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Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I wish I knew what exactly SO is thinking. I have been nothing but honest with him and very clear about my boundaries.

From the minute we discussed them moving out I have said I have no plan or timeline for this situation to change. I have agreed to participate in counseling with SO and YSD and will focus on our relationships one day at time. 

So I am very confused by SOs behavior. He is in complete suck up mode like he can fix the problems we have by trying harder. If I believed he was only focusing on fixing our relationship it would be a step in the right direction.

But I am suspicious that he may believe that he can put in the work for both him and YSD. That he may believe because he has the ability to be angry at YSD and then just forget about it a day or two later like nothing ever happened. Everyone else is like that too. 

I know he doesn't realize that he is a player in the unhealthy toxic dynamic he has had to live in for the last 15 years. That he has learned to normalize it. 

I was very clear that I have no intentions of considering putting in any effort to have any kind of relationship with YSD until she is willing to make the first move and admit to her behavior and show ownership of her actions. Until then I will not be giving her the time of day and she will not be allowed in my home for even a visit. I will not be taking her word for it or his either. I would have to actually see real change in her. Even then it would be baby steps. 

Honestly I truly don't believe any of them are capable of change. So I don't see this situation changing. Each day that goes by I feel more at peace, happier more like myself. I am not giving that up again for any reason.  I know he sees the change in me as well. But I think he is confused and may be assuming since I have had a break and am refreshed I am ready to go back into battle.

I hope that's not where his mind is at because I have surrendered and decided this is a battle I don't wish to fight. 

My alarms went off when he made a comment about when YSD comes back. Why is he even thinking about that now? Two days after her ridiculous display and after I have made myself clear in where I stand. 

Plus he he became irritated when I started cleaning her room out. Sorry buddy but I'm cleansing all the negativity out of my life. 

The very idea if letting that child back in my house feels like being asked to stick my hand in a bear trap. No freaking way!

He couldn't control her or set limits with her. I had to be the one to it using the only control I had and that was to make it clear I didn't have to put up with her shit now get out of my house. Letting her come back in here would be reinforcing everything he and BM have done to create these monsters.

Truthfully I don't believe YSD even cares enough to be bothered. I believe she will be just like BM and OSD and play the victim. I don't believe her and I will ever have anything more than an acquaintance level relationship.

If you ask why would I still bother with attending counseling. For me even if nothing comes out of it and I decide our relationship isn't salvageable. It will help bring me some closure.


Delilah's picture

I am going to be blunt and say that in my opinion your SO doesn't believe that you are going to follow through with expecting him to leave. He only said that he would leave because he thought you would change your mind. Same for sd. 

I would tell him you expect him to be gone by x date (soon) as imo he is going to get more nasty, manipulative and cause more drama.

tog redux's picture

I think he's a master of denial AND, since you've put up with so much crap, he thinks your tolerance for the drama of him and his spawn is endless.  So of course eventually all will be fine and you will let them move back in.

Have you considered couples counseling instead of you participating with YSD and SO? I think if you do that, it will just be more of you trying to drag both of them along in therapy.  Whereas with couples counseling, it can be about YOU and what you need from him.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I'm going for myself first. Then based on how that goes will move on to couples counseling.

The family counseling is for me to establish my boundaries with him and YSD. I doubt YSD will be willing to give up her need for power and control and I want SO to decide if he can continue a relationship where his kids aren't involved if that is the case 

tog redux's picture

I'd set those boundaries in couples counseling. Leave YSD out of it. It's between the adults. 

futurobrillante99's picture

Him spending time at your house now is part of the problem. HE needs to be over at his parent's house PARENTING. He should not be hanging out with you at your house. He was supposed to move, TOO, no?

He will not take this seriously while he can still come to your house where it's clean and you're happy and his feral children are being tended by someone else.

It's time to get him going over to his parent's house to take care of his responsibilities and not foist them on his parents.

Winterglow's picture

Change the locks and don't give him a key. If he turns up out of the blue, tell him it's not a convenient time and to call first in the future. He needs to understand that this is no longer his home. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

He is only here because YSD is still at her half sisters home. The sister wanted a chance to talk some sense into her. She doesn't want her to follow in OSDs footsteps  He has already been told once she comes home he has to go too.

IDontCare3117's picture

Do you honestly not understand his presence in your home brings in his kid's presence as well?  It doesn't matter if she isn't physically there.  He is there, and all the stress and bad emotions come with him by his presence.  His kids aren't going to go away.  His lack of parenting isn't going to go away. 

