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Topic : Step-Parenting

Number of Replies: 809
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Created on : Thursday, June 30, 2005, 12:47:27 pm
Author : dataimport
If you are a step-parent, you deal with many frustrations and rewards each day that are unique. Share your story with us.

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August 20, 2005, 8:41 am CDT

kmlett -- I am a stepmom

I can not relate to this stepmom at all though...from day one I didn't LET my stepkids call me mom cause they have a mom and she is not only alive but she IS in their lives (more than than now but that is another story!) And we(hubby and I) have always tried to work with her in raising their kids.  Also I do what my hubby wants for his kids even if don't agree (I used to check with her too but that doesn't work cause she doesn't like me so I don't want to upset her...) 

  

I personally think that if your hubby wants to be her father and is in every step of the way from what you said...then let him.  YOu are right in that your ex is an adult and if he wants time with his daughter he needs to step up to the plate not his wife....  Your daughter and you are lucky to have found such an understanding and accepting man (your hubby) and I think you should encourage their growing relationship.  If her biodad isn't a part of her life and her stepdad is and he wants to adopt her I see nothing wrong with it.  If biodad was a part of her life then she has two dads to love her and be important in her life (as well as two moms but the stepmom has to work at a relationship not just demand it!).  Oh well, off my soapbox.  It's just my opinion...maybe other bio mom's won't agree. 

  

Marie 

 
August 21, 2005, 7:07 am CDT

to Kmlett

I think you should take your feelings out of the situation and decide what's right for your daughter. You decided a long time ago that the ex was not a good influence and you moved 1200 miles away to keep your daughter safe. What is one more step? One that will put your daughter beyond his reach, and that of his crazy wife permanently? By demanding that he pay his fair share, you keep this bizarre episode running. You have the power to end it, I would suggest you let your current husband adopt her and let go of any ties with the ex.
Your daughter has the option of getting to know her bio dad in the future, when she's an adult, if she so chooses. At that time she will be able to judge his actions as an adult with her own adult set of perceptions and opinions.
 
August 22, 2005, 8:27 am CDT

K Lett

Thank you all for your suggestions. I do understand that I need to just move on and stop trying to punish him for being the idiot he is. I think this is something emotional with me, I feel like someone is rejecting my child, Not even just speaking of the stepmom, but the bio dad, and that's what really makes me so mad I could scream. I am happy and grateful though that my daughter has a loving family and we never discuss this with her about him. She is a happy,thoughtful child. I think I need work some anger problems I have with him and his new wife. I know he would and will sign adoption papers over to my new husband. He has actually called with his new wife on the phone and asked us to do that.  The thing is I can not even speak to my ex about this now. When I call there she will answer  because my phone number will be on the caller id... then she will say , you tell me what you want, then I will tell him then call you back to tell you what he said. Or she will just make the decision by herself and TRY TO TELL ME how things are going to be. This is all so damn childish. For awhile I had an attorney that handled all this but that got real expensive. This woman is so much like a little bully on a play ground it's not funny. I think the funny part of all this is that I divorced my husband, we stayed in contact and had a great relationship as far as being able to discuss our daughter together for the first 3 to 4 years. He met this girl and now all the sudden he has no say in my daughters life or his own. She says I can't talk to him because I want him back, Now My thoughts on that are, If I wanted him back, we got along for years before she came into the picture. I could of had him at any time, he asked me plenty of times to go back to him. But now I am on a restriction based on She thinks I want him back. I have said some mean things about this to her, Not proud but, I mean I have pointed out to her clearly, I have a loving caring husband, that has a real job, not working a limited amount of hours to avoid child support but actually taking care of another mans responsiblity for a child that isn't biologically his. and she seriously thinks I am after her husband? Women like her are the ones that give step-mothers the ugly name they get. If we were all ever on Dr.Phil's show it would actually be very entertaining. I wouldn't go on tv with this though because it's so embarrassing it's not funny. I would not want anyone to know I was ever with this man that is being controlled like a puppet. His father passed away last year and his STEP-MOM who has raised, loved and cared about him as her own since he was 9 months old has now been discarded because his new wife said she is not really his mom, so why would they keep contact. The truth is, Me and his parents have always got along and worked together trying to get my ex off the drugs so she hates them well, Now her new mother in law because They liked me and love my daughter. I would NEVER let my daughter go visit them anway just because of the things she has said Examples " Well, we don't have to pay child support if she isn't alive"  She told me daughter " you are spoiled and we don't want to talk to you until you are 18 and that is just to tell you your dad and My side of the story."  

