17-Year-Old Refuses to Join Mom's 'New, Happy Family'

Gillian Sisley

Should blended households ever be forced on a child?

Divorce is not easy, and it's hard on everyone involved. With that said, it can be especially hard for children to navigate the reality that their parents are no longer together.

With the US Bureau of Census reporting that about 1300 new families are formed every day, blended households are not uncommon, but that doesn't make them an easy situation to adapt to.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a teen refuses to visit his mother's new and happy family following the breakdown of his own.

Should blended households ever be forced on a child?

A Reddit post published on June 20th, reported on by Taylor McCloud from Newsweek, has gone viral with 8,700 upvotes and 1,000 comments.

The author begins his post by explaining that he has been close to his mother his whole life. However, he went from being her 'pride and joy' to feeling like he was being entirely replaced when his mother remarried.

The author adds the context by saying that he was always very close to his mother until he was 9 years old, and his mom had an affair and moved in with another man. This new man ultimately became the author's stepfather.

The teen states that he tried his best to make the situation work, but he felt he was being replaced at every turn. He adds that his stepfather's ex-wife wanted nothing to do with her children, so his mother became the maternal figure and started acting more like a mother to the stepchildren than to the author himself.

An example he uses is that his mother would go to great lengths to celebrate the birthdays of her stepchildren and coordinate things, while she would only attend as a guest to the author's birthdays. He states that she wouldn't try anything beyond the ‘bare minimum’ of keeping contact with him.

Favoritism among children causes deep emotional scars.

The author states that in recent years his mother has tried to keep their relationship intact, but the scars of her abandonment are already there, and he doesn't feel comfortable spending time in her new home with her husband and stepchildren.

He indicates that his mental health suffers greatly because he sees them being so happy together, only to realize that his mom's husband destroyed his own home and family, and hurt his father deeply.

The author ultimately ended up telling his mother that he couldn't spend time at her house anymore because it was too hard for him. He also added that as long as she is in this current family situation, he can't have a relationship with her.

The mother told her son that she never meant to make him feel like he'd been put aside or was less important, but the author made it clear that what was done was done, and he’d made his choice for his mental health.

What do you think? Is the author entirely justified to step away from his mother's affair family because his mental health suffers too much? Or should the author be more compassionate to his mother, even though she had an affair and blew up his entire home life close to a decade ago?

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