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My Stepmother Has Alienated My Father From Me

Hi there.  I'm a 30-something motherless mother whose father remarried 2 years and 1 week after my mother had passed.  Things were ok at first.  I tried to ignore her annoying unsolicited advice, her incessant self-promotion, and the constant comparison about how her "nieces'" (really cousins') husbands are so successful...blah blah blah.  I guess I ultimately had an adverse reaction to it all, and I wasn't so "welcoming" to her in return. 

 

My first daughter was born about 9 months after they had married.  It's been a complete nightmare for me.  Not only have I lost my mother, but my father would only see my daughter and me for a few hours a week (and in hindsight, that was a lot).  Since then, I had a second daughter.  When I got pregnant the second time, my dad suggested that I have an abortion (because he didn't want to be bothered with another grandchild).  Towards the end of my pregancy, the ceilings of my house needed to be painted, so I asked my dad if I could stay at their house with my older daughter.  My dad told me no, and he said to a good family friend of ours who took me in that I should have stayed at a hotel.  He and that long-time family friend are no longer speaking.

 

My stepmom then pulled out all the punches the week my second daughter was born.  I was scheduled for a c-section, and she decided to invite her grandson to stay with her and my father for two weeks, completely encompassing the time that I would be delivering and be in a post-partum state.  They said that they were going to bring her grandson to the delivery, and when I objected, we got into a fight.  I was so upset, that I went into labor prior to my scheduled c-section date.  When I came home from the hospital, my father was at my house watching my older daughter.  As soon as my husband and I got home, my father left.  I spent the rest of the week begging them to come and visit me and the baby.  I think they eventually gave in.

 

That was over two years ago.  Things got better for awhile.  Then on Mother's Day 2009, in lieu of sending my stepmother a card, I called her (well, actually, I left a message with my dad).  Apparently, that wasn't good enough, so in retaliation, he refused to spend Father's Day with me.  It doesn't end there.  The Jewish High Holidays were coming and they were leaving on a trip to China.  I wanted to land a date with them for Rosh Hashanah, and when I asked him to commit, he said "I will tentatively accept your offer, but I reserve the right to cancel at any time."  I screamed at him, and the conversation didn't end well.  It's now December, and I've seen him twice (briefly) since he's been home from China (keep in mind that he only lives about 10 miles away from me).  If I call to ask for plans, he says he'll get back to me, but he never does.  There is no worse pain than being rejected by a parent; it hurts more than losing one to cancer, because in the latter case, you know your parent still loves you.

argentanya argentanya 31-35 19 Responses Dec 3, 2009

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Hi Tanya,

Reading your story something is not very clear for me. Where is your husband in this equation? He is mentioned once ! Why do you rely on your Dad for so much support with your life and your arrangements? If you were a single mother I could sort of understand that you had no home, but you are a mother of 2 with a husband. Where is his family to help? It seems to me that you are relying on your father as a partner rather your husband. I think the key message here is that you have issues that you are not willing to face and picture your stepmother as the cause of it all. Also I do not see what you have done to make things better rather than stay angry and shift all the blame to your father. Your father has a right to his own life, as you are over 30 now. Not sure if you resent your stepmother because your own mother died? What is your plan to make things better for your little family and kids?

I'm not sure if it was completely your step monster's fault.
This gave me the idea that it was all on his own...

"When I got pregnant the second time, my dad suggested that I have an abortion (because he didn't want to be bothered with another grandchild)."

I had step-parents and was a step-parent. First of all you cannot make your Father's second wife your Mother. I see no reason to call or send a card to her on Mother's Day. She did not raise you! Your Father did what most men do when they lose their wife. They get another one. You miss your Mother. There is no way that you can replace her so stop trying. Concentrate on being a good Mother to your children so they do not have tales to tell. Leave your Father and wife alone. Find a therapist for yourself. Enjoy your children!

I sympathise - it's very hard to lose your Dad and I have a similar story. What you have to remember and respect is that your dad loves this woman and has married her. It's a mistake to think we can judge new wives with impunity even when they are horrors. It's like spitting into the wind. Remember this when your children marry : Never make an enemy of spouses, or you will lose your grandchildren too! Keep trying to mend fences. X

Hi Argentanya, I really feel your pain becoz I have lived it and still am.
My dad left when I was 13yrs old, my mother being highly musical and gifted but suppressed by him, huge arguments, violent outbursts and eventually final parting. i had to grow up very quickly. My dad found my stepmother rather quickly after this, lived with her awhile and then eventually married her. She appears very controlled and introvert but let me tell you she is dynamite in a small package, over time I lost him and this is where I wonder if that story of the "male lion killing a former leader's babies" doesn't apply to the "stepmother figure" for in her subtle way she has changed him completely to the point that they tried labelling me, hospitalising me, never listening to me at all, scapegoating me at every turn, yet i am married now for 23 years to a wonderful man and I have been a stepmother to two gorgeous children, yet my parents now suddenly shower all their attention on my younger sister who remained with my mother after I tried to get her out in her mid twenties, but the issue is the way things have occurred, now my sister and i are arch enemies, and when I finally wiped the mess out of my eyes I withdrew from them completely and it hurts like hell...thats all I can say. My dad is in his late 70's with leukemia and I can't get thru to him, if I wish to do that I would grovel and beg on the ground (have tried everything i can think of) to get him back, but he's gone! The grief is unbearable, because sometimes I come home from work and I see the home they live in and its there but its not mine.....my sister is also around the corner but she is not mine....I lost them all through angry words and unforgiveness and there is no turning back. All I can advise after all this suffering is: Hold onto your life, Hold onto your love, He is your new family and your babies, they are yours to make a new life with.
Shame to the family that discarded you, they will have to live with this and its not yours to carry any more. Be all you can be to those who choose to love and depend on you, thats what its all about. We can only hope our silly parent/s will come around in time hey?? Much love, Fittika

I am also in the same boat...I confided in my OBGYN about the "angry stepmother" when I was pregnant, she recommended the book Motherless Daughters, and Motherless Daughters Mothering - overall the MD was very understanding and said many of her patients have dealt with similar feelings when pregnant/mothering. Both books helped a tiny bit. Still a very painful situation. I live across the country from my father and stepmother. She doesn't pick up the phone when I call and never calls me back. Rarely when I talk to her, she spews venom in disguise. My dad is totally oblivious or in denial and is very dismissive when confronted about the situation. My stepmother has a sweet side when she is in public or when she needs something - otherwise makes snides remarks under her breath or gives me grief about my parenting style (my daughter is too clingy, used the bottle for too long, oh heavens a pacifier!). We are going to visit them for a week soon, totally dreading the time with them - it is not even enjoyable being around them as I clearly get the nonverbal message from her of "get out of my hair." I was thinking about this today...maybe why so many movies parallel the strange relationship between stepmother and stepdaughter i.e., cinderella, etc.

Believe it or not, but this helps. Seeing that I am not the only one dealing with this. I am a 33 year old (and I have two stepdaughters of my own, whom I couldn't love anymore if they were blood) but my stepmonster of 12 years has no children and is extremly JEALOUS of my relationship with dad. She is hateful and rude (not only to me but other family as well) and does most of it behind my dads back. I like to say she spews venom coated in honey because her hurtful words are always "meant to help" or "because she cares" according to my dad. He just doesn't see, and believe me, I have tried everything. Nothing is worse than grieving over your daddy when he is still alive and well. I'm sick and tired of crying myself to sleep and putting "my family" through this. I have recently started having anxiety attacks (which has NEVER been a problem before) and I just feel so helpless. Thanks for listening.

Me too, when she is home my father strated to hurt me in front of her and then cut all relation with me, she seems very happy me and my father do not speak at all. and she acts like she is very innocent, she never try to make us to talk. Very snaky woman... May God revenge from all those type of women.

This could be my story too. Its devastating.

You could not see him and lose all contact and after a while he will miss you and want to see you, I did his and now me and my dads relationship is very strong

I am appalled. I am a Step-Mother...alienated from my Step-Daughter. I can't believe that Step-Mother's would act this way. Children are precious and children are a package deal with their parents. I appologize to all of you who feel this way from Step-Mothers. I only wish I could be close to my Step-Daughter like we used to be. Before her mother became jealous of me and took her away.

Thanks for your responses. I'm sorry you're going through it too. Maybe we should write a book. Sort of a cross between Mommie Dearest and The Help; Real-life Cinderella's, how a stepmother (or stepfather) alienates their spouse from their children. Anyone want to contribute their story?

Me too

I have the same problem. Dad has been married to step mom for nearly 50 years, she has always had the pants in the family. I live 7 hrs away and when ever I get to Seattle to visit, I get to see him only for lunch, never longer than 1 1/4 hrs. The last trip in June was horrible, I always ask to see him longer but he makes excuses, have to be home for wife, need to get paint from store, etc. Lame excuses. Can only see me the one day. It is so hurtful. I have not hardly spoken to her in the last few years she hates me so much. I just want to be able to see my dad on my yearly or twice yearly visits for a few hours, not asking too much? He has never been there for me and at age 86 know he is not going to change. I am sad. We all had words over the phone yesterday and I feel like I cannot see him anymore, breaks my heart, am depressed. My mom died in 1986 and her and I were very close.

Thanks for listening.

I have the same problem. Dad has been married to step mom for nearly 50 years, she has always had the pants in the family. I live 7 hrs away and when ever I get to Seattle to visit, I get to see him only for lunch, never longer than 1 1/4 hrs. The last trip in June was horrible, I always ask to see him longer but he makes excuses, have to be home for wife, need to get paint from store, etc. Lame excuses. Can only see me the one day. It is so hurtful. I have not hardly spoken to her in the last few years she hates me so much. I just want to be able to see my dad on my yearly or twice yearly visits for a few hours, not asking too much? He has never been there for me and at age 86 know he is not going to change. I am sad. We all had words over the phone yesterday and I feel like I cannot see him anymore, breaks my heart, am depressed. My mom died in 1986 and her and I were very close.

Thanks for listening.

i understand all of your posts my father did the same thing left the house to my stepmother and he childen will get the house my dad worked for all my childhood he raised me and my stepmother and him were married for 10 years...everthing will go to her childen and grandchilden and his will have nothing its a shame he didnt want to secure a futue for his children/grandchilden...she also brainwashed him and turned him against me it was a shame

i understand all of your posts my father did the same thing left the house to my stepmother and he childen will get the house my dad worked for all my childhood he raised me and my stepmother and him were married for 10 years...everthing will go to her childen and grandchilden and his will have nothing its a shame he didnt want to secure a futue for his children/grandchilden...she also brainwashed him and turned him against me it was a shame

Hi do you have a real mother?

Yes, but she passed away almost 10 years ago.

Hi. I can relate to your story so much. I am 13 years old and my stepmom hates mer so much. She is a different nationality which makes it harder. She is mean to me behind my dads back and my dad is blinded by her. She also does horrible things behind HIS back like cusing at him (wisperinf) and sticking the middle finger what should I dooo

hi. your story (i know this is a very late response) sounds so much like mine. just so you know - you are not alone. it really is painful to lose your father to a jealous/insecure/unstable woman. shame on your father for letting it happen. just don't forget to love and nurture yourself. you are the only one that matters here (and your husband and children, of course). hugs and good luck.