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No longer motivated to go over-board for YSD

Disillusioned's picture

Way back when DH and I first started planning our trip out west to see YSD, I had wanted to pick up some beautiful crystal glasses for her for her new home

YSD and I get along great and I'm not disengaged from her like I am with her sister, and YSD loves crystal...her last visit with us I gave her beautiful crystal candle-holders passed down from my family

However, things have changed a little since then. For starters, last visit not only did YSD not appear to be nearly as moved by the candle-holder gift as I was, she seemed less impressed/enthusiastic with several things during that visit. I ended up surprised and hurt, then kicked myself for expecting too much

Then there was the Mother's Day hurt just recently. When, after many years of YSD always acknowledging me on Mother's Day, this year she just didn't bother. Didn't do anything at all, not so much as a little text message even

Add to that some other inconsiderate behavior lately, guess I just was no longer motivated to buy her the glasses (not like she knew anything about them anyway)

So on the weekend DH and I are running our usual errands. As we are heading back home he asks me in an irritated voice what happened to the glasses I wanted to buy YSD for our house-warming gift to her for our trip next week

I casually mentioned to DH to go ahead, get her what he liked. DH wasn't prepared to drop it and asked why hadn't I got them, when I was the one telling him about how I was going to buy this gift for her and her boyfriend

I again casually mentioned that no, I wasn't really into that now

DH was irritated, but I also think he understood somewhat based on recent things with YSD, and he dropped it

I'm sure DH thinks I did it to pay her back, or maybe simply out of hurt but neither is true. It is exactly what I indicated to him. I no longer feel motivated to do that for her

It's one thing when she is wonderful and sweet to me which I thought hadn't changed, but she has been less than that of late and while I'm not angry with her or even hurt, I simply don't feel like running out and once again doing something sweet and thoughtful for her.

It is what it is DH

oneoffour's picture

Lesson learned... Never EVER give skids items from your family. I would certainly see if you can get them back. Save them for your own children or a grateful niece or nephew.
She will never value them like you do. And tell DH that you don't want to buy her something she already has and it would be better to see if she is collecting something else now.

Disillusioned's picture

Thanks fighincrazytrain...that's exactly how I feel!

whatamess's picture

Based on what you've said, I think you are doing it to get back at her based on her lackluster responses to you and what you do for her lately. No judgment, but call it what it is. Here's the thing about giving with're always going to get disappointed. It's human nature to want to give less when someone treats us less than what we think we deserve or is not appreciative when we give something. The thing is, what kind of person do you want to be? Act as you want to be from your own heart, regardless of her reaction. Again, I'm not judging because I'm going through similar decisions myself...just something to think about.

Disillusioned's picture

I understand what you're saying whatamess but there truly is no desire to 'get back at her'. Before I was all moved and excited about doing something sweet for YSD. But based on her reactions I just don't feel like going overboard for someone who doesn't appear to care about it

It's not that I've done this in the past for any reciprocation or anything like that of course, but if you can see the person you're going out of your way for doesn't really care, not to mention for whatever reasons have somewhat withdrawn from their relationship with you, it almost seems silly at this point to do this

Whatever the case, it would be phony of me at this point to do it when my heart is no longer in to it so it won't be happening....

Gem's picture

Your story parallels mine in many ways. I stood on my head to give and give and give to a sd .. For 25 years. A relationship is a good deal like a bank account. If a person just keeps withdrawing from it and never makes any deposits, pretty soon they are going to get some overdraft notices. And if it keeps going on...well it is going to hit the fan. In my case the bank account was overdue for many many years and I kept making deposits so she could keep making withdrawals. The bank wouldn't have stood for her withdrawals for that length of time. I kept hoping she would figure out she was overdrawn and someone was covering for her. Nada. And then one day...she wrote a really really big check and expected me to overlook it. But I had nothing left in my pocket to cover it with. The relationship is over. I don't want it back.

whatamess's picture

"but if you can see the person you're going out of your way for doesn't really care". THIS I totally get because I'm living it.

Disillusioned's picture

Not really struggling with it StepAside, expectations have been lowered for months now so not feeling disappointed at all

But yes you are correct in one thing that because YSD treated me so much "like a mom too" as she referred to me, when I first noticed a difference in her a few months ago I was surprised, hurt, confused....and even angry

YSD actually taught me a very good lesson.

No matter how much you think you know your skids, think they love and trust you, think you've done all the right things, they can sooooo easily remind you that they can disengage and walk out of your life at any time, for absolutely no reason at all (or certainly nothing you as the SM have done) so in reality yes it's true when you say that we as SM's can get the wrong impression about how much our skids really care for us

My expectations are lowered, substantially, as a result and in a way it's a relief. Life was easier way back when I was disengaged from both of DH's daughters. DH's eldest daughter continues to act badly towards me and it doesn't have any effect on me at all as I seriously could care less about what she does, thinks, or feels where I'm concerned any longer

YSD changed her behavior way back when she realized not only was I disengaged, but wasn't the slightest bit upset about it. She made it very clear then how much she valued me and wanted me in her life. We bonded after that, YSD made it happen by working hard to have a relationship with me. I gave back to her, and then some

Now for whatever reason she seems to have cooled. This is fine and her choice. I've simply cooled in return. I still feel I will have a much better relationship than is usual between SM's & SD's as it's not in either of our personalities to be hostile, immature, disrespectful or rude. I'm sure we will continue to treat each other in a friendly and affectionate way. The difference is if YSD indicates she wants a closer relationship again, more like mom/daughter I won't really be going there. I've never been comfortable with her idea of me as a second mom to her as that's not how I've seen my role as SM. Initially I wanted close and trusting relationships with my SD's but never under any illusion that I was a 'mother' to either, nor did I want that

I'll always be there for her for whatever YSD needs, but I've also learned a valuable lesson as to my 'true' value with her, and I'm actually quite happy to be there now Smile

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

OP - Perhaps there is something going on with her life right now that she is distracted? Give her the benefit of the doubt this Mother's Day etc., but if you see a running pattern you have the right to ask what is wrong. Don't automatically assume it is you. Sometimes when people have things on their mind they don't realize or think about their actions, they are just trying to get through it and cope.

Heck, even now, when you go out there you could ask her if there is something wrong. Wouldn't hurt. Perhaps all the moving, a new house, etc. have just gotten her stressed out.

Poodle's picture

I agree with the general idea of reducing the expectations but I also subscribe to a "fluctuation of interest" theory of relationships being at play here if you had the good relations before. On that basis she would be no different than any other friend or relative; I find in my friendships that everyone is like a giant constellation where different planets and stars turn in different configurations at all times, sometimes you are seeing a lot of one particular friend whilst others fade into the background for the time. Then when you meet again you take up the relationship after a long gap as if no stitch had been dropped. I believe this is normal and healthy in life. The problem with step-parenthood is that it can make us super-worried should there be a period of apparent coolness after an intimate period, as we're so used to the shitty end of the stick from skids and so we interpret the worst. Also we feel (because of insecure DH expectations) that so much more turns on us having a constantly good relationship with skids than it would if this were, for example, a niece or god-daughter. An example is my niece who's in her early 20s and who has a completely adoring relationship with me, but yet at this age she is finding herself, developing her thoughts about career, marriage, politics, where she stands in the world... also growing up and learning not to take the love of significant adults for granted any more but reciprocate it as an adult... and she does yes slip sometimes and forget to acknowledge presents from loved ones or forget to signal reciprocation when relatives text her or whatever. But it's normal and I and other relatives forgive it because there isn't the step angst attached. This should be taken into account to if your relationship has been generally cordial, this is a young woman finding her feet in the world, she is not fully matured and will mess up your relationship from time to time. I'd say yes retreat emotionally, but no don't close the door to cordial relations continuing, and don't regard these things as set in stone from day to day but keep an open mind.

peacemaker's picture


Disillusioned's picture

Really good advice, thanks!

After our trip out west recently, which was good, I think your assessments were dead on Smile