The "Step Mom"

Updated on August 12, 2011
E.J. asks from Lincoln, NE
10 answers

I've posted a few time that I have struggles with divorced life. When I got divorced my ex husband and my friend had an affair that resulted in a child that was conceived a month after we separated. So now years later they are still together and my son has been going to my ex's house. He knows that he may not leave her to watch him at any time, that the point of my 6 year old going there is to see him. It can be understandable why she's not my most favorite person in the world considering the deception that I was subjected to. A broken heart is a hard thing to mend.

It's just hard to send my son to their house and have him be around her. I don't want her to be any sort of maternal figure for him. I guess I will admit I feel threatened. I am his devoted mommy and I hate the thought that someone else could be playing that role in any way shape or form. I know he knows I am his mommy and he loves me in a way he could never love someone else's mommy.

Did anyone else struggle with another woman being the stepmom figure? How did you deal with the feelings that you felt? Please only words of encouragement. That's what I need is advice and encouragement to help me not feel threatened. Thanks in advance Mamas!! love that advice you give!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Wow! It was so good to hear so many positive stories both from the mommies and step moms! you are right, I want him to be able to tell me anything so I have to smile and play nice. I don't fear that she would be mean to him, so I need to count myself lucky. Thanks so much for reminding me that I will always be mom and nobody could even come close to me. I needed that! Thanks so much mommies you're awesome!

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

She will NEVER replace you. If you feel like you need help to deal with these feelings, get that help. The best thing that you can hope for is that she IS some sort of maternal figure - more "aunt-like", of course. Better she cares than not care at all - THAT would be horrible. Love and care is what your son needs to grow up happy and healthy, and the more of that he can get in this situation, the better. Take care of yourself, love your little guy, and be polite to the ex & co. Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I wish you luck in getting help because if you are still hurting you need help to move on. My ex had a mess of affairs on me, whatever. No kids mind you but I could care less who he dates or if she watches my kids.

I only care that my kids are happy. The woman he is currently dating has two daughters, my younger daughter really loves playing with them. How am I to find a negative in that when my kids are happy, ya know?

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When your son knows it is okay to love another female figure, he will grow leaps and bounds on so many levels. And you will be his anchor and his rock and his hero! He will also know you will love him no matter what. If he knows you will be bothered by him loving her...b/c unless she is an ogre, I'm sure he at least likes her...then he will have issues with women for the rest of his life. If he thinks he will hurt your feelings by saying her name and talking about her it will cause him to keep things to himself. You do not want to condone that in any way. Most boys do not ever want to hurt their mom's feelings. Your fostering his relationship with his father and stepmother will only open his heart to more love - what's wrong with that? And in the end, make your relationship with him stronger :)

Regarding 'her' - you really need to put away your animosity toward her. Your heart is very heavy with that anger mulling inside, I can only imagine how heavy the weight must feel inside you. Forgiveness is a virtue and it would only be a good thing to forgive and move on. Plus, by having so much hurt and anger built up, you are not only sabotaging your life, but your son's as well. My mom hated my father well into my adulthood (they divorced when I was 6). I never could share the good things I had with my dad b/c smoke came out of her ears if his name was mentioned. When I got married I had to have the 'talk' with her b/c by God she was not gong to ruin my day with her juvenile anger towards my dad. After that conversation my mom must have taken a cue b/c she never spoke ill of my dad again. That lifted a lot of weight off MY shoulders.

This isn't about you anymore. Your husband and friend hurt you, but that was years ago. There is absolutely nothing wrong with her being alone with him - she is his family. They are a family of four (you only mentioned 2 kids so I'm going by that) - your son isn't a loaner to his dad.

Your son is lucky to have so many people in his life that love him, especially you! Be his cheerleader. Don't make him worry...

I hope all the best for you!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

I will just say this - the choices of your ex and his new spouse weren't right and I understand that they hurt you deeply. It cannot be an easy thing to have it thrown in your face over and over and over. However, I think that whatever actions you choose, you should choose ones that allow your son some semblance of a normal relationship with her for HIS sake.

I say this as someone who doesn't like what her husband's ex did to his life, either, or what she often does to her kids. Her choice in husband wasn't fantastic, either. But my husband supports her seeing her kids even if he has very little to do with her directly. It's not about her (or her husband). It's about their kids and their mother.

Not sure if this is coming across the way I intended. You don't need to like either of them, but if your son likes her and she likes him and she treats him well when he's there, then that's a good thing.

As for you, take the time he's away to do something positive for yourself. A happy woman is a good mother. If you take every other Friday to go to a support group, or learn yoga or whatever you do, it will be good. A coal burns the hand that holds it.

