The Woes of a "Blended Family" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 01:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 04:57 AM
 
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Kind of speechless.  I'd like to offer you advice but... I'm pretty sure your mind is set... so good luck

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#3 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 07:58 AM
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You're right, it does sound terrible. If you are having trouble changing your attitude on your own, I'd suggest finding a good therapist to talk to about this. Or a divorce lawyer.

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#4 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 08:08 AM
 
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Honestly, you sound too immature to be married, let alone someone's step parent.   

In those 'old fashioned Conservative Catholic values" you're so proud of, do you remember anything about loving thy neighbor?  Or judging not lest ye be judged?  How about suffering the little children to come unto Him?  

 

Do the boy a favor.   File for divorce.  No kid deserves this.    And then, before you jump into another fantasy relationship that's all about you, spend some time in therapy.   Figure out why you're so self-absorbed.   Because, I'm not going to cut you any breaks on this one.    You sound just as bad as you were worried it did.  Actually, probably worse.  


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#5 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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Yes these area all things you should have thought about and many you will not be able to change.   You can achieve them but it sounds like it will require you to work to afford them.  He's 10 so you have at least 8 more years of child support and probably more if he agreed to help him with college.   I agree with the OP find a good therapist or divorce lawyer.  


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#6 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 08:18 AM
 
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As a Catholic adult step child I could barely read your post. You *chose* to marry a man with a child but didn't expect him to actually be a parent to that child?!  How could you resent your husband being a father to his son? Wouldn't you want him to treat your children the same way? How is resenting and excluding a child a traditional Catholic value? I think you need to go talk to your priest about this.  I know that he'll remind you that all children are gifts from God and that it's your responsibility to support your husband and his family.  If you can't do that, get an annulment. 

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#7 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 09:09 AM
 
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I agree with the suggestions to go right now and find a priest/therapist and/or divorce lawyer to talk to.

 

You either need to learn to accept things as they are (that your husband is a loving, committed father and that other families have different life styles that are NONE of your concern) or get a divorce and look for somone who has no children and is willing to follow all your lifestyle requirements.

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#8 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 09:12 AM
 
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Step 1:  Stop doing anything that could make you pregnant by your husband.   Since you say you're Catholic, I'm not going to say "obtain and use reliable birth control," but that option is on the table.

 

Step 2: Confess these feelings to your husband.  Now.  He needs to know that his wife ;feels this way about his son, so that he can make his own informed decisions, especially about engaging in potentially procreative activities with you.

 

Step 3:  Seek counseling, either as a couple or by yourself or both.

 

Step 4: Do not resume doing anything that could make you pregnant by your husband unless and until you have attained not just grudging acceptance of his existing child, but actual acceptance and the ability to be cordial and welcoming if not warm and loving.   

 

 

Alternative:  Leave now and find someone who meets your spousal criteria.    Please do this before you conceive a child in this situation.   Neither your husband's existing child (who, as s human being who already exists, has a superior claim to your husband's resources and emotions than a theoretical child sho does not yet exist)  nor any future children he may have with you deserve to be put into this situation until you get a serious handle on it.

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#9 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 10:09 AM
 
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Wow. Just wow. I'm not completely sure how to respond to this, but I feel like I need to and I feel like I need to reign in what I am really feeling in the hopes that maybe soft-soap will work better than a Brillo pad and you'll hear what I say. 

 

I am the mother of 4. Two of my children are biological, 2 are not. They are all four MY children. My "step" childrens' bio mom took off when they were 6 and not quite 2; I was dating their father at the time, not officially engaged yet, just dating, but I felt almost immediately that it was my job, as a human and as a Christian, to do what I could to help take care of the kids. And that's what I did, for the next 8 years. Their dad and I got married, we became a blended family, I became Mama, for good and all. For various reasons, my marriage didn't last; the older kids went with the ex when we split up, and it is the single most painful thing I have ever been through. I have very little contact with them now, as soon as we split up, the ex and his family immediately set about cutting every tie I had with them and when they were done cutting, the children had decided that they wanted nothing more to do with me. And it was devastating to me, I am still grieving the loss nearly 2 years later. I haven't given up on my children, I pray daily that God will work His miracles and help me figure out a way to mend what was broken, but for right now, we are estranged and it hurts. I would give anything to be in the situation you are in, I would give ANYTHING to have my children in my life for even the small amount of time that you have your stepson in yours.

