Need Advice About my Future Step-Family.

posted 1 year ago in Family
Post # 2
2063 posts
Buzzing bee

AW1 :  I’m not sure what the solution is other than to spend more time with them and get to know them more. It sounds like you’re passing by daily, just stop in and say hello and plan to do things with them as a family. It doesn’t sound like it’s malicious, but that they just don’t have as much in common with you/your Fiance and just know the other siblings more. 

Post # 4
1615 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I could have written this post.

My DH’s stepmom has always made it clear that her kids are most important. My Darling Husband was kicked out of their house at 18 so he would be more “independent.” He also had to pay for everything himself once he hit 16 and was required to get a job. Car, car insurance, food, you name it. Do you think they did that when it came to HER kids? Of course not. I can totally relate to the gifts thing. Darling Husband hasn’t gotten a birthday gift from them in years, and never had a party. No Christmas gifts either unless you count a Hickory Farms $10 set a gift. Of course whenever SSILs have a birthday we are expected to come and watch them open gifts knowing Darling Husband has never been treated that great. It even extends to her family. Her mom will buy DH’s stepsiblings $100+ gifts, but I think Darling Husband gets like a $25 gift card. Conversely, DH’s dad’s family all treat the kids/stepkids the same. It’s just the tip of the iceberg really. I could write a book about how DH’s stepsiblings get preferential treatment.

Bottom line, it’s caused me to be extremely resentful of his family for many years. It really sucks to watch someone you love be treated poorly by their own family. Darling Husband finally told me he is sad over how he’s treated. It was years before he would admit that to me. He also told me “that’s just how it is.” Now, we live 10 minutes from them and we only see  them every several months. If they aren’t going to treat us like family then we won’t have a close relationship.

Don’t let anyone tell you or Darling Husband that you should suck it up and deal with it. It’s wrong for your Father-In-Law & SMIL to do this.

Post # 6
1615 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

AW1 :  Well, we actually kind of had a bit of a falling out where Father-In-Law got pretty upset at my Darling Husband because Darling Husband decided he wasn’t going to let them use him anymore. They were trying to get us to loan them money and also kept inviting themselves over to our house since they didn’t have a tv. I don’t think Darling Husband mentioned the fact he felt he was treated unfairly. Since then we’ve just been pretty distant. I wish so much my Darling Husband would speak up too, but he is very laid back and doesn’t want to rock the boat or cause further issues.

I feel like my Father-In-Law is almost worse than my SMIL because like you said, it’s so sad when parents allow this sort of behavior from their new spouses…like to this day I literally can’t believe my Father-In-Law allowed his own son to be homeless! I don’t think it’s blindness.

Did your Fiance live with his dad & stepmom at all? Just wondering if he felt any favoritism towards his stepsiblings then like if they all lived together? Or is this a newer thing?

Post # 8
1615 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

AW1 :  Your Fiance is probably wrong thinking that things will be better when you guys have kids. It could actually get worse and then your kids have to deal with seeing their cousins receive preferential treatment.

You could try getting on DWIL Nation on Babycenter. It is a forum for people with inlaw problems like me & you. They give you straight up advice. They did me and it honestly helped Darling Husband & I both in regards to standing up to them.

It really makes things harder when your SO doesn’t feel the same way. Darling Husband & I struggled many years with this and have fought over it several times. I thought the favoritism was blatantly obvious and it angered me, he either ignored it or swept it under the rug. It only was several months ago that we left his family’s house after his stepmom was pretty nasty to him that he let me know how he truly felt about the whole situation. And it just made me so, so sad for him. But at the same time at least I felt like we started to agree on how to handle his family. Maybe your Fiance will come around and one day realize how what they are doing isn’t fair or right.


Post # 10
1249 posts
Bumble bee

Hi bee.  This sounds a lot like my father and his wife with her kids.  Her kid always come first.  Mountains of Christmas gifts for them but only one for my bother and I.  They were always at outings with her children and we were never told about them.  I would bring things up to my dad but, like your Fiance, just settled into how things were.  I think it had to do with the fact that my dad had a lot less money going into their marriage and, because of this, they kept finances separate.  I can’t blame her for this because, remembering what things were like when my parents were still married, I know she did the right thing.

Anyway, things are better now.  My dad is doing better now, finally has been consistently working (at damn near retirement age), received an inheritance (which was a horrible drama that I don’t even want to know the details about because I think it will make me resent him), and has begun to take more financial responsibility around the house and for his kids.  

Could something similar be happening with your FI’s dad? Maybe they just keep everything separate and she has more money to spend?

Post # 11
654 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2020

This is hard. I’m so sorry you guys are going through this. I know how painful and frustrating it can be.

As PrincessPeach13 pointed out, there’s always the chance that they keep their finances separate and are of the mentality that “You take care of your kids and I’ll take care of mine.” With adult children, I could see how this family dynamic could work.

However, I still think it’s a pretty crappy thing to do. You keep mentioning how nice they are, but the truth is that there is nothing nice about this. You don’t have to be shouting at someone to be mean. Ignoring can hurt just as bad, if not worse.

I deal with this issue myself, so I get it. My dad and step-mom both treat her kids as priority (including gifts, trips, planning holidays around them) while myself and my full brother are the after thought. I wasn’t even invited on the family ski trip for Christmas. My dad’s excuse was that I “probably wouldn’t want to go anyway.”

As far as I see it, if you two want peace of mind, you can try “working harder” to be more included in the family for a bit. I think with this, though, it’s extremely necessary you talk to them about it first. You don’t have to be angry, but just a heart-to-heart conversation about how you’ve been feeling left out of the family (make sure to mention specific examples–don’t keep it vague) and how you’d like to improve on that. Hear what they have to say.

If that doesn’t work though, I am a firm believer that it’s a huge waste of time to chase others who have no interest in reciprocating. Not only for your own self-esteem, but because that time could be spent with actual loved ones. Whenever I get down or hurt about how my dad treats me (and I do place most the blame on him–I am his child, after-all, not hers), I think of how wonderful my mom is and how lucky I am to have such loving future in-laws. Those are the people who are worth my time.

I’m sure in my dad’s mind, his excuse is that I don’t come around as much so why should he treat me the same. He fails to see it’s actually the other way around. And honestly? It’s not my job to explain it to him. It’s not worth my time. (Maybe if he was a kind person I’d feel differently, but he’s a really nasty person, so it makes the decision to keep him at a distance much easier.)

No matter what you guys do, please let your Darling Husband make the decisions on this. I know it’s hard to watch from the sidelines, but this is something he needs to work out for himself. That doesn’t mean you can’t be there for him and help him work through it, but I do think for him to achieve true peace, it needs to come from him.

Post # 12
5986 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2014

Wow, I took a totally different understanding of this story. I wondered if the step mom leaves plans and gift buying up to the dad for your side of the family and he’s not as good at it or generous with gifts. He’s a dude and dudes in general aren’t as planny and spendy. And she plans and spends for her side. Just a thought (I am in a step family as well).

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