Trying so hard to accept the stepdaughter

mom110604July 27, 2006

I have been with my husband for almost 5 years and we have a one year old son together. The problem is..he's got a daughter that we rarely see...she comes and goes...her mom drops her off whenever she feels like it...

i just don't like the fact that he has another kid with somebody else....i just wish that it was only me, him and our son..that's it!...when i see her, i just hate it! and i start thinking to myself, what have i gotten myself into??? why couldn't i find that guy that didn't have any kids???..and i just wanna scream husband is aware of this and he constantly tells me that i should accept her...and i try sooooooooo hard! but somehow i just can't stand the thought that he has another kid w/ someone else....i feel like i'm second best..and i hate that feeling...its getting to the point that sometimes i wish i could just let it go and move on with my life...just to take the pain away....but i really love him...and i don't know what to do.....and let me tell you, she's sooo annoying sometimes....she wants to go to the buffet but she doesn't even eat nothing! just one plate..and such a waste of money.....i know it sounds bad but i just want her and the birth mother to stay away from our lives and everything will be back to normal......but again, the birth mother just do whatever..and i hate her with a passion just for the fact they have a history together!! makes me wanna throw-up! this so wrong for me to talk this way???? how can i manage this??? someone help me!

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Your thoughts and feelings are going to cause you much unhappyness. You can do something about that. You are allowing yourself to feel the way you do. You are able to control your thoughts, and your thoughts control your feelings.

Make the decision that you are in control of yourself and that it is your decision to make decisions that go along with being kind and forgiving.

Make up your mind that you are going to accept your husband along with his daughter and along with your husband's previous wife. Begin to have good thoughts. Begin to be thankful for all that is decent in your life. Dwell on good things. Pray for yourself and those in your life.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 5:54AM
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"why couldn't i find that guy that didn't have any kids???.."

Why couldn't you?

"my husband is aware of this and he constantly tells me that i should accept her"

He's right. She's his CHILD--just like the one you have together.

"she wants to go to the buffet but she doesn't even eat nothing! just one plate..and such a waste of money....."

She's a child. That's what they do. Yours will do the same someday.

"i know it sounds bad but i just want her and the birth mother to stay away from our lives and everything will be back to normal......but again, the birth mother just do whatever..and i hate her with a passion just for the fact they have a history together!! makes me wanna throw-up! this so wrong for me to talk this way???? how can i manage this??? someone help me!"

Yes, you're wrong. You married a guy you KNEW had a child. Period. You KNEW. It is time for you to grow up and start acting like an adult. That little girl is NOT RESPONSIBLE for your happiness or unhappiness. She's his DAUGHTER--just like you have his SON. There is NO difference.

What I find most unsettling is that you would actually wish his daugther away--thinking that would make EVERYONE happy! Oh dear, think that making a little girl fatherless and a father daughterless is going to result in GOOD

"its getting to the point that sometimes i wish i could just let it go and move on with my life...just to take the pain away"

So because you have hurt FEELINGS you think it's okay to take your son from his father? Wha? I'm flummoxed. I don't think that I have ever heard more selfish statements ever.

No, you are NOT entitled to these feelings. You KNEW going in that he had a daughter. You ACCEPTED that fact when you married him. It is NOT okay to separate him from either of his children because you did not make wise decisions before you picked a mate. No. It is time to suck it up and be responsible and adult. These children need their father--regardless of how you FEEL. Your son growing up with his father is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any petty jealousy or inconvenience that his daughter brings you.

You were adult enough to make the decision to get married. Now you MUST be adult enough to raise these children.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 6:39AM
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Maybe you should think about it in another light, I love my husband so much and there is another piece of him on this earth to love as well. I have a hard time with my SD, but despite the difficulties one of the things I love about her is simply that she is my husbands daughter. I want to be a part of all the things in his life not just be the only things in his life. My husband had a life before me, he was well adjusted and happy BEFORE I came along, and so was I before he came along. I don't want to change that I just want to participate in it. Hope that helps.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 9:58AM
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When you think and say the things you do about your husbands daughter, when you feel the way you do about her, do you ever stop to think; this is my sons half-sister. A wise person on one of these forums once said. You choose how you react to a situation. How sad for all concerned you choose to react this way to your husbands daughter, your sons half sister. She is a child and deserves to be loved.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 11:21AM
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bnicebkind vivians response and read it daily. She has given you very wise advice. So have the others who have responded. Your immaturity is shocking and self centered, to say the least. Your words are those of a silly child, not a married woman. You married a man with a child. If you felt such childish insecurities, than why did you marry a man who was first a father...and has obligations to his daughter...just as he has obligations to his son? When you become an adult, it is time to put such childish thoughts aside, and become the adult woman both he and your son need you to be. Goodness sakes, you knew this going loose the right to whine and obsess about it now, and torment him with something he cannot change. I cannot imagine that he has to listen to this nonsense now.

There is a book out that talks about "choosing to be happy". To be emotionally happy and healthy, is determined much by how we think, and whether we "choose" to dwell on good thoughts (happy) or to dwell and obsess on the negative. To have a happy marriage, we must each look for what we can do to make things easier for our spouse.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 12:55AM
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Look at it this way:

He DIVORCED her and he MARRIED you.

Don't blame the kid - it's just an innocent bystander in this trainwreck.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2006 at 5:05PM
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Harsh messages above, but all true.
Lord give us the strength to recognize the things we cannot change.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 11:26AM
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Harsh? That's the understatement of the century. I find the vehemence and name-calling on this forum quite shocking. Anybody with the most basic knowledge of human psychology knows that people have to express and own their darkest feelings in order to be able to deal with them and heal. So anyone with the guts to confide exactly what they're feeling on this forum, no matter what those feelings are, should not be jumped on with hob-nailed boots. I see a great, great deal of anger and hostility interwoven in the "honest" comments and "advice" on this forum.

Calling someone names is the quickest way to render them deaf.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 10:03AM
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Calling someone names is the quickest way to render them deaf.

