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Not adjusting to blended family life

celiak71's picture

Has anyone found it difficult to adjust to stepfamily life, or called it quits after failing to adjust?
Dd, ds and I moved in with my partner and his ds 3 years ago. All the children are teens. I am finding it very difficult to settle into this life and I am going through phases of wanting to get out of this arrangement and moving back into my old house.

Other half and I have had a lot of ups and down since all living together. Some good times and some really tough times, so a real roller coaster. We nearly called it quits several times in the past but always seem to get back on track, things get better and the cycle goes on.

There are various reasons for me not settling. It is not my house and I struggle to feel like it is my home. I am not sure I will ever shake this feeling off.
The kids were brought up with different house rules and values, mine being stricter, and I struggle with that. The teens barely lift a finger, I would like to get them to do a bit more around the house but dp is a lot more relaxed and just picks up after them (mostly his ds as mine comply a lot more) to avoid conflict. They are all between 15 and 17 and I can see all three being at home in their 20s and me still doing the bulk of the chores. I really feel good habits should be implemented by now and they should help a lot more.
I also find it hard to warm to ss, even though I have known him for years now. We do get on, aren't conflicting, but I guess I find t hard to live with a nearly young adult who doesn't help out. Mine are a bit more helpful and aren't perfect either, but I can put my foot down or be honest with them about them slacking while I don't feel I can be straight forward with ss. A bit like, I can't tell him off because he is not my ds.

I just feel unsettled and confused and it is not going away after months, even years. When things are good with dp, he is supportive, however when we hit a rough patch, the atmosphere is awful. Part of me wishes we had stuck to living separately. I don't know if I should suck it up and get on with it or follow my inner instinct. I have been confused for months now and some days, it really affects my mental health.

I have read the thread on launching lazy young adults but I can't see this being implemented as bf would never agree to such strict rules. Maybe the issue is partly the living altogether, partly not having my own place. 

LBS714's picture

I also have felt these same emotions. I moved in with my SO and his DS, and brought my 2 DD's with. I absolutely felt like I was out of place while we lived in my SO's house. I didn't own anything but what I brought. Nothing was mine unless I bought it. It's OK to be feeling this way. Also, the thing I do to get my kids to do chores is to just make them or if they're teenagers being absolutely disrespectful, shut the wifi off. Works every time. 

celiak71's picture

Yes, that's the feeling, like I am not in the right place. SO has tried to make it easier by letting me choose a few things but the majority of the stuff is his and not necessarily to my taste. We have agreed to keep things separate and not buy anything together, to make it simpler in case things don't work out (not being negative but coming from divorce / separation, just a precaution). Turning wifi off is not an option as SO is quite lenient and finds that too harsh. 

You said "lived", can I ask if you moved out or bought a place together? Or things didn't work out?

Biscuit87's picture

In the same boat here. Don't have my own kids but struggling massively to adjust to step life, moved into BFs home so don't feel like it's mine, well that and the fact that last week he told me to pack my stuff and leave as I told him his son was bully, trying to work things out but feeling very confused, been staying with family for over a week now, he keeps apologising and telling me he loves me and wants no one else, I on the other hand, whilst missing him terribly and feeling scared at having to start again, feel a lot more relaxed not being there and dread the thought of going back to his kids. BM threatened to move far away with them on the phone to BF yesterday and when he told me all I could think was please god please do it!

feel your pain it's not easy at all and is very confusing and scary 

Stepdrama2020's picture

This is no way to live. Cmon what would you say to your kids if they were in the same boat.

Now its easy to say get the hell out of there, and I know dang it I know that isnt always the answer.

Other than moving to a new house, which will solve the problem of it not being yours, you will still be living with kids who you can never really do anything about.

BTDT and am bioless. It was dang awful.

In life we all need a safe place, a place to unwind and be comfortable. If it isnt in your own home then where will y'all ever have that feeling?

celiak71's picture

What's BTDT and bioless??? 
Knowing what I know now I would not move in and would 100% advise someone with BKs not to move in with SKs. Maybe move close to one another but reading all the threads here and on another forum, it is sad to see how many are in sotuations they hate and/or can't get out of. 

celiak71's picture

That situation sounds quite toxic Biscuit87. If you feel so strongly and you dread living kith the SKs, move out. Date the BF but live separately. If he won't agree to that let him go. Your sanity first. 

Rags's picture

Instant parenthood along with a new marriage is a challenge for anyone and everyone including those who have a fully supportive mate who prioritizes the arriage and their partner.

My own SParent experience was about as easy as it gets.  We met when SS-28 was 15mos old.  My DW had never been married and already had full physical and legal custody of her son. I have no BKs and there was no challenge of having to blend two sets of kids, two homes, two parenting models, etc.......  We met a few months before I finished my undergrad degree.  I had my own home when we met and she had her own place.  When we married we moved into a new place in a different State so it was new for both of us.  The new start and adventure bonded us as the three Musketeers in a hurry.   I was the first person my SS called Dad(dy) and I am the only full time dad he has ever had.  He always had a relationship with his SpermClan and the 16+ years we lived under the Custody/Visitation/Support order included 7wks of SpermLand visitation per year for SS.  Not that they always took it. There were several years that they took no visitation.

IMHO the critical success factor to a blended marriage is spouses who put each other and their relationship first. Above all else. Including children, regaredless of kid biology.  Kids are the top relationship responsibility but never trump the partners or the marriage. Ever. Period. Dot.

I am sorry you're struggling.

Good luck.

celiak71's picture

Thank you. Thankfully no marriage here so would be easier to get out if it comes to that. 
SO would agree with your comment about putting the relationship first. But i put myselt first. Not in a selfish way as in, I do what I want regardless of others/kids. But as in, I need to prioritise my wellbeing and mental health because if that goes to pot, then I can't be a good mom or partner. 
Also, I raised my BKs single handedly for years. Now they are older and don't need me as much, I resent serving everyone and picking up after everyone. I need BKs and SK to be independent, take initatives, help around. 

Some of the rules I had in place for DD and DS went out of the window when we moved in with SO and SS. They had very relaxed rules or no rules, so I lowered down to their level. So now DD and DS are more relaxed too. 

GrudgingSM's picture

I was just thinking yesterday that I need to post and ask what the most radical success stories are out there. Any blended Families in a duplex to keep things separate? Anyone in a commune??? I think I need to move out and live separately until kids launch. I don't want to give up my marriage but I really can't stand being around these kids anymore.  I don't have any advice because I don't know what to do either and Covid has made this past year brutal. I'm stir crazy and need a break/escape. So I don't know how to help because I'm in the trenches with you. But know you're not alone.

celiak71's picture

I hear you! Covid had made things worse, with everyone being home nearly all the time. 
i truly think for me the solution would be separate places but SO really wants someone to share his life with and live with so separating - at least physically while staying in a relationship - would really hurt him. He is a good man.
Before us moving in, we socialised with BKs and SK and it was good. I did not always agree with SO rules or ideas of parenting but I brushed it off. It should have been a red flag for moving in. 
Maybe I am the problem. It is reallt tough to try and convince yourself to not feel a certain way. 
As for the home feeling, SO is trying, offering to redecorate certain areas etc, but how do you tell someone you dislike some of their stuff? I feel like I live in someone else's home, permanently, and I don't know how to change that feeling. He hoards, collects, I am a minimalist. I have sometimes cried just thinking about my old home, this is when I think I am losing the plot.