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Name: Bethan Rhodes
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Unhappy Step mum help - July 25th 2012, 05:54 PM

Hi basically I'm having trouble with my step mum and my dad. She apparently suffers from depression and they have been together for five years. I moved out a year ago with my dad promising to contact me every day and arrange frequent meetings. I haven't seen him for fourty days now which is the longest I havent seen him. Over the years his wife has pushed all his friends away and most of his family including the relationship he had with my mum which was a good friendship. She doesn't like me spending time with him and once she had a strop because he helped me with my homework. Other times it could be simple things like when I was cleaning my room and I pulled out the bed to Hoover round the back she had a go my dad stuck up for me and she left the house for an hour taking her son with her. She never ever says happy birthday to me or my sister and she's making our relationship with our dad worse. I'm sorry for the really long paragraph but I really need help. This may not seem like she bad but she is this is just some of the problems I have had with her and it's making my life hell so please help me :L
   
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Re: Step mum help - July 25th 2012, 07:42 PM

Hello, Bethan. Welcome to TeenHelp! =)

I can relate to this story on many levels, because I went through something similar a few years ago. My father used to be married to a different woman (my first stepmother), and she was insanely jealous of our close father/daughter relationship. She also suffered from bipolar disorder, which further complicated things. When I left home to attend college (about 45 minutes away), she thought my father and I would stop hanging out, and that he would stop supporting me financially. Well, I still visited him twice a month, and he would visit me from time to time so we could have lunch together. He feared her wrath, so he would throw away the receipts and lie about us spending time together.

Here's what I learned while dealing with all of that, and perhaps it will help you as well. I realized that my father was MISERABLE with this woman. It wasn't just when I hung out with him - it was all the time, due to her mental illness. He was constantly walking on eggshells around her. Once I realized that, I started emphasizing how glad I was to see him or get a phone call from him. I didn't say this more than once per conversation, because I didn't want to make him feel bad/guilty for not contacting me more often... but I did make a point of expressing how glad I was to spend time with him. I also made sure each visit and phone call was pleasant. I wanted him to have a "break" from all the insanity at home. With time, this encouraged him to see and speak to me more and more often. Nothing really changed at home, but he felt "safe" and enjoyed his time with me, so as a result, we ended up spending more time together.

Your father may not be able to call you every day - not just because of his wife, but because of work, chores/errands, being tired, etc. Unfortunately, that's just a part of life. What you CAN do is make each moment count, and reach out to him from time to time. If possible, call him or visit him yourself. Keep showing him how much you appreciate his company, and if too much time has passed (a week, for example), give him a call and see how he's doing, inviting him to spend time with you (or offering to meet him somewhere). You can't control her, but you can show some initiative and take control over what you do with your father.






   
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