If you think the FTM word processor in 2011, and up, are bad you should have used the one in Version 16.
I use 2012 and have many text items in several books. I have never had a page problem. In some situation I let it find its own page length. In others I use hard carriage returns to define the end of the page.
Just a thought. When you are in the FTM word processor working on a text item, what do you have checked in the Word Processors "View". Do you have "Draft" or "Page Layout" checked. To get wysiwyg, you need to have "Page Layout" checked.