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Dealing with Feelings of Resentment as a Stepparent

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 23 Nov 2020 | comments*Discuss
 
Parent Feelings Emotions Children

All parents experience moments when they may resent parts of their lives – parenting can be a thankless job at times, but for stepparents, who may take on many parental responsibilities without getting credit, the sense of resentment can be even greater.

Stepparents often deal with negative input from their spouse’s ex, who may be uncomfortable with a new person playing a role in the lives of the children, and even the kids themselves may not always be kind or welcoming.

So if stepparents are resentful at times, who could blame them?

Dealing with a Spouse’s Ex-Partner

Oftentimes, the biggest obstacles to a stress-free home life for stepparents come from the actions and attitudes of their spouse’s ex-partner. Exes often seem determined to cause trouble for their ex’s new family, refusing to allow the input of the spouse’s new partner to influence decisions about the children and even discouraging the kids from forming loving bonds with their stepparent.

While no one can control the actions or attitudes of another, stepparents may be able to minimise their frustration and resentment by requesting that their spouse intervene on their behalf, asking for at least respectful silence if true cooperation is out of the question. Unresolved issues between the children’s natural parents may prohibit the ex from ever accepting their children’s stepparent or appreciating the things that they do for the kids, but it isn’t unreasonable to expect that they could at least refrain from outward rudeness or troublesome behaviour.

Coping with Ungrateful Stepchildren

Kids often take it for granted that their needs will be met. Young children, especially, are inclined to simply expect things to be done for them without expressing gratitude to those who make it their business to provide.

As they get older, though, children should begin to understand that parents and stepparents typically work very hard to provide all that the kids need and often do without so that their children can have more. While a certain amount of gratitude doesn’t seem like an unreasonable hope, not all kids let their parents know that they are appreciative – some go so far as to complain incessantly about what they don’t have, rather than being thankful for their blessings.

The Importance of Expressing Emotions

Rather than being silent in their resentment, stepparents should express their need to have their contributions recognised and acknowledged. Sometimes, families have operated in a manner for years, never realising that their actions may be hurtful to other members. When a stepparent joins a family and finds that their ways seem disrespectful, it is quite possible that family members are unaware of how they are being perceived unless it is brought to their attention.

It is important for family members to talk about their feelings and to let other members know what they need to feel loved. Some people need to hear that they are valued, while others prefer that those who care for them show their appreciation by offering help with chores and lightening their load of responsibilities. In either case, stepparents (and other family members) cannot expect others to automatically know what makes them happy – they need to speak up.

