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DH asked how much more he can support me - I gave him an earful!

Disillusioned's picture

After the video call on Easter with YSD (in which she again made sure that her and SGD treated me like the invisible person and that the only person that mattered to them was DH) I said to DH that this is why I don't want to participate on these calls

DH says to me that he has done nothing but support me ??

....I'm assuming he figures because he maske sure to say the package is from "us" or use the term "we" that this is support

I say to DH that his idea of support and mine are not quite the same, and so he asks me what I mean, what else  could he have done on the call

So since he asked, I told him that for starters he could have addressed each and every time, whenever either SGD or SD said something that clearly demonstrated what YSD was up too

For example, when "we" waved at SGD at the start of the call and "we" smiled at SGD and "we" both said hello to SGD and she responded with "Mommy look my Grandpa, Grand papa, Papa is waving at me!" this was a perfect 'training moment' for you DH to say something to SGD about how it wasn't just "Grandpa/Grand papa/Papa" waiving at her but so was Grandma Disillusioned waving at her too. I said to DH if he really wanted to know what else he could have done maybe he could have pushed that for YSD's benefit even more with something like "hopefully you guys can see Disillusioned on the call too" and when YSD replied yes they could well then he could have said something like "Oh okay, strange that SGD doesn't seem to see Disillusioned as she didn't acknowledge her at all, and Disillusioned is right here nicely waving at her, would be nice for her to wave back"

LOL, yes DH is looking at me like "really?" and I'm like, well you asked me and there is one great example of where you didn't do any of the above, you just ignored that whole little start to the call and carried right on. 

I gave him two more examples; like when YSD mentioned how the last party SGD had was "at your house Dad" again, perfect opportunity to say "oh yes at Disillusioned and my house" and when YSD said she asked SGD "do you remember the birthday party you had at Grandpa DH's?" DH could have said something along the lines of "Oh yes the party at Disillusioned and my place that Disillusioned held! Yes that was amazing, the decorations, the cake the food....Disillusioned went to so much trouble to make everything nice and the beautiful princess dress she bought for SGD as well. Does SGD remember all that and know that her Grandma Disillusioned did these nice things for her?"

Yes I'm exeraging and was with DH too, to make a point but in the end I told DH that I don't actually care about him doing or saying any of that. To really support me he only has to do some simple things: 

STOP denying that SD isn't up to sneaky slimey tactics aimed at alienating me on these calls and simply admit this is what she's doing, not to mention clearly only encouraging a relationship with you for SGD only and does not encourage that for me as much as she loves to pretend that she does. 

ACKNOWLEDGE that despite all that, I've been as decent a human being as I can to these people and spent many wasted years trying to form relationships and have every right to be done with this 

STOP pushing me to have relationships with these people

And maybe DH, since they have no clue how to show any appreciation to me at all, ever, for anything, maybe you could say thank you once in a while like today when you insisted I join that call and for you I did, and was nothing but pleasant and classy to them and was treated like absolute garbage in return

Well - all I can say is DH simply had nothing more to add to any of that. 

We haven't talked about it since, but he does seem to be thinking about it all.... LOL

MaryBethC's picture

Sounds like SD is living out what BM has taught her and now passing it on to SGD.


Sorry hun, but DH sounds really clueless and I don't think he'll get it. Maybe have your family treat him like his does yours? Lol could start ringing some bells in DH head.

Disillusioned's picture

I actually think he does get it MaryBeth...but he just doesn't want to. Doesn't want to admit what is going on and definately doesn't want to stand up to YSD

nappisan's picture

Well done to you !!!! hes sounds clueless and at least you have him thinking about it ,,, the more you do it , the more its ingrained into his thought process!! props to you !

Disillusioned's picture

I think so nappisan, cerainly hope so. One thing I know, I'm done with pretending along with DH and definately finished with putting up with this. Nothing but straightforward communication from this point on. It's a hill I'll die on, and DH knows it too

Kes's picture

Your post was extremely explicit and well written and I hope that you said virtually the same things to DH as you wrote above. If so, he indeed would have been given much food for thought. I hope he digests said food and changes his ways in line with what you politely request. 

Winterglow's picture

" what else could he have done on the call"

He could have systematically replaced "I" with "us", "my" with "our", and "mine" with "ours". How hard can that be, eh?

Get him to practice in front of a mirror so he gets it right next time.

tog redux's picture

Why not just bow out of these video calls and disengage from buying gifts etc. No matter what DH does he can't force them to see you as "Grandma" if they don't. 

Yes, he could address it with her, but that doesn't mean she will change. 

Disillusioned's picture

That was exactly my point tog


...and I'm not sure DH will disengage from buying them gifts, but that's his choice. 

SacrificialLamb's picture

My DH finally addressed these types of issues with OSD46 and she got mad that he was defending me and not her.  As if he were supposed to pat her on the back for her exclusionary behavior.   They don't want to address it because deep down they know what their little poopsies are doing and they don't want the discomfort of addressing it.

And then they craw back under their rock in the Land of Denial.

You just can't win dealing with this situation so it's best to stay as far away from it as possible. 

