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To think being an adult stepchild is tough?

(35 Posts)
malificent7 Sat 16-Mar-19 18:51:44

My mum died of cancer and 5 months later my dad was dating my best friend's mum.
On one hand i am gappy for him, on the other hand it has been a rocky journey.
My dsis and i were cross that dad had moved on so soon, i was cross with my bf mum for making a move on my dad so soon after mum died.
Dsis and i had to tell our dad it wasnt a great idea that he told my late mother's mum about his new girl friend.
He was so happy to find love he just coukdnt see that a bit of subtelty was best.

Moving on a few years and things are ok...but i feel i have lost my dad to my best mate. She has sided with him in an argument and it still annoys me a few years on. I feel that he spends more time with my fruend's granddaughter than his own.
When i got with my current dp about 3 years ago my dad got really nasty with me. I was struggling to find a permanent job at the time and he gave me a really hard time about it. I suspect ge felt he was loosing control of me.
In short things are ok but the dynamics can be tough.i have posted about this
beore and it still plays on my mind today .

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Sat 16-Mar-19 19:24:19

My dsis and i were cross that dad had moved on so soon harsh, but it's none of your business really who your father decides to have a relationship with. As you have found out to your cost, if you attempt to control and isolate him, then you risk losing him.

Your best friends mum ? you should have taken the opportunity to make your best friend into your "sister", I dont know about you, but my best friends mum was about as close to a second mum as I could have got, so from that aspect, I would have accepted her and built upon an existing relationship.

FWIW I love my SM, she and my DF got together 4 months after my mum passed away, SM mad my DF very very happy before he too passed away.

Why would you begrudge anyone happiness after grief ?

FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 Sat 16-Mar-19 19:26:09

Blindly that's a bit harsh. Op is entitled to her feelings and I think anyone would find it hard to see their dad move on so fast. thanks for you OP

FlossieTeacakesFurCoat18 Sat 16-Mar-19 19:26:32

Blindly = blimey grin

Livelovebehappy Sat 16-Mar-19 20:03:47

Agree. 5 months is very early to get into a relationship with someone else following bereavement. I’m a stepchild and DF initially put his new dp above his DCs. It’s only recently after many years that we’re now close again. You do feel you lose them a bit, especially in the early days of their new relationship.

malificent7 Sat 16-Mar-19 20:33:56

I dont begrudhe him happiness but obviiusly i gave some hand ups about it. I think its the feeling of not being able to grieve 100%
And yrs my frirnds mum was close but i dont have to see her as my she's not. I was closer to her begore she got with my dad.

malificent7 Sat 16-Mar-19 20:34:55

Also my best friend has been a bit like my sister. Like my sister she dosnt always support me.

malificent7 Sat 16-Mar-19 20:35:22

It goes both ways too.

Longtalljosie Sat 16-Mar-19 20:37:02

I think what you describe sounds very tough indeed flowers

HomeMadeMadness Sat 16-Mar-19 20:38:38

Sounds tough OP. I agree even as an adult step parent relationships can be difficult. DH's dad has a new partner who is quite difficult. DH is super close to his dad and used to do lots of hobbies together (both are keen cyclists) but step mum hates the idea of her DH doing anything without her. So will insist on coming cycling even though she hates it and will sulk the entire time. (They only go about once every two-three months so it's not like he's deserting her every weekend).

Quintella Sat 16-Mar-19 20:39:45

Well I'm not going to pretend I'd have been all Pollyanna at that situation either, OP. A mere five months after your mum's death and with your best friend's mum? Widowed men really don't hang about bothering with the whole grief thing.

Pinkblanket Sat 16-Mar-19 20:43:03

Hmmm, it's coming up to.2 years since my dad died. My mum started seeing someone less than six months after he died. They had been married just a few months less than 50 years. Whilst it has been strange at times, I can also see the benefits for my mum. It has no reflection on how she felt about my dad, they are two distinct parts to her life.

