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Here we go! Again...

2Tired4Drama's picture

Several months ago I posted about SD and her pregnancy.  One of the issues at the time was that she had posted news of the pregnancy on Facebook but never told her dad (my SO).  Her dad is not on Facebook and she knows it.  We live many states away so it isn't like they run into each other, either.  

However, when the pregnancy was lost and after she had returned home from the emergency surgery - only then she called him to tell him everything that had happened.  He was hit with a triple whammy - she had been pregnant, had lost it, and had been rushed into serious emergency surgery which no one called to tell him about, including SIL.

Fast forward to now and a successful in vitro -- SD is several months pregnant again.  Thankfully, all looks good thus far so fingers crossed she has no complications going forward.  

But she pulled the same stuff this time as last time.  Found out today she posted the news on FB again and some younger members of my SO's extended family saw the post.  They told my SO they were really in a fix because they know how SD is about not contacting him  - and didn't know if they should say anything to my SO or not.  People should not be put into those kinds of uncomfortable situations because SD is too inconsiderate and immature to tell her father directly.  

Coincidentally, my SO had reached out to SD about the same time as her post (she didn't call him) and during that conversation she told him she was pregnant.     

Of course, my SO was happy to hear the news and I am seeing signs that he is being hopeful about his future as a grandfather - as he should be. 

I, however, am going through yet another phase of stepparenthood which is going to be challenging.  Although I am primarily disengaged from SD and don't have any contact with her, I must confess I worry about the future.

What if parenthood really does change her - and she begins to show more respect, care and concern for her father?  What if she actively seeks him to be involved in her child's life and encourages more communication and contact - strengthening the relationships?  While that is a good thing for my SO, SD, the SIL, and the baby-to-be, I know it brings problems. Throw BM and her NEW hubby into the mix (who SD/SIL are actively involved with) added with the reality that SD has never wanted to have any kind of relationship with me, and it results in an equation where I don't fit.  

This is yet another stage that stepparents have to think about.  After 15 years of not being accepted, and coming to peace with disengaging which brought relative calm, this life may get complicated once again.  As my SO finds his role as a grandparent it is certain that will come with challenges about visiting, holidays, etc. which will impact me. 

In the meantime, I have to put on a smile and support the happy emotions my SO feels.  All the while, I just feel dread inside.  

Sometimes I think walking away would be easier. 






tog redux's picture

I get it. My SS was alienated for over 3 years, and while it was hard at first, it became very peaceful. No SS and no BM.

Then he came back and my anxiety went through the roof.  I just had to revisit how to just stay out and let DH handle it how he pleases, and that seems to work OK.  I'm still annoyed at BM, but she has no real power now that SS is an adult.

Judging by the fact that SD hasn't even bothered to talk to your DH about her pregnancy until he happened to catch her, I don't think you have to worry about her turning over any new leaves.


2Tired4Drama's picture

If past predicts future, then my SO will probably be excluded/kept on the fringes once the gskid is born.  I know for a fact that BM will be the "priority" grandparent, with SIL's father being close second.  

Like you, I suspect I will have to flex my disengagement muscles and try to maintain that delicae balancing act of being reasonably responsive but not getting actively involved.   An initial baby gift and congratulations (as one would to a coworker) and then back to disengagement.  

Ozlady's picture

I’m not so sure that your SD won’t turn over new leaves as tog redux suggests above, it seems to me that SDs (much like many women today) think that the ability to give birth makes them somehow special and worthy of worship from all and sundry. That is certainly my experience. 

Do not be surprised if your SO is suddenly expected to be a doting grandfather (read free babysitter) and worshipper of the glorious fertile beast. The sickly “she’s a wonderful mother”.


I would prepare yourself for an onslaught of emotional blackmail form SD and your SO about grandparenting, the wonders of SD and her perfect parenting and how you “should” behave as step grandma. 

I am still trying to find the right path through the morass of step grandparenting. It’s not always pressure or expectations from SO or SD but from friends, family and colleagues to conform to some perfect ideal of family just because SD was able to perform a very basic and fundamental animal behaviour, giving birth.

My advice, stay as far away as possible. Do not get involved at all

2Tired4Drama's picture

So babysitting won't be an issue for my SO (or me).  I am so very grateful that we moved as it does make things easier compared to many others who have to deal with this crap on a daily basis, due to proximity.  

You bring up an interesting point, however, about what others' expectations are.  I know I will have to firmly be biting my tongue whenever the subject of "grandkids" comes up.  I'm sure when asked, my SO will be glowing about it -- showing photos, etc. as he should.  

But the fact remains that there is a significant portion of his life that I will never be a part of (skid) and now it's going into the next generation.  Although I am thankful that I don't have to deal with SD who is a selfish and self-centered person, it still stings that he has a part of his life which cannot be shared.  Mine is an open book and he's accepted and welcomed by everyone in my family, I will never have that status.  


