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Help - hate my step son(107 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!!
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.
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