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I can't handle being around my partner's kids

After 3 years together I've managed to avoid them for the last 3 months. Today we had my kids and his and went on a family outing. His kids irritate me so much. They make me angry and I just don't like them. They aren't bad kids but I just have zero tolerance for their whinging and fighting, on top of my kids' whinging and fighting. His 9 year old daughter screamed in my face today so I grabbed her by the wrist and let her know that wasn't ok. The mood went downhill after that. They visit 3 out of 4 weekends. I'm just going to go back to avoiding them on the weekends. I tried for 3 years to build a relationship but after dad being their friend and always saying yes to them and their mum saying shit about me, I think the friendship boat between me and them has sailed. I'm happier without them in my life. Do you think my partner will understand?


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Answers (31)

What did your partner say when you grabbed his daughter by the wrist ?
She will tell her mum

What did you partner do when his daughter screamed in your face and when you grabbed his daughter by her wrist ?

I have a great relationship with my partners kids. When they were little we had them every weekend. I never once tried to take over as role of mum and it was hard when they were their dads main priority over me, but I dealt with it and realised that is what a good dad does. Yes he is like most dads with the dad guilt and wanted to be fun dad, but if I didn't agree or thought it wasn't ok then he had my back and let me discipline his children and taught his children to respect me. There was also never any nasty words spoken about their mum even though at times there should have been. We acted like adults for the kids, yes they have caused me grief in their teenage years trying to rebel and find their place in life, but that's all kids not just step children. Now I'm proud of the young adults they have become and my home is their home.

I couldn't stand my partners whingy kids but sucked it up and made a huge effort to fake it. But the deadbeat used me as the excuse not to see them. So of course his whole family and kids and ex just thought I was the antichrist. If I was you I'd get out while you can.

 Great idea. Run firvthe hills as it doesn’t change
helpful (2) 
 Deadbeat? I’m guessing by that you are no longer together?
helpful (0) 

Op here. We’ve just had a weekend away and had an awesome time. I’ve relaxed my expectations and he’s doing more parenting. I’ve learned to ignore a lot of the behaviours and leave him to manage them. Funny this post popped up today. I’m in a totally different headspace these days. Feeling totally lucky to be part of a great family

If the situation was reversed, and he couldn't stand your kids would you understand? I think you need to get to the heart of the problem here and address it. Avoidance will only work for so long. If you're in this for the long haul, find a way to at least be able to tolerate them. It won't get any easier once they become teens.

You don't have to spend time with them. My partner and I live separately, we only see each other a little while he has his kids or I have mine.

This is why some men or women won't date anyone with a child or children

For many combined families, animosity often exists between stepchildren and parents. When you put yourself in your stepdaughter’s shoes, you can imagine how hard it is to suddenly have a new parental figure. But life’s challenges do not merit rudeness. When faced with a disrespectful stepdaughter, you should be direct in addressing that disrespect while at the same time showing your own respect for her.

Express your dissatisfaction. Avoid playing into her game in which she believes she can talk to you on an equal level. Respond to acts of disrespect by immediately addressing them, stressing how such actions make you feel. For example, if your stepdaughter changes the channel while you’re watching TV as an intentional act of rudeness, calmly express how you’re disappointed that she would not consider your feelings before she acts.

Address the cause of the disrespect. Bring up the issue that you believe is driving the disrespect or feelings of animosity between you and your stepdaughter. Young girls tend to act on their negative emotions via acts of passive aggression, such as hiding your things, ignoring your requests or making snide comments. Respond to such actions by asking why she’s doing it. If she feigns ignorance, articulate your own reasons in an inquisitive way and ask her if you’re right. By addressing the issue, you let your stepdaughter know you know she’s feeling bad and that she’s purposefully acting disrespectfully.

Use asking instead of telling. Always use eliciting instead of stating or judging when you have the options. Young girls might feel pushed in a corner when a non-blood relative levels accusations. Psychologist Michael Riera, the author of the book “Uncommon Sense for Parents with Teenagers,” says that putting too many judgments on a child could backfire, leading your stepdaughter to develop the belief that you’re against her. So next time you feel the urge to say, “You’re being difficult just to bother me,” instead ask, “Is there anything I did you make you upset?”

Directly express your expectations. Make it clear to your stepdaughter that while her feelings are important, you, as the adult, have expectations of her. Respectfully state those expectations, backing them up with reasons. When you give her reasons, you let her know that she’s mature enough to know why you have certain rules in place. Psychologist and author John Gottman wrote in his book “Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child” that children tend to place the blame for their own problems on others, such as their step-parents, when they feel embarrassed. Let your stepdaughter know that sometimes it’s OK to make a mistake or two but that striving to meet family expectations should still be a main goal in the household.

 Copy and paste
helpful (3) 

Honestly, if you've tried everything and they keep disrespecting you I would act to my husband like nothing bothers me and make sure there's a few times he sees me trying really hard to get along with them.....then I would suggest a move further away, that way he won't connect the 2 and think you'll just want a change of scenery.

