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Being a stepparent is one of the most difficult roles any adult will ever assume. If you are a stepparent, you deal with many frustrations and rewards each day that are unique. How is your relationship with your stepchild? What have you learned about blending a family? Share your story.
Replied By: honeypot617 on Oct 20, 2015, 9:08AM - In reply to kmlantz
See, you sound like a great stepmother!   You love and care about your stepkids, and they feel the same way about you.   It's too bad that most people don't have such a positive experience.  Thanks for sharing your story.
Replied By: honeypot617 on Oct 20, 2015, 8:51AM - In reply to conflicted18
Also, you said that you don't have anything outside of your job, no family, no car, etc.   I understand that sometimes there are situations that seem impossible to escape if you don't have money or emotional support from other places.   But for the sake of your children, you need to reach out for help.  Being completely dependent on somebody else is bad in this day and time...a woman needs to be able to support herself if anything should happen, especially in an abusive situation.   You need to find a way to take care of yourself and your two children.  Could you try working from home?    That might help just a little bit.  

Sometimes women stay in relationships because they feel like they "need" a man (no matter how he treats them or the children) and they need help with paying bills or meeting other needs.   I understand completely, but you need to put your kids first.  When you have an adult being hostile to your child and saying that he hates him, there is a problem and you need to do something about it.   Plenty of women have managed to raise children with no help from anyone so if it comes to that, I'm sure you can do it too.   

He resents your son because it is not his biological child...this seems to be the real problem with many step-parents.  It is convenient to say that the kid is a brat or whatever, but the REAL issue is jealousy and insecurity at the child's existence in your life.  The child is a reminder to him that you were with somebody else and had a kid with that person.  That is what bothers many of these step-parents.  They want you to reject your own flesh and blood.  

Replied By: honeypot617 on Oct 20, 2015, 8:35AM - In reply to conflicted18
My heart goes out to your little boy and to you.  First, I understand that you're in a difficult situation because you love this man and you also have a child with him.  

But the way he is treating your older son is not right.  As that little boy's mother, your job is to protect him from harm...what your husband is doing is abusive.  He is only 5 years old.  Shoot, even if he were older, it still wouldn't be OK.   You need to talk with your husband about this.  His attitude towards his stepson is terrible and it needs to stop.  I was also the stepchild of a man who hated me, so I've had plenty of experience to back up what I'm saying.  

Your son is just an innocent kid, he doesn't deserve to be treated this way.  My mother knew that my stepfather hated me and she stayed with him anyway.   She didn't care about my feelings or what he was putting me through.  You need to make your husband see that this is NOT cool.  He might not love your child from a previous relationship, but he needs to grow up and accept that your son is a part of you and you will not allow anyone to mistreat him.   If he doesn't like it, he can hit the road.  His behavior is immature and selfish...saying that he "hates" your son?    I will never understand people who pair up with somebody who already has children, yet they have this selfish attitude.   Does he expect you to love him (and your child with him)  more than you love your son from a previous relationship?

And I'm not judging you at heart hurts for you.  But you need to be honest with yourself and with your husband.  There are some wonderful step-parents out there but most of the time, people use poor judgment and have relationships with people who mistreat their children and everyone turns a blind eye to it.  What he is doing is hurtful and destructive;  it will only get worse if you don't put a stop to it.  He will only continue if you allow it.  

