Hi there! I hope to be of some help to you here tonight... it sounds like a very upsetting situation and you are somewhat left without support...
You ask if you "should be upset with" your husband; this isn't a question of should or should not, as I see it, but that you are upset and need to find some middle ground with your husband on what you are willing and not willing to tolerate in terms of disrespect from either him or his children.
You have the right to be treated with respect within the family, and you have the right to ask your husband for his support. You also have the right to choose not to surround yourself with people who make you feel badly, and to try to work on building relationships with those you care about.
Step-families offer an opportunity to become family through love; they also present certain challenges and even sometimes a "competitive" aspect that puts parents in the middle of a subconscious battle for attention and affection. By possibly communicating that you love your husband and that you understand that his children hold a very special place in his heart, and so you refuse to get into any battle of wills with the kids and will just quietly walk away... you are actually holding onto your own power in the dynamic. It will be up to your husband to make the attempt to bridge the gap or not... but you are left on neutral ground. And there is dignity and safety there!
Express your desire for peace and for everyone to get along respectfully, XXXXX XXXXX "what you give attention to is ultimately what you get more of"... so pay lots of attention to the things they do that you like, and ignore as much of the rest as you can. You might just begin to see the negative behavior begin to subside ovee time with this approach.
I see that you are offline; I will wait for any reply or further questions, and will respond back as soon as I can! We can continue conversing until you feel that you have the answers you need. Until then, take good care of yourself! Thank you for your question! :-)
Hello! My screen says that you are now in the chat... any thoughts on my ideas?
Again, thank you for using the site and I hope to hear back from you soon if there is anything more I can do to assist you! My goal is to provide excellent service; let me know if there is anything further that I can assist you with! :-)
It is my pleasure!!
It will be up to you to teach them how to treat you. If they are unkind in their responses to gifts, it may be time to stop giving gifts... or you can give them gifts, but expect nothing in return. Sadly, we can only really change our own responses and reactions... but, you have every right to ask how he sees their reactions. Does he see nothing wrong with their treatment of you?
They are trying to manipulate him and take control and power... and it is his choice to either take the bait or express his own desires and stand up to them. It is hard to be a victim of circumstance in this way as you are... no doubt...
This is a choice you will have to make... to tolerate it, or to put down boundaries.
This decision doesn't have to be made tonight, but it will help you to keep this idea in mind as you manage through for awhile. It is a choice... and you have the power to choose.
I see that you are offline now: I will save this discussion in Q & A format so that we can continue again sometime if you'd like! I will be going offline for the evening, but will check back in the morning to see if you have replied! Until then, my very best to you!