I confess i hate being a stepmother

(150 Posts)
marmon Wed 21-Jan-09 13:04:11

Its been 4 years and my god they have been tough, my dh has a control freak ex wife who by the way left him for another man and a trouble making step son. I could go on for hours but do not want to bore you but i just had to let off steam and say that being a stepmum is harder than looking after my kids.

We only ever argue about the ex and the boy and to be honest i am exhausted and drained from it all. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Please dont judge me for moaning its just tough sometimes.

BrownSuga Wed 21-Jan-09 13:06:13

It's is tough, and you're allowed to moan. Are there any good bits you can cling to, to get you through the rough?

Brangelina Wed 21-Jan-09 13:18:47

I hated it too, but now I'm cool with it.

The key is to detach, detach, detach. I put food on the table and make sure there are sheets on the bed but other than that and polite conversation I am not involved in anything to do with my stepson. It's much better that way, no need for DP to get all defensive and insult me and no one else can wind me up. Things have improved no end, I can tell yousmile.

dirtygertiefromnumber30 Wed 21-Jan-09 13:40:27

agree with 'detaching'

step parenting is emotionally difficult. I often fantasise about how life would have been if it were just me, dh and our kids.

Its 8 years on now and things have become easier as dss has grown older (he's 10 now and we have a good relationship).

Ive always been civil with ex wife (smile through gritted teeth iykwim) and tried to smooth the waters rather than muddying. Finally,(i think i'll take the credit here actually!) the years of hard work , swallowing down resentment and shrugging off criticism have paid off and its as amicable as its ever going to be.

In hindsight i should have thought how difficult taking a partner with a child on was, i just really didnt realise what it involved.

No judging here. Just advice to try your hardest not to take things too personally. I think its tough for ALL involved. Your dp, the ex, and ALL the kids too. Good luck!

DrNortherner Wed 21-Jan-09 13:44:43

From the other side of the coin, if you 'detatch' what effect will this have on the kids and you in later life? They won't be kids forever, but will one day be adults with minds of their own.

My dh had a step mum who sounded like she 'detached' - provided home cooked food and clean sheets but kids really do need more than that.

I know it must be hard but they are kids. YOU are the adult.

dirtygertiefromnumber30 Wed 21-Jan-09 13:51:21

i didnt mean detach emotionally from the child! Dss and I do lots together without dh and the other dc's - shopping, reading, cinema - we've even gone on an adventure weekend just the two of us!

When i say detach i mean from the rest of the shit - the arguements about maintenance, access, schooling, what to put in the bloody lunch boxes etc etc! I try and smooth those out between dh and ex or try and calm dh down when she's really pissed him off.

does that make sense?

Brangelina Wed 21-Jan-09 13:52:14

Dirygetrie - Agree that it is always much harder than perceived taking on someone else's children. That's why it often rankles me when I hear "you knew what you were letting yourself in for". Well, you don't, the reality is very different. Had I known what I know now I might have ahd second thoughts before getting involved with my DP.

DrN - detaching can have the opposite effect of bringing everyone closer. In our case in particular I had to do it for my sanity as DP was getting defensive and uptight about anything to do with his ds, with me being the main villain and his ds and ex were paluing on that and making everyone's life difficult. Now we're all able to have civil conversations, there is no conflict (which is much worse for children) and we all bumble along nicely.

Marne Wed 21-Jan-09 13:55:58

Things do get better (as the children get older), we had a lot of trouble with DSS1 but now he's almost 16 we have no trouble at all. We now have less contact with the ex wife as the children are old enough to us (not through her).

ElenorRigby Wed 21-Jan-09 14:00:10

Dirty Gertie and Brangelina I know exactly what your talking about. I do try to detach from all argument stuff or when DP has been really upset by what the ex has done regarding DSD. I have even tried to get DP to step back emotionally when the ex has not been caring for DSD as DP would, unfortunatley he says he cant do that because he feels like he given up on DSD. Its relatively early days at 3 1/2 years with DP hopefully one day we will get there.
IMO one of the worst things about being a step is the damned whatever you do. If parenting is a thankless task, being a step is more than doubly so.

dirtygertiefromnumber30 Wed 21-Jan-09 14:03:45

By ElenorRigby on Wed 21-Jan-09 14:00:10
'If parenting is a thankless task, being a step is more than doubly so'

very true!

Brangelina Wed 21-Jan-09 14:18:53

Too true!

noonki Wed 21-Jan-09 14:33:32

I think the problem is it that caring for children can at times be frustrating, and infuriating. I had a DSS for 4 years before having my own kids and I would at times feel so guilty for literatlly wanting to scream at him. I would feel so guilty and as if I was some evil witch. I would have to leave the room because sometimes I wanted to smack him.

I also loved playing with him and all the good things he brought (laughter and games)

when I had my own kids I realised at points I felt as cross with them and still have to leave the room to prevent a smack or a shout. But the difference is that I love them and they love unconditionally. So it was forgotten about as quickly as it started.

Where as with DSS negatively was a tangled with a bit of a guilt about wishing he didn't exist blush/ Because as much as I love him he has restricted our lifes andadded stress and problems that wouldnt have been there otherwise. Also I know that I will never match up to his mum. And though I don't want to when she was being an evil so and so it was so hard to not diss her.

So all the emotions on top of the difficulties of parenting make it such a hard job.

But I view my relationship with him now as an added bonus.

marmon Wed 21-Jan-09 14:36:21

Brangelina is so right when things have gone wrong in the past i have taken a step back and learnt the art of detatchment, but as soon as i soften and forgive all the nastiness he seems to turn on me again and the ex gets involved. So i think remaining distant is sadly the only option otherwise you start to lose your mind. I said to my friend today i would never have got involved with a man with an ex and child if i had known all the heartache it was going to cause. The thing is i have an exhusband and he never gets involved and dh has never had any problems from my dd. Maybe its just the luck of the draw.

Brangelina Wed 21-Jan-09 14:46:04

Noonki - I also had a long period of wishing dss didn't existblush. I even had dreams about a blissful ss free world. I think it's entirely normal in view of the problems stemming from having a stepchild. Problems caused by the adults, not the child. In some ways he was as stuck in the middle as I was.

noonki Wed 21-Jan-09 16:29:40

I think that is a really good point Brangelina.

And another one I make myself remember is that he never asked to be shunted between homes. And he handles it so well. I would have been far worse I'm sure had I been a child.

Marmon -I think your problem is not your stepson but his mum. I hate the way parents do this to their kids, surely they can see that it justy upsets their child more than their exes.

marmon Wed 21-Jan-09 16:38:32

yeah it is the mum she is a total controlling bitch to put it mildly. She left my dh for another man and my dh was single for 6 years! When we got together she laid down the law about her precious son yet my dh had to except her fella without any argument. I just keep telling myself that the boy is nearly 15 and hopefully his mates will take first place above us soon. I know that sounds awful but believe i have tried and now i just feel deflated.

ElenorRigby Wed 21-Jan-09 19:12:30

I have a great relationship with DSD, she absolutely adores her dad and her little sister (our DD).
As others have said its horrible when ex's hurt their own kids by controlling behaviour. DP's modus operandi is wanting the control of being the "parent with care"- she sees herself as that despite her benign neglect of DSD and a Shared Residence Order being in place. Its weird she cannot be bothered with a myriad of everyday parental responsibilities but wants to be seen as the main carer for DSD when actuality DP fills in the care gaps she cannot be bothered with.
In short I cant stand the hurt to DSD and the exs hypocrisy.

marmon Wed 21-Jan-09 19:34:11

I share joint custody of my dd with my ex but i would never dream of controlling his life and who he sees, as long as my dd is happy then to me that is all that counts. Sometimes i think stepson goes home and says that he has had a good time with his dad and me and the ex wife cannot handle it, mainly because she cannot control it.

lizstokes Mon 26-Jan-09 13:01:18

not a lot to add really except to say thank god I am not the only one who struggles being a stepmum! I have a 13.5yr old SS, have been with my Dh for 7 years and it is still as hard as ever. DH moans I do not have a bond with SS, I try my best but I cannot love him as a parent would and I am sorry to say this but I find it a strain when he comes to stay. Completely agree with op's who say its not the childs fault that step parents occur (i.e. real parents splitting up) but that doesnt mean step parents can flick the switch and love the step kids unconditionally, I was quite young (23) when I met DH and thought it would all be happy ever after, what I know now is that however much you love your partner, being a step parent & having their kids in your life is H A R D!

Lins75 Mon 26-Jan-09 13:09:26

I HATE being a stepmother too.

If I had known how hard it was going to be I would have thought twice about marrying my DH.

Sometimes it's so hard to love (or even like) my DSC...
And they live with me full time.

marmon Mon 26-Jan-09 18:02:32

You poor thing lins75, i could not handle living with my stepson full time, i actually think it would be the end of dh and mine relationship. This weekend is our time to see him and already i am thinking up excuses in my head to avoid him, obviously my dh must catch up with him but i just need to keep my distance for the sake of my own sanity.

mrsjammi Mon 26-Jan-09 20:27:04

me too sometimes so much its untrue

non person non person non person - being a step parent made me coin the phrase, i have one who lives here and one who doesnt

there have been times when, despite adoring dh i seriously wished i had known exactly how hard step parenting was and stayed a million miles away from him

he makes me happier than i have ever been and most of the time i wouldnt be without him for the world, but there are times when life seems so, i dont know what the word is, draining i suppose, that i wish i had never clapped eyes on him

thankfully those times are few and far between but even so ................

i wish these kids could get an insight into how we feel, i truly believe they would be sorry, i am fairly sure in their own way my step kids love me and would be horrified to know how badly they make me feel

mrsjammi Mon 26-Jan-09 20:27:29

*some of the time

(sorry that was the end of my sentence hit post too soon)

marmon Tue 27-Jan-09 10:18:53

A friend made a good point to me the other day about where i fit in, in the stepsons life. Because i am not a "mum" to him and not a friend i think i have become an easy target for his moods. His mum will probably not tolerate it and his dad would just ignore it, so i am the one left to get it. Plus he clearly has no respect for me and knows he can say what he wants and his mum will back him 100 per cent. Its so hard.

marie1979 Sun 08-Feb-09 18:13:32

are you jealous of the mum and their son that they had together?

marmon Thu 12-Feb-09 08:27:39

No im not.

