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When adults are the real problem

Thisisnotus's picture

Yeah I have complained about my SKids but at the end of the day I really like them. They are kind and treat me wonderfully and my bio kids and skids get along perfectly with ZERO issues and they all love their 1 year old baby sister so so much. My skids and bios are all girls ranging from 11-16....3 are mine 2 are Dhs and then our baby girl....

our issue isn’t and has never really been the kids. It’s the adults. It’s my MIL acting like BM rules the world, it’s my FIL and his wife having BM and skids over and not telling DH. It is BM alienating DH the kids. It’s my Ex H and his wife trying to and succeeding with 1....alienating my kids from me. It’s my family still thinking and saying me exH walks on water as if if my new marriage is less than....When is it too much and how do you deal with the adults?

dh and I do both come from 15 plus years of previous marriages but damn!



tog redux's picture

Seems like the adults are the reason for 99.9% of the situations on here.  Either a DH who parents poorly, or a crazy BM.  People rant and rave about their skids, when really, one adult or the other is the REAL problem.

My skid was never a huge issue, it was BM that was the one causing our grief.  She alienated SS and made him an unlikeable copy of her.  He was not a huge issue to be around when he was visiting. 


markwvualum's picture

Yes. The adults are almost always the root of the problem. It is usually one or both birth parents parenting poorly, helicopter parenting, practicing permissive parenting, or being their kids friends, a meddling ex or meddling in laws. This results in nothing positive for the kids or the marriage.

TwoOfUs's picture

My skids are fine, too. There are things about each of them that I don't like...and things about each of them that I admire and do like. In other words...they're human. For the most part, they've been good and kind to me, and they still come to me with stuff they need advice about from time to time...often before they go to their dad. I think I'm seen as more "understanding" overall. In general, I feel blessed by this.  

My problems are: 

1.) I have a lot of resentment toward skids because I was unable to have children of my own and I am still grieving that loss. While I completely recognize that this isn't the skids fault in any way, it still makes it tough for me to hang out with them for extended periods of time. The fact is, I don't want a life of going to Christmases, Weddings, Graduations, Births, etc. for someone else's kids when I don't also have my own. It feels very unfair and a bit like drudgery. It's like...with the in-law situation, I genuinely like my in-laws...and also DH and I both have siblings and extended family, so we take turns. With his kids, he's the only one with it feels totally unbalanced. It's a lot deeper than that of course...but focusing in on the time and personal commitment required is the most tangible way for me to think about and vocalize my feelings...even if I'm only vocalizing to myself. I have to figure out what I'm going to do about this. At this point, I still go to stuff with skids as DH's wife...and I really don't mind it...but doing it for the rest of my life...adding grandkid events to that mix? It feels like a lot. 

2.) I have resentment toward my skids from the past when my DH wasn't great at setting and maintaining good boundaries and because of money issues in the past. Again...not their fault in the least...but I'm better able to heal and put that stuff behind me when I'm not involved with them, for some reason. 


I guess it makes me sad...I feel like I could have had a really good relationship with my skids if my DH had put me first from the beginning, gotten serious about starting a family with me, and not relied on me for financial and other support as much as he did. As it is, I'm just glad the contact is minimal now. 

Siemprematahari's picture

Yes I would have to agree that a lot of the issues in these situations stem from the adults. Lack of parenting, setting boundaries, being consistent, not implementing consequences, cases of parental alienation, among other problems helps to create these poor dynamics that we try to navigate through.

As far as the inlaws I would create strong boundaries about having them in my circle. Anything that I feel is negative and toxic in my life will be treated accordingly, family or not....toxic is toxic and you have to take care of you and protect your space.


MrsStepMom's picture

It is pretty  much 100% the parents fault. My marriage is ending because my DH refuses to disipline his son. I have a lot of resentment toward SS besause he really is just a mean person (seriously not just toward me) but at the end of the day I am most mad at DH because HE allows it.

Rags's picture

Sounds to me that you and DH need to fight a two front war.  Pick the side that can be most easily defeated and go for their throats.  Your family needs clarity that their loyalty must be with you and your SO's family must have the same clarity message. Finish off the easiest and move on to the more difficult.

You have the new baby trump card.  Are they all willing to forfeit a relationship with their own child and that child's new baby?

My guess is that a clear message of what their disloyalty will cost them may just give them clarity and drive a major adjustment in their bahviors.  They do not have to give up a relationship with their elder GKs but they sure do need to compartmentalize the Xs and not allow the Xs to interfere in the extended family dynamic.

My XILs felt that since I was once a family member I was always a family member.  Birthday cards, family event invitations, invitations to their home, etc... They even extended those invitations to include my new bride and young SS.

We never accepted their invitations though I did go to their home for coffee after running into them at lunch one work day.

Never again.  th

The past is the past.  I do not understand people who would jeopardize a relationship with their own adult child, that child's family, and for sure a new GK to continue a relationship with their child's X who is an X for a reason.

My parents put my XW and my XILs immediately in the past.  They had no use for an adulterous whore nor her family.  My XILs were a different breed.

