Baby Momma drama - I need a reality check - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Is it reasonable to expect DH & I to love DSS like we love our own?
Yes 35 58.33%
No 25 41.67%
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#1 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am so SICK of thinking about this! People who know me would be shocked at the amount of bitterness, hateful thinking that I do lately. This whole situation just brings out the worst in me. I dont even know that I have an accurate perspective anymore - So tell me, what do you think, have I gone off the deep end and totally lost my capacity for compassion?

Its so Jerry Springer I dont even know where to start. Even abbrev it's long...

2000 DH & I meet, fall in love. 2001 We marry, 2002 we buy a house, 2004 DS is born, I stop working, we start a business, DH's father figure/beloved uncle dies. Mourning and keeping up with the new pressures takes it's toll on DH, but we are hangin on. 2005 DH's boss receives notice that we are being sued for child support - say whatt????? We havent rec anything yet, DH & I try to figure out who it could be. Only person he can think of is a girl from 1996. But surely it's not her. Turns out its her.

History: They had some friends in common & had known each other for a while - though not friends themselves- & one drunken party night they start two weeks of hooking up, then decide they dont like each other so much, amicably since neither was in love. Basically, they were each other's booty call. Fast forward, 2 wks and she's pg. DH is convinced she cant know who's it is (choosing to believe gossip, is my guess). Get's pissed when he hears she told her parents she was pg via rape & wants nothing to do with her. Cools off and agrees to meet her. During that meeting she says, "I dont want you in our life". DH allows himself to believe that she decided it wasnt his. A constable shows up one day with forms to terminate paternity pre-adoption. Forms list total of 4 potential fathers. DH stupidly refuses to sign thinking it would be like admitting baby was his. After the birth DH hears the baby has coloring same as another guy she was with. Officially moves on and doesnt think about it again.

8 yrs later Biomom is in a messed up relationship, gets pg, he wont leave his wife, dumps biomom, she sues for child support immediately after birth, they later get back together and he gets angry that other dad doesnt have to pay when he, her boyfriend, does. According to biomom he pressured her to fill out paperwork and then, without her knowing, mailed it in.

her relationship goes from bad to worse, ends up with a CPS investigation where both kids are voluntarily placed with her parents. Her parents start custody case trying to keep kids. DSS behvior is out of control, he spends a total of 5 wks in psych ward, (two stays) is on meds, arrested. All of these things we find out after the fact. Biomom gets pg again in 06, boyfriend still refuses to leave wife. Biomom eventually finishes her reqs to get kids back. DSS is still having tons of problems in school/elsewhere.

Dh is distant, he doesnt really have strong feelings for DSS. The way he feels about biomom taints the way he feels about DSS. DSS is a lot like her, mannerisms, attitude, etc. While all this is happening DH goes into a deep depression, we lose the business, file bankruptcy, lose our house etc....

In 12/2007 we lease a house, DH gets a job after a year of being off work, and things look up. DH goes on antidepressants that really help. DSS comes to live with us 01/15/08 after being suspended again. Biomom cries nonstop and says we "took him". She takes him back 04/08 when she believes DSS lie that he hasnt seen his dad in 2 wks because of work hours. He was supposed to finish the school year here.

So, as of today, DH has gone into ignore mode. For the months we had him it really seemied like they were starting to form a bond. DSS behavior was great, and always has been here. DH works weekends and that makes visitation hard. After she took him back early, he was furious. Decided that since he has no power other than what is spelled out in the custody agreement we are doing things by the book now. Unfortunately that means that we dont see DSS. We only have one car and with DH hours it is impossible for us to pick DS up at the appointed times. He is sched to be with us the month of July. For the moment it looks like extended school vacays are going to be the only visitation.