Malloddie Sat 14-Feb-09 00:24:55

Just joined in on this interesting conversation; need some advice on how I'm feeling. Hope someone can help! We have just moved to a new house in another part of town; previously we lived almost across the road from DPs ex. DSS who is almost 15 isn't comfortable staying o/n and tonite called DPs ex to come and get him. I felt my 'security' and longed for 'new start' had been shattered when DPs ex got out of the car and came into the hallway of our new house. DP has since confirmed that he actually goes into the hallway of his exs house which used to be his house. Somehow I feel I don't count in whatever they see as 'fitting'. I did complain to DP 3 years ago about the ex coming into our last house to pick kids things so it was arranged that DP wud drop off things instead. This has worked well until tonite. I resent DP ex coming into our new house; especially when it was to get something that DSS could have got himself. I felt she made it the perfect opportunity to be nosey. My house not feels 'tainted' and I feel angry and betrayed by DP. He said he could hardly push her out the door! Am I raving mad or what???

ElenorRigby Sat 14-Feb-09 11:10:22

Nope your not mad imo. My DP's ex used to demand that she was able to look around DP's home and then the first home we had together.
Not anymore, come rain or shine she will not cross the threshold of our home again.
I think its not on for your DP's ex to swan in to your house if your not comfortable, it is your house too.

pinguthepenguin Sat 14-Feb-09 11:25:56

yes, you are mad. To say your home now feels 'tainted', is very unhealthy. She is the mother of your step-child. I cannot bear this attitude that she is to be someow demonised simply because she is an 'ex'. You would not leave someone you know on the doorstep of your home, and she should be no different. It's called human decency for goodness sake.

ElenorRigby Sat 14-Feb-09 11:45:44

Decency cuts both ways Pingu.

prettyfly1 Sat 14-Feb-09 14:48:08

I invited my dss mum round to look at the house. I have nowt to hide and after all her ds lives here half the time so she has every right to know where and what environment he is in. I resent her nosy cow of a mother trying to do the same thing but when she came round i let her see the house, made her a cup of tea and asked if there was anything specific she wanted me to do. I know if the boot were on the other foot i would want to know where my son was living. However if she just started waltzing in and helping herself then i would have something to say about it. This is my house and i say who comes in and out. I dont see what the problem with her being in the hallway is - that sounds massively like insane jealousy but if she is wandering around and doing what she wants then i would be narked!!

Surfermum Sat 14-Feb-09 15:00:53

You and I are so on the same wavelength prettyfly!

I'd have no problem with dsd's mum coming here. And it would be perfectly natural for dsd to want to show her her bedroom and stuff like that. I like to have a nosey at dd's classroom at school, and I liked it when I finally got to go inside dsd's house. It was like putting a face to a name sort of thing - when dd talks about school I can picture it, and when dsd talks about home I can picture it.

And for years I thought it really off that dh only ever got to knock on the door of dsd's mum's place and wasn't ever allowed in. It's better now, he goes in for a cuppa and after our summer holiday when we dropped dsd off we all went in for a wee (me, dh and dd) and we ended up staying for fish and chips!

prettyfly1 Sat 14-Feb-09 15:03:46

surfer that does sound nice. My dp is allowed into her house and there was a time over xmas where she was really early and to leave her standing on the doorstep would just have been churlish. I really hope that one day we can get to your stage!!

Surfermum Sat 14-Feb-09 15:12:43

But I am so pleased that it is like that now. Makes life so much easier.

It hasn't always been like that! Boy did she hate me. And even when dh started getting invited in I still had to stay in the car! And when dd was first potty trained she'd just about manage the drive from ours to dsd's but would need a wee. I got accused of sending dd in to spy on the house and report back to me. She was 2 ROFL!

And I still shake if I get a text or phone call out of the blue from her. It always used to mean trouble of some sort or a mouthful of abuse.

prettyfly1 Sat 14-Feb-09 15:17:53

ummmmmmmmm. sounds so very familiar. Oh well, I shall live in hope of it one day being the way you have it now.

pinguthepenguin Sat 14-Feb-09 15:45:06

I am utterly appalled by the words 'tainted' being used to describe the mother of your step-child. Like she is some sort of disgusting odour that is lingering in your house, simply because she dared enter the hallway, or worse, that she dared to have a life with your partner before you did. She is the childs MOTHER, and yes, decency may well cut both ways, but how the hell is using words like 'tainted' conducive to fostering a workable relationship between parents? I think you need to seriously have a word with yourself because the child will eventually see how you feel about his mother, and you will not be viewed favourably.

cashmeremafia Sat 14-Feb-09 16:08:27

Tainted is indeed a strong word. I think you should face the fact that the hallway is not really your home, but more like an extension of the street for postman, milkman, etc. If you are really bothered about it, why don't you cleanse the space with candles and a bell. I'm not kidding you, just a ritual to calm you down.

Also, it might help if you soul search and find out why exactly you hate her so much. It's not healthy you know. Hate is such a strong emotion and it lingers and cripples you emotionally. Let go, she is an ex for a reason. Try to humour her and be charitable and rise above it all if she isn't.

prettyfly1 Sat 14-Feb-09 16:14:20

I must admit, I am a bit taken aback at how strongly you view the mother of your dss entering the hallway of your house. You did understand that she would be involved when you met your dp didnt you? Because you do need to realise that whilst we may love our stepchildren, ultimately they are not ours and their mums, quite rightly, come first and always should do. And as such as the parent of a child she has the right to see where he lives for a large proportion of the time and not be excluded from any element of his life. Its only what i would want if it were me.

Surfermum Sat 14-Feb-09 17:45:13

I totally agree cashmeremafia (even down to the candles and bells). It's exactly what I was going to say. Why do you feel so strongly about her? What has she done?

The thing is pingu, while I agree with your sentiment, we don't know the full story here. It might not be JUST because she's gone in the hall or JUST because she had a relationship with Mallodie's partner. She might have behaved really badly either towards Mallodie or her dp. I must admit for all the stuff I post on here there have been times when I have found it extremely hard to feel charitable towards dsd's mum. Threatening to "smack me in the gob", sending me abusive letters and telling me she hoped my baby was born deformed spring to mind for starters.

prettyfly1 Sat 14-Feb-09 18:01:15

I so agree surfermum - hence why i always try to hear other perspectives before judging. Poster are you around.

pinguthepenguin Sat 14-Feb-09 18:14:30

surfer, I hear you- and I'm sure there must be reasons why she feels so strongly- but seriously, entering the hallway? Feeling 'betrayed' by her DP because he entered the hallway of a house he once shared with his ex, and where his child lives? I cant ever imagine feeling so strongly against this, that I would ban my ex from my home- however much I would like to. In fact I would love nevvr to clap eyes on him or his nw again, but for the sake of my dd, my door is an open one.

Judy1234 Sat 14-Feb-09 18:56:12

You need therapy for having those wrong feelings of taint. It's jealousy that she had a child with him and they will always be connected very strongly by that. Why does that have to matter? It wouldn't bother me at all if my children's father introduced me to a girl friend, invited her into here to see me.

But on the original post, yes 15 year old boys can be dreadful. I've had one and now he's older he's lovely but at the time it is so so hard for them. It really is. You have to remember what iwas like when you were 15, when hormones surge, when you're becoming independent. They hit out at people they care about often and learn to wind people up. If they know they get to you they've won too.

If you can't like him, poor him, then just keep away from him. He probably wants his father to himself anyway and who can blame him?

Surfermum Sat 14-Feb-09 19:07:00

I'm with you pingu in every other respect! I would like to hear more background from you Mallodie. What is the problem with him being in her house? What a shame too that your dss doesn't feel comfortable staying with you. Have you looked at ways of overcoming that?

Sorry Marmon we've highjacked your thread.

noonki Sat 14-Feb-09 19:59:15


think about it from your stepsons view point- his Mum isn't able to see his new room or house. No wonder your dss is uncomfortble coming over.

That's tight.

Why do you dislike her so much?

It's terrible for your stepson to be in the middle of all that anger and bitterness.

My DH had xmas dinner this year with his ex and my dss. (He spent the morning with us, then went there for lunch, before going to work in the evening... crossing most of the uk in the process)

five years ago they were having court proceedings over access rights and couldn't be in the same room together.

It is possible to be civil, and unless their is violence or agression i think all adults involved need to start working towards civilality for everyone's sake.

ElenorRigby Sat 14-Feb-09 20:21:51

As Surfermum has said we do not know where Mallodie is coming from. Maybe as Xenia says she is insanely jealous of the ex but somehow I doubt that, she sounds hurt to me or maybe that's just me projecting.
I do not want/will not accept DP's ex in our house. There far too much water under the bridge to extend her that courtesy. She will now have the same courtesy she extends to DP, the doorstep.
In the past she has barged in even when against my wishes she insisted she would bring DSD to see DD when she was a newborn. I wanted DP to bring DSD to see DD but felt weak and overruled. I left my hospital room while she went in. I felt violated.
I could be accused of overreacting or being unreasonable if that was the only instance, but there are many more mostly of her hurting DP and DSD.

catsmother Sat 14-Feb-09 22:40:17

Talk of tainting does indeed sound extreme but it all depends on the background doesn't it ? Regardless of who she is, would anyone want to invite into their homes someone who (for example) has told, and continues to tell, outrageous and dangerous lies over several years, who has left upsetting and insulting messages on your phone (and similar texts and emails), someone who has deliberately and unapologetically (is that a word ?) set out to waste thousands of £s by cancelling (i.e. refusing to allow children to come) agreed holidays at the very last moment (like the afternoon before), who has called you all variations of whore on a regular basis (even though you met her ex years after they split), who has called your children "bastards", who encourages your stepchildren to "spy" and report back (by rifling through all manner of private things - financial & personal)and who then uses this "evidence" to berate you with and to turn the children against their father still further, and who has caused untold worry, frustration and upset by constant manipulation and obstruction, which have resulted in long term adverse affects upon your life, that of your partner and that of your children. In short, someone who has never shown you the slightest courtesy and who is hell bent on causing chaos for god knows what reason. Someone who is not only thoroughly unpleasant, but quite possibly in need of "help" and who is therefore actually rather frightening.

I absolutely would not want someone like that in MY home. Someone who already has far more knowledge of my life (through underhand means) than would ever be necessary and who would undoubtedly use any further knowledge (or perceived knowledge) to cause further problems. Yes ..... I accept that probably sounds rather paranoid to those of you who thankfully have normal, respectful relationships with exes, but there are people like that out there believe me. To have such a person in what is supposed to be my sanctuary would indeed feel like a violation.

If an ex was polite, fair and honest I'd have no problem with the idea at all and agree it would be best for the children, but in certain circumstances you have every right to draw a line.

Surfermum Sun 15-Feb-09 12:27:51

Yeh but catsmother you knew what you were getting into so why are you complaining wink.
Seriously though, that sounds so awful and stressful for you.

catsmother Sun 15-Feb-09 14:22:02

Yeah right Surfermum wink ..... I must obviously be a masochist !

I have only, and probably will only ever, allude to my own experience, rather than descibe specific incidents etc (apart from anything, it would take me months to write about all that's gone on) on here because I don't want to be identified, but I do actually know quite a few other stepmothers with - ahem - "challenging" - situations, and, compared to them, I think I have it relatively easy. I know women who have been kicked in the stomach when pregnant for example, or who have been wrongly accused of abuse.

I do however, still believe that the vast majority of "1st" wives, "2nd" wives and stepchildren are perfectly normal and nice, making the best out of circumstances which are often complicated. I did actually think I knew what I was getting into because, having been a single mum for 7 years when I met my DP (and having managed to maintain a civil & honest relationship with my ex & his new wife for the sake of our son) I never imagined for a second that I'd ever become the object of a stranger's hatred simply by having a relationship with a man she'd been apart from for quite some time. I naiively thought that the worst that could happen would be a bit of negotiation and compromise over clashing dates every so often, and the inconvenience of gloves and wellies being left behind at the other's house from time to time. Boy was I wrong !

ElenorRigby Sun 15-Feb-09 15:01:04

Sorry I hadnt quite finished my thoughts from last post as DP had just finished cooking our Valentines meal, we had a great evening. wink

Anyway what I wanted to finish with was that no size fits all in any situation. In our case because DP's ex overstepped boundaries in the past the bank of good will has been exhausted and things are now very businesslike and defined to discourage DP's ex overstepping the mark and causing more hurt.

2rebecca Sun 15-Feb-09 15:48:14

My ex has no desire to enter our house, but if he wanted to I'd happily let him in so he can see the kid's bedrooms etc. I still go in his house with no problems. My husband's ex hasn't been in our house but we got upset when the first time his kid's came to see our house they came in with their mum's boyfriends kids who we'd never met before and the boyfriend. We thought that was OTT as they all just barged in. My husband will go in his exes house if the kids want to show him their bedrooms etc, although if his ex is there (his kids are older) she'll often just let him wait outside.
In general being pleasant to exes even if you dislike them is good for the kids.

ElenorRigby Sun 15-Feb-09 17:10:28

Its perfectly possible to be polite and have boundaries.

prettyfly1 Sun 15-Feb-09 18:21:25

Yeah but I can see the point that when they are as awful as above (good lord I almost thank god for dss mother now) you lose that goodwill and no longer want her entering the property. Elenor its awful that even in the birth of your first child she felt that she had the right to exert herself. That was a time that she should not have been involved.

kissmummy Mon 16-Feb-09 19:38:28

i also hate it and have a further confession - i don't love my stepson. I am fond of him but it seems beyond my powers to actually love him. i've tried. i want to love him. i can't. i wish i did. the failure is all mine.

prettyfly1 Mon 16-Feb-09 21:00:58

I dont love mine. I am hoping too one day but at the moment i dont. I dont think it is all that uncommon.

2rebecca Mon 16-Feb-09 21:44:38

I don't love my stepchildren. I like them both and am pleasant to them and enjoy spending time with them, but the attitude of their mum has meant we don't see them that often so I've never built up the sort of bond you need to love someone. I doubt very much that they love me, but that's OK as long as they are pleasant to me.
I think the term love is overused, and in mnay ways being pleasant and thoughtful and empathetic is more useful in the step relationship if they see their natural parents frequently. It's different if the child is with you most of the time and has been with you from a young age and only sees one parent, then you can take on more of a surrogate parent role, but I see myself as a sort of auntie.

marmon Tue 17-Feb-09 16:56:35

I will probably be shot down in flames for saying this but i expect most step parents do not love there step children. On a basic level they are not our blood and are the product of a past relationship and i must admit i have found this hard to accept. Its not jealousy and its definately not the poor childs fault, its hard to explain i suppose. I look at my dss and see his mother 100 per cent, he looks nothin like his dad or does not share any of his mannerisms its quite odd but there you go. Perhaps if i did not see her in him so much i would feel warmer towards the boy, its just she has been so bloody horrible and still continues to manipulate from a distance that i feel the way i do. Like i say i expect to be slammed for admiting these things but im sure i am not alone.

Surfermum Tue 17-Feb-09 17:06:17

Oh I definitely love dsd, although not the same love as I have for dd. I've known her for longer than I've known my own dd, about 9 years now, so we've had a while to develop the relationship.

For me the fact that she is from a past relationship doesn't matter. It never has. She was dh's precious little girl when I first met her and it's that that was in my mind - not anything about her mum.

I wondered if I would feel slightly resentful of her existence when I had dd - not her, but the fact that dh had already had a child with someone, but I didn't. Her conception was a completely different kettle of fish, as was her birth, so I couldn't look on it and think dh has been through all this before with someone else. And I was so relieved when dd was born that dh had done all the baby stuff before and had a bit of a clue about what to do. He looked so confident during the first couple of days changing her nappies and cuddling her and I found that very reassuring and was grateful that he was already a Dad.

AnitaBlake Tue 17-Feb-09 17:29:25

This thread has certainly been high on emotions, however I have to agree with those that would not want the mother in the house. I will welcome dsd with open arms the first time (if she is ever) allowed to visit us, I have plans for a bedroom for her, and would love to spend time with her, but I doubt very much this will ever happen. This is entirely due to the actions of the mother, who quite happily calls me all the names under the sun, whilst trying to make OH feel bad, and protesting that she would love her dd to have a relationship with her daddy, if only she wasn't hungover/LO is sleeping/having her luch/busy/doesn't have a buggy/her granda wants to see her, or whatever the reason is this week.

I work very hard to remember that it is the mother doing this and the child is innocent. As it stands once we have enough evidence we can go to court and hopefully be allowed access that she won't frustrate. When the current round of bs started I was happy to meet her, for the sake of good relations, but over the weeks and months it has played out, I don't even think I could be in the car whilst he collected LO from her. She isn't welcome, and that is due entirely to her own actions (but of course she isn't doing it on purpose, so thats ok...).

Sorry but without knowing the facts you can't critise the actions of another. If I had known it would be this hard (and I was stepchild) I would never have gotten involved, as it is the die is cast.......

All us stepmums can do is try support each other.

mrsjammi Fri 20-Feb-09 22:19:01

well i have an excellent relationship with my ex husband, as does current dh, we all opened our christmas presents together, dh, exdh, dss, ds1 and the baby, in my house

hell would freeze over before i allowed dh's ex into my house, after all we arent even allowed a phone number for her and under no circumstances (other than life or death for one of his children) would i tolerate dh going into his exe house, nor could i imagine any reason why he would want to (this being his former marital home 50% purchased with money left to him by his father and 100% signed over to his ex on divorce)

there are all sorts of reasons for the way I feel, but jealousy isnt one of them, I would be horrified if he went in that house, I wouldnt step foot in it either, but both I and dh are welcome in my exdh house

(although dsd appears to be of the opinion that her father and I have been in her mothers home together, and "had sex in it" quoting dsd - i wonder where she gets that insane idea from!!!!)

re loving your step kids - I do love dss, he lives with me, dsd I am not sure how I feel, I would be devastated if something was to happen to her, but these days sometimes it is a relief if she backs out of contact - I find her very demanding, after telling dh she didnt want to come on holiday with us this week, she rang him while we were away and asked him to transfer some money to her account so she could go out, apparently our offer of a week in cornwall wasnt good enough, but our money it, strangely, we didnt send any

Shalotta Fri 03-Apr-09 16:23:19

Just wanted to add something re ex-wife coming to your house and visit your step-child's room.

Before my dp and I moved in together, the X regularly came to my dp's house to get clothes for her child, help herself to food in the fridge, turn the house upsidedown and leaving without tidying up, and one day even went so far to "steal" the passport of the little one (which she then gave back saying "oups, I forgot to tell you that I took our child's passport with me"). I was absolutely outraged but grid my teeth, as it was not MY flat.

When we moved in together with dp and dss, I had firmly decided that this woman would never put one step into my flat. So comes the day dss drags her to our house and wants to show her his room, my dp said no and the little one -obviously - burst into tears and was screaming half an hour for his mommy coming back. It was heartbreaking. The woman obviously did not have the slightest reflex to tell her child that it may not be "appropriate" for Mommie to go into Daddy's new home. After that I felt really bad and thought maybe I was too rigid about it all and I actually told my dp that for my dss' sake she can come and view the house. But it is now dp who refuses to let her in, saying after her stealing things from his previous flat he does not want to have her in his house.

I must say I am not British and from where I come from there is a general consensus that the ex has nothing to do in your house and the other way around. Personally, I think it is possible if you have a really good relationship with the ex, which is not our case. She invited me several times to her flat, but I never went there as - to be honest - I don't have any interest to see her place. I prefer to meet her - if necessary - on neutral ground. Best is still not to meet her at all.

anniemac Tue 07-Apr-09 11:47:25

Message withdrawn

Shalotta Wed 08-Apr-09 09:09:38

good to hear that "step parenting" can actually be a postivie and enjoyable experience! ;)

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 13:33:30

Message withdrawn

CrushWithEyeliner Wed 08-Apr-09 13:48:06

Oh Step parenting is shit. It is an awful slog and a thankless task in so many ways. I must say if DD was thinking of getting together with a guy with children I would say run for the hills.

I am very fond of my SC as "people". But the secrecy and underhand manner in which they behave whilst complying with their Mother has just made it impossible to have a loving relationship with them. For example they are not even allowed to bond with DD as ex-w can't have any more children and has kind of banned them from talking about her. Petty things like that.

Remember their loyalty will always be with their Mother -quite rightly so I suppose- and if the Mum is bitter or angry or resentful this will totally rub off and you will never have peace. sad

bratnav Wed 08-Apr-09 14:04:51

I hear what you are saying definitely.

I adore my DSD and as far as I am concerned I have another part time DD (we have DSD every other week for the week). DH feels the same way about my DDs, although they are with us full time.

DSDs Mum however, makes things very difficult. She hates the close relationship that I and DDs have with DSD (and even the relationship that DH has with her I think). She cannot accept that I am effectively another parent.

I only work PT so I can collect and drop off all the girls from school. She told several Mums at school that DSD hated the joint residency arrangement and that she was very unhappy and unsettled, and that DH was selfish for inflicting it on her. It has taken months of diplomacy with the Mums for them to accept that I am not Cruella de Vil and that DSD is genuinely happy with arrangements as they are.

I actually bumped into one of her closest Mummy friends when I was out with the girls this morning and she said in a VERY shocked voice, 'Oh it's DSD, doesn't she look happy' which I think says it all about what DSDs Mum has been saying about us.

She complains that DSD doesn't get the individual attention that she does with her, failing to realise that DSD has 2 sisters here, so doesn't need an adult sitting next to her 24/7.

It is tough, you never get any recognition for anything good you do, and if you make a small mistake, or just do things differently then you get slammed, but at the end of it al, my relationship with DSD outweighs all the crap that comes with the situation.

bratnav Wed 08-Apr-09 14:08:25

Oh and to avoid contact with the ex as much as possible is definitely the best route to a happy life. Whoever has DSD the week before drops her at school on the Monday morning, the other parent collecting her after school on Monday. Works like a charm grin

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 14:10:14

Message withdrawn

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 14:13:28

Message withdrawn

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 14:13:42

Message withdrawn

twinsetandpearls Wed 08-Apr-09 14:20:13

My dp is a stepparent and is wonderful, if I thought he did not love dd he would be out of the door though. Maybe it is different if you are a resident step parent though. DD stepmother is also very good and dd adores her. She is no longer with dd biological father but we have maintained contact, I hope they may get back together as the split really upset dd.

He has always detached himself from whatever is going on between me and dd biological father, although despite a very bitter divorce we get on now so there is very little to detach from.

Shalotta Wed 08-Apr-09 16:17:55

bratnav - I know how it feels being the stepmum doing the school run... you feel a bit like an alien. In my case I have the feeling that I am definitely "excluded" from the cercle of bio mums... apart from some exceptions. But tbh, I give a sh*. I can do without sitting around in a cercle, having coffee and talking superficial cr** about nappy changing and what an exceptional child my (step) child is....

The mother of DSS takes these things very seriously though. She hords all the phones and emails of all the other parents at school. When we asked her if she could pass us on some of them, she REFUSED. God was she afraid that we could build a (better) relationship with these people and they could prefer us to her... sometimes you can only shake your head in disbelief. smile

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 16:20:59

Message withdrawn

anniemac Wed 08-Apr-09 16:21:53

Message withdrawn

fourkids Wed 08-Apr-09 18:14:30

could anyone give me advice/clarification about the trying to be a parent thing please? I worry about this

I get on well with DSC and vice versa - we are happy with the set up so I presume all is well, but I do question myself about this issue.

I mean, when we are all here as a family or when we are all on holiday, I do most of the cooking, suggest dirty clothes should be changed and wash the dirty ones, discipline if necessary (as does DH - we both do it), kiss all the DCs goodnight (as does DH), sometimes say when it's bedtime, send all DCs for a shower if necessary etc. That's acting as a parent isn't it? So is that somehow wrong? I don't want to be storing up trouble for the future...yet I don't have issue with DCs' dad's DP doing those things...??

there is always something to worry about

fourkids Wed 08-Apr-09 18:16:00

I should say that although there is always something to worry about, i luuuurve being a stepmum

Shalotta Thu 09-Apr-09 16:39:05

Didn't it say in Psychology Magazine as a stepparent you should behave like a parent towards your SC... not like a mother, not like a father, but like a parent... I was quite surprised when I read that as I always thought as a stepparent I should act like a "friend" ( obviously a friend with a bit of authority).... now I've started more to act like a parent towards DSC and he does not like it very much.... hmm.

I don't think any stepparent really sees themselve as the father or mother of their stepchild ( that is if he/she is a sensible person). But as it is, we all play roles naturally in life... sometimes we are the child, sometimes the parent, sometimes the adult in relationship with others... and with your SC you slip into the "role of mother", which isn't quite the same like thinking you ARE the mother...

Like DSC behaving like a child towards me that wants to be nurtured and loved.. what if I said to him - stop it, don't you realise you are not MY child, silly?... and yes, he calls me regularly Mommie by mistake and then shakes his head how he could say something so silly to me... wink

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 08:49:54

Message withdrawn

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 08:52:32

Message withdrawn

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 09:00:27

Message withdrawn

BonsoirAnna Fri 10-Apr-09 09:02:23

fourkids - I'm a stepmother and I am very much a third parent to my DSSs, although I never consciously set out to be one. What happened in our case is that their mother is very "hands off" and I gradually began to take on parenting tasks that she might otherwise have done. Somewhat to my (initial) surprise, the DSSs' mother is perfectly happy to let me (and DP, of course) make decisions about the DSSs education, haircuts, clothing, extra curricular activities etc etc.

IME and IMO, it is important not to step on the bio parents' toes but to carve out a role for yourself where you "add value" to your DSC's lives. They will then respect you for what you contribute.

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 09:09:10

Message withdrawn

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 09:10:14

Message withdrawn

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 09:14:39

Message withdrawn

BonsoirAnna Fri 10-Apr-09 09:21:57

In the light of my own experience, I think it is impossible to make general assumptions about what are and what aren't acceptable stepparenting tasks. Everyone in our stepfamily (DP, DSSs, DSSs' mother) is happy and grateful that I do all the research and strategising about education for all three children (2 DSSs and DD) - it doesn't interest DSSs' mother to do it, but she is glad that it is done and in fact is the first to broadcast to her friends all the educational opportunities that her DSs have that I initiated. It really just depends on the family.

anniemac Fri 10-Apr-09 10:44:56

Message withdrawn

mrshibbins Wed 13-May-09 14:50:33

i find it incredibly difficult to be a step mum sometimes, demoralising and exhausting. Unfortunately am unable to detach as SD (8) lives entirely with us and both her and my OH look to me to be Mum ...

sunshine13 Thu 14-May-09 14:31:32

I really think that this thread is very useful. I am about to move in with my boyfreind who has a child from a previous marriage.

He only has his child once a fortnight. I am with them both once a fortnight as OH says he wants his son to grow up knowing that I have always been there on the scene. He is nearly 3.

Sometimes when I am with OH and son I find it difficult to know how to act or where to fit in.

I try & let things progress naturally. BTW the Ex is insane and OH is fighting to see more of his son(that brings its own stresses and strains on its own)

I do find it tough sometimes as I dont know where I fit in. On the one hand it has NOTHING to do with me but on the other hand I am supporting OH through difficult times with cudtody battles.

When I have been in the company of OH's parents (son's grandparents) I find it even harder.

Are they judging me?
SHould I do something with child?
Should I express opinions?


bobella Thu 16-Jul-09 13:39:23

I've got new born and partner won residency of his toddler two days before we had our baby. Toddler v. difficult behaviour - always testing and partner far too soft on him. I feel he hardly spends time with our child as always giving attention to toddler. I'm always bad guy regarding discipline and teaching right from wrong, but i'm only one toddler listens to and behaves for. Don't want to be evil step mother. Don't have any feelings towards toddler other than resentment that the situation is ruining what should be a very special time. Partner and I arguing about it. We never argue.
This isn't the family life i expected when fell pregnant. Residency not on cards.
Will this get easier? or harder as he gets older and his mother can influence him more?

Is it wrong to ask to spend decent quality time together as a family without his toddler being there? He may be 'part' (forced on me in my eyes) of the family but I need time to adjust and our baby needs to get to know daddy without a whinging toddler attached to him... any advise?

random Thu 16-Jul-09 13:49:16

Bobella ....What a poor poor toddler sad sorry but he is part of your family ... did you not know your dp already had a son ?

fourkids Thu 16-Jul-09 13:59:55


I can't offer any advice regarding the first part of your post - except to say that I think everyone would understand how hard this is for you. It's hard having a new born baby at the best of times!

What i would say, though, is that at this stage DSS probably needs his father's attention more than a new born baby and would probably notice it more than the baby if it was lacking. This must be a very hard time for DSS, as well as for you and DP. You probably need to stick with it a while, while things settle down. that said, i don't think it would be unreasonable to explain to DP that DC needs him too...and so do you. In a nice way

But, yes imo it is 'wrong to ask to spend decent quality time together as a family without his toddler being there'. DSS is an equal part of your family. And I would think it will only get better over time if you can find a way to feel about him and treat him as such.

Does he go to his mother's at weekends or anything? So do you actually get time alone then?

What might be reassuring to know is that in reality this probably isn't very different to any family with a new baby and a toddler. The striking thing that is different is only really your feelings to the older child. It is normal for families to get turned upside down a bit when a baby arrives - and jealousy can come from all corners...DH, DW or older DCs.

Hopefully someone will come along who has been in a very similar situation to you and can offer more practical advice...

mrsjammi Thu 16-Jul-09 14:15:02

bobella, nothing prepares you for how hard being a step mum is, nothing at all.

My DSS lives with me and was 14 when he moved in - it was a total nightmare and you have my every sympathy, expecially with a new born baby.

I have a 15 month old and a new baby on the way, and DH and I are already planning that he will concentrate on DS2 (we also have 3 older teens between us) while I concentrate on the baby, so DS2 doesnt feel pushed out - and both babies will be ours, your stepsons needs are also important.

