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Tips & Tricks to Kindfully Disengage

RIP's picture

Hello all,


So after discussion with DH, I have decided that the best way to navigate my current pregnancy is to disengage completely from SD11. We did dicuss that with her health issues, attachment issues, etc. it it creating more of a stressful environment every single time she comes to town to visit us. She follows me around NON-STOP. Creeps on me when I am in my room, to the point, I have to keep my door closed when she is down here with us, etc. No privacy. DH says, "She doesn't want to hang out with me, she wants to be around you, because you're the only positive female model in her life & she wants to be just like you." I do feel that my current pregnany has been extremely hard on me as it is, physically and emotionally. I just cannot give her my attention right now & she is causing me ten-fold the amount of stress.

I am in need of tips & tricks to kindfully disengage from her. I can no longer be her emotional punching bag, care about her health concerns, etc. It's overwhelming & literally consumes my mind with concerns the weeks she comes down. I really need help! Thank you.


RIP's picture

even when dad goes to hide downstairs & watch sports? I feel like it is in my right to tell her, "Hey, it's your dad's weekend. You need to be spending it with your dad." etc. He tells me that she just wants to be around me because, "she wants to be like you..." I feel like I am not going to take that excuse anymore... I feel like there is ALWAYS an excuse for him to not attend to her 24/7

ESMOD's picture

Heck no.. you don't need to tell her that.

You know what you DO do? 

You go down where your SO is HIDING.. and tell him in no uncertain terms that he needs to do something with his KID. who is there to see HIM.  

simifan's picture

You are exactly right. He is pawning the kid off on you by trying to flatter you & you are too nice to say no. Yes, tell her where he is hiding & tell her go spend time with dad - "hey sweetie, why don't you go down stairs to spend time with Dad. You don't get to see him that often. That time together is precious." or "I'm not feeling that great, but I'm sure Dad would love to XXX (play checkers, watch movie, etc.) with you. He's down stairs go ask him."

Then, quick go run "an errand" (which was always my lingo for I need an hour alone, even if its at starbucks, a cafe, in my car). Or even better lock the bedroom door & go take a nap - pregnancy & all :-)


Aniki-Moderator's picture

RIP, that is a perfect time for DH to share his love of sports and teach SD about the game. My love of hockey, football, and baseball are a direct result of spending time with my Dad.

RIP's picture

SD just refuses to do ANYTHING sports related or Physical activity related. Literally. We even offered to buy her a bike, and she said no. She would rather play on her Nintendo Switch. (Another issue I have with needing to disengage---- If she were my kid, I would be forcing her to get active.)

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Then she can sit next to DH and play Nintendo Switch. Tell your DH it is NOT an option.

ESMOD's picture

This is a conversation you need to have with your DH.  You need to remind him that his daughter is there to see HIM.  You need to remind him that you are tired.. and your pregnant.. and you don't have the band width to deal with constantly  entertaining his child..   And while it is flattering that she likes you and wants to be with you.. that doesn't negate the FACT that you are tired and just don't have the energy to deal with it constantly.    You need to remind him that he needs to have plans on what to do with her when she is there.. to spend time with her.. to take her for a walk.. watch a movie with her (boohoo miss your stupid man-baby ball sports... I am so blessed that my DH doesn't waste his time watching a bunch of overpaid losers playing children's games..) Or.. instill a love of the games in his daughter.. she can take an interest in football.. basketball.. or whatever.. some women do.. I can watch most sports.. have a general understanding of the game.. or better yet.. go kick a ball with her?  go biking with her? go visit a local park.. or state park.. go hiking.. learn to identify plants.. birds.. etc.. 

Remind him that ... I will be nice to your daughter.. I may spend a little time with her.. but don't expect me to be minding her 24/7 during YOUR visitation.. when I come to you and tell you it's time to step up? it's time to step up.. you get off your butt.. turn off the telly and become a parent for the rest of her visitation.

ESMOD's picture

I mean.. I hate to say it.. but why do you want to be with someone who ignores you.. who ignores their child? It's not like this is a new problem then? it's not like he has not had it pointed out to him.. repeatedly.

