50 answers

Divorce Because of Step-child?

I am having so much difficulty with my step-daughter and her biological mother that it has given my thoughts of divorce from my husband. Does it get better? Should I give it more time or just call it quits after not even a year?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for your advise. I knew what I was entering when I married my husband as I had a good relationship with his daughter. But I think things actually hit home for his ex-wife when we "officially married at the church." My step daughter was not allowed to attend the wedding and then things went from okay to bad to worse. It was an eye opener for me but I am dealing with it every day. She currenly lives with us and visits her mother on the weekends. I pray for it to get better and hope it will. I love my husband and hope love will see us through.

Thank you for your input. Some days it feels as if I am fighting a losing battle and it takes people to remind me why I should continue to keep going.


Featured Answers

Trust me it will get better. i have been with my husband now for 8 years. we both came from a previous marriage and both have 2 kids each. it was extremely hard. i kept thinking why am i doing this. but it eventually got better. i am now able to go to my husband and let him know about what is going on between me and his son.
so stick with it. the first couple of years are going to be hard but don't let that get you down.

More Answers

I had the exact same thoughts a few years ago. I did not know if sanity would exist with the antics of his ex-wife.

I'm not sure of your specific issues but, in my humble opinion, know since you married a divorced man, you will experience strife in various forms even though your relationship with your husband may continue to be very strong. I personally believe your trials will last about 7 years; forgiveness must be a part of daily life so her behavior will minimally effect you and your husband's relationship.

If you and your husband do not have a full understanding of boundaries, study them as they are critical for you and your family.

Make sure YOUR step-daughter knows she is loved and welcome in your home. She is living in the middle, as the adults you and your husband are to present unity; be firm but warm. Homes are run differently so she has to adjust to life at your home and then life with her mom. This can be difficult for her. Anger is often a fruit of hurt.

Never talk bad about the mom in the presence of the daughter. You can be honest when necessary but make all the statements factual without personal opinion involved. This will be a blessing to your step-daughter. Be aware of your actions and do not take your frustration out on her.

Good things can come out of your situation. I've experienced fantastic personal growth because of his ex-wife. I learned you had to ask for wisdom!! (Ask for it) My relationship with my daughter (step-daughter) is very strong. I'm a good influence for her. I'm with a man that I can spend the rest of my life with and that was the foundation of my committment.

You are a young woman with big responsibilities; still have fun and embrace what you are living through. -M.

p.s. A few examples of what was required for our household to take to ensure boundaries were present.

1. We blocked her phone numbers from being able to call our home phone line. She could only call my husband's cell.
2. I blocked her email from my personal in-box. She could email my husband.
3. We took the divorce papers to the school with explicit typed instructions that she could not change the address and personal information on the kids.
4. After 10 years of marriage, our 14 year old daughter asked us if she could live with us full time. We did not go to court for this but typed up an explanation and request. Our daughter, her dad and her brother met with the mom. It went smoothly. If the mom had not agreed, we would have gone to court.

Life is full of joy.

1 mom found this helpful

The way I dealt with my 3 step-daughters when I first came into their lives was patients and love. They saw how great and happy their dad was with me that they decided to love me too. I always let my husband enforce the discipline without me getting in the middle and would not allow him to yell at them or discipline them loudly while I was in the room as to not cause them embarrasement. They were all 3 great girls already, so I didn't have any big troubles aside of overlooking to place trash where it needed to be, picking up after themselves,etc. Nothing worth leaving for. There were issues w/the x but we never discussed it with the girls nor in front of them, so they never felt their mom was being attacked. Not too much later, they found out things their mother was wrong about but they got to see it themselves without us influencing any negativity vs. her. They do grow up fast and before you know it, she'll be a young adult. Hopefully by staying strong and being there for her, she will come to respect you and appreciate your contributions into her life. Be an example to her instead of pushing her away. Her dad will always be her dad. Unfortunately, wives can come and go. I always made clear to them and my husband that if ever it came down to having to choose, I would expect him to choose them because I would not want him to choose another woman if it were my child in the middle. Maybe you should encourage the dad to have some "alone" time or activity with her to make her feel she's still as important as before you came along. It will get better, but only if you work hard at it and put love before convenience (of getting out of the marriage). They will both appreciate it and you'll be proud of yourself once you've accomplished this. I know this because here is how my life is now: we are a great family now and the grandkids are starting to come. They see me as a grandmother and love me so much. This may seem weird to some, but we even share time with the X and her husband now. We have a 5 yr. old and she goes over to their house with her older sisters on some holidays and they all love my little girl and we all get along now (not best friends by any means), but we make the effort so that all our girls can share time with all the parents. Good luck to all of you, hope you will be as blessed as we are some day real soon!

