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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

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. 

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 two 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.

Crr18's picture

I am not sure if I am disengaged or not. SD just plan doesn't come around and SS is now a little shit do to poor parenting . He doesn't acknowledge any adult . He will only say hi or bye if it is done to him first so I have stopped . This weekend coming up BM is going out of town with her fiancé so we have the kids. I am sure right now SO is in his glory and especially if SD is forced to sleep here now. I decided it is the perfect opportunity for me to drive to my sisters in another state to see my nephews homecoming. I will be gone the entire time. It works out great and it doesn't look like I am doing it in purpose.  He can be here alone being ruled by the kids to run them here and there so they don't have to be around him and he can baby them all he wants and I don't have to see it . I can actually be around my nephews who have been raised correctly and love to see their Aunt and have actually conversations with me .Funny how "all teens " do not act the same as my SO like to say. 

Winterglow's picture

He hasn't been around many teens ...

Crr18's picture

It is because when we are around the other parents and we are talking it comes up that his son doesn't tell him anything and just mumbles answers and then other parents say their kids are like that too. But I don't think the other parents understand to what extent SS is rude and entitled. When his friends are around and I talk to them they have a normal conversation and I can understand their words. And my nephews love me and want to see me. I get if SS doesn't care about me but there is still the repect he should give to adults. 

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. I finally got to put an end to the abuse at a dinner when the SKID and DIL blamed me for everything and didn't hold themselves accountable for anything. They had ZERO insight into their behavior, no remorse and looked at me as if I was not a human being. It's all so gross to me. If they had some decency I would have been eating out of the palm of their hand. No more !