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Step- Grandparent Alienation

Disillusioned's picture

So how many step-grandparents are expected to be a great grandparent to their SGK, but at the same time the SGK is being PASed (alienated) from you by their parent (your SD/SS) and/or the inlaws...?

AVR1962's picture

I have a SS who told me that I will never know his child as my grand daughter. I also have a bio daughter who is not talking to me, took me off media sites along with my grand children and her husband.

What can you do about it?

I see it as them angry, needing to deal with their own issues and wanting to control me so what are they going to do? Take away something that might be special to me. I won't play their game. I hope one day their children see the parent for what they chose.

sorrynotsorry's picture

Wink I AGREE! I had the same thing told to me so I disengaged completely. SD is spoiled and I could care less about seeing her kids. Brats just like her. Good riddens.

Step-Libra's picture

I want to leave the house when SS drops off the SGKs and DH can let his son criticize and control him, but leave me alone. DH can't take care of a 3 yr old and  1 yr old by himself. He is having seizures and can't drive or be left to care for them alone. I love the girls an I'm bonded with them but anything I do is criticized and I can't take it anymore. I texted SDIL that I thought I heard fluid in the 3 yr old's chest... she ghosted me. So DH yelled at me for interfering. WTH? These people are insane! Help me figure this out so that I'm not in the line of fire. 

Notthedoormat's picture

When they plan to come over, let them know an adult needs to stay because of DH's health issues...and you have plans and will be going out.

Always have plans and after a short visit, see yourself out the door. Thwy have to know you're not there to be the sitter when it works for them. And of course you want to make sure DH isn't overwhelmed and the kiddos are looked after properly. 

I love kids, but my SD has crossed boundaries,  so unfortunately I limit the care I give to SGK because I don't want to be taken for granted nor do I want to be held responsible if something isn't to her liking...but this is a very young mother who puts alcohol based sanitizer on her hands to clean them before sticking a finger in her child's mouth, so the standard isn't high.

insightful34's picture

I am not a Step - Grandparent yet. However, with my first SD considering marriage, it has come up between me and my husband. He told me that I have nothing to do with his grand-kids. I was so shocked. I still don't know what to do, but I was crushed. I would have thought I would have had a problem with the daughter. She out of my three step-kids, hates me. I think the last to Sept-kids would allow me to see the grand-babies, but not her. Still, my husband said that to me. I am so surprised. I have to bio kids 4 and 6, and he told me in so many words, I would have to wait until they have kids of their own. :jawdrop: :jawdrop: :jawdrop:

amyburemt's picture

your husband said that to you? well ok, then don't be expecting you to pay for any holiday or birthday gifts or talk about them at all if he expects you to have nothing to do with them. heck if he even mentions them i would shut it down immediately with his words thrown back at him. that's so ignorant.

ndc's picture

That seems so bizarre.  Is there more to the story? How old were skids when you came into the picture? I can understand him asking you to stand down if there was already a grandchild and the skids was making an issue of it,  but why exclude you in advance? What kid couldn't use extra grandparents?

With a H with that attitude, I wouldn't do a thing for any of the skids or grandskids. Let your H do everything.

Your girl's picture

I am sorry, but then your husband does not see you as his wife.  He needs to tell his daughter and stick up for you.   She would not ever allow him to tell her what to do.

notarelative's picture

I have no bio grandchildren.
My SD has two. Her husband and she have told me that they do not consider me to have a family relationship with their children.

When the first child was born I thought that if I acted like a grandma that in time they would accept me. Why I thought that I don't know. The idea of being a grand made me delusional.

Eight years, two kids, my delusions are done. They don't consider me related. No problem. Their loss.

I have no illusions that things will ever change. Neither does my husband who they marginalize because he expects them to be respectful to me.

I have no hope the grandchildren will ever realize what their parents have done. Well, at least not in my lifetime. If they do finally realize it, it will only be when they are grown, with children of their own, if they have a spouse with a normal family.

Punchice's picture

It's funny nobody who preachs you should treat you step-related kids the same as your own kids or grandkids, nieces exc. have absolutely nothing to say about this. Nothing. They seem to forget or not care there are many situations in which you are clearly not wanted. Or you are only looked for when it is advantageous to the parents of the steps or the steps. Let someone who has kids that are your step kids treat you like you are not to be looked at as family and then they have a kid with a son or daughter of yours that you're close with. Watch them flip and get mad that you treat your grandkid or kids differently. Lol those people are a joke. You tried that's all that matters. Keep it pushing.