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I am a step dad of 5 years now . My wife and her two sons aged 12,14 now come from Africa and myself am English . 5 years ago the boys joined us in England after my wife came over a few years before to set up life with me and then send for the boys. Once we moved into our new house my wife would pick on everything I would do around the house with negative comments and when I asked the boys to do things she would change things I said. Over time this has now led to the boys getting the idea that mom will stand up for them no matter what it may be leading to stress between me and the boys and more so between my wife and I. I have asked my wife to haveunitywith me and set ground rules for the boys but she will not . Now I am not allowed to say rhings to the boys without fear of backlash from my wife. I am at a loss what to do. No end of trying to reason with my wife or boys has no effect.
Artymike - 23-Nov-20 @ 4:10 PM
I just need to rant about my situation. I need to know if I’m a bad person or not. I’ve been with my husband for about a year now with his children being 3 & 5. Their mother up and left them about 8 months ago with no contact at all. That’s been nice not having to deal with her but now I’m dealing with the whole responsibility of being a mother to his children. Most days are good, they listen to me and respect me for the most part, but some days I can’t STAND them. They sometimes won’t listen to us and continue to do things that annoy me even after telling them to stop. I’m the one that gets up with them in the mornings, takes them to school, picks them up & even take them to my work with me sometimes. With packing lunches, doing everyone’s laundry, changing pull ups, cleaning their messes, and all that in between. I am also the one that takes care of them financially for the most part. My husband does help some but he takes care of the main things like rent, utilities, car insurance, etc. I take care of their clothes, groceries, pull ups, school, and etc. Mind you, I went to part time to stay home to watch them so that he didn’t have to pay for childcare for a whole week. I love my husband very much so I try not to nag about it and really it’s not the kids fault either. I am now 9 months pregnant and feel so stressed about having all of this responsibility on me. It’s gotten to the point where the kids literally drive me nuts and I will stay in our room all day while he takes care of them on weekends. Even when they ask for a certain tv show, whine about something, waste food, or spill something it just annoys me so bad. I just don’t have that super loving motherly feeling towards them like I should. Or like I already have for my baby. It’s very thankless and almost feels like a tedious chore more than taking care of our family. I also fear I will start to resent them more when my baby gets here. Me and him are on the same page when it comes to raising them so it’s not a discipline issue or him ignoring my wishes on respect. It’s straight up me not wanting the responsibility of taking care of them while their mother doesn’t help at all. Really I do more for them then my husband does too. I feel like such a bad person because they really are precious kids and I do care about their well being which is why I always make sure they are taken care of but why don’t I love them like I should? Why do I feel annoyed with them lots of the days? I’m not sure if it’s resentment for their mother or what. I don’t talk about my feelings my family or friends at all because I don’t want them to think I’m a horrible person.
Carolyn - 23-Nov-20 @ 2:45 AM
I just need to rant about my situation. I need to know if I’m a bad person or not. I’ve been with my husband for about a year now with his children being 3 & 5. Their mother up and left them about 8 months ago with no contact at all. That’s been nice not having to deal with her but now I’m dealing with the whole responsibility of being a mother to his children. Most days are good, they listen to me and respect me for the most part, but some days I can’t STAND them. They sometimes won’t listen to us and continue to do things that annoy me even after telling them to stop. I’m the one that gets up with them in the mornings, takes them to school, picks them up & even take them to my work with me sometimes. With packing lunches, doing everyone’s laundry, changing pull ups, cleaning their messes, and all that in between. I am also the one that takes care of them financially for the most part. My husband does help some but he takes care of the main things like rent, utilities, car insurance, etc. I take care of their clothes, groceries, pull ups, school, and etc. Mind you, I went to part time to stay home to watch them so that he didn’t have to pay for childcare for a whole week. I love my husband very much so I try not to nag about it and really it’s not the kids fault either. I am now 9 months pregnant and feel so stressed about having all of this responsibility on me. It’s gotten to the point where the kids literally drive me nuts and I will stay in our room all day while he takes care of them on weekends. Even when they ask for a certain tv show, whine about something, waste food, or spill something it just annoys me so bad. I just don’t have that super loving motherly feeling towards them like I should. Or like I already have for my baby. It’s very thankless and almost feels like a tedious chore more than taking care of our family. I also fear I will start to resent them more when my baby gets here. Me and him are on the same page when it comes to raising them so it’s not a discipline issue or him ignoring my wishes on respect. It’s straight up me not wanting the responsibility of taking care of them while their mother doesn’t help at all. Really I do more for them then my husband does too. I feel like such a bad person because they really are precious kids and I do care about their well being which is why I always make sure they are taken care of but why don’t I love them like I should? Why do I feel annoyed with them lots of the days? I’m not sure if it’s resentment for their mother or what. I don’t talk about my feelings my family or friends at all because I don’t want them to think I’m a horrible person.
Carolyn - 23-Nov-20 @ 2:22 AM