He most recent txt to me was "at least your kids have a dad". It made me FURIOUS. Dont try to make me feel bad because your choices have hurt your kids. Her other two kids NEVER see their still-married dad. She wants DSS to be an equal priority as my kids are to us. It just isnt going to happen. Shared DNA a profound connection doesnt make. She forever brings up the "past child support" from the eight years we didnt know DSS - which pisses me off. DH has never been hard to find. He's had his own website that immediately comes up when you google his name for the past 8 years. She says "what was I supposed to do - force him to be a father?" and I say, no, but you couldve forced him to pay CS, just like you did with your other kids. The same paperwork you filled out when DSS was 8 was available years ago.

There has been nothing but bad news from her since she entered our life. In our experience she lies non-stop - gets tripped up in her lies - and makes new ones. Boyfriend hit me, no he never hit me just threw water on me. DSS says boyfriend spanked him, she says it never happened - they both lie so much you can never believe anything without verifying.


Arghh!!!!
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#2 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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I voted "no" but I want to qualify that answer. It's not reasonable to expect that you love DSS the same as your other children right now, at this point in time. You don't know him and have not had a true opportunity to get to know each other.

I do think, though, that knowing that he's your DH's biological child, you should have compassion for him and his situation. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that you don't - but I think that at this point, that's all that should be expected of you.

That's an unfortunate situation, and I hope that it works out for your DH to spend time with his son, and that you can all get to know each other.

Maybe I missed it - but was an official paternity test ever done? Does your DH know for certain that this is his son?

Good luck to you all, my heart aches for everyone in this situation.
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#3 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 03:41 PM
 
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Wow. I got nothing to say that might help... that's quite a situation. Support your husband. That's really all you can do.
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#4 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe I missed it - but was an official paternity test ever done? Does your DH know for certain that this is his son?

Good luck to you all, my heart aches for everyone in this situation.

Yes, when we got notice I called the number listed for her. We talked and DH and I agreed to pay for an expedited, private paternity test - AFTER she had already told DSS that she had "finally found his dad". We werent willing to meet him without being sure and also werent willing to make an 8 yr old wait to meet the dad he's been asking about for years while the AG scheduled our case.

We were SO naive then! We were happy to have found out, it wasnt a problem in our marriage as DSS was born before DH & I met. DH & I both live very low key lives - we couldnt imagine the kind of crazy stuff that was happening in Biomom's life. That's why I say in hindsight it wouldve been better to just pay the CS. Of course, if you ask biomom all of DSS problems are the result of his distant relationship with his father. None of it has to do with being in 7 schools in 5 yrs, CPS investigations, abusive relationships, etc...
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#5 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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No way. Families are not based solely on genetics. Relationships, especially parent-child ones, take time to nurture and grow. It is unreasonable to think this would happen just because of finding out you are related to someone. But stable, respectful relationships with all involved should be the goal.
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#6 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Whoa. What a horror story.

It sounds like your dh was willing to step up in a reasonable way. Unfortunately, what he's got is an unreasonable situation, and there's really no avoiding it. That's his kid, booty call or not.

If it were me, I'd say the responsible thing to do is start down the road for full custody, and try to shake off as much of the mom's craziness as possible. That's a nightmare for your family, but if your dh is after all the father, then he's the dad & responsible, no matter how much the kid looks like his mom. 8-10 years of craziness is a lot to undo, but it can happen.

Don't take texts from the mom. There's no reason for her to be contacting you, period.

I'm not sure the "should we be expected to love him" question is the right one. For you especially; he's not your kid. I'd say your dh has an obligation to behave as though he does, regardless of how he may feel, and regardless of how the woman feels, how the kid lies, etc. It's that bad old "don't stick it in if you don't want the job" line, and unfortunately, there's no guarantee the job will come around in a nice or convenient way.

I'd say the real question is "How does your dh uphold his obligation to his son without royally screwing the rest of you?"
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#7 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Going for custody is not an option. We simply dont have the money & we dont qualify for legal aid (I checked). We are struggling to make it as it is + the child support.

Biomom contacts me when DH ignores here but I will stop reading/responding. In the past I have tried nudging DH along, trying to get him to arrange visits etc but that just leads to conflict between us.

