You are here

How Did You Disengage From the SK"S

Lady's picture

I have been disengaged from all my SK'S for a while . I just couldnt deal with all their mean ugly ways. All of the older SGK'S liked being around me but their parents hated me especially BM. I still miss the 9 year SGD but glad Im gone now. It still bothers me a little . My question is how did all SM disengage and how long did it take for you to know you had done the right thing and start feeling better ?

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

I am on year 2 of disengaging. After about 6 months I knew I did the right thing. DH was supportive for about 3 months only. Up and down like a roller coaster since.

They hate that I caught on to their covert bullying and gaslighting. I think they have varying degrees of narcissism.

twopines's picture

I initially disengaged from SD29 in 2006. We sort of had a truce after 2008, but then I completely disengaged in 2011. It took all of 5 seconds to know it was the right thing. I just stopped asking about her, talking about her, giving my opinion, etc. I blocked her from FB, I deleted her phone # and email, and honestly have no idea where she lives. It's very freeing.

20YearsAsAStep-Mom's picture

I also wanted to add that I explained to DH as well at the beginning that I needed time for me to sort things out. I explained how hurt I was by the mistreatment and needed to stay away from SD for a while.

He seemed OK with it at first - not for long - then all hell broke loose and he even threatened divorce if I didn't mend things with SD. I told him fine, let's get a divorce then.

Seems that they don't get it until you are ready to walk away from everything. Once you reach that point it is a desperate situation.

Disengaging was the ONLY choice I had to stay alive and get healthy again

still learning's picture

If YOU didn't mend things with SD? Doesn't SD have some responsibility in the situation? I had almost the exact same conversation with DH. I was ready to leave him. I married him not his son. I hope things are better in your marriage now.

AVR1962's picture

Disengaged from one for over 4 years and other for 9 years. It was not comfortable at first and I caught a great deal of blame from my husband and his family. It was a counselor that had suggested it because of what I was dealing with. She helped me with the process which I found very helpful. Yes, it was the best choice for me.

MrsCancer1973's picture

Catmom I understand the hurt.

Even though I don't like his side of the family, and the feeling with them is mutual, as i suspect you are in the same scenario, it makes me resent them more and also S/O, because I still do not think that he advocates for me. Im tired of fighting about it. I'm actually starting to disengage from S/O....

sandye21's picture

It's hard to say whether disengagement includes banning SD from our home. Maybe that's something different. The first time I disengaged we didn't see SD for a couple of years because she and her husband moved to a different state. When they moved back, DH assured me that SD would be well behaved. Even though that lasted a very short time, I tried to make it work. 4 years ago she had a meltdown, yelled and screamed at me, and blamed me for all sorts of stuff I didn't do - while DH ran out the door. That was the final straw. I told DH he could leave if he wanted to and that SD was banned from my home until he could tell her in front of me that she is to respect me as his wife. No negotiating. He never did it so she is still banned.

So when did I start feeling like I had done the right thing? Almost immediately. Truly liberated. That was the day I decided that I was as worthy of respect as anyone else on this earth. I honestly feel good about finally defending myself. There won't be a third time.

Runaway's picture

The child porn distributor (H's eldest daughter) has been relegated to monthly, family dinner based visits to maintain damage control.

I don't know if that's disengagement or damage control, I struggle with that too. It had to happen, but I'm not sure disengage is the right word for it

still learning's picture

I'm disengaged from ss30 but friendly with ss26 and his family. It's been about 6 mos and it felt good immediately! I had to set firm boundaries and have to keep resetting them which always is a bone of contention between DH and I. He accuses me of "ragging" on his son anytime I bring up the subject of a boundary if ss30 will be stopping by. The boundaries are that if ss30 stops by DH has to stay with him the entire time. ss30 is not to roam the house alone or go near my vehicle. ss30 is never to "sleep over." So far so good but dh does get pissy about it. I'd rather deal with temporary moodiness from my husband than damage to my vehicle, things being stolen from the house and waking up to a stinky unshowered ss30 in a cloud of pot smoke.

When Dh talks about ss30 I listen but keep the conversation very short. ss30 has stopped by a few times but I make sure I'm busy doing anything else. If I see him in town I am curt and go along my way. It's a weird way to be in a family. I had hoped to be friends with DH's kids and have a friendly relationship but disengaging is the better alternative of being ss30's petty theft crime target and punching bag.

still learning's picture

I'm glad to hear you can successfully be disengaged from some skids while having a good relationship with other. Great that it's working for you long term! I'm new to the step mother world compared to you but I also feel like I let things go on for too long. 2 years of wondering "What the H#LL!"