Punchice's picture

It's funny nobody who preachs you should treat you step-related kids the same as your own kids or grandkids, nieces exc. have absolutely nothing to say about this. Nothing. They seem to forget or not care there are many situations in which you are clearly not wanted. Or you are only looked for when it is advantageous to the parents of the steps or the steps. Let someone who has kids that are your step kids treat you like you are not to be looked at as family and then they have a kid with a son or daughter of yours that you're close with. Watch them flip and get mad that you treat your grandkid or kids differently. Lol those people are a joke. You tried that's all that matters. Keep it pushing.

Sad and upset's picture

I have no children of my own and married my husband when his kids were 9 and 11. I had always thought we had great relationships but recently my SD has started to disregard me. She doesn't acknowledge any gifts or cards I send to her or the grand kids. My 9 year old SGD bought me a present from her school Mothers day stall but my SD told her she couldn't give it to me or say Happy Mothers Day to me because I wasn't a mother. When I wrote and asked her why she wrote back that she had never thought of me as a mother. Things have further deteriorated since then and she barely acknowledges me. My husband asked her what is the matter and she just said that as far as she is concerned there is no issue. I am so sad about this but there is nothing I can do but just ignore her. I feel this came about after a family birthday when the kids real mother was present. The grandkids were making a fuss of me and we were laughing and playing together. After this the oldest GD asked me if it was true that I wasn't her real grandmother.  We don't have control over what others do and say but the kids will remember the good things we do and say now even if they're given no encouragement to thank us now.  I feel for you and what you are going through - it hurts!

Rags's picture

"No Dear, it isn't true.  Your REAL grandmother is whoever you choose to be your REAL grandmother. You are my REAL granddaughter, so, I am your REAL grandmother."

Confront the toxic. Zero tolerance.   Kids are smart, they know who their REAL family is. And it does not necessarily have anything to do with biology.

My parents are my son's grandparents.  That he is not biologically their grandspawn does not make them any less his grandparents or him any less their grandson. Anyone who would suggest otherwise to either my parents or the Skid would be very uncomfortable instantly.

Sad and upset's picture

Thanks for your comment Rags. I wish my SD felt as you do. I believe the more people a child has in their life  to love them and to show love to the better it will be for them. I don't think most of the SDs i readabout on these forums think of that. I like the way you think and are doing it in your family. Well done to you!

Rags's picture

Thanks.  I completely recognize that our blended family structure is about as simple as it gets.  I have no BKs, SS-28 is an only child in our family.  His mom and I met when he was 15mos old and married the week before he turned 2yo.

He is the eldest of my parents GKids though not their first. My niece was born 5mos before my wife and I married.  My parents met DW and SS 2mos before my niece was born so we were all progressing in our relationships with each other.

An interesting aside is that my mom always intended to bond with the SpermGrandHag as grandmothers to my SS.  My mom has a big heart and always chose to take our description of the SpermGrandHag's toxic crap with a grain of salt.  She thought that we were exagerating.  After a bit more than a decade mom and dad were with us for the Holidays when SpermGrandHag called to arrange visitation travel.  As she usually did, SpermGrandHag attempted to intimidate my DW, my DW shut her down and SGH went postal with the ranting, name calling, screaming, etc....My DW was holding the phone away from her ear due to SGH's screaming.  My mom walked behind the sofa, took the phone from my wife and very sternly layed into SGH informing her that she would not speak to my mom's daughter that way and if she ever wanted to arrange visitation travel with SS again she would need to shut up, calm down, and do what she was told.  Then my mom hung up on the SpermGrandHag.

My mom then went to my DW, gave her big hug and then appologized to both of us for not listening to what we had been telling her about the SpermGrandHag from day 1.

My ILs have always been very supportive of me as a StepDad as well.

I know I am fortunate for the SParent adventure I have had.

Even in more complicated blended family structures I think that a behavior and standards based direct confrontation model works.  Kids need the facts, and the toxic blended family opposition needs to have their noses rubbed in the stench of their manipulative crap.

Just my thoughts of course.

godess-clueless's picture

I have saved myself a small fortune in entertainment costs and the expense of gifts during the last 12 years. When I met and married Dh many years ago, all steps were adults. I came into our relationship treating all 7 of his GC the same as my 1 GC. Anything I did for or with mine, I also did for his at my expense.

