I would like to share my situation and use some advice. Second marriage for wife and I and both have a kid each from our first marriages. I have never been able to have any feelings for my step son. He does not have a father in his life. My son has a Mother (my ex) . All this has impacted my relationship with my wife. I love my son and it clearly shows on day day activities. I just can’t fake it. Love my wife a lot. It is not about money but emotions that I don’t have 4 my step son. Any advice?

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Why on earth did you marry a woman with full custody of a child you didn’t think you could love? That’s just selfish. Kid comes first. Man up and be a dad, that’s what you signed up for. There is no option if not being his dad. You should have known that and not married mom if you couldn’t do the job. Now that you have you really have to get it together. See a therapist if need be, or just fake it so hard that the kid has no idea you aren’t 💯 in it to be there for him. This literally should be your top priority in life.

likesmarthelpful

I sympathize with you, OP. I know exactly how are feeling because I’ve been in your shoes before. It sucks. The feeling of loneliness, like you don’t matter, that nothing you do is good enough & your efforts are wasted, etc. It’s not healthy or sustainable. It sows sows of jealousy and a slow-growing feeling of resentment. Balance is important. What’s tough about this kind of situation is that its resolution is out of your control and falls on another person. People are very difficult to change. Have you considered couples marriage counseling / therapy? It’s not something to be ashamed of. Perhaps a neutral third party could help your wife understand more of where you’re coming from, and vice versa even on other topics in your relationship. An open dialogue is the most important first step, and if she’s not understanding you on your own, then it will likely stay that way unless the approach changes

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Intent and effort to connect will lead to creating a connection. If you care about your wife, you should work on building a relationship with the son. Even small activities, "fake it till you make it", is better than nothing. Is he friends with your son? What are ages? If you can, try eating family meals together. Go around and say your favorite part of the day. Once or more a week, try asking a follow up question on his response so you intentionally get to know him better. Read a book each night at bedtime to the kids, let them each have a turn picking each one. You're a full family now that you married this woman; and you should treat your new son like it :)

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Ages of your son and step son?

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Agree that we need that info. If the kid is under 8 then, yep, it’s a full time job. Up early, feeding them, helping with school these days, lunch, finding things to keep them busy, dinner, supervising bath and bedtime...easily a 6am-8pm day. I’m not sure what OP wants her to do? Send him to grandparents one afternoon? That’s reasonable if they are healthy. Sit him in front of the tv and only talk to OP? You live I. A house with a young kid, then, yeah, everything’s kind of revolves around the kid for a few years. Maybe try doing the laundry or meal prep while she puts him to bed so she. An relax after (with you). Or you put him to bed. If the kid is older and she still flying on him all day and ignoring you, then maybe she married you for the stabilizer and doesn’t really like you? That’s the only reason I’d marry someone who didn’t actively want to parent my kid- if I had to for stability.

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I think you can still be a responsible father figure to him to look up to. Even you don’t love him from deep down and can’t raise him with your heart, you can raise him with your mind. A lot of biological dads miss both and mess up with their kids. I do believe if you at least have a mindset of raising him properly, it won’t end up bad. Maybe you don’t love him as a son, but maybe someday you’ll be friends.

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You can be a good dad without having lovely dovey feelings for your stepson. You don’t “love” your coworkers, yet I bet you’ve established some good relationships with some of them, right? You mentioned above that part of the issue is that your wife spends a lot of time with your stepson, so it’s difficult for you. Can you all find time together? Can you join in at various points? Meal times are the easy one, just ask your step son about his day, how he’s feeling, etc. Use your child as a guide - ask your biological child first, then after he is done speaking, ask your stepson the same questions. If you don’t know his interests that , ask what he enjoys so you do know. You don’t need to spend 18 hours a day (my god, too much!) to have a good relationship. Just start showing you care, and those feelings of connection will come in time.

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Q: there are 24 hrs in a day and wife spends 18 of them with her son? 6 hours of sleep a night or less? How is this even working, how old is the son?

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Maybe 18 hrs is a little much for your wife to devote to her son, but can you blame her? You admitted you have no feelings for him and his father is not in the picture. Does he at least have good grandparents from you or your wife’s side? I don’t have any kids, but as someone who didn’t have their biological dad in the picture, I was loved by a stepdad like I was his own. So I’d encourage you to please look into getting any help you may need. Also try and work on developing a greater bond with the kid. Hoping for the best for your family, OP.

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I am trying and I know I am taking to strangers here but getting some motivation to do more than I have been trying to. Thank you all the commented positively.

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I grew up with a step dad and a half brother that was his biological son. My step dad and brother have always had a muchh better connection with mutual interests that I never shared. However, my step dad took responsibility over raising me as his own and supporting me where it mattered even if we are so different. I think over time you can love your stepson without having the same connection you have with your biological son if you’re willing to accept and support him and it’s okay that you don’t have the same connection as with your biological son.

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Its good that you’re trying! People on this app can be so judgmental when we don’t know the whole story, so don’t let them get to you!

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You and your wife should see a therapist who specializes in family relationships. It doesn’t sound healthy for your wife to spend 18 hours a day with her son - did this happen before Covid? Maybe her son doesn’t want to be home alone with your son? A neutral therapist can point things out that might not be received well if you say it directly, or might have insights neither of you have thought of.

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I think what may be happening is that while you be able to fill a void he has, you don’t have a void that needs to be filled by him. Subconsciously or not, that may be why you don’t feel the need to want to connect with him. I read a quote today that went something along the lines that the child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel the warmth. And that seems to be happening here because you said it’s impacting your relationship with your wife. If you want to make things better with your wife, I’d suggest your figure out how to make a relationship with your stepson. Keep in mind that the relationship doesn’t need to be the same as the one with your own son.

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