Perhaps the conversation has to happen more often? like every time he goes to hide? Maybe you need to figure out how to cut off access to the internet and TV so he will not be as distracted?  You may even have to just physically leave to go elsewhere when he has visitation.. 

RIP's picture

It has come to the point where I leave the house to distance myself from DH & SD. It just sucks when I am SO SICK/ SO EXHAUSTED & just get done puking in the bathroom, then have to find a safe haven for the next couple of hours when all I want to do is just lay in bed curled in a ball.

I have asked him to take SD out of the house when we do have her on weekends to entertain her & he simply says back, "I have no money to do that...." OR, "No....she doesn't want to do anything with me. Just you."

ESMOD's picture

You need to go to him each and ever time then.. take his daughter with you.. Here honey.. here is your father.. I am going to go lie down for a nap.  ughhh I get so mad when I read these posts.. you are not the first on here.. having a kid with a dad who won't parent his existing kids.. it's horrific.

JRI's picture

Your DH is taking the lazy way out by letting all her care fall on you.  How often does she come?  Perhaps, if he's not interested, the visits should be more seldom.   Does he do this with your bio child?

She's 11, doesn't live with you guys, so I get it that she's going to attach to somebody when she visits.  He needs to either face the fact he doesnt want her around, or search his heart and figure out a way to engage with her more.  I feel sad for her (and you).

RIP's picture

We get her 1-2 weekends a month during the school year. Then 2 weeks at a time during the summer.

Survivingstephell's picture

I think you will need to focus more on training DH to be a parent for both of his children.  He needs to be more scared of upsetting you than anyone else.  SD gets her feeling hurt because you need space? Tough, and DH  should be teaching her to respect you and your needs, not dump HIS duties on you.  You are a fellow adult in the house and as such get to set your own boundaries and expect/demand for them to be respected.   You will also have to do this for your baby.  Babies needs come first, not  SD or DH.  Better get him straight now or when you come home after delivering, your days will be extra stressful training these two.  

RIP's picture

I have talked to DH about this almost every single month for the past 2 years. We have no living bio-children of our own at this time. We had our 7 day old son, he passed away from HLHS in December of 2021. We are expecting DD in October 2023. I have told him, that if he cannot take care of SD11 when she is with us, then perhaps she doesn't come down as much. (Which again, I do feel bad about saying...but.....she just isn't my daughter.) I shouldn't have to spend my time & money on her.

RIP's picture

I am obviously starting to see that now. After 3 years. I just cant take back this baby at this point obviously. IDK. This is why I am asking for advice on how to successfully disengage. Without being a complete b*tch to SD & DH.

ESMOD's picture

The way to do it is remind him prior to the visit.. 

Then during the visit.. you just have to nicely redirect her.. even if it means physically taking her by the hand and taking her to wherever her dad is hanging out.  

I get you can't take the baby back.. and I don't think you want to.. but you do need to prepare for a future with a less than actively involved father...  

You could also plan some activities for them to do together.. and actively suggest those?  I know it's not your role.

But if you don't have a working lock on your bedroom.. you need to install one.  And.. as a last resort while he is resistant.. you may have to remove yourself from the equation.. it's not lies.. you ARE tired.. you need to rest.. to nap.. ALONE.

So.. go to your room.. lock your door.. after nicely telling her.. "Sorry honey.. I am feeling a bit under the weather.. can you go hang out with your dad? I'm going to lie down".. if he has hidden himself?  Then you help her find him in your house.. if he has the nerve to leave the house without telling you where he is going?  I would be making a reservation for a hotel.. and planning to spend every weekend she is there on your own in your quiet luxury retreat!

Winterglow's picture

Be relentless. She is his responsibility so it's "go ask your dad" " go see your dad" every single time. It doesn't matter that she wants to spend time with you rather than him  - it's up to him to engage more with his daughter. An 11yo doesn't get to decide how YOU, an adult, spend your time. Redirect her every single time.

He doesn't have money to do things with her? The park costs nothing, nor does the library ( a fabulous place where you can find out about all the other things that you can do with kids in the region for little or no cost), going for a walk costs nothing. Frankly, he needs to get his lazy arse into gear . If he still refuses to lift a finger for her then cut back visitation and let him pay more CS .

