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How did you disengage?

MadHatter's picture

I'm sure that everyone who has found it necessary to disengage from the SKids has a story to tell about how the went about it. Did you ease into it? Did you cut off your support all at once? Did you continue to do some things but not others? Did you do things DH asked of you on behalf of the SKids? Do you think that you might ever attempt to re-engage? Is it possible for parents whose SKids live in the same home to disengage, and if so, to what level?

For me, it was easier because SD lived with BM, and my disengagement was complete and instantaneous. SD was 16 years old. I finally had all I was going to take, and I called it quits. Cold turkey!

1. I immediately cut off all communication with her.

2. I told DH that I would no longer be involved with his child in any way and told him that she was not welcome in our home for any reason.

3. I diligently worked toward getting hubby to limit his communication with me about her. I don't think he will ever be capable of terminating all communication about her, but he no longer feels compelled to tell me every single detail, and I no longer offer even a word of advice on how to handle his problems with her.

4. I quit being her personal chauffeur, and I told hubby that, even in cases of dire emergency, he should not consider me as a point of contact.

5. I quit buying presents for special occasions, and refused to purchase anything on hubby's behalf. If he wants her to have a present, he has to go to the store, purchase it, and wrap it himself. As a matter of fact, when I made up my mind to disengage it was a few weeks before Christmas. I unwrapped every single present that I purchased for her and returned them to the stores.

6. I don't put myself in places where she and I may have to interact such as his family's gatherings.

It hasn't always been easy. There have been more than a few disagreements between DH and myself over my boundaries, but in the long run, I believe we are both happier because of them. As for re-engaging with SD...I don't foresee that ever happening.

So, what's your story?

CANYOUHELP's picture

You have accomplished it...you are on the right track lady. Disengagement was a gradual process (too much so), for me because I wanted to make certain it was the right thing to do. It was not my first choice for one big happy family,no doubt, but in the end, it was my only choice. After you try, try, try and nothing is reciprocated, it is crazy to keep trying. From what I read here-- there are lots of chapters in each disengagement book, but in the final, closing chapter- it is all over.

CANYOUHELP's picture

My husband knows they cannot come over here because (even if I am not home), they will nose around the house and take things, then get mad at him at things they see, etc. etc... believe it or not...

And, he does not want to be in conflict with them..so we are not invited there and they are not invited here (win, win for me). Of course, I encourage him to visit them-- anytime and anyplace away from me.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Agreed, this is me, everybody has different circumstances; and this child is only 16, I believe. You raise good questions for her to explore.

MadHatter's picture

There are actually a couple of reasons she's not allowed in our home. She had a tendancy to take things. Twice, she was caught (by her father) going through my jewelry box by her father. Ay first, i chalked it up to her just being curious, and didn't think about it until several expensive pieces came up missing. One set of gold earrings, that she always admired, was recovered when her dad made her cough them up after he caught her wearing them. My engagement ring from my first marriage has never been recovered. Cash has gone missing multiple times, but i can't prove that she took it, but after I started hiding my purse when she was at home, the cash quit disappearing. She is also physically violent. She has busted doors, put holes in sheetrock, broken windows, and torn the door off my refrigerator. That's why she is no longer welcome in our home.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Madhatter, oh no... you had no choice to keep her away and there are times when the Steps are not civil enough or respectful enough to come to your home, regardless of ownership---you have just defined one! Again, you are on the right track lady!

MadHatter's picture

When I think of the refrigerator incident, it is almost funny now. She was mad because someone had eaten the last rice krispie treat and left the empty plate in the fridge. The window got broken because, as her dad was preparing to leave to pick up takeout, she changed her mind and decided that she wanted him to drive across town to pick up Chinese for her. She was dictating her order (he was in the driveway about to get in the car and she was yelling through the window in her bedroom to him) when he told her it was Burger King or nothing. She got so mad that she slammed down the window and then threw her shoe through it.