My Dh was the person responsible for the end of that situation. It took one time of him telling me his children didn't come to visit him because they didn't like how I treated them ( I refused to raise anymore of their children , reminded them of their unpaid loans, and let them know I did not like when they would call their dad to pick up their children for several days at a time )

stepinafrica's picture

Smile If skids have been playing that game all through their childhood, why would you expect them to stop playing it once they have their own kids?

If anything, they will be more happy to play the game because this time they have even more power as bio parents.

Caution is the name of the game.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

It's just a sad fact that if dysfunction is present before gskids come along, it will likely ramp up afterwards.

It's sick, but I think that once we show interest/love in the gskids, we've handed a huge amount of power over to the skids. If they harbor resentment or tend to be manipulative, gskids are a perfect weapon to hurt us with - if we let them. Gskids are also an excellent way to extort $$$.

We haven't seen our two older gskids for four years, and they live only 5.5 miles away. Prior to falling out with their mother OSD, we were very involved with the little ones - as long as we paid for the privilege. Sports fees and equipment, clothes, shoes, annual school clothes shopping trips, cell phones, excursions, toys and video games, every school fundraiser, last minute babysitting requests, parties hosted at our house on our dime, THAT'S the power OSD had over us. The more we did, the more she expected. The day I called her out on some ubercrappy treatment of her father was also the last day we heard from the gskids. Broke our hearts, but we've moved on.

So when crazy YSD called us for the first time in seven years and told us she was pregnant, our response was only a tepid, "So what's your plan?" We have never met this gskid. Wait, she was present with it at a party and DH's sisters kept dangling it in front of him as bait. It didn't work, though. Sadly, we've learned not to get involved.

still learning's picture

"It's just a sad fact that if dysfunction is present before gskids come along, it will likely ramp up afterwards.

It's sick, but I think that once we show interest/love in the gskids, we've handed a huge amount of power over to the skids. If they harbor resentment or tend to be manipulative, gskids are a perfect weapon to hurt us with - if we let them. Gskids are also an excellent way to extort $$$."

^Yes, yes and yes. You nailed all the points. I wish I had been warned about this before involving myself w/the gskids. DH and I adore ss26's boys but it's apparent that whenever BM is involved the lines are drawn; it's either her or us. I'll still love on the cuties when they're here (if we ever see them again) but I won't go out of my way to have a relationship.

notasm3's picture

SS30 told DH that he wanted him to be very involved with the baby his GF is expecting. Translation: buy lots of stuff and babysit whenever they ask. DH informed him (without any prompting from me) that this was going to be SS's child to raise.

I am also appalled at the number of young parents to be who tell the gparents what they are expected to buy - cribs, car seats, other baby furniture, etc. DH told SS that he and BM provided for their children and no GPs were involved in providing basic necessities.

I've picked out a couple of small gifts. If I am invited to a shower (doubtful) I'll send a present. I'll make sure DH has a present to take when he goes to meet the baby. But these are pretty much what I would give to a cousin having a baby, etc. Nothing big or expensive. Actually I got a nicer present for my hairdresser - but I've been friends with her grandparents even before her mom was born. I consider her more like family.

notasm3's picture

I could be wrong - but I don't think DH will be one of those to "fall in love" with a baby. He has a GS from OSS who lives a couple of states over (where OSS fled from the police) that he has never met. Doesn't seem to bother him one bit. That GS is now a late teen and is pretty despicable although marginally better than his disgusting now deceased criminal gang member father.

I teased DH unmercifully about how he was going to be expected to sit at the hospital for hours (even days) while the GF is in labor. He didn't like that. He said he'd go see the baby after it was home.

My DH loves being kind to little kids and giving them Mardi Gras beads and toys (from our Mobile and New Orleans trips) when we are at Disney. But all in all he is not a "kid" person.

I've already made it clear that this baby will not be part of my life. And to think prior to DH I was hoping to meet a man with kids so I could have grandkids.

Disillusioned's picture

That is true exjuliemccoy, I also learned that the more DH's daughter saw that I cared for SGS, the more she used him as a tool to hurt and humiliate me - well she tries that anyway Wink

I stay uninvolved too. If we're at one of DH's family events I have learned to just focus on the people that are sincerely friendly (SSIL, FIL, etc..) if little SGS comes up to talk to me or wants to play a game sure I'm all over that but otherwise I don't engage him. I don't ask DH's daughter anything about him (which is fine is she has excluded me from Day 1 deliberately) so now I make sure she doesn't get that sastisfaction

Rags's picture

SpermGrandHag tried this crap. Not happenin with my parents. SS is their eldest grandchild ... period. SpermGrandHag has no influence over that.

