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Fertility problems affecting the way I see my Step Children(37 Posts)
I've posted this on AIBU originally but I thought some people here may be able to help me.
It's been a horrible few years for me (and DH), traumatic pregnancy loss, stays in hospital, points where I've wanted to die...
And I hate myself for it but it's really starting to affect the way I see my step children. I don't want it to and I'm trying hard to stop it but I think I need a MN kick! I'm going to try and be as honest as possible though I know there will likely be a lot of upset at what I say...
I don't like them staying anymore. I don't enjoy it when they are with us. I don't feel anger toward them at all, they are good, lovely kids. We get on really well but I feel resentful at my situation and I feel resentful of the constant reminder in my home of what's going on.
I feel angry at DH that he has the one thing I'm desperate for even though logically it's not his fault and I know this.
I feel like I can forget almost when they aren't here. I can pretend for just a moment that I'm okay and it's just me and DH.
Due to various work commitments for both DH and his ex, I end up doing quite a bit of childcare and I don't like doing so anymore. It's really painful.
It makes me feel sick when I see DH cuddling on the sofa with them or carrying them to bed. I feel so desperately grief stricken watching him be a loving parent that I sometimes have to remove myself from the room.
I think I do a good job if hiding this both from H and the children but I feel so guilty inside at these thoughts.
They are good, kind, lovely children and here's me wishing they didn't exist so that I could mourn my situation in peace.
I know they love me, and underneath all this hurt I love them too. I just don't know how to effectively deal with these feelings and it's suffocating me.
I really feel for you and don't blame you one bit for feeling the way you do. I think it is totally natural, as you've said you know it's not their fault but to struggle to have your own, unconditional love from a child, when the people you love have that already, I can imagine is painful.
You need support, I think to speak with your DH is the best thing, maybe he can try to make you feel more comfortable when the children are over. You have a right to feel the way you do, you are grieving and I'm sure he is also.
I pray your situation will change and you do have a child of your own together xx
Were you ever offered counselling at any point? If not go to your GP and ask for it. It really does help. I actually think counselling should be your first go to point here, rather than talking to your DH. That conversation could either result in a row or him mistakenly trying to ‘help’ by reducing contact - seek professional help and then involve him.
I have had counselling before, privately rather than through my GP although I think it's time to go back. I am on ADs.
To be honest, I don't really like to admit these feelings. I certainly don't feel good about admitting them to DH as I don't want to make him feel guilty about what he can't (and wouldn't want to) change. And I certainly don't want him to think I dislike his kids.
I just feel like my thoughts and feelings are poisonous sometimes. I just feel so angry at my situation and it's pouring over onto people that aren't at fault and if makes me sad at myself.
Sometimes I literally cannot wait for them to leave. When I know it's our days with them I dread going home from work.
I just feel so terrible about these feelings that I darent admit them to anyone (even a counsellor), other than strangers on the internet, because I feel like I'll be judged.
No you should though. I had horrid thoughts during my IVF and started ‘hating’ some of my friends and their children. Talking therapies really helped - some clinics even offer confidential telephone services so you don’t need to visit anyone in person. I genuinely believe they turned my feelings around. Obviously it’s up to you but infertility is a huge fucking deal - you should get some support
You are in grief.
It’s as simple as that.
All the negative energy from your experience you are targeting at your DSC.
That’s not on but you know that already. More importantly, it’s not benefitting you either and it won’t.
So what’s going to happen here if you aren’t able to redirect this resentment or start to lessen it, is that you will end up losing the good things in your life because you are focussed on the thing you don’t have.
It’s the classic way our ego deals with not getting what we want or wanted, it gets nasty and it starts causing damage. We start doing this as toddlers, we want the ice-cream we aren’t allowed to have so we throw ourselves in the floor and thrash ourselves about in a state of ‘its not fair’.
You definitely need grief counselling and you definitely need an outlet to get angry or upset with such as boxing/kick-boxing or any intense form of sport or exercise alongside the counselling.
I’ve felt resentment myself and I’ve talked about resentment before on here. What I did was get counselling and start strength and resistance training. In my experience, neither are optional. I also did meditation and listened to spirituality teachers on audio. All these things help a great deal with resentment.
I feel a lot of pressure sometime too. Like occasionally when they come to stay I'll take myself off to read a book, do something upstairs and H will say 'do you not want to come and spend some time with the kids?'. I feel like I can't turn around and be like no, I actually don't right now.
I have considered something like kick boxing before. I think it would be a good idea.
Therapists aren't there to judge you, they're there to help you work your way through your feelings. If you're not honest with them then they can't help you. As a pp has said, you're grieving for the children you haven't yet had, so it's completely understandable that your step children are causing some negative feelings within you. Please consider getting more counselling, but this time be really open and honest. I'm sure they've heard some shocking things during their careers, but what you're describing is not that shocking at all. Be kind to yourself OP, and let the professionals help you .