I read somewhere, as step parents, we have to understand the possibility that our step children could come to live with us at anytime, and how true that is.

You must see (and I presume your stepsons home life must have been poor or he would not now be with you) that none of this is your DPs fault, or his little ones, I would suggest (and it is what we do) that you try to see yourselves as 1 family, not 2 with DSS being a part of the other family, try not to worry about the future for now, just concentrate on the present.

bobella Fri 17-Jul-09 08:47:25

Thanks for messages... yes i knew he had son and he loves his son dearly, as he should. One day I'd like to too.
Yes I do feel sorry for toddler and obviously don't show resentment to him. I do a lot with toddler. Its just frustrating as I don't feel he's got the same bond with our child as he has with son. I know he loves our baby. Maybe you're right and toddler needs more time and attention. I just don't want this precious 'baby' time that can't be got back to be missed by daddy. Becoming a Mum felt so natural and your love is there from the moment you find out you're expecting... being a step mum is much harder.

pixie70 Fri 17-Jul-09 15:34:44

Hi there, I am new to this, but am very glad to finally find others who are in the same boat as me, I just wish I had known about this when I was pregnant. I have 2 small step children and cannot deal with it. I had no idea what I was getting into and like some of you, would have thought about it long and hard before committing to this man. I had my own baby 7 months ago and it has been very hard from the get go. My partner said he was OK to have one child and then when I got pregnant (quite quickly as it goes) he totally distanced himself from me, like I had done something wrong. He didn't find pg women attractive apparently. He didn't want to come to the classes, or the appointments, I had to force him. I cried for most of the 9 months, when I thought it was going to be the most magical time. Then, when I was kicked out early from the hospital after a Caesarian section (thanks NHS) he wasn't around as he was with his kids and wouldn't come and get me as there was no one else to look after them - which I later found out was untrue as plenty of family members had offered.... I had to come home in a taxi, with no childseat, holding my 2 day old baby on a pillow, my first night was spent terrified, with a screaming newborn and my elderly mother. I have never forgiven him.
I resent my stepsons. I am a compassionate and caring person, but for some reason I cannot summon up any feelings for them. They are still very young, but as I have had little to no experience with kids I just find them intrusive and irritating. Unfortunately my partners ex wife is not a very stable person. Every so often (usually every 6 months) she will have some sort of episode, brought on by drink and my partner will have to rush to the house they used to share worried that she may have harmed herself in some way (which she has done). The last time this happenned my baby was only a few weeks old and she was begging him to come back to her. His ex parents in law asked only last week if there was any chance he would go back, we have been together 3 years. I have actually asked him to leave and go back as I thik that it might make life easier for everyone! The situation is an endless source of arguments for me and my partner. I dread the weekends when the step kids come to say (every other weekend). I just detach myself as I always get accused of having a pop, although I don't but the ex already has names for me and I am sure she is saying stuff to the kids about me.
How can I deal with these kids, when they are over they ignore me, I say hello, they just act like I'm not there, sometimes it is ok, and I know I should be the adult here, but I have no idea where to start?
sorry for the rant, but this is 2 years of built up frustration with no one to talk to about it!! sad would consider leaving but now have to think of my child being with his dad. any advice would be appreciated!

ChocHobNob Fri 17-Jul-09 17:08:28

How awful To me, it doesn't sound like the problem is actually the SC, it sounds like it's your partner. To not come and pick you up from the hospital when you had been discharged after having his child is ... just ... shock

If your partner doesn't respect you, then the children wont. What does he do when they ignore you? Does he pick them up on it and tell them it isn't acceptable?

From an outsiders point of view, it does seem you would all be better off apart. And I know that's a hard thing to propose but your baby can't grow up thinking it's normal for his Dad to think him and his Mum come last.

I might be totally wrong. I don't have actual experience of this but you sound so sad, your little one living with separate parents and a happy Mum sounds an improvement. x

mrshibbins Wed 22-Jul-09 11:17:50

yes, i guess when you fall in love with a man who has a child or children by another woman, you have to be prepared to become a full-time stepmum at any time... and that's what happened to me. would i still have gone through with it had I known just how hard it was going to be ??? I simply don't know...

what I do know is that some days it all seems easy and okay, and i can feel genuine affection for my SD. other days, sometimes weeks at a time, i just don't like her at all and find it very difficult to cope with that feeling. i think that she takes after her BM in many aspects of her personality, and she's a very vain, often spiteful, attention seeking and vacuous child with not much going on up top. just lately she's started lying about pretty much everything (another thing her BM is very good at). i always challenge this and i've tried to get to the bottom of this, but just think she's doing it because she can (she's just turned 8)

i know it can't be much fun having an alcoholic and absent BM, and i am trying my very very best to do the 'right thing' and to do the 'nuture' bit to try to keep her on track, and also try very very very hard never to let my feelings (or lack of them) show, but i find myself wondering ... when she's an adult, whether she'll be the kind of person who i actually like at all ...

i just so wish her BM would pull herself together ... we don't have any extended family around and I rarely ever get any time off for me and OH to just be a couple...

Wymee Sun 26-Jul-09 21:01:14

I'm new to this, but so glad to find people in similar situation at long last, close friends have birth children and don't understand the complexities of being the third parent.

SS living with us for past 6 years. He's now 16 and reverted to the behaviour that existed when I first came on the scene. Part of it I'm sure is natural teenage rebellion, but part of it is just reverting to the obnoxious young person that he was when I first met him, staying out till all hours,angry don't know where he is). DH sees no problem with him coming home at 3am , thinks I'm one with the problem hmm

I was aware of my feelings for him at the beginning and had said to DH, that I didn't want him living with us, circumstances forced my hand & I decided to do the right thing. Now I've had enough and can't wait for SS to leave home.

To all who are in similar situations hang on in there, you're not alone

hpsauce123 Wed 29-Jul-09 09:18:51

Ive been married for 8 years but still feeling confused about my role with my step children!
My hubby is too soft with his kids and i think thats because he feels guilty for leaving them even though the wife kicked him out!
The children are manipulative and clever and use their father like a bank! They are very cheeky to me and an example is when the boy comes round he will go thru my drawers which i find really intrusive.
When i ask my hubby to discipline them he says they only come to see him every 3 weeks and does not want to drive them away!
I regrt marrying him had i known life would be so stressful and feel depressed all the time!!
Any advice out there i wud be so grateful!!

prettyfly1 Wed 29-Jul-09 14:35:57

Have to say have kept it quiet over last week or so whilst decided what to do but actually have seperated from partner despite being pregnant because I really cant do the child care thing for his son.

Tried and tried for a year but I dont have it in me - its not the childs fault, its mine. Like all steps he is tough but I have just had enough of it and I dont have what it takes to give him what he needs- we have him fifty percent of the time btw. There were other issues but the real crux was his son. Like many others on here we argued constantly over it but I felt that it was unfair to keep trying to raise a child (almost one hundred percent of the time ) that I had no feelings for at all other then serious annoyance when he bullied my own younger child so had to take the choice to walk away.

He needs a step who can provide the care and stability he desperately craves and needs I guess so to those of you who are hanging in there well done - it takes someone amazing to raise another womans child particularly under the difficult circumstances we all often face with manipulative and controlling exes.

Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 07:44:14

Prettyfly1 - How are you doing?
That cannot have been easy to do. I know as a SM that every weekend I think how much easier my life would be not having to deal with DSS tantrums, refusal to play with my DS, constantly fighting and biting my DS, screaming in my face o the list goes on. And like you said in your post, you and DH argue over SC.
I didn't want to read and run and I can totally sympathise with you. Its the most thankless position to be in and as hard as it is to reason in your head that its not the childs fault, you cannot help the way your feeling and the impact that this has on you all.
Have you talked to your DP? Can he understand your point of view?
Sorry, I don't really know your circumstances but I just wanted to send a virtual hug as I know how tough it is being a SM, as well as a mum, partner/wife and everything else!
If you need a chat I'll be hopping on and off MN...at work so I have to be careful!

moondog Thu 30-Jul-09 07:47:49

Bloody hell Bobella, what hope does that poor little child have with someone like you on the scene.
Maybe your partner should have thoguht a bit more about having a baby while he still had a baby on the scene.

Bloody hell, that is going to be one messed up little person.

madmissy Thu 30-Jul-09 07:53:37

thats a bit harsh isnt it?

having a sc live with you and knowing that they are part of a life is very different

madmissy Thu 30-Jul-09 07:55:42

i can completely emphasise with all the girls that find being a sm hard its very hard and its caused problems with me and my dh i even became ill with depression with it

its such a shame that those of us who struggle with our feelings and cannot understand them can't even talk anon on a thread for support

seems to be a big stigma over the topic

mrshibbins Thu 30-Jul-09 11:35:05

oh my prettyfly poor poor you and I understand totally how you feel, not sure how much more i can take myself. am so often feeling that i am giving far more than i have to give, and that it's just all sucked up into this huge black hole that I too am disappearing into...

Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 16:56:52

I'm too scared to admit in my own head how I feel about being a SM and the huge challenges it brings and its so bloody hard to come onto a chatroom and just say how you feel without fear of recriminations all the time.
Yes I know the child is the priority but for fear of me being absolutely flamed here...what about the step parent?
We so try our hardest to accomodate everyones needs, bend over backwards, support husbands/partners/wifes with conflict from ex's but we are the non-entity that is expected to take all the crap all the time.
Yes I know we took on the child when we took on the partner but the title of this thread is 'I hate being a Stepmum' so why can't we feel that we can be honest about our feelings to try to help each other and support each other without someone coming along and making you feel even more of a bad step-parent? sad

Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 16:59:25

By the way,that wasn't a pop at step-parents...just re-read my post!
I'd like to come on here and really admit how I feel and how bad this is etc and how other people get through this but I worry that someone is going to have a cutting, unhelpful remark IYSWIM

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 18:23:21

Thanks so much for the support guys. I feel totally gutted but I know I have done the right thing. Going to see a therapist tomorrow to try and work through some of the resentment issues and guilt I feel over it though. I feel like such a failure.