Imsooverit's picture

I'm so glad I found this website, it has helped me a lot. I take care of my Bgd 3 days a week I love her to pieces but it's a job, well my SD has a son and has hinted since he was born for me to take care of him,but I just ignore her hints, I just can't do it, it would be just be too much for me to handle and honestly I just don't want to, well in the past month my SD has been jealous over the time my bgd has with us so my Dh has started getting him one day a week on one of the days I have my bgd, well recently my Dh didn't go and get him on a day he was supposed he had some things to do and had worked a lot of overtime that week and was just too tired, so he asked if he could get him a couple days later, well that wasn't good enough, my SD made him feel terrible about it complained about how much time my bgd is at our house and wouldn't let my Dh go get his grandson a couple days later I'm just fed up with my SD we have had a strained relationship for 20 years and I'm not going to be bullied by her any longer

Rags's picture

The propagation of the toxic behavioral crap perpetrated by shallow and polluted gene pools is sad. Particularly when the residents of the shallow and polluted gene pool insist on propagating their toxic crap into subsequent generations. Good luck countering this crap. I am not sure it is worth the effort.

Superstepper's picture

After a decade of rejection by skids, I have no intention of even trying with their spawn. I'm sure BM will be right there to PAS the GC anyway.

Rags's picture

My parents accepted my Skid as their GKid from day one. I pitty anyone who threw them a "He is not your REAL grandchild".

My mom commented many times over the years that she would contact SpermGrandHag so they could bond as the kid's grandmothers. That eventually crashed when my mom and dad were with us one Christmas and mom was with my wife when SpermGrandHag called on a rant. My mom hung up the phone. When SpermGrandHag immediately called back my mom answered and layed waste to the Hag and put her in her place.

My parents are my kid's favorite GPs. He has 3 sets of GPs. He will tell anyone very happily that my parents are his favorites. They are the ones that participate in his life, call him regulary, and don't let him disappear from their lives. My wife nor I have ever wanted anything else... except for my ILs or the SpermGPs to step up and actually be GPs that are worth a shit.

KatieM's picture

I haven't bonded with my SGD, age 1. At first I thought it was because I was excluded from getting the texts, photos, and news of her like my DH was. But after reading these posts, I realize it might be self protection from being excluded and hurt if I did form a bond with her. This is so sad to me, but I have had a strained relationship with my SD for years, and was so upset by her yesterday that I feel it is in my best interest to disengage.

Stepaside-1987's picture

I know you post is almost a year old - I wondered if anything has changed? Originally one of my SD was sending me texts, pictures and then all of a sudden she stopped. In other words I thought we were going to be able to bond but once I started to feel close - she dropped me like a hot potato. IN the meantime I learned that she had my DH second wife come out to visit her - she lives in another state. My DH was hurt and mad. I told my DH that I was done trying and that from now on I will be pleasant but not initiate any contact. I have a BGD of my own and I felt guilty in the beginning and tried to make sure that I was "fair" - now I am not. I only focus on my GD but as the holidays approach and there is rumor she is coming to town - I will once again have the invisible line when all the kids come to the house to visit my DH. As immature as it sounds I almost feel as if she is doing this on purpose so that she can cause division between my DH and I.

NMO's picture

I have been with my DH for 6 years (He's been d for 28 years). We have been married for year. He has 2 adult D, ages 35 and 33. The 33yo is married to a great guy. These two have a 2 year old. When we got married a year ago, I was told that I could refer to the child as my gd, but her mother told me that she did not want her calling me gm (that was reserved for her M and his M)...that I'd have to come up with a different name. We settled on Nana.

Reading what others have written...I too have been excluded from pics, updates, etc...not treated like I'm part of the family. My H 2 daughters have even told me that I cannot refer to them as SD, that I am to refer to them as my husbands daughters when being introduced.

This is my first marriage, and I do not have children of my own. My family is from the UK, so I don't even have family in the USA. I too was looking forward to having a "family"..SD, SGD, etc. The only time I'm good enough is when they want something. The little one knows no difference right now...but I wonder when that will change. I too know that if anything happened to my H, that I'd never see any of them again. Makes me fearful of loving this little one so much...but I have to admit, she has my heart.

