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Fighting with husband over skids

Steppedout22's picture

So now I'm sitting at work trying not to cry because I sent my husband a text this morning asking him to have his daughter use a disposable straw from now on if she wants to use my nice cups that come with lids and straws because she chewed up the straw on one of my cups last time she was there. He blew up on me and said that I need to grow up and deal with being "inconvenienced" by the kids because it's not that big of a deal. He got mad because I keep telling him about things the kids do that bother me instead of dealing with it with them myself. Well they don't listen to me. And I was just telling him about the straw because he's the one who's always offering them my stuff witho it even asking me, like my favorite pair of subglasses that he gave one to play with then the other one broke. He's mad that I messaged him about it while he was at work and already frustrated, so I told him that from now on I will talk to him about stuff like that after work. But I don't think it's fair that he's getting so mad when I'm just making a simple request. I wanted to be like "don't give them my stuff ever again because they always break it" but I didn't say that. I'm trying to be diplomatic but I'm sick of them getting away with all kinds of stuff and he never calls them on it. Like I called the boy out on lying and he got mad because he said it wasn't a big deal and I should have just left it alone. Am I being unreasonable?

AgedOut's picture

remove the straws you don't want chewed and put them in your glove compartment. put a dollar tree bag of cheap a$$ed straws in their place. start using actions instead of words. 

EX: the SKiddos are ruining your good towels, remove them from the rotation and buy some cheaper ones for them to destroy. 


Steppedout22's picture

Thank you, that's a good idea. I try to do that in general but husband often gets ahead of me and gives them the nice stuff. Like these collectible cups we agreed the kids wouldn't use because they're fragile...they're using them. I am just feeling super overwhelmed by kids disrespecting my belongings and that they are being offered to them in the first place. Yes it is OUR stuff, but I'm not as comfortable with just throwing away stuff I really like because the kids destroyed it. He is. He doesn't care when that stuff happens. It's really upsetting for me.

Yesterdays's picture

I think it's a good idea to bring this stuff up in person. Having said that I think that he needs to call the kid out when they damage things and I would definitely approach that subject with him again!! He seems to want YOU to do the parenting of his kid. If his kid wrecks your stuff, HE should get them in trouble. It's common courtesy. 

Kids need to be taught that it's not ok to wreck people's things. This idea can be taught from a very, very young age. 

Steppedout22's picture

That's how it feels to me, like I'm being thrown in the parent driver's seat because he's generally overwhelmed by the situation. Like I said, they don't listen to me. He needs to be the main assertive force, not me. But he's forcing me to be that person.

shamds's picture

Things of sentimental value or fancy/expensive things that his kids have no right to and continually break.

i made this clear to my husband that my personal property and belongings, that his kids are not to touch it or feel a sense of entitlement to take things and hog them.

for example years ago ss laptop broke just before we were going overseas and he wanted my samsung touchscreen laptop. I said no because i was gonna bring  this with me for our kids to watch their shows etc.

hubby kept giving ss the option of my touchscreen or the more bulkier and slightly older laptop. I had to whilst he's on the phone to ss offering him these choices without my permission tell my husband off that no, touchscreen laptop is not allowed to be loaned to ss and he could borrow the bigger laptop. Take it or leave it!!

when pregnant and suffering severe vomiting all throughout pregnancy, i could only drink gatorade or powerade before being able to keep down water. I bought 6 to last a week and hit it at back of veggie compartment in a plastic bag. From 8pm that evening till 8am next morning, ss had drunk all 6 and left it on kitchen floor.  lazy ss couldn't be bothered to throw trash away

i told off hubby whilst he's at work and hubby makes it like its no big deal and he'd buy more on the way home after work. Meanwhile i had vomited 4 times in 1.5 hours and struggling to keep anything down and told off hubby what he expected me to do for the next 12 hrs till he came home from work? Told off my husband to teach his son basic manners

now i do the grocery shopping so get a bit of everything and snacks we all enjoy. The only thing i ask is consider others. It means if there are 4 bottles of fruit juice, don't drink them all yourself but share too.

its definitely gotten much better with ss.

