Anonymous Mom

Anonymous Mom: I Secretly Resent My Stepson

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I have known my husband most of my life. We lived on the same block growing up, and in all that time, he has been my best friend. Our love story is what fairy tales are made of, and we have a deep and rich history together. My fondest childhood memory of us is him telling me that he was in love with me. I was 14 and he was 17. I felt that he was not my type and was too rough around the edges, ha! So, I asked him to be my friend instead and just like that we became very close.

Later on in life, I watched as he got a girl he was dating pregnant. I remember feeling that any hope of a relationship between us had been lost. I moved away and so did he, and we both carried on with our lives. We would catch up over the phone from time-to-time and would randomly tell each other how much we loved each other, as if it was the most normal thing to do when you are not in a relationship. I decided to reconnect with him 4 or 5 years later and felt that the time was right to give “us” a chance.

We did and it’s been nothing short of truly incredible.

A year after we were married, he told me about his decision to take in his son permanently due to some instability issues with his mother. With an open mind, I agreed. Mainly because he is a very hands on and loving father and I couldn’t stand to see him so unhappy. I took the initiative with some of the arrangements like school, uniforms, new clothes, health care, etc. I even decorated his room. At that time, I had just given birth to our first baby. We went from young and in love to parents of two boys instantly.

I love being a mom. But surprisingly, I resent being a stepmom.

Sure, I say and do all the right things, but my heart is just not into it. I feel like a stranger has been forced into my life. But THIS stranger has a deep connection with my husband. This stranger wants affection and attention from my husband, and I need to sacrifice our time together to accommodate this stranger. He is a good kid, a 5th grader who acts like any other kid. Happy at times, super excited about certain things, super bored with others, moody sometimes, the usual stuff.

I just can’t seem to connect to him.

He calls me mom even though he has a relationship with his biological mother. I think because of his age when we met, it was easier for him to call me mom. My husband senses my struggle, but he’s very patient and has never addressed it. I suspect some form of denial from him, too. He loves being a father and was miserable when my stepson was not living with us. On some deep level, we both know that this has to work in order for us to work. There are days when I pray for the spirit to love him, because I really want to. I admire women who also make vows to their stepchildren on their wedding days.

I wish I was that woman.

My intentions are pure but my emotions are not catching up. It doesn’t take much for me to be irritated by him, and when I do, I immediately feel bad. So I’ll pretend to be irritated with my 1-year-old too, so that he doesn’t feel picked on. I really want to fix this before he grows up and starts resenting me back.

I sense that this is already starting to happen.

(Image: iStock/tatyana_tomsickova)

[Also read: Why I’m Teaching My Child to Not Say ‘I’m Sorry’]

Anonymous Mom is a column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this anonymous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity. Have your own confession?