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Done and Not My Problem

Retired now on budget's picture

I'm married and I'm childless by medical circumstances.  My husband and I both have been married before.  He has two sons from his previous marriage.  We have been together for 17 years now and I'm done with one of the sons entitled behavior. 

For years we have sat back and had any gatherings with one of my Stepson canceled at last minute.  Things were great until he graduated graduate school and married.  My husband quit sending money and the only time we heard from him was if something was wrong like something in his new house went out and he himhawed around having to pay for it.  Or his education loans came due and he called complaining about having to repay them while starting a family.  His monthly pmts was close to $2,000.00 and I know that the payment are adjust by his annual salary, so 2K pmts he is earning a living and needs to learn to live within his means. 

Anyway, for years the excuses came in why he could not join us for Holidays.  One year his excuse was they got away from his mothers later than they wanted and are ready to go on home.  Come to find out, they were already home and getting ready to go have Holiday with her side of the family.  Another year when they were expecting their child, they were suppose to meet at my inlaws house so we all could have holiday and not spend the day running from family to family.  My husbands mom cried, she just wanted to see the momma pregnant and feel the baby.  They didn't want to be offended by my mother in laws beliefs being different than theirs, so they called, said they were tired and would see us at Easter.  Guess what happened then, they called and canceled.  Again they were already at his mothers house and having Holiday again in the evening with her family.

Then the holiday came after the baby was born and we planned a gathering again with my inlaws and they canceled.  Same ordeal, his mom and her side of the family.  My husbands side completely ignored and they expect us to mail the holiday gift to them.  I bought for the girls and my hubby took care of the boys.  I quit buying present for them after 4 years.  They sat in the corner of the room, until one day I said enough.  I spent the gift cards and donated the presents to a Thrift Store. 

Then I started hearing they were in town and only a couple blocks from our house.  Never heard or seen them.  I've met the grandbaby once.

My husband was in a car accident.  I tried to call and let them know he wasn't well.  I was blocked from calling.

I heard the grandbaby had hernia surgery over the internet from a person who is 4th party to me.  I tried to call, I'm blocked.

I heard about another surgery another year from another 4th party on the internet.  Called and I'm still blocked.

I saw a picture of a grandbaby we didn't even know was born, on the internet by another 4th party.  being numb starts kicking in now.

Years down the road now, we haven't heard from them, nor have we been told about the second grandbaby being born a few years ago.  My husband is disable now, retired and on limited income.  His family is now asking questions and have listened to the sons whinning about how unfair we treated them and how mean I am for putting my foot down and don't want the entitled brats around any way,  They think I'm the bad person and we have been forgotten for invitations to dinners etc.  I do also understand that when elders in the family die, families split too.  And if they want to blame me, go for it.  I'm done.  No more.

As long as they are entertained and pampered is where they go.  We like backyard BBQ's and they want day spa treatment with unlimited drinks and $100/plate menus at others expense.  If they pay, he whins about his education loan and raising a family but most of the time they cancel if it requires them to pay for anything is what another family member says. 

I'm just so done of trying to make arrangements to get our side of the family recognized.  In most families around holidays Thanksgiving if spent with one side of the family and Christmas the other sides.  The next year, reversed.  Thanksgiving with the other side and then Christmas with the other.  In all the years we have been married, my husband has only received one Fathers Day card.  No birthday wishes.  No how you doing calls and they know his father is ill.  They finally came around when the Inlaws passed away to get their pick of the estate.  Hooray, they show'd up because they felt they were entitled to something.

Anyway, I'm done, that's it.  I'm done.  Life is too short to try and be a part of someones life who has made it clear we don't matter.  I'm done.



strugglingSM's picture

DH's family is similar, but it's his brother and sister in law who never show up to anything. Sometimes they brother will stop by briefly, but the sister in law always has some excuse (there was too much traffic, she lost her voice (she then called on the phone to talk to MIL and SSs, but no us), her daughter didn't feel well, her daughter supposedly had a non-emergency MRI that could only be scheduled on Sunday...that she didn't know about until after we invited her to DD's birthday party, etc). The woman has talked to me once in 7 years. She sent a present for my DD for Christmas that said, "choking hazard, not for children under age 3" in big block letters...and my DD was 1 at the time. I used to send presents in the mail for her kids, but they don't even know who I am even though DH and I have been married for six years and live less than an hour from them. The most recent excuse was that her father was unexpectedly ill and she had to stay home to comfort her mother...even though, her parents don't like one another and DH called her father, because he was concerned, and the father said he was fine. She talks to BM and also talks to SSs, but literally will turn her back to me and DH at family gatherings...and when I or DH ask about it, we're told we're just misunderstanding. 

