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I could use your thoughts

sammigirl's picture

First, I have discussed many times and still discuss the manipulation of my adult SD57 and SGD33 (mother/daughter).

I want to be above my SD57 and SGD33, stay disengaged, but think it is time to take a positive step forward, for us (DH and I). DH is trying very hard with our marriage, in the past year especially, since we've moved. DH has not pushed any relationship with SD nor SGD and their families; he has not said a word, but has shown me he understands my disengagement. DH has accepted my disengagement much better than I every thought possible.

Now SGD33 is having Thanksgiving dinner at her home, near us (5 miles), and OSS and DIL are doing all the cooking and work. I get along well with OSS and DIL. DH wants me to go with him for Thanksgiving dinner. I have not replied to DH's invitation, nor have we discussed it. Of course SD57 and SIL will also be there. I do not care to go, but I know DH wants me to go with him, I seriously don't care one way or another.

I am torn between standing strong on my disengagement, which I intend to do; but I do not want DH to feel like I am not working at our marriage; he doesn't drive any more either. I know his kids would come and pick him up and would bring him home; which is fine, that is not a problem.

DH is totally a gentleman to my family and friends when they pop in or I invite them to our home. Of course they treat him well and DH enjoys my family. There has always been respect and warmness between DH and my family. Now that we live closer, my family and friends are in and out of our home often, I feel DH deserves a few hours of my cooperation Thanksgiving.

Should I go with him and be above the past with my SD and SGD, enjoy the visit with OSS and DIL, and enjoy giving DH his time with his family, with me at his side? SD and SGD are very aware of my disengagement. They are allowed in our home to visit DH at any time; with that said I do not engage with them at all, I am civil, but I do not hostess and never will. I am beyond caring, so I feel nothing towards these two women.

With this question: I have not even uttered a word yet. I will not make a decision until a few days prior to dinner. I just need some honest input from you here on Steptalk. I know my situation has improved. I'm thinking I can put myself above SD and SGD; of course I have no intentions of ever putting my guard down on my disengagement, or any future engagement with them. I am much stronger now too, because of you here.

I will not forget that DH caused the entire problem to begin with, when he betrayed me to SD; although, I do not care now what they discuss, nor will I ever trust them. I have hashed all the betrayal and mistrust out with DH, it has taken 4 years, and am feeling it is time to move forward with us on this. I will tell you, I don't expect DH to have my back, but if he abides by my boundaries, as he seems to be doing in the past year, I will handle it.

I have discussed this with a friend; she is supportive with any decision I make. She has given me some thoughts and good advice. I will always be here on Steptalk, because I wouldn't be where I am now, without coming here daily for new ideas and great advice.

What are your true thoughts?

Veritas's picture

Sammigirl, I am in somewhat of a similar family situation so I can clearly see the options you have laid out. Obviously, I can only tell you what I would do in this know what is best for you.

I do nothing on behalf of my DH anymore. He and I have come to a place of friendship but he knows how I feel about his son. In your scenario, I would not go just to make my DH happy. I would not see it as a necessity to either his or my happiness.

Why does he want you there when he knows what you have suffered at the hands of his daughter? Giving in, and that is how I see it, would never be an option in my case. My DH could get happy in the same pants he got mad. I had too many years where I was the one that had to compromise, to get along, to be the bigger if the weight of the success of all this depended on me solely. How crazy is that?

I know by how you worded your post that you are weighing the pros and cons to going. You are also trying to decide who should be happy by this decision, meaning you or DH. I would say your DH has to find his own path to being happy and it has nothing to do with whether or not you go to a dinner. You going just to make him happy is putting yourself second. While there are situations where I would gladly do that, there will never be one that includes a skid.

I know that you will get this figured out based on what is best for you Smile

sammigirl's picture

Veritas: Oh, I am not attending to make my DH happy; if I go it is for my mental wellness. I guess I am actually trying to get over the hate that engulfed me for 3 years. I feel I am past the hate and want to be by my husband's side for Thanksgiving. I have not made the decision yet, although I have discussed it with DH, as of this morning. We are doing very well and DH totally understands my reasons for my disengagement; he does not expect me to engage with these women; there will be other people that I do well with, at this dinner. He is in no way trying to sway me on this, he made sure that I knew, they included me in the invitation.

With that said, I will never forgive or forget what we have been through. Nor will I ever go back or give any indication I will open myself up for this again. When I cut the strings, they are finished and never to be tied again. I have made this VERY clear to DH. I only compromise with DH, for my own benefit, believe me. If I do this, it will because I want to move beyond even recognizing SD and SGD's existence in the same room. It will be for myself, I will be the person happy with my decision, or I will not go, I can leave at any time; DH has been informed of these plans.

My family has invited us up the street also; I will leave and go there, if I do not like what is happening. DH is welcome to stay and his grown kids can bring him home; we are only going to be 5 miles from our home and my family dinner.

I will see how this week goes and yes, you got it; it will be what's best for me.

Thank you for your advice and I never ignore any input, believe me.

somethingwicked's picture

Reading your post I am getting the impression you are leaning towards attending ,Sammi.
If you have gotten to this point of tentative forgiveness of the past infractions but still with your guard up in the hopes of maintaining a relationship for the sake of DH and doing this will bring YOU peace and some contentment then I am happy for you. I get the impression you are testing the "blended family "waters.

I think, though ,some clarification is required so that you are certain that you ARE actually invited by SGD.
Better find out where the invitation originated if you do not have an actual written invite of an email from SGD inviting both you and her grandfather.

If SGD33 sent the invitation and included you I would go but ,as you say, keep your guard up and maintain your style of disengagement that you feel works for you.
If it was OSS and DIL furnishing an invitation it may get hairy if you show up and SGD did not expect your presence.
After all ,it is her home.

