Kids are driving a wedge between my husband and myself

posted 2 years ago in Family
Post # 2
1893 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Dallas, TX

TexasSpringBride:  I am extremely far from motherhood and I really don’t have any advice, but I wanted to say that you sound like a great mother and step-mother and truly want your family to work. I think it’s great you’re open to therapy, because it can help in so many ways. It sounds like you have a lot of patience and are really trying to see things from all sides. I hope some other bees chime in with some actual helpful advice for you!

Post # 3
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

TexasSpringBride:  To preface I’m not a parent so you can take this however you want…

I think your husband just got defensive and was being sensitive. You weren’t wrong, and he shouldn’t have reacted that way, but I don’t think he really thinks you believe your kids are “better”.

Since it seems to be devolving to a “my kids, your kids” situation have you talked about being able to punish “his kids” the same way you would yours?

You should be able to take away their ipod, give chores, or whatever when they lie to you just like you would for your children. That way, even though you are not their bio mom, you command respect from them.

ETA: Sorry, I guess this “Then after they receive their restriction” probably means you do dole out the same punishment.

I think as long as you have as much authority (or more) than their father then this should get better with time.

(I only say *more* because you mention him giving in a lot, not that I think one or the other parent should have more authority)

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  MrsKriegerson.
Post # 4
6666 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2010

As a mom in a blended family- there is one important piece of advice that our family therapist gave us: the parents HAVE to be on the same page.  Your husband has to make his girls know it is unacceptable to treat you like that.  You make a united front, because if you are not on the same page the kids will sense it and tear at it until you are fighting with your spouse- which is what is happening with you.  We have a rule in our house that you support the spouse in front of the kids (even if you disagree) and then you discuss/argue about it behind closed doors because presnting a united front is so important.

Post # 5
2871 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

TexasSpringBride:  I don’t have kids, but my stepmom helped raise me from age 14 up so I’ve been on the other side. One of the best things my dad and stepmom chose to do was to NOT do the “my kids, your kids” thing. We were all THEIR kids. I think you and your husband need to discuss this. You may be the stepmom, but you are still a parent. Both of you are parents to all the kids. Stop dividing. You are one family now. You are totally right to expect respect from your kids and he needs to back you up on that. Be consistent in the way you parent and punish your kids. 

Post # 8
42089 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Have you considered family therapy? You mentioned that the oldest daughter had been in therapy and that there had been improvement.

Post # 10
2117 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

TexasSpringBride:  I don’t have kids, but I remember being a pre-teen and teenage girl. I remember my sisters being that age, too. Kids at their age test boundaries. They rebel. Some to a more intense degree than others, but all teenagers do it. Teenage girls also fight like CRAZY with their moms – no matter how good of a parent they are. I think that while you and your husband obviously need to be on the same team in terms of punishment, I wouldn’t take the lying and the whole “you’re not my real mom” thing too personally. They’re trying to test you, and they’re trying to see what they can get away with. Good luck – teenagers can be terrible!

Post # 11
1321 posts
Bumble bee

It seems that as you all grow closer as a family unit, hidden/buried issues are starting to surface for all of you.  From your post, it looks like the girls’ apathy/lying towards you is triggering you since you are technically not their biological mother and they openly question and defy your authority as a parent.  Your husband seems to have a LOT of deeply buried issues surrounding his biological children – esp with their mother leaving and him feeling like he has to “make it up to them”…… more than likely the fact that you talked to him about his daughters when you were upset probably triggered him even more.  Men get easily triggered and upset when they see their woman upset.  And the fact that it was his daughters who were the cause of it, he probably feels that you are blaming him because he feels deep down that he was a terrible dad and as such, his kids also turned out to be “terrible.”

Blended families are one of the most difficult situations for people to be in since there are so many hurt feelings involved.  I would highly recommend that you and your family enter into Family and Marriage Counseling so that each of you have a safe place to voice your feelings and thoughts, and to have a therapist guide each of you as everyone navigates the rules and boundaries as a family.

Post # 14
5968 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017


TexasSpringBride:  I may be in the minority here but as a child of a blended family (stepdad since I was 12) I may have a different take on this…

I agree that the parents need to be on the same page. That’s a given. You can’t be battling each other. That just gives the kids the idea that they can manipulate and put you two against each other if they want.

So the biggest issue is not your kids. It’s your husband. he’s the one driving the wedge in between you two.

With that said, my mom and stepdad recognized that it was going to be hard for us to accept a new parental figure. My stepdad did and had every right to discipline us when it was needed. In the event that we didn’t take him seriously (because that did happen) he would call my mom in for reinforcement. We knew when she got involved she meant business. She would knock us back down a few notches and we realized that while my stepdad wasn’t our biological parent, he had our mother’s support and that was the same as having the authority over us that she had. Do you see what I’m saying here? your husband has to be the enforcer. If they don’t respond to you or your punishments, he’s got to come down on them and drill it into their heads that just because the instruction or rules may not be coming directly from his mouth, your words hold just as much weight. But no matter what, he has to support you and be the one to remind them that while you aren’t their biological mother, you are the other head of that household and your rules are to be followed and you are to be respected. Lying is unacceptable no matter how big or small the lie is.


to me, your husband is the problem here. And he’s the key to fixing the problem. It seems to me he is trying to throw himself a pity party and guilt you in some way by saying something like “oh im sorry I didn’t raise perfect kids like yours”. that’s emotional war fare right there. He needs to realize that you are BOTH raising the same children, biological or not. So by first fixing his mindset and his tendency to play some kind of a victim by getting defensive you can then start to tackle the bigger issue which is the children’s lying and behavior. Nothing will change until you and your husband work on the conflict you two are having.

I can clearly remember one of the things my mother said to me that really changed things in my mind. I went through a phase of “you’re not my father” with my stepdad. So one day when I said that to her (he’s not my dad) she gave me a response I couldn’t argue with. She said “No, he’s not your dad. He never will be your dad. We know that and you know that. But he is my husband. He is the head of this household along with me, so no matter if he’s your dad or not, he’s to be respected. You can scream about him not being your father all you want but I raised you to respect your elders and those in a position of authority. that includes him. As the man I love and that I am married to, you should respect him. Period. So your excuse of “he’s not my dad” is useless.” I had no argument for that. she was correct, sure he wasn’t my dad, but he was still running the household I lived in along with my mother. He was still an adult and while not my dad, he was in fact a father figure given his role in our home. When she put it to me that way, something clicked. I never used the “he’s not my father” line again.

Post # 15
5968 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2017

I wanted to add something that may not sit well with many but I stand by my thoughts on this….

don’t try and act like an equivalent of their mother. You aren’t their mother. It brought up a world of anger in me when my stepdad acted as though he was my “new dad” because my dad wasn’t in the picture much. No…. he was not my “new dad”. he was my mom’s new husband and therefore the new father figure in our household. He played the role of my dad in many ways, but he was not nor will he ever be my father. that role is reserved for my dad, he may have screwed it up but it’s still his and anyone who got in the way of that or tried to tell me differently didn’t get a lot of respect from me. All that did was remind me that my father screwed up which in turn made me angry at whoever was saying that. Saying somethign like “she is your stepmother\father” only reminded me that my real dad wasn’t around and it reminded me how much he failed me and that because of that here I was dealing with this new person in my life.

Stop asking them things like “would you lie to your teacher, your mother, etc.” it implies that you are comparing yourself to those people. All that matters is that to you, lying is unacceptable. Period. End of story. Sure it’s still a problem for them to lie to their teachers, their mother etc. But the problem at hand is that they are lying to you and that’s the issue you should be addressing FIRST. it doesn’t end there but that’s where it starts.

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