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Feels good to have finally walked away from DH's family

Disillusioned's picture

It's that time of year when we send an Easter package out west to YSD and her family. 

After her crappy treatment towards me last year (I was the one who organized the package, bought and paid for every bit of it: toys, clothes, books that YSD alwayws wants included, treats, ... wrapped everything, and wrote some very nice things on the cards for both SGD and YSD & SSIL, all DH had to do was take it to the post office) and after all that, not only was DH the only one that received a text from YSD to say it was received and that she wanted a video call with us for them to say thank you, but neither she nor SGD who was clearly coached by YSD even so much as said hello or thank you to me on the video call, only acknowledged DH with hello and thank you for the gifts even though I was sitting right there and clearly visible. And they made sure to add "I love you DH" and "DH - your the best!" just to make sure I got the point I guess. They literally did not acknowledge me, at all

Anyway, that was the straw that did it...a life-changing decision for me to disengage finally from all the nonsense with DH's family. Especially considering one of the gifts in the package was my standard stunningly gorgeous and expensive dresses for SGD, and YSD then "tried" to have a second video call with me so I could see SGD in the dress but apparently YSD couldn't get SGD to stay in the dress because "she really doesn't like dresses like that" but then posted on FB not long after about the pretty little princess dresses she had bought for SGD - so apparently the only gorgeous princess dresses she doesn't like are from me, and by posting it on FB wanted me to know that

Regardless, by that point I had already decided I would never spend my heartfelt time or money on them again. They would never need to worry about SGD not wanting to wear a pretty dress from me as I would never again buy one for her and they would never feel the need to acknowledge me on a video call with hellos's or thank you's let alone I love you's or other kind comments. They would not have to acknowledge me at all becuase not only would I not be very present in those calls, but none of the package they received would have come from me

So this year the most I did (other than signing the cards as well as DH) was remind DH that he was looking after it all. He was lost and didn't know what to buy and picking gifts for SGD and SGS now as well, he looked exhausted. I also saw the "ouch" on his face when he saw how much it cost to buy all those expensive things (which I honestly thought he felt I would still buy this year since I'm the one that has always done)

I didn't lift a finger much and I definately didn't pay. But I think what actually upset DH was I had a total blast buying things for my own niece's kids. Since I had so much more money to spend this year on thsi, my great-niece and great-nephews got spoiled rotten and my great-niece received one of the most stunningly beautiful little princess dresses you can buy! 

DH seemed very upset and sad, not so much that he had to look after all for his family and not even that his own grand-daugther did not receive the usual beautiful dress from me. I don't think he even cared much if she received that part of the package. What DH seemed upset about was that all the fun and time and money and energy that normally would go towards me doing that for his daugher and her family not only didn't happen this year, but it was all directed at mine. 

There was no anger in my actions. No hurt any longer. Not seeking revenge. I will always continue to be polite, respectful, mature and a decent human being towards them. But I no longer feel any respect really, I certainly will never be dumb enough to think of them as family or even friend. More like a co-worker you have to tolerate and get along with and so you are always at your best but that does not mean you actually like or respect them or think of them as a frined or anything. I just simply am no longer interested. At all. And that DH now knows without question and he also knows that once you've lost me that way, there is no coming back

It's their loss. And DH's. I'm just doing fine! 






notsurehowtodeal's picture

Good for you! I love buying presents for people I care about, it brings me joy. But if anyone ever responded to me the way they did to you - I would stop. You have always gone over and beyond for these people and they have never treated you right. I am so glad you have been able to pull back and find peace with it.

Disillusioned's picture

Thank you! And yes it was nice to buy for my family who do care, who sent beautiful recordings of the children opening their presents, and every single one so happy with what they received. Huge difference from how DH's family behaves and pretty clear for him to see! 

Rags's picture

Some low class people are incapable of earning being treated well by decent people.  Your SD is one of these.

Enjoy being kind and giving to those who earn it with grattitude and being a positive part of your life.

Write off those who do not earn it. Your DH is going to have to be the one to suffer through the shallow and polluted gene pool he has created.  That... is not your cross to bear.

Good luck.

Zenmode's picture

These are the things I found out this year. It doesn't matter what I do for them , it's what DADDY himself does or doesn't do for them that matters. That the camping trips I planned and did all the work for really aren't their thing. The events that I planned and organized weren't really things they enjoyed. That cooking is always a competition. I used to enjoy doing for ALL the grandkids now I somewhat guiltily do only for mine. It's not that DH expects it. He's just so adoring and good to my grandkids that I feel a bit guilty that the sentiment is not returned. DH knows the score though. I said something about not really seeing much of his younger ones and he said "well that's mostly their parents fault, they aren't very available and don't do a lot to facilitate that " that is the truth. 

Disillusioned's picture

Good learning Zenmode, it's amazing yes that people can be so unappreciative and walk all over good people. It's great though that your husband sees it too, and supports you! That's what matters Smile

OKtoStep's picture

I cut my folks off from buying stuff for my skids after the first holiday season. My folks sent thoughtful, neutral gifts of a book and a nice hoodie. My skids never used them. In fact, my BS stole SS's hoodie a few months later (still with tags) because he liked it so much. SS never noticed. Ungrateful buttheads should not suck up the time and resources of caring people. 

would you mind sharing links to said princess dresses? They sound divine!

ndc's picture

Awesome.  You're a better person than me - after that treatment I wouldn't even have reminded DH to do it.  I'm glad you had such fun putting something together for people who care and will be appreciative. 

Disillusioned's picture

Thanks ndc, yes it was wonderful how much they loved the gifts and generally what well-mannered good-natured mature people my neice and her family are. Such a difference from how DH's family behaves. 

MaryBethC's picture

Good for you!


I wonder if it will be a wake-up call for them (who am I kidding though? They'll probably be upset and blame you for their lackluster gifts)

Disillusioned's picture

I wish MaryBeth but I actually think by this point YSD won't be surprised. 

After I decided to disengage last year, I have not reengaged. Still totally upbeat, mature, polite and classy whenever there is any interaction with her but that's it. Nothing personal or remotely family like towards her any longer. I don't involve myself in her life or fall over backwards any longer. Just politely smile and wave. 

She knows

shamds's picture

He knew you did basically everything and should have then and there demanded they thank you for your hard work but he didn't, he took all the credit.

When we went on holidays and hubby wanted to get a handbag for his 2 daughters and asked me which ones looked nice and then blindsided me to pay for it, when he gave it to them and they thanked him hubby would immediately say your stepmum bought it for you so you need to thank her. They would just smile and shrug awkwardly and no thankyou.

aftetr that episode of them being such rude ungrateful spoiled brats i told off hubby, you wanna buy shit for your kids, do it yourself as i am done wasting my money on those rude kids of yours. 

Disillusioned's picture

That's exactly it shamds, DH was so busy gushing on the call with wonderful YSD and SGD that even though they treated me like total garbage he just carried on like life was great, until I told him directly after that call that that was the last time. Ever. And DH could not deny they had treated me like that. He just hadn't stopped to think about it until I communicated how totally unacceptable. 

Good for you for standing up for yourself as well. One thing to try to always set the example for behaving like a decent human being and trying to behave this way even to nasty people, but quite another to reward them for their crap!

shamds's picture

I participated in 3 visits and you could tell sd's and ss pretended I and my 2 kids wasn't there but my husband still interacted with us. 

visit 3 my feet were so sore i went back ti the car to get my slippers. We had ordered food at a steak restaurant. When i got back hubby and my kids had eaten and sd's & ss were eating.

It was silence and eventually eldest sd who was 23 at the time says to her brother, "that looks yummy" to which ss20 says "yes it does, would you like some". The tone and awkwardness of that conversation pushed me so far i told my husband I wouldn't torture myself with another effin visit. This was hubbys idea of quality family time where me and our kids are ignored, sd's rant on daily reports about bio mum and stepdad, then they sit in silence most of the time.

next visit hubby went alone and he finally felt it, they acted like we didn't exist and couldn't give a stuff. It was all for show. They seriously thought our marriage was having issues and they had driven a knife through. I just don't like rude bitches taddle tailing to bio mum what me and my kids wore, said, did, went, said etc.

The_Upgrade's picture

That co-worker description is spot on. You're not obliged to buy any of your co-workers gifts or invite them to your house. But some co-workers/steps can be close friends and treated accordingly. I think where some people go wrong in disengagement is where they think they're supposed to treat steps like they're invisible. Instead you've nailed it by treating them like they're irrelevant. They exist, you just don't care anymore. And that's their loss, not yours.

Disillusioned's picture

The Upgrade, yes - irrelevant - that's the word I was looking for! Tthat is exactly the way I feel and was trying to describe. You just said it so much better LOL. Thank you. Yes, they exist but I no longer care Smile

advice.only2's picture

Congratulations on a successful disengagement, your husband will eventually get used to doing this for his family or he will quit all together, but meh who cares right?
When I disengaged from Spawn and stopped doing anything DH forgot her birthday, then only got her a card and for Christmas that year she got two tickets that he won to an amusement park that were expiring the next day.

Disillusioned's picture

LOL, advice.only, funny how that happens! 

This year something similar has happened with DH and the weekly "family" calls to YSD 

Ever since YSD moved out west DH insisted that we call her/her family every single weekend and have a big long call 

This has always been a struggle with DH & I with me insisting that I don't need to be on those calls and DH insisting that WE make that call

I have participated but never fully and after so many of them have refused, telling DH it's good for he and his daughter to catch up sometimes without me present (which it would seem she totally prefers anyway)

After her treatment last year I refused to be a part of those calls for the most part. Sure if I was in the room I would say hello and wish everyone well but not much more. Usually I would tell DH to tell them I say hello, and send my regards, etc... so now that DH knows I'm not participating, he has pretty much stopped calling her?

The calls went from every single Sunday to three or four times this year so far. 

There is no reason at all he can't call her on his own. 

But I guess they have no one there to witness the 'loving-we're-so-close father/daughter' act any longer LOL, and they have to actually have a conversation that is normal and not all about their egos 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Your message was sent loud and clear to DH. If DH hurts too fricking bad.

Does DH let his darling DD know what a bitch she is, and how disgusted he is with her on how she treats his wife? You know you get that SD is a wicked lil witch, but does DH have your back and speaks up in your honor? My ex DH never did, and that is what hurt the most. Our SO or DH's are supposed to defend us as good partners do. Especially to their kids. I am bioless but gosh darn it if my kid treated someone the way I was treated, or the way you were I would go mad hog on them. 

Disillusioned's picture

Thanks Stepdrama, I guess DH has tried over the years especially with OSD and her extreme crap he pretty much had to. But with his favorite YSD who he truly wants to believes can do no wrong, he for the most part is far more quick to defend her. Unfortunately for him (and her) I have communicated to him how unnacceptable her behavior on the occasions she's done these things and DH has been unable to deny them because he knows they're true.....except then he tries to find some sort of excuse to downplay what she did. 

She is also a wiz at then acting oh so wonderful towards me afterwards for her father's sake, to make him believe that she in fact is totally innocent of any ill feeling towards me and I must be the one with the problem/blaming her yada yada

I guess in the end, I'm so happy to just walk away from any sort of relationship with her more than a superficial one much like you would treat an unpleasant collegue at work who you must get along with as a team, but otherwise outside of that have zero meaning in your life and you avoid like the plague

paul_in_utah's picture

Ex-wife and ex-fiancé did this to me all the time.  I would do nice things for them, buy nice things, etc., and would barely get a weak "thank you."  When I expressed hurt over not being appreciated, they would turn it around on me and say that I was doing "nice things for the wrong reasons" and that I expected to "get my ass kissed for doing something."

There is some truth there about being genuinely generous and not just doing something "quid pro quo," but that doesn't change the fact that these were two supremely entitled and unappreciative women.