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Damned if I do, damned if I don't

tigerlily74's picture

I previously posted about DH emailing his kids about treating me respectfully. SS34 finally replied with a loooong email. Everything is twisted beyond belief and you have to wonder what sort of filter he observes his life through.

On the one hand, he says: you guys don't do anything to build a relationship with us.

On the other hand, he says: you keep forcing Tigerlily on us everytime you ask to bring her to a family gathering.

Er, make up your mind. Do you want us to interact or not? If you don't want to interact with me, then you cannot blame me for not trying to build a relationship with you.

Do you guys think it's just time to give up?


ndc's picture

My recollection was that your husband wrote to them that if they continued to exclude you from events, then they would be seeing less of him.  Since your SS is contradicting himself, I'm not exactly sure what he's saying, but it doesn't sound like he's saying "We'll be inviting TigerLily to all future events."  So what was your husband's reaction?  Is he going to follow through on what he wrote?  

tigerlily74's picture

Yes, he's definitely following through. He's actually been staying away from gatherings where I've not been invited, and intends to continue. SS calls it blackmail.

SS' actual words were: "I won't bow to your pressure to accept Tigerlily as part of the family. I love you Dad but I detest your bullying and insincerity. I hope you will have a change of heart and stop insisting on bringing her to gatherings."

I suppose going forward, we should assume I'm not invited and DH should not ask anymore - since his asking is being construed as "forcing" the issue.

sandye21's picture

Did you know DH before his divorce from BM?  Just wondering if you have recieved any 'reason' that SS is shunning you.  I got blamed for the DG/BM divorce and I didn't even live near them, let alone know DH then. 

If anything, your SS is using blackmail - the threat of cutting DH off if he doesn't treat you the way SS is.  I doubt if SS will ever see that his behavior is atricious, he's so strongly justified his actions.  But think - do normal people act like this?  Maybe SS is doing you a favor but he sure isnt doing himself any favors.

tigerlily74's picture

Nope. I didn't know him during the last 10 disastrous years of the marriage before the Ex-Wife forced the divorce through. And I only met DH one year after the divorce was finalised. There is NO WAY any reasonable person would link me to the divorce.

I doubt if SS will ever see that his behavior is atrocious, he's so strongly justified his actions.

He constantly uses religious language to justify what he says. Quoting the Bible, saying he is "communicating the truth in love", saying "even non-Christians wouldn't act like this" etc. So pompous. And he doesn't realise how contradictory he is, most times. For eg, saying we are not even trying to improve relationships, yet accusing us of trying to impose on them when DH asks to include me in things. Or saying I slander him when he is the one calling me names. Good grief.

sandye21's picture

Tiger, I know right now it might seem as though it is a 'no-win' situation for you being 'demonized' by SS.  In reality, you will be very 'blessed' if this Bible-thumping hypocrite wants to shun you forever.  He sounds like he is just plain crazy.  As many of the other posters have advised, keep well away from SS.  Your DH seems to have your back.  Let him deal with SS,  Work on having a happy marriage.

tigerlily74's picture

It's sad. I used to believe that when you marry someone, you marry their family. Obviously, I never imagined marrying a divorced man and that "family" would include adult stepkids. With my past boyfriends, their families absolutely loved me. My ex-fiance's mom still sends me birthday wishes every year and it's been >20years since we broke up!

What's sad is that since marrying DH, I've given up this conviction that I've entered into a covenant with DH's family members. I'm now at a place where the stepkids and DH's sister are just strangers - toxic people I do not want to deal with if I don't have to. They are DH's unpleasant relatives and I don't feel the need to build relationships with them anymore.

DH and I have each other, and we have my family who love him to bits. I think it's clear who we want to spend time with. And I think we're old enough to give zero f&$#s when it comes to toxic people. Smile

Focused_onourlife's picture

I could have written this comment with the exception of having an ex-fiance. I just wish I wouldn't have wasted 17 years trying to get my in-laws and then skids now kidults to see the good in me. It wasn't until I built the strength to disengage from skids and stand my ground with my DH (even told him I'm done going around his family since they never really accepted me like my family did DH (his baggage and all) that he realized I was done. He tried to suck me back in to no avail. I support his relationships with them, I'm just done. The funniest thing happend, he respect me and my wants more with his family and realize how much happier I am and as a result, our marriage is.

