When does love come?

(70 Posts)
bobby1455 Wed 29-Jan-20 00:25:46

Is it normal to not "love" your step child? Does it come with time? Does it evolve?

OP’s posts: |
Bluerussian Wed 29-Jan-20 02:49:11

I don't have a step child but people say love cannot be forced and it isn't unusual not to love step children.

There are many types of love, friendship and mutual respect are aspects of love. Sometimes we don't realise that we love someone until something goes wrong like they have an accident.

Don't worry about it.

AdaKirkby Wed 29-Jan-20 03:26:06

All that can be reasonably expected is that you treat your stepchild kindly when he/she is with you. Nothing more.

Shev1996 Wed 29-Jan-20 03:34:52

You need to give more details, who long have you known step child, how old, what are the issues stopping bonding? I do love my step child, but I’ve know her 10 years since the age of 3

HannaYeah Wed 29-Jan-20 03:35:26

I decided that I wouldn’t stay with anyone if I didn’t love their child also.

I loved my stepson in a way before I even met him. He was great, so it was easy.

That’s just my situation and I know it’s not the same for everyone. No judgement.

bobby1455 Wed 29-Jan-20 03:45:21

Thank you for your responses.
@Shev1996 He is 8 years old and I've known him for 2 and a half years. I guess the main issue is my partner's parenting style - I don't agree with it. And at times I feel frustrated with how much SS gets away with. Once that passes though, I still don't feel that fluffy love feeling.

OP’s posts: |
Shev1996 Wed 29-Jan-20 03:54:00

@bobby1455 if it’s been over two years and you don’t love him, then sorry the best you can do is walk away.


bobby1455 Wed 29-Jan-20 03:57:37

@Shev1996 but why? If I do my part in being respectful, provide where I can and treat SS nicely, why do I need to walk away? He has 2 loving parents.

OP’s posts: |
Shev1996 Wed 29-Jan-20 04:09:05

@bobby1455 would you have liked growing up somewhere unloved? A child will know this, and will the mother. It’s just not a fair or emotionally healthy situation

AdaKirkby Wed 29-Jan-20 04:21:41


Stop being so ridiculous. The love may come the longer the OP knows the child. Not everyone is like you.

OP as long as you are treating the child fairly and kindly then you are doing what is necessary. Stop beating yourself up and ignore people like Shev1996.

Helmlover1 Wed 29-Jan-20 04:53:40

I’ve been with my partner for nearly 7 years and I don’t love his kids (I don’t even regard them as my step kids to be honest). I think it’s normal not to love people who you are not related to through blood. I mean, can you truly put your hand on your heart and say you love your partner’s father? Aunt? Half cousin twice removed?! Of course not! As long as you have a good loving relationship with your partner and are polite and respectful with his family members (and vice versa) then that’s more than enough.

Bluerussian Wed 29-Jan-20 05:22:10

Helmlover, above, has got it about right I think.

Some of the time your step son is at your house with his dad, eg at weekends, you could take yourself off somewhere for part of the time, meet friends, have a bite to eat or even take in a film. You'll be happier and when you come home, you'll have a nice warm glow about you. Neither will you be worrying that you don't love your step son.

Just let things evolve naturally but do not put up with bad behaviour; it's your home as well as your husband's and you're entitled to lay down the law occasionally as long as you don't go OTT..

Having something of a life of your own will make you feel better generally.

Hope all goes well.

Wallywobbles Wed 29-Jan-20 05:48:27

I don't feel the same about DSC as DC, but I treat them all the same and I will defend them, fight their corner including with their Dad. I take them to most medical appointments etc and only work part time for all DCs benefit.

But their DM is a nightmare and she brings so much shit into our lives that it effects how I feel.

