Saturday, October 15, 2005

Stepmother's Bill of Rights

I found this purely by accident one day, and wish I had known of it sooner. You see, most of the "rights' outlined below I have already come to decide (even demand at times) for myself but only after many tears, arguments and lots of hard feelings.

  1. I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times.
  2. People outside the immediate family - including ex-wives, in-laws and adult children - cannot make plans that affect my life without my consent.
  3. I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits.
  4. I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay.
  5. I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly.
  6. I will be consulted regarding all family financial matters.
  7. Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission.
  8. I will never be treated as an "outsider" in my own home.
  9. My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect.
  10. Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together.

I have to admit, that I have issue with item #4. As much as I appreciate knowing that some anonymous author thinks I have the right to tell my husband when/if his child is allowed to live with or visit us, I can't in good conscience apply this theory. If roles were reversed, I know that I certainly would not want my spouse to tell me that my son is not allowed to live with us.

Ironically, there is about to be a shift in the custody paradigm and we have every expectation that hubby will be awarded full custody of my stepdaughter within the week. Equally ironic, given the timing of this post, is that my husband expressed the need for us to sit down and decide TOGETHER the terms of the custody agreement and how many days my stepdaughter will actually be with us vs. her bioMom.

Stay tuned.


Ana said...

It's nice to see that someone, somewhere says that we stepmoms do have these rights! Many of the resources I found basically said we should just suck it up.

William said...

Thanks for this post. My fiance (wedding very soon) often has trouble navigating stepmommyhood. Me and my ex have a sometimes stormy way of relating an visitation is used as a weapon. My fiance knows that any thing she does can be used wrongly as a reason to interupt visits.

She enjoyed your post and so do I.

Coming Along Nicely said...

Finally! Someone that's on my side! #4 is a little harsh for me too. I would never dictate whether or not his child could live with us. I would like to be forwarned though.

Coming Along Nicely said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

# 4 Is Fair, it's #3 tat get'sme confused...does this mean to stay out of it and let the child act out regardless of what one thinks?

[Not-So]Wicked Stepmom said...

Hi Anon -

A common complaint I have heard among StepMoms is that they are expected to assume all of the responsilities with regards to their stepchildren but have none of the rights that go along with being parents. I have occasionally run into this dichotomy in my own life, esp. having to do with Cinderella's BioMom. Many times I have heard the phrase "she does not have the right to ______." While in the same conversation she will expect me to be available for something with regards to Cinderella b/c "that's the job of a stay-at-home-mom."

So my interpretation of #3 is that if I am not allowed to set limits as a parent in my own home (i.e., enforce house rules or instill discipline/consequences) then I should not be expected to assume the parental responsibilities for that child.

A recovering stepdaughter who has 6 kids who will never have a step-anything. Thank the Gods! said...

<<<8.will never be treated as an "outsider" in my own home.
....and 10.
Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together. >>>

Those two are obnoxious and ignorant....when it is the child who was in the family first. You ARE an outsider in their may not be in your husband's family, he invited you to join his family but in his kids family you are an outsider, often an unwanted one.

Reguarding Number 10, your marriage should never come before your kids. If your husband lets you put his kids -after- your and his marriage, then he is a bad father. Do you put YOUR kids after your marraige? Would you let some man tell you too? Or would you tell him whoa these are my kids, my flesh and blood, and they mean more to me that anyone including you? Kids comes FIRST, or they should alas today not-so-much but they should. It's their father, their family, their home, and it was before you were there.

Wicked Stepmom said...

Dear Stepdaughter -

Yours is a common opinion that stepfamilies struggle to overcome. Some take longer than others - as appears to be in your case. I'm sorry for that. Sorry for the obvious painful experiences that have made you so bitter and angry.

To answer your question, yes, my marriage does come first ... before ALL of our kids. Like you, I once held the belief that kids should come first (putting Cinderella ahead of everything else, and encouraging PC to do the same). It wasn't until I had Hansel & Gretel that I realized how ignorant that opinion was. A man and woman need to have a strong marriage FIRST if they are to be successful parents. PrinceCharming and I work on that daily.

I must correct you on our closing comment - it is OUR family and OUR home that we have built together and one that is much better than the one Cinderella was born into.

Thanks for sharing your comments.


Anonymous said...

I have a stepmother and so does my husband. I am sure that there are normal stepmothers out there and ours (hopefully) are not horribly selfish people. But children from the first marrriage, when fathers remarry, are treated like second class citizens. Period. So, if you are one of these selfish stepmother, GET A GRIP and be a decent person. Try to feel for us like you do your own children. And imagine if the same happened to your own children. My husband's mother, who supported her husband through college, grad school, and as a young working breadwinner, now lives in poverty. Meanwhile his father and his young wife, and their children are very wealthy. So the second marriage children, have not only had the benefit of a full time father growing up (He was a very limited Sunday father to my husband and even moved accross the country for several years), but they are the focus of everything now too.

For me, my mother and father had a great marriage until my mom died of cancer. My dad, who became very successful with my mom, basically has let us know that everything he has, which is a lot, will go to his wife, and their daughter, my half sister who I love dearly. She is truly obsessed with money and has worked over my father all these years to get her way. She also has alienated our father from us in some subtle ways. We don't keep up any of our old family traditions, even though we have always tried to embrace our new family. I still talk to my father everyday as I love him more than I can put into words, just as my husband loves his father in the same way. So stepmoms who are gross, get a clue and have a heart and soul. Put your current children in our shoes and try not to manipulate everything to your superficial gain. This creates very icky, icky feelings for us first marriage children.

We are the ones who need a Bill of Rights.

Anonymous said...

I just put up the last post. I also wanted to add that if I was a stepmother I would make sure my husband treated all of his children the same in everyway and not badger and manipulate to make sure that first marriage children, get nothing because they are now "adults." Obviously very young children deserve to be the focus. I focus on my younger sister because she is a lovely young girl who deserves as much love as we can give her.

But when she is an "adult" there will be one marked difference between me and my younger half-sister. She will be walking around with a massive trust fund. Same scenario exists with my husband. And trust me, this is why you guys get labeled EVIL. To those stepmoms who would never do this, don't take this personally as it is not directed at you. However, clearly these type of women exist. So if you do this, there is an element of heartlessness/soulessness that hopefully at the very least, when you meet your maker, you will have to deal with.

Anonymous said...


There is another side to this. I was the "unwanted" stepchild. When I married my husband and became a stepmom to 3 youngsters, I wanted more than anything for them to feel loved.
I planned trips for them, one on one. I included them in everything I did. I cooked for them. I took them shopping and movies. I took them to the doctor (we are 50/50 custody). I took them to activities, and attended their functions. They had needs, I took care of them.

Their mother was an insecure, unhappy, manipulative woman who was determined to keep the relationship from forming. She became angry with the children if they spoke of me. She treated them badly if they spent time with me. She refused to work with me in any way. She threw a fit if I travelled with them.

What should have been a blessed, loving, peaceful household, has become a tense, suspicious, combatative environment. It's always, always about their "poor pitiful victim mother". This is the same mother who left their Dad in an affair with the paper boy. The same one who brought him into the house with his 3 kids and no income. The same one who brought number 3 in before number 2 was gone, and hasn't managed to keep ANY of her stepkids with her.

And about that trust fund? My mother in law and father in law gave my husband money for his three kids. Our two together? Not one single penny.

And the trust fund that my husband promised to split among the five kids? It suddenly became "exclusively" for his three kids by his first wife, after our first baby was born.

Guess what? Do we have a marriage? Not any more. Do I have a lot of love lost for these kids? Nope. Am I sad for them? You bet, but I could only do so much. Do I wish I'd never married my husband? Yep, most definately. He's the most beautiful man I ever met, and the most ill equipped to deal with an ex wife, dysfunctional kids, and the needs of a second marriage, and he doesn't want to learn.
Who loses out?
My three stepchildren.

Anonymous said...

My father is 48 years old. His mother died when he was 23. His father remarried a woman who manipulated him to moving to Virginia away from his family, and coming to visit maybe once every 2 years. My father is one of 6 who all live relatively close. My grandfather just passes away recently, so as his children, my father, and aunts and uncles, all feel somewhat entitled to personal affects of their family from before this other woman came into play. Things my grandfather had of my grandmother's, things from 30+ years ago that don't mean a single thing to her. Please tell me I'm not insane for thinking some of my grandfather's personal effects should go to my father and his brothers and sisters.

Anonymous said...

I have a stepmom and a stepdad. My stepmom demanded the rules above and I loved her more for it. Now as a stepmother myself I finf it hard to demand them for myself. I printed them off and they now hang on my fridge for the hubby to see. Thank you so much

Anonymous said...

Im a step mom (I LIKE TO SAY OTHER MOTHER) what i would like to know do i have the right to see the step child, her mother keeps her from me and i've never meet her but her daugter and i have. i want to go to court and get my rights to see her too.

Anonymous said...

