Help - hate my step son(94 Posts)
I've been looking at some of the posts on here and was inspired to ask you for some advice. I'm having real problems coping with my feelings towards my step son. I've been with my partner for about 18 months. We married quickly - 10 months into the relationship. Quick I know, but I've known this man and his son for years. I'm really close with his family, having been on holiday with them etc for many years. I got on fine with my step son before we were together, and even when we first got married, but now I'm having real problems. I hate weekends, I hate him coming here to stay. He's always questioning everything, butting into conversations and generaly being annoying. I've spoken to my other half about this and he just says to tell him off, but I really want to smack him, which I would never do, but it bothers me that the urge is there. He's not particulary untidy, he can be disrepectful at times, but I suppose that's normal for any 11 year old. I've tried everything to bond with him, taking him out for the day, playing games with him, but I just don't want to be around him any more. My husband works nights, so sleeps on a Sunday afternoon, which leaves me with him. I find anything and everything to distance myself from him. I know that he's not stupid and has probably picked up on the fact that I don't like him, which leaves me feeling so ashamed of myself for feeling like this. I just don't know where to go next. I can't stand him hugging me or trying to sit next to me. He makes my flesh crawl. This is really hard to admit, but I hate him. I even took a job at weekends so I wouldn't have to be at home. That jobs finished now, so I'm back at home at weekends, and I dread them. Has anyone got any ideas as to how I can change my thinking about this? I've tried talking to my other half, but he just doesn't get it.
Thanks in advance for any advice!!
Only 11 years old and hated by an adult entrusted to look after him -
What's changed since before you were married?
He questions everything because he's 11. That's his job.
He interrupts because he's 11 - also his job. Your job is to gently teach him not to interrupt and wait his turn to speak - big deal?!
You really want to smack him but you never will - good. But how about changing your mind-set to, I really want to care for him and I will!
He makes your flesh crawl? Why? Because he's showing affection for an adult he trusts or at least, he's making an effort to love an adult he has in his life, whether he likes it or not. He's a bigger person than you at the moment.
Frankly, you don't deserve him. Stop dwelling on your own precious feelings and start thinking about his.
He's an 11 year old boy. All the things you're talking about are normal 11 yr old boy things. He knows that you don't like him. I feel so, so sorry for him. No wonder your dh doesn't get it - you're talking about his son in such a terrible way. This is a child, and the son of your husband.
What has happened to change the way you feel about him?
Gosh. Everything Doodlez said really.
Talk of hating a child makes me feel very uncomfortable and I don't think you are going to get many positive responses. I would be furious if my dp spoke about my dd like that, infact I think it would mark the end of our relationship.
But being positive can you find something the two of you can do together so you can start to build a positive relationship.
I have an 11 year old son, and they can be bloody hard work at times. They do butt into conversations and question things - it's part of the process of becoming an adult. You almost certainly did the same at 11. But it's a phase that passes. By the time he's 13 you may well be grateful for any scrap of conversation you getfrom him.
Firstly, you say that he's probably picked up on your feelings, but also that he tries to hug you. So he's obviously trying very hard to change your feelings, which implies that he thinks you're a nice person - and credit to you for trying, taking him out etc.
No one can make you like someone. But stop trying to get your DH to understand - he won't, ever, because you're talking about his son. And I can't imagine you're going to do yourself any favours telling him quite how you feel - no one wants to hear that their child is disliked. So all you can do is pretend. As he matures and develops you may discover one day that he's an interesting person - in the meantime, keep pretending.
Why have your feelings suddenly changed? he sounds like he's being a normal 11 Year old to me.
Am particularly at "he makes my flesh crawl" when he hugs you or sits next to you?
And yes he probably has picked up on how you feel, and the fact that you were fine with him before is a bit baffling tbh.
Has he done anything really bad to make you change toward him?
I don't understand from what you've said why you dislike him so much. From your post it sounds like the issues rest with you, so what is the problem? Did you think he wouldn't be about so much once you were married or something?
Good on you for admitting it - that takes real guts, esp. on here! We've had real problems with our eldest (also now 11), which we've seen a child psych. for and are currently waiting for a place on an anger management course for him. The thing is, most of the time I know he's lovely, but the hideous behaviour has made it very, very difficult at times for me to like him and not resent him for what he does to family life and to his sister and brother. You don't have that maternal bond (iykwim), so I can imagine it must be even harder for you to overcome these feelings. I know that spending 'quality time' (euch, hate that expression!) doing something special outside the home with him has really helped, just the 2 of us. At times it's been hard to want to do that, but I wonder if it might help drawing a mental line under what's gone on before and start afresh by setting aside some time for the 2 of you to go out - cinema, juice and buns, golf driving range, whatever floats your boat. I'm sure he'll have lots of suggestions.
Hopefully you'll get some other suggestions as well - good luck.
do you have any other children?
he sounds like a normal 11 year old, i have a 10 year old son, and yes ,he can be challenging,not always minding his manners and challenge things
it sounds more like you resent the fact you are spending moe time with him than your Dh,but the plain truth is, you are the adult,and when you married your DH, you took on the role as a step mum
there is nothing you have described that would justify your sudden hatred,i was expecting a post detailing violence/aggresion/stealing , you know,something really destructive
i think you need to take a long hard look at yourself,and why you feel like this, as you are the adult here and need to deal with this
if he knows you find him hatefu and that he makes your skin crawl, your relationship will never recover
but Paolosgirl there is nothing to suggest in the post that the boys behaviour is that bad.
Why does he make your skin crawl? Have you children of your own?
Can you make Sunday afternoons more fun? Go to the cinema or take him bowling. Even better let him invite his mates over and you could have some space.
I was (and still am) a stepchild and it's horrible to feel rejected. Poor little kid.
I'd choose my words more carefully IIWU, otherwise what you say makes you sound immature, selfish and cold. I'm sure you are none of these things.
You don't hate HIM - you hate the situation. You want to be cuddling up to your DH on the sofa, not his 11-year-old son. That's totally understandable.
Why don't you see if the times DSS comes to visit can be changed? After all he should be spending quality time with his dad, no?
This is a very strong reaction against a child who doesn't seem to be that badly behaved from what you are saying.
Does he come to stay every weekend? If he does maybe you are feeling the lack of private time at the weekend. Is it possible for him to go back home earlier on Sunday, as his dad is asleep anyway, maybe you could take him and use the time to get to know him better.
