Advise needed for a step mom whose husband has custody

Any advice is welcome.

Here is my story, my husband of 10 years(12 together) retained custody of his children back about 6 years ago. One girl close to graduating from HS now and a boy getting ready to enter HS. The X still does not like me. We are civil but that’s about it, I have done all I can even invite her over to our house Christmas am since I felt sorry for her that she didn’t have the $(or so she told me) to spend on them at Christmas. So I gave up my/our Christmas with our 2 lil ones so she could have a good one with the children and they would be happy as well. I offered her to come to our house and we would buy their Christmas and they wouldn’t know who bought what. All went well…that day but now reversed to back where it was. She is constantly(when she has the opportunity) throwing back handed remarks to my husband and my step kids about me. Making remarks that he and her are their parents etc, etc…well she sure don’t mind when I pay their dr bills or insurance etc. Idk what to do. The oldest and I used to be so close but now as she has gotten older she has gravitated toward her mom(which I assume is normal, maybe?) more and I often wonder what all her mom tries to put in her mind bc i can sense the distance. I can tell we aren’t as close. Whereas their father and I are more strick (but not super strict) their mom let’s them do whatever they would like whenever they would like in fear of them not liking her. She tries to be their best friend. She still babies them none stop and constantly text them ALL the time, ALL the time. It’s almost like she has became obsessed with them. And of course, thats her daddy so shes not going to hold resentment or anomisity toward him so whose left? Me for her mom to blame things for ect. X is middle aged, no money and still single where as my husband and I have a wonderful marriage, successful business and our own 2 children. It’s almost like she hates me bc i have what she wants (mind u, she left the marriage for another man) Anyway, we were warned that as kids got older they would gravitate toward the more lenient parent but it just sucks for us because whenever they need anything, we are the ones that have to provide. All dr bills, insurance, car, car insurance almost everything but she gets to be the fun parent. And of course, my self being the step mom, the one that decorates their rooms, makes sure their bd parties are planned, dentist appts etc, I feel like the odd one out. I know I’m prob here there and every where with this post but should I worry? I feel like I should do for them bc i do love them but mainly bc of my husband but I also feel like our children get put on the back burner a lot but I dont want my step children to think we do more for them than we do for them two but this is coming. to a halt. Ugh, idk what to do, I may try finding a good family therapist that specializes in these things. It’s SOOOOOOO hard being a step mom and even harder being a step mom whose husband has custody. Why can’t we all just get along??? 10 plus years is too long to deal with this:( I am open to any and all advice.and please excuse my post being all over the place. With so many mixed emotions, it’s so hard to put into words sometimes).

I am going to just speak from experience here. I divorced my husband and we had joint custody. Eventually I got full custody of my daughter. My X husband was and still is a real piece of work. My son is 25 and my daughter would have been 22 just a few days ago. She passed away in February 2013. I remarried in 2003. My husband now became more of a father to them because of what he instilled with in them. We together played many roles and sometimes that included being a best friend and the bad guy. My X would and still does to my 25 year old, plays the guilt trip card. He never remarried, he doesn’t have anyone, doesn’t have money, and can just down right act like a child. With all of this being said, the kids will realize and will know who did what for them. They may not realize it now because of their age. But when it comes down to it, they will know how much you love them and everything that you have done for them. My daughter knew what he did for her and how much he loved her and the same for my son now. I think you should call yourself a “Bonus” parent. You have "Bonus kids. Step to me just doesn’t sound respectful or nice. They are lucky to have you. And therapy may be a good thing. Kids may not want to but it could help you and your husband see things in a different light. Good luck to you!!

So sorry to hear about you daughter. Thank you so much for the advice. That’s exactly what I needed to know. I’ll just continue to do what I consider is the right thing. Thank you again:)