Separation when in blended family

(24 Posts)
Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 13:52:07

My DH wants to separate. It's not what I want but we have tried counselling and there are several issues we can't get past. We have one DC and one DSD, I have been in her life for ten years. We have her half the time.

Just wondered if anyone has been through divorce /separation when their are step kids involved? Did you continue to have contact? It breaks my heart to think I'll hardly see her any more and she's been through so much that the thought of causing yet more upheaval is hard to bear. Even though its not my choice to split I can see me being the one moving out so the kids get to stay in their home. All those years of blood sweat and tears that is step parenting, with nothing to show for it.

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TwentyEight12 Mon 19-Aug-19 14:13:39

Hi there,

I’m sorry to hear this is happening to you. It must be very painful.

I don’t have experience of a blended family but I was the partner to someone with children.

When the relationship ended, I did not pursue any contact with the children. I had always accepted that should the relationship end, that my relationship with them would also end.

If your SD wishes to keep a relationship with you and you her, then I see no reason why the two of you should not do so.

The only thing to think about is, if you and your ex partner up after this, how will it affect SD’s situation? Will your ex still be ok with you maintaining a relationship with her if he meets someone else? Will you also embrace the relationship with her should you meet someone else?

For the sake of your two children who have their own relationship dynamic outside of you the adults, I would encourage them to keep in touch, assuming their relationship is a happy and healthy one.

Summerunderway Mon 19-Aug-19 14:16:08

My absolute bastard exh left (thrown out tbh) without even saying goodbye to my dc. Been together 5 years...
Be honest with the dc and offer up a continuing friendship is an idea imo...

Teddybear45 Mon 19-Aug-19 14:19:43

How old is the child? If a teenager then they can usually decide whether to pursue a relationship with you (or not). But you do need to be prepared for your DP not allowing contact if there’s an OW involved.

Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 14:30:20

Thanks all. I don't think there is OW yet but the way he is talking I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't wait long to find someone else as its all a bit mid life crisis.
She's 12. The siblings will definitely have an ongoing relationship, they are close and I would encourage that. I imagine he thinks he will have our dc when he has his daughter ie 50/50 so it is my contact with her im wondering about.
I think it would be awkward if/when he gets a new partner and dsd might feel conflicted, but also possibly use it as way of playing us off against each other as the teenage years come. I guess I just try to be friends and keep some contact from time to time he she wants it. We have been to courts and had SS involved re her Step dad in past so just seems so sad I have fought for her like she's my own and I am left with very little say about what happens going forwards.

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TwentyEight12 Mon 19-Aug-19 16:02:58

I understand you are hurting but try not to look at this situation as a waste of your time or efforts. You loved and you loved willingly and without expectation. This is the true nature of love.

I hear all the time about biological parents professing their unconditional love for their children, but in my experience it is mostly conditional because it is ‘blood related’. You however, have loved another human being unconditionally without ‘blood’ being the reason for doing so. There are very few people who can actually make that claim.

Be proud of yourself.

You are a single Dad’s dream.

Good luck

Wehttam Mon 19-Aug-19 16:09:46

Well you’re not the wicked step mother so I’m sure she will want you to be part of her life especially as she has a half sibling connection to you. It’s messy but not catastrophic. I have friends who have good relationships with ex step parents so all is not lost.


Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 16:13:50

Thanks twenty-eight 12, what a lovely way of looking at things, made me cry. I feel sad for both kids as don't think they will have seen it coming but especially dsd as it feels like we are the stable bit in her life and he is throwing this away.

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beatriceprior Mon 19-Aug-19 16:17:32

My DH has his DSS every three weeks. (Weekend with his mum, weekend with his dad, weekend with us).

Sometimes they stay in DSS home town just the two of them, sometimes they come to where we live and sometimes we all go somewhere else together.

We live 200 miles from him.

Has done so since he split up with his ex partner.

He comes on every family holiday with us and sees my DD as his sister.

We are really lucky.

Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 16:20:05

Beatrice that's amazing but I'm sure unusual. Gives me a bit of hope

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Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 16:24:25

Do you think I should offer to move out seeing as I only have one child and he has two? And due to the trauma for SD? Seems so unfair when it's not me who wants it to be over 😢

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SummerInTheVillage Mon 19-Aug-19 16:26:40

Stay in your home. Your daughter needs you to be there. He can move out - he's the one who wants to separate, he can go.

Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 16:34:53

I don't think he sees it that way but thanks, that's what I think!