I've been a step-mum for 8.5 months and it's killing me. I love the wee man and I love his dad, but every week the access times change and I'm never consulted. I feel that his ex controlls my entire life. Everything was fine until we announced the engagement, then she went nuts and started using the wee man against us. Worse, now hubby has sold his car so I am a taxi, and as she changes access each week (we only get him 7 hours a week) I need to cancel my plans every time as I'm the only driver. I don't want to take over but I know hubby is being taken advantage of and she treats him like a babysitter who, instead of being paid, pays her for the priveledge. We never get him at xmas, birthday, fathers day, easter etc. and as I estimate we only get him completely as agreed about 75% of the time. Hubby says we can't afford to involve the courts, but at the same time overpays her on what he has to. I'd rather she got the minimum and the rest went in trust for the wee man - at least then we know its for him. I feel really alone as hubby doesn't understand why it upsets me so much. I'm scared if I was to get pregnant we couldn't keep the child because we couldn't be fair with both - the wee man wouldn't be allowed at parties, holidays, etc. We're not even allowed to buy him presents to take home, and he's not at ours long enough to make it worth keeping them here. From this summer we're getting him Sat afternoons only, after his sports practice (tired, cranky, dirty). PLEASE HELP!!!

Lola said...

I don't know where to begin. I'm frustrated, angry, tearful, at my wits end. I've been with my husband 6 yrs, married almost 3 yrs, and stepmother to his 4 kids ages 28, 26, 18 and 9.

The mother of the 9 yr old is the challenge (sounds nicer than problem but not as honest). She is the epitomy of a control freak and is now out of control.

My husband (non-custodial parent)has court ordered 10 days visitation per month. His ex has just announced she's planning a 2 week vacation out of the country. The problem is that she's planning her trip (with 9 yr old SD) mid-July which will effectively eliminate any possibility of dh's 10 days visitation.

DH has tried reasoning with the FCA (family court advisor) who claimed in her initial meeting with him to having done "more for father's rights than anyone in the state" - but now she's siding with the ex and saying it's no big deal if she takes SD away for 2 weeks, and basically tough sh_it if dh loses out on visitation.

I've had 6 years of this b.s. and I'm beginning to think I don't have what it takes to endure it in the long haul. I've got 9 more years of this woman controling my life, fighting with my husband, making our lives hell. How can I do this for 9 more years without losing my sanity?

I love my husband but at this very moment, I am so sorry I ever got involved with him. I'm just so sick of all the anger and pain.

If I sit here and cry dh will just try to kiss me quiet, something I've grown to hate. It's as if I can't even own (let alone express) my feelings anymore.

I don't know if it's advice I'm seeking as much as I just needed to get it out. I'm already on depression and anxiety meds that I never needed before all this bs came into my life. How much more am I suspected to take?

Anonymous said...

I agree with #4, when you have had no relationship with the child, and she is 16 years old,and has no respect for me, there is no way, I will agree for her to come and live with us..

most hated stepmom said...

I'am 23 yr old.. It sounds like everyone that is responding like A rational Open minded woman.. I need advice "BIG TIME" I feel torn in between & used as a pawn to keep my step child away from my fiance everyone around me has stated "STAY OUT OF IT", "IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH YOU". But as I can see & feel I do & have no idea how to cop or feel HELP!!!

Anonymous said...

For those of you who think all stepparents are evil, you're wrong. I'm sickend by the way Disney has depicted stepparents. I'm a stepmom and certainly am not the "evil stepmom"...absolutely the opposite. Also, regarding children're wrong! First and foremost, I'm a Christian, wife and stepmother. My life guide is the bible and it starts with God, marriage, then children. You must have a solid marriage in order to have happy, healthy children. My husband and his ex was not that story. Their household was chaotic, hateful and disruptive. Because of the problems within the marriage, it made the children extremly unhappy, especially the oldest (at the time was 4). His ex cheated on him 2 years before he decided to divorce. Since a little girl I'd dreamed of being married and having children. That dream came true 6 years ago. I now have a wonderful husband and two beautiful, loving stepdaughters. I love them to the depts of my soul. I take good care of them and it shows as they love me the same. Their mom, on the other hand, is very self-centered even towards her daughters. I know she's jealous of my relationship with the girls. If biomom wants this, she needs to step-up to the plate and fulfil her obligation as a mom. I'm not saying I've not had my moments of jealousy, but what I have learned is for some reason as a stepparent you're seeking for approval from the ex, when in fact the approval (if you're doing the "job" right) doesn't come from bioparent, it comes from the child(ren). Well, guess what? I'm passing with flying colors! As for those who think someone like myself doesn't deserve the same rights as the bioparent(s)'re wrong there too. I take the responsibility of my girls regarding their well-being and more importantly loving them. You better bet I deserve it. However, that's not what I'm looking for in this relationship. The girls are a part of me and over time, will only increase and get stronger. For those of you who think it won't's not true. Sure, you'll have bumps in the road, but it can work. Our family is proof of that and why...The four of us (my husband, girls and myself) came in with open arms, all ready to be loved and found it!!

Blended Times said...

I have had to instill #4 when my 16 year old stepson (who lived with us) touched his 6 year old baby sister that lives at his mom's house and then my daughter confessed that he had touched her. She's 10. He now lives with his mom's sister. He is not allowed back in my house. I'd love to put him in jail, but my daughter does not want to talk to anyone. So yes, I do have the right to decide who lives in my home when they are a threat to the other children. Has anyone else had this issue? My husband feels so guilty for sending his son away.

Noah please read said...

all i can say to this is a mother is a mother and with two boys who are step brothers it isnt right for my stepbrother to have the same amount of work to do that i have I get in trouble for what he does and when he point blank does something illegal my stepmom brings up crap that doesn't matter and is so old its like written in the bible and if any one reads this can you answer this question

can a stepmom legally keep a stepson from calling his biological mother if the child is 16

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with the bill of rights! I have 2 stepchildren and my husband puts them before me. There mothers have total control of my life. I have no say so how much money he gives them or when the kids go and come. If I say anything my husband is mad with me. I am so tired of this. If I had it to do all over again, I would have never married him. He now uses his experience with the kids mom as a reson not to have kids with me.

Anonymous said...

I have been married for about 4 years, but my husband and I dated for another 2 years before getting married. I've been a part of my stepdaughters life for 6 years now. We have custody of her and her biomom has visitation every other weekend and alternating holidays. SD is 11 years old. BioMom is a total loser in my opinion. She cancels a lot and is late when she does come pick her up. She doesn't have a job and lives in a house wtih 3 other generations of divorced, un-employed women (mother, grandmother and great-grandmother) They all live off of welfare. people are surprised that my husband ever had anything to do with this woman... so am I!

I have sacrificed so much for my stepdaughter. I hate to admit it, but sometimes I resent her. I don't know if it is just anger towards her mother for not being the mom that I know her daughter wants her to be. I mean, she hasn't even acknowledged her daughter's birthday in the past 3 years. They are always making excuses on why they can't see her or talk to her. They never put her first in their lives. They claim to be Christians, but their lives do not reflect that at all.

It is really hard to listen to my stepdaughter cry when her mom lets her down... which is quite often. I get so angry at her mom and end up taking it out on her for still wanting her mom. I know it is not her fault, but until you are in those shoes... you have NO idea how hard it is to sit back and not say anything about this woman that is absolutely torturing her daughter. her biomom doesn't deserve her love.

I know my stepdaughter is hurting and I feel so horrible when I slip and say something. I always apologize, but you can't take back such harsh words. I know she knows that I really am sorry for saying them. I just don't understand her loyalty to her mom after all her mom has put her through... the disappointments, the lying, the not coming to events to support her... It just angers me so much.

My husband and I are pregnant and expecting our first child together. I am excited about having a child of my own (one that doesn't come with an exra "mom" telling me how horrible I am). The concern is that my stepdaughter is going to resent our child for not having to go back and forth on weekends and not msising holidays. We try to save all big trips and things so she can go with us.. but the regular weekends where we go out to eat or to the movies... my SD gets upset that we go without her. I don't think it is fair for our lives to be on hold while she goes to her biomom's house. And when we have children, it is not fair to make that child wait until our SD is home to do something. Life must go on. Am I crazy for thinking this way???? I feel so guilty for some of the feelings that I have. I am a good stepmom. I support her in all of her activities. I help her with her homework. We tlak through her bad days at school. I love to shop and buy clothes for her. We have family time together - the three of us. It is just that every now and then, this built up anger and resentment come out and she and I get into it. I don't know if it will ever go away.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to find this blog. I'm a stepmom of a 16yr old girl and 9yr old boy of the last 5 years whom live with us. My husband and I have a 3yr old together. I'm sick of my husband's ex and I'm sick of his two kids. If his ex says jump he says how high. Although I have to listen to all the bickering. His ex gave up all her rights to the kids for money, but she continues to be in our lives because she does get to see the kids. She and her kids are liars, users, manipulaters. I feel like I always have to keep my mouth shut and deal with them while she and they degrade me. My husband always takes up for them no matter what. For once I would love for him to stand up for me and our daughter. His daughter has told him to go to HE## and he just laughed. His ex has degraded me in my own home and I was told to deal with it because he doesn't want to be estranged from his children. Well what about the estrangement he's forming between us and our daughter. When do we matter? I'm supposed to be there and do everything for the two stepkids, but in return I can't discipline. His kids are rude and have made fun of our daughter, but my husband doesn't see that because he thinks his kids are angels. What's a frustrated stepmom to do?

