My Blended Family

Jamie - posted on 05/16/2016 ( 5 moms have responded )

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I've been married to my husband for 7 years and he has a son from his first marriage who will be 11 in July. When I first met my husband everything was great but now that we have our daughter (just turned 5), I feel like my stepson goes out of his way to make me (and his sister) feel like we're not as important as his 'real family'. He doesn't come right out and say anything specific, it's in the small details. Constantly referring to me by my first name (even though he calls his stepdad 'Dad'), asking to call his 'real Mom' repeatedly, refusing to share anything with his sister (even though he very willingly shares with everyone else). I've been fighting the urge lately to feel disconnected from him. I almost prefer it when we just have our daughter overnight instead of when we have both children. It's just quieter, easier, less drama, and I feel like a better Mom when it's just me and my daughter. I've read a few other comments on here and it sounds like I'm not alone in this. Blended families are tough. It doesn't mean I don't love him, I just find that it's harder to love him because I'm painfully aware of his 'real Mom'.

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Raye - posted on 05/17/2016

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The scheduling thing is hard. I feel like the ex knows, my mother-in-law knows, heck even my sister-in-law in another state knows things before I do (IF I know at all). The communication thing is the only thing my husband and I really fight about. My advice is to keep talking to your husband. Let him know that you need this information. It has helped us a little to have a shared calendar on our phones that we (he) can update as plans happen or change, then keep reminding him to put things on the calendar until it becomes habit.

And tell your husband that he needs to help foster a better relationship between his son and daughter. He can't just put that off on you, because his son is HIS son and his direct responsibility. And the kid needs that kind of enforcement/encouragement from his father, not the "outsider", for it to stick.

Raye - posted on 05/17/2016

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I am a step-mom of two, and know somewhat how you feel. I often feel like an outsider, and that I'm a square peg trying to fit in a round hole that remained after the ex left. My step-kids are not intentionally doing anything to cut me off, but I frequently don't get all the information about their schedules, plans, etc. that keeps me out of the loop. In both of our situations, this is an issue with the kid's father more than the kids, because he's allowing it to continue. You should really talk to your husband about it, and then maybe both sit down with the boy and talk about things.

Don't try to force the boy into calling you "mom" even if he calls his step-dad "dad", and don't take it personally. You don't know the dynamic at the other house, and forcing him would not make the situation better. He would resent it and you would know it was fake, so just let that go.

Michelle - posted on 05/16/2016

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What is your husband doing about it? He should be having a talk with his son and finding out why he is acting that way.

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Jamie - posted on 05/17/2016

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Thanks Raye :) I agree - I would never force my stepson to call me Mom. It just stings a little knowing he has another stepparent he doesn't call by their first name. You hit the nail on the head with the scheduling issue! Even this weekend is a perfect example of that. I planned a weekend to go visit my family 2 1/2 hours away assuming we have Ethan (my stepson) only to find out that my husband and his ex switched weekends but didn't mention anything to me. I've had this trip on the calendar for over a month and it would just be nice to be included in the conversation. I'm also not privy to the 'home schooling' conferences he has with his ex-wife. She home schools which I'm completely fine with (I would never have the patience to do that personally so if she wants to, that's her choice) but I don't know what material they are covering or what projects he is working on. Ethan is pretty good about keeping me in the loop but I'd like to hear about his progress from an adult rather than a 10 year old.

Jamie - posted on 05/17/2016

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Hi Michelle - he doesn't think it's a huge issue. Plus, I think he likes to be the 'good guy' with his son. We share custody (50/50) with his ex-wife but I get the feeling he's still cautious about what to say to his son because he doesn't want him to pull away.

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