Understanding Loneliness from
A Stepmom’s Perspective
Loneliness from a stepmom's perspective can be strenuous. The journey becomes more challenging when you have teenagers who don’t care if you exist or not. This is when you find yourself alone with no friends and no idea what to do with your life. This is the exact situation I found myself in at a certain point in my life. You’d think moving to another country with your loving husband and three teenagers is great, right?
Well, this wasn’t quite how it worked out for me. I was left feeling like an outsider in my family and my new country. With Bernard traveling a lot and me being left alone at home with three teens who couldn’t care less whether I was there or not left me feeling lonely. However sad I was, I knew in my heart this wasn’t depression. All I needed was some company, some love, and understanding my loneliness and it would disappear. Well, I came to know this after some time.
Most stepmoms find themselves in similar situations in life. The challenge is to find someone to talk with and release some of your thoughts at least. It even becomes worse with social media and unrealistic expectations. As a stepmother, comparing yourself with other women who aren’t going through the same challenges as you is dangerous. It makes it easy to see yourself as a failure giving you feelings of not measuring up and feeling unhappy. Did you know that how you see yourself as a parent reflects how happy you are in your life? This explains why many stepmoms are unhappy and feel lonely most of the time.
Society today has shallow views on the importance of the stepmom’s role in the stepkids’ lives bringing them to feel alone and misunderstood.
The lonelier you get, the higher the levels of dissatisfaction you feel towards yourself, your family, and your social and community life.
But what exactly is loneliness?
There are two types of loneliness: social and emotional. Emotional loneliness refers to having a lack of close intimate relationships such as after a divorce or recently single divorce. Social loneliness is about lack of social involvement, lack of social network, and such. This happens mostly when you move into a new home or community. You lack people who you share common activities and interests, and you are left alone and isolated.
Below are six instances where one might feel lonely:
- Guidance. When you lack a trustworthy and authoritative person to offer you guidance.
- Alliance. This is when you have no one, either close friends or family, that you can rely on in time of need.
- Social interaction. Happens when you don’t have friends with whom you share common interests and concerns.
- Nurturance. This happens when you have a strong desire to care for your children and cannot be part of their lives.
- Attachment. Do you feel like your partner or spouse got your back? When you lack intimacy in a relationship, it can lead to loneliness.
- Worth. When was the last time you felt appreciated even after achieving something small or after some effort? That feeling of recognition and appreciation is excellent for a stepmom. If your efforts go unnoticed, unappreciated, and unrecognized, it is easy to feel lonely.
Rejection plays a significant role in feeling lonely. Every stepmother requires love from family, thirsts for social interaction, and love from partner or spouse. When these lack in your life as a stepmother, you feel rejected. You end up questioning your self-worth and values, which leads to loneliness. However, one thing all stepmoms should note is that loneliness is not depression. When feeling lonely, it doesn’t mean that life is meaningless and you have lost the will to live like in depression. It is simply feeling sad most of the time and yearning for love from your family, society, and partner.
If you're looking to talk with someone about dealing with loneliness, feeling like an outside or the best ways to handle teenagers, check out my Stepmom Help Line
Thank you Claudette for writing about this. It is so true, and I feel I would never be considered as a true family with my step kids. My husband and step kids would always have the bond no matter what. Whilst my husband and I are only building our lives recently and he has already established his way of dealing with his family. I am expected to adjust to his values. I feel left out in the conversations with him and his kids. There’s the expectation that I should adjust to their activities, and participate in what the kids are doing, to show that I support them. In that process, I have distanced myself from my own friends and family.
Now I feel lost and wanting to get back the feeling of belonging and love, whether it’s from old friends, colleagues or communities.
It seems that my husband thinks that by me hanging out with his kids, or his circle of friends, that I wouldn’t be lonely. It does work the other way, unfortunately.
[…] Unfortunately, that’s not always the case for every woman who desires to start their own families. It can feel very lonely at times. […]