I know - that is the one thing that pxxxxxs me off more then anything else - by admitting you cant do it or are struggling with children who often have major residual issues from their own parents split you are labelled a bad person.

To even spend time in the vicinity of a child in a nursery environment where there is plenty of support and supervision you have to have acres of training and checks etc and if a child behaves badly they are taken away - no such training for step parenting and lets be honest most of us are treated as unpaid babysitters at one time or another. Perhaps unwittingly but it does happen. Foster carers and adopters have endless acres of support. Steps do not. We choose to take someone elses child on and hope we can do a good job by them - where is the difference.

Many, many step children are lovely. Many mroe are lovely some of the time and not others, like most kids, but for a lot they are hard work - not their fault but they really are. You can end up spending half your life with a child who hates you, bullies your own children, wilfully manipulates your partner and tells lies about you and your children to anyone who will listen, which you then have to defend. It could try the patience of an absolute saint and then you have the fun of the ex to contend with - you know, the woman who hates you purely because you arent her. And if you DARE complain about it YOU are wrong as YOU chose it - I dont know about you guys buts I didnt expect it to be this hard. I just didnt know what was coming. I know logically it isnt his fault. I know he has had an awful time and been really badly hurt. I know his attention seeking is a cry for help but I also know that It is not endearing and unfortunately you cannot discipline a child who isnt yours in the same way.

I literally spent the last few months in my room when he was here. I tried the family outing thing - the last time i was holding hands with his dad and he shoved me out of the way to get to him. He deliberately wound my son up for the whole weekend and lied constantly even when caught by my partner red handed. I just couldnt do it any more. I work to provide for the whole family and in the end the whole "responsibility for everyone including a child who hates me" just became too much. There were some sweet times in there but I never knew which step I would get.

Where my dss is concerned he needs constant love, affection and attention, from someone who doesnt have to share it with anyone else and I cannot provide that for him so if I get flamed for it so be it - but to leave my partner who I love and return to a life as a single parent with TWO children now should show some of the people who just dont get it just how INCREDIBLY depressing and hard it can get - I would rather be alone with two kids then carry it on.

Sorry for the rant guys. Kept it all bottled up for so long I just cant stay quiet about it any more so if I get flamed, I get flamed. I am no longer a step so no children will be harmed in the making of this rant. Just please remember to those thinking of having a go at stepmums finding it tough. We have all of the issues of parenting and sometimes mroe with none of the preparation or natural bond that occurs with our own children. If we have a day when our step abuses us and our houses and our partners and our kids and the ex is shrieking down the phone about more money and your tired and trying to get a job and we decide to have a rant about it, that is our lookout and quite frankly our right.

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 18:23:41

christ - sorry. didnt mean to make that so long.

mrsjammi Thu 30-Jul-09 19:26:07

Prettyfly - I CAT'd you, hope that was ok.

Is it possible for you and your other half to carry on a relationship, but each have your own house??

Just a thought, my heart goes out to you, I know just how close we have been to where you are at times.

No-one understands how it is to step parent in the face of unending hostility, be it from the ex or the children, or how hurtful it can be, other than people who have been or are in the same boat.

DSD has posted on her facebook she has 2 siblings, when she has 3, I thought she loved the baby, and reading that cut like a knife.

But after all we step mums are evil faceless bitches who deserve everything life throws at us because we have the cheek to try to do our best for someone elses children, dont we??

Wouldnt it be nice if we were all as heartless as we are portrayed, and actually didnt have feelings and didnt care, wouldnt our lives be so much bloody easier.

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 19:31:48

Hell yes life would be easier - then I could wear a lovely witches hat and cackle endlessly and all would be well.

Initially that was the plan and within the week he was putting pressure on to move back in - I love him but every time he mentioned it I felt sick.

Thanks for catting me - i dont mind at all.


Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 20:24:12

PrettyFly1 - So much of what you said in your post really sounds so familiar and I'm glad you can talk about it on here.
What you said about feelings for a natural child and step is true.
Thing is I was a step child and I know how it feels to not 'fit in' at either parents house, partcularly when there are half brothers and sisters. I always try so hard to not treat DSS any differently from my own two but obviously he has a different upbringing at his mums, if I dicipline him as I do my own I get accused of being too hard on him by my DH. I try to then distance myself but then if he then bites my DS so bloody hard on the arm for no reason I don't want him anywhere near me. Yes he's still a little boy (5 1/2) but he knows right from wrong etc and DH tries to compare DS (2) behaviour with his...kind of like 'DS is just as bad' which is meant to justify bad behaviour.
I find myself dreading weekends as I know that there will be some meltdown at some point and we'll end up arguing.
I feel so bad at feeling like this, I mean I'm the adult for crying out loud, I should know better!
I have thought a lot about how I'd like to runaway from all of it with my babies and just get on with it...wouldn't everyone be a lot happier then?
I'm hoping it will get better with time but not holding my breath.
Sorry for ranting.. there are some lovely posters on here with whom I can totally empathise with and its good to know that we know exactly how bloody hard it is.
So big thank you ladies...you've made this weekend seem more bearable!

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 20:40:03

No thankyou. It could have been me who wrote that and I am so glad it isnt just me who feels this way. My dp does the same "well ds is just as bad" - my ds is four and I can well and truly tell him off for it without worrying about the inevitable phone call from his mother. I tried so hard not to treat him differently and he did do some very sweet things - one that sticks in my mind is when he found out we were having a new baby he made it a card to say he loved it which was cute. Still followed it up by telling a lie to his nan that my son was keeping him up all night, which in turn meant she had a go at me. I dreaded the new baby coming to be honest.

1. Because its due at a similiar time to dss birthday so his mum would instantly be nagging about not letting her baby be forgotten and demanding the ridiculous three hundred pound parties again.

2. Because I know myself that I was almost certainly going to pay dss even less attention - and I felt awful about it.

Even things like holidays werent fun anymore. I had to deal with the guilt trips from dps mother and ex if I dared even suggest a day out without him - a whole holiday where i could spend time with my own son and just chill out without the arguments that I WAS PAYING FOR would have caused ructions and although dp said lets just go - I knew if dss found out he would be gutted - all he talks about is holidays. Doesnt matter he had four last year and me and ds had none - to avoid being the evil bitch I was going to have to take him and again I felt sick. In the end the constant cycle of guilt and resentment just wore me down. From minute one I was pushed to be a surrogate mother to him, before ever getting time to even get to know him and I just could not do it.

My advice is try and get some time out on your own or with your lo at the weekend when your step is there - they need one on one time with their dads anyway and you can take some respite from the madness.

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 20:41:09

p.s Hammy - dont give up hope yet - there are a lot of women on here who stick it out and it does get better - I just am not strong enough to be one of them.

Surfermum Thu 30-Jul-09 20:44:46

Prettyfly I am so sorry to hear what has happened. You know this isn't your doing, don't you? Although I don't really know you, we always, always seem to post the same opinion or advice so I feel I know you will have tried your damned hardest and then some.

You don't deserve to be flamed at all. Anyone who is even considering it just hasn't got a bloody clue what it feels like to be a stepmum in difficult circumstances.

Please use us to vent as much as you like.

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 20:48:30

Thanks Surfer. We do seem to follow one another dont we I probably could have slogged it out more and more in the future but I was so unhappy and I have become this fizzing ball of resentment that I dont even like any more. I know dp doesnt understand it but if i try to talk to him he just agrees then starts pushing again when he thinks I have calmed down. I really dont like myself much at the moment and I know I will take it out on him if I try to talk any further about it and lets face it - noone wants to hear "sorry love, its not you - its your kid".

Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 21:31:32

Many supportive shoulders and sympathetic ears here...so nice!
If we're not happy then the children will pick up on it anyway..will have that time with my LOs this weekend. I do get a little resentful as I work bloody hard all week, juggle everything and should look forward to the weekends but I look forward to Sundays when its usually me and babies as DH is nursing a hangover on the sofa from another sat nite bender...but thats a whole other thread hmm
Thank goodness for MN eh?
Hope you all have a good weekend and hopefully I'll get on at some point should my DD sleep for more than 2 hours at a time!!

Hammy01 Thu 30-Jul-09 21:36:28

O and PrettyFly1, I suspect that you are one hell of a strong lady but we all can only take so much. Everyone has their breaking point and its not something that you've done on a whim. Do not feel guilty for what you have or could've done, sounds like you need to focus on you and DC without the constant competitions and challenges that being a SM can bring. You take care x

prettyfly1 Thu 30-Jul-09 21:56:36

Thanks hammy - have a good weekend

catsmother Thu 30-Jul-09 22:15:09

I completely sympathise with much of what's been written here, and whilst it's true that potentially, you can get flamed in any section of MN, unfortunately, stepmums do seem to attract particular vitriol here on occasion - often from people who have no 1st hand experience of how impossible it can sometimes be.

I don't know if it's the done thing to recommend another site here but for great support, advice and a safe environment where you can spill amongst other steps who have been, or who are going through something just as trying, I can't recommend the British Second Wives Club highly enough. It's a very pleasant environment, eg. no explicit swearing but I can guarantee that the sort of feelings expressed by Hammy & Prettyfly would NOT attract any detrimental remarks at all .... but a lot of sympathy and empathy. Most stepmums aren't robots, nor do they have hearts of stone ..... presumably the ones that do wouldn't even bother trying to talk about their feelings.

madmissy Fri 31-Jul-09 07:18:07

wow pretty fly that long post you did hit nail on the head!

things are hopefully going to get better here in fact i know they will

i'm going to check out the secondwivesclub link

oranges Fri 31-Jul-09 08:25:53

It's a bit terrifying, that so many obviously good, loving women, feel this way about step children. Makes me scared of what would happen to ds if something happened to me, and dh remarried. Sounds like ds would be better off with his grandparents, where he will always know he's wanted and loved.

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 09:20:36

oranges I dont know quite how to put this, but my life as a step mother would be a lot easier in the abscence of DSD and DSS mother.

Dont get me wrong, I am not wishing her away, but it is her unending hosility, attempts to exclude DH from DSDs life, and our inablility to discipline DSD as she objects, refuses to visit if we do and her mother backs her up, that cause us (and DSD) the most problems.

Surfermum Fri 31-Jul-09 09:33:52

I'm not sure it's ever the children, it's the relationship between the adults involved that's key. And if one party is hostile and determined to cause trouble then you're heading for problems.

It's not always like this oranges. I count my blessings that things have settled with dsd's mum and dsd and I have a very good, loving relationship. I've always loved her, but that doesn't mean I haven't found it hard at times, just like at times I have found it hard with my own dd.

prettyfly1 Fri 31-Jul-09 09:56:43

Oranges - I am going to pick over this very carefully so as not to come across the wrong way. A lot of the problem in step parenting is that we are never actually a parent. It is VERY rare that step mothers and exes get along - normally the step will try but it just doesnt work - in much the same way that often a wife and mother in law struggle to agree.

The step often has to back down and has no rights or respect legally or socially - HOWEVER in many of our cases we actually have the child as much as the birth mother does so feel the consequences of bad behaviour of difficult backgrounds just as heavily. Imagine a child in your house that can pretty much do what it likes - for a lot of us that is how it seems and if you try to stop it it gets worse.

There are solutions. The three parents look to work closely together to create a loving and balanced environment for the child - rare. Normally one or both parties cant agree.

In the case you are talking about I suspect this would be a bit different as you actually do come into the role of the absent parent. Still tough but easier to deal with in terms of the balance of influences. I wouldnt worry too much about that. I feel that when ex meets someone else I will be cautious at first but working hard to give her some credit and hopefully she will treat my children nicely.

prettyfly1 Fri 31-Jul-09 10:00:42

p.s oranges - there are a lot of examples off very happy stepmums - surfer does a lovely job and elenor adores her dsd. Lots of women love and adore their steps very, very much. But it does take time so please dont take this thread as "no step parent ever really bonds with their step child". Mrs Jammi has raised her step son who chose to live with her and her partner - it took time though. It just isnt easy at all.

mrsjammi Fri 31-Jul-09 10:19:20

Prettyfly speaks a lot of sense, I do raise my stepson, he is a lovely young man, he was on the verge of a prison cell when he moved in, he was hostile, aggressive, a bully to my own ds and his little sister, he was almost totally out of control, however, as he had little contact with his mother after he moved out, and he wanted to be with DH regardless, I had a lot of sway in controlling his behviour.

I do care for DSD greatly, sometimes I cant stand her, other times I love her, mostly we jsut get along, but it breaks my heart to watch her failing school, because basically her dad cant discipline her and her mother wont discipline her. Her mother wants to be her best friend and not her parent, she cant see that DSD is failing as a direct result of this.

The scenario where all parties parent together apply to my DS, DH and exh get on well, exh and I discuss all matters relating to parenting together, going to parents evening together etc, DS and DH get on well. It can and does work, I think though on the boards you get the people looking for help, I often post about my DSD and issues there, but rarely about DSS or DS as I dont need help, they are the success stories you rarely read about I guess.

oranges Fri 31-Jul-09 10:28:26

Thank you for your comments. It does sound like a really tough job, and I don't mean to criticize in any way. i'm hormonal, and upset at the thought that ds would spend time with anyone who resented him, even for a second. But I gess if you all manage to come out the other end, both step parents and children end up with new ways of being a family and extra places of finding support, which is a good thing.

prettyfly1 Fri 31-Jul-09 10:55:32

I think Jammi got it right there - its a bit like the relationship boards - the majority of posts are from people struggling with issues in their relationship - you rarely get a happy post, because happy people see no need to talk about it so much. Its the same for steps - our issue was that its considered socially unnacceptable to not find being a step parent hard work which makes it much harder for us to be step parents because we arent supposed to talk about it.

CantThinkofFunnyName Sun 23-Aug-09 19:56:25

I am SM to 3, had one boy of my own when I met DH and we then had a further one together (and now another on the way)! I have to confess I dislike every single one of my 3 SC. Horrible I know! They all live in Ireland and so when we do see them, it is usually for large chunks of time which takes quite some getting used to. The eldest, now nearly 19, moved to live with us when he was 12 and moved back to Ireland a few months ago because we threw him out. I have to say I detest him now with a vengeance. We had so many problems with him over the years - it actually transpired that he was stealing jewellery and cars when he was 6 years old (!!) which i knew nothing about when I agreed to let him come live with us and he continued in that vein for many years. I find them horrid children, horrid manners, horrid attitudes, just eeewwwww - and yet, they are my husband's children and I have to extend care to them and treat them equally to my own when in my care. By god it is hard being a step-parent and if I knew everything I now know, I don't think I would have got involved with my DH to begin with.

snoopysue Fri 01-Oct-10 14:17:29

first time user of site, but am at my wits' end and don't know what to do for the best. took on the stepdaughter from hell when i got with my husband 4.5 yrs ago. she was 11 then and was already high maintenance, demanding and spoilt(hubby and all his family agree). life has been hell since, with child psychologist involved initially and ongoing difficult relationship with ex-wife. we tried really hard to make things work for 2.5 yrs with family holidays, refurbishing her bedroom at our home etc. things improved so much that she was even going to be our bridesmaid, until she announced a couple of months before the weedding (after we'd already bought her dress!) that she didn't condone the marriage. we accepted this and she didn't attend the wedding. final straw was when she ruined our family xmas party 2 yrs ago by throwing a tantrum and uphot is that i have had no contact with her since. relationship with her dad is great (daily phonecalls and min. twice weekly meetings which i encourage). our marriage has been peaceful and happy since but she has now sent me a letter of apology and wants to get together. hubby wants this to work. i hate myself for admitting this but i'm scared of what i'll say and how i will behave as i really can't stand or trust her and the ex-wife. help!

Suda Fri 01-Oct-10 22:42:17

hpsauce - I know what you mean about the intrusiveness - it cost me many arguments but I finally got a lock on our bedroom door - I used the excuse - though it is valid - that as adult SS often doesnt lock up carefully and I have some nice jewellery I can at least be sure thats safe{r}.

I would actually give anything to not have my SS 24/7 - every few weeks would be bliss to me - though I am not at all playing down your problems - I do completely empathise.

My suggestion would be that you enjoy the imbetween visits time as much as possible - try not to let anything stick in your mind that has happened during last visit - dont let the time they are there spoil the time when theyre not IYSWIM. And dont spend the run up to their next visit filled with impending doom - again dont let the time theyre going to be there spoil the days before either. Enjoy your and DHs time without them as much as possible.

As for the drawer business - I always find when all else has failed then a physical block is only effective way - cant you get something deliberately jammed in the drawer - just need to stick a ruler in after to prise out whatevers stuck up there (sorry years of experience made me very devious grin.) Put it this way he's hardly going to come downstairs and complain to his dad he cant get in your drawer - is he {?}. Or even tip the contents into a cardboard box and stick it on top of wardrobe - when he's gone tip it back in. I know this all sounds OTT but it does the trick and saves you a lot of stress - I feel quite smug when I thwart my DSS grin.

I got so pissed off for years with my DSS refusing to accept that certain cups or mugs were mine - it was like 'hello -theyve got my name or 'greatest mum' engraved on them - grrrrrr - so I started putting them at back of sink at danger times and filling with water ! DSS thinks they have bleach in them - ridiculous lengths I know but simple and infinitely better than getting enraged watching adult DSS with filthy habits slurping out of my cup.

Libby10 Sat 02-Oct-10 13:10:48

Hi snoopysue and welcome to the site. Its tricky one. I can certainly emphasise as it would take a great deal for me to ever trust DP's ex. I would say its definitely worth accepting the olive branch from your sd. Unfortunately, a lot of kids end up growing up in a poison bubble being fed all sorts of lies from a bitter ex. Certainly, we've found that as the kids grow up they are more sceptical about what has been said to them. It seems quite brave of her to write to you and there's no reason why you can't be honest with her and say that although you are willing to try, her past behaviour might make it difficult for you to trust her but hopefully that will change over time. Good luck.

Shakenvac26 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:33:38

Just found the site and feel a complete relief that I am not alone in the struggle of coming to terms with being a sm, i have three stepkids two of which 13yr and 15yr old come to live with us 6 months ago unexpected & unannounced, and im really struggling i avoid going home, i take all the late night shifts i can so i dont have to be in the house while there not in bed, i find them spoilt, ungrateful , liars and idle there dad don't back me up on anything saying that there 'just kids' ive tried to bond with them but they do nothing but throw it back in my face, ive supported them financially as i was the main earner in the house at the time they moved in and dont think i ask too much by wanting them to wash up now and then when im working 15 hour shifts to pay for there hobbies and essentials, his 2nd wife and mother of his third child who dont live with us is also a problem as she sends me abusive emails, spreads viscious rumours about me, turns up at our house for no apparent reason other than to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home. I realise he had kids when i met him but had I of known i would of inherited two teenagers full time, a 7yr old thats so rude and spoilt, two ex wifes and the most evil inlaws ive ever encountered i would of ran a mile. I feel like an outlaw under the roof i pay for, im trying the detachment approach but im just feeling more like a ticking timebomb his sd helps herself to everything in my room including my underwear! i feel like the worse person in the world wishing they didnt exist, i dont want to live my partner but i cant stay like this either, im not cut out for it.

Smum99 Fri 24-Jun-11 21:27:09

Shaken, Might be worth starting your own thread so you get support - your situation seems a nightmare. How long have you been with your partner? To be honest the situation seems intolerable and if your partner isn't on board with parenting you are facing a losing battle. The finances seem wrong as well, why are you paying for them?

Beth3 Fri 07-Oct-11 01:51:14

Hello im 19 Years old i have been with my Boyfriend for 2 years and we are engaged to get married. sad But there is one problem his 4 year old son Clearly hates me and i find it so hard. i dont know what to do i am at the end of my teather i try so hard to make things work and all we ever argue about is My step son or his mother i can never do anything right.. its so hard does Anyone know how im feeling... thank you

fourkids Fri 07-Oct-11 18:06:12


The fact that you've dug up a fairly old thread implies that you have perhaps been searching for something supportive/useful before decidng to post. I am going to come back and reply to you in a little while. I have to do a few things first unfortunately, but didn't want you to think no-one had read this...or worse, had read it and couldn't be bothered to reply.

That said, you may be better staring a new thread in the meantime, because I only scanned to the end of this out of interest - many people may not do the same because the thread is so long and old.

If you start a new post, perhaps people could give you better advice if you explain why you think the child hates you, and why you and DP argue about the child's mother? This isn't nosiness - it's just hard to affer objectve views without a fuller story. But the basic answer to your question is probably 'yes, someone will know how you are feeling.'

sammyjole Wed 19-Oct-11 15:02:54

I agree totally I had no idea what being a sm meant and I wish I hadn't got involved....dh isn't even all that and I stil deal with all this crap. I also fantasize about sc not existing and feel jealous of my friends and siblings who have straight forward relationships and dont have to share the money/time priority with others! I know I'm making myself miserable but I was pretty clueless going into this.....

zakka72 Fri 23-Dec-11 23:50:35

Shakenvac26 - I would be very interested to know how you are getting on especially now its Christmas - a very stressful time. Have you tried speaking to the exes (I know it is difficult). You may find that you are not the only one who is getting treated badly? I have discovered that the kids in my situation also treat their mother nastily which is sort of a comfort but makes me feel that no one is disciplining them. I'm allowed to contribute financially and spend my time doing their meals/washing/ironing but strangly not allowed to discipline. I am told that I 'overact' to their behaviour and that 'generally they are good kids'. When a child tells you 'get out of their space' or that you have 'lank, greasy, colourless hair' I think that being upset is not exactly an over reaction. I feel exactly like you. I am also a ticking time bomb and I also don't feel like I'm cut out for it. It is such a relief to see that some one feels exactly like I do. If you feel strong it may be worth leaving and finding a family that really appreciates you. That's what I always hope to do but have been in this situation for such a long time I don't think I'm brave enough to leave! Good luck.

zakka72 Fri 23-Dec-11 23:52:40

ps I find that I have turned into a very nasty person as I tend to retaliate rather than let the bad behaviour and comments wash over me. Don't let it eat you up....

STRUGGLING1 Fri 13-Jan-12 16:06:33

Hi new to this site, and I really really need it! Must admit I feel a bit better reading so many of you that say things get easier with time, but it's been over 2 years, and it's not got any easier yet sad

JessFoz Sun 18-Mar-12 15:12:33

I have needed this today. DSS just leftafter a weekend visit full of guilt and respentment. DH spnds too much money (money we don't have) lavashing guilt gifts on the boy and never disaplining him at all. DSS is a good boy, kind and polite, but his mum is lazy and does nothing with him. Age 7 he is playing 15 rated compute games, he does not brush his teeth, they are rotten from fizzy drinks. he cannot use a knife and fork and will eat most things with his fingers. Heeats junk at home and has been pulled a side at school for beign overweight. I try to help with a healthy diet but end up feeling mean.He cannot tie his shoes lases. We potty trained him, we taught him to dreess himself, wip his bum etc. But as he gets older and she does not put the care in there is little point us doing it. DSS lives in a different part of the country so we only see him once ever 3 weeks. Our DS adores him (13months), and visa versa and I want this to work but I don't know where I stand. I am in the role of mum now but feel unable to mother DSS. There are no problems in the relationshops between parents as DSS was the product of a drunk one night stand, not a loving relationship. I do resent her, but I try to be nice, eg today helped DSS pick out a Mother's Day present and paid for it with my money. I did it for DSS. DH would never rock the boat as he is too scared of losing his boy. I am trying, but it is so hard. I have no real feelings for DSS. His visits, our family holidays, are always pebbledashed with rows.

Perhaps his upbringing is none of my business? I'd love some advice.

shinymonkey Mon 15-Jul-13 22:58:14

Hmm, this is an old thread so I hope someone reads this and has a word to share. I am wrestling with my emotions this evening, guilt, fear, anger, confusion and love. I love my DSS, in the unique, and conflicting way only a stepmother can. Reading through all the posts on here, I realise I am not alone in my feelings or the very difficult experiences of our family life since ' I knew what I was getting into' several years ago! It is difficult to pick over the past, looking for mistakes you have made and punishing yourself with no opportunity to change things. Let me try and be brief, and describe my situation. Simply put, I believe my DH ex is a sociopath, hell bent on living in state of hatred of me and my husband. After custody battles and bitter divorce 7y ago (after 8y separation prior to that), verbal abuse, character assassination, lies &etc I have reached the end of a long complicated road, and I feel saddened by the conclusion.

Until recently DSS lived permanantly and full time with us. He spoke to his BM daily, and she visited maybe twice a year for about 2 days. As a mother I cannot understand her absence, though know she does it to spite us saying she won't babysit her own child so that DH and I can have a break. My DSS, as he reached his mid teens has become increasingly negative towards me and DH, manipulation, passive aggressive behaviours, staring and ignoring, lying, pushing and shoving DH and me, stealing from school, and substance abuse, running away, false calls to emergency services etc. I have even witnessed him throw himself against a window and shout that DH should get off him, whilst stood 4ft away. I have tried so, so hard to find a balance between respecting the distance he wanted (to maintain respect for his relationship with his mum and not try to replace her) and provide a refuge of love and stability for him within a safe and structured family which includes rules and self discipline. (We have 2 other DS).

Around the time of the birth of baba2 regular and predictable arguments about school work and socialising escalated to a daily event, until DH found substances in his room. (we both understood this as attention seeking and were understanding as any new baby unsettles the mix) When he was confronted he just said he was sick of DH, and made tired threats to leave home. We just felt, here we go again, so we called his bluff and said OK, and put him on a train to stay with his BM (she would only agree to a week). Leaving him to cool down, would help the situation we thought, maybe the baby is upsetting him and he just needs his mum (nothing like a mum hug whoever she is, she's a mum first). He refused our calls, and then S.Services called up, accusing my DH of abuse. They came to assess us and our other children 2 wks old!!!! and 2ys. Now, I don't want to sound defensive, but I will. We are good people, professional, well educated and not prone to outbursts of anger, let alone violence. The ins and outs of it are emotionally traumatic and unnecessary to describe. He won't speak to us or come home, his dad feels he can't live with him in case more accusations are made to add fuel to a patchwork of lies made by DSS and his mother over the last decade. So, he's living up the road with his friends (because she won't have him!!!!) parented(???) by a group who have been snared hook, line and sinker into the deception his BM and he have presented. His friends are aggressive towards DH in his car, and I daren't take my LO's out in the area in case we see them. There are 2 sides to everything, but these people didn't once try and find out for themselves, they just sucked it up.

I feel guilty that I never managed to connect with DSS in the way that he needed to prevent this. I am worried about him because he has tried to connect with his mum, but now doesn't have either of them... I feel guilty for all the times I thought bad things, for detaching when things got tough, for not standing up to BM and just letting the rudeness and lies slide. You muddle through as a step-parent and find a balance between what you can emotionally withstand and what the child needs, usually tipped towards the child, because they have so little control and you are the adult. DH and I predicted some of his issues with his mum etc would be worked out in his teens so were preparing for trouble, but this is so much worse than we could have imagined. I love him, but can't think about him and what he's done without feeling ill. I feel so betrayed but forgive him as he's a child, also feel at 16 he's old enough to take responsibility for his actions and how they affect other people. I don't know where to go from here, in life I always try to find a way for everyone to be happy, and this often means apologising for my mistakes, but I don't really know I want to apologise for having beautiful babies because I don't regret them and had hoped they would help him feel grounded in a love other than his parent's?? I'm not sure they're even the cause? I guess I want to unpick it all and find where the fault lies and fix it. It's probably not possible is it? Where now?

shinymonkey Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:00

oops, that's quite long. sorry!

Carolra Mon 15-Jul-13 23:22:23

Jesus shinymonkey, I'm so sorry that you're having to go through all of this. I'm not a step mum so I really can't begin to fathom how awful it must be for you. I hope you and your dh and your lo's all get through this together.

Carolra Tue 16-Jul-13 13:46:15

I'm bumping this for you shinymonkey, it was late last night when you posted it so I guess many of the wise people will have missed it.

shinymonkey Tue 16-Jul-13 16:30:50

Thanks Carolra I've always read things on here, but never posted so not sure how things work smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 16-Jul-13 16:35:23

Shiny, you'd be better to start a new thread of your own; just copy & paste what you've already posted. You're in the right forum, though. smile

shinymonkey Tue 16-Jul-13 17:47:38

thanks smile

LJL69 Tue 23-Jul-13 11:51:11

Bloody Hell. Definitely start a new thread as there are many people on here who know their stuff and will help you through to getting the help you need. I really feel for you - you sound lovely and trying hard to do your best for ALL children here. I have no advice but really didnt want to read and run x

racmun Tue 23-Jul-13 19:38:10

I hate it too.
After dh's ex partner assaulted me at our house, for which she got cautioned for assault occasioning actual bodily harm over a missing school jumper, she's pulled access again and we don't see my ss at the moment.
The weekends are stress free we haven't argued and house isn't trashed by him every other weekend.

It's not my ss fault he's so rude etc he gets that from him deranged mother but for now I am loving the peace!

pirate22 Tue 30-Jul-13 02:47:59

Hello, dont know if this thread is still active but im desperate for some input. I am engaged to a man who has a 5 yr old daughter with another woman and we recently had a son together. The mother was awful for the first year and since then have really been struggling with some ugly emotions. The daughter is spoiled and rude but we get on fine for the most part. I still just cant shake feelings of regret, resentment and anger even after seeking therapy. The mother has now taken to lying about schedules and events in order to keep us out of the picture when she can but will bend over backwards to get my fiance alone since she knows im limited with an infant ( like finding out the gym he goes to and showing up when she knows hes there, inviting herself to events on his days w their daughter, signing her up for activities on nights i work etc etc)'.i used to fully support their relationship for their child but time and again she has proven vindictive and deceitful. My fiance is very supportive of my feelings, and discipline of his daughter when bratty, i just dont know if i can do this. I love him, and want my son to have his dad but it feels like poisen in my veins. I never knew i was capable of these feelings and cant imagine living like this for therest of my life. Do i stay and hope it gets better or leave now before it gets worse...i feel so guilty,powerless and distraught.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now