SacrificialLamb's picture

My OSD did not behave more respectfully towards her father after she birthed Royal Spawn. She used the children as bait to get her father to do exactly what she wanted.  DH was so overwhelmed with the Miracle of Birth, which had never been done before. 

If DH didn't do as she said, she told him he wasn't welcome at her home anymore. He got tired of chasing her after years of this.

I have not seen the kids in several years.  At this stage I am happy to not be involved with OSD and the kids go along with that sentiment. She is raising them in her superficial image.

Be supportive of your SO in his excitement and also if she still is being disrespectful. Yes, things are going to change, but define your boundaries and stick to them.

2Tired4Drama's picture

While I have no problem disengaging from SD I do have concerns about my SO's reaction to it all - and if HIS boundaries will change because of it.

Once you throw an "innocent" baby/small grandchild into the mix, I think he is going to be more proactive about reaching out to her.  Even though SD is noncommunicative towards others she DOES think they should worship at her altar and initiate contact.  I just don't want to see my SO in a never-ending state of groveling at her feet for snippets of info about the gskid.  But, if your DH got tired of it after awhile then perhaps the same would happen with my SO. 

I've already noticed a difference in him when we are out in public.  He admitedly is not a baby person but has now seemed to pay more attention to babies/small kids and actually points them out as "cute" or "look at that little one."  I can only imagine once his grandkid is here - I think he will be as doting as SD allows.  Again, I'm not saying he doesn't have that right and should absolutely enjoy it, even if it means kissing SD's butt to do so.   I just don't relish the idea of sitting on the fringes as an outsider and watching it all happen.

And I certainly will not be an active participant in any way, shape or form.  


SacrificialLamb's picture

Are you uncomfortable if SO is away for a little bit?

I suggest you learn to love the role of Outsider! I was told I was not part of the family.....happy to oblige you OSD! I didn't like being around OSD and her histrionics anyway.

If you are worried about feeling left out, remind yourself that healthy people don't subject themselves to the behavior of toxic people. Make sure you have plenty of hobbies and things to do that you like to do. It's good for a relationship anyway, and good for him to see that you are not sitting at home fuming waiting for him to return.

When the babies were born, DH was gaga. After some time it mellowed into a normal perspective. Now he says the kids are getting older and want to spend time with their friends. He visits a few times a year and that works for us.  I save some things I want to do for me for when he is gone. I was bitter at first, but that wore off and now I enjoy the time to myself - I don't get enough of it.

You're right, it's going to be a change, but it should be manageable. Fingers crossed for you!

2Tired4Drama's picture

And I want nothing to do with SD, quite frankly. 

But Lamby, I am certain that when the miracle birth occurs my SO will go up and visit.  I, however, do not want to go nor will I spend any of my money doing so.  This is such a milestone for him that I know he will be crushed if I say I don't want to go.  Although HE may want me there (primarily for HIS moral support) I know that SD, her hubby, and certainly BM will give me the cold shoulder - if they even acknowledge me at all.  Why in the world would I want to subject myself to that?  Just so my SO doesn't have to face them all alone?  Why should I volunteer to be the virtual punching bag?

Did your DH expect you to attend once gskids were born?   How did you handle that?  

The hardest emotional part is coming to terms (yet again) with the fact that the SD portions of his life, time and resources are essentially off limits to me because she has made it so.  Like you, I was initially bitter about it but I am happy to exclude SD from my life because she is not a person I even care to know.  Yet conversely, I am still resentful because I WISH that my SO had a daughter who could at least be introspective enough to TRY and develop a mature relationship with others.   It doesn't have to be this way.  It's SD who choses ostracism as her weapon of choice.  

I managed to get through the phase of disengagement from SD and just need to roll up my sleeves and deal with the gskid disengagement part, too.  

momjeans's picture

I don’t see her making any sudden changes, or rather, parenthood turning her into an emotionally healthy person to her father.

I mean, look how she’s navigating announcing her pregnancy. Look how she only contacted him after the fact with her initial pregnancy loss. She engages in withholding behavior and it’s a weapon to her. I’d personally remain steering clear of her and such antics. She’ll eventually alienate a lot of potentially healthy inter-family relationships if she doesn’t knock off this crap.

I imagine this has got to be such a volatile, eggshell walking situation for your DH. It’s going to be extremely sad when the baby arrives and she uses said innocent child as another means of emotional warfare. 

2Tired4Drama's picture

Momjeans, you really hit the nail and articulated it perfectly:  "She engages in witholding behavior and it's a weapon to her."

I've never really thought of it as a weapon before, but you are right - it is!  I've known she's got a self-absorbed personality but you've given greater insight into WHY she does what she does.

You are also right that's she's alienated other family members and has done so since she was a teen.  She has nothing to do with SO's family and they've been fed up with her for awhile.