Stepmother Issues. Need Help Please!

window123June 1, 2011

Thank you for taking the time to read my story and comment. I must give you the complete sory as short as I can. So please bare with me.

I was a single father raising my child from when he was 2 years old till about 6 years old when I met my current wife. It was very hard for him to adjust which was understandable considering our circumstances. Over time things did get better and we were living a pretty decent blended family life.

As my son was getting older my wife would make it very clear to him that she did not want any contact to his mother or any relatives while he was in our home. Of course we fought about it because I felt it did not affect our everyday lives and his mother was barely in his life while growing up so I figured what would be the harm.

Over time my son built a huge resentment towards my wife and has began to ignore her completely. My wife would constantly look at billing statements to see what numbers he has been texting and commenting for him to stop. I was unaware the whole time until recently when my child told me.

He has turned 16 now and is preparing for drivers ed any all my wife is worried about is my son driving the vehicle to visit his mom. She has commented to my son that he better not take the truck over there or have any of his other family members in it.

I hope I have painted a pretty good picture of how my wife thinks things should be. The problem is my son is making it obvious that he does not care to be around or speak to her. I am noticing that he is wanting to spend more and more time at his mothers and I am stuck in the middle.

I love my wife and my child and their happiness is very important to me but not at the expense of my childs feeling or emotions. My wife makes me feel extremely guilty when my child is around or in the same room. She thinks we are being secretive. Everytime I am just hanging out with him she gives me a hard time about it. I feel like she has been abusing my child verbally for years.

I have attempted to make it clear to her that what she is doing or asking of him is wrong. He has never disrespected her, usually follows the rules, passing grades, etc. The usual average good kid. Plays sports.

What makes me feel resentment towards my wife is that her daughter does not get the same treatment. She is allowed to do everything my son cannot do. I am a pretty easy going person. I understand when my stepdaughter wants to text or speak to her father. I do not care if her father wants to be at a function. This story is probably a little more complicated because there are a lot more things that my wife does not allow. I know my wife does not like my child and she makes it pretty obvious but she does not like him through jealousy.

We also have a child together and I do not treat any of them different. Sometimes I like to have father and son time alone and she thinks it is favortism. I just do not know what to do.

My son made the comment the other night that he feels like a prisoner in our own home. It really is hurtful that my wife can be so cold and mean knowing he is my only son who is growing up and will soon be on his own. My son has cried recently because he said I make him feel like I do not want him around and that is due to my wife making me feel guilty when he is around. I tend to cut things short with him so my wife will not get upset.

That was a big mistake on my part. I just need help. I am a firm believer of the vows "until death do us part" and I am very committed to being on the right track.

I just want my child to feel comfortable and my wife to understand that my son is going to have a relationship with his bilogical mother. Any suggestions would help. Again thank you for reading my story.

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Wow. Sad. Any idea what set your wife off that she feels such a need to be so jealous and insecure?

A stepmother should not have such a need to feel so insecure in her own home normally...but what she is doing does not sound like her behavior towards the son nor is mother being his mother is 'normal'. Were there power struggles in the beginning? Or is it all really just because the other woman...his biomom...exist? Has the biomom always existed in the picture (you said you were raising him until you met your wife)?

I think anyone can really say much that might 'help' you or suggest advice, we'd need a bit more backstory on why and when the stepmother developed such strong snti biomom feeling and dislike for your son.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:53PM
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Do you have any idea why she would have such strong feelings towards the biomom? Or why it would matter to her if he wanted to call his biomom?

I could understand it a little better if she was really close with your son, or if it was you who was having a lot of contact with your ex.

Have you talked to your wife to see why she is acting this way? You've been together for 10 years, so hopefully you can talk to each other about this situation. If you understood WHY she is behaving this way, you might have a chance at making it better.

WHY does she not like your son? And if she doesn't like him, then why would she care if he spent time with his BioMom and that other part of his family?

Maybe she doesn't like the constant reminder that you had a wife before her, a family before her and a child and son who is very important to you, that she did not give you? Just tossing out ideas here.

You might have to go to family counseling to get to the bottom of this if you can't sit down and talk to her and figure it out. I would be curious to hear her side of the situation to see what is really going on. She might have a very different perspective as to how she is behaving or how you/son are behaving. Which doesn't mean she is right or you are right only that you are obviously not seeing eye to eye.

