One thing I had no idea about when I stepped into the world of parenting was how easy it would be for my stepkid to hurt my feelings. Who knew growing up that our parents had feelings and that our disrespect or unkind words might actually wound them?
I was never very disrespectful or rude growing up, but I can tell you that I don't know that I ever concerned myself with my parents feelings other than to avoid them feeling mad at me. I've been amazed at how easily a small child can wound me by the way she says things, by disrespecting me, ignoring me when I talk to her or embarrassing me.
It's another little place where a stepparent has to learn to be the grown up. It's easy to be a little more hurt I think when you've made the sacrifice to take on this child who is not your own biological child. It's a big sacrifice to give up on your dreams of starting a family with just your future spouse, only to find out he's already in a family and you're going to join that family. Only you really understand the magnitude and depth of sacrifice you've made to give you your dream and create a new dream for your life together. So then when the stepkids step on your feelings it can really hurt.
I'm learning to get over my ruffled feathers more quickly and not take it so personally. These are kids we're dealing with after all. We need to teach them appropriate behavior but sometimes it's totally appropriate to just let things roll off our backs and get on with life.