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So upset I’m shaking

SMto2's picture

My usually calm, cool, DH just lost it and went crazy, throwing a glass against the wall, knocking a candle holder off the wall and damaging our hard wood floor and turning over a chair in our basement, causing the seat to fly off. Why, you ask? All because I told him I was sick of SSs treating him like a piece of sh*t while exalting BM like a queen. For starters, I was planning to go to my high school reunion this past  Saturday and then grocery shopping for Father's Day Sunday dinner that afternoon when SS28's DW told us on Thursday SS28 couldn't come on Sunday and asked if he could  he come Saturday instead. So, I had to miss my reunion and quickly run to the grocery store to get things for dinner and get ready to host a day early. After the day, it was the same old things. SS28 posted on social media pics of SGDs from the day having fun at our lake house (on the water tube, on the beach, in the hot tub, etc.) but none with DH in them and NOTHING about DH for Father's Day. This was despite the post on Mother's Day a month ago where SS28 posted breakfast pics with BM and said how blessed he was to have her. SS26 (whom we hadn't seen since Christmas but showed up on Saturday to get his check from DH for 20% of the down purchase on his new house) also posted nothing about DH for Father's Day but had posted multiple pics of BM a month ago for Mother's Day and stated he was "beyond grateful" for her.
 

I told DH how much that disgusted me and hurt me for him and felt the SSs should be called on it. I also said I was not going to wait on adult SKs (and SDIL and SGDs) hand and foot for their upcoming "family vacation" at our lake house. (As we did for the Father's Day celebration when SKs sat on their @ss after an afternoon of boating while DH grilled and I made sides and we both cleaned up, with no help or offers to help from them.) I said it was unfair that my DH could not/would not confront SSs about any of it.

This is the ONLY thing my DH and I have had words about in almost 23 years of marriage. He's willing to take their crap at all costs to avoid estrangement. I called him out on that and the fact he's willing to make me mad, and he got angry and started yelling and throwing things and crying, saying he couldn't control the situation. He even told me to leave, and I told him I wasn't leaving our home tonight. Our poor DS14 was terrified and came downstairs when he heard the ruckus, My DH almost immediately apologized profusely, but I'm afraid the damage has been done. I did tell him I will try NEVER to mention SSs EVER AGAIN. I just don't know where this leaves us. I believe he is sorry he lost his temper, but I also believe he wishes I would just shut the F up and pretend there are no problems with the SSs. He'd obviously make me angry or disrespected before he ever said anything to the SSs about the situation. It's totally effed up, and I just don't know how to go on from here without just pretending things are different than they are, and I'm not very good at that, unfortunately. 

Comments

dragonfly878's picture

Tell him his petulant temper tantrums will NOT be tolerated and that he can move in with his precious prince if he pulls that shit again... I'd be livid.

Hes clearly afraid to set limits with his kid. Sounds like he's aware but doesn't want to admit it. You called him out. GOOD FOR YOU!!! Let him sit in the guilt around your DS for acting like a baby in front of him and treating you poorly/ it sounds like that's they only way he'll learn. I'd rub his nose in it, "excellent example you are for DS" or "no wonder your bios don't want anything to do with you when you're capable of treating people like this. Soon you might have 4 kids who think you're an asshole for the way you choose to act." His bios have him nurtured and there's nothing noble or attractive about that.

Winterglow's picture

Also, completely disengage from his kids and their families. You have done far too much for them over the years. No more, cooking, cleaning, shopping, cancelling events for them. I wouldn't even be at the lake house when they're there - I wouldn't want to be a witness to their crap. 

If your dh only wants a transactional relationship with them then so be it. They're not interested in him, only in what he can do for them. You don't have to participate. 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

But I also think you need your DH to get into some kind of therapy to deal with his emotional issues.  If I remember correctly, you aren't just married, you also run a successful law practice together.  He needs to figure out why he'd rather yell at you than confront the reality of his broken relationship with his older sons.  And you need to know that he is working not only on his personal relationships but also on his number 1 professional relationship, you.

You have bent over backwards for years to help maintain the relationship and I think you are more than within your rights to say you are done with facilitating anything for the SSs, wives and SGKs.

Next time let you DH do all the entertaining and take your other 2 sons out for the day.

And don't go to the lake house to cater a holiday for the SSs and entourage.

