Spoiled Children of Divorce

Mom, I’m Home
January 29, 2010, 3:19 am
Filed under: Bad Step-Parent Stories, Good Step-Parent Stories, Uncategorized

In the never-ending comments section of the Stepmothers and Step-daughters blog entry I wrote how many eons ago a Step-Mother just shared how she doesn’t have a problem with her step-daughters. Yay!  Read it.  Also, read Carolyn’s blog because she links to some really positive, helpful blogs right now which are written by Step-Mothers who are also Children of D.  I suspect that Children of D. make much better Step-Parents than Step-Parents from traditional households because they know how it feels to be in the situation and  I’m really glad this is happening.  I sort of wonder if a lot of the behaviors suggested won’t fall on deaf ears, though.  Children of D, for example, grow up knowing what it feels like to feel left out. Telling most people who grew up in Intact Families not to interfere in certain parts of family life is going to be impossible.  One of the problems with Divorce is that it messes with our natural sense of mixing territoriality with our homes and they don’t understand that this is just part of the contract they signed into.

At any rate the Successful Happy Step-Mother commenter says that her step-daughters live with her and her husband.  She gave some really great advice about what works for her as a step-mother.  (I don’t understand why step-parents constantly butt into this blog because it’s clearly not about them, but I suppose I don’t understand why anyone would marry into a step-family without making sure that they knew what they were walking into in the first place.)

I’m trying to believe that all the complaining that the step-mothers do about their roles is a link to figuring out a way to fix the problems that exist in step-families.  The Step-Mothers can hopefully provide insight into the family which the blood relatives can’t see.  Unfortunately, in divorce situations, everyone’s already adjusting to being an outsider in the family as well.

Sadly, I tend to think that most of the Step-Mother complaining is just complaining.  In the situations where the step-mothers are reasonably well balanced emotionally, honest, caring, respectful people (in the situations where they really are that way and not just saying that they are that way) there might be some real information in there.  But over the Internet one can reasonably only assume the worst.

In reality  many women who take on the step-mother role are doing it just to “get a man.”  They are bullies and will make fast work of the husband’s kids.  I grew up with one of those.  I know others who know one or two of those.  I know that there are a lot of overly confident women out ought to be CEOs of large corporations but have to settle for decimating step-children’s lives.

Sadly, like all other adults out in the world right now, I have no real advice for kids growing up in that situation except to focus on what positive, strong people do.  Divorce in families is so alienating that it is raising a great social consciousness in the World which may be just as valuable (or, at least different).  Grasp on to that part of the lessons it offers.

Back to the commenter who has no problem with her live-in step-daughters, what impressed me from a critical point of view was her description of the biological mother because it still manages to fall into that category of step-mother comments that negate the other Mother’s influence in her children’s lives.  The deal here is that the biological mother is not in her children’s life.  The commenter showed some concern for the girls’ welfare that the mother wasn’t there.  She didn’t say why the Mother was absent.

I tend to feel equal amount of annoyance by Step-Mothers who tell me that everyone gets along just fine as the ones who like to point out the flaws of the Mother.  How do they know how the kids feel?  Why don’t they analyze their own flaws?  A kid has enough lessons to learn in order to ask a “real parent” for a ride to a friend’s house.  Imagine how much more difficult it is to ask a “step-Parent” for a ride to a friend’s house.  This is a constant awareness that the “real parent” isn’t there.  And it’s gotta hurt.  It’s made all the worse when there is mental illness, addiction, abuse, or illness involved somehow in the situation because the child is already dealing with difficult situations.

Since this is a blog about Children of Divorce and what affects them it just sort of made me wonder why a Mother wouldn’t be there because I wonder how the two girls will grow up thinking about their Mother and how that will affect their abilities to see themselves, love themselves, and to love others.  In my personal experience I’ve heard the comment “I don’t owe my real Mother anything, my Step-Mother did everything.”

Okay, for one, becoming a single Mother is farking scary.  Nothing is easier for single Women than it is for single Men in this world.  That’s the honest to God truth.  Because of that you would think that women would support each other.  But they don’t.  They tend to attack and use each other.

Is the Mother not there because she hates the child?  (some Mothers really don’t like their kids)

Is the Mother not there because she simply doesn’t like or can’t handle being a Mother?

Did the Mother marry too young?

Is she not there because she has a career and has decided that the Father can provide better care?

Is she mentally ill, alcoholic, addicted, etc?

Does the Mother have a chronic illness?

Is the Mother just irresponsible?

Is she unable to handle the financial burden of raising children?

Can she not handle the tension of passing the kids back and forth between households?

Did the Mother marry an abusive man?

What else?  How different a Child from Divorce’s attitude must be from the Child who grows up in an Intact Family where these questions don’t exist.

I wonder what the best way is for a step-parent to discuss the “other parent.”  I have noticed that Step-Mothers who complain about step-children endlessly seem to never discuss their husbands’ parenting styles.  They do like to discuss the “Real Mother’s” problems, however.

