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Needing extra support for this weekend!

WorkingTowardIt's picture

Hello everyone. Thank you for taking the time out to read about my situation. I apologize for the length, but I want it all out on the table so that I may receive the best insight and advice from you good people!

I have been in my relationship for three years. My boyfriend and I have discussed marriage, but right now I am at the stage of "if it aint broke dont fix it." I know I love him, he loves me, we have purchased a new home together just this past February, have proclaimed our commitment, ect. I mean absolutely no disrespect to those of you in a conventional institution of marriage...but this is my current preference. I view him as my husband; there just isnt an official piece of paper and walk down the aisle that says he is....

With that being said, my boyfriend (who will be further referred to as BF) is divorced with two children, a daughter who is 12 and a son who is 4. Now for those of you who are good at math, I want to explain that BF was already separated and moved out when the youngest was conceived. Call it a last ditch effort, a trick pregnancy, an accident, what have you, but the point is it was not enough to reconcile the relationship.

I met him through a family member (they were best friends), and we became friends, and then it snowballed, and, well, you get the point. The divorce was official a year after we began "dating," and within the first year he wanted me to meet the children, but I did not think it was appropriate with him still being officially married, because never mind the fact that his relationship was already over far before I came along, I knew that introducing me to the children would cement the vision of, "this is why daddy left mommy." And knowing BioMom the way I do now, I know for a fact that this is a storyline she clung to for dear life and a story that was often told to the kids (well at least the oldest, since the younger one was too young to understand what is going on).

Anyway, after the first year came the divorce, and with the second year I reasoned that we should allow the children time to adjust to the fact that their parents were no longer married. Now, if I am being honest with myself and with all of you, I should say that at this point, I was happy with it being just the two of us. I dont have any children, and am perfectly fine with this fact. The ability to get up and go whenever I please suits my nature, and BF had his two hour Thursdays when he would see the kiddos so in my book all was well. At this point BF was not getting the kids for his weekends because the youngest was not able to go on overnights and Biomom is a stickler for if he (their son) cant do it/she (their daughter) cant do it (the story on separation anxiety will come later). It was easier to not argue, and what would I argue about anyway, things were great the way we had them IMO.

So, just last year I told BF enough time had gone by, and the scenario wasnt making sense. I mean, he had his children in one world, and our life in another. I didnt think it was fair to him to have to live separate existences like that, and it was time to have his children visiting him in his home so that he could take advantage of his weekends (the youngest had turned three at this point so we were good to go). It was a MAJOR battle with BioMom of course, she was NOT happy to have them leave her home and come to ours, especially since she is CRAZY attached, and fiercely territorial, but whatever, court rules are court rules.

After a VERY awkward meeting (on both their part and mine, full of nerves and hesitancy), we were off to a decent start. In the beginning I aimed to please both the children and BF. We would go on picnics to the park to fly kites, and his oldest would have slumber parties with her cousins (whom I had been interacting with since BF and I got together and I get along absolutely fine with) with me playing hostess, and making cupcakes with them, and playing Wii games, there were skating parties and all that jazz. BF was happy; here was the blended family he has always wanted.

So whats the problem you ask? The problem was that I was faking it, and then began to get less enthusiastic of keeping up the facade. I assumed that since I loved him so much I would naturally just automatically love his children. "Love will find away" right? I failed to realize that I was not "used" to children, which is a given, since I dont have any of my own and have never had to assume a "STEP MOM" like role, but even further was the issue of dealing with kids that were being fulltime reared predominately outside of our home. The oldest has a mouth on her and that is difficult for me as I come from the old school of no talking back, respecting your elders, ect. Her mother talks to her like a thirty two year old "home girl" instead of the twelve year old young lady that she is SUPPOSED to be. The youngest is SPOILED rotten. I mean, in the beginning I was flabbergasted at the fact that he would not even hold his own cup when he drank his juice, he would say, “I’m thirsty,” and his sister would tilt the glass to his lips! (We have come ALONG way from that lemme tell you, but I wanted to throw that out there to paint the initial picture)....Another issue, which we have made SIGNIFICANT progress on, is the fact that the kids are pretty antisocial. By this I mean that BioMom has them play with each other and ONLY each other. They were co-dependent upon one another, and until they started spending weekends with us (we lived in a townhome prior to buying the house we live in now), had never even slept apart from one another. There was no end of separation anxiety in the beginning. Since she is way older there were things she is allowed to do that he isnt, but she would always pass up those opportunities to stay with her brother (guilt ridden, which freaked me out) until she started seeing how much fun it was interact with her cousins (with are BF’s nieces) and other girls her age instead of only her baby brother (whom she treated like her OWN child, which unnerved me as well, but thats a whole different thread). We have since gotten them to sleep in their own respective rooms, (they live in a two bedroom with BioMom and her boyfriend, and they share a room there, but they each have their own space when they come over here) so that has gotten better, but there are times when he just climbs into his sisters lap and sits there, or clings to her, or she OVERLY coddles him and it is just SUPER annoying to me. I would leave a room however if was bothering me, and I didnt say a word about it, and just leave it to their dad.

