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Nightmare stepson

Zippy999's picture

Long story short, I came into my partners life 4years ago. I was the other woman. Not something I’m proud of, It all got very tricky and the children’s mother turned into an obsessive thing possessed (fine for a time) but this has been going on four years. I met the children after a year of being with my partner after some very high stress situations that the mother caused. She cannot control herself around the children and shouts obscenities such as ‘daddy doesn’t want to talk to you on the phone because he’s with ****’ this is a common occurrence. When my partner and I dare to have time together she’s on the phone every single five minutes, and if he doesn’t answer for a time there’s about 90+ missed calls. When he eventually does answer it’s ‘how could you do this to your kids, they need you not her’ ‘you should be over here regardless they’re kids and she’s an adult they need you all the time’ oh I didn’t mention I live with this man. Have done for three years now. The kids come to us at the weekends but their father goes to the old marital home every morning and every night after work to fulfil his fatherly duties etc etc. Fine. So one child is 10 and is generally fine and takes everything in his stride. But the other who is 12 very soon is really grating on me. I try so hard with them both. I find it difficult with the older one I don’t know what to say, I get one word answers all the time but that doesn’t stop me trying. So we’ve just come back from some time away with the kids. We tried to get them out to the pools, out and about, the younger one is up for it. But the older one is so busy on his phone/fortnight that he just says ‘no’ to everything. His dad just huffs and stays in all day with him. Im Not expected to stay in too but I feel bad if I go to the pool to leave my partner to deal with it. It’s not as simple as just telling him he has No choice and he’s coming with us because the last time we took him to a beach he started throwing stones at us in the water and risked hitting other people with the stones. Inside I was fuming but my ‘this isn’t my territory’ part of me stopped me from saying much to him. So this year my partner has just sat around the apartment with him for endless amounts of time. Days had been wasted. And another thing that infuriates me is that their mother still sleeps with them. She also dictates that their father sleeps with them when he’s with me. So the eldest always says ‘daaad will you sleep with us’ knowing full well what he’s doing. And my partner gives in which really annoys me. I feel that the only way the kids will accept and begin to be happy with this setting is that if my partner puts his foot down and stops letting the eldest rule the roost. They both talk to him like rubbish. And my partner just lets them. There are no consequences for their bad behaviours either. I just don’t know what to do. Whether the eldest is hitting out because of the situation or just because he’s now a pre teen. I feel that if the mother kept her anger to herself and didn’t show it off infront of her kids maybe he would be a little more settled but he knows he’s not allowed to like me. Please no judging. I know that some will say ‘you should expect this’ and ‘put yourself in their shoes’ but it’s been four years now. And I never show them that their attitude irritates me or I’m sure they would just do it more 

hereiam's picture

First of all, your partner needs to stop going to the "marital" home, to fulfill his "fatherly duties", this is just confusing and probably giving the kids false hope. At the very least, it is misrepresenting the situation. Your partner is, in a sense, living a double life.

Do you think he is letting them get away with bad behavior out of guilt? He needs to get past that. He made a decision and now needs to move on and parent them like he is the parent, not the pal who feels bad about what they are going through. He needs to stop giving in to them, stop letting them rule. And he needs to stop letting the BM dictate what goes on in your home. She is obviously just trying to drive a wedge between you and your partner.

He is doing them no favors by raising them to be little jerks. I understand that they may be upset, they may be mad, but he is their father, you are an adult in their lives, and your partner needs to teach them about respect. BM, obviously, is not going to.

Not only that, your partner needs to show YOU some respect by not allowing this behavior in your home.

You are right, your husband needs to put his foot down and show them who is the parent and just stop putting up with the nonsense. They will do what they can get away with.


Curious Georgetta's picture

Her partner living a double life at the expense of his wife and children. Now that she is in the other sife, she finds it unacceptable. Seems a bit self serving - it is ok that I hurt you but it is unfair that you respond in the same selfish way.

The only victims in this story are the usual victims - the kids who had no voice in any of this.

Step-girlfriend's picture

OP actually never said it was unacceptable. Even though it's ridiculous, OP actually said "Fine", about the part where DH goes to the "marital home" morning and night to see skids. Soo....please just stop. We get it CG, you are not a SM and are "team kids". WE. GET. IT. Please just go find a site that caters to kid-centric parents and leave us Step-parents to vent in peace. Notice the name of the website is STEP-TALK.

THATmom's picture

I have a real crap of a situation too, but if my fiance went to the home of their mother... So help me God. NO. not only does HE need to put his foot down with her AND the kids, YOU should put your foot down with him. There is only so much time that the ex can play the "she the side piece" card. It's been years. He loves you. You need to estiblest ground rules for everyone on your turf! My situation isn't much better, but that.. I did. I had to make it clear that I live here... He is with me... This is what we will do in OUR house. Etc. If you feel this will complicate things too much, then maybe it won't work for you. (I'm not saying that in a shitty way) I just mean... We all come second to the children, I get that.. but as a spouse/fiance/girlfriend.. you should come before the ex. ❤️ Best of luck to you!



SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

You should expect that the kids are never ever ever going to be comfortable with you. 

In all seriousness, a question- why do you expect BM to not be furiously angry for as long as wants? It could be that she's not acting selfishly or with malice and is simply doing the best she can to protect her kids and give them a happy life.