Had I not stood my ground and read on this site, I think I would still be 'nagging him about skids/in-laws and looking like the only one with the problem.

I'm glad you and your DH have each other and are a team!

tigerlily74's picture

So glad to hear that your DH respects you more for having stood your ground. If we respect ourselves and do not let other people dictate our lives or drag us into the mud, I think we definitely get more respect - from rational people, anyway! The irrational skepkids will never respect us or change their minds, and I think the sooner we realise that the faster we get over trying to win them over! Bye, Felicia.

fairyo's picture

I think you are very lucky with a DH who is preparing to stand up for you- however, it does sound like a negative response from SS and I suspect you will get more of this. It certainly sounds as if they feel DH is 'forcing' the issue. Maybe they are now turning their resentment against him, which often happens.

You are damned if you do, and damned if you don't. SPs rarely get what they want from this situation.

After nine years of this sort of crap (and The Ostrich made it clear that his family came first) I walked. I am now free of all that enmeshed craziness. I wish you more luck that I had though, though I suggest everyone backs off for a while and not make things worse, disengagement is a mental and not just a phycical process. Stand your ground.

tigerlily74's picture

I'm so sorry to hear that you had to walk away from the crap. It's really annoying being demonised to fit the stepkids' victim narrative.

I've kept quiet in the four years of being with DH. My belief was that anything I said would be twisted and taken out of context, so I didn't want to give them any ammunition. Now, should I continue this stance? Or should I finally break my silence and say something?

still learning's picture

It sounds like you and DH are doing the right thing and ss is reacting as any spoiled child not getting their way would. I can't imagine anything you can say that would help the situation.  If you must say something to DH say, "too bad he feels that way" and then move on. Keep loving and supporting your husband, make your relationship about the two of you and very little about them.  

tigerlily74's picture

Yup. The more nonsense these kids come up with, the closer DH and I get. They really need to wake up and realise they are shooting themselves in the foot!

SacrificialLamb's picture

Unfortunately it is rare that the skids realize they are shooting themselves in the foot. More frequently they resort to punishing their father for not doing what they want him to, which is to place the Holy Original Family above all else.  My OSD, in her mid-40's, has been doing this for a few years now. She thinks she is teaching her father a lesson by giving him the silent treatment and withholding the grandkids from him. It's not working.

tigerlily74's picture

That's exactly what the skids are doing. Punishing DH for the marrying me. Withholding access to them and their families.

And yet, I *know* it infuriates them when I tag DH in photos on Facebook showing him all happy with my family - especially being close to my nieces who aren't much older than his grandkids. DH interacts with my nieces far more often than their kids. SD32 even deleted her Facebook - and I'm pretty sure it's because she couldn't stand witnessing DH's life with me.

Now, who's to blame for that?

Focused_onourlife's picture

My skids are now punishing my DH as well. In my case I think it was because my DH finally stood up for me to OSD25 and since I had already disengaged (She didn't know at the time) she didn't have me to call and/or blame. 


Your DH is to blame just like mine was because he allowed the rude behavior for so long. Or I guess I should say, mine was scared to lose his kid's love . ODD was rude to my DH too but he even ignore that for too long in hopes she would "grow up".

Where I you, I wouldn't speak up. Your DH seems to be handling his kidults well and SS will not listen to you anyway. You have your DH and happy life, that's all you signed up for.

tigerlily74's picture

When we got together four years ago, SS was already 30 and SD was 28. DH thinks they are old enough to account for their actions and he is pretty lax when it comes to "disciplining" them. He thinks they are too old for him to prescribe their behaviour and they have to decide for themselves what is right/wrong. So yes, he allows their rudeness - although he does signal his disapproval by not attending gatherings to which I'm not invited etc.

I, however, come from a family where my Dad is definitely an Alpha male. He calls out bad behaviour when he sees it - even if we are >40yo. So I get frustrated when I think DH should be behaving more Alpha, like what I believe it to proper fatherly conduct.