DSS is a hard kid to love. He has learned to tell people what they want to hear but doesnt have the maturity to realize that the truth will come out. He talks bad about his mom when he's here, talks bad about us when he's there. He values things as proof of love and doesnt know yet how to love without keeping score. Mom bought a $70 pair of shoes, he comes and shows them to me, telling me how much they were and then says, how much were the shoes you bought me? that kind of thing.
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#8 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I would absolutely ignore any contact from your dss's mom. It isn't your job to deal with her. She'll get the point if you don't respond. Otherwise, change your number.

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#9 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 05:07 PM
 
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I voted yes.

Only because whatever the circumstances of his conception were, he is still a child. He is your dh's child. He always will be, and the events that has transpired in his life are in no way his fault.

My mother and father split when I was a baby. I didn't know my dad until I was 9. My mother was a drug addict, in an abusive relationship, etc. My parents never got along. But I wasn't to blame for that. When I was 9 and moved in with my biodad and his family, I didnt know them, but at that time I needed love. Things were hard and I never really felt like part of the family. As an adult I have no contact with my mother, and a very rocky relationship with my biodad and his family. Things could have been differently. All children need to be loved.

Please try to separate your feelings toward the mother and the son, you can love him.
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#10 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AlmostAPpropriate View Post
DSS is a hard kid to love. He has learned to tell people what they want to hear but doesnt have the maturity to realize that the truth will come out. He talks bad about his mom when he's here, talks bad about us when he's there. He values things as proof of love and doesnt know yet how to love without keeping score. Mom bought a $70 pair of shoes, he comes and shows them to me, telling me how much they were and then says, how much were the shoes you bought me? that kind of thing.
Well, sure. Given the way he's grown up, it's amazing he's not stealing from you all, running away, etc. It isn't his fault, though. I think really all you can do -- and I'm sure you already do it -- is to acknowledge that this is one way people show love, but that in your home you show it another way, and this is what matters here. And maybe he can do some of that too. While acknowledging that it's tough to go between two houses where things get done differently, but that there are upsides, without making too much of it.

It really hurts to see kids go for the money value as a sign of love. One of the little girls at dd's daycare does that, and unfortunately she's the oldest in their little group. Everything has to have a brand name, she knows the price of everything, she can rattle off a list of what she got last week. If you're not wearing ______, you can't play. Of course, her mom's a nasty little tramp who dresses her up like a Bratz doll and spends her weekends partying. The other kids pick up on it. Sometimes, if the girl comes to me with that sort of thing, I tell her about the kinds of things I think are important and care about. She listens, and even though she'll go right back to her "what I got" narrative, you can see that these are new ideas getting into her head. So maybe someday it'll be an alternative model for her.

The custody thing is very tough. Keep in mind that I'm coming from the perspective of a single mom, and that in general we're willing to go deep in the hole to protect custody if we believe it'd harm the kids to live with the father. You've got others to think of. But I think that unless the values and patterns in your household are the norm, he's really got no choice but to live and learn his mom's way.
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#11 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Keep in mind that I'm coming from the perspective of a single mom, and that in general we're willing to go deep in the hole to protect custody if we believe it'd harm the kids to live with the father. You've got others to think of.
Since the bankruptcy we have no access to credit/loans of any kind. Borrowing to fund a custody case isnt an option open to us.
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#12 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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Wow. I really feel sorry for this kid.
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#13 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 06:30 PM
 
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Wow. I really feel sorry for this kid.
No kidding.....sounds like a really hard go for him.
I voted no, but hopefully for your/dss sake you can develop a loving and respectful relationship. It does sound like he would be better off living with you, and if that ever happens I am sure you would get closer.

I think you guys just really need to try very hard to consider him on his own, not as an extension of his mother.

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#14 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 11:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lunasmommy View Post
Only because whatever the circumstances of his conception were, he is still a child. He is your dh's child. He always will be, and the events that has transpired in his life are in no way his fault.

