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Sometimes I wonder

Disillusioned's picture

My YSD publicly is wonderful to me

She is very sweet to me in front of DH (and BM for that matter) always very polite, affectionate, if she leaves a message for DH & I it's always "love you both" etc..makes a big deal about things like Mother's Day for me, I have it good with her.

But I notice sometimes if it's just her and I, there is less of that mushiness from her

An example was the regular weekly phone call we make to her (she lives out west) on the weekends. DH insists I'm part of those calls (no matter how many times I've explained to him that I think YSD might just want to have a convo with her dad once in a while without her SM always part of it) DH always takes offence, and often talks me into participating, but from time to time I find an excuse why he should just talk with her alone, and this weekend was one of them

So, he calls YSD and they have a nice talk. Then he says to her "oh do you want to talk with Disillusioned too?" Grrrrr!

So I get on the phone and we have a quick pleasant little chat, I say love you to her before hanging up just like we do when DH & I talk with her, but unlike those times when she says "love you both!" before hanging up, this time she responds with "okay bye Disillusioned" to me

And it isn't just that call that has started to make me wonder if most of her gushiness with me isn't more for DH's benefit than my own :?

We are friends on FB at her request, but I notice she rarely responds to anything I might post (once in a while if it's about DH) but definitely nothing of mine personally, which is strange from her all considered

We do chat via FB, but even there not a lot of the usual "love you" stuff, although she will sometimes end with X0 which is nice

YSD also is definitely the type of adult SD who wants her one-on-one time with DH, and with BM (which is why I try to stay away from some of those weekly calls with her and DH) and why when she visits I try to give them space, but sometimes I just think she is putting on a charming and accepting face for the sake of being smart and mature, but deep down is maybe not so happy with my presence in her dad's life as we both think

I'm not upset with her about this, she treats me very well and that is more than many step-parents out there have, so I'm grateful for that.

It's just a little disappointing sometimes when I stop to consider that as much as she seems to like me, and everyone including myself thinks she does, that perhaps she is merely tolerating in a mature and classy way....

ldvilen's picture

Just a heads-up Threestrikes, that this: "I remember my stepmother ever left my father's side and I wished she would give us alone time," may have had more to do with your father than stepmother. I know in my case, my DH literally insists that I be around whenever his children (younger or older) came around or were going to be around. 99 times out of 100 he'll try everything to get me to go.

I agree sometimes it is SM or SF insisting on going. But, I actually think this is more of a myth that SM is to blame whenever dad brings her along every time. Remember, SM is his wife and most spouses do want to be with their wife (or husband) at any kind of event, and also SM doesn't have some sort of magic mind control over DH. DH/dad is perfectly capable of thinking for himself and making his own decisions.

sammigirl's picture

Yep! My SD56 told me one day, "if anything happens to her DH, she would never speak to or see her MIL ever again. I dislike her that much". So I know she feels the same way about me, no doubt in my mind; and I hope she stays away from me forever.

I am totally disengaged, her request in an email, so no problem. I am relieved beyond imagination, because she told me to "stay away from her and hers and she would stay away from me and mine; whatever and whoever that means. I just laughed and didn't respond verbally; but I can tell you she sees me no more!

I've never had words with my SD56 (37 years), and I will never lower myself to her head games or mental state. Hope she never needs anything down the line. }:)

CANYOUHELP's picture

HRNYC, It's the OP's here who cannot win with you, good or bad; as you only advocate for step kids, regardless of their behavior. OP's are reaching out here for help, not insulting remarks that shut them down from asking for advise. Your Skids bias appears to be a consistent pattern.

I believe you are a deep thinker who could provide great constructive coaching to OP's posting on this site, but not until you examine your own bias, instead of making certain you point out everybody else's.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I agree that your DH needs to get the message that his daughter wants to have separate time/conversations with him.

My skids have always been civil to me, never said a wrong word, never an insult, etc. Even now, if I see SD she always hugs me hello and goodbye.


The reality is that neither of them had any real interest in me as a person. I think you may be in a similar boat. Your YSD is obviously mature enough to know how to behave, which she does. That does NOT mean she likes you. Don't be fooled in that regard. If you and your DH broke up, your YSD would probably not have anything to do with you. Being polite to you is merely a means to an end - to maintain her relationship with her dad.

You need to keep your deep emotions in check. This young woman may be superficially nice to you, but that does not mean you are important to her. You are probably looked upon as an accessory to her life - nice to have around, but easily discarded when no longer useful.

