Woman Slammed for Bitterly Resenting Stepson Whose 'Existence Is a Burden'

A stepmom has shocked online after confessing to "resenting" her young stepson, whose father she shares another baby with.

"I kind of hate myself for it," she admitted in the post shared to popular forum Mumsnet. The stepmom explained that she's been with her husband for three years now and they have a 9-month-old baby together. Her husband has a 5-year-old son from his previous marriage, which was divorcing when the new couple began their relationship.

"I just don't love him," she confessed about her stepson. "I couldn't care less if I never saw him again. When he's with us I do my best by him, take him out to nice places, help him get dressed, cook him healthy meals. But in all of that I just feel like a caretaker, like someone working in a school might."

The stepmom explained that she feels protective of her biological son and "hyper sensitive" to how her husband treats him compared to her stepson, feeling he makes less effort with his youngest.

"I find my stepson to be precocious and spoiled, a lot of which is my mother-in-law's doing. His own mother has said she finds him to be like this and we're all trying to counteract it, us and her and her new husband. He doesn't even seem happy to see anyone and usually asks if they've got him anything," she wrote.

Young boy crying
Stock image of a young boy crying. A stepmom has confessed online to "resenting" her young stepson. Getty Images

"I resent the fact that we pay through the nose for his maintenance when we're struggling for money in a house that is too small for the size of our family and they're off on weekends away twice a month because the system doesn't take into account what the mother or new husband earn."

"I just feel like his whole existence is a burden," she concluded. "And I don't need to ask if this makes me a monster, I know it does. But I have no idea what to do to make it feel better?"

Research has suggested that in stepfamily dynamics, stepmothers have more conflicted relationships with their stepchildren than mothers in stepfather families, along with stepmothers being less romantically happy than stepfathers.

For other researchers however, the real effect can be on the child, with Hetherington, Bridges and Insabella's 1998 work finding that children in stepfamilies are at a higher risk of experiencing adjustment problems.

The mistreatment of stepchildren in comparison to one's genetic children by a stepparent is a phenomenon labeled the "Cinderella effect" and was coined by psychology professor Martin Daly in the 70s, named after the classic fairy tale.

This stepmom's confession, although certainly not the first to feel this way, shocked respondents online but subsequently received praise for her honesty and call for help.

"This is like evil stepmother bingo," wrote one user. "Just stop and breathe and accept that you chose to marry a father and he is being a good father by paying what he owes, and that your step-son's mother is parenting in her way.

"None of this is your business. You do you."

Another user expressed similar sentiments, writing: "You are having irrational thoughts and should go and see your GP [general practitioner or doctor] for your anxiety.

"You met your husband after he had his son. Due to that I have little empathy towards you, you knew he would have to pay maintenance and the boy would be in your life regularly.

older and younger brother
Stock image of an older and younger brother. Getty Images

"Your stepson is your son's biological brother. I wonder how your son will feel years down the line knowing you resented his brother so much? Life is life. Try to enjoy your son and your stepson, he is only five and you could have an amazing relationship with him if you wanted."

Some however were left with respect for the stepmom's acknowledgement that her feelings are not called for, and requesting advice on how to better them.

"You're not a monster, you're just fiercely protective of your own, which is how nature makes us," wrote one user. "Maybe you could talk to his mom to see if she's got any bright ideas?"

"She is being honest about how she is feeling and is looking for a way to fix the situation, cut her some slack," defended another user. "Maybe some family counselling would help?"

"It sounds like the traumatic start to your relationship has clouded your judgment but you are still there caring for this little boy regardless of your feelings and you are trying to find a way to make it better which to me sounds like a promising start."

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