Stepbomb: As a fairly new stepmom, I can't wrap my brain around the double standard that seems to exist when comparing a stepmom to a stepdad.
My husband's ex-wife has been living with her now-husband, the girls' stepfather, since less than a year after the divorce. But why did all hell break loose only after I became the girls' stepmother? Why did my husband's ex-wife sue for custody, claiming she didn't want the girls' environment disrupted with a new person in the house, when she'd already had a stepparent in her daughters' lives for years? And why did she get upset when I wanted to volunteer at the school, when long before I entered the picture, her own husband had been volunteering and coaching the girls' soccer teams?
Never has my husband accused his daughters' stepfather of trying to be the girls' father. Not when he discovered him coaching the team at a soccer practice; not when the girls told him that their stepfather had attended a field trip; not even when the stepfather and my husband's ex-wife had the affair that ultimately ended the marriage.
Since day one, my husband has put his own ego aside and has accepted the arrangement, because the girls love their stepfather. He has never thought it wrong for another person to love his children. And he has never felt threatened, because he knows how strong his bond is with his daughters.
Why is it that when I want to be involved in the girls' academic or social lives, I'm "undermining" their mother's role -- yet when their stepdad volunteers, he's just being "helpful"? Why is there a double standard? Are stepdads considered nonthreatening because the word "dad" appears in their descriptive, not "mom"? Or is this simply the difference between how men and women get along with one another?
Are men more accepting and understanding of other men than women are of other women?