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I confess i hate being a stepmother

(160 Posts)
marmon Wed 21-Jan-09 13:04:11

Its been 4 years and my god they have been tough, my dh has a control freak ex wife who by the way left him for another man and a trouble making step son. I could go on for hours but do not want to bore you but i just had to let off steam and say that being a stepmum is harder than looking after my kids.

We only ever argue about the ex and the boy and to be honest i am exhausted and drained from it all. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Please dont judge me for moaning its just tough sometimes.

oranges Fri 31-Jul-09 10:28:26

Thank you for your comments. It does sound like a really tough job, and I don't mean to criticize in any way. i'm hormonal, and upset at the thought that ds would spend time with anyone who resented him, even for a second. But I gess if you all manage to come out the other end, both step parents and children end up with new ways of being a family and extra places of finding support, which is a good thing.

prettyfly1 Fri 31-Jul-09 10:55:32

I think Jammi got it right there - its a bit like the relationship boards - the majority of posts are from people struggling with issues in their relationship - you rarely get a happy post, because happy people see no need to talk about it so much. Its the same for steps - our issue was that its considered socially unnacceptable to not find being a step parent hard work which makes it much harder for us to be step parents because we arent supposed to talk about it.

CantThinkofFunnyName Sun 23-Aug-09 19:56:25

I am SM to 3, had one boy of my own when I met DH and we then had a further one together (and now another on the way)! I have to confess I dislike every single one of my 3 SC. Horrible I know! They all live in Ireland and so when we do see them, it is usually for large chunks of time which takes quite some getting used to. The eldest, now nearly 19, moved to live with us when he was 12 and moved back to Ireland a few months ago because we threw him out. I have to say I detest him now with a vengeance. We had so many problems with him over the years - it actually transpired that he was stealing jewellery and cars when he was 6 years old (!!) which i knew nothing about when I agreed to let him come live with us and he continued in that vein for many years. I find them horrid children, horrid manners, horrid attitudes, just eeewwwww - and yet, they are my husband's children and I have to extend care to them and treat them equally to my own when in my care. By god it is hard being a step-parent and if I knew everything I now know, I don't think I would have got involved with my DH to begin with.

snoopysue Fri 01-Oct-10 14:17:29

first time user of site, but am at my wits' end and don't know what to do for the best. took on the stepdaughter from hell when i got with my husband 4.5 yrs ago. she was 11 then and was already high maintenance, demanding and spoilt(hubby and all his family agree). life has been hell since, with child psychologist involved initially and ongoing difficult relationship with ex-wife. we tried really hard to make things work for 2.5 yrs with family holidays, refurbishing her bedroom at our home etc. things improved so much that she was even going to be our bridesmaid, until she announced a couple of months before the weedding (after we'd already bought her dress!) that she didn't condone the marriage. we accepted this and she didn't attend the wedding. final straw was when she ruined our family xmas party 2 yrs ago by throwing a tantrum and uphot is that i have had no contact with her since. relationship with her dad is great (daily phonecalls and min. twice weekly meetings which i encourage). our marriage has been peaceful and happy since but she has now sent me a letter of apology and wants to get together. hubby wants this to work. i hate myself for admitting this but i'm scared of what i'll say and how i will behave as i really can't stand or trust her and the ex-wife. help!

Suda Fri 01-Oct-10 22:42:17

hpsauce - I know what you mean about the intrusiveness - it cost me many arguments but I finally got a lock on our bedroom door - I used the excuse - though it is valid - that as adult SS often doesnt lock up carefully and I have some nice jewellery I can at least be sure thats safe{r}.

I would actually give anything to not have my SS 24/7 - every few weeks would be bliss to me - though I am not at all playing down your problems - I do completely empathise.

My suggestion would be that you enjoy the imbetween visits time as much as possible - try not to let anything stick in your mind that has happened during last visit - dont let the time they are there spoil the time when theyre not IYSWIM. And dont spend the run up to their next visit filled with impending doom - again dont let the time theyre going to be there spoil the days before either. Enjoy your and DHs time without them as much as possible.

As for the drawer business - I always find when all else has failed then a physical block is only effective way - cant you get something deliberately jammed in the drawer - just need to stick a ruler in after to prise out whatevers stuck up there (sorry years of experience made me very devious grin.) Put it this way he's hardly going to come downstairs and complain to his dad he cant get in your drawer - is he {?}. Or even tip the contents into a cardboard box and stick it on top of wardrobe - when he's gone tip it back in. I know this all sounds OTT but it does the trick and saves you a lot of stress - I feel quite smug when I thwart my DSS grin.

