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Just want to vent

Metaldude73's picture

New to this forum, seems like a good place to vent.  I have read many posts as a lurker, but now felt led to join.  So here goes me up on my soapbox for a bit to see if it helps me.  Thanks in advance to everyone who reads and/or responds.  It means a great deal to me.


Been married for just over 2 years, but have known my spouse for about 6 years now.

2 biological children, one girl (9 almost 10) and one boy (8).

3 step children, one girl (19), one girl (10 almost 11) and one boy (15).


I find myself getting increasingly more annoyed by all of the SK's and it may be because their mother doesn't attempt to make them respect adults or parenting in their lives.  I yip at my biological kids non-stop because I don't want them to be like the others.  Respect is a VERY LARGE thing for me, but my spouse seemingly does not see it the same, or on the same level at least.


I can instruct and yap at my own kids as much as I want or need to, but not hers.  Much different story.  It's not that they cannot do anything wrong, but mamma bear comes to the rescue almost every time to make sure that I know that my kids are no angels and they do things wrong as well.  She can't see me disciplining mine in the smoke.  I literally do it all the time and none of it matters when I call out one of her kids for doing something stupid.




The 15YO SS will be walking toward me and not move.  He'll run right into me if I don't move.  I'm a 47 year old grown ass man and he thinks he can make me move.  So, one time I don't move.  He hits me and then looks at me like I just kicked his dog.  I told him he needs to figure out how to respect his parents (even if they are step-parents....and NOT just me) and yelled at him about it.  He seemed to take it well at the time, but he still won't move out of the way if I'm coming his way.  Very frustrating.  And I keep saying stuff to him about it.  Simple but he's not gonna do it.  He also has no idea how to shut off lights or fans anywhere in the house and will leave the bathroom door wide open even after taking a dump so that everyone else can deal with it.  He has his face either in his phone or on his gaming computer non-stop and can't focus on anythinig else responsibly.  Constant reminding him of his shortcomings, yet it helps none.  If I do it when mom isn't around, he seems to be ok with me doing it and doesn't get all mad at me afterwards, but if mom is around I don't get to say anything because she'll chop me up into little bloody chunks.


The 10 (almost 11)YO SD has become quite the little sassy mouthy angry bully kid that nobody wants to deal with.  She is spoiled rotten by her biological father (in the past at least) and she seemingly is never happy, no matter what she gets or how much of it she receives.  Very snotty.  She is constantly trying to control everyone's life and decisions and is even the "sentence-finisher" all the time.  She thinks she knows everything always.  She regularly makes my 9 (almost 10)YO BD cry because she is constantly controlling her thoughts and desicions.  I have called out the SD on this many times.  When I do, things get better for a short time, then revert to what is her new normal shortly thereafter.  My BD complains at times, and I tell her to ignore her SS and let her be an angry little girl if she wants and that I love her for putting up with it.  The SD is very defiant, doesn't want to take any sort of direction from me, yadda yadda.  Same story as others on here have posted and vented about.  The one thing that really gets me though is that when I decide for once to get vocal about something that SD does in front of everyone, momma bear comes running..........and usually goes right for my throat to make sure I know that I'm NOT GOING TO DO THAT TO HER DAUGHTER.


The 19YO SD is quite another story.  She hasn't been able to allow herself to warm up to me much over the years, probably due to her horrible relationship with her biological father.  She has no idea how to manage money, and has recenlty blown through a large sum of money given to her by a grandparent (intention was for college) while also starting college only to quit a week later and not attend and to rack up a $6K bill that we have to pay back.  This girl also thought she was an adult at 18 years old and got an appartment with her boyfriend and another girl that was doomed to fail from the onset.  It failed..........and in the process she decided it was the best idea to stop paying rent until they got kicked out.  Another $4K debt to pay back.  We pay for her car insurance and her phone.  Everyone gives her everything.  She has no idea how to manage money, spends it faster than she can collect it or earn it.  All the while, her mother keeps telling me we have to love her no matter what or she'll run away from us (which she has done before and this also ended horribly).  She has also commented to me in our past heated conversations about her daughter that it was "too late" for her........there was no teaching her now, she's an adult.  Bullshit.


