Three years into disengagement and DH would like me to reconsider
I have been with DH for 11 years and married for two. During this time, I have experienced all the usual negative experiences by the skids, who are now in their early 30s. I must admit ss35 has always been very respectful and only drew back once, when ss32 and I had an argument. I am convinced that ss32 told lies about the argument as he became very withdrawn, but was still respectful and civil. In the main, ss35 and his wife have always been respectful, decent and civil to myself and my children. SS35, invited me and my children to his wedding. We sat on the head table, I sat besides my husband. His son calle me ‘grandma’. My son really likes and enjoys both him and his wife company. Ss32 on the other hand, had been nothing but a nightmare from day one! He has always made a point of excluding, ignoring and disrespecting me. He has been consistent to letting me know, in both actions and words, he wants nothing to do with me. Unlike dh, I have always been fine with that. In the past ss35, would act differently when ss32 was around. However, this changed a few years ago and I can honestly say I enjoy visiting him and his family.
On the other hand, ss32 has been the opposite. Three years ago, I discovered this site, and decided it was time to disengaged from him. I had to protect myself, as DH was in total denial. I made it clear to DH that I will not be going to small family blending events, consisting of us, skids and my kids. Whether it was birthday, Christmas, or any event, I will not be stuck feeling miserable and dh acting as he did not want me there, something he always did when ss32 was around. was the best thing I did. Having absolutely no contact with ss32, hence no arguments with dh, gave me and dh time to focus on our relationship. I avoided any conversation about ss32, when I did respond, it was well thought of response, not resentful, just polite and thoughtful. Slowly dh realised I did not dislike ss32, I hated the way ss32 treated me. Our relationship grew from strength to strength and we eventually got married 2 years ago.
the wedding day ss32 was on the periphery, there but not involved. Whilst SS34 was out there, socialising with guests and family. Everyone commented about ss32 actions or in actions. Even dh noticed. SS32 new girlfriend came later to reception, sometime in the evening. She could not bring herself to greet or congratulate me at my own wedding! Unbeknown to me, dh had clocked her actions. A few months later, we meet ss32 and his girlfriend at an exhibition, they went on to greet everyone except myself. It was only when we were about to leave ss32 pretended he had not seen me. I am not sure how he missed me, as myself and my sister, were the only 6ft tall, women of colour in the whole exhibition, which was featured in one medium sized room!
evening, on our way home, dh confused that he had turned a blind eye on ss32 bad behaviour for the last 9 years and admitted he had to do something. He arranged dinner with ss32 to discuss it. He was optimistic that a single conversation would resolve everything. How wrong it was! ss32 blew up and refused to accept anything dh said. Dh came home, tearful, exhausted and admitted he had created a monster for me. The poor man, finally realised, ss32 had real emotional issues. He realised he had guilt parented this child/man and he now had to stop! A few weeks later ss32 and his girlfriend unexpectedly dropped by, ss32 said hello, but his girlfriend refused to greet me. Dh, then turned to her and said “you do know my wife xxx” embarrassed she gave me a confused look and said, “did I meet you at a party a few months ago” to which I replied “I hope so, it was our wedding”. She went bright red in the face. It was then we decided, that ss32 and his girlfriend would not be allowed in our home unless they showed respect.
dh is on a mission to work things out. Can you imagine, a decade of his silence, dipping his head in the sand, denial, talking about me to the skids, now he wants to turn things around! Dh wrote to the skids, saying how ashamed he was for all the nasty things he may have said about me and planned to meet them to discuss it further. The meeting took place 2 weeks ago. It was fiery, with ss30 denying any negative actions toward me. He was super sensitive when it comes to his girlfriend. He refuses to accept that him or his girlfriend has ever been disrespectful towards me. In the end dh, burst into tears and told them he had married me and nothing was going get between us, but he would like to sort out things between us. The plan of action, is to get all the blended family for a day’s outing to an exhibition. This should be our first bonding exercise.
disengaging, not only has my relationship with dh grown from strength to strength. With the help of a counsellor, I have been able to press the reset button and discover the woman before skids. The constant feeling of hurt, resentment and anger that goes with the territory has since disappeared and so has the negative energy that goes with that. I have been able to rediscover me, my needs, established my boundaries, what I would accept and what I would not accept. I have reconnected with old friends, nurtured my relationship with my adult children, who had the misfortune of having to pep talk their emotional beaten mother. We now look at those days with laughter.
am elated that finally dh has stepped up and stood up for our marriage. However, even though I acknowledge that he is really trying, I do not want to have a day with the ss32 and his girlfriend. I made a pact to myself, never to put myself in a vulnerable or uncomfortable position, especially not to make others feel comfortable! The mere thought, brings back anxiety, stomach churning, nail biting experience I used to have before I met the skids. SS32 does not think he or his girlfriend has been disrespectful, he still thinks his behaviour is acceptable. So what has changed with him? The only thing that has changed, is that now the skids knows, that dh will stand up for me and we will not accept any rubbish. My views are, if he loves and respects his dad, he will change or try to change naturally. We do not need to go to an exhibition to try and be nice to each other!
have often wondered why dh has made a 360-degree change. My guess is that he is beginning to feel unappreciated by his kids. He is lucky if he gets a call after 2 months of silence. Then he sees, my children calling every other day. He has opened up to me, about how disappointed he is, with how his children are treating him. Long are the days when he ended the relationship, because ss32 did not like me. Ss32, just does not have that kind of power any more. He now describes me as his only constant and really does value our marriage.
thoughts are, dh made his bed. He talked about me to his children, which only made things worst. I never allowed my children to ever disrespect him, that is why has an amazing relationship with them. It is his monkey, his jungle, he made his bed! I will keep my boundaries until I see signs that things are different.
I would appreciate your thoughts.