Adult Stepchild Website/Message Board

nivea

I asked in my thread yesterday about an adult stepchild message board, but thought I'd post its own thread to see if I get any responses.

Anyone know of any?

If not, I was thinking about starting my own. I think there are only a couple of stepkids on here...what do you guys think?

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colleen777

I think that is a wonderful idea nivea! I have never seen one and it might be very enlightening.

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Ashley

I do too. I also hope you continue to post on this site. I think the balance between step kids and step parents is nice and it's good to read posts that are from both perspectives. I think we learn from one another that way.

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wrychoice1

Nivea,

Try this link:

http://adultkidsofdivorce.yuku.com/

Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Adult Kids of Divorce

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imamommy

I think there are more than a couple of stepkids on here. i am an adult step child. (and many of the other step parents on here are also step children too)

I'll probably take some heat for this, but I personally think adult children should mind their own business and live their own lives. (step or bio). I can understand the feelings involved when a parent is doing something the adult child disapproves of or is upset by. But, they are the parent and it is not the child's place to tell the parent anything, unless it personally affects them. If you are grown up and have your own life, go live your own life.

I spent 22 years raising kids and making decisions about everything without their input. They are not entitled to tell me how to live my life now. They don't like it much if I say anything about THEIR life, so why should they have a right to say anything about mine? Now, if it impacts THEIR life, then I'll give them a chance for input.

Likewise, my parents were adults before I existed. They can make up their own minds about THEIR life and unless it has a direct impact on my life, I respect their decisions, even if I don't agree with it. Who am I to tell them what to do? They raised me. I don't want them telling me how to live my life, they can live their own life too. If they want to marry someone that I don't like, I have a choice to suck it up and visit them or not visit them. Just as they would have to do the same if I married someone they disapproved of.

nivea, your half siblings are getting a raw deal, and so did you. But, it's not your problem. You can't prevent his new woman from being as mean as his last. You can't 'protect' those kids 24/7 when you have a family of your own and they have a mother (and a father) that is supposed to protect them. If your father let your former step mother treat you badly, it makes him a bad father. He isn't going to be a good father to these children because you are there. You aren't going to be able to 'supervise' forever. You are injecting yourself into a no win situation.

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nivea

Thanks wrychoice! I'll be checking them out :)

Hey raek, I'll probably stick around for a bit :)

Imamommy, I guess that's your opinion but I don't really understand where it is coming from, but oh well. I mean, adult stepchildren do have issues with their bio's and steps and I think it is ok to talk about it.

It's not always a case that they just need to butt out. They are part of the family too and believe it or not, adult stepkids are affected and it is ok to acknowledge that rather than just brush it under the rug like they are used to doing. Your post is exactly the reason why I think starting an adult stepchild message board is a good idea now that I think of it, LOL.

But thanks for your opinion.

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wrychoice1

You're welcome, nivea. I hope it's helpful.

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colleen777

I checked out that site. Thanks wry!

I totally agree with ima adult children should mind their own business and live their own lives. We don't interfere in their marriages so why in the world do these adults feel they have the right to interfere in ours? It is almost as though they feel they own their parents and they treat their parents like children. It isn't that the parents aren't around, they are!

I found most of the comments to be very superficial and the ACOD were not identifying their deepers issues at all. Like concern over money and inheritence. Didn't see that mentioned once. Instead it was mom thinks she should have her own life and is acting like a teenager again, dad isn't around for Christmas anymore. I had to spend time with HER that bimbo. Huh?

EEGADS. They might need an old lady like me in there to stir up some deeper issues:D Noone likely wants to admit to what it is they are really concerned about, especially when it is as tacky as money.

Funny how children feel it is quite alright to grow up and go off and have their own life, but for you as a parent it is not. I made a box for you mom and dad and now you just stay still in the deepfreeze until I need you again.

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nivea

Colleen, who's "we?"

Some parents/stepparents do interfere in their kids life. Excessively. Some stepparents even interfere in the other bio parents life! LOL.

I don't think anyone persons situation is the same as the next.

That board seems dead.

I'll be setting a new one up tonight and will post details as I get them.

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colleen777

And there are also bio parents who interfere in stepparents lives. The question is how do you stop adults from interfering in your life, where they have no business being?

And your stepmother did interfere in your life, but wouldn't it have been better if she knew that she was overstepping a boundary? Dad is the one who should have told her. LOL.

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nivea

Colleen, exactly! LOL.

And it's just not that simple, IMO.

There are lots of resources and sites for stepmoms, but hardly anything for stepkids. Or even adult stepkids, I think our real and valid issues are vastly overlooked. Especially with the stepkids who grew up with stepparents and now have 'issues.'

This generation is very unique, I believe. I can't believe there is not more stuff out there.

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colleen777

And I have said this more than a few times, that adult children have a harder time with their parents divorcing and remarrying than do the younger ones. The fact that it happens so often shows that it is systemic, it is very real, and there are issues and what are they?

You are right it isn't simple at all. So far, I have never seen anything that even remotely approaches a good explanation. Perhaps our generation raised our children to be overly reliant upon us?

Still if the real issues are never thrown on the table we can never know can we.

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nivea

Very true, Colleen.

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Ashley

I would like to see something addressing why some SM's have a hard time allowing their husband to have a good, healthy relationship with their adult children.

It's not as simple as adults living their own lives. I wanted a relationship with my Dad, and my SM, for a very long time did stand in the way of that.

It's not as simple as "oh, just mind your own business and move on with your life". Of course parents should be able to move on, but they also should choose partners who will encourage a relationship with their children rather than feel threatened by it.

Also, just to be clear, these issues with SM started before I was 18, and I think that Nivea's did too.

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colleen777

And that is a good starting point. Why would a stepmom have a hard time allowing the children to have a strong relationship with dad? What does a strong relationship with dad entail? And, how come it is almost always stepmoms and almost never stepdads?

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nivea

Yep, Raek mine started way before I was 18. And, to be fair, I think it has shaped my outlook on life and relationships somewhat. Yes, I am a responsible adult but I do think this issue needs to be discussed without just being dismissed.

I've been to a few different stepfamily forums and have seen adult stepchildren (both with a divorce as a kid and an adult) post and get the same replies over and over again. "Move on" seems to be the theme without addressing any of these very real issues.

Then, you see the SM's post about less trivial matters than a deteriorating relationship with your family (socks not being returned or whatever) and there is an uproar. LOL.

Anyway, I think this will be a good thing :)

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wrychoice1

There is another book out there titled, "Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce." I found it very enlightening. Not sure it would speak to your issues, but the author made some interesting points from the data she collected and the interviews she conducted.

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colleen777

I can tell just by what little of the book I have seen so far, this might provide a very important understanding for me.

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Ashley

That is a good question Colleen. Most of the time it does involve SM and not SD. There are some nit-picky posts from Thurman about his SD that indicate that they might have the same issues though.

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nivea

Yeah, that is a good question Colleen. I guess the things I would say concerning my situation aren't too pretty or nice and I really don't feel like offending anyone right now :)

Suffice to say in my experience it is not just the SM's fault. It is the father's too. It seems to me the times the kids get the short end of the stick are with selfish parents and stepparents. In my case my father seems to like the same kind of wimmins :)

Makes some sense when you see the biomoms and stepmoms not getting along.

Anyway, I'll save that for another time.

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dotz_gw

To all the adult steps, Did you mean for new board just for adult steps, not wanting input of adult SMs? I know what you mean about the sock thing, I get sidetracked with all that..I have no little ones to raise, only adult and adult steps....But boy I do have issues with adult SS...And I hate myself for getting dragged down into hissy fits, and also hate the arbitrators of morality, my way or the highway, the holier than thou, mustard and snowstorms......Could it be a forum where I dont have to get mad and drag down to a level I feel junky about..More mature? I only wish....

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nivea

Hey dotz, I guess my goal is to have a safe and more understanding place for stepkids to tell their stories, the impacts their parents/stepparents decisions and actions have had on their lives. And a place to vent without being accused of just wanting money or told just to move on.

I wouldn't mind having SM's there that are supportive and reasonable.

Heck, it would probably be very enlightening to have a place where issues can be discussed all around to come to understandings and see other sides.

I'm looking at different models of message boards now. There's a few that you can add different sub-forums. So maybe I can set those up and have one just for stepkids only if the need arises.

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dotz_gw

One of my fondest wishes is for my DH to get along with his son, with me or with out me, whatever it takes.....But you may set up a board for Skids only????? You re BLOCKIN me??? I m already not in your top 5? We re not BFFs anymore!!!!! LOL All step kids are EVIL LOL..I have picked up a lot from Serenity, and sometimes she makes me mad too LOL

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nivea

LOLOLOL, Dotz. NO! You will still be welcome it will just be a SUB-forum off of the main forum.

I like your 'tude. You can be my #1. Not sure if you'll like that though, bwahahaha.

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finedreams

"I'll probably take some heat for this, but I personally think adult children should mind their own business and live their own lives. (step or bio). I can understand the feelings involved when a parent is doing something the adult child disapproves of or is upset by. But, they are the parent and it is not the child's place to tell the parent anything, unless it personally affects them. If you are grown up and have your own life, go live your own life."

I agree 100%. who parents date or marry should not be major cocern of adult children. get a life so to speak. not to say that sometimes some parents are pain in you know what. ha

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silversword

Hi, I'm an adult step-child, and I have serious issues with it that I've had to overcome and am still dealing with today. My dad has been married for 10 years, and the issues are still there.

She is manipulative, selfish and very hard to be around, but I tolerate her because I want to have a relationship with my father. I used to talk with family members about it when I was younger, but they were convinced I was jealous and brushed me off. Now, they want to talk with me about it because they finally have seen her true colors and are disgusted and want nothing to do with her. It's validating, but makes me sad because when I was younger and really needed family they weren't there for me, and now that they see it I've moved on and just accepted that this is the way it's going to be.

I want my dad to be happy. It is so hard to be around her, everything is centered on what she wants/needs. Going to a restaurant is torture. I never want to eat out with her because she is the sort of person that makes waitstaff spit in food. Of course, she has low self esteem and constantly needs shoring up, making her innocent and delicate to my father. When he comes to visit me she calls him every hour to talk, often crying and throwing tantrums on the phone. I used to be enraged but now I'm flatline. I could go on and on with the stories about her and how she has treated me like cinderella while somehow coming out smelling like a rose.

Now, I make it into a game. Let's see how accommodating I can be towards this flickering, flighty, self-absorbed idiot (small doses, I just remind myself it's not forever- I'm not sleeping with her!) and just how silly she'll make herself look.

Any advice on how to handle her and my feelings is appreciated. I don't like repressing them, and having validation from family is really a relief but I still feel really icky about the whole thing. My dad's just happy that we're "getting along". No, we aren't. I give up my sensibilities and cater to her, and she wins her little power struggles. Where we eat. What we do. How long we stay. Who goes. What we talk about. etc... Whatever _ _ _ _ wants... _ _ _ _ gets... There is no give and take. I become a drone, and she bulldozes her way through. Everyone having a good time eating out? She develops a headache and has to go to her room, but my dad has to go with her. Deciding what to order, sharing an appetizer? She has to get a seperate one, and the waiter has to bring it out first. Going to a party? Can't wait for baby to get changed/dressed, have to go first. But when I arrive, she's waiting by the door to take the baby so she can get the "so cute" energy from the crowd. Will not watch the grandchild unless some social event is happening where she can take credit.

Blah blah blah. Obviously I'm not past it yet. :)
Suggestions? Anyone? They're coming in one week to stay for three days. I'm dreading it.

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ceph

I'm an adult SK, but I have very few issues with it, so I suspect a board would just make me wonder what was wrong with the people in the family when adults can't get along with their SP.

My SM is great. She is a nice person and she makes my dad happy. I also enjoy spending time with her because she's just a cool lady.
I don't always agree with everything she does, and I think that she coddles her adult daughters a little, but that's none of my business and I stay out of it.
My dad married her two years after my mom died, so I was 18. We have butted heads a couple times over the years, but nothing major, and it was because we had differing ideas of what was best for my dad. Ultimately, we both had the same goal (for my dad to be happy) so any spats we had were quickly and easily resolved.

Actually, as a FSM, I have very few "issues"... But I have a lot of uncertainties, and often need advice, and that's why I'm here.

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nivea

Silversword, it sounds like your stepmom is one of those people that just doesn't get along. I'm sure everyone here has met one or two in their lifetime, whether at work, hobbies or whatever. And it is not a stretch to imagine one of these people becoming a stepparent. Her way or the highway. My former stepmom is/was like that too and I have had the same struggles as you.

The only thing I found over the years is to pick my battles. One of my biggest issues was her public persona that she would take on and rewrite history. I'm normally not a confrontational person but then I stopped letting her get away with her lies and say no, that is not what happened and left it at that.

For so long I was walking on glass, I do/did want my father to be happy and have a relationship with him so I felt very uneasy at first. But I think he got it and understood that I wasn't throwing a fit every time she did a backhand comment but I wasn't going to let her lie about me or my childhood anymore.

