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To think we have THREE children and it's not ok to exclude one just because they are not a blood relative?

(144 Posts)
GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:15:10

I have one DC from a previous relationship and two with my husband. All three have been treated as OUR children by the majority of the family.

However, one couple on H's side wouldn't ever buy birthday or Christmas gifts for our eldest. When they had DC of their own (3 years ago) they started buying for him.

However, h and I separated 4 months ago but still on good terms. This Christmas all his family bought for our three children with the exception of this couple. They did buy for my H's biological DC though.

AIBU to think this is disgusting? Just because we are no longer together doesn't mean my eldest is not H's child. To put into context, H has been in eldest's life since age two and he does not see his biological father and receives no gifts or maintenance from him. My H still considers him as his son and pays maintenance for him.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 29-Dec-13 23:55:55

I agree with you OP.How awful is that especially for a child to see that someone has left them out?Even a smaller token wouldve been kinder than nothing at all.This does affect children,it can make a child feel less part of a unit.I have a child in my family who is not biologically linked but to me they are our family,they are just as important to me and I feel honoured to be part of their life.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 22:36:01

That is very important so of course.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 22:27:51

I would hope that all your children have a good relationship and they would wish to continue seeing their sister

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:51:52

I think it all depends on how often she would want to see me? Of course my first priorities would be my children and accommodating them first and foremost. Everything would be different and not as simple as before.

What if me and her dad were on bad terms? What if my work meant that I couldn't see her? What if I didn't have enough money to come and see her or provide for her if I had her with me? What if it was just too much to take on all at once? What if my boys just didn't want to share me at a very difficult time?

So many barriers.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:48:52

Maybe that is the difference.

If someone has a great loving step parent of course they are going to be missed if they disappear.

I don't know about you but if I love someone it will hurt a lot to lose them. Why would it be different for a child?

My kids dote on their step-parents.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:47:24


I guess we will have to agree to disagree smile Like I said, I would expect to be a part of a step child's life forever where possible. I expect the same from my kids step-parents and thankfully they agree.

Obviously your relationship is different but do you not think for one minute how hurt your step-child might be? would you simply tell them to suck it up if they wanted to carry on seeing you? How do you think that would work if you (god forbid) divorced and the child still asked to see you? could you seriously say no?

BTW I don't want to come across as slating you, I am genuinely interested.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:45:07

And with the support from their parents and other family members they will be ok. I wouldnt have missed my stepdad if he suddenly disappeared when i was a child. I'm not convinced that a child with both parents involved in their life would feel abandoned if their step parent wasn't around anymore. Not convinced at all.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:42:10

I guess that is the difference.

If I was to marry someone with children I would enter that relationship feeling like I have life long obligation to them to continue to love and care for them no matter what. If I wasn't prepared to do that there would be no marriage.

I would never, ever marry someone with kids if I wasn't prepared to do that because I couldn't run the risk of hurting a child who had developed a strong bond to me knowing I would never plan to see that child again in the event of death/divorce.

It is sad for the child and yes, I find that cold. To me, family is family, blood related or not.

Which is why I am so grateful for both of my children's step parents. If their step-mum stopped seeing them it would break their hearts into a million pieces and yes, they would feel abandoned because in their heads they would not be able to understand why someone who loved them and was a huge part of their lives would just stop being there.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 20:39:08

Yes it is a strong word, and that is how, I believe, a child would feel in that situation

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:38:47

Na I'm not cold towards her. But what I don't like is this expectation that I take her on as my own just because I am with a man with a child. Sure I have a friendship with her. We get on, we do things together as a family, I do all of the jobs around the house that all children need to to do (eg cook for them, do their washing, do their hair etc..) I even provide for her financially as her dad is unemployed. So I do a heck of a lot for her both emotionally and practically. But, what if (heaven forbid) me and her dad split? It's a bit pessimistic how I keep banging on about it I know, but no relationship is set in stone and this one has the added complication of a stepchild, as in "Do I carry on doing all of this that I have been doing for her? Do I maintain a relationship- have her over, take her to school, on days out etc.. Do I provide for her financially?" when the child is not my child. Naturally you'd do all this no matter what for your own, but I think it is very unfair to automatically expect a step parent to carry on or else they are just abandoning the child. If they want to then great, but there shouldn't be this expectation thrown around.

ladymariner Sun 29-Dec-13 20:24:34

But surely if you enter a serious relationship with someone who already has a child you accept that they come as a package and I would have thought you'd develop a bond with them. Obviously not in the same way as with your own child but still.... Tbh holiday you sound very cold towards your dsd.

And before you start, I'm not vilifying you. I'm just going by your posts.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:13:05

Very strong and emotive word, "abandoning". I don't think it is an appropriate word to use unless the stepparent was the only mother/father in the child's life and had always been clear that they wanted to be the child's mum/dad, again like my brother/ OP's ex.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 20:08:31

I'm not vilifying you but I find it terribly sad, from that child's point of view, you are abandoning them, someone who was a big part of their life now gone. As I said, very sad

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 19:06:37

Certainly feels like it. I never went in in this relationship in the mindset that I would have a life time obligation (and certainly not my family) towards DP's daughter. If people (DP and his ex mainly) gave the the impression that this was the case then I would be very reluctant to proceed. If it wasn't for the boys being here then I doubt i would even keep in touch with DP if we split. That says it all doesn't it?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 29-Dec-13 18:59:45

GNG - I am pleased you appreciated my post. I didn't want to speak for you but felt things were getting out of hand with some posters.

