Step-parent quesiton


#1

I'll get to the point.

My mom's been married to my Step-dad for about 7 years and my dad has been with his girlfriend about the same amount of time.
Is it wrong of me that never in all that time have I said "I love you" to either of them? I mean I show that I care about them and don't hate either of them despite their flaws.

Worst thing is I think I may have said "Love you" to my step-grandmother so I don't know what to think. I just overheard my dad's gf mention it (she has depression and has been off her meds for about a week due to shipping error)

Also the main reason it seems upon thinking of it, is that I feel uncomfortable saying it.


#2

I think that it would be wrong to tell them you love them if you don't actually love them. If you think it may be disturbing them, then I would recommend maybe just sitting down with them and explaining to them why you can't say it. I'm sure they'd understand :)

God bless!


#3

It's good to be aware of their feelings, but I don't think you should force yourself to say "I love you" to them. There are many other ways that you can show someone that you care for them or say appreciative comments that let them know you care about them.

As for the slip with grandma, just be yourself. If you want to say it, say it. As long as you aren't maliciously saying it to make your dad's girlfriend angry or some weird things like that, there is nothing wrong with saying how you feel exactly.

Remember, being nice is not a virtue.


#4

You didn't pick your stepdad or your dad's girlfriend. Just because your parents are in love with their new significant others doesn't mean you have to be. Relationships take time to build. Maybe you need 7 more years? Or 17? But I agree that saying words you don't mean is pointless.


#5

I think that it would be wrong to tell them you love them if you don’t actually love them.

Well that is the problem, hearing it out loud “I don’t actually love them” doesn’t feel true because I do care about them both. For my step-dad I guess its more of a Masculine issue of telling another man you love them outside biological parents; plus I doubt it bothers him all that much.

But I just don’t know why I’ve never said anything to my dad’s gf. We’ve done a lot together in all that time and I even hug her good night from time to time, I show the actions yet never have said the actual words. Even now feeling guilty about it I still have trouble just saying it.


#6

You never have to say "I love you." We are only called to love, not to call attention to it.

In this case, I would actually advise against saying "I love you." Of course you care about your parents and their new pseudo-spouses, and you show your love in all sorts of ways. Perhaps, since your parents' new "significant others" are acting as your new parents, they expect the sort of verbal statements of filial devotion (like, "I love you") that most parents expect.

But their new "significant others" are not your parents. They are, indeed, people who are living in sin with your parents, and -- not to be rude to anyone in your family, as I'm sure they are all very nice people -- they have exposed themselves and your parents to a very serious risk of permanently separating themselves from God's love through a kind of marital selfishness. They do not deserve, and can never earn, the particular kind of love you owe to your parents. If you choose to say that you love them, that's perfectly okay, and, because you are a good Christian, it is no doubt true. But you are under no moral obligation whatsoever to say anything of the kind, especially if it would encourage them to think that what they're doing is a-okay with you or with God.

I really hope that doesn't sound too harsh. I hate to be the guy throwing hellfire around the thread... but your obligations to your father's girlfriend and mother's new "husband" begin and end with the Christian call to love thy neighbor as thyself. You don't need to feel guilty for failing to give them the special devotion typically reserved for parents. I hope you find this answer comforting, rather than offensive -- but I'm aware there's a risk of the latter!


#7

I really hope that doesn't sound too harsh. I hate to be the guy throwing hellfire around the thread... but your obligations to your father's girlfriend and mother's new "husband" begin and end with the Christian call to love thy neighbor as thyself. You don't need to feel guilty for failing to give them the special devotion typically reserved for parents. I hope you find this answer comforting, rather than offensive -- but I'm aware there's a risk of the latter!

No offense taken, and yes it did help some.


#8

I'm glad. God bless!


#9

Some people just don't say it all the time.

They need to accept you for who you are.

I had a friend in college in a similar situation. She was vocal with her Dad, step-mom and her grandparents/step grandparents. With her mom and step-dad she was less comfortable verbalizing and never did with her step-grandparents. Her mom took this quite personally and it made a huge rift. When she didn't say "I love you" to her dad/stepmom for a couple of years they were understanding.

I think simply admiting "I feel it but it's hard for me to say" to yourself is great. Now you can work out ways to affirm your relationship without using the "L" word. "You're the best, Granny" or "Dad you're amazing" or "mom I really appreciate that".

When you focus on the root/meaning/connotation of saying "I love you" you can get lost on what love really is. Love is an enjoyed and shared mutual life of respect. "I love you" is simply one (albeit very major) way of expressing that. Just like in any relationship as you become more aware of the other person it takes time to grow into the place of "I love you."

And when you do, when they accept you for who you are, you'll know and relish every moment.


#10

[quote="Wowbagger, post:6, topic:253125"]

But their new "significant others" are *not* your parents. They are, indeed, people who are living in sin with your parents, They do not deserve, and can never earn, the particular kind of love you owe to your parents. If you choose to say that you love them, that's perfectly okay, and, because you are a good Christian, it is no doubt true. But you are under no moral obligation whatsoever to say anything of the kind, especially if it would encourage them to think that what they're doing is a-okay with you or with God.

[/quote]

Amen.


#11

Don’t say something you don’t mean until you mean it.
But you can still say s o m e thing. It could be a special thank you, a compliment on something you really admire about them.

Not everyone can say what they feel out loud. Perhaps you would be more comfortable writing something.

Some people can go their whole lives without saying or hearing those three words from their family members. I don’t remember my parents ever saying it to me. But I never for one minute questioned their love for me. :slight_smile:


#12

Wowbagger, do you know your statement to be true? What I mean is, how do you know these people are “living in sin”? What if there was an impediment to the marriage and a Declaration of Nullity was issued by the diocese? Surely then the current marriage is absolutely valid and not an occassion of sin. In such a case, I don’t see any reason why the step-parent doesn’t deserve love as they do become parent - even if not the biological parent.


#13

[quote="Wowbagger, post:6, topic:253125"]
They are, indeed, people who are living in sin with your parents

[/quote]

I don't know where you got this from. Seems like you are making a lot of assumptions without a lot of the details.


#14

Wowbagger, do you know your statement to be true? What I mean is, how do you know these people are "living in sin"? What if there was an impediment to the marriage and a Declaration of Nullity was issued by the diocese? Surely then the current marriage is absolutely valid and not an occassion of sin. In such a case, I don't see any reason why the step-parent doesn't deserve love as they do become parent - even if not the biological parent.

While it was assuming, I didn't take it that way due to the fact that my biological parents never attempted to have an annulment to their marriage, and the fact that my Step-dad is married to my Mom through the State only.


#15

[quote="Flavius_Aetius, post:14, topic:253125"]
While it was assuming, I didn't take it that way due to the fact that my biological parents never attempted to have an annulment to their marriage, and the fact that my Step-dad is married to my Mom through the State only.

[/quote]

Thanks for clarifying that!


#16

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