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Adult stepdaughter won. Dh and I are getting divorced

givenupstepmom's picture

I can't believe how this turned out.  

My adult stepkid(Sd 25) has won. I was married to her dad (dh) dad for 10 years , and we have Bd 6 and I   have Bs18 from my previous marriage. The problems started with my her when she was 16. Their mom up was a drug addict and ended up passing away from a OD. Dh raised them by himself for many years. They youngest two her shy, but good back then, The eldest made live miserable for me. She was a very angry teenager. We all  know around that age, they really make you run for your money. 

She would openly choose to not ackowledge me. Complete and total silence from her and I was noting but nice to her. I tried to be a caring and nurturing person in her life to whom she could turn to, but everytime I tried to enage with her, she shot me down and told me to back off. I was told that I was not welcome in the house and I was noting ,but can inconvience to everyone there. Dh did have by back then, and called her out on her BS. She was told that if she can't respect me, then she shouldn't be living under the same roof as me. Normally this would bring a moody teenager in line right? Nope. She basically fought with dh until he decided that she could not stay at home. He sent her to live with my in laws.  It wasn't as if dh was shipping her off to a another state or city, She was literally a 20 minute drive from us . We thought all she needed was a reality check and she would begin to  appreciate the things that I did for her, and hopefully she  would apologize and then she would be welcome back in the house- Both dh and I agreed with this. No parent enjoys sending their child away and my heart broke for dh, but it needed to be done. Not only for my sake, but her's too. She managed to turn my in-laws against us by saying that dh picked me over her, he doesn't care about her, and he only cares about me and how I'm looking to replace her with our daughter and son. This far from the truth. Firstly I shared custody with my ex and my son his father, but he also cared about dh. Hearing this broke dh's heart. Whenever he would try to call her, text her, email her, noting. She was ignoring him. He did sent her a text message saying he loves her very much and she is his eldest child of this household and his first child, an he wants her to come home, but she would have to respect me. Not like or love me, but she would have to on a human base level respect me- that's not asking fot too much right?. Nope, she told dh that he lost her forever and hope he's happy with his choice. My in laws did not help the situation much either. They choose to believe her without even listening to dh or I. We were labelled enemies of the state by her. I should probably also mention that my in-laws are very wealthy, so they tend to sd was treated like a "princess", but better there and here right? I've never been so wrong.

Come time for her graduation, she passed with honors-dh and I were  proud. Dh was invited, but I wasn't. When he called to see if it was a mistake, she told him that it wasn't a mistake, she did not want me their. My Mother in law, Father in law, Brother in law his wife, and dh were going, but not me. I told dh that it would be best if he went, but he decided not to. He said that I was his wife and if I wasn't going then neither would he. He didn't go to her graduation, but did send her a gradulation text and flowers to my in laws. Dh's stepfather, who basically raised him and took care of him as his own called him and told him that Sd spent the enitre day crying away because of him. He wouldn't even let dh talk; he said that regretted ever treating dh like own son and wished he treated him like how he treated sd and hung up. Dh was crushed. He was very close to his SF, and this brought put a dent in their relationship. Sd told her younger siblings about how rude dh was. The relationship between dh his other daughter and ss was starting to change too. When it was time for his other daughter graduation, she basically told him not even bother asking because neither him and I were invited. She graduated and moved out with my in laws as wel, but before. Same thing with Ss. I don't know what Sd said to BS, but he started hating me and dh as well. Bs told my parents that I was looking to have a new family which consisted only how Dh, myself and Bd6. He moved in with my ex and told my family "what was happening" and they also believed him. They called me and told me that I was being cruel and hung up. My BS  hates me and so does my own family. 

I hoped that none of his kids would turn out successful, but they did. Sd25 is an Occupational therapist , Sd24 is a physical therapist, and Ss is in his 3rd year of engineering. Dh has tried to contact his kids, but they refused to speak to him at all. My own BS believed Sd25's lies and he still wouldn't speak to me to matter how many times I tried to contact him. What pushed the nail over the head was when Dh had a cancer scare last year, and when he called his in-laws.  All they said was"hope everything turns out okay" and hung up. His kids did not seem to care. He's reached out many times via text, e-mail, phone call noting. I know sd25 started this and I reached out and thought that maybe she would consider putting putting water under the bridge( I told dh to tell them, that it was his choice to not attend her graduation, but she blamed me for it. When both sd's graduated with their degrees, they didn't call to tell him), but all she said was that her dad died 7 years ago and cut it off. Dh was shattered. ALL FROM HIM NOT GOING TO HER GRADUATION, she managed to not only tear apart his family, but mine as well.  Dh would still check on all of their social media, and during breaks, all of the skids and my in laws would be on a cruise, or in Europe, or Dubai. BS still was not spoken to me either. He graduated and from HS and I sent him a congradulation tex message and he responds with saying "please don't contact me again". My own son is saying this to me! The only person that responded to dh's attempts of communication was Ss. He wrote:

"Dad,

Sd25, Sd24 and I love you very much, but based on your previous actions it's clear that you don't love or care about us anymore. We want to have a relationship with you, we really do, but can you blame us for not? Do you know how hurt Sd25 when you didn't show up at her graduation? Dad, she layed on the floor and cried for a week. Till this day she hasn't gotten over it. She's hurt and she feels abandoned. Not only is she a our older sister, but a mother figure to sd24 and myself.

 The whole family thinks you messed up. It's not just us. If you want us to have a relationship with you, you have to apologize to her, Do that, then you have a family again, if not then this is how it's going to be. Please do the right thing dad. I miss you a lot. I want to have you in my life. The ball is in you court

Ss20"

Dh did not speak to me properly for a few days. A  few hours ago, He told me he wants to discuss something with me. Dh told me he wants a divorce. She won ; I lost. 

 

 

 

tog redux's picture

I'm confused - why does he blame you if it was his choice not to go to graduation? The note from SS makes no indication that they think you are the problem.

givenupstepmom's picture

You would have to ask him because he's barley speaking to me at the moment. 

 

Goodluck's picture

'You have to ask him because he is barley speaking to me at the moment".....

 

Sorry that line doesnt work for this married woman of nearly 20 years.  What your saying is you and your husband have zero conversations about troubled areas in your amrriage this year, last year or the year before??? AND this is all new?

