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Turning blue in the face...

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

Ugh, I was "holding my breath" cuz ss22 said he was moving out of state in August, only to learn that he is now buying a house less than 30 minutes from our house so he is NOT moving out of state.  My husband is off to the rescue to consult him with the purchase of the house and I am SURE that he will help him with renovations.  I have enforced 100% disengagement with ss22 for 5 months now because of the disrespect that ss22 shows me (and his father/myhusband enables.)  I told my husband that I don't like the "man" he is when he is around ss22 because ss22 gets away with murder.  :(  And ss22 has taught his new wife to be disrespectful to me, too.  My children (25dd and 23ds) don't understand the situation, and think that I am an obstacle to "one big happy family."  Now that ss22 is staying in the near vicinity, I think it's time that I inform my children so they understand.

Add to that the fact that my husband planned a vacation with my children and his son (the tickets are already purchased), expecting that would force me to go with them (which I am not), and I am blue-in-the-face pissed!  I told him if he ever does anything with my children again without talking to me first, we are done.  There is a part of me that thinks I should have already divorced him over all of this crap, but the thought of starting over is overwhelming.

I think I need to be in a support group.  I am emotionally exhausted from dea1ing with this!

tog redux's picture

Yeah, I'm confused. Why do your adult kids think YOU are the problem?  It's always good to consider your own role in things. 

ESMOD's picture

I went back and read a couple of other posts. 

I think that her kids grew up with SS22... so they see him as a sibling.  OP's "scorched earth" version of disengagement is preventing them from experiencing things "as a family".. as they grew up doing.  They likely don't see SS's transgressions as worthy of the complete icing that OP has put into place.

And... honestly.. what I see from SS in her description is that he does not engage with her as much.. doesn't show full gratitude for things she has done.. and has slighted her in the past by not matching a Christmas gift.  Some of what she describes isn't too unusual for young, self absorbed kids these days. 

It's a little odd that her SS indicated he was "scared" of her earlier.. and maybe there were some blow ups that led to the SS not feeling particularly warm towards OP.

I guess the kids haven't seen everything.. and they just see their brother being excluded from family functions.

Only OP can truly guage whether total banishment from "her" life is what needed to happen.. vs a more moderate situation where the boy still is included in family things.. but that she isn't obligated to interact with him too much.

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

I did not tell my children dd25 and ds23 about the on-going disrespect from ss22 that has been getting worse since we got married 14 years ago.  I thought that as the parent, I shouldn't get my children involved.  Yes, they just see that their stepbrother isn't invited to our family events.  I think I need to put it into "terms" that they understand (e.g., How would you feel if I invited <a friend that repeatedly betrayed you and had no intentions of changing> to family events and told you to just get over it?)

My husband is the one who has continuously told me that ss22 is scared of me.  ss22 has never verbalized that to me.  My interpretation is that ss22 doesn't like when I call him out on his lies and disrespect, which I have done for the 14 years of our marriage.  Heck, it took him 3 years of reminding to say, "hi" to me when he came over to our house after his mom dropped him off for visitation.  There were a few times where ss22 (when he was a teenager) was in his bedroom for four hours before we knew that he was even in our home.  Of late, he was driving drunk and snuck his friends over to drink and did not tell us.  At our family night, in front of me and my husband, he drank 2  4 ounce pours of bourbon and half a bottle of champagne while watching a 90 minute movie.  I even saw a counselor to divise how to approach him on the drinking because my husband's response was not appropriate (husband told him that if he got a DUI, he would pay legal consequences, and then he still let him drink as much as he wanted.)  I could go on...  The final straw even my husband acknowledged was hurtful towards me and wrong, but husband told me there was nothing that could be done because ss22 is an adult.  Ugh.  ss22 has done nothing to make amends even though we both communicated that his behavior was hurtful and unacceptable.  ss22 just doesn't care cuz there isn't a consequence that bothers him.  I don't want to put myself in the position of being hurt anymore, and the only way I can do that is to avoid him.  My husband won't back me up when ss22 disrespects me, so I choose 100% disengagement.  I even told husband that I don't like the man he is when ss22 is in his presence.