All that said, I fully expect my SSs to engage in the same behavior when they're older. They're already completely rude and disrespectful to me when they come to our home. And MIL always tells them that DH gives DD (a toddler) too much attention and not enough to them (two 16 year olds). One SS always throws that in DH's face. 

I lost it on them this weekend, because they can't be bothered to keep dangerous things away from DD (their sister). I've reminded, asked, and demanded they do this over 7 weekends and one of them had the nerve to tell me that I only asked him once. I'm done being a stepmother. SS's response was to tell DH "you need to remember that you have three children!" No one deserves to be treated like that. Some SKids are just not nice people...usually enabled by a HCBM. 

Retired now on budget's picture

Isn't it amazing that we are suppose to sit back as step parents and keep silent..  Years go by and as long as we let these people walk all over us keeping our mouths shut, everything is fine.  But should we express a dislike for being abused like this we become the bad guy.  Heaven forbid we try to be a member of the family and ask for the same consideration as other family members.  I'm done, 15 years of the 17 trying to arrange what should be family consideration.  Should never had given my heart.  Big mistake.

Newimprvmodel's picture

With DH.  His daughters NEVER spend any holidays with us and clearly the daughter who lives a few hours from us avoids spending holidays here like we have the plague. I mentioned we did not see her for Christmas even though she was in the area for a whole week.  He said that HE saw them a few days AFTER Christmas meeting them for lunch counted. 
lately they do come for his birthday.  Which tells me they will celebrate him but not be a part of my family and adult kids as we gather on holidays. 
I am going to be the cook when she comes to celebrate his birthday. It used to be our time to do fun things now it seems to be HER time.  But I don't know how to do anything about it.  Just know this year I will not cook all weekend and sit back.  
And I heard nothing from his daughters for Mother's Day.  I think I really tried with them.  
life is too short to focus on those who don't care.  

Retired now on budget's picture

Yah, the maid syndrone for their vacation.  Yah, I'm on vacation at your house, so I don't have to do anything.  Thats your duty being second wife in the family.  And everything you have should be their mothers, not yours.  Don't forget to make their beds.  If you like to do those kind of things, great.  But not everyone wants that expected of them.  Its all in the attitude of entitlement.  If they appreciated the effort, we probably would be so hurt.  We have to give our hearts to be hurt this bad and they don't understand we have feeling too.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It hurts so much to be rejected, doesn't it? And then we get hurt yet again when extended family paints us as the wicked witch who tortures skids and keeps daaddee away from them.

The truth is, that family was broken and damaged before you even met your DH. A strong man would manage his relationships, keep his kids in line, and not tolerate poo from extended family. But we see a lot of weak parents here on StepTalk, and a lot of dysfunctional family systems. If your DH grew up in dysfunction, he may have gone on to marry it as well.

One very useful thing I've learned about on ST is Karpman's Drama Triangle. It illustrates difficult relationships as having three roles: victim, persecutor, and rescuer. We step parents often get assigned the role of persecutor, because we're the outsider whose different perspective can lead us to complain about skid misbehavior. We are seen as the problem, picking on poor victim skids, and that puts our partners (or BM, or extended family etc) on the defensive. However, it's both possible and useful to adopt the victim role instead.

My marriage got much better when I made a conscious effort to change tactics. Instead of being right and pointing out unpleasant facts (persecutor), I showed vulnerability (victim). The skids had HURT me; I'd tried so hard to be supportive and kind, and they'd REJECTED me; I was WORRIED about their futures and wanted them to succeed, but was SAD they treated their dad so poorly; I had HOPED for a united, loving family, but the skids only wanted money, and were MEAN & CRUEL about it. My bi!ching and spouting ugly truths made me a pita, but when I let my DH see all the pain and hurt I was experiencing, he became MY rescuer. In fact, he joined me in disengagement and our life is peaceful.

Noway2b1's picture

I'm still working on keeping my mouth shut but have started shrugging my shoulders and saying "I don't think they want that kind of relationship with me and that's ok " when DH laments all the things that I no longer help with, ask about or host for them. 

caninelover's picture

Often we try to be right.  Instead, if we try to show the hurt we are feeling we then sometimes get a different response.  Sometimes, but not always LOL.

NoDrama22's picture

The  SS are not your circus, not your monkeys.  Let them be - enjoy your own family and your partners place in it.  I was in the same situation and after thinking about it figured out it was my ego driving me ( eg they want to spend time with her family and not me - what's wrong with me).  Encourage your partner to have a great relationship with his sons and step back abit and allow them some space xx all the best - 

CLove's picture

Im only about 8 years in and also childless not by choice. Sometimes husband understands how sad I feel. I am no contact with SD23 Feral Forger, and SD 15/16 has proven herself to be a user type with her hand out.

I hate steplife. Generally my life is positive.