 No worries, she already knows that her father's a waste of spac shite. 


Merry's picture

It appears that your DH doesn't care about his daughter, and he doesn't really care about you either, other than the things you can do for HIM. He is the center of his own universe and there is no room for anyone else.

Other than making yourself physically absent when SD visits, you can kindly explain to her that pregnant women tire easily and you are going to nap. Take her to wherever her father is hiding and tell him that you will be napping and not to disturb you for at least 3 hours, or whatever timeframe you choose. Then do it. Close the door. Lock it. Get angry if either of them stomp on that boundary.

Or go visit family and friends the weekends she visits. Distant family is best so you have to be gone the whole time and he has no option other than to take care of her.

I dunno. Nobody wants that poor child. No wonder she's a mess.


ndc's picture

**She doesn't want to hang out with me, she wants to be around you, because you're the only positive female model in her life & she wants to be just like you.**

This is a bit manipulative.  He's trying to pass his parental responsibilities on to you.  I might suggest to him that if she isn't coming to see HIM and to hang out with HIM and to spend time with HIM, there's really no point in her coming.  The whole point of visitation is for her to spend time with her father and have a relationship with him.  If he doesn't want to foster that relationship and spend a lot of quality time with her during the approximately 4 days a month he has with her, then he should have her stay with her mother. Remind him that she's not your child, you don't want to be her mother and it's not your job to be her role model.  You'll probably have to remind him of this multiple times before every single visit.  I do not suggest saying much to SD - this is something to address with your husband.

When his daughter comes to you for something, redirect her to her father.  Tell her he wants to spend time with her. If he's leaving the house, remind him to take her with him.  Tell him that he doesn't get to hide out downstairs and watch sports unless SD is down there with him. Make your own plans.  Make your room your sanctuary that SD is not allowed to enter.  DO NOT allow him to ignore his daughter.  He is not obligated to take visitation, so if he can't see to her health needs, spend time with her, save his money to do things with her outside of the house (newsflash: he can do things outside of the house with her that don't cost money), I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest to him that she not come.  If he's constantly pushing her on you, he must not really want her there.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

You still have your doctor's appt, right? Tell them everything that's going on, from your feelings about your SD that have been brought out by this situation, and your DH's and your family's lack of support. You really shouldn't be navigating this alone. Maybe they can help communicate these things to your husband. Hell, maybe BM needs to be notified that you can't be responsible for her daughter at this time due to pregnancy complications (and you ARE having complications), and she needs to stop sending her over as much for a while. I'm sorry you are surrounded by dumb a-holes. 

RIP's picture

BM & DH are content with her just sitting at home alone when they are off doing things. SD sits in BM's home all day, eating, and watching videos on her phone. DH doesn't mind her sitting at home, binge eating & watching videos either. BM doesn't even come home 4-5 nights out of the week (stays with random men from the bar she works at) leaving SD11 & her sister 6 on their own. Her life truly is a mess. BM & DH don't care about her at all. But I also know that it is not my job to save her. This is just.....TOO MUCH for me to even think about. It causes so much stress when she is down here. 

DH states that he wants to spend time all this lost time with her, but I see NO real actions or care. 

IDK. My own mom doesn't think that DH & I are going to last due to his lack of parenting with his current daughter & his financial issues. It's all just...TOO MUCH FOR ME RIGHT NOW. 


ESMOD's picture

Could you move back with your mom?  It honestly sounds like this guy has a host of issues that make him a poor partner for you.. (or most any woman really).  You will likely have to take the lead on parenting your own child.. so your mom may be more help than he is going to ever be willing to pitch in.

Aniki-Moderator's picture

Everyone is giving you great disengagement suggestions. Smile

RIP, you're obviously in need of some Me Time. Is it possible for you to take a weekend getaway? A spa, a weekend at the beach, even just holed up somewhere quiet so you can rest, read a book, etc. 

DH will be 100% responsible for SD and they can have some bonding time while you get some much-needed self-care time. 

