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Sd is angry at us and she has every right to be

vuwbif's picture

I found this site a week ago but I was hesitant to make an account.

Dh and I have been married for 4 years now but we've been togther for  6 years . I want to start out by saying that I know some of the things we did were not okay and we both wish that we could go back and do things right. Unfortunatley, we can't. 

Dh and I got together 6 years ago when he was still married to Bm. At the time they had Sd16( whose was 12 back then). We were close friends and it wasn't okayy how we got together, but it is what it is. Since then. we've had our son.

Bm did not handle the affair and divorce well. She wound up getting very depressed and spent home time in the hospital because of it. Dh feels immensely gulity of this (so do I). She has suffered from some mental issues her entire life, so while I know we played a part in it, it also wasn't entirely on us. 

During the divorce, no one told Sd what happened. She did see Bm's struggles and she was upset at their divorce but we kept our relationship quiet from her and others. We didn't want to cause her any more harm that was already done to her. We were friends, so it wasn't werid for me to be around him and no one questioned us. That was wrong. We see that now. 

Dh and I always were close. I was the "cool aunt" before her dad and I got together. When we got married, she became even closer to me and considered me a second motherly figure. She used to enjoy spending time with me, she would come to be if she ever needed to talk. She was happy that her dad and I got together because she always liked me and was happy to see her dad happy. 

Bm fell into a very deep depression and ended up claming her life- may she find peace. Sd was the one that found her. Bm wanted to punish Dh and I and she has. She left behind a sucide note telling Sd why Bm went depressed and why she was hospitalised for a time and how Dh and I were having an affair behind her back and how Dh betrayed her. She has never the same after that.

Sd hates me with a passion. We feel terrible. All Sd does now is scream how much she hates Dh and I. She says that she can never forgive me for all that i've done. I've tried to talk to her but she has threatned me to stay away from her. Dh has tried talking to her and she tells Dh that he should be the the one in the ground not Bm. Dh has literally begged Sd to just listen to him and she screamed at him to go f*** himself and she will never forgive him even if she would die. She can't stand the sight of BS either. She used to be so warm and affectionate with him. Now she's so cold to him. Sd still has Bm's sucide note and will constantly throw it in Dh's face saying that Bm didn't commit suicide. It was murder. Words cannot describe how terrible we feel. There are times we hear Sd crying from our room. Dh will go and see if she's okay and she will yell at him to leave her alone like how he left Bm alone. 

She's a cheer leader at her school and we all used to go to watch her preform but I stopped going because all I get from other parents are death glares. Dh's family hates us too. Sd told MIL and FIL. They told Dh should be ashamed to call himself a father. Bil and SIL don't even talk to him anymore. His parents have told Dh that when they die, he is not to attend their funeral. This past Christmas was done at his parents house and we were not invited. They ignore BS as well. All they care about is Sd. They told Dh, to let Sd spend the holidays with them, so she can least have a good time. He let her go. 

Sd says that she hates herself for ever loving me and considered me family. She feels betrayed Bm and she will never forgive me.  I'm heartbroken from this. She used to love me and now she can't stand the sight of me. She barley speaks to Dh. When Dh tried to speak to her, she threw a glass at him and told him to "F*** off". 

We've taken her to mutiple therapist to try to help her. One therapist told Dh and I that her reaction is completly normal and she will never forgive me. This is something she will hold for the rest of her life and will continue to punish us for a long period of time. 

We both feel terrible (as we should). I leave the house with BS  so Dh can spend time with Sd alone. I've checked myself into a hotel for 3 days so they could spend time together but according to Dh, all Sd does is stay in her room and for the whole day. Only leaving to use the washroom. She barley eats anything. We're lucky if she finishes half of her dinner. 

On Friday she was supposed to be home at 9. She didn't come home until 3am. We were worried sick. Dh was close to calling the police. All  Dh  asked were she was and why didn't she calling us to tell us where she was(Dh lets her get away with a lot now) and she told Dh that he doesn't need to tell the witch(me) and her b****(him) anything and if we have a problem then we should take up with Bm. Then she runs up the stairs crying and slams the door. 

I honestly don't know much of this I can take. Dh feels terrible. We know we are responsible for her change in behavior. She's hurt and she has every right to be. She's angry and is taking it out on us. We feel terrible everyday. Sd told Dh that she hate seeing my "ugly, disgusting, wrenched face". Dh does stand up to her but she always shuts him up. I don't get involved because I just make her more upset. 

 Dh says that he's willing to take anything Sd will throw at him if that makes her happy. That's how bad he feels. I know though that what we are feeling is noting compared to what she feels. We can hear her cry at night and we don't sleep because of it.  I wish I could take the pain away but I can't. I know Sd will never come to trust me ever again. Our relationship will never be the same, if we're lucky to have one again. She's somewhat more calm and responsive to Dh but that can be hit and miss. There are time where she asks Dh if he stills loves her and he says that he loves her very much and noting will ever change that. Then she'll ask him then why did he take Bm away from her and leaves the room. I've never seen Dh cry so much before in the time we've been together. He loves Sd so much but she is  so clouded my grief and anger that she can't see it. I already now that I'm going to get a lot of back lash for this. Believe me if I could take it back I would. We're responsible for this and we're paying the price. 

 If it wasn't for BS I would have walked away but I just don't know what to do






MurphysLaw's picture

So what’s your question?

 The girl will be 18 soon and you’ll never see her again.

Why not let her live with relatives until then?

Looking at your faces on a daily basis isn’t helping her to recover from all this.



vuwbif's picture

At this rate I don't think we're going to make it until she's 18. 

Dh did ask his relativies to let Sd live with them for a while so she could heal and maybe start opening up to Dh again. His family told Dh that they love Sd very much but since he was the one that put her in this situation, he should be the done to fix it. He  doesn't get to run away from his responsibilities. They say he should have known how much this would have hurt Sd in the past and he doesn't get to take the easy way out.It's almost as if they're using her to punish Dh as well. 

They text/call Sd everday to see how's she's doing. They let her visit and Dh's parents let her spend the nights whenever she wants but they always send her back. Sd is fine for a few days. She doesn't really speak to anyone, then she reverts back to screaming and hating us.

twoviewpoints's picture

What do you mean "will never leave SD alone"?  The girl was gone all Friday evening , supposedly until 9pm, didn't bother to worry about her until she finally showed up 3am. She also spends some overnights with her grandparents 

Doesn't sound like he won't manage to be able to see his other child now and then if you and the four year old get a different house. 

vuwbif's picture

He knew where she was or so he thought. She told him that she would be at a friend's house. He called her friend's parents to confirm what she was saying. He thought he was talking to the parents but in reality he was talking to her friends older brother and his girlfriend. She  confessed when she came home. She was supposed to be home at 9pm sharp but she was a no show. He started calling her at 9 o clock sharp when she didn't show.  He was calling her but she wasn't answering. She wasn't responding to text messages. Dh was freaking out! I was keeping him calm while he blew up her phone with calls and texts. After Friday's incident, he decided that he can't leave her alone. Which is something I don't understand. How is staying with her constantly going to prevent her from going out? Unless he plans on being a satellite that orbits around her 24/7. What was more shocking is that she didn't care that dh was worried sick. She wasn't like this before

With the grandparents, they themselves will call and let him know when she decides to spend the nights. 

somethingwicked's picture

Let the STB 18 year old adult emotional manipulating self hostage taking skid live with her mother 's family or cousins if she hates evil SM and DADDEE.Daddee can give her a stipend .

I think this post is another excellently constructed  pot stirrer judging by the ranting and gnashing of opinions.OP you posted this step noir tale on the wrong website.


Aunt Agatha's picture

There is likely little to be done for SD.  But counseling for you and your son seems very important..  He does not need to grow up this way.

Could you and your son get an apartment until SD moves out?  

Protecting your child from this insanity seems like the best thing you can do now.

Growing up with this is likely to damage him.  You moving out, or letting SD go live with relatives, both seem better than what’s happening for your son.

Hang in there. 

vuwbif's picture

I'm hanging on by a thread. But I'm doing whatever I can to keep BS away from Sd. Whatever she starts yelling at Dh, the first thing I do is put BS in his room, put the tv on and crank up the volume. Or I take him outside with me. 

