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analytical1

hindsight- would you be a stepmom again?

analytical1
16 years ago

Hi All,

This is a fabulous forum (I just discovered it today) and I am glad that you all take the time to share your insights and experiences. I'm hoping you can help me with this.

I have been dating my boyfriend for about a year and 3 months, now. He has an adorable 3 (almost 4) year old son. This weekend we went to one of my boyfriend's family gatherings and I got another opportunity to observe first-hand the level of "favor" this child receives. In short, if some things aren't nipped in the bud, what folks now consider "cute" will make him a "little terror" later on.

Since my boyfriend and I got serious, I have thought about the whole SM and blended family issue. As time is progressing with us, I am trying to evaluate things even more seriously.

I am a 30 year-old, never been married, woman with no children. I am VERY close to my mother and father and, even though they are divorced, I have always envisioned having a family and having MY HUSBAND'S children. For this reason, I tried to be responsible, so that I could do things in the order in which I think they should be done: marriage first, children second (not to offend anyone; that's just what I want for my life). I always planned that my husband and I would be the foundation on which the rest of our family (i.e., the kids) would be built. I say all that to say, not having my husband's first child was never part of the vision. If I marry my boyfriend, it's, obviously, gonna be ixne on the original vision.

My boyfriend is a great father, but hasn't proven himself to be a great provider yet (read: if things continue as-is, I will earn several times more than he). Additionally, I'm not impressed with his baby's mama (who lives at home with her mama and her other grown siblings and has her son at her aunt's house all the time), nor do I think it's cool that my boyfriend's family allows the little one to do whatever he wants to do and treats him differently (read: with less discipline) than the other children in the family. I realize that the way I would raise my children with my boyfriend is different from how it appears that his oldest is being raised. So, I haven't ignored the fact that I (if I married him under status quo circumstances)might not only have to deal with some BM and his family drama, but also the feelings I've read of other women on this forum with regard to being a primary breadwinner, supporting the family.

MY QUESTION TO YOU IS THIS: IF YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GO BACK AND DO IT ALL OVER, WOULD YOU BECOME A SM AGAIN? WHY OR WHY NOT?

Comments (97)

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I dont understand why you are the one spending most of time with SS? Why did DH obtain custody of SS if he doesnt spend much time with him? Does he not live near child's mother? Could child not have lived with mom and dad had dinner with him during week, etc? If dad now has primary custody, does mom have EOW or EW?? Or is boy too old, and wants one house, to stay near friends?

    I understand you are also annoyed at financial burdern. I could be wrong, but I think custodial parent usually ends up with more of a burden. I love my DD, and love having her around, so it is worth it. I do not get CS, but dad does pay generous expenses (school, etc.), but I am one feeding her, dealing with teenagers in hosue (uugh) etc. on my own dime.

  • june0000
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    When DH and I first married, my SD's said they wanted to get to know my family. I began to hostess dinner parties to get everyone together. The SD's would not talk to anyone and they would roll their eyes at the conversation the rest of us were trying to have. They were both in their 20's at the time.

    My family members did everything they could to make the girls feel welcome. They tried to engage them in conversation to no avail. DH and I talked and decided we would have separate dinners going forward because it was too uncomfortable. Then DH decided it would be great to have everyone over for Thanksgiving a couple of years ago as the oldest SD told him that is what she wanted. I decided to give it one more try.

    The oldest SD showed up hung-over. She didn't even greet anyone, much less acknowledge them during dinner. She ate, pushed her chair away when she was done and then left to go to our bedroom to take a nap. She didn't even say where she was going. She just left.

    My Mom and I put on the entire dinner, waited on SD's hand and foot and then cleaned up afterward. The youngest went into the other room with her dessert after dinner and just stared at anyone, in spite of members of my family trying to talk to her.

    Recently, ex-wife called my DH and said "June's Mom is not nice to youngest SD". The phone was on speaker so I could overhear what she said.

    DH tells ex phone is on speaker and June wants to know when her mother ws not nice to SD's? I then talked to her and told her the last time my Mom had seen the girls was two years ago at my house, so when did this happen?

    The ex said "oh, it't not a big deal and we don't want to start anything". I told her that I wanted to know because if something had happened, I would address it with my Mother. Then she said it wasn't anything in particular but it was just their "perception" that my Mom was not nice to them.

    I can take what people have to dish out to me, but to do this to my elderly Mother who has never been anything nice to them, that is awful. The weirdest thing is that the youngest SD and I actually get along quite well. Or so I thought.

