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Am I the only Stepmom having a hard time "liking" her stepchild?

WickedStepmother74's picture

Am I completely abnormal? Here's a little info:

In some ways, my stepson is difficult. He's been diagnosed with ADD, which makes him difficult to deal with because he has a terribly hard time listening/comprehending. He's had medication in the past and for a time, it worked. However, he outgrew the dosage of that particular medication and a replacement was never found, mostly because my husband (his father) is too busy/distracted to take him to the doctor for the repeated visits that would be necessary to again find a suitable medication.

My stepson is also difficult because he lies. He lies as easily as breathing. If he told me the sky was blue, I would have to look out the window to verify before I agreed. He lies about big things, small things, inconsequential things, momentous things. He's told lies about me and to me, so often that I've begun to think that if he opens his mouth, a lie will come out.

All of which adds up to: I just don't like him very much. I've known him for years. I've tried, tried, tried to like him, but now I've got resentment. I'll be the first to admit that lying is a hot-button issue for me. This is my second marriage. My first marriage was to a man who lied constantly, so in some ways I've been through this minefield before (but with a totally different relationship dymanic, of course).

So, any tips out there? How do you learn to "like" your stepchild?

Anon2009's picture

Why doesn't DH get his son to the doctor's? He is doing this kid a great disservice. I think it would help you all and SS's life would be so much better.

WickedStepmother74's picture

I totally agree. It took me three years (count 'em, three) of reading articles and making comments along the lines of "You know, J's got all the symptoms of ADD. I think he should see a doctor" before I got any results. Then, my husband called me one day out of the blue and said, "I think J might have ADD or something." Really? Ya think?

To me, it was obvious (and I'm not a mom, nor do I have any other experience with children) that J had this condition. But I think my husband was just used to J always having his head in the clouds and having a difficult time reacting appropriately to what's going on around him. Even now, two or three years after the diagnosis, my husband incorrectly recalls that the only time J was getting passing grades in school was when he was also on appropriate medication. He thinks J was passing classes because he was "trying."

I think my husband is in some form of denial, like he doesn't want to admit there might be something "wrong" with J. I don't think there's anything wrong with having ADD, it's just a fact and it can be dealt with. But I'm the stepmom, and when it comes to medical care (as it does with a great deal of other things) the decisions are not in my hands.

stepmominPA's picture

I totally feel your pain. I really do not like my step children either. It does have a lot to do with their behaviors and problems. One has undiagnosed ADHD but nobody really cares enough to have him evaluated. The other has been diagnosed with a mood disorder and learning disabilities. They are completely distructive, they break something everytime they are here. Today I just discovered my Rowenta iron is in pieces because they knock everything over that is in their path. They have no concept of follow rules, they basically believe its ok as long as you dont get caught (much like their mother).
My husband and I just started counceling but I dont have much hope for it working out (we have other problems besides the kids).

dumbdecision's picture

ADD or ADD-H isn't a cause to be a liar or acting in the manner you seem to be experiencing! My oldest son was ADD-H.

To this date, after 13 years of remarriage, I still dislike, actually even more today then when she was younger--my stepdaughter--I do have a stepson who is wonderful. His daugther has made my life misrable and my childrens too--even at age 26 now, she continues to cause trouble with my marriage. I love my husband but I have pretty much made a decision to end this crap once and for all. If ou asked would I do this again--never. Step kids don't change and if his father isn't on your side, you don't stand a chance!

Never know-- your stepson could be experiencing his mother saying negative things about you when he visit her????? This could be the cause for him to be acting out like this. See if it happens more frequently after visits with the mom?

Ex's are nightmares and never go away just like stepchildren.

Stepchildren will never change! Been there, still there, but looking to end it soon!

Enough is enough.

WickedStepmother74's picture

I have no doubt that his mother does say negative things about me, but the lying happens all the time, so I don't think there's a connection. Plus, he lies to his dad as well. The lying is just a mechanism to help him stay out of trouble, but since it typically doesn't work, I don't know why he persists in using it.

As an example: I'm the last person to leave the house in the morning; my SS is the first to return in the afternoon. Then I get home at about 6:00 and discover something is broken, missing, etc. I ask SS: "Did you touch this?" or "What happened to that?" SS gives me a blank stare, shrugs, and says "I don't know." (Which is his thoroughly infuriating answer for EVERYTHING.) I say, "Well, it wasn't broken when I left this morning." *Another shrug* So now I'm getting angry. "Are you telling me that someone else has been in our house today? You're saying that someone broke in to our house, broke this (dish, Christmas ornament, what have you) and then LEFT?" And he'll say: "I don't know. Maybe."


And my husband wonders why I have such negative interactions with my SS!!

mel81280's picture

OMG, exact same thing with my 17yo SS about things coming up missing and he's the only one here but has no clue about it. I am so fed up I can't stand it.

pandalove984's picture

I feel your pain too. I have terrible problems liking my husbands children. 1 was diagnosed with ADHD and was put on medication. Both children attend counseling whcih their father, my husband, must take them to if it happens to fall on a weekend they are visiting. They are both teenagers which doesn't make matters better, and are very selfish children. All they want to do is spend money, and since we don't have it to spend on them, they sit in our house when they visit and do nothing but watch tv. I constantly remove myself from that situation because I feel I will go crazy just staring at them all weekend, which in turn puts a strain on my marriage after they have gone home.

StepMadre's picture

Your SS needs to be in intensive counseling. Lying is never okay and is NOT a symptom of ADD or ADHD. Get this child into serious therapy and have that be the condition that you stay with your guy. You have the RIGHT to live in your own home and not be lied to.