NarcissisticSkids's picture

sounds like the skids are trashing DH, not you......I dont see anything in your post that should make you the bad guy-

2Tired4Drama's picture

When money is involved, including inheritances, that's often a deciding factor.

Based on the little you've provided it seems as though there is significant money on the in-laws side.  The skids know this and so does your DH.

I wouldn't be surprised if the in-laws told your DH he was going to be dis-inherited unless he "fixed" his marriage and made his kids (gskids) happy - and if that means dumping you, so be it.

Get yourself a very good lawyer and be glad you are out of this mess.  Spend the rest of your future trying to repair the relationship with your own son.  Even thought he may not be directly affected by in-laws money, he was affected by skids' mind-poisoning. 

Good luck, you will need it.  Money makes the world go round, unfortunately.  

justmakingthebest's picture

So, your stb ExH has hatched a plan to ditch you, blame it all on you and get his adult children back. Yup... that is probably his best chance. 

I think it is stupid the way some people will chase adult children. My DH and I took our vows very seriously. Foresaking all others. Our minister even spoke directly to our kids and said that even above them, God says that our marriage is the most sacred union. That one day our children will leave our homes have have thier own family. Their marriges will come before us as well. 

I don't think you are a bad guy, I think you are a scapegoat. The only thing you can do is take your child, and move on. Live your best life. Go on those cruises too, go to Dubai-- have those same experiences with your kids, and hopefully a man that actually respects you as his wife and partner. Not someone who will throw you under the bus and let you take blame for their actions. Becasue the reality is, you both should have gone to graduation. Let her look like an ungrateful brat who was awful to the woman who helped raise her. The family would have seen what a B she is and you would have been the "victim" and her the monster instead of it being perceived any other way. 

ldvilen's picture

They didn’t win.  You did.  The only mistake you made was in putting up with 'em for so long.

ETA: But, I know what really hurts is that you dedicated a huge chunk of your life to these people/ this family, and none of them have any appreciation for it whatsoever.  Odds are high, if you could go back in time and not get involved w/this man, his daughters would have probably all wound up being drug addicts, because that is usually what happens with kids born to a drug-addicted mom, who passed, with no real “mom” substitute. 

Little do they know that if it wasn’t for you, they’d probably all be strung out right now vs. being productive adults.  Your DH and no one in his family have any recognition of how you literally saved these children’s lives, and they are so full of themselves, that I’m sure they all think you instead detracted from their lives. 

I hate to say it, but it is not all that uncommon for this to be SM’s “reward” for literally saving another family—to be kicked in the a$$ big time by pretty much all involved.  And, you especially got gobsmaked! It could happen to any of us.  Although I’m at a better place with my DH now, hate to say it, but if he got a similar letter from his kids, I could just about see him going for the same!  This is pretty much all of our biggest fears.  It is only after the fact, marriage or long-term commitment, that most SMs realize even with your own husband, the love of your life, one day you can be in and the next day you can be out, and it can all be pretty much due to his side of the family alone, incl. him, in-laws w/ fixed loyalties, his ex- & kids and so on.

I guess if there was one piece of advice I could give potential SMs to help them make the decision regarding if being a SM is for them, it would be that:  Realize even with your own husband, the love of your life, one day you can be in and the next day you can be out, and it can all be pretty much due to his side alone.  That is regardless of how strong of a relationship you may think you have with your DH at this time.  For many women, especially nowadays, they’d rather be alone or go to a sperm bank than have that hanging over their heads! 

STaround's picture

Your son was living with you.  He saw and heard what was going on, yet still turned against you? That tells me, more than one side to this.  I would have advised family counseling prior to your DH kicking out his kid.  No matter how nice the In-laws house it, it was an extreme step.  I don't know if you and DH want to try counseling at this point, so much is water over the bridge.  I agree with PP, look for a lawyer,  Also, unless you have a good earnings record on your own, if you  have not been married a full 10 years, I would advise waiting till the 10 year mark passes to file for divorce to give you more social security options. 

runforthehills's picture

I second this , my eyebrows raised when I read that. why would you hope they don't turn out successful ? Just out of spite ? I was wondering if it was a typo or something. My SD is the total opposite of successful and I wish she had something going on for her in her life cause then maybe she'd had something else to keep her busy and focused. 

givenupstepmom's picture

That was a typo. I was very emotional last night and clearly was not paying attention to what I was writing. 

What I meant to say "I hope they become successful and move on in their lives". What was just a typo on my part.

My apologies if that struck a cord with people. When I re-read the most and saw your comment, I noticed it as well. I'm very sorry for that. 

I'm I hurting yes, but I'm not cruel

runforthehills's picture

Ok that makes sense , I was thinking it was a typo or error. I know my iPhone prefills for me sometimes and makes my sentences read funny. Understandably you're hurting. I'm so very sorry you're going through this. 

susanm's picture

How stable are you feeling right now?  Are you able to look him in the eye and ask him if he has a plan for when he has divorced you and that STILL is not enough?  When he remains on endless "probation" watching his cruel children through the window and hoping that they will let him in - standing there ALONE?  I would let him know that, out of respect for our time together, I would be willing to consider this request a moment of desperation and weakness and forget it.  But that if he actually wants to go through with the divorce or ever brings it up again, all the pent up frustration and anger of standing by and watching him being treated so shabbily by his spoiled children will erupt and the target will be him funnelled through the divorce proceedings. You will go so that he can have a life alone with them but you will not go quietly!

Booboobear's picture

I would get my bio kid in the car and move 4000 miles away or he is going to go over for visitation with a group of aholes who are going to talk bad about you and try to turn them against you.  I would never contact them again and just file for CS at the office 4000 miles away and then appy.  I would make a new life 4000 miles away and start over, cut my losses.  Its going to be fine.  It might actually be great! how about alaska? how about St. Thomas, VI?  how about Peach, Canida?   The first thing thats going to happen after you move away, is he is going to miss you, then crash and burn. Hes going to justify his actions ad believe the fake news that his family is telling him.  then hes going to be miserable. then later inlife hes going to go after you and BS and try to get you back.  I would change my  phone number.  I would avoid getting a divorce until after the 10 year mark for Social Security spouces benifits.     

