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husband yells at me when i yell at stepkids

alwaysinthewrong's picture

So yet another day of getting disciplined by my husband in front of my kids. Step daughters went to their moms yesterday. And of course everytime they come home, I get an attitude and disrespected. That is how their mom allows them to act towards her so they come home thinking its all good. Its not! I don't play that! 11 yr old SD this morning is rolling her eyes talking back and raising her voice at me. Talking over me etc. So I simply told her if she didn't stop with the attitude I was going to spank her. (Which is fine bc I only do it if she really needs it.) I ask her to stop brushing her hair bc I normally do it and she was tangling it up the way she was brushing it from back to front and side to side. (She has extremely curly dry frizzy hair.) She instead stomps in living room and grabs a different brush and starts brushing it again. I told her to sit on the couch. Then my husband comes down stairs and she huffs and puffs and stomps up the stairs to her room. So he gets mad at me and asks what happened. I tell him she's mad bc I told her to stop with the attitude bc she was talking back. He gets upset saying I'm always yelling at her etc etc. Whatever! 10 mins later we r ready to leave for church and she grabs a ratty stained dirty sweater to wear. I nicely ask her if she has a different sweater to wear. Nicely bc I didn't want to further anger my husband. She again huffs and puffs. Well that put him over the edge. I'm mean to her I always yell at her I'm never nice to her why don't I just leave her alone. I'm like r u serious!? All I ever do is care for these kids. I pick em up I make dinner n do their laumdry and make sure they have a mother seeing as how their own mother doesn't want much to do with them. But I'm mean?! He always says stuff like this in front of all 4 of our kids. Always! To me it makes them think if they don't like when I discipline them all they gotta do is make a big stink n daddy will yell at me. Its ridiculous! They have no respect for me! They like being around me when I'm doing stuff for them but if I need to yell at them or let them know they are wrong, its over! They hate me n I'm always mean. I don't get it! What am I supposed to do? I've tried talking to him a million times but he only sees it as I'm mean. I feel like I can't yell at his princesses at all. But I CAN be their mom-that's ok. But no one yells at his girls! So frustrating.

BankMom's picture

Not to side with the eye roller, but 11 year olds are hair brushers on their own and negative words such as yelling and spanking at your level should not be used. Treat her with grown up words and actions. You are seven years away from her being able to vote.....I would take a look at training her for college prep exams etc.....

Disneyfan's picture

Some SMs are hung up on the disrespect thing. Just because a child defends themself doesn't mean they are talking back. Expecting a preteen to never roll their eyes, plain silly

alwaysanxious's picture

Whether you are right or wrong you ended up the bad guy. WE always do! Get out of the line of fire. If she won't take care of her difficult hair type, she'll just have to go out looking poorly. If she wears a dirty sweater, its on her. I know you don't want to be embarrassed, but people know she's not yours.

Let your DH deal with it. Don't give her chances to make you look bad.

B22S22's picture

DH is the one who said "can't you just leave her alone?" or some such. So do it. Don't say a word. Let it all be between Dad and Daughter, even the teen angst.

I understand the teen disrespect, have it causing drama in my life. My DH is getting smart enough to know when I've had it with the smart mouth, ignoring, etc from his teen Tweedles. And he's getting even smarter to know he better be calling them out on it because that's HIS responsibility as a father.

I agree with some previous posters, let SD go out with ratty hair and less-than-desirable clothing. I know as a "mom" or "mom figure" or however you want to label yourself, it's hard to let a child in your presence walk around looking like a bum but sometimes you just hafta.

