You are here

ADVICE NEEDED RE: OSD25 & YSD22

FWSM1964's picture

Over the past 16 years, BM's PAS and emotional enmeshment with her children has slowly destroyed my SO's relationship with his daughters. At the beginning of COVID, I told him that I was concerned about his weak bond with his daughters when they started blowing him off. Since then, he continued regularly reaching out to tell them he loves them and to try to make plans to visit them. Outside of his birthday dinner earlier this year and OSD25's wedding, he has not seen his daughters in over three years.

As of the beginning of this month, OSD25 and YSD22 severed their already-doomed relationship with their father because he has not accepted full responsibility for the marital breakdown, according to them. Even though he apologized for his part in the marital breakdown and the hurt that the separation caused his children, this was not enough for his daughters. He then realized that BM broke her promise to tell the children what really happened to cause the marital breakdown (ie. BM's repeated betrayals of my SO). 

His sons stated that BM repeatedly told them over the years that she was the victim at the hands of my SO, and only now are they starting to believe that this was a false narrative on her part. This false narrative kept them angry at their father, but they still forgave him. Now that they see his POV, their relationship is even stronger. They tried to talk to their sisters about this and were shut down. This is because OSD25 and YSD22 still firmly cling onto their mother's false narrative that had been woven into the fabric of their daily lives over the past two decades.

In his most recent discussions with his daughters, my SO stated that he should not shoulder the entire responsibility for the separation and divorce while still accepting responsibility for his part in it; that their mother was at least partially responsible. YSD22 screamed at him that he was badmouthing their mother and told him not to bother coming to her wedding. OSD22 stated that she did not want to talk about it; that BM got a free pass on doing anything she wanted while my SO would not be afforded the same courtesy. Since my SO doesn't agree with this, he is now banned from seeing his grandchild.

Over the past 16 years, he was there for all of his children as much as he could be even though he wasn't living at the house. At a great financial sacrifice to him, he delayed selling the matrimonial home until all children had moved out on their own. When BM needed extra money for one of her shopping sprees, he gave it to her until the divorce was final. This is because BM said she would have to take food out of the children's mouths if he didn't pay it. While my SO's sons understand and appreciate this, his daughters do not and still want him to apologize to BM for leaving her.

Just last week, my SO reached out to BM to come clean and tell the children what really happened as she promised and failed to do 16 years ago. She has been known to tell the children false narratives about other relatives in order to poison their relationships and then come clean decades later. The children then felt badly that they had believed the terrible things about their relatives for so long. My SO's sons even successfully re-established relationships with these relatives.

My SO was hurting because his daughters' rejection recently came to light and felt that if BM set things straight, that their daughters may want to re-establish a relationship with him. If his daughters let go of their outdated belief of pitiful saintly BM and unpitiful demonic SO, there may be a chance that his daughters' estrangement may be mended and ended. Instead of BM calling him back, she immediately contacted all her children to complain about my SO. 

A very spiteful woman, BM cawed to her sons how powerful she is that she can ruin my SO's relationship with his daughters and that he got what he deserved since he left her. My SO's oldest son reached out to him to tell him that sending this text to BM did him no favours. BM did not answer my SO's text. Not sure where to go from here.

 

Winterglow's picture

He is delusional if he thinks even for a minute that, after all these years that she is going to tell them. Even if she did, they would never believe it. He might have had a chance if he had decided on the truth way back at the start but all these years later... not a hope. 

Sometimes you need to know when to stop. He clearly doesn't. He sounds as if this is going to be his lifelong crusade. 

 

FWSM1964's picture

I told him something similar. Even though he knew BM's personality, he still trusted her to do the right thing. From how he described her to me, I wouldn't have trusted her. When he finally told me three years ago that she had only provided a false narrative of what happened to his children, I suggested that he tell them the truth but they shut him down.

For his words to have impact, there are so many things that need to get set right, that it is an impossible undertaking.

