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AIBU?

Did your step parent change towards you when your parent died?

9 replies

amithedramaqueen · 12/01/2024 19:32

I was not prepared for this and it has unleashed a whole extra level of pain among the grief. Step dad and I always got along well but they were never in any way a parent to me, despite having no relationship with my real dad.

He always kind of treated me like a good mate.

Now in grief it's like he finally sees me kind of more like...I dunno, a family link?

I don't see him often or anything but his own pain has made him realise stuff, and I also think he's realised how we now are both in the shitty club of grieving desperately for mum.

It's made everything harder and I was not expecting this. When I was a kid and a young adult, yeah it would have been really great then if he could have been a bit softer towards me, and kind and helpful when I was struggling but nothing doing then.

When he now says or does something now that makes it clear he sees some kind of value in me - it just really hurts.

Guessing this is fairly common, anyone here had a variation of this happen after a death?

OP posts:

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amithedramaqueen · 12/01/2024 21:23

Anybody in a similar boat?

OP posts:
coldcallerbaiter · 12/01/2024 21:27

I thought you were going to say that he cut you off, like the wicked stepmother stories.

PermanentTemporary · 12/01/2024 21:29

I've seen it happen, but the other way round - my friend's stepmother turned on her 100% after her dad died. I can imagine it must be unsettling to have him suddenly trying to lean on you now.

LividName · 12/01/2024 21:30

Yeah.

Except parent isn’t dead, but mentally and physically unwell and stepparent has cut us out completely.

granhands1 · 12/01/2024 21:39

The same as you OP. My dad died when I was a teenager and up to that point my relationship with my stepmother was cordial but not close. Since my dad died we have become much closer and she has worked very hard to stay in touch which surprised me tbh. I am now in my 50's and we still see each other regularly. I have found that my relationship with her is important to me

amithedramaqueen · 12/01/2024 22:24

coldcallerbaiter · 12/01/2024 21:27

I thought you were going to say that he cut you off, like the wicked stepmother stories.

It's weird.

He doesn't get in touch much at all, once every few months. But when he does he's so...different.

Part of it is that when my mum was alive I'd never speak to him on the phone at all.

OP posts:
amithedramaqueen · 12/01/2024 22:27

granhands1 · 12/01/2024 21:39

The same as you OP. My dad died when I was a teenager and up to that point my relationship with my stepmother was cordial but not close. Since my dad died we have become much closer and she has worked very hard to stay in touch which surprised me tbh. I am now in my 50's and we still see each other regularly. I have found that my relationship with her is important to me

It's so surprising when there is a shift like this. I'm glad it has worked out to be a positive one for you.

Sometimes I think my relationship with my step dad will probably be important too.

At times I feel so resentful though, that I was not seen as family really when everything was going great for them and their little family, and I was dealing with a lot of difficult things. My mum supported me a lot via telephone as we lived in different places but my step dad was not involved. Which is totally fair enough - but I can't make it different now I guess?

OP posts:
Ducksinthebath · 13/01/2024 09:25

The fact he calls now but didn’t before I wouldn’t take personally. When my parents were married I would never speak to my dad on the phone because everything went through mum. I know a few of my friends would say the same. After bereavements and divorces dads have had to start doing their own telephone calls to keep in touch which we’ve found new and sometimes a bit awkward.

I would characterise this new interest in you/aspect of the relationship as the same: when your mum was around she “managed” the relationship as a go between and now he’s having to step up and keep it going himself. Good for him I say. And good for you too that he cares enough to do this.

MushMonster · 13/01/2024 09:32

Being a step parent is difficult indeed.
Maybe he always saw you exactly how he does know, but he did not want to interfere between your mother and you in anyway. He was there, but said nothing, not to meddle.

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