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Dear Wendy

“I’m a Childless Stepmother”

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  • #681586 Reply

    But do i go my whole life never getting to be a mother?

    You ARE a mother. To two kids whom you say you love.

    I need a baby AND them.

    But you can’t have both, so you have to pick. You’re not “wrong” to want another child any more than he is “wrong” to not want another child. But he is 100% correct that you have a choice to make – stay with him and the kids with the understanding that that’s it, or else leave and find someone who wants kids/more kids (or go the single mom route). And you are 100% correct that having a kid with a man who doesn’t want it is a terrible idea. You definitely need to see a therapist to help you decide. And in the meantime quit pestering your husband about it. Accept him at his word that he won’t change his mind, and focus your energy on therapy and deciding if you want to stay or go.

    #681593 Reply

    when my husband and I first got together, he already had kids, and did not want anymore. I had to decide if I could deal with that, and I did, and I’ve been pretty happy with my decision.

    if you already knew he didn’t want kids, and thought you could change his mind, you need to MOA unfortunately, or learn to deal with it. If he gave the impression to you that he was open to it, or maybe has changed his mind, you should go to couples counseling.

    But you have to deal with the fact that right now, he does not want anymore children. if you do, you will need to move on to a life that you want. this is not a horrible thing either – if you truly want children, and he does not, you have to do what’s right for you.

    #681594 Reply
    Northern Star

    _s_, she ISN’T their mother—and I doubt the kids’ bio mom would be thrilled if she claimed to be. Who knows when she entered their lives, whether they live with her full-time, whether she has any legal rights to them, etc.

    I think this is lousy: “He told me that if I left he would understand that our family wasn’t enough. That I needed a baby instead of them.” If that is accurate, then the husband is a serious tool because he is making this about her not “loving them enough,” rather than her wanting something IN ADDITION in a very profound way.

    I feel for the LW, because there IS a difference between being a stepmom with the restrictions and limitations therein, and a birth mom who raises her child from jump and makes all of the child-rearing decisions (with her husband) as she sees fit. That doesn’t take anything away from the stepmom role. But it’s hand-waving reality to claim she’s already got kids and should shut up about her disappointment, already.

    #681595 Reply

    “He told me that if I left he would understand that our family wasn’t enough. That I needed a baby instead of them.”

    @northernstar I thought that was an asshole thing to say too. If her desire for a child of her own is new and runs counter to what was discussed between them before then there was still a more understanding way of saying it rather than the guilt trip.

    #681603 Reply

    I don’t think this is such an asshole thing to say if 1) he told her prior to marriage that he definitely didn’t want more kids and she still chose to marry him and 2) she’s been badgering him 3x a week for it sounds like many months to get him to change his mind. After all those discussions on the same issue, I think it inevitably does come down to what he said: I still don’t want kids, I understand you are very unhappy about this, you’ve made it clear that I and the stepkids will never be enough for you, I understand if you feel you must leave us and find a new relationship where you can have the baby you want to have. I mean really, if you push on the same issue over, and over, and over you are either going to get a very blunt response like he gave her or you are going to get a very coerced false agreement from a partner who absolutely doesn’t want to be a father again. Sometimes you have to accept the honest answer you’ve been given and make your own decision to stay or go. This is just pushing the guy WAY too hard.

    #681608 Reply

    Your answer sounds a little more sensitive than she needs a baby instead of them and that their family wasn’t enough. It may be he isn’t the villain and if she changed her mind then his resentment is understandable. I guess the conversations before marriage is what would give context to this problem. In any case, they need help to negotiate whether to maintain the status quo and she finds a way to let her dream of motherhood go or they separate.

    #681613 Reply

    But she implies that CONSTANTLY badgering him three times a week to make another litter of kids… I sure hope she is NOT literally TRYING to get pregnant three times a week… though if she has been doing so for the past three years all this is moot as she would have to be barren as fuck…

    #681653 Reply

    Maybe he pulls out, or uses condoms that he keeps locked up. Maybe he got a vasectomy and didn’t mention it.

    But actually, trying to get pregnant three times a week, every week doesn’t make sense, as there’s really only one week out of each month where that’s going to happen. But bugging him three times a week doesn’t make sense either, so I wish she’d clarify.

    #681695 Reply

    Do the stepmoms out there really feel like Northern Star suggests? That they’re not “moms” to their stepkids??

    I thought it was a no-brainer to point out that she’s wringing her hands about not being a “mom” when in actuality she IS a mom to two stepkids. Her issue isn’t that she wants to be a “mom,” it’s that she wants to give birth to a biological child. Which, as I said, is not “wrong” for her to want…it’s just different from what she says she wants (to be a “mom”). Am I crazy here? Stepmoms (or stepdads) can you give your perspective?

    (Not that it matters in terms of advice to the LW, it won’t change the fact that she has either has to leave him or else accept the fact that she won’t have a biological kid, and should see a therapist to help her decide.)

    #681698 Reply

    Being a mom and a stepmom are two different things. The roles may at times overlap but there is a huge difference between giving birth to or adopting a child who is your legal child and being a step-parent where if you divorce the child isn’t yours and never was. There is a difference between being the mom and being the woman who is dad’s current wife.

    #681706 Reply

    I think that even for step parents that are heavily involved in parenting, it’s not the same. She didn’t take care of them as babies. the bio mom might be in the picture somewhat and still have a certain amount of primacy. And I think that the experience of being pregnant and having the kid herself is something that many women value. That doesn’t mean that she loves them less but there are aspects of being a mother that she didn’t fully experience and may want to.

    In all honesty, fights about having kids/another kid are the worst and most intractable and heartbreaking. People can agree to whatever beforehand but feelings can change drastically and the existence of some sort of prior agreement doesn’t really change things. This situation is all the worse in that they already have a family together so it’s that much worse for her to pick up and leave.

    #681734 Reply

    it’s different, but not, if that makes sense? I love my stepkids, and would do anything for them. to me, they feel like ‘mine’. However, there are always the little things that of course not being the bio mom, I’ll never experience. Does that bother me? Sometimes. honestly once a month I have a weird emotional day sometimes :p but, I don’t regret any of it. I completely understand that some need to have children of their own, there’s nothing wrong with that. but in cases like LW’s, a decision has to be made.

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