Disillusioned's picture

You are so correct Sacrificial on why they don't address it. I get it. It's hard. But I also think it can be addressed without causing a war. Smile

And in the meantime, I'm happy to disengage from YSD as much as 'nicely' possible LOL

Disillusioned's picture

Meant to add tog, that the point of DH addressing it with YSD is not to get them to "see me as Grandma" 

And I think everyone knows at this point after 23 years of being in SD's life that she is not about to change, and no one is asking her to

I could care less about them seeing me as Grandma, and she can carry on with her nonsense until she's blue in the face - that is not the point of DH addressing it with her

DH asked what else he could do to 'support me' and by addressing things with SD and her family, each and every time they are rude, disrespectful, and engage in things they feel will alienate or humiliate, sends a message out that yes he sees what's going on and yes he's going to stand up for me, every time

Whether SD gets this message or chooses to act on it is totally her choice. That is not the point and really doesn't matter. What matters is that I also receive this message from DH - that by addressing these things with her and her family than he sees what's happening and he's got my back

And that's all I care about

And yes that's difficult for DH as he worries that by standing up for me YSD with do what OSD did and walk out of his life. I feel for him. And honestly, I feel sorry for her too. I don't think YSD is a bad person who just wants to cause evil. I do think when it comes to her step-parents (and seeing that BM and her SO are done I'm the only step-parent left now) that SD tends to act out in caddy ways as a result of her dislike, competitiveness, resentment, anger, whatever it is that she feels about me/my relationship with DH

Hurt maybe? I feel competitiveness from her and always have. Maybe that's it. Sad

But all that aside, I think these things can be addressed - nicely - and keeping in mind most of this behaviour is the result of above, and so addressing it without being offensive but making it clear it won't be tolerated and he will stand up for me every time she attempts something crappy, goes a long way for not only a healthy marriage but is setting the example for your family for how to behave like a decent human being with some basic manners and common courtesy

Zenmode's picture

My skids really are NOT interested in anything but a surface relationship. They pay a lot of lip service to the " family" but it's all show. My DH does give me credit. Sometimes over the top. I've really started noticing it more since disengagement from the skids. Which makes me feel like he is kinda pushing it since he has noticed my step back. I've hear more "so and so just loves you sooooo much" in the last 6 months than at any time during our five + years together. Gkids same I'm "lucky" if I even get a hello when they come to our home. Especially the younger ones. It's partly the parents and just teaching mannners in my opinion. My ex step daughter used to call our home and when myself or her siblings would answer a call from her she would say " is MY dad there?" My girls started saying "yes MY dad is here" they knew what was up. 

Rags's picture

I love your girls!

"Yes MY dad is here."


It must suck when your younger half sibs trump you in the intellect market.


Disillusioned's picture

LOL Zen, yes that was always something my OSD would say when she called our home "is MY Dad there", eventually I just stopped answering the phone when I saw it was her calling. And yes I was fortunate if SD's would answer when I said hello most of the time too when  they were younger, but I refused to let that one go. No one walks into my home and can't so much as respond when I say hello to them. That is rude. And now that there's sgkids I see it all over again, which is why other than a "Happy Birthday!" or "Merry Christmas" on a video call, I'm just done with all of it

Rags's picture

IMHO a spouse making it an unequivocal behavior that their children treat their mate with respect is not about the mate being "Mom, Dad, GMa, or GPa".  It is purely about behaving respectfully toward mom's or dad's spouse. Period!   

Beyond that I really could not care less about how a Skid or GSkid feels about the whole blended family relationship thing.

That said, if there is a requirement of respectful interface.... the good feels have a framework to grow on.   If both sides of a Skid's or GSkid's blended family have an unequivocal requirement to treat SParents, SSibs, SGPs, etc..... with respect... it can work.  In the event that a Skid, GSkid, etc.... violates the requirement of respectful behavior and interface... both sides of the equation have to immediately come down on the violator like a ton of crap in a one pound bag.  PERIOD!

Problems seem to arise when exceptions to the zero tolerance to disrespectful behavior start to creep in to the mix.

Which... ultimately is a clear indicator of crappy parenting from some element of the broader blended family dynamic.

If the zero tolerance standard is established and demanded from the very beginning regardless of the ages of Skid and then of GSkids, there is no room for anything except respectful interface... or a state of abject misery raining down on the disrespectful.   It really comes down to who has the greatest commitment to either tolerance for disrespect or intolerance.   The one with the most firm commitment to their position.... will prevail.  

IMHO delivering an escalating condition of abject misery for deviation from acceptable respectful interface is no skin off of my nose as the one who deviates is ultimately choosing the consequences of their chosen behavior.

It is mind boggling to me how so many in blended families struggle with this fairly cut and dry dynamic.  Be decent... or suffer. Your choice.  The key is that it is the BioParent in the mix that has to apply the painful consequences.  As an equity parent to my Skid, I had no issue parenting and disciplining. But even as an equity partner and parent in my marriage, there was the rare occasion when I had to have a side bar with my DW and engage her to be the one to deliver the consequence.  Even today as my bride and I parent an adult... that is the case... occasionally.

Direct, simple.

IMHO of course.

Disillusioned's picture

I absolutely could not agree with you more Rags! 

And just to add how accurate your statement is; as as skid myself, my Mom's attitude to how we treated my SF was exactly the same as you have just described....not surprising none of us stepped out of line much, and the respect we knew we must show our SF turned to sincere respect, which turned to sincere acceptance and fondness for him. 

Truly our "other Dad" Smile

Rags's picture

Both our mom and our dad made it absolutely clear that their sons would respect mom's husband, and dad's wife.  That they were married to each other made that message even more critical.

This has to be the case in blended family marriages as well IMHO. 

Your mom is a quality parent and set the example for her kids.  You are blessed.