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Received a Letter and Pictures from OSD/OSGS

Disillusioned's picture

It's been over a year now since OSD told DH he (we) were blocked from her life and that of sgkids 

While DH & I have 'respected her decision' and not contacted her in return, we did call BM around the holidays to ask her if she could take birthday gifts etc.. from us to the sgkids if we couriered them to her place (cards with money was what DH wanted, but want to make sure they know we still love them and are thinking about them) BM agreed as we figured she would and we believe she even made OSD grow up a little and acknowledge the gifts

So here is how it was acknowledged; we received a letter in the mail this week from osgs thanking both of us for his gifts and also on behalf of his brother and sister. It was a cute letter saying what he bought with half of the money and that OSD put the rest in his bank account

The letter was in his hand-writing and the envelope was in OSD's handwriting 

DH broke down and started crying while reading the letter aloud to me, I finished reading it out loud for him

Included in the letter were two recent pictures of the sgkids which obviously OSD had put in as well

You can see how much the kids have grown

DH was sobbing

And while it was wonderful to receive that and we appreciate it, being the highly manipulative person OSD is, I'm sure she figured the letter if not the pictures would emphasize for DH & I what were missing/what we've missed

It had the desired effect on DH 

I feel so sad for DH to be denied his grandchildren who he so adores and is so proud of, it makes me so angry at OSD for such a hard to forgive stance she's taken, all becuse of her infantile jealous need to stick it to DH & I

But I also know her enough to know that her continued need to make DH & I feel bad is her way of dealing with the hurt she feels beleiving that DH doesn't care about her, or care enough about her to love her 'more than he does his wife' which means bascially all that should matter to DH his her and that myself, his wife, should hardly be a thought to him in comparison

I know she's still angry and wanting to hurt DH in return, to manipulate him into having the relationship with her she wants which is make her the alpha female in his life with his wife bottom of the priority list putting up with all sorts of mistreatment from her and DH enabling it, and since that just isn't happening, she continues to not only try to lash out at DH, but to make me feel bad and hated and an outsider as well. And again, that just isn't happening becuase I won't ever allow her to see me feel bad or give a hoot if i'm hated or care to be excluded...instead she will see it's something I'll celebrate instead - not being maniupulated by her that is

So, the cycle with her continues. 

I was included in the letter and for that I'm appreciative, and that we have something sweet from osgs and updated pictures of the grandkids

I'm sure OSD thinks DH was bawling his eyes out (which he was) missing sgkids terribly (which he is) and feeling horrible about everything which is almost true...but if she thinks he just might feel horrible enough to come begging and chasing after her and give her what she wants which is to finally put me at the bottom of his priortiy list, in other words 'love her more than me and prove it by treating her like a queen and me like garbage' that just is not looking like it's going to happen

You would think at this point in her life, for the third time now she's pulled the I'll-walk-out-of-your-life card, that she would see that each and every time we respect her decision, allow her to walk out of our lives, and continue to live ours

Knowing her cycle of behaviour...usually starts with her being hostile (that has happened) combined with things meant to cause DH and I to feel guilt and be maniupulated (happening but again not working) to her getting angry, usually about a year after that/going into the fourth year, to her eventually deciding to include, stop being rude and openly hostile, and become more inviting of a relationship with DH which includes treating me like an actual human being 

So we will see

SteppedOut's picture

This is all so sick.

I am sorry for your husband and for you.

SacrificialLamb's picture

We continue to have the same SD. When OSD gave birth it was a miraculous occasion like the immaculate conception. She expected to be bowed to, proclaimed that everyone must come visit her all the time, especially at Christmas. She expected her dad to move to her town when he retired.  When we basically jumped right over her city and moved much farther south, she was ticked off and of course it was my fault for keeping DH from his princess.

We have had just one long cycle of OSD withholding the grandkids and giving him the silent treatment. It's lasted almost 5 years now.

Dh chased her in the beginning when she needed to feel better about herself.  She is an expert at setting herself up to be chased.  She had been raised to believe she was so incredibly beautiful and needed constant validation that she was #1 with her dad like she had been before I showed up.  She was not happy about having to share his attention; she didn't like it when her sister or her own child got attention.

I got tired of watching him pander to a now-middle aged child.  A counselor told him his kids were adults and asked him if he wanted to stay married. DH also had never addressed the things she had done to me, and when he finally did, she told him to fcuk off and he wasn't welcome at her home. She backtracked quickly because she knew it would make her look bad to her sister and DHs sister. Like a true narcissist, the most important thing to OSD is what other people think of her.