If you are hearing a verbal invitation from your DH and he vehemently confirms his adult grand daughter really is welcoming you to her pit of ..I meant holiday home and at this stage are trusting of him ( I recall his not too husband like attitude toward you when his SD and SGD started out targeting you for torture) and believe no further clarification is necessary ,I would go but be prepared to leave if the drama ramps up or SD and her daughter the hostess decide to openly snub or through passive aggressiveness or outright verbally attack you.

DH can catch a ride home with a skid because chances are he'll want to stay.
But you better make sure you are welcome and that this is not a maneuver by your DH or that OSS(not aware of the history or SD and SGD's nastiness towards you ) jumped the gun inviting you both.

sammigirl's picture

somethingwicked: Yes, I am considering attending, this is why I'm reaching out to Steptalk. I have not got to the point of forgiveness with SD; but have gotten to the point of forgiveness (not forgotten) with DH. I will not maintain a relationship with SD nor SGD, ever!!! I ignore them, when they stop by our home to visit DH. I let them visit, I can actually sit in the same room and not hear a word they are saying. That doesn't say I don't hear them, I'm not listening and cannot tell you what they said, 5 minutes after they leave. This has been a 4 year process, getting to the "I don't care" stage. I am there and this is the only reason I would be able to attend with DH. I haven't made that decision yet, although DH and I discussed it, just this morning, over coffee. We will see how the week goes.

I was included in the invitation, thru a text, which DH showed me. SGD's invitation read: "We are having Thanksgiving at our house and would like for you two to come join us. I will let you know what time. You don't need to bring anything. Love SGD." This was sent to her Grandpa (DH).

OSS and DIL are traveling from two States away and are doing the dinner totally. I get along well with them and have no problem there. They did not do any inviting. They were invited by SGD also and they offered to do the dinner.

I have NEVER had words with either SD57 nor SGD33; they are the ones that initiated the disengagement thru emails and texts to me. They are blocked from all of my social media and have been for 4 years. They know why I've blocked them, without me explaining; I never replied to any of their messages and I have always been civil, but now I just ignore them, like they don't exist, again it's taken 4 years.

Thank you for your input. It helps!

SugarSpice's picture

dear sammi, this is only my opinion, but i would attend. i would not allow my mean spirited skids to ruin my holidays. not attending would show sd and gsd that you are avoiding them. then again this is the impression you wish to give.

by the wording of the invite, it would appear you are included in the invitation. "would like for you two to come join us."

can you suspend the animosity for a short period of time? only you can decided this. if you are truly disengaged you can attend and not care at all about the skids. just be cordial.

if something happens that is an obvious affront or attack, you can leave as you are driving.

let us know what you decide and how the dinner transpires.

when we have family dinners and the skids are invited, i am cordial as the hostess. i offer food and am polite. when they all leave i can breathe a sigh of relief they are gone and dont live under my roof. this is providing they dont say anything nasty to me.

sammigirl's picture

wineisthecure: Oh, DH knows I will never host them, ever again! I have made that clear and he would never request that, because I wouldn't even explain why I said "NO". He isn't expecting me to ever accept their behavior or engage with them like before. There is no doubt in any of the family members where we all stand.

If this dinner does not go well, I will excuse myself and go to my family dinner, we were invited to, just up the street. We are all in close vicinity and DH's grown kids can bring him home, when he is ready.

DH and I discussed this, just this morning, and we agree this may be the case.

You are correct; my SD57 and SGD33 will never change, but I have changed and whether I go to dinner with DH, or not, is still in the stages of decision this next week. DH also understands I may go to my family dinner instead.

I want to work on our marriage; my DH has given it a big effort and has sincerely expressed his sorrow for our troubles, because of his DD. I am willing to accept this.

I also will never forget. I will never forgive the nasty treatment I let myself in for from SD57 for 30+ years and with that said I will never go back again.

I appreciate your thoughts and input. Thank you.

TexasPickles's picture

Sammi, I have always admired the way you handled your DH and his horrid family. I have little doubt you could make it through dinner unscathed.

But for myself, no. I have opened the disengagement door several times and it always ends with them (skids and DH) perceiving it as some kind of weakness. And then, suddenly, I'm back to square one with all the stress and hurt.

I am too wary, I guess. I would send DH to the dinner with a wonderful dessert or lovely flowers and then spend the day at home in peace. Hugs to you.

sammigirl's picture

TexasPickles: Thank you for your confidence; I sometimes wonder if I handled it all as well as it should have been handled.

Like you stated, "but for myself". It is different for every family as you well know, we all have different circumstances and different Skids that we are all dealing with here.

My SD57 now knows how strong I am. She never knew until 4 years ago. She will not even be in the same room with me alone; I intimidate her horribly, because she has never seen a cornered person come unglued, such as I did, 4 years ago, without saying a word. I was silent, just went into action, via Law Enforcement and my Attorney intact. Now she tells DH, "I don't feel comfortable around her"; so you see I have the upper hand and intend to keep it, with DH and SD.

I am taking nothing to this dinner. My SD57 could freeze in hell, before I would take her a rotten piece of meat, no flowers etc. Nice thought on your part. Lol...

The Jury is still out, on whether I go or not. DH and I discussed it just this morning and agree I will do what I want to do.

Thank you for your constructive thoughts. Smile

MurphysLaw's picture

You’re a good person Sammi, a Fair is Fair kinda gal. That’s what makes this hard...
My Vote is No, I would not go.
You KNOW these b!tches and you know DH will not stand up...

sammigirl's picture

I've not made a decision yet.

DH won't stand up for me, he hasn't ever, therefore, I don't expect it. I have informed him I will stand up for myself, if necessary, without his help; thus it may be a bit embarrassing, if I don't feel comfortable. If you read the above posts, you will understand.

DH and I discussed this dinner, over coffee this morning. We'll see how this goes. We have another invitation to my family just up the street, I can attend.

Thank you!

SacrificialLamb's picture

I am not far enough into the disengagement process that I could do this yet, but I could see someday attending an event where OSD42 is also in attendance. But it will not be an event where it is in her home, in some other way on her turf, or an event she has organized. Being histrionic, she knows how to use her leverage and expects homage to be paid to the Princess.

