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Someone tell me it gets better....

shelly2671's picture

This is my first time posting here, and I really just need to vent and get some advice.  My DH & I have been together 13 years, married for 9 years.  I have a daugher 23, and he has two daughters, 17 & 16.  Where to even begin....BM has a lot of mental health issues, and is a helpless and miserable bitch.  The kids live with us 60% of the time, and DH does everything for them (BM has never taken them to the doctor, dentist, to get a haircut, she doesn't attend kids sports events...etc.  She's just a shitty mom).  I am very, very happy in my marriage, except for the SDs.  DH & I have very different parenting styles - he's a helicopter dad who does everything for his kids, while I raised my BD to be independant and self-sufficient.  My SDs have been coddled, never expected to help around the house, basically walk in the door every day with a Gimme-gimme-gimme attitude.  I can't stand them.  They've been like this since the day I met them, and over these years I have tried everything from disciple, to gentle reminders, to begging my DH to get involved, but they are still completely spoiled brats.  They manipulate him and have him wrapped around their fingers.  He feels badly for them bc BM is bi-polar and a shitty mom, so he overcompensates.  I empathize greatly with these kids, and have pretty much done everything a normal BM would do for the last 13 years (attend their sports & school events, drive them around, host birthday parties and sleep overs - NONE of which their actual BM has ever done for them).  They treat me like shit, and I'm tired of it.  DH walks on eggshells around them, because they fly off the handle when asked to do a chore or when corrected.  Sorry, but when my parents asked me to do something, if I rolled my eyes or stomped out of the room, there were immediate consequences.  Asking the 16 yo to empty the trash cans in the bedrooms upstairs resulted in tears, asking them to wipe down the counters after I've cooked them dinner is a huge ordeal.  He never asks them to do a damn thing, so I'm the classic Wicked Step Mother when I ask them to pick up their shoes from the living room floor.  I kept waiting for it to get better, but it hasn't.  I've tried talking to DH dozens and dozens of times of the years, and while he agrees that sometimes they aren't the best kids, he doesn't see too much wrong with their behaviour.  Instead, he blames me and says the kids are afraid of me.  (I know they are afraid of me, because I am literally the only person in their lives who has ever said no to them, who has ever asked them to make their bed or fold their laundry, etc).  I have raised my voice to them MAYBE 10 times in 13 years, far less than I did for my own daughter.  I don't scream at them, have never  hit them, and I've always tried to show my support, but it's gotten me nowhere.  I parented my own child with the credo that I am her mom first, and then her friend.  We have always been extremely close, and still are, but there was no confusion about who was in charge when she was growing up, whereas my SKs rule the roost when it comes to DH.

We are about to try couples counseling for the first time, but I don't see the situation getting better in regards to the kids' behavior.  

In 2.5 years, both SDs will presumably be away at college.  I am counting down the days, and praying that having them out of the house will solve most of these issues.  I know he will always be a helicopter dad and will always coddle these kids, but I am hoping that when it's not in my face everyday, it will be easier to handle.  Has anyone successfully made it through living with horrible SKs and come out on the other end alive & intact??

 

 

 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

No, it won’t get better. Just read every f*cking post on this f*cking message board.

Your DuH will continue to be a Disney Dad to his miserable, insufferable c*nt miniwife bitch daughters even when they are totally grown up. It will be even worse when they find suckers to knock them up/marry them.

 

MrsStepMom's picture

But she’s right. It won’t get better. And you can wish they leave for college but will they? They very likely will live at home for a while, be home for summers and holidays and likely boomerang back at some point. You have a likely decade left of this, not two years. Especially since they can’t take care of themselves or so much as clean, they will for sure be around for a long time. 

 

As as someone who is leaving my marriage, even though I truly love my husband and want to be with him, I assure you, it won’t get better. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Your problem here is not so much the SD’s but its’ your H for allowing the coddled, enabling behavior. It doesn’t matter how many times you talk to him if he doesn’t WANT to make the necessary changes than it will continue to persist. He doesn’t see nothing wrong with his behavior so you’re already at a disadvantage here. Don’t count on SD’s going away to college, even if they do they can always end up right back at home afterwards. Especially since your H enables everything under the sun. There are no rules so remaining home seems pretty good for the most part.

Your issues are with him and they need to be addressed unless you plan to continue on this way for the rest of your marriage.

Jojab1636's picture

It hasn't gotten better for me.  I have a 26 and 30 year old SD's.  Nasty as ever.  I was hoping that once they got out on their own it would get so much better.  Nope - not even close.  I think it is worse.  They were so coddled growing up that they don't know how to act now, take responsiblity for their actions and don't like being held accountable.  I can't get over how nasty they are to their Dad that does so much for them.  I would never have thought about saying the things they say to their Dad to my parents.  Its been absolutely heart breaking.  I wish you well!