Please try to separate your feelings toward the mother and the son, you can love him.
I agree with this...and it sucks for everyone involved, because it sounds like you will never have an easy relationship, especially when DSS's mom is around.

It does concern me a bit that your DH knew that there was a possibility that he had a child, and he chose to ignore it, regardless of the fact that the baby looked like someone else. I couldn't imagine knowing that there was the possibility that there was a child that was mine, and not doing everything I could to make 100% sure. It also seems a little concerning that when it came up 9 years later, neither of you knew who the child was...did he not tell you when you met/got married about this? I'm obviously not familiar with your relationship, and I don't know the whole story, but that just strikes me as odd.
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#15 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 11:23 PM
 
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Also, I realize that it's a really messed up situation, but it makes me really sad that this kid's life, through no fault of his own, has gotten to the point where his stepmom is posting a thread on a messageboard asking if he should be loved like her own children. It's not a reflection on the OP...just on the sadness of the situation.
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#16 of 28 Old 05-13-2008, 11:39 PM
 
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Also, I realize that it's a really messed up situation, but it makes me really sad that this kid's life, through no fault of his own, has gotten to the point where his stepmom is posting a thread on a messageboard asking if he should be loved like her own children. It's not a reflection on the OP...just on the sadness of the situation.
I agree. I voted yes. But, I should clarify that I think it applies to your husband. Should your husband love his child like he loves his other children. Definitley. It won't necessarily come right away since he's been out of his life, but IMO whether or not someone should love their child should be a given.
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#17 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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I can't vote . . . I wouldn't expect you to love a step-son the way you love your own children, but I would expect your husband to love any child of his own as much as he loved any others.

If it were my partner, I would lose a lot of respect for him if he decided to give up on his own child . . . to the point that our relationship would quite likely end.

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#18 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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I can't vote either, as it seems like a trick question.

"Is it reasonable to expect DH & I to love DSS like we love our own?"

This is your DH's own child, and he should be considered as such.
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#19 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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Yeah, as far as the poll question, you and your dh are separate entities.

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#20 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I couldn't imagine knowing that there was the possibility that there was a child that was mine, and not doing everything I could to make 100% sure. It also seems a little concerning that when it came up 9 years later, neither of you knew who the child was...did he not tell you when you met/got married about this? I'm obviously not familiar with your relationship, and I don't know the whole story, but that just strikes me as odd.

You have to understand that they were both young, extremely irresponsible and very into a partying/promiscuous lifestyle at the time. I totally do not believe in gender bias when it comes to sexuality so I dont think it makes biomom look worse than DH to say it.

From a mature perspective, yeah, who would leave the possibility hanging. But when she never mentioned it again he honestly thought she had figured out it was someone elses. And, no, he never told me before we got married. A 4 yr old pregnancy scare that was dropped didnt seem relevant. You also have to know that DH has been pretty much in the same place and easy to find since that time in his life. His dad still lives in the same house where they used to hook up, he has had a listed number etc. As he explained, if she really thought it was his she easily couldve filed papers.

I think, and this is totally speculation, that her feelings were hurt. She was young and scared. But once the baby was born she loved him. She didnt love DH, they really didnt get along too great even before the pg. I think she was happy to have him all to herself & not deal with the guy who had hurt her feelings. Her parents were supportive, she had skills that allowed her to support them well, etc. She didnt need DH or his money so she didnt press the issue.

Enter the latest boyfriend who wrecks her life. She herself told me that a) she only filed because boyfriend pressured her. She had withstood pressure from her parents for 8 years and never filed. (although recently she told me that she filed once before and then withdrew the claim, which contradicts what she once told me about how when she found out her ex had mailed in the paperwork she tried to stop it and was told it couldnt be stopped as the
AG represents childs interests and not parents - who knows which is true)

I get the whole "you know what, you dont want us, we dont need you, you A-hole" sentiment. But once time passed, her life normalized, she matured, she had options. Her parents repeatedly tried to get her to file for CS. After all if denying paternity was the end all be all of child support very few mamas would be getting the help they deserve. She waited, and waited, and waited and ultimately only caved in to please a boyfriend. (An unrelated tidbit, she nursed DSS till age 1, but stopped nursing her 2nd when the boyfriend told her he thought it was gross). She waited until we had made all these huge life decisions and then sprung this huge stressor/financial responsibility on us. She wants DH to see DSS but doesnt get that he works LOOONG hours to support us and pay CS. He simply cant do it all. DSS living here during the school week was the perfect arrangement. He got to see his dad for at least a bit before bedtime, he got to spend every weekend with his mom who works a M-F 8-6 job. Typically DSS can spend the whole weekend here and only see his day a couple hours on Sunday. But she missed him, it didnt matter that he was thriving, that he and his dad were really starting to connect, that it maximized both parents time with him, She missed him. And its typical of her to nurse her feelings first.

Im partly ticked because DH & I wanted 5 kids. I always wanted a big family. Paying CS makes that unrealistic. I need to go back to work as soon as possible. We are struggling hard to keep me home untill DD is school age. She rearranged my life and I had no choice. I dont blame DH, he wanted to be let off the hook and was. I do blame her. In her own words, she saw DH a few times through the years and went the other way because she was afraid he would take DSS from her somehow.
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#21 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, you are right there. We are or should be separate. I guess since we've both known him the exact same length of time it's not quite the same as the usual situation.
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#22 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I can't vote . . . I wouldn't expect you to love a step-son the way you love your own children, but I would expect your husband to love any child of his own as much as he loved any others.

If it were my partner, I would lose a lot of respect for him if he decided to give up on his own child . . . to the point that our relationship would quite likely end.
I know where you are coming from. Those are pretty much the same sentiments we entered into this whole thing with. We loved our son so intensely, instantly. I think DH thought it would be the same.

When the child you have raised becomes difficult, and unpleasant, you have all these reserves of oogly googly memories that help you gloss over them. In your mind they are still your baby. The love for your baby took root in the warm spring of infancy and can now withstand any storm.

I think there are some really special people out there who can adopt older children and not need that early connection to survive the difficult years. They amaze me.
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#23 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Wow, you definitely have my sympathy -- what a disaster! And the poor kid! I can't even imagine.

As far as loving him like your own: I voted no. I think it's best to never expect or try to love two people the same way. Love him as he is, in the best way you can. Love him for him. Don't fret trying to make it feel the exact same as the children you both know and love and have raised since birth. It won't be the same, but you don't have to rank them, either. Just love them all.


And, I think your grouping of you and DH together does make sense. You both met the child at the same time, so he has no special insights or bond with the kid -- just shared DNA. I think you both have an obligation to care for DSS and love him the best you can.

And you really *must* dissociate your feelings about him from those you have for his mother -- she's not his fault.

Best of luck to your whole family.

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#24 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 01:35 AM
 
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you know, what I'm hearing here is that you're really the one left holding the bag. Your husband's mental health is fragile, everything's gone down the toilet, the problems with this kid and his mom won't go away, and you have your own children to worry about. That makes you the one holding everything together and trying to buffer your husband's world so he doesn't fall apart again.

Which sucks. And I'm sure you're worn out.

Since you're the resident grownup in this picture, you're entitled to set some limits. Mom is freaky, cut her off. Parenting schedule is impossible, file for or make a change you can actually live with, but which gives the kid reasonable time with his dad.

As for his dad...he may be feeling like a failure, he may be feeling like it's all too much, he may be feeling like he shouldn't have to deal with these miseries. But he needs to be talking with some people who can help him see that this is his responsibility and it's not the kid's fault, so it's time to get over who his mother is. I cannot begin to tell you some of the creepy-crawly feelings I have about my daughter's dad. Yes, I see his mannerisms in her and hear his phrases. Doesn't matter. She's my kid, and she's not just her father.

Not everyone has warm feelings for their children, by the way. Infants leave a pretty substantial group of women cold, and some women find they don't really like the kids until they get to be school-aged, or even adults. What do they do? Get up and feed the baby, rock the baby, sing to the baby, change the baby...you get the picture. Doesn't matter how they feel; there's a responsibility.

In the end, I'd say that this is essentially not your problem. This is your husband's problem. It's his job to develop the relationship and find a way to be there for the boy, and bring him into your family, though I do understand the difficulty given depression. (There are some excellent parenting-while-depressed programs out there, btw.) I'd say your role would be to support him in that, though not to the point of being an adjunct therapist. Beyond that, though, what he does will, I'm sure, affect how you view him.

Meanwhile, someone for you to talk with regularly might be a good idea. Being married to someone prone to depression is hard enough; doing that, raising kids, going through bankruptcy, and dealing with Nightmare Stepkid Situation is just all too much. I hope there's a good therapist in the picture.
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#25 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 10:57 AM
 
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Gosh! Just many hugs. Sometimes it is really sad the obstacles we are given to get through...

I think Mama41 had a really good idea about you guys having someone to talk to... family counseling may be helpful in this situation.

I feel for everyone in this situation. But I think PP's are right... you need to separate the Mom from the child... the child definitely needs some type of a stable love from someone. It isn't his fault what his life has been like, and he needs help and nurturing to hopefully grow into a wonderful young man. He isn't going to get there on his own.

There are plenty of us Step-Moms who are not so fond of the bio-Moms... but we all seem to love the children a lot. It can be separated... some children are hard to love, but they still need that love to help them, and when they are older, they will likely appreciate it. It may take years, but eventually they will grow and mature too and realize which adults helped them.

Try to stay strong Mama and do what you must to release the negative energy from this situation.

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#26 of 28 Old 05-14-2008, 02:58 PM
 
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I also think you should separate your feelings about your stepson from his mom. My Dss is a very difficult child and I have chosen to love him, not like him all the time, but love him. He is my darling Dh's only child. Do I love him like I do my own children or my grandchild? Nope. It is more like the way a benevolent aunt feels about a very disturbed nephew. Your Dh is in a very bad position and I can understand why both of you are having a horrible time dealing. Don't take calls or texts from bio mom as pps have said. You are not her business. Counseling would be great if you can afford it, or if not, some churches have free pastoral counseling for families. Your Dh could choose to pay the cs and not have visitation if it is too disturbing for you all. The child lived without Dh before and could do so again if his behaviour and attitude are that horrible. However, my heart tells me that he needs his dad and that connection even if it is a faulty one.
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#27 of 28 Old 05-20-2008, 07:24 PM
 
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I just wanted to offer a
I'm so sorry your family is going through this and it must be truly hard for that little boy I agree with the counseling, it may help and it couldn't hurt to try.

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#28 of 28 Old 05-20-2008, 09:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
No way. Families are not based solely on genetics. Relationships, especially parent-child ones, take time to nurture and grow. It is unreasonable to think this would happen just because of finding out you are related to someone. But stable, respectful relationships with all involved should be the goal.
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
Wow, you definitely have my sympathy -- what a disaster! And the poor kid! I can't even imagine.

As far as loving him like your own: I voted no. I think it's best to never expect or try to love two people the same way. Love him as he is, in the best way you can. Love him for him. Don't fret trying to make it feel the exact same as the children you both know and love and have raised since birth. It won't be the same, but you don't have to rank them, either. Just love them all.

And, I think your grouping of you and DH together does make sense. You both met the child at the same time, so he has no special insights or bond with the kid -- just shared DNA. I think you both have an obligation to care for DSS and love him the best you can.

And you really *must* dissociate your feelings about him from those you have for his mother -- she's not his fault.

Best of luck to your whole family.
:

to both those quotes

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