It doesn't matter if YSD is living with her older half-sister.  He should already be out of your house.  If you allow him to stay with you, you are only inviting more hurt and disappointment.  At some point you either have to say "No mas" or the people around you will.

If you insist on petting a dog that bites you, at some point you can't complain about being bitten.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

He isn't staying, she is only at her sisters house for a few days. He will be out by this weekend and they will both be at his parents house he knows that and hasn't tried to get me to change my mind about it.

I just think he has unrealistic expectations that this will just blow over.

justmakingthebest's picture

Like Delilah said- he doesn't think this is something that you are going to stick with. He thinks that in a couple of weeks everyone can come home and in his head it will be the Brady Bunch or something. 

This is only slightly related but when exH and I separated, I wasn't really ready to talk divorce. It was a break. His PTSD was really bad, there were scary actions he was displaying. He moved in with my parents and me and our kids stayed at our house. In therapy he kept yelling at me saying he needed a date to come back home- I didn't know! I didn't know if our marriage could make it. I didn't know if I would ever feel safe with him. 

Eventually, his actions made it to a point where reconciliation was no longer an option. When I told our counselor at our last session that I decided to get a divorce (exH wasn't at the meeting) he looked at me and said- You are making the right call. That said a lot to me. I hung on to that when things got messy in our divorce. 

Couples counseling may be what you need with him. Leave SD out of it other than the fact that she has caused too much trouble to come back. 

tog redux's picture

DH says his marriage therapist told him that he needed to get out, people die of the stress of this kind of situation. Probably one of the few people who ever saw the truth about BM. 

I agree that couples counseling is the way to go. SO needs to hear from OP exactly what she's feeling. 

futurobrillante99's picture

My XH1 and I saw a marriage counselor in the early days of our separation. We had exactly two visits. On the second visit, I read a letter I wrote about how I felt and what would need to change for me to stay. My XH1 then said that I should stay with him for a lot of practical reasons and other stuff.

After my XH1 got done talking, the therapist said to him, "Not even once did you say you wanted to save the marriage because you love her or can't live without her. All your reasons were based on finances, routine and practicality."

Then he turned to me and said, "I'm afraid I can't help you. He doesn't get it."

And so, I knew. If a therapist, after only two sessions, can understand fully why my marriage was over, and would say it right in front of him, I was going to believe him.

I grieved the loss of our family and going back on the vows I made - hated that. But, it was a good decision for me and my kids. We were both very unhappy. I was willing to change things. My XH1 was willing for ME to change. He wanted to stay the same and BE miserable. I wanted to do the work to make things better.

In any event, couples counseling will only help if both parties are willing to look at their faults and make changes. If either party goes in thinking only the other person has to do all the work and change, it's doomed from the outset. I don't think the OP's husband is any where near ready. He's an ostrich - he's avoiding whatever is uncomfortable or difficult. That makes him a poor candidate for counseling.

stepper47's picture

I agree with what others are saying about couples counseling.  We were fortunate to find a counselor who understood stepfamikg dynamics as she was in one herself.   She was able to help DH and I get close to the same level, as truly we both needed to adjust our view on some things.  It didn't solve all our problems, but we both came away with more understanding of each other and the ability to communicate without being defensive and it turning into a fight.  That was probably the root of our problem, him (not) parenting out of guilt, me upset and resentful, and we couldn't even talk about it.   I fully believe that if we had not been able to get on the same page and more solid as a couple first, no amount of counseling we may have tried to do with his daughter would have helped us.    Currently I feel like he and I are good, but unfortunately the situation with his daughter was to the point that when she realized she didn't like when he started being more firm and consistent, she had a choice and "ammunition" to live with BM full time and treat DH badly.  Still in the mud and in progress and I hope some day it will have a positive outcome.  I wish you the best, you are in a tough situation and I hope it gets better!

AgedOut's picture

he wants to patch the hole by putting something in front of it, moving said child out but he doesn't want to drywall it, plaster it and repair it, he just wants to hide it until you back down. He isn't looking for a fix, he's looking for a way to avoid doing anything. You deserve it to be repaired not hidden. until he actually works to repair it, nothing will change. I'm glad you're being your own supporter, good on you!!


As for her room, empty it, scour it, repaint it. It's YOUR room not her's. 

Gimlet's picture

I know he doesn't realize that he is a player in the unhealthy toxic dynamic (he has had to live in) has been an active participant in for the last 15 years. That he has learned to normalize it. 

He's just as much a part of this system as his kids and BM.  He is perpetuating the same dysfunction that they are.  He can choose to change it, but that is going to be a lot of work and it seems that he is willing to push that work on you, but not as willing to step up and start it himself.