I think that men really don’t know what’s going on between the Step-Mother and Step-Child situation. (Yes, I know, and the police know, that Step-Fathers tend to be very abusive as well, I’m just discussing the Step-Mother thing because they keep flooding my blog).   Women are experts at doing things underhanded.  They survive by pulling this behavior in society.

This is basic tribal stuff.  But, as I said, it doesn’t exist in intact families.  And so it goes that there’s an awful sexism that crops up within step-families between the women.  And it’s interesting that no one really seems to benefit from it (emotionally at least).  The Mother is humiliated by the Other woman.  The daughters are abused and at least are exposed to how two very bad female role models co-exist.  The Step-Mothers complain endlessly and no one really does know if they really are used as doormats or if they are just being bullies.

Boy, I want this to be my last post about step-mothers.  I suspect that most kids are so worried about their own parents during a divorce that they really don’t even want to think about the add-ons.  Most kids from divorce want to talk about their relationships with their real parents.  They do this not only because of love but also because they are trying to find a place to mirror their genetic traits.  This is done through the strong emotional bonds that exist between biological parents and kids.  When they say that step-parents feel strange to them, they aren’t kidding.  Why do people take this so lightly?

Okay so this post is a total ramble.  I’m just totally stuck on the other thing I’m trying to write and am wasting time on this.

9 Comments so far
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I do not know why the step parents always have to get the raw end of the deal. There are so many comments made against step parents. But when it comes down to it, it is the same as anyone else. No one ever knows what goes on in someone else’s household or life. I was THE BEST stepmother. I never, ever judged anyone. I tried to keep both ex-wives a part of the family. I was constantly dealing with problems and I did not find out until later that it was my ex-husband who was the cause of all the problems. While he is on wife #4, I have custody of my stepson. Step parents never get credit and it is easily worked to make step parents look badly. I have a family up the street where the wife and ex get along. They do things together. They make it work. Demi Moore and Bruce Willis make it work. It all depends on the people. In my situation, the kids were extremely close to me. The difference in this situation (I was wife #3), I stood up to their father and he was found guilty of domestic violence. It is hard for anyone to have enough courage to go to the other party to get the whole story. When I realized the extent that my ex went through to make sure that the ex and present wives did not talk and the things he did to control, I cried for the previous wives. Unfortunately, I only had problems with the 2nd ex-wife. But my ex is a creature of habit in most things. The one is that he has to cause problems with the previous ex-wife or whichever ever wife he is having problems with so he can work on the sensitivities of the next wife to help in getting control of her.

I just wish that someone would say nice things about step parents. I adore my stepfather. He was definitely a great guy.

You are right in the respect that the kids have a lot of emotions when dealing with divorce but it does not have to be bad. If the parents really work together, they can make it a wonderful transition. It is just most people let too much negative seep into the family. Then there is that one person who is the sole problem maker who does not care what they do to anyone as long as they get what they want and will do it through control, dominance, abuse and more.

Comment by Robin


People do give credit to stepparents when the stepparents do well. It’s extremely easy for a stranger coming into the confines of a private family to wreak havoc. It’s very difficult for a kid who is already going through a family break up to accept a stranger, not to mention another authority figure into his life. I’m more interested in paying attention to kids who are having troubles than in kids who don’t need help.

The kid already doesn’t have a “home.” His Mother has a “home” with a stranger. His Father has a “home” with a stranger. The kid shuffles.

Sorry you had an abusive husband. I don’t know why you are bragging about having married an abusive man. That’s simply an awful thing. I suspect that you think that the way that you banded together with the kids in fear of him is “love.” I suspect that that is really terror and does not coming from a loving, safe, secure place in one’s heart. That can happen often in a family, even in an intact family.

I’ve written a post on how step-daughters in particular from “happy mixed families” tend to end up in violent situations. I feel they are playing out the tension emotions that they felt as children.

Kids from Divorce who haven’t paid attention to the emotional problems they grew up in are highly likely to walk into even worse situations. That’s only my opinion, of course. You obviously have a very open loving heart and I personally advise you to pay a little more attention to what you’re getting into with the next One. Ask a couple of girlfriends their opinions, etc. I’m not saying this to be mean although I know this is coming across that way. I’m trying to communicate in a direct way so that you won’t be killed by anyone in future. I know that my naturally cautious nature was damaged in the opposite direction probably because of the betrayals that happened in my childhood so I’m the opposite of you.

Demi Moore and Ashton Kushter are an extreme example of what happens. They are very rich and very famous and very strange. I personally like strange, but I’m just saying that most people can’t replicate their lifestyle. And we don’t know where they will be in 5 years. And, of course, we have no idea what the kids are feeling because kids in divorce are being exposed to extremely sophisticated relationship problems before they’ve even had puppy love and they have no words for what they are feeling.

Comment by toothless

OMG – just wow, OMFG.

You “lady”, and I use the term very loosely, are a bitch. A mean, small minded, caught up in her own little mindset bitch.

To make such comments about a woman who has survived domestic abuse (and not only survived but had the guts to actually fight back) – wow. I hope you feel special.