I really think you need to do a few things things.
1 hide how you feel about this boy both from him and your dh as much as possible
2 Get some therapy (you may have to pay for this) as you will need to talk about this to someone or it will eat away at your relationship. There must be a reason that you feel this strongly and that it has only started recently. From what you say, this boy's behaviour does not warrant this reaction so it must be coming from your issues - you need to deal with them.
3 Spend some 1 on 1 time with him but at the same time try and arrange the odd weekend where he doesn't come, Maybe your dh could take him out for the day on some weekends but not have him stay with you overnight. This will give you a bit of space and may help you to resent him less.
You can't help how you feel but you can choose how you behave.
Teameric - I think you're focusing on what I said about my son's bad behaviour rather than the feelings that I often have towards him - which seem more aligned to the OP - and how I go about trying to overcome them.
I agree with the others on here who have talked about the importance of your feelings towards him, and how you should hide them or pretend otherwise. Hard to do, I know.
I really do not think its constructive to to kick the OP around like she is shit. She is asking for help here!
How many of the shitty posts comdemning the OP came from current step parents?
It would help you, your relatinship with your husband and the wellbeing of the 11-year old boy (who will of course be aware of how you feel yes) if you engage honestly in therapy.
ElenorRigby - if my post is one of the ones you are describing as "shitty" (in your opinion), I am not a step-parent. I am a step-daughter.
Do you hate your ds - or do you hate it that he takes up every weekend?
Do you have any children of your own?
I have been in DSS's life for over 10 years, since he was 9 years old. I read the OP and thought, I have never ever felt like that about him, and thank goodness I know that to be the truth. It can be enormously frustating being a step-parent, I agree, but I personally think the OP's feelingss run deeper than just being a tad irritated.
Boop, do you have your own children? Is your step-son with you every weekend? You have been with your DH such a short time, I bet you just want the opportunity to have him to yourself sometimes - to have those Saturday evenings to yourself, long Sunday morning lie-ins, etc.. Until my DSS became an adult, he was with us every weekend. Without fail. And that could be bloody difficult, epecially as I didn't have my own DC at that time. However, what it did do was make me see what a wonderful father DH is.
None of this is your DSS's fault you know, and you are perhaps directing your anger and frustration in the wrong direction, at the wrong person. Talk to your DH, but not about how your DSS is pissing you off. Instead, make some suggestions about how his time with his son could be better spent - it just seems daft if DSS is at your house if he can't see his father. Try and knock this on the head if you can. At the same time, get your DH to spend some 'quality time' with his son, just the two of them doing a weekly activity together. That should give you some time to yourself. And then, make sure you and your DH spend some time together, alone, doing something special. Perhaps eventually, you can start to do something together with your DSS, and hopefully connect with him a little more.
I am afraid to say that it is mostly down to you (with help from your DH) to make it work. Your DSS hasn't asked for any of this, and he probably just wants to spend some time with his Dad.
I'm new to this site and can't believe some of the posts I've been reading. The OP was being very honest and was seeking help. As women, we should be holding together and offering constructive help - not dismissing someone's feelings and suggesting that they "don't deserve him". We all find ourselves in difficult situations from time to time and it's during such moments when we need warmth and empathy from others. Yes, I feel "poor boy" too because he hasn't chosen this situation but my empathy is with the OP too. She's clearly wanting to change this situation so full marks to her for coming on the site to bare her soul to us all. Who knows what else is happening for this boy - what is his relationship with his mother like, for example? How can we all be so quick to judge?
Fortunately, there are some very positive posters for this thread so I hope that the OP takes some heart and realises that she's not alone in her experience.
My DH is a step parent to my 13 year old son and my ex's wife is also a step parent to my 13 year old son - we've all muddled our way through similar feelings at various times. Allowing him to take the lead with activities and encouraging him to invite his friends over is wonderful advice. As is the advice to get some counselling (even short-term) - it can be quite helpful to bounce ideas off someone who's positive and empathic.
well Maitri, once you've been here a little while longer you'll realise, unfortunately, just how many trolls and timewasters there are on here. That might account for the tone of some replies.
If it was that important to her she'd have been back on to at least acknowledge some of the people who've taken the time and trouble to reply and give the benefit of their personal experience.
Poor boy and poor OP I'd say.
It must be difficult- I had this conversation about stepfamilies last week with a friend of mine- I have nothing but admiration for mothers and fathers who take on children who are not biologically theirs. I hold my hand up and say I couldn't do it. I just don't like children enough- some I like, some I don't, the same as with adults.
That said, here, the OP is going to have to find some way of dealing with it. I also agree that the ss's behaviour is more or less typical of 11 yr old boys, but is probably also conditioned by this new woman in dad's life thing he has going on.
I hope she finds a way to get through it....
I am a stepdaughter and have always enjoyed a positive relationship with both step-mum and step-dad. (the latter married my Mum when I was 11 so I've been there..)
womble perhaps she was scared off by the vitriol and even if op is not genuine, anyone regular to this board would be very aware of jsut how often threads like this that ARE real come up. "Well the poster hasnt come back" is not a good enough reason for bullying, which is what was shown here earlier on in the thread. "poor boy" he may well be - I imagine its very tough for him but there are very few places where step mums can genuinly talk through their feelings with other women in the same position without fear of recriminations or nastiness and I for one was appalled to see the unhelpful, judgy, aggressive tone taken from people who are NOT regulars to this board.
If you want to be mean to people ladies head over to aibu - its expected there. Dont hand it out here unless you actually have first hand experience of both sides of the coin and are willing to be constructive - otherwise you wont be made very welcome - we steps have enough complications and unwarranted nastiness handed to us as a rule - none of us are likely to tolerate it here. If however you have experience of life in a step family (from any perspective) and feel you can make a valid contribution that will help another family in difficulty negotiate their way through the maze of step parenting - welcome.
This poster is feeling a way many of us has felt at other times - I no longer live with my partner as I cant deal with his six year old son. A loving, devoted mother of one four year old with one on the way, I couldnt take the fact that fifty percent of my life was taken over by a child who hates me purely for not being his mother. It isnt easy and there is very little support for it. I ended up leaving the situation entirely - which was right for my family as my son has been far happier since, but I definitely think in cases like the ops, finding someone to talk to can really help and i agree that the boy being there on a sunday afternoon when he isnt is a waste of time.
