Marriage isn’t easy. It isn’t something that you can just let go and hope for the best. Each day in a marriage is something you have to work on unless you want it to end. We have had many ups and downs but always work through them because of the love we share. It is worth it.
Some thing people tend to forget is there are many things that can wreak havoc on a marriage. Mike and I are happy with each other. We rarely argue about anything other than what to eat for dinner or where to go for our “dates”. But, that does not mean that things are easy-going in our household. On the contrary, there are many things that cause problems that strain the marriage we work so hard to preserve.
The main suspect in these arguments are the children. I have been a mother to his children for several years. Over the past few years, I have become the only mother the girls know as they have pulled away from their biological mother. I have taken that role seriously and have done everything I could to make the girls feel the love that I have for them and to help them realize that I am their mom, without being their real mom. I try to do as much for them as my mom did for me. It isn’t easy being a stepmom but I try. I don’t want to replace their mom, but I want to be a mom to them in the only way I can.
Tayler has been making bad choices lately. As her “mom”, I felt it my responsibility to try to help her and encourage her to make the right ones. She is a good kid and is very smart. It is hard for me and her dad to understand why she is doing the things she is doing. There is only so much “let her make her own mistakes” we can do and still be a responsible parents. Making decisions that can affect her entire life are those that we need to step in and voice my opinion. The problem is that Tayler thinks it is okay to treat me the way she would treat her biological mother. That is absolutely not acceptable to me. I deserve respect.
We had a big blow up over the past week. Tayler said things that she shouldn’t have. I asked for intervention from a family member in hopes that she would get a dose of reality. Things are still rocky between us. The problem is more though. Her causing problems in the household also causes problems in my marriage. It isn’t Mike’s fault that his kids treat me the way they do; well not fully his fault. I also blame their mother for not teaching them better and encouraging them to not respect me. She has never been a mother that they can treat as a mom should be treated so they have never learned better. I think there is a time limit on those excuses though and time is running out quickly. I have been in the kids’ lives for many years. Regardless, the tension in my house is causing tension in my marriage. Will we get through it? Yes. I have no doubt that we will.
Remember this though please. If someone is having problems in their personal life and marriage, it isn’t always about the spouse. I get so frustrated when people assume that Mike has done something when I say that my home life is stressful. There are so many factors that affect a household and marriage. If you know a step-parent, be sure to offer support to them when they need it. This is truly a thankless job and one that isn’t understood unless you live it. Sometimes, a step-parent may just need a non-judging ear. Offer that if you can. Their marriage may depend on it.