Staying mom to stepchild after relationship ended? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 5 Old 12-15-2013, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Has anyone else remained mom to a stepchild after your relationship to their parent ended? We lived together for two and a half years, together a year before that, and the child's biological mother is not in her life at all and hasn't been for many years. I was planning to adopt my stepdaughter this year, but the relationship with her father turned abusive and that isn't possible now. She is 13. I have a daughter who has been her sister for the past 3 years, and my toddler son is her half brother. I don't want her to suffer another loss in her life, but am worried that her father will use my desire for a relationship with her as a means of continuing to manipulate, abuse, and control me. I'm feeling really torn. Thoughts?


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Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
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#2 of 5 Old 12-16-2013, 06:07 AM
 
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I'm sorry, I have no advice, but I do know how you feel.  I was in my stepdaughter's life from the time she was 13 months old until she was 10 1/2 years old.  Her Father divorced me (I'm sorry, I don't love you anymore and don't want to be married to you anymore.  :eyesroll) and pretty much told me that it's "inappropriate" for me or my son (her stepbrother, who'd been raised as her brother for the last 9 years) to remain in her life.  I literally bent over backwards, gave him everything he wanted for the divorce paper with one stipulation- that my son and I remain in Katherine's life.  He lied through his teeth and the moment the divorce papers were in his hand, he cut me out.  My stepdaughter last emailed me about 2 months after my son and I were banned from all contact from her.  His exact words were, "if you contact K, contact any of his family, any of his friends, even publicly mention that you once had a stepdaughter, or even write on your Facebook something as simple as Happy Birthday Katherine, I will tell her "what you really are" and the I will contact G and tell HIM "what you really are", so just go, and pretend the four of us never knew eachother".  He even went so far as to tell me that she wants nothing to do with me and is embarrassed that she ever knew me, and specifically asked him to tell me she never wants to contact me again.  :(  About two months after he banned me and my son from my stepdaughter's life, I got a steal email from her that said, "I miss you soooooooooooooooooo much, Krissy."  Yeah, sounds like a kid who wants me out of her life, huh?  :angry

 

You may have a chance with your stepchildren, since the two of you have a mutual child, but you might want to cover your butt and discretely tell your stepchildren how much you love him and how you would never leave them willingly and if, for some reason, if anything happens where you guys are separated, it will not be by your choosing and that you will find them again when they are 18.  I said something similar to my stepdaughter when we told her that we were divorcing.  It was damage control- I'd thought maybe her Mother would try to cut me out of her life, it didn't occur to me that her Father, my then husband would, but I'm so glad that I instinctively told my stepdaugther that.  (She has a Mother, but, her words, she used to tell me I was her other Mother, and that she should be able to have two Mothers.)  She's 13 1/2 now.  I haven't had any contact, not even stealth email from her, in two years, though I think of her daily.  I've found some websites she posts on, so every once in a while, I peek, to see how she's doing (she's filled with angst and self doubt, desperately looking for someone to love her, and hatred for all the adults in her life, not the sweet little girl I was forced to leave behind), and I've struggle with not contacting her, because she's a minor and her Dad has shown he would do anything to keep me out of her life, but I hope that I can follow the trail, so to speak, and be able to track her down as soon as she turns 18.  And I pray that she doesn't hate me when I do, either because she thinks I just up and left her, or because I have to wait until she's 18 to contact her, or because she's been told lies about me so that her Father looks blameless.  I hate my exhusband with a passion, but sometimes I wish I'd had a child with him so that there would be no choice in the matter, some kind of contact between me and him, therefore, increased chances of some kind of contact between me and my son an "my little girl".  Hopefully, you'll have that advantage.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this.  Stepparents have no legal rights towards their stepchildren, especially after divorce.  It's had and it's not fair and hopefully someday Family Law can be changed for the best interest of the children- which often means including the step parent as a legitimate "other parent" in the eyes of the law, but for now, there's nothing for Stepmothers like us to do but pray.  You can PM me if you ever need to talk.  I wish you and your stepchildren the best.


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#3 of 5 Old 12-17-2013, 09:46 AM
 
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I've been able to keep a relationship with my stepdaughter, but the circumstances are somewhat different.  Though her dad hasn't actively tried to keep me out of her life, it's been her mom who has supported our relationship and given up her own time so I could see dsd still.  Her dad and I also have 2 children together, and they see each other at dad's, but I've been able to have dsd for overnights and holidays etc. at my house as well on her mom's time.  I also try to make sure to send her texts, etc. so she knows I'm thinking of her.

 

In your case, since you are solely depending on the dad for contact, I agree with PP that it is important to let your dsd know that you do NOT want to be taken out of her life-especially since you are her only mother figure.  You *might* have a chance of getting court ordered visitation because of that, but it would likely be a long and difficult battle :(   Since she is older, I would definitely friend her on facebook, send her texts, emails, whatever kind of communication you can do to leave the door open to her so she knows you aren't just taking off and leaving her behind.

 

Kblackstone, your story is just so sad-what kind of a parent does that and what kind of impact must that have had on your step daughter and your son-I assume he lost a father figure as well?!  That is awful and I hope your stepdaughter is able to understand the situation down the road when you are able to resume contact. 


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#4 of 5 Old 12-17-2013, 12:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
 

Kblackstone, your story is just so sad-what kind of a parent does that and what kind of impact must that have had on your step daughter and your son-I assume he lost a father figure as well?!  That is awful and I hope your stepdaughter is able to understand the situation down the road when you are able to resume contact. 

 

My son and my stepdaughter were raised as sister and brother since my stepdaughter was a toddler and my son was just starting school.  Even though my son was 5 years older, he was young for his age (Asperger's) and she didn't have many friends her age, so they were best friends.  :(  My exhusband was the only "Dad" my son ever knew.  My exhusband's "out" was to tell my son that I won't allow him to talk to my son (truth- I told him my son's been through enough, all those lies he was telling his friends for sympathy, leave them out of conversations with my son, and he can talk to my son all he wants).


I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
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#5 of 5 Old 12-18-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your responses. I'm going to keep reminding her that I want a relationship with her. I need to set some filters on my facebook and then add her there.

I have a bio daughter that he would like to stay in touch with as well, but he was extremely emotionally abusive to me at the end of the relationship, so I'm very hesitant to have much of that. Doesn't seem fair to put her into that situation just so I can see her stepsister. Le sigh.

Mom to ds 10/12 and dd 2/05 ribbonrainbow.gif

Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
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