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WhenIsItTooMuch??
February 26, 2001
2:46 pm
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nolongerdade
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OK..my first time here. First-the facts: Second marriage for both my wife and I. Married two years this time, each married 10 years before. Me-childless, her with one son (10 y.o.).
I'm passive, she's much more prone to outbursts, which I've learned to tolerate. We argue 3 - 5 times/week, every weekend. Times when son is at Dad's are good times. I don't fear her, BUT...she's been pushy before in a physical way. Is it weird that a woman pokes a finger into your chest or your forehead, demanding that you admit when you're wrong? We talk much...she would be happy if I backed out of discipling her child (missed homework, usual kid stuff). There's no physical discipline, I just prefer guidelines. She tells me I'm a Control Freak with her son. Well..without going on with "He said, she said"...we had some counseling last year. Most visits she was very angry. Cornered me after one of them. Now I can leave this situation, but (as with everyone) there are some really good qualities with her...dedication to work and family, good business sense, and more. But the hole in my self esteem is widening, and I think "escape thoughts" like building my own home or taking a job out of town to get away. I have brought up the yelling and aggression. Do I remove myself or demand change? And can you REALLY expect someone to change what comes out of them on a weekly basis??

February 26, 2001
8:00 pm
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Molly
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#1, back off the boy, you will never do the right thing. If there was much time between you, and the dad, you interfered with his mom and his relations with her, where he was the man.You have no idea what the dad is saying. Your the other man. You may come from different places, or you may both be on the same page. Mom's flat out are enabeling. We come from a different place than you guys, true its your job, to lay down the law, but with blended families, everyone looses. I bet all the marital problems surround the child and child rearing, could be wrong, but there are counselors who specialize in this. Send the boy to dad's, get mom relaxed, and tell her that you love her. Then suggest that you want to make this work, your human, yada yada yada, and get the conversation going, and leave your ego in the trunk of the car. Getting physical is for the bed room, and when she gets to that point, unless it is something that she learned in her family dynamics, she feels cornered. Mama hen protecting her nest. I bet she fears reprocussion from the bio dad. You can't go totally passive, you'll be wrong for that too. but don't leave, its the same dance different partner. hard to find women with out children these days, and you don't stand a chance, but are ahead of the game with out one of your own. Keep working at it, don't give up, or give in to much,and you should be ok.

February 27, 2001
9:28 am
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Alena
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At the risk of being the mother hen Molly speaks of, exacly why do you have to discipline the boy for missed homework or normal kid stuff? Where's Mom? Sorry, I don't see how that would fall under your jurisdiction.

You are NOT his dad. If it was something extreme such as child being in fights, mouthing off to Mom, skipping school, drugs, big stuff, then I'd say you and Mom should discuss with each other and then together deal with it. If you want to speak to the boy about his missed homework or whatever, fine, but discipline? I don't think so.

What will help your marriage is for your wife to see you "LIKE" her son.
Genuinely think he's a good kid. This will endear you to her.

Perhaps you aren't even aware of what you project as a step-parent. Wife may be picking up on an anomosity by you towards her son and that's nothin but fuel to her fire. I have been there, I have felt those exact emotions. With one son to compete with, your ego may be lashing out at him and she's getting defensive for him.

Step back and take a good honest look at your relationship with him. Would YOU like to be him in this relationship? Is it possible you're giving him a harder time than you would anybody else's kid because she loves him and you feel just a tad threatened?

My husband adopted my son when he was 2 years old, and he's been a good dad, but in my judgement, he has always treated him a bit more harshly than our other son and in the beginning it was just as you describe. When I look back, my husband was threatened by my love and support for my son. And it was a vicious cycle. The more he was threatened, the more I defended, and the more I defended, the more he was threatened.

Back off of her son and see how it goes for a while. She may ask for your assistance once she sees you have no agenda. Good luck.

February 27, 2001
9:57 am
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nolongerdade
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Although I didn't like everything I heard, I do think both of you were right on it. My thanks for incisive stuff I know I needed to hear!

February 27, 2001
12:01 pm
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Molly
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Alena,
You articulated exactly correct what went on in our house, it was like constant competition for mom's attention. The girls surrendered, and I thought it was just teenage stuff, we had our time when HE was not arround. I completely forgot about that stuff, it was a constant battle. Part of why we never became the Brady bunch. I think to that is why he never wanted to bring his son's into the group, less for him.If you were to diagram the family, it was me and the girls, him and his boys, then there was he and I. It sucked.Today, it is he and I, his kids, and my girls call, once and a while. Again reminded of the consequence of divorce, and why they rebelled against my return to my spouse.

February 27, 2001
4:28 pm
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Alena
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And this is why in a previous thread I confessed that, even having been a single mom at one time, I IMPLORED both of my sons to try to avoid a woman with a child. No offense to the woman or the child, it is just a quicksand type relationship that fails more than succeeds. 26 years of it over here and the defensive reaction is just as sharp today as it was all those years ago.

nolongerdade, I don't envy you and I can empathize. I wish you the strength to hurdle over this.

Molly, I think they should have yanked that damn Brady Bunch off the air and strangled them all for perpetuating such a myth. More like "Jekyll and Hyde". Before I married him, I was happy go lucky, kind hearted, free spirited. The constant disputes drained me. After 2 hospitalizations with major depression, leaving him twice, ulcers for 20 years, we are still together. The boys have been moved out for 4 years now and most of the time we're cool. But the minute they come into the house, the defenses come alive and I can just see a change in him also. It's ridiculous. He's much better, but it's still so ridiculous.

February 28, 2001
10:13 pm
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pg lova
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Nolongerdade,

It seems to me you have made the same mistake (God forgive the expression) I did. I am engaged (for the 4th time around). The problem is that when you leave one person, you tend to gravitate toward people with similar characteristics as the person you left. Are you seeing a pattern you saw in your last marriage. It seems to me that just like me, you are with someone who though she is not your ex-wife (yet), she has a similar personality. My advice is to get out of that marriage. You don't need the hurt that is sure to come if you don't. Believe me, I know! With my first three fiancees (though we never made it to the altar), I tried to hold on, but I just couldn't take the aggravation and I exploded. After that I felt as though my world was crumbling. Give her an ultimatum, straighten up or you're gone. If she doesn't comply, just go. Then if you ever do decide to remarry, do not search for anyone with a similar attitude. Go to counseling and find out what you're looking for.

PG Lova

March 2, 2001
6:43 pm
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Ladeska
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She's already had the red light blarring in her face that this is abuse and she still doesn't get it. Doesn't want to get it. Control freaks are quite arrogant about putting pins in their favorite voodoo doll. It's about them not taking responsibility for their own guilt and making "you" wear it. She's projecting.

Sometimes, people just don't like guilt, even if it's the good kind. Maybe they grew up under a heavy hand where they were wrong for things they didn't do all the time. Thus, creating an intolerance for guilt at all. This would explain the outbursts and the unwillingness to be wrong at all costs.

I'm afraid you may have to duck out of this one, but if you do - do it right. Be up front and tell her why you've come to your limit here. I'd make sure I had all my ducks in a row legally as well before you talk to her because people like her get real vindictive when their favorite dog to kick is removing themselves.

No, I wouldn't give her anymore chances, not at all. I was married to a control freak and let me tell you - life was hell! I was always wrong and even in counseling - he was a complete bear, finally stopped coming at all. Even when I walked - it was still all my fault and he demanded that I stay in the marriage. Yeah right. I don't think so. Even had the nerve to say - then who will contend with me!!!! Geez, go find a rock somewhere and wail away, Dude.

You don't need to take this and believe me "boundaries" she's not going to like - but you have to do it. Go pick up a book called "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud. Good book for you. "People of the Lie" by Dr. Scott Peck is another excellent book for you. It's heavy duty but oh so true.

March 3, 2001
8:54 am
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cerry
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Dear Nolongerdade,

I just read your thread and from what I am hearing/seeing it sounds to me as if you are not a very happy person in the home front overall. From what I am reading you already seem to know what you want. It sounds like to me that too much is now "Too Much". From what I have read your marriage doesnt sound too great. Your wife sounds over bearing in my books. No one even in the heat of an arguement should be pointing fingers whether you are male or female. Having that many arguments a week and including weekends tells me there is not much lovey dovey in that home. Maybe I am old fashioned but I always heard and thought that when you marry someone you marry their children. I do believe this because if you think about it it does reflect and affect your relationship with your partner. At least in this case it seems to be.
You stated that there was no physical abuse, well poking someone in the chest is "a form of physical abuse". I guess it depends on where you live to. I my opinion, prior to marrying someone there should be "SET GUIDELINES" as to raising children and disciplining children. If not those children will reflect on YOUR life and YOUR wifes too causing conflicts between the two of you. If that child stays in your home to live part-time or full-time , you SHOULD be able to say what you feel and discipline within reason and mostly, within, the set guidelines otherwise YOU have no control of your own household. I really feel for you. I am in a similiar situation but the difference is we both have children. As a parent and partner you should rightly be involved in both ends of the situation otherwise you get walked over. Todays kids are not the same as when I was growing up. They do things we older generations would never have even thought of doing. If we are not allowed to discipline kids in this world today even if it is telling them to pick up after themselves, do your homework, or guide them in a situation that you feel could be harmful to them, then you shouldn't even be there. In your home there does not seem to be any harmony what so ever. You being the passive individual and your wife being the aggressive one do you not feel like you have no control of your own life? I can understand why your self esteem is progressively decreasing. I am not the one that has to make the decision but this is my own opinion to what I see and hear. TAKE CONTROL, of the situation or the situation will take over you. This does not imply taking over but imply that you sit down with your wife and explain how the whole situation is making you feel. That child is part of your marriage no matter what anyone says. That child lives with you. I understand the wife not wanting you to get involved but she too has to understand that she is not the only one living in the house too. What should have happened from the start and including the bio father is what you can do to ASSIST with the child as the child is also in your care whether the bio parents think so or not. It does affect your life!!
I feel that the situation has come to point where it doesn't matter what you think in the situation, you have no say at all. You appear to be very frustrated and unhappy that you want to PACK your bags and make a home for yourself. If it were me but I know it isn't , I would leave. I would give myself and break and go a make some major decisions in my life as to what, where, and how I was going to make things right in my life. I wish all the best. ....don't forget I am not you and you have other things that we all here may not know about but your happiness is at stake. Life is too short for unhappiness. Go find you happiness and LIVE not EXIST. That is only MY opinion....
Take care
Cerry

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