STaround's picture

This may not be legal, and is certainly not moral.   Pulling a stunt like this may result in losing custody, rather than getting 50/50.  Moving while planning a divorce is VERY difficult and you need an attorney to advise you.  When Katie Holmes moved to NY, to get better laws on custody, she was VERY cunning (and btw, her dad is a lawyer, and I am certain she spoke to famiy lawyers before). Her DH, Tom Cruise was working overseas, and she found job in  NY.   I am certain she had emails documenting his agreeing to her living there with their DC.  Just moving, you may not get away with.  

STaround's picture

I owuld normally agree with you, but the Holmes/Cruise situaiton involved the Church of Scientology, which encourages children to disrespect parents who do not beleive, very difficult situation. Holmes did compromise, she wanted to send her DD to a Catholic school (a very academic one, with many non Catholics attendign) and went with a non-secterian one (with a lesser reputation)

Mrs Fireball's picture

Yep. Katie was smart. She saw what TC did to Nicole Kidman - she got totally f-d in the divorce/custody.

Katie jumped off that cray-cray train. 

tog redux's picture

I wasn't talking about Katie Holmes, I was talking about the poster who suggested OP run off with the kid and cut DH out.

STaround's picture

I agree, threatening to run off, unless abuse etc. is not called for. Sorry

Booboobear's picture

they are already parent alienation ing her!  are we not free to move where ever we want to? there is no court order.  file for CS as soon as you get to destination, shouldnt take more than a few days, then there is a paper trail.  are we not allowed to travel with our own kids if there is not a court order and custody agreement?  its child abuse to have her child in an environment where SD's in laws and Dad all badmouth and alienate  the mom.  i would file a protection order as well. 

tog redux's picture

Would you say the same if her DH took the kid and moved away and refused contact with the mother? He has that right, too.

Booboobear's picture

NO WHERE in my post did I say movee away and refuse contact!!!!! he is free to travel the 4000 miles each time for visitation.  It will be harder for him to afford to bring SKIDS and MIL along on the visitation, so DS wouldnt be alienated against his mother.  I cant believe you thought I said refuse contact.  

and I didnt say it would take a few days to get child support, i said it would few days to travel and then you can fill out the paperwork when you get there. once you file, it leaves a papertrail to show that it was not a kidnapping, it was moving your home, legally with your kids to prevent PAS that has been happening with the skids and inlaws.  this whole story would be written on the CS paperwork.  

and If a spouse took my kid and moved 4000 miles away and then filed for CS from me, I would travel 4000 miles, move in next door, and respond legally to the custody and CS order with me having full custody and him paying child support.  

twoviewpoints's picture

I'm sure there is much more to this story. Your own son has disowned you. 

Being your son was with you long before this SD came into your life, I doubt any 'lies' she spit out From afar being she was booted out nine years ago and likely never saw much of your son again... your son was 9yrs old at her booting and 11 at her missed graduation) influenced your own son too heavily.  She was but a stranger more or less and you his mother who he had known to that point all his life.

Your son moved out to be with his father and your own extended family turned against you Not just your skids and your in-laws , but your son and your family. 

Now husband wants a divorce. He could get 50/50 of your little joint daughter. He intends to try and reunite with his older children. Your daughter will be involved in the lives of husband's older children, perhaps even with your own bio son (her 1/2 brother) as you say the SD has such influence over him. 

I would hope , as everyone moves on from this, some serious thought and reflection goes into the process before anyone goes on to repeat the same mistakes. What ever the mistakes were and regardless of who all made them.

tog redux's picture

I wondered this as well. It sounds like stories you read from parents estranged from their children who have No Idea why and blame every one else - then you talk to the children and they have spent years trying to let that parent know their concerns and finally cut them out because it's too toxic to keep a relationship with them.

The note from SS is very reasonable and says nothing about how DH "chose her" or is cutting them out - just that they've been hurt, miss him and need an apology.

Step-girlfriend's picture

My thoughts exactly. Yes, it is a terrible situation. Yes, skids can be a*sholes and team up against a SM. But for a Birth son, and then your entire family to hate you and not want to talk to you....that is not something that just happens by your son listening to lies from SD. In fact, kids often times are way too forgiving of their parents, and love them despite terrible behavior. I find it hard to believe that he would listen to SD (who moved out, so how much is he really talking to her?), and then hate you and somehow also be able to convince your own family to hate you as well, all based on how you "supposedly" treated SD.

I encourage you to honestly evaluate your own actions and conversations with your skids and your BS especially, and try to see what really happened. I think you might be underestimating the effect some of your own actions had. Also, to wish for someone to be unsuccessful is pretty harsh.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I hope some good can come out of it.

hereiam's picture

"If you want us to have a relationship with you, you have to apologize to her, Do that, then you have a family again, if not then this is how it's going to be."

How does it go from an apology to divorce?

I definitely think there is more to this story and I doubt that it's just about the graduation.

"I hoped that none of his kids would turn out successful, but they did."

Seriously? You hoped that none of his kids would be successful? Those aren't exactly words from a "caring and nurturing" person.

 

givenupstepmom's picture

Everything I from  my post, is from my point of view. I don't know what else could have transpired 

Strange_Things's picture

I thought this as well. Why wouldn't she want them successful? If they are successful they leave!

givenupstepmom's picture

That was a typo on my part. 

I would never want that for them. If they're successful they would leave. 

What I meant to say was "I hope the come successful, so they could move on with their lives" My apologies. 

I was very emotional last night when I was writing this amd clearly wasn't paying too much attention either 

Strange_Things's picture

I'm sorry, the way it is written it is definitely not a typo. I'm honestly with other posters. I have a terrible SD and I would never wish her to not be successful, mainly because if she isn't I have to indirectly fund and deal with her for forever. I think there are some VERY negative tones in your being and I think all of the children sensed it, including your son.While I am sure your SD probably contributed, she is not the only culprit. Really look back on your life and your marriage. From the sounds of it, the whole not going to graduation was not a conversation it was a demand, either you goes or he doesn't. That doesn't go over well with late teens who are trying to find their place in the world. A sit down conversation was more important as to why your presence is important to her father, maybe not necessarily her.

I can see why she is hurt. Your husband is just getting up and leaving because its easier.

Booboobear's picture

I am sorry you are hurting and we come here to support each other, not tear down people when they are hurting.  

ldvilen's picture

OP has explained twice now that the one line from her long post that everyone seems to want to focus on was just a typo.  Can we put that one aside now.