alwaysinthewrong's picture

I think u are all a little nuts honestly. With the exception of a few commenters I would never take ur advice. The 1st one omg! She is not a welfare bum nor an ingrate. You do realize I'm talking about a child don't you!? That's a little harsh. BM does not have custody-we do.
Maybe I should add a little more detail... I'm allowed to spank her by her father. She is not too old to be taught who's in charge and if it embarrasses her GOOD she will think twice next time. And 100% of the time after she's been spanked she acts totally good. My Skids live with us. I am their mother. Their BM is rarely in their life and they are fully aware she favors her boyfriend and other child over them. BM is a real mess to say the least. Agreed an 11 yr old SHOULD be able to do her own hair but this particular child is a mess. She can't do her own hair at all. She's a very careless child and is quite unaware that she looks like a mess. She has a very good heart and she isn't a brat most of the time. Only when she comes back from BMs house. They r girls. They want their mom bc that's who their mom is they don't want a step mom. There's no bond I mean I've raised them for the last 7 yrs but I'm not their MOM. So when they return from BMs they r resentful bc why couldn't their mom get her life together so they can be with her all the time. It gets taken out on me no matter what. I'm not sending my child to church looking like a wreck that's mean. And every1 at church knows that I AM their mom. It makes me look like an uncaring parent. I'm dressed nice but my kids aren't good enough to look nice? That's terrible! Agreed I will "just leave her alone" if that's what he wants. But I'm not gonna start a war over children and ruin my marriage. That's just a bad idea. A big issue is that I am in charge of making sure the girls' hair looks presentable bc I'm the female and I'm a hair stylist. I do think its disrespectful for a child to roll their eyes at an adult no matter what age. I wasn't asking for much I was only asking her to stop tangling her hair bc I would hafta untangle it and it would pull her hair out. I don't think anyone realizes the magnitude of this girls hair. BM could care less if I cut it off. I've done it before. But its like a dry curly afro that is tangly. I've tried treatments etc but it was extra wild this morning bc BM put all kinds of strange braids in it and put product in it from what it looked like. I was left to fix it. She knows that. I appreciate the positive advice from those who gave it. I'm not too controlling over her, I just want her to look nice bc who doesn't wanna look nice. If I sent her out like a bum she would be sad and hurt. Why would I do that to a little girl. How would that make you feel if u were her? Ill tell u. It would make her feel like dang, my BM doesn't care about me and my SM doesn't care about me. Is that something you would advise me to do to a young girl?? Refuse to be her mother when she can't have her real mom?? Id hope not.

doll faced sm's picture

Everyone who has thus far commented understands full well that you are dealing with children. However, the reality of the situation is that, while you are dealing with children, the problem lies in their father's attitude toward you and your role in the household. Specifically, if he is yelling at you in front of all four of them, then he is undermining your position as one of authority.

What many of the commenters are trying to say is that it's easy for him to think you are just being mean when he has no idea at all of what is really going on. If you take a few steps back, leaving more responsibility for these things to you DH, DH will get a better idea of what getting his 11 y.o. daughter ready to go anywhere really entails. If he sees her trying to walk out the door in a dirty sweater, he could ask her to go change it just as easily as you could. The difference here is that if you do it, you are "mean" because he just thinks you're being picky and probably didn't realize that she is *so* much of a mess that she was trying to walk out the door in a dirty sweater.

Since you are not keen on the idea of allowing her to go out that way so that either she learns by her mistake or so that DH has to say something to her assuming he catches it, how about saying something to him instead of saying it to her? How about, "DH, I don't want to seem mean or negative, so I thought I'd run it through you first, but have you looked at SD11's sweater that she plans to wear to church? It's dirty and I was hoping she could change it." That way, DH says something to SD11 so that you are not "mean" and "negative," and you acheive the desired results of getting DH's attention on the matter and having SD11 leave for church looking presentable.

