Another Holiday...more SD drama
I have been married for 28 years to the same man - my first and only husband. He had two girls when we met - one was 3 and the other 1 year old. I set three rules from the very beginning (1) he would not be their sugar daddy out of guilt and (2) I would treat them the same as any other child in my life and (3) we would never talk bad about their mother. His Ex was an alcoholic and drug abuser. We did everything in our power to show them how a functional family behaves and I personally included them in on everything - even after my 3 children were born. BUT... in the past few years, as they have become "adults" so they claim, they have treated me with total disrespect. One major innocent was while the oldest came on vacation with my husband and I. I paid for everything, made her feel welcome, only to have the two of them ignore me and treat me like the third wheel. It got down right ugly and because they both were drinking excessive amounts - they just laughed it off. I was over reacting. I refer to them when they get together as the "blank & blank" show. Then last Xmas the oldest came into my house a few days prior to see her Dad and exchange gifts. Mind you he has never purchased a gift, sent a card, or gotten together with his girls unless it was prompted or done by me. But, they don't know that - he is the best thing since sliced bread in their eyes. The youngest only calls when there has been money or gifts in it for her.. For years she showed up at Xmas empty handed - yet all my kids gave her gifts (even when they could not afford them). So last year I gave her gifts, watched as she opened them and then she handed her father a gift and nothing for me. Like it was nothing, like I should be happy that I just spent days, weeks, money making personal meaningful gifts and not even be acknowledged. My dumb self even sent a gift home for his Ex - because I have always tried to be a kind, loving person, and an example of how you should behave. It gets better - last Christmas the youngest gave birth to a child, their Mom goes into the hospital, I find out the living situation at their home is not safe for a baby. So I take her and the baby in for two weeks to try and give them a good start together. We would not allow the father (if he is) to come into our home. For once her Dad delivered this news himself. So after all that, I am told that all they have heard the entire lives is " I am the other woman", I am the bitch that stole their Dad. I told them that is exactly the way I felt I had been always treated, and asked what did I ever do to deserve this disrespect. I told them they are adults now and the BS does not work anymore - they are old enough to see and know who and what I am, and who and what their mother is. The biggest problem is that their Dad does not back me up or stand up for me. He still thinks I am being overly sensitive. Believe me I am not, I call it like I see it. It is a contest, a test, I can not make a move, say or do anything that is not taken the wrong way. I have remained quiet for so long, hoping that things will change - but the older they get the worst it gets. It has caused strain on my relationship with my husband, with their relationship with my children. I have never referred to them as my step children, nor did I teach my kids they were half sisters. SO this Xmas is my final test. I did wrap gifts, but put only my name on them if I purchased them myself. No longer am I willing to play Santa for their father and have them think he does it all. I have made it clear that they need to contribute to the meal and help with the clean up - they are not guests in my house and I and or my children should be responsible for the clean up while they sit and do nothing. I am so anxious about the family get together - it is almost dread. I used to love Xmas - but this has put such a strain on me solely it makes me want to do nothing. I know I should not give them the brain space and allow them to affect me in such adverse ways. But, I am human and they do. There is this big separation now between "my" family and "their" family. That never used to come into play - we were all one family. I do not want to exclude them, but unless they or their father realize the negative effect their actions cause and make a change - I feel I will be forced to make major changes. I will cut them off and stop trying to be the glue that has kept them together all these years. I will leave their relationships with their father and my children up to them.