I read something a few months ago that help me resolve that fact that I will never have a bonding relationship with my H daughters. It said "They are adults, they never asked for you to be brought into their lifes. You were forced on them and they look at you as an acquaintance. Someone that they have to put up with in their life, not of their choice." I thought about that a lot...and you know, it is very true. So I too have decided to treat them in kind. I am cordial...but am not going out of my way any longer to try to enhance our relationship. It is what it is, and I am learning to accept that. Too bad for them, because I KNOW I'm a nice person and it is there loss, so I've been told.

Onward and upward I say...I give my love to those that want it...and to those that don't, they can stuff it! Smile

ldvilen's picture

I actually think so many of these sayings that SMs are supposed to lap up are very hypocritical. Your advice is great, but this quote, "They are adults, they never asked for you to be brought into their lifes. You were forced on them. . .," is one of those nonsensical ones. It happens all the time in families that we don't get to choose who our loved ones marry. All the time. A favorite brother may marry a woman you think is a gold-digging be.atch. Many a parent, for example, is having to deal with their children dating or even choosing to marry partners that they do not approve of or want. People we love or care for date or marry people ALL the time that were never asked for.

So, what happens in these situations, is the vast majority of people are adult enough to just accept that, "Hey, for whatever reason I may have negative feelings towards this person my XYZ chose to marry, but I love my XYZ and it is my XHZ's choice, so I'll go along with that." Why would it be any different for dad and his wife or SM? Why? Because for some reason when you throw SM or step-dad in the mix, many start to think they now have a free-license to hate and defile. Media does this all the time with dumb-dumb quotes like, "They didn't get to choose who dad married the second time around, so boo-hoo." Sure, it is okay for them to bring home or date or marry a Marilyn Manson look-a-like. The whole family is to be completely accepting of that and embrace their new honey. But, if dad wants to date or marry a woman after his divorce from BM, suddenly he needs the SKs' permission.

SKs and BM do not own dad. He is quite capable of making his own choices. If he chooses a partner, he has chosen that partner. You can either accept it for the love of dad, or you can act all pissy about it and go around acting and treating dad like he is a 15-year-old who dared to get a tattoo/new wife without your permission, and now you are going to point it out to him and hold it against him the rest of his life.

peacemaker's picture


Sad and upset's picture

You are absolutely right. Skids feel justified in treating SMH with disrespect as a show of support for their BMs. I was friends with my now husband when he was married and knew he was unhappy and leaving his wife. After he left his marriage we got together romantically. I was the beneficiary of his divorce but I did not cause it. Ex wife accused us of having an affair for months and told everyone I was the reason that her husband left her. I think my SKids believe this is true also which is why my SD excludes me from things, won't let SGkids acknowledge me on Mother's Day or ask them to phone us to say thanks for any gifts. I believe this is "payback" for what she thinks is my fault her family was broken up as a child. I can't fight against lies. 

Ozlady's picture

Thanks for sharing these words, I am excluded from my Hs family due to his ex wife still being very much involved and at family events I am pretty much ignored AND my SD does nothing but talk about her mother all the time in my company. I have tried to explain this to H but he can't or won't see it, I would never be rude to them in public and for his sake have not said anything to them privately either. The long and short of it is, I don't like her if we met socially SD and I would not be friends, in fact I would barely acknowledge her presence- boring and pathetic as she is.  However your words really help me, I only have to put up with her and her with me infrequently and then we move on.  I hope things are improving for you

peacemaker's picture

It is their loss...altogether. They are so focused on who we are not in their lives, that they miss the awesomeness of who we are and what we have to offer. Their blindness is their handicap, and their children's misfortune. They aren't aware of the opportunity they have been exposed to because we married their father. I just let it go. I don't have to "prove" my worth or value to anyone. I just try to be the best version of who I am wherever I go in life. The grandkids usually enjoy me when I am around them. (they can sense real love when it is present).

All of that changed one day when I woke up and taught them that I got to choose whether or not they had a place in MY life....some of them did not get to enjoy the benefits of my engagement with them because they had proved themselves to be abusive and dis-ingenuine toward dh and myself in the past.

I look at the pas'd step kids as if their pre-disposition is an unfortunate handicap( handed down to them by their bm) that leaves them tainted to the degree that I would dare perceive them as severely limited in their ability to think properly for themselves. So, their viewpoint of who I am and what I have to offer is inaccurate and deficient at best right out of the gate. My job is not to prove them wrong. I just let them reside in their own ignorant state-of-being. I also realize, if their condition remains uncorrected, they will probably pass it all down to the next generation who is also unaware of what they are being marinated in. It is their legacy from bm...a gift she cursed her own children and grandchildren, and their children's children with.