How does everyone in this situation wind up going after SM?  Easy.  I'm not saying SM didn't do anything wrong or is completely innocent, but given the dynamics of this situation that were long in place prior to SM entering the picture, it is not too difficult to see how things wound up the way they did. 

First of all, BM was a drug addict and died from a drug OD.Where was dad during all of this?  Maybe dad tried with his then spouse or BM, or maybe dad had his head in the sand.  Either way, the children from this relationship will more than likely blame dad for "allowing" their mom's disease to continue and eventually lead to her death.  You have two daughters from this relationship that are very close in age; this makes them almost like twins in their actions.  With mom gone, the eldest, takes on the mom role, and even the other siblings alluded to this in the OP's post above.  That older sister was a mom (their interpretation).  Older sister takes on mom/ wife role in the household, and dad is willing if not glad to have her do so, and next thing you know, SM comes along. 

Now, SM is dad's wife.  This is SM's role.  She is married to her husband; this is their household.  However, elder daughter isn't having any of it!  At all!  She is used to being mom and mini-wife.  Dad had no problem with her in this role in the past.  She's not giving either of those roles up; she has her younger siblings to protect (in her mind).  Lines are drawn and sides are taken.  Her other siblings (and in-laws) are used to having older sister in those roles too--mom, mini-wife and protector.  Things finally come to a head when eldest daughter is kicked out of household.  Even prior, the entire family had SM and eldest daughter in a 1:1 direct level of competition.  Now that is exemplified further.  No one ever asks themselves if a then teenager or adultolescent should even be in the role of mom or mini-wife.  They just go with it and expect it and have long since giving their loyalties to a blood relative vs. a non-blood wife.

Now, graduation comes for elder SD.  She creates this fantasy scenario in her head where dad will come and hug her and choose her over SM (because as far as she and everyone else is concerned, they are equal competitors).  She has placed a million dollar bet (in her own mind) on what really should only be a $50 dollar bet.  No one sees not inviting SM as any wrong, because, again, they think this is strictly a SM vs. SK thing, and of course dad will chose his own child.  Well. . . , dad chooses his spouse, because she is his wife and to be his side-by-side partner for life.  What does everyone else see?  They see that dad chose SM (not his wife, but a SM) over his daughter, and how dare he!!  Daughter plays this up to the max., intentionally or not.

Now, there is only SKs and wealthy (and $$ quickly becomes important in this too) in-laws vs. dad and SM.  SKs have long sinced convinced in-laws that pa-pa and SM are the problem.  In-laws think these kids staying with them are just perfect, because elder SD can do as she pleases with them.  She can be "perfect."  She can now be a normal teen or person vs. a mom and mini-wife.  SD excels; other twin-like SD excels.  SS excels.  In-laws think it HAS TO be bio-dad's and SM's fault.  SM's bio-son sees his older siblings all with $$, getting to do what they want, whenever they want.  Bio-son is more than likely being PAS'd by his bio-father and by his older step-siblings and DH's family as well.  Bio-son sees a much bigger sail on that boat than bio-mom's boat.  He wants to be on the bigger boat with the bigger sail with more people on it.  BM and his younger half-sibling?  Nothing anywhere near as exciting and as wealthy going on there. . . .

So, with most on the big boat with the big sail with near unlimited funds, they or someone decides to strike while the iron is hot, and send dad an FOff letter.  Depressed dad now starts to eye that bigger, better boat too and wishes he was on it.  And, that brings us pretty much up to today.

AND, that is how a SM, with little efforts or input of her own, winds up becoming a family's mega-scapegoat (while at the same time, actually saving the family).  AND, most of this shiatsu was put into place and motion long before she even entered the picture.  And, that is why so many SMs can never win and never will.  AND, that is why any woman thinking about becoming a SM should really get a degree in sociology first.  But, I wholeheartedly admit, that didn't help me at all, prior to the fact. 

STaround's picture

The entire, lengthy OP was well written, with no obvious typos or grammar errors.  Yet we are supposed to beleieve that the sentence in question has several?  That she hoped they would succeed, and no need for the but?  

Could it be that OP's BS has figured it out that if his mom's marriage split, he would lose financial resources?  Maybe.  

Listen, a lot going on here. but I am seeing years of resentment that dad didnt want to deal with.  Did his parents put pressure on him?  Could be.  

And I don't see how she "saved" the family.  I am not saying she destroyed it, but she certainly did not save it. 

runforthehills's picture

If she was typing it on an iPhone it's entirely possible, its happened to me many times before because of the predictive texting feature built in. You can't edit your original posts either so also possible she didn't notice it until other users had pointed it out. 

ldvilen's picture

I agree on certain points.  There are years of resentment here, incl. prior to when SM entered the picture and after.  Again, I'm not saying SM is completely innocent, by any means.  How did SM save the family?  Probably in more ways than any of us realize--that is usually the case.  For example, in my case, I insisted that my husband get a good lawyer for his bio-son, when he was faced with a serious charge.  Both my DH and his ex- just poo-pooed the whole things off and acted like it wasn't that big of a deal, and if he went to prison, pfft.  Being educated somewhat in the judicial area (Sociology degree again--don't mean to keep bringing that up), I knew a possible felony charge was nothing to pfft about and that if SS did go to prison, he could easily wind up being Guido's "GF" in prison, along with things even worse.  DH and I forked over the dough, and it kept SS out of prison.  SS went on to seriously mend his ways, met the woman of his dreams shortly later, and now has a beautiful, wife, home and family.  He has that, rather than winding up in prison, feeling depressed and like hell because of what he underwent there, not being able to get a job, turning to drugs for comfort, and so on.

Now, did I save my SS and his family?  No one can say for sure, but who knows?  I only know that if I hadn't pushed my DH to hire a lawyer, one wouldn't have been, and who knows where he would be today?  My SS has absolutely no idea of my role in any of this.  No one, other than my DH, has any idea of my input or how, yes, I may have saved my SS's life.  They just think of me as an interferring be.atch, more or less, kind'a the way most SMs are thought of.

Regarding the OP saving the family, once elder SD was out of the home, which was due to many things, including dad's wife (SM), SD was able to for the first time, not HAVE to be a mother or a mini-wife.  For the first time, she could concentrate on just being a normal teen or adultolescent.  She could study, have normal relationships and so on.  NOW, SD could have equally had those things if she just simply acquiesced her role as "mom" and mini-wife in the household to begin with, once SM entered the pictured.  But, SD chose to fight it instead and act like dad and SM had somehow become evil overnight and so on. . . .  Regardless, going the long, and unfortunately more destructive, way around, SD was eventually able to be a normal person and thrive.  

I realize this is all speculation, but the above two incidences--OP's and mine--are just two examples of how one could say we both saved a family.  Both I and I am sure the OP have more.  The point or issue I was trying to make is that for 99.9% of the people out there, they never even THINK that a SM may have very well saved their life.  And, I'm trying to get across that for all anyone knows, regardless of how well you get along with your SM, she may very well have--saved your life--and maybe even more than once.

Survivingstephell's picture

This is one the best things I've ever seen written on this forum..  It is how it plays out with dysfunctional families and a dead BM on a pedistal, a mini-wife and a coward of a dad.  Throw in lots of money and this is how it plays out.  

Stepmom never had a chance.  never......

NachoQueen's picture

I love the million dollar bet analogy. Your are so spot on with your story telling.. it would be awesomely amazing if it weren't so common and true! This whole story makes me want to leave now. seriously

Healyourslf's picture

This is tragic.  DH is dealing with a firing squad and no doubt he feels an unbearable weight of emotional pressure that makes him think it is necessary to choose between you or the entire family. I am so sorry you must be the sacrificial lamb. 

I am truly surprised that his bio family would oust him without at least giving some credence to his reason for the decision not to go to graduation. It seems his side of the story was never vindicated. If the triangulation has gone on for a time and he allowed it to go on I can see how SD has managed to milk the sympathy cow for every last drop. That is one crazy and colluded web to try and untangle. 

It sounds like SD has done a phenomenal job of triangulating and turning the entire family structure against DH.  You were absolutely implicated as the firestarter from the very beginning. What an evil, spoiled child SD is.  It's completely dysfunctional that DH thinks his only resolve is divorce. In my eyes, he did the right thing standing by you when SD forced a "choice." Unfortunately, she used the move to the grandparents home like some kind of sadistic banishment catalyzed by you.  And, no doubt she used the very "distinct" graduation moment to build and continue momentum to turn the tables on sentiment. I cannot even imagine what SD has manufactured over time to provoke such division.  

I am truly surprised that not one member of the family shut her down. At least one adult in the bunch must have been level-headed enough to see through the drama and expose clarity of the situation to others. The depth of the division is truly a feat of hatred. 

My SD24 began the sympathy triangulation with family members and she was instantly shut down by my DH's sister (who has the role of family matriarch).  Other family members, who saw the probability of SD creating manipulative problems, warned me to watch out for it.  I am very aware of her ploys, but have left it to my DH to take the reins. SD also used her "graduation" to start problems. She is basically weaving the same story as your SD where she can. I have no qualms about telling the facts to the family about SD's distorted lies. It was her doing that prevented DH from attending, but she makes it out to be "negligent father...poor me....he chose her over me."  I realized quite a time ago that SD's goal is to eventually make me the cornerstone of blame. What I will point out to others is that her problems started long before I was in the picture. She's a mirror of her narcisstic mother. DH nor I will not stoop to triangulating other family members, but you can bet that we speak the facts whenever we hear of her atttempting to turn others against us. Tit for tat.

Is it too late for counseling? I think the entire family should receive a well-written letter from DH clarifying a few things. Are they completely lacking any clarity from DH's point of view? They need a wake up call.  If you do proceed with the divorce, DH can rest assured that he will never be able to be in another relationship as long as he lives. He will not live well with this decision. Get the best legal counsel you can and a therapist who specializes in blended family traumas.

marblefawn's picture

Do you want to divorce?

If you don't, don't despair just yet. Everyone is heated about something and your husband may have spoken out of emotion and distress.

Let things cool down. Get a plan about how to address this. There are options before you go this route -- maybe they can work, maybe not. But if you don't want to end the marriage, give him some time to cool down.

I know how hurtful it must have been to hear that he wants to divorce. You must feel awful. But if you want to stay in the marriage, you will have to fight for it. You're up against a lot and things look very black right now, but when the dust settles, you might have something to work with. I'm really sorry.

Siemprematahari's picture

I don't know even know where to begin in this big toxic mess. One thing I would do is take some time, do some soul searching and see if this marriage is even worth saving. Therapy is needed for sure if you stand a chance at saving what you have left. Another priority would be to contact my BS and find out why he doesn't want me in his life. You need a heart to heart with him and fix this ASAP. This would be a major concern for me. What happened and what was said to him that he feels so strongly to be away from you? You have to find your way back to him and repair your relationship with him.

Also try to shield the child you have with H as much as you can from all this f@ckery. Take your little one and assess on how you want to move forward because this is all just so messy at this point. I can't imagine continuing a marriage with all this dysfunction. Its not healthy and you need some peace of mind.

STaround's picture

A 10 year marriage is not generally long term, at best temporary alimony.  Could she get more then 50/50 of their one joint child, maybe.  But a school age kid, not a given.  And neither of the grandparents support her?  Not a given. 

SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture

What about assets? Perhaps, with a rabid shark of an attorney she can get the house/vehicle/temp alimony/child support/ pension etc? Surely, her ahole husband springing a divorce on her counts for something?

STaround's picture

I don't know a state where that counts for much.  We don't even know if he has much money.  

CLove's picture

I too have a Toxic SD - Toxic Feral Eldest SD19.5

I too was going to be excluded from high school graduation (although she barely passed!) but then SO now DH, stood up for me. He was told that there "were limited tix, so CLove cannot go, but Aunti #1, #2, Cousin #1. and #2 plus BM Toxic Troll and Munchkin SD12 were invited".  I thought of it as a "get out of jail free card", but SO INSISTED I go, or he would not go. Auntie #1 insisted that I have her tix. It went back and forth a little, but "poof!" magically a ticket appeared and an offer "here, I waited for a long time in line so pelase go".

I sat on a hard bench for 4 hours in blistering hot sun, with no hat and no water, took time off work (no pay), and also NOT A SINGLE THANK YOU. But I know two things: SO needed my support because of ToxicTroll, and also we would have been the "horrid bad guys" if we did not go. I took photos, all ended well, or so I thought.

Cut to now - your post awakens my biggest insecurities. DH and I just got married in July (big drama - we eloped!) and Toxic Feral Eldest blasted DH via texts a few weeks ago, making him feel badly, saying he was abusive, and I bullied him into "losing her". Same song and dance that your DH is going through - so you have to do the "pick me dance", and I feel like that as well.She also accused us of abusing Munchkin SD12, who actually stepped up to the plate and DEFENDED us to her, ToxicTroll BM, and the family. Called me "her second Mom"

But now, just yesterday, my insecurities came roaring back. ToxicTroll BM is now asking DH for a car for Toxic Feral Eldest because she is spending too much money on uber (no car). His response is that he promised her a car for graduation present, and he will come through on his promise, but she must get her drivers license first (she doesnt even have one)

In our case, Toxic Feral is now living with ToxicTroll her BM, who hit and choked her a 1 1/2 years ago. No princess treatment there, but now she is feeding poison to Munchkin, and BOTH ToxicTroll and Toxic Feral are texting DH what a horrible father he is, what a horrible person I am, and how could he "choose CLove over his own SEED, his BLOOD, fruit of his UNION, precious fruit of his LOINS.

Same thing. Dh sais that he picks me, and stands by me, and that Toxic Feral can live her life, and until she gets her head out of her a$$, he will disengage, and not feed into it.

Your situation sounds a bit more complex, but it is eerily similar. 

You be there for your children - they are your number #1 responsibility. Work on that. Your husband - well, he needs to figure it out himself. Saving the marriage takes you BOTH, you cannot do this alone.

Im sure there is more to the story - but I agree with others - "Money changes Everything" - song by Cindy Lauper.

Good luck. I know that you meant that you wanted them to be successful. When I saw the texts from Toxic Feral, I sent her off with love. Go with love. And I closed that door, and am working on disengagement.

Like others have mentioned - get a lawyer, work on your Bio son relationship, and not necessarily in that order.

Im so sorry you are going through this!

Booboobear's picture

My husband said he would be making the biggest mistake of his life and he will regret it if he divorces.

Booboobear's picture

In paragraph 4 OP states that she encouraged her DH to GO to graduation WITHOUT HER.  one poster said she wouldnt let DH go without her.  

I wish people would be gentle with new posters.

I just hope new posters let their own hearts guide their decisions. 

Anon9876's picture

I'm sorry for your situation. It sounds like your SKs never accepted you and never wanted for your relationship to work out.

The oldest SD used her influence with her family and siblings to make you out as the bad guy because your DH stuck up for you and she wasn't about to have any of that.

It was DH's choice not to go to her graduation but I'm sure she blames you for that. She probably felt you made him stay home put of spite because you were not invited.

Honestly, it's very dramatic of her to have spent a week crying and still to this day have a grudge because DH didn't attend. She needs to understand that the fact that she was constantly trying to exclude his wife made him feel as if he needed to place boundaries to enforce respect. One of those boundaries being 'if you're excluding her than you must not consider my feelings, therefore you are excluding me-so why should I consider your feelings?'

She is a very self centered person and that will not change. It's her way or the highway. The amount of emotional manipulation going on here is astoundibg.

If things have been this way for so long why would DH think a divorce is going to miraculously fix it?

He should apologize for not attending and let her know that it was not okay for her to expect him to cut his wife out of his family. That's no different from him cutting her out-and she would never expect him to do tgat...

She simply needs to understand that you are valuable to him too.

It's a sad thing to know that her mindset migrated to your BS. I'm sure when she spoke of you and DH that she played on your son's biggest insecurities when saying that you wanted a 'new' family to replace him.

Of course given her behavior I'm surprised he listened and even more surprised that he believed it enough to cut you from his life. In guessing that was a defensive tactic, 'I'm cutting you out before you can cut me out'.

DH has apparently forfeited his ties with you in the hopes it gains him his children and parents back. If I were him I wouldn't hope for too much. Who is to say that he won't possible them off in the future and they cut him off again?

It's ridiculous. If you care about someone then they are not dispensable or replaceable.

It sounds to me that your DH has made up his mind. I guess the fact that the 2 of you have a child together means nothing. He continues to chase his adult kids as of his current life with you doesn't matter.

Try to talk with him at least and see where he is coming from.

Worst case scenario is you start fresh with your youngest son and hopefully repair the relationship with your oldest.

If I were you I would never seek a relationship with your SKs, even if you manage to save your marriage.

They long ago made up their mind about you. Don't waste your life trying to please them. Work on your own happiness.

thinkthrice's picture

Money was dangled in front of mini-wife, OP's BS and DH by meddling, well-heeled inlaws who are dedicating a shrine to the late BM.

STaround's picture

I do not think it is meddling when a child is dumped on your doorfront, and I doubt the inlaws built a shrine to their drug addicted fomer DIL.  

Curious Georgetta's picture

Nothing that the OP said indicates that he husband asked for a divorce because of his children. There are many issues that could have occurred over the ten year period that may have lead to this situation.

The step son in his letter to his dad did not mention any problems or concerns with or about the OP.

What may be more telling is the fact that something about the OP's behavior has managed to alienate All of the kids in the household as well as both her family and her husband's family.

Sometimes actions that we perceive as well intentioned are not experience by the observers and recipients of those actions in the way that was intended.

Before deciding that the daughter was a mini wife or that the husband is following a money trail, a lot more information would be needed including  a more detailed explanation of why the husband wants a divorce and what are all of the first hand observers and participants seeing that has managed to alienate All of them.

Counselling, honest introspection, and extensive dialogue with her husband might lead to helpful answers and a better understanding of what is happening in her life.

 

 

ldvilen's picture

None of us are the dunces you so often insituate or claim that we are.  We all know no one knows for sure the "real" story,  but what we do know is that too many times SMs are easily made out to be the end-all scapegoat, when in reality SM is simply trying to deal with a royally F-d up family that put the "fun" in dysfunctional long before she came along.  You better believe, for example, that mom's drug use and death set this family on a destructive path long before SM got there.  And, we have seen on these pages, more than once, where a deceased mother's family can literally take on the manipulative, controlling BM role and make things far worse for all--DH, SM and SKs--rather than help smooth the way for SM. 

So, yeah, you're right.  No one knows for sure what happened, and we may never know.  BUT, again, about 99.9% of the people out there will just assume that SM is a raving be.atch and look no further.  My point was to say that you never know.  It is just far too easy for people to go after SM's juggular when any family dysfunction or incident occurs.  Strange too that SD is given all of these accolades for rising above her druggie mom and evil dad and SM, but, boo-hoo!, poor little ol' SD is just so-o-o devastated that pops didn't show up to her graduation many years ago sans his wife.  That alone to me just shows what a manipulative be.atch this SD is.  But, since she is blood, she is seen as the heroine and SM (non-blood) is seen as the be.atch.  However, that is my opinion alone, because I agree, without being there, none of us knows.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Stated, or implied that anyone in this site is/was a dunce. I simply state my opinion with no expectation of belief that  anyone else has to share my belief or agree with me.

I have no dog in this hunt nor am I wedded to any particular position or belief  about  step vs bio parents. 

I do find it interesting that many posters need to attack vary points of view on an offer aggressive or even rude manner.

I think it offensive to suggest that some people may be so lacking in intelligence that they do not have the ability to decide for themselves what to consider and.what to discard.

I may not always agree with you positions but I never feel the need to attack you anyone else about your point of view. I assume that everyone is posting what they believe to be true in relation to any given situation.

People generally grow from exposure to varied points of view and perspective -. not so much from close mindedness and belief that their beliefs and experiences are the only true  or representative points of view.

Ii respect your right to advocate for your beliefs,; I would hope that you might respect my right to have my point of view. I am not trying to make you a  convert ,nor do I ever suggest  that my opinion is anything other than my opinion.

 

Iamwoman's picture

Nope. There are many different ways to “attack.” Some are forthright, some are passive aggressive, and some hide under a sophomoric ruse  which they hope will prove far too complicated to understand in order to provoke a logical counter argument.

You, Curious Georgetta, fall in the latter category.

There is a difference between offering an alternate point of view, and being a troll. Some of your posts are less inflammatory than others, but you always manage to hit a nerve with at least one person. Nobody else here has that type of record...

Your insistence here would be likened to me making a daily visit to a Holocaust survivors blog and regularly insisting that Nazi Death Camp wasn’t as bad as they are making it out to be, and perhaps they should simply consider a skin-head’s point of view.

Hiding insults behind a veil of superiority may get you somewhere with some people, but will eventually get you nowhere.

SM’s here are allowed to speculate. You’ve certainly done your own fair share. If you don’t like being attacked, stop provoking. Common sense.

ldvilen's picture

Amen!  Just like YOU, "SM’s here are allowed to speculate. You’ve certainly done your own fair share. If you don’t like being attacked, stop provoking. Common sense."

And, actually, what bothers me most about what you post isn’t your opinion, but you try to use the same sort of “logic,” that many try to use on SMs—for example, accusing some of us as being close-minded, when you being a non-step-parent and coming to a site for step-parents and trying to “enlighten” us with a subtle and sometimes not so subtle accusatory tone, is really the epitome of close mindedness—a/k/a “I’ve never been in that position myself, but I still know more than you or anyone else who may have been in that position for years and years."  It is like a medical assistant trying to tell a surgeon how to do his job, and then when he protests, you respond back to him that he is just being close-minded.  And, yeah, the holocaust analogy above is pretty much spot on too.

Want2's picture

“It is just far too easy for people to go after SM's juggular when any family dysfunction or incident occurs.”

ONLY if said jugular is within reach!!! Which is a matter of choice.

ldvilen's picture

A SM’s jugular is always within reach; if not literally, then through words.  Words certainly have the capacity to harm (or elevate), and they may sometimes speak louder than actions.  But, there is disengaging! 

Curious Georgetta's picture

Nothing that the OP said indicates that he husband asked for a divorce because of his children. There are many issues that could have occurred over the ten year period that may have lead to this situation.

The step son in his letter to his dad did not mention any problems or concerns with or about the OP.

What may be more telling is the fact that something about the OP's behavior has managed to alienate All of the kids in the household as well as both her family and her husband's family.

Sometimes actions that we perceive as well intentioned are not experience by the observers and recipients of those actions in the way that was intended.

Before deciding that the daughter was a mini wife or that the husband is following a money trail, a lot more information would be needed including  a more detailed explanation of why the husband wants a divorce and what are all of the first hand observers and participants seeing that has managed to alienate All of them.

Counselling, honest introspection, and extensive dialogue with her husband might lead to helpful answers and a better understanding of what is happening in her life.

 

 

Pickles45's picture

I am so so sorry for what you are going through! I do believe God has plans for us and things happen for a reason. I wish you well. And selfishly pray this isnt something that will happen to me in the future. But if it does - I hope I'll have the strenght to look him inthe eye and say"OK but its your loss!".

twoviewpoints's picture

So, Givenupstepmom, it's been 27hrs since you last checked in (and that was a very brief 8 minute stop to clarify a "typo") . 

Any update? Have you contacted a lawyer? Any additional information you'd like to share after reading all the various replies you received? 

Iamwoman's picture

There is something about this story that just doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t add up. The OP has gone MIA. The details are missing from her own marriage, but the details of SD’s thoughts are front and center.

I believe this post is a fictional composition written by a teenage stepdaughter. It lashes out at a stepmother from every direction in ways that make zero sense, but ways that would satisfy the irrational fantasies of an overly-emotional, angry, hurt, teen.

The SD’s frame of mind, her whereabouts, and her reasons are all clearly depicted, while the SM seems to serve as a one-dimensional character who isn’t  clear on where she stands with anyone, including her own husband.

Are we practicing to be a novelist, darling?

ESMOD's picture

It's either that or she didn't get the support and reassurance that she was the unwitting victim in all of this.  She may have been upset by some people who pointed out some things in her posts that seem to indicate she is not quite the innocent SM that she wanted everyone to believe she was.

Her Typo is pretty clearly not a typo in a typical sense.. perhaps more of a freudian slip... I think that deep down she didn't want his kids to be successful because they didn't welcome her and treat her as family.  She may not have meant to type it.. but I actually think she means it.

Also, the fact that everyone so quickly was turning their back on her?  Her own son.. her family.. her husband?  That doesn't happen over one missed event.. that happens because of a known pattern of behavior and a straw that broke the camel's back effect. 

The fact that she may have had a hand in the decision to send his daughter away because the girl didn't want to interact with her?  I actually don't blame that girl for being pretty bitter about the situation.  It seems that not nearly enough was done to fix things without sending her away.. I mean, otherwise the girl seems to be successful.. so how bad could it have really been that they didn't work through it.  Now, her DH may need to accept a huge truckload of the blame for this.. I'm guessing SM was probably needing to accept some responsibility for some of what happened.  I mean, he literally sent his kid away.. to make his wife happier.. that won't leave a mark.

