It is a given that there are very different relationships in a blended family and especially in one where the step-parent joined the unit after most of the children were adults. But I can't help but wonder where the husband is and what he could be doing to foster a better relationship between his children and his spouse. Maybe he could ask for their assistance (still doing most of the work) in remembering his wife on her birthday or Christmas. (I would not suggest he start with Mother
My own adult children are busy with their own families, and barely remember my birthday etc. One daughter whips them into b-day and holiday observance and there is about half participation. It used to really hurt, but I realized they are busy establishing their lives and moving on! I try to be cheerful and loving and expect that it's one of those "seasons of life' things. I try to make my life meaningful, do things I enjoy. I remember their b-days and reach out now and then. My own mother got resentful about the lack of attentiveness from her children and the different relationships we had with each other. Her attitude made her less pleasant to be around, and even difficult to be around. We do not live a culture that demands family devotion. Even so, demands for closeness make people run the other way. Families are a challenge, it's not just step families. We live in a society that does not value the older generation and family ties. Doesn't help much though, does it? when you yearn for the closeness.
When my mother died of cancer and my father remarried it was very difficult for me. You need to remember the fact that your husband's children have a loyalty to their mother and may feel unable to extend themselves to you in the way that you desire. I think some of your expectations are unrealistic. You may also feel a lessening of resentment by not giving so much. Try filling the void you feel by enjoying your other relationships.
I married my wife, a widow with three children at the time, so I know how you feel. It can be very difficult, but it can also be a growing experience, one that teaches me patience and to pray often for proper guidance.
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