SMto2's picture

Yes, he is very afraid to set limits with SKs. He feels like tolerating their behavior and what little shell of a relationship it brings is less painful than complete estrangement. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Too often that is unfortunately the case. Sometimes it does feel like we either need to tolerate behavior or else deal with the total estrangement. But we do ultimately need those boundaries

Winterglow's picture

The daft part of all that is that they will deal with the limits (maybe not from the very start) simply because they want their father to keep on shelling out money for them. He actually has the upper hand here but won't admit it.

shamds's picture

Started laying boundaries and made it clear to my husband since he was happy, encouraging and reinforcing skids (2 whom were adults) disrespectful unacceptable treatment and abuse towards me and our 2 toddlers and it was blatantly clear that he had no intentions of ever changing the situation and maintaining a harmonious life for us, that i will not subject us to toxic behaviour/crap environment from them to us and divorce was the only option

it was only then he finally realised how much shit he was in and how much he let this get out of hand and how much work he had to do to make things better. It was hard work for him to move out of guilty disney dad phase desperate for temporary crumbs of attention from his kids.

his eldest daughter who was 23/24 at the time even guilted my husband for marrying me and having 2 kids with me as trying to replace sd's when they had chosen many yrs prior to cease all contact over lies they know their mum made about my husband. 
 

instead of taking responsibility for their behaviour, they'd rather blame me and my 2 toddlers- it was so pathetic. They just couldn't see hubby was happy to be around us and prioritised us more because they're adults and youngest sd was 13/14 at the time and shouldn't require as much affection or attention as our 2 toddlers require.

my husband knew pissing me off and alienating me to the point of wanting a divorce served no benefit to him because its not like skids actually would be there for him. They're relationship is so messed up and dysfunctional, skids don't behave like full siblings to one another. Sd's have a fake relationship with their brother and its so straining to see that.

i remember when i started putting my foot down because delusional guilty hubby was turning a blind eye, hubby asked why i started getting more angry hormonal and not take it like before.

i used the line rags here always repeats that we're a couple meant to be in an equity life partnership but you have no respect for me because you do not show it. Year 3 of marriage really pushed us into a difficult point and it wasn't a nice yr for us but we pulled through.
 

We're just past 7.5 yrs of marriage and there will be venting to one another but i've made it clear to my husband his daughters/mini wives are not people i want to be around and want our 2 young kids now 5 & 6.5 around just for a fake relationship.

you don't get to fake you care and love our kids after stating you despise us and your dad shouldn't have married or had kids with me when we've been the only 3 actually having a proper family relationship with him and making him happy.

its easier for your husband to throw his anger at you because you've complied for too long. You've essentially shut your mouth and let it go for too long to the point you resent and despise the skids treatment of their dad and can't understand how he can't stand up for himself 

just remember people like your husband have been abused and manipulated too long by their kids and ex's and its hard for them to work through those issues and stand up for themselves. They figure why bother creating drama by addressing this with ss etc because if i keep quiet it keeps the peace and i get it bothers you. 
 

its hard for them to work through those issues and my husband is still working through them now despite divorcing his exwife 13yrs ago and separating from her a yr earlier. 
 

even now sd's don't wish happy fathers day or birthday to their dad. It was my ss's 25th birthday this weekend. I had a dental appt and i reminded hubby (he had forgotten) sounds horrible i know but there have been so many toxic issues with skids hubby has had to deal with but our 2 kids he remembers their birthdays. Well I bought a birthday cake for ss as he has been trying to engage with our kids and especially with our 5 yr old son letting him play his xbox and talking with him and our 6 yr old daughter

ss has refused to meet his mum even when she faked reinitiating contact with him after abandoning him over a decade ago. She has never cared to say a happy birthday and i feel bad that this is the crap he has to deal with. Our kids wanted and were very excited to celebrate his birthday so we bought pizza and the kids sand happy birthday for their brother.

there are some signs now ss realises what we have wanted all along is just to be an inclusive family but sd's and exwife and the antithesis of that. So if ss doesn't want to feel alone and abandoned he needs to make an effort with us. 
 

end of the day stay firm hun, you need to discuss these issues and make it clear to your hubby this treatment by his kids and him makes you feel and you will not tolerate this toxic behaviour anymore and will not cowtow or cater to them.

if i'm not mistaken, your family usually has a yearly getaway at you beach house/lake house that skids and their kids/spouses freeload off and do not contribute by way of chores and if you eat out, they bleed you dry and contribute no funds. 
 

you should have shut it down that yearly trip years ago. I made it clear to hubby there would be no more family parties and bbq in our home becasue a few members ruined it for everyone else who was pleasant and since hubby hasn't got the balls to single those members out, there will be no family coming over.

SMto2's picture

"its easier for your husband to throw his anger at you because you've complied for too long. You've essentially shut your mouth and let it go for too long to the point you resent and despise the skids treatment of their dad and can't understand how he can't stand up for himself."

This is so very true. He is so very sad, sorry for the way he acted, and willing to support whatever I need to do, although he's NOT willing to call out SSs for fear of losing them and never seeing them or his GDs again, so he will continue to put up with this nonsense. We have always gone on a family vacation in the summer, starting when SSs were young boys, probably 5 and 6. Oldest SS was estranged with no-contact for most of his teenage years, and only agreed to start seeing DH again after his first daughter was born. (I suspect his DW encouraged the relationship.) We then invited them on the family trip (which we had continued in the meantime with our 2 bios) as a way of spending time together and reconnecting, since they lived a couple hours away. It had the potential to be a good thing, but turned very negative, at least for me. 

