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Emotional wreck today

Happycamper's picture

I’m such an emotional wreck today. I can’t stop crying. I guess you can say I’m having a pity party. Many of you know that my two kids are away at college. They are not near by so it’s a weekend trip to see them. My son asked DH and I to come up for one of his games. My son is the type of kid that doesn’t ask for something unless it means something to him. He’s kind of a depressed kid. He sees stuff his dad does for his sister and he always feels left out. DH and I said of course! Well guess what. There isn’t a free weekend where DH’s kids don’t have an activity. Even on the weekends we don’t have them they have stuff going on. DH won’t miss anything that they do. I’m having the pity party for myself that we live down the street from his kids and mine are 8 hours away. DH canceled last time we were going to do something with my son because his daughter wanted him to go to something of hers. I’m at all the skids activities. I want my kids to feel loved by DH too. He shouldn’t make plans with mine that he can’t follow through with. I’m always left going alone and having to explain why he didn’t come. I feel like a bad mom. I can’t even talk to DH because somehow he gets defensive when his kids are ever mentioned. He takes it when I say you don’t understand because we go to all of your kids activities as I’m saying it’s his kid’s faults. Everything gets turned around and he’s in daddy protective mode which is a waste because I’m not fussing about his kids. Sometimes it’s about me and how I’m feeling. Maybe because of this marriage I am feeling like a bad mom. Who knows. I just know this really sucks. 


nengooseus's picture

Little bit of tough love here...  You need to go see your DS whether or not your DH comes along.

Your skids are not your priority, even if they are your DH's and your kids aren't his priority.  And that's OK.  You don't need to explain his absence, you just go be with your kid!  Your DH doesn't have to love your kids, nor does he have to make them feel loved.  That's your job.  It would be great if he did, but you can't make him--and he's not going to make them feel loved.

You are allowing your DH to steamroll your relationship with your kids, and that's not OK.

classyNJ's picture

Go see your son without him.  I know it sucks - you want your DH there.

And stop going to his kids stuff.  Maybe he will get an idea of what it feels like.



Iamwoman's picture

You’re not a bad mom. In fact, you sound like a wonderful mom: you not only care deeply about your own kids, but you are sensitive to your skids activities as well.

Your DH is being a selfish stepdad. However, you can’t exactly force him to have a relationship with your children. He is obviously choosing to avoid bonding with them.

While your DH May think he is being a good dad to his own kids, I think he is being selfish, and he is also teaching his kids that the world revolves around them. They will grow up believing that everyone else’s needs take a back seat to their own.

I'm so sorry that your son feels blue so often. He is lucky to have you. I think if I were in your position, I would stop making excuses for my DH when he doesn’t show support for your son. I would flat out tell my son that DH is being selfish today, and chose to continue his attempts to cultivate selfishness in his own kids instead of doing the right thing g and coming out to show support to his stepkid. Your son is in college, so he is a bright kid who probably has a pretty good idea of where he stands in DH’s life. Part of his sadness may come from having to listen to you justify DH’s choices. I believe that by being bluntly honest with your son, it will strengthen your bond with him and perhaps help lift his mood. Kids, as much as we think we can fool them sometimes, really suffer mentally when they suspect their parents aren’t being truthful with them.

You're not in an easy or a fair situation, and it is your DH’s fault, not yours.

Happycamper's picture

Thank you all for reading through my long pity party! It really means a lot. I don’t have anyone to talk to. I can’t even discuss things with my husband because it all gets turned around if skids are mentioned. Well it’s kind of hard not to mention them because they do have things all the time. Also I’m sure he knows what my thoughts are. I’m so far away from my kids. It’s this way because he wants to live by his. I do give up a lot to be with him. He doesn’t realize that. He’s just always on the defense. This Disney dad crap gets old really fast!!! You know one skid turns 18 in one month and graduated a week later. He is still planning our summer around her “weekends.”  Do the skid weekends ever stop??? Ugh. I guess if I had a place to go and be waited on hand and foot I’d go there too. 

notsobad's picture

Go, be with your son but don’t discuss your husband with him.

Whatever problems the two of you have surrounding his treatment of your kids is between the two of you. We hear all the time about how husbands throw their wives under the bus in an effort to look good to their kids, Don’t be that person.

The person you need to talk to is your DH. Don’t make your kid angry at him. You and DH could easily work this out in the future but your son will hang onto his resentment. We see it all the time when it’s reversed and DH is talking about SM to his kids. 

I’ve watched it happen with my skids and BM. BM tells SD all about her relationships and things he says or does. All it does is make SD dislike the BF. Then BM and BF make up, but SD is still angry at the treatment of her BM. 

