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Does it ever end? Do they ever grow up?!

MorningMia's picture

Hi. I'm new here. Will definitely be reading everyone else's posts & responses, as from the subject titles, I see that many of us are in the same boat. 

My husband & I have been married nearly 20 years. His kids are now well into adulthood. VERY early in our marriage, his ex, an excessive fanatical control freak, tried to take command of our lives, exert outrageous control, intrude into our lives sometimes on a daily basis, and so on. When we resisted, attempting to set normal boundaries, she dove into "parental alienation mode,"  weaponizing the kids. So, six months into our marriage, the kids stopped speaking to us. The daughter held out for a few years (predictably until she needed money for college). After constant harassment from the ex (email and phone) during this time, I finally spoke up and told her to back off and stop brainwashing her kids. She told the kids that I had attacked her, I had hurt her, etc. (I envision tears and a fit), which sealed the damage to the relationships.

I've honestly never known what I have truly "done wrong" in this situation (we have gone to counseling, I've racked my brain, I've attempted honest conversation with the skids), and I feel somewhat like a punching bag that at times has lost any sense of dignity. My husband and I have for the most part been a team when handling this, but, let's face it...they are his kids and of course he has wanted good relationships with them. At times, I've wondered what kind of man allows his wife to be treated like garbage, or who thinks she should be ok with being treated that way. (Then he sees that he is treated that way as well.)  At other times, I'm very happy he stands his ground and has confronted the issues.  

I can't begin to tell people what we have been through. . .the rudeness, the games, the hurt. At one point, I told my husband that I would no longer allow anyone treating me like dirt in my own house and I was done: If he wanted to see his kids, have at it. Go to them. I went 7 years without seeing my SD. She came around again, predictably, when she needed money for a wedding. It was then that she told me that when she was younger, she had felt I was stealing her father from her but she wanted to get past that and move forward. But her actions since then, some very hurtful, tell another story. She said the words that she hoped would result in another payday. 

Things went well (quiet) for a while, with only minor daggers thrown our (mostly my) way. Then my husband became ill and "THEY ARRIVED." My grown-a skids came into our house "to help" for several days but behaved like angry, resentful, jealous teenagers, expecting me to wait on them, cook for them, grocery shop after they emptied the cabinets and fridge, etc. while they went out and enjoyed themselves and napped in our living room (while my husband was immobile and I still had to work).
WHY did I think things would be different? WHY would I expect adults to behave like adults and not like entitled "owed" spoiled brats? They just left. 

This doesn't end, does it? I am so distraught right now, so indescribably exhausted, and just OVER THIS. Of course, my poor husband, who has always wanted to see his children in the best light (but he has seen the light) is so grateful for their "help" (that they bothered to even come here when he was sick), failing to see that the garbage keeps spewing. . . this time (or once again) all over me. I am disgusted. 

Winterglow's picture

If they ever try that stunt again, do not lift a finger for them. They want to help? Let them start by helping themselves. Besides,  you have a sick husband to care for and a job to do - they don't factor in on your priorities. And certainly do not buy groceries for them. Once the fridge is empty, it stays empty.

MorningMia's picture

I did attempt to starve them out, but of course there were times when I had to make meals for my husband and it would have been too weird not to feed everyone, even though I was exhausted (I was up with my DH during the night while they slept). I did break down and do one grocery trip. They, on the other hand, would make sandwiches for themselves, ask my husband if he wanted one, and, as usual, not ask me if I wanted anything even though I was in my (home) office working. By Day 3, my stepson was going to the McDonald's drive-thru regularly. 

There will not be an "again." 

Rags's picture

the shallow and polluted end of their gene pool.

Write them off. Ban them from your home.  

If they show up, hand them the printed care plan for their father and then do noting. Don't  feed them, watch your TV shows on high volume, cook only for  you and your DH.

If they get lippy, kick them out while commenting pointedly to their father that they are still the whiney toxic pre teen brats they have always been.

Lather.... rinse.... repeat.

If your DH does not grow some balls and then put them in their place for their toxic disrespecful behavior, consider making him leave with them.

I would.

MorningMia's picture

He has in the past confronted bad behavior, but he's been in no shape to deal with this. I tried to keep it from him (he didn't even hear some of the awful comments made) since he's recovering. We had an earlier agreement that they were not to visit our home because of the ongoing, everlasting poor behavior, but this was a special (serious) circumstance (that he will heal from). 

notsurehowtodeal's picture

I hate to tell you this, but sometimes they never change. We have one member who is dealing with a problematic 62 year old SD. I think the only way to deal with it is to decide on your boundaries and then stick to them. In your case, he sees his kids outside of your home. You decide on how much money he can spend on them and that is it. If he ever gets sick again, they can stay elsewhere and come during the day to "help."

MorningMia's picture

62 years old? That is mind-boggling! 
His visits to his kids through the years have been good: I'm not keeping him from them; they all get to see one another; and I get a weekend with girlfriends. You know, I did suggest an Airbnb to them. That plan obviously didn't work. 
I am considering them banned at this point. I am just so tired. 

SMto3's picture

I am optimistic that things will and should change for the positive. But I'm not sure that they do on the timing we want them to happen. I've said in my blog that the issues my stepsons had as boys, they now have as young adults, and I'm sure will be the things they have to work on. I am newly free from both of my stepsons and I don't know under what situation I would allow them back in, even if only for the night. 

Catmom024's picture

Edit:  i see you read my post and responded!

My post from several weeks ago is on this forum and it's titled "It never ends".  It truly doesn't.   They dislike you simply because you exist. you haven't done anything wrong.   They will always act like entitled victims because they can.  

I'm so sorry.   Please have firm boundaries in place.   

MorningMia's picture

I agree. And thank you. I have also come to conclude that if they come from a biomom who is bitter, angry, and resentful (and "a victim"), their horrible behavior toward SM is showing (in their poorly developed minds) some sort of loyalty to their ever-suffering mamas who didn't get away with destroying their exes' marriages and lives. Even at this age. So pathetic. 
I told my DH that if I had known our drawing simple boundaries several years ago would have resulted in all of this, I would have done a full-out going off on her way back when, using a few favorite choice words. At least they'd have a reason to be upset with me. 

Rags's picture

Confront their behavior delivering an absolute state of advancing abject misery. Include the Skids and BM in that scorched Earth campaign and let SO know that he either destroys them at your side,  or he will be incinerated as well.

If he is not truly your partner, he is with the toxic opposition. There can be no fence sitting from your mate in this.

The mate is either with the targeted SParent, or the mate is not just a part of the problem, they are an active supporter of the problem.

IMHO of course.


CLove's picture

Welcome to Steptalk! Reading around here - theres a lot of us with similar issues and problems. I always say that 90% or more of stepparenting issues are the bio parents - when skids are young. Sometimes even into their adulthood, because the "seeds have been sown".

EGADS, sorry you had to deal with all that. Youve learned an important lesson - your skids are not your friends and even under the circumstances of a sick father, they are self-ish entitled jerks that wouldnt p@@ on you if you were on fire. You did the best you could under the circmstances, now its back to your DH having his relationship with his skids away from you. Just make certain your legal docs are in order as to POA and Wills and such.

I have 2 skids - SD24 Feral Forger and SD17 Powersulk. Powersulk has been nice and cheery lately. Feral Forger apparently still hates me because I "took her father away..." whatever that shes not allowed to move back in any time soon.

Rags's picture

CLove, WTF is this "she is not allowed to move back in anytime soon"?

That should never be an an option.  Under any circumstance.

IMHO of course.

Do not let that you are a good person mitigate FF forever living  the consequences of her own toxic crap. Ever.