It's also possible that you and your son are doing nothing wrong at all, and that she is going to need to figure out her emotions and start dealing with them. If you are committed to your marriage, then it sounds like you definately need to get this sorted out, the sooner the better. You need to talk. plain and simple.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2011 at 5:59PM
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So sad. I'm sorry you are in this situation. As a SM and an adult step kid I can assure you it is attitudes like your wife's that give all SM's a bad name. Being a SM is very difficult and perhaps she needs some help with facing the reality that there is another woman not only in your son's life but in yours. FOREVER. And as long as you handle the relationship with your ex appropriately there is really nothing for her to be so insecure about.

Have you tried counseling? For her alone or for the two of you I think may be your only option.

You have to continue to stick up for your son. Plan special things the two of you can do together outside the house. If your wife doesn't like it- tough. I know your marriage is very important to you and I commend you for that so hopefully your wife can get a hold of her issues. But the last thing you want to do is alienate your son from you as well as her. That is what will happen if he continues to feel uncomfortable in your home. Nobody likes to feel like they are walking on eggshells in there own house and if he as another place to go where he doesn't have to feel that way (his mom's) then he is going to end up choosing to just live there if the situation doesn't turn itself around.

Wish you the best!

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 11:56AM
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I agree, Newwife, being a SP the THE HARDEST thing I've ever had to do. Love someone else's kid as your own and make sure they are taken care of and no favoritism is ever shown, without having any of the authority you would have if they WERE your own, and face tons of criticism in the process.

You know what I was just thinking about? I wonder how Joseph felt being Jesus' SF....THAT must've been a tough one!!! LOL! I bet he was afraid that if he did anything wrong, he be smote by God. How about THAT for dealing with a BP? Ha ha ha!

Anyway, back on track, I bet in your wife's struggle to become a SM, this is a bad habit she developed that was easy to continue due to BM's lack of involvement. I would suggest that you all see a SF counselor together to break her of the bad habit, and to break everyone else of the bad habits that have formed over the years over and around this subject. Someone who is not emotionally attached needs to be the one to tell her she's out of line. If you tell her, you are just "protecting" your kid, or "siding" with him.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2011 at 1:31PM
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OP...It's your job, as your Son's Dad, to stand-up for what is Right. If your wife doesn't like it, then that is too bad. If you think your wife is wrong (and she obviously is) then stand up and say so. Don't just say nothing in order to keep the peace. How is that fair to your son for him to have to bear the brunt of your wife's insecurities? What does he get out of it? Nothing, that's what. You get to go on with your life and be happy with your wife and the rest of your family, and your son has to suffer. That is so wrong. Please don't delay in doing the right thing.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 2:05PM
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I wonder if there is something else going on that you don't know..Is she upset about something else?

I noticed few times when i was upset with SO I felt resentful towards his children even though they had nothing to do with it, I also felt angry about his ex few times even when she had nothing to do with anything. (the difference is I never acted or did anything about it, just had my feelings)

Perhaps your wife feels angry about somehting or is upset with you and misplaces her anger because it is easier. Did you ask her about reasons for her unreasonable behavior?

But no matter what is the reason behind this craziness she has no rights to act this way and you should stand up for your son. Vows or no vows, your first obligation is to protect your child. He is not respected in your household. Nobody better tells my DD not to call her father when she wants to. I don't have much sympathy for people who let their children suffer because "until death do us apart...blah blah".

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 6:50PM
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You only have one son, a wife can be replaced, a child can never be replaced. You'll regret not protecting your son because he will become an adult and he will walk away from you. And he will resent you for a very long time.
What your wife is doing, regardless of her reasons, is wrong. You have to protect your child. Your child was here first and he deserves your protection no matter what his age is.
It does sound to me like she is bitter because biomom was absent and she has been mom for so many years. Now biomom wants to parade back in and make up for lost time. I get it but it's not the child's fault and regardless of biomom's reasons, he still loves her and should be allowed to love her freely. You might wake up one day and your son is gone and you are still waking up to a miserable, bitter woman. And you're going to miss your son.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 7:30PM
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I think there is no excuse for the way your wife treats your son. She seems jealous of your ex and extremely insecure and decided to deal with it by controlling your son and his contact with your ex. It is just plain stupid if you ask me.

You need to put your foot down with her and tell her she is wrong. Point out that her dd does not have the same boundries with her dad as your son has with his mom and you are done allowing it.

Your son should not be made to feel the way he does. He needs to be your priority. You are his father and have the responsibility to speak up on his behalf. But I think you already know how wrong this all is or you would not have come here looking for advice.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2011 at 8:43PM
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I agree with incognitiomom. There is SEVERE insecurity coming from your wife's side and she is attempting to manipulate a situation that just cannot be controlled. She is fighting a losing battle and doesnt even know it because regardless of all her detective efforts your son is going to contact his mother and he has every right to do so.

Her biggest problem seems to be that she is furious of the fact that you had a life before her. And thats the bottom line. I know sometimes I get a bit angry when I think about my BF and his exwife and that shudder of a thought creeps into my mind: "Ugh, you procreated with that woman?!" (lol) But oh well, right? Whats done is done. This isnt a Cher video and there is no turning back time. So you accept the fruits of the previous relationship and you try to hold on to your sanity while you make all kinds of mistakes on this "parenting thing."

I, as a SP, often have a hard time adjusting and sometimes catch myself enforcing the desire to accept things that are not within my control. I would NEVER speak badly about their mother to them, and I would NEVER put my man in the middle of a its me or the kids battle. Sometimes when his daughter is telling me about her mom and this and that I have to smile and nod and give no sign that I am struggling to not wish death on her (lol). It stings like hell sometimes, but hey, its got to be done.

My BF only communicates with the ex via text message and only when its about the kids, and I�m not bothered at all by this. I am not insecure in my relationship as I know what I have with him, so this causes me to wonder why your wife feels so THREATENED. Understand that I am not pointing a finger at you saying that its your fault she feels this way, I am just musing aloud (or rather, via keyboard) using what goes through my head at times as a measuring tool.

The whole point is that your ex will be some part of your life FOREVER and there is nothing your wife can do to alter that fact. It may be a thorn in her side for all eternity, but the ironic thing is is that she is the only one making it worse for herself. The day she realizes I dont need to let this bother me so much will be the happiest day of her life, and apparently, yours.

I would continue to reinforce to your son that you love him very much and that you understand his frustrations and that he is entitled to feel the way he does. You are in a hard position because although I know your main job is to protect your child, I also understand that you love your wife and that you want to have both. My response is something you may not want to hear: in the end, you may not be able to.

Counseling is DEFINITELY the way to go for this situation. You will be damned either way so youre gonna need some back up with this one. On one hand you have the path where you may have to pack your bags, or risk losing a relationship with your son, cause once hes 18 Im sure he will hit the road and not look back! One the other, the therapist may get her to see that if she truly loves you shes going to have to let go of some of that control freak nature as well as opening her heart for some acceptance of a situation that she WILL NOT be able to change. Some serious behavior modification is going to have to take place. Only when this happens will you have peace.

I wish you the utmost luck!

    Bookmark   June 4, 2011 at 10:11PM
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I am so sorry for your situation that you are in. Has your wife always been this way towards your son? Am not sticking up for your wife in any way at all. You know being a stepparent is the hardest thing I think somebody will have to do. You are trying to love a child that's not yours. No matter if the situation is good or bad. It sounds to me that your wife has a lot of growing up to do. Your son probably feels and sees that your wife does not care for him, that has to be hard.Your wife seems like she just sounds jealous, you have a bond with your son that she will never have. Possibly, she is just having a hard time to accept him when he is around. She doesn't feel like a complete family. I think if she handles things know I am a stepmother also. No matter what problems occur in my house, it's kept between me and my husband. I would never be nasty to my stepson in anyway. It is the adult thing to do. If she can't control the way she feels around him..she has a major issue and so do you.Your wife sounds like she can't tolerate him at all.I saw you wrote that he never is disrespectful to her. Wow!! That's all I have to say, she is really lucky that you have such a great kid. I would come out and ask her straight out, what is the problem you have with my son? What has he ever done to you? If he is not mean or disrespectful to you what is the problem here What if you sat them down both together? all feelings out on the table and you to dad.You need to do something soon. You say that you are a big believer in your vows and being together. That is great of you. At the same time in the future all this will eat you inside and you will become miserable. I family means so much to you, which I believe it does. You need to ask questions about what is going on here try to get things figured out. #1 starting with your wife. I wish you the best of luck and hope everything works out for you

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 7:22AM
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