    I was deeply hurt by this. My Mother would be absolutely crushed if she ever knew what they had said.

    So would I be a stepmom again? I love my DH and we've had a great life together. I would marry him again because the good outweighs the bad, but I have learned a lot.

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  • laurels4u
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    kkny,

    I spend most time with SS because DH travels for his job. BM didn't want him and left him with DH 3-1/2 years ago because he's high maintenance and interferes with her mating, oops, I mean dating. She has never tried to regain custody. BM lives over three hours away and has EOW during school year and "most" holidays or days off, which never happens because DH and BM play a little game together of who wants him vs. who doesn't want him. Or else they play SS off of each other and teach him how to lie or they persuade him to go with who has promised him to do the most or buy him the most. During the summer, SS goes to BM's for two weeks then comes home for two weeks. He's also supposed to be staying with GPs for one full week each summer month or while DH is out of town. GPs also will be taking him one weekend a month now as well.

    Having a house, feeding people, providing clothes, cell phones, paying utilities, etc. is difficult for any family. I do believe CP is left to carry a major burden even if NCP doesn't pay CS. My daughter's dad has paid CS for 11 years, and I have never once taken him back for more. I could because he makes at least triple the amount I do. However, he has never given me trouble about paying his half of her medical bills, the braces, expensive shopping trips for her birthday, so I don't feel it's necessary. When I order school or sports pictures of her, I always order for him and pay for them. I don't ask him to be reimbursed. I make sure he's fully aware of what is going on in her life and encourage her to visit with her dad and SM not because of what they can DO for her but because they're part of her family.

    I do believe the financial burden is mostly my husband's fault. I am always clipping coupons, shopping at WalMart, buying generic goods, buy DD's school shoes at Payless, school clothes on sale wherever they're cheapest, etc. Then DH goes out and buys the boy with $80 Sketchers, brand name clothing that wasn't on sale, brand name food items, sugary junk food (SS has ADHD), spends $200 every weekend the child is here on movies, eating out, car shows, etc. So yes, I am frustrated when I'm trying hard to make ends meet but DH seems to think he owes the child so much.

  • meandmyhunny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    RE: hindsight- would you be a stepmom again? NEVER NEVER NEVER
    Why...because of the bad outweighed the good.This affected my son,my health,my family,etc etc

  • yarrow2006
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If I knew then what was going to transpire in the future- very likely not.
    I should have assumed that there was a possibility that dss would become my full time responsibility, but at the time I had no reason to suspect this. I should have also assumed dh would never feel for my kids what I do or what he feels for his ds, and I should have assumed that my mil would be ... well what she is.

  • mlly
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I want to 2nd manda's hell no Thankless job, had absolutely no idea what I was in for, I do not believe in "soul mates" I think there are many people in the world with similiar beliefs, values, characteristics, that you can meet & fall in love with and make a marriage work. Move on and find one without children.

  • shar_gardener
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    If you love this man nothing will stop you from marrying him. But obviously you already have issues. I suggest you deal with the issues before taking the plunge.

    If I had to do it over again, I honestly do not think I would. It is way too stressful dealing with blended families and ex-wives. It ends up putting such a strain on you that your relationship suffers in the end. So, in my opinion it's not worth it. I think ever blended family fights over the kids.

    You are still a young woman. Find someone that you can have your own family with and start fresh.

  • finedreams
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would not marry a man who makes no money. I am not materialistic but I have no interest in supporting anyone other than my own child. If I would have extra money I would rather give it to my kid not a man. He does not have to make 3 figure number but he does need to have a steady employment. I would consider it way bigger issue than having children from previous marriage.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    "I would not marry a man who makes no money."

    Exactly why Xs GF went after him. When I married him, not nearly as much money. I think he has now come to understand. As does DD,

  • finedreams
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I am not sure I understood your post where you quoted me. I would not marry a man who has no salary, has no permanent employment and does not attempt to have one (unless he is disabled and cannot work), although even people with disabilities work. I am not sure what you are saying.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think it can become a slippery slope for some people when money comes into the equations.

    Others here have accused me of being fixated about money. My X was not making a lot of money when we met and got married. He was making a lot when, while we were still married, his presnt GF started chasing him. I know this, and my DD, who was not a toddler, recognized this. And now, after a couple of years, X is starting to focus on this. But I am not gloating, because of the hurt it has caused my DD.

