You are here

Will I ever feel differently?

Lolo1988's picture

Hi all,

im new here and I've found it so comforting (if that's the correct choice of words) to read others posts on this forum. I have no friends currently that have step kids so often it's hard for friends to completely understand where I'm coming from.

I've currently been in a relationship for 3 years, my partner has 3 kids 6 I and 15 and I have one child who is 8.

when it is just me and my partner and all the kids are with there respective parents, we get on great, enjoy each other's company, laugh together and really connect.

my partner is a brilliant person and father to his kids, but struggles with my son who has ADHD. He tends hold onto feeling angry after my son has a meltdown and then retracts and doesn't talk or interact as much with him. 

I can't no matter how much I try to shake it off feel like we will ever slot together as a family. There is so much I find hard to accept about this life, but those feelings come in waves I feel like I'm ready to give up but then brush it under the rug and carry on.

The youngest two have no respect for my home, they break things wee all over the bathroom, don't go to bed some times till 11pm in the evenings so me and my partner have no evening together. 
the eldest is also difficult because he wants constant entertainment from us, there isn't any point that he has will just chill out on his own.

I am an introvert and someone who craves and needs my own time and space. My partner finds this difficult to accept and often takes it that I don't want to spend time with him and the kids which then causes a row. It makes me feel suffocated as I feel I'm not allowed to be myself. 
I feel so guilty all the time because I feel I should love his children, and I just don't. 
The next issue is, I want another child and he has said no.

my question is, will I ever feel happy and settled with my step kids. 
does it get easier? Does anyone have any solutions? 

thank you



GrudgingSM's picture

I'm so sorry for how hard this is. I think so many of us jump in and assume it'll work out. For me personally, I don't love my skids. Sometimes I feel affection for them and sometimes their rude behavior and lack of kindness or respect drives me bonkers. I'm also am introvert and can't handle their wild energy. Also, over time, all these smaller things have added up to more and more resentment. 

it also sounds like both you and your DH have expectations around the other persons treatment of kids. I'd consider broaching that topic. What do you need in the relationship in terms of how the other person treats kids. Say how you feel and what you need the other person to work on. Like you can express your need for down time and ask him to work on bedtimes so you can have evenings together.'focus on those I feel statements so there isn't blame and recognize that you can each work in actions but you can't chamge feelings or ask the other person to love your kids.

I wish I could promise it gets better, but it hasn't for me.

ESMOD's picture

I would describe this situation akin to someone who has an affair.  When you can escape from "real life" with your flame.. you aren't dealing with the day to day grind.. and things are fine.  The same with relationships with skids... when you aren't having to deal with the full reality of our partner's life situation (which includes kids).. things are fine.. but when you throw in the reality of their kids.. the edges begin to unravel and things are just not that "fun" any more.  Being with your partner when no kids are involved is like licking the frosting off the cupcake.  But life is the full cupcake.. we can't forever discard the cake layer.

But, let's disect a few issues here.  FIRST and foremost is the fact that you already have 4 children between you.  That is a LOT of kids for a couple to manage.. financially, time, attention.  This doesn't seem like a good situation to have an additional child.  And.. to his credit, your SO doesn't want to have another child when he realizes what it involves.  But he has THREE.. so it's you that would have to resolve yourself to only having one child. (and don't discount that he might have concern that he would end up paying CS on 4 kids at some point).

Is having another child a hill to die on?  If so, this is not the right relationship.  Unless he and you have some unlimited financial resource having a home where you could have 5 kids... what would that be a 6-7 bedroom house.. how many baths.. shew.. a vehicle big enough to carry all those kids.. pay for weddings.. cars... just everything kids need and want?

And.. the second elephant here is the fact that you both have issues with your partner's children.  I would hazard that you both see the other as not being a great parent as he probably sees your child's behavior as willful.. and that makes him angry and also probably angry that you don't control him.  His kids are terrors too.. and he hasn't parented them either.. so you have some pretty big holes in behaviors for all the kids.. and it's no wonder he doesn't want to add to that mix... but throw in on top of it that your introvert nature makes having all these extra people in your home uncomfortable?

It seems like your situation is more like a fixer upper house that is to the point where it would be cheaper to tear it down and start fresh because the nature and extent of the repairs needed to make the house sound are probably more expensive and time consuming than the result would be worth.. you would be left with a house that still doesn't suit your needs.. even if it were in a little better repair.. still not what you want.

