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Who comes first? Spouse? or Kids?
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Who comes first? Spouse? or Kids?

I really would like some educated answers before I give my reasons for asking.
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Avatar_f_tn
i would say kids. i dont have a spouse (as you kno) but if i did.......my children come first
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Avatar_f_tn
this is a question that is very difficult.  i feel differently about it today than i did years ago with my ex husband (not why he is an ex lol).  i think husband.  saying that i dont mean the kids are ignored, needs unmet, feel lonely.  what i mean is my husband will be here for years, the kids will eventually move away and start their own lives.  my baby is taken care of when she cries, my son has my attention and i play with both of them, dont take it as i ignore them for the needs of my husband.  really its more of an "everyone is important not just the baby or kids" kind of attitude i have.  

since having addy my dh has felt like he has been put on the back burner with breastfeeding, taking care of the 10 yr old, and well myself? ya right lol.  so i have made sure i take the time to keep him happy too.  it seems to me that as a woman who stays home i can forget he has needs, its "what about me >? i have been home all day, cooking, cleaning, taking care of the kids"  but what about him? he drives to work an hour each way.  works in the heat, doesnt always have time to eat lunch, works 10 hours plus a day AND  a job on the weekend, he has needs as well and i dont want to forget about that.  they need us, more than we realize.  

did this make sense?
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Avatar_f_tn
It made perfect sense to me.
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165078_tn?1255610007
Does it come to that?  I would always put dd first but I dont think I have had to choose yet?  If the spouse is not understanding of the child's needs of mom then maybe but most are.  

Always make time for your spouse even if it is hard.
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Avatar_f_tn
I think we sometimes lose ourselves in our kids.  I have thought for a long time that the kids should come first, but I read a post on another forum today that got me to thinking.  Before Ava was born Craig always came first, and I thought I came first in his life.  It seems now that it has flip flopped, and I think our relationship has suffered because of it.
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172023_tn?1334675884
Oh, this should be good!

*puts popcorn in the microwave*

Kids obviously have to totally depend on their parents for a long time, so their needs come first.  But if you neglect the relationship with your partner, the kids suffer, so that relationship has to have some priority.

So you have to find some way to balance them, I suppose.

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13167_tn?1327197724
This is kind of one of those questions that doesn't have a clear answer - like "Is it ever okay to lie"?  

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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with you.  We have multiple children in our home.  My daughters needs are met first.  

But what about family functions?  Can't mommy and daddy take a trip alone?  That doesn't mean we love the kids any less, right?  

It is my birthday weekend, and we planned a trip to go to the lake.  It seems that ALL of the functions and fun stuff has been planned around the kids.  I want to stomp my feet and cry!  :)
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145992_tn?1341348674
All relationships go through strain when a new baby comes.  All the focus that was once about the two of you is now put on that one person.  It's a very difficult balance in the beginning.  Eventually it works itself out though when the child gets a little older and there is more consistency.  New babies are adjustments and a lot of relationships suffer because of it.  You are exhausted, sleep deprived, have difference in opinions when it comes to taking care of a baby, fighting if one of you is doing more than the other.  It's hard to maintain a normal relationship during that.  I would say you need to take some date nights.  My fiance and I do every couple of weeks.  Just so we feel like a couple again.  You can't forget about that either.  But so early on the baby comes first.
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Avatar_f_tn
its not about ignoring babies needs at all.  they are always met.  its not ignoring dh everytime kids need you, they can take their turn.  its making sure that you have time with dh to talk about his day, your day, the future, whatever that doesnt involve the words boobymilk, diaper, poopy lol.  its not saying to him 'you have to wait you are not as important" which is how they must feel. its not saying they need to realize and understand, they are human and have feelings like us, the kids. we forget that they are men and do have emotions and needs, its selfish to assume they dont need any attention or love because of that or the kids.

babyhardiman its true, things change after the baby comes.  marriage can suffer.  i think taking the time to realize that spouses are forever. what happens when our kids go off to live their lives, and we are in a ;rotten marriage because dh was always put last?  it cant be a good thing.  we dont get babysitters, but i do put addison in her play exercaucer give her toys on the floor and i rub his back, or we talk, or i just watch a sports show with him (what a loser i am calling a game show lol).  he makes sure i am taken care of as well, he helps with dishes, folds laundry, whatever he can to make sure i have a part of him as well.  its teamwork!  it took a second marriage to get it right, but i got it right ;)
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Avatar_f_tn
Well, I see it as balancing act. You have to try to make everyone happy.

But when it comes right down to it.....my kids always came first.

They are long gone now and I'm still married, so I must have done something right!
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Avatar_f_tn
spouse.  here's why.  if you have heard that saying - the best thing a man can do for his children is to love their mother?  

if the parents love and nurture each other the love and nurture of the children flows seemlessly.  the opposite is not true.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I didn't mean that the way that it sounded "We have multiple kids in our home. My daughters needs are met first."  Obviously I am her mother and I am breastfeeding, so if she is upset, has a dirty diaper, or needs to be fed, of course she will come before someone wanting me to play Go Fish, or her Daddy needing another beer.

I am wondering "what about me".  I know the kids go to school all day and it's hard, and I know he works 9 hours or more a day in the hot sun and that's hard, and I am stuck here cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, taking care of the dogs... blah blah blah.. it seems we have NO TIME for "us" anymore.
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Avatar_f_tn
some of you will take what i said as ignoring kids.  its not that at all!! my kids have needs met and dh knows that when baby needs to eat he does have to wait. lets not start a war over what she asked, this is a good thread i hate to see it pulled.

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Avatar_f_tn
BabyHardiman- say you put your foot down. have a mommy daddy, birthday trip for you

but take the kids somewhere else the following weekend or something. hell a amusement parks always a winner with the kids

that way they dont feel left out and you two get your time together
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165078_tn?1255610007
oh I see now - and you have my 100% support to stomp your feet!  I find that when I want my time I am left to feel guity about it and I think it is because we are mom's and we just wait for the one word to come out of whoever is saying it's mouth to push us to give away our alone time.  I wanted to take a trip for a couple days and I felt like EVERYONE was making me feel like a horrible mom.  I thought my fiance and I needed a weekend.  We are great parents and partners but, as you know, family comes first.  Not that its the kids that come first it is family that comes first which includes your spouse and well we were loosing each other in the middle of all of the family stuff. When I started to plan something I got comments from my mother and my sister and well, that trip went down the toilet and I like you will be taking dd with me on our "alone" vacation:)

WIll you be going to the lake with any other adults that you trust.  if so ask one to babysit for you as a birthday present and ask your spouse to take you out on a date.

