A stepfamily warning story
So I had an aunt who was married to a man with 2 kids. They had one ours baby who is (obviously) my cousin. This is the only experience I had growing up with steps in my family of any sort.
I vaguely remember the skids being around occasionally for christmas and such. I would have been probably 11 to 13 or 14 when they were around. My perspective of the kids at the time was that they were a little odd/quirky, but nothing extreme behavior wise. Fairly quiet and pretty well behaved.
My aunt was the "good stepmom" who bent over backwards to include the skids in everything, took the kids on BMs weekends most of the time because BM asked her to, even though their dad was also gone most of those weekends. You know, everything we tell everyone on here isn't their responsibility, but others try to convince them it is.
My aunt ended up getting gravely ill and nearly dying when my cousin was young. She survived, but mentally is about 12 now from brain damage. Husband divorced her and obviously got custody since she wasnt able to even care for herself fully, let alone my cousin.
My cousins dad died suddenly last year right before my cousin was supposed to graduate. He was the only child left at home as the other 2 are in their late 20s and have fully launched.
My cousin wanted to stay in the house just until he started college at the end of the summer, but the two older half brothers wanted to get it on the market and sold as soon as possible. Cousin didnt have the option of living with his mom since she lives in state funded assisted living. Did his brothers care? Nope. Their mom asked my cousin if she could be the executor of the estate and my cousin had no idea what that meant and agreed. Somehow any portion of the estate intended to go to my cousin is now mysteriously gone, including his college fund. I dont know details of this beyond that the BM in this situation was the executor of the state and that the older brothers had previously conned my cousin out of other material possessions. Despite the fact that they are around a decade older, and have a well off mother and he is just starting college and his mother has no way of supporting or helping him. These are kids that were encouraged to bond with the brother, raised with him, were taken care of for a good part of their childhood by my aunt and on the surface seemed decent.
Just saying, I think there is some things to consider from this story for anyone in stepfamilies. I mean, these things happen in nuclear families too, but I really think when you have steps and different parents with different agendas involved it really increases the odds.