Stepmother moves on and forgets about us after fathers death - FamilyEducation
Stepmother moves on and forgets about us after fathers death
01/02/2010 at 10:14 AM

In 1984 my father left his wife and four kids, and one of his daughters was pregnant at 16. It was a nasty divorce and he married the woman who was 12 years younger than him. In that year I graduated highschool, my sister had her baby, we had to sell our home and my sister married her baby's father and less than a year after my dad left he re-married and bought a home with his new wife and her father lived with them. It was rough in the beginning however we managed over the years to develop and have a good family with both my parents and step parents spending every holiday, birtday etc...together with us kids. I was very close with my stepmom over the years and she had a good relationship with my siblings. My mom and my stepmom talked daily. Then my dad became sick in 2007 and things slowly started to change. My stepmom made all the decisions related to his care etc. Us kids were there everyday at the hospital for 6 weeks and then at their home for months while we watched him slowly dying. She began to shut us out..and then when he passed it got worse. We continued to include her in family gatherings however she never came...she started seeing an old flame like 2 months after my dad died and it bothered us but we knew she needed someone and he was familiar so we tried to be understanding. Anyway that relationship didn't go where she wanted it to. She started seeing some man who lived an hour away back in February and then in June she put her house up for sale and moved in with this man. The problem is throughout the past two years she has had no consideration as to how we feel. My father and her set everything up so if he passed it went to her and if she passed it went to him and then when either of them passed it passed to us children. He set it up so she wouldn't have to sell the home and she would be able to stay living there. Well she liquidated everything and moved on. We didn't expect her to hand us any money..the only thing that was expected was that my fathers tools go to my brother because that is what my dad wanted and she knew that and there wasn't a problem until she decided to move with this man. Now my brother wants nothing to do with her and she acts like we are being materialistic over the tools. She sold alot of things because she said she couldn't afford to give them away and she couldn't sell them to us. It was her nephews who helped her go through the house not her husbands children. We are suffering her us four kids because we had what we thought was a great family and after my dad died it was like it was all in vain. We swallowed alot over the years and we always treated her with repect and we thought we her family. Now she has been calling and emailing me upset that the other kids don't bother with her and I don't understand what she wants from them. She discounted our importance in her life and our grieving. All she talked about was it was her stuff to do with what she wanted...she knows what was suppose to be. She admitted she was wrong in the way she handled things and now expects us to just get over it. It actually feels like the divorce all over again and has dug up alot of the same emotions. We expected her to embrace us after dads death not push us away. She has no children of her own.

I had a friend who went through a similar process, though her dad had been widowed, not divorced. Her dad remarried, and then when he died his wife arranged to have the body cremated, put off having any services for about a month, and sold the father's rifles, which had been verbally designated as the son's legacy, nothing in writing. I don't know if your step-mother changed toward you, or if she was always just being civil enough to get by. It seems fairly common for some to appropriate other people's possessions, and then accuse those people of being materialistic when they are upset.

Thank you for replying. My brother is struggling because my stepmother was suppose to give him my fathers tools and when she decided to move in with a man and sell the house she treated my brother like a theif because he wanted the tools my father told him he was to take. My stepmom gave him a few tools and took the rest with her...she acts like because she followed some of my dads wishes we are being materialistic. She sent my brother a letter apologizing and said that if something happens to her...her new man knows the tools are to go to my brother. I told her he has no loyalty to us, he doesn't even know us. Why should we expect him to give my brother the tools that belonged to my father. She thinks because she apologized in a letter all should be forgiven. I think a mataerialistic person is someone who doesn't aknowledge their spouses children as having any right to heir...she thinks because she was his wife she is superior to us and unfortunately the law allows it in Pennsylvania. My father trusted her to do the right he did for her...and she in my opinion made an ass out of her deceased husband and his children. We were his children our whole lives...she was his wife for 22 yrs as she stated. It is like we are reliving a divorce all over again. I wish parents would realize that their new spouses have no loyalty to their children when they pass away...don't expect them to look out for your children cause after you are gone all they think about is themselves and their entitlement.

Very sorry about your father's passing and you having to go through this. Unfortunately it is not only stepparents who behave this way. Before my father passed away he and my mother made out wills for my younger sister to inherit our family home with the understanding that she will pass the house and property on to my children as she never has had any of her own. 6 months later my sister informed me not to tell my mother but that when my mother passes, my sister is going to sell the house and buy a condo and "enjoy her life". My sister already has plenty of money as she has lived there all her life for free with my parents buying her cars and paying all the bills. She also plans to give everything to charity so she will not have to "play favorites" in dividing the contents of the house that she does not want. This is so hurtful to me and my children and my sister does not care, saying she has to look out for herself and her happiness.

Sounds kind of familiar in that my father left my mom twenty some years ago and married my stopmom...we had to sell our home and then a year later they bought their home. We struggled for years. My stepmom didn't work and didn't have any father uprooted our lives and took care of his new wife who never had to worry about anything. What gets me is he made sure she would be taken care of after his death with the intention she would then take care of us when she passed...not gonna happen. She also had no one to ever worry about but herself and made us all beleive she cared about us. I feel bad for you and your situation...sounds like she free loaded and is going to reap the harvest for herself at the expense of you and your children...Shame on her.