I would suggest family counseling for your family.The bio mom should also get some help.From my own experience it will only get worse if you do not nip it in the bud now. Ex wives can be very vindictive and use their children to get back,therefore teaching that child very bad habits. I married a man w/ a 12 yr. old daughter and she tried for years to break us up but didn't,we have been married 25 years and guess who is not in our lives because of her failed marriage and walking away from 3 kids? She followed in mom's footsteps deciding she was tired of being married and not wanting to raise her children(we ended up w/ her at 15 yrs. old) because her mom was tooo busy and didn't want to "DEAL" W/ HER ANYMORE. Parents do not realize the impact divorce has on children and children need to know all parents can communicate and get along. I hope your husband is understanding of your position and not siding w/ the mom and child,if he isn't then you are really in for a rough time. If you don't have children together I WOULD WAIT ! Good luck

Hi G.,
I'm sorry you are having to go through this. I married my husband when I was 22 and he had 3 children from his fist marriage. They were 5, 8 & 10 and I will tell you things were definitely rocky at times. They are now 11, 14 & 16 and at times I didn't think we were going to make it, but like every one has said, you have to set boundaries. My step-daughter and I still clash at times but she also feels she can come to me for help and to talk when she needs too. It also helped to sit down and talk to my husband, too. (not yell and vent, which I did at times). Keep your head up and things will get better.

I am sorry to hear about your problem. I would have adviced you not to marry anyone with minor children. But now that it is already done, you should try to find a way of relating better with your step child. She is probably feeling that her place with her dad has been replaced by you. Your husband probably is also not stern with her because he has the guilt that she is not living with him and has contributed in breaking her home. My advice will be that you do not do any disciplining. Leave it to the Dad. Secondly try to do some girl stuff with her. Just you and her. That should build trust and respect. Also allow her and her father to get one on one time. They need it. So start from scratch to build your relationship and regardless of how hard it might be, do not try to be her mother by giving orders and chores. Let dad do it. It is his place.

If my home was broken, I would be mad too

I was in your shoes plenty of times over the last 11 years. My step son's where spoiled and controlling and their mom was a nightmare everyday - even when my husband then fiance got custody of them. We fought over it all the time and I never could see the light at the end of the tunnel but over time we established our own personal boundries and figured out a way to co-exist. I started interacting with the boys (his two I had two boys myself) and hanging out with them just us and getting to know them and letting them know I was not going anywhere. We also let them know that we were a united front and there would be no secrets between their father and I. This started when his boys were 11 and 12 and mine were 4 and 8. Now the kids are 23, 21, 18 and 13 and his two have moved on to start their lives and we could not be happier. Was it rough yes but not all the time. Your husband has to handle his ex. Just keep neutral and never say anything bad about their mom in front of them. Focus on why you married your husband and try to find commom or even not so common interests with the step-child and be honest with the child. I am not replacing your mom but I am here to stay so how can you and I make the best of this situation. Ask the child to be honest with you and you be honest with her - it might be the new start you need.

Were you aware that he had a child before you started living together? If so, then you must have known that there was a child that would be a part of the package you were getting.
I don't know you, but if after 4 years of playing house, I get the impression that you are not commited to this relationship and you want someone, anyone to give you the OK to bail out.
For the sake of the child, make your exit and learn from you mistakes.
A little about me.
Mother to 3 stepchildren from husbands two previous marriages. Soon to celebrate 31 years of marraige.

I know it sounds old fashioned, but I believe that the best chance we have at a good marriage is the one we are in. I am a child of divorce, and I know that it is hard to accept someone else as an authority figure - especially if the mom is not supportive of you. i just want to encourage you. 20 some odd years after my parent's divorced I am closer to my stepmom than to my bio mom. Age does change things. I'm glad that she stuck it out and that we can laugh now. It wasn't easy for her, but I know she helped my Dad a lot when we were "terrors". Stick it out if you love him, and you will reap the rewards. The kids will appreciate that you didn't give up and you will become an example to them of what true commitment really is.

I am also 27 and have two step-children. I have been married to my husband for four years but have lived together for six years. Together we have four children, his (9 and 7), hers (8) and ours (5).

I have had hate letter written to me, things stolen from my room, told I would be cut into little pieces, hit, kicked, personal items broke, accused of several outragous things and the list goes on. Even some case where CPS has been involved.I have been in your shoes many of times and have just wanted to walk away. I could only think...is it all really worth it? YES! I love my husband so I am here for him AND his kids.

