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I’m so angry

athena2776's picture

I don't know where else to vent. I'm so angry. 
For my SO's birthday his step daughters got him a personalized pack of playing cards with pictures of them on the cards. Pretty sweet I thought. We hadn't played with them since until this evening with his two youngest. Turns out they've chosen for the Queen a picture of my SO and their mum when they were together. I was completely stunned seeing it in front of me. 

This is a completely in your face message. Their mum is Queen and they still see them as a complete family. I got on well with them. I can't believe they did this. I'm so upset and it is inappropriate and disrespectful to me. 
I can't see them in the same light again and knew my instincts were right with the emeshment. No more events ever with them. I'm done.

i got up and left the room. Said I wasn't playing another round. My SO knows I'm upset and has put the deck away. Too late. I'm done with these skids and his ex wife and their effing Disney divorce. 

Winterglow's picture

They are 6 and 9, right? There is no way they ordered that deck. You have bm to thank for that. That was a prize piece of manipulation. She's pulling out all the stops. 

athena2776's picture

Oldest is 21, then 17 then 6. 
probsbly the oldest two ordered but BM would have had the picture 

horrible manipulation!

Winterglow's picture

Oh gosh, I'm sorry, I had no idea. I'd be beside myself too. There's no denying the intent. 

athena2776's picture

His daughters. Not step daughters. So angry I can't think straight 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Yeah, i was about to say, if they were his former SDs, they just need to go! But, they need to go anyway with that BS. I hope your DH is handling the issue and has tossed the cards?

Winterglow's picture

I hope to goodness that he has seriously kicked ass. Heads should roll for stunts like that. 

Winterglow's picture

I hope to goodness that he has seriously kicked ass. Heads should roll for stunts like that. 

Winterglow's picture

I hope to goodness that he has seriously kicked ass. Heads should roll for stunts like that. 

Winterglow's picture

I hope to goodness that he has seriously kicked ass. Heads should roll for stunts like that. 

theoldredhen's picture

Yikes, Athena,

What a nasty little stunt! I can just imagine how much fun they had, arranging such a petty surprise for you. The SD's probably can't wait to report back to their mother as in, "You should have seen her face! She stomped off! Ha, ha, ha!"

Yeah, Hon, I'd be angry as well. After having read your previous blogs, I'm questioning your motives for staying with your boyfriend. The relationship does not appear to be bringing you much happiness.

athena2776's picture

We have great times too. We just got back from the most wonderful trip. But then bam. This happens and we are back to the same old arguments. I don't know if I am cut out for skids. 

Iamwoman's picture

He should not be arguing with you about this. He should have been angrier than you and he should have done something about it (throw the deck away and tell skids to never pull that again and that something like that is not a gift it's an insult).

Having fun is easy. I can have fun with a dog or with a random stranger.

In a relationship, respect is paramount, and if your BF didn't put skids in their place for that "gift," then he doesn't love you.

SeeYouNever's picture

I wouldn't be angry, I'd just think it was so sad that it's funny. That is some of most pssive aggressive crap I've ever hear. What were they trying to accomplish? They know you wouldn't like it but did they actually think their dad would like it? Did they think seeing BMs face while you're playing Rummy would make him fall back in love? Some kind of poker parent trap? They best thing to do in these situations is to laugh about how childish they are being and subtly ask your husband what he thought of the gift's ulterior motive. 

My husband has realized that on the rare occasions SD actually gives him something there is always BMs fingerprints all over it and that ruins the gift. Only selfish people give others gifts that are actually for themselves! 

hereiam's picture

After having read your previous blogs, I'm questioning your motives for staying with your boyfriend. The relationship does not appear to be bringing you much happiness.

Yep, I am right there with theoldrenhen. I don't think this is the relationship for you.

Do you really think that your SO had not already looked through those cute, precious cards, and saw that?

somethingwicked's picture

Pull every  Queen playing cards out  and grab your magic marker .Time to add a moustache and crossed eyes  to the "Queen".

How much fun will that be.



Then if DH gets all pissy tell him he can sleep on the couch.

And the young adult skids and the HoBag were the master minds.

Just know they are capable of being a$$holes.Time for DH to have  the talk with his older pwincesses that he and hobag are done.Never to be re-united and they (and their KooKoo mother) have to deal with that reality.

