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The Romance and Disengagement just keep on flowing...

CLove's picture

Yes, you read that right. Something must have clicked in Dh's head. A light switch turned the lightbulb on. Monday night football without BFF (yay) and sulky SD16 Pouty McPouterson out the door and it was ooo la la.

But let me go back in time.

Friday night, no discourse on grades for SD16 PMP - no Skid discussion at all! The weekend was nice. Fun actually. A high school reunion for DH where I knew half the people anyway on Saturday night. SD16 PMP did not come along. Just stayed in her room. Sunday I drove by myself and went to the beach...and even on a cloudy overcast day, it was wonderful. I love the beach! Drove home with visions of a warm scented bath, candles, a glass of something...

SD16 PMP had cut her hair after a shower and left all the hair in the tub! It was too disgusting for me to deal with, DH was tired after cooking all I waited and stewed. Finally hit my saturation point. I mean, yeah Im disengaged, but its unacceptable (my new favorite word) for me to not be able to communicate about what goes on in MY household. I done. Im no longer going to go through DH to request things be done by SD16 PMP. She can pout and sulk and whatever. I no longer feel those weird hurt feelings!!!

So, when she came home from the movies all I said was "you will clean the tub immediately. THEN you will clean your room, immediately".

She did it. And pouted her way into Monday. And I just found it mildly amusing. Husband is also getting tired of it. AND NOTICING. How she will purposefuly ignore me, and how sulky she gets if there is any confict. And I am just mildly amused. I did try explaining toxic passivity and withholding, but that will have to be another conversation somewhere down the line.

When she walked by after hugging him goodbye, he told her "arent you going to say anything to Clove?" She came up and hugged me goodbye. Maybe this story will have a happy ending?


Birchclimber's picture

Wow!  Ten brownie points and a big High Five to YOU!  Yes!  Your voice has finally been heard.  Who cares if she pouts.  You're teaching her a valuable lesson that she MAY even be appreciative for into her adulthood.  (Notice that I didn't say that she'd Thank You for it, because they so seldom thank us for ANYthing!) 

I guess that your DH thought that you taking matters into your own hands was sexy!  I mean, how can you not love an assertive woman?    Good for you!  That day at the beach has done you a world of good, CLove!  



CLove's picture

Ill share with DH. Hes grown. And just has voiced his appreciation. Our communications have been better. Calmer.

caninelover's picture

Is the key to a happy marriage in Stepland.  So glad it's helping you.

CLove's picture

And everyone else who has provided support through the years.

lieutenant_dad's picture

You handled that well and learned the next lesson of disengagement in the process: speaking up but not stepping up.

You DO have every right to tell SD to clean HER mess in YOUR house. If she doesn't do it, THEN you tell your DH to handle the situation (if you don't just tell him upfront). If he doesn't handle it and you have to handle it, then you shift toward it being a RELATIONSHIP problem and not (fully) an SK problem.

A stepparent shouldn't try to hide from their partner/spouse disrespecting them through their poor parenting. That is often the cause of our own overfunctioning. Just like SKs want to use us as a scapegoat for the feelings they have toward their parents and divorce/broken family, we as partners/spouses want to put the blame anywhere else because it hurts too much to put it where it belongs.

Good for SD for being respectful, even if pouty, toward you and your authority in your home. Good on your DH for not snapping at you about it. I won't say good on him for making SD hug you and tell you goodbye because that might be his way of trying to just sweep feelings under the rug. BUT, good on him for recognizing that SD was giving the cold shoulder and putting it back on her to deal with and not you.

CLove's picture

Just "are you going to say something?"

Yeah. Ive spoken to her many times about respecting each other even during conflict. Shes not getting the message right now. Its her control method.

Harry's picture

She cuts her hair in the tub. Yuk.  She cleans it up.  It's your house. You don't want a pig pen in your home bring ants mice and who knows   You did great.  Disengaging means you don't do anything for SD. As you clean the tub. It's either SD or DH job to clean

unfortunately DH is going to have to pick a side. He either is going to have a marriage and support you. And start sitting on SD,s.  Or become SD full time ATM. And support them.  
FF is already a couch surfer  so far BM is allowing this.   BSPMP SD 16 yo is on her way to be a future couch surfer 

We just hope your DH. A really bad parent. He not parenting his kids into Adulthood   But has his head up his As*. Think everything will work out.   If you show your strength in the house and marriage DH will just push his head more up his As* 

you care too much. You know that.  Your careing has no effects on this group.  There two type of people. Givers and takers.  This group are takers.   They take to make life easier fro them. But when the givers run out they are in big trouble 

Rags's picture

Disengagment does not mean toleration of toxic crap from anyone in the mix.  For me it is total immediate confrontation of crap while not wasting my emotions or happiness on any of them (the toxic).

I would suggest that you add "If you are going to pout and sulk go do it where no one has to see it." to your regular PMP discourse.

Keep up the commitment to yourself.

TrueNorth77's picture

Happy to hear positive news. :)