Me and the spouse also have heated discussions about money, because we seem to spend it faster than we earn it (with 5 needy kids it goes pretty fast) and her idea is "we'll make do with what we have."  We have had plenty ever since I came into the picture, but now the forecast ahead shows that we will run out of usable cash in a couple of years.  My ultimate fear is that her kids will get all that they ever want and need while we have usable cash reserves, and when it's my biological kids turn they won't have the same luxuries.


I constantly hold my tongue and try to remove myself from situations where I know I'll say something that will get me into trouble.  The wife just views this as me "not parenting" and gives me hell about it.  Sometimes I'll walk out of the house and disappear for while just to calm down.  Other times I'll just sit there and grind my teeth watching something happen that I don't like and know I can't say anything about.  I'm screwed either way.........if I just listen and/or stay quiet or if I pipe up and share my opinions about something that I don't like.  Neither way work for her.


I'm not asking what to do or how to do it necessarily...........but rather just venting and getting it off my chest.  My problems are not new and you all have had some of the same issues.  Thanks for listening, I feel better already even with no responses.

I'm hoping for a much better 2021.


- Frustrated Stepdad of the Year

JRI's picture

You have quite the situation there, I would be frustrated, too.  It seems like healthy communication between you and your wife has broken down.  You and I know she is the real issue here with not parenting her kids properly.

Are you up for counseling, I know some men aren't.  Ideally, you and she would go for marriage counseling.  Do you think she would be up for it?  I can't see this resolving without a change of viewpoint on her part but she's not hearing it from you.  You guys also need some financial counseling.

Hoping for the best outcome.

Metaldude73's picture

We have brought up the counseling thing in the recent past.  I cannot believe that after only 2 years of marriage the counseling thing is a real thing.  But it is what is is.  I'm willing, but I have told her she'd better be willing to hear things that she doesn't like.  I can handle it and know where my shortcomings are.  She can't own any of hers at this point.  I know this is all one-sided on my part, but right now I feel like that is how it is.


On the financial front, I have always been of sound financial mind.  I have been telling her that we are spending more than we are earning and that it was only a matter of time before I threw the red flag.  That red flag came at Christmas time this year, where she feels that every kid has to have 35 gifts and bigger ones that cost a ton of money each.  Simply, she's ok with little cash in the bank and has always "made do" with what she had.  That means a lot of credit card debt.  I WILL NOT RUN UP CREDIT CARDS AND CREATE A SITUATION WHERE WE ARE BEING EATEN FROM THE INSIDE BY INTEREST.  We make a very reasonable amount of money together as earning parents and there is absolutely no reason why we should be closing in on a situation where we live check-to-check.  Really, the only one of us that needs financial counseling is her, because I'm constantly harping on her about how much we spend and bills and all.  So much so that now when I bring it up she just stomps out of the room and doesn't talk to me for days.  That's actually happening right now because I commented yesterday on how her daughter and son were going to her hair stylist to get a cut (gir) and eyebrows done (boy - really?) and I said......"Oh.....expensive haircut huh."  She smirked, said "NO" and stomped out.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You've got several issues going on here. Differences in parenting style, differences in financial philosophy, and not prioritizing the marriage or acting as a united front.

The two things that really jumped out at me are 1) your daughter being expected to take carp from a spoiled bratty step bully, and 2) you assuming you have to pay thousands of dollars for mistakes your wife's adult kid has made.

Your duty/priority should be providing your daughter with a safe, stable environment. All decisions you make should be predicated on that. If you don't protect her now - if you teach her that she's supposed to accept mistreatment - she's going to grow up thinking that's all she's worth, and she'll carry those beliefs into her work and personal relationships.