Seems she has a thing about food, which is funny because she's skinny as a stick to this day.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I did it gradually and did not make any big "announcement" that I was doing so. The closest discussion SO and I had was around the holidays the year I decided to disengage, when I said it was a shame that after so many years the skids (particularly SD) and I have no relationship. I made the point that they don't even know my last name, even though SO and I have been living together over 10 years!

He expressed sadness that this was the case but opined there was nothing he could do about it. In some ways he is right; you can't force relationships. But in other ways he was wrong. I think he had a significant amount to do with it, simply because he is a non-confrontational father (and ex-husband) ... willing to take any scraps the skids threw at him and unwilling to challenge BM when she was alienating skids from him.

I figured if he wasn't willing to fight for a relationship with his own children, why the h3ll should I? It was a turning point for me.

Since then, I've not prompted him to contact them, have not offered to cook meals/BBQ, have stopped going all out decorating/baking/cooking for holidays, etc. Basically, I have not OFFERED anything.

No wonder, SS is estranged from him. But whenever he brings up SD and seeing her I always revert to, "Whatever you want to do ... go ahead!" He clearly wants me to continue to be involved/participate which is a challenge for me. I encourage him to go see her on his own, saying he gets so little time with her it's important that they have father/daughter time. I don't need to be there.

I will not go so far as to tell him I could care less if I ever see her again but I'm pretty sure he knows that's the truth. She certainly feels the same way about me, too. Which in my mind is a perfect "relationship" ... don't bother with even trying to foster any connection to me, and I won't put you at any discomfort to bother you about a relationship either.

The hardest part about disengagement is not talking about her when she does something hurtful to him. She regularly ignores him or blows him off with excuses about her "work" schedule when they've planned something. She just did it yesterday.

This is when disengagement is very, very difficult. I can see how hurt he is by her but I cannot and WILL NOT get involved in it anymore. I usually give him a sympathetic look and say nothing or give him some platitude like, "Well, if she has to do something for work, I guess she has to do it."

It may be harder now that she is engaged; not sure how much (or how little) that level of drama may affect what has thus far been a pretty good strategy of disengagement.

CANYOUHELP's picture

You are right 2Tired4Drama, of course these men shape our relationships with their children. Out of guilt or whatever, I guess I do not understand at all...like you stated, they do not feel the effort is worth it for them...I just do not get it as I would never tolerate my daughter or family treating him the same way, not for one minute. It would not only embarrass me, it would humiliate me as a human being. They have always loved him the same as I do...it has never even been a question. Oh, they know he is screwed in the head, everybody knows that....with regards to these kids calling him dadeeee....but, I have also accepted it for what it is; something way out of my control, as it should be.

HE could have at least kept it civil between us-- to maintain a relationship, but he was just too cowardly to do it.

They are perfect strangers to me, as well, now. But, I have peace in my life and marriage, so it was meant to be--if he cannot step up to be a real-- dadeeeee.

Kwnas1evilSM's picture

Hi,

I'm new to this forum, but as I'm reading these post. I found myself thinking, "are they peering in my window?" I too decided to disengage from my SC; although, I've raised them for several years"alone",while DH was away for several weeks at a time for work and BM was finding herself (thru several men).I still had two BC at home and his two children. I did everything, parent teacher conferences for four children (elementary and middle school than middle and high school) and I worked nights! BM was the cool weekend parent that came to pick them up on Saturday did fun things and dropped them back off. Mind you she didn't pay CS, for the two we had living with us, but insisted he contribute for the BD she had finally allowed to live with her (she lived with us for three years before the mom allowed her to move in, she was 14 by then). Anyways, after several years and the SC were getting closer to the magic number "18" she started manipulating them and telling them that they didn't have to listen to me because I'm not their mother (never wanted to be) after several years of constant problems with then and Disney Dad allowing her and the kids to throw me under the bus and he not get involved because of his guilt of not being involved in their lives. And him telling me that I've NEVER done any thing for their children and that I've never liked them only because I made my mind up that they would longer use me. I'm now living my life focusing on my children and grandchildren.

