Stepkids Who Bring Out The Worst in You
There are so many great articles and resources offering advice on how to cope when you are part of a blended family. However, in some situations, no amount of well-meaning advice and tips on how to deal with vindictive and conniving stepchildren, can solve the problem.
This is a real article about real people and real situations. It may upset some people and it may shock. However, it is not designed to give guidance or techniques that may not be practical for everybody. The aim is to portray a sometimes brutal and realistic picture of the very worst-case scenarios, but at the same time to give reassurance to other stepparents in equally difficult situations, in the realisation that they are not alone.
I want people to read this and think, “Yes, yes, I can really identify with that”, or “I feel so much better knowing that I am not alone”, or “I feel a great sense of relief because I realise that my situation isn’t so bad after all.”
You love your partner, so you should also love his or her kids, right? Wrong! It may not be morally or emotionally correct, but falling in love with someone is no guarantee that you will feel the same way about his or her offspring. Or, perhaps more importantly, that your partner’s children will like you.
For the purpose of this article, I will refer to the current partner as “he” and the ex-partner as “she”, although the article applies to both men and women who are part of a blended family.
When you embark on a relationship with someone who already has children, it raises many issues that are not all entirely pleasant. Take jealousy, for example. As negative and destructive an emotion as it may seem, it is often difficult to avoid. Your partner’s children are a sign that he has had an intimate relationship with someone else and that his ex has had the pleasure of bearing his children. Their children are a unique blend of the both of them, which is something that, biologically, you will never be a part of.
It’s natural to selfishly feel that you want your partner all to yourself but, unfortunately, stepkids can often play a huge part in, what you hoped would be, an idyllic little life with the man you love. This is not necessarily a problem. Unless, of course, the children have behavioural problems or display any one of the negative emotions involved in accepting you as a stepparent.
The following real-life stories demonstrate how spiteful stepchildren have the ability to uncover the most evil side of someone and, more often than not, a side that you weren’t even aware existed.
Carole is a kind and compassionate woman, not generally prone to vindictiveness or retaliation. However, only recently she resorted to the more unconventional method of spell casting to eradicate her malicious stepson from her life.
Nick was 21 when he temporarily moved in with Carole and her husband, following an argument with his mother with whom he originally lived. Although he was essentially an adult, he behaved like a spoilt young child from the moment he set foot in Carole’s home.
Although he made it clear from the beginning that he did not accept Carole and was openly rude to her in front of his dad, Carole’s husband did not reprimand his son. In fact, if Carole ever made any detrimental remark about Nick, it would result in a blazing row with her husband, who made it clear that he would not allow her to speak about his son in such a way.
Carole believed that her husband was being disloyal to her, by effectively allowing his son to treat her in this manner and was, ultimately, condoning his appalling behaviour.
When Nick moved in, Carole was pregnant with her first child, whom Nick would refer to her as “It”. He still expected Carole to fetch and carry for him, whilst he spent half his day in bed and the other half lying on the sofa with his feet up.
Although Carole had only been married for eighteen months, she began to have doubts about the relationship, particularly regarding the total lack of respect that her husband showed her. However, she was pregnant and vulnerable and was in no position to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to leave her husband. Additionally, she also knew that before his son had moved in, her husband had been the most devoted and caring partner a woman could wish for.
The situation deteriorated very rapidly, to the point where Carole was willing to resort to any lengths, however immoral, to eliminate her stepson from their lives completely. She consulted clairvoyants, mediums and counsellors for a solution, before she eventually decided upon her course of action. Witchcraft.
It would not be prudent of me to discuss which method was used, suffice to say that it must have worked because, shortly afterwards, Nick returned to live in his native Holland.
Carole is still attempting to re-build her life with her husband and their one-year-old son. Although she still finds it hard to forget how her husband put his son’s feelings first, she says that since his son’s departure he has once again returned to the loving, considerate and caring man that he was when they first got married.
Marie, whose partner has two sons, aged 11 and 9 from his previous marriage, didn’t even want to have photos of her stepsons displayed in her home.
“The boys were so evil every time they came here and treated me with such contempt, that the last thing I wanted was their faces smirking down at me. There was such a negative atmosphere in the house whenever they came here and I felt that having their photos in the house was bad karma and created an unpleasant feeling in my home, even when they weren’t here. And, it is my home. Why should I have to put up with that? After all, you don’t normally display pictures of people you don’t like do you?
However, because they are my partner’s sons and because he only sees them every other weekend, he naturally wants their photos around him. Not only that, but we have photos of my children, aged twelve and thirteen, displayed, so how could I possibly explain why I didn’t want his boys’ ugly mug shots on my wall? He may derive pleasure from looking at them, but all I feel is this bitterness and resentment rising up in me. He looks at their surface smiles and feigned innocence. I see the nasty bits beneath the conniving grins.
I have to admit, that as a form of therapy, I have removed several particularly ugly photos of the boys from my husband’s prized collection and ceremoniously burnt them. As I watched their spiteful little faces melting into the flames, I visualised their evil intentions being destroyed. I know that must make me sound like a really wicked woman to some people, but if only you knew how they treated me, you’d be closer to understanding. If I didn’t do something like that, I’d probably end up hitting them instead. So which method is preferable?”
Jennifer remembers her last summer vacation as one that was totally consumed by tension, anger, hatred and a secret desire to drown her stepchildren, Kieran and Bryony, aged eight and seven.
I remember sitting on the beach in Spain and watching their dad playing with them in the sea on their inflatable beds. I was willing my husband to turn his back and for a huge wave to come in and sweep the children out to sea. Forever.
“I’m sure that their mother has fed them some dreadful lies and made them believe that I am the archetypal wicked stepmother. As far as I am concerned, they have never made any attempt to like me. Kieran, in particular, doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he hates my guts. He only says, “Hello” and “Goodbye” when prompted and even then it is with a begrudging tone in his voice.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times that he has attempted to cause trouble between my husband and I. The upsetting thing is, that whenever Kieran accuses me of having said or done something to him, my husband always believes him before even bothering to question me. All I get is an accusation, along the lines of, “Why did you say that to Kieran?” How he can believe his son, whom he already knows is a liar, above his partner, whom he is supposed to trust, is beyond me.
I feel hurt, enraged and very, very hateful towards Kieran and, to a certain extent, my husband. If the purpose of Kieran’s behaviour was to cause a rift between my husband and I, then it has worked.
Don’t think that I haven’t made an effort with them, because I have. I wouldn’t allow my worst enemy to treat me the way those kids do, but for some reason I have put up with it like a complete martyr.
I feel so incensed that an eight-year-old has that sort of control over me. The only thing that keeps me going is the belief that all the lies and the wickedness will backfire on him eventually. And I hope it does – big time. That’s if I don’t flip beforehand and do something awful to him!
Bryony is OK when she is on her own, but is very impressionable and tends to be pretty much guided by Kieran when they are together. They sit and whisper, giggle and stare at me in a blatant attempt to wind me up, so most of the time I just tend to ignore them, shut myself away in another room or go out. I hate having to do that, because it makes me feel like a prisoner in my own home.
My husband insists on having them every Friday and Saturday night – well, for the whole weekend in fact, which means that we never have any “free” time to ourselves, not to mention the holidays when we are also lumbered with them. Most people look forward to the weekends and holidays. I don’t. I look forward to Mondays!
I resent the time that my husband spends with his children, because they have more quality time with him than I do and, quite frankly, they don’t deserve it. Even when they have been ill mannered, rude and obnoxious, they seem to be instantly forgiven and still get treated for bad behaviour.
I don’t want to get older, but personally I can’t wait for the time when the kids have grown up and don’t want to come here every weekend. Mind you, the way that things are going, I doubt that my husband and I will be together in a few years’ time. They say that good relationships can survive anything, but there is always a limit and I think I’ve reached mine.”
Denise, who has three children, aged fifteen, twelve and ten from her previous marriage, one child, aged two, with her current husband and a stepson who stays with them for three days a week says, “I spend most of my week imagining scenarios that may or may not happen when Luke “the monster stepson” comes to our house on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.”
Denise explains that, as an only child, Luke is horribly spoilt by his mother, who still resents the fact that Denise is now happily married to her ex-husband.
“I’m sure she goads Luke into saying and doing nasty things to my children and me when he is here, in an attempt to break up the family. However, at least my husband is aware of what he is trying to do, although I still feel that he should discipline him more than he does. After all, he wouldn’t allow my children to get away with that sort of behaviour.
On the days when Luke isn’t here, I find myself visualising him saying or doing something loathsome and then picture myself having the pleasure of chastising the child. OK, I’ll be honest. What I really imagine myself doing is punching the brat in the face, although in reality I’d never do that. I haven’t even smacked my own children and, in theory, I don’t really believe in corporal punishment. However, something in that crooked little imbecile’s demeanour, makes me want to use him as a punch bag and to literally wipe that smile right off of his face.”
The above cases may seem extreme, but in reality they aren’t. I’m sure that if many stepparents are honest with themselves, they too will be able to identify with some or all of the above feelings of anger and resentment and the secret, immoral desire for revenge.
Even those who pride themselves on belonging to the no-smacking brigade can often be shocked at the extent of their negative feelings and the resultant desire to physically punish abusive and malevolent stepchildren.
However depraved they may seem, these stories really do prove that stepchildren have the capacity to bring out the worst in you…