If he can't do it then you have to start thinking about how much more sh*t sandwich you want to chew and swallow. You are being disrespected by him if he allows them to minimize you and stick their warped delusion  of the Failed Fisrt Holy Family getting the band together in your face in passive aggressive or otherwise actions. .


Edited to add after reading : He's your BF?Oh , plesse leave his chicken a$$..not worth the heartache to come.Trust me.

tog redux's picture

I'd be upset with SO if he didn't say anything to them - that's completely ridiculous. "Those cards were a great idea, girls - too bad I won't use them because you chose a picture of me and your mother instead of one of me and athena ..." 

Time to disengage from the older two. Your relationship is not as good as you thought.  I'd give the 6 yo a pass, she's getting dragged along.  (Unless she's learning other tricks from her older sisters).

theoldredhen's picture

Hey Athena,

I discussed ‘Cardgate’ with my husband because I was so incensed that I doubted if I was looking at the situation without prejudice. My husband is a rational person who generally tends to view a situation objectively and justly.

My DH insists that the girls be confronted, as soon as you calm down, and that your boyfriend be with you during the dialogue. 

Ask them about their intention, in including their mother’s photo as ‘Queen’ on the playing cards. Was it a deliberate attempt to hurt and exclude you? Let them stutter and stammer; then it won’t be nearly as much fun to regale BM with tales of their malicious sport.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Any man that isn't willing to stand up for the woman he loves doesn't deserve to have her

Your bf should have come down on his bi!chy daughters like a ton of bricks right then, right there. Perhaps not in front of the youngest, but in another room. Oh, they knew exactly what they were doing, but he still should have explained how it was catty, passive aggressive, and disrespectful to both of you. That type of subtle and underhanded abuse can only exist if he doesn't address it or ignores it.

Are you familiar with Relational Aggression? It's a type of bullying or "mean girl" aggression, and we see it a lot here. Do a search for it on this site to read posts from other SMs who've been targeted for it, and then google it. Maybe print out some info about RA, and make your bf read it?

RA is intentional and hurtful, and it must be dealt with directly by the parent. You should draw a boundary with your bf: either he corrects his daughters and makes them sit down with both of you to make a sincere apology, or ... _______.  And he needs to be prepared for the b.s. excuses his daughters will attempt to spin, because again, unless they're special needs, they knew exactly what they were doing and that it's disrespectful to both you and his choice of partner.

You need to decide what boundaries YOU want to insert above in order to protect yourself. This might mean limited contact with his kids, him exercising visitation elsewhere, or even leaving the relationship. You have to be prepared to take care of yourself if your bf is too weak to parent his kids appropriately.

tog redux's picture

I agree - and he does need to emphasize that, as you said, they are disrespecting HIM, too. 21-year-old and 17-year-old, how would you like someone to give you a present with your ex-boyfriend's face on it?  How would you feel? I know it's your mom, but it's my EX, and I don't love her anymore, nor do I want a present with her face on it.  And I chose Athena, so you will not disrespect her in this way.

But if he's like many of the men on here, he won't say a peep.

hereiam's picture

Apparently, he is very enmeshed with his ex, so I don't think he minds the cards with her picture on it, probably sees nothing wrong that his kids did that. THAT is the problem.

tog redux's picture

OH. Well then, that is the problem. If my SS20 did this (he wouldn't),  DH would have said "EWWWW! WTF?" and thrown the cards down.

athena2776's picture

About this. When he was given the cards in May he felt awkward and never used them all this time because he didn't like the pic but he never explained to them the inappropriateness of it. He chooses to see it as a positive thing. They gave him a sweet present and why can't they choose a pic of their mum and dad together. 
Any argument I throw back just slides off him because he hangs onto that one idea that it was a thoughtful gift and they did include a pic of me in the deck too. 

