Stepfamily Life Isn’t Fair! Shake Resentment and Find the Happiness You Deserve By Mary T. Kelly, MA
You think about it in the car, in the shower and in your office. You think about it whether you’re in the kitchen, in bed or working out. You even think about it as you meditate. Or, try to meditate. You think about it in your sleep.
No matter where you are, no matter what time of day it is, good mood or bad … thoughts of resentment seep in. They’re often uninvited and unwanted. Without even being aware of it, you ruminate over and over about how many things are unfair in your life.
This is especially true when it comes to your role as a stepmom—as someone who is partnered to a person who already has kids. “It’s not fair!” may be an ongoing, internal refrain. Despite how much you try to shake them from your head, those irritating and intrusive thoughts persist.
Is what (or who) you’re resentful of …
⊲ Your sense of loneliness?
⊲ Your partner, his ex, his kids?
⊲ His permissive parenting style?
⊲ His inability to understand you?
⊲ Their collective lack of boundaries?
⊲ Judgment from others and a loss of privacy?
Perhaps you resent your own resentment. (Yes, it’s entirely possible to feel this way.) Or yourself, as in your seeming inability to shake these toxic feelings and move on—without taking any of it personally or feeling like a failure when they affect your thoughts, your couple’s relationship and your self-worth. The list could go on and on.
Yet, we all know that resentment sucks. It makes you feel angry and out of control. When you complain to others, they may reflect back words of encouragement meant to simply rid you of the bitterness. Platitudes abound to remind you to what extent resentment is ruining your day or life.
You may respond to them, “Yes, that is so true! I’m only hurting myself with all of this resentment, anger and frustration. I must change this!” But 10 minutes later your thoughts go back to how there are so many things about stepfamily life that you just can’t stand.