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What was YOUR moment when you realized you were disengaging?

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

What was YOUR moment when you realized you were disengaging? What happened? And what did you immediately do? 

JRI's picture

Long before Steptalk, I had the 3 SKs living with us making a total of 5 kids within a 6-year age range.  They were all 5 teenagers at once.  YSS and I had always had a so-so relationship, probably due to his loyalty bond to BM.  But I gave it my best shot, enrolling this natural athlete in year-round sports, driving to innumerable practices and games, serving as clerical aide to his football team, performing the mandatory volunteer work for his softball team, etc.

YSS, like DH, is witty, he was class clown.  But sometimes, he went too far.  I made a number of trips to school for parent meetings after disciplinary action.  Afterwards, DH and YSS would rehash the incident with DH, as always, admiring everything YSS did.  I got fed up because DH also wasn't backing me up regarding YSS's behavior.  So I just stopped.  I didn't drive YSS around anymore (didnt seem to bother him, he always had friends) and I didnt go to school, either.  I dont remember announcing it to DH but I must have said something because, the next time the school called,  DH had to take off work and go.  Things weren't so hilarious that evening and, coincidentally, that was the last school incident.

At the time, my disengagement from YSS felt like a failure.  But nowadays, I think it was good, not only for myself, but DH and YSS seemed relieved.  YSS and I still dont have a close relationship but I'd call it mutually respectful.  He's still his witty, athletic, not always wise self but he's a very successful salesman and exceptional father.


ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

That's a good ending - not sure I am going to get that ending but glad to see it !

Elea's picture

I can't remember the exact catalyst ... There were so many examples of extreme horrid SK behavior but I think the tipping point was when I realized that my anger, frustration and focus on the SK's was causing my DH to misplace his frustration and anger towards me instead of placing the bullseye on SD's, BM and himself where the true source of dysfunction sprung from. I realized that if I didn't step back and let him deal with the natural consequences of SD's behavior that he would never see the real problems for himself. I care too much about our relationship to let a couple of snot nosed brats and the stupid, vindictive b**** destroy us. I realized that I had to disengage to protect our relationship.

With that said I did feel that a certain amount of "educating" DH was essential for getting him moving in the right direction. It's a fine balance.

Badger1986's picture

Same story! I love my wife but she's a horrible parent. Not to our bio child but to her child. I had to step back. Now, I'm nice to him but I don't jump into the mix anymore. My wife gets so mad at him. I've seen her literally have to take headache medicine but I know if I say something she will burn me at the stake. 

LevinaFia23's picture

I am taking a step back NOW for this exact reason. I went back and forth in my head saying maybe I'm letting him down etc but then I'm realizing all I've been doing is blocking others like Dh and bm from seeing his true self. If im out of the equation I won't be involved and eventually they can see all I've been trying to stop the past year for themselves. They can't see it if I'm always on the way blocking it. I've decided today that I'm done and I have to disengage despite my desire to want to help. I can't take it anymore.

The situation is that I'm realizing bm is the exact reason he is the way he is. She is reverting all of dh and I hard work. I spoke to dh today and he still has hope. For my out. I'm not even telling him I'm just gonna move accordingly. It's great dh can see what I see and know it's a problem but I'm beyond tired of this repeat cycle that I now see will be purposefully reverted by bm. That's insanity nope nope nope

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

I had a similar experience - SKID drops out of school, should be super mad at SKID instead he gets on me about an expression I had on my face during the convo. ummmm....yeah, no. You should redirect your frustration to its proper place.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Good for you !'s your DH who brougth this SKID into the world thus it's your DH who needs to step it up. 

Noway2b1's picture

My DH and I had been married for about 3 years and together for about five, it was after we moved into our joint home that I began to see the writing on the wall. It was more because of not so subtle hints from adult skids than my own adult kids that I thought that hosting combined family events was a great idea (it wasn't).  I had rose colored glasses on that quickly changed color once we hosted a few things. His kids were always late. Egregiously late. Like 90 minutes was pretty common. It was always 2 of the four but occasionally the other 2 would take turns. One year I bought tickets to a fun Xmas event. For 24 people including grandkids (some as young as a year) and in the days leading up to the event I sent out a text politely asking that everyone arrive on time, especially as a courtesy to those who had youngsters (both on DHs side and mine) the usual suspects arrived 30-45 minutes late. That wasn't even the worst part. Because the people that arrived late are the center of attention always with dhs family, all of DHs kids backtracked to OSS and his wife to walk through the event with them. Leaving me with mine to continue on, my kids noticed and I did too and we chose to not allow the two people who always dominate to do that to our family as well.  Another thing that happened at this same event was one of the spouses couldn't make it so the SD whose partner didn't come invited a "family" friend to to come in his place. Something I found a bit odd considering I paid for the tickets and felt like there could have at least been a heads up. This event was par for the course. Then DH and I were made aware that these adult kids were upset that we would not invite their mother to our Xmas brunch. So after many other instances and DH and I never being invited to anything hosted by them without bm being there that ended me doing anything special for/with them and I made the pointed decision to disengage. I do have an amazing hubby who supports me in it as well, so there's that. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

yeah..being late. I don't give a rat's arse if they are late - one SKID LATE to thanksgiving. At that point I was just waking up from a nap and I get a message from another family member saying - your skid is here! I pressed the snooze button and slept another 10 minutes. :D 

shamds's picture


sd's were almost 14 & 24 and we had met them for outings family events etc 2 times. When it came to 3rd outing at a restaurant with the usual non stop rant of biomum and stepdad trying to make them central to any conversation we had and if not talking just non stop make them relevant, i saw sd's and how they talked to their brother.

it was so uncomfortable to watch, unnatural and certainly not how you talk to a full sibling. It was so artificial like they were faking and forcing this talk

then it hit me, why am i being roped into these meet ups because of biomums lies and ordering eldest sd that their dad could only see them if i were there

this wasn't quality family time, they were finding every opportunity to disrespect or criticise us, do things behind daddys back and smile

i saw the warning signs that sd's were not genuine. Then a year later eldest sd calls daddy fake crying on phone blaming me and our 2 toddlers for the crap non existent relationship she has with her dad which is totally her choosing. 
despite my husband on multiple occasions trying to arrange meets which she cancelled last minute and many times never had the respect to tell my husband but rather text her brother, she blames us 3 (the new family).

i have not met or spoken to sd's in 4 yrs. don't intend to ever again

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yes sometimes it's time to just get outta that crap. I recently was told by one "SKID" that I ruined their perfect trio of daddie and skids. I was like - you think your DAD had anything to do with us being together? Adult SKID just shrugged...not able to accept reality. So I also disengage and I don't have any problem with it. I care as much as they do and not a bit more.

Badger1986's picture

It was when my wife kept going easy on ss. She would yell if she thought I did it and when she found it he did it she would say, "I love you buddy." It's okay. Every time I get roped into being a parent again I'm always reminded to let it go. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yep I let it go- I do absolutely NO planning, I jsut exist when it makes sense for me. 