Second marriages are different from first ones, because each person has their own separate baggage, obligations, and responsibilities. This is why it's smart to have separate finances. Each parent supports their kid(s), and pays their fair share of household bills each month. We often see scenarios where the step parent is expected to be the wallet or the nanny, and many of us have bought into the whole "we're a team and one big happy family" trope only to be exploited. The truth is, you are responsible only for you and your child, while your wife is responsible for herself and her kids. She is not entitled to spend your income, and you are not obligated to pay one penny toward her adult kid's debts. You need to stop haemorrhaging money ASAP, and that means having some hard conversations, drawing some hard boundaries, and cutting off her access to your funds. If your wife wants to continue to enable, reward bad behavior, and spend like a Kardashian, fine - but not on your dime.

Did you and your wife do any premarital counseling, or sit down and hammer out things before you married? Because no way should things be this bad during what should be the honeymoon period. It sounds like your wife is making unilateral decisions, and that's not how marriage works. The marriage is supposed to be the priority, with your respective kids being your responsibility. Keep reading around this site. Educate yourself. Then determine what you're getting out of your marriage, and whether it's worth salvaging.

Metaldude73's picture

A lot of what you stated I understand.  We went away for a few nights, just the two of us, over this past weekend.  It was a good trip away for us.  We discussed all the things you just mentioned and she didn't fight me on most of it.  I told her my daughter was basically afraid of hers and she has agreed to (and has already started to) have talks with her about her propensity to overpower everyone else, especially if they are younger than her.  We will stop that train without a doubt in my mind, even if I have keep pounding it into my wife's forehead.

Winterglow's picture

Do the older sks have jobs and if not, why not? It's time life became uncomfortable for them ...

Metaldude73's picture

The older Skid (19YO daughter) has had several jobs.  She is currently working and makes decent money for a kid out of high school with no further education or experience.  Me and the wife just went away for a couple nights and I was shocked to hear her say that she plans to sit down with her daughter (me included) to discuss a financial plan with her and what her responsibilities are for paying back her recent mistakes.  It ought to be fun to listen to and participate in, as all this girl wants or thinks about currently is personal satisfaction and immediate gratification.

The Skid (15YO boy) does not have a job yet, but he is about to take driver's ed and then will most likely get a car.  He has been saving his money and mostly understands the value of work and the dollar so far as I can see.

Me and the wife also had a very uncomfortable discussion about finances during our time away.  I threw the red flag early because I could see what was happening and what the future looks like from the front.  She got her propensity to spend until she has nothing and then "deal with it" after that from her mother, who is the same way but 10X worse.  That lady will go to the store for a gallon of milk and show up with a car load full of shit that cost $200 EVERY SINGLE TIME.  She has no idea how to prepare for her future.  This is what I am trying to impress with my wife and our family.  I think it will work, just gotta keep pushing the agenda.

Believe me..........I try to make it uncomfortable for them on this subject as much as I can, since none of them have the same mindset as I do regarding finances.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

First I would seperate finances immediately. This way she can reap the consequences of overspending and bailing out OSD. Do not contribute to anything for SKs. Make BM and SD get Thier own car insurance, cell phones, etc. Seperate credit cards make sure your name is not on them. 

That is how I handle SOs poor financial decisions. It has no effect on me what he spends on SKs or the consequences of Thier poor behavior causing him financial burden. We do not own anything together. 

You need to do this so you can adequately provide for BKs and put away for Thier future. I would meet with a financial consultant to do this. 

Second as far as YSD and DD. I had the same issue with BS and YSD. They are best friends now, but before YSD had always been an out of control bully. DS takes judo and wrestling but is very respectful of woman and would never be aggressive. After a year of YSD thinking she was so tough because he never reacted to her hitting him and SO did nothing to stop it. I told DS is YSD wants to act like a man then treat her like one. After a few incidents where DS showed her she was not as tough as she thought because no one had ever hit her back before. She learned her lesson and actually has stopped bullying completely. He was actually very kind about it too only taking her down and putting her in a submissions. He refrained from any kind of hitting. 

Metaldude73's picture

Just out of curiosity, how did he handle the idea that you were no longer willing to pay for anything for his children?