Mintjulia Wed 29-Jan-20 06:01:47

OP, don’t take any notice of Shev. If the parents let him get away with too much, you are your dss’s other reference point.
He may get to a point he doesn’t want to be ‘that’ child and needs you.
Admitting to yourself that love isn’t there yet, but being kind, calm, consistent and loyal, makes you a great stepparent anyway.

hawaiianturtle Wed 29-Jan-20 06:42:32

I'm in the exact same position. Ss is 9, known him for a year now and I don't feel I love him. I think it's harder if you meet them when older. I have 3 children and my DH found it much easier to bond with 2 youngest 3&5 then my 9yo who he is still working on a relationship with. It's hard isn't it? I also don't agree on his parenting style and feel my ss get away with too much. But despite that I just treat him the way I do my own minus the discipline, I leave that to his dad and I try not to let it frustrate me. I will give advice if asked and that's it. I just concentrate on making sure mine are raised how me and their dad wish. I honestly think it's because my DH has only had him eow since he was 1 so is just being 'Disney dad' and 'best mate' rather then parenting him which will only be to his sons detriment in my opinion but I've told him what I think and I can't force anything to change.

user1493413286 Wed 29-Jan-20 06:47:41

I would say over a year or so it developed although 6 years on my DSD can still really irritate me and the love is definitely different to what I feel for my own DD.
I think you have to work hard to separate how a childs other parent can make you feel so it doesn’t effect his you feel for a step child and it’s hard when their behaviour doesn’t make them very likeable but when you can see that it’s related to his dads parenting then the main challenge is that really.

Tyersal Wed 29-Jan-20 07:03:22

Yes completely normal, I'm 4 years in and just about reaching tolerance.

Use the time they are there to do you stuff, quick catch up with friends, nails done, shopping, cinema, even a coffee on your own with a book

lunar1 Wed 29-Jan-20 07:22:41

Sometimes you only realise it later, I think that is the case for my stepdad and I when I look back at the first few years. Even through phases where they drive you crazy there is probably more love there than you initially see.

As long as you are kind you don't need to force anything.

HillAreas Wed 29-Jan-20 10:43:55

The child’s not “unloved” when they have two parents who love them hmm.
It’s unreasonable to expect anyone to love a child who isn’t theirs. Do I love my DSD? I don’t know. Maybe.
I do know that when I heard about some kids picking on her at school my first thought was to fantasise about blasting into her school to sort the little fuckers out. Maybe there is a sort of protective love there. It’s certainly in no way comparable to how I love my DS and even unborn DC2, and DH doesn’t expect it of me either.
I suspect I’m holding back on the love because of the whole “you’re not her mum, back off, don’t overstep” dimension. My unspoken counter is “not my kid, not my problem”. It’s hard to go from that to “I love you”. It’s a minefield.

AdaKirkby Wed 29-Jan-20 10:56:30

You can’t win on here, as a step mum. You either don’t love the child or you’re getting to involved and trying to usurp the mother. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground hmm

ColaFreezePop Wed 29-Jan-20 11:51:20

is my partner's parenting style - I don't agree with it

You need to walk away now before you do love the child. I know two people who had to leave relationships after they had fallen in love with the child involved, because they realised that their ex-partner's parenting style was damaging to the child. They knew legally they could do nothing to stop it.

XJerseyGirlX Wed 29-Jan-20 11:59:29

Ive been with DH for 3 years, he has 3 kids. I love the oldest (very easy child to love) and I very much "like" the other two. They would never know the difference because i treat them all the same, i make an extra effort with the youngest two because i want to love them and have more work to do, they are all lovely children. I dont beat myself up about it, you cant force love and i think it will come in time. Im giving a very honest answer here but will probably get flamed for it though. Also have my own 2 DC who I dont expect DH to love but he treats them like he treats his own and thats all i can ask. We all have a lot of fun together and i would protect them if needed.

jimmyjab Wed 29-Jan-20 12:12:07

Got 3 DSC, I love them in the sense that I would be distraught if anything happened to them and I want what's best for them but I don't love them in the same way I love my daughter.

I think it's normal to be honest and the fact that you're worrying about it shows you care about him.

PickleMyPepper Wed 29-Jan-20 14:09:44

I love my step-daughter. She's been in my life for a long time (since she was tiny - not the OW!) and I've built a bond with her.
But, it's not the same love I have for my DD. I mean, without a seconds thought, I'd jump in front of a car for the both of them - but it just feels a bit different.

It does help that DP is an very good dad, who takes no shit whatsoever (from either of the girls) and treats them both equally.

Not loving your stepchild isn't a bad thing though. As @Helmlover1 said, if you replace SC with partners auntie, grandad, cousin no one would bat an eyelid.

BangingOn Wed 29-Jan-20 14:13:57

I care about my stepson very much and I like him a great deal. I’m not sure that I love him and I’m ok with that.

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