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Hopes of future stepmothering

Posted by melandnelson (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 28, 07 at 23:02

I was friend's with the man that I am currently involved with for eight years prior to the start of our relationship. Prior to our getting involved we talked about both wanting children and other stuff. He has a four year old and just recently told me that he does not think that he wants children anymore, after spending the weekend with his son. He says that he does not want to put his son through that, since he only has him on the weekends and would not want him to feel as he is not a significant part of his life. He asked me if I would be able to love his son the same as his biological son and I said yes. I told him that I would find it important to treat the children the same and make his son feel also as my own, even though he still has his biological mother that he is with during the week. He does not believe me and says that it would not be possible to treat them the same, I told him that I felt sorry that he felt that way and why would he want to be with someone that could not do that. He did not seem to have an answer for this. I was wondering, is this a normal thing for parents to go through and is there anyway to get him to understand that his son will be just as important if we make the effort to make him feel that way. Are there any books on this? I need something, because this may be the end of our relationship is he cannot come to terms with this. Also I don't want to try and make someone have another kid if they don't want to, but earlier in the relationship he did say that he wanted kids. My friend says that she feels the same way, so I don't know if this is something that is normal to go through. If not, I need to know so I can end the relationship and not stay in the false hopes of changing someone.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Hopes of future stepmothering

"He does not believe me and says that it would not be possible to treat them the same, I told him that I felt sorry that he felt that way and why would he want to be with someone that could not do that."

He's a smart man because you CANNOT treat them the same. I may get flamed for saying it, but it's IMPOSSIBLE. No child that is with his father on a part-time basis is ever going to be treated the same as a child who is with his father on a permanent full-time basis--nor should they be. You as stepmother certainly cannot do it because you ALWAYS have the option of disengaging from the situation. As a biological parent, you cannot do that. With that option on the table, it is not possible to treat children equally.

Circumstances change, people change. Perhaps with these years of part-time parenting he's decided that he doesn't want to compromise his son's upbringing by introducing more variables into the situation--which IMHO is not an unreasonable decision.

RE: Hopes of future stepmothering

You're smart to realize that you have a very important decision to make in your life for your own well-being and personal happiness. Please don't compromise your own wants, desires, wishes, dreams, and happiness over your BF and his son.

I agree with vivian that treating your own biological children the same as a stepchild is impossible. I know because I have one of each. I see the favoritism that my DH shows his BS everyday plus I also see/hear the criticism towards my DD. That makes for tension in our marriage. No other child that your BF has with you or anyone else for that matter, will ever compare to the son he has now. Unfortunately, he has already put that 4-yr-old on a pedestal and no one else will ever measure up to him.

IMO, you need to decide whether or not you can handle not having your own biological children. If you can, then give your relationship a go. If not, then set him free and find a man who will want to have a child(ren) with you. There are plenty of single, divorced men out there who either don't have any or if they already do, see the happiness in having more children, whether he has them permanently or on a part-time basis.

I wish you the best because I've been in your shoes and it's not easy. Let us know how it goes for you.

RE: Hopes of future stepmothering

This kind of sounds like what every mother wonders when she is contemplating getting pregnant for her second child. Can I really possibly love another child as much as my first. Honestly ladies, didn't we all go thru that?
No you won't love your stepson the same way you love the baby you may have, but if you have a successful stepmothering experience, you will love him just as much. I know I feel that way about my younger stepson. I wish like crazy that I could have been to the one to have delivered him, instead of his birth mother. She by the way killed herself 3 years ago. He still hurts and can't comprehend how she could leave him. I feel he is my child in all ways, she left him to me. We keep her alive in his heart by talking about her and his feelings about her. I won't erase her. But I will make him feel whole and loved without her. It is a sad situation, but he will go on and have a long, full, wonderful life and then finally see her in his after life, where he will get the answers to all his questions.
Having a big open heart is what it takes to love a blended family. Having a partner who trusts you and you trust him is key. If not, there are insurmountable struggles, like the ones I have with my older stepson at the moment.
Good Luck

RE: Hopes of future stepmothering

I appreciate your comments and agree that no I will never love him the same, but pretty close. I feel as a person stepping in the role as a stepmother you have to be able to treat the children the same when they are around each other, speaking in a hypothetical sense.