I've been leaning to BS and I moving out but I know Dh will never leave Sd alone. So I don't know when/ if he would be able to visit without her finding out.  Dh's family told Dh that he doesn't get to take the easy out of this. They let Sd spend the nights with them whenever they want but she always comes back home. 

MurphysLaw's picture

Ah well, like I said, she’ll be 18 soon enough and you’ll never see her again.

 I imagine all that guilt your DH is carrying around will most likely lead him in to the arms of another woman.

Nice for you that his daughter will be 18 so you’ll get a nice amount of CS.


tog redux's picture

Jeepers, what a hot mess. 

Everyone has DH by the balls and he just goes along with it. He needs to tell his family to eff off with their sanctimonious judgy crap. They are making all of this worse.  I wouldn’t let SD live there, in fact, I’d never let them see her again. They are helping to screw her up in some need to punish DH forever for what was none of their damn business. 

If I were you, I’d move out with DS and let DH get this under control in whatever way he sees fit, including consequences for her over the top dramatic crap. She’s entitled to be upset but the rest of it is just DH being passive and letting everyone control him. 

He didn’t kill BM, she made that choice. SD can be angry without being abusive to everyone.  She needs to be held accountable while getting the therapy she needs.  Sounds like she inherited some of BM’s mental health stuff. 

Monkeysee's picture

I agree with this. SD running around unchecked is NOT helping her. I can’t imagine cutting off communication to a family member over an affair. Would I be angry & disappointed? Yes, but their relationship is none of my business.

Your DH needs to stand firmer with his daughter. She is still a minor & under his care. What’s happened has been traumatizing for her & she is going to need help processing that. He is making it worse by giving in to her, letting her run rampant, and by not insisting that she gets help professionally.

I think having your own apartment would be good for everyone involved. It would get your DS out of there & give him a chance at a healthy life, and it’ll also give SD the space she needs to grieve. Forcing the four of you to be in the same space isn’t going to do any of you any favours. 

STaround's picture

The kid was apparently fine till the suicide and the note.   Why is it that some people here think that only stepkids should be accountable for their actions.  

Tara456's picture

This is the natural result of choices you and DH made. I don't write that to ram that home to you or be nasty, but to show this is natural consequence, it's basic cause-effect, and as simple as it is in physics, it's as simple as it is here. And there is nothing to be done about it. It is what it is. Your SD only needs therapy to help her cope with the deceit that was done against her and her mother, knowing she gave you love and friendship whilst you withheld the true nature of what you had been doing. So many thoughts and feelings must be eating her up inside, and her mother is now dead and there's nothing she can do to turn back time and help her. 

I wish people who enter into affairs would understand the role they play in not only breaking up a marriage, but the family too. To claim care and love for the adulterer's children lacks integrity, because if the care was truly there and you were really "close" as you say, with all that would mean, you wouldn't have endangered their home life.

When it comes to the future given the present circumstance, you need to ask what it is you and DH really want to happen, and what feelings and thoughts all the parties would need to have to make that happen. Then ask how likely it is.  If not likely, then what are you planning to do?  I think the therapist is probably highly accurate in their take on the SD's position.

justmakingthebest's picture

I don't know what your finances look like, but is a boarding school an option. It might be something that she would want. Getting away from both of you and being able to work on herself. 

I can't really blame her for how she feels. It would be one thing if BM were living, but they way it happened... SD will never forgive you. Don't expect to have her in your life at all after she graduates. 

There are all things that we wish we would have done differently. Having an affair is never ok. However, BM's revenge was also a horrible act as a mother. The only difference is now BM will always be seen as a saint and you and DH will alway be the devil. 

mommadukes2015's picture

My parents divorce was the result of inferdelity on my father’s end, with a family friend whom I was very close to when I was 12-14. That experience shaped every part of who I am today. And I’m fairly well adjusted. 


You’re damn straight the girl has every right to be angry. She trusted you, and you betrayed her. My mom suffered with bulimia. My father fought to NOT have to pay for my sister and I. Tooth and nail. I was dragged through court, his girlfriend (still to this day, they live in my childhood home), my father withheld my mother’s buyout from their marital home making us homeless for almost 9 months, I had to get a job to help pay bills because my mom was in dire straights, then his girlfriend tried to have me put on PINS (people in need of supervision) because I told her to quit f-info contacting me-I was also a straight A athlete so her attempts at dragging me through the mud to save face were in vain. 

For the next 10 years I ignored their entire existence. I escaped to college and life thereafter with minimal contact. I knew then that at some point, I would need to deal with this, I knew that when I had children I would want them to learn to make their own decisions about people and not rely on the opinions of others. I couldn’t rightfully do that exiling her biological grandfather. 5 years ago, I wrote my father a note telling him just that, his granddaughter would never rely on him like I had, I’d never trust him again but if he wanted, I would give him the chance to have her only know if him what he chooses to show her. 

Oddly enough, I was just up at his house, talking with him and his girlfriend (the same one that ruined my parents marriage) the other day. Now my mother isn’t dead-but is cataclysmically unfair what BM did to SD in that suicide note. To dump this on her and not stick around to help her cope-is insidious. What you did is not okay and never will be. But what she has done to such a young soul is reprehensible. No mother in their right mind would do that to their child. 

As someone who is 15 years removed from a similar situation, the only thing you can do is give that girl space, time and while she can’t go putting herself in danger (staying out all night unchecked) she does get to express her emotions, however she sees fit. What she’s leveling at you is only a small portion of the torment she feels inside and rightfully so. 

But with space, time and some emotional maturity she may come around. But it’s going to be a long road, and unfortunately, it’s ya’lls cross to bear. It’s not your son’s-so move forward protecting him from this, but mindful that someday, you’ll need to come clean to him too. 

Good luck. People make mistakes. People do bad things, and while they’re sorry things happened the way they did, they don’t chance the choice you’re still making. People change, sometimes for the better. Right now the world is black and white for SD. She’s busy sorting people into boxes of right and wrong. Hopefully, one day she will realize that the human condition is anything but black and white, there are a million shades of grey in between and that’s where most of us fall. 



sodonewithpunk's picture

You raise a good point- BM pulled a hit and run- dropped an emotional anvil on her own child and then bailed.'s really hard to be angry at your mother- nearly IMPOSSIBLE to be angry at your dead mother. So all of that rage that should be directed at her own mom is getting blasted at the surviving parents. 

TwoOfUs's picture

"...she does get to express her emotions, however she sees fit." 

I agree 1000% percent with everything you've written except for this. No. She doesn't get to yell and scream and curse and make the home intolerable. She doesn't get to express herself however she sees fit. Going through a trauma does not give you an absolute right to be a jerk to people...and it's also not good for her to think she has the "right" to behave this way. 

She needs help to heal and move on...whether that means learning to forgive or deciding to move out forever and have no contact with her dad. She does have that choice...but she's not "allowed" to be abusive because she's been traumatized. 

susanm's picture

You don't say how long this has been going on but I get the feeling it has been a while.  The people who are essentially encouraging the girl to hold on to her intense grief and anger are doing her no favors.  Whether she will ever forgive her father and you is up for question but she needs to process what happened.  Right now she is clearly stuck and that is obviously not healthy.  What is also not healthy is her father and you having a Scarlett Letter stomped into your chests on a daily basis.  You have your hands full with SD and do not need crap from everyone else.  Tell them that their fun is now over and they can keep their judgment to themselves.  They can either help find a way for SD to move forward or get the hell out of the way.  First on the agenda would be to find a therapist who will do something other than tell you it is a lost cause!  "Wow - this is going to be hard but let's at least try to find a solution" would be a bit more what I would be looking for.  Meanwhile, you moving into a small place of your own with your son for a defined number of months might not be the worst idea in the world.  If nothing else it will remove some of the salt from the wound and be a change of scenery for everyone so you can all breathe.  But you do deserve a chance to set things right.  It is a rotten situation and what you and your DH did was wrong but this "nothing you can do will ever allow you to reclaim your humanity" attitude is a bit medieval for me.