Kwnas1evilSM's picture

Hi,

I'm new to this forum, but as I'm reading these post. I found myself thinking, "are they peering in my window?" I too decided to disengage from my SC; although, I've raised them for several years"alone",while DH was away for several weeks at a time for work and BM was finding herself (thru several men).I still had two BC at home and his two children. I did everything, parent teacher conferences for four children (elementary and middle school than middle and high school) and I worked nights! BM was the cool weekend parent that came to pick them up on Saturday did fun things and dropped them back off. Mind you she didn't pay CS, for the two we had living with us, but insisted he contribute for the BD she had finally allowed to live with her (she lived with us for three years before the mom allowed her to move in, she was 14 by then). Anyways, after several years and the SC were getting closer to the magic number "18" she started manipulating them and telling them that they didn't have to listen to me because I'm not their mother (never wanted to be) after several years of constant problems with then and Disney Dad allowing her and the kids to throw me under the bus and he not get involved because of his guilt of not being involved in their lives. And him telling me that I've NEVER done any thing for their children and that I've never liked them only because I made my mind up that they would longer use me. I'm now living my life focusing on my children and grandchildren.

MadHatter's picture

Welcome to the club, Kwnas1evilSM. This is a good, safe, place to rant most of the time. You'll have the occasional troll who wants to stir things up, but you'll get a lot of support from others. Good luck.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Thank you MadHatter, always affirming to know others, are like you, living the dream, lol.

SickofIt2's picture

Thank you for sharing 2Tired4Drama. Our stories all seem so similar! I'm glad that you've found a peaceful place in all of this.

sammigirl's picture

The "D" word. Disengagement, Divorce, Death; all have similarities. I have experienced all three, without going into detail, in a nut shell, it is a nightmare.

For 30+ years I was labeled a "bitch" by my SD56. She spread the word to everyone that she talked to over a period of 37 years in total. When I disengaged 7 years ago, my DH told me "you are a bitch". I tried everything in the book to be the perfect SM and have a "Brady Bunch" family for everyone. In their eyes I was and am a bitch, just because I was a SM and not blood.

So here I am trying to salvage my home, 37 year investment, and my senior years. I wish I had disengaged from day one. I could have really been a bitch like they said, instead of being nice and taking years and years of abuse.

Bottom line! Jealousy was the reason my SD hated me for all these years. If I had never stepped into her trap, DH and I would not be battling this toxic person today.

I detest this woman and will never re-engage.

MadHatter's picture

It's so hurtful when DH turns on you when all you're doing is trying to protect yourself. It happened to me too, but not to the extent that it did to you. Thank you for sharing, sammigirl.

Ava64's picture

I dip into this forum to keep my sanity when I think I am the only person in the world who wants to disengage. After many years of being a doormat for my adult sks I disengaged. I sometimes struggle when I know the 'secret' texts n emails are going on but he is now honest (after a big argument over mtg them in secret) that he is mtg them. I have no idea how he can be so blind when it comes to his daughters games, manipulation and lies. She plays him like a fool. Sammigirl I feel your pain and often think about calm my life was before I entered into this mad situation. Everything has an under current, everything is multi layered. Nothing is as I imagined and the term Disney dad is exactly right, even though they're in their 30s. Every special occasion is ruined, xmas, birthdays, etc by them suddenly deciding he is wonderful then they play him like a fool. I often think that we SM are only deemed bitches because we saw through the games they were playing. In our later years we should be enjoying life not living with nice days being spoilt when the sks raise their ugly heads. X

Stepdrama11's picture

I love your screenname. Haha, it describes my situation perfectly. My SD used to introduce me as her mom (her mom was dead, and SD had not talked to her mom for several years prior to her death).

The joke was on me. Whe SS found a GF who blew up his marriage and immediately got pregnant to seal the deal, this GF somehow took on the role of BM, and within a short time, I was no longer mom or SM (although that GF was quite happy to plaster SS's son from his first marriage all over her social media as "HER boy"), DH was no longer allowed to call my kids (who love him) his SS and SD, and our marriage nearly fell apart. It is still unclear whether it will continue till death do us part.