TwoOfUs's picture

I think this is basically my reality, too. They are polite and civil to me. But while DH has expected me to love them, they see me as a potential source of more stuff/support. That's a difficult position to be in.

Sure, civility is great. But it's not an awesome feeling to know you're just being tolerated. OP's post could easily be my own. After years and years of care from me, and me thinking that I had a place in my skids hearts, now that they are older, working, driving...they don't really have much interaction with me outside of the occasional "hello" in passing.

Disillusioned's picture

Threestrikes, I never have or would expect the same depth of feeling for me that YSD has for her parents

My point is, I'm confused by the difference in 'depth of feeling' when it comes to how she treats me publicly vs. privately

And as mentioned in my post, I'm definitely grateful for what I have with her Smile

Of course I want to be liked by her! It's not like she is one of those skids who despise their step-parents (like my OSD for example, I no longer care if she likes me or not) but my YSD is someone I have believed for many years to have a good relationship with, based on our mutual like and respect of each other. She matters to me

With that said, I'm wondering if I've missed important behaviour or signals from her that all is not as good as I think. And yes, that does bother me all considered

Too bad your SM never left your father's side, maybe she felt insecure about you or that she couldn't trust you, who knows :?

I've never understood why my SD's had to have that one-on-one adult time with DH...I never had to have that (and rarely did) with my own parents. But, that doesn't make it wrong and thanks, yes I do try to respect that with my SD's, simply because I know it's something that matters to them

Disillusioned's picture

Good advice HeavenLike...that's sort of where my head is right now

Disillusioned's picture

And you just reminded me of something else HeavenLike - speaking of the wedding, yes after I held the Rehearsal dinner (cost me a fortune) and absolutely everyone had a fabulous time - even BM and her entire family, YSD didn't have much to say to me about it after

In front of DH she was very grateful, definately thanked me. But never said a word to me about it alone, not at the event, not after.

Even her groom must have thanked me, sincerely, at least five times.

I wasn't holding the party to be thanked or for any reason other than YSD asked me too, but I was a little confused with her distance afterwards, especially when I know that everyone had an amazing time and it all went extremely well

Disillusioned's picture

HRNYC - that attitude is pathetic IMO

When soemone goes for many years having what they believe to be a mutually loving relationship with someone, and is beginning to suspect that they have been wrong about that, makes sense they would feel disappointed about it. That is if they are a decent and compassionate human being

Perhaps you don't have the sort of good relationship with your skids that I have with one of mine, but that doesn't mean that having the attutidue of who really cares anyway, is right

BTW: do you actually have any skids? Just curious, don't think I've ever seen a post from you about them :?

a better life's picture

I saw some commonalities between your description and my own relationship with my sd. When we are with others it is very pleasant, chatty, laughing, not mushy like yours but very nice. When it is just she and I here we barely say 2 words to each other and will often go to our separate spaces. I do care for the girl but I just chalk it up to that we are both very quiet people in the base of our personality and we really enjoy our alone time individually and neither feels the need to overengage when we are not 'on' family time.

I also encourage dh to do some things individually with her from time to time like take her to a movie just the 2 of them so he can have some bonding time with his daughter. He is the opposite of the mini-wife thing some talk about here so it seems to be good for them and I also want her to feel like she really spent at least a little time with Dad on her own.

Bm in our situation is of poor quality and has pas'd ss away so I count it as a victory that we see her at all and she has been able to overcome the pressure.

Disillusioned's picture

2Tired4Drama, although my SD is definately more than just "superficially polite" - more like mushy, loving, grateful, appreciative, tells me and everyone else I'm her "other Mom" you are correct in that in the end, she may just not be as sincerely loving in her feelings towards me as I've thought

But, I've always said that I let my skids dictate the type of relationship I'll have with them

One SD makes it very clear that she can't stand me and I serve no value in her life, so I have stopped trying to bring it

The other SD gushes about how wonderful I am and how much I mean to her, tells me (publicly) how much she loves and values me and that I'm one of the best things that ever happened in her life, so I've been there for her for whatever she needs

Privately however she is more distant, so time for me I think to follow her lead

2Tired4Drama's picture

She may just be better at faking it. Some people just have that kind of personality.

It's kind of like some politicians/celebrities and others in the public eye. They can smile for the cameras and act all buddy-buddy with those who have value to them or are "fans" but it doesn't mean they really like them.

Be friendly but formal - that's my motto. I am pretty much disengaged at this point. When I do have to interact with SD, I behave in a friendly manner but keep all conversation formal - like I would with a stranger at a cocktail party.

That serves two purposes: I don't have to get involved with any of her self-centered drama, and it keeps her out of my business.

zerostepdrama's picture

Time to tell your DH that you and YSD will be in charge and responsible for your relationship with each other. He no longer needs to include you in his conversations and relationship with her.

twoviewpoints's picture

My mother's SO of twenty two years (after my father passed and now SO to has passed), was a very special person in my life. Did I love him? I sure did. Like my father? Nope, absolutely not.

Yes, I talked with and spent time with Mom without him lots of times. But it was nothing personally against him. Sometimes I'd call Mom at 6am just to chatter, sometimes to whine. Nothing that would have interested SO. I was known to call him sometimes too when I knew Mom was working or had a meeting. Just to say 'hi' , make sure he was doing ok and visit a bit.

My 2cents? I don't think your YSD is faking or trying to manipulate. I believe she genuinely cares for you. I'm not going to tell she loves you to the degree she loves her father, but yes I think from what you've written over your different postings here, you hold a place in her heart.

a better life's picture

I agree with this. Don't know that any massive disengaging is neccessary. Maybe she senses the OP is being 'pulled in' to the conversations when she would rather not and is taking some kind of cautious reaction to that in being less lovey. Enjoy the relationship you do have with her and be busy with something else if the phone convos are getting awkward.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I learned what my SD's really thought of me initially when my husband was NOT around. At first, they did not want to send him that message at all, only me. Follow your intuition, you are correct.

But, I know he is forcing it too much, but I have to say it is nice your husband wants you included in all things, that he thinks of you as we, a team. Though, clearly going too far with anything is problematic.

For a person who does not have that at all--I cannot help be be impressed that he is trying to include you.

Stepdrama11's picture

Agree. Your DH is trying to include you...and that is far far preferable to my DH who maintains a covert emotional relationship with his daughter...everything is a secret and I am excluded completely because that is what his princess wants. But I can usually tell when he has spoken with her because he will be emotionally and physically unavailable on those days.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Same here Stepdrama11, he even comes back using their juvenile language he would never use on his own..I can tell every time too! He parrots back what they say to him pretending he thought of these phrases, of course--they are always related to me and are negative. Knowing a person too well, can be a disadvantage or disadvantage, I guess. Like you, it has even become predictable.

Disillusioned's picture

Thank you queerwisdom for sharing your experience also. Your insights are very good, I think you accurately describe the experience of many good step-parents who put time and effort into trying to build decent relationships with skids who simply don't want it Sad

Lesson for all of us in that boat I think is exactly as you say; lower our expectations

I do understand in my OSD's case to some extent why she is so ungrateful, and not accepting of me. She simply does not want me in her (or rather her father's) life

The best thing I could ever do for her that would truly make her happy I think is to just go away.

So why I would expect that she would say thank you for anything kind I've done for her, would be a little silly on my part if I honestly didn't get it

Doesn't make what she is doing right, but I do see where she is coming from

MY YSD on the other hand makes such a big display about how much she loves, values me, grateful I'm in her life, one of the best things that happened to her etc... etc... that in her case, yes I'm caught off guard when her actions don't always match the words

I think with her I will always be responsive to her public mushiness etc... but maybe I'll tone things down with her outside of that.

Disillusioned's picture

HRNYC - I think you missed the whole point of my post.

You keep obsessing on whether I understand my SD has to like me or not, so clearly you mis-read or ignored all my points about what it is really about. It's not about whether she has to like me or not, nor was that ever a part of what I originally posted

You say you have no issues with your skids - they why are you on this board?

Most people come here when they're having challenges to vent, maybe seek some advice, or maybe even share something helpful about their own experience that shows an OP their support and understanding

You fit none of the above categories

The only purpose I ever see that you come on this board, is to attack good people. Your comments are generally offensive IMO, and that's too bad. I'm sure sometimes you even have a point, but for my part I find anything you have to say not worthwhile. But, those are the breaks, right?

Disillusioned's picture

twoviewpoints, thank you! That means a lot. I sincerely hope that that is the case!

