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Stepfather stuck in Rock and Hard place

CaliLiving's picture

This is my first post and I am not to caught up with all the acronyms yet.
I have been a step father to my kids now for 10yrs, we have a 21,19 and 14yr old. I am just about at my end with the way my wife parents and I can't wait for the kids to be out of the house. I know I don't have much of a say in some things about her parenting but don't think I can stand it any more and the more I can't do anything the angrier I get.
This was the latest

We came home to our 14 SD having sex with her boyfriend. I have been telling my wife for awhile they are getting way to close and we need keep an eye but as you see this has not been enforced very well. Everything was handled very calmly and my wife had the "talk" again with her. After everything went down I talked to my wife and say we had to strictly enforce their time together which she agreed, this was Thursday. She left on Friday to visit her Dad came back on Sunday and had Spring Break for the rest of the week. I came home on Monday from work and ask where everyone was and my wife said or SD was running around the neighborhood and would be home for dinner. I continued to make dinner, she got home she was with her boyfriend and my wife invited him to have dinner WTF.

Trying to keep this short but she has been hanging out unsupervised with her boyfriend all week and I cant believe my wife is allowing it. This is driving me over the edge what can I do????

positivelyfourthstreet's picture

My H used to let SD hang out at her boyfriend's house all day with no adult supervision. I didn't think this kind of thing was a good idea either and didn't agree with it. Of course, I was wrong and SD would never do anything like that.(insert eyeroll)

Years later I'm still wrong but it's better for them to be somewhere where H knows where they are instead of sneaking off who knows where(according to him)

If I would have learned "not my monkey not my circus" many years ago I could have saved myself a whole lot of heartache. This was about the time I started doing that. No matter what the issue is, sometimes the "real" parents absolutely will not listen to you even if you are 100% correct in your assessment. At some point you have to just go "Meh.." and let go even if it hurts your heart and you know it's all wrong and hope for the best in spite of it all.

CaliLiving's picture

Thanks, its hard to take myself out of it but looks like that's what I will need to do as it is affecting both my relationships with my wife and the kids, don't want to hold the resentment inside, not fair for anyone.

Orange County Ca's picture

It's ridiculous that you're beating yourself against this rock. You have no power and you're trying to control someone else's kid. Check this out and COMPLETELY disengage. Let me tell you something first. You might find that when the kid realizes that you really don't care it just might rattle her cage. Disengaging takes away all their power and the results can be unexpected. Give this a try:

MoveOnIn's picture

You mentioned in your post that you are a "step father" and that there was a real dad still in the SD's life. Sounds like you are trying to control things that are really none of your business. The situation you explained belongs in the hands of the "real" mother and father. After reading your post a couple time, I am troubled by the underlying meanings of your words:

"...can't wait for the kids to be out of the house." - this statement alone speaks to your general lack of morals

"...I can stand it any more and the more I can't do anything the angrier I get" -- this statement speaks to possible abuse. Becoming angry over lack of control is a sign of trouble. Do you also become angry when you can't control your wife?

"....she has been hanging out unsupervised with her boyfriend all week" -- so the mother allowed the SD to be at home all week unsupervised with her boyfriend? Where was the mother during this time? What about the boyfriend's parents? Your statement isn't clear enough to understand. If the mother allowed the boyfriend to be in the home alone with the SD for an entire week, that might be of some concern, but still not your business. If the mother allowed the SD to hang out with the boyfriend unsupervised at the local ice cream parlor, and you are upset with not having control, then the issue again lies with you.

"...This is driving me over the edge" -- sign of deep trouble within yourself.

Your post seems more of a control issue than troubles with being a step-parent.

Do you have children of your own? If so, does your wife get to control how you parent them?

I don't agree with other posters on "disengaging". After 10 years of being in the step-children's lives, "disengaging" would probably result in the wife waiting for you to be out of the house. Just quit trying to control things, the only thing in life you can control is yourself.

derb84123's picture

oh please. this is over the top.

OP- Sounds to me like you are a stepfather with the sks all the time, if not majority of the time. I can tell you I was raised by my stepfather, biodad was out of the picture. You are right that there is only so much control you have over stepdaughter, and the amount depends on your wife. I respected my stepfather like he was my dad, bc that was our dynamic ( I call him Dad now, and he walked me down the aisle at my wedding). I too started having sex at 14, call it daddy issues, whatever...

My advice to you is to let go of the fact that she is active. Empower your wife to get her on birth control. lay down that you will not pay for a grandchild... make your wife understand that this has to happen. But in the end, it is up to your wife to make sure she is being safe. My mom went with me to get on the pill. I was young and dumb, but I was smart and never got pregnant or an STD. You wife needs to be open with her, and you just need to deal with it. No matter how much monitoring that goes on, shes going to find a way to have sex with her boyfriend. Just make sure she knows you guys want her to be safe, and that she feels comfortable talking to you (or mom) about it.

anotherstep's picture

This is some pretty judgmental stuff from someone who has been a member for 6 weeks! You will find that "I can't wait until they are out of the house" is rather common and does NOT mean that the writer has a "lack of morals." Same with "driving me over the edge."

The OP came home to find some presumably pimply teenage boy on top of his SD. Do you truly imagine that he found any joy in sitting down to the dinner table with the young man and passing the potatoes????? If he was as uncaring as you seem to believe, that certainly would not bother him in the slightest. Instead, he seems to genuinely care what happens to this girl even though her behavior angers him. THAT is what speaks volumes about his character.

OP, I agree that the most pressing thing to do is convince your wife to get her on birth control pronto. I also agree with the suggestion of the Depo shot as that does not require any action on the part of the girl other than sitting in the doctor's office and getting the shot. (But it does not protect against STDs so the use of condoms is still absolutely necessary.)

I am sorry that your wife appears to be unconcerned with her daughter's behavior. You may need to do the disengaging that many of us have. Orange County's link explains it well. It has been a sanity-saver for many of us. But protecting your home and wallet from a teen pregnancy is obviously crucial if you hope to ever have your life and home back in the future. Best of luck to you!!!!

mel35's picture

I'm really sorry, yet find myself disagreeing with the whole not your kid not your business. It's his house too, should't there be some kind of respect for mutual boundaries and whats considered acceptable under their roof. It may not be up to him to discipline but after all that time I would think that there should be enough of a respect between husband and wife that they could stand united on such big issues.

I do however agree with not disengaging. I would just be making my opinion known and leaving it at that. They know where you stand on this then, and its up to them to deal with it and the consequences if there end up being any.

My husband and I don't always agree, but on the big issues we discuss them behind closed doors and support each other even if we don't always agree.

I really don't mean any offense, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

CaliLiving's picture

Well MOI I am the SF and the BD is in the picture, he flies from out of state to do his court appointed weekend once a month then flies home that is the extent of his involvement and child support. I have raised my SD since she was 5 so if trying to protect her and myself from making mistakes then yes I am VERY controlling.
And the fact that I cant wait for them to be out of the house doesn't mean I don't care for them and love them its just they need to find out what real life is besides sitting at home smoking pot and dropping out of college just to have mommy pay everything(SS) and allowing the(SD) to be disrespectful to every adult and sleeping with her BF at 14. So I guess you are right these kinds of actions do trouble me deeply.
I do understand from reading the other posts I do need to take a step back and understand they are not my kids and it is not my responsibly for how they turn out and I agree that disengaging is not the answer. Just hard since after raising them for 10yrs I do feel like they are my kids.

MoveOnIn's picture

OP - questions:

- so you as a SF have been the primary financial support for the SK's for 10 years? Does your wife work? It's commendable if you took this family in to support them financially.

- How do the SK's feel about you as a SF? What is your relationship like with them? Do you place emphasis on developing and maintain positive relationships with them? I've seen many families where a poor relationship between the SK's and SF/M be the primary reason for SK's rebelling. remember, THESE ARE KIDS and adults need to set an example with developing positive relationships.

- Your comment "they need to find out what real life is" -- wow! they are kids and will eventually learn. DOn't force life on kids. If they were 27, college drop outs, still sleeping around and unable to live on their own without the help of roommates or parents, I would be concerned. Let them make mistakes and learn from them. I know I wasn't perfect when I was young and made a lot of mistakes -- that didn't make me bad, it only gave me experiences to learn from. You come across as thinking you are perfect -- would your mom and dad say you were a perfect child and never made mistakes?

- How is your relationship with your wife? What do the SK's think of your relationship with your wife? Do they respect you as their mother's husband? Do the SK's see love between you? If there have been issues in your marriage, that can greatly impact how kids respond to life.

