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Did I make a mistake?

Fraser's picture

How many times have you questioned what the heck you were thinking, getting involved with someone with kids? I did a lot when my wife and I got together. My skids were 2 and 6 at that time, now they are 17 and 21. While I was never able to fully accept them as mine, I did my best to make their lives better, and I care for them.
So we have been having major issues with my sd. She is 17 and has been having some behavioral issues for a couple years now. Started drinking and smoking pot, then skipping classes, now she's totally dropped out of school and hanging with the wrong crowd. Yesterday we got a call from the police to come pick her up because she was caught shoplifting. Well I kind of lost my shit on her, not physically, but verbally. The problem is she looks at me with hate in her eyes. It breaks my heart because I made real sacrifices for my skids and while I'm not going to win any parenting awards, I know I made their lives better.

onebright1's picture

Yeah I have noticed that when bios fuk up they look at you with shame and embarrassment in their eyes and steps are just full of hate. It wouldn't matter if you cut your arms off and gave them to skid to use they wouldn't appreciate it. You owe them. Why ? I dunno. Ask them. I would love to know the true answer myself. So all I can say here is don't. Just don't. Don't do. Don't try. And don't want from a skid EVER and you won't ever be disappointed.

onebright1's picture

Yep and if you're like me you do it thinking they may just be getting it but sadly , no. Never do.

Fraser's picture

She is very good at getting what she wants. That pretty smile use to work all the time, now I've put my foot down. I told her no more freebies, people have to work for what they have, she says I'm playing games with her. She doesn't even want to talk to me anymore, looks at me like I'm a piece of shit. I've been looking after her since she was 2!

onebright1's picture

I have never been liked by skids. Just used. So it probably does suck more for you. Since she used to be decent to you.

herewegoagain's picture

It is, at the end of it all, your wives fault 100%. Period. If she truly gave a shit, she would have raised those kids to be GRATEFUL to you for being there for them...but obviously, she did NOT do that. Sorry, but it's true. The reason many of our skids are so lousy is because 1. they don't live with SMOM or SDAD and thus they have the constant PAS/BS from the parent they live with 2. they DO live with SMOM/SDAD and the bio parent in the home has not put their foot down, DEMANDED respect and taught them to be thankful for everything you have done for them

I tell you, my MIL is a loser...can't stand that woman, but my husband and ALL her kids worship the SDAD MORE than the BM as they were ALL taught that they should be thankful for everything he ever gave them, although never luxuries, but a roof over their heads, a man to keep them safe, etc...and they are ALL very thankful. She would have NEVER put up with ANY of her kids disrespecting her husband or not being anything but thankful to him.

PS - MIL did LESS for her kids than SDAD...and ALL the kids know it, although only my DH and his brother acknowledge it

stone1215's picture

should they be grateful for acting like you were their dad . kids grow up thinking their dad didnt want them . on top of that they think their new dad only wants them because they are with mom . they can see and feel every time you treat them like they are not your kids . step dads , or step moms dont have to be the new mom or dad . they can simply be the father , or mother figure and fill that role for them . the kids will know that you are what ever you are to them not because of their mom but because that is who you want to be to them .

and besides that all kids are ungrateful , and all girls from 15 - 18 for some retarded only a woman could think that way reason hate their dad .

Mindygirl1's picture

Blaming the mother...well that is pricesless. To begin with we are dealing with a teenager here. Let me state this loud and clear...nothing makes any sense when it comes to a teen. Anybody that says different is full of crap. You can raise 4 teens in the same house and 1 will turn out doing all kinds of crazy things - guaranteed. Teens don't need a reason to be resentful. And if you think most teens are grateful...grateful - are you kidding? They may appear grateful at the moment, but overall they are not. Between the ages of 13 - 21 they are barely human, self absorbed and always looking to blame others for problems. My best advise is when she gets into trouble again with the law. Leave her there for a few days - do not bond her out. That reality should hit home. You don't have to tolerate her behavior but it helps to understand why teens behave the way they do. Counseling may help and/or medication may be required. Don't give up no matter what you do because the tide will eventually turn and you will be glad for it.....It is hard to love your own children through the teen years...even harder to love children that are not your own...

Fraser's picture

I agree, it is my wifes fault. She just doesnt seem to give a crap about the way i am being treated. Sometimes i feel like an outsider in this home. These kids dont know there real dad btw, i am all they have.

Mindygirl1's picture

If you are blaming your wife for definitely need counseling... It is never 1 persons is a group effort...

Frustr8d1's picture

That is so fucked that you did all that work to help these skids and sacrifice your own time & money for them, but in the are completely unappreciated and hated... Sad

All of us steps, we will be unappreciated & hated in the end no matter what... FML

emotionaly beat up's picture

I'm not so sure that just steps do this. I think that some bios, well probably a lot of them, especially when they are doing drugs and pot is a drug and affects everyone in diffent ways, will hate the parent that pulls them into line.

I think you are also putting yourself on the backfoot by thinking of yourself as a steparent. Given that this kid has been yours since she was two, and the dad has never been in her life, I think you are entitled to take the bull by the horns and put her in her place. Tell her you are the only father she ever had and she had damn well better appreciate all that you have done for her, and she had damn well live by your rules. Act like her father, because you are her father.

I'd be telling your wife the exact same thing. They have no right to treat you like an outsider, like a steparent who has come into her life in later years, and as if she still has a father in her life. You are the father and you will not be treated with such disrespect from her or your wife.

You have allowed yourself to be put in second place here, so go get your home and family back. Do not tolerate this for yourself.

Orange County Ca's picture

Drugs are the underlying problem here and until that stops she'll hate anyone who gets in the way of her drugs or her drug addled behavoir.

Choice are two: Keep trying to get her help with drugs. Find a no bullshit rehab. As a kid she'll have to stay at least to age 18. It may not stick but at least you'll have done one last thing to save the kid.

Two - let her free - she's old enough and may just realize that she'll have to fly by herself if she gets a taste of the freedom. Just shut down when it comes to her. You're final words to her are "Well what's the plan for moving out on (insert 18th birth date - or high school graduation date).

stone1215's picture

well she should look at you with hate in her eyes . you said yourself that you never fully accepted them as yours . if you were anything but honest with them from day one it doesnt matter how much you sacrificed . all they can know is betrayal . mistrust , and most important they know that they are not good enough for you . there is something wrong with them in their eyes . there is nothing wrong with not being the dad to the kids of your new partner . there is something wrong however with acting like you are . you would have had the same , probably better relationship with them if you were just " bill " their moms husband and their step dad . and they wouldnt feel not good enough .

QueenOfTheCastle's picture

A kid knows if you really accept them as your own or if you merely tolerate them. The look of hate in her eyes is the look of hate that was in yours when she interrupted you and your wife at some point when she was just that annoying little "skid".
No one owes you anything. You get what you give & karma is a
b. i. t. c. h.

Natalia Ely's picture

When drugs are in the picture anyone who doesn't support the drug use gets looked at with hatred -- that's from biological kids, your own father or mother looking at you, your brother, your sister, your best friend, your husband or wife or even your step kids. It's not money that changes everything; it's drugs. Someone on drugs will crucify you if they get half a chance. Your wife may feel she is all alone with her self destructive child and her effort to "save" the child. Be ready for more problems. Drug users can be in slow motion suicide and trying to take everyone down with them. Check out this chat room: ADDICTION SUPPORT: ASK AN ADDICT.'s picture

Men who marry women with children come to their new responsibilities with a mixed bag of emotions. Your motivations may be far different from those that make a man assume responsibility for his biological children. As a new husband, you might react to your “instant” family with feelings that range from admiration to fright to contempt. You might even see yourself as less effective than a biological father. A new stepfather typically enters a household headed by a mother. When a mother and her children make up a single-parent family, she tends to learn autonomy and self-confidence, and her children do more work around the house and take more responsibility in family decisions than do children in two-parent households. These are good things, but to enter such a family, you must work your way into a closed group. For one thing, mom and kids share a common history, one that does not yet include you.

Moving into your wife’s house can make you feel like the “odd man out.” It might be months before you feel comfortable and at home. In truth, initially, stepfathers do have less power relative to stepchildren, particular adolescents, when they move into the mother-child home.

You might feel out of place because of a different background or because you have a different perspective on what family life is all about. After years of living as a single-parent family, for instance, both mom and kids are likely to have evolved a chore allocation system. As a newcomer, especially if you assume the traditional male role in a two-earner remarriage, you may draw complaints that you are not contributing enough. Or, while you think it helpful not to interfere, your behavior might be seen as an unwillingness to contribute.

The “hidden agenda” is one of the first difficulties a stepfather runs into: The mother, her children, or both, may have expectations about what you will do, but may not give you a clear picture of what those expectations are. You may have a hidden agenda of your own. You may see your new stepchildren as spoiled and unruly and decide they need discipline. Or, you may find that after years of privacy, a bustling house full of children disrupts your routine.

A part of the stepchildren’s hidden agenda is the extent to which they will let you play the father. Children can be adamant in their distaste for, or jealousy of, their stepfather, or they may be ready and anxious to accept you as a “new daddy.”

Stepfathers tend to be more distant and detached than stepmothers, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some detachment might be just what’s needed in order to have a workable relationship with your stepchildren, especially during the early years of your marriage. Teenagers may be mature enough to think of you primarily as their mother’s husband rather than as a stepfather. Teens, and younger children, may be unwilling to go back to being “children”—that is, dependent on and subject to adult direction. To you, they may seem spoiled and undisciplined rather than mature. Try to keep in mind that as part of a single-parent family, their responsibilities and participation in decisions were probably encouraged. The hidden agendas of mom, children, and you may be over simple matters of everyday living, things like food preferences, personal space, and the division of labor.

Discipline is likely to be particularly tricky for everyone. Two parents rather than one now establish house rules and influence the children’s behavior, but you and your spouse may not agree. A second problem can be the influence of the biological father. To you, there may sometimes seem to be three parents instead of two—especially if the non-custodial father sees the children regularly—with the biological father wielding more influence than you, the stepfather. The key is for everyone to work together.

You might react to all of this in one of four ways. First, you might be driven away. Second, you might take control, establishing yourself as undisputed head of the household, and force the former single-parent family to accommodate your preferences. Third, you might assimilate into a family headed by a mother and have relatively little influence on the way things are done. And fourth, you, your new wife, your stepchildren, and their non-custodial biological father can all negotiate new ways of doing things by taking to heart and incorporating the information you are about to learn—the most positive alternative for everyone.

Okay. Now you have a pretty good feel for what everyone is going through. How do you start to make it better? How can you give yourself breathing space—time to catch your breath while your new family begins to come together emotionally and learns how to work together, a process that can take years? First you must be very clear about what you want and expect from this marriage and the individuals involved, including yourself. What are you willing to do? What do you need from your spouse in order to feel supported physically and emotionally? In a loving and positive way, now is the time to articulate, negotiate, and come to an agreement on your expectations and about how you and your partner will behave.

The best marriages are flexible marriages. But how can you be flexible if you do not know where you, your spouse, and the children stand and what everyone needs right now? Needs will change over time. There must be room for change. People change and promises will not prevent change. People who vow never to change often try to hide their personal growth from each other, and the result, of course, is lost intimacy. People who are not flexible, who cannot change, may be left with a permanent, but stale, relationship.

In flexible marriages, partners are freer to reveal their changing selves and the parts of themselves that no longer fit into their old established patterns. You and your partner must continue to be in touch at a deep emotional level even when the outer framework of your lives changes. The more you know, the more you grow. You couldn’t possibly have known at the beginning of your new family what you know now and will learn later. Flexibility in your relationships will enable growth rather than tearing them apart.

Get in touch with your expectations and encourage every family member to do the same so you can compare and negotiate the differences. Your goal, and your partner’s, are to actively begin to define and built a healthy, supportive relationship. Talk over specific problems. Just because you were unable to predict some of the problems, don’t let that stand in the way of dealing with them now.

It is not uncommon for people who marry again to feel reluctant to fully commit themselves emotionally, even though they want the marriage to work. The struggles of your first marriage and divorce can leave scars. When not openly acknowledged and healed, past failure, rejection, loss, and guilt can undermine a new intimate relationship without either of you understanding what is happening. One way to release these feelings is to share them, and to make it safe for your partner to do the same. Each of you needs to feel secure, respected, positive about yourself, and as comfortable as possible in your new family unit.

You may feel the “conflict taboo” even more than in your first marriage. It is understandable that you want to make this marriage work. You might feel too “battle-scarred” to open “a can of worms.” And so, you gloss over differences that need airing and resolution—differences over which you may not have hesitated to wage war in your first marriage. Avoiding airing your differences is a serious mistake. It is important for you to understand your own and your partner’s needs because society hasn’t a clue how stepfamilies should work. Unless you talk about your expectations, they are likely to be unrealistic.

Gloria Lintermans is the author of THE SECRETS TO STEPFAMILY SUCCESS: Revolutionary Tools to Create a Blended Family of Support and Respect.

adam101977's picture

Heck yeah, and my step kid isn't even nearly as bad as half the messed up sacks that are called skids I've read about on here. You know I think every step parents go through the process where its like 1) Get to know and get comfortable around the skid. 2) Wife (in my case) or Husband doesn't discipline skid so you try to take active role. 3) Try to take more active role in discipline. 4) Get nods from everyone. 5) When you discipline told you are being mean and too judgemental about skid. 6) Ok punish them but only half a** punishment no follow through. 7) See 5 8 ) Give up on discipline. 9) Get feed up with skids behavior again. 10) Goto #3 follow through throw step 9. 11) Repeat step 10, 12) Repeat step 10. 13) Finally give up and say not my kid not my problem, just a worthless hole I have end up pouring money down from time to time. 14) When wife complains about how worthless and undiscipline skid is tell wife to be a parent, inform wife that he's not your kid parenting must come from her.

My skid isn't even half as bad but he's still worthless. He's ok when he's content but when he doesn't get what he want he's an angry entitlement prince that screams at his mother. SS tried that crap with me and gets the verbal smack down and all internet access taken away. Tell him if he can figure out how to reconnect everything and figure out what I did in the router he can have it back. SS too stupid to figure it out.

My SS is 16, 6ft 360+ pounds with a 52 inch waist (even those are tight now). He's pretty much a passive waste of space with no ambition or goals. His strategies for dealing with adveristy are avoidance and lying. No real goals or asperations in life, constantly obsessed with food like I have never seen before. If he takes a nap and misses dinner time he goes into a complete panic. Only thing that stimulates dopamine in his brain is video games so you know he's addicted to that. God forbid he gets access to real drugs his life will be over. Constant D student, completely conviced the only way he passes is the school just passes him along. I've seen some project he's turned in and if my employees gave me that level of crap effort they'd be gone in a heart beat. Doesn't take care of himself, has acne and eating a literal non-stop diet of crap (literally the only time he doesn't have anything in his rechid hole is when he's sleeping) and my wife spends endless money and creams. He's already had weight related health issues but is to dumb to see that they are related to his weight. Doesn't care to take a shower and will go days with out, even though he his huge, craps all the time and has no real idea how to wipe his a++, so he has that combination of raw fat people funk and rancid a**. He's the kind of person as a man, you just get disquested by him. On a man level you see he's a lying weasle with no character and having to introduce this pile of crap as my Step Son just makes me completely embarrsed.