I would also make sure there would be plenty of other people present for me to talk to. I would politely tell her hello and that would be the extent of it.

sammigirl's picture

SacrificialLamb: It took me nearly 8 years to get where I am with my disengagement. The past 4 years have been hell. Now I am at peace with myself and that is why I'm considering attending with my DH. This is for me and my marriage. This isn't for any other reason. I want to move beyond the hate I have had for so many years. I will never forget or forgive these women; I never intend to go back. They are history.

Maybe this isn't the answer. If I decide to go, it may not give me the step forward, I am looking for; but I need to get more of this behind me. I don't care if my SD57 and SGD33 even breath. I am in the same room with these women, in our home, and they don't seem to register with me any more.

I also said, I would never go on their territory; but I have found myself making it my territory, when we have to be around each other. I named it "Alpha Female"; I am very good at marking my territory, without a word. So I don't know for sure about this yet.

DH and I discussed it just this morning, for the first time, since the invitation to us. I had a firm talk with DH and he knows I will not tolerate any further drama.

I may just go to my family up the street; it is still in the hands of the Jury, so to speak.

Thank you for your valued input. I follow your posts.

still learning's picture

I'm sure you'll be fine if you do decide to go since you're a classy mature lady, but do you really want to share space with two people who will likely be passive aggressive to you for the entire event? Are there other family/friend events (your side) that you would rather attend that (sadly) might clash w/DH's?

Would love to hear the thoughts and advice your friend gave you. I'm sure her insight would help many of us here.

sammigirl's picture

still learning: The thoughts and advice my friend gave are mostly what I've read here. Very good by the way! My friend wants me to do what I feel is good for me; which is what this is all about. She also says she could not do this at her point of disengagement. I understand that and support all of the thoughts here, for sure.

I have improved so much, thanks to you and all of the support from all of you here on Steptalk. I will never leave this site, because I could never keep up my strength without all the people here.

I feel I have shed myself of the hate and I feel this may help me work towards my marriage for myself. I don't care what DH thinks about my disengagement, I have not forgotten the pain, even though I love DH. I don't care what SD57 or SGD33 think of me. I don't care if DH and his princess's go about their lives doing whatever it is they do, to feed off of each other. This is for me! I am a different person, from 4 years ago, when this blew up; only because of this site and you supporters.

I am mature enough to do anything I choose around these people; I just do not want them stepping across the boundaries I have set for myself. There is no doubt in anyone's mind how I feel, I've made no secret of my disengagement. I have never had words with my SD nor SGD; they are the ones that initiated the social hate email, texts, etc. I blocked them immediately, 4 years ago, with no response. I am proud of the fact that I am at this point, and still retain my dignity; they cannot say the same for sure.

Yes OSS and DIL are very respectful of me and have always shown me they care about DH and I. They are traveling from a neighboring State and will be doing the cooking, their offer. I have no problem with even my SIL; he has always treated me well also.

I am still leaving it open next week. We will see how it goes. Thank You so much for your input and questions.

Cooooookies's picture

All of what wineisthecure said. Men tend to think in absolutes. 'She went to dinner, all is fine now.' Instead of seeing it as a loving act for your will be taken is all is amended and well and life can continue as status quo before the Big Event happened.

If it were me, I would have to tell my DH that he is more than welcome to go and I hope he has a wonderful time with his family. However, I will continue my disengagement. Perhaps we can have a nice meal out one night in the week and go to a movie.

Or whatever interests you might have together. This way you are standing firm on your disengagement, he gets to spend time with his family and you're acknowledging your relationship and spending quality time together.

sammigirl's picture

Cooooookies: Oh, I intend to stand on my disengagement; these women have no intentions of approaching me to be nice. We are all in agreement; there is too much water under the bridge for them to misinterpret.

If I do this, it is for my continual forward motion in my life, nothing else. This is for me, not my DH. It is for my marriage and our life, not to appease anyone else.

We discussed this, just this morning; DH knows he can do anything he desires and that I will do the same. This is understood. I want to spend Thanksgiving with my husband, this is my reason, and the only reason.

We spend a good deal of quality time together, we are retired.

The Jury is still out and I have not decided to commit myself yet.

Thank you so much for your input and it is taken well.

SugarSpice's picture

i agree with Cooooookies on this. men think that just because the skids were invited to dinner and commited no blunders that all is fine.

they dont recall these skids had scrapes with the law, demanded he divorce me and threatened me with bodily harm. i cant forget those things and no they were adults when all this happened not 6 years of age.

sammigirl's picture

It's amazing how short their memories are. My SD57 also demanded that I divorce DH and leave him with our home and "move on" (two page hate email). After 35 years of marriage, I read this (it's in writing) and my DH does nothing about it. I told DH that it would be a step in the right direction if he and SD57 would sit down, with me, and discuss the hate email she sent.

He never commented, never apologized, and still lets SD and SGD play their games. So I stepped away for good, 4 years ago. Now he thinks I'm not rational.


sammigirl's picture

Second to Everyone: Yes, you are right; I can deal with "horribly wrong" without regret. I am in charge of my emotions and have decided I will stay in charge of my disengagement. These two women are well aware of their boundaries now.

You're correct, when you state the "history and knowing the destruction they are capable of". I guess this is what I do not want to be subject to and know it may well happen. I have discussed it with DH, just this morning. We have agreed, if I do not feel comfortable, I will leave and go to my family, just up the street, to continue the day. I can gracefully just leave the room and drive off and DH agrees the kids can bring him home when he is finished visiting. I do not want to create a scene or have drama; it has never happened and I am a bigger person.

I will not begin the disengagement process over again, I will continue my disengagement and the door will not ever be opened to otherwise. I doubt I will even speak to these women, there are several other people for me to visit with. Very good advice on how to test the waters of my disengagement. I do believe I am testing myself, as I feel strong enough to be above it all.

