Kate2009's picture

Advice wanted on Strategies for dealing with Adult Stepchildren

I'm a stepmother and biological mother.

I have some issues at the moment regarding my adult stepchildren.

Their mother has never been able to get over her marriage breakdown and the fact her ex moved on and then met me.

She has been quite toxic where this is concerned without any provocation from my partner or I. She has worked very hard to destroy the relationship between my stepchildren, their father and myself.

My stepkids have for the most part always been indifferent to me. On occasion they have even been rude or condescending as well.

They can barely bring themselves to say hello, let alone hold any form of conversation with me.

When they visit, they treat me almost as though I don't exist, although I can be in the same room as them.

If they have a family even, they will extend the invitation to myself out of obligation to their father, but behave in an unwelcoming manner.

I have tried very hard to make them feel welcome. I have never tried to behave as though I was their mother. I have essentially treated them as I would any other adult I might come into contact with...with dignity and respect. This has definately not been reciprocated and I am really past caring anymore or trying.

The issue I am having now, is I don't want to spend time with them and I don't want to be made to feel uncomfortable in my own home.

I'm sick of my partner and them making excuses for their poor behavior.

They would not think it was right to treat any other adult in the same manner, why does my partner accept their behavior towards me?

Am I being unfair to my partner/their father in setting some boundaries to protect myself from this behavior by stipulating that they are not welcome in our home until they can be respectful and courteous?

Are my expectations that their father should set some strong boundaries around this behaviour too much to ask?

How have others felt in this same situation?

How have you overcome those same issues?

I am finding it difficult to find information relating to setting boundaries for Adult Stepchildren.

I feel very alone in this and have found it difficult to find much in the way of information on the subject that is not completely sympathetic towards the stepkids.

All the information I seem to be able to find just seems to validate the feelings of the stepkids and nothing on how things feel from a stepmothers perspective with adult stepkids.

I am trying to find information that I can present to my partner to help him understand how I feel about this.

Sarah101's picture

Hi Kate

You are NOT alone. There are a few of us here who struggle with issues related to adult stepchildren.

I have been dealing with 5 adult skids for just about 10 years now, and as much as I tried, things have never gotten better between us. Their dad divorced their mom years before he met me, yet the way I was treated you'd think I tore their parent's marriage apart with my own two hands.

I tried to be the "better person" for years. I tried to model good behavior. They mistook my efforts as weakness and became even more obnoxious and disrespecful toward me. Why? Looking back, I think they were rude because they knew they could get away with it. Finally, after years of hurt and anger, I disengaged. It was all I could do. They weren't going to change, so I had to change.

My H made all the excuses he could think of to rationalize their rudeness toward me. When I stopped accepting his lame excuses, he even accused me of "not trying hard enough." Finally, I told H that he could have any relationship he wanted with his adult children, but I wouldn't be involved. I wouldn't go to their homes anymore (they made it clear that they didn't want me there anyway), and I didn't want them in my home unless I wasn't there. Most importantly, none of my money would continue to be used to support their lifestyles.

I have been disengaged for well over a year now and it's like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. H continues to visit them, however I never ask about them like I used to. Our conversations are no longer dominated by their issues, or how appalled I am at their behavior. The only indirect contact I've had was a wedding shower invitation--seems I am still good enough to pump for gifts. I threw the invitation in the trash.

Yes, it's a sad situation. But I strongly believe that my time, energy, and love should be directed toward people who love me back. Life is too short to constantly beat my head against a brick wall and surround myself with people who despise me and my BD--whether it's H's adult children or anyone else. It's like trying to swim in an emotional black hole--I just can't win. What's worse, while dealing with the constant stress and negative energy (or trying to change it), I found that I was neglecting the very people who love me most.

I wish you well and I am sorry that you have to deal with this, Kate. Just keep in mind that you shouldn't be disrespected by anyone at any time, and that includes your H's adult children. If they choose to treat you poorly, you can choose not to place yourself in their presence anymore.

stressed out so much's picture

Wow!!! Thank you for your

Smiling Wow!!! Thank you for your comment. I totally agree with you. I have felt so bad and beating myself up for feeling the way I do for not wanting my adult step kids in my life because they have been so ungrateful but you have made me see that it is about self respect and not about having a cold or bad heart. We do deserve respect and it should matter or waver or even be compromised because they happen to be our spouse's kids. They are adults and should begin to act like it regardless of their adult tantrums.