Me and DH don't get on as well when they are here either which is another reason I don't like it. It's my fault, I withdraw and get snippy with him. So when they are gone and I physically feel myself relax, we have such a nicer relationship.
I shouted the other day too which isn't like me. Youngest SC can be quite difficult sometimes and doesn't like doing as he's told, he enjoys winding his dad up really.
I usually leave H to deal with it and only get involved if I'm looking after them on my own but we were out and youngest was doing something silly he shouldn't have been. We were trying to leave and H had asked him multiple times to stop and get in the car but he wouldn't. My patience just went and I couldn't deal with the constant back and forth so I just shouted 'DO AS YOU ARE TOLD NOW.'
I know it's not a bad thing to say because he should be but I've never gotten involved when DH was dealing with something before and I think I shocked SS because I never shout. He cried and I felt really bad but in that moment I was getting so wound up and irritated.
It’s a harsh situation and you have the rough end of the stick. It’s not wrong to feel as you do, it’s natural. However, you can’t continue forever with this situation and the danger is it could end up destroying your relationship.
It’s great you are admitting this to yourself, talking about it (to a bunch of randoms on the net), but you need to take the next step and be very open and honest with a psychologist to assist you with strategies to make this aspect of life bearable for you and maintain a healthy relationship with your DH moving forward. Don’t worry about being honest with them, they won’t view you as some evil being and will likely have heard worse. If they do judge you, then immediately stop and see someone else as that would be incredibly unprofessional of them and I would worry about their suitability for the job.
I wouldn’t feel bad about shouting an order that had been continually ignored. Yes he cried but quite frankly he should have done what he was asked to do on any of the first five or ten times of being asked to do it. He was mucking about and he didn’t get away with it and so he cried.
It doesn’t feel good to lose your temper but nor does it feel good to be perpetually messed about.
Forgive yourself on that one.
It’s the under the surface seething aka resentment that is the big one to focus on. Only you have the power to change this lovely and I think it’s vital that you feel you can get back into the driving seat of your life and take back some control when you feel you have been totally disempowered by recent events
There's nothing wrong with how you're feeling, especially given that you clearly know it's not right to take it out on the SC, so it's clear you won't do that. What you are experiencing is real grief that is affecting your mental health in a very profound way and should not be ignored. Your husband should be working towards decreasing the amount of childcare you are providing, either by changing the balance of how and when you work in your household or by organising childcare. The last thing you should be doing is carrying on putting yourself in a situation that is causing you pain just to avoid inconveniencing their parents, it is not your burden to bear.
I'm also really struck by what you said about your husband pressuring you to spend time with them. Frankly, you should be able to withdraw and spend a bit of time to yourself when his kids are over regardless of the circumstances because it can be very full on and you shouldn't feel you have to throw 100% into every second, that's his job. But it sounds like you not talking to him about how you feel is adding a lot to the pain of your situation. He should be able to be understanding and give you the space you need, and to be honest if he doesn't he is being very, very inconsiderate. But you need to give him the chance by telling him.
Oh @FuckYouInfertility I'm so sorry for what you're going through
Please be kind to yourself. You're dealing with something really difficult, you shouldn't be policing your own feelings on top of it.
You're not a bad person.
I’m so sorry for your loss and for your struggles
You don’t have to look after them by yourself. Even if you weren’t finding things extra painful at the moment, it’s for their parents to arrange contact and childcare between them. Your husband should be there, for him, for them and to take any additional pressure off you.
You can also say you’re doing your own thing when they’re with you, at least for some of it. “Don’t you want to spend time with the DC?” You answer “not at the moment, I’m tired and going to read my book/have a bath/call a friend/go for a walk, do some online shopping, you enjoy them, I’ll join you for dinner”.
He managed parenting before you got together, he’d have to manage if you weren’t around, he and they will be fine. You need to give yourself space and time to come to terms with where you are now and getting through the days as best you can.
I don’t agree that you shouldn’t lean on your husband, you’re meant to be a team and you don’t have to specify its him having children that’s making things worse but you can and should tell him how hard you’re finding your own loss, fears, pain and that it means you’re feeling generally very vulnerable and low and you need him to take the weight off.
When I was experiencing multiple losses and the resulting pain, post op recoveries, infections, drugs, I got through the week and by the weekend sometimes just needed to crash out and spend the day in my pjs so DH would have days with my DSC at the park with a picnic, trips to the cinema, meeting up with friends. I didn’t feel bad about it and he was going through his own terrible time with our struggles but he had to be strong and keep distracted spending time with his kids and got that sometimes it was too much for me and I needed peace and quiet at home. We’d tell them I was poorly and I’d look forward to seeing them when they got home from whatever adventures they were having.
I think I do need to work on saying no to H about spending lots of time all together. He likes us to do most things together whereas even before this I do like to have my own space sometimes. I was an only child so I feel comfortable in my own company and sometimes really need it.
I think he feels guilty because they aren't with us all the time and like he should be spending every minute they are at ours, with them.