      Also I would LOVE to have one step mom or dad tell me how exactly it is that she can hold me responsible for things that happened between me and my ex during our dating time, and marriage, and divorce? I mean, I didn't date, marry or divorce her. YET, she will call here and actually bring up me and my ex husbands marriage to me and she says it as though I did these things to her. How does that work. My husband doesn't call him and say, HOW could you leave my now wife for drugs? and on and on and on??? My husband and I have talked about this and he actually says he understands what she is doing. She is a part of his life now and since he gave her information she has a right to condeme me for things, I don't understand this.  This is one of the things that actually make me not be able to stand her.  

         I was a step-mom at one time and I couldn't imagine behaving like this with the ex. I mean we actually got along, talked and helped the child together. We were not FRIENDS where we would go out and do things together but we did have a friendship of concern for the child.  I read some of your emails and I feel for you all, I really do, I WOULD do anything to have a step-mom in my childs life like you where we could all just talk and do what is best for my daughter. Maybe I should of picked my new husbands wife out for him? LOL just kidding. Ok, I will stop now... Thanks For listening. 

  

K. 

 
August 26, 2005, 7:40 pm CDT

No Divorce Stepmom

I've been looking on this website and no one has talked about blended families created without divorce. 

My boyfriend married his late wife when she was sick.  She got pregnant and was told not to have the baby but she refused to have an abortion and had their daughter. It put the mother's health in serious jeopardy and she became psychologically ill.  At one point she had to be committed. She'd go in and out of her sane mind.  My boyfriend was worried and didn't want to have to deal with her (really the stessed she caused) or to really have her around his daughter but kept the marriage together... 

When his daughter was four his wife died of an overdose. It was not suicide, she simply took too much of her medicine and died in her sleep in the livingroom.  It was her daughter that found her.  He came into the room to find his daughter shaking his wife and screaming wake up mommy, daddy why won't mommy wake up? 

He got his daughter therapy and due to medical bills had to declare bankruptcy and move in with his mother and stepfather.  His life is almost in order, he's got a wonderful job, but he's still living there mainly so his daughter has her grandmother in her life. 

His daughter is nine now and I'm his girlfriend. I love him very much and hope that we could get married someday in which case I'd be a stepmother to a girl who has no mother and has not been through divorce-- so a lot of regular stepparent advice doesn't apply or has to be altered. I was wondering what advice people would have a) for the future if we get married and b) for now during the dating process with building a relationship with her. 

Thanks. 

 
August 27, 2005, 5:59 am CDT

Tread lightly

Quote From: sockonmars

I've been looking on this website and no one has talked about blended families created without divorce. 

My boyfriend married his late wife when she was sick.  She got pregnant and was told not to have the baby but she refused to have an abortion and had their daughter. It put the mother's health in serious jeopardy and she became psychologically ill.  At one point she had to be committed. She'd go in and out of her sane mind.  My boyfriend was worried and didn't want to have to deal with her (really the stessed she caused) or to really have her around his daughter but kept the marriage together... 

When his daughter was four his wife died of an overdose. It was not suicide, she simply took too much of her medicine and died in her sleep in the livingroom.  It was her daughter that found her.  He came into the room to find his daughter shaking his wife and screaming wake up mommy, daddy why won't mommy wake up? 

He got his daughter therapy and due to medical bills had to declare bankruptcy and move in with his mother and stepfather.  His life is almost in order, he's got a wonderful job, but he's still living there mainly so his daughter has her grandmother in her life. 

His daughter is nine now and I'm his girlfriend. I love him very much and hope that we could get married someday in which case I'd be a stepmother to a girl who has no mother and has not been through divorce-- so a lot of regular stepparent advice doesn't apply or has to be altered. I was wondering what advice people would have a) for the future if we get married and b) for now during the dating process with building a relationship with her. 

Thanks. 

