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STEP CHILDREN issues.... again!
April 1, 2009
2:46 pm
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caraway
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I have asked for advice on this topic in the past and everytime I think that I have found some peace with it, it rears it's ugly head again.

I didn't sleep much last night thinking about what my options really are here. Most folks know my "step children" are the grown children of my partner and won't grow up and take responsibility.

I think my challenge is that I just don't want to deal with it anymore. I am aware that there are always going to be challenges in a relationship of some kind, but I have come to resent the way these adult children use and abuse their father, and the way it affects me. I think that this is always going to be this way and I don't want to live my life like this.

So it should be easy to say something like, "I love you, but I don't think I can tolerate your children for one more day?" How do walk away from someone you care about because they have disrespectful kids..... and not feel like an ASS?

Cary

April 1, 2009
2:55 pm
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sexychoclady
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Do you live together? Can you move out? Why break up because of kids, If you lived separately could it work. I mean do the children tell him how to live his life with you? If they are adults should be low maintance to me. Sorry but i don't know your story.That is where the questions come in at.

April 1, 2009
3:19 pm
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caraway
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Sexy,

We don't live together and the children are the reason I won't take that step.

Every holiday, and many weekends are ruined waiting around for them to show up to visit. They are usually late, always want money, and can't seem to take care of anything on their own.

I wish it was a simple as just going home, but when you are in a relationship with someone with children it is like being in a relationship with them as well. I could avoid them but that puts stress on their Dad (my partner) because he wants to all be together. I have built resentment for the times I have seen them hurt his feelings.

Cary

April 1, 2009
3:31 pm
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CAMER
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CARY, how long have you been together?? years??? well its a tough call, i think i remember reading in the past that your partner, kinda lets the kids walk all over him and he gives them money and pays bills etc...i hope i am not wrong on this:)

you have to decide, cuz they are his kids, and you can't change how he brings them up and what he does with them.

Have you spoken to him about the "issues" and what was the response?

April 1, 2009
3:44 pm
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fantas
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(((Cary))), I'm sorry this issue continues for you. I think it's okay to tell him just like you wrote here. As it is, the relationship isn't meeting your needs and you should bring that up. Not to tell him what to do but to state how you are feeling and that while you love him, you don't wish to spend all your weekends waiting for his kids and would like your time with him as well. If he cannot do anything different, then you can decide how you wish to spend your weekends while he is waiting for his children. You don't have to wait for them as well.

The key, is to follow through on what you plan to do if he chooses to keep things as they are. Plan your time together and then your own time while he hangs with his kids. You can't do anything about the way he lets them treat him. You really should try to detach from that. Easier said than done.

Hang in there. Don't toss an otherwise good relationship. Negotiate something.

April 1, 2009
3:55 pm
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atalose
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Resentment is a hard one to work on. What have you done for you to work on those resentment issues?

The only suggestion I could make would be that if you need to end this relationship because of your resentment issues then end it but I wouldn’t put the blame for the failure of this relationship on his children’s behavior. This man accepts his children walking all over him, he’s not going to change. You can’t seem to let him be him and let things happen between him and his children without your resentment so ending it makes the most sense for you to get away from those feelings of resentment you have.

Unless there is something besides ending it that could possible happen………………….???

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 1, 2009
4:08 pm
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sexychoclady
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Ok i understand.. I some what agree with Fantas, in that exactly, what you have posted you could communicate that to your man, and see if he can change something.I suspect you have done this already though.And that is where i disagree that you stay inspite of resentment.(which by the way you the only one that feels it)If you can not detach then this is a serious problem. And only you can decide what your course of action will be.

April 1, 2009
4:31 pm
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caraway
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All good insight and I can't disagree with any of it. We have been at this 4+ years and worked through some other difficult stuff (with help from some of you)but I never seem to feel settled.

Maybe I am looking for an excuse and the kids are just another one. I feel that they will continue to bleed him and that he will not prepare for retirement and they won't be there to help him when he needs it...that responsibility will come to me. Some of you may recall that he is considerably older than I. I just don't want to give up my life for that "some day" that we can travel and do things to be left with feeling even more angry and resentful that I am still going through the motions.

He has been pressuring me to live together and I suppose that is why all of this has surfaced again.

