I don't love my stepdaughter. Am I horrible?

(26 Posts)
curlyhairdiva Sun 31-May-20 14:11:28

So I have been with my partner for a number of years now and he has an eleven year old daughter from a previous relationship. I get on really well with her and we have a good bond. However even after almost four years, I am struggling to love her like my own. Does this make me a horrible person?

OP’s posts: |
Aquamarine1029 Sun 31-May-20 14:13:43

Not at all and don't listen to anyone who says otherwise. You can't force love. So long as you treat her well there's no issue here.

Cheeseycheeseycheesecheese Sun 31-May-20 14:16:37

Of course you're not horrible!
As long as you care about her and treat her fairly, you can't make yourself love someone.
As long as you don't go all wicked stepmother like Snow White or Cinderella on her you'll be fine.

Nuttyfellalovesnutella Sun 31-May-20 14:17:54

Your feelings are your own. You can’t make yourself love someone else. You don’t love her as one of your own because the reality is she isn’t your own. It’s good you realise this.

What is love anyway? Why not stop pressuring yourself to have feelings and just be good to her, try and be someone she likes and can talk to, and just make some good memories. Maybe in time love will come and if not you’ll have someone you are very fond of.

muckandnettles Sun 31-May-20 14:21:55

It sounds as if you like her and she likes you, and to be honest that is pretty good for most family relationships. Don't worry about actual 'love' because if you are good to her and enjoy her company that's worth everything. You are such a sweetheart to worry about this as well!

Fishfingersandwichplease Sun 31-May-20 14:32:29

I don't love my stepson as much as l love my daughter - totally different relationship. But l treat him with kindness and respect and he is very much seen as an important part of our family.

KylieKoKo Sun 31-May-20 14:34:55

I find it odd that people expect step mothers to love the children as their own but would get very upset if their children loved their exes partner as as much as them.

Can you imagine the reception a step mother would get if she posted that she wanted the same love as the children's mother?

The relationship is different and it's not a bad thing.


HotSauceCommittee Sun 31-May-20 14:36:42

You sound like you like her and have a good bond with her. That's good enough.

Destroyedpeople Sun 31-May-20 14:38:29

Of course you are not 'horrible '..I am sure you are kind to her and see to her needs'when she is staying and that's enough tbh.

Immigrantsong Sun 31-May-20 14:39:52

OP you will be surprised by how many parents don't love their own offspring, let alone step children. As long as you are nice to her and you care for her well being, love has many different faces and ways of manifesting.

Glowcat Sun 31-May-20 14:47:19

I don’t think you need to ‘love her like (your) own.’ I think you need to treat her like your own so the same as your DC if you have them (no playing favourites) or just with the care and kindness you would treat a child of your own (if you don’t have any.)

TheMotherofAllDilemmas Sun 31-May-20 18:13:22

I would have thought that sincerely caring for someone and loving them is part of the same thing.

Yearcat13 Sun 31-May-20 18:15:07

I've yet to meet anyone who loves step children like their own. You dont have to, do you?

funinthesun19 Sun 31-May-20 19:15:01

Yanbu. Love is as strong a word. And if you don’t feel it you don’t feel it. It will probably be something you will never feel for her.

Liking and being fond of stepchildren is enough. That’s probably all the children want anyway. The people who expect it to be anything more than that are probably the mums of the children who think their ex’s partner (and even their own partner) should love their children as much as they do.

funinthesun19 Sun 31-May-20 19:16:45

*Love is a strong word.

Frankola Sun 31-May-20 20:34:00

I dont believe you can ever love a step child as much as your own.

I love my step daughter very much. The love I have for her however doesnt even come close to the love I have for my daughter.

I think it's awful that people say you should do and try to push it. Dont put pressure on yourself.

borntohula Mon 01-Jun-20 00:14:54

You get on really well and have a good bond. That's the important part! I imagine most stepchildren don't love their step-parents as much as their biological parents (where biology parents are very much involved obviously).

MumpsimusMaximus Mon 01-Jun-20 00:19:35

I adore my stepson. He’s been in my life for 20 years and he’s one of my favourite people. He’s amazing. I love him - but not in the same way I love my DC.

And that’s ok! He loves me too but I wouldn’t expect him to love me as much as he loves his mum 🤷‍♀️

Giespeace Mon 01-Jun-20 12:06:58

Its perfectly natural to not love a child like your own who isn’t your own. Do you expect her to love you as she loves her own mother? Probably not, because that would be just as unreasonable an expectation. Would you still be a big part of her life if you split from her father? Also likely to be an unreasonable expectation.
As long as you are kind, caring and welcoming towards her, and supportive of your partner as a father, that’s all anyone (including yourself!) has a right to expect of you.

krankykittykat Wed 03-Jun-20 19:11:43

No. Been with my partner 7 years and I am fond of his children but I don't love them. They do however get treated exactly the same as our lo when they're with us.

MrsGrindah Wed 03-Jun-20 19:15:16

I love my DSDs dearly..but it took some time. I don’t have children of my own though. However I wouldn’t think for one minute that I love them as much as their Mum does. I know they love me too but it won’t be the same either. It’s all fine..that’s what blended families are all about.

user1487194234 Wed 03-Jun-20 22:32:30

I think it would be stranger to love a step child as much as your own child

Mumoftwo1994 Thu 04-Jun-20 17:28:46

As long as you are caring, considerate and show no favourites (if you have your own or a child with your current partner) then there’s no problem. I personally had a step father who loved us all equally but as long as you treat them as above. It’s okay not to love them, just being nice is enough really.

SandyY2K Thu 04-Jun-20 19:58:51

I am struggling to love her like my own.

She's not your own, so I wouldn't expect you to love her like she was.

Does this make me a horrible person?

No. Not at all.

As long as you don't mistreat her, are fair, pleasant and kind....that's fine.

Pinkyxx Sat 06-Jun-20 15:41:42

No it doesn't make you horrible!!! I'm a 'birth mum' whose ex remarried, so my DD has a step Mum, step & half siblings. I never expected DD's step Mum to love my DD as I do, I'd find it very strange if she did.

It makes me really sad that Step Mum's feel bad about these kind of things :-( I don't think you can expect to love someone else's child the same as your own, or healthy to either. Same applies to the children in blended families - some may bond really well, others just won't.

There is far too much pressure on blended families to replicate the 'traditional' nuclear family.. if everyone can get along together, treat each other well and make it work then to me that is a really good outcome. I think people also sometimes forget that those in traditional families don't always like or get along with each other !

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