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please help, dont know what to do


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  #1  
August 22nd, 2012, 08:34 AM
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My significant other and I moved in together about a month ago. We'd been dating for a while, probably not long enough (6 months) and he was so sure that he wanted us all under one roof, so I went along with it.
I warned him that my 9 year old and 18 year old and I are a crazy bunch, and that I dont parent the way a lot of people do. That they are messy and leave lights on etc. He didnt care, he wanted us all to move toward being a family and was willing to take us craziness and all.

Now dont get me wrong, my kids are normal. the oldest one is in college and works p/t at a daycare. She has friend and boyfriends over 3 or 4 times a week. My youngest is into his scooter, and his xbox. Neither of them have major issues, and are perfectly normal kids, whom I happen to have a really good relationship with.
yes, they leave lights on. What kid doesnt. yes, they leave dirty dishes in the sink. Not abnormal in my opinion. Yes, they do these things even after being reminded not to.

Our problems began a week after moving in, when my son walked into the room. We were just watching TV but my SO went berzerk about privacy and knocking before entering. So we sat down the three of us, and made the rule that the door needs to be knocked on before entering if it's closed.
(My kids have always had free admission to my room prior to now.)

Then the PGE bill came in at 350.00, Yes, it's the middle of the summer and the AC is running, and yes the kids leave lights on. He put a note on every light switch. turn it off! (Im paying the PGE bill.)

If food gets left out or the door isnt locked after 8 pm, he has to complain about it to me for hours. He has implied my daughters boyfriend stole something he readily admits he looses on a regular basis. Because he 'looks shifty', he complains every time I feed her boyfriend or every time he comes over (about 4 times a week.) He has said multiple times that he is spending the night here, and he doesnt like it. My daughter and he keep late hours but he always goes home. I say goodbye to her every morning at 6am and he isnt there. I've told him repeatedly this, but he refuses.

Things like this, the list goes on and on. Small petty things, that take up the majority of the day with his complaining, and it is wearing me down. I told him, it's not worth it, that our relationship is far more important that spending so much time on these small things, that are typical kid things.

I can keep implementing new rules on my kids to keep him happy, but the truth is, they are adjusting too, and really he's the adult so shouldn't he be flexible as well?

I understand that his son (passed away at 12 from cancer 3 years ago) was used to his rules and followed them to a T, I understand that he has lived alone for 3 years and that this is a lot of change all at once, but this constant complaining about everything my children do is starting to wear on me and it's only getting worse. I counted he complained for 5 minute or more about 7 different petty things in the last 24 hours. Lights, locking the front door, not washing dishes, not finishing dinner, yelling at another kid on the xbox, a boyfriend in the house at 8 pm, and not making a bed.

I'm ok with him reminding them, but this is bordering on stab my eyes out territory, to listen to it. I really try and be supportive and help him see that he is overreacting and balance that response with correction toward the kids, but why can't he just politely tell them to please turn the lights off, instead of 'marching' past her to do it, and then complaining to me about it for 10 minutes. She IS 18.

he took us all on open-eyed. is the reality SO BAD?
I want him to see a counselor or something, I feel like he is shutting down on us, because of something he needs to deal with himself. Change, feeling like my kids are taking over space previously occupied by the memory of his son...which he asked for, and we discussed at length prior to finalizing our decision to move in.

Can anyone here please offer me some immediate help. Something to do to take the edge off, before I run screaming from the house. It's starting to affect our love life, and I dont want that. but I can't feel safe or attracted to someone who is constantly voicing displeasure about me and in extensoin of me, my children.

Other than spending 100 hours in the garden a week, can you please offer some advice?

Sorry so long, I think I've been trying to deal with this for too long without any outside input..
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  #2  
August 22nd, 2012, 10:09 AM
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Yikes, it sounds like you are spot on in that he has issues he needs to address. It definitely sounds like he has work to do.

That being said, I'm not sure why your kids can't clean up after themselves and turn the lights off when they leave a room? I understand that all kids forget, but if you continue to make the excuse "they are just kids and kids do that", they will never learn to follow the rules.

