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Can't stand Step-son, do I leave DH?

14 years ago

I have been reading many of the posts and feel everyone's pain. My DH and I have been together for 6 years and have been married going on 4 years now. He has a son that is going to be 11 in May. He had a relationship in his late teens with an older girl and got her pregnant. When she got pregnant she didn't know at first if it was his or several of his friends. He broke up with her since he found out she had cheated. He later did find out that the baby was his and was in his life for the first 2 years. After that my DH hit a very bad time in his life and during that time he stopped seeing his son.

So anyway, my DH and I meet and he tells me about his son. I have to say now that I did encourage him to at least start paying child support. I believe whole heartedly that no child asks to be brought into this world and one must take care of their responsibility. My DH at the time told me that he did not want to deal with his ex and that it would just be better to leave things as the are. He told me not to worry that he was not going to see his son until he grew up and maybe wants answers at that time. My sister is an attorney and a step-mother herself and she told us to just leave things the way they were. At the time I really thought she was kind of cold but now I understand a lot more of what she was saying.

Well last October out of the blue my DH's ex contacts him at his job and says she wants to tell their son about him. My SS did not remember my DH and had been being raised by a stepfather that he thought was his real dad. He still calls his stepfather Dad and calls my DH by his first name. He also has a half-sister whose father is my SS stepdad. Hope you got all that! Well we now see my SS every other weekend and he wants to spend time this summer here. Oh, and right now my DH and I are living at my in-laws. We had to suddenly move back here from out of state to help with my family and now we have to get back on our feet.

So the problem is that I seriously hate my SS. He is not necessarily a bad kid. I just can't stand him. Even hearing his laugh or voice just grates on my nerves. I can't believe that I feel this way because I have always loved kids. I absolutely adore my nephews and my niece and briefly majored in special education. So I am normally a very caring person. I always hated the way that my sister was towards her 2 SS but now I can kind of understand. She was never right out mean or anything but her husband just never really spent much time with his sons until they got much older.

I really don't know what to do. Part of me is very guilty for feeling the way I do but I can't help it. I don't want to be around my SS at all. DH had said that he would just stop getting him every other weekend and just go get him and hang out with him and then take him home for the night. I am fine with that. I am not saying that he can't ever see his son, I just don't want to be forced to have to be around him. If we were not living with my in-laws I would tell DH to take the kid over there for the night. My mother-in-law can not stop raving about how sweet the kid is, how handsome he is, etc. You know the grandmother stuff. That is wonderful and he needs that in his life, every child does. I just don't want to have to hear it 24/7.

I think part of my problem is that I don't have any kids myself. I have gotten to the point of accepting that I don't think I will ever have kids. My DH and I have never used BC and still have never gotten pregnant. I was in idiot in my younger days and didn't use BC with my ex-boyfriend for 3 years and never got pregnant then either. I have thyroid problems and seriously doubt that I can even have children. I am fine with that now and in fact don't even think I want any children. I love having time to myself and I have a lot of health problems and do not think that I could even manage a baby. I am sure somewhere deep down I resent the fact that my DH has a child with someone else. I see that and acknowledge it but it still doesn't make this any easier.

My DH and I just had a discussion today on our way back from dropping SS off. On the way to drop him off DH and SS were talking all about plans for the summer. Once we left SS at his home my DH could tell I was in a bad mood. He asked why and I told him because he had told me that from now on he was going to do stuff with his son on his own and not have him stay over but he had just been talking like his son was coming for the summer. I told him again that he can go spend as much time as he wants with the kid but that I don't want any part of it right now. I could change, I don't know but as of now I just want to be left alone. I know that I am being a huge brat myself and I am being selfish but I just can not stand to be around my SS anymore.

My DH asked me if I was going to leave him. I told him that I am not planning on it but that honestly I don't know. I told him that maybe it is a good idea to separate for a while. He said no that he does not want to lose me and that if it ever comes down to it he will always pick me. He asked me to make any sudden decisions and to let him to try to figure things out.

I honestly do not know what to do. I have been crying all afternoon. This is the first time that I have seriously considered a divorce. I do love my husband and know in my head that I should grow up and compromise but then I think of my SS and almost get sick to my stomach. I just can't live with the dread of seeing him every other weekend, not to mention summer and holidays. Did I mention that DH own Dad walked out on him when he was about 12. He was very abusive to my DH and my mother-in-law ended up leaving him and he just now got into contact with my DH a year ago. My DH has an amazing stepfather and my mother-in-law has SS of her own that she loves unconditionally. I know that the step parent relationship can be good. I had high hopes and even read a book about Step-parenting. I wanted to do the right thing for my SS but now I just want to run.

Any advice? Should I just cut and run now before things get worse? If I can't just suck it up and stand it then I guess I might have to do that. Will I feel bad if my DH decides to pick me over his son? I probably would but I would be happy at the same time. Isn't that sick? I feel like the world's worst person. I just don't know what to do and realize there is no easy answer. I come from a family where both of my parents are still together after 33 years. I now can see why so many kids out there are so messed up. So what would you do?

Comments (38)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    if your DH was a decent man, he would immediately divorce you, I would not spend 5 minutes with a man who asks me not to bring my child home. the very fact that he is still married to you knowing your attitude tells me that you both deserve each other.

    neither one of you should be around this child because it is very damaging for him. he should just stay with his mother and stay away from both of you.

    I think it is probably not a bad idea not to have children because it does not sound like both of you are suited for parenting job.

    i have hard time believing this post is for real.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh my ... time for you to grow up. Your husband has a child with another woman who has suddenly come back into his life ... which includes you. If you don't want to be around his son, divorce the man ... don't create unnecessary drama by making husband choose between you and an innocent child. ::GEESH::
    It's a kid ... be an adult and create harmony. By doing so, you may actually experience joy.

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  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I understand that this is a tough situation for you. The game-plan you signed up for is not the game-plan anymore.

