I hate being a stepmother

For three years, I have taken care of my husband's three kids. They were supposed to have joint custody, but his ex didn't pay her mortgage and so she got kicked out of that house and has moved about 9 times since then. She has had a couple more kids with a couple different men; she gets food stamps for all three of the kids even though they live with us now. They hate me because I ask them to say, "Please" and "Thank You." I make them shower, brush their teeth, and cut their fingernails and toenails at regular intervals. I make them take their plates to the sink after dinner and put their dirty clothes in the laundry room. I have spent thousands of dollars sending them to summer camp, buying them clothes and school supplies. They have broken the banister, most of the furniture, and shattered the windshield of my care with rocks. Their father works nights, which means I have to put them to bed every night and get them to school every morning. He claims to love them but he never fills out the paperwork he needs to for school so I wind up doing it. They go to see their mother only on the weekends, and when they come back, they are back to their old ways, and all they talk about is how great it is at their mom's and how much they hate it at my house because I have a few rules. They stink because both she and her current boyfriend smoke. I am broke and usually hungry because both they and their father live in my house and eat all the food so that I never get any. They have tortured my poor cats. I am so tired and angry; my husband keeps saying it will change, but I have decided I am going to leave him and try to get my own life back. I'm sick of cleaning up after all of them and having them just wreck it again in 10 minutes.

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  • Leave him! You don't deserve this! I'm angry on your behalf! Kick them all to the curb!

  • It certainly sounds as though they are entirely taking advantage of you. I applaud you for your initiative, and willingness to take drastic steps not to be a doormat to these people.
    It's your life, and you shouldn't have to be chained to someone else's baggage no matter the circumstances. Separating yourself is probably the best thing you can do, but that doesn't mean you have to sever all communications if you still feel for your husband.
    The time you take away from having to deal with everything going on may show him, and in fact even the kids, what they've driven away. Kids will always be kids, they hate order and discipline, but they still need it... they'll come to realise that life at their mothers (as fun as it may be to them) lacks direction and stability as they get older, and come to appreciate what you tried to do for them. Or at least i hope so, because that would be the ideal situation i feel... you being able to stay with your husband and the kids not being such a chore... but we all know the world rarely works out so perfectly.
    So again, i applaud your choice of action. As the first commentor said, if things needed changing, it was a good thing you went and did it!
    *MistaJ

  • In the good old days, you could've taken a belt to the little bastrds, like my parents did with me, and solved the problem in a big freakin' hurry.

    That's what's really missing in society today:

    BELTS!!

  • Your husband is absolutely right: things WILL change. They'll change when those miserable little animals grow up and move away.

    I'm sorry you're having to go through this; it's a nightmare. The culture calls what you have a "blended" family, as though all that's required is a little patient stirring and, voila! Brady Bunch!!

    But FAR more often than tolerant society would like for us to know, what you get when you stir is just what's been foisted on you: not the Brady Bunch, but the freakin' Manson Family, where the kids are the girls and you're Sharon Tate. (Figuratively, of course.)

    I hate to focus on the obvious, but this is not what you signed on for when you married your husband: this is a problem that is exclusively of his creation, and so he has to -- and (I'm sorry) you have to FORCE him to -- step into the batter's box and hit. At least occasionally. Figure out what your "OR ELSE" is going to be if he doesn't (only you can rationally decide that) and make it stick. Whether it's your leaving, or turning off the check book, or sending them to their precious mother's house for weeks at a time, or whatever other alternatives you can imagine that fit your particular circumstances. You have to wake him up to reality, and not allow him to drift back to sleep, because that's exactly what he's doing. He's ignoring the problem because he's placed you in the position of dealing with the problem. Change that. CHANGE THAT! Only you can do it, and you HAVE to do it, for your own sanity. And -- your husband needs to understand -- for your marriage.

    I feel for you, and I wish you well.

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