Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills to do so…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?
Hello Cathryn,

I have been reading your blogsite. I'm so happy to have come across it, I am gaining a lot of good insights. However, I haven't really found anything that really seems to address my personal struggle. I have been with my FDH for a few months. I am in love with him. We're already talking marriage. However, my struggle is that I can't seem to accept the simple fact that his daughter exists. I want absolutely nothing to do with her. I cringe when he even talks about her. I've put myself in counseling over this issue. I don't necessarilly have an issue with kids and do want kids of my own eventually. However, when I think about yielding my life to include anything to do with her...I feel like I'm going to explode.

I don't care if she likes me and I don't care about building a relationship with her. I have stopped spending any time with her on the weekends he has her because I was having breakdowns every time I would spend any time with her at all. She is only 4, so I feel like accepting this situation would be putting my life on hold until she is graduated from high school--which is obviously a long time away. Please help if you can...I understand that I don't have to love her...but I just need to get to the point where I can accept the fact that she exists in my life. It makes me extremely angry every time I even think about sharing my life/myself/my time/my money/my FDH with her. Have you ever had anyone feel this way before? Did they get over it or should I get out now because I'll never change?

Thanks, Kristi


Dear Kristi,

Thanks for your candor over this extreme situation. Many Stepmoms have experienced feelings of “Not liking” their stepkids at some time of another. I imagine even birth parents feel this way sometimes. What I find compelling in your story is that you are considering a life with this man even though you feel as you do about his daughter.

I am glad you are getting some therapeutic support for your reactions to his 4 year old daughter. From what I understand, this is something that speaks to your childhood and past experiences. You sound confident in your feelings about her and your intention to not be involved so I ask the question, “Why would you want to have a long term relationship with this man, given that having a daughter is not something he has control over?” To me, it is sort of like the issue of having a child (or not) in a marriage. People can love each other, but when important, unchangeable feelings crop up, sometimes it is a sign that the relationship isn’t the “best fit” for either person.

Skids at that age are usually very needy, very easy to distract are often just soaking up love wherever they can find it. They are also very, very intuitive (as their intellects aren’t developed yet) and so they can sense when people do not like, care about or want to be with them. Are you prepared to have a life where you step away from your home and Beloved each time his daughter is around. Are you going to ask him to deny his daughter a loving stepmother? Are you going to ask him to not talk about her or his concerned about her whenever you two are together? If any of these things are true, this feels like you two are giving up a lot before you even get started together.

To me, this is a relationship issue of great importance. Have you read any of my relationship articles? The one about “Testing and Proving Love” may have some value to you. The reality is he does have a daughter. While this is, along with his past is hard to accept, your feelings about his daughter, right from the start feel like a recipe for pain for all of you-especially after the initial “honeymoon” of a romance levels off.

It’s not bad of wrong to not like someone. We feel whatever we feel. It seems like the absoluteness or the closed door, in your mind about this young child, is not something that can be overlooked by either of you. Since I’m not a therapist, I don’t feel qualified to give you anymore advice. Let me leave you with a question or two to stimulate some thoughts or insights. Good for you for being open to working through these feelings with a trained therapist. There is much to gain from a good counselor.

Here are some questions I’d like you to consider:

Where you are in life, are you looking for the full attention of a lover so that his having a daughter feels like it is costing you some of his love and attention? If so, did this happen to you as a child, teen? Strong reactions usually indicate an unhealed wound from our childhood and is a good clue that some love and healing needs to come your way.
Is it this particular child or children in general? Sometimes when we haven’t received the love and attention we deserved as a child, it’s painful to see others get what we didn’t get. It’s painful to see today’s children get away with things we never got away with. This is common and understandable. While we can’t go back and change our childhoods, we can give the child we once were, lots of lovingkindness and attention and, over time, this loving attention can heal even the most extreme cases of abuse. If you are interested in this concept, check out the work of Dr Alice Miller, “Drama of the Gifted Child” or “Free from Lies” are two good ones to start with.

As I’m thinking about you, it feels a shame that you should have to compromise on so much of your life (and your BF so much of his) because of your feelings about his daughter. There are great joys having and sharing children, yes even with stepkids, although I understand it is very different.There are also joys with people who do not have children. Please honor you and your feelings. Nobody has to be wrong for a situation to not be right for all parties involved.

Good Luck in your process. I wish you clarity, peace of mind and happiness in whatever you choose to do going forward. Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055