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Can acting nice as a SM trap you later?

tt111's picture

Will people take advantage of you in the future if you aft nice as a SM?

Have you discovered traps that are good to avoid ?

hereiam's picture

I think people can set themselves up in a role that they later don't want to be stuck in, but others expect them to be. That's when you just have to learn to say, "No," and enforce your boundaries.

You can be nice, buy a gift, cook a meal, but you don't have to do it on such a regular basis that it becomes your EXPECTED role. Don't let anyone box you into a role that you don't want.

Babysitting is one thing that I see on here a lot that SMs get trapped into. My husband NEVER expected me to babysit his kid. I did it ONE time for a few hours when he had to work and he ASKED me before he even picked her up for the weekend because had I said, "No," he would have needed to pick her up later or forfeit or whatever.

QTsmum's picture

Yes.   And I think it's easy to fall in to.  It's easy to be nice and caring towards a child you see for a couple hours on occassion.  It's when you live together and see the huge issues that make it hard.  And if you're not on a team with your SO, than I think you've set yourself up for failure.  

One thing I've learned is that they don't see what you do while you're doing it, but they sure see what you're not doing when you stop.  If I could go back, I would have set those boundaries from the get go.  Actually no, I would have just run the other way.  LOL

Letti.R's picture

It depends on what you mean by being "acting nice".

If it is an "act", drop it, because it is insincere and eventually it wears thin or you get caught out by being the real you.
Being sincerely nice doesn't mean you don't have boundaries or can't say no.

If you do it from sincerely held beliefs or it is a natural part of your character, don't let the actions of others change who you are or what comes from the goodness of your heart.
If you doing it because being nice is often what "people pleasers" do, all you are doing is setting yourself to get hurt all round and make everyone angry in the impossible task you are trying to achieve...

So... what do you mean by "acting nice"?

marblefawn's picture

My earliest regret is believing my husband when he assured me SD was happy for him to be with someone he loved when all her actions screamed otherwise -- I should have trusted my gut.

I regret not setting my own boundaries with SD early on and expecting her father to do it. He never did.

I regret that when she screamed horrible things at me over the years, I stayed silent because I was the adult (she was 22!) Now that I've disengaged from SD, I might never have a legitimate chance to scream horrible things back at her!

I regret that she took my willingness to forgive her bad behavior as weakness. Had I been more assertive, maybe I could have checked her early on and won some respect from her.

I regret that for years, she controlled this triangulated relationship by being nice to me one day and awful the next. This is classic manipulation that I should have seen early on.

If I had to wrap all this up, I guess I regret that I relied so much on my husband to referee my relationship with his daughter, but I didn't have the guts to stand up for myself against this "child" who was so aggressive and confident. Who the hell has kids like that????

ldvilen's picture

Well, according to Wednesday Martin, SM and SM Expert, Written Voices Article, Myth #6 out of 10 is:


In fact, warm and loving stepmothers cause the most severe loyalty conflicts for children. University of Missouri stepfamily researchers Marilyn Coleman and Larry Ganong found that the more appealing, attractive, and kind a stepmother is, the more hostility and resentment she will get from her stepchildren if they feel guilty, sensing that befriending her would be a betrayal of mom.

That is why I always say being a SM is like being in a backwards world.  Here is one really backward deal, for example—the nicer you are, the more appealing, the more hostility and resentment will be coming your way, apparently.

Jcksjj's picture

Yes! When I was nice to my SD, included her in everything that I did with my at the time only child, she was awful about constantly telling me why her mommy was better and trying to box me out in every way possible. When I started disengaging those behaviors started disappearing - they arent gone and she still is who she is but it's not nearly what it was.

Cbarton12's picture

Yes. I have helped babysit SD and then it has become expected of me. Then if I refuse I become the bad guy. 

I regret doing so much to get SD ready for school. How can I care more than the bioparent?

Cbarton12's picture

Yes. I have helped babysit SD and then it has become expected of me. Then if I refuse I become the bad guy. 

I regret doing so much to get SD ready for school. How can I care more than the bioparent?

Rags's picture

Only if you tolerate it.  Do what you think is right.  And confront anyone who attempts to take advantage of  your good nature.

Abject misery in response to crappy behavior delivers a message. Repeatedly delivering that message delivers a lesson.

As two great philosophers once said "Be excellent to each other."  However, that takes both sides to accomplish. If only one side makes that effort, there has to be consequences applied ot the other side if they take advantage.  They may not participate, that is fine if it is not hurtful. But if they take advantage, that behavior must be met with consequence.

IMHO of course.

Littlemama4's picture

Glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. I honestly set myself up with out even noticing. When my ss came into my life he was 4 , dh and his ex had a nasty custody battle. Ss's bio mom put on a good show , for a year she acted like she was the perfect mom and wouldn't let my dh do anything...forward 7 years..I'm expected to do EVERYTHING , but discipline. Just yesterday dh got  mad at me for not taking ss to his mother , I babysit my neighbors son before and after school and i have my 4 bios. Pick up time for ss was 530, & i couldn't do it bc of having my neighbors boy. Dh didn't say anything directly to me but i got snide comments. Dh called earlier that day to see when my neighbors son was going to be picked up, I told him it's as early as 530 but as late as 6. My neighbor got to my house around 6, and left about 615, the same time my husband was getting home. He passed her going down the drive way and stated to me "well shes just now leaving she must have been here a while..." when really she wasn't, dh was just mad bc I didn't shew her out the door to go drop ss off for him. 

So yes you can set yourself up. I don't mind the not disciplining ss because he doesnt listen to me anyway. But I'm expected to take him to dr appts, buy his clothes and such. Last night proved that to me , that I'm being taken advantage of when it comes to ss. Dh and bio mom expect me to do everything, & when stuff isn't taken care of I am the blame. I do not discipline because it gets me no where , but ss is put in his place when he feels the need to be mean to my bio children, which is often, however the more I do for him the meaner he is towards my bio children and myself.