Anonymous said...

i am a stepmother to 3 children, who have lived with us for abt 4 yrs, i couldnt honestly say that i love them although i do love the people they are and i mind them and would never let anything ever happen to them, my husband works away 3days a week so they depend on my for normal day to day things and most of the time i dont mind, we have great times together,wheather its going to the cinema or just playing a board game,
what is annoying me is,,my stepson has a girlfriend( hes 12 and shes 10) when i say girlfriend they play together, very innocent,he asked me if he could pay for her to go to a movie with him from his pocketmoney which is sweet concidering he doesnt get that much and i sais yes but i would drop them in cinema and do shopping for hr or two and then collect them and he said great,
when i told my husband he said hes not bringing any1 to the cinema unless his 10 yr old cousin can go 2(shes a friend of girlfriend)and i said he just wanted to do somthing nice and he said no way and thats that,am i being unreasable?

Anonymous said...

I am biomom i just have to say that step moms are great and they should be involved and bio moms should be happy that there children have someone else that loves and care's for them, However there is a sm in the picture and we dont get along its not that i have a prob with her being involved but i think she over steps her boundries considering dad has no true love for my daughter step mom or ex mother in law has my daughter. st has taken my daughter to the doc and pretended to be bio mom she continuesly says that she is her mother and that doesnt fly with me. Why she cant just call herself what she is i will never understand. She enjoys seeing me get mad and she loves to get me and my ex fighting with each other! She is currently prego and i have to say maybe when she has her bio child she will understand what i mean! God i pray i have been dealing with this for 6yrs and really getting tierd of it! So with that being said step parents are great but please remember that us bio moms also expect a little respect its not always about what you want. Oh and i have custody of our daughter they just recently started haveing visitation with my daughter after 6 yrs but that didnt stop step mom from running her mouth

Anonymous said...

My husband is SO guilty about leaving his son from his first marriage (who is now 28) that he takes it out on our innocent six year old. It is disgusting to watch. If my six year old even attempted to marry with someone with children, I would break his legs on the way down the aisle. His older son treated mine with great disdain and jealously to the point that a psychiatrist told me never to leave my innocent child alone with him. We have rights and deserve them. No one wants to hurt anyone's child, but I won't see mine hurt, by any means.

Heather said...

AMEN to this, I'm printing it and posting it on my fridge.

step mom for 10years

Anonymous said...

This bill of rights is bullcrap!!! Are you serious? If you choose to get involved with a man who already has children then realize that his children will come first (hopefully if he is a good father) and you will have to deal with a lot. If you don't like it then find a man without kids!! There is no way in hell that a stepmother should have the right to decide whether or not her husbands children can live in thier home or when visitation will occur etc... Try and imagine that you are a mother and your ex's wife thinks that she can decide when your children can visit thier dad and if they can live there. No one needs to get your "consent" on matters concerning children that are NOT YOURS. Step children should be respectful to a stepmother (provided that she treats them well)that I do agree with. Other than that, you are not owed anything. Children should be put first!!!! How dare you think that you can just roll into a child's life and take any kind of control or have a say in matters!!! What goes on with that child is between the biological mparents!!! As long as the child is respectful then you should have nothing to say. If the child is not respectful there is still really not much that you can do. If you don't like it then leave!!

Anonymous said...

If you are reading this you better thing twice before getting involved with a guy with kids ! run ,run,run as fast as you can ! start your own family believe me its is hell to have to deal with ex wifes and not have control over your own marriage schedule. ESCAPE WHILE YOU CAN!

Anonymous said...

This is the saddest post i have ever seen in my life!
I am a step mother to a lovely 5 year old girl.
Her father and mother do not get on at all to the point where they can only comunicate via text and they only see each other when he picks up his daughter.
In my house, his daughter obeys my husbands and i rules. Its our house, we decide on the rules together and that is what happens.
He installs the discipline because she is his daughter but if he isnt there then i install the discipline the same i would do with my 5 year brother.
My other half is polite enough to never bring his daughter round without agreeing with me before hand. Its not nasty, its polite. Its as much my house as it is his and i have the right as well to say who comes over. I would never say no to that request but its still nice to be asked and included so that plans can be arranged or amended.
As for kids being there first, of course they were but thats not a reason to put strain on a relationship. For the life of me i cant understand why parents cant put their kids first. A happy child needs both the mother and the father in their lifes.
Its a shame there is selfish people out there who cant see that properly or can only see it the way they want to.
Also theres kids out there whose parents have split up that half a bee in their bonnet about it. Big deal, parents split, both parents move and will start a new family. Dont tar all step families with the same brush because your parents couldnt handle it properly and then in turn caused you to be so bitter and jealous.

For the record, my parents split up when i was a child and that was an experience. The first stepmother was nasty to me and that was because she wasnt ready to be a stepmother. My own mum had to get involved to stop me coming home crying.
The next one was really nice to me growing up and there has never been any trouble. My father and mother still dont get on but both had enough common sense to see what was best for my brother and i. Now both sets of parents have children and i feel at home in both homes! Im a sister to all my siblings and that the way it will be in my house when i have children of my own!

Anonymous said...

Sorry i posted the above post as well.
Forgot to mention. Imagine if my partner never bothered to tell me when he was bringing his daughter round and she walked in to find myself and my friends all drinking enjoying a wee Ann Summers party with adult material scattered to the 4 winds!
Im sure her mother would have something to say about that!
But that would never happen because i tell my husband my arrangements.
As for kids moving in, that would be something that would discussed all adults involved! My husband and i both own our house so if there was anything life changing happening it would be a joint decision not one sided where he decides that he wants his child to live with him. Thats not selfish, its called making a joint mature decision about both our lifes. We would both have to agree that i would taking on a child that isnt mine but would have to take care and provide for that child who was living under my roof, which i pay for and of course the child would have to abide by the house rules. All children need boundaries set by their carers. I would never dream of telling somebody to look after my child but say you can discipline them. Let them have whatever they want, let them behave dangerously, be rude and put up with behaviour you wouldnt put up with from your own!

Of course i knew what i was getting into when we got together but perhaps the discussion we had at the start of our relationship regarding his child abnd where he stood with that is why im so accepting and open minded. Perhaps thats why im in such a lovingh relationship and get on well with his girl, because we do a wee thing called communication. Afterall it is a partnership.

Anonymous said...

step mother ...a title for the wife of a widowed man.ancient and irrelevant most of the time. We need a new title for the modern era...and preferably one less emotionally loaded!

Anonymous said...

What do you say about two abusive adult step sons who doesn't carry their weight around the house and who bullies their own father? They can be nice if they need something like co-signing a car loan. They treat me nice when their father is around otherwise they look down on me. I clearly feel that they are not being honest with the way they deal with me, I don't trust them. They didn't come from a rich family but the way they behave and act as if they were born with a silver spoon in their mouth(or maybe they are just plain LAZY!!!!!!). I am starting to think I am in an abusive relationship but I want to be clear about this scenario. Any advice and opinion is appreciated.

Wicked Stepmom said...

Anon -

I'm so sorry for your struggles. Talk to your spouse. Let him know how you feel and what you have witnessed.

In my experience, if you both do not present a UNITED front, children will exploit it and play you against one another. You are the Mom in your house, and as such your stepsons need to respect you - and they need to see your husband back you up.

Maybe this website will help you talk with your husband:

Good luck.


Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous ...I posted ESCAPE WHILE YOU CAN ! That applies to women that ask themselfs that question before getting a commited relationship with their future partners in life.
That come to this websites to make a desition. If your experience has been perfect..congratulations! you are one in a million! It doesnt work that way with everyone.
If my daugther meets a man with kids my advice will be and run away from that project. Nothing nicer than give birth to your husband's first child and write your own story ,not getting left overs and carry others on your shoulders.
You are with your husband in your honey moon practically laying on bed and there they are the step kids always interrumpting and in the middle. No thanks! Anonymous...congratulations for following that path, coming from there that is what you followed and see as "normal".
Good for you to be able to swallow those bitter moments and many others not mentioned.
Now..... "if" my daughter came from a broken family and has a kid and then meets another man in the same situation i wil tell her... it is your decision and is a better chance to make it work because both come from the same experience and will accept each other children and exes.
Now Dear anonymous I respect your life and the way you leave it. But I express this to all the ones that are stilll on time.. ..Find yourself a person with no attachments where you will come first and thats it! Thank you all!

Anonymous said...

Step parents need to understand that at some point in time their partner decided to make a life with another person the fact that a child was made in that process is no ones fault but in this world a child has ONE MOTHER & ONE FATHER & NO STEP PARENT should ever try to take that away from a child unless the child is being abused or harmed step parents need to realize the hard responsibility that comes with involving yourself in a relationship with a person who has a child with someone else & except that if they do anything for a child who is not theirs it is because they love & care for the child & most importantly because it comes genuinely from your heart! Without any ties as parent or rights because in reality what is a step parent greatest concern the child or which parent is right???? I think step parents need to know their role in their step childrens life & my their own business instead of minding the business of the biological parents! Hey you never know in the long run the may child end wanting to be with the step parent in the long run you never know all I know is agruing & going to court is only going to damage & hurt the child learn to get along & put your differences aside for the sake of the child not the adults. Step parents grow up & bud out & if u cant deal with it go find someone single & without children so there wont be any problems.

