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DH demands that I play mom

Kpin5's picture

I'm a child free stepmother to HF Autistic SS12. The child loves me to death but i hate him because  he has damaged me both physically and emotionally.

For the first few years I was very involved. But HCBM, and autism... Well.. I can't even be in the room with SS anymore without my heart rate going thru the roof. I dont feel safe at all.

We almost have him full time now and DH gets extremely angry with me when I refuse to engage in parenting. He gets upset with me when I wont help build chore charts, ask SS to clean, babysit, pick up and drop off, coordinate play dates... You name it I don't want to do it. He doesnt understand that I don't possess unconditional love for SS.

How do I get thru to DH and make him understand why I'm not a selfish bitch? Am I a selfish bitch? 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

You are not selfish. How has SS hurt you physically? You said you don't feel safe with him. Does DH know he has hurt you?

momjeans's picture

So, basically your DH gets upset with you when you don’t fulfill HIS parental duties? 

Go on, do tell. 

And, oh hell no, you’re not selfish.

susanm's picture

You said "autistic" but that is a very wide spectrum.  You also said that he damaged you and that included physically.  That, along with the list of things that your DH expects you to do for his son, leads me to believe that he is not high-functioning and requires a great deal of care.  It is unfair to expect someone who simply happens to his wife to also be a qualified care-giver to his son.  You are not his mother and are not a health-care professional.  And you are under no obligation to love someone simply because of a genetic connection to your husband.

I would encourage him to separate his son's needs from his own and seek appropriate providers for his son rather than try to force you into a role that you are not qualified for or willing to play.  Him continuing down this path is going to end in heartache for everyone.

I am very sorry that your DH does not seem to understand these basic facts.  Perhaps he believed that marriage would have the automatic benefit of lightening his burden.  Sorry to put it in such a crass manner but it can be exhausting to care for a child with special needs and, if he already had the marriage to the child's mother fail, he may be looking for relief.  Unfortunately he is not being realistic and looking in the proper places for that relief - which would be trained assistance from qualified providers - so that you can perform the role of wife that you agreed to play and give him a happy adult life separate from that of parent.

EveryoneLies's picture

Just want to chime in about the high functioning label. High functioning does not necessarily means less care (but of course if you compare to low function it's a lot less care for sure). But just that they have better communication skills. My ss12 is also HF, but even now we have to remind him how to wash his hand and stuff, not to mention other more complicated chores---you basically have to be on his shoulders and to step by step instruction, or the tasks won't get done.


They are still a lot of work....

susanm's picture

My apoogies!  I did not mean to appear insensitve.  Perhaps you can give me some education so that I don't blunder in real life.  Is there a more appropriate term to use for someone on the autism spectrum who requires a much higher degree of hands-on care for their daily needs, rather than supervision or redirection, than would normally be expected for someone of their age?  I try to avoid "labels" because I obviously do not know the ins and outs of others' situations and they are really none of my business.  But I would like to understand and certainly not make a mistake that would offend.  

Stressed19's picture

Do not allow him to make you feel guilty for not wanting to take responsibility for a child that is NOT yours with or without a disability!!! He is the parent. He is the one that needs to take FULL responsibility for his child.........

babyboymakes3's picture

You don't have to participate-but it will make things difficult since his devotion seems to be with his child, and you are disengaged. Like if camping was your world, but your partner refused to sleep COULD work, but what would that look like? Sorry, I have an analogy for everything. 

DHsfamilyfromhell's picture

Your husband shouldn’t make unreasonable demands of you. Does step child have a plan for his behaviour? I am curious as to why bio mum isn’t shouldering at least 50 percent of the responsibility for the child she decided to have, as this may not help improve his behaviour. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it would make it worse, but certain implementations can help improve some behaviours. - as for the physical behaviour towards people, my daughter with special needs kicks people when she is overstimulated, she doesn’t do it out of nastiness or spite. How I manage this is a bit of a work in progress because I am waiting for various appointments with various professionals etc. But I don’t let it get to me. If she really has a bed in her bonnet I simply go and make a cup of tea, and return to the room. She absolutely adores me she can’t help it, but I do realise I need to find an effective strategy to reduce her anxiety of overstimulation, and she needs to learn more self control. -  you said your step son adores you. I’m sure he does....

you are NOT his babysitter and shouldn’t be expected to be. 

Charmaigne's picture

Period!!!!! You cannot be expected to do all of this.. No no nope.. I wouldn't!!!

failuretolaunch's picture

I have a fairly high functioning SK with autism, he has become more independent as he has got older but it has been f'ing hard and I have taken/absorbed a lot of crap over the years that a whole host of people would not be able to do, to my detrmiment and stress levels I have to say. There is always a new issue that arises whether with environment issues or new issues because of his age e.t.c Covid has been an ABSOLUTE nightmare and worse than the last 10 years put together.

I think there is a balance, you help out and be supportive when you can but the responsibility really lies with your partner. You both have a choice to make, do you want this life where he expects you to be involved and does he want a partner that doesn't want to be involved in anyway. Maybe there is a middle ground, who knows, only you can work that out. Does he live with you full time or most of the time?