Since this is my first post, I’ll give a bit of my history quickly…didn’t know who else to go to, so found this forum.
I am 40 years old and widowed. My wife of 9 years passed away of cancer in '04 at the age of 31. After a couple of years, I started to date again, mostly sticking to only dating women quite a bit younger than myself, as I was kinda holding onto hope of having children of my own someday. I am now resolved that this will not likely be my path.
Anyway, flash forward to my current situation. For about a year now, I’ve been dating a woman. She is my age and is divorced. The divorce happened shortly before we started dating. That was late last summer. Her children are a girl (18), a boy (12) and a younger girl of (10). The ex-husband was a manipulator and the type of guy who didn’t have any problems going on unemployment and not making more than 23K/year while she worked away, paid all the bills, and on top of that she is the only one that made sure that her kids were doing things like homework, etc. He preferred to just badmouth her, yell at the kids, and drink beer.
Since the beginning of the summer, this is what I have witnessed happen. I really need advice here as to what I need to do, what are my boundaries, etc. I’m simply at a loss.
Her 18 year old (then 17) is dating a real piece of work. He does drugs, lies, degrades her, etc. Finally, one night he wrecked another girls’ car, got out and ran to my girlfriends house, had the 18 year old let him in and hid there while the cops were out looking for him. When my girlfriend and I found out, my girlfriend (Patti) told the daughtere (Tori), that Tori’s boyfriend was no longer allowed in her house, as she would not have him bringing the cops to a house with her two younger children in it. Her daughter (who up until that point refused to even speak with her father for the previous year), threw a fit, got all of her clothes in bags and left to move in with her father, who was there with open arms…and now allows Tori and her boyfriend to live together at his house (Tori and boyfriend just moved away 70 miles to go to a nearby tech school. Both Patti and myself are hoping that Tori comes to her senses and dumps him, but in the meantime, Tori won’t so much as swing by Patti’s house to say Hi, unless she needs something. She pouts until she gets what she wants.
The boy (Cameron…age 12), is the least trouble of all of them. He is a good kid, but he is incredibly disrespectful to his mother. don’t get me wrong, he loves her, and has a heart of gold. I can only attribute this to the fact that he’s grown up seeing his father treat his mom with this much disrespect, so its normal to him. He is his father’s son, if you know what I’m saying, and is heavily favored by his dad.
The youngest is a girl aged 10 (Alli). Alli is a sweetheart when she wants to be, but is also a combination of the worst attributes of both Tori and Cameron. She shows absolutely no respect unless she is wanting something. She screams the most hateful and hurtful words to her mom when she doesn’t get her way. It is nothing at all for these kids to tell Patti that they hate her and that they want to live with their dad the second Patti doesn’t give in to what they want.
She (Patti), has given in to them time and again. It has gotten to the point where I don’t know what she can do to change things, as they will simply call their father, and he will tell them whatever they want to hear just so he is their “favorite” and to hurt Patti. He seems to really get a thrilll out of making her out to be the bad person, when it has been she all along that has taken the high road (for instance, he and his family speak so ill of Patti and her family in front of those kids …we hear all the stories), while Patti and her family won’t say a word in the negative about he and his family.
I have had enough of the kids treating their mother like this. However, I don’t know where my bounds really ought to be. Patti has told me that she wants me to help, which I don’t have a problem with. However, the second I say something or start showing any type of authority, I know that they will simply go running to their dad’s house (small town of about 1,000 people, and the houses are only about 10 blocks apart). There will also be the whole “you aren’t my dad” thing most surely.
Does anybody have ANY experience with this? I don’t know what to do, how to respond, or where to draw a line on this. I love Patti, and I love her kids ( not a fan of her oldest right now).
Thank you, and sorry for the novel.