I did not see this coming
Hi am new here, and I am just looking to talk someone who could possibly understand how I feel. I have tried to talking to my wife about this but she has never been a stepparent, and has expressed to me that doesnt think she would even be able to be a stepparent.
My wife and I have been married for 13 years and have been together for 16 years. She had full custody of the kids the entire time. When my wife and I started dating the kids were 7, 9, 11, and now they are 24, 26, and 28. One has a son of his own now and the oldest has one on the way. This is one of the reasons I am writing this post today.
My kids have never given me problems about being a stepparent; we went through some of the normal teenage problems but nothing having to being steps. I raised them as if they were my own kids, I tried to be there as much as I could, I had them under my insurance so if they got hurt or got sick, they would get the proper care they needed, and supported them in any sports they wanted to play. At that time their father was not around hardly at all. He lived in another city, did not pay any child support, he never showed for any games, and as far as I know he was nowhere to be found when they had an kind of personal problem growing up a teen. I can remember one time when my wife and I was going through a hard time when we both lost our jobs at the same time and school was starting for the kids. She called her ex and asked to barrow a few bucks to by school clothes for the kids, and he said he did not have it. Latter we found that one of the kids was at his house at the time and he found a coffee can full of money. Now he could not help out his kids with school clothes because he was probably saving to buy a new 30 foot boat, or a new motorcycle, or sand rail, something like that I have seen many of in his garage over the years. So I did what any DAD would do in a situation like that. I went to every bar in town, and collected bottles and cans to recycle to get school clothes, and to make ends meet.
Now that the boys are men and making a life of there own, they all live closer to their biological and are spending a lot more time with him. Every family function is spent with the biological family where I feel completely out of place. I get a long with them pretty well, but I do spend a lot of time either by myself or hearing about their good olÂ days. My wife tries to help by having me hang out with her and her exÂs wife. I have no problems that, but I just feel like his family is thinking that I can not socialize without her. But in their conversations they do a lot of talking about the trips they done, activities they have done, or the toys they have collected. None of which I can talk about because I was spending all of my time and money on making sure his kids grew up healthy, with an education, and to be an asset to society.
All the while he was collecting all of his toys to be Disney land dad when the kids grew up. I just have been feeling like I gave all my time and energy in raising the boys, I have lots of pride in that, but someone else is reaping of the benefits. I now have to spend a 3 hours to go visit them for a special occasion, spend money on a hotel to spend my time thinking how much they are growing up to look like there father, how much of their personalities are like fathers, and how I wish I had that. I never thought about that to much until they grew up and I now that I see them around their father more. It make me feel like more of a friend to the boys instead of a dad. That is extreamly hard for me to admit, because I have always seen them as my sons. To this day I will introduce them as my sons. I have never seen them as anything else until recently. I am now being introduced as the step parent by other side of the family and it hurts.
With that I am feeling more and more lonely as the time goes by. The kids have been getting married, and having children, so my wife wants to spend more time with them. It is certainly putting a strain on our marriage because she is sensing something wrong with me, and I have tried to tell her how I feel, but it always ends up as an argument. She does not get how I could ever feel this way, and takes it as a personal attack, and makes comments like: "Maybe I should leave and let you find someone you can have your own kids with." Like that would ever happen. I do not want my own kids. For a while I felt as if I had my own kids. I am not looking for a replacement.
That is why I am writing this today. I hope someone can give me some advise on how I could help this situation I am in. That I was not living a fairy tale and now I beginning to wake up to find that the past 16 years I was just living a lie, maybe there is hope for my family to feel like I a part of it again.