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I'm grieving for my old life

Community Member

Hi, today I've finally hit rock bottom.

in 2015 my partners wife died. I say wife because they were still legally married despite separating ten years earlier.

5 years of knowing her I got to know her and liked her very much.

We now care for their two kids. I'm sad that I dislike one of them. Sad that my former life is finished, sad that I resent their child and guilty at feeling this way.

I have lost my sex drive. don't want to come home some days and angry that I feel trapped. My partner misses me but I'm no longer the same.

We used do do things as a couple. Spend time on trips. I just see 5 years of tantrums and chaos and I can't breathe. He's given me every opportunity to go but I don't want to abandon him.

I recently lost my Dad and it's as though my grief doesn't count. He was old after all.

How do I find balance and peace again?

3 Replies 3

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi EJ, welcome.

I've been in two relationships whereby l was a step parent or both of us were. I came away with a few theories.

Firstly to be a step parent one needs to be if a nurturing personality.

To be the parent one needs to be sympathetic to how difficult it is to parent a child not their own.

And then there is the child. The child might embrace the step parent or fight them. Its an unknown until it happens. For these reasons feeling guilty isnt justified. You can do your best and not come close to making it all work out.

The result is often a big upset. It certainly deserves professional guidence and organisations like Relationships Australia is a good start.

Grief counseling is a good idea since it hasnt been long since you lost your dad.

I think you need space, to clear your head and seek guidence. If this means moving out, so be it. Staying wont improve things at all.

Remember though your partner has been in a difficult podition, the meat in the sandwich. Its also not a great position to be in.

Both of you might say things that hurt. Thats what counseling will address.

Sorry about your dad.

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello EJ, it seems to be quite unusual that after 10 years of being separated that they didn't get a divorce, because a lot can happen in that time, so they would always be growing apart and the possibility of them getting back together doesn't seem possible, unless they didn't want to divorce for the kids sake, which I don't know how old they are.
You are being held down by the fact that one of their children doesn't get on with you, and I'm sure that you would have tried your very best, however some kids automatically dislike their step-parent, even though you aren't married, but to them if you live in the same house then that's how they see it.
Now you are grieving for your partner's wife who has passed away, feeling guilty that you live with her husband and children and 'feel out of sorts', that's why for the last 5 years you haven't been the same, with the loss of your libido and having tantrums and he has asked you to leave.
Firstly you need to have a break away from this situation, as much as you probably don't want to, but you are not going to get better staying there, and then you need to contact your doctor.
I do have a feeling that your partner wants you to go so that he can then enjoy himself again, which is distressing for you if this is the case, but one way to find out is by going away for a short period so that you can find out.
Sorry it's a bit harsh when I say this and I'm sorry if I have upset you. Geoff.

Community Member

Hi Ej

I am so sorry that you are in the place you are in. I understand.

My ex husband and I took on his son when it became to difficult for his mum. I had him for 9 years from 5 to 14. It was so hard. He was ADD and difficult and demanded alot of my time. I have a daughter 3 months younger and we have a son together 3 years younger. I guess in a way I resented the boy because he took so much of my time and emotional energy. Feel like my kids missed out i guess. When his dad and I split he moved back to his mums and did ok. I missed him terribly and know a part of me died. He was my son. And I truly loved him.

I gave all his photos and school stuff to his dad a few years ago.

Alot of our dramas and eventually us splitting was partly because of the stress of raising him.

Two years ago the boy died. He was 25. I never got recognition for the part I played in his life and that kills me. I take back all the things I felt then and remembered he was a child and they dont always say and do what they mean. Sometimes kids are so lost and dont understand how that makes the parent/stepparent feel. When a child loses thier mum in other ways than death it is a hard thing but with death its so final. Maybe counselling to work out how yous can survive and thrive. Maybe the kid feels like they cant get close incase you die or leave. The mind works in weird ways.

I hope you work this out. Hearts are with you 🙂