Happycamper's picture

I’m not one to discuss things like this with my kids. I know y’all are right in the sense that they will figure it out on their own. What sucks is that DH expects me to fawn over the skids when we are around them. One day he’s got to realize that his kids don’t walk on water and if you expect me not to have any resentment you have to give mine the same respect you want for yours. It’s not a one way street. And no, it’s not just when it’s convenient for him. When he’s around my kids for the most part he’s good. He’s just got to understand it’s give and take. Sometimes his kids may have something we miss. We only get to visit mine a couple times a year. Oh and don’t stroke out over buying mine dinner when we visit because we buy yours meals all the time, pay CS and give them extra money without a single thank you. Sorry guys. I’m going from sad to mad. 

Gimlet's picture

I think you need to reset the expectations all around.  It sounds like your husband expects you to be all in with his kids, but doesn't have the same idea about yours.

Do you want to have that sort of relationship with his kids?  If not, what steps can you take to back away from that?  I like banana's idea of writing it down.

Your kids will figure out where his priorities are.  The important thing is that you are there for them, like the others have said.

As for pitching a fit about buying them dinner, that's ridiculous and I would shut that right down.   So hypocritical.  And lol about weekends after 18.  Once YSS graduates, we will no longer plan around him, just the same as when my kid graduated.  I can already taste that freedom.

I'm sorry your husband isn't willing to give as fairly as he expects you to give.

bananaseedo's picture

Good, because you SHOULD be mad.  His 'defensiveness' is also to avoid facing the truth about his actions.  I would put it in writing and send it to him in the am-let him have all day to think about it and then you two calmly discuss when you're home later that day.  It's a method that has worked for me MANY times with SO I tell you lol.  To avoid you both shutting down in 'defense' mode.

Start out nice -plant the complaint in the middle- end with something nice and encouraging and 'in this together' a sandwich.  There's plenty of time we discuss in the moment-but when we're having difficulties communicating I choose that route.  It allows ME to calm down (and write/re-write/review what I have to say) and then him to read and let it marinade.  We've had success communicating this way quite a few times for major issues.  And this seems to be one.

Make sure to meniton-this is NOT about your kids, but about ME your wife and my feelings coming first at times. 

DaizyDuke's picture

I wonder if this could possibly be a phase with your DH?  My DH went through a phase when SD was around 16 or so, where he felt like his time with her was dwindling away... that she' be off to college soon, off being an adult living her own life and he (claimed) it was for that reason that he wanted to spend as much time with her as he could.  That was short lived in my case though since my SD is a narcissistic sociopath and the more time DH spent with her, he eventually grew weary of her continuous nonsense. 

I'm not condoning your DH behavior at all, and I'm not trying to minimize how you are feeling either, just wondering if there is more to the picture than your DH just being a hypocritcal jerk.  I agree with the others in that you need to start doing things for yourself and your kids.  Plan a trip to go see your son, if DH can't go.. oh well.  Continue to go to skid activities, but maybe not quite so many.  And I honestly think you should print out this blog right here and show it to DH.  It really sums up your thoughts and frustrations quite well.  Maybe seeing that your are hurting so much will give him cause to reflect on his behavior?

Happycamper's picture

I don’t think it’s a phase because as time goes on he gets worse and worse with it. The excuse is always that his kids are younger. Well yes they will always be younger but we are at a point where my kids were this age once while we were together and he wasn’t like that. BM, DH and the whole family site on the skids. If they have a chorus performance, everyone is there from the grandparents to aunts, uncles and cousins. My thoughts is that it stems from his childhood. He still till this day talks about how his parents didn’t go to his stuff, his step mom was means, etc. I think that’s why he “protects” them from me and I can’t even ask them to pick up their trash because it’s “not my place.” Unless he realizes he’s got an issue nothing will ever he resolved. 

pixielady's picture

I would stop going to all of his kids events if he can't even make it to one of your son's. If he asks why, tell him the truth.

princessmofo's picture

I agree with this.  I'd stop going.  Sounds like the world already revolves around them with the entire family attending their events.  I doubt your absence will be missed.  I'd disengage since dh states "it isn't your place."  Then so be it, dh... 

simifan's picture

Go and see your son when you want, alone in you have too.


Quid pro quo. It seems to me your weekends just got a lot freer. I wouldn't be going to any of his kids events. 

Wilhelmina's picture

definitely go see your kid. agreed, they dont need to know details about why DH didn't come.

This is obviously something that really effects you and you should talk about it with DH.
I think it is important to start with you are not attacking him or SDs or putting any blame on SDs, but that it is hurtful that he does not attend any of your sons activities and it would mean a lot to both of you to just go for one weekend you dont have SDs and have him maybe facetime with SDs after their activities to still have a face to face interaction about them.

stating youre not blaming or attacking will keep his defense down hopefully and coming up with a solution for him missing one weekend may make him more open to participating