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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I'm so glad to have found this forum.

I've been married for 12 years. My stepkids are now 23, 20 and 17. After the birth of my youngest stepchild, their mom left the family and has barely seen them since. Less than 7 times in the years we've been married. I went into this knowing I was taking on a lot, but everyone told me when they were older, they would appreciate me for it and would grow to love me. This is not the case and it hurts. This past year has been the toughest for me. But it's been going on for years. My oldest stepson, who was 11 when I married my husband and 9 when we first got together, has never shown any type of affection or love toward me. He used to tell his brother, my other stepson, who was 5 when we married, that I was their stepmother, not their mom. He had photos of their mom is his room and would tell them stories about her and then say I wasn't good enough to be a mom or a parent to them. My husband and I found out a couple of years after this and by then, the kids had decided not to let me into their hearts.

I'm ignored by them every Mothers Day. They never acknowledge my birthday. Family Tree projects for school haven't included me. It's been constant. Years of family counseling and counseling to help them deal with their mom abandoning them hasn't helped much at all. It took away some of the hostility from the oldest, but he never gave me a chance and because of this, I feel the younger two never did either. An example of this is his teachers sending things home with students and him asking to have "the parent" instead of "the parents". I know it's silly to be upset by this, but it hurts.

Now my oldest stepson is a father himself. He has a little boy (closely named after his mom) who gets told she's grandma and I'm (first name). He's not old enough to talk yet, but I know I won't be called grandma.

My husband, who I do love deeply, has told them numerous times that purposely leaving me out is hurtful and wrong. He's also told them I'm not to blame for their mom not being around and I shouldn't be punished for it either. He's also tried to point out everything I've done for them and the efforts I've made over the last twelve years. I was the one who always tried to set up one on one activities (for him and the kids and me and the kids), but they just don't seem to care.

This past Mothers Day was hard. I had some friends over who haven't visited in several years. They seemed shocked to see none of the kids were around none of them had given me a card (my husband had, but not them).

This resulted in an argument between my husband and oldest stepson where my stepson said I'm not a mom or parent unless one of them considers me a parent or mom figure to them. It broke my heart when the three of them basically said not one of them would care if I were to die in the morning. I just, I feel like I loved them and started thinking of them as my kids for nothing.

I never attempted to replace their mom or tried to say they couldn't talk about her or even try to contact her if they wanted. I even told them this, since I was told it might help by one of the counselors over the years, but it didn't seem to make any difference at all.

I'm sorry for ranting here. I just wanted to know if anyone had every gone through anything remotely similar? And did it get easier? :crying:
 

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My kids wax and wane regarding my role in their lives. I have been ignored on Mother's Day more than once. This last year was the first year they actually celebrated with me, and I cried.

It's difficult to accept, but you aren't the mom, and unless they want you in their lives, there is little you can do. I saw a therapist for about five years to learn how to deal with this. It's not easy.

But I did find that once I accepted it and came to peace with it, things got a LOT easier. And surprisingly the kids starting seeking me out for advice and support. Before I got past the whole "not the mom" frustration, I think maybe I somehow was subconsciously pressuring them into something that they resisted.
 

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I think that the people around you misrepresented things and gave you false hope. I also imagine it's possible you gave up having your own kids to parent them.

It's not fair. It hurts. It may never stop hurting.

Mourn the loss. Know that biological parents can also face having their adult children cut ties. There are a lot of support groups for estranged parents. It may be good to look into them.

I agree that coming to peace with it is a good idea. It's possible that it'll help your step-kids be more comfortable about you, but it should be about doing what you need- not what they do. Your husband should not cut his kids out of his life, so this pain will come back to the surface.

Talking to a therapist may help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both for replying to my post. I think I will look into some counseling for myself to help me deal with this. Actually, I was never able to have a biological child of my own and we could not afford fertility treatment.

Thank you both again. Both answers have helped me a little. :)
 
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