For me, the idea that I am a provider for the family is paramount, her kids or mine.  The overall goal is to sustain our lifestyle into the future years and not get caught over-extending ourselves.

We have separate accounts currently, and we tend to glide along without talking about finances much until I start to get tight around the neck, then I'll bring it up and we'll talk.  That's when I usually find out how she's doing financially and I'll also share with here where I am at.  The main differences here are that I pay for the house and all insurances (health, home, car, etc.) plus a few other larger bills, so my account ends up going down quicker even though I make a bit more salary then she does.

The long-and-short of it is this:  we make more than enough money together to put ourselves in any sort of a situation where money should be an issue.  Even with 5 kids.  That is what we are currently working on together.  She has been receptive so far.

SteppedOut's picture

You should not feel obligated to support her kids...nor should she be expecting it. Particularly the over 18s. Seriously.

I mean, paying for the house is one thing (older kids need to get out on their own if not full time students though)... but paying off big non paid rent and other such huge extras - even small extras like trips to salons - hell no. Her kids have 2 parents - they should be supporting them. Don't take away from your kids (or yourself) to give to her kids. Stop that.

She needs to be more of a financial PARTNER than DRAIN or you will end up very resentful...once thay happens your love will deminish fast. 

You may make a bit more than her, but why does that mean you should have to pay ALL of the housing/car/insurance (big expenses). 

I am sorry.... you are being taken for a ride. 

Metaldude73's picture

I took on the payments that I pay on my own accord, there was no forcing on either side.  Since then, she has taken at least one larger payment (pool) on her side, and she also pays for travel softball for her daughter, which is also very expensive.  We never tried to make it all "equal" but I have always tried to make sure that we are both pulling our weight.

The general idea here (maybe I was not completely clear with my previous wording) is that she doesn't see the potential issues ahead with how we are spending.  Collectively, we have recently agreed that we need to revamp our spending habits, and she is even telling her kids now that we "can't do that" because we spend too much money.

My main point with bringing all this up (the financial part) was to vent my frustrations and get feedback on what others have gonne through when this ends up being an issue.  From my research, financial arguments are very common and are one of the main reasons why it takes down 2nd (and on) marriages.

SteppedOut's picture

Let me ask you this... if you refused to further pay for her kids (and she had to continue to pay her fair, not equal, share of expenses), would your wife want a divorce? 

Metaldude73's picture

She is highly sensitive in lots of ways.  She is very one-sided when it comes to "unconditional" love.  Her children (at least the girls) so far are the same.  So.....while I don't think she'd ask for a divorce immediately, she'd most likely resist and take it super personally that I no longer wanted to support her and her kids.  She'd start to do everything on her own and exclude me from the family even more than I am now.  I would also suspect the attitude to swing heavily towards the negative side and our relationship would basically tank because of it.  With that said, if she decided one day that she wasn't going to ever buy anything for my kids again I'd probably take it highly offensive as well, and it certainly wouldn't make things any better than they were.  It would all just get worse.

The more and more that I read about step-parenting the more I come to understand that we are always on the outside and can only come close to being on the inside of the circle with new wife and her kids.  We'll never truly be insiders.  I am a God-Fearing man and believe in what I am supposed to do as a man of the house.......and in this case, the step-man of the house.

Blended4213's picture

Until our SO's realizes their kids issues, I don't know if much can change. We can try to talk to the stepkids but ultimately need their parents support. I notice these things that DH does not, and when I'm constantly pointing them out, I look like the evil stepmom.


What I've been doing is picking one big issue and hoping DH will notice, then when he doesn't, calmly bring it up and say how concerned I am about the stepchild. Not really, I'm usually annoyed. He is getting better but still defensive at times so I see how hard this is.