I got my first date in months a couple weeks ago it was so nice.
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145992_tn?1341348674
Your needs need to be met also.  Absolutely.  When we are mothers we tend to lose ourselves.  We are mothers, wives, girlfriends, blah blah blah...it's endless.  We are truly amazing creatures.  Take some time for you.  Give him the baby, go get your hair done, a mani/pedi or massage.  Something for yourself.  It's important that you are taking care of as well or else you won't do a good job taking care of others either.  Date nights are very helpful, I swear to you.
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Avatar_f_tn
then i believe your question should be when do you come first.  as moms we are pulled in 1000000 directions.  we can feel overwhelmed especially when an infant is totally dependant on us with breastfeeding.  last night i was feeling frustrated.  addison wants just me and wants to be held all the time.  after dinner i put on my running shoes, gave addy to daddy, told caleb id be back and i went out jogging.  i wasnt gone long, but it felt great to have time to me!  we can get lost in our identity. torn between wife, mom , woman.   there is time for sure we need to remember we have many suits we wear and take care of all of them.  its not healthy to ignore our needs as a person outside mom and wife imo
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515251_tn?1254446801
i would say kids first
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287246_tn?1318573663
I agree with pertykitty.  If you never pay attention to your relationship, it will most likely end in divorce.  So, would that be good for the kids?  And as pertykitty said, the kids will be gone one day living their lives and you will be left with your spouse.....

I actually have the opposite problem.  I know a relationship needs to be maintained.  It's my husband that doesn't seem to get that part.  He says "Oh, we have a great relationship".  He says that he is happy.  I say "Oh really"?  I guess it depends on who you ask then!!!  LOL
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Avatar_f_tn
Good quote!  Makes sense to me.

pertykitty
Sounds like our men are similar.  I love that time together.  Rubbing his back, or playing with his hair, scratching his head... makes me want to go rent a movie.  I did buy Dirty Dancing last weekend.  :)

I want the kids to be secure, all of them.  I want to be secure in my relationship.. and security is TOUGH, you shouldn't base your life on being "secure" I know that.  But it is easy to get wrapped up in your kids and forget about the other half.  I think in my relationship we are both upset with each other because Ava is usually in my arms, but the other kids are in his.  We barely sleep alone together anymore.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have tried to make time for everyone.  for caleb we talk about what he wants, play the game he wants ect.  for addison, well she is a baby so its all about hugs and kisses lol.  when it comes to me and dh i put addy down, she is happy to play with her toys though.  caleb goes to play or sometimes down the street to grandmas so we can run errands without the distraction.  my kids are secure i hope, i dont ignore them, i love them all day long. being 10 i have explained to caleb i love him very much but moms and dads need time together like he needs time with me alone.  he gets that now.  

we are getting addison in her crib, its a rough but we are being strong now haha.  he did say during the night when addy wasnt in between us "o my god i can cuddle with you!" lol.  

every family is different in what they feel is important or what works for them. i say if it make you all happy, then you are doing what is best for all of you.
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167_tn?1374177417
Spouse comes first, IMO. If you put each other first and together show love for your kids and each other, things seem to flow much better. In my last marriage, I did not do this. Big mistake...this time, I am and it seems to work better that way. We never hesitate to tell the girls that we need alone time and we do make time to do things together without them and our son. It was one of the things I made clear before Brody came. I told him we still need to make time for each other. This is the first time around for him and he would be perfectly satisfied putting the kids first...but understands why and goes with the flow. When the kids are gone, you have to have an intact relationship with each other.

Put your foot down. Demand time alone with each other. Stomp if you have to.
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15480_tn?1302533402
I agree that you have to take care of your daughter but you also need to make time for yourself and your husband. Your relationship with your husband has to be made a priority also. It is a hard balancing act especially in the beginning but it should get easier. Good luck and Happy Birthday! :)
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Avatar_f_tn
The reason I asked it like I did is because this happens ALL THE TIME.  The kids are at the forefront of our minds.  He didn't even REMEMBER that is was my BIRTHDAY this weekend when he planned all this extra stuff.  We do not even have time for a dinner ALONE.  When I planned the trip it was "oh yeah we will go alone, and we will leave on Thursday, we'll have some fun on the jetskies, and we'll roast some marshmellows at night (my all time FAVORITE snack).. then a couple of days later he asked "why don't we bring the kids and your mom can watch them?"  OK, not a problem  Well then one day got cutt off because the kids have school on Friday, so now we can't leave until everyone is out of school.  OK Fine, I can miss one day.  THEN he plans all this other stuff... urgh, I do not even want to go into to it.  I think I'll just bring a big bottle of muscodine wine with me, and blow everyone off.  I have PLENTY of milk pumped for Ava.  :)  I just really wanted that adult time.  I guess I'm not as fun as the kidos.

But I can't say that I've put him first in my line of thinking lately either.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I can say that it is wearing me down quickly always putting the kids first.  I miss some of the times that we had together before little miss Ava was born.  And I miss the times that we shared PLANNING how we would blance, and have structure so that we still have time for each other.  

