You are here

The Consequences of my Disengagement

Disillusioned's picture

About a year and a half ago I made the decision to disengage from YSD

Her behaviour towards me showed me time and time again that she did not value the relationship with me, did not really seem to want me in her life or that of her family and I really feel she would be so much happier if I weren't in DH's life easier

Her decision to accept me or not, but after 23 years of being in her life I figure she probably isn't going to change her mind about it LOL

Regardless, I will always respect someone's choice to not want to be around me or certainly as little as possible

DH knows how I feel and he stopped fighting me on it for the most part

I've always told DH that she's his daughter and just because I no longer want to participate in phone or video calls which only left me feeling humiliated, excluded and disrepected she's still his daughter and there is no reason he can't continue with the calls without me

Instead DH stopped phoning, as much. 

So now there are quite long lapses inbetween the phone calls with him and YSD, for the first time ever

Now that DH isn't phoning her every week, there is no real contact as she doesn't bother to call him. 

She has also stopped sending the constant pics of the sgkids as she used to regularly

She's always pretty much ignored anything I posted on FB. When I stopped responding to hers she went up and down for a while sometimes commenting or reacting and other times not. Most comments seemed to be only a way to compliment or include other words another avenue to try to exclude and/or humilate me I feel

But now nothing much at all from her

So, now that all the skid ass-kissing is done on my end, and less on DH's too, she seems to have walked away for the most part. 

Of course whe was in contact with us last month when she wanted to tell us what to buy sgs for his 1st birthday, but otherwise not much contact after that. DH had to phone her just to find out if the package was received and whether sgs even liked his gifts

I'm surprised she wouldn't have made more of an effort to phone her own father!

The relationship between SD's and me have always been one-sided for the most part, with me falling over backwards trying to develop bonds with them and them only responding in the most passive ways. And rarely ever going out of their way in any way to show me that I actually matter. On the occasions YSD had done that in the past, I figured it was drama and not to believe it. Didn't listen to myself then and got hurt far too many times. Now, I'm just tired of so much effort just to feel kicked in the teeth all the time

But I do feel bad for DH that it seems his relationships with them too have been one-sided, and in the case of OSD, many conditions and ultamatums part of that Sad

I honestly think DH regrets ever having children! 

The whole situation with them hurts him, embarrasses him, and makes him feel dissappointed and angry. 

So sad!



tog redux's picture

Your last sentence is my DH too - SS21 is such a disappointing embarrassment to him.  SS is pleasant to me, but we have virtually no relationship beyond the superficial, nor does he with DH.

Good for you for stepping back.

JRI's picture

Its sad that your DH's relationship with SD isn't warmer but it's not your fault.  You did everything possible with little response from her.  Don't worry, you'll still hear from her, Christmas is coming and she'll let you know what to get the GS.  I've been there and done that with the SKs and SGKs and now the GSGKs.  It's actually easier on everybody that I'm somewhat detached.  It is what it is.

caninelover's picture

Same here...though the reasons may be different.  Bratty McBratFace SD24 has a Nutter GF to occupy her time.  So now the phone calls have gone down to once every 3-4 months.  And Bratty is the one who wants to get off the phone after an hour when before she would drag the out to 2 or 3 hours.

I still see her on family zoom calls but they have gone down to once a month so no biggie.

Life is much more peaceful which is all I ever wanted.

Good luck Andi hope your peace continues as well.

Mamabearof3's picture

She's old enough to reach out to her dad if she wants to talk. Most people my age are excepted to call their parents not vice versa. I'm sorry your SD is so difficult. Seems sad for everyone involved. Especially your DH. 

Disillusioned's picture

Thanks Mamabear, I so agree with what you say. By her age - and much younger - I called my parents, every single week. And I'm also a child of divorce so unlike my SD's, that is not an excuse. I talked to my SF as much as my bio parents. It's called maturity. Respect. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I always enjoy your posts, Disillusion. You are a kind, thoughtful, considerate person - no wonder your SIL and SDs hate you!

You describe what's essentially a factory reset on your DH's relationship with his female relatives, and the same happened in my situation. Without us as a target or rival, Dad/Brother doesn't seem so shiny or desirable any more. Boo hoo.

THIS is the true and authentic relationship between them, and it has nothing to do with us.

Disillusioned's picture

Wow, as always Exjulie you are so dead on. I do agree that once they see the "competition" as not participating they suddently lose interest in proving their special relationships with our DH's!


Rags's picture

Excluding toxic is always a good choice IMHO.

That your DH is excluding it as well is a great choice.  Bravo to both of you.

Birchclimber's picture

I had to check to see who wrote this!  I thought that it could have been one of MY past posts. 

EVERY part of this, I can relate to, with one exception.  My SD's seldom to never call my DH.  Never have since the day we got married.  They only started calling more consistantly in the last couple of years when their marriages fell apart and they needed to whine about money, lawyer's fees, housing and bills etc.  When we didn't send over any cash-on-demand to help them out financially, the calls became scarce again.  Of course, this is all his fault according to them, because he's the one who needs to be "maintaining" the relationship.

But the part about "falling over backwards...etc.", that's me!  I send out the birthday cards, entertain them for a weekend, all expenses paid and so on.  No reciprocation. I  have yet to recieve a birthday card from YSD and the SGKs.  They also stopped sending my DH birthday cards.  Father's day cards have been irregular, at best.  None that I can recall, in the last few years.

