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Have any of your DHs realized that the skids will never change?

bulletproof's picture

DH's hope has lessened throughout the last year and a half, but it still glimmers sometimes.

For Christmas, SS said he was going to make DD something and send it. DH was hopeful, it never happened.

SS has asked for DD to say hi during Skype. DH was hopeful SS would enjoy it, and he was a dick.

DH has a high for days if/when SS says anything remotely nice about me during a Skype call. It is inevitable that SS does/says something incredibly mean in the next few weeks about me.

These are just a few small examples.

The motivation of asking this is because we are going to be going home to visit family with DD and our new DD that is due here in a few days. We are going in September. DH is flying SS to meet us in his hometown for 4-5 days. He is CERTAIN that SS will adore the girls and dote on them. I know otherwise, especially based on his behavior during Skype calls (he was so mean to DD last time that even my DH was mad about it...that says a lot).

I know that watching my DH hurt is part of this entire disengagement thing, but I feel like all I've ever heard/read from friends/on here and other places is that DHs always have hope and cling to the fake positives, thinking they're actually real when they aren't. Are there any stories here (besides Ghost's) where the DH didn't do this?


Disneyfan's picture

Has the kid been back to visit since the last trip? If not, what makes your husband think the kid would want a relationship with your girls? They aren't a part of his life. They are more like distant family members that you MIGHT see every year or so at a family reuinion. It's dad's responsibility to foster a sibling relationship between his children.

bulletproof's picture

Nope, he hasn't been back. Honestly, my DH tries as much as he can to foster a relationship. There's a 9 hour time difference between us, so most times their Skype calls have been when DD and I have been asleep, because my DH was on swing shift and it worked out best for both he and SS. He has had DD say hi for a few minutes during several calls (per SS's request most times) and SS is always a jerk. At Christmas, I send a gift to SS from DD (I say "I send" because I mail out all the packages to our family members). She's a part of all of the other gifts he gets, also.

I think he thinks that we'll go on this trip, and SS will want to help with everything and love on the girls and want to play with them the entire time. The only part of that that COULD be true is him trying to help, but I'm not comfortable with that. I'm certainly not letting him change my 3 month old's diaper, and since I'll nurse her he can't help with anything with her. DD doesn't even speak to him during Skype calls much (and she'll talk to my parents, her aunts, etc.), which tells me she doesn't like him much because she only is ever quiet when she is leery. Besides that, I'm not comfortable with him helping with her either, aside from like handing her her water or something easy and simple, when I'm around. BUT, that said, in my experience with our pets, letting him do even the smallest thing makes him think he's entitled to do anything to/for them...including hit them Beee

Nette5's picture

My DH has accepted that SS19 will probably not change because of the nature of his new felony charge & the fact that so many people have helped him lie to us for so many years. It's also to the point that DH's parents have chosen to cut DH, our BS12, & I completely out of their lives & choose to believe SS19's lies instead of asking us for the truth about what went on in our home.

SD16 we haven't seen for a couple years, even though we live in the same town because she was sad & missing her mom after being with us for about 3 days. We said: we won't stand in the way of you being with your mom, call us when you are ready to come back & visit. She has never called us to come back, but we know she calls the rest of her aunts & grandparents to go see them so she must not want to see us. We just heard through my sister from SD16's aunt that they are moving to Texas this summer... guess she's not coming back.

Now that my DH has let go of any of them ever coming back, his parents included, he has more peace. He laughs more, spends better quality time with our son, & seems to enjoy life more. There are days when we miss them & what could have been, but we can't put our lives on hold any longer for people who want nothing to do with us.

twoviewpoints's picture

I certainly don't view Bullet as a GUBM. I see her as a normal mother worrying about how SS's attitude may affect her children. Something lots of stepparents here write about when the skids have bad attitudes and/or behavior. They worry how it affects and/or influences the other children in the home. Rightly so.