All those nights I complained about watching American Idol... l did not know at the time that I would MISS those nights TERRIBLY.  :(
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Avatar_f_tn
i have learned the hard way that men cant read our minds.  you wanted him to know, remember, understand, and he thought oh a fun weekend.  we have had disagreements because of him not reading my mind haha. i have learned to just plain tell him what i want, need, expect.  it has been so much better, i dont even have to say much lately because he has taken the initiative to try to just know what my needs might be.  BUT i still remind him so i can have them met without disappointment.  

maybe its time to find a date night for you both, even if the kids leave and you stay home!
summer is hard with kids home all day, no time for us, and then another needing us when they come home.  i do love it though, wish it was summer all the time with school breaks haha.

sit down with him and both of you come up with a few needs that you feel are very important to have happen.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I am exhausted to be honest with you.  I kick myself daily for letting it get this way.  It is time to start taking care of each others needs first.  As you said, the kids will be gone starting a life for themselves one day, and I want my relationship to still be strong in 18 years.  :)  I want to be able to talk about more than what is going on in 2nd grade or kindergarten, or what Ava's poops looked like that day.  What about his day?  How is he feeling inside.  Sometimes I think couples mask what they are feeling and use the kids lives to cover up their true feelings.
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13167_tn?1327197724
BH, maybe it might be best to plan adults only stuff for the adults only.  Like,  a night on the town or an adults only restaurant.

I can't imagine going to the lake without my kids,  as an adult celebration.  To me,  the kids make the lake fun.  Going with my my husband would be less fun for both of us,  because it's a family activity.

But going some place that the kids either wouldn't be welcome or would hate is often a lot of fun for us - can you opt for that instead?
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162279_tn?1270604959
Well here is my two cents. Through 20 years and 7 kids, my spouse comes first.

Now, when I have a newborn, then of course things shift for a while. But only for a few months.It is very important to me to have time with my husband, even if its just watching a Seinfeld episode and having chips and salsa. And we NEVER, go to bed without the other. If he stays up late to get something done, I do too. We always go to bed together.We talk, sometimes its only for just five minutes,and  I am usually laying on his chest, then we kiss goodnight.

I agree ONE HUNDRED PERCENT with alikat. I LOVE that quote, its on my fridge! lol."The best thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."
If your spouse comes last, you take a huge risk in losing your relationship. With divorce so prevalent these days, its risky to let your relationship suffer by never putting it on the front burner. And then what does that do to your kids?---indirectly, you are hurting them much more than if you had spent a little less time with them and given it to your spouse in order to maintain a healthy relationship.

My kids know that Sunday nights are for mommy and daddy. We lock our doors and take a bath in our jetted tub together. (I have teen daughters, so everyone is well taken care of.) We play a game, we watch somthing on T.V. (cuddling), we talk, we...do other things...:) and it is AWESOME!

And I agree with the others who said that when the love flows between mommy and daddy, everything flows for the whole family. I TRULY believe this with all my heart.

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15480_tn?1302533402
Well said!! I agree with what you said 100 percent!
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Avatar_f_tn
I agree with what Jenny100 said.  I think that your spouse needs to come first, and you need to have time alone together.  In my opinion, your marriage is the foundation of your home, and if that is shaky, the environment your kids live in will be as well.  I think it goes without saying not to neglect your children, but I don't think getting a babysitter for them while you 2 go out is neglect by any means.  DH and I try and work in 1 date night a week, and we make it a priority to spend time alone together each day at night before we go to bed and try and connect during the day (like a phone call or email).  It keeps us connected and strong so we can be there for our son.  

Like another poster said, your children will grow up and move away, but your spouse will still be there those years later.
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551549_tn?1227282147
My husband and I are both the same, we love doing stuff as a family.  We are pretty down to earth and honest with each other.  Its not that we dont like doing stuff just the two of us, it just seems like we are missing something if our kids arent there.  However, we both work, so I think that is a little different, we dont have as much time with them.  We got married and had our kids in our 30s, and we can both save we made the most of our single life, and our time alone together before our kids. My husband knows that my kids mean everything to me and that I love him so much, but that our kids always come first.We enjoyed our time before our kids, now we have a different time while we have our kids and they are still young, and we will have our lives by ourselves once again when they are grown and out of the house.  We havent lost each other, our relationship has just progressed to a different place and level, and we both want that.  Now, we still enjoy
our brief moments here and there when our parents will be late bringing the kids home or something :)
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Avatar_n_tn
I would say the marriage must be the priority, obviously the childrens needs come first as they need to be fed, clothed, attended to as they are not self sufficiant.I do know that if the relationship with the spouse is not the priority then usually the marriage ends up doomed, this is especially true with blended families as one person may feel guilt over their children and the other one jealousy.  Its a difficult situation to be in, I had 3 kids, my husband 2, now we have our one together and It has not been an easy road.
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431894_tn?1216659546
I would say that my daughter comes first but this is quite an interesting subject because the love I have for both of them are totally different.  My husband is my man, my best friend and my right hand too and i love him so much but i also love my daughter to death.  You just love them differently.  My daughter is my world and i know she needs me all day and we really bonded since day 1 and i also stay home with her.

As much as i love my husband and need him in my life and im our daughters i have to say she still comes first..  
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Avatar_f_tn
So what happens when she grows up and moves out of the home?  Have you thought about that yet?  Your husband provides that stability for you to be ABLE to stay home with your daughter.  How is your time divided?  Just curious.  
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358455_tn?1277437219
my husband IS a kid, so I'd say... KIDS! lol
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Avatar_f_tn
Friends that dont have kids ask me how marriage is once you have a newborn.  I tell them there is a reason why it is important to have a child with someone you love more than anything.  1) the two of you have created the most beautiful thing in the world....2) this beautiful perfect thing puts a lot of stress on the relationship and you rely on your love to bring you back together each day.   It takes a very strong bond!

I think it is important to balance both as I view it my husband is my family, however having said that....if I ever HAD to choose....I would always choose my child.  My reasoning behind this.....I have had many friends that their parents divorced after 25 years of marriage, maybe their moms could have given more but they were all very good wives IMO!  However the husband cheated and left the family.  In all cases my friends have a very good relationship with their mothers....they rarely talk to their dads, not because of lack of trying on their part but their dads!  Their moms were always there for them throughout their life!  And therefore the mom will always have her children even if her Hubby goes away.  
I think it is very important to listen to your spouse and be there for them and you just hope in the end of it all once your children move out (which is very different from leaving you for good) you hope you grow in the same direction and still have the same views and goals later in life.