 

In spite my own loss, I can understand, somewhat, not being wildly in love with a child that you only see once or twice a year; there's not a lot of time there for building a relationship, there's not enough time to build a foundation or find shared interests or even to figure out what there is about your stepson that could, potentially, help you enjoy each other's company. On top of that, he's  a living, breathing reminder that your husband once belonged to someone else, that he has a history and memories and an entire life that you weren't a part of. But what I cannot understand, for the life of me, is how you see all of this as your stepsons' fault. He didn't ask to be born, he didn't ask to have his parent's marriage fail, he didn't choose to grow up, for all intents and purposes, alienated from his father. In an ideal world, YOU would not be a part of his father's life, his father would still be married to his mother and his family would be whole. But this is not an ideal world, and for good or ill, you are now married to his father. You are his stepmother, and it is your job to make sure that he feels welcome in your home. He is a CHILD; maybe he's spoiled, and maybe he's addicted to his tech toys, but that doesn't make it okay for you to make him feel like an intruder in what should be considered his own home. He should be expected to follow the house rules, he should be expected to respect you as his fathers' wife, but he should not, under any circumstances, know that you think of him as anything other than a treasured guest. 

 

What are you going to do when and if you have kids of your own? Do you think that there's a switch you can flip to turn them off when you want time alone with your husband? Do you think that they are going to be content to toddle off to bed as soon as he comes home from work so that you can have him all to yourself? It doesn't work that way, I'm not sorry to tell you. Children, especially very young children, are inherently selfish; it's maddening at times, it can drive even the most dedicated parent straight up the wall, but it's biological, it's a built-in survival mechanism, and your kids will have it just like every other child ever born. They will demand their share of your husband, they will monopolize him, a lot, unlike your stepson, there won't be any sending them home after three weeks. They will be a permanent fixture, and unless things drastically change, methinks that you will end up resenting them the same way you currently resent your stepson. Take it from someone who's been there; it's a heartbreaking situation, and it's one that you don't ever, ever want to be in.

 

You don't HAVE to love this child. You don't even have to like him, though I do sincerely hope that your eyes are somehow opened and you end having a decent relationship with him. You do, however, have to treat him with kindness, no matter how unkind you feel, and you have to respect his place in his father's life, because that's what grown people do. Either put on your big girl panties and suck it up, or find a good divorce lawyer and remove yourself from this situation before you put a black mark on this little boys' innocent soul. 

 


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#10 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 10:56 AM
 
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Hmm. I could be wildly off base, but I wasn't as disturbed as some of you.

 

1) Yes, the OP apparently glossed over some issues and didn't put enough thought into them ahead of time. I'm sure we've all partnered with people without going down the full checklist ourselves. Personally, I've realized I just got lucky on some areas with DH - we didn't really discuss finances ahead of time, and we both had some warning signs that we were not necessarily financially responsible, and yet somehow we both ended up being very financially responsible. I won't take the credit for figuring this out ahead of time. I also went into the relationship not taking seriously enough a dysfunction between DH and his mother. And I lucked out on that again, as DH put his foot down and his mother evolved and the dysfunction ended. Anyway, I can see how a young person might not consider the impact a child who is so rarely seen might have on the relationship. It doesn't let her off the hook or anything, but I doubt even most people really come into a relationship fully prepared.

 

2) Yes, the OP has expressed very selfish thoughts. I read them as her deepest darkest venting thoughts (which are probably even worse than what she really feels) rather than her everyday approach. A lot of mamas come on here and vent, and they are received in different ways.

 

3) The OP seems to be afraid of how her stepson (and his gadgets) will affect how she wants to raise her own children. And you know what, she's right. There is an impact. On the other hand, we can remind her that her DH is going to have an impact even if the stepson were not in the picture. I can fully sympathize with not wanting to raise my kids in a world of gadgets. I married my computer nerd husband. Well, that ship has sailed. All we can do is be respectful of each other and compromise as best as we can. If raising my kid in a gadget-free childhood was that important I shouldn't have married him. Fortunately, I'd rather be married to DH and have DD on the computer than the alternative. But I'd be lying if I said it didn't take me some time and perspective to be at peace with it.

 

I do agree strongly with the advice to take serious measures to defer conception until things get worked out one way or another. Catholics can practice natural family planning, and if taken seriously and practiced right, it can be very effective.


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#11 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 10:59 AM
 
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Wow. Are you serious? Sounds to me like you have a husband who is a great dad.

