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I need someone to talk to about my blended family

NorthernStepmum's picture

My partner and I keep fighting, and every time it seems to get worse and more heated. I love him so much, but I'm really struggling with the amount of time we have the kids and the need for time to myself.

we pick the girls up at 9am every Sunday and drop them off at school on Wednesday morning, so it's literally 50% of the time.

We both work full time (and from home) and I have a very stressful job. By the time saturday rolls around we're both so exhausted from working all week, doing the housework, all the usual life admin stuff, and knowing that we have the kids the following day that it's all we can do to sleep in and watch TV by the time Saturday rolls around. It's very much a day for recovery so we never do anything as a couple together.

we've had no time off together in 2 years without the kids being there the whole time, and next week was going to be the start of 2 long and glorious weeks off together. we've planned days out since we can't afford to go away, including a special day for my birthday that he had carefully planned and which I am so excited about. 

now comes the problem that I'm currently grappling with. One of the girls tested positive for COVID last week, as did their mum, their mums partner and one of their kids. My partner agreed that we obviously shouldn't have her this weekend, since she'll be self isolating, but he is insisting on having the other one because she didn't test positive. (This isn't how I wouldn normally refer to the kids by the way, I'm trying hard to be anonymous),
my view on this however is that she has spent an entire week in a house with no less than 4 people who are confirmed covid cases so there's basically zero chance that she either doesn't have it herself by now or is incubating it, so to have her this weekend means that we're at much higher risk of getting covid from her, and that would be the end of our two weeks off and all our plans since we would have to spend the whole time self isolating. It doesn't seem worth the risk for me for the sake of missing one single solitary weekend away from his kids. God forbid.

now it's important to note here that I have actually told my partner several times in the last few weeks that I feel completely burnt out, that I'm running in empty and that I honestly felt like I might have a nervous breakdown if not for these two weeks coming up. 

am I selfish for wanting to preserve our break? He honestly doesn't seem to get my point, he's very angry and volition towards me right now and says I'm talking bollocks because it's clear I just don't want the girls here and am grappling for an excuse not to have them(I will admit that the prospect of 10 days without them for the first time ever was not an unwelcome thought. I actually thought it might be good for us as a couple). 

so now it's clear he's not going to change his mind, she's coming tomorrow whether I like it or not, and I'm left feeling like my own needs are clearly not important to him, that he doesn't place any value on having time together as a couple, and that I have no say in something I feel very strongly about and that directly affects me. And my only option is just to simply swallow it.


I feel unsupported, unheard, misunderstood, isolated and very angry with no output for those feelings.

someone please help me here...

shamds's picture

That sd is deemed a close contact regardless and in most countries would be reqd to quarantine 2 weeks in that house she was already in. It's insanity to take her because she is trsting -ve. We've repeatedly been told it could take a few days for a positive result to happen.

different story if she was already in your home and you all find out her other home has confirmed +ve cases and you all need to home quarantine.

stand your ground that sd needs to stay where she is as she is a close contact. Your partner would rather you and him possibly get +ve when it's completely avoidable??

he also wants you to both potentially be unable to work if you catch it

is there somewhere else you can stay at? Parents or airbnb maybe. Until this man realizes how selfish and reckless he is, you will always be treated like a 2nd rate individual 

NorthernStepmum's picture

That's what I keep trying to explain to him, and he's an intelligent man so I know he must understand what I'm saying but for some reason is acting like I'm making this up as I go along. 
In England at the moment children under the age of 12 don't need to self isolate if they're a close contact (which makes no sense to me) but to me it's entirely logical that there's a big difference between being a close contact of someone you stood behind in line at the supermarket for 10 minutes and someone who has been living in the same house as 4 confirmed cases for a week. Right, like that's just common sense surely? 

Unfortunately I don't live anywhere close to my family, so I don't have anywhere else to go and if I did that still puts an end to our time off and the whole purpose of it being to do nice things together as a couple. 

We've left it still in a fight and I basically said that it's clear he had already made up his mind so in actual fact even giving me the opportunity to voice my views on it was an entirely pointless exercise that could only have ended in a disagreement since he knows my views on this. So it's almost as if he set me up for a row.

ive told him f**k it, do what he wants since he always does anyway, and if our break is ruined then that is 100% on him and his f**k up so let the chips fall where they may. My words are wasted at this point.

shellpell's picture

It doesn't seem as if your partner cares about you or your needs. I don't see this working out, as you already said you are running on empty. The only logical thing to do in this case is to not take the other girl, but it seems you have no say in your own home. Not a way to live, honestly. Please take care of yourself. If you have no children with your partner, it's easier to break free and find your own happiness, with a partner who actually cares about you and your needs and who respects your opinion. I see from your profile that you are only 33. You have your entire life ahead of you. Don't spend it being miserable in a relationship that doesn't work for you. And by the way, having a two-week break on occasion isn't enough to nurture a relationship. You need regular time together. If your partner doesn't see this, well, that just sucks.

tog redux's picture

There is nothing wrong with you wanting a break from the kids, even bio parents need those. And he's an idiot if he doesn't see the COVID risk here. 