1. BM needs to be convinced that to tell their children the truth is the right thing (unlikely because she continues to badmouth him to their daughters and is gleeful at his ruptured relationship with these young women as she can hoard their love);

2. Even if BM does tell them, their daughters need to believe the truth (it will be unconvincing given the strength of the 18 year false narrative she has fed them as she even stated that her betrayal of my SO was a joint decision; moreover, if it is convincing, their daughters will think that my "demon-like" SO brainwashed BM to reverse her false narrative); and,

3. Even if their daughters want to listen, don't shut her down, and do believe the truth, they will need to want to mend fences (unlikely because too much water has passed under the bridge and they have their own lives with well-established close social contacts and their father isn't one of them).

I hope for my SO's sake that this will not be lifelong crusade.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

None of this is surprising; you knew how dysfunctional your SO's baggage was long ago. As for where to go? You don't have to do anything. In fact, it would be in your best interests to let all this go and leave it up to your SO to handle HIS problems with HIS kids. 

I get that you love this man very much and chafe at the unfairness of it all, but have you considered what your life would be like if his witchy daughters ever do decide to reengage with him? Hell, that's what. It would be like inviting a vampire over your threshold, because even if they reunify with him, they may never want a relationship with you and they drag their issues with them.

Right now you have peace. Your SO is finally divorced, and life with him is in a good place. This is the sweet spot, so why not just enjoy it? SD22 and SD25 are still pretty young in terms of PAS, so if they ever gain clarity, it may not be for years, or ever. So, try dropping the rope and removing them from your thoughts. If they turn up on your doorstep one day, great. Meanwhile, savor the peace. It's a rare commodity in step life.

FWSM1964's picture

I am not surprised as I expected this outcome at least three years ago. However, my partner was more optimistic and believed that his daughters would come around once he was divorced, which he currently is. I was skeptical and rightly so.

His daughters believe that my SO is a demon and that anyone associated with him is painted with the same evil brush (ie. neither daughter wants a relationship with me, and they even went so far as to say they do not ever want to meet me).

At first they strung my SO along, and said every six months that they were not ready to meet me and/or they were not ready to visit with him alone or with me. Now they never want to meet me and they never want to see him again. So I dodged a drama bullet with not having them in our lives.

However, he is not his usual happy self. Understandlably, he seems depressed about this turn of events. It is not lost on him that all my children have met him and care for him. His depression manifests itself in angry disrespectful outburts directed towards me for the most trivial of matters.

He seems irritable and on edge lately. Just yesterday, I left a laundry basket in the family room for two hours as I answered the phone and didn't put the clothes away immediately, but he didn't put the clothes away either. I didn't lash out at him. I just finished my phone call and then put the clothes away. 

However, I believe he has been in denial for the last 18 years, when the PAS started. It is probably painful for him to realize that he is powerless to do anything to fix the situation. He tried everything that the self-help books suggest and even asked friends in the social service industry for advice. I also asked my counsellor what can I tell him to make him feel better and followed her advice.

My XH PAS'd my children and they came to their senses in their late teens and early 20's, so I assumed that OSD25 and YSD22 would be starting to question their mother's gaslighting, but no such luck. They may regret their decision after my SO leaves this earth and I wouldn't wish that on anyone, even these selfish mean girls.

But yes, I am savouring the peace. No more worries about him going to the wedding without me. No more worries about wondering how to behave around his daughters. I have read other posts, have it relatively easy, and am grateful.

 

Movingonisbest's picture

Right now you have peace. Your SO is finally divorced, and life with him is in a good place.

The original poster doesn't have peace, and life with him can't be good, otherwise she wouldn't be posting about issues. 

I am glad in her response to you she was able to admit this. She doesn't deserve to have him taking his problems out on her. That equates to abuse. I hope she learns to love herself, because it already sounds like she is living in stephell. 

Birchclimber's picture

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^   Definitely THIS!!! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^  Exjuliemccoy nails it once again!!

CajunMom's picture

He is fighting a loosing battle. His sons are telling him. He needs to find a counselor to process his deep hurts and pain but nothing...and I mean NOTHING good will come to him by reaching out to a lying, manipulating biotch of 16+ years. He needs to get to the counselor, process and start enjoying his life with you and his sons. If his daughters ever wake up, then they can reach out. 

I'm sorry for your DH....for many of the Dhs represented on this page. PAS is horrible and not many kids come out of it. Please encourage your DH to go to counseling. 

