What a nightmare, please wake me up!!!!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
What a nightmare, please wake me up!!!!!
Fri, 04-11-2003 - 6:43pm
Hello all,

I'm new to this board and i'm,

I'm very sad and unhappy right about now. I've been married for almost a year and a half. Unfortunately, me and my husband have been seperated for 5 months now.

This is his second marriage and it is also mine. Me, divorced and he widowed. We are both rebounds for one another. We met right when I was getting a divorce and his wife just died.

Anyway,between the both of us, he has three children 1 girl, age 7 and two boys, 11, 12. I have three boys, ages, 11, 12, 15.

The main cause of our seperation was because of his children. They are wild, uncontrollable, are allowed to do anything they want to do, talk to me any way they want to and use profanity, sexually explicit gestures and have girlfriends. They at one point told me about the sex positions they would catch their parents in. I was so offended. They come into the bedroom and just lye on the bed, even if i'm sleepy, they won't leave. They don't even knock. He wants his daughter to sleep between us because that's how he and his deceased wife did it and she's afraid to sleep alone. I didn't raise my boys like that. They are all honor roll students, they don't talk or act like that and because of this, his kids calls mine wimps and geeks.

He took his kids away from the house to live with their maternal grandmother about three months before we seperated. They called at all times of night, 1:00-3:00am even on school nights. "grandmother has no control over them either" He would go and visit them on every Saturdays all day so we had no saturdays together. He would pick his kids up from school, feed them at McDonalds, they would come and brag to my children aboutit. His kids would come over, mess up, talk dirty, take things and feel that they didn'thave to respect me or the house because they didn't live there, they didn't have to clean up. He was no help at standing behind me to make them do this. they told me that they didn'thave to listen to me because i'm not their mom. His daughter started calling me mom but that was stopped soon.

We have all went in for counseling but that didn't work. He just allow his kids to do what ever it is they want to do. Because I ask them to clean up after themselves, not to run throughout the house and not talk sex talk about girls, they say i'm too strict and they didn't want to live with us anymore. He moved them out to live with their maternal grandmother without even discussing it with me. I come home one day and they were gone. I slave over the stove when they visit and they talk about my cooking. My husband doesn't back me up with anything. He feels that he shouldnt get on them so tough because their mother died and she was the one that did all of the disciplining. He feels sorry for them. When I try to ask them to clean up or stop bouncing the ball in the house, they start yelling or even crying saying , "i wish my momma was alive!"

The children have no home training. Non, at all, even my mother in law is upset about this. The problem is, my husband don't see anything wrong with it, He just says, kids will be kids, be cool, they lost their mom. I love him and I want this to work but His kids are interfering with us getting back together.

My kids also stated that they didn't want us back together because my husband won't do anything with them, he stated he couldn't be a father to them until he's a father to his own and he'll never be their father because they already have one. My kids don't like him and his kids don't like me and our kids don't like each other.

I don't know what to do. My husband promised to change. We have bought books and are going through self help. The problem is, we want to get back together but our kids don't want us to.

When I try to sit down and talk to my husband about his kids, he get so defensive. So I don't even bother anymore. I already told him if there's anything I can do about my children, we can work on it. I tried take his children and love them.

Also, my husband wants pictures of his deceased wife over the house because "that was his kids mom and they have a right to have her picture." He has a big 11x20 of him, his oldest son and her on one picture in our livining room and don't think there's anything wrong with it. I made him take the 8x10 of her off of our dresser. He put the 5x7 of her in the hallway. He tells me she is no threat to me and that's true but I'm still unconfortable with this. Sometimes, I felt like them two were still together. His kids write him notes with pictures on it saying, "daddy, mommy I wish you two were still together." I understand their mom died but he puts this on the refridg. He had a big Valentines balloon that he gave his deceased wife, well, it's floating in his daughter's room along with the wife's purses, perfume and jewlery. I just feel like he's married to the both of us. Even in conversation, he'll say "my wife used to say that."

His kids are allowed to sit in on our conversations. He and I cant' have a moment of peace when they are around, they constantly knock on the door "I have to lock it because they will invade my bedroom by just walking in (that's my only safe haven). He won't say a word. I don't even know how to address this because he will just talk over me or make it seem like there's nothing wrong. I don't know what else to do. Please help. I'm so confused.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 1:40pm
I'm sorry no one posted to your post. I didn't because I am new. Here are some thoughts. First, is there a board for parent's about blended families. One of the parenting boards may have more advice to offer on blending families together. You have a TREMENDOUS amount of children and blending going on there. I think the ONLY way to address these issues is by going to parenting counseling/family counseling, where rules can be discussed and decided upon.

