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Posted By: gsd Blended family, no sex, no discipline? Help! - 03/20/09 10:40 PM
I have been married for almost a year now (next month will be a year.) My husband is an amazing man and we have what I thought was one of the strongest relationships possible. However, it is being tested nad I am doubting my decision to get married like never before.

Short story: We dated for 5 years before getting married (4 before getting engaged). He has custody of two teen sons, 14 and 15. The youngest is severely disabled with Cerebral Palsy. They are both very good kids, and he is extrremely close to them. However, the oldest just started high school where I teach. He is a very smart student, but never does his homework or studies. This has caused great conflict in our house. I want discipline, structure, etc. He has very little work ethic and is, IMHO, spoiled. He is not a "rotten" kid, mind you, but just lazy. His dad does little to change that. I am the school nag, and I am getting grief from both of them for it. His grades are poor, and despite promises to change (from both the son to improve and the dad to "do something about it,") nothing has changed. I cry every afternoon because I am torn between putting my foot down and insisting that he study, read, or do his homework before 10:30 and transitioning into the home smoothly and without too much disturbance. I take him to a personal trainter 3 days a week for football, readjusting my work schedule and afternoon, only to have him put so little effort into what is important?? That goes against my core beliefs, and I am tempted to threaten to not take him anymore.

Did I know this about him before? Kind of. I knew he was permissive and a bit more open. They have a good relationship and he is a good kid. His grades were never bad in the past (A-B's). He never worked hard in school, however, so the fruits of that poison tree are coming now.

Another note is that we hardly ever have sex. This is not new, but I thought it woudl be different once we moved in and had "more opportunity." I have no interest, frankly, from a sexual standpoint, though I do crave the intimacy it provides. This, with the growing resentment is creating what I feel MAY become a perfect breeding ground for an affair-- a devestation I cannot bear in my second marriage.

I find myself growing resentful of the time I put in caring for his children and his home (and yes, I am using that pronoun on purpose). I am a parent who cannot parent, a glorified nanny, and one who feels as though her principles are being abandoned. The youngest requires constant care, and while the mom is still somewhat in the picture, she is really nothing more than a babysitter on the weekends when we have our "couple time." I am feeling as though he is a "reluctant" parent, a tired one, perhaps. I love this man deeply but do not want to grow to resent him anymore.

I am going to suggest counseling, but I did not know if anyone had similar issues.
Communication is the only solution. I suggest a marriage counselor that helps you learn to dialogue. Google some in your area, and search for 'reviews' on them. That's how I've found my doctors, by looking for other people's reviews, and picking those who have the best reviews.

You have to be able to speak until you reach a conclusion you are both happy with.

The other thing you need to do, IMO, is have stronger boundaries. For instance, tell H that if you are taking his son to practice 4 times a week, you would like to know what he is going to do to make up for the time you're expending on his son's needs. Don't let him just brush it off, or get mad at you. Make "I" statements, not "you" statements (I feel like I'm being used in this family, while I don't see anyone else putting in any effort. Why is that?)
Posted By: dkd Re: Blended family, no sex, no discipline? Help! - 03/21/09 04:52 PM
gsd, like you my spouse already had a son when we got married, and I immediately tried to become his father. I struggled with incorporating my rules into their pre-existing life. Like you, I resented my spouse for not letting me just do that. She resented me for expecting her to change her relationship with her son.

I wish I hadn't tried to be a father so hard. Instead, I wish I had just loved him, earn his trust and became somebody he felt safe with, who he could depend on. My son was 2 at the time, but I still think it applies.

I agree with Cat about commuincation, but be prepared for the answer to be that you need to step back for awhile.
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