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Do you tell others what is happening?

Sadge56's picture

My adult SSs are not very nice people, they steal from their father (DH) and are abusive to him. After years of suggesting to DH that he is not helping them by allowing this behaviour I have discovered your site and I am starting to disengage. Nobody know what has been going on unless they have guessed, I worry about looking like a bitch but we are all in the habit of pretending this is normal. If I tell people like sister in law etc why I won’t have any more to do with them I will feel disloyal to DH who will be hurt. We have a new grandchild (SS 34 year old) and I was told not to come to the baby shower for fear of upsetting BM. Nobody knows this but me, SS and DH. Maybe BM.  This is the sort of thing DH would expect me to keep to myself - ‘say you couldn’t make it because of illness’. What have others done in my position? My own grown daughters suspect I get a rough time but I am in the habit of trying to keep everything pleasant on the surface rather than have everything blow apart.

sandye21's picture

You mentioned that you have started to disengage.  I did in 2010, and have never been sorry for doing so.  AND it gets better with time.  The 'ultimate' solution is for you DH to demonstrate to the skids that you are a united couple, your marriage is his top priority, and that he will not allow anyone to disrespect you as his wife.  Disengaging is not the ultimate solution but it is better than continuing to suffer the abuse.

I am sure that there are other people besides your daughters who have witnessed or suspect you are going through a rough time. If SS is not pleasant on the surface why should you be?  Part of disengaging is setting boundaries with the skids - and DH.  You need to come up with a list of what you you will and will not allow in your home, your relationship with SS and your expectations of DH.  Then do everything you can to raise your self-esteem so you honestly believe you deserve mutual respect from everyone.

I've been fully disengaged for almost 9 years.  DH is free to visit SD just about whenever he wishes but SD is not allowed in my home.  I never speak of SD and If DH brings her up in conversation I change the subject.  Believe me -- it gets easier and better with time.

Sadge56's picture

Thank you. Doesn’t sound easy and I’m not sure which way my husband will choose to react. He has a tendency to get angry with the wrong person. 

Winterglow's picture

Though I would not volunteer the information about the shower, if I were asked then I absolutely would tell the truth - "SS told me not to come". If pressed, add "so as not to upset his mother". Deliver it in a neutral and detached tone and leave it there.

Why would you lie for people who treat you so badly?

still learning's picture

^Exactly, why lie to protect people who hate you. Protecting the abusers will only allow the abuse to continue.  

eminem's picture

Good for you sandyu21 i also disengaged away to as theres always bloody drama its never ending .Dh visits grandkids every few weeks in their homes ..

ESMOD's picture

Lucky you... no need to go play all those guess the flavor of baby food... diaper changing contests... 

I bowed out of my old shower. No desire to spend one second with my DH's ex.  Sent her a gift and my regrets. 

I was thrilled to miss it. I hate things like that. Would not have given 2 craps if I was not invited.  I'm not her mother... why would I expect to go and play act the part?

I mean.. I get on just fine with osd but in an intimate shower situation? No need to put her through that tension.

Sadge56's picture

I hadn’t thought of it that way like dodging a bullet, but it’s the meanness in saying I wasn’t welcome that is unpleasant.

ESMOD's picture

It is a bit of a mind shift.. but seriously.. they sound like horrid people.. I would be over the moon that i wasn't going to be expected to spend time in their company.

And.. you get to set the boundaries here.. you don't have to do things FOR these people either.  

sammigirl's picture

Truth and straight talk! 

Lucky you.  You are not obligated for future expectations now.

I get the hurt you feel, but believe me they all did you a favor.

Now the door is open, walk thru it.  You don't say anything, just take your disengagement forward from here.  I am totally disengaged,  but am civil.  Since I quit playing SD58 's game, it is no longer fun for her.

My DH is totally disabled, therefore I have never band his adult kids  from our home, thus they and their families visit him.  I just do not hostess them in ANY way, nothing.   

I detest my SD visiting; she lives in a neighboring State, visits maybe six times a year.  She is abrasive,  rude, and will never stop the mind games.  I literally just ignore her.  It is obvious, no pretending, but no words, no emotions on my behalf.  