 

Maybe you should stop making the situation about YOU and try to see it from another point of view, anything is better than your thought process about it now.

 

Also tell your husband how you feel, NOW. This isn't fair to him to stay in a marriage where you despise him having a child and all that it entails.

 

Just so you know, my parents have been married 39 years, I have no half siblings, was raised in church, etc. I dated and married the love of my life who already had a son. I wouldn't trade being DSS's mother for all the money in the world. I'm pregnant with his sister right now. There is no "half" to it in my eyes. He is the child of my heart, end of story.

 

You actually said:

Hey, to you unmarried gals - don't marry a single dad! (And I have it easier then most, I'm sure)

 

You do have it easy! And that last comment is so insulting. I don't think you are in a position to give advice to anyone.


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#12 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow. I expected negative comments, I honestly did, but like I wrote in my post, it was vent. Thanks Laohaire for taking note of that, because I am never, never mean to his son and he actually really likes me. It's not as though I'm an abusive stephmother who hides when her stepkids over and rules with an iron fist. I just have a lot of sad inner thoughts. I just really wanted somewhere to express all that's been bubbling inside me and I guess I probably shouldn't have picked a blended family forum to do that. I guess I was hoping there would be someone like me who stumbled upon the post, because I thought other people might struggle with it as well. Apparently I was wrong and you are all perfect. 

 

Also, I should add, that I only mentioned being Catholic because being raised in a catholic enviroment, I knew next to no blended families. Most (not all, but most that I know) Catholic families tend to stay together no matter what (at least when the kids are young). I was just making a point that I'm not used to it. I am not a hard core religious and have never claimed to be a saint. I respect religion, but I only attend church on occasion, so please don't crucify me for being hypocritical.

 

Nonetheless, thanks everyone for their input. I know I sound immature and self centered and perhaps my original post was a little too flamboyant (I write newspaper editorials for a living so maybe it was a little too blunt). I'm sure I'll get over it.  

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#13 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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tennisstar, I want to respond to two separate issues raised in your post.  One, the debt, and two, the stepson.  My husband brought a child and a lot of debt into our marriage.  Sure, sometimes I'm resentful of the debt.  Who wouldn't be?  But what am I supposed to do, leave a man I love and respect so I can find someone without debt to marry?  No.  We just live within our (reduced) means and keep paying the bills.  That's about all you can do.  His debt is student loans, so we've pursued various cost-saving measures (consolidation, IBR, etc).  Maybe you and your husband can look into some debt counseling.

My stepdaughter was around 8 when I entered their lives.  She's 17 now.  Our daughter is 3.  I think most of your issues with your stepson are the result of not really knowing him.  There have definitely been points when I've felt less comfortable around my stepdaughter, because for whatever reason a lot of time went by without seeing her.  But then we'd get back into our normal visitation cycle and things would be fine.  If you can find a way to develop your relationship with your stepson more fully, I think you'll start feeling better about him.  Maybe skype?  Email?  I know it'll be difficult with him living across the country, but see what you can do.

My stepdaughter is being raised by her mother very differently than we raise our 3 year old.  Honestly, I did have some of the same concerns- that my child would pick up on habits that I didn't want her to.  Guess what?  It's not an issue.  My stepdaughter is very insightful and considerate.  She knows we don't let DD watch tv (only certain videos), so she doesn't turn on the tv when DD is around.  She'll wait until nap or bedtime.  We don't eat meat, stepdaughter does.  She is very careful to keep her food away from DD.  DD knows that she and her sister have different mothers, but the same father.  Obviously she doesn't understand the whole part of sex that's involved in that...but when she does, who cares?  She LOVES LOVES LOVES her sister, and that's really all that matters. 

So...my advice?  Debt counseling, and work on building a relationship with your stepson.  I'm sure he's a great kid, and having a closer relationship with him will alleviate many of your fears/concerns.  And yeah, as other posters have said, talk to your husband about how you're feeling.  About everything.

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#14 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the response petey44...that actually really brightened my outlook on things. I think you're right, in that I should find other ways to bond with him, because it's very hard to get to know him with only seeing him a few times a year for such short visits. I don't really think of myself as a stepmom, but perhaps if I think as myself as more of a big sister (seeing as I am only 14 years older then him), then maybe it'll become easier. My husband if a very kind father and I am proud of him for that..I have sort of told him about my feelings (somewhat sugar coated) and it obviously upsets him. I am sorry that I hurt him..when he married me, I wasn't concerned about him having a child, so it isn't his fault. I think I might see a therapist to help me out a bit.  

