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I want to be "just" Dad's wife

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I am re-defining my role in my own head... I want to be "just" Dad's wife.  I don't want to "be" stepmom to my sd anymore. 

I feel like in my head being defined as stepmom carries with it responsibilities to the child.  But by defining myself as just Dad's wife, it is a totally different role in my mind. 

The recent decline in my relationship with my sd has brought me to this conclusion.  By allowing myself to only consider myself as dad's wife, I feel like I mostly just need to support my husband but not make "raising" or parenting my sd my concern. 

I guess to me it just feels like one more step in disengaging from my stepfamily situation. 

My sd has become increasingly disrespectful and I feel like the only recourse I have right now is to step back... way back.  I have my own son to take care of and worry about.  My husband is currently unwilling to address the situation with my sd.  Honestly, I am not completely innocent in contributing to the current situation, but I feel like I haven't really "done" anything to make things the way they are.  I mean that maybe I could have reacted to a few things differently, but my behavior and attitudes toward my sd haven't really changed.  The main problem is I'm not willing to just let my sd's disrespect happen to me.  I really feel like sd's bm has had a huge impact on the way things currently are.  I also think my dh has allowed things to digress to the current situation. 

I feel powerless to really change my sd's behavior, so I feel like the only action I can take right now is to step back and just be a wife to my dh and a mom to my ds. 

Thoughts? 



by on Jul. 26, 2013 at 4:56 PM
Replies (11-20):
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 3:50 PM
1 mom liked this

I think most bioparents would love to disengage from their kids at times when things are rough.  But for the most, they don't because those are their kids. They also have the benefit of biological filters/goggles that we steps don't have.

If you've been sharing the load with your DH in the parenting role(s) thus far, I agree with others that the first person you have to redefine things with is your DH (after you get it straight in your own head.)

It would be hard for me to, for example, leave big messes in the house and wait til DH got home and maybe/maybe not addressed it.  I try to leave most things up to him, but I live here too and I want some things handled on the spot--not hours or days later--or never.

What is your SD doing exactly? 

shansa3fan
by New Member on Jul. 27, 2013 at 8:59 PM
1 mom liked this

I have two stepkids and BM abandoned them along with two other kids in another state. I've had SD since she was 5, SS from age 2. They're both 19 and 17, respectively. Both of them at age 14 (did this twice) started referrin gto me their stepmom. One told the school that I'm not in the picture. Another tried to change the parent name to the BM. BM was in prison off and on. Meth is better than kids, you know. 

The SS began stealing, vandalizing his room and neighbors, fighting, stealing cash and alcohol from us, served my bottle of vodka to neighborhood kids at the front door, got drunk and passed out in the bathtub while the water was still running creating a flood. After my husband still didn't react to him and is criminal behavior, I declared myself DONE. Told husband that he needed to take care of his kid. Told the boy that he can go find her birth mother, gave him the address to the prison she was in and her prison number. Then I cold shouldered him. When he got picked up for stealing over $500 and I had to go pick him up, I looked at him and told him to stay. Later, dad went down and told him to stay. It wasn't long after that he saw the light and our relationship has been alot better. So has his behavior. I don't know if I answered anything BUT.. 14 can be an awful year lol (((hugs))) I hope things work for you. You're not doing anything wrong. Step-parents choose to love. Tough love, too.

Tpayne2011
by on Jul. 27, 2013 at 10:15 PM
Sometimes I think it's best to be just Dad's wife, I'm in the process of doing the same thing so I totally understand.
baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 9:26 AM
2 moms liked this

And this is why stepparents aren't always best for children. Why they don't matter as much as they think they do. Because to me, this post is SHIT! How fucked up to yank a kid around like this? Oh, I love you like my own......eh, dont feel like it anymore because I'm a substandard selfish woman who thought she knew what she wanted and then just up and changed her mind.

You do this shit at the grocery store, picking out shoes, deciding on which lipstick looks best, not childrens lives!!

Posts like this bug the hell out of me.

jlg12678
by Gold Member on Jul. 28, 2013 at 10:17 AM
1 mom liked this


As a stepparent we can only do so much. If my kid is being a dick in his behavior I can handle it all the way to China and back. The skids? Not so much. And if dad doesn't care then I'm really screwed. 

The op has a disrespectful skid that her husband is refusing to manage. What other advice would you give her to handle it? You know, since the actual parents are not? What can she do to get the behavior under control so she can interact with the kid in a decent manner?

Quoting baparrot2:

And this is why stepparents aren't always best for children. Why they don't matter as much as they think they do. Because to me, this post is SHIT! How fucked up to yank a kid around like this? Oh, I love you like my own......eh, dont feel like it anymore because I'm a substandard selfish woman who thought she knew what she wanted and then just up and changed her mind.

You do this shit at the grocery store, picking out shoes, deciding on which lipstick looks best, not childrens lives!!

Posts like this bug the hell out of me.



liels898
by on Jul. 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM
2 moms liked this

Sorry, but if you marry into a family situation that's what you invited into your life. Your stepchild is just as much your responsibility as his father's. I'd suggest marriage counselling so that your husband has to deal with respecting your needs concerning the care of the child. 

akm378mn
by Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:32 AM

Thanks everyone for your replies.  Even the ones I don't agree with. 

My SD is 10.  First of all, I never said "I loved her like my own" at any point. 

I never expected to disengage like this, nor did I want to.  My sd and I have had a good relationship up until the last year or so... things have quickly declined. 

I honestly believe that a big part of the problem (in my sd's eyes), is that I choose not to baby her and expect her to do things that a normal 10 year old should do... i.e. clean up after yourself, put away your own clothes, etc.  simple things like that. 

But I am done with expectations now... I let DH handle it.  I think what some of the posters truly do not understand is that sd is NOT my child.  I only have so much control over a child who isn't mine.  Believe me, if this were my child, she would be put in check. 

The main things she is doing is just being a total brat to me, all the time.  Disregarding any and all things I say... having a bad attitude towards me ALL the time... talking back... rolling eyes...  just being disrespectful in general...

So I don't really know what else I should do... to me stepping back seems like the only thing that I can do.... what are my other options?  going insane trying to control something I can't control?    It's really unfortunate that my dh is allowing sd to behave this way.... but what can I do about it short of divorce?  And honestly, I am not willing to hurt our son to choose that just to make my life easier and not have to deal with sd's BS.  Plus, despite my husband's shortcomings... I still love him.  We have our issues as all couples do, but he is still a good man with a good heart.  I feel like a big part of his problem is he has guilty daddy syndrome since he hasn't been able to be with his daughter every day of her life as he gets to for our son.  He has a bad habit of excusing some of her bad behavior.  He also has a bad habit of not treating her her age.  She's 10, and he either treats her like she's 3 (to indulge and exuse her behavior) or treats her like she's 16 when he allows her to make decisions that I don't think a 10 year old should make. 

But, that's just my view of the situation.  The funny thing is that my dh and I are on the same page with our son.  We don't have to many disagreements on punishment and other things for him (he's only 2 though, so that may change) 

But I don't think I'm wrong in stepping back an allowing dh to parent his daughter the way he wants to.  If he chooses to overindulge her or get away with certain behaviors, I feel that is his right as her parent.  I don't "really" get a say in how he chooses to parent her. 

Of course, when it comes to my son then I have a say.  That is the one area where I WILL and DO tell sd what to do or not to do.  But, I would do the same with any other child where my son is concerned... if we were around any other kids and their behavior was negatively affecting my son, I would either correct them (in my home or in a family member's home) or I would remove my son from the situation.  I guess I think that's normal for a parent to want to protect their child. 


akm378mn
by Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 10:42 AM
2 moms liked this

Sorry, but I never said "I love her like my own"  And also, what are your suggestions to me to get my sd's behavior under control?  Should I just be a doormat and allow her to treat me like crap since that's how she's decided to act?  If she were my child, then that would be a different story... but since she's my sd, how should I "make" her behave and treat me better? 

As an adult, should I really have to allow a 10 year old to act like a complete brat and be totally disrespecful to me?  Especially in my own home?  Since my husband won't back me up, what do you propose I do?  Just divorce him?  Well, sorry, but I'm not willing to to that. 

How in the hell am I being "selfish" by not wanting to be disrespected in my own home? 

Maybe you have a disrespectful daughter who "can do no wrong." 


Get over yourself. 



Quoting baparrot2:

And this is why stepparents aren't always best for children. Why they don't matter as much as they think they do. Because to me, this post is SHIT! How fucked up to yank a kid around like this? Oh, I love you like my own......eh, dont feel like it anymore because I'm a substandard selfish woman who thought she knew what she wanted and then just up and changed her mind.

You do this shit at the grocery store, picking out shoes, deciding on which lipstick looks best, not childrens lives!!

Posts like this bug the hell out of me.



bottomline
by Silver Member on Jul. 29, 2013 at 11:13 AM
2 moms liked this

 A lot of the issues Sp's have is because society has these titles and expectations for SP's.  Those expectations are often based on some over exaggerated, best case scenario, loving, easily blended family where all parties live in peaceful bliss together. *cough, cough barf*

Stepping back can save your sanity, and quite possibly your marriage. Good luck to you in your quest to get your family back on track. I hope you are able to find a balance and find what works best for your family. Everyone deserves a shot a happiness.

ms.renae
by on Jul. 29, 2013 at 12:07 PM
1 mom liked this
Wow I'm thankful my daughters don't have any of you as their step mother. My kids step mother treats myb girls as her own. And I treat my step daughter as my own. When you marry a man with kids you are agreeing to treat his kids as your own. If you can't do that you should have never married a man with kids.
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