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struggling with the pressure of step children

foray542's picture

 Hi I moved in with my partner and her two kids about  a year ago and while it went well first  we are all struggling  now  

while my partner  and I love each other we've found   so many differences  with money,  expectations of the children  as she's so soft even with my son too who is also living with us  where as I see it as a guide to  life and also respect  for each other and the home,  I work long hours  up to 75 hours  a week and after a 13/14 hour day I still  can't get any of them to  clean up after dinner  and there all mid to late teens and it's like everything  I ask  there back goes up and it causes more grieve than it's work. like picking up the dog poo on the lawn it's like  I asked one of them more than 24 hours ago and now he's gone out and won't be back til tomorrow  and I'll have to do it  I could  understand  If I'd have demanded  it be done right when I ask be I always give them time to do the task I have  but still nothing 

As for money  my partner  is a real spender and I'm a saver  and it's causing  so much disharmony  in the house that I'm at my wits end 

I really  feel like leaving  as I only see it getting  worse 


elkclan's picture

relationship counselling.

You have some the major stressors in your relationship - kid discipline differences (the fact that they're blended makes it extra hard) and money differences - if you have sex differences too you've got the trifecta.

My partner and I are both savers. We talk about discipline differences (I am softer than he is on most things). To be honest, when I was dating I looked for cheap man because I knew I couldn't live with someone who wasn't - frugal but not mean. 

Kes's picture

I would institute policies where there are penalties for non-completion of required household chores - eg access to the internet, or take their phones off them.  I wouldn't pussyfoot around this, I'd confiscate things and lock them in a safe until the chores are damn well done.  Unless they work and pay for their own phones which sounds unlikely with these kids.  But I'd put a password on the internet that only you and your partner know, in that case.  

Areyou's picture

Have a family meeting and lay out the expectations. Give them a timeline. Tell the spouse if things don’t change within the timeline given you will be implementing major changes. Don’t be afraid to implement said changes. Once changes happen, natural consequences do wonders. 

Rags's picture

Establish and enforce reasonable standards of behavior in your home.  Apply an escalating age appropriate state of abject misery for any kid that refuses to comply.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  They comply or they are miserable.  Compliance returns a tolerable but not escalated state of existance, exceeding the standard returns a modestly  

Take phones, computers, gaming systems, etc.... turn off internet access.  Start throwing away their personal items that are not kept appropriately picked  up, if they won't clean up after a meal... quit feeding them. Hunger sends a very clear message. 

If they don't pick  up the dog poop, bag it and put it on their pillow with a post-it giving them the message that they failed to do as directed and next time the poop goes in their pillow case without a bag.  A third infraction ... and get rid of the dog. 

Quit making this complicated. Keep it simple. They comply or they suffer. Their choice.  Direct, to the point, effective.

foray542's picture

thank you all for your replies  the major factor  is that two of them are 17 and 18 and both are over 6ft 3  and is be really  concerned  if my partners boy has  loses  it  which he has done in the past   there could  be real big problems  

so I suck it up or leave    man it sucks 

Rags's picture

If they get violent.... defend yourself.  I suggest that you get a CCP, purchase a handgun, get training and carry.  Even as a man if I was assaulted by a 6’3” assailant ... or two.... I would use whatever force was necessary to ensure my safety and to eliminate the threat.

Take care of you.

corey.perkins's picture

Just leave, relationships are a dime a dozen. Find somebody you are compatible with. Not somebody with shitty kids and a bad spending habit.