Cary

April 1, 2009
6:22 pm
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sexychoclady
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O cary i feel for ya..the answers will come.sounds like maybe you can find another way to be at peace with this?Cuz i will be the first to tell ya a good man is hard to find, young or old. If you moved together the kids will always meddle? i guess you are in a arkward space..God Bless, if nothing else i would just keep talking about it with him and on here. But if nothing changes,nothing changes..

April 1, 2009
11:19 pm
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studeious
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Life on Life terms..... The apple does not fall to far from the tree; remember whos kids you are dealing with. Education starts at home.....{LIFE ON LIFE TERMS}. Are u ready for it??????????

April 2, 2009
6:53 am
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Caraway- Hi. You're feelings are important and it is healthy for you to express them without worrying about what your partner will think. You are not responsible for his reaction.

Since you are concerned about not sounding like an ass then you might want to tell your partner that you understand he has a lot of issues to deal with in regards to his children. At this time you would like to give him his space to straighten them out without your interference. Then tell him where he can find you when he figures things out.

Or you could tell him that you cant live like this anymore either you two get relationship counseling or you are through.

No need to feel like an ass. The deal breaker between me and my X was his daughter. I told him it wasnt no it was NEVER.

April 2, 2009
10:00 am
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Cary ((((Little Bro)))

You are in no way an ass for feeling this way, nor alone in dealing with this same issue. Four of my friends are dealing with the same exact thing, step children whom are all are adults coming between their parent's relationships. It's really nuts how the biological parent allows the grown children to control their free time, and how they seem to always be helping out the adult children financially. I feel for both sides here, because it seems the parent feels torn as to where to set boundries, and this always puts the step parent as a second priority. The adult children always come first when compared to partner, husband, wife, whatever the relationship is, marriend or not.

Two of the couples ended up getting married and now are having even a worse time with this same issue. I feel for the biological parent in the relationship as well, because they seem to feel they need to make up for loss time or for a previous failed family unit, so they are constantly trying to please their adult children.

When they do this they are in no way helping thier adult children, they are only enabling them moreless, which doesn't allow for them to grow up and make it on their own. There is a place for adult children in all relationships, but to bail them out of one financial mess after another isn't helping them, to put them before their partner isn't helping the biological parent or the children, it's a difficult place for a step parent to be in, you love your partner and care about his children but you can see some things he can't because he is their parent.

Like you are dealing with Cary, everyone of my four friends get to a boiling point every couple months or so, and there is the same ol argument about the adult children. Only with one of my friends did the parent seem to see and change things for the better for himself, his wife, and his adult children. He went to counseling for himself, and was able to see what he was doing and why... like I said above, he was trying to make up for the loss of a failed marriage (the family unit that broke) but he was doing it by allowing the adult children to control his life in many ways, without setting the boundries that we all must set with our children. Normally this is set as part of the growing up process, but when there is a failed relationship it isn't as easy to set, so it shows up later on when they become young adults, they seek from each parent, without even putting their new step parent into the picture. Almost like the biological parents owe them or something.

I'll tell you the same as I tell my best friend, you deserve to be treated with total respect as the wife in the marriage, (in your case the partner in your relationship) not any less. You deserve to be loved as the partner, and your feelings have to be considered when dealing with adult children, if your partner can't see this as a priority then you will have to let him know you will step aside and let him deal with them but by himself not with you, because you can see they are taking advantage of him, and it hurts you just sitting back watching it happen because you care about him, and your relationship with him.

Thinking about you, and hope if he doesn't talk to a couples counselor that you will even without him, it may help you understand more, and be able to let go if you feel you have to in time.

Healing and Peace to you!

Ask him if he would like to go to couple counseling, this will help both of you, and if he doesn't want to then I'd suggest you go Cary even if you have to go alone without him.

April 2, 2009
10:27 am
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caraway
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H&P (my sis),

I hear ya. I think that this has reached a boiling point because he wants to move in with me. He made some bad investments and may be headed to bancruptcy and I am feeling the pressure. I think that is one of the reasons I get so upset; the kids know that he is struggling and just continue to expect money and bills to be paid.

For expample: I don't agree that a parent should pay; cell phone, car insurance (for the car the parent bought for the child), health insurance, and extra cash, for a 25 year old college grad.(who has a job that I found for her) who lives in a Grandmother's garage apartment for free?

Am I being unreasonable? Would I feel differently if this were my child?

I agree that I need to get couseling because I am allowing this to happen. I am enabling the enabler!

Thank you for your support and honest feedback (even when I need a kick in the ass) sis.