Replied By: conflicted18 on Oct 13, 2015, 3:14PM
I have a 5 year old son from a previous relationship, I also have a 1.5 year old son with my husband of less than a year. Before our son was born he was hood with his stepson. But now it is very different.bus has said multiple times that he hates him, doesn't want anything to so with him etc. There are a few times that he takes interest in doing things with him but mostly he yells at him or tells him to go to his room. Every time I say something we fight. I myself had a mother who always chose a man over me and my siblings and I swore I never wanted to the same. I love my husband I also love my son very much. He's told me to choose one, he said he only said it because he was angry. I do not have anything outside of my husband. No friends, no car, no job, and basically no family. I need advice on what to do and how. I feel torn in two directions.
Replied By: elicias13 on Oct 4, 2015, 3:01PM
I have 2 beautiful biological children. I am no longer with thier biological father. I have been with my husband for 2 years now nd still have not met his 3 children. His Ex has refused to even let him see them for a year and a half. The court system where I am is a joke. She has refused to follow a court order and they dropped the contemp of court hearing. Anyways I was hoping that maybe somebody would have any advise for when I meet my 3 step-children. There will be no getting along with thier biological mother so please do not suggest that. She has threated to kill me and my children if we are ever near my step-kids. And no the court wouldnt do aything about that either.
Replied By: kmlantz on May 10, 2015, 8:45PM
I've been married for 20 years now, at the time my husband and I first got together, I had three children and he had two. They were 10, 8, 6, 3, and 2, his boys were the oldest ones and then I had two daughters and a son. We then decided to have a baby together, which we had a little boy. We had full custody of all of our children and seldom did we have weekends off or any holidays or summer vacation time off. They were with us all the time, and I think that actually made our life easier to adjust as a family. I always loved and do love my step son's. When asked how many kids I have, I say six. The older boys are now 32 and not quite 30. My oldest son asked me to stand up with him at his wedding, best man/woman. I was in the delivery room when the second oldest son was born. I also danced the mother/son dance with him at his wedding. All 6 of our kids consider themselves brothers and sisters. All the grandkids play together and I just recently quit a full time job so that I can stay home with them. There were hard times but the rewards and work and love have truly been paid back to me!! Especially as I sit and play and rock and kiss on my grandbabies. If you marry a person with children, you better make sure you are capable of loving their children. Trust me, it is the best part. And as hard as it may be, don't bad mouth their other parent. They shouldn't feel guilty for loving them. At times it is hard...
Replied By: cmariebrewer75 on Feb 20, 2015, 11:54AM
Being a stepmom for the first time has been very hard on me. My stepdaughter is almost 20 and REFUSES to respect me. I have gone out of my way to be nice to her but things have escalated to violence. I have returned to therapy after almost 6 years of being able to deal with things and stress in my life. Her father and i have known each other for 34 years. We got married in march of last year. I understnad that for the last 16 years its been her and her dad and grandma. I have gone out of my way to please her i went as far as to let her use my vehicle(dad and i had gotten one as a gift from my parents as a wedding/christmas gift). It was on loan not hers to run the gas out of and come to dad and i for the money for gas. She was also told that she had to seek and maintain employment(something she has not done) in order to use the vehicle. I finally jusst gave her the vehicle so i didnt have to keep paying for gas for it. She thinks its ok to come to our house and makes messes and not have to clean them up because she doesnt live with us. She also loves to throw my past in my face. I made some not so good decisions in the past and she just cant let them go. She even told her dad in a text message that when im gone in a year dont call her because she wont be there to pick up the pieces. Well needless to say im still here and the disrespect is blatant. what can i do?
Replied By: stepma2redhead on Dec 24, 2014, 8:43AM - In reply to airmanswife
I appreciate that you are questioning it yourself and not to the child. I had been in my step daughters life since she was three and we were married when she was six. My son was born shortly after and so when we had our first Valentine's day I was feeling very loving and agog with new family joy. I signed the card mom without a thought, and then put in parenthesis that it would be okay if she called me mom, because it occured to me after that it might be odd to her. I knew it made her feel wierd, even though she had called me mom in the past.
Her mother hit the roof. She told anyone and everyone that would listen how aweful I was. I did feel bad about making my stepdaughter feel uncomfortable, but I never felt bad about wanting to me like a mom to her. It's five years later and we still fight about it. I can only appologize so much for signing that card. It began the long list of things I do wrong, and set mom against stepmom in my stepdaughters eyes. 
I can see the guilt in her when we get along. I need to love her and yet it is a problem. Please accept the love this woman is offering your child. Please don't make her feel she needs to choose. 
I remember telling "mom" shortly after the conversation that I didn't realize it was such a big deal, because I called friends mom's "mom" and that I was so sorry. I still get yelled at by my stepdaughter for that card, and I know her friends call her mom, mom. Don't be that mom. Just know that being a mom is super important and if you need to talk to the stepmom about it, let her know what she has taken on with that title.
Replied By: garbell on Dec 7, 2014, 11:59PM
My partner and I have been together for nearly 11 years. We have 3 children, 19 year old son, 16 year old daughter and 9 year old daughter. I picked up early on that my partner was moody and would let you know when he wasnt happy by making life uncomfortable at home. Our first two children are from my previous marriage.

It was not until our youngest daughter was born that I noticed how different he treated our son. The older our son got the more he "bullied" my son, usually passive aggressive behaviour or sarcasm aimed at him.

Two weeks ago he lashed out at my son and headbutted him. It took physical restraint to get him away from my son. Afterwards he was remorseful and disappointed in himself, yet I dont see any real remorse, his apology was pitiful. He apparently does not "remember" hitting our son. He does have a lot of excuses for his behaviour and I am obviously happy to go along with it as I avoid confrontation. 

My son smokes "marijuana" which we both know knew about. My son has and is always respectful to his stepfather, always listens and responds in kind. Yet his stepfather gives him no eye contact, two or three word replies, or does not speak to him at all. I feel my son smokes marijuana to dull the emotions he is feeling.

My son knows that his stepfather smoked marijuana for a long time (9 years) in the backyard "shed", yet my partner likes to think that he is all high and mighty now because he stopped smoking last year. Ive had this battle it seems like forever with the marijuana issue.  I dont know what to do, actually I probably do know yet lack the courage. my mind is saying to forgive my partner and help him through this (counselling/therapy) and then its saying why are you staying leave and let him sort it out by himself.

Before anyone tells me "how stupid" "spineless" I am, am one of the first to be opinionated on "weak parenting".  Its harder when its our own life. My youngest daughter adores her dad and I know my older two would prefer if  their stepdad could stay happy and calm or left completely.

Replied By: ashlymills on Dec 2, 2014, 10:55AM
Hello all,

My nameis ashly. I am a recent dr phil fan but I have written the show for help. I am hoping up here I can find the support that is lacking everywhere else.  My step son, who knows me as mom, as several nehavior problems and is currently in therapeutic foster care.  We have been dealing with these problems for years now but the treatmemt and hospitals because he started showing harm to my now 14 month old daughter.  We have begged for help, pleaded, wrote news stations, lawyers, senators, etc. Because there has been no help and when I myself found hospitals we were reported to social srvices.  Its extremely hard....I am constantly put down by everyone because I am his step mom...yet I am the one talking to doctors, hospitals, teachers, etc.   I now feel like I am stuck in the middle between using all my energy to help him which u have done since day one, to making sure my daughter is safe.  He is onky eight years old, lies, punches himself in the face, punches others, kicks throws, and has learned from the hosoitals cussing. He has threatened to kill everyone at school just because he was in the principles office.  I am terrified everyday of what he will do next, who he will hurt,  his safety, and the safety of my very innocent daughter.  S.s. has treated this as our fault, the schools have fkat out lied despite paperwork to prove them kying, and it has been suggested over and over that this is happening because I am step mom and just dont wont to deal w is hard, scary, and we have no idea what to do anhmore.
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