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Made DH aware that I'm officially disengaging from YSD

Disillusioned's picture

YSD has never been good at her passive-aggresive behaviour towards me

Right after she does something crappy, like the video call she had last month with DH & I so we could see SGD opening our gifts and card (everthing bought, paid for, and wrapped by me) and completely ignored me as well as groomed SGD to do the same, she then turns around and tries to 'fix' it

And when I say fix it I mean, fix it not to look like she has an issue with me (not fix her behaviour and sincerely be kind)

So in that case right after the call ended and I was furious and let DH know, then SD calls my phone (I had missed the call and texted her back simply asking if everything was okay) and she says how she had put SGD in one of the dresses I had bought for her and wanted me to see 

When SD didn't get much of a reaction out of me, simply oh that would have been nice, then she brings that up again on a call with DH how she had SGD in one of my dresses but that SGD doesn't really like couldn't even pull off the nice act without another dig

And then it's like she thought about that, again didn't want to look bad, so starts texting me asking me to relay messages to DH

DH & I were both wondering why she just didn't text him directly since she talks with him and messages him a whole lot more than me, but then I realized it was again because she needed DH to think 'see, no issue from SD with Disilliusioned, she's texting her now instead of me'

I think YSD really thinks that if she does something crappy, and then acts all nice to me after, that it will appear not only does she not have any issues with me, but in fact I'm the bad one who is ticked off or complaining about her so it looks instead like I'm the one with the problem

She even went to the trouble this year to call me on Mother's Day, and send a bouquet of roses...I'm sure thinking DH would for sure think she's just wonderful and how dare I say differently

The good news is, even DH sees some of this and for all the fixing she tries, does not erase a very long history of this confusing behaviour which I am finally no longer confused about, but recognize for the passive-aggresive treatment that it is

And DH while not happy about my disengagement from her, is accepting it

I make a point not to bad-mouth SD's, so when I speak up and say something as I did after that call, DH knows I am truly offended and he also knows I've done nothing but the sincerest nicest things for SD's over the years so do not deserve that treatment 

He still kisses her butt at every false good intention she displays towards me, but he knows I will no longer do so

And the other good news is as long as there is no open confrontation or disrespect from her, then we can be polite and civil and pleasant to each other

When she called me on Mother's Day I thanked her, wished her happy Mother's Day as well, we had an upbeat conversation. 

I let her know the flowers were not necessary, but that they were beautiful and that I appreciated the gift 

Going forward, SD will discover I'm still polite, positive and pleasant towards her however nothing extra. No emotional lovely dovey stuff, treating her just like an adored SD any longer. 

I do polite decent human being but I don't do phoney baloney butt-kissing pretense

Nor do I put up with back-stabbing games and mistreatment

Clearly SD has never really gotten that about me, but she sure will now!

JRI's picture

I have a love/ hate relationship with my SD who is now 58, we have a long tortuous history.  During the years her 3 kids were growing up, it was clear that BM was the alpha grandma and I was the gift-donor wife of Daaad.  She responded at appropriate times, like your SD for Mother's Day, she still does.  But i know how she really feels and know she's keeping it civil for Daaad's sake.  That's fine with me.  If you are civil and polite, that's perfectly fine, imo.  That's what I do.

Oddly, her 2 daughters are kind and solicitors of me.  They text and call.  I always treated all the 9 Gks and SGKs alike.

Disillusioned's picture

JRI, sounds like you got it down and that's a good plan that is working. Glad to hear that, hope it works out as well for me! Smart that you see through her and don't let it get to you, and still keep all civil Smile

Booboobear's picture

fence riders. riding the fence playing both sides. "I'm not going to defend you & Dad to OSD, but I'm not going to stop listening to OSD & SIL complaints- and I get to be fake nice to you & Dad too."  Whatever YSD.


sandye21's picture

Yes, she's trying to play you and DH.  It's 'spy vs. spy'.  The really insulting thing is she is underestimating your intelligence.  In my opinion, this is one of those cases where you just have to maintain your boundaries as you have been, thank her for any positive sentiments, then ignore her.  Don't even acknowledge ODS.  Make all conversations with her superficial and short.  Your best revenge is letting her know with just how little space she takes up in your head when you are not around her, that you have a life that has nothing to do with her.

Disillusioned's picture

Great advice Sandye! Yes I like the boundaries part, and most espeically giving her a little head space as possible - that will drive her nuts too Smile

Exjuliemccoy's picture

you've shown us that the rot in your DH's family is both old and deep. His younger daughter has vacillated, but always ends up going to the Dark Side. Her foremost loyalty is to the other females in her family, period dot. This is an ingrained pattern, and is never going to change. She may have the occasional pang of guilt or try to reform, but will always heel when her sister or aunt snap their fingers.

