6 thoughts on “1 Basic Reason Step-Parents Can’t Connect With Their Step-Children

  • January 7, 2020 at 9:36 am

    I live with my boyfriend and his two teenage sons. Their mother is a wreck, but I always try to say only nice things about her or nothing at all. My boyfriend does not know how to discipline his kids. At all. He was in prison three times in throughout their lives for non violent crimes. He and I are both recovering addicts to add to the mix. I never had children of my own due to that fact. I didn’t want to bring a child into the world as an addict. I’m 39 now and have struggled the last 20 years with my addiction. Who could say I would change for a baby? I couldn’t be certain so I did my best and succeeded at never becoming pregnant. I wanted to say I identified with your article. It gave me a sense of belonging as I don’t feel very connected in my own home. My boyfriend’s kids don’t hate me, but we have little connection other than surface conversation. I always felt like we should bond more, but your article let me know I’m on the right path. Thank you and much love to you.

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  • January 8, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Thank you so much for this. Although I am much better, from time to time memories surface and I experience a lot of guilt and remorse for not being able to connect with my step children better and manage my own reactions after an unending series of hatefulness and disregard. It was made worse because my husband, their father ignored it all and provided zero support. I basically became a live-in maid and cook left out in the cold. Good enough to cook and clean but no respect for me as a person or member of the family. At the time this was very hard to handle. I tried so many ways to ask for things kindly…but it would always a struggle. Please don’t put your hamburger on my sofa, please be careful – don’t break my things, Could you please pick up after yourself. At one point when I suggested a family meeting to discuss a chore list. It was met with a firestorm of anger, hostility and name calling. I reacted, I blew up, I screamed and shouted, that no one would leave the room till this was settled. I was a banshee I admit it. It was not pretty! I felt so bad that I couldn’t control myself. I just did not have the tools at the time to handle this. It is unfortunate that I am sure that is all they remember rather than the years I tried every which way I could to figure out and try to love and support them and their father. The very few times my husband did try to support me, it was immediately rescinded when the kids angrily protested threw themselves on the floor screaming obscenities, slamming doors, that he was taking my side. There were no sides. Just trying to be good parents and provide a respectful supportive, loving environment. But my husband just wanted to ignore it so they could have a good time and not fight. There were no consequences for their bad behavior and it would just continue. My teen step boys would sneer and aggressively bump into me with their shoulder when passing me almost knocking me over, or call me a bitch, always when their Dad wasn’t looking. When I told my husband, he wouldn’t do anything and they would just look at me and laugh. I would get upset and hurt and spend go to my room and sob. I’d hear them laughing and having a good time watching TV in the other room. I berated myself for not being able to handle things better, no being able to overlook things, and manage their behavior without getting hurt or angry. I really, really tried so very hard. I hope that one day, perhaps as they become parents themselves that they might remember how I tried to love them and protect them and reconnect. I tried to send them cards once in while but there was never a response and now they have moved. I wanted it so badly, to do a good job of loving them and to have a connection. I’ve come to realize it was a situation that was not setup for success no matter how I tried. I have done a lot of therapy since then and take responsibility for my own angry reactions. I am in a much better place than continuously banging my head against a brick wall. I didn’t have the strength and wherewith all at the time to see that sometimes it times to walk away. But even with that, when the memories surface. It is still hard.

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    • January 8, 2020 at 8:24 pm

      This just breaks my heart. I’m so sorry. I thought I had it bad with my step-children but it was a walk in the park compared to yours. So sorry! NOT your fault!

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  • January 10, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Thank you very much for this article. I think it’s helped me put to peace the heartache I have over my partner’s youngest child. He and I will have good days and bond… Then he’ll go to his Mom’s house the next week and then comes back to our house a complete nightmare and rage at me. Their mother cheated on their father and 7 years later still won’t let him be happy and now I’m thrown into the mix. I have no children of my own but have been through the exact same situation with my own mother having cheated on my father and their divorce. I’m at a loss as to how to find contentment with these shenanigans but am hoping in due time it will calm down.

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    • January 10, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      I feel your pain, Julie. Sounds like you (and your husband) are the victims of quintessential Parental Alienation. When my step-children were with me, they were happy and kind. As soon as they went home to their mother, the hatred started flowing based on bald-faced lies. The worst lie was their claim that I had told them that their father would not and could not love them anymore now that I was in his life. Shame!

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  • February 10, 2020 at 11:02 am

    Thank you. You’ve put into words what my heart has been feeling for so many years. From the early days of cutting toe nails, cleaning ears, taking time off of work to help with homework all while their mother jetted around the country with her wealthy, albeit much older (Old) boyfriend. Now they are teens and she no longer needs me to babysit- she is further driving the children away Both of us but mostly me. I know it’s jealousy but that doesn’t leave me feeling any less empty.

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