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How to accept my new stepmom and stepsiblings??

My dad just got remarried over the weekend. It was very painful and difficult for me and my sisters because we have never had a good relationship with him. My parents were together for over 40 years when my dad left my mom. Now he has new adult stepkids that love him but they don't know what kind of dad he really was to us. It was so hard and painful to see my dad remarry and one of my sisters and my mom made it even more painful for me by making nasty comments about my dad. I feel like my dad has replaced our family and they are now more important to him than us. I know that the woman he married and her kids are not bad people, but it really hurts me and it is awkward to try to have a relationship with them when I never wanted stepsiblings to begin with. I feel so much pain, how do I move on? I have sought counseling but it is still extremely painful. I know that I will never have the kind of relationship with my dad that I wished for, but is tough to feel replaced. I am in so much pain and I hate feeling this way. I am an adult but it still hurts so much. I am engaged now but so scared to get married because I saw how hard the divorce was for my mom and don't want to go through a divorce ever. Does anyone else know what I am going through? I feel so alone because my sisters only talk about their feelings but don't try to listen to mine. It was hard to be fake and try to be happy for my dad and get to know his new wife's kids. I never asked for this and I don't want them in my life.

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Muirnea Muirnea 7 years
honey knows gave wonderful advice. I agree that you shouldn't try to be friends with any of them. Just be polite when you have to be around them, and other than that, just stay away from them.
kurniakasih kurniakasih 7 years
:hug: I'm sorry to read that you're in such pain. I'm glad you're going to therapy. I agree with both ladies here. I hope that in time, you can get over your disappointment, learn as hard as it is, it is the way it is. And perhaps all the disappointment and sadness will lead you to learn more about yourself aside as an abandoned/forgotten daughter, but more about you, as your own woman and with that you come out stronger and better for it. If I were you, I'd probably not seek out to befriend your dad's new wife and their adult children. But when you have to meet with them, there's nothing wrong with being polite. Just the way you are polite with a stranger on the street or anyone who comes across in your life. Try not to let this anger/disappointment to hinder your growth. Continue with therapy and choose to be happy. Good luck to you.
notinthemood notinthemood 7 years
I see that you have one issue here... you. Honey, life is full of disappointments. Bad things happen to everyone. The attitude you have about them is everything. You imply that you're an adult, so start acting like one! It sounds to me like you're upset that good things are happening for your dad because he was a bad father to you while you were growing up. You want to bring attention to the scars you have from childhood... stop it! How can you get over it if you keep dragging it up from the past? Look, you don't have to be friends with the adult stepchildren your dad has acquired. You don't have to have a relationship with your father. You can decide what is good for you and what you will and will not let into your life. You cannot decide what other people think about your father though... let these new stepsiblings get to know your dad for who he is to them, not who he was to you. The first step in getting over the disappointments of your childhood is to let bygones be bygones. He may have been a bad father, but you're a grown woman now and he has no power over your happiness if you don't give him any. So if you have to, tell him you were dissatisfied with your childhood. But it stops there. Don't commiserate with your siblings... they are choosing to wallow in past hurts. If you really want to get over this, you need to choose every day to go out into the world and get what makes you happy, and to leave what doesn't in the past. Good luck! (For the record, my own dad is a jerk. I keep things as cordial as I can when I'm around him, but I don't go out of my way to cause him harm. He's collecting his own karma, and so am I. I want mine to be all good.)
honey-knows honey-knows 7 years
Boy, this is a tough situation to be in. It seems like you've got two problems: the issue you have with your father (not really with his new wife or his new wife's family), and the issue you have with your mother and sisters. You said that you tried counseling (great!), but have you, your mom and sisters ever tried family counseling together? A family therapist can help you deal with the issues you had/have as a family, and you're guaranteed to be heard in that setting (you all can use the family therapy setting to learn how to be better communicators with each other). You can also learn how to be more supportive of each other, in general. I also think you need to talk to your dad - when you're ready. You need to discuss the issues you had/have with him as a parent, and hold him accountable. (It's not dredging up or dwelling on the past - it's healing it.) You need him to understand how his re-marriage has made you feel, and what needs to be done to repair the situation. Really, every parent has to be wiling to accept responsibility for the family he/she creates, for the kind of parent he/she is.....for the problems we cause our children. Failure to do that doesn't reflect on the child - it reflects on the parent. And you have to be prepared for push-back (from everyone), and for the idea that not much may change in terms of their behavior. Is your dad going to be open to this kind of discussion; will he be willing to accept responsibility? Will your mom? How about your sisters? I don't know. I think your father's wedding (and the requirement that everybody pretend that your relationships with your dad are what they should be) has been the catalyst you needed to be HEARD. You can't be responsible for how your parents and/or your siblings react to these conversations, but you can explain how you feel, and express what you need. There can be healing in doing that, regardless of the response you get. (But please work with your therapist to get prepared.) How to handle your step-mother and step-sibilings? In my opinion, this woman is not your step-mother, she's your dad's wife. You're an adult, and your mother raised you. This new lady isn't mothering you, she's married to your father. Her children are just people you may see from time to time - they're not your siblings. In light of that, I suggest being polite. They haven't done anything be polite. If you decide you like any of them, perhaps you'll become friendly. Don't feel compelled to accept them as family right now - you're all adults - it's not like you have to share a bathroom. You don't mention what caused your parents to divorce (and I'm not prying), but my response assumes that your dad's new wife didn't cause your parents' divorce. However, if your dad cheated with someone else, or abused your mom or drank or whatever, then whenever it comes down to choosing between your mom and dad (for holidays, etc.), I think (from a moral perspective) you've got to choose your mom. (Again, I'm assuming mom is the injured party, here.) If she's the injured party, then she deserves your support. If your dad doesn't understand that, he'll either learn to understand it or get ready to miss you. Finally, remember that there's not a lot of us who came from the kind of family we all saw on tv. Perhaps your dad's wife wasn't exactly the perfect mother? Perhaps her kids are so happy about your dad because their own dad was a jerk? Maybe they're just better haven't walked in their shoes, so you don't know their whole story. Be patient with yourself and the situation - these are complex issues that need to be addressed, and that takes time. Good luck, hon.

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