Winterglow's picture

I suggest that this year you make a new family "tradition". Let your DH go to the lake house with his kids and be used as per usual. However, this type of vacation isn't a vacation for either you or your son. You are both basically treated like skivvies. So, book at least a week of vacation somewhere fun for your son. He shouldn't be running after his half-siblings like a slave and he shouldn't have to witness his parents grovel and abase themselves. Where do you think he'd fancy? When was the last time you saw your family? And if the skids try and muscle in on it, be firm. They don't get to decide what you do with your life.

SMto2's picture

Funny you should mention that!! We've actually booked a week in the Caribbean in August for us and our 2 bios, DS21 and DS14. DH and I usually go on an anniversary trip in August and haven't been anywhere since COVID, nor have our bios, so we decided to take them this year. I am somewhat nervous about what SKs will think (especially SS28) if/when they find out, but really, I don't think we need to take them on every trip we go on. I'm sure when DS21 graduates college next year and is on his own, we won't take HIM on every trip, either. And yes, I'm looking sooooo forward to it. We're going to go snorkeling, hiking, boating, and drink lots of fruity drinks. lol.

shamds's picture

Our 2 kids because they were infants/toddlers and skids did not come on these trips because they shunned us and especially sd's made any conversation about their mum and stepdad. 
 

we also did yearly trips to Australia which skids did not come on. Firstly we were staying in my childhood home and hubby made it clear since they were disrespectful and made people feel so unwelcome, that we shouldn't be made to feel unwelcome in our home. Also they have no ties to Australia like i do so frankly this trip had nothing to do with them.

we started new traditions and sd's thought the usual status quo existed. One thing my husband will not tolerate is a holiday where we are excluded and skids tried this during our 4th wedding anniversary weekend demanding daddy take them on a holiday just skids only. Apparently i was meant to stay home and care for a 6 month old and 1.5yr old for a week. 
 

that was shut down after i told off my husband how nuts he was to think i wanted our 4th wedding anniversary taken over by self centred disrespectful shunning skids and that any attemps to do so would most likely result in me flying back home with our 2 youngsters whilst hubby cowtowed to his 3 kids from exwife.

sd's have always last minute done the usual cancellations and changed expecting we cater to them. I told hubby no. If we make plans and they decide to contact last minute trying to guilt daddy into an outing, sorry we're too busy.

Crr18's picture

I feel for you. I was just screamed at over the weekend for BM and SS antics and I wish I could tell you how you get over it but it does make you feel different once they get out of control on you . Hugs

SMto2's picture

I'm very sorry for what you endured. Yes, my DH is usually the "calm" one, and he has only lost his temper a few times in all the years we've been together (approaching 24 years), and I can't recall it EVER being directed towards me. It scared me and shook me to the core. I think it did him, too. 

Mamabearof3's picture

Obviously he shouldn't have acted out, at you especially. You're clearly his safe person and he's clearly hurting. If I were you since he immediately apologized and this was out of the ordinary just forgive and move on and be present for him when he experiences BS from his sons.It sounds as though he knows he shouldn't have went off on you. I personally think he needs extra care and love. He clearly can see the SSs favor mom and it hurts him. You can't fix this. But you can just be there for him when the inevitable happens and he's hurt again. And maybe eventually he'll tell SSs how he feels and you can stand in his corner then too. 

Monkeysee's picture

I don't agree with this at all. Throwing things and damaging property threatened the safety of OP and their son, this man needs therapy. He has had years to resolve his emotions, and instead he chose to bottle things up and lash out in a physical way because the person who has supported him physically, emotionally, and financially throughout this entire relationship mentioned she was hurting for him. He should not get a pass for that, it might be the first time he's acted out physically but this isn't the first time he has prioritized the well being of his older sons over the well-being of his wife & younger son. Personally, having gone through living with someone who reacts physically when they're angry, the only course forward for this is they want to resolve anything is for him to get help. He clearly needs it. OP needs to take care of her & her son, her H does not get a pass here.

SMto2's picture

All of your comments are spot on. He did lash out at me knowing he can't lash out at them. He feels handcuffed. He understands I need to finally make some changes to extricate myself from the situation so I don't get my feelings hurt and repeat this vicious cycle. 

diver111's picture

Seems it is time for disengagement! Step back. Do not cancel your plans for them. Would they do the same for you? Stop looking at their social media. Unfollow. Live your life with your bio. Protect your kid from this nonsense. Your life will be so much better. DH needs to manage his own relationships.  Make other plans when they are there for their lake house vacation, or uninvite. Do something you want to do. Stop waiting on them. Just stop! HUGS

Tried out's picture

Why do you continue to enable your DH's terrible relationship with his kids?

Why do you continue to play the martyr, canceling your own plans, setting up the scenario that you know is going to happen?

If you want it to stop, then remove yourself from the equation. Either do not be home when they visit or insist that visits occur outside the home.