"I'm an adult SK, but I have very few issues with it, so I suspect a board would just make me wonder what was wrong with the people in the family when adults can't get along with their SP."

Is it always the adult stepchild who cannot get along?

Or, isn't it strange that their is quite a few threads on this very website with "I hate my stepchildren" "I dread them visiting for 3 days".....curious, do you find that strange too?

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newgardenelf

I was a stepchild and I have stepchildren.

My stepsister was awful to my family- she was an only child and resented my relationship with my stepdad (her dad). She was successful in ending my fathers previous relationships but my mother is a difficult woman and she wouldn't have it. At 18 she told my father she never wanted to see him again..she married, had children we never met..When my father was diagnosed with cancer he begged for her to see him- she refused-. Even her mother said she had no idea what her problem was. Sadly my father died never seeing her or meeting his only biological grandchildren...Two months later my stepsister's husband shot himself while she was inside the house with their children.... Life is so strange sometimes and terribly short its a shame we spend so much time harboring old resentments and carrying great burdens.

I pray that despite BM's hatred of me and my children that my SSs are always part our my life and theirs...

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nicksmom

Maybe you'd like the Adult Stepchild section of www.steptogether.com

It's a message board, with quite a bit of activity.

I find it useful from time to time.

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nivea

Thanks, Nicksmom.

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kkny

Newgarden,

Arent you the one who wanted your future SDIL to pick out an ugly dress for SSs mom to wear at wedding?

Dont you also have issues with fallout from your grandparents divorce.

I am sorry so much agnst in your life, but maybe it is not the norm.

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nivea

newgardenelf, your stepsister sounds like she has had some issues.

Did she live with her father full time?

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finedreams

sileverswood how much time do you spend going out wiht your father and SM? or going to parties? it seems like awful amount of time. maybe that's where the issue is? it seems strange to me how and why adults would be going out wiht their parents that often. who has the time? i am close to my parents, see them regularly and call on the phone daily but we all work busy schedules and have other obligation, so we don't seem to be going out together that often or attending same parties. certainly not enough to remember who ordered what and who behave what way. how often do you see them? do you have your own family or circle of friends? i have no issue with my parents but if I would start going out with them all the time i suspect issues would arise...

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nivea

finedreams, I can't answer for silverwood but in my case, both my father and I run in the same circles professionally. Our profession does require a lot of schmoozing and politicking...

On top of that our family is very action-oriented. We do not just casually talk on the phone and this goes for the entire family. We have many BBQ's, dinners out with the whole family (uncles, aunts, cousins), visits with extended family, reunions a couple times a year....

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finedreams

well if you work together it is a different story. and I understand doing activities together. I see my parents all the time, we live close by, and I live a block away from my brother. But i still don't see how people get the time to spend that much time together. seems unreal. I don't have the time! don't people have their own hobbies that take away a lot of time or don't they have activities that only some people participate, not all of them? don't they play sports or paint or craft somehting or play musical instrument? don't people have friends? my parents have a lot of friends and spend time with them too. if I would spend my free time with them all the time we probably wouldn't just argue but kill each other one day. lol

I think it goes back to what i said in the other thread. sometimes a solution is for adult kids to get more of their own life so they don't have to be so involved wiht their parents. balance. maybe SMs sometimes act annoying because they are tired that grown SKs are always there! I am not saying it is the case with you but just a general impression i have. just my opinion.

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nivea

finedreams, I do not actively engage with my stepmother. However, it doesn't prevent her from telling everyone at a professional dinner party about my first period.

Not sure what else to say, but our experience with families must be very different.

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catlettuce

Oh dear, I guess I've been very very fortunate. I'm a adult stepchild and my Stepfather was/is WONDERFUL.
I would have never made it through the trying time of my
bio-Dads death without him. He is a really great guy & God knows I gave him & my mother plenty of grief as a teen.

One thing is that my Mom & S-Dad always no matter what presented a united front. They always backed each others decisions and if they did disagree-we never saw it.

Also shortly afer they married my mother was going through menopause and she was a raging you-know-what for a few yr.s. I can honestly to this day still say my S-dad deserves a gold medal for hanging in there!! Wish everyone who had a step-parent would ge one as wonderful as mine.

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ceph

Nivea, I wasn't trying to place all the blame on adult SKs. When I said "wonder what was wrong with the people in the family", I meant EVERYONE in the family. The following bit "when adults can't get along with their SP." probably could have been better phrased as "when adult SKs and SPs can't get along"
But I meant everyone in the family.

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justnotmartha

I do, I do!! My step dad is legally my dad as my bio dad 'signed me over' when I was 12 or 13. To me, step dad IS my dad. The other guy is my sperm donor - a very nice man I don't know very well. My step dad is everything I could ask for in a dad (and grandpa) and then some. My mother, though my very best friend, is a pain in the a@@ and not so nice at times, but dad hangs in there. I think a lot of it has to do with the grandkids. As he gained kids when they were older he never got to do the baby thing - I can't tell you how much I loved seeing him with my babies.

I simply can't imagine my life without my (step) dad.

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imamommy

"However, it doesn't prevent her from telling everyone at a professional dinner party about my first period."

Okay, so my mom didn't do it at a 'professional dinner party' but she did it at a family gathering at Christmastime when I was 10. LUCKY ME. and that was my MOM. Would it have been worse if my step mom did it? I don't know, it was pretty bad when my mom did it. Several family members teased me and I was HUMILIATED beyond belief. But, you know what? I got over it. I don't hate my mom for it. I probably don't trust her to talk about anything because she will probably tell everyone, and that's just what I learned from that experience.

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colleen777

Silversword, I hear you. This seems to me like a big ugly power struggle. Stepmother is in the spoiled rotten brat role and you are in the adult role without the inherent authority of that role. That is a horrible place for you to be in, and it means you have to keep hidden a great deal of anger and, among other things, it is extremely detrimental to your physical health.

Although no one person is 100% responsible for the struggle, dad is the person who needs to change his behavior to stop it. Maybe he enjoys his status as a prize to be fought for? He has abdicated his role as both husband and parent and this results in two people vying to occupy the same place.

I wouldn't pretend to him anymore that everything is fine when it isn't.

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serenity_now_2007

Silversword, I feel like I could have written every word of your post myself. Pretty much the exact same situation, with only a few minor details difference.

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neitza

Hi All,

I'm new here and am looking for a supportive place to discuss issues I'm having. Basically I've reunited with my father after 30 years and his wife is doing everything within her power to derail our reunion. It's a long, bizarre story.

So yes, I would definitely be interested in an Adult Step Kids forum.

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silversword

Nivea, I completely agree with picking battles. I just try not to react when she plays her little games because it just makes me feel/look bad. Its hard to explain with her because itÂs not something that is obvious unless you are right there from day one, and then the picture becomes perfectly clear. This woman is only out for herself. Watch out. I did find it interesting that you said " Is it always the adult stepchild who cannot get along?" ThatÂs surely what happens, the younger gets put into a child role and their feelings arenÂt valid.

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nivea

Hey neitza, I'm working on setting one up as we speak. Please stick around so that I can give the details.

Silversword, I get that totally. I also went through a time with her when it wasn't obvious what she was doing, even to me,until she had her final product on display.

Yes, I see that sentiment posted all the time. I mean, we even have a few here in this thread when I wasn't asking for any advice on my situation, just merely remarking on something. LOL I think a website dedicated to our issues will be beneficial.

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silversword

Finedreams These have happened over a period of ten years. I can see how in a post it may seem like its all the time, but theyre separate incidences. I want my child to spend time with her grandparents, so I do make the effort to get together with them. As for the party I mentioned, that was a birthday party for one of my friends. In Hawaii, parties are multi-generational, and in our small town of 10,000 there were most of our friends/family at that party, from grandparents to infants. Should I not have gone because she was going? On such a small island its not really the sort of thing I can avoid. Also, I cant remember exactly what she ordered every time, just her pattern of ordering that is inconsiderate to others, as an example of how she leads her life and how it affects me.

LOL!! Yes, I have my "own" (I'm guessing you mean a husband and child of my own???) family- (and my father and stepmother are a part of that family...) and circle of friends. But I think we have a different interpretation of family. See below, I think it's a cultural difference between your view and mine. I was born and raised, fourth generation Kamaaina. She is from California and is the one who has a hard time making friends. I am still close to my entire graduating class (all 36 of us!) and schoolmates (the other 130 of them) as well as college friends and work acquaintances. I also worked in the family business and therefore was in direct contact with my father every day, which we loved. She couldnt figure out why we would want to treat our workers so well ("but why should we pay them well, they arent working that hard, and why should we give them bonuses, we didnt make that much" etc) and my dad and I were more of the mindset that if we pay them well, and treat them well, we will have loyal employees. She thought the business was her private cash cow.

As for getting more of my own life, I have been out of the house since the day after graduation. I had in Hawaii, and have now, my own house that I bought with my own money. Involvement in family is cultural, and many nuclear families dont seem to understand how entertwined family can be. We have something called Ohana in Hawaii, and that is your family, but not necessarily blood related. I have hanai (not blood related family) sisters and brothers and parents. My daughter calls anyone adult in our Ohana "auntie" and "uncle". As for hobbies, my stepmother is an accomplished singer (has several cds out) and both my SM and father are involved in the local theatre. I would go to see their plays and bring them leis, as well as for the other friends who were in the plays. I garden and do photography. We also have family property that we have to maintain along with meetings with the other people in our hui (kind of like a community association). Also, she and I had to travel together for a training in Seattle and have had to travel together for family gatherings.

I think it's one of those things that is really hard to understand unless you are experiencing it, and I can understand how you would be skeptical of the level of involvement when it's obviously not working and many Americans don't associate with their family on this kind of level. I did stop seeing them entirely for a few years due to my intolerance of her behavior. But I want to have a relationship with my dad, so I'm taking another route and working on my communication skills so that I can deal with people like her without internalizing (and making myself sick in the process).

That's what I asking for help with. Any advice on how others deal with their difficult SM/SD and still have a good time?

Do you have a SM/SD? Are you one? (If you already answered this, please ignore. I can't remember from your post :) What do you do to make interactions with your more intense family members comfortable for everyone involved and still have a good time yourself? Distancing yourself may work, but is not a final solution for me because I want a relationship...

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silversword

"Could it be a forum where I dont have to get mad and drag down to a level I feel junky about..More mature? I only wish...."

This is EXACTLY what I'm talking about!!!! How can we relate with people we want to be family with and not get dragged under? What can I do? What are my trigger points, and how can I enable them to stop pushing my buttons? How can I be more mature and not resent her for not being more mature???

I think SM/SD input would be helpful here. As a SC and a SM I want to make sure the cycle doesn't repeat itself...

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silversword

Imamommy.Nivea, I have the same issue. With both mom and stepmom. Just as frustrating when it happens with either one. Ive learned I cant tell either one of them anything I wouldnt want repeated. My mom will often say, in a large crowd "did you tell X about " Talk about embarrassing. I feel for you both. I think the difference is I guess my mom has earned the right to embarrass me and is just sharing with others her experience- while stepmom is intentionally trying to embarrass me. One similar example, I was in the hospital recently for e-coli in my bloodstream and I had my period. I overheard my mother telling someone on the phone "and wouldnt you know, she had her period!" OMG I wanted to kill her. I told her how much that upset me, and she said, "its just Auntie Donna, shes in and out of the hospital all the time, so I thought she could relate." Mothers sometimes cant separate the fact that they used to wipe your bum so theyre entitled to your bodily functions while stepmothers just think they have a right to talk about your personal life, which is a little more intrusive IMO.

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silversword

You wacked the mole on the head. She has her role, I have mine, and Im really trying to keep it from affecting me mentally and physically. I agree, as do my aunts/family now that they have been in enough personal incidences to see how she operates, that dad is the one in denial and allowing her to act like this.

But I dont think Im vying to occupy her place. I think shes in competition with me (when I was pregnant, she decided she had to get pregnant, at 45, and my dad is 60). I dont pretend I just dont let it personally affect me anymore. My game is to see if I can outwit her. Example, we go to a restaurant, and I know shell start flipping if the waiter isnt there right away. So I make sure to call them over before she does. When she begins fretting that she doesnt have enough water, I get someone to fix it. I offer multiple alternatives for functions and then let her decide what we will do. Life is too short to get my panties in a knot over her little personality flaws.

But it still gets to me. And she is rotten to my dad. Expects him to carry her bags, but the morning before a cousins wedding laughs when his shirt needs ironing and says, I dont iron for him His sister and I looked at each other, and I said, Ill iron it dad. Hes told that story to other family members, so I know that he sees the disrespect too. But I have to let that go, because that's their relationship.

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silversword

Im sorry to hear that you go through the same thing. Its really hard to know how to deal with this kind of relationship isn't it? Im really family oriented, so I want to spend time with my family (and I have a really huge one on both sides) and my dad and I get along really really well. So its hard to respect his decision and have to watch how she treats him (and really hard not to attack back!!!)

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colleen777

Ouch getting pregnant at 45. Was your child going to be the first grandchild for your father?

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imamommy

Silver, I hear what you are saying, but I disagree that anyone earns the right to embarrass you. I'd think that my mom should taken more care toward my feelings than my step mom would be expected to. I'm a mother and a custodial step mother. I would never discuss my daughter's period because I know how it felt to have my mother do that. However, my daughter isn't bothered to announce (even to her brothers) that it's her time of the month. Some people don't care and don't get embarrassed. I'll probably be the one that deals with SD when she gets hers. She's 9 (almost 10), so it's more likely to happen with us. I just find it a little offensive to make the statement: "Mothers sometimes cant separate the fact that they used to wipe your bum so theyre entitled to your bodily functions while stepmothers just think they have a right to talk about your personal life, which is a little more intrusive" because not all mother's are custodial and wipe their child's bum. Sometimes it's the stepmother doing it. and if I say something about my step daughter's 'personal life', it isn't done with the intention to be intrusive or hurtful. I think if she wants to, she can perceive it that way. That doesn't make it true.

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nivea

Imamommy, but what if your SD hypothetically said that she feels that 'x,y,z bothers her' and she feels it is intrusive when you do that.

Would you acknowledge her feelings and make an effort to stop? Or would you just continue on because she just perceives it that way?

I guess that is where the heart of the matter is for me. Everyone has their own thoughts and flaws and ways they like stuff done.

I can work with a lot of people. I have a lot of friends. I'm very easy to get along with.

How come this one lady just refuses to meet me halfway? I bend and bend for her, but it is not enough because she feels a different way and anything I say is just the way I perceive it and not real to her, so why should she have to change?

Okay, I'll step off of my soap box now.

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imamommy

"she is rotten to my dad. Expects him to carry her bags, but the morning before a cousins wedding laughs when his shirt needs ironing and says, I dont iron for him"

From a daughter's perspective, I can relate a bit, I used to go out of my way to make sure my dad got a home cooked dinner when he was driving truck and got home. My mom was either drunk or with her BF and I thought she was a terrible wife for not being there for him or us. (I was 12 and it was just before he finally left). It didn't matter what time it was, I'd get up and cook him dinner when he got home.

But, am I a terrible wife because I expect my husband to carry my bags? or because I don't do his laundry? There are a few things he does for me or that I don't do for him that maybe his daughter would get mad and think I am terrible to her dad. I love him with all my heart, but last night, he had to cook his own dinner ~gasp~

Maybe my kids think he's terrible to me because he doesn't do things for me that they think he should.

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imamommy

and I agree that if you tell someone (ANYONE!!!) that something bothers you and they disregard it, then yes, they are disrespecting you. My mom disrespects me because she, like your mom says "oh, it's just ____" and will still repeat things that I've said in confidence. It's not okay, just because she is my mom. It wouldn't be okay no matter who it is.

But I don't see it as an step issue, it's a respect issue that extends to all people in your life. She just happens to be a step parent that doesn't respect you.

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nivea

Imamommy, it becomes a step issue when it is a stepparent doing it. And then it starts trickling into your relationship with your father. I don't want to visit with someone who cannot respect me and she is there all the time, so then you just start losing the relationship with your father totally.

Then extended family starts noticing and don't like it and start talking about it and even sometimes, start excluding your father because they don't want to deal with his wife.

Everyone has it differently and feels a different way in step relations.

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imamommy

How would you handle it if she was your mom and treated you that way? Would you avoid visiting your dad if she was your mom? My uncle was married to his first wife for 49 years. She was not a very nice person and her kids didn't visit her much that I know of, and I am not sure if they maintained a relationship with their dad. When she died, they dutifully came to the funeral but weren't very emotional at all. Since she's been gone, they visit their father more and have been very supportive of him marrying again. He's getting married on August 23rd. There are intact families where there are these same issues and therefore, i don't agree that it's a step issue. If my parents were still together, I'd have issues with my mom that might affect my relationship with my dad. Unfortunately, we don't get to choose our parents, we don't get to choose our step parents. and when we give them a different set of rules or standards for how they treat us because they are bio or step, then it makes it easier to place blame on a step parent than a bio parent that does the SAME thing. I don't see a difference. In fact, i think bio parents have more of an obligation to their children's feelings than a step parent.

Trust me when I say that I understand what it's like when your dad makes a decision and it makes the rest of the family uncomfortable and it affects the relationship with him. If your dad chooses to allow his relationship with you to suffer because he chooses to be with a wife that treats you in a way that affects you visiting him, then it's HIS choice and unfortunately there isn't anything you can do, but tell him how you feel and hope he cares enough to make an effort to maintain a relationship with you.

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colleen777

Nivea said,
"I'm older now, I could crush this girl (new woman) if I need to, but my brothers and sisters don't deserve this."

Isn't it kind of a moot point now? Hasn't your father already dumped stepmother for another one.

Did the family actually notice it, or did you complain about it a lot?

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silversword

"Ouch getting pregnant at 45. Was your child going to be the first grandchild for your father?"

Yes, I'm an only child, and my daughter is the first grandchild and the first great-grandchild on both sides of my family.

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nivea

"I don't see a difference." I do, but I think we are ultimately going to disagree. There is a vast difference between bioparents and stepparents.

If my boss did that at work, then yes, that is not a step situation. LOL.

Colleen, I never complained or said anything about her to anyone in my family. She showed herself all on her own.

And no, I don't believe it is a moot point. Sure, it won't happen to me anymore but my whole thoughts and motivation by posting this thread were the endless 'tudes toward adult stepchildren that post something. "Move on" "Get a life" "Stop interfering" and the latest "It's not a step family issue" LOL

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silversword

You're so right. No one has earned the right to embarass me. I could have said what I meant a little better. What I was trying to say is that I expect it a little more from my mom (maybe it's the years and years of embarassment, I'm used to it!). And I feel, in my personal relationship with her, that she is not being malicious. With my stepmother I feel different, like she's telling my personal life for attention rather than just "sharing" with other moms. Maybe my perception is flawed/prejudiced, but there you have it! And if you did wipe the bum of your SD/SS then it makes you a little more connected with the child and their individual embarassment issues than a woman who comes into the family when the "child" is 18.

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serenity_now_2007

Nivea, your comment about the extended family touches on interesting questions for me... I can't say for sure (because obviously I will never know the truth for sure), but it's only dawned on me recently that SM *might* be the reason I never see my father's side of the family. As difficult as she's been, it never occured to me before recently that she either could have driven them away intentionally (to further isolate my father and/or minimize possibly reality-checking advice from them to him) or that they withdrew because they didn't like her.

And truly, I have no idea if this is the case. For all I know, they could all adore her. Which is maybe what I have been unconsciously expecting because she has that chameleon type personality where she can really turn on the charm and is pretty good at getting people to think she's sweet, innocent, etc. I mean, to an extent which to me is astonishingly transparent & phony but to some people is the most endearing thing in the universe (or so I have been accustomed to thinking). Then at home, her mask can fall off with a thud, on a dime (or she can leave it on and say something so hatefully putrid, all smiles). But anyway, my experiences with her for years have been "My GAWD, does NOBODY else see thru her phoniness and her left-handed jabs and the twisted ways she rationalizes things?! It's so OBVIOUS!" I have felt like I was going nuts, and that it must just be my perception.

But then again, through the years the number of these 'witnesses' has dwindled a lot and my Dad has been increasingly isolated, especially from his family (he took me to see them so infrequently on my visits that I now feel like I don't even HAVE a family on that side) and it's been years since I have even seen most of the folks he has had as friends. That has been very hurtful, and for so long I presumed it was because he was not-so-proud of ME, ashamed of ME somehow, and thus didn't want his friends & family to be around me. It has only recently started occuring to me that the reasons for all this may have something to do with SM. Because it does seem like this is a common pattern in situations where the SP is a difficult person.

It's just wierd that I've been sitting here for years feeling like there was something wrong with ME that we didn't see any of these people for so long... wondering what I ever did that was so awful or what about my existence was so shameful... and I never pieced it together that it might have something to do with SM.

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imamommy

Your original question asked for opinions from adult step children. I am an adult step child.

I am also an adult bio child. I am a bio parent with adult children. I am a custodial step parent to a 9 year old. You may not agree with my opinions and maybe you only wish to hear from people that agree with you, if that's the case, then say so.

Sorry if you don't like my 'tude.

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nivea

Serenity, I guess it would be hard to say. But if visits with his side of the family have dwindled dramatically over the years that he has been with your SM, I'd say it's a safe bet she has something to do with it. Either she doesn't want to or his side of the family doesn't want to.

In my family, they just stopped inviting my father and stepmother to certain events that they were previously invited to. I'm very close with my aunts and uncles and they started mentioning to me stuff about her behavior when I was a teen.

Maybe you can contact your fathers family on your own? Not to ask them, but family is always nice to have :) They probably would be ecstatic to hear from you.

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silversword

"But, am I a terrible wife because I expect my husband to carry my bags? or because I don't do his laundry? There are a few things he does for me or that I don't do for him"

No, not at all. I understand division of labor. It's the attitude. And the fact that she laughed at him. It was a very mean attitude, and in front of a lot of family members. My dad would have been content to go in a stained t-shirt and shorts. But she's the one that said "you can't go like that" when he pulled out his wrinkled dress shirt. And she's the one who cares how he looks. Even if you don't iron or wash clothes for someone on a regular basis it's basic kindness to help someone out once or twice. I was afraid he'd make it worse by ironing it,and you should have seen the look on his face. I don't iron either (not a necessity in the land of aloha shirts) but if it's needed, I will help someone because I care about them.

"Maybe my kids think he's terrible to me because he doesn't do things for me that they think he should."

I know that different people handle their responsibilities different. But it was the attitude that I was trying to convey.

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silversword

"And then it starts trickling into your relationship with your father. I don't want to visit with someone who cannot respect me and she is there all the time, so then you just start losing the relationship with your father totally.
Then extended family starts noticing and don't like it and start talking about it and even sometimes, start excluding your father because they don't want to deal with his wife."

This is exactly what has happened in my family. It's awful!!!!!!

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Ashley

If your SD were acting like a total brat and treating you with total disrespect and saying "I don't have to listen to you or care about your feelings because you are NOT my mom" and your husband completely ignored the fact that she was acting that way and did not back you up, would that be a step-family issue?

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nivea

Imamommy, my original post asked if anyone knew of an adult stepkids website and/or what would they think about starting one.

So what do you think about that? :)

And your first post to me on this thread commented that you think adult stepkids should mind their own business and get on with their lives, and then on my situation and your thoughts on it which I don't really understand why you choose to post that in this thread, but um, okay.

Which is all whatever and fine, but it's not what I was addressing. You are certainly welcome to your opinions but I'm not really following you in this blog.

But, to each their own :)

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imamommy

I understand what you are saying about the attitude that's conveyed (or perceived)

From a step parent/parent perspective, I am saying that I do get my kids making comments about my husband that are along those lines. "before HE came along, you didn't have to ____" But what they don't understand, I MADE THE CHOICE TO BE WITH MY HUSBAND. I MADE THE CHOICE TO DO _____. I AM A GROWN WOMAN THAT CAN MAKE MY OWN CHOICES. They are my kids and I know they have their own thoughts on what they think is right or wrong treatment of me, but I choose to be where I am. If my husband gets angry and raises his voice at me, it's MY job to not let him treat me that way, it's NOT my kids' place to handle that, although I can understand how it would upset them.

I know his daughter gets upset too, but she is 9 so she doesn't understand as much as my kids. Mine are 18, 19 & almost 22. They are at the age where if I tell them ANYTHING, they tell me 'mom, its MY life'. Well, that's the time they need to start to realize that THIS IS MY LIFE. I have my mom and dad still. My mom has a BF. My dad has been with my step mom for 22 years. I know it's hard for me too, when I don't agree with things they do or if I feel that I can't have the kind of relationship that I want. But, it isn't their partner's fault, it would be my parent's fault if the allow the partner to alienate us from each other.

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silversword

You said she "...is pretty good at getting people to think she's sweet, innocent, etc. I mean, to an extent which to me is astonishingly transparent & phony but to some people is the most endearing thing in the universe..."

This is what is going on with my SM too. And it's so hard to feel ok about even talking about it, because people tend to think it's somehow my fault. They think she's sweet because she pours on the charm, and I'm the sulky unappreciative "kid" in the corner throwing spit wads.

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silversword

"There are intact families where there are these same issues and therefore, i don't agree that it's a step issue."

It's a step-issue when it's with stepparents. And that's the thread we're on. Doesn't mean it doesn't happen with other relationships.

"and when we give them a different set of rules or standards for how they treat us because they are bio or step, then it makes it easier to place blame on a step parent than a bio parent that does the SAME thing. I don't see a difference. In fact, i think bio parents have more of an obligation to their children's feelings than a step parent."

That's a different set of standards too, thinking one kind of parent has more or less of an obligation. That's essentially giving step-parents the right to not be as involved/responsible as bio-parents. I think anyone who takes on the obligation of parenting a child is responsible for that child's feelings.

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imamommy

"If your SD were acting like a total brat and treating you with total disrespect and saying "I don't have to listen to you or care about your feelings because you are NOT my mom" and your husband completely ignored the fact that she was acting that way and did not back you up, would that be a step-family issue?"