I let them live in their own is their baggage to contend with when they each move into adulthood. And the parenting stage of life is over. My personal struggle with their adversity is done now, and I am free to move forward with my life.

Each one of us has to accept the responsibility of the life we have been given. Recognizing what a precious gift that is, is the first step to being able to embrace and enjoy our own uniqueness. The rich experience that waits each one of us still has to be unpacked and discovered...It is an individual choice. The fullness of our experience is directly correlated with being able to walk in the truth of who we were created to be. Our value is not based on our utility in life, rather the mere fact that God created each one of us out of His love. Being able to discover our gifts and talents to enhance our utility in life does, however, add to the fullness of our experience He originally intended for us to have, as well as the legacy we are to leave behind...

ldvilen's picture

Wonderful advice! It takes a village to raise a child (properly). Too bad there are too many divorced parents who don't realize what a gift they have been given when someone who has the potential to love and care for their child and help it grow up to be a well-rounded adult comes into their lives. By choosing resentment over respect for that person, they are really denying their child (or GK) the opportunity to further learn and grow. Their loss.

Ispofacto's picture

@peacemaker, thank you for putting into words so eloquently our feelings regarding PA.

SugarSpice's picture

sd just had a baby and i was left out the face time with her father. i was doing laundry in the basement and no one thought to call me up to see the baby. after the session ended dh gave me a big grin and told me about the interaction. evidently i was not important enough to be included in the news as a family member. count me disengaged.

Disillusioned's picture

Stepaside-1987, no unfortunately nothing has changed.

In fact we were at a little gathering at my OSD's last month for her birthday (and mine since it's a few days before) and it was all the same nonsense with her, right down to her not so much as saying thank you to me for the gifts that DH & brought for sgkids - she did say "thanks guys" while looking directly at DH and not so much as even glancing in my direction, let alone so much as say even a hello or good-bye to me the entire visit!

Hopefully one day you'll have a relationship with your sgc outside of your SD's control, and then it will be much easier doing nice things for the sgkids because you know they appreciate it, regardless of their mother's attitude

My osgs is very much like that now, approaching 7 and super sweet. He is often distant to me when I first arrive at DH's family events (because his mother my SD works hard at alienating me from him I'm sure) but once the event progresses and all the adults are focused on adult discussions etc.., my sgs seems to 'forget' that I'm not that important to him or his family, and he is totally focused on being around me, wants my attention, and is just as sweet as can be

When I bring gifts for him I could now care less if his mother acknowledges it or not, I know that he is happy about it, and so it's become about him and not her anymore

I hope one day you will be there with your sgc as well but in the meantime, if the only one that will get that you did something nice for the sgc is your SD, then I might be tempted to tone it down, until the sgc is old enough to get it all on their own!

Stepaside-1987's picture

The conversation came up again with my husband about 2 weeks ago. I admit I was hurt by what he said, he told me to not expect to bond with any of his grandkids - that comment cut right through me. That hurt because I know the second wife was given the chance by the skids with their children. Since then, I have pulled back because I guess I realized that if he doesn't care then why the hell should I. It hurt me because I felt kind of like an outsider before but now I really feel like one. Once he said that I have pulled back and say very little about his kids or grandkids. I have made a decision to talk very little about my children and grandchildren to him also. It hurts - It will take me some time to realize that I need to focus on just us and to also focus on just me. It's a wedge I didn't ask for but lately it seems like there will be a line that will always divide us. To those who can have blended families without any issues I admit there are times I envy them.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Ouch! That was rather harsh of your H. Still, it's better to have brutal honesty between you than to be forced to deal with a delusional spouse who wants you to accept skid abuse with a smile.

Focus on your own tribe, the family and friends who love and support you. Fill your life up with positive, healthy relationships and experiences. Recognize that spouses should have some separate interests, and put the skids on the same level as any other hobby your H might have. It helps take the emotion out of the situation.

I have found so much joy and happiness since I stopped trying to carve out a place in DH's dysfunctional family. I never realized just how small and insular his people are. I've found new hobbies, formed new friendships, and done some some amazing things in the seven years since I disengaged. Still haven't heard from the gskids since the day I called OSD out on some cr@p, but they are their mother's creatures and were being taught to exploit us even at a young age.

To be clear, this is not how I hoped things would be, but looking at it as merely one chapter in the BIG book of multi generational dysfunction that is DH's family helps me keep a healthy perspective.