Good luck. I hope that you and your DH are successful in delivering clarity to both of your families.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Other adults form their opinions and maintain  the personal relationships as they deem appropriate   determine your  personal  happiness?

Divorce comes because 2 individuals decide that they can no longer live/be together.  Extended families do not always want custody of the anger and animosity that results from some divorces. The family may still have positive feelings for the ex that were not collateral damage in the ex.They may like or even love the former in-law . That has nothing to do with their ability to like you.

They may not share that info with your husband because while they are capable of and wish to maintain a relationship with his ex; they may respect his wish not to do so. They probably have many friends over about whom they do not tell you.  You probably do not tell them every time your entertain friends in your home.

You can expect family to share your happiness; however, you cannot expect them to co-opt and own your anger and animosity.

​​​​​​Enjoy your life and share the good things, but do not expect others toalways to assume your enemy list.


Thisisnotus's picture

I don’t know if you just like to play devils advocate or have your own hang ups that you project.

if you read my post you will see that both my ex and Dhs ex have used the kids as pawns and tried to alienate them from us.

so yes I’m unhappy when BM tries to keep DHs kids from him and his mother kisses BMs ass in fear she will keep the kids from her the same way. As 

my ex has won over my oldest Dd and she won’t speak to me because of it. So yes I’m un happy if my family wants to be friendly with that dirt bag.


Curious Georgetta's picture

have a right and a reason for disliking your ex, but your extended family does not have a right to their own reasons for liking him?

Is it possible if you were to ask your daughter why she has distanced herself from you, that her explanation might include overt actions that you have taken or things that you have done. Children can.and do become alienated from parents for a variety of reasons . It is easy to blame the ex ; It is much harder to accept the fact that your own actions or inaction may have been the precipitating or contributory cause of the resulting estrangement.

Families can both love you and at the same time like/love someone that you actively dislike.   You did not get custody of your families emotions in your divorce , and not was your husband awarded custody of his parents ' emotions in his divorce.

You can be unhappy because your respective families are chosing not to live their lives as hostages to your anger and animosity. If you cannot let go of  your need to control the relationships of your extended family members, you will likely not be a welcomed visitor at many events.

You have a lot of needs that you want to impose on others without recognizing that they have same right as you to engage in or discard relationships according to their own  decisions.



Thisisnotus's picture

We can agree to disagree, you are generalizing a very simple thing here.

As far as me not being a welcomed visitor at many's the same for the extended this point they are very close to being unwelcome at any of our family events.

Our exes have emotionally abused our children......and our families don't care. So what is the difference if they physically abused our children? Should we then still turn a blind eye and allow our family to act like it didn't happen?

Me? I am very good at removing toxic from my life and never looking back. Extended family wants to take sides with the exes of their own children....then Peace Out and good luck. LOL

Curious Georgetta's picture

share your perception of emotional abuse.  They make think  that in a divorce situation both parties were emotionally abusive..

They may not be taking sides.  They may simply like the exs and think that they are good friend and good parents to their respective grandchildren.

It can simply be that they do not share your perspective or opinionin regard to the emotional abuse.

You and your husband probably not be impacted by the estrangement from family; your children ,on the other hand, may miss the interaction and fellowship with the extended family.

Anger and animosity, unlike fine wine, do not improve with age. If you water and nurture these negative feelings, all you get is a harvest of anger and animosity.


Monkeysee's picture

Alienation is abuse. The fact that some people put their heads in the sand regarding that abuse for their own benefit, ie being able to see the children, does not change the fact that alienation is abuse.

This is not just an issue OP has within her own mind, so focusing on positive thoughts as you’ve suggested is not helpful. Positive thoughts won’t wont prevent alienation from happening, and toxic people should be removed from the children’s lives. Even if that means extended family.

This kind of ‘advice’ is why people warn new posters against your comments. You do, on occasion, offer helpful insight. More often than not though it’s an unhelpful opinion at best & dangerous at worst. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

Kid was not  alienated, I  suggested  that the OP might examine her own actions and  inaction that might have precipitated or contributed to the alienation.

Do you think that other posters are so much less intelligent than you that they need you to pre-screen and monitor on their behalf?

Do you think that unlike you they lack the ability to decide for themselves what is helpful to them and discard what is not?

It takes a certain type of arrogance to  appoint yourself as the internet monitor and the thought police.


beebeel's picture

What type of arrogance does it take to repeatedly post opinions and advice on a topic for which one has zero personal experience or undestanding?

Monkeysee's picture

We don’t warn new posters about the fact that you’re not a SM due to arrogance or the belief the new posters are not intelligent.

New posters are warned about people who often offer unhelpful advice because when they find themselves on this site they are at their wits end with the situations they’re facing & are in a vulnerable state.

Everyone here is entitled to take or leave the advice that’s given, and I have no control over how they interpret what is said. 

However, you have on several occasions, like you stated above and below that the alienation might have been caused by the poster herself, stated information that is not only incorrect, but can also be dangerous. 

