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"My" grandson

secondwife64's picture

Hi all-

It has been a while since I last posted but wanted to bounce some ideas around. As you can read by my previous blogs, I have disengaged from nasty skids and in-laws.

Here's the newest wrinkle: oldest SD had a baby last year. At the time her wonderous pregnancy was announced, I knew she would use the kid as a tool to further exclude me as "not family."

By the way, SD lives in Colorado, a legal medical marijuana state, and her job is working for a pot grower. She has only a high school education but thinks she's a genius. Her future is minimum-wage jobs and her hobby is pot.She and the child's father are not married. Why the hell is she having a child?

Anyway, the kid is going on two now and I have never seen him and plan to keep it that way. H saw the kid last fall. I'm a part-time college professor and work full time during the fall semester but have the spring semester off, so H has decided that every fall he will go see the SD and her kid. OK, fine.

But yesterday he announced he would be going to CO this fall to see "my grandson." And then proceeded to tell me that the kid was cute and looked like him.

This bugged me and, even though I hate to admit it, hurt me. After feeling hurt all day and thinking about things, I told H that I would prefer he keep this information to himself, that I don't want to hear about his g-kid or his D or his trip to CO -- that it is nothing but a big downer for me and it makes me dislike him for being a part of something that causes me emotional pain, for being a part of the "in group" that delights in excluding me. Go to f-ing CO, tell me when you will be going and for how long, but don't tell me about how great it all is.

Now, I have been accused a thousand times of being "too sensitive" -- so much so that sometimes I question if I really am too sensitive, Most of the time I know I'm not, but I thought I would ask all of you if you think I am being "too sensitive," heartless, or in any way unreasonable here by telling my H: Don't tell me about your goddamn g-kid, especially if you refer to it as "my grandson"!


DeeDeeTX's picture

I don't think you're being too sensitive. I think DH just has this picture in his head of one big happy family, and when it's pointed out that this fantasy is ludicrous he gets mad/upset.

oneoffour's picture

Often these parents are blinded to the outstanding obviously STUPID decisions their kids make about their lives.
Him: "At least she didn't have an abortion...." You: "What the hell is she doing having a baby the state has to support?"
Him: "Stop it! She has a job!" You: "Yup, a job that is illegal in most of the USA! I would like to see her use those horticultural skills in Nebraska."

I wouild let him rock on to CO. When he rambles on about his grandson (and men are funny about leaving their genetic thread) just let it go. Sure, he is playing right into her hands. But i learnt long ago that these men cannot shut their mouths to save themselves. BUT by listening and making inoccuous remarks like "That's nice/ Really? Interesting." he cannot accuse you of not being interested. Although you could remind him that as his daughter has excluded you from her family (Thank God!) it is a little like you telling him stories about your neighbours when you were a child, people he has never met or known. "But honey, this is part of who you are so tell me more."

I would feign moderate interest so the 'exclusive Daddy/Daughter Club" isn't so secretive and special. Your DH will go on and on about it while his daughter thinks you are out in the cold. And eventually she will HAVE to talk to you and you can say "Yes, your father told me ab out that a couple of years ago." SMACKDOWN! I love it when your 'goodness' pays off }:)

frustratedstepdad's picture

I think I'll come at it from a different viewpoint, and say that you be a tad oversensitive on this. You have to remember, now matter how the grandson came into the world or whether the SD is a bitch or not, it's still his grandson. Just like most grandparents, I'm sure your DH is proud to be a grandpa. I don't think he was trying to rub anything in your face or make you feel bad. If you are not wanting anything at all to do with the kid, don't want to see pictures of him, don't want to be in his life at all, then it's okay for him to say "my grandson". When you say that you don't want to hear anything about the kid, you're making it so he can't share that part of his life or happiness with you. I think there are bigger things than this, and as step-parents we all have to pick and choose our battles.

I too have grandkids and I am not biologically related to any of them. Regardless of how I feel about my lazy SD's all having kids too early, I know how happy it makes DW to be able to see the grandkids and it does make me happy to see DW be happy. Also I feel like maybe I have a chance to be a good influence on these grandkids so they don't make the same stupid mistakes (like dropping out of high school) the way their parents did.

secondwife64's picture

This is a long reply, but …


Thank you for your post. I appreciate your perspective. There are a few things I’d like to share with you (and anyone else interested in this thread). I know this is a very long post, but I hope you will read on.

