Are we, as STepparents, enablers of enablers?
I'm a stepmom soon to be divorced from my ex and his very dysfunctional kids, ss16, sd13. I can honestly say that after trying everything in the book to make things work and get above and beyond the dysfunction, walking away has been the one solution that actually brought peace. The dysfunction I experienced for 8 years that I see reflected in many of the stories here is showing a pattern to me. It looks like a main theme is very functional women marrying quite dysfunctional men who enable the under-functioning bio moms and the skids. And then we are trying to make the marriage or family work, or have everyone get along, so we over function and/or create an unspoken rule that we will just not rock the boat, just take a back seat and be quiet. Are we enabling the enabler? For me, I must admit, I was 100% guilty. I wanted to have everything work out and have a close-knit family life. I bent over backwards and the more I did, the more I was viewed as the enemy by SO and skids and BM. I finally found my freedom when I stopped needing anyone to be any different than who they were. I let their dysfunction be information to me about who they were and not about what I needed to do to make things better. As moms in the "mother" role it is so easy to slip unknowingly into this vicious cycle of being overly responsible for changing dysfunction into function. When I began to pay more attention to the role I played, I began to make much better choices for my and my sons' well-being.