Bucharest - was there anything that your step parents did that made it easier for you to get on with them? Do you think they found it hard or did you all muddle through fairly well. It would be really interesting to get a grown up step childs perspective on how and why it worked for her - maybe give the rest of us some hope.
Looking back, I suppose neither tried to take the place of the biological parent, although I lived with Mum and Step-dad, he was still always "John" to me not "Dad" or anything. In all honesty, he was more of a father to me than my own dear, but ultimately immature and misguided father has ever been! I imagine I was a total PITA at times, and I know I went through the "I hate you, you're not my Dad" thing- but I imagine had my Mum and Dad been together I would have gone through the "I hate you" thing anyway...t'is a teen rite of passage after all...
My step mum isn't old enough to be my Mum (IYSWIM) I'm 44 now, and she is in her early 60s, so she was really young when I was growing up- so there never was that Mumsy kind of relationship at all. I used to go to their house for tea a couple of times a week, especially when they first had their 2 daughters (loved being with the babies) and she was just always really welcoming.
I think the fundamental thing is Never Speak Ill of the Other Parent.....no matter that you want to strangle them barehanded....
My stepdad is dead now, and I live abroad so just see Dad and Stepmum at Christmas, but it's all very cool. I wonder if nowadays with so much talk and argument about access and rights and stuff, things in step-families sometimes get needlessly complicated and ill will sometimes arises. Thinking about it, I never ever slept at my Dad's, it was never mentioned, and I wonder if sometimes this whole "it's Dad's w/e" thing makes the situation fraught with stresses.
I'm not a troll or a timewaster, but would like to apologise if I personally have came across as harsh.
No I'm not a step-parent and don't understand where Boop is coming from, my DH is step-dad to my eldest and he read my posts and made me realise I'm looking at the situation from a totally different view to the OP. Sorry.
nobody was suggesting you were a troll teameric. Your posts were absolutely reasonable and normal - it is the 11-year old here who deserves the sympathy, the adult in this situation needs to start acting like one. Where is the op?
Eleven-year-old boys can be cocky little creatures, but that's totally normal. I'm shocked that you have allowed him to pick up on the fact you now 'hate' him. He might well be suffocating and relentless and seemingly impossible at times, but he seems to have the maturity to make an effort with you (and I doubt you're his favourite person, either) whereas you have taken to feeling victimised and affronted.
I don't quite know what you expect your husband to do about it, really, other than tell him off when he's being disobedient or disruptive, as he suggests. Your DH won't understand. And if you do get through to him to extent of your loathing for his son, he's likely to change his opinion of you, not his DS. I agree with everyone else that you can't share this with him. The problem lies firmly with you.
There is no way to make you like or love someone, but I really do think that 'fake it til you make it' is the best approach here. You liked this child once. What has changed? Other than the inevitability of him growing up, and acting his current age. It would be best for him to spend more time with his dad, rather than being alone with you all the time, but I assume there are reasons why that isn't possible, eg. distance from school, etc. Maybe invite some of his friends over, or drop him off somewhere (local under-12s football team or something?) where he can make some new friends. I take it he has his own space, belongings and entertainment at your home? Maybe it's time to update these arrangements for a pre-teen rather than a younger child.
I'm stepmum to two little boys and it is the hardest thing I've ever ever done. They are 6 and 10 and both of them can be seriously infuriating, gross, challenging, frustrating, and annoying. And that's completely normal. They drive me insane sometimes but that's what kids do, stepparent, parent or whatever. They are also fab, rewarding, funny, loving and interesting. And that's normal too.
At the beginning, once the Honeymoon feeling had worn off, I found it very difficult finding a balance between being me and DH during the week, and being a first-time mum to two children every weekend. Because I get on well with the kids, DH didn't realise how I was feeling, until I snapped because I was exhausted from working all week and having the kids all weekend and missing the things we used to do before we moved in together.
We now make sure we have at least one weekend a month to ourselves and try and spend quality time together in the week. The relationship between you and your husband is important in terms of the kids too. You need to invest in that and keep it healthy so you can provide a happy household for the children, who have already seen one relationship break down.
You are also perfectly entitled to take some time back for yourself. DSs1 really wound me up this morning by refusing to help me with the washing up, telling me he had better things to do with his life (playing MY laptop). I growled a bit, ranted at DH in the kitchen about how I CHOSE to be here and had better things to do than running around after his children. He wisely gave me a cuddle and took the children swimming, giving me a bit of space. DSs1 didn't say that because I'm his stepmum. He said it because he's a cheeky so and so.
But he also told me yesterday that I really was a "Wicked Stepmother - but Wicked as it in the Coolest!" How big a compliment is that from any kid!!!
When they come back he's helping me wash the car before he goes anywhere near my computer. And once he finishes moaning, he'll have fun. Stepkids, especially boys, especially when you have no kids of your own are really hard work, but you'll get there eventually. You don't have to love them. You don't even have to like them, but it's easier when you do. And it's up to you as the adult to find some common ground.
I can understand why posters are feeling sorry for the 11 year old boy here and it is natural to feel this I think. However I don't think anyone can understand these feelings until they have experienced themselves - isn't this true of so many things in life. I am a SP but of a SD and SS now grown up and I too had similar feelings to the OP and yes I too felt ashamed of how I felt when they were children. In fact trying to cope with feeling what I felt was harder than what I actually did feel if that makes any sense. Looking back I still can't believe that I had those feelings but I did. I tried to hide them and it caused me a lot of anguish over many years. Things are different now they are grown up but I still remember how bad things were.
I feel for the OP and yes I'm sure she was scared off by the vitriol heaped upon her. I think many MNs are too quick to jump to conclusions and cast judgement when they can't even begin to understand some of the strong emotions that are aroused in us at different times in our lives.
SO if you are lurking Boop please take heart, you are not an ogre, and you can't help what you are feeling.......that's just the way it is. Your feelings are part of the human condition and by talking about them you may start to find a way forward. I hate the way people on MN think they can somehow evaluate people's feelings, and decide if what someone is feeling is "right" or "wrong" - feelings are facts in my book.
I was lurking on this thread and feeling a little similar to Boop also and I found your post very helpful. I have a 9 year old SD and she is very nice and easy to have around although understandably very clingy to my DH which is a little frustrating for me at times. It is difficult when you feel you have to spend the weekend biting your lip. I take heart from the fact you say that things are different now your SD and SS are grown up as sometimes I think I will always have these feelings and I also find it uncomfortable and feel I am being disloyal to my DH by feeling that way.