Also, all kinds of people will put pressure on you to not only like your SS, but also to love him. That is BS. You do not need to even like your SS, let alone love him. It sounds like he has some very serious mental issues. You did not give birth to him and it is not your job or responsibility to fix him. Speaking from the experience of being a step-mom to two step-sons, both with significant psychological problems, I can tell you that although you can have a positive influence in your SS's life, it is his bio-parents responsibility to get him the care he needs. My advice is to figure out really quickly what kind of boundaries you are going to need in order to take care of yourself and stick to them. You are not your SS's counselor, babysitter, teacher, mom or friend. You are his step-mom and while that has certain responsibilities, your first responsibility is to maintain your own health, happiness and security. You might and probably will have pressure from his family, your family, your friends, your husband and society at large to like and love your SS. They all need to back the hell off. Don't listen to any pressure and focus on being you and getting your needs met. I wish someone had told me this when I was first starting out as a step-mom. I threw myself fully into the role and wound up draining myself to the point where when I even heard my step-kids voices my stomach clenched and I wanted to scream and run away. Take it a day at a time, don't force bonds and let them happen naturally. You weren't around when your SS was younger, when he got screwed up and since you didn't make the mess, you do not need to clean it up. What you can do is establish rules for yourself for what behavior from SS you will or will not tolerate. Create those boundaries and stick to them. Demand decent behavior from your SS and tolerate nothing less.

Get on this site daily if you need to when you need support and advice and give yourself a huge pat on the back for being willing to share your life with someone else's spawn. Pamper yourself, set high standards for how you will be treated and settle for nothing less.

"If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they will kill you." ~Oscar Wilde

WickedStepmother74's picture

Believe me, I have suggested the counseling thing on numerous occasions, but like the ADD, the decision is not mine. When I tell my husband that I think my SS should have some counseling he just says he doesn't agree. "If I thought J needed counseling, I would have him in counseling already."

This kid used to be filled with rage, and I think it was understandable. His BM is impossible: an abusive drug and alcohol addict with no education, no prospects, no ambition, and no desire to do anything in life. Her only concerns are where her next beer, cigarettes, and drugs will come from. She is entirely dependent on the government to see to her every need and is not only happy, but proud, to be on food stamps, welfare, and any other assistance she can get. She loves that other people's hard-earned money supports her way of life. Violence and deception (though I have never heard of nor known her to be violent to my SS) are her way of life. With that kind of example (and genetics), I think it's hard for my SS to be able to conceive of, let alone choose, a different path.

Of course, he spends the majority of his time with us, and it's a completely different world. Still, her influence is pervasive and I think that's where a lot of the lying comes from. It's also why I think my SS needs counseling. How can a child reconcile existing in such vastly different households without needing some professional help? I don't see the same symptoms of helpless rage that I used to in my SS. Maybe as he's gotten older he's become resigned to the weird duality of life with his biological parents. I would still love to see that kid in counseling, though. I think it's the only way he's going to really learn to function in the world, take responsibility for his actions, and be accountable.

time2live's picture

great advice! I really got a lot out of reading that. i'm just starting on this step mom journey and I agree I need to decide my boundaries, my limits for how much i'm going to do because i tend to overdo motherhood 0 i have two of my own who i do a lot for and with, so naturally i swing into action with skids, but it's just not the same. and i am just learning that i don't have to like them. i never even realized if i liked them, or not, i didn't know how i felt about them, because i never gave myself the option of not liking them. it was always in my head like a mandate - you have to love them. i am finally stepping back and saying hey you how do you feel about them? and however you feel is ok. btw, my SS has adhd too and they are not taking half the action i would take if it was up to me... :0

suzieQ's picture

I am new to this website, and so glad I found it. I can't believe all the SP out there who are going trought the same things I am, and that I have been feeling so quilty about. Now I feel better knowing I am not a "bad" SM for not liking my stepson. He will be 17 next month, and I have been in his life since he was 6. His BM is not in the picture at all, so I have tried to raise him the best I can with his father, who basically caters to him and closes his eyes to all the things that need addressing. To put it mildly, my SS is a habitual liar, disrespectful, uncaring, sloppy. He REFUSES to abide by any rule he does not agree wim and will not change any behaviour on his part. He has endured every form of punishment we (mostly me) have come up with and nothing changes. He does not care about school, and has told us he doesn't care about us either and is just waiting until his 18 birthday so he can leave, but has given no thought to getting a job. He says the only thing worth doing in his life is hanging out with his freinds, and nothing that isn't "fun" is worth the effort. This is all so unacceptable to me, and I am constantly stressed out and depressed when he is around. My husband is in denial about alot of what is going on, and says he just wants to keep the peace until the kid leaves. It has started to affect our relationship, and it's the only thing we ever fight about. I hope I can make it through this next year; but what if the SS is still after that? What am I to do then?

mel81280's picture

same here. my ss is 16. I hope I can make it till he's 18 but its like his attitude and the tention between us is getting worse by the day. he told his sister he didn't like me and now he knows why his brother moved out. he said he was thinking of moving out:jawdrop: That actually makes me happy. Don't think he'll actually do it tho but it kinda makes me wanna be stricter to help him out on that decision. I'm awful i guess but I'm so exhausted lately. I'm also afraid he won't leave when he's 18

vba0719's picture

WOW!! You wrote my story!!! Everything you just said is my life! My husband says the same thing about trying to keep the peace until he turns 18 and gets out of the house. I dont think I can make it 2 more years! I am a prisnor in my own home. This has really affected our relationship. I fees the house has been divided. If i could do it all over again I would have never married my husband!!! Just dont know what to do.

roughroad's picture

Wow I could have written your post myself! I am married 5 years (together 7) to a widower with two SD. They are now 22 and 19 and they make my life so hard. They are disresptful to me, dismiss me and my DH doesn't see it and says its me. I do not have my own bio kids but being a SM is way harder than I thought. Like you we only fight about the kids I hope it gets better for us both. Any suggestions to get through it? Thank you again for your post it is nice to know I am not alone.

