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Step-Parenting Ask other step-parents your questions about being a step mom.

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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 09-08-2002, 08:52 PM
Carie's Avatar
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Stepparenting...

First off, I would like to say that I read all the posts to this thread, and the replies and advice were just wonderful!

I have been married to my hubby for over 12 years now, and we have four kids between us. None of our own for several reasons, the main one being that our kids needed us and our attention to deal with some hurtful things that were going on with the exes.

Definitely do not tolerate verbal abuse! However, do realize that your husband may not either believe you (or want to believe you) that his kids are talking to you the way that they are. I strongly suggest that you get a small tape recorder and hook it up to the telephone. This you can get at Radio Shack (or even online) and the one we got uses microcassettes. That way you can prove that the disrespectful, vile speech is going on.

Also, you need to realize that these are his flesh and blood; his firstborn, if you will. Yes, I know this does not excuse their behavior; however, if you keep that in mind as a possible excuse or reason for hubby not wanting to believe his kids would act that way, it will make it easier.

Remember: IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT!! (I do not use the caps for shouting, but for emphasis.) Please remember to carefully handle yourself as an adult and do not resort to acting like they do! We can handle lots more than kids can, and I definitely agree that the way they're acting is out of hurt, anger, jealousy, etc...!! I am definitely not criticizing you in any fashion -- I have had my share of troubles like what you're going through, but found that if I kept my dignity intact it was better all the way around.

Definitely terminate the conversation if it's over the phone that the abuse is going on. But do get a recording device as I mentioned -- it will give you lots more "teeth" not just with dad but if you do talk to an attorney to find out your rights, another thing I strongly suggest! Not for a divorce, but to find out what you can do to (1) get a restraining order or similar piece of paper to prevent the abuse; (2) get child support lowered or even totally abated due to the fact that hubby's income is much lower than yours; and (3) just so you are armed with the facts/reality of the situation if you need them. The attorney will need to see the Decree your hubby obtained from his ex to be able to fully advise you of your rights as a stepparent, and also proof of your and his income to see about lowering child support, since it is indeed true that if situations in a household change, child support may be changed.

I do not know the kids' ages but do suspect as others did that they are teenagers (or preteens) and this is a very hard age! I had two girls, ages 4 and 9 and hubby had two boys, ages 3-1/2 and 8-1/2, when we married. The oldest girl has given us the most grief, but the youngest boy was "poisoned" by his mom and still lives with her. Things have calmed down over the years and all is calm and workable. However, we have kept notes (keep a journal of date, time, what happened, etc., on your computer and on a disc hidden away safely, and also a printed out copy hidden away in case anything happens to the computer or disc) just in case we needed to take his ex back to court (my ex caused no trouble -- he didn't want a family and that was that!). We have kept an attorney on retainer near where my hubby's ex lives (about 6 hours away) and have just simply updated him annually or if something occurred (as things did in the past).

Bottom line: arm yourself; get legal advice; keep notes; get a tape recorder for the phone; get counseling -- something I didn't mention but definitely agree with and recommend -- and most importantly, pray!! I do not know how you stand religion-wise, but I do know that if my husband and I were not born-again Christians our marriage would not be together today. We still have troubles off and on -- who doesn't -- but that's been the glue that's kept us dedicated to this relationship.

Please forgive my bluntness particularly about being born again -- if I offended you I did not mean to -- but God does call His people to be bold, but in a kind way, and I would never intend to add any meanness to your life in any manner -- you have more than anyone should ever have already!! I am so very sorry that this is coming from the children. I do hope you can elicit your hubby's support in this, and will be praying for you. If you want to email me directly, please feel free to, at [email protected].

I will be praying for your entire family and the exes because I feel as you do -- something definitely has to change! Kids (and us adults) cannot live or thrive in the atmosphere of the home as it is, and I fervently pray that it will change soon for the better -- even just baby steps. Sometimes that's what it will take is just merely chipping away patiently.

