Home > Emotions > Dealing with Feelings of Resentment as a Stepparent

Dealing with Feelings of Resentment as a Stepparent

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 14 Feb 2017 | 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.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
@Nicole I think you also have to question whether you want anyone in your life that doesn't feel they accept your child? I'd take it slowly and see first of all how it goes. I'm saying this because it happened to me and I always felt as though I was pulled both ways with both wanting singular attention from me. My ex always wanted me to palm my kid off on her grandparents so we could have time together and my kid (sensing my ex didn't 'love' her - they're not stupid) was always trying to get me to herself. That was before the rows between them both when she was older. Both ended up quietly resenting each other and I did eight years of being the exhausted diplomat! It wasn't easy.....so even if your man sorts his issues out, there will be hard times ahead. Ali
Jessop23 - 30-Jan-17 @ 2:53 PM
Hello I've been with my partner for a year and a half officially ... although we've known each other a lot longer and we have an amazing relationship . Over the past year we've kept our relationship separate from my 3 year old . However I have now confronted him about it and said it's time we start making tracks with you and her to think about our future together . He freaked out . He said at the beggining he was okay with her but now he's struggling to accept her . He gets annoyed about the situation . He isn't jealous and he doesn't dislike her but he said he really wants to accept her and wants to want to be part of her life but he feels he can't and never will . He wants advice and to try anything to help him over come this feelings towards her and obviously I do too. I don't know what to say or what steps to put in place to support him as my daughters is dying to get to know him and she's such a pleasing little girl . It's ripping me into two x
Nicole - 28-Jan-17 @ 9:27 PM
I need some advice please!! I got married to my bf of 3yrs 7 months ago. He has a 6 yr old daughter. I was not allowed to be stound her when we were dating because of the ex she hates me because my husband would not take her back. I figured after we got married i would be able to be around his daughter and build a bond w her. But he told me a week after our wedding that his ex and daughter did not want to be around me. So now every weekend that he has her he is out of the house by 8 and sometimes doesnt come home till 12 am. I have tried talking to him but he always gets so defensive about his kid which i understand but i feel like he does not give me my place as his wife. I moved 5 hrs away from my family and friends to be w him and build a family but he Doesnt tell me when things will change. I ask him and he says he doesnt know. Please give me some advice. I feel really alone and feel resentment building up.
Nana - 20-Jan-17 @ 10:58 PM
Jo* - Your Question:
I was wondering if I could have a bit of advice please I've been with my partner 3 years and I have one child he has two, yes we've had the usual issues and ups and downs but it's been two years know since I've meet the children and recently I caught his eldest damaging a few things in a rage because they weren't happy they weren't being taken any where I Never get involved but I was quite upset about it and said I was unhappy and told their dad to which he shouted. the mother buys their love she doesn't know how to be happy and have fun without spending money, she just takes them for meals every day, buys them stuff all the time etc so there was frustration over not going any where that particular day. But low and behold this weekend we had a phone call off the mother who loves this she thrives on any thing to get to us that the eldest who we had an issue with didn't want to come up and is upset over their split we haven't really had issues with this before but 3 years later know we do I totally understand that time to time there'll be upset but I can't help but think it's over the fact she didn't like being told off. Know I feel totally upset and hurt because I bend over backwards constantly to make every one happy and it just feels know like a kick in guts :( when she did get here there was no issue they went out and I took my child somewhere else, I came home and she sat on my lap etc any advice please??? Do we not pay any notice as she is coming into her teens also thank you

Our Response:
There are always sensitivities on all sides in families, even with your own children (which we always seem to be able to ride out better because the biological connection is there). With step families of whom we don't have that 'history' there will always be the 'you can't tell me what to dos' and 'you're not my mum' etc. While kids may be accustomed to being repremanded by their mums or dads, there is often a sense of resentment or an outburst if the step-parent dares to step in and try to 'interfere'. However, as specified in the article it is important for family members to talk about their feelings and to let other members know what they need to feel loved, yet, the same goes if the children cross boundaries. Communicating why you are upset about their actions in an objective way and the reasons why you told their father can help, so that you and the children can talk through the issues and try to resolve them between you. On the plus side, your stepchild has obviously forgiven you and the incident has blown over. I'm sure there will be many similar ones to come, and let's hope they all end up with forgiveness on both sides in the end. With regards the children's mother spending money on them and 'buying'their love, we all know there are many things that kids enjoy where money doesn't have to be spent i.e a trip to the beach, a walk in the woods. All that create far more memories than a meal at a restaurant.