If I had not disengaged, DH and SD would both be in jail. I had Law Enforcement and my Attorney engaged with the situation, because DH, SD, and SGD were not allowing me to disengage in calm harbor. You get my picture for sure. This is part of holding my marriage together.

I have not made a final decision yet, I'm giving it this next week. DH and I are on the same page for my reasons, so we'll see how it goes with my decision.

Thank you for your helpful smart thinking!

fairyo's picture

I know that Sammi has worked extremely hard on her marriage and to me marriage is more than the sum of its parts. Lots of people do things for the sake of the marriage that are more than just giving in to their spouses- it is far more complex than that: there may be children involved, joint properties, joint friends and even business commitments etc.
Just now my DH and I are still together because we clearly still want to be, when either of us has had enough the line will be drawn and there will be no going back. However, we still want it to work and are desperate for common ground between our respective families.I have cleared the ground for him but he still wants me to go over to his patch- so we have a very small space that is ours just now.
Sammi-I don't think you really want to go- I get this sense from you. You have worked so hard and my advice is not to let them dictate your terms. If you feel they are making steps let them come to you directly and not through DH, who you know is unreliable in these things.
I said I would meet with my skids at an upcoming concert soon, now I wish I had said no. I don't think I am going to go and this is in a neutral space; it is just because I don't think DH and I are in a big enough shared space yet and he would misinterpret my motives and confuse him.
Sammi- ask yourself what advice you would give to someone else? Is this entirely your decision? Do you really feel in control? Do you feel a gentle tug instead of a push from something inside you? If it isn't authentic then it isn't right- which is what I have told myself the past few days. I still don't know if I'm going to the concert- I have a few more days to decide, but I want it to be wholly my decision and not just because I'm responding to DH's needs.

sammigirl's picture

We do want our marriage to work.

No we are not in agreement on everything and will never be. But it can be put in the past and it takes two to make it bad and takes two to make it work. I do not want to go back on anything, especially my disengagement, and I will not. We can build from here, I believe that. I know we can come to common ground between our respective families.

I do not want to be around my SD, you are right. But I do want to be with my husband for Thanksgiving. So the Jury is still out on how it will work out.

My SD has shown some remorse, but can't help herself to revert back to the nasty woman she truly is; therefore, I draw the line on engaging with her. I can be in the same room, but I don't have to tolerate her nasty remarks; I excuse myself to the lady's room and directly shut off the remarks in the middle of her sentence. It works, and I don't show rudeness.

This IS my entire decision; DH has not pushed me and totally expects me to decline in the end. I am in control and will stay in control. What I do will be right for ME, nobody else.

DH doesn't really need me there; he enjoys his family without me. Yes, I enjoy my family without him. It isn't always about him and myself. We have no problem in that area.

Thank you for the constructive questions and input.

sammigirl's picture

Thank you wineisthecure. You get my point on separating my marriage from skids and especially the unpleasant past. I do mean exactly that. I want to work at what we have, not live in the past and destroy what we have.

This IS what I am trying to accomplish, because I want my marriage and I don't want the mistreatment I let happen for years.

sammigirl's picture

StepRightOff: I understand what you are saying. Yes, it is confusing, unless you understand every detail, which I do not expect anyone to understand. It's kind of like "not knowing what goes on behind closed doors".

My situation is a result of my doing for 30+ years. I let my SD and DH walk all over me for years; then one day, I had enough, and flat out disengaged within 24 hours. It was not the best way to do it. I have set boundaries for myself, nobody else. I have been eight years working thru the boundaries and never had cross words with my SD nor SGD (mother/daughter); I have NEVER had harsh words with them. I consider that bringing myself to their level and that isn't happening.

Now to answer your questions. I usually don't generalize, but there is one bottom line answer to your questions. This is for me and nobody else.

My marriage is not what I expected during my retirement years; DH caused the change when he betrayed me to SD for several years. SD threw DH under the bus in a two page hate email; which is in the hands of my Attorney, if ever needed. I am willing to let that all go and move forward from here, with no expectations of it being "what it used to be". So again, our marriage will be for "my benefit" from here on, for reasons I will not discuss here; with that said, I do love my DH. Point being this is my life and I've taken it back.

If I decide to be by my DH's side for Thanksgiving, which would be the purpose of my going to dinner at their home. I will not be rude, but at the same time I will not tolerate any passive aggression. I am not sure they won't be rude, but I have discussed it with DH and I will quietly leave and go to my family dinner, just up the street. DH and I have agreed on this issue. I have always handled SD and her family with grace and I am very capable of excusing myself from an unpleasant situation, without drama. They are well aware of the stage we are in our relationships. I have made it clear, I just want them to treat me with respect. They don't even have to speak to me, just no snarky remarks or passive aggression towards me. I don't expect to be part of the party and don't care. I want to spend Thanksgiving with my DH, nothing else.

I do believe a person can be in the same room, even in someone's home and stay within their boundaries of disengagement. Especially when my SD and family understand why. You see, the 2 page hate email is in writing and they cannot deny it. They also know it has been turned over to the Court and is part of legal records now; so for them to continue this is not in their favor. The email is part of a Court Ordered Protective Order 4 years ago.

I have no more hate for SD and family. I have no feelings for them at all. When I have been hurt badly, such as I was in my first divorce, the death of my two bio sons, and now my SD; I have a very cold protective layer of emotions. SD means nothing to me. Being in the same room, no matter whose house it is, she is nothing. I would never be rude in someone else's house, but then I don't have to kiss their ****ss either. See what I mean?

No I don't feel obligated to reciprocate; I want to spend Thanksgiving with my husband. It's about me, not him. To be honest with you, I doubt I will sit down to dinner. I will take DH to SGD's house and then go to my family dinner up the street. DH is disabled and does not drive; his grown kids can bring him home when he is ready. We have agreed on this arrangement as an alternative avenue. DH and I are in agreement with the entire situation, in regards to my boundaries.

Thank you very much. Your post is very constructive and did give me deep thoughts on walking into the past. Thank you again.

sammigirl's picture

The Jury just came back with the verdict......