Cover1W's picture

LOL - good question!  Gosh, thinking back...a poster who lived in South Africa - she was a huge help to me and really got me thinking that maybe DH was a loving father but not a great parent.

It was slowly killing me that he couldn't say no to the SDs nor make them responsible for ANYTHING at, by now, ages 8 & 10. They acted more like 5 & 7. Or maybe 4 & 6. 

One instance that stuck out for me:

The former rental house had a parking area that was a ways from the house, it was a bit of a walk to the home. DH never made the SDs carry anything of their own (remember, 8 & 10 so they were perfectly capable of carrying their school backpacks) and they'd rush out of the car, leaving everything. OSD was also getting in the habit of not closing the car door after herself (passenger rear). I reminded her several times, and DH pretty much ignored it or closed it himself when he retrieved her bag from the car. So basically, nothing I said was working. So I stopped.

One morning I went out to go to work and I saw that her car door had been left wide open (I had not been in the car that day with them). Likely the overhead light had been on all night AND it had rained. I went to close the door and stopped. Wait a minute why am I fixing this?! Remember "disengaging?" So I re-opened the door the way it had been left and drove to work.

I can't remember what happened; DH needed to get SDs to school that morning but I think his car started and OSD had to sit on a towel or something. The car door was closed from then on or DH would remind her.

advice.only2's picture

Spawn lived with us full time and I was burnt out raising her while my DH and Meth Mouth made sure I knew everything I did in raising their kid was wrong.  I finally found this site and realized I wasn’t this kid’s parent (despite what everybody else was telling me) and I did not have to continue to raise her while her useless parents just passed blame.

So once I disengaged I let DH and Spawn know I was out of their toxic nightmare and would only be seen as DH’s wife from there on out.  Well DH almost had a nervous breakdown over that, forcing situations with Spawn where I would have to be the one to do the parenting.  The saddest example was Spawn needed a new bathing suit and DH refused to take her.  He manipulated a situation where we all ended up at the store and he told Spawn to go try on bathing suites.  I walked away and was browsing when Spawn comes parading over to me in a bathing suit halfway across the store from the changing area.  She told me DH told her to go find me to make sure the suit was okay.  I just stared at her shocked and told her if she felt it looked good and was comfortable then she should get it, but if her father didn’t approve that was a conversation between them.  Spawn went back to the dressing rooms and told DH what I said.  He comes and finds and me tells me he can’t make that call because he’s Spawns father and so he shouldn’t be looking at her that way.  I told him that was his problem and that if he couldn’t make a parental decision then he needed to send Spawn back to Meth Mouth.  He was so upset, started telling me how upset Spawn was that I wasn’t helping (that was his favorite way to manipulate me) and that now she couldn’t get a bathing suit.  I told him that was his choice, not mine and walked away.  That was my true beginning of disengagement. 

SeeYouNever's picture

Let's see, I think it was around when we got married and when SD got her own cell phone. Up until that point DH could only talk to SD through BM and I could only talk to her through DH or in person. Having a phone meant we could have our own relationships with SD without BM in the middle. My DH seemed to want me to help build his relationship with SD because we connected over girlie activities, but I always made sure my DH couldn't check out and wasn't handing off responsibility to me. I opted in for fun stuff but didn't let myself get obligated for the hard stuff.

So at age 9 or 10 SD got her own phone and wanted nothing to do with me and hardly anything to do with DH. I had been gradually disengaging already but that made it clear she didn't want a relationship with me and that was fine. If she ever brings it up as an adult I'll tell her that I always let her set the pace and that's not a lie.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Solid response ready in your backpoocket. Going to take your advice and have that in mine too...but alas don't think SKIDs are alert or aware enough to even ask a question like that. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Biggrin Ha!

halo1998's picture

due to having to reevaluate EVERYTHING in my life...I realized that ....uh yea..the SD, Beaver, DH dynamics gave me severe anxiety.  That lead to me being overly controlling, angry and well a "biotch".  It was in a moment of DH telling me that SD needed a ride to work on Beaver's week and he had meetings blah, blah, blah....that I thought...

uh...yea..not my PROBLEM.  This is not my kid.  Why am I stressing about this..she has two parents AND I'M NOT ONE THEM.

Talk about a watershed moment for me....and the realization I needed some damn boundaries with these people.  All of them liked to dump their problems, issues, needs etc on ME.  They didn't ask if I wanted all of this..but they just did it AND I LET THEM.

Eff that is what I thought...and I turned to DH and said...NOT MY CIRCUS and they ARE DEFINATELY NOT MY MONKEYS.  I'm sure that you will figure it and I walked away.

Ooofff...DH had a cat butt face you could see from Mars..but oh well.  

I knew then I was disengaging from that mess when I walked away and didn't feel any remorse for not rescuing DH, SD and Beaver.  

Dh has heard that phrase quite a few times in the last 5 months for so and he is fully realizing that 90% of our problems are due to his avoiding his responsiblities and placing them on me.  I have also noticed that his anxiety has increased while mine has dramatically decreased.  Hmm.....correlation...yea..I think so.

halo1998's picture

talk about an Ah ha..moment.

Side story..recently Dh decided that he would buy SD a new phone. Cool whatever there dude...not my money.  Then in the next breath he says...when you get a chance can you look up phone for SD. 

I had a WTF you talking about Willis look in my face.  He immediately stopped and said..."oh yea...not your circus" and then went on to say "Why the hell did I ask you to look up the phone...I can look it up." Then he had a WTF look in his face.  I think it dawned on him at that moment he did that sort of thing ALOT to me over the course of 15 years.  And that in a nutshell was a lot of our problem..DH expecting me to do tasks he could do himself.

He has since looked up the phone and ordered the phone. He just showed me the phone he ordered and I went..COOL and went on my merry little way.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

YEP. Being a stepmom is exactly that: dump their problems, issues, needs, etc. on ME. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

1000% accurate. I also found myself feeling extremely stressed and angry but the minute I let go and stopped caring was the moment everything beautifully lifted from me and got squarely put on the shoulders of the parents. They all feel quite annoyed with the shift because we were carrying their load but now everyone is settling into the new norm. And I am actually happy!

Shieldmaiden's picture

My moment was when I was tryin to implement chores and allowance for my 3 SD's, the oldest was 14 at the time, I think. She was a bonafide sociopath. She didn't give a crap about anything but food, sleep and playing on her phone. She didn't cry when her dad fell down the stairs and might have been paralyzed for life due to a back injury. But.... when he called her out (at my urging) for not doing her chores and giving attitude to me when I reminded her, well...... she faked those tears as best she could. It was not convincing, but he bought it. He just couldn't stand to see his baby sad, although I was an emotionally drained wreck - that didn't matter. 

