I Feel Like An Interloper

I am 42 years old. I have a 14 year old stepson. I'm still getting used to saying that. I also have no idea what a stepfather is or does. His father is still in his life but I feel is not a model of how to live by ethical principles.

My wife and his father have been divorce for between 5 and 7 years, I always forget. Emmanuel, my stepson, is very angry and disrespectful to his mother. I understand that all 14 year olds, these days are brats but that news doesn't help. I continuously feel like my wife and her son are still so enmessed there is no room for me. I feel rejected. I feel like an outsider. I feel like an interloper. My wife thinks I need to just keep showing up and being a part of but I feel like every time I do that I get knocked down. I am not optimistic that this will get better- it hasn't so far. I need support.
enigmadaddy enigmadaddy
41-45
1 Response Dec 3, 2012

I feel that way constantly.

Sometimes I feel as if we are all part of a sort of family, although not really a family, but more like college room mates. At times like that I'll ask my wife's 19 year old daughter how her day was, what's going on in her life, where she's going etc. - like you would of anyone with whom you share a space. I may even at those times have some familial or paternal feeling towards her.

Other times, I get the feeling she would rather I not be here. That I am perhaps competing for her mother's attention or resources. At times like that I most certainly feel like the interloper. It's at times like that however, that I recall what I read to be the position of a man coming into an existing familial relationship as a step parent and second husband... that he is the 'legal stranger'. The man living in her house only by virtue of the law. Seems very true.

That said however, at times this stranger would rather just be the lone stranger unto himself and be done with this whole family living. At times like that I look for other relationships, interest groups, sports, hobbies or just keeping busy around the house. I know I would never actually leave my wife for as she so clearly pointed out to me when I informed her of my plight... 'it's usually the children that cause the second marriage to fail'.

Add to that the fact that my wife most assuredly will always pick her daughter over me, all things being equal of course, and you have a formula for confusion, frustration and abstraction. Abstraction being the contortions you need to twist your mind on a daily basis just to stay in place.

I wonder some times if it's worth the effort. It's at times like that when I think again of when I was single and between my marriages. Sure, I enjoyed many relationships and the freedom to come and go as I please, but those lonely nights and feeling of emptiness are what drove me to this situation in the first place. It seems though like I may have replaced one untenable situation for another. Just a different set of problems

I have to say that if had the opportunity to do it all again, I would marry a woman that had no children, that had no family that had no friends and we lived on a desert island, had a great relationship and had our food brought in to us by flying pigs.. for in that scenario my friend, flying pigs would be the only thing that would be real. Good luck.