Being a step-parent isn't the easiest task.
You never know how your step-children may react to having you in your life. Sometimes your step-children may take to you well while other times, you'll be that adult in their life.
Ideally, you'd be okay with whatever the children wanted, but that's easier said than done.
In a popular Reddit thread in the Am I the A**hole Subreddit, a teen asks if she was wrong for being brutally honest with her step-mom.
My dad is married to Jani. They've been together for a little over six years and married for about four now. Dad was a widower when they met. I'm 16f, and my siblings are 14f and 12m.
Our mom died eight years ago. Jani has not adjusted well to being a stepparent. She thought she would be a parent to us because our mom had died and didn't consider that we'd still talk about and have photos of her.
Over the years, she has been to therapy, and she and my dad have gone to couples sessions. In the last year, the five of us have gone to family therapy, and she has admitted it's hard for her because she feels like she's second best or consolation to us and that we don't love and want her. Dad assured her that *we* all love her just as much as mom, that she's his number one and is vital to our family.
Then, in sessions, she and the therapist would talk about how she feels like she's not a true family member, like a second-class member, not someone we see as important in the family structure.
She said she never felt love from any of us, and she feels like even extended family, which she explicitly said was grandparents and any aunts and uncles, come before her when it comes to us kids.
She said she sees it in so many things, including the way we don't regard her parents as our grandparents or her two sisters as our aunts and how when I turned 16, and we did a nice dinner party, my guest list included both my mom and dad's sides of the family but not her side.
My sister was the first to speak during all this, and she said nothing was ever done to make her feel bad. She doesn't think of her as her mom or parent. Once that was said, she talked about how much that makes her feel bad and like she's not truly accepted. The therapist asked us to consider whether we'd be willing to deepen the relationship.
Hence, she felt equally as loved and important as our dad, and dad wanted us to consider ditching our typical Christmas dynamic and spending time with her parents exclusively this year. Then three weeks ago, she brought up that I had made something for class that went into details about my family, and she pointed out that she and her family were not mentioned.
Then she asked me why my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins were mentioned on both sides, all with their own pages, but I couldn't make room for the most important woman in my life (her). I told her that she was not my life's most important woman. I told her that would always be my mom, followed by my grandma.
She asked if she was just second best and then if she was unimportant, and I refused to answer. Afterward, my dad and Jani told me that I was cruel to say she wasn't the most important woman in my life when she was there every day and had done her best.
People were not hesitant to cast their judgments.
NTA (Not the A**hole) - I think stepmom needs a different therapist because it doesn't seem like she's getting a lot out of this one. Your feelings about this are valid, and dad is wrong for trying to force you to deepen the relationship when it sounds like the stepmom is burning bridges and looking for a 'ready-made family' of her own.
NTA. I think it’s time to get blunt and tell the group that you think perhaps individual therapy for Jani so she can work on exactly why she needs you all to pledge your undying love and devotion so badly would be a better idea than this.
NTA. You were honest, but you weren't nasty. Group therapy is a great place to work out your family issues, and I commend your family for participating. Still, these therapy sessions will only work if everyone is truthful. Your father and stepmother should thank you for your honesty so you can all work on a solution together to help your stepmom feel more included.