Just stop. Completely.

ndc's picture

Exactly this. I am dumbfounded that you skipped your high school reunion to cater to your ingrate skids. Just stop. Tell your H that it is too painful for you to witness their treatment of him/you, so going forward you won't.  Let him do all the entertaining of his brats. Stop looking at their social media - it only upsets you. And I definitely think counseling is in order. 

SMto2's picture

My DH and I have always been a team and are what some people might call unusually close. For example, when one of us is out of town for work, we still spend almost all evening on Facetime together. (This is after we've been married nearly 23 years.) We have worked at the same law firm for over 20 years, 2 doors apart, and we check with each other every day regarding lunch plans and eat together every day we can. I want to support him in trying to have a relationship with the SSs, but it's causing me trauma. He understands that and is willing to whatever I feel I need to do to back off even further than I had. 

CorpseReviver2's picture

Well, this pissed me off enough to spin up a new account.

You cannot fix this for your husband, full stop.  No amount of cajoling, sacrificing, explaining, or being rightfully angry will make a bit of difference.  None of it. 

You also cannot protect him from this.  He is a grown man, making grown man choices and one of them is to accept what he gets from his kids.  This is 100% on him.   

What you can do, like some other posters mentioned above, is to set and maintain your own boundaries and disengage not only physically, but also where you are defending and over-fuctioning emotionally for him.   Personally, I think the reason you are backsliding is that you want him to see what you see, and you think if you can just get him to see the light that you can protect him from this pain that he brings on himself.

No more, SMto2.  No more canceling your events so you can be there to support/protect him.  Plans changed?  Too bad, you're sure he's got this though, have fun dear!   He wants to entertain at the lake house?  Knock yourself out, DH, but I am not doing a single thing to enable this anymore - you are free to engage your kids as you see fit.  You don't need my help or protection to do it.  Agree that you should remove yourself from their social media, it's only going to hurt you and fuel your fire.  

Of course, you should still advocate for your shared kids, as I know your DH has a tendency to put them on the back burner.

As for his tantrum?   That would be a no go for me.  It's not OK to throw things and scream at you because you said something he didn't like.  I would make that boundary loud and clear.  That is completely unacceptable.

I know this has been going on for a long time for you.  Maybe find a counselor to help you work through the emotions and letting go of trying to protect your husband?  

Monkeysee's picture

Same. I never log in anymore but I had to say something. Nothing excuses this man's behaviour, hugely triggering for me too.

SMto2's picture

Thank you so much for your response (I'm glad you opened a new account to help me out! lol.) 

"What you can do, like some other posters mentioned above, is to set and maintain your own boundaries and disengage not only physically, but also where you are defending and over-fuctioning emotionally for him.   Personally, I think the reason you are backsliding is that you want him to see what you see, and you think if you can just get him to see the light that you can protect him from this pain that he brings on himself."

YES, THIS, a thousands times THIS. We had a very long talk last night that I'll post more about below, but I hear you and know you are so right.

diver111's picture

Well stated! Agree with CorpseReviver,

No matter what sacrifices you make (not going to class reunion), you are only hurting yourself. They don't care. They might even revel in it. 

 

SMto2's picture

No, they really don't care. They are very self-absorbed. Every conversation is about them and what's going on in their lives. Nothing we have going on is of any matter to them, only to the extent it might affect them.

CLove's picture

1. You backslid on the disengagement - you should NEVER have foregone you reunion!!!! Recall last year you did nothing and it was on DH and you had a fabulous time. And DH was thinking it was a loooong week.

2. You do not need to walk on eggshells. Call it out. YOU do not need to leave. He can do the leaving.

3. Me - Im at the point where I would take the darn DH/SS/SGK pictures myself and post them on both your timelines and SS timelines. Im like that sometimes. Kinda in your face when Ive been pushed too hard.

CLove's picture

All your previous posts (lunchtime at work is quiet) and they all seemed like you are playing the same tapes over and over again.

You keep serving the skids, you keep checking their social media. Not to excuse your husband, but he is also doing the same exact things. Both of you are doing the same things and expecting different results (appreciation, reciprocation). And we all have heard thats the definition of insanity. Well YOU can only change YOU. You can diagram with bullet points to him, present evidence with documented testimony and exhibits (giving your legal profession a nod here...) and for the entire time you have been on here you have KNOWN without a shadow of a doubt that Skids do not value you or husband except what you provide them with. Thats it. That is the extent of your value. 

Shoving your husbands nose in the chit of lousy skids isnt the way, dear lady. Shoving his nose in it will break him. He cant handle it, as shown by his reaction.

I suggest therapy to deal with your emotions. Maybe suggest husband do the same, but separately. Definitely need to block the skids social media because it whips you into an emotional frenzy each time you dont see something that you did for skids displayed then you see the BM fawned over in their social media image management circus. I understand. That chit hurts. Try to deal with it so you dont get hurt anymore. The post where your mother and stepfather were having health issues and the skids did nothing to respond even with a text to husband really got me in the gut. And the post where you had name - tagged SS in a post with photo and he UNTAGGED himself. EGADS. You and husband have worked and slaved and paid and helped and they chit all over you. It kills me to read this post, because now HUSBAND is crapping on you. 

Im so sorry you have gone through all this castigation, but please STOP doing ANYTHING. 

SMto2's picture

CLOVE, yes, I actually did post a bunch of pictures on my FB. As before, SS28 did not "like" any of them, but he COPIED those of just SGDs (NONE of DH!) and posted them on his FB! If you didn't know SS28's dad had a lake house, you'd never know the pics had any relation to him. Interestingly, even though BM GUSHES and comments on EVERYTHING SS28 posts ("Oh, how awesome," "LOVE IT," etc., etc.) she did not even "like" it, even though the pics were of HER GDs.

la_dulce_vida's picture

"So, I had to miss my reunion and quickly run to the grocery store to get things for dinner and get ready to host a day early."

You claim you messed up??? This is the ONLY place where you messed up. The rest of the mess is on your husband. You didn't HAVE TO do this. You keep trying to be a good wife and a good stepmother and get sh*t all over - over and over again.

STOP catering to those ingrates. Make your husband be their servant - not you. ((Hugs))

CorpseReviver2's picture

Here is the silver lining to this - when you step back and stop trying to control/protect, you remove the buffer that you are currently providing.  He doesn't have you to soften the impact and he doesn't have an outlet for displacing his defensiveness.   He has nothing but the relationship with his kids, warts and all.  

And you - you get to focus on your own emotional needs and the things that make you happy.  Which, when you've been so focused on someone else, can be overwhelming but it will get to a place where it's comfortable for you.

You can't change a thing about his decisions, but the control you have over your own is a beautiful thing. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

"So, I had to miss my reunion and quickly run to the grocery store to get things for dinner and get ready to host a day early. "

"Our poor DS14 was terrified and came downstairs when he heard the ruckus,"

Eight years. You've been a member here for over EIGHT YEARS SMto2, and nothing has improved - because you keep avoiding dealing with your own issues. You keep participating in the dysfunction. You keep exposing your own sons to it, and ignoring the effect it has on them. You cater to the crazy ninety-five percent of the time, allowing your DH to get deeper and deeper into his guilt and fear, then give him whiplash once in a while when your resentment boils over. Nothing changes, because you haven't done the work to change yourself or been consistent about anything other than enabling.

You're like an addict, addicted to pleasing your DH no matter what the collateral damage might be, while he's addicted to chasing his a$$hole older sons. Neither of you know how to stop. And just as with addiction, if you want change, you're going to have to commit to it, seek support, and surrender to the process. You'll have to learn about yourself, why you do what you do, why your judgement in this area is so distorted, and get tools so you can do better. 

Everybody has problems, even intelligent, educated, successful people like you and your DH. You're one of my favorite posters on ST, because you have such a good heart. I hope you'll take the advice here to find a therapist who can help you unravel your problem with people pleasing, and teach you how to love your DH without enabling him. You could be the catalyst for healthy change for him as well, but nothing changes until YOU change.

 

Ispofacto's picture

Behavior Modification 101:  The only way you can change someone else's behavior is to change how you respond.

I recommend Al Anon, I wish everyone would go.  Things are what they are, and people are who they are.  Let them do what they do. 

Disengage.  Stop looking for trouble, block them on FB.  Don't cater, and don't change your plans.  I'm sorry, but it sounds like you are nagging your DH.  He's already hurt, and there's nothing he can do about them, so leave it alone.  Wrap him up in so much happy activity, he doesn't have time for their crap.

 

Tried out's picture

similar.

I'm not condoning your DH's temper tantrum, not by any means.

But it was kind of a set up - you did what you did by choice, you gave up your plans, you ran out to the grocery store, cooked the meal, all the while knowing what your reaction was going to be. The SKs acted like the a$$holes they are, as you knew they were going to and how it would make you feel.

Then you went on FB to see what you knew what you were going to see - and knowing how it was going to affect you.

And then you unloaded your frustration, disappointment and anger on your DH.

Again, I am not condoning his behavior, not at all. But his temper tantrum does not diminish your own contribution to this fiasco.

CorpseReviver2's picture

It's the dance, isn't it?  God knows I've done it enough to know it.  It's so hard to see it from the inside though, because we really do feel like we're doing our best to support and protect someone we love.

Letting go feels scary at firat because you're so invested in that role and what will happen if you don't keep doing what you're doing.  Who will make him see?  Who will be there to support and protect him?

It's only when you really let go and start to focus on yourself that things will change.  All families are a system and if you change one part, the rest of the system has to change.  It might not always be the change you want, but without your cog doing what it's been doing, maybe the other parts will have to work harder or differently.

I do hope OP chooses to focus on herself.  Her happiness.  Her life.  And yes, her role in perpetuating this cycle.  

SMto2's picture

Thank you. I know I must sound like a broken record with the same old problems, year after year (I'm starting to hate June! lol.) but I really, really appreciate your words of wisdom, and am trying to take them to heart. This time was very different than any time before because of the bad, bad scene with DH, and I do own my part in that and have to commit to some changes myself for the sake of my marriage and my family.

diver111's picture

My parents divorced when I was an adult. My mom and dad sold their house and moved into different houses just a few miles from each other. My dad remarried within a year. My mom is bipolar and has manic episodes. Anytime we go visit her, and then go to my dads, it is a major ordeal. She is very jealous of my dad and wife. I get it - he was a jerk when they were married, and now he is living a happy life. I have done things to appease my mom because I feel badly for her and I don't want to be on the receiving end of her intense anger. I would never post photos of us at my dads because of this; however, my brother does. My mom would check his social media and see the photos of him at my dads and lose it. My dad could care less about social media and does not look at the photos. I say all this because there may be some issues with BM that contribute to what's going on that you know nothing about. One time, my dad's wife told me I should not accommodate my mother so much; that I was enabling her. I resented her saying anything to me about my mom. It is none of her business, and she has no idea what it's like to have a bipolar mother. 

I have a post-it note on my computer that says "focus on your own life, your marriage, and  your own kids." Maybe give that a try. 

SMto2's picture

OH, there is NO DOUBT this is all influenced by BM. As I mentioned above, although she normally "LOVES" and comments on everything SS28 posts, she didn't even "like" the photos he swiped from my page of just SGDs having fun at our lake house. I firmly believe this is why, when SS28 does anything with BM, including on her birthday and Mother's Day, he makes multiple posts with many pics with BM. It's gotten MUCH worse since BM joined social media a year or so ago, but SS28 has never posted any pics of DH. My DH pointed out that, when SSs are with us, they genuinely seem to like me, and that's true. In fact, SS28 actually brought me birthday gifts this past weekend that he said he shopped for and picked out himself with SGDs. Other than my resentment that DH and I have to do all the cooking/cleaning up/paying for meals when SSs visit, the visit itself goes great, which is what makes it all the more painful and confounding to be ignored on social media. It's clear especially SS28 feels the need to protect BM. Does that excuse the way he pretends DH doesn't exist on social media while praising and honoring "the Queen," BM? No, in my book it doesn't. He's a grown @ss man and should also care about hurting DH's feelings, but he obviously doesn't.

missgingersnap2021's picture

It is sooo much easier to tell someone to disengage than for people to do it. I  get where her heart is - If you love someone you try to love his family. And you are  expected to do things with and for them. We are always in a lose/lose scenerio - If we blow off the skids and other family members our DH's get hurt and quilt us. If we hang out with thme but don't like htem then we are unhappy. 

Ispofacto's picture

But it is easy.  

Stop being a victim and take responsibility for your choices.  Take ownership of your life.

If DH doesn't like it, he wasn't for you anyway.

Victim vs Volunteer

 

DPW's picture

And then you learn your lesson the hard way and change it so you are bettering your own life and not catering/chasing others for your own happiness.

Continuing the drama for years or decades on end (so we have seen on here) leads to what good for anyone? Explain.

SMto2's picture

Thank you for understanding. Yes, I love my DH and try to support him. The thought of being away from him so he can spend time separately with the SKs (especially on holidays, as that leaves me alone), is painful. I could spend time with just my bios, but I'm sure they don't want that.

Winterglow's picture

"I could spend time with just my bios, but I'm sure they don't want that"

Ask them, you might be surprised. Also, as I said in another post you could take your youngest son somewhere fun for him so that he'd have at least one vacation where he doesn't have to do all the cleaning up for his siblings nor have to watch his parents demeaning themselves. Don't you think he deserves a break?

Another thing, letting your DH vacation with his children doesn't mean you have to sit at home alone. All it takes is a little imagination and application and I'm sure you'll find ways of spending a fulfilling vacation without the stress or extra work.

You are allowed to relax when you're on holiday. It's time to cut back on this ridiculous first family worship. They are only interested in what they can get. That's not how family behaves in my book. 

CorpseReviver2's picture

YES!

Even if they don't articulate it, or perhaps even directly notice it, there has to be a certain tension when they are with their half-siblings (who honestly seem to function more like step-siblings) because their dad is nervous and people-pleasing the whole time and you are trying to support him but you have to be supressing some negative feelings about that.  Anyone would be.

It might feel weird or scary at first, but you will fall into a rhythm with your kids and I swear with that weight lifted, it will be good for all of you.   

My husband and daughter get along great (and I know it's a little different because she's not his bio) and he loves going to see her, but I am going alone to visit her over the holidays this year and both of us are looking forward to it.  That alone time is great and just a different vibe.  

As for your SSs being upset that you guys are just taking your bios on a trip - who cares?  They are grown adults and I don't take my grown daughter on every trip and she's fine with it because she has her own life.   I am also going to gently point this out: this is an example of you internalizing your husband's narrative - oh no, we must please his sons all the time.  

And, one more thing, please try to remember that social media is NOT reality.  My very best friend is in a terrible marriage but you would never know that from her Instagram posts.  It's not real and I honestly think you should hide their feeds because it's just upsetting you for no reason. 

DPW's picture

I'm going to be honest.... I feel like I have reread this story from you over and over and over again and here you are, yet again, cancelling your plans to attend your high school reunion to cater to DH and SKs at that g.d. lakehouse? And to what end? The end/extreme that DH went through the other night with his tantrum? A further end? Seriously. 

I don't understand anymore why you continue to put yourself in this situation. Be angry with yourself and use that anger to fuel you to better yourself where this won't happen again. You have to know what to expect after all this time so why did you put yourself in that situation? It's time for reflection. I'd put distance between myself and DH and his clan and take the time to simply be in peace and refect. You deserve quiet time for you.

SMto2's picture

Thank you for being so blunt. Although my DH should not have reacted the way he did, I know the things I was saying to him played a role in it. It takes a LOT for him to get fired up. I honestly did go on about it for a couple hours, and he was just fed up. I need to find a way NOT to mention it, or better yet, find a way to extricate myelf so it doesn't bother me.

stepmomnorth's picture

The fact that he did this is not your fault. There is no excuse on his end, he should not have acted that way, regardless of what you said. There is never, ever an excuse for that type of behavior. Please do not feel at fault because you 100 percent were not. Nothing you could have said justifies his actions. 

StrawberryPie's picture

I'm sorry you are going through this. I recall your posts about you SSs taking and it being transactional. It sucks. With the feedback of steptakers here, I dropped the rope. And it has made all the difference for the better. I transitioned to telling my DH - you can have whatever relationship you want with you SD20, but I don't want to be involved.  Do what you want, don't include me, don't plan things around me, don't expect my $$, all of that.  And he understood that. Our relationship is better, I am less stressed about things. It has made a big impact in my life. I hope it can for you too. 

SMto2's picture

Thanks so much. I am glad to hear things are so much better for you having taken that step. It's a big one for me, especially when we've spent so many years trying to build the relationship, and it feels like admitting failure, which is not easy for me. lol. I need to do it, or something very close, to protect my marriage, however.

stepmomnorth's picture

He is a grown man that has thrown a glass at a wall in front of you with kids scared too.. And for me this would be a concrete turning point. The tantrums are never ok. Period. Also this should be a clear indication he's got some work to do on all of his relationships.

It's NOT ok for him to refuse to discuss things with you that have to do with his children at the point he's friggen throwing glass at a wall. At this point, I say, screw everything, this needs to be dealt with immediately.

Sweeping things under the rug is going to make everything way worse. That is a real life metaphor here...

The damage is done and things need to change drastically. 

SMto2's picture

Well, in all fairness, DH did discuss it with me, for a couple hours.lol. We both had had a few drinks, and I admit I kept talking about it to the point I think he felt there was nothing more he could say or do because he feels handcuffed by the situation. Yes, he'd love for the relationship with SSs to be better and for them to treat us better, but it is what it is, and he feels the alternative is not having a relationship, and he's not willing to do that.

stepmomnorth's picture

That is fair, however please know that you are still not at fault for him throwing that glass in the end, that was all on him. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Sorry if I am being harsh here, but no I would not shut the F up, after he threw a glass against the wall because of how bad he's allowed things to get. Nice of him to think you should quietly put up with all of this. Sure I'll just sit around and say and do nothing.. No... This all sucks. It's an unfortunate situation that he's brought upon. He needs to face it so that future events like this one don't happen again. It affects you and the children. 

SMto2's picture

Yes, it sure does suck. He's truly a loving father and doesn't deserve that treatment from the SKs.

stepmomnorth's picture

I'm really sorry you are having to go through this. My ex husband was mad at me this one time when we were married. I said something, I don't even remember what we were talking about. I think I questioned him on something he said to me and he got livid. He is a tall and large man, 6 foot 3, and I am tiny and 5 feet tall. He was mad and started kicking around items angrily in my front room at the wall. I sat there frozen and horrified and was scared. Scared of what will he do next? I was shaken. I was confused. I was mad and angry. It's really hard to explain. But it leaves you really shaken.

Then you look back later and think, was this in my head? You start to question yourself. Certainly kicking things around at a wall isn't all that bad, I am making it out to be worse than it really was. Maybe he won't do it again, but maybe he will. It's really hard.. It changes things really. It wasn't my fault that this happened. What I said angered him, but it still wasn't ok. 