That's when I decided he could discipline and clean up after his own kids. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yeah...that's really good of you - there are consequences for DH when he isn't willing to face reality. I feel the exact same. 

justmakingthebest's picture

For me, it was the toll that the custody/visitation fight was taking on me. 

I was doing all the leg work for DH. Getting everything prepared for the attorney. Researching, organizing, printing, building the case. All for a kid that is so alienated that he lied in court multiple times about us. He has been taught he should disrespect us. He has been taught to hate us. 

I doubt the damage will ever be undone. But, to save my heart and mental health I stopped. The only thing that I will involve or even talk to DH about regarding SS17 is financial matters because that affects my household. None of the rest of it matters. We probably won't see SS for YEARS. Not until he is divorced and fighting to be in his kid's life. Once he knows what it is like on the flip side. Honestly, my greatest wish is that he knock up someone JUST like his mother. 

CastleJJ's picture

This was me. I did all the leg work for DH's custody case too and that is something I will never recover from. Hell, I don't think I will ever recover from BM or GF's abuse either. 

Three years ago, SS asked me to make some bags for his football friends. I agreed. I called him to let him know they were done and I would mail them out. When BM heard this, she texted me directly, ripping me a new one for doing this without her knowledge, since SHE would be responsible for giving them out and the not everyone on the team getting one. She claimed that SS said I forced him to make them. When I ignored BM, she continued to text me and harass me. At that point, I thought "What the hell am I doing this all for?" That was the last time I had any sort of contact with BM or GF. It was also at that point that I realized SS would throw me under the bus to save face with BM. I stopped trying so hard with him too. 

I am in a place now where I am accepting that DH made his bed with this situation and it is on him to manage it. He didn't put in the leg work to fight BM in the beginning and he barely put in the leg work to fight her now, so the fallout is on him. At this point, even DH gave up because to him, giving in is easier than fighting. I can't be his savior and save his relationship with SS, especially when he can't remember to even call him without me reminding him. As far as SS goes, I am still learning to distance myself. I don't do much for him while he is here, but I still try. I need to stop doing that but it's a work in progress. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Me either - I used to do really nice things and they were always met with some sort of criticism and unkind treatment. Typically, niceness does NOT get you far in stepland, it's better to act impartial, disengaged and indifferent. 

Rags's picture

that she had to step up on parenting and discipline as SS progressed through his teens due to the risk of me becomming the asshole StepDad.

First was when SS was about 15 when DW took exception to how I parented and disciplined. At that point, I told her that if she did not like how I was parenting and disciplining then she could step up and get it done before I had too or bite her tongue and have my back until we could discuss it in private.

The peak event was when the SpermIdiot and SS hacked the fire wall at SS's Military Boarding School and SS ended up comatose in class from playing WoW all night with his Spermidiot.  We were not going to continue to pay tuition for him to fail  his classes. His mom and I decided to withdraw him from Military School and bring him home to finish at our local HS. SS was heartbroken about that. He loved the Mil School.  I insisted that DW be the one to handle all of that Skid interface. Again, she is the BP and I did not want it to land on me to the point  that it would joepardize the relationship that SS and I had.

She went CPA on his ass and he begged for me to resume the primary disciplinarian role. I am an address the issue and move on guy. His mom is a latch on and lecture for weeks disciplinarian.

Ultimately it all worked out.  SS-30 asked me to adopt him when he was 22.  We made that happen.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Great story of how it can work out ! And like that you demanded the parent to have to parent - it's important that they take responsibility. 

lala-land's picture

I call it disengagement by a thousand cuts.  I've been a stepmom for 23 years now.  The skids are SD31 (with SGK2), SS28 and SD27.  All have been awful to me and DH over the years with the full support of GUBM.  The oldest two I don't deal with and the youngest I see very occasionally.  I guess after 20 years of disrespect, dishonesty, laziness, blaming from stepkids, I was having high blood pressure, panic attacks and depression, finally resulting in a stroke.  When neither SD even acknowledged my condition and SS made a joke about it, the aha moment was I meant nothing to them at best and was at worst I was a joke. At that point DH and I sold our home and moved thousands of miles away from them.  I am better now and rarely ever think about them.  DH does occasional video calls with them and is pretty fed up with them at this point too.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yep - in my eyes I am a obstacle or thing in front of dadddie so I do not bother telling them anything becuase it will be met with this same reaction. Terrible but reality. 

Marianne's picture

Congratulations on breaking that cycle of abuse and surviving for so many years of that sickening dynamic. You and DH deserve peace.  DH and I just did the same after 15 years of a unspeakable treatment from adult SD. I'm going to need to vent bebore moving on though. How totally refreshing though--to sell everything and move a few thousand miles away. I wish you good health and much happiness.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

For me, it was a combination factors: increased exposure (we moved closer to OSD and the gskids); I retired, freeing up time and bandwidth to observe and experience the bat poop fu@ckery; DH's willful obliviousness and inaction; and the onset of menopause, lol.

Being retired meant I was expected to be the good wife and super facilitator. This made for a huge up tick in the amount of drama and cognitive dissonance I was exposed to. 

The more I was around OSD, the clearer it became something was wrong with her, and she constantly hinted, manipulated and hit us up for $$. She had weird ideas about what was owed to her, and was transparent in coaching the grands and her DH's kids to hit us up as well. She would be all smiles, then let her facade drop or take a passive aggressive swipe at me. DH's sisters ignored it all, acting as if everything was wonderful, and I grew increasingly stressed with all the crazymaking.

In the two years between moving closer to OSD and my disengaging, there were four separate incidents that stood out amongst all the garden variety b.s. I got from OSD:

  1. She asked to use our backyard for a birthday pool party for very young granddaughter, then invited 74 people. A few days before, she admitted what she'd done and that she didn't have enough money for food and drink.
  2. At the last Christmas, which we hosted, she and her DH gave us nothing despite having drawn our names for the gift exchange.

Unfortunately for OSD, 3 and 4 came only weeks apart and were the last straw:

  1. We hired OSD and her eighteen y.o. SS to pet sit while we were on vacation. It was a way to help their family financially, and I waaay overpaid for it. OSD did not check up on her SS as promised, he had a huge house party, and OSD didn't punish or make him clean any of the considerable mess.
  2. At OSD's suggestion, I hosted a milestone birthday party for DH. Despite having chosen the date herself, she didn't attend, send a gift, or even have the gskids call.

After that I was DONE in a way I knew was permanent. I'd found StepTalk by then, scales were falling, my hormones were raging, and my doormat days were over. DH's sisters were furious with me and tried everything to manipulate me, but I was on fire and ready to burn the whole dysfunctional circus down. Seriously - I went from Sweet Suzy Fixer to that b!tch with a can of gasoline in one hand and a match in the other. I had my exit strategy in place, had called DH a p@ssy, and threatened to expose his mental health issues to his family and coworkers. My head may have spun completely around on my shoulders a few times, but nice certainly hadn't got me anywhere and seeing me turn into a cold ruthless savage seemed to scare DH out of the FOG. He's treated me with respect and prioritized our peace ever since. 


