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The Deep Dark Secret

SeeYouNever's picture

I'm all in my feels today because I've got a lot of stress with work and my DH is in one of his mopey moods.

How do I get over the fact that my DH is hurt by SD15 wanting nothing to do with us?

My kids probably wouldn't recognize SD they are almost 2 and 3. The last few times they saw her we had my in laws around and SD pretty much ignored DH, our kids and myself, she just hung out with my meddlesomeSIL, and played with her cousins whenever the cousins weren't playing with our kids. My SILs have all chosen SD over us, as if a choice had to be made. My MIL and FIL are more diplomatic about it but they bend to my SILs will most of the time.

My DH has been playing SDs favorite songs from when she was little and pointing out her picture on the wall to our kids. He talks about her and it's like he's passing this mythology of SD to them because they don't actually know her. They don't really even know what he's talking about.

I get he has stuff to work through but it should be with a therapist not our toddlers. I don't want to have to explain to them all about their sister that won't talk to them that's why I don't bring her up. SD won't even FaceTime with DH because if our kids are awake she might have to interact. The last times she agreed to talk to him have only been with MeddlesomeSIL is with her and after 9pm.  She only texts late at night.

If I bring this up while he's doing this he doesn't want to talk about the situation.

I'm disengaged, I'm over it, but I don't like my DH trying to make sure our kids know about this person that could care less about them. I don't think it's reasonable to pretend she doesn't exist (though it would be easier) but he's trying to make sure they know about her and soon it lead to our kids asking questions that I don't know how to answer and frankly, my DH probably doesn't either.

It seems like every time I look up advice or information on situations like this it involves infidelity on the side being shut out. There was no infidelity, no overlap in our relationship at all. But the way SD and BM act it's like we are horrible people. BM acts fearful of DH, SD acts like DH betrayed her. Neither of them were like this at the beginning that's why I know it's not based on anything serious enough to justify it.

I just don't get why we're so hated.

I don't care if SD hates me, but how do I keep my kids from getting hurt? I feel like DH is setting them up for disappointment and hurt. And later I feel like they are going to wonder why she hates us so much. When the kids are all adults will they be curious and want to hang out with SD and then what will SD tell them? Will she turn my kids against me? My DH has an older half sister that never had anything nice to say about his parents.

It's like we have this deep dark family secret and I don't even know what it is. It's whatever BM has told SD. If only I knew what it was.


Rags's picture

Daddy had another family once.

This is your daddy's daughter from that failed family.

She is your half sister but is not part of your life.  Do not worry about her one bit.

Even though your daddy wants her to be in our family, she isn't in our family because she does not want to be in our family.


Though I agree it should not be pretended that she does not exist, neither should she be agrandized or made a part of the family beyone the basic statements of her existance.

You should confront DH with his insistance on injecting her into the family that you and he have made. She is NOT a part of that. By her choice.

DH is just injecting confusion into the lives of toddlers. Stupid move IMHO.

Good luck.

Take care of you and your little ones.  Sadly, that means protecting them and you from their daddy and your DH.

SeeYouNever's picture

That's a really simple way to put it and I am overcomplicating it with my own worries and feelings. I struggle to dumb it down to toddler level when I'm feeling emotional myself.

I've seen my DHs own sister aid in the alienation of SD from him, and his half sister try to turn him on his father. Blood doesn't mean people won't turn against you. My SIL is 12 years older than SD and she thinks she is SO COOL, she listens to everything she says even if it's negative about her brother, SDs dad.

SD is 12 years older than my DD, I see how my SIL is such a horrible influence on my family and got worried SD could be the same in 10 years when she is a young adult and my preteen daughters think she is SO COOL. They might want to know her and get rejected, or she could agree to it and tell them lies.  And here my DH is telling my kids about this mysterious, interesting, rarely seen sister... That just so happens to hate DH and I. Setting it up for heartache no matter what SD does. I love my kids more than anything and I don't want anyone telling them lies about me or DH.

I really do think if SD wants nothing to do with us we should respect it, reach out periodically and on holidays but she is 15. Whatever lies BM told her we can't undo at this point but I don't want them coming back around to my kids.

justmakingthebest's picture

My SS18's behavior used to really affect my kids. They didn't understand why their new stepbrother didn't want to see them. They didn't understand that when he was with us, he fit in, we had fun, he laughed and we all got along. Then as soon as he left he wouldn't respond to messages and just ignore them. 

They just gave up eventually and said he is d*ck. They never bought off on parental alienation. Their thoughts were that they love their dad and if I trashed their dad, they would be mad at me- not agree and be mean to dad and family. 

AgedOut's picture

What's saddest to me, in your situation, is that your husband may end up alienated your two because he keeps forcing the ghost of your SD on them. At some point they'll be tired of hearing about awesome ghost-sd. Luckily they're young and you give them balance but as they age they may start to resent having to hear about her as if she was sooooo wonderful and Daddy loooooves her soooooo much when they know she cannot be bothered. I'm hoping he tapers it back as time passes.  