I suppose we all have different family cultures!

jam's picture

I am thinkging your SD32 may have NOT deleted her Facebook. I'm betting that she blocked you both as just another form of punishment for being disobedient. At least that has been my experience.

fairyo's picture

I broke the silence and if I hadn't we may still be together- however, what kind of a relationship is it where you cannot speak? No one censors me now- I can say what I want when I want! It is sad for him but I'm moving on...


oneoffour's picture

Let actions speak louder than words. Your DH isn't a bully. He isn't forcing anything. He has his line in the sand which is perfectly cceptable

 The sad thing is his son is resorting to emotional blackmail. How would his son feel if his father recused to. Get along with sons partner and insist on excluding him or her from gatherings?. I suppose it is easier to demonize someone than try to do d common ground and be thankful your parent is happy.

tigerlily74's picture

SS has gone from attacking me to attacking DH. Attacking me obviously didn't work since I didn't take the bait and I just kept quiet. I didn't even bother to defend myself when SS sent the extended family poisonous emails about me. So now he's attacking DH with this emotional blackmail. He says DH has changed and is no longer trustworthy. So pathetic.

sammigirl's picture

This will certainly bite him in the A$$$$$....It is all about to catch up with your SS.

KARMA is enjoyable to watch.  Just stay silent and let your DH handle his end.

I have been enjoying KARMA for over a year now with my SD57.  She is punishing her Father, because he didn't divorce me, when she insisted he do so, four years ago.  Hahahahaha...not working for her at all.

sammigirl's picture

Ignore him and follow your DH's signals.  You will never do it right in your SS's eyes.  Just build your marriage and move forward. 

I discovered, after 38 years, that I wasted years and years trying with my SD57.  It didn't matter to this very day.  Don't waste years trying to please. 

If DH wants you to go with him, and you want to be with your DH, do it.  If you don't want to do it, just let DH do as he pleases.  NEVER let your skids dictate what you and their Dad do together.  It only causes you stress, they really are trying to control; my SD is all about controlling other lives.   Disengagement works well, I know.  I only wished I had discovered my disengagement from my grown skids years ago.

My disengagement has made my SD57 and SGD34 (mother/daughter) crazy.  They hate the fact that I'm in control of my own life and they know nothing about what I'm doing these days.  I blocked them both, 5 years ago, from ALL my social media.  My SD sent me a 2 page hate email, which was her demise.  Her loss.  :) 

tigerlily74's picture

Oh goodness. I've never let them into my social media. They twist everything as it is. I really don't need them to judge my every social media post! The only way they see anything of mine is when I tag DH in photos and I think those absolutely infuriate them. Too bad, haters!

You're absolutely right. I would never let the skids dictate what DH and I do together. I'm not giving them control over our lives!

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Your SS is quite the manipulative little sh!t, isn’t he? It’s generally female skids who indulge in calculated, self serving arguments like that.

Your DH has drawn a line in the sand, and apparently his kids aren’t used to that so SS is trying to escalate. Regardless, the ball is in their court so focus on your happy marriage. The happier your marriage, the better you and your DH will be able to roll with the next conflict. And there will be more.

tigerlily74's picture

He's a pompous, judgemental ass. He tries to manipulate and it maddens him that neither DH nor I take the bait. Sorry, child, you can call us names and attempt emotional blackmail. It just makes DH and I closer. Biatch.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Take if from all of our experiences, you cannot win in this dysfunctional situation.  These brats are raised to mistreat others and feel entitled with even their own parents, who cave to them.  Therefore, the step parent has no say and no place.  Once you realize  what your reality is, at least you can make a plan to preserve your own emotional health and your marriage. If I had to witness what I tried to stomach for years, I would file for divorce immediately. Being away from the pathetic mess is the only way I can be happy; my DH is not going to change; the brats he raised are not going to either.  They do not want me around and now I agree with them...:-)

Disillusioned's picture

Since your damned if you do and damned if you don't, like so many of us, do what works for YOU and don't worry what your skids or inlaws think! 

Wilhelm's picture

Well as a nonchristian married to a christian I have to say I would expect nothing less than to be invited to all family gatherings. 

marblefawn's picture

You did marry his family when you married him, but they have to WANT a big happy family too and your steps don't. Your steps have made it clear you will not be accepted anytime soon. So go off and live your happy life. Let the chips fall as they fall -- you tried. How much of your life do you want to waste on unhappy people from his past?

For your husband, disengaging will be harder -- they are his blood. But surely he has accepted the people his kids chose as spouses and THAT is what he needs to point out to them. It's the classic "do unto others," right?