Slowly over the last year I have however noticed a difference. Things are getting easier and I believe as they grow older you are able to talk to them and confront them not as babies but as little people.

One day I finally decided to have a family meeting and express my feelings to my husband and the children. I wanted them to know what I liked and didn't like of thier behavior. I explained we could make our time together good and enjoy ourselves or we could make it a bad time. I asked if there was anything they wanted to lay on the table.We all expressed our views and feelings and that was that. Right away I noticed that his daughter had more respect for me.

As for the ex-wife, I use to go out of my way for her and I would do this to make life on my husband and his kids easier. Finally, I got to the point to the point I couldn't take her walking all over me so I stopped. It has been two years since I last spoke with her. My relationship with my husband is less stressful now and everyone is happy.

Hang in there and best of luck, you're not alone!

Don't give up. You married your husband for a reason and that's love. Talk it over with him and make him support you. The step child will come around in time once they can think for themselves, kids are not dumb. It sounds like the mom is behind all the chaos. Do NOT give her the satisfaction. You took something she once had and she is pissed, she will just have to deal with it. Show her, you're not going anywhere :)

I have a 9, 7 girls and 5 yo boy step children. We have been together 3 years, married for one. YES it does get better. Our main problem is his ex and I have so completely different parenting styles. Well I was going to say it takes awhile for them to adjust, but honestly I don't think living in 2 homes is something that is natural and they CAN get used to. When they are here for say the month long summer visit every thing is great. They adjust to our rules fairly quickly.

Mom will not take into consideration I have raised 4 great kids and KNOW what I am doing, so anything I suggest is completely wrong and she will usually do the opposite.

Please do not divorce your husband over this. There is a reason you married, remeber that. Its only 2 days every other week, right? Do you have any children from a previous marriage or together? That always plays into it. When we first got together, all they could talk about is mommy and daddy getting back together. We have been married a year and I still here it occassionlly, but only in reference to how much they hate going back and forth. You have no idea what mom is saying to them about you and your ex, I promise it's not nice. Being a step parent is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. Give it more time, maybe find a family therapist that specializes in step families. Good Luck and GOD Bless!

My husband and I started dating when his daughter was 3. Her mother was very rarely in the picture..she's always had better things to do than be a mom.
Several years ago, her birth-mother gave up her parental rights, because she wasn't able to pay child support. I adopted my daughter soon afterward.
I thought that it was pretty hard when she was 7. She's almost 14 now. I love her so much. We have good days and bad days.
My only advice to you is if you feel like she's pulling away (I did when my step-daughter was 7), then sit back and just watch. She can't run if you're not chasing her..she'll come to you and open up. Just be there for her. The teenage years are quite different though...be prepared...read everything that you can on the internet, it really does help. Hang in there !
Oh, and as far as divorcing your husband...Yes, you not only married him, but whether you know it or not, you married his child too. Do you really want to send her through another divorce? And remember, one day, she will grow up and realize how wonderful a step-mom you've been to her.

Hi G. C, I am a strong believer in marriage so I greatly encourage you to stay strong and seek help in how to resolve the issue or at least come to some kind of peace. Peace is not letting someone walk over you while you pretend there isn't a problem. Finding peace is resolving an issue. I have been married for 9 years and perseverance is key, when you persevere through hard times it is what matures us. James 1:2-4 says,"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." Also remember you married him knowing you had a step child. I have to persevere through the things that came with my husband too, but he does the same for me. I hope you can be encouraged to persevere it is completely worth it. God bless you. --J.

Don't give up because of the stepchild. I am 27 and have two stepchildren and a very difficult biological mother to deal with. At first it was really hard with both children but as time goes by it does get easier. Make it clear to your husband of what is going on, because you will need his support in this matter. He is going to have to hold you up when things arise and help with the issues that arise. My husband and I have very good communication with each other about each child and what is going on with them. It's not just you that is taking care of this child but now three of ya'll.
The biological mother will never change and that is something that you have to take with a grain of salt. She will always make things difficult because she is no longer in her child's life 24/7. I have dealt with issues such as my love vs. their mothers, not being their mother, why are their parents not together, etc. When it comes to this, then my husband and I sit down with them and explain to them. They just want to make sure that their parent still loves them even though they are not with that parent.
When dealing with the children on the issue of their mother, you have to keep it simple. They will pick up on lots of things and figure it out themselves, all it takes it time.
So, in the end. Don't give up, because your husband saw an amazing person in you to want you to be the mother of his little girl. Let the bad go and embrace the wonderful good things that are to come. I know, I have been married for 5 years---some years easier than others. I now have 3 beautiful children (11 year old, 10 year old, and almost 2 year old) who love each other. I will pray for you!

Don't give up. My question is where does your husband stand on the issue? He needs to be supportive and set some boundaries with your step-daughter's mother. Get into some counseling, whether its just for you or with your husband. Obviously, she is not mature or she would make your relationship work for the child's sake. Also, you divorcing your husband is exactly what the other woman wants...don't let her win.

My husband had a child before we got married with an ex-girlfriend about a year before we met. I had no idea what to expect or if it was going to be difficult. It was, the problems came as soon as we got together and for a while there we were thinking about leaving each other because of everything going on. But we soon realized that the problems would get better and they have. I realized that all my husband wanted was to provide for his child and spend time with her and for me to be ok with that. We have learned that we cannot let the mother of the child create arguments between us and the important thing is to be there for the child always. I would stick it out if you love your husband because it will get better as long as there is love and understanding you should be fine. Have patience.

Hi G.,
i have been in your shoes....your husband should put both his daughter and x in check real quick. If he is not doing that then maybe if you left for a little while it would open his eyes. That is what i had to do..
When your husband sees what he could loose then maybe if hes the man you think you married he will do something to make the situation better for all concerned..if he doesnt then you have loved and learned. I am so sorry you are going through this mess. I dont wish a situation like this on anyone.
Stay strong and stand your ground my sister.
L. b

Does your hubby know you are thinking this? Just communicate with him about it and tell him how you feel. ---Not saying to put all the pressure on him, but maybe there is soomething he could do or say to both of them to make things better for you. The first thing that comes to my mind when you ask this question is don't let your step child seal the fate of your marriage--but on the other hand--I know you probably feel like you don't want to waste too much of your life on a bad situtation. Just talk to your husband and make a list of the pros and cons of staying or leaving. I TRULY hope you can work this out with your hubby and if it's worth fighting for--then Good luck and God bless! :) C.

Trust me it will get better. i have been with my husband now for 8 years. we both came from a previous marriage and both have 2 kids each. it was extremely hard. i kept thinking why am i doing this. but it eventually got better. i am now able to go to my husband and let him know about what is going on between me and his son.
so stick with it. the first couple of years are going to be hard but don't let that get you down.

I married a man with 3 children from a previous marriage. It has been 5.5 years now but I use to have similiar thoughts.
I found out all the problems originate with the mothers attitude. If the mother wants her daughter to like you most likely she will. I had to emotionally distance myself from the hurt these children brought on and protect my relationship with my husband. It got so bad I finally told the children; I want them to come over but IF they did not want to come to my house and could not refrain from acting out and being so miserable then they should stay at home. They stopped coming over. My husband picks them up and takes them out every Wednesday by himself. I dont know to this day why they dont like me nor like coming to my house but I have a pretty good hunch it was the ex-wife that planted these seeds that grew into two divided families.

G. I am so sorry you are going through this. I know how you feel. My hubby and i have been together for almost 3 years and married for about 3 months. He has a daughter that just turned 7. We have her 24/7. I have a daughter who just turned 4 and we have a boy together that is 15 months. His little girl still to this day trys to push me away. But I have learned that it is all because she lived with him by herself till I came along adn dad did not have rules. We split up for a few months a while back and his work hours changed. she cam to live with me and I never had a problem out of her. So I know that her behavior is because she knows dad will let her get away with it.

As far as the mom. Well I still have problems there. She does not get her daughter on a regular base. Only when it is in her best. Dad is to the point he dont know what to do. We are suppose to call her if we plan something on her weekend to see if she is going to get her. I can only say It will get better. I am not there to the better part but it does get better. Just need to be open and talk tell him how you feel. You might try a counsalor. We saw one and it has helped out alot. Just show her you love her and that she will not push you away. Dont let the x have her way. good luck girl and if you need anyone emil me ____@____.com

best of luck God bless

Hang in there. I have 3 step-children, the second of which moved into our already crowded household this past weekend on a moments notice. It is tought the first year or 2. We are going on 4 years and I still have issues with them sometimes and I just want to pull my hair out. There are days I think I should just give up, but I promise every battle and every heartache has been worth it. We have made 4 years and are looking forward to many more. If you have any more questions or want to chat further about it - feel free to email me.

Definitely give it more time. I am married 24 years to the love of my life after raising my two sons and his two sons. I can't say there were not difficult times because most of our disagreements were over the kids. Now I can't imagine my life without him. You didn't say what the problem was. Maybe a power struggle between you and her? I also had the trouble with the ex-wife. Hubby has to take a stand with the ex-wife and be the disciplinary of the daughter. So many times the child is used as a pawn from the ex-wife. Just remember she is only 8 (just a baby) I forgot that about my oldest step-son when he was 11. I treated him like he was an adult. Later in life I had to apologize to him. Do I love my step-sons the same as my sons? In all honesty no. But I do love them and as time goes on you grow to love them more. Have some special time between just you and her. Hope this helps. D.