Steppedout22's picture

Yeah, he gets really offended who bring this stuff up. Like I'm some kind of monster for being pissed off that my stuff is being broken. I hate this so much.

Winterglow's picture

Stop trying to be diplomatic, instead be direct, be blunt. Tell him that they are no longer to touch anything that belongs to you. Your belongings are not his to offer to anyone else. If they don't get to touch your belongings, they cannot break them, tight? 

Steppedout22's picture

That's what I feel like saying. But I'm pretty sure that saying that will completely tank my marriage. He says he's doing all the work and never gets a break and I have the luxury of checking out when I feel like it. First of all, no I don't. All I can do is go in another room. We only have one car so I can't leave. Second, he's the one that insists on us working Monday through Friday and then bringing them Friday after work until Sunday afternoon. He's the one that's overloading himself and taking our restful time away by having them over every weekend. I feel like he is too inflexible because he's so overwhelmed by everything that there's no room for my feelings or opinions. I really hate this situation. I always want to support him and help him when he's stressed but he's just inundating both of us with too much kid stuff all the time and not addressing things that really should be addressed because "they've been through a lot lately". Well they need to be acting right!

ESMOD's picture

no.. no.. no.. back the truck up.

He says he is doing all the work.. all the work what Mr?  the work that involves children that you and another woman created????  That you don't get to check out.. of what??? parenting kids that are your responsibility?  Last I checked.. I didn't have either of them come out of my hooha and wasn't consulted as to whether they would be brought into the world.. that is a CHOICE YOU and your EX made.. not me.. why on earth would you think I have any responsibility here? And you are wrong.. I do many things that help with your kids.. give rides.. make meals.. clean up.. laundry.. you are not the only person in the world doing this.  And.. don't get mad at ME because you have made the decision to have them every weekend and now you don't get any down time.. if this custody schedule doesn't work for you.. change it.. start taking them some time during the week.. and maybe every other weekend?  or whatever you feel gives you the balance YOU want with your kids.. but expecting me to stand shoulder to shoulder at ever turn when it comes to YOUR kids? nope.. it isn't my job.. and while I help you often.. it is because I choose to not because I have any obligation to you or them.  And... yes as your partner.. I do try to support you .. and part of that means having your kids here.. compromising and adjusting my schedule etc.. accordingly.. I am shocked you feel your children are my responsibility.. why would you even think that?

Rags's picture

If your DH is such a dipshit that this would tank your marriage, your marriage isn't worth being in.



Steppedout22's picture

I didn't bring these kids into the world, he did. I didn't invite them over every weekend to trash our house and belongings, he did. I know he feels an elevated level of responsibility towards them after realizing what a trash bag of a parent bio mom is, but I feel like he expected me to jump right in with him on the same level and start being their mom or something. These kids don't listen to me. I have tried in the past to politely ask them not to do something and they just go right ahead or throw a fit. I am willing for the sake of my marriage to be more assertive and involved with the parenting, but it's hard for me because I have a different relationship with them and I'm really outside my comfort zone with all this anyway. I never had kids because I didn't want them. I just feel like im already trying very hard to accommodate all of this and he thinks km barely trying at all. Also, we have different parenting styles (I am apparently way more strict than him) and I don't know how to parent with someone who doesn't agree with me about what is and is not acceptable. I dont just wake up and know how to parent; I am not a parent in the first place. I just feel like my whole world has been turned upside down, my house has been taken over and my husband and I are pulling farther apart from each other because of the kid situation. It breaks my heart.

Steppedout22's picture

We had such a strong relationship and we were so close before the kids came back to the area and started coming around more often. We talked honestly and openly about everything. Now I feel like we can't really talk openly anymore because of this. It's ruining my marriage!

ESMOD's picture

It's really difficult to be in the position you are in.  Especially when he doesn't have the same expectations for behavior that you do.  I'm not certain the ages of the kids.. so not sure if we are talking about a 15 year old chewing on a straw or a 5 yo.. or where they are in life skills etc.. but while he does get to parent his kids as he sees fit.. he also has to to accept that you also live in the home.. and have your own posessions and interest in joint possessions.