He is now angry at me because I choose to see it as a conspiracy theory. And so we go round in our circle whenever we argue of why I see more negatives than anyone else. I bring up the invite to drive the skids to BM vacation and the food (see previous blog) and apparently that was a joke that everyone else got but not me. Everyone knows he would hate it - so that's why BM offered. But silly old Athena took it literally. 
I'm exhausted with this. And now we're not talking and I'm made to feel bad, and wrong. 
He assures me that he wants nothing from her but simply to coparent well and not scar the skids. But when I raise the odd family gatherings then I'm the one making things awkward. 
i'm never going to win, never going to get him to understand. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Wait, isn't this the guy who speaks to his ex in German or whatever in front of you so you can't understand, making plans with BM and not telling you? The one who acted as a chauffeur for BM and her BF and the skids' vacation? This guy does not want to change a damn thing. They are enmeshed to the core. In fact, in their bizarro world of one big happy twisted family, maybe to them there really isn't anything wrong. You do not fit in with this family, and that is a compliment! 

Chelseybychelsey's picture

I would have totally said oh wow nice cards. Who is the pretty lady?

Stepkids that's my mom.

Me oh my bad that looks nothing like her.

Course providing she looked nice in the picture.

theoldredhen's picture

Hey wicked!

~ Pull every  Queen playing cards out  and grab your magic marker .Time to add a moustache and crossed eyes  to the "Queen".~

Got howls of laughter from DH. (Who BTW, helped with my post.) Good one!

somethingwicked's picture

OP oughta hold a card reading next time the adult skids are over. Candle lit room. Mysterious atmosphere.  Turn eight cards down on the table (make sure the first is a  "Queen" card)

Mysteriously say,  "I see a fat ugly  bitch in your future" then turn the card up.


OP, I predict that after that   your skid days will be over ..LOL


You are welcome.



hereiam's picture

i'm never going to win, never going to get him to understand

He doesn't want to understand, doesn't really care how it feels on your end.

If he didn't want to "scar" the kids, he should have stayed with the ex, or stayed single after the split, so as not to scar other women with his enmeshed "co-parenting".

Make no mistake, a lot of what he does is for himself, not the kids. And it's not co-parenting.

It's not enough that you have some good times, too. What matters is the whole dynamic, the whole picture, and in that picture, you are not a priority, your feelings don't matter, you are the problem. Even when his kids are not there, he is sulking about them not being there.

Not all men with kids are like this, so make no mistake, it's the man, here, who is the problem. Sure, a man without kids to tie him to an ex is great, but a man who knows how to make his SO actually significant, is ideal.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I think a lot of these guys who fail as husbands sort of wrap their identity around being the "amazing dad", and being a super cool coparent and getting along "great" with their ex is part of it. Like "see, my ex and i still get along great!" and all their contact and enmeshment reinforces their idea that they are still liked by their ex, still a great dad and therefore not a total failure at life. They don't get that not setting limits on their kids (parenting) and not setting up two stable, separate households is not the best situation for the kids. If their ex still thinks they are great, they haven't totally failed. If their kids want to see them and be at their house all the time, they are still a great dad.

These guys should stay single until the kids are grown. 

Catmom23's picture

No, they should just stay single period!  Unfortunately this BS doesn't stop when the kids become adults.

Tried out's picture

started racing and my anxiety level is through the roof just from reading about your situation. It brought up so many past behaviors that I was subjected to, so much crap that I put up with, that I feel my head quietly imploding.

Suffice it to say that your story resonates with me. My advice? Leave him. Today. It is just not worth it. 

MurphysLaw's picture

I didn't read through all the post so don't know if I'm echoing another but...


 I would like to know what/how your husband reacted?

I would expect MY husband to RETURN this very well thought out disrespectful "gift" AND have a SERIOUS discussion with the 21 & 17 yo about it. PERIOD.

 I have no idea how long you have been together/married BUT THIS WILL SET the stage FOR THE REST of your marriage, however long that will be.


Okay...just read your post on your husband KNOWING about this since MAY and he thinks it's adorable.


This is only a TASTE of what's to come.

Find a good divorce attorney as your "husband" already HAS FOUR WIVES (3 daughters & the X) and has ZERO respect for YOU.

Catmom23's picture

Crazy stuff.  That was a bold move on their part.  Your DH is failing to "get" what a bitch maneuver this was on their part because that's what's easiest for him.  

Gimlet's picture

OMG, my DH still sugar coats with his kids too much but if they gave him this "gift", I have no doubt he would say "WTF is this?!"