Oh, a journal is a good idea too if you can manage it! Another wonderful lady suggested that, and I wish I'd thought of it back when I was having no end of trouble with my hubby's ex.

Remember: time is a great healer! Things were bad for the first few years for us, but as time passes things do change.

I will be thinking of you and your family as well as praying for them many times during the day, and am praying for special strength for you -- you must be a very strong woman already to have endured what you have and not snapped!

With much prayer,

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  #12 (permalink)  
Old 09-09-2002, 06:01 AM
Lisa Fields's Avatar
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FYI

I just wanted to add something to the above post. I am a paralegal and I know that, in my state at least, it is illegal to record a phone conversation without the other party's knowledge. They don't have to consent, they just have to know!

Also, on a personal opinion, if you have to resort to recording the girls before your husband "believes you," you need help in your marriage aside from what these girls are doing.
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Old 01-19-2003, 04:32 AM
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Sounds to me the kids get what they want and mommy is playing them against daddy. There sounds like some anger between mom & Dad. The Kids need counceling. I would check into some family counceling. I know it is expensive. but check with your local mental health dept. and insurance. I know in our area they base it on your income. If the Step kids aren't willing at least take your kids and hubby and self. And I would also put your foot down. Don't ever let a child talk to you like that. If dear hubby is letting it happen there must be some guilt there somewhere from the previous marriage. My step daughter knows better now not to talk to me that way. I've told her I would take her out back and treat her like a wicked step child. I wouldn't though. If it gets that bad and they threaten a bad weekend. Set rules with your husband they act like fools take them back home. We've done it with our daughter. Actually several times. I told her if she didn't like the rules go back to her moms but when she came back she would still have the rules. But don't let them win. They are children let them know who is boss and its not them!! Good Luck and check out those divorce and custody papers. and have them redone with the child support, if he is makeing less $$ that isn't fair to you, him and your family. They can't take your $$. Also if the children become unruley call the law and file domestic violence on them. I can't stand a Unruley child. The goverment has taken parenting out of the parents hands.
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Old 02-26-2004, 07:26 PM
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need help also

