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"We" vs "I"

sammigirl's picture

Reading here, I know this is not uncommon, but it bugs me; although I am disengaged from SD56 and SGD31 (mother/daughter). Being disengaged from these two women, I've always been civil and never had words with anyone in DH's family and have for 36 years been included in any gift giving by DH. I keep my disengagement separate from DH's family members, that treat me well. Any gift giving to anyone that I do, DH is always included; especially my family. DH does all the gift giving to his family.

SGD31 sent a thank you note addressed to "Grandpa (DH)" only. SGD31 lives in a neighboring State and mailed it to DH. This didn't surprise me, due to the fact that SD56 and SGD31 are furious, because I have taken myself away from their drama. The envelope and note was hand written in SGD31's hand writing, suppose to be from SGGD13, another phony move.

DH and I had given $$$ to SGGD13, who is on a softball team; they were recruiting donations for new uniforms, last Fall (9 months ago). Included in the Thank You card were pictures, which I updated existing frames that are displayed.

This was a passive aggressive move on SGD31's part and I know the game she is playing, therefore, no response to her from me. She even wrote in the noted "Miss you so much Grandpa"; because SGD and SD think I am the cause DH never spends time with them. Now if you've read my previous posts, you know any contact with these women is on DH and them, I'm out of the picture and have been for 7 years. I have never told DH who he can visit and who to associate with, thus he is also considerate with my family and friends.

Bottom line, after receiving the Thank You card, I had a talk with DH. I told him I am tired of these head games continuing and I want him to set one thing straight; which DH has not done in 15 years, since SD moved here. I ask DH to use the word "We" instead of "I" from now on, concerning any Skids or Sgrandkids. I don't have to be called "Grandma" or be included in any family gatherings, that I don't want to attend. All I ask is that DH treat me like his spouse and show SD and SGD that DH and I are a team; especially when it comes to giving donations to the Gkids. He agreed that he would be more mindful.

I do not believe I'm being too snarky about the words "We" and "I". I noted to DH that never have I used the word "I" to my family or friends, when referring to us. I've always included DH and I always use the word "We", especially to DH's family and kids. DH has always been included in my conversations and actions.

I know this is the bottom root of our problems in the past year; SD and SGD are trying to single DH out away from me. I told DH as much and he seems to understand; we'll see how he handles it from here.

I read here and believe that disengagement can be civil and that a couple should be recognized as a couple. There is nothing to gain by these women, SD56 and SGD31 playing these games; except to be rude to me, I understand that part.

sandye21's picture

Sammi, This has been the problem of many SMs on this site, that our DH's do not say "WE" enough. This is NOT a minor request. Saying "We" instead of "I" demonstrates to the skids that we are united, that our marriage is valuable to us. It is a sign of respect. Yes, your SD and SGD have been trying to single DH away from you, but DH is also playing into it by saying "I" which means you had no part in it. Can you imagine this scenario in another circumstance? For example, you and your Sister split the cost of a gift to your Father. It would be extremely rude if you did not acknowledge that your Sister had contributed. I am glad your DH seems to understand.

Your SGD was rude and small. No surprise. It WAS clearly meant as a slap to your existence. But it is also a sign that she is very threatened by the fact that your DH remains with you despite all of her efforts to exclude you.

sammigirl's picture

This is exactly what I was trying to get across in my post. We are united and love each other very much. I just want our life and marriage to be without drama. These two women are so, so jealous; they never stop trying to make trouble for us.

Of course DH loves all of his kids and grandkids, as it should be; I have never expected him to choose me over them; all I want is for us to have our privacy and we always make time for the skids and grandkids; they have been the center of our lives for 36 years; I have no bio children.

SD and SGD are very controlling and want to control everyone's lives around them, including ours. It has never set well with me and I let it go on for 30+ years, until it became unbearable rudeness; when I disengaged, it was a total shock to everyone.

Thank you for understanding what I met with this post. Thank you for your support.

sammigirl's picture

Good advice.

