You are here

DH is In a funk

SMto2's picture

Trying again to post my blog. DH spent Thanksgiving in a funk. I posted last month about DH being hurt realizing SS26 made 2 social media posts about SGD6's birthday party at BM's, followed the next week by multiple posts with 60+ pics of SS26 & family having a "tour" of the state with BM, yet no post whatsoever from our party for SGD6 where DH did several of the same things with SGDs that BM did the next week, such as making s'mores in the fire pit. SD26 & family have visited us the day after Thanksgiving the past few years through plans made between SS26's DW and me.  I told DH after the most recent social media snub I'm OUT. All plans can be made between him and SS26. 

DH made no plans with SS26 to visit. On Thanksgiving morning, I got a text from SS26's DW wishing me Happy Thanksgiving. I told DH and Wondered out loud if that was a hint about visiting. DH said we'd "catch them at Christmas." (And remember, we were at our new lake house 45 mins from where SS26 was at BM's, instead of 2 hours away at our home.)  Two days after Thanksgiving, SS26's DW texted me again and asked how our holiday was. I suspected this was a hint for us to invite them to visit. I told DH that and he finally told me things were "so difficult" after the bday party he didn't want to deal with it. DH said it's clear now that BM is on social media, SS26 feels the need to try even harder to show her she's #1 and express his loyalty. In the meantime, we had to endure multiple inquiries from DH's family asking if we saw SS26 and family for Thanksgiving. 

So, we had a skid free holiday. Great, right? Perhaps it would be, but DH was down in the dumps.  I could have coordinated a visit with SS26's DW like I have in the past, but I don't think that would have helped. Would be just more of me being the liaison for DH to people who don't care about me. Honestly, I could easily go on as though SSs didn't exist, but even though they're not present, it's as though there's a pall cast over everything. I don't see any resolution here, since SS26 is never going to treat DH well out of loyalty to BM.  Now I'm dreading Christmas. 



SMto2's picture

Very true! And let's face it, what SM hasn't wished at one point or another that SKs didn't exist? Lol. However, it wasn't like that. While I didn't have to see them, I had to deal with DH being down about the situation and the fact that it seems there's no good solution to make him feel better. 

tog redux's picture

I think it's normal and healthy for DH to be a bit sad about it, as long as it doesn't linger and become depression. He's grieving reality now that he's facing it. And honestly, that's the best chance for him to have any kind of real relationship with his kids, ironically - if he stops pretending and enabling.

I do know how hard it is though, my DH is going through a similar thing (though he never tried to buy a relationship with SS), that feeling of disappointment and loss that the son he had such high hopes for is not a real part of his life.

thinkthrice's picture

Is something that SM can't do anything about other than to try and be somewhat sympathetic.   After awhile, the one way relationship well become evident to DH and the pining will subside (usually)

Catmom024's picture

Ugh.  Same here.  My SO's kids have been punishing him for several years by not speaking to him. They're at the BM's house every weekend and every holiday.  He's chased after them (basically begging) but it hasn't worked. 

The holidays are a tough time for people with family issues.  I just try to ignore it because saying anything could cause backlash.  It gets really old though when I'm putting in effort to be upbeat and make a nice meal for Thanksgiving and Christmas and all he wants to do is mope in the recliner in front of the TV.


The_Upgrade's picture

Most of the time I can ignore the fact that SD21 exists. But I know what you mean by that sad mopey expression on DH's face around holiday season and the awkward pause and fake upbeat reply when family or friends ask DH if he's seen SD for the holiday. I wish I could tell him to write her off the same way he'd write off any other acquaintance if they were this much dead weight. Even though he's stopped chasing and trying to buy her affections, the lead up to Christmas brings up feelings of dread in me that's tied to experiences in the past. I just wish she was erased out of existence so we can move on and live our lives without her and BM's brand of headfuckery cropping up again.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I see this as the beginning of change - it's really a good thing. But change - especially radical change - is often messy and HARD. Your DH has avoided this for a long time, and there's a cost to that. As a wife and SM, you have to navigate this with what I can best describe as a firm delicacy. 

This dysfunction has been going on for many years, so it's going to take time to change it. You and your DH have prostrated yourselves and eaten so much excrement trying to buy his sons' love that you've taught them all it's okay to mistreat you. They don't see you as human beings with feelings, because they've never been required to.  Your DH has decided to stop doormatting and without notice change the status quo, so there WILL be repercussions and blowback. He's going to have a lot of bad days, days of indecision and possible backsliding. He may even blame you at times, and the SSs likely will, too. You have to learn to not take on his pain and to prioritize your OWN healing and progress, all while managing to stay united. 

Your situation was much like an addiction. Your DH was desperate to be a part of his sons' world, and willing to give up all self respect just to feel good/be with them. And you have been right there with him, enabling and participating in the delusion because you love him so dearly and are such a people pleaser. It was a type of sickness, and now you both want to get well, which I think will be fantastic for you and your bios. But as with addiction, you're going to need support to get healthy and stay healthy. You need to find a therapist experienced in step issues who can help you and your DH navigate this journey separately, TOGETHER. 

