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My silly head...

(23 Posts)
Muscadet Fri 29-Apr-05 11:36:43

Hi, I’m new to all of this, so appologies! I've probably put this in completely the wrong place! A little background – both myself and my DP, who I have been with for a year, have been married previously and are both going through divorce. DP has 2 children, aged 11 and 6. I have a wonderful relationship with them both and love them both to bits. We have the children on a Wednesday overnight, Friday after school and Sunday day and overnight. TBH I have everything I have ever wanted and dreamt of in my DP.

You’ve probably read this and thought why is she writing on this then?! But the thing is I’m finding the whole step mum thing really, really hard. There are a few problems which together we overcome, but it’s mainly the fact that my DP has to speak to and see his ex all the time. I’m not a very confident person anyway, I think all sorts of silly things – I know they’re silly but I just can’t get rid of them and I just get in such a state that it makes me so ill. I feel really emotional and sometimes feel like I can’t continue my day, or need to run away. I have been to see my GP, who has offered my anxiety help, but that doesn’t start until September. I don’t really have anyone else that I can talk to - my Mum worries about everything anyway and I don’t want to worry her further. None of my friends are in the same situation, nor do they have children of their own and therefore can’t really understand and my DP just thinks that what I feel is silly and there’s no need and he gets angry at me. The truth is….he’s right, I know he is, but I just don’t know how to get it through to my stupid mind!!

I myself have always wanted children, but wasn’t with the right partner until now and my DP has obviously already had 2 children with someone else. I’d really like children with my DP at some point, but at the same time I’d fear it too. He’s been there before, knows more about it and I don’t want him to think it less special than before. I think I’m really jealous of my DP’s ex TBH. They’ve had two wonderful children together, I feel she’s prettier than me and she does seem really nice too – which is awful, if I could really dislike her, I think it would be easier!!! I can’t think about the children being babies and listening to stories about the past makes me feel as though a knife has been plunged into me. I try to explain to my DP, but he doesn’t understand – but on the other hand he gets really gutted if he knows that I’ve done something or been somewhere with my ex. I try to say that the children are a constant reminder of his past that they also talk about past things all the time, but still he doesn’t understand. I really wish I didn’t feel like this, because I seriously am getting in a mess and I hate it, I absolutely hate it – I just don’t know what to do. I feel like I’m a freak feeling such things and I feel like I’m losing it big time.

The thing is…on the odd time I think rationally – I’m fine, can cope and just think that my DP is with ME for a reason and that he’s not with his ex for a reason. But then when I can’t make those feelings, fears etc go away – it’s hell!!!

I feel pathetic writing this as I myself read what I have typed and think – DON’T BE SO STUPID- so goodness knows what you gals think - but I just don’t know how to get it in to my thick head to stop all these things that are making me ill. I feel I need to apologise for even putting you through reading this, as there are so many people with ‘real’ problems.

Sorry, once again for this!

tarantula Fri 29-Apr-05 11:48:44

Hi Muscadet

Firstly you are not beign stupid. there are loads of threads on here from us Stepmums who feel exactly the same way as you do. Its not an easy job being a step-parent at the best of times and the fact that it is totally thankless doesnt help either. your reaction is IMHO perfectly normal. I know I felt the same for many years and still do on occasion after 10 years (not very often tho thankfully). Im not very good with advice and writing things down sorry but I know there will bepeople on later who can advise more on counselling and stuff like that. BTW we have a nutty stepmums thread running atm so come a join us on that. Its just for a laugh and to talk through our problems. Ill post the link for you.

tarantula Fri 29-Apr-05 11:51:52

Nutty stepmums

joec Fri 29-Apr-05 11:56:00

hi,
dont feel stupid.. you cant help the way you feel.when you think about it. whenever you meet someone new you always feel a bit jealous of people they have been with before you . you want to think everything you do together has never been done with anyone else.
its harder when you have that ex partner/ wife in your face all the time. you are reminded constantly that they have been happy with someone else and wonder if you can meet up to the same standards as his ex.
having to look after his children as well is hard because obviously they can talk and remember things that dont involve you and it can be hard not to feel left out .
my partner has 2 children from his marriage and i found it hard not to be a bit jealous even though i knew he absolutely hated her ..
he doesnt see the kids anymore ( long story)
i have 3 kids off my own and a new baby with my partner. believe me .. he adores our son and i never feel like it s not special because he has done it before .
just keep talkin about your feelings .. it always helps.

Muscadet Fri 29-Apr-05 12:17:27

Thank you so very much for replying. I can't tell you how much it means to me to know that there are people that have and do experience things like me! - what a huge relief! I never thought that I'd feel so much better after writing it all down and telling someone - why didn't I do this from the start? Maybe because I thought that everyone would think I was pathetic and stupid for thinking such things. I hope so much that it all does get better with time. xx

joec Fri 29-Apr-05 12:24:28

glad you feel better after talking.. it does get easier.you just feel insecure and we all have at some stage. remember he is with you because he wants to be ...he is getting divorced from her because he doesnt love or want to be with her anymore

squirrel3 Fri 29-Apr-05 15:31:46

Muscadet, You are NOT being stupid, all of the feelings you are having are completely normal, well at least I hope they are because all of us stepmums feel them at some point and to some degree, you just have to read through some old threads to realise that.

Your DP is with you for a reason, HE LOVES YOU!

This site has been and continues to be a Godsend to many of us so keep posting there is always a listening ear, and maybe some good advice.

I hope it helps to realise you are not on your own.

Can I recommend a book called Step motherhood (How to survive without feeling frustrated, left out, or wicked)By Cherie Burns.

And yes, you must join our nutty stepmums club, if you have time 'flip' the thread and read it all, its worth a giggle!

Nelli29 Sat 30-Apr-05 19:06:47

Welcome Muscadet - I have just read your post and just wanted to add that I have a still feel exactly the same. My confidence also is low and I have always struggled with it although I would never let it show to the ex, but I can so relate to how you feel. quite often I find myself worrying when my dh goes to pick sd up or parents evenings etc...and like you I absolutely hate it , I'm afraid I can't offer you much advice as to how to handle it as I am struggling at the moment with it all myself.

I also have always wanted children and again like you worry that it won't be as 'special' etc even though I know it will, and I know most of my thoughts are irrational, but it doesn't stop me thinking them and getting very very low.
I haven't tried counselling yet but many people on here have and have found it of great benefit, I'm at the stage of picking up the phone then putting it down again!) Do you ever see or speak to the ex? I find that I tend to build her up in my mind as though she is superhuman, gorgeous etc... but I have found that if I (as I often do) drop sd off on my own, i confront her politely about certain issues and come away feeling like the better and bigger person and realise that shes not all that after all, I have to say though that this doesn't last and negative feelings soon creep in again! I honestly don't know what the answer is , just keep posting on here as it does help sooooo much and has kept me from going bonkers!!! The support on here from everyone is fantastic and there is always someone to listen. We all know how you feel.

Big hugs to you xxx

LooptheLoop Sat 30-Apr-05 21:00:23

Oh Muscadet

Just to repeat - you are not being pathetic. Being a stepmother can be rewarding but it is a real emotional rollercoaster. Designed to test us out in ways we'd never imagined and then give you one extra buck for fun! You do NOT have a thick head - just a human one and a human heart as well xxxx. If you're silly then so are all of us. Please do not be so hard on yourself. It must have been hard for your DP to get divorced given there were children involved and he sounds like a great Dad. Surely that is a sign that the marriage had failed. You're his future....

beansprout Sat 30-Apr-05 21:08:24

You are not being stupid at all. FWIW, I think a lot of how you feel is based on some insecurity you are feeling. You don't need to feel threatened by your dp's ex (they split up for a reason) or his children. Yes, you are constantly reminded that he has a past, but unless we all marry our childhood sweethearts, that is going to be the case. Your ex could easily think that you might go back to your ex or find someone without kids as it's all much simpler!

I would suggest though, that if you can, don't make your partner's ex the enemy. If you can all get on, it will make your lives a lot simpler and your stepchildren will be much better off as a result.

I am the 3rd woman that dp has had a child with and I used to think that it would feel less special, but it really, really doesn't. I am with a man who not only has some very, very useful experience but who is doubly sure that he wants this family to stay together as he has seen the awful consequences of a family breaking up.

Good luck and please keep posting as you are not alone!!!

Muscadet Tue 03-May-05 15:24:30

Thanks again for all your support. I will defo buy that book at the w/end Squirrel.

Nelli - I have thought of councelling, but really don't know where to start - I have quite a few problems as a result of my worry etc. I don't let my feelings show through to my DP's ex, but it's hard - I manage to contain myself and then I sort of seem to explode inside. I always make the effort and say hello, but she rarely looks at me and doesn't say anything else to me. This weekend has been particularly hard. We saw DP's ex a few times over the weekend, she had to pick up and drop off DSD due to parties etc. So it was really hard.

Yesterday we took the skids back and decided to have a well needed day together. We went golfing and DP had a phone call to say that his ex and his DS wasn't well and could he go round to sort out things for the skids - so we went straight round to her house. I said that I would help, my DP went to ask (I've never been allowed in the house - DP still owns 1/2) and she said that I'd have to wait outside. I felt awful, I really wanted to see my DSS, just to kiss and hug him. He shouted me a couple of times, but obviously I wasn't allowed in. Luckily DSD waited with me, as we were there for over an hour. I could hear DP sorting things out and when he took her a drink up to her in bed I nearly died inside, but in front of DP and DSD I was fine. I Love my DP so much, but am really scared that I can't take it. I feel like we need some quality time alone, but when we do, something seems to happen - a phone call or a text. Any advice? x

valleygirl Tue 03-May-05 17:32:38

Hi Muscadet

welcome to the club - we've all been there, felt that, had the near nervous breakdown! i tell you what after 3 years plus and thinking i had it all sorted, i fnd myself once AGAIN pray to the demon inside. feeling vulnerable, pissed of, angry, resentful, stubborn, etc, etc. Part of my problem is that i blame her for having his kids which stops me/us from being able to do what I want/need to do!!
I've got terrible case of itchy feet at the best of times, and having just come back from India on holiday i really want to just take off travelling for 6 months again! and of course i can't, unless i leave my dp, who has to stay here for the kids. i can't blame them, so i blame her!!
just keep it in your head that what you feel is not abnormal. reading your intial post was like reading the post i wrote 3 years ago, especially about the fact that you find that you don't have any friends with kids,and certainly no friends wo are step parents, so it's hard t get anyone to REALLY understand what you are feeling. i really felt alone in that respect.
it is hard, i think we all know that here. so many conflicting emotions - you love the kids, but they're not yours, at times you feel as if you are playig second fiddle to the ex's wishes, eyc, ect
I tell you what though - i wouldn't have stood for my dp going round to nurse his ex if she was ill. i'd be f*ing furious!
next time she's not able to take care of the kids then maybe you should both offer to look after the kids whilst she re-couperates. if she isn't big enough to let you in the house then she shouldn't be asking your dp to nursemaid her. actualy he sholdn't b xpecng that full stop. she's taking the piss. Besides that it's also sending really awful messages to the kids. that somehow you are irrelevant and excluded that's just not on, and if i was you i would ask your dp to have serious words with his ex.
keep on posting, rant and rave, slag her off, whatever, it does help so much to talk to people here who understand what it feels like to care for another woman's kids!!

Muscadet Wed 04-May-05 09:26:03

Hi Valleygirl,

It's so hard isn't it? I'm really sorry about the travelling thing - is it that you need to get away from it all? When we've been on holiday everything has been wonderful, it's like no one can touch us and then we come back and it's phone calls and text's etc...

I do feel quite jealous of the fact that my DP's had children with someone else and knowing that BM is going to be around for a long time yet is hard - I just pray that it's going to get better.