DH's relationship with his kids is a total secret. It feels like an affair, he acts like he's having an affair, and after he talkes especially to his daughter, he is cold and distant.

It sucks.

MadHatter's picture

I think it is good therapy, renewal 11-11. I'm sure that there must be a "Brady Bunch" family out there who is not dealing with these issues and with spouses who expect their children to be respectful of their choices in life, but that life wasn't meant for us. Now, we have each other to lean on.

I have to say that SD made my choice very easy for me when she and I had the conversation that led to my disengagement. The final straw for me. Her exact words were, "I don't know you, and I don't want to know you." I made it happen, presto, change-o, taadah! Most of the time, I don't even think about SD, but some of her recent antics have brought her up in my life and got me thinking about her momentarily.

sammigirl's picture

My SD56 had a melt down and put it all in writing. This is even easier disengagement, because she cannot deny what she said. I love it! }:) No reply from me, just enjoyed.

I hardly ever think of my SD. She is history and I've even told DH "she is history and part of my past now". DH was livid. DH has gotten over the "livid" and I believe he truly understands, but will never admit it; because that would spoil their game.

SD lives one block up the street; the only time the antics begin, is when she starts them and that is just because she is having a partial melt down again.

Wink Again, it's entertaining.

sandye21's picture

There are many levels of disengagement from just setting up boundaries to banning the skid from the home. I have told my tale many times so it feels like I am a doll with a pull string who says the same thing over and over again. But there are new SMs on this site, and I am hoping I can save just one of them from waiting years to take action.

The disengagement was a sudden occurrence after becoming overly saturated with 20+ years of abuse from SD and DH. You could say it had been coming on for a while but the actual disengagement came on with SD's meltdown and DH's running out the door leaving me to defend myself while SD and her husband screamed at me. Their vague, unjustified accusations made me realize that I had been a scapegoat for SD - she did not have the guts to confront her parents about their divorce so she transferred all of that rage at me.

I cut off ties with SD and told DH she was not allowed in our home until he could inform her, in my presence, that she is to respect me as his wife. DH can see her whenever he wants. Yes, DH does own half of our home but I would not expect him to put up with one of my relatives if they treated him like SD treated me.

I do not do anything for her. No gifts, cards, communication. I don't talk about her and don't want to hear about her.

"Do you think that you might ever attempt to re-engage?" I did once but do not plan on it again.

MadHatter's picture

Thanks for sharing, Sandye21. I know that it's helpful for me to hear other's stories. It makes me feel less alone in the world. I had not heard your story, and I've been on and off this board for 7 years.

CANYOUHELP's picture

They had to stop coming over because they were saying crap about the pics I have out, the items I bought, looking through my things; and, like you, making fun of our stuff, taking over my home. In addition, they appeared to just be looking for reasons to hate me...It was like a one way SM investigation and evaluation, dribbles of their findings would come out of my husband's mouth following their inspection.

When there are little ones involved, it is not as easy; but the adults ones become even more vicious than the little ones, I believe.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I have no idea what he said or did not say, I said nothing about that to them-- but it is true blessing to me that they do not come anymore. It created all kinds of problems and there were so many hidden agendas as soon as they walked in the door. I guess because I quit enslaving myself to their every whim and got sick of their rude, crude and insulting comments to both of us, what little time I was around them, they started sensing I was slowly disengaging anyway.

CANYOUHELP's picture

It is, as well as a relief. Unfortunately, if they start going down the disrespectful road, it only gets increasingly worse, given a man who says nothing. Ours got to the point they were insulting us both to our face. For a long time, I tried to say nothing too--to not create a scene, to get along, for him. But after years of the BS, and consulting a therapist, reading, etc., I guess I probably took care of the problem myself. Nobody questions them...LOL.

You will have to speak up for yourself and do not be afraid to do without the support of your husband. Oh, let him get mad a you, who cares...You are not there to be treated like crap in your own home. (Hopefully, he has more backbone than mine and will stop the BS before your relationship is ruined entirely).

sandye21's picture

I gave DH the option of informing her in my presence, that she is to respect me as his wife or she was not setting foot on the doorstep - and that it was non-negotiable. I owned the home we were living in at the time. DH then phoned SD and said, "I guess you won't be coming over for a while." Since then we bought a house we both paid for. If DH brings SD into the house without first informing SD she is to respect me there will be hell to pay - even if it means he has to move out and stay with SD.

MadHatter's picture

Thank you for telling us your story, Dadswifeorwhatever. I don't think any of us are experts. This is a learning experience for all of us. Maybe we can learn from other's mistakes

MadHatter's picture

LOL...that was my signature a while back, and I prayed every day that she wouldn't ever have to come live with DH and I permanently. As long as BM was alive, she would at least live part time with her. She tore up my house enough without living there full time. She tore up her mom and step dad's house a bunch too. She's living in her own apartment now thanks to DH paying half the rent, so I guess I can change my prayer.

SickofIt2's picture

My DH does this too. The funniest is when he starts bragging about how great they are finally doing in school (because I brought it all to his attention that they would likely not even graduate from HS! I even put the youngest into a small private school without even asking - just told her parents, I met with teachers, set up her classes and tutoring for her. Unreal!) So now they are making Cs rather than Fs, but certainly not As and Bs as that would be too much effort on their part. I just politely nod my head when he talks. Its sad if you think about it. These men want a big happy family and they want their kids to be "normal" but they just don't have the skills or testicular fortitude to make it happen. In many cases, its one bad parenting decision after another for years on end that leads to SM disengagement. I feel bad for the kids and what could have been.

Acratopotes's picture

Use to get along with Aergia..... and then after a year of being ignored by her mother, mother called and they where as thick as thieves after 5 minutes....

I did what I usually do when making dinner, called Aergia and said, come help me please (she was in charge of salads) Aergia said to me... F@ck Off you are not my mother, you can not tell me what to do....

I disengaged immediately, cold turkey..... stopped every thing I use to do for her, I did not warn any one nor did I tell SO.... 2 weeks later I moved out. Cause for 2 weeks this child was a real beatch to have around, SO never did any parenting, cause poor baby's parents got divorced blablablabla...

Now 3 years later, things are comical interesting at their house, I still go there daily.... tick Aergia off and enjoy every moment off it..... I have not seen the girl in a month and she lives there 24/7....Oh wait saw her last night... she asked for dinner, I replied with what day is it..... (I do not make dinner Sundays and there was soup from lunch)

CANYOUHELP's picture

Wow, still asking for dinner from you and you do not even stay there full time? How old is this kid/woman, I should say? How ridiculous!

Early on in our marriage I asked mine for a recipe, she told me, "I don't give my recipes out." I was just stunned and shocked numb, at the complete lack of social grace. At that moment I couldn't believe that came out of her mouth, kind of paralyzed...But, you do have to believe what they say, I eventually learned-- over and over.....It was only the beginning of a series of outward snubs.

The least she could have done was say okay I will, and then-- not share it with me...same result, huh? I really did not like it all the much anyway, I was only trying to be nice and connect with the pain in the _ss, So, if you have a pain in the _ss SD, be smarter than me...do not try to connect with her.

That was a sign I should have picked up more quickly upon, of course her statement was cushioned and sugar coated by others--- "that is just the way she is.." And, truer words were never spoken. The excuses everybody makes for her-- are the reason she has displays zero class either in action or discussions.

My response was oh okay I would rather eat them than cook them, anyway. Oh, too funny, about six months later she had the nerve to have her husband ask for one of MY recipes! I told him I did not give them out, like his wife....LOL...I do like him, so maybe I should not have done that, but I knew she set him up to do it.

Step life is such a joy for most of us. I am envious of those who are successful, but I personally do not know any.