It's time for your husband to tell his kids: "I've accepted happily who you chose as spouses. I've been supportive and loving. I support your children from those unions. After all these years, I now expect the same from you. You're all adults. You all understand 'do unto others.' So let us know when you can achieve parity and accept the people who make me happy. We'd love to see you then. It will be a helluva party!"

This is what I always dreamed of my husband saying to SD -- I desperatey waited for him to defend his right to be happy, choose a spouse and expect civility from SD toward that spouse. It won't ever happen -- I married a worm.

But your husband is standing up to his kids. Maybe you can test this theory I've always had. I always thought if my husband asked SD how she would like it if HE refused to accept her spouse, maybe she could change her ways. If he would firmly remind SD that HE accepted who SHE chose as a spouse, remind her how ugly her life would be if he, her father, refused to see or accept her husband, refused to write son-in-law's name on cards, acknowledge that her husband even exists, could SD change her treatment toward me? Could the old, "How would you like it if I treated your husband like that?" work on SD? I mean, she's 30-something.

Maybe it's time for your husband to challenge his kids like this. And because they seem to be Bible bangers, I'd also ask about the Christian love thing. How does your SS get off treating you so shabby if he bangs a Bible?

Your skids and mine are still acting like petulent children who may like or hate whomever they want. They aren't kids. It's OK to challenge their behavior now as inappropriate. If nothing else, it's certainly time to let your SS put his Bible where his mouth is. Christian love is not too much to ask from Christians.


sandye21's picture

"I married a worm."  Yep, me too.  All I asked from DH 8 years ago was to tell SD that she is to respect me as his wife.  Never happened so I gave him back the responsibility to be the parent to her and took myself out of the equation - and took away her right to visit him in our home.  This is just a consequence of inaction by DH at several levels.  If my DH doesn't value our marriage enough to support me as a husband should a wife, I don't owe it to him to support his relationship with SD - he's on his own.

I agree with your opinion of SS.  I've met SOOO many self-righteous 'Christians' who do not 'put the Bible where their mouth is'.  I will remember this line for later use.  Thanks,

marblefawn's picture

To be honest, I was winging it on that Christian love stuff, but I think it sounded pretty Christiany.

shamds's picture

Dysfunctional family ever and they were not welcome in their family home. She and her family are batshit crazy and her policeman dad and brother threatened to shoot and stab hubby to death if he didn’t give her more money for the wedding or in the divorce. 

Exwife would bring their 3 kids to see her family but hubby refused to. Thats what hubby is happy about because he doesn’t like drama and he doesn’t wanna be somewhere where people are major arseholes... this makes his 3 kids with her getting married difficult because we know her family are not civil and it’ll never change and hubby wouldn’t want to be in that situation.

funny thing is the tables have turned on the exwife, her own siblings hate her and have threatened harm to her and done voodoo to harm her, even breaking into the home hubby bought for them to live in after the divorce (he bought it for the skids) because she didn’t wanna spend a penny of all the money she stole from hubby

Siemprematahari's picture

You keep forcing Tigerlily on us everytime you ask to bring her to a family gathering.

I couldn't help but laugh at this sentence Lol I mean're his wife, did they think their dad would not want his wife around during gatherings?

I think you've handled this situation pretty well. Yes you should give up on trying to have a relationship with them. You don't need the negativity. Enjoy your H and the best revenge is living your best life.


notasm3's picture

SS's GF had a hissy fit when they could not use my vacation home (that I owned for years before meeting DH) after their horrible home invasion of our primary home where they ransacked everything and helped themselves to whatever they wanted.  That alone proved to me that they were both utter morons.  Why would I let them use my vacation home after they entered our home without permission and left things looking like a burglar had been looking for loot?

The GF sent DH horrible emails about how he was not allowed to see the grandson, etc.  DH just ignored them.  Not sure what happened as I do not ever ask about them, but DH does see his son and grandson.  He doesn't think much of the GF - but I do not participate in conversations about them other than a un huh every once in awhile.

Net result - the blackmail with the grandchild did not work.  I am so glad that I have a husband who was strong enough to just ignore their rants.  Just an aside - the GF is a COD who has been spoiled and coddled forever.  She's truly a brat.  But she is not relevant in my life at all.  I tossed the trash.

OP - none of this is about you personally.  Your deranged SS would have a problem with anyone.  Ignoring him is the best revenge.  Who cares what he thinks?  I don't care whether my worthless SS is dead or alive.  I certainly don't care what he thinks of me.