AtrociousCircumstance Sat 16-Mar-19 22:22:10

Sounds awful for you OP. No one else respecting the sense that boundaries have been crossed and relationships warped and changed.

Really hard flowers

malificent7 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:07:48

It has just made me realise that these people don't really do boundaries. Not nice. But people are selfish when it comes to love. I just think...their loss.
The most galling aspect of this was a barbq with my best friend and her dp. I had a moan about my dad and they both attacked me saying he does loads for me.
Er yes and i apprechiate that but he also does loads for them.....drives them around, babysits, dog sits for them etc.
Everyone else agreed at the barbq that dad is a household now with best friend and her mum and ive been pushed to one side.
Its amicable ...mostly for dd...but im seething underneath.

malificent7 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:11:59

I can see that she has been good for my dad in many ways but i still feel a bit weird. I have also found things financially tough but his lot are fairly comfortable....

Divgirl2 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:18:31

YABU unfortunately. He is your dad, he will always be your dad, but he is not a possession. If he wants to help out his step-children then that's on him, they sound a lot more appreciative. It's not a competition, he's tried to blend his family and you're the one making it difficult. You're the one being selfish with the love.

If you're not happy for him that's completely fine, but I think you should address the reasons why.

FWIW - I am the adult stepchild and don't particularly get on with my dad's new wife. They have kids I've never met, I only ever hear about what they're up to through social media. He's still my dad, and I'm glad he's happy. I'm not jealous of the life his new family has - I'm genuinely pleased that he can support them in a way he wasn't able to with me.

malificent7 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:31:54

Well you are much more angelic then me Divgirl. Good on you. Of course im happy for him but i think mixed feelings are normal!

Millyonthe Sun 17-Mar-19 10:33:06

That sounds very hard OP. I can see how the resentment would eat you up. However, life is short and you would be happier if you could make your peace with it all. Would you consider talking therapy?

malificent7 Sun 17-Mar-19 10:35:27

I have tried with therapy. Tbh im fine most of the time a d try to rise above it. Fwiw when they got together i was quite supportive even though it was hard when they were hugging on my sofa. As soon as i got with my wonderful dp dad has a hissy fit as he's not no 1 anymore !.
Double standards.

smallereveryday Sun 17-Mar-19 10:43:33

I think you have do accept that people grieve in different ways.
Your dad may have done most of his grieving while your mum was dying - if it was a longer demise.

However - without exception, all the people I know who have moved on to another relationship after the death of a spouse, have come from really happy marriages. It is a tribute to your parents happiness that he wanted to recreate that situation with another person. If people have a good experience of marriage they often want to do it again. In contrast to those who found the death of a spouse from a bad or abusive marriage - a blessed relief and wouldn't do it again if you paid them .

Try and accept your fathers happiness - and you may find that your relationships improve all round.

OnlineAlienator Sun 17-Mar-19 10:56:51

Yes, being an adult stepchild can be hard. Sometimes your parent doing the best thing for them can crush a part of you flowers i have tried to make the best of things within numerous blended families but you cant escape the feeling of being pushed out/replaced.

HundredMilesAnHour Sun 17-Mar-19 10:57:33

I feel for you OP. I wish I could say it gets easier with time but I don't think it does. You just learn to adjust your expectations.

My mum also died of cancer. My dad was in a relationship 3 months after my mum's death - with my mum's boss (whose husband had also died from cancer - the two couples had been friends). I'm an only child and was very close to my dad until my mum died. He was so wrapped up in his new relationship that I felt like I had lost two parents rather than one. I struggled with abandonment issues for years. I maintained a relationship with my dad but he continued to hurt me so much with his behaviour. I knew it was his own way of coping (which was pretend that that my mum never existed - and unfortunately I served as a reminder of her). Like so many women, I had my dad on a pedestal and seeing him come crashing down from it as I realised he was just a flawed human like the rest of us wasn't pretty.

It was only after some pretty intensive therapy (after I had a breakdown due to bullying/sexism at work) that I got my head together at last. It took a long time and now - over 20 years later - my dad and I have a reasonably strong relationship again.

