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A10CalGal

So pissed at DH!!

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Well, I don't think counseling will hurt. I do think that Rafael is going to hear some things he doesn't want to hear or actions he does not want to take. But that happens in any type of counceling. Would it be so horrible for the young man to go back to his mom? You and R haven't even had time to adjust to being married! Whether he is coddled or not, he will still want to get his own way. Did you know he would be living with you b4 you got married? I mean, it is going to take a long time for the kid to learn that manipulation and threats aren't going to work anymore, especiall after they have worked for 16 years! I certainly do not mean that you can throw the boy aside because he is causing turmoil at home, but jeeze, you cannot let him get betwee you and R. Maybe you should start making some phone calls and see what kind of help is out there for all of you.

I have a question for you, if riding the bus to school is so not cool, why is having a stepmonster drive you to school, when you are16, cool? My kids would have died first! Just wondering...

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Originally Posted by Lizzy View Post
Well, I don't think counseling will hurt. I do think that Rafael is going to hear some things he doesn't want to hear or actions he does not want to take. But that happens in any type of counceling. Would it be so horrible for the young man to go back to his mom? It would be horrible for Rafael. It would really break his heart & make both of us sad.

You and R haven't even had time to adjust to being married! Whether he is coddled or not, he will still want to get his own way. Did you know he would be living with you b4 you got married? Yes, I knew it. We all lived together for almost a year before the wedding. And it worked out pretty darn well. I think since we've moved to Washington & are living in an apartment & we've all made sacrifices of some type things have gotten "sensitive."

I mean, it is going to take a long time for the kid to learn that manipulation and threats aren't going to work anymore, especiall after they have worked for 16 years! I certainly do not mean that you can throw the boy aside because he is causing turmoil at home, but jeeze, you cannot let him get betwee you and R. Maybe you should start making some phone calls and see what kind of help is out there for all of you.

I have a question for you, if riding the bus to school is so not cool, why is having a stepmonster drive you to school, when you are16, cool? My kids would have died first! Just wondering...
You know, I have no idea!! That is a great question. I guess cars are cooler than buses in general. My mom put it perfectly in her email to me this morning:
Hi again - Great. I can understand Rafael's wanting to "finesse" the bus issue if it means you've got until Friday to get used to it or make other arrangements, but that's the only way it would work for me. I don't think you need to figure out how to be any more supportive than you already have been. After all, who's taken his sorry ass to school, and for how long now? Who decided not to bother to prepare for and pass the driver's test, and for how many months now?? I think you can express to both R & R that you're sorry they are in this pickle, but realistically, what are the options? Pick one, act on it, go on with life. I also think you're entitled to back away from it. You've put more than a fair share of energy into this getting to school business. Yuck.

I guess I have my mom to thank for my no-nonsense attitude :)

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You know, I have no idea!! That is a great question. I guess cars are cooler than buses in general. My mom put it perfectly in her email to me this morning:

Hi again - Great. I can understand Rafael's wanting to "finesse" the bus issue if it means you've got until Friday to get used to it or make other arrangements, but that's the only way it would work for me. I don't think you need to figure out how to be any more supportive than you already have been. After all, who's taken his sorry ass to school, and for how long now? Who decided not to bother to prepare for and pass the driver's test, and for how many months now?? I think you can express to both R & R that you're sorry they are in this pickle, but realistically, what are the options? Pick one, act on it, go on with life. I also think you're entitled to back away from it. You've put more than a fair share of energy into this getting to school business. Yuck.QUOTE]

 

Yayyyyy Mom!! You better tell it!

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Originally Posted by Christa View Post
He went so far as to say " I don't even know what you do all day, it's not like you have to be at work."

Let him find out what you do---- simply STOP doing it for a couple days. Leave the dishes in the sink, be "sick" so you can't take his son to school. And when he gets home, ask him to go to the grocery store with a nice long list, and when he gets home, ask him to make dinner and clean up.


I am being insensitive and harsh in my expectation that the boy just get on the bus & ride it. I do not understand all of the things he has been through. He has never had to ride the bus. He is a junior. This is a pride thing for him. This is a big deal, and although nobody told me it is a big deal, I should have known (you know my super power mind reading skills and all). We have to treat the situation gently. I am more sensitive to our animals than I am to the child. Yeah. cool.