FWSM1964's picture

His sons have been trying to get him out of denial and have even reached out to their sisters to try to intercede on his behalf and to mitigate the situation.  All to no avail.

I have encouraged him to go to counselling and am seeing a counsellor myself to help with the fallout in our relationship that his rude awakening and recent eye-opening have caused.

I hope he can enjoy his life, but it appears that the loss of his daughters has destroyed his happiness. As of late, he has been grumpy, rude, surly, disrespectful, and harsh towards me for the most minor of infractions.

Especially yesterday which was Father's Day. He used to have an annual barbecue at the matrimonial home so that BM and the children could play "happy family" until the year that COVID hit. Not sure I want to ask him who sent him Father's Day greetings as I am not into poking the bear. 

I am sorry for him too and feel powerless. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around him at this point and I hope it gets better.

Movingonisbest's picture

At first they strung my SO along, and said every six months that they were not ready to meet me and/or they were not ready to visit with him alone or with me. Now they never want to meet me and they never want to see him again. So I dodged a drama bullet with not having them in our lives.

Is it possible they weren't actually stringing your SO along? Sounds like they were trying to tell him in a nice way that they don't want a relationship with either of you and neither of you have been able to read between the lines. The truth is, no matter how much it may hurt, neither of you have the right to be in their lives. Is there some reason to believe that as adults, they shouldn't be able to make whatever decision they feel is best for them?

 

However, he is not his usual happy self. Understandlably, he seems depressed about this turn of events. It is not lost on him that all my children have met him and care for him. His depression manifests itself in angry disrespectful outburts directed towards me for the most trivial of matters

So because he can't have a relationship with his adult daughters, he has resorted to abusing you? You need to focus on yourself and your healing, possibly finding you a new counselor if needed.  As painful as it may be to acknowledge, this relationship you are in is extremely unhealthy. 

 

He tried everything that the self-help books suggest and even asked friends in the social service industry for advice. I also asked my counsellor what can I tell him to make him feel better and followed her advice.

So he doesn't want to invest in any counseling to deal with HIS issues???  The bigger question is why do you feel like it is your responsibility to make him feel better? Happiness comes from within. There really is nothing YOU can do to make him feel better imho. Have you ever heard the term codependent? I  think it would do you some good to research and learn about this, and possibly even talk to your counselor about it.  Someway, somehow you have to understand you can't fix people. You weren't able to fix your ex-husband were you? Then what makes you think you can fix your current partner? 

You don't seem to have very good boundaries. You really have to protect you and your heart. The fact that he is abusing you isn't enough to make you realize this man isn't your prince in a shinyarmor that you thought he was? 

Rags's picture

You DH actively embraces.

He needs to smack all of his kids with the facts.  Hopefully that are fully documented in the divorce proceedings and court records.

He actually trusted this adulterous whore to come clean to his children and still askes her to after countless years of he PASing bullshit?  Really?

If his children are going to choose the whore over him, they should at least make that choice with the full facts at hand.

Movingonisbest's picture

Rags, original poster seems to really need help. Pretending like her partner is a victim isn't going to be helpful for her. He first started withdrawing from her. Remember she said he was going to spend the night at one of his son's house because of some of the issues.  Then she said something about him rethinking or backing out on wanting to marry her. Now he is taking his problems out on her, which is abuse. She needs self-love, better boundaries, and to really understand not everyone deserves her undivided support and loyalty. Her partner surely doesn't.

If I were in her shoes. I would have dumped him and his baggage years ago. From what she said she has already had a rough life with her ex-husband who she says was a narcissist. So her current partner, who should love and cherish her is filling her life with bs?? He is is not a true man imho.

That's why when she mentioned she still had issues she was working through, I told her she shouldn't even be in a relationship, but should devote that time to her healing process. When you are healed, you develop stronger boundaries. She should have told this man and his adult kids to take a hike with their toxicity years ago imho.

BTW, blaming her partner's ex-wife, or even his adult daughters isn't helping her. Her PARTNER is the problem. So as long as she allows him to to infest her life with toxicity and bs, he will. Then he will move on to the next woman and likely still have the same problems.

Rags's picture

However, he cannot fix it if he continues to default the edification of his children to his lying X.

