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Hardest part

Mrs. December's picture

The hardest part about disengaging is if you're 100% going to disengage you get NO opinion on when kids around, who kids with during DHs time etc.  How fan I say I think SS13 should only be going hunting with so and so & not such and such.....DH decides. Period.  Sucks if you truly want the best.  I guess disengaging is supposed to also mean you really don't care at all if the kid is on or not......

CANYOUHELP's picture

There's no way to totally disengage unless you divorce. It is not a perfect situation in any marriage to disengage.  But as the poster above pointed out, it is for your own sanity. We are forced to become our own protectors.  Disengaging does reduce the anxiety. It is for you to take back control of your own time, your resources and your emotions. It is far from the perfect solution; but it is the best alternative for many, I believe. I know it is for me. My life and marriage are much better since I removed myself from expecting to be included. As time passes,  it gets even easier, and the momentary anxiety decreases.

Stepmommadrama19's picture

I am just beginning to disengage, and that has created a "silence" and awkward tension between me and my SS. He is 16, we just got full custody of him in March. I have been around for 7 years and we have one biological son together - he's 5. Having the SS was great at first, but then the honeymoon phase wore off and true colors come out, he's taking out his anger for the fact that his mom "punished" him for the way he was acting at her house, by sending him to ours. He's angry about their divorce (still) and he just hates me, probably always will. I'm just wondering if this is worth it. Bio mom said he can come back home, but, she refuses to invest the money to reverse the custody order. I am sure that we are a better place for him IF we can get passed our differences, but SS wants to go back to his mom so desperately that I'm not sure we ever will. I paid for the custody switch, and have been financing every single problem the bio mom has created since we've been married, and I'm fed up. So, at the point of this disengaging, do I just let the cards fall as they may, and try to figure out how to live in this turmoil? I also have a 16 yr old daughter from my prior marriage, and she is miserable w/ her Step brother living with us as well.

justmakingthebest's picture

You can still say "DH, I feel strongly about XYZ". If he argues or pushes back, just simply state, "I am telling you how I feel, do with it what you want. I am not the parent, but I wanted you to know."- then leave the conversation.

Evil3's picture

I disengaged, but still required DH to warn me about when SD30 was going to be at our house. I told him that life for me changes drastically when she's present, so I NEED for him to tell me whenever she's going to be there. DH did tell me every time after that and I was still disengaged. Hell, I was more than disengaged. I shunned the bitch right back. So, you certainly can be disengaged while still being informed of who will be present in YOUR household. You are a valid member of your household, so you will be informed (warned) of who will be in your home.

RAJ C's picture

I think you always get a say on when he is around and who he hangs around with at your home. Specially if DH is not around at that time and/or fails to uphold basic rules at home.

For things like deciding if he should go on a trip, and things that do not happen at your home as long as they are not creating a financial burden on your household then you are right and you do not get a say in those decisions (I would even abvoid giving my opinion unless specifically asked for it).

As you say, if you still have the kids best interest in mind then it is really hard not to be involved. Most of us disengage when we see that our efforts go unappreciated and usually we are undermined by our SO and the help we give him/her with stepkids (usually the kids behavior is not the trigger to dissengage but the lack of parenting by SO) and therefore we may still have the kids best interest but not the energy or will to help out. 

Rags's picture

Disengagement does not mean you abdicate control in YOUR home.  In fact, disengagement, if done with confidence and boundaries, gives you more control because you can just boot the toxic spawn out of your home and tell SO that if he can't keep his spawn under control they are not welcome in YOUR home.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Mrs. December's picture

DH has primary residency, however doesn't enforce it, problem being let SS13 be with BM most of the summer & fall, not made to come to our tortuous house with his tiny (50 inch) tv in his room, unacceptable!!  I posted about an incident a while ago...Anyhow he's adopted BMs feelings against me....he was supposed to come over tonight, the first in months....but sends DH an extensive text about "I want to come to your house, but your wife shouldn't make comments all the time)......blah, blah ,blah...."I'll come over, but if she says anything I'm leaving!)     Ok, if you saw my other post....I make certain to be disengaged from both SKs and say absolutely NOTHING!  DH knows it, sees it & agrees, I'm silent.  DH texts back after a much longer text than I repeated, but you get the point...DH texts...."don't bother"   Holy F**k!  I couldn't believe he actually said that to his baby boy!!  It felt so nice for him to stand up for me & show the spoiled brat he doesn't run the world!!   Points for DH.  Bad doesn't take away the fact DH misses the kid.

DAWNMARIE1227's picture

I've  pretty much disengaged, but seem to get  roped back  in fairly regularly  by DH. It is as if  I try to make boundaries  and these people  will push and push every limit there is to them.

It's  been 10 very long years and SS 19, I am successfully disengaged from  SS 14 lives with us but barely  speaks a word to me if DH isn't  around.

I've  learned DH cannot maintain a proper boundary with his ex wife if his life depended on it. He feels stuck between a rock and a hard place ge says. She plays the helpless victim at every turn  so either he does everything or he chases the things she agreed to do and F's up. This is her way of inserting herself into his life and keeping herself relevant.  I can almost predict her next scummy move In any given situation.

Disengaging is hard too, as he feels I am not supportive enough  but this has brought me to the brink  of losing my sanity. If he is gonna guilts trip me, I need to let go of a man I is a double edge sword. 

These skids  suck. They just do. One is a habitual liar  and the other acts like he is about 7 instead of near 15. Annoying AF. his ex ,( at 41 years old, )can't  keep a job, can't keep an apartment or house or car. You all gotta see this woman. She truly believes she is gods gift.  

I am in the process of just letting things go as the exhaustion is overwhelming.  I can't  even stand to be around this woman or the older Skid. I ALLOWED them to take a good portion of my life, time, energy, money ... I thought I was doing the right thing giving his suck skids stability and a decent life, I  clearly wasn't  and they don't  appreciate it anyway.  Now... disengaging also feels right but I know neither really will make me happy. It puts a strain on DH and I.  

He has kids, I get it. I've done all I possibly can or will do. At WHAT point is the SM ...US..WE .. at what point are we even valid in this situation? In any of it? 

I'm convinced that it is very rare that steps can endure it. If I had it all to do again, I'd run  not walk away. I thought I was a fair and reasonable  person most of my life. In this... it's so underhanded sometimes  that all goes out the window. I do not like who I've  become in this situation. 

It seems there is no real answer either than to cut losses and go.

A decade is a long time.  I can't  see it improving or it would have by now. 

We will ALWAYS  be second to the ex wife's F'd up whims.