Interesting. Then I would ask Rafael--- how does he see this progressing over time? I mean, if you have to drive his son to school every day because he doesn't have his license, and he apparently isn't too inclined to GET his license, then once he gets done with school, who is going to drive him then? And if he gives the generic male answer of 'he'll be driving by then', how exactly is that going to happen without something to motivate him? If it's "traumatic" for him to ride the school bus, where he KNOWS kids who are also on the bus---- think about the suicidal drama that will evolve when the kid has to ride PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION!!! Oh my God- how will he survivehuh.gif


I ask why he let Richard stay home from school - he says because he was tired and sore. What?

Wow--- I really hope Richard finds a boss someday who is that compassionate---- and if he does, let me know where he's working, cuz I'm totally willing to relocate for a job like that!!!

I think I've finally hit that step-parenting sucks wall. How do I support my husband and live in harmony when I whole heartedly disagree with how he is handling this situation? I know, I am not a parent. I have not been divorced. I do not know how this feels for him. I can see he has a lot of guilt, and he is allowing it to influence his parenting decisions in a really odd way right now.

I can also say that I am a child of divorce. My mom expected a lot from me in terms of figuring out how to be where I needed to be, getting good grades, being a good person, helping around the house. I was sad that I didn't have a father in my life, that impacted me for a long time. Yet, I did not need to be disabled in my development by having my mother coddle me. She turned out a very capable, responsible, productive person in me...and for that I am very thankful. So, yes, I know what it feels like to be a child of divorce. I also know what I'm seeing & it scares me.

I've seen other step parents go thru this - where it ruins their relationship because they disagree with how their spouse is parenting. I really don't want that to be us. I'm pretty sure counseling is in order here.
I think counseling is a good suggestion--- family counseling, as opposed to marital counseling tho. It sounds to me like you two have the communication fine, but differ on the parenting roles/responsibilities. And at some point, it might be good to involve Richard in the family counseling too.

You're in a really difficult position, and there isn't a pat answer that just works across the board for every person in every family situation. I can say that Frank and I run into this with Audrey. When we differ on a decision about Audrey, I try to get Frank to see past the current and look at the end product.

For example, in your current situation--- ask Rafael for details on how you're both going to get Richard past the current situation----

Goal: Richard drives himself.

How do you get him from Point A (you're driving him) to Point B (Richard getting a license) to Point C (he is responsible enough to drive himself to/from school/activities/work, etc...).

See if Rafael can come up with a 'plan', something concrete that outlines specific actions and timeframe... and if he can do that, then outline consequences if it doesn't happen.

If there's a definition of what the goal is, and a plan for how to get to that goal- then maybe you won't feel like you just have to put up with the current situation, and it might keep you and Rafael on the same page instead of finding yourselves at opposite ends of the problem.

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Exactly Maria. I am so confused with all of this because Rafael has always been about preparing Richard for pending adult hood - instilling responsibility and accountability. Now all of the sudden there is this flip. He even said last night that I am responding to him doing something different one day than he said he would do several days before - YES, EXACTLY!! I am confused by inconsistency. And the plum part of all of this is Richard gets to see & hear all of this going on (an apartment definitely doesn't make for holding private conversations), which probably pleases him in some weird way that he's creating conflict/controversy in our relationship. ACK!

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Originally Posted by Christa View Post
Exactly Maria. I am so confused with all of this because Rafael has always been about preparing Richard for pending adult hood - instilling responsibility and accountability. Now all of the sudden there is this flip. He even said last night that I am responding to him doing something different one day than he said he would do several days before - YES, EXACTLY!! I am confused by inconsistency. And the plum part of all of this is Richard gets to see & hear all of this going on (an apartment definitely doesn't make for holding private conversations), which probably pleases him in some weird way that he's creating conflict/controversy in our relationship. ACK!
Has Rafael ever given you specifics on when he feels he's giving in to his guilt? Like, if Richard says/does <this>, then I'm likely to feel bad and respond like <this> even if it's not for the best? Is it possible Rafael could identify situations when guilt might cloud his normal judgement, and if so, then come up with some plan between the two of you where you lead him back toward rational parenting?