Survivingstephell's picture

If you are unable to stand up to him and enforce your new boundaries, find your state's child support calculator online and find out just how expensive a newborn is.  Include child care in that  figure because if he refuses to step it up, this will be his new broke A$$ lifestyle.   Numbers usually make in impact on the male mind. 

Cover1W's picture

Part of my disengagement (but the girls love doing things with you! they look up to you! you are a good role model!) was vacating the premesis and being very busy. And closing the door to our room was part of it (it was not a space for the SDs from early on).

And a hotel for a night or two would be great!  I'm actually thinking about doing that over the holidays this year if we don't go visit his family...just to get away from the insanity.

Rags's picture

Time to inform him that she will not be driving your stress up for the rest of your pregnancy and he will have to daddy up and spend time with his daughter.  If he has a man cave, make your BR your locked door zen space.  

Take care yourself and the baby.  

Harry Potter's picture

I read your blog from the other day too and I could have written most of it a couple of years ago. To cut a very long story short, I didn’t do what people would typically recommend but I am successfully disengaged and very happy. DH was obviously in a difficult situation as what was best for me and what would make SD11 happy were very opposite things. I took the decision away from him and just stated that I would no longer have anything to do with SD11 and that it wasn’t in DD’s best interests to be around her. When DD (now 2) was born, DH amended his child maintenance agreement so that he no longer has SD11 overnight. Maintenance was recalculated taking this into consideration along with the reduction for having a new child in the house.

DH picks SD11 up in the morning and they spend the whole day out of the house. They go for walks, bike rides, parks, beaches, forests, have picnics or sometimes do inexpensive activities. He returns her to BM in the evening. Although they have less hours together, they get better quality time together than they used to sitting round the house. Plus fresh air and exercise helps reduce SD11’s bad behaviour as she’s distracted and tired out. I don’t get involved in anything to do with SD11 - I don’t remind him of important dates, I don’t help choose or wrap presents for her, I don’t ask about her. It’s actually been very freeing.

DH is a wonderful dad to DD, and a very different dad than he is with SD11. I think the person you parent with can make a huge difference. Our household is a very happy family of 3, and DH and SD11 are a (separate) happy family of 2.

The biggest thing I did to get rid of the guilt of being a horrible person/evil SM was to not speak to other people about it. Friends and family just don’t understand. People on the internet seem to sway in the direction of keeping the SK happy at the sacrifice of your own happiness. I’m not saying what I do is the best option for you…but there’s definitely different options out there that can work for your family, even if it’s a big change from what’s been happening up until now…and different to what other blended families do. Disengagement can be whatever you need it to be. You need to prioritise yourself as no one else will. And to look after your new baby you need to look after yourself.

Best of luck x

Blackpinkinyourarea's picture

So your advice is to be selfish and controlling, and try to convince parents to abandon their kids? 

And besides I don't believe that a parent can be neglectful to one child and a stellar parent to the other. It's easy to be a "wonderful" parent when the other parent is doing 90% of the parenting  for you and constantly steering you in the right direction.

The biggest thing I did to get rid of the guilt of being a horrible person/evil SM was to not speak to other people about it.

Even if you don't speak to other people about it, it won't erase what you and your DH did. You and your DH know. SD will know. What you did was not disengagement. What you did was to help alienate a parent from their child and confirm the stereotype. Seriously what a selfish self serving decision.



Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think if you read some of these posters' backstories, you would feel less outrage. Most of them started out wanting to be Maria Von Trapp but the best their situations allow is firm boundaries to protect their mental health, and in some cases, to protect other children and pets. I'm a lot less judgy than i was 5 years ago. 

Blackpinkinyourarea's picture

I don't expect anyone to be Maria von trapp. Theres a difference between disengagement and ripping a parent away from the child. When a parent tries to alienate a kid from another parent, we all agree it's terrible. If BM tries to stop a  kid from having overnights with the father, it's terrible. But this one can do it and it's  fine??! Yeah, no. And btw, how does she know SD and DH are a"happy family" if she never sees her or asks about her?!  Why try to rip a child away from their parent, causing her lots of issues and more trauma than she's been through?