As for his abuse of the OP, not something that should be tolerated. I would advise the OP to end it and get on with life leaving him to wallow in the crap he has failed to address regarding his PAS'd children and his lying X.  Far too many people over blame themselves for any given relationship situation. The "love and support" the other party/ies through it model is rarely effective.  The OP's DH has ducked, covered, avoided, etc... actually providing his children with the facts for nearly two decades and now wants to deflect his lack of action and balls onto the OP.  At some point only the OP can put a pin in this whole thing and get on with her life.

Though not to the extent the OP has experienced, I do have an understanding of recovery from a toxic X/Toxic marriage.  Setting boundaries and implementing a zero tolerance for toxic standard made my recovery fairly straight forward and in large part insulated me from repeat mistakes when it comes to not selecting a second toxic partner.

Though good fortune and luck probably have as much of a role in not repeating that mistake in my case.

TY for the clarification.

Regards, Rags

Movingonisbest's picture

His adult daughters don't want a relationship with him. It's pathetic for him to feel as though he is entitled to have a relationship with anyone.  Truth is none of us on this board or even the original poster know whether his wife is a liar or not. Her partner's character is very questionable. It would be interesting to know what his last two partners prior to original poster have to say about him. Something tells me it wouldn't be all that good. She defends him, but he abuses her. Aren't narcissists known to punish or abuse people for trying to love them? Because she didn't fully heal, she may very well have picked up another narcissist after her divorce. 

She definitely needs to set boundaries and implement a zero tolerance for toxicity like you did. She described her kids as being good kids, so kind, respectful etc. So why isn't that a basic standard she sets for the men she dates?  In other words that she only dates men who have good, kind, respectful kids; or perhaps if they don't, they have to at least worked with a good counselor to heal such that it doesn't adversely affect their other relationships. Things aren't getting better for her, they are getting worse. 

She posted:

I am sorry for him too and feel powerless. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around him at this point and I hope it gets better.

She sounds like she is afraid of him. Which says to me he didn't just recently start abusing her. This is extremely sad.  But it signifies there could be a bigger issue regarding why his daughters want nothing to do with him. Unfortunately original poster, Rags is right. He said

The "love and support" the other party/ies through it model is rarely effective. 

Things have a tendency to get worse, the longer a person stays in a toxic relationship.

Rags your story is amazing. It should show others on the board that life can improve greatly after a toxic relationship. I mean could you really imagine your life if you hadn't divorced your toxic ex??? Well,  disregard that question because I don't want you to have nightmares. Lol

 

Evil4's picture

THIS!!! "The love and support the other party through it model is rarely effective" I think people who have grown up in abusive/narcissistic homes end up taking the societal "stand by your man" way too far. I was caught up in this for way too many years myself. The abused person has the mindset that if they could just get it right, if they could just say the right thing to trigger an epiphany for my SO, if I could just do this, if I could just do that... then I'll have a whole spouse who can love me fully or I'll finally be worthy of my spouse's full love and commitment. Only it just doesn't work that way. The "sticking together through thick and thin" model gets taken way too far. I say (after tons of therapy) that it's totally OK and healthy to draw the line. It is OK to stop enabling a dynamic that hurts you. 

OP, you are not responsible for your SO's healing. HE is. You are only responsible for your own. It is OK to choose you. I hope you can get some counselling for yourself. You deserve to live a peaceful life. You will exhaust yourself trying to get your SO to take actions/resolve one more issue to try to get him to be the spouse who can be free to love you the way you need to be loved. With someone like your SO, whether it's inadvertent or not, there will always be yet another issue that needs resolving and you'll always be waiting for that day that you can finally enjoy your relationship, only that day never comes.

Also, I'll give another Rags reference. On a comment a while back, Rags said that if a relationship has to be described with a qualifyer, such as, "'if it weren't for...we'd have a perfect relationship' is really no relationship at all." Go back and read all of your posts. A relationship with your SO has oodles of "just one more thing" and "if it weren't for," qualifyers. It is OK to leave your relationship to heal and to create a new normal. 