I like this comment, its so true.
Most people just become defensive. I am going to have to remember it in my daily life. I dont want to render the people I love deaf.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 2:44PM
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Great wisdom and advice. Sometimes I read things on this forum that give voice to my thoughts and I am too ashamed to say them. You're right, having the guts to come completely clean is the first step. I've been to therapy and not admitted a lot of things then wondered why "it" wasn't working!!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2006 at 9:59PM
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So often in life people around us simply tell us what we want to hear, and rarely challenge us on what we think or feel or say. As we whine to them about situations such as those above, they listen and listen and usually take our side. Psychologists are also guilty of this, as we fork over $150 and hour for months or years on end, because it makes us feel better to unload dark feelings about those people in our life, who we would never actually say what we really thought of them to their face. And often they are not in the room to challenge our "view" of things, and so we have that opportunity to say whatever we want about them...knowing the psychologist can never repeat a word of what we say to anyone, and get the ugly feelings out. We can spend months or years whining about those people in our lives who annoy or cause us pain and grief. Psychology in many ways only affirms "our side" of things. But often it changes nothing. And it rarely "reprimands" our behavior in a situation, that may indeed be causing great pain to others. The situation is what it is, and you come to a point where we must all get to eventually...can we live with it...or not? And if we are going to live with it, how can we do so and find peace with it, or discover the ability to be happy, in spite of it?

If you read this forum newbie, you will read many like mom110604 and they SHOULD make people angry. Over and over again, you have these new wifes who marry someone who WAS A FATHER "FIRST". They know going in that he is a father. And time after time, many of these new wifes may even go on to have a child of their own. And they work hard to push his children completely out. Over and over on this forum, you will read about these new wives who "hate" his children. You will even read a few who are engaged and will post on this forum that they are engaged and hate his children, but even after people advise them to read this forum, and really think about what they are doing...they go ahead and marry him anyway. And they begin the process of pushing his children completely away. Some adult children have even posted about the extreme pain they are experiencing because their widowed father married a woman who now stands firmly between them and their father. No matter how kind they are to her, she makes it crystal clear that she does not want them there. She hates them, simply because they are a part of his "former life", and is cold and hateful to them...and they are grieving the loss of their mother who died, and now the loss of their father who they have lost to his marriage to this cold woman. And the pain and loss that they are experienceing is gut wrenching. For what? Because of the insecurities of a woman who cannot find it within herself to rise up and open up her home, heart, and life and welcome them? To let them know that her spirit and heart is big enough to include them with a smile into their home and life?

To be able to overlook the petty hurts for awhile and see them for what they are, and not take them personally, because she understands that they are words born of pain.

Was I angry when I read her post? Yes, as it is one more woman who "hates" her husbands child, simply because she is a part of his former life. And it is one more child who is going to experience a life time of gut wrenching pain and loss because of another new wifes insecurities. It is another father who will not be able to be a part of HIS OWN CHILDS life!!!! HE WAS A "FATHER FIRST"! A father has a moral obligation to be there for his child. To love her/him unconditionally, to make this child understand without a shadow of a doubt that he is there for them, to teach his children, and pass on what he can to them that he has learned in life. To let them know when they walk in his doorway that he is thrilled that they are there and they know it. They know that he will be there for them no matter what. When any child comes into this world, they should feel loved and cared for. They should not have to feel the pain and loss of rejection from their own family, because of circumstances over which they have no control.

So no, I am not going to be a part of afirming, embracing, and encouraging yet another woman to feel that it is OK to hate her husbands children, and keep them away from their own father. She knew going into this marriage that he was a father "first".

She says that they "rarely" see his little girl. And even THAT is too much for her. How can she feel like she is second best, when they rarely see his little girl???? She stated that she HATES the child and the ex-wife WITH A PASSION, simply because they are a part of his former life. Not because they have done anything to her. Some women on this forum have pretty good reasons to hate an ex wife, who creates enormous problems in their life. And even some kids who exhibit some pretty crummy behavior towards a new wife. But this little girl and ex wife are HATED WITH A PASSION simply because they were a part of his former life!!! They have not done anything to warrant such hatred.

Look at this from another view. Look at it through the eyes of a child. The child is born and has a family. Mommy and Daddy and child. Mom and Dad adore this child and are so excited about everything their beautiful child does. But then one day, Mom and Dad tell the child that they are getting divorced. Dad moves out and at first, they both spend lots of time making the child feel loved. But then Dad tells the child that he is getting married. Dad moves into another home with his new wife and her children. He is now dad to some kids his own child does not even know. And when his own child visits, she/he feels like an unwanted guest. It is clear that dads new wife hates it when dads child visits. She critizes everything they do, and can barely stand the childs presence. When her own children misbehave, she barely notices, or makes excuses for their bad behavior, but when dads child does anything, she goes on and on about it, wanting dad to punish the child. Soon she doesn't want the child there at all. It upsets her too much. And so soon, his visits with his own child are reduced to lunch at McDonalds...and later, he doesn't even bother to do that.

