I am a newlywed...a wife. While I've been with my now husband for 3.5 years this January, I have only carried the title...or patch if you will...of Mrs for 2 short months. I'm growing accustom to my new last name and calling him husband opposed to fiancé. Furthermore, we have lived together for nearly the entire relationship, so there is not much different in our daily lives. However there was a huge change. The biggest and most stressful part of our union is another "patch" that was tacked on the minute I said "I do". I am now a new STEPMOM to two young children, Adrianna (7 yrs old) and Gabe (4 yrs old).
Going back to the beginning of my relationship with Rob, I had no idea he had children...let alone that he was married. Had I know about them, I can say that I would not have given him a second thought, which is part of the reason he chose not to tell me. Once I did find out, I had serious reservations, but let my heart win out. I loved him...well, love.
I could easily say that I am not a kid person. I've always liked my space and I really dislike whining. However, I don't detest children as a whole. Just like with adults, I find children that I adore. I've always been the type of person that as soon as I meet you, I either like you or I don't and that goes for both children and adults. So I can meet two children at the same time and like one and not the other. For instance, a fellow officer has a little girl, Rachel, and I absolutely love her. She is the cutest little thing and when I look at her I just smile all over.
So when Rob finally got around to telling me that he had children...not one, but two...I was devastated. Of course, there is so much more to that story. He knew that I wasn't a kid person, but he was positive that I would absolutely love his. They are smart and kind and polite and well-mannered. Pretty much the same spiel that you would get from any other loving parent. I have yet to hear someone say that their children are horrid little beasts. I, of course, was skeptical for more reasons than one. With the kids also comes a mom....but that is for another day.
Rob and I find his children and ex-wife to be the biggest and nastiest war zone in our coupling. It's near impossible to explain to your spouse, or anyone for that matter, what it is like having to share your partner with children that are not part of you. To share them with another woman and know that they have a bond that even you don't share. Through all the different situations that have arisen and fights fought, I've come to somewhat resent their existence in my relationship. What they represent both past and present.
I find myself miserable when trying to riffle through all the thoughts in my head. The logical vs. the emotional is a constant conflict. I can continuously tell myself that they are children and are not out to destroy my marriage or my life and give several intelligent reasons why that is true. But my emotions still flare up with hurt, loneliness, anger, and jealousy. This battle has left me drained, unhappy, and dreading the future. The battle has slowly, but severely, chipped away at me...at my affection for my husband...and at our overall relationship. His inability to understand where I'm coming from and mine to accept the inevitable.
Now with this new journey of mine, I have decided that the best policy is to be honest with my feelings about the situation, as well as, to gain as much insight as possible.
Over the last year and a half, I've spent more time with them and have grown to accept his son's presence much quicker than his daughter's. I've read a couple of books about stepmothering and searched the internet to find answers and most recently started finding blogs for stepfamilies and specifically for stepmothers. I need support to grow and mature in this new patch that has been sown onto my coat. I need a place with people that I can vent to without worrying about what kind of person they think I am...someone outside of my relationship and the children. While I have my friends, who I know will let me vent, I need people who have been in my shoes and understand my feelings. Through all the reading and research, I've come to realize that it's okay if I don't like them right away...or ever...we just have to show respect for each other and treat each other well. While I am not willing to give up on any positive relationship with my stepdaughter, I am okay with what it is and where is it for now.