One of the boundaries we set, when DH and I revamped our relationship; "We will show respect. We give respect, therefore we expect respect".

I don't insist that he uses the word "we", I should have noted that I suggested that it may stop the games, if he used the word "we". With that said, DH has been doing very well in regards to SD56 and SGD31. He tells me he has had some words with them, and you can tell he did so, by their hostility towards me. I didn't ask what DH's conversation was with them, as long as they are civil and discontinue the rudeness; which by the way they have not.

It has went fairly smooth for the past year; but these two women will never stop, nor will they leave us alone. We leave them alone and I do not engage with them at all. I have to be around them only in emergency situations; which DH was in the hospital a couple of times. I was civil on both occasions.

There are weeks I don't even think about them (SD56 lives less than one block). They just like to rock the boat now and then. I do not respond, such as the Thank You note. I don't expect them to engage with me, but they could say Thank You to us jointly, when it comes to the SGGKids deposits to their savings and donations to their sports events. Our $$$ are jointly and we do this for the grandkids, because it is an easy way to give gifts and it builds up for them later.

DH doesn't expect me to engage with these women; he knows there is too much water under the bridge to go back. You brought a smile to my face when you talked about changing my DH. There is no changing my DH and I wouldn't even attempt, because it would be wasting my time, after 36 years.

You are also correct that SGD is retaliating; she is extremely spoiled and makes all the calls. I initiated the disengagement 7 years ago; she will never get over the fact that she didn't think of it first. Lol...

Thank you for reminding me that my DH plays a big part in these women's actions. I believe this is why, every now and then, I remind him that they are continuing to play the passive aggressive games.

sandye21's picture

This describes exactly what I went through with SD and DH. I can remember one time when I said something that didn't quite agree with DH while SD was present. He turned to her with that 'special' look like I was too stupid to grasp what he was talking about and uttered, "It's only temporary." For 20 years this 'buddy' relationship continued with me always being on the fringe. I was used as a scapegoat for everything from the divorce which occurred before I met DH to just being in the room when they wanted to connect and have sideline conversations. This occurred because my DH "never solidified your place in the family."

I sometimes wonder if men remarry in hopes of creating the warm, fuzzy, family environment they were hoping to maintain with the BM, When they find that their new bride doesn't fit into that dream, and the skids don't accept her, our DHs are disappointed that their plans fell through. It's easier to attack someone who is trying to please than someone who is prepared for the attack.

Like you, I became overly-saturated and reached my breaking point. Once that happens there is no returning to business as usual. I have a certain amount of compassion for DH whose DD has emotionally deserted him, but too many bridges have been burned to go back and fix things as they should have been a long time ago.

Your post prompted me to ask DH, "If you could have done anything differently when we first got married, what would it have been?" He answered, "I would have respected you more and told you I loved you more often."

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Sammie, your stepgranddaughter took a swipe at you and got to you. Time to reinforce your level of disengagement.

sammigirl's picture

Oh yes, I have to continually reinforce my level of disengagement. I keep thinking they will get the hint and leave us alone.

They can visit with DH anytime, and I can do without the aggression.

catsmom01's picture

YES!!! My boyfriend does this. If we are out riding bikes or hiking, and his battleaxe mother calls or his daughter calls and they ask what he's up to, he says "I am out hiking" or "I'm riding my bike." Like I'm not there with him. It pissed me off big time, and I corrected him on it. He's "trying to make both sides happy" know...keeping THEM happy by going along with the game that I don't exist. Uhm...yeah...I call bullsh*t on that one.

Sammi, do you think you're going to have to disengage from your SGGD13? Not be included on the gift giving to her?

sammigirl's picture

I don't understand why men don't realize they can have it all, if they would just stand up for both their spouse and their children. Common sense dictates this, as it occurs; but it's like WOW! they can't think straight.

