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Need clarity...strong feelings of betrayal

snikees's picture

Please help me find clarity.
24 years of marriage, a successful business, two kids of our own and a SD34 who has been allowed to wreak havoc on our marriage since day 1. I'm tired. I feel betrayed by my DH because he is unable to make me his priority. SD is married with 4 kids. She is financially stable and able to be a stay at home mom, yet he is still taking care of "things" for her. He gives her belongings that we have paid for without my buy in-cars that we could trade for value toward our new one, etc... Don't get me wrong, we are fine, but so is she. Every holiday and every birthday I am blindsided with plans for him to go spend time with them and I am "not invited". Our children have been alienated by SD34 "because of" me. She says she can't have a relationship with them so long as they live with me. She is filled with hate and anger because he divorced her mother 32 years ago-and it feels like she attempts to make our marriage rocky so she can have her dad by himself. If she is not his #1 she can't stand it and maneuvers until she regains her place on the throne. I hate that I resent her so much, I hate that I feel betrayed and like I am not being honored when he leaves me to go celebrate the grandkids-but I do feel it. And it's painful. And I'm am tired of struggling with it. I'd love advice.

Disneyfan's picture

How do you LET(or not let) a grown man or woman spend their money, they earned as they see fit?

Unless their finances are combined, he's stealing her money or he isn't meeting his financial obligations in the home, not "letting" him spend his money as he sees fit isn't an option.

Trying to change the status quo after more than two decades is pretty much a pipe dream.

snikees's picture

That is correct-we built a business together. From zero to success due to BOTH efforts. The contribution was the sale of homes we both had before marriage and leveraging everything we had in our marriage. Pretty darn close to equal contributions. It's not his money, but SD comment was, " if you had never married my dad that money would all be mine". I didn't bring this up in my OP but feel a little defensive because of some of the comments here. You are 100% right-the money she is given is our retirement and perhaps even a nicer car or some new furniture for me. She has her own but manipulates for ours.

snikees's picture

I agree, and I think the bitterness factor from SD will accelerate but I also feel that I am ready to divide if I can't get this sorted out. I want to have a nice nest egg for retirement and feel like every dollar we earn is for that or for our mutual enjoyment. Our kids are in college and high school with big tuition bills and living expenses. That's where our money needs to focus now, not on her needs and wants that could easily be dealt with by her husband and their budgeting.

tazztunes's picture

I agree you built the business together which means the income is both of yours. Even if you hadn't, I don't see this "it's his not yours" that's not what a marriage is supposed to be unless you agreed upon that in the first place. If it was your first marriage and this girl was your child together, would he still be doing the same things. Because I totally disagree that adult children should be given things without working for it. That's what people just expect now. To be given things. Maybe these adults with favorable opinions about giving adult children money have resentment towards their own parents if they remarried, or things they deserve their parents money. I do not expect my parents to give me anything. But I do expect to share and be partners with my spouse, the person who I have sworn to love, honor, and support no matter what. The person who is supposed to be your love. That relationship is the priority. Children grow up and if the job is done correctly, they are responsible, giving, loving adults and not full of hate or greed. We have become so child centered then we wonder why children behave the way they do, adults or not.

furkidsforme's picture

If this has been the pattern for 24 years, now is a little late to expect drastic change. Maybe a more reasonable expectation would be to agree that neither partner spends or gives more than $XXX dollars without consulting the other?

snikees's picture

We have that agreement. I abide by it...because our only other kids are ours together. He gives what she asks for. No strings attached.

snikees's picture

I worked in our business while raising our kids. We have become successful together. My mistake was allowing him to continue bad behaviors thinking it was a phase. SD wedding was the straw that broke the camels back for me. Name not on the invitation, my parents not allowed to attend the rehearsal dinner, I was told I would be sitting in the fifth row while DH sat in the first row with BM....all while contributing a significant amount of cash to fund "her" day. I took a position that I would not spend time with her, and she would not be allowed to spend time with my girls (then 4 and 9) until we had a meeting of the minds. She one upped me and abandoned all of us except her dad. Broke my girls hearts. They have not recovered to this day and have both been in therapy because of it. They don't want to be included now and feel a profound hatred toward her.
I do not think of it as a competition and I don't think I even need her to like me...but I will give this some thought.