Anonymous said...

i was just married in december and we have had a lot of problems with my husbands ex girlfriend. he had 2 kids with her and now that i am the stepmother she has made a lot of trouble. i currently pressed carges against her for assault and endagering the childrens safety and hopefully my husband and i will get full legal custody instead of joint. its just hard cause the kids are so little. we have a lawyer but he doesn't do very much so it was kinda a waste of money and lord knows we can't really afford it. my husband pays 500 dollars a month in child support even though we have joint custody and between that and paying for a house and supporting our family we don't have much at the end of the month. i am doing my research for my parental rights to the children because his ex says i have none and that her boyfriend has more rights than i do. that i beg to differ seeing as to how we are married and they are not. anything that someone can push my way to help would be greatly appreciated. my husband and i need the kids to be safe and loved and they would have that here.

Anonymous said...

I was a step mom for 3 years. I also believe your spouse should come 1st...but ALL parents need to & need to be trusted to do what's best for the child. After all, it's the step parents home too, they have a say in their own home no matter what it's about just as the parent has has say in all matters. Think about it....all other decisions are made as a team, works best this way so the right hand knows what the left hand is doing. You just don't go out & spend $150,000 on a home without getting the support of your spouse, at least you shouldn't. Neither should a parent go & do as they please when it comes to their child without the support of the spouse. EVERYTHING affects a step parent, from financial to attitudes etc. I think people think that step parents are out to get the stepchild or ex but you need to understand that you don't just fall in love with children at birth, you can fall in love at any time. You don't just do what's best for a child of your own, you do what's best for any child...whether it's my new husband's or a stranger's. I am now divorced, I couldn't take it anymore. It was the most miserable 3 years of my life. It was like I was a servant, just doing as I'm told whether I like it or not. I still love my ex husband dearly & get teared up because I love him so much still BUT we could not get past this issue. I will always love him & his daughter but if I can't have 100% say so in MY own home & his trust to do what's right when it comes to his daughter then he needs to find someone who doesn't care. DO NOT marry anyone with kids unless it's determined beforehand that you will have equal say! My mom gave my step dad equal say & it worked very well. Even if an "agreement" is reached beforehand, it may be "breached", as I learned during my marriage. I would NEVER marry another man with kids whether we reached an agreement or not. Step parents not having a say DOES NOT work(unless you are ok with being a doormat). Maybe if we all quit marrying people with kids, they would get the picture. You have no idea until you are the step parent. Parents think step parents are manipulative for needing a say in their own home BUT in reality it's the parents that are controlling by not "allowing" a say. I'm sure there are some examples of how a step parent backed off, was a door mat & it worked BUT this is the exception to the rule. If you are a Christian, you can refer to the verse that states a man should cleave to his wife...not somewhat cleave & I'm sure it doesn't just mean to leave your mom & means to leave your past. If you are not a Christian, talk to any counselor, they will tell you that your spouse comes 1st! Feel free to email me at if you need to talk. I know it builds up to a point of explosion & it helps to have someone that understands.

Anonymous said...

My now husband and I were living together when he got custody of his three daughters (all born before he was 23). He and I are the same age so I had never dated anyone with kids... it was never discussed with me that they would move in in fact I got a call at work at 3pm telling me the kids were already in the process of being moved in. There mother (the ex-wife) had abandoned them the month before and left them in her apartment with her sister, moved out of state and stopped paying their rent. The kids were evicted from the apartment and had nowhere else to go. My husband then filed for primary custody which he of course got. I was never asked how I felt about it but I guess I could have left at any time. Though we have since been married and are working to resolve issues with the kids and the crazy ex it is a constant struggle.

Anonymous said...

I am now living with my fiance' and we both have two children, i have a boy 5..he has a girl 4. I have joint custody with my ex and he has full custody with his. My concerns are these:
1. His girl is constantly testing her boundries with me and he does nothing to correct her.
2. he hasn't made an attemp to get close to my son.
3. The two kids fight all the time on sharing and just stupid stuff and they are constantly trying to get one another in trouble
4. the main one....the main problem i have....Me and my "prince charming" have no time together. i beg all the time to have a weekend, just us. My son is with his dad's every other weekend. But his daughter....Her mom comes pick her up for a day every 3 months or so. He doesnt like her to stay with anyone else b/c he doesnt want her to get upset.
I love him dearly, but i think this is going to drive us apart....HELP!! Comments?1!?

Anonymous said...

its me again...previous post above. Every couple needs alone time right? How do we get through to these people that just live for their kids and no one else counts?

Depressed in LA

Anonymous said...

I am a step-mom who is a stay at home mom. I have two daughters, my 'step-daughter' and her half sister who is a toddler. My husbands ex drinks excessively and reportedly takes drugs on a regular basis, even dumping 'Cinderella' off on her grandmother so that she can party. My husband has custody of Cinderella and I have no rights. I am the one who has raised her since she was 2 and I've been there since she was one when we first started dating. Still I have no rights. Cinders is now 5, calls me mommy and wants me to be 'her real mom'. Biomom was previously in prison and didn't bother to have regular visits with Cinderella. Since her release she has taken her regularly but tends to dump her on other relatives, I know because Cinderella has told me, but I have no hard proof. My husband stopped contact with biomom as Cinderella had been long reporting that biomom was painting me as wicked stepmom and saying mean things about my husband, daughter, extended family and myself. Subsequently our then 4 year old Cinderella started making herself vomit and self harming on a regular basis. The vomiting ended up being up to 4 times per day, the self harm left scratches all over her body, she cried all the time about how horrible biomum was and that she wanted her to go away forever. Cinderella lost weight and colour in her face and was a shell of her former lively self. Contact stopped, Cinderella returned to normal, no vomiting no self harming and she started to eat again.....a few months later biomom assualted me in front of Cinderella and Gretal in the yard at Kindergarten and then assualted my mother also. Biomom was arrested but released on bail, she got a small fine for my mother's assualt but plea bargained and got nothing for what she did to me (which included throwing me in front of a car) Cinderella started vomiting etc again straight away and has been ever since as she thinks biomom will come and 'take her away'.....meanwhile she decided to take us to court but is trying to get my husband to pay her fees through some loophole. Biomom has not seen Cinders in a year, Cinders doctor and local nursing staff say she shouldn't have to see her mom, Cinders doesn't want to see her mom, is frightened that when she grows up her mom will scare her kids, wants to change her first name (she came out with this, hadn't even dawned on us) so that she has a new name without the upset attached to her old one, and again tried to vomit twice today because biomom (who Cinders refers to by her first name)'is scary and is making me feel frightened' even a year after not seeing her. Cinderella has memories of the things biomom said, including telling her that her dad and I do not love her and that only biomom loves her, but then Cinderella states that she doesn't think biomom loves her because of her behaviour. I have told her that biomom loves her but shows it differently as I can't bear her being so upset, but I don't even know if that's true anymore. Biomom likes having a little show-baby that she can display to the public and then pass back asap. Cinderella remains terrified that she may have to see biomom, I try to maintain sanity whilst attempting to stop a 5 year old from starving due to vomiting and lack of eating (which is so stressful and hard to manage) plus trying to stop the behaviour rubbing off on Gretal...and the judge is considering letting biomom see Cinderella again, Cinderella cries almost every day and wishes she was like Gretal so that she didn't have to ever see biomom again......

I'm sorry for those of you who have had bad step-moms but a lot of us are exhausting ourselves just trying to keep our kids protected from biomom and her company. I am at a loss and thank God every day for the little/ large miracles he gives me and pray for peace for my daughter, Cinderella.

Katie Strickland said...

I absolutely love your post! I have had a horrible day and being a step mom, its nice to see someone on my side for a change! I need your number on speed dial!

Anonymous said...

Priorities of a Christian Man:
1. God
2. Spouse
3. Children

I am a step-mom and I am my husband's number one priority... Period. I love these "Bill of Rights" and my husband and I live by these and our marriage is wonderful. His daughters, 19, 17 & 16 try their very best to come between us but they are the children and we are the adults. No decision is made without my approval.

Anonymous said...

I disagree wholeheartedly with the comments posted by those who say, "you met a man with kids from a former marriage, relationship, if you don't like it, then leave???". What in the world is this comment? You are giving ALL of the leverage in all matters to the stepchildren and ex!! Children will only manipulate parents that allow this and there are decent exes who do NOT use their children as vessels for this type of behavior. Quite often, though it is used by the ex to either control or make miserable the ex-spouse and his or her new life. Now, I thought these Bill of Rights were amazingly on target. I have been through this and I DO NOT want to walk away and let my stepchild gain control with her toxic mother. The stepchild had severe behavioral issues with all the guilt on dad for leaving the marriage. The teenage stepchild came to our home after being out of control at their mother's home and proceeded to show up with a 20 year old male "brotherly type friend" on the plane and proceeded to steal my husband and my identities, steal and come at my husband with a knife. Juvenile Academy was ordered by the judge and it was a nightmare!! All the while, the ex-wife hurled verbal abuse at me about my husband and at him. So, I understand that children who are rude we should NOT just put up with and say, "well, they are the priority" - behavior whether step or NOT does not give children the right to be mean, manipulative and triangulate relationships and try to drive off people who are close to the parent who left. Also, a wife or husband DOES have say for what goes on IN THEIR HOME!! There are too many single parents out there who WILL be in new relationships and if we ALLOW children to have this kind of power, heaven help us!!
Thank you for this Bill of Rights!!!!!! Truly supportive.