sqstepperson's picture

The key here is the father of

The key here is the father of skids. What he does sets the tone.If you don't get any support from him and he doesn't squash the bad behavior, then it is up to you to do so.
Set rules, boundaries, whatever you have to do. State your rules calmly, don't let skids push you into getting angry. This is what they want. Speak your mind. Write it all out before you talk to skids.
In the end it will either make a difference or it won't, and you may end up deciding who needs the stress of trying to make it work.
I am in that mode right now after a week long visit by step grandaughter and stepdaughter who is spoiled, manipulative and has her father wrapped around her finger at age 38.
Remember we can never go wrong being honest, and standing up for ourselves. In the end a decent skid will respect that.

driven to tears's picture

I am in the same boat but my

I am in the same boat but my own two bio sons are also paying. Diva stepdaughter needs to be worshipped and have "friends" and family to use. She has taken normal teenage resentments and psychological problems my older bio-son has, along with his father abandonment issues and the fact that policing my Skids took much needed time away from him and turned it around. It is sickening to watch! When he really did need help-like a job or someplace to stay she didn't help him and told me that she couldn't work or live with him. But I'm the bitch who Still takes care of him and them when they needed help! This is a woman who does nothing but feed negativity and alienation to him and she plays head games acting like she cares. She does not like him and never has.Now she is trying to alienate our son-her half-brother from me and I am ready to pounce! That is the last straw! Husband of 20 years is finally starting to see but it's too late. I am so tired of everything being my fault-it is a cop-out and an evil soul that tries to destroy people because they won't play their games. I am disengaging from them and my own older bioson to maintain my sanity and give hubby a wakeup call. The total disrespect and entitlement makes me sick. I really cared about these kids and worked my butt off to make their lives easier and have a semi-normal family life! Husbands that have their heads in the sands are the cause of women everywhere turning from angels to witches and making them sick. Seriously, I already have health problems that prevent me from working so I am stuck. I am disengaging completely. Let their father take care of everything for them-I'm out of their lives or I will do something drastic. At this point, living on the street is better than the situation I am in.

The grass is always greener where the dogs are sh**ting

stopthebullies's picture

It was so great to read these

It was so great to read these posts. I've been dating BF for 2 years and his children - aged 22 and 26 STILL refuse to meet me! They insist their father attend family events but I am not allowed to go. When he finally refused to go without me, they accuse him of not caring about them or his grandchildren. I don't know if this relationship is worth continuing. From what I've read here - this is never going to end...

keeponstriving's picture

You do not want to meet Step

You do not want to meet Step kids 22 and 26 yo for as long as possible. Your problems have just begun, when step kids enter your life, and hence your relationship. In my heart I knew meeting the kids of SO would be a problem before I meet them. The daughter of SO was 24 yo when I first met her. I thought because she was an adult I had dodged a bullet. I allowed SO to pressure me into meeting her. The step daughter has been a wild cat, with her claws out ever since. She, the wild cat, has her father, the Tom Cat, wrapped around her little finger. It is pathetic. SOD wants me to; Leave her daddy ALONE. Hence he will vbe alone, because I will probably never agree to marry him (SO), because of her (DSO). Our relationship will never be about me and him. Our relationship will always be about me, him and her. He gave her the power over us, which is why I can easily cry when I think about how I must always have my own place. i cannot imagine even living with him because of his out of control psycho daughter.

Carlody's picture

Get out while you can!!! I

Get out while you can!!! I have been in this mess for 20 yrs. I 'm sure this statement sounds pretty harsh..but...It will not get better. Lots of promises/conseling/prayer and the lists goes on..Still kid/adult children if they have a mean streak or they are not willing to be sincere in their actions to move forward. Save yourself. Move on. No man is worth this much sacrifice.

Good Luck & God Bless

gwenst's picture

High five for your comment

High five for your comment Eye-wink I needed to hear someone say that. I put in 7 years and have an easy out since we don't even live together. We live in separate homes just 2 miles apart and have had an amazingly loving relationship for all 7 years. All problems surround his kids. Well, that's a cop out. All problems surround the fact that I enable him, to enable his kids. So I figure the only way to break this pattern is for me to stop enabling him. Can't continue blaming the ignoramus-adult-kids who don't have an iota of respect for me, when then aren't expected to respect their own dad. I'm 52 and spent the majority of my life watching my mother abuse the crap out of my dad as my dad stood there and took it. He's 80 and still takes it, and because I can't stand watching it, I forfeit precious time with my aging parents. Is it any wonder that I landed up with a man whose kids do the same thing to him, that my mother did to my father? Does that make me a rescuer? Probably. One thing I learned from growing up with my parents dysfunctional relationship...that no matter how many times I told my dad "save yourself!" he chose to stay and take it. I don't judge him, but I learned what i could and couldn't tolerate. Now I'm in the same bind. Telling a grown man (BF) to "save himself" and demand respect from belligerent adult children. He has no intention on putting his foot down. And if I stay in this situation, I'm no different than he is.