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431894_tn?1216659546
When she grows up then it will be different and i will have all of my attention to my husband but for now my daughter needs me and she comes first.  I pay alot of attention to my husband though, and he knows it too, we watch movies together while Kenadi is asleep, we cuddle all the time, we kiss and touch when we're together and even when kenadi is in the room, we just love each other so much.  Like i said, you just love them differently, i need both in my life but i know that kenadi needs me more than my husband does and he knows it.  My husband and i have always been great friends/ lovers and he is not missing out on anything.  
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431894_tn?1216659546
Oh, and yes he does provide everything for me to stay home.  I honestly do not like being home AT ALL.  I would be working and going to school but he does not let me do neither because i have no family or close friends to babysit Kenadi while i do that. He doesn't want her in day care either, that's the ONLY reason i'm home with her.  I would love to work but he does not like day cares.
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159354_tn?1286371288
Didn't read all comments or specifics...to certain situations

But here's my view...

Spouse should come first.

Do I follow that....Heck no....But as a good Christian woman....I try....LOL

The reality is, your spouse is your partner through thick and thin....No matter what.  They should come first.  Till death do you part....

But for phsyical needs of a baby....of course, your spouse has to understand the nurturing ways of a Mother.

My SIL is pregnant for the 2nd time by a 'no good' man.  He'll treat her like garbage but he's a 'great father'.....she says

Well - in my world a 'great father' is only as good as how he treats his child's mother....and vice versa.  His children (Our children) are watching us.....how we treat their father/mother is so important to them.

With that being said....if God forbid, there was ever a house fire....my kids come first...DH can fend for himself....if he makes it out...all the better. (j/k)

Peek - you are so freaken funny!!!!
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431894_tn?1216659546
My husband is a WONDERFUL MAN but he always tells me that Kenadi needs me more than she needs anybody (including him), he always wants me watching her even if he's here, he doen'st want anybody else babysitting her but me so, in his eyes she comes before him which i know he understands.
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Avatar_f_tn
um ur kids why would u choose a man over your kids they come and go yeah kids move out when theyre 18 but theyre yours your blood you made them your spouse is just a you love one no blood related come on girls
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Avatar_f_tn
i mean you love your spouse and spend time with him as much as possible but your childs needs is more and if you had to pick between them i think kids are way more important they need their moms
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457721_tn?1256644398
I have been thinking about this alot in the past year.  After having our daughter it seemed that BOTH of us quickly began to feel like we fell out of touch with each other.  

I am a stay at home mommy...and I truly believe that my childs needs both EMOTIONALLY and PHYSICALLY are met on a daily basis.  I don't really see why anyone should HAVE to choose.  I believe that it just takes ALOT of work to balance out time to meet needs as a spouse...and being parents.  

It is extremely important to have a good relationship with your spouse.  I recall our pediatrician asking us during Addys first few months of life how OUR relationship was.  She repeatedly told us that the BEST thing for our daughter was for mommy and daddy to be happy and to love each other...and for her to see that.  

Because my husband works full time and is a full time student so time alone together is very limited...ALOT of the free time we have we play with Addyson...but we try to plan dates where just the two of us spend time alone...regroup...and love on each other.  I will not lie...we also spend time alone...he may watch Addyson while I go shopping with a friend...or I may watch her while he goes and plays frisbee golf (his PASSION!).  All in all its a balancing act...

IMHO the relationship is ultimately more important...because the stability and love that your children will see is what they need.  
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Avatar_f_tn
you really havent gripped what most have said on here. you are seeing as a black and white answer.  we all have the right to our opinion, but it would be nice if you could read it with an open eye and see what others and myself are saying, not just hearing it.  
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431894_tn?1216659546
I just found out my sister is leaving her husband..  :(   She is EXTREMELY devastated.  She's been married for three years and all this time he's been abusive, he works out of town and comes home to her and their 20 month old and does not even sleep with her or next to her on the bed.  He seems nice but i've heard the way he talks to her and he's just not loving at all with her, only with their son.  I guess in her case she will always put her baby over her husband.  We all are different though but since he's abusive both verbally and physically, then she puts her son infront of her man.  
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Avatar_f_tn
abusive men dont deserve to be treated higher than the **** they flushed.
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514428_tn?1287602056
If it were me, My kids always comes first.  It's a very hard thing to choose and maybe something will work out...but kids always come first before the spouse!!  
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Avatar_f_tn
Well as of right now I don't have any kids but i was pregnant before and i know it was the best feeling in the world. Im also engaged to the most wonderful man in the world which I plan on spending the rest of my life with. But if came down to the situation my child would definetly come first. To me a child is part of you yeah of course they will go out and start their own life but you will always have a bond with the child. when you look at them you will see yourself inside of them. Know that you mold them into the wonderful person that they are today. My motto is a child is forever as for a marriage isnt always promised. My fiance means the world to me but the love I would have for our baby would make me put all his or her needs first. Everyone else is entitled their opinion but this is just how I feel. I really don't understand how some people can actually choose their spouse wow!
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Avatar_f_tn
This is long....sorry guys, you can read if you want. LOL!
I actually have a good example with my DH on spouses coming before children.  My DHs parents split when he was about 3 yrs old.  Soon after the divorce his mom was with another man for 9-10yrs.  She put her new DH way before the kids and would always be on his side when there was an argument.  They then divorced, she found a new man and the cycle continues.  She is now single and living with my DH's grandparents.  She has minimal contact with her 3 children and it is really sad.  DH's father on the other hand was always sort of there for the kids, but really came around when DH was 21, he would make sure every week he would call and always end the conversation with I love you...at that time his dad was also remarried, but even still put his wife first.  His step mother was also nice who had her own grown kids who she put first.  Well 3 yrs ago DH's dad passed away from cancer...all assets went to his wife....which she then gave to HER children...not my DH and his siblings.  He no longer speaks to his step mother and now she is also remarried.  
I think when it comes to mixed families and marriage, the kids need to feel some importance from their parents...after all they only have one set of parents...where his parents have had many spouses involved.  
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this isnt about kids being more or less important.  its not about the husband being numero uno and the kids left out to dry.  its about the husband wife is a team. a unit.  they are the ones that hold the family together.  sure i love my kids more than anything, its  a love that goes past anything i have felt.  i will give them what they need, love them, provide for them, but when i say dh comes first i dont mean the kids are not going to eat dinner because there is enough for one lol.  i mean i will love everyone, but i will make extra hard that we have a strong relationship.  if that means the kids have to take a break in their rooms for an hour so we can have our time, so be it. i will take time to work on my marriage so its as strong as it can be.  divorce happens, all kinds of sh.it happens, i know personally from that. its a very fine line
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AMEN pertykitty. Some of the ladies are taking this like we mean we are saying our kids are "less important" or we don't love them as much as our husbands.This isn't what we mean at all.
You said it just right.
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i do understand alll the way im saying in whatever subject in the matter your kids come frist if ur husband wants to eat dinner and ur kids needs u to help with his project or u gonna choose ur husband over your kids come on i would be mad at my mom if she would of done that to me kids come first THEYRE NUMBER ONE IN LIFE THATS WHY U HAVE THEM MY MOM SAYS THE SAME THING
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new mommy to be i have kids so i can love them and raise them to be responsible adults.  not spoiled brats by telling them they come before everyone and everything else.  if you are eating dinner it needs to be as a family, not dh alone and the kids working on school projects.  i dont think i can explain it any clearer than i have, and i can say we wont see eye to eye on this lol.  