YOU'VE MET MY SD!!!! Wonderful.

Really, she has been very disrespectful and ignores me on a regular basis. Her mom tells her that I am not her mom, I can't make her do anything.

No, my husband doesn't completely ignore it. But, he's not responsible for my relationship with her, I am and she is. It's between us to work out our relationship or lack thereof. My husband made the comment to her that 'Ima does a lot for you and I don't appreciate the way you treat her' and he response is 'she only does it because she's helping you'. Well, she is partly right. I feed her. I clothe her. I make sure she is safe. I have to do those things. I don't have to take her shopping and let her pick out the clothes she WANTS. I don't have to cook her favorite foods. I don't have to bake cookies with her. I don't have to take her to girl scouts or karate (or any other activity that she WANTS to do) because her dad is working so if I didn't do it she would be sitting in her room or daycare. She chooses to see things HER way and that's HER choice.

"my original post asked if anyone knew of an adult stepkids website and/or what would they think about starting one.

So what do you think about that? :) "

I think it's one thing for step parents and step children to organize a forum to discuss issues to give or get advice on making their situation better or help them decide if they want to be in that situation. It's also nice to have a place to vent so you don't take it out on your spouse, kids or the other parent.

I think it's another thing to create a forum to spend your time focused on things that happened in the past and nobody can change or fix it. If it helps to talk things out and vent and find support, then it's a great thing. But, if you spend your time there, holding onto the anger and pain and use the other people's similar stories to support and justify your anger so you feel that you are right, then you are wasting your time and let's be honest, life is short and it's too short to waste dwelling on the things you can't change. (especially if it takes away from a family you have now as a lot of adult children do) You can't change the past.

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finedreams

silverswood, why do you think she decided to get pregnant just because you were? it is rather hard to ger pregnant at that age to begin with. couldn't it be that she just wanted to have a baby? at whatever age?

as about parents/stepparents doing stupid stuff all of us have plenty of examples. talking about embarassements? here is one for you. My dad walked out of my brother's wedding (really did not approve of his choice). well actually reception not wedding, but in the middle of the dinner. everyone saw it and remembers twenty years after! somebody just reminded it to me at the family reunion. so there is always something that family members do or did not do. no one is prefect.

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nivea

Well, I didn't say anything about a website focused on the past of adult stepkids. That's kinda weird, dontcha think?

Most people relay or use information from their past to illustrate a present situation, but not necessarily dwell on it.

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Ashley

My point in that post is that if the issue is between steps, then it is a step-issue. I think your situation is much different from silverswords, niveas and mine because you do take an active role in raising the child. I was 15 when my dad married SM. I was already pretty much raised and only visited dad occasionally. The love that comes with being part of a family was not there between us. We didn't really have that kind of bond and she never did anything for me, only against me.

I see what you are saying about moving on, but it's really not that simple because we still love our dads and we want to have a relationship with him without having to mess with all of the drama that comes along with being around SM. It's like being stuck between a rock and a hard place and the only thing you can do is visit dad and try to ignore the SM's antics when you are around her.

It would be different if it were Mom and Dad and Mom was acting that way because she is Mom. She may be a total b****, but she raised you and she loves you and she isn't trying to push you out of your Dad's life so she can have her perfect little family without you. Do you see the difference?

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finedreams

DD can be a huge pain in you know what and she is not the most easy person on earth, but I admire her attitude toward step situation. she does not let it be her main concern in life. her parents' life is her parents' life. she might not like who i am with either, who knows. but she does not make issues out of it. she cares but she does not go into details. her SM was not the easiest person on earth and most people (including XMIL and some mutual friends we happen to have) but DD was fine with her. she just did not let her SM to be a main concern of her life. you gotta learn to detach a bit and let it go.

example of detaching. my dad is crazy driver, i mean crazy. i cannot change it. all I can do is to change myself, such as detach. I simply do not ride with my dad (if he drives). i do other stuff but would not ride. i avoid it succesfully. so if you cannot change SM, you can detach. not to cut contacts but rearrange them. don't travel with her or don't sit in restaurants. invite them over for dinner instead of eating out. travel to a destination separatelly etc. remove yourself from suffering.

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silversword

"...it's NOT my kids' place to handle that, although I can understand how it would upset them."

I don't really understand. Should I not have ironed his shirt? Should I have let someone I care about stand embarassed in front of a lot of people without reaching out to them? I know my dad, he would have made that shirt look a lot worse than just wrinkles had he ironed it! My aunt was right there helping me get out the ironing board and would have offered to do it too.

"But, it isn't their partner's fault, it would be my parent's fault if the allow the partner to alienate us from each other."

That's true. My father isn't blameless either. He just wants everyone to get along. He's in the middle. He tries to make peace. I think she has him hoodwinked and he can't see the light. I don't try to tell him/show him the awful things she does anymore because I see that doesn't work. Am I making her out to be the bad guy because I don't want to blame daddy? No. She is a nasty woman. Who I would have an issue with if she were in my life at all. But she's married to my dad, which makes this a stepmother issue, and a little more complicated and a little closer to the heart.

By the way, I have tried to reach out to her. I let her come to my daughter's birth, and my ex-husband, a talented chef, cooked her the (expensive/complicated) menu she wanted for her birthday two months later and then when she came over she said "I'm not really hungry, I ate before I came".

Nivea, I believe, (correct me if I'm wrong) admitted that she can see how her father is contributing to the issues she's facing with her family. And I can see how having little kids in this situation would be of concern. How can she help the little ones when she sees the trouble coming?

I'm not idolizing my father, I'm trying to have a relationship with him that she is sabotoging. Everyone is trying except her. And I don't take it personal, she does this with everyone. So maybe it's not a stepchild issue!! It's an issue with her in particular! Is there a forum specifically for her? Should I start a thread, an "I hate _ _ _ _ " thread?

Just kidding...

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imamommy

well, it was my opinion that adult children should live their own life, not focus on their past issues (either from their parents or step parents) so what would a forum for adult step children talk about if not dwelling on the past? Current issues? I'm 39 years old, I have my own kids and my own life and although I love my dad, if he chooses to be with someone that makes it hard for me to visit him, then what can be done? The truth is NOTHING. He makes his choice and all I can do is tell him that I would like to have a closer relationship with him. If he doesn't make time for me or he allows his wife to keep me away, then it's sad and terrible but not much I can do about it. Now, it would be different if you are 20 years old or a young adult that still needs that close relationship with dad. As you get older and independent, I think the need turns into want.

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silversword

"silverswood, why do you think she decided to get pregnant just because you were? it is rather hard to ger pregnant at that age to begin with. couldn't it be that she just wanted to have a baby? at whatever age? "

No, because she and my father both told me that's why she wanted to get pregnant. He didn't want to, but he was willing if she wanted to. Then she blamed him because they couldn't get pregnant. Well, jeez. He's only 60!!! And they were together for over six years at that point, and he makes plenty of money for her to stay home, so if she really wanted one she might have said something about it before. But two weeks after I said I was pregnant she was dragging him to the doctor. He was ready to be a grandpa. He told me the other day how happy he was that they didn't get pregnant because of all of the work involved.

THIS is exactly the kind of anti-step-child issues I face. It's assumed that I would be so self centered that I would think it's all about me, and that a woman should be able to have a baby when she wants. I would LOVE a sister/brother. I have always wanted one. Had she been trying the whole time, I would have felt really bad that she wasn't able to. But it felt really weird, and again, combined with other events, is an example (oh, so wispy and indeterminable, so under-the-radar) that shows how she is, and that when I bring it up just makes me look like a "crazy kid".

PLEASE... understand. I have always wanted my dad to get remarried. I have loved some of his long term girlfriends and wanted them to get married. I have babysat their kids, cleaned their homes, taken them out places. This woman is a parasite. How do I deal with her???

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Ashley

finedreams...easier said than done. My Dad lives several states away, so when we see each other it is for long periods of time and rarely has it been without her there because she would not allow it. It would be easier to do that if we lived closer, but we don't.

"That's true. My father isn't blameless either. He just wants everyone to get along."...same for my dad. He also knows that if he takes up for me, he will have to suffer for it. If he takes up for her, or says nothing, then he doesn't have any consequences really. I might be angry, but I'm not going to stop visiting or I won't yell at him for not taking up for me.

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finedreams

silverswood you make it sound like your dad is incapacitated so he would just stand there with his shirt not ironed and everyone has to come to the resque. Just take the shirt off and iron your own shirt! he is an adult isn't he? my dad irons his own shirts or wears the ones that don't get wrinkled. of course if he has a disability it is a different story. but other than that how is it SM's problem?

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imamommy

"My point in that post is that if the issue is between steps, then it is a step-issue. I think your situation is much different from silverswords, niveas and mine because you do take an active role in raising the child. I was 15 when my dad married SM. I was already pretty much raised and only visited dad occasionally. The love that comes with being part of a family was not there between us. We didn't really have that kind of bond"

I was 17 when my dad married my SM. There was no bond there and I was not always nice to her, but of my siblings, I was the nicest. I have always tried to respect that my dad deserves to be happy. There were times that I felt she was trying to keep me from my dad, if I called to come visit and he'd say they had plans, it's not a good time for him. I'd blame her. I was young (but over 18) and felt it was MY right to see my dad whenever I want. I'm not trying to make it 'simplistic' because relationships never are. All relationships are complex.

"It would be different if it were Mom and Dad and Mom was acting that way because she is Mom. She may be a total b****, but she raised you and she loves you and she isn't trying to push you out of your Dad's life so she can have her perfect little family without you. Do you see the difference?"

There is a difference, but saying "she raised you and she loves you" is an assumption that all parents that raise their kids love them or know how to love them. I'm sure that parents think they love their children, but some parents don't know how to love or have a different definition of love. If the result is the same, what is the difference. If I avoid my mom because she is verbally abusive and makes visiting her difficult so it keeps me from having a relationship with my dad (assuming they are still together), then how is that very much different from a step mom that keeps you away because she wants to have her perfect little family? They are both selfish and both are wrong.

I'm only saying there is more than one way to look at EVERY situation.

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silversword

"so what would a forum for adult step children talk about if not dwelling on the past? Current issues?"

Um... yes. I have current issues, and they stem from past issues. The past issues were never resolved. If they were, I could get past them. I don't live in the past. I don't dwell on this every day. Most times I don't even think about it. But, she's coming next week. I saw this forum and thought, this would be really nice to talk with people having similar issues. Not a place to be attacked and demeaned.

I do have a life, my own life. Please stop with the "get a life" statements. I have a job, children, a husband, a social life, an extended family... I garden, I write, I take pictures...I clean my toilets.

And I have an uncomfortable relationship that I'd like to figure out/make better/resolve because I haven't given up and I don't agree that it's "sad and terrible but not much I can do about it."

I think I can make it better, if not with her, then in my head. Perspective and perception is everything.

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imamommy

trust me when I tell you it can always be worse.... I'd trade you places if I could.

I'm sorry if you feel attacked or demeaned by me. That's not my intention.

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kkny

Ima, I know you had a difficult childhood/difficult relationship wiht mother/difficult relationship with your children's fathers and I am sorry about all that. Also that you adore our dad, sm, and current DH, which is great. But not everyone comes from the land of step relationships are great. Telling people to move along, get a life, is not always the answer. I commend these people for looking for answers and wish them luck.

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Ashley

It doesn't sound like your SM was outright nasty to you though. Even though you percieved that she might be keeping you from your Dad, you really don't think that now, right? Your relationship with your SM is different than mine with my SM or Nivs or Silvers.

If the result is the same, what is the difference...the difference is the familial bond or lack thereof. I'm not saying one is better than the other, but it IS a step-family issue. Also another difference is that if you grew-up with a certain relationship with your dad and then it all changes and gets messed-up when SM enters the picture, there again, it IS a step-family issue. It might be different if you were never close to begin with, but it is a major source of hurt when the rug is pulled out from underneath you.

I understand what you are saying about not being able to change the past, but it is nice to vent and have support. I assume those are the reasons you come to this site, right? Also, if stepkids can help each other by suggesting different ways to deal with the hurt and to repair relationships with parents and step-parents then it is a good thing. I don't see why you are so up in arms and against it. It seems like you feel that when we vent about our step-mothers, it is a personal attack on you.

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finedreams

well your SM does sound crazy. Ok...what can you do...

detach when they come to visit. just detach with love. disengage. get through the visit.

also let the past go. it would never get resolved. move on and let go. they are just humans.

also it might help to talk to other family members when SM bugs you (mom, siblings, cousin). when my parents do something annoying i and my brother vent to each other and then we end up laughing and then we move on. it helps.

DD always says when family does stupid things: "oh dad just being dad." "oh grandpa just being grandpa" etc so tell yourself: SM is just being SM.