She is at that place in life where one decides what kind of human being they are going to be. Will she choose to be insecure, petty, and small and do her best to keep this little girl out of their life...or will she choose to become the kind of woman who is warm, loving, with a kind to open her home, kitchen and make those who enter feel loved and welcome and happy? It is her choice. It is all in our attitude, and what kind of human being we choose to be.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:55AM
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bnicebkind, my post seems to have touched a deep source of pain in you. You are by all means entitled to your feelngs and opinions, though your dismissal of how the therapeutic process works is incomplete.

mom110604, if you haven't run for the hills, you may find things in other posts on this forum to help you. Good luck.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2006 at 10:51PM
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Listen, if they did something to you personally then i can understand a hate developing. But just because they are part of your husbands past? BIG MISTAKE! You have major jealousy issues at hand. No sharing aspect either. And yes, i do understand those feelings of second best. But you knew he had a past and if it bothered you that much then you should not have married him. His daughter is part of your lives, whether she pops in or out or when ever. My stepdaughter and son only eat one plate too at a buffet. THEY ARE KIDS!!!! How much do you want them to eat. And besides, i think you just didn't want to share your evening with her and your family because you look at her as an outsider.
My twin lives in toronot and pops in and out of my life too. Do i treat him like cr*p??? noooooo....
From what i understand from your post, is that you are defending your territory. Jealousy , nonsharing is normal but let go of these. You will be miserable. He has the right to have his daughter in his life. Dont you want your son to have a big sister? Does he have a good relationship with his ex so you guys can all get along? Why make it so difficult when life is so short.
As i have said in previous post, if my husband was friends with his wife , it would have been great! I dont trust his ex but i think the hate i see in her is the hate for her husband. not me. Unfortunately now she says im a liar and i'm the escape goat! lol...oh well. life goes on.
PLEASE SHARE AND DONT BE JEALOUS. GET OVER YOUR FEELINGS AND GET TO KNOW YOUR SD. How would you feel if you were hated because you had a different mom. Its just not good for the family.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2006 at 3:43PM
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I am a stepdaughter and you are the embodiment of what stepchildren fear and often get. Perhaps you ought to take to heart something I said last year to my stepmother. My mother has been dead for 6 years, after a 42-year marriage to my father. My stepmother so hates the idea that he had a life before her that she has isolated him emotionally and physically from his entire family, children, grandchildren and siblings included.
What I told my stepmother was this: No matter how hard she tries, no matter how many possessions she throws away, how many photographs she destroys or how many times she tosses out letters, cards and messages that are sent to him, she'll never be able annihilate his memories. And as long as she remains unable to come to terms with HIS PAST, she will lie in bed beside him each night and seethe with jealousy and resentment thinking that he might be thinking of someone other than her.
The bitterness, the anger and the jealousy that you feel is a brew that you're forcing your stepdaughter, an innocent child who didn't ask for any of this to happen, to drink. What is more destructive is that you're drinking it yourself and you're killing your marriage. If you continue with your actions, your husband will end up resenting and even hating you and you will destroy your marriage. If, in that process, you also destroy your husband's relationship with his daughter, you will deserve what you get.
You have taken the first step toward turning away from that self-destructive path by acknowledging your feelings. Now you have to work to change your heart and you must pray that it is not too late. The fact that the child so rarely visits is a fair indication that it may already be too late.
The next time you feel those emotions, tell yourself this: Nursing resentments and grudges is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2006 at 3:11AM
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newbie...No, your post does not bring up any deep source of pain, but was actually correct, as I was hard on mom 110604, by pointing out her alarming immaturity, as others pointed out. I do not believe it would help her, her husband, or a little girl who only wants to be loved, to affirm, pacify, or encourage a thought process that will only bring pain to herself, her husband and a child.

I do not understand that these women marry men who have children, and then they want him to reject his own children....for her. And in moms case, not because of anything the child has actually done...she hates this child with a passion simply because she exists.

We do not have a right to cause such pain in a childs life. We do not have the right to cause such pain to the man we are supposed to love and support.

She said that she has shared this many times with her husband. I imagine that she has shared it with friends or family. I imagine that her friends express their sympathy and affirm her feelings on this, as I have done with my friends in the past, who have walked in moms shoes, as I would only hear my friends "side" of the situation. And this was before I understood the magnitude of the pain it creates for children.

I am sorry if my words were hard on mom, and yet I do not believe anymore that I would be doing her any favors in the long run to affirm, and encourage a thought process that will bring such pain to all involved. My hope would be that she would find it in her heart to embrace this little girl.

And last, there have been so few times when someone actually had the courage to say the hard stuff to me, instead of telling me what I want to hear, and yes it was painful to hear, but yet, that is what brought about change in my life. Sometimes, in the bigger picture, it is the most honest, and loving thing to do.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2006 at 5:24PM
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bnicebkind, the tone and language of your comments remind me strongly of the radio personality, Laura Schlesinger. I don't add the "doctor", because she's not a therapist and has no appropriate training for what she does. But I have heard her repeatedly berate and bully fragile people, while wrapping herself in the cloak of moral superiority.

Therapy is about giving people space to acknowledge their authentic feelings in order to *work through them* and reach a healthier place, not to affirm or encourage the continuation of destructive patterns. A professional therapist is careful to maintain a neutral objectivity in her relationship with the patient that allows this process to happen in the person doing the therapeutic work. The LAST thing a real therapist does is start slapping the patient around emotionally or intellectually by overtly judging that person.

You keep mis-stating how the therapeutic process works, and confusing it with a person's sharing of feelings with friends and family, in order to reiterate your condemnation of this poster. It may make you feel better, but it's wrong.