Disillusioned's picture

Your comments are correct StepAside, but again that was not the point I was trying to make

Yes I agree my DH needs to stop what he's doing, but, that really has nothing to do with what I was wondering, and the reason I posted. That's a side show to my post

The point of what I was saying was that I was wondering if things were not all they seemed to me with YSD and I

Simply that

I have to laugh at the people who read it (but not really read it) and then go off on a tangent about "your SD doesn't HAVE to like you" "why is she being penalized" "the best you can hope for is civility" yada yada

No one is arguing with any of those points, certainly not I, but the whole point of what I was asking was if this seemingly wonderful SD that I have that says how I'm a mother to her too, and all the rest that I posted so much about, is in fact just being overwhelmingly fake, trying really hard to please everyone, but her true heart is no where near her words

Not sure I know the answer at this point, I do believe that whether YSD is sincere or not, she does treat me well and I"m grateful for that - as I've said in my original post.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Thank you Disillusioned... I married into this so I can only blame myself...but I honesty I had no prior indication to see all this coming when I did--lol. Every other way he is fabulous.

Disillusioned's picture

Stepdrama11 - that's awful Sad I really feel for you...but at least you don't have to be around her much, right? Smile

Stepdrama11's picture

Thanks Disillusioned. I am not around her at all, as relational aggression is one of her core relationship strategies and I am now the target, as her mother was before me. Because everything is a secret, it is unclear now what DH's plans for our future are. My only requests for his kids have been basic civility, stay out of our marriage, and do not abuse my animals. If you have these three components, along with a DH who is inclusive and does not isolate you, sit back and enjoy it.

Disillusioned's picture

I agree with a lot of your second post StepAside......yes it's too bad, but you're right that the fact I'm questioning and have questioned in the past what the real relationship with YSD is all about, does make me think that this could be the answer right there

Either way, she's a nice girl and as so many people are quick to point out, of course she doesn't have to like me. The fact that she puts such a big effort into being so great, is amazing in itself

I know for my part, I will always try to be even more wonderful to her than she is to me. But with that said, I will not take for granted that it means anything more than a good adult skid trying really hard to get along, even with someone she secretly isn't so thrilled is in her life...

2Tired4Drama's picture

Wicked, couldn't agree more. My SD seems like a clone of yours. The "fake" behavior is a fundamental part of her personality which she uses to win over people. I stopped falling for it a long time ago. Without a doubt, I know I will never see/hear/know anything about her if my SO and I are no longer together. I'm perfectly fine with that.

CANYOUHELP's picture

Unfortunately, I will make certain they never see or hear from me again...which should not be a problem since they are practically strangers to me now. The "fake' behavior is masterful. They should each win an academy award.

These are the rudest women I have ever encountered in my life.

enuf's picture

I would agree as many other sp have stated. Go with your intuition and maintain a cordial and civil relationship. With my experience of my dh divorcing me, it is true that blood is thicker than water, and at least in my case it did not matter how polite or cordial I was, it did not matter. I really tried, did all the sm things of buying ss bday & xmas gifts, going out of my way to make him feel welcomed. The last thing I heard out of his mouth was when he told his df "I said hi to her" in front of me, as if I were invisible. That really pointed out to me that he was being coerced into a simple greeting of hello to me from his df.

Remain disengaged and do not expect true feelings of affection. Especially, since that is what your are sensing. Honor your feelings, as they are arising from your interactions with her.

One of the things that occurred in the dynamics of my ex wanting me idolize his ds is that gaslighting in which he would tell me that what I was feeling was not based on facts or concrete evidence when it came to his ds. After years of hearing those messages I went counter intuitive and started questioning my intuition and my feelings. Now that my ex is no longer in the picture, I find that my intuition and feelings are deeply tied to my self esteem. Do not deny "yourself" or your essence. Our feelings are who we are.

sammigirl's picture

It's just the opposite with me. My SD56 accused me, in a hate email, of not bonding with her. What? We have always had a civil relationship. Now we don't, of course, because she wanted to control our relationship to her liking and that didn't work for either of us.

My SD56 has always been phony in front of her Dad and other family members. I just ignore her now and have no contact with her.

I suggest keeping an arm's length and just don't get too close and personal and continue to encourage her to spend as much time as she wishes with her dad and mom, without you. My DH never initiates spending time with SD and he hardly sees SD56, because she is "just too busy"; she lives a block from us.

sandye21's picture

That was how my SD was - most of the time, phony, sweetsie-sweetsie in front of Dad. Then when Dad was not in sight she was just plain mean and nasty. Although she would pout and have mumbled, sideline conversations with her Husband while in the same room with DH and I, and DH never seemed to notice. He also didn't notice that she didn't lift a finger to clean up after herself. But the phony stuff was worse because it was harder. It was a game I really didn't want to play.