He has the kids on weekends.. does he generally act disney dad? or parent from a place of guilt?  

For your part.. while it's hard to hold your tongue when he makes decisions onparenting you don't agree with.. you should try to limit your input to situations that become boundaries and hills to die on.

For things that are important to you.. keep them put away where he can't easily hand them over to the kids.  Consider buying age appropriate drinking and eating utensils.. maybe a good holiday gift would be personalized water bottles for them too.    He also needs to calmly accept that if you don't want the kids using your special things.. he should respect that... but again.. if it is out of sight.. it is out of mind and becomes a non-issue.  

Also consider the way you give him input and feedback... be mindful of framing things as positively as possible.. like.. encouraging better table manners because it will prevent embarassment when they eat out at other people's homes.  That you know that the kids may not know better (CHEWING STRAW). so it's up to him to help them not fail by not setting them up by giving them things that are off limits. Also try to point out good things they do.. or that he does with them.. you could also suggest if he needs his time.. maybe suggest one dinner a week and cut off one weekend so he has time to get his own things done without conflict.. 

Steppedout22's picture

The kid who was chewing on the straw is 9, so I guess it's not totally inappropriate age-wise, just irritating. I will say that husband does get onto the kids when he feels it's a big enough issue, like telling them not to just flip down on the couch like it's unbreakable or telling them to go wash their hands after using the bathroom if he knows they didn't, stuff like that. He doesn't just let them run wild by any means. He just feels that I'm not-picking with the stuff I bring up and that if it's really that big of a deal that I should be getting onto the kid myself instead of bothering him about it. I can understand from his perspective how he feels and why he is doing what he does, but I am having difficulty taking on the parenting role when I already have trouble with them not listening to me. Husband has always been easily overwhelmed by stressful situations and I usually have to be the bigger person and deal with my issues on my own, but this is a really big one and I am having trouble navigating through it. I do think he is going more easy on them than he normally would because he feels that some their behaviors are due to stress from moving and changing schools and all that, which he is probably right about. He thinks that they need a little extra breathing room and consideration right now because of that, so he's not getting onto them for everything. I did buy plastic cups and dishes and stuff but they don't always use it. And husband is the one who offered my cup to the daughter, thinking it wouldn't be a big deal. That's kind of the issue I guess, that he just thinks that having your stuff broken is part of having kids. I disagree.

Rags's picture

We had such a strong relationship and we were so close before the kids came back to the area and started coming around more often.

It it was a strong relationship of quality, this would not be happening.

DH has ruined your marriage. This is on him. Not you.

FInd a partner worthy of you.  This... is DH's shit show to direct. Let him crash and burn on his own.

Enjoy your new life. With this shallow and polluted gene pool fading into your past.

Good luck.

Steppedout22's picture

I do more for these kids than their bio mom does and I put up with bio mom in general, which is a whole other issue. Why is that not enough? I buy them all kinds of things, even when money is tight, I cater to their garbage eating habits and get the food they like, I help them take baths and get dressed and brush their hair, I clean up after them, I cook, I do dishes, and I even interact with them and have conversations with them and let them wierdly cling to me and jabber my ear off about stuff. I am trying very hard I think as someone who didn't want kids to parent kids that aren't mine. But god forbid I'm irritated about bad behaviors. The real problem for me is being at odds with someone I love so much and him not being able to see my side of things. Also, as I reminded him, the parenting agreement says every other weekend. He feels that they need extra support from him because of the move and that is why they're coming over every weekend "just for now". I am trying to wait it out and understand his side of things but I already feel overwhelmed and very unhappy with the situation. 

AlmostGone834's picture

1. You may be close romantically with this man but he is NOT a good parent. A good parent doesn't try to be best friends with their kids. They don't let them run feral, misbehave, break stuff or just do whatever they want. Good parenting is mostly about the hard stuff. It's not about taking the kids for ice cream. It's about teaching manners, making them do their homework, and instilling work ethic and morals. Your husband isn't doing any of that because he's too worried about making their life all sunshine and rainbows. It's going to backfire on him. Ask me how I know.