Of course, the flip side to this is that you may discover DH actually thinks it's prefectly acceptable for an 11 y.o. to walk around looking like a mess. And if that is the case, and if he is constantly undermining your authority, then all you are doing by insisting upon doing her hair and nit picking her clothes is building resentment on her part towards you.

alwaysinthewrong's picture

you have a lot of valid points. DH is aware that she is a mess and he tells her also. however, its when i say it that theres a problem. I have stepped back on saying anything to her, if she wants to be a mess then be a mess she will be, not my problem. I've told her a million times and if she insists on doing the same thing then so be it. I think i mostly get angry bc i HAVE taken on the roll of their mother being she is hardly around. My husband however has also taken on the roll of MY daughter seeing as her dad is fine with being a babysitter when i need it. (not so much a parent) She has called my husband "dad" for many many years now and her BD is aware and is fine with it. Being that we have both taken on parental roles for each others kids, its a little difficult sometimes. That being said, on school days, DH gets the 3 younger kids ready in the AM which includes hair and ironing clothes that they picked out. -I am already at work. So on the weekends we switch and I get them ready. SD12 is pretty independent. its amazing what 1 yr difference can make with SD11 who is very much not able to be independent. Its just so irritating that DH isnt around at the times when she is wearing a dress and sits with her legs open or is rolling around on the floor with my son in a dress, or pulling up her stockings and in turn is pulling up her dress too so ppl see a little too much leg. he doesnt see when she is eating like a pig using her spoon as a shovel with her face on her plate and her hair in her food. ive never seen anything like it! figured she would grow out of ti since shes been doing it all her life but NOPE! and we HAVE been telling her the right way to do these things but she says ok fixes it and then literally 2 minutes later is doing it again. ive even tried getting my SD12 on board trying to help with her. not parenting but SD11 adores her older BS and looks up to her. so ive asked that if SD12 notices those type of things if she could gently remind her how a young lady is supposed to act. im not looking for perfectly behaved well mannered kids i am just trying to teach them life skills. as the lady of the house, it is my responsibility. i mean ive given up on buying stockings every week. she puts them on and before we get outta the house or after we get home i notice huge holes in them. i dont even get how she gets holes in them in 5 minutes, they are not cheap ones. they are thick. and not very cheap. tried buying the cheap ones and those were ruined as she put them on. so i let her wear ones with holes. if she wants ones without she can buy them herself or DH can. needless to say, she has not gotten any new ones for months and i do not care.

definitely by having DH argue with me in front of the kids (which ive stressed the importance of him not doing that) they think they do not have to listen to me when he is around and sometimes when he is not. so i started doing it to him to see how he likes it. but then i felt like I was being the child by doing tit for tat. our kids will do what we do (including yelling-i know, im working on it) so if we do eye for an eye, we are not teaching them good values. example-if your sister goes in your room and steals your stuff, then you go in hers and do the same. NO what you should do is ask her for your stuff back and explain to her how it made you feel. ask her if she would like to feel that way and if she doesnt return the item then get me and dad involved.

i think they all just need to be little more independent. just afraid to let them grow up and also afraid to ned to repair or replace things. ugh..... cant wait for teen yrs : )

pseudo_stepmom's picture

You know, I bet the fact that he's been more frequently expressing his disdain for you in front of the children is why they are acting the way they are towards you (like rolling their eyes and such). I would make a point to him (again) about how his disrespect is now making it seem okay for the girls to disrespect you as well. How frustrating for you. I'm so sorry about the predicament you're in. Sad

turtle47's picture

I just wanted to let you know I know exactly what your feeling. I am a full time SM too... well unless you count the few hours EOWE that BM sees them. The advice " just let them be" is easier said than done. My skids look more like me than their DH. So people naturally assume he is there step dad. Even at school where our situation has been explained several teachers come to me first or direct their questions towards me. So when they look like trash, wear dirty clothes, are wild I public ect. I feel like all eyes are on me cuz to anyone looking I AM their mom.

Despite the fact that its hard I am really putting forth an effort at not doing the mothering that I usually do. At church I sit on the end and force DH to sit by the skids. So he will have to deal with their behavior and I can just focus on church. I no longer correct them when we go to appointments. If someone says something I just agree with them and say something like that's how they are used to acting at there moms, i'll let their dad know. Sure they are still probably thinking I am a bad mom. Nut I am NOT their mom and they have no problem showing it so I have to just accept it.