    But the bottom line is that he has a son and you have to find a way to deal with it, or you have to split up.
    If dealing with it is spending a fair bit of time reading books in your room with earplugs in when SS is over, then that's OK. If dealing with it is spending the evening at your sister's or out for coffee with a friend when they are around home in the evening, and asking DH to go on outings with him during the day, then so be it...
    But you can't interfere with the relationship they are working on. It's important for them both.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What advice are you looking for? You say your DH is prepared to choose you over his son, which is what you want.

    You admit that you choose your own feelings over his sons' and you can apparently live with this, or can't you? Is this why you feel bad? Well, you should. Shame on you and shame on your DH. What a loser.

    I'm not under any illusion that you or your DH would be considering a divorce seriously, obviously you both think of yourselves first and the kid is out of luck.

    I find it hard to believe you are for real.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ceph - Thank you for your response and you are right. I know that I need to grow up and just deal with this. I guess I wanted to hear that it is ok for the time being for me to just go into my room and keep to myself or over to my mom's or something.

    I really do not want my DH to stop seeing his son. That is not what I asked of him. I asked for him to get his son and do things with him himself and not force me into anything at this point. DH wants us to be one big happy family and I am afraid we just aren't. You know this is all new to all of us and I feel like my DH just expected SS and me to be like mother and son right from the start. I am sorry but he already has a mother. I think I just need to give it some time and let a relationship build.

    What advice was I looking for? Well I wanted to hear that this is all new (only been a few months now) and that it takes time to get to know someone and that maybe a relationship will build between SS and me at some point. But that if we never like eachother that is ok too, as long as we respect one another. And that if I didn't like it or couldn't grow up then I need to leave. You all told me that and it is the truth. I have to either roll with it or get out.

    One of the things that makes it so difficult with SS is that his parents have completely different parenting styles than we do. My DH and I believe that a child should be encouraged to be creative, that he gets respect and gives it at the same time, that he has set clear boundaries but is still allowed to express himself. BM and SF both are very mean to my SS. They won't ever let him say much at all and tell him that his opinion does not matter. He has been told that kids don't get an opinion and should be seen and not heard. His SF has even told me that if he does not respect me that I should knock him a good one. I do feel sorry for my SS and hate that he has to go through all that. He is actually starting to do better and his BM told my DH does listen to what we have told him.

    We have had to teach him to share, to not talk back, to go to bed (at his BM house he stays up all night even on school nights and was doing this at our house too at first on the weekends), he has refused to take baths or brush his teeth but he is doing that now that we started giving him an allowance and that is a requirement to get it. He also suffers from ADD and has problems in school. No surprise there with his home life. My DH and I got my SS into karate and hope that helps him some with learning respect and also to expel some of his extra energy.

    The BM and SF are both proud "white trash" and "rednecks" from East Texas. My DH and I are the complete opposite. I am college educated and DH is pursuing his education now. We are really trying to stress the importance of an education. Right now my DH and I don't have a lot of money ourselves but we certainly don't call ourselves rednecks and are not prejudice people at all. SS has been taught that the police are bad, stuff like that. And of course he thinks that everything is BM tells him is gospel so it just makes things difficult. They just live a completely different life style than we do. They also drink and smoke pot and do it in front of the kids, well in their bedroom but the kids come in and out. I mean come on that is the same as doing it in front of the kids. My DH and I do not drink but on special occasions and don't do and drugs.

    The more I write about SS issues and problems the more that I realize I do care what happens with him. I really do. I just think that I need to think more about his point of view and try to make things easier on him. Part of my problem is that I am a control freak and I need to get help with that. I really do need counseling. I honestly don't want to feel the way I do and need to grow up a lot.

    I am seriously a real person and these have not been fake posts. I am just a very indecisive person and have issues with making a decision. I know the right thing to do here. I know it in my heart.

    I will say that just reading other posts on here or other sites online about skids has really helped a lot. I have found that there are tons of step-parents that hate their skids. That it is normal but you just work through it. I really thought I was the only one that felt this way and I think that was part of my guilt. Now I see that it is ok to feel that way and that you aren't expected to automatically love your skids but that as long as you work together in the end you will make it.

    I was just really upset last night when I wrote my post and full of a lot of anger. DH needs to also stick to what he says and not keep flip flopping on me. If he is going to do something like go see his son on his own he needs to do that and then not guilt trip me when I don't want to go. We still have a lot to talk about and work out but I am more hopeful that things will work out eventually. Also living with my in-laws has been stressful enough. When SS comes over here he doesn't have his own space so I know that has to be part of the problem too. He needs his own room.

    My DH and I had to move back here to take temporary custody of my nephews, otherwise they were going into foster care. That is why we had to suddenly up and move back to TX. We left our home and all of our stuff for those kids. All of our belongings are still up in storage. My nephews are not back with their mom and everything worked out but it has just been a very stressful past 9 months. I still help out with my nephews almost every day during the week. They are just 1 and 2 years old.

    Ok I will stop here for now. I just wrote another book here and apologize for the long posts.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hating your stepkids is not normal. There is no automatic love or bonding. You have to work on that. I think you should leave and let your DH bond with his son. Afterall he is just getting to know his dad. How would you like to go visit two complete strangers and have them telling you what to do and how to do it.
    These post where the poster says they hate their Skids and they tell why, really get to me. They are kids, how can you say you hate a kid? You resent this kid because your DH had sex with another woman and created a baby. From your post it appears to me that you have wanted a baby and have not been able. He shares something with another woman that he may never share with you and SS is the one that will suffer for. Get out of this childs life before any damage is done.
    The fact that you would leave everything behind to get custody of your nephews but will not allow your DH's son to stay EOW with you, says that you are not good for this boy and have direct resentment. He could be a perfect kid adn you would still hate him. You are the problem not the child. Why would you want to be married to a man that would pick you over his own child? Would'nt you want better for your child if you have one?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    So, somewhat suddenly, you wound up with a tween with behavioral issues on your hands. It's OK to have a hard time adjusting, to be frustrated and angry, and so on. It's not OK to take it out on SS, who is probably also having a hard time adjusting.