Of course, we don't know the full extent of what led up to everything.. but generally when someone claims that the whole world is against them... even their own family.. you have to start to think that perhaps the common denominator to the drama is that person themselves.. not an outside force.

twoviewpoints's picture

There is nothing  accidently, 'oh, oops' , typo about this sentence:

" I hoped that none of his kids would turn out successful, but they did."

It's no different than when she believed booting the SD out on off to the grandparents would change the kid's tune, where the teen would be sorry, confess her sins and came back with tail between her legs and beg step-mommy to forgive her

" We thought all she needed was a reality check and she would begin to  appreciate the things that I did for her, and hopefully she  would apologize and then she would be welcome back in the house"

These children, each one, as they each continued to flee were suppose to regret it, fail and crawl back. They didn't. They were successful. 

Notice Daddy didn't try kicking the other rebels out after the first stunt of losing his daughter:

" The relationship between dh his other daughter and ss was starting to change too. When it was time for his other daughter graduation, she basically told him not even bother asking because neither him and I were invited. She graduated and moved out with my in laws as wel, but before. Same thing with Ss"

Nope, he just watched them all flee, one by one while still minors and he the sole biological parent. 

I think if members get to just run with their own speculation, they could at least stick to the basics that were actually given by the OP. 

Dirol

FWIW, no, not a teen practicing creative writing (it wasn't creative), more like a bored BM spinning a tale with " and the moral of this story is ________"   Yep, the old, in the end the wicked SM lost it all, routine. 

Boredom

ESMOD's picture

There is nothing  accidently, 'oh, oops' , typo about this sentence:

" I hoped that none of his kids would turn out successful, but they did."

I agree 100% it wasn't a typo.  I think that's how she really feels... but in her mind she may have meant to type a different sentence but her subconscious actually typed out the truth.  Or she is just backtracking.. either way.. I think she meant what she typed.. maybe didn't mean to let her inside her head voice come outside of her head.

 

ldvilen's picture

Well, given that you carefully or craft-fully left the first line or two out, clearly stated by the OP, “She basically fought with dh until he decided that she could not stay at home. He sent her to live with my in laws.” . . . where it is SD fighting with her dad and HER DAD was the one who decided that she could not stay at home. . . I’d say you are quite capable of your own spin or speculation. 

And those are the basics that were actually given by the OP.  But, I agree, it could have been written by a bored BM.

twoviewpoints's picture

The first line or two of that?  I cut off half the entire , er,  half 'paragraph' (?, is that a paragraph?) of that wall of text. lol.

That's clear to anyone who reads the initial post. 

Drinks

             

Rags's picture

Far from losing, you won ..... your freedom.  So... move on with  your life.  Nail this asshole to the CS fence for a pile of money and keep your own child seasoned with the facts.  The  young one needs to know the facts and the manipulations that the shallow and polluted end of her gene pool is capable of.

Take care of you.

NachoQueen's picture

I keep coming back to re-visit this post. Hoping to find out it is a cruel joke, a farce, the fantasy of a sadistic SD. This post is by far my worst fear come true... Spend a lifetime loving a man who doesn't have your back in the end.. Giving him decades of your life, putting up with the disrespect, the years of ruined holidays, feeling unappreciated, etc.. for nothing in the end. So that the original "fam" can reunite and be one big happy family again the way it was always "supposed" to be.  sidenote... I also agree that the infamous "typo" couldn't be.. the word "but" shows the OP actually typed out her true feelings... Please OP.. update us..

MissTexas's picture

First, if this is an actual event that has taken place, accept my heartfelt condolences.

The SD graduated years ago, and is STILL HOLDING ONTO IT? I guess that is the card she's played that has worked very well for her.

From the little you posted, it seems DH had your back early on, and still did until recently. What an oxymororon to go from that to wanting a divorce.

Does DH not realize the BD you share together is just as much his child as the SD who graduated? He owes her every chance at a successful and happy life as well.

I feel DH suffers from the guilt of the BM passing away, sending SD to live elsewhere, and finally, not going to the graduation was the icing on the cake. You can bet SD has worked on DH's head for years regarding these issues.

There are so many sad things about this, but perhaps the most sad thing is DH seemingly has no realization that all of his kids will most likely get married and have families of their own, and where does that leave him? Is DH expected  to become a monk and pine away for what could've been been, all over the guilt he is allowing to infiltrate his life and marriage?

DH and I have been in a rough patch lately, largely over SD and the intrustiveness in our marriage. These things move in stages, similar to a death. At first we are shocked, in denial, angry etc. Initially I think many think divorce is the answer, but in our case, if we had gone there with our thinking, what would it solve? DH would be lonely and so would I, and we would have to start all over rebuilding our lives again. We've been there and done that. At the heart of the matter is, we are married to each other, not our kids. As bad as things may get, the reality is, kids grow up and get their own lives, and parents don't deserve a relationship death sentence because the kids(and some parents)  make their lives to much a part of the marriage.

You have your daughter to think about. Shift your focus to her. From what you posted, she seems to be the only one standing in your corner. Nurture that seed.

ldvilen's picture

THANK YOU so much for this paragraph, MissTexas, "DH and I have been in a rough patch lately, largely over SD and the intrusiveness in our marriage. These things move in stages, similar to a death. At first, we are shocked, in denial, angry etc. Initially I think many think divorce is the answer, but in our case, if we had gone there with our thinking, what would it solve? DH would be lonely and so would I, and we would have to start all over rebuilding our lives again. We've been there and done that. At the heart of the matter is, we are married to each other, not our kids. As bad as things may get, the reality is, kids grow up and get their own lives, and parents don't deserve a relationship death sentence because the kids (and some parents) make their lives too much a part of the marriage.”

I agree completely.  I’ve been undergoing a soul searching over the past 3+ years and agree with you entirely about the reconciliation of all of this as being very similar to the five stages of grief.  1. Denial and shock. 2. Anger and guilt. 3. Bargaining with ourselves or with God. 4. Deep sadness and despair. 5. Acceptance.  I’m very close to acceptance, as in accepting the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.  I just pray that all of us as SMs get to that point sooner than later.  *kiss2*