I don't talk to anyone about how I feel - I only tell my DP part of it, I just tend to make us argue if I do, but then all the feelings stay inside me and fester. So....it's fab having you gals to talk to.

As regards the weekend - I wasn't furious that my DP had to do that - just so very gutted and kind of numb! I really don't want the skids to think that it's me that doesn't want to see them etc.. For instance it was DSS birthday and DP was asked to go to his party - DP, his ex, DSD and 4 of DSS mates. I was gutted, but was asked by my DP what was he supposed to do - not go?! Of course not - but also couldn't bare the thought. I had these awful visions of the 'happy family' and was upset that my DSS didn't want me there too. I later found out that my DSS had asked his BM if I could go and she said no, but didn't explain why. As I don't know anyone else, I don't know whether this is what happens at birthday parties etc.. Do I not get to be involved etc.? The next morning, DP had a text from her saying that her thighs were killing from wearing high heels!?! DP said not to get angry at him because it wasn't him, it was her, but oh my!! When I do ask my DP about things that he's been asked to do - he says what am I supposed to do - they're my kids and I want to be there for them. Obviously? But I just don't know what's acceptable and what's not. I'm an awful person at coping with things at the best of times. He really doesn't want to upset the BM and if she does anything he doesn't tell her - I think that it's just me, getting all wound up inside and completely blowing everything up out of all proportion - AGAIN!!!

Have things not got any easier for you over the past few years?

Do you tell your DP how you're feeling?

Nelli29 Wed 04-May-05 10:22:21

I can't believe that your dh went round to look after her, what on earth was he thinking?? I would have gone mad, it must have been awful for you. What sort of message is that sending to you / her, the kids etc. Why did he feel the need to do this? What has he said about his reasons? Can he not see how hurtful this is to you?

At the beginning of my relationship we had similar problems with (what it seemed like)every time we went out or had some quality time alone, the ex seemed to ring or text which used to completely wind me up . I now think that even though she had remarried she just didn't want to let go of dh. Things are alot better now, my dh still occassionally get the odd pointless phone call but its not often and the texts have stopped. Shes had no choice but to accept things and move on which she has done to some extent but it did take my dh to be a little firmer with her and not get drawn into any arguements or discussions that did not involve the care of his daughter. It sounds as though your dh needs to think about his priorities, yes his kids are important but his life is with you now, and you need to feel part of the family and are just as important.

The whole stepmum thing is the hardest thing I have ever had to to, its only been 2 years and half the time I feel like my head is about to spin off my shoulders!! You are not on your own.

One thing I will say is that I was very surprised and a little frightened by the intensity of some of the feelings I was and still am experiencing, but posting on here really helps. Its all such a mine field , all we can do it muddle through the best we can and we will get there in the end!!

Nelli29 Wed 04-May-05 10:34:31

I do tell my DH about some of my feelings but like you if I am too honest we end up in an argument so agin like you I keep alot of it inside which biols away until I explode and feel like I've lost the plot. I'm afraid I haven't really got much advice as to how to handle , just thought I'd let you know that its completely normal to feel this way - (or I hope it is else I'm in big trouble!!!!)

Muscadet Wed 04-May-05 10:49:10

I probably didn't write it very clearly, but his DS was poorly too. DP was asked to iron and make packed lunches etc for DD - she was the only one well. We said that she could stay with us, but no. But, I wasn't upset by that - obviously DD needs taking care of. But, not being allowed in the house, being asked by her to take a drink up to his ex in bed - that did me! I always get from DP - what am I supposed to do? I just dropped it and didn't say another word. I get really down and I feel sick all the time, but I just think that it's me being over sensitive.

Maybe when she's got someone else, it will be better.

I really feel like I need time alone with my DP, to feel that closeness, to have fun, with no interruptions - just us. I'm worrying more and the more I worry, the more I need that time alone with DP.

I really do know where you're coming from, when you mention the intensity of some of the feelings - they far exceed anything I have ever experienced.

