"Ariane is the most distinct light and important voice of our time." -Dr. Alvin Jones
Read More Testimonials»

Our Stepparenting Experts

Jeannette Lofas

Jeannette Lofas

Founder of the Stepfamily Foundation

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Sally Bjornsen

Sally Bjornsen

Creator of the Sassy Stepmother web site and author of The...

Shared by First30Days View Profile»
Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Psychologist and author of Keys to Successful Stepfathering

Shared by First30Days View Profile»

Meet all of our Family Experts»

Got a Question?


If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!


Question:Should I confront my stepmother?

Ok that question sounds a little harsh. So here's the story, and I'll preface it by saying that my sister and I have never had a good relationship with our stepmother.
My sister, my father and my stepmother all have birthdays in the same month so I put together a package for all of them to send to my dad's house. It included a some manly things for him, a hot pink dress and some jewelry I picked out especially for my younger sister, and a card for my stepmom, which was a big step for me considering I never would have even included her before.
Well, my dad assumed that the dress (which was about 5 sizes too small for her) and jewelry was intended for my stepmom and gave them to her.
When I asked him about it, he said he was sorry, but he couldn't take them back.
I was upset because I went to a lot of trouble to pick out those gifts for my sister and spent a lot of money. She knows what happened, but I'm still sad that my dad just wouldn't explain the misunderstanding to my stepmom.
Should I just drop it?

Asked by NicoO2000 on 12/17/08 3 Answers»


Two things to remember:
1. Although the card was in fact some gesture from you, your Dad saw the nice gifts for him and your sister and knew his wife would be hurt. He gave her those gifts to make her feel like you made a much larger gesture. Probably an effort to clean up the mess between the two of you.
2. Continuing to have conflict with the woman your Dad loves may jepordize his relationship and cause him the pain of losing someone he loves. He's already lost one relationship (with you Mom). Can you live with yourself if you were part of the reason for your Dad's potential lonliness?
Sometimes it's best for the people we love to get along and go along even if we are the the only one acting like an adult.

Answered by: aliceinwonder on 11/2/09


Thats horrible! She is acting like a child... anyone with any kind of sense would do the right thing and give it back. She is just trying to see how far she can go. I don't think you should let it go. You paid for the dress and jewelry!! How dare she

Answered by: yvobreske on 2/5/09


I think this is one of those things that your dad really needs to take the ball on...she'll take it better coming from him. Since he's unwilling, I think you'll just have to let this one go for the greater good. And, in the future, package gifts to your sister separately :)

Answered by: Eva1873 on 12/19/08
Got an Answer?