TwoOfUs's picture


I always feel so shocked and strange when people say things like this. there's NO hope for grace or redemption for OP and her husband? Why? 

People do crappy things all the time...including you. Are you willing to be punished for the rest of your life for the sins of your past? Or do you expect that people will forgive you and that you can grow and improve? 

marblefawn's picture

This is really too big of a problem to get help online, especially when suicide is involved (suicide runs in families, so you don't want to mess with this).


She can't be allowed to run wild because he's scared of her. He will have trouble reining her in now that the cat is out of the bag on the affair. She feels justified to do what she wants and, in a way, she is. But at her age, what she wants to do will probably land her in juvie or get her killed. These are exactly the types of kids who end up in bad places.

I think you probably all need family counseling and he and she needs individual counseling. You need a referee, a 3rd party, to chase everyone back to their corners when the conversation gets ugly or someone says something out of line. You need someone to manage this for you because you each have a horse in the race, so there will be no trust among you if you try to hash this out without a referee.

To choose a therapist, you and your husband should first meet alone with candidates. Ask what approach each would take to your situation. THis way you can find out if the therapist will make things worse by giving SD advice you can't endorse. You must find a therapist you and your husband trust. Once you choose, turn the whole mess over to that therapist.

I don't think I've heard of a mess this bad in a long time. Don't try to handle this alone. This is bigger than skids not respecting a stepparent. This poor kid must feel like she's living a nightmare with the enemy. I really can't imagine being in her shoes.

I respect that you're regretful and taking responsibility for SD's turmoil. I think that's right and fair in regard to SD. But it's also right and just for you to keep in mind that most jilted spouses don't commit suicide, so there was more at work there than your betrayal. This is a nuance a 16-year-old and others in BM's camp won't understand and they shouldn't be expected to understand it.

My other suggestion is boarding school for SD. I don't think it's fair to expect her to live with you and your husband. I don't think living with relatives is a good idea either -- in their despair for her, they will indulge her and alienate her from her father -- her only living parent. She will be a mess if she lives with relatives. She might not even make it to 18.

But boarding school is another story. She will be supervised, educated and away from all the people who betrayed her. Maybe with that space, you can all find a way to move forward. She would have new friends who don't know about the scandal. She can pursue things (sports, boyfriends/girlfriends, activities) with all this at a distance...on a back burner, if you will. A decent school will have counselors on campus so she'll get her therapy and you guys can work with your therapist at home.

But don't wait until things are even worse to send her to boarding school. Give her the best chance of moving forward by not waiting until she's drinking, pregnant or suicidal. Send her now so the school has the best of SD to work with. If the relatives give you any shit, cut them off. If SD doesn't want to go, well, I think you have to respect that, but at the same time, I think this might be an appealing situation for her -- show her the websites with smiling girls on horses and maybe she'll go for it. Be sure the school is close enough for you to all attend FAMILY THERAPY.

elkclan's picture

I am definitely not of the 'infidelity leads to scarlet letter FOREVER' crap. We don't know what went on in his marriage. That woman was obviously not ok. Did he handle it in the best way? No. But honestly, really and truly I stepped outside my marriage in an effort to SAVE it. Obviously that didn't work, but desperate times, desperate measures. I was beyond tired of being in a sexless marriage and thought it would be least harmful to outsource the sex bit.  And in a way, I was right. I never got caught.  And it help me realise that while the sexlessness was a problem it wasn't the only problem.

So yes, I have cheated. I did not end up with either of my affair partners and I carefully chose people outside my usual social circle. Whatever...

Your problem here wasn't so much what you did. Yes, it's harder to move if the parent starts a public relationship with the affair partner. The problem here was a lack of honesty. Finding out about a parent's affair in that villainous suicide note had to have been devastating. No question. Wearing your decisions like a hair shirt and allowing SD to be out of control isn't helping anyone. Had you been reasonably and age appropriately honest with SD (or rather had your DH been, not really your job...) you wouldn't be where you are now and BM wouldn't have had that particular bit of ammo for her suicide note. What a %^^%x to allow her daughter to find her like that. No wonder dad found solace in an affair. 

Now obviously that's not the line to take with SD. But you guys have got to find some grit. Just because he messed up doesn't absolve him of the responsibility of dealing with this girl now or his responsibility to you or to his son. 

Word of warning though: if SD is really and truly unhinged I'd get that boy away from her. His safety is YOUR number one responsibility. Separate housing for you and BS or boarding school for SD - whatever - get the boy away from her. 


Jcksjj's picture

I was wondering if I was the only one thinking it was really messed up of BM to leave that in the note....committing suicide doesnt promote you to sainthood and idk why everyone seems to think there would be not fault on BM for doing that to her own daughter. 

kaybee82's picture

Probably because it won't matter. We, on the forum can say all day what BM shoulda, woulda, coulda, done. Too late now, she's long gone. We are trying to help OP figure out what to do. If i'm being honost, the best she can do, right now, is protect her son. 

Jcksjj's picture

You're right it wouldnt change anything but i do think it matters as far as OP getting the blame placed on her and how SD is reacting to it. I just feel like some of the posts are a little unfair to OP.

Rags's picture


Beautiful. And right on IMHO.

Adultery in general is reprehensible, however, there are certainly some mitigating circumstances that can come into play. Your situation during your prior marriage is certainly an example.   My XW was a serial adulteress nearly our entire 2.5 year marriage.   Our entire marriage was nearly sexless.  For a nice looking, caring, previously sexually active guy all in on marriage who honored his fiance's request to remain abstinent during our dating and engagement years this threw me for a loop and crushed my joy for life, confidence, and disconnected me from who I liked being.

About halfway through the marriage I was approached by a young woman who I had known in a previous life, on a far away continent, under very innocent circumstances.   She let it be known that she felt we had unfinished business.   I am grateful to her for being there, showing interest in me, at a time when I was just about at rock bottom.  I did not do it to save my marriage, I did it to save my life.

I did not cheat. I grabbed a life preserver that a guardian angel threw me. I am grateful to her to this day..... and that was 30 years ago.  About a year and a half later my XW informed me that she wanted a divorce, she was pregnant by another man (couldn't be mine if it was not the second immaculate conception) and moved out.  I had a date that night and dove into refinding myself immediately.  With the help of a killer therapist.

So yes, there are mitigating situations and circumstances to infidelity.  Particularly for those who are victims of frigid partners who shop the junk out all over town rather than keeping it warm at home.

And this BM who saddled her daughter with her cowardly toxic exit, is the only reprehensible one in this picture. Most in the mix are flawed.Who isn't on some level?  But other than the BM, none are reprehensible.

IMHO of course.

Indigo's picture

You can change how you handle the current chaos in your household, and you can protect BS-4.  Would you consider moving BS4 & yourself from the situation for a set period of time?  Clear boundaries, clear expectations of reunification, clear understanding that you both are married with another little person to raise. 

During that time, DH can focus upon SD's mental health, unhealed wounds and the chaos at hand. SD's only remaining parent stepping up to help his child in crisis. (Other family may be exascerbating the problem and not helping.) Twice a week individual therapy for SD, individual counseling for DH and perhaps an additional DH/SD session once a month.  Not a situation where everything is swept under the rug & they settle into school, work routine.  Small groups, church assistance, whatever. Think about an intensive healing protocol. 

Boarding schools and residential treatment facilities may not be able to provide the level of care that SD needs at this time. I only have experience with residential facilities in my situation.  There are 24/7 hours to fill and sending SD away may only reinforce the abandonment and betrayal impression.

Consider this period an opportunity to provide an intensive intervention to help SD through this section of her life and help her to be able to launch and create a healthy life for herself.

The benefit for you? Well, it would get you out of the cross-hairs of every one's unfocused anger.  You likely would benefit from a bit of individual counseling to cope effectively with this trauma.  However, most importantly ... it will take BS-4 out of the situation.  You have to protect him from the trauma and drama currently enacted in that household.  BS-4 may see DH less at first until you all figure out a good system, but that is so much less important it seems than continuing to expose him to harm. It sounds likely that BS-4 is also at risk of SD doing some math and taking her anger out on the replacement family.