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silversword

I'm sorry if it came across as he's handicapped. He's not, physically, he's just fashion handicapped! He would have gone in his wrinkled shirt. He didn't care. She put down the shirt he chose, then refused to help him and laughed at him. That is what "makes it SM's problem". She made it a problem in the first place by telling him he can't go like that because his shirt was wrinkled. He is an adult. He runs single handed a multi-million dollar business that he built from the ground up. She has two homes in exclusive neighborhoods, a brand-new car, a massage studio in the home with all the bells and whistles. She doesn't have to work, or clean her own house. She didn't have to iron the shirt. I wouldn't have cared if he went in a wrinkled shirt, that's my dad! It's the fact that she critisizes his clothes sense (all the time) but wouldn't just say, here, let me iron that for you. It's a pattern with her. It's not the shirt. It's the constant "do for me" without anything in return.

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silversword

Exactly...
"finedreams...easier said than done. My Dad lives several states away,"

In my case it's 2600 miles and a six hour plane ride...

"so when we see each other it is for long periods of time and rarely has it been without her there because she would not allow it."

And if he does come by himself, she's calling him every ten minutes so we never get time together.

"He also knows that if he takes up for me, he will have to suffer for it. If he takes up for her, or says nothing, then he doesn't have any consequences really. I might be angry, but I'm not going to stop visiting or I won't yell at him for not taking up for me."

Yes, my dad is grateful that I put up with her, he hates to travel with her too, and recognizes her selfishness at restaurants (can't not go out to eat with her, that's ridiculous!) just have to learn how to deal with it better, not ignore it, but constructively deal with it so I feel good and there's not a big issue every time we're together.

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serenity_now_2007

I can also relate to the experience of really liking girlfriends of my Dad's before he met my now-SM. There were two women he had long-term relationships with (actually simultaneously, which is a whole nother ball of psychological wax) before SM, both of which I really, really, liked and would have been glad to see him marry.

The latest craziness with all of that is that now that my dad is dying, SM has taken it upon herself to amke contact with both of these women. (Whereas before the mere mention of their names was strictly forbidden and after my grandmother died and one of the old girlfriends sent my dad a sympathy card for the loss of his mother, SM flipped out.) SM and my Dad both just love to pat SM on the back for how "gracious" she is being in initiating contact with the old girlfriends, and I have had my suspicions about her motives ever since it started last year. I figured her real motivation was a pre-emptive move to control the communications not only between my dad and these women but also between me and these women, since they were very dear to me and a significant part of my early memories of my Dad (my parents divorced when I was 2) and the parts of my childhood spent with him. I don't hink my SM could bear it if she thought I was going to "talk s**t" to these women about what an immature self-seeking person she is. (Honestly, if I was SM in the situation, knowing I'd behaved as an immature self-seeking person for so many years, i'd probably be smart to make the same pre-emptive move.)

So on my last trip to visit him, I got to see SM's intentions in action, as Old Girlfriend #1 came for an afternoon visit (reluctantly, but after having been assured with heaping doses of SM's charm on the phone that it would be hospitable). First of all, I got absolutely ZERO chance to talk to this woman ---let alone privately, I mean AT ALL--- because the entire conversation was dominated by talk of SM's job, SM and her new marriage to my Dad, SM and my Dad and how they have decorated the house, and then a TWO-AND-A-HALF-HOUR TOUR of the house (the house ain't that big, but the tour took that long) and a display of every antique in it. (My Dad has been in the antiques business since well before I was born and has several very nice things.) Old Girlfriend #1 just went thru a divorce (to another antique dealer) and didn't exactly fare well, and is on a very limited budget.

It would have been understandable to some extent if SM felt such a need to show off if Old girlfriend #1 just showed up and inserted herself into the scene. But SM basically lured her there and then once she got her stuck in the house, proceeded to show off for the woman for three solid hours. And I might have even given SM the benefit of the doubt ("oh she's just a happy newlywed, oh, she just loves the house so much...") had SM not said right after Old Girlfriend #1 departed (abruptly and practically in tears): "It must be so hard for her to see that I now have everything she doesn't have."

Callous, cruel, conniving... [I'll leave the last c-word in this list up to everyone else's imagination].

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silversword

Finedreams...
"detach when they come to visit. just detach with love. disengage. get through the visit."

I love this "detach with love". Take a deep breath, and remember that I love my dad.

"Let the past go". I can laugh about it now, but it recently came up again because now family members are starting to realize how she is and talk to me about it, so it's all coming up again. Me going to visit family and leaving a box of photographs and yearbooks with my dad to store, her moving them out onto the driveway under a tarp and ruining the majority of them, then saying my dad moved them because they were taking up space in his office. Which he'd never do, because he rarely uses his office, I was only gone for three months...

There I go again. Deep breath!

Can't talk with mom, she gets way too angry. No siblings. Talked to cousin about it once, he turned around and told his mom, who told my dad that he was "so upset that I was critical of his favorite aunt". Nevermind that the cousin told me he wanted to kill his parents, and I didn't repeat that!

Have a few people I can talk with, one cousin who came to visit, they invited her to stay with them, I warned her, and sure enough the next day she called to see if she could come to my house. SM was so rude to her and her husband. Then another aunt had the same issue. Came to stay, was treated awful.

Wanted impartial advice, so thank you!

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imamommy

I don't take it as a personal attack on me as a step mother. In the first years of my dad's marriage, there were things I could harbor resentment for. For instance, when my grandmother died, I lived three hours away and when I got there, my step mother had taken the prettiest hand made Christmas ornaments from the box and we were allowed to each choose one from the remaining ornaments. Then, Christmas came around and we went to dad's house and none of my grandma's ornaments were on the tree, she had decided to buy a new set where everything matched perfectly. I still don't know what ever happened to my grandma's ornaments. But, she was married to my dad so I have to assume my dad has them still or allowed her to give them away. She also has three kids and on Christmas that year, her kids were getting expensive things, (appliances and expensive clothes) and I got inexpensive perfume and my sisters got similar. My older sister threw a fit on the way home about how unfair it was. We were 18 & 21 and even then, yes I thought it wasn't nice but I didn't think it was my place to whine about gifts. I was hurt that my dad didn't do his own shopping and that she made such an obvious choice to lavish her kids and not his. A few years later, when I was in my early 20's, I was in a relationship and she was in her Master's program to be a family therapist. That is when i started to talk to her and she became closer to me. I could have held the grudge for what she did a few years earlier but I let it go. My sisters never did.

Twelve years ago, she suffered a brain aneurysm and is in a permanent vegetative state. Her kids don't come see her and could probably care less if she is dead or alive. They are oh so worried about getting an inheritance though. But, I am helping take care of her. I feed her, bathe her, clean up after her while my dad is at work.

I do know what it's like to have the rug pulled out from underneath me. I've just learned how to get back up and wipe off the dust and move on. I never said it was easy.

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silversword

I'm so sorry! That must have been hard to watch! My SM did a similar thing with her new car, gushed over it, showed all the tricks, etc, then said "I bet you wish someone would buy you a new car" to my mom. Yeah. But my mom and dad had matching motorcycles, a renovated school bus that they took to Mexico for 9 months, a convertible and a great house twenty years prior, all which my mom had worked equally on. And, she helped put my dad through school. SM doesn't work at all, just complains that she's not rich enough. So my mom drives an old car. And she is poor. But my SM just rubs her face in it every chance she gets.

Have you spoken with the ex-girlfriend since? Your SM must be really insecure. What a terrible thing to do to someone.

That's funny that he had two that you liked at the same time, then ended up with this one! Or sad. A little of both?

Did your dad know she was doing this? Or would he not have seen it the same way you did? Give the benefit of the doubt, she's just proud, she was just feeling bad for the woman that she didn't make out as well as your SM did, it wasn't viscious...after all, she invited her so she must be beyond all that...

That's the hard part. I think instinctively you can tell when someone is being mean. It's hard to put into words, or describe, but when you're there, tasting the air around them, you can tell something is rotten!

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silversword

"trust me when I tell you it can always be worse.... I'd trade you places if I could."

Imamommy, I don't know what you mean by that, and I'm sorry if your life feels worse than what I'm going through. I don't know if you'd really want to trade places though.

Broken families are hard. I'm a SM and my husband is a SD. We each have a girl, and we each were married to just about the worst people on the planet. His ex was physically abusive and took him completely financially and is still trying to pull money from him and my ex was a closet meth addict (kind of hard, but he pulled it off for five years without me finding out). I have much bigger worries than my stinky step mom. It's not my whole life. But it's coming up because of the impending visit.

It's not that bad for me and it could be worse, I know. It has been worse. I spent two years getting away from my ex and now have to deal with double step issues as well as my step issues!

Thank you for saying "I'm sorry if you feel attacked or demeaned by me. That's not my intention". It just feels like the blame is coming out, to get a life, get over it, get on with it. I'm glad you were able to have a relationship with your SM. It sounds like you had a few misunderstandings and were able to work it out. We have had jillions of intentional meanness that just when I get past another one happens. Different people, different circumstances.

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nivea

Hmm...I don't think posting on a message board about an issue you want help with or even just to vent automatically implies that those issues are the focus of your whole life.

I mean, what are you lot doing on here? Go get a life, hahaha.

"But not everyone comes from the land of step relationships are great."

That's very true.

"Different people, different circumstances." And this too.

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nivea

"Nivea, I believe, (correct me if I'm wrong) admitted that she can see how her father is contributing to the issues she's facing with her family. And I can see how having little kids in this situation would be of concern. How can she help the little ones when she sees the trouble coming?"

Yep, you are correct. My father isn't a saint by any means. Well, I tend to think that no one is a saint but whatever.

I do see the trouble coming and the fallout has already landed pretty hard on my little siblings. It's pretty tough on them and it's hard on me as well since I know where they are at and have felt all of that at one time. And I'm not exactly sure what to do to help them. And I'm put in the middle.

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Ashley

If my SM had just done a few little things that got under my skin, I would've let it go a long time ago. The fact that these things continue to happen every time I'm around her is what I'm having a hard time accepting. I think that is what nivea and silversword are saying too.

I can tell how you feel about your mother and her behavior. Imagine if she were your SM and if everytime you saw your dad you had to see her too. How would you feel about her. BTW, my SM also has a drinking problem, like your Mom. It's hard to be around somebody like that for days at a time. Know what I mean?

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finedreams

nivea,

just a suggestion how to help your siblings. DD recently went through what you are going through. When X left his 2nd wife for TOW and DD's brother was devastated, DD was extra loving with her brother. She was very sad for him (the way you are sad for your siblings). She called him more often and talked. I recently observed them interacting and DD acts very protective of him. maybe by showing extra attention or spending more time wiht your siblings you could help them to deal with divorce. you can certainly help by making them feel that they have older sister to rely on. you can also tell them that mom and dad love them very much and will always be their mom and dad. and they always have a big sister or somehting of the sort.

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nivea

I wish it was that simple, finedreams. And I don't feel like hijacking this thread and explaining it all here. But thanks for the advice :)

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imamommy

"If my SM had just done a few little things that got under my skin, I would've let it go a long time ago. The fact that these things continue to happen every time I'm around her is what I'm having a hard time accepting."

I'll agree, everyone is different. I let those things that my step mom did, go. My siblings didn't. Eventually, I was able to have a relationship with her where there was some trust and friendship. We were never anything remotely resembling mother/daughter. But, we were able to find a mutual respect for each other. Part of it may have come from my (self perceived) maturity in trying to see her for the person she was and not for seeing how she made me feel. I don't know if that makes sense, but instead of getting upset at things she said or did, I tried to understand WHY she did them. I could see it as insecurity but I didn't truly understand until I was put in the position she was in, the position of raising/dealing with someone else's child. Then, things clicked together a little bit more. My siblings have never been in those shoes, so I understood how she felt a little bit better. I also understood that she had already raised one stepson before with her first husband so she had a bad experience as a step parent and perhaps she expected all step children to be like that one. So, maybe she didn't give us a fair shake to begin with. But, instead of resenting her, I looked for common ground and tried to be understanding. I realize that's not possible in every situation, but it takes two to keep a battle going.

"I can tell how you feel about your mother and her behavior. Imagine if she were your SM and if everytime you saw your dad you had to see her too. How would you feel about her. BTW, my SM also has a drinking problem, like your Mom. It's hard to be around somebody like that for days at a time. Know what I mean?"

My mom does come to town for holidays at dad's house. I am the party planner in the family and I do all the cooking at my dads. The whole family is there, including my mom. She doesn't drink anymore, she has diabetes now. She still makes comments about wishing my dad would take her back, do I think he would, hasn't his wife died yet, why do I bother taking care of her, I should put a pillow over her face, etc. (I almost prefer the drunken mom to the person she has become) But, she won't talk that way in front of my dad. She's behaved herself the last few times because dad told her she isn't welcome if she can't be nice.

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jadedwolv

I think it is a good idea, especially since I am both!! I have been a Step Child for so many years and still am and well its odd being on the other team, step parent and I find it all so difficult

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nivea

It sounds like you have a very unique situation, Imamommy.

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finedreams

nivea when did I say it was simple? although i have to say that it is up to the people to make it less complicated and eliminate the drama. you said you are not sure how to help them so since I observed someone actually helping younger sibling going through parental affair and divorce i thought I could answer yours (possibly rhetorical) question. i suggested you take some steps in making your siblings to feel better (unless you have no relationship with your siblings, then it is entirely different sad story). you don't need to explain anything, but if you share here then it is obvious that people will comment. if you don't want advice or comment then what is the point of sharing in public forum?