everyone of us will make a mistake along the way, and hopefully when the kids are teens we dont say "god i made them spoiled brats who only care about themselves and have no idea how to work at a group rather than a me me me " haha.
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i think it should be 50/50. give your kids love and attention but at the same time don't put them so high up on a pedastal that your dh gets forgotten. this is actually something greg and i have been talking about during our pregnancy. we've decided we're going to pick a day and set it aside as mommy and daddy's date night. where we go out...alone. no kids, no talk of kids. just us....like when we were still in the dating phase. lol. as far as trips alone together....i don't see anything wrong with that. heck you're a mommy and daddy 24/7/365.....sometimes you need some alone time.
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Every time another one of my childrens friends parents get divorced, my kids tell me how happy they are that their mom and dad are still so crazy in love and that they love knowing we wouldn't ever get divorced.

I truly feel that one of the big reasons we have stayed so close is we put each other first. We go on trips alone. We go on dates alone once a week. We have our Sunday nights alone. We talk. We laugh. We play.We text each other love notes.

With seven kids, it would easy to neglect my husband.But I know where that would lead. And then how good is that for my children?

I guess I feel that by putting my marriage first, I AM putting my children first: because then they have stable, happy, loving home life. And a great example of how wonderful marriage can be.
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i love bfing and i dont plan on stopping soon, but i do look forward to a weekend just me and dh , well a night im not that ready lol.
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Yeah, the bigger trips were not taken when I had a nursing baby. Those were taken between babies. As closely bonded as you and Addy are, I think you will have to take her with you in your suitcase when you finally go on a trip!!! lol
I can always feel so much love when you talk about her and how close you two have bonded.
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wow i want to cry! lol i feel like i have gotten to know her in a way i didnt with my son.  i bonded and i loved and knew him, but i worked full time and it is so different when you are home with them.  i know when she is hungry without even a fuss or a cry by her movement or i just know.  its amazing!  

now help me to figure out my bossy, mouthy 10 yr old son! lol
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Girl, you have made plenty of sense here!!!!!   I agree with everything you have commented on!   I couldn't of said it better!!!
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Sorry I was on a trip this past weekend and didn't get a chance to log on until this morning.  I spent a weekend catering to ALL the kids needs and NONE of my own or the needs of my fiance'.  We are both exhausted.

Are you really saying that if it is dinner time and your husbands wants to share a MEAL with you, that you would choose doing a project with your child over that?  As a mother it would be your responsibility (if you put your kids first as you say) to make sure that those things are done ahead of time.  In some cases I can see doing it at the last minute.  Heck YES if my fiance' wants to share a meal with me, he WILL come first.

I have to get this house to where it should be.  It is healthier for all involved.  Kids need to learn to entertain themselves, and they need guidance to learn those things.  But kids these days are EXTREMELY DEMANDING... we cannot even have a 5 minute conversation without being interupted by a demanding child.  Are you saying that you are willing to spend your ENTIRE life devoted to supplying your childs every WANT??  What about your own?  Are you going to run out and get a new husband everytime the one you have gets tired of being treated like the leftovers in your fridge?

After this weekend, and the total lack of respect that I experienced, this household WILL change... or our relationship will fail.
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Wow, it sounds like you had a rough weekend.  It's a shame that it had to be that way.  Our stepkids know not to interrupt if grown-ups are having conversation.  They learned that early on.  The say excuse me but they will never do it until they know that we are finished with our conversation.  You and your fiance really need to sit down and have a one on one talk.  I responded to your posts in the step-parent forum so when you get a chance you can take a look.
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I read your response over there.  Thanks!

Kids are a product of their environment.  The divorce rate at the kids school is at 70% right now, and it rises every year.  So there are LOTS of blended families.  LOTS.  If they are not expected to respect adults in their own home, they WILL NOT respect adults outside of their home, and I learned that this weekend as well.  I was embarassed at how rude they were.  And it's really not their fault.  The parents put kids wants before everything.  And believe me I USED to do that when I first entered their lives.  I used to jump at their every need... but I stopped doing that because I saw that they did not appreciate what I did for them at all.  I thought if I heard one more "I want" this weekend I was going to explode.  It's never "may I have", or "can I please have", it was always "I want", and there would be a big dramatic scene if they didn't get it.  

The first night we made hamburgers on the grill.  The kids were playing around having a great time.  We fed them FIRST.  Then, after the kids were done eating we cleared THEIR plates (they never use a trashcan), and then we set the places for the adults to eat.  I walk inside to get a few napkins, come back out the door, and their is a 5 year old sitting in MY seat beside my fiance' with a coloring book and crayons spread across the table.  I waited to see what my fiance' would do.  Guess what?  He did nothing just slid her closer to him so that I could squeeze in.  During dinner my drink was spilt because the corner of her coloring book knocked it over so I had pepsi all over my lap, and all over the deck.  What could I say?  We had a conversation about it later, and the next night he sat inbetween so that we could all share him... but I ended up with another drink on my lap because we were all sitting on top of each other.  