GoingWicked's picture

You need to start showing yourself some respect.  Why do you put up with this from them?  What on earth do you get out of it?   Just stop.  Stop telling the girls what to do, stop attending their after school functions, stop giving them gifts, rides, etc.  Stop cooking for them, cleaning up after them, doing their dishes, if they leave their shoes in the way on the floor just toss them out.  Start making your DH do all the cleaning up, he should be doing most of the housework anyway, they’re his daughters.

Evil3's picture

No, it doesn't get better at all. They get craftier. Mini-wives do not launch when their peers do and they don't get BFs when their peers do. So, don't count on them getting BFs or going to college. My SD29 still asked DH to tuck her in at the age of 23 for no other reason than to give that cat ate the canary face to me every f*cking night. My SD is so helpless, it's disgusting. I could go on and on, but the regular posters here are likely way too sick of seeing my responses that include how my SD never even emptied her own period paddy garbage cans and let them overflow onto the floor rather than empty them. My SD never got her first BF until she was 24 and she never moved out until she was 25. Even then, she'd be at home with her BF and have skype open with Dadddeeeeeee 24/7 to always have contact with him. DH and I even went to a concert of a lifetime and SD and DH texted the whole f*cking time. Finally, SD's BF broke it off because he "didn't want to live with SD's dad." SD is still single and can't find a man like Dadddeeeee. She's still very useless and helpless and does no food prep at all and she buys all premade foods. She wouldn't even boil some eggs for her salad club at work. She drove to several stores to buy precooked eggs. She is that lazy. Her apartment is a pigsty and she posted on social media her vacuum full of filth and cat hair due to not vacuuming in 9 months. She honestly thinks she's that charming and cute to not have vacuumed in that long.

So, in a nutshell, it doesn't get better. To this day, I despise my SD with the passion of a thousand fiery suns.

Aunt Agatha's picture

According to the unicorn and happy gnome living in my backyard, next to the ever fruitful money tree, where my goose lays golden eggs.

But in the real world, nope.  What you see is for the most part what you will continue to get.

notasm3's picture

"Ignore the whores"  Seriously - as of RIGHT NOW put them on ignore.  Do not do one thing for them.  Be polite and civil IF they speak to you.  But no favors, no rides, no money  - NOTHING.

Don't bad mouth them.  Don't do anything destructive.  Just pretend that they DO NO EXIST in your life.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It's great that you're going to counseling. Go in with a list of issues you'd like to work on (presenting a united front, helping your H parent more effectively, putting a stop to the enabling, drawing the boundary that his daughters must move out at 18, consequences for mistreating you, etc).

You're asking for enormous change after a lot of years of him taking the easiest path and doing what makes him feel good in the moment. Also, these spoilt girls are going to ramp up and target you as soon as the first boundary is drawn so the odds are against you. For this reason, you should have an exit strategy and money put aside.

24 years as a SM's picture

It never changes, all you can do is disengage from the SD's, go on strike, don't pickup after them, do nothing for them. Make your DH do all the work. Don't expect them to move out, even for college, they are like chewing gum that you step in, no matter what there's always some left in your shoe, with your case in your life. Even if they do go away for college, expect your DH to jump every time they bark.

If you think counseling will help then go for it, but I would highly suggest you find a counselor that deals a with step families, otherwise you are going to end up being the wicked step mother and your DH will have validation of how his brats have been raised.

 

stepper47's picture

I am still in the thick of it so I can't say if it ever gets better...but I can say that couples counseling did improve my marriage.  I have seen a lot of similar things that you describe with my SD about to turn 16.  I came into her life when she was 7, he described her to me as a handful, which she was but only because she didn't have many limits.  She was a sweet little girl but very catered to by both her parents.  In the beginning, we got along great, she even gave a speech at our wedding about how happy she was.  She enjoyed being around us and really seemed to be happy with our situation.

That changed around Jr high.  As we got more comfortable in family life and the kids were getting older, I had more expectations - pick up after yourself, rinse your dishes and dont leave a mess if you make food, check before walking in our house if you are with your mom (that was a big catalyst for SD trouble), and be respectful.  DH afraid to ask his kids to do any of that, when he finally did, SS had no problem, but SD flat refused.  She said she didnt have to do any of that at BMs, so she wouldn't here either.  Dh carried that back to me, like I was just going to say oh, ok.  We had some fights, and I started to feel like we were not partners and he would put her wants over everything else.  Combined with her preteen attitude and flat out disrespect, plus being used to ruling the roost, we had some rough years.  I started seeing a counselor, which really didnt help because she told me that yes he should nip some of her behaviors in the bud.  I couldn't control that, I needed help figuring out how to deal with it.