I am a stepmom to 2 children from my husbands first marriage. One is now 31 and the other is 27. I married their dad when they where 10 and 15. Their mom was the cause of many arguments and thoughts of divorce. As my husband and I talk about those times now, he realizes that he should have stepped up and dealt with his exwife. Your husband is going to have to be willing to put a stop to the foolishness and speak from the heart to the mom and the daughter.

My stepdaughter has apologized to me for her treatment of me and when she did she made the statement "I did as my mom told me to". She also stated that had her dad stepped in and spoke up more it would have stopped.

Be there, love your stepdaughter but do not argue or become confrontational if you love your husband. Openly talk to him about how you feel and place the need for solution on him.

Hi G.,

I have a 16 year old step-daughter whom I love dearly. Even though we are hundreds of miles away, we keep in touch on a regular basis. I am separated from my husband pending a divorce. Her biological mother was not nice to me either but I did not allow her to ruin my marriage or relationship with my step-daughter. If your step-daughter and her mother is both giving you a hard time then your husband need to step in. It is his ex and daughter so he have to try to make sure he work with you on this one. It would be sad if it came to the point of ruining your marriage. My ex was great with the situation so it never got out of control.

It is really important to know if she lives with you or not and what happened during the previous 3 years that has changed, but I say get counseling for all of you. That should point out everyone's sides to an unbiased professional and make everyone be able to understand the problems and where each person stands. Good luck.

G. C,
I'm not sure of your beliefs, but have you and your husband along with your 8 yr. old step-daughter tried family counseling? I divorced when my daughter was 1 yr. old, and remarried when she was 5 years old. Blended families are tough, but you have to have a good support system with one another, and communication flowing between the 3 (husband, you, and step-daughter)of you openly. The mother will continue to be in your life, but it doesn't have to be a difficult relationship IF everyone knows their boundries and expectations. I too have a step-daughter, but she is 18 and moved in with us her junior year of HS. We don't have much of a mother-daughter relationship, but I do try. I'd highly consider speaking with a pastor, or other clergy, and see about getting individual and family counseling to get to the root of the real issue. No one said marriage is easy, so don't take the easy way out by giving up without a fight.
Best wishes.

If you truly feel that this is your mate for life, than hang in there! Anger can make you think a lot of things! It has been my experience with friends, that time heals! The wife could be prevoking much of it due to jealousies. The daughter is only reacting. Evetually, the mother will realize, you are not going anywhere, or she will find a new mate. Something will happen with the child ( maybe through your efforts) to bring the two of you closer.

Well I am on the other side of the situation. I had an 8yo daughter when my husband and I met. It was a rocky road in the first few yrs but my husband didn't give up. I think you knew what you were getting into,since you lived together for 3 yrs before you got married. It probably won't get better for a while untill the child grows up and matures a little. Just remember,you are the adult and the child didn't ask for the situation she is in. Sorry to sound harsh but I have been there.
Oh-my daughter is now 17 and has a better relationship with her step-father than her biological Dad. There is hope!

You should stick in there; don't become a statistic! Ask your husband to do all the communications with his ex, and just set a good example when the step daughter is around. I am sure that there is alot more going on than what you could write in 3 sentences...If your husband is faithful to you, and if he is treating you good, I definitely think you should sort things out and make it work.

well, i haven't actually been married before,but have experienced a step parent/child situation & 2 relationships that were close enough to marriage. Only difference is it is my daughter who is also 8 and my ex-boyfriend who were having problems! It was the first relationship i had openly in front of my daughter and that she was also involved with or exposed to. We lived together the three of us for about a year &1/2 and it became miserable because both of them were territorial w/me and each had attitudes that were demanding and very much a power struggle. I now have twins by him and we did seperate before the twins were born. So now we are not living together,but do not know what the future holds. I have heard that it *can get better though and that mostly for a step-parent/child relationship it takes or can take up to two full years for the "bonding" process to really smooth out! I would say don't give up - instead give it time!!! *Plus,a marriage is meant for life - who cares what statistics say or the fact that most everyone is getting a divorce just because they can!! *as for the ex-wife..just "kill w/kindness" - it will be worth it in the long-run!! Children are important priority,but a marriage is the foundation of the household -so you & hubby should keep it strong!! *Build for a better future as they say!!
Much blessings to u,

