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How naive I was

Tananne's picture

Bad day and I appreciate having a platform where people understand and I won't be met with "you knew what you were getting in to" because we all know, that you never do.

How naive I was to think we could have a "happy family" , how naive I was to think that DH would never come to resent the fact that I don't see SKs as my own flesh and blood that came out of my uterus.  How naive I was to think I could start a family of my own without being overshadowed by SKs getting all of DHs raging guilt resulting in overcompensating on 50/50 time.  I'm a monster because I don't cherish 'family' moments with all of my heart and soul and when we get them for the first weekend in several weeks, I'm so cruel because I'd rather do my own thing than all be together for the entire day.  Many bio parents, especially of very young children, severely lack the emotional intelligence and awareness of the stark difference in bond between a bio child and step child.  Step children are people that you either come to like, love, dislike, or hate.  Fortunately, I do like them a lot and care about them as people. However, to accuse me of not wanting to spend the day with them and not care about the "joy in their eyes" of certain experiences is incredibly ignorant and just plain unfair.

I spent months on here before getting married and coming to the conclusion that I want my own kids and every testament or account by people saying "don't do it, it's painful and not worth it" , I just thought - but not for us! We're so in love and we're different!

I feel that because I don't see them through the lens of birthing them and how he sees them, I will forever be not good enough. It's not even about helping out with carpooling, bedtimes, etc. Its that my entire world doesn't revolve around children I never chose to have.  I genuinely care for them and have great relationships with them and my input and discipline are valued - yet for the sole fact of not being inclined to spend every waking second with them while they're here, I'm made out to be some evil and heartless person.

It hurts and I wish so badly I could start a family with someone who would have the capacity to just focus on our own unit.  This is why the seasoned steps warn against the situation to newcomers, but in a honeymoon phase, it's literally in one ear out the other.

Just needed to vent. Maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Winterglow's picture

He needs counseling/therapy to make him understand how unrealistic his expectations are. He should be grateful that you like them and care for them. 

Even parents in intact families need their own interests and lives outside of their kids. THAT is normal. 

Why does he want you to be someone you are not? 

Tananne's picture

Exactly.  We will start therapy because I think he needs an unbiased 3rd party to articulate my feelings because it might sound hurtful coming from me.

I know he loves me a lot, but if #1 priority is having a woman who has that love and bond with them... then get back together with BM ??? 

Tananne's picture

Fortunately my personal therapist is both a stepmom and bio mom and her husband is not the biokids father - so she has firsthand experience from both of our perspectives, which I think is helpful

stepmomnorth's picture

I agree with you. My partner doesnt really seem to get this either that I wouldnt feel the same bond with his children as I do with my own. He always wanted us to be one big happy family as well. It doesn't work that way and for sure you need a break once in  while. He should be doing things with them alone sometimes you give you a break. 

TrueNorth77's picture

Oh FFS! Send him an article about how long it takes for step-parents to bond with step-kids. And how even then, they are not their own children and often can't see them as their own. It's a ridiculous expectation that's setting you and your family up for failure. Liking them and caring for them is a great success in my opinion. That's about as good as it's going to get. 

I'm the kind of person that also needs time away, and thank God my DH doesn't give me crap about how often I am gone to the gym/volleyball/kickball/traveling/walking/out to dinner with friends or literally anything else, because I do other things a lot. I'm hoping you can get through to him, because that is a tough expectation that is not fair in the slightest. 

advice.only2's picture

I would counter your DH that his behavior and attachment to his children is actually unhealthy.  What happens when they age out and he no longer has them there to worship?  What then? 

floralsm's picture

I wish I could go back in time and tell myself 'Do NOT invest your time, effort and love into raising SD!' 
5 years later you wouldn't even recognise the sweet 3 year old SD. She is well and truely on her way to being PAS'd and yet DH is clinging onto her. I feel she's just dangling a carrot. We all know as soon as she goes back she will report back to Toxic BM. It makes 'family time' so painful and I dread any family outing we will do in the future. You aren't alone feeling like this! 
I hope things get easier and your DH wakes up! 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Your DH has unrealistic expectations. 

For me it was hard to like let alone love my ex SD. She was a mini BM and EVERYTHING was reported back to the donut chugging BM. Nothing was sacred. My ex DH sickenly adored his lil princess and couldnt accept that I wouldnt kiss her ass. To him being a parent was to give and idolize SD.  She wanted for nothing, and big daddio had his balls in her purse.

I hope your DH will realize that its ok to need time to yourself.

Best of luck and blessings

stepmomnorth's picture

Ah yes the good ol a$$ kissing /worshipping.. Nope I wasnt about to do that either. Isn't she sooo great? No. 

Rags's picture

At first, I had a visceral revulsion to the presence of my SS. Not all of the time. I very much enjoyed him.  Maybe not entirely oddly, it was when he was in my home that my "that is some other guys kid" gut flip occurred.

Long story short, I made an adjustment. I was watching Animal Planet one day and the special was Lions.  When a new male takes over a pride, he generally kills all of the young cubs of the last male.  Rejecting the prior guy's spawn is a fairly common mamalian thing if I recall correctly.

I knew I loved his mom, and I knew I was growing to love  him. So, to have his amazing mom in my life I knew I would love him as well.

So I have.

Not without some tensions, angst, and frustrations upon occassion. But, I love him as my own. Though I do not have a BK to compare that love to.

Tananne's picture

I'm fairly certain I would feel a little different if we had full custody and BM was not in the picture whatsoever

CLove's picture

No one "knows what they are getting into", because all our situations are different. And things change with time.

Husband doesnt worship his kids, and doesnt expect me to bend over backwards, but he does his own jumping through hoops for them. And I hate the BM, Toxic Troll, so any and every association makes me angry.

Therapy would help. Hopefully it will.

ESMOD's picture

Yeah.. people can tell us what we are getting into.. and we sometimes just can't really see it.. or understand it until we experience it for ourselves.

I wonder if your DH saw you being his partner.. and when he sees you branching off to do your own thing when his kids around.. he sees that as you not wanting to be part of his life?  Because.. he gets to have his kids 50% of the time.. so I can see that he would want to maximize that time with them.. and depending on the age of the kids.. that could mean different things I guess.  I am assuming that he thought because you "like" his kids.. and even wanted to have kids of your own.. that you would enjoy doing "kid things" with his kids..."as a family".. and yes.. I get that they aren't your bios.. but it sounds like he felt that it was a "you get me.. you get us all " kind of feeling.  

It may have even been that you gave him the impression that you would be more involved too.. it's not unusual for us ladies to "interview" for the jobs we t hink  we want.. we audition for wifey.. and you probably even wanted to show him you got on well with his kids.. auditioning as potential future mother of your child.. type of thing.. and it's not that we are trying to decieve.. but we get caught up in the idea of the future..a nd how we see that future with that person. soo... he thinks things are going to go one way.. while your ideas go another.

If his kids are very young.. it can be especially difficult because there is a long time in front of you where his time and your time may be impacted by his kids.. he loves them.. wants to spend time with them.. wants you to be part of that because it's an important part of his life.  And.. if it's not just him pushing the childcare onto you.. I actually don't see that as a huge fault that he might think his wife would want to be a full part of his and his children's lives.  But, if you truly want to compartmentalize from his kids... then it  may be that htis isn't the right person.. especially if the kids are very young.

On the good side.. you say you like his kids.. and that you get along with them.. and while I get you might not want to play old maid with them 24/7.. certainly.. knowing you are married to a father.. with ample visitation.. you would have to figure that being with his kids.. and hopefully being able to enjoy that time would be a goal..

But.. if you have a lot of other interests.. and things you need to do.. maybe you need to work through this and tell him that you like his kids.. and will spend some time with them.. that you also have other interests and want to spend time doing those things.

But.. again.. keep in mind.. if you want to have kids with this guy.. how do you see that.. are you going to expect him to leave his kids at home.. while he spends time with you and your kid? or will you be more ready to dive into the family kid thing once you have one of your own to add to the mix?

Tananne's picture

You raise a lot of good points.  It makes me sad because I've been questioning more and more if I'm the right woman for this particular role now that reality has set it.

 

ESMOD's picture

It's ok when kids aren't perfect... it's ok for life to be imperfect.. really.. any and all relationships have their own unique sets of challenges.. steplife or not.

The important part is do you feel your partner is on your team.. are you on theirs? Do you share common perspectives.. or at least the ability to LISTEN to the other partner to try to see an alternate point of view.  Can you both accept constructive criticisms and advice?  Is there enough love and respect between you to work on improving the balance?  Like the issues with his son's brattiness?  does your DH work on it?  Does he listen to your concerns?  or does he just revert to "you hate my kid" when that may not at all be your feelings?  

But, also.. if you have a desire to make "your own little family unit of your DH, yourself and a child of your own" and you don't see his kids as part of that family unit.  I would say.. no.. I really don't think steplife is for you.  I'm not saying the world stops when his kids aren't there.. that you can't have time that your DH and you would be with "your" child.. when his kids are with his EX... but when he has custody.. the family.. probably pretty much becomes all of you.  And.. yes.. families sometimes do things individually.. the one kid has a sleepover.. the other a soccer practice and the third has dance class.. whatever.. you aren't automatically attached at the hip.. but a "family picnic" most likely will include all of you.. especially if it occurs during his visitation.

If that isn't your idea of how you want your life to be?  I would look for someone without kids.

Tananne's picture

The important part is do you feel your partner is on your team.. are you on theirs? Do you share common perspectives.. or at least the ability to LISTEN to the other partner to try to see an alternate point of view.  Can you both accept constructive criticisms and advice?  Is there enough love and respect between you to work on improving the balance?  Like the issues with his son's brattiness?  does your DH work on it?  Does he listen to your concerns?  or does he just revert to "you hate my kid" when that may not at all be your feelings?

^^^ yes, yes, yes to everything.  He is supportive, understanding, communicative, and really makes me feel heard and a part of the family.

I recognize that I can be somewhat idealistic at times and my desire for something I can't have (no one actually wishes for steplife in a perfect world) is what keeps me from embracing it to the full extent.  I couldn't ask for a better partner, even if deep down he wishes this family (us and skids) had nothing to do with BM and we all just had all our time and energy and love for each other ... but it's not reality

True I could go find someone without kids but I'd be hard pressed to find someone like my DH. It's what he went through that shaped him and made him someone I love , unfortunately I just live with the "what he went through" part. I.e. a shit load of baggage 

Loxy's picture

Agree with all the recommendations for therapy, it did wonders for DH and me - not that my DH was as unreasonable as yours but we both came into the relationship with unrealistic expectations and therapy helped us to align our expectations. 

SeeYouNever's picture

I really found explaining it like how a relationship is with neices and nephews or your friends kids, and the metaphor works better when the kids are annoying. You can like and have affection for other people's kids but if you didn't know them as babies and don't get any say in how their raised, but have to do the raising at the bioparents command, it really shouldn't be that hard to understand. 

My DH has no problem understanding that other people's kids are annoying. It took him a while to realize that I see SD the way he sees his friend's annoying kid. 

The kids aren't yours, they have two parents. It's always going to be kind of weird and frustrating for you. You can have affection for them but asking you to in essence be another mother in all regards, when they already have one, is so unrealistic. If he refuses to try to understand your POV on this then he's being stubborn and telling you his views are more important. People who care try to understand the people they care about. 

I do think my DH is sad sometimes that I don't care about SD stuff the way he does. Like he shows me pictures or tells me about her accomplishments and I acknowledge but no one is going to care as much as a bioparent.

 

shamds's picture

I loved her kids like my own. She was full of crap. I am just civil but the skids are rude, disrespectful, entitled, self centred and abusive and done many things to destroy our marriage including sd lies of abandonment for hubby to marry me and have 2 kids with me when she chose to end things

i ended all contacts then and wanted nothing to do with them.

my husband has asked I forgive and forget and why don't i love his kids. Firstly they aren't my kids, I didn't carry them to full term pregnancy and give birth to them, they aren't pleasant to be around so its not rocket science.

it's unfair to expect or demand i love skids like my own including bio mum when she herself didn't want them and abandoned neglected them but sd's still paint her a saint due to brainwashing and fake victim syndrome 

any positive relationships is dependent on the positive attitudes if all party but even then, you should never be told to love them like your own

shamds's picture

I loved her kids like my own. She was full of crap. I am just civil but the skids are rude, disrespectful, entitled, self centred and abusive and done many things to destroy our marriage including sd lies of abandonment for hubby to marry me and have 2 kids with me when she chose to end things

i ended all contacts then and wanted nothing to do with them.

my husband has asked I forgive and forget and why don't i love his kids. Firstly they aren't my kids, I didn't carry them to full term pregnancy and give birth to them, they aren't pleasant to be around so its not rocket science.

it's unfair to expect or demand i love skids like my own including bio mum when she herself didn't want them and abandoned neglected them but sd's still paint her a saint due to brainwashing and fake victim syndrome 

any positive relationships is dependent on the positive attitudes if all party but even then, you should never be told to love them like your own