Frustrated Stepfather... first post... please help
So here’s my situation… married to my wife for 1 year, we’ve been together for over 4 years… I have 10-year-old stepson, my wife’s child from a previous relationship… we just had our own child (my first) 2 months ago.
Stepson lives with us about 80% of the time, otherwise he’s with his dad and his family… relationship with bio Dad is very good, no issues there.
The issues I need help with are my feelings towards my stepson. They are tough to admit, and they make me feel very guilty:
- After 4+ years of living with him, I can’t say that I love him. I just don’t feel it.
- I look forward to the time that he spends with his dad, and wish he spent more time with his dad.
- I do make time to spend with him. We go do fun things just me and him, and I keep hoping we’ll bond over them and get closer. It’s not working. These activities feel like obligations rather than things I really want to do. They feel forced.
- Sometimes I feel simple indifference. I just don’t care. For example, rather than deal with getting him to do his homework, I’ll say to myself “Whatever, let him do poorly in school, and suffer the consequences. I don’t care.”
- Here’s the really tough one: If he all of a sudden (“poof”) didn’t exist anymore, I’d be happier. Of course I don’t mean something terrible were to happen to him… rather, if he had simply never existed in the first place, and it were just myself, my wife, and the baby… (of course then I never would have met my wife, yadda yadda yadda, but you get what I’m saying)… it feels like he’s in the way of what would otherwise be a perfect scenario for me, and I end up feeling resentment towards him. That’s just awful, but it’s true.
He’s a really good kid. It’s not his fault at all. He’s doing absolutely nothing wrong.
I don’t hate him. But I don’t love him. On good days I’m just numb to him. On bad days I wish he wasn’t there.
How do I deal with this? I really don’t know how to make this better. Thanks for your help.