    As SM to an 11yo with severe ADHD and has recently been diagnosed as bipolar, I wish you luck, patience and stamina ;) You'll need it in buckets!! If you can't find it on your own, head to counseling. If you STILL can't find it, you have to reevaluate your relationship.

    Oh, and yes, having SS around when you're having problems conceiving is extremely difficult. But again, it's something we have to get over or get out. Anyone who says it's not hard to be around Skids when having fertility issues is either lying or has never had to TRY to conceive.

    SS having his own space at your place will definitely make a difference to everyone's sanity. We were renovating recently and SS had to sleep in the dining room for a few months. We were NOT a happy household during that time. Now he has his room back and everyone is much more mellow again.

    If you want to work on your own relationship with SS without jumping in over your head, maybe your could plan something like this: When he is over for the weekend, you plan to spend Sunday at your mom's, and enjoy a good book in your room on Saturday night... But on Saturday morning, the three of you go out for breakfast, or make waffles at home or whatever, then an outing to something you'll all enjoy (movie, bookstore, a walk, etc). If the morning goes well, hang out for the afternoon too; if it's not such a hit, find a way to do separate things for the afternoon.

    Relationships don't form overnight, but they also don't form with a bad attitude. So take time to refuel your happy-place, bow out when you have to, talk honestly to DH about how you feel and why, actively problem-solve with DH to look for ways that everyone can come out winning in this situation.

    And, last but not least, NEVER tell SS that you think his mom is a crappy mom!! Vent about it to DH, and to family and friends who can be trusted to keep their mouths shut, but never breathe a word of it to SS!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago


    Maybe a whole summer is a bit much right now. Can the summer be broken up in to weeks so EVERYONE can adjust to everyone else?

    Your resentment of the SS is clear and is compounded by your own frustration around trying to conceive. But give your DH and SS a break. At least your SS since the fertility problems are absolutley not his fault.

    I don't think you would be an evil stepmother if you ASKED your DH to break the summer up a bit. That's a long time for a brand new relationship with someone you really don't know. I'm giving yoiu the benefit of the doubt on the "hate" you describe and will categorize it more like anxiety about your own baby that you want and the pressure to accept this SS as part of your family. It will be less pressure on everyone including SS. As said above, relationships don't form overnight but a summer is a good period to work on it.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh I would never ever say a thing about BM in front of my SS. I know from my posts the kind of person you all think I am and you are wrong. I am not the type who would ever intentionally hurt any child and I mean that physically and emotionally. My SS has no idea in the world that I feel the way I do. I am always very nice to him and never rude or in a bad mood when he is around. The only one that knows any of how I feel is my DH. My own family doesn't even know how I feel because I just wanted to keep things between my DH and myself. My SS has even told my DH how much he loves me and he always wants me to join them. So far I pretty much have. We have been to the movies several times, out to eat, out shopping and had family game nights. I have even taken SS out with me and my sister and her son for some shopping and dinner. I guess hate was a very strong word. It is just that he does a lot of things that annoy the heck out of me. And I definitely think there is resentment for me not having conceived in all these years. But that is my problem and not the child's issue. I do know that.

    DH and I had a good talk today and I feel much better. We are still going to get SS EOW but only if my DH can be here. See my DH works in retail management so sometimes he has to work weekends. That has been a problem because I just wasn't comfortable having SS by myself yet. Luckily DH may have a new job with ever weekend off so that would be great.

    And as far as staying with a man who would pick me over his child. I am sorry but I strongly believe that the marriage should always come first. My parents are still married after 33 years and always taught me that the marriage comes first. If the parents aren't happy then the children sure won't be. In the end I really don't think my DH could ever walk away from his son again and I don't want him to. I am very proud to have such a wonderful and caring husband who loves me so much. He would do anything in the world for me and I realize that I have to do this for him. He is the one who said that if I ever made him choose to know that it would be me, but and a big BUT is that he did not ever want it to come to that. Instead he wanted us to compromise and come up with a solution. I was not ever going to ask him not to see his child. I just didn't want to be forced to have to be the one taking care of him EOW and be forced to suddenly be a perfect happy family.

    I just didn't know if I wanted to stay and deal with this or leave. I know I don't really want to leave. I love my DH way too much. I have a history of running from problems and it is time for me to face my fears and take charge of my life. I have been doing A LOT of soul searching lately and trying to find out why I do the things that I do. You know nobody is perfect and at least I acknowledge that I have issues. So many people do but don't ever want to get help. I don't want to be a miserable, depressed, unmotivated, quitter and I am not going to be. I have been taking some huge steps in my life and things are only going to get better.

    I am just going to stay positive and take it day by day.

    I do thank you Ceph for your posts. You actually seem to have taken the time to give me some good insights without being overly rude and I do appreciate that. I want to learn and grow and I can say just writing has really helped me. I feel so much better now and think that everything is going to be alright.

    I turned to this message board to see if I could get any opinions or ideas that I might not have thought about. Sometimes I need a good kick in the a@% to wake me up to reality.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think it can be normal to hate a kid. Step or Bio. But you have to remember you're the adult. Many kids are just miserable little creatures and grow out of it in a couple of years.

    Are you willing to be a rock for this child? If you are, step up, realize you will hate him with a passion sometimes but eventually, most likely, you will grow to like and even love him. If you aren't, get out of his life. That simple.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "And as far as staying with a man who would pick me over his child. I am sorry but I strongly believe that the marriage should always come first. My parents are still married after 33 years and always taught me that the marriage comes first. If the parents aren't happy then the children sure won't be."

    Did your parents also teach how to function in a stepfamily? Cause you're saying parent as if you're one of this childs parents -- you're not. If the parents aren't happy, then you don't see your child? Is that how it works? And then the children will be happier not seeing their parent so that the stepparent and parent can have a happy marriage?