It's not fair. I get that. Maybe it's not right that you should have to step aside, except if you do it out of love for your BS and compassion for your DH.  I don't know. I'm not a psychologist or social worker, but I have seen the impact of this level of trauma on 3 children when they were under 10 years old.  My advice is to protect your little one.  Let DH work on what DH has to work on ...


Indigo's picture

I meant no disrespect by suggesting that you consider an 'extended stay hotel,' or 'extended stay with family,' or apartment/shared-home situation. Taking a step side-ways is not taking a step backwards, or throwing in the towel.  It's a wise, military action sometimes, allowing breathing room and an opportunity to regroup.

Helping SD now may be cost-effective in the long run. Read the Adult Stepchildren forum if you want to have a nightmare of failure-to-launch, guilty-parenting and the resulting drug/alcohol-addicted, slug-like, passive-aggressive young adults who live at home.  You do not want her still living with you at 20 years old, twin babies and a baby-daddy in your basement.

Admitting perhaps some error-in-judgement, and accepting that you did the best you knew how at the time years ago, however you wish to color the past, there comes a time when you need to stop. You apologize to whomever you feel you wronged, make amends if you can, make peace with your Higher Power and your conscience --- and move on.  DH deals with his family and you cope with yours.

IMO, DH's family responsibility is to his daughter right now. Behind all the smoke and screaming, I don't think this family is that far from healing.  Honestly.  Consider other posters who have anger-filled skids in their 40's with grandkids, and weigh that against calling a time-out to address a crisis situation.  What if SD had luekemia or a physical illness?  She has an invisible mental health, spiritual illness. 

I return to the necessity of you protecting BS-4.

Evil3's picture

You and your DH allowing your SD, or backing down to her outbursts out of guilt is not helping anyone. You and DH need counselling to go over the guilt you have for everything that has transpired and to go over how to raise SD from here on out.

SD needs therapy. No, ifs, ands or buts. She needs to go. She has been traumatized from both the loss of her mother and the major betrayal she has experienced. She is 16, so if your DH has sole custody, then he needs to grab his balls and lay down the law. Some joint therapy between SD and himself would also help a lot.

Raising your DS in such turmoil is not good for him. Consider moving to an apartment with him and having your DH visit.

Your SD is on her way to, or already has some form of PTSD, so counselling pronto. It sounds like you have empathy for her pain and it sounds like you are not minimizing your role. You sound truly sorry. Hopefully, you get a chance to say those things to your SD in a controlled environment one day, likely in front of a therapist, but it doesn't sound like she's ready for that right now.

With your SD being 16, there is still two years until she turns 18. Don't let your DH look back on these two years with regret. There is a ton that he can accomplish in the two years that she has remaining at home.

All of you need counselling, because you cannot undo the past. It is what it is. It's time to focus on going forward and creating a new normal. Yes, you will have responses on here telling you what an asshole you are, but that's not going to help your guilt or your SD's pain.

I see some good news. If your SD keeps returning to your home after her visits to her grandparents, then on some level, she's wanting to be there. Maybe to mend things? Or maybe the grandparents are encouraging her to be there????

I get the impression from your post that you truly want to make things better. Take charge of your family's healing and insist on therapy. Make sure you go for your own. It's amazing what you can do if only you go.

Rags's picture

Time to collect and destroy the note.  This kid does not need to be reading BM's suicide note.  Getting rid of that will at least stop the painful reminder from resurfacing and being thrown in your and DH's face. The longer that note exists, the more SD can use it to play and manipulate people. This note could find its way into your and DH's face for ever as long as it exists.

Don't get me wrong.  SD is rightfully infuriated with both her father and you.  You both own her ire at a significant level. However, it is the toxic BM's suicide that is the root of the evil at play in this mess.   BM was a vindictive coward who ruined her daughter's life in an attempt to destroy DH's new family.  The only thing I see to do is to drag SD kicking and screaming into reality and exposure to the facts of the evil that BM perpetrated.  DH needs to get her in front of a no bullshit counselor who will grab SD by the short and curlies and force her to confront the complete palate of this situation.

How long ago was BM's suicide?  This is important as it helps quantify how much of SD's crap is legitimate grief and how much is just her playing the guilt cards from her manipulation deck.  The grief cycle in dealing with a significant loss is in the 2yrs to 4yrs range.   If BM passed more than 2 yrs ago... this may very well significantly be this kid manipulating and guilting everyone she can gain a benefit out of guilting.

For sure I would also pin SD's ears back on how she is treating her little brother.  That is just mean, evil, crappy behavior that should not be tolerated and that there is no excuse for.   Don't tolerate that crap and any time she pulls it, bare her ass on it immediately, publically and sternly.

All IMHO of course.

Good luck.

Indigo's picture

SD may have a bad case of 'the entitled teen who got a lever' syndrome. Bad behavior is bad behavior whatever the excuse.  I worry for the BS and the SD --- they are both kids without the skills to cope with the current situation. 

vuwbif's picture

Dh has been thinking the same thing but it's the last thing Sd has that reminds her of Bm (there are pictures of other things but this is the last thing Bm gave her). The sad part of it though, is that it's full of hate and anger. Plus we don't know where she keeps it. Dh has searched her entire room and noting. It's with all of the time and we know she will never give it up. 

it's only been 8 months since Bm's suicide- may she find peace. So the emotions are still raw. Sd is not malicious to BS, She just ignores him for the most part. He asks her to play with him, she say "I'm busy. Ask your mom or dad" or she'll just leave the room. It still hurts him though. I try to keep BS away from her but he still wants to be around her. It's heartbreaking. 

Rags's picture

This isn’t the last thing BM gave her.  The last thing BM gave her is the vitriolic toxic crap that the suicide note generates. That note is the "gift" that keeps on giving by ruining SD's life.   Next time she waves it physically in DH’s face, as her father and custodial  adult, DH should take it.   Then burn it ASAP.

If DH and you do not aggressively inject structure and behavioral accountability immediately I do not see much chance of a positive outcome grieving process for SD.

As with any opinion, mine may or may not be the perfect solution.  My intention is to present a solution/improvement recommendation.

twoviewpoints's picture

Eight months? (biting my fingers)

Please don't you or her father take that letter. Yes, in the end,it needs to go, but if either of you just go in and take it, you have no idea what sh*tstorm will rain down on you> She needs grief therapy , h*ll maybe three or four different therapist working with her. Death of mother , by suicide, betrayal of the other two most important in her world she trusted and loved Dad and you) besides her mother. 

Let the therapist talk her into letting the letter go.. She can give it to him/her to keep in her file to start. 


elkclan's picture

Yeah, I agree. Don't destroy the letter right now. But get it off site and maybe into a safety deposit box. 

Notup4it's picture

I agree, and you or her father have no right to take that from her... she is angry, and rightfully so.  She needs to grieve and let it go on HER time with the assistance of a PROFESSIONAL. I would not be doing anything without the assistance of a qualified therapist at this point... or you will cause more damage.  What her mom did was wrong, but I would see you two doing that as no better. 

Also, I have a 13 year old daughter.... they don’t like to hang out with their young siblings, that isn’t anything abnormal.  In my intact family with no drama I couldn’t tolerate my younger siblings- they idolize the older and the older finds them irritating, nothing abnormal about it- teens have zero in common with young kids. 

Im not sure what you are expecting here... she lost her mother, what you guys did was terribly wrong as well.... she was betrayed by both of her parents and she isn’t old enough yet to have the life skills needed to deal with it all. I also don’t think you 2 are the best people for her to learn those skills from either.... she certainly needs help.   

STaround's picture

You and DH beleive in disposable families, why shouldn't she?  She is quite a few years older, more like a babysiter than playing together.   Give it up.  

still learning's picture

Nothing will stop the painful reminder for SD of her mothers suicide.  Yes SD is manipulating but what you do call what OP and her now DH did to a mentally unstable woman and then preteen SD. Cheating, pretending to be a friendly aunt while secretly infiltrating her family, that's some nasty manipulation.  Destroying the note, the last thing her mother wrote would be the final nail in the coffin of her relationship with her father.  You really expect this girl to just get over this tragedy in 2-4 years? Really??? I highly doubt she'll ever get over it.  

