I just had an epiphany! Re: Disengaging
Why can’t disengaging be looked as more as disengaging from the role of SM vs. disengaging from a person or group?
For the first time in quite a while, I took a look-see at a general advice site re: blended families. OMG! It was bad-horrific, is all I can say. I was reading things like:
- From a teacher: “I have seen so many jealous or insecure step-mothers that it is very common. Step-fathers usually have other problems. meanwhile, I've often had the male parent start complaining about his new wife-even 10 years later, but he can't afford to divorce the 2nd or third wife- he feels that all step-mothers are the same.”
- In reference to a bio-dad starting to date: “Warn your daughter to never eat an apple stepmom has had her hands on.”
- Also in reference to a bio-dad starting to date: “Make sure your child's bunny is safe in its cage. Just sayin.”
- “It’s just bizarre that current girlfriends and current wives feel they can dictate terms of a partner's relationship with his children and former wife.”
- My stepmom always talked my dad out of spending time with us or doing things with us. (Due to her own insecurities) He went along with what she said.” Of course, none of this was dad’s doings. . . it was all SM. She sprinkles mind-control dust on his cereal every morning and keeps him, an able-bodied male, from seeing his children.
- “With the rise of divorce vacays, more parents are going to great lengths to show their kids that relationships can still be meaningful even if they don't work out as planned.” Maybe I just didn’t see it, but there was absolutely nothing in this article about taking into consideration how a SO or new spouse might feel.
That made me think, “You know, when it comes to disengaging from step-kids, it’s a lot harder, because these are your husband’s children. You want to support your husband of course and you genuinely care for his children.” But, now that I’ve gotten a reality check on how most pretty much see every SM as not only evil, but worthless. I think there is plenty of evidence out there now for step-moms to disengage from being a SM just because of the hideous negativity and stereotyping and bias and sexism that comes along with that role. Quite truly, you could be the kindest, sweetest person in the world, and once that SM label is slapped on you, which occurs as soon as you get seriously involved with a man with children, you will be thought of as no better than an evil witch waiting in the wings with a red apple.
I know some people have asked when you are disengaging what are you disengaging from? SO, I’m going to take that epiphany I just had and mull it over--looking at disengaging as not disengaging from SKs, which sounds harsher, but rather looking at disengaging as DISENGAGING FROM THE ROLE OF SM.
I do hang out with my adult SKs and grand SKs and my DH sometimes. But, in the future, I’m not so sure. It bothers me that so many SMs are treated so unequally, despite all the work and, yes, sacrificing they do, and all for someone else’s children. I can see myself someday just telling my DH, I love you dearly but when it comes to the role of SM, I’m done. I don’t want anything more to do with this role. You can see your children and grand-children whenever you want to, but as much as I still care for them, leave me out.
Saying I’m disengaging from the SM role/ label not only sounds better but is more accurate than saying I’m disengaging from SKs. Because I realize now my biggest issue isn’t really with his children. It is with how SMs are treated and thought of in general. That’s what I want to disengage from. Others’ thoughts?
FYI--Here’s a good link to an article called “Signs it’s time for a stepmother to disengage”: https://www.stepmommag.com/2017/09/25/5-signs-its-time-for-a-stepmother-to-disengage/#.XdCVIG5FxXI
Good quote from the article: “Disengagement is not an act of desperation, and you don’t have to be on your last nerve to give it a try. Emotionally healthy women who are committed to their partners often eventually realize that disengagement is their best bet for lasting happiness.”