    Or is it the other way around? If the stepparent cannot behave like an adult they need to leave in order for the child to be raised by his parent.

    I can't believe that this would even be an option for you. Sure some people say marriage comes what cost? A child?

    Yes, people can and do know how you feel about them regardless if you say it or act like it. Children are not stupid.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you silversword. That is the best post yet. I do want to help out SS and think that in time it will get better.

    Like I said earlier, I was really upset when I wrote my 1st post and hate is a very strong word. I told DH today after reading other posts of experiences some step-parents go through we have it pretty good. I should just be happy that we get along with BM and her SO for the sake of the child. She wants to be my best friend and is always inviting us to come hang out. Ummm no thank you! I have no desire to be her best friend but I am glad that we all get along. I think things will get a little strained eventually because we can't go on forever not speaking up about some of the things that go on. Like the using drugs in front of the kids. But since we just now started up this relationship we didn't want to come in and take over so we have let a lot go.

    Like I said we enrolled SS in karate and bought all his gear. And he just leveled up this weekend and we had to buy his new belt and sparring gear. Well BM acts like she is the one that got him into karate and pays for everything. It kills DH because the instructor will call her and say that SS needs something and not call my DH. For example the instructor called and said SS wanted a t-shirt that was like $20. BM says ok go ahead and order it. She then calls DH and says by the way I need $20 for this shirt. DH told her we are broke right now that you should have asked before you ordered it. I told DH he needs to talk to the instructor and let him know to call DH and not the BM. DH then asked my SS what he did with his allowance because if he wanted the shirt so bad he could buy it himself. He said that his BM made him use the allowance we gave him to pay of his food tab at school. She normally pays for his food but said since your dad gave you an allowance you can use that money instead. I am fine with him having to pay for luxuries and all but I think she should give him a allowance then and teach him that herself. We are trying to teach him about the value of saving money and he can't do that if she is insisting that he spend it all to cover expenses she normally pays for.

    And she keeps saying that she didn't do this for the child support but that is all she ever really cares about. BM really couldn't care less if DH and son have a relationship or not, she just wants the money. We are paying her because we want to and it is the right thing to do. There is no court order to pay support. She was married at the time that she got pregnant by my DH and did not put my DH on the birth certificate. In our state if you are married at the time you give birth and the husband takes responsibility then the paternal father loses his rights. She tried taking us to court but lost. We pay her because he is my DH's son and it is the right thing to do. No matter what legality there is we know that he is responsible for a child he brings into this world. But she should just be glad that DH isn't the type to say well I don't have to legally pay you so I am not going to. She is still not divorced from that man and is now with a different guy. They had a wedding and claim they are married but it is illegal because she never did get a divorce. That is the type of woman that we are dealing with here. Oh how I could go on.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, people can and do know how you feel about them regardless if you say it or act like it. Children are not stupid.

    I never said that children are stupid. I do not act like I hate my SS around him. Honestly, he thinks I am the best thing since sliced bread. He raves about me to my DH and to his BM when he is at home. She has told me this much. Like I said I do not act anyway but nice and courteous to him.

    You then said: Did your parents also teach how to function in a stepfamily? Cause you're saying parent as if you're one of this childs parents -- you're not. If the parents aren't happy, then you don't see your child? Is that how it works? And then the children will be happier not seeing their parent so that the stepparent and parent can have a happy marriage?

    No my parents did not teach me how to function in a step-family. My parents are still together and I never had to deal with a step family. This is all new territory for me. And can't you people read. I never said for my DH to stop seeing his son. I did not want that and do not want that. But I will tell say this. It would be way worse on my SS if I did leave my DH. My DH loves me so much it would absolutely destroy him. I love him to much and I am not going to leave. But god forbid if I ever did I think he would then resent his son and I do not want to do that to his son either. If my DH stayed with me and said he would never see his son then he would just resent me. I have thought long and hard on this and I just need to grow up. But for my DH and I, our marriage does come first. That is why we have to work things out. Him not seeing his son is not an option and me leaving is not an option so we have to be adults and compromise. But again it would not be helpful in anyway for either of us (my DH or myself) to be misreable for the sake of the child. It would make life hell around here. So that is why our marriage comes first. We have to be a strong united front and provide a stable foundation to build the relationship with.

    And trust me I know that I am not the child's parent. I remind my DH of that quite a bit. Not in a bad way, I just tell him that I will stand by what he does because he is the father and that the SS is not my child. I don't want a parental role. I want to be a good influence on him and be someone he can look up to but I do not want to his mother in any shape or form. My DH has asked me my opinion on some things and I have shared with him but we are lucky in that we pretty much have the same ideas about how to parent. My DH biggest thing is respect, not talking back and doing what you are told. If you do those things then you pretty much have it easy from there. We are way more laid back then at his BM house, well in one sense we are. But then again we have a lot of expectations for him as well that his BM does not have. Him going to college for example and doing well in school. I don't think he ever even thought college was an option for him. I find that so sad. I knew from the time I was little that college was just expected. Anyway in the end I know it will be better for him to have us in his life.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yes, I read what you said. You had the conversation with your husband "He is the one who said that if I ever made him choose to know that it would be me, but and a big BUT is that he did not ever want it to come to that. Instead he wanted us to compromise and come up with a solution." Frankly, to be even having this kind of conversation as a parent is appalling. Since when does a parents happiness or their partners happiness dictate their responsibility to children they've brought into this world? I don't care if you didn't mean it, you were blowing off steam, you guys were just talking, whatever. Your husband is a parent, he is responsible for his child regardless of his happiness or your happiness. You both sound like whiney, emo teenagers. Hopefully he was just talking out of his mouth to you to appease you but even "going there" with his thoughts about his own child is frankly just down right strange. And you're calling other people rednecks?

