Starting to have negative feelings about being a step-mom.

[deleted account] ( 19 moms have responded )

This is a hard one for me to admit because I have two step-children whom I love dearly....one who lives with us and is being raised as my own (his mother is deceased) and another who lives with his mother (she is awful). Because of the long list of issues we have had with his mom including parental alienation, harassment, threats, stalking, etc....and the fact that she has poisoned my step-child against us by making up horrible lies about both me and my husband, I have gotten to the point where I realized I kind of prefer when she interferes with visitation now. Don't misunderstand, I love him and know how important it is for him to spend time with us, especially his dad and brother. But after 5 years of this nonsense, it's just easier to allow her to make up excuses as to why he can't visit. When she did it this weekend by telling him that if he stayed home during his visitation with his father, that she would take him out of town to visit his cousins, I was grateful. I know she thinks we will be upset....but we weren't. It's so exhausting fighting about it and my husband just doesn't have the energy anymore. Neither do I. I never thought it would get to this point, where I would secretly look forward to the day when he's a teen and naturally won't want to come over as often. And I know it isn't my step-sons fault....it's his moms. I guess she finally won. Have any other step-moms felt this and overcome it? Am I just in a funk right now because I'm exhausted from the drama? I hope so.

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Jodi - posted on 01/28/2016

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I'll be honest, when I read the headline, I thought we had another step-parent blaming the child, but then I read the post.

I can kind of understand how you feel in some ways. My step-son's mother moved away when he was only 4 (its a good 250km), and despite fighting it, we lost and she was permitted to move (her husband is in the navy). And it was then forever a fight to get time with him, and when we did it involved so much running around and organising because of the distance. It was so exhausting it was almost a relief when she did let us know that a certain weekend wasn't going to happen. So I totally hear you. I wish I had some advice for you, but we just go with the flow too. My step-son is 16 now, and very soon he will have a licence and his own car and the issues will change. I'm sure we won't see him all the time, that's what teens do, but it will also be less stressful and less demanding when we do.

I just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone.

Meredith - posted on 01/28/2016

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I want to first express my caring empathy for your very difficult situation. Being a parent can be very difficult but being a step-parent can feel sometimes impossible.

To me, obviously if you came here to this forum reaching out to other moms you certainly weren't bashing anyone so I am not quite sure about some of the responses you have received. I have re-read your title and I don't see where it says you don't love anyone. All people have their breaking points and it sounds to me like you are reaching out because you have reached yours.

It is exhausting to deal with all of that drama and to tell you the truth I would wonder if you weren't over it and somewhat relieved when the situation is decided for you and she refuses to bring the child to your house. I have seen many mothers on these forums have just the opposite reaction and say it is not your child the vistation is up to the parents, stay out of it. Yet this time when I think it is not your responsiblity to have to get involved they are saying you should. I for one think it is not your fight you shouldn't have to say anything. It is up to his father to redemy the situation. I am not sure if I missed it or if you said how old your stepson is but he will get to an age where he can make his own decison to see his father and if your husband goes to court they will talk to your stepson and his mother will be told to stop interfering.

It is not easy to deal with all of this and there is nothing wrong with feeling exhausted and over the drama after all I think people forget that step-parents are in a very difficult position, dealing with all of it with few choices on what can be done about it. It disrupts your life and your household not to mention if you have other children they are upset too. It sounds like a very explosive situation with the mom if their is stalking involved. Maybe family therapy would help even if it is just you and your husband and your son that lives with you.

Again you came here for help and I am sorry for some of the responses you received.

Raye - posted on 01/28/2016

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I have refrained from jumping in on this one, but I want to say something... many times, what is easy is not what is right. It might be easier and you may feel some relief when you don't have to deal with the issues on a particular weekend. I'm a step-mom. I get it, believe me. But it may be worse for the child in the long run to allow the plans to keep changing. The mother is obviously manipulating the whole situation, and trying to drive a wedge into the father/son relationship. If the child actually had other plans that couldn't be rescheduled (school trip, friend's birthday party, etc.) and wanted to postpone his time, that would be one thing. But if you know the mother is trying to interfere by intentionally scheduling things on the father's weekend, then that's not fair to the father or son. And no matter if it is actually more convenient to you that he's not there, you should still try to be fair to the child and advocate for his time to bond with his father. He will grow up and move on with his life soon enough, and you wouldn't want regrets that you maybe didn't do enough for him.

Being a step-parent is hard. I don't know that I would recommend it to anyone who wasn't a very strong person. But it's getting harder these days to find a partner that doesn't have kids from another relationship. So, there needs to be a shift in how step-parents are viewed. There are some bad ones out there, sure. But many step-parents try very hard only to be met with resistance from the ex and sometimes even from their own spouse. We get much of the responsibility and nearly none of the credit. But the kids are the ones who benefit with a good step-parent, and that has to make it all worth it. Keep the child's best interests at heart, and keep trying to do what's right... not what's easy.

Lisa - posted on 01/28/2016

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I am so sorry for your struggles. It is understandable, kids are so impressionable and when they are influenced negatively this is what happens. I know it can be really hard on you. Here is a series of article on Blended Families bit.ly/1jwONFC. It might be helpful on your journey. I am sorry you are so exhausted, probably more emotionally than physically. Take care of yourself and your husband. Can you make time to process the situation and then other times where it doesn't even come up, so that you keep your identity as a couple? Things will eventually change, but in the here and now be encouraged mom!