Disneyfan's picture

So YOU used your kids to get SD to behave they way you wanted her to:jawdrop: but she didn't take the bait.

Your kids were in therapy because you used them as pawns to control your SD. Why are you blaming SD (in regards to your kids)for a chain of events that you set in motion?

The way your SD treating you and your parents was awful. However, you are the one who injected your children into this fight.

That may be the reason why your husband continues to act the way he does.

twoviewpoints's picture

Read the profile. Dad didn't attend rehearsal stuff either.

Usually 'other' wedding guest are not included to attend rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. It's for practice run and wedding party participants aka 'rehearsal dinner'.

Anyway, she took her big stand, it bit her back.

snikees's picture

WoW you guys are certainly a friendly group. Thanks for the support. I only WISH I had been sooooo smart to know how to take a stand without getting bitten I. Return. Maybe when I grow up I'll be as wise as you both are!

Disneyfan's picture

Why would anyone support a parent using her kids to manipulate someone else? :?

You did the exact thing many of the crazy BMs and manipulative SDs posted about here do-use their children as pawns to hurt their exhusbands/dads. No one ever supports that behavior. Why should that change when it's done by a SM.

snikees's picture

You are so far off on your assumption that I USED my kids to manipulate. They were little and vulnerable. I was protecting them from her crap. And I did what I did at the suggestion of my then therapist. Not on my own and NOT to manipulate anyone. SD held #1 before I did. I always called her sister. I taught her to take care of her sister and gave them their time to be together-without my interference. She was in the room when #2 was born even though I didn't want anyone but DH there. I relented be sure I contributed to a good relationship with her. I was deliberate in my efforts to include her in my life without being her replacement mother. This I KNOW I did correctly.

Then it became her world and no one else mattered but her what's and needs. I would be a foolish and ignorant mother to allow her to poison those little girls with her version of life when they were too young to even understand. She had a choice to come to the party but chose to walk away in bitterness and unfounded anger because she didn't get her way on HER day. She was the manipulator, along with her BM and whoever else has chosen to feed her a power method of operation.

Disneyfan's picture

You never said she was mean to your children. You didn't say you were protecting them from their evil sister. Based on what you posted, SD's nastiness around the wedding and rehearsal dinner was directed at you and your parents, not your children.

Since your kids were used as bargaining chips, then the 3 of them must have had a good relationship. You don't punish someone by withholding something they dislike or isn't interested in.

Stepdrama11's picture

I have a SS32 and a SD33. DH and I have been together 13 years, married 10. Things were fine for 10 years until SKs decided I need to go. The last two years have been hell. Same thing as you...enabling daddy throwing his wife under the bus. I understand and feel your pain. I was pretty much done, ready to walk out the door before DH agreed to go to some counseling. We are working on setting some boundaries around our marriage but it is a very hard road and I'm not sure we will make it. If you have not read the book Stepmonster, it would be a good idea to read that asap. You are not alone.

snikees's picture

I just finished the book Stepmonster and feel like I should have gotten that information sooner. Not making our marriage a priority has resulted in this mess that I am now living. She is a vindictive child. He is an enabler. So afraid she will abandon him if he stands up to her.
Our counseling bills have been astronomical over the years. Most counsellors have supported the notion that she would grow out of this and learn to accept me. I guess I bought into it and I bit my tongue thinking that I was only biding my time. It's only our latest counsellor, a step mother herself, who understands how destructive the behavior is. And as someone so aptly pointed out, I can only change me. I don't know what that looks like.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I don't think there is any advice anyone can give you (neither counselors or us here) that is going to help.

The reality is your DH does not want to change. Spending countless dollars on counselling hasn't helped, nor will it ever. You can shop counselors forever but it won't change your DH. He doesn't want to change. Because he fears she would cut him out, he would rather push you to your limits and even lose you ... rather than lose her. Sorry, but that is the cold reality.

I think it is especially telling that you have two children of your own, and I am assuming they are younger and still need financial support in the future (college, etc.)? Can you afford to do the same for the other two kids? If not, they are getting short shrift. Because everything he is giving his grown daughter (who doesn't need it) may eventually cost the younger kids. Not to mention they see all this going on with SD and will expect/want the same financial benefits she's had. That will create additional problems in the future, especially when SD's kids (grandkids) will be the next bunch to come knocking on grandpa's door for a hand-out.

There is no advice for you other than this: Your DH has made his daughter his priority in life. Before you. Before your own children. Is that something you are willing to live with? If not, get out. No counseling is going to change a situation that is more than a quarter century in the making.

Buggy2's picture

Do you want to be invited to SD and grandchildren's birthdays? How are the holidays done exactly?

Typically, on wedding invitation its the Bride mother and father, the Groom mother and father. I have never seen the step parents name on wedding invitation and the majority of my friends are COD.

snikees's picture

Yes I want to be invited. SD makes it specific "dad you're invited but your wife is not".
Holidays...I host Christmas and Thanksgiving, I have every year since we have been married except the years that my own mother hosted One or the other. This is the arrangement unless we are traveling. Parents and in laws come and a standing invitation exists for SD and family. SD used to tell me I had between 7 and 9 am-and I often accommodated her for breakfast on Christmas Day, although not every year. Now I make dinner plans and I decide what time works based on what works for the rest of the family. She'd like dad to leave us and join her for dinner. Xmas eve is and has always been my in laws time with us-as long as we have been married that is their time with us. She is welcome to join us but never does.
Invitations to a wedding traditionally list the name of the hosts-those who are paying the bill. Me and husband paid for the entire wedding-as in 100%. We were gracious and generous and had no problem with BM's name being listed or with grooms parents name. Guest list was unrestricted for all involved to invite whomever was important. It was not too much to expect to have my name on the invite, and it was proper etiquette to list me.

snikees's picture

Unfortunately, it is "blindsided" by my definition. I don't know when these celebrations are going to come up and when he will leave to attend her stuff while I am left behind. I usually find out within hours that he has plans to go to this thing or that. Some of y'all may like to be alone but I do not. And I have learned through the therapy that I have had that it's the way I am, it's not weird and there's nothing wrong with it. And it is a blindside for me when it happens-like the year she planned the baptism on the same day as we were entertaining 12 friends in our home. He learned of the baptism about ten days before, and felt we could not reschedule our event so he could do both. I prepared the entire party while he was gone and I RESENT it. It's not so abnormal to feel that way.
He does not discuss the big gifts wth me and I suspect that he is manipulated to give what he gives. Guilt is a powerful fuel.
And you are right, I have endured for 24 years. And I am tired. And I am baffled by my own mistakes-my step mother manual must have gotten lost in the mail-and the counsellors we have seen have not always provided great advice-like the one who advised me after the wedding to disengage and take care of my kids until she "comes around". And I am frustrated that my options are to "suck it up" or leave and make my own children suffer the after effects of a broken family. And THAT is why I was seeking discussions on a forum.

ldvilen's picture

I see there are the usual weekend comments here--a bunch of people out to grind an axe of their own going after someone else. Nothing new. It is very common for SM's to be made out to be the scapegoat, even from other SMs. It is also not uncommon for SMs to put down a list of things that have gone wrong, several items, and then have one of those items picked out, reinterpret it, and then that one item to rake them over the coals. In this case, supposedly how you "used" your daughters against SD. SD can do whatever she wants, you on the other hand are expected to be nothing but perfect. Typical hypocritical expectations most people have for a SM.

I don't expect SKs to be able to read between the lines, but any SM should be able to read between the lines here and see that you have had years of difficulty with your SD, more than likely largely due to your husband's enabling behavior. You also haven't said much about BM, but usually it is a combination of manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH that = step-hell. I'm thinking this is probably your case.

SKs like to use the comment, "Spouses can come and go but kids are forever." However, this is actually not true. Yes, spouses can come ago, but even kids, even among bio-parents. We all know parents who have "disowned" their children and visa versa. However, never an ideal situation, and certainly not called for in this one.

Regarding the wedding fiasco, this too can be typical. SM expecting to be treated with respect and simply like their husband's wife, and getting publically hosed instead. Some SMs are lucky and have supporting BMs and DHs, and get along with their SKs. In your situation, however, this is not the case.

