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SD18 ditched family therapy session

Shieldmaiden's picture

If you read my last forum here about family therapy with SD18, here's an update. It was the hottest, muggiest, worst day ever. DH and i pulled up to BMs house to pick up SD18 for family therapy, as we had texted her the day before a reminder of the time. 

SD18 doesn't answer her phone. DH knocks on the door, and SD18 opens the door 2 inches and peers out of the darkness. As DH tells me when he gets back in the car ( and from what could overhear) SD decided to accept a babysitting job for her young cousin just moments before. She says she was getting ready for our appt, then her grandma dropped by with her favorite cousin, and asked if she wanted to babysit, and she "totally forgot about our appointment and said yes." 

So, DH looked angry, but didn't say anything and got in the car. We drove in silence to the "family therapy appointment" because we would get charged for it anyway if we didn't go. Of course their office A/C was broken, and we sweated it out in a little airless room for an hour. The heat and anger made us both cranky, so we got into a fight because I said that I am worried about SD 18 not having any natural consequences for her actions, like for example: If I forget my umbrella when its raining, I will get wet, because he is so quick to protect her from any of life's lessons. 

 I was not talking about punishment - but of course its his darling little angel, so immediately he feels he needs to protect her from life;s consequences. I was merely asking if we would be having a conversation with her later to let her know how much this upset us. The therapist actually seemed confused by DH's rambling accusations and denials,  too. She asked him some questions to clarify, and he basically told her that her "analysis was flawed."  He also fiercely warned me that that I was "attacking his character" and that he would not tolerate further insults. (What I said was in response to him saying i am controlling. I said that we all have control issues, even him and his daughters - who rearrange our house while we are sleeping - but that I feel I have put in a good effort in not getting upset over the little things, so its unfair to call me controlling simply because I disagree with his parenting style.)

So, long story short... amazingly he called SD18 when we got home, and told her she let us down and he expected more of her in the future. She denied any fault and got angry at him. Then he backpedaled and said of bunch of lovey dovey horseshit that undermined his previous statement. Then he says "You're right! Talking it out DOES help get my anger out."

This morning, as I am making my coffee before work, he announces happily "I FIGURED IT OUT! "  He says he thought about it all last night and tells me that "someone, probably my mother, messed with my head when I was little - and now I have boundaries that are way too strict and unrealistic expectations of others. He said that SD18 is also afraid of being hurt so she uses secrecy to keep others at bay. He looks proud of himself. 

I told him, thanks. I figured that out about myself when I was 22, in all those years of therapy I put myself in while he was out selling drugs and getting high with his friends. Yeah, your epiphany is kind of insulting but hey - thanks for the effort! I am glad he is thinking on it, but I told him to "look inward instead outward " for solutions to our problems, because I am not the sole problem here. Ugh. Now I want to go buy a bottle of whiskey and stick a bendy straw in it.

caninelover's picture

Something similar happened to us when Bratty McBratFace (then 22) missed the first family therapy session - which was set up because Bratty told SO she was struggling - because she 'forgot'.

SO' response:. 'Bummer'.  Um really dude?

At least he did tell her to apologize to both the therapist and myself.

The only good thing that came from our family therapy was me finally being able to express that I just don't like Bratty much.  LOL.

stepmomnorth's picture

Wow, doesn't seem like he has much to be proud about how he handled all of that scenario... Smh

Elea's picture

Based on what you described here your DH is crazy making. Are you sure you want to stay married to him? He sounds selfish and insulting to you, like my Ex that is an ex for a reason. 

notarelative's picture

SD was getting ready for the appointment, got interrupted (by grandma randomly stopping by to ask her to babysit), and forgot about it. I call bull. SD did not want to go and be called accountable by the therapist. 

sandye21's picture

Please start going to counseling by yourself.  To say this man is gaslighting you is an understatement.  It is easier for him to insult you than simply tell SD even a mild form of the truth,  Sad.

paul_in_utah's picture

"Protecting from life's natural consequences."  That is a perfect way to sum up my SO's Mission Statement towards her daughter.

