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need help disengaging with SD 2 SS

not the bradybunch's picture

I believe the best option for my stress would be to disengage my step kids...Can someone please give me some advice on how to start this process, especially with my DH

not the bradybunch's picture

Thank you. My sd and. Ss are all out of the house and not making choices I approve with...but this will give me the power to take back my sanity and not worry about what really isn't my responsibility. Thank yiu

Orange County Ca's picture

I disagree with the advise to not tell your husband anything. I've read blogs from step-parents who have disengaged without telling and had their intentions severely misunderstood resulting in arguments and alienation to the point of divorce.

Anyway why keep a secret? Telling isn't going to harm and not telling can have reprocussions.

He needs to know why you're acting as you are. You need to tell him why you're going to do this and what brought it about. Make sure he understands that you may not care for his kids but you don't want it to turn to hate.

oldone's picture

If these are grown adults that are out of the home no one owes them anything anymore - especially you.

Gabriels Mom's picture

I agree, whenever I would tell my husband "You should be doing this" it turned into I don't like his kid (he knows that's not true) Hasn't SS been through enough, he doesn't need you giving up on him. blah blah blah. BUT when I just conveniently make myself unavailable to do something I think he should be doing. He has to do it and if you do that often enough they will get into the habit of not relying on you. I know that's not exactly the same as disengaging but it's the same idea. I didn't find this site until we were married a few years so I didn't set any boundries or expectations. I never stated what I was and was not willing to do and I found myself doing EVERYTHING for SS. Then when I tried to pull back and force DH to do more he got mad as if *I* had done something wrong. Now it's a lot more balanced. I help out but he does the bulk of whatever SS requires.

CandyLou's picture

That's great advice SA. I really like it a lot because you are absolutely right, if we state that we are disengaging, then WE turn into the bad guys. For years the SK's have said they don't want us around and DHs' do nothing about that, but if WE say we are disengaging, suddenly we are the bad guy! I think what happens is that DHs' feel relief that finally their kids don't look so bad anymore. So why give the SK's a free ride? I agree, do it quietly and just get on with your life...

sandye21's picture

I didn't say, "I'm disengaging" to DH but like you I let him know I didn't want to hear about her. I gave him the choice of taking action or banning her from our home. He knows unless he insists (in my presence) that she respect his wife in our home she is not setting foot on our doorstep. There are no guessing games, no miscommunications.