Acratopotes's picture

little princess is 17....pffft I do not care why she asked, could've been cause she was really hungry or because she wants something and tried to get me into conversation with her.. either way I could careless what her hidden agenda was...

SO later asked the same thing, and got the same reply... I made a pot lentil soup lunch... have some of that or make something else... SO did not make something else, I know he over heard my answer to Aergia, she messaged him from her room later and 5min after the message he asked me whats for dinner... }:)

CANYOUHELP's picture

Tell her you will share your recipe for lentil soup..lol..at 17 you can fix yourself a sandwich, why is she still EXPECTING you to cook; and...same for your husband (since you do not live there full time)?

Dang, they are a demanding bunch. My husband is easy going about cooking, he is just thrilled when I decide to do it...thank God he doesn't expect it...and, I live with him full time.

You need to just stop this insane expectation of you....by both of them. They need to realize if you cook, it is a gift, not a routine.

Acratopotes's picture

SO can only do scrambled eggs, he grew up in a house where his mother cooked the whole day, they had a choice of what to eat and could ask for anything....

the evenings I stay at my place, they have bread or ramin noodles.... SO refuses to cook anything, Aergia is to lazy thus by Sunday eve they are really hungry lol.... I give a shit, I made lentil soup.... I do not care if they eat it or not.... oh wait I only make foods Aergia absolutely hates Wink

Aniki's picture

I told DH I was disengaging. This means:

1. I do not cook for skids. DH is responsible for their meals (PATHETIC that a 17yo and 14yo are incapable of heating up a can of Chef Boyardee on the stove or even in the facking microwave). DH makes the garbage they like and I then cook my own tasty food (filet mignon, baked fish, shrimp scampi...).

2. I do not clean up after skids. DH is responsible for making them clean up or cleaning up after them. I wash MY dishes. I will not wash so much as a for that a skid used. I no longer vacuum their bedroom. Actually, I don't think DH has vacuumed in there since I quit.

3. The ONLY time I will pick up after a skid is if something is left on the floor of the living room. Socks, shirts, games... consider them gone. It took a few socks and a t-shirt and the loss of the tv remote for a month to end them leaving their crap lying around.

4. I do not speak with the skids. I will say Hello or Goodbye, but I do not attempt any further conversation with them. If they make an attempt, I will respond but I keep my replies short and on topic.

5. If DH is not home, the skids absolutely CANNOT be there. They visit to spend time with DH; NOT ME. I am not a babysitter. No DH; no skids.

6. Not cooking for the skids means I no longer bake for them. No made-from-scratch cookies or cakes or brownies. They hate this 1,000l,000%. Tough gazongas. You treat me like crap, I treat you with minimal politeness and do NOTHING ELSE for you.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I do believe most skids honestly believe SM's are required to wait on them without any thanks or appreciation expressed by anybody; like some kind of indentured servant. How do you automatically assume somebody who is not actually kin to you HAS to do this work? I have often wondered where how you develop such feelings of complete entitlement.

Rags's picture

My story regarding disengagement .... is that I did not and don't disengage. Rather than disengage I am more of a confront and destroy inappropriate behavior kind of guy.

If everyone in the blended family picture behaves reasonably then I work with them reasonably. If they choose to deviate from reasonableness.... I roll up the CO and beat the snot out of them with every legal, finanacial, and personal tool I have at my disposal.

People avoid pain. So when they get stupid and become painful to me or my family.... I apply pain to a much higher degree in response. They tend to cringe and get back into line. If they don't... I increase the figurative pain.

still learning's picture

Since I've disengaged we don't see skids much. It's been months since ss26 and his boys have come over, they live 10 mins away. They are sooooo busy, just too busy to stop by and see their father. I don't say a word about it, don't suggest him calling to invite them over, don't suggest we watch the gskids while they have a night out. It's all on DH, it's his son, his grands. If he really wants a relationship w/them he'll make it happen. Not my job to facilitate THEIR relationship.