BeingAStepParent - 18-Jan-17 @ 10:04 AM
I was wondering if I could have a bit of advice please I've been with my partner 3 years and I have one child he has two, yes we've had the usual issues and ups and downs but it's been two years know since I've meet the children and recently I caught his eldest damaging a few things in a rage because they weren't happy they weren't being taken any where I Never get involved but I was quite upset about it and said I was unhappy and told their dad to which he shouted ... the mother buys their love she doesn't know how to be happy and have fun without spending money, she just takes them for meals every day, buys them stuff all the time etc so there was frustration over not going any where that particular day. But low and behold this weekend we had a phone call off the mother who loves this she thrives on any thing to get to us that the eldest who we had an issue with didn't want to come up and is upset over their split we haven't really had issues with this before but 3 years later know we do I totally understand that time to time there'll be upset but I can't help but think it's over the fact she didn't like being told off. Know I feel totally upset and hurt because I bend over backwards constantly to make every one happy and it just feels know like a kick in guts :( when she did get here there was no issue they went out and I took my child somewhere else, I came home and she sat on my lap etc any advice please??? Do we not pay any notice as she is coming into her teens also thank you
Jo* - 17-Jan-17 @ 11:02 AM
My situation is this. I took in my wife's two kids and all 3 migrated from the Philippines. When the daughter was younger around 10 she viewed me as a step father. She arrived here in the states when she was 14. Since she has been here she has never spoken a word to me, never wished me happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy fathers day. Nothing. She often avoids me around the house. She dropped out of school and sits around the house and does nothing. While the mother enables this behavior. I often feel excluded when all three are around because they speak their native Tagalog all the time. Even though they can speak English. I've tried to. I avail to have them speak English. I realised that the kids are indifferent to me. They don't dislike me but often ignore me . they grew up without a father, neither of them knew their father. They make no effort in trying to establish any kind of bond. There is four of us but often feel so alone. I'm the only step parent in a large extended family so there is no one I can talk to that can relate. This has taken its toll on our marriage. We argue all the time because I often go out with friends when I'm off to get away from it all. At this point I'm not happy and thinking about divorce because after 4 years it hasn't gotten any better. Unless you are a step parent you cannot understand the resentment I feel.I sacrificed so much to bring them here and the daughter hates it here, she resents me and her mom for taking her away from her life she had before. She doesn't want to go back, because all her friends have moved on several have already had a child. She has no ambition , no goals, has no plan and just sits around the house wasting her life away. I talked to the wife and she is just as stressed because she will lose me because her kids rejected me as a step father.
Depressed - 6-Jan-17 @ 6:47 PM
My situation is this. I took in my wife's two kids and all 3 migrated from the Philippines. When the daughter was younger around 10 she viewed me as a step father. She arrived here in the states when she was 14. Since she has been here she has never spoken a word to me, never wished me happy birthday, merry Christmas, happy fathers day. Nothing. She often avoids me around the house. She dropped out of school and sits around the house and does nothing. While the mother enables this behavior. I often feel excluded when all three are around because they speak their native Tagalog all the time. Even though they can speak English. I've tried to. I avail to have them speak English. I realised that the kids are indifferent to me. They don't dislike me but often ignore me . they grew up without a father, neither of them knew their father. They make no effort in trying to establish any kind of bond. There is four of us but often feel so alone. I'm the only step parent in a large extended family so there is no one I can talk to that can relate. This has taken its toll on our marriage. We argue all the time because I often go out with friends when I'm off to get away from it all. At this point I'm not happy and thinking about divorce because after 4 years it hasn't gotten any better. Unless you are a step parent you cannot understand the resentment I feel.I sacrificed so much to bring them here and the daughter hates it here, she resents me and her mom for taking her away from her life she had before. She doesn't want to go back, because all her friends have moved on several have already had a child. She has no ambition , no goals, has no plan and just sits around the house wasting her life away. I talked to the wife and she is just as stressed because she will lose me because her kids rejected me as a step father.
Depressed - 6-Jan-17 @ 5:31 PM
Dave - Your Question:
I will be quick and to the point because I have never ever posted anything personal. But am I supposed to be stoic about my wife and her 4 grown children ignoring me on text or phone this Christmas? I have done everything for them all for 8 years. Put my plans and dreams aside. Even built their mother her dream home. And this Christmas not so much as a call or text, not even from my wife. I'm not perfect for sure, but I don't drink to excess, don't cheat, and I am the savings guru in the house. So do I take this from my wife and her family aso they have what they want and now I am free to go? My wife is very close to her kids, and I love her for it. But I am still putting up with a lot from her and her familys "you don't really matter to us" attitude for 8 years. Wondering.is it possible that I should have stayed this long? I am not going to be anyone's retirement plan if I can not get a Merry Christmas amigo out of them. -- Done.

Our Response:
I am sorry to hear this. You have no obligation to stay with your wife or help support her and her children if you wish to leave. However, please keep in mind that as man and wife your assets are considered jointly owned, which means your wife will have a claim on them. Before you make any hasty decisions, you may wish to seek legal advice in order to explore your options.
BeingAStepParent - 3-Jan-17 @ 2:21 PM
I will be quick and to the point because I have never ever posted anything personal.But am I supposed to be stoic about my wife and her 4 grown children ignoring me on text or phone this Christmas? I have done everything for them all for 8 years. Put my plans and dreams aside. Even built their mother her dream home. And this Christmas not so much as a call or text,not even from my wife. I'm not perfect for sure,but I don't drink to excess, don't cheat,and I am the savings guru in the house. So do I take this from my wife and her family aso they have what they want and now I am free to go? My wife is very close to her kids, and I love her for it. But I am still putting up with a lot from her and her familys "you don't really matter to us" attitude for 8 years. Wondering...is it possible that I should have stayed this long? I am not going to be anyone's retirement plan if I can not get a Merry Christmas amigo out of them.-- Done.
Dave - 3-Jan-17 @ 6:36 AM
Ok, I have been in my 3 step kids lives since they were 4,5, & 6. At the their father lived with them and their grandmother(their moms side) and their mom had given up parental rights. Well a few months in too the relationship, their dad and I decide to move in together someplace else. As we do so, the grandmother gives custody back over to the mother somehow. In the mean time their dad and I find out we are pregnant. Everything was ok before that, I mean besides their mothers side of family being absolutely crazy. Their mother is a "woman of the night" if you know what I mean, and the kids have no idea. But their mother buys their love, at least that's the way it seems to me. And this has made the kids absolute a**holes. They are 10, 11, and 12 - my son is 5. Well this Christmas as well as last they have just pissed me off. Last Christmas they were very blatant about what a crappy Christmas it was (we got them each a few small somethings/clothes and the latest xbox to share) this year I walk in on them discussing how they got nothing for Christmas. We got them each something they really wanted along with a few small somethings/clothes, candy, etc. Then they went home to their moms for a few days and each got an iphone7, along with various gift cards and a trip to the mall. Even their mother called us the next day talking about how ungrateful they have become. in my head, I'm thinking-its your fault for trying to buy them!!! I mean, they each have a playstation 4 because the 12 year old can't share, now they each have a more expensive phone than me or my bf-and we work more than 40hours a week at regular jobs!!! And then my bf trys to blame it on me when its our 5 year old with a bratty attitude, I'm like-no, he is 5, he's still learning and he's picking up bad attitude form his brothers and sister!! ----FRUSTRATED!
tdub - 29-Dec-16 @ 1:07 AM
@mbaz I feel bad for you but you are going to have to have this out with your partner as it will not resolve itself. Perhaps suggest having a session with a therapist (just you and your partner) so it looks like you are trying to find a positive solution and not just attacking his son. My ex of three years had a son (now) 12 and a daughter 10, I got on ok with his son and very well with his daughter although I treated them the same. I cooked for them, played with them and never lost my temper, I really tried to be a positive influence but l found his son quite trying as he naturally has quite a selfish and spoilt nature, nonetheless I made an effort and things were ok, they could have been a lot better if my ex was prepared to discipline his son when he was being disrespectful but we all know how permissive fathers are when they're carrying that 'daddy guilt'. Anyhow I made it clear I did not want to take on a 'mother' role and would rather be like a big sister or an auntie, they already have a mum and I don't desire that role at all. My ex had a huge problem with this, like I was some sort of monster for not wanting to be their mum. Most professionals seem to think taking an auntie role is healthier but he saw it as an outright rejection of his children. Naturally our relationship broke down and to this day he still thinks I should have made more effort with his son. Maybe I could have, but trust me when I say I made a huge effort in general but I was not prepared to pander to his son's bad behaviour and insisted on treating the kids equally rather than baby his son for behaving moody and spoilt. Anyhow, my point is that it doesn't matter how hard you try because fathers are always going to think you could treat their kids better and that any problem is your fault and nothing to do with his or his kid's behaviour, so I guess we have to accept that or leave, like I did. It's interesting that mothers do not seem to have this intense yearning for their new partner to treat their children like little princes and princesses, perhaps it's because we usually take our kids with us and so don't carry the same amount of guilt. Fathers seem to be searching for someone to fill the supposed void in their beloved children's lives and as women we are regarded as substandard when we don't automatically and naturally fulfill this role to their expectations.
Ileft - 20-Nov-16 @ 11:10 PM
@mbaz I feel bad for you but you are going to have to have this out with your partner as it will not resolve itself. Perhaps suggest having a session with a therapist (just you and your partner) so it looks like you are trying to find a positive solution and not just attacking his son. My ex of three years had a son (now) 12 and a daughter 10, I got on ok with his son and very well with his daughter although I treated them the same. I cooked for them, played with them and never lost my temper, I really tried to be a positive influence but l found his son quite trying as he naturally has quite a selfish and spoilt nature, nonetheless I made an effort and things were ok, they could have been a lot better if my ex was prepared to discipline his son when he was being disrespectful but we all know how permissive fathers are when they're carrying that 'daddy guilt'. Anyhow I made it clear I did not want to take on a 'mother' role and would rather be like a big sister or an auntie, they already have a mum and I don't desire that role at all. My ex had a huge problem with this, like I was some sort of monster for not wanting to be their mum. Most professionals seem to think taking an auntie role is healthier but he saw it as an outright rejection of his children. Naturally our relationship broke down and to this day he still thinks I should have made more effort with his son. Maybe I could have, but trust me when I say I made a huge effort in general but I was not prepared to pander to his son's bad behaviour and insisted on treating the kids equally rather than baby his son for behaving moody and spoilt. Anyhow, my point is that it doesn't matter how hard you try because fathers are always going to think you could treat their kids better and that any problem is your fault and nothing to do with his or his kid's behaviour, so I guess we have to accept that or leave, like I did. It's interesting that mothers do not seem to have this intense yearning for their new partner to treat their children like little princes and princesses, perhaps it's because we usually take our kids with us and so don't carry the same amount of guilt. Fathers seem to be searching for someone to fill the supposed void in their beloved children's lives and as women we are regarded as substandard when we don't automatically and naturally fulfill this role to their expectations.
Ileft - 20-Nov-16 @ 9:36 PM
I have a grown up son & my partner has 2 teenage sons, age 14. He works away so when he comes home tries to spend his time with us all. However one of the son's is never satisfied with whatever we arrange & is making textual threats to my partner that if he doesn't spend time with him the whole time he is back at Xmas he will do all sorts! My partner is besides himself & usually gives in to him thinking I will understand. This time however I've had enough of this emotional blackmail & cannot see a solution?? Anyone got advice?
Cal - 19-Nov-16 @ 11:13 PM
@Mbaz - I can completely understand how you feel. I didn't like my ex's sons at all, and couldn't be in the same room as them. I really tried for the first few years, but I felt they hated me and in turn I hated them. I know you shouldn't let kids get under your skin but i couldn't help it. I also hated the way my ex was with them he wouldn't disipline them and let them walk all over him. It used to make my blood boil and i begrudged my ex for his spinlessness. We split so the problem resolved itself and now I have a stepson that is totally different and I love him as my own. You need to talk to your OH and tell him seriously how you feel and ask can you come to some kind of aresolution. You've a right to tell him how you feel - especially if you feel you are going to leave because of it. That or you have to be the bigger person and as difficult as it is suck it up. What alternatives do you have? Good comments sos82, but if he's coming to stay frequently then it changes stuff. The question is are you actually wiling to leave your current man because of it?
Debs** - 11-Nov-16 @ 12:54 PM
@sos82. Thank you so much for reading my comments and making some suggestions. I know how I have explained the situation it does come across as hasty, but I probably haven't explained it as best as I could. My partner seems to think that I am totally against his son and if I do say anything he gets immediately defensive and we end up arguing. I feel as though I can't say anything without it turning Into an argument. Whilst his son hasn't stayed with us over the 6 months his 12yr old has still continued to come down who I get on really well with. Now at the idea of his son coming down again to stay all the time I actually feel really stressed and physically sick, I am already on pins. I understand that this is my partners child but I'm so stressed waking up at night thinking about it. His son doesn't listen, shouts, argues at the smallest things as then plays his mum and dad off against each other, in my head I feel like I can't cope with it all again. I wouldn't wven normally speak on A forum but this time I feel lost with it all.
Mbaz - 10-Nov-16 @ 5:48 PM
@Mbaz - it's a bit hasty to finish the relationship because your partner's son is coming to stay. You would be better to brave it out. But you don't have to spend time with him all the time. Why don't you arrange to take your son somewhere for the day and see your step-child in the evening (damage limitation). See how it goes, and if he starts arguing again, take your son out the following day too, or go and visit someone, or suggest your partner takes his son somehwere to do something special. Say to your partner you think him and his son need 'quality time' together as it will do them good. Having a good plan will help you get through the situation - but ending the relationship because of a visit is too extreme. You just have to think outside the box. <3 Sarah <3
SOS82 - 10-Nov-16 @ 2:29 PM
I really need some advice, I have been with my partner for nearly 9 years. He has two children who are now aged 12 and 13. Over the years since the children have been small I have tried so hard with them, treated them as my own and tried in the best way I can. Their mother has always tried to cause problems between myself and partner as well as the children, but I've always tried to jot let this come between myself and children. However as the children have grown I have become very resentful of the eldest boy, he does not like being told off or disciplined by myself or his dad, so much so that he has told his mother that I was pushing him around one morning which is a lie. He refused to come down to see his dad ( this has previously happened before ), how ever after 6 months he has decided he is coming to stay next weekend,(conveniently just before Xmas too). I have now become so panicked and upset as I don't know how I will deal with him again, all the shouting and arguing that he does, his mother texting to argue, I now have a 3 year old son too and I can't let him see all this again. I don't know what to do and feel that maybe it's best that I end the relationship as I can't see a future whilst all this continues. I have no one to talk to and can't speak to my partner as he doesn't understand how I truly feel. This is my last resort and not a decision I have taken lightly at all, but I just don't think I can do it anymore. Does anybody have any advice please.
Mbaz - 9-Nov-16 @ 9:19 PM
My husband and I have been together for 3 years and I have a 14 yr old and a 12yr old and he has a 9yr old 7yr old and 5 and we also took in their little sister who is 2. At first it was really hard his kids weren't allowed around me per their mother then the state came in and gave us full custody of the 4 younger childrenand now all I hear from his 9yr old is that he wishes I was dead or that I only care about my 2 children. He will flip out over everything even if you look at him he is ready to fight. I don't know what else to do. I have tried talking to him on most days he loves me to death all of the 4 younger children do call me mom the 9 ur doesn't really want anything to do with his biological mother. He gets to have control of everyone gets away with everything and when me or his dad try to discipline him he is ready to fight. What do I do.
Help - 29-Oct-16 @ 6:37 PM
I thought reading this may help us. Let me know what you think Love you, Thierno
MJ - 25-Oct-16 @ 11:51 PM
I met my husband 3 years ago..I myself have 2 grown up children which I raised on my own, who still live at home but at the ages of 20 and 22 they have there own lives and are self sufficient.The time of meeting my husband he had very little access to his 9 year old son. Every other weekend fri-Sunday if she granted the access. There were a lot of problems on her side and also my husband had made several court appearances. He was accused of many things by her amd even got her son to lie and say his dad was hitting him. This woman was very bitter and twisted. The social services became Involved and asked my husband what he wanted from this. I had previously told my husband that I did not want to raise another child full time as I was a single mother at 22 and had raised my children already. We had numerous talks about the situation and he said he felt he had no choice than to go for part custody. It went to court and my husband was granted 50% custody. 1 week with us and 1 week with his mother. I understood why he did this, but I was honest and said it wasn't what I wanted. I felt that he did the think about my feelings but I had to accept it was for the welfare of the child, although the child was not in any danger from his mother, it was the right thing to do. He has been with us for 2 years and it has been very difficult for me. I feel as though I have gone back in time. Everything revolves around the child on the week he is here. He can't do any wrong and we have different ideas on how to raise a child/children. He is now 11 years old. His dad allows him to stay up to what ever time, he doesn't have any kind of routine which means we don't have a lot of time because on the weeks he doesn't have him my husband is working to catch up on his work load as he feels he should make up for lost time. I'm growing resentful towards the child now and feel so terrible for feeling this way. I feel in love with my husband not his son. There's conflict with attitudes and when I say anything about his child he launches at me with words. He is very diffensive. My husband says you do nothing for my son. He's not in the way I do all for him. He doesn't realise the impact that it is having on me. I find myself going out when he's due back from school. I stay out as long as I can. Then make excuses when I'm home to go to a different room. His son screams when he's playing xbox and is so loud at times. He is very unhygienic which doesn't the help and is very rude if he comes into a room that I'm in by not even acknowledging me. Maybe he senses my feelings. Toare things worse the ex keeps sending nasty messages, trying to get messages through Facebook etc. She had a real issue with all of us. If I row with my husband and I say anything about his son, he will hold it for days and be quote nasty to me. I guess he's hurting about what I've said. But I have been honest, I really do not know what to do.
Jo jo - 25-Sep-16 @ 10:59 PM
I have been with my Husband for 6years. He has 2 children, when we met they were 4 and 5 years old and I built a relationship with the both of them, they instantly loved me and I loved them too.. I thought I loved them like my own until I had my own children and realised it's very very different. The children are now 10 and 11 and my partner and I have two together who are 5 years old and 6 months old. I have an amazing relationship with his 10 year old who is proud to call me step mum but not in ear shot of the hateful biological mother (she causes problems between all of us and nearly had us call off our wedding!) I treat his 10 yr old like my own but I have developed some resentment with his 11 year old and I can't put my finger on what the issues are other than he is treated differently by my partner and his family, differently to the 11 other children within the family. He is the first born and is pretty much allowed to do whatever he wants! He is given control over the TV and the gadgets at the weekends to do as he pleases and he does not have to consider sharing with any of the other children in our family, this causes a huge issue because whilst we are all trying to teach the others to be kind and share, he is allowed to be selfish, I understand this is no error of his own but with his father and family, they have allowed him to become selfish whilst the other children sit on the sidelines wondering why they can't do / have the same things, whatever he wants, he gets, he wants an adult meal he barely touches at £25 a plate, he gets it, he wants to stay up until 4am, he does it, he wants to watch sweary videos on the internet, he does it and i cannot have any say AT ALL about this being right or wrong because "they're not your kids" I have raised this with my husband to try and come to some kind of mutual ground but it ends in an argument where I just get accused of 'treating him differently' and 'not liking him' or I just 'have a problem over nothing and need to sort it out with myself' I don't understand how he and his family are so blind to it when the other children say all the time "why does he get to do that" "that's not fair" it is making me really resent the child quite a lot and I can't stand to be around him even though I blame my husband and his family for making him that way!! I love my husband and our family so much but the way things have got now I am resenting one of his children, how the hell do I get back from that and try to erase this invisible barrier so we can all get along , I am tearing my hair out over it most days now.
Pupsicle - 29-Jul-16 @ 9:17 AM
I have been with my partner 4yrs now(neither married nor engaged), and have a daughter together who's 2. I knew he had a daughter and had meet her before we were even together. Her biological mother is a hateful and vindictive woman, and used to ensure my partner was running around constantly for herself and the daughter. He couldn't see anything wrong with the situation, and obviously when pregnant I really struggled with this. Now his ex and daughter have moved back to her country of origin, meaning we have her stay with us 8wks of the year. As I work from home, I am expected to care for her a majority of this time, I have never been asked or consulted about when she comes to stay. I feel like he doesn't even consider my feeling and treats me like a baby sitter. His daughter barely speaks to me and never leaves me alone. Her mother constantly telling her to make my life difficult whilst she's here, and any child would do anything to make their mother happy. I feel extremely uncomfortable in my own home, and exhausted of trying to teach a 10yr old how to do the basic of things. Her mother doesn't seem to care that her daughter cannot wash properly, use the toilet in time or clean herself afterwards and wear appropriate clothing (always sends her is stuff far too revealing). My partner never says anything to the ex or seem to care, barely says anything when discussing my issues with all of this. I don't know how much longer I can cope with this, or whether I want to anymore (love only goes so far) and I haven't felt happy in a while now. I've already told him I won't be looking after her next year, as my grandad is extremely ill and want to help as much as possible so my nan isn't struggling all by herself. He got really angry and asked what I expected him to do, as he cannot stop work for 8wks. I know no family is perfect, but it doesn't even feel like I have a family.
JoJo - 21-Jul-16 @ 8:18 PM
I have been with my partner for 16 years, he had already left a marriage of 25 years when I met him.He has two adult daughters who, between them, have made my life a misery from the start.They banned me from their meet ups with their father, banned me from their homes, banned me from their wedding etc.Any time we have come into contact with them I have been treated with the utmost contempt and, my partner would acknowledge, they have treated me very poorly.The only time he stood his ground with them resulted in them sending him to coventry for five years.He found out through the grapevine he had grandchildren and after yet another argument about them, he made contact again. Since being back in contact, I have had nothing to do with them, he sees them without me (as he always has done) and this worked OK until I found out two years ago, quite by default, that he had taken a loan out for the younger daughter and not told me about it.He had also been giving his elder daughter £300 a month for some time "as she was struggling" and I never knew.She has since conceded that she wasn't struggling at all.I had trusted him implicitly to sort our finances (we both worked full time) and never questioned anything so to say I felt betrayed is an understatement. I took a stronger interest in our finances since finding out about his deceit and insisted I would be the purchaser of all the presents in future as he had been handing over hundreds of pounds at a time.I have bent over backwards to ensure all the presents are very thoughtful and beautifully wrapped.I also insisted we allmeet up so that I could tell all present exactly what was going to happen.This ended in a slanging match and I was screamed at that I am "pure evil and its a good job her husband isn't there as he'd rip my head off".My partner sat there and said absolutely nothing, he just let us get on with it, despite there being two of them and one of me. Allegedly, thereafter he told his daughter that she was totally out of order and she apparently was sorry - he told me it would never happen again.Well, I have further been treated in the most disgusting fashion a couple of weeks ago, but each time, my partner absolves his daughter's behaviour as being influenced by another, whether it be by the biological mother, her husband, auntie etc. Once again, he maintains he has told her she was wrong, she has apologised and so it goes on.I am now at the end of my rope.I want out but he professes his undying love for me.He acknowledges that his daughters have treated me unjustly and undeservedly but he continues to want to "not rock the boat".Nothing is ever resolved and I'm afraid the resentment I feel towards him outweighs the love I have left.It has slowly been eroded away over the years. I thought once they had their own children they wouldbe seen as the adults they are and we could get on with our lives. Sadly, this does not seem to be the
Jane - 18-Mar-16 @ 10:20 AM
I have been with my partner now for the past couple of years and have taken on her daughter also who is now 8... I do everything for this little girl homework, baking, ice skating plus much much more and sit with her when she is upset scared at school everything my parents did with me..... Now my problem is that she only sees her dad through a contact centre currently due to his alcohol Misuse his abusive nature and they way he has treated my partner in the past..::: and for some reason my step daughter gives him all the credit for everything just because he buys her a present when he see's her am I being silly here that I feel like it's heart breaking when I'm here doing all the things a parent should do her biological father does nothing but in her eyes he gets all credit the cards and the love and I get kicked in the teeth please help and tell me it's not only me that feels this way
New - 12-Feb-16 @ 8:37 AM
Hello. Iam in need of advice. I've been with my partner nearly 6 years and met him when his two daughters were 1 and 2. In the early years he had his daughters every weekend as they weren't in school so mum had them all week and was happy for dad have them at weekends. I never minded this it didn't matter much we worked together so we saw place to of each other throughout the week and then kiddies came on Friday afternoons. Since he girls have been in school access has been far more complicated for me at least.As mum and dad have worked really hard at building a good relationship between them for the girls and so the gs are now really amicable between them. However, the problem this gives me is that access arrangements are really casual also. They decide on a week by week basis what's happening the coming weekend. Sonoftem I do think know till a Wednesday what's happening the coming weekend and I Fi. D this really frustrating. Often we have them most weekends still ( although it's may not be Friday to Sunday it might be Friday to sat night or Sunday morning) anyway we have now had a daughter of our own and I am pregnant again with our final edition. I find it increasingly difficult to discuss matters regarding his girls without his jumping on the defence or getting angry and resentful of me. It's nothing g to do with their behaviour they are wonderful girls, I have a very solid relationship ship with them, their.mum doesn't cause any particular friction and they do the seem to resent me in anyway. But I tried talking to my partner before Christmas that every Weekend with little structure was becoming a lot for me and I'm feeling quite stressed and that I'd like to go to alternate weekends so we can have some quality time together with our children too but he told me he hated me for even suggesting this and since then I've had lots of resentment building up and I have no outlet to get it out as i feel unable to speak with him. He feels that he didn't sign up to this relationship to see his children any less and he would rather separate than that happen. ( the issue is their mum often says she wants them alternate weekends as she doesnt see enough of them and then doesnt stick to it it goes back to thwm planning oa weekly basis and is having them most weekends. ) this is somethi g the girls would like to happeas theyve told me they feel lile they dont get enough quality time with their mum. But when i highlight this to my partner he says im using that nist to get my way evem though hes aware that the you gets quite emotuinal.most bedtimes wanting to see mummy. On reflection I decided I wouldn't ask him again about the access but the resentment in me is buildingup and coming out by way of me withdrawing a bit emotionally from his girls which he's notice g and getting frustrated with. We spoke about what's going on yesterday and I told him how I felt and that I feel like mums needs matter his needs matter but my wants and nee