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quirk

If my SM had just done a few little things that got under my skin, I would've let it go a long time ago. The fact that these things continue to happen every time I'm around her is what I'm having a hard time accepting. No. Accepting doesn't have to mean being ok with it, and it doesn't have to mean forgiving (although depending on the specifics, it could), and it (can be) an ongoing process. It doesn't mean never being angry or hurt or frustrated or sad. Don't aim for the impossible here. You can't change the SM. You can't change the dad. There's a limit to how much you can change your own emotional response. You accept the fact that your reality includes a stepmother who is selfish, mean, whatever she is, and you accept the reality that sometimes your father supports her over you and you accept the reality that sometimes you will be hurt or angry, and you accept that it's not fair and there's nothing you can do to change it. I know I'm probably not explaining it well.

You look at the situation as it is. You look at what you could do to change it. For example, you could estrange yourself from your father. You could only agree to spend time with him without her. You could start to call her out every time she does bad behavior xyz. Etc. You decide whether the things within your power to change would make things better or worse. Do the ones that might make things better. Then recognize that you have done the best that you can do, and accept that you can't do any more. Stop trying to do what can't be accomplished. You don't have to accept her , what you accept is yourself, and the fact that your life is not exactly the way you would choose it to be, and that you have done your best to improve it, and that this is what you have.

And no I'm not saying it's easy. Does any of that make sense at all?

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nivea

Thanks for the advice finedreams :)

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ceph

LOL FD!
"Just take the shirt off and iron your own shirt!"
That cracked me up.

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Ashley

It does make sense and I have learned to get along to get along, so to speak. It's just frustrating and it would be nice to have a place to vent about it so I don't explode. It's even more frustrating to vent and have people telling you to move on, get your own life, get over it, it's not a step-family issue, etc., etc.

That is why it would be nice to have a forum for stepchildren.

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pseudo_mom

Raek ... thats exactly how alot of the SM's feel ... just nice to vent and have someone say wow that sucks I can sympathize with you ...

Instead we get bashed over stupid stuff ... same as you we are told to "get over it" move on let it go ... and worst of all we get blamed for all the problems in our relationships with our SC.

Its always the SM's fault never once has any of the BM's on here who are not in a SF situation ever said ... anything negative about the BM's we deal with ....

One SM has a diagnosed mentally ill BM and she is told she watch what she says because its an inherited trait.

One SM's hubby fought for months to get a set visitation schedule a week after the set schedule BM left the child with the father. I could give a few reasons why but they don't matter. SM is told its because she's a control freak.

One SM filled in for months while mom was too busy working. BM gets a new BF and she is all of a sudden MOTY. BM has her children so twisted they have turned on the dad and SM.

I could go on ... but you get the point we just want to vent too and not be bashed because of how we feel we have been treated.

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silversword

Hi,
That is how I'm feeling too. It's really hard to be on both ends of the spectrum. When I was 21 I was engaged to a man who had a three year old from a previous marriage. It was very difficult because she would tell me "you're not my mommy" and I would respond, "no, I'm not, but we can be friends, can't we?" while my heart broke. It was one of the hardest relationships to work through for me. We didn't end up getting married, after three years split up. But we still talk, and he says that his daughter still asks about me and tells her dad she loves me.

But the perspective is good (which is why I told that little story) because now I know what it's like to be a SM and I feel a little more empathy for my DH when my daughter is less than kind. I think they're just trying to make sure that they are loved when they say stuff like that. Defining the relationships, if you will.

I was never a young child with my SM. My dad met her when I was 18. We never lived together, or had to really share anything. It seems the relationship should have been fairly simple. But she keeps driving this giant rock into the works. It makes it hard to be civil to her.

I empathize with you Jadedwolv, I know it's hard to be both!

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neitza

My father's wife is so twisted that she throws away cards both I and my kids send to my father and deletes voice messages from anyone in my family. It's a ridiculous situation. It's a long story and I truly need a place of support to vent about this woman. Here are the bullet points.

-Father leaves my mother for SM 40 years ago - I was 7
-I visit father at 16 and SM is jealous before she ever lays eyes on me (my father told me this)
-She makes derogatory comments to me about my mom - I gave her a VERBAL smackdown
-Father divorces her
-He remarries her
-Father & I fall out about college plans
-We don't speak for 30 years
-I contacted him last November on a whim after speaking to my half brother who my father also abandoned
-He, my brother & I reconcile
-I wrote SM a letter suggesting that we lay aside the past & move on-she threw it away & states to my father she wants nothing to do with me
-She's been berating my father since he began communicating with my brother & I
-Father has come to visit in March & is returning next month

The story is long and complicated but basically the only one acting a fool after our remarkable reunion is my father's wife. We have not asked for anything - we simply want to spend time with our father getting to know him, asking questions and healing some wounds. He has raised and cared for her child all of her life - yet she doesn't want our father to even talk to us? It's remarkable how selfish this woman is.

So YES, I can't wait to have a forum to vent about this situation with others that understand. I have been on every side of the step-family situation, I'm a step-mother now and I can't fathom ever trying to keep my husband from his children.

Here's a post I wrote about our reunion.

Well, I'm convinced that miracles still happen. Last week my father visited me after being absent for 30 years and we had a wonderful time filled with acknowledgments, forgiveness, laughter & affection. I have so much to say that I can't seem to formulate my post right now....but here goes.

My brother and father arrived at my front door and my father and I greeted one another with a big hug and kiss - all the apprehensiveness I'd built up evaporated the moment he extended his arms to hug me. I sensed a certain amount of nervousness in him as I settled him into his room and took him on a tour of our home. As we walked from room to room that nervousness dissipated as he spontaneously hugged and kissed me on the cheek again - I was a little shocked at first but it sure did feel good - lol. From that point on we were inseparable and he held my hand 80% of the time he was in my presence.....it was the sweetest thing.

During his visit time was spent golfing, chatting, taking pictures, and simply holding hands. You can see the joy we shared in the pictures taken. I'd wake up in the mornings and tap on his door - he'd tell me to come in, gesture me to sit on the side of the bed and then extend his arms to hug me. I'd sit there as he held my hand and rubbed my arm and expressed his joy at being here - I believe in my heart that he was truly happy to see me and embrace me once again. As the days progressed we'd steal a few moments here and there and he would tell me over and over how much he loved me and acknowledged he'd done little to show it all these years.

While we have a long way to go to repair our family, I think my father took some important steps in doing the following:

* He took total responsibility for his bad choices regarding his family including his failure to contact us
* He was willing to come here and face all of us, children, grandchildren, in-laws, out-laws, extended family, etc. not knowing how he would be received
* He was very humble and gracious with every one of us - even those that displayed anger and resentment
* As we were dining - he expressed to us that this experience was a miracle and it was also the best week of his entire life

My father is an old man that has discovered in the 4th quarter of his life that my oldest brother and I still have love for him in spite of himself - just because he is our father - apparently love never dies. He has also expressed his love for us and a willingness to become part of our family although he has some serious obstacles to overcome (his wife does not want him to have ANYTHING to do with me - that's another post). What comes next is totally up to him. Will he embrace this last chance to finally mend with his own children and become a part of our lives?

In the end, God was working thru this family with a power I'd never witnessed before. It was a beautiful experience I'll not soon forget. There are so many other things that happened that I'll share here and there....I just wanted to get something out for those of you that have been so supportive of me in this journey. Thanks again.

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silversword

What I meant by "accepting" is realizing there's a pattern here, and SM is just being herself and not getting overworked about it. This is my reality. I'm not hurt by my dad choosing her side over mine very often because (I'm not that young anymore) and I don't put myself in that situation for her to have any power over me. I give it up in the beginning so there is no issue. But then I have to remind myself not to feel irritated by her lack of acknowledgement that everyone just gave in to her because she's a spoiled brat.

"You look at the situation as it is. You look at what you could do to change it. For example, you could estrange yourself from your father."

I have done that. For many years. That doesn't work for me :)

"You could only agree to spend time with him without her."

We aim for that anyway. But he wants a family. As do I. I don't want to exclude anyone. When she wants to come to the mainland to visit her mom and he's coming to visit me, I can be adult enough to endure for three days.

"You could start to call her out every time she does bad behavior"

Yes. I could. But try doing that to even a good friend, and it becomes quickly apparent that people don't want to be called on their BS. I'm aiming more for easing the way rather than confrontation. I've found it doesn't work, she gets defensive, then I'm "attacking" and the whole visit turns into a battle. I just want to be able to spend a few days without getting hyper stressed over trying to maintain my sanity around an obviously disturbed woman. Seriously, she has a lot of issues, one main one that is abandonment/inferiority. She is insecure about my dad and I's good relationship. When I was a kid we'd go to Canada to one aunt's house, and drive down to So. Cal, visiting friends, family, for months. She and he can't barely take a plane ride together. I'm kind of like the old girlfriend, (humor me here), in that we had a shared past, it was really fun and we have a great time reminiscing about it, and she wasn't there. And no, we don't throw it in her face, or make her watch old family videos,etc. But she's jealous of his sisters for their shared history too. Her insecurity is so large it's actually tangible.

"Does any of that make sense at all?"

It does, thank you. And thank you for taking the time to write. But I guess I'm just not able to clarify what is going on. I think this post shows just how difficult it is to communicate. I don't know how to clearly state what I want.

1. To maintain a relationship with my dad.
2. To create/maintain a family for my daughter.
3. To make family gatherings as comfortable as possible for everyone involved.
4. To prevent her toxic crazy behavior from affecting me.
5. To show her in a kind, non-intrusive way, how illogical and damaging her behavior is.
6. To not engage myself in battle with her.
7. To protect my daughter from her jealousy (it's already started. My daughter can't spend the night at their house, even though they have a two story house with a fully equipped downstairs, because my SM needs her sleep. My dad has to rent a hotel room down the street) It's a good thing she didn't have that baby at 45, eh?

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doodleboo

There are some step parents and step kids who get along great and some who don't bottom line. In the case of all parties being involved being adults it is totally irrelevant who is more to blame for a bad relationship.

The reality is the bio parent in the picture is an adult and if he/she chooses to be married to a nightmare step parent or if the adult step kids are just grown brats and don't want her around, it doesn't matter either way, the only person who can do something about it is the bio parent. Not the adult step child. It is on your fathers to put your step mothers in their place and if they don't there isn't alot you can do other than cut him off or cut down visits.

The Bio parent has the intial choice between staying with the step other and then it's on the adult step children to make their decision from there....can we stomach this person or no? It's that simple. The people involved are grown and have to make their own choices.

Nivea in your fathers situation it sounds like he'd rather be uninvited from family functions than divorce this woman...it is his choice to make. He will deal with the consequences.

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silversword

WOW!
30 years is a long time. Good for you- being the one to break the ice! It sounds like your dad is really happy to be back in your life. I can't see what your SM would have to gain from keeping him from you (what I don't understand is why SM/SD don't realize how bad it makes them look to do this kind of thing). Kids don't choose to be born. It's not their fault their parents made the choices they did.

Your dad is coming to visit you again? How does your brother feel about all of this? Is he experiencing the same rejection from her?

By the way, my SM has also told my dad she is jealous of me. For some reason he told her that he prefers short blonde women, and she is a tall brunette. Well, my mom and I are both the opposite, so she has major self-esteem issues about that. But she is jealous about everything. When I was engaged the first time she was jealous because he was very protective of me and opened doors, buckled my selt belt for me, etc. When I got married, she was jealous of my house and the fact that I married a Jewish man - she's Jewish. Now, she's jealous because my DH is very intelligent and "metrosexual" (my dad is super smart but will go out in holey shirts, stained pants, with uncombed hair and has no interest in looking polished).

Why would your SM be jealous of you? Is it everything overall, or just that you represent the fact that your dad had a life before her?

I'm so sorry that this is happening. I only hope that your dad realizes life is too short to cut off the people you love and continues to make the effort to have a relationship with you and your brother despite her intolerance.

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doodleboo

It sounds like it would be an awesome idea to start an Adult Step-child message board. Just be sure that it doesn't become a "bitter" adult step child message board exclusively.

There are more than just bad step relations out there. Some children eind up CLOSER to their step's than their bio's...especially when there is death or abandonment involved. It is vital to hear other sides of the story and even on this message board people (including myself)sometimes have a very hard time staying objective. We probably all miss out on good view points that way.

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dotz_gw

Thank you for that heartfelt post...Gives me hope that things can work out for me in similar situations of estrangement...Siversword.....Your goals are reasonable and admirable..Maybe , as in Neitzas post, you can have a little hope for change Good luck....

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colleen777

Hey, if me er whatever I am isn't allowed in, that is cool with me. Who was it that said I refuse to join a club that would have me as a member. Mensa didn't allow me in either. OH wait, no it was me who told them they were a bunch of geeks.