ss30 hasn't been over for months either. He's also just soooo busy w/his stoner life and living with mommy. I never bring him up. If DH does then I'll listen politely then move on. No advice, no solving, none of my life energy is spent dealing with ss30's pathetic issues. DH is totally in control and at the wheel with HIS dealings with HIS sons. I've stepped out of their drama triangle and now they rarely deal with each other. It's almost as if they needed ME to facilitate their communication. ss30/ss26 and DH had to have something/one to fight over to prove their love for eachother, and since I'm no longer willing to be in the middle they don't communicate in person. They facebook and text but I guess it's just too awkward to be in the same room w/out a scapegoat to blame all of THEIR family problems on.

At this point I'm so beyond caring. I'll be kind to them and gskids when/if they come over, and if I choose to be home, but "re-engaging" is just not in the cards for me now, if ever.

Disillusioned's picture

I'm disengaged from my OSD, although not to this extent

I have zero contact with her on regular basis, but do see her at DH's family get together's. And I will come with DH to visit the sgkids, or see her when the sgkids are dropped off at our place, but otherwise no contact with her at all

On the occasions we are in the same place at DH's family events, I'm polite and upbeat - I say hello, please, thank you, goodbye, etc.. but basically I don't interact with her. I focus on those who are great to me (FIL, SSIL, SGKIDs) and always happy and bubbly, but pretty much ignore SD and stay as far away from her at those gatherings as I can

She plays all sorts of head games, trying to get to me, put me down, playing DH off me, or his sister, or BM, whatever....it all falls on deaf ears and eyes. She gets no reaction from me at all, I'm sure she wonders if I even notice

If she is openly or directly rude to me, I address it with her, but otherwise, she gets no attention from me

This level of disengagement works for me in my situation. I feel free of her and her negativity. She no longer has any power over me at all.

By attending functions and being upbeat and positive, but paying absolutely no attention whatsoever to her at the same time, gives her nothing to feel satisfied about, and leaves me feeling in control and not walked all over

NJdevil's picture

I've started disengaging but I'm not sure it's the right thing to do. I joined this site today and posted the long story of my situation in another thread. But I have to admit that after reading your stories, it sounds like most you have had much worse experiences with your skids than I have. I get along just fine with my skids when we are together, despite the fact that they aren't the type of people I would voluntarily choose to spend time with. They are entitled and self-absorbed people. But I am just not close with them. I don't feel a bond with them. I don't love them. I don't ever hear from them unless I reach out first. I feel like I've made enough sacrifices for them. I'm tired of feeling like my DH chooses them over me.

They are now adults in their 20s and enjoy a great relationship with DH. I feel like once I disengage there's no going back. You all talk about really awful situations, which has given me some perspective on my own. For the few times I see them each year, maybe I should just suck it up for the good of everyone.

By the way, this site is really great. It's nice to know that what I'm feeling isn't abnormal and that I'm not alone.

bitsnpieces15's picture

My DH has started the process. I was to weak to stop it. Skid is 17 and really isn't the problem as much as his BM is almost like a second child. I kept doing for her because it was my way of looking at for the skid. Last two years that relationship strained, and DH interjected and took that role from me, skid is too busy to be a part of the family most of the time and that has finally resonated with husband. He has let that work itself out. It has been refreshing; the skid wasn't much of the problem but the swirling drama was irritation.

It has also put our kids in the limelight more so than in the past. I think Biokids have to stand aside so much for skids it is unfair. Everyone assumes their world is perfect because they don't have divorced parents. Quite the contrary, their worlds are dictated by external forces.

SugarSpice's picture

i disengage by not saying anything about the skids.

for instance, one skid has a gambling addiction. i lock up all my valuables so they cannot be stolen.

dh says its OK for skid to have a "little fun." seriously? the money keeps disappearing. i dont say a word.

also sd is getting fatter. she is packing on the pounds. do i say a word? no. nothing.

these skids are his problem. when i tried to say anything in the past to help i was shot down.

no more. totally disengaged.