Samantha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who said priorities of a Christian are:

#2 is referring to the parent of the child, as in, not a step-parent. When divorce comes in, those priorities change. As a 30something woman who was raised by an evil stepmother that was put before me, I have a whole set of issues from my childhood that I'm now trying to work out. I think a stepmother's bill of rights should not pertain to those who are selfish, uncaring and mean. When a woman choses to marry a man and care for his children, she should care for them as though they are her own, not look at them as the enemy. Children want nothing more than to be loved, no matter what horrible thing they say out of anger (which is most likely dirived from their hurt from divorce, etc.) The stepmother needs to be the adult. If you chose to marry a man with children, you chose to take on those responsibilites. Yes, it is important to have a solid marriage, but one has already been broken in the lives of the children, therefore, they need to be made a priority.

Anonymous said...

My stepmother was the classic selfish, cold, unnurturing type... she constantly talked in angry tones... I remember her crying and wanting out many times when we were kids... how heartbreaking for a child to have to deal with... another parent leaving. Sometimes I think that if she didn't have such a self-centered negative attitude, things would have been much better. Sometimes people only focus on the "me" instead of the "we" and don't realize how blessed they are. Sometimes people need to focus more on blessing others and making their lives better vs. being annoyed at having to "deal with" or "do things". Often times, it's just a bad attitude and that's exactly what the "Stepmother's Bill of Rights" makes me think of... someone who is self-focused. Being self-focused doesn't make anyones life better and it certainly doesn't make the world a better place.

Anonymous said...

We are the New Generatio Mom! We out number Boi moms 10 to 2 now days.
#1 If you not thick skinned! DO NOT marry man who already has children under 18. It is nothing but problems for the thin skinned.

2. No matter what the order of a family is God#1 Spouce #2 and Kids #3 PERIOD! The ex has no place in our home. She can't manage herself or her own home, she sure isn't goig to manage mine.

and to Step children! Well You have abroken home for a reason. Your anger has nothing to do with a New Generation Mom, but with your own bio parents. The New Mom only wants to step along side of you and be there for you. but if you think for any reason at all you are o e first....well what goes around comes around. This problem MOST OF THE TIME is with daughters, boys don't seem to have all the hormonal jealousy issues with the new Mom. So to the Daughters this is what I have always told my daughter (step daughter who yes lives with us full time. She is his daughter and his princes. No one can or will ever take that away from her EVER. She knows she can have alone time with her dad anytime she likes, just say so. AND SHE DOE3S. I don't mind at all. I on the other hand am his Queen and with different roles no one will ever be able to take that away from me. Her and I get along very well, but at first she was very angry. She didn't want to see her dad mad at her bio mom or visa versa. ( understand kids see that as a reflection of themselves) If your mad at mom your mad at the child. If your mad at Dad your mad at the child so in their frustration they do take it out on the New Mom.

One of the things I did first was when I was discussing things the kids were upset with about their mom, I don't call her their mother! I use her actual name....this disconnects the guild by association the kids feel. followed by the need to protect them.

Lastly! You have to and must must choose you are a parent first. Not their friend....Your job is to finish raising them, not to be just their friend. Teach the, #1 about The Lord and the word of God. #2 Their valuable position in the family, and though they didn't choose the way things happened neither did you. and you both have to make the best of it and can. 3. Live by boundries, this teaches child love and security. they do not trust a slack, untrust worthy household. I can be tough in my house, butI am the very first one who they run to in times of trouble. So I'd say they trust me and love me and value my help.

My oldest was 14 when I married his dad he is now 22 and married himself. The next was 9 and is now 18 and only calls me her Mom...The bio mom is Mother. That is between her and her mother not me. The 3rd was 3 and is now 14. and well I'll just say this I am Mom. and his bio mom is well she acts the same age as him. She ask him pull my finger and passes gas. He was blown away because he after 9 years has learned manners and that ladies don't act that way.

And well in closing! Being a New Generation Mom I never call my step kids... They are my kids now, I had to make that choice. yes it i a decision! not a choice. No one is going to give you the love or appreciation you deserve You have been chosen and have a pretty thankless job at times. BUT PUT ON YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND FINISH THE JOB. Their own Mom walked out, don't you do the same, if you do. You have set an example all moms leave. and they will do the same with their own children as well.

May the Lord give you peace, love and patience in a situation you may at times feel anger and resentment. Women up! Your Mom! and no matter what YOU ARE THE QUEEN OF YOU HOME! Jesus said that is your Godly right and you Godly position. No matter what the world or the kids or your husband may think.
Signed, New Generation Warrior Mom!

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the missed letters up above in my post! it is time to cleaned the keyboard. I am one busy Mom.

Anonymous said...

Alright, this shit is retarded. Fuck that shit, all stepmoms are bitches.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Stepmothers should have rights over the Biological Mother. I think stepmoms should know their place and stay out of the way when deciding for the children that are not theirs.

Anonymous said...

Stepchildren are evil. I have a long list from giving an adult stepdaughter 3 gifts a year and she thanks her dad but not me for the gifts and she only has given me one gift. Then gives gifts to only her father in front of me and the rest of his family at Christmas with this snobby look on her face. She never speaks to me. Then tells everyone in my husbands family how terrible i am. She just acts like the victim to get attention but she knows she is the perp. I made sacrifices so she could go to college and we had health bills and had to scrap the bottom of the barrel but do I get any thanks for it--no. Then I try to build a bridge but she tells me how unimportant I am. Well I am done with her. There are many many more things she has done. She is an adult and she needs to start acting like one. These rules are 100% spot on. Great blog. I will not be a doormat. Stepmothers are people too.

Anonymous said...

You know - to the posters that are screaming, "If the step parents don't like it, they should just leave" or "They chose to get involved, so they can just deal with it".

I understand that you are responding out of hurt and emotions because of the bitterness you retain from your past experiences - but that doesn't excuse you from reality.

The reality is that you should be equally angry at your own biological parents. They are the ones that thought they "deserved" a relationship after bringing children into a doomed family. They are the ones selfish enough to think that even though they are now responsible for children - they still for whatever reason are entitled to an individual willing to sacrifice and put up with feeling like an outsider in their own home, JUST so your biological parent could still enjoy the benefits of a relationship. I honestly cannot think of a more selfish notion.

There are tragedies - some lose their spouses in accidents and that is nobodies fault. But according to your opinion of step parents, your biological parents should just be expected to suck it up and never dream of being in another relationship.

What? You think that people should just marry your biological parents and let children boss them around and tell them what to do in the homes they help pay for? You think people should sit there and let you belittle and disrespect them just so your biological parent can be in a relationship?

Obviously you don't, that would make you a horrible person now wouldn't it? That's what I thought.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Stepmother,

I'm a stepmother of 2 and have 3 children of my own with my hubby we have been together for 7 years now and was granted custody 6 years ago. The children were 3/4 and 5/6 when we got them, they came to live with me and hubby in our home and very thing was ok for the first few years but about 4 years ago things started to get really bad. The children started being really really naughty I don't think naughty is the word really, they were bad. I have been very sympathetic with what they have gone through and used it as a 'well they have been through all that and that's why they are being naughty' saying. Now after having them for 6 years now I don't think it's fair to use that saying any more. We have also had there mother telling the children to be naughty for us which isn't on in my eyes. I have tried being the nice stepmother and it doesn't work with them, not saying i'm a bad stepmother just it doesn't matter how I treat then they are naughty and nasty towards me and the other children more towards me and my daughter. I am also the one that cares for them the most as my hubby is in the Royal Navy. I get of them a lot 'your not my mum', 'you can't tell me what to do your not my mum' and the worse one for me is 'I hate you I wish you was dead'. I never ever have said anything like that to them I say the opposite and I still get all the bad behaviour. I discipline the children by taking things off them for a period of time, the naughty step the normal things you do and it still doesn't work. Just thought I would share with you from a stepmothers point of view that when the stepmother has them full time why can't we have the rights as the mother does.

thanks you

Anonymous said...

I'm a stepmother of 2 and has 3 of my own.

forgot to say there mother gave the children up 3 time to my hubby that's why we have custody. She only see's them 2/3 times a year and she phones maybe once every three weeks. She has also got on with her life with a new man and gone on to have 3 more children. Yet I'm they bad one for taking them on, looking after them and loving them.

Anonymous said...

re:"Those two are obnoxious and ignorant....when it is the child who was in the family first. You ARE an outsider in their may not be in your husband's family, he invited you to join his family but in his kids family you are an outsider, often an unwanted one."

