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  #1  
June 4th, 2012, 11:36 PM
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I'm so new at this. I have two DDs, 6.5 yo and 5 yo. My DFiancee has two DSs, 8 yo and 7 yo. My 6.5 and his 7 are in the same class at school. They are not getting along. DF lives with me, and the two boys visit two evenings and one overnight a week.

7yo DSS keeps accusing my DD 6.5 yo of doing and saying bad things to him at school. He has already been caught and punished for lying about this stuff in the past, but something came up again today, and my DD is insisting that she didn't do anything (and her friend/classmate is backing her up).

These things keep happening over and over, yet DF is still automatically assuming that his son is telling the truth and that my daughter must be lying or not telling the whole truth, and that she must have something to do with it.

DF and I are newly engaged, and though I want to spend the rest of my life with him, and I want our families to live Brady Bunch style, I have to think of my girls first! So, I don't know what to do. DF packed a bag and is sleeping at his mother's tonight. He has texted a couple of times wanting to talk, but I don't know what to say right now, as my head is a mess.

(Bit of background: Bio dad and I broke up 3 years ago, and I've dated several men since then, and have had one live in boyfriend before my current fiancee. I feel like I've brought too many men into my girls' life, and I don't like the idea of breaking up with this one too easily, as I don't want to rip him out of my girls' lives, yet I don't want to put my girls' needs second)

So, any suggestions?
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  #2  
June 5th, 2012, 12:28 AM
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I'm really stressing out here. I hope someone can say SOMETHING to me about this.
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  #3  
June 5th, 2012, 07:57 AM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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On this board, it can take a little while to get some replies.

First and foremost, I want to let you know that "Brady Bunch style" is not something that comes easily or quickly. Blending families is HARD. Many people believe that it can take up to 7 years for a family to become fully blended. The first thing I would do would be to adjust my expectations - it's NOT going to be like the Brady Bunch no matter how hard you and your df try, and you will drive yourself crazy if you expect it to.

I'm really sorry things aren't going well right now. That sounds really tough. It sounds like there are a couple of different things going on - the first is your 7 yo dss's issues with lying about your dd. My best guess is that it's an anxiety response. Blending families is hard for the kids, too. He probably feels a little threatened by you and your girls, like he may lose his Daddy to you/them. Are you the first serious partner your df has had since ending his relationship with your dss's mother? If not, are you the first woman he's been engaged to? I can see those things triggering some of those emotions in your dss - 7 was a really anxious age for my middle dss too. I'll add that *I* know that you aren't stealing your df away from his kids, and neither of you are doing anything wrong by pursuing a serious relationship together and wanting/trying to blend your families. I just think that it sounds like your dss is feeling kind of insecure and acting out - maybe he thinks if he can prove how "bad" your dd is, you and the girls will go away. The best thing I can suggest, if that's the case, is to make sure he still gets lots of one on one time with Daddy. Time with the whole family is great and crucial to blending, but the one on one connecting time is really precious too, and can help ease some of the anxiety. It lets him know he is still special and loved, even though your family is changing and moving together into one big family. He isn't going to be abandoned or forgotten about. If your ds knows that Daddy sides with him when he makes up stories about your dd, it makes sense that he would continue to do it - it lets him know that it's working and it validates his Dad's love for him, which is really what it sounds like he's looking for - the problem is that it also throws another child under the bus and damages df's relationship with you in the process. There are other, healthier ways to validate love.

The other issue that I'm seeing is your df's assumptions that your dd is lying/always siding with his ds. I can't speak a whole lot about this one because it's not something I've had to deal with here, but I can certainly see that putting a strain on his relationship with you (as well as his relationship with your dd). I'm guessing some of our other ladies will chime in more on this one. I will say that I get the impression it's fairly normal to want to protect your own children, so in that light I can't totally fault your df for wanting to defend his child. That said, it does create an atmosphere of us vs. them, our family vs. their family within your home and that is not going to help you blend, at all. It *was* an issue when I was a child in a blended family, with my mom and stepdad. They're still together and they're happy (I'm sure it helps that all of the kids are out on their own now, for the most part ) and I like my stepdad - but my brother and I, and my stepsisters never really blended and even now, family dinners and get togethers usually feel like "us and them" instead of "our family". We don't fight and we get along, but there's not really any connection between his daughters and me and my brother. Us vs. them is not good for anyone. The best thing for him to do (and you, if you do it too, although I haven't gotten that impression from your OP) is to begin thinking in terms of the entire family. That means moving from, "I need to defend my child" to "We need to address this in a way that bonds our family together" - that may mean that when a child does something wrong, you approach it differently too. Instead of, "[dss] has been lying again." maybe, "[dss] says that [dd] did xyz to him. She and her friend say that didn't happen. I wonder if he's feeling anxious right now."

I know it's instinct to want to protect your kids. I think that's part of why blended family life can be SO hard - you sometimes have to set that aside (when it's unreasonable) and try to apply those feelings to a child that isn't biologically yours.

