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Grieving - Might be too much to handle

TwoOfUs's picture

I've had a really rough couple of weeks lately. I try to maintain an upbeat attitude...but I think it's starting to hit me that DH is going to be incredibly over-active in his kids' lives, offering to do and pay for stuff...for quite a while after they've launched. OSD is now 21, SS just turned 20, and YSD will be 18 this month...

And he's constantly getting them little things, texting, calling, etc. We have a potential big job this summer...and he offered both YSD and SS positions on this project if it comes through, even though they aren't really qualified...quoting them a rate that is definitely over-paying them. Didn't ask me about any of this at all...and now I find myself hoping that the job doesn't come through bc I don't want to work with skids for 4 weeks.  

I'm still making the majority of the money and am bracing for YSD 18th bday and graduation. We (aka I) spent SO MUCH on SS 2 years ago when he turned 18 and graduated. Makes me sick to think about it. 

Good thing is - one more YSD visitation, 2 more CS payments, then done. So that helps. 

I guess I'm just sad that the relationship I used to have with the skids has deteriorated to this point where I'd rather never see or hear abou them again...I care for them much less now than I did when they were younger...and I thought my care for them would grow. It's like, as soon as they started driving and didn't need me to like them anymore, they became basically indifferent to me. 

Has anyone else experienced this as skids age? Or maybe it's also me...maybe the years of feeling taken advantage of added up and I can't get past the resentment...and they sense it? 

I actually would like to have some kind of relationship with skids, but I don't feel that it's possible now. 

Comments

Jlbfinch's picture

If it helps at all I can tell you that ages 18-22 were by far the most difficult years I had with my parents.  I wanted to be an adult and do my own thing but also still depended on them for a lot.  My relationship with them got significantly better once I moved out and they threw me off of their auto insurance.

TwoOfUs's picture

That does help. 

I just never thought I'd so actively dislike them and feel sick at the thought of enduring them for a moment longer. It seems silly to want to bail this close to the 'finish line' -- and I know they're basically good kids. YSD has been screwing up a lot over the past year and is the one I like the least right now...but even with her, I think she'll get it together. The other 2 are essentially launched and doing fairly well. 

I recognize it's probably not their fault that I hate seeing, thinking, or hearing about them now. It didn't use to be this bad. I would have dread before they came over when they were younger...but I was always good with them...and it was very clear to me that my dread was because of how DH changed personality...

Anyway. Don't know what to do. Just feeling really trapped and angry. 

Think I'm going to try to be patient and see if these feelings ease once YSD quits coming over. 

Aniki's picture

I used to care a LOT for the skids - (DH's kids AND his skids).

Then SH!T happened with the boys. I still cared, but not as much. It was a matter of keeping my sanity or making myself crazy. I chose sanity. Since SS18 joined the Army, he has grown up by leaps and bounds and we now have a very good relationship. However, I plan to be cautious. I don't know what will happen with PigPen15.

As far as the SDs go, they are dead to me. They turned into mini BioHos and last year, made a YUGE attempt to gaslight me. I consider people who gaslight to be toxic and I don't associate with toxic people.

This is certainly NOT what I invisioned. I have 3 skids from my previous marriage and we are all still in contact and have a good relationship.

TwoOfUs's picture

I think you're kind of my spirit animal. 

Do you have kids of your own? I forget. 

I'm worried part of this feeling is actually deeply, deeply stuffed down and repressed resentment over the fact that I never got to have my own kids...and that's going to be the end, even though I love my DH. 

But seriously. Why should I sign up for a lifetime of going to graduations, weddings, baby stuff for grandkids...when I feel utterly disconnected from these people. It's not just about my $$...it's my time. That's a more important sacrifice and one I'm not sure that I'm willing to make any longer. 

At the same time...I don't want to say to DH - you have to do all those things without me, just because I'm harboring resentment over the fact that I don't have kids. I feel that's unfair to him...especially since the skids themselves are basically good to me. It's not like I can point to behavior and say: "This is why I'm not participating" which would be more justifiable. 

Aniki's picture

I have 'plumbing' problems and was never able to have children. I miscarried at 5 months and that was it for me.

