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Emotional Rollercoaster

Robby7098's picture

We continue to have issues with this and this last one is probably the end of the 1.5 years of marriage. Is it acceptable for grandparents to take their grand kids on trips and not take step-grandparents? I have 3 and she has 3. Or should I say to my parents, " If steps are not invited then bio kids cannot go". I do not think that is right however wife feels that if everybody cannot go then nobody should go. Her words, "Your mother needs to realize that now that we are married she has 6 grandkids not 3"

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Get your wife on this site.

Sorry but those are not your parents grandkids, no matter how brady bunch your wife wants it to be, they are under no obligation to take stepgrandkids anywhere.

No one is entitled to that.

Ask her if her parents ever travelled with one of her siblings and not her. I know mine have, neither me nor my sister boohooed about that. Their money, their choice.

RedWingsFan's picture

I feel that if my parents want to take my daughter on a trip they should be able to freely and without worry that SD would have to be included. I also feel the same that if his parents wanted to take SD on a trip - they should be able to do so freely and without worry that my daughter would have to be included.

In my opinion, just because your spouse has children, it doesn't automatically mean your parents or your spouse's parents take responsibility for their respective steps. If they want to spend quality time with their bio grandkids, they should be able to do so!!

Obviously, it would be cruel to flaunt the fact that your bio kids are going on a great vacation with their grandparents and the steps can't go. Or vice versa. But kids also need to know that just because someone else gets to do something fun - it doesn't mean they automatically get to do it too.

I think that's the mentality in which kids are being raised now. Everyone gets to participate and get a "trophy". Everyone's a winner. Everyone gets a present even though it's someone else's birthday party.

Again, just my two cents. I know DH wouldn't have an issue if my dad and stepmom took my daughter on a trip and didn't invite SD along. As I wouldn't have an issue if DH's dad took SD on a trip and didn't invite DD. It's just a matter of perspective.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

Nope. Grandparents are not obligated to take sgkids anywhere. That is a ridiculous expectation.

SMof2Girls's picture

I read somewhere .. "when you raise kids as the center of your world, you end up with adults who think the world revolves around them."

The steps need to learn that things are not always fair/equal/shared. Sometimes other people get to do things, and you don't. Sometimes you get to do things that other people don't. That's life. Being a child of divorce does not entitle you to more or less of anything. It's up to the skids' mom to teach them that ..

nothinforya's picture

First, I wouldn't in a million years try to take 6 CHILDREN anywhere at one time. What's the point of that for a grandparent?? You would spend all your time counting heads and putting out fires!

Second, it's incredibly presumptuous to think you can TELL grandparents to take on a few more grandchildren TO WHOM THEY ARE NOT RELATED! If they want to do that, fine, but they are not obliged to.

Robby7098's picture

One of the issues is that her kids have no father. He has never been around or involved physically, emotionally and clearly not financially. They would not know his face if he shook their hand. So because of that it is even more sensitive for my wife. I tell her to put the scorecard up because she constantly compares what mine get to do and hers do not. It has created a ton of resentment. She now thinks my mom is a "b&tch", "c*nt" etc...

kelaine's picture

I think what your wife said about your mother is way inappropriate ( I may think it about my MIL but I won't say it }:) ) but I have to admit, I do feel for her. I'm sure she doesn't want her children hurt and that's why she's reacted this way. If I were remarried and my Dh's family made it a point to make my children feel less important, I'd be pretty upset, too, especially if one of the goals of marrying was to blend the families together. And if you weren't planning on blending your families, what was the point of marrying your wife?

This kind of situation is a double edged sword. Your parents aren't obligated to take your wife's kids anywhere or do anything for them. But, on the other hand, should your wife's children think of them as family, have any love for them, have any communication with them at all?

If your parents feel no obligation to your stepchildren, then, IMO, your Skids have no obligation to think of your parents as family. It works both ways.

