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DH Facing Reality

StepUltimate's picture

So disengaging definitely turned the tables. I've successfully emotionally (and mostly mentally) disengaged. I had an after-work event tonight & DH had the day off. I came home around 8pm and could tell DH was bummed. Now that he's not triangulated with me & SS18, it's just between the two of them. After a few minutes, DH started telling me about his anger after calling SS today & getting flack. At first I just listened, then started agreeing with DH, and then when I said I was glad DH is finally seeing this... he got mad at me. Said, "I knew you'd find a way to make this about you." Touchy-touchy, obviously I hit a nerve.

The past month & 1/2 has been very peaceful & freeing for me. SS graduated & his bio-mom can't take us to court anymore. Two huge anvils of stress off my shoulder (= graduated & BM can't pull court stunts anymore!). SS has been partying away his $$ from his part-time job & staying with friends weeks at a time. That has been nice for me since SS is gone a lot. No mess, no sleeping-til-10:30+, etc. DH called him out today on not even having an appointment to take the driving test yet, and not even being ready to take the written or driving tests,  and not applying to or enrolling in the local community college he's allegedly attending in less than a month. Apparently SS argued and accused DH of making a big deal out of nothing (as usual, because real life isn't a big deal, right?). That bummed DH out.

All of that was great- good job DH. The thing I commented on that got DH upset was A) that I was "glad" DH was finally seeing it, and Dirol that I said I wished he hadn't told SS he's making DH "choose between StepUltimate & SS." In my opinion, that was using ME as the bad cop, as if all this would be okay if I was okay with it?! I don't think DH literally meant it that way; he's not okay with it but I think it's easier for Guilty Dad bio-parents to be upset with their spouse instead of the kid. In this case, just agreeing with DH & requesting he keep me out of it was enough to switch DH from upset & bummed sbout SS to being upset with me.

So I left the house, went to a park, texted a friend, and jumped onto StepTalk. I texted DH that I was sorry I didn't just listen and that I haven't missed him being upset me about SS; that I left because I wanted to start over. 

So now I've written it out in a new blog post. Definitely feel better, but do not plan to continue giving DH opportunities to transfer his disappointment with SS into conflict with me- the whole point of me disengaging is to not be a part of that anymore.

I love my DH. He's in the unenviable position of knowing SS has refused to handle his business, and that he (DH) will have to kick SS out. We've told SS for years that he could continue living with us after high school if he had s job & took a full load at CC; I've made clear I am not down with going back on that & letting SS continue to party on at our expense. So I get it that DH has a conflict, but it's all his because I did not create this monkey and it's not my circus. DH has chosen to let the monkey run his own circus, with predictable results. 

Been gone an hour & 15 minutes now & really not ready to go back. Listening to the crickets, the tree leaves blowing in the breeze, and the sprinklers on at the park I'm parked next to. I love my DH but do not want him to transfer his frustration with SS onto me. 


steppingback's picture

Getting out of the situation. Giving time to reset. Good for you. 

Iamwoman's picture

Nature can definitely be healing. Very insightful of you stepultimate, to realize that DH only opened up to you so he could drag you back into his drama and then turn it around on you to release his anger (come home and kick the dog mentality).

Next time he tries this with you, I would cut him off and “have something pressing I need to attend to.”

DH needs to place his anger on the appropriate person. You’re definitely not it.

futurobrillante99's picture

This whole "stepmother is the perfect scapegoat/whipping post" nonsense is SO TIRED.

Ugh. Someone please tell me there are emotionally healthy people in the world!!

hereiam's picture

At first I just listened, then started agreeing with DH, and then when I said I was glad DH is finally seeing this... he got mad at me.

You are getting there. Just listen and agree.

Pointing out that you are glad that he's finally seeing it probably got him mad because he took it personally; that you are glad that you're right about his son or that you were pointing out that he's been blind to his son's behavior all of this time, or both. He might have taken it as gloating.

It was wrong of him to tell SS that he's making him choose between you two, and you had every right to call him out on that. That is going to cause resentment for SS AND you. He's making it sound like the only reason he's disappointed in SS's behavior is because you are in the picture. Not cool.

StepUltimate's picture

I appreciate ya'll sooOOo much! Good morning & happy fRiDaY to my fav step parents. 

Thank you, hereiam, you are correct. I went home & apologized for saying "glad" when I more accurately meant "Relieved." DH accepted my apology but couldn't talk much, which was fine. We agreed we don't want to fight, and we love each other. He knows I'm seriously done with conflicting over SS. DH knows it's up to him to deal with SS. So yes, I agree his was his attempt to transfer his frustration to a safer target, me, even if he's not consciously doing that. Being disengaged makes it crystal-clear that I am not the problem. 

Going to the park was the best. Thank you all for teaching me how to navigate this. I am very grateful today.

Siemprematahari's picture

"The whole point of me disengaging is to not be a part of that anymore" keep reminding yourself of this every time H wants to vent about SS. Just listen, do not comment, agree, or anything....just let it be!

Major Blunder's picture

Ran out of time on Friday to comment but, Way to Go !!!!   Good for you !!!!!   Wish I could get the same results, guess it's a time thing for me, wait it out and hope DW finally has had enough and watch the house of cards fall apart lol