What is it about your partner that makes you put up with all of this? You had to work to get him from his wife, be reminded every day that you are the second class other woman. What fulfillment are you getting from this relationship? 

ndc's picture

This is a very bizarre situation.  You live with him, and the kids come for weekends, but he goes to his ex-wife's home every morning and every evening?  I'm assuming that she is an ex-wife and that they are divorced - is that correct?  If so, he needs to put some better boundaries in place.  He also needs better boundaries with his kids.  Neither parent should be sleeping with kids who are 10 and 12 - that is way too old.  And your partner should be disciplining his children.  He's not doing them any favors by not setting and enforcing rules and imposing consequences.  From the sounds of it, in spite of his twice-daily visits to the marital home, he is NOT a good parent.  

It doesn't sound like much of anything is going to change.   It seems like you have a choice to make.  Mine would be to get out of dodge, as this situation would in no way be acceptable to me.

Curious Georgetta's picture

the relationship, in what situation is the person who inflicted pain on another person allowed to tell them how and how long that they are allowed to hurt?

Exactly what is the statute of limitations on grieving the loss of your family as you knew it to be , and who gets to be the determiner  of that time?

The ex-wife may be acting in a childish manner, but she may with cause, think that your morals are not those to which she wants her children ecposed. She likely feels the same  way about her ex. However, he is their father and she cannot restrict their access to him.

Give these children time. They may accept you or they may not. Their father should not allow them to be rude or impolite, but he should be cognizant of the pain that the both of you have inflicted upon his children.

Some self inflicted problems do not always have simple solutions.


still learning's picture

"....some very high stress situations that the mother caused."

Own the fact that you were part of the equation that caused "some very high stress situations" for this mother and her children.  Your partner (is he still legally married?) is technically with you but having his happy family time on the side every morning and night.  Sounds like a crappy situation for everyone involved with this man trying to live a Sister Wives lifestyle.  Maybe you should have stayed a side chick or better yet found a man of your own.  

elkclan's picture

All the other stuff aside... (and I'm not judging because I know life is complicted) but that rock throwing malarky??? Oh no, no, no. Your partner is not parenting well - no way no how is that kind of public behaviour acceptable and no way no how should the WHOLE family be held up by a kid wanting to do screen time instead of being outside. Our boys - to varying degrees - would happily sit and play xbox all day long, but they are not allowed to. I was actually laxer on this than my SO. He said in summer time, no screens between 9 and 5. We go out, we do stuff. We do allow screens to play Pokemon Go, but we play with them and it's screens down when we get to our activity. And yes, there is occasional grumbling.

I cannot imagine my SO allowing his sons to throw rocks at US or around other people. Boys are wild things, so we do try to find time and space to let them go wild. But when other people are around they are expected not to let their behaviour impact on others - they know consequences will be stiff. 

Your SO may feel guilty, but he may feel guiltier still if he raises a heathern. 

Co-sleeping. Nope. Not at that age. Occasionally YSS9 has nightmares. Sometimes we let him sleep on the floor next to us (with blankets and stuff!). On occasion when my son (age 11) has been really sick and had some breathing problems, he slept with me and my partner went elsewhere - his idea. All kids occasionally cuddle with us in our bed. Regular co-sleeping - no way.  

As to the origins of your relationship... I suspect, given the nature of these things - that BM has some anger issues in general, don't anticipate that she will EVER let go of that. Even if she didn't have anger issues, she might not let this go. Being cheated on hurts like crazy and many people actually develop PTSD symptoms from it. If she was already a bit unstable... well - there you go. However, you cannot change the way she parents. Your partner can change the way he co-parents with her. My SO's ex is like this, too she's a nutjob, always demanding things that inconvenience him and me. (I met my SO long after they split which is for the best I think. But both of us have crazy exes and had sexless marriages, so we both sought comfort outside our marriages, so I do understand, it just didn't happen to be with each other.)

Finally, if your partner is not divorced then he needs to be. There needs to be parenting plan and a court order. He needs to decide HOW he wants to parent his kids and then he needs to make that happen and let BM parent as she will. They need to cooperate, but he does not need to obey her idea of parenting. 

susanm's picture

After 4 years nothing has changed or calmed down.  He is still going over to the marital home every day, parenting out of guilt, and trying to atone for his behavior.  And it appears that neither the wife or kids have any intention of letting him off the hook even a little bit any time soon.  Yes - what he did was bad but no progress after 4 years?  That is just taking advantage of the situation and he is allowing it.  He may have "left" but he has not really left.


That tells me that you are going to be wearing the Scarlet Letter for the rest of your life if you stay in this situation.  He may be the one who broke vows but you are going to pay the price.  You gave it your best shot but it is time to go.  He will very likely blame you and do the "I trashed my life for you and now you are deserting me " routine.  But he didn't.  He tried to walk the line and be with you while appeasing everyone else to the point of letting your relationship be harmed.  Having your cake and eating it too does not work here.  But it may be easier just to take the blame and get out.  "Yup, I am a bad person.  Go ahead and hate me.  Try to patch things up with your wife because you clearly are not finished.  Bye."

It will hurt for a while, especially if you check Facebook and see that they have reconciled, but you will have dodged a much bigger bullet than the one you have already taken.  Think of it as a hard lesson, remember that we are all human, and move on to a better life without this kind of mistake that is just not fixable.