Re: Divorce... What about losing your stepchild?
Thanks SO MUCH for your responses!!! I knew I was not the only person in the world experiencing the loss of a stepchild that is, in short, as much your own child as any by blood when I posted this thread in February. Here is an update...
My husband and I are amid mediation. He is agreeing to put in the mediation document his wishes that I continue a relationship with my stepson; his mother, over these past few difficult months has also become an advocate for me and expresses her absolute desire for me to continue a relationship with him. All very positive in the long run. HOWEVER, regardless of intention by my husband, and what is "wished for" in our divorce agreement, there still will be no legal binding obligation on the part of my husband or his ex-wife to follow through with arranging actual visitation. Additionally, I will be moving nearly 3 hours away, which makes visitations more challenging. I'm hoping for a couple of weekend days/nights a month with frequent phone calls, skypes, text messages, etc. But part of this will depend on my stepson's needs -- he is nearly 13 and, like all teens, will start wanting less and less time with his parents altogether. I know this reality but hope that he will still want his time with me sometimes.
My stbx and I are still living together and getting through house renovations to sell our home, while going through mediation. My stepson is with us 50% of the time and has been having a very rough time with the news of the divorce since he was told about 8 weeks ago. He spent the first 2-3 weeks in absolute denial, insisting it would't happen. He filled with depression and anxiety, with frequent anger and crying bouts as he tries in desperation to "fix" things and keep our family together. He's angry with his father for wanting this divorce and for "breaking up our family. My stepson is aware of my pain, that this request for divorce was sudden, unexpected and completely unwanted by me.
But, as my stepson is UNAWARE, it has been revealed recently that my high-40's husband has been having an long-distance emotional affair with a foreign work colleague -- age 22 -- for over a year now (with several foreign "business trips" worked into the lies and mess). He claims to be madly in love with her as she's his "soul mate" and is planning on moving her up to the US as early as fall once I'm out of the house. My stepson is aware of the girl's presence as someone his father "claims" to be only a friend, but does not believe his father. He thinks his father has been cheating on me (BINGO!) but has no proof with which to be certain. He HATES this woman because of his suspicions -- especially as his father chose to take a several vacation to her city/country only 3 weeks after breaking our news of divorce to my stepson. My stepson is not a dumb teen -- he's smart beyond his years and he SMELLS A RAT. I have not let on to any of the information that I know as I don't want to drive a wedge further between him and his father. But his father is doing this all on his own with his poor choices. And, sadly, when/if he tries to move this woman up to live with him and my stepson, just months after I've been forced out of my stepson's life, my stbx will have more than a war on his hands with his son.
My stepson is HEARTBROKEN over this divorce (his second in his short life) and there's nothing I can do to protect him or ease his pain but just continue to be here for him. Several times he has told his father, his mother and his therapist that he wishes his mom and I could share custody -- that he doesn't want to be with his father because he doesn't trust or respect him, thinks he's selfish and a liar, and thinks he's breaking up our family. I know this is anger talking, but he's in so much pain and it's devastating to watch. I hope for the best, but know that more pain is coming his way if his father continues his selfish ways.... I will do whatever I can to keep him in my life, to continue to be his stepmom, divorce or not.
I hope the best for all of you going through similar situations with stepchildren. It is a topic often overlooked during divorce as society still holds to the old ideas of step parents being "less than" important as the blood parents. But in many cases, that's certainly absolutely false -- especially as far as the child is concerned. Laws need to be changed and more support needs to be shown for step parents going through divorce. As someone else mentioned here, even some of my friends don't "get it". They say, "He's not your son -- not your problem anymore" as they are angry with my stbx. I have to stand my ground and say "He IS MY SON and I will NOT let him down." But still I see the negative head shakes, the shoulder shrugs and the rolled eyes. It really makes this divorce process even harder to deal with...
Last edited by Hopeful1; 06-25-2011 at 03:04 PM.