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I think I’m at my breaking point

Steppedout22's picture

I have been trying to disengage to the best of my ability but it's not working. We live in a small apartment and there is never any getting away from the kids when they are here. I cannot stand their presence and I have no peace when they are in my house. I try to tune out and read but I keep hearing conversations and things happening that infuriate me. I can't stay holed up in my room the whole time either because I have to let the dogs out frequently and when I do that, I end up getting I volver in some situation or conversation I don't want to be in. These kids are spoiled brats and I just don't think I can keep up with dealing with them every other weekend. I had a talk with DH telling him that I am completely overwhelmed by financial concerns, hating my job and not wanting to live where we live. I told him that it is very difficult for me to deal with the kids being in our house so often and they eat our food like locusts, which we cannot afford. I have been trying everything I can to get him to lessen the visits besides outright telling him I can't stand to do this so often because I can't stand these kids but he is not changing the visit schedule. This weekend one of the kids was obviously rummaging through my office and may have taken something but I can't tell yet if they did or not. Things were out of place and I was so mad when I noticed this. I calmly showed DH and he was just like "oh well, maybe they were looking for a charger". They should not be going through my stuff. We have told them that. I am just completely frustrated overwhelmed by this situation and I feel like I am about to go ballistic and fall into a fugue state or something. I cannot take the car to leave and go elsewhere because we only have one car and he needs to have it to tote the kids places or for an emergency. And even if I did have the car, I have nowhere I could go on these weekends and we can't afford a hotel. I have no friends or family anywhere nearby I could go to. I'm stuck here. I just feel like I'm going to explode. I am having so much trouble trying to find a second job that works with my current job so I can earn more money and have more options. Nothing is working out and I want to cry or scream or both all the time. I just don't know what to do aside from telling DH I despise these brats and don't want them in my house all the time, which will start world war 3. My job is very demanding and frustrating and sucks everything out of me, not to mention the fact that I hate what I do with a passion. I have been trying for years to change careers with no luck. I just feel more trapped  everyday and that has been causing me to have panic attacks nearly everyday, which has not happened in years. I am not doing well right now and needed to get all this out. 

Steppedout22's picture

The other difficult part of this is that, in order to progress in my situation, I will have to take on more responsibility and do more but right now I'm super burned out and feel like I can barely function as it is. I'm depressed. 

ESMOD's picture

It sounds like this situation is very difficult for you.  It also seems like this relationship is not a good fit for you.  Because.. he IS a father.. and he should be an active part of his children's lives.. and he should not have a partner discouraging contact and visitation.  It's not fair to him, the children.. OR YOU!  You deserve to be in a relationship where your needs are able to be more prioritized... and sharing your SO with his kids.. seems to be a non-starter for you.. it's your personal boundary and limitation.

But.. there is also reality.. Why do you two only have one car?  who's car is it?  Why are you unable to afford a place of your own? or did he move into your place? Is the amount of financial help what allows you to maintain housing? if so... would you maybe be better off finding another place.. even if it meant having an ADULT roomate?  Would you be able to manage that 2nd job if you didn't have the pull of your relationship with your SO? 

I would also suggest you seek some therapy as well.. to help you with your depression.. that is just another layer of this situation.. that may be making it worse.. but may or may not be a direct result of him having kids.  

Take care of yourself.. make a plan.. become more independent.. consider moving to an area where you could take public transport if the car issue is not fixable.. find shared housing if affording an apt on your own is not feasible... take a hard look at your spending to see where you could be saving.. cut memberships.. no gym.. no cable TV.. etc.. analyze your spending.. see where cuts could be made.. maybe packing lunch.. maybe not buying amazon.. only you can really see where those things can be adjusted.. If the car is yours? great.. you have transport.. maybe shop cheaper insurance etc..

It's clear that over the last 4 months.. things are just getting worse for you here.. and there ARE worse things than being alone.. and not everyone can be happy in steplife.. and it's ok if you are not one of them.

Steppedout22's picture

When I entered this relationship and for many years afterward, BM and kids lived far away and we saw them when we could afford to make the trip, so like once or twice per year. Since she moved back to the area, the every other weekend visits started because it was now feasible. I know I should have thought more about this eventuality coming to fruition but A) it seemed very unlikely that she would move back here and Dirol I honestly thought it would be something that I would enjoy if it did happen. Now that it is happening, I find the frequent  visits to be hostile takeovers of my home that I have to suffer through. I really didn't think that would be the case and I used to hope that they would live with us or be close enough for us to see more frequently. But now I guess I'm understanding who they are as people and how spoiled and bratty they are and I don't like being around them at all. 