Muscadet Wed 04-May-05 10:51:50

Thanks Nelli, it is nice to know, there are other people in a similar place as me! It is a help to know this - I only wish I'd found this site, right at the very start!

tarantula Wed 04-May-05 10:56:07

I talk to my dp about my feelings quite a bit now but didnt in the beginning. Things have calmed down abit with us tho it still has its ups and downs (even after 11 years and at the moment its one of the downs but thats a whole other story).

My advice would be that if you are having a day out dont take the mobile with you. It makes for an easier life. that way if there is a problem she can send a text or leave a message and you will get it but not soon enough to spoil your day. You do need to spend time together.

joec Wed 04-May-05 11:13:26

i agree with tarantula.. if you go out dont take the mobile or just switch it off and check when you are going home. its not fair to expect you to drop everything because she has phoned. my dp ex would phone about insurance on her washing machine.. which he would not know anything about cause she had bought that after they were divorced.. it is all a ploy to let them know they are still there and always will be

Muscadet Wed 04-May-05 12:39:43

Thanks gals - I feel like everytime I post on here I've got to thank someone, everyone's great and so very supportive, I know I repeat this all the time, but I'm just so pleased I can talk to people who understand.

We haven't really got the opportunity for a full day together at the weekend, so I've just asked my DP if we can book a day off work and spend a day together. He said that he'd like to. I'll explain that I don't want us to be interrupted and ask him not to take his phone - I'm sure he'll understand.

Muscadet Wed 04-May-05 13:44:14

This morning DP's ex phoned, I as usual got scared and asked what she wanted (probably in an abupt manner). Anyway...I've just been speaking to DP and he said that it's no good and that we can't go on like this. DP said that I've got to decide what I want. He said that I know you find me dealing with BM really hard, but none of it's going to change, that I've either got to accept it or not. He says it seems pointless having a nice day together and then me getting all 'funny' about a phone call or text or something.

I'm not sure why I'm telling you all of this TBH, but I just wanted to talk to someone and that someone's YOU! I know I act stupidly and that I have to accept it if I want to stay with my DP, but I do find it all really, really hard and I don't mind admitting that I have no idea on how to cope with it all, bar what I always do and I'm trying to stop that too!

Listmaker Wed 04-May-05 13:56:17

I hate to be harsh Muscadet but maybe your dp has a point! You do have to decide whether you can deal with this or not. If you can't there's no point in going on. Put yourself in your dp's position - he has to stay in touch with her because of the kids. He doesn't want to be with her - he loves you. You need to get your head round it.

I know it's hard - I was a step Mum before myself and resented BM like the others on here. I made my exp the piggy in the middle and got jealous etc etc. Now the ex and I are good mates - the exp is long gone! And it was all so pointless and a waste of energy. There really was no reason for it.

I now have 2 dds of my own (with this exp) and am in a new relationship with a man who has 3 dds and it's totally different now. I'm not at all jealous of her (well she's a witch and we are united against her really) but she is going to be a thorn in my side for a long time to come and I just accept that and certainly don't make my new dp guilty about it. It's not his fault and he has to deal with her over his dds. He's rather not have to too!

Hope you can work it out. Try and overcome your feelings. They are unfounded and will destroy your relationship if you carry on.

Listmaker Wed 04-May-05 14:01:34

p.s. believe me after having 2 exw to deal with - one who wasn't too much of a pain (in hindsight!) and one is totally is, I'd be really glad that your BM is nice. Although not letting you in the house when she was ill is a bit mad! My dp's ex won't even acknowledge my existence and she left him long before I came along! There are some strange women around!

I had 2 dds with my exp and felt those things you described about it not being so special because he's done it before. It was difficult but because of the sort of person he was not because he's had kids before! It was very special to me and I don't regret it for a moment despite becoming a single parent when dd2 was 3 mths old (he had an affair).

Your dp sounds lovely so let him be lovely and don't hassle him, be supportive and sympathetic - you and him together against the pain in the a*se ex!

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