Those cards would be in my fireplace.

How absolutely rude.  I would never do a single damn thing for those kids again.

Movingonisbest's picture

Original Poster you said "i got up and left the room. Said I wasn't playing another round." Oh heck no. I wouldn't have left the room, I would have escorted them to the door. If my SO didn't like it, I would have told him he could leave too. You teach people how to treat you up front.

nappisan's picture

OH MY GOSH ,, what little turds !!!! i would get a picture of you and SO and glue it onto the queen cards and then get the BM's pic and glue in on the joker cards!!!  This has BM written all over it and the fact the kids knew also just shows the lack of respect toward you and where you stand in there life!  

1wonder woman's picture

OMG! I'd be pissed... they did this on purpose and I bet ya his ex was behind it too... She was giving you a message their MOM is the QUEEN not you and she will always be the QUEEN... I'd tell the kid's no need to bring their deck of cards to your house anymore and I would buy a new deck of cards with yours guys photo as the king and queen on them. I know you were boiling on the inside and you had every right to be mad!

I remember this past Christmas my boyfriends 12 year daughter bought her Dad a Chiasmas gift and mind you she never buys her Dad any gifts unless I take her shopping. Well she told be she already bought her dad a Christmas gift no need for us to go shopping. Well she handed her Dad his gift to unwrap and he opens it up and it is a Batman t-shirt and he puts it on real fast he said I love it she said I did not pick it out mom went shopping without me she bought it for you... she said Mom was right she said you would love it and it fits you perfectly too see she still remembers what size you where and what you love. OMG! Every time I see him wear that  shirt I do not see a gift from his kid no I see a gift from his ex-wife..I know his ex-wife bought him that shirt on purpose and she wanted him to know it was from her after all they had been divorced for 5 years and she has never bought him a gift until now?  He makes sure every time he picks the kid up he has that shirt on too.  Grrrr...and I believe he wears it too on purpose to let his ex-wife know he loves the shirt she bought for him! Trust me that shirt will be coming up missing or damaged. 

athena2776's picture

That's so wrong on every level. Why can't the exes just leave well alone?? 
I've asked a few close friends for their perspective on my situation and they all understand my feelings but they also see it from the skids point of view so now I feel like the worst person ever. 
But to me it. Is. Inappropriate! Let's just say the skids genuinely just wanted to give him a present that reflects their family. Fine. Find a pic of their mum in a group setting like they did with me. But to choose a couple, the two of them together really twists the knife. And to save it for the queens in the deck. Pfff. 
My SO said he understands my upset at seeing the card unexpectedly but what he doesn't get is the "darkness" in my head that leads to thinking they did this as a message. 
So we are now not talking and he is sleeping on the sofa again. Apparently, I'm the one making things awkward.

So it looks like I broke Rule number one in step parenting - never ever say or think anything bad about the skids. You will never win. Bad Athena. Evil Athena. 


Rumplestiltskin's picture

Your friends will not understand your situation, and he is gaslighting you. 

hereiam's picture

I call bullshit.

The two older ones knew exactly what they were doing.

Let's just say the skids genuinely just wanted to give him a present that reflects their family.

What family? They are not a family, anymore. He and the ex are not a couple, anymore. That picture was inappropriate. They know it, and he knows it.

MissK03's picture

DO NOT FEEL LIKE YOU ARE A BAD GUY!! The 21 year old is an adult! Is that how adults act?? The 17 year 100% should know better.

If my skids EVER pulled a stunt (they would never) SO would throw the cards and tell them how awful it was. It was a jab at you bottom line. 

Your friends don't get it. That was an awful thing to do and I am so sorry. 

athena2776's picture

I could cry. Thank you. 
This is all from the arrangement SO and ex had. To keep things normal and nice for the skids. So much so that they never actually showed them how two people can separate properly. They just kept doing things like celebrating each others birthdays because they believe this shows the skids how pleasant everyone can be. They can pat each other on the back for how well they are doing. ( they're not! MSD has severe anxiety and sees a psych. Who of course has congratulated them on the arrangement I am told repeatedly) 

I support exes getting along, but when you add up everything I have posted, this has not helped the skids understand the importance of boundaries or moving on. So now, skids still have in their heads a vision of their parents as buddies. Close. Sure, they accept me but this shouts out so loud that they cannot see any problem with meshing their parents together. And this is not ok. 
YSD was getting all anxious about their holiday and I think asked SO to come with her. This was in their language of course. I heard him say ik kan niet. Ik kan niet. 
I felt like shouting "explain why!!!" Help her understand. 