Exjuliemccoy's picture

Thanks, Rags. You've always been a great support to me.

I was a willing victim for a lot of years. I'd deferred a lot of personal work, there were lessons I had to learn in order to evolve, and I'm better for them.

Fire tempers steel, right?

Rags's picture

You are a finely honed hardened steel blade after all of this. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Love this and this make SOOO much sense to me. I was also very very good in the beginning until I realized I was being relegated for a lifetime of unfair punishment for existing. Good for you. <3 

grannyd's picture

Dang, Julie!

I'd like to upvote this post about a thousand times! Clapping

Ispofacto's picture

For me, it was gradual.

Act like a twat on vacation, we go on vacations when you're not home.  Act like a twat at restaurants, we don't go out to dinner when you're home.  Act like a twat at the dinner table, you and DH can cook and eat your own meals together.  Have Satan buy you a phone after we told you Not Yet, you never get to bring it into our house, and we never buy you one here.  Turn your nose up at gifts, no more gifts for you.  Make a snotty face when we offer you a treat, no more treats for you.  Act like I don't exist at your sports tournaments, you and DH get to go alone, which seems like a reward but really makes him sour.


ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

YEP. That began when teh SKIDs became adults - yeah...we take you to a fancy dinner and you COMPLAIN about how bad a SP I am and then I pay for fancy dinner after 45 minutes of crying from an adult...NO more fancy paid dinners. I make you a nice home cooked meal and you tell me I am a terrible cook...NO more home cooked meals you get a frozen pizza when you visit. We take you on a nice vacation and you act out and cut the vacation short leaving us with empty rooms that we have to pay for...NO more paid vacations. Heck I don't even buy gifts or give money any more ! NOOOOOOoooooo more. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yeah and it's empowering to do less and less ....and eventually nothing. The crazy thing is I don't even think they realize their actions caused it. Insight is NOT their strong suit. 

PetSpoiler's picture

When I realized that the Lying Ingrate SS was just as two faced, fake, liar like his wife the She-Devil, and he is manipulative to boot.  It was gradual I think.  For all the singing that he thought of me as his mother because BM wasn't there for him and I was, his actions just didn't line up with the tune he was singing.  I actually thought he cared but my eyes were opened by little things.  Mothers Day, I get a text and that's it.  He drives right by me to pick up MIL to take HER out for Mothers Day, but he thinks of me as his mother.  Then he wants to go all out for dh on Fathers Day.  Now, I am well aware that he owes me nothing, he didn't even have to text me.  I get that.  But I did help raise him.  His actions just didn't add up.  They just left me confused.  I should've refused to go to the Fathers Day lunch but my husband begged me to go. 

I think my intuition was screaming at me before that things would not be so pleasant for me before that.  She-Devil was pregnant and while I was happy for them, I just had no desire to be part of it.  I remember my son talking about he was going to be an uncle and that I was going to be a grandmother.  I said no I'm not.  I think I knew that I would never be included as a real grandparent, or even an aunt figure, so I started to pull away.  Lying Ingrate, meanwhile, was bombarding dh with texts about the baby.  He NEVER made much effort to keep in touch with dh until She-Devil got pregnant.  She-Devil's dad passed away before and I suspect that's why the bombardment of texts to dh.  I was expected to play happy grandma since BM had passed away and he had cut her off anyway.  But still, he made no effort with me. 

The day the baby was born, dh acted like they wanted him there to catch the baby or something.  My kids of course wanted to go.  I went reluctantly, feeling like I needed to be there with my kids. I took my own car so I could leave when I wanted.  The bombardment continued with texts, phone calls and videos of the baby to dh,  Radio silence from him to me.  Seems to me if he thought of me as mom and wanted me to be grandma, then he would have facilitated the relationship, but he seemed to want space.  I obliged.  

They had him dedicated.  I refused to go and dh and I both agreed that our bios needed to not go.  It was about that time that dh was starting to see what I had been trying to tell him instead of the gas lighting show that his spawn was putting on.  Lying Ingrate was of course butt hurt a month later about me not showing for the dedication when we declined his invitation to Thanksgiving.  Yeah, I'm thinking he didn't miss me or his half-siblings at the dedication since he didn't even ask about it.  But he did make sure to guilt trip me to play grandma because She-Devil's mom wouldn't be around much longer.  Sadly that turned out to be prophetic when she died last year.  After that convo I not only disengaged, I cut them both off. So his child doesn't have grandparents at all now, as her parents have both died, BM is deceased, and we don't see him.  It's nothing against the child himself, I don't know him, but I do know his parents and want nothing to do with them.  

If dh wants to resume a relationship, he will have to do it outside of our home.  I will not be involved.  My kids will get to decide for themselves when they are adults.  I doubt they will have a relationship with them either.  They know everything that went on and they weren't really close anyway.  

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

I totally understand this - their mom was out of the picture and yet painted as a saint. I slaved away doing way more than my share and was left with very ungrateful SKIDs. They have a very hard time even thanking me when I do nice things, so I have really limited my nice efforts with them and when I feel generous I redirect towards grateful healthy others to shower with joy, presents and experiences. 

0o00o000o00o0's picture

When I got tired of being expected and pressured to take on my BF' parental responsibilites.

When I got tired of his guilty parenting and of him not having my back in front of his kids.

When I realized his kids were taking too much space in my life, which left me with the feeling that I was loosing my sense of self and that I was living someone's else life.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

ALL of this- especially the last line " were taking too much space in my life..."

mathfed's picture

It was about 5 years ago for me.  My wife's youngest son had already dropped out of high school, didn't have a driver's license, had never had a job (still hasn't), and was a full-time pothead.  He was out of state and had created another crisis around himself.  He hopped on a bus and informed my wife and me that he was on his way to our house.  My wife had been in a panic most of the week that he was going to pull one of his big disruptive stunts.  I told him that if he brings any drugs through our front door, then I am calling the cops.  He texted me that he is his wife's kid.  I'm just the piece of shit she married (his exact words).  She could have done better than me and he's seen her do better than me.  He then mocked me about my mother being dead.

My wife was furious at me that I had confronted her son and didn't let her handle it.  The problem is that she had never handled it.  The things he said to me were apparently fine, but me setting a boundary with this loser about drugs in the house apparently wasn't.  I had zero belief that my wife would set such a boundary.  She'd turn a blind eye to it and pretend it wasn't happening.

I immediately blocked him on my phone, all soclal media, and haven't had a thing to do with him since.  Needless to say that his bus trip didn't pan out the way he planned.  He didn't set foot in our house.  He couch-surfed at a friend's house for about a month until it finally sunk in that he wouldn't be freeloading off of us.  He then went on his way somewhere else.

To this day, I have nothing to do with this mooch.  If my wife brings him up, I make a one or two word response and find something else to talk about.  I'd be perfectly fine never seeing him again. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Nice to see a post from you, mathfed, and to hear the filth is staying away from your home.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Wild but very happy the sitaution for you became so clear - good for you. Stay away from that SKID. 

