Taboo Topics: Things Stepmothers Don’t Want to Say Out Loud, Part 2

21 Mar

If you could have looked into a crystal ball and seen what was coming, would you have stayed or run the other way?

This is the second installment of my conversation with Heather Hetchler of The Stepmom Connection.  Because the audio didn’t record correctly during our conversation, we’re cross-blogging it so you can join in, too. 

The second stepmom taboo topic we discussed was:“If I knew what I was getting into, I would have never married you.” 


So many of us have thought this, but have never said it to DH.  I blogged about it last summer because I said it to my DH, and it wasn’t pretty.  Here’s my disclaimer:  this is not something that I would suggest you say to your spouse (no matter how angry or empowered you feel), unless you’re prepared to work on a solution with him and own your part of the problem.  The outcome can be positive or totally devastating to your relationship. 

This is a big one.  I was raised in a stepfamily where everyone got along (and still do to this day) and had two bio kids of my own when DH and I got together.  He had these two adorable daughters that were 5 and 3 when we met and I thought, “This’ll be EASY!”  Well, it wasn’t (that’s the understatement of the year).  There were issues with everyone from his children to my in-laws and everyone in-between.  Then one day, in a moment of extreme frustration, I looked at DH and said, “If I knew what I was getting into, I would have run like hell the other way.”  When the words make it from his ears to his brain and he stopped being stunned, he looked like I had slapped him across the face.  Honestly, that was my intended effect. I wanted to jolt him into action, but I felt really, really bad.  Luckily, it ended up being a turning point in our relationship.  We both had to get honest and talk about what our expectations were going into the relationship and how they weren’t were being met.  Our reality needed more attention, and fast.  I needed to do the “stepmom stepback” and have NO expectations and he needed to step up as a parent.  He needed to really listen to me when I vented and help me formulate a solution, and I needed to heed some of his positive words of advice.  I needed to ignore the drama and he needed to manage the slings and arrows that were being thrown our way and essentially be my human shield.  Once we starting paying attention to and managing our reality, things got better quickly.  Ask me now if I’d run if I knew what I was getting into and my answer would be no.  Having the drama and conflict in our lives has made us so much stronger as people and absolutely unbreakable as a couple.  For me, it was a good thing to say out loud, albeit very risky. 

If you’ve felt this way before did you say it to your spouse?  What solutions did you come up with?  How do you manage your expectations vs. your reality?  How do you get your relationship back on track?

Be sure to check out Heather’s companion blog post on Cafe Smom.

7 Responses to “Taboo Topics: Things Stepmothers Don’t Want to Say Out Loud, Part 2”

  1. Teresa A March 22, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I have thought this so many times, and have voiced it in other ways and words. It isn’t so much the kids as it is the bio mom and how my BF deals with her, or doesn’t deal with her that really bothers me. We don’t share a house yet, we made that choice due to us having some different parenting styles and neither of us wanting to uproot our kids in their current communities, but the issue still steps in and causes turmoil in th relationship. I keep voicing my concerns and sometimes I feel I get listened to, while other times I sit back and watch while the issue causes more problems…don’t know what to do most of the time cause I can’t see my life without my BF or his kids, just wish the bio mom would step up and be a better mother…she doesn’t have custody which causes some of the issues due to her not being reliable when it is her time with the kids…I think this is what irritates me the most! As a mom I don’t understand how another mother can be late all the time, forget about important dates and activities, and always put herself before the kids!

    • my great adventure March 26, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

      My husband and I also have totally different parenting styles…… and we have been together about 14 years time does fly! But all and all the best I can really say is it is very very hard and sometimes I do wish I had stayed in my home with me and my children and let him be here with his kids… It is a very difficult life sorry to say but I do make the best of it and I do love my husband but I also hate to say his kids are hard to love… But I am in therapy and I think they should have been in therapy a long time ago. Good luck in what ever you do!!

