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Positive step parent stories

(13 Posts)
luelladeville Fri 12-Jun-20 12:39:49

I am in a position where I just cannot stay with the father of my 2 children much longer. He's a good dad and a great friend to others, however there is no love between us and I have begun to see our relationship as quite dysfunctional and very transactional. I come from a toxic dysfunctional family myself and although my parents have been married 40 odd years their relationship is very damaging. I did not have a happy childhood despite living in a nice home and not wanting for materialistic things. I had no experience of unconditional love or affection, mutual respect, or emotionally stable parents.
I want better for my children.
I am however very scared of taking this leap, not so much of being a single mum ( that I'm quite looking forward to! ) I am also looking forward to time alone to heal and work on my self esteem and some co dependency issues.
What I am concerned about is the inevitable new partners that will come into my children's lives at some point ( both for me and my current partner ) I'm talking way, way in the future. Please do not assume I am going to jump into a new relationship quickly, I have a lot of work to do on myself first. I can't speak for him but I would presume he will move on quicker than me.
I guess I am just asking for positive stories only from those who grew up with step parents that feel their parents really gave them the best of both worlds even though your biological parents weren't together. If you could give some advice as to what made you feel loved and secure in both households and what not to do?

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cheerup Fri 12-Jun-20 12:57:51

Honestly, and I mean this really kindly, i would calm down a bit. You haven't even separated yet. That and divorce are gonna take their toll well before you need to be worrying about potential step parents. Plus you can't really assume you will find anyone who wants to take on that role and if you're separating on the assumption you will, you should probably spend some time thinking about how it would be to be properly on your own before you make any decisions.

I've been a step parent for 16 years as well as having my own children, my step-child's half siblings. I get on well with my step child and their other parent even though I'm now divorcing their dad/my children's father.

luelladeville Fri 12-Jun-20 13:27:03

Cheerup, thanks for your response. I'm not sure how I have given the impression I'm not calm.
I also tried to make it clear that I am in no way looking for a new relationship, I also pointed out I'm very much looking forward to being on my own. What I said was that it is inevitable both myself and my partner will eventually move on and I was after stories from those who were raised in happy families with a step parent. As a reassurance to me that it is possible. That I don't have to stay in a toxic relationship just so that my children have both their parents together. I am more than happy to stay alone unless someone comes into my life that will enhance it rather than hinder it.
We are not married, he point blank refuses to marry me so I don't have a divorce to contend with.
I wasn't after replies from step parents themselves as you can't actually answer my question.
Sorry to hear you are going through a divorce.

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Andromache77 Fri 12-Jun-20 13:38:19

I agree, don't get ahead of yourself. But to answer your question, it's entirely possible to have a good family life with stepparents involved, I am one. My husband had three children before we met, now he has four as we had a child together. They're siblings, we don't do the step- thing for children in this family.
The three eldest don't live with us and don't stay over anymore as they're older. But the youngest two of the eldest and my DD love each other very much (the absolute-eldest is a grownup now and lives abroad, sorry for the terminology, I hope this clear) and they're all quite happy and well adjusted.

I'm not going to lie, it's not perfect, but then what is? All in all it's fine and no children have been harmed in the process, so to speak.

VMR0SR Fri 12-Jun-20 14:40:19

I come from a step family and looking back it was amazing. My parents split when I was 10. I then got to see my mum happy again, to watch her smile at my step dad and laugh, we had loving family holidays (despite now being 4 of us) there was always something to do and someone to play with. I have 1 full sister and 2 step brothers. We are all similar in ages and I no longer call them my steps. They are my family, their children call me Aunty, we have sleep overs and they are all cousins.
Yes we had arguments growing up, but I also argued with my sister as well as my brothers. I wouldn't change it for the world. I have an extended family who I love all very much. I still have lots of contact with my dad but he married a women without children so they did more of their own thing.
I now have 4 parents who I can ask anything from who are all very happy. My children have extra grandparents, extra gifts and a larger family than most.
It’s a long way off for you op but I wouldn’t swap my experience for the world.
I have a thread currently however complaining about having my boyfriends children here too much with him working a lot at the moment. It’s hard work being a step parent (I don’t actually call myself that). But my bf does make me happy and he does come with two children so I accept that. However hard it is with 4 kids and a load of pets in a 3 bed semi 🙈

cheerup Fri 12-Jun-20 15:34:19

@luelladeville No need to be sorry for my divorce, I'm not.

cheerup Fri 12-Jun-20 15:36:21

My parents split when I was 5. Neither remarried. I never had a step parent. It is not inevitable. Just saying.

mindutopia Fri 12-Jun-20 15:59:05

My dad was a real jerk. My mum divorcing him was one of the happiest memories of my childhood. It was lovely to go off and have a happy life together with no more shouting or stress.

My mum didn’t date or re-marry until I was an adult (that’s another story). My dad had a very long term partner though from when I was maybe around 9. She was lovely. Mum and I used to insist he brought her along when he visited as we enjoyed her so much more than him. They split up after about 10 years (he was an abusive nut job to her too). My dad has been dead for 20 years and she and I still keep in touch. She and my mum are friends on Facebook too.

ravenmum Fri 12-Jun-20 16:15:20

My stepfather is a kind, gentle man who loves children and will tirelessly spend hours playing with children, listening to children, reading to children or telling them stupid jokes, and children love him. Even though my mum and I moved into his home, I only ever had the impression that he was entering my family, and that he was delighted to be allowed in.
My half-sisters are a lot younger than me, so we didn't have a huge amount in common, but I loved playing with them. I had a lot more problems with my real mother than with any of the step-family!

swaywithme Fri 12-Jun-20 16:19:03

I think it's entirely possible to have good relationships with step parents and I say that as someone who had a terrible one with both of mine. The issue was my parents putting their relationships before their children. Don't do this and you'll be fine. I think you're doing the right thing btw.

KellyHall Fri 12-Jun-20 16:22:03

My step dad is who I call my dad, he came in to my life when I was a very difficult 14 year old girl and never stopped being an absolutely fantastic dad to me.

My step mother is an absolutely vile, detestable human being. She emotionally and verbally abused me from when I was very young until I went NC with my dad when I was 25. My dad lies to my brothers about why we don't speak. My half sister (their daughter) however says she understands why I went NC with her parents.

luelladeville Fri 12-Jun-20 18:34:58

@minduptopia that's a lovely story ( apart from your dad being an abusive jerk that is ) so nice to hear you had another positive female influence in your life and that you are still in touch.
Ravenmum your story too is what I need to hear. That you had a happy childhood and a loving male role model that wasn't your

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luelladeville Fri 12-Jun-20 18:44:32

Sorry I clicked post too soon!
That wasn't your birth father I meant to add.
Staywithme sorry to hear you had bad relationships with your step parents. My own parents always put their own needs before their children's so I know how it feels. I feel I'm pretty well equipped with knowledge on how not to parent ( plus side of being an abused child myself! ) we were punished if their marriage was going through a rocky patch, which was the majority of the time. We weren't shielded from it. I couldn't inflict that on my own children. Thank you for your words of support.
@KellyHall so good to hear you have a great, patient dad that you speak highly of. This is the dream, that there are good people out there that can love children as if they are their own.
Sorry to hear about the evil step mother though, and good for you going NC. Nice validation from your step sis also.
Thank you all for your positive stories, this is what I needed to hear.

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