What I’d like to talk about goes by several names: relational aggression, indirect aggression, bullying, cliques, covert hostility, social ostracism, and shunning, to name a few.

I’ll call it relational aggression (or RA for short). There are lots of books and articles about this topic and I have read many of them. RA is basically when a group of people (the “in-group”) engage in targeting and socially isolating a lone person (the “target”). The in-group isolates the target through gossip; repeating and spreading lies that paint the target in a bad light and are designed to ruin her reputation (such as: “she’s sleeping with the boss.”); sideways comments and whispers while the target is present and can see it; exchanging knowing looks in the same way; speaking in front of the target in a “code” that only the in-group understands; collectively ignoring the target in a group setting/activity; publically shaming, belittling, or making fun of the target; secretly planning to create situations that will hurt, shame, and exclude the target; making sure the target knows she is being excluded by various means; telling the target’s secrets, if known, to others; criticizing the target’s clothes, hair, body, etc.

Really, the only limit to the many ways in which RA can manifest is the in-group’s imagination.

It is primarily females who engage in RA. There are several compelling theories as to why this is so. I won’t repeat them here, but suffice it to say that RA is a form of violence, a particular female form of violence, and all humans, both male and female, commit violence. If anything is crystal clear about RA, it is that women are overwhelmingly the ones who engage in it.

I bet you could ask any woman who posts on Step Talk if RA has happened to her, and she would likely tell you it has. RA happens to girls in grade school, to teenagers in high school, to young women in college, and to adult, professional women in the workplace.

What I want to emphasize about RA is this: If there is any combination of situation and in-group tailor-made for RA, it is a divorced man with adult female children and a living ex-wife, remarrying. If the second wife is better educated than the ex-wife, if she is prettier, thinner, more physically fit, wealthier, has a better job, or all of the above, she will most certainly become a target. Much of the time, it is the ex-wife who initiates the RA. She enlists her daughters first. And her daughters usually join in out of a sense of loyalty to their mother, although sometimes the daughters join in not out of a sense of loyalty to their mother but because they themselves want to participate in the RA, as they too feel threatened by the second wife. Daughters who are spoiled and never taught appropriate boundaries between children and adults, and between children and their parents, are particularly prone to feel threatened by the second wife. Sometimes sons also join in the RA, usually out of a sense of loyalty to their mother. Once the RA is begun and picks up steam with the addition of the daughters to the in-group, the range of in-group members can and often does expand to include sisters-in-law, mothers-in-law, cousins, nieces—even other ex-wives if it is a third, fourth, etc. marriage. No family member is off limits in terms of an open invitation to join in the RA against the new wife.

RA, of any kind, at any age, is devastating to the target. Studies have shown that social isolation is a very damaging thing to do to a human being. Elderly people who are lonely and isolated die earlier than elderly people who have a strong social network in place. Children who have experienced RA develop maladaptive behaviors, mostly in the form of distrust toward others, that can last a lifetime. Targets of severe RA report that they never really got over their isolating experience, no matter how or when it happened, no matter how much therapy, medication, self-help, etc. they get after the fact.

One reason RA is so damaging is because the target is entirely on her own. Girls from the age of 10 know this. They know that if they become a target, virtually nobody will come to their aid. If a girl is not a target, she knows that if she doesn’t conform to the demands of the in-group, she can easily become a target herself. Therefore, she will not provide help to the target. Bystanders who are not a part of the in-group but can recognize what is happening will look the other way, perhaps out of fear or perhaps out of the mistaken notion that “it’s no big deal—just growing pains, or, just women behaving as they do.” And because RA is done in secret, bystanders who don’t recognize what is going on have virtually no way of figuring it out, since there is no outward, obvious evidence of who is instigating and participating in the RA.

This anonymity of the RA perpetrators is such that they are rarely, if ever, held accountable for their aggression and violence. If someone (such as the remarried dad) actually attempts to discern what is going on; if, let’s say, his wife succeeds in getting him to understand what is happening and to talk to his daughters, they can easily, if not effortlessly, deny their behavior. The only evidence is what the target reports, and that is easily dismissed by the RA perpetrators, as in: “Well, gosh Dad, I don’t know what you are talking about. I like Mary. I have never said anything bad about her. I think Mary is a little too sensitive. You did tell me her feelings are easily hurt. I think she just needs to develop a thicker skin and not be so paranoid.”

In this way, the RA situation gets EVEN WORSE for the target. A new layer of unattractive character deficiency is added to the significant character assassination that has already been established. Mary is the one with the problem. She’s got thin skin; she has emotional problems and is paranoid. She’s deficient. The daughters are normal.
Perhaps the most pernicious thing about RA is the aggressor, the violent offender, intends to cause harm. She succeeds. And she, the aggressor, the violent offender, is never identified.

And the badmouthing of Mary that happens in the in-group, among the ex-wife, the daughters, the sisters-in-law, the mothers-in law – whatever the case may be and however large the in-group becomes -- is like a bonding ritual. The RA the in-group conducts together, in a rather sick way, becomes a medium for them to feel closer to one another, to feel more bonded as a “family”-- which Mary is decidedly not a part of. Mary is never given the golden scepter and the title of “family.” In fact, the word “family” becomes the synonym for “in-group” in many instances.

And so, unchecked and unaccounted for, the RA takes on a life of it’s own. In the “family” that Mary is not a part of, every funeral, every wedding, every college graduation, every vacation, every thanksgiving dinner, every exchange of gifts at Christmas, every Easter-egg hunt, every birthday, every dinner out at a favorite restaurant, and yes and most especially, every birth of a grandchild, becomes an occasion to twist the knife and snub and exclude the second wife more and more.

At this point, the in-group is clearly and conspicuously (to Mary at least) enjoying the pain they are inflicting. And it is possible that the in-group expands its RA scope from excluding and isolating Mary to destroying Mary. If that happens, the group can succeed in completely dismantling Mary’s trust in herself, her self-esteem, her sense of having a place in the world.

Yes. The damage can be that serious.

So, in reference to my initial post, I hope you now understand why I find the trip to see “my grandson” something like a slap in the face; a blatant form of temporarily joining the in-group that has me as their target.

God knows why, but I love my husband. Of course I want him to be happy, and if this grandkid makes him happy, so be it. Isn’t it too bad, though, that this “happiness” is used to exclude and shun another human being? Isn’t it too bad that this grandson is just another tool for the application of relational aggression?

Do I choose to stay home? I guess technically you could say yes. But what sane person would choose to go where she is not wanted, where the only thing waiting to greet her is relational aggression, which is, as I mentioned, a form of violence?

No. I won’t go. I won’t go because I’ve learned. Finally. After nearly 20 years of experiencing something so painful and yet so nameless, I started to seek answers. Once I discovered this thing had a name, I jumped at the chance to learn all I could about RA. The people I’m dealing have no clue what RA is, whereas I have learned a lot about it. That doesn’t make them tough and cool and me fragile and sensitive. It makes them ignorant and stupid and me informed and thoughtful. I’d rather be that any day. I may be alone and excluded, and I may occasionally feel hurt when visits like the one I posted about come up. But ignorant and stupid and cruel and violent? That’s a family I no longer want to be a part of. I’m glad I’ve discovered that. Yeah, it’ll suck when hubby goes to see the gandkid, but I’ll get over it. The help of the many wonderful women (and men) on this site is the thing that helps the most with that.

Thanks again for reading and for your comments!

momof5_1969's picture

wow secondwife64 --- seriously this is the best post i've read and it is my life right now! i have everyone (it seems) against me on ex-wife's side. You hit the nail on the head (as they say). Wow. Like you, I have chosen to not be apart of such visits anymore. It only took me 5 years to get to that point -- felt life was too short. The skids bring too much misery as it is with the ones that are in the home now. Why would i want to go visit the one that is finally out??!! Very well written! Thank you!

secondwife64's picture


I'm glad my post helped you. Congratulations on disengaging after 5 years. It took me a lot longer than that, so good on you!

forestfairy's picture

You really need to copy and paste this into a new blog so everyone has a chance to read it. I think a lot of women could benefit from it. I'd wait till Monday though, seems like more people are around during the week.

secondwife64's picture


It also took me many (way too many) years to figure out that being nice, being the "better person" as they say, would have virtually no effect on what was happening. Being nice only gave them more to talk about. It also emboldened them to step up the agression. I rue the day I ever gave these people the time of day. I think I finally got it when H's ex's new husband, during a rehersal dinner for one of the princess daughters, kept looking at me with the most unmistakable look of pity in his eyes. For a while I couldn't figure that out, then I realized that he had most likely heard the RA conversations.

That moment of realization (and all the exclusionary antics of the wedding that followed) was when I decided enough was enough. I'm glad for both of us that we finally arrived in that place of understanding.

sandye21's picture

"--- they were both silent." And isn't it amazing how they are so involved in their church? What a bunch of hipocrites! The silent treament was used in the shunning methods during the Salem witch trials. You are so outnumbered it must be you - right? Been there!

serena28's picture

Thank you so very much for your comments. I tried for 10 years to be kind and forgiving to the covert hatred that was spued at me by my husband's covert aggressive ex, the stepkids, the SIL's BIL's,their kids, my MIL. But after 10 years, I finally realized that the adults are really quite ill in the head, they have influenced the children and so no amount of kindness would ever help to build a relationship with them. They do not want a relationship with me, they want me to be the scapegoat for whatever weirdness they are into. I tried to be the bigger person also, but the constant rejection, coy remarks and subtle insults finally got the better of me. I decided awhile ago that I am completely done with all of them. They obviously don't want me to be a part of the family so why would I want to be a member of that very sick family? When I met my husband over 12 years ago I could never have anticipated the h--- that would be spewed upon me. He had been divorced for two years when we met but I had absolutely NO idea what kind of craziness would go on once we were married. I should have taken a hint when the day before my wedding the ex-wife's psychotic sister called my house and started yelling insane things at me. And how did that mentally ill ex-wife's sister get my UNLISTED phone number? From the ex-wife of course. Pure insanity I tell you. So anything and everything you say has happened to me, the pictures of the ex are still in the MIL's house and who knows where else. Even though we have repeatedly requested that our wedding pictures be on display, our requests are ignored. The saddest part of this is that my husband is the one being hurt the most. And the more they reject me and reject boundaries we both try to set with them, the further away they push him from the family. Our relationship is stronger than it has ever been. Relational aggression? I am happy to hear about that and am really looking forward to learning more about it!! Thank you all so very much for your posts....they all give me peace of mind!

sandye21's picture

I second the 'WOW'! This is what I went through for decades. I swear to you - my SD actually told my DH she "liked me" after she had verbally thrashed me. What is so strange is that the BM had not said three words to me since DH and I married over 20 years ago but was openly hostile to me - not DH - at a recent company reunion. I could not imagine why until I read your post. I agree that in most cases RA perpetrators are women but SD's husband was sucked into the game and also became verbally abusive. Thanks for the insight.

secondwife64's picture


Oh yes. You are absolutely right. Men are capable of enlisting in the RA army. My SD's new husband is now part of the fold, as are -- believe it or not -- his parents. At the wedding I was given the cold shoulder by all of them. The message was loud and clear. I wish like crazy I knew what these people (the parents) were told. It must have been a doozy of a story. If it weren't so damn disturbing it would be funny. There must be something so incredibly alluring about joining the group that otherwise clear-headed, educated people can so easily be recruited. I wish I knew what that was. No, men are not immune, not by a long shot. It seems to me, though, that they become part of the RA group once it has been established by females. If anyone knows of men starting an RA cluster of covert violence, I'd love to hear about it.

sandye21's picture

I agree that in most cases, RA is inmitiated by women but I worked in a non-traditional job, mostly men, and have been the target of discrimination in which RA was definitely used. As far as the RA in 'SD world', she and possibly BM initiated it, and her hubby followed suit. You wrote that you wondered what the real 'story' was. On one of my birthdays, SD and her hubby came to visit. In the morning, DH smiled and wished me a happy birthday. SD and hubby would not say a word to me and seemed angry with me. At one point, SD'd hubby turned his back on me and would not turn around when I said, "Good morning" to him. After they left, I asked DH why SD's hubby was so hostile. DH replied, "He was just protecing her." I responded, "From what?" DH got a 'deer in the headlights' look on his face and could not come up with an answer. Whatever the reason, like you say, it must have been a 'doozy'. For the life of me I can not figure out what I have done to create such hostility. The thing I am trying to point out is that people can even be sucked into this, and they don't even know why. Like you wrote, "If it weren't so damn disturbing it would be funny."

momof5_1969's picture

nodoormat -- this is my life right now. SD22 just had her baby a month ago. I got her a ton of expensive things for the baby, and additional gifts at babyshower, nice things for Christmas -- yet when it came time to go to hospital -- I wasn't allowed to go. Everyone else was -- but not me. She acknowledged that she knew it was ME who purchased and wrapped all the gifts, but she didn't care. So now DH sees her on his own. And i hear from him how "nice" it is to hold "his" grandson. And yes, it hurts that everyone else is included but me -- but she knows this, and she is doing it purposefully.

emotionaly beat up's picture

As is DH, he must know it hurts you, so why does he continue to say things like How nice it is to hold his grandson. These SD's are a piece of work all right, but our DH's not only allow it but contribute to and encourage it by complying with this nonsense. You weren't allowed to go to the hospital, and he knew you had bought and wrapped the gifts, so he went along and left you behind. Nice. Been through this myself, only I went to the hospital. Two weeks later SD tells daddy if he wishes to see grandaughter then he needs to leave me. So far 7 months later he has not seen grandaughter. Not right, not nice, not fair, but he is giving SD what she is used to her own way. Spoiling her witless has finally worked against both of them.

secondwife64's picture


I'm so sorry this happened to you. Public humiliation seems to be one of the weapons of choice for the RA group. I think we all know very well here how much stuff like that hurts. It really sucks. At first I doubted myself on whether or not it was right to say that I did not want to meet the new grandson, who is, after all, innocent in this whole thing. And yet I also knew that the admittance of this newest member to the sacred "family" was going to be their best tool yet to show me how much I am seperate from them, the cool kids.

I wasn't going to give them that opportunity. The gifts you bought were thoughtful and kind. It shows clearly that you are a better person than they will ever be. I hope you can find people who desrve your kindness.

hippiegirl's picture

Ok, not to ruffle any feathers here, but working for a pot grower is not bad. Colorado legalized it and their economy is wonderful as a result (not to mention lower crime rate). Pot dispensaries are the future, like it not. I'm guessing you've never tried it, judging by your attitude. Anywho, back to my point, you aren't being too sensitive about being treated like crap by skid.

secondwife64's picture

Judging by your attitude, you make sweeping statements about people you don't know on blogs. Whether or not I've smoked pot is none of your business; and any opinions I hold about its legalization are not part of this thread. Go to a pro-legalization blog if you want to comment on that.

bestwife's picture

bullshit on the too sensitive part.

Hurting you emotionally is just as bad as hurting you physically.

emotionaly beat up's picture

No you are not being to sensitive. Your husband is leaving you to go and visit his daughter, and he knows damn well you are not welcome there. The fact that he goes and you accept that should be good enough for him and his daughter, but it is wrong, he should not do it, he should have taught his daughter you are his wife and she needs to treat you with respect. He failed to do that, and you have accepted he will go off and visit her. Enough. Telling you about the wonderful cute grandchild that HE has, the grandchild whose life you are not welcome in, is insensitive on his part.

Why not ask him to tell his daughter to make sure her BF is not around when he comes to visit as he does not want him in his life and see how well that goes down with his precious daughter. Let's see how accepting she is of her father excluding her BF from his life.

secondwife64's picture


I love that suggestion. I think my H would be too obtuse to get it though!

emotionaly beat up's picture

Frustrated Stepdad

It is one thing to be accepted as part of the family and be welcomed into the grandchild's life. My husband is technically a step grandparent to my grandchildren and you would never know it. As soon as they could talk he was called pa. These kids love their pa and my children encourage that. My SD however, has made it clear I am not welcome in her life, she wants no part of mine, and when her daughter was born told DH if you want to see this child, leave your wife.

Until you have been excluded this way, you cannot really understand how much it hurts. I did so much for SD and wanted so much for my DH to have a relationship with his children and grandchildren, but SD was not having any of it. Now, my DH did not leave me as demanded and does not see his grandchildren, how good is this for everyone, but SD's can and will do this, particularly spoilt ones who have never heard the word no unless it came out of their own mouths.

