Round II of attempts to rope him in
There has always been an enormous effort to manipulate my DH, as if the skids (driven by their mother) wanted to engage in a tug-of-war that would involve a winner and a loser. In most ways, I'd say they "lost," as when they seemed to want to force him to choose between them and me, he chose the marriage. (There had been no conflict or bad blood or anything on my end that would logically lead to that craziness; I had always encouraged him to have an even more involved relationship with his kids, and at the beginning, I was very hopeful about having a good relationship with them myself. . . then things got ugly.) That didn't mean the manipulation stopped, although the outright harassment did. I knew in my heart that whenever grandkids arrived, Round II of manipulation would occur. And here it is.
The skids live several hours away. I thought it was cute that SD was sending pictures and videos of her little ones to DH. Of course, I did not receive them, as I am undeserving . Then the texts became more frequent, almost daily sometimes. To make a long story short, in a normal family, this might seem...well, sweet. With them, I see this as SD dangling carrots (hostages) out to DH. Well, it works: DH feels guilty that he doesn't see the grands frequently and here he comes again with another round of hope (and delusion and irritability) over what his relationship with them could be. NOT UNDER GRANDMA'S CONTROL, BUD. Didn't he learn that during Round I?!
DH is on the outskirts of the family. That was his punishment: being banished for the most part because he dared to remarry and not allow the ex to be in his marriage. I've never been clear about what the skids want, as they treat their father as a stranger (he uses the term "like cousins"), but I do know they have always received cash, and I know that's one of the drivers. Perhaps the one daughter is delusional, too. I don't know.
So, especially now that we are in the midst of the holidays, I'm seeing the very old Daddy Guilt that I hadn't seen in years.
Yay for Round II! And we are off! Uncork the champagne (lots of it)!