SeeYouNever's picture

Oh I really hope this doesn't happen.

When we first got together DH would use me to try to get SD to see him like we could do girlie stuff together. Naive to think a stepmom could be a carrot!

I can see him getting our girls all hyped up about SD to try to guilt her into coming and forming a reply with them. Guilt trips like that are horrible and I'm not letting that happen to SD or letting him use ours to that end

Rumplestiltskin's picture

My SO had something similar going on with his daughters, especially the older one. The mythology of the lost little girl or some BS. All his computer passwords to everything are the older girl's name. It's like when someone dies, they become a saint even though they weren't perfect when they were alive. When SD23 came to live with him at 18, they lasted a few years before a big blow-up over some disturbing behavior and she moved out. When SD25 went on vacation with us and displayed some very bad behavior, he said "You know it was BM1 who raised the girls. They never had a chance to learn to act right." That may be true, but it doesn't mean i'm going to put up with a bunch of BS behavior, either. 

SeeYouNever's picture

Ugh same here for his passwords. It burns me up when he thinks our kids are bad and SD is a saint but it's easy to think only if the positive if you only have distant memories and never see them.

thinkthrice's picture

Spouse who puts his or her deceased spouse on a saint level... suddenly all those times that were bad are just forgotten. 

Hopefully your DDs don't adopt SD's example--by ignoring or treating dad like crap, they will get his love and attention. 

"DuH, you are teaching our daughters that if they shun us and treat us like crap, they they will get our love and attention.  We shouldn't be setting this precedent. "

Rags's picture

adult perpetrating the behvior.

Regardless of how that adult was raised.

We all inherrit baggage from our parents at some level. At some point those problems  become ours to solve.

I for one will not excuse shit behavior. Regardless of where that behavior may have been modeled during the perpetrators childhood. If it is an adult who is ill behaved, that adult is choosing to be ill behaved and their nose must be firmly scrubbed in the stench of those behaviors repeatedly until the adult either ceases the behavior or goes away.... permanently.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

When he tried the shrug his shoulders/blame BM BS, i told him "You're her parent too, and this is your house. If you can't say anything to her to change her behavior, i won't hang around when she visits" And truly, at 25, I think a lot of what she did last time was on purpose. She was trying to be edgy or shocking or whatever, and trying to punish her dad for not letting her boyfriend come on vacation by embarrassing him. It wasn't BM's fault, it was SD's. I liked her before that trip but she was god-awful and kept it up for a week. F that. 

ESMOD's picture

I would tell him to cut it out with the toddlers.  Honey. I know you want SD to be part of our family.. but right now.. she has decided she really doesn't want to participate.. and when you constantly bring her up with the kiddos.. you are really confusing them.. because they don't know who she is.

I'm sorry your daughter isn't closer right now.. and I don't know if she feels she has to choose a parent.. or whether it's just growing up and away from family in general.. but our other kids don't understand that complexity.. they just aren't old enough.. and I wish you wouldn't confuse them.

advice.only2's picture

Your kids are so young that SD is a nebulous thing to them, like a cartoon character, it’s there but not real.  All your DH is doing is basically telling them a story about a fictional character in their life that they will probably never meet or interact with.  Yeah it sucks to have a PASed kid, but it’s sad for him to think these kids are going to form any kind of attachment to her.  I would be more worried about his reaction when he finds out they won’t.

1st3rd5thWEInHell's picture

My SSs did not see their sister OSD for 9 years and never cared. Today they see her regularly when she comes around to smoke or drink with their mom BM2 but they dont speak....just hi and bye. When I asked why, they said that they arent that close but they love one seems bothered by the lack of relationship except her dad lol

Cover1W's picture

DH was using me as his therapy appointments regarding OSD for a while. I put a stop to it because I was resenting him for it and the constant barrage of not moving on or dealing with his feelings over it. I couldn't solve it for him. I ended up having a very direct conversation with him that he needed to find a therapist to talk with about it because I was NOT his therapist. 

That was kind of a wake up call of sorts for him because I was starting to avoid talking with him about anything because it would invariably loop back to OSD. 

1st3rd5thWEInHell's picture

I have seen my husband cry over his daughter ignoring him, not returning his calls and he even cried in front of her and she had no reaction. SD hangs out with my husbands ex and mother of other kids more than her own BM because she has free access to alcohol and drugs.

The way we overcame it is by acting like she doesnt exist! My husband acts like she died and he never had a daughter. I dont bother because one less step is awesome for me since we have always had a rocky toxic relationship

Why do you go to in laws? I would cut them off or only come around shortly for courtesy. You have to go where you are liked not tolerated.