After reading, commenting, answering your questions, the verdict has arrived.

I will not be going to SGD's for dinner. I just am not there yet; I realize I will never be able to step into their homes and feel comfortable, no matter how strong I am.

DH and I discussed it again. DH has agreed I should not be "on guard" or "not enjoy the company". DH will make arrangements for his own transportation and I will go up the street to my family dinner.

Back to the respective families, as mentioned in this post. We agree this is the direction to go in order to handle our respective families, at this point.

Thank you for your input. I probably would have attended this dinner, without giving this the consideration it deserved; you supporters, as usual, have made my thinking clear.

I am very relieved that this is behind me. I know DH is relieved of the pressure too.


fairyo's picture

Good to hear Sammi!
Sometimes you need the perspective of others and that is why this site is so great. I also am nearer my decision about next week's concert. As my sister is staying I mentioned to DH that maybe it wouldn't be good for her to be on her own and could anyone else use the ticket? He is asking his son if he'd like to go so I feel I saved face on that one- also we are probably spending Christmas Day on our own, just the two of us and he will go to OSD's on Boxing Day- I am not invited. This feels right, I am beginning to think I may never see OSD again and that is so liberating!
Enjoy Thanksgiving with your own family- we don't have it in Fairyland but my family are coming up for the weekend, which I'm looking forward to!
Sending a fairy hug ((*))

SacrificialLamb's picture

Yes, our Thanksgivings are that we are free of Fairyland....haha just kidding. I love visiting your country.

Having your sister there gives you a very good out that does not raise suspicions.

I have not seen my OSD in over 2 years. I can assure the joy is real and liberating. I don't think I will ever see her unless it is a family funeral, and in that case I will only be there to support my DH.

sammigirl's picture

I wish I would never see my SD again. I hope you don't have to see your OSD. It is liberating and peaceful.

I know that I don't want to break the peace I have. Knowing that nothing will change, whether I go or whether I do not go; this is what I needed to remind myself. Nothing will ever change in regards to the attitude my SD and SGD have. They love the drama and I'm just over it. I don't need it and I don't want it.

Thank you for the (((hug)))....back to you.

sammigirl's picture

First let me say thank you everyone. Once again, you have pulled thru for me and hopefully others here will learn from your responses to my post.

The results of this post, and my decision to stay my boundaries, are very surprising today.

In the past, when I declined to attend SD & SGD's grand parties, DH and I would end up arguing and upset for days. Today was a milestone for sure. We were civil and "agreed to disagree" on my disengagement. No fight. I just hope this "no fight" continues.

At dinner, tonight, DH did try to make me feel at ease with going; tried to convince me I was also invited by SD, as well as SGD. :sick:

It never changes, so I'm happy with my decision and I could not have made it without the input here.

Thank you.

Still peace on the home front and I am thankful for that.

Ispofacto's picture

Six months ago, I disengaged from Killjoy, who lives with us fulltime. Due to my work schedule, it's easy to avoid seeing her. But my tolerance of her has gone way way down. Not better at all, much much worse. Time does not heal these wounds.

You've probably heard the boiling frog parable. Living with her day to day, I guess I got used to how annoying she is, until I snapped. Now that I'm never around her, her annoying behavior is amplified 100x. Every time I spend time around her, I regret it.

I'm calm and happy all the time now, but it's like my rage-o-meter went from 100 ticks to ONE tick between 0 and 100%. The second she says or does one annoying thing, my blood pressure shoots immediately back into pre-disengagement levels.

I just hate her. Who she is, what she is, what she does, how she talks, how she looks. The pouting, the snivelling, the neediness, the hypochondria, the manipulating, the lying, the whining. I just. Can't. Do. It.

Maybe you've forgotten how annoying SD and SGD are, but I have to caution you. Every time the door opens a crack, the dementors roll in, to suck the life and soul right out of you.

fairyo's picture

This reminds me of a train journey the other day- I was with my sister and a family got on who were clearly not used to travelling on trains- the mum was over fussy and loud whilst the dad tried to keep things calm but did not disagree with anything she said. I turned to my sister and said,
'She's just like OSD.' The way she spoke to her kids, the tone of her voice and her accent (they were from OSD's town), her age and just everything about her (except her size, she was very much slimmer than OSD) was as if I was in OSD's company again - they had even taken the kids out of school to visit Disneyland!
I think that slight exposure to who OSD is, gave me the realisation that in no way am I ready to be in her company again!

fairyo's picture

I think it may be but I don't even want to analyse it anymore. I cannot even visualise being in the same space as her. It is now almost six months since I did- and I really don't give her much thought. I tried for seven years to develop ways of being around her, and what a realisation when I finally realised I didn't need to be. Last time I saw her, ironically, she gave me a kiss. I will never figure that out but cannot give her the opportunity to do it again.

SugarSpice's picture

ipsofacto, i am giving you some sympathy here.

my skids came to live with us after they left high school and bm kicked them out one by one. they got not one penny from bm. dh payed for their college expenses and living expenses. actually i paid for a good portion of the food and all of the utlities.

once they were all comfortably living with their father and me they banded together to try to get him to divorce me. can you believe that? the girls were especially bad and saw their father as some sick sort of romantic surrogate.

dh was paying for all the bills. they did not immediately work but were attending college. they would party until early hours and come home banging doors and cabinets and talking like they lived in a dorm. on other occasion they would hook up with young men and take booty calls. on at least one occasion i woke up to find one sd doing the bed linen and blankets of a man she had hooked up with during the night. had she no shame? she sleeps with him and then does the bed linen they soiled!

all of the skids have left the nest, but they still butter up their father. one sd has just had a baby and is suckering her father for money. the husband of sd seems to be offended that fil is cozying up to his daughter. sd is also going crazy on her husband and making him miserable as if motherhood give you a free pass to be a b#tch.