I don't think this is a way to live the rest of your life. I would either get out of the relationship or make a real effort to get along. Is there a way for you all to do some activities together with both sets of kids. Camping could be a good ritual for you all. Getting away someplace, being together.

 You can't go camping every weekend when they come over
helpful (1) 
 I meant maybe try and get away on school holidays and over time they will appreciate that time together. Family rituals like that and sitting down eating dinner together can bring a family closer.
helpful (0) 
 You can't make someone like you

helpful (5) 
 I didn't want to be a family with my step dad
Stop forcing step kids be part of your desire to be a family

helpful (7) 

The camping suggestion is a good one. The experience might be a good bonding exercise for all of you, and its a completely different environment, new, and hopefully exiting, for all the kids. It might be tough at first, if they are all city softies, but will probably be great memories for all of them to look back on when they are adults. Its the experiences that provide the memories, not the "things" they get. Also, getting away from home reduces the tendency for the kids to all whinge as they joggle for supremacy, or are bored, or get taken shopping and demand, demand, demand.
We used to go to a caravan park with his two and my two some weekends, and as adults now they all talk about that as great times. Even though ex and I have long split up, the 4 kids are still quite bonded, keep in touch, and consider themselves family.
I also agree you have to try and make it work if you are going to stay together. Part of your irritation might be its suddenly double the number of whingers. We used to notice a significant reduction in our levels of irritation with each child we did not have, if we were ever free of even one. And it did not matter which kid it was, one of his or one of mine. He had a saying about kids "born to whinge". Looking back, he was right.
Planning for camping might provide an opportunity to discuss with partner kid behaviour standards to be applied to all of them evenly, helping roles, what they will be taught about the outdoors etc.
Maybe books on step-parenting that both you and partner read and discuss might help. It is a really difficult role, and the problems are common across all step parents.
Don't give up.

 You have been watching too many episodes of the Brady bunch
Sometimes you have to give up

helpful (4) 

There kids and your the adult. There no different to your kids, you said so your self. There not bad kids and there whinging and fighting just like you said yours do. Avoiding them isn't the answer, can understand that it would be difficult to get along with them but if you love your partner and want to support him then you need to work with him to parent them when you have them for those 3 out of 4 weekends. Otherwise your going to end up pushing him away. Do you think that maybe your slightly jealous because when there with you his main priority is them? You can't help what there mum says about you to them. All you can do is be there for them and they will see the truth for themselves. Kids aren't silly. Maybe it would be an idea for you to spend some one on one time with them? Saying that you would be happier without them in your life really is an awful Way to feel, as those three children are Your partners world. How would you feel and what would you say if your partner said the same about your children? You've been honest in how you feel and saying what some step parents may feel, but if your really that unhappy with them then I would say you need to call it a day with your partner. He comes with those children just like you come with yours.

 They're kids and you're the adult .....they're no different
They're not bad kids
Their whining
You're slightly jealous

helpful (8) 
 Praise the Lord you corrected her we would all be lost without grammar Nazis. The world would fall apart
helpful (13) 
 honestly, some people's grammar is so poor that a lot of us struggle to read their posts. I think thats why people correct other people.
helpful (8) 
 I don't think anyone would struggle to read that, it all makes sense to me. It's just plain rude to correct someone's spelling and grammar, if they could they would! I couldn't imagine how hard it is for people who may not have got the best education or have a learning disorder, they would have to put up with ignorant self righteous people making fun of them or belittling them from childhood and throughout adulthood. How about grow up, if there's no need or request to correct someone else's writing then don't do it!!!
helpful (8) 
 Oh God I couldn't even read this post past the 1st sentence. Seriously it's not hard to use the right 'they're'!
helpful (2) 
  Well maybe there's something wrong with you, that is so easy to read, most people can look past spelling mistakes.
helpful (3) 
 It's in the context.
helpful (1) 
 Perhaps from this that person has now learnt how use their, there and they're correctly.
helpful (1) 
 Are you kidding? If she couldn't learn it from primary school when it's drummed into your thirsty sponge brain I highly doubt you can learn it and remember it from someone's comment on the internet. You really need to get a clue 😂
helpful (3) 
 I'm not a grammar Nazi but I'm highly concerned with shocking English language skills of Australians.
Uneducated and unskilled, we will lose this country if we don't do something about it soon.

helpful (0) 
 As worrying as continuing an argument from two years ago.
helpful (3) 

I really struggle. My partner has five children to three different mums and now we have three grandchildren - but - hands in the air I never wanted children because I’m selfish and jealous.

Initially I realised my partner was running away from his feelings of inadequacy so arranged some family events to help him be what he wanted to be.

Now the beast has become huge. Christmas lasts a week, Uf they din’t Live with me now they will soon and I seem to be the one to organise everything and then no one cares whether I’m there or not.

I want to leave ... but ... I think I will leave a more connected family behind me.