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Disengaged and Happy

harmonyUK's picture

I've been with hubby for the last 9 years. He had already ended his 29 year marriage to a highly dysfunctional woman (she physically attacked him on a number of occasions), but he remained to ensure his daughter and son had a good childhood, education and step on to a career path for full independence. He did a good job and has many happy memories of them as youngsters, but that seems to be his only comfort now.

When he moved on to a new and happy relationship with me his kids both reacted badly - very jealous and hostile! I always remained in the background and never added my voice to any of the conflict that he endured with them and that is still the case even now - I have remained a silent stranger to them, so they have never directly 'attacked' me. It is always snipes, actions etc that my husband has to cope with and he has seen them for exactly what they both now are - very unpleasant adults. 

My SD (32) has always been very possessive of her Dad to the extent that she will preen and cuddle him infront of me to the point that he will step away because it is quite creepy - he's not happy about her behaviour. My SS is a 30 year old going on 13! Sulks, tantrums, tears, insults, if he doesn't get what he wants. They are both spoilt brats and my husband is the first to admit it.

I totally disengaged from them 3 years ago when they did something so deceitful that it left my husband quite devastated. He discovered at his father's Wake that they had seen fit to take their BM on a couple of visits to my husband's parents - who didn't want to have any association with their BM, but felt trapped as they wished to see their great grand daughters's so did not want to upset my SD. All in all - my In Laws were trapped into the conspiracy that (we discovered) had gone on behind our backs for some 2 years). This was during a time when my FIL was terminally ill with prostrate cancer and also developed aggressive dementia. He was (apparently) totally confused when my husband's EX was visiting and why they could not tell my husband about it. The more the dementia took hold, the more confused and upset FIL became. The old saying "The truth will out" is one I firmly believe in and it did come out big time at the Wake sadly. Hubby was bereft that his family had been forced into a position of lies and deceit by my SD and SS.

He confronted my SS and SD with their actions and they agreed they had both given their BM a 'lottery ticket' to continue to meddle and be vindictive - she is a very bitter, narcissistic woman who has been spoken to by the police twice for being violent towards me. This resulted in her receiving a caution for common assault on one occasion and banned from approaching us! Because she can't directly attack us she uses her children to achieve various levels of revenge - simply because she has never accepted that her husband left her and has now found someone else to be happy with - a totaly inability to move on with her life!

Hubby has lost all trust and respect for his children and is now estranged from his son and rarely speaks with his daughter - this is only so that he can maintain contact with his young grand daughters. His son got married in April and called his Dad last November to say he wanted him to go on his own to the wedding and that SS wanted to speak to me to ask me to say behind at home! Hubby was livid at my SS's arrogance. My husband refused to go on the basis that his son also said he 'could not trust his mother to not kick off at the wedding'. The woman is so selfish and uncontrollable that she wouldn't think twice about spoiling her son's wedding day! The call ended badly with his son screaming and ranting to the point that my husband exploded at him, all barrels blazing and everything was laid out on the table, warts and all! I've never seen my husband so apoplectic - it was quite frightening, but I just knew he had been pushed to the limit and wasn't going to suffer any more from his son. Hubby was shaking afterwards from head to toe so I just stayed quiet and let him calm down. His son tried several times to call him back and texts came through too, but hubby ignored them all.

His son text this week wanting us all to meet up half way in November to celebrate his dad's birthday! My husband has declined to which he got a text back "Why Not?". Hubby sent his son a very truthful email about "Why Not?" No doubt his son will be upset by it, but I said to hubby that the truth is the only way to deal with this - to put it in writing and not to endure any further screaming and ranting from his son. Hubby is obviously sad that it has all come to this, but he doesn't want to know his son at all as too much ill will and disrespectful behaviour has gone under the bridge.

Yesterday, my SD tried to Facetime her dad. No doubt her brother has shared the content of the email with her! Hubby had no wish to speak with her and deal with her meddling (she has always got herself too involved, thinks she knows best and speaks to her dad like he's a silly old fool who knows nothing - he's 62, very compassionate and is very intelligent!).

Yes, we are sure they are upset and no doubt jealous that their dad is happy and has moved on with his life. We live nearly 300 miles from both of them and that has been the case for the last 7 years. My husband just wants them to stop all of the nonsense, but like me, he can see that they will always be disruptive, manipulative and unpleasant - their BM has a very strong influence over them and they both share many of her characteristics - I think this is another reason why my husband finds it hard to like his children! 

The impact on me has been massive and it all came to a head last September after a reluctant visit (on both our parts) to my SS to meet his fiancee and her parents. The visit was cold, awkward, stiff and false from beginning to end. SS was very rude to his dad and, rather weirdly, my SS simply just stared at me! We were very polite and friendly to his future in laws, but when we came away I felt like a nervous wreck. I didn't realise at the time how much the visit had taken a toll on me, but I self referred to a CBT specialist to talk through how I felt, what to do about it and how hubby and I could reinforce our united front. The CBT was brilliant - I felt in control as did hubby and we both agreed that disengagement was the only answer with the SS. Hubby only now has occasional contact to Skype with his grand daughters, but living so far away, he knows he will never play a major part in their lives. Who knows, they may become more curious when the get older.

SD and SS will never be an active part of our lives and hubby is totally accepting of that - he has his fond memories of their earlier years and that comforts him that he was and still is a good dad. SD and SS have both said that their BM "has won", but in truth we feel that they are all the losers and they have lost sight of what is really important about 'family'. You can't force people to come to the table and be kind, honest, reasonable, selfless etc, but you can certainly choose who you associate with. If your kids are being disrespectful and dishonest then they are always going to be the losers.

For us now, we stand united, we are very happy, live by the coast in Cornwall UK,  have great holidays, enjoy golf together and have two wonderful Cocker Spaniel brother's Smile Life and love are good and long may it remain so.


Kes's picture

Welcome - there are not that many of us UK members here.  I am sorry to hear about your step situation, but glad that your DH has laid down a boundary and refused to be abused any more by his son and daughter.  We live in south east England, whereas most of my DH's birth family lives in the north.  We have been estranged from his mother, stepfather and one of his brothers, for over a year, because of the way they treated us.  I always maintain it is better to have no relationship, than one in which you are subjected to emotional abuse.  I spent a number of years enduring this from my first husband. 

We also had a difficult decade from the time I met DH (2002) until about 2013 when the SDs stopped coming EOW.  Their mother was a real trouble maker. 

I'm glad that CBT helped you - it sounds like you and DH have a solid relationship, and that is very precious.