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Need to vent and get adivice

IrishTwist's picture

So this is my first time having to deal with a situation like this as my past partners have never had kids. 

So I have been with my partner for over a year and she has 3 boys with her ex-husband, ever since I have known her the boys have always walked over her if they dont get their own way and get away with everything and when I try to step in to sort it she takes their side and defends the bad behaviour. They come down at the weekends as they live with their father during the week and even when they are there he buys them whatever they want to just keep them happy and doesnt really discipline them either.  I know it is not my place to do anything but I hate seeing her being treated like this. If they dont get their way they act like f***ing animals. 

Now she is complaining to me that I am not interacting with them and asking me if I hate her kids (which i do not) because I spend most of my time in my office upstairs out of the way as i dont want to say something that I will regret. I know I am all over the place with this and I hope you can understand where I am coming from.  I just want to know what I can do.

ybarra357's picture

"I just want to know what I can do."

Dude, this doesn't get better.  Cut your losses and move on.

hereiam's picture

Why not just be honest with her? That their behavior AND her behavior make you not want to be around when they are there. Tell you that you don't like seeing someone you love disrespected, so you would rather not be around it.

If this is what she lets her kids get away with now, as kids, just wait until they are adults and she is still letting them run her life. You will have a lot of fun, then.

Healyourslf's picture

"when I try to step in to sort it she takes their side and defends the bad behaviour"  then  "she is complaining to me that I am not interacting with them and asking me if I hate her kids"

Two edged sword - cuts both ways. First of all, understand that YOU are not responsible for raising these kids or "correcting" behavior that has already been instilled and continues to be enabled by both parents. Are you noticing that no matter what you do, you are the scapegoat for her inability to parent?  It's only going to get worse as they get older.  If parents do not have a handle on their childrens' behavior at a young age, the kids have already learned to control and manipulate them.  Unfortunately, this world is full of weak, take-the-easy-way-out parents who expect others to do their work!  

You've been with this woman for a year.  In terms of a "lifetime" relationship, one year is the honeymoon period.  You should be in the throes of having lots of fun and excitement and still discovering each other.  Sounds like you're discovering "what not to get into" instead. Take some time and read through some of the step stories on should be an eye opener.

Where do you see yourself with this woman in 5 years?  No matter what you may currently think, which may be "what action can I take to please this woman and make this situation better," YOU will only dig yourself in deeper with the dysfunction that was created BEFORE you were even in the picture. It's not up to YOU to fix her or her children. 

Did you sign up to be a sherpa?  You are going to be carrying her baggage along the whole route and it sounds like the mountain is pretty steep.  MOVE ON. 

Jen_Jen's picture

^ ^ ^ This!
These people are comfortable in their dysfunction and you are not going to change it. Please save yourself much heartache and move on.

Read the blogs here. See first hand people who have dealt with this for years. Save yourself and  leave them be. Some "animals" can not be domesticated...

justmakingthebest's picture

Not being on the same parenting page leads to nothing but disaster. If your SO isn't interested in parenting, just being fun since she only has her kids on the weekends and Biodad is doing the same- not parenting but trying to be fun so the kids keep wanting to live with them, these kids are going to be disasters in life. Someone has to be an actual parent. Sadly, you can't be that person. If your SO decided that it was time to have structure, rules, discipline-- you can be her back up, her cheerleader, her support... but you can't do it for her. 

This is probably a cut your losses relationship... move on and find someone who either has no children or is an actual parent to those that she does have.

SM12's picture

my DH used to get all pouty when I didn’t immediately worship the ground his spawn walked on.  Early on I could see they were rude and obnoxious and never taught manners or kindness.   I avoided them as much as possible.   DH tried to force us together which made things worse.  

Finally I had to tell him to stop.  He was making it worse and I never had the chance to get to know the spawn organically and in a relaxed environment.  Always forced and with little to no behavior correction from DH.     DH also tried to force me into interacting with BM as well.  I pegged her as the manipulative two faced skank she is from day one.   

It was about a year in and I finally made it clear to DH that I was not going to be guilted Into being around them and in fact, it was in his Best interests to not force the issue.  I was no longer willing to keep my mouth shut about the rude nasty behavior from the SSs or BM and would most certainly share my feeling with them bluntly and immediately if necessary.   DH stopped forcing the issue once he realized I was dead serious. 

Rags's picture

Equity life partners have only one top priority and that is each other/the relationship. Nothing takes priority over that. Including children

Children are the top responsibility in a marriage but never the priority over the marriage itself. As equity life partners you are also equity parents to any children in the mix regardless of kid biology.

So, rather than retreat to your office I suggest that you play the equity parent card, step up, and parent. If she does not like how you parent and discipline then she can bite her tongue and have your back while you do it. The same applies to you. Hiding from these things does not bode well for the longevity of this relationship.

All IMHO of course.

Good luck.


Rearview's picture




JustMe604's picture

Im on the same boat. My SS is out of control and has been spoiled by everyone in his family up till now. I know a lot of it isnt my place too when it comes to parenting her son. I seperate myself from their s#$@. I shut the door to our room cause hearing him blab all this non sense annoys me. My partner has told me the same thing about not trying to have a relationship with him but I have. I've tried endlessly and dont get me wrong my partner does defend me against him if he is nasty but he is rude,  and very self serving. We have been together for 4 yrs and in that time he has become an alcoholic. worst part is that everyone gives into his BS. In the end their the ones really screwing him over. Thats all on them. Hang in there. Good luck. I'm new here and being part of this group helps. Its good to know you arent alone. 

Rags's picture

It is your marital home and it absolutely your place to correct intolerable kid behavior.

So grow some sack and do it.


LakesideChill19's picture

The situation sucks and there is no way around it. A lot of the advice that you have been given is a pretty solid road map. In all honesty, I was trying to work out how to write my post and your situation is fairly similar and the course forward seems the same. 

First, you should be very clear with your DW. Not in an adversarial way, but stating clearly what you are willing to accept and what you are not; what you are willing to compromise on and what you are not. They will continue to act exactly as they are now unless someone steps in and takes steps to correct the behaviors. In your house, if it's not going to be Mom, then it has to be you. If your DW will not stand behind on you that, then you have to take a hard look at your chosen life because as someone said earlier, you are Equity Life Partners, and that means something. However, you married Mom and by extension, married those boys.  You both need to be on the same page and pull out all of the stops, together, to make that happen. 

Saying that, there is a limit what you can do, how long you are willing to try and make it happen and only you can determine that. 

Are you on friendly terms with the BD?  Can the three of you agree that there is an issue and come up with a way to address it together and formulate a plan that will be enforced at his home and yours?  If you can't get your DW and BD to get on board with fixing this situation, you may not have any other choice but to take steps for you.