2. Get a box. Pack up all the breakables and the sentimentals including the cups. Either hide the box or give it to a friend to hold onto. Go to the dollar store and buy a few plastic dishes, cups etc. Put those in the cupboard. If your husband pitches a fit tell him you will NOT allow your nice things to be wrecked because the children haven't been taught how to be careful with other people's things. I'm not sure how old your stepkids are but if they are younger than 10 I would argue that its absolutely insane to let them handle anything fragile anyway. That's why they make everything for kids out of plastic in the first place.

3. I know you are worried that if you put your foot down, it could be the end of your marriage. To that I will say to you: In that case is it then even a marriage worth saving??? 

Let me lay out for you how this is going to go.... today he refuses to make them use plastic cups and he allows them to run feral, breaking things as they go. Tomorrow he will refuse to be the heavy and make them do their homework and get good grades when they get into high school. The day after that (when they are failing) he will refuse to make them get (and keep) a job. The day after that, he will refuse to make them get their own place when they are 18,19,25 etc. Is this the future you want? 

Cover1W's picture

^^^^^ all this! 

OP, all I can do is say you need to take back your control and figure out your boundaries.  Examples of things I did:

* Skids getting into my clothing and personal things, like makeup - I absolutely talked with the SDs about this directly, no using my things without my permission at all. DH did not like my rules, but I reminded him it was MY stuff, that I paid for, not my kids, I don't believe in kids = get everything in the house just because they are there. I made DH replace some expensive eyeliner and lipstick and he got over that pretty quick. SDs hated this but I didn't back down.

* Put a box in the pantry with my "good things" that were off limits to EVERYONE but me. I didn't tell anyone, I just did it. No one thought twice about it. If you don't have room for this you'll have to think of something else, if things are in sight, they will be pilfered. I like the idea of just removing your straws and providing cheap ones for skids - that will work.

* I put a lock on a cabinet in the laundry room for other things. SDs kept taking general household things, some I needed for household repairs, and DH didn't see the issue. So I locked them up. This was great because I could put other things in there too, like my snacks so they didn't get eaten. No one but me had a key and I didn't tell or ask DH before I put the locks on. Problem solved.

NOTE: with a sensitive DH who thinks skids can do no wrong and won't teach them basic living skills, you cannot logic / talk it out with them. I found only actions worked, not discussion. You cannot have "responsibility without authority". Your DH wants you to parent but only by his rules. They are NOT your kids and he needs to be reminded of that. If your DH will not support you in anything but the "fun stuff" and starts really amping it up as you back off and implement some disengaging you have a bigger problem. For me, disengaging worked. I didn't discuss it with my DH, I just started knocking things off the list that I woudn't do any longer. Keep calm and just learn to say no nicely and firmly.

ESMOD's picture

There is also the distract and deflect tactic.

SD's want to play in your makeup... take them to shop at target for some of their own.. or go through your stash for some things you no longer use.. and handmedown if it's in good shape and not a breeding ground for  For me it wouldn't be so much that they wanted to use makeup.. but I didn't want them messing up stuff I personally used.. I could afford to treat them to a bit of whatever so it was easier to draw the line.

Same for straws or cups you don't want them to use.. provide age appropriate fun cups for them to use.. and using yours becomes unnecesary.

Show them the snack shelf where you have put "their" treats.. (while yours are stashed out of site..).. 

Cover1W's picture

There is this option - if it works. I actually did get some stuff for them to mess with but guess what - they were like, "Why did you get THIS for us?!" Or 'their' treats - yeah, right. No way, they wouldn't touch them or they'd eat them AND mine.

I did provide them with some construction stuff, different tape and things, but they used it up or lost them in no time. And I wasn't going to be the one replacing the stuff - "go ask your dad" always meant no more stuff.

So I guess the OP should base it on the household and the dynamic with herself and skids. I am kryptonite to them apparently.

