Need help desperately (long post)
My husband and I have been together for 18 years and between us we have 5 kids. He has a daughter that is 24 and a son that is 20 and his daughter has 3 kids that are 7, 2, and 7 months old. I have a daughter that is 23, a son that is 20, and a son that is 18. My kids have always lived with us primarily and his son came to live with us going into his freshman year of high school.
I’ll try to keep the back story as short as possible but it is largely the disrespect I have always felt from my SK’s. OMy husband and I have known each other long before we began our relationship so we have known the kids since birth and also knew the other’s ex’s. I was actually pretty good friends with my husbands ex at one time. She was very angry when I started dating her ex and never really let the resentment go. It created huge problems through the years because the kids were told I was nothing to them and to treat me like nothing. My kids have always had a good relationship with my husband and I feel that they really appreciate him.
I had a good relationship with my SD when she was young but her mom would frequently create lies to poison her against me. My SS really paid little to no attention to me until he came to live with us and I can tell he has made solid efforts over the years even though it is still there a little. My SK’s had a pretty rough life with their mom and endured things no kid should have to. We tried to do what we could to always be there and step in but the relationship between the adults was always strained. My SD starting having serious behavioral problems in junior high and started causing more and more trouble as time went over. she wanted nothing to do with my husband or I and would cause as much trouble as she could when she was around until she stopped coming altogether.
My SD had her daughter when she was 17 and again we tried to overcome negative feelings and just be supportive. We really had no real role in her life until my granddaughter was a little over 2. She was basically homeless and just staying with friends and didn’t like the baby living like that. Without hesitation we stepped in to take care of our granddaughter and she has stayed with us pretty consistently for almost 5 years. During this time she got pregnant again to have my grandson that is a little over 2 right now. She has struggled from day one to care for him. She asked us to take him full time when he was a few months old and that lasted about 3months. We have always had him a lot but by time he was 8 months old she gave us the ultimatum that if we didn’t take him full time she was going to give him to his dad which would be the end to any relationship with us or her.
I changed my entire life to be able to stay home and care for the two grandkids. Then she got pregnant a third time. We have had a very strained relationship for several years now and she has made it clear that she has very negative feelings towards our household and especially my husband. Even my stepson has a very minimal relationship with his sister and his own mom. She has tried to come live with us to get on her feet and turn things around but she basically just moves her stuff to our house and then continues staying at her mom’s doing what she wants.
During her 3rd pregnancy we had her asking to live with us again and I just didn’t want to deal with the conflict anymore. She begged and promised she would do things different this time and she did for awhile. It was the first time in years I felt her and I were building a solid relationship. She would text me jokes and just hang out with me. I was involved a lot in her pregnancy and was actually the only person in the room when my youngest granddaughter was born. Slowly she started slipping into the old habits that caused conflict before and every time it’s addressed she gets irate and threatens that her kids won’t be back.
She expects me to care for the two older kids as the primary caregiver but she has all the authority. I am being emotionally blackmailed to bend to her whim because of how much I love my grandkids. She takes care of the baby full time but the other two are with me through the week and see her on the weekends most of the time. I know I have flaws because I have been diagnosed bipolar and OCD and she is also bipolar. My husband would rather ignore the situation and just be done with her but i’m a fixer. How many times do I let her kill me emotionally when I want to help when I know she is just using us? She has no desire to move forward from what she believes was done wrong to her in the past and I feel like i’m going to explode trying to do everything her way out of fear. I’m only hoping that someone has been through something like this and can offer some help??????