Harry's picture

If he is going away with his kids and not you,  you have a major problem in your marriage.  You first need marriage counseling to start with, maybe you could cime to a understand.  If not divorce is on the table. 

KC is not the stepmother's picture

Sometimes we do such a good job of hiding the hurt that those who know us best, spouses and kids, should know the reasons for no contact but they don't.  I see why you're hurt by your SS's poor behavior but more so by your husband's rug sweeping.  The way I read it is that your husband planned a vacation for the entire family and expects you to just go along to make everyone else comfortable.  

If it was me I would go but I would also make clear that the conditions for my cooperation are that adult SS pays his own way for himself and his wife.  He's a grownup,  he should act like it.  Also all gift giving from me would stop.  Drop the rope and set yourself free.

Bethany's picture

I hear you. Your husband is going against you. They cannot seem to understand YOUR feelings. My DH has done a lot of "behind the back" things with SKs. However, he is disrespecting you by planning a "family" vacation WITHOUT discussing it with you first. Have you tried marriage counseling? We went for a while. Husband could finally see, but he is PETRIFIED of conflict, so will not discuss his unhappiness with his adult SKs behavior with them. He is afraid they will abadon him. I wish you peace...this forum provides me with so much support. I hope it does for you, too. 

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

Yes, ss22 is paying for his own plane tickets.  Yes, we have been going to marriage counselling.  It was the counselor's advice to take a "cooling off period" from ss22 after having a talk with him.  Since ss22 has done nothing to make amends for 5 months, I choose disengagement.  Clearly, he doesn't care...he hasn't called me, sent me a letter/card, messaged me on email/social media, etc.  Bethany, my husband is like yours in that he hates conflict and is afraid of being abandoned.  He was adopted and his parents guilted him his entire life about being adopted to the point that they made him feel like he owes them.

I am going to try to just focus on this new disengaged lifestyle and TRY to stop fearing what may or may not happen in the future.  I had never thought of disengaging as being a possible strategy because I thought husband would divorce me.  When I asked husband for a divorce 5 months ago, I learned that it IS a possible strategy, although husband is very upset about it.  In our last argument, I basically told him that unless he could A.  accept my disengagement of ss22, and B. stop bringing up the subject of engaging on a weekly basis, I would have to divorce him.  I cannot accept disrespect on hurtful behavior from ss22, especially when husband doesn't correct him AT THE MOMENT IT HAPPENS.  So I won't let it happen via no contact.  

sandye21's picture

Marriage functions best when there is give and take.  If all of the 'giving' has to come from you it's one-sided and unbalanced.  When your DH is not willing to help create a balance you have to do what is best for you.  I have a hard time understanding how your daughters can't see that when SS enters your home and won't acknowledge your existence for almost an hour it isn't offensive.  Good luck and stand your ground.

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

"big happy family" is greater than her desire to see the truth.  In the longrun, I think she will get hurt, too.  Even her bf sees it.  At ss22's wedding, dd was attending to the bride like a maid of honor, only dd wasn't included in the wedding party.  The bf even said, "you know that what you are doing is what the maid of honor and bridesmaids are supposed to do, don't you?"  Since dd wasn't included in the wedding party, she even took the bride's and bridesmade's coffee order on the morning of the wedding and brought them coffee so that she could be included.  But she wasn't included - ss22 and his wife are takers.  They will always have their hand out, but they will never help the people they don't care about.  Sad

Life is going to be interesting when I take my kids on vacation and don't include ss22.  dh will have to make a choice of coming with me and my kids or not.  It should be interesting, as I think he will not come with so that he can "side" with his son.  So be it.