I too feel for Boop and whilst I think it is good to present all sides of a situation it is also important to acknowledge someone's feelings, I'm sure she would prefer not to feel this way - I know I would!
Thank goodness for posters like NanaNina, ElenorRigby, Maitri and Onionlove for offering a balanced and supportive view. I agree with them all. The role of a step parent cannot even be remotley understood until you have lived and breathed it for several months if not years. I think most of us go into it believing it will all be Ok and 'one big happy family' and the reality is so often different. Of course, by the time you realise that, its too late to do anything but deal with it. There are so many issues that arise from being a step parent that you can't begin to imagine them until you suddenly have to face them. I think Boop81 was very brave and articulate in expressing her deepest concerns. Its good to hear from others struggling with similar situations and very encouraging to know that we are not alone however much it feels like it.
Nicely put autumnsun. I get really frustrated with non step parents coming onto this area casting judgement with no experience, which results in people who genuinly need help and support being scared off. Step parents isnt AIBU - we arent looking to be told off - we are looking for productive ways to deal with difficult situations and its great that there are some sensible voices available to provide this.
Agreed, being a step parent is the hardest thing and we post on here for help and support, and to be able to honestly air our feelings and let off much needed steam without the blunt confrontational / judgemental atmosphere of other MN forums e.g. AIBU
Being a step parent, especially a full time one, is a relationship and emotional minefield. Friends of mine who have their own children often confess to feeling occasional dislike for children they have carried in the womb and given birth to. Step mums do not have that unconditional love to carry them through.
Step mums are expected to be saintly selfless individuals without feelings, who are expected to have a crystal ball and know exactly what hardships were ahead of them and to have never got involved if they weren't prepared to swallow their lot uncomplainingly.
The truth is though that children are people. Small ones and still forming but still they are people. Some are nice. Others are not. And the sad truth is that you just can't like everyone... no matter how hard you try. But as a step mum you have to rise above everything as best you can and pretend, pretend, pretend...
I thought you were going to say he was doing really nasty things and trying to make trouble for you .... but you just don't like him.
That is quite sad. But you're being honest and looking for advice, so I hope people don't just pile in to tear strips off you, which doesn't help you at all. But it does happen regularly on mn...
I don't know the answer, just want to say, I hope you get constructive advice and not abuse.
okay, i've done the tea and sympathy bit, here's my constructive answer
there's only one variable here that you have any control over, and that is yourself and the way you feel.
You could as others have suggested try really really hard to find some common ground with him and to dig really deeply within yourself and feel compassion for him where there is no love. Is there not one thing that you like in common that you could concentrate on?
Maybe you could help him learn to be tidy and to accept his 11 yr old behaviour and ask for OHs help in helping his son to understand when he's being irritating and annoying. How for instance does he react when his son butts into conversations? When my SD does this - as she does so often - I calmly finish what I am saying and ignore her attempts to butt in, and then will turn to her, tell her (again) that it's not polite to interrupt and that we want her to stop doing this, and then ask her what it was she wanted to say.
Otherwise you need to disable those buttons in yourself that make you so irritated with him, repulsed by him. Go and book yourself on a course of CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy). I did this when I was having an almost phobic reaction towards my Dad (long story). It didn't completely take the feeling away, but it helped enormously and now the feelings of 'revulsion' have lessened to a scale where I can handle his company and have a rewarding relationship with him.
Hi onionlove and others who are showing compassion to the OP here. When I was a young step mum I don't think there was much reading matter about and I was lucky enough to have a close friend in whom I could confide. It wasn't any good moaning to my P for obvious reasons although I can't pretend that there were not numerous arguments about the whole thing. Oh gawd just remembering it all makes me feel sick! I sort of thought now though that with so many "re-constituted" families as I think they are called that there is now more open-ness about the difficulties of step parenting. I am sure if you google or go on Amazon there will be reading material available.
Sometimes I think it's almost worse when the step child/ren is well behaved because then you can't "legitimise" your feelings and that makes you feel worse. Yes my situation is now better but I'm afraid that is largely because they have grown up and gone their own ways and we don't have a great deal of contact, though I have step grandchildren of whom I am fond. I am closer to my SS but not I'm afraid to my SD, as this was always a
problematic relationship. So onionlove you may have to accept that you will never feel a closeness to your SD. I think the important thing is for women who are struggling with SC is to accept what you feel and not feel guilty about it and find someone in whom you can confide, to tell it how it is, in the way that Boop tried to do. I found this helped me through the bad times.
Someone has mentioned CBT and I have no direct knowledge of this but I would have thought any good counsellor would be good.
Finally - us step mums are not so bad you know, when you consider that the male lion will kill the young lions who he has not fathered to ensure that the lioness is ready to only parent HIS young!
I can kind of understand what you mean. I have a DSD around the same age and I think deep down she's a decent kid but she drives me nuts at times and I find myself doing anything I can to get away from her.
She complains about everything, questions everything, moans about everything, it just wears me down. She constantly sticks her nose in other people's business and takes it upon herself to constantly tell-tale on the other two kids. DP says the same to me "just tell her off" but I don't think they understand how difficult it is. Especially when you end up being their main carer and they're texting their dad in private every 5 minutes complaining about you.
If you are still checking this thread Boop, I'd like to hear how you are doing. I really do understand how you feel and sincerely hope that you are ok at the moment.
Hopefully you have taken heart from some of the supportive comments here.
Talking about how you truly feel as a step parent is the last great taboo. Bringing up someone else's kids is an unnatural situation if you take it back to basics, as NanaNina mentioned with the lion analogy. Step children are the innocents in the situation of course but no one can help their feelings.
Respect to all the step parents who do live in happy harmonious households but I think for most of us its just a constant struggle.
Boop81 credit to you for being honest and asking for help. It must be difficult to admit how you're feeling, especially because you love his father and you know, right, that you're the adult in this situation?
Families are hard hard work. Especially those that you are related to through marriage - step and in-law. All I can say to you is keep trying. Try to find common ground, try to bite your tongue and try to give the hugs your DSS wants - you never know if you fake it then it might become natural to you.
The damage you could do to this boy could be huge if you don't sort this out. My DB was 13 and had just lost his mum when my step-mother appeared on the scene. By 15 he was living by himself in a council flat and he has only just, at the age of 34, begun to recover from what she put him through.
Good luck. I'm sure it's hard but if you work at it it could become fantastic.