CLove's picture

Many blips. Up and down.

Schoolgate at 14 freshman year. Thats when it really solidified for me. I used to take her out for "adventures" just us. Stopped all that. Dont ever offer to take her shopping, get a hair cut, get nails done. Dont offer to help her with ANYTHING.

Shes currently failing 2 classes. AM not involved in managing that circus. And am not going to do any more child transport. I dont buy her special foods, in fact I rarely cook nice meals since we dont sit down together...she usually pops out only when she wants food "whats for dinner"...

Shes in that sulky, pouty phase and I hate it, but keep myself distant. I keep myself VERY busy with everything else. Her now and her future are off my plate. I dont concern myself with the fact that shes morbidly obese, failling classes and basically is following in her mothers footsteps.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yeah keep yourself busy and do things that help you. This is a loooonnnng thankless journey. 

Rags's picture

a kid/SKid to be effectvive.

In our case, fluffy under performing then 15yo SS was sent to Military School.  Within 6wks he had lost 40lbs, was a straight A student, a recognized athelete, a recognized band member, a recognized JROTC leader, etc...

The entire year he thrived. Then, the second year of that experience.... the SpermClan influence and interference kicked in.  SS was the one to suffer  because we could address his issues in near real time. His engagement with their idiocy/crap cost him that experience and cost him his elite status when he crashed and burned to their level of idiocy and shit performance.

He lived in a state of abject misery for the better part of a year until we got him through HS successfully at our local HS, though painfully, got him to his 18th B-day 3mos after HS gradaution, then got him to USAF early enlistment.  

When we look back (12 years) at those times through the lense of his performance as a self supporting viable adult with a successful USAF career all three of us agree that it was well worth it. THough the continued shit show lived by the SpermClan is sad... yes.... even for me.  Mostly the tragic outcomes for my son's three younger also out of wedlock Spermidiot spawned half sibs by 2 other baby mamas.  #2 is on the dole, #3 is in prison, #4 is likely on the way to prison.

DW and I decided we would drag SS to viable adulthood, kicking and screaming if necessary, in spite of the influence of the shallow and polluted end of his gene pool.

He truly is a wonderful person. Just like his mom.

Thankfully I did not screw him up too badly.

Flustered's picture

The catalyst was my DH's death. All my SD/ his BD wanted was $$$$$$. Thought he'd get 50% of estate.  She's enraged since she didn't. What he left her ( personal items) were mostly gone in 2 weeks. 6 mos later ( today) she came down what was supposed to be be tools like table saw, etc. she was grabbing anything. Some were mine. I realized I don't care. She can take it, but she's never in house again.. for any other tools? She can make an appt

Winterglow's picture

I wouldn't even let her in with an appointment. She had her chance and blew it. I wouldn't let her back at all, EVER. You need a little peace and quiet to get your life back to normal.

BobbyDazzler's picture

I have 2 adult SS's and 3 biological kids of my own. My oldest SS is a self-entitled, self-important, condescending "DB" who has shown me, more than once, that he can be very sneaky.  He has been rude to me too many times to count... all those events have led to me finally disengaging.  I tried to include him and his wife in as many of our family gatherings as possible but invitations are always one sided.  This SS doesn't bother with his father, my DH, so I finally came to a point of not caring anymore.  I've had to set boundadries with him in the past and he didn't like that and really got his nose out of joint.  Thank God, I rarely see him. If my DH were to pass away before I do, I'd more than likely never see him or his wife/kids again.  There'd be no reason.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Good job BobbyDazzler - I am getting to the not caring point either. Good for you. 

Ki2619's picture

I believe it was 2019 but that seems so far ago.  SS at that time had been staying with us full time.  He was 12...maybe 13.  We had been through court because of alledged abuse her BM husband to SS. It ended that if DH did not send SS to BMs on her visitation days then she would get full custody of all of the kids so we took him and picked him up from BMs.  She eventually gave him back over and said he only had to come to her house when she wasn't working and he didn't have to stay.  Not long after that BM tells us that SD11 at the time was causing issues with her and her husband so she's with us full time as well with a few hour visits on the weekend.  A few months go by and they start staying the night only when BM isn't working.  SS got in trouble because he hit his little brother who was 6 at the time.  BM asked him what happened and he lost his mind and ran away.  We go out to get him.  DH makes him get in the car as he's walking to a narrow busy road.  He gets to our house and wouldn't talk.  He finally talks and then he tells us that nobody loves him, he doesn't want to be at our house and would rather be at his moms and that he's afraid to be alone with me and would rather be with his stepdad.  By God that's what he got.  They're on a strict schedule with equal time between both houses because also not too long after that SD11 decided to lie a bunch and is being extra sneaky.  I don't trust her and I'm tired of being the one responsible for kids whose parents won't deal with them either.  I offered to take his kids to school twice a week and that's it.  I don't do anything else for them.  We eat dinner together but that's all I do and DH and BM don't even parent them.  I did find out that SD now 13 is into a rather odd lifestyle.  None of the kids get attention and I'm not worried about it.  My son is 19 and away at college.  If I don't feel like taking them to school then I don't.  If I want to go out to dinner with friends then that's what I do.  I go out of town by myself when I want to and visit my son at college when I want to.  I don't necesarily not invite DH and his kids but I just tell them I won't be home for dinner and I leave.  DH and BM truly have given up on parenting and just want to be these kids favorite parent.  Good luck with that.  

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

This is a good place to be. I like the boundaries you have in place as many have said "not your circus, not your monkeys."

CLove's picture

FAIRLY early on I realized she "had no use for me", and I basically stayed away from any dealings. She was 16 when I came into her life, or almost 16. Looking back now I believe her to have been a mini-wife. She WANTED her mother gone so she could rule the roost, and she did, due to Husbands depression over the family blowup.

Then I came into their lives and she wasnt the ruler any longer, because Im a Queen Bee type. No more dinners in the living room or their bedrooms, its in kitchen. Do your own dishes dont just hoard them in your room or plop them in the sink. I wasnt in the position to do salon visits or shopping but I cant really see us doing that together anyway.

The BIG D-DAy (Disengagement Day) for me was when she was 17, I "poked the bear" and said something about her being not being nice to any of us (Me, Husband, her sister, her mother, mothers BF Tweedly Dum) thinking we could have a normal if maybe heated conversation.

Nope. This opened the door for her to spew all KINDS of nasty. "f@ck you, your f@cking ugly, your f@cking horrible and no wonder your brother killed himself, I would too if I had a sister as horrible as you, and your a f@cking b!tch, I F@cking hate you, your gross!" etc. Like that. Heard and experienced by Husband and SD SMPS.

Nothing was said to her. I just laughed as she spewed, stalked off, came back and spewed some more.