I just need to rant about my situation. I need to know if I’m a bad person or not. I’ve been with my husband for about a year now with his children being 3 & 5. Their mother up and left them about 8 months ago with no contact at all. That’s been nice not having to deal with her but now I’m dealing with the whole responsibility of being a mother to his children. Most days are good, they listen to me and respect me for the most part, but some days I can’t STAND them. They sometimes won’t listen to us and continue to do things that annoy me even after telling them to stop. I’m the one that gets up with them in the mornings, takes them to school, picks them up & even take them to my work with me sometimes. With packing lunches, doing everyone’s laundry, changing pull ups, cleaning their messes, and all that in between. I am also the one that takes care of them financially for the most part. My husband does help some but he takes care of the main things like rent, utilities, car insurance, etc. I take care of their clothes, groceries, pull ups, school, and etc. Mind you, I went to part time to stay home to watch them so that he didn’t have to pay for childcare for a whole week. I love my husband very much so I try not to nag about it and really it’s not the kids fault either. I am now 9 months pregnant and feel so stressed about having all of this responsibility on me. It’s gotten to the point where the kids literally drive me nuts and I will stay in our room all day while he takes care of them on weekends. Even when they ask for a certain tv show, whine about something, waste food, or spill something it just annoys me so bad. I just don’t have that super loving motherly feeling towards them like I should. Or like I already have for my baby. It’s very thankless and almost feels like a tedious chore more than taking care of our family. I also fear I will start to resent them more when my baby gets here. Me and him are on the same page when it comes to raising them so it’s not a discipline issue or him ignoring my wishes on respect. It’s straight up me not wanting the responsibility of taking care of them while their mother doesn’t help at all. Really I do more for them then my husband does too. I feel like such a bad person because they really are precious kids and I do care about their well being which is why I always make sure they are taken care of but why don’t I love them like I should? Why do I feel annoyed with them lots of the days? I’m not sure if it’s resentment for their mother or what. I don’t talk about my feelings my family or friends at all because I don’t want them to think I’m a horrible person.
Carolyn - 23-Nov-20 @ 2:17 AM
I am really struggling as a step parent. M children came to live with us after their mum passed away suddenly. I had to give up work and be at home. We lost wages and obviously struggled financially buying everything they would need. I now work part time as I need to run the house and be around for the kids. They are both teenagers now and have lots of issues with losing a parent . We all get on well but the younger child just cannot listen to us. He just won’t do the things I ask and dad has to get involved at times and even then he often won’t listen and does his own thing. I am a little ocd myself and this probably doesn’t help and I am an organised person which doesn’t help. He just does seem to care about anything not anyone. If it’s not his gaming he’s not interested. I recently found coffee shop gift cards that people had bought him and they had all expired and he just doesn’t get that people worked and bought them for him to use and it’s just money down the drain. And then today told me he was going to Starbucks!! I was so cross as I’d just told him about the cards!!! I got very cross with him and said I just felt like giving up and leaving as he had no respect for me and just couldn’t listen to me . I asked why he disliked me so much and he said he didn’t. But why can’t to do anything I ask or take any advice we give you. And said he didn’t know and was sorry. I know it alll seems like silly little things but over the time it has really got me down and I don’t know if I can carry on. Any tips for coping with things like this. I feel so bad for resenting the kids at time but I do at times. I had just moved in with their dad and then my life changed overnight and I struggle with the loss of my own life.
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Aide - 25-Aug-20 @ 1:31 PM
I need some advice. I have a 6 year old step-daughter who I am finding it very hard to get along with lately. She is incredibly cheeky, has to be told to do the simplest of things, like wash her hands after she goes to the toilet, numerous times and doesn't appreciate a single thing that is bought or done for her to the extent that we didn't do Santa for her one year as she is bought a ridiculous amount of things at her mums house and still comes to us complaining that she never got what she wanted and hated what she did get. My husband works so it is me who is looking after her as well as our own daughter and I feel like I am absolutely at the end of my tether, it has started to get that bad that I dread the day she comes to us. She has started to become violent toward my daughter and keeps covering it up as playing a game. I have talked to my husband about this but it never gets any better. Any advice would be great
Wil0803 - 11-Jun-20 @ 7:00 AM
Hello all, I'm in need of some advice. I've been with my partner for 3 years now, his daughter is 11, nearly 12. I can't say we don't get along, as we do. She's just very rude, spoilt and domineering and it makes it extremely hard to be around her. Her dad and mum split up way before I come along, I think it was when she was 4 years old so she's used to living with her mum. Her dad has her every weekend. She's difficult in the sense she just kicks off for no reason. We was going to take her ice skating a few months ago and it kicked off because her dad asked her to change her socks, it end in a row and she swore at him and threw a chair. We ended up not going that day, but went the next, she sulked for the fitst part then ended up enjoying it. She had started to dominate a lot of situations with her tantrums. We went on holiday to my partners mum and dad's house in Spain last summer, all 3 of us. She had a tantrum nearly every day, stopping us from going to certain places because she didn't want too, or kicking of in restaurants for no reason. One day she kicked off cos her dad asked her to brush her teeth before we went out. It ended in shouting, doors slamming. My partners mum stayed in with her that day so we could at least still go out for the afternoon. She was very rude to her grandma and grandad, and her grandma had to give her a telling off several times. My partner just buries his head in the sand and let's her behave that way. I asked my partners mum if she thought it was because I was on the holiday, she said " no she's like it every year".It's getting to the point now that what ever we plan or do, she kicks off. She interrupts conversations, told me to shut up the other day, and her dad didn't say a word. It makes me not want to be around her. He does spoil her and caves in to what ever she wants, she has every gadget and console you can think of. She's started to refuse to go to school, and he says "what can I do, vexcept drag her there screaming". I'm worried that she is going to get worse. Is it too late, now she's nearly 12 and never been taught disapline or basic manners towards adults. I have a 20 year old son and would never have let him jehabe that way when he was 12 so it just baffles me that her Dad doesn't see how leering her act like this will affect her in the future. And obviously, I'm concerned about the future, I don't want to not be around her, but she just becomes rude and hard to be around.
Tia1111 - 14-Jan-20 @ 8:43 AM
Hello all, I'm in need of some advice. I've been with my partner for 3 years now, his daughter is 11, nearly 12. I can't say we don't get along, as we do. She's just very rude, spoilt and domineering and it makes it extremely hard to be around her. Her dad and mum split up way before I come along, I think it was when she was 4 years old so she's used to living with her mum. Her dad has her every weekend. She's difficult in the sense she just kicks off for no reason. We was going to take her ice skating a few months ago and it kicked off because her dad asked her to change her socks, it end in a row and she swore at him and threw a chair. We ended up not going that day, but went the next, she sulked for the fitst part then ended up enjoying it. She had started to dominate a lot of situations with her tantrums. We went on holiday to my partners mum and dad's house in Spain last summer, all 3 of us. She had a tantrum nearly every day, stopping us from going to certain places because she didn't want too, or kicking of in restaurants for no reason. One day she kicked off cos her dad asked her to brush her teeth before we went out. It ended in shouting, doors slamming. My partners mum stayed in with her that day so we could at least still go out for the afternoon. She was very rude to her grandma and grandad, and her grandma had to give her a telling off several times. My partner just buries his head in the sand and let's her behave that way. I asked my partners mum if she thought it was because I was on the holiday, she said " no she's like it every year".It's getting to the point now that what ever we plan or do, she kicks off. She interrupts conversations, told me to shut up the other day, and her dad didn't say a word. It makes me not want to be around her. He does spoil her and caves in to what ever she wants, she has every gadget and console you can think of. She's started to refuse to go to school, and he says "what can I do, vexcept drag her there screaming". I'm worried that she is going to get worse. Is it too late, now she's nearly 12 and never been taught disapline or basic manners towards adults. I have a 20 year old son and would never have let him jehabe that way when he was 12 so it just baffles me that her Dad doesn't see how leering her act like this will affect her in the future. And obviously, I'm concerned about the future, I don't want to not be around her, but she just becomes rude and hard to be around.
Tia1111 - 14-Jan-20 @ 8:43 AM
I think Newlyparanoid was a little harsh. While I agree that you have to take responsibility for what you sign up for, it doesn't negate the fact that we are human, with human thoughts and emotions. Being a step-parent is HARD whether you love it or not, and it's not always what you expected it to be like, as with anything in life. People need a safe place to be able to express their frustrations without judgement. No one wants to feel like a jerk, and it's not easy or always possible to share your honest feelings with the biological parent because you don't want to sound like a jerk either, but your feelings are what they are. I have had a difficult time with how I feel as a stepmom, but at the end of the day, after I vent my frustrations, I do my best to put them aside and show love to my husband's children.
Stepmom - 25-Dec-19 @ 5:45 PM
I have been married to my husband for nearly 16 years. I have two daughters who are now 20 and almost 22. He had three kids of his own and one stepdaughter when we met. Besides having busy weekends, the raising phase went somewhat smooth. We had a few issues with his ex but nothing terrible. At the time we met his son was 9. Oldest was 14 and a 4 and 5 year old. The oldest was great. Never any issues. The nine year old had way to much freedom. He would be allowed to run the town after school with his friends and I frequently would tell my husband that he has too much freedom. He said he was fine. The youngest two were always work. They are the type of kids that thought it was funny to irritate people. They would touch my girls just for the fun of it and when they would tell them to stop they would say it doesn't hurt like that made it ok. Fast forward nearly 16 years later, the oldest is 30. She has a good job and self sufficient. The nine year old son that worried me is now addicted to heroin with two kids that him and his girlfriend can't and don't see. My husbands oldest has temporary custody of those kids right now. We tried multiple times for him to get help over the years when he was addicted to oxy. He wouldn't get help and it led to heroin. I resent the state for how they have dealt with this situation. His girlfriend will relapse and not show up up visits and they will still give her visits when she requests them again. She will go into rehab for a month or two when it is required minimum 6 months and leave after two months and get to see her kids again right after. I don't get it. Their oldest has been in the system now for nearly 36 months out of his 42 months on this earth. With the courts giving him he mom chance after chance and she doesn't comply and she still sees her kids. This causes major issues for her kids. The oldest doesn't understand why mom keeps canceling visits. It has put his life in turmoil. No matter how we have all pleaded to the courts and social workers about the damage that is being done to the kids, she is still able to see them. Basically I am angry that my step kids mom was more worried about dating and men growing up and her kids paid the price which in turn we are all feeing the effects now that they are adults. My husbands other son is in and out of trouble and his youngest daughter has a lot of anger towards her mom and me. Never could figure out why she was angry with me. I think she saw me being a mom when they were growing up and she was angry that her mom wasn't making them a priority. She is 21 now and has a huge chip on her shoulder.She can be so rude. Especially to my youngest daughter. I am angry with my husband but mostly his ex for dropping the ball with the kids. I have worked for schools for a long time and now and last 4 years I have had a daycare in our home. So Monday thru Friday it is crazy and tiring. Now every Saturday we have our grandkids over nightbecause my oldest stepdau
Em - 2-Nov-19 @ 8:39 PM
I just need somewhere to vent, I have 2 stepchildren but only feel resentment towards one of them. Her mom often keeps her away an when she does come it disrupts my house, my kids are big eaters an she only adds to mouths to feed. My husband doesn't make the effort to buy more food, an in my opinion he should cause he is the one bringing an extra mouth to feed. It really works my nerves, I feel she should stay at home during these times am I wrong?
Bee - 4-Oct-19 @ 9:42 PM
So ive been in the picture for a little over a year, my stepchild was 3 now is 4. His actually dad didnt really want much to do with him as a baby and wasn't the best father he skipped his visiting, didnt wanna help with potty training or anything of the sort so I excepted him from the get go. We both just bonded to each other as well as my family automatically integrated him into the family. Well lately for some reason his dad has been putting more interest in him. Which is fine but I'm honestly getting my feelings hurt when I'm the one getting called about any time he needs anything and I'm the only trying hard to raise him but at the end of the Day hes still saying i want my dad at night idk how to feel about this I know I cant get upset but it does make me wonder if is all I do not good enough?
Mack - 10-Sep-19 @ 7:13 AM
My SD is 11. I have been in the picture for 6 years, married for 3. Involved during the entire custody dispute with my husband obtaining full custody.Involved while the BM doesn't pay support or routinely see her daughter,been there for all. Early on she would get into my things, I quickly let her know taking others property was stealing, and to stay out of others property.Along with lying chronically etc it has just evolved to where I am now, which is fairly miserable.I have 3 grown kids, the youngest at 19 works fulltime yet does live with us. My husband for the most part has admittedly been good to my kids. Overall tho at their ages it wasnt too difficult,additionally they have very involved dads. My 2 oldest, both graduated college and are on their own for the most part, yes I help periodically financially yet this is not routine.My 19 yr old, tho a slob is respectful and a truly NICE boy. My SD however is very angry, disrespectful,untrustworthy,just not a kid I really like. She lives with us fulltime,and I find myself hiding out. Staying away from her due to my overwhelming resentment and irritation with her. My husband understandably feels stuck in the middle,yet overall he becomes angry with me, and more understanding with her. I realize she is a child, with little control over her life, no control over her mothers choices and absence, yet I cannot seem to let go of my resentment.My husband works very hard to support her, to provide her with the things she needs, yes I work as well, but my schedule of course lends itself to being in the home and her primary adult figure at least 60% of the time. Several months ago it was 430pm, I was making dinner and just started crying.I have been making dinner for 30 years. I do love my husband but I question my ability to raise this troubled child. I dont want to to be honest.I have very little say in her life yet quite alot of responsibility.I can never do anything right it seems according to her dad.The constant backtalk from her makes me shake because of anger. Had my kids spoken or argued with me as often as she does, I would have popped them. A good swat hurts no child imo. My husbands overcompensating parenting and permissiveness undermines me at every turn. She has been here 1 week now after a 5 week break at her moms. I am forseeing the school year ahead, and am just so hopelessly depressed. No starting over doesnt sound great at my age,but the alternative sounds worse. Before I am told to go into therapy,I have been. It has lent little insight. I tried to connect with her, yet the minute I let my guard down she lies or manipulates some situation and all my animosity returns. I truly feel alone here.
Lori - 8-Aug-19 @ 5:24 PM
I hate the way my oldest step child disrespects his father. The childs mother has done everything in her power to manipulate her son while my husband fought tirelessly so that he could be in the boys life only for him to verbally every chance he gets wish he didnt have to spend time with his dad. And of course nothing is done about it. There are thousands of children who wish their fathers would even claim them, let alone fight to be a part of their lives and this little boy gets to tell his dad he wishes he didnt have to spend time with him? And when its time to pick him up this big 9yr old cries like he is a baby, while his 4yr old full brother looks at him like he is crazy! His negativity changes the energy of the entire household and its very draining to try to maintain the fun goofy loving atmosphere we have with My husband, myself, my son & my husbands youngest son (the full brother of the 9yr old) whenever he is around. It it extremely upsetting as my son basically grew up without his biological father who barely wanted anything to do with him until he heard I was getting married. I watched my son cry wishing he had a dad & now I have to watch this little boy cry wishing he didn't have one. My husband bends over backwards and spends all kinds of money to make his experience with us very pleasurable but he is still ungrateful and disrespectful. At the very least, there should be respect but every single time all he does is complain. It gets overwhelming
HelpLord - 2-Jul-19 @ 8:07 AM
Well, though I KNOW it is terrible, selfish, and NOT how I am supposed to be...at all. I feel a little better knowing that naturally maternal, nurturing mothers feel resentment! Ive raised a 14 year old Sdaughter since she was less than a year old. Dad went to prison..pops in before going back. Has NEVER paid a dime. And Ive been here. Worked the long a** hours..handed over the checks. Cooked the meals (wife wont cook. Cant. Wont.) after 10 hr shifts of a laborous job I hate..for YEARS. I cant correct the know-it-all without mom ONLY jumping to her defense. Setting the example of how Im to be treated..belittled, disrespected, and used. Like I HAVE to do this. She treats me like this is my bio daughter. Its so bizarre. The father NEVER gets the heat...BUT BOY I do when she believes ive failed. She will say "the girls" EVERYTIME. (We have a daughter and son together..and the step ive raised) But she speaks as if I HAVE to sacrifice all time..energy..finances...and BEING..as if I created this child also. Let me tell you...theres NOTHING quite so frustrating. IT HAS caused a deep resentment. The child knows mom will correct me...so she backtalks. Makes the faces. Expects the paychecks and conveniences of me laboring to death without a thank you..EVER. I think Im done. 14 years..long time..I know. But I cannot take another DAY of ungrateful expectations, while the donor gets off scott free. It would be a bit different..but I mean Ihave NEVER heard a thank you. ONLY more demands and expectations for how I should be raising her child. Sheesh!!
Herbert - 19-May-19 @ 11:35 PM
Reading these posts absolutely breaks my heart. I've been on both sides of the equation, biomom and stepmom, and I've gotta say I guess I'm a huge pushover because despite the difficulties and the thanklessness of the task, I never resented the children involved. I'm talking having been physically and emotionally abused, financially ruined, put upon, etc., by the dad, and it has never occurred to me to resent the kids. Currently I'm married to a wonderful, kind, loving, supportive man who has been doing his best to take on my children as his own. Sadly, though, especially given what they've been through in their lives, they are admittedly not as expressive or outwardly grateful as one would hope. Our youngest, in particular, is very much of the stay in her room variety. She is a typical high-schooler, for which I'm very glad, given what she has suffered at the hands of her biodad and her stepmothers (yes, plural). Unfortunately, my husband is feeling vastly underappreciated, to the extent that he expresses that he feels his life is in ruins, especially financially. He is not enjoying that feeling of having a happy, united family, which would at least make the sacrifices seem worth it. And, yes, there are always seemingly constant complications and problems created by the kids' presence in our lives.And, as my husband puts it, each day gets worse and worse and there doesn't seem to be any way out of it. My basic question at this point is, how do I address this with my kids, without making them feel like if my husband and break up it's their fault? How do I get them to show more gratitude, family involvement, etc.?
Mila - 3-May-19 @ 10:25 AM
I have been with my husband for 16 years. He has 4 children from a previous marriage. I have never had children nor aspired to be a parent.By the time I realised he had children I was deeply emotionally attached to him. I still care deeply for him. I have tried very hard all these years to be loving and caring of his children. They are difficult personalities and their and our relationship with their birth mother is toxic.2 of the children were sent by their mother to live with meas teenagers as she couldn’t cope with them and I did everything I could to support them, both emotionally and financially. They did thrive and then she got nasty towards me and that hasnever changed. Howevereven though I do care about them, I don’t have the same feelings of connection towards them my husband has, which is probably natural but my husband seems to think I should.He has never expressed any gratitude for my support of them then nor my continued support now. It’s taken for granted. There are now 6 grandkids and I’m expected to babysit regularly, drop everything to run to their aid when there is a problem and to help out financially. My husband has developed a serious neurological condition so I’m the breadwinner. My husband is besotted with one son in particular and every opportunity he can he’s away out with him. I feel ignored and resentful. I know it’s an honour to be offered an opportunity to develop a relationship with his grandkids. In truth they seem fond of me but I feel nothing for them. I find them irritating, rude, indulged and exhausting to be around. I do try my best to mask these feelings so they dont get hurt. They are all toddlers so I’m often overwhelmed when I’m left with them and also keenly aware that not being their truegrandmother I cannot discipline them without being criticised. I work very hard but my husbands medical needs means we don’t have much savings and I’m keenly aware my earning years are rapidly drawing to a close so I can’t afford to leave the marriage.Life seems such a drudge. I know it’s not nice to be resentful of children and grandchildren but I do and my resentment is growing. I sometimes wish either my husband or I were dead so it was all over. I’m feel trapped.
Fifi - 21-Dec-18 @ 5:58 AM
Reading the comments on this page have deeply saddened me. You're all ADULTS, why give in to how a CHILD is treating you? Berating them and then in the same breath saying you're just treating them the way they treat you. Congrats, you just stooped down to the level of a child. Your step child is coming from a broken home and often has emotional and psychological damage stemming from it that isn't found out until they're old enough to rationalize their emotions. You on the other hand are an adult who has the ability to show love and make a difference in this kids life. It is never easy and never will be but the youth is our future and to flat out refuse to invest any time love and energy into children that need it is immature and disgusting. It disregards any effort from adults who weren't your parents put into you in your formative years. If you're too selfish to give up a weekend so a child can be with their real parent, LEAVE THE RELATIONSHIP. You're an adult and should be used to such responsibilities. You have all strayed so far from god that you would rather a child suffer than you have to give up 2 days of being hedonistic and lazy. I am incredibly thankful to have grown up with an amazing step parent that accepted me and helped me, through both good and bad times. One of life's hardest truths is realizing that once you get to a certain age, not everything is about you anymore. Your relationship with your significant other will never come close to being as sacred as the bond between parent and child, and that is something you need to accept. It should not hurt. You would feel the same way towards your parents. Unless they didn't show love towards you, which in that case I'm very sorry. But only you can end that vicious cycle of hate and resentment. If you hate your step children for no other reason than them just wanting to see their father and staying in their room all day (not everybody is extroverted) you need therapy. Not to vent on a comment thread where other abysmal step parents will tell you its okay.
NewlyParanoid - 12-Nov-18 @ 10:30 PM
I'm the step dad since the child was 3, she's 13 now.I set rules that are never paid attention too. Cleaning rules, cleaning up behind herself and her area. She's a great student,but lacks the discipline she's aloud To do nothing,her mother never enforces any rule.She'll tell her to do it but doesn't follow up to make sure it done. And her daughter knows that,so none of the work gets done.I can't hardlyvsay anything to the child without the mother gettinginvolved, I can't even say anything to my own son as he as discipline goes without her intervening in a negative way. I'm so frustrated I want to leave the relationship.
Carlo - 11-Oct-18 @ 1:32 PM
My wife is the only mother my 6 year old son knows. She is not his bio mother but to him is all he's know since 3. We also had a daughter together early on. Now the baby of the family is almost 3 and her stepson, is 6. I just started a new job with very long hours and she is stating directly her resentment towards my son. Is there a middle ground and does this mean that no matter how much he loves her that she will stay this way?
Joe - 23-Jul-18 @ 1:44 PM
Married for 22 years and a step mother to 3 teenage now adult children and 2 bio children of my own.all I can say to all of you as step parents pack you bags and get out of the marriage, you will look back and regret all the wasted time you have spent trying to be in a family that was planned by someone else.You are not the parent and never will be, blood is thicker and always will be.mental illness, and isolation and negativity and anger is the reward for trying to love and care for family that do not want you. I spent years trying to blend a family, withlove and good intentions, it was all thrown in my face two years ago, I was attacked physically shouted at, and received a written abusive email to tell me just how much I was not liked, by the step kids and their partners. It was shocking to read my husband was devastated and very depressed about it, it was lies and very hurtful. It came as a shock, tousas their mother left when they were young, chasing boyfriends and spending money on herself.Muggins thats me, took on the caring role put up with her flouncing in out the home and abusing her children. We tried to make up for her lack of love, it was not the easiest of tasks as the daughter was against me from the start and still is, believing mother iswonderful.We hoped we could make good the terrible pain she caused them, now see that they are like her, in the DNA. So now let the absent mother get on with it, I am done and out of the picture. My health has improved and we live miles away from them distance is a wonderful thing. Still suffer high anxiety and lack of self esteem but everyday gets better.Allthe anti step mother comments, there are no wicked step mothers just us good dedicated human beings who give it all we have, until we are broken.Sucked in! .
Stepping out - 21-Jul-18 @ 7:20 PM
@Ali - He does pitch in from time to time.But, you are right.He needs to be primary.I know when we got together and I started making the weekend trips with him periodically he used to say it was so nice to have someone there to help.However, its more than help now.My husband works a very physical job and I get that he is tired.However, it is not uncommon for him to get up at 7 or 8am on the weekend and go off to take a 4 hour nap around 1pm.I do not feel it appropriate to just leave these kids unsupervised in my home.So, I stick around to see what is going on.We have been in this house a year.I had a medical issue th at kept me off my feet for about 2 months.During that time he did step up, cooking, cleaning and caring for me.But, since then he has not cooked for his kids nor does he make them do chores consustently.Well, the more I type, the more it appears to me that a conversation is in order......AGAIN!
CC - 16-May-18 @ 10:04 PM
@CC - I think you need to have a word with your husband - it's not really your responsibility to ferry her around, cook and clean up after her. I hope he pitches in. If he doesn't then he needs to. I said to my husband that it's fine, his son can come - but he needs to be the one to look after him.
Ali - 15-May-18 @ 2:54 PM
JanG-Vent all that you need to.It helps to know I am not alone, so thank you.Just this week one of his daughters called and asked to spend a few extra nights.Immediately I had a pit in my stomach.Now, I hsve to take her to school (two hour roundtrip), pick her up, cook for her, etc.I know my husband appreciates these things but it seems they make my animosity worse.Maybe I am feeling selfish and inconvenienced....maybe I just hate the assumptions that are made that I have no other plans. And all she does is sit in her room playing video games.Why be here?Anyway, thank you for your thoughts. CC
CC - 11-May-18 @ 1:28 AM