Unpleasant is the understatement.  I love my disengagement.   It has been almost seven years and I am finally back to taking care of myself.  In my situation, I needed to disengage from my DH also, where SD58  is concerned.  Thus it broke up the blended family DH so desired.

Do not carry this hurt, feel grateful the door of opportunity was opened up.

Hugs.  Good roads ahead.


sammigirl's picture

Never announce that you are disengaging, just take it as needed.


ndc's picture

Even if your DH wants you to, I would not lie.  If someone asked why I didn't go to the shower, I would not say I was sick.  My integrity is worth too much to give up so that a miserable skid won't embarrass my husband.  I might dodge a question, or paint something in the most positive light, but no way would I lie for him.  What if you say you were sick and then the SD says you weren't invited? You'd look like a dishonest fool.

You don't need to go out of your way to broadcast the situation (as tempting as it might be), but you don't need to lie, either.


sammigirl's picture

The mannerisms in which you handle it includes the truth always.

Kes's picture

Yes, I tell my daughters and close friends.  DH would like me, I think, to not do so, as he wants to remain with the delusion that his daughters are nice people - they aren't.   I am of the opinion that we own everything we experience and can talk/write about it if we so choose.   If the SDs/NPD BM wanted me to say nice things about them, they should have behaved better. 

Lollybobs's picture

I didn't tell people because I felt I couldn't explain it properly without sounding disloyal to DH by admitting his poor parenting skills. However I have since realised that isn't my problem and giving my point of view makes me look less like a b!tch.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Loyalty begins with your husband and in these situations we are dealing with husbands who are not man enough to stand up for their wives, over their adult kids. Call all of them out, tell the truth, somebody has to do it. It will not change a thing, but at least it is out there and anybody with a brain and observational skills will understand how you feel. Why protect those who do not protect you?

Do not support their sick enmeshment, who could they bully next? 

And, you are doing the right thing by staying away from it.

shamds's picture

Stuff because they see hubby in denial and doing the typical guilty disney daddy parenting

they ask me why I didn’t go to said and said event, hubby says we’re not feeling well or busy with university.

i tell sil’s reality is I refused to go because of skids especially sd’s because of their lack of respect and boundaries and because they intentionally at weddings and engagements sneak feeding my toddler the most inappropriate and dangerous stuff that would make them real sick and sit with a smug look.

i have refused to participate in any events they will be at and sils know as they picked up on the signs. They used to say its all bio mum  but now they see skids as exactly like bio mum and only my 2 kids have hubby’s personality traits

still learning's picture

We have a new grandchild..

Correction: DH has a new grandchild.  If this was your grandbaby you will be an honored guest at the shower not excluded and told to lie about being sick. Love the new baby but do it with a bit of distance like you would an aquaintaince's child.  I get the whole "we" thing. DH says "we", and "ours" when it comes to his grandchildren but I know better. I have never been invited to a shower, their birthday parties, or any family holidays. It's clear that the family circle has been drawn and I'm on the outside of it and I'm okay with that.  

Ispofacto's picture

If I was uninvited I certainly would not provide a gift.

And if someone asked, I would certainly tell the truth, calmly.  If DH wants credit for being a good parent, he should be one.  If skids want credit for being decent people, they should be decent people.  Otherwise you look like the offender, and you are not.

That said, I did kick DH out of the house temporarily recently and have not mentioned it to his family or most of our friends.  We are staying married.  I'm sure it is a source of embarassment for him, and if he wants to confide in his family that is up to him.

I told them he might feel better if he tells them the truth, since he is nervous about keeping it secret.  They'd understand, they all hate BM and recongnize how similar SD is.


MissTexas's picture

and in doing so, you end up being miserably unhappy.

Please do not perpetuate the lie, by saying "I was ill." Nothing good will come from it. Not that you owe anyone an explanation, but if they ask, be honest. People will respect you for it, moreso than if you fabricate some falsity. You're only making them look good, and yourself look bad in doing so.

