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Shared Stories -- Promised Land Stepfamilies


Below are stories shared by readers of The Smart Stepfamily.  They represent stepfamilies who are imperfect, but striving for the Promised Land (both the spiritual and the relational Promised Land).  We appreciate their encouragement and willingness to share their story. Scroll to the bottom to see the most recent submission.

To share your story, click here.

Dating Spy

I think money can affect any relationship. There will always be a point in time when a couple goes through.

"I have found a helpful resource on stepfamily life and co-parenting. The author of the e-booklet recommended that I share this letter with you; otherwise, I wouldn't impose.  I also want you to know that I've realized I have been violating a few of these principles and am committing myself to do better.
StepMom of 2

i have tried to be loving to my stepdaughters, but their definition of love always depends on how much money they get from us.

Hello fellow stepmoms!
Reading your stories helps me feel a little less isolated.  Yet, reading your stories frightens me.
Hope in Tennessee

The SmartStepmom book has opened my eyes, and has helped me to see and
understand that I am not alone.  I went to the bookstore yesterday looking for help
and guidance because of the hurt that I am feeling.  I read this book within 24
hours of purchasing it, and it has opened my eyes to know that there is hope. 
Read More... | No Comments
Ledesna from CA

Quiero que sepan que tener una familia reconstruida no es nada facil
especialmente para uno de mujer que tiene que atender al hogar y liriar con todas
los ninos. y es mas dificil mas cuando tu pareja no te ayuda con el hogar.
Hopeless in KY

Had I known this is what it was going to be like I would have lived under a bridge instead of being married. Is there any hope for this to work?

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Laura from South Carolina

While we are not yet married, we feel we are off to a good start and feel encouraged that we can have a
marriage to last a lifetime and raise healthy, God fearing children! Thank you for
the hope you offer us all!
Virginia from Ohio

My kids are of extreme importance to me.  This is the only thing holding me back
from marriage.  I do not have the same feeling about his kids - I welcome them to my
home anytime, no matter where we would live.  If as adults they were in a
transition, college, military, divorce, etc. I would have no problem supporting any
of the kids.

Advice please.....


Having a step-daughter is pushing me away from my husband and encourages thoughts in my mind of leaving him. I need help and
guidance or I'm afraid that I might actually end up going...
John in Canada

I ask my self this over and over again. How can, I change this how can I
move forward with her knowing my children aren’t ready how long do I wait. Do I
wait? Do I need to leave this beautiful woman and remain alone because I would
never want to go through this again nor would I with anyone else. She is worth it
to ME! Am I a bad father for wanting this for myself I  guess I am looking for
somekind of direction a different way of looking at the situation maybe there is
something out their I haven’t tried maybe someone can give somesort of outlook.
Confused in GA

I am recently divorced after 15 years of marriage.  I have a 14 year old
daughter that is an only child and has been the center of my world as well as the
center of my ex husbands world since she was born 14 years ago.
Pastor Jan from Michigan

It was powerful and resulted in much healing and bonding between all the couples. 
Rachel from CA

Today my heart is breaking he said he hates me and dispizes our daughter. All my fears came true he is moving to Kansas with his mom. curently he is sleeping on the porch waiting for his mom to come pick him up how did we get to this point

The biomom in our case literally had the judge put it in our order that except in an emergency, only the parents were allowed to take her to the doctors.
Nicole from CO

During the time my husband was gone, I was "mom" in our house and what I said, went.  Now that he is home, my step-son makes it very clear to me that he has a mom and a dad which he adores and does not have room in his life for me. 

Helps Step-Couples work together as a team - rather than be torn apart

> by the child.


What if you are the one causing the pain? My husband and I had an affair and then went on to marry. I wish so bad that I can go back in time.

My story goes a little bit further.  I am the stepmother - barely older than my husband's one and only daughter

It is hard for me to call my daughter and confront her about the disrespect.  But, if I don't do something to change the way she relates to us, he wants a divorce. My husband is a wonderful man.  I feel his pain and just don't know how to rectify this problem with my daughter.
Melissa from Ohio

I hate feeling so uncomfortable in my own house and then my husband and are on pins and needles with each other.I am looking for any words of wisdom to help me. I do pray often to have God guide me, help me to hold my tongue,and to trust him.  It is such a struggle everytime we are all together.

We need help ,we need counsel fast . I love my wife and have big responsibility to twins ~!nD


Can someone give me some advice--suggestions? My mom was very close with my dad's side of the family since all my cousins were little . . .
Melanie from Byron, IL

This month's (EVERY!) Step-Family Newsletter (July/August) was(is)the MOST ENJOYABLE newsletter!!!
Journeywoman from USA

But what should I do when my husband's two oldest children 25 and 20 do not even acknowledge me?

Joy from Texas

I am holding back the tears.
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A. from California

I'm trying to learn now what setting boundaries means, even after my kids have grown up... I've tried to assure my wife that I'm learning about boundaries and that this will not happen, but she won't believe me. What do I do?

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Debbie, from South Africa

"We are both recovering addicts, born-again Christians . . . what am I doing wrong?"
Read More... | 4 Comments
Julie, from Michigan

"Dysfunction breeds dysfunction" ~ but there is hope! This family learned some valuable lessons that they would like to share.
Rachel, from USA

Dealing with "his" and "ours" when his child's mother is in and out of the picture, often bringing drug use and abusive behavior into the mix.
Elisabeth, from USA

"I have probably read ... almost every book available on blending step

families, remarriages, step kids, ex wives etc.... but they seem to cater to

people who have been married before with children.  In our case, we've had

children out of wedlock and in my mind it doesn't amount to the same

Zane, from Arkansas

"I have a six year old son from another marriage. Currently we are arguing about whether, when we have kids, we should ever attend anything of his if our children have something that conflicts with that."
Penny, from USA

"She [future stepdaughter] is becoming very jealous of us and demands 100% of our attention all of her waking hours."

Sandra, from Virginia

"All the guilt and grief . . . are tearing the marital relationship apart."
Denise, from Arkansas

"I have only been married for 7 months and ready to call it quits."
Linda, from Arizona

The older children have visitation with the biological dad, causing strain in the relationship with their stepdad.
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Missi, from Texas

Financial stresses as a result of paying child support to the ex; how to deal with the resentment?
Melanie, from Illinois

My husband and I disagree on many landmines; but our strong belief in Our Lord and His care for us brings us together even stronger than before!
Dianne, from Texas

My husband's ex has turned his children against me.
Read More... | 1 Comment
Lauren, from Colorado

My concern is my son's biological father....I'm concerned about his new marriage. I don't know how things will turn out, but I fear the worst (divorce) could come.
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Little One's Mom, from USA

I have a stepdaughter who is now five years old. I met her at the same time her dad did, when he found out he was truly the real father; she was only 6 months old. I fell in love with both her and her father.  (We had been dating for a short time, but were already talking of marriage).

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Glenda, from Florida

In the beginning when we were dating the kids were very happy, we didn't have any issues but as soon as they realized that I wasn't going anywhere things changed.
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Dee Joyce, from 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.
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Michael, from California

After 9 years of marriage & 13 1/2 total years together, my wife & step daughter are now estranged from me since July of this year.
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Lynne from Washington State

It was not an easy start to be sure. Between us we had 8 children, one of which was our own. We married after we had the baby and his 4 older children had a very difficult time with our relationship (part of the reason we waited 2 years) and one of my older children had a difficult time with the relationship.

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MH, from Virginia

I have been a step mom to two adult children for 2 1/2 difficult years. Prior to that, I was a happy single mom for 10 years! I spent those years of singleness bringing up my children and finding Jesus. I became very active in my church and my children's lives who are growing up to be college graduates and lovers of Jesus.

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Cynthia Kelly, Delaware

...we had our courtship and proceeded to get married. After the wedding we came home and fairly quickly both the girls attitudes had changed towards me. There were so many times I wanted to run and quit. Quit my marriage. Quit step parenting. After several years of the ups and downs of marriage and parenting in general I’ve learned a few lessons.
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bigmammT, USA

When they went to mom's house they would be encouraged to tell stories that portrayed me as a demon in their lives. KT was reported as telling on her brothers if she saw them hug me,smile at me, or to have minded me in anyway. They would be chewed out. This is so crazy I still can't wrap my mind around it...
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Esther Daniel, from Nigeria

I feel my husband is over protective to his daughter and several times steps over my toes in his quest to be protective over the daughter and he justifies this by saying...
Read More... | 1 Comment
Rhonda, from Missouri

The youngest stepdaughter (she is 36 and a parent herself) and I had an easy relationship ( OR SO I THOUGHT) but I did not see that she was and is a Destabilier...
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L.M., from US

The problem I am having is I can't talk with my husband about our financial future. What to do in case he becomes ill,incapacitated,or God forbid passes away without his focus being on his children to the point of argument.
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Tracie, from Ohio

WOW! I wish my husband and I could have read your book 6 years ago!! Here we are now finding out we made all the mistakes you could possibly make when entering into a remarriage.
Read More... | 2 Comments
M.S., from Kansas

M.S. is asking if she should continue seeing her boyfriend. Based on her description I suggest "You are running toward heartache; I suggest you consider going the other direction." What do you think?
Read More... | 52 Comments
Stepmom2, from Texas

...I truely belive that God put me in their lives and them in mine for a specific reason. I have the most amazing Step Dad and I want to be that person to them...

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Mary, from South Carolina

My husband and I have been married for five years now.We get along farely well most of the time...
Phylicia from CA

...Recently, we gave birth to a daughter. His oldest daughter has refused to come up and meet her....
Scared, from South Africa

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Kristee Christy

Thank you so much for enlightening our family to the pitfalls that can be avoided and how to walk through the unavoidable feelings that come with remarriage with children.
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CPL, from USA

In March 2009, my boyfriend and I suddenly broke up after 2 years of friendship and 2.5 years of dating. I am not sure what happened. He refuses to talk to me...
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Marie, from US

My husband loves his daughter very much and thinks she does nothing wrong, but is very hard on my kids at times. My kids are expected to help around the house but his child rarely does.
Betti, from Maryland

This is an update! We first read "THE SMART STEPFAMILY" nearly 2 years ago -- 38 years too late! The most important thing we learned...
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Autumn, from Texas

I am a christian woman who has never been married but met my boyfriend/fiance at church... He is a father to a sixteen year old son, who is a wonderful young man. I have not yet met him because my fiance says that he doesn't want to push his son.
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Rosa, from Mississippi

...my husband has been a rock. I on the other hand have tried and wanted to leave several times. We are seeking marriage counseling, and I'm really trying to except the life I chose.
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Lynn, from Florida

Here's my one year update...
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Rebekah, from Texas

...my children have a step-mother. She sends me these forwarded emails about step-family, Christian websites, bible scriptures, etc. etc. etc., but she is mean to my kids.... How do I tell them to let an authority figure's words roll off their back. I really think she just hates me, but takes it out on them. I don't know. They suffer, and it makes me sick.
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Shanna Berry from Alabama

Read this update from Shanna about her stepdaughter's wedding...
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Linda from Nebraska

I wasn't expecting to feal jealousy when I married a widower 2 years ago. After 6 years of single parenthood I fell in love with a widower. We both have 2 boys, now ages 20, 16, 13, and 9. My husband is a wonderful man but some of our problems I never expected...
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Dave, from Ohio

Ours is a story of love, respect, conflict, tears and pain.......
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Don Brown from Iowa

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Anonymous stepmom, from Virginia

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...
Read More... | 1 Comment

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