To keep from hearing crying and argueing, I did not even sleep in the bed with him the entire weekend.  I slep on the couch.. the kids got the bed with him.

At the amusement park we were holding hands, but that was short lived because they wanted icecream in a cup but didn't want to carry it.  I told him to throw it away, that's what my mom would have done.

So you can see that sometimes it's not always the mother who puts their kids first, and it's not always blended families, or families with biological kids that have this problem.  I refuse to raise my daughter this way.  The minute she disrespects me or him by saying "what!!!!!" if we call her name, or she does not say "thank you" when she gets something that she asks for, or she doesn't say "yes ma'am or no ma'am or sir" when she is asked a question.. then she will be reminded until she gets it.  

I am sorry to vent.. but what happened to respect?  I am happy that your stepkids respect and love you.  I think mine love me to.  Your household obviously has been balanced for quite some time.  Hopefully mine gets that way soon.  :)

  
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My mother in law is having this problem.

She devoted all her time, love and attention to the kids first,  spouse second.  Well, her husband left when the kids were teenagers...and yes she still had her kids, their love and attention....well now it's 16 yrs later and all the children have their own lives, own families and live out of state away from their mother......

It's sad.  She's alone now.  
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Wow, that is unfortunate that you are experiencing this.  I think the fault is not with the children but with your fiance.  They only will do what he allows them to get away with.  He should've said ok you all had your turn to eat, now go inside or go play so the grown-ups can have their time to eat.  If they sat there then he should have told his daughter that he would color with them after he finished his meal with you.  They will never respect you because he doesn't follow through with anything.  He seems like the good guy while you are considered the bad one because you are the only one who is disciplining here.  Well actually you're not, you are the one who's being abused.  Who's the parent here?  I can completely understand your frustration more and more.  Honestly, you are right things need to change.  Your fiance is their father but he acts like a friend.  No wonder these kids are confused.  There is no structure, there is no parenting.  They are going to be trouble because they have no one to guide them.  Kids need that, they yearn for that.  This is truly unacceptable.  I hate for you to give ultimatums but I think at this point you may have no choice.  Either he lays down some ground rules with his children and sticks by them or you may not make it through this.  There is no way my a$$ would be sleeping on a couch while my fiance's kids are in the bed with him.  Heck no!!
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Sorry I wanted to correct myself.. I said I slept on the couch, but it was actually a futo, so it converted into a bed.  :)  It was actually pretty comfy.. and I had it all to myself.
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Still, this was your weekend with him and then the kids were included and you were left out.  This is so sad to me.  I can understand your sadness with all of this.
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That is exactly why I started this thread and why I said that kids are a product of their environment.  He does put them before me in MANY cases.    

I get so p*ssed with the whole co-sleeping thing that I have given up the fight.  One day he will get the point when I eventually STOP sleeping in bed with him all together.  I enjoy sleeping on occasion with Ava, but she is not in bed between the two of us everynight.  I am so sick of kids being between us in OUR bed!  I am tired of talking to him about it.  He has tried to sleep half the night with them, then half the night with me, but that doesn't work either because as soon as he wakes to get in our bed, they are right behind him.  I just get up, grab a pillow, and go sleep on the couch.

Do you know that I even had to sit in the back on the golf cart the whole weekend because the girls would cry if they couldn't sit up front.  I looked at him and he had the questionable look on his face like "I don't want to hurt their feelings, do you mind??" and I hoped my butt in the back and never attempted to sit in front again.  I figured if he didn't want to sit with mommy in the front like MOST families where in the park.. then heck with it.

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Wow. My son is my whole world, but even HE doesn't get the priviledges your step daughters do when he's with my boyfriend and me.
He knows not to demand things with, "I want," and that I'll get p*ssed at him if he interrupts my boyfriend and me while we're talking.
Lol, and if something doesn't go his way and he fusses about it because it "hurts his feelings," well that's just too stinkin' bad! He'll get over it! He always does, and usually within just a few minutes!
He knows to ask, "Please may I have this," and to say "Thank you" for things that are done for him or given to him.
And when he majorly misbehaves in front of people or acts rude to me, his little butt gets a few good swats--and lately I've come to find that spankings have a MUCH more significant behavioral impact if they happen in front of the people that he's shown the misbehavior. He almost never gets spankings, so when he does, he knows I mean serious business. Most of the time though, he knows I won't put up with any misbehavior from him, and that EVERYONE else around is NOT going to defend him if I have to discipline him. Therefore he doesn't usually misbehave too badly (for what's expected of a 3½ year old), and people compliment me all the time on his good social behavior, politeness, and always tell me what a pleasure he is to have around.

Hopefully your fiance will come around pretty soon. As soon as he realizes that his kids' worlds aren't going to permanently come crashing down and they won't be traumatized for life for not getting their way, I think he'll be really grateful that he enforced those disciplinary measures.
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how are their self-help skills? you say that they don't clean up after themselves at dinner, etc... i assume that they're not great about clean up after themselves period? do they make their own beds? tie their own shoes? comb their own hair? clean up their own toys? have any household chores? carry their own backpacks to school? hang up their own coats?

the reason i ask is because i often see many children like you describe, and this rudeness often comes with low expectations. these children often do not contribute appropriately to the household. if so, they are missing out on valuable skills. maybe you need to take a different approach with your fiance. instead of "poor me" (although you are very justified in saying so!), maybe you should turn it around into a "poor them" situation. these girls are going to have very rough time going through life, because not everyone will cater to them as he does. telling him you feel like both you and he are missing out on some very valuable teaching moments for these girls because you are so busy showering them with love and affection. he seems apathetic, but in reality i am sure he has a lot of conflicting emotions about this. he must feel guilt about his relationship with their mother, having you in the picture, bringing a new baby into the picture, etc... attacking his parenting and telling him he is being a negligent fiance will only put him on the defensive.

i get very upset when i see parents in my class do what you describe. some children seem to have confused rights and priviledges. there is a huge difference between the 2, and it seems as though many parents have forgotten the difference as well.

as for choosing between spouse and children... in most cases it is not this extreme. my baby girl does come first, i have to say. but as soon as she's napping or down for the night, that's OUR time. i don't feel like the 2 need to conflict. i do feel it's approriate to feed children first. it all boils down to routine- establishing a healthy routine for the family. then everyone knows what to expect when, and the question doesn't even arise. now it's true that when she was a newborn, she always came first, and there were no breaks or "us" time. but at that point in her life, she was a newborn, and we knew that was what we signed up for. we survived together, and now that she's 1 we're stronger because of it. our sex life is better than before. perhaps not more frequent, but definitely better!
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Baby Hardiman~ Sounds like the futon would me way more comfy...than trying to squeeze into a cramed bed!