 

Movingonisbest's picture

I think people who have grown up in abusive/narcissistic homes end up taking the societal "stand by your man" way too far. I was caught up in this for way too many years myself. The abused person has the mindset that if they could just get it right, if they could just say the right thing to trigger an epiphany for my SO, if I could just do this, if I could just do that... then I'll have a whole spouse who can love me fully or I'll finally be worthy of my spouse's full love and commitment. Only it just doesn't work that way. The "sticking together through thick and thin" model gets taken way too far. 

 

I think that's part of the issue, but the other is that these men either don't know how or don't want to learn to be actual men. How a man can claim to love a woman and not protect her is pretty pathetic to me. Most of these men who won't protect their partner's heart, engage in behavior that also directly damages her. 

Everyone has issues. But I agree with this pastor I listened to awhile back who said a main who doesn't cover his woman, as in protect her, isn't broken,  but rather toxic. He said that is the worst type of man to have. His advice was essentially to run for the hills instead of standing by this type of man.

Rags's picture

JKOC.

Wink

I could not immagine the hell the last 32 years would have been if I had remained married to my XW.

Dash 1

Bad

Though I usually don't as she is far more than capable of speaking for herself, I am speaking for her, I am confident that my incredible  bride would have the same nighmares if she had actually married the Spermidiot and been the mother of his three younger progeny fortunately by two other baby mamas.  Though that would in all liklihood apply if she were married to him or not. 

DW saved herself and SS by having the confidence to leave for university with a baby on her hip at 18.

I recognize completely that my experience is pretty much the unicorn of the blended family/Sparenting world.

I wish anyone and everyone would have the confidence to set boundaries and live their best life rather than continue to sacrifice themselves to whatever tragic toxicity so many seem to continue to embrace.

 

Movingonisbest's picture

Rags you are hilarious! You were smart enough to realize you deserved much better than your ex. It's wonderful you and the Mrs. found each other.  People who remain in toxic relationships can never expect to have the type of love and happiness you and your wife share. That's why a zero tolerance for toxicity policy is essential. 

The best thing original poster can do for herself is to put her ex out so he can go out into the world and find someone as toxic as him. Especially since he seems incapable or unwilling to love and cherish her.

Holding on to toxicity will only further damage the original poster.  

Rags's picture

At the time I would not have left my XW.   She was the one who dropped the D word.  I am extremely grateful that she gave me a reprieve on continuling to live that cheating wife hell marriage and initiated my recovery journey to reconnect with the man I enjoy being.

Enough praise and gratitude toward my XW.

Shudder

Her stating that she wanted a divorce was the greatest gift she could have given. Though I still do enjoy the amazing pair of elephant skin cowboy boots (one of the last legally sold pair in the US) and the extremely tasty queso recipe I stole as she was moving her crap to the moving truck when she left.

Birchclimber's picture

Sometimes I read your responses for the excellent advice.  Othertimes I read them for the sheer entertainment value!  I can just picture your discretely snagging that Queso recipe, and makes me crack up!!! 

Thanks for lightening things up!!!!   Sometimes it's much needed.  Biggrin

 

FWSM1964's picture

for the last couple of days. All of you and the other earlier posters make some very valid points.  I haven't felt loved, nurtured, cherished, or protected for a long time. My SO seems to blame me for his irrational and frightening outbursts. He says "I drove him to do it". And like a good dutiful doormat, I pretend to go along with it.

When I first got bullied at school at age 6, my mother asked me what did I do to provoke the bullies. This problem has been a long-standing one with me and I am hoping that intense counselling will help me heal, as you have so aptly suggested. I know I need to work on myself to strengthen my weak boundaries.

Luckily, in my earlier healing (albeit limited), I know that we are not responsible for others' behaviour. I already fell for that line with my narcissistic XH (NEX).  With him, I felt that I had an "anti-Midas touch". Everything I touched turned to crap. Everything bad about his life was my fault.

My current SO is starting to do the same. Maybe I have a "crap attractor" magnet attached to my body. During my separation period (2011-2016; divorced in 2016), I declined dates with quite a few emotionally unhealthy men but I haven't been wise enough to tell my current SO to hit the road.

I didn't see it coming. It snuck up on me.  In fact, he was wonderful for the first three years. He actually helped me establish stronger boundaries with my own children who were groomed to disrespect me from birth by my NEX. He encouraged me and gave me the strength to stand up to my children. That is why I now have such a good relationship with each of my four sons (aged 20 to 27). My SO loved, nurtured, cherished, and protected me during that time.

