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Bedroom Boundaries

ariel5's picture

Hello!  I'm newly married to a wonderful man, who has 2 sons (ages 7 and 9) from previous marriage.  We get them every other weekend.  When they are here, they have free reign of our bedroom (during the day).  My husband likes to snuggle with the kids in bed every morning, which I am slighly uncomfortable with as I see the bedroom as a place of privacy.  But I don't say anything because it's the weekend and no one has to go to work.  This week we have for the whole week.  I got up to get ready and the oldest boy came in to snuggle.  I told my husband that they had to go snuggle on the couch because I needed to get ready for work.  He got super upset by this, which is rare because we generally don't have full blown arguments.  I argued that it wasn't unreasonble to have at least 20 minutes of privacy to get ready for work.  He threw out that in his last marriage, the kids would always be in his bedroom while he and his ex would get ready for work.  I told him that is not how I want things.  Needless to say, I left angry, hurt, and feeling disrespected and a little violated that my place of privacy was invaded. 

Am I being unreasonable?  Or is he?  Or is there a compromise to be acheived here that I can't see?  I feel like this is something simple that can be resolved.  I just never expected him to get angry that I wanted privacy in the mornings to get ready.  I am desperately trying to establish a relationship with the kids, and don't want anything to hurt the progress I've made.  HELP!

susanm's picture

I think the answer is very simple.  In his last marriage the boys were much younger.  They are now too old to be watching their stepmother get dressed.  It needs to stop at some point or does he envision them sitting there at 15 with you in your underwear?.  Now is as good a time as any to start respecting your bedroom as the one area that is for you and him only.  It is not going to damage the kids to have to respect personal boundaries of privacy.  They should be learning about privacy regarding their own bodies.  They can respect the privacy of others.

Rags's picture

No, you are not being unreasonable. Not only is he being unreasonable. He is being infantile.

Your bedroom. You make the rules.  Equity life partners get veto rights and there is no overturning a spousal veto unless they change their mind.

No more prior relationship spawn in the marital bedroom.  If he continues to voilate your stipulation on this, start cruising around your room butt neked every AM and watch daddy toss his spawn in a heart beat.

His reference to his last marriage should be the instigator of hell fire of pissed off spouse raining down on his head.  

His last marriage failed.  Tell him that you are beginning to understand why. Remind him that you are his wife.  The last one is not his wife.  She and what they did together has zero place in this marriage with the exception of their spawn EOWE and if he wants that EOWE to be pleasant he has some clarity to gain.

Enforcing the sanctity of your bedroom does not have to be a threat to the relationship that you have with your SKids.  Just be straight with them.  Explain that it is adult space and they have no business in the room. Particularly when you are getting ready for work or any other time that YOU do not invite them in. If you are in the room.  YOU are the one that invites them in.  If Daddy is in the room alone. He can invite them in until you enter the room. Then... their presence is up to you.

IMHO of course.

CompletelyPuzzled's picture

This would be my hill to die on.  The master bedroom should be kid free in my opinion.  Your DH's argument is invalid for two reasons.  Like another poster said, the kids are older and shouldn't be watching you get dressed.  And in his last marriage, that was their mother.  There is a huge difference between mother and stepmother.  Your DH should be able to understand why you are so uncomfortable.  Would he feel right getting dressed in front of the 9 year old neighbor girl?

I made my point very clear early on to DH.   One night he wanted to have a little fun and I told him, "DH, I don't feel comfortable doing anything.  Your daughter was sitting here this morning.  It would be gross if she came in here tomorrow after we had....".   That was the end of that.   No more kids in the master bedroom, except our newborn.

tog redux's picture

He doesn't sound wonderful to me, if he think it's okay for his 9 and 7-year-old sons to be in your bed every morning and watch you get dressed. The proper response would be to give you the respect and privacy you deserve and are asking for. 

Winterglow's picture

"the kids would always be in his bedroom while he and his ex would get ready for work"

His ex also happened to be their mother. You are not. So he wants his sons to grow up ogling you? Tell him you are having no part in his raising peeping toms. 

As for his comparison with his ex ... if he can't get his mind round the fact that no two marriages are the same then he is a bigger idiot than I thought. I would put a lock on the door and lock it at night when you go to bed. You can open it when you're ready to leave. Although, to be honest, I don't think a child's place is in their parents' bedroom at ANY time of day.

Winterglow's picture

The more I think about this the creepier it is... So he just lies there in bed with his two sons watching you get ready in the morning like it's sme kind of peep show? Makes my skin crawl.

tog redux's picture

First off, two stinky fartbag kids in my bed is a no-go, PERIOD. And then for them to lay there and watch me dress? Two boys don't belong in bed with a woman that's not their mother. 

Nothing about that says "wonderful" to me.  A good husband would not argue about her need to have privacy when she gets dressed. 

Kes's picture

As susanm said, in his last marriage the children were much younger - no woman would want a 9 yr old and a 7 yr old watching her get dressed, even if they were her own children.  Besides a "wonderful man" would have the courtesy and consideration to accede to his wife's wishes for privacy to get dressed no matter what ages the children and whether bios or skids. Your man is NOT wonderful IMHO.  :-( 

Harry's picture

Work out so well. We all should try to copy it. Maybe that one of the readons it failed 

HowBoutScottyDont's picture

Your instincts are right. It is highly innapropriate to have your school age stepsons in the same room while you get dressed. Even if they were your bio kids, it would still be questionable at their ages. And if BM were ever to find out, I'm certain she'd feel the same way.