The thing that really stands out to me is his lack of recognition of how bad this has really been for you.  He wants to sweep that under the rug, just like he wants to sweep YSD's behavior under the rug.  That way, he doesn't have to confront anything difficult or do anything that's hard.

The fact that he has the gall to be irritated that you are cleaning "her" room in your home and is already talking about when she comes back tells me that he feels entitled to your time, resources, and mental energy. 

He hasn't had to do the work because someone is always doing it for him.  You were doing his heavy lifting and now I am sure his mother will be helping to fill that role.  He needs to be 100% accountable for his role in all of this, period.

I agree with the others that attending counseling with him and with YSD will just be you dragging them along, as always.  I would like to see more focus on you and your needs.   Hopefully you can find a couple's counselor who can give you that.

Stay strong, Wicked. 

ndc's picture

Maybe you need to be much more blunt with him and tell him that at this point you don't envision EVER allowing either of his daughters to live with you.  He clearly is not getting it.  I would also be very concerned about the fact that he's not spending his non-working hours at his parents' house with his kids.  I thought the whole reason he was moving in with his mom, instead of getting a place of his own, was because his children could not be left alone.  Expecting his mom to watch them while he's at work is a lot.  Sticking them with her when he's not isn't acceptable, and could very well result in her kicking them out, too.

I'm guessing by his behavior and what he's saying that he views this as a temporary blip, and soon you'll be back to handling his problems for him.

AgedOut's picture

And when his lack of parenting/bothering gets on his Mom's nerves and she tells him he needs to find a different place will he circle back to you for a place to live. 

He's done nothing. He plans to continue to do nothing. So work on you. Make your life center around you. Take away his key, roll up his welcome mat, force him to deal with the messes he's made. Redo that room, change up your house to your tastes, take a class, join a hiking club, a book club, volunteer somewhere and build you back up. See a counselor and fix you. He's not helping fix you, he just wants to get his place of doing nothing back. 

simifan's picture


This. So much This. 

Find yourself. Pamper yourself. 

hereiam's picture

So, I now see that he is not really taking this seriously and is not taking responsibility for his role in all of this. Not good.

When you first posted about them moving out, I was thinking it would be quite awhile before he moved back in, as in more than a year, maybe years (to get SD launched). He seems to think it's going to be a temporary, short-lived arrangement, which tells me that he agreed to the move for the wrong reasons. Seems as if he agreed to this move more to appease you than to actually do the work of parenting his kids.

You absolutely should clean out "her" room, as it is YOUR room and in my opinion, she should never be allowed to move back in. I didn't even think her moving back in was an option. It shouldn't be.

If it were me, there would no "until I see changes", or "until she does such and such". To him, that just means that when he can get YSD to do such and such, you will fold.

Again, he is not taking this seriously.




Ispofacto's picture

I have a friend who works for the Dept of Corrections, his degrees are in criminal justice and abnormal psych.  He says personalities are set by age 7.  I've done a lot of research and seen studies claiming personality is 70% inherited, and yes, personality is set at a very early age.  There is very little chance YSD will ever change.  She may mellow with age, but her narcissism will never be gone.

But hope is a four letter word, and keeps people engaged way longer than is healthy when it's someone they love.

I don't know about your DH, but mine is a very kind, gentle person.  He's extremely conscientious.  He's intelligent and tries his hardest to do the right thing in every situation, but in some cases he's just incredibly ignorant.  I used to be like him, but I've had a lot of experience with narcs over the years, and I've become a smart, hard person.  This situation has been very humbling for DH.  Because he's good and kind, all the world is good and kind in his eyes.  It's called Reverse Projection.

Before we realize the truth about the narcissist in our lives, we relate to them as if they are normal human beings possessing a conscience, integrity, and some degree of self-awareness. We trust their words because we don’t deceive and manipulate people, and trust that the people who claim to love us, will do the same. We give them the benefit of the doubt because we believe they truly love us, and no one, who truly loves us, would purposely say or do anything to hurt our feelings and us. We are, in essence, projecting our good qualities on to them, and when they don’t respond the way we expect a normal person would, we become confused and hurt, question our reality, and believe we must be to blame in some way. The problem is that narcissists don’t think, operate, or play by the same rules as us, and our failing to recognize this sets us up for manipulation, and misery by default.

So years ago when Satan was heaping abuse after abuse on him, and then us, he continually, stubbornly, tried to reason with her.  He refused to admit that she could never see the light.  He said, "If I can get better, so can she", and I had to explain to him that the thing in his brain/personality that gives him incentive to get better, makes him want to be better?  She doesn't have that.  That's what makes her what she is.  She's a narcissist.  She doesn't have a conscience, or empathy, and she doesn't know there's something wrong with her.  She never will.  Naricssisism can't be cured.  They lack the motivation to get better.

He had a very hard time accepting that.  I had to repeat it over and over.  It was painful for him.  He felt like a failure.

So then when I finally threw in the towel on Killjoy, and kicked them out, at first he had a hard time accepting it.  He went through the grieving process.  It took time.  Sometimes the truth is too painful to face all at once.  I made sure to bluntly tell him that she could never come back here.  Not five years from now, not twenty.  Never.  She is a narcissist.  She's never going to be normal.  I'll never trust her, ever.  I had to tell him over and over.  He gets it now.  He did admit to me that early on he was hoping Killjoy would get better, and I would forgive her, eventually.  Tbh, he may still be secretly hoping that.  But he knows my position.


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

That's exactly where I am at with SO. He doesn't see the manipulation and deceit. He will hold onto any small thing to perpetuate his belief they are good people.

IDontCare3117's picture

Kicked out means KICKED OUT.  I think you should limit your interaction with him for a while.  He doesn't need to come over so he has the opportunity to get upset you're cleaning out his kid's room a/k/a YOUR room since it's YOUR house.  Every minute he spends with you or talking to you on the phone is one less minute he's spending doing what he should be doing: sorting out his trainwreck of a daughter.  

Tried out's picture

if SD isn't at his mother's DH should be there anyway DOING SOMETHING FOR HIS MOTHER like cleaning the house or getting the groceries or cleaning out her car or doing yard work. He OWES HER!!!

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

He is putting in a new bathroom for her. But I found out today the reason he is still hanging around is that she asked for him to be here for a little while longer because she wants a break after dealing with OSD and her nonsense before him and YSD move in. I did check with her and she did have that conversation with him. 

I have no issues doing that for her. She has always been so good to me. 

ndc's picture

How long do you think his mother is going to last with them living there? I suspect your SO's situation is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.  Is OSD still with BM? 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I don't know but the good news at least is intensive community based services start for them Monday. This is the best program for families who are at risk. They will provide every service and support available. Hopefully it is enough to get them on the right track. It will definitely take a lot of the burden off grandma because worker will come and assist in dealing with SD when there is a serious behavior issue. They will also work with SO on his parenting issues. 

OSD made it one day with an older half brother then she was sent back to the cousins. I am sure it will only be a matter of time before that blows up again. But now that the program is involved they can address it and have the resources including sending OSD to placement of she circles back. 

Tried out's picture

for not being at his mother's house.

But it's not a reason for him being at your house. 

IDontCare3117's picture

Yep.  He can stay at hotel or some other accomodation.  No reason he should be staying with OP.

The_Upgrade's picture

Something to consider. BM has other kids. Half siblings of OSD and YSD that have admitted BM was abusive to them but didn’t turn out to be complete trainwrecks like OSD and soon YSD. They credited their dad and SM for that. So what was the variable that determined the difference? Their DAD! Their dad wasn’t a failure of a parent. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I agree, but Older half sister said she was in Probation supervision at 13 for truancy and behavior issues. BM finally disowned her when she went into the mental hospital at 14 after trying to kill herself and then disclosing the abuse and didn't speak to her again until 18. So she had no influence on mindfucking her anymore the way she did when she was younger She said it took 6 years of therapy for her to deal with what BM did to her. She said prior to going to live with her father she was heading down the same road as SDs. . Even the older sister said she has been reading BMs texts to YSD and she is mindfucking her and she tries to tell YSD BM is a liar and YSD does want to believe it. 

Oldest sibling was never abused because his father was rich and just handed over money to BM. But at 18 oldest sibling left and disowned BM because he said she is toxic. He doesn't speak to any of the family.

Third oldest has been getting arrested off and on since 15 for things like arson. Is a drug addict, never finished school and lives on other people's couches.

BM is doing really good with the 4 year old so far and that child's father is fairly strict hence why SDs hate his guts. But even the 4 year old calls everyone a "whore" and swears. Why because BM thinks it funny. 

The_Upgrade's picture

How messed up is it that a 4 year old that swears and calls everyone a whore is regarded as "doing really good" as long as you compare her to her sisters. Poor kid....

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I was being sarcastic. Because she is BMs favorite right now she thinks she is so cute