I hate being a so-called stepparent…

by Rod Smith

“You never win when you are a stepparent because the child comes first and the child can never be wrong in the parents’ eyes. If any stepparent says anything negative about the child regardless how young or old, we will always be seen as the evil one. My ‘fiancé’ said we will not get married until his son and I get along which means he wants me to look the other way when his son orders me around and talks to me anyway he wants too because daddy isn’t going to do anything about it. But I will not put up with it either from anyone but my own parents. I am forty and no twelve-year-old has the right to tell me what to do. I hate being a so-called stepparent. It’s making my life a living hell and I am so miserable because I am always the one to blame for everything!”

I’d suggest both “daddy” and “stepmother” do a little growing up before walking down the aisle. When a forty-year-old writes like an angry twelve year old might write, I can only wonder what’s going on in the home! Stop fighting. Get some distance. You are not peers and yet is seems you are fighting like angry little siblings. Besides, if you hate it before you’re married you most certainly won’t find it too attractive once you are. What is in this for you? A man who treats you like a child and a boy with whom you seem to have issues of sibling rivalry. Then, and I must ask, why do you, an adult, allow your parents to treat you with any degree of disregard? Herein perhaps lies something of the root of the issue.

12 Comments to “I hate being a so-called stepparent…”

  1. I agree, you can’t compete with blood.
    We will end up angry for the rest of our live if we keep tolerate this.
    Leave the man and let him deal with his kid.

    (The writer — ‘Anonymous’ — of this comment was foul-mouthed and I edited his/her language. Angry letters, or the evidence of anger in the letters, suggest step-children have a lot to deal with! Rod Smith)

  2. I agree you should either get out of this relationship or at the very least take a time-out.

    I have been a step for seven years now. I’m 43 and have a lot of life experience but nothing could have prepared me for the difficulty that awaited me.

    A couple of things stand out to me though. You say the child always comes first and you can never win but that is the point isn’t it? God forbid I should die, but if so, I would expect my children to be put first to any future relationship.

    Next you say you are the fiancee not yet the step but you are wanting to be in the position of step before the actual marriage. That just seems unrealistic. I can tell you honestly that when you are the step you won’t have a parenting role either.

    I would have a long engagement of 6 years before I got married. That seems to be the best bet for the three of you.

  3. I have been a stepmother for 6 years and let me tell you, I was not prepared. The son who is 15 weighs 230 pounds and since I make him eat veggies, which he does not anywhere else, he has compained to his doctor that I force feed him till he pukes. He is now turning the younger of the two against me too….. Their mother is flippen nuts and still calls my husband out like a dog, screaming at him and telling him that he is an F-en bad father. Ohhh, he’s an ordained minister. So not only are you getting the kids you get an ex wife too!

  4. If you can , run for the hills. I am a step parent and their is nothing rewarding about selfish step kids. I wish mine would move far away with his nutso mother.

  5. Run, run, run as fast as you can! Never under any circumstances become a stepparent. It is Hell. There should be a law against becoming a stepparent. It is a no win situation. The stepchild will hate you, and you will be praying for the day the stepchild leaves home. It is horrible. All you parents out there if you divorce your spouse, or your spouse dies, do not remarry until your children have left home. You’ll save your children from hating another human being and you will save the sanity of another adult along with your own.

  6. i have to concur, as much as i hate to say it. i’ve been a stepmother for 7 years and it’s misery. i’ve been a stepdaughter, too, for 28 years and it’s not much more fun. there are certainly positive times, but overall i would never do this again. i have no one to blame but myself – i saw perfectly well that my husband’s ex was a basketcase for the three years we dated before marrying (they’d been divorced for 7 years when we met), i saw that my stepdaughter was truly a spoiled brat (lots of divorce guilt had led her parents to give her whatever she wanted, on demand), i saw that my husband was not cut out for serious parenting, and yet i married him anyhow (he’s got many other great qualities – including being a good stepfather to my son, go figure). our marriage is pretty solid, and we often all get along passably well, but the amount of turmoil his daughter strives to stir up is more than tiring. we’ve been through loads of therapy, but in the end his ex hates him, and by extension me, so much that she has literally ruined any chance of us having a sincere relationship with my stepdaughter. if it weren’t for the stability this marriage provides in so many other ways, i would be out of here. i have a great relationship with my ex, and his wife, and my son does with his stepmother, but my husband and stepdaughter – deeply flawed.

