You are here

Disengaged, but how to visit???

2Tired4Drama's picture

My SO has a bright idea to go and visit SD, her husband and grandson in a few months.  He plans to stay at their home for a few days and then we could do an extended camping/road trip back home afterwards.  (This is all dependent upon Covid situation, of course.)

My problem is this: I am disengaged from SD and do NOT feel comfortable staying in her home. I always thought that if we ever wound up in their area for a visit, we would stay in a hotel and I could cut out whenever I needed to, or just stay in the hotel and let him "bond" with SD and family on his own. 

When he broached this visit with me, I flat-out said that I did not find this appealing and would not feel welcome in her home. Of course, he pooh-poohs that as though I'm the one with a problem for even suggesting I wouldn't be welcome there.  (Can we say "gaslighting"?)   

I have zero relationship or contact with SD.  If I were to suggest the same thing to my SO (Eg. "Let's go stay with these people I know who have made it obvious for more than 15 years that they don't like you!") he would absoultely refuse to do so.  And I wouldn't blame him nor would I push the issue.

So I'm just trying to strategize here and figure out what my options are. Don't want to make too big a deal of it right now since we aren't even sure if the trip will be possible in a couple of months.  Right now, I am of the mindset that we will stay in a hotel when in her area - or I won't go on the trip, period.  


Kes's picture

I would do the same as you - either stay in a hotel, or remain at home.   Surely your DH must recognise that you wouldn't feel comfortable in SD's house?  Mind you a lot of DHs are big on denial.  

Swim_Mom's picture

Even in the best of relationships, being or having a house guests can wear on people. I am the same way with adult SD's - DH wants to eventually go visit them. I could not imagine staying with them even if they did have space - it would just be awkward. I would be direct with your SO and tolerate no gaslighting. Though even if you were amicable, it is not a good idea. Stay in a hotel if you go at all.

The_Upgrade's picture

I'm not taking your SD's side at all. Just thinking back to the days after I had DD all I wanted to do was lock myself away and sleep (didn't sleep properly for years). But there were the endless visits from well wishers hoping for a glimpse of the baby and the baby did NOT sleep. The only silver lining was we could keep the visits brief and kick them out so I could go back to rocking my zombie walking dead, baby vomit burp, tit half out feeding look. Something not doable with daddy or stepmom looking on. If your DH won't consider your comfort approach it from SD's angle. She's never experienced the joys of early motherhood, but he's been through the chaos before. Surely he'd want to stay close by in a hotel, close enough to help while giving her privacy to figure things out herself. And you can enjoy endless massages at the hotel dayspa Smile

Merry's picture

That's exactly what we do when we go to Skidville, and we get along reasonably well most of the time. DH enjoys those bonding days without me, and I'm glad for the break.  I alway plan an "I need to work" day so I can hang at the hotel or go shopping or whatever. We're all happy. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

You've already drawn your boundary, and now your DH will chew on that for a while. Let him process it, and if he brings it up again act like it's a done deal.

Maybe look up a few hotels in the area to see which are closest, have the best amenities, etc? Have that info ready for the next convo.

Practice neutral sayings like "This is the best option for everyone" and "SD and I will be most comfortable this way", and as others have suggested, emphasize that you don't want to make more work for PreciousNewMomPrincessSD.

still learning's picture

We've all painfully learned that SM's feelings and comfort don't matter to DH when it comes to dealing with skids.  You spoke your truth which was a reflection of many years of dealing with SD. You said:

I did not find this appealing and would not feel welcome in her home. 

This put DH on defensive because it suggests that his daughter is unwelcoming and rude you you, all which may be true yet he chooses not to see the dynamic.  What works for me is either being too busy with work or other obligations to see skids or not wishing to impose on their privacy.  In this case it could be spun that due to Covid you don't want to pose another unnecessary risk to mother or baby and feel safer staying in a hotel for their sake while having minimal contact. You're happy to help DH shop for a gift, send food or whatever, but from a distance.  Also you're a light sleeper (or you've suddenly developed a sleep issue) and wouldn't want them to feel like they and a newborn had to tip toe around you.  Ham it up! Make the entire thing about SD and the baby's comfort and how you just couldn't bear to be in the way or any sort of burden to this at such a delicate time.  DH will of course poo poo this as well but you will be adament about SD and the baby's safety and comfort! 

Another option is that you could fly in after DH has his visit then resume your camping/road trip.  Vent to us, we understand. When it comes to talking to DH about skids pretend you're a well versed politican where everything, even your lack of presence, is for SD's benefit.  

didn'tsignupforapunk's picture

I understand why you're saying what you are but perhaps it just needs to boil down to, "No I'm not comfortable staying at her house." That's really the only explanation she owes anyone.

still learning's picture

Yes that should be the only thing she should have to say, according to her post she has already stated that and only been gaslighted for it, hence she is asking for alternative suggestions. In a perfect world her wishes would be respected, yet this is StepWorld and being honest and vulnerable about feelings when it comes to skids only leads to gaslighting and aggression.  

Harry's picture

One with room service,  spa  ect. Nice restaurant. 

Jojo4124's picture

 If your SO can't accept your reasonable 'no' then take care of you. You know if you go you will be in hell. Don't do that to yourself. You disengaged for a reason, stay true to you. 