The DIL reached out because it's usually the females who handle social interactions. I bet she senses a shift, so you can expect more overtures. As an SM, you should follow form, be breezy and polite, but offer nothing of substance. Just keep things superficial. I probably wouldn't have mentioned the DIL's texts, or speculated about her motives, because there was no need to stir feelings up with your DH. But part of healing is changing your own unhealthy habits. I learned that many of my first impulses didn't serve me well, so part of my healing was learning to pause/take time/keep quiet/examine the issue and be more deliberate in my responses. 

One of your DH's biggest problems is that he avoids all conflict with his sons. He hasn't been direct or open with them, because he's afraid of losing them. Now he's decided to change the rules of engagement, but again, he hasn't communicated that or attempted to negotiate a new norm with them. This is only going to make things worse, and position you and him as the persecutors instead of the victims. He really, REALLY needs to communicate with them in an authentic way, but needs professional guidance to learn how to do this.

Again, I think you're at the precipice of some big, healthy, long-overdue change, but it's going to be difficult and your DH is going to pay a premium for deferring this for so long. Find that therapist, and start learning strategies for navigating this ASAP, before Christmas. I'm rooting for you.

SMto2's picture

Thank you all for your responses! I've been trying to respond and getting another error message. Unfortunately, I know all of you are right. I am afraid there is going to be blowback from this, and no doubt, we'll be the villains. Although I'm glad to hear you all think this is a positive step overall, I have to say, there is NO WAY my DH would EVER have a heart-to-heart with SSs and tell them how he feels. I only know of one substantive conversation he ever had with one of the SSs--when he asked oldest SS (at about age 12-13)  WHY he no longer wanted to visit us, to which the only response was "I don't know." (Another memorable comment from that convo was DH telling oldest SS how much seeing him meant to DH, as DH pointed out he'd driven 8 hours EOW to pick up SSs on Friday and bring them to our house and then take them all the way home on Sunday, putting over 250k miles on his vehicle, to which oldest SS responded, "that was your obligation." Does that not sound like something heard from BM?! This is evidence of how enmeshed with and loyal to BM that SS26 especially is.

Also, I did mention to DH recently that he should go to counseling, but I don't see that ever happening. Even if DH were willing to talk about his feelings with a stranger, we both work such long hours during the week we don't have time to go to regular visits to the doctor or dentist, much less a counselor on a regular basis, assuming one specializing in these types of issues could be found.Therefore, whatever is going to happen based on the dynamic as it now stands will have to happen. I certainly plan to stay as far away from it as possible. P.S. Next time, I won't mention any texts from SDIL to DH. I'm learning. Lol.




Exjuliemccoy's picture

The challenge is to manage your own healing while being a supportive partner, and to learn where the line is between your DH's pain and your own. You will of course have empathy for him, but don't allow his unhappiness to affect you and your bios.

Part of the reason we became estranged from my DH's daughters is his inability to engage with them in an authentic way. Like your DH, he's simply unable to, and at times has been depressed about it. I remember one Fathers Day, I busied myself outside the entire day because he was moping and moody, waiting for phone calls that never came. I used to feel protective and sorry for him, but over time got tired of paying the price for his bad decisions. I love my DH, but don't rely on him for my happiness and don't allow his interpersonal issues to affect me anymore.

It will be interesting to see if your DH truly is done, and what reaction will come from his sons. Will they kick up a fuss, or just hit the delete button on you all? Will they still call your DH when they want a bailout, and will he be able to say no? Will the DILs reach out to you in hopes of brokering peace and keeping the money faucet turned on? If they do, what will you say? 

With Flying Monkeys in my DH's family, I've found it best to assume the victim role, before someone else tries to. You and your DH need to decide what your stance is to be, and what you will tell the SSs and their partners if pressed. I'd probably say something about the pain they've inflicted; how it hurts to be in a one way relationship; that you've bent over backwards in hopes of having a better relationship as the SSs matured, but are feeling used, unappreciated, and unseen. You hoped for more, but aren't seeing any improvement so are stepping back, etc etc. Regardless, you do need to ask your DH what you should say if approached.

SMto2's picture

Thank you for your advice & wisdom. I will ask DH what I should say if asked. Very good suggestion. Also, I'm sorry that your DH is estranged from his DDs. My DH also has had Father's Day with no recognition from SSs. It helps that we have shared kids but still hurts. Thank you again for taking your time to comment. 

SMto2's picture

Thank you for your advice & wisdom. I will ask DH what I should say if asked. Very good suggestion. Also, I'm sorry that your DH is estranged from his DDs. My DH also has had Father's Day with no recognition from SSs. It helps that we have shared kids but still hurts. Thank you again for taking your time to comment.