You are right - NO MAN is worth this much sacrifice. Thanks.

graystar55's picture

RUN... it will never change I

RUN... it will never change
I have known a few step children that loved the step mother
I have been in this boat 9 years from the get go, she did not want to meet me, and through some thing I said in anger, that were true. She will not make peace.. mom lives across street and is still in contact with husbands sister (two of a kind)... I feel like the lone ranger in all this and I am bailing out within the week....

Farmgirl69's picture

Run as fast as you can away

Run as fast as you can away from this situation!! I swore I would never be with a man who had children again, but against my better judgement, I did. I wish I would have never married into this whack family with these bratty SD's. Now they are adults and it's worse. Us women should be #1, not live in the foreshadows of step-children. You will NEVER come first. NEVER! Even the Bible says your spouse comes first, then children. Be glad you are not married to him! Get away while you can. As soon as my kids are older, I am gone. I would rather be single than be married with step-kids. My SD has tried to sabotage my marriage and I know she will try again. Of course, in my husbands eyes, what she says is gospel. I will always be second best and so will you! Please, I wish someone would have gave me this advice before I married him. I am also very grateful to have found this website bc everyone has made me out to feel like the bad guy bc I feel this way. Good luck, Hun! Anytime you need to talk to someone who understands, I would love to talk with someone who feels the same way I do.

Fed up wife

gwenst's picture

I near coughed up my water

I near coughed up my water reading what you said about everyone making you out to be the bad guy! I GET IT. It's bad enough being in a relationship with a man who enables his kids to be rude and disrespectful, but it's worse when he is a MARTYR! He dredges up sympathy from his family and friends by telling people that I'm depressed or that my business is struggling, or that I I had a tough childhood. Whatever he has to say to keep up the stellar impression he makes on people. I moved in with him within the last 6 months (I was traveling a lot, so my actual "time" there was less than 6 months) and that's all it took to WAKE ME THE HELL UP. After his daughter left the 3rd or 4th note around the house (notes that were supposed to look like I wrote them), he called me sick and twisted for leaving notes for his kids asking them to pick up after themselves. I had no idea what he was talking about! But to him, I am and would always be the outcast, so he believed what his daughter told him. It took me 9 years to agree to move in with him and before I did, I made sure we discussed Boundaries, Unity, Expectations... That heartfelt conversation (and his heartfelt agreement) wasn't worth the dirt on my shoe. From the very first "issue" involving his kids that I brought to his attention, he went into full INSULT-MODE - telling me I expect too much, I'm OCD, anal, demanding, stubborn, and he sarcastically suggested I get medicated. So it is very liberating to sit here in my very OWN apartment while he shares his house with 3 kids (18 - 24) who don't know how to wash a dish, take out trash, hold conversation, or even say "hello". I cried my eyes out last week when I left - missing the nice moments. But then I noticed how my shoulders came down into their natural position for the first time in almost 9 years - and that's proof enough I made the right decision! I am a firm believer that standing in one's power is rewarded! I LOVE THIS GROUP OF SISTERS!!!

WiseNotWicked's picture

I agree the additude of the

I agree the additude of the SK's father sets the tone, if he does not make it clear that you are family then they will never treat you that way. And most importantly they need to see that you are both happy together, it's hard for kids to be angry when they see genuine love and support in a relationship. All five of my adult steps have gone through various phases of acceptance and now after three years they tell everyone "she makes dad so happy and that makes us happy" Don't give up because even though they are your step children they are your husbands and no matter what that bond can never be broken. It's not easy but nothing good ever is... Best of luck. Note: I am not saying that you should be a doormat by any means, but this may mean you must be stronger and rise above.

keeponstriving's picture

Obviously you have reasonable

Obviously you have reasonable and rational step children. Most of us do not have such a blessing. I have tried to explain to SO that his daughter when she attacks me behind my back she is really attempting to express her deep hatred for her own father. However his heart is filled with love for his daughter, and he refuses for now to see it that way. He says, he loves me too, and maybe soon I will believe him. He has said, when he retires he would be willing to move away from his daughter. Hundreds and hundreds of miles will have to physically exist between him and his daughter for me to consider a future with a father who has a daughter wife.