Runaway's picture

Still working on it.

"Go ask your dad" I say that a lot. It isn't the involved I have a problem with. I have a hard time when he "parents". Because what he does bears no resemblance whatsoever to parenting.

So I go with the mental stock ticker- not my responsibility, not my problem, he's the one ultimately responsible

Unless it involves our children... then things get unpleasant... I go all to teeth and bristly fur when my offspring are threatened.

There is also a set "alone time" schedule. I am simply not alone with them.

Also, I had to haul his ass to a therapist for him to explain to H that my judgment was totally rational and really the only way this would work. He can live in his happy family delusion, but he can't force the rest of us to.

spartan92's picture

I know the original post was directed at SM but I'm a SD with an 18 yr old SS and decided last month to disengage. I was accused of stealing his bong out of his closet and I just said I'm done. His mom is incredibly permissive, let's his GF sleep over as much as she wants and we've nothing but fought over that for 6 months. The minute I shut my mouth...peace. No arguments or anything. I'm now going back to some hobbies and such and don't even tell my wife about his lies and deceptions when she is being snowed. I just ignore it and am very pleasant to him and his GF and guess what? It's slowly getting better. The hard part is shutting off that parent gene in your head screaming "this is wrong!!" especially when things you find immoral are going on in your house.

I decided I wanted to stay married because my efforts at having things done my way in my house were heading for divorce. The thing is, and it's a very personal and impossible thing to generalize, every family has a culture and dynamic unique to those members that are biologically related and bound together with. With divorce and remarriage, you have mixing of different ideas of how things should be done and as a parent, it's very hard to reconcile your emotions with shit happening right under your nose and sometimes rubbed into it. So, to me it's complicated and you can't compare your situation to anyone else's. But, I'm trying to disengage and be a good role model and person for my ss. I just will not involve myself in parenting issues anymore and she can deal with the grandkids that are likely to pop up in the next year or two.

No Name's picture

How do you do this? I must do this for my own sanity. What do I do if my husband invites them to our home for dinner? I don't think I should have to leave my house and go somewhere plus if I leave they will try and get money from my husband. They always do and he always gives it thus putting us in a bad situation. I can't block them totally from FB but I have blocked them partially. I don't want to delete their numbers from my phone because if they call I want to see the name appear so that I don't answer it. I want to be as far removed from their lives as possible and I want them removed from ours. I know that is not fair to my husband but I am so sick and tired of the constant, painful drama!

still learning's picture

I agree with the not cooking for them. When DH's kids come over DH orders them pizza or they just snack. I generally get little to no notice that they are coming over anyway. I'll have DH clean up after his grands when they leave. Last time they visited he made gs5 pick up all the toys. DH is somewhat trainable Wink

peacemaker's picture

...I disengaged over 2 years ago...after being a supportive sm for 26 years of my life...I got off the merry go round to nowhere...and now am still in the process of trying to change the last of a life pattern that proved to be nothing but a venue for their toxic culture to infiltrate and try to destroy myself and my family. Right from the start they did not accept our marriage..thanks to all the pas ing from their bm...she taught them to hate me because of her own jealousy and undealt with issues from their marriage (dh and I married long after she was re married) this point, I have learned a great deal about the dynamics that are going on in our situation. I have the power to change those things that I used to tolerate...I have a lot of make up time to create new memories with my bio that they are young adults...a world that doesn't evolve around step kids..(what a concept).....The hardest thing about breaking unhealthy life patterns is...The role you play in that pattern has to change...You have to actually change the way you do things as to not repeat the unhealthy, or toxic, or enabling role that everyone expects you to play...You have to break off that old habit and pattern of thinking...It is hard. But, it is freeing at the same time. the step kids can no longer be there reason for doing or not doing something...Examine all of who you...You are more than the stepmother role...There is so much more to life than being consumed by this one topic...time to explore the possibilities and grab on to some adventure....

I am not making a public declaration about my departure of the relationships that nearly killed me...I am just turning in the other direction and getting a new healthy focus in life...I love my new found freedom...It isn't a freedom based on the absence of skids..It is a freedom based on...where I am going, and what I was created to have to replace the unacceptable things and people with a new purpose to move forward ..I just got sick and tired of being sick and tired...Enough is enough already...I look forward to the things that lie ahead with great anticipation...

