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When SM stops reminding her DH

Serena's picture

After some attempts at being nice to my DH's DD'S I decided to pull back completely months ago.
The attitudes toward me helped me realize not to waste anymore of my time.I'm the type of person who will try but if I get bit once or twice for no apparent reason,I'm done.Like many wives I would usually remind DH of upcoming birthdays out of consideration and love for my DH.I'd include his children and grands in holiday gift giving,etc.I have stopped,disengaged and only worry about my own bio's,DH,other family members now.It has taken weight off my shoulders.I don't regret the decision to stop.It became more trouble than it was worth and an opening for other issues unfortunately.

Well,guess what happened after I stopped reminding DH?He forgot his Grandson's birthday yesterday.
Now his DD is upset with him because he forgot.The other DD scolded DH for forgetting.
DH told me she was telling him not to use excuses for forgetting and was basically verbally slapping DH's hand.DH stated he isn't worried about it but the look on his face said otherwise.I feel bad for DH.However,I can't continue to make effort towards these people by reminding him of anything in regards to his kids.Or going out of my way for them.I didn't make that decision lightly.I guess maybe I feel a bit guilty because it was a child's b-day he forgot but don't plan to start the reminding again.

DH never seemed to appreciate my effort.DH excuse making and other usual guilt Dad tactics of denial thrown at me on a regular basis was another reason I stopped.Something has changed though and it's not as bad as it used to be.He almost never discusses them with me anymore(I'm not complaining).He made a comment to me not long ago about how he didn't think he was shoving me down their throat or them down my throat.Something happened I'm not aware of.DH did not come up with it on his own because it went from extreme to almost nothing overnight.It's good it has improved but it wasn't because of anything I said.So of course now and then I wonder what brought the changes about but keep quite about it and enjoy the silence.Phone calls and conversations are rarely had with his kids unless he is away from home the past few months I've noticed too.I have posted about skid,DH situations before in the past and have suspicions they may have been seen but don't want to go into that any further on this post.

 The SD's really don't realize the wives of their Fathers a lot of times are the reason Dad remembers these dates,do they?Especially if there are many dates to remember.They know DH has a tendency to forget.A call or reminder text from them would have helped and he told DD exactly that.I believe perhaps they think DH had been remembering the dates on his own the past few years and expected that to continue?I realize they want recognition from DH not me.Now it has went back to the norm before I became involved in the reminding,gift giving process.DH forgetting or not sending gifts.That is DH's choice.They are his children.

Sometimes though, I get the impression the DD's subconsciously enjoy having reasons for anger with DH and get satisfaction from "scolding"or giving silent treatment to their Father.This bothers me despite the problems DH and I have had over skid issues.I look for retaliation on Father's Day(No call)and hope DH doesn't go fishing for sentiment or recognition the closer it comes to Father's Day.He has done this before and it is hard to see and hear.It affects his attitude at home for a few days as well when these incidents occur.

He has allowed them the upper hand for many years.Guilt trips,perpetual victim-hood,demands.I can understand the DD being hurt and disappointed DH forgot the child's birthday but why not talk with DH instead of stewing in anger?No one is perfect.DH has went out of his way the past couple of years to meet their expectations.If he says he can't do something or he forgets something they expect? All he has done not long ago seems forgotten now.It's frustating.It's like one step foward,two back with these people at times.I can see,hear DH tiring of some of DD's behaviors that have been directed at him lately.The anger and scolding directed toward DH for this or that is becoming a regular happening.I fear a blow out before the year is up.I fear a back sliding from DH which is the worst thing he could do.It will never change if he does.

What are the experiences here of SM's/Dad Wives who have chosen to stop being the event/occasion organizer and calendar for their DH's?What was the step's reaction toward their Father if or when he forgot as many men do?Did it spill over to you from either DH's or his kids?I've read on here problems escalate before they get better during disengagement from SD's in particular.I'm curious because I can't see myself re-engaging past being civil during occasional visits here.It would bring too much drama I don't need in my life to do other wise.Sorry so long...