Steppedout22's picture

I 100% agree with you. I think it's way more important to teach kids how to be good people and what is expected of them in general than it is to make it fun for them. Husband used to be full-blown Disney dad back when we only visited them for a few days twice a year, which was understandable to a point because of the situation. But he has acknowledged that he had done that and that it's not realistic going forward and that we need to get them more grounded and into a routine now that they are in a new situation. Since he is able to acknowledge some things that I am perceiving about the situation and he is talking about moving into a more structured environment, I am willing to keep going and keep trying and even to try getting more involved in the parenting as he has asked me to do. I don't feel very confident about that being effective but at least then I can go back to him and tell him what I've done and that it didn't work so he has to handle it past that. However, if things don't start changing and he doesn't address glaring issues, then we are going to have a huge problem. Older boy has already failed his grade two years in a row (something that I never would have let happen) while he lived with his mom, and he cares very little about school. So, like you said, I'm worried that we'll get stuck with him forever because he won't try and fails out and everyone just lets him. Maybe I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'm so appalled that that even happened, let alone twice, so it is a real concern for me. 

Shieldmaiden's picture

Perhaps his stuff should start getting mysteriously broken? A little dose of his own medicine would do just fine. What, honey? No, I didn't use your stuff, but I saw stepkids using it.......

Then watch the fireworks!. Make sure to tell him that "kids are an inconvenience and he should really grow up."

Steppedout22's picture

Oh I'm waiting for it. I am sure it won't be long until it's his turn to be upset about it. Maybe he will see the situation differently then.

TrueNorth77's picture

DH doesn't want to hear about things skids do. He just wants me to deal with it myself- but also, only in the exact way that he wants me to, which I should just know. When I tell him things skids do, his whole demeanor changes and I "always find something wrong" and make a big deal over nothing. You know, the whole rose-colored glasses, my kids aren't bad and these things don't bother ME, so the fact that they bother you makes you the problem. This is what DH and I fight about. Literally almost all of our fights. DH does have my back a lot of the time which helps, but he also defends skids when it's irrational and makes me the bad guy, so we still end up fighting. I'll tell you what I did do, is when skids are using my crap, I tell them no and tell them what is off-limits and what isn't. SS can't use my blender bottles. But also, skids do listen to me because they know i'm not playing with them. We have a good relationship, but I'm not a pushover and I'm not going to let them do whatever they want. That is probably the only thing that has kept me from going insane. No great advice, but hide the important crap, tell skids NO and mean it, and tell DH all of what ESMOD said above. 

I'm sorry, I know how hard this is. This is the worst part about Step-life for me. 

Steppedout22's picture

Thank you, that's very helpful actually. I have already hidden a lot of the valuable stuff and I have decided to try to get firm with them and see what happens. If he doesn't back me like he promises he will then I will probably freak all the way out.

TrueNorth77's picture

Yep, that's exactly what I would do also. Kids can be told no. They will be ok, these parents act like it's the end of the world. 

Winterglow's picture

Never lose sight of the fact that his kids have visitation to spend time with THEIR FATHER and that if he isn't available they should be with their other parent. You are not that parent. If your husband needs time for himself then it's up to him to rearrange his custody arrangementarrangement accordingly not expect others to assume his parental responsibility. 

Steppedout22's picture

AMEN! They shouldn't just be dumped on me because he needs a break or whatever. He needs to stand up to bio mom (another issue) and tell her he needs some time to rest and schedule visits accordingly. It's not rocket science. But god forbid I explain to him what to do about the situation.

Steppedout22's picture

AMEN! They shouldn't just be dumped on me because he needs a break or whatever. He needs to stand up to bio mom (another issue) and tell her he needs some time to rest and schedule visits accordingly. It's not rocket science. But god forbid I explain to him what to do about the situation.

JRI's picture

I think these DHs have a fantasy "Mom" in their heads.  This Mom has the same bond with the kids they do, has infinite patience, is overly generous, is half blind and adores the SKs.  Fantasy mom magically compels perfect behavior from the kids by her kindness and example so he doesnt have to parent and can be fun dad.  Kind of a Mother Teresa but better looking.

