Reluctant Step Mum's picture

Help - I don't like my step I a bad person?

I thought that after 5 years of being a step mum I would find a way to bond with my two step kids (boy 13 and girl 10), but it just gets harder and harder. It certainly doesn't help that I am older than my husband and my bio kids are now young adults with their own lives.

I truly love my husband and want to stay married to him, but I am more and more feeling miserable (and very unappreciated) when the step kids are around. It may sound petty, but they just annoy me being there! We are just so different we just have nothing in common - for example they are very withdrawn (around everyone)and unable (or unwilling) to articulate anything more than a couple of words to anyone including their father. They have no interest in doing anything (really) they don't want to go outside, they don't want to go shopping, they are not enthusiastic about anything at all. The only time they are at all animated is in front of the Wii Nintendo (which is where they would spend ALL their time if we let them).

I often just tell my husband I am going out for a while, just to get in the car to go away. I know my husband knows that I am not happy to be around them much and I totally understand that he wants to spend as much time as he can with them. But I don't.

Anyone else out there that can relate to this situation? Do you have any advice? Feeling this way makes me feel like a bad person.

jojo71's picture

Of course you're not a bad person....

The thing is, you fell in love with their father, not with them. Trying to feel like you love them is just like trying to feel love for the kids down the street. You don't have that bond and it's really hard to love other people's kids...especially when you have to live with them. My BD14 is very loving and sweet, but she and my FH are constantly at each other's throats because she has that 14 year old girl attitude (rolling the eyes, talking mean under her breath, slamming things down when we ask her to do something). She makes it very difficult for him to love her. (Honestly, it wouldn't surprise me if my FH was one of the men on this site griping about her. lol) But one thing is for sure...she may be 14 with an attitude, but I WILL NEVER EVER be ok with her disrespecting either of us. Seriously, I think I ground her just about every week but I refuse to let her disrespect my FH. So what I am saying is, as long as your H demands his children to respect you, they don't have to like you...and vice versa.

tabl23's picture

I am so happy that I found

I am so happy that I found this site! I was starting to think that I was the only person who was cold-hearted enough to completely dislike her skid.

skidsgivegrayhair's picture

Thank goodness for this site.

Thank goodness for this site. I really thought I was such a bad person for not 'liking' (forget the loving part...) my soon-to-be stepkids. I use to beat myself up and feeling guilty for not liking them! I do not have kids and I haven't reall been a 'kid person'... but I just really do not like when they are around us. I've been with my boyfriend for 3+ years and at first being with the kids was kinda fun but now that they are 11 and 13 their 'neediness' of me is too much! The 11 yr old girl follows me around the house talking non-stop! She will even want to go into the bathroom with me (forget privacy!) and want to be there too when I shower. Ugh... I DREAD when they are going to come over (which their father is the primary care giver) and find myself getting chestpains when they are here. They aren't bad kids, but I just get so tired of the never-ending babysitting of them (their father spends more time in his office than with them...thus, I'm the one they go to). I just don't know if I can take this for the rest of my life. HELP!

"My true religion is kindness" - Dalai Lama
(He obviously never had a stepkid....)

emzy30's picture

I totally know how you feel.

I totally know how you feel. Im happy that there are other woman out there that feel exactly the same cause I was thinking I was the only one with these feelings. Im finding it so hard being around my boyfriends 2 children. it tears me up inside cause I love him so much and would love to spend the rest of my life with him and have my own kids with him..I know his 2 kids will always be more important to him than me and any kids we would have had together and Im finding that difficult to cope with as well... I often get upset and cry...I wish so much that I had met him before he had kids but I know I can't change the past. Im struggling so much and I feel sick inside when he has to see them or when he or anyone else even mentions their names.. I now sadly regret getting involved with him as I know that this would end up happening.... It will destroy me if I had to leave him cause we are great together and I could see myself being with him forever, but in the end I might have to as its killing me inside and its causing us to argue and I can't deal with it anymore... I know I will never love them or accept them... I wish I could, but I know I wont.. he keeps saying it will get better over time, but I don't really see how... don't ever get involved if you don't think you can handle it as it will cause you great heartache... I just now wish I hadn't

Crazy_Psycho's picture

this is exactly how i feel

this is exactly how i feel down to a tee. my boyfriend has 2 kids one boy one girl and i find it really hard. i think he has a boy and a girl that any kids we have will be just another one to him. i really do wish i never got involved but cant walk away now hes the love of my life. i think the rational part of me knows that he loves me and my dp will love having a child together full time but sometimes the Evil comes out on my shoulder telling me all these horrible things.

londonoah9's picture

Wow I feel exactly the same.

Wow I feel exactly the same. I have 2 SD 13 and 9. I am really growing to love SD9, but SD13 makes me almost ill. She is just so self centered and doesnt care about anyone but herself. I have to constantly rearrange my life to bring her here and there. I'm kind of at the end of my rope.

StepMomtheMaid's picture

Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could tell you things will get better but to be honest my situation is getting worst. I met my DH when his daughters were 12 and 14. He was always the "cool weekend" Dad. Then about a year after we got together Bio Mom basically called us and was like "they're yours, I quit". The problem is after two years of living with them, he is still the "cool weekend" dad all the time. The end result is I have a 15 and 17 year old who are absolutely horrible children. And to top it all off, we have a son now. I could put up with it before but now I have to think about my son and what is best for him. I also don't think he loves our son as much as he loves his girls. Both of the girls are high school drop outs. They smoke pot almost daily, won't do anything to get an education or a job, sneak older men into the house for sex after we go to sleep, refuse to do anything around the house which means that cooking and cleaning the ENTIRE house falls to me or else it won't get done. We have actually installed a lock on our bedroom door so nobody can steal from our room when we aren't there. And my husband just doesn't care!!! That's why I think he loves them more, because he doesn't care if our son grows up around that. I literally do not trust them to watch the baby even for ten minutes. I'm at a total lost of what to do. I am sick of feeling taking advantage of by the whole family, I am sick of having them always around smelling like pot and being stoned, I am sick of realizing they will never move out (why would they? They live in a paradise!) This weekend they left their pipe in the living room where the baby could get it (he's a year now) and dad was like "Don't leave this stuff around". That was it!

I love my husband so much and when the kids aren't around he makes me feel so wonderful. But with them in the house I am miserable. I can't stand to be around them. It's not because they are my stepchildren, it's because of the people they are growing up to be.

TASHA1983's picture



NOT my kid....NOT my problem!!!

Your kid makes me want to overdose on birth control!!!

Generic's picture

Not only would I not put up

Not only would I not put up with it, I wouldn't subject MY child to it. STRANGE MEN coming into my home for sex? Um no. Just no. The only way any self respecting man would tolerate this from his girls is due to some severe guilt and denial. He is not healthy. Why would he let his daughters have such danger in their lives? How could he subject his family to this?

tiredstepmother's picture

WOW!! Pot, not going to

WOW!! Pot, not going to school, disrespecting your home and no support from your husband, they would be out of my house or I would be gone with my child. That is ridiculous. Probably need a good talk with your husband and set boundaries. Maybe a result of no rules with their Mother or she was overwhelmed with them. Kids take advantage of mommies most. Again I would have none of that crap in my house. I also would never leave them alone with my child, they are too irresponsible and selfish. I would make rules, must go to school, no pot or any drugs or alchohol, do housework and be respectful. If they do not follow the rules, Call the police on them for smoking pot and make sure you and your man agree with that. You all have to be the police in your house. Jawdropping! Call social services on them maybe they will take them to a group house. That is ridiculous!!

My kids even look at me wrong, roll their eyes, or verbally abuse me they will suffer the consequences bio or not! If my man did not go along with the rules them I am out of there, better off by myself or with someone else than live in misery.


Mamaof3's picture

For your child's sake, try

For your child's sake, try stepping into the world of boundaries. It's hard at first but you will never ever regret it. Your child is about to grow up in your environment. 50/50 chance you will have the same behavior on your hands. May I suggest you start with boundaries with your husband.

Me22's picture

What a relief to know I am

What a relief to know I am not alone on this. Every time summer break gets close and it's time for my skid to stay with is I become cold and quiet to everyone. He's not a bad kid but I can't stand him in my house. I don't want him to have anything to do with my 4yr old daughter who is my husbands. I keep him away from my daughter and I only speak to him when I have to. I'm guessing he can feel it since he is now 14. My biggest hope is that he will be so uncomfortable he will stop coming to visit. It's hard to hide from my husband. He will ask me to buy his plane ticket and I wait until the last min so it costs more hoping my husband will say push the date out further to save money. I feel bad because it causes tension but I just can't get over the knot in my stomach when he's around. I work so hard to make sure he doesn't play with my daughter or spend any time with her. I find myself trying to figure out a way to discourage her from calling him her brother without making it obvious I did it. I just want him to disappear and I know it makes me a jerk but I can't stop myself

1nicole's picture

Okay I hate to sound judge

Okay I hate to sound judge mental but reading your comment just made me sick. Why are you with your DH if you hate his son, you knew he had a son before you married him and i'm sure these feelings didn't just come the day you said I do. And why would you have a child with him if you don't want his son (her brother) to interact with your child? How would you feel if the tables were turned? Have you thought about how your daughter's going to feel about your feelings toward her brother that she will love? You seem to have hate in your heart for him for no apparent reason except the fact that he's not yours. This is going to destroy your marriage (you can't possibly Love your DH) and I pray to God your DH or other man don't treat your child the way you treat him. You need to pray about these feelings and ask for forgiveness!I can't stand my SK's at times, BC of their attitudes but this is insane and you know good and damn well you don't feel bad for feeling this way.

TeresaKarpova1977's picture

Well, I'm very sorry but I'm

Well, I'm very sorry but I'm going to have to say that this idea of 'I married my husband not his family' is a way of fooling oneself and making problems. You sure knew he had kids before you married him and obviously he would have them around from time to time. Why did you marry him if you weren't sure that you would be able to cope with this? You probably never thought that you would be playing with someone's life. Your husband must feel terrible knowing that the woman he loves doesn't like his children, whom he probably loves as much as he loves you, if not more. Children don't ask to be born, therefore it is cruel to dislike them and avoid them all the time (they see these things). Besides, if all they do is play video games, I don't see how they can be very annoying, it would be worse to have children who are veery active and demand your attention all the time.
Since it is too late now to think carefully, I understand that you just leave the house when they are around and thus avoid them. I guess it is the less damaging attitude for everyone, for you cannot be forced to put up with people you don't like.
I am married. I have a daughter from a previous marriage and my husband has two children of his own. For a couple of years, we lived in Belgium and his children came on weekends. I played with them and made an effort to be nice although I was bleeding inside missing my own daughter who stayed in my country of origin with my parents. Now, due to work reasons, we have moved to another country and his children have stayed in Belgium with their mum. Finally, I have brought my daughter to live with us and now I see that he doesn't like her very much, he doesn't try the way I used to with his kids and many things about her annoy him which make no sense. He also sometimes just goes out for a break. I don't know what will happen, I just know it is not the children's fault. So I am not criticising you, but yes: When you marry a man, you marry his family too and viceversa. It's up to us grown ups to try and make things work. Children are just dragged into situations created by us adults.

kissandraw's picture

well. i dont think u

well. i dont think u understand so much because u also had a kid going into the marriage..

tiredstepmother's picture

Hi, I just want to respond to

Cool Hi, I just want to respond to what you wrote. I realized through the years that just because my husband choose me and I him does not mean that our children made that choice too. 13 years ago I was naive about marriage and step-children. I did not have any experience in either one. Right now I feel like running away from it all although I adore my husband and he treats me like a queen. Just being around his child and all the issues that come with it is starting to kill our relationship. No I did not know this would happen, I thought we would be one happy Brady bunch like family...boy was I wrong.

I remember we got marriage counseling with our pastor pre-wedding, he said that the devil will try to destroy your marriage and he can use your dog, kids, in-laws..everything to do it. We just got in a big argument yesterday about my stepson staying for the summer. He is suppose to go stay with his mother in the summer and she now is trying to get out of it. I have been insisting he find a way for him to go because I told him I need a break. I was so looking forward to the summer without telling him do this and do that, smelling his stinky room, know it all attitude, and acting as if he is obligated.

It has been a whole year. SM is playing games with us right now...Anyways, I will not let her have the victory or destroy my relationship with my husband. Nor will I let this child destroy my relationship with my husband. He is 16 and soon will go off to college. I'm looking forward to that! I know he will always be in my life...but at some point it will have to be at a farther distance. Again, I don't expect to fall in love with my step son or him me..I just want to get through it and keep my marriage. Sometimes this is just the way it has to be. Human beings thrown together because of circumstances not necessarily love. And we tolerate each other until we pass this phase.


tired and stressed's picture

The problem is that skids are

The problem is that skids are sometime fine when you are dating. My skids were SD7, SS10, SS13 when we were dating and initially married. Yes, there was some issues with BM and her trying to make sure she was the only woman in their lives. I would gladly have those days 11 years later, our lives are extremely complicated. You say they will go to college and things will be better, yeah right, it is just another set of problems. They will still be home for breaks, weekends,...SD19 has had trouble getting along with others (not surprising to me) and was home every weekend, except for the weekends we or her BM needed to go see her so she had support.
If you read some of the posts in the adult skid forums you will see it doesn't get better. Hopefully it will for you, but don't hold your breath You need to take care of yourself and your bio kids.

tiredstepmother's picture

Yes, I know that when my SS

Yes, I know that when my SS goes off to college we will continue to see him but it will be less not 24/7. Even that is a relief for me. When he becomes an adult maybe our relationship will get better, who knows. I do not hate anyone I just do not like having to raise my SS. As a matter of fact, I don't want to raise anyone elses children. I have taken care of kids since I was 16 years old. I will be 50 next year and still have a 9 and 12yr old at home. I am tired and ready to enjoy my later years. If my SS comes back after college to establish himself fine as long as he spends time with his mother in another state as well. I have no problem helping him get established and out on his own. I hope the best for him in life. He can bring his kids to visit no problem. I am out to make my husband happy, and that often means me being quiet about the things I do not like when it comes to his son. Yes, it is a never ending story. People ask why didn't you marry someone without kids, well, I married mid 30s so many men I met already had children in some capacity. But when the child comes to live with you on a full-time basis then the whole story changes. It is hard raising kids bio or not. We disagree about some things when raising our bio kids and it is twice as hard when you have a step child. But such is life.


tjm's picture

The kids did not create the

The kids did not create the situation, but at the same time the kids aren't always innocent in the situation either.

Generic's picture

The only responsibility

The only responsibility children have is to be respectful to the adult authority figures in their lives. Respect means nice manners, obeying instructions, etc etc. They have NO responsibility to your marriage. None, zero, zilch. Yes, they are always completely innocent with regard to your marriage. If their behavior drives a wedge, that is because (a) your standards are too high or (b) your husband has failed to parent and find balance. Children do not control one thing about a marriage. They have no power and they know it. If they did, they would make their own parents stay together.

dtzyblnd's picture

I would like to speak on this

I would like to speak on this whole 'you married them and therefore you married their family' thing.

NOPE. A marriage is between two adults, and in that marriage there are only TWO people.

That doesn't mean that you push the children out of your lives, or you out of theirs and pretend that they don't exist and they pretend you don't exist, so that you can build a life sans the 'baggage'.

When you get married, live together, etc...and one or the other or both bring children into that mix, you don't have to love each other as if you are each other's own kid/parent. You don't even have to LIKE each other. What does need to happen is being cordial to each other, be respectful of each other and don't be mean to each other.

You can co-exist as long as there isn't meanness. That's the fine line in the sand.

I will never LOVE nor LIKE my SIL. She is an evil bitch. I won't allow her to be around my children, enter my home or even have contact with me and mine. My husband is free to contact her on his own. That's his sister. But I didn't MARRY her. And therefore, she has no part in my life. She did it to herself with what she's done. I washed my hands of it and moved. on.

I have co-existed with a child that has literally done everything he could to hate me and my two bios. Mean spirited shit too. Cursing, stealing, aggressive bully behaviors in the past. That child nor anyone has EVER been inside my marriage. My DH allowed that for a bit, and I pushed that out of our relationship.

And when you separate your marriage relationship, the one you have with your partner in life, from all the other relationships, you are better able to deal with the drama from the outside relationships to your marriage.

I see marriage this way:

Your adult relationship is the sun in your universe. If it's strong, and it's shining, then all the other relationships are the planets that revolve around it. When one of those planets tries to get too close to the sun and try to get INTO it, even in our solar system, that never ends well for the planet. BAM! BURST! BOOM!

So, yes, you can be married and you can not like a child or a relative. As long as you aren't MEAN to them, and are cordial, or excuse yourself when they are around, your marriage won't suffer if you don't let it.

I married a MAN, I have sex with that Man, I and my MAN are the only contributing humans to my household. Therefore, NO ONE else gets to be involved in that intimate, romantic relationship. It's apples and oranges.

Parent/child relationships are different than marriages and separate to the marital relationship.
Extended family relationships are also different than marriages and separate to the marital one.

Your marriage is your #1 Priority in life, because its the one that will be there for a lifetime after the kids grow up and move away.

Your children are your #1 responsibility in life. They get the life's necessities before the Adults. BUT their wants and desires that aren't life giving should always come last when it comes to big ticket ADULT decisions. For example: Sonny wants a brand new car. SM's car of 10 yrs dies, she needs a new one too. What do you do? Buy the kid a brand new car and tell the SM to go suck it up butter cup and hoof it? NO! YOu don't, you tell the kid that they need to get a part time job, save their money, and SM gets her vehicle, and then you help the kid get a beater later on.

Anyone that says thinks that inviting other people, children and relatives, into a marriage, just because you married them too, is bound for one helluva ride in life. Unless they are the sorts of people that let other people treat them like doormats. Sorry.