So she drastically reduced communication with DH, only responding to texts if there were other people on it. She rarely answers the phone.  DH used to visit twice a year but now only goes once a year now. Now that I have completely disengaged and she sees that DH has a life that doesn't revolve around her, she is starting to engage with him more.   Last year during the holidays she and her sister asked him to spend the holidays with them when they knew he had other plans.  He did not, and the silent treatment started up again.

Eventually something will happen that will make her flip out again when she has another reminder that daddy has prioritzed his marriage over a needy middle aged child.

I am sorry your DH has a similar child that expects to be #1 with her dad, even though she is a married adult with children.

2Tired4Drama's picture

That you found a counselor who gave your DH such good advice.   Many years ago, my SO went to one and her guidance to my SO was to basically grovel and be a doormat for the rest of his life.  That all the effort, forgiveness, and patience was his responsibility as a parent, no matter how old kid was nor what the kid had done.  A parent should always keep trying no matter how late in life it was.  

Thankfully, his own gut-check told him this was B.S. and he didn't go back to her. 

Disillusioned's picture

Wow Sacrificial, I had to reread your post as really and truly yes, we do have the same SD. Same DH and same inlaw LOL! Right down to our SD's telling our DH's to f*(&-o*& and stay away....and all over their jealous insecurities. 

Sad, as no one wins really 

Sorry you are going through this too!

Although the peace and lack of step/inlaw stress has been wonderful hasn't is?! Smile

piegirl's picture

however my DH is still chasing, still pandering and the treatment he gets at the SD's hands just gets worse every day...(shrugging shoulders)...I'm getting too old for this shiz...

Justthesecondwife's picture

One thing I've learned is it is never enough with these types of SD's. They are so obsessed with being #1 in daddees life, that they can't handle any perceived competition, i.e. a stepmom, they act up and threaten to withhold their almight presence should everyone not do as they want. Even to to the point of demanding divorcing to prove daddees love for them trumps all. The birth of gskids given them such leverage over daddee that they have the upper hand in many situations.

If daddee doesn't capitulate to their (narc) desires they tell him they are blocking him from their lives. Now, this is a difficult things for dads, who love their kids unconditionally (even if they prove themselves to be unloveable to others), and want to be a part of their life. But, as is life, once a person or people are removed from your life you learn to live without them, as painful as it may be. Death does this etc. The grief process begins and goes through the stages as the person who has been left behind learns how to move on.

The problem with these SD's is they just keep coming back to reignite the pain, disrupt the grieving process, and bring back all the issues which start the situation. It frustrates me to my core. I guess I just am of a different mindset. If I remove someone from my life I am done. I don't do it to manipulate, I do it so I can remove toxicity and move forward in a different direction. No continuing guilt trips and demands.

But not SD's. They don't want to actually remove themselves. It's all a mechanism to hurt DH and in attempt to make the pain of the loss of the SD/gskids from his life to much to bear that he will bend to their desires and get rid of the "competition" so SD can be, once again, the centre of the universe.

LIke SacrificialLamb said above, some SD's (mine most definately) were raised to belive they were much more special than anyone else. More beautiful, smarter, more talented etc. And they still believe it, no matter how much real life has shown them otherwise. It is ingrained in them. Like SL, my SD set herself up to be chased by DH. She caused the problems, hurt and anger. She was the one who told DH she didn't want to be in his life and cut him off.  However she also made herself the victim so it was up to DH to chase her in order to be in her life. And he did chase her, until he didn't any longer. Once he stopped chasing she didn't know what to do, other than contact more, guilt more and keep the untenable situation going.

For a SM, the crazy and anxiety filled, cycle of being blocked and finding happiness with their DH without skid, then skid coming back to stir up trouble again, is never ending. I know in my situation it feels as though peace can never be found. That the skid will pounce at anytime and everything will again blow up.

It's all manipulation. If these skids cared about your DH, they would never put him in the situation of choosing between them or his wife. The would want him to be happy, and if they have gskids, would want them to have a gdad to be in their lives. But, just like so many BM's, they use their kids as pawns to get the DH to go along with their wants. 

Why block in the first place, if they know they are going to try to come back? Why send contact that is bound to cause emotional upset if her choice was to cut him out of her life in the first place? Your SD's letter is just the same old manipulation. Giving your DH a glimpse of what he could have in his life, if he only got rid of the block (his wife) that they perceive as causing the problem. 

Unfortunately, many step problems stem from this issue. It's a carousel, an agenda to make DH's feel guilt and pain. Just so the skid can feel triumphant they they come first. It's sick. I feel bad for your DH having to go through this hurt. I think DH's so often have been the root of the problem, in that they raised a narc princess. But, when the skid is an adult and already raised to believe they should come first, and withhold gskids due to their superiority complex (or as it may be narc traits) what is the right path the DH should take? Should they refuse contact until skid learns that the wife is priority and not going anywhere? Does that work, or just keep prolonging the sick cycle?