My middle stepson is the biggest challenge for me. To DH he seems like his favorite because he's doing well in school and is a suck-up. Yet he still doesn't respect his own father when he tells him to do something and talks back but I guess the times he offers to help with something makes DH forget that. He also does the thing where he will walk right into me and not move, he's almost as big as me now and I don't like it. I think it's disrespectful. Out of the 3 stepsons he's the most entitled. Thinks he knows better than adults and has no problem correcting us. DH seems to be proud he has knowledge. Also bosses all the kids and even at times us around. He monopolizes conversations and DH thinks it is cute, but when his other son does this he scolds him. I try to avoid him because I want to yell at him and he just makes me angry. Trying to play a board game or watch a movie with him is a nightmare. When I yelled my daughters name the other day he answered for her. I told him to knock it off. He seems to need to be involved in everything.


I did mention to DH how when the kids are playing board games he bosses everyone around. DH agreed and we talked with his son about it, who then said he does that so he can help the others. DH said you are trying to be the referee and that's not always necessary. While I'm glad DH seems to get it, what would really help is being on this kid more, every time he does this stuff pull him aside and maybe even take away game privileges until he can learn to quit bossing others around. He's not being a referee but more like a dictator and I can't stand to watch it. He's making this kid grow up to be more entitled and I can't stand to be around him.


Sorry I got off on a tangent but yes, I think we need full support from our spouses. I also am afraid that it's a bit too late for at least one of my stepsons who I don't think I will ever enjoy being around because his dad is too easy on him and afraid to hurt his feelings. Which is not doing anyone any favors and sounds like a problem you are having too. I think we can teach kids to respect us and still show we love them.

Metaldude73's picture

Agreed, we can teach them to respect us AND they can know and feel that we love them at the same time.  I have reached that point with 15YO SS, but not with 19YO SD or 11YO SD.  If I say something to the older boy, he'll take it like he should and he respects me to the point where I know my point stuck with him.  If I say something to the older girl, she'll give me the look of death and not listen to a damn word I say, unless her mother says the same thing to her and backs me up.  I guess that is what is needed in the end.

Now...........I have been reading a great book about being a "smart stepdad."  In this book, they go on to describe how a Skid's space is "my space and all mine" to a step-parent, but how a biological kids space to a biological parent is "shared space" implicitly.  This makes sense to me.  So my 15YO SS will continue to walk into me and he'll continue to think he doesn't have to move and that's the way it is.  Sucks, but that's step-parent life.  An outsider for most of the journey.

SteppedOut's picture

Disrespect should not be "just the way it is". It is horrible that you should be thinking that way. It is horrible that your wife is allowing that - she is supposed to love and cherish you! 

JRI's picture

Im glad to hear you two are communicating.  Thats the main thing.  When I was in counseling, my counselor strongly recommended time alone together daily, even if it was only a walk in the neighborhood.  Your weekend trip was a good idea.


Metaldude73's picture

I live in a home where there are at least three (3) women who are ultra senstive to everything that I do.  My wife, 11YO SD and 19YO SD.  All of them will think I'm mad at them at the drop of a hat.  I'm the only person in this house that can affect them that easily.  I can say the same thing that one of the others says and they get zero negative feedback, while I get the chair.

JRI's picture

I had a similar thing.  I didn't usually raise my voice and am very tactful.  But if I said something more negative, I often had someone crying.  I'm talking big teenage step-sons with tears in their eyes.  My own kids were more hardened, lol.

Rags's picture

Two words that raise my hackles are "entitled" and "deserve".  No one is entitled to nor deserves anything other than what they earn.  Other than infants who are incapable of choice, people live what they earn by their chosen behaviors and performance.  This includes minor children.

They are not special just because they exist. Special is earned.

Quality parents have clear standards of behavior and performance that they raise their children to.  

As it should be.

IMHO of course.

Nothing torques my jaw more than a feral screaming little shit of a kid who is running amok while mommy and daddy look on adoringly as their feral spawn invade the peace of anyone around. Those unfortunately bred little turds grow into nasty adults who foster my thoughts along the lines of "Your mother should slap the piss out of your father.  Or.... Your father should slap the shit out of your mother. Or.... Both sets of your grandparents should have had your parents neutered before they sullied the human genome."