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Smart Stepfamilies

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Lillian (submitted 11/2/10)

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.

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