May I join in and

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2003
May I join in and
Mon, 06-02-2003 - 9:32am
ask if any of you ever feel the way I do about your situation.

I'm not remarried (yet), but DSO and I have been living together for 6 months now. I was married previously for nearly 20 years, and I have custody of DS who is 17. DSO has custody of 2 children who are 13 and 15. When I chose to start dating again, I decided that I did not want to date anyone with small children. My DS is almost grown. He will be a senior next year. He has a job, a girlfriend, tons of friends, and is busy all the time. While I very much enjoyed being a mom, I'm not one of those who is going to go into an empty-nest depression. I've looked forward to getting on with my life and having experiences that I put off while I was raising my child.

So, with this is mind, I began dating DSO, whose children are relatively older and I assumed (bad thing to do) that he was also looking forward to the time when the kids would be grown and gone and the two of us could have a life. I also figured that having older kids meant less work. They should be more self-sufficient and they should be busy with lives of their own. This is not the case with DSO's kids.

These two children are needy and clingy and DSO loves it. They have no friends, they go nowhere, and they are both very immature. Neither of them will socialize with anyone, including my DS and his friends who have tried to include them but their immaturity has turned everyone off. They both hide in their bedrooms and come out only to eat and go to the bathroom. They can pass by me a hundred times and not speak. They do no chores around the house, take no interest in anyone or anything there, and have to be reminded of simple things like turning out lights or closing doors - things that you have to remind a 5 year old to do, not kids who are well out of elementary school.

Their needs come before anyone else's. Let them speak and DSO jumps. He and I do nothing and go nowhere as a couple. Even if we go to the grocery store he feels he has to drag them along just to get them out of the house because they won't leave the house and do anything for themselves. Both of these kids are self-absorbed and self-centered and it's starting to take a serious toll on my relationship with DSO. Last week he and I joined a fitness club. We signed all the kids up. DSO's older child has decided this is going to be his daily routine no matter what anyone else wants to do. My DS has a pass AND his own car, but DSO's DS wouldn't dream of asking him if he'd want to go. He has to have Dad take him. Twice over this past weekend, I had plans shot to heck because this kid wanted to workout and Dad figured THAT took precedence over anything I wanted to do.

This goes on ALL the time. It's like DSO feels guilty that the kids won't get a life for themselves so he dismisses everything else in HIS life, including me, in order to make them happy. I'm tired of it. It's gone on ever since I've known him - and yes, I should have gotten a clue before we moved in together, but I thought maybe things would change. They didn't. I'm tired of taking a backseat to these kids. He tells me I'm paranoid and jealous of his kids, but after all the disappointments I've had because these kids have dominated the situation, how could I not feel some animosity towards them?

Remember, these aren't little children. They are middle and high schoolers. One is going into the 8th grade and one into the 11th. I don't understand because my own child is an independent and busy kid. DSO doesn't understand because his kids are needy and he seems to enjoy it. And while I think it's fine to do things as a family, I also think it's important for a couple to have time together. We don't have this time and I'm finding myself more and more wishing that he and his kids would move out so I could get my life back.

If you've read this far, thank you. I'm just curious if anyone else has found themselves taking a backseat to kids?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Tue, 08-19-2003 - 3:39am
I can definitely relate to your frustration. My DH doesn't invest any time/effort into our relationship as a couple either. It's like it just doesn't occur to them. I have 2 skids and a 3 y/o and a 1 y/o. I obviously have 2 little "reasons" to make my marriage work and so I do what I can but you certainly don't have to put up with the nonsense. I just wonder what your DSO's going to do when his kids are grown. Will they still be living with the 2 of you throughout their college years? Good luck and maybe we can both read a good book about setting boundaries this week. I guess you can tell that I am not happy with my husband right now either, otherwise I wouldn't be up at this hour. Stay connected with your good friends. They will help you keep perspective....
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2003
Mon, 09-01-2003 - 12:15am
RUN, and RUN fast.!

It doesn't change, it'll only get worse!!! RUN run run!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 3:29pm
does it seriously get worse???

my bf has a 13 1/2 year old daughter that hangs all over him ... loves to nap with him and calls us all of the time when we are out together ...

is this normal?????
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 5:17pm
Hi Sophia! I think that 13.5 is a little old to be taking naps with Daddy. It's not normal as far as I know. It sounds to me like Daddy needs to set some healthy boundaries for his daughter. Does he have full physical custody? If not, she may be insecure about Daddy leaving her.

Either way, Dad needs to set some ground rules. He naps alone. If she wants to take a nap at the same time, then it's to be in her own space, room or on the couch, whatever, but NOT where Daddy's sleeping. When the two of you areout together is NOT her time with Daddy. She needs to stop those calls. The only call allowed when Sean and I are out is in case of emergency.

Yes, it will get worse if Daddy lets it!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 8:54pm
Hi Chris!!! Thank you sooooooo much for making me feel like the normal 1!!!! how does 1 broach the subject of it being "not normal" for her to be napping with him??? he hasnt been very open to ANYONE "critisizing" his daughter in any way shape or form ... hes even "excluded" people from his life for not adoring his "darling" teenager ....

he is making a huge effort about our "alone" time even if its only a trip to the grocery store .... about her not always going with us ....

i love him ... but my tummy has been in knots over his daughter

thanks for the ear chris!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 10:38pm
Maybe a little mention about her starting to become independent as an early teen? Here are a couple of boards that might be able to give you a little more guidance.


Parents of children thirteen and older

Parent Soup has the resources to help your make your child’s teens some of the best years of her life. Browse our articles, get advice from our experts, and find answers to your questions in our Parents of Teens communities.

Sleeping Tips for Parents of Teens

Article about teen sleep problems written for parents of teens.

You should find some good stuff here. And, there's also the

Stepparenting: Smoothing Conflicts through Active Listening

Blended families can learn how to resolve conflicts through good communication and active listening. Here's how.


Parent Soup's Stepparenting and Divorce expert Jann Blackstone-Ford shares support and advice about the unique parenting issues found in bonus families.

Hope something helps!