I am going to talk to him and make him aware that he is asking a huge thing of a woman in taking the place of his partner. As a stepmother the woman has to love children, have some sort of relationship with the bio-mom, and will never be loved the same way as the bio-mom by the son.

For him to ask the woman not to want to have any child, he is asking a huge thing. This may just be a feeling that he is going through or if not it may be best for him to find a woman that already has children from a past relationship. I really care for this guy, but it is not my role to make him change his mind and the whole thing with putting his son on a pedestal, I never thought of it that way.

I know within his family there were favorites, even though he did not come from a broken home. I never experienced favortism within my family, so I can't really relate to this. I know this is a fear that he is having and he may not ever overcome it.

It just sucks, this man is wonderful and is able to speak freely about thing with me. We have a lot of open communication, but I don't want to stay with someone in the hopes that in the future that they change their mind.

RE: Hopes of future stepmothering

Be careful. From a 9 year (official - 11 year unofficial) veteran stepmom, it sounds like he is following the ultimate blended family killer "happy family, because you are going to replace his mother and sacrifice and feel just like she does about him" LIE. Trust me, we are still licking our wounds from trying to follow that fairy tale dream. If I hadn't listened to other people telling me how I should become their mother and change their bad habits, I think my relationship with my stepdaughters (now teenagers) would have been much stronger, now. I do love them, and they do love me, but because of my lack of understanding of my role with them for years, there are still sore spots. I wish someone had said this to me at the beginning: "You are NOT their mother nor will you EVER be, so their upbringing is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS!!! Do an imaginary head shake and butt out! Their bad behaviors and habits have absolutely nothing to do with you. It is a reflection of their parents' shortcomings." Although you might (big might) grow to love this child over time, your relationship with this child needs to be given LOTS of room, which it doesn't sound like his father is allowing. You can't force anyone to love.
The child has been hurt by a broken family, and he is like a little injured animal. Expect him to snap and snarl at you a bit before he learns to trust your intentions. You and your man can set basic "living together" boundaries WHICH YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND ENFORCES (such as don't take stuff without asking, everyone gets to feel safe, and speak to all with respect even if you don't feel like it.) Other than being behind the scenes helping your husband realize you all need those basic boundaries, STAY OUT OF IT - it's not your kid. Anger is all part of the healing process. It will take sometimes years for them to learn to trust. It will also take years for their father to trust that you have actually learned to love his child. It may take years for you to really love the child as your own. And if it never happens, it shouldn't have any bearing on your love for your future husband, as long as everyone is cordial when they are together. Just understand that his love for the child is intense, and he is going to do some things that seem unreasonable to you. It's called love. Your tongue will develop a permanent callus from biting it constantly when your future stepson is around. If it is too much, develop a retreating place where you can write out your thoughts and think of a solution without crushing any relationships.
A little ray of hope:
A new baby helped us realize the stupid fairy tale LIE (call it like it is!), and in spite of their mother telling them that we would abandon them now that we were having another child (yes, she is another story entirely), we finally convinced them that they were and always will be important to us. They were allowed to witness their sister's birth (from an appropriate angle - great birth control, by the way). Both moved in with us (although one has moved back to the land of no rules). They continue to smother their sister with love. She is now four years old, and I've had to beg her big sisters to stop buying her junk. The love they have shown her has increased my love for them exponentially. I finally feel true intense love for my stepdaughters. My youngest stepdaughter, unfortunately, is still reeling from the pain and lack of trust caused by that horrible fairy tale LIE, and is still suffering self-incurred damages. Please pray for her. This year, my oldest stepdaughter gave me a card for my birthday thanking me for being like a mother to her. After eleven years of struggling, that one little card made it all worthwhile. I just hope my relationship with my youngest stepdaughter, and her relationship with herself and others is salvageable. Tell people who look critically your possible future stepson's behavior that you are sorry his behavior offends them, but it's really none of their business or yours (So stick it where the sun doesn't shine!) Good luck in your discussion and decision making.

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