Tried out's picture

your boundaries are too strict and your expectations of others are to high? Or his?

Movingonisbest's picture

Original poster your DH would have a real issue with me then. Did he know that if a therapy session was missed, payment was still required? Since SD missed the therapy session for a bogus reason, then I  would have told him out of the money she made from the babysitting job, she has to pay the cost of gas it took for you two to pick her up and a third of the cost of the therapy session since she canceled with no notice. I wouldn't care at all about what he thought about my boundaries or level of strictness. I would have told him she is already behind in life because she doesn't even have a driver's license and has to be picked up and taken places like she is a little child. She also has no full-time job. I would have then said she is launching within a reasonable time.  So either he gets on board with whatever plan the therapist has to get SD launched, or he will end up losing something else he hasn't thought about. If I were you, I  would point it out clearly to him that he is going to lose SD because she doesn't want to launch, or he would lose me for not requiring her to launch. Under no circumstances would I help him enable SD, or participate in his crappy parenting style.

RoundIGo's picture

Seems like getting these men to set boundaries and not kiss the ground these kids walk on, because of fear and guilt, is nearly impossible. Enforcing rules and setting limits has barely happened in the 8 years we've been together.  In fact,  I have NEVER, seen one of my skids in trouble or time out. They have lied, gotten horrible grades,  made rude remarks and as long as they aren't out of control... anything goes.  Now SD is 18 and he won't end visitation,  so 18 means NOTHING. Pretty depressed myself. Don't have much faith in therapy. Maybe that's the problem. 

Shieldmaiden's picture

I've done lots of therapy over the years, and one thing it does well - is to make people accountable for what they say and do. Its hard to deny you said something when there is an outside witness who sees through the bullshit. That alone, is why I go to family therapy with my DH and SD. Its great to see them have to explain themselves and fail, because the therapist sees right through them. Then the real work can begin - which is all of us talking honestly.

CLove's picture

Did you manage to keep from gagging when your husband said the lovey dovy things to SD?

Repercussions to actions - she got none. This will keep happening.

But good that your Husband is going to therapy with you, and hopefully it will do some good for you two.

Rags's picture

Why TF are you with this failed man, failed father, failed DH?


You have to care for yourself far more than you do.  You are going down in flames along with this POS.  Smh


Shieldmaiden's picture

Rags, while I usually appreciate your fiery brand of opinions, you can sometimes take it too far. That last comment was more hurtful than helpful. I am doing my best. When I am old, alone, and toasting marshmallows on the burning wreckage of my life, while cackling maniacally....I will look you up and we can have a drink. But Christ's sake, man, lighten up! That stung. 


Shieldmaiden's picture

I do, and I don't always respond to every comment - but I do read them. I appreciate most of them. If people are trying to be helpful, instead of hurtful, then I understand and I appreciate their input. 

Rags's picture

My motivator is your health and quality of life. 

I have had a crappy marriage that at the time I was far from mature enough to have successfully extricated myself from. Fortunately for me, my XW got knocked up by one of her several side pieces and left me.   I hurt for you. I have had the pain of a less than quality marrige.

I have also experienced an incredible marriage. I am living a wonderful partnership and have been for appoaching 28 years.  My point is that I have lived both.  I don't want anyone else to experience the former.

Sadly it is a rarity for many to ever learn from their own mistakes. It is far more rare to be able to learn from the mistakes of others.  Maybe I am too stubborn to just hang quiet and watch people experience pain that IMHO they don't have to experience.

Just take care of you and do not ride the nosediving blended family life into the ground.  Life is too precious and too short to waste on a forelorn hope.


Shieldmaiden's picture

Thank you, Rags. Maybe I was feeling a bit sensitive that day. I don't know. I am feeling very lost right now. I appreciate your concern and I can understand where you are coming from. Sorry that you had to go through that.