Ispofacto's picture


DH doesn't have an answer yet on what happens to Killjoy when she turns 18. I want her gone yesterday, and 4.5 years seems like an eternity. If Killjoy thinks BM is such a wonderful role model, she should go live with her and let MOTFY put her money where her mouth is. I used to shelter Killjoy from the dumpster fire that is her mother, but now I want her to experience her in her full glory as much as possible.

So we may be the ones kicking a kid to the curb when she turns 18. Then we'll see whether she's allowed to visit. Ugh.

sammigirl's picture

Ispofacto: I sense KARMA is just waiting around the corner. I believe your SD18 has a good deal of it headed her way; just let it happen.

SugarSpice's picture

i agree with sammi that the karma bill will arrive soon. people rarely get to screw others without something biting them in the behind.

hopefully you will be around to snicker to yourself when it happens.

eighteen is the time to launch into the world with school, training and work. dont make it easy for her to stay in the nest. make her pay rent and have her start making life plans.

Ispofacto's picture

We've always encouraged our kids to go to community college for two years before university, because it is cheaper and the classes are easier. But DH is hoping she will get a sports scholarship, and start university right away. Part of me doesn't want our marital funds to contribute towards the remainder of the cost, because she has been so hateful towards me. But she is his child and I'm sure he wants her to have a successful life.

I would prefer she not visit here on school breaks, maybe she can stay with BM at those times, and they can see each other outside our home. I see DH and I will be fighting a lot in the future.

Killjoy is a covert narcissist. She puts out a cutesy waifish persona other people find endearing, and she is very manipulative. I knew an adult exactly like her in my professional career, and the woman was very successful. She got others to do her work for her and took all the credit. Whenever something went wrong she'd turn on the tears and everyone felt sorry for her. So far the karma train hasn't hit her yet, maybe it will, maybe not.

still learning's picture

If she's top of her game in her sport then she can get a full ride scholarship. My sons on a full ride right now, thank goddess! Maybe she will get accepted to an out of state school }:)

Acratopotes's picture

I had to think awhile over this..... what would I do... and I think I would've

Go with DH, you get along with the hostess and she can invite whom ever she wants, thus yes there will be some toxic elements for that night, but you can still be disengaged and ignore them, no one is going to force you to talk tot hem and if they greet, you simply greet back.

By going to TG does not mean you are engaging....Leave the past in the past and keep your guard up around these toxic woman...simply tell DH before had there will be some ground rules, he will make sure you are never alone in their presence... how you do not care, and if they disrespect you in any way and form you want him to do something about it, either take you away and ignore them or say loud and proud, that is rude you do not talk to my wife like that... it's his choice... and be honest, this will be your first step if it's messed up you will never try again.

He's been working on the marriage and so should you, without engaging with his toxic children and he should have your back at all times....

I always think about things this way - There's people in this town I absolutely can not stand...but if I'm invited to a function and know that these idiots will be there as well, I prepare myself, I ignore them the whole evening, pretend they are not even there.... I enjoy the other people's company and thus the evening... and funny enough with allot of people around they tend to behave better..,

sammigirl's picture

Acratopotes: I follow your posts closely. What you are advising is what I had in mind to begin with. The hostess is my SGD33, it's her home. My OSS59 and DIL are traveling from the neighboring State and have offered to do the cooking. I do well with OSS and DIL. I would be in SGD33's toxic environment.

I agree I can ignore them and stay disengaged; this is where I am at this point with my disengagement. But I know I am not to the point of totally putting myself in their territory. I have no problem going on mutual grounds, public places or public functions. They come to our home to visit DH, I tolerate that ok. My DH has NEVER and will NEVER have my back, not one word. This is the main reason I stay out of their homes. It is a form of bullying on their part and DH joins in, especially at their homes. I have told him this is the reason I do not go; I feel bullied. He says I am imagining it; but DH is a very different person around them; he is not the person I thought I married.

I have tried numerous times with failure. I have come away feeling worse than if I had stayed home alone. I have missed several "family dinners" "family socials" concerning my SD57 and my SGD33, the past 8 years of my disengagement. I look back and realize I do feel better staying away. I feel guilty, especially when holidays come around. It is a difficult time and DH always chooses to do as they ask; so that is the part that is difficult for me to understand. My family knows, with no doubt, where my priorities lie; therefore, they do not ask me to step away from my marriage and my DH. All of my Skids are extremely controlling and just make the plans and tell everyone how it's going to be.

Yes, my DH has been working on our marriage; but I have NOT deviated from working on my marriage for 38 years; he just began the past year. So he has a lot of catching up to do. I work with him on everything (he is disabled), except the rudeness I receive from SD and SGD. Sorry I can't do it any more. It is so deep, it is unexplainable.

I had thoughts of trying again this year; but I have made the decision to spend Thanksgiving, just up the street with family. It will be good and I will not know what is said behind my back, nor do I have to tolerate the snarky remarks (passive aggression). It is very sad that it has to be this way; only because my DH betrayed me for years. When I found out, he refuses to admit it was wrong and they have never apologized to me or tried to make it right with me.

Thank you for your positive input. It helps me to sort it out at a weak moment.

Have a nice Thanksgiving.

Acratopotes's picture

sammi - you know you are my idol lol......

well I thought the hostess was fine but if it's with a toxic hostess, oh dang no, I would rather sit at home doing nothing...

and with your family down the road, which I forgot about, I would've said from the start, sorry DH going to my family, I want to relax and be happy not be on my guard......

Hope you have a fantabulous TG... we do not celebrate it here, normal working day for me lol....

sammigirl's picture

Thank you; your advice opens doors for me all the time. It isn't that the advice here on steptalk is right/wrong; it is to be taken constructively.

I always read and post with an open mind. No problem at all.

SD57 and SGD33 (mother/daughter) began texting DH Tuesday evening and making plans for him for the entire weekend. DH told them I was going to my family for Thanksgiving; so they went to work to take him out for 3 days or maybe more, who knows. They picked him up Wednesday morning, brought him home Wednesday late afternoon, picked him up at 10:00 Thanksgiving morning (today) and will bring him home later. Probably text again at breakfast time tomorrow and continue thru the weekend. They are "showing" me! }:)

It is relaxing to have the break from cooking and taking care of DH. They are doing me a favor and they don't even realize it. I have said nothing, just watching the clock for them to pick him up.

