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Why would anyone enter in to this??

Missingme's picture

It's hard enough to make a marriage work under any circumstance, but to marry an individual with children?  It's almost impossible.  Reading the threads under Adult Stepchildren is quite depressing.  No one would enter into it if they knew full well in advance!  

SteppedOff's picture

What makes it to a greater degree disturbing is categorized under “adult”.

The good news is not every step situation is negative. I have a stepfather of 20 years who was a widow with 6 young adult children. Our family dynamics are loving and all work great....healthy is out there.


Missingme's picture

Well, that makes sense because stepfathers have an atronomically higher acceptance rate from SDs, especially.  SMs on the other hand have only a 20% chance of an amiable relationship with SDs, especially.  That isn't a very good statistic.  Glad that it's worked out for you all, though.

SteppedOff's picture

I am a stepmother also.  My husband has an adult daughter.....and believe me I know the torturous side of step family as well and it is terrible.

It is unmanageable if the father is an enabler of the poor behavior. Even when he sets and sticks to boundaries it is difficult to watch and not feel some guilt or feel bad when the grandkids are also kept from your spouse for sticking to boundaries. It is sad any way you look at it.

I wish you well on your journey.


MissTexas's picture

until we found ourselves in it. It's an evolution of sorts, and I don't think anyone believes when they take vows to marry another that their spouse will not have their back or advocate for them.

Keep in mind, this aspect is only ONE facet of people's lives, and while it is a big one, there are many other reasons for being a couple and staying married. This is a venting forum, so naturally you will not see the many other positives that are in each relationship. This is a narrowed scope and view.

What brought you here? I see you are in a step situation. Why did you enter into step world?

ESMOD's picture

I don't know if I would base my conclusion on posts on a site that is meant for Stepparent

Seriously, most people who come here have had at least one situation that has come up in steplife that made them look for comfort in numbers.. or advice.  

It's not like we have a whole section for bragging about awesome steplife times!

Adult skids.. entering into a relationship when your children are already grown can be extra problematic.

There are issues surrounding estate inheritance that can make kids possibly resentful of someone they may view as trying to step in line ahead of them in that department.

There can be issues of misplaced anger at parents for splitting up.. that the sp gets the brunt of.

There can be issues related to grief if their bioparent passed and seeing their remaining parent with a new partner dredges that back up.

Kids can come with their own set of problems/addictions/personality and mental disorders.. 

Not saying it "can't" work.. but it does require a certain amount of maturity and mental healthiness on everyone's part.

ExcellenceToolkit's picture

I've seen both, healthy and unhealthy. I have two skids. One is a brat and the other is just fine. I love SS as my own and he is considerate kind and good natured. the daughter on the other hand is a whole 'nother story. DH has stepparents. He has one brother. DH has his own issues but in general he is respectful to his stepparents and we don't have alot of issues with his stepparents since he keeps his distance and only interacts with them during holidays which tend to be pleasant. I actually love his stepparents. They are what keeps the family sane. They are the best. His older brother however is an alcoholic who regularly asks his father for money, lives in a rundown little shack and raises goats and owns several firearms,  and his father and stepmother have had to provide almost 100% of the care for his 16 year old niece since she was born. DH's biomother has cut his brother out of her life because he is so violent and abusive so she rarely has contact with her granddaughter. Also, MIL has no contact with her stepdaughter whom she's known since stepdaughter was 16, and openly spews  vitriol about her stepdaughter in front of her husband. I've been with DH for 4 years and have never met the stepdaughter. The stepdaughter is basically cut out of their lives.

captjacksprrw's picture

Even knowing the mess I've been through with Step kids and a blended family, it is a process and tons of learning.  If you truly have the love of your life then it is worth all the trouble to get to a good point.  I'm there myself ... Was about to put a post in this forum today of free advice based on the missteps/pain/etc I have been through

advice.only2's picture

A venting site usually isn't going to have the normal day to day of a life, it's going to give you the worst of the worst over periods of time.

Evil3's picture

I entered into my so-called blended family not knowing what Disneyland Dad Syndrome was or what Mini-Wife Syndrome was. I was single and childless and my DH warned me and said having kids around changes your life. I thought that meant that we can't just hop on a plane and fly off to someplace exotic at the drop of a hat or that we can't stay up until 5 am watching movies anymore. I thought that it would be really shallow to not choose kids over spur of the moment trips or going out until 3 am. I had no clue that SKs could be feral or that my DH would run a childcentric household and put the brats above me.

Also, I honestly feel that I got the old bait and switch. When DH and I were courting, he disciplined the SKs very well. He didn't seem Disney at all. I saw them get grounded, I saw DH follow through with consequences and I saw him say no and stick to it. It was after we eloped that DH snapped and decided to stop parenting. It was as if when we eloped, he said, "oh shit! but what about the SKs?!! Especially SD?!!!" I remember weeping in the bathroom within two weeks after getting married wondering what in the hell just happened and what did I get myself into? Two months after getting married I offered DH a divorce or annulment.

I remember crying to my mother and she said that her exDH did the same to her. He knew what to do to charm her and court her, but the second they went down the aisle, he flipped a switch. She was left bawling on her wedding night wondering what the hell happened. Some men know how to court and charm a woman and then they stop all efforts in the relationship because now she's stuck with him. I think some dads know that they and their kids suck and they hide it until after the wedding.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I agree. In my case I intentionally did not date anyone with young children. I didn't think adult children would be a problem because they were adults. Ha! Adults can be more conniving in their attempts to drive a wedge between their bio parent and step parent.

DH and I are doing well now but it was a hard road to get here.

SteppedOff's picture

Me too.

When I met my now husband I never would have believed adults would behave like spoiled, ill behaved children. I thought we had it made our children were all adults, how hard can this be. I was in for an awakening!

My husband and I are doing well also but what a hellacious road to here. His daughter cut him off when he started standing up to her and for that I feel Sad  However, I absolutely understand it is not me it was/is them. 

ladybug3's picture

Both of my aunts ended up as stepmothers. One of them is SM to three boys, and all were teenagers when she married their dad. The other one married her H when his kids were nine and eleven. Both of these situations resulted in happy, long-lasting marriages. The kids are happy, too, although I'm sure there were ups and downs. Whenever I get discouraged and stressed out about the future after being on this site, I remind myself that most of the people on here are here to vent. You're only hearing the worst parts of peoples' lives, or the worst part of their week, and you're not getting the full story. There are a few people on here whose lives just suck and who absolutely hate the stepparent life, but I would say that they're in the minority. They're just loud. 

Not to minimize anything that anyone is going through by saying that. Being a stepparent can be difficult and some situations aren't worth it. Other times it comes with no more challenges than any other relationship. 

Missingme's picture

I hear everyone regarding this being a place to vent, so others are getting only the worst, but I bet there are a lot of others not here who don't even know about this place that would be doing the same.  That stats are very dismal for stepmoms of SDs.  By far, they'll accept a SD over a SM.  They see the SD as providing for the BM but see the SM as competition.  

ldvilen's picture

I think it is both of the bios.  BM and bio-dad decide far more than either SKs or SM what sort of relationship the children are going to have with their step-mothers.  And, I also think many, don't get this or don't even see this.  They just think if the SM is nice and gives it time, then all will work out/ be okay.  (This is despite the fact that evidence shows that a nicer a SM is, the more resentful SKs can be, because of conflicting loyalties.  They don't want to like SM in some ways.  They want to hate her and make BM happy? . . you could say.)

Weak, enabling DH and manipulative, controlling BM = Step Hell.  I started realizing/ saying this four years back abouts, and nothing in my own experiences and others here on this site has changed that opinion.  Now, that's not to say that there cannot be psycho step-moms or psycho kids, but aside from that, it mostly comes down to DH and BM.

piegirl's picture

I have been a SM twice. My first go, I had 2 young adult SD's and they were fine with me. We had small differences, but definitely nothing that could be seen as usual getting to know you things. BM was supportive of DH & my relationship, all parties were stable. Unfortunately our marriage didn't work out when he decided it would be great to run away without all the kids and start a wonderful new life adventure together. I had to decline - end of marriage. 

Fast forward to my current situation where I have adult (over 35 yrs) SD's who are completly manipulative, rude and subject to a Disney Dad. The BM this time has had a victim mentality ever since she and my DH split. It's terrible, and I never expected it would be anything like this!!

Luckily I love him very much!! Also on a good note, I still have a relationship with my 2 exSD's even though they now don't have a relationship with their father either!

Missingme's picture

Yikes, hard to believe a parent would ditch their children, especially loving ones!  I'm sure you've asked ourself what you've done to deserve Skids and a BM from hell this time (being sarcastic).  Those scorned BMs are formidable.

Rags's picture

I never avoided dating women with a child.  I dated a few in the years following my divorce up to meeting my DW of 25+ years.  Not that I spent enough time with them to get an idea of kid behavior... with the exception of the one I dated immediately before meeting my bride.  She was an attractive woman but there was a vibe between she and her baby daddy, the kid, and the X she was dating immediately before she and I dated. I did not have a feeling of long term quality in that relationship. 

When I met my bride there was none of the toxic crap I experienced with the other one.  Much of that was due to DW not living anywhere near her baby daddy or her family and she and SS being on their own.  SS was 15mos old when DW and I met and started dating.  We had the chance to date and learn a bit about each other and how the three of us were together. For sure she was a dedicated mom but... she was just as dedicated to herself and advancing her education and ability to provide for herself and her son.  The three of us had a great time together.  We for the most part did things together with SS along.  We only had a single date with just the two of us before we married.  We had a great time on that date as well.

DW and I landed on putting our marriage first and each other first very early in our relationship even though we had a toddler fully woven into our relationship from day one.   Both DW and I had parental examples that likely made our situation fairly easy to partner in.  My parents have always been each other's partner, lovers, fully dedicated to each other and raised their children with clear boundaries of behavior and performance with the absolute understanding that kids do not trump mom and dad to mom and dad.  My ILs had also been in a long term marriage with the added exprience of raising DW as their eldest.  She is not my FIL's BK but she was always his eldest daughter.  DW's BioDad was killed in a car accident before MIL knew that she was pregnant.  She returned home to her family as a  young widow who was expecting a baby.  FIL was an old family friend.  FIL and MIL's families belonged to an RV club together and MIL and FIL had known each other since they were kids. FIL was there for MIL throughout the pregnancy and held my DW the day she was born.  MIL and FIL married when DW was 2mos old.  FIL raised DW as his own and never differentiated between she and her three  younger sibs that were added over the 11 years after DW was born.

Due to my DW's BioDad's VA survivors benefits my FIL did not adopt my DW when she was a minor.  The loss of income would have been significant.  Ultimately he did adopt her when DW was 38.  Interestingly she has always been his favorite.  They were much closer than her 3 younger sibs were with FIL.

With so many horror stories of blended families it is hard to say why anyone would jump into a relationship with a prior relationship breeder.  But... it can work and work well.   The common denominator between myself and my FIL was that we did not have BKs when we married our wives.  We were there from very early in the lives of our Skid and our DWs did not limit our participation in the raising of our Skid.

Love-Life-No-Matter-What's picture

I personally thought it would be great because hey if you know the Disney story of Cinderella, you think to yourself, I'm kind and giving and loving, it will work out beautifully. No, that is wrong to think that way.  Disney definitely got it wrong. It's quite the opposite of what that tale is about.  The stepmom is Cinderella, by every which way.  Don't rush into having a blended family until you have tested the waters and I mean really test the waters. Don't be clouded by being a bride and the best stepmom the world has known, it's not reality and you will live with such heartache.  Hope this helps someone out there. Peace always.

ldvilen's picture

Ha!!  "The stepmom is Cinderella, by every which way."  Reminds me of the quote from Miranda in Sex and the City, "I just realized; maybe it's maturity or the wisdom that comes with age, but the witch in Hansel and Gretel, she's very misunderstood. I mean, the woman builds her dream house, and these brats come along, and start eating it."  

It does appear some fairly tales are better understood in this day and age with the roles reversed.  Look at Maleficent, for example. And a sequel is out.  I would think the money grabbers in Hollywood might be shopping a movie called Lady Tremaine, the name of Cinderella's SM in the original.  Has a nice ring to it.