Oh, how I hate living in this disfunction!  You seem to be handling it better than me.  Kudos on your disengagement.  I need to be more assertive in mine, but I always fear that if I disengage, they will use the lack of my presence as an opening to manipulate my DH into doing things that will make them happy, but him miserable.  Then I HAVE to live with those consequences!  I always feel as though you can't present as a United Front if one of you isn't there to support the other. 

Disillusioned's picture

Wow Birchclimber, yes our situations do sound very similar.So sad after all your years of falling over backwards to be treated that way. It just seems to be such a common theme in the step situation. I don't get it. I really truly don't. I loved my Mom and my late Dad and my late Step-Dad and honestly viewed my step-Dad as a wonderful addition to my family circle. We were close. I tried to treat my SD's the way my SF reated my siblings and I. Yet it didn't work for me. But then again, I was never raised to be nor allowed to act entitled. DH and BM totally allowed SD's to be entitled victims. There were no victims in my family. We were all expected to be mature, contributing, decent human beings. And to treat our elders which included both parents and step-parent, with nothing but respect. 

SacrificialLamb's picture

My SDs could tell when I disengaged; they started putting out bait to see if I would bite.  When they realized I wasn't biting, they didn't really care and just rode off into the sunset.  I wasn't important to them anyway, and when they saw I wasn't willing to be their play thing anymore, it was no longer fun.  My DH talks to YSD maybe once a month and OSD every 3 months. I know his DDs blame it on me, but DH and I both know I was the one that was for inclusion, not division.

Disillusioned's picture

Good for you Sacrificial...and that's always the way it goes, isn't it? They treat the kind SM like crap, the SM gets fed up and walks away from all their bad energy, DH follows to some extent and then they blame their SM although really it was them all along!

Ki2619's picture

That is definitely his choice and his problem.  You did what needed to be done.  You stopped forcing yourself with the YSD because that's what she wanted.  I recently did the same.  She is 12 but has zero relationship with either of her parents.  I tried for years and I'm just not doing it anymore.  It's stressful and probably causes you anxiety to try so hard and get zero respect.  It's so sad, but you tried.  

Disillusioned's picture

I think YSD is mostly angry about it. I'm always polite and upbeat on the rare occasion there is any conversation so she can't make any accusations like her sister liked to do at one time

But the fact that DH has stopped calling her non-stop and kissing her ass like he used to probably really irks her and I'm sure she blames me

She continues with very little contact, and now other than a quick call to DH on the afternoon of his birthday nothing much

On the rare occasion I have to say a couple words to her, I'm totally happy positive polite and deliberately oblivious to even the remotest chance there could be any problem at all LOL

Sometimes, when you give someone exactly what they "want" it's the best thing you can do Smile

BobbyDazzler's picture

Wow!  Pure passive aggressive BS!  Sounds like it's exhausting for her to be so kind and thoughtful while being spiteful and deliberate all at the same time!    I disengaged from my Oldest SS a few years back and it's a freeing feeling!  The problem is, my lack of involvement with SS and his wife/kids is a thorn in my DH's side. TFB, he doesn't even bother with them. The relationship between DH and the OSS is very odd (I find it odd anyway).  DH doesn't do anything with this son unless i'm involved somehow (holiday dinners, occasional BBQ at our house).  DH went to OSS house last weekend to see their new camper (I didn't go) and in one little visit, DH acts like they're close as can be.  The OSS rarely contacts DH unless he needs something.  It's an odd dynamic that will never change so I go on with my life.

IHeartCows's picture

I also recently disengaged from all 3 SD.  Only one was raised in my house, but now that she's 20 still spying, lying, and gaslighting...I'm done.  It is freeing.  My theory is they don't feel I'm family anyway.  

CLove's picture

Im fully disengaged with Sd22 Feral Forger and slowly getting more and more disengaged with SD15 Backstabber/Munchkin.

It hurts with SD15, as I was more involved with her life over a longer period.

Disillusioned's picture

That's too bad Clove, I know you tired. But probably for the best and hopefully in time it will be freeing for you 

ChiMom's picture

Hello. My SD is 17 and hates my guts. I have tried everything since she was 9. She now lives with us and treats me and my son (6 her brother) like crap. I try to be kind, loving, attentive (but not too much) and am met with hate. I think I have to disengage but how do I do that when she lives in the same home? 

Rags's picture

Why would you even try to be kind, loving, and attentive?  She has not earned those benefits with her behavior. Quit rewarding her for being toxic.

Zero tolerance, total instant confrontation of her crap, deliver a state of escalating abject misery when she treats you and  your child like crap.  Make the public and instant baring of her ass your main tactic when she gets nasty. Disengagement does not mean tolarance of toxicity.  Disengagement means, do not cook for her, clean for her, buy her food, or tolerate her toxic presence.  Daddy has a choice, discipline his failed family progeny, or she can GTFO of your home.

Disillusioned's picture

I agree with Rags. You shouldn't have to put up with hateful treatment, in your own home and from a teenager not to mention. If she's rude and disrespectful you have every right to say something to her and put her in her place. Doesn't have to be a big confrontation and blow out, but make it clear you will not tolerate for one moment any disrespect.