I work from home and my husband works in the community, so he mostly uses the car. Technically the car is in my name and we are still making payments on it, which is an expense we had to take on after the car we owned outright was totaled I. A crash last year. We are up to our eyeballs in debt from a number of unfortunate situations like the car accident and most of our money goes towards trying to pay that debt down, which is difficult with the high interest attached to these debts. We have cut our spending to the point that the only non-essential we pay for is one streaming service. We don't buy each other birthday or anniversary gifts or shop on Amazon because there is barely enough money to buy food after the bills are paid. That's why I'm trying to get a second job but it's been difficult to find.

I just find myself feeling totally overwhelmed by my circumstances on a daily basis. I get to the point of tears or panic attack nearly everyday at my job and then by the time the kids get here on the weekend, I am so fried from dealing with that and trying to find the second job that I have no patience or interest in dealing with them or watching them eat up all of our food. 

I just really need something to change and for as hard as I'm trying to make that happen, it just seems to be me beating my head against a wall. Every little frustration is compounded when they come over and I'm just already so maxed out that I can't tolerate it. I'm isolated here and always stuck at home. I don't have the mental energy to pursue my interests after work anymore and all I want to do is sleep. We live in a rural area and the bus does not come here so I can't use public transportation unless I walk into town. DH and I rely on each other financially and if we split we could not afford to live independently. And I don't want to split up. I just want us to exist under less stressful conditions.

ESMOD's picture

So the car is in your name.  Is the payment affordable as in.. could you get rid of the car and find something cheaper.. used.. that would not be as much of a burden?  In the US.. we hear of people taking out insane loans.. over 1000 a month.. which is ridiculous.. you could likely UBER to work daily before you pay that pmt.. put gas in your vehicle and pay insurance!  But the car IS in your name.. you walk away.. it would go with you.... and what about the other debt? yours? his?  What kind of interest rates are you paying on it?  Is there any possibility of refinancing it into one loan that would allow you to pay a lower amount each month (assuming you have personal liability).  What about housing.. do you own? rent?  would moving to a cheaper place be a possiblility even if it means a longer commute for him (if it is just you.. it doesn't matter if you WFH).

You work remotely.. would you earn a better living working at an in person job? If you split would you do that? 

Finally.. if you are in the US.. have you considered Bankruptcy as an option?  you could reafirm the debt for your car.. and they might be able to restructure and forgive some of your other debt.  You would not be the first person to be in such a position due to no fault of your own.. if you truly feel this was a "one off" situation that caused the financial hardship.. you might be better off doing that to get a fresh slate.

The bottom line is.. that if you truly cannot stomach his kids.. you have a long road in front of you.. and there may be little he can do to fix it.

Steppedout22's picture

I filed for bankruptcy several years ago when my ex ran up my credit cards, so I don't think that's a great  option right now. The debt is shared and was mostly accrued when our job situations suffered during the pandemic and we needed money to get by. I think the best option is for us both to get second jobs and pay it down but the pay in this area is very low and it has been hard to coordinate second jobs with one car, especially when the pay is not worthwhile. I am going to have a conversation with DH telling him that I cannot tolerate these kids acting like brats and not following the few rules we have and that they need to be told the rules again and notified that if they continue to defy the rules then they will not be allowed to come here. I think he will balk at that but I just cannot handle this situation repeating itself over and over every other weekend. That's the only thing I know to do at this point.

lafield's picture

It sounds like you are in an impossible situation. There has to be something you can do differently to escape. Even if you don't feel like it, getting outside for a walk can help. Listening to music (earbuds) so you don't hear the noise is another escape. Working a 2nd job gets you away and allows you to put away money for possible split. I have never felt comfortable saying no to SKID visits because I wouldn't want someone saying when I could see my kids. 

Steppedout22's picture

I don't feel comfortable denying a visit either, but I also cannot tolerate these kids disregarding our rules and doing whatever they want. I do put music on when I'm getting super annoyed with the sounds in the other room and walks are a good idea. I just wish they could have their visits elsewhere without me. I hate having my home taken over and disrespected. I hate having to cater to what the kids want all the time. I just honestly can't stand their presence and wish they didn't exist. But that isn't the case. I am going to insist that DH repeat the rules to them and tell them that if they can't follow the rules from now on that they can't come over here, but I don't know if he will back me on that or not. I hope so because that's where I'm at with it.

lafield's picture

I've been through this in a previous marriage and to some degree now. Luckily, my SKID isn't nearly as terrible as what I've read about on here and experienced before. Same sort of issues though. DH wants no restriction on him or rules. He's entitled to any and everything in the house. Food isn't safe, possessions aren't safe, and 2 minor chores he was asked to do are repeatedly ignored. DH has no regard for people that actually live here. The visitor who has a home with his mother takes priority over the people that actually live in our home. So sorry you are going through this.

Rags's picture

that is destroying it.

Things change. Adapt. But that does not mean that shit behavior is tolerated.  

Unconditional love does not mean unconditional acceptance of inappropriate behavior. Neither from the Skids, not your mate facilitating that behavior from his failed family progeny.



Until you kick them all out, including your DH, lock everyting up. Your office, food, etc... No access to anything without direct oversight and immediate resecuring the locks.

Do not continue to sacrifice yourself on the alter of your DH's shit parenting.

Get on with your life.

Take care of you.

CLove's picture

Im sorry you are going through this!

Lillywy00's picture

I know EXACTLY how you feel with step kids coming over,  spouse not providing any structure when they do come over, feeling uncomfortable in your own home when they're there, and feeling like they're invading your space too frequently 

You mentioned the one car that is in YOUR name but you feel like you can't take the car on the weekends. Girl, the car is yours because it's in your name so when his parenting weekend hits, take your car and go out and do whatever you want to do (go to a park, library, bookstore, thrift shop, family or friends house, etc) so that you can get a much needed break from their shenanigans 

I have these kids coming over EVERY weekend and every holiday ever since his degenerate manipulative ex wife came back in town. So at least yours are coming every other week which is typical for divorced parents that live in the same town. 

in the meantime do what you need to do to become more independent so that if you need to leave you can. 

Most people do not respect people who cannot walk away if need be so try your best to get out of the position where your partner could treat you like a doormat (or however he wants to treat you) because he knows you have no options

Notthedoormat's picture

Meeting with your DH. Be calm, but stress the importance that you both play for the same team. Bring paper and a pen,  because you need to negotiate.  

1. Behavior- yelling,  fighting,  screaming are not ok to do in your home. We use normal talking voices inside and consequences must apply. Maybe 30 minutes in solitary? Would need to be age appropriate. 

2. Food - will be eaten at meals in designated area only. No free range gobbling of whatever is on hand. Regular meals and one- two snacks a day. 

3. Bedtimes- lights out when you say they are out.

4. Chores - must be done to your satisfaction before any relaxation or recreation.

5. Off-limits areas- absolutely no access to your work area. Apply consequences.  If someone needs something that might be found there, ASK! 

Add more that apply to your circumstances as you go. If DH gets on board, that's awesome! If he doesn't,  it's also your home and ok for you to set rules that apply where you pay bills.

if you need a cheap escape,  take a book and ear buds to your car and lock the doors,, if nothing else..

Existing with skids that annoy you is tough, but you have the ability to make some changes.  Change what you can and brainstorm the rest. Journal to get frustrations out and help you along the way to clarity.

Maybe check into less expensive grocery options in your area and Google budget meals/ recipes.  If it's necessary,  maybe a food pantry could help you stretch what you have.  Any food you don't want foraged, relocate to your closet or under your bed.

Apply consequences for every broken rule, every time. No slack!


grannyd's picture

I appreciate the need for advertisements on this site; they pay the bills. However, in the past, the ads were positioned on the right side of the blogs/forums so that the white ‘up’ arrow (encased in an orange square) was visible. 

Now that the ads are placed on the bottom, rather than the side of the comments, it’s necessary to use the scroll bar to reach the top of the page, rather than just tapping the ‘up’ arrow! Call me lazy (and you’d be right!) but I miss using that arrow! Is there a remedy for this or should I just suck it up? Pardon

alwayslast1978's picture

There is something about paremts with their own kids that step paremts can't understand.  My wife and I are both teachers and we are very similar in the class but always clash about her kids, especially her son.  They just seem blind to bad behavior sometimes. Notice this with my older sister who was always tough with me growimg up.