Perhaps instead of railing against women who are living a life you have NO knowledge of you could put your time to better use helping at an animal shelter, or no – perhaps picking up litter from the roadside to save our environment – because at least doing that you can feel you are doing good and actually NOT be doing any harm.

What a load of shite your blog is.

Get a clue, get a life, get over your parents divorce and the no doubt merry hell you gave to your own stepmother. She is NOT the other woman, she is his legal and probably much loved wife. Get over your jealousy and bitterness and move on with your life.

Comment by Chris

Luckily it’s only your opinion, because you’re an ignorant bitch.

Comment by Kacey

I am both a step-mother and a step-child. I came from a home where my parents figured out how to make it work. My dad and my step dad regularly golfed together, and my mom and dad remained good friends. When my dad remarried, his wife became friends with my mother, as well.

On my birthdays, I did not have two parties, I had one big party. I generally did not get a gift from Mom and a gift from Dad. I got gifts that were lovingly signed by all of my parents.

Many years later, I find myself the step-mother of two amazing children. Knowing how important it was to have parents on good terms with each other, my husband, myself, his ex-wife, and her husband have all worked very hard to have a positive relationship. We are on friendly terms, all attend the children’s events and sit together, have parties for the children together, and even go out to dinner with the kids as a group, on occassion. Recently, we all went to a movie together as a celebration for our daughter.

I do understand that I am NOT their mother. However, I have a very unique, positive, and loving relationship with my kids.

This is the first time I have ever replied to something like this. I simply wanted people to know that good, loving step-parents do exist and that part of that loving is ensuring that you do everything you can to support a strong, stable relationship with their biological parents as well.

Comment by Mel

Thank you for helping us all out, Mel. I sort of want to stick a pink bow on your comment.

Comment by toothless

I am a stepmother to a great, smart well-adjusted girl and a rotten, lazy lying bitch. The fact that the second daughter is a disappointment to everyone is not my fault. I did not enter my family to dominate anyone, and I didn’t marry just to get a man.

I do my best with the second child (she is 15 and I have been in her life for over 6 years), and have realized that her monstrous behavior is her own fault and is only hurting her chances at a happy life. Her grades are bad, she is lazy and selfish, and there is nothing I can do to help her. Her parents lax attitude to her escalating bad behavior is the reason. And, yes, I do give her a ride when she needs it, since you seem to think that’s the hallmark of good parenting. I also pay for her clothes, school trips, haircuts, and all the other crap she doesn’t deserve or show any thanks for. I do all these things with my mouth shut. Living with her is hell on earth.

I am also a stepchild, and appreciate all that my step-parents did for me.

This comment,

“In reality many women who take on the step-mother role are doing it just to “get a man. They are bullies and will make fast work of the husband’s kids. I grew up with one of those. I know others who know one or two of those. I know that there are a lot of overly confident women out ought to be CEOs of large corporations but have to settle for decimating step-children’s lives.”

– is the most fucked up thing I have ever read. Bitter much?

I am raising my husband’s kids at my own expense while living in a debilitating war zone. I get nothing out of it, except drama and aggravation. I can see very clearly every mistake both parents are making, but they both seem to live in a daze. Meanwhile, their kid is spiraling out of control. But what can I do? I’m just the step-parent. But according to you, I just like hearing myself complain.

Comment by Mindy


The kid has terrible parents. I don’t understand why people don’t wait until all the kids are “on board” before marrying and starting the step-thing.

Was she 9 years old when you married her Father?

How old was she when her parents divorced?

Comment by wristwatch

This is such a crock. You sound to be a very jealous, bitter and twisted young woman.

I think you need therapy and like NOW.

I am a step child, AND a step mother. I have bio kids and step kids. My other half and his ex are terrible parents – and NO this was not evident before we moved in together. He is a loving, very attentive father but he is also lazy, he thinks that being their friend is parenting so their is NO discipline. My 13yo step daughter is obese, lazy, manipulative and rude. She steals from us and lies constantly, she is failing at school to the point where in most classes she is two year levels behind. My 10 yo step son is confused and also lagging behind emotionally and at school.

Their mother – OMG their mother. The marriage ended WELL before I came into the picture, but this charming picture of mother hood – she calls me a whore to my step children, she tells them that he left them for me and my kids. that he doesn’t love them anymore, because he has us now. WHAT kind of human being does this to her own children????

These children are taught by their mother to be rude to me, to ignore me, to tell me outright I have NO say in my own home. They trash my things, they tell my 10 and 7 yo daughters to fuck off.

And their father does nothing about any of it, because he doesn’t want to spend the little time he has with them disciplining them.

Please do not tell me I am here to decimate their lives or bully them. Who the fuck are you. I tell their father that they are NOT coping with things, that he needs to spend time alone with them, that they need to see a counsellor to help them deal with the shit that their mother says to them. Obviously these kids are not coping. But he won’t do it, she won’t stop her shit – she thinks she is punishing him for leaving her all those years ago.

And my kids and I are the ones left at the bottom of the pile, taking all this crap and if we dare to complain we have bitches like you on our backs.

Crawl back under your rock, get yourself some help for your issues and stop attacking generally innocent women.

Comment by Chris

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