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No connection

Crr18's picture

I am just wondering how may of your SOs  if having always been in their childrens lives seem to have no connection or bond with them and Don't really seem to know much about how their own kids feel about things or things they actually like and don't like. Plus SOs that are uncomfortable with the kids when they are around but will do anything they can to see them?


bertieb's picture

Here is how mine is. Yes, raised them and thinks they are close but I don't see them showing interest in him. If they call him it's because they have a problem or something exciting in their own life. We have no clue if Single SS has any friends, boy or girlfriend, work buddy he talks too. All we know is he rents a house alone and has from 7-20 texts per month according to the cell phone bill we still pay; and he has a really good job and is doing well at it. I asked him last Saturday night when we invited him to go out for dinner what he did all day and he just said stuff around the house. End of conversation.  Oldest SS calls to tell DH things about himself or his kids so DH can pat them on the back. Yes, when we are all together nobody talks after a few initial greetings. It is horribly awkward to me and once I faked a Dr. appointment and left! His adult kids have never taken us to dinner, only get DH little things for Christmas like a coffee mug or flannel shirt. No birthday or Fafhers Day gifts. They can both afford better, and receive much better from us.

thinkthrice's picture

Stop paying the cell bill.   Will that put the last nail in the communication coffin?  Probably but it doesn't seem there is much worth preserving now. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Not my DH, but BM. She tried to mold the kids into what she wanted and didn't bother to figure out much about who they are and what they want. Like, she could probably pass a multiple choice quiz about them, but that's probably is. And really, both kids are pretty private so none of us know too much. But we at least recognize that it's because they're private and not secretive, which BM doesn't seem to grasp.

missgingersnap2021's picture

OMG you just described my DH!!!! He always seems scared to have any real conversations with SD18. When she is here so many nights they both sit in the living room looking at their phones and not talking. 

Just yesterday he kept on and on on how we had to have pasta salad with dinner becasue Sd likes it. Well she stopped liking it years ago. LOVES mac and chesse (whcih I knew and had bought) so when he was telling SD we ran out of time to run to the store to get some but he would give her money to go buy some I told her "Or I have mac and chesses". Her eyes lit up and of course she did not go to the store to get pasta salad.

And he has never ever given up a visitation day but does almost anything he can think of to keep busy when she is here.


stepmomnorth's picture

My spouse was awkward with his kids at home, I always felt. I don't think he knew how to connect much or relate to them. He was mostly interested in his own hobby of mountain climbing, hiking and camping. His kids did not like these things, but each weekend he would try to convince them to come on these things and they hated it. He never asked them what they wanted to do or try to delve into what their interests were. It always felt like he was dragging them along with his plan rather than doing something they would like to do. 

CastleJJ's picture

My DH is awkward with SS10, but I don't blame him. I think we are all awkward with SS10. BM withheld him until he was 2 and has given us minimal visitation since, even with two court battles (one at birth until age 2 and one at age 7). We didn't get overnights until SS was 5 and even now don't have more than 2 consecutive weeks at a time, only getting 6 weeks of visitation total per year. BM has sole custody, which means that DH has no say in education, medical, etc. 

So BM and GF are raising SS10 as "their" son, while DH gets minimal visitation and pays hefty CS. DH says he struggles to bond with SS10 because all SS can talk about are his "parents" (BM and GF). SS can only talk about his family - BM and GF's families. When DH talks about our families, SS gets awkward like they aren't his family too. DH said he feels like a fun uncle to SS10, but worse because he has all of the financial responsibility and none of the benefit. But DH isn't ready to let SS go yet either. I think it will take SS blatantly cutting us out of his life before DH will realize what is already happening. We talk to SS twice per week and he already has nothing to say to DH. "How is school? Fine." "How are sports? Fine." "What's new? Nothing." And DH tries so hard to engage in conversation, asking about his interests... Nothing. It's like trying to build a relationship with a brick wall. SS is so affectionate and loving and fun with BM and GF, but he is cold and awkward with us. And it has gotten worse since he has gotten older. I think in a year or two, he won't want to be around us anymore. 

Plus, with BM constantly criticizing our parenting and always making false allegations, it's hard to not walk on egg shells when SS is here. DH is totally different with our DD, but again, he has a clear bond, one that he never had the opportunity to develop with SS. 

thinkthrice's picture

YSS at the tender age of six was using the term "In my/our family we do XYZ"  (meaning the Girhippo, StepdaddyBigBucks and his two elder siblings)

His dad (Chef) was not thought of as his family, called by his first name (until I corrected him) and I was the devil incarnate.

All the "you have TWO families" mantra by us fell on deaf ears as the Gir and her clan never stopped the unending PAS scorched earth guerilla warfare campaign.

Chef was supposed to shut up and empty his wallet into absolute inpoverishment, all the while the Gir and Clan would crow that Chef was a "deadbeat dad" in front of the skids and all who would listen (school staff, community members, etc).

No surprise that dads who are the target of mega PAS are awkward around their kids and vice versa.

shamds's picture

But every pregnancy he was not allowed to be involved or attend dr obgyn appointments. When it was time to give birth they'd arrive at hospital to exwife screaming at drs and midwives to cut the baby out of her as she couldn't be inconvenienced with labor etc. 

when hubby advised her people don't do csections for fun, they often have a medical condition or emergency warranting it, she screamed more.

this just made it extremely hard to bond. The bond hubby has with our 2 kids is what you expect of a proper family unit. He was involved day one and never missed a obgyn appt, we'd reschedule another day if busy with meetings. He saw the obgyn doing the ultrasound etc.

My skids his bond is more biological but he's disappointed that they all have biomums personality and traits, not one inherited any of his traits. Eldest sd went to hubbys alma matter and did exact same course he did and expected he'd be thrilled about it despite her 5.5 yr hiatus disappearing with her younger sister & cutting off all contact.

my husband doesn't trust or believe what they say. If sd's did something inappropriate and disrespectful behind his back to our 2 kids, i tell him in private and he believes it. Same with ss as hubby often from work messaged me to check did ss do what he actually asked

sd's especially the eldest one who is mid 20s now, even went as far as to guipt my husband fake crying on phone how he abandoned them to marry me and have 2 kids with me which is so far from the truth. She cut off all contact over lies her mum made that she knew were lies. Instead of taking responsibility for that, she blames me and a 1 & 2.5 yr old instead.

it never occurred to her why daddy shows more affection and care with our 2 kids. Ummm gee maybe coz we're pleasant to be around 

Cover1W's picture

Yeah DH has always had a difficult time interacting with the SDs. He acts like he's scared of them, and I've told him this. He denies it but he's so scared of any bad reaction they might have, or adverse experience that he either does nothing or he caters to them. I think they don't like either. I've suggested that he take them to do random things, even errands, help with yardwork, etc., But if they whine a little then they automatically get a pass. Or he just doesn't. By the time they were teens it was too late. Oh and if tears happened (yes tears when asked to go to the grocery store!) It was an automatic get out of whatever dad suggests. I told him this too but nothing changed.

It doesn't help that OSD had way, way too much power at BMs, and likely YSD now does since OSD is at college. BM also talks with them and is MOTY all the time.

It also means that I gradually disengaged since DH protected them even from me, nothing I can say will change or help the situation, so I'm also disconnected from both of them. I know that's effected YSD more but I cannot care more than the parent.

stepmomnorth's picture

That sounds exactly how my husband acts around his kids too, afraid of them and afraid to ask them to do anything. As if asking them to do dishes on one night would kill them. Our steps had too much power at their moms house too and that is a problem.

The thing you mention about the tears.. So true. It's crazy because I see tears and it makes me have less sympathy for a kid cause I know there doing it on purpose. Lol. But somehow it works on the other parent. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My DH fits your description. He experienced a lot of emotional neglect and trauma as a child, then became a teen dad. He was a "visiting uncle" type of dad, content to let others do the heavy lifting while he had the kids EOWE. He loved his kids, but never formed a deep connection with them. The fact that he worked swings, graveyards and weekends didn't help, and there was a dash of PAS as well.

When I came along, I became Suzy Fixer and urged him to be a better, more involved dad. What actually happened is I ended up propping his relationships up and became the buffer. Me doing all the emotional labor only allowed DH to avoid being a parent. He was close to his son, but not his daughters. He never learned how to talk with them.

I feel that DH never really owned being a parent. It was something that happened to him as a teen and he never got the right sort of support to help him grow into the job. Given his emotional problems, he means well but just isn't equipped for the job.

Crr18's picture

When I recently told my SO that I am just uncomfortable around SS he said he was too. I said it is even hard being in a car with him . He agreed that he doesn't like it anymore either. He said there is either silence or disrespectfulness from SS if they are not talking about sports. I just wanted to say and quick rdriving him around everywhere. His kids are never taught lessons.