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Lisa - posted on 03/01/2016

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I am so glad things are improving. Sometimes, time just allows things to change. And he is getting older. I am glad you can devote the weekend to him and just have fun and let him enjoy you and his dad. Bravo mama, keep hanging in there. This may turn into a really wonderful relationship as he grows up!

[deleted account]

Things are much better. I think I was just overwhelmed when I created the post and worrying about the future. We hadn't seen him in almost a month because his mother kept coming up with excuses as to why he couldn't visit, so my husband finally put his foot down and told her he expected his son to visit with us for the next 2 weekends. She tried to argue but my step-son told said he wanted to do so, and that was it. He was very loving, excited to see us all and it was a great weekend. It reminded me of what was important, and that no matter how he might act out at times, he is just a little boy figuring out how to react to all of the stuff life is throwing at him.

Lisa - posted on 02/09/2016

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@Coni How are things going? Has the situation improved? Drama can be exhausting. I hope you are doing well.

[deleted account]

Oh I know that it's best for my step-son to visit us because that way he can have that relationship with his brother and father and also see what a harmonious household looks like. He's already exhibiting behavior that mirrors his mother- when he doesn't get what he wants he will make threats not to visit anymore or cut off contact with us, etc. I know it's not him- it's what he is learning in that environment. I don't blame him for any of this, but I'd be lying if I didn't say it's a constant uphill battle to teach him what real, unconditional love is or how family members are supposed to treat one another. Recently I watched him berate another half sibling and refuse to allow her to attend a birthday gathering with my in-laws and us because he said he wanted all of the attention for himself. It was heart breaking for me to see him hurt this sibling (and all of our other family members who hadn't seen this sibling of his in almost a year) that way. I just keep hoping that the more time he spends with us, the more he will realize that certain behaviors aren't healthy. I'm afraid of the influence she has had on him and who he might turn out to be otherwise.

[deleted account]

Thank you. That's all I was trying to say. I love both of my step-kids and treat them like my own...but that doesn't mean I don't sometimes get into a negative place when the same drama pops up over and over with the ex. I guess we will just keep going with the flow like you said things will work themselves out eventually.

Ev - posted on 01/28/2016

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I read your post clearly. From a reader's point of view, it seems that this is the child's fault that this is happening. I have seen other titles where the step moms have posted titles from hating the step child to the marriage is ruined by the step child. Just those few words can make a big impression for a post. I am also not judging you. I am reacting to what I am reading and how it comes across.

[deleted account]

I clearly stated in the post that that is not the case. You seem to have had a very strong reaction to the title of the post but didn't really bother to read what I was actually trying to convey or what I said in the post..............meaning you have misunderstood what I was saying and are judging me for that. Clearly, I love both of my step-children. I don't know what else to tell you.

Ev - posted on 01/28/2016

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The title suggests that this is the child's fault or something. Like the blame is on the child for what the adults are involved with.

[deleted account]

Well that was the point. Headlines are supposed to grab peoples attentions, right? But I thought I explained myself fairly clearly in the actual post. I'll edit the title.

[deleted account]

Because it was just a headline and couldn't possibly sum up the entirety of my feelings in 8 words.

Ev - posted on 01/28/2016

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His dad should be taking her to court for contempt anyhow. And yes, as teens kids do want to do more things on the weekends with friends, I get that, as I had two teens myself. This woman needs to know that her interference is not going to be tolerated. The child deserves to have relationships without this interference with his father. So if you love this boy so much why did you entitle the post loosing the loving feelings for step son?

[deleted account]

I didn't say I don't love him or that my husband doesn't enforce his visitation. I said that once again, she interfered with visitation and had my step-son call and tell his father that he didn't want to visit but would come next weekend instead. She used to interfere in obvious ways by refusing to allow visitation. After my husband got a lawyer and told her he was documenting the behavior, she has gotten more sly about it and instead plans "fun things" for her to do with my step-son on the weekends that he is supposed to visit with my husband and then if my husband won't agree, she will force him to call and tell my step-son no. It's still interfering, but by making my husband look like the bad guy. My husband doesn't like to fight with his son about these types of things. He's not a little kid...he's becoming a teen and more and more we realize he is going to want to do things with his friends, etc rather than come and have weekend visits with his father. My husband isn't giving up. He just doesn't want to keep fighting about it. The point is not that anyone has given up- the point is that I secretly am starting to wonder if it wouldn't be easier if we did. I never would, but I think it. The decision for visitation is my husbands. I have no contact with the childs mother and do not interfere when it comes to the decisions he makes. It's not my place. My place is to support my husbands decisions and if he feels it's better not to fight (because my step-son already has horrible anxiety due to the things his mother has done/said over the years) then that is his choice.

Ev - posted on 01/28/2016

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First, by your husband not taking his visitation with this son, he is hurting the child. If there are visitation orders with this kid set up then mom is in contempt of court. It is not the child's fault this is going on. In fact, the child is stuck in the middle of it. Second, how can you lay this at the feet of the child? What has this kid done to deserve this not being loved by you anymore? Third, not one of the adults in this child's life are stepping up and saying anything about stopping this nonsense and getting it taken care of.
Think of how this boy feels being told by mom negative things about his dad and step mom and then feels your resentment because of how his mom is taking this to the extreme. Dad needs to step to the plate and take mom to court of she is in contempt of his visitation tat is court ordered. She can not hold his son from him like this. It is parental alienation and he could get custody of the kid himself.
For the sake of the child, tell your husband he needs to do something.

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