You are here

How do I learn to disengage?

LavenderLady's picture

I guess my only opiton is to learn disengagement in my situation. I am trying to understand how to do that and to not let all these family problems get me down. The difficulties with my adult stephchildren and my husband leaves me feeling powerless and hopeless which results in some depression. My adult stepdaughter will not see me at all or let me come to her home (Never did anything wrong to her except right a letter saying I was hurt when she leaves my home without saying goodbye). She only invites DH and disincludes me, so I am left to just accept that. My husband feels I should be more supportive of him going on these visits without me, I do really try to be supportive but it also hurts alot to be left out all the time and that my husband accepts her rule that I am not be included and in that way I feel supports her behavior and so he just goes for visits whenever she asks and pretends everything fine. He says he cant make his kids talk to me or respect me & this is just how it is right now and I need to accept it. I am struggling to accept this situation so that is why I am wondering how to learn to disingengage and not let this get to my heart and spirit so much. Any ideas would be appreciated.


ybarra357's picture

I wish my DH would spend more time with his cretin adult kids.  Heck, I would relish the alone time.  But that’s just me as I refuse to be around the neanderthals.   He doesn’t say this but I know that he too doesn’t like to be around his spawn too much either.    

Siemprematahari's picture

Hi Lavenderlady,

You can begin by not having any contact with SD like not calling, messages, or even acknowledging her. Don't ask or even talk about her to H and whenever they go out make sure you have something planned for yourself. Take care of you and do things that you enjoy. This will show your H that you're doing your own thing. Don't remain home moping around because you are not with them. There is no reason for you to want to be a part of someone who is disrespectful towards you. You don't need that negativity in your life.

People treat you the way you allow them to treat you. She doesn't have to like you but your H should expect her to be civil to you as his wife. If he's not standing up for you and letting her know that she will be cordial, than you have bigger issues in your marriage.

Anything that you ever did for her just wash your hands of it, act like she doesn't even exist and you'll see how little by little you'll find your peace of mind and be better because of it. Don't ever allow anyone to rob you of that.

Enjoy disengagement it was the best thing I ever did.

Harry's picture

You have to disengage with DH. Until you come to some type of agreement about SD 

GoingWicked's picture

Why on earth would you want to go to the home of someone who doesn't want you there in the first place?  Why do you care that your DH visits his daughter?  Is he abandoning responsibilities, chores, or date nights to do it?  If not you need to let it go and accept that not everyone is going to be instantly loving, kind and welcoming.

In fact, I would consider it a great and wonderful blessing your DH is protecting you from his crappy kids by not insisting you play nice, and that your stepdaughter has decided to voluntarily leave you out of her problems and drama.  IMentally healthy people, like the people you want to get to know and make friends with do not shun other people for no reason.

LavenderLady's picture

I have not contacted her and she hasnt contacted me in a very long time so I guess were both doing that part.  DH says he has talked to her but he can make her talk to me. She doesnt have to like me but it would be appreeciated that my husband let her know that she does need to be at least cordial to me but he's not willing to do that and that is very disheartening! I would insist my friends, family etc. always treat my DH with respect. I'd like to feel like my husband always has back even if it means asking his kids to be decent to me, but he just accepts their behavior and Im suppose to be all okay with it.

Glad disengagement worked for you, hopefully someday it will work for me.

twoviewpoints's picture

Being your SD and you never see each other, never speak nor communicate in any other means, what would be your accomplishment in your view if Dh spoke to SD informing her she is at least expected to be cordial?

She's not contacting you. Not coming to your home. Just when would this expectation of 'cordial' kick in? It sounds to me as if you are indeed wanting more. It seems you want DH to insist SD include you or that DH have nothing to do with her due to her wanting nothing to do with you.

I doubt that is something you are going to get. Your Dh is correct in that you can not 'make' his daughter like you. Nor can he demand she include you in her life. I have no idea what and how it was worded, whatever you put in your letter to SD. While you say it couldn't have been 'that terrible', as your counselor approved of it, doesn't necessarily mean your SD must also view the letter in the same way. She received it. She read it, and she immediately chose to break any and all contact with you. 

I guess that is not the reaction you believed you would get when you wrote to her. But it was the chance you took when you sat down and wrote it out and sent it. No more need to worry and get hurt feeling over SD not saying thank you and saying 'good-bye' while leaving  a visit in your home. She made her choice to cut you out just as you made your choice to sit and write confronting her. 

Your Dh is going to occasionally still see his daughter, but I get the feeling you find that disrespect and disloyal to you, his wife. If you make a stink and demand he not see or talk to his daughter, it very likely will not turn out well for you. This is his daughter. He loves her. Just as you are his wife and he loves you (a different love , of course, one a father/child and one a husband/wife). Just because you two grown women seem to be done with each other, is it really right to request Dh to what, shun his daughter? If she would have demanded her father divorce you, he would not have done it and it would have been wrong for her to ask that of him.  

Focus on your marriage, your homelife and life with your husband. Doing the things you and DH enjoy doing together and as a couple. What's a few phone calls now and then or an occasional (perhaps one afternoon/evening every four to six weeks) visit with his daughter while you find something else to do that you really enjoy? You and husband are married and love each other, but you are not joined at the hip. You have a right to expect your husband to spend the days of holidays with you ( nope, he shouldn't leave you alone on Christmas or Thanksgiving and run spend it with SD). You have a right for him to honor any already set previous plans you two have made together (example, a weekend get-away or a simple home project diy job) to be kept and followed through on even if SD calls Dad and wants something else for him for that time. If your usual Sunday morning routine is to cook breakfast together and spend the day being lazy cuddled up, you have the right to expect that not to be canceled. 

But, hey, if SD calls on Monday and ask Dad to come to dinner on Thursday for a grandkids birthday cake dinner, minus you, is it really the end of the world? Let him go. Agree to a return time and then plan your own Thursday evening 'me' event. Whether that is a relaxing soak reading a book, a dinner out with a GF, scheduling a massage.... whatever you please.

Eventually, you may find you actually enjoy these little breaks and self focus on yourself and begin to look forward to the occasional Dh free few hours. Ask him not to talk about Sd to you. Not to discuss you with SD. Other than pre-discussing with you any plan or invitation prior to accepting from/about SD with you, there is no need for you to bother yourself with the woman. 

LavenderLady's picture

Wow, a lot to think about and consider, I appreciate your candid and honest   feedback. Thank you for taking the time to write all this and give me some insights on my situation. I will definitely reflect on all you said. Thanks again.


Merry's picture

Your DH is more afraid of his daughter than he is of you. Or, he doesn't want to confront her because that would be uncomfortable for HIM. He's much rather allow you to suffer while telling you to "just accept it." So he's being a selfish jerk.

You have DH problem more than you have an SD problem. I would ask him why he's afraid of her, and I would ask him if he would allow anyone else to mistreat you. You'll get a "no" to both of those. Then why is it ok for SD to mistreat you? You won't get an answer to that beyond it's your problem to accepts. There is nothing logical or reasonable, or loving I might add, about how your DH is handling this situation.

If nothing changes, then you will have to change something. Please make that about YOU. Enjoy his time away. Go out with girlfriends/your family. Wear a fancy dress and sexy shoes. Do something that makes you feel good. Don't ever ask about the SD or engage in conversation about her. Over time it gets easier.