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    an adult dealing with a stepmother thats pushing me away
    edwardsinc posted:
    Hoping to get some clarity because I just can't wrap my head around it.

    Backstory - My dad (who divorced my mom when I was 2 and only saw me one weekend a month through my childhood even though he was an hour away) and my stepmother (his 3rd wife) have been married around 30 years. I have always had a good and loving relationship with her. She has always been good to me and my children. In 30 years, I can count on one hand the number of "spats" we've had. My dad and stepmother live in their own world. They don't have any children of their own and have always done what they want to do when they want to do it. They have always spoken to people how they want and do not care if its abusive or rude. They don't care how they are perceived. This attitude has rubbed me the wrong way many times but I always keep my mouth shut because its who they are and I try not to take it personally.

    About 5 months ago, she made one of her rude comments to me and at that time (after 4 hours of travelling with my 2 loud children and getting lost in a big city and finally being excited to see everyone) i went up to the counter at the hotel to ask her a question to which she looked me in the eye and replied "i don't want to deal with you right now". of course this hurt my feelings but i was trying to keep my cool so i went and sat down. she then came over and said "what, are you pouting?" so at this point, admittedly, i lost it. i told her she was not allowed to talk to me that way and she wasn't going to do it ever again. I went to my hotel room and cried for about an hour. Once composed, I told her I was sorry. She said she understood. I thought the matter was over.

    A month later, I haven't heard much from her which is odd so i texted her (this is our main source of communication when we don't see each other in person) and she was very short. I could sense something was off. It became clear she was still mad about the incident which I had thought was over. I asked if we could meet and talk about it and she put me off. I gave her a few days and then asked again if we could meet to talk in person. She agreed and we met and we had what I thought was a good talk. We each explained each others sides and I apologized several times for my part of it. (She never accepted any responsibility or apologized but I didn't ask for it either). Again, I left thinking things were cleared up. But it's clearly not the case now. She barely talks to me, has nothing to do with my kids. I feel as though she is shunning me. My kids keep begging to go see them but I don't feel welcome. They haven't asked to see me or my kids or even find out how they are doing. Again, they live an hour away.

    How long do I try to have a relationship iwth them? if it were just me, I think my decision would be clear. However, I have my kids, their grandhcildren. Not to mention my sister (half sister by my dad's 2nd wife) and their children to think about as well. I was angry at one point but now the anger has left me and I am just plain hurt. I cry daily. It hurts me to the core. I don't know what to do. I am a christian and would like to deal with it in a christlike manner.

    Thoughts or suggestions?
    rohvannyn responded:
    Sorry you are having to go through that! This woman is not treating you as she should. In fact, she's not treating anyone else as she should, either, but you and your children are the only ones you can worry about. You were not wrong for calling her out and standing up to her. I think you were wrong for apologizing for it. At best, she should have gotten "I am sorry I was rude in the way I spoke to you. I should have been more polite in telling you how I felt."

    Limits have to be set. Even if she treats everybody badly, that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. Christ taught compassion. This also means having enough respect for a person, and yourself, that you don't let them walk all over you. I might suggest the honest, direct approach. You might try telling her that you are willing to let bygones be bygones, but you can't let someone treat you or your children badly because that is a bad example to be setting in front of them and you want to teach them to be good, conscientious, upright people.

    Good luck to you.

    'Your focus determines your reality.' --QGJ
    dfromspencer responded:

    WOW!!! I have a step mother just like that! She always thinks her doo-doo don't stink, yet everyone else does?! LOL!!! She thinks her kids can do no wrong, even the one who got kicked out of the Marine Corps for dealing pot! They are such sweet angels! Yeah, right! She talks the same way you describe!

    I know how you feel! Only i never cried for me, no, i cried for my father for putting up with her! She just about put them in the poor house with her spending his hard earned money willy nilly! He saved her from ruin, she had nothing when he met her. However, with the money my dad had earned, and invested wisely, she tried to remake herself into a Queen or something like? He actually closed his accounts so she couldn't spend the rest! Now he is gone, and all the things promised to us, his real kids, will be given to her awful kids! She had him redo his will shortly before his demise, and you can bet it is all hers to do with as she sees fit?!!! I am hoping it can be proven otherwise because he had dementia when he signed that over to her?!

    I know what you are going through, trust me, but all i can do is, offer you my ear, or even a shoulder if needed?! If i were you, and yes, i have done this with this woman, repeatedly, check her, every time she says something not right, or too sassy or something, check her, put her in her place! She may not be your real mother, but she is technically, and she is the grandmother to your children, so, treat her accordingly! Treat her as she treats you! Better yet, just tell her she is not special, not even close to special! I have called my step mother names like, trailor tramp, liar, cheater, scheming and conniving witch! Just to name a few. It usually makes her pull her head out of the pretend airs she has put up? She once said she was fabulous? I said really? How much of my dads money did that cost? She turned an absolutely lovely shade of deep red. And most everyone at my fathers house, busted out laughing. She not only left the room, she fled from the room?! It was "FABULOUS"!!!

    Yep, treat her accordingly, and hopefully, she may just come around? Good luck with that!

    Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
    You are in a very difficult and sad situation. When people have to deal with family who act like this, the result - no matter what they do- is generally short of good. They must decide what they think is the best course of action given their less than ideal options. They must weigh out their values (e.g. children seeing their grandparents) and their feelings (feeling hurt and disrespected). Then it's a matter of acting on their decision and trying to keep the situation in perspective (as it sounds like you have been trying to do). It's extremely important in these situations that people not sell themselves short and allow themselves to be treated in a way that feels abusive. Sometimes people need to distance themselves (for a short time or permanently) from certain family members because the relationship just takes too big a toll on them, even though they'd prefer not to-- which may or may not be the case for you.

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