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#15 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisstar View Post

Wow. I expected negative comments, I honestly did, but like I wrote in my post, it was vent. Thanks Laohaire for taking note of that, because I am never, never mean to his son and he actually really likes me. It's not as though I'm an abusive stephmother who hides when her stepkids over and rules with an iron fist. I just have a lot of sad inner thoughts. I just really wanted somewhere to express all that's been bubbling inside me and I guess I probably shouldn't have picked a blended family forum to do that. I guess I was hoping there would be someone like me who stumbled upon the post, because I thought other people might struggle with it as well. Apparently I was wrong and you are all perfect. 

 

Also, I should add, that I only mentioned being Catholic because being raised in a catholic enviroment, I knew next to no blended families. Most (not all, but most that I know) Catholic families tend to stay together no matter what (at least when the kids are young). I was just making a point that I'm not used to it. I am not a hard core religious and have never claimed to be a saint. I respect religion, but I only attend church on occasion, so please don't crucify me for being hypocritical.

 

Nonetheless, thanks everyone for their input. I know I sound immature and self centered and perhaps my original post was a little too flamboyant (I write newspaper editorials for a living so maybe it was a little too blunt). I'm sure I'll get over it.  


I think that who you probably stumbled across are people who are in your stepson's posiition and  have stepmothers and half/step siblings, or who are in your husband's position rather than in your situation.    Can you see how hearing your explanation could make them think of themselves in yoru stepson's shoes?

 

I think your thought of getting counselling about this is probably a very good one -- and I reiterate my previous comment about trying to conceive.  I feel really strongly that until you are in a better place about this issue, you should NOT be trying to get pregnant.    I've heard from many stepmothers who were *not* resentful of their husband's kids that for them, pregnancy and having a newborn caused feelings like that to surface for the first time.   Most of them said that because they'd previously had a good relationship with their stepkids, they were able to identify their resentment as being part hormonal and part a response to the gigantic life changes going on, and they were able to get past the resentment.  

 

I'm afraid that if you go into a pregnancy already feeling bitter and resentful, those hormones and postpartum changes will just make you feel even more justifed in your resentment.  And that's really not fair to anyone in the situation.

 


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#16 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 07:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisstar View Post

Wow. I expected negative comments, I honestly did, but like I wrote in my post, it was vent. Thanks Laohaire for taking note of that, because I am never, never mean to his son and he actually really likes me. It's not as though I'm an abusive stephmother who hides when her stepkids over and rules with an iron fist. I just have a lot of sad inner thoughts. I just really wanted somewhere to express all that's been bubbling inside me and I guess I probably shouldn't have picked a blended family forum to do that. I guess I was hoping there would be someone like me who stumbled upon the post, because I thought other people might struggle with it as well. Apparently I was wrong and you are all perfect. 

 

Also, I should add, that I only mentioned being Catholic because being raised in a catholic enviroment, I knew next to no blended families. Most (not all, but most that I know) Catholic families tend to stay together no matter what (at least when the kids are young). I was just making a point that I'm not used to it. I am not a hard core religious and have never claimed to be a saint. I respect religion, but I only attend church on occasion, so please don't crucify me for being hypocritical.

 

Nonetheless, thanks everyone for their input. I know I sound immature and self centered and perhaps my original post was a little too flamboyant (I write newspaper editorials for a living so maybe it was a little too blunt). I'm sure I'll get over it.  


Maybe you aren't "abusive" but dreading the thought of him living with you is pretty mean and not wanting your children to look like someone who isn't your child is frankly, repulsive.

 

You aren't "used to" blended families. Um...too bad! Life does not consist of what we are used to and what grown ups do is accept that and adapt themselves.

 

You are far too immature to have ever gotten married in the first place. Do your husband and your stepson a favor and leave them so they can find someone who will love and accept them, and be willing to "get used to" them.

 

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#17 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 10:02 PM
 
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Maybe you aren't "abusive" but dreading the thought of him living with you is pretty mean and not wanting your children to look like someone who isn't your child is frankly, repulsive.

 

You aren't "used to" blended families. Um...too bad! Life does not consist of what we are used to and what grown ups do is accept that and adapt themselves.

 

You are far too immature to have ever gotten married in the first place. Do your husband and your stepson a favor and leave them so they can find someone who will love and accept them, and be willing to "get used to" them.