Orange County Ca's picture

Reminding your husband that his grandkids birthday is coming up by putting that date on a family calendar and bringing it forward every year caused you some sort of problem?

twopines's picture

I don't remind DH of his kids' or grandkid's birthdays. If it's important to him, he'll remember. Or put it on his calendar himself.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

I think you should remind DH about grandkids birthdays. Sadly, they are collateral damage in the world of ASK's. But I wouldn't buy anything for the SD under any circumstances. As I figured it out, and it took awhile, DH should know when SD was born as he had a part in it. Since the twit has been so vicious towards me, I don't bother with her, I don't let her get away with insulting me by putting a polite, CALM (and I find that is the key) unemotional stop to it, and I don't rise to her baiting.

As I told my DH this summer, she is HIS responsibility, not mine. Now DH is finding out what a pain in the arse she really is.

twopines's picture

Yea really. No chance of DH ever forgetting SD27's coming-out-of-the-vagina date, because the texts start 2 months beforehand. And yes, zero impact. Wtf do I care when she came out.

hereiam's picture

I only cared about the year so I would know when the ex-wife support- I mean, child support would end!!

But, ditto, SD21 is not about to take the chance that Daddy forget the day he entered "emotional blackmail hell".

Serena's picture

Yes it did.Many.Being involved in gift giving did as well.I'm wondering about the experiences other SM's have had when they disengaged from being the date keeper for their DH.Also if it brought negative consequences to their Dh's when he ultimately forgot to acknowledge birthday's,etc.If so,did their DH's deal with the fallout successfully and resolve the problem by becoming pro active keeping these days in mind themselves instead of depending on a wife to remind him?

Orange,a lot of skids resent involvement of a parents spouse with their special days or even gift giving.Sometimes it takes that involvement though for some people to remember these dates.When they (the parent)forget,it causes anger and hurt feelings.My DH doesn't have the greatest long-term memory.

Serena's picture

I plug birthday reminders into my DH's phone for him. I do this for everyone though. Not just Skids.

Same here on my own phone not DH's.

Mindygirl1's picture

I figure it this way.. My step children do not remember my birthday, do not give me any personal gifts, give their dad photos of the grandchildren as a gift in the ugliest frames you have ever seen for Christmas...ONLY get together with us when they want us to buy them all a dinner at a nice expensive restaurant etc... why should I care about reminding their dad of their birthdays. He is a grown man and if he thinks that is important then put it on his fancy phone he carries...The older I get I realize it is all about surrounding yourself with people that really care about you.. Been there, done that trying to get these stepkids to act like nice people. No longer care anymore. They are adults and can act anyway they want to. I just don't have to participate in the craziness...

Poodle's picture

OCC, I appreciate you think this is an unimportant and harmless duty for a woman to undertake in her man's life and shouldn't be complained of, but you are rather missing the point. It's women who make the social fabric that ties kin together, women who celebrate birthdays, remember thank you letters, hold parties, and so forth. You can say this is a sexist situation and try to train men to become more caring and memorious, or you can say it's simply to be applauded as in everyone's genes, but what you can't do I'm afraid is suggest that it's not a big deal. Without women doing these little communication jobs throughout the history of families and cultures, men would be nowhere emotionally. They would ultimately lose their sense of belonging, intimacy, even community.

Then there is the pretence of it all, which is getting so-o-oh tired-looking to the modern woman. Those guys who would rush out late on the last night to buy characterless Christmas presents at the last minute or forget their mothers' anniversaries are endlessly shored up and protected from the consequences of their acts by wives. Now normally wives might not have minded this in the past because they were not the family breadwinners so they devoted themselves to home and family making, and even today wives might not mind doing this sort of thing for their own children or extended family whom they love, protecting their husbands from hurting the feelings of loved ones by their neglect and being better loved by the loved ones in return, because this builds bonds. But in a step family -- or even a modern nuclear family -- women are just not going to protect men from their own neglectfulness in this way for many decades longer. I believe that it's not just stepfamilies where this disengagement from the fake facilitating role is happening. For example, long before I was hurt by being a SM I was objecting in my mind to caretaking the relationship between DH and his mother by remembering her dates for him. I'm not his secretary, I earn more than him, I do more about the house than him, I'm more involved with the children, and I'm not going to do even more emotional work and continue to protect him from the consequences of his neglect of his mother just because I'm his wife. I do think it's time for the modern man to get a bit of a wakeup call on this subject and stop treating it as a trivial, almost humorous matter.