My last piece of advice. Since you are an admitted "controlling" person, try to shift that control to what you can truly control. The only thing you can control is yourself: control how you talk to your SK's, control how you show love to your SK's, control how you give your SK's guidance (not orders), control how you treat your wife, control the image you portray to your family, etc. There's a lot to control within yourself, so it should keep you busy.

hangingbyathread6's picture

Sorry but I agree with OP being upset about the behavior of the SD14. I have a SS14 and my DH and I have primary custody, with BM getting EOW. I will be DAMNED if I will sit back and allow my 14SS to have sex in MY home. Not happening. There are boundaries. This is one. SS14 doesn't ask to have the GF over anymore because I won't let them go to his room or the "kid cave" and have privacy. You are 14...YOU DON'T NEED PRIVACY!! He sees his gf at BM's house because she lets them in his bedroom, in the sauna, etc together unsupervised. That's just great! She can't raise her own two sons, but let's give him the opportunity to bring a kid into the SHE going to take care of the child??

OP, I am with you! I'd be pissed too! And my DH would hear about it. My house, my rules. NO WAY IN HELL.
I don't think this has anything to do with control issues. It has to do with responsibility to a CHILD to have their best interests at heart!

Rags's picture

Since SD is 14, if her BF is older and no longer a minor then call the cops and let them deal with his statutory rapist ass. Your home, your rules, you enforce them. If your DW does not like how you parent or discipline then she can step up and get it done before you have to or she can bite her tongue until the two of you are alone and can talk it out.

Oh how I wish my FIL had made that call when my SS's Sperm Idiot perpetrated statutory rape against my DW when she was 16 and he was 22. Grrrrrr!!! That call would have saved several more underage girls from the molesting attentions of the Sperm Idiot and 3 more out of wedlock spawn by 2 more baby mamas from having their lives completely fucked up by being his progeny.

Fortunately my bride is a rare character who quickly realized that the Sperm Idiot was a worthless toothless moron POS just like the rest of the Sperm Clan and she booted his ass to the curb.

Fortunately for my son (SS-21) his mom (my DW) moved out of state for college and got herself and the baby the hell away from the Sperm Idiot and the Sperm Clan. She went on to complete a BS and MBA with honors and is now a CPA while the Sperm Idiot went on to molest several more underage girls and on a quest to impregnate every under aged womb in the PAC NW.

DW and I met when SS was 15mos old and married a week before he turned 2. He knows no other situation but having me as a full time dad and a mom who was manic about creating a quality life for herself and for the kid.

IMHO the issue you struggle with is that you have accepted a position as something less than an equity partner in your marriage and something less than being an equity parent to any children in your home. Regardless of the biology of the children in the home the spouses in the marriage must be equity parents to the children. I refused to tolerate anything less.

For the purposes of this particular forum most people consider co-parenting to refer to the two bio parents co-parenting their common spawn. Personally I believe it also includes spouses in a blended family marriage cooperating in parenting any children resident or visiting their marital home regardless of the biology of those children.

All IMHO of course. Good luck.

rainbow bright83's picture

"IMHO the issue you struggle with is that you have accepted a position as something less than an equity partner in your marriage and something less than being an equity parent to any children in your home. Regardless of the biology of the children in the home the spouses in the marriage must be equity parents to the children. I refused to tolerate anything less.

For the purposes of this particular forum most people consider co-parenting to refer to the two bio parents co-parenting their common spawn. Personally I believe it also includes spouses in a blended family marriage cooperating in parenting any children resident or visiting their marital home regardless of the biology of those children."

I agree with this 100%! It is miserable for the other person involved (stepparent) to not have a say with the raising of the children. When you marry someone who has kids, you are taking all of them in! It doesn't matter, IMHO, if the bio parent is involved or how much. If I have rules for my house, all the kids should obey and respect those rules no matter who birthed them.

My DH would not let me have a say in the raising of his children, said I was too hard on them. (which I wasn't)
But yet, I let him have a say in the way we raise my BS10. We have never fought about how we raise the children we have together.
I will say this, I harbored anger and resentment towards my DH for always disagreeing with me on how to discipline the Skids in front of them.

ChiefGrownup's picture

Amen, sister.

Very wrong that he did that in front of your skids. Extremely shortsighted to the point of blindness. Too, too bad. Sad