 




This is too harsh. She's processing stuff she hasn't processed yet, getting some deep dark thoughts and feelings off her chest, among people who supposedly won't take them personally because they don't know her! She probably thought that, in a blended family forum, others have had similar "deep dark" thoughts. I know I have, and I grew up in a single parent household! Step parenting is hard all around- let's face it, for many people, the joys of family life are all mixed in with having to accept that your family will never resemble your long-cherished "dream" family, whatever that looks like. It comes with the territory, so lighten up everybody!

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#18 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 10:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"Maybe you aren't "abusive" but dreading the thought of him living with you is pretty mean and not wanting your children to look like someone who isn't your child is frankly, repulsive.

 

You aren't "used to" blended families. Um...too bad! Life does not consist of what we are used to and what grown ups do is accept that and adapt themselves.

 

You are far too immature to have ever gotten married in the first place. Do your husband and your stepson a favor and leave them so they can find someone who will love and accept them, and be willing to "get used to" them."

 

 

 

 

- I understand that it's easy being an a-hole when you don't have to see the person you're typing to, but really? I'm sure you and your blended family are doing perfectly fine and an ill thought or moment of regret has never crossed your mind. I commend you!!!  joy.gif  

 

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#19 of 31 Old 12-03-2011, 11:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"I think that who you probably stumbled across are people who are in your stepson's posiition and  have stepmothers and half/step siblings, or who are in your husband's position rather than in your situation.    Can you see how hearing your explanation could make them think of themselves in yoru stepson's shoes?

 

I think your thought of getting counselling about this is probably a very good one -- and I reiterate my previous comment about trying to conceive.  I feel really strongly that until you are in a better place about this issue, you should NOT be trying to get pregnant.    I've heard from many stepmothers who were *not* resentful of their husband's kids that for them, pregnancy and having a newborn caused feelings like that to surface for the first time.   Most of them said that because they'd previously had a good relationship with their stepkids, they were able to identify their resentment as being part hormonal and part a response to the gigantic life changes going on, and they were able to get past the resentment.  

 

I'm afraid that if you go into a pregnancy already feeling bitter and resentful, those hormones and postpartum changes will just make you feel even more justifed in your resentment.  And that's really not fair to anyone in the situation."

 

Thanks Savithny. I'm not trying to get pregnant. My husband really want us to have a kid right away because he knows that I am having a hard time with things and he thinks I wouldn't leave if we had a child (I wouldn't). However, I've told him that it wont be happening anytime soon because I know that it would potentially make things a lot worse, and I would not want to bring a child into our marriage right now. What you mentioned about the whole postpartem/hormone thing was a good point as well. I hadn't really thought about that.

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#20 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 06:00 AM
 
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Yikes-I'm a little afraid to jump into this conversation, but here goes anyway!

 

I think it is normal to feel some of these things-I am actually really surprised by the number of stepmoms that feel, or at least claim to feel, that they feel equally close/bonded/whatever to their stepchildren versus their biochildren. I love my stepdaughter, but it is definitely a different kind of love and I do struggle with similar feels to the OP at times. It is really HARD having another child in your home who was rasied with different value, ideas, and experiences. We are lucky in that, like a PP, mostly dsd adjusts fine to having different rules at our house. She never complains about not watchign TV or not having $100 shoes or other stuff that she gets with her mom. OTOH, my 4-year-old dd is now begging for a cell phone and a game boy thing because she sees that dsd has one :(

 

I can't stand when people say, well, you knew what you were getting into when you got together with a man with a child.  Do we really ever know?!  I was very young when dp and I got together and I honestly had NO CLUE what it would be like. That may be my fault, but some of it is just experience and spending years with a person/people.

 

OP, I think it is probably even harder to get used to having you dss around because you see him so little. These are issues you need to work out if you plan to stay married. If you are completely opposed to having dss spend more time/live with you, that is something that you need to discus with your husband before it actually becomes an issue so you are on the same page. And yes, having my "own" kids definitely caused stress on my relationship with dp regaridng some feelings of resentment toward dsd-it caused a lot of fights, it caused me a lot of guilt and stress for a long time. I think it is partially just hormonal, wanting to "protect" your child from hurts real or imagined, but it would be made worse if those feelings already existed. My youngest is 1.5 now and just finally I feel it easing off, but I do strongly recommend that you work through some of these feeling before having kids with your dh.