But then who was it who said if you want a pond to stay fresh you have to have a stream running in and out? Geez old age sucks:(

Can't remember who said what anymore;)

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neitza

My brother is ecstatic about my father being back in our lives as am I. We talk to him frequently on the phone and our conversations are substantive. It's been a joy for all of us - again the only one angry about the reunion is his wife. You would think she would be happy that he has been given an opportunity to make peace with his children - but she seems more interested in raising hell - but I realize that it's my father's problem - not mine. It just infuriates me that she is deleting messages and intercepting mail from his children and grandchildren. She threw away a father's day card my kids sent to him.

This woman acts like I am "another woman"...it's the strangest thing I've ever experienced. My father is growing weary and has threatened to leave her - which I've discouraged...he's an old man and I can't imagine him starting over at this age. He should be able to maintain his marriage and have a relationship with his bio-kids.

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silversword

"it doesn't matter either way, the only person who can do something about it is the bio parent. Not the adult step child"

I disagree. I think I can do something. There has to be a way to communicate with someone I'm not getting along with in a way that is not threatening or abusive. Without compromising my integrity or well being.

I just haven't figured it out yet! :)

I have:
1. Estranged myself
2. Commented every time she makes a mean/abusive remark
3. Ignored her
4. Brought it up with family and gotten rejected
5. Had family bring it up with me and been vindicated
6. Let her have her way
7. Made a game where I give her what she wants before she wants it, pre-empting any hissy fit on her side
8. Talked to my dad about it
9. Talked with her, empathizing with her on her issues, like her health, friendships, inability to break into our small town easily.

Now, she is "dying" of diabetes and everything is concentrated on her health/diet.

The biggest issue is that she feels that she is an ok person doing ok things. I think she is a selfish brat. There is plenty to go around, food, money, love, energy and she is hording and whining that she is not getting her share. So I have tried giving her more, to see if the extra energy will invigorate her/jumpstart her. Nope. She just got used to it and now expects more.

How can we tolerate, and appreciate those people in our lives who are difficult but not going to go away? I keep trying new things because I want to be able to work this out.

My realization the other day was that I have a choice of what kind of person I want to be. I know, I know. DUH. But it's the first time it clicked. Here's what happened. I'm at a party at my DH's aunts house. A woman who is very nasty and judgemental and I are talking about the house I just bought and how I am redoing the gardens and she says, you should get H (my DH's uncle) to help you design your garden. And H walked over, put his arm around me and said that I'm a great gardener and he learns a lot from me. Now, H is a certified horticulturist who is very garden proud, with good reason. But he chose to give me the energy instead of basking in it himself. And I realized he and his wife do this often. They are constantly putting people "up" and recognizing their strengths instead of making themselves superior.

I want to be a person who brings others up. I have been experimenting with this and it really works. (as an aside, I recognize in myself the tendancy to be a know it all and a bore)

So, my issue here is letting go, moving beyond, not getting sucked into other people's whirlpool, giving up power to increase the power of others, letting my SM have her way because I am not three anymore and can have my way in other ways, in essence "feeding" my SM because her hunger is so obvious.

Like Imamommy says..."She still makes comments about wishing my dad would take her back, do I think he would, hasn't his wife died yet, why do I bother taking care of her, I should put a pillow over her face..."

Her mom obviously has regrets. She wants the dad back. She is angry at the SM and angry that Ima helps the SM out. Maybe jealous that Ima is doing so much for SM. Mom needs fed. She is hungry for dad, she is hungry for Ima's love and attention. She doesn't have her old standby friend alcohol.

What would any of us do if our mom said this to us? We have several choices.

1. Listen and not comment. Result: feeling yucky and needing to vent to others (probably poor DH!)

2. Listen, and tell mom she's being irrational (dad is still married to SM, and obviously we're not going to put a pillow over SM's face). Result: Fight with mom, she transfers feelings to us rather than real target and we get dumped on.

3. Figure out what the real issue is, figure out a way to state back what mom wants so she feels heard and that her feelings are valid. Figure out a way to turn situation from mom being angry to mom seeing reality. Result: mom feels accepted by daughter, mom feels validated and maybe can move on with her life.

Not that those are the only choices. But that's all I can come up with. Maybe others have more ideas? My point is that I'm trying to engage in difficult situations in a way that things are opened rather than closed.

WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE. WE DO HAVE THE POWER TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN FAMILY TIES. WE ARE NOT CHILDREN ANYMORE!!!

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doodleboo

Neitza-

It sucks but like I said not all step parents are stellar. I'm sorry you seemed to haven gotten stuck with one.

If your father leaves her it will be his decision and if not you and your brother will have to decide how much you are willing to stomach. Seems unfair I know. I agree he should be able to have both but in some deranged cases it just doesn't happen that way. Some adult kids think they can "fix" their parents but that isn't true and it's so hard becuase no one likes seeing a family member manipulated

I hope things get better for your brother and yourself. Good luck.

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doodleboo

Silversword-

You can DEFFINATLY try to work something out with step. What I meant was more those who try to "save" their bio parent from a terrible marriage. Only that bio can make the decision to leave. Adult kid's can not force their bio/step parents into divorce just like they couldn't stop it from happening with their bio parents. You are right...you are not a child anymore but neither is your father.

When people are adults they make their own decisions. We all think we can change people but we can't.

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nivea

Pseudo, there are plenty of resources for stepmom's and boatloads of message boards on the web dedicated to solely stepmom issues.

Doodle, my father IS divorcing my former stepmom. He's found another woman! LOL, although it really isn't that funny.

Speaking for myself, I think the notion that the bio has the power just isn't that easy. Yes, they should be making sure that their child is not badly mistreated by the step, but in some cases, again...it isn't that easy or even noticeable what is happening.

I know directly from my father that he had thought about divorce many times due to some of my former SM's issues, but it was complicated for him because they had a few children very early into marriage.

In the past 6 or so years I've become increasingly aware of my fathers issues, but that doesn't mean every stepkid's situation is the same or that every stepkid is at an emotionally mature level when this is thrown into their lives. A lot of people voice what they would do or how they handled something, in a situation totally foreign to others. I didn't hold the answers overnight, it took me time and really researching and talking to others to get a feel on what was happening in MY situation.

I do hold my father responsible, but at the same time my SM was her own person and choose 100% on her own to create problems, due to her own insecurities and unbalanced way of living. The fact the my father let her (in a way, which is also too complicated to go into here) does not absolve her from responsibility for her actions.

And yes, I think there is nothing wrong in discussing my problems/issues about her without voicing that my father was ultimately responsible. After all, it is just a discussion and I believe working through issues helps, rather than just sweeping it under a rug.

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silversword

"This woman acts like I am "another woman"...it's the strangest thing I've ever experienced."

What is it about some people that they think their relationship is so fragile that they are intimidated by the person's family members. It's not like you are anywhere near competing with her! I'm sure your dad can have more than one meaningful relationship without someone not getting enough love. And there are so many kinds of love, like eskimos with snow! child love, parent love, spouse love, friend love, animal love, relatives love, in-laws love etc. To deny your father an opportunity to love his children is cruel.

But I'm with you, I want my dad to be happy, and I don't want to throw a wrench in his love life. Someone above said it's all his responsibility (or the bio-parent's responsibility).

I think that just because he doesn't know how to deal with it either does not make it ok to estrange oneself because of mutual lack of knowledge of what to do. It's a work in progress, right? It's not all his responsibility (that would be reverting back to childhood where dad is responsible for everyone's feelings/wellbeing).

I'm glad your brother is there for you. I wish I had a sibling to share this with!

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quirk

I disagree. I think I can do something. There has to be a way to communicate with someone I'm not getting along with in a way that is not threatening or abusive. Without compromising my integrity or well being.

I just haven't figured it out yet! :)

Silver, this may be the case in your situation, I don't know. But it isn't always. There should be a way but that doesn't mean that there is one. For me (which my "problem person" is my mom's SO) there just isn't. At least not always and not about everything. There are certain things that I have to just accept this is the situation I'm in and nothing I can do will change it . Or, maybe more accurately, nothing I am willing to do (that whole compromising my integrity or well-being thing coming into play). Understanding and accepting that doesn't make all the associated problems magically disappear, but it does save me from endlessly and painfully banging my head against that proverbial brick wall that is never going to come down.

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neitza

You know I couldn't even find a google group for Adult Step Children - it's as if we are invisible. I can't wait to see a forum set up. Nivea if you'd like some help, please let me know.

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silversword

Nivea "And yes, I think there is nothing wrong in discussing my problems/issues about her without voicing that my father was ultimately responsible. After all, it is just a discussion and I believe working through issues helps, rather than just sweeping it under a rug."

That's exactly it. This forum is for the discussion of our lives and how we are dealing with it, putting ourselves and our situations out there for comparison/enlightenment/sharing with our fellow board members. And thank you, by the way. It's very interesting to see just how many people have similar issues, and how many people are out there blaming it on the child/bio parent.

You could have started this forum out by saying "my dad is an adult, he is responsible for all the issues, I can make him deal with it/fix it or I can estrange myself".

Well, end of discussion! Problem solved. LOL! Why didn't we think of that!

It's not ALL anyone's fault. It's bio-parent, it's SP, it's me. Now how can I work out my portion so we can have a family, or if we don't, so at least I feel I did all I could?

I think many of us have had our feelings invalidated for so long we feel angry at bio-parent for getting us into this situation and not fixing it, angry with SP for their contributions, and helpless because we can't figure out a way to make it work.

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serenity_now_2007

neitza-

There was a big rift (but not a total break) that formed around the time I was first off to college as well. This marked a major transition period in that it was the first time my dad and I had ever had a major argument (I have never lived for any long period in the same state or in his house, always visited, since my parents' divorce when I was 2) and was the beginning of a new phase of more *open, direct* hostility from SM to me. In hindsight, and from reading these boards over the last several months, I have come to realize that it was because I was turning 18, and largely because of the money issues associated with college. It would have never occured to me that so many step-parents would have this "deadline" (or "release date") in their minds wherein they imagine they will be forever emancipated from ever having to think about or deal with or see their spouse's biological children again. But I think this is the cause of many tensions in many step-families.

Silversword-

Your frustration with the price of "peace" is exactly what I feel in relation to my Dad and SM. Yes, I bend over backwards, maintaining total flexibility (because I have to) and anticipating three moves ahead of what she will do (again, b/c I have to, so as not to be taken aback or shocked) ALL in the effort to rise above the petty b.s. and not let it have power over me. I just came back from a week-long visit less than a week ago and I am utterly exhausted, every muscle in my body is sore, from holding in all the tension at the 50 ways she tried to sabotage the visit. Which, as you describe, is intended to upset me so that if I manifest the slightest reaction whatsoever it immediately thrusts me in the role as the one with "The Problem"; a battle ensues and I ALWAYS lose. Not only lose, but get thoroughly invalidated to the point of humiliation and heartache I will never be able to fully describe. She knows this, and delights in it, so she tries her damnedest to be as offensive as possible (at this point it's crossed a line from even being just her natural behavior, and now she purposely exaggerates it.) No matter how outrageously inappropriate her endless list of perpetually-unsatisfiable demands are ("spoiled brat", as you describe, comes to mind), somehow the slightest bit of protest from me makes me the Wrong One. So what other choice to I have but to suck it all up? Especially if I want to see my father at the end of his life, because I was banished before for expressing feelings and concerns and I absolutely refuse to let it happen again. Meanwhile, my Dad is very pleased with me right now, which is great, but I fear that it's because he thinks everything's fine, and not because he is proud of me for being stronger than her crap and not letting it drive me away or reduce me to tears like it used to.

You expressed some uncertainty about WHY these women (which btw DO NOT include all SMs, I know this) do it, why they want to make things so difficult, why they want to drive a wedge between dad and his bio-kids. Sadly, I think it's pretty simple. They do not want us to exist. Period. It's that simple. Either it's because they want to have every cent of our fathers' money, or they want to have every nanosecond of his thoughts and attention, or every ounce of his love and affection. Often it's a combination of all of that, each desire engendering the other. Sometimes it's because they start out with some lack in their own life that they feel compulsively driven to have someone else fill. Sometimes it's because they develop warped resentments towards step-children, with twisted rationalizations to bolster them, over many years' time and after experiences which they take to be crushing defeats to their ego. Sometimes they think they can maintain the illusion of a perfect little marriage/family by making the step-child into a scapegoat and they have no idea how they'd face their actual problems (individual and marital) without a step-child to drive from the 'village'. Sometimes they hate all children, or all women; sometimes they're okay to everyone in the world except the step-child who becomes a lightning rod for all their un-worked-through rage. Sometimes they are just greedy calculating con artists from the word 'go'. In any event, whatever the source/development of their major malfunction, the net result is that they want to drive the step-child away because they want to not only be AS important, they want to be MORE important, and they cannot conceive of being so in the presence of the step-child. It's all about their need to feel superior, which they cannot maintain in the presence of 'competing interests' (as they would see it).

Again, everyone, I am not talking about ALL STEPMOTHERS. Only this wretched little sub-set we're discussing on this thread.