As for the hair this is what I tried with my SD :
Have her wash her hair at night using lots of conditioner. When she's done have her put in a leave in conditioner use a lot and have het brush out all the tangles. Then put her hair in a pony tail twist the pony tail like you would ring out a towel and wrap it in a bun use two more binders to hold the bun in place while she sleeps. In the morning she should be able to brush it out easily with water without dangling it. We switch between 3 in shower conditioners every few weeks because they stop helping after a while.

I suggest doing it for her the first time but letting her do it on her own after that. She is gonna look a little rough when she does her own hair because she is just learning how to take care of it. I hope this helps.

pumpkin1220's picture

I have the same issue in letting be, SS17 doesnt brush teeth, shower very often, wears dirty wrinkled clothes, and the school calls me, and I feel like his choices reflect on me. How many times do I follow you around saying take a shower, iron that, dont wear that> I am letting go but its still hard to not want to help.

New2Parenthood's picture

My SD7 has a mane of hair that BM refuses to cut or allow anyone else to cut. But the 7 yr old tomboy cannot wash, condition, dry, brush, style, and maintain this mane. And her father doesn't even notice it. Plus, she has bad allergies, and when she sneezes she wipes her face on the inside of the front of her shirt or her sleeves. And she is a filthy, sticky, mess with knotted, dirty hair and cavaties (7 @ 7 yrs old!) and food stains on her face. When she visited for Christmas, she went the entire week without bathing or brushing her teeth because she stayed at MILs 2 nights, other gma a night, her aunt and uncle a night, so finally when she got to us, I made her bathe and brush her teeth. Then I had to brush and braid her hair because neither she nor DH could do it. But I am only the SM so if I say anything, I am beiing overbearing or critical or judgemental, and since I haven't had kids, I can't possibly know better than DH how to raise them. But when SD goes home to BM or if anything needs to be accomplished, it falss to me to be responsible for it, and take the blame for anything that goes wrong. DH wont defend me to BM, MIL or SD, and it just makes everything even worse. I hate being told that my opinion doesn't matter, and that she is "his" daughter and I'm just there to help. He fights with me in front of her, degrades me, and is disrespectful and hurtful to me in front of SD. And he doesn't see why that is bad.

Dogmom1321's picture

I actually have a lot of problems with this one... 

1. Leave the discipling up to Dad. Don't even "say" you're going to spank her. That should be up to DH. A simple "I'll let your Dad know" should suffice. 

2. Stop asking her to do basic hygeine. Her Bios should be teaching her that. So her hair is frizzy and knotty? Who cares! Doesn't effect you. 

3. Disengage and stop taking on responsibilities that aren't yours. Leave that to your DH. Even if SD suffers because of it. Not your problem! A failed parenting mistake is NOT a reflection of you. This took me a really long time to learn and accept. 

4. After you disengage and basically give SD ZERO reason to interact with you, then it's hard for her to give you an attitude in the first place... DH used to ask me "Can you get ____ ready for bed?" Me: "No, because I don't want to hear the back talk." He quit asking and I quit putting myself in a compromising situation. Win all around!!

Metaldude73's picture

While I can agree on most of your comments above (I have tried and done all of them at times), when I do what you have stated this is what I get.........."You aren't even parenting anymore."  Hell, my wife's family even comments on it and says the same thing, which enfuriates me to know end.

So what is a SD supposed to do then?  You're either the bad guy for trying or the bad guy for not.

Winterglow's picture

"You aren't even parenting anymore." 

"Of course not. The child already has two parents and I'm not one of them."

End of story.

weightedworld's picture

Sounds to me like you could use her behavior and attitude as a perfect opportunity to sooth the hurt that she must feel from her mom. You've been there and are established that I feel you have the right to step in and step up because it sounds as if she is needing it. 

Forget the power struggle it seems that is going on. Connect with her in her down times. Take that extra minute when she returns. When the heat is off try teaching her some good tips about her hair.. show her some different styles she could wear ect. Shes 11 and entering into some ugly years. Here is your chance to snag her up and get her going down the right path vs the rebellion screw you guys attitude that is coming here shortly. 