I honestly don't know why your DH continues to offer up himself (and you by extension) for the games and abuse. Good for you for making it known you're done. If you were to decide never to see any of those witches again, it would be the greatest gift you could give yourself.


Disillusioned's picture

Thanks Exjulie...I think DH gives in to the extortion because he lives in fear of both daughters walking out of his life. It's also why I've put up with more than I would have liked over the years, never wanted to be the reason they use for walking out of DH's life

I'm at the point in my life though, where I don't care nearly as much, and I refuse to feel any fear or guilt over that any longer

It is what it is and come what may, I'm not nearly as much of a doormat as SD's think!

tog redux's picture

Yeah, civil and distant is best. DH can buy the gifts and do the video calls - you can pop in and say "Hi!" to the SGD and then pop out again. If you don't care anymore, her passive-aggressive stuff will be meaningless.

MissTexas's picture

she gets to appear to be playing "nice" by sending flowers, wishing you Happy Mother's Day etc. She's doing this for her father, to impress him and show him shes "really a good person and she likes you" because she realizes that's what normal, healthy adults do with their father's choice of a wife. It's all for show, and nothing more. Adult SD used to give me the gift with purchase crap (like I didn't realize that's what she was doing?) and once she told DH she wanted to send me a MD card and asked "again" how to spell my last name. No card ever showed up but a background notification sure did. Hmmmm....ok. She also used to send a group text to BOTH of us so DADDY could see she was trying to play nice. It's all a sick game, and you'd do best to steer your emotional boat clear of her and her games. It is a process and it doesn't happen overnight. Getting there is tough but as my aunt used to say, "Getting to f-it is a sob, but once you're there it's all good."

Disillusioned's picture

Wow Miss Texas, your SD sound exactly like mine - right down to the group text to DH & I LOL

And your Aunt sounds like one smart lady!

Rags's picture

I like it.  Simple, effective, and repeatable.  If she is toxic, blast her. If she is manipulative, ignore her.  If she is fake, that is her choice.

Enjoy the flowers though.  I think a good use for those would be to spread the flower petals all over the bed and then take a pic and send it to her saying..... "Thanks so much. Your dad and I enjoyed them a lot."  


Disillusioned's picture

hahaha Rags - good one! And love your simple processes! Funny Smile but do make such sense!! 

SacrificialLamb's picture

"When SD didn't get much of a reaction out of me, simply oh that would have been nice, then she brings that up again on a call with DH how she had SGD in one of my dresses but that SGD doesn't really like couldn't even pull off the nice act without another dig""

Here's the same type thing my YSD42 has said to me:  " I really like the rice recipe but it doesn't taste anything like Chipotle's rice like you said it would."  Or "you're 'almost' a professional photographer!"  Or "DD (my daughter) is cute but doesn't wear the right clothes for her body shape."  (That one was really hysterical, if you could see my DD and YSD). For years DH only saw the positive but he started to see the snubs.

OP, I recall telling you several times that you and I have the same OSD. Well, we have the same YSD too! Always calculating, always thinking about how to look really nice to her dad so he can never point the finger at her. After years of this DH admitted that OSD was more blatant in her disrespectful treatment, but YSD was crafty enough to fly under the radar and think no one noticed.

For years I thought I would have a better relationship with YSD than OSD, until I realized she always had a motive. She wants to visit her dad only to dig around and find out what she will get when we are gone. Is good it scheming to find out information that she and OSD want to know. She wants the info but truly loves the game of obtaining info, rather than just asking a question.  DH never recognizes how she sets him up.  She won't spend any of her money to fly here; only comes when she has a work trip in the area.  She comes here to play games and get info and that is it.

These things used to make me upset because DH didn't recognize what was going on and would get defensive.  I can't say he recognizes their game playing now, but I say nothing, and sometimes I have to go to the next room when he is on the phone with them  because I am laughing so hard.  Those girls have lost all their power over me, DH and our marriage.

Keep being polite and civil to YSD as you would someone you hardly know. Never initiate contact unless it's happy birthday. Don't invest any emotional energy in her and SGD, and she will know you are on to her.  My SD's know they can't complain about me to DH now, so they spend a lot of time propping themselves up on Facebook with their charitable actions, and sending Daddy texts about how wonderful they are. 

I am also laughing because YSD and OSD are posting pics on Facebook from a vacation we had several years ago, talking about how much fun it was. They were both commenting on how much they want to go to a pool and a beach, especially because they are closed where they live.

Guess who lives at the beach with a pool? Me. Guess who is NOT coming to visit? THEM. DH and I don't discuss them; he seldom visits them because they have made him uncomfortable, and comfort is a man's first priority.