i also need advice i too go through these same things or almost i have a child from a previous marriage and my hubby doesnt like my son and treats him like crap and sees it as his son and mine does nothing wrong i also have a 3 year old daughter and we also have a 12 year old step daughter together which never comes to see us but to the point my dh treats my son like crap he calls him names and says he hates my son i get so tired of it and me and dh get into fights over how my son acts i love my son and see how much it hurts him when he is treated this way now my son as most kids has a smart mouth sometimes not all the time but hes pretty good and then was planning my sons bday party this weekend and my dh said he wasnt getting a party this weekend dont know what to do
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:01 PM
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Hi:
You need to tell your husband like I told my daughter, "you and your child come as a package". If he wants you, he gets your child too. She used to want to go away every weekend with her boyfriend who is now her husband. I liked to babysit every other weekend, but I was a widow and wanted some free time for myself. Tell your husband he either straightens up and treats your son well or you will leave!
Get into counseling and ask your husband to. If he won't, go yourself. It will help you and get your son into counseling too. Maybe when he sees that you and your son have a combined effort, he may come over to your side.
Your son is getting verbal abuse. People who are verbally abusive turn into physically abusive people. I know as my husband did! He is a minister, so it crosses all boundaries. I put up with the verbal and physical abuse because they said my huband had Alzheimer's. He left to live with his sister and they say he doesn't have it now. It appears it was related to his alcoholism. He'd tell his sister, "The dr. keeps asking me if I'm an alcoholic and I don't even drink". That was after he'd had 3 glasses of wine!
I hope you have a nice birthday for your son. Don't take orders from your husband on the b'day party. You are the child's Mother and he deserves a b'day party!
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:17 PM
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the funny part is he keeps saying if my ds keeps going that dh will not be able to do it anymore and will want me and ds to leave but he dont understand that if he let my ds do as much as mine and his ds that mine wouldnt act as bad as he does he feels neglected i think of course thats my opinion and my dh also says that im the one that wanted kids thats why i never get to go anywhere without the kids to do something i want to do he seems to think im here to wait on him do his laundry and such and be here for the kids so he can go out drinking with friends when his daughter did come over he babied her saying i cant spank girls and now that we have a daughter together he will spank her but not his other daughter even though she would sit there and call me names or such and kick me and stuff in his eyes she never did anything wrong just like now since my ds isnt his my ds does everything wrong and nothing right sometimes i think its because my ds real father isnt that great he was in prison and such so that dont help my ds too tonight my ds said he wants to go live with his real dad and my dh said go ahead go live with him i really dont think he cares for him at all and he dont seem to try to like him or spend time with him
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:32 PM
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Lisa.. every state is different.. in some states as long as ONE of the parties knows it's being recorded it's legal........
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:33 PM
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So sorry to hear you also have a problem with alcohol with your husband. I attend a Battered Women's Group. They say that the alcohol doesn't cause the violence, it only lower their inhibitions. The violence is underneath all the time. The leader says she knows "happy drunks" so all drunks don't have to be violent and verbally abusive. People just use that as an excuse.
You need someone to talk to and if you can't pay for the counseling, the counseling is free. Call your local counseling center or women's shelter. They will be able to help get you into a group and one for your son too.
I care as I went through what you are going through for too long. I didn't have children at home, but I put up with the verbal and physical abuse. Now, I live alone and am safe. I have an Order of Protection against my minister husband and he has not violated it by coming here, but I believe he has called on the phone, blocked calls, so has not talked to me.
The phone numbers you need for help shoud be in the front of your phone book.
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Old 02-27-2004, 05:29 AM
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i did figure out my husband has anxiety thats why hes so mean and yells at everyone i just feel like i have a constant screaming and yelling household he starts yelling and then the kids want to too i dont like it and i will see what i can do about counseling my son has said that he wants to move out in my eyes he does treat my son worse than any of the kids and i just dont know if me getting my son out would help or just make it worse as he does drink and his dad was an alcoholic he always tells me hes going to not drink anymore or not as often then he does it again and again and again i know i cant change him i finally figured that one out i just wish he understood how he treats the kids differently he knows that we came as a package but he i guess figures if it gets bad enough that he will just tell us to leave i feel like a lot of times i get at the end of my rope if you know what i mean it gets old dealing with this over and over he dont even take his own kids anywhere except when his daughter went somewhere he went with her but he wont do that with our kids he wont even take them camping and he dont want them having markers, crayons, and such and gets mad about playdough and gets mad if my daughter writes on walls you would figure after our daughter now being three years old and having two boys before that that he would understand that all kids do that but he just dont seem to care
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:38 AM
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You are wise to figure out you can't change your husband. I didn't realize that until I took him out of state for medical care, staying with his sister, and he would not return. He'd been abusive and he once said if he came home, things would be the same. I wrote him an e-mail telling him he would no longer be abusive to me. He didn't come home.
No, not all children write on walls. My daughter did not, I did not let her. She has many coloring books and other educational toys, bought cheaply at the thrift shop, to keep her busy. She also played the organ and piano prior to age 1, got her musical talent from her Daddy who played the organ and piano daily.
There is medication for anxiety. My husband took it, but the doctor kept lessening his meds and that caused more problems. Some had side effects, but my granddaughter takes anxiety meds and does well. My husband drank with his meds which caused problems too as the meds said, "Do not drink alcohol with this medication". He said he'd been doing it for years and it didn't apply to him!
Please get into counseling for yourself and your son and call Alanon (sp?) They are the AA group for the family members. They also have a teenage group and maybe a group for younger children. My sister attended for many years.
I will keep you in my prayers.
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