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Stepkids straining marriage

ncleo17's picture

The SKs are putting a strain on my marriage. But let's start from the beginning....
When I first met my husband, he told me he has two boys from his first marriage. I was okay with that because I love kids! I am going to school to become a teacher! Of course I have no problem with him having kids. We started becoming more serious before I met his kids. His kids were great when we first met. They really liked me, I really liked them, they were really loving and I saw myself getting along with them just fine.....until his bitch ex started realizing that the boys like me better than they like her....I was a threat....so she would come around and say all these racist things....and in front of the boys!!! She still does it to this day.
Well, we got married and now have a daughter together. Living with him and being with the boys have changed my perspective of the boys ENTIRELY!! You really don't know what you're getting yourself into until you live with that someone....you start seeing things for what they truly are. And they have the dumbest schedule ever...they switch the boys every two days.
Before I got pregnant and whenever the boys would be home, I used to give them hugs and kisses all the time. We did things together as a family. I gave them good night kisses every night....until I saw a text one day from the crazy bitch calling me a pedophile....apparently the boys went back and told her I give them kisses and lay in a bed with them for a bit to watch a movie. My husband didn't defend me in the least bit. He didn't say ANYTHING back to her....no response at all after that comment. So ever since then, I stopped being affectionate with them. I refuse to put myself in a situation that'll jeopardize my reputation....I'm working on becoming a teacher for goodness sake!
While I was pregnant, I started seeing how the boys really are. They are so rude and disrespectful to their father. They give him an attitude all the time and whine whenever they don't get what they want. They are spoiled kids! When I started noticing their disrespect, I brought it to my husband's attention. At first he didn't see it. I constantly pointed it out because disrespect doesn't fly with me. I wasn't brought up that way. I can't stand seeing a child try to be in control of their parent! So finally after a few months he started seeing what I was seeing. I told him that we are about to have a child and I DO NOT want my child learning their bed behavior. I told him he needs to straighten them up before our baby gets here. But does he listen?? Of course not, he's a guy! They have no discipline cause he's never disciplined them before. His reasoning for not disciplining them is because they have it so hard with their mom. I'm sorry but that's no excuse...they still need to understand that our home has structure and there will be rules to follow and discipline will be enforced. Believe me, every talk that I should have with my husband has been had....he just doesn't see it. And even with every talk I've had with him, there has been no improvement from him or the kids. I told him he needs to quit being so soft on them. He thinks that all they need is love. But that's not all the need....they also need discipline! I'm not talking about abuse. I'm talking about being taught right from wrong and having morals!
Now that I have my baby, the boys still fight and argue all the time. I went ignoring it for a while...just kept to myself and left the house when they were home so I wouldn't have to hear them. Finally one day I sat all three of them down and had a talk. I thought to use some of my teaching/classroom management skills to see if there will be any improvement. I gave them an incentive...something to look forward to and I came up with a consequence board where they will get happy faces for being good and sad faces for misbehaving and in the end if they get more happy faces they will get something they want! I did all of this out of surprise and my husband didn't know about it until I sat them down. After we had this "family talk," they improved! They were doing so good...they weren't getting in trouble at daycare...my Mother in Law even said she's never seen them SO behaved before! And then about 4 weeks later, they started acting out again....they got in trouble at daycare....got into a fight....and I asked them why and they came up with excuses as all kids do. And then one night my husband ACCIDENTALLY told me that he took them to the movies.....he wasn't even going to tell me! I was SO MAD!!! First of all, they didn't even have enough happy faces to be rewarded. They had as many sad faces as they did happy faces and to me that's no reward. I told my husband that he messed up because he rewarded them for bad behavior!!! NO WONDER they started acting out again! They know that they're gonna get what they want anyway whether or not they are good. They now think that they just have to do alright in order to get what they want. That's no way of bringing up a child....they're gonna think that they won't have to work for anything in their life and just have to do the bare minimum. Well I told my husband that it's pointless doing the board if he's just going to reward them for bad behavior.
And he continues to do just that.....he buys them things whenever they want....they never work for anything....they don't even clean their rooms! They have NO responsibility because doesn't tell them to do ANYTHING, EVER!! They bicker and fight all the time with no respect for the other people in the home. I have gotten onto them plenty of times for their bickering because my husband is deaf in one ear and never hears what the boys are doing. After dinner I've been telling them they need to clean up after themselves.....all they have to do is throw their trash away and put their dish in the sink....but they can't even do that....so I purposely leave the dining table dirty for my husband to clean whereas everything else in the kitchen is clean because I keep up with it.
It's been MONTHS and still no improvement....ever since he rewarded them for bad behavior, they went right back to being themselves. They still fight all the time and I'm tired of hearing it....if they don't stop this now and start improving, than my little girl will catch on to their bad behavior and that's not how I want my child to be. I'm trying to have him teach his kids so that I don't have to bad talk about them later when my daughter starts asking me why her brothers get away with this and that. She's still just a baby but I believe she understands tones of voices and if they are fighting all the time she will sense their negativity. Just like any other parent who doesn't want their child playing or being around some other child who's going to be a bad influence, I don't want my daughter being around these boys because they're going to be the bad influence......her OWN BROTHERS!
But still my husband doesn't keep on their butts....he lets them get away with so much stuff I can't stand it! I've told my husband that I am unhappy whenever they're home and I'm in a bad mood all the time because of their behavior! He doesn't like it that I am not affectionate with them. And I told him about the pedophile story and he says he doesn't remember that. But regardless of if he remembers that or not, that's the reason I'm not affectionate with them. He says that I have an attitude when they're home. I told him that he needs to straighten out his kids and then he will see me happy again and with less an attitude.....so with that being said, our marriage is not healthy. The boys' arguing puts everyone in the house in a bad mood....and that leads to the two of us arguing. The two of us have never argued in front of the boys before....and I point that out to the boys all the time because their mom and her bf argue in front of them all the time.....I ask why they argue when they don't see us arguing....don't bring their mom's horrible attitude home with them. We don't argue here so they need to quit their arguing. But they don't get. And I'm starting to thing they're never gonna get it.

Comments please? Just want to hear what everyone else has to say, good or bad. Will our marriage be put to rest because of these boys?

ybarra357's picture

"Will our marriage be put to rest because of these boys?"

No, it will be because of your DH. Sure, it sounds like they've been PAS'd. But hell, you said it yourself, "he lets them get away with so much stuff I can't stand it".

ncleo17's picture

I agree. I strongly believe that a parent is the cause for a child's good or bad behavior. I know these kids have potential to be good. They just have to be pushed in the right direction. I have tried, but I can only do so much. The rest is up to him.