  2. Mister-M April 14, 2011 at 10:10 am #

    DW can’t. I laid out how horrendous my mess was long before we ever decided to take it to a higher level. Yep… everything in all of it’s ugly detail.

    7-years later, I’m still wondering why she stayed. 😉

  3. Lorna September 23, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    I would never have married my husband had I known what I was getting in to. My situation is that he had a child a decade ago with some woman that he was dating and basically has only been someone who goes to the ex’s house to play with the child for 6-8 hours every second weekend. The child does not call him Dad. People actually expect me to go over to the house and play with him also. They (his parents, friends etc.) say I need to get to know my ‘stepchild’. To me, the kid is just a constant reminder of how irresponsible and stupid my husband is. I don’t argue that he has to pay child support and he always has, but this child has no interest in coming to our house or being part of our lives, so let it be. He has a new family, 2 brothers, calls the other man Dad, so I think stop forcing this child to have this adult ‘playmate’ every second weekend.

  4. cindy December 1, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    I’ve said, “I wish I had a kid with someone else so you can experience how hard it is.” My husband has no clue what it is like having to deal with it. He expected me to instantly love his son, and it is NOT happening. I keep reading, “give it time.” But the more time passes, the more I find myself severely disliking his son. I actually dread the weekends I know he is coming over. His son was an only child for 7 years and has severe entitlement issues because my husband felt that buying him everything and anything would make up for the fact that his parents divorced. But now that we have a child of our own I find myself resenting my husband when he overspends on his son and not on our child. I feel that his son was spoiled rotten for 7 years, why can’t my child have his turn? Not to mention that even though his son is 10 years old, whenever he is over he regresses to the extreme and still baby talks to my husband such as, “Daddy can you make me chocolate milky.” The hardest is having to pretend to be nice to his ex-wife and her family. I HATE when she calls him to complain, or yell, and puts him in a bad mood. EXCUSE ME, THE ONLY WOMEN WHO SHOULD AFFECT MY HUSBAND’S MOOD IS ME. HIS WIFE.

    • AJ's mama June 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm #

      I totally agree with you! My situation is similar but we are not married. I recently started living with him full time because we got engaged and had a baby and I thought why do all the work alone when the baby has a dad! My BF takes care of these two girls one his BD sopposidly and the other is her older sister. Why do two teenaged girls live with him, horrible BM. He has custody of the 12yr old and in a conversation earlier this year she asked when did that happen…REALLY? When I got pregnant BM told the girls their dad is ruining their lives by having another child. Mind you she just had one herself and the father is already out of her life. 3kids 3baby fathers. Who is ruining who’s life, when your BM is being raised by a man who she has no clue is not her BM. Now don’t get me wrong, he’s doing a great thing by taking care of her, but she deseveres to know the truth. I also think that she would be more greatful and their will be less drama in the home. the older child left after the news of my pregnancy and came back because her mother could not give her the life she had at her fathers home all the resentment began. I did not want her around my BC when he was born, I was so paranoid thinking if she was so upset to leave the home, would she harm my child? But with all this said I still resent her and her sister and their BM for trying to have my BF like a puppet on a string and he allows this because he feels guilty for the older girl not knowing who her BF is and trying to make up for their BM absence the first 10yrs of their life . She calls for everything, the girls won’t brush their teeth, she won’t do this. It irritates both if us when she calls and he always gets off the phone and is very moody, which affects me..I wish these sorry women will get a life and strop trying to use these kids as bargining tools to disrupt a happy home because they can’t accept that its OVER and move on.

  5. crazysitter January 31, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

    Crazy I know…..but I quit my part time job in October 2011 to babysit for my daughter whose daughter is now 8 months and my stepdaughter’s daughter who is now 6 months.
    But I’ve been doing this now for about 3 months and I’m about to go nuts my stepdaughter’s baby requires alot of attention and cries and moans alot, I think I’m in over my head and I don’t know how to say I don’t want to this anymore with 2, I can handle 1 but 2 is a handful and I mentally can’t do it?
    Any advice out there?

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