Good luck!
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  #3  
August 22nd, 2012, 10:22 AM
.Katie.
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You guys need to sit down and write a parenting plan for your home that you BOTH can be happy with. Tackle each issue and don't leave that table until you reach an agreement that leaves you both feeling satisfied and above all, stronger in your unity.
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  #4  
August 22nd, 2012, 10:33 AM
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I think you all need to sit down , everyone together and set rules and explain WHY these things are important and everyone can get everything out.
yes he needs to adjust to everything, but that will take longer than a month I would think.. but the kids also need to adjust, not just him.
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  #5  
August 22nd, 2012, 11:39 AM
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I'm sorry that the adjustment isn't going so well. When dh & I moved in together, we had a bit of this. His ex wife parents his children very differently than I parent mine. I refused to change how I parent my children on some other woman's ideas. Especially when I saw how those kids were

I think you need to sit down & talk about what's acceptable on both sides & what's not. Sounds like everyone has to change a bit. The biggest thing for me would be he has to stop the passive agressive garbage. Also, you can't blame children for not following rules they aren't aware of.
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  #6  
August 22nd, 2012, 12:36 PM
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For me personally (and maybe why I'm "still single") my kids come first. I parent them the best way I know how, period. I do agree with Rachel, that kids those ages should be turning off lights & cleaning up after themselves. If they for the most part do those things and just occasionally forget that's one thing, but at 18 years old if she's not learning to do these things now, I fear for when she moves out of your house and into her own place...

However, I do not think your SO should be the one to correct their behaviors. You've been the one to allow it in the past and you should be the one to correct it, because him taking on that role will only cause your kids to dislike & resent him in the long run.

I wouldn't allow a man in my house who would nit pick and degrade my children and complain constantly. It's my house, my kids. If he doesn't like it, there's the door. But then, I have a very different stance then some of these other ladies who are living in a blended family situation and making it work. I think they've all given good suggestions & ideas to try and see what works best for you, your SO and your children.

Just from what you've said... it does seem he may still be dealing with the death of his child and adjusting to your way of parenting, etc. Maybe some counseling (for him and for you two as a couple and maybe even include your kids) would be a good option.
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  #7  
August 22nd, 2012, 01:16 PM
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I have a lot of opinions on this, but honestly when I type them out they all come off wrong. So I'll stick to agreeing with everyone about sitting down and drawing up some rules and making everyone stick to them. I see no reason why you're picking up after an 18 year old period, a 9 year old I can see once in a while.. but they could be doing a whole lot themselves too.

Boyfriend always caused contention in my house. He had to be gone by 11pm, or when my parents went to bed, which ever came first. That rule will also be in affect in our house in the future as Reme will be a teen while we have young impressionable children in the house.
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  #8  
August 22nd, 2012, 01:36 PM
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He's a parent that no longer has children to parent. So to be faced with children he can't parent, who are living very differently than he parented his child....that's hard. I'd see if he's open to counseling. I'd also look into rules EVERYONE can live with.
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  #9  
August 22nd, 2012, 02:16 PM
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I haven't read everyone elses full replies but I wanted to reply to this:

Quote:
I can keep implementing new rules on my kids to keep him happy,
Why? he moved into your house right? meaning THEIR house. why should they have to change something you were okay with them doing to appease him? Yes i think lights should be shut off because it's a responsible thing to do. but if you don't care, then you don't need to make the kids stop doing something that was okay beause he doesn't like it.

Coming form a kid who had all kinds of things change when my moms boyfirned moved in. they'll resent him, and eventually you (Yes I'm speculating) coming from a mom who has allowed her boyfriend to move in, he knew from the jump this is my kids home and they will always come before you. if I'm okay with it, and it's been that way for YEARS before you, well you better adjust because I'm not making them (and me) change for you. and I don't expect him to change either. (ours seems to work out good as a balance)

oh and the door thing. my kids know they can always come to me, any time any where. and my boyfriend knows this as well. their might be kids arriving in our room any time day or night, and he's okay with that. if he wasn't he wouldn't be living with me.

good luck!
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  #10  
August 22nd, 2012, 03:36 PM
.Katie.
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If you guys aren't capable of placing the relationship you have first in your home, then everything else will eventually fall apart. Every relationship in your house is going to be founded on the strength of yours and his.

