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Frustrated and Need Advice!

Posted by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM
  • 17 Replies

Hello. My name is Jennifer. I haven't been on here much so I'm relatively new to this site.

Need to vent and get advice.

I am a step-mom to 4 boys ages, 14, 11, and twins that are 9. I just married their father in March 2012. Their mother is in the picture and the parents have 50/50 custody of all four boys. They jump from their mom's house to ours every other week. I understand, to an extent, that it is very hard on them.


My husband and I have very different views on how to discipline children. However, I have never had any children. I am basing my disciplining view upon the way I was raised.

My husband is one of those types that does not want to put boundaries around his kids. He basically lets them take over and they know they can get away with anything when they are over at our house. I try my best to get the boys to mind their father and myself. I stick up for their father all the time. If they are asked to do something from either one of us, then most of the time, the answer is yelled in our faces, "NO!" This mostly happens to my husband...and he takes it. It is different with me. I don't take talking back to me. However, when I try and correct the kids when doing that, I get yelled at by my husband. is that fair?

Granted, since I am still not used to being a step-mom, I have a lot to learn on how to do things but I know that I am not supposed to let the kids run all over me which is what their father allows them to do to him.

What am I supposed to do? I have threatened many times to call their mother, who actually does set boundaries and disciplines the kids when warrented, but I never have....until last night.

I called her and told her all the stuff that has been going on. I did not "diss" my husband but told her the actions of the boys and how they treat their father. She told me that my husband was like that when they were married and it was one of the many reasons their marriage broke apart. She will be taking them tonight for "her week" and will be talking to the boys.

She suggested that me, my husband, and her have a "family talk" with the boys to set rules in both places and not just hers. This is of course, if my husband will agree to this which he has not responded to me as of this morning when I mentioned it to him.

If I get upset at the kids, they don't get yelled at....I do. Before I got married to their father, he mentioned to me that he believes in God's "umbrella". The hierachy of God, then him, then me, then the kids....this has come to not be true. I am barely underneath the umbrella and am having to defend myself against his kids.

I am at my wits end. I love my husband and I love his kids but as of right now, I don't like them very much. I have gone to counseling with my pastor and his wife once and will probably do so again soon.

Any and all suggestions would be helpful even if you choose to tell me that it is all my fault. Sometimes, I feel as if it is all my fault, but from what I understand from family members, that the boys were worse before I came into the picture. I know that I have done a lot of wrong things and I have the tendency to make things worse, according to my husband, but I really am at a loss as to what to do now....except pray.

Thanks in advance for your willingness to read this rant of mine, for your prayers, and for your replies if you choose to do so.


by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:15 AM
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by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:26 AM
If dad doesn't want to discipline that's on him. If I were you I'd disengage until he gets to the point where he can no longer ignore the bad behavior. I wouldn't have taken it as a good sign when Bm said it's one of the reasons she ended it.

Did you andyour Dh discuss these things before you were married? I just can't grasp the concept of marrying a man like that and expecting him to change After you're married.
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by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:34 AM

I'm sorry about your situation. It is difficult enough becoming a new step mother especially when you have no experience with your own children. I also got 4 young step kids when I got married and having no prior experience with children, it was not easy. Luckily, my husband made sure the children always respected me and he also respected my decisions/ ideas on disipline and raising the kids. What I'm trying to say is..had I not had my husbands full support we wouldn't have lasted as long as we have. I don't see how your relationship is going to last if things continue on the way they have been. I think your huband needs counseling or parenting classes. BM's idea of a "family talk" sounds like a good idea. Hang in sounds like you are doing the best you can...but something needs to change.

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:37 AM looks like I am going to have to disengage. Every time the boys come home to our house, they always want to talk to me about the things they did in school. They want me to help them with homework and I will do that. But...I will not be able to do anything else. Yes...we talked about this beforehand and he said he wanted my help as what I had mentioned sounded good to him...but now that I tried to implement these things, he gets really angry. I think he is scared of his ex-wife. He is afraid that if he does anything to the boys that she will take them away from him and he won't see them again. He has very bad fear issues. I have tried and tried to talk with him but he only gets extremely upset. He sees that is OK for him to correct me, which I know that I need correction at times, but if I try and do the same to him, he goes off on a rant and says that he would rather God take him out of the situation (i.e. for him to die)....and he does this in front of the boys. They yell at him not to say those kinds of things. He really has a problem. Spiritually. He says he knows all about the Bible and wants to teach me more but knowing the Bible and knowing God are two different things. I know that I have a lot to learn but it seems as though he does as well....and he is the father.