In other words, fantasy mom is not a real person like you with human limitations and no natural bond with the SKs.  I think these DHs fantasize that if they hadn't split with BM, the kids would have this mom and they are disappointed when faced with reality.  Like the reality that this newcomer to the family has no natural bond with the SKs, doesn't like their possessions broken or stolen, dislikes rude behavior and resents the entire steplife dynamic.  

Steppedout22's picture

THIS! I really feel like this is the idea he had in his head. He always tells me how grateful he is that the kids are around me and influenced by me because I'm smart, kind, and responsible -- all things that bio mom is not in his opinion. But that doesn't mean that I automatically know how to parent HIS kids or that they'll even listen to me. I just really hope we can get to a more manageable level for everyone. The way it is now is untenable for everyone but the kids and bio mom who's just chillin.

Cinderella112's picture

Lol. This. My SO said he couldn't be with someone who didn't love his kid. I tried to explain that all that is expected of a step parent is fair and consistent good parenting and a stable and good environment foe a kid to grow into a mentally and physically healthy adult. He was taking none of it. If i was not capable of loving his kid he would spend the rest of his life alone with the kid just the 2 of them. SD 8 constantly looks at photos from when her parents were together (they divorced when she was 2). We have to use the same tableware etc and every fucking day the kid says "we had this in our old house" some times it is not even true. Like a toaster i bought. I corrected her. So now she says every morning  "we had just like that one in our old house". Also, SO has framed photos of BM around the house, although not in very visible places. Whats my role in all this mess? I need to arrange school and hobby pickups, dentist appointments etc. Feed her and wash her clothes. Pick up after her and wait on her as if i were a servant as she doesnt do anything. he doesnt even know the kid's hobby schedule. Im not allowed to suggest maybe it was time she learnt how to do some of this stuff herself. They live in some kind of a fantasyland. And this monster of a child and SO from hell pair ruin their own lives and mine while theyre at it

Rags's picture

your parenting shit before I have to bring it up."

Now, ... Locks on cabinettes and doors that provide access to things you  do not want used other than by you.

Cameras. Then have footage review with daddy every evening to highlight the issues his failed parenting caused for that day. 

Give the kids a bill for everthing they break.

If daddy thinks you need to get over being "inconvenienced" by his failed family progeny and continuing crap from his failed parenting, see how he likes being inconvenienced constantly by his own failures.

Have fun!


Dogmom1321's picture

OMG, I had the EXACT same argument the other day! And my DH responded the SAME way.

SD12 is disgusting with food and leaves trash/dishes up in her room. I saw she was making hot chocolate with one of my souvenir mugs in the microwave. I said "hey, next time can you grab a different mug out of the cabinet?" DH also flipped out and was saying it's unfair SD isn't allowed to use certain things. I said I don't want MY things ruined. He still thought it was ridiculous of me to have a request like that. So what did I do. I MARCHED upstairs to her room, collected ALL dirty dishes and brought them downstairs. Proceeded to say "THIS rotten milk in crystal glasses is EXACTLY why I don't want her using my mugs." Absolute silence. It was the most heated argument we have had, but I'm sick and tired of SD12 destroying things because DH is a failed parent. I shouldn't have to hide my personal items because she is disrespectful to other people's property. I got my point across and SD12 will only be using paper plates and plastic utensils in the future. 

Rags's picture

lock your nice things in there, and put a sign on it that says 'My belongings that your nasty spawn can't use.'  Lock every other cabinet.  

Then put a stack of disposable stuff on the counter. Put a sign next to it that says 'Stuff your nasty spawn can use.'

Have fun!



Just joking or course. Mostly.


Dogmom1321's picture

Lol, except that afternoon I cleared out an ENTIRE cabinet and designated it to be my own things! I hate feeling like I have to 'hide' stuff in my own house, but I refuse to let spawn ruin my items. Don't care if it hurts her feelings. 

Noway2b1's picture

They still think what's dads is "ours" especially the youngest son (38) and oldest (46) they have no problem opening our fridge and helping themselves. On thanksgiving during a literally less than ten minute visit YSS helped himself to a case of specially beer to take to his get together. Yea and the giving of mine or mutual items still happens too.