She went back to her mother Toxic Troll BM, and told her mother that me, CLOVE was the one who had said all that stuff. Nope, TT it was your precious mini-me, SD Feral Forger. 

I super disengaged. Last year, around her bday, I tried to "mend things", and she allowed me to buy her presents, take her out for a meal and give her cash and THEN when she wanted to move in and Husband said she needed to work things out with me...crickets and then a nasty text saying "you took my father away from me, I hate you. Your a horrible monster, a stepmonster" Not very original although she thinks she is completely original.

SD23 FEral Forger, this past September I poked the bear, texted her a response to her nasty texts telling her she needed to take more responsibility for her life and not blame everyone for her problems. She went scorched earth on me. Thankfully she has revealed herself and now there are no remnants of any bridges for poor child of divorce.


ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

So relatable @Clove ,thanks for sharing. I wish my one SKID wasn't such a whiny, pessimestic victim of a person. Having someone scream it in your face is really helpful in being able to shut the door. Good on you for disengaging. My SKIDs punish subtly and it's death by 1,000 cuts. 

Rags's picture

Keep egging her on and laugh in her face when she looses her shit.  Point out that mental microbes resort to profanity and refer to her little girl tantrums frequently.  Make sure the younger one witnesses you destroying her shit big sis and the TT.  I would highlight the dole queen status of TT all of the time, the couch surfing POS status of FF and continuously ask the little one what she is doing to avoid that shit storm.

Lather.... rinse.... repeat.

I would have so much fun with FF at her own espense all of the time if I were you. Daddy would go to the ends of the earth to keep his shit spawn locked up and the hell away from me.

So much fun would be had!!!!!


Russell1981's picture

I have a different relationship with each of my SDs. 

The oldest is pure evil and will lie and wreck someone's life and move on as if nothing happened. I was naive to her and I was also kinda young (33 at the time). I had never dealt with that sort of person and I did not disengage and because I did not it left me and my children vulnerable to her viciousness. It took me a few years to see the destruction this girl left behind. 

My second SD I get along great with and she comes to visit us every year. No disengagement is needed with her. We operate on a good balance.

My two youngest is when I learned how to disengage. They were born close together and were always close, but my youngest was the baby of her BD family within two years of my marriage she lost that title in my house when my wife and I had our first son. She was a constant problem for me. 

When she was 16 years old I noticed a shift in her behavior. She would travel back to her BDs family for many weeks in the summer and come back so hateful. I was sitting in the living room one day when she screamed at my wife at the top of her lungs. Telling her how much she hated her. I was ready to throw her through a wall, but I instead took a walk and when I came back into the house I told my wife that I wanted her out of my house. (this was not the first incident) 

My wife would not hear it. I was ready to call her dad and tell him that I was sending her on a plane back to him and that I would UPS all of her stuff. I would have gladly paid $5,000 to just get that child away from my other children which included her older sister who was doing well. However, my wife did not agree and I did not force the issue. I spent the entire next year barely saying two sentences to the girl. If she came into the room I would immediately clam up and walk out. She would often text me while I was at work and ask for me to bring her a cheeseburger from Wendy's or to ask if I could take her to the high school game and I would never respond to the text. I would instead forward it to my wife.

I would not allow her to babysit my children and unfortunately, it caused a rift between my wife and me for about a year.  That following summer she graduated and went back to her BD to visit. She called us with about a week left in her visitation and planned to refuse to come home. To her surprise when she called that evening her mother was ready to let her go. There was no arguing just an "okay I will send your clothes". When my five younger children were told that she would not be returning they high-fived each other and celebrated. 

However, the year had taken its toll on my other SD who was close with her sister and had a lot going for her. However, she hung around that toxic personality for an extra year and by the end of the year she moved back to her BDs.

She has since come back around and I have spoken of it in the forum. I have completely disengaged and I do not allow her or her other two sisters in my home or around my children. After realizing she wasn't going to be able to sweet talk her way back into our home and that I was not going to give her any money she recently moved back to her BDs.

My oldest SD is married and seems to be in a decent marriage. However, she has a lying problem and she has a hard time maintaining her relationships. 

My youngest has been thrown out of her BDs home, her Aunt's home, and is now living with my oldest SD. This is what I have heard. I never ask and I don't care. 

My second youngest that moved away, then back, and then away again had a full-ride academic scholarship. She threw that away and dropped out of college. Now she doesn't work, has gained close to 80 pounds, and has become a burden for her dad's family. 

The SD I have a good relationship has seen multiple promotions and is doing great. 

Disengaging has been the best thing I have ever done, but it took time to get my wife on board. Once she began to see the toll it was taking on us and the rest of our family she began to wake up. 

I feel the need to also say that I did not tolerate disrespect. While I did not engage much with my youngest during that last year I would not allow her to speak to her mother the way she did that one day. I always had that rule and I enforced it. Once they got out of the house they ran to their BD and said a bunch of nonsense, but at that point, they were out of my home and they became his problem.

I don't want to sound callous either. Each of these girls had potential but their parents went through a nasty divorce and many things occurred before I was ever in the picture. I did my best to be supportive of each parent and to not be their parent. However, I dealt with a BD who has an emotional age of about 11, and when he and his oldest got into an argument he left for three years which probably messed them all up. My wife thought that she could use me to replace him as their father, but you can't do that. 

While I have empathy and I do think they were victims of a terrible divorce that doesn't mean they have the right to crap all over everyone else. I always told them when they would bring up the divorce to me that people do not follow victims but instead follow those who can overcome their problems. I tried to get them to use their story as motivation, but instead, they got involved with their dad and wanted to attack their mother and eventually myself.

So to quote my favorite Travis Tritt song "I gave it my best and then I left it alone..."

Rags's picture

Sure, they are CODs. So what?  Half the kids created, or more, are CODs.   At least on divorce, if not more. Even kids born of OOWL relationships carry that type of baggare,

You have dealt with this just right IMHO.

they were victims of a terrible divorce that doesn't mean they have the right to crap all over everyone else

This is exactly right.

For sure even CODs do not have the right to crap all over everyone or anyone else.  Neither do X's, or toxic IL's, extended family, etc...

Even with kids, categorize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

Good for you for addressing the behaviors and holding to the standards of behavior and performance inviolate even though the pressure from your DW and the Skids had to make that a difficult effort for you.


ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

This is such a great example @Russell1981 of how each SKID will react and behave different and the stepparent pivots to tailor their behavior based on the kid. It sounds like you have handled this very WELL. I struggle with disengagement, I feel the pile of wanting to do and compelled to help - I get twisted in feeling for them and their struggles, but then I have to remeber that one of them is slightly indifferent to me - as if I am that estranged aunt they havent seen in 10+ years, while the other actively views me as the enemy. I just have to keep putting my love, care and resources towards myself, DH and other causes. Each year I get much better and the resentment/angry lessens. It's taking me time but reading above reminds me that I can get there.

@Rags has always been a positive push (for me) to realize I deserve BETTER.

Dogmom1321's picture

COVID started it all. I had a realization that EVERYTHING I was doing for SD (10 at the time) should have been on her bios the entire time. I was doing homework, school drop offs, making doctor's appointments, "babysitting", clothes shopping, etc. All under the guise of "just trying to help DH". When in reality, DH and BM were riding the easy express since I was doing all the heavy lifting. 

At the start of COVID I had my OWN classroom of kids I had to teach online. I could not put my teaching job on the line and risk losing it all because DH and BM didn't want to parent. It was easier for BOTH of them to pawn SD on to me during the day. I also realized that SD was pushing back and SHE didn't even want my help anyways. So why was I busting my butt when no one else cared? 

I didn't announce or use words like disengagment, I just slowly released reponsibilty back to her bios. Of course I got pushback, why aren't you doing this anymore etc. But I stuck to it. And glad I did! 

SD is 13 now and her bios are the one left to figure it out now. I'm not responsible for their parenting and how she turns out. THEY are the ones dealing with the failing grades, vaping, attitude problems, cleanliness etc. So thankful I disengaged before the teen years. They handle everything now and don't even bother to ask anymore for "help" they know SD13 is not my responsibility. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

That's a stunning reflection of realizing your role @Dogmom1321 and stepping out of being used. Bravo for you making that connection! I had a similar connection- I was trying SO hard all the time for everyone and everybody. They all piled the problems on me and I would bring out this mammoth amount of energy, problem solving and CARE for endless sea of issues that I would find ways to fix, repair and make better. So much time, money and resources spent on my part. Then one particular day where the SKIDs were explaining how I do absolutely nothing right, criticizing the meal I provided and playing the victim - I looked up and realized they are adults, they are not kids. What am I doing? What have I been doing? Through a series of life altering decisions by both SKIDs that next year I began pulling back. My final moment was a particularly HORRIBLE dinner that I had set up at a very nice resturant which I of course would be paying for- they ripped into me so hard, so fast and even the waiter privately asked me if I wanted to have the bill and just escape. I ended the dinner early. I was done. I told DH unless these adults get into a therapy program and treat me better I am done and I will continue to do less and less. I stayed angry for years over this- probably more angry at myself for allowing to get to this pathetic point. One SKID has made very modest improvements, not great but ok. Other SKID stays firm on his abusive treatment and has never entered therapy. I stepped back and it's been very good. GLAD you figured this out earlier- I wish I had. 

Dogmom1321's picture

I was so much LESS exhausted after I disengaged. I no longer cared if SD bad mouthed me to BM, or got mad because I won't give her a ride somewhere, etc. I no longer care about BMs or SDs opinion of me. Disengaging was mentally freeing! 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yes, free your mind. It's wonderful when you just don't care anymore. I am to that point most of the time - once and awhile I slip back into care mode internally but then I quickly SNAP myself out of it. NICE JOB!

Harry's picture

Is what level you are happy with. Or better what level you care about.  

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

More like- how much do you care about yourself? If the answer is ZERO then stay engaged and get pounded. If the answer is YES fly far enough away from SKIDs to keep them at least several arm's length away from you. 

MorningMia's picture

Over a decade ago the skids (college age) spent their first holiday with us (we had known each other for 8 years by then and had 5+ years of dealing with bad skid and ex behavior). Still, we spent so much time, thought, effort, and money planning, prepping, getting them gifts, and making sure everything was just right. They arrived extremely sick, which led to me disinviting my elderly mother (for her own sake), and the little Bs never even asked where she was. They treated our house like crap; tried to get their dog to "go after" ours; SD talked about her mommy throughout the holiday dinner; then she attempted to hijack the turkey I purchased and planned to use for soup--she wanted to make a mommy recipe. I caught her giving mommy a FaceTime tour of our home. Just weird. The skids took photos and edited me out of them in my presence. This is the abbreviated version of the holiday. Both DH and I caught the virus and I was out of work for a week. 

When the demons left, I turned to DH and calmly said, "They are never coming back here. I refuse to be treated like s*** in my own house." Normally, back then, that statement would have caused a blow up. I had to stand my ground or get out altogether.  DH was embarrassed. I was heartbroken for my mother. I was heartbroken for myself. I couldn't tolerate that behavior. DH asked the skids to apologize. SS did; SD broke down crying and screamed that she didn't do anything. 

I didn't speak to, acknowledge, or see SD for 7 years. SS tried to come around, so I did see him about 5 years later, but things quickly went sour again with both of them. We hoped they would grow up, but they didn't. We did attend SD's wedding and were treated like lepers. The skids came here last year when DH had a health crisis. It was a nightmare. Through the years, DH has for the most part seen his kids eksewhere. They (primarily BM and SD) wanted to force DH to choose; well, he did. Life has been peaceful for me without the haters regularly in it. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

@morningmia thank you for this- I have such a parallel story to this. General ungratefulness reigns the day- I used to pour my heart and soul into making the holidays FABULOUS for these breaking point came when one of them talked as if he was disgusted to have to attend our holiday gathering to his sibling. I heard the words come out of his mouth (mind you I am making him breakfast as I hear this) "We did nothing." Really? I spent thousands on fancy dinners out, entertainment, I made special grocery runs to get just the things SKID loved, every day optional activies and shopping and SKID opted for ALL. Then he says THAT. That was the end of making big grand gestures. I put a mammoth amount of time, energy and resources into a rehearsal dinner- it was fabulous and very well done which even ended in fireworks for them! During the rehersal dinner I got berated by DIL's mom - publicly and then was asked by SKID to apologize to his young bride for getting the wrong color dress (SKID literally handed my a swatch color and said get this color which I did.) The wedding became an event to watch me like a hawk - at one point I went to the bathroom after hours of being there. They took me going to the bathroom as a sign of dismay and sulking - it continued on and on and on through the years. You didn't have the right expression, you should have done this not that, your cooking sucks, here's a list of behavior modifications you ahve to make. Lucky that I have some ego left, I became red HOT angry - I walked miles and miles every day and finally after all the garbage I realized this is a dark hole that I will continue to pour love, energy, time and resources and receive nothing back. Since then I have also disengaged - sometimes they try to pull me back by talking to their dad about what I need to change. It infuriates me how disrespectful they are but now I largely ignore their complaints and do nothing that they ask me to change. THanks for this. 

I'll continue on my path of healing and I am learning to redirect love, resources and energy elsewhere. 

MorningMia's picture

That sounds absolutely nightmarish! I'm sorry! Yes--we need to redirect our love, resources, and energy to people worthy of them! 