You have, from time to time, offered helpful & insightful advice. I’ve agreed with you on a few occasions. But when I see BS opinions based on zero experience or fact, I feel compelled to let the new posters know what’s up so they are aware that the person guiding them has no idea of what the poster is actually experiencing. 

I am not the only person who warns new posters about these comments. If you find me arrogant, that’s your opinion. I’m going to keep doing it, because people should be able to come here & have a safe space to talk about their step situations without being mislead to believe that you understand their family dynamics. You don’t. That much has always been clear.

Thisisnotus's picture

In my exH's name just a few things said to my kids (mind you I was a stay home mom who cared for and raised them 90% of the time and we never had ONE fight in our marriage...the drama came post divorce after I agreed to 50/50 everything because at that time why wouldnt i)...."you're mom is a B**Tch and should jump off a cliff and die". He told them I have no authority whatsoever so that if they get punished at my house (which would be phone taken away) I can't take their phones because he pays for them and that they need to tell me that I am not allowed to even touch their phones.

He encourages and rewards them for treating me poorly and tells them I deserve it. He won our oldest DD over by buying her a car, giving her money when she wants it and letting her live at his house with ZERO rules. And because my other 2 DD's didn't treat me poorly like the oldest did, they get treated like second class citizens at his house....and told that they don't get special things because "they don't live with him like their sister does".

That is just scratching the surface. He has also told them that he will not attend school meetings, athletic events etc...if I will be there.

And all of this is because  he married my former best friend....he didn't want a divorce and she knows it and so I am supposed to NOT exist so he treats my children as if I do not exiist and he wants my children to live with him..(he just begged our 11 year old this weekend to not come back to my hosue and to just live with him)...and have his new wife as their mom (my kids are pre teen and teens).

Please keep in mind that ExH is a very well educated man who runs an elementary we aren't talking about someone who doesn't know better.

If you don't think this qualifies as emotional abuse, then I got nothin else for ya.

As far as extended family....again if other adults find this acceptable then that isn't the kind of person I want my children they'd hardly be missing out.

Curious Georgetta's picture

where the only input they get is from your ex. They live with and experience you on a daily well.

They form their opinions based upon the interactions that they have with the both of you. 

Children certainly have a positive response to receiving gifts, and any teenager would be happy to get a csr.

Understanding adolescent behavior is not emotional abuse. At this point, your children must all be aware that you.and your ex are not fond of each other. I doubt that they.ever hear  either of you say anything positive about the other. They are probably young experts in the area of adversarial behavior the hands of both parents.

It think that it is far more emotionally  detrimental and abusive to suggest that your ex provides normal trinkets and gifts to his children not because he loves them but because of some twisted need to punish you . That sends a message to the kids that dad is not generous because he loves you; rather he is good to you because he hates me.

You want your children to live with you. Why would a loving and caring father not want his children to live with him?

This is exactly why some CODe have so many adjustment problems because the parents cannot put aside their anger and animosity.

They use their children as props in their own dysfunctional theatre.

Thisisnotus's picture

You are right. After much thought it is totally my fault. HAHAHA Loving and caring father? say what? I am so very curious as to your story....clearly you are projecting someting of your own issues....since you aren't comprehending anything I say. It's pretty black and white. What loving and caring father tells their 3 daughters that their mother should die?

My DHs ex is a huge piece of pill popping alcoholic bi polar shit.......but I can't imagine him telling his girls that she should die. OH yeah....maybe my DH isn't a loving father because he doesn't use BM's overall awfulness to try and win over the kids....whoa....


Curious Georgetta's picture

The points where I say that both you and your ex are responsible for this dysfunctional theatre..

You are both at fault for letting your ongoing  animosity damage  your chidren.The dad part is that you and your ex are so busy finger pointing that you are losing sight of the collective damage that you are doing to your children.

Sometimes, kids would be better served if they could petition the courts  to declare them orphans.

Thisisnotus's picture

Are you crazy? I am VENTING here ONLINE to strangers. Whoever said I say anything  to my kids about their father? Where did you come up with that?? It is HIS animosity that caused mine.....still not sure how I am at fault because he has waged a war on me through my kids, but okay.

I have my own marriage to worry about in real life, and it doesn't involve finger pointing at my ex.....I'm just sad for my kids that their once amazing father has turned cold and nasty and hateful.....and if you read my posts that he is now married to my former best friend who is insecure and jealous of my existence....I think this would all make sense to you. exH's wife would toss him out on his behind if he was NICE to me or if we actually co parented our children like we initally agreed in court on.




SayNoSkidsChitChat's picture


Divorce = not family anymore!!! Exes don’t get to hang out with ex in-laws. That’s a boundary violation!

Monkeysee's picture

Adults are almost always 100% the issue. I won’t say always, because some kids are born with issues beyond the parents control, but the vast majority of cases, adults mess everything up.

Ive never had an issue with my skids, but I have a pretty big issue with how BM doesn’t parent her kids. DH is big on discipline, respect, boundaries etc (with some influence from me, especially on the boundaries front), but you can’t always make up for the other BP, & that’s a sh*tty pill to swallow.

You’re getting it from every side, I don’t envy your position at all & I’m sorry you have to deal with all of that.