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serenity_now_2007

Neitza--

Yeah, my SM throws away (or hides) most things I give or send my father as well. Everything else in the house stays put for 12 years, but somehow it's always my cards, gifts and pictures that get "misplaced". I finally said soemthing about it on this last visit. it was the oen thing I actually DARED express any disquiet about in the slightest. I decided to make a joke out of it, kinda like "oh my absent-minded dad, always misplacing things..." (but knowing, of course, that it is she who moves things) and I said "Dad, next time I give you a gift, I'm gonna put some Krazy Glue on the bottom so you can't lose it!"

I made this joke to cut the tension of what I was saying to him, but really it hurts me terribly that he allows this. It's an unfathomable pain to feel like your father doesn't want to see your face in pictures or look at your cards, especially across the miles and at a time when he has a terminal disease. It's devastating.

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Ashley

Pseudo...I understand what you are saying. However, I see far more sympathy with SMs on this board and just a few people who argue for the sake of arguing. I think both should have a place to vent and it's also helpful to learn from the experiences of others, on both sides of the aisle. To be honest with you, I've never read any posts by Step children telling Step parrents to get over it, although I'm sure there have been a few. I will admit to telling Thurman that he needs to shift his focus and not concentrate so much on every little thing he perceives as a slight. But I mostly do sympathize with what the SMs on this board are going through. I may have made a few other comments about looking at things from Step Child's perspective, but mostly, I sympathize.

"I'm aiming more for easing the way rather than confrontation. I've found it doesn't work, she gets defensive, then I'm "attacking" and the whole visit turns into a battle"...Yes, been there, done that.

"It sounds like it would be an awesome idea to start an Adult Step-child message board. Just be sure that it doesn't become a "bitter" adult step child message board exclusively."...I think we all get more active in posting when we are angry and have something to complain about, don't we? When all is well, then there isn't as much to say. I guess complaining is just human nature.

In the spirit of posting something uplifting...Things can turn around. I had to fight very hard for it, but last year I convinced my Dad to come visit without SM tagging along. I was tired of her always ruining every visit. It was quite a struggle and a bunch of questions such as "why the heck does she want to come anyway? She sure as heck doesn't like me or my brother, etc.? What it boiled down to is that she only wanted to come so she could control everything and so that nothing was said against her. When he came, my brother and I did not speak badly about her, we simply enjoyed our time with our Dad. It was a fresh start for me as far as my Dad was concerened and I decided it was my turn to make an effort to make things better because I know he had to go through H*** in order to be able to visit without her. So I sent her flowers to show my appreciation for letting him visit and the last time she came with him she was actually very pleasant. So things really can turn around. I still don't really trust her and she still says/does things that get on my nerves, but things really are better now. Hopefully they will stay that way.

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silversword

Quirk,
"There are certain things that I have to just accept this is the situation I'm in and nothing I can do will change it . Or, maybe more accurately, nothing I am willing to do (that whole compromising my integrity or well-being thing coming into play)...

I'm talking about communication in general. I think there is a way, maybe not in every conversation, but in general context, to make a relationship better. I could say, this woman is impossible, there is no way out, this is what I'm stuck with. But I'd rather keep looking for ways to improve my skills to better deal with people I find difficult that I don't want to excommunicate from.

If she were on her own, yes, I would give up, throw up my hands in disgust and walk away. But, I'm stuck with her for the rest of their relationship, so I'm going to keep working on ways to encourage her to feel good enough about herself and her role so that she doesn't infringe upon my well being or my relationship with my father. The means to an end.

I am fortunate in that I don't think she is consciously being a B*%^CH. I don't think she is malicious. I think she is self-centered and oblivious to her surroundings. So my situation is unique. As everyone's is. And I have sympathy for those of you who are dealing with really evil people rather than ones like my SM. But I don't think anyone is so evil that there isn't a chance to find that chink in their armor and let some light in.

That is, if you're interested. And I can understand giving up, and saying it isn't worth it. I did that for a while, but it didn't feel any better than this does. At least I feel proactive, and I'm getting better at communicating and dealing with emotionally stunted people.

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serenity_now_2007

Silversword, I also see what you mean about there (hopefully) always being some way to reach these people... I am one who in pretty much every situation can see where the person is coming from, or at least how their issues likely developed. On this alst trip, even with all her crap, I actually found myself at a couple moments feeling bad for my SM and the loss she will face when my father passes away because she does live with him every day. I felt empathy for some aspects of her childhood which she shared with me. While I don't think people should get into a pi$$ing contest about who had the worst childhood or use their bad childhoods to completely excuse current, ongoing behavior that they themselves refuse to change, I do see room for some empathy. The problem with someone like my SM is that she will (and does) "work" that empathy and manipulate it so that her own "soft spots" become calculated and false because they are in the service of some agenda. Hard to sympathize with that... Anyway it's a balance between having some empathy for a fellow human being (and we are all flawed) vs. excusing behavior that should not be continuing or exonerated regardless of where it stems from. It's a bit odd to think of it this way, but I imagine this is the dilemma many well-meaning step-parents face with their SK's who have various behavior problems...

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quirk

I think there is a way, maybe not in every conversation, but in general context, to make a relationship better. Of course there is. But there might be a limit to how much better. I think sometimes people reach that limit but just keep trying to do more and worse yet blame themselves (consciously or not) thinking if they can just do enough or figure out the right thing that things can be fixed. That's when it becomes a problem. I wasn't really advocating giving up; while there are some people who are so toxic that giving up is really the only sane option I think that's fairly rare.

I think we actually might be saying the same thing just in different words. Your last sentence kind of sums up what I'm trying to say... knowing that you've done/are doing the best you can and being ok with results (even when the results kind of suck) because of that.

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silversword

"anticipating three moves ahead of what she will do..."

It's exhausting. That's exactly what I'm going through. I think you're right, she really wishes I didn't exist. She has to share and she doesn't want to. She never had to share in her life. I wish she had gotten pregnant so she could see what it's like to truly share your life/body with another person and put someone else first.

And it makes me mad that she doesn't treat my father better, just as when my friends have husbands/wives that don't treat them well.

I have one couple that are our friends and the wife stays home all day, complains up a storm, yells at her husband, doesn't clean at all, doesn't make food or coffee, spends a lot of money, yells at the kids, etc... and the husband goes to work, doesn't drink/abuse/etc. I have a problem with that too. But I don't get involved, I just try to listen to her complain and help her see the light. (BTW, her husband is a college friend of my DH, so that's where the needing to maintain the friendship with a woman I don't really like comes in). But it makes me sad for her husband. Like I said above, I understand division of labor and everyone has things that work for their relationship alone, but gross neglect/rudeness combined with one person doing all the work and getting abused is not ok with me. It's not as personal to me because they're not related, but I come away from visiting them with the same sort of questions...

How can I make this experience less tiring? How can I help her see how destructive she is? I want to be friends and have a relationship, but it's killing me!

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nivea

Ok, here it is for the time being...http://niveak.proboards56.com/index.cgi.

Neitza, I need some help with testing if you want to sign up now :)

On another note, initially I was going to buy forum software, hosting and a website....but then I noticed I do not have very much material to put up! So, if any of you have read any books, articles, accounts of info you found interesting/enlightening...please send my way :)

I want to assemble all of that before going live with a website.

Thanks to all and hope to see you there.

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serenity_now_2007

Silversword, another factor in the success of any relationship (a factor which you may not always know for sure) is the extent to which the other party actually WANTS a relationship. If your SM is coming from a place where fundamentally she does not want you to exist, all best-intended attempts you make to make a *real* relationship with her will fail because she will not allow it.

Another factor is if they DO want a relationship, what are their reasons and are they pure? For example: my SM never had much to do with me in the years I was growing up & visiting my dad, except to criticize me and attempt to start rifts between my dad and I, or to dominate all my Dad's time and attention. Then a few years back when my Dad was having his periodic re-discussiom of his wishes for his will, etc. with us (which has always been, basically, to divide everything 60/40), she piped up with: "Serenity, since we are going to be bonded by a will, I'd like for us to have a closer relationship".
Which wasn't exactly what I'd call the best reason to decide you want to be closer to somebody. She also continues to attempt to convince my Dad to change his wishes so that she gets everything when he dies and "promises" to "take care of me". You know, based on the great and close relationship we've had and how she's fostered so much trust for all these years. (Yes, I'm being sarcastic.) She only wants any relationship with me whatsoever so that she can control things. Not gonna happen, on my end, at least not like that. I will be civil to her, I will refrain from any iota of disrespect, I will even do things for her, send her cards, give gifts for special occasions, and make nice dinners that she will refuse to eat. But I can't trust her, so there's a limit to how 'real' any relationship between she and I can ever be.

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silversword

"... Anyway it's a balance between having some empathy for a fellow human being... vs. excusing behavior that should not be continuing or exonerated regardless of where it stems from. It's a bit odd to think of it this way, but I imagine this is the dilemma many well-meaning step-parents face with their SK's who have various behavior problem."

I think you're right!! A very fine balance. And I agree that SP have this kind of issue when dealing with SK. And bio parents with kids too. Yes, you've been hurt and are damaged, but it's still not ok to __________.

My SM's father committed suicide and her mother is even worse than she is. I call her Maid Marian. We visited her once, and SM says to my daughter, this is your great-grandmother. And Maid M. says, who is a great grandmother. And SM says, you are mom, I am ________ SM, and her daughter is my granddaughter, which makes you her greatgrandmother. And MM says, no I'm not!!!!

Wow. Talk about an eye opener. And this is in front of my four year old. I didn't expect a s-grandma at the old age of 18 when they met, have never gotten presents, etc from her, and don't begrudge her not wanting to be my grandma, but to say that in front of a little girl!? At least my daughter wasn't really paying attention.

So my SM grew up with a toxic BM. And my SM was kidnapped and psycologically/physically tortured in her early 20's. And and and. I do feel sorry for her. But the balance comes in, because i didn't have a perfect childhood either, but I don't drag it along behind me in a gunny sack.

My SM does the same thing as your SM (it sounds like it anyway). She pulls poor me and manipulates everyone into falling into her "I'm so damaged and mistreated so I deserve to be treated like a princess" trap. Then whoever calls her on it is automatically cast in the role of big bad wolf.

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silversword

Money. Yup. That's a big one. I can't believe your dad would fall for the "I'll take care of her" line though.

My DH and I both feel the same about the other one's child. We will do everything in our power to better their lives if the other spouse should die before us. But they're six and eight, which makes it a little easier, I think. Plus, we don't blame the kids for us making bad choices of their parentage. His daughter is a part of him, one of the reasons he is such a good man, and I love her and wish I got to spend more time with her. But when she comes out, I make myself scarce so they can spend precious time bonding together because I think that's more important now. Later, maybe it will be different. But that's how I'm dealing with it as a SM. I interact with her, let her know I like her and want to spend time with her, but try not to overpower the event or make it about me at all.

For me, basically my SM gets everything and I get the family farm. Which is fine. It's his money, and he can give it to whomever he chooses. I'm just hoping she goes first so I don't have to deal with the outcome.

I think she does want a relationship with me but understand that it is not always the case. She just has a really hard time in relationships in general. She's always crying about how she's not friends with the popular crowd. Which cracks me up to no end. I'm so glad I'm not 50 with those issues.

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cycles

iam new to here..i recently became a stepmother to an 18 year old...My husband had a relationship with her mother 18 years ago ..he had never met his daughter up until 2 months ago. She refused him of having contact with her...so she herself contacted him..it is really a big shock and i'm really trying to come to terms with the situation..i want my husband to have a realationship with his daughter and i also would like to to have a good relationship with her..but i have all of these mixed emotions right now..as to it was only both of us, for 12 years now someone else is in the picture..and i couldn't have any children, so the emotions are quite deep... i feel good about it, one min and then the next i feel sad. I really don't know how to feel, can someone inlighten me as how to handle the situation, and are my feeling natural.

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imamommy

I think your feelings are natural. I'm the mother of an 18 year old daughter that has only met her dad once, when she was 12. He promised to keep in contact with her and then left the state. Since she was 16, he's tried to get into contact with her but she doesn't trust him. I think their relationship is going to be hard to establish. She also has a stepmother that is the mother to four siblings. My daughter hasn't even considered how the stepmother should fit into the equation, she is still trying to iron out how she feels about her father.

As difficult as it may be, the right thing to do is step back and let your husband and his daughter figure out their relationship first, then ascertain where you fit in. He obviously knew he had a daughter, so it was not that you and he had accepted being childless, he knew he wasn't.

I understand your feelings but I wonder if your sadness over not having children would be there whether his daughter didn't exist. I can imagine that someone that wants children but cannot, might feel the sadness whenever they are reminded of it. I'm sure he also feels a sadness at not being a part of his daughters life and not getting to see her grow up. I can imagine the emotions run deep for all of you. But, he is your husband and she is his daughter and it sounds as if you feel jealous at sharing your husband after all these years, as opposed to feeling sad that you never had kids with him and he had one with someone else. I'd think that you would have felt that sadness if he had been raising her and you couldn't have one of your own, but she's grown and he also missed out on that.

Maybe it would help to find a good therapist to talk to.

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