I'd like to know how you're getting on too! I'm a step mum (full time) and I know it's very tough - most of the time! It can engender some very dark emotions which is doubly pressurising: you are having a hard time because of the situation and also because you feel guilty because some of the emotions you are feeling are awful and shaming.
I must confess I'm confused as to why you've gone from feeling ok to feeling such hatred - you don't describe any particular action on here that seems to have tripped such an extreme change in emotion. I am wondering, whether, as someone else suggested, that as the reality of the situation has sunk in now you are married you are resentful at what you've taken on and it's all coming out in negative emotion towards stepson? I think you need to talk to DH about the situation rather than the depth of your dislike for his child - whilst I think you should be as honest as you can be about how you feel remember there are some things a) that once said can never be taken back b) become more concrete once they've been said; however much you may feel like you hate him please remember it's in EVERYBODY'S interest - not least yours - if you can move away from this feeling.
That said, I don't judge you cos as a step mum I've had some low times myself and have felt pretty awful on occasion towards my stepdaughter. When she's been rotten for the 50-millionth time I find it very hard physically to be near her. I can't explain it - it's almost a physical sensation that I need to get away from her.
In that situation I find one of two, almost polar opposite things, work: 1) leave the situation and retreat and let my DH pick up the slack. Be friendly but distance myself and try and find something for me away from the situation. 2) focus on my SD and do something together. The siutation can pick up marvellously if I really make an effort to get through the hostility/bad behaviour. This is sometimes shopping together/swimming/cinema/walk in the park. But I really make an effort to give myself to SD and it inevitably reaps dividends. She calms down and is generally a lot nicer. I feel better about myself too.
I agree with whoever recommended some counselling. From what you describe you could really do with some help. Try the website www.happysteps.co.uk for some additional help.
Good luck - it is tough but you can make this work.
OK I know I'm late in replying and that the OP has probably run away now in tears because of all of the comments. But just in case she ever does come back I just wanted to say YOU ARE NOT A MONSTER!!!
I live with my 12 1/2 year old SD full time and her antics would try the patience of a saint (alcohol at school, abusive language, bullying my other two little kids and that's just for starters).
Before she came to live here our relationship (I've known her since she was 2) was good. But after nearly three years our relationship has hit rock bottom. You were very open and honest in what you said and I can relate to so many of those feelings. There are forums out there for struggling step mums, with loads of good advice. I think the relationship between stepchild and step-parent to be the most delicate, most fragile of all parental relationships. It can so easily be shattered.
One piece of advice I'd give you here is ask yourself is it really him? Is he to blame? and if the answer is no then finding out what is the real problem is one step towards rebuilding your friendship.
Hi Boop. I'm new to the forum but I was drawn to your post because I can relate in someways. I've never 'hated' my stepson as such, but sadly I haven't allowed myself to get close to him and here's why - when he was 3 my other half and his ex had a huge fight which resulted in her refusing to allow us to see DSS for over nine months. By the time we were allowed to see him again I was pregnant with DS, DSS had grown into a different child and the bond never regained. And for some reason I never made the effort to encourage it. Only recently I realised the reasoning was because I thought I would lose him again. The last time I had no control over it and it broke my heart. Now this may not be your reasons, but I imagine that there is something underlying that is making you dislike your stepson. Is it a hatred of the fact he keeps your hubby's ex in your life? Or that he disrupts your routine? Take time to think about what is really bothering you and you might find it easier to overcome.
And honestly what we can overlook in our own kids is not so easy to overlook in someone else's.
Sorry just a second though, you mention your hubby sleeps some of the time you have his son. This may be the issue - your stepson is there to see your hubby, it doesn't seem fair that he should leave you looking after him unless you specifically asked to, if he can't care for him Sunday afternoons he needs to bring this up with his ex. What did he do before you were married?
I know I get very annoyed if my other half decides to have a lie-in when DSS is over!!!
I hope that the OP hasn't posted again because things have gotten better with her stepson. Boop if you do come back please post again and let us know how you are doing. It's a rocky road this stepparenting thing, and a tricky one, and there are plenty of people who can support you. Ignore the vitriol.
My stepkids drive me insane, but I wouldn't be without them now.
Hugs. Lots of them.
I have an 11 year old stepson too and sometimes have similar feelings to your own. However hard I try my SS has never attempted to hug me and I'd be delighted if he did rather than the reaction to his hugs you described. Msybe try looking at the positives rather than the many negatives of bein a step parent.
I too would like to say to the OP not to feel bad on herself for her message. I am brand new and my reason for joining is I am a stepmum and have been for a few years but I am finding it increasingly hard to like my sd. I read the op and a few answers and very nearly didn't read any further as I was amazed at the attitude thrown at someone who was being honest and asking for help. But there seems to be lots of genuine posters who can relate. Being a stepmum and not liking your sd or ss puts a huge amount of guilt on you. You run through so many scenarios as to how or why you feel like that, what you can do to change or help the situation and if you are some form of evil monster. I know I am not and the OP isn't either. Step parenting is so different from parenting (I have 3 of my own) and I think the OP was VERY brave to admit what many stepmums must feel.
OP is brave to admit it, but she is the adult and he is the DC. When she married DH she got his DS-it wasn't an option.
When I married my DH it was a question of 'love me-love my DS' -otherwise there is no way I would have continued the relationship. I wouldn't subject my DS to someone who didn't like him!
As a stepchild and a stepmum I can say I have seen both sides of the tale.
My stepDad was and still is a wondeful man, I know he loves me and I have never doubted that EVER.
My stepMum has never liked me or my 3 brothers. It was plainly clear to us, as a small girl I remember dreading seeing my stepmum because I knew she hated spending time with me. The differences between us and her own daughter were clear for all to see.
I love my real dad, always have and always will, and I adore spending time with him, but that is always ruined by knowing you are not actually wanted around or liked.
As a stepmum I struggled with the immediate love and affection that was expected from me by small children. I was uncomfortable and akward and sometimes damn jealous at the time the dc's demanded from my dp.
However, I would never, ever have stated that I hated them or that they made my skin crawl to me that is a bloody horrific thing to say about a child. Taking a weekend job to avoid him, pathetic.
These children are forced to spend time with adults that claim to hate them. The adults need to realise that they have all the power here, they make the choice to take on the roll of step parent, the child never choses to be a step child it is just thrust on them. Imagine how horrible it is to know you are not wanted by a step parent. In general a step child in this situation will either withdraw from the situation all together (like I did), or they will rebel and really give the step parent something to hate them for.
This poor boy has done nothing wrong and I expect when he is grown up he will look back like I do and resent the OP for the way she made him feel. If the OP does not knock this woe is me attitude on the head now she will possibly damage not only her own relationship with her stepson for life, but also the relationship between father and son.
Sorry if this post isn't viewed as supportive enough by some people, but this is a situation I can say I am pretty much an expert in having experienced it from every angle.
Think yourself lucky,I've been with my dh for 6 years,I have a dd1(from a previous marriage)9yrs,who they get on with quite well & a dd2(who is their half sister) but my 2 dss,8&10,never speak to me,its as if I don't exist.
And before anyone jumps in,I'm not the wicked sm,I've spent many years trying but they just view me as an outsider!!
Maybe the point is yes Step parents choose to take on stepchildren when they marry again, but does anyone truely know at the point they marry or move in with them what it really is like. I know and respect my DH for the fact there are days he doesn't enjoy being a parent to my children (and he can tell me so, thats fine it shows he lives in the real world not one where he always has to think the sun shines out of them!!) and there are days I don't like being a step mum to his. Having said that there are days I would gladly also pack me own 13 year old back to where she came from if only that were possible! and not painful!! I am a very very devoted Mum to them all but yes if honest I have days I really don't like being a step Mum BUT you can be the adult in the situation, you can hide your feelings, lets face it before anyone jumps down my throat and says Ah but the child will tell, I hide it from my own kids on the days they naff me off so there is no difference, but one of the great shames of being a step parent that I have found is you are not supposed to say..Hang on I am finding this really hard and actually its not quite a happy place to be right now and I wish I could share my feelings with other step mums who feel the same..it doesn't make you a bad person, a child hater or anything like that it means you are a normal person who at this time is just struggling to have a relationship with someone who is a big part of your life. Any other walk in life its acceptable to say how you feel but stepmums seem to be cast out as the evil story book character if they don't adore the children they took on as part of a package. Quite right the children didn't ask to be in that situation but that doesn't mean the adults in the situation are no longer entitled to have feelings either. What I do is on good days I enjoy the day, on bad days I switch off, put on a brave face, do the neccesary to get through the day and then be glad that days behind us. Maybe one of the problems is different people think differently about the word Hate, some use it in a real nasty way, others use it all the time as not that bad a word and many are somewhere in between. There are days I hate being a step parent, there are also days I hate being a Mum to so many kids, mine included..there are also days I love it and yet on a black day seeing that isn't always easy. I chose this path yes but some chums along the way who understand would be a great asset. xx
I was reading through this post as I have similar feelings to BOOP and too are shocked at the abuse some people have hurled at this poor woman who is brave enough to ask other people for advise.
Whilst we can all agree that it is difficult for any children in a step situation, there seems to be a huge stigma if an adult comes out and admits they are having difficulties and dislike or even hate their stepchild.
I am in a situation where I fell in love with a man who has a son who he looks after full time. I have no children of my own and have never had any desire to. However, I wanted to make this work, so 5 years ago, we all moved in together. Back then, his son was 8 and a lovely boy. However, he is now 13 and he is turning into a very cocky, arrogant, materialistic and lazy child. (probably very similar to other 13 year olds).
I am the complete opposite, I have a strong work ethic, I am non materialistic. I have fairly strict morals and values - and I actually do not like the person he is becoming and do not like his personality traits. I am hoping this is just a phase he is going through but I'm finding it very difficult to even like him at the moment and I find myself not even wanting to engage with him so as to avoid confrontation.
As a step parent, you can not just turn on 'love' and you do not feel the pleasure natural parents receive from having children. In fact, I do not even understand what that pleasure is? So, I just feel that I get all the bad bits and none of the good bits. My partner does not always understand my feelings because he has that bond that I just don't have. After a while, you feel taken for granted and resentful towards the child.
I understand exactly how BOOP feels and its very easy for judgemental hypocrits to start pulling out the 'you have to be the adult' card!
My advise is that you have to get support from your partner. You shouldn't have to deal with this on your own. It is 50% his responsibility to try to understand how you are feeling because it is perfectly natural. I have to sometimes make it clear to my partner how difficult it is looking after someone elses child - even if that means offering him to babysit someone elses child for a day/weekend. My partner has come round and we ensure there is separate time for just myself and him, separate time for him and his son and some family time too. I also need me time too.
If your partner does not try to support you may need to question the relationship.
I am also new to this site and have very similar feeling to boop and rhodi. I would never openly say them in real life but this forum I woudl hope offers an anonymous outlet for feelings that as adults we recognise are at odds with what is deemed socially acceptable.
Boop's original message was aplea for help as she was 'having real problems coping with my feelings towards my step son'. She has not been bad to him, just recognises that her feelings are a problem and her DSS may be picking up on them.
Eveyone is entitled to an opinion but to blast someone who is having real difficulty with how they feel and having no-one else to turn to is pretty poor. Surely it is better that Boop posts here and gets some support from thos with parenting experience than continues to emerse herself in resentment towards her DSS?
Anyway, I have a DD from previosu marraige and DSD from DH's previous breif relationship, Our DDs are same age, his is well behaved and mine is bossy and can be downright horrible at times, yet I have similar feelings of resentment towards DSD as when she is with us my DD is always getting told off and ends up 'hating herself' for being naughty. But it is difficult for her too as she is top dog most the time then her world gets turned upside down for a weekend when we have to do 'somthing nice' because DSD is here.
Please don't lambast people for expressing their true feelings on here, if there is no outlet and no support what will happen then???
Well I think it was a good idea to get a weekend job to avoid time with DSS.
If your feelings are so strong then surely it is better to spend less time with them, so it is easier to fake.
Then perhaps your feelings might start to change.
Don't feel guilty about how you feel, after all you are trying hard to keep it under wraps and this must be hard.
Oh, just noticed OP hasn't been back.
Well hopefully some of the nasty posts didn't put her off.
Hi Nitha 82,
I've just read your message and what you say really helped me I think I haven't allowed myself to get close to my SD as I wasn't 'allowed' to meet her for a year and I fully expect her mother to turn her against me later in life so I try to protect myself I guess. Sad as I am an adult and she is a child, I try not to let her see how I am feeling though.
This thread has been very close to my heart. I'm part time step mum to a 15 yr old boy, and I find it incredibly hard. I don't dislike the child, but I dislike the situation. As a previous poster commented, when the child is well behaved, it almost makes it worse, because it's harder to justify your frustation. It's the only real area of dischord within our marriage, but it's come close to being a deal breaker. I don't have children by the way. We have a very regimented access pattern, my husband is very loathed to rock the boat by requesting any 'variation,' so I find 50% of my leisure time is dictated by a routine devised 6 years ago, by the ex wife. Obviously life has changed for all concerned, but the arrangements are set in stone and that in itself causes problems.
My stepson is basically a decent kid, but he can do no wrong in my husband's eyes, and I find that difficult too. I confess I find myself dreading access weekends, it's hard to relax at home with someone else's child hanging round the house. There are times when it causes real resentment between my husband and I; he can't see what his son does wrong (he does nothing wrong, but that doesn't stop him being irritating), and I just wish my husband would emphathise with me (ie, I know its hard sometimes, but I get where you're coming from).
It's a tough one. I grew up in a happy step family, so it's not like I don't understand the dynamics.
OP isn't a monster,and she is very honest, but she married DH knowing that he had a DS and they were a package and she was getting DS for life. It is unfortunate that they rushed into it before she had a proper relationship with DSS. As a single parent my DS came first and I couldn't possible live with someone who didn't even like him.It was 'love me and love my DS', there was no other choice good enough for my DS.
OP is the adult. Admitting the problem is the first step.There are then 2 choices.
1. You can't take it and you don't want a lifetime of DSS (they do not disappear at 18yrs)so you leave.
2. You love DH and have to make it work.
If you go for option 2 then I would spend time with DSS on your own. Start by being honest and telling him that you don't think it is working very well-what does he think will improve it. You might be surprised by the answer. From that you work out some way of living together where you can both have fun. Spend time on your own with him-let him help cook meals etc.Let him do things on his own with DH too.
Everyone has their good points, if you take the trouble to find them-concentrate on those. He must take after DH in some ways-there must be something to like!
I would say that if he wants to sit next to you and hug you then he wants your attention-he is picking up on how you feel about him-DCs don't show their best side in those circumstances.
It's easy to say "you knew what you were taking on when you got married" but you often don't realise quite how hard it's going to be. And what starts out as a minor irritation can develop into something more over time.
If you are marrying someone with a child they are giving you the greatest gift possible-the chance to nurture and play a large part in a precious life-part of your DH. It isn't an option to say I don't want that gift-or I only want it if it is easy!
I do feel for OP, but she knew that DH's first priority was his DS and that there are 3 of them in the marriage.It is up to her to make it work. She is the adult-DSS is a child.
I think how you feel about a child / teenager is partially driven by how they treat you as well.
I met my DH's DS's when they were just turned 3 and 6. Their mum made it difficult to see them sometimes - varying between saying we would never see them again and wanting us to have them every weekend / holiday depending on her 'romantic' situation at the time.
I had a good relationship with both (hence the affectionate moniker wicked stepmom) and still have a good relationship with the elder (now 19).
The younger is a different story - he asked to live with us when he was 14 - we agreed - he then stole from us and friends, stole from a charity that we were treasurers for, was viewing underage and violent porn (had to take power cables out of computers whenever we left the house) - had police to house several times, stole my underwear and w**d in it, told so many lies to school,councellors, I can't rememebr them all. He tried to tear DH and I apart and was just the most horrible person to live with.
So - I think I am quite reasonable to say that I don't like him. I would not accept this behaviour from anyone - and yes, we tried to get him help with counceling etc - all to no avail.
Am I a bad person - well, I'd rather be a bad person and not have to live in fear in my own house (could not even have a bath while he was in the house unless DH was in) than to pretend that I liked him or accepted his behaviour
I would be really upset it my Husband said there were 3 of us in our marriage. (Would be alot more than that with the amount of children we have!!) but I am sure you know what I mean.
There are 2 of us in our marriage and we have children in our family. If my DH and I had met first we would have had a marriage and then children as an extension to that, they would not be "in our marriage" and neither my stepchildren nor my own are in our marriage.
I for one would not have married someone who said their children were more important than I was, I believe there is space for us all in the family but the marriage is the 2 of us.
WKDSM - You sound like you have tried every avenue. Some times you just can't suceed however hard you try. You are def not a bad person.
Here here Buttons99 - I completely agree, a marriage is the two of you and the children make up the family unit.
Petal02 - so many of your words rang true for me.
There is no way you can know what you're taking on when you become a stepmother. It's a case of 'learning on the job'. You THINK you know what it will entail, and I don't mean its all rose tinted spectacles - you even think you can anticipate the problems but you can't.
For me it was rose tinted spectacles though!!! I def lost them about 6 months in!! You def do learn on the job, no-one can tell you what it will be like, some people love being a step parent, I know my DH finds it 1000 times easier than I do. I wouldn't choose to do it again (well I say that but I bet I would if I was single and found my DH again) but its been alot harder than I thought. We are 6 years down the line, it has got easier as I have learnt coping tactics but I still wouldn't say we are one big happy "blended" family..more a family who mostly do ok but sometimes feels more like I am sitting in a blender (than we are blended) being spun round with no idea what to do...with that thought of spinning it reminds me I need to be off to do MORE washing!! the fun of a big family
i once worked with someone who I ""hated"" but I knew I couldn't go on like that so I truly took a weekend (weekdays in your case) to absolutely tell myself that my attitude had to change and the ways I would do it. yes what has changed??? try to accept his kindnesses and cuddles etc and you will find that he becomes more secure and eventually will not be so demanding of affection and acceptance. remember he didn't ask to be a step child and it is hard for them and eventually it will cause problems between your husband and you. Yes he can feel your ""hate"" of him and that must be horrible for him. good luck
Hi, I'm new to this site, and don't want to seem rude- but I find this pretty shocking.
As a step child, I'm amazed at what Boop81 said- could this be what my stepmother thought about me?
When I was a child, I found it hard to be around my stepmother. She seemed to be very uncomfortable around me- and had no idea what to do around children- and I felt the same way about her. I ended up spending all my time hanging around my father, and never got to know my stepmother as a person.
I really regret that, but now have a strong relationship with her.
Please don't let this ruin your relationship with your stepson.
If I were you, I would try anything I could to try and build up a relationship with him.
And try to think about his feelings, please.