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I don't know what HP's story is. Under normal circumstances, i agree, it is wrong. In some circumstances, it isn't. The OP in this thread is experiencing very serious pregnancy and infant loss-related mental health issues. When her SD is present, her DH places most of her care on OP. That isn't safe for OP or SD. There is a case near me where a stepmom was caught on video rolling a bucket onto the BM's front lawn with her 6-year-old daughter's dead body inside. This happened last week. This OP is struggling. She is reaching out for help. She has asked her DH multiple times to care for his own daughter when she is in their home but he would rather watch sports. OP is reaching out for help and extreme disengagement seems to be her only option. There have been posters on here whose skids have sexually molested their own kids or grandkids. There's one who strangled a toddler until the child passed out in a pool of his own vomit. Sometimes people have to make hard choices to save themselves or others. Would this SD be better off spending the weekend at home with dad on the couch and pregnant SM telling everyone she's about to lose her shit, or spending a day at the park with dad then going back to BM's? 

RIP's picture

I obviously would NEVER lay a hand on SD. Ever. But it HAS come to where DH needs to separate SD from the home as much as possible, for the sake of my own mental health (I have had mental health issues prior to my pregnancy and infant loss since the age of 5 years old, I am now 31) but they have been getting worse since pregnancy. Too much added stress. I tell DH, and my prenatal psychiatrist that the further in this pregnancy I get, I feel unhinged and it is in the best interest of my family to separate themselves as much as possible at this time (Prenatal psych 110% agrees) DH just doesn't care & will clearly do whatever works best for him & his schedule. 

After having these difficult conversations with him about limiting time with SD, etc. He comes back with, "Well, if we ever get a divorce I will just come after you for alimoney. You make WAY MORE than I do. Then SD & I will be set."......I simply laugh & say, "Welp. You'll be paying child support for two children then. Now you really won't have any money to go to your sports games." *ROFL*

Rumplestiltskin's picture

OP, of course you won't lay a hand on SD. You are handling this situation the right way. You have asked for help from the one person most able to help. Your husband. When that didn't work, you sought advice here and you are also seeking advice from your doctor. You are protecting yourself, your baby, and SD. Your husband seems to not give a shit about any of you. 

Ispofacto's picture

Your DH is a POS and I think you should leave.


ndc's picture

I think I'd be inclined to call his bluff and divorce him before he has much of a claim for alimony.  This is not a man I'd want for my partner. 

RIP's picture

It would get me out of having to deal with SD ever again. And a husband that clearly doesn't care what I have to say or how I feel. But...then I turn into a single mother. I DO make a substantial amount more than he does. But.....Having to be a single mother to a newborn just seems like....a lot. I would have to sell my home, etc.

Ispofacto's picture

Court is a crapshoot but it seems highly unlikely they would force a custodial BM to pay alimony to a man. It's not like he gave up his career to raise your children. It sounds like you haven't been married very long. Get away now and you should get full custody for sure. If you have been together less than five years he will have very little to no equity in the house.

I can tell you that being a single parent was a breeze compared to having to mommy a defiant grown manchild.

He told you who he is, believe him.


ndc's picture

I'd rather be a single mom to a newborn than have to live with a selfish man who is likely using me, and a SD that taxes my mental health.  It sounds like you have a well to do and supportive family.  Lean on them to get through this time.  Don't sacrifice your life and your mental well being for a man who doesn't care what you have to say or how you feel, and doesn't seem to give a fig about his own daughter, either.  From everything you've written, this man is beneath you, and your quality of life will go up when he's no longer around, even if it's more difficult in the short term.

How long have you been married?  That's relevant for alimony.  ETA:  If you are contemplating ending the marriage, talk to a lawyer and get a good grasp on what you may have to pay to get rid of him.  If it's a short marriage he's not going to get alimony.  If it's a short marriage, he's not going to get much, if any, of the assets that were yours prior to marriage.  I would not consider for a minute remaining married to a man who is threatening me with the prospect of alimony.

ndc's picture

There shouldn't be alimony in most places for such a short marriage.  I'd get out while it'll cost you less to do so.  At this point I'd think your biggest financial risk would be child support if he tries to get significant custody of your daughter.  Based on how he is with SD, do you think that's likely?  If your family already thinks your marriage isn't going to last, you're unhappy and stressed and your idiot husband is already talking about alimony, I think talking to a lawyer would be prudent.

Blackpinkinyourarea's picture

SD can do all that but still spend overnighrts with dad. This is not an issue of safety. The child is not dangerous.  Why should the child be denied precious time with her parent because the OP decide to marry this man?  Why do these parents get to opt out and move on from their own kids? Can women do this too ..or only men can do this, as in start over and leave their kids behind?

There's also another option here. The OP can leave herself. The relationship is probably not going to last anyway. OP knows that.

RIP's picture

In my case, SD is obviously still allowed to spend nights, etc. I am just having them find alternatives to her being in our home as much. Whether that means DH takes her on a trip, to go camping, to go to his parent's places for the weekend, etc. He is her father, he made her and it's his responbility to be there for her. Just not my responsiblity to take care of her-- which I am now refusing to do.

Winterglow's picture

In this case, all OP wants is for her husband to actually spend some time with his daughter when she visits. That's the whole point of visitation, isn't it? For the child to spend time with their parent. Here the parent is leaving his daughter to his wife all the time with excuses about why he can't spend time with her. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, this a-hole isn't clamoring for more time with SD. He's pawning her off on OP who is reaching out for help. And safety IS an issue here. SD's safety. OP hasn't said so much as an unkind word to SD from what she's typed, but due to pregnancy hormones and previous infant loss, she is having feelings about SD. She even struggles to be around her nieces and nephews right now. The dad sits on the couch while SD follows OP around looking for attention. Attention that her father refuses to give her despite OP's cries for help. OP isn't denying him anything he is wanting to have when it comes to time with SD. ETA In her way, OP is thinking about SD's wellbeing more than her own father is. 

ESMOD's picture

I would say that there is a difference between insisting your spouse manage the care and visits with their own bio children and actively discouraging them from allowing the Skid to visit.  

Of course, there are issues where the skid has perpetuated some unforgiveable abuse.. where it is entirely ok that the SP demand that the Skid's visitation not happen in the same home with the victims of that abuse.  or at the very least.. not at the same time.  There can be valid reasons to ask for visits with Adult Skids occur elsewhere as well.

But,  in most cases.. I do believe that the SP needs to figure out how to live with and accept the custody arrangement their spouse has with their EX.  BUT.. and this is a huge BUT.. the SP does not necessarily have to be the one that makes those visitation's workable.  If their spouse is working out of town on a visitation weekend.. they do not need to accept that the child is coming over for that weekend (unless they want that) for example.  They don't have to agree to watch the small child while their spouse goes out to drink with his buddies.. watch his sports.. or go fishing.  

During a parent's visitation.. especially a NCP.. it is the BIO parent's responsibility to ensure that their time is reasonably free in order to care for and to interract with their bio child that is visiting.  They should be taking the lead on any extra work having the child in the home creates.. sure.. if the SP normally handles cooking and doesn't mind.. that is the SP's perogative to cook.. or to insist that pizza is ordered in.. or whatever works for the SP.  

Sure.. a Bio parent can ask their partner to help.. or to join in with activities.. the SP can accept or decline.. for a variety of reasons.. up to and including the "I don't feel like it".. with no further explanation necessary.

But the Bio parent also needs to be responsive when their partner comes to them and asks them to handle their own child.. because they are bugging the SP.. 

This poster is pregnant.. emotionally at frayed ends.. and while she has had the capacity to be as kind as she could muster to this girl.. she has also repeatedly asked her DH to step up.. and he constantly puts it all back on her.. and THAT is not fair.

So.. I think telling her DH that she is not going to be able to help with child care.. and in fact may be off visiting mom for the weekends his daughter comes is fine... not saying he can't have his child over.. and not even necessarily saying she is leaving the house (though that's an option).. but that he needs to be responsible for his kid... she isn't telling him SD can't come.. she is saying that she can't watch SD.  

If his response is to refuse visitation because his spouse is not going to watch his kid??? That's pretty crappy father actions.. and if that is truly his response.. I think OP realizes she may be better off raising her child as a "single mother" than with this guy that can't be bothered to be present in his children's lives.

Blackpinkinyourarea's picture

So basically what you're saying is this:

If sk is has to visit outside dads house ( and get less time with dad)

If sk is I'll behaved has to visit outside dads house (and get less time with dad)

If dad is not a great parent has to visit outside dads house and (get less time with dad)

If sm is struggling and having "feelings" about has to visit outside dads house (and get less time with dad)

So basically whatever happens, sk gets kicked out and has to give up time with dad. That's it in a nutshell. How fair for the child. Then one wonders why these kids end up with so many issues and estranged from their fathers.



RIP's picture

Let's get this straight. It's MY house. DH & SD are fully aware of this.  And I refuse to take care of a child that DH won't take care of himself, especially while pregnant. She can come over, spend the night, etc. But she is not to linger over me. It's not my responsiblity. I don't cook for her, I don't clean up after her, and I don't entertain her. If DH cannot even take care of her, nor wants too, then he and BM need to figure out an alternative way of parenting her somewhere else.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Stepmom. We are advocating for this SD to spend less time with stepmom. Try to stay with the program. 

Harry Potter's picture

I realise how horrible I sound, I really do.

It’s a very long story but SD11 is violent and has proven she can’t be trusted around DD. Before I was pregnant I would make a point of being out of the house, often with nowhere to actually go. SD11 would snoop through our stuff, pretend to be in the toilet but DH would find her in our bedroom reading personal paperwork, or with my jewellery in her bag. The list goes on. Doesn’t exactly make you feel great about leaving your own house, there’s only so many things you can lock away. All the doctors said I couldn’t leave for weekends at a time with nowhere to go when I had a baby/toddler who has a routine.

DH picks SD11 up early in the mornings and returns her to BM just before her bedtime. The reduction in hours is time that she would be sleeping anyway. (I use the term sleeping loosely, she would frequently wake us and the neighbours up throughout the night, but that’s a whole other story). Also when she used to be at our house she would just be sitting on her iPad. Our current arrangement means that although it’s less hours overall, they are actually spending quality time together out and about and speaking to each other.

There’s no support from BM as apparently SD11 behaves for her. They live a very different lifestyle to us. Our current arrangement even works better for BM as she’s not getting constant face times from SD11 complaining that we dared to serve her vegetables or asked her to brush her teeth etc. BM can actually enjoy her days out now without constant interruptions.

I’m definitely on the more extreme end of the scale of disengagement, but it has worked out much better for us. We could have myself dreading every weekend, DD’s well-being in danger, DH at the end of his tether, SD11 hating the way we live our life in our household, BM getting constant calls from SD11 complaining, aggro between BM and DH, a strain on mine and DH’s relationship…or I could be selfish and look after mine and DD’s well-being, SD11 gets fresh air and exercise, SD11 and DH get more meaningful time together, we all get decent sleep at night, our privacy isn’t invaded through snooping/stealing etc.

The point I was trying to make is that disengagement can be whatever you need it to be. Even though strangers on the internet don’t approve, that doesn’t mean that varying degrees of disengagement isn’t what is best for any family’s unique situation.

RIP's picture

DH is getting SD11 on Thursday night. DH & BM pick up/ drop off SD when it is most convient for their schedules (selfish a-holes...) SD has missed over 6 Friday's of school--in which DH & BM say is acceptable due to her "having such good grades" (which I don't believe for a second). Anyway. I just found out that DH has a track meet on Friday, in which I TOLD HIM that he would be taking her. I was given, "Well...I don't know if I will have time to stop by the house & pick her up and then go to the track meet. It's like...15 minutes out of the way." I told him I simply don't care & that SD better not be home when I get home from work. ANOTHER SURPRISE, DH tells me HE WORKS ON SATURDAY. I told him, "Okay. We are absolutely, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES, getting SD on the weekends you work." This is outraegous. I told him my door will be shut, I will be sleeping in, and that if she wakes me up, I am going to be LIVID. 

This morning, I sent him a message. With the summer coming up, he gets TWO week a month with her. And he will NOT be getting her the weekends he works because its, "easier for him & BM...." Period. And if that didn't work out for him, then he and BM will have to make other accomodations. 

Broke into another thing. About DD (who isnt even born yet). I told him, we will not be having visitors at the hospital NOR our home until after 2 weeks of DD being there & that there is absolutely NO KISSING THE BABY. Not even SD until I AM comfortable with it. (SD gets strep throat literally 5x per year & is always sick & hacking up a lung) DH tells me, "Well...No. My family will kiss the baby all they want. Especially my daughter." 

Well marriage may be on very thin ice after standing up for myself & DD.....

JRI's picture

I'm sorry your marriage is on thin ice.  And I'm sorry for both you and SD.  But the more you post, the more self-centered he sounds.  At least, you know because "mental health is an ongoing dedication to reality at all costs".

RIP's picture

I am starting to realize that he REALLY only puts himself first. And even SD's well-being over me, DD, and even our son when he was with us. I am starting to tell myself it's my fault for not seeing his true side sooner & a feeling of regret now.

JRI's picture

If things do go south and you separate, at least you know what kind of dad he will be to your DD when she visits.

I was disappointed in myself, too, for not seeing what kind of dad my handsome, charming ex would be.  I have a private thought that we find out who we really married once we have a child.

Winterglow's picture

Get your doctor on your side about this kissing nonsense. Babies don't need to be kissed. Held, yes, hugged, yes, kissed - umm, no. You have already lost one baby, it's perfectly normal to worry about your new baby's wellbeing. 

Good for you for standing up to him about his daughter visiting to see HIM, not to hang out with you. He keeps trying to slide more onto your plate while doing his best to avoid spening time with his daughter. If he weren't such a lazy parent he might actually enjoy the time spent with her.

ndc's picture

Frankly,  your marriage crashing through that thin ice might be the best thing for you. Your husband is neither a good partner nor a good parent.  I'd head for my parents' house so that your husband has no choice but to take care of SD or make other arrangements.

AlmostGone834's picture

There are a couple DHs on this site that I think are just.... worthless. And yours has just joined the ranks for me. I held off saying anything on your last post but after reading this, all I can say is no wonder your SD is a mess. Her mother leaves her and her sister alone almost every night, and her father is worthless. No wonder she eats away all her feelings dealing with rejection coming from all sides. Her weight is the least of your problems. 99% of the time I am on team anti-skid but once in a while, man I do feel sorry for them.
You have a DH problem and a big one at that. The way he treats you and the things he says to you are horrible. 

Noway2b1's picture

"She doesn't want to hang out with me, she wants to be around you, because you're the only positive female model in her life" my DH still occasionally lays a similar version adapted to the fact that his kids are GROWN ADULTS. Their mother is wackadoo and he roped me into having more interaction with them than I think I would have jumped into had I not felt bad that "their childhood lacked a mother figure and they are just pining to make memories with YOU" no, no they were not, they delighted to have a new exciting events coordinator on the scene to expose them to new things, that's it. DH still occasionally will try to spin their "need" of me in their lives whereupon I shrug and say "that's a weird way of showing it" As I just continue to disengage. 

RIP's picture

SD is growing up to be just like BM. So no, she obviously looks up to her mother in some ways. I told him that that excuse wouldn't work on me anymore. It's just him getting out of doing anything with her.

Ispofacto's picture

Killjoy followed me around. Everyone told me she loved me and needed me because her mother was worthless. In reality I was kind and she wanted what I had to offer, to use me, then reciprocate by pouping all over me. It's the same story all over this site.


RIP's picture

Defs has already started to happen to me. Was awesome with her when she was little, purchased small things, and clothing when DH was short money & BM would send her back to DH with torn clothing & clothing that didn't fit. As she has aged, she has found out I make more money than DH & BM combined (and then some) & now she begs me to buy her everything she wants. Why? "Well....because you can afford it. So you should buy it for me."

Ummm absolutely not.

AlmostGone834's picture

Yes this. No one it seems can be bothered to spend time with this kid, let alone teach this girl manners so why expect any less?