We can't control other people, can we? But we can choose to see to our own needs and to make ourselves happy.

fairyo's picture

Yep- this! When my grandskids were small we took them out all the time, babysat, had them for weekends and took them away too. They were always a pleasure and I enjoyed their company. The problem was whenever we took them back OSD was always looking for something that had gone wrong, a complaint or a remark about how difficult they had been. This was so she could have a go at me and I always made sure I said nothing negative. It was only when they began to grow older and were showing signs of becoming mini-OSDs that I let my guard down. She came in for the kill and it has never been the same since. I decided the disengagement had to include them too.
I am very different with my grandkids than The Ostrich is with his, and I think he is realising that I am not there just to buy them things- and he can't control them with his 'kindness' either. They always give me a little gift that they have baked to take home for him, but what do I ever get from his grandkids?
It always had been a one-way street and I decided to turn round and walk the other way. The street I'm on now is much less complicated and stressful!

ldvilen's picture

Very interesting comment: ". . . put the skids on the same level as any other hobby your H might have." And, a good one for many GSMs and SMs to ponder. Example, my DH loves golf, and I personally don't care for it. He has all of the equipment, watches golf games on TV when he feels like it, goes golfing with family members here and there, and he'll come back and tell me how the game went. I'll ooh and aah a bit, depending, and then end of discussion. His golf doesn't take up much space in my head. He buys all of the equipment and deals with all of the costs himself. He finds happiness with it, so I don't mind. He is happy and satisfied. I am happy and satisfied. He gets to play golf, and I never will have to, unless I want to. Good analogy!

Stepaside-1987's picture

It was harsh. This past weekend we went over to my OSD home - it was not a planned trip, we were out and about and he wanted to stop by and I was fine with that. My OSD has always been kind to me unlike the other two SDs. My OSS is also two out of 4 isn't bad.

My husband has noticed that I don't refer to the stepgrandkids anymore as ours. I always refer to them as his and mine in conversations with others. I have also stopped discussing my grandchildren with him and he has started to ask questions here and there. I also don't shop or worry about birthdays and/or holidays anymore. I will take care of mine but as far as his - we can shop together or he can get it alone. I never receive a thank you anyway.

I used to try and be "fair" with my comments on social media between all the kids. Now...I only focus on mine. If something is said...I will simply say "I am damned if I do and damned if I don't - so I have decided to focus on my children/grandchildren and us."

As my MIL said, the one OSD is passively trying to tell me "you don't count" so make sure she knows you hear her loud and clear and don't give her the attention/battle she desires.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Could it be that your H made that comment because he's realizing you're disengaging and doesn't like it? If so, try to shrug it off as it says more about him than you.

My own H went through a period of resentful dickery in the early stages of my disengagement. One of these days I'll have to make a post about the stages spouses go through after we disengage.

Stepaside-1987's picture

No I don't think he was resentful. I think he was being honest and knew that the one daughter in particular has in ways disappointed him - but what is he going to do? Demand that she like me? Demand that the kids acknowledge me? I do know that he is becoming aware of how the middle daughter and granddaughter act towards me - they live in another state so we only see them once or twice a year however, now that he is aware I do believe he will observe and if I am disrespected - I know he will say something. IF he doesn't...I will be sure to let him know that when she is in town do NOT expect me to visit with them. I am done being ignored.

I would love to learn the stages spouses go through after we disengage though. I am not verbal to him about my disengagement. I don't need to be. When I need to be - I will be.

fairyo's picture

The Ostrich has gone through three stages of disengagement: stick your head in the sand, stick your head in the sand and then...stick your head in the sand!

Sad and upset's picture

Wow! That is so true. I realise that is the message my SD has been passively telling me for years too. I put up with being excluded, ignored and disregarded and finally I called her out on something and she made excuses, made it all about her and insinuated that it was all an my head. I am over it now but it took a long time. 

The fact is that we need to concentrate our efforts in the lives of people who believe we DO count. And from now on that's exactly what I will do.







still learning's picture

"To those who can have blended families without any issues I admit there are times I envy them."

These families do not exist IRL.

Stepaside-1987's picture

Funny but I have seen the younger generation in my family who have divorced and the parents have remarried raise the children with out issues. They have all remained friends and the children are very happy. I guess I was hoping for that kind of maturity from my stepchildren.

Disillusioned's picture

NMO, that's exactly it! Good for you. A lot less hurt and stress and disappointment with an attitude like that as well Smile

Disillusioned's picture

well said peacmaker!!