Absolutely give it more time! The three years you lived together almost don't count to his Ex, because you were not married and there was always the possilbility you could leave the picture. Now she knows you are in it for the long haul, maybe she feels a little threatened? Also, I am guessing you do not have a biological child yourself, and if not, you can't comprehend the fear of losing your child's love. Of course that won't happen, but you can't always make your heart listen, right? Just imagine the dread that the "new Mom" might seem cooler than the "old Mom". Remember, the "Ex" that orbits outside of any relationship usually is a good person who just wants the best for the kids. You can't fault her for that, can you? Just show her, your husband, and the child you are ALL parenting what a great person you are, and that you respect her motherhood. Don't act like you know what's best for HER child--that will cause problems faster than anything. And NEVER disrespect her in front of her child. Say nice things about her in front of and to her child--it will have a tremendous impact on how the child feels about you and the situation. Just be patient, patient, patient! It WILL get better, but sometimes takes a long time. We had several years to struggle through similar issues, but now my husband's Ex and I are best friends. I don't know what her thoughts were about me during that time--I have never asked, because I don't need to know. I do know that before I had my own children, I thought I was pretty smart. When I became a Mom myself, I realized I didn't give her near enough respect or leeway. Now we share all holidays together, call all the kids "Our Kids", we are each other's children's "Other Mother", and I can't imagine my life without her! She was actually in the emergency room with me while I labored with my son, cheering me on and encouraging me the whole night. I don't know what I would do without her. And guess what? We were once each other's enemy.

Good luck to you!!!!!

Dear G.,
THere are a lot of old "dances" going on that you are not able to affect immediately. Have patience. Another thing that I highly recommend is to look into Relationship Rich. There is something wrong and your husband is having trouble truly hearing you. I am sure that you got married because you loved each other. Relationship Rich helped me and my husband really finally see and hear what our behavior was doing to our marriage for the first time and it was cheaper than a divorce and I was ready for a divorce! I know it seems very hard to believe that he would choose to treat you badly. Sometimes men are just clueless and so are we.
Please check out the website at www.relationshiprich.org or email me. I hope I hear from you.

I too am a step mother of 3 children who tend to fine me less than desirable at times. My husband and I have been together for nearly 7 yrs and married for 4 yrs. I have 6 biological children. At this point in our realtionship I have had to let go of his children and allow him to have a relationship with them aside from me. I have tried very hard and to no avail to have my own relationship with all three of them. There have been times when I thought we would all succeed and be ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY! Not going to happen. LOL! So I have to take the good times when I can get them and let the rest go. Leave it to God. Remember this is one of the huge reasons why God tells us no divorce. Of course bad things happen and we divorce anyway. So this is a consequence in my opinion that we have to learn how to deal with. As far as the bio mom goes I would just let your hubby handle her on his own. Your job is to love when you can and let go when you can't just love. It will get better. Hang in there girl and let me know if ever I can help you.

Hugs to you,

It gets worse before it gets better. If your husband is having trouble with boundaries between himself and his ex, it may get much worse before it gets any better. The easiest (and most effective thing) for me was to a. get counseling - for me and my husband. and b. My husband became responsible for everything having to do with my step children. I did not discipline, nor plan entertainment, for them. I would wash their laundry if it was put in the dirty clothes, but if it was not, I did not. If they wanted to eat what I cooked, there was always plenty. If they would rather not, their dad could make them something or they could have a bowl of cereal or a sandwich.

My husband learned to establish boundaries real freakin quick.

To be honest, though, I had children with this man - and I felt like it was in my children's best interest to have their daddy. If I hadn't, knowing what I know now, I would have cut my losses and left. As it stands, should something happen to my husband, I would not get involved with another man that shares minor children with an ex wife.


Dont do it, I was there as well. I met my husband and he was seperated and had a 1yr old. Now that 1 yr old is 15 and taller than I am! I will admit, I was jealous of him and his mom because of the previous bond, esp when she tried to get my husband back :) However, once we had our own children, it got better and I felt there was nothing that she had with him, that I didnt. My step son and I are a lot closer and I think he realizes that I am not the enemy (finally) Plus you guys are still young. I am 37 now and my husband and I have been together for 15 years.

Good luck

Don't give up on your marriage. I married my husband 5 years ago and he came with 2 children and an ex. We have been through hell and back with the ex. There were times where my husband even made comments as to how he should have never involved me in his life, we shouldn't have gotten married. But we have gotten through it. It takes a special kind of person to be a step-parent, good for you for wanting to take on that role. There a lot of people out there who would have went running the other way. I grew up with a step-dad and step-siblings, and watched my mom go through hell with my step-dad's ex, so I knew what I was getting myself into. If you and your husband have a strong relationship you can make through anything, even an ex.
Good Luck, and don't give up.

I think it all depends on what you are willing to tolerate and how much you love your husband. Do you have plans to start a family with him? I helped raise my two bonus children and it was not easy; they had one set of rules here and their mother had a different set there (a "do whatever you want" set of rules). Realize early that you can be her friend, not her mother. If she visits on weekends and it is just too much for you, find other activities you can do while she is there; not that you want to exclude them you just need time to yourself so that you can collect your thoughts and not say or do something you may feel bad about later on. Good luck to you!

Do you love him? Would be my first ?. If...so...why should you let an eight year old and a ex wife destroy your marriage.
I married a man with a 12yr old daughter going on 25 and a 10yr old son...i also had a 11 yr old son. And yes it was very difficult...plus the ex wife....i can now say that we all have a great relationship...it took a long time...but my man was well worth it...and he is my best friend.
As long as you both work together about the situation..then yes...but if he does not back you up on whatever is going on...then i would question his love for you...and remember that you deserve no..you demand respect from the child no matter what...
Do you have any children?
My prayers are with you...it is a very hard situation but it can work out as i said ..you both love each other...keep and open communication line....and most of all back each other on whatever the situation is...do not argue in front of the child...that just gives her more to take home and tell mom...remember they are lost also...because they just want mom and dad and most of all their home back together...
How long have you been married?
J. ray from texas.

Hello G.,
I am sure these difficulties didn't just start. There had to be some of this going on before you got married and yet you still married him. You have to draw upon what drew you to marry him in the first place. If you truly believe this is whom God has for you then hang in there. Also it is very important that you really talk to your husband about your concerns. I'll be praying for you.

Hang in there, it does get better. I got married to my husband when my daughter was 3 and my step daughter was 4. We have now been married for almost 11 years. The first several years are hard and you will hit your peeks and valleys but it will work out. What I had to do was let my husband handle all the arrangements, pick ups, drop offs, money, everything and the stress slowly went away. We also had a child of our own and that also made things much better. You husband probably feels guilty and it is very hard on them. Keep your head up and if you want to rant/talk just send me an email. I have lots of stories that will probably make your seem small!

Hi G.,
I saw your message posted and I just wanted to send you a little information. I work for a church and we have a Step Mom Ministry that is beginning in the fall. I was just posting the information on our website when I saw your request posted on Mamasource. I wanted to give you the name and contact information for the person that will be leading the class. I have asked permission to send you this contact information so feel free to get in touch with her.
Marie Leon, MA, LPC and her email is ____@____.com
I hope this is a help to you.
God Bless you and your family and you all will be in my prayers.

This is so difficult. I am in your shoes as far as dealing with a difficult ex. I am also in your shoes in raising children i am pretty much too young to have. I just turned 28 and I have a 9 year old step-son. My step children live with me and visit their mom three hours away a few weekends a month. It has been really really hard. My husband's ex is the source of 99.9% of all our fights and luckily for us since we realized this it has stopped a lot because we refuse to let her tear us apart. She cannot stand for my husband to happy or the kids for that matter.
Before you head for divorce I would advise a lot of counseling. But also really examine what is going on. The child is exactly that, a child and she is acting and reacting to something. Maybe her mother is setting her up to treat you a certain way, or she is feeling like she has to compete with you for her dad? I would do what some others have suggested which is step back. Refuse to deal with the mother. Say you don't want to hear about it etc. With the daughter though, i think you and your husband need to adopt some rules for your house and how you are treated in that house and how she is treated in that house and then he needs to enforce these rules. For example, disrespecting you leads to _______, and then he carries that through. And then some good old fashioned bribery through fun never hurts either. Maybe once you have some rules established and she is used to them a bit, you can have a girls movie night, or a girls shopping day or go ice skating or whatever. You and your husband can even set that up as a reward for a certain number of weeks of good behavior. And one last thing, sorry i am rambling, make sure that she is getting some alone time with dad on her visit. Maybe if she feels that she doesn't have to compete, she won't.
Feel free to message me anytime.


You say you lived together for 3 years prior to getting married, did you have the problems then? I've been on both sides of the situation - the stepmom with a stepson and also the mom of the kids who gained a step mom when their dad remarried. I've never had problems either way. My stepson's mom was the one who filed for divorce and she remarried first. I treated her son well and her only problem was with his dad at times. I had filed for divorce first from my husband so when he remarried, it didn't bother me a bit. His wife has always treated by boys well so I had no problem with her.

The problem may stem from the reason they got divorced in the first place. Your step-daughter may be torn by what she hears her mother and what others say about her dad and you. The advice of getting counseling is good advice - and at some point, maybe take the step-daughter with you. If she's only 8 don't be hard on her...she's a victim of circumstances in this situation. All kids wish their parents were together, even if they like the step parent.

I would recommend you look into www.relationshiprich.com. It is a class to help you and your husband hear each other and develop a strong bond that no one can break - not even an 8 year old daughter or her biological mom. Do not divorce this man over his child and his ex until you have tried everything! The little girl is pushing your buttons because she actually wants boundaries and may not be given many at home with mom. I know it's hard to figure out, but remember that she is only a child. Look at her through loving, forgiving eyes and let her be a kid. When it feels like you are being manipulated, remember who is teaching her how to do that. Never speak badly of her mom or her dad in front of her, however, show her how to become an adult by your own actions. She needs lots of love and support right now. You have "stolen" her daddy in her eyes and she is going to do anything and everything she can to boot you out, to get him back for herself. This is very normal behavior and you must be stronger than the stunts she pulls. Everytime you want to scream, hold her tighter, tell her you love her one more time, and remind her you aren't going away. Time will heal this eventually. Good Luck!

Hi G., I know this is tough and I agree with what many have posted about counseling, patience, not letting the ex push your buttons. My parents divorced when I was 10, and mom got married 2 times after that. It was tough, but I was a pretty laid back, tolerant kid. One thing I craved, and did not have was STABILITY - in any form.

Your new little girl has a life that is very unstable right now, and the best thing your family can do is give her that stability. Fair rules, a place to call her own, a safe place to be herself. Make sure she knows you're not trying to replace her mother (or her for that matter), but be more of a mentor than a friend. Depending on how much of a mother her mom is being, this could be the best thing you can do for her. A strong female figure of love and support will be invaluable to her. Make sure she has lots of Dad time so she doesn't feel disconnected, and see if you guys can have girl time (puberty is approaching, so this could be fun :)

Good luck!

I have heard Step families it can be really hard. My husband and I had never been married before, so we didn't have children when we got married.

I would suggest counseling or a support group, if there is one for marriage in your church or for step families. You might try the Parenting Center in Fort Worth. They are great, they offer lots of classes and you can call in questions to. I would also call the 211 phone number, maybe they might be able to refer you to a support group or an agency.

I listen to The Rosberg's, America's Family Coaches on the radio- 91.7 KVTT. I would listen to them, they have written books, have tapes, DVD's, also tour on the road speaking to people. You could check out their website-www.americasfamilycoaches.com They might have a book on this subject or give some advice to you. You can email and ask them a question.

I'm sure there is some wonderful informative books in the library also. So, you might want to check out the library or bookstore on StepFamilies.

I wouldn't consider a divorce. I'm sure it can be worked out between you and your husband. Don't let his daughter come between you and your husband.

I've had issues with my Mother-IN-Law and she has tried to come between my Husband and I. I've learned you have to be assertive on what you want and your needs/boundaries. I read a book on Boundaries and it is very good. I would check into reading some books on that topic.

I'll keep you in my prayers. Take care

Hang in there... the first year is hard for everyone, especially if you add a step child and exwife into the mix. COMMUNICATE with your guy... make sure he knows how much this is affecting you! He can't help if he doesn't know. If it comes down to it at least give marital counseling a shot. Don't give up a marriage without every last effort first. Keep in mind the kid WILL grow up, go to college, start her own life... your marriage can be a whole lot longer than that. Change is really hard on kids and she is likely terrified and furious that you are trying to take her mom's place. Can't blame her really, kids can't understand the complexity of adult relationships.

Personally, I think things will get better. I have a similar situation--I married my husband over thirteen years ago, he had a two year old, and the threat of him returning to the ex was there, but in time I learned to trust him and eventually, the ex got the picture that he was finished with her. As far as the child, she needed stability and that's what she got and I became more of a mother to her than her biological mother. Understand, my husband had custody of his daughter, it made things a bit easier. Give it some time, and don't over-try to please. The first five or so years are the hardest, but if you can get past those, you are well on your way to a lasting relationship.

Before you throw in the towel try a marriage counsler (sorry, can't spell). If your husband won't see one then he's telling you just how important your marriage is to him. The problems with the girl and her mother will not get better, only worse.

I just noticed that you lived with him for quite a while, were the problems there, but you looked the other way? Or have things really changed? Be honest and then decide if you can live with it. Again, a counsler might really help.

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