Top Stepfather Complaints

What do most stepfathers complain about? What kind of complaints do they hear from their partners? Here are two lists, so you know you're not alone. Read 'em and weep. How many match your own complaints? (How many give you insight into what your partner may be feeling?)

Top Stepfather Complaints

  1. Nobody appreciates or respects me for how much work I do for this family. She expects me to help financially, and then I get no credit. I'm just a third wheel.
  2. All our decisions about money and vacations have to be cleared with her ex. I want to be head of my own household.
  3. I feel lumped in with the kids as something she's taking care of. Where's the romance? When the kids are around, I feel like I have to compete with them for a little attention.
  4. The tension when the kids are here is so thick you can cut it with a knife.
  5. There's no privacy around here.
  6. She relies on me to discipline the kids and then gets angry at me for being too harsh on them.
  7. Her ex is never around anymore, and I'm expected to do the parenting without being the dad.
  8. When the kids are here, I'm neglected; when the kids are away, I have to comfort her because she misses them so much. When do we just get to be a couple?
  9. I'd like a kid of my own, but she wants me to be satisfied with hers.
  10. She interferes too much with my relationship with the kids; she wants to be in on everything. We need to solve our disagreements ourselves sometimes, and she's always stepping in the middle.

Top Stepmother Complaints

Top Biomother Complaints

  1. He's too harsh on my kids. They're not perfect—they're kids!
  2. He wants me to himself and resents the time and energy I put into my kids.
  3. He wants to take over. I did just fine when I was by myself.
  4. When life is fun, he's in the middle, having fun too. When things get tough, he withdraws, leaving me with all the issues to deal with.
  5. He's jealous when I negotiate with my Ex. I have to! He thinks we're out having sex. He doesn't understand how hard these meetings are.
  6. He wants the kids to love him like their own father. He shouldn't push so hard.
  7. I know he misses his own kids, but he takes it out on mine by not paying attention to them.
  8. He wants us to have a kid of our own. I'm not sure I want to start all over again.
  9. He's so competitive with my son, and I worry about him with my daughter. Not that I think he'd do anything sexual (he would never cross the line) but I sense this intense attraction/repulsion between them, and I'm not comfortable with it.
  10. I feel like this is the United Nations and I'm the simultaneous translator.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting © 1998 by Ericka Lutz. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit the Idiot's Guide web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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