From both sides now -- it's just not worth it
I have been the SM, and I am a BM. I haven't been on here in quite a while but I've been harassed and threatened lately by my exH and his wife -- long story, not worth getting into -- the fact of the matter is that one set of rules/expectations apply to my exH and his wife and another for me. I really have no respect for my exH or his choice in a wife...who would marry someone who says they don't want kids, don't want their spouse's kids around, is openly hostile to the children. What would happen if God forbid I ever died? It's very sad for my kids, as she has told one of my children exactly how she feels and has alienated my son from his father to the point where he no longer wishes to see them.
While I despise the woman, the true blame lies with my exH. I just want to say, it seems in every situation, despite how bad the BM or SM seems to be, the real blame in every effed up situation lies with the man's inability to do the "right" thing.
I've been divorced for such a long time and I feel very lonely/wish I had a partner/wonder if I'll be alone the rest of my life but I would chose being single a million times over a stepfamily situation again. I'm so glad there is no man coming between my kids and me. I'm glad there is no SD or BM in my life, no one zapping energy that could be directed in a positive direction to myself and my kids. I am glad there is no longer any drama (except my exH and his wife). The stuff I had to deal with in my step family situation was not stupid stuff like skids not cleaning up -- it was serious and related to mental health issues with BM and SD. It took my energy away from my own kids -- so glad I no longer have to deal with it.
It seems so sad that so many people are wasting so much energy complaining about inconsequential skid stuff and even more sad, that so many of us -- including me -- tried so hard to make things ok/be ok with situations that could never be ok because our partners weren't strong enough to do the right thing for us, their kids, the relationship.
I guess I'm writing this because I see step parenting from all sides now and I think it just isn't worth it. The suffering these situations cause and bitterness that comes with them is simply not worth it. Life is too precious to be so preoccupied and poisoned.
It has been very difficult being divorced and alone all these years (except the few year with my ex bf) I'm glad I've been alone with just my kids, who are now starting to launch off to college. I hope someday I meet someone and can make it work long term. As someone in their 40s, it's so difficult to meet a decent man, and I'm completely unwilling to settle, so there is a good chance I will be alone for good but again, being alone vs. being in a shit situation or the wrong relationship is so much better.
I hope this gives strength to any of you contemplating a breakup. Life is too short to be unhappy.