Cary

April 2, 2009
4:52 pm
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Mari Kwante
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Cary,

As a 23 year old college grad that stays at home with her dad for free, free includes heath insurance I feel you...

I stay at home but I am fairly independent. My stepmom and dad got into it (I dont care for her anyway she tries and tricks him into thinking i want his money) and he put her out (it had nothing to do with me. I was away at school). So... he asked my twin sis and I if we wanted to move home and save. Of course we said yes.

My stepmom is pissed off Im sure because she has an 8 year old and I now stay in her old room. My dad allows us to stay at home but only because of student loans and the economy. His health insuance is the same price for family so keeping us on it doesnt cost him anything.

I am sure my situation is different (I met my dad when I was 19) but is there any chance your partner offers these things (the extra help)?

*** BTW If you live for free no one should even need to help you with your "luxuries" (cell phone, car insurance (for the car the parent bought for the child), health insurance, and extra cash)

We live for free but my Dad doesnt go for what he calls "freeloading". our rooms and health insurance is where it ends. Oh and we also have to feed him and my little brother, clean up his house (he's a neat freak!) and tutor our younger brother.

April 2, 2009
4:55 pm
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Mari Kwante
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I dont think you are unreasonable. If you dont allow a child to do their own thing, the never will.

Counseling sounds like a good idea, is there anyway you could do a family session with the children?

Mari

April 2, 2009
7:15 pm
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(((Cary)))

There is a chance that you would feel differantly if they were your own children, but saying that does not make it right. We as parents we all must set the boundraries no matter how much money we make or have in the bank, if we didn't we would be paying for our children forever.... it's only natural to want to help our own young adult children out, however that does not make it right at all. If my husband and I didn't set our boundraries with our own kids they would be coming to us for everything I'm sure. Instead they have learned how to budget their own money, and they don't have to come to us for help at all.

I never just say let me pay this bill for you or that expense, but occationally and if they don't ask I will as long as I know they are doing the best they can at the time pay a bill for them, but they also always offer to pay us back. Which is also another important lesson for young adult children to learn. It makes me feel bad sometimes when they pay us back but then again, I know it wouldn't be helping them if I said "oh don't worry about paying us back"...even if we don't need them to pay us back, it only is helping them in the long run become productive and responsible individuals, it's all part of growing up.

Just recently one of my son's moved into a new condo, and he had saved his money to purchase it, but when I went by to see him I noticed that he had no food in the frig.. so as a gift to him I went out and did some food shopping for him. He was greatful beyond words, and he never expected it... so once in a while I say go ahead and help young adult chilren out if your able to, but to pay their bills, cell phone, car insurance and medical insurance, sorry but they are capable of paying those bills, and they would just have to learn how to cut back if they didn't make enough to pay for those items.

You are in no way being unreasonable! You expect what should be expected in a relationship, and from adult children and you are seeing it all from a differant perpective, it would be nice if we as parents could see it from the outside perpective at times, because we wouldn't make some of the mistakes we make being at times blind to being taking advantage of... hang in there Cary, I know you care about your partner, and things will work out if they are meant to be.

Peace, H & P

April 2, 2009
11:10 pm
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studeious
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tell me miss away why r u runing from the truth?????????????? {life on life terms}>YOU CANT MAKE A BAD BALL GOOD<.

April 3, 2009
11:07 am
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caraway
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Mari,

Thanks for a younger person's view on this. I agree and would have no issue if she wanted to live in the house until she was better able to handle things on her own, but used her salary to pay for other things.

I expect them to remember their Dad on speical occasions in the same way they do their Mother (the same way he did for thrie Mother when they were still married). They have been taught that this is acceptable behavior. This man coached all of their little league activities, drove them all over to lessons, and school, paid for private school so they would get a good education, and ALWAYS tells them he loves them and hugs and kisses them. He put them first in everything he did.

I am tough on them partly because I appreciate what he does because I didn't know my Father and had several step-father's who were drunks and abusive. I moved out in highschool and lived with a friend, my football coach and his family, and finally in an apartment alone; all before turning 18. I have worked and paid my own way since the 7th grade and paid for my college education myself.

There is nothing wrong with you and your sister living with your Dad as long as you appreciate him, love him, and recognize that he is an adult and deserves a life and happiness of his own.

Thanks again for sharing.

