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Old 02-18-2015, 03:34 PM
9 posts, read 13,462 times
Reputation: 26


Please forgive me if this islong, I feel like ranting alittle today

Last night, the wife (kids step-mom) being her usual self, decidedonce again that my children deserve nothing. She decided to throw away a magazine they had just received in the mailyesterday that we got them a subscription to for Christmas. My daughters are 17 (in two weeks) and 15 andlive with us full time. Their bio-mom iscompletely out of the picture and can’t have contact with them. Needless to say, this isn’t the first timeshe takes things away from them. Ourcloset is littered with items she has taken away, and when I give them back,she immediately confiscates them again. They have no cell phones (even though I think they should have them),and no electronics at all except for a radio in their rooms. They aren’t bad kids, no drugs, alcohol,partying, etc. They’re home with usevery night and seem to have very few friends, none of which ever come to ourhouse.

When the wife comes home from her job in the evening (afterI do), I can never tell how her mood is going to be. Even if she is in a good mood, the smallestthing will set her off. For example, theother day she tripped over one of her own shoes that she had just taken off andthrew it across the room, nearly hitting me. Luckily the kids weren’t home at the time. Another time, she flips out because there’s afew crumbs left on the counter in the kitchen after the kids have cleaned it,she’ll keep making the re-do it until it passes a white glove test. Her father even stated “it’s her kitchen, shewants it cleaned a specific way”. I’m ofthe mindset that I don’t care how it’s done, as long as it’s done. I’ve tried talking to her parents, but allthey do is take her side and say I’m wrong. Excuse me, but they’re MY kids, not hers or theirs. This as well as many other things is reallystarting to get to me lately. I’ve madean appointment for myself to go see a family counselor and maybe talk some ofwhat I am feeling out, as it feels like we all walk on egg shells around her.

We got into an argument a while back where she stated “I’myour wife, you need to put me first in this family”. At which point I told her “Mykids come first”. Needless to say, shedidn’t like that and throws that in my face anytime I over-rule some ridiculousnew rule she decides to put in place in regards to the kids. Anyway, I think I’m done ranting for now, ifyou made it this far, thanks for reading.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:46 PM
12,941 posts, read 19,873,870 times
Reputation: 34067
I read it till the end. I hate hearing stories like this. Your wife is wrong. Your children must come first. Spouses are important, but not equal when it comes to the offspring we are responsible for.

You don't say how long you've been married, and you don't seem as though you really value your wife under the circumstances. If she can't handle being a loving, FAIR, step-parent for a few more years, I'd cut her loose.

You need to have an air-clearing discussion with her. Punishments must not be of the knee-jerk variety, and they should be put in place only if you both agree they are called for. Your daughters need your emotional support, as well as your physical support.

If the new wife has any redeeming factors that you haven't mentioned, then go ahead with joint counseling to see if it can be worked out. Her father has no place in the conversation.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:12 PM
Location: The Hall of Justice
25,907 posts, read 35,078,962 times
Reputation: 42377
I've always said that a spouse does come first, BUT that person has to be a good parent to the kids. You two have to be a team, none of this power struggle, but how can you do that if the other person does not have your children's best interest at heart? My husband's stepmother was a witch to him and his siblings. She told them frequently that she never wanted children and how much they owed her for taking care of them. They pretty much all hate her guts now. It's unfathomable that my father-in-law stayed married to her, but he was not an attentive father and felt that raising children was a woman's job. I'm glad you are fighting for your children. Do you really need to stay married to this person? Good luck to you and your family.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:14 PM
1,696 posts, read 2,040,578 times
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What have you done in the past year to change things?

Step-mom attitude towards kids
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:22 PM
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,535 posts, read 4,514,979 times
Reputation: 2572
I'm glad you've got that off your chest. I think counseling is a really good idea. There is definitely a lot of baggage going on and your wife sounds passive aggressive. Working with a counselor will help you either work through the marriage or if your wife is unwilling to work on it, to get out of it.

Personally, I agree with the sentiment that wife does come before your children, however, not in the way she is using that statement. Sometimes I see parents who spend more time building the relationships with their children at the expense of their spouse and then the kids fly the nest and they are miserable with each other. And when the kids marry, they get in between the kids relationship with their spouse. That's not what she seems to be saying from your telling of it. Your wife seems to be using that idea to mean that you should always take her side, which is nonsense.

Good luck with the counseling and I'm sorry your going through this. It really sounds miserable.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:25 PM
9 posts, read 13,462 times
Reputation: 26
Originally Posted by djmaxwell View Post
What have you done in the past year to change things?

Step-mom attitude towards kids
I've done a lot in the past year. I supervise the kids when they are doing their chores, so she doesn't feel like she has to do that with them. We do more date nights to attempt to have some adult time away from the kids to attempt to reduce her stress level. I have managed to not have any time where I have been sent TDY or had to go the the field for extended periods, resulting in me being home all the time. You name it, I've done it besides the counseling which is about to start. If this doesn't work, I know what the final step is.

Like I said originally, I;m mostly looking to just rant at this point. Thanks again to everyone for your replies.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:29 PM
12,941 posts, read 19,873,870 times
Reputation: 34067
I would agree that spouses come first, but only when they are the biological parents of the children. It can be assumed at that point that the well-being of the children is equally important to both parties. I'm not sure that the same applies to step-parents. The step-parents bear a certain level of responsibility for choosing to accept that role.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:31 PM
Location: Wisconsin
7,215 posts, read 7,593,316 times
Reputation: 7722
I would stop talking with her parents or other relatives about your marital/family issues. Other than that, hopefully counseling will help. I would personally not tolerate having things thrown at me or being yelled at.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:37 PM
Location: Denver CO
19,129 posts, read 10,162,210 times
Reputation: 28027
This isn't a parenting issue, it's a marital issue. But if you don't change things, up to and including leaving this marriage if nothing changes, then it will become a parenting issue because your daughters are going to end up hating you over it.

And no, spouses don't trump their stepkids. She knew you had a preexisting obligation to your children when she married you. If that wasn't ok with her, she needed to walk away herself, not expect you to agree to her zero sum game where she's the only one allowed to win, at the expense of your daughters. Right now, she's putting you in the position of having to choose between her and them, and she's winning. Is that really the choice you want to make?
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:14 PM
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,875 posts, read 19,002,407 times
Reputation: 25158
I hope the counseling helps.

I'd divorce her, not just because it sounds like she's horrible to your kids, but also because she's horrible to you. You deserve to be happy too.
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