Roshe's picture

Maybe a frank conversation

Maybe a frank conversation with your BF about boundaries and a relationship between the two of you. If he hasn't let her grow up yet, I doubt this will change. Moving is enticing - but probably not helpful. If the stepD is getting satisfaction of any kind, she can always move too. Dr Seuss - wherever you go, there you are! That goes for problems too. :>) I hope whatever your decision, it's informed, well considered and works out for everyone.

Gravity's picture

Unfortunately, distance

Unfortunately, distance doesn't make it easier. I live up North and my adult skids live down South. It makes it harder because when they do visit, they overstay their welcome. My SS37 just left this morning. He has already called 7 times. He invited his sister47 to our home without telling me. I found out two hours before she came down the driveway. They do everything they can to upset me and cause problems between myself and my husband. They will never stop causing trouble because their father has allowed them to do and say anything they want to me for 20 years. Their BM died of alcoholism and I don't blame her for drinking herself to death. She's at peace now. My husband has a very odd relationship with his son. I understand being close with your children but when your son is trying to set you up with other women while his mother is still alive....that is a sick relationship. My husband is very good to me until his children walk in the door. Then it is like I don't exist. Every other word out of my SS's mouth is the F word....my husband, who doesn't curse in front of me, allows this type of behavior. Both of my Skids have lied to their father to make me look like the bad SM. They lie about everything. My SD is a multi-millionaire, but is as cheap as you know what. We take her three sons for a week every summer. She can't even send us a card for the holidays, but lies and says she did AND sent a gift!! This last visit was the last straw for me. I actually thought I was getting closer to my Skids until they showed their true colors again. I had an argument with my SS because he feels he should be able to come anytime he wants and stay indefinitely. Both of my adult stepchildren (they are both married) don't feel they should have to tell me when they are coming for a visit. In fact, my SS said if he wants to surprise his father and bring ten or fifteen friends to my house, he should be able to do that without prior notice. I was humiliated when my husband took his son's side. He has never had my back, but after all these years I thought he would change. When I'm talking to my husband again, I am going to tell him to go and visit his children on his own so I don't have to be the outcast in my own home. I think they are trying to give me a heart attack! The next time my SS tells me he doesn't want me with his father, I am going to make him an offer. Okay, you want me out of the picture, if your father turns everything over to me (pension, SS, his half of property, etc) and keeps all the bills, your dad can come and live with you! I bet SS would change his toon then!

Generic's picture

I think most children feel

I think most children feel they are always welcome at their parents home. I don't ask my mom if I have permission to go home. Isn't that what "home" means? I get they are not your kids. But they are your DHs and by default, that is their home.

Generic's picture

We're not talking about going

We're not talking about going home to live or "sponge". I am welcome to pop into my childhood home whenever I feel like it. And I want my own children to feel the same way. Sometimes, they will call first to let me know. Sometimes they have to knock lol. But they are always welcome to my home.

For reasons I'm sure are valid, your SS is banned from your home. But that was a decision you and your DH have made and it was yours to make. I am just stating what my personal opinion of what home means to me, my family and other healthy families I know. What is "bullshit" to you, is not to me.

Gravity's picture

Maybe I didn't explain myself

Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly Generic. We live a long distance away. When our friends and family come to visit, they stay an average of 3 days, except for my Skids, who don't feel that I am entitled to know how long they are staying or they DO tell me and then spitefully stay an extra week. Last year my husband and I had made plans to go on vacation, which we haven't had in over 10 years. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our plans and lost a lot of money because my SS came to visit and all the plans were cancelled. This is not the home they grew up in. It is a home that my husband and I bought together. All I am asking for is some common curtesy, some advance notice that they are coming so I can prepare for overnight (or in my skids case, weeks long) guests. I wouldn't just walk in on anyone, including my extended family, without calling at least three days before I planned on visiting. That is inconsiderate and rude. I also would never overstay my welcome. People do have lives of their own and you also have to consider the expense of having extra mouths to feed. I hope I have explained myself clearer.

Generic's picture

I miss so many replies

I miss so many replies because I guess I don't understand how this forum works. I'm sorry ! No, your situation sounds more like the kids are using your home as a crash pad. They need to brush up on their etiquette

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Edited to add, this reply

Edited to add, this reply is addressed to poster Generic.

Popping in is a whole lot different than arriving with suitcases and expecting to be a houseguest for an extended period of time. SHEESH!!!

Marie Fleming's picture

Good remark. We are

Good remark. We are constantly getting pushed beyond our limits. We keep our boundaries regarding over the top request's From DH adult daughter's. It wears one down. The only peace from them is when they are not talking to us.

LyndaLou49's picture

An adult child should feel

Smiling An adult child should feel welcome in their parent's home.....But they should still not be allowed nor expect that they can come home unannounced, uninvited, and bring friends with them!! I would not allow my BC children to do that to me (as I would not do that to them) and I certainly will not allow my SC to impose on me in that way. It is called respect!!! It is NOT their home.. They are adults. They have, or should have, their own homes!!!!!!!! If they don't...then let them deal with it. On the other hand, if they call and ask, I try to make my home welcome and inviting....Simply because I married their dad does not give the SC the right to not be responsible adults.

adalenana's picture

I am right there with you. I

I am right there with you. I have a stepson who is 19 and has dropped out of school. His mom is a piece of work as well and she has brainwashed this boy to hate me etc. I have taken the mental abuse (cursing and threats) my last time. He thinks he is still suppose to come every other weekend and he has no respect for my husband (his dad) or myself. My husband said he is trying to be a smart aleck. This boy has no life and very few friends. He wants to play with remote control cars/trucks and make messes like a 5 yr old. I know he is ADHD/ODD because he can't take any orders etc from authority. We are in the same boat for sure. I just keep my faith and pray that things change. I wish you the best as well as it isn't fun to be put into this predictament.

dodgegal05's picture

I have laid down the law in

I have laid down the law in my realtionship as far as adult skids go. I did it very early in the realtionship and was point blank about my feelings. He doesnt go on vacations and things as such unless I am with him. He and I present ourselves as a team. this ofcourse drives the skids nuts. They have quit calling/coming around since df started standing up to them.
As far as the realtionship with the skids it will never happen. I have come to this relization and feel better about it. I am polite to them, but do not go out of my way to talk to or do anything for them.
Your H needs to realize how his actions have hurt you and not ever do anything like again. His actions just supported their childish treatment of you. He needs to grow a back bone.
I would never let my df go to their moms (his ex, he is the skids step dad) without me. Just as I would never go see any of my exs without him. Its common respect in my opinion.

"They never even gave me a first (chance) so I am not giving them a second." Me

stepmamablues's picture

I Agree with you!!! I have

I Agree with you!!! I have been married to my hubby for nine years now and while we have a great marriage, his two grown step-daughters have always been a dark cloud in our lives!! I came along WAY after their mother & him divorced and these two are now 40 and 36 years old!! Both are married and have children of their own, so one would THINK there would be no problems!! WRONG!! From day one, older SD made sure she staked out her territorial rights and let me know in every way possible that SHE was NOT going to accept me!! Younger one is more suble about her nasty and rude behavior!! I have done everything I could these past years to try and make friends with them, have done flip flops to win their approval all to no means!! I have quite a few friends who also have grown step-children and we have all come to the same conclusion, no matter what you do it is a NO WIn situation!! Every time one of them calls they have to ask to speak to THEIR DAD like I don't know who he is!! In the past year I have learned to just ignore them, and not even think about them any longer! My theory is this: You haven't lost anything you never had and beleive me, I can do without these two for the rest of my life!!! Now you may wonder what Dad is doing all this time! Well being that he is a passive fellow, he doesn't like to make waves in any direction and that is okay but there ARE times that boundaries need to be set and he should have done this from the first and maybe we wouldn't have had some of these problems with his girls!! But I have also found that most dads are alike in this aspect!! But anyway, i just want you to know that I agree with everything you said in your post. You couldn't have said it any better!!! Thanks girl!!!

FaithL's picture

Stepmamablues, sounds like

Stepmamablues, sounds like you and I are in alot of the same type of situation, my SDs are 33 and 35. I was just curious, does your husband stand up for you when there is conflict? My husband is also very passive and has only one time stood up to me in these situations, and only with the less agressive daughter. Please let me know how your husband handles thing - you sound like you are at a much better place than me. Thanks.

stepmamablues's picture

Hi Faith! Thanks for your

Hi Faith! Thanks for your message and yes, it does sound like we have much in common as far as our dear darling step daughters are concerned!! My hubby, like I said in last post, is a good fellow, but he will not stand up for me ever, but at the same time he doesn't actually take their side either!! I think he is caught in the middle and also knows it too, so he doesn't know what to do about it. I will tell you this, it took a long time for me to come to some sort of terms with those two. the first year of marriage, I was so upset most of the time as the oldest one was really on her campaign to do whatever she could to cause trouble! if she wasn't calling every single day to spend HOURS talking to HER dad, then she would have her mother call!! there was no reason for that as this girl like I said is now 40 years old!! Once hubby was in hospital and i did the right thing and did call his daughters and what did I get for my troubles?? Older SD informed me that her and HER mother talked and had decided that HER dad would quit work, and move close to them!!! I was livid!! Another time same one had a wild eyed hissy fit because HER DAD had made me his insurance benificiary!! We don't normally hear from older one these days. Usually once a year she rears up and starts some sort of trouble. Younger one had new baby last fall. ( second child ) I made her four or five baby blankets, several sweater sets and sent them to her. Never got a thank you!! Several years ago, same one called and said she had sent a special invitation to HER Dad to attend her oldest child's birthday party but it had come back! she did that several times trying to make it look like I had not given him his mail!! she is the same one who loves to "accidently" send her mama's photos to us on occasion. Gosh i could go on and on and probably write a book about those two evil things. LOL!! The best advice I can give you is to completely ignore them and stop trying to win their approval as it will never happen. I just don't think about mine anymore and I pretend they don't exist as that is the only way I can deal with it. If I get thinking about them, I get mad all over again. As far as your husband is concerned, he sounds like mine and is caught in the middle and probably doesn't know what to do with them. Really what CAN you do??? Live your life and go on and enjoy your husband and remember, he IS married to you!! Do write back and let me know how things are!! Believe me, stepchildren are NO picnic and if I had of known what I was in for, I don't think i would have ever married again!!

French Val's picture

I felt so alone till I read

I felt so alone till I read all your posts !!!! Thank you for REALLY helping me as I thought I was going crazy !!! Similar story here ....2 stepdaughters aged 33 and 26 who have made my life a misery from day one practically . I would just disengage totally and never allow them in my house ever again but I put up with so much because I love and respect my husband . I also have 2 daughters who live in different countries - big difference .....my girls are charming , laid back and just happy when we get together . I have tried so hard , in fact I'm still trying. I get bitchy comments all the time , I could write a book . Last week was eldest's birthday ( she has no friends and has never had a boyfriend !!!! ) I kindly suggested taking her to a restaurant , bought birthday presents , as father is always busy with working . During the meal I mentioned that we were spending Christmas with my family this year !!!! She threw a tantrum in the restaurant , crying and sobbing . The father looked at me daggers and the daughter was still crying when we took her home . I don't tghink I can take anymore of this . My husband just thinks that if he doesn't say anything everything will work itself out . He just sits there ...... I just feel like packing and leaving . I love my husband very very much but how can I live with these 2 bitches who phone all the time and demand his attention . My house is also full of their stuff . I sometimes feel that I should never have married him . I just thought they will get on with their lives and leave us alone . I kind of calm down till the next time .......


Runninmom's picture

You are not going crazy! All

You are not going crazy! All you can do is be polite but put up the boundaries and worry about yourself. Sounds selfish but you have to take care of you.

skeeter's picture

DH has never defended me! He

DH has never defended me! He just "doesn't say anything". That's his answer to it all. At least I know it's not just me, when I read these comments. It is miserable, if you let it be. I try to just have something to do or some place to go, when they show up. DH is welcome to have them to visit anytime. He is welcome to go to their place and visit anytime. If they didn't live in the same town, it would be much easier; but they do. It is very difficult; but if you are like me, you love DH and you are working at it the best you can. Just keep yourself true to yourself. I have friends, hobbies, etc. to keep me disengaged from SD52. She loves to gossip and cause trouble. I stay away from her as much as possible. She reports EVERYTHING to BM and anyone that will listen. BM live 8 hours away, thank God. I go this alone; most of the time I can handle it; there are rough times, I just try to work at it as it comes. I don't look back and I live in the moment. Of course I'm keeping in mind an escape. Good luck! I feel bad for anyone that has chosen to love a man and has to put up with the baggage. Stay cool! Cool