Trying to overcome guilt is a hard thing for anyone to do-- is it possible that you and Rafael can define what he needs from you in those moments so that it encourages him in the right direction and also helps minimize the impact all this has on the two of you?

When I think about situations with Frank and I, there are times when I've flat out told him---- when Audrey says this, I just want to come unglued and that's when I need you to do <this>.... kind of like 'predictive parenting'... I can sometimes recognize my weakness'es and that allows me to give specific tasks to Frank so that the two of us are still strong but also diffuses the environment more overall...

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Originally Posted by MikkiStreak View Post
Has Rafael ever given you specifics on when he feels he's giving in to his guilt?
At this point, he is not admitting to responding to guilt. So, no specifics.

Like, if Richard says/does <this>, then I'm likely to feel bad and respond like <this> even if it's not for the best? Is it possible Rafael could identify situations when guilt might cloud his normal judgement, and if so, then come up with some plan between the two of you where you lead him back toward rational parenting?
I would love it if we could do this! I would feel less like an outsider suffering from the effects of all of this shit.

Trying to overcome guilt is a hard thing for anyone to do-- is it possible that you and Rafael can define what he needs from you in those moments so that it encourages him in the right direction and also helps minimize the impact all this has on the two of you?
Again, very much my style. Your words are helpful...I think I can use them to start another dialogue. Thank you!!
When I think about situations with Frank and I, there are times when I've flat out told him---- when Audrey says this, I just want to come unglued and that's when I need you to do <this>.... kind of like 'predictive parenting'... I can sometimes recognize my weakness'es and that allows me to give specific tasks to Frank so that the two of us are still strong but also diffuses the environment more overall...
Love you Maria! Thank you so much for helping me through this. :)

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Christa first of all let me say that I am sorry that you are going through all this. I have two responses to the original question you asked about whether or not you were overreacting.

 

The answer is both yes and no. Its yes b/c R. made a mistake and he apologized to you. If you keep holding this over his head then it is only going to cause more tension. However, you are not overreacting b/c deep inside there are underlying issues which you and the other girls in this thread have already talked about.

 

I am not good at giving advice on this situation for many reasons. One of them is that I am not married and I don't have children. Aside from that, when I do get married I won't have to be a step-mom b/c my FI doesn't have any children. Also, I don't come from a divorced home.

 

Just know that I am here for you and I support you in any decision you make. Also, you are being the best step parent you can be and while I don't agree with some of R's decisions, I do think he is trying to do the best he can as well.

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Originally Posted by Christa View Post
Love you Maria! Thank you so much for helping me through this. :)

hehe, one of us has to stay sane! And it's probably not going to be me, so.....

Seriously--- anytime. You're a good person, you have great instincts, and you're commitment to Rafael and his kids is amazing. It's harder than anyone realizes to raise someone else's kids, so if you need encouragement, perspective, listening--- I'm all ears...

Audrey once said to me (in a fit of anger):
"Before I come live with you, I think you need parenting classes."

My response:
"There isn't a parenting class out there to teach someone how to pick up where other people left off..."


If we can teach each other thru life experience---- it's all good. We may fuck them up a little every once in awhile, but hey- they'll come out of it stronger in the long run.

(haha)

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Originally Posted by Christa View Post
I can also say that I am a child of divorce. My mom expected a lot from me in terms of figuring out how to be where I needed to be, getting good grades, being a good person, helping around the house. I was sad that I didn't have a father in my life, that impacted me for a long time. Yet, I did not need to be disabled in my development by having my mother coddle me. She turned out a very capable, responsible, productive person in me...and for that I am very thankful. So, yes, I know what it feels like to be a child of divorce. I also know what I'm seeing & it scares me.
Iam a firm believer than children live up to their expectations. If you don't expect much, you won't get much. I know that's over-simplifying, but I really do believe that - R needs to expect more from his son. He's certainly capable, but right now he's not really being forced to live up to very high expectations.

That doesn't answer or help most of the issues you've brought up - Maria is doing a better job at that! But I just wanted to throw that thought out there.

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