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How many of you Step-parents...?

(47 Posts)
fubar74 Thu 30-Jan-14 10:20:00

Would think twice about getting into a deep relationship with your DP/DH/DW if you had hindsight?/knew how hard it was going to be?

TheMumsRush Thu 30-Jan-14 10:24:59

Yes, I wouldn't have done it

uc Thu 30-Jan-14 11:43:20

Yes, I would have thought twice, or three times! I think I would still have done it though.

lunar1 Thu 30-Jan-14 11:45:57

If it counts I was a step child. If dh and I were to separate I would not bring a new partner/ step parent into our life I very much doubt he would either. I would also never go on a date with someone with a child.

FrogStarandRoses Thu 30-Jan-14 12:11:17

Tricky one.

My DH brings a huge amount to my DDs life, as does her DSMum; they really are "bonus parents".

But, I've been through the mill with his DCs - it's been very hard. If it wasn't for DD, I probably would say that with hindsight I'd not get involved - on balance, it's been worth it because both DD and I have benefited.

LtEveDallas Thu 30-Jan-14 12:17:54

If you had asked me 4 years ago I would have said NOT A CHANCE. But actually, with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't that bad - as soon as I realised I needed to 'detach detach detach' it got better.

DSD and I have a great, if not loving, relationship. I'm not another mother or bonus parent, just a friend/older aunt type figure and as long as she doesn't hurt DD, then we are fine. I don't get involved in her spats with her dad, except at times to support her when DH is being a dick. I'm just consistently 'there' if she needs me and she knows that.

Her relationship with her mother has improved over the last couple of years and I can see now that a lot of the angst we were all going through was related to that. Now she has moved away from her they get on better which means DSD is happier and doesn't feel the need to hurt anyone else.

I don't think we'll ever break the "Bank of Eve and Dad" expectations though!

ellenjames Thu 30-Jan-14 12:22:23

no way! I was only 21 with 2 step children, then had 3 of my own. 10 years down the line yes it has been worth it as I have my dc's and a dh I love and who loves me, but God know I would steer well clear. If dh and I were to split now my children are 9, 8 and 5 and I would not start another relationship for years, as have been a stepchild too, and that is painful.

ellenjames Thu 30-Jan-14 12:22:54

*no, not know

fubar74 Thu 30-Jan-14 13:00:07

I am undecided as I have put mine through so much with other partners I have been with,but my DH is brilliant with them and infact its better than I've ever had with anyone, or for my DC, but my experiences with him being the NRP esp since his DC weren't on the 'scene' for a long time came as a shock how he has NOT handled the situation well has almost broken me, partially because I love him so much and also how good he has been with mine, but the lack of trust in me with his hurt so damn much. I sometimes think that i wouldn't have done it had the problems been more evident at the beginning, purely because I would have gotten to this point sooner.

Xalla Thu 30-Jan-14 13:07:25

I generally warn all my girlfriends off dating guys with kids these days.

I adore my DH and we have 3 much-loved babies together but not in a million years did I imagine being a step-parent to his DD would be such an unrewarding, thankless and exhausting task.

Newdaynewpants Thu 30-Jan-14 14:32:44

No way. Not ever. No. Way. Ever.

Nothing to do with being a SM, I have all the time in the world for my DSD. It's DP, moreover it's his ExW who after all this time is still calling the shots. He spent so many years supporting her that he doesn't know how to stop. I think he wants to but how do you tell another adult that they're not good enough as a parent and they need to change? I do believe that everything he does is for the good and benefit of his DD but I get sick and tired of always playing second fiddle to a fully grown adult who should be able to manage perfectly well on her own but can't/won't.

His whole family have told him he needs to detach and stop being her 'go-to' person. But he hasn't and he won't. So for now I put up and shut up and every so often we have a barney about it. But it always comes round again. I do a lot of soul-searching as to whether it's me being precious or paranoid, but she's been so manipulative previously that honestly, I don't think I am being over-sensitive.

I don't even really blame his ExW, although if she grew a spine it would help. I blame him for not doing anything about it. I blame him for being ruled by guilt. I blame him for not being able to move on from the past and look forward to the future (this damages DSD too unfortunately as she gets drawn into the depression).

If I knew then what I know now, crikey, I would about turn and walk away quicker than he could say "I've just got to go and fix a shelf for ExW".

Maybe83 Thu 30-Jan-14 16:20:26

No I wouldn't change a thing.I was a single parent for 8 year s while my dd had a sm. I now have a child with dh and ss.

IMO being single parent was as difficult as being sm I still had to consider my dd relationship with her father his partner and step sister. Now I have to consider my ss his relationship with us and his mam and siblings. It s much harder I think for my dd and ss being raised between 2 families than my child of my marriage will have it.

If my marriage broke down I wouldn't have any more children or enter a relationship with somebody else who had children. I think the children I have already have enough of a family mix going on with out increasing it further and I imagine it would be extremely difficult for me to negotiate another blended family.

Kaluki Thu 30-Jan-14 16:32:15

If I knew back then how hard it would be then I don't think I would have tbh. I had a DSD before and she was such a dream so I assumed it would be the same but DPs kids are so messed up and his ex is just .... Evil!!
But I can honestly say DP is the love of my life so in a way it's been worth it - just a bit tougher than I expected!,

FeelingTheFire Thu 30-Jan-14 16:32:38

This is going to sound hypocritical from me (as I have DC) but I don't think I could get in to a relationship again with someone who has kids. And it's nothing to do with the fact they'd have kids - it's more hidden stress that I just didn't think of with the ex.

I accept that the above opinion is based on what I know from personal experience and that every situation is different but I couldn't go through everything we're going through all over again with a new partner. I just haven't got the strength for it.

princessalbert Fri 31-Jan-14 08:49:36

Yes. I would have postponed moving in together/getting married until all the DC were post 18.

it's been a tough few years for me.

DH is far more patient than me - and accepts my DS readily. I find his DC (2) much more difficult. And his ex is constantly in our lives.

I have come very close to just giving up on our relationship. Fortunately DH is very understanding and lets me vent. He knows that I don't find it easy to spend time with his DC.

They are all in their teens now - so am a bit calmer knowing that in a few more years our need for so much input/involvement will be significantly less.

But if any of my friends was considering a relationship with a man who had children already - I would most definitely warn them off. All the friends I have who have had SC in their lives have struggled. Some more than others - even the one who I thought had the ultimate in patience and tolerance.

I am a SC myself - so I should be more accepting. But..

lunar1 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:03:01

Can I add something to my post, just a positive one for people in step families! I know I wouldn't chose to be part of a step family for my children, but my step dad is probably the parent I am closest to and without question the one I trust.

When my (step) grandma got older and developed dementia it was me she came to live with, even though she had two children and other (biological) grandchildren. She was with my family till we lost her.

My children see my (step) dad as their grandad, and it's been amazing to see him have the unconditional bond with them that he had to work hard for with my brother and I.

In our situation the problems were all caused by my actual parents. So while I wouldn't want anyone to have a childhood like mine it isn't all bad.

shey02 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:17:39

For me, my dp is absolutely wonderful with my dc. There is an equal measure of love and attentio between them, humour and effort is all reciprocated naturally. My relationship with my exh is good as is the dc's with their dad, so I would say that from my dc's side, they have benefitted and are very well adjusted and happy.

However, the thing that makes me say no, is my relationship with dp's dc... They have a controlling, bitter, angry mother for no reason other than the fact that she has a depressive, controlling personality and is deeply jealous/unsettled by dp's happiness and acceptance in my family. So you can imagine the trials I have faced over the 2 years, very little that I ever do is right/enough and it's hard when you get no feedback from dsc that is positive. When after 2 years, they still walk past you in the street without lifting their heads or don't even bother a hello when you walk in a room! I blame my dp's guilt parenting for this and for setting up an environment now (as he is scared to lose them) where I barely see them now. I think his parenting skills have let us down to be honest. The only way I cope now is by detaching........ But it doesn't bode well for the future and sometimes I fear I'm investing in a relationship that has no future.

Would definitely warn my friends against it.

Eliza22 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:19:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Eliza22 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:28:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

fubar74 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:31:43

Newdaynewpants, your story could be mine, the ex who 'just can't cope' and the DH who runs to her disposal everytime she winges. now I got that out of him, and have ended up telling him to be a parent instead of trying to be their bestest buddy and maybe they'll start towing the line, and thats all of them including her.

overthemill Fri 31-Jan-14 09:32:51

I married bloke with 2 kids. We have our own dd too now. What I didn't realise at the time was that I was also marrying his ex and her new partner as well! And with hindsight maybe I shouldn't. It has been an intensely rocky road and even now, both steps are 18+ it's hard. Eg we can't have a family holiday in the summer holidays this year cos DH's ex has booked hers and if totally clashes with dates we had available. She didn't ask, didn't check, just booked. After 16 years of negotiating each and every bloody holiday!

fubar74 Fri 31-Jan-14 09:39:54

from what I have read, it seems most of our woes come from ex-W rather than our own relationships, I think mine with DH and my children as his SC has been easy, maybe cause I am the ExW, I am independent, I am not a burden on my exH, infact the total opposite of what a lot of seem to have experienced with our DH/DP's ex's, and also my DC were older although my son, who has had it hardest with step-relationships (with my partners) did hold off and was very distant with DH for a long time, but DH was very patient with him and let him go at his own pace. Whereas DH's DC were still quite young, plus the fact that their mother has fed them all a pack of lies to make them hate him because he got into another relationship even though she was the one who had the affair with her cousin, who she then married and is pregnant by. His oldest now knows the truth but she is a master manipulator. We only got peace of mind when she took them away 350 miles and stopped all contact, unfortunately this had to happen for us to be able to make a go of our relationship, if the status quo had stayed I don't think I would have.

shey02 Fri 31-Jan-14 11:56:05

All very similar tragic stories, I have nothing but my dp's dc best interests at heart, but the exclusion/rejection is very hard to take. And when you feel always second in your relationship, that's a bitter pill. Detachment is the only thing that is working to keep me happier. I do also feel that dp is the one for me, the one I should have met before, married, had a family with. So that is why I keep going and I hope that dp will learn and evolve as a parent. It's strange because he 'parents' my dc in a loose fashion, but still naturally and confidently and they absolutely adore him. But he parents his own dc as if he is scared of them and just does what the ex says time and time again. Lets them all talk down to him, I hate seeing it. He's like a different person..... and it's not healthy. So living together, marriage seems like a fairytale that will never happen under these circumstances. There's so much more to consider than first time around, boy mets girl.......

Kaluki Fri 31-Jan-14 11:59:51

How different our lives would be if we had met these men 20 years ago!!!

Eliza22 Fri 31-Jan-14 12:50:41

Indeed nods head in wise old sage fashion

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