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Christmas kick-off

RL1989's picture

Anyone else looking forward to Christmas as much as I am? My girlfriend is in her son's room dealing with an epic sulk. The lad looks and sounds about as knackered as I am, but wants to sit up until goodness knows when streaming some stupid game or other. It's like that every night I'm over, they both disappear into their rooms, apart from last night when I stayed at mine and got a message from my gf saying they're all in the lounge watching a film together. Makes me feel excluded, perhaps unreasonably so.


Back to today: Both the kids have been at their grandparents all day and have been "as good as gold", so here comes the inevitable payoff, like all the unpleasantness has been suppressed until the grandparents are out of sight.  I'm going to be disengaging over Christmas though as every attempt I make at backing my girlfriend up or asserting my own requirements always seems to backfire spectacularly. Best I let them get on with it. If I'd have behaved like this two days before Christmas the local children's home would have had a few extra gifts going spare. 

Anyway, I know I'm being self absorbed here and in real life I do demonstrate a bit more tolerance and understanding, but hey, I come on here for a vent and to gain a bit of insight from others. 

Wishing all a very early but heartfelt merry Christmas. 

Rags's picture

will ever gain clarity.

Set the expectations and standards of behavior and performance and hold htem accountable to those standards.

Inform your SO that when  you are there, she is with you.  Period Dot. No addressing the sulky Skid in his room. If he sulks, he can be in his room alone.

Good luck.

This is a tough situation.


RL1989's picture

That has really struck a chord, in that I think she needs to decide whether she's in a relationship with me or with her kids. Following another couple of hours of really weird behaviour I decided I'd go over and comfort her. Close to tears she says "sometimes I just need a cuddle from my kids too". I completely understand that but all my patience and dare I say it kindness over the course of this evening in dealing with a really weird mood and "picture, no sound", was completely rebuffed, so clearly wasn't the understanding and affection she neeeded. If she's relying on a pair of sulky teenagers, 13 and 14 for emotional support, she may as well p!ss into the wind.


Talk about a closed shop, I'm so confused and am feeling like a rank outsider in my own relationship. I fully accept that the kids are part of the package, but I'm constantly made to feel pushed out and beyond last in the queue for her energy, smiles, and love.

This must all sound dreadfully self-centred, and a lot of it probably is, but I have to have a rant on here, or go mad. Thanks for your replies Smile

Kes's picture

It sounds like at present you don't live with your gf - if this is the case I'd keep it this way.  I suspect that your understandable disapproval of the dynamics in her household may have communicated themselves to your SKIDs, and that is why they disappear to their rooms and sulk when you come over. Your gf sounds like she enables her children - I just checked your first post and you said they are "enormous"?  She plys them with food as a way of staying in their good graces, it sounds like.  This is so wrong - she should be the one in charge, not them.   It doesn't sound like she is open to any renegotiation of the way she handles them, either.  This being the case, I'd keep a healthy distance, indefinitely. 

RL1989's picture

Your assessment is bang on. Food is a massive issue here and it's used as a constant weapon or method of appeasement as required. 

We're going to my mum's for Christmas afternoon, and after having a couple of hours of sullen silence from the girlfriend, I managed to elicit the statement that my girlfriend is worried about Christmas day because "it's different". In other words, my family, not hers. It's not hard to work out that her fears centre around her kids and whether they'll be satisfied with their day. Considering she's blown about £600 on the pair of them on presents, I'd think they could make nice for a few hours. Again, it comes down to who's in control. Her or her kids. As usual, I'm left sucking the hind teat, but I'm used to it. She's terrified of them. I'm sure it's a mother's instinct to provide and maybe a single parent thing, but the pandering is ridiculous. Also, times have moved on since my 80s childhood, where dinner was dinner, take it or leave it. Now, if there's not a menu selection, there's hell to pay. They're not expected to do anything out of duty (like Christmas afternoon at my admittedly boring mum's place), whereas I definitely was. Am I judging these kids and their mum by the standards of a bygone age?


ndc's picture

You're not judging them by standards of a bygone age.  There are plenty of parents who require good behavior, respect, gratitude, chores, etc.  Fewer than in that bygone age, of course,  but plenty.