And, trust me, NO ONE will replace his momma. Not his stepmother, not his best friend, first love or wife. You don't need to worry about that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Well I was the "step mom" type figure for my son's father's daughter when we were together, so I don't have any direct advice of how it feels on your end (of course in my case, they had been apart for a while before I even met my ex so I think you are very justified in your hurt and pain). I just wanted to tell you that the fact that you are aware of your feelings, acknowledge why they exist, and REALLY seem to want to try to figure things out for the sake of your son and yourself it wonderful. I wish there were more first wives who could be like you. Some can't even do it when they don't have much reason to feel so betrayed. You are obviously a good person.

Oh and trust me, when I was in the "step mom" role, all that little girl ever talked to me about (and still does) is all the cool things she does with her mama. So just know that when your not around and he is with her, I promise you are still there with him :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I am so sorry for what you have been through.
It is perfectly normal.
No one can ever take your place!!!!
You are his mother and he will always treasure and love you with
all his heart.
No other woman or stepmom can change that.
So know that and tell yourself that every day!
It is good for him to see his father.
I completely understand why you don't want her watching him.
Can you ask your husband (nicely at first) not to have her watch him.
If him being watched when dad has to go somewhere is the the issue, any
chance you could offer to watch him on those hopefully rare occasions?
You definitely want your son to have a good, loving environment over there.
Let your son know he is there to spend time w/his dad and his dad loves
You don't want to instill any negative feelings in your son towards the
other woman because your son has to live there.
Try to instill in him ways to make his life there wonderful (ie. getting along
w/that other woman). Him getting along w/her simply makes his life
more harmonious!! She will never, ever replace you.
And I feel confident in saying that you will have happiness coming
your way. That is almost always what's happens to the "cheated on"
party. I've seen it a dozen times w/people I know.
So hang in there, keep open communications w/your ex in order to co-
parent your lovely child and try to keep positive.
I am sending positive thoughts your way!!!! :)
Hope this helps.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Lincoln on

My divorce experience is not the same as yours as I didn't go thru the same betrayal of being cheated on, but I do have the experience of my ex having other female figures (yes plural) in my son's life since our divorce since... I haven't approved of them, but that's not my choice. I did choose not to be negative about them to or around my son so that he does not feel negatively about visiting his father and to let him form his own opinion. I let him talk at his own pace to me about what he sees and hears when he is at his dad's and then we talk about what is "ok" and what is not "ok" and why some choices are right and wrong... Other than that, I try really really hard not to say or imply negative things, even when I feel them, so that my son feels that he can trust me with anything he feels. As he is getting older (he is only 6 but can start to see a difference already) I can see his little mind working on the differences between the right and wrong stuff he is taught and what is done at one house vs the other...
By being open and non-judgemental, it lets him feel free to talk to me about anything, and lets him know that all of his feelings are ok. By just being Mom, we are unable to be replaced.
Good luck, and God bless as you move forward towards with your son in a wonderful single mom relationship! It is remarkably hard and rewarding!!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

I think you need to put some trust in yourself and some trust in your son. I'm sure it's hard to trust again after being betrayed, but remember that there were TWO people involved in the betrayal, your ex and your "friend."

Please trust yourself that you are the best mom that your son could ever ask for. Trust that you are doing a wonderful job raising him. Trust that you are guiding his footsteps.

Trust your son. Trust in his love for you as his ONE and ONLY mommy. Trust that when he's over there that he treats his stepmom with love and respect. I know you don't like her, but he has to live with this person when he's with his dad. You are only making things harder for your son by putting restrictions on her watching him, or him having any kind of feelings toward her. Yes, he's there to see his daddy so his dad shouldn't be shirking his duties, but think of how hard it must be for your ex.

My husband had some animosity toward his ex wife's boyfriend and how his daughter acted toward him. He didn't want ANYONE trying to be her daddy. Well, that just made things awkward for her. She'd stiffen up when the two of them were together, she'd get quiet and she'd look very confused. Sometimes we all had to be there for her school events. If anything it made things horrible for her.

You can hate the woman all you want. But for the sake of your son, put it aside. If you need to talk it out with a professional, do it. Right now my husband, his ex and I, the stepmom, all get alone wonderfully. We all go to my stepdaughter's events and there's no weirdness. Not only is she so very happy, but we all have found it's easier to live life with forgiveness.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I can understand that. I worry about my ex getting a girlfriend and if she will be around my daughter or not. I could understand if it's your friend that became step mom there is a huge hurt there. I would try to put it aside. As long as she is respectful to your son you should calm yourself for your son. I know it isn't easy, I remember getting mad at my best friend for simply talking (platonic-ly) to my ex fiance (no kids) b/c he cheated on me with half the city and was my first... it was the fact that friends don't talk to friend's exes when they screw the friend over (if their wasn't a friendship before the relationship) :)

I can't sympathize with the step mom situation, but I can understand your feelings towards the betrayal part... I think that is the big player in this situation. Just remember your son loves you more than anything and as long as his dad and stepmom are nice to him it's okay. As far as the flip side of it, find a way to work through your emotions and forgive him for what happened.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions