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Why I feel sorry for stepmoms

caitlinj's picture

I feel sorry for women in these situations because you are always second best. It is not a good life for you and if you are not bringing your own kids into the situation, you deserve better. I also think it is hard being in these situations because there is the madonna complex. You kind of feel like a whore even if you are not one. Society also views you as a little pathetic and desperate as well. Blending a family is also not cute and sweet. Most of the time it just feels awkward, weird and off.

tog redux's picture

I don't feel second best, like a whore (?) or judged by anyone, personally.  My sister is a stepmother and she never did, either.

Just be careful which men you choose, that's the key.

tog redux's picture

People look at me slightly askance when they find out DH has been married twice before, but more in a "are you crazy?!" way, not in a "you desperate whore" way.

ndc's picture

There are definitely difficulties in a step situation and it is not for the faint of heart or the thin of skin.  However, IMO it's not necessarily for the reasons you state.  In my relationship, I don't feel second best.  I'm treated like the best by DH, my in-laws and DH's friends, and I almost never feel like a third wheel when I'm with DH and his kids (although at the beginning of our relationship, and when I was "just the girlfriend," I sometimes did).  Given a choice between me or BM, I'm sure the skids would choose BM, but if I was given a choice between the skids or the bio children I will eventually have with DH, I'm sure the skids will come in second, so that's fair and natural.  I NEVER feel like a whore.  Of course, BM was a serial cheater, so I feel like the blessed virgin in comparison.  I don't get the impression that society views me as pathetic and desperate, either.  I certainly don't view myself that way, and neither DH, his family, his friends, my friends/family or even BM's family views it that way.  I frankly don't care if someone I don't know thinks I'm pathetic and desperate, because I know better.

Now, talk to me about the extra work skids cause, the Disney Dad tendencies of many divorced fathers, the fact that CODs seem to learn manipulation better than the average kid, the added inconvenience and occasional uncertainty of a split custody schedule and stuff like that, and I'm all in.  But none of my issues with steplife are the ones you've raised.  

Jcksjj's picture

The extra work (with really no extra reward) is the biggest thing for me. My stress level is 10x higher when SD is here vs when shes not. 

Petronella's picture

For me the worst part is how rude, disrespectful and thoughtless my husband’s kids are to him much of the time. It pains me on his behalf and offends my sense of justice. I have to work hard not to spend my life feeling angry. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

STalk says I’m a whore because I started dating DH while he was going through the divorce lmao. I wear the title with pride because it’s ret@rded ffs. 

I don’t play second fiddle to fucking Biowhore. Fuck that noise. I long ago forced my DH to muzzle that piece of shit. Put me first or else. I don’t take no shit anymore. 

tog redux's picture

Only a loud and rude few hold that position that anyone dating a separated man is a whore. The rest of us live in modern times.

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

True. I mean, FDH was not living with Biowhore when I met him. He wasn’t in a relationship with her anymore. The divorce was a necessary formality. Once it was done and dusted we got hitched. Smile

Jcksjj's picture

Yeah, a divorce can take years - I'm sure it's common that the relationship is fully done and emotional ties cut before the final paperwork is signed. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

Agreed. It took me quite awhile to formally end my relationship with my ex husband. I had to do a lot of solo research etc as he refused to do anything or pay for any of it. It was his final punishment. The stuff he said to me when I ended our relationship was appalling and ultimately became his reality, not mine.

RisingtheWave80's picture

I met my DH while he was separated and not yet divorced. They had already been living apart for over a year and his ex was dating the man she cheated on my DH with. He made it clear that he was moving forward with his divorce, he kept me up to date each step of the way because he was not about to lose me. My friends thought it was risky but I met a man who I believed to be trust worthy and when I graduated from grad school the same weekend his divorce was finalized we celebrated.

Thisisnotus's picture

I am one, too!! My DH wasn’t separated or divorced. Oops. But I wasn’t separated or divorced either....double oops. 

I talked about this is another dh cheated on his ex and left her.....his ex was a fall down drunk who would verbally and physical assault him when drunk....and threaten to get him fired from his job. But all of that is okay because he is the bad guy for cheating and leaving her crazy ass. Yeah that makes sense 

susanm's picture

It is a cultural thing.  Probably a hold-over from our Puritan origins.  Sex is the ultimate sin.  The other spouse can do literally anything to contribute to the destruction of the marriage but they are deemed the "wronged party" and given all the sympathy in the world if their spouse gets involved sexually or emotionally with somone else before formally dissolving the union.  All of their sins are instantly forgiven and forgotten.  Oprah, Phil Donahue, and Dr. Phil do not help the situation by continuing to perpetuate the line of crap.  Getting out of a marriage is a complicated thing and can take a long time.  Expecting someone to live a lonely life for as long as the often vindictive spouse wants to hold children and finances over their head is just cruel.

Husband's wife's picture

This is funny how people feel sometimes. My DH was not married to his ex, the BM of his boy. At the same time even now I am not a stepmom, it was clear to me and my husband from the beginning. I do not want to do anything with his kid. I am a good wife, good mother, but I am not a stepmom. Well, cannot be perfect everywhere Smile

The BM did not have expensive presents, jewelries full of diamonds or other things that I do have.

So finally she is the one feeling awkward, she in fact said to my DH that she was like an incubator for him. 

And now I do feel sorry for her. Uneducated woman, shitty job, lack of money, fat and lonely. I do not see why I should feel a second best Smile I never compete with this type of women. Also, my family is almost a nuclear one, with my DH’s past being very, very far away from us all. 

notasm3's picture

I always knew that I could never marry a man with minor children.   The chaos and uncertainty would have driven me bat sh*t crazy.   And that was before even considering what others thought. 

SS34 is pathetic and disgusting - but because he is an adult I do not have to let him into my life. I did try and gave him more than one chance -  but unlike with a minor I never had to face possibility letting him move in 24/7. 

I have always believed that actions have consequences. And marrying a man with minor children would almost certainly have had unacceptable consequences.

Some of those consequences may have been what you mentioned -  but there were alway more than enough bad consequences to prevent me from marrying a man with minor children.  I learned early in life that love is not always enough and that you can stop loving someone.  It may not be easy but it can be done.

But that was me. We are all different. Just because I couldn’t do it doesn’t mean that others can’t.


marblefawn's picture

Minor kids was where I drew the line too. Turns out, skids don't age out of bad behavior, and when they're older, they're clever enough to be a presence in my marriage even when they don't live in my home.


shamds's picture

narcissistic and pas’d their 3 kids out.

hubby can’t stand her and anytime the kids bring her up like she is relevant hubby physically zones out of the conversation with many hmmmsss ohhhhh’s.

she did everything possible to sabotage a pregnancy and tried to pass one off as a miscarriage when in fact she had an abortion whilst married to him. 

Married life to her was absolutely torture, there was no intimacy. I am the first real person hubby has had intimacy and a great sex life. Whilst exwife does the usual pulling strings to get her way i do not involve myself in it and have zoned out of her crap.

me and hubby we focus on our lives and our kids together while his eldest 3 play the usual manipulation tactics. 

Op views are very flawed, any woman who has great intimacy and sex life with her husband/partner isn’t a whore because of it. If you feel that there is no intimacy anymore in your relationship and you’re having sex just because its routine, you need to ask yourself why the heck you are in this relationship.

i refuse to be treated as 2nd best which skids go out of their way to do on any family time activities or vacations so i have removed myself from any of these activities. Hubby can torture himself with it and believe me he knows after every one of these visits with his kids how unproductive it was. 

Notup4it's picture

This is FAR from always being the case.  DH and his family treat me #1, they did NOT like her at all... she tried to ruin his life. 

How would you be a whore?! I think that is only something you would think in your own head out of maybe insecurity?? They are divorced and he is single and the ex wife is no longer relevant. I have never thought that of others- I also didn’t think that of my own DD’s SM, nor has anyone I know said that/thought that about her. Why would you?! It isn’t cheating- their relationship is done. The way you are talking and thinking sounds like you think she still has some sort of claim on him.... she doesn’t (at all). 

Twix's picture

The only time I ever feel “awkward or weird” is when people meet BM. She’s gross and belligerent. 

And the only one who ever looks like a whore is BM ... that’s what happens when you have multiple children, with multiple men. But she does provide a good source of entertainment. 

Notup4it's picture

This is true in our case too.... she pretends like she is some saint but has a fleet of children with 2 ex spouses- she looks like a whore or an idiot.... 

Twix's picture

Fleet haha so accurate

BM has 5 kids with 4 fathers. 

When the latest one didn’t work out skids were explaining how “our little sister thought baby’s dad was her dad and just found out he’s not” .... during this convo I did feel like crawling under the table. Sometimes I’m embarrassed by association but only because BMs life is so embarrassing.

Oldest SS has begun making jokes about BMs love life and amount of children ... you know it’s bad when ..

Bex_S's picture

I love my DH and our life together with our son. I just hate having to raise someone else's kid who also treats DH like a rented mule. Other than SD and BM, our life is perfect. A small price to pay. Skid will eventually be an adult and I won't have to deal with her anymore. The only whore in the equation is serial cheating, gold-digging BM.

BethAnne's picture


Not even close. Being a step parent is tough, but none of those reasons are why it has been tough for me. Your missreading of situations you know little about might reveal a lot about yourself though. 

Winterglow's picture

What curious ideas ...

I am not a stepmother (yes, I admit it!) but have the greatest respect for my SIL who is. She is the woman my brother should have married in the first place. They were made for each other and my only regret is that he married HCGUBM when he was too young to know better. SIL is not a second best and absolutely not a whore.  She had my full respect and more besides. 

Please stop propagating such nonsense.

Monkeysee's picture

Nope, I’m definitely not second best to either BM in my case. Nor have I ever felt like a whore or been made to feel like I’m pathetic because I’ve chosen to be with my DH. 

I can see why you might feel that way, considering you’ve stayed with a man who treats you with no respect & you’re constantly complaining about him without doing anything to change things. But that doesn’t make it true for the rest of us.

ldvilen's picture

Maybe a little off-topic, but having to do with how SMs CAN BE viewed:

I also find it odd that when you Google "how stepmoms are viewed in american society," the vast majority of the hits to come up are for porn videos.  So, I do think there are more than just a few issues with how SMs are viewed overall.  However, personal experiences can widely vary, for sure.

Nonetheless, I found this gem of a quote:  "“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any”. – Alice Walker.  SMs do have more power than they think, oftentimes.  To me, it starts with saying NO and meaning NO.