RoundIGo's picture

Constantly triggered by my entitled, irresponsible and rude teenage step kids. Dh has rose colored glasses on when viewing them and even if he says he sees my point of view, the disgust, anger and discontent are not there for him when they act ill mannered. There is no amount of talking that will really get him to see the dynamics or dysfunction because he's the one who created it and if he saw, he would parent differently IMO. After 9 years in this situation, I have been worn down emotionally and it affects me physically. I am anxious, upset or triggered it seems on a regular basis, because there is always something. To be honest, I don't have much left in me. They're almost both adults, pissed off HS, dropped community College, pretty much hate me because I have become the scapegoat. Some stay in denial and some people just don't have that insight into their own behavior. 

Overitalready22's picture

I have never felt so disengaged or disincluded on Christmas as I have this morning!  Glad to see I'm not the only one.  And to top it all off, I bought my husband $100 worth of xbox vouchers with my $100 fortnightly 'pocket money' and he's just told me he's talked to his ex this morning about selling his xbox to her.  Merry fn xmas.

SeeYouNever's picture

You keep saying you must sound self absorbed but someone has to think of you and it's not bad to want some attention and acknowledgement from your SO in your own house.

It sounds like your GF and her kids all handle their emotions poorly. I don't have any advice because I'm not a professional. It must be hard to live with kids that treat you like that and and SO that is emotionally codependent with them. It also sounds like she is using her own emotional instability to evade responsibility (cue the crying). Of course you want your SO to not cry, so if you're upset about something but she starts crying, suddenly the whole dynamic shifts and you're trying to make HER feel better when it was your that wasn't unhappy with something to start.

Rose_Pedal's picture

My fiancé comforts his daughter (11) in all the wrong ways too. Overcompensates & coddles and it's been damaging. It has caused her to be extremely soft with no sense of responsibility or structure and TOTAL disregard for our privacy or personal space.
I read someone on one of these blogs use the line "wrap their child in bubble wrap" and it stuck with me.

I can tell you are like me, emphatic and feeling somewhat guilty for feeling the way you do- I also beat myself up about the way I feel towards my SD but our feelings ARE valid, we aren't feeling this way for no reason and like you said, we need to be able to vent on here to others whom understand or else we would lose our minds!

I don't have much advice for you as I am also in the thick of these similar issues in my household and my fiancé has told me that the way I was raised is abnormal (he's not totally wrong- my parents owned businesses/real estate and were highly successful with large expectations of me and I was working since I was 8 years old.) BUT I'm convinced there's a balance of structure, boundaries and compassion that can exist between these children, you and their mom. I hope you can find it!


CLove's picture

You want a normal relationship with someone who is very dysfunctional. I know this because I too am wanting a normal relationship within a dysfunctional failed family dynamic.

Your SO is co dependent and will not change. You can point out things that are wrong, with bullet points and a laser pointer and slides projected on a board and she wont "see it". And if she does, will deflect and turn it around so that skids are the victim and you are the persecutor and she is their "rescuer". Read up on Karpman drama triangle.

It sounds like that is what is going on. That is what happens to me too. SD16 Power Sulks "victim" if I say something she disagrees with, or neglect to cater, or ask her to do her own dishes. I become the "persecutor" and Husband gets angry and becomes the "rescuer" that has to defend SD16 against me. It definitely becomes a "them against me" scenario which is super common in these failed family dynamicss and is super toxic.

The way I battle it (because I married into this) is that I stopped being the persecutor. I started acting a bit more like the victim. "I only want the best for everyone and I am trying so hard!"

Disengage. This is what I did, and continue to do. It works, for the most part. Until you decide its not working for you anymore. Because this situation will not get better over time, this will get much worse. Your skids are learning how to pit you and SO against each other. Codependency. Coddling and catering to the precious little (big) snowflakes. It doesnt get better.