New Here - No Kids of My Own, 2 adult SDs
Hi! I have been reading your message board for a couple weeks off and on. I guess I feel lucky because I don't really have "issues" per se, but still find it's good to know I am not alone with some of the things I go through or feel when it comes to being a step mom to two adult daughters. I have been surprised about the things/feelings that have popped up for me as I traverse this new territory.
I was married 15 years to a man who changed his mind about having kids mid-way through our marriage, thus I have no kids of my own but always wanted them. When I finally walked out of a deep, zombie-like depression I left his ass and made a life for myself. I did a lot of hiking/camping by myself (not to copy Cheryl Strayed in "WILD" but that stuff works, it does, and I recommend it to any woman.. get lost in the woods to find yourself). Anyway, I am 43 - once I hit 40 I told myself that this is my fate and I am at peace with it. Many have told me I "could" have kids (including my now-husband) but I don't want them this late in the game of life. I am at peace with the fact I am child-free.
I married my husband 1 1/2 years ago, been together for 3. He was married 17 years, divorced for 9 when we met (I had been divorced for three years when we met). He had a long-term girlfriend before me for 3 years who his daughters made clear to me in no uncertain terms they would still remain friends with. (fine, whatever) They remain "besties" on Facebook but as far as I know haven't met up with her in real life once. His daughters are 26 and 22. Both got married in a double wedding last summer (ask me how "fun" that was, God what a long day - glad they both got the deed done in one shot, though!). The 26 year old has three kids (ages 6, 2 and newborn) and the 22 year old is pregnant with her first boy.
I know I can't complain. I know many have real issues here. I am actually pretty freaking lucky as I have a good relationship with his girls (as good as it can get, maybe, being I entered the scene so late?). But that good relationship with them doesn't come "easy" and I am sure you all can relate to that.
Biting my tongue? ALLLLLLLLLLL the time.
I am also lucky because my husband is amazing. He makes it clear we are a team (he and I). He loves his daughters but they lost a lot of their closeness after the divorce and dad moved far away because he couldn't deal living in the same town as his ex and best-friend (who she left DH for). It's a choice he regrets because of the toll it took on his relationship with his daughters, but at the time, it's the choice he made to protect himself. Parents sometimes make choices they don't love. He has worked at rebuilding the relationship with his daughters but they are adults now and make their own choices. They will always be closest to mom. She's no saint, if I can just add that -- please?? Thanks. My husband has never said one bad word about her to his kids NOR has he defended himself to them or his family. Thus, everyone loves and adores her still. He just says to me "truth comes out eventually." And it has in bits and pieces. A few months ago his eldest questioned when his best friend started seeing her mom. I left the room at that time, as I always do when conversations go towards the ex with the SDs. Not my business. I heard from my husband that the girls knew she cheated on him with his friend all along - his ex STILL stands by her lie, "Oh, we didn't get together until a year after." *eye roll*
Not that I care - I mean, I am HAPPY she did that -- I get to be with the love of my life now. But it irritates me that she is so adored by everyone and still SO VERY MUCH in the picture of our lives because of that. It was just a few weeks ago my MIL removed the family picture that his ex was in off her fridge and put up ours from our wedding day. I swear, I did a silent cheer when I saw that! lol I know, that's probably petty of me. But I HATED seeing her mug at my MIL's, prominent there on the fridge, my DH's arm around her... ugh, I hated that. About time it goes into deep storage to collect dust where it belongs.
So, my goal is to have a good relationship with his daughters. I think of that goal/intention before I do/say anything which means a lot of the time I can't really fully be myself AND I have to work through why I feel something before I react in a way that could be negative. If that makes sense? They love mom. The grandkids love "nana" - I get to hear about her every time they come over. She will call if the kids are celebrating with us to wish everyone a happy "whatever" (last time it was Thanksgiving we got them on the actual holiday). I was annoyed -- she "Facetimed" her daughter so it was like she was literally THERE on OUR holiday, in OUR house. Oh, could I feel an attitude boiling deep within me... I almost let it out, but nope... I took deep breaths, (lots of them), and slapped on the smile.
Shut up and smile. The mantra of a Stepmom?? The mantra of "dad's wife?"
Anyway---- it is getting easier with time, so I hold out hope it will just get easier and easier. It feels good to know there is a place I can vent real feelings if they come up, though... because my tongue gets pretty raw and sore from biting it!! Thanks!!