Thank you for assuring me I am not bad. I know I'm not, but I try to be understanding. I'm too nice and have accepted way too much. I know there is gaslighting going on, I know it's all wrong. I just am stuck. so very stuck. 
my house sale completes tomorrow. I will have funds to rent a place of my own soon. But it is wrenching. Despite it all I do love him and he has been in the middle of this, trying to keep everyone happy for so long. He is not all bad. But it is not working and if I am clearly the odd one out in this situation then I must leave. 



MissK03's picture

You have a long way to go with his youngest being 6 and there are no signs of letting go of the emneshment. The speaking in German and not fully understanding what they are talking about to each other is so incredibly rude. Even if ex's English isn't the best. Do the girls speak English? That dynamic is extremely challenging and you will always feel like the odd one out. Getting your own place and moving on seems like your best option. You're worth it. 

CLove's picture

She would do things like that, and they were hurtful to DH. It was before my time but once she got a personalized soda can (that he paid for), that said "have a coke and a (insert bm name here)"

Thats back when she was around 15. She hasnt improved on her personality much. She was the reason we argued. And now we are no contact.

still learning's picture

Wow...OW! OUCH! I feel your pain OP. I couldn't imagine my DH getting a gift like that from SS's. I would have ran them through the shredder so fast!  You are not bad, you're just in a situation that will never work for you.  You're expected to conform to their dynamic and accept whatever they tell you to. BM is the Queen by DH's side, sure. Enmeshment, Perfect 1st Family, skids rule the roost...yes, yes, and yes.  Where do you fit in all of this?  You're only BF's partner when it's convenient for him and when the skids are not around. 

You're not happy, the kids have a long way to go until "launching." And lately 18 turns into 32 before they leave the nest.  I hope when you choose happiness you choose yours over BF's and skids.  Do you really want to sacrifice the best years of your life for this guy, his kids, and his ex wife???

Sandybeaches's picture

Even if one of the older children could have helped BM is behind it for planting the seed. 

Listen I am years and years in front of you with situations like this and I can tell you that first BM is always the one that planted the seed and 2 and this is the harder part as long as BM is this way, it is never going away and never going to change!  It is a sad reality and I am truly sorry for you because I know how it feels!!  

My husband is big on sense of smell and everyone that knows him knows that.  He smells the seasons, babies etc....  SO SD used to give me the same perfume BM wears for Christmas.   Now we all know that was so DH would think of BM when he was around me.  They must have thought I was stupid. BUT my point here is SD started this at 8 so I don't think she shopped or thought of it.  It was BM all the way!!  Maybe a little thing but it was huge especially if I had not figured it out and tossed it as soon as SD was out the door.  Actually I donated it to the local Womens shelter as I did every year that pulled that crap!  

Then there was the time that SD was making a video at school.  I thought it was of her friends.  She was trying to get music for it and couldn't figure it out.   She came over and asked me to help her out.  I down loaded music from my CD's on  drive for her and she made the video at school.  Years passed and we never thought of the video again.  BM started her crap again trying to get DH back.  She tried EVERYTHING!!!  Next thing ya know SD pops over and says Oh I want to show you this.  Not knowing what it was she pops it in our DVD player and there is the video from by now 3-4 years prior. Well turns out it was not her friends.  It was a family thing and all kinds of family pictures of DH and BM.  And a bunch of single shots of BM.  None of me or DH and me.   If that was not bad enough, when it ended there were credits and she literally thanked everyone she knew including BM's new boyfriend but not me as I spent hours with her picking and finding the music.  Nope nothing!!  DH was furious and walked out of the room several times but was back in time to see the credits and he was not thanked either.  He took the DVD out and let SD know that was not appropriate.  We knew BM was behind it and told her to bring it over. 

So my point BM sets the stage for behavior like this and if it goes uncorrected it NEVER changes!!