After some time had gone by, I noticed that I had taken to retreating from them altogether. Once we moved into the new home I had taken to not wanting to partake of the little circle. Once this began happening, BF became concerned because he assumed we were melding into one big happy family, but I realized I was pretty much playing the part. I was attempting to be "SUPER STEPMOM" but honestly, I was not feeling it, and was not overly excited about the situation. I started being resentful, and I would take to crying silently the day they were due to arrive. I read somewhere where a previous poster stated that they felt like a hostage in their own home, and I am sad to say I understand that sentiment.

BF began to notice my apprehension, which began to give way to arguments as he wanted me to be "more involved". I would take his daughter to go get pedicures, and to the book store (she is an avid reader, as am I). She seeks me out when they come to visit, and I feel that she has bonded with me. As a twelve year old girl, she really has no current connection to her dad. Hes her dad and she loves him, but there will be no talking to him about boys and periods so I can see why she seeks me out when she is here. I dont particularly find her a major problem, I just notice when she tends to linger, I am silently praying that she "goes away and lets me be."

The youngest, well, I dont have too much to do with him anymore. At four he has already started the lying process that some other posters have mentioned and I was AGHAST at such behavior in a child. Especially since it was ME he was lying about, and I DID NOT appreciate it. So, to say there is some dislike on my end for him is a bit of an understatement. Also, to add to the situation, I must admit that the fact that he resembles his mother, not only in looks but in behavior, adds to my "dislike" and resentment. I can admit this and am constantly praying to God to aid me with acceptance, more patience, and the ability to let the stuff I cannot change go!

My main annoyance is the expectation that I be "involved." I mean, they are HIS children, and they come to spend time with HIM. I have no problem giving them their space to hang out with dad when they come, in fact, I PREFER this, but he wants me RIGHT THERE. I believe this is largely out of the dream of melding his two worlds, but also because he is afraid of having to deal with them by himself. He has never had to do this before. I am soooo not downing him, I can just see his trepidation, however I feel it is unwarranted because he is such an AWESOME father.

I am well aware of the fact that I am an adult, and they are children. I am well aware that its a difficult adjustment for everyone involved (I wont say especially the kids, because I feel that grownups have just a hard of a time and there is NO NEED to feel like a horrible person for feeling the way one does). So whats the point? I dont have one. I just wanted to spill my story and let those out there know that, no, they are not alone, and that it is a difficult situation no matter the scenario or individuals involved. There was one thing I read throughout the "shaky" STEP PARENTs posts that was a constant and that was that most of them often stated that they loved their significant other, and I guess I believe thats the main thing that one has to hold on to.

BF and I are currently in relationship counseling. I agree that I need help coping and processing dealing with the issues and idiosyncrasies I have about these children, and I am taking active steps about trying to be better at this. The reason I’m here is because I am also seeking outside support. My BF’s job has him working crazy hours, so he does not ALWAYS have the children on his weekends, and there are times when we may go for weeks without having them. This past month has been one of those times and now they will be here this weekend and I am already feeling the anxiety and apprehension. (I didnt cry today, so thats improvement). I have asserted that I will smile when they get here and grin and bear it and just begin the countdown til Sunday. Will I ever feel completely at ease in this situation? I dont know, but what I do know is, that I cannot NOT stop trying!
Wish me luck.

liks's picture

I wish I could hug you and tell you how sorry I am that you feel this way....

Your taking on so much and whilst you call it faking it....I call it trying hard....but someones sign off sums it up nicely...your only as good a sm as the bm allows you to be...

So my dear....its all her fault!!!! blame the mother for not allowing the kids to stir the hormones...cos obviously they would have been told to be carefull of you ...or you broke the bio parents up or wot ever...

I never wanted kids and through some drunken night I ended up with one, then another now I have 3....I really need to curb my drinking....

so I know where you are coming from....flying kites is too all them kids shows you have to sit through...but i must admit I loved the look on my kids faces when they see something they really love....

my skids are a pain in the arse and totally ungrateful....I tried with them by providing them of gifts etc...little brats just turned up their noses and didnt even say thanks.... wont get idea how to help you, but to say you are not alone in your mixed feelings....

waiting for my babe to get home from work where I have a lovely home cooked meal waiting for him and then we will slip into bed and play adult games .... my bd17 and bs13 wont bother us and accept our marriage .... whereas the skids try to break us up and grizzle grizzle grizzle from the time they are here to the time they wonder I hate them...

AliceP's picture

I understand the held hostage, My SD's are very clingy and don't really relate to men at all so they are up my ass all the time, they don't embrace any sort of independence, to me they are 9 and 10 and can go outside and play unsupervised but instead they cling. My problem is that We have lived in the same place for 5 years, have had the same phone number, provide a very routine and stable enviroment for our 2 mutual children and when all 4 of them are together we are able to do things their BM isn't able to do for them being single, carless, and at work most the time leaving them with their older cousin or alone. So in my head they should just absolutly love us. lol but they don't. I wish I could just not care and not participate too I'd get the same results.,

Lauren1438's picture

Try to make "Daddy house rules" We had to do it because the BM doesn't teach them anything FSD6 ate with her hands because "mommy doesn't give them forks" I mean they didn't even know about please and thank you until they go to us. The have adjusted well to daddys rules in regards to the behavior change.

As far as dreading them coming over. Try to have their dad spend one on one time with them. That way he takes one away from the other and you can get to know the other as their own person. I was pulling my hair out at first and I was also always upset until I realized that I can handle them separately. Things have gotten better between me and his girls.

If only I could say the same thing about the BM. She is a whole other subject and she is a horrible influence.

hismineandours's picture

Can you maybe just do a few things with them on his weekend? A dinner? A movie-a couple of activities over the course of the weekend and then spend the rest of the time doing things YOU like to do? Meet a friend for shopping? A night on the town? An exercise class? Whatever it is you like to do. Take up some volunteer work at the animal shelter on every other Saturday. Get a great book and curl up in your bed with a glass of wine and read. Talk with your bf about teaching his kids to play independently. All kids should learn to entertain themselves. Encourage him to enjoy his one on one time. Encourage your sd to have a sleepover at her cousins house.

alwaysanxious's picture

Maybe you have already seen this, but read The Happy Stepmother.

Don't put so much demand on yourself and DH should not either. Its ok to let them do their own thing while you do yours. Kudos to you for being so secure enough to do that.

Maybe sometimes you do things with them, other times you do your thing. You don't have to be susie homemaker though and DH shouldn't expect you to.

WorkingTowardIt's picture

Thank you so much everyone for not judging me and understanding and encouraging me! I feel like I have found a support group for "battered" women! lol. It's like, this stuff is so difficult to admit because I feel like I'm sounding like a selfish evil person, but these are my feelings dammit and I feel like I am entitled to them! So again, thank you thank you thank you!

LAG115, I know exactly what you mean. Prior to me even being introduced to the children I thought way better of them than I do now! lol. Often while I was out shopping I would see things they might like and automatically purchase them and have their dad give it to them (not saying it was from me, of course). Ask me if I do anything like that now?! Well, I still buy them items, but it’s more begrudgingly now, than in the thoughtful joyous way it was before I started spending time with them. As difficult as it is to say, I just plain do not care for them very much. I often find myself attempting not to cringe when they are even brought up. It’s hard as hell to bite my tongue and not say how I'm feeling to my BF. He's my best friend and when I need advice I often process things with him, but this is just an untouchable subject for me to discuss with him since there is no way in hell that a person will not get defensive, angry, hurt, and/or resentful when another person is saying negative things about their children. And I don’t think I'd like him very much as a person if he DIDN’T defend his children. That’s what makes him such an excellent father. The bond between them is not something I am trying to neither break nor come between. But let's be honest, I don’t believe there would be any way to salvage a relationship after you tell the person you love, "I wish your ex moved with your children to Antarctica, and I never had to see them again."