I'm off to go to my family for a few hours. The holidays are stressful; nice you don't have to celebrate any more than necessary.

Again thank you!

mathfed's picture

Sammigirl, I'm one of the few dads that visit this board. You've given me advice in the past regarding my abusive adult stepson that has put me on the right path with him and his mom (my wife). They have their relationship, and I now stay out of it. They have a very dysfunctional dynamic between them, and I won't be pulled into the middle of it anymore. My young sons won't be pulled into it, either. After stepson's most recent hateful text messages to me, I've completely blocked him out of my life. There is no way he can contact me anymore. My wife understands that I am making myself a priority, and my boys and I will not be put in that position with her kid again. I'm willing to walk to make that happen, and she knows it. She can go visit him whenever she wants, put up with his abuse if she decides to keep doing that, but I can't stay in a healthy place mentally if I participate in his tornado. I've closed that door with him. Now, I need to work on getting over the hate and dislike I have for him. I continually feel like a bomb is about to drop on my head. I definitely look to you as an example of how to get past that.

I think you made the right decision. As I read your post, all I could think about was what your future situation would be if the dinner went ok. I think the camel's nose would be through the tent door, and you'd start being pressured to go along on more social occasions with people who hate you. I couldn't see a positive aspect of that for you, other than sharing Thanksgiving dinner with your husband. It seemed like you would be the one making all the sacrifice, while you husband has Thanksgiving dinner with relations that are horrible to you. I'm glad you aren't going to serve yourself up to them like that. As I read your replies, I kept asking myself if I could even consider going to my stepson's place, for anything. I don't think I could, mostly because it would start pulling me back into his tornado, and his and his mom's volatile relationship. I couldn't see any advantage to getting involved in all of that again. I'm relieved you aren't going to the dinner.

fairyo's picture

This post has also rung so many bells with me. I have come so far in my disengagement that I cannot think about all the things I put up with for years. There is no way now that I would want to re-engage with my skids- I look at it almost like an addiction. If I even get a flavour of how it used to be I may fool myself into thinking how 'safe' it now seems. But, we all know that if an addict gets even a taste of the substance it leads to complete re-immersion.
I have been thinking so much about this in the past few days, having made the decision not to go to the concert that DH has tickets for. My whole situation is fraught with difficulties due to DH's handling of his offspring. Sometimes I feel overwhelmingly sad about it, but it is the reality of the life that I have made, and I am determined to see it through. We can choose who we spend our time and energies on

SugarSpice's picture

"going back to normal" seems to be what cowardly dh want.

i kicked one adult skid out of the house after i was told to "f U" to my face. i immediately told the skid to find some place else to live. i was informed skid was moving in with friends that after noon.

the skids was asked to surrender keys and forward all mail to the new address.

at some point after i learned dh had given house keys back to skid without informing me. i was furious. his response was, "well you both seemed to be getting along now." coward!

after that i disengaged even further. now i just sit back and laugh to myself as this skid makes a garbage dump of her life and job.

fairyo's picture

They really leave us with no choice...I really have no interest in that circus anymore. No my only regret was that I didn't do it sooner- in other life I may have never met those ridiculous people at all...

sammigirl's picture

mathfed: I'm glad you are staying with disengagement, it isn't easy. Thank you for understanding exactly what I wrote here. Like fairyo stated, I am sad for the fact that I have chosen to spend a holiday separated from my DH. But I do know that I had let this get so far out of control, it almost cost me my marriage.

I have accepted the fact that my DH will always be swayed by the phony sweetness of his DD and GD. They are grown women and truly know how to work DH. They talk, act, and wiggle so sweetly to him and then when his back is turned they are vicious. I understand all the dynamics of their relationship; therefore, I've chosen to put that out of my life and move forward. Again, not simple.

When I begin thinking about it, I get very angry. Now, I've began thinking deeply about the baggage I am carrying and why. The past year, I have been approaching my marriage with "leaving my baggage behind". It is a difficult task, but I often thought about what I would do, if I was to have a different life. I guarantee I would not take this baggage with me. So I am leaving all of it behind me now, for the sake of my marriage.

I am strong and getting stronger, every time I think about the treatment I subjected myself to for 30+ years. I will never go back. I will continue my disengagement. I will have weak moments, like this Thanksgiving. But I hope I have the strength to continue to leave my baggage behind and take care of myself; because I DO feel so good about myself for the first time in over 30 years.

Thanks to this site and supporters such as yourself, I will never leave this site, to stay on the high road.

Have a nice Thanksgiving.

Oldfool's picture

Hello Sammi there is an easy answer. I would NOT go in the first place. My partner's worthless adult son caused a lot of trouble for me last year and as I have disengaged from him completely, would not put myself in his territory ever again. His daughter also tried to take liberties and when she got pregnant, I refused to attend the baby shower or christening.

To this day I refuse to attend any event to do with my partner's eldest son, daughter or granddaughter....nuff said.......

sammigirl's picture

Oldfool: I did not attend and had a nice Thanksgiving dinner with my 101 year young Father at my Cousin's home, just up the street.

It is not what I wanted. I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my DH, didn't matter where. But I feel better and I am not stressed nor has the anger risen it's ugly head.

It was worth the sacrifice, believe me.

Thank you for your input, I appreciate it.

SugarSpice's picture

sammi, good for you.

why spend a holiday in the company of people you cant stand, or worse, putting on a smile when you are miserable?

at 101 your fathers time is limited and i am sure he enjoyed the company.

sammigirl's picture

DH even had the nerve to ask me to "put on a smile, go with me, and enjoy the day with me". What?????

He put the pressure on me for two days to go. I just told him, "I am not subjecting myself to any further mistreatment from your DD". He claims she will not mistreat me. What?????