I agree with the others who suggest being pleasant but maintaining a certain distance. Have to say though, it breaks your heart when you think you were close to someone and find out you weren't.

sandye21's picture

The flip-flop between the 'gushy sweet' in front of DH and the accusations of you holding your DH hostage are both amazing and disgusting. I really know where you are coming from. The last time I gave a gift to SD she was extremely rude to me until DH returned to the room. Then she was gushing thank yous. I had the same feeling you did after the skype conversation. It makes you wonder about their sanity or emotional health. I know a veterinarian in town who acted like this and people said, "She forgot her meds."

CANYOUHELP's picture

Sammi, initially mine were pretending and I thought it was real, ugh....fell for it for a long time. Then when it was really going downhill, he started telling me it was my imagination--this included written discussions and direct references on FB about me. If he lives in denial, he doesn't have to do anything.

It is a shame she hates you much more than she loves her own father, huh? Bet your husband tells you she is "just too busy too." Testosterone must do crazy things in a man's head.

Acratopotes's picture

Disillusioned - next time DH phones or talks to any kid.... run to the bathroom and pretend to be busy...
till he rings off }:)

Merry's picture

This sounds exactly like my SD. I am grateful that she is polite. Even friendly sometimes. And I get to be another grandmother to her kids, whom I adore, and I have helped her out in several situations and I would again.

DH would like us to be close, but he doesn't try to force it usually. I encourage him to go see his kids without me, but he just doesn't want to. Ok, so he doesn't see them as much as he or they would like. Not my fault, not my problem.

Disillusioned's picture

That is a good question wickedsm123...I've always thought that if DH & I were no longer together for whatever reason, that YSD and I would stay in touch...but mostly because I though I would want to. I honestly don't know at this point if YSD would stay in touch with me. Who can say

But your comments are very smart, yes I think most of it has to do with YSD being someone who wants to get along. She does love the attention she receives from parents and step-parents alike, she is definitely the golden child to all four of her parents compared to OSD, and she would much rather have everyone step-parents included gushing about how wonderful she is, then having the backlash OSD deals with for her awful behavior towards all of those same people...

Disillusioned's picture

Longtimestep, your situation does sound exactly like mine!

Thanks sandye21, your SD sounds like a brat! Yes it does bother me to some extent with YSD, but then again, I think subconsciously my guard has always been up anyway. At least she goes out of her way to get along with me, and really, that's all any step-parent can truly ask for I think

sammigril, I can't believe what you've had to put up with. You are wise to stay away from all the drama.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

The common thread in this thread seems to be cognitive dissonance.

I had never heard of the concept until I started educating myself about step dynamics. We see it over and over on these boards: enuf's highly educated H insisting that his version of reality is more correct than what what she herself is observing and experiencing; sandye21's H ignoring his daughter rudeness to his wife; the toxic duality of StepAside's OSD that her H chooses not to see. We are confused because what we observe and experience is repeatedly discounted and actions and words never mesh.

I think the whole nature of steplife is inherently flawed. It's unnatural and hinges on people who are not related agreeing to pretend they are. Unfortunately, family is a word that means different things to different people. There is no script, but everyone is expected to play along, each carrying their own agenda. It's a struggle to discern what's real, what's authentic, and what's pretense. That's why words like phony, fake, saccharine, artificial, and pretense are so common on these boards. It seems as if the direct, honest, and open people have the hardest time adapting to steplife.

sandye21's picture

It's unnatural and hinges on people who are not related agreeing to pretend they are. It is also exacerbated by DHs who want to pretend that now they have a new wife, life can resume as it did before the divorce. For many years I did not feel quite right with what I was seeing and experiencing in relation to SD and DH. I had always believed in mutual respect, and that had worked in most cases until I married DH. Then I was slammed with a double standard - I was expected to respect but it did not go both ways. One day though, after taking part in this facade we become overly saturated.

I think this site is full of direct, honest and open people. I also think many of the people on this site have been the ones to sacrifice and work hard for acceptance in families as children. It would be interesting to take a poll about our roles with our parents and siblings.