@CC - I often wonder how people can take on 'other people's kids' and love them and help out. I personally feel you have to have a very altruistic personality to do this and I'm not sure I have. Like you - I have my step-kids every other weekend and dread it. I dread the intrusion and I dread the political machinations of my husband's ex and I dread the kids coming knowing my husband's ex has been badmouthing me and the kids have listened and have a sort of offhand and cool attitude to me. My s-kids are not badly behaved they also just retire to their rooms and play on their computers or games consoles, but the coollness drives me mad. Also like you I feel resentful tidying up after them. I feel resentful of them being in the house and taking up my weekend. I know it's bad - but I can't seem to help myself. I have tried being accommodating and kind - but unless I get SOMETHING back from them, I slip back into treating them like they treat me. I haven't answerd your question - just ranted. But it is an impossible situation and I can't help the way I feel as I'm sure you can't too. I'd quite like to take myself off somewhere else for the weekends they come to stay. In fact, I just might begin to do that. let hubby have quality time with them. But if I do, I'll come home and know the place will be a mess and I'll end up hating them more. Argggghhh. Best of luck - Jan.
JanG - 10-May-18 @ 12:32 PM
I have been married to my husband for a little over a year and we have been together just about three years.When we met he was woeking in my home state and he traveled back to his home state every other weekend to see his kids.I accompanied him about every third trip.I have two boys of my own who are college age.His kids are in middle and highschool (he has 3).Ever since we met he expressed wanting to get back to his home state so he could be closer to them.I sold my home, left my job of almost 25 years and moved to his home state about a year ago. We generally have his kids every other weekend. They have no chores when they are here, they barely speak to thier dad, and pretty much stay in their rooms playing video games.They get sweet and attentive moreso when they need something.Also, on occassion their mom drops them off and almost always invites herself in, even going as far as going in the kids' bedrooms.I have expressed to my husband how this bothers me and he says he feels stuck in the middle and does not want to cause conflict with her.I have this overehelminb animosity towards her and the kids.I do not know of its because of the way they are with their dad, the fact that he will not say something and stick up for me, or the fact that they are her kids.I really want to get over this, but it seems to be getting worse.When thd kids are here, I cook and clean up after them.On the rare occassion they are here for longer then the weelend, I take them and pick them up for the most part due to my husband's work schedule.I guess I also feel like I raised my kids...these kids should not be my responsibility.But, I do want to help my husband since I do not currently work outside the home.Am I just being petty and selfish?Maybe that is where the animosity comes from.I feel horrible for feeling this way.Any words of wisdom?
CC - 9-May-18 @ 7:53 PM
@JessICA.... I feel like we are right.I have spent my own hard earned money to help them when she wrecks her car or breaks it down because she likes to race anyone she can for attention(she’s a legend in her own mind). I did it because she knows when every check comes and starts spending his money as soon as he gets it.Then he stresses when she tears up her car because she has to go to work and school and needs it.I think she needs to ride the school bus or find a ride.She’s “too good for all that”.She’s never been thankful for anything we’ve given.I told him I’m done if she stays after graduation. He claims as soon as she graduates it’s over for her.They fought about it last night and he told her she hasn’t been a good person and I’m coming first.She tried to play victim and he claims he stood his ground.Wish me luck, maybe he will actually do the right thing and her graduation will be a turning point.If not I know I’m done.I love him but I’ve been hurt a lot and I’m tired of hurting.
She’sinsane - 4-May-18 @ 10:51 PM
@She’sinsane!! - OMG. This sounds like an absolute recipe for disaster. A war and hatred from both sides you and the daughters (if you don't mind me saying). I think I'd steer well clear from the whole thing. You are never going to resolve this hatred of each other. You'll end up internally combusting and so will they by the sounds of it.
JessICA - 4-May-18 @ 3:06 PM
I’m due to start a life with my fiancé soon.His oldest daughter made him promise not to live with me until she graduated.She was horrible to me for 2 years while I waited for her to move on.His youngest daughter moved in during the first 6 months of dads promise.Dad promised me we would start our life together as soon as oldest graduated, no matter what youngest said/did- even if she threatened to live with her clinically insane mom. At the oldests’ graduation he broke his promise to me when the youngest threatened to be with her mom if he tried to live with me.I had another 2 years to wait while he kept his promise to her that he would wait.The brat has done nothing but complained about me, treated her dad like crap unless she wants something, and tried to cause arguments and ran my name into the ground. She is selfish, manipulative and disrespectful.She plays the victim any time she wants something.I am seriously thinking twice about committing to him because he has broken his promise to me once, and she just finished texting him... “what makes her think she can park in my spot, who told her she’s allowed to park where she wants.” Just an example of minor things she turns into huge complaints to justify being hateful to me and how she runs his house/life.His response, I’ll make her move her car when we get to the house....the demon only had to walk 3 more steps than normal.She always does this.He always bows down.Now she claims she will just move in with her boyfriend because she won’t live in the same house as me.I don’t want to live in a house with her either.She’s absolutely disgusting and filthy.She never throws anything in the trash, everything on the floor.Never washes or cleans anything.It’s completely nasty. Is there any hope for me and their father?The youngest is a narcissist/sociopath and he won’t straighten her out
She’s insane!! - 4-May-18 @ 11:58 AM
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