No it's not DH and OP's fault that BM took her own life but they sure as h#ll didn't help matters.  What kind of man cheats with his "friend" when his wife obviously needs help. And what kind of "friend" would think this was a good way to help out? OP, remember that when a man marries his mistress that position is now open.  Who's DH's new "friend" that he'll be turning to when he's upset with his current family issues?

 This situation is messed up and likely won't have any happy ending for anyone involved.  

vuwbif's picture

for all of those the didn't jump with hatred towards me. I was half suspecting that would be the case.  Thank you so much. It means a lot to me. I had posted on a different online forum and my response was noting but hate. I am  extremely remorseful for what Sd has gone thorugh. I accept my role in the situation and I'm truly sorry. I know I have a long road ahead of me to get to place where Sd will even want to be around me. I just want her know that I'm very sorry for everything I've done and the pain that I caused her.

UPDATE: I've spoken to dh about the situation at hand and we both feel that me moving about with BS would be the best course of action for the time being. Sd needs to heal and she can't with me around. 

marblefawn's picture

Please talk to a counselor before you move out and deny your son two parents. You moving out might give SD the wrong idea -- that if she behaves badly enough, you'll go for good. Once these skids get the idea that they're driving the car, it can be very ugly!

Good luck. And don't forget what someone really guilty once said...

Forgive...forgive yourself first.

Rags's picture

I cringe at the thought of you and your young child moving out due to BM’s parting toxic shot and SD’s manipulation.

Take care of you and your family.

elkclan's picture

Please this time don't let your DH hide that he is spending time with you and your son. It is not a dirty secret, your are his wife, that is his son. You are creating some space in your family for healing, but you are still a family. 

susanm's picture

Agreed.  You are not "moving out."  You are giving everyone some breathing room by staying somewhere else temporarily.  DH will still be coming to see you and you will have plenty of interaction with him and it is important that is in the open and not kept quiet in any way.  You are a completely legitimate part of his life and should continue to be treated as such even while giving SD some room.  You do not want any sort of inference to be made between the way your relationship began and the kindness you are showing now.  Given the way you say others in the family are behaving, I could see them adding that to their pointless and harmful chatter.

sodonewithpunk's picture

No judgement here. You have been so hard on yourself, you dont need anyone else shaming you. You can not allow this child to continue to disrespect and hate on you and her father. She needs to be put in check. I'm so sorry you are going through all of this. At some point, it's not productive for you and DH to beat yourselves to a pulp indefinitely, nor is it productive for SD to keep coming at you with her rage and free-floating hostility. None of that will bring her mom back. She needs to learn about depression, and mental health. People are cheated on all the time, and it hurts (destroyed my marriage), but the vast majority of them don't go offing themselves, leaving horrible blaming notes and bodies for their children to find. 

OP you were brave to post here. I hope you find your peace. 

Tara456's picture

One of my parents had an affair when I was 12 (your SD surely must have been 10, not 12 as you say, when you began your affair). I found out about it. I cannot cover here fully the impact that it had on me, and the incredible heaviness that I carried round with me with presence of such betrayal that I realised had been going on in my family. How can adults do this to each other, I wondered?  How can my parent deceive the other like that? How can that 3rd party treat the other parent so badly, aren't we supposed to behave decently and well to each other?  How can that 3rd party do something which they *know* will destroy my home, my family?  Every day of my home life was affected because of it. The secret phone calls, the secret meetings, the awful tension in the air. The ever decreasing likelihood of my parents being nice to each other again. The bizarre behaviour of the parent having the affair. Do adults think children don't see it and feel it every single day? Do adults think that a family unit where one parent is having an affair stays the same and the kids aren't impacted?  Are adults mad?

The divorce was horrendous.  I lost my home, I had to move away, and I lost so much with doing so - friends, hobbies, etc. The non-cheating parent was broken into a million pieces and I did all I could to cheer them up.

If I could have killed the 3rd party and not be jailed, I probably would have. That's how I thought. My care and feelings for the cheating parent faded, I had lost so much respect for them as a human being, for being so low as to do that and cause all this. They sort of died to me. But the 3rd party was different, they had never had my respect so couldn't lose it, I was just filled with the most incredible anger and wished I could destroy their life, as I felt they had destroyed mine. 

You OP had your SD's respect, she trusted you, liked you, came to you when she needed to talk. She gave of herself to you, showed you herself when she was vulnerable, welcomed you marrying her father even after her parents' divorce, and yet you had helped destroy her family and then deceived her for years.  Other posters here say your SD has no right to disrespect you or hate you. Why not?  What is there in your for her to respect precisely? Why shouldn't she hate you for what you did?  She has every right to do both. Over time, and with healing, hate might be downgraded to something else, might even be converted into something else, but that's not for you or anybody else to dictate to her. 

For crying out loud, don't take away the note. Her mother killed herself just 8 months ago, she's just discovered the last 6 years of her life have been a lie, the closeness she had with you was all fake, she feels humiliated at herself for letting herself become friends with you when all the time you knew what you'd done and you'd done the very opposite of giving friendship to her. You have no right to take away the note.

I can see that you are sorry. I'm not sure if you are sorry because of what you chose to do, or sorry that things are all rosy for you now. I don't like the tone about the BM, the somewhat dismissive "wound up getting depressed", for example. You don't mention what mental illness the BM had had previously, just because someone had a mental illness does not mean that all bets are off for falling apart when she discovers her husband is cheating with her friend.  The BM remember could have told the SD at any time during the painful divorce why it was really happening and why SD's parents were divorcing, but she didn't.  She protected her from knowing the truth about her father, and by doing so whether you like to admit it or not, she shielded you. Remember that. The BM kept it all to herself and it must have crucified her to see her daughter become friends with the "cool aunt"/deceitful BM's friend. Yet still she stood back and let you all become friends without bringing it up.

The struggles that that poor woman went through made me shudder. She finally had enough and couldn't handle it any more. I don't think her note was supposed to be toxic, or even particularly revengeful. She was closing the book on her life, leaving once and for all, and the note was surely more tieing up loose ends, bringing the hidden into the open, explaining to the world why she was doing what she was doing. All understandable. Why should she protect you any more? Why shouldn't she be honest with her daughter? You and her father weren't.  Why leave her daughter wondering why, why not get it out in the open and leave the world, clearing the decks so to speak? Can you really not understand that?

This catastrophe started, as you say, in a way that wasn't ok and it was what it was. Cause and effect. Now it's still not ok, and it is what it is.

Monkeysee's picture

Umm, the BM absolutely did NOT protect her daughter from the truth. That is completely delusional. Instead of telling her in a way that would have allowed conversation & healing, or simply choosing not to tell her, she took her own life, left her body for SD to find, and told her in the most inhumane way possible about the affair. HOW is that ok?

Now this poor girl doesn’t have her mother, so she’s not only grieving the loss of her mother, she’s grieving the loss of what she believed to be true, and is now having to navigate all of this without the person she likely needs the most right now. It is horrific, I cannot begin to tell you how horrible I feel for this poor girl.

Im sorry that you went through all you did as a child. Affairs are never ok, but how is allowing the hatred SD feels to go unchecked helping her?

I don’t believe OP can help her SD in this process at all. The best she can do is to give her space, and be welcoming if/when SD is in a place to talk to her.

You are right this girl is entitled to how she’s feeling, again, I can only fathom the pain she is in right now. But allowing destructive behaviour is NOT helping this girl. Placing blame & allowing hatred to stew & fester is NOT helping her. Allowing her, at 16 (!!!!!) to run around making her own rules for herself & stay out all hours of the night is NOT helping her. 

She needs structure, support, and a ton of therapy. She needs time to process and grieve her mother. And that includes anger at her mother - who is no saint here - for taking her life & leaving SD in ruins.

I have a family member who had an affair & left their spouse. They are still, 30 years later, with the affair partner. And they are a successfully blended family. There is no hatred or animosity between the stepsiblings, nor towards their stepparents. 

I am sure it took a lot of work to get there, but anger, hatred, disrespect, and unchecked aggression/inappropriate behaviours are not a part of their family dynamic. 

