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Dee Joyce, from Florida (submitted Nov '09)


Name: Dee Joyce

Home: Florida


My blended family journey begin almost seven years ago and I must say we are still trying to adjust and blend as a family.  It has been a real roller-coaster ride mentally and emotionally for all of us.  I honestly don't think we could have made it this far if not for hours of prayer, inspiration out of God's word and a very supportive pastor, church and my family.  My husband and I started out with his two kids and I had none.  But after 5 months of marriage I was surprised to learn that I was pregnant with our first child.  I was truly overwhelmed, excited and scared all at once.  Overnight I became a wife, stepmother and mother.  Soon the two older kids moved in with us and there were a ton of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.  I can truly say that the key element in marrying a man with children is that he must be completed healed from his first marriage and free from guilt when dealing with his kids. And he must be totally committed to loving his wife the way Christ loves the church or you will end up with a terrible mess and more broken hearts.  My honeymoon experience was almost none and for years I was bitter and somewhat resentful of the kids and my husband.  It took the power of God to heal me and help me to move on. Because of my husband's guilt and overcompensation with his kids, I often felt like a silent partner pushed in a corner.  Now I have a totally different perspective on stepmothers and I applaud any individual who has to raise a child not biological their own. There have been countless moments I felt mounds of rejection from my step kids even when making every effort to make them feel as special as my own.  I've also had to deal with jealousy, sibling rivalry, false accusations, speculations, manipulations, power trips, abandonment and the list goes on but through it all, God was faithful. But don't think I handled everything so well.  Countless times I wanted to give up but in those times I sought out Godly counsel and prayed and that is why I am still here today--determined to give glory in my marriage and my blended family.



Comments ( 10 )
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#10: by Lillian Rodrigues on 11.01.2010 @ 08:49pm CDT

Hello fellow stepmoms!
Reading your stories helps me feel a little less isolated. Yet, reading your stories frightens me. Just like each of you, I too want my relationship with my boyfriend to grow stronger. I continue praying for closeness between me and my "stepsons" (ages 9, 12, 15, 17). There are times when we feel like a family, but very often I feel pushed away by hurtful words and actions. When I am feel excluded from his family, I often wish I had a child of my own. At least I would have someone who I could freely love and feel connected to. The boys will often reject my attention and especially my affection. I have done a lot of crying over the past 3 plus years. My boyfriend is a good man. He is a very loving and dedicated father. I just wish that he would take time to consider how difficult it is to be in my position. I provide his children with a loving home. They are blessed with having all of their physical and emotional needs met. They all accept the role I play in providing everything a "wife" and "mother" is expected to provide, but when it comes to accepting suggestions about making responsible choices it falls on deaf ears. The boys live with us 5 out of 7 days. I feel as though I have full responsbility for the boys (I'm a school teacher, so they spend the summers with me) with very little authority. The boys don't always listen very well. I try to be gentle in my approach because I don't want to push them away. My greatest disappointment is that I feel last. I put everyone's needs above mine. Sadly, my boyfriend has made me last also. We rarely spend time alone together. After three years of dating we finally got away alone for two days this past summer (the boys went on vacation with their mom). He feels guilty if he spends time alone with me. He doesn't want to miss out on being with his boys. I thought by now he would have gotten past some of these feelings. The hardest part of my journey was knowing he was still in love with his ex-wife. It wasn't until this past year that I believe he finally reconciled his feelings toward his ex wife. I don't know how i've managed to stay in this relationsip without losing my mind. I just pray that the "promised land" that Ron talks about can become a reality for me and my step family. I pray for a strong and lasting relationship with my boyfriend and his boys.
#9: by Hope on 07.10.2010 @ 07:25pm CDT

Where do I begin? I am at a loss. My husband and I have been together 5yrs and married 1 1/2yrs...and already we are considering divorce. I have a 9y old son and he has two daughters, ages 8 & 10 (going on 30). Not only do I have to deal with having his daughters their half the time, we have to pay childsupport as if we only had them every other weekend ( I am talking over a $1000.00 a month...resentment builds. I have to deal with his overbearing, controlling ex-wife, who very often gets her way. But all that is a piece of cake when comparing to his 10y old daughter. I am often pushed to the side...she is attached to my husband's hip....we can't have a private adult conversation about anything with out her putting in her opinion. It's like she feels the need to compete with me...and I am the one losing. My husband constantly makes excuses for her behavior...and the scapegoat is always me! She is a compulsive liar, who fails to see reality, and she has become very good at munipulating her father, and playing her "evil" games. I have become so angry with her....but even more so with my husband because he allows her to come in between us. I cry and I cry....I already had one failed marriage and I can't believe a 10yr old could be so destructive to a relationship. I can only imagine how much more destruction she can cause as she becomes a teenager...she is tearing up our household....even the other two children see what she is doing. The fact that my husband isn't a practicing Christian makes it even more difficult. I beg him to please treat me with love, honor, and respect....but he always finds excuses in his mind to defend his "precious little girl" who sickly enough feels the need to compete with me and play the "wifely" role! Please pray for us...the only one who can save this marriage and family is God.
#8: by Renee on 05.01.2010 @ 11:06pm CDT

