spoiled, grown step children; an annoying ex-wife; and a rejecting sister-in-law: ring any bells?
Hi. I'm new to this site and this is my first post. I was just wondering if anyone else shares my experience. My struggles can be put into three categories. (1) grown step children who are spoiled and compete with me; (2) ex-wife who lives in the same town and can't let go of what she believes is her hold on my husband and his family; and (3) a sister-in-law who has made it clear she prefers the ex-wife to me.
My life seems to move from any one of these three problems at any time, and sometimes all three happen at once. For example, my husband's mother just died and the ex-wife inserted herself quite conspicuously into the funeral. The sister-in-law asked her to speak as part of the eulogy, and the ex-wife took the opportunity to say, basically, that she was the real daughter-in-law. She got up, introduced herself and said, "I was married to Mary's son for many years, and we had three wonderful children together. Even though Mary is no longer my mother by law, she is my mother in spirit." Those were pretty close to her exact words, which she stated in front of the whole congregation. I couldn't believe my ears. It sent a shock through my whole body. This woman then pranced around the dinner in the church basement afterwords, and even went to the intimate family gathering at a local wine bar after the dinner. I thought it would never end.
The sister-in-law, as I said, makes it clear she prefers the ex-wife to me ( I mean, she invited the ex to speak at the funeral), and thought all of this was just great; and the sister also invites the ex to other family functions, where she (the sister) then ignores me, and needless to say the day of the funeral she ignored me totally---she said not one word to me, even hello. This kind of rejection on full display is very painful to me. As for the step children, at the funeral, as my husband stood beside me and we talked to friends together, the eldest daughter literally hung on her father--wrapping both her arms around his arm and just hanging there. This daughter is 36 years old. She behaves like a spoiled child, and that is just one example. She also is great at manipulating her dad.
Anyway all three of my struggles happened on one day, and it was really too much for me. That night I had what I thought was a mental breakdown, but I've come to understand that it was a panic attack. I didn't sleep at all and for two days and I was in a fog for about a week after that. I had to make an appointment with a therapist in order to sort it all out. I feel better now, but I know this stuff is just gonna happen again, and I don't know what to do. By the way, I had no role in raising the stepkids---they were all in their 20s when I met my husband. It appears that their mother has taught them well how to be totally self-absorbed and thoughtless.
If anyone could help me with advice or sharing of stories, it would be so helpful to me!