Sounds like you have planned time off from work? Can you get away on your own and stay with friends or family, or just go to a hotel or AirBnB?  Take the time away that you need and protect yourself from being exposed to her. 

And take the time to consider whether you want to be with a guy who doesn't care about your needs. 

NorthernStepmum's picture

Certainly when it comes to anything where my needs and the needs of him and/or the kids are in conflict, I've got no chance. 

he doesn't understand why I need time away from the kids. In his mind it's what I signed up for when I decided to get into a relationship with a man who had children. I agree with that to an extent but I'm still a person in my own right, who has her own needs and I still feel like I deserve to have some space made for that.

Until recently I've never had any doubts that this man is the person I want to spend my life with, and he still is, but the facts of the matter are that he comes with these kids and the inclusion of that and the pressure that's being put on me to push my own needs and feelings down as a result of their meer existence is something that I just can't see as sustainable.

tog redux's picture

So this is a common theme on here - men who put their child's wants above their partner's needs. And the whole "you knew what you signed on for" stuff is bullshit. You signed on for NEVER having a vacation without his kids? You signed on for being exposed to COVID by one of his children? You signed on for being exhausted all the time and rarely having adult time with him?  Ask him to point out the contract you signed and where in the fine print it said, "my kids will always come before you in all circumstances regardless of how you feel about it."

Tell him that he signed on for having a partner who isn't the parent of his kids, so might not want to spend 24/7 with them. He also signed on for a partner whose needs might vary from his own and that of his kids. He signed on for a partner who thought that he would treat her as a priority in his life at least equal to his kid (but preferably above).

If DH ever told me I "signed on" for anything, I would have lost it on him. Don't let him guilt you with that crap.  Go away to a hotel for a weekend at least so he can see that you aren't always going to lie down and take his manipulative nonsense.

Tried out's picture

So you weren't supposed to have the SKs because you were taking a staycation together. I got that part.

Then one of his kids caught Covid. The other one hasn't as of yet. Now he wants to take the other kid during your time off.

WHY??? How does his kid getting sick change anything?? 


Winterglow's picture

"it's clear I just don't want the girls here"

What's clear to me is that he doesn't want to bother making you happy for once. You've had both kids every effin' weekend for two years and he can't even spare a few days for you? You've gone above and beyond, my dear. This guy isn't partner material. He isn't capable of caring about his couple, only about his kids. He just made it clear that you are absolutely last on his list of priorities. You deserve better. We'll see how he manages with his kids once you've left...

Don't stand for less than you deserve and don't undervalue yourself.

Dogmom1321's picture

Yep, this exactly! Seems like DH is more worried with disappointing his daughters that actually spending time with you. He is giving the impression to his kids that everything with his schedule revolves around them. As a result, turning them into entitled little brats. I would have a major problem with someone else dictating the schedule with quarantining. It seems like he has made zero effort in your relationship for the past 2 years. Does HE ever suggest alone time? Has he EVER asked BM to keep the girls a few extra days? If your answer is no, I think you can understand the rest.Personally, I would be tired, not from work, but to be constantly put last. Is this really how you want to be treated forever?

hereiam's picture

You are not in the wrong, here. People test negative, and actually have Covid, more than people think. When we thought my DH might have it, the doctor was VERY adamant about quarantining the full 10 days, even if the test came out negative. Which tells me, they know that there are false negatives.

In fact, I just read an article about a guy who tested negative twice (but had symptoms), before testing positive for the Delta variant.

Your partner is being foolish and selfish. I would quarantine myself from his daughter AND him. Maybe, for good.

You know there are men out there who actually care about their partner's happiness and well being, right?

ndc's picture

You *are* unsupported, unheard, misunderstood and isolated, and you *should* feel very angry. Your partner is behaving like an ass, and he's dead wrong. Unless his 2nd child is being tested daily (and probably even then), the fact she had a negative test means nothing when she's isolating with others who have Covid. There is no good reason for bringing the child to your house. 

I have no great advice, but wanted to validate what you're feeling. Your partner really needs to move you waaaay up his priority list if he expects to remain your partner.

