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Do you love some of your SKs but not the others?

SittingPretty's picture

I have a great relationship with one of my SKs, I love spending time with her and think she’s a great kid. She’s feisty and strong willed and we’ve gone head to head more than a few times over the years, but I think it’s only strengthened our bond. I would have her live with us full time in a heartbeat. I miss her when she’s not here.

My other SK is the classic mini wife. She’s always seen me as a competitor. I put a lot of effort in with my SKs, and it bothers me to still be seen (5 years in) as the competition. I treat my SKs the same as my bio kids. My other SK is happy enough to spend time with either of us (and quite often prefers to be with me).

We get on great when her dad isn’t around, but as soon as he is, all bets are off. I encourage her to have one on one time with him, and I encourage her to have one on one time with me too. I was a SK and was initially very jealous of my stepmom. But she put a lot of effort into developing a relationship with me, and I grew out of it. I actively avoid my DH when she’s around because I want her to feel like she gets one on one time with him, but also because her behaviour makes me cringe. She will still try to crawl into his lap (she’s 12!) if she sees us sitting together and there’s no spot for her.  I think it is mainly his fault as he is the adult and should be shutting this kind of stuff down, and he clearly hasn’t set acceptable boundaries. Does anyone have any positive experiences where their SKs finally grew out of this or is this a forever thing?

I feel like it’s so obvious that I love YSD more and I feel very guilty. I think the difference is that her sister treats me as a parent and so I love her like one. She was younger when I came into her life and doesn’t remember life without me, so that could be a factor too. 

Myss.Tique D'Off's picture

Yes. I think it is because they are such different people.

I could not and still cannot stand my exSD(22). She always was a horrible, wayward, troublesome girl. She has a mean, vicious, irresponsible personality and will mooch off everyone. Added to this, over the years, she has developed substance abuse problems and has had run ins with the police and courts over public disorder or substance abuse offences.  There is nothing redeeming about her. I don't love her and never did. I don't hate her either. I am repulsed by and indifferent to who/what she is and has become.

My SS(18) is completely different. He started out as an ok kid. He went through a troublesome, rebellious and out of control teenage phase. That said, he was  never personally mean to me. A lot of his acting out was directed at his Dad and because of the rejection experienced at the hands of his Mom. He also was always very attached to, protective of and close to  my own son which had endeared him to me. (exSD was/is always malicious towards my son(13) who is 9 years younger than her - it was always ugly and uncalled for.)
SS has completely cleaned up his act now. He finished school last year, is at college full time, works part time, has a better group of friends, helps me around the house... He is a pleasure to be around and has turned into a fine, responsible young man that I am proud of and love very dearly.

These  two young adult-children are so different. SS is on his way to becoming a self-supporting, independent person any parent would be proud of. SD is just a complete mess in every way you can imagine.

I have no guilt over the fact that I love or care about them differently and neither should you. Your skids are different people too, and they have made different choices for themselves and how they have chosen to interact with you.

Letti.R's picture

I stopped being a SM in December because I could not take it anymore.
I am sad to stop  a relationship with YSD.
She is the sweetest, kindest, nice girl.
I love her very much and I miss her.
OSD was a total bitch!
Angry, controlling, violent, hated me.
There was nothing to love there.

Swim_Mom's picture

I like my SD's (ages 19, 22, 25) but except for the youngest, they were basically fully grown adults when I began dating their Dad. So I doubt I'll ever have much of a relationship with them. They all live in different parts of the country, and we don't see them often. But I do appreciate the fact they are fully functioning adults and cause no trouble. They are highly intelligent and responsible, just like my kids. I respect high achievers, and these girls are 1) rocket scientist (literally) 2) computer scientist and 3) chemical engineering student. (My oldest DD19 is a bioengineering/premed student, DS17 has been accepted into several universities and will study industrial engineering; youngest DD14 gets all A's). All of these 6 kids were in sports or music and/or worked during high school.

SS (age 13) is a lazy, fat, ungrateful sack of shit who gets poor grades and is not in sports or any other activity. His relationship with DH is very separate from me and my kids. We don't see him much and that is fine with me! I do not feel guilty in the slightest for feeling this way about him. I am not one of those preschool teacher-like women who just *loves* all children, and I'm not perfect but I'm a great Mom. I have a very close relationship with all of my kids, and each is very different. So it isn't me. No one who is not a biological relative could love this boy. BM is very protective of him  to the point he has no accountability, but fortunately for me this translates to when it is DH's weekend, if Lardass does not want to come she is happy for him to stay with her. I don't think she has any life whatsoever - total loser and her son is the same. I have no respect or tolerance for losers.