Some men need to learn how to be husbands AND fathers, that there is no need to choose, but some men cannot work that out they feel the need to put one of these relatinships above the other, when you put another woman above your wife, expect trouble with the wife. Some daughters need to learn that they are their father's daughters, not the wife, and that when they go out meet and marry a man, he is their husband, the primary man in their life, and they need to stop expecting daddy to be husband no: 1 and SO husband no:2. Some daughters need to grow up.

Try and see it from the perspective of the OP. If you can put yourself in her position, or indeed mine. You are supportive, you buy gifts, you help whenever you are asked to, and you respect boundaries, then along comes your DW's grandkids and her children say, you are not welcome, you are not to be part of this childs life, and indeed if DW want to see them she has to leave you. Would you be so understanding then if DW was wanting to share all the milestones and joy of being a grandparent with you when she knows full well you are not welcome in her family or in her grandchilds life.

This is not about spoiling his grandpa time, it is about him expecting her to be thrilled for him,, to support him as a new grandfather and to want to listen to all the cute bits, while she has to sit at home alone whenever he visits because he has allowed his children to exclude her and do not want her to have anything to do with the child. You say you hope to be a good influence in the lives of DW's grandkids, so it sounds as if you like my own husband have not been treated as an unwelcome stranger, someone who is not allowed near the precious grandchild. When you are cast as an outsider in what should be your family and your husband allows it and participates in it by his silence and his failure to support you. IT HURTS.

This is not about the SD or the grandchild it is about her husbands betrayal and lack of support, it is about her husband being a father first and a husband second. His daughter I am sure would not put her father before her husband and she would not allow her father to treat her husband as an outsider either, woman usually do not do this, and your wife has clearly not encouraged her children to exclude you, so often men put their daughters first and in this case he has done that. He has allowed his wife to be excluded.

momof5_1969's picture

and to answer your question -- no you're not being overly sensitive. i would be hurt also. I, too, am in a similar situation and I really don't want to hear about my husband's grandson, or how the visits went or how cute he is, or how wonderful it was -- it all hurts! it hurts when I hear the other skids tell me how cute he is, blah blah blah because I am not welcome over at her house and not welcome to be there to meet the new baby - she won't let me around him. i got an email from one of her friends the other day (from SD22) telling me what a terrible person I was and how I treat SD22 like dirt. Basically I told her not to judge unless she has the whole story -- this "friend" of hers had an affair with a friend of mine's husband -- so her "friend' is not in a position to "judge" me on what a terrible person I am or not -- i said so in not so many words in my email back. Kinda felt good to get a little dig in, without really saying it and calling a spade a spade. }:)

emotionaly beat up's picture

My own Sd momof5 who told daddy chose, if you want to see your grandaughter then you must leave your wife, your call, daddy chose his wife and SD will now tell everyone who will listen as to how I have taken her father away from her and how her child does not have a grandfather because of me.......go figure.

donna123's picture

Hi secondwife64. I hear ya. I was also the target of a concerted Relational Aggression attack from an envious adult SD and her equally envious and manipulative mother. I too learned a lot about this abusive covert behaviour and how often social shunning is the weapon of choice among females.

Males also use this tactic and are easily recruited to join forces with the “in group” against the victim, especially when they are manipulated into believing they are protecting sweet little innocent daughter, sister, mother, etc. from a rapacious, heartless SM.

Everyone in the hate group looks for reasons to hate and if they can’t find enough real ones then they fabricate reasons why the victim deserves the attack, thereby adding insult to injury. When confronted with evidence of their shameful, aggressive behaviour they will deny, deny, deny. Then say something like, “Oh I really like her. I don’t know what is wrong with her.” A myopic husband firmly in denial will take that last statement as a fact and refuses to see the truth that his wife is being viciously attacked indirectly.

Men and women are equally “sensitive” to such behind the back social attacks. So when your husband tells you, you are overly sensitive it is because he doesn’t understand it, because it has never happened to him. When someone engages an RA campaign on him he will feel exactly the same way you feel. Moreover he likely doesn’t want to understand it, because it sheds a very poor light on the aggressors. Much preferable to believe you are a faulty person than to see the fact that his sweet lil girl is nothing remotely approaching sweet. That does nothing to endear a wife to her husband, which is exactly what the biatches hope for.

One of the best books I read on the subject is “Woman’s Inhumanity to Woman” by Phyllis Chesler. She identifies the variety of ways and vicious emotional tactics (RA) women use to coerce each other. As she said, (being the target of RA) “It’s like having your entire family get wiped out, only they’re still alive, and seeing each other. You’re the one who’s really been wiped out.”

I agree the best tactic against RA is to get it out in the open because these aggressive rivals are relying on your silence and humiliation. There is no shame in being the target of a bully, but there is a helluva lot of shame in being a bully.

That is the best message we can keep delivering to women is not to keep quiet while you are being victimized by vicious gossip, emotional blackmail and socially shunning for no reason other than you married a man who was married before, even though it was his EX who demanded to divorce years before your arrival. Fact is, they are envious as hell, and they will deny that fact forever. And envy seeks to destroy.

Your husband would do well to open up his eyes and see what is really going on. Do not let this destroy your self-esteem. Of course you would love to be part of your stepgrandson’s life but the fact is there are more than a few evil women/men standing in the way, and making sure that will never happen and then making it look like it’s your fault and your own doing, not the truth which is they manipulated it that way. SD does have the right to decide who will or will not see her child, but she does not have the right to lie about the reasons why.

secondwife64's picture

Thanks Donna 123

I have read Phyllis Chesler's book and for the most part really liked it. I was disappointed in some of her points though. At times she seemed to have bought into the evil stepmother stereotype herself. In one passage she talked about how a woman "stole" her friend's husband. This to me is another form of female RA in families -- that if there is infidelity in a marriage, it must be because some conniving, evil woman plotted to "steal" him. The husband is just an innocent dupe.

But yes, this book is a really good source for understanding RA. Thanks for your comments.

sandye21's picture

Your post really blows me away. The similarities are unbelievable. It could have been written by me - even to the point of not crying at my Father's funeral. The only difference is that I didn't put a stop to it until fairly recently. It makes me wonder how many of the other members of this site have also gone through this life-long pattern. What I've found out, and I'm sure you have, is that our families set us up for how we deal with others in adulthood. If we were never treated like we were part of the pack, we are more sensitive to the RA game. It's as if we have 'door mat' tatooed on our foreheads! Others seem to see it too! Sometimes it takes a lot of assaults to finally say "enough" but once I did, it made such a positive change in my life. I do not 'look' for aggression, and sometimes it still takes a bit of time to recognize it, but I no longer allow it from anyone. It will be interesting to find out what you are in the process of exposing.

hippiegirl's picture

Thank you NoDoormat.....all I was saying is it's a good field to get into and it pays well from what I understand, personal politics aside. :? Jeez.
Sweeping statements? WTH? Claws in. I meant no harm.

momof5_1969's picture

nodoormat -- that is encouraging. WE had been doing counseling, but haven't been recently -- he has been seeing his daughter and just not telling me about it for the last month. he usually let's it slip and I found out after the fact. Its not that i care, but it feels like she is the other woman in a weird way. The weird thing is that nobody really wants a relatinoship with her because she is "mental" (as SS18 referred to her). Everyone feels that they have to because she bullys them into coming over and she guilts them into coming over. Then she bad mouths me while they are there (not while my husband is there), but at least while the kids are there. Sigh.

christag's picture

My husband visits his grandkids 3-4+ times a year by himself. They're his grandkids. As much as I wish things were different, I have to accept this is how things are going to be. DH doesn't talk much about them to me much, his kids call him directly and only when he's not at home, so I'm totally out of the loop. When we have family gatherings with his extended families, he talks about the grandkids, his kids, etc at nausium and it really bothers me because I haven't a clue about any of it.

DH did try to insist they include me but that just led to him being estranged from them for years. DH's oldest son didn't invite DH to his wedding, so when the grandkids came along.... well.. I don't want to be responsible for him missing out on time with them. I know he resents me too much for the time he missed with his kids already.

hippiegirl's picture

StepAside....I LOVED the last two lines of your last comment. So true with so many people. Even some of MY own relatives.