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Old 12-30-2010, 10:28 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
Reputation: 46994


One element of step parenting is how you determine to deal with the ex spouse.. I loved OUR EX WIFE RIGHT AWAY. Under different circumstances we would have been goof friends. We are nothing alike but she is a good kind woman. DH and I started our marriage with 3 of his kids but not very often. Several states separated us. When the kids saw how respectful the parents were of each other, it made it more comfortable for everyone.

When we had 2 kids of our own the ex became Aunt Sue and it was years before our kids figured out Aunt Sue was Dad's first wife. I think it was healthy for us all.

It doesn't have to be the nighmare some media want us to believe.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:36 PM
730 posts, read 1,969,869 times
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I have experience with 2 sides of the step issue. My mother married a man without other children when I was 6. My bio father was not involved in my life. My step dad accepted me & cared for me as his own. He & my mother later divorced when I was 16. As an adult - I have a closer relationship with my step-dad (whom I proudly call just dad) than I do my own mother. He is crazy about his grandchildren & proudly introduces me to everyone as simply his daughter. Now that I have kids of my own & realize how much he took on even when he did'nt have to I am truly humbled & thankful for him.

I have 2 children from a previous marriage-ages 9 &13 and have gotten remarried. We have a child together as well. So far the blended family thing is working out well. The older kids bio dad is still in the picture. By in the picture I mean he takes his visitations, drops them off at this mom's & continues on with his activities. The truth is their step- dad who does all the boring everyday tasks it takes to raise a family may never be as cool as the super human, party all the time rock star of a father they percieve their bio dad to be, BUT the key is never saying anything negative about dad in front of the kids.The minute you degrade him, they will stop respecting you. We stay detached & only state impartial facts about him in front of them.

It already speaks as a loud testament that they think their dad is beyond cool, but when they NEED things,reassurance, or boundaries that make them feel secure they ALWAYS turn to their step dad or I.

I agree with the above post- life as a divorced parent does not have to be awful. If all parties set out to do what is best for the kids it does'nt have to scar them for life. I also try to remember that on the occasion when my ex does make me want to insult him publicly, the only people I am hurting are the kids.
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Old 01-01-2011, 11:10 AM
2,179 posts, read 2,812,318 times
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Thanks to everyone for such generous posts. I will reread them and give this more consideration. My problem is I see the same resentment in my step son that I remember feeling as a kid. Difference is my step father was not the most involved or the bravest; you take less heat sitting on the sideline. I have been the primary disciplinarian for my step son, and now I know that has been a big mistake. To those of you who have said that my wife should not get away with her lack of disciplining, I can only agree. But it is not in her character.

Thanks again, to everybody.
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Old 01-01-2011, 02:48 PM
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,434 posts, read 41,620,437 times
Reputation: 46994
I would have a really hard time watching someone else discipline my kid. Even together parents have a hard time agreeing on disciplilne. And as a kid I would really resent being disciplined by a non parent.

Step parenting can be difficult but I have to say my step children were wonderful and usually on their best behavior when they were with us. They wanted to impress their father and he wanted to please them. I was just happy to have 3 such wonderful kids be apart of my life.

Things have not been as smooth as we all would like since they have been adults due to lifestyle choices and some jealousy issues but I really can't complain.

Good luck and be aware there are many resources to help blended families avoid the major pitfalls.
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:47 AM
285 posts, read 123,362 times
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My stepmother screamed at me often over trivial nonsense. I hated her while I was growing up and I still have a cool relationship with her.
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Old 08-29-2017, 08:16 AM
Location: Hillsborough
2,825 posts, read 5,953,202 times
Reputation: 2620
I grew up with a step-mom and a step-dad. My step-mom was in my life since I can remember, and my step-dad since I was in elementary school. For me, it was just my life. I had 4 parents, while others had just 2. There were issues between my two sets of parents, but I never attributed it specifically to any "step" issues, just that the two sets did not get along with each other at all. There were issues where one set of parents would let me do something that the other didn't approve of (my mom let me ride on the back of a motorcycle, my dad let me ride in a boat without a life jacket), but it wasn't blamed on the step-parents specifically, just the other parent. I would say that the issues we had were due to divorce moreso than step-parenting.

For a long time, I was the only child between the two households. When I was a teenager, my mom and step-dad adopted two children (and then later another), but I was (or felt like) an only child growing up. Between the step-parents and the adopted sibs, our family has always said that Love Makes A Family, Not Blood. My step-father will tell you that he has 4 kids, and it doesn't matter that none of us are biologically related to him.
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Old 08-29-2017, 03:57 PM
4,377 posts, read 1,490,886 times
Reputation: 10113
When I married my second husband, I became a step mother to a 25 yr. old. So, he was an adult, and a father.

I suppose he could've been horrible to me, if he wanted, but he's always been great to me. I love him, and his children a lot. His kids are my grandkids.
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