Reguarding Number 10, your marriage should never come before your kids. If your husband lets you put his kids -after- your and his marriage, then he is a bad father. Do you put YOUR kids after your marraige? Would you let some man tell you too? Or would you tell him whoa these are my kids, my flesh and blood, and they mean more to me that anyone including you? Kids comes FIRST, or they should alas today not-so-much but they should. It's their father, their family, their home, and it was before you were there. "

Absolute IGNORANT and dramatic response. Anyone with any inclination of psychology and the health of ANY family unit (conventional or not) will know that this is a bunch of horse poo. Strength?? Teach the children the value of LOVE. Unbiased love. Respect for EVERYONE involved. I have a step-mother and she is absolutely WONDERFUL. Never would I have expected HER to come second to us. We are ALL one unit. Not until you see respect for your parents "other half" will you know what to expect for your self. My children are in a similar situation and I will NOT allow them to disrespect my other half. Not because I put them second, but because I expect them to have more respect for themselves.

Complete idiots to say that they were first and the step parent joined after and should take the back seat. There is no first or last. It is united or not. Period.

Anonymous said...

I have lived in my own home, that I paid for, for 7 years now. I got married a year ago and my husband moved in with me. He is unable to help pay the bills b/c his child support is so high and b/c he owes thousands of dollars to lawyers and we are trying to pay those off. His daughter is rude and refuses to talk to me unless I address her first. She lives with her grandmother who is wealthy and spoils her. They have maids so my sd literally does not know how to make a bed or load a dishwasher. It's sad. My husband and I don't have a lot of $ and my sd can't seem to comprehend that she can't have everything she wants when she's with us. She throws a tantrum and cries when her dad won't PROMISE her that we will not have a baby b/c she wants to be the only child. She doesn't know this but I was pregnant and had a miscarriage at 10 wks and it really hurts when she tries to make him promise he'll never have kids. I fixed up our second bedroom (we only have 2 bedrooms) for her. I painted it and moved all of the junk out and tried to find places to cram it into in our tiny house. Her dad allowed her to write on the walls with paint, markers, etc. Almost every inch of the walls are now covered. She is a slob and throws her trash wherever she happens to be standing. She spills stuff and dosn't clean it up. I could go on and on. She is disrespectul to her grandmother and me. I fell like I have a "right" to the bill of rights for stepmoms. I have done nothing but be nice to her, spend money on her and spend precious time traveling to pick her up (4 hour round trip) and time away from my husband b/c he gives her 100% of his attention when she's here. I become the invisible person and feel like an intruder in my own home. Basically, they have taken over the house that I paid and make me feel very unwelcome. I could see if I had come into their hom but that's notthe case. She wouldn't even have a place to visit if it weren't for me. Her dad was having to live with a roommate b4 b/c he can't afford his own place. I agree. The Bible is clear. Marriage first. And, when the marriage is strong the kids will be happy and loved. The Bible says "The two shall become one" and when the father puts the children first that's not right. If I had a child in this situation I would want him/her to be taken care of by a strong, loving couple who live by this principle.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me. Not all step moms are bitches. You are arrogant and self centered. You don't know stepmoms. You don't know me. Grow up!! You have no idea what your saying. So back off

Anonymous said...

Wow - great stuff. I'm about to become a step mum (wedding soon), I have to slightly agree with the argument around no.10. The marriage is important but shouldn't become more important than the kids. Any stepmother worth her salt should see that the kids are a major factor in her husbands life, however so is she. It should be a case of learning that both roles are as important as one another, not a power struggle.
The father has formed a new relationship, and whilst this is new it doesn't mean that the stepmum should be treated like an outsider, she is now family and a priority just like the kids.

carynr13 said...

Well, I'm in this situation, and quite honestly (as much as a lot of you won't like to hear the truth), my husband and I entered into a marriage TOGETHER (not with anyone else). His daughter is just an added bonus. But, the marriage is OURS only. So, I agree with #10. As for rule #4, how would any of you like to build a home with your loved one, then have some child (who you have no control over cause they are not yours) come into it and have the run of the house. I'm sorry, wrong or not, I REFUSE to let ANYONE's child dictate what I do, when I do it, what gets done with stuff in my home, etc. Sorry, but that's my opinion, and I'm entitled to it, just as you all are as well. My stepdaughter comes to spend time with her father; not me, not my dogs, not to take over my home or life, and that's how it should be. Too many people allow their children to run their lives and dictated what goes on (honestly not saying that anyone on here does, afterall, I dont know any of you from Eve). Just my opinion.

Anonymous said...

I understand your devotion to "the children" but a marriage, is sacred. A husband and wife are for a lifetime. Kids grow up and go start their own family. Without the bonds of marriage and without that most important value who would get married to someone. Perhaps in your world children come first but you will always have an unhealthy marriage. What will happen when the kids are grown and you find yourselves alone together ?

Tamar said...

So Im about to marry a widower with two young kids, oldest is 7. Their mom has been dead 5yrs now, anybody have an idea what i am to expect?

Anonymous said...

I am living this right now. We are a blended family. I have two he has one. She was adopted initially. Her mother passed away. I married her father and then adopted her.
When you blend a family it becomes a family. No one should feel like an outsider not the kids. Not the new parent(s) if all is handled within proper boundaries with respect and love.
If the parent sides with the child on issues and allows them to play games manipulate and lie as in my case it creates an unhealthy balance of power and control and destroys the marital relationship and parental foundation.
I am expected to do all the "motherly" things. But I have no say so in bedtimes. Routines. Nutrition. School work. Chores. Nothing. I am the cook. The nanny. The maid. The taxi. Anytime my daughter does anything wrong I get yelled at. If she pitches a fit over anything she doesn't like it's my fault.
If she lies. I'm in trouble and they go shopping.
And as one other reply are temporary in the home. A marriage should be forever. That relationship comes first. If it doesn't. Then it will fall apart and somewhere down the road another blended family will emerge.

Anonymous said...

First of all, I pretty much agree with this but I'd like to first comment that no divorce is easy or uncomplicated. Especially when there are children involved at any age whether adults or minors. We are all affected by it. Just unfortunately even though your blog sounds great, in most cases it just doesn't work out that way. In my case it is not so much with my ex husband, but my new husbands' ex wife. She is quite the manipulator, very jealous, very insecure and narcissistic which has not helped the situation in the least. I have two grown adult stepsons who resent both myself and my 15 year old son... not because of what I did to them, I was very good to the both of them, but just for the simple fact that I exist and I am married to their father and their mother who is now living pretty much in dire straits with her elderly mother. It had became quite obvious they pretty much wish I was out of the picture . I wasn't even given a chance aside of being a housekeeper, cook and bank. But now both my husband and myself have stood our ground as far as either one of them living with us anymore not only because of their treatment of me (which I finally voiced out to one of them)but also because of the fact that they are men and should be venturing out on their own. One of them still lives with his mother believe it or not at 26, crowded in with her mother and the other has finally ventured out on his own, seems to be doing better and althought I am rarely mentioned, is at least on speaking terms with his father for now which is a good thing. We both hope that he will come to realize that his mother is exactly where she had put herself and the only one to blame is herself. This blog would be great if it was the 'law", but it's not, and the best that can be done is any advice offered to other people who are going through the same situation:
First, stand your ground with them. I wanted so desperately for them to like me so I reduced myself into a kind of slavery.. never do that because at least in my case, no matter how nice you are, no matter how catering you are, won't change the way they think about you especially if the "ex" has the agenda to manipulate his/her children against the newly married parent. The only thing that will lead to is more resentment as well as being taken advantage of. So STAND YOUR GROUND... They might "hate" you for it, but you have the human right to exist.

Anonymous said...

Adding on to my previous comment as "Anonymous" (8:27 PM on 8/9/12):

I've read comments here that responded to both sides of the argument and yes, I do agree that if you marry someone who has children whether adult or minors you should expect consequences but then again, you should also not be put into the position of being a doormat either. By standing your ground without being condescending, cruel or trying to replace their biological mother/father, you not only show the child whether they are adults or minors to realize that everyone deserves a measure of respect and their poor treatment of the new wife (or husband) will not be tolerated and also realize that in life they will run into people they may not like too much but will still need to at least tolerate whether at a job or even when they enter a marriage "family" themselves. This can be done without overstepping boundaries, etc, but the only way for it to truly work is to have full cooperation of your spouse with the problem children. If he/she does not have your back as well, then it becomes doubly difficult to maintain some kind of order in the household. In most cases when you are dealing with a narcissistic personality when it comes to your spouses ex the situation can become unbearable if the spouse allows himself/herself to be bullied by the ex because of the fear of their manipulation tactics with the children by setting them against him/her. Going to a marriage counselor helps tremendously when it comes to situations like mine. Being a Christian woman myself after being physically abandoned by my ex husband who is a non believer, which lead to my divorce and my new husbands' ex wife committed adultery 4x during their marriage, then after even given the chance to be forgiven for it (again) but later refused to return to the marriage which lead to their divorce. Now she is living in a type of squalor with her aging mother, now with an illegitimate child as the result of her last adulterous affair and my husbands son who is 26 and still works part time at minimum wage. Has been going to college for 8 years and just now earned only an Associates degree. He used to live with us but moved out because we demanded $60.00 week/rent. Along with the fact that his mother received divorce settlements of over 100,000.00 (which she blew) and will continue receiving alimony for two more years. (During the time of Jesus, she would've been stoned.) All during this circus, she had somehow manipulated her sons to go against their father when at the time when all this went down, they were supporting their father. As with me, I barely even exist to them. As for my 15 year old son, they are both extremely jealous of and resent him terribly even though they barely know him.