I commend the DH's who put their marriage first and don't capitulate to the demands of their adult offspring. Some on these posters DH's on these boards decide enough is enough and move on with their lives without the toxic offspring. Very difficult, I'm sure, but there have been stories of the skid/s realising that SM is there to stay and accepting her. Basically, growing up and getting the fact they have  their own lives/spouses/children and DH deserves to have the same. Others keep the cycle going, the SM disengages and moves on with her life and the DH has a separate life with the toxic skid/s. This cause cause division and resentment in the marriage, but with some it works.

I know I have learned, from my situation, and from the posters on this board, that it is only in very rare cases that peace is achieved. Either by moving on and having no contact at all with skid/s and gskids, or having the skid/s reach a place of acceptance and respect.

It doesn't seem like this will be the case for you, at least in the near future and I'm sorry you and your DH are going through it. My DH has said many times, to me and also SD, that in the case of death there is closure, but there never is with an offspring who chooses to cut you off. How do you move on, knowing they are out there and there is the possibility of a reunion? That there is a choice to have a relationship or not?

Just my ramblings of course, but I do hope you can reach a place of peace, whatever that may be.

2Tired4Drama's picture

"Don't let one empty chair make you neglect your full table."  I read this about estrangement and it seems so appropos.  

I think the parents in these situations need to look around them and be thankful of the other people in their lives, including their spouse.

As you said, if I cut someone off I cut them off.  But I'm not a biological parent so I can't say I understand the level of pain they go through.  Nonetheless, parents lose children for many reasons and they learn to go on.  IMO estrangement is worse than death because there is no closure.  

Justthesecondwife's picture

It really puts things into perspective. Too many stories and families where one (or more) estranged skids ruin the enjoyment of the rest of the family. Society today so often speaks of being grateful. We are told to be grateful for what we have, whether it be a roof over our heads, food on the table, loved ones caring for us. For people not to look at what they don't have, but rather focus and enjoy what they do. I wish our DH's could do this, chasing the dream of a good relationship with a skid who has shown they are incapable of having a healthy relationship, seems to negate the good which is right in front of them. Sad for all.


Disillusioned's picture

Wow, Justthesecond, I can tell from your post you have most definately gone through the cycles. Your 'ramblings' are wise words of experience and wisdom!

Yes it's so true that if the toxic skids would either just stay away, or accept the SM, life would be continually peaceful

Unfortunately it's true, with my SD it's a cycle and has always been a cycle with her. She goes through the same stages of a few years of hostility and walking out of our life (but yes never really doing that) and then a few years of behaving like all is well, just enough to rein us in to start up again

At least we've realized the act at this point, and even when she puts on her best behaviour act, we/most especially I, never fall for it

I'm permanently disengaged

For DH's part, at least he's become permanently aware of what's really happening!

Justthesecondwife's picture

Unfortunately the cycles have been apparent in my life, and I think they will continue forever, which is a scary thought.

I'm glad you have seen the light and don't get sucked into the rubbish your SD pulls, and that your DH is getting to understand the real picture. It is really sad though, that your DH gets so emotionally distraught at photos. I agree with the posters who said it is not healthy for him, and he would be best served trying to find an outlet which helps him come to peace without SD having the ability to cause him such distress.

I really wish the best of luck to you both Smile

SacrificialLamb's picture

My OSD tried to convince my DH that I was emotionally abusing him (because he finally defended me) and that he should move by her. That opened his eyes to what she was trying to do.

And I completely agree that SD's don't actually want to remove themselves. "I'm cutting you out of my life daddy" is nothing more than "if you dump your wife, I will reward you."  They want to see that they have the power to influence what their father does especially now that there is competition for his affection and attention.

My OSD also did not know what to do when DH stopped chasing her. Then she resorted to tactics like posting pics of BM with DH's family on Facebook, with captions like "love spending time with the family!".  That really pissed DH off, and he finally told her he expected to be treated with respect. And that's about time the whole thing got comical for me, watching the ridiculous things she would do trying to get his attention.

My DH admits he pandered to the SD's too much and turned them into Narc Princesses. I don't believe the skid "learns" that the wife is priority and changes their ways. I think these skids truly believe dad is being abused by the wife, keeping him from his rightful family.  My OSD has gotten a lot of narc mileage out of complaining about me and how she never sees her dad anymore. I highly doubt she has ever said to anyone what her contributions to the situation were.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Dis, you are correct in your assesment of this situation.   Estrangement is indeed a cycle and your SD knows how to play it well.

Take a few minor slights, add in jealousy and then stir it all up in a pot filled with narcissistic behavior and you will get your SD.  And many other adults just like her.  

I am glad you are wise enough to see through it all and am sorry that your DH must suffer such abuse.  Because it is abuse, IMO.  On the surface the letter and photos may seem like an olive branch gesture but the reality is it's just another tool of emotional manipulation.  It sounds like you have done your research on this type of behavior. 

I honestly think it's a generational thing.  Certainly, not all adult kids act this way but there is a very healthy percentage of them who exhibit narcissistic tendencies.  If you have not read "The Narcissim Epidemic" by Jean Twenge PhD I recommend it.  It came out almost 11 years ago but the research is still very much solid.

Unfortunately, there is nothing that can change your SD.  She will continue to strap your DH into this hellish parental roller-coaster because she wants to maintain control.  

The worst part is she is teaching yet another generation in the family how to abuse others.  



Disillusioned's picture

You summed that up nicely 2tired, and I agree it's for sure abuse. I believe DH sees through her and sees this too, but he still somehow feels guilty and of course is so missing his gkids Sad

Haven't read the Narcissim Epidemic but will for sure now, thank you! Looking forward to the insights I'm sure this read will have!

tog redux's picture

I know estrangement is painful, but your DH needs to get some therapy to deal with his grief in a healthier way, and not to let her cause him so much pain that he's sobbing and having a breakdown when he sees a picture of his grandkids.

He really can come to better terms with who she is, the loss of them in his life, and not allow her to cause so much hurt. I'd have been alarmed if my DH was sobbing when he heard from SS20 during the period he was alienated, it's really not a healthy reaction.

2Tired4Drama's picture

It really is a grieving process.  The trick is to find a counselor who can actually help him stand tall through the grief, and not try and guilt him into becoming a doormat for his daughter.  

Another resource (instead of individual counseling) is to find an estranged parents group.  Sometimes just hearing there are others going through the same thing is very helpful.  IMO it's better than individual therapy.  

tog redux's picture

A lot of those estranged parent groups seem focused on blaming the kids and playing the victim rather than learning to control the only thing you can control - your own reaction and how you cope with the situation.  I'd be wary of those - a good therapist would know how to handle estrangement in a healthy way - ie, not chasing the kid and learning to be honest about what you can and can't control.

Disillusioned's picture

Very good point tog, DH is very much greiving this loss in his life and while I do think the greiving is an important step in order to move on to the next stage in the healing process, DH could use some help in dealing with it...

Rags's picture

Toxic people have no place in the life of decent people. Regardless of who the toxic people may be.

End of problem.

My BIL1's wife sent a toxic letter to my FIL, purging him from the lives of their children with a litanny of bullshit slights and offenses that FIL supposedly perpetrated against the bovine bride and BIL1 and their infant daughter. It was complete crap.

.  So FIL wrote a letter to his grandkids (BIL1's kids) about the facts, how he loved them but was not allowed to be a part of their lives by their mother, etc........  FIL sent both the toxic letter from BIL1's bovine bride and his letter to his grandchildren to my wife (she is the executrix of my IL's Wills) with instructions for those letters to be given to each of BIL1's children when they turn 21.  

FIL passed 18mos ago and BIL1's kids are15,10 and 9(x2). The last couple of years BIL1's family welcomed FIL back into their lives.  We still have both letters.  My DW is conflicted on what to do with those letters in 6 more years when our eldest niece turns 21.  

I am leaning towards recommending that DW do as her father asked and give each of BIL1's kids copies of both letters when they turn 21. I may temper my advice over the next six years if the bovine bride keeps her shit together with the rest of the family.  

Though ulitimately it is my FIL's daughter's decision to make. 

Disillusioned's picture

Good for your FIL Rags! No messing around, straight to the facts. Would love to deal with OSD that way LOL 

sandye21's picture

What your SD did was cruel and totally unnecessary.  Another Narcissist wanting to be in control.  No compassion.  No charachter.  An empty shell of a human being.  I sincerely hope Karma comes fast.

Your SD may think she is pulling one over on her Father but as a Narcissist she will play her games on other people including her children - who will revolt one day.  I like Rag's suggestion of writing a letter to be delivered to the children when they are grown and can think for themselves.

2Tired4Drama's picture

If narcisisstic behavior is learned.  It sure seems that way with SD and BM.  BM is a spoiled self-centered princess.  SD is a spoiled self-centered princess.  What's not to make the next generation any diffferent?  

If a mother teaches a child that focusing on oneself should be the priority, and at the expense of others, I wonder how (or if) that can be "unlearned?"