SMto2's picture

Thank you all so much for taking time to comment. I'm going to come back and re-read all of these over the next few days and really digest them. So, DH and I had a very long talk last evening when we got home from work. He has apologized multiple times--that night, yesterday morning, last evening, and said that won't happen again. He understands how screwed up the situation with the SKs is and supports me doing whatever I need to insulate my heart. He pointed out that, when SSs are with us, they seem to like me. As I mentioned above, SS28 showed up with birthday gifts for me that he picked out himself. He also brought a birthday gift for DH and SS28 and SGs called DH on his birthday. HOWEVER, SS28 posted NOTHING for DH on social media recognizing his birthday or anything wishing DH a Happy Father's Day, despite MULTIPLE posts for BM on her birthday and Mother's Day, with pics of her in them, saying how "blessed" they are to have her. DH said his relationship with SS28 is a "dirty little secret." How sad is that?!

One thing I want to mention that is SO very telling. BM has not only PAS'd SSs, but she's managed to PAS her DD with her current DH.  BM's DD also posted a glowing post on Mother's Day for BM, saying how she's her "best friend, role model, couldn't live without her," etc., etc.,) yet posted NOTHING for BM's DH, her dad. DH said it takes some real talent to PAS a child against a parent who lives in the home, but BM is one to do it. So, all three of BM's kids (SS28, SS26 and her DD23) ALL made posts worshiping her for Mother's Day and none for their fathers. When you read them, it's almost like a competition for BM's affection. In fact, we took SS28 and SGDs out for SS28's birthday last month and SDIL (SS28's DW) who had to work so didn't go, texted me later to say she was glad we took SS28 out and didn't invite SS26, as SS28 needed "extra love" because of all the attention BM has been giving SS26 and her BM's DD. (I was like, WTF, he's a grown @ss married man with his own family, yet he's still competing for mommy's affection?! Um, YEP!) So, there is no doubt BM has created all this competition among her kids themselves and in her being the favored parent over their fathers.  

As for where that leaves us, well, next week is the annual all-expense paid family vacay extravaganza lakapalooza. lol. SDIL had sent the annual text asking when it was going to be. I told her it was probably going to be just a long weekend, as DH and I had COVID earlier this month and had to miss work, which has put us way behind. (Of course, she had no idea, since we don't communicate on a regular basis, and I'm sure it only matters to the extent it affects them.) I told DH that HE needs to get back to them and let them know when it's going to be, but I'm severely limiting my time again this year. I'm going to be there for the fireworks and will go home and leave him to cooking/cleaning up each meal for SKs/SDIL/SGDs and taking them out to eat and paying. I would miss the time entirely, but it's the biggest night of the year at our lake, and I hate to have to be home by myself (an hour and a half away) with my family down there on the boat having fun at the place we bought with OUR hard-earned money.

Thank you again for your support during this gut-wrenching situation. I am so thankful for this site. 

 

CLove's picture

I would direct you to do some reading/researching on two topics:

1. Golden Uterus Syndrome

2. Narcissistic Triangulation with children and parents

There will be a pop quiz tomorrow.

AgedOut's picture

I'm not sure how this will go over, please reread it before reacting because I think it may come out harsher than I meant it to. 

 

Once upon a time someone, I really do not remember who, told me I was setting myself up to fail then crying over it as if I couldn't control it better. They told me to be very careful that I wasn't making my cross to climb up on and self marytr myself on. I am 100% sure I saw red. But funnily (is funnily a word?) enough, it is one of the two pieces of advice I got in my lifetime, that I never forgot. 

I was pre-martyring myself by by subjecting myself to info I did not need then I was a victim of my own making because once in my head it was selfimposed torture. 

 

Please, if you take no other advice, take this advice: delete their FB or mute or silence them and STOP looking. It will not change. They will not change. You will put yourself into the hurt zone by looking. You are torturing yourself. Don't do that. YOU and only you control the looking/stalking of the FB to compare. You need to stop it already. Looking will never change a damn thing other than hurt your husband and through him, you. 

Don't build that cross and climb up on it. It's not worth it, no good will ever come of it and you're really only hurting yourselves. 

 

Noway2b1's picture

I follow your posts/ blogs because they really resonate with me, the social media posts, the taking for granted. The allowing dad to host them for "special events" including dads birthday and Father's Day. I haven't been with my DH as long as you with yours but could easily see him being very similar to your at an earlier time. That said, I really feel for you. As stated above yes, consider removing them from your social media, (I did mine) this has spared me seeing the pictures and mother of the year posts. Consider setting boundaries around YOU changing your plans because of any inconvenience to skids. I saw this tendency in my DH when we began dating, I let it fly the first few months, as it was early days and I needed to see if it was a "thing" oh dear yes it was. 7 years later we still get an occasional push back of that but I will not budge if it is in any way inconvenient for us. I no longer rearrange my time for them and if DH wants to wait for their interaction that's on him. I hope you can work through this and take this opportunity to set those boundaries even if it means taking your DS and disappearing for skid time.