Disillusioned's picture

My Mom used to insist we called our SF Dad, she would even say things to us like "Your Dad did blah blah blah today" etc.. and then when I would say 'which Dad?' and name both my Dad and my SF, she would get annoyed

In her mind, since she was no longer married to my father she tried really hard to remove him from our lives, and tried really really hard to get all of us to accept our SF as our father, complete with calling him "Dad"

The fake Dad thing bugged me too

To me it was so simple...I had a Dad and I loved him, and despite what my Mom might have said about him, he was still my Dad and I loved him, and more than my SF.

I loved my SF too. He was a great guy. He may well have been the best parent out of the three parents that I had! But, my parents were still my parents and they came first to me

In my mind, it was all so simple: SF was part of my family. I had one big happy family, some blood and some not. SF was not "Dad" to me and never would be, so forcing me to accept him as that, or forcing him to accept me as "daughter" was unnatural and felt uncomfortably fake. He used to call my sisters and I his 'girls'...sort of nice. Not his daughters or SD's, just his girls. He definitely did love us like a father, but he wasn't our father.

However, just allowing me to accept him for what he was - my SF, a parent-like adult in my life who I loved and thought of as family - would have made things so much easier. As an adult, it was clear in my mind and that was how I treated him too...a much loved and valued SF, but not my 'fake Dad'

It bugs my Mom to this day Sad I wish she could have just allowed us to accept him for what he actually was

My family would also tell my SD's that there was "no step" when it come to them. They were not 'step-nieces' for example, they were simply nieces. Nice gesture, meant to make them feel welcomed, but honestly if my brothers and sisters simply referred to them as what they were - their step-nieces (much adored and welcome of course) then it would have maybe felt more natural and easy as well

I never call my SD's my daughters, even when my YSD has sometimes referred to me as her "Mom". Simply because I am not her Mom, I'm her SM. And if she could also only stop the fake (not saying she is fake) but the fake relationship and simply accept me for what I am - her SM, a trustworthy and sincere member of her extended non-blood family that does care about her, yes I think life would be so much easier!

sandye21's picture

"--it sucks when stepchildren assume we are eager to be something we are not--."

It seemed as if DH wanted pretend we were SD's parents after he married me. He never insisted SD call me Mom but it was apparent in his actions - even though the relationship was somewhat complicated as you mentioned. I was allowed to be his wife as long as I accepted the fact that I was not a priority in his life, as long as I went through all of the motions of being a wife, as long as I played maid to SD and bent over backwards to gain her acceptance, as long as I didn't expect the same respect that he and his daughter might have given his first wife.

One weekend SD had been particularly cold and snappy. Her Father had to work so she did not take on the syrupy sweet persona that she usually did in his presence. Later on in the day, DH joined us at a picnic. For most of the time at the picnic, SD and her Husband treated me as if I was invisible. Before the end of the event, I was talking to some women when SD walked up and joined the conversation. One of the women referred to SD as my 'Daughter'. Maybe I was wrong, but I had experienced so much of SD's toxicity that day that I replied, "She's my Step-daughter." SD was obviously taken aback. It occurred to me that she had assumed I had actually WANTED to take on the role of fake Mom.

I wonder if I should have had a conversation with SD in the beginning our the marriage so we could have discussed our expectations for each other. It might have made things a lot easier instead of assuming certain aspects of our relationship which might have not been true - such as my desire to be a 'Mother' to her.

sickofevilspawn's picture

Have not spoken to SD for several months. Best months of my life! She wanted me out of her life so she can have it but the day she comes crawling back (and it will happen as soon as she needs to bitch about someone else, needs $$, babysitting, etc.), I am going to remind her, this is the absolute last time. If you do not want me to be a part of your life, I might as well be dead to you because I will NEVER have anything to do you with again. Might sound harsh but the way I have been treated in the last 17 years, I do not care any longer.

sammigirl's picture

No it is not harsh; it's survival on your part.

After 36 years, I finally told my SD to never come to our home, while I was home. I told her she could visit with her Dad anytime, anywhere, but not in our home, while I am home.

SD56 wrote me a two page hate email; told me to move out and move on, so DH could have a family life again. My reply was for her to stay away from me or have a Court ordered restraining order put on her. SD knows I will do it, because I had a Protective Order, and a Property Possession Order put on DH, when I booted him to SD's house 2 years ago. DH is back and behaves much better, only because I made my threats into promises. I will do it again, with no hesitation.

I haven't been bothered with her for almost a year now; she lives one block from us. SD still tries to "gaslight" me, but it's not happening, I ignore her. She texts daddy, calls daddy during dinner, anything to let me know she is still "just up the street". It doesn't bother me any longer and she can vanish for all I care.