    And then you say this "It would be way worse on my SS if I did leave my DH. My DH loves me so much it would absolutely destroy him. I love him to much and I am not going to leave. But god forbid if I ever did I think he would then resent his son and I do not want to do that to his son either. If my DH stayed with me and said he would never see his son then he would just resent me." What is this? How old are you two? What this kid needs is a parent who has his back unconditionally, not a parent thinking some time down the road he's going to have to or potentially have to stop contact with his child to make his partner "happy."

    Yes, you said it best but you BOTH need to grow up. Quit worrying about what his mother is doing, myob and cut the grass in your own yard.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "The BM and SF are both proud "white trash" and "rednecks" from East Texas. My DH and I are the complete opposite. I am college educated and DH is pursuing his education now."

    So you are not prejudiced yet you call them "white trash" because they have no college education. do you know that this is a prejudice, do you? college degree does not make one classy person. college degree is not that hard to obtain. being a decent honorable person is much harder and that's what makes one classy.

    so far attitude and behavior that you and your DH exhibit is more than questionable. and you are calling other people "trash?"

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "He has a son that is going to be 11 in May. He had a relationship in his late teens with an older girl and got her pregnant. When she got pregnant she didn't know at first if it was his or several of his friends. He broke up with her since he found out she had cheated. He later did find out that the baby was his and was in his life for the first 2 years. "

    " She was married at the time that she got pregnant by my DH and did not put my DH on the birth certificate."

    Married, and having sex with several of DH's friends?

    Anyway... I understand "hate" and "hating" the behaviors of children. Sometimes my own child drives me up a wall.

    What behaviors irritate you? His laugh? Ok, sometimes my kids laugh irritates me too. I have to do a mental check to remind myself I'm just grumpy. It has nothing to do with her.

    Try keeping a journal. Write down what irritates you and what is going on with you when he is most irritating to you. Sometimes it works for me to ask my DD for a time-out (for mommy, not for her!) until I can get myself more together.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I missed the "rednecks" slur. What exactly does that mean to you?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Honestly, I think getting used to step-kids can be sort of like being informed that your ill-behaved brother-in-law is going to come and stay over every other weekend - taking up your time, and costing your money. The difference being, no one would be unsympathetic if you complained about that scenario but if skids get tiresome you are met with shocked responses that they're just children, you're the adult, etc. You should love them! Unconditionally! They're just kids! Such ridiculous expectations just stress everyone out, I think.

    With the stepson visiting the other problem, I think, is that you're kind of in a weird second fiddle position. Your husband thinks it would be great if you're Step-Mommy; you're thinking SS's already got a mother, so where is your place in all this except to babysit and help pay expenses? And if that is the only place you can really picture yourself then you will become VERY resentful quickly.

    Have you tried doing something fun with your SS on your own, just the two of you? If everyone says he's a good kid it doesn't really sound like he is the problem so much as the situation; you sound resentful of it and then are feeling guilty that you do feel resentful, and then are more resentful because you feel guilt over something that is not really your fault...

    Maybe if you spend time with him and try to view yourself as a sort of aunt, or even the fun babysitter everyone liked, it will be easier. If your only expectation is to have an enjoyable hour or two with your SS, rather than trying to live up to everyone's expectations of the ideal SM, I think it'll be a lot less stressful and more enjoyable for you both.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I like Silver's suggestion about the journal. It might help you see patterns of things that you are having trouble coping with. I'll add that it might be a good idea to add in how you felt the next day about it, or after you spoke to DH, etc.

    And I LOVE what Mattie said about the ill-behaved brother-in-law!! My DH's brother has ADHD and bipolar disorder, and he acts remarkably like 11yo SS (BIL also has some other social disorders, depression, etc that make him act about 9 instead of 29). I would not be impressed if BIL stayed with us EOW!!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow things are complicated...

    I'll try to ignore all buttons you are pushing here, and only give you advice, not my opinion on all your bold statements, jeez..

    Ok, so if you and DH are going to be in his life, you have to learn to deal with the feelings of resentment, and yes counseling might help with that. We had a few sessions last year and they were eye openers.

    I think your resentment comes from 2 places:
    1. Not having your own children.
    2. Resentment towards BM.

    I have no experience with the first one (I'm not having kids, never tried) but I do have experience with the second.
    This is a very hard thing to get your head around, but it is possible.

    Basically you have to learn to accept that BM will do things BM's way and that the son will be shaped by this. This is inevitable and impossible for you to change. (Unless BM has child taken off her, but it seems the situation is not like that). So this means that BM will keep smoking pot in the house, they will discipline the son as they see fit and she will take credit for DH's initiatives/payments to karate etc. You have to decide that this is not going to eat you up anymore. These things are not in your control. You probably think "but we can sort BM out!", this will not happen, TRUST ME. The more you'd try the more the situation will get inflamed and the less co-operative BM will be, the more adement she will be to push your buttons! (in returning the favor for you guys trying to change her ways)

    And since you've made it crystal clear you don't want to be like a parent, you have to wonder why you want BM to change her ways. This is more personal for you then you might realise. Not really to do with son, but to do with having this 'white trash' in your life, and wanting to sort her out. I get similar emotions when it comes to my skids BM, but they're not productive and need to be let go.
    And I get your frustration, I really do, you just have to be the bigger person and try to shake it off. For example BM taking credit for karate class. We're in a similar situation. We pay for the skids basketball but when we go to the game most other parents will look away/avoid us. They hang around BM and her 2 new babies, and boy does she put on a show. How caring and loving she is, what a great mom.. And because these parents avoiding us is so obvious BM has probably put a few things in their heads, because let's face it; we don't even know these people!! We get looks too, "That's their lousy dad and evil stepmom" looks.
    And unless we approach the coach he will not inform us of anything. Even though FDH paid him the fees directly and gave him his emailaddress. Somehow we still seem to be bad guys who don't need to be informed. Even the skids used to ignore us at the game when it was BM's turn to take them, just because of BM's pressure. We hated it, but we went and we put on a smile because that is what you do. In our hearts we knew that SD's were pressured to ignore us but were happy we were there. They were not being bad kids, they were being good kids by trying to be loyal to their mom.
    And it annoys me that people judge me without knowing me, I vent to FDH about it sometimes but then I have to let it go. I tell myself "Who cares what these people think, they are not our friends".

