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*Trigger warning* Tough times ahead with a blended family

Community Member
Hi all,
New here, but really struggling and have little to no family or freinds to turn to for advice.
My wife and i have been together for over 10 years.
I came into this relationship knowing my now wife had 2 children of her own. 14 11
And now have two children of our own. 7 2
We both have been through so much.
Rough childhoods, Depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety family death. Just to start the list.
We have both seen psychologist together and individually.
I honestly have the upmost respect for my wife. Shes an amazing woman.
I do know my acyion in the past have contributed to what im now facing, but as a new step dad that had come out of an abusive childhood (psychologist level) my parenting style never match with what i wanted. I did smake i did yell and i am regretfull for it. I know it was wrong but it was how i was raised and alot of the time its what i fell on as disilplin. Ive been and seen people for it and right now even tho professionals scoff when told (as in they say i dont need to) im volunteering for a behavioral change program. Im not my mother!
Lately i have been struggling with my stepson and it has been getting worse. I saw a psychologist as i realised alot of my issues with him were my own. But also i felt my wife had been pearenting him out of guilt and become blind to what he was doing. Skipping school. Brought drugs to our house. Stealling my wifes smokes. Being rude and disrespectful to me. Whenever id bring it up my wife would turn it on me saying i needed to understand what he had gone through and adjust my opinions to suit. But i felt he started to use it as an excuse to get away with things. As he would go to his mother everytime i put my foot down. To which i would get spoken to by my wife, in front of him.
And any attempt to discuss how i felt would result in an argument, where it would end up most of the time with me apologising.
My wife and i are really drifting apart
8 Replies 8

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

I too had step children in two of my four long term relationships. On of them was a 14yo boy that wouldn’t accept me from day one. The same routine as your situation developed. My frustration was huge, my anger exposed and a wedge between my partner developed.

A new approach was needed so, with him taking a new interest in cars I suggested we buy a car, an old Holden panel van and work on it together in preparation for his license.

In the beginning his interest was limited to using spray cans on car parts and as I took them off he would sand them and paint. I did the heavy stuff alone but I didn’t mind. Yes his interest would swing but his attitude changed for the better.

Unfortunately by the time he reached 19yo (living with his dad)it deteriorated again. He brought drugs into our home and I worked in an investigation field whereby if I was charged with any criminal offence I’d lose my livelihood, regardless, my partner sided with him! It told me that logic would never win.

Finally I found my partner secretly fed him money while my own daughter struggled putting herself through uni. With my partner becoming a closet alcoholic it was the end. Of course even her addiction was my fault.

Back to you. Blended families can work- it all depends on the “nature” of the individuals. However the success of it also highly depends on the teamwork of the adult couple and the chemistry of the group.

In my experience you can try to alter your ways in a vain attempt to remedy the friction among you all but unhappiness will remain because that chemistry is long gone.

It is good you reflect upon your past parenting skills like smacking and have regrets but that is then and this is now. Guilt is not something you should pay for forever.

After all this mumbling I don’t really have an answer particularly as you also have the further additional children with your partner. I can only suggest you seek new strategies to bond with this boy in a unique way- just you and him. Model airplanes, musical instrument etc, it depends on his interest and your abilities. The other action is to distance yourself and focus on your blood kids more. All of these moves simply places a blanket on the issues, they don’t go away.

Finally, I can relate to you over apologising. That habit is to quell the upheaval. Better to simply walk away than apologise and not want to.


beyondblue topic relationship strife?- the peace pipe

repost anytime


Hi again,

here is another thread I found. I’d written it a few years ago. Maybe a team approach with your partner could work out if you both restarted with forgiving minds?


or use search bar

forgiveness and forgetting- the two F’s for love


Thank you it is nice to here im not alone.

I did exactly that this week.
Hed recently ran away from home to live with his emotionally ebusive dad. Lawyers, threats of cops.
Step son emotionally msging my wife with abuse. As well as me. Asking for things to which my wife and i would discuss and agree on a responce. However my wife would always give in a few hours later telling me after the fact and getting mad at me for being upset that she had done the opposite to what we had discussed.
I started msging him regarding computer parts as he is very good with computers (hacking us is a concern, all devices being scanned by local support service) to which i got some replies. So i discussed with my wife having him over as we had freinds around and we were on talking terms. Well he came over had tea walked around the house reading all the notes on my wife n i's communication board. Then the next day started msging my wife at 5pm asking for us to drop him off some food as he was hungry and had no food and his dad was at a party.
We decided to call the cops for a welfare check, to which my step son abused my wife and then his father msgd a very childish msg.

And yet here i am 12.10am and now feel like my step daughters going down the same path. We took my step daughter and my son to drs for health care plans so they can have some support through this. However my step daughter brough up in her appointment that shes seeing figures everywhere yelliwish or black. This was the First i heard about it. I was naturally sceptical but thought id give the benifit of the doubt incase im in the wrong. My wife gets real defensive when i say i dont belive my step children. Because i feel i can see thefe manipulations and shes parenting out of blind guilt n fear of loosing them to their father. Since the doctors bedtimes become even harder than usual because i feel anytime she doesnt get her way she suddenly has a the figure people are gonna get me episode. Like tonight mus said she could listen to music on the telly in bed. Which annoyed me to start with cause we agreed no technology after bed. But i went in at 11pm and shes sitting up watching youtube. I turn the tv around and say no its bedtime. To which she has a full stomp her feet melt down. But my wife supports me and stands firm with my decision and tells her off for her behaivour. To which the figure people suddenly appear. Now my wife has gone to sleep witb her as we faught when i said i didnt beluve her. And got anger thrown at me


Yes that is some of the complexities of a blended family- just as you’ve described.

A couple of things- custodial parents do often have fear of “losing” their children to the other parent- yet I don’t see it that way. The other parent is just as much a parent as the other. The child has the call and leaving to live with the other parent is not necessarily a rejection rather than a preference.

We do have YouTube or TV on in bed as it helps us want to sleep but we have earphones. Better maybe to discuss the issue rather than turning the tv off while she’s watching it imo


Thanks again,
Just to clarify your last part i didnt turn the tv off i turned the screen around so she could still listen to music which she asked to listen to. As it was 11pm and shed been in bed for 2 hours already. I went in and she was sitting up watching youtube.

Nway my issue is that the 'people' are only affecting her when mums home. But when mum has to wrk overnight, theres no mention or issue and shes asleep by 9.30/10

The issue isn't with the kids its with your partner.

You guys need to sit down, set boundaries and follow them through together.

Otherwise your going to end up resenting your partner, disliking the kids and causing yourself unecssary stress and anxiety

Thats one of the major problems im facing.
Whenever i start a conversation regarding how im feeling or whether i disagree with a perental choice, its turned into an argument where im being negative and im the peoblem. When i try to explain im met with mustakes ive make and rectafied in the past to the point i do get upset and start to yell. However my wife starts impersanating my movements and aparent facial expressions. Which upsets me more as im only trying to come to an honest mutsl understanding. I feel like atm my wife doesnt want to hear amything i have to say. Due to the ex husband manipulating the step children were going through local services. Ive volunteered for abehavioral program because i know i react and yell when i get angry. And i want to stop doing that. However every profesional ive seen says im just a normal step father in a hard situation. However since getting help with my wifes ex shes started calling me a purpatrator of domestic violence. Asking me before she leaves for work if the kids will be safe with me. And she just refused couples counseling when i voiced our marrige is in danger. (Weve been going for 2 years on and off) but when i bring up anything im having difficulty regarding her or her decisions its slways turned back on me. I want to fix this im tryingand have been mmaing up for the mistakes ive made. Im actively seeking help but my wife has started to nake it sound like im no better than the dad.

Hi TieFather,
  We are so sorry to hear about the difficulties your family is experiencing. It sounds like there is a lot of different concerns within the family dynamic, and we understand that this must be complex to try and cope with. Please know that you do not have to do this alone. Many in our community have had similar experiences and understand. We can see that a few of them have popped by to offer you some words of kindness and advice, and we hope that this is of come comfort or assistance to you. It's great to hear that you have been in contact with health professionals and are seeking help in managing anger. We think it's really strong of you and so important that you have been able to recognise you need some help and seeking it. We recognise that this must be an overwhelming situation for you, so we just wanted to let you know that if you find yourself feeling particularly angry or overwhelmed, please know that there is help available to you.  MensLine Australia is a free 24/7 telephone and online counselling service for men with emotional health and relationship concerns. You can contact them on 1300 78 99 78 or https://mensline.org.au/ Please feel free to keep us updated here on your thread with what you are feeling and experiencing whenever you feel up to it.