I really like what you said about it not being your responsibility to change how they feel about you or prove them wrong - wow, now wouldn't that free so many of us from falling over backwards kissing our skids and inlaws butts trying to win them over

If instead, we simply let them deal with their own responsibility to grow up and stop looking for reasons to despise us, how much simpler and happier our lives would be

I really think I'm in the space now too

Simply no longer care what my SD's think of me and could care less if they accept me or not, that's their problem not mine!

Disillusioned's picture

So true!

Disillusioned's picture

NMO, also want to add that you should give your SD's exactly what it is they tell you they want!

Don't refer to yourself as the sgkids grandmother, ever. And always refer to your SD's as your husband's daughters...and don't be upset about it or ever let your SD's think you are anything but fine about cooperating!

When my OSGS was just a toddler and first starting to talk, and my DH and FIL would refer to me as "Grandma Disillusioned" to him, my OSD would make a huge show of correcting them, and very clearly referring to me as "Disillusioned"

I'm sure she was getting off on it thinking it was hurting me

How surprised she was when I happily referred to myself as simply Disillusioned to OSGS, every time

I also treated OSGS as no different than I would a co-worker's child. I would be sweet and polite while around him of course, but never anything more. Never did I try to act like family to him, let alone Grandmother. And I was nothing short of happy and upbeat about it too Smile

I really did actually reach the point that I was relieved to have it that way. I knew I would not try to be his grandmother, nor would I go out of my way to be anything more than polite and nice to him - and I think that may be one of the reasosn OSD suddenly had a huge change in plan and out of the blue one day started referring to me as grandma Disillusioned to him...behind my back I know 100% she makes it clear to him I'm not his grandmother, not family, not important and not liked (by her anyway) but I still don't go out of my way!

I'm super sweet to OSGS and treat him very well, but I never play the grandmother card with him and never ever let OSD think for one second that it's important to me

Funnily enough, OSGS just seems to adore me, and we have a wonderful little relationship. I do adore the child back, but I never let my gaurd down, considering his mother and her ploys

Sometimes the best thing you can give your adult skids, is exactly what they 'say' they want!

Enjoy your life, and don't allow them to dictate it.

Sad you didn't get the 'family' you were looking forward too - I know exactly what that feels like trust me - but as you say it is what it is, treat them as acquaintances, and enjoy your life without a second thought to what they do or say!

peacemaker's picture

It's like you said..."It is what it is"...I didn't create it and I cannot fix what bm and dh created...The great news is...I no longer focus on it. We have better things to spend our energy on. My bs28 and his wife just told us they were expecting their first baby!

We are so excited to be able to show this new grandchild our fullest expression of our love and who we are as his/her grandparents. And so are they.... (happy dance).

Sad and upset's picture

I read with constant dismay at the terrible behaviour of SDs to SMs. I can't work out what they get out of it. They upset their fathers, cause angst to members of their wider family and they deprive their children the love of another person in their life. Generally people act in ways to get something they need - love, recognition, acceptance, power, and so on. When their behaviour causes them and their children to miss out on so much what is it exactly that they achieve?

Disillusioned's picture

Sad and upset, that is such a great question

I think in my OSD's case, she thinks this extortion will manipulate DH into giving her what she wants; guilting him into putting his relationship with her above mine. She has always had extreme jealous insecurities about his relationship with me. Very resentful. Beleives he should treat her as the only thing that matters whenever we've all been together. Needs him to treat me as unimportant and insiginant in comparison to her. Sad but very true. 

She thinks if she plays the "I'll walk out of your life card" it will get DH to do this. She has seen how much grief it's caused us in the past and loves it. She was also successful at destroying BM's relationship with her significant other (OSD's SF) by doing the same thing so guess she figured she would succeed in doing the same with us

You would think based on the other times she has done this to us, and not getting what she wanted that she would have learned but apparently not

Disillusioned's picture

CajunMom, seems like you've reached the same place I have. Took me a good 20 years to get there, but finally got it. 

Far too many years falling over backward to build relationships with people who wanted the exact opposite

I've finally given them exactly what "they want"

I sincerely hope they're at peace and happy now, because I most certainly am, without their bad energy 

Catmom024's picture

My SO's adult offspring would like nothing more than for their father to be single, alone and lonely.  Easier for them to lie to, manipulate and steal from.  A grandchild is nothing but another level of trying to achieve this.

It never ends. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Catmom, a lot of posters could learn a lot from you. You see things as they truly are, warts and all.