mylife7's picture

It drives me crazy when people pick and choose which ADHD symptoms apply at the time. Lying IS an adverse side effect of ADHD. "Difficulties with concentration, mental focus, and inhibition of impulses and behaviors" Lack of impulse is the screaming base of ADHD. Most lies are born of impulse and a desire to hide negative behavior are they not? My BS10 has ADHD. It's a constant battle with people who think they 'know' how it is. Well let me tell ya! People who can't understand my son are a dime a dozen right along side the people who judge me for deciding to have him on meds. It's been a long hard road (four years) to find the right Rx for him that wouldn't take away his spark yet allowed him to get through a minute of school without climbing over a row of desks on his knees because he saw something shiny on the other side of the room. ADHD sucks. As the BM to my boy it sucks. Four sucky years with my son and myself being looked down upon sucks. I can't imagine being a SM in that situation. Here's what I see...SS is a turd. No doubt about it. SM is an easy target. Shame shame to the head in the sand BD, a kid with a medical condition that is being untreated? If the boy had Diabetes would he be denied insulin? If the SMs are going to be denied rights of decision making yet be expected to deal with a disorder that effects her...perhaps people should be focusing on the father who refuses to do all he can to help his son and allows that son to put undue strain on his wife.

NotYourMother's picture

Sugarplum, your comments rang very true to me. I have recently come to the conclusion that I can't be my 15-year-old stepson's guardian angel and I need to set a clear boundary.

His situation is unfortunate: His mother is a drunk and is father is too filled with guilt over the divorce to discipline him. In addition, his mother is also looking to keep him a baby for the rest of his life: she lays out his clothes for him, fixes him french fries as an entree and always agrees that he should put off his homework to rest after a hard day at school.

I saw this as a situation that I could make better. I come from a family with a strong work ethic and believe that self-reliance gives an individual the confidence to succeed in a variety of areas.

And the more I tried to introduce good habits into his life, the more I fought with his father, the less his mother required of him at home.

My 15yo SS shows up at my door every Friday night after a week of no homework, being allowed to stay out to 2am in MANHATTAN and spending all his time around the house in front of the TV. I have some simple chores for him: empty all the trash bins on the 2nd floor, walk the dogs 2x a day and bring your laundry to the mudroom on Sunday night. Which of these chores ever get done? None. Why? He can't "remember" them all. He's too "tired" from school. His mother doesn't think he needs to do stuff at "this house."

He's failed multiple classes every semester - not sure when the school will say "enough!"
His language skills have steadily deteriorated since junior high, saying things like "homeworks" and "more easy" - even though his parents and I are all college-educated and articulate.

It's gotten to the point where my stomach is in knots all the time he's around. I have a fairly stressful job and I find myself yearning for my office because I know he won't be there.

I have to say enough. I didn't bring him into the world and it's not my job to see that he gets a good start in it when my opinion receives no support from his parents. I love my husband and even thought I have wanted a biological child previously, I know I would never have one now. I don't want to be a single parent and he doesn't have any parenting skills.

I want my house to be peaceful and hoped it would be when my stepson went off to college. With college looking less and less likely, I've drawn the line in the sand: He is never living with us full-time, regardless of his situation. If he even needed a "place to crash" as a lazy, not-very-bright adult, I know my divorce papers would be filed before a week passed.

Sad to think that my marriage hangs on that, but it's true.

semperfi722002's picture

NotYourMother: I write this message to you personally. Amen to what you said. You have preached to the choir. I am engaged, and scheduled to be married in June 2011. I have told my fiancee now, BEFORE WE EVER GET MARRIED, he knows NOW that my SD will NEVER live with us as an option. She may visit her father of course, but our home will NOT be her home once she graduates from high school at age 18. That option is NOT on the table. I have 3.5 very long years ahead of me. This situation with my SD has been gruesome to say the least. She is NOT a pleasant child to be around. She is rude, lazy, disrespectful, conniving and malicious. She places her own needs, above the needs of others. She would drink the last gallon of water in the desert before offering her father and I a sip. She is a product of her mother, who I suspect is a sociopath. I have no trust for my SD, and have made my feeling abundantly clear to my fiancee. If our marriage comes to fruition, my fiancee enters that union with the knowledge that my SD will be asked NOT to return to our home after she graduates from high school. Whatever relationship her father has with her, will be OUTSIDE the home. I cannot and will not be asked to sacrifice the rest of my life to this madness. I wish my SD the best, and genuinely mean her no harm, nor do I bare her any ill will, but at the end of her high school, she has got to go.

bioandstep2009's picture

You're not abnormal. I wonder how many stepdads feel the pressure to like/love their stepkids? It seems like society expects you, as a woman, to naturally bond with and love children, whether they're yours biologically or not. I know I felt guilty for admittedly not liking my stepson (mostly due to the behavior, the lying, it's just something I cannot stand, lying that is). I also watch my daughter interact lovingly with my FH and I feel badly that I don't have that with my stepson but it is what it is. I wish I had some advice for you but this is something I struggle with from time to time.

Eyes Wide Open's picture

Exactly! I feel as though I was expected to be their mother right from the get go. Even though the skids were adults, I was expected to "groom" them and make them decent human beings. Ok....their mother ran around town with everyone and finally left when they were 5 and 7. When she occasionally felt like tolerating them, it was like a vacation with no rules for the kids. They could do as they pleased with no consequences. DH got to the point he kind of ignored them in their teen years because they were so out of control. I understand there is some serious emotional scarring from thier childhood...but....I am NOT their mother! I raised my child with values, morals, and expectations. By the time I met DH, it was just too late for his kids. (not that I could have changed a thing if I tried!) And, I, too, felt/feel guilty for NOT liking them, much less loving them! I'm now to the point of total disengagement. I just can't do it anymore and maintain my sanity. I'm not a miracle worker!

Bubblehead's picture

Stepdads feel exactly the same way, trust me. Though, I'm one if the lucky ones. I really disliked my sd for ten years. Mostly because all she ever said was lies, but something popped in my head and i realised that I wasn't letting myself enjoy her company because of this. Our relationship changed over night and it has had a really positive effect on our home. That said, my sd 14 is a compulsive liar, so I can identify with that. We have to check her phone, room and school bags for anything that she may or may not have been doing. It sounds terrible to say we snoop so much, but we have to verify what she's saying is the truth! Like the author, I have to check on even the smallest statements with teachers or find evidence to prove it true, or else I just can't believe it. Without trust, there can be no respect, let alone love for anybody, step child or work colleague. It's a hard path to stick too though. My sd 14 has no medical needs, so the lying is habitual. The more I need to check up on her it goes two ways. I either do it behind her back or to her face. If I confront her about suspected lying, it ends up as a kicking and screaming match, with everybody suffering and usually the result is a lie was told. If I see her teachers they'll tell me the truth and then I have to confront again, with the above results. I don't understand how she keeps on persisting with the lies, even though she can see every lie just undoes any previous hard work. She's a 14yo girl. We can't trust her and so she doesn't get to leave the house, except under extreme curfew and when she's out I worry like Hell. At 14 she's getting interested in the opposite sex and unless I can trust her and know she's safe, I know she's silly enough to get herself pregnant too young. I couldn't cope with that. Lying is a plague that destroys everything in it's path, especially families.

Eagle Eye's picture

Sounds like my situation!! My BD loves my DH and is very affectionate with him. In fact sometimes I feel like she would rather hang out alone with DH than with me. LOL

I do not have any motherly feelings for my SS13 who lies like breathing! I have no tolerance for this so I have chose to disengage. I don't care if he showers, brushes his teeth, does his h/w or whatever! This has helped me keep my sanity!

MarriedwithChild's picture

You know the old phrase, "You can't make anyone loive you?"

It works both ways.

I honestly would have a tough time "liking" someone like that too. Perefectly normal.

Maybe just "tolerate" their presence?

fedupstepdad's picture

As far as stepdads, guess my screen name speaks for itself lol. But seriously, I am currently going through a very similar situation with the lying and all I can say is it has taken its toll on this entire family. DW was very honest when we first got together about SD and how she had it tough with BD. She needed to know that I would be the type of person who loved and didnt judge...was accepting. I knew I was that kind of person anyway but what I didn't know was what a lying backstabbing two faced kid SD was. Regretfully we found out when we went to court for a change in custody just how bad of a liar she really was. After a year of her complaining and crying she was terrified to go to her BDs house on his weekends, she tells us he is physically and emotionally abusing her. Well what could we do, we went back to court on the premise that she would tell the courts what she had told us. She swore she would even though she was scared. Even the day of court she said "Mommy I will just tell the truth and it will be ok!" Well guess what, she went into court and did the complete opposite. Told the Judge she was fine, it was her mother who misunderstood and that if anything she wanted to live with her BD full time! I can say from my own experience that lying is one of the most DANGEROUS things to be around with SKids...After what I saw what she was capable of doing to her mother, I don't feel comfortable even being around her. God forbid she decides to make up a story and lie about me! Since that day I told my wife that I will never be alone with her and she is to take her wherever she goes. DW thinks i'm out of my mind and then I remind her..."Hey has the knife wound in your back healed yet?" Sorry my response is so long but 1) it's totally ok not to like OR love you SD...EVER! 2) If the bio parent doesn't see what is so bad about lying you really need to take precautions to protect yourself. Good luck!

TattooQT's picture

I think a lot of times we as step parents feel we should have the same unconditional love and liking for our stepkids that our spouses have. The fact of the matter is that a relationship with stepkids takes work and loving and liking them comes over time. The more difficult the child is, the harder it is to build that loving/liking relationship.

That has been my experience anyway.

Take care.

Katiehashadenough's picture

I can't believe how many step parents feel this way. I think my SS's are the most ungrateful children ever. We have put them through private schools for years now and after the older one finished high school he has turned down an offer for uni so that he can get his "fork lift" licence and work. His mom is fine with this??

SS # 2 is on his way here now and my head is already starting to hurt. He will come in, say nothing and expect us to put up with it all weekend. We have twin boys a year older than him and they have tried to let him join in but it just doesn't work. My kids have friends over all the time and my SS will never invite anyone over. I don't think it's fair that my kids have to let him tag along.

I just keeps getting harder, the older he gets. He feels that he can do whatever he wants and we should bow down to him. He won't do anything we do as a family. He says, "it's not for me" We make him come along but he just sits there and won't join in. I am at my wits end.If he was my kid, he'd be grounded without TV, facebook, the works. His mom does nothing. He has been caught shoplifting, she didn't even tell us. We found out through the school and when we asked her to punish him, she said she would but didn't.

I'd ask for advice but it seems we are all in the same boat. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't like her SS!

Bgran63's picture

Wow, I'm with you as well. I've tried to like my oldest stepdaughter, but I can't stand her and I don't trust her. The lies, stealing, sneaking around and overall creepy behavior. Her mother was diagnosed as a sociopath and this girl has all the syptoms. My husband even said that he was having a hard time just liking her or being in the same room with her for any length of time. What do you do? She's 14 and I feel like I'm living out a 4 year prison term. I feel so much resentment and bitterness towards this girl and I can't stand looking at her.

redheaded_stepmom's picture

Oh my gosh! Bgran63, I think you and I are living a parallel life! I feel exactly the same way about my SD14...she is constantly lying, stealing, sneaking around, and the looks she gives me and my to BK when we are together are downright scary. She creeps me out, and I think my DH is starting to feel the same way. I have the hardest time wanting to do anything for her or with her, and having to be around her makes me cringe lately. It's so good to know that I am not alone in how I feel. I think it is very apparent that there are a lot of us that feel this way.

A.N.B's picture

I have 3 step-children 2 of which I have a really hard time liking... I keep thinking its me... They lie, they steal, they say awful things about me, and they constantly complain to their father who takes their side. Both are girls one is 16 and no longer lives with us. She left and went to live with a friend after months of drug use, drinking and running away. We took her to councilling and tried to get to the bottom of it. Basically her response was "I don't want to go to school, and I don't like the rules at your house. We aren't strict. She still isn't in school it's been 2 years and has no desire to ever come home or straighten up her act... DH told her if she attended school and helped out around the house, stayed out of the drinking she could come home... response was, I don't want to follow those rules. I suggested Rehab or a Group Home, but we were told we couldn't admit her to either unless she agreed to go.

The other SD is only 8 turning 9 in two months. But acts JUST like her sister. She was too influenced by her while they were living together. She lies about almost everything, is mouthy and disrespectful to me and my SS (who by the way I love dearly, she is asked not to do something by me... disregards it every time. Asks me something when I say no, then asks her Dad an usually gets her way. My husband wonders why I am "so hard" on his youngest daughter... he doesn't ever disipline her. She punched her older brother in the head the other day and has been aggressive with him before (while he's telling her "ummm you aren't supposed to be doing that) whatever, she's doing that he knows is against the rules. After this incident my DH says to her "Don't do it again"... Really no consequence for hitting her 13 year old brother full force??? She's over 90 pounds so she's no light weight. I feel bad because he's smart enough and gentle enough to never want to hit her back. But what's the message here?

Last night SD told DH that she is "tired" of me telling her to do things "she doesn't want to do". She went on to tell my DH how I am always mad at her. He comes downstairs and tells me he's had it with me making her feel bad and that as the adult I need to stop being so snippy with her! I am totally stressed out about this whole senario. Her mother is a drug addict and a drunk and not around. I am pregnant with my first (and likely only) child... I cried my eyes out when I found out it was a girl because I don't get along with either of my step-daughters. I am just worried about how I am going to manage with another girl and I don't want to feel this way about my own flesh and blood... I am not sure if it's girls I don't get along with or just my SD's. My friends have tried to reassure me it will be different with my own... I am so happy this child is healthy and happy to be having her... but I feel very scared about how we will get along and about having her around my SD who I think is so badly behaved

redheaded_stepmom's picture

A.N.B.~~I just want to say that my SD is a holy terror a lot of the time and I have a VERY hard time liking her most of the time, but I have had my own daughter with DH, and I love her more that I thought was humanly possible. I know I am a good parent and am teaching her good morals and values and manners. My SD had shit for a mother before I came along and her dad was raising her by himself even when he and BM were still married. The poor girl has no common sense, no manners, and has some of the most annoying habits ever. I am positive it is because she never bonded with her mother and has had such a struggle throughout her parents' divorce. All children will present you with challenges, it is up to you as the parent to instill good morals and values in them and teach them right from wrong. You sound like an excellent mother for these kids and deserve their respect and gratitude. Don't worry about your relationship with your will be fine and completely different than what you have with your SDs.

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don't love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles
So we will know them by their limping.
~Irish Blessing

NiiteMajick's picture

Me too... I have tried, but I just can't do it.. I don't like her, and the negative feelings get stronger daily. She'll be 16 soon, and has "threatened" to get emancipated. PLEASE DO IT !!!! The only thing that keeps me going is actually having the full support of her father. I am so fed up, that I actually told him recently that if I had known what this would be like, I would have NEVER even gotten to know him. I would have RUN. He replied that he totally understands, and is constantly amazed that I stay with him, but he's glad I'm here. I LOVE this man, but his youngest daughter may yet drive me mad. I don't believe we are obligated to like these bratty kids. You can't force those feelings. I try to be a good parent, but that's as much as I can do. She has made a real effort to make both him and I miserable, and it's worked very well. Heck.. at this point, even HE doesn't like her much, although he still loves her, as her father. Sometimes I believe there really are people who are born bad, and one of them lives in my house. Anyone who calls her own BM a word that starts with C, among other things, isn't a good person.

PepperStarsky's picture

I appreciate all the posts. I really dislike my SS. I can't say loathe, but I wish he weren't in my life. I am the beneficiary of the BF who can't follow through on discipline. Unfortunately BM lives 2 miles away, so if SS doesn't gets whatever he wants, he runs to BM...and when he can't get what he wants from her, he runs back here. It is drama every night just to know where this kid is sleeping that night. I place a lot of this responsibility at the foot of both parents. It is really affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. I am losing a lot of respect for him. Thanks for letting me vent.

Bettina's picture

I am not a big fan of mine either. She was only 5 when we starting dating so I thought that with her being so young it would be easier. Oh God was I wrong! DH parents in such a guilty manner. BM is a lunatic. This child is the product of one parent trying to out do the other with gifts and trips and fun times. Not to mention BM says things to SD about me...which SD deliveries to me in a very smug little manner. Most times I just smile and say "Oh thats nice" when it gets too tacky I correct her on proper conversation with adults.

I have worked for many years in the past with Behavior Modification in the public schools and have worked one on one with many very poorly behaved children. Some of these kiddos I grew to love and wished I could have taken them home. But I guess because these kids where open to me. She is closed due to BM so that is that.

Its not easy to love or sometimes really even like someone when you are their caregiver and they constantly kick at you in a sense of the word.

I use this to describe nature of feelings.....

If you took a dog and kicked the dog everytime you passed by, the dog would either cower, run the other way or bite.

Sometimes I feel like bitting....but she is 9. I am learning to just run the other way.

Laughing....and in no way am I comparing us to a DOG in the litteral sense.

patienceisavirtue's picture

I am just beginning to realize that I am not suppose to love my SS as I love my biological. I have been really beating myself up about it. Unfortunately, he has all the negative character traits that I loathe. He lies, steals, and is sneaky beyond belief. I keep telling myself that he is only 11, but that's not helping.I have a wonderful husband, but I don't want him to feel as if he is stuck in the middle. I kiss and hug my bio son all day--I just can't do this with my SS.I want to love him, but I HATE those character traits. Am I awful? We have been married for 6 years. This living arrangement is all he knows, but hears negative "mess" on the weekend when he is with his bio mom. We are the house with the school work and routine--Her house is the fun house where he can do whatever he wants. I'm sick and tired. I look forward to the weekend and dread when he returns. I don't like feeling like this!

PeanutButter's picture

I'm with you on this! My SD12 has gotten on my very last nerve... I'm done dealing with her spoiled brat attitude. Her dad refuses to put her in her place and has let her take over our home! She gets away with whatever she wants, and completely manipulates our entire household! I purposely avoid her as much as possible. I just don't like to be around her, she has changed the entire dynamic of our home, and has pretty much destroyed my relationship with DH.

nottamom's picture

I to have 7 step children all over 16. Luckily the 16 year old SS moved back with his mom and the house is a little more peaceful. I feel bad for him. When he came to live with us at age 12 he had a grade 1 reading level and left with a grade 6. He hated rules never had any, ran the streets, lies, cons and steals. The 18 yo SD is a nightmare and has been. I am getting really depressed and discouraged lately. She runs our house, whatever it is she wants she gets. She is a bear to deal with. She is a senior in high school surprised she made it this far, school is dumb, stupid. Now my husband lets her cuss him out and lets her boyfriend stay because "he feels guilty" "he doesnt want her to not talk to him" I have about had it. He is buying things from the 21 yo SS who knows steals things. He is supposed to be following a Christian life. I am having a huge problem with this. When I say something it is .. "You only have cats & dogs" "You dont have any kids of your own" "what do you know about raising kids" "I love my kids" and he said if I hated her they would move and I am about to tell him to hit the road I have had enough. I do not see it ending. All of the kids rule our lifes, they only come to him when they want something, they arent grateful, respectful, courteous or even pay him back when they borrow no matter how much they say they will. This 18yo SD lies, sleeps with whoever, drinks, does drugs sometimes, has a boyfriend, her mother wants nothing to do with her everyday life, only the "fun" things, cant stand her mood, how she acts nothing. My husband has tried to force us to get along and it doesnt work. I have tried for 4 years and I am about to throw in the towel and send the whole bunch packing. I love my husband but I am starting to think less of him and it is affecting my mood, our relationship, and I am waiting for one of her screaming matches with her dad so I can take a frying pan to her. She needed discipline when she small all her mom did was let her run and have fun! Its just school! Have fun call into work sick! come on have fun... I am so sick of "fun" and no seriousness in there lives.. Like the moral responsibility of birth control, respectful, helping with the family chores, being pleasant, manners, she is rude, eats with her mouth open, turns her nose up at food, refuses to eat leftovers, doesnt want to do any other chores for money unless she needs some at the moment.

I feel like a servant, of course according to her I dont do a thing. Ie buy food with my money, she lives on my property in my house, her cell phone is attached to my cell account, I take her to the school bus because gee 2 miles is a long way! on a flat road and she might lose a pound pick her up from the school bus, and if we do this not on her schedule with get snotty remarks attitude. Sigh sorry its been a long awhile since I can vent and I am about to blow up.

somerg's picture

my oldest sd used to be the same way (still adhd, but dh doesn't let her get away with it ne more), my dh and i would have black and white PROOF that we'd show to bm and sd STILL would say what we had in our hand was not correct....AND BM BOUGHT IT...that happened about 3 months ago, dh told her until she comes clean with it she' not allowed online at our house (long story involves internet)...she still hasn't come clean, she still doesn't get online, she's offered ME her id and password to an e-mail address that she made without permission, i told her to give it to dad, i don't want it and could care less what she's doing online (if she winds up pg, it's on mom)...she gave it to him, he didn't want it either. (it was not coming clean, was an entirly different thing)

last time we gave them permission for something on the internet, ALL HELL broke lose with bm when it went wrong so no more (the sd helped all hell break lose to her benefit by lying)

lasseliza440's picture

i have 3 bio children n 1 sd. the problem i got is with my d n my sd. the older kids r out of the house. we just got the sd. she does not listen to me, repect me. her father has said something to her so she ignores me. in oct. 2010 she got hit by a car, broke 20 bones. n she is lucky to be alive bc she was dead on the scene. now i got to deal with her in a hospital bed, getting spoiled. she treats her dad so bad. i want, i want, i want. when i go to work she tells her dad to do everything for her. he is running ragid. i cant wait until her bones to heal. we were going to seen her to job corp when she turns 16yrs old. i have no idea if she can still go. my daughter treats me like shit threatening me with the cops bc i yelled at me sd. n is threatening us with child protection. our house is cleaner then hers. she has a 2yr old n the place is filthy. i am glad to hear i am not the only onehaving trouble.

KimmiD's picture

OMG my ss lies too!

and he is manipulative and talks to me like total shit.

my ex was emotionally , fiancially and socailly abusive to me for ten years
i feel like i am living with the same manipultive person (obviuosly different dynamics lol)

i dont like the middle ss 15 he lazy and sloppy and has no respect
and the younger ss 7 is compltely weird like today he kept shoving his hands down his brothers pants. now that made me sick! and the father did nothing! if i step in and say something is unacceptable ss7 cracks the biggest tantrum by punching anyone and anything, stamping his feet and trashing the place with his anger and all i said in a calm voice is that behaviour is not acceptalbe! sigh... go figuire, so over it! plus i have a 3 and 5 yr old. grrrrr

scarpetta's picture

I have been reading all these posts and and totally identifying with the frustration and pain caused by step-children. I have two step-daughters that I cannot stand. I don't want them in my life, but because my husband will divorce me over not wanting them around, I cannot do anything about it. I have fought with him so much over the years because he always put my children down but wanted his daughters to receive special attention. Because my children have always been with me full time and his kids only see him 50% of the time, he is extremely jealous of my relationship with my children and the fact that they have had a more stable home life than his children. I have honestly tried to like my stepdaughters but they are sneaky, secretive, manipulative, lying brats! They told my own daughter lies about me for years and finally she confronted my husband with storeis of supposed abuse I inflicted on them which all turned out to be lies. However, my husband was put in a very bad position having to show them that he believed them without actually confronting anything. To this day I resent them and my husband for the whole situation which made me look like a monster! I have only 2 years left with my oldest stepdaughter and 4 more with the youngest. I dread every weekend they are at my house. Even though I don't want to be around them I refuse to leave them alone at my house because they get into things they're not supposed to, break my stuff and talk crap about me behind my back to my husband if I'm not there to defend myself. I feel like I've been living in a prison for over 10 years! I doubt it will get better just becaust they turn 18 and move out. I can only hope. I feel bad at times for the way I feel about them, but I cannot feel anything but contempt for children who have been given every opportunity to be decent human beings and they choose to treat me badly.

Oklahoma_mom14's picture

WOW, I can't believe that I'm not the only one. I thought that I was in this alone, but it's a relief to know that I'm not. I have been married for a little over 4 years to my husband. He has 2 children who live with us fulltime and I have a daughter from a previous relationship. SD is 9, diagnosed w/ADHD (lies, steals has no thought or care about anyone but herself) I have been in her life since she was 3 1/2. SS is 7, he is an angel, he excells in school, does things without being asked, is always looking for a way to help out (I have been in his life since he was 18mo old). BD 5, is my baby girl. Loves to help clean, loves to learn is creative and loves art. My step children have absolutly no interaction w/ BM. She has another daughter who is a few years older than my SD and has no custody at all. She should not have any kind of custody of these two either but she does. I don't even know where to begin. Since I have been in SD life, I have been accused of child abuse twice in two different states (by her). Once when she was 4 and once when she was 6 (which was unsubstantial both times...stories that began to get her attention). She has used her father's guilt about her life as a get out of jail free every time she gets in trouble. It used to be that she missed her BM, however as the years pass the excuse gets old. My husband used to save the day for her any way that he could. If she left her homework at school, or forgot to bring something to school, daddy would be right there either picking it up so she would be able to do it, or running to school to drop it off so she didn't get a zero. Luckily for me (and a family counselor) he has finally seen and identified when he is being tested/lied to. Wow what a difference this has made in our family. But it's getting worse now that he can see when he is being lied to by his BD.
Just the last two weeks (since a light went off in his head) she has been caught by us doing the following;
1. Taking money from her 7 yo brother to "buy him something" but she buys herself things (erasers) and gives money to friends at school...since she sucks at math her story didn't add up to the $5.75 she took from her brother. So the missing $2 she couldn't account for she swears up and down that the office just took it and didn't give her the quarters she asked for.
2. Telling us that she has completed all required reading/testing at school...come to find out she is 3 weeks behind equalling 9 books/tests
3. Finally gets caught up on reading/tests....brings home books last week/reads and tests...teacher let us know she didn't test on any books last week. She says the computer at school is broken and the other kids were using the others. (my husband is learning to follow up w/ teacher) No computers have been broken since school started.
4. Normal lies that every kids does. No I don't have homework over the weekend. Monday we find out there was reading/math homework but she just didn't want to do it.
5. She has chores (suggested by counselor) unless you hover over her shoulder she will not do them. Dishes (she likes doing as long as someone is sitting w/ her or helping) By on dishes, cups w/ lids put back into the cabinet w/ soda/coffee still in them and she will fight you and say she promised she washed it when there is NOWAY because it's not even watered down coffee (like it was in the dish water).
These are just recently, I can't take it. It has been 5 years and nothing but lies (at first I just thought it was the divorce, BM being out of the picture) so I was compasionate about the whole situation and that got be turned into DHS and now just flat out lied to on a daily basis. This little girl refuses to take responsibility for her own actions. I can't take much more and to send her to her mother who spends her days trying to figure out how to pay for a night out at the bar is not the answer, but it's not fair to the 2 children in our household who do what they are supposed to when they are supposed to. Everyone is miserable because of my SD.

Last but no least, she shows no emotion for anything. She does not show anger, sadness, remourse etc. She gets upseat when she gets introuble but only upset that she got caught. Not because she hurt someone or disappointed someone. She used to minipulate her siblings all the time but as they have gotten older they have stopped letting her talk them into anything.

I really thought I was alone and I am so thankfull that I am not the only one with these problems. Just wish there was a solution. If I had the money I would send her to a boarding school. But I'm afraid they would kick her out for lying. I really want her to go live with her mother because they are identical (deceiful, manipulative and self absorbed w/ no concern about anyone else). Ahhhhhhhh. It feels better to get it out to someone besides our counselor who has helped w/ somethings but not much when it comes to SD.

dark-angel_warriore's picture

Just like a whole lot of you I was so happy to see that I am not the only one.

My step son just turned 6.
I have known him since birth, his dad and I were together until he was almost 2, when my biological son was born. I only saw him on week ends when he came over for visitations, and we had a good relationship back then, he was a fairly good baby.

Then his dad and I broke up because his dad was emotionally abusive to me...
Anyways, a year later SS's birth mom lost her 2 kids (one from an another men) to children Services. His dad was GIVEN custody. His father (and my son's father) lived with his mother, his brother and his sister...

Up until I came back in the picture... A year passed their dad and I were mainly seeing each other on week ends or every other week ends. Then we decided to buy a house together... at around that time, SS's mom stop showing up to her 3 hours weekly visits...
So my SS after a couple of months asked me if he could call me mom since he did not have a mom anymore... I felt bad for him and said yes...
I had noticed his behaviour was really out of control, but I thought he was only showing off because I was around again and he wanted my attention...
When his dad and I were separated he had returned my biological son with scratches on his face, bruises, bumps... all from being hit by his older half brother... i thought all of these were only accidents...