I think it's really interesting that no one here has said look, its ok to have those feelings. Sometimes we feel hate and hated. Hate is a human reaction, and we have all felt it at one time or another. I understand that you feel this, but I also see that you are not acting your hate out.
I think you might want to make some meaning of why you feel so much hate. Have you thought of seeing a therapist to work these feelings out? I think it may be wise to try and understand things before you fix them. You are already seeking advice, maybe it's time to seek some more professional help.
I'm really pleased that I found this thread, because I empathise with Boop and the other posters who relate to her.
I'm a new member and posted on "parenting" (by mistake) today about being irritated by my teenage stepchildren. The reaction was "grow up", "if the pointy hat fits", "get used to it" etc etc.
Who says that you have to love your stepchildren unconditionally? Boop is trying to love her stepson and she's looking for help. I expect she has been scared off by the horrible replies. I was almost not coming back after this morning!
If you've never had children of your own, is is so inconceivable that you would sometimes resent having to give up half of your leisure time to accommodate somebody else's kids, even if they are your husband's?
Boop, I'd say that your feelings are more common than people admit to. I don't have the solution but you shouldn't feel alone. And well done for being brave enough to talk about them on this forum.
I feel really sorry for the Op. She came her for advice. I feel similar to how she feels about my son ds1(6). his answering back and stroppy behaviour hasn't got any better even though i have been trying and trying. I had to admit recently that he has just worn me down and thta i don't love him anymore. infact i hate both him and his behaviour and the affect he has had on our lives. but i will endeavour to hide this and adjst my parenting to try and cope with this.
so this has nothing to do with step parenting. i am sure Op is not the only step mum or mum to have EVER felt these things.
Give her a break. And lets try and help her with some constructive advice.
I think we all agree that its unlikely that Op will come back. Mn at its worst. Nice one ladies.
This thread is atrocious! How on earth can anyone say that an 11year old makes their skin crawl? My partner has a 5 year old girl and a six year old boy, they have their moments (as all children do) but as a mother to my own 5year old I recognise that they are children who most of all need love, care and security in their lives. I also understand that however difficult things may be for me, these innocent little children have been through enough hardship in their short lives and it is partly up to me to ensure their lives improve not deteriorate! I adore my partners children partly because I love him and they are his, but also because they are innocent CHILDREN who have done nothing wrong and deserve to be well looked after.
It seems like boop81 needs to grow up and remind herself who is supposed to be the adult in the relationship!
Wow shoedal1 - hope your halo never has a reason to drop off your head. i would imagine every stepparent would wish to have the idealic step family set up and adore their stepchildren, but in the real world we are not all that lucky...maybe you are. Your post is incredibly cruel to a stepmother who is clearly struggling and came on here for support..if you cant be honest here where can you. Lets hope the day never arrives when your stepchildren become a problem (older then now is a highly likely time!!!) and you need support...and for what its worth I cant imagine any parent hasnt had days where they don't dislike their own children so why should stepchildren be any different...unless of course you are the mother of a child who never puts a step out of place!!!! Maybe its you who needs to grow up and think of another adults feelings rather than purely harping on about the innocence of childhood.
Well said buttons - I began step parenting a 5 and 8 year old. Now they are 11 and 14 and boy is it a different story!!
Good on you Boop81 for being so honest about your dark thoughts about your step son. Having dark thoughts doesn't make you a bad person.
It sounds to me that there is possibly quite a lot more to this story than you have had the time to tell us?
This is a particularly sinister one as well. <shudders>
Boop I can completely relate to how your feeling, and appreciate all the other positive feedback people have given here.
I love kids and am very close to my young nephews and thought as a step parent I would feel that same way towards my partners son. We have busy lives and sometimes I find it near impossible to be trying to organise out lives around his son.
He is a great kid, and I know he adores me and couldn't ask for better really. I know this, yet still I dread the weekends we have him and feel like us rather be somewhere else, or spending time doing things I would rather be doing.
I do my best to try and organise things with other kids and families the weekends we have him, and initially I didn't find it hard, but a year in I just don't enjoy his company and find the whole situation inconvenient and annoying, and I feel guilty for this as I know he is a great kid!
I don't have kids of my own so part of me feels like I am sacrificing half of my life for the sake of my partners choice to have a child.
I suffer massively, alot of it being guilt, as I want to be a good parent and role model but just feel myself despising my partners son for so many of the reasons others gave above. I don't look at him and feel love, I don't look at him and think he's cute. All I see is someone else's child.
Clearly it's a massive lifestyle change and reading all the comments above are a huge sanity! And it is also good to hear from a step child's perspective.
OP perhaps it was the language and words you used that could have been chosen with a little more circumspection. Hatred, making your skin crawl, may I suggest such words are not appropriate when referring to a young lad, who may well be crying out for attention, hence the butting in and not behaving as you would wish, All that said, we are ALL human and your frustration, bewilderment at your negative emotions come through very strongly. Would some family counselling help to put things into perspective and heal this sad sitaution and maybe build a bond with your DSS?
I think building a bond can sometimes be unrealistic - you can't force feelings that don't exist. Sometimes being kind, polite and respectful is sufficient?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Petal02, at the age of 11 DSS is developing and changing. Why isnt it reasonable to give things a chance to build trust and enjoy a positive relationship? It is realistic and I am speaking from personal experience as a DSD who now loves my DSM as if she were my own despite having terribly conflicting feelings. It took time and patience, and my DSM has been patient beyond words with me for however long it took!
daisy The DSS is not 11, he's 15. This thread is 4 years old.
Totally agree with Maitri - people think that because you love your dh or do that you should love their dscs too and i think that sometimes it feels like you should too but it doesnt quite happen like that does it? sounds like you're doing a great job to me. Stick at it - he does sound like a normal 11 yr old - perhaps he's just testing the boundaries?
He's 15 now!!!
I wonder how this panned out for Boop..... And the boy?
Obviously the OP is long gone, and can't blame her given the early replies. Things got a lot more reasonable later on though
Am resurrecting this, as it's one of the top hits that comes up when you google this subject, and believe its possible to shed a little more light on it, perhaps even supplying the answer that Boop was seeking 5 years ago.
Obviously the OP is long gone, and can't blame her given the early replies. Things got a lot more reasonable later on though
Am resurrecting this, as it's one of the top hits that comes up when you google this subject, and believe its possible to shed a little more light on it, perhaps even supplying the answer that Boop was seeking 5 years ago.
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