Cary

April 3, 2009
12:03 pm
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fantas
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Cary, Your last post made think of how I would feel when I saw little girls being hugged, kissed, or in my perception spoiled by their parents and especially their mother. I felt jealous and sometimes downright hateful. I always found it incredible that they would misbehave or make any demands on their mother after she had been so sweet and loving to them. See, my mother was physically abusive and distant from me, was nice to my siblings, and I found myself in this jealous, envious, place, more often than not. Many years later, I was able to put the two together, and whenever I feel this pain, I now know to call it what it is. I feel the emotions and I always feel better. Regardless of the factual truth of the situation, I now get personal healing and growth from these situations.

I'm not saying that these children aren't taking their father for granted, because I think they are and he is letting them, for whatever reason. Maybe he feels guilty for being gay, divorcing their mother, and breaking up the family. I don't know. It's possible that he doesn't know either. However, I wonder if some of your upset over this situation is a subconscious projection of how you think you would treat your dad if he was as nice as this one is to his children. Do you think there is any truth to that? Watching this man with his children, is a constant reminder of what you didn't have, which causes you sadness that looks like anger or frustration.

I hope you find peace within yourself about this. Sounds like you have a beautiful relationship with the exception of this situation.

(((Cary)))

April 3, 2009
3:26 pm
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caraway
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fantas,

Lots to think about and I will certainly be aware of it this weekend. Thank you for sharing your story and taking time to write.

In his defense, he didn't want a divorce and didn't have any "expericences" with a man until he was 50 and divorced. Their Mother had been having an affair with her best friend's husband for 5 years. The couples and their children were all best of friends, until the divorce.

Cary

April 3, 2009
3:35 pm
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Mari Kwante
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Cary,

I was sharing because I guess I am kind of on the other side. I really appreciate him because I never had him before now....

The children should respect him, the life he has now and his spouse. It seems as if you really care about them and want them to grow into the adults they can be.

Abusing a parent is not acceptable. Maybe if he realizes that their behaivor is abuse he will see it more clearer.

April 3, 2009
9:07 pm
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studeious
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miss car, sometimes we feel that something is better than nothing; so we wimd up settling. only to regret it later. you appear to be a very wise women>yet hasty. Please please> let that fish go; or should i say gently take the hook out of hie mouth and throough him back..... sit your " " down for a minute and and focus on you... Baby you deserve so much more, and mr R is out there if you just give your self a break. Tell me> when did hast ever make anything besides wast?????? "life on life term" >>>>{IF YOU PLAY YOUR SELF LIKE A SUCKER/"CAT; HE IS GOING TO GET HIMSELF A BIG BAG OF KIBBLES AND BITS > AND THATS EXACTLY HOW HE IS GOING TO SERVE YOU; {FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE}... no tell me, do you really think that you deserve to be treated like that????????????

April 3, 2009
11:04 pm
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((( Bro )))

Thinking of ya, hope your weekend goes well.

H & P

April 6, 2009
1:41 pm
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caraway
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H&P,

Lots of conversation this weekend and distance. I just got so overwhelmed and irritable (if I was a woman I would have been accused of having PMS). I find that I am becoming increasingly short tempered and angry.

I asked that we spend the day apart yesterday and last night and really enjoyed my own space. As a result of the conversation on Friday night and Saturday he now wants to take me on a trip to "get away" and spend "quality" time together: I think that it because he thinks I am angry and it will ditract me. I really am not mad at him as much as I am dealing with the process of accepting that this probably just won't work.

Church, or I should say my Spiritual Thought service, was great yesterday in giving me some perspective. It is amazing how easily I can be thrown off course and forget just how great life is and get that hopeless feeling because a relationship isn't going the way I feel it should. I'm young, healthy, and have so much to look forward to; why would I allow something like this to weight so heavily on my life and future happiness?

Thanks for checking in.

Cary

April 7, 2009
12:15 pm
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truthBtold
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Hi Cary,

You know, for me, the thing that stuck out the most was your very valid and serious concern in your 4-2-09 reply in that he wants to move in with you, has made some bad investments and is headed for bankruptcy.

WHOA!!!!!

That's a HUGE ISSUE and cause for great concern on your part!!!!!

You ARE young and healthy and DO have much to look forward to!!!

If after 4 years, like you said in a previous post, you have never felt 'settled' with him, maybe - in after all this time, there is a very real possibility that maybe you never will, you know?

Maybe?

Good for you for gaining some perspective yesterday!

Here's hoping you have a great week!

tBt

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