It came to a head last spring, I had had enough and he realized I was ready to leave the marriage. He offered to go to couples counseling.  We were blessed with an counselor who is in a blended family, so she got it. She was able to help us see from the other perspective.  He admitted he hadn't been addressing things like he should because he didnt want to make waves whit his daughter, and realized that it was hard on me and that I was not "put to get" either one of them.  I was able to see his fear of losing her is what drives him, and not that he just didn't care about what I thought.   That helped tremendously, and we do communicate better now.  We feel like more of a team, and I for one needed that.

Not to say things are perfect by any stretch. We have had some things go on lately that i have blogged here about, and it is testing us as we speak.  But thanks to going to counseling, we are both able to catch ourselves before we go too far over the ledge.

So, I think no matter what, step life will always have it's challenges, some seasons more than others.   But if you and your DH are able to find common ground and start seeing things from a similar standpoint, I think that could very much help.  I hope things start looking a little brighter for you!

Harry's picture

As they get older it’s going to get more expensive.  SO paying for college, weddings, helping them with houses, and household expenses.  Cars, GK.   If DH hasn’t change in 17 years he’s not. 

He had kids with a woman who had mental health problems.  So she is not going to do anything!  Most likely SD’s have mental problems from there BM.  Bi polar is passed in on at birth. Very good chance SK are somewhat bi polar.  I can never understand how these people are so blind, not to see someone who is bi polar.  Some how they miss that when the whole world can see it in two hours.  They live with that person and can not see it 

Rags's picture

It can get better. But it won't unless your DH extricates his head from his ass, stops coddling and starts parenting.

Though you are only a few years from what should be the empty nester transition, I would forecast that a successful and timely launch is not likely with the coddled couplet SDs.

Far more often than not coddled kids do not have the skills to function autonomously and often will boomerang shortly after heading to college.  In order for things to get better, you are going to have to raise your DH, put your proverbial foot up his butt and force him to grow up and actually parent.  Parents who focus on being their kid's buddy and friend rather than on being parents and raising viable independe adults often end up with a life time curse with their children.

Good lick.

 

rahrah2019's picture

It’s like I’ve told my DH all along....SS isn’t just going to magically become a productive member of society when he graduates. All the things you do to get them to that point all comes to fruition. All the things you’ve failed to prepare them for will show. 

And here we are. SS is about to graduate. In one respect, I do think, “I made it!” But on the other hand, this kid has been coddled every day of his life, and I know in my heart he is nowhere near ready for life. There will be no college, as he all but flunked out of high school. He has never had a job of any sort. He has never been in any activity. He refuses to get a driver’s license (because he’d have to admit he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he cant do that). 

I disengaged several years ago. I will voice my opinion only when something directly affects my life. But I have very strongly drawn the line in the sand now. I refuse to support someone who will not work himself. 

Rags's picture

Keep this kid off of the parental payroll.  At least the part that comes from your household.

Is he moving  out after graduation?

It took a major burning platform to get my skid to launch.

rahrah2019's picture

My DH knows I am officially done supporting this kid. My bio kids are grown. They are thriving. They are independent. Not that I have anything against helping any child, but the one child who refuses to launch is definitely not going to be the recipient of my hard-earned money. 

DH and I have always been on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum. But he has always said, and is still saying, that he will help SS only if he is helping himself.

If SS has indicated anything recently about his plans after graduation, I am not privy to that. He has, for the past two years, said consistently he wants to join the military. However, I told DH when he first brought it up that he’s going to have to lose a serious 100# to get in. This is a kid who failed phy Ed. There’s no way he could cut the military. Last time we talked about the future, he said he was going to hold off on the military for five years. Right. Who does that? But all along, I had said he’s saying the military thing just to keep us all off his back about the real world. 

BM has coddled the hell out of this kid forever. Used to tell my husband that she “wasn’t going to make him do anything he didn’t want to do.” Now she wants him to grow up immediately. Sends DH texts demanding that he force SS to do certain things (like getting his DL).  BM has babied him to this point, she can keep him there and deal with her new reality. 

Of course, I can’t turn the kid away. But I can make his life hell. Hell for him, that is...no WiFi password, chores that he actually has to do to earn his keep, etc. He would be in for a rude awakening if he thought he was going to sit around and play video games all day and all night. I’d give him two weeks to have a job, or make him volunteer 40 hours a week until he got one. Can’t live with it? Hit the dusty trail.