New to this and at my wits end, advice welcome.
I'm a 37 year old relatively new step father and even newer Bio Dad to an 11 month old boy.
The short version of this whole thing is that I met my partner in late 2019 and she never hid the fact that she had children from me. Very quickly I found myself taking on a father figure role for the children as their biological father has consistently proven himself not to be fit for the task.
My partner also never hid the fact that both children are autistic. Within a few short months, my partner had fallen pregant, this was not an accident but a choice that neither of us regret.
Fast forward to now and we've got an 11 month old baby, a house, a mortgage and for the most part we get on... What I have reached my limit with is the difficulties the SC's biodad constantly presents. I can no longer cope with the constant talk at the dinner table about his life and what he is up to. I can't continue to listen to "funny" stories that involve both children being left unattended while on holiday and all the lies and broken promises that constantly get ignored or brushed under the carpet.
It's also incredibly difficult to adjust to parenting in general, but even more so given that both children have the autism diagnosis.
I'm finding myself angry a lot of the time, frustrated that I can't enjoy being a new Dad as much as I would like to. I suppose I always knew it wasn't going to be easy but I'm just at a point now where the kids are testing boundaries, at nearly 10 and 12 (Boy, 10 - Girl, 12).
I've been looking into "disengaging" as the constant needs of the two step children and the ever changing goal posts of autism are creating a real rift between me and my partner.
Not that it matters but before being on the scene, neither child was capable of maintaining any sort of personal hygene, household chores were none existent and there were very few boundaries in place. The younger of the two (boy) couldn't read or eat using a knife and fork, he couldn't use the bathroom on his own and was still having his mother sit outide the toilet with the door open. All of this has changed and both children are functioning reasonably well. I've been told that this is large part due to me but a soon as I show any signs of frustration at either child not being able to master the most basic of functions, I'm painted to be some sort of monster.
Their father contributes next to nothing financially which has meant that I've felt obliged to pay for their school uniforms, treats, Christmas gifts and birthdays as well as the general running of a household. I guess writing it all out I find myself sounding ungrateful for what I've gained, it isn't that really... I just feel masively unappreciated or respected in a house that I made possible for all of us. I'm told by my partner that she wants me to parent but when I do the discipline I'm "too harsh" or inconsiderate of their disability. The truth is, I've spent countless hours learning about autism as best I can and how to cope with autistic children but we've reached a point now where I simply have no energy and very little left to give.
Can anyone in similar circumstances offer any advice?
Thanks, this wasn't the short version after all.