend to his. He'll hate missing out and he'll notice the difference between your kids and his. Whether or not he does something about it is on him and probably doubtful, but let him hate what he's done with his kids as far as parenting them goes. You and your bios don't need to miss out.

Oh, and go out to eat separately. I did that with DD. DH used to get so humiliated over my SKs' lack of manners and rotten behaviour with their out of control loud voices in eateries. I took myself out of the equation and never looked back.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Let go of the idea that you are a "family" and have to do everything together.

Tell your H before the vacation that you plan to keep very busy with your bios and it's on him to entertain his kids. Be honest and straightforward about how their complaining brings everyone down, and that you understand he'll likely want to do more low key things with his kids. Be matter of fact, but kind.

Removing yourself from the equation often creates healthy change. It allows natural consequences (for both SO and kid(s) ) to occur, which may motivate your H to step up his parenting game.

Gimlet's picture

Yep, agree with this.

When we took all the kids anywhere, it was very much divide and conquer because my DD and I are very active, and skids are not.  My DH DID end up having a meltdown on a big city trip we took (DD and I were not around) because skids were whining and acting put out at having to do some activities.   Things started to change after that trip because he saw all the cool stuff that I got to do, while he was stuck eating shitty food in some tourist trap because his kids thought it was "cool" and listening to whining about walking 2 miles.  

Both DH and I are active and love the outside, while skids are very much "indoor people". We have an active trip planned this spring (pretty much get up, slam coffee/breakfast, hike all day, have a beer, eat dinner, repeat for 3 days) and we've only invited DD and her insanely fit BF along.  I'm so looking forward to it and skids will never be invited on this trip unless something really drastic changes.

Definitely carve out your own time and have fun with your kids.  Maybe your DH will see how much he's missing by catering to bullshit, just like mine did.  

tankh21's picture

LOL that's too funny juststressedbeyondbelief's. OP..I am sorry to tell you this but your DH has no backbone just like mine. You cannot change your DH or your skids and the way they behave. If your DH wants to be miserable and cater to his ungrateful little brats then tell him that you want to enjoy your vacation he can stay with this little brats because he has no backbone.

ESMOD's picture

Going on vacation with people that have different interests and staminas and tolerances can be a challenge. 

But with some planning and preparation, I think you can have a vacation that everyone can enjoy.. at least in some part.

First..you all know the Skids interests run to electronics/video games/tv/movies.  I would plan on renting a home that had WIFI... (I am assuming that your rental does have this option... otherwise perhaps going to unlimited data on a phone might work).  Make sure that you bring dvd's etc.. or handheld games.. to keep them mollified.  Should they be able to go a week without the electronics? yes.. but honestly.. do you want this to be a battle of the wills.. or do you want to enjoy yourself.  why care what the kids do with their time at the house?

Second...Not everyone has to attend every activity.  Certainly there should be some things planned "as a family".. but there can also be some things that are done with just your kids and you.  and your DH should have to be the one to stay with his kids a bit so that the can do their thing at the house.

Third... any chance of MIL coming for a few days to take some load off?  perhaps babysit all the kids so you and DH can have a meal out?  Maybe check into a local nanny/babysitting service that caters to vacationers?  I know it's a bit of extra expense.. but the peace of mind and the freedom might be well worth it!

Fourth, your DH needs to perhaps start setting some expectations of behavior with his kids.  letting them know that they will be expected to behave and that they will be expected to peacefully participate in family events.. and that they need to give new things an open mind.

So... bottom line.. plan to have ways to entertain his kids.. HE is responsible ultimately for them.. don't revolve your vacation around them 100 percent.

Rags's picture

I have to disagree that  your DH treats your kids as his own. If that were the case your kids would be slovenly putrid little nasty breeding trophies just like yoru own Skid's are.

Fortuneately your kids have won the mother lottery even if their mother may not have great judgement in choosing her husbands. Keep in mind that this guy is at least 50% responsible for his toxic waste of skin childen. If not more than 50%.

I would tell the Skids that there is wifi. Then have it turned off before you all arrive for your vacation.  Then inform the Skids that the WiFi at the convenience store on the board walk has WiFi. When they whine and cry tell them to sit down, shut up and be quiet because they will not be allowed to ruin it for everyone else. They can sit on the beach and STFU, they can sit in the house and STFU or they can ride on the boat and STFU if they are not going to participate pleasantly.

We ended this problem for SS by eleminating video games in our home when he was about 12.  Even after he turned 18 we kept the wifi turned off during work hours and when we went to bed.  Give it a try. Unplug these Skids and let them realize that they will have to use their own immaginations, entertain themselves, and as mortifying as it may be for them... read a book.

Your DH is wearing rose colored glasses about his slug kids.  Better to eleminate the distractions/electronicsand nail their tender bits to the wall for their shitty behavior.  If your DH can't play daddy with a set of balls, it will be up to you.  Also keep in mind that just because the CO says DH gets all of every SpringBreak as part of his visitation with his kids, does not mean he has to take it.  One key benefit and advantage that an NCP has is that though there is COd visitation they are not forced to take it unline a CP who can neither deny to surrender kids for NCP visitation nor can they refuse to care for their kids if the NCP rejects visitation.

Good luck.