We had problems when this first started with him saying things like 'well at least you have my kids' etc... And I did end up snapping at that because it just isn't the same. I don't feel it's fair to expect me to see it as the same or as some sort of consolation prize for my own kids.
I second that it's very important to see a therapist. Your husband is not a professional and can not help you deal with resentment and might not understand certain feelings even if he wanted. You should tell him about how hard it is for you to deal with your losses, hospital stays, etc., but don't talk about your mind's reaction to it, which is the resentment towards the kids. My therapist said that this is a way that many people deal with hard feelings, they separate themselves from their actual feelings and get angry at something exterior. I'm experiencing this right now because of my H's situation with his exes and it affects my feelings towards my SD. It's irrational, but that's how my mind is dealing with dissapointment in a certain area of my life.
It's something that we learn as children, due to our experiences, and there's a way to deal with it. But you need a professional to help you.
You also need to take care of yourself. If you need alone time and you're not expressing it to your H and not getting it, that contributes to your resentment.
Be gentle with yourself, you're not horrible, you are human.
I think he feels guilty because they aren't with us all the time and like he should be spending every minute they are at ours, with them.
Not so guilty he’s always with them if he’s off working and leaving them with you...
And there’s no need to be at home the whole time. That’s just daft. I don’t see how old they are but mine love a few hours in the park, at the cinema, having a meal at a cafe or the local harvester, table football and a lemonade in the pub, time on their scooters, kicking a ball around the garden, creating chaos in the kitchen (which only needs one adult present), playing on their own with Lego and toys. It’s not real life nor desirable to be hovering over them the whole time!
It’s your home too and you need to be able to relax there. Not be guilted into being his right hand all the time. They’re his children, he should be able to manage time with them by himself.
We had problems when this first started with him saying things like 'well at least you have my kids' etc... And I did end up snapping at that because it just isn't the same
I can so relate to this When I had my first mmc and was literally reeling leaving the hospital after a horrific 12 week scan waiting for the worst couple of days ahead of me ever, my husband put him arm around me and said “well at least you can share mine”. I was so stunned I didn’t say a word but afterwards I told him what a staggeringly unhelpful thing that was to say, even though he’s the kindest sweetest man in the world and would never want to hurt me. I know he meant it nicely but he got that he properly put his foot in it and never said anything like that again. I had a dead baby in my belly and nothing was going to make me feel better, least of all knowing he already had what I most wanted and had found out a few hours earlier had been cruelly ripped away from me.
You need to be honest with him.
well at least you have my kids must be the classic thing that fathers tell their new woman. I got that too before when he was trying to convince me not to have a child together. They just don't realize how these words affect a woman who's longing to have her own child.
Your completely normal and I’m sure lots of SMs can relate to how your feeling. You must be feeling quite lonely but hopefully expressing how you feel to us has relieved you of some of those negative thoughts. Make sure you take time out for yourself, do things that make you happy. Exercise and eat well and treat yourself. I won’t go into details but I had some life changing news many years ago. Turned my world upside day and I live with it everyday. I was very angry all the time, anger like I’ve never known. One day I went for a walk to clear my head. I walked 16 miles that day. I screamed in the country side, sat on hillsides and cried. My hubby was out of his mind with worry but it set me on the road to feeling better. I suppose what I’m telling you is, to do what you need to do.
You seem like a lovely person, I dont know why people say they lost their temper when they smack a childs bottom, or have to raise their voice to get a childs attention. all perfectly measured if you ask me; especially if dicipline has been lacking in the past. It is easy for to say relax and enjoy the family you have, I say this because your anxiety is most likely effecting the hormones required for conceiving, but if there is no chance of becoming pregnant, you will destroy yourself and the unique relationship with your adopted family.
I need a hand hold tonight. I feel so trapped.
Was supposed to be just me and H tonight and I was so looking forward to it after a crap week. He offered to take me out for tea but I said I'd love to just curl up on the sofa with a film and some wine.
His ex messaged asking him if he'd have the kids (at 7pm) and he's said yes.
I'm really upset, I feel stupid and childish being upset over it. I cried, he said he feels like the kids are some sort of burden on me or something. I said that was really unfair because I treat them so well despite how much I'm hurting and he said he didn't understand what the issue was, we weren't doing anything anyway.
It's the first time where I've honestly thought can I actually deal with this? Maybe I should leave. But I love H so much. I just don't feel strong enough for this.
I'm now pretending to be in the shower, crying whilst they are downstairs watching TV.
I feel so sad for you. I think the situation would be easier for you if your husband had any understanding at all. You weren't doing nothing, you were spending some much needed time with the person you love after a tough time. I'm not saying he should have said no to seeing the kids, but it should have been with a sincere apology to you and a plan to do it tomorrow, because it was important, and he's just brushed it off totally. And what's worse, guilt tripped you again.
I think you really need to be honest with him and explain what you're going through. Until you explain it properly to him, you'll never know if he could have been more supportive and understanding, but in the meantime his attitude is making it so much harder.
Hope you're ok.
I made him 'choose' apparently.