Robby7098's picture

My parents do for her kids. Got them all $50 Target cards for xmas (just like my kids) and when we have gone to visit them, skids did everything bios did as well (movies, out to eat,bowling etc...)
However they have not gone on trip that biokids have gone on and that is the problem. That is were my wife turns into Cybil and where I am put in the middle.

New second wife-step-mom's picture

Ok. I raised my children alone without their bio father. He was not involved with them at all. So this is my POV. As some of the others have said your wife feels bad for her kids and is trying to compensate for them not having a father and grandparents. I did the same thing at first.

You can do that but in the end those children are still without a bio father in their lives. It's sad but it's what it is.

How do you feel about the skids? Do you feel close to them?

What about your wifes parents? Would they take all 3 of your children too?

My parents would probably kill someone if they had to take all 6 at once.

I think your wife is trying to force the relationship between your parents and her children when in fact it probably just needs some time and nurturing.

As far as being fair I would not expect my parents to invite SS along if they were taking my kids and the same applies for DH's parents.

Robby7098's picture

My wife's handling of the situation has caused resentment towards me with her and to a degree me with her kids. Her parents (mom and step dad) are somewhat involved but she is more or less ashamed of where her mother lives(borderline hoarders show) and what she does for a living and cannot stand her stepdad so there really is not much of a connection. Her father has nothing to do with her kids at all and nothing to do with her at all. It is clear that all of these fractured relationships affect her.

New second wife-step-mom's picture

It is clear that all of these fractured relationships affect her.

^^^^ EXACTLY. But if she calls your mother not so nice names she may end up with more fractured relationships.

It sounds like she is wanting her children to have a better relationship with parents and grandparents than she does. This is understandable but forcing it on her children or on your parents does not seem like the healthiest way to go about it.

She needs to chill! Get some counseling for herself and figure out why she has such fractured relationships going on here. (mother, stepdad, father)

Since your parents are spending equal on birthdays and Christmas she should let the vacation thing go right now.

If she is feeling bad about her kids being left out then she should take her kids on a trip by themselves.

Maybe at some time your parents can take her kids for a day trip by themselves to the zoo or something. Or they can divide and conquer by taking all of the boys for the day and then all of the girls for a different day, something like that.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

Your wife needs counseling. I completely agree with this. I'm sorry but what I see is that she is jealous of the family you have, and she feels that her children should get as much of it since she is married to you. Unless she can get help working through her insecurities, there's going to be problems. It is no one's fault that her parents are deadbeats--not the stepkids, not you, and not your parents.

I'd divorce my husband in a second if he demanded that my parents treat SS like their own. In-laws aren't required to accept spouses into their family, nevermind stepgrandkids.

I can see this argument down the line much later "Your will does not divide everything equally between all of our kids?!?!"

kelaine's picture

I'm sorry for the situation-truly.

You see, my children's Gma, Dh's mother, plays favorites. SD is number 1 to her. She's buy all the kids gifts for Xmas/birthdays but SD gets twice as much. Gma will give her the credit card to buy anything she wants, buys SD entire warddrobes, pays her gas, cell phone, bought her a computer. My MIL doesn't do for any other child like she does for SD. And my kids have noticed Gma's favoritism and commented on it. and now, they really don't want anything to do with her. She isn't nearly the grandmother to her other grandchildren as she is to SD.

The point is that it isn't merely enough to do for the other kids, it needs to be the same all the way across the board if you don't want resentful parties. Alot of issues that are reported here involve a child getting preferential treatment over another. I would hate for your marriage to come apart b/c people pick and choose which kids deserve more than the others. If you want the kids to be a family unit, then they need to be treated as a family unit, not differentiated b/c of who the parent is.

If the choice is to separate what is done for the kids by who's the parent, then that's your business but I have a feeling there are going to be alot more hard feelings down the road.

New second wife-step-mom's picture

^^^^ I agree to all of this.

10gallon, you are dead on with this one!!!

Robby, try to be supportive of her as a parent and try to understand her needing and wanting better for her children.