Lolo1988's picture

Thanks a lot for you reply, 

We have spoken a lot in the past around each of us need and our own expectations of how we care for/interact with children.

it unfortunately hasn't made a lot of difference, he treats my son very differently and can be quite hard on him where he is always very forgiving to him own children.

im exhausted with running around after them constantly cleaning up cooking washing clothes and entertaining them. I feel like I have no quality of life any more. For all my partners kindness etc he is very lazy he can't cook and rarely cleans

what am I even doing right now, reading this back makes me feel silly because i know it isn't working, I feel like such a failure, another failed relationship and heartache for my son. 

GrudgingSM's picture

I hope you two can try some therapy and more conversations. Even if the marriage isn't going to work, I think that's so useful for understanding our patterns and underlying issues because they follow us from Relationship to relationship.

also, consider looking up disengagement and the nacho parenting method. My DH and I do not parent each other's kids. Your DH should not be disciplining your son and you shouldn't have to do the care tasks for his kids. How this gets worked on is up to you guys but if you enable him then he won't step up and do these things. 

Winterglow's picture

OK, fromthe top, this is what I got from your post:

  • Your partner reacts badly to your special needs son (who must feel awful about that),
  • His kids trash your home,
  • his kids urinate all over the bathroom,
  • He doesn't enforce bedtimes with his kids,
  • His eldest is clingy because his father allows him to be clingy - at his age he can easily entertain himself,
  • You're an introvert and he doesn't accept that and therefore doesn't respect who you are, 
  • You want another child and he doesn't,
  • He expects you to cook and clean for his kids - see how he unloaded his responsibilities on you there? Now, if only you'd take over the parenting duties, he'd be happy as a clam.
  • He's lazy and doesn't mind filth and that is his excuse for using you as a maid.

Now on the positive side:

  • You have a great time together when all the kids are elsewhere. 

Doesn't seem so great, does it? You are doing all the donkey work and he's sitting around not even parenting. What kind of a parent doesn't even teach his kids not to pee all over the place, that your home is not a free-for-all playground, or see that they get enough sleep? Answer: a crappy one.

I'm not sure you're son will suffer heartache if you leave this guy. Seems to me his life there wasn't much fun anyway. Don't look at this as a failed relationship (looks pretty one-sided from where I stand and a partnership should be balanced), look at it as an educational situation, chalk it up to experience, and then walk away with your head held high. This just isn't the right one for you - there's no failing about that. You are just mismatched 

Lolo1988's picture

It's all just eating me up, I suffer from panic disorder and when the children are all together my anxiety rockets and I get panic attacks.

the children don't mesh all that well together, his eldest son can be quite mean to mine and often will leave him out and the three of my step kids kinda gang up on my son, make him feel like the outsider.

my son has various other special needs too so I'm constantly worrying at the doctors etc, combined with all the rest of it makes me feel like my partner just takes from me, when I don't have any thing left to give.

I've read here that some blended families have decided to live separately, has that ever worked for anyone? Or am I trying to save something that can't be saved.

I never fully understood just how hard this would be and al the different emotions you feel about it all.

thanks for all your replies 


Winterglow's picture

I would get my son out of there ASAP. He's being bullied by the kids and the father. Find yourself a place to move to, give yourself a month or so to settle in and then decide whether this relationship is worth all the work it's taking (relationships do require work but they require it from both parties and in this one you're the only one doing the heavy lifting). Don't expect your son to continue in this awful situation for him and to come out of it unscathed. He needs you and your time is being frittered away on running after the skids. Not right. Not good. Not fair.

ndc's picture

This quite simply doesn't sound like the right relationship for you. Too many red flags, not nearly enough positives to compensate for the many negatives you've mentioned. 

Stepdrama2020's picture

If you stay you will have so many regrets. You will feel responsible for your son lacking self esteem as he is picked on by the steps and not treated well by step daddio. You will wake up one day very angry that you gave up the dream of having another precious baby because your DH said no. You gave it up but in return you were "gifted" with DH's feral brats.

NO this is not a good relationship. Your son needs stability and lots of love. I am sure that in this environment he will never get that.

Be kind to you and your son.

Better is always on the horizon.