I feel bad, I really do. I feel terrible thinking such thoughts, and I can't begin to tell you all how many times I have prayed for the Lord to touch my heart. How I have forced myself to NOT think along such lines; to MAKE some form of love, or care, or joy spark at the thought of the person I love most in this world's kiddos coming over to spend time with us....and to no avail. I would often begin practicing how I was going to deliver my speech on how I felt sick on the way home from work (when I was interning this summer) to use as an excuse for why I intended to shut myself in my room for the whole weekend that they were due to come. The downside is that I am out of "headache" "sick" and "I'm tired" excuses. Since entering counseling my man knows exactly where I stand and how I feel about his children, so any move I make to retreat into my room and not join the group resounds a hundredfold. Bottom line: I'm going to have to put forth effort and try to interact with these children (which of course has me resentful as hell, and I feel impending doom). For the first year that they were coming I had no problem doing it, I just faked it and dived right in, hoping that as time went by something would change. It's taxing feeling this way, and is NOT something I do for fun or because it feels good....

I'm sure transference is a feeling I feel (especially toward the youngest because he looks just like his mother), but also the traits and behavior she has instilled in them just get my goat (to say the least). And then the other 25% is that I just plain don't want to be bothered with them. I’m a full time student, the president of a college organization, am taking an extra honors seminar, and also lend my time to church activities, so I feel like just relaxing on my weekends and I feel put out about having to redirect "someone else's kids." I am the Grinch of Kidville I guess. Some women have it (the maternal gene). I obviously, do not.

I DO NOT show this ugly attitude to these children while they are here. As far as they know we are all cool and things are copasetic....But the facade takes every ounce of me, and I know it’s just a matter of time before the cracks begin to show. I just ask for strength and courage to get through another weekend without any drama or mishaps or arguments between me and my man over me "not joining in" as much as he would like. We have discussed me spending time with them say on just the Friday nights, and then Saturday and Sunday would be father/children time, and he agrees that sounds good. Luckily this weekend we will only have them Saturday and Sunday, so I have a free night tonight, and will probably only have to spend a bit of time with them tomorrow and then consider that my dues, but even if you told me I just had to spend time with them for thirty seconds I'd still shudder.....

WorkingTowardIt's picture

So they came today, but I have yet to see them. I slept pretty late, and BF went to pick them up around ten am. I suggested that he take them around town to hang out, and since our city is pretty boring he came home about two hours later to run it by me that he was going to take the kids to visit their grandparents (who live past the town he had just come from to pick them up). So I was a bit peturbed thinking about the amount of gas this back and forth was costing, but it get thems out of my hair for the next couple of hours so it's the lesser of two evils I guess. I have finally gotten out of bed (we had attended a friend's birthday party last night, and didn't get to sleep til wee hours of the the morning, and I am old and need extra recovery time! lol), so I decided to come post a blurb real quick because I know I will not get away with hiding in the room for the rest of the evening....THe anxiety has already started, and my palms are sweaty and I wish my BF could understand just how much discord I feel, and how his children are a very real phobia for me! Do other people feel it this bad? I mean, I know this site is full of people who can not stand their SK's for whatever reasons, but do any of them experience this very real fear of the situation? Where does it come from? How can I get through it???

>HELP< Sad

cmulder's picture

I think BF just wants your help...Many times BF, as great as they can be, are not used to taking on the motherly role and so he might be looking for you to fill that void. Try to work together and help him if you are going to make it. Just small things that can help him out with the kids. It is overwhelming to be a parent and teamwork goes along way. In time things might get easier and you may actually get attached to the stepchildren. It's all good until they become teenagers...that's a whole new story. I have been through many years of being a SM of SD 15 and BM of a 18,17,6 year old. Be the BEST person you can be and direct the children with integrity and values regardless of what BM is like. They will respect least until they are teens LOL!