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Setting up the dreaded SD/SGK visit

2Tired4Drama's picture

Sigh. I knew it was going to be inevitable. 

The dreaded time has come when I will have to spend SOME time with SD30, her DH and their two kids.  We are taking a vacation to their location (several days driving) and my SO naturally wants to see them all. One of the grandkids he's only seen once and the other he hasn't met yet.

I disengaged from SD years ago and would like to keep it that way. Polite in person (when needed, and rare) but completely disengaged otherwise. I have not seen her in three years, thankfully.

We are not staying with SD and will have our own lodgings about 20 minutes away from her house. The trip to that area will be about five days in total. 

Here's my plan and I hope it works. If anyone spots any flaws or has suggestions, let me know!

I will go to the initial "meet and greet" at their home when we first get there so I can do a little obligatory cooing over the two kids. (I have not met either of them.) I purchased a small toy/gift for each which is what I would do if visiting anyone else with kids BTW.  I will sit there politely, not initiate any conversation and will make appropriate compliments about kids when warranted. Otherwise I plan to smile like Mona Lisa and say nothing. 

I have friends in that area who are excited about my visit, really want to see me and I've already made tentative arrangements to meet with them. I have casually mentioned this to my SO, "Oh, Suzy wants to meet up with me. I will plan to get together with her while you spend that day visiting with SD and your grandkids!"  What I have not told him yet is that this will probably extend to three friends - meaning three days I won't be around. At all. 

My SO has set up one day at the end of our visit to go out to eat with her bunch for a birthday celebration. I will go to that. My plan is the initial visit, and the dinner at the end. Nothing more. 

I'm just trying to figure out how to thwart my SO's eventual pouting that I won't be at his elbow the entire time while he gushes over his grandkids, worships SD and all the while, expects me to be nothing more than an audience to it all. 

At this stage all I can think of is, "Oh, you get such little time with your daughter and your grandkids. Every minute is precious and you should focus on that. You don't need me there to take away even one minute of that time!"

Thoughts?

2Tired4Drama's picture

Let's hope it works!!

tog redux's picture

I assume that you aren't able to tell him outright that while you support his relationship with his kids, you'd like to stay distant from them?  Then yes, just go with the fact that you haven't seen these friends in years, and you'd like to spend time with them but don't mind a bit that he'd prefer to spend time with SD and her family.

Might want to sprinkle in a bit more contact if you can take it - like, I'll be with my friend all day but meet you guys for dinner one night, or whatever.

2Tired4Drama's picture

It was also a couple of years ago and something had come up and I just "clicked" at that point. I flat-out told him that he needed to face facts that his daughter does not welcome me and never will.  It's been more than 15 years. I did say to her credit she has never been outride rude to me, nor I her, but that does not a relationship make. Her actions/inactions make it very clear that she has zero interest in me, could care less if I breathe another day or even acknowledge that I am important to HIM.

I compared it to how he treated her husband - although he doesn't really like the guy, he makes an effort to talk to him one-on-one and tries to get to know him better.  He remembers his birthday, sends him cards. I said, "Why doesn't your DD do the same for me?"  Of course, he had no answer to that and immediately went into martyr role and literally looked like he was going to cry. I honestly lost some respect for him after that.  But I haven't brought it up again. 

That's why I figure that two visits (initial and dinner) are about all that is needed. Plus, the logistics of where my friends live compared to where we are staying would make it difficult to commit to anything else on any given day.  

tog redux's picture

Fair enough! I really don't get why these men can't see their children even slightly objectively, even when given evidence such as you have said.  Relationships are two-way streets.

My SS21 is not rude to me, and he liked me a lot when he was younger and coming for visits- but he makes no effort to have any kind of relationship with me other than a cordial one when we all get together a few times a year, and I make no effort with him.  I sure as hell would not want to spend 5 days with him (but DH wouldn't either, thank god).

2Tired4Drama's picture

sometimes I wonder what is worse: A skid who NEVER accepts you (for no reason) or one who actually liked you and then dismisses you.  If he is 21, perhaps there is a chance he may come around again when he matures. At 21, I think there can still be a glimmer of hope.

When they get to my SD age -30s - it's game over. They are supposedly mature adults at that stage and neither they nor your relationship with them will change.  I know that for a fact!

futurobrillante99's picture

I think your plan sounds excellent. The only problem I see is that you're worried about your SO pouting. You got to get Teflon coated on that one.

Ask yourself why does a grown man need your company to enjoy the company of other people who do not like you? Is he incapable of enjoying their company without you? It's more like he wants you there because not having you there means his kid is a jerk. So if you are there, he can pretend his kid isn't a jerk. Sorry,We are not props to bolster the delusions of a crap parent with a crappy kid.

There are people that he wants to see on this trip. And there are people you want to see on this trip. The two of you can accomplish the most by going to see these people separately. You surely do not need him at your side to spend time with your friends.

Own your feelings. Let him be responsible for his feelings. Own what you need from this trip. And let him on what he needs from this trip. You do not need to be together the whole trip.

2Tired4Drama's picture

Your words really ring true and I agree I need to don my Teflon armour and your point about denying they have a crappy kid is spot-on. 

Like many delusional dads, they want to try and keep up some sort of image that "my kids are alright" even when faced with facts. 

JRI's picture

If all else fails, your stomach could be acting up again or your migraine has come back.  Lol.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I can actually develop sinus in that geographic area so I have that excuse at the ready, too!

Merry's picture

My situation is very similar. DH's kids don't live nearby, so when we do go visit it's a whirlwind. Fortunately I have family in the area to spend time with.

His kids are cordial, occasionally friendly. But they'd rather not have me there. Nobody cares about that except for DH. He has a particular notion of "family" and this isn't it.

We've had frank discussions about it. I am not going to make myself miserable for his comfort. I tried that because I thought I "should" and it was a miserable failure full of resentment.

So I see the kids/grandkids a few times and do my own thing most of the time. It works.

2Tired4Drama's picture

I'm hoping my strategy/tactics will work, too.  I am very grateful that we live far away so at least I don't have to go through this that often. 

Harry's picture

Then it's on him to play GF by himself.  Spending five days with people you don't like it's a little or a lot too much.

He knows you don't like his DD.  But he's submitting you to five days of torture,  I hope you are staying at a great hotel with a restaurant, room service,  bar, night club.   

2Tired4Drama's picture

But my friends are often generous with the lunch/dinner/bar tab! LOL

Stepmom2020's picture

Realistically, the step doesn't want to see you either. To bad DH can't be honest and see that. I'd go with the sinus thing!!

Tried out's picture

I'd want to be in a relationship with someone I had to "manage" so he didn't pout. I really don't get the need for subterfuge in an adult relationship. I remember doing this as a teenager to manipulate my parents into letting me do stuff they didn't want me to do but surely we move past that as adults? 

Stepdrama2020's picture

Just read this thread.

Can you update us how it went in a new blog or forum?

Hope it went ok for you and mr pouty pout didnt pout that you made other palns. Which was dang smart BTW.