Second, you said that you both treat each other like rebound relationships. Certainly does sound that way in what you wrote. Did your husband have time to grieve the loss of his first wife? Everyone needs time to grieve. I would have a problem with pictures of his deceased ex in the bedroom and living room. The children's room is a completely different thing. You seem to have a lot of boundary problems, not to mention general respect, parenting issues, grief issues and it is just terrible for you. I'm very sorry.

I hope things become more stable for you in the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 3:43pm
Hon, I did read your message over the weekend. As bubble_toes said, it was quite overwhelming. There is a lot going on in your life that you seem to have no control over. You must realize that there are some things that you cannot change and some things that you can. You can only change and be responsible for what you say and do.

There is a huge lack of boundaries and respect with the children and your spouse. I had to process this whole thing in my mind before I could make a significant response. As I did have to work this weekend and yesterday, I didn't have a whole lot of time to do that. I'm working on it now so bear with me.

It sounds as if your idea of what is appropriate behavior varies extremely than that of your DH. It also sounds like his children have never had to accept responsibility for their actions. I've seen this happen often in split families. Both parents try to compensate for the break-up of the family. Unfortunately, I think this situation may go even deeper than that!

Okay, you've separated and the kids no longer live with Dad. You've both admitted to being in a rebound relationship. I think that you two need to work out your differences, try to set some compromises that work. Perhaps marriage counseling would help. No, not family counseling, but marriage counseling. Work on the two of you to figure out whether you two really do want to save the relationship. Only then can anything else be worked on. I'd also suggest parenting classes for both of you. Even a good parent can learn from them.

Decide what your boundaries are and set them in stone. Stick with them no matter if you reconcile or if the children do move back in. Make sure DH KNOWS that you will be sticking to them. This is where the couples counseling can be a major benefit.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 6:21pm
I thank you all for looking at my posting and responding. I thought long and hard and decided that i'm gonna file for a divorce and go on with my life. My DH is full of games. Saturday, we were supposed to be talking about our future together, we discussed it all in eight minutes. (according to him, we don't need that long to discuss our future.) He wanted to pick his kids up so he was in a hurry. They live with their maternal grandmother by his choice. He acted as though their visit couldn't wait until we discussed some issues amongst us. Come to find out, when he got there, she had something else for them to do. Do you think he came back to talk with me?

He purposely does things like pull a piece of paper from his pockets, study it and rip it up like it 's a phone number or things like that. Tell me how many women try to get with him. I moved from the house and it's a bachelor's pad now. He said I can come back but I can't touch any of his decorations or rearrange anything. Mind you, all of his kids pictures including his deceased wife's picture and some of her personal paintings are on the wall and he tells me that I can't redecorate or move anything.

He changed one of the bedrooms into his daughter's bedroom and insist on it staying that way even though she don't live there permanently. WE (my boys and I) would be forbidden to go in there.

He constantly tells me that he could never love me as much as he loved his deceased wife and I'm acting insecure by being offended that he has her pictures and art up because she's not a threat to me.

I do love him but I love me too. He says he has his own life, he has his children then me. This is the order of importance to him. As you can see, my children are not included in this order of his life.

I just wanted to update you all on this. Thanks!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 8:20pm
Wow, what a jerk he seems to be! I'm glad that you came to the conclusion that you have to live your life for you. And, for your children.

Take care of you and your family. And, you are welcome to come back here for updates and advice!


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 11:05am
Wow!!! This somewhat sounds like my situation!! My stepkids are pretty much allowed to do what they want, when they want to and are allowed to talk to me however they choose to.

I don't have any kids of my own, but DH has two daughters.

My DH tries to correct them on occasion when they get on his nerves or use too much profane language, but it falls on deaf ears because they do what they want. He tries to tell them what he wants, but they rarely listen. As some have put it to me, "they know how to work their father." They really do!!!

As someone once put it to me, the spouses need to be "number one" in each other's lives and the kids come a close second. Otherwise, if the spouses aren't on the same team, then it just isnt' going to work. My DH and I aren't on the same team because it is him and his kids against me. He doesn't see it that way, but that's the way it is from my point of view. My husband refuses to see it from my point of view and our marriage is on shaky ground. We do have other issues as well, but the fact that I feel that he doesn't put me first is a big issue.

I think your DH needs to realize that you need to be first and it doesn't mean that his kids are "last" or "second best." It means that the spouse comes first and then you are better able to deal with the kids as a couple, instead of fighting all the time over them. I have tried to get my DH to see it, but he refuses to see where there is a problem.

As far as your kids not wanting you to get back together again, etc. it isn't up to the kids to decide. If you and he want to be together, you should be.

As far as him getting defensive, my DH is the same way. I think the reason why your DH is defensive is because he KNOWS there is a problem, but doesn't want to recognize it or correct it. The same goes for my DH as well. If he didn't know there was a problem, he wouldn't need to be sooo defensive.