SteppedOut's picture

Honestly, this should be your line in the sand. If he really doesn't care about your emotional and physical health, you really need to move on from this relationship.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Does he get physically violent? I wasn't sure about this typo, "he's very angry and volition towards me right now." If is getting physical with you, end the relationship. You deserve better.

IDontCare3117's picture

OP may mean volatile.  Autocorrect came up w/ volition.  That's what I'm guessing.  

NorthernStepmum's picture

Omg no just to clarify, DH has never and would never be physically violent with me. And if he ever was it would be the very last time he would see me, please rest assured. It was a typo - it was meant to be volatile. 

Thank you to every one who has commented - I don't really have anyone to talk to about this stuff as I don't know any other step parents. You've made me feel like I'm not alone, and that's massive for me right now.


lieutenant_dad's picture

"DH, if SD shows up here, I will spend the next two weeks looking for a new place to live. To start, anyone who has been directly exposed to COVID should quarantine in ONE home. Not two. Second, even parents in intact families take vacations and spend time away from their kids, so you're the one spewing bollocks, not me. Three, we made plans together. YOUR plan to have SD affects MY plans that will help me recuperate. I wasn't lying when I told you I needed a break or I'd end up breaking down. The fact that that doesn't seem to bother you, nor that you seem to care that you're infringing on MY time when we actually had a schedule worked out so that you could spend time with the girls so long as they weren't sick or directly exposed to a pandemic-inducing virus shows me how much you don't care about me or believe me that I NEED this. So, I'm done. It's not worth being in a marriage with someone who doesn't respect my needs or my health."

Note, I truly mean for you to leave your husband. This isn't a threat to him; this is a promise to yourself. It IS NOT worth it to have someone disregard your basic need to recharge, especially when that basic need is threatened by an actual illness.

No. He's an a$$hole. If you stay after he does what he wants, you might actually break, but he'll be perfectly fine and rejuvenated because his kid fills his emotional well while she depletes yours (and that's not a knock against you; it happens to all SPs). You need to draw a line in the sand and make a choice for yourself if he crosses it. If you can't or won't leave, then get yourself into therapy. Find yourself a new job that is less stressful or pays better. Leave and stay somewhere else for those two weeks (it will be worth the debt). But don't let yourself get treated poorly by a very angry, volatile, and selfish man.

Remember, he behaves that way because men are taught to appear threatening to get what they want. He expects that you'll give in because you're scared of what he might do if you don't. Don't fall for that crap. He may never lay a hand on or near you, but that doesn't mean he won't use anger and volatility to intimidate you and get what he wants.

Love yourself more than this. Draw a line and know what you'll do if he crosses it.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

"his kid fills his emotional well while she depletes yours (and that's not a knock against you; it happens to all SPs)"

This is so true for so many people, for various reasons. And so many bioparents don't get that or refuse to see it. 

Rags's picture

The other one lives with the infected family in the blended family opposition which means that she is exposed every single day and needs to start a 14 day quarantine each day she is exposed to BM's infected family amd brood..  

The  DH you "love so much" is an idiot.  Do yourself a favor, up your standards in a husband.

Tell him you are taking the two weeks off with  or without him and if any Skids are in your home you will take it at he nicest local resort whether it is affordable or not.

Remund him that if he sees his spawn before all of them complete a 14 day quarantine then all test negative, that you will not be returning home u til he completes a 14 day quarantine and the  tests negative.  Enjoy you spa/resort stay!


Loxy's picture

Firstly, your point about COVID is entirely logical and reasonable and your DH is being petty and unreasonable and putting your health at risk. 

However, I think you have a much bigger problem which is your partner does not respect you. Not giving you equal say in what happens at your house is not on. Putting the skids needs before your own is not on. Telling you that you signed up for this is not on. 

If you do not make a stand then nothing will change and you will waste your 30's and beyond in an unhappy situation. Stay in a hotel or Air BnB for the period your SD will be over and then put some boundaries in place and enforce them. Obviously the schedule isn't working for you and you have every right to have a say in it. I don't think you can change the 50/50 aspect but there are better options like week on / week off which allow you whole weekends alone with your partner. 

If your partner is not willing to give you equal say in all the things that impact your life then I hope you have the courage to leave as you deserve better!


ESMOD's picture

Given the close and extended nature of contact to multiple people in the same household... the other child should be quarantining with the family.

Either that child had it first and gave it to the family.. or the child is almost assuredly going to get it.. or has it and the test was just innacurate.

It makes zero sense to have visitation under these circumstances.