Robby7098's picture

Her children are with us 100% of the time in the house I bought for us all. When my daughter is there it seems I almost have to downplay my affection for her because wife will claim she is my favorite and I do not show the stepdaughter the same amount. Maybe sometimes it can be true but I see my daughter every other weekend and I see hers everyday.

New second wife-step-mom's picture

Robby, have you tried just sitting down and talking to her about all of this. Logically....

Wifey, your children do not have a father in their lives. I am sorry honey and I know it hurts you, but no matter how much I try I will never be their father. No matter how much you or I want to change it that is just the reality.

I am sorry this hurts you. (my DH actually had this conversation with me ~ and at first it hit a very raw nerve and made me very upset. Then I realized what he was saying and that no matter how much I wanted to change things and make him their father he would never be). (BTW, my children were all adults at this point).

Wifey, I love you and will try to be the best I can for your children but do not make my daughter suffer because you don't love her like I do or because your children don't have a father or grandparents and she does. (at this point you might bring up that she doesn't feel for your child like you do either).

You might also say that YOU will try to be as fair as possible to all of the children but you expect the same from her too. And you cannot control the grandparents or their feelings and that you expect her to respect that and give your parents some time to adjust to her children.

This is just my opinion. Do what you think is best because you have to live with her.

kelaine's picture

Maybe there's just no good answer for this and you have to look at the lesser of the 2 evils: Piss off your wife and upset your Skids b/c of your parents treating your children differently or piss off your parents b/c you insist that all the kids get treated the same even if they are the skids.

Your call, bud. You have to live with them. Good luck.

PS: strongly agree with your wife in some kind of counseling. Didn't sound like she had much of a strong family foundation. Maybe helping her get straightened out and reconciling with her poor parents will make her less resentful of your family.

Robby7098's picture

She has tried to pressure me into adopting them and I wasnt comfortable doing that which has also been an issue. She needs counseling in the worst kind of way, I mean immediate counseling.

not2sureimsaneanymore's picture

She wants the family she never had. I think counseling, any sort of counseling, would help at this rate. Go for couples like suggested.

hismineandours's picture

I really have mixed feelings here. I think it depends on alot of factors. The age of the children. The relationship between grandparents/stepgrandkids. How long you've been blended.

On one hand, I do not believe that anyone should really be obligated to take anyone anywhere. If your parents want to spend special time with their grandkids then yes, they should be able to do so.

However, I have also seen it get real ugly and nasty in the blended world when the inlaws try and drive a wedge up into the family. i have experienced firsthand how my dh's parents catered to ss, yet ignored my kids (even though we've been blended for 13 years and they've known my kids since they were 1 and 2). They actually ignore my other child, their own bio grandchild as well. My kids have absolutely zero relationship with these people now. Seriously. My dd15 was injured and taken to the ER in which my mil works (very small er)and she just looked at my dd as she was carried in. Didnt acknowledge her, speak to her, nothing. My ss14 lives with her. So huge difference. My ss has felt "special" over the years and has been so blatant as to tell my children that my mil doesnt like them, hates them, and doesnt want them at her house.

I realize not every situation is going to get that nasty, I m just saying that there is a lot of potential for it to get ugly if its not handled in the correct way. If your bios ALWAYS go somewhere with the grandparens I'd just try and explain to the other kiddos that it is a type of tradition for them. Then I would make an effort to do something special with them as well. It doesnt have to be grand, just make sure they have a nice week. Or it would be great, if there were some other relatives on your wife's side that they could spend some time with or perhaps they already do and you could simply remind them of that if necessary, such as "You remember how you camp every year with uncle larry?" but the other kids dont go? Or how you go to Church Camp? Or how you are going to basketball camp this year?

Essentially, I think it is ok that your parents arent taking the grandskids-I just think everyone needs to be a little sensitive in how it is handled so we dont have hurt feelings and it doesnt divide the family. Also, your wife does need to calm down a bit, if the kids sense she is upset about this then they will likely be as well.