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how do we get over the resentment?? a sidebar to the "i feel resentful when" post...

bellacita's picture

i was rereading the "i feel resentful when" blog today, and many, maybe MOST of us contributed to it. we all, i think its safe to say, feel resentful about our situation for some good reason.

i think the main ones boil down to:

**child support--not being able to afford certain things bc of CS, especially when a new baby figures in and that baby has to do w/o for the skids

**lack of support from DH in enforcing rules/disneyland dad/guilt parenting

**having little or no control over the situation, holidays included

**dealing w a toxic, unstable and sometimes menatlly ill BM

**dealing w the same kind of stepchild

**not being the "first" and the fallout from that...emotionally

**the in they view us and how they treat the skids

im sure there are more...i know there are...ive just tried to isolate and condense and catagorize.

now i think the bigger picture becomes, okay, now we know what we struggle w in our relationships, but how and what can we do to change how we feel? how can we better handle the resentment?

i know we've blogged about this before but people keep responding to the aforementioned post bc its a good one...its good to identify what we feel resentful about, so i think revisiting the subject can be good for many of us. we all know we cant carry this resentment forever. i for one, am sick and tired of feeling this way and hurting bc of it. i am sick of running away from my home when visitation wkend comes. im sick of worrying about money, the mortgage and everything we cant afford and would be able to if it werent for CS. im sick of the preferential treatment that SD gets, and wondering if MY baby, when we have one, will be treated as good. im sick of worrying and wondering what crazy BM will do next, and i resent how much power she still has over my life...i could go on but i'll stop. its just so difficult to have your life so affected by people you have an indirect relationship with.

we all know its not the kids fault and we have let go, but really, easier said than done, rite? so instead of stewing over what we feel resentful about, now that we've identified it, lets try to blog about how we can overcome this resentment. is there any way, anything we can do to get over this resentment? short of therapy, of course. but what would a therapist say? what woudl they offer? what would they suggest? if any of u have gone, what have you been told? if any of u have gotten over your resentment, yay for tell us how so we can all do it and feel better too!

i have no answers here, just looking for some for myself and my friends and all of us who struggle w this difficult situation daily...we talk about what is wrong but we dont know how to change hoping we can all help each other help ourselves.

sweetthing's picture

about this myself today after I blogged about my unhappiness.

I really want to know how I can get to the point where it rolls off me like water off a ducks back.

I am tired of being angry & having my life ruled by a stupid BM & a gutless husband. How do you get to the nirvana? Short of smoking pot or getting a divorce.

Endora's picture

Bella Cita-you raise some interesting points! I need all the help I can get to deal with the resentment!

I think that is why I came here in the first place-as when that blog was started, DH and I recognized the resentment in me(and believe it or not himself!) at our situation (in his words-"It really wasn't what I, as his new wife, signed up for")-You always know in the back of your head that you could end up with your new partner's kids fulltime for whatever reason-when the perception is being "dumped on" is what makes it difficult.

So a brief synopsis is this-I had an EOW SS which was fine -turn into a full time SS(the old-you knew he had children when you met him!ARGHHH)-abandoned by his mentally ill mother (the all encompassing bi-polar)-this then 14 year old was all at once spousified, guilt parented, kept as an emotional infant by BOTH parents when they shared him 50/50-DH was running around trying to be Mom and Dad and doing neither very well.-I cannot seem to wrap my head around the fact that BM is a diagnosed, non-functioning Fruit Loop without her meds (thank goodness she does not talk to us as it was hairy there for awhile) -because the meds she is now on let her function somewhat in society-looking normal on the outside (kind of like a hidden disability).

So here is what DH and I are doing about the resentment (with help):

Acknowledging the feelings-

Denial of what is can turn into a bitter hatred inside preventing dealing with these feelings-what exactly has hurt you? I knew I wasn't going anywhere without acknowledging the resentment itself.

Choose to Deal with It

This one is taking time and I am impatient! I am also fearful of:

spending so much time being secretly angry about not getting the marriage I want, only to not enjoy it when the kids are finally gone!

What does "Dealing With It" Consist of?

Sucking it up feeds the ground the resentment sits on. Dealing with it is a mixture of several things (don't be shy about adding to THIS list-I am talking about the little I know and I can always learn more!)

1. SPEAK WITH SOMEONE-In a perfect world you could go to the wretched whoever and say "I resent you!" and they will hug you and apologize profusely-Ha!

So maybe speaking with a trusted someone, therapist, stranger (ST site)religious leader if you are so inclined-SOMEONE-Let it out, bounce ideas, weigh suggestions....

2. Visualize what life would be like without the resentment. Just how much better you would feel without the weight on your shoulders. What would change? Have you changed because of this? What do you miss about a life without this feeling? Visualizing and wanting a life without resentment gives you drive to do the work you need to free yourself.