What can you do? This has gone on for some time. In some ways the suggestion to get counseling is not a bad one, simply because it might give you a different perspective and you might find some sort of middle road, where DH can be the way he is (I don't think he is going to change), and yet you can be independent or disengaged from this situation.

PS. Another thing that bothers me is when anyone tries to act like SM and dad's incomes are somehow separated. No, they are not, and it does matter who the major bread winner is or who paid for what. They are married couple and just like any married couple their incomes are combined. Sick of some people trying to claim that dad can do whatever he wants with his money, etc. No, it is not dad's money; it is dad and his wife's money. So, if dad is footing the bill for anything, so is SM. Once you get married, dad and SM's relationship will be no different than your relation with your husband, other than bonus kids, that can either be a great blessing or a pain in the rear.

No matter what you decide, best of luck to you!

ldvilen's picture

Yes, and sueu2's usual mantra is to make herself look like the Queen Bee, and superior to all other women. Any other woman can and will be wrong, but not her. That is why she likes to take quotes from the previous poster, restate them in italics in her post, and then systematically point out what they did wrong. That is her usual mantra.

Heck! When I see a SM being attacked by other SMs' right off that bat, that really pisses me off. There is a way to kindly scold someone and offer advice, but some have a habit of just starting in with the attacks. This woman needs support and not be told right off the bat she's screwed. Take the time to read between the lines vs. just going for the jugular.

Plus, it clearly states at the top of the page, this is a place for step-parents to come and vent. It does not say, this is a place for step-parents to come and be attacked and not get any empathy even from other SMs.

This really bothers me. It bothers me too when people who are not SMs and have no idea of what it is like to be a SM post here. This would be akin to a Catholic posting on a website meant for Jews, and telling Jews how they are to properly behave. I know some of you all above are SMs, but some are not.

I also find this terminology offensive, "marriages with skids to look like intact marriages." This is part of the problem our society has as a whole, they don't see marriages involving steps as intact. Hey, I am my husband's 3rd wife and we have been together longer than his other 2 marriages combined. My husband and I have an intact marriage.

But, there is little doubt in my mind that even so-called professionals drink this Koolaid. Because, during the 1970's, shrinks and other professionals were telling society that there was something wrong with you if you were gay, and you needed to seek out counseling to get "cured." That was only 50 years ago. I think they are doing the same with SMs today--telling them there is something wrong with them because they want to be recognized as their husband's spouse and treated as such at any and all events they attend with their husband. Yes, how dare SMs think of their marriages as being "intact" and whole. SMs are supposed to defer to DH, SKs, and his ex-. They are, in essence true 2nd wives. The so-called ex- is the first wife. This goes back to biblical times when there was a true pecking order with multiple wives. The 2nd, 3rd, etc. wife is not supposed to offend the first wife, and she is supposed to act more like a servant girl and be mindful of her place as last in line.

This is the year 2016 and not 0016. When the bioparents divorced, they knew what burden they were putting on everyone, including their children. And, it certainly should have occurred to them that one or both of them could go on to marry someone else. I'm my husband's wife, and am not his, his ex's or his SKs' servant girl.

Poster, here is what you do. Let your husband be with his daughter whenever he wants. You, on the other hand, don't need to go to anything involving her, especially if you think it is going to be open hunting season on SM. You, focus on your marriage and your children. Your husband may eventually get bored or even upset over his wife not attending events with him, but that is his choice, and not yours. You can only control your own actions. Control them wisely. Or, as I heard someone else say, give 'em what they want. They want you out of their life. Anything to do with his daughter, you let him handle 100%. No gift wrapping, meals or anything. Some SKs say, "What has SM ever done for me!?" Well, stop doing it, and this will be your opportunity to show them. When dad starts showing up for birthdays with a last minute purchased card and a last minute gift stuffed into a brown lunch bag, then maybe they'll start to realize.

And, that is really the only advice I offer any SM. Find what works for you. Because, you did not cause this divorce. And, expecting someone to pay the price for someone else's divorce, is like expecting someone to serve a lifetime jail sentence for a crime they clearly never committed.

sandye21's picture

Thank you for writing this. The etiquette books have adjusted to so many different ways of life - what the heck IS this where a SM STILL has to sit in the back of the church or not be invited to the wedding after SHE paid for it? Like she has some sort of biblical disease? It's time to start raising hell with the people who promote this kind of disrespect.

tazztunes's picture

"You seem to want marriages with skids to look like intact marriages, and they simply don't."

Um, wth? really, you don't expect the same thing out of a second or subsequent marriage as you do a first. Hell, I expect more. This is part of the problem with marriage now. This kind of statement. Maybe the first time you married too young, or whatever. In all marriages, the relationship between the couple getting married has to be the priority. That is your life partner. Otherwise, why get married?

snikees's picture

Thank you for validating the reality of my situation. I am not perfect and if I had the whole thing to do over again-particularly the wedding, it would be VERY different today. I know my reactions to things would have been less emotional, and my insistence that OUR money would not pay for HER day unless she had respect for me. Our money is our money. We started a business together, which took DH out of the employ of BM and her family. Prior to that she had lots of control over his funds and would hold his paycheck until he did what she wanted him to do-little things like buying prom dresses, pay child support before it was due, or paying for the auto insurance which had been decidedly her bill after we bought the first car with our cash. Our business was wildly successful, and BM's business suffered and still suffers as a result of DH leaving. The business would not be what it is today without both of us, and even if he did it all alone, I cannot see it as his money only. I had a role even if it were only SAHM
I did not over dress for the wedding, but I am an attractive woman and even in my simple, light colored gown I looked stunning next to BM who looked frumpy and like she may have forgotten her spanx. I felt sorry for her and I think others did too. This, however was not my fault. I intentionally dressed simply and elegantly-just classy so as not to overshadow anyone who might have been offended. My girls were both in the wedding, which is a whole other part of her anger with me-picture 4 year old dressed and ready in her white flower girl dress, hair curled and somehow expected to stay clean and flower girl perfect for five hours so she could have photos at her whim. Not negotiable for her. Be ready at 7 and wait until you are called for pictures. Anyway, I could not stay home and allow my girls to fend for themselves. (This was a destination wedding)
That being said, I do see a therapist. Have seen her for 2 1/2 years and I like her very much. I do see how stuck I am because DH can't seem to stop enabling his daughter. He knows it's wrong. He knows it's painful. He knows I don't deserve it. But he can't stop allowing her to demand his attention and giving her what she wants. I am seeking a way to disengage and be alright with my circumstance...but I am struggling.

TwoOfUs's picture

Yes. Spending big chunks of money on a grown woman without your consent is a huge no-no. As is putting you in row five while your DH sits in the first row with BM. While it's true that it's common for the bio-parents only to be listed on the invitation (though I've seen plenty of people include SMs and SDs, too!) I've never seen exes sit together at a kid's wedding. They sit with their spouse, just like everyone else. This was incredibly rude, thoughtless...hurtful of your SD. Your DH should have just told her...nope, my WIFE sits with me. Done.

Sorry you are feeling this way. I often feel like a second-class citizen in my home...and I come from one of those lucky homes you mention where DH usually considers me and skids and BM get along with me, even like me. I still feel left out from time to time. I can't imagine if I were literally excluded like this.

ldvilen's picture

SKs, ex-wife, ministers and wedding planners pick and choose what they want and label it "Step-mother wedding etiquette." Wedding etiquette says no sex before marriage and to wear a modest gown, but I don't see too many brides nowadays following that etiquette.

still learning's picture

Exactly, it's ridiculous to split up married couples at a skid's wedding. The family is no longer "intact," why pretend it is by splitting up "intact" and loving married couples. My children will allow me to sit wherever the hell I want or they can pay for their own damn weddings!

snikees's picture

Thank you...this feels like support and what I would have expected from a forum called Steptalk. A few people here like to make assumptions based in a paragraph or two so I appreciate that you were able to validate my sadness without Stepattack. I am not perfect and my step mother manual must have been lost in the mail. I never expected acts of complete unforgiveness given my generally kind, gracious and generous being. For the record, I did not sit in the fifth row. I sat in the first row between my bio daughter and my husband but the fuss that had to be made in order to sort it out created bitterness. DH gave SD two choices-me in row one or him in row five-her choice. She burst into tears and there was a great drama that had to soften before the rehearsal could go on.

sandye21's picture

I am glad to hear your DH insisted you be in the front row with him. Considering you paid for part of the wedding you SHOULD have (out of respect)had your name of the invitation. Period.

notasm3's picture

I do not have a SD (thank you Jesus), but I do have an adult SS who is now "engaged". He and Babymama live together and have a child - they have no plans to marry but claim to be "engaged".

There are a few things that I am sure of:

1) ZERO of our money will ever be spent on any wedding that they might ever have.

2) DH and BM will NOT be playing "happy parents together".

BM's DH is very controlling so I know that he would never allow item 2 even if I was okay with it. Yes - I know that I am controlling too. I own it.

SS tells DH that they "can't afford to get married". No - what they can't afford is a big costume party. DH and I got married for the price of a marriage license - literally. We spent no money on clothes, flowers, etc. We are just as married as the people who have a costume party that costs tens of thousands of dollars.

I also remind DH that his parents spent ZERO dollars when he got married and had a child. So why should we do any differently.

OP your SD is a POS. Just "ignore the whore". And your DH is a total ass if he abandons you and your joint children on all holidays to go spent time with her.

sammigirl's picture

I read all of the above posts. Wow!

I am not an expert, but I can tell you I have learned from this site and reading here.

Begin today by setting boundaries for YOU. What is in the past is over; quit thinking about the future results. After 20+ years, this will be a slow process and you can begin now. If you want to salvage your marriage you can do this without all the drama. I was slow learning this also; but it is working.

Set up your own retirement account. The interest is low, so don't look for high yield, it won't happen; just begin saving for YOU, seriously. Set it up with no knowledge of anyone but you. Begin curbing the $$$$ going to SD, in small ways that you have control. Don't leave it up to DH, obviously this is not going to do anything, but make fights between the two of you.

My SD56 decided I was "out of here" (married 36 years); guess what? I'm still here and we are doing well. With this said, it has NOT been easy and will never be easy. I don't care what my DH gives or does for SD and her family; but I will do for MYSELF. Our property and all business is "joint".

From your post, it sounds like you are hurt, such as I was, by alienation from family affairs, etc. The best deal is called "disengagement" from your SD. Put her out of your life and get busy taking care of yourself, mentally and physically. This is the best thing I ever did for myself. Disengagement takes time, patience, and goal setting; just as saving for yourself $$$$$. I turned the tables on my SD and decided I was in control and she would no longer control my life.

You will have many bad days, shed many tears, and pull your hair out many ways. Do this in private and read and study here on this site every day. I have been thru it and I am having many more good days now, than bad. It is like the world has been lifted off my shoulders to be disengaged from my SD (7 years) and put myself first.

Forget DH helping in this area; it won't happen. Grab your boot straps and get going girl! Drop the resentment, hate, and especially the past. If you can't do this, throw in the towel. I will never throw in the towel.

Good Luck and (((hugs)))

ItsGrowingOld's picture

If you want to save your marriage, separate your finances. If you are a 50% equity partner, then make your 50% legal and binding. Come up with a budget you both contribute to and use a financial planner to accomplish this. I've learned the best marriage counselor is a great financial planner Smile If your husband doesn't want to split the money, do it anyway. Open a new account, get copies of all financial documents and start a trust. Make sure all financial documents are easily accessible to you.

With respect to your husband excluding you, he may change his tune if he sees you are setting a firm financial boundary. If he continues to disrespect you, at least you will have your financial house in order and then make decisions from there.

Question. Is the business legally in your name as well?

peacemaker's picture


AVR1962's picture

Snikes, I feel for from the bottom of my heart. I too have been married 24 years. My husband had custody of his two sons when we met, they lives with us full-time, I raised them. They are now 32 & 34. Things were fine until we announced we were getting married and since then it has been problems, and lots of them. I have been accused of saying and doing things I never did. I have been shunned, ignored and blamed. I was not invited to the wedding of either boy. I have been told I am hated by the older boy (when he was younger) and bio mom made sure I knew that the boys hated me and my daughters. All the hard feelings extended to the boys' wives....I was accused of being a liar by one and told I was narcissistic and a psychopath by another.

I had a real tough I was the main parenting person to these boys and I did not get much support at all, none from bio mom and husband really didn't seem to want to get involved. If the boys weren't happy it was my fault. One time the older boy didn't want to take pictures and was being very pouty, we took pictures anyway and I gave the pics to family. My husband's mother then asks what was going on that the boy was so unhappy, wondering if he was happy in the family situation. Well, he was not and it was voiced but did that make me the bad guy? I was like I was not supposed to parent these boys but treat them like kings instead and because I treated them the way I treated my daughters I too "hard" on them. Then by golly, someone else step to the parent plate but that never happened.

My husband's father recently passed away and all the family was gathering except me, I knew I would not be welcomed. I was talking to husband about trying to have some time with us and the kids, just out family to try and heal the wounds and spend time together and perhaps laugh. He told me it wasn't the time. I asked him what he meant, one of the boys lives in Europe, we don't get this chance. He told that the younger boy did not want me there. After all these years and things in the marriage not good anyway I finally said that was enough and told my husband I want a divorce. I cannot do this any more, life should never have been like this. I felt like I busted my butt for people who could never appreciate me or my efforts. I am tired of dealing with the tension and all the hatred and husband not doing anything about it.

The divorce should be final in about a month.

sandye21's picture

Oh my goodness, AVR!!! I am sending a big (((CYBER=HUG))) to you. Obviously you DH made his sons priority number one. He chose them over the marriage. He should be ashamed of himself. You did all of the work with your hands tied behind your back and you SHOULD have been given credit for it. It will be good for you to be away from all of the hostility and blame games. Sure hope you are going to a counselor to help you deal with all of this and to assist in rebuilding your self-worth. Take care of yourself first and foremost.

He will not be able to have a decent relationship with another woman if he still thinks the SSs should be treated like kings. It may take a few years but situations will arise and you DH will have to deal with it. So what do you think the three of them will do when they can no longer use you as a scapegoat?

AVR1962's picture

I think I will remain the scapegoat for years. I really don't think my husband even gets it quite honestly. I have told him how I feel, I have been to counselors and told him what they have said but husband honestly doesn't want to rock the boat with his sons or his family so he plays the nice guy and either says nothing, or does nothing. I have stood up for myself but we all know how that goes if the bio parents are not there to support you.

Like Sneeds I help onto hope for the longest time and routinely surprised by the hostility and blame. No, I was not perfect but I did my best. Did I lose it at times? yes, it was not easy at all.

I have actually been in counseling since I decided that I was going to divorce my husband. My counselor told me that my fight or flight is not working properly which is what therapist see in people who are dealing with PTSD. I read a book on PTSD and I could identify. I am feeling stronger now....4 months later, and looking fwd to getting out from under all of this. I am planning on closing the door and never looking back.

snikees's picture

My heart aches for you. It's very sad that children of any age are powerful enough to disrupt the sanctity of marriage, and that marriage has become disposable for so many people. When the going got tough for you, you didn't go...rather you fought for those boys and your marriage. Not being appreciated...or rather, not being HONORED for your contribution to their upbringing is a travesty. I am so sorry! I often wonder why it is so hard for men (fathers) to think and act and say, "I love you (my child) and I want to spend time with you and your wife and kids, but your behavior toward my wife is making it very difficult for ME. It doesn't matter if you like her-she's my wife and I love her. She will be by my side wherever I go and you must treat her with kindness and respect when we are with you. If you choose to behave in a way that hurts her there will be consequences which may include me distancing myself from you and your life. I will not tolerate this bad behavior even one more day."
I do not have kids from a previous marriage who may have felt that they had no choice in my chosen partnership so I am operating from an outsider point of view; however, I have to believe that I have taught our bio children to be respectful and tolerant. And I have to believe that even if I had divorced their father I would have insisted that they treat their fathers partner with kindness and respect unless she were abusive or dangerous. And even then I have to believe that there are ways of dealing that do not amount to destroying ones sense of self.
I hope you find peace and happiness in the closure of this chapter of your life. Go forth with your head high knowing that you did your very best!