Harry's picture

Your marriage is second to him.  Like you are a place to live between visits with his DS.  Your marriage is over, you have to face That fact.  I would live according to that 

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

I cant seem to get over this upcoming vacation.  Upon bringing it up again, I learned that he told ss22, dd25, and ds23 that he was hoping I would go when I learned they were all going.  Really?!  He’s teaching bullying tactics to the children.  What an ARSE.  I told him I can’t be married to someone who puts the kids before the wife.  Right now, dh and I are disengaged and I am thinking about consulting a lawyer and getting divorce papers drawn up while he is on his family vacation.  He is the one who actually gave me the idea, as he keeps saying, “go ahead and divorce me.  You’ll be happier without me.  You’ll probably have the divorce papers drawn up while I’m on the vacation.”

Siemprematahari's picture

I learned that he told ss22, dd25, and ds23 that he was hoping I would go when I learned they were all going.

This sh!t your H is doing is very manipulative. Making comments to the kids of "he was hoping you would go". He knows why you don't want to go and yet he made the arrangements anyway....disregarding your wants & needs. I wouldn't feel comfortable with my kids going with him (no telling what BS he'll tell them on the trip) and I'd definitely look into that divorce lawyer. He's a real piece of work and if you want any happiness you need to start taking control of your life and make some much needed changes.

Rags's picture

Your kids should have been fully informed all along.  No more covering for DH and his toxic spawn.  Broadcast the facts far and loud so that DH and the toxic crotch nugget can’t continue to polish the turds that they are.

grace8205's picture

I have always been upfront with my DS22 about Skid24 and what goes on with him. The lack of respect, rudeness, entitlement that skid24 shows towards me and DH. DS22 is well informed on who skid24 is. 

Keeping it all hidden is like enabling an alcoholic and its their dirty laundry to deal with not yours. 

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

We have an appointment with a mediator next week.  I am looking at some places to live this weekend with a realtor.  I can’t see a future with this man.  He only has his own back.  I thought he had my back, but I guess he is too insecure to be honest with me.

At one point, he said I could have the dog.  He is even backing out of that.  He put together a spreadsheet of our finances to split and wants the mediator to use it.  I reviewed it with my lawyer who said, “no way, that’s not the legal standard,” so if the mediator let’s him get away with that, i will not sign the papers.  I will have my lawyer review everything before I agree to what the mediator puts together.  My lawyer knows the mediator and said she is really good, so hopefully, she will set dh straight on what is “standard.”

dh keeps wanting me to pretend that nothing is wrong and to continue the marriage.  I gave him my conditions...1.  Cancel his vacation with ss and my two kids, 2.  Put our house on the market in August and buy the house With me that I am looking at this weekend (I’ve been asking him to downsize for 5 years), and 3.  Accept my 100% disengagement with his son and never bring it up again.    Honestly, that is what it would take to get me to consider staying with him.  I know he won’t do it.  Oh well.  My marriage is over.  His son is his priority even though he gets treated like $4it.  I was only the priority when he was winning me over while he dated me and through the first 2 “honeymoon years.”  Then it all started to unravel.  It breaks my heart. 


sandye21's picture

So sorry to hear this but it appears you are taking care of yourself financially and legally.  Your DH doesn't deserve you.  Good luck and stand your ground.  (((HUGS)))

Tryingtomakeitwork's picture

The lawyer delayed our mediation meeting.  My husband asks me multiple times every day to give him another chance.  He is never going to change, and I can’t see my future with him.  I am paralyzed in angst, thinking about everything I have to do.  I can hardly wait for him to go on his vacation with the kids just so he is out of my hair.  I will start purging and,packing when he is gone.  

sandye21's picture

It's awful when things like this get delayed.  but I admire you for moving on.  Good luck and (((HUGS)))

Murkywaters's picture

Sorry to say, he sounds very controlling.  To plan a vacation without prior consultation is not only manipulative, but narcisstic. He wants it all regardless of the fallout because he doesn't believe you'll actually divorce him.  With narcissistic people, threats do not work.  And with the SS moving closer, he's already found a replacement for you, not to mention turning your biological children against you.  This is what narcissists do.  Best of luck finding a new place to live.  Once you're in a place of your own, you'll wish you'd done it sooner.