I also fully expect you will post a long, extended reply to these comments, which I will leave for others to read, since I won't be returning. This forum is not a healthy place.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 8:03AM
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Mom110- I apologise. I was too hard on you, as you turned to this forum for support on how your husbands child makes you feel. If you would like to return to your post, I am sure that others would like the opportunity to offer their support and encouragement as you work through this.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2006 at 11:40AM
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I saw all of your postings and I'm very interested in speaking with you. My name is Stacie, I'm with the Dr. Keith Ablow Show, a new daytime television show debuting in September. Dr. Ablow is a renowned psychiatrist who's goal is to advise, educate and inform, not to judge or sensationalize. The opposite of Dr.Phil's approach in every way. He's younger, approachable and genuinely interested in helping people strategize and take away tools for a healthier life. You may have seen Dr. Ablow on TV, he's a frequent guest on Oprah, Good Morning America, CNN, etc. as an expert. He was also a
practicing psychiatrist in Boston. To find out more about Dr. Keith please
I am looking to speak with stepmoms and stepdads about what their lives are like. Blending families can be difficult and in doing my research, I've come across many different issues. I was hoping that you would be willing to share your personal stories with me. You are, of course, under no obligation to come to our show. My toll free number is 1-888-372-2569 ext 4347 or email me at
I'm hoping to hear from you soon.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2006 at 5:22PM
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Your feelings while sounding angry are I believe very common. Most every step parent has theese feelings whether they admit them or not. I have 3 step daughters, and we have sole custody of them. While I love them dearly there are times I think "Why couldn't it just be my husband and I with our children?" There are times they say things or do things that remind me so much of their mother... (She is not involved in their lives.) But the thing to keep in your mind is this... She is his daughter and though it can be frustrating to be the "outsider" it can also be a very fulfilling role for you. You can be the mother without having to be the mother. Open yourself up to this child and you may very well realize that you and she can be very close. Also if you make a point to reach out to her you will no doubt find your husband admiring you for that. He is in a very hard predicament, if you honestly love him you will make every attempt to accept his child good or bad. In your statement you really didn't touch on disagreements between her and yourself, just jealousy of the previous wife. Remember You are the wife now, and the only one who can destroy your marraige is you. If your husband is a good man in time you being angry towards his child will force him to make the decision between you two. If he is a good man, the child will win. And if she didn't could you really live with a man that willing to walk away from his flesh and blood? Face it in today's world with divorce rates skyrocketing it may be that your son is placed in the same situation one day. Would you want your husband to walk away from him? Please seek some counseling to help you get over the anger. As I said it is normal to have jealousy towards the ex and her children, but if you let it take over your entire life they win don't they.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2006 at 1:38PM
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I am quite ashamed to say that I can totally understand your feelings. I think your honesty in this forum is very brave and you should feel proud that you have been able to voice your true feelings. I understand that it is very difficult sometimes to be anything other than selfish in such an emotive area in our lives. I myself, find it very difficult to sympatise with my own step daughters, and even find it hard to feel warmth towards my partner when they are around, or are even mentioned in conversation. I wish I was not like this, I wish I could be like some of the other Stepmom's on this site who seem to be able to declare love for their step kids. But, I have now come to terms with the fact that I do not believe this is possible for me. Not because my step daughters are particularly naughty or disrespectful, but because I do not feel able to produce this level of emotion in me at all. For a long time I have felt guilty about this, thinking that there was obviously something wrong with me... But as time moves on, I have come to accept that this is just the way it is and that I cannot force myself to love anybody or anything on demand just because it would make it nicer for my family. I now feel comfortable with my feelings and at ease with my feelings of dislike for them. That said, I never never make their time with their Dad uncomfortable, and I am never disrespectful towards them at all. It is not their fault that I don't like or love them, therefore I cannot hold them responsible for my feelings.

In your message, you mention that your partner asks you to accept her, and your message says that you are trying so hard to accept her, but I would ask why?!. Instead of trying to accept her, why not try to accept your feelings instead. Understand the triggers for your emotions and then deal with these, so that you can make it easier on yourself to deal with; thus making your Husband's and SDs life easier as well. You will never be able to remove her from your life. Anyway, I believe that even though you believe you truely want this, if it actually happened you would feel like a complete monster!

Try to come to terms with your feelings and make reasonable steps to deal with your emotional triggers. For example, I work full time and take my career very seriously, I am ambitious, and work long hours as a result. I get really wound up when my SDs are staying with us and I get woken up at the weekend at 6am by them playing or talking etc... when all I want to do is lie in and catch up on sleep. I end up getting angry and normally my partner suffers as a result. In order for me to deal with this more effectively I have bought a pair of earplugs! A really simple idea, but it means that they can play and be happy, and I can sleep and be happy! and my partner has a day of peace! Problem solved. I know this is a simplistic way of looking at things, but basically I understand that at this point in my life I cannot like/love/or accept my SDs; I take responsibility for this and I forgive myself for this. I do not want them in my life, but I understand that my partner does. I do not ask him to stop seeing them, and he does not ask me to love them. As an adult, I am responsible for my feelings and my actions. No matter who I deal with in my life, I am always friendly and respectful and I will not let two kids change this for me, even though I find it incredibly difficult at times.