    • Your observation that your husband is not cut out for “serious parenting” is pivotal. Under functioning is more dangerous than a “basket-case” ex. Things will change if he notches up his functioning to fully fulfill his role. You’re protecting him. Your mutual relationship with the daughter is not primarily in the mother’s hands.

  7. everyone who has made these comments needs to take a serious look at your relationships…maybe you should have before you got in them. I can’t believe how much blame you all put on the children. My husbands ex-girlfriend is crazy, but we all deal with it. My step-daughter can be snotty, but she knows who is in charge. She does all she is asked and in the end she is the child and I am the adult. The adult should be mature and the facillitator of the relationship. I have an amazing relationship with my step-daughter, it didn’t come without work, but we have made it happen together. You guys obviously need a lot of work.

  8. Run….run the other way and fast. I AM married and have 2 step children. I bite my tongue a lot but I do not know how much I can take. You may love your husband dearly, but obviously you, as his future wife, your feelings are not important or else he would sit down and talk to you and help you validate your feelings and let you know your just as important to him as his children are.

  9. To lissy…sometimes it’s not us blaming the children but rather our partners who promise that things will work out and they will make every effort to ensure everyones needs and feelings are met. It’s hard being an outsider. It’s you ( the step parent ) then your spouse +children + ex spouse. I have no children…at all. So My husbands ex has this mind set that because she has children with him, she is the most important woman in his life and because I am not the bio mom…I am not in charge AT ALL in my home as far as how the children are raised are diciplined. Believe it or not…the step parents in this equation are human beings too..not just the children and we too want to feel that we are cared for and considered in this big equation too.

  10. lissy, I don’t think I said anything about it being the child’s fault or a faulty relationship. I think I made it clear that if the OP is having these many problems before marriage, she needs to take a serious look and step back.

    That being said, I am glad you have a great relationship with your stepchild. Not everyone does and from what I read, you are the exception not the rule. Feeling superior to people who were honest in this post however helps no one.

  11. I met my husband when his kids were 3 and 7, I thought that I would learn to love someone elses child and that it would just take time to bond. We are now married with a child of our own and his kids are now 5 and 9, their bio mom is and has always been the bigges B ever and does nothing but try to put both my husband and me down in the kids eyes yet at the same time she honestly only wants her kids around to collect the check from the government and child support from my husband, the kids are sweet and loving but I still find it hard to bond to them as they always pull away or it’s always about mommy this and mommy that, it makes it hard to bond. And at times I just want it to be me my children and husband while the others just stay with their mom. I know how this sounds but seriously can anyone of you tell me that you immediately love and like everyone that is married into your family because that’s all it is they were married in they just happen to be smaller. I am not a bad or evil person I simply dislike having to be caring and attentive to another persons child when I get none (and I mean none) of the reward they will always love their mother more and that’s the way it should be but your feelings can only take so much rejection from another being before it starts to completely resent them even when they are being nice. for instance my step daughter love’s my daughter and is a great big sister but like when we do crafts together she will make something and say from beginging to end I’m making this for you and how do you like it and she’ll get really excited but then when she’s finished she turns and says you know what I’m going to give this to mommy instead but thats okay because you saw me making it right. I know it’s innocent and she doesn’t mean to hurt me but when she does this 10 times in a row you eventually get frusterated and very sad and find your lashing out at a 5 year old the next time she says she’s making something for you, you end up saying “your really making it for your mom so just say you are T because that’s the truth so don’t lie)

    Please no hater’s I’m already sad with how I thought this would go. but how can you bond when at every turn they pull away, I’ll tell you how you don’t thats how. and then eventually your heart turns off towards them and all your left with is wondering why you thought being a step parent would be great.

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