SD had a long rant, and screamed like a wild feral banshee, while DH did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to stop it or shut her down. (There's much more to this story than this) Recently there was to be a family reunion. I explained to DH we would not be going since SD is a loose cannon and we can not know what to expect from her or her behavior. We've gone every year it has been in existence, so no big deal. His first questions was, "What will we tell people when they ask why we didn't attend?" I said, "I don't care. Tell them whatever YOU WANT TO. If I am asked, I will tell them the truth: your daughter is a feral bottom feeder who's highly unpredictable, and you don't do anything about her or her behavior, so it makes it next to impossible for us to attend any family functions that she may also plan on attending." He asked, "You'd really tell them that?" To which I responded, "Yes, because IT'S THE TRUTH."

Your DH is a grandparent, you are his wife. That's the sad truth. I am also married to DH who's a grandparent, and I am just his wife.


CLove's picture

Just tell the truth and keep your disengagement going. Its called healthy boundaries and they need to be set and enforced. Let your DH explain...

Exjuliemccoy's picture

My life changed for the better the day I told my H that I wasn't covering for him with his family anymore. I wasted years going along with the dsyfunction and rugsweeping; it ultimately didn't help anyone and only enabled unhealthy behaviors to flourish/continue.

You can't start healing or move forward as long as you're a part of the problem. Turn it back on your H and ask him why he wants you to lie. Make him give a cogent explanation of why lying is best - I bet it will be a bunch of blarney.



sammigirl's picture

I wouldn't give an explanation.  If your DH feels he has to lie, then that is on him.

Merry's picture

I don't lie about it either. I don't go out of the way to badmouth or complain, but if asked I tell the truth as simply and calmly as possible, even if it puts DH in a bad light. 

Lying just adds to the problem and you become complicit in covering up bad behavior. 

sandye21's picture

If you lie or try to give the impression that everything is hunky-dory, the only one it is goignt o hurt is you.  I wouldn't lie, just smile and keep quiet - same as lying.  Now I don't go into great detail but am finding out the truth will really set you free.  Now when someone tells me how wonderful my DH is let them know by the expression on my face or a short answer, that all is not as it appears.

SacrificialLamb's picture

I have it so easy in this area. I live in an area with a lot of retirees. I can't tell you how many of my friends are in marriages like mine where the adult SDs hate the SM. Or the skids are upset that dad and SM are spending money and having fun.

When DH goes to the Holy Land to visit OSD, everyone understands why I stay home.

Siemprematahari's picture

Disturbing how your H is ok with you lying and keeping it to yourself. You can clearly see where his loyalty lies.




Sadge56's picture

I think he is embarrassed by the behaviour of his sons, but when it boils down yes his loyalties are with them. He has heaps of power because they rely on him for handouts, paying fines etc but he doesn’t use it he just tolerates it all.

Rags's picture

Absolutely I tell others.   I don't tolerate bullshit and I am not a fan of people who think 'The Emporer's New Clothes" or Ostrich Mode is a way to go through life.  I point out the facts. If people are running rhrough life butt neked while trying to convince others that they are dressed to the 9s I point it out to them and everone else in the mix.  If they have their heads burried in the sand while attempting to guilt others into bailing them out... the butt is in the perfect orientation to apply a boot. So I apply the boot.

My wife's entire family is like this.  I am the only one who has always confronted it directly. My wife got on board fairly early after we married since she has never suffered from the family delusion.  She would not say anything but she also did not participate.  Now she says something. The rest of them will discuss it behind the prancing neked idiot's back but never say anything to them directly or take direct action to deliver clarity.

Needless to say, I am not particularly popular when it comes to family crisis.   I focus on solutions, the rest of the clan focuses on coddling and putting themselves in jeopardy to bail out the idiot of the moment.

So far, my method has delivered strong success for two formerly delusional IL clan branches who no longer do the same stupid shit over and over again while expecting a different result.  Only two more branches of the IL clan to go and I should have the entire clan on a platform of reality rather than the historical delusional foundation. 

The two branches my bride and I have advised to a position on  solid ground are appreciative but are still dedicated to coddling the remaining idiots.


Wooman's picture

If you were to disengage from a friend, would you still go, or want to go, to her baby shower? If you are cutting the cord you have to accept that it extends both ways. Given that your SSs are abusive, what purpose would it really serve to attend their events anyway? They don't deserve your presence. Fully disengage.