That means loving and respecting one another enough to care how your actions and attitudes affect the other. If you guys can't work through issues in a loving and healthy way then you're just wasting everyone's time and subjecting your children to bad behaviors.
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  #11  
August 22nd, 2012, 07:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w292737 View Post
Why? he moved into your house right? meaning THEIR house. why should they have to change something you were okay with them doing to appease him? Yes i think lights should be shut off because it's a responsible thing to do. but if you don't care, then you don't need to make the kids stop doing something that was okay beause he doesn't like it.
Quote:
Change, feeling like my kids are taking over space previously occupied by the memory of his son...
I don't think she specifically said who moved in with who, or if they got a new place together, but this made me think she and the kids moved in with him.

I get what you're saying Ro, but I can't help but wonder how long a guy who is told will never be number one in your life (general you) will want to play second fiddle. I would never choose a man over my kids, meaning that if a man told me it was either them or him, he would be hitting the road, but if you're going to make a family with a person, that other person needs to have a voice.
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  #12  
August 23rd, 2012, 07:15 AM
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I agree with the other girls about sitting down and coming up with a parenting plan. That would be a good starting point.
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  #13  
August 23rd, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
I don't think she specifically said who moved in with who, or if they got a new place together, but this made me think she and the kids moved in with him.

I get what you're saying Ro, but I can't help but wonder how long a guy who is told will never be number one in your life (general you) will want to play second fiddle. I would never choose a man over my kids, meaning that if a man told me it was either them or him, he would be hitting the road, but if you're going to make a family with a person, that other person needs to have a voice.
I get what you are saying. and I agree. but the way I read her post was that the kids have to be the only ones to change for this guy. and I don't think doing that will be helpful for the kids to adjust.

and when I say S knows he won't come first. it's more of, like you said, if it comes down to him or my kids, it's my kids any day. but he helps make rules and such in our house. but still being new-ish then it's not a sticky note on all the light switches, but a nice gentle reminder to please turn off the lights, as you see it.
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  #14  
August 23rd, 2012, 02:18 PM
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Omg. I'll play devils advocate!

I was in your SO's shoes at one point.

His kids are 18 and 9. And he NEvER had rules for them. Didn't clean, turn off lights, or do anything in a clean manner.
I had 2 bios ages 6 and 10 myself.

Dh's kids had a major adjustment moving in with me and I'm pretty OCD on cleaning and picking up and being responsible for yourself even if you are , gasp! , 18!!

That being said I can't function normally without a clean house with all in order. It depresses me and makes me angry and many other emotions.
IMO your kids are old enough to understand rules and nobody is helping them prepare for adulthood by letting these things go.
I'm dealing with major issues with SS19 right now. He can't remember anything and his job is suffering bc of it. Instead of teaching him to do it right, his dad overlooked his forgetfulness all these years and now SS19 will be the one who can't take care of himself bc no one prepared him to wear his big boy undies.
Try looking at it from your SO's point of view. Pushing the kids to do "right" can only help them later. Doesn't mean either of YOU are right or wrong. And doesn't mean he's being a nitty jerk. Or that you're being a lazy parent. You two just have very different styles and he's not hurting them by pushing to get them to follow rules.
If he were being abusive I'd see an issue. If he were cursing them or throwing tantrums etc I'd have a problem.

In my case these issues manifested into bigger ones and I never let up. I absolutely cannot function in chaos. And I haven't and won't give in to sloppy children. My defense has always been that I'm NOT hurting his kids by pushing rules.

And the boyfriend thing...in our house SS19 isn't allowed to have his gf in his room with the door shut or lights off or any blankets around. We aren't motel 6 for the unwed in this house.
There's no way I'd go to bed with my son having a girl over and just "see" that she's not there at 6 am.

What example is that for the 9 year old?

Your daughter may be 18 but is obviously not capable yet of taking care of herself (or a baby) and I'd be careful of allowing situations that could result in that. Sounds like maybe your SO might have your kids best interest in mind and maybe has a hard way of showing it. I can sympathize with him. I'm typically accused of being the witch of the house about dh's kids but my goal is to see all OUR kids lead happy and fulfilling lives , and be on their own at some point. =>
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  #15  
August 23rd, 2012, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
he has to complain about it to me for hours
Quote:
Small petty things, that take up the majority of the day with his complaining, and it is wearing me down. I told him, it's not worth it, that our relationship is far more important that spending so much time on these small things, that are typical kid things.
Quote:
then complaining to me about it for 10 minutes
i went back and read more/again.

I agree with Doodle bug, you have to teach things to kids. and where as leaving the lights on or off isn't the worst thing they can or not do. there is a definate difference of opinion for if it makes a big deal to you and to him. but if he feels the need to complain and carry on for that long or that often (as it sounds like he does) then it makes me wonder why. you two need to sit down and talk. you both need to pick yoru battles. if you are paying the electric bill then he should let the light situation go. but if he likes the front door locked at 8 pm, then maybe that can be accomidated. negotiate.

and communicate. that really is the key. you both can be however you want about things, so long as you both understand. I'm neuotic about alot of things but I pick which ones I really get upset about. I like having the front door locked and the shower curtian pulled all the way back open (closed? so that it's covering the opening) do I say something about both? no. I just picked which was more important (the front door) and asked S to plaese comply. (these probbaly aren't the two best examples but I think you get my point)

just sit and talk and let him know how you feel and he should do the same and go from there.
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  #16  
August 23rd, 2012, 07:20 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w292737

i went back and read more/again.

I agree with Doodle bug, you have to teach things to kids. and where as leaving the lights on or off isn't the worst thing they can or not do. there is a definate difference of opinion for if it makes a big deal to you and to him. but if he feels the need to complain and carry on for that long or that often (as it sounds like he does) then it makes me wonder why. you two need to sit down and talk. you both need to pick yoru battles. if you are paying the electric bill then he should let the light situation go. but if he likes the front door locked at 8 pm, then maybe that can be accomidated. negotiate.

and communicate. that really is the key. you both can be however you want about things, so long as you both understand. I'm neuotic about alot of things but I pick which ones I really get upset about. I like having the front door locked and the shower curtian pulled all the way back open (closed? so that it's covering the opening) do I say something about both? no. I just picked which was more important (the front door) and asked S to plaese comply. (these probbaly aren't the two best examples but I think you get my point)

just sit and talk and let him know how you feel and he should do the same and go from there.
I had to LOL at the shower curtain. This is one of my biggest OCD issues!!! Ss19 leaves the curtain open all the time which means its bunched up and collects water and creates mold and mildew.
Makes me CRAZY! I now make him buy the new liner every time I go in and find mold growing bc he's the only one to leave it open.
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  #17  
August 24th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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LOL I have the shower curtain issue too! Drives me nuts!

As far as the kids coming 1st for me, dh knew coming into my house that my kids would always come before him. He had a choice to accept or walk away. He accepted it & now appreciates that I love his kids so much. We've been together 7 years now & have an awesome relationship. Just because he doesn't come 1st doesn't mean he doesn't count or have a say. He's a grown man & doesn't need me to mother him. My children however, need a mother.

Oh & I read it as he moved in with her & her children. Who moved in with whom could make a big difference. I read the filling the space of his child as more a pscychological thing than a physical thing.
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  #18  
August 24th, 2012, 12:22 PM
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Add me to the shower curtain list. In my defense, I have asthma so mold and mildew can give me an attack.

As for who moved in with whom, I read it as Rachel did.

Anyways, I think the best route to take is to talk as a family unit. First with each other, then with the kids together. At 18, there should be no excuse for not picking up after themselves, leaving lights on, and dirty dishes. The 9 year old gets more slack but not by much at that age. My kids are 16, 13, 7 and 1 month. They've all, sans the newborn of course, been cleaning up after themselves and helping out around the house since they were 6. I also wouldn't allow the boyfriend/girlfriend over past a certain time or after I went to bed for the night. Too many things can happen while I'm awake, let alone asleep. Checking on my teen at 6 am to be sure that the boy/girlfriend was gone means nothing. That doesn't mean that the SO didn't leave half an hour before or is hiding under the bed (I've done this).

To me, it sounds like adjustments need to be made all around. Him, you and the kids.
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  #19  
August 24th, 2012, 02:47 PM
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As for the teenager and the boyfriend....no one wants to hear that they might potentially have to be responsible for another life and that's they have no say in the matter.
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  #20  
August 24th, 2012, 07:46 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ember Rose
As for the teenager and the boyfriend....no one wants to hear that they might potentially have to be responsible for another life and that's they have no say in the matter.
That's my opinion too.SS19 hates that I don't allow him freedom with his gf in our house but if he wants that freedom he better be able to pay for it. And be able to pay for any consequences that may arise.
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