I hope 2014 brings you a happier family life.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 18:52:13

I hardly think that a couple of people saying they find it sad is slating or vilifying you.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 17:01:49

Every situation and everyone is different. I don't slate people for staying in touch with their stepchildren and the stepchildren's mother, or for contributing financially towards them. I wouldn't be able to afford to contribute financially even if I wanted to.

All I am being is honest. I don't expect to get slated for my thoughts and feelings. There is no sinister feelings behind what I have said. But I don't love DP's daughter like my own and I never will. I have made that choice, just like the ex in the OP's situation made a choice to be the eldest child's dad and that child will be his family no matter what. My situation is very very different.

dsd's mum and I don't have a "close" relationship. We are pleasant towards each other but that's about it. I wouldn't wish to form a friendship with her if I split with my partner. I woulnt be arranging sleepovers or days out with her mum. But again those that do then I can't call you for that, but because I choose the opposite I don't expect to be vilified for it.

GoodNewsGrinch Sun 29-Dec-13 16:30:33

Hmm, I can see both sides of the argument. I have a colleague who still calls her step daughter her daughter as she came to love her as her own and she refers to both her bio daughter (who is not biologically related to her other daughter) as sisters. Her DH died a few years ago but she gets on well with SD's mum and frequently has her to stay over.

I guess it depends on whether you develop any familial feelings of love towards the child in question. I think that is why I feel so upset about it. Clearly these people do not feel that for my son. However, as much as that would have been nice after 12 years, I did not expect it. What I do expect is equal treatment of all my DC. They are being very short sighted because our DDs will certainly notice at some point and I wonder how they would feel about it.

I have half siblings. We're not very close due to age gap and they live quite far away but I consider them my full siblings. My parents have been very open about their intentions for their will and we have ALL been gifted equally, even though my dad is not their bio dad. I would think extremely badly of my parents if they did anything other than this as it is right and fair.

As mentioned above, SIL is from a step parent situation so you would think she would understand. But I suspect this is more about her hatred for me than anything else.

Thank you to Toffee, you have summed the situation up perfectly.

I actually started a thread here a while ago about wanting to exclude SIL from the party and I think I was more or less told I was BU to want to exclude her as she was still 'family'. The problem comes because H refused to ask her not to come as he didn't want to fall out with his brother even though they frequently let us down by not showing up when they've been invited and paid for. He paid for half the party so it's difficult to make demands about the guest list. This was hard enough to negotiate whilst we were together, let alone now.

givemeaclue Sun 29-Dec-13 16:12:37

Well you are not with dh box more so there is on reason to invite bil and sil to any events. You don't need to have anything to do with them

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 15:59:10

I just simply can't imagine being a part of a child's life from such a young age and not continue to see them after a divorce if able to do so.

No flaming here but I just can't comprehend it.

Maybe I have just got 'lucky' because my DC's step mum has become a very close friend throughout the years so I have always felt we were one big family and my kids would be devastated to lose her. I have always felt like they are 'our' children, almost like they had four parents to love them.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 29-Dec-13 15:48:38


My situation is the same as yours my sdc's dad died

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 29-Dec-13 15:47:41

Oh for fucks sake.

Loads of step parents if a relationship breaks down end up having nothing to do with any step children,life tends to put good intentions aside.

Its considered to be unusual to stay involved with step children after a breakdown of the relationship with the parent.

Mainly because its almost impossible due to the reasons for the relationship ending to do so without a court order and step parent contact orders are very very rare.

I still maintain and have contact with my ex stepchild and every single time without fail I've mentioned it on here or in RL the reaction is surprise.i am the only person I have every come across in real life (and I work in a industry that comes across broken relationships more frequently than people who are still together) who still sees or has anything real to do with a sc that was an actual child when the break up or relationship ending happened.

So why flame a poster for admitting that upfront

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 15:32:45

Needaholiday that is really really sad.

My children's step mother is still a massive part of my children's lives even though their dad has died.

She continues to see them and call them and help out financially. It is early days but I have no reason to believe that she will turn her back on them in years to come. Her opinion is that they are her step-children, she loves them, why would she ever want to stop seeing them? same would go if she had divorced their dad instead of him dying. They are still her family, she still loves them.

My mum still sees her adult step-children and she separated from our dad over 20 years ago. If you truly love your step-child then divorce or death wouldn't stop them being a part of your life forever.

I have no doubts whatsoever that if I divorced my current husband he would continue to see my children too, because he loves them and they are family.

Ledkr Sun 29-Dec-13 11:13:19

That's sad.
I was with my xh for 18 yrs, he was with my boys from aged 1 and 2. We had two more dc,a home,holidays,Xmas,illness,death and all other stuff a family experience. When we split up his step sons were teenagers but he has maintained contact and still does.
Being related is about more than blood.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 11:11:23

But hey, I guess I am just giving stepmums a bad name aren't I, for not coming to an agreement at the beginning of the relationship that I will take on my DP's daughter for life no matter what?

If her mum wasn't involved in her life I would have treaded carefully, because I would have known full well that I could may well be the only mother figure she would have and she might call me mum. But if I decided to take her on I would without "turning my back on her" she would be my daughter. But the fact is, it's not like that with us is it? I'm not her mum, she isn't my daughter, and I have no parental responsibility towards her.

My brother's eldest children aren't his biologically, but he is their dad and we don't see it as any other way.

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