 

Good luck-it really is hard and I'm assuming that your OP was mostly just venting and not how you actually act towards your dss! We all need to vent sometimes, but I do feel like it can be taken the wrong way in a public forum so I don't often do it! :)


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#21 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 07:45 AM
 
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Goodness. I got some things to say.

 

OP, don't have any children with this guy, because you absolutely are not ready and you are right, it will complicate things.

 

I think 3 weeks out of the year and every other Christmas is very little time to spend with one's child. I wouldn't resent my dh at all for taking time off work to go camping and fishing or whatever with him. In fact, I might insist on setting up Skype so he could speak to his son nightly and help him with his homework. If you don't think parenting is important, then you aren't ready to be a parent yourself. Would you like it if he parented your children so little of the time? Statistically speaking, as the second wife, you are quite likely to be in the first wife's shoes down the road. Please think about how you want your own children to be supported and nurtured by your dh in the future. How he handles his son now is a good predictor of how he'll handle your children in years to come. I wouldn't be pouty or guilt trip him- I'd feel relieved and assured that he's devoted to his kid.

 

As for your stepson's gadget hobby- that's what you're complaining about? Really? I work with seriously disturbed children in if all I had in a stepson was having interests different from my own, I'd wonder if I had been some saint in a past life. Good lord. What a strange complaint. My happiest childhood memories are of the time I spent on a farm with a grand imagination. I don't know that it gave me more sparkles or made me more spiritually advanced than any other kid. You said so yourself, he's a good kid. Your dh does his best to be a good father to him.

 

I think it's time to say "Thank you, God" and move on. Or get divorced and grow up a bit to find what you want in life.

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#22 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 10:00 AM
 
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I wonder if the negative feelings about "gadgets" are about people feeling that they will be "disappointed" in their children for wanting things they don't approve of.

 

it's natural that a preschooler would be fascinated by a Gameboy or iPod.  Things with buttons that make noise and show colors?  heck yeah!

 

But it seems like some people see this as either a failure of their parenting ("I was so careful to expose my child to the "right" things and now he wants something that's "wrong") or the sign of a character flaw. ("Only kids who aren't "brought up right" would want that stuff).

 

It's one thing when it's another family because you can chose your friends, but when it's a relative who, even worse, is staying in your house, you have much less control.  You might not be in the position to flat out say "not allowed".

 

My personal opinion is that we should let go of "perfect" and adapt where we have to. Set the limits for your own kids where you need to, but don't worry about them being "corrupted" by exposure to things you don't like.

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#23 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 10:19 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmeyrick View Post

Goodness. I got some things to say.

 

OP, don't have any children with this guy, because you absolutely are not ready and you are right, it will complicate things.

 

I think 3 weeks out of the year and every other Christmas is very little time to spend with one's child. I wouldn't resent my dh at all for taking time off work to go camping and fishing or whatever with him. In fact, I might insist on setting up Skype so he could speak to his son nightly and help him with his homework. If you don't think parenting is important, then you aren't ready to be a parent yourself. Would you like it if he parented your children so little of the time? Statistically speaking, as the second wife, you are quite likely to be in the first wife's shoes down the road. Please think about how you want your own children to be supported and nurtured by your dh in the future. How he handles his son now is a good predictor of how he'll handle your children in years to come. I wouldn't be pouty or guilt trip him- I'd feel relieved and assured that he's devoted to his kid.

 

As for your stepson's gadget hobby- that's what you're complaining about? Really? I work with seriously disturbed children in if all I had in a stepson was having interests different from my own, I'd wonder if I had been some saint in a past life. Good lord. What a strange complaint. My happiest childhood memories are of the time I spent on a farm with a grand imagination. I don't know that it gave me more sparkles or made me more spiritually advanced than any other kid. You said so yourself, he's a good kid. Your dh does his best to be a good father to him.

 

I think it's time to say "Thank you, God" and move on. Or get divorced and grow up a bit to find what you want in life.



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tennisstar: Since you deleted your OP, I am assuming that you may understand why your statements bothered some of us ladies. That being said, I do hope you are doing more that "sugar coating" this with your DH. He deserves to know all of your thoughts. Not having a child right now is a smart move. But if you already have these feelings toward your stepson, will they really change?


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#24 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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Honestly with your feelings about the whole thing, having a step son might be the best thing that happened to you on top of finding a great husband who has already proved to be a great father.  I would be annoyed by debt who wouldn't be.  Coming from a blended family the best thing was having an awesome Step dad who treated me like I was his own and loved me unconditionally.  I think you can find a way to step outside of your comfort zone and be the best step mother this kid could ask for.  I think you just needs some cheerleading!  I first when I read your post I was sad for you and your new family.  I wouldn't want to feel that way and I think I would have a hard time changing my perspective.  I think you can do it though.  You came here looking for help and I think that means you don't want to feel this way. 

 

Good luck

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#25 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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I saw this thread title in the main forum page, and read the thread. I'm in a blended family, but I'm not the stepmom - dh is the stepdad. I did want to address one aspect of this, though.

 

The concern about having an older child around who was raised with different values, expectations, etc. than you would have is valid. But, it's not really a "step" issue. I have issues with that, because my own parenting has evolved over time. There's a ten year gap between ds1 and my next child. My views haven't changed a lot, but they have shifted. One of the areas where I see things differently than I used to is tv. My ex had it on all the time, and I watched it a lot...and so did ds1, from a very early age. DH and i were completely tv-free for a few years. Now, we watch old shows and movies on Netflix, and rent movies sometimes. But, it's a very different experience than ds1 had, and he was exposed to a lot more commercial advertising on tv. He played video games (not a lot) from an earlier age than I'd like dd1 and ds2 to be playing them at). But, having him here affects our current lifestyle. Honestly - just having a much older child in the house affects the dynamic (things like dd2 getting candy at an earlier age than any of her siblings, because it's around - doesn't seem fair to say, "okay ds1, dd1 and ds2 - I know you usually get candy in your Easter basket, but that's on hold for a couple years, because you have a sister", yk?)

 

Anyway - that's not totally a "step" issue. Families are organic, dynamic entities, even with the same parents. People, both parents and children, grow and change over time, so the dynamics are constantly shifting. That's just...life.

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#26 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisstar View Post

"


 

 

- I understand that it's easy being an a-hole when you don't have to see the person you're typing to, but really? I'm sure you and your blended family are doing perfectly fine and an ill thought or moment of regret has never crossed your mind. I commend you!!!  joy.gif  

 



My stepfather reminded me DAILY how much happier his marriage to my mother would be if my brother and I did not exist. He told me DAILY how much money he had to waste on providing food and shelter for children who were not his flesh and blood. When my mother and stepfather divorced, my brother and I were blamed because we just made things so hard by..oh...wanting to be loved. 

 

So excuse me if I think you're the a-hole in this situation. That kid has done nothing to you. It's not his fault YOU have issues with his existence.

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#27 of 31 Old 12-04-2011, 06:13 PM
 
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Dear OPer,

 

When I read your post yesterday, I had no idea how to respond. Today I read through all the other responses, and see that you've deleted your OP.

 

I hope that rather than feeling attacked, you can use this as a wake up call. Your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes are highly toxic. They are harmful to:

 

  1. your stepson (they will come across, even if you think you are hiding them)
  2. your husband (who is trying to be a good man and a good father)
  3. your marriage (holding something against a spouse that they cannot change is like dripping poison into your marriage)
  4. and ultimately, to yourself (toxins hurt everyone exposed to them)

 

I understand that you didn't think through what you were getting into when you got married, and are just realizing that now. And you don't like what you got yourself into. So now you have a choice. I see the choice a little different than some people do. I see your choice as:

 

What sort of adult do you want to be?

 

The fun and excitement is over -- this is where real life starts. What are YOUR values? What do you YOU want to be remembered for? What sort of character to plan to forge this lifetime? And how does all of the relate to your husband and step son? You can choose to remain the person you are right now, or you can choose to grow. You can chose to find joy to providing a child, even one not related to you by blood, a wonderful life, or you can continue to think of your needs first. You can choose to relish in looking for your DH traits in his son, or you can continue to think that only children born of your uterus count. You can choose to accept that your DH has had some painful chapters in his life (or he wouldn't be divorced with a child he sees 3 weeks a year) and love him anyway and be committed to building a joyful life with him, or you can continue to judge him as failure for not living up to standards that you only recently realized are important to you.

 

My advice is to approach the problems with the same vigor you would if you were told you have cancer. The way you feel is like cancer to your marriage. You don't have to stay stuck here, though. You can grow. You can change. You have so much more goodness inside you right now that is trapped, but you can find a way to let it out. You have the capability to love -- truly, love, which involves acceptance and grace and wanting the best for EVERYONE involved, esp his son.

 

But if you don't want to do that, it's OK. This is your life, and you can do what you want with it. But if can't fully love and accept another person in spite of their painful past, divorce them. It's actually less painful. And if you can't come with with some actual positive desire for this boy to have everything needs and to be loved and accepted, then quit the role of step mother. Because if you can't fulfill these roles, you are harmful by staying in them.

 

I'm sure you have both capabilities inside you -- the strength to be a wonderful wife and step mom, or the strength to let the situation go. The only path I see as wrong is to stay stuck -- staying where you are and staying how you feel.

 

I really do wish you well. I don't think your situation is all that unusual. I think a lot of people marry without realizing what they are getting into or that their ideal image of life doesn't match up with the person they married. I don't feel any judgment toward you -- just that it's imperative that you take action, and I know that the action you decide to take will partially determine what sort of person you become. I know that you have a lot of potential.

 

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#28 of 31 Old 12-06-2011, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank everyone for the responses. When I read the first responses, I felt awful and regretted even writing on this forum. But the last few were so helpful, kind, and empathetic. I had a huge talk with my husband last night and told him exactly how I felt. It went so so good and he was so awesome about the whole thing. I've just been thinking about it so much these last few days. When I first met his little guy a couple years ago, I remember how easy it was. We got on good and I actually looked after him for a week while my husband (my boyfriend at the time) had to work. I remember thinking how neat it was that he was so cuddly right away. That was the only time I really hung out with him before we were married, but I thought it was all going to fine. I didn't have a hard time with it until we were married, and I guess it's because it became a true reality. When I hung out with him this summer, it felt awkward and I felt that tugging resentment.

 

The thing is, I guess I do realize how much it's all my head. I've kept building on my negative thoughts and telling myself I can't do it, that's it not traditional, that's it's not "my dream." Ridiculous, I know! A lot of you who responded had such positive and constructive things to say and I feel like I can do this and that I really can benifit from the whole situation. My life can be great with this little dude in it. It's pretty sad how accepting his little boy is of me, and yet I, the adult, is the one who is less. I guess I could learn a thing or two from him.

 

 All those little "problems" I wrote about, aren't really problems and I will adjust. I think I've done enough negative venting and plan on staying positive from here on in. Thanks guys!

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#29 of 31 Old 12-07-2011, 01:03 PM
 
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I hope you all the best for you and your family.  I know some of the comments were harsh and honestly that's not always bad.  I initially thought badly but the more I thought about it the more I realized that being in a situation that you're uncomforable in is very difficult.  Glad you were able to talk to your husband about it.  Good luck mama.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tennisstar View Post

Thank everyone for the responses. When I read the first responses, I felt awful and regretted even writing on this forum. But the last few were so helpful, kind, and empathetic. I had a huge talk with my husband last night and told him exactly how I felt. It went so so good and he was so awesome about the whole thing. I've just been thinking about it so much these last few days. When I first met his little guy a couple years ago, I remember how easy it was. We got on good and I actually looked after him for a week while my husband (my boyfriend at the time) had to work. I remember thinking how neat it was that he was so cuddly right away. That was the only time I really hung out with him before we were married, but I thought it was all going to fine. I didn't have a hard time with it until we were married, and I guess it's because it became a true reality. When I hung out with him this summer, it felt awkward and I felt that tugging resentment.

 

The thing is, I guess I do realize how much it's all my head. I've kept building on my negative thoughts and telling myself I can't do it, that's it not traditional, that's it's not "my dream." Ridiculous, I know! A lot of you who responded had such positive and constructive things to say and I feel like I can do this and that I really can benifit from the whole situation. My life can be great with this little dude in it. It's pretty sad how accepting his little boy is of me, and yet I, the adult, is the one who is less. I guess I could learn a thing or two from him.

 

 All those little "problems" I wrote about, aren't really problems and I will adjust. I think I've done enough negative venting and plan on staying positive from here on in. Thanks guys!



 

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#30 of 31 Old 12-08-2011, 07:00 AM
 
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 I have my days where I say, "Did I really sign up for this? This is impossible!". I know I can't be the only one who wonders occasionally if she should have found a nice childless man! It doesn't mean I share those thoughts with my step kids, or that I don't want them and love them. I just try to revise my self talk, and move on. I think you're doing fine- you're being honest with yourself and your husband about the negative issues you have, and that can only help your marriage- if everyone looks at it in a nonjudgmental, constructive way.


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