Be VERY careful not to get too close unless and until you two decide to marry. This is for the protection of the child. If she's desperate for a mother and you get too close, she would be devastated if things didn't work out between you and her father. Or, the thought of an "intruder" may scare the living daylights out of her, again, keep it light, keep your distance.
If you two decide to marry, he should break the news to her, not both of you together. This way she can vent her true feelings without being put on the spot. Be prepared for her not to be thrilled, this is common and even normal. After he has told her, then you can have a one on one with her. I would suggest asking her permission to join her little family. When you let them in on the decision making process, things go much smoother, they don't feel so helpless. And she won't get the idea that will be be abandoned or replaced in her daddy's heart. I would take plenty of time with her, to get to know her and create a solid friendship, let her help with any wedding plans. Get to know her friends, etc.
If you enter their lives, you will be courting her also, not just the father. If you have any problems, take it slow and easy. Good luck.
 
August 28, 2005, 12:26 pm CDT

My two cents ...

Quote From: sockonmars

I've been looking on this website and no one has talked about blended families created without divorce. 

My boyfriend married his late wife when she was sick.  She got pregnant and was told not to have the baby but she refused to have an abortion and had their daughter. It put the mother's health in serious jeopardy and she became psychologically ill.  At one point she had to be committed. She'd go in and out of her sane mind.  My boyfriend was worried and didn't want to have to deal with her (really the stessed she caused) or to really have her around his daughter but kept the marriage together... 

When his daughter was four his wife died of an overdose. It was not suicide, she simply took too much of her medicine and died in her sleep in the livingroom.  It was her daughter that found her.  He came into the room to find his daughter shaking his wife and screaming wake up mommy, daddy why won't mommy wake up? 

He got his daughter therapy and due to medical bills had to declare bankruptcy and move in with his mother and stepfather.  His life is almost in order, he's got a wonderful job, but he's still living there mainly so his daughter has her grandmother in her life. 

His daughter is nine now and I'm his girlfriend. I love him very much and hope that we could get married someday in which case I'd be a stepmother to a girl who has no mother and has not been through divorce-- so a lot of regular stepparent advice doesn't apply or has to be altered. I was wondering what advice people would have a) for the future if we get married and b) for now during the dating process with building a relationship with her. 

Thanks. 

For the future I think you need to accept living a 10/15 minute walk from the in-laws so it's easy for your step daughter to visit her grandmother whenever she wishes once she's mature enough to make the journey alone.  I also think you need will need to take on the current structure and rules of her grandmother's house to a large extent.     

  

For now I'd echo the advice above.  Take things slowly and take a hard look at your relationship every six months or so.  If it still seems heading towards marriage increase the amount of contact you have with your potential step daughter.  If there are problems keep the contact at the current level until the problems are resolved.    

 
September 6, 2005, 6:23 am CDT

Step-Parenting

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 9 years.  He has a 13 year old son.  For the upmost part, he is a good boy – he just doesn’t pick up after himself.  I have led myself to believe this is probably in good part because of his mother doing every thing for him.   

 

  

 

I have never really said much to him.  It is hard to have conversations with him because I find he either just ignores me or mumbles a response.  This has led me to stop trying to make conversation with him.  I feel he is just uninterested in anything I have to say.  I know that he doesn’t like me – he has told family members that he would like to see his father with someone else.  I hate to ignore him.  The only things that I find myself saying to him are: “yes, please, thanks, no problem”. 

 

  

 

I am tired of hearing my boyfriend freak out at me for ignoring him.  I tell him that the boy can talk to me too – conversation does go both ways.  All he says is “you are the adult and he is the child”.  Shouldn’t children be taught to make conversation?  He says nothing to me, no hello or even a goodbye. 

 

  

 

Is there any advice that someone can give to help me try to make this work? 
 
September 6, 2005, 1:08 pm CDT

I think the problem is you.

Quote From: karlamae

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 9 years.  He has a 13 year old son.  For the upmost part, he is a good boy – he just doesn’t pick up after himself.  I have led myself to believe this is probably in good part because of his mother doing every thing for him.   

 

  

 

I have never really said much to him.  It is hard to have conversations with him because I find he either just ignores me or mumbles a response.  This has led me to stop trying to make conversation with him.  I feel he is just uninterested in anything I have to say.  I know that he doesn’t like me – he has told family members that he would like to see his father with someone else.  I hate to ignore him.  The only things that I find myself saying to him are: “yes, please, thanks, no problem”. 

 

  

 

I am tired of hearing my boyfriend freak out at me for ignoring him.  I tell him that the boy can talk to me too – conversation does go both ways.  All he says is “you are the adult and he is the child”.  Shouldn’t children be taught to make conversation?  He says nothing to me, no hello or even a goodbye. 

 

  

 

Is there any advice that someone can give to help me try to make this work? 
 Now before you get angry with me, which is your right, hear me out. You've been with this guy for 9 years, and the son is 13. That means you've known the boy since he was 4 years old. If you haven't developed a good relationship with him by now, it's going to be rough going. I don't know why you never made an attempt, but you do say that you have never said much to him. Like Dr Phil tells us, you have taught him how to treat you. He probably thinks you don't like him and is avoiding you. If he gets in trouble for not conversing with you, that will just make it all the worse. If you remember what it's like to be a teenager, maybe you will understand what he's going through. It will be totally up to you as the adult to make the first move. I would start by telling him whatever it is you feel about him, that way there is no misconception in his mind that you hate him. Try telling him you want to be friends, and find some things you like to talk about together or do together. Don't get your hopes up, because he's right at that age where he is breaking away from parental involvement, and mothers in particular. But if you make some kind of sincere gesture to him, I think you will find he has been as miserable as you.
 
September 6, 2005, 1:28 pm CDT

Stepmom in need

I met my husband 5 years ago when his son was 4. He had never  been married to his sons mom, but has always been a very supportive loving father. Although his son and I have had our ups and downs I care a lot about him. recently we have had to move out of California where he lives to Northern Nevada because we can't afford a life in SoCal. My stepsons mom has never held a job and lives solely off the child support from my husband and her ex husband whom she has 2 other boys with. My husband and I have 2 kids of our own and we can't afford to give them much of anything because 1/3 of my husbands paycheck goes to child support. I have become resentful because we know the mother doesn't use the money for  items for my stepson! He has called us saying they have no food. The phone has been turned off multiple time, she "forgot" to register him for school. When we were down visiting family his maternal grandmother called to tell us she was going to have to bring my stepson to us at my parents house because he and his 13 year old brother had run away from home. He's only9 years old! We were told by her mom and my stepson she was using drugs and was screaming at the kids. We called the police and the courts for help and were told it was to late at night for anything to be done. When my stepson found out we were going to have the police go see his mom he recanted the whole story. He came back to Nevada with us for a week. After 2 days he called his mom and said he wasn't having fun and wanted to go home! I feel for my husband who doesn't know who to believe and am scared for my stepson if he really is in danger at home. He tells us he's in trouble when he wants something, but if he doesn't get his way he runs back to his mom. I can't help feeling used, frustrated and irritated. How can I stop feeling resentful towards the situation we keep getting put in? Has anyone else had this problem?
 
September 7, 2005, 7:14 am CDT

I agree with your boyfriend

Quote From: karlamae

My boyfriend and I have been together for almost 9 years.  He has a 13 year old son.  For the upmost part, he is a good boy – he just doesn’t pick up after himself.  I have led myself to believe this is probably in good part because of his mother doing every thing for him.   

 

  

 

I have never really said much to him.  It is hard to have conversations with him because I find he either just ignores me or mumbles a response.  This has led me to stop trying to make conversation with him.  I feel he is just uninterested in anything I have to say.  I know that he doesn’t like me – he has told family members that he would like to see his father with someone else.  I hate to ignore him.  The only things that I find myself saying to him are: “yes, please, thanks, no problem”. 

 

  

 

I am tired of hearing my boyfriend freak out at me for ignoring him.  I tell him that the boy can talk to me too – conversation does go both ways.  All he says is “you are the adult and he is the child”.  Shouldn’t children be taught to make conversation?  He says nothing to me, no hello or even a goodbye. 

 

  

 

Is there any advice that someone can give to help me try to make this work? 
You are the adult, and you should be the one initiating the conversations.  Ask him about school, about activities, hobbies, favorite tv shows.......anything to show an interest in him and make him feel like you really CARE about him. Right now, your actions are telling him that he's an inconvenience and an interruption to your life.
 
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