(30) engaged to man (42) who divorced (twice) and has 3 children from the marriages.
I had never intended to date/marry someone with children/divorced but life happened and i fell for him. When we met he was already divorced from both.
Children are 9, 14 and 16 (the youngest is from his second/most recent marriage) i get along really well with the youngest and the oldest who is a boy. It is the middle girl who has problems with me. In my presence she holds onto her father continuously and previously sent me mail on face book calling me a witch and used all sorts of vulgarities. i got two emails at once and the next was her telling me the initial mail had come to me in error and was meant for an enemy. False.i didn’t know she had any issues with me till then,, which she denies.i decided to distance myself from her-which i know i shouldnt, however i am civil to her and discussed the issue at length with her father.
The girls mother (ex wife number one) does not even respond to my greetings when we do happen to bump into eachother, she will however exchange greetings with my fiance. AS i do not know the woman i have decided not to bother with her.His last ex wife is pleasant and we say hello and chat.
Will things ever change with his teenage daughter?
how do i handle-lack of chores, vulgarities between the children and bad language in general? plus the lack of rules in the household? i have raised these issues with my fiance who has told me he spoke to the children etc -in my absence as i am from another state.
I feel overwhelmed, like im not being heard. I feel as though things will never change. i didnt know it would be this hard,, and its not easy sitting back and not being able to lay down the law. I have not been married previously and have no children of my own but grew up with several nephews and nieces.
Please can soemone help me do things right and make the right choices so we can all be happy in the long run.
You might go see a family counselor (by yourself) and lay out your worries, and see what the counselor suggests in terms of your approach to the kids. I don't think getting bothered or annoyed will help, and unfortunately having long discussions with their father about this will only make him feel like he is being put "in the middle" between you and the kids, i.e., he won't be acting fully supportive of anyone. If you could feign a cheerful and upbeat attitude at all times that probably would help, but it would take you having a clear strategy and a lot of willpower in order to do that. The reason it would help is that your husband would see you as trying and would be more likely to tell the kids to knock it off if they act outrageous. Anyway, I really would do some prep -- read books on being a stepparent, see a counselor, and work on it hard. You're taking on three teens or soon-to-be teens who have been through a lot. That's a job by itself, separate from the issue of learning to get along with a guy who has been divorced twice before. It takes active planning, not just hoping it will all work out. Good luck.
This is definitely a sticky situation. Sounds like this girl is mirroring her mother's attitute about you which sounds terrible.
I will agree with AB about consulting a counselor, however, you and your fiancé should go together because if you are planning on getting married this will be a problem for BOTH of you.
"Will things ever change with his teenage daughter?
how do i handle-lack of chores, vulgarities between the children and bad language in general? plus the lack of rules in the household? i have raised these issues with my fiance who has told me he spoke to the children etc -in my absence as i am from another state."......Hmmm, it is difficult to say if this will change or not. I really think this child is being influenced by her mother big time, however, it is up to your fiancé to be setting boundaries in regards to this nasty, vile and vulgar behavior from his daughter if things are going to work.
It is difficult dealing with teens period let alone them being stepteens as well. I will say this is NO easy feat.
So....both you and your fiancé need to be on the same page with this.
I agree about couples counseling also, but was thinking that especially since she is in another state, she might want to go for some individual head-clearing too, to do some values clarification about marrying this man. A good counselor can help her figure out how much of a roadblock the kids are, and maybe some of that conversation, she doesn't want to have in front of her fiance who loves the kids.
Family counselling was had two months ago but it was for the kids to discuss the whole step parenting and someone comming into their lives. I havent been to any family counselling myself ad it sounds like i should. Our premarital counselling begins next week and id thought it would be coverd then,, but should probably be done seperately.
I understand what youve said about the effect of my long discussions, i realised recently that its not only hard on me and must be hard on him too. So im trying to go easy on him and keep sane at the same time.
Been doing lots of reading and i will continue to. Thank you very much!
The teen may indeed be getting influence from her mother, which is unfortunate.
We have to be on the same page-not easy.
Initially i suggested family counselling etc because i thought it would be harder on the kids getting someone new in their lives-again!
I did not know that it would be hard on me too as being the new person comming in etc
A few boundaries have been set ie when i stayed over earlier this year both exes would call late in the evening requesting help with plumbing, electric meters etc I am not insecure in any way but i felt it was disrespectful to be running around looking for plumbers for an ex wife. i felt it was more appropriate to discuss issues relating to the children. He has since discussed it with both and this is nolonger happening.
I agree that he needs to be setting boundaries regarding teens behaviour, and i really hope some changes take place before we tie the knot.
its not easy but it has helped sharing my feelings.
I just moved to the United kingdom to be with him and travel from out of town where im currently staying with a friend, so i have no family near by to share with.
i have been seeking advcie/help as i am in a situation that is extremely new to me. I got some very good advice from two people on here and as a result my fiance and i are involved in Family counselling.
The fact that we all want to try is good enough. And i am positive that the teen will come round.
Yes, that is very promising that everyone is willing to make a go of this dear.
There is NO way to compare a "car" to a "family blending" situation. I really don't see the analogy or get the logic of that. With divorce rates going higher and higher, these situations will be more common than rare.
Well.....Ricepudding, keep us posted.
I am a stepmother and a biomother........it's NO easy feat raising children period, however, problems can be worked through and resolved.
Hang in there and work through this with the help of your therapist.
Rice my suggestions are ones i use myself,and have been the most helpful...especially at my most helpless moments,first give reading Stepmonster a try,and dont let the name scare you off,also go to steptalk,the community there is wonderful,and whether to just read or post or both its comforting,helpful and safe there.
I moved to my bf's hometown so he could be with his three kids, so I have some idea where you're coming from. In my case it was his 6-year old who was initially more resistant to me. Luckily, we've been able to move past that phase and he and I are good buddies now. I don't have any kids of my own either, but when we first moved in together I had a million ideas about how kids should be raised and how they should act and everything else. My stepkids are generally pretty awesome, but I also had to learn the hard way that a lot of your best intentions go out the window when you're faced with the reality of children, especially ones that are half-grown and have lived a whole life separate from your ideas.
You said your fiance has been married twice before, and the daughter is from his first marriage. It sounds like, in addition to possibly mirroring her mother's attitude, she might be a bit worried about the idea of another new stepmom. She's not only dealt with her own parents divorcing, but then having a new woman brought into her life and then seeing that marriage fail as well. Teenagers aren't exactly known for handling their emotions well, and she's already been through a lot of family upheaval for her age. Seeing it from her point of view, I can kind of understand some unwillingness to totally embrace someone new again. Some of it might just be that classic teenage attitude, but it sounds like maybe she's trying to shield herself from more hurt down the road. I can't say for sure that things will change, but maybe with a bit of patience and time you two can form a better relationship.
I wouldn't stress about the ex-wife. My bf has an absolutely terrible relationship with his ex. Trust me, there is zero obligation to have any kind of relationship with the ex-wife. Let your fiance communicate with her about the kids - there's no need for her to be any part of your life (or you hers). And if her attitude is part of what's influencing her daughter, your fiance needs to be the one to address it with her, not you.
As for the kids' behavior, I think this is one of the toughest things about being a step-parent. You're coming into a family that's been doing their own thing for a long time now, and it's very hard to deal with kids being raised in a way that you don't agree with. Since two of your stepkids are teenagers, there's unfortunately a lot things that you're just going to have to deal with at this point. I was lucky in that my bf and I have generally been on the same page where his kids are concerned, but there are always things that, as a relatively new addition, don't mesh. This is just my personal experience, but I do think that you do have a right to have some say in what goes on in your house. Yes, they are your fiance's children, but both they and he need to understand that once the two of you are married it will be just as much your house as his. You can't come in at this point in their lives and dictate a whole new set of rules, but as an adult in your own house you do have some reasonable expectation to have a say in what goes on. You can ask that the kids have some chores once you and your fiance are living together, if for no other reason than that you should not be expected to handle the extra burden (cooking, laundry, etc) alone. And if you find their language offensive you completely have a right to say that it at least needs to be kept at a minimum. As much as the existing family can't completely change to accommodate you, you can't be expected to stand completely aside for them. The biggest thing is that you and your fiance need to get on the same page, and absolutely need to be solidly in agreement in front of his kids.
Making the decision to become a stepmom is a lot harder than people realize. It is totally overwhelming and disheartening sometimes. It takes a lot of patience and a lot of compromise from everyone involved, but for me at least it can be worth it. The good news is that you seem to be willing to put in the work and try to find solutions, and you say you already have a decent relationship with the other two kids. That's a good start.
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