Anyway, I'm sure some of our other ladies will chime in. Welcome to JM and I hope things look up for your family!
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  #4  
June 5th, 2012, 09:34 AM
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I completely agree with Kayla, real families don't just fit perfectly together right away, and I'm sure DSS is acting out because he's jealous that his dad is with your daughter all the time and he can't be.
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  #5  
June 5th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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Hi. I am Patty. One issue we had problems with when DH and I got together 3 years ago was DSS went from being an only child to being the middle child of 3. He now has an older brother and a younger sister and everything is not his alone. He still has "his" stuff but the wii system is for all the kids and has to be shared and he did not like this. It took him a while to adapt to not being an only child DH and I are careful to make sure we spend quality time with all 3 kids and with each kid too. That really helped DSS transition.
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  #6  
June 5th, 2012, 10:55 AM
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Ugh I feel your pain. Dh's oldest dd almost broke us up. What we didn't do that I now wished we had was family counseling. I think it would have helped us a lot.

I know you said that dss has been caught lying before but have you entertained the possibility that your dd has been saying mean things to him at school or at least things he interprets as mean? She may not think they are but he does? Also, I wouldn't count your dd's friend/classmate as a necessarily reliable source. She is your dd's friend after all.

If you guys stay together, I'd make sure in the future that the 2 kids aren't in the same class at school. My dd has friends that are twins & they've never been in the same class in school.
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  #7  
June 5th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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Hi. Your posts were at 1: 30 am and 2: 30 am my time, so that's why you didn't get a response right away. I think most of us are on EST time.

Anyway I'm going to agree with Kayla. I hope you can work something out!
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  #8  
June 5th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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  #9  
June 5th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Ditto Kayla here too. We've been together for 10 years and we're still blending at times. It's never easy and it will most likely not be a quick thing like we would like it to be.
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  #10  
June 5th, 2012, 01:05 PM
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The Brady Bunch is a tv show. NO ONE is like that. Promise. All you can do is blend your family the best you can.

The kids are pitting you two against each other. Your potential step son may feel you're stealing his dad (although we know you're not; adults form relationships and that's more than ok) and so by telling tales he gets assurance that his father is still in his corner. Your DF is giving him this by jumping to his defense.

Your daughters may likely be in a position of assuming this guy isn't going to last and are looking for him to move on already due to past events. That's reenforced by you automatically taking her side and not taking a second to think maybe she had more to do with it than she's saying. Even though he has lied in the past, it's not fair to him to assume he's lying every time and it puts your daughter in the position to actually do things to him and not have to own up to it.

They can't be my kids and his kids they have to be OUR kids or it won't work. When these tiffs come up I'd give a mutual punishment. "You two are going to be siblings and if you can't work it out amongst yourselves then no dessert for the both of you." It pushes them towards working out this conflict on their own.
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  #11  
June 5th, 2012, 04:40 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ember Rose View Post
The Brady Bunch is a tv show. NO ONE is like that. Promise. All you can do is blend your family the best you can.

The kids are pitting you two against each other. Your potential step son may feel you're stealing his dad (although we know you're not; adults form relationships and that's more than ok) and so by telling tales he gets assurance that his father is still in his corner. Your DF is giving him this by jumping to his defense.

Your daughters may likely be in a position of assuming this guy isn't going to last and are looking for him to move on already due to past events. That's reenforced by you automatically taking her side and not taking a second to think maybe she had more to do with it than she's saying. Even though he has lied in the past, it's not fair to him to assume he's lying every time and it puts your daughter in the position to actually do things to him and not have to own up to it.

They can't be my kids and his kids they have to be OUR kids or it won't work. When these tiffs come up I'd give a mutual punishment. "You two are going to be siblings and if you can't work it out amongst yourselves then no dessert for the both of you." It pushes them towards working out this conflict on their own.

Ohh I like this! The one who is telling lies will be less likely to tell them if they also have to be punished. It sucks for the innocent child, but after a few times, it should taper off.
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  #12  
June 5th, 2012, 05:20 PM
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Wow, Ladies, lots of good insight, thank you very much! I've taken the first step and asked for the two of them to be in separate classes next year. This may not be able to happen though, 'cause it's a small school, but they said that IF there are two grade two classes, that they would be split up. That should help next year. My DF and I haven't done a lot of talking yet today, but we have talked a little bit, and I think that a lot of these suggestions should help us for sure. Thanks again!
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  #13  
June 5th, 2012, 06:32 PM
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I think it's only natrual for him to side on his sons side. it takes time to get to the point where he'll look at them both as evenly as he can.
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  #14  
June 6th, 2012, 01:19 PM
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And in the same light, natural for you to take your dd's side. I think you both need to step back & ask how you would handle it if they were both your bio kids. I think then you might come up with a better solution.
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  #15  
June 7th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Kid drama is going to happen whether it's with friends or siblings. You will teach them nothing by resorting to the two of you fighting for them. While one of them is most likely more innocent than the other, if you and your future dh fall into the trap of letting it divide the two of you then no one will win in the end.

All of your home's relationships will be built on the strength of yours and his. How can you expect the kids to start blending and trusting if you have one foot out the door? If you love him, trust that he will be the man in your girls lives, then you commit to him 100%. Assuming there's no abuse and the two of you intend on raising a healthy home, for these reasons your marriage should always come before your children!
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  #16  
June 9th, 2012, 04:56 PM
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Blending families has been one of the hardest things I have done! I have an 8 year old DS and twin 6 year old DS' from my previous marriage. We are also raising my 6 year old DSD. Most of the fights DH and I have are in regards to DSD. It has gotten to the point where I can not say anything about DSD that might be negative. If she does something wrong, I can not say anything without getting yelled at. We are working on things and I hope they improve. But it is not easy at all.
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