Elizabeth, if you still see this....I am praying for you so much now!! How are you doing? I have increased my prayer, but changed some things. I pray more for my family and friends and anyone I know that is having problems in their marriage! It has turned things around for me and my husband and family!! Believe me....now whenever I get the word of someone having trouble, I pray for them...add them to my prayer notebook. My husband and I still have challenges but I just try to stop focusing on me and woeing and I started focusing on others and prayed for them. It helped, cause for me, I didn't know how not to pray selfishly anymore, and I was too tired to focus more on my problems. Weird, but it helped!
April, I'm praying for you and your family also....how are things going with YOUR children??

You two, please as soon as you see my message reply!
#7: by april on 03.10.2010 @ 03:53pm CST

thank you all for your posts. I have been married to my huband for 7 years now. We do pretty well w/ the step child thing. I couldn't have kids and when I married a man w/ 5 I was in heaven and felt like this was the answer to my unanswered prayer of not being able to concieve in my previous marriage. I also had grown up w/ a step mom when my dad remarried after my biological mom passed away when I was in the 2nd grade. So I came into it ready for the emotional stuff on my part and on thiers. However we need lots of prayer as we want custody. His children are living w/ thier birth mom who at the time is homeless. She left my husband for the nieghbor man left the nieghbor man for a woman and lived w/ her and the children for 4yrs now she has left the woman "partner" for another man. She is homeless and staying w/ the kids at a friends where they sleep on the couch and wake up to people smoking pot and witness a lot of heavy alcohol use. She is an alcoholic and can't keep a regular job. there have been abuse issues w/ the children in both of the previous relationships I mentioned. CPS will not take our calls serious because of the "ex" situations they say a lot of people abuse the situation so in the mean time we pray and pray for those kids growing up learning that this is all okay. thier mom plays a lot of power games w/ my husband and we have to bend over backward to get extra time with the children. we are distraught at the environment in which they are living. Has anyone else delt with this in the step-parent role? thank you for including us in your prayers!
#6: by Elizabeth on 02.23.2010 @ 09:26am CST

Renee thank you for sharing..I feel the mine and yours thing...everytime we have an argument it would be his children and our children as mine..He has 2 kids from previous relationships one stays with us the other goes to our house every 2 weeks..There are times I want to give up this relationship and just move out..since he would always bring the divorce issue every time we have arguments..and he would go to church with his son and would tell me just bring your kids to church which is our kids together..we have 2 beautiful daughters together 2yrs old and a 6month old baby..if it's just me and we didn't have kids together I already left,,but I still want to obey God's word and try but if all i hear from him is divorce, I feel his commitment is sooo shallow and he thinks he is spiritual and everything, this makes it harder for me..I work full time and my mom helps us in taking care of the babies for now..

We will be having our 3rd year anniversary tomorrow and I am at the point of just letting him go if he wants the space and he said he will just pay child support..I will also be meeting with a counselor tonight..it just hurts me to see that everytime we have an argument he would put division between his kids and our kids...Not to mention the financial issues..the mother of the other child has all the child support but really doesn't take care of the kid really well, she would go to our house without extra clothes and her socks has holes in it...it sucks ther here I am trying to help him financially, I still get the blame for everything and tell me that I don't help me pay the bills..while he frequently goes out, goes home at 3:30am, during weekends when he picks up the kid, he would go out and get home eat 3am in the morning..going to bars, pool halls, just drinking with friends and he said he is really having a good time...but spend less and less time with us..even if his at the house he is just in the living room watching tv..or on his phone texting or talkign to his friends...I am praying that I stop harboring bitter feelings towards him..that sometimes i pray that it would be better for me to be a widower..just to stop the pain I am going thru..Even now I pray that my kids wouldn't marry a man that has already has kids..especially 2 with different women...it's really hard....That I don't know when will the light at the end of the tunnel will be..but there's no way to go but to God..and I pray that God would make my husband's eyes, mind and heart be open and he his relationship with God would be as close as ever....

I still believe God can move mountains..and He knows exactly what I am goign thru and I believe He has his on way of doing things and even it's heart breaking..character crunching..I still purposely follow what God says because at the end He knows my past, my present and my future and He always has the best thign in mind..ALWAYS!!!
#5: by Christina on 02.15.2010 @ 08:46pm CST

Thank you Dee for sharing. I have been remarried since July 2009. I have 5 children (18, 16, 8, 7, 4) and he has one (11). After being married for one month, his son came to live with us. This was not planned and we only had 2 weeks to prepare. Since September there have been many difficulties and arguments. We are continually working with the Lord on our marriage and I am so glad to read stories of hope like yours.
#4: by Laura Petherbridge on 02.15.2010 @ 12:25pm CST

Renee-My heart sincerely grieves over your situation. One comment in particular struck me. You mentioned going for counseling and "things got better so we reconciled." My suggestion would be to take a look at why the reconciliation isn't working well. My experince has been that many couples reconcile without truly resolving the issues and learning how to set healthy boundaries when the spouse makes poor choices. The reconciliation only lasts for a short time because of this. Proper counseling teaches both husband and wife how to respond when the other person starts to regress into old patterns. Many counselors are great at teaching communication skills but they are often poor at showing how to allow a person to suffer a consequence for their actions. This is where many marriages spin out of control. If your spouse is not placing the marriage as his first priority, what is the proper loving response to that action? i don't suggest it as a means to punish or control him, but as an act of love. God does not ignore it when I make a poor or sinful choice. That's because He loves me and love holds another accountable. A truly good counselor teaches how to lovingly allow the other person to suffer a consequence when they make a poor or sinful decision. If your counselor did not teach this then I suggest seeking out one who can. My heart is truly hurting for you.
#3: by Renee on 02.15.2010 @ 01:32am CST

After reading so many comments, I found these to be nearer to my heart. I am so sad and overwhelmed right now!! I feel like there is noone to talk to, no one who can possibly understand! My first husband died and I had three kids(12,16,21). This second husband and I have been married for only 2 1/2 years. We have had a baby together (2). We have full custody of his daughter (9) and his 18 year old son. The older two are no longer at home but the drama is never ending. I know it has only been for the grace of God that we have barely made it, but I feel like I'm going to break at any time. Thank you for reminding me that I just need to constantly be in prayer...for when I tell you that even that is extremely difficult, it is!! I left once, when his son, the 18 year old took me over the top. Now my husband has been divorced from his mom for 17 years, but you wouldn't know it with how they act - meaning the ex and the son! Unbelievable!!!! He was never married to his daughter's mom...no real problems from the mom, just the daughter. Then there are the problems with my own. How do I stop feeling like I'm letting them down, not protecting them from the hurt and pain of my being remarried? I told my daughter tonight that "I" wish her dad were still alive...usually one of them tells me that! Not this time....not anymore. I hurt with how all of our arguments are about the children, and I hurt to see mine hurting. I came into thie marriage very strong in the word, I never went a few hours without praying and I spoke and believed with much faith and power. However, now I feel tired, weighted down, sad, sorrowful, depressed, unhappy, did I say tired? Oh yes, I pray as best I can, but I pick up the word less and less and I have no one to talk to. We went to Christian counseling and it helped a lot, that's when we were fighting a lot and I left for a few months. Then things got better and we reconciled, as the counselor said was best. But everyone was just as miserable apart...well, we were. What to do? I feel like when I stay the children are suffering more. When I leave, we all suffer...especially the baby girl who absolutely ADORES her daddy!!! Lord, help us, I have reached out to our church counselor, read books, etc....maybe I'm just feeling worse tonight because we had a big blowup tonight and it's been a while. "Our" kids are now again his and mine. He said, "I'll raise mine and you do what you want with yours"....here we go again! Really Lord, please help us...I don't believe in divorce, but he has that spirit all over him. But I can't take too much more of this either....
#2: by Julie D. on 02.06.2010 @ 01:40am CST

I can SO relate to both of these articles! Wow!! I'm so relieved that I'm not the only one who is experiencing these difficulties of stepfamily dynamics! I have nobody close to me that I can talk to that can relate to this...it's so sad and just a lonely feeling...I am SO blessed to know that God is always w/me...Praise Him.
#1: by Michele on 01.17.2010 @ 08:50pm CST

I can totally relate to your story. I'll be married 3 years in February 2010 to my husband. I have one daughter, 16, who lives with us every other week, and his four children (15, 16, 19, 20) that live with us full-time.

About a month ago I left -- I'd had it, was done, fed up and couldn't take it anymore. I prayed a lot during that time, and all I heard was the Lord telling me to go back. My flesh did not want to.

His daughters are mean, manipulative, and some times just nasty.

My husband feels guilty so he doesn't want to ask them to do things around the house, so we end up doing it all. His youngest informed me one day that I was not "allowed" to ask her to do chores. I blew up -- that was one of the final straws at that time.

There is just a lot. Honestly, I love my husband dearly, and he is a wonderful man, but had I known this, I would not do it again. I would have stayed single and waited til all of his were out of the house, or just not remarried.

Very difficult. Then to top it off, I've been chronically ill since about 6 months into our marriage, and just recently got diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. They are also looking into other auto immune diseases --so the stress of this house adds to this illness. I feel for you.

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