He treats my Children Different than His - FamilyEducation
He treats my Children Different than His
12/08/2010 at 14:53 PM

Three years ago I moved my three children then aged 11, 8, and 7 into my boyfriend's home. A few months later his own children then aged 12 and 13 also moved in with us due to thier mother's mental health issues. He also had a daughter age 17 that was already living with him. I knew my boyfriend for many years before as my son's Scout leader and a friend; he was always kind and attentive and gave every impression of being a wonderful additional father to my children (they stil have a biological father who is very involved in thier lives and has never missed a child-support payment, a great dad in every sense.) Through out the last three years, I have worked hard to help his children respect and appreciate education and personal achievement. My own children have always been high achievers and straight A children. I stopped working fulltime(I freelance as a muralist and artist)so that I can be there for his children as I have always been for mine. He works hard and covers most all our expenses. Here is where the true conflict of our situation began; His eldest daughter left home as soon as she turned 18, dropped out of high school and lived with a boy that eventually ended up in jail. His now 16 year old son has failed a number of sememters in high school, has been arrested for sneaking into a concert while high on mushrooms and has been caught by both of us smoking pot and skipping school, his 15 year old daughter was most recently arrested at the local mall for shoplifting and is also failing many of her classes in school. I have always been the one who brings up the issues to him concerning his children; I told him his eldest was skipping school, I shared my suspicions that his son was smoking pot, and I warn him that his youngest is being detrimentally influenced by some of her friends. His first reaction is always that I'm just thinking the worst, then that I just think his children don't measure up to mine and finally after much argument he does nothing about thier behavior and they go on living thier lives and enjoying social activities as if nothing ever happenned, with zero repercussions. In Contrast,he is always angry and enforcing multiple chores on my children, particularly my eldest. He says they are "spoiled" and have had an easy life. When I talk to my son about this he just says "its okay mom, it just makes me a tougher person". I do not leave this relationship because I feel as if we have all invested a great deal in each other and I want to help make his kid's lives better. I don't just want to leave them like they feel they have been left before, but at the same time I have to consider how this is affecting my own children. Thanks for reading, I appreciate any comments or support.

Having lived a similar situation and making the huge mistake of staying for the same reasons you state, my advice is to take your children and get out now. My children suffered a great deal by my decision to stay in such a distructive and chaotic environment. Your responsibility is to YOUR children, not to his children who very obviously do not deserve, and will not appreciate, another moment of your care and concern. Make a plan and GO! You and your children will have a better life without this man, his children and their negative issues.

Thank you for your advice. It is sooo helpful knowing others have been through similar situations. After reading your words, I have decided to keep a daily journal of my experiences as a way to further motivate myself to understand the true chaos of my situation. Doing this has given me perspective and strength as I make my decision to move my family in a different direction.

Good to hear that you are moving in a positive direction for you and your children. You cannot "help make his children's lives better", unless their father changes drastically and is going to step up and be the parent he needs to be. By staying, you are teaching your children it is acceptable to remain in a distructive relationship and chaotic environment. My now adult son and daughter both still bear the emotional scars of having lived the life you describe. Do not "wait and see" as I did for too long. You seem to know in your heart you need to leave and make your own children your only priority. Though it is scary to be on one's own, and sometimes difficult, and it can be done!!! Being on my own with my children was the best decision and my children have thanked me over and over for doing so.