Little did i know.... After a couple of months living together I quicly realized something was wrong... Not only was he rude, SUICIDAL (at barely 5years old he threatened people to kill himself if he did not get what he wanted) but also very mean, uneducated and compelte bully...
The more things went on, the more I found out about him.
In Junior Kindergarten he had been suspended for headlocking a child and was constantly called in the office.
In Senior Kindergarten he hit a child with a wooden toy and split the child's eyebrow. He got lucky because no one was watching him and he said it was an accident... Many other time we were called him for bad behaviour.
At home he was brutal and very mean to my son. He pushed him down the stairs, tried to strangle him MANY MANY times, told him he wanted to kill him because he hated him. Always told him to stop breathing because he was annoying.
He says these thigns to adults as well, me, his grandmother, his grandfather, he used to say that we should all be in heaven because we are not nice to him...

I tried... tried really hard... it has only been a year... and I can already feel that I can not be his mom, i just can not... I missed some very crucial parts of his life and he can not be changed.
He poops his pants when he is upset and wants to get back at people.
He kicks walls and slams doors on a constant basis. Let alone throwing himself on the floor and crying like a toddler if we say no.
He will dare us to do something if we threaten to take something away and then when we actually take it away he FREAKS.
I have told my boyfriend many many times that he has ODD but no one believes me... Mind you no one believe when I told them his shots were not up to date, until a doctor appointment was made and he had to get two shots instead of one.

My boyfriend's mother is ALWAYS buying present to my SS, but not to my BS. They say that they do not have money to buy my BS anyting. They bought my SS a $900 50 CC dirt bike the week he has pushed my BS down the stairs and strangled him...
They always buy him things and criticize me when I buy something for my BS after they have bought something for my SS.
He is a spoiled brat...
We changed him school and he is INCREDIBLY behind, and even though we spend 3 hours each night on homework the next day if we ask him to do the same homework he does not know...

I can not like a child who is violent toward my flesh and blood... My prtective instinct kick in and I just want to flee...
My boyfriend is trying now since I have been letting him alone a lot more with SS and he is realizing there is something wrong ... But I don't feel it is going to change anything ... especially after I read your stories...

Thank you all for sharing, it made me feel SO MUCH better about myself. I don't have to tell myself I love him like my own anymore.I don't have to pretend anymore.

phoenixfire's picture

reading all of your comments i now dont feel so bad for not liking my own ss very much. i have been in his life since he was 3 yrs old and he was quite the handfull then. he didnt have a relationship really with his BM. he hated going with her. if he had to go with his BM he would kick and scream and hit and bite her and spit at her and then would sleep all day just so he wouldnt have to deal with her. as he got older she would buy him things, such as toys and games and food or whatever else he wanted to keep him happy so he would go with her. basicly bribe him to go for visitation. i dont have alot of money and refuse to spend money on stuff just because of the name thats on it. or because of what other kids at school think is cool. i bought a backpack from LL bean for school last yr. someone at school made a comment about it not being a "cool" backpack and he took it to his mothers and threw it out, and had her buy him a brand new one. there was nothing wrong with the one i had just bought him. when i asked him where the one was i bought he said it was junk and threw it out...i had just bought wasnt even a yr old. SS said the other day that he needed pants, i said to him go ask your BM because i am not spending anymore money on you. i am not buying a "name" i will buy you pants but not expensive ones. he wants to go to some store where the pants are 40 bucks a piece. the only time SS wants to spend time with his BD or his BM or myself is when he wants something, mainly money or he wants to go somewhere. he doesnt want to clean his room, or do his fair share of chores or take a shower without a constant battle and he loves to be miserable to my 16 yr old daughter. nobody wants to deal with him most of the time, even his own mother knows that she only hears from him when he wants something.

Lexyspeaks46's picture

I understand completely. I even come from being surrounded by step parents when I was a child and it's difficult. I either chose to like them and hang out or I would go do my own thing for lack of no interest. However, never have I been on the other side of the fence before. I have a problem for one with children and step children's lack of respect for elders. It's like there is no set standard way for step children anymore. Political correctness on everything has changed. When I was around my step parents I had to obey everything that I was told and the new teenagers don't give a crap about what their told. They just wine and complain until the Bio parents give in and then I get pissed off, because they let their children dictate how their gonna be a parent and there's no boundaries. When I think about it then i get so mad that I don't even want to be around any of them. I also feel that because their father didn't want a divorce to begin with and is still very bitter that he puts his teenager up to being disrespectful and rude and obnoxious to try and separate us.

HorridStepMonster's picture

My step kids are not teens yet. But I already cannot tolerate much more of them. I knew they had some learning delays, and my (now) husband tried to convince me it was because their mom ignored them. But here we are 3 years later. They are not ignored. They are babied way too much for their own good. If they don't want to do something, they fake cry until daddy says I'm being too hard on them and to leave them alone. This qualifies for anything. Asking them to clean their toys up. To stop pooping or peeing their pants. To do their homework. To stop hitting and kicking my dog or my biological children. What's worse is I stay home with them. Their mom has decided a child free party time lifestyle is better than being a mom. I stopped working to help my husband with watching his children. Now that I'm watching them full time, I regret the decision. They're awful little brats. Had I known just how awful they really were, I wouldn't have even continued dating their dad, let alone marry him. I wish I could believe their behavior is all their moms fault. But how much influence can someone have over people she only sees for a day or two every couple weeks. I'm not allowed to discipline them and daddy just laughs when they're bad and can see I'm getting frustrated. He thinks that it makes it better if he shares all the things that annoy him about my youngest child. While she's well behaved in school and in public and receives good grades, I don't force her to do chores with me. Because I can't get his kids to even wipe their own butts. He claims he was working by 12. So my 11 year old is just lazy. And spoiled. All I do is try to treat all 3 the same.