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We’ve been married a few years now and some days it seems like just yesterday and some days it seems like it’s been forever. Lately it’s a combination of both.

When you marry into a ready-made family, there will be changes you expect and changes you didn’t see coming. Change is a constant in the day-to-day life but even more so behind your back, and I don’t mean this in a nefarious way (although sometimes it IS nefarious).

In the short forever time we’ve been married, one kid has also married and had a child, one has said “no marriage for me!” and the other one is still at University and thinking about marriage. They all have different views on marriage and family life based on what they’ve witnessed in their short lives to date. The “not for me” kid is surprisingly the sweetest and most gentle soul. The one still in University is looking for the traditional family set-up, and the one with the child believes in open-concept family, but only to a point.

Open-concept family. Lots of grandparents, aunts and uncles and cousins, friends who knew her bio-mom (deceased), the previous step-mom (PSM) and her current husband. But not her dad or me. Well, her dad is somewhat included, but not me. I’m not included in outings, group messages, photo sends.

And that’s a change.

Before her wedding, I was the go-to for shopping and listening. I dropped 5 figures into her wedding, bought all her china and was left off the invitation. When the baby-bump came, I bought the first batch of maternity clothes, ended up paying for the majority of her shower and was not invited to the hospital.

So now there’s a change. I am nothing to her while PSM is everything.

Psychologists say that’s not completely unexpected in cases where the bio-mom is deceased, but PSM was and still is a piece of work. Unstable, unreliable, untruthful, unfaithful.

Psychologists says the current SM doesn’t have to give in to the whims and controlling factors of adult kids. I have done that in these few short and long years, but no more. They’re not the only ones who can change the landscape.