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Klee's picture

I felt so alone dealing with the SM life . It's only been  about 2 years that I have taking the title .. and actually it's not even official yet. 

It's been hard dealing with the divorce of my Fiance (yes we are engaged and he is technically still married) but legally  separated. I'm making schedule for the BM and my fiance to have 50/50 time with the child .. figuring out paper work with his help to get the divorce done.. and on too trying to raise a SS. 

I need a place to vent and figure out if what I'm doing is right.. and I need to some advice once in awhile from people who are going through the same things I am. 


still learning's picture

How nice of you to step in and do your "fiance's" dirty work for the last 2 years for him.  You're raising his kid, making the visitation schedule, helping him with his divorce paperwork. Did you help break up his marriage too? Is this why you're overcompensating?  

I'm with the poster above, this guy is not technically your fiance and you're not engaged.  The guy is still married!  Step back and let him deal with this chapter in his life. This is his divorce not yours. Let him work it out. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Ok ladies... My Dh's divorce took 6 years. Yes, we were together for the last 2 of those. In fact his divorce was finalized in March and we were married in May. Don't jump to conclusions about their relationship just yet. BM was a money grubbing whore who wanted to make sure she could get every last penny from DH that she could in the divorce. If she wasn't getting her way her lawyer would come up with an excuse for another 6 month continuation. It would still be going on if we didn't agree to give up and give in on some of the financial stipluations. 

I get being the organized one, sometimes men just roll with things where there needs to be schedule and routine. I know that is a major complaint on this site ALL the time. DH just giving in to BM's whims and DH needs to grow some balls and say no to BM and so on. You are trying to set the structure now. It will be challenging but in the end if you can find a balance that works for both households that keeps your ss in a routine, eveything will be better off in the end for it. 

I deal with 2 BM's (well kind of)- SS18's BM has never had custody and only supervised visitation since he was 1. She pops up every once in a blue moon- causes some stress and disapears again. SS14's BM has PAS'ed him out to the point where we are lost and at our witts-end over it all. On the other hand my kids dad and SM and DH and I all have a great relationship. In fact, we are all meeting with both of our families for BS13's b-day brunch on Sunday. It is easy with them and we found a balance of coparenting that really works for us. It did take a couple of years to find a good balance but once we found it, it was great!

Klee's picture


that was really nice to hear ! 


tog redux's picture

I too began dating DH when he was separated, and it took over 2 years to finalize the divorce.  In my mind that's not "infidelity", he was no longer living with BM.  Others may feel differently, but dating while separated is pretty common nowadays, and I prefer to live in modern times, not Victorian ones.

I would say, OP - be careful about doing all of the dirty work for him. Let him figure out his schedule and CS and visits, etc. A lot of women jump right into that, but it tends to backfire in the end, to some degree.  It's fine to help, but don't take it over entirely.

Step-girlfriend's picture

Same. My SO and his ex's divorce took years because she just wanted to keep getting more and more and in the end he just had to give in to some of her ridiculous demands. But they were separated and living in different houses when we met, and the divorce wasn't final until we had been together for almost 2 years. It happens all the time. However, getting engaged when the divorce isn't final, especially when he has a kid....I probably wouldn't have gone down that road.

Anyway, welcome, and sorry about the agressive greeting you got from some. Uneccessary.

Klee's picture

thanks for understanding where I'm coming from. It all happened so quickly and I don't regret any of it.. I know he should have waited to pop the question.. but what does an man do when hes in love *man_in_love* 

Klee's picture

Wow! Didnt think I would get harsh comments back..

I'm not here to vent about HIS life. I can handle all of that with him and the Ex. We ARE engaged- you can be legally separated and propose to someone .. yah it may not be what EVERYONE does but We Love each other and it what we wanted ...and it's not his fault that the papers arent signed... the ex is the one that is constantly making excuses and not able to go to  the court house to sign a freaking paper. 

I was coming here to understand and and learn about some of the feelings I deal with when it comes caring for a child that isnt actually mine.. 

And maybe some ways to talk about how I feel when I'm communicating to my fiance OH Wait do I have to say boyfriend.. (sorry for the snarky) comment but I'm kind of upset with the my first comments back .. .

Way to make a person feel welcome when they finally opening up to people who they dont even know. 

Sorry 2

Klee's picture

I find it a bit hard to deal with the SS and his attitude at times... for example getting ready for school in the morning .. he goes to get his tablet that was charging in our room comes down stairs and says "YOU DIDNT EVEN CHARGE MY TABLET?!" .... I heard this from upstairs the way he spoke to his dad .. and we have spoken to him many times about his tone of voice when asking or commenting on  something.. (how do I at times handle his way of communicating in away where I can correct it) and not be the mean person .. I find I can be a bit more stern at times.

Another example is we went to Walmart and we decide he could use a new pair of slippers .. so we find a pair and hes carrying them .. he starts to complain that he doesnt want to carry them anymore as we are standing in line .. I say well if you dont want to carry them put them in the basket and you wont have a new pair of slippers ... so he dropped them in .. we got to our turn to cash out the other items and DH picks them up and buys them.... I asked why he did that he said he needs a new pair .. I just left it at that.. later on I told him he cant go against what I'm trying to do .. he wants me to be the SM but when I do at times my ways get shut down 

tog redux's picture

In most cases, SM doesn’t mean equal parent. That’s what you have to sort out with DH. You can support and help, but in the end it’s his kid and he should get the final say on how he’s raised. Within those parameters, work out what works best for the two of you in your situation. 

I did not parent my SS. I was more like a kind aunt. Helped him, played with him - but DH was the parent. Worked well for us. 

justmakingthebest's picture

Tog is 100% right. As a Step parent we are not equal. We have no legal rights, even when we are married to our spouses to these kids. We are no more than an Aunt or friend of the family when it comes to rights. 

Once you can wrap you head around that portion of step parenting it becomes easier. You make suggestions and it is your DH's job to decide how to act on those. You get to be the cheerleader and support for your DH in parenting but you are not the parent. 

It is really really hard to be a step mom/dad. You get all the work of a parent (plus the fun of dealing with an ex) and none of the authority. 

Please keep in mind before you do get married that this is your partners style of parenting. Is this how you will want your child to be raised? Entitled, bratty and allowed to get away with it? Becasue this is how it will be for you as well, and different expectations for different children never really works out. Kids don't understand why one gets away with murder and the other is so restricted and disciplined. 

tog redux's picture

I personally did not take on the work of parenting in any way - again, like I occasionally helped out my sisters with their kids, I occasionally helped out DH with SS - but the work of parenting was all DH's.

Klee's picture

If being an Aunt or a friend to a child is all you see yourself as then why do we use the word MOM. SS has said to his father that he would like to call me mom, he feels that I am somewhat of a mom .. not his BM- but someone who cares and Loves him like a mother would- when we started to build our relationship he has said he liked the idea of having a mom at one house and a mom at another house. I don't agree with letting things slide sometimes and  don't micromanage my partner,- we are should be equal in a way of  have the same rules and guide lines for him- we all live under the same roof, and if creates a safe place and harmony when we all work together. 


beebeel's picture

What works for one family may not work for the next. If what you're doing is working well, great! Others are simply telling you what works for them. Your way may not be working as well as you'd like to admit or you wouldn't have reached out for support? You must be feeling unsure or insecure about something? That's because you aren't on the same page as your BF in the parenting department (as evidenced by his undermining of you in the store with the slippers). 

You can continue doing things as you have been, but my guess is your BF will continue to undermine your efforts, which will cause you to resent him, his kid, and the whole damn situation. Many of us have been there done that, and are only trying to save you from the same relationship-destroying circumstances.

Oh, and step-MOTHER is a very old term used way back when half of women died in child birth, so the new wife was always the only mom. Don't think too much into the modern use of the word.

justmakingthebest's picture

Be very careful allowing him to call you mom. His mom has 50/50 with you guys. Things may be somewhat calm on that front. The MINUTE SS starts calling you mom- I can almost guarantee that all bets are off and you won't be able to handle that level of crazy.

I totally understand that you want to be more than that role but taking on MOM isn't what you are. You are stepmom. Tread lightly. You are going to be the one hurt in the end. Step mother is not a legal parent. You have to keep telling yourself that. You have no rights to this child. His father will be the one to make parenting choices.

I am lucky, when it comes to my Skids and Bios DH and I are on the same page. We don't contradict each other, when one speaks, we follow suit. We might discuss how we would want things done differently next time if we don't agree but never in front of the kids. However, at the end of the day, when it comes to my bios- I make the choices. When it comes to his- he does. We both know our "place" so to speak. It isn't our 1st rodeo. 

Klee's picture

Thanks for your advice again ! 

I agree with you- we don't speak about disagreement in front of him- its all very private when we do have different thoughts about situations. 

( calling Me Mom) I told him that it was very nice that he thought of that. and it warmed my heart :)  but  I 100% would never replace his BM and I wouldn't want that either! He calls me by name- and have no issue there - its just nice to hear that in his eyes at times I am more then just (KLee) 

Yes, I know i don't have rights over the the child, and most of the time when I have suggestions or Ideas about raising him I ask my DH about it .. and he more then often agrees with me.  


tog redux's picture

Yeah, "stepmother" is just a term - it doesn't mean you are a second mother, though some see it that way.  It doesn't come with some inherent right to be a parent to the child, just because you married that child's parent.  In my case, DH didn't expect or want me to parent, and SS called me by my name. Other men want much more support from their wives, but then undermine those wives when they try to set limits.

thinkthrice's picture

1. Does your man allow co-sleeping with his children? (aka the kiddies routinely jump into bed with him at night)

2. Does he have to lie down with them to get them to sleep?

3. Do the children seem somehow "stunted" socially? Do they have poor hygiene habits, eating habits, bedtime habits?

4. Does your man subscribe to the "one big happy family" model? (expects you to love his children as much as or more than him)

5. Does your man have the "inability" to say no to his children?

6. Do his children seem overly "hyperactive" to you?

7. Does your man say "just relax; you worry too much" or "Everything will be just fine" if you bring up a legitimate concern

8. Do the children seem "overly needy" demanding that dad spend 24/7 with them?  Do they physically lay all over him and go bonkers when daddy steps out of their peripheral vision?

9. Are they unable to do age appropriate tasks or want dad to do things that could easily be done themselves?

10. Does dad seem overprotective of his children; unwilling to let them try things out on their own?

11. Has dad said things like "I don't want to make waves with the BM b/c it will affect the children" or "we'll take the high road" when faced with blatant BM stepping over boundaries.

12. Has dad said things to you like "you don't like my children" or "my children are UNCOMFORTABLE with you" or "you're a child hater" or "my children are afraid of you" or "my children don't like you?"  This is code for you are able to see through the manipulation and the children don't like it. . . and frankly he doesn't like the fact that you can see through his children's manipulation either.  He'd rather look the other way as opposed to actually parenting because he might "lose" his children to the (almost always) PASinator BM.

If you can answer YES to ANY of these questions, get your sneakers ready to go.

Do you know your man's FINANCIAL situation? Do you know if he has massive left over marital debt? How high is his CS obligation? Have you seen the divorce decree or mediation agreement. Does it seem overly slanted in BM's favour?

Love and "understanding" simply does not cover it all. Especially in the case of stepmom is supposed to be "understanding" when all of her money goes to household expenses b/c almost all of biodad's money goes to CS.

How long would you be willing to float biodad should he lose a job and have massive CS obligations?

There are many other considerations as this type of relationship is not to be taken lightly.

thinkthrice's picture

But I would make an assessment.  I think 99.9% of the SMs here started out thinking "how hard could it be?" and "I got this" only to be almost instantly assigned 100% responsibility and 0% authority which is an extremely COMMON issue here.

Klee's picture

Not every things is love and understanding.. but as a post before  what works for one family might not work for others 


twoviewpoints's picture

How old is this SS?  

As to being called "Mom" , it really depends. Some BMs are very extremely sensitive to these things. Right now I'm going to assume you have no children of your own yet. It's not always up to what the child desires to call you. Sometimes the BM can be really high conflict and feel threatened at the thought of her child doing time with another woman. Insecurities can play a major part.  If the BM rejects the idea of you also being called 'Mom", sometimes it can be in the child's best interest to simply call you "Klee" or another selected sweet nickname. 

Believe it or not, some BMs would take it out on the child if child came home to her house rattling ll about "Mom, Mom, Mom" and meaning you. Sometimes the BM feels so threatened over their child liking/loving you that they begin to start alienating the child from you and Dad. 

Some court custody orders actually have included in them that the child can call no one but the actually parent Mom/Dad. Yeah, it does in some cases come down to really being outlined. But as mentioned, all this really depends on case to case. Some BMs are thrilled to pieces at the idea of another loving caring woman being chosen by the father to be there ... but other BMs go wildly nuts.

Some SMs and/or 2bSMs who come here absolutely hate the child. They wish the child didn't exist. Other SMs and/or 2bSMs come and they adore the child but eventually turn to dislike having the child around because of ill behave developing, differences in parenting style ideas between Dad and SM , or simply because BM has made things so rough on SM that Sm merely wants nothing any longer to do with the kid. Oh, and then there comes the day the sweet little child you love and who you thought loved you pulls the direct look in your eye and says "you're not my mother"  and for SM nothing is ever the same again. 

I could go on with more examples, but I'm sure you get the general idea of what I'm saying. Almost every SM here went into this with the very best intentions,with nothing but love in her heart and a sincere hope of having a happy little family. And then it all shatters.

Everyone here wishes SMs/SM2bs nothing but the best , but so many of us have been there, done that , to the point most of us will caution you not to be too involved or too attached. No, you don't have to necessarily disengage, but you do need to understand that this isn't going to be an easy path you've chosen. You are already at the 'not same page as Dad' stage and the first thing you and DF must do is sit down and decide what your role is, what Dad expects of you, rules and guidelines you mutually agree on blah blah blah.