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what a waste

harmony98's picture

Does anybody else read these forums and just think.  What a shame.  How has society not caught up with the blended family situation.

All these stepchildren who have such chips on their shoulders.  That prevent them having a relationship with one parent.

We have now not spoken to my two skids for nearly a year. 

I just find it so sad. 




ESMOD's picture

I don't know if it's society.. and what you think society should be doing differently.. it has a lot more to due with human nature.. posessiveness, greed, jealousy, bitterness and anger.

strugglingSM's picture

Society loves to perpetuate the narrative that one person is to blame for the divorce and they should pay. Society also loves to perpetuate the narrative that divorced mom is a victim and divorced dad is a deadbeat. Finally, society loves to perpetuate the narrative that a child's life is ruined forever if their parents divorce and someone must a) pay for that; b) spend the rest of their lives making up for it; c) give them a million concessions because they are poor CoDs. In reality, relationships don't always work and not all children grow up in a traditional two parent household and they can still turn out okay. I feel that we often make more concessions for CoDs than we do for children who have a parent die...again, because there is an assumption that one parent is at fault when a divorce happens and that parent must pay.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Add to the mix above the hundreds of years of history, folklore and popular media about the wicked stepmother, in particular. 

Imagine if we had all grown up on stories of stepmothers who were positive role models, who came in and helped a struggling child/family with her love, attention and resources.  Can you even think of one story like that?  Of course not.  But there are hundreds of thousands of women in real life who have done just that over the centuries but their story has never been told. 

Steptalk is at least one place where there is some balance in the tales. 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

Sound of music is half about a good stepmother.  But of course Maria has to oust the beautiful but wicked rival to be stepmonster to win her prince so I guess it still perpetuates the myths.

ESMOD's picture

Unfortunately, there are plenty of people and situations that perpetuate the stereotypes.

people have affairs... move on and expect everyone to accept the addition of the "other woman" often going on to have a new child or whole family with them.  shoot..right on up to the british monarchy.  Honestly, I am not sure I would have the stomach to really accept the person who was cheating on my mother if they knew that they were with a married person. 

Kids of divorce DO have it tougher in many ways.. and while I don't agree that everyone gets a total pass because something sucky happened to them..,, it's a very complicated situation.

And... yes... it's hard on the new SP too but while not saying exactly "you knew what you were getting into".. to an extent..they are adults with free will and they are choosing to stay with a partner ... and often blaze right pass glaring red flags and speed bumps because they "want what they want".. go on to have kids with guys that are crap fathers... then look around and wonder what the hell did I do!

And.. on this site... you rarely have the perfect step situation... and many step situations are much less contentious... I arrived here over a frustrating situation and while my DH's EX was a bitter pill... and his kids were ... kids.. and had a few issues.. overall, I have not had the worst situation... and both my SD's have grown into nice independent women who have relationships with both their father, mother.. and have one with me... would the relationship transcend my marriage to their father?  in YSD's case.. probably.. in OSD... likely not... I am closer to the younger one.  But... I'm not going to yell out to "not do it" to ever person... but probably would to more newbies on this site because these are mostly (women) who are getting themselves into crap situations... either their SO is a poor partner and father.. or the prospective SP is ill suited and doesn't have the kind of attitude and nature to be in SP land without it becoming toxic for them and everyone around them.  There are certain relationships that come with too much downside to make them good choices.

But.. we do hear too much "love them like your own" which is stupid.. they aren't yours... you treat them as they need to be treated in my opinion... that may be more loving.. or may be more hands off.. depends.  and kids come first... which is confused with kids are a parent's first responsibility... but every person in a family may have needs that are a priority.. or wants that are a priority.  But, this part is a fallout of the more child centric family dynamic that I see even in In Tact families.. my brother and wife have crafted their lives around their child... not really so much vice versa.  My DH and I planned our lives and trips.. and the kids fell in line accordingly.. and sometimes the kids missed a practice.. or he missed one of their events.. but we made the decisions.. not the kids.

But.. again.. look at the royal family.... there is Camilla... the other woman.. and Charles who cheated on their mother.. it's fairly clear that William.. who has much to lose and more to personally gain by toeing the line as he will be king puts on a fairly good face.. but Harry.. who doesn't have that golden carrot dangling clearly carries more bitterness.. and it's not just about the whole Meghan thing.. I think for him.. the scars are deeper.. and yep.. they are both COD'

In the end.. sometimes we just need to make peace with the decisions we make... and allow people to have their own opinions.. even if they differ.. and it's sad when family members are estranged.. but in the end.. we all make choices that have consequences.. some good.. some bad. 

Elea's picture

My SM "cheated" with my Dad. I don't believe cheating is right but I also don't believe it is a unforgivable sin. My parents didn't belong together long before the affair and even if they had it's my parents issue, not mine. Not sure why we think SK's should bear the cross of their parents decisions. My SM is good to me and I love her. I really don't care that she met my Dad while he was technically married to my Mom. Of course I am sad my Mom had to go through a crappy divorce but it was inevitable whether my SM came along or not. Just IMHO. 

ESMOD's picture

Every situation is different...but ideally, if you are unhappy with your situation.. you will leave that situation vs cheating..and you won't enter into a relationship with a person who is technically not single.  Can it never be forgiven? depends I guess.. My parents didn't have an ideal marriage all the time.. but would I have been ok if my dad or mom decided to cheat vs leave?  I don't know...I think as adults.. it's maybe a bit easier to see that it's not always black and white... and even good people can do things that aren't nice.. or good.. or right.... I think kids are more susceptible to seeing the perspective that their parent and that other person's actions made their life and their otherparent's life worse.. and may have a hard time overcoming that.

Some people are also more able to move on... and let others live their lives... but some can't.

I think if you decide to cheat.. or get together with a married person.. you have to accept the very real risk that you will have permanently damaged your ability to have a healthy relationship with others in that family may find yourself estranged.. and there may be little you can do to fix that.. and you have to accept that is a possible consequence.  It doesn't make someone wrong to be hurt and not forgive someone.. it's just a risk...

your father is lucky you are in the camp of people who were able to see the bigger picture of the dysfunction in your bio parent's relationship...and have empathy for his choices..but you can't count on everyone being capable of doing that.

I think it would be hard to get over.. maybe not impossible.. and it could be easier.. or harder depending on a lot of outside factors and influences.

Elea's picture

He's not so lucky. My Dad is a sh*tty husband and now my SM gets to deal with him instead of my Mom. I blame him a lot more than my SM for choosing to screw us all over. I agree that every situation is unique and a lot of it has to do with the constitution of each family member. I am in the live and let live camp. I also believe it is the married person's responsibility to keep their family together, not some rando woman. 

Elea's picture

Society's go to is to blame SM when SK's don't like or accept her. It couldn't possibly be a child's fault that they hate their step-parent so it must be the step-parent is doing something wrong. 

CajunMom's picture

Especially for those of us on this board, dealing with High Conflict and Toxic people.

Society in that, those who have not walked this journey or do not know someone personally on this journey (StepHell) making stupid assumptions, like you know what you were getting into, you need to act like a mom but don't be a mom, evil SM, etc, etc.

Human nature, in that, some humans do not care about anyone but themselves and have no problems sacrificing anyone, incuding their own offspring to get what they want and/or to hurt other people.

And then the kids, who without proper supervision and direction, learn the same toxic traits being spewed by their parent(s). Then, as adults, continue rather than look at themselves and make changes.

The loss is great for all involved. It really is sad. While I live in StepHell married to DH, I'm grateful my former husband and I found a way NOT to create a StepHell, but an environment where everyone is loved and accepted. And sometimes, that makes my Stephell even harder to comprehend. If me and my ex could figure it out and make a peaceful "after divorce" life for ourselves and our kids, why can't others?  SMH

I'd dare say there are many other factors than the ones I mentioned....will be interesting to see other's take.


Exjuliemccoy's picture

I agree. We seldom get the success stories on ST. Instead, we hear about the ones where dysfunction is present. And I think mental illness/Cluster B issues are present in a large percentage of the stories here. The crazy people are definitely breeding.

advice.only2's picture

So I had a mother who was very toxic, she would threaten my dad constantly that she was going to leave him and leave us with him.  Then she would threaten us that we would end up with some whore as our new “mom” who would treat us horribly and it always scared me so bad that my mom would leave us and I would end up with some other horrible woman as my mother.  So given that scenario it was all about my mom being a raving B@tch and had nothing to do with a stepparent.

Newimprvmodel's picture

Unfortunately your own family. I am just coming off the worst year of my life thanks to my very toxic mother and brother. My stepdaughters antics seem mild compared to that. 
I really trust few people or even want few people in my life these days. However watching my father die has made me appreciate that death is the outcome for everyone and I need to get out and get my traveling in before it's all over. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

Pack a bag, and go somewhere you haven't been, do something you've never done, and enjoy the living hell out of it!

Newimprvmodel's picture

Had a great winter vacation. Out of the country. There was a steep tobaggan ride and the old me would have said no way. I climbed all the way up with DH.  Somewhat fearful. Did get on and when I finally opened my eyes I loved it!! Only wish I had filmed it. 
my DH now wants me to ski. THAT I draw the line. Too much energy and coordination.  

CLove's picture

YES its totally super sad, and what a gashdarn waste to boot.

SD23 Feral Forger called MY phone a few weeks before Christmas and demanded to speak with her father and refused to tell me whats up, until I persisted, to find out she wants to move back in for "just a month". 

After being told "no" she has gone no contact and yeah, thats on her. Previously she was all no contact. Only texted when she needed help moving, and otherwise "eff you".

Well guess what - these skids will someday understand what they threw away with both hands.

SeeYouNever's picture

I must be getting old because I'm starting to think about kids these days... They love to wear mental illness and family traumas like a badge of honor. I don't see this type of conflict going away anytime soon.

In fact I think this kind of stuff gets passed down through the generations unless you have one person that makes a very concerted effort to break the chain and raise their kids in a very different way from how they were raised.

BMs beget BMs.

Harry's picture

TV and movies such a wrong view of step life. They totally miss the major issues.  Issues you don't know of.  The ex has a say in your life. The kids come before you.  That the one that you love had a past. Had the big wedding, had the big honeymoon,  had kids. Now you are there. There no big wedding. Or honeymoon, No money for that. 
you constantly get the short end.  The ex gets every thing they want at yours expense 

they get to talk to the ex a few times a week. For the kids. They get invited for Christmas, birthday, ect. For the kids. 

harmony98's picture

Having an affair is of course not the right thing to do.  But it does happen. 

I know many men and women who have had affairs. Sadly including my Dad, but he and my Mom worked it out.   

I don't know I just think that the world of excuses we live in, just gives everyone the right to "Blame" someone else for everything wrong in their lives.

I took it for years on the chin.  But you can't live like that forever.  Its not living. 

Im glad we all have an outlet.

Flustered's picture

You can't change it if the first spouse is toxic. Mine was and I divorced him over 24 years ago. However, my then 18 year old BD loved her SF. My SD's mother was long dead when I married my DH. and our relationship was a show in front of her dad and toxic with me/ even more since he died. 
OTOH -- My BD married a guy with older kids who adore her. Her kids adore him. Her ex even learned to co-parent. My Sil's ex? Mother of his BKs? Oh, totally toxic since the wedding. She's  mad he remarried. 

I think in every 2nd marriage there is at least 1 toxic person on some side.

Rags's picture

If not both sides.

For us it was SpermGrandHag so at least it was a bit farther removed than it is for most SPs married to a partner with a toxic X. My DW was never married to SS's BioDad, the Spermidiot. He was and remains toxic, but he was so minimally involved that he was only an intermittent PITA.

Though he is the one who tears my kid's heart out upon occassion. Even though SS is 30yo.  The crap his SpermDad pulls is mind numbing.  The consequences of that clan's failed parenting is that my SS's three younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs by two other baby mamas are failing in life. #2 is on the dole, #3 is in prison, and #4 is not far behind #3.  Which breaks my son's heart, and by association breaks his mom's heart and mine.