Hello everyone! A little background might be helpful first. I have been married to my current husband for just over 6 years. I have two girls from a previous marriage that ended very badly when my oldest was 2 and I had just found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. Lets just say he was interested in younger girls and the police were involved. It was a very traumatic experience for me. I started dating my current husband when my youngest daughter was about 4 months old. We moved in together when she was almost two and my oldest was 4. He was basically the only father figure either of the girls had. I was very fortunate that he took them in and treats them as if they are his own. They love him so much!
My husband also has a daughter from a previous relationship. She was 7 when I first met her. She has always come back for the summer and stayed with her dad. While we were dating she would stay with me during the day because I had in home daycare. She continued to be with us in the summer and every other Christmas. We had a good relationship. The last 4 years when she has come for her summer visit she would mention that she wanted to stay and live with us. She lived with her grandmother and mother at the time. They were totally against it. This last summer she was 15 and could choose. So she stayed. Grandma was extremely upset and still won't speak to her. Her mother thought it was time for her to be with her dad. She stayed and we started our blended family for real, not just summer visitation. We were all so excited!
Then....real life set in! She just turned 16, my oldest daughter is 12, youngest daughter 8, and our son together is 5. The kids began to fight for my husband and I's undivided attention. The older two had resentments against each other because of past summer experiences. (They HATE each other) My step daughter shows special treatment towards her little brother because he is blood and the girls are not. I try and get interested in the things she likes, we talk, I try and be cool and fun. I made sure she had new clothes, shoes, and supplies for school. Made sure she got where she needed to be for activities and time with friends. I thought I was being a good step mother. I would get irritated by her constant arguing and begging when I told her no and her insistent need to tease her sisters and boss them around as if she were the mother. It also irritated me when she ran to her fathers car as he pulled in the drive to greet him so she could monopolize his attention the rest of the evening.
A couple months ago I started to feel very overwhelmed by my work schedule as a teacher, the kids' schedules and keeping the peace at home. My husband and I have had some communication problems for a while about basically everything. We actually separated a year ago due to our lack of communication. I told him early on that I was feeling stressed and at a loss to stop our dysfunction in the mornings and evenings. (School hours were the best1 They were away from each other and me!) I continued on my own dealing with EVERYTHING including our finances, meals and maintaining our home. I started to have a few drinks at home each night to chill out and then those drinks led to even more drinks. My moods became irritable and I would lash out in hurtful words to my husband and the kids. One night, while drinking, I tried telling him and he shut down completely. I felt so alone and scared that I told him I was going to kill myself. I had nothing left. I tried leaving and he grabbed me and threw me on the floor. Another argument shortly after this physical altercation, my step daughter tried entering the conversation and I told her to "SHUT UP!" My husband slapped me across the face. I realized the drinking was a problem, but I needed something to feel numb. We went on like this for a while and then I stopped the drinking. I realized the pain it was causing. I continued trying to do everything alone and then I had it! I confronted my husband for his lack of support, drive for his life, lack of compassion, inability to communicate, his defensive ways, and basically anything else I could think of. I have so many resentments towards him. A week or so went by and I read two books about fixing our marriage and I tried being confrontation free. Then one night I came home and my husband grabbed his daughter and told her all the things I was needing to hear as his wife. He held her tight and told her he loved her and that he didn't tell her that enough. He said that everything was going to be fine! I was pissed! I don't think I am jealous of her and their relationship because most of the time he ignores her and leaves her upbringing to me. I guess the words made me jealous. I told him I was in it for the long haul and was willing to and wanted to get help for our family. He said he didn't know what he wanted. I asked him if he wanted to stay married. He said "NO!" He and his daughter have been out of the house for a week now. I am sad, lonely, want help for all of us, but it has also been less stressful and I have to be honest and say I don't know if I can deal with his daughter moving back in without the right support from my husband and a professional. He has been over and said that he would go to counseling but he does not know if he can handle the fact that he put his hands on me. He did not want to be that kind of husband and that is what he wants to do when we talk. It makes me sick to think this is what we have become. I think the whole thing is a lack of communication on everyones part. We all get defensive and nothing ever gets solved Any advice or do I move on?