The way I look at it is... I want to make my life as simple and as nice as possible. These two kids are not going anywhere... Period! So I try to make their existance in my life as easy on me as possible. I spend time with friends, and I take time out for me when they are around. Ideally I know it would be better to be closer to them, but failing this, I belief it is better to have a respectful distance, than a hurtful, resentful relationship bourne out of forced interaction.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2006 at 12:11PM
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I agree with Cassie, It is so important to be able to share your feelings without being jumped on. If you haven't been a step parent you wouldn't understand alot of the emotion in the above message, I do. I know what it is to feel the twinge of jealousy that this isn't your child. We would all like to believe our partners never had anyone until they met us. To agree that there was someone else means to agree that this marriage may fail as well. Trust me you are not the "wicked step-mother" some are trying to paint you at. Yes your message is a little immature, but we all have that in us. Somewhere deep inside we all have that little child ready to throw a fit if things aren't perfect. Perhaps seeing the daughter as seperate from your husband may help you. Talk with her take her shopping, realize that although she is your husbands daughter she is also her own seperate person. Be the first to compliment her and the last to critisize. This will be extremely hard!!!! I know!!! But try it.. no matter what her response is positive/negative ALWAYS come back with a positive. If she says I DON"T WANT TO GO ANYWHERE WITH YOU!!! simply say Ok I'm sorry I thought you might want to go. and never quit asking. She is in a very rough spot right now and it will be hard for her to open up to you because she will see this as a betrayal to her mother. Be steady, be strong, she will come around. and when you feel pushed to the brink remember god only gives us what he knows we can handle. You are part of her because you are part of your husband. The question is do you want to be a positive influence or a negative? Any time you need to vent you can e-mail me privately at I will listen with an open heart. I know the position you are in I have been there, you could be a very powerful person in her young life. Understand the gift that your husband has bestowed upon you. He has trusted you with his life and his child, God has seen fit to put you in her life for one reason or another, only you can make the decision to help yourself out of the anger and make the best of the situation... Keep in touch and keep trying.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2006 at 2:15PM
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Mom110406, I completely feel the same way. I have been with my husband for just under 4 years. I have a daughter from a previous relationship not a marriage. My Husbands daughter is from a previous relationship as well, not a marriage. I hate the fact that he has a life before me but I know that everyone does. My stepdaughters Mother has never really interfered with our lives other than about a year and half into my relationship with My husband she had a abortion and came to him for protection/security and resolution to their problems so they could again start a relationship. At this time my Husband and I were already married and he told her this and that was the last time that he really has interfered. She is a terrible mother in my opinion. That is a whole other story though. The hate and resentment toward my stepdaughter is stemming from the way that she was brought into this world and his life. He met her mother and on their first date he got her pregnant. Him being a "man" accepted this fact and delt with it as best he could. Since then she has controlled all decisions in his daughters life. My husband never stands up for his daughter in my eyes. He is very worried about being taken back to court to pay more child support if he was to voice an opinion about the way that she chooses to live her life including his daughter. I knew full and well that he was a father before I met him and looking back I should have never married him. Accepting her feels like I am allowing her mother to control my future with my husband, let me explain before you all start to critize me. I have spoken to my husband about having a child of "our" own, seeing as we both have children from other relationships, that werent really relationships at all. He has told me that he cant have another child because of the things that his SD mother did to him while she was pregnant, also that he doesnt want to have to be a part-time dad to another child if we dont work out. Me and him have had problems for a long time and they all revolve soley around my SD and her Mother. I love my husband but I cant help but hate my SD because she and her Mother are the reason that I wont be able to have a future with my husband. Its all so hard to accept and deal with. When I was pregnant my daughter father was not there, at all. I dealt with it and realized that if he was that immature to run away then it was better to it happen then to have it happen later. I grew up real fast and my daughter is the best thing that has ever happend to me. My husband like I said before new his SD mother for 1 day before she got pregnant and he stayed with her right through the end, took her in, supported her and their daughter and never looked back. Eventually the relationship ended because it wasnt a relationship in the beginning. It is very hard for me to think that I will never have that opportunity. I am married now to a man that I love and I think that I am entitled to have a baby with him. I feel that I should be able to have the same pregnancy that he gave her, because Im his wife not just some one night stand turned mother. HELP ME PLEASE. Do I stay or do I leave?

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 5:13PM
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What your husband said ' he can't havea baby because of what his sd mom did to him while she was pregnant ' is a copout. Complete excuse. He just does not want anymore responsibility. This is probably one of the main reasons he married you. He probably figured, he has a daughter , you have a daughter and that would be enough. I do agree, you are entitled to havea baby with him BUT if he is unwilling to give you one...there is nothing you can do. And if you force that, things will just be worse. He may resent it. You do not want that . I know you love him. But why do you feel you must validate that relationship and love with him with a baby. I understand it. I really do. But you can validate it in so many other ways. If havinga baby is important to you and he will not give you one, step back. and think about everything in your relationship. What is good, what is bad. And if its only the baby the end, the decision is yours. If you choose to validate your relationship with a child from both of you and he is unwilling, and it is soooooo Important to you, then personally , i would leave. If it was so important to me andi couldnt' go on living wtih this person because its sucha thorn. It would be sad to end it though since you love him so much. But i've ended many relationships not because i didnt' love the person. But because i couldn't live with them for one thing or another. Andyes, havnng a baby was one of the reasons i left one boyfriend.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 6:08PM
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Well Jamiebrooklyn, I am terribly saddened that you would HATE a little girl because of what her PARENTS did. She has NOTHING to do with any of it. She's just a little girl caught in a terrible situation.

Actually, I'm quite baffled as to why you married this man in the first place. You hate his daughter, you hate his prior life, you think that he's spineless because he doesn't stand up to the mother, and he's obviously not fully committed to a relationship with you if he doesn't want to have a child because it "might not work out."

HELLO, it's a bit late for that.

No one is entitled to reproduce. What you want does not come before what he wants. You need to want things together. That's the way marriage works. It's all or nothing. Both of you must be on board before a decision is made, and if one of you is not then you don't do it. You are no longer an individual decision maker once you're married; therefore, entitlement means nothing. He doesn't want it. Period. The end.

These are things that need to be worked out before marriage because once you ARE MARRIED, the rules change. You married. You committed. An adult stands by these vows and commitments whatever that means outside of adultery, addiction, or abuse.

I would suggest marriage and family counseling. It sounds to me like there are multiple layers or problems for you and your husband--many more than an internet message board can help you with.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2006 at 7:00PM
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HI dear mom,

I hope you can still read this message. I am writing because I am in the same situation as you. As i read your email tears came out of my eyes to imagine how you feel. Many ladies in here do not understant at all. They are ladies that like to judge but no to help. And believe me their lifes are far away from perfect. I have heard those comments before from drogadicts, ladies married many times with kids from different man. Do no get upset for their comments. I would like to get in touch with you, maybe we can help each other. For me it was hard. I got married at 33, I am an attorney, I speak spanish english and German , I have traveled all over and I have worked in really high positions. Suddenly I took the wrong turn and I am in the same position as you are. It ruined my life for a long time. I did not needed this in my life. Many people would say, you knew it, now you have to accept it. No No, you do not have to punish yourself at all. Mistakes are just there to be corrected not to be punished. Now, I have just decided to do what cassey suggested. I do not force my feelings and my husbands is ok with that. If you cant, you cant. period. It is your feelings and they make you feel the way you do. At the moment I do not participate with my husnbands past at all, he is responsible for them behind my back and that is ok. We do not talk about it at all. For many people that love to judge, they would just start trying to make you feel guilty. I am not perfect, and at the end of the day I try to make the best of it just as anyone else. You are being honest and that is what counts. I would like to talk to you one day and be able to share freely our feelings. Me as well as you, have tried to run away from this nigthmare that make us look as "wicked" because we calculated wrong the challenge. In my case, I lived in my relationship ling distance for 2 years. He would go to see me once a month. I thought I could handle it but as soon as I got here it was a nightmare. The ex in jail for drinking and me having to accept the girls, my husband was not letting me touch anything of their things, not even fix their room. It was horrible!! I lived in the same house as he lived with her and I found many things that hurt me. No one thinks about that. I had to be really tough with my husband and as I decided to get divorced he changed. Now we are moving to our beaitufil brand new house, now I am the queen of my house and I decide who comes in and who doesnt. Now I am pregnant and things are working fine. Give me a call.

