Successfully blending families is no easy feat. Take Josh* for example, who recently turned Reddit’s popular relationship message board after he and his wife hit a bump on the road to blended bliss.
Josh, 37, has been with his wife, Tasha, 28, for two years and they have been married for one. They are currently only married on paper—and did so for immigration purposes—but have plans to enjoy a formal wedding in two years. Apparently, Tasha only moved here for Josh, and she only has a few friends in the area.
Josh is the proud father of a 3-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter from a previous marriage. Per his custody arrangement with his ex-wife, Josh has the children every other week. When Josh, Tasha, and the kids spend time together, it’s great; however, he’s frustrated by the fact that his wife only spends time with her stepchildren when it “fits into her schedule.” Otherwise, she’s out and about. Josh explains:
She frequently goes out to do her own thing, leaving me alone to take care of them and blames me for making her “feel guilty” about staying home. She says, “They are your kids, not mine – they are your responsibility.” She says she shouldn’t feel pressured to not go out and I should cherish my time with them since I’m the one who had them.
When she is around, it’s great, but she does whatever she wants, and as long as it fits within her schedule, she will be around. But if something comes up, she’s out the door with zero hesitation.
She likes/loves(?) the kids and is a joy when we are all together. It’s not like she’s actively trying not to be around them. I just don’t think she realizes how demanding two under-10-year-olds can be, and rags on me every time I get pissed when I’m left alone for too long with them. What that means is I don’t have a problem with her going out every once in a while as everyone needs their own life. But I feel she takes total advantage and will go out four times to my every one.
According to Josh, they discussed the whole step-parenting thing before getting married, and he made it clear that he and his kids are a package deal. And while it seems that Tasha is very accepting of Josh’s kids, she’s not trying to miss out on all of the fun just to stay at home with them all of the time. When commenters told Josh that it sounds like he only married his wife to have someone to help him look after his kids, he responded that this was not the case.
I do love her, and I just wanted her to be part of the family.
Who is wrong in this situation? What should they do to fix this?