I got so pissed off for years with my DSS refusing to accept that certain cups or mugs were mine - it was like 'hello -theyve got my name or 'greatest mum' engraved on them - grrrrrr - so I started putting them at back of sink at danger times and filling with water ! DSS thinks they have bleach in them - ridiculous lengths I know but simple and infinitely better than getting enraged watching adult DSS with filthy habits slurping out of my cup.

Libby10 Sat 02-Oct-10 13:10:48

Hi snoopysue and welcome to the site. Its tricky one. I can certainly emphasise as it would take a great deal for me to ever trust DP's ex. I would say its definitely worth accepting the olive branch from your sd. Unfortunately, a lot of kids end up growing up in a poison bubble being fed all sorts of lies from a bitter ex. Certainly, we've found that as the kids grow up they are more sceptical about what has been said to them. It seems quite brave of her to write to you and there's no reason why you can't be honest with her and say that although you are willing to try, her past behaviour might make it difficult for you to trust her but hopefully that will change over time. Good luck.

Shakenvac26 Fri 24-Jun-11 17:33:38

Just found the site and feel a complete relief that I am not alone in the struggle of coming to terms with being a sm, i have three stepkids two of which 13yr and 15yr old come to live with us 6 months ago unexpected & unannounced, and im really struggling i avoid going home, i take all the late night shifts i can so i dont have to be in the house while there not in bed, i find them spoilt, ungrateful , liars and idle there dad don't back me up on anything saying that there 'just kids' ive tried to bond with them but they do nothing but throw it back in my face, ive supported them financially as i was the main earner in the house at the time they moved in and dont think i ask too much by wanting them to wash up now and then when im working 15 hour shifts to pay for there hobbies and essentials, his 2nd wife and mother of his third child who dont live with us is also a problem as she sends me abusive emails, spreads viscious rumours about me, turns up at our house for no apparent reason other than to make me feel uncomfortable in my own home. I realise he had kids when i met him but had I of known i would of inherited two teenagers full time, a 7yr old thats so rude and spoilt, two ex wifes and the most evil inlaws ive ever encountered i would of ran a mile. I feel like an outlaw under the roof i pay for, im trying the detachment approach but im just feeling more like a ticking timebomb his sd helps herself to everything in my room including my underwear! i feel like the worse person in the world wishing they didnt exist, i dont want to live my partner but i cant stay like this either, im not cut out for it.

Smum99 Fri 24-Jun-11 21:27:09

Shaken, Might be worth starting your own thread so you get support - your situation seems a nightmare. How long have you been with your partner? To be honest the situation seems intolerable and if your partner isn't on board with parenting you are facing a losing battle. The finances seem wrong as well, why are you paying for them?

Beth3 Fri 07-Oct-11 01:51:14

Hello im 19 Years old i have been with my Boyfriend for 2 years and we are engaged to get married. sad But there is one problem his 4 year old son Clearly hates me and i find it so hard. i dont know what to do i am at the end of my teather i try so hard to make things work and all we ever argue about is My step son or his mother i can never do anything right.. its so hard does Anyone know how im feeling... thank you

fourkids Fri 07-Oct-11 18:06:12


The fact that you've dug up a fairly old thread implies that you have perhaps been searching for something supportive/useful before decidng to post. I am going to come back and reply to you in a little while. I have to do a few things first unfortunately, but didn't want you to think no-one had read this...or worse, had read it and couldn't be bothered to reply.

That said, you may be better staring a new thread in the meantime, because I only scanned to the end of this out of interest - many people may not do the same because the thread is so long and old.

If you start a new post, perhaps people could give you better advice if you explain why you think the child hates you, and why you and DP argue about the child's mother? This isn't nosiness - it's just hard to affer objectve views without a fuller story. But the basic answer to your question is probably 'yes, someone will know how you are feeling.'

sammyjole Wed 19-Oct-11 15:02:54

I agree totally I had no idea what being a sm meant and I wish I hadn't got involved....dh isn't even all that and I stil deal with all this crap. I also fantasize about sc not existing and feel jealous of my friends and siblings who have straight forward relationships and dont have to share the money/time priority with others! I know I'm making myself miserable but I was pretty clueless going into this.....