    I'll say it again, you cannot change BM or her parenting, accept it for what it is and accept that this will shape son and son's future. Frustration and resentment come from the desire for things to be different. It is only frustrating for the person who wants things to be different! If you can accept things for what they are, you'll find that your levels of anger will drop. If BM's parenting was different/better etc the son would be different, sure, but it is how it is. If you can accept that you are miles ahead.
    As Finedreams said: "college degree does not make one classy person. college degree is not that hard to obtain. being a decent honorable person is much harder and that's what makes one classy."

    So how do you accept the situation for what it is? This is easier said then done; but all you have to do is be supportive.
    Be supportive when son visits; try and have a good time as other posters suggested, make time for yourself if you need it. Take it one day at a time.

    And about college:
    Would it help if you decide for yourself that you're not going to worry about college and all that for the next couple of years? You might like him to go, but you don't want to be his parent so you should not worry about it. Just put the issue aside for now. DH might like him to go to college, and BM might not give a toss, it's up to son, not to BM! And son will be influenced by both parents, not just BM. So he might go, or he might not. For now he's only 11, and you've got more urgent stuff to deal with first. First things first!

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you all for the wonderful advice. I really like the journal idea as well and think that I will do that.

    Just want to clarify something. When I said that BM and her SO are "white trash" and "proud rednecks" I was using her words. That is what she calls herself and her husband and is very proud of the fact. I do NOT think that a college degree makes you classy. I have personally known lawyers, doctors, and a CEO that all have been much less than classy. BM says she is proud to be white trash and that is what I was stating. To me personally white trash does not have so much to do with money but more do with an attitude. Like I said before my DH and I don't have much money right now ourselves but we do take baths, appear presentable in public, make SS wear shoes when we go to the store and have clean clothes, and not use foul language. I don't expect or want perfection but I do believe one needs to feel good about themselves and being clean and having fresh clothes does help make you feel better. I am not saying that all white trash is dirty either, I know that not all people are like that but that is what I am talking about in this case. And I know that you don't have to have a college education to be smart. My DH does not have a college education and he is extremely intelligent. He is a very creative man and choose a career where a college degree is not required. He just wants his son to have a better life and to learn from his mistakes. I always assumed that is what most parents wanted for their children, I know mind did as well.

    I did not mean to start a debate on being white trash or a redneck. But to me those terms do not conjure up a positive images and I personally do not find it beneficial to celebrate being white trash. To me that is like saying you are proud to not care about yourself or to have any goals. And in this case that you are proud to be a liar and deceitful and untrustworthy and overall not just a good person. And even more to just not care about other people. I am talking about the rebel flag flying, hate African American or anyone different, ignorance. I am sorry but to me that is ignorance and it does not take college to know you should treat people with respect and the way you would like to be treated no matter what race the are. I am sorry but those opinions are very common in the backwoods of Texas. Not everyone feels that way because I know most people in general do not but there are a large amount that do. I am sure not just in TX but that is everywhere and sorry but it is true that is in the south more than the north. I was not raised that way and neither was DH.

    You also have many people who are proud to not go anywhere in life and have no goals or aspirations for their children. I am not saying you have to be a doctor or something but I think in life you should always try to learn something new everyday and always set and reach new goals to continually keep moving forward. I am not someone to be content just living paycheck to paycheck and not trying to make my life better, and I am not meaning just with money or material things. What I mean is growing, learning, and being open to new experiences and new people. I like art, going to museums, going to the zoo, to see plays. You know cultural things. I think it is very important for children to soak up as much cultural as they can. For them to see how others live and to learn about all people. My SS BM is very racist and SS has been raised with that hate in his heart. I mentioned earlier that he hates the police and thinks they are bad. We have explained to him that the police are there to help us. Of course there are sometimes cops who are not honest or are corrupt but most are not. We told SS that the if you follow the law and do not do anything illegal then you do not have to worry. He said he gets it and had not thought of it that way. He told me that his step-dad's friend got arrested and his step-dad had been complaining about the police. He told me his step-dad's friend had stolen a bunch of stuff and that is why he got arrested. I told him well if the guy had not stolen then the police would not have had to arrest him. I also asked him how he would feel if someone came in and took his stuff, wouldn't he want the person arrested? I have never understood why people who break the law sit around and gripe about cops all the time. Don't do anything illegal and you don't have to worry. Well normally you don't, I am sure there are cases when even the innocent are bothered. I am talking generally here.

    Sorry I got on a tangent there. But to me that is the mind set of the BM and she has every right to think the way she wants. But DH and I will just try to influence SS in what we feel is a healthy way. I do not ever bad mouth the BM to SS and I never would. No matter what that is his mother and I think it is absolutely horrible to talk bad in front of a child. My older sister always talked bad about my mom and I always hated it. You always want to defend your parents and it is not fair to put a child through that or in the middle. My SS sees that we do things differently and he laughs and says that we are more rock 'n roll and his BM is a little more country. I like that and have to agree.

    And just because I get on here and vent does not mean that I ever act in a negative way around the BM or really anyone else. I don't even think about a lot of these things until I get on here and start writing about them. When I write it all just starts to come out. I don't want to be BFF with the BM but at the same time I do not hate her. We do get along and she actually loves me to death. She says that I am the best thing to ever have happened to my DH. She is almost overly too sweet to me but I would rather have it that way then have her hate me. I always make her feel welcome if she comes by our house and when I drop SS off even if DH is not with me I go in and talk to her and her SO. I am friends with some of her friends and we have even hung out with them at our mutual friend's house. We went with BM, SO and her daughter plus SS of course on Halloween to the town square for trick-or-treating and then all went out for pizza. So it is not all bad. I just get annoyed and like to vent. If this is not the place to do it and I have offended then I am sorry. I thought that I could come on here and get out my frustrations and maybe hear a couple of yes things are tough but it could always be worse.

    If you don't like me or my opinions then I am sorry but I am who I am and I don't make any apologizes for it. For most of my life I was a complete people pleaser and never said no. I cared way too much about what people thought of me. Now that I am getting older I have learned that it takes too much energy and it is not worth it. I am happy being me and I like the way that I am. I care about others and do help in times of need but if I have to say no to something it is ok and not the end of the world. I won't be stepped all over and I matter. It is nice to finally be in that place. I may seem a bit harsh and kind of a witch on here but in reality I am not like that at all. Nobody in my real life would think that of me in a million years. I am the sweet, always funny and laughing one. The one that will do anything for a friend. I got used by being that way in the past and I have wised up but I am still someone who will help. I have just learned to spot when someone is trying to manipulate and use me. I think sometimes when one has been used like that they tend to go to the extreme the other way and get cold. I did do that for a while. I was very mistrusting but learned that was not good either.

    Ok now that I have written another LONG post I will sign off. I always intend to just write a short response back but I start writing and can't seem to stop.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I don't think you should be celebrating "white trash" and by the way you still do not realize that it is derogatory term, but I don't think it should be your business what mom says or does.

    If dad thinks she is unfit mother he should file for custody, but if not how is it your problem if people call themselves "rednecks?" If that's who they are they can make fun of themselves as much as they want, it does not mean it should concern you or you should repeat it.

    You contradict yourself in every sentence. First you say you want to influence this boy in positive ways but then you say you want DH to choose between him and you. And you don't want him around you. Where is the positive here?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Obviously I know it is a derogatory term, I said it has no positive inclination at all. That would mean it is negative and therefor derogatory.

    And yes she has every right to her opinion just as I have every right to mine to discuss how I don't like people saying they are proud to be called white trash. I think that shows one is ignorant period. And I can say that if I want.

    I am not going to just keep repeating myself here. You obviously can not read since I have said over and over that I have not asked my husband to choose between his son or me. I never did ask him that and do not plan to ask him that.

    And I do plan to be a positive role model. Since writing my first post and taking with my DH and friends in similar circumstances I realized that I had to grow up and be there for both my DH and my SS. That is not contradictory, I said that I decided I was staying and going to make the best of it. I guess you just read what you want to see.

    I will not respond to you anymore so feel free to rant if you like.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ok. I understand. You have different values than they do and that makes it even harder to get along and feel comfortable with one another. It must make it hard for SS to go back and forth because he sees the differences (good or bad).

    It sounds to me like you don't feel in control (not that you are a control freak...) and are having to navigate uncharted waters that you didn't see on the map. That's scary. And on top of it you aren't dealing with people you understand, and there's a kid in the mix which makes things much harder. Kids are hard. They don't understand, they have lots of needs and adults are expected to know what they are doing at all times. I second guess my parenting a lot.

    I don't know if you should cut and run, but if your DH is strongly on the side of your relationship and making things work for the best interests of his family (you, SS, him) you've got a pretty good man :) and don't cut out on that. Kids change. It can be really hard to get to know someone and form a relationship. You may never have the best relationship with him. But then, that can happen with a bio kid too. If you evaluate what you want/what your goals are (I want to have a family where no one yells, where we all respect one another, where we do fun things together) and then with DH start to make those thing happen... you stand a better chance of making it, and making it good.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    anybody notice that the very first post contains a number of inflammatory ideas (bait)?

    husband "went through a bad phase" &, after having been in the child's life, dropped out,
    OP "has to admit" that she encouraged him to start paying child support,
    "He told me *not to worry* (asterisks mine) that he was not going to see his son until he grew up", etc.

    & that's in the first two paragraphs.

    Did anyone notice that the poster wrote it the same day she registered?

    that she keeps going on & on & on & adding more inflammatory thoughts & words?

    that she doesn't respond to negative posts or accusations that she's at least "trollish" but that she keeps dishing out more inflammatory words & phrases such as "white trash" & how she's "different" because she's "college-educated" in every looong post she writes?

    She's enjoying this.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago


    I'm going to set aside the "comments" and just focus on what it seems you are really talking about. You have a different background than BM, lifestyles and so on. I'm sure that makes the idea of integrating SS in to your life harder because BM and how she lives will definitely be a part of the mix. You enjoy cultural activities, that's great. Does SS? Do you know? Does it matter right now?

    He's only 11. Don't worry about college yet or even pushing that idea. Not because he's too young because 11 is not too young to introduce college as a goal but because you have bigger fish to fry with him. If he's going to stay with you and DH than you need to ease up on your expectations of him and yourself.

    Don't take on BM and how she lives, it's not worth it and you won't win. As long as he doesn't violate any major household norms and doesn't do anything dangerous. At this point, let's try to start liking him a bit.

    Take the highest road you can. As the SM, if you are smart about it, you don't have to take parental responsiblity for him. He has a mother and a father. Just relax and be the friendly, non judgmental cool SM. You'll get a lot further a lot faster plus your own stress level will stay a lot lower.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "She's enjoying this."

    Yeap, sylvia, it does sound like something people write to get a reaction.

    I also find it funny when people post absolutely unacceptable things yet when they don't get reaction they wanted they immediately change it into how they are working on making a child happy and how wonderful they are. completely opposite of what they described.

    I think some people think that this is one of those step hate sites where people write of hating their stepchildren. then it turns out it is a completely different site, and not about hating children then they either dissappear and never come back or change their story completely. funny.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I think it's hard to get all of the nuances of a situation/feelings explained and often people will latch on to the most negative aspects of a post so that the OP is up against a wall trying to explain themselves while the actual issue is ignored.