Here's one that got me-Bitterness ages you-it affects you mentally, physically and spiritually.

Something else that came up was that sometimes the resentment is irrational-but you just can't help how you feel-It happens and in the case of a Stepparent does not mean you are Evil for it!

When there is nothing you can change about the situation/people involved in the silent wrath-you work on the one thing that you CAN change for the better-YOU

All of this is much harder done than said I can tell you-but I was going to lose it if I did not deal with this for sure.

I have gotten some real good advise on this site-I keep looking...

Step Parenting – you might need to step back before you step in something!

bellacita's picture

i just went back to the original post and saw it was u!!! AND i think your intent WAS exactly what im getting at here...lets identify what we resent and share strategies to cope! 2 great minds must really think alike! Wink

i really liked the visualize what life would be like w/o the resentment...i know it does me no good to be resentful and feel like this so i think im gonna try that one. we all know we need to let go and stop thinking like this, but when it hits u day after day or EOW after EOW (!) its just really hard!

thank u for your post!

"Given the right reasons and the right two people, marriage is a wonderful way of experiencing your life."
~the late great George Carlin

Sia's picture

you can't always change a situation, but you can always change how you choose to deal with it.

I do no longer resent my skids or their bm. I have just learned to deal with it better than I used to. It hurt to love two girls so much and then have them shit on you, but I learned to let it go and get on with it. I cant change them, only me.

groovetheory's picture

I must admit that I have used the site to feel that relatable connection with everyone and to validate my feelings. However it is also good to understand how to deal with it. My advice is - acceptance. We got ourselves into the situation, out of pure love or infatuation or both. So, we have to deal with it. We have to accept the skids and their foundational faults that go with their behaviors. We have to forgive our DH's and DW's because ultimately it is them we are resenting because it is their children that they bore even if they wanted them or not.

My DH after we were talking about this very same thing some time ago told me..."it could be worse you know", when I asked what did he mean. He said that he could be a husband that is physically abusive or verbally abusive....but I have an understanding husband that is sensitive, takes out the trash and that is a hell of a good husband. He said that everyone's situation - even if they did go about life the right way with having babies by one person - is not perfect. There are other obstacles that they have to get through. So, why not accept it and deal with it.

So...That's life. Obstacles are a part of life and the sooner we learn to deal with them, the more clear-headed we will be. And really, I don't think the situations are worth too much of our energy because it is energy that can be channeled into something better than resentment.

So, that is my advice. Just BE....just accept what comes, if you know the kid will have bad behavior - at LEAST you know, versus not knowing and the fact that you know - should make you content in dealing with it yourself. Just do not react, rather be steady and be the bigger you.

Okay...I think I just gave myself therapy. Thanks for this post. I think it will at least get me through today. Can't promise tomorrow though...:) It is nice to reflect on what your purpose is.

stepmasochist's picture

That's all I can do. I say that because I believe a great deal of my resentment, anger and frustration comes from feeling powerless. When it came to FH and the skids and the BM and the FILs, I simply did everything that was in my limited power to do what is best.
Know one can ask anymore of anyone. I was so consumed with anger and resentment. I took control over the things in my life I have control over and it gives me some peace.
That and the idea that here I was feeling powerless and yet I'm giving BM, this horrible person the power to anger me so much. Didn't sit well with me so I have to talk myself out of every negative feeling that originates with her.
Things don't simply wash over me all the time. Sometimes I just have to shake them off - literally. I just clench my fists and teeth and have a little mini-fit all to myself for about five seconds. For some reason it helps. Just little things like that. Like when we went back to court on Oct. 31 and it went in our favor, we had been so wound up that he, FMIL and I just howled at the moon that night. It felt so great.
I definitely agree with Arianna don't hold back on what you're feeling with your SO. I have to make sure he and I are on the same page.
BM will still be a manipulative, horrible example and a loser. I had to identify what I wanted most from her and that is simply to be a decent and worthwhile person.
Once I let myself laugh at that notion, (they say laughter is good medicine) I come back down to earth and deal with whatever the immediate problem is.
I have some family and friends that I can vent to which also helps. I do have to be careful though because things have a way of finding their way back to BM and normally, I wouldn't give a rat's fat one as I only speak the truth as messed up as it is, but either they get to her all distorted or she distorts them. Either way, not good for the situation.
Also, I love to remember the saying "The best revenge is living well." I've got an awesome job, wonderful relationships with friends and family, meaningful community ties and a wonderful man who now has custody of his kids, in other words, an all around better life than BM - and she knows it. It almost makes me pity the poor sow - yeah, right!

bewitched's picture

"To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakesphere

If I was allowed to discuss my resentment to my H, we could deal with it, if he would be reasonable. But that is not what is happening-so the resentment just builds.

I don't know how much of being treated like a doormat one can take, and not accumulate the feelings of resentment. And it continues each day.

Today for example. H calls and wants the phone number to the police station in the town SD's live in. Of course, I am wondering why, so I ask him. Silence. No answer. Ask him again. Seems as tho he was calling to see if charges were pressed against the girl who vandalized SD17's car. Now, this is the second time SD17's vehicle (and the 3rd vehicle she's had) has been damaged intentionally by another party. Which tells me that SD17 is doing something to someone to pi$$ them off enough to cause property damage. Why couldn't he just tell me why he wanted to number to the PD? Because he loves having a little secret life with SD17. So let her look up the number. Quit with the head games.

Resentment? Before I married H, he told me he had his finances in order (he's had a history of poor judgment with money). He promised me. When we returned from our honeymoon and he was gone to work, guess what? Yep. Sherriff at the door with a warrant as someone is suing H for an unpaid bill. Then, H's name is in the paper for unpaid property tax on his house. I call H. Oh, he forgot all about it-tells me to call them to see how much he owes. I call the courthouse. He hasn't paid property tax on that house since 2002. He owes over $4,000.00! Yes, I resent very much being lied to. I told him I would not marry him until he had his finances in order, and this is what I got. His response when I got upset? What is there to be upset about? You have no reason to be mad about this. That's what I got.

Throw into the mix his actions towards SD17, and the fact that any time I've tried to discuss it with him everything is turned around and he tries to make me look like the bad guy, and you've got a truckload of resentment.

There's a line. And if H would be physically abusive towards me or his d's, he knows he would be out on his a$$. But the emotional abuse is nearly as bad.

So, no, I don't know how to get over the resentment. When there is never an apology, nothing from H over any of it. How do you get over the resentment when the damaging actions continue, and you cannot even voice how you feel about them?

Endora's picture

Bewitched, Why is he calling you for the phone number? He and SD17 should just deal with it and leave you out of it, since they seem to have this parallel/pseudo spouse life?

I would be resentful if I was lied to at the beginning of the marriage and then had it turned around as if it is all my fault-all I can say is that if he lied to you about finances-what else is he holding back?

This site will help deal with having a voice as well as if you could see someone(councellor/therapist) and get a perspective on how to survive this perdicament you are in. This man has totally misrepresented himself to you-do you think that is a deal breaker?

Try to take care of yourself in the meantime!

Step Parenting – you might need to step back before you step in something!

bewitched's picture

"To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakesphere

Thus my quest for more education! Or that elusive job!

Hind sight is always better than foresite, of course. Had I only known about the unpaid bills! I think that is damaging me in my job search. This is a small town, and I'm pretty certain that my marriage to H, tho I now pay the bills and make sure they are taken care of, has damaged by chances with employers. No one wants to hire a deadbeat. If only I had known.

Why is he calling me for the phone number? Because it would require picking up a phone book and looking for the number on the part of SD17. And she's much to precious to be bothered with such a mundane task as that.

Therapist? I've had a call in to the local mental health-want to see one from another town (male-if I ever manage to get H involved in therapy, it would have to be a man). He is booked solid for the next couple of months. Hoping for a cancellation. they could only work me in with him if it was a dire emergency (i.e. suicide, physical danger to self or others).

Meantime, I'm trying to maintain!

melis070179's picture

If you ever divorce him, make sure you check the next guy's credit report! Do a background check! Gotta protect yourself from lying, fraudulent people. They're definitely out there!

Just because you CAN give birth, doesn't mean you SHOULD

Sarah101's picture

I am unhappy, resentful, and just plain angry at both my DH and MYSELF for choosing to enter this relationship. I should not be here, and DH should be allowed to give his life and money over to his wretched adult children without my interference. Then we all will be happier.

That being said, I am trying hard to redirect my negative anger energy into small daily steps to get myself out of this lousy situation. Today, for instance, I set up a date to get my will re-done. Each and every day I try to do one thing--however small--that will put me in a position of strength so I can someday exit stage left.

I find that this approach makes me feel a lot better, and I am a lot less angry. I also find that it's easier to let the usual BS at home roll off my back. As I am being told that "don't think good" and that "it could be a lot worse" I don't react negatively anymore because I have a plan and I am working toward a solution.

bewitched's picture

"To Thine Own Self Be True" William Shakesphere

Sarah, I'm with you 110%. But am not so good at letting the BS roll off. Especially when it involves not just me but SD13 also.

Ascoolasiam's picture

just accept that the things worth fighting for are never easy and be grateful for what life has blessed you with.

hippiegirl's picture

I'm totally with you on the girls and I ate hamburger helper & Ramen 4 times a week, so fat cow BM could sit on her ass and collect 1/3 of my man's paycheck. I had to work 2 jobs, just so my kids wouldn't go without! Pissed me off to no end! :sick: