The Monster Under The Bed
A little background: Enmeshed DH and SD relationship, toxic/manipulative BM (SD is clearly the apple that fell from tree), 5 years of passive-aggressive control manipulation from SD. It is clear to me and DH that SD's actions, which getting more overt, are intended to create division between me and DH. I believe BM is pulling a few strings, but SD is 23 years, intelligent and capable albeit emotionally defunct.
That latest is that after years of enmeshment with DH, SD's ploys over the last 6 months clearly state this message: “I want control of my father and will do whatever is necessary to keep him enmeshed. You are in my way.” The actions, which were subdued in the past, grew profoundly overt after we DH and I finally moved in together after 4 years of relationship. DH at this point also told BM, “I want to be finished with you.”
Over the past 16 months (since we've moved in together), the escalating behavior which is reminiscent of a dog marking his territory, includes:
passive-aggressive posts on Facebook which SD deletes once she's sure I've seen it
bringing over old photos of DH in the “old” days with BM (and I am obliged to sit through this ridiculous ogling whilst DH doesn't say a word)
asking DH if he can go on cross country trip just with her
sending a letter to DH saying, “I will buy YOU a ticket to visit me.” (SD moved out of state last Oct.)
texting DH to come over and have bagels with her and BM
lap sitting on DH while feigning how she needed a backrub
disrespect of MY house rules after being repeatedly told what to expect
avoidance of having dinner with us, yet texting to meet ONLY DH for breakfast or lunch
passive-aggressively suggesting DH go to Italy with her via text
There's more, but you get the gist.
DH and I agreed to strengthen relationship and not allow this behavior to wield control over our lives. However, DH has still not spoken to SD about it (albeit she'll deny it or act as if she's clueless). She has now manipulated a situation where she will be alone with DH on a visit. He feels obliged to visit and this guilty obligation is working in her favor to drive the wedge in. I am in attack mode. This goes against what DH and I agreed upon to stop the enmeshment and manipulative behavior. I am truthful and assertive person, yet I have not stepped in because I feel it is DH's place to straighten out SD. I didn't enter the relationship to be the target of an angsty SD who is the emotional by-product of a controlling, bitter ex.
I feel the tension and fear in DH as he is not the most articulate. I think he has been stalling because he is afraid that SD's reaction will be exactly like BM's – which did much emotional damage to DH during the course of their marriage. BM typical responses include disrespect, spitefulness and anger or walling him out. DH was clearly an enabler and pleasure to both SD and ex.
SD clearly needs to understand that “we” - DH and I are a couple and that her fairly tale delusion of happy mommy and daddy were just that...and those days are long over. For now, I have disengaged with SD. I refuse to be a tool. We have two other SK (my bio daughter who is the same age and a 27 year old SS. These two seem to be doing fine with our relationship.)
What to do? I suggested to DH that he say something NOW. I'm ready to slay the monster. He's still figuring out the best way to do it. He was going to wait until the visit in October. It's already behind deadline as far as I'm concerned. I also think that I should go on visit with him as an action that says...”guesss what, WE are here to stay.”