It's kind of funny when in the end, they realize the games are over and they lost.  These "adults" could have respected their father's wish to remarry, treated his new wife with respect as a person and as his wife, but no. I can almost feel the vacuum from a distance with them not knowing what manipulations to pull now because I simply won't play the game.

Disengagement has been a long process, but I think I am finally there thanks to this site and some of the really helpful people here.


Disillusioned's picture

Yes Sacrificial, we DO indeed have the same SD's

I hope I one day become the pro you are are handling all their manipulation!

You have seen through all the snide comments and snubs from your SD's...took me 20+ years to finally see it for what it is with YSD

Feels good to finally know exactly where you stand though, and move on from there!

Enjoy your beach and pool, every minute of it without them LOL

JRI's picture

" Keep being polite & civil", "Never initiate contact unless its a birthday". "Don't invest any emotionsl energy". That's exactly what I do.  I would add, Don't ask any questions, Don't discuss any of the other kids, never volunteer any personal information.

Sad that we all have to live like this but that's how it is 

somethingwicked's picture

I do polite decent human being but I don't do phoney baloney butt-kissing pretense

Nor do I put up with back-stabbing games and mistreatment

Clearly SD has never really gotten that about me, but she sure will now!

YEAH,Baby!  I hope she gets the message loud and clear and GOOD for YOU, OP ,no longer taking this manipulative little two- faced  phony baloney liar's  act of Good Little YSD then flipping into Heartless Back Stabber . 

Her games and behavior are de rigueur for sneaky ,underhanded ,souless little b!tches weaponized by the BioHo and OSD,that vicious crazy cow and that EVIL aunt,no doubt.

So now the cards are on the table .

She has clearly shown her hand just  like the other three  harpies though she is a bit more diabolical.I don't believe she has any heart left  where you are concerned as her YoYo ing of emotion/attention is indeed very cruel.My (Ex) OSD pulled the very same crap.

The flowers on MD, the calls of concern or promising to do this and that and then nothing happens or it  all goes sideways with more mean girl antics and lies.Once I called her back b/c she left a message asking for my input ,said it was imperative.When I returned her call she  almost immediately apologized that she had to put me on hold and would I wait a second? Me :of course.

Tic Toc Tic Toc ..right? 5 minutes later like a sucker I am waiting LOL..finally hung up.

Called her back.She answered :Oh I thought we were done....

Me: Done?We hadn't even started the conversation ..remember you called me?

Her :Oh I forget what I needed.I got to go ,I'm at work.*click*

There it is.A Sh!tty indelible memory.  Please  take my advice and don't allow your band of Step Aholes to make anymore for you to ponder and wonder over,blaming yourself or whatever ..coz it ain't you ,it's them .They are damaged goods .

And your H better realize now HE is in the DoForThe Skids Driver Seat.It's ALL on him.Let's see how they like generic gift cards tucked into a sometimes inappropriate card.LOL Maybe YOUR DH is better at gift buying.But mine was pitiful.

 Now You are DONE giving so generously of yourself ~the thoughtful gifts, the wrapping with care, the recalling all the birthdays,saving that day , planning the celebratory events,the food,  ,party planning ,family outing and shared events and often paid for on your dime along with your time ..oh and then DH ,Dadddeee ,gets all the thanks. Maybe that hasn't happened to you,It cuts ,let me tell you especialy when DH is happy to take the credit.

 Guess they'll all just have to find some other  person or hobby to hate. And if this plays out like with my StepHell experience it will be Daddee next on the hot seat of hat.


Congratulations  for this next step that you've taken OUT of the StepHell Fire.

Now you focus on YOU and your marriage.Remember the skids are not part of your marriage.And make sure DH also remembers that fact.


Disillusioned's picture

somethingwicked, what great advice!

Clearly from someone who knows what she's talking about. That made me feel even better about this whole situation.

Your SD sounds just like mine LOL, unbeliveable how they treat others and don't seem to comprehend that their actions have consequences

Interesting that once they can't take things out on the SM, then they start in on DH. They're just never happy, always jealous, always manipulative, always looking for revenge at imagined crimes

Everything you say is so true

Thanks for all your support, you're amazing!! 

DoberGirl's picture

"Your SD sounds just like mine LOL, unbeliveable how they treat others and don't seem to comprehend that their actions have consequences."

I've had one blow up with SD22 and this is essentially what I told her. I got the standard response: "You're not my mother!" I got the standard response from SO also: "She's just a kid. You're the adult." My future with SO came into sharp focus with that single incident and I don't need any other evidence that he will always side with her no matter how wrong she is. It's a primal response for a parent to protect their child, which leaves the step out in the cold far too often. What's the statistic - 60-70% of blended families fail? This is why. We have to protect ourselves however we can because we're going to be criticized on all sides no matter what.