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This subject hits a lot of homes these days, but I need some advice.

 

I've been married for 4+ years to a great guy. He was married before and has two girls, 12 and 17 who live with us every other week. We also have two kids together, 3 year old little boy and 6 months old little girl.

 

In the beginning while we were dating and married, things were good. The girls and I got along great. The past 2 years or so, things haven't been so great. They get away with everything. I think they are old enough to clean their rooms and pick up after themselves and help out once in a while with household tasks. I ask, they start whining and just go to the basement. He never makes them come help. I think they need to be accountable for certain things, nothing is ever enforced.

 

Here's a good example that just happened this morning. He had to leave early and his 12 year old was at the house. Right before we're leaving to get everyone to daycare and school, she says, "I got an 82 on my science test." Then proceeds to throw a paper at me and tells me to sign it saying that she told me about the test. I wouldn't do it. I feel if tests need to be signed for, they need to be seen. Yes, an occasional forgot paper, I can make an exception, but she does this all the time. I told her I wasn't going to sign it because she needs to be a little more responsible and bring papers home that need to be signed. So, she calls her mom and the next thing I know, her mom is going to take care of it. My husband just shrugs it off...no big deal.

 

I'm really starting to think the different parenting styles is going to be the end of a good relationship. It's getting to the point to where I don't even want to be around his kids. They have no respect for me or anyone for that matter. The way the talk to him or his mom appals me, but again when I say something, I'm the bad person.

 

I'm seriously considering splitting our finances so that I don't have anything financially to do with these two. Even though they live with us every other week, we have to pay school tuition, all health care costs and it bugs me.

 

Maybe I'm just psycho!!!

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Hey Mamy....

 

Yeh, wow.

 

So, not only are you dealing with the temperament of kids who are dealing with the emotions of life as a blended family, but hormonal teenage girls to boot!!

 

My advice (and its free so take it for what its worth....) is to just be patient. Stand your ground, be WHO and what kind of parent you are no matter what, un-wavering, but be patient that it will all come around.

 

They are going to test you. Push you, try to find your weakness so they can exploit it and get what they want. Not because they're malicious but because they're kids. Teen agers - oy.

 

You just have to be the adult and have your rules. They'll adjust and abide... when they're there. They deal with all kinds of adults. Teachers, their mother, parents of their friends... everybody's rules are slightly different and they either get along or they don't. You have your household rules that they have to honour. And SO DOES YOUR HUSBAND.

 

I strongly believe you need to have the, "we need to be on the same team" talk with him. If he says nothing, its could very easily be construed as him disagreeing with you. Kids will jump all over that. Any kid would! He should be able to muster a "dems the rules" comment to show a lending of support. Since he's obviously not the enforcer. And that's ok. Maybe that's just your role. Maybe your better at it.

 

I know I suck at being the enforcer so thank goodness my husband is better. Someone HAS to be. If that's you, so be it. It does suck to seemingly be the "bad guy" all the time but once the rules are established they'll be plenty of time for enjoying each others' company.

 

 

 

Hope some of this was at least a little helpful.....

 

Best of luck to you!!

 

-Awdree

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It sounds annoying but not something I would leave the father of my children for. You will have the main say in your kids life. And with the smallest age gap being 9 years they won't know much of there older half siblings. You don't even have to be around them much. If it really bothers you I would ask to sit down with your husband and his ex and talk about it. Listen to what they have to say about raise kids and tell them what you think. That might help.

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Yup, it can make you want to pull your hair out. When it comes to step parenting I realized a long time ago that when it comes to someone else's kids, you really have no authority. You only have as much as what the actual parent gives you. It's hard even in normal families when there are two different styles, but in cases like this, it can be down right nervewracking.

 

You said the magic words, can these two styles be the end of a marriage? Money says yes, but I think all that needs to be done is to get him to listen. His passive attitude isn't helping anyone in this house, not even his kids. What kind of example is that setting for them as they grow up? Where can we work where we don't have to show our superiors any sort of respect and still be employed?

 

Time for a sit down, an honest to goodness conversation where you do state that you have to be on the same team and it's pretty evident that you aren't. He does want the best for them, but it's time to point out that this approach is not only counter to this goal, but that it's causing issues between the two of you. A unified front can be very difficult to maintain but it's necessary for kids to know that they cannot break down their parents, and they will try, not because they are evil, but because Becca's party is going to be a blast and that cute guy is going to be there, or that Steve is going to show him that ultimate code in Grand Theft Auto 117!

 

Time for a talk, it's far overdue. If he still doesn't listen you may want to consider counselling as this situation has already gotten you to the point where leaving is an option.

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I never let any partner of mine discipline my son, ever. But, I am a pretty strict disciplinarian so it wasn't necessary. Parent according to your rules, but know that you may often be overruled by their father. That's life and it's not your entire relationship.

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I can see how this is extremly frustrating for you. It would be for me also. I think your underlying concern-as far as leaving goes-is he going to act this way with the children the 2 of you share also. That is a concern because as hard as it is with the step-kids it will be harder to handle when it is your own.

 

I agree with those who say you need to sit down and have a heart to heart and if you feel like that doesn't go anywhere counseling would be the next step. Perhaps at church or even a parenting class at a local hospital, civic group etc. We have many of those options that are open/free to the public. It can't hurt. Good luck

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