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I resent my stepson and I don't know how to stop it!(164 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
I resent my stepson and I kind of hate myself for it.
I've been with my husband for 3 years and he has a 5 year old son. His divorce was very bitter and a lot went on that caused terrible stress to us as I met him just before divorce proceedings began so I was around for the whole thing.
I don't know if that has impacted my feelings towards my stepson or not but these are the facts.
We now have a 9 month old baby boy and my tolerance levels toward my stepson have plummeted. I just don't love him. I couldn't care less if I never saw him again. When he's with us I do my best by him, take him out to nice places, read him stories, help him get dressed, cook him healthy meals etc. etc. But in all that I just feel like a caretaker, like someone working in a school might. Like when he's under my care I look after him but I don't love him.
I feel extremely protective of my son, not only in the obvious sense (like my stepson kept talking hopefully about him dying when he was relatively newborn) but in terms of being hyper sensitive to how my husband treats him and if I feel he makes less effort with him or spends less money on him. It's putting a terrible strain on our marriage but I just can't snap myself out of it.
I find my stepson to be precocious and spoilt, a lot of which is my MIL's doing. His own mother has said she finds him to be like this and we're all trying to counteract it, us and her and her new husband. He doesn't ever seem happy to see anyone and usually asks if they've got him anything. He won't play with any of the gifts he got for Christmas or his birthday when here but insists on playing with my son's toys all the time and trying to take them for his own. I just find him so annoying. Plus I resent the fact that we pay through the nose for his maintenance when we're struggling for money in a house that is too small for the size of our family and they're off on weekends away twice a month because the system doesn't take into account what the mother or new husband earn.
I just feel like his whole existence is a burden.
And I don't need to ask if this makes me a monster, I know it does. But I have no idea what to do to make it feel better? Or do I just accept that this is how I will always feel and call it a day on my marriage rather than stay and fight over it almost every day? Because it is wearing us down but I can't seem to curb my bitterness over it all.
Woah op. He is wanting your attention. Have these feelings really ramped up since your baby is born?
I find this hard to read. You resent your husband paying for his child, a child who was conceived before he ever met you You should have thought about all of this before you decided to get involved with a man who was in the eyes of the law still married and effectively committing adultery. That poor child is obviously confused by all the upheaval in his little life and crying out for attention.
The ex wife was the one committing adultery. I came onto the scene after they were separated. And yes I know how bad I am being. What I need is to find a way to sort it out. His behaviour hasn't changed that much since our son was born aside from him wishing he would die. Our son doesn't get a look in when we have my stepson over for the weekend. All attention goes on him, from both of us. Maybe because we're trying to over compensate I don't know.
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Wow, trying really hard not to judge here but how can you have such strong feelings against a little person?
He's barely more than a baby.
You need to speak to someone to help you process your feelings before he gets old enough to notice. Your attitude could really damage him as he grows up.
And I don't mind him paying for him, it's the amount when we're struggling to get by ourselves. It would cost us less if he lived with us full time and what I resent is that his mother doesn't use it to pay for the things it should go towards. Like shoes. She had him in shoes one size too small. We buy all his shoes or he would go about in small ones with holes in all the time. And that's not his fault, just another element of the stress I feel over it.
Aww he’s five. Just five.
Look I’m not going to flame you, I can’t envisage being a stepmother myself, but the fact is, he’s not going to disappear and leave you with your husband all to yourselves. He’s always going to feature. The only way you can go forward is to make a connection with him somehow. Few five year olds are devoid of any charm. Look for the things he does well and give them some of your attention. Focus on his positives. You don’t have to love him but you should try to hold him in warm regard...he is so young that a positive relationship is entirely possible if you can let him in.
Woah, back off people! Fierce is being honest about how she is feeling and is looking for a way to fix the situation, cut her some slack FFS
Fierce I don’t really have any ideas of how to help which is pretty crap on my part frankly - would some family counselling help maybe? Or do you have any local family support services?
It sounds like the traumatic start to your relationship has clouded your judgement but you are still there caring for this little boy regardless of your feelings and you are trying to find a way to make it better which to me sounds like a promising start
It's the lioness protecting her cub syndrome, isn't it? The DSS has had a lot to deal with in his short life. His dad left him and lives with his replacement. He's very confused and jealous. God knows what'll happen if his own mum has another baby!
Even kids in "normal" families have issues with jealousy when new baby brothers and sisters come along. My dgs is 5, so I've seen it. You're not a monster, you're just fiercely protective of your own, which is how nature makes us. Maybe you could talk to dss's mum to see if she's got any bright ideas?
Children know when you don’t like them. They can sense it. That’s why he doesn’t like the baby.
From what you’ve posted, at least half of your dislike is because of the money.
It is very unhealthy, and yes, it reflects very very badly on you to be like this to a small boy. This is his one shot at childhood and it looks like you are going to fuck it up for him (and also for your DH and maybe your own DC).
Get some help quickly. Pay for counselling.
Your feels are natural ones that most people hide. I have a lovely relationship with my grown up dad's but it's taken nearly 7 years and they are now grown ups. I'm closer to there are than my dh. I would advise you give dh and dss time alone together but when they have finished that do something all together. Make it clear that you are a united front and his dad does have others in his life that he loves as much as him.
Also have clear child and adult boundaries. This will help encourage him to realise that you are part of the family and what your role is.
Failing that just stick with your d's and have lots of fun with him, when dss sees this he will want to be part of it. This may take a while of some pretty bad behaviour from dss but it's the end goal.
* I just feel like his whole existence is a burden.*
So the five year old talked hopefully about your baby dying and you wish the five year old didn't exist.
I think he's got more of an excuse than you have TBH.
What's the family-wide plan to deal with your unpleasant attitude? Or maybe you could just stop?
* And I don't mind him paying for him, it's the amount when we're struggling to get by ourselves. It would cost us less if he lived with us full time and what I resent is that his mother doesn't use it to pay for the things it should go towards. Like shoes. She had him in shoes one size too small*
This like evil stepmother bingo.
Just stop and breathe and accept that you chose to marry a father and he is being a good father by paying what he owes, and that your DSS's mother is parenting in her way.
None of this is your business. You do you.
Good for you for being honest, OP. You aren’t a monster. Sounds like a lot of things have led to this point and actually a lot has happened in a short space of time. I am interested how MIL can have had more influence than his parents <misses the point> is your DH seeing things from your POV? Does he have his ds alone? Maybe that will help..
It's very sad to say and I don't know what's the psychology behind it, but sometimes bad feelings towards the ex affects our feelings towards her children. I also found that my feelings towards my SD changed after my son was born. My feelings towards the older SS didn't, because he's always respectful, I don't see him often, he was gentle with the baby and he didn't cross any boundaries, but my feelings towards a child who displayed behaviour that annoyed the hell out of me changed. And I also struggle with it. So I constantly remind myself that I'm the adult and it's up to me to make efforts. It helped.
Also, some men are not great with babies, so while they are little and can't really do much, they don't know what to do with them. As he's get older, he'll most probably spend more time with him.
About fights with your H, see the way you communicate with him, it can make the difference.
Like others have said you need to splash some more cash on counselling although I doubt your keen to do that. Try to imagine yourself as the little boy that may help. Empathy op.
I'm not a step-parent so I haven't been in your shoes. I think you're all going through a lot. But please understand that he's really the innocent victim in all this. Both his parents are with new partners and a new baby. He's just caught in the middle of adult issues.
his behavior suggests that he's craving for attention. Please speak to a counselor or Psychologist. It will add to the existing financial burden you have but it will be so worth it.
You're not a monster. Just a human being with a lot to deal with.You do take care of him. Now you just need to work on building a positive relationship with him.
As for shoes etc, those are issues with his mum. try to separate these from how you feel about him.
He is a 5 year old child. Think about the developmental stage he is at. Does a 5 year old have the ability to control their feelings like a 30 year old? Of course not. Can a 5 year old communicate their needs as easily as a 30 year old? Nope. Does a 5 year old have the ability to control a situation and leave if they want to, like a 30 year old? No.
Meanwhile you come across as obsessed with money and possessions. Taking away your DS toys is an issue, but your DS is only 8m old? Get a grip.
It sounds like you have a lot of mixed emotions and instead of dealing with the root cause of them, you've decided to blame it all on DSS, money and possessions.
Kids love to play together. Encourage DSS to build a relationship with the baby. He is 5, treat him accordingly. It really isn't rocket science.
Woah OP. You've been very honest here.
I can only suggest counselling with someone who specialises in family dynamics. You know yourself that your feelings are unkind and unfair. You need to do something to ensure that your step son has the happy childhood and family that he is entitled to.
It might help you to think of the ways your step son will enrich your sons life, rather than focusing on the idea that your step son is depriving your family of things. Your son will grow up to love and admire this boy. To have a sibling is a wonderful thing. Don't tarnish this by mentally pitting then against each other in a scramble for limited resources.
Speak to your GP about postnatal depression and counselling. Your feelings are not normal as you're blaming the child for adult issues and whilst you wont be the first to do this it really is misplaced. He didn't ask to be born anymore than your son did. You don't have to love him but you do need to support your husband to have a relationship with him. What does your husband do when his son is with you as you don't mention this? Also all the adults need agree firm and consistent parenting strategies so when DSS gets miffed and doesn't want to play with toys from xmas, there's a chorus of well DSS that's what you have.
I am a step parent and I love DSS as my own for the time he is with us. I treat his as I would want my child to be treated in that situation. Would you be happy for someone to treat your baby as you treat DSS? I also have a 6 month old baby. We treat them equally and yes your partner should pay for his child regardless of what his ex earns. Why should he not pay for his child because her and her new husband have gone off and created a better life. Perhaps you and your partner should look for better jobs or to budget rather than blaming DSS. It does seem that he gets the blame for everything and you as the adult don't want to take any actual accountability.
You are having irrational thoughts and should go and see your GP for your anxiety.
You met your husband AFTER he had his son. Due to that I have little empathy towards you, you knew he would have to pay maintenance and the boy would be in your life regularly.
Your SS is your son biological brother. I wonder how your son will feel years down the line knowing you resented his brother so much?
Life is life. Try to enjoy your son and your SS, he is only five and you could have an amazing relationship with him if you wanted.
It's great that you can be honest about how you feel, as others have suggested I think you need counseling. A lot of people struggle with resentment toward step children when they have a child if their own, you see your step son is a threat to your child taking love, time and money. You might need a bit of help getting your head around it all. Until that's sorted make sure you are positive around your step son, if it gets too much take a bit of time out while he is with you so you always happy while he is with you. Just remember to focus on step son's good behaviour and ignore or redirect negative behaviour. Don't worry if he wants to play with the baby toys, most kids do that. I hope it works out, please talk to someone who can help X.
@FierceMamaBear86 it’s a minefield isn’t it?
Your only just finding your feet as Both a mama and step mama. Don’t be heard on yourself for how you are feeling, it’s good you’ve recognised it and want to do something. I’ve been in my DSS for 10 year now and my DS is three.
You’ve taken on a lot in three short years and your life has changed a lot.... so then think how much your DSS life has changed.
Mum and Dad split up, family life finished. He won’t remember but will have seen the photos, dad got remarried had a baby, mum got remarried? Or is living with new partner.
Wow that’s a lot of us adults let alone a 5 year old!!
DSS is playing with the toys to be involved i would imagine, and they are fun, not his and something he doesn’t have at his mums! So let him... this is his way of bonding with his brother. It’s great they are getting so much use!
Money wise, you need to move the resentment away from DSS it’s not his fault. Yes you pay over the odds ( is this through CMS?) and he needs new shoes- but that is life. You are parents and won’t see him suffer in small shoes,that’s what matters. Life is a struggle with kids... and your DSS will be part of that struggle with you for at least another 13 years. Trust me when they get older they get WAY more expensive!!!!!
I love my DSS like he is my own, I feel pride in the fact that he has two families that love him to pieces. He can confide in things to me that he just can’t tell his parents, as I’m not his mum or dad, this helps a lot.
These negative thoughts will continue to put a strain on your marriage and your relationship with DSS unless you seek some help. This potentially could be going to look at some counselling?
You need to rebuild your relationship with DSS and realise how much of a fantastic little boy he is..::