OP knows what they did was wrong. They never should have had the affair. But neither should BM have taken her life & left her daughter with that toxic note. None of these adults were right for what they did. The focus now should be helping SD, not pointing fingers like an immature child.

MurphysLaw's picture

Well said Tara.

 I’m so sorry you had to endure such a childhood.

I detest whores & whorechasers and make no feckin apologies for it.

Rags's picture

The BM destroyed her own child as her parting shot. She may have thought that that parting show was at the OP and deceased BM's XH. In reality that partins shot was aimed right at her own daughter.

I can't respect anything about that action and I really don't care about the why of BM's actions. The only that matters is her what.  And in that case her what was entirely selfish, evil and destroyed the one person she should have protected.

If the facts had been shared all along, in an age appropriate manner, that would of cousre been far better. But BM should own her choices in all this. Sadly she was too much of a coward and too selfish to stick around and own it.  She left that as the inherritance of her daughter.

 And her actions were entirely wrong.

IMHO of course.

Tara456's picture

It's peculiarly incredible, and almost laughable if it weren't for such tragic consequences, that the keeper of other people's secret of their hideous actions gets all the blame for releasing that secret, rather than the very people who decided to commit the hideous actions in the first place.

The BM didn't destroy her child as her parting shot. Her daughter was destroyed by the actions of her father and her mother's friend. Undeniable proof? It's this: the daughter is not going round fraught at how disgusting her mother was to have written that note. The daughter is not eaten up inside at her mother's "evil" and "parting shot" as so many of you describe it. The daughter is not traumatised at all by the decision her mother made - on the contrary she is 100% behind her mother, from start to finish. She is 100% her mother's experience of betrayal and deceit, her mother's pain, her mother's tragic decision to commit suicide, and her mother's note.  The daughter isn't traumatised by her mother's "parting shot" but by her father and mother's friends horrendous deceit and lies.

It's actually there before us, it's in the OP's post, it's there in the evidence, but some of you just don't want to believe it, do you?


It's even more bizarre to call a woman who ended her life, who felt that the awful finality of death was less painful than life given how others had treated her, is called the coward, yet a woman who deceives a young child and sleeps with her father pretending to be her friend, yet a man who sleeps with his wife's friend and the woman his daughter regards as an 'aunt', and both who cowardly keep their secret and don't even come clean when they've broken up the girl's family and get married, are not regarded as the complete cowards that they truly are.

Monkeysee's picture

Are you for real? You don’t think SD is traumatized at all by the decisions her mother made, despite the fact her mother chose to commit suicide? You don’t think that on it’s own is going to have a lasting affect? Do you honestly, genuinely believe that this woman had NO other choice than to leave a suicide note for her daughter to find that spelled out the truth of the affair?

That there was NO other alternative that would have been easier on her child??? 

The affair was not BM’s fault, obviously. OP & her DH should never have done what they did. And you’re right that their actions have wrecked havoc on this family. But guess what. So did BM when she chose to end her life. So did BM when she left SD that note. 

She left her child to deal with something that even she couldn’t handle. It is insane to suggest there were no other alternative & it had to be this way.

Just like it was not BM’s fault that her husband chose to have an affair, it is NOT OP or her husbands fault that BM ended her life. That was her choice. She didn’t have to be a secret keeper, but she also didn’t have to tell SD in the most inhumane & careless way possible. 

As I stated previously, NONE of these adults have been fair to this girl. And that includes her own mother. If she genuinely wanted SD to find out & actually cared about how it affected her she would have told her before taking her own life so SD would have the support she needed to process everything.

Now SD is dealing with both losses, one of which is 100% BM’s fault. I am not putting all the blame on BM, but to say BM bears no fault at all for what SD is going through is asinine. 

More importantly than any of this, how is pointing fingers helping this poor girl?? What exactly do you suggest for her? We can point fingers all day long & I guarantee nothing productive will come from it. So what is your suggestion? 

Tara456's picture

It's difficult, well impossible, for me to answer most of your questions to me since they are predicated on an opinion I do not hold and have not written. So I can't answer questions like "you don't think... xyz... are you for real?" / "to say xyz is asinine" when I haven't said xyz, I don't think xyz, I don't claim xyz.  You've made them up. Why? Only you know.

Read my post. If I respond to something someone else has said, for example that the BM is a coward, that the *only* person who is evil etc round here is the BM, and I state no, she was not a coward and no, she is getting an unfair load of blame in all this, that doesn't automatically mean anything else that you wrote.  "That there was NO other alternative that would have been easier on her child??? " - seriously, how on earth did you read that I said there was no other alternative in anything I wrote?  "It is insane to suggest...." yes, it is - lucky I didn't then, isn't it?

I notice you don't write to those blaming the BM that their finger pointing doesn't help. Standing up for a dead woman who was driven - yes driven, people are driven to suicide as psychologists and psychiatrists atest, they can be triggered by something to commit it, there are external factors which push people over their edge of coping - didn't make me point fingers, but debating another's finger pointing at her will necessitate such a reply, obviously.

Now you and I agree on one thing. That *all* the adults failed the SD. If the DH and OP didn't have the decency to offer to be honest to the SD about what they had done (which they didn't), the BM should have demanded they come clean about the circumstances of the collapse of the SD's family and the betrayal of the SD's friendship with her "aunt", or the BM would do it for them. Since I feel it unlikely the OP and the DH would have had the guts or moral fibre to do so, then the BM should have told her - with all the support accompanying that release of information, as you correctly say.

What do I suggest? I suggest something which I have repeatedly inferred in my posts. The primary focus should be on the SD's health and wellbeing. The starting point of this is NOT to believe she has to "come round", NOT to believe that healing means respecting, liking, or being friendly to the OP, NOT to believe that it's unhealthy to tell her father to go to hell, 8 months after the death of her mother who he betrayed. The starting point is to see people's feelings as valid - *all* of them. That healing involves moving through anger as much as love, that the SD is perfectly entitled to regard her father and the OP with contempt, given not only their actions but the undeniable contempt they showed her.

As the therapist said, the SD's feelings are entirely natural. Don't fight them, don't try to push them into a nice little box that suits the OP and her fairytale dreams, that suits convenience, an easy life and a wish to "move on". Give the SD the space she needs, let her live where she would like, any poor behaviour which falls outside of this needs to be clamped down on (as with any SK), and let her have the best therapists with the primary goal to be happy and healthy in herself. Anything else that comes from that is up to her.

Actions have consequences. There isn't always a fairytale ending, that realisation seems to be missing here. Sometimes you can't make everything nice and rosy the way you want, because the damage you've done is just too much.  "Too much" is just up to people's ability to handle it and cope, some of you might say. Well yes. But so we all have limits. When you shoot a bullet into someone's body (or you're an accomplice...), you might desperately want the wound to heal and go back in time, but sometimes, it just kills the other person, and you can't go back. It is what it is.

We should all just treat each other well, with kindness and respect. This is the awful mess of destruction and pain that happens when we don't.


Monkeysee's picture

The daughter is not traumatised at all by the decision her mother made - on the contrary she is 100% behind her mother, from start to finish. She is 100% her mother's experience of betrayal and deceit, her mother's pain, her mother's tragic decision to commit suicide, and her mother's note.  The daughter isn't traumatised by her mother's "parting shot" but by her father and mother's friends horrendous deceit and lies.

^^^ I didn’t make that up, those are your words. I did read your posts, which made no reference at all to how all three adults failed SD, but instead spoke of your own childhood, vilified OP & her DH, and lots along the lines of what you wrote above.

Who cares that I didn’t call out anyone else for pointing fingers? What an odd statement to make, it’s no one’s concern but my own who I choose to respond or not respond to. 

I agree with you that the primary focus needs to be on SD’s health & wellbeing, and I also agree that may not ever include reconciling with OP. That is up to SD to decide. I agree her feelings are natural, given the circumstances I have no doubt I’d be responding the same way in her shoes. She is experiencing a tremendous amount of grief & loss right now & has not had appropriate levels of structure & support from any of the adults in her life.

I think OP moving out to give SD space to heal is the best thing for all of them, including OP & her son. OP is not evil, she did a bad thing but that doesn’t mean she deserves to be vilified for the rest of her days.

I hope for SD’s sake she finds a way to put the anger behind her, when she is ready. This may and very likely will take years, but hopefully she will get to a point where she realizes the person she’s hurting most by hanging on to it is herself. 

tog redux's picture

Some people here seem to think that suicide is an entirely rational response to infidelity. That after 6 years, BM just couldn't take the pain of having been cheated on, so killing herself was the only viable option and we should understand that she just couldn't cope with the horror of infidelity.

I don't get it. Suicide is NEVER a rational response (unless you are being chased by zombies with no hope of getting away).

Infidelity is not the end of the world. People are cheated on all the time, and they go on to survive and thrive.

It's the weirdest bias that people have. That somehow, infidelity is the worst thing that could happen to someone.  I can think of a lot of things that would be much, much worse.


Monkeysee's picture

I don’t get it either. ‘She was driven to do it...’ well, no. Correlation does not equate causation. If the affair caused BM’s suicide, then anyone who’s partner cheats should be driven to suicide by that rationale. It was BM’s choice. 

‘If the affair hadn’t happened, BM might never have taken her own life’. Maybe not, but a) we don’t and can’t know that for sure, and b) we all have the freedom to choose what to do with our lives. BM chose to end hers. *Chose* being the key word.

ESMOD's picture

"If the affair caused BM’s suicide, then anyone who’s partner cheats should be driven to suicide by that rationale. It was BM’s choice. "

Unfortunately, this isn't logical.  Just because A CAN cause B that doesn't mean that A WILL cause B.

Like... Mary Bought a lotter ticket and won 100 dollars.  Therefore everyone that buys a lottery ticket wins 100 dollars.

Just because BM may have been driven over the edge by the breakdown of her marriage and the deception (and it's likely the betrayal was a weightier issue in and of itself)... doesn't mean that EVERYONE that gets cheated on and has a marriage end will commit suicide.

There are a lot on here that are trying to make OP feel better.. that she didn't "cause" the suicide.  But the reality is that her relationship with a married man (and he is just as potentially culpable) very likely added into the mental illness toxic stew that caused the BM to take her own life.  Was it the ONLY factor?  probably not.  Was BM playing "fair" dumping all that on her child?  No.. but again.. she wasn't entirely in her right mind right?  and she arguably was in a worse place mentally because of the fact that her husband cheated on her with a friend. 

As someone else said.. sometimes the situation can be beyond "moving on and fixing".  The SD is feeling a bunch of betrayals right now.  1.  Her mom killed herself.. that is a betrayal by her mother.  2.  Her father cheated on her mother and lied to SD by covering that all up.  3.  OP pretended to be the family friend while she really was there for another reason.

The end result is that girl is ANGRY.. she lost her mother.. and while mom can be blamed for burdening her daughter with this.. the girl is grieving her loss and it is unlikely she is going to direct her frustration and anger THAT direction.  Her father?  well.. obviously she has resentment for his actions.. but he is still her dad.. so there is a chance that may be able to salvage something.  Unfortunately.. it's going to be pretty tough for her to get past things with OP.. she has no reason to have kind feelings towards her.. in fact a LOT of reasons not to.

The girl does need help with her loss.  But.. I'm not sure how this is going to work for a relationship with DAD if he stays with the woman she sees as the tip of the spear that killed her family.  And.. I am not saying this in a nanny nanny boo boo "that's what you get way"... I'm saying this in a "that may be the sad reality " way.  We all do things at one time or another that are hurtful to others.. and sometimes when we do.. the impacts can come back and bite us. 

Monkeysee's picture

Of course the affair added to the toxic mental stew in BM’s mind, I’ve never denied that. Nor have I said that OP should be hopeful to have a relationship with SD at any point in the future. 

It’s possible, years in the future & after plenty of therapy, that SD may choose to reconcile with her. She may decide not to. It’s not up to the OP, it’s up to SD whether she wants that or not.

I’m not trying to make OP feel better, what she & her DH did was wrong. But no, it did not cause BM’s suicide. Did it add to the toxic stew? Sure, but it didn’t *cause* her suicide.

BM & her toxic stew caused the suicide. If BM was a healthy woman the affair wouldn’t have ‘driven’ her (as others have said) to that point. She was not a healthy woman. To blame the suicide on OP & her DH is wrong. 

OP is taking responsibility for her part in this mess. She’s moving out with her son to give SD a better chance to grieve. She is remorseful about what she did. She can’t undo the past anymore than any of us can, so I’m not sure how vilifying her the way people here have done helps any of the affected parties in this story? 

I have always said the focus needs to be on getting SD healthy. She needs structure & professional help that she’s currently not getting. Her father is scared to enforce any kind of boundaries, she’s running completely rampant & that’s not going to help her. 

Her extended family aren’t helping her, they’re fueling her hatred & anger yet refusing to take her in to provide any kind of refuge from her father & SM.

Vilifying her dad & SM isn’t helping, it’s just further fueling her anger & preventing her from dealing with her grief. SD deserves to be in a supportive environment with professional support. She deserve to heal & move on.

OP deserves to move on from this as well. She doesn’t deserve to live in the shadow of a bad decision she & her DH made. She deserves to let go, forgive herself, and live a happy, healthy life just as much as any of us do. 

STaround's picture

But that does not excuse what OP did.  OP concedes that the kid has every right to be angry, but I am not certain what the solution is.  I think Rag's "solution" of throwing out the letter is insanity.  Talk about turning what may be a temporary problem into a permenant one.  it has only been 8 months.  

People survive infidility, but many times, it is the end of marriage.  I wonder what OP would think if her DH started up with another woman. 

tog redux's picture

Yeah, so, a marriage ends. Marriages end all the time. I'm sure she'd be very upset if hers ended.

But that didn't cause BM to commit suicide.

Rags's picture


TwoOfUs's picture

While we're in the business of assigning blame for someone's life choices...we might as well say that this BM's mental illness and depressive personality drove her husband to cheat. 

That statement literally makes exactly as much sense as claiming that an affair drove the BM to kill herself. 

Rags's picture

She isn't traumatized by her mother's suicide and the toxic cowardly note? Really?

In what world is the suicide of a parent not a traumatic event?

Both the OP and her DH have been shredded along with the BM.  But by far the suicide and dumping that note on the kid is the worst tragedy perpetrated against this kid.

STaround's picture

If OP had not had affair.  No one knows.  Very sad situation.  And I see no remorse from OP, just sad that her DS no longer gets his own unpaid aupair.  

MurphysLaw's picture


This “woman” (OP) isn’t ONE BIT SORRY!

And I think ITS GREAT she and that worthless POS husband of hers is being SHUNNED BY EVERYONE!

And IF SHE THINKS That POS husband of hers is going to stick around, I FIND THAT HILARIOUS!!! It’s only a matter of time before he’ Out chasing another sneaky whore around! LOLOLOLOL 

TwoOfUs's picture


You don’t see any sorrow or remorse in the OP’s post? I see tons. 

Life is complicated...and there usually aren’t clear “heroes” and “villains” as much as we’d like that to be the case. My DH was with a depressive and mentally and emotionally unstable woman...and he’s often told me that he felt like he could be duty-bound and remain married to her and completely deny and erase his own personality...or he could choose to live. 

He chose to live. I was his supposed “rebound” person and we’ve been together for 12 years, married going on 9. 

He’s been devoted and loving...and happy. That’s not to say we haven’t had challenges...and I have questioned whether I was partially the “cause” of his marriage breaking up (they were separated when we met and I grew up there wasn’t cheating...but it wasn’t entirely “clean” either. We clearly had the hots for each other. So was I to blame? Or did I simply speed up something that had been a long time coming?? Who knows.)

I say all this to say...I’m sure it’s a rejected BM fantasy that “Oh...they’ll never be happy either!!! Ah Haha ha ha ha ha!” 

But that’s simply not always the case. My DH and I are incredibly compatible and he and BM were not. We've learned how to better ourselves and are very happy now...while BM continues to have an off-putting personality, lots of anxiety, and a chaotic life. 