Stephen King has ruined your step children!
Telling the truth is not bullying.
Own your shit or get off the pot!

logansensibaugh's picture

I feel the same way, I fell

I feel the same way, I fell in love with the dad not the kids. Sense day one the kids have been misbehaved, and my husband or his family or their bio mother wont see it. they are 4 and 5 . the oldest has asburgers and to but it bluntly is just a little A**. he doesn't listen , hurts things, breaks things, pees on stuff . I know some of it is due to his Asburgers, but I'm getting to the point were I am tired of this being a accuse for him. We have the boys 6 out of 7 days a week. Sense of the eldest condition and other issues I have become a stay at home stepmother. I am with the kids pretty much 24/7. Their father works all the time, which means its pretty just me and them 24/7. Its been 3 years like this and I have not seemed to bound with them. I don't like them 95% of the time, I don't find them cute, and by the end of the day I just want them gone and i' am tired and irritated. I am dealing with the eldest issues but it gets hard. It doesn't help that my husband comes home and ignores the kids and plays xbox all day when he's off. I love my husband and fell in love with him , NOT his kids. and it is hard to love someone else s kids.

fedup13's picture

This is me. I love DH,

This is me. I love DH, although in the last year I haven't liked him very much. His family, him, and BM also do not see how bad the problems really are. They are all just so damn deaf dumb and blind. Skid is now 5. I really think he has Asburgers or some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder at times, but hey, guess what, I am just a step mom and my thoughts don't mean diddly shit and no one that does have the authority will take him and get him evaluated because in their eyes he is just dandy. DH did take him to a child psych about a year ago whn they were squabbling over custody and she diagnosed him with ODD and ADHD, but no one implements any of the things she told them to do, BM and MIL just flat out deny it and say the Dr. was wrong, DH just ignores everything. It is very difficult to love someone else's child, even under the best of circumstances, but in mine and in so many of the other poster's situations it is impossible.

Overwhelmed 50 year old's picture

Oh my gosh you are living my

Oh my gosh you are living my life, thank you for validating my feelings. I married my fiance now and thought it would get better but it is getting worse. He also has a child with aspergers and it is frankly a nightmare and I feel the same as you do. She has made me a mad miserable person. Their mother passed away three years ago so we have them full time and he has a job where he is gone all week so I am the primary care giver and hate it. I had to give up my job this year because of her bad behavior but I dont think that is helping and it is making me crazy. I honestly have thought about leaving, I dont see how it can get any better. I love my husband but I might have to sacrifice us to save me. He is gone all week so he feels guilty and lets her behave anyway she likes and blames it on the aspergers, sorry but it sure seems pretty calculated to me. It is like they give her an excuse to be mean and cruel and selfish to everyone around her to get what she wants. I am 55 years old and all my friends are enjoying there later years and I am raising someone elses children and have lost all of my freedom.

Clovergirl's picture

My heart goes out to you

My heart goes out to you because I can see my future in what you described. The children's mother is a drunk so I am horrified that she might drop dead one day and they will be living with us full time. Right now it's half of the time which is bad enough. I am close to your age and am so ready to enjoy more alone time with my man instead of running a day and night care. Am I wicked? I guess only after you have walked in my shoe should you judge.

Some people are like clouds, once they are gone, it's a brighter day.

Generic's picture

So "your man" lets a drunk

So "your man" lets a drunk keep his kids and you just hope it stays that way? Confused?

gaviotas's picture

Hi Overwhelmed, I have a SD8

Hi Overwhelmed,
I have a SD8 with psychological problems, in fact selective mutism plus something else, said her doctor. She does not have a complete diagnosis, tried to convince my DH to have a second opinion but SM did not want to.
So I think she has Asperger: does not respond to some adults, cannot make eye contact, lack of empathy, etc.
I would like to share my experience with you, I think we have a lot in common.
Let me know if you agree and we can chat or email Smiling

TeresaKarpova1977's picture

You fell in love with him,

You fell in love with him, not his kids and for that reason he has to throw them in the bin or something? Come on, people.... fall in love with someone else then.

Generic's picture

There must be a terrible

There must be a terrible shortage of eligible childless bachelors out there these days. There also seems to have been a spike in mental illness among childbearing first wives and their children. It must be a jungle out there!

tiredstepmother's picture

I have experienced that one

I have experienced that one can care for someone and love them in some way but not necessarily as a biological parent might love their own child. I thought I would have the same bond with my SS but in 14 years it has not happened. We share a home and his father. If it gets better then great. Unless you have walked in someone else's shoes you will never know what they feel.