Serena, my experience was this. I kept the dates for my adult skids til this year, after this history. I stopped giving them separate presents as kids in the early years when I realised they were not even acknowledging the gifts. I then simply had DH put my name on the tag alongside his. I was still picking many of the gifts though. I replaced my own gifts with smaller gifts which I got my sons to wrap and give the skids, in order to continue to forge a half-sibling bond between them all. There was only once or twice reciprocation, but I didn't let that bug me. There was equally rare reciprocation from them to DH for his presents. After a big scene made by OSD when she was 16, after which I disengaged from her, and she didn't come to our home for a few years, I did not do even this sibling gifting for her. This year I have decided to completely stop it with my other two adult skids with whom I am cordial but as part of a process of detaching so that my OSD cannot use her 2 sibs to influence my two children.

I don't think my DH needed much reminding about the skids but in the last couple of years gifts are usually money and therefore I have discussed with him the amount to be given and have had my name attributed on the bank transfers. I have decided not to do even that this year but simply watch the bank account and see that the amount is acceptable (it goes out to their names under an online banking system). If nothing appears to go out, so much for him. He can explain himself to them, not my issue.

The effect in my case is nil. DH and his children are so mutually neglectful that my role in trying to facilitate things turns out to have been a complete waste of space. So, I've reduced my emotional workload and there is no price to pay. The effect regarding the in-laws is a little significant, in that I know they hold it against me that I do not perform the role of communication facilitator and see it as my wifely job. They resent me for allowing their darling prince to be seen in all his warty reality for the serial neglecter he is. In fact, this does not actually impact on me since, if they bitch, it will only be to my SIL and Skids whose opinions I am not really interested in anyway.

I think it is actually useful if in a marriage a DH does get affected by your disengaging from this job; negative effects are probably better for the time being than no effect; as at least that leads to discussion and hopefully positive working on problems between the couple.

shes driving me crazy in my retirement's picture

I agree. We women are usually the social center of the home and hearth. We take care of the social calendar, holidays, etc.

But I also agree with Poodle. When SD stops respecting and starts just expecting things that I do, well that doesn't go over well. Especially as she has gripped in the past that her father doesn't remember things. New me says, not my problem

Since SD has declared war on me I see no reason to bother with her. I take care of my DH, my own daughter and my relatives. But I still remember my Step grandkids. They are young adults and we get along quite famously, and even my SSIL. As for SD, she is DH's problem. If he forgets, as he recently did, don't look to me. She is not my problem and I refuse to do anything nice for someone who treats me like trash.

Yes, this has already caused problems, but too bad. I remember those I care about and who care about me. I no longer pander to a twit who has some kind of vendetta to grind against me.

hippiegirl's picture you had it right the first time. Ex-wife support just about sums it up. You will do a happy dance when that day comes, trust me. I love that my DH's money can now stay where it belongs.

OP....I couldn't tell you when my skids birthdays are. Don't really care. It's liberating, isn't it? Smile

cpreston's picture

wow, my step-daughter actually gives us a calendar every year for Christmas, it has EVERYONE's birthdays, anniversaries, dates of death... she's really good like that and I am truly grateful, because I am horrible at remembering dates

(though I wish she'd leave her Mom's family stuff off of it, I know it's to remind her brother, even though he could care less and doesn't pick up the phone to call his only surviving grandparent on her birthday!)

sandye21's picture

Whay is your DH expecting you to do stockings for his kids? He can do it himself just a easy as you can.

Mindygirl1's picture

The last get together we had for a birthday my hubby and I were informed WHERE we were to meet the skids for 1 of their birthdays. Of course it was at an expensive restaurant..I mean really... they don't normally go to these type eateries when they are paying for it. My skids barely spoke to my fact sat around giving them the stink eye...Did I mention I was paying for this meal? Barely spoke to me and basically grunted replies. Ordered an adult meal for a 1 year child - so they could take it home for later - WTH.... Then gave their Dad a big hug and said thank you...not even looking my way. Well I can tell you one thing, we have not been out for a birthday dinner with the skids since. Don't give a rats ass and cannot even tell you when their birthdays are. All erased from memory. If you can get to the point of will see how wonderful it feels...