zakka72 Fri 23-Dec-11 23:50:35

Shakenvac26 - I would be very interested to know how you are getting on especially now its Christmas - a very stressful time. Have you tried speaking to the exes (I know it is difficult). You may find that you are not the only one who is getting treated badly? I have discovered that the kids in my situation also treat their mother nastily which is sort of a comfort but makes me feel that no one is disciplining them. I'm allowed to contribute financially and spend my time doing their meals/washing/ironing but strangly not allowed to discipline. I am told that I 'overact' to their behaviour and that 'generally they are good kids'. When a child tells you 'get out of their space' or that you have 'lank, greasy, colourless hair' I think that being upset is not exactly an over reaction. I feel exactly like you. I am also a ticking time bomb and I also don't feel like I'm cut out for it. It is such a relief to see that some one feels exactly like I do. If you feel strong it may be worth leaving and finding a family that really appreciates you. That's what I always hope to do but have been in this situation for such a long time I don't think I'm brave enough to leave! Good luck.

zakka72 Fri 23-Dec-11 23:52:40

ps I find that I have turned into a very nasty person as I tend to retaliate rather than let the bad behaviour and comments wash over me. Don't let it eat you up....

STRUGGLING1 Fri 13-Jan-12 16:06:33

Hi new to this site, and I really really need it! Must admit I feel a bit better reading so many of you that say things get easier with time, but it's been over 2 years, and it's not got any easier yet sad

JessFoz Sun 18-Mar-12 15:12:33

I have needed this today. DSS just leftafter a weekend visit full of guilt and respentment. DH spnds too much money (money we don't have) lavashing guilt gifts on the boy and never disaplining him at all. DSS is a good boy, kind and polite, but his mum is lazy and does nothing with him. Age 7 he is playing 15 rated compute games, he does not brush his teeth, they are rotten from fizzy drinks. he cannot use a knife and fork and will eat most things with his fingers. Heeats junk at home and has been pulled a side at school for beign overweight. I try to help with a healthy diet but end up feeling mean.He cannot tie his shoes lases. We potty trained him, we taught him to dreess himself, wip his bum etc. But as he gets older and she does not put the care in there is little point us doing it. DSS lives in a different part of the country so we only see him once ever 3 weeks. Our DS adores him (13months), and visa versa and I want this to work but I don't know where I stand. I am in the role of mum now but feel unable to mother DSS. There are no problems in the relationshops between parents as DSS was the product of a drunk one night stand, not a loving relationship. I do resent her, but I try to be nice, eg today helped DSS pick out a Mother's Day present and paid for it with my money. I did it for DSS. DH would never rock the boat as he is too scared of losing his boy. I am trying, but it is so hard. I have no real feelings for DSS. His visits, our family holidays, are always pebbledashed with rows.

Perhaps his upbringing is none of my business? I'd love some advice.

shinymonkey Mon 15-Jul-13 22:58:14

Hmm, this is an old thread so I hope someone reads this and has a word to share. I am wrestling with my emotions this evening, guilt, fear, anger, confusion and love. I love my DSS, in the unique, and conflicting way only a stepmother can. Reading through all the posts on here, I realise I am not alone in my feelings or the very difficult experiences of our family life since ' I knew what I was getting into' several years ago! It is difficult to pick over the past, looking for mistakes you have made and punishing yourself with no opportunity to change things. Let me try and be brief, and describe my situation. Simply put, I believe my DH ex is a sociopath, hell bent on living in state of hatred of me and my husband. After custody battles and bitter divorce 7y ago (after 8y separation prior to that), verbal abuse, character assassination, lies &etc I have reached the end of a long complicated road, and I feel saddened by the conclusion.

Until recently DSS lived permanantly and full time with us. He spoke to his BM daily, and she visited maybe twice a year for about 2 days. As a mother I cannot understand her absence, though know she does it to spite us saying she won't babysit her own child so that DH and I can have a break. My DSS, as he reached his mid teens has become increasingly negative towards me and DH, manipulation, passive aggressive behaviours, staring and ignoring, lying, pushing and shoving DH and me, stealing from school, and substance abuse, running away, false calls to emergency services etc. I have even witnessed him throw himself against a window and shout that DH should get off him, whilst stood 4ft away. I have tried so, so hard to find a balance between respecting the distance he wanted (to maintain respect for his relationship with his mum and not try to replace her) and provide a refuge of love and stability for him within a safe and structured family which includes rules and self discipline. (We have 2 other DS).

Around the time of the birth of baba2 regular and predictable arguments about school work and socialising escalated to a daily event, until DH found substances in his room. (we both understood this as attention seeking and were understanding as any new baby unsettles the mix) When he was confronted he just said he was sick of DH, and made tired threats to leave home. We just felt, here we go again, so we called his bluff and said OK, and put him on a train to stay with his BM (she would only agree to a week). Leaving him to cool down, would help the situation we thought, maybe the baby is upsetting him and he just needs his mum (nothing like a mum hug whoever she is, she's a mum first). He refused our calls, and then S.Services called up, accusing my DH of abuse. They came to assess us and our other children 2 wks old!!!! and 2ys. Now, I don't want to sound defensive, but I will. We are good people, professional, well educated and not prone to outbursts of anger, let alone violence. The ins and outs of it are emotionally traumatic and unnecessary to describe. He won't speak to us or come home, his dad feels he can't live with him in case more accusations are made to add fuel to a patchwork of lies made by DSS and his mother over the last decade. So, he's living up the road with his friends (because she won't have him!!!!) parented(???) by a group who have been snared hook, line and sinker into the deception his BM and he have presented. His friends are aggressive towards DH in his car, and I daren't take my LO's out in the area in case we see them. There are 2 sides to everything, but these people didn't once try and find out for themselves, they just sucked it up.

I feel guilty that I never managed to connect with DSS in the way that he needed to prevent this. I am worried about him because he has tried to connect with his mum, but now doesn't have either of them... I feel guilty for all the times I thought bad things, for detaching when things got tough, for not standing up to BM and just letting the rudeness and lies slide. You muddle through as a step-parent and find a balance between what you can emotionally withstand and what the child needs, usually tipped towards the child, because they have so little control and you are the adult. DH and I predicted some of his issues with his mum etc would be worked out in his teens so were preparing for trouble, but this is so much worse than we could have imagined. I love him, but can't think about him and what he's done without feeling ill. I feel so betrayed but forgive him as he's a child, also feel at 16 he's old enough to take responsibility for his actions and how they affect other people. I don't know where to go from here, in life I always try to find a way for everyone to be happy, and this often means apologising for my mistakes, but I don't really know I want to apologise for having beautiful babies because I don't regret them and had hoped they would help him feel grounded in a love other than his parent's?? I'm not sure they're even the cause? I guess I want to unpick it all and find where the fault lies and fix it. It's probably not possible is it? Where now?

shinymonkey Mon 15-Jul-13 23:07:00

oops, that's quite long. sorry!

Carolra Mon 15-Jul-13 23:22:23

Jesus shinymonkey, I'm so sorry that you're having to go through all of this. I'm not a step mum so I really can't begin to fathom how awful it must be for you. I hope you and your dh and your lo's all get through this together.

Carolra Tue 16-Jul-13 13:46:15

I'm bumping this for you shinymonkey, it was late last night when you posted it so I guess many of the wise people will have missed it.

shinymonkey Tue 16-Jul-13 16:30:50

Thanks Carolra I've always read things on here, but never posted so not sure how things work smile

OldLadyKnowsNothing Tue 16-Jul-13 16:35:23

Shiny, you'd be better to start a new thread of your own; just copy & paste what you've already posted. You're in the right forum, though. smile

shinymonkey Tue 16-Jul-13 17:47:38

thanks smile

LJL69 Tue 23-Jul-13 11:51:11

Bloody Hell. Definitely start a new thread as there are many people on here who know their stuff and will help you through to getting the help you need. I really feel for you - you sound lovely and trying hard to do your best for ALL children here. I have no advice but really didnt want to read and run x

racmun Tue 23-Jul-13 19:38:10

I hate it too.
After dh's ex partner assaulted me at our house, for which she got cautioned for assault occasioning actual bodily harm over a missing school jumper, she's pulled access again and we don't see my ss at the moment.
The weekends are stress free we haven't argued and house isn't trashed by him every other weekend.

It's not my ss fault he's so rude etc he gets that from him deranged mother but for now I am loving the peace!

pirate22 Tue 30-Jul-13 02:47:59

Hello, dont know if this thread is still active but im desperate for some input. I am engaged to a man who has a 5 yr old daughter with another woman and we recently had a son together. The mother was awful for the first year and since then have really been struggling with some ugly emotions. The daughter is spoiled and rude but we get on fine for the most part. I still just cant shake feelings of regret, resentment and anger even after seeking therapy. The mother has now taken to lying about schedules and events in order to keep us out of the picture when she can but will bend over backwards to get my fiance alone since she knows im limited with an infant ( like finding out the gym he goes to and showing up when she knows hes there, inviting herself to events on his days w their daughter, signing her up for activities on nights i work etc etc)'.i used to fully support their relationship for their child but time and again she has proven vindictive and deceitful. My fiance is very supportive of my feelings, and discipline of his daughter when bratty, i just dont know if i can do this. I love him, and want my son to have his dad but it feels like poisen in my veins. I never knew i was capable of these feelings and cant imagine living like this for therest of my life. Do i stay and hope it gets better or leave now before it gets worse...i feel so guilty,powerless and distraught.

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