Now, I am so glad I didn't go. I'm getting the same ole' conversation, gossip, etc. that always goes on at these gatherings, about everyone that attended. DH nor SD can reframe from gossiping about whoever attended. I must have ignored, changed the subject, and nodded my head for two hours, after DH returned that evening. I didn't ask or comment on his day.

I am over it and each time I say "no" it gets so much easier to stay disengaged.

fairyo's picture

Sammi your sadness is tangible-but you did the right thing and I hope you can now put it behind you and take it easy.

sammigirl's picture

It has passed and I knew it would. I know there will be days of sadness and will power.

Thank you for your support. It is so appreciated!

fairyo's picture

Sammi your sadness is tangible-but you did the right thing and I hope you can now put it behind you and take it easy.

sammigirl's picture

I'm still patting myself on the back for standing by my disengagement.

It is very difficult at times.

Without the support here, I could never do it.

Now comes Christmas! Yea!

notasm3's picture

Sammi - I know this is NOT you at all as you have never once called out these cretins.

But part of me would be tempted (at least in my fantasies) to go attend this event where "everyone would be so nice and kind to me". But take a huge whistle and blow it for each and every infraction. Disrupting the entire day into chaos. Since they would be so focused on making you miserable on this day - you could return the favor in spades. No - not realistic to do, but okay to imagine.

No, I really wouldn't do it either. As much as I sometimes fantasize about telling SS32 and his GF what utter pieces of dog doo they are (sorry I'm probably offending dogs here). Honestly I'd rather have a sack of my dog's poop sitting next to me than SS.

I have not spoken one word to SS and if I have my way will NEVER say a word to him again ever. I have ghosted him.

sammigirl's picture

notasm3: I have saved SD57's 2 page hate email. I wanted to answer it. I did take the time to go to it, on my computer, and under each statement she wrote, I responded, within the document, never sent any response to SD57. Keep in mind the email was 4 years ago. I don't think about it much.

Only twice have I referred to it and read my responses, under each statement. I have found, with time, my answers change, in wording. I go into the document and update my responses. I have grown beyond this hate email, until SD shows her ugly head around me; then all the bad things she wrote come to surface in my anger. I have NEVER responded to her. DH doesn't know that I have written responses to each statement; he does know I have kept it. I am very civil in my responses, always putting the problem back in her end of the field.

Who knows, someday I may print it out and hand it to her; but I doubt it. I do not want to give her the satisfaction and she will only respond back and the fight continues; I have put an end to it all thru disengagement, so sending it to her is playing her game.

Writing is good; I go to it, now and then, and write my thoughts. I find the responses are more mature, more sane, and never forgiving. It is a good thing to write things down and then re-read them later. It is the best therapy for me, besides this site.

Thank you for your insight. I also understand fantasizing.

Disillusioned's picture

sammigirl, if the invite was extended to you too, and it's important to your DH then I think I would go.

Don't kiss your SD's butt of course but be your polite and classy self, and see how it goes

If she pulls any crap then you have your answer for future, but if she makes even a small sincere effort with you, then it might be a small step to a more 'tolerable' relationship...not a friendship or anything that intimate, more like a work function where you're respectful and polite to a colleague or colleague of your DH's

I have a hateful OSD similar to your's (she is really on one of her nasty cycles right now too where she is back to not answering if I say hello, ignores me like a don't exist, doesn't so much as say thank you for any considerate thing I say or do...basically an incredibly rude and immature 36 year old married women with a family of her own! :? :? :? ) but I do go to DH's family events including ones hosted in her home. I'm polite to her and respectful on the rare occasion we have any interaction, and otherwise I avoid being around her or engaging in any conversation with her at all

DH & I attend the events, there is no drama as we won't get involved in her nonsense regardless of how hard she tries. But DH has my support there, and me his. He sees his grandkids and FIL. And we simply pay no attention to the negativity and infantile behavior from his daughter.

I doubt my SD will ever change or grow up, but with yours who knows, maybe at her age she is realizing she needs to grow up and be more accepting.

If you give her that chance and she blows it, then it's on her not you, and you will have nothing to feel bad for going forward!

sammigirl's picture

Disillusioned: Thank you for your thoughts and experiences. I have always followed your post and learned a good deal from them.

I agree with what you have written. I thought long and hard in this direction, before declining to attend Thanksgiving dinner.

#1: I wanted to spend Thanksgiving with my 101 year young father, just up the street, at my cousin's home. We were also invited there for Thanksgiving. Of course the invitation came after SGD33's. I don't know that I will have my Father next Thanksgiving. I did not expect DH to attend with me, so we went our separate ways for the day.

#2: The invitation from SGD33 was through DH, in a text form. SGD33 has our phone number and I know SGD was only inviting me to please her grandpa (DH). Years past she always called me, but now refuses to communicate at all, which I prefer anyway. There has been 30+ years of passive aggression from SD57 and SGD33 (mother/daughter). SD57 has taught SGD33 to hate me, so there is rivers and rivers of water under the bridge. Four years ago I owned my part of the whole mess, but to this day my DH and SD refuse to acknowledge their part. So be it.

The problem wasn't the invitation or the past; it was DH wanting me to go with him. I have not attended Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter dinners in three years, due to SD's elevated aggression. DH wants me to go back to where it was, but on the other hand he nor SD will acknowledge there was ever a problem; so you see we would be back on block one.

I thought maybe I was ready to do just as you suggested. I realize I'm not there and may never be. I was seriously thinking about doing exactly as you suggested. I guess I'm just not ready to subject myself to the aggression I know will come.

Thank you for your well accepted advice. We are spending Christmas at home with open house to friends and family Christmas Day; which includes skids and their families, if DH extends the invitation to them. I am civil when they visit DH and he knows they can visit his home. Eight years ago, I stepped away and it is completely DH's gig.

I have set boundaries and am working on a more open mind, but to be honest, I know I'm more at peace where I am with total disengagement.