  • Jonesy
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    No way I would ever go through it again, not just step children, but marriage also. I wouldn't marry again for love or money. I would rather live in a one room apartment. For the first time in my life I am not responsible for anyone except me and I like it. I haven't seen my steps since their Dad died, it is such a relief. I am totally comfortable with myself and my life, no conflicts, no calls for money, no tension. Done, finished, "free at last".

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Does anyone have any additional comments? I want to make sure I've got everything. I keep a journal.

  • helenar
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would do it again. When I met DH, I was a single mom with two boys. They are grown now. I had married young. My first was never a success, not a professional man. I started work, first as a secretary, but worked my way up. I met DH throug work. His marriage was dead. At first we were friends, then lovers. Things have not gone well with SD, but she doesnt spend much time with him. Doesnt have a key to our house. I am happy wiht my life.

  • sunnygardenerme
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    analytical1, You asked if anyone had anything else to add and yes I do. Almost a month ago July 25 I mentioned if I had to do it over again would I be a stepmom. Back then I was going through a rough time with the SCs and vented "NO".

    But, I want you to realize as a stepmom I have my ups and downs. Today if you asked me the same question I would say"YES" I would do it over again. You see as a stepmom you are put through so many highs and lows with the SCs and it is soooo very hard. But my DH is sooo very wonderful and I would not give him up for the world.

    I agree as stepparents we have to disengage for our sanity.

  • newstepmom
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi Analytical1,

    It seems like the answer to your question is a resounding no.

    Do you have a summary of the "Yeses" versus the "Nos"? What percentage of the women would marry someone with kids?


    Thanks

    Danielle

  • hlmhr
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Analytical1 & Raincity - I am in almost the same exact boat as both of you...I'm in my 30's, never married, no kids of my own, I own my own condo, am currently attending law school and planning on a law career with a much larger paycheck than my BF. He's definetely employed - passionately so - in a job/career that he feels very strongly about - but it's social service related. Saving the world doesn't pay very well - but I think I fell in love with him partly because of his ideals. From that perspective I don't mind being the larger financial contributor to our relationship.

    In any event - he made some financial mistakes in his past that I told him up front he needs to fix before we even think about moving forward to marriage. I also told him that I want to go to a financial counselor together to figure out how he can best take care of some of the lingering issues and what's the best way for us to continue forward. He actually set up an appointment on his own to take care of some of his personal business after a pretty intense conversation we had one night. It still makes me a little nervous to think that a lot of the energy I put into preserving my own financial health might be compromised by our marriage, but part of me also thinks that there are no guarantees in any relationship and if he takes my concerns seriously and takes action, that's about the best guarantee I'll get.

    Basically, I've been very blunt (and not always kind) in setting my expectations for him and our relationship and he has met every one. I usually expect him to get angry or exasperated when we have our heavy discussions about what I need, but in about 90% of our conversations, he agrees with my point (although not my method of delivering the message - I can be more like a hammer than a feather in getting my point across at times).

    I am really nervous about becoming the SM though. His son is really wonderful and we get along like crazy - his son often asks me to stay with them longer and usually says he doesn't want to go visit his mom. But I can't help wondering if that will change if/when we get married. I too told my BF that I would not be involved in a SM relationship without having full parenting authority to discipline, reward, etc and required the full support of my BF to do it - he agreed and so far has really backed me on everything.

    So that was a long intro to my real concern - his sons BM. I've never met her and have no desire/need to at this point. She repeatedly mentions moving back to her home state - about 1,500 miles away. My BF has sole custody and she has visitation, which she often cancels. She told her son she's leaving and she has a ticket to "visit" her home state in a month or so. We think she might not come back and in essence, will practically abandon her son with us. She only says she wants custody when she begins to feel particularly guilty about being such a slacka** mom, but usually, it's too inconvenient for her to "parent" - so she just doesn't. She also has no money and lives with her still-married boyfriend who doesn't like kids. She's about the worst excuse for a mom I've ever heard of. That said, I'm still really afraid of her finding out that we want to get married and deciding to stay put just to wreak havoc on us. I know my BF adores me and would do anything for me - but I'm not totally naive and know that "evil" (that's what we call the BM) could still turn out to be a major wrench in things if she wants. Have either of you met the BM? Essentially, she is the one major concern I have in making a larger committment, although we've been ring shopping and have been making plans on getting married.

