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Anonymous stepmom, from Virginia (submitted Feb '09)



Home: Virginia

My husband I married last July. He has an almost 4 year old daughter and I have an almost 7 year old son. My son's dad is still very much involved and he sees him on a regular basis. My stepdaughters mom is not involved at all. This has left me in the place to be her mother. She has even started calling me mommy.

In the beginning, I thought I would love this idea, basically I was aquiring a daughter that I had never had, but for some reason I have come to resent this. My husband and I have very different ideas on disciplining and what our children should be disciplined for which makes things very difficult. I am very comfortable disciplining my son because....he is my son. But my step-daughter on the other hand is a different story. I was told to "treat her as my own" and discipline as I saw fit but any time I do this there is backlash. There are only a few things I have disciplined her for that have been accepted. Everything else is me being too nitpicky, too uptight, and "you just need to relax." He is so over protective over his daughter because of some of the things she went through at birth and I completely understand that but I am so confused that I have distanced myself from her because I can't be what I am to my son....a mother.

I want to be her mother and my husband says that is what he wants but when I am put in a role of disciplining her or I get frustrated at something she does, there is backlash. To make matters worse, my husband lived with his parents when his daughter was born up until the time of our marriage...so his daughter was 3. His mother feels the need to make little comments or go over my head and do things in my house that a mother would do. I have vented my frustration with this to my husband...but was left feeling like my feelings were not validated and that i am oversensitive and over reacting. He talked to his parents about it and of course his mom stated that she never meant to hurt my feelings and felt bad for it. She has been in my shoes because she is actually my husbands step-mother that he calls mom because his is not involved. This frustrates me more because you would think she would remember how frustrating things were for her in the beginning and how frustrating it was when her mother-in-law was overbearing and trying to basically make her feel inadequate. I love my husband and want things to work and want this to be my last marriage ever. I am so frustrated and confused right now. I knew that things would be hard at times but never dreamed it would be like this.... PLEASE HELP! I want to be a successful story.


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#1: by Helaine Grosskopf on 08.20.2009 @ 10:26pm CDT

I feel so uncomfortable at the moment. Only through God's grace, was I able to contain myself and decided not to leave my husband and rather give him all the love I can. We have been married for 13 years now and have 3 wonderful boys, 6,10, 12. My husband has been married before and has one daughter out of that marriage, who is 17 years old now. From the beginning, the child from a previous marriage was very hard for me to accept. I grew up in South Africa, where divorces are still very uncommon and combined families extremely rare. Stepfamilies are simply something you dont deal with over there and basicly it is a shame to be divorced. I grew up in this very conservative culture. Before we got married, we moved away from my husband's little girl, and shortly after moved back to SA. Therefore he had no contact with her over all these years, and honestly, it suited me. Now we are back in the States and all of a sudden his daughter started to make contact with him again. This is extremely hard for me. I really started to resent her when we had to give up almost all our savings in order to pay child support with the exchange rate. My husband is in heaven right now with this new found relationship and cannot understand that it is very hard for me to accept. He even told his daughter that it is because of me that he did not have contact with her over the years - which is not exactly the truth. He also wants to force our 3 boys to have a relationship with this girl. They just learned about her a year ago and have no interest in someone that they all of a sudden have to share their dad with. I feel like this thing is braking our unity as a family and that it is no longer just us any more. He has told me so many times that his divorce is something of the past. Is this child not something of the past also. I mean, he can have a relationship with her, but why do we have to be involved. He sees no wrong in her and everything about her is just GREAT. How do I deal with this. Please pray for me. I do not want to loose my husband.

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