Not many parents would desire their babies/toddlers to experience nasty kids who are going to verbally or emotionally mistreat the little ones. Is it understandable that this particular SS has some issues due to Dad being away and starting a 'new' family? Yes, it is. But I'm not going to fault Bullet for having reservations about how this trip and visit with SS will go for her own children.

Just my 2 cents, but I think this trip needs to be carefully planned taking all the children into consideration. SS should have some time with just his father, a limited time with his new siblings, with Bullet and the little ones being able to be get away from SS if things aren't going well. I guess in this I mean, SS perhaps stay at a cousins house (kids his age and fun for SS) with Dad seeing him some on one on one and some as entire family. Bullet and little ones at another relatives and/or hotel so she can exit and be comfortable if/when Dad is busy and/or SS is acting out.

Do kids notice? Yeah, I think a 2yr old would notice someone around her that is jealous, resentful and nasty to her. That's not her world. She's use to a world where the people around her are kind, smile and treat her well. If someone comes near that is acting out or saying ugly things with an attitude, she is not going to understand. She will be afraid because that is not her usual lifestyle and world she exist in. It's hard enough traveling with little ones without a pre-teen with understandable but nevertheless setting inappropriate issues.

twoviewpoints's picture

While I suppose that is a possibility, it's not really fair to Dad's and Bullet's families. The two girls are a part of the family also and most of them will be excited over meeting the newest addition for the first time. It's why I suggested planning carefully. Dad should have some private time with his son, but leaving his wife and daughters behind in the over seas home blocks Bullet and the girls from visiting and getting to introduce her children to the extended family.

IIRC Dad did go back by himself when his grandmother(?) passed and spent some time with SS while Bullet and the first daughter stayed behind. I don't if there's been an additional family trip since. But being traveling is expensive it is appropriate for Bullet to want to come this trip. She has friends and family in the states too and should not have to be excluded on every trip back.

twoviewpoints's picture

OP's husband is military. Whether he moved when he did or ordered out at a different date and time, he was bound to be moving (perhaps more than once or twice) before SS hit 18.

HRNYC reads and remembers what she chooses and than puts her own wild spin on it. And wild spin from her own backyard with a very high privacy fence obstructing view from the world real is what *we* mostly receive from HRNYC.

twoviewpoints's picture

And there is a keyword for you, HRNYC.....'SEEMS'. Do you read Bullet's mind now too? Are you a mind and inner feelings reader now? Yeah, *we* get that is how YOU 'see' the OP. *We* 'get' that is how you perceive the majority of the woman here.

Disneyfan's picture

The issue may be that sad isn't sticking to the visitation schedule. If I'm not mistaking, the kid is suppose to fly over 5o spend a few weeks or month with dad during the summer. The fist visit didn't go well, so dad had the kid fly back to the states early.

It really is fair to blame mom for dad not exercising his scheduled time or cutting the visit short.

It's unreasonable to expect this kid to give a damn about siblings he really do not know.

I still don't what any of this has to do with money. :?

bulletproof's picture

Disney, it doesn't have anything to do with money. It actually would be cheaper for my DH to take a free military flight to a base near SS's that our base flies to, stay with a friend, and spend time with him one-on-one for longer than SS will be with us this trip. But DH is adamant that SS needs to meet his sisters, so he made this choice.

I don't expect SS to care about them at all, to be honest. I never really have. DH thinks that SS genuinely cares about DD and will also for our new DD. I posted this because I feel like we always hear of DHs who always give their kids the benefit of the doubt, they're in denial, etc., and I was wondering if there were any people out here on ST whose DHs got out of denial, saw their kids for who they were, etc.

another step's picture

I get a very strong "Flowers in the Attic" vibe from HRNYC. Be careful if she offers you any powdered sugar donuts!!!! Blum 3 }:)

bulletproof's picture

Twoviewpoints, I already have a hotel room booked for me and the girls for each night he is visiting with us. I'm not comfortable sharing a room with him, which is what we would do at DH's crazy aunt's house. I'm avoiding him complain about being woken up by a three month old who needs to nurse, and I don't need to be flashing him when I nurse at 3 am Wink

The other days we will be on the aunt's boat, and we need a hotel room because of lack of space there. DD and I slept on the boat last time and it was snug with us two.

So, DH gets time each morning and night with just SS this way. He also gets all of older DD's nap time with him because I'll go to the hotel for that too. And, what do a 2 year old and 11 year old both like to do as far as activities? Nothing. So we will likely be separate a lot during awake time too.

The last trip with him (when he came here), I was blind. I'm wayyyy more prepared this time! Smile

WTF...REALLY's picture

I was thinking the same thing HRNCY. All the points you made crossed my mi d as well.

When a kid feels abandoned, don't expect them to love all over dads new kids. He feels abandoned. I am reading that this kid is not suppose to have his own feelings, a real dad in his life but he better adore dads other kids.

Dose not sit well with me.

Dad and son needs some major one on one time.

another step's picture

"Whatever he needs to believe to get through life..." I think you hit the nail on the head there!

hereiam's picture

There's nothing wrong with having hope, with the understanding that that hope may never be realized.

When my SD's attitude changed towards my DH, he accepted that it was happening and knew that it might never change back but he holds out hope that it might one day.

His interactions with her are based on what their relationship actually is, not what he wishes it was. He's not in denial. He wants to be able to trust her one day but he knows that he can't at the moment. He knows that she is not honest, so he takes what she says with a grain of salt. They have somewhat of a superficial relationship but he KNOWS that.

It's hard to have to see the truth about one's own child but I think that it's necessary.

bulletproof's picture

Yeah...mine misses that whole "grain of salt" thing. Everything SS is gold and speaks to who he truly is...there is no possibility that he is simply manipulating my DH to think that he is a good kid.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

If DH had any hope, he sure didn't after meeting the/hearing about people from non-intact families who are PASed out. Once you recognize the signs of a PASed out kid/adult, you kind of can't turn that off.

He doesn't see himself as SS's father, just sperm donor/ATM at this point. Maybe it will change in the future, but he doesn't have any hope SS will turn out to have a relationship with us so it no longer (not that it did for a long time) keeps him up at night. In the very beginning of our relationship, he would occasionally talk about maybe SS will want to have a relationship with us/come stay with us, but as time has gone by and he's talked to/been around PASed out kids, he doesn't bring that up anymore. At most, when anyone talks about having SS over for a visit or if his mom is pushig him to visit, DH just lays down ground rules like, he/me/bd can never be alone around SS (doesn't want to be hit with false CPS allegations, especially since I can lose my job if there's even a whiff of it), BM can never be present, if SS is a brat he reserves the right to leave immediately, etc. So that's kind of all I hear now.

I think the problem with our issue though is that DH never bonded with SS since he's never been around him, so SS is like a cousin's kid he knows about but has never interacted with. It's kind of hard, for my DH at least, to theoretically bond with anything without being around it. That and meeting a bunch of people who are proud of making their (what they see as) absentee father miserable has kind of unfortunately solidified the idea that skids are evil for my DH. (This is weird to me, because I also know plenty of skids who are wonderful and view their steps as their other parents. He seems to be selectively wiping those from his memory.)

If anyone has hope, it's me. Mainly because we have such good relationships with otherwise troubled kids (we've taken in two so far who came from really bad, drug family backgrounds--one, J, finished trade school already, married his girlfriend, and now has a daughter of his own. I get a Happy Mother's Day from them every year. The other still lives with us, is digging himself out of the hole he dug in his credit, battling depression and obesity--and winning! This year is the first Mother's Day with him and I did a doubletake when he said it to me.) so I'm like, sure THROW WHATEVER YOU GOT AT US because we can do it!