Don't beat yourself up OP. It's normal to have mixed feelings. There may always be a residual sadness at what you have lost, especially when it feels like you see that loss right in front of your eyes on a regular basis. You just have to concentrate on making the best of the situation you're in now. But allow yourself to feel hurt too. I know I will be allowing myself a little tearful wallow as we get closer to Mothers Day and the anniversary of my mum's death. And then I will pick myself up, grit my teeth and carry on with my life. Because life is for living and your mum would want you to be happy.

OneStepSideways Sun 17-Mar-19 11:02:44

Remember it's also tough for your stepmum! I expect she went through a lot. You sound very negative about their relationship.
Perhaps your best friend also struggled, she may not have wanted her mum to get together with your dad and blend the families, effectively sharing her mother with you.

As an adult I think you need to respect that people made choices, and nobody's had an easy ride. Try to be happy that your friend and her family have a good relationship with your dad, and happy for him that he found love again. Seeing from others perspectives might ease your resentment.

GetOffTheTableMabel Sun 17-Mar-19 11:03:55

I think that the situation sounds pretty challenging for you. Even as adults, we can have visceral, childlike responses to parents and siblings. There will always be a part of you that responds to your father as if you were still 8 years old. You are having an “it’s not fair” response - and you’re right; it isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that your mum died. It isn’t fair that other people, who loved her as much as you did, seem able to move on and it isn’t fair that your dad now seems to be more of a parent and grandparent to someone else and, on top of that, it’s your best friend so has naturally affected your relationship with her.
Be kind to yourself. It might help to remember that some of the strength of the responses you have to this new family dynamic come from the small-girl part of you. If you acknowledge that, you might be able to see past it a little and relate to them all as adult-you. It’s just harder for you than it is for them because we only get one mum.

It is also likely that, however happy your father is, a part of him feels guilty about it. He can probably park those feelings and just ignore them - except when you are around. You are the reminder that he moved on very quickly and, even if you never say so, the bit of him that feels that too, will have a ‘fight or flight’ response to you. Even if he’s not aware of it, if he’s challenged by you about anything he probably gets argumentative or wants to avoid you because he feels uncomfortable. I think you will always get further in your future relationship with him if you take the view that you ‘catch more flies with honey’.
I hope things gradually improve for you OP.

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Sun 17-Mar-19 11:30:26

You may want to change your perspective to help you understand things better, for example:

1) cancer can be a very long difficult road, it is painful for all involved and, pain/difficulties bring people together. It is true that it was not wise of your dad to announce his new relationship so soon, but if your step mum was a key piece of support for your family for a long while, your dad knew how valuable she was and in someway I am not surprised his feeling for her changed after your mum passed.

2) He had a go at you for not having a job at a difficult time. Well, that’s what parents do. Sometimes you need to dish out though love in order for things to improve. If you ever end up raising kids without the help of the other parent. I can tell you lots of stories of my parents being harsh to me (I was even kicked out for a few days), it may have been harsh but it made me a better person.

3) Loosing your best friend? Honestly, you will have dozens of best friends through out your life. You connect more with the people who is in the same circumstances as you, and your circumstances will change repeatedly through life.

4) You cannot choose what happens to you but you CAN choose how to react to it.
Every parent can tell you one thing, no matter how hard you try, your kid will think, at some point, you messed them up. As a parent you can only do your best and sometime that won’t be enough. It is normal and human. At this point you have two choices:

A) Blame your dad for ruining your life and live your life around that premise. You are the victim, you have plenty of reasons to be unhappy, repeat that to yourself everyday until you really believe it and insist on that even if you rarely have contact with your dad.

2) stop seeing yourself as a victim, which will help you to realise you are where you are in much due to your own choices. If you take responsibility for your past you will find a way to take control of the situation and improve your present. You cannot do that while the blame is on any other person as you cannot control what they do or not, the only person you can control is... you

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