And no. Passing your pain to your child doesn’t make you a saint. 

Notup4it's picture

Meh to be honest my very first thought was ‘he will prob use this as an excuse to leave OP for the girl he has been banging the past couple years behind HER back’.  

OP would be right out to lunch to think the same thing wouldn’t happen to her at some point..... if it hasn’t happened already, it will. With time he will hate her and think of her as a whore who did this to him- that is just how these kind of men roll. Especially because she knew the wife he will just go into his head that this is ALL her fault and then turn to some other woman for comfort and support for his crisis. 

Rags's picture

No, we don't know what might could have possibly happened under different lead up circumstances. We can speculate for all eternity on what each possible variable could have motivated if only........

What we know is that this mother killed herself and left her daughter a note that is the gift that will keep on giving by destroying this young woman's life.  Dad, and SM, didn't help with their affair by any means. But neither did they kill the BM. She did that of her own volition and action.

The living are going to have to move on and deal with the aftermath and continuing their lives.   Focusing on the BM is not what will make that a successful effort.

IMHO of course.

Dovina's picture

that when a parent commits suicide that is the ultimate betrayal and rejection that the offspring feels. The SD has a right to be angry, thats a given. But I can only imagine the pain of the mothers  suicide  and a cheating father. Put the two together, and poor girl, she needs therapy, and needs to learn how to heal in a healthy way and not in a destructive way.

Also the suicide note was detailing the unfortunate circumstances. I would hope at the very least the BM had added how she loved and cherished her daughter or something, anything for this poor girl to hold onto. Very tragic that the BM chose her own demise over life.

Rags's picture

I have seen similar studies.  Those who kill themselves are victims of their own actions.  Blaming someone else for another person's suicide is naive at best.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Process her mother's death , the nature of her  mother ''s death, and the deceit that led to her parents divorce.

Her mother was not Toxic. She was mentally ill.   In fact, she was a mentally ill woman who was deceived by her spouse and close friend.

The marriage  may indeed have been an unhappy marriage, but for most people the solution to an unhappy marriage is divorce not deception at the hands of those closest to you.

That said,  the child needs help and treatment to heal and cess both the loss and the very painful discovery.

This healing process may take time and cause major inconvenience for OP and her husband, but when you play a major role in causing pain, you then do not get to determine how or for how long the victim gets to hurt.

It will be unfortunate if the OP 's son is separated from his father for a while, but truth be told both OP and her husband had many years before decided that it was acceptable for a child to be separated and not live full time with the father.

At the moment, it is only the daughter and son's well being that should be front and center . Sadly, the OP and her husband have had their "  us first " moment  in a manner that has created  much of the painful situation that they are facing  today.

Sometimes, being sorry is cathartic for the actors but provides  little relief for the victims.

Good luck to all involved as you move forward on a healing journey.



notarelative's picture

The Samaritans is an organization is dedicated to the prevention of suicide and support for the loved ones left behind. DH should call them and find out what support is available for all of you. DH and you need help dealing with your guilt, and in how to best support SD. SD needs a therapist who is experienced dealing with a child whose parent committed suicide. (They should be able to  recommend some). There are adult support groups. There may be teen support groups.

Call your local Samaritan group and hopefully get the help you all so desperately need. 

DrizzlyHateful's picture

I'd let her live with the inlaws, you didn't make this woman kill herself, she wanted to! She left SD on her own free will. 

stepmom52's picture

This is a sad situation all the way around. I agree with other posters that you should move out with your son. Your SD may never be the same again. Sounds like her BM was going through deep pain and she did the ultimate F U when she left that note. Maybe one day your SD and her dad can make peace. Affairs destroy families every day and this one is probably the worse case I've ever heard. Wishing you well.

Harry's picture

BM could of given SD her mentail problems, and she will never be right.  And who saids, SD will leave at 18 ???  Where is she going to go?  Most likely will never hold down a good job. Making enough to to pay her own way.  She may be with you for years ??????

Ruby88's picture

Some of the responses on this post are outrageous. First of all accusations that the poster feels no remorse are unfounded. Did you even read the title of her post? Secondly no one made that woman take her own life. She made that choice and it was a selfish one. Particularly to do what she did to her daughter. I cannot imagine why she would do that. Affairs happen every single day. They are wrong, no doubt about that and they cause all kinds of pain typically for everyone involved. But they are not new, they are not unique and they don't cause people to kill themselves. No one is doing this girl a favor by enabling her behavior. And the idea of telling this woman that she should move out is ridiculous. They have a son together. Whatever happened to teaching about forgiveness? Are you Christians? If you are, seek Christian Counseling. We all sin, we all make mistakes. Was this a big one, yes it was. But everyone has it in them to find forgiveness. To ruin everyone's life because of it does not have to happen. The girls should be counseled to learn how to express herself and work through this anger appropriately. And she needs to know unequivocally that her father and stepmother completely understand her pain. But for anyone to suggest that she should hate her father and frankly her stepmother forever is ridiculous and will cause nothing but problems for this girl down the road. She will become an angry bitter young woman and will be set up for failure. My father had an affair and there were four of us children who were affected. It was ugly. My mother was a strong woman. I am quite sure she was sad and devastated but we never knew it. Not only did she take care of us without batting an eyelash she encouraged a healthy relationship between us and our father and stepmother. There were bumps along the way but it worked out. Things happen, people make mistakes, people fall out of love, people cheat sometimes out of weakness. It is never right but we are human, every single one of us. This poster came here asking for help. Not to be chastised. And frankly I lurk all the time and I hear some of you and the way you talk about your stepchildren and for you to be so high and mighty is laughable.

Evil3's picture

I already chimed in, but I saw responses relating to the taking of the note from SD. My humble opinion is to not take the note, especially if your SD says it's the last remaining item her mother gave her. Leave the note issue in the hands of a qualified therapist who can help your SD replace the note with a happier item. If your SD finds the note missing, she'll just feel betrayed all over again that the very people who she says "murdered" her mother, further betrayed SD by "stealing" her belonging.

I 100% agree with the poster who said to not do anything else until you've sought direction from a therapist.


blue_plumeria's picture

Wow, thank you for sharing this post. This was very hard to read and my heart breaks for your family, SD especially. Losing your BM is hard, I lost mine 10 years ago at 23 and it was and continues to be the hardest thing that ever happened to me and drastically shapes who I am today. Mine died of natural causes and it sent me into a tailspin. So for your SD, she is much younger and has not developed the coping mechanisms needed to communicate productively and keep herself from possible harm while she grieves. Therapy for her may not be enough. Sounds like the whole family needs the help of some very reputable professionals and support groups. The response of DH's parents is unacceptable. Sending your SD to them can only fuel the hatred directed at you two. Who knows what they say. Do they not realize your son is the innocent party here as well? That's the concern, there's an innocent child who is being punished and he has nothing to do with any of this.

I know it's hard, but you both did not make her kill herself. She left her daughter alone, so there is a great hurt she's caused SD and no one seems to be addressing this. Mental health is a very tricky issue, but I guarantee you, this is not the first time she had thought about ending her life and the thought most likely crossed her head even before you and your DH ever started. Most people who commit suicide are not successful on their first try and if they are, it's something that has been plaguing them for some time.

You and DH are human. I'm not here to judge, because we also don't know what you and DH were going through when you started your relationship.

Please, seek support for the sake of you and your son. You should not have to leave your home when SD is over. It may be hard for her to accept and it can take years to get here, but you're all a family and have been for a long time. This is your and your son's home too. And again, not that I'm condoning this, but the situation of having an affair and a broken home is one too common. I myself am a child raised where my dad cheated a lot and of course I was on my Mom's side, but I also know my parents were human. Many people find ways to cope that isn't suicide. My heart goes out to your SD's mother who felt there was no other way out, and to your SD for having her life forever changed by this awful event. But remember, you and DH are not the cause of her decision.

Find a family therapist, consider programs you can put her in, maybe not boarding school, but one of those group therapy programs. Get a support group for yourself so that you and your son don't feel like the whole world is against you.

People are complicated. Right now, you all can only do your best.