Like you and many others, I went into this situation wide-eyed, open-hearted, and naive. For 5 years, I kept "rising above the fray," ignoring the slights and rudeness, and regaining hope that they would "come around." SD came into my house, where DH and I lived right after getting married, exclaiming, "I love Daddy's decorating!" when it was clear all the decor was mine at that time. I'd literally hand her a plate of food or a gift, and she'd say, "Thanks, Daddy!"  She'd talk about her mom's butt (yes, really, in a positive way) and how young her mom looked (untrue--lol). It wasn't super bold nastiness, but it was rudeness and it was ridiculous BS that I (and her father) should have confronted early on (he did correct the wrong "thank yous"). It may have been her not getting a rise out of us that led to her "punishing" us by refusing to communicate for 2 years (until she needed money for college, when God magically and conveniently told her to reengage with her father), saying her actions were due to DH not responding the way she wanted after she scolded him about the divorce and remarrying. It had been clear that the non-communication punishment was meant to break us (esp her father, who was initially devastated) and was managed well by her mother. 

After the 2012 disaster holiday, I was finally done. If DH had had a problem with my new rule, I would have picked up my dignity and left the marriage. I stopped signing birthday and holiday cards. I haven't purchased a gift for skids since that time except for one relapse when I bought a baby shower gift for first grandskid (I did not go to the shower), and they used that as an opportunity to give me the finger by posting several photos of all the gifts in a group with mine nowhere to be seen. I ignored the next baby shower invite (it was only to get a gift out of me and show DH that "they" were treating me decently). DH is mindblown how this group actively uses happy occasions, celebrations, and holidays to say FU to others. Well, that's what pigs do. 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Yes I am headed down the same road @Morningmia - good for you on disengaging and thanks for sharing your experience especially with your first experience with grandSKID baby shower. I am headed down a very similar path.

Rags's picture

If I were you, I would make their destruction, public humiliation, constant ass baring, embarrassment, exposing their idiocy, their infantile moronic crap, etc... the goal of every interface with them.  

Yes, redirect love, resources, and energy elsewhere. But do not tolerate their crap or their existance.  Make them twitch in terror at the mere thought of you arriving at a family event.  And go to each and every event.

I would let DH know that his shit spawn is going down and so are the idiot DIL's family.  I would go to each and every event fully radiant, rocking classy, sexy, attention grabbingly dressed in spectacular fashion, shoes, jewelry.  I would be on DH's arm radiating happiness with a haughty look of happiness daring them to say shit for anything. 

I would point out at every gathering that SDIL was the one who gave you the color swatch that you used to select the dress and never again with her or their toxic set ups be tolerated. 

"DIL, you didn't send me a color swatch for my outfit for this event like you did for  your wedding.  I hope this meets your design and color sensitivities. (Hugs and kisses)."  Confidently and loudly enough for everyone to hear.  Lather, rinse, repeat at each and every gathering.  Make the outfit, salon visits, hair style, makeup, etc.... a fun hobby prior to each and every time ypu wll see THEM.

When you walk in and their jaws drop,   do a super model twirl and give a haughty "Beautiful isn't it?"  Go for their throats and make sure that your SO knows that any interface with his baggage or their ILs will be your platform for baring their asses if they so much as twitch out of line behaviorally or even think about being disrespectful to you our your SO.

Cockroaches scurry for the dark corners when a light is thrown on in a dark roach filled room.  Be radiant, be the light, and stomp the cockroaches any time they show their nasty crusty bodies and faces.  Enjoy the crunch and make the scraping of them off of the bottom of your sexy shoes a message they will never forget and will forever cringe at the thought of it happening again.

"Wow, you could have made an effort to look decent for the event.  Are you not feeling well?  DId you not have time to pick out fabric color swatches you wanted me to wear. I waited for it.  It didn' come so I just threw this together."  Be locked and loaded with scripted pointed comments and adapt them accordingly for use  throughout the entire event.  And have fun using them.

End them. Make them rue the day, every day. 



ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

LOVE it @Rags- and agree! Next time I think I will just stick the truth out there - there will be a next time that I get set up for failure and I'll just throw it out in front of them rather than apologize. As for looking radiant with fabulous fashion and shoes - YES ALL THE WAY! My revenge is simply going to be happiness, looking absolutely smashign and as you mentioned- put the light on ! Thanks for this. 

CLove's picture

Sometimes I think sharing and talking about all this bad treatment forces us to relive it and re-experience the emotions.

Im hoping this is in fact part of a healing journey.

Im so sorry you have been treated thusly. Im sorry we have ALL had to deal with this.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

I am certainly not a therapist but for me I have found that by articulating it to myself, then to others, then sharing and learning from others and then processing things until they don't need to be processed anymore has allowed me to make better decisions for myself and get myself out of some of the VERY unhealthy dynamics in stepparenting that we get placed in. I do think I go through a process of rumination and dwelling but my ultimate goal is to not make the same mistakes again and also to move on. If I stuff this down or don't share I think it'll be a lot worse in the end. 

Rags's picture

Kids raised to be shit by shit parents, remain shit as adults.

Not rocket science.

Purge shit from life.  Even if that shit is our own child.   Since most kids have two parents, a good parent can be saddled by a shit child when the other parents generates the shit.

At some point, kidults who are shit have to own that they are shit.  They can either choose to not be shit, or ... they actively engage is remaining shit.  Their choice. They have to be made to live the consequences including being shunned by the quality end of their parent bookends.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Right 100%. We are kind of at that point where the gaslighting, manipulation, victim shaming, and attacks are starting to look weird and bad by the SKIDs. They are adult males and large - so when this happens it just looks abusive and it is abusive. I am just choosing to disengage. 

Harry's picture

You realize you just don't care anymore.  That you stop trying to make people happy.   I am a firm believer that you can not be friends with the ex. The ex is the ex for a reason. Now your going for friendship?   Once a lover you can not go back to being friends  another blog.   Topic 

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Exactly - it's tough on women sometimes. I really have a nuturing and kind side that I prefer but there are situations you have to toughen up and realize this ain't gettting better. These people are not nice to you and they view you as thing to take from, not as a family member. As for the ex stuff- we don't really have any problems like that currently, kids are adults now so that stuff sort of fell away.

Rags's picture

For some reason booty calls with an X or STBX is not an uncommon thing.

I avoided that though my nearly frigid within our marriage XW became oddly randy towards me the closer our divorce approached.   She was highly active sexually outside of our blessedly short (2.5) year marriage.  She/we were abstinate in our dating and engagement at her request. I honored that.  

She left her diaries when she moved out.   That was some infuriating reading. While I was being abstinate, she was far far from it. Including sleeping with one of the guys she insisted was in our wedding party.

I chose not to go there when she was attempting to engage sexually during our divorce process.  In all liklihood she knew she was knocked up by her geriatric Fortune 500 executive sugar/baby daddy.  She was.  

By the time she moved out we had not been inimate at all in more than 8mos.  

Her pregnancy had nothing to do with me.

ImperfectlyPerfect's picture

Horrible @Rags - the level of betrayal by your X is unbelievable. And look at you now? A wonderful DW and what might be your next gig. You won in this deal - glad fate twisted your arm so could get out of that loveless marriage. ...kind of wonder if she left the diaries for you to find? No matter the reason - good thing she is the past.