Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills to do so…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

Don't know where I went wrong
Hi Cathryn,
I’ m a 25 year old smom of 3, my husband and I recently had a child of our own.  I
have been in this relationship for 3 years and married a little over a year.  

At first I had no issues besides a bio mom trying to split us up and speaking badly about me to the children.  I still have bio mom speaking ill of me, but the kids are getting old enough to form their own opinions.  The oldest lives with us ALL the time.  He was dh child who bio mom adopted when he was 5.  When they divorced she abandoned him.  At 23 I had to become full time mom to an 11 year old.  The problem isn't the oldest, it’s when the two younger ones come.  

DH has serious divorce guilt and pretty much ignores me and older son when 2 younger ones come.  I’ve never been one of those needy women that has to have all the attention, but I don’t appreciate being ignored.  I always felt left out when 2 younger ones came over and then I got pregnant.  I thought "Alright I’ll definitely be apart of the family since I’m having their sibling."  Well my dd arrived December 31, 2011 and I was on cloud nine.  

I got to stay home and be a mom! (Which is ALL I ever wanted to be!)  At the end of March, my dh lost his job so I had to return to work.  He assured me this was temporary and I would be back at home asap.  Here we are 2 months later and I’m still working while he’s at home.  By being gone all the time, sometimes I feel like I want time with my dh.  Not a lot just one night a week.  

Unfortunately, if his middle son(who is 8) doesn't want to go to sleep then forget our time together it’s ss8 time.  DH is absolutely in love with ss8 because he thinks he’s just like him.  Sometimes he forgets he has 3 other children.  I’m not thought about or considered in decisions made by ss8 and dh.  

Things that need to be done get pushed to the side to satisfy the child.  I was raised in a very strict home where NO child ran the home.  It kills me that this one does.  When I bring up the subject I get told I don't know what I’m talking about and to leave it alone.  DH actually threatened me with violence while I was pregnant for bringing up my opinion.  

I’m at my wits end.  I’m not one of the heads of my home even though I’m the "bread winner."  I’m just ready to give up on this marriage all together but there’s my daughter to consider.  I do not want her to grow up in a broken home.  

Please help me!


Hi there,

I want to start out by saying I don’t think you did anything wrong. It may be that you’re waking up to the reality of things that you couldn’t see in the euphoria of the “honeymoon” phase of your relationship. Not sure exactly but I hope you will not beat up on yourself. If you were here, I’d want to acknowledge you for all the effort you’ve already put into this family situation and hug you for all the hurt you’ve endured so far.

Your situation is very painful and it makes perfect sense that you would feel terrible and ready to leave. As you are thinking about your decision, I want to offer a few things to think about:

Have you read the post (in Cathryn’s mailbox) entitled, “Got a narcissist in your life”? Check that post out and you may know a bit more about who and what you’re dealing with. This will be important whether you decide to stay or leave. The book I recommend (and is excerpted in the post) will help you TREMENDOUSLY.

About your daughter...what if you think about how to create a life where you can model for her what she has a right to expect from the man she loves and the family she serves and supports? What if you think about all the tension floating in the atmosphere (which she is MOST sensitive to now and unable to make sense of-since her brain is still developing)? When you consider her, can you look at the quality of her everyday life and what you are teaching her to accept or reject, in terms of how to be treated?

Seems you and your DH need to have a conversation about boundaries and perhaps even basic manners...If you feel afraid for your emotional or physical safety, please get some support (professional and/or friends and family) and get yourself to a safe place. This is nothing to take any chances deserve to be in a safe place. I know most of you knows this, I’m just speaking to the part of you who feels you need to prove your love for him by enduring his bad treatment and who rationalizes whatever he does because of his emotional duress or lack of self-esteem, or whatever.

It’s a sad thing when the man we love is unwilling to see his impact or to self-reflect. He’s having a negative impact on all of you in very different ways. if he is indeed a narcissist, then you will learn all about this when you read the book. (You can order it through the Amazon link at the top of the BB and the site will earn a small commission. It’s got to be very small because in 8 years we haven’t even earned $25 yet but every bit helps.)
I believe your feelings are all telling you that things are not as they should be in order for you to feel loved, safe, respected, valued, honored, etc. This doesn’t make your DH wrong, it just makes your relationship “not right” for you. Either he is willing to grow, learn, change and step up to being a loving, responsible husband and father...or he is not.

Whenever the choice for our happiness lies with someone ELSE, it is a scary thing. This is where courage, self-love and self-respect, along with a lot of TLC from friends and family is going to be very helpful. If he’s willing to work with a good therapist, that’s a good thing as well. We all bring our wounds to our love relationships. This is an unconscious thing. What’s key is when our wounds start grating up against each other, are both parties willing to help each other become conscious of what’s happening and heal ourselves and each other?!

Whatever you do, this is a big choice point.
I hope you choose yourself and your right to feel loved, safe, respected, etc.
I will hope that your DH is willing to “wake-up” and open up to his need for introspection and healing.
And, as an objective advocate for your baby daughter, I hope that you will do whatever you can to protect that dear, sensitive, innocent, sweet baby girl who is unable to understand or protect herself from all the energy that is swirling around her. For her sake, I hope you will show her, by how you act, that she is so precious that you will do whatever you can to make her life, from day to day, wonderfully filled with love and safety. She can’t “crock” what is going on, but she is being impacted by it. Read “Drama of the Gifted Child” by Dr. Alice Miller and you will learn a lot about how to help her and yourself in this turbulent time.

May you trust that you CAN have a wonderful life.
May you find the courage, strength, wisdom and energy to create that happy life you and your daughter so deserve, Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055