It may very well be that you have some deep down resentment, but you're the only one who can say for sure. I can only say that, for me, it took a lot of soul-searching to know that, while I'm disappointed I was not able to have children, I do NOT have any resentment over it. Believe me when I say it took me a loooooong time to come to terms with that. Thankfully, it was BEFORE my DH and I got together.

You do have a choice - you do NOT have to sign up for any of that. You can let your DH do those things while you do something else. Realize that, if you choose this, you are choosing to let him essentially lead a double life: a life with you and a separate life with his kids and potential grandkids. And if you make that choice, as much as you may dislike it, it would not be fair to begrudge him time spent with them if you decide to NOT be part of it.

I had to make this choice. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've ever made: Be part of the graduations and weddings and grandkids, be on the fringes of the group, and be a bit of an outsider looking in... or NOT be part of any of it and let my DH go solo. I love my husband and, despite the nefarious crap his daughter and stepdaughter did, I will NOT be pushed aside. DH and I are a team and I will be by his side for all of these things - DH wants me there. The sklids can suck it.

TwoOfUs's picture

I KNOW my DH wants me there. He has, mostly, been very sensitive and giving in his response to my grief over the childless thing. I know it would break his heart if I opted out for future events. I do pretty much keep it to a minimum. Graduations, visitation...etc. 

I think I'm going to see what happens when YSD moves away to school. See if I still feel overwhelmed or feel like I can handle the occasional...occasion...

DH doesn't ignore me when the skids are around...and I certainly would never deny him time with his kids. If anything, I feel like I've helped him be more stable and have benefitted his relationship with them in many ways over the years...both financially and in other ways. For instance, it was SS's birthday last weekend, and he came home from college. I was heading to a conference halfway across the country...so I wasn't going to be there...but I made a cake and prepped a dinner SS likes so all DH would have to do is throw it on the grill for himself, YSD, and SS. 

I think it's going to absolutely kill me when he has grandkids and I don't. Maybe I'm wrong. 

Aniki's picture

That's awesome that your DH wants you there! It certainly made all the difference in the world for me.

You sound like me - I also do things like that, even if I won't be there.

Honestly, I believe that the difference for me is that I'd already come to terms with not being able to have children/grandchildren. I wish I could say something more profound or helpful.

skatermom's picture

Don't give up now, you're in the home stretch!  Take a break from them, but don't give up.  I have 10 year old SDs, I still have 8 years of this crap to go

SacrificialLamb's picture

Or middle age....still dealing with it.  OSD is getting close to AARP eligibility.

lieutenant_dad's picture

As the SSs age, the less and less I care about them. I just don't have a role in their lives, and I am unneeded by them in many ways. I won't be rude or anything, but I am much less engaged than I was even a year ago.

I don't know if it's normal, but it is happening to me, too. The financial obligations to them are ever increasing, their personalities are starting to shine through (and while not bad, I am not particularly caring, either), and I am just tired of having them in my house. And it isn't really anything against them. I think I am just suffering from some SM burnout.

I do think you need to have a serious conversation or two with your DH about his contributions to the household and his expectations on joint projects. It's wholly unfair that you get strapped with all the responsibility while he gets all the fun. You are well within your rights to tell him that his ideas are not going to work for you, and as you are a partnership, you need to figure it out TOGETHER.

I think it would be really helpful for bot of you to find individual and couples counselors. You two aren't communicating, and I think your DH is going to supplant hands-on parenting with finacial gifts. Once CS is over, ZERO amount of your money should go to the kids unless YOU gift it. If your DH wants to fund more, his bohemian rear end can find a 9-5 and fund it himself.

TwoOfUs's picture

lol. 

Yes. I laughed to myself at your 'bohemian rear end' comment. That's exactly it...except he wants to have bohemian pursuits and corporate tastes. I've told him many times...I think the skids are totally spoiled between you, your parents, and BM...and I think it would be good for them if you did LESS. But if you want to be THAT kind of dad, then you need to get THAT kind of job. 

I'd prefer he continue to pursue his passion and not give his kids more than he can afford...but it's going to have to be an either/or pretty soon.