Well. My email is I changed it but U can
still get your message if you send me an email.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2007 at 2:35PM
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There is a common misperception out there that "he was a father first" No, actually he was a husband first. To his ex granted, but nonetheless husband first. Being that the relationship between parents and children predates the new marriage that relationship is often given higher priority than the marriage. When this happens the marriage has no chance for survival.

Even still most people are quick to believe that a stepmother is evil, self-centered, greedy, hostile and acting without regard to anyone else's feelings, especially another woman's children. BULL.

A large part of a woman's self esteem depends on her family going smoothly. When stepfamily situations are negative stepmothers suffer from low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity and guilt.

In the transition from biomother to stepmother society has reduced the privileges supporting marriage for wife #2. Is it fair for the rules to change here? Shouldn't spouses be first to one another and the children regardless of whose they are, come after that relationship? That is the only way ALL the children will thrive.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:00PM
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Collen, I am not I understand what you are saying. I didnt read anything to say that the OPs DH was not devoted to her. Just that OP hated the SD. Are you saying that DH should ignore child -- or just leave child with the mom, and pay CS and be done with it.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 9:14PM
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Au contraire kkny. In no way do I think the father or stepmother should ignore the girl.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 10:03PM
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So what advice are you giving the OP??

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 10:08PM
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To look at the marriage. The child is a symptom, not the cause.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 12:08AM
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It doesnt seem that way to me with OP. It seems to me that OP just doesnt want SD.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2007 at 2:20AM
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Yeps on the surface it might seem that way;)

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 3:42PM
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Colleen, How can you know what is below the surface? I assume you dont the OP? So I am assuming that this is your all purpose advice? It sounds like the OP just doesnt want the children.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 4:33PM
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You are making an awful lots of assumptions kenny:D

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 4:45PM
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Well then explain. Perhaps you are the OP under a different screen name.

Frankly I dont doubt that some SMs wish the first wife and kids just didnt exist. But that isnt the childrens fault and it isnt the first wife's fault.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2007 at 5:26PM
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I know this is an old message but I read something I can really relate to:

Quote: jamiebrooklyn:
"I love my husband but I cant help but hate my SD because she and her Mother are the reason that I wont be able to have a future with my husband. Its all so hard to accept and deal with."

This is the root of the resentful feelings in my own situation. My significant other has a 4.5 year old with his ex wife. Due to the marriage not working out and the high cost of child support he says he doesn't want to get married again or have any more kids. That is very unfair from my perspective. I don't have any kids and I want a family with him. If his ex wife and daughter never existed I'm 100% sure him and I would be married and starting a family by now. The only thing we fight about is them.

So if I stay with him I'll be a childless stepmother.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 11:46AM
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If a man does not want to be married and does not want to have children, it is certainly not his ex's or his children's fault.

Also if this is unacceptable situation for you, you make your own decision which probably is "to leave". But if you wish to stay, it is rather unfair to be resentful against his children. So I am not sure who is unfair here? Somebody who honestly admits that he is done having children or somebody who resents somebody else's kids!

Also when a man tells you "I don't want to be married" it is more than often means "I don't want to be you". Especially if a woman is clearly resentful of his children.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:00PM
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He got to experience marriage. He got to experience becoming a parent. His ex got to experience those things with him. And now he does NOT want to get married again. Not to me, not to anyone. I wouldn't be resentful of his child and ex if he was willing to have a future with me. He would want to if he didn't have a past with them. We are VERY compatible in every way.

I came into this situation with an open mind and didn't feel any resentment until he made it clear that I'll get NOTHING out of the relationship.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 12:36PM
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But it is HIS decision to not want to get remarried. If you are going to be upset with someone, it should be him, not his exwife or child.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 7:16PM
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Some men are not meant to be fathers. Some are not meant to be fathers to more than one set of children. Having children is expensive and time consuming. Some people, even though they treasure children, realize that they are at their limit. That can happen in any home. It sounds like he has been honest with you at least. I love my daughter, and I could understand if you left him. Only you can decide if you can make a life with him without children. But once you decide, then you have to accept the child.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2007 at 7:25PM
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I know how u feel honey.... its hard i try 2 deal with it but i hate the fact she is from his ex and they look so much alike and he loves his daughter i believe more than our children wen she calls he drops everything and runs im seriously thinkin bout gettin a divorce he can see my kids the same way he sees his daughter i jus dont wanna feel they way i do now

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 11:53AM
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Being a stepmother is a difficult thing. I wish you the best and hope that you can resolve your issues. I dont understand your situation completely as my SD's and SS are adults, but it is a long hard road with jealously and insecurity issues, particulary when you marry someone that isnt an emotional person.

Hang in there, it will all work out!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 12:40PM
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Seriously, if you get a divorce, you'd better hope his next wife doesn't look at your kids and hate the fact they are from you and if they resemble you and it bothers her, then what? Your kids will be the ones suffering. If you don't want to feel the way you do now, get some counseling and help in dealing with it. Your answer isn't a solution, it can create different problems for your kids.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:00PM
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I feel sorry for my Skids because they do look like their Dad(my DH).
Have you ever thought of how difficult life might be for her? Try not to look at her as just someone's daughter. Look at her as a whole person. She could be picked on at school. Other kids could be mean to her.
You must be insecure with your DH. Maybe that is the issue. Maybe if that was addressed you might like her alot more than you thought possible.
Also, about him loving his DD more? Could it be she is older so he connects with her easier? My DH is a good Dad to our boys(boneheaded at times) but he communicates much better with his older kids. That doesn't mean he loves them more. I connected better with my Dad than my Mom but I think she loved me as much as he did.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:34PM
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there have been ALOT of very harsh rude comments said about you and your feelings! i am in the same situation. my husband has a 9 yr old daughter and i am a very mature adult but it still gets to me that he has a child with another woman.feeling that way doesnt make you immiture or selfish, it simply makes you human! i know how you feel, you want to be the only woman to share a child with your husband and that isnt selfish whatsoever!! how you treat your sd makes you selfish or unselfish. also if your sd is a brat who treats you poorly it can make the situation worse! there isnt anything wrong with your feelings. i am going through your situation exactly. the only thing i can say is to pray about it. there is also this to keep in mind... if you dont see your sd all of the time than you only have to handle it every once in a while. treat her good because you did choose to marry him. i like the comment someone else made, that he left his ex and is with you so you know he loves you and your son. it may also help that he is with you and your son every day and your only see his sd every now and then. however again, when his daughter is with you, treat her good and loving because it isnt her fault that she is in the middle of this. (the same could be said of my situation) being a stepmother is a very very hard job and quite frankly not something that a woman dreams of becoming when she grows up! but the fact that you chose to marry a man that has a child shows that you are a good person despite the things that have been said about you in this forum!! good luckand stay strong!

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 11:05PM
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I disagree on the "selfish" part, but it's more a matter of semantics than the essence of the point you're making, which I do at least want to agree with. Im not writing this to be picky for no reason, just that I think the distinctions are really important. If we take away the heavily-loaded judgmental connotation of the word "selfish" and look at it just factually, then it's easier to acknowledge that wanting to be somebody's "first and only" IS, in fact, selfish. Because it is a desire inherently and explicitly about wanting to be the ONLY self that matters in a situation where there are other Âselves to consider. Just like when I want to be the only one at the birthday party to eat all of the super-delicious cake, it is selfish. Or when I want my boyfriend to think I'm the only attractive woman in the room (no: the world!) and never even glance at another woman, it is selfish. It doesn't mean I'm a horrible evil person for wanting these things, or that my desires are abnormal, but it must be acknowledged that these desires are in fact selfish. That has to be admitted not so I can sit around stewing in guilt for having these desires, but to be able to see them with realism and fairness and to make appropriate decisions based on that awareness and keep things in perspective. For example, it is just not realistic or fair that ONE person at a birthday party full of people should have ALL the cake (especially, of course, when it's not even your birthday party to begin with, but even when it is). It is not realistic or fair to expect that my boyfriend would never so much as notice another attractive woman. I may wish like hell that I could have all the cake (and I DO luv cake) and it may be acutely uncomfortable to know that my boyfriend finds another woman attractive. Still, it is reality that there are other people in the world, and other people in the given situation, and this requires active adjustment in not only behavior but thinking. Namely that you are not the only person in the world, or in the situation, and you just can't pretend you are, or spend too much time wishing you were, or you will have problems.

The problem with the line of thinking "it's not selfish and there's nothing wrong with wishing your stepkids didn't exist" is that it's not a totally accurate statement and it divests a step-parent of any responsibility for active change; therefore accurate and appropriate decisions can't be made based on it. It comes from an inordinate fear of ever being wrong about anything, but the fact is everyone IS at times wrong about something. (And everyone is at times selfish, too.) And when you're wrong about something, you have to admit it or you will keep making mistakes and having problems. Whether or not you or others judge you harshly as a person about being wrong isnÂt the issue. The fact is, though, that there are many things wrong about wishing the first kids didn't exist. First of all, itÂs not reality: they do exist. Second of all, it easily turns into a bottomless desire; who else are you going to wish didn't exist? The MIL, the husband's whole family, the old friends, all other women and most other men? All of them take at least some small amount of time and attention away from YOU, after all. For every person you wish wasn't in the picture is a person who you will have to forcibly hold at bay, and that is enraging and exhausting, for everyone. Therefore it is a losing proposition, for everyone. Your husband was not born out if thin air and does not go through life completely solo. EVERYONE is a "package deal" because we all have connections to other people. somr of these connections are negotiable, but some aren't. Failure to accept this reality is in fact WRONG. And by "wrong" I don't mean "evil" or attach any moral significance to it (okay, maybe a little); but first and foremost "wrong" simply means "erroneous" and "not gonna help the situation any".

The more useful statement to say to a step-parent who wishes they didn't have to share their spouse with step-kids is: "It IS selfish to wish your step-kids didn't exist and there ARE several things wrong with this desire, not least of which that it is impossible to fulfill; it doesn't make you an evil person for having this desire, but it requires active effort on your part to counteract it and adjust, or else you and everyone around you will have problems. Because yes, you do have to share because no, you are not the first and only." Pretty much: what is told (rightly so) to step-kids when they get a new step-parent.

I agree with you that the *actions*, *words* and *behaviors* expressed outwardly as a result of the feelings are the most important determinants of whether to judge a person negatively on their selfishness. It doesn't change the fact that their desires ARE selfish but it determines how much harm this goes on to cause. It is a measure of just how far the selfishness is permitted to express itself or even take over the situation, unchallenged and without necessary adjustment. My big thing (which I tend to repeat on here a lot) is try to focus your anger/upset on the person's behavior, not the fact that they have the feelings in the first place. That is, I tend to say that to parents as regards their kids (i.e. bratty *behavior* resulting from *feelings* of fear of loss or feeling replaced.) I admit I don't always think of it this way as regards the behavior vs. feelings of a step-parent (i.e. try not to judge a step-parent harshly for having FEELINGS that they wish the kids didn't exist, but focus your upset on their resulting actions or behavior), but that is true too. If there's any uneven-ness or bias in my thinking on that point (which I'm sure there is), I suppose it is based on three factors: 1. step-parents (or potential step-parents) have a choice as to whether or not to enter the blended family and kids (of any age) do not have the choice as to whether they have a step-parent; 2. it is less reasonable to wish away someone who was in the situation (family) before you were; and 3. step-kids automatically have to adjust ---mentally, emotionally, domestically, financially, logistically---- because you exist; they have to "share" their parent with you, so why shouldn't you have to adjust and share? If a step-child has negative feelings towards you or even selfishly wishes you werenÂt on the scene ---whether or not they express these--- they are often deemed bratty, jealous, spiteful and/or disrespectful and told they need to get over it; why shouldnÂt you, in the same circumstances and with similar feelings? Fairness should be the principle, but even still.... At the end of the day, for the above reasons, I think step-parents have more choice, control and hence responsibility for their feelings and actions in the stepfamily than do step-children, and I hereby admit that bias.

I said above that I WANT to be able to agree with you that it's not the step-parent's thoughts or feelings that should be relevant but the way they behave towards the stepchildren. After all, like I said, I say that a lot regarding step-*children* and their behavior. But then there's that stubborn, nagging fact that we've discussed on here before, all of us from different roles/perspectives, that we all tend to just KNOW when someone else is feeling one way but acting another way. And it's kinda impossible to completely ignore that. I wish it was *completely* possible to simply have the selfish feelings inside but behave otherwise outwardly and achieve harmony and happiness in the stepfamily this way. I think if that were possible there would be very little stepfamily conflict. Or conflict in general. Everyone would be secretly wishing everyone else would just go away but no one would have ANY CLUE of this or be reading one another's actions searching for evidence of duplicity or manipulation or wrong-doing. So on the surface level everyone would be getting along swimmingly and even having a blast, but there would be this whole other subterranean universe of resentment boiling under the surface that would exist completely independently and have absolutely no bearing on anything. As long as that surface level of nice and compliant and cooperative outward behavior was maintained, nothing would ever go wrong. But let's face it, we all know that doesn't really happen. At least not for long. Or it happens, like with these Jekyll/Hyde-like John Wayne Gacy personalities who are like the town clown and are completely capable of concealing their feelings 100% but then they go and carve up little boys in their basement. Like, as an ÂoutletÂ, or something. So is it even desirable to feel one way but try to conceal it 100%? Is this an effective long-term strategy? Does it usually lead to good results? In think we should all try to be diplomatic and polite, mutually-respectful, empathetic and considerate as much as possible. But knowing that if, at the end of the day, one or more people in the situation just donÂt want to share or want to be the ONLY one, there will only be so much control of true feelings, all around.

I WANT to be able to wholeheartedly agree with what you're saying and in many ways I do, but up to a point. And that's the point that tends to "get" us all. Most of us just CAN'T totally hide our feelings. And if some of us are actually able to, then it tends to be a whole Ânother set of problems, often extremely serious problems. What do we do with the dangling bits?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 12:51PM
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I completely understand how you feel. I have tried all of the suggestions people and it seems I cant get past my feelings about my step daughter. But just a little history my feelings are made by her betrayal towards my husband and I. When she lived with us we worked our butts off making sure my son and his daughter were treated equal. She asked to live with us permanently and since her mother has been a loser for years getting custody isnt going to be hard. We hired a lawyer and started the court proceedings. Thousands of dollars later she had the nerve to bad mouth my husband to the courts! Her mother has never done a thing for her. She wouldnt even buy her sandles for the summer. I know she played us and now I am stuck picking up the pieces of my husband. Then on top of it she told the courts how perfect her mother was. The judge laughed when he saw what she said but it hurt my husband. Its along story and there is sooo much more but I cant move on. I am so bitter. I have thought several times of leaving my husband. He is great but sticks his head in the sand when it comes to her. I dont want the teenager around my 5 year old.Her and her mother have caused irrepairable damage when it comes to my sone biological father and as long as she is around she poses a threat to my son. I dont know what she will tell her mother and I hate walking on eggshells. When she comes around I either work and send my son to my mothers or leave my son at my moms and go to my room.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2011 at 8:46AM
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Jeez - the tangled webbs we weave...

Hypothetical Question:
What if you left him, eventually moved on with another man who viewed YOUR children the same as you view your current DH's DD? What if your new hubs couldn't handle the mere existence of your children? Felt they were a "threat" to the children you and he now have together? Mad because his children were not your "first"?

When all is said and done karma's a b!tch and things have a way of turning around...

    Bookmark   January 24, 2011 at 9:58PM
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I feel your pain! I have been with my fiance for 2 years and he has a 3 1/2 year old daughter with his ex girlfriend. She is the same as the woman you are dealing with. Jealous and spiteful. Causes us nothing but problems. Uses the child as a pawn to get what she wants and piss us off. I wonder every day if I should really go through with marrying this man. I love him more than anything, but I don't know if I can deal with this forever. She flipped out when she found out we are engaged and I guarantee she will flip out when we get married, when we have a baby, etc. The only good thing is we don't have children together yet (waiting until marriage- don't want to be his 2nd baby mama). I also, like you, hate the constant reminder that he was with someone before me. I know it sounds selfish and it's not the girl's fault but those are just my true honest feelings. Unfortunately I don't think it will ever get better.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Let's look at the other side of this situation if possible,she could of been given a great pep talk from her husband before the marriage.I feel myself was given such a talk.You'll have alot you time.You'll be given space.Job is going so well you could possibly quit your job.Well, 6 months into marriage, hardly any myself time.Work my butt off.Drive step-kids everywhere due to husbands loss of license.Drive husband everywhere.I feel I due more for the kids than anyone.So, I do sacrifice I feel.I think alot of women do.Women are emotionally sensitive and husbands need to consider our feelings if not WORKLOAD at times.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 5:26PM
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