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June 22, 2022

Question from a stepmum: It just seems my husband becomes this man that I don’t know when his son visits. HELP PLEASE.......


My partner and I have a very strong and loving relationship. We spend a lot of time together and rarely argue. When his 11-year-old son comes to stay on his contact weekend my husband seems to change into this different guy. He sometimes doesn’t even notice that I am there and everything we do is centred around his son. If I suggest going out, he will normally say that he will ask his son and see what he says. If we are cooking a meal, it’s usually what his son wants, and I don’t even get asked. It makes me feel invisible and quite stressed at how I am being treated. His son is polite and has excellent manners. It just seems my husband becomes this man that I don’t know. HELP PLEASE.......




I’m sorry to hear that you feel invisible in your own home. The change in your partner when your stepson comes to visit could be down to parent guilt. Parents often feel guilty because of the biological parents splitting up. They can tend to overcompensate to make up for the parent’s separation.


The fact that you and your partner are very close and have such a strong relationship is wonderful. He may not even be aware that he is doing this or that it’s causing you to feel like you do. I think you should sit down with your partner and explain to him your feelings. 


Make your partner aware that there are 3 people in the house when his son comes to stay and you’re his step mum who needs to be involved and recognised as a parent. He may well be horrified to learn how his actions make you feel and just to include you in making decisions when his son stays and discussing going out or what to eat could help you all as a family unit.


Maybe you could get more involved in discussing with your stepson about where you would all like to go out or maybe a board game you all want to play. So, you become the step mum in your home and not be made to feel like you are just part of the furniture until your stepson goes home and your partner returns to you. I hope this helps and I wish you and your family well for the future.