Narcissists have the uncanny ability to manipulate their children to do almost anything, which in turn can cause in some cases irreparable damage to them without having a single ounce of concern for their welfare.

So, in cases like this... there is absolutely no reason why you should not stand your ground. If you don't then you put yourself in a situation that you also helped to create.

Babe Mitchell said...

Love it! I am the step mother of 4 children full time. Currently they call me by my first name. Im thinking about changing that however. It can be very difficult being a step mom. However the mother of our two older kids is a drug addict and lives 3000 miles away, and the mother of our two younger ones died 5 years ago. So there is no strife. It gets hard however my husband is very supportive, and they have all made vast changes since we got full custody and they understand that i am a permanent fixture. Does anyone have suggestions on what they should call me besides my first name?

Emily Martin said...

I feel your pain. I have been a stepmom for 4 years now to 3 boys. I hit my rock bottom yesterday and thought verymuch the same feeling you did. I have a 14 month old son with my husband and saw what his ex did to the kids by leaving. At the core, i love my husband very much, and hate thay his ex controls my life. In the end, your marriage will be your salvation. Stick it out, but Demand your right to have a sane household.

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Tori Bishop said...

Thanks, much agreed!

Anonymous said...

While I agree that step parents should have respect and maintain some control in their marriage and house, IF they are well intentioned persons, I disagree with some of the items above. In my case I will say that when you have an affair with a married man and end up marrying him, you knew what you signed up for. Not to mention, you helped (yes helped, the spouse has responsibility too) tear apart a marriage and that is never good for the kids.

I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times.----- The other parent should have a say in decisions that affect the children.

I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits.-----While I agree that the stepparent should be able to exercise limits and discipline, the biological parents should be the deciding factor on how that is to be done. How it is carried out in your home is your business. The stepparent is not a party to the decree that establishes the guidelines. They have to respect the guidelines agreed to/ordered for the children.

I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay.----Totally disagree. Again, when you got married you knew they had children and therefore you need to accept that the first priority for the biological parents is going to be the children not you.

I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly.-- Agreed.

I will be consulted regarding all family financial matters.--Agree that the consultation should be made on the assumption that there is no roadblocks put up to keep the children from getting what they need.

Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission.--Agreed

I will never be treated as an "outsider" in my own home.---Agreed that should not feel as an outsider, but this is going to feel this way when the biological parents are making and agreeing to the guidelines.

My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect.----As long as you are respecting the husband, the stepchildren and his relationship with them.

Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together.---I'm sorry but your marriage is only first priority for you, your spouses first priority should always be the children.

I know some really great stepparents, (my sister is one of them) and I unfortunately got stuck with a stepmom from hell who is more concerned with her selfish wants and needs above my children's relationship with their father. I respect all stepparents that truly put the children first. I was raised by the best stepfather ever!!!

Anonymous said...

What happens when the x use the kid and the father don't want to see it and he only think that its his kid he should be there for her but what about the other kid and his wife,should she forever feel like she has no control in her marriage and they can just do as they please because if she does speak she's the wicked stepmom.

Anonymous said...

Please spare me the sad soppy story about you and your husband both being step children,I was one of them.Step children and the x don't have the right to try and control there fathers life the mother can live the way she want and when she feels like disrupting the mans life she do it ,so the wife see what the other woman is busy doing and is her life also and she mustnot say anything because is poor step child and so the child grow up and then what.I'm not a victim and I forgave my stepmom because it was not all about me

Anonymous said...

That is very sad ,I feel for you and I am a scared that I will also loose my wonderfull ,sexy but ignorant husband.Because he don't know and see how different he treats the children and how he let the ex and his other child manipulate him.

Anonymous said...

The Stepmother Bill of Rights just creates co-parenting issues. If you married a man with children then you need to know your boundaries. Do not create drama for yourself. You need to adapt to what you married into not make everyone else change.

Anonymous said...

Who give you or any x the right to tell anyone who they should fall in love with and the Bill of rights is there to remind us we also matter.A child is a gift from GOD but should not be put on a pedestal.I also had a stepmom then I didn't know why she did what she did but now being a stepmom myself I can understand her better I don't say she was right but I understand

Anonymous said...

I can understand and even like what you say ,but for me the Bill of rights is just a guide for us that think we have no rights and give us a little HOpE!!

Anonymous said...

My adult stepdaughter who just got married and we helped out, my idea although my husband would have talked to me about it, I am sure.
weeks later she is starting trouble of a major degree between her father (my husband) and myself.
Her husband seems to be the major problem or perhaps when she married she thought being an adult made it ok to hurt others, even though this is not what being an adult is all about
I am not going to allow her to rip apart my family but handling this legally seems to be my only option, IE: harassment charges because my husband thinks what she is doing is ok, or just doesn't believe his daughter is capable of such meanness and is hurting and blaming me.
I hope she has a life lesson she learns and quickly so she leaves myself and my husband alone!

Anonymous said...

I have failed to find any of the replies helpful in my search to knowing what obligations a stepmother holds. I just read and read through all of the comments. It seems everyone is telling their story. I am a stepmother of two, but have my first child due any Day. How far to my obligations extend? Should I be conscented or just expected to watch them even on days when they are supposed to be with their mom but she has no child care since I am home anyway. Is it wrong to unot want to? They are very young by the way but I still feel as though they test my boundries. I got thinking about all this because I am home today with them even though they are supposed to be with their mom. I was not asked or even told, I was just expected to since I would be home. I didn't pitch a fit or say anything. I know someone must and i am available to do it. I am just bothered that it was expected. Bio moms are saying to stay out of things that involve her and her children. Stepmoms are saying we have rights. I will say I entered my situation with a nieve approach. I thought if they liked me then things would be good. But then I gained a certain degree of Responsibilty after I opened a door of offering my help when there was no babysitter among other things that became expectations. Do I have the right to say no or does that make me an asshole. My boyfriend does a lot for me and right now he is the only bread winner now that we have a baby on the way. I feel obligated to help in any way without a complaint but the way I feel about these expectations that have evolved have me asking "are they my Responsibilty" and for the ex why am I watching them on her days without being asked?

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Barbara Walker said...

Thank you for your article! It touches my heart deeply because I have recently went through something similar 3 years ago before all this spells and spell casters madness on the INTERNET started which makes people to be confuse and scam them of their money. ALSO IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC AND SPELLS, I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN, DON’T GET ME WRONG, I ONCE HAD MY DOUBTS, TOO.
THIS IS MY STORY: I was married for 6years with 2 kids a boy and a girl and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that My husband filed for a divorce. I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and I don’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out, he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. I was surfing the internet for solution on what to do when one Dr. Zigaga of islea shrine DUPED me of my hard earned money because I was so desperate to get my husband and children back, Dr. zigaga it will not be well with you were ever you are. The breakthrough came when Monalisa my best friend introduced me to this wonderful, great prophet named Prophet Abayotor who eventually helped me out. I have never been a fan of things like this but I just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice, behold within a week after the regular prayers and proceeding, my parent call me on phone and said that I should come home immediately, when I did my husband was with them immediately he saw me he came to me and knelt down begging me to forgive him that he was so sorry for how he treated me. That it was his mother that made him dislike me so much, I was shocked and began to cry because I thought I lost him forever, immediately I forgave him and he promised that he will always love me, immediately he opt out in filing for the divorce from there we moved into our new apartment together. As for Prophet he is real and cleared my doubts, me made me belief in thing I never believed in Prophet Abayotor you are the best I say Thank you, you can contact him here at and tell him I introduced you to him.

Barbara Walker said...

Thank you for your article! It touches my heart deeply because I have recently went through something similar 3 years ago before all this spells and spell casters madness on the INTERNET started which makes people to be confuse and scam them of their money. ALSO IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN MAGIC AND SPELLS, I THINK YOU ARE MISTAKEN, DON’T GET ME WRONG, I ONCE HAD MY DOUBTS, TOO.
THIS IS MY STORY: I was married for 6years with 2 kids a boy and a girl and we lived happily until things started getting ugly and we had fights and arguments almost every time… it got worse at a point that My husband filed for a divorce. I tried my best to make him change his mind & stay with me because I love him so much and I don’t want to loose him but everything just didn’t work out, he moved out of the house because it was a rented apartment and still went ahead to file for divorce… I pleaded and tried everything but still nothing worked. I was surfing the internet for solution on what to do when one Dr. Zigaga of islea shrine DUPED me of my hard earned money because I was so desperate to get my husband and children back, Dr. zigaga it will not be well with you were ever you are. The breakthrough came when Monalisa my best friend introduced me to this wonderful, great prophet named Prophet Abayotor who eventually helped me out. I have never been a fan of things like this but I just decided to try reluctantly because I was desperate and left with no choice, behold within a week after the regular prayers and proceeding, my parent call me on phone and said that I should come home immediately, when I did my husband was with them immediately he saw me he came to me and knelt down begging me to forgive him that he was so sorry for how he treated me. That it was his mother that made him dislike me so much, I was shocked and began to cry because I thought I lost him forever, immediately I forgave him and he promised that he will always love me, immediately he opt out in filing for the divorce from there we moved into our new apartment together. As for Prophet he is real and cleared my doubts, me made me belief in thing I never believed in Prophet Abayotor you are the best I say Thank you, you can contact him here at and tell him I introduced you to him.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT a rule / regulations or Law set by any court, so do not run with it..