    The other comments I've read on here don't seem to vary too much from other "all bio" families. Kids are kids, no matter where they come from. There's no guarantee that your "bio kids" will be happy/healthy/mentally stable - just like there's no guarantee with step kids. I have friends with bio-kids who are difficult and challenge their parents marriage as well. That's just part of the package sometimes. Before I met my BF I also did extensive research and gave very serious consdieration to adopting or foster-to-adopting a kid on my own so I think I've spent a lot of time considering/imagining very difficult times with a kid that's not my own. Raising my BF's kid doesn't really seem that different.

    I think all marriages have troubles too - whether it's combined families, differences in beliefs/faith, health issues, money issues - you'll be hard pressed to find a single marriage without some of those things. Granted, combining families presents some unique challenges, but if the other areas of the relationship are strong and you can focus all of your energy on one or two trouble areas - maybe it will work out better? Call me hopeful/naive...but that's my thought process for now anyway.

    I heard once that there are no perfect people or perfect realtionships - just perfect moments. I think about that statment a lot b/c the "perfect moments" that my BF and I have and that his son and I have are, so far, worth the trouble.

  • second_wife
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I have been reflecting on my life lately, I have only been married to my current husband for a little over a year now and have one SS and one BS. There has been stress in this relationship, however, if I knew then what I know now would I have married him..The answer is yes.
    My husband has a steady job that he has been in for over 10 years, he had some debt, but is paying that off, I had no debt when he and I married, but now he and I have debt together. Th BM and I get along well and are on friendly terms, my SS and I have bonded and he and my son are close and no longer fight over my husband. They consider themselves brothers, not step-brothers. My SS calls me his other mom, his BM has no problem with this because she knows I would never try to take her place in the child's life.

    We do not have a perfect life, I don't think there is such a thing. I love being a SM, and a mother to my own son and a wife to my husband. We work through hard times with a positive attitude and issues always work out.

  • scaruso57
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I can only say that at the age of 43 and after having raised my own son to adulthood, I walked into being a stepmom with blind ignorance. I really regret having done so. I wish we had counseling before moving in and getting married. I think we would have both decided to move on --apart. Good luck, Susan

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Scaruso57 - why do you think you would have gone your separate ways? Was it because you were a stepmom? What do you now know that you did not know before?

  • lilysuzanne40
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Wow ... secondwife ... I love your post. It brought tears to my eyes. I love hearing when families, blended families, work. Thanks.

  • scaruso57
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    analytical one. Hi. I posted alot yesterday, so if you have the time, you may want to read about my situation. My husband and I do not make a good pair as parents, of any sort. He is an enabler. He has raised his son, who is now 25, to be totally dependent on him emotionally and psychologically. Sadly, my husband confuses enabling with love. I was raised to know that I have to work for what I want in life, and that in a family, everyone has to work together and contribute. I have a 26 year old who is a pretty successful human being. He has worked hard for what he has and I am proud to say so. After 6 years of trying to be a stepmom to my husband's son, I have decided to give up. I simply have no energy left to devote to this triangle. We have been in couples counseling on and off for the past few years. It has not helped. Yesterday I told my husband that I wanted out. A divorce. The situation with his son has caused us to dislike and mistrust one another. It has gotten pretty bad. That's why I say, had we gone into counseling before committing to each other, I think we would have realized that parenting is a very serious and very difficult task. If you cannot get on the same page, it will not work out. Thanks, Susan

  • starryslp
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I saw this post, and had to sign up to be a user and respond.
    I would NEVER choose this path again.
    My SD 13 is horrible. I am miserable because of her. My husband and I don't fight except because of her. And we just found out he can't have kids, so now I will only ever be a step mom.

    Sorry to be so blunt, but I don't think people realize how much your life can change, I have even thought about writing a book warning people that life as a step parent can make you regret so much... I do. I love my husband, but if I had a crystal ball before we got married, I would have ran. I wake up everday wanting to get divorced.

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Thank you so much for your insights.

    I do plan to make an official tally of the number of those who would do it again and those who would not. The results appear to be heavily on the side of "nope, don't do it." I have recently lurked on another forum for step moms (it's one of the groups on Cafe Mom) and the sentiments of the women there pretty much echo those of the women in this forum. Some would do it again, but many more would not. The folks on the other site are a little more raw (i.e., they do more cussing), but it's all, basically, the same. The women on this site do a great job of being specific and very articulate in communicating their situations and opinions.

    I very much appreciate y'all.

  • sunnygardenerme
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Here I am again with a down day. I guess if you asked me the question today it would be a no. I sit here and think how much longer do I want to live like this. The ups and downs of stepparrenting is stressful. I dislike my adult stepkids they are nothing but trouble. They have never attempted to do one nice thing for me. I hate when DH is with them because after his time with them there are more problems that effect me personally. They want this or that all the time. I get so tired of it. Right now if I could do it over I would not. It would be nice to be with a partner that had no children to cause conflict in our marriage.
    Marriage is enough work without having adult children making it more work.

  • lilysuzanne40
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    As an adult stepdaughter in her 40s, I've long said that I would have to think long and hard before marrying a man with children, grown or not. As sunnygardenerme says, marriage is hard enough without children (adult) or otherwise, to make it harder.

    An example: A male friend with three teenage children had primary custody of them for two years. After that, they wanted to go back to mom's house (where there are no rules, no chores and no consequences). They refuse to come for visitation (because they will have to face rules, chores and consequences) and basically say their dad is mean because he won't just give them money when they ask for it. Three months after they moved out, he married another friend, who all three children knew and liked. And now, they're angry. They hate that he married her. Before they liked her. Now they don't. They're spoiled brats and if they were living with him, I have no doubt his marriage wouldn't stand a chance.

    By the way, he asked me to marry him two years ago and I turned him down. I thank my lucky stars every day.

  • orangetree
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would only do it again for the same man. If I had to meet someone new, "does not have children" would be on the top of my list.

    Like you, I am 30 and walked into the relationship with no previous marriage and no children. I was giving up a lot of my girlhood dreams to be with this man. On top of that, I had to deal with resentment from his daughters and a minefield of crazy behavior from his ex.

    The only thing that made the heartburn worthwhile was how DH handled it. BM undermines him constantly, and told SD (12 at the time) that if she applied enough pressure to her dad, DH would leave me. Well, it didn't quite work out according to plan. Once he figured out what was going on, he set up and enforced clear boundaries for his ex and did not tolerate disrespect from his daughters. It came at a heavy price for him. His daughters no longer want to see him, regardless of whether he is alone or with me. He has tried sending cards, calling them, and writing email, but has not recieved any responses. His daughters have blocked him on msn. Whenever his ex calls to ask for more money (about 3 or 4 times a year), the first question out of her mouth is, "have you broken up yet?"

    We tried everything from court to counselling, and nothing worked.

    While the experience has certainly been character building, I would trade the wisdom and experience gained for simple naive bliss any day.

  • helenar
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Orange,

    I think that sometimes SDs are nice, or at least civil, when dad is dating, but then at marriage they go nuts. And all over the media (TV--Brady Bunch; movies -- Stepmom) paints a picture that I think is so unrealistic. Ornge, I was older when I got married (and probably didnt have a lot of choices) but I think every 30 year old prospective SM should read this.

    I still would have married my DH, but I think if you ask this question to SMs under 30, you will get much different answerws. But maybe not. The younger ones may resent if they are not encouraged to have children.

  • theotherside
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Orangetree,

    Do you ever wonder if he is going to decide at some point that the price was too high? Knowing that if your husband had not remarried, he would still have his daughters - even if you did not intentionally cause him to lose them - does that bother you?

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TOS,

    Before I had children, I could not imagine how losing contact with a child could hurt. So in all fairness to Orange, I dont think if I were in her shoes I could understand all this.

  • orangetree
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    TOS -- I am not a parent, so I honestly don't know if he will decide one day that the price was too high. We will just have to wait and see. I have already made it clear to him that so long as we do not have children of our own (this may change in the next year or two), he is free to leave at any time, and I will do my best to understand.

    I feel awful that he does not see his children. I think a lot of other SM's would love to have my problem (skids never come around so there are no respect, cleanliness, parenting, or time sharing issues), but the situation creates a different set of challenges, such as dealing with feelings of guilt (mine) or grieving (his).

    On the more optimistic side, I have been told by other SM's to expect contact when his older daughter is old enough to drive and want her own car ;-P

  • hope317
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I would definitely reconsider unless you have decided NOT to have children of your own. It is an extremely difficult but at least feasible when it is just you two. You have the opportunity to provide support, love and stability when his son is with you. Be able to handle the tantrums, the difficult behavior, and the anger of not having his parents together.

    Now add your own child into the mix. Feelings of jealousy, rage, and if the child is not raised predominatly by you, diffent parenting styles that can sometime be polar opposites. Then your tron, because if you constantly reprimand your SS, it will only fuel his resentment and if you don;t it will give him free rein in your home and influence your own children and how you raise them.

    I wish I had been less idealistic and realized that marraige and rasing children is difficult on it's own. Doing it with an outside influence and a factor that you cannot control (this is assuming his mom is still in the picture) makes it extremely problematic and complex.

  • laurels4u
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    My DH's son is very similar to the type of children your DH has. Unfortunately, DH isn't able to admit that SS (in addition to the ex and DH's parents) is trying to sabotage our marriage with all of his manipulating, lying, and conniving. It makes me sick to my stomach every time I have to listen to my husband defend his child's actions or lies when we have solid undebatable proof (like messages on our answering machine) that manipulation and lying are occuring by SS as well as the ex and in-laws. And I'm not the only one who has told my DH that this is happening - our family law attorney and therapist have both told us the same exact thing. At least your husband was able to realize that he was being disrespected and tried to make the situation better. What parent out there encourages their children to be disrespectful, selfish, or irresponsible? Oh wait, I have the answer to that! SS's mother and grandparents and DH allows it to happen every time he turns a blind eye to it or refuses to believe that Precious has lied yet again to him.

    About three or four weeks ago, SS informed DH that he wasn't returning to live with us FT but had decided to try something new and go live with BM. Although I was worried about the prospect of DH having to pay child support, I secretly breathed a sigh of relief knowing that the tension in our house would be somewhat gone. That relief soon turned to dread as DH somehow managed to talk SS out of it so now I'm pounding my head off of the same walls again trying to make myself understand how someone could be in such a state of denial over serious things.

    I feel absolutely no guilt or remorse for any of my feelings about this whole situation and hope you don't either about your DH and his children. It's quite obvious that SS has no remorse for throwing my DH or I under the bus, so to speak, in order to get what he wants which he does quite often. I'd bet your DH's children haven't experienced any guilt either. I guess I should take on the attitude too of burying my head in the sand....maybe in my situation, ignorance is bliss.

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    [Ill post this here and in a new thread.]

    Ladies,

    The advice, insights and experience you shared in the "hindsight" thread was priceless last night! It helped confirm for me that I had made a good decision when I told my boyfriend early that morning that, while I truly love him and dont want to abandon him, I "dont see a future for us."

    When I initially posted the "hindsight" thread, he had been staying with me after a job loss (his second in six months). Well, as of yesterday, he was still staying with me and it had been over two months. While he seemed to be growing as a person (helping me around the house with dishes n things and reading more, his situation didnt seem to be getting any better. Last week, he was at the point where he said he didnt have enough gas money to drive back and forth to see his son. This week, he was done to having, literally, nothing at all. Up to this point, I hadnt really had to provide him with money. I mean, I was paying all of the bills in my house, including groceries n things, but I hadnt had to provide him with gas or pocket cash because his temporary labor jobs had covered it.

    Notwithstanding the money issues, I was able to get him to agree with me that we are two incompatible people, who just so happen to love each other. He seemed to think that love was enough. I think, however, that a life with someone with whom I dont share hardly any interests (besides movie-watching) isnt something to be excited about. Lately, the conversations between us werent that interesting and one time last week, I said, "Geez, youre a party pooper!" A girlfriend of mine said, "Girl, he NEVER goes out?" Yes, we love each other, but it seemed like I might be giving up too much. (In fairness, I realize that some of his actions and inaction is based on him not having a job and not feeling so happy with life and God, etc. So, whos Mr. Happy when hes not feeling good about himself?)

    I guess the bottom line is that I couldnt imagine having to deal with being a step mother (and dealing with BM and ALL of the women in her family, because BM doesnt exactly handle herself as an independent grown woman), ON TOP of the compatibility issues we appeared to have in other areas of life. His money situation got even worse, and, honestly, if I felt that he were the man for me, it would have been easier to wait out the storm. But it felt like hed been going through the storm for awhile and that . . . at the rate he was going and with the attitude he had about it, he would be going through the storm for months and months and months to come. He told me that "other people" wouldnt have pressured him to leave "as long as he was looking for a job." This, coming from a man who has lived pretty comfortably in my place having food in the fridge, cold Coronas on the weekends, clean clothes, cable television, and Internet service, all at no cost to him.

    I was trying to hang in there because hes a good guy and, as someone mentioned, because I felt sorry for him for being in the tough situation he is in. It just got to a point where I felt like (1) I had done all that I could for him without losing my dignity in my own eyes and (2) with knowing that I didnt think we would make a good married couple, it didnt make sense to drag things out. At the rate he was going, it would just be too long before he could get on his feet.

    So I gave him enough money to be able to fill up his car, eat for some days and to make it back to his familys house with some money in his pocket. Without that money, he, literally, did not have enough gas to make it even twenty miles; he would have ended up on the side of the road. Because I love and care for him, I had to do at least that much.

    Last night, when I got home after a long day at work, I read through the "hindsight" thread and found solace in what you ladies said. This is the kind of sharing of information and real experience that women (and people, in general) need.

    Thank you.

    Here's an excerpt from a support e-mail that my girlfriend sent to me:

    You hung in there for an extensive period of time providing him with food, water, gasoline and shelter. You've already met your moral obligation. If you would have continued on with that, you would have been able to claim him as a dependent on your 2007 tax return. If he has family and friends, then he will be fine. You gave him a second and third chance to show ambition and promise when we both know it probably should have been a wrap back in May because nothing has really changed.

    If that doesn't make you feel better, then think of it from a media and press perspective: "UVA Law Grad Financially Supports Handsome, but Unemployed Construction Worker Boyfriend, Who Says He Will Be Somebody One Day." New York Times. That was overly dramatic but hopefully you get the point.

    Lol. I just love her!

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    bumping this to top in hopes lagirl will read it

  • newgardenelf
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I wish I had read something like this before I remarried. DH's ex showed me who she was before we married but I hoped she would chill over time WRONG she got worse which has caused a lot of heartache for DH and stress in our marriage and in our household.

    In hindsight I regret this marriage. It has depleted me emotionally and financially and negatively impacted my own children. I wish I had a rewind button.

  • imjustsayin
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hell no. I would never do it again. I am 33 years old and have raised my stepchild since he was 1 1/2 years old because his mother was and still is a nothing. Trust me when I say no one will ever appreciate you for what you are doing, ever. They will tell you you knew what you were getting into, and you made your own bed and you can now lay in it. My SS is now 8 years old, and he has always absorbed all of the attention he can from his father. He practically lives on his lap. What attention my husband shows my girls has been pretty much forced because of my insistence. He has always been extremely protective of my SS and takes every thing personally. He wants me to be a mother to his son, but he wants to keep him and his son very protected from every one. At first he was so appealing because he was so great to his son. I "ass"umed he would be the same for me and my children. For him, there is no more room. Only when he thinks he is about to lose me. Please, please, please reconsider this fellow. You will only be taking on him and his ex's mistakes and baggage. In life, we have enough of our own.

  • wantingafamily
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    You may be in love, but love is blind. You have never been married and have no children. Think of yourself and the life you could have with another man and his child. At least give yourself a chance of a "normal" and happy marriage. Marriage is too complicated as it is. Being in a mixed family and being a step-mom is terribly difficult and painful. If you see problems now...they only get larger and more difficult to deal with when you are married. Also, think about your unborn child...if you were to have a child with this man. Is it fair to bring him/her into such a mess?

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi All,

    I just want to thank you all again for your advice, insight, honesty and willingness to share. Over the past couple of months, I have referred back to the things you've said and those words have been a great support to me.

    We officially broke up on September 11, as I mentioned in a previous post, but about 6 days after the breakup, I began to receive texts and e-mails from him. The correspondence basically consisted of words like "I love you, you're the best thing that ever happened to me, I need you in my live, sorry for the the mistakes I made, I didn't show you the man that I truly am, please give me another chance."

    We didn't get back together, but I agreed to see him and give him an opportunity to "show" me the man he claimed to truly be. He said that (1) depression as a result of his job and financial situation and (2) him being hung up on past hurts from prior relationships (that was my first time hearing that from him - lol) kept him showing me the man he really is.

    So, we continued to see each other and our friendship actually grew stronger in the process. But, the things he said in his attempts to get me to get back together with him didn't really come to fruition. In other words, things didn't feel all that different. It didn't seem like he was any better at executing a plan. I didn't gain any security in his ability to lead or support a family. I didn't feel that we would make a good couple.

    So yesterday I finally told him that I we should just let the whole thing go. I truly feel for folks who have gone through a divorce. This was just an 18-month relationship, and, boy, was it tough.

    Thanks, again for reading, being supportive and encouraging.

  • fleurs_gardener
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    My dearest analytical,

    I am truly sorry for your situation and that things truly did not work out with your boyfriend.

    This being said, i truly believe you are a strong person and you know what you want in life. You listened to your inner voice and in the long run that is what is most important in order for you to enjoy peace and serenity in your life.

    You will do just fine. Keep posting. Come back and tell us how you are doing.

  • organic_maria
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    In hind sight. I wouldn't go through it again. Love my hubby, the kids are fine. But money pinchingall the time is a pain and it causes alot of stress. My husband is tied down financially from child support. Yes the kids need the money but the money isnot being spent properly by BM. She uses it to her own devices and of course sends the kids with torn handme down clothes.
    The main problem is the ex causing havoc. Mind you now adays she keeps her nose clean and quiet because my hubby has told her off and put her in her place.
    Unless you have a husband that is strong and puts the kids and the ex in their rightfull place, dont marry. No matter how much you love him. If he is weak, it will destroy you.
    For me. My hubby is strong and that is what is making us breath and we stand our ground and boundaries with the kids.

  • crjuenemann
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I posted the message about my confusing role as a possible future? stepparent. My breakup hurt and wasn't my choice. but, after reading what all of you have to say here, it confirmed some of my thoughts all along. I don't have any kids of my own either and my bf said he wanted more someday. As time progressed though, I found that he really didn't think he wanted more kids. It is a financial strain for us that he pays child support for his kids. If I was to marry this man and have a family with him, it would be very hard because there are already 3 chldren. I think I deserve to have a man who has children with me and only me. I just wonder if there are any out there anymore?

    Thanks to everyone for such great advice.

  • kkny
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Crj, Of course there are.

    Hang in there.

  • pestee42
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    To make a long story short. No No No! I would not do it again. The step kids are grown now and we rarely see them but I have so much resentment towards my husband because of numerous kid related, mostly, things I don't even know if I want to try anymore.

  • dirtdiva
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Dear Analyticall,
    Just reading this thread for the first time. To answer your hindsight question: I was blindsided and it was a very difficult path. I would do things differently and react differently to a lot of issues. I really don't feel I can take back what has already happened and it did end up alright. (That's a miracle in itself) However, I would NEVER put myself in a position where my mate could not support his family. Love would turn to pity in that case.
    A question for you now. In the future will you stop yourself from falling in love with a man who has children AND no means?

  • analytical1
    Original Author
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Hi dirtdivarocks! Thanks for your comment. And thanks for the question (I appreciate being challenged on my thinking/judgment). In response, and in fairness to him, I have to say that my original post did not tell the entire story. It told the story, basically, where it stood at the time. But, for the 10 months prior to his initial jobloss, he had a decent-paying job. So, he was providing for himself and for his child. He just hasn't done a very good job of picking himself from the hard times. I understand that rough times will come. I think most of us have experienced hardship/financial struggle at some point in time. What concerns me most is how one prepares for and/or responds to those rough times. This was a great opportunity for him to demonstrate to me that he's the type of guy who will do what it takes to provide for himself and his family. He didn't do so good of a job at rising to that challenge.

    One thing I did learn is that, in the future, I must pay attention to when a man doesn't seem to have that "get up and go" that I like. I think it is truly an innate quality that one either has . . . or does not.

    I agree with you - being with a man who cannot support his family is . . . a REALLY bad situation to put oneself in. It's even worse when he has a child. I thank God that I was able to finally cut it off.

  • june0000
    16 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    Analytical:

    I have always been a big believer that you will never meet Mr. Right as long as you are dating Mr. Wrong.

    You were smart to do what you did, though I'm sure it was hard. Best wishes to you,
    June

  • norcalgirl78
    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    bump

  • HU-224617091
    7 months ago
    last modified: 7 months ago

    It just happens doesnt it? Nobody know what being a stepmum will be like until they become one. You meet a man with children and fall in love and there is not much logic involved. When in love you think that, together, you can take on the world. Only to find there are other people on the fringes of your relationship. The biological Mother, grandparents on both sides and sometimes some complicated dynamics. Children usually adapt and accept very easily but can get csught in the middle of adult dynamics. There are a few tips and mantras that help negotiate this rocky road and keep your self esteem and happiness in tact. For anyone looking for stepmum support and chatting with others in the same situation, this forum is a good place to go https://www.secondwivesandstepmums.com