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troppibambini Mon 19-Aug-19 16:41:35

When I met my ex he had two children we went on to have a daughter together. We spilt when they were 13 and 9 and my dd was 8 months old.
Various pretty horrific things happened after we split which ended with my stepdaughter coming to me and telling me her dad had got drunk and hit her in front on my 2 year old dd.
All contact stopped with their dad after various attempts to try and maintain contact.
During this time I met my current partner and dsd and dss told me the only reason they went to see their dad was to see my daughter (their sister) even though they hated their dad.
So basically they became a massive part of mine and dps new very blended family.
So we now have dsd (26) and her son(3), dss(22), dd(14), dd(8) with new partner, ds(5) with new partner and ds(4) with new partner.
So there is six children (plus a grandchild) regularly around our dinner table and for Xmas and special occasions.
It unconventional but it works for us my youngest kids call the oldest kids their special brother and sister.
My dsd posted a photo on social media the other day of everyone sat round our table with the caption not half, not step just family which I must admit did bring a tear to my eye.

I know our situation is a bit quirky but it is possible. I'm really sorry you are going through this thanks

Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 16:53:00

@troppibambini that caption! ❤️ Says it all really. Just have to promise myself to not become one of those bitter exs who puts their own feeling before the kids, especially if he moves on to someone else...

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brightfutureahead Mon 19-Aug-19 17:09:06

Hi, I’ve recently been through a break up with both a stepchild and together children involved.
I try to maintain contact as much as I can, mainly to make sure the children still have a relationship. I have to be honest, despite all my efforts over the years and my nice relationship with my ex’s child, I was so done with the stepparenting/ blended family thing. I’m mainly happy about no longer having an ex wife lurking in the background 24/7 thinking she’s my boss when she’s not.

I speak to my ex’s child directly and make arrangements. I have no need for middle men such as my ex or his ex wife to do that for me now that the child is almost 14.

WitchyMcpooface Mon 19-Aug-19 17:11:04

That sucks! Why do you have to move out! Stand your ground or he’ll always walk all over you. This is fresh start my lovely and your going grab with both hands. Turn to family and friends for support. Get professional advice. And I think with your SC only time will tell with that I’m afraid. Good luck

Subtleknife Mon 19-Aug-19 17:16:39

Thanks guys. I'm a long time MN lurker but new to posting and am genuinely touched by how kind and supportive everyone is. Makes me think the reality of splitting up won't be as bad as I imagined

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CorporeSarnie Mon 19-Aug-19 17:30:44

If you can find a way to keep up contact, do it. During my tween/early teen years my mum had a partner who lived with us and to all intents was a step parent. When this relationship ended so did the contact. It damaged us kids to lose a parental figure without warning. Shortly before my mum passed I got back in touch via social media, it is hard to know how to relate but I'm glad for myself that I did.

Anuta77 Tue 20-Aug-19 04:19:51

My DP has 2 exes, so ex#2 was a SM to my SSs (16 and 19). She knew them since they were pretty young for about 4 years ( they visited EOW), then she was in a long distance relationship with DP for 2.5 years, then see saw them EOW for another 1.5 years. Just to say that it was less involvement than with you. I have a good relationship with them, but I met them 5 years ago and they were already teenagers. They like her (she's the mother of their half-sister and also friends with her older son from previous relationship) and they go with my DP to her place to say hello. My DP left her because he fell out of love according to his words, but after she recovered from rejection, she built a very nice relationship with DP (I have a recent thread about it) winning him with her niceness.
All this to say that yes, it's possible to keep a relationship with ex SS and they don't have to feel conflicted if there's another SM.
If you've been in SD's life so long and have a good relationship with you, she will miss you. If there's no hostility between you and the father, why not offer that you see her sometimes.

Subtleknife Tue 20-Aug-19 07:24:14

Thanks @Anuta77 that sort of story gives me hope. I really hope it can remain amicable, as its going to be hard letting him go when it's not what I want. So it's up to me to be the grown up

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Bedforaweek Tue 20-Aug-19 07:42:33

I am full of admiration for you and how much you are thinking of others at what must be a really hard time.
I have a DSD. My partner was always encouraging me to do more with her, give more of my time etc etc and then when he threatened to leave me I asked ‘what about dsd? When will I see her?!’ And I just got a blank face in return. Like you said, it’s sñl that effort and love and then you have no rights or place to expect anything more. It’s hard

But as that wise poster early on said, that love you have given that child is not wasted. And it sounds as though she needed that love very much.

It also seems you are being very thoughtful wondering about whether it would make more sense for you to leave the home. I really wouldn’t unless it works for you. You need to think about yourself and stability for your child.

Spanglyprincess1 Tue 20-Aug-19 15:02:59

Good luck op.
You'll be in her life in a sense through her sibling no matter what so that's a nice thing.
Stay in the house if you need to for your sons stability. You shouldn't put sd needs above your own child's during a breakup.
Your child deserves a stable environment during this time too.

Popsicle434544 Wed 21-Aug-19 21:29:32

I had aa dsd with my ex, was her stepmum for 12 years, we was very close.
Me and her dad separated and she took his side.
That was 8 years ago.
Her mum has just passed away 4 month ago,
I went to the funeral, when she saw me she collapsed in my arms and basically hasnt left them since, she has been living with me since then, she doesnt leave my side.
Im overjoyed to have her back in my life, absolutly gutted in circumstances that made it happen though.

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