My oldest bio is 4, and I am starting to not change in front of him (and I say "starting" because he still runs in the room and bathroom sometimes despite the door being shut) so that we can get him in the habit of giving people privacy, and keeping it for himself.

However, I suspect what DH is really trying to say is "hey, take yours clothes into the bathroom and change there, such that my cuddle time with skids is not interrupted."

Please do not procreate with this man ... just yet at least. If he's as wonderful as you say, give him a chance to see how ridiculous this, and likely other similar situations, are. He might turn things around, he might not. Don't tied yourself down until you know for sure. It is MUCH harder to separate once you have your own biokids with him.


Siemprematahari's picture

He threw out that in his last marriage, the kids would always be in his bedroom while he and his ex would get ready for work.  I told him that is not how I want things. Needless to say, I left angry, hurt, and feeling disrespected and a little violated that my place of privacy was invaded. 

What he did in his last marriage with his kids has NOTHING to do with his marriage to you NOW. The bedroom is a private place/sanctuary and the kids shouldn't be there, especially while you NEED your privacy to get dressed. Heck they shouldn't be there period and this is a boundary that needs to be discussed and implemented. He's getting upset because you want your privacy? Not keeping in mind that these two boys are not biologically yours and its inappropriate to have them there as you dress.......If anyone should be upset it should be you and your H warped way of thinking.

futurobrillante99's picture

Even with my bio kids, I like my privacy and personal space. So much so, when the two older kids had moved out, his dad and I moved DS19 down to the basement bedroom - 2 floors away. XH1 and I had the whole upstairs floor to ourselves. If DS19 were to come upstairs, I would be right on it, "Why are you up here? You have your own floor in the basement." Yeah, no.

I don't want my kids laying in my bed or on my sheets. New guy has his own house but he VISITS mine. So you can be sure, they aren't getting under the covers with me or hanging out in my room where the magic happens. Gross.

somethingwicked's picture

Gross .Stop having sex in the bedroom and tell your wonderful man why:  that his crumb crunchers laying about in the post coital sex juices grosses you the Eff Out.

Your marital bedroom is off limits to these prepubescents.Let Daddee hug and rough house in the skids'  bedrooms..

And it's not too late..

"Run Lady Run!"

tog redux's picture

I wish someone would explain to me why these grown men have the need to "cuddle in bed" with their children.  My DH never did that with SS and I certainly never did that with my dad.  It's very weird to me. Especially when it's the bed they have sex with their new wives in.  Blech. 

SteppedOut's picture


shamds's picture

Bedroom so skids are kicked put immediately.

i’m lucky that even at hubbys childhood home where we have a bedroom or even family holidays, our bedroom is me, hubby and our 2 toddlers. There is no need for any skids to be in. Plus the fact i sleep naked at times or in intimate wears etc hubby knows thats our space and place and there is no need ever for skids to chill in yet alone self invite themselves in

Winterglow's picture

As an offshot from this, if you DO parade naked, I'd be willing to guess that once the school gets a hold of it, your DH could very well find himself losing access to his kids... 

Keep up the good work!


Doublehelix's picture

Stand your ground. Regardless of who is right or wrong (you are right, btw...haha), if he thinks it is MORE important for his kids to be in the room than for you to have your privacy, then you need to reassess your relationship. He doesn't have to like it, but he does have to respect it. Our bedroom and the bathroom are completely off limits to children when I am getting ready. I have a 7yo SD and I suppose her dad and mom had a more "liberal" take on nudity than I am comfortable with. I just sweetly tell my partner: "I don't care what you and your barbaric ex used to do. I've rescued you both from the jungle and we're going to live like civilized ppl." LOL

Husband's wife's picture

my DD is not allowed into our bedroom, and she is our common child. Not even talking about any step children. Marital bedroom is marital bedroom by definition, no one should disturb its privacy, imho. 

ariel5's picture

Thanks for the replies!  I should have clarified that he wanted me to go into the bathroom to change, but I shouldn't have to do that in my own bedroom.  We had a rational discussion last night about him forcing me into uncomfortable situations.  It was a very productive discussion.  So now he doesn't let them in the bedroom unless the door is open, which I can be okay with. He realized that he's not supporting me as a new step-mother.  He and I are going to go to therapy to help both of us through this transition.  This is our second marriage (for me too!) and willing to do whatever it takes to make it work, including with the kids.

This is an awesome website.  I don't have any friends in this same situation, so it's so nice to have a place of support. I wish I had found it sooner! - Ariel

Rags's picture

It is great that DH will actively participate in addressing your concerns.  That is what marriage should be about. Putting each other as the priority.

Congratulations to you both.  The Skids will prosper by the example of mature adult relationship that you and their dad are modeling for them.


notasm3's picture

When we were still dating DH was mad about something and told me I was acting like ex wife. I was NOT happy. Let’s just say that he has NEVER done that again. And that was almost a decade ago. 

MissTexas's picture

Surely your DH can understand since you're not their mom, it's uncomfortable for you to try to get ready with an audience.

He needs to "snuggle" in their beds.