As far as his deceased wife, I think maybe one picture of her up would be a nice reminder, let's say in the kids' rooms, if they want to remember their Mom. I don't see anything wrong with that. But these pics all over the house of her I think is a little much. I understand that his previous wife died not long ago, but he needs to respect your feelings. How would he like it if you put up pics of your ex DH in the house? If he wants to keep a pic of his deceased wife in his dresser drawer or maybe even in his wallet, that may be one thing. But these pics all over to me is just ridiculous.

That's my 2 cents.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 11:10am
So sorry! Good luck on everything.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
Fri, 04-18-2003 - 11:16am
I think he's letting you know that he jsut doesn't view his marriage to you as important. He's made it VERY CLEAR that his kids are WAY more important than you.

Especially since they can barge in whenever they want, they can interfere in conversations whenever they want. Now, if you moved back, you can't rearrange any decorations, etc. If you moved back, you wouold basically be a prisoner in your own home. It would be HIS to decorate, etc. and you would be expected to conform to HIS rules.

I can't believe he told you that he would never love you as much as he loved his deceased wife!!! How CRUEL!!! Then he has the nerve to say you are insecure?? Hello!!! I think anyone would be a little insecure with the way he's acting. Telling you his kids are first, then you, telling you that he'd never love you as much as his deceased wife, etc.

Personally, if he wants this marriage to work, he wouldn't be saying those things to you. Maybe he's trying to see how much you can take. Or maybe he's hoping to push you far enough away that you will just give up and file for divorce. Maybe he doesn't want to file for divorce, because he's already feeling bad about his previous wife's death, so he doesn't want anymore burdens on him. So, if it works his way, maybe you'll file and the burden will be on you.

Of course, this is just my opinion based on what you have said in your posts. There are LOTS of things wrong here. The first thing that has to be done is that DH has to recognize that there is a problem and correct it. If I were you, I would ask him "Do you really want this to work?" "If so, are you willing to put us first and make us a priority?" Of course, don't ask these questions unless you are prepared for the truth, which I think at least the second question, it will be that his kids come first.

I have been living with the fact that my DH's kids come first for a long time now, and it isn't pretty. The longer it goes on the longer I wonder whether our marriage can stay together. Of course, that isn't our only issue!

I know it's hard but try to keep your chin up!!! HUGE HUGS!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-23-2003
Wed, 04-23-2003 - 4:15pm
You have so many issues in this marriage. Have you asked yourself if it is really worth it? Meaning is it worth it for you to put yourself through this as well as your children. My husband was married before, and so was I. We spent a lot of time discussing our relationship and how it effected the kids before we decided to marry. In our dating relationship we had a lot of issues. At one point it didn't seem that he would be able to give my girls the love and attention they needed from him if we were to marry. For me, I felt my kids desearved that. They desearved a man in our lives that could love them no matter what. Treat them like they were his own. If that was not going to happen, then we should just remain friends. It looked that way for a long time. We were together as friends for 3 years before we were convinced that the relationship was "good enough" to survive a marriage and nuture all 3 of our children. I love his son like he is my own. I would never do anything to hurt him. Those feelings are naturally there. We have our problems, but the underlying fact is we are a family. We make decisions together regarding our family and how we handle disagreements or disappline. We agree to back each other in front of the kids and discuss issues we don't agree on together behind closed doors.

I have experienced two things that you are going through that are very painful. One being no privacy in your own room. Sometimes my step son invades our space as if it was his own and I do feel resentful at times. But, it is my job to express my disappointment or dislike. If I don't then the problem can't be solved. The other thing is the pictures of the deceased wife. This is just wrong. It is okay for the kids to have their own photo album, mementos of her, their own picture of their mom and dad in their space. This was obviously a loving marriage, so yes they should have those things. But, you my dear don't have to have them in your space. Their should not be a shrine to her everywhere you turn. If he wanted to make the marriage work, he would have placed these objects in a place for him and his children to reflect upon them from time to time. Not in mutual space for him to pine over and for you to feel self doubt. My husband had pictures of his ex girlfriend up until the day we got married. They remain friends. But, that had to go. I am his wife now and I don't want to look at her. His son has a photo of his mom and my husbands ex girlfriend in his room. They both meant a lot to him. That does not bother me one bit. My daughters have a photo album of their dad and my inlaws and picture of all of us together when they were babies, in their closet. We take them out on special occassion like their birthday to remember what a great day that was.

Maybe, you both married on the rebound. That said, do you love him. Is he the love of your life? Can you see yourself with him forever. Can you love his children unconditionally? Can you make time and space for them? Can you understand their loss and try to empathize? If not move on, if so, take a stand to work it out. If he keeps breaking your heart and your kids, move on girlfriend? Life is too short to be that miserable and there is a man out their who will accept you and your kids and will want to work towards a good relationship. This man does not want to work for it, or he is not ready.

I hope it works out for you.. Good luck.