Rg88 - 8-Feb-16 @ 10:29 AM
tryingsohard - Your Question:
I've recently become a step-parent/or involved int two wonderful little girls lifes aged 4 and 5 but the hardest part is that they won't let me near their mum. I know it's hard for them to see their mum without their dad and with someone else but it's the things they say and do that hurt the most. They are really good kids and I have known them for a long time now but only been in a realationship with their mum around 4months but they go crazy if I touch her or kiss her, even if we are in the settee together. The eldest won't even go to bed until we are asleep and she's always in and out!!!!When I'm there I play games and watch TV with them, we walk the dog and basically give them loads of attention but as soon as I touch or kiss their mum they start saying things like you can't touch my mum and your not allowed to kiss her and they don't like me but as soon as I'm not there they want me to come round and she has to ring me just so they can talk to me. I feel like it's a loosing battle sometimes and other times I don't even want to be there because of it but I love her and I really like them when there not being like thatI know it's tough on them but sometimes it drives me wild and I feel like we can't ever just relax. I know it will get better and I will keep working at it I just couldn't do with some pointers or any Advice really

Our Response:
The best advice I can give is not to take their reaction personally. They are young, they are confused over loyalty to their father and they are reacting in a perfectly normal territorial and emotional way. If one parent has left, then they may want to keep very tight hold of their remaining one. What is in your favour is that you like them and they obviously like you as they want you to be in their lives and are willing/wanting to spend time with you. These are great ingredients to build a foundation relationship from the ground up. But you may have to take it slowly and gradually integrate yourself (four months is still very early days). As trust and affection builds then the children will relax more and therefore so will you be able to. Believe me there are a lot worse and more difficult to deal with scenarios for step-parents who are on the receiving end of insecure or resentful children. It sounds like yours are just teething problems that will get better with time, love and trust. See also: Assuring Stepchildren that You're Not Replacing their Parent, here. I hope this helps.
BeingAStepParent - 4-Jan-16 @ 10:38 AM
I've recently become a step-parent/or involved int two wonderful little girls lifes aged 4 and 5 but the hardest part is that they won't let me near their mum. I know it's hard for them to see their mum without their dad and with someone else but it's the things they say and do that hurt the most. They are really good kids and I have known them for a long time now but only been in a realationship with their mum around 4months but they go crazy if I touch her or kiss her, even if we are in the settee together. The eldest won't even go to bed until we are asleep and she's always in and out!!!! When I'm there I play games and watch TV with them, we walk the dog and basically give them loads of attention but as soon as I touch or kiss their mum they start saying things like you can't touch my mum and your not allowed to kiss her and they don't like me but as soon as I'm not there they want me to come round and she has to ring me just so they can talk to me. I feel like it's a loosing battle sometimes and other times I don't even want to be there because of it but I love her and I really like them when there not being like that I know it's tough on them but sometimes it drives me wild and I feel like we can't ever just relax. I know it will get better and I will keep working at it I just couldn't do with some pointers or any Advice really
tryingsohard - 3-Jan-16 @ 3:44 AM
how do fit in to my fiances life now his 18 year old daughter lives with him most of the time. He dosnt understand why she need to tidy up or keep her room clean, she stands and watches me vacuuming and cleaning the house we all use and never says thank you for meals I cook. expects me to clean around her and takrs over the lounge with her boyfriend watching her programmes and making a mess so I sit in the kitchen when my partner is at work he is 64.never even offers to make a cup of tea. I am tired of acting as a housekeeper for her. when my grown up daughter visited recently she never spoke to her. sat on her phone all the time. had to insist she chanang her sheets from September recently. shes allowed free run of the bedroom with her boyfriend and sleep over too. I have spoken to my fiancé about this numerous times and he say he will talk to her but nothing changes.....tired of it now
annie - 24-Dec-15 @ 12:11 AM
I got married last January and my husband has a 7 yr old. He is a great little boy and everything has been fine until a couple of months ago when we started trying to have our own baby. I am all of a sudden filled with overwhelming feelings. I don't want to hear stories of how his son was born. Am I wrong for feeling this way? I told my husband and he understood.
Jen - 23-Dec-15 @ 11:53 PM
@George - I know I felt with my child that when she got to a certain age that, like a bird, I felt as though I wanted to push her right on out of the nest. I just had the constant image of an overgrown chick too big to still be at home. I know many kids have to stay at home now because financially is is just too expensive for them to move out. Perhaps your ex is just happy to have his son living with him. It can be tough on dads when kids split up. But only communication can help here. It doesn't sound like you are being unreasonable as kids do need to learn to be responsible in order to make their own way in the world. I hope you manage to sort it out.
Jess - 23-Dec-15 @ 12:39 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the BeingAStepParent website. Please read our Disclaimer.