But, I think there is a difference though in putting your kids first or putting up with bad behavior.  You all wouldn't let your husbands or bf speak to you that way so the same comes with your children.  But a basic scenerio could be...if your child and DH both asked you at the same time...politely...to talk to them about a serious problem who would you listen to first?  If your child and DH both fell down, who would you comfort first?  That is what I am basing my choice of children first on.  However, I believe both need to be nurtured just as much, but my child will come first because of my protective nature.  I would never let my DH or child/ren walk all over me in any case.
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You made some very excellent points, and certainly broadened my perspective! Thank you!
I think it's so important for children to have a sense of responsibility and feel proud of it. I've been teaching my son to do more and more things for himself, and enforcing him to do more things for himself as well. He can dress himself properly, put on his shoes, he will pick up his messes when I ask him to (although sometimes that takes extra enforcement), he puts his dishes in the sink and throws his trash away, he helps me fold laundry and feed the pets, brushes his teeth (then I do a follow-up brushing), and has his own responsibility of remembering to bring his favorite blanket with him wherever he wants to go--if he forgets to bring it, it's left behind.
He's gotten to the point where he doesn't want my help with many of those things now, not even reminders, unless he asks. He feels so proud of himself when he knows he's successfully done something on his own that pleases me because it's helped me somehow. I must say, I like his blossoming independence too!
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I have not even scratched the surface with what these kids actually do and say.  No, they do not clean up after themselves, no they do not brush their own hair at 7 and 5 unless forced, no they do not basically do ANYTHING without being asked 100 times and still you are lucky if they even attempt to do what they are asked.  

This was not about "poor me" at all because I KNOW this type of behavior does not effect just me, but everyone around us, and everyone that comes in contact with us.

I will try to take the approach that you mentioned.  You are always so informative with your answers.  At this point I will try anything.  

It is 2AM right now, and I came downstairs for a piece of b-day cake, and some Pepsi YUMMY!  
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I think a lot of people are confusing this post with who comes first spouse needs or kids needs....and it's not about needs.  Of course the child's needs come before the spouse...the spouse can take care of their basic needs on their own.

It's about the relationship.

The spousal relationship needs to come first or the kids will suffer in the end.

I'm sorry you are going through this...it's hard too because they are your step children.  And I'm sure he's defensive with them.

But the whole golf cart thing?  Hello - hurt their feelings....Those kids are going to be in for a rude awakening when they enter the real world if they are catered to like that.
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I just don't know what my life is supposed to be about right now.  My mom says that I need to pick my battles better, and that I say things that most people only think about.  I hear the talk about how difficult it is for kids to adjust in blended families and I now see why that is.  They have no structure.  If there is a fight between the two girls in our home they will call their MOTHER to settle the fight instead of their dad taking authority to settle whatever it is that is happening.  I do not agree with this at all.  I feel whatever happens in our home should be taken care of in our home.  But I am gettin way off topic here.

I just want there to be an equal balance in our home.  What am I to do when my daughter grows up and starts talking to me the way his kids talk to me?  How confusing is that going to be to her?  It's OK for the others to talk to mommy that way, why can't I?  

I don't want to spend the next 18 years of my life being strampled on.  I have already spent the majority of my life this way.  I try and try and try and I get tossed on the backburner every time.

Yesterday was my birthday but my fiance' didn't say it until an hour after he left home.  He was so focused on rushing to his kids mothers house to drop off an EMPTY bookbag to one of the girls.  She has a TON but wanted that one.  I expected atleast to hear "happy birthday honey" when I woke up.  I say "happy....." on EVERY occasion... When he gave me a kiss goodbye he asked "what's wrong" and I said "oh nothing", and he said "gotta go she really wants to use this bookbag today".........  OK, so that was the most important thing of the day, getting a Tinker Bell bookbag to a 7 year old who has 6 others to use.

Poor little ol'me.
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Well, The birthday thing, I'm afraid is a normal man's insensitivity.  My DH has gotten better but for 2 yrs he didn't even know the correct date....LOL

I know my hubby loves me though.

I hear a lot of your frustration directed at the children though and that saddens me, because they are just little girls....it's not their fault....Really it's not.

They are only doing what is allowed of them...this is on their father.  And to be honest you really need to think about that and have a talk with him.  He cannot allow his children to rule him.  This isn't about them....their behavior is about him.

and probably their mother too.  

I agree 100%....if something happens in your home....it should stay in your home.  For crying out loud he is their father...He needs to take control over the situation.

My hubby was clueless the first 2 yrs of Abby's life and it almost turned her into a little girl, I didn't want to spend time with, but I forced my husband to take a parenting class with me at a local church....it has made a huge difference.  

Some of the sessions brough tears to his eyes because he realized how wrong he had been.  

She is an awesome 4 yr old (well soon - in August) and she is the most amazing little person.  

She always had manners, please and thank yous.  Always (even at 2) picked up after her self, cleaned the table setting after dinner, put away her clothes after laundry was done....but she did have a temper that needed to be controlled and the me me me attitude that need adjusting.

Everything is so great now.....

Your fiance really needs to see that he is not doing the girls any favors by 'not parenting'....he is allowing them to set the stage and run the home.  Kids don't have the emotional maturity to understand anything when given that liberty.

But try to reel in your emotions as they are just little girls looking for direction....but with that said, without your fiance's 100% backing and approval, you just look like the mean step mommy.

You need him to get in your corner...sounds like you need a parent meeting....We have them a lot.  My mom comes over and my hubby and I go get a cup a coffee at a local shop and talk.  Iron things out....if we feel we are not on the same page for the children.

Even when we don't agree with each other...in the heat of the moment, in front of the children....we'll back each other....unity...is key.

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unfortunately, it sounds like this may be something that you cannot solve alone. have you considered couples counseling? you must so overwhelmed with emotion, frustration, and confusion. i also suspect he behaves this way because he is trying to compete with their mother for the "best parent" award. why else would he bring the backpack? only the measure of their success is not the overall development of the children, but rather immediately placating them and instant gratification/happiness.
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My frustrations are not with the kids, it is with their father.  That would be foolish of me to take my frustrations out on the kids, that is why I am venting here in this thread.  This may not be the best life for me as with many step families.  Then I would have the same issues with entering a new relationship with my daughter.  I have to stop and think about that.  It is difficult having to, I shutter to use the word "share", my fiance' with two other women.  Two other woman have say so's in what goes on in my home.  Meanwhile I get treated like dirt by their children.  Only because this is what is acceptable from their parents.  I make it sound like they are terrible 24/7 which is NOT true at all.  I know the girls have hearts of gold.  They love Ava to pieces.  :)  I absolutely love to see them play with her.  I have to watch them closely, and they cannot be left alone with her, but they have gotten alot better with handling her.  Which takes me to another frustration that I have.  Ava has to sit in the middle of the backseat when we are all in the car.  The girls hit each other back and forth right over top of Ava.  All their Daddy does is threaten them.  They wait until his back is turned then they go at it again... I can see it all from the rearview mirror.  I want to set CAR RULES, because it's dangerous to play around in the car like they do, but he refuses, saying that they do not need rules at every turn in their life.  I have been hit in the back of the head with a SCREW before, yes a SCREW, my fiance' works construction... No one got punished that day either.  They were throwing it at each other, not at me, but it hit me, and that sucker HURT.

Anyway, I'm done complaining about this.  I don't want everyone to think that I am taking anything out on the kids because I am not.  Maybe things will get better over the years.

  
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It seems to me that you are always forced to take a back seat with the kids and the discipline.  They stay in your house to.  I am given the opportunity to set rules and discipline my step kids.  Their father respects me and stands by me when I tell them something or when I set standards.  If I saw my step kids doing what they were doing I am able to say "cut it out" not have to wait for their father to say it.  I agree with the counseling.  I believe you two desperately need it.  Things will not get better...they will get harder because the girls will get older and without rules they will be even more disrespectful then ever.  Again, this is not their fault.  But you can't sit and wait for time to pass hoping that the situation will change.  They won't unless he changes them or you.
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I can understand your views where you feel that your fiance always chooses them over you...especially because they arent you own children.  However, you do have a good positive trait in him....he seems to be a great father!  So maybe just let him know you get your feelings hurt when he chooses them over you.  The fighting in the back seat will always happen...that is where me and my bro fought all the time.  But when I was a kid we didnt even really have to wear sealt belts, so imagine that.  My mom would yell at us all the time...even swing her purse around...haha, funny now, but back then it was hard for her!  
I would choose your battles and this seems to me like a good battle.  I wouldnt argue with him about it because men never get that...just say you are feeling left out and that you miss spending time with him.  It can even happen with kids around as long as he pays some attention to you, which it sounds like he gets distracted alot.  But it seems like he is a very good father to me, because most men would not do half of what he is doing for his girls.  I would also congratulate him on that.....say you dont want him to change that but to just try to focus on you just as much.  
Mixed families are very hard, so I think you are doing the best you can when they arent your own children.
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BabyH -
I have a twelve year old stepson.  I met my husband when my stepson was 1 1/2, we married when he was 4, had our son when he was 6, and our daughter when he was 11.  
I loved my stepson, but he had a mom who was a great mom,completely involved and he
was completely attached to her.  When I met my husband and we got close, he made it very clear that his son was his priority, and I fell in love with that, and eventually married him.  There were so many times along the way that I completely disagreed with EVERYTHING they did for my stepson, I thought they babied him (and they probably did)
and that I would do things so different, and here I was filling the "mommy" role when he was there, but really I did not get the respect I felt like I deserved.  Little by little after we had our son, I would get jealous at the child support we paid, if I felt like he was going out of his way to do too much for stepson, etc.  But, as my now 5 year old started growing up, I realized that I do a lot of the things with my kids that I swore I would never do.  Also, his mom came to respect the role I played and made me feel like I was an important part of his life.  I promised her that I would never try to be his "mom", but I would do the best job I could at being his fathers support for him.    It is a slow process, and it is hard for blended families and it is really hard to make everything seem fair.  Deanne is right, it is not the little girls fault, and your fiance is in a hard place because he loves those girls as much he loves Ava.  You dont.  I love my stepson so much.  But, I dont love him the way I love my babies.  Its just the way it is.   Hang in there.  Its hard on your fiance and it is consuming you.  It would be good to get yourself to a place  where you can just enjoy your life, you have a good fiance and a beautiful daugher, and some little girls that admire you and need you more than you know, and in ways that dont show.  It is never going to be a perfect situation, but you can make it really really good.  Sounds like you have someone who is a great father.  He may do too much for his girls, but he will do the same for Ava, and she IS lucky that she gets to have her mom and dad together all the time.  I think you are so sweet and I want you to have happiness.
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That was so well put and very helpful to BabyHardiman.
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They do need rules at every aspect of life...they are children, 5 and 7.  Rules apply always until they are old enough to make decisions and choices responsibly, which they cannot do at 5 and 7.
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I don't know what to say.  Thank you for what you wrote.  Your words really opened my eyes.

All -

Thank you for all of your support on this thread.  I guess the bottomline is this man LOVES his kids tremendously.  I'll talk to him and let him know my feelings..  I need to take the "frustration" out of my life, and just accept that in blended families, and probably most families, that these incidents happen.  Kids are our lives.  It makes me sad to think of the many years to come that I will be kicked out of my own bed, that I will have to wait the entire day to get a 5 minute conversation with the man that I love dearly, but atleast our kids will be secure in our home.  I'm still a little confused, but I refuse to give up.
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