...just a reminder....When a person dishonors their does not tell me anything about the parents...but it does speak volumes about the one doing the dishonoring... Bruise me once and I'll take another look at you ...Bruise me twice, then I need to take a look at myself...Bruise me for 26 years...It's time to stay disengaged...

No Name's picture

Wow, I really appreciate your comment. I have been on this merry go round for 11 years and enough is enough. I am a very giving person by nature and I am a good Mom (one of things I am most proudest of). I was an involved Mom in both school and all other activities and what ever I did for my own biological children I did the same or tried to do the same for the step children. I have gone through hell and back with these step children and just when I think the drama has calmed down and they have matured, here we go again. I believe a lot of this is triggered by my husbands ex wife. Hey, I even tried to get along with her but she just wasn't having it. I guess it is easier to sit back and hate some one and encourage your children to also hate. I have been slowly with drawing over the past couple of years. When the oldest SD was married they wanted to put me in the back or the room at some table and have my husband sit with his ex and her family. He put his foot down on that one. When the oldest SD had a baby I was not invited to her shower-fine with me it saved me a lot of money! I have continued to purchase special thoughtful unique Christmas gifts but I am so done with that too. I got an item from the dollar store in 2012, a $7.00 gift in 2013 and nothing in 2014. I feel like an idiot because I went over board buying for their baby. The ex told my husband that the kids hate me and that I basically need to stay out of their lives. I've got the message loud and clear. It's not in my DNA not to care about the SC but somehow I have to move on and get them out of my head. I need to stop looking at their social media. I need to stop asking my husband if he has heard from them. I need to stop, stop, stop.

sandye21's picture

Please don't be too hard on yourself. I made the same mistakes you did, trying to get SD to like me. Never happened. If anything it only worsened as time went on. I didn't think it was in my DNA either but I am SOOO glad I decided to take myself out of SD's life and visa-versa. All you need is time. You may have to force yourself at first to stop doing some of things you are used to doing such as checking them out on social media or asking your DH about them but eventually it becomes habit - a very NICE habit. The longer you stay away from them, quit giving them gifts they don't appreciate, and show your concern to them, the more you will see how utterly hopeless the situation really was, and know you did the right thing. One good thing - instead of wasting mental and physical energy on the Skids, the more time you have to devote to your journey of inner growth and fulfillment. Believe me, I've been on this journey for 4 years - it's a good thing!

peacemaker's picture


Ruby55's picture

My rotten step kids are not allowed to set foot in my home, ever again. If DH doesn't like it, he's free go live with them! He knows better than to push the issue. He can visit them and kiss their rear ends all he wants, but not in my home

positivelyfourthstreet's picture

When I first started to disengage it felt weird and wrong

I like to give to my family and spoil them

I like cooking for my family

It really went against my happy go lucky nature to operate like that

But eventually I figured out that it was the right thing to do for my own sanity

Unfortunately I had to disengage from my husband to an extent

Again for my sanity

As another poster mentioned I had the bullying and gaslighting but not only from SK my own husband

I disengaged for my own sanity because I was so torn up and ground down by it all that for many years I was not fully present as a parent for my bios-this was more my husbands doing than SK-SK has been up and out for almost ten years.

I am not pretending we are a happy family anymore. My kids are old enough to know better and they're relieved that we no longer pretend.

My daughter and I are in therapy and we're staying busy doing hobbies and thrift store shopping and other outings. My son has a decent job and is saving up for a condo while he's paying rent here

We're getting by and we're a whole lot happier for it

Even my husband is somewhat indifferent to SK now

They are estranged after the dustup with her in laws and out of his own mouth came the words I don't care. "She'll be back when she wants something. She only comes around when she wants something"

I think that part of it is kind of sad but what can you do?

It is what it is

Sometimes I feel sad for my husband but for me and my bios we are blissfully free of all the drama and bullshit now

Modernworld1011's picture

Immediately I knew it was the right thing when I felt better, the husband and I argued less, and step kids just about lost their minds because I was no longer their victim.

It is tougher for you though given that you did get on well with some. That would be hard for me too. perhaps you can keep up with the young done in some manner.

Modernworld1011's picture

Oh I am sorry to hear that. Your guy must have a bad case of the whole blame the victim thing. He has no further clarity? I guess I should not be surprised as I think many of them have no desire to really "see" what is actually happening! My one friend had success with filming these crazy actions, and showing them to our spouse, but many on the site have posted that their spouses will ignore even hard evidence such as that. I hope that things improve for you!