trabajadora333's picture

Boyfriend's family causing strain

My boyfriend of one year and I moved in together about 6 months ago. The relationship was still new and I am still going through my divorce (it had been over a year when I started dating my current boyfriend). Things changed drastically but my daughter is dealing really well with the transition. His children on the other hand are not. My main concern is that when it comes to his children he would do anything for them, including allowing them to do things he would NEVER let me allow me to allow my daughter to do. The list (his eight and 13 year old daughter still sleep with him when they stay over, they can eat sweets no matter how much healthy dinner they have eaten, they get money when ever they want and their mother literally lives off of him (he pays for the home they live in and is still also supplementing by buying school supplies,sports equiptment and clothing when he can). Just recently the eldest of his daughters won't stay with us for something I "did". I don't have any idea what it could be but the youngest just recently came to our house and had a huge attitude problem (she told her father that he and her were supposed to go out to eat and I could not go out with them, she then proceeded to tell him that he would not punish her for what she said and would forget about it by the time we got home, then stated when we did finally get home that "see I told you you'd forget"). Her father quickly diffused the situation but I see it as a sign that things are not getting better but getting worse. He said it wouldn't be easy but to disrespect me and her father like that was uncalled for. He insists on still keeping his daughters happy by sleeping with them when they stay with us, allowing them to eat what they want (because they ate at moms)and behave as they want to when many times it involves stepping on my daughters toes. Also any time they are here I cannot even talk to my boyfriend without them interrupting or needing to be in the middle. I cannot sit next to him on the couch or when we are out nor can I show any kind of affection towards him (hugging, hand holding, not kissing.)
I know I will never be number one and I completely respect their relationship but what can I do to make sure that my family gets the respect that we deserve? This is a long haul relationship and when his children are not around we could not be happier, I don't like to blame our problem on them but it seems true. I have tried being a friend to his kids but that only ends in me getting taken advantage of. How do I approach this carefully and tactfully?

2xstepmom's picture

This may sound harsh, but you need to require clear and firm boundaries from your b/f or get out of the relationship now!!!!

Your b/f should NOT be sleeping with his daughters. You are his partner and clear boundaries for the future need to be set. If things are going this badly so early in your realtionship, I speak from sad experience, they will get much, much worse. Go back and read your post, look at it from the point of view of an outsider to the situation and you will see how unhealthy your situation really is. Read the posts on here from people who have gotten married under these circumstances and the havoc the children have caused. Your b/f may be feeling guilty for having a new relationship and does not want to cause waves with his daughters, but he is harming them by not being the parent and allowing his daughters treat you so badly. This is not good for your child either to see how he allows his daughters to behave. This may be difficult, but you need to put your daughter's wellbeing first.

acitez's picture

Move out. Stop dating him. You and your daughter are a family, have respect for that.

KSwimmer2003's picture

From your post it truly reads that your boyfriend does not respect your relationship. I speak from a similar situation and am a "step-girlfriend" myself but the respect has greatly increased from putting my foot firmly down. It's unhealthy period. For you, the kids, and him. Until you both 'work together' to create the needed change that needs to occur, he will continue to avoid making the commitment.

I say this as 'commitment' because he has not quite made the boundary to introduce you and affirm your role with his kids. He has to be the one to introduce that so that you are not walked on and disrespected, once he does that you can then assert yourself so that his kids understand the boundaries.

I am not sure what the living arrangement is, but in my house (where my boyfriend lives and his kids come every other weekend) - we eventually made some rules that everyone participated in. 1 of them was you are not to come into KSwimmer2003 and Daddy's room -- Firmly setting the precedent that we are a unit also. It worked and helped. It's a difficult transition with blending families and everyone has to pitch-in, but don't become the doormat doing all the work. If he doesn't step-it-up and find an understanding of what it is doing to you, then the best thing is unfortunately to move on and be there for your kids.

alissa's picture

You're still going through a divorce? Goodness. And now you've shacked up with a new man and all these kids. Stop blaming everyone else and look at yourself and notice all the bad choices you are making.