All started to go downhill when I asked to meet his chldren and attend OSD25's wedding in 2019. His sons met me relatively quickly, but as you may know, his daughters were never ready to meet me and will never be. 

His relationship with OSD25 and YSD22 was reasonably good pre-COVID. He would take them and their SO's to restaurants and other venues on a semi-regular basis. He also visited the matrimonial home to hang out with them. BM would throw herself at him and he would rebuff her.

Then, I joined this site and subsequently told him that it was disrespectful for OSD25 to not allow him a plus one at her wedding when her bridesmaids were allowed plus ones, some of them only dating these people for 2-3 weeks by the time of the wedding. We had been dating for over three years at that point.

Post-COVID, his relationship with these two young women deteriorated as they used COVID as an excuse. It has continued to deteriorate as he explained his perspective of the marital breakdown. They simply didn't care that their mother betrayed him. He either endorsed it or she had a good reason to do so, according to them. He should have just accepted it and never left the matrimonial home.

He cannot believe that they would feel this way, do not want him in their lives, and is despondent at this turn of events. I tried to find ways to support him and make him feel better. I suggested counselling for him and his first failed family as well as counselling for him and me and counseling for him alone. He is going through a rough time on a number of fronts and really could benefit. He is contemplating sole counselling as a first step. Only time will tell.

In regards to his two previous long-term relationships, I believe they ended for similar reasons as to what I am describing here. The first woman whom he dated for six years apparently had "delusions" that he had grown selfish and unkind. Because of this, she repeatedly threatened to break up until finally they did. 

The second woman whom he dated for three years called him a self-absorbed narcissist and promptly moved away. She is again in the local area and would like to date him again as she called him "the one who got away". I met her and can verify this.

Thanks to you, I do realize that my SO's family dysfunction and his associated suffering is not mine to own and regrettably I had been doing that. He likes to throw it back in my face and say I do not accept responsibility for my actions. But I do and apparently I accept responsibility for his actions too. He is a grown man and should accept responsibility and not blame others.

Apparently, I did "something bad" yesterday as he will not be coming home from work and will stay over at a friend's house tonight. I'm actually relieved as I can have this time to myself and know in my heart that his behaviour is not my fault.

 

Rags's picture

The good news... call the locksmith while he is at his friends and have the locks re-keyed.  Put your attorney's card on the door and tell him to never contact you again.
 

Get the paperwork flowing.

Be free. Enjoy a new life adventure with this failed man, failed, father, and failed partner fading in your rear view mirror.

Movingonisbest's picture

 

Thanks to you, I do realize that my SO's family dysfunction and his associated suffering is not mine to own and regrettably I had been doing that. He likes to throw it back in my face and say I do not accept responsibility for my actions. But I do and apparently I accept responsibility for his actions too. He is a grown man and should accept responsibility and not blame others.

FWSM1964,  you really do understand what's going on and what we have been trying to get through to you. It may not seem like it right now, but you are going to be ok. If you know you did the best you could, let it be his loss. Forgive yourself for allowing this man to fill your life with toxicity. Then, with a counselor figure out how to heal those old wounds,  set stronger boundaries, and determine what you really want out of life. Get back to doing things you really enjoy, or even start a new hobby.  Spend time with friends and family who support you. Remember to spend some time alone. Self-love and peacefulness are two of the greatest feelings in the world imho. Continue to allow members of this board to support you through this. When you win, we all win because there's one less step parent suffering. Wishing you all the joy and happiness that life can bring.

Birchclimber's picture

You deserve better.  This is not your problem to solve or to endure.  I don't really care for Dr. Phil McGraw, but one thing that he says quite often, that I do agree with: “The best predictor of future behavior is relevant past behavior.”  Your SO's relationship history is relevant and it speaks volumes.  

I agree with Movingonisbest.  Take a lot of "ME" time.  Get in touch with what is really going on inside of you.  Find good people who are supportive....and keep talking!  When we speak our truth out loud, sometimes we gain more clarity.

 

AgedOut's picture

him being abusive to you is not him being despondant or upset over his daughters. it is on him, it's all on him and him abusing you isn't changing anything.