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:41 AM

I really wish my husband would back me up. I am having to defend myself against the boys and he just sits there. Then he explodes and tells me that if I wasn't on them then peace would be in the house....there was never peace in the house before I got can I make it worse? Honestly, I want to stay in this family....I love all involved....but I really don't know how much more I can take.

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Sorry to hear about your situation.  I'm in a similar household and we've worked out MOST of the discipline issues. But the foundation starts with their BF.  He has GOT to be on board about what is acceptable in both households - that way when you "enforce" you're enforcing Dad's rules, not your own.  

I also use their BM's family to back me up, i.r. My SD's have a very strict (maternal) grandmother who is a neat freak!  So when they leave something out, I simply say "what would Nanny do here?" and they get the point.  This way, I'm not the evil stempother and they get their butts in gear.  

by Silver Member on Jan. 14, 2013 at 12:03 PM
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It appears you have two different issues going on.  ONE:  You have an issue with the way your DH chooses to parent his kids, and TWO:  You have an issue with your SS's disrespecting you and/or your property.  There is nothing you can do about #1.  Your DH is a grown man who can stand up for himself.  If his own sons yell at him, it's HIS job to defend himself and teach them the proper way to act.  YOU shouldn't be stepping in and trying to defend him in situations like that.  That is where the "disengaging" comes in. 

However, if one of the kids is mean to you, destroys your property, doesn't respect your privacy, or anything that would fall into those categories, then you have every right to be upset and expect something to be done.  If your DH allows this type of behavior, then you have a RELATIONSHIP problem, not a stepkid problem.  Kids are going to be kids and they are going to try to get away with stuff, especially in a situation where they KNOW they can and Dad won't do anything.  You can only enforce so much before your authority runs out.  You can't control how Dad decides to parent, but you should have some control on how he protects you from his kids.  For example, if Dad doesn't think the boys should have to do their homework everyday, then that's between Dad and his kids.  But if the kids destroy your kitchen everyday after school without cleaning up, that's disrespectful to YOUR SPACE and your life.  It directly affects you and you have every right to expect something to be done about it. 

If Mom seems to get better results than Dad, then I'd call Mom with my concerns.  This really is more of a relationship issues between you and your DH than anything else. 

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I think it will be difficult to disengage knowing the way that I am...trying to protect my husband but it will have to come to that. I will do what I have to do in order for these kids to grow up knowing that both parents love them completely but they are not allowed to disrespect anyone. Including their parents, myself, teachers, etc. They are really smart kids and I know that they know right from wrong. I don't completely understand the whole "testing the grounds" thing but I know they are doing it. To be honest, I don't think I ever had any authority with them. They know that their dad will get mad at me if I do they take advantage of that. I wonder what the purpose was of him asking me to help him when he won't allow me to do so.

Oh...they know how to take advantage because they leave the whole house in a complete mess and I am the one that has to clean it up. I tried doing the "chore chart" with them but it got to the point where they would complain and tell me they wouldn't do their chore when it came time to do it. So....I stopped. My husband asked me why I stopped it and I told him has not been reimplemented because I know that I will eventually have to do everything myself anyway.

I am currently looking for a my husband as well as his kids "use" me thinking that since I am at home all day that I have the time to clean up their messes. How are they to learn how to do it for themselves when I am the one who is ending up being a slave in my own house?

I have talked with my hubby about this and things are OK for a while but it always goes back to the same ol' same ol'. I've had it. I honestly feel used, abused, and that I am a slave to everyone else in this household. This is partly my fault as I have allowed this to happen.

Maybe if I left all their mess alone all week and see that I don't do anything....maybe they will do something the next time they are here with us. I won't touch their rooms and that is a major feat to get them to clean up their rooms. It is a constant yelling match...every other week. I don't want to do that and I don't want to be this way...I am so lost.

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:01 PM seems as though my husband is open to the family meeting. Hopefully, we can get something accomplished.

Thanks for all the replies and all those to come.


by Ruby Member on Jan. 14, 2013 at 1:16 PM

 i see problems in your future. my SO anhd i bump heads over the skids sometimes but not to this extent and he knows better than to yell at me about shit his kids do.

by on Jan. 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM

Yes...well. I am hopeful that I can talk with my hubby about that without him getting all spastic on me.

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