Dark Clouds over our Blended Family

Sometimes, our home is not such a “Home Sweet Home”.

I realize that it is like that in most homes, especially those with a blended family, but as embarrassing as it may be to blog about, our home can be rather dark at times.

We are a blended family because my husband is not the biological father of my daughter. She is going to be 8 in a few months and she is my “saving grace”. Which is why her middle name is Grace =).  She is such a marvelous child. She is always top of her class academically, she is silly, she is active, and she is definitely a handful at times.

If you have read my bio on here then you know that my husband and I have known each other for 18 years. We dated for almost 5 years when we were kids and we were supposed to get married at 18, instead we called it quits at 16 but then got back together at 26 years old.

The first year she and I lived at my mother’s house we had just moved back from Georgia. Then we got pregnant and moved out about a month before the baby was born. So technically, in the eyes of a child, we have been one cohesive united family since she was 6, which is only 1 1/2 years ago. I feel like my husband wants all of her respect, trust, unconditional love, and best behavior; 24/7. That’s just not going to happen.

He came into my daughters life when she was 5 and have been living together as a family since she was 6; so it’s not like it’s been many years of this family feuding. Statistics show that on average it takes 4 years for a strong stable bond to form between a child and a step parent.

My husband and I have a very hard time with the co-parenting.

I want her raised a certain way and they are constantly fighting. Being her mother, I of course see it as he doesn’t love her as much as he should. I’m not saying it’s right but that’s what I’ve got.

Now that we have a son together, I at least have something to compare it to. From my point of view, everything that happens to our son when the kids are playing together, is my daughters fault. My husband immediately gets upset and turns to her for answers. When she doesn’t answer him quickly enough or with what he calls a “lie”, then all hell breaks loose and he yells and she cries. Then they just fight. It’s pretty much every other day.

To give my husband some credit, our daughter does have a habit of telling lies for no reason. I think it’s a phase due to her age. Not because I’m her mom and she can do no wrong, but because I know child development and understand child behavior due to my education and line of work that I’m in; I try to bring that knowledge home because it’s important to be educated in things like child behavior. No matter what the situation my husband is right and our daughter is wrong.

This is not totally out of the box other parents deal with these problems….Lies, Lies, and More Lies!

If anyone has ever seen the movie Matilda then you know the famous line where the father says to Matilda “I’m big, your little, I’m right, your wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it!”

Unfortunately that is similar to what goes on with my husband and our daughter. He feels that he is right no matter what. I am supposed to back him up to show her a united front. I try to do this, I really do, but it is almost impossible to just stand there and allow him to say something completely inappropriate. He feels that I don’t support him enough in front of the kids. He feels I should always be behind him. If there is an issue then we can discuss it behind closed doors.

I have the most difficult time with this which causes a lot of arguments between the two of us. I do understand this is what a blended family is all about but that doesn’t mean its easy.

I’m getting very worried about their relationship. I get very emotional at times when I think about her being older and pushing us away because she doesn’t want to come home.

I have expressed my concerns to my husband but it doesn’t seem to change anything. He thinks what goes on between the 2 of them is normal. He also thinks that 98% of it is her fault.

I strongly believe that children deserve a say. If a child feels so strongly about something that she is willing to argue her point, knowing that she is going to get in trouble, then that point must be very important to her. I allow her to express herself. My husband on the other hand considers anything where her response is the slightest bit argumentative as being defiant and disrespectful. He sends her to her room before she can even think about making her point. We have very different views on parenting.

Which is why this so hard now that we are this blended family that has to make it work.

He is a wonderful husband that is always thinking of me and I can honestly say that there is no one in the world that could ever love me more than he does. The problem lies with his parenting skills.

He was thrown into fatherhood without any instructions. I understand that. I suppose all I want is to see the same love I have for my daughter come from him. She is such an amazing person and I wish he could let the small things go long enough to let her see that he is trying.

There are times he gets so upset when she tries to speak up to him, that he holds a grudge and then the rest of the day has a dark cloud over it. He blames it on the fact that she wants nothing to do with him if I’m around. If I’m not around he claims they don’t usually have any problems. I wish I was a child psychologist so I could understand. I see it, so it’s not like he is wrong. She will be great with him when it’s just the 2 of them. However, when I come home she tends to push him away and only wants to listen to me, which infuriates him.

I told him that he needs to be more understanding. He knows it’s going to happen and just let me handle it. Asking him to let me handle things like discipline and behavior issues is like asking a fish to swim out of water. It’s just not happening. We have got to find a common ground that we can both stick to. I feel like I have tried to stick to certain things but he is getting to stuck in his ways to compromise.

My kids are my whole life. My daughter and I are so close it’s scary. Sometimes I think maybe he feels threatened by our relationship.

To be brutally honest, I think he holds onto a ton of resentment. I know when he looks at her he wishes that she was biologically his. He wishes she was his, but she is not. We no one can change that. Blended family, again we have to try to keep mixing us all together right!

Unfortunately, we have all been dealt our cards and now we have to play the hand. I wish nothing more than for them to be biologically related, however I didn’t make the best decisions when I was younger. I’m doing the best I can now.

This blog could go on for days. Since it’s such a heavy topic. For now, we will continue to see where the road takes us. We all have a lot of work to do.

I will let you know what methods of resolution have worked best for our blended family. And I will update as to how their relationship has progressed.

Thanks for listening…

Jackie- The Hot Mess Mom

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One Comment

  • Jenn

    I can understand what you both are going through. I am a result of a blended family. It all comes down to expectation and setting the bar high. If you set them too high, she’ll never succeed and in order to get attention, period, it will come across as negative. Growing up, I was under a microscope. Everything was my responsibility, my fault, me. And I just wanted to be a kid. I didn’t want to be “you’re the oldest you know better”, every single time. I wanted slack, and never got it. I flat out felt pushed away, even to this day as an adult it’s super hard to deal with. You feel a piece missing that you’ll never have as a result of the rocky relationship. I see the relationship my younger brother has with both his biological parents (my step mom and dad). Although I am SUPER happy at how his life has taken course, it’s a bittersweet and an almost envious feeling. All I can suggest with the best of intentions is put the guns away. As a step parent make it a point to show love, affection and respect to get it in return. Love is a feeling. It can be said 100 ways, but it means nothing if it’s not felt. Remember she’s just a kid. Kids make mistakes, that’s the point of growing up. Your son will be there too one day. And Mom, take a breather and without emotion make sure the right situations are being disciplined. Maybe keep a journal in which you feel conflicted with situations and in a non combative way discuss them with your husband. Without argument DISCUSS and agree to no yelling or attitude so that both POV can be seen equally….

    But love her, Dad. Please, don’t push her away.

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