The gift giving to the SGGkids is deposits into their savings accounts only. We send a card and let them know we deposited into their savings accounts. When they graduate and need the money, they can ask and it will be theirs; no big deal. It's just an easy way to gift; we don't live close enough to them to know what to buy anyway.

As for disengagement from the SGGkids; We don't even see them enough to be engaged and I really don't want to be too close, therefore, I don't have to disengage. The parent in this case, SGD31 is the problem. We have five great-grandchildren, they all live in a neighboring State. SGD31 has two and SGS37 has three. It has not been a problem with the GGkids; but SGD31 has already disengaged the girls in regards to myself, I'm sure, which doesn't really bother me. I want a healthy relationship with them for DH's sake; it is easy to just let the SGGkids form their own opinion. SD56 and SGD31 have tried every way to keep the drama in high gear; DH knows; the three GGkids, with SGS37, are disengaged from their grandmother (SD56) anyway, for other $$$ reasons, which has nothing to do with me. This is why it is better to let the SGGkids form their own opinions. They will learn as the three from SGS have learned, they are older.

That's why I stated in this post about SGD31 and SD56 (mother/daughter) trying to alienate me, because it's not fair to children; but it is what it is, and DH lets it go on; DH thinks it will just go away or heal itself. I just stand my ground and work with it as it comes around.

Thanks for your input.

catsmom01's picture I getting this right...The SD who you're disengaged from has grandchildren who don't have anything to do with her? Wow. You'd think she'd look around and see that maybe she's the problem. Nah...won't happen.

My boyfriend is going through b.s. with his daughter now...he won't give her $9,000 so she's alienating her child from him to punish him.

sammigirl's picture

Yes, you got it right. It all was over $$$$. SD56 set up savings accounts for her grandkids (our GGkids) years ago. I posted on this last December.

At graduation, for two of the grandkids, she refused to give them the money, like she earmarked it for, to them years ago. We had also deposited into these accounts for them. I said nothing; I did tell DH that SD56 closed the accounts. When I went to the bank to deposit Christmas $$$$, into the accounts for ALL of the GGkids, three of the accounts (SD's son's children) had been closed, and SD56 put the money in a sub-account in her name(she says). Like I said, those accounts had $$$$ that we had deposited over the years. So at this point I turned the problem over to DH, so I wouldn't get the blame for upsetting SD56 over opening of three new accounts.

I opened three "new" accounts for the GGkids. Long story short, SD56's son (parent of GGkids) told the kids they had to ask SD56 for the $$$ when graduation came and she didn't give it to them. When they requested the $$$, SD56 said "No, you probably got enough $$$ for graduation, from everyone else".

My bet is, she spent it last Christmas on her daughter's (our SGD31) girls, because SD56 had just quit her job (third job in one year). As usual, DH didn't say a word; we just opened new accounts for the three and earmarked them for their first home purchase and let them know that is what it will be. They have no problem with that; but they know that SD56 kept their other $$$$; they also know that we had deposited too. So SD56 SH*#T in her nest. Her Son, (SGS37) and his family have disengaged from their own Mom/Grandmother, all over money.

Your BF will never regret making his daughter stand on her own two feet. Your SD might withhold the child now, but if BF ignores it, SD will come around soon enough. I don't play those head games and my SD56 does play them; now she is on the losing side. Good or your BF.

I am not involved, but I am enjoying KARMA's visit. }:)

still learning's picture

DH will do a version of this. If one of the ss's call and we're out w/my kids he'll say that "still learning and I are out doing _____." DH is not allowed to do anything with or have any affection for my children as a stepfather even though ss26 himself is a SF too. It's too upsetting for his 31 and 26 yr old kidults to have their father paying attention to my children. But DH plays the game w/them so whatever.

sammigirl's picture

The real problem solver here is so darn simple! If everyone is included, it makes life more fun.

Why is this so difficult to understand. If my DH slips up, once in a blue moon, and includes me; I feel like he really respects me and I know it shows, in how I treat him.

If a person is treated with respect and everyone is civil, all of these actions are positive. :jawdrop: