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Disengaging.... still learning

scook10's picture

Ever since EX1 and EX2 and SD21 made their disagreement with us getting engaged be known, I've been on a mission: learning how to disengage from them and their drama and still hold onto my relationship. This sh*t is hard. We have broken up in the past due to this drama with them. FH has a tendency to run when it gets tough because that's all he's ever done. But he doesn't want to continue that behavior and he also doesn't want to let them dictate anything we do. He wants me by his side at every event, even if they don't like it. I'm so proud of him for wanting to cement our relationship like that. And he says the engagement is coming, he wants it to be surprise and I have to just be patient. 


He is the one who is 100% on board now and willing to take the step to back that up. It is me who wants to run away half the time. And I figured out that is because I don't know how to properly disengage without seeming like a stone cold b*tch. 


We have every weekend with EX2 and SD21, who dislike me. And SS11 loves me and wants me to attend his sports each weekend, as does FH. FH says that if they want me there than I should be going with no hesitation and ignoring EX2 and SD21. that he won't ignore his daughter but if she chooses to distance herself then that is on her, nothing we can do about it but keep being happy and a strong couple and let her do her own thing. I don't now when he got so smart. I suspect he has been for over a year now and it's actually me who needs to learn something here.


So..... how the hell do I be around them but disengaged? Teach me Smile


Cover1W's picture

Wait, HIS EX2 and SD21 spend every other weekend, the entire weekend with you?  Can you clarify?

scook10's picture

But SS11 has sports every weekend in which we all attend. These are usually all day affairs. So there's alot of time in the same place most weekends. EX2 is mother to SS11 and previous SM to SD21. They remain close still. 

thinkthrice's picture

Go with your gut!  You probably broke up because of some of this drama which will only increase after you get married

Exjuliemccoy's picture

FACT: this man has a huge pile of baggage and a history of handling it badly. Never, ever forget that reality.

He says he wants to change and wants to get engaged. Why? Why tell you, when he could just go about the business of working on improving himself and his parenting? And why share this adult matter with the kids??

He wants you by his side at all skid events. Again, ask why? Is he uncomfortable around his exes? Does he want you there to act as a buffer?

I think the smart thing to do is sloooow the relationship down and stop all talk of marriage and rings until after the kids are raised. This gives you plenty of time to grow as a couple AND see if he actually stays committed to healthy change. Don't be distracted by words or rings, and keep a firm grip on the facts. The statistics are against you.

scook10's picture

Sorry but I'm not going to live with a man and our children with no commitment. And he told them about the engagement coming up because that is what was recommended by therapist. Versus springing it on them after the fact. 

he wants me there because I want to be there too. 


notasm3's picture

You are overthinking this.   Just ignore the whores.  Enjoy the people that you like and just nod at most to the others. 

I have NOTHING to do with my adult SS.  My DH can see or talk to him as he wishes. He just can’t bring him around me. 

scook10's picture

I totally am overthinking it. That's how I know I'm holding us back from being our best selves by being so afraid. So just a nod and moving on is disengaging? Basically a quick acknowledgement and then on with my day as I planned? 

Siemprematahari's picture

Whatever you do, just don't lose yourself. Don't make this man your entire world but part of it. Make sure you do the things that make you happy & healthy. I hope he's a man of his word and that his actions back up his words.

~Always take care of you!

scook10's picture

I believe him. I know some people think he's a loser. But he's not. He made mistakes, yes. So have I. Stepfamily life is HARD. Especially when dealing with a HCBM. Mix in a spoiled adult child with a bestie for EX1 and it's a nightmare at times. I wouldn't want him to just give up on me if I screwed up a time or two, so I won't give up on him either. Not yet anyways. 

I trust he's legit. And that's why I wanted to ask about HOW to disengage and get real life examples, versus being told to leave him.

tog redux's picture

Honestly - 2 overbearing exes and a disapproving SD sounds awful.

SS may be great now, but in my personal experience, boys start out OK and then get increasingly manipulated by their mothers (and sisters) into taking their "side" and being upset with Dad for the horrible crime of meeting someone new and moving on with his life. The fact that either ex thinks she has the right to tell him she "disapproves" and he even entertains it, would frighten me.  He doesn't even need to talk to Ex1 anymore, adios.  Ex2, only about the kid, that's it. Not about anything else.

Love may seem like enough right now, but if it's just the same or worse in 5 years, will you regret your decision to continue down this path?

Monkeysee's picture

Why were either of the exes or SD given the opportunity to have an opinion at all on how they felt about your engagement? And why do both BP’s need to go to SS’s sporting events every single weekend? 

Even if ex2 & SD are there, you don’t need to spend time with them at all, you don’t even need to acknowledge them. But I’m still not sure why an entire day out of the weekend needs to be dedicated to one child, where are your other children during these sporting events? Are your kids shared with your SO, or from a previous relationship?

Most importantly, what kinds of boundaries does he have with his daughter, and especially with his exes. Ex1 really shouldn’t be in contact with him at all anymore considering SD is 21, her opinion on his life is irrelevant. 

Boundaries are important. Make sure there are strong ones in place before you even consider walking down the aisle with him.

notsobad's picture

I went to almost all of SSs sports stuff. DH was a coach, so at first I was alone in the bleachers. DH made sure to introduce me to all the other parents and they were all wonderful. None of them liked BM (she's a crazy one) and so that helped. Sometimes MIL and FIL were there and I'd sit with them. BM would show up late, because she's sooooooo busy and sit alone or with some of the other parents. I never spoke to her or even glanced her way.

When the skids got older and DH was no longer a coach we still went to their Uni games. We sat with friends or family and very far away from BM. Who again usually came alone or with one friend. Sometimes she'd approch us and say hi, we were polite but not chatty. We treated her like any stranger, nice and polite but with no real interest.

I guess what I'm saying is that you have to surround yourself with good people, people who you like and who like you. It's very easy to ignore BM when you have good people around you.

scook10's picture

I want to clarify...

FH did NOT go to either of his exes and ask their opinion about us being together or getting engaged. They gave it unsolicited to which he replied it's not their business and he doesn't appreciate their opinion. He did tell his kids, and mine, so as not to just spring it on them. 

My kids also attend SS sporting events when they can. This season I won't be able to attend all of SS events because my son will have his own, but I hope FH and SS can come to my sons when they are free. I guess I'm shocked at all the comments discouraging me from attending and supporting SS in his activities. 

SD 21 is being bratty but yet I think it's fear. Her former step mom, EX2, only helps stoke that fear in her with her bullshit antics and drama. SD will hopefully see it for what it is one day. 

In the meantime, I am trying to decide how to best disengage from SD21. The exes are idiots. And their poison is something I hope people will figure out eventually. SD21 does matter, and she is important to her father and her brother. So I want to encourage their relationship without pushing myself on her, but yet not so distant that she will stop thinking of me as too nice, but instead as a total closed off cold bitch. It's a fine line, especially when dealing with such dramatic women. It's making me a dramatic woman, which I actually am not. 


So in the end, I'm only trying to do what's right and keep this family afloat by doing my part. I feel FH is trying to do his as well.