    OP: "Will I feel bad if my DH decides to pick me over his son? I probably would but I would be happy at the same time. Isn't that sick? I feel like the world's worst person. I just don't know what to do and realize there is no easy answer."

    Sounds like she's putting her innermost thoughts out there, something that people often do not feel safe enough to do with the people around us. Are they "bad" thoughts? Sure, kinda selfish. But I think everyone has thoughts that we wouldn't be proud of and have to work through on our own, or just put them out there to total random strangers in order to work through them.

    Does anyone else remembering wishing/hoping/thinking "I hope my mother/father dies"? Well, of course you don't REALLY think that, but in the moment it is there... and then you work through it and life moves on and you grow up and think "wow, I was really a little jerk sometimes".

    I don't think OP is changing her story. I think the mistake is thinking that we get the whole story in 6 paragraphs. Of course there's a lot going on, and she's conflicted.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "I also find it funny when people post absolutely unacceptable things yet when they don't get reaction they wanted they immediately change it into how they are working on making a child happy and how wonderful they are. completely opposite of what they described."

    As a SM who stupidly knocked herself out for many years trying to make her skids like her and be happy while simultaneuosly being very hurt and frustrated by those same skids, I can understand OP's ambivalence. I think she really means frustration and fear of what living with her SS will mean for her. She doesn't love that kid, her husband does. If she does well she'll accept him, then maybe like him, then maybe love him. Be real. Yeah, it's selfish and who isn't to some degree when they are honest? Plus the baggage of the BM. Plus dealing with her own desire to have a baby. She's not the only one here by a long shot whose marriage is put on the line because of a skid.

    I agree with Silver, it's hard to put everything in 6 - 8 sentences. Or 12-14. And when someone does respond with something the OP doesn't like or it's obvious they have misunderstood because they don't know the background, and the OP comes back with more information, then they are accused here of changing their story to get a better reaction. This especially happens to new people here.

    TX, you are new here, sorry to hijack your thread. I'm tired of seeing new people get jumped on when they share their feelings around here.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to Silversword and lamom. You get what I am saying. I was not trying to "goat" anyone into anything or stir up the pot. I really was posting my deep thoughts, kind of like a journal to myself while at the same time trying to explain the situation.

    The reason I wrote the stuff about the BM being proud of being 'white trash' was because I was trying to explain about what I am dealing with here. That is all.

    I am the furtherest thing from someone who is all high and mighty and I don't think I am better than anyone else. In fact I am more of the black sheep in my family partly because I am not so judgmental and I am the rebel. I have tattoos, moved out at 17 on my own, don't like people to tell me what to do, etc. And yes I freely admit I am a control freak. That is something I am working very hard on.

    After the first post I was just adding details and my mind and thinking were changing. I am glad that my tune has changed since last Sunday. I am feeling much more optimistic now.

    Honestly I didn't think I was even going to come back to this site and I told myself today ok just go see what was said but don't post anymore. I am glad I did come back because both silversword and lamom made feel better and realize that not everyone here is so judgemental.

    I can take criticism and I was really thankful for the first few posts that told me to grow up because that is exactly what I needed to hear.

    And I do not get off on or enjoy writing inflammatory posts. I am sorry I was just writing my story and the quotes that sylviatexas posted that I wrote on the first day I registerd were written because that is what was said. I was not making anything up, that is my story and I am sticking to it, lol. My DH did not graduate but I don't hold that against him. I still love him very much. He also had a drug addiction in his past but you know what he is stronger for it and has proven how he can overcome almost anything. People do change and I do not hold their past on them forever. When I say he went through a bad period that is what I was referring. There is, of course, way more to the story and lamom is right you can not describe it all in one post, or even probably in 100.

    But what matters most is that this site did help me. I got a change to write my thoughts down and try to figure out what in the world I was really feeling. The more I wrote about SS and what HE has to deal with the more I found that I do care about him. I really do. It is still going to take time to build a relationship but I think it is all going to be ok.

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey where's my thank you? I also put a lot of effort in my post, was it not helpful??


  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    LOL yabber :)

    TX, I'm glad you're feeling better. I can be just as harsh as others...I'm no angel and I don't always get it right. I'm also a control freak at times and don't like to admit I'm wrong.

    But this site has helped me clarify things, realize I'm wrong about some perceptions and vent when it's not appropriate to tell EVERYTHING I'm thinking to those I know IRL (mostly because I don't make most people privvy to my not-so-attractive inner musings).

    Welcome :)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yabber my apologizes. I was just looking at the last few posts. Yes your post was very helpful as well and I appreciate the time effort you put into it.

    You get an A! hehe

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Yabber is happy ;-)

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    "Does anyone else remembering wishing/hoping/thinking "I hope my mother/father dies"?

    ?????? do people really wish their parents die????

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You mean completely? No, I never *really* wished my parents would die. But sure, I can remember saying "I wish you were dead" to my sister and my mother both, along with "you're not my real mother" and "someday my real parents will be so angry with how you've treated me".

    I took the *hate* comments to be just that kind of feeling-thought. Not real... but valid feelings just the same, y'know?

  • 14 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I read your posts and couldn't help but think that you spend a lot of time looking after other people. You gave up your lifestyle to care for two nephews, and now you don't have a home of your own. Now, a new child has come into your world, who has significant needs and brings with him a host of other people with their own problems and very different values. You are right that this child is going to have a major impact on every aspect of your life.

    I don't think that you hate anybody. I do think that you understand well the problem - you are a people pleaser who has difficulty saying no. Eventually, you make so many sacrifices that you feel resentful and want to run away. You need to find some balance between helping other people, and meeting your own needs.

    I think that you should go see a counsellor and talk about your goals and your feelings. You can't be very old if your parents have only been married for 33 years. You need to explore what kind of career you want, where you want to live, what goals you want to achieve before you take on the role of caretaker.

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