Hotel and your own rental car? Then it is vacation for you n you never have to are skid. If your SO tries to push you just calmly repeat the same thing like 'no thank you" if asked why just say "I have my reasons" sounds like SO won't respect your reasons and could use them against you if skid pumps for why you won't engage.

Keep your peace at all costs...and plan to enjoy yourself with a book or craft or hotel hot tub!


hereiam's picture

If I were to suggest the same thing to my SO (Eg. "Let's go stay with these people I know who have made it obvious for more than 15 years that they don't like you!") he would absoultely refuse to do so

And so should you.

SD proabably doesn't want you staying in her home, any more than you want to stay there, so why should your SO force the issue?

SacrificialLamb's picture

I have zero relationship with my OSD. DH goes and visits her on his own. I prefer to stay home and scoop cat litter. 

Why is it necessary for you to go? I would tell your SO that it would probably be a better visit for him if you weren't there.

Aniki's picture

Scoop it barehanded, at that!

2Tired, three options:

  • SO goes alone
  • You both go. SO stays with SD and you stay at a hotel with lovely spa services.
  • You both go and you both stay at a hotel with lovely spa services. SO goes bonding and you enjoy those services.

Miss T's picture

... is irrelevant. That's as it should be in disengagement. What is relevant is what she wants, which in this case is nothing to do with them.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I would seriously be happy to pick up cat feces all day long (no scooper, even required); than to spend ten minutes more in their torture chamber!

2Tired4Drama's picture

As always, thanks to all for your insights and suggestions!  Even after more than 8 years on STalk (does that officially make me an old-timer?!! LOL) I can say I am still learning how to navigate situations and others' perspectives are so helpful.

I did bring up the subject of visiting SD again with my SO. I asked if he had discussed any of this yet with SD and he had not. I was glad I didn't wait longer because I feared he would ask to come to stay with her, and then I'd be in an even bigger mess trying to get out of it. 

Then I used a combination of suggestions from all of you, essentially saying we should respect the fact that SD & family already have busy lives (both work, crawling baby, multiple dogs, etc.) and they really don't need both of us staying there making things more challenging. I told him I would go if we stay in a hotel. He tried to pooh-pooh it a bit, but I held firm and just calmly looked at him like there was no room for negotiaton. 

I think he knows deep down it would be an uncomfortable situation. This option makes it better for him so he can have time with them and not have to worry about me being ignored, or worse.  So he said OK without too much fuss.  

Oh, and the best part?  I told him he would also be picking up the full tab for the hotel. We don't blend finances and usually split vacation costs.  But this ain't no vacation and I'll be damned if I pay for any of it!  Smile




hereiam's picture

I'm glad it worked out!

but I held firm and just calmly looked at him like there was no room for negotiaton

People need to realize that this ^^^ is very important. Say what you have to say, then SHUT UP. Stay calm, shut up, and let what you've said sit there, let the silence sit there. We need to learn when to use the silence. It makes people uncomfortable and we can use that.

Missingme's picture

I wouldn't be able to pull the "in their best interests" off as my hub knows how much I can't stand them.  Well done and glad you won't have to much!  

Miss T's picture

DH broke his own heart a month ago by cancelling a scheduled SS visit due to covid risk. He has informed me that later this month he just gotta gotta gotta go see SS, driving to a neightboring state where covid continues to rage as it also does in ours.

He very carefully made it clear that I am invited too (in the past I have been specifically disinvited from SS events, and he knows what that gets him) but I plan to decline this opportunity. Basically I'll just say no, but I generally do not bother with elaborate reasons and you should not feel obligated to either. In this case I may add a small polite flourish by saying that I cannot bear the thought of crawling along in traffic jams 5 hours there and 5 hours back (true). Depending on the covid situation, which is likely to further deteriorate over the next couple or three weeks, I'm also likely to try to get him to see that it is not safe for people in our age group to travel anywhere. And my car, which he prefers over his for longer trips, will develop a vexing mechanical issue requiring several days in the shop shortly before the departure date.

I get nauseous whenever I recall the words he said to me early in our relationship: "I worship my son ... My son will always come first for me ... " Years on, the meaning and truth of those words begin to sink in. It's bad enough when those words are being spoken of a bratty, entitled adolescent, but they're really sick-making when spoken of a grown-ass man who presents a clear health risk to the speaker. Blech.

Like mine, your DH has his head screwed on wrong. Use whatever fig leaf you have available if you're feeling polite. Otherwise, JUST SAY NO.

Winterglow's picture

Remind him that he'll be self-quarantining for two weeks when he returns and spell out exactly what that means.

Hasn't he ever heard of Zoom, Skype, etc?

Miss T's picture

Yep, forgot about that. And I will mention Zoom and Skype, too, just because I like to wrestle with reality.

Honestly, he drives me out of my mind wiith his clear adoration of poopsie poo, whom I see as a nasty, entitled young man. I try to keep it to a low simmer if only for the sake of my own mental health, but IT IS CRAZY MAKING.

Miss T's picture

" ... I'd love to see you, but I don't want you to risk your health and SM's .. "

And then I woke up.