Gingersnapped's picture

I recognized your malice from another post I read awhile back.

I mean absolutely no diresepect to you. I just feel horribly for this child you despise so deeply for not being the high achiever you are used to being around. Not everyone can excel to levels of pre-med or even college. His older sisters may have been able to more easily deal with the breaking of their family because they were older? Perhaps he is clinically depressed, with an enabling set of parents he is not likely to get better. You cannot blame him for trying to exist in a world that has been created for him. You chose to be part of it. He had no choice. Remember that. (I try to tell myself that too, as a step-mom!)  Maybe try to pick an activity just the 2 of you could do together? You may learn to love this boy. His father will figure out how you feel sooner or later. So, I would try to make the best of it!

Swim_Mom's picture

...I do have malice towards him. It is not because he is fat. Not because he is not an athlete. These are easier things to point to though I would never dislike anyone for being overweight - it's just a visual manifestation of his extreme laziness. That to me is a character trait and yes, I do not respect that. But I think the main reason I dislike him so much is his lack of appreciation for his father. He can be very rude and dismissive and takes him for granted. When I say my DH is an amazing Dad I am not exaggerating. However, his influence as non custodial parent is very limited.

Yet my ex, my children's dad, was never a great father. He has lived in like 5 states since our divorce and we've not even been divorced 6 years! He has put himself in debt to faithfully return almost every other weekend and stay in a hotel. He wants to connect with his kids but the only thing he knows to do is take them out for meals (which gets old) and attend swim/cross country meets. Their relationship is awkward and I would call my ex verbally abusive. Yet my kids would never disrespect him the way SS does my DH.

I guess it comes down to, at what age are kids responsible for their own behavior? Pretty sure someday SS's boss will not cut him a break because his parents got divorced or because he has a shitty mother. When a child is small, behavior is 100% on the parents. By age 13, almost 14 it's at least 50% on him. He can choose to follow his father's lead. 

It has taken me a few years to feel this way - in the beginning we all tried very hard to make him feel part of the family - my teenage kids would stay home for family board games when SS arrived for god's sake. DS took him to Six Flags. Nothing made a difference with this kid - every time it was like starting over. I take it as the same lack of appreciation and respect he shows his own father (recently even lied/stole money from him!!).

This is why I've disengaged to the point I make plans to be out of the house even during the very limited time he is here. But you are absolutely right; I need to figure out how to let go of the malice, for my DH at least. 


SittingPretty's picture

Wow! Do they have different mothers? I do agree that if they are decent and (high in your case!( functioning members of society then it’s a lot easier to like them. Strange that your SS is so different from your SDs!

Swim_Mom's picture

Though the boy is 6 years after the third girl....I guess it is  a combination of genetics and situation. The girls are more like my DH, but the boy is just like his mother. She probably ran out of energy or something and finds being a single mom too overwhelming. Funny, I did not find it that difficult *scratch_one-s_head*and yes, it is much easier to like and respect people who try hard in life vs decide they are victims and therefore rules do not apply to them and everyone should give them a pass for bad behavior.  I guess I am one of those people who tries hard but once I'm done, I'm done. I cannot help it if he makes my skin crawl. I wish I felt differently.

justmakingthebest's picture

Right now in my relationships with my 2 SS's - yes I feel very differently towards them. SS18 lives with us. He has is issues (autistic and bipolar) but he tried so hard. He sees me as the only real mom he has ever had and we are in a really good place. He trusts me and I adore him. 

SS14- lives in another state and has been PAS'ed by his mother to the extreme. I loathe him right now. I am not saying that we won't ever move past current behavior but right now, he is unloveable to me. I am not his actual parent and I have come to terms with the fact that I don't have to love him. 

Aniki's picture

I do not love any of the skids. There is nothing wrong with that. I don't see it any differently than loving some of my friends and liking others. Your experiences and relationships with people are all different.

Chmmy's picture

I dont love my skids. DH says he loves my bios like his own but i don't think it's true. He just thinks he does.

I love my niece & nephew, younger cousins or cousin's kids like family. I adore them especially my godson(cousin's kid). I don't even love the skids like family. I feel for them like I do the kids I nanny for. Im responsible for their well being but it's a chore/work to be around them and care for them. Ive been a teacher/nanny for 20 years & I've had more true affection for some of the kids I've cared for. I don't like these kids. My whole life is fake, ugh.

CantComplain's picture

I love 2 out of 3. 

What can I say? Two are polite, neat, engaged, pleasant, and will talk to me and with me. The other is manipulative, petty, shallow, vindictive, lazy and slobbish. How could I possible love what I can't even respect?

Monkeysee's picture

I love my two SS’s very much. Not like a parent would, I’m more like a fun aunt who has their best interest at heart. 

DH’s daughter I feel absolutely nothing for. Never met her, can’t say I have the desire to after what she & her BM did to DH. Bye Felicia 

Step-girlfriend's picture

I love SD9, and care about SS12 but struggle with him more. I'm not sure I could call it love.  

And yes, although she is only 9, SD has changed her behavior. It used to be always trying to sit in my SO's lap, clinging, rubbing his was a bit much and it grated on my nerves. One day SD was talking about things she was getting too old for (like toys, etc), and I said, yes, there are some things you're getting too old for. She said, like what? I told her, sitting in your dad's lap...she looked sheepish and said, she knew she was pushing it by still trying to sit in his lap. I haven't seen her do it since! Your DH should really be telling her she is too old for sitting in his lap now. All it takes is "no, you're too big for this", next time she tries.

SittingPretty's picture

Thank you! Maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel after all! I’m glad that your SD has grown out of her mini wifeing, that must be a relief!

oatsnhoney's picture

Yes, and it’s normal I think. Because we build our relationships based on experiences, not bio love connection like a parent. If any person is a jerk to you, you won’t like them. 

SittingPretty's picture

Thank you all for validating that I’m not a complete monster for feeling this way! There’s not really anyone that I could talk to apart from DH about this kind of thing, and of course he’s majorly biased. OSD is blatantly his favourite so I think he deliberately ignores her BS. It’s good to know that other people have had similar experiences! 

Jcksjj's picture

I only have one, but I've always wondered if I would enjoy having a skid more if she had a different personality or if it's just me.

Disillusioned's picture

First of all I must say, you sound like a great SM!

Putting your skids before yourself, and looking after their best interest!

This does sound familiar to me as I always put so much effort into my relationships with my SD's, and like you had one 'mini-wife (wanna be LOL)' and spent far too much time tip-toeing around her and her relationship with DH, only all these years later to have her once again, cut DH & I out of her life

So, yes keep being a great SM and setting the right example and it sounds like with at least one of your skids, this is going to work out for you Smile

For the other one, yes understandable you don't prefer her as much as the younger one.

You sound fair and honest and sincerely a decent human being who is trying with both of them, so good for you! 

Always be a great role model, even for the competitive jealous older one. 

She may come around, as you did with your own SM, or she may not. But at least you know you did the right thing, gave it your best shot, and there isn't a whole lot more you can do!

SittingPretty's picture

Thank you for taking the time to write such a lovely reply.

That’s so sad that your SD cut you and her dad out of her life. I suppose the problem is that the ‘mini wife’ is always more likely to be less stable emotionally and it sounds like you’ve had drama for a long time.

I really loved what you said about doing the right thing. That’s how I try to view stepparenting too. My dad called me out on my SKs once, and told me that they won’t care about the things that I’ve done for them when they’re grown ups, and that I should focus on my biological kids. I told him exactly what you just told me. Maybe things don’t work out (like in the case of your SD unfortunately) but at least you know that you’ve given it your best shot. Smile

Thank you for being so positive. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

I only have one stepbrat. Thank God.

 I like my son’s friend more than my stepbrat. He is kind, generous, smart, creative.

pwoodlson's picture

I don't love my skids. I've tried and tried and the more I'm around them I find it hard to even like them anymore. I believe a lot of it is because of the parenting. They complain, whine and interrupt constantly and act entitled. It is getting worse as they get older and is not something I'm comfortable with. They also will not allow me to be near my SO and will butt in constantly whenever we are trying to be affectionate or even sit next to each other. It is not enjoyable to be around anymore. I want someone who wants to be affectionate with me without caving into a mini-wife, mini-husband every single time. I also want someone who wants their kids to have respect, good attitudes and manners and also who sees something wrong with how they are behaving. He does not. I'm beginning to feel that being a step mom is similar to being an emotional abuse and neglect victim. To add I like my friends' kids more than my skids. My friend's daughter is a very sweet and polite kid. She is the opposite of skids. My SS, who is actually the most likeable of the two, has the biggest bedroom in the house and always decides what we eat, he gets fed first, when he decides to listen and when he doesn't.  He rolls his eyes constantly. He is overweight, is very physically big for his age and orders his parents around. He cannot do things many kids his age can do (ride a bike, swim, skate, etc) because he is lazy and a quitter and his parents allow him to have this type of attitude.  I call him "the king" in my head.