Yes, I understand there are some kids who don't care about their appearance, but as a girl.. why doesn't she? Does she not feel strong or confident in herself to care? That could also be a place to boost her up. 

I would say at this time look past the defiance and disrespect and connect with her. She is at an age where she knows right from wrong.. maybe her experience at her moms wasn't all that great and there was a lot of lack of attention going on so when she comes home she is needing that extra loving because of the pain she just endured? 

I know it is frustrating but she is getting old enough now where she is starting to put things together and come to some what of an understanding in her situation of the life she didn't chose and that isn't always a fun pill to swallow. 

I'm not saying go kiss her ass but help her through her emotions. If she bucks right away, which I'm guessing she will, don't give up and try again later.

weightedworld's picture

And as far as dad goes.. what he is doing is uncalled for but I'm sure his frustration is high as well because he doesn't know what to do or how to connect because he is dad. I think he may put a little more on you because you are female and could relate or connect better than what he does. I sense some fear coming from him as well with the little you have written. 

Rags's picture

"If you do not like how I parent and discipline your kids then you can step up and get it done before I have to.  Until then, you will STFU and have my back.  You WILL NOT..... disrespect me in front of anyone including your ill behaved children.  If you ever disrespect me again in this way, or any other, you and they will be GONE!" 

Since he likes airing his disrespectful crap in front of the kids, he can stand there are get lectured in front of them as well.

On top of that, immediately stop doing anything for him or his children.  Not a thing. Cook only for you and your kids. Do only your laundry, clean only the dishes you use.  Get only yourself and your kids ready for Church.  Pick up and drop off only your kids.  Then start ridiculing him for his failures to care for himself and his children and point out how his failure to care for them is what is mean.  Which you have never been.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Until he either catches  a clue or.... leaves with his kids.

Marrying and making a life with someone who has prior relationship children should not be a life sentence of disrespect and ridicule by your mate or their failed familh beeding experiments.  Idiots who act as your DH acts become Xs.  And often it cannot happen soon enough.

Good luck.


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

No parent should ever confront another in front of the children. If there is a disagreement on parenting it should be discussed behind closed doors. 

How I would have handled your DH actions at that moment would be to hand him the brush and say okay you finish getting her ready then. 

I have on many occasions at that age if SDs are not ready, giving me attitude or dressed appropriately for where we are going. Left them home with SO. They are not my kids and I am not obligated to include them in any activities I have planned. 

It teaches two lessons, SDs learn I'm not going to put up with Thier nonsense and expect respect. SO doesn't want to be left home alone with them. So he is forced to address Thier behavior because now he is being inconvenienced. 

The last time I had to do it I was going to a graduation party. SD is never ready on time no matter if you give her all day to do so. It's a form of control for her to make everyone wait on her. I won't have it. So when I tell her we are leaving and she threw  a fit and started yelling.  turned around and just left without saying another word. I also ignored any text messages once I  left.

Rags's picture

Great ways to deal with the situation.

We used some of these tactics with SS at various stages of his growing up.

I had to use it just a couple of weeks ago with a friend of mine whose 13yo daughter is at the state where she rarely bathes and wears the same nasty dirty stinky clothes for days on end.  He and I were discussing meeting for lunch..  For most of our friendship it has usually just been he and I meeting and catching up.  He has started bringing his daughter, usually without telling me before hand.  So, I requested that if he was bringing her to lunch to make sure she was freshly bathed and had on clean clothes.  He got very quiet for a few seconds and replied that he would just not bring her.  I told him she is welcome but that when she isn't clean it kind of kills the vibe for eating.  He brought her. Freshly bathed and in freshly washed clothes.

Kids reach an age where they have to be called on the choices that they make that adversely impact others.  Avoiding those lessons does neither the kids nor anyone else any favors.  My friend's usually odiferous daughter cause me to have a nauseious lunch was one I was done with ignoring.  So I discussed it with her dad on the phone so it could be addressed privately. It worked.