Anonymous said...

Exactly. There are billions of people on this planet & you chose this situation. Find someone without children. You have a choice! The children don't, ever. But as an outsider, you have a choice to become a step-parent! If it is not the right situation & he's making decisions without you regarding his children & putting his children first (as he should), then this is NOT the situation for you. You have a choice. A step-parent is NEVER a victim!

Anonymous said...

If you yourself actually really thought you mattered, you would NOT put yourself in this situation. You have a choice... The children do not.

Anonymous said...

So true!!!
Seriously, what is this victim mentality of many step-parents? Look up the definition for the word victim... Children are powerless when it comes to what the adults in their lives do. As an adult, no one is a victim in this situation... You have a choice!!!

Anonymous said...

Uh, no... Also the title for someone who has sex with a married man & then ends up marrying him herself & making sure she gets everything she wants, even at the expense of children.
Soul Murderer is a good title for that one.

Anonymous said...

Yay! Some common sense! So rare on these step-parent pages.
I mostly see people say that the ex is all kinds of this that & the other that is mainly negative. Hmm... People have a way of rationalizing things for their convenience. Adults are sometimes not more mature, but truly sick & selfish. Every single one of you was a child once & there was true intelligence in that as you innately know that the end all be all in this world is about creating & people create people, we are god in this way, literally. Be conscience when you create people. Be conscience if you are in a child's life. Children don't have control when it comes to the aspects that will affect the entirety of their lives & everyone that they come in contact with throughout that life, but adults do. You are never a victim as a step-parent. You don't have to be a step-parent. Someone often loses out, either you or the children. If it is like that, then get out! Use that brain of yours. Maybe even get therapy if this doesn't make sense to you, so perhaps you can unravel & heal why you might be seeking out such a situation.

Anonymous said...

Well said!

Anonymous said...

Putting a marriage first, over children, is actually two totally separate realities when one is the original family unit & one is a step-parent situation.

The one with the original family unit will actually feel like you are putting the children first, that everyone is together & it is a win-win situation, as their two gods, literally their creators, will be together as is meant to be, there is no conflict of interest here.

But in a family with a step-parent, it will be a much different reality for the children. There is no worse type of betrayal by the people who are supposed to love you the most & the consequences will reverberate out into the world, forever.

Think twice people.

All you have to do is remember yourself as a child.

Anonymous said...

So true!!!

Anonymous said...

If you really wanted to not be a doormat, you would have picked a situation where you were truly wanted. So many people put themselves in situations that are not good & don't seem to see that they never had to be there. It's like they seek out struggle. What happened to you in your childhood that you would choose to be step-parent & engage in a struggle like this when you never had to? To be in a relationship is a choice. If the situation is like as you describe, then you are not with your soulmate. There is a conflict of interest here. Honestly, it is just so wholly unnatural that there are people who are outsiders interfering with families. It actually really hurts the world. If you really had self-esteem, you would not be involved in this situation. You have chosen to be part of something that is broken, that is a tragedy & seem to be in denial of that, expecting it to be as if that tragedy never happened & to be loved & accepted where you do not belong.

Katie O'Regan said...

Right on

Anonymous said...


Juanita Weis said...

Kids always come first. You sound like a self centered control freak.

Robin said...

You say you have issues with #4, that you don't have the right to tell your husband when his children can visit, etc. But it doesn't say "tell;" it says "consult." Very different. You absolutely have the right to be consulted about when his children can visit.

Oh, and Juanita Weis, IMHO, kids do NOT always come first. The marriage was there before the kids, and will have to last after them. In the case of second marriages, it still has to last beyond the raising of the children. The goal is supposed to be that one day the children can live on their own and be independent. If the kids always come first, then when that day comes, what do the parents do then?

Anonymous said...

Being a stepmom to rude, selfish and sad kids is the least of my worries now. My husband and I put our marriage first, and share a beautiful life with the child we had together. His other 3 children do not appreciate what we provide and do not make any efforts to be a happy blended family, and I do believe it is because of the influcence from their narcissistic mother. So with that said, My husband, myself and our child choose to continue on as a happy family of three, and ignore the drama, and choas that comes along from his first marriage. As a stepmom you do not need to WIN over the stepkids, and in fact they need to decide whether to try and make things work or not. Stepmoms are not there to give into all the demands of the stepkids and ex wife, and so sometimes writing off the stepkids is a must.

Anonymous said...

This comment comes straight from a TRUE IDIOT
" Anonymous Anonymous said...
If you really wanted to not be a doormat, you would have picked a situation where you were truly wanted. So many people put themselves in situations that are not good & don't seem to see that they never had to be there. It's like they seek out struggle. What happened to you in your childhood that you would choose to be step-parent & engage in a struggle like this when you never had to? To be in a relationship is a choice. If the situation is like as you describe, then you are not with your soulmate. There is a conflict of interest here. Honestly, it is just so wholly unnatural that there are people who are outsiders interfering with families. It actually really hurts the world. If you really had self-esteem, you would not be involved in this situation. You have chosen to be part of something that is broken, that is a tragedy & seem to be in denial of that, expecting it to be as if that tragedy never happened & to be loved & accepted where you do not belong.


Anonymous said...

Your use of ALL caps (which simulates yelling rather than emphasis) shows, not to mention your name calling & telling someone to “off” themselves, that actually “the world would be a better off place, without the likes of you” - though I would continue that sentence by adding ‘not being so closed off to the truth shared in the comment that so upset you & why it so strongly hit such a nerve for you’.

Many ‘adults’ use the phrase “fall in love”, but many do not actually know what is really going on with themselves, they do not look at why something might feel like ‘love’ to them & do not make the effort to explore if they actually know what love is & if they are indeed engaging in it - When I see ‘adults’ act as if this ‘falling in love’ justifies everything they do & has dominion over their ability to reflect on themselves & the situation they are choosing to get involved in & making decisions from a place of a (willful?) ignorance, I wonder how ‘adult’ they really are & my heart breaks for the children whose lives they will impact by ignoring all this, indicating that it’s just too uncomfortable for these ‘adults’ to face the roots of their choices.

But we do actually agree: No, none of us as adults has “to accept & take on the bitterness & tragedy of a failed marriage” - That is exactly what the comment that so upset you was saying.

So the point is, why would you choose to do so?

More people aware of themselves throughout life & these types of situations would make the world a much better off place - For you, it might feel like an obstacle that children must be considered as a priority & that anyone would defend this universal birthright (which includes even you as a child). This is the tragedy of unfit parents & step-‘parents’ (not the actually emotionally healthy ones), that it just all feels like a big impediment to their happiness. So strange when they truly don’t have to even go there in the first place.

PS: The “marriage that should have never been” is one of those weird ‘justifications’ used, especially odd when you don’t really know what happened (& since you were not a part of that marriage, you truly will never know what happened). If no children were made from any of those unions, it would be no tragedy, but ignoring the fact that lives exist because of it, shows exactly why perhaps being a step-‘parent’ is not for you. (Or are you a parent? It’s not clear from your comment - Whatever the case may be, children don’t get a second chance at their childhood. The responsibility of being a parent or step-‘parent’ is not for everyone & the great news is, not everyone has to be one! :-)

Anonymous said...

If marriage is so “sacred” & “a husband & wife are for a lifetime”, how is it that we have all these step-‘parents’?

Anonymous said...


(Please excuse the auto’correct’)

Anonymous said...

Yup, we had “a broken home for a reason” - My dad’s affair partner cum second spouse!

Anonymous said...

My step-‘mom’ sucked ass, but I know there are good ones - I just didn’t experience that :-/

Anonymous said...

*a step-‘parent’

(Correcting typos)

Anonymous said...

*”this world
**a better place” with “less people like you”

(Please pardon the typos)

Anonymous said...

*that they “should just off” themselves

(Again, pardon the typos)

Christie Waters said...

Hi everybody. I recently saw a testimony about Dr. Todd in a blog I visit for relationship and dating counseling problems because i had been having serious issues with my boyfriend and we had been dating for six months, he just suddenly changed,he wasnt returning my calls,he started cheating,he was hurting me in many ways i never thought possible and I just thought I should try it*maybe out of desperation of some sort*..and I contacted Dr. Todd..At first everything felt dreamy and unbelievable,his consultations and solution was a little bit easy and strange and I was scared a little coz I heard read and heard lots of stories of fake spell casters,scams and i never really believed in magic..I played along with a little hope and and faith and I sent some few stuffs after everything and it worked like a miracle,everything went to a while new direction,it was and is amazing...I guess it was all good faith that made me read That particular post that faithful day..I hope he could help other people too like he did me...I did a little and I got everything I wanted and wished for*my husband,my family and my life back. E-mail: