StepAside's picture

For those of you with adult stepchildren who only deal with their father..

One of the problems with all of our stepfamilies, is that we are often uninformed about our situations and we tend to take them personally. I was telling DH last night about how common it is for fathers and stepmothers to wind up with adult stepchildren who insist on having a relationship with their father only. Once they become adults, they have no problems dictating the terms of their relationships.

OSD(29) started telling DH last fall that she wanted him to come to her place for a visit, without me and our kids (her 1/2 siblings). She said it was just because she wanted to spend one on one time with him. However, as soon as he said yes, she invited her sister and the sister's bf there as well. And she lives with her fiance. And they spent time with one of her cousins. So, as I expected, it wasn't about alone time with her father. It was about time without me and our kids. After being married 18 years, I never expected we'd be playing these mental midget games this far along. Just as soon as he arrived, she proceeded to shred me to him. And when they were in a group setting, she shred me in front of everyone.

Hence, the gloves apparently are now off. That's her choice. The bottom line that I'd like my DH to understand is, it's not about her "reasons" for doing what she's going. What she is doing is so common. I don't know how many times I've read stories here about stepchildren who turn into adults and start dictating to their father the terms of the future relationship. They won't come to our homes to visit. They insist that our husbands come to visit them alone. And if we are all forced to be in the same room together, they will always being the silent chill factor.

Also, I believe it's far more common for these situations to happen when there is more than 1 stepchild, because they feed off of each other. Just as soon as the waters are calm with one, the other two get them stirred back up. I think if OSD was never born, we wouldn't be in this situation with the other two. She has been the driving factor for years when it came to keeping her sisters riled up. There was a time when the youngest conveyed to us that she didn't like the pressure from OSD to hate me and didn't understand it. However, she was eventually sucked back into the quicksand.

OSD is set to be married next year. And then she's going to have children. I would love for my DH to know from others, how very common our situation is and what the future holds. I feel that we are at a crucial starting point. We both agree that if we had to do it all over again, we would have stopped their negative behaviors together from Day 1. Neither of us would have made excuses because they weren't with us that long, or they were wounded from the divorce, or whatever. Tolerating their toxic behavior only grew them, and that is something we both regret.

I want my DH to know from those of you who have or are in the same situation, what happens next. I believe in these situations, you only have the chance to set the precedence once. My DH knows that OSD's burning hatred is HER problem. However, since she refuses to release it, it causes everyone around her to tap dance. I want my DH to be informed before he starts the dance. I want him to know, that once it is common place for her to summon him alone to her place and to start dictating terms, it's only going to get worse. I want him to know that if he continues to listen to her shred me without telling her to shut her mouth, that he's only feeding the monster.

If your DH has been agreeing to the terms his adult stepchildren set, involving cutting you out of the picture, can you post how you got to that point? How has it effected you? Is your DH happy with the situation? How has it effected your kids together? What kind of stress has his grown stepchildren's resentment caused everyone in the picture?

And I'd love to hear what you believe is your grown stepchildren's #1 reason for what you've done to deserve this treatment.

I know every grown stepchild believes their stepmother has committed some horrible crime and deserves whatever she gets. OSD has stated as much to my DH. What I would love for my DH to see, is that it's not just OSD who believes her actions are justified. I would like him to hear from other SM's in the same boat to know how common this is. The adult stepchildren really don't NEED a reason. I think we all know, their behavior stems from their own insecurities and fear.

StepAside's picture

p.s. And I'd love to hear

p.s. And I'd love to hear some stories about what happened once the grandchildren were born. I know many of you have been deemed unworthy of being in the children's presence. Please tell what you've done to be labeled a danger to children.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Okay StepAside, I will

Okay StepAside, I will address your last question first as I think that is the most important one. You ask, what have I done to be labeled a danger to children, and unworthy of being in the presence of SD's newborn. Well, unfortunately I have to put up my hand and accept full responsibility for all the problems I have with SD. You see StepAside I have done more than one thing to annoy the living crap out of her.

Firstly - I breathe in
Secondly - I breathe out

By performing the above actions, I live, therefore denying SD the one thing in life that would bring her peace (or so she thinks), my death.

I have been married to my husband for 9 years, together for 10, and SK in our lives for approximately 8 of those years. SD youngest child and only daughter apparently has always controlled the family, mum, dad and two brothers. Dad left, took up with this good for nothing scrubber (me), and SD came running back in to protect her inheritance, and not only did she make sure we knew that, but she was quite proud of the fact that dad who had already handed over a fully paid house, 3 cars, furniture, goods and chatels all fully paid for, to mum upon his divorce from her, was now going to upon his passing (which for can't come soon enough) be handed over to her. DH thinks that it is okay for her to feel like that because he left her mother and she is angry about that. I own half this house and have 3 children of my own, but SD thinks if she just ignores that fact then it means not only do I not exist but my children do not exist either. This wonderful world she lives in is seemingly inhabited by quite a number of SK judging by the posts on this site.

Now Bio mother died 2 years ago, and I guess that made SD really angry, because bio mum was still making SD breakfast right up until the morning of her death, on that morning SD had to get her own breakfast, and if I had been the one who had done the right thing and stopped this breathing in, breathing out shit that I do, then the status quo for stepdaughter would have changed into what she wanted, dad out of the house so she could do as she damn well pleased, mum doing her washing ironing cooking and delivering breakfast in bed to her, and me never to be seen or heard of again..........damn me I really deserve her hatred. During the last two years SD has made every possible effort to get daddy to see her without me.

GRANDCHILDREN. DH has one 13 year old grandson whom he has not had contact with since he was 3, this was apparently to punish him for leaving mum and taking his pay packet with him. unfortunately causing the then 19 year old stepdaughter to try and get child support from him or get herself a part time job. She tried right up until a month before her 20th birthday when she sent a threatening solicitors letter demanding 30% of his before tax wage and all her legal costs. Didn't happen, so to be fair you can understand why she is Pi##*d off.

Last year oldest step son father of DH only grandchild at that point decided it was time for another baby. SD who had been trying for the 2 years since her mother's death to get daddy to see her alone, and would only ever ring him at work etc., thought that was a good idea, and surprised her boyfriend with a baby of their own. My gut feeling on this is that she was failing to get her father to see her on her terms, and thought a baby in the mix might just help things along nicely.

Some weeks before the baby was due, I sat down over coffee with my husband and poured out all my thoughts, feelings and suspicions on the pregancy and what I thought SD intended outcome would be. Given that she announced the pregnancy to my husband during working hours over the phone even though she lives 5 minutes from us, and given that she had not once mentioned the pregnancy or anything about it to me I felt that once the baby was born, she would never allow me to be part of the child's life, and that she would use this child to lure daddy over to the dark side. DH said, no, that would never happen. At that point I said if it did I would be finished with her for good, and I would no longer try to have a relationship with SD he agreed, that was fair enough. SS baby born on 19 May, DH told a couple of days later, SD baby born 26 May (1 week later), everyone told, DH heard it on the grapevine around lunchtime, SD rang him just after 5 that night to let him know baby was here and he was the first to know (lying manipulative cow). Anway, put all that aside and rock up to see SD baby in hospital, as I approached gift in hand to congratulate her, down went her head to stare at the mattress and I was forced to just place the gift (still not thanks for that and now we are in Oct), on the side table. SD pushed baby at DH constantly chattered away at everyone in the room, no wait, that's not true, she did not talk to everyone in the room at all, she didn't look at me, let alone talk to me. So true to my word I have had nothing to do with her since then. She rang my husband a couple of weeks later and asked him to come over and see the baby, he to his credit for the first and only time did tell her, no, as long as you treat my wife the way you do we won't be coming. Battle of words ensued, but he stuck to his guns. SS baby was born at around 29 weeks and was struggling, so SS said we couldn't see that baby. Now DH has 2 newborn grandaughters, and no contact with either of them, and no contact with 13-14 year old grandson.

SD mad as hell that daddy didn't jump through flames of fire, rings sick FIL and has now got him going. So, now we have another problem there.

SD boyfriend rings DH to say it is wrong for him not to see baby, at this point no one not even FIL has given a rats behind about DH not seeing the prem baby, and tells DH he has to consider his childrens feelings, and respect them (still lauhing over that), he tells DH unless he leaves me as his chidren want (not true only SD, but she tells SS's what to think say and do), then he will never see his grandaughter. Husband said okay then I wont' see grandaughter. Now SD is really p##** off, that was her trump card.

Now FIL steps in again, and all hell breaks loose, he tells SD to rock up and not take any notice of us, I think he meant me, so she does, I gave my husband the option of going to the door and telling her no apology no entry, or I would do it for him, my hero tells me to do it. SD has nothing to apologise for, so no entry, and told not to come back chances over. DH still withdrawn from me, FIL very angry with DH and myself, all three of my husband's children not talking to him, and he has only seen each of the grandchildren once in hospital, and no contact since.

This is a family at war beause of one person and one person only SD. She has always been allowed to dictate not only the terms of her relationships with people, but she also has been allowed to dictate to mum, dad and brothers who they will and will not associate with, and mummy and daddy allowed it. She was not born this way, she was made this way by mum and dad. I no longer wish to live with the consequences of her biological parents failure to bring this woman up to be a healthy well adjusted productive member of society, who has no manners and no respect for anyone at all.

My DH would in a heartbeat agree to her terms and start living this two family life, at this point in time the only reason he doesn't is because I have told him the first time you do it, take your things, because you will not be welcome back.

I don't believe it is ever too late for bio parents to pull these self centred, demanding, bullying SK into line, but if they want peace in their marriages and lives then pull them into line they must. My suggestion is to take what I did one step further, I sat down before SD was ever pregnant and told DH how I thought it would play out, and I sat down with him again as I said a few weeks before the baby was due.....However, I made one big monumental mistake, SD should have been sitting down with us, and DH should have had the conversation, told her what we were thinking, and warning her that he would not living two lives with two families, that if she continued on after the birth of the baby, both she and her baby would suffer because he would not be in her life. I think that would have scared the beJesus out of her and who knows, may DH and I could have 2 brand new grandaughter in our life to love to cherish to play with to adore, but no, do we have happy stuff, no we have everyone upset and angry. The birth of these two children should have been a miraculous event, instead of a bull fight.

It appears to always be the father's daughter/s who cause most of the problems in second marriages, and I don't know why that is. I also don't know why the fathers fail to stop their daughters from making outrageous demands on them, and I fail to understand how fathers can let their daughters tell them how to live their lives, but most of all, when these men go back out into the world and choose another partner, why do they let their daughters bust a gut trying to destroy this new relationship by ignoring and disrespecting the woman that they have chosen to become their wife.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Snickersgal, What are these


What are these husbands and ofen fathers of children with the new wife as in your case thinking. Do they not see the harm they are doing to their children in the second marriage when they allow them to watch their mother being isolated and ignored by their half siblings. What kind of family environment is that to bring up this next lot of kids in Do they not realise that it must hurt your children to watch you being left out of family events etc., Do they not question how their older children came to be so rude and mean. Children really do learn what they see, and they do learn by example. These men would do well to set a better example for the second family they have and perhaps thereby showing the older children that things have changed in more ways than one and rudeness will no longer be tolerated, and neither will leaving his wife at home while he and the children you share together party away without you. It is not fair to the children, it is not fair to you.

The problems most of us seem to have on this site or should I say problem is that our husbands will not stand up to their adult children particularly daughters, and therefore by being complacent in this, teach these adult SK that it is okay to disrespect us. I honestly believe the biggest problem we have is not the SK but the parent who after bringing them up to be rude and disrespectful, not only fails to see they have done this, but fails to listen to his wife who is suffering the brunt of their rudeness. Our husbands need to stand up to them and for us, but they seem to be unable or unwilling to do so. It seems beyong their comprehension to realise they brought a new wife into this family and they need to teach the children from any previous relationship that disrespect towards you will not be tolerated - you are his wife and out of respect for him they need to respect you. But this seems too hard for them.

I wish you all the very best. This really is long hard slog and it is all so unnecessary.

Donnadreams's picture

It's called "Manipulative

Smiling It's called "Manipulative Emotional Blackmail" It seems the daughters want daddy to choose them instead of the new wife. It happens in every second marriage where there is a SD.

Donnadreams's picture

SD had a 30th birthday party

Smiling SD had a 30th birthday party last year and her husband invited many people including BM and her husband. He invited my DH only, not me and DH did not attend. He said if I was not invited, he would not be there. She would not have anything to do with her father telling everyone her father didn't bother to come but I am sure she never told anyone the circumstances of his invite. Don't have anything to do with them. They are adults. Let them feed off each other.

Dunwiththem's picture

StepAside - I realise you

StepAside - I realise you first posted this a while ago - but maybe you will have some use of this sometime!

To StepAside's Dear Husband,
I was in a similar situation for over 20 years. My step daughter just could not bear for her father to have anyone else closer to him than she was. It could have been anyone – Mother Theresa - would have been the same. Her main tactic was to draw my DH away from our home and 'to' her. This proved - in her mind - she could control him any time she liked. Of course, the bait would be such as
'Oh, Dad, I really want to spend some time with you. You've been neglecting me. We need some time on our own. Can we go shopping together?'
'Oh, Dad, could you just drop by and fix this shelf for me'. X (her hubby) can't do it' (this appealing to his masculine pride).
'Oh, Dad, (after he's told her about an argument we've had) she doesn't deserve you. You're such a nice, kind, generous man. How can she treat you like that?'
'Oh, Dad, you know I like (Dunwiththem) but I think she's jealous of our close relationship.'
'Oh, Dad, I would come visit you, but I just don't feel welcome there.'

If none of this worked - the tears would, and I'm talking adult, married woman here.

When she had children, all the stops came out. Those darling kids were nothing but weapons which she did not hesitate to use in pursuit of trying to breaking us up.
I could go into unending detail, but suffice to say she didn't want me to have anything to do with them, but wanted my DH to virtually be their dad (yes, she had a husband).
She also considered her children to be his only PROPER grandkids, despite the fact he already had 2 by my daughter.

Why did she act like this? Because she was co-dependent on her father – because he allowed her to be, therefore instilling in her a divine right of entitlement to control/sabotage her father’s actions.

My DH never, ever laid down any boundaries for his daughter, so the blame cannot be put entirely on her. If he had been strong enough in the beginning to calmly but firmly lay down some ground rules, a lot of the hurt on all sides could have been avoided.
*All we step mums want is to live happily with the man we love. We understand - as mums ourselves - that you love your children. That's normal and to be encouraged in every way. We don't want to be a 'stand-in' mum for your adult kids - just to be given respect and space to have a life with our husbands and a good and peaceful relationship with our extended family – then, everyone wins.
If you are not firm, your daughter will keep pushing and pushing the limits making everyone miserable, not least you.
*I’m not saying all step mums are perfect. I’m sure there are some terrible ones out there. But I’m pretty sure that any woman coming to a forum like this does so at her wits end, looking for answers and caring enough about her relationship/s to try to understand and make things better.
And for the record, I also have an adult step-son who still chooses to live with us even though his father has died. He never had an agenda and is a lot happier than his sister.

just.tired's picture well well said!
I have a stepdaughter who drives for 14 hours {with her toddlers} to stay with us for a month every summer!She has her father take her on vacation with the kids to Florida and anywhere else she desires. StepDaughter{+kids} and father have gone on vacation together every year for 5 years so far."Her main tactic was to draw my DH away from our home and 'to' her." {Note: SD has a husband who stays at their home while she travels to vacation with her Dad}
My husband has never laid any boundaries for his daughter, either.
I love your following statement: "Why did she act like this? Because she was co-dependent on her father – because he allowed her to be, therefore instilling in her a divine right of entitlement to control/sabotage her father’s actions."

mapitout's picture

The examples you give here

The examples you give here are spot on. I especially agree with the point of the DH setting boundaries and setting an example in the beginning. It is not useful to assign blame after the fact. Unfortunately, many people are not aware of what they don't know or what they need to know to have a healthy experience in 'new' extended family situations and the expectation and responsibility tends to fall on the DH. Perhaps a public service pamphlet on things one might encounter when re-marrying needs to be given to all when they apply for their marriage license, some times we are flying by the seat of our pants and riding on the optimistic illusion that it'll all work out.

Mominator's picture

I'm not even looking forward

I'm not even looking forward to getting to your situation (which will be in about 7-9 years). DH has been estranged from his mental midgets for over a year now.

I brought up to him last night that when we have a disagreement that he not bring up the past (my mistakes), which he uses as a last resort when he's not "winning" the argument, or actually the truth of the matter is I've presented enough truths in the debate that holds him accountable for his actions, and he brings out the grenades (my past mistakes/history). So last night I reminded him that we don't resolve anything by bringing up the past, and that is the reason why his adult princesses don't want to have anything to do with him, because they want to hold onto the past (his/my mistakes) to justify their rage and hatred for him/me. I reminded him how much he wants them to get over the past and focus on the present and future, and he needs to live by example and do the same for our relationship.

He went ballistic. I can't even mention Thing I and Thing II, NOT even in a negative way, and he freaks out and turns into a tyrant against me, like I've smeared their image to him. It's disgusting how he turns into Prince Valiant and draws his sword with me when those twits are even mentioned.

I don't get it either SA. These men are BLIND. They refuse to see the situation and their behavior for what it really is, and yes, all he's doing is feeding his little monsters.

I hope they never re-engage with him. I don't think I could stand being married to him. It's bad enough already the drooling 2-year old I have to live with.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I live with a prince valiant

I live with a prince valiant too....

ybarra357's picture

I can appreciate that your

I can appreciate that your FDH stood up to the beasts. Which is more than I can say for my own DH. However, my case is a little different though, I will not be around his adult spawn OR his parents, so it really doesn't bother me when he goes off to spend time with his family. I certainly take time to go see my family. See the thing is, MY family welcomed him and treated him kindly. So he often WANTS to come with me. His family hated me from day one. At first, it bothered me, but not anymore. I don't give a flip about them. I'm sure they bash and talk about me, but like I said, they don't matter to me, so doesn't bother me. And I can guarantee, when DH family talks badly about me to him, he doesn't say ONE word to them.

Boudicca's picture

My SD is 28 and has nothing

My SD is 28 and has nothing to do with me. She only calls her father at work. She is an only child and when I met DH he was giving her and BM money hand over fist. He didn’t have to pay BM anything – it was guilt money. SD was in college and DH paid her cell phone and gave her an allowance. When we moved in together and then got married I guess she didn't like it because I came between her and daddy's check book. So whenever she would ask for extra money , since we had joint funds, he would tell her he would have to discuss it with me first. I don’t think she liked that at all. Back in 2010 she and her live-in boyfriend wanted us to loan them $2000 towards the deposit on a house. DH wanted to meet with them to discuss it. Before we met with them she actually called me on my cellphone – something she has never done – and made all sorts of excuses about why they couldn’t meet with us. She said in a snotty tone “Well I think everything can be accomplished over the phone”. I told her no. Her father wished to discuss it in person and so did I. I suggested to DH that we just give them the money as a gift. (I didn't expect we would get it back if it were a loan anyway). When we met she was rude and belligerent . She said “Our dog has been inside all day and we are stuck here with YOU!” Every time I asked a question about the house or how much money they needed for the down payment she just yelled “That’s none of your business!” She even said at one point that she is entitled to “her dad’s money” and that’s what parents are supposed to do – give their kids money! They needed money from his parents, her BM and us. These are two adults, both with college degrees and good jobs who earn way more than I do. They are NOT kids. Despite her nasty attitude I still wrote her a check for the $2000. I will say this. She has NEVER looked me in the face and said “thank you” for anything. Not once. This was no exception. After we got home DH got a text from her thanking HIM for the money – like it had nothing to do with me at all. He texted her back and said that she needed to thank me too. A nearly 30-year-old woman should not have to be told to say “thank you”. When I met DH I was really hoping to have a good relationship with SD. I think this has caused me more stress than anyone else because DH refuses to see any fault with her. She completely snubbed me at her graduation so it wasn’t as if this was the first time he had seen her behave badly towards me. I think I am more upset because DH won’t accept that she is any less than perfect – despite seeing otherwise. To answer your question, I think DH suggested she call him at work to allow her to avoid me. I also felt that DH has aggravated this situation by failing to discuss her behavior towards me with her. I think the reason she doesn’t like me is jealousy because she felt she was no longer the number one woman in his life and also because DH deferred to me before giving her money. Also checks to BM stopped. I will add that I had nothing to do with the breakup of DH’s marriage. That was over and they were divorced years before he met me. So it wasn’t as if SD had any other reason to dislike me. I don’t think matters who DH is with, whether it be me or somebody else. SD would have the same attitude to them too. DH and I have had loads of fights over this over the years. It’s a shame because she has missed out on having a great step-mom and friend. She has never even tried to get to know me.

StepAside's picture

A friend of mine is dating

A friend of mine is dating someone who gets (and expects) money from their parents on a regular basis. The person is not a child. My friend recognizes the level of entitlement and is close to bouncing this person to the curb as a result. That attitude is gross. I think it can be hidden to some extent early on, but eventually, it comes out.

I contend, the folks who are raised believing they are somehow entitled, wind up exuding that in all aspects of their lives. It's a real turn-off, and a surefire recipe for divorce.

May the karma bus nail your SD straight between the eyes, and I can't wait for an update once she comes to your DH needing money for an attorney. Everyone is humbled eventually. Her day will come.

emotionaly beat up's picture

Once again Boudicca I read

Once again Boudicca I read my situation in someone else's post, and once again I have to pinch myself everything you say is everything I have lived even down to the same ages of these stepdaughters. I blame my husband for the way our situation deteriated into my banning this woman from my house after 8 years of being cast aside, isolated, ignored and verbally abused, like you my husband and I have joint funds, and SD felt that daddy's money was hers to use as she pleased. At least your husband got a thanks, neither my husband or myself have ever had a thank you but I don't think SD has it in her vocabulary. Like you my DH cannot see a single thing wrong with his daughter and that has been the thing that hurt me the most over the last 8 years. He has taken the attitude that she will get over it, and sat back and let her treatment of me get worse and worse and has not done anything about it, not said one word to her, and got irate with me if I dared to complain. What his sitting on the sidelines saying nothing has done, is to show his daughter by his complacency that it's okay by him for her to abuse me and ignore me, that he doesn't mind one little bit, and that is why she continued to the point where I said don't come back. It is not her fault she turned out like this mummy and daddy spoilt her rotten, gave her everything she wanted, and never, never asked for a thank you nor expected one, his family have told me that even as babies they just demanded things like "get me a drink" "Give me some money" and none of his family ever remember them saying thank you. All three of my husbands childen never worked until he left yet all three drove around in cars that were fully insured and registered, and obviously full of petrol, all three had mobile phones, and apparently SD always had the spray tan and the hair dyed happening on a 6 weekly basis - supplied compliments of daddy as mummy never worked either. We hate the kids, but the true culprits in this are the bio parents and yes that includeds our enabling husbands. These fathers don't even seem to see they have ruined their daughters and created some pretty horrible people that no one other than the parents like, and now they are in the process of ruining their relationship with their new wife/partner. Take comfort in the fact that you (we) are not alone. This site has made me fee so normal now. It is such a relief, I thought I was going insane.

Joanstepmom's picture

In response to Boudicca : I

In response to Boudicca :
I don't know why husbands think they should pay money to BM's when it is NOT court ordered!! My current hubby did this until his daughter, my step daughter, turned 18. So he was paying child support (which is appropriate to do) and an additional child support amount monthly to the Ex. Seriously, he had been doing this for 11+ years. Baffles me!

StepAside's picture

Wow, your SD sounds extremely

Wow, your SD sounds extremely emotionally damaged. And your DH sounds like a total enabler. Guess it works for him and his daughter. Life would be so much better for everybody, if his family would drop the hate.

I don't think the families who live with this type of dysfunction even realize that it doesn't have to be that way. I don't have routine drama in my family. We have occasional flare-ups, but most everybody prefers to keep the drama down, so we all are pretty quick to get back on the peace train.

It's like driving a car down the road and getting an occasional flat tire. We fix the flat and move on. However, these dysfunctional families are going down the road in beaters, doing 150mph, with parts falling off and no directions. They crash and burn all the time.

I think when you are married to someone who was raised in that type of environment, it is normal to them also. I think it can be difficult for them to recognize the difference. So, if you are the target, you are outnumbered and you must be the problem. To make things work with his family, he has to meet their demands. That's not indicative of a mutually respectful scenario at all.

I bet that your SD would be super pissed if your husband demanded that he see only her and her children, but never her husband. I bet she'd tell him to take a long hike off a short bridge.

But your DH is willing to accept those terms. To me, she is treating your DH like a small child, taking away his choices. And he's on board with it. That's pretty sad.

I'm familiar with the gang mentality though. It can be difficult to conclude that all of them must have issues when it's all of the vs. you. That's because they are all from and are a part of a dysfunctional family. Ganging up on you is something that comes easy to them, but wouldn't necessarily come easy to a family who is loving, kind and warm.

I think it really sucks that your DH is playing the game so poorly. If he is on board with his daughter cutting you out of her life, and acting with zero grace and class, then he should keep his mouth shut about her. Talking about her like she's the twinkle in his eye to friends in front of you is an insult. I'm sure you feel muzzled when this situation occurs, because he wouldn't want the truth to be spoken to anyone. These families are big on protecting family secrets.

I think it was extremely disrespectful, rude, vicious and inconsiderate for your DH to open his mouth about his daughter having a baby for the first time, to friends and in front of you. Must have made you feel small.

If I was out to dinner with friends, and a husband did the same thing, I'd think he was a pig. Flat out, a game player and an asshole. And our friends are close enough to my DH, that if he did something like that, they'd bust his chops.

Your DH may think he's doing nothing wrong, because he's so used to that type of hateful bs. And he may want to think he's doing nothing wrong, because he's getting his needs met. If you and your children treated him the same, I doubt he'd think the same about you.

StepAside's picture

Good for you. It's a

Good for you. It's a dysfunctional situation. When they talk about it in front of others, they are assuming that you'll leave that part out. I think it's great. The game is about excluding you. It comes first and foremost. When he plays a role in it, he's in the game. I'm glad you brought the rest of the crap out. Hope he learned his lesson.

And you know, it really is such a stupid game. Nobody wins from it. Not even his emotionally damaged daughter who could use some therapy to get over her issues.

emotionaly beat up's picture

So terribly sorry for you

So terribly sorry for you goforit. It was cruel and insenative of your husband to deliver tha news at dinner with friends, and not even to you, but to the friends. My own SD asked her father last Christmas if his middle name was Joesph (it's not, but why should she be exected to know that), as she was thinking of naming the baby after him. They do this deliberately to manipulate dad and to keep him dancing to their tune. I cannot blame the SK I believe it is the fault of the parent/s. In this case your husband disrespected you big time. I think like my own husband, they get angry as a defense mechanism, they know they are in the wrong, and try to beat you into submission by getting angry with you, that way you (we) shut up. As I have found out in the last few weeks, if we want things to change, WE ourselves have to change it, because DH and SD are fine with the way things are, they don't want change. Again, I am very sorry you were treated so cruelly, and in a public place too. I hope things get better as you come to terms with what has happened and decide how you want your life to be.

ESMe's picture

The way I take your

The way I take your questions..this is so your DH will understand? All he has to do is read all the posts...LOL! I've been a part of this forum for a couple months now? I found peace in knowing I was not the only one going through this dreaded soap opera in my home. I have realized one thing in this forum, there is nothing I can do to make my SD-25 honestly like me....except kiss her A**. I would like to know if there is even ONE SD who truely loves her SM?????
Anyhow, if I could tell your DH anything...I would say don't let your daughter continue to control you!!! It's a control, insecurity issue. All SD are threatened by their SM from just their existence. I can see my SD withholding her children from me. But I know my SO will bring them over to our house so that I may see them. Daughters and fathers have a special bond, and when another woman comes in and the daughter feels 'SM is taking dad's love away. Bottom line. And SD resents the fact that her brother gets along with my BD and can't stand his own sister.
But this whole 'daddy don't love me I'm going to see how much he loves me' is really difficult, if not impossible to deal with.
I just found out that my SO tells his daughter all kinds of stuff I say...but he denies it. It's almost like he treats her like she is his friend and confidant....not me. She knows more about what he does or is doing before I even do; ie: I found out from her telling a friend of hers that her and her dad were going to go see her gma one evening...he didn't tell me one thing about it. It ended up he didn't I couldn't really say/do anything about it.
I'm new to this, but I think control and insecurity are the bottom line issues for these SD.

AVR1962's picture

I could identify with

I could identify with everything in the original post. However, instead of the step daughter solely causing issues like in your case, my oldest dauighter was reaping some major havic with the whole family. She has been angry and blaming since her dad left when she was 6, everything was my fault. 5 years later I remarreid a man who had custody of his sons and she had to do her best to make sure that their was a case against me with her sublings and step-siblings, no good. Bio mom had left the boys and really had not had an interest in them until she started her new liofe with new hubby and new baby, once she knew I was in the picture then came all the lies and manipulation to sway the boys in their feelings towards their father, me and my daughters. It was real ugly.

Once the boys were adults they did as you have posted, thought they had the right to run me in the ground and felt they should have got their dad's support. There were obvious stories told to the younger boy's wife as she had her back up before we ever met. The baby comes along and they involved her family but not us but yet we were blamed for our lack of involvement eventhough I had been asking questions and had not been given answers, basically we didn't know what was going on and then they pointed fingers so basically younger SS was using his wife and daughter due to his own issues.

And that's what I do realize now, even in the case of my daughter, they all have issues they have to sort thru and there is not one thing I can do or say that will change the way the feel as long as this is the way they choose to see me and the relationshiop we have. Sad yes, and definately what I ever wanted from my family. I gave them everything I could, I gave them all of me. My life was my kids, steps, my husband, my home. That was my focus.

I stopped being the punching bag/scapegoat and I stopped playhing the games. After the last tyraid youngest SS went on about a year ago I stopped all contact with him. I did not discourage my husband to keep contact and infact I made it clear it was his son. SS started on him too and husband drew his boundary line as well.

Personally, I see our relationship with these children forever changed. I seriously doubt I will ever have a relationship with either boy. My daughter is narcisstic and everything is about her. I really do not know if she knows how to love and she uses everyone for her own benefit. If you do not support her, you are nobody and she will tell some vicious windy stories to anyone who will listen. As much as I love her I do stay my distance from her, she is very toxic.

This hurt for the longest time and letting go of the family I had so much hope for really was like a stab to the heart. I went into counseling. I had become very stressed, almost felt like I was cornered and fighting to get out. My body became very sick and I was a real mess there for awhile. Spent months doing doc visits.....daughter knew what was happening but still to this day has never asked about my health or what I have been thru, has not shown one ounce of compassion and I think it's because she can't, it's not there. The counselor helped me tramendously and I have been able to let go. She helped me see what I could not.

The boys issues and their anger towards me have to do with the abandonment from their mom and the issues between their bio parents. My daughter's issues are genetic, she is the spitting image of her father who is very narcissistic himself, and she plays her games with me to try and control me, to make me feel bad and to put me under her feet. I ahve realized giving into her and chasing her for a relationship was only making things worse.

All of them need to mature. I do hope that one day life will turn their BS on them and they understand what they did to us and I hope they feel our pain as I think that is the only way they can understand waht we have been thru. Our relationships will never be the same. There has been too much damage. But our lives go on. We know other friends who have never divorced going thru the very same situation with their kids too and that helps to know how common these issues are.

I see that as parents in thes situations whose children think they have the answers and know everything, all we can do is draw our boundary lines and not let them continue to scrape their dirty feet on our backs.

LONGTIME SM's picture

In my case, my SS 36 and SD

In my case, my SS 36 and SD 35 have periodically (since they were pre-teens) used emotional blackmail with us whenver they did not get there way. The catalyst for the metltdowns was anything where they or BM felt that they were not treated in the manner in which they demanded, were not given what they demanded, or in some way did not have their demands met - usually related to money. H and I had our first bio when SD 35 was 17 and SS was 19. Although they had not come around for a while they all of a sudden started surfacing again after our bios were born. They never showed much interest in our bios when they were little though. It seemed as though they were making a reappearance to make sure that everyone knew they were still there. It seems as though they looked upon my bios as competition - particularly with my H's parents.

The emotional blackmail continued even after SD 35 got married. SD 35 deliberately excluded H from the wedding. We recieved an invitation but SD 35 called after it was sent out and asked that he and I not attend. I was not planning to go anyway as I had an infant at home and had no desire to fly to this particular destination to attend a wedding anyway. It did not matter to me if H went but supposedly BM said no. I suppose the invitation came only because they wanted a present from us. H paid for an elegant dinner for SD 35 and her fiance's family before the wedding and paid for SD's hotel room during the honeymoon anyway.

Stepadults and H and I were cordial on the surface for a number of years with the periodic emotional blackmail coming out off and on. H and I babysat when stepgrands came along. H and I allowed our bios to become friendly with the stepgrands as they grew up.
SD 35 seems to like using my bios as babysitters to keep her children entertained so she did not have to worry with them more than trying ot get to know my bios. I always felt the undercurrent of anger from both SD 35 and SS 36 in between their little temper tantrums. I did not say anything as H seemed happy and I hoped that they would eventually mature and get beyond the little jealous comparisons with my bios, snide comments, and rude behaviors at times. I was wrong and now regret ever letting my bios get to know either them or their offspring as this now seems to be their ammunition. I NEVER had an altercation with them when they were growing up. I NEVER refused to do things for them. I NEVER HAD AN ARGUEMENT with them ONCE THEY WERE GROWN. I KEPT MY OBSERVATIONS TO MYSELF. I NEVER TOLD MY BIOS ABOUT THE PROBLEMS WITH THEM UNTIL AFTER THE INHERITANCE ISSUE. I NOW regret holding back. Whether or not I took the high road did not matter

When H's mother died and we were put though really agressive and scary blackmail events. Stepadults demanded their part of the inheritinace THEN BECAUSE THEY TOLD MY H THAT THEY DID NOT THINK THEY WOULD GET IT LATER! They were ugly to H and did not talk to him for years over his refusal to give them money although they did get some of her possessions. They were not in the will!!!!!Now they are both trying to use my bios to get back in. However, it was very clear from my only conversation with SD where I was called every name imaginable that I was NEVER TO BE INCLUDED IN THEIR FUTURE. THEY ARE DEMANDING A RELATIONSHIP WITH my bios only. I am not really sure, by the way they are treating H, whether they want a relationship with him - it seems as though once they found out he had nothing to give to them now or to inherit in the future - they don't care if they have a relationship.

EVERY CONVERSATION WITH SS 36 is about what he wants or expects to inherit so it is obvious what is going on. They know they have burned their ties with me and they will never inherit from me so it seems as though they are trying to use my bios thinking that they can manipulate or guilt them into giving away part of what they may eventually inherit from me. Ironically, despite SD 35 thinking that I am "horrible", "just awful" etc., she never had any problem allowing her children to come to my house and for me to babysit for her! She actually had the nerve to get mad if I said no and to try to use my bios to get me to agree when I did say no. It has been a recurrent theme on the part of BM and Skids for years that I SHOULD HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO OR SAY ANYTHING THAT DOES NOT COINCIDE WITH THEIR WANTS AND DESIRES. This was whether or not it dealt with my own children or what went on in my home or required chganges to my schedule or the use of my money.

So, to sum it up, adult steps only tolerated us for that brief period because they saw my bios as competition and because they were afraid they would not get the monies they felt they are owed. Once they found out that Dad had no monies to give they could care less.

I would expect that you amd your H would recieve the same treatment out of your steps based upon what you said. Your H should close his wallet as a test if he doesn't believe this. He is unemployed now so the timing is right for this.

Be very careful allowing any relationship between your own bios and steps or their spawn because if they have not sought one out before now it would not be sincere.

My skids are now 35 and 36 - I do not see a change coming in thier behavior so allowing my children to get to know them was defintately a bad decision on my part. I do not think that H will ever have a relationship with them again even if he divorced me because he doesn't have anything for them to go after and to them that is all he is worth. Sad

Longtime SM

"When people show you who they are believe them" - OPRAH

christag's picture

In my case, I married a

In my case, I married a widower, who’s grown/nearly grown children thought they could dictate when their father could date without betraying their mother’s memory. They make it about money or their mom’s things but it’s really not about that at all. They really just can’t deal with their father moving on. They refer to my kids as the replacement kids and have a very much ‘us vs them’ attitude towards me and their stepsiblings. This attitude was re-enforced by the skids’ maternal grandmother, who hated me and DH until her last breath.

Things did not start out that badly- it was rather 'out of sight, out of mind'. His two sons were in college, his daughter was only home for a few months after we got married. Biggest problem were some minor issues between SD and my DS that were completely blown out of proportion. I’m still angry that SD refused to understand how hard of a time my DS had with my re-marriage.DS was only 10 and an ADHD kid. SD made everything about herself. I had two kids who really needed me, I couldn’t be worrying about a selfish 17 year old fixated on her dead mother.

I knew the skids weren’t happy with their father remarrying but DH could get his kids to ‘behave’. They were never outwardly hostile to me, DH wouldn’t tollerate that, but they were always distant, like they were holding back what they really wanted to say. I figured after a few years, they’d get over it but they never did.

The first few years after we were married, the skids were still very distant and always had excuses about why they weren’t visiting. When they called, they never said anything more than “Is my dad there?” to me. They generally treated me like I didn’t exist. As time went on, the phone calls stopped and months and months went by that we didn’t hear from any of them.

DH and I were busy w/ our own lives and I was focused on my kids, not what his grown kids were doing 3000 miles away. (His kids are incredibly resentful of this time he spends with my kids and blow out of portion the times that DH did not fly out East for them because he was busy at home w/ my kids. )

About four years ago, the skids had been incommunicado for months but when they got wind that DH was in the process of a stepparent adoption of my two kids and were up in arms that the ‘replacement kids’ were going to inherit their mother’s money.The two SS have met my kids 4-5 times at most but still hate them and they believe the lies that SD has said about my DS.

Pretty much all communication from the skids stopped after that. It was very much a united front by all three of them. I’m not sure if there was only 1 it would have been different. But they were 3000 miles away, isolated themselves and continued to feed each others hatred towards me and my kids.

There are also a lot of hatred towards me by their maternal grandparents who were the ones feeding the notion that I was only out for money. Had the skids accepted me, their maternal grandparents would have disowned them. Grandma is the one who paid for SD’s college, SS’s law school, and SS’s wedding. None of them needed to come asking ‘Dad’ for money, they had their grandmother.

The oldest son got married and did not invite his dad. He’d only find out about major events from other family members.

It was about two years ago my SIL started trying to act like a ‘peacemaker’ and was trying to get DH to go visit his kids and help them deal w/ their maternal grandmother who was terminally ill.

That started him going out there and visiting on a regular basis. The grandkids definitely were a motivating factor in the reconciliation. Grandkids have not helped the situation and his daughter-in-law is more vindictive and spiteful than the three skids are.

Its to the point that it doesn’t matter what passive-aggressive stunts his kids pull, he’s going to side with them because he’s been convinced that he owes all of this to them. His kids and other relatives have him convinced that after his wife died, he went and found a new family (me and my kids) and his kids lost both their parents.

Anytime I try to talk to him about making his kids accept me, he shuts me down. He doesn’t want to argue with his kids or bring up anything that’s negative.

He is not willing to force them to invite me or even acknowledge my exitance since he knows that his kids will throw up walls and cause trouble. It‘s like he’s living between the two worlds - like he’s married to me but he goes off and then goes to visit his kids and his first wife .

secondwife64's picture

My answers to SA's

My answers to SA's Questions

"If your DH has been agreeing to the terms his adult stepchildren set, involving cutting you out of the picture, can you post how you got to that point?"

I started to take control of the situation as it affects me last year. I chose to sever all contact with H's kids. It took me way too long to do that, as I spent a lot of time trying to befriend H's kids. I consider that wasted time, and I am trying to make up for it now. The very idea that I will never have to lay eyes on these kids again makes me happy. I don't tell my H that he cannot see his kids, and he does see them. My H has disappointed me many times in his inability to see what his kids are, the pain they have inflicted, or to do anything about it. He will not address their behavior. I've told him this and was brutally honest about how he has disappointed me. So, when he does see them, he knows not to report anything back to me. I don't want to hear it. Do they "shred" me to him? I don't know, I also do not know what he does if they in fact do shred me to his face. I might suggest to you, SA, that you try this.

You see, I made it quite plain to my husband that, because he did nothing when all the bad things were occurring, he was a PARTICIPANT in what took place. Our husbands seem to think they can be bystanders in this whole game. They are fooling themselves. If H's daughter humiliates me in public, talks shit about me to others to him and in front of him, and he stands there and does nothing, he is not a bystander. He is a participant. This also sends his kids the message that they can continue doing their thing.

This went on for 15 years: the kids' bad behavior and his inaction. The damage has been done, and it is too late to turn this ship around. As you say, the precedent has been set. It's an unfortunate situation that I am going to have to live with, and so, I told my husband that I was no longer going to be around his kids. But, I also told him that he was equally responsible for where we find ourselves today. I told him that my decision to disengage was the only option I had open to me. Because his kids won't change AND BECAUSE HE WON"T CHANGE, I have to change. It is all I can do.

There is no use denying that these events have not destroyed something important in our marriage. I guess you could say a certain level of trust is missing. We are and always will be married, but I have to face the fact that a certain closeness will never be part of our relationship. Yes, it is too bad, and it is not what I wanted for myself, but it is a fact.

Facing this reality was not easy, but it has given me some measure of freedom. My husband knows that I do not want to hear one single word about his kids. Don't talk to me about them, because it only brings me pain. SA, if your H is reporting back to you that you were shredded while he visited his daughter, tell your H you do not want to hear it. Don't ask him what was said in your absence. You must let go of this. If you and your H are having these conversations, you are still hanging on. If that bitch SD wants to call and request a visit "one-on one," which we both know is code for excluding you, IGONORE IT. Tell your H to do what he wants. You have no opinion. Don't give your H anything to talk about with his daughter, such as "SA was hurt that you made this request." That only pleases her. It doesn't have to be war. It takes two sides to have a war. Just stop participating.

I truly believe that part of disengaging with the nasty skids includes disengaging in some measure from your husband. Yes, it's sad. Yes, I wish it could be different, but I accept that this is the reality I must live with. I live with it by pursuing my own interests, friendships, and positive relationships. I try to find joy in life and stop myself whenever I find myself dwelling on the sad and bad things. I try to ban thoughts of skids and H's complicity from my brain. I get counseling. I've talked to an attorney to protect my interests and have taken action on his suggestions. I spend time with my child. I spend my time seeking love and turn my back on the hate.

It sounds so cliched, but the hate is their problem. They want to make it your problem. Don't let them. If a g-skid comes into the picture, it shouldn't change a thing about how you choose to conduct yourself. My SD had a kid last year. I have never seen him, and I know I never will. The only feeling I have about the child is pity. This poor innocent child is going to be raised by a hateful mother. That is nothing to celebrate. If a mother wants to use a child as a tool to humiliate and exclude someone, that is child abuse in my book, and I pity the child. Of course my H doesn't see it that way. That's his problem.

And finally, what keeps me going is my firm belief that whatever any person chooses to put out in the world comes back to them in some form. Your SD is filled with hate. She lives in hate. She exudes hate. She spends a significant amount of time planning and executing hateful things. Don't get caught in her web of hate so that you begin to hate too. Whatever feelings you have toward her should be indifference. Keep that indifference strong by asking your H to abstain from talking about her to you. It's the least he can do after his years of passive participation.

AVR1962's picture

I could have wrote this one

I could have wrote this one myself. As I was reading these replies I was wondering what happened to the marriages. My husband to became the "participant" for the same reasons you mentioned in your reply and it has caused a huge wedge in our marriage. We are still together but basically we co-exist. He did his thing no matter how much we talked and agreed to something else. His sister made all kinds of snide comments that were demeaning but he never said a word. He never drew the line until the boys started attacking him. His oldest caused so much damage to the family and when confronted about a serious allegation he basically went into hiding and made sure there was no way we could contact him, this was over 6 years ago. Husband can forgive his son of anything and made a point to visit him just last week. It made me sick to think that this kid could easily get away with how he has treated me and his father all these years just because my husband wants the connection to his son. I still do not know if our marriage will survive quite honestly, we have been marreid 19 years and basically ahve become companions.

emotionaly beat up's picture

SECONDWFE64 here we go again,

SECONDWFE64 here we go again, the same story over and over and the same reason for the pain the husband and father who actively participates in his wife being excluded, ignored, verbally abused, insulted and hurt by standing back doing nothing and being a silent partner in destroying the marriage. I felt so sorry for and angry with myself for putting up with this fofr 8 years, but you and others have done it for so much longer, I feel bad for you. I too have called it quits with the adult step greedy monsters, but only in the last few weeks so am still suffering the consequenses, but to be honest, my husband who is putting me in my place for not allowing his daughter to come here every again is on the quite side at the moment, and truthfully I DON'T CARE if this is the price I have to pay for getting rid of my abuser bring it on. However if the marriage should end because he brought his children up to have an overinflated sense of entitlement and ego's to match well let it be. As you say when this happens something does go out of the marriage and I am feeling that loss but I have felt it slipping away for the last 8 years when he sat silently and allowed his children to do some incredibly rude nasty and hurtful things to me, when he allowed them to humilate me and isolate me publicly he thought he was getting something - closer to his adult children. Well he is no closer to them but then againg he doesnt seem to realise they may need a wallet but they could never love one, and he never in all this time saw he was actually paying a price for this, the love and respect of his wife.

ybarra357's picture

I, too, could have written

I, too, could have written this post. It hits on a lot of thoughts that have been swirling around in my head for years. It's was tough for me to confront the issue that my DH WAS a participant in the hate against me. I still struggle somewhat with that.

Lostforwords's picture

I must say I can definitely

I must say I can definitely relate to your post. After being together for 14 years and married for 12 I'm sick and tired of embracing the negativity from adult stepchildren. I, too, made the decision several months ago to disengage myself from the children. I told my H that he is a participant and that the behavior of his kids will continue as long as he stays in the game. Things were fine for about two years into the marriage until we agreed to stop funding their poor choices. Although we both agreed to stop supporting their choices I became the wicked woman from the east, and dad was just dad. Over the years and as opportunities presented themselves the children would continue to humiliate me until i reached the point of no more. Their self-hatred, poor decisions, and lifestyles would no longer be a part of my journey since they existed before I married their father.

Disengagement is working for me and I no longer spend time upset over matters I can't control.

Thanks again for your post.

Lost for words

skylarksms's picture

SD18 has cut both DH and me

SD18 has cut both DH and me out of her (and grandbaby's) life for the past year and a half. Last time we saw either of them (except when I ran into her at Walmart) was Father's Day 2010.

The reason given, when I confronted her at Walmart? Because Dad watches too much TV.

Ummm, excuse me??!? Your dad works his ASS off during the week to support your mother (aka alimony in the guise of CS) and his own family. And you expect him to be all Disney Dad on the weekends because you deign to grace us with your presence??

THAT is her supposed "reason." I told her that she'd better come up with a better reason than that before her son gets old enough to ask why his mom won't take him to see his grandpa!

"The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." --Winston Churchill
"Facts are neither good nor bad, they are only facts." --Rags

AVR1962's picture

It is ALL about them (the

It is ALL about them (the kids). They honestly feel they should be held up on some pedastel and adored and dotted on just as they were as small children. Young people go thru a narcissistic stage in their lives where they really focus on themselves, their fun and what they want. However, some never outgrown this and become seriously full-blown narcissitics.

My husbnd and I were just talking about this the other night actually. Our children are 25-30 years in age. I can honestly say that of the 4 older steps/bio only one of them cares and is able to show compassion, the others are about themselves.

We took a vacation this summer to visit 2 of them and for us to make this trip is quite a large undertaking as we live nowhere close. The one just acted like we were nothing, it was all about what she had going on in her schedule and she made no special efforts. She did not ask how we were, create conversation or even seem interested in the visit. She talked repeatedly of her father, time spent with him and his new girlfriend which of course was sickening and again showed us that we were nothing but scum under her feet. She knows the hurt her father has done yet she supports the bastard as if he was somekind of god.

Part of that vacation was spent with friends and the other part with family and what I can say is that family DO NOT accept me for who I am. They have expectations of who I should be, what role I should play, what I should and should not say, and sorry for them I do not meet their expectations. In other words, because they CANNOT USE me I have no purpose in their life. What can you do? Life goes on for me and I spend my time with those who do care and do want to spend time with me, those who can accept me for who I am....that's my friends! Life is too short for all the BS.

AVR1962's picture

I ditto your thoughts here

I ditto your thoughts here and at the same time do not even want to be a part of anything that goes on in my husband's family anymore. I went to a dinner this summer with lots of his family, SSs not there but hubby's family had sided with boys years ago so I am treated like an alien and I am the one to blame for "the way I treated them." It is just not comfortable to be around them, everyone is fake to my face, it's just not worth it!

emotionaly beat up's picture

avr62 and goforit. The peace

avr62 and goforit.

The peace you feel when you finally make the decision to disengage from these people who clearly do not want you in there lives is wonderful. I am so glad I finally found the strength to ban my stepdaughter from my home, and as I have previously said only recently and things are still not quite settled at home, but even so I am so happy and the peace I feel inside is something I have not felt for years. I hope you both reach a decision that is best for YOU very soon, these people do not want to be our friends, they don't want to be our daughters, they are happy to be our enemies and we haven't even done anything, prolonging the agony just hurts everyone. Good Luck ladies hope to meet you in this land of peace very soon.

sherwoodforest's picture

First time poster here. I

First time poster here. I found this site after the last horrible visit from SD21 in June. I found alot of valuable insights here, enough to get off the endless race for pain, I call it.

Background: SO and I have been together for 4 1/2 years. We receive visits from SS30, SD26, and SD21 once a year.

I agreed with SO from the beginning that we would take the "easing in" kind of approach. Although I prefer setting the scene from the beginning. Seems more productive and clear to me. Changes have been made. This is our life, after all. Everyone into the pool, is my motto. SO maintained they would never understand, visits are too few and far between, blah, blah, blah. So I agreed, against my better judgement, to join in on the "easing in campaign".

Upon the first visit from SD(then 17) and her boyfriend, we took them to a summer afternoon garden party. Wonderful friends of ours who had introduced SO and I. Friend (Doctor) and his wife (Psychologist) always have a great atmosphere and friends around.

SD and boyfriend did not say hello to anyone, found a secluded corner in the winter garden and played cards and board games for hours. The only words from SD lips "Dad, can we goooo noooww??

SO replied: Soon, but not now.

The party was winding down and my friend the psychologist bent down towards SD with utter directness and volume: "Has anyone ever told you that it is proper behavior to GREET the man and woman of the house when you ENTER???"

SD ignored her.

Friend (the psychologist) brushes by me and whispers: "Pay close attention to what she says to you guys when she leaves here."

SO and I make the rounds and say goodbyes.

We step in the car, car is running. All 3 of us waiting for SD while she lingers in the yard and plays with the family dog. SD makes her way to the car. Gets in and says: "I'm NEVER coming back HERE". (Funny, I don't remember anyone inviting her back.)

Same attitude today.

I wish to this day, that we had set limits and most definitely "the tone" from the beginning. It would have been easier and quicker to live with the consequences of being dumped as a couple right away. The last 4 1/2 years of tolerance have not been worth it. It hasn't helped us grow together, it hasn't done anything but support buffelo behavior. SD is almost 22 now. Behavior hasn't changed or grown at all. Ooops, forgot. SD said hello to me for the first time while entering our house after 4 1/2 years. How petty of me.

SO is informed that SD is no longer welcomed in our home. I just can't take it anymore, nor do I have to (the usual: being ignored, being kicked to the curb in my own home, SD making plans for a day trip and inviting as if I am a guest in her home, etc. etc. Found a nail placed underneath my face soap. How nice.

So what did I do to give SD reasons for hating me? I think my wonderful friend gave me the heads up right from the beginning: this is the way SD wants it and don't pretend it's not true. Love that woman. Wish I would have listened to her and my instincts.

StepAside's picture

Wow, I really like your

Wow, I really like your friend. I agree, your SD must want it that way. Gotta accept her choices. And now she'll have to accept yours as well.

Funny. I've worked with Special Ed kids before. One thing the instructors really work with them on is how to greet someone when introduced. They are usually quite good at it. Direct eye contact, proper greeting, smiles, handshakes.

Too bad spite can be more debilitating than most conditions which qualify for special ed. Well, I think it's not really spite actually. The stepdarlings would love for it to appear like spite and/or aggression.

It's really insecurity, fear and jealousy. And they're allowing those feelings to dictate their behavior. Too bad for them. Joyous days for you, boundaries have been set.

Disillusioned's picture

It was at the point StepAside

It was at the point StepAside when dh's eldest daughter starting getting jealous of my relationship with dh. She was a teen at the time and began to distance herself from dh to force him to end his relationship with me. She even went so far as to do the same with his parents and sister...everyone felt the pressure of the choice she gave them: me or her

It got to that point because everyone tolerated her behavior and catered to what she wanted in the beginning. Everyone tried to make a big fuss over her so she felt she was so much more loved and so first in everyone's life. This fueled her fire and she then gave dh an ultimatum: if he didn't leave me she would walk out of his life. Dh and I were in love and wanted to marry and he realized the monster he was dealing with. She lost. But not completely. Sd began demanding that she only see dh without me, that if he wouldn't leave me she would only see him alone. Dh did that once. Once only. Not because I got involved. His one birthday dinner for sd with me excluded and listening to her rant about how much she hated me and didn't want me in her life finally pushed him over the edge.

Then she truly lost. Dh told her not only was he not leaving me, especially as there was no reason and nothing I'd done to her to deserve it, but he wasn't excluding me from family events including hers just because she didn't like me. That giving her what she wanted just because she was throwing a jealous temper tantrum would be the worst thing he as a father could ever do for her. Dh told her I was in his life, and that he sincerely hoped one day she would chose to join us

Sd never did totally walk away, she just seethed and raged and treated me with over the top disrespect and hostility. She played many manipulative games with dh. I give him credit that at least he did stick to his guns for the most part and it was only when she started to see that her behavior was driving him farther and farther away - the exact opposite of what she was trying to accomplish - did she start to grow up

She now tolerates me. She isn't (openly) rude or disrespectful and I'm sure she believes I stole her father away. But it is more tolerable

Enter step-grandson in the mix. Dh is more willing to put up with crap from sd because he wants to see his grandson. And sd totally started playing that up still not visiting us with sgs but making sure dh knew she was seeing every relative but him with sgs. But dh still did not put up with sd's rotten treatment. She would for example go to great, great lengths to emphasize that I was just dh's wife to sgs...dh so wanted sgs to call me grandma. I completely went with it and my attitude conveyed yup, nothing more to you sd and your son than your dad's wife. She smartened up for once in her life. Suddenly sgs is calling me grandma...and sd refers to me as grandma disillusioned to sgs too

I think StepAside if your sd's know there are boundaries, and that they can very much drive your dh away other than the other way around, they will modify their behavior. Allowing them to dictate how things are is never ever a good idea

StepAside's picture

Well I wrote that post 2

Well I wrote that post 2 years ago. Since then, my OSD's fiance called their engagement off and she is still single. I disengaged and she and MSD28 have noticed. We don't interact more than once a year or so, but when we do, they are pleasant. I think they realize I'm not playing anymore. The youngest25 took over in her sister's place as being the hostile one. Oh well, doesn't matter who does it when I'm disengaged.

My DH has changed tremendously since I wrote this post. It just went on for too long and he opened his eyes. Basically we've adjusted to not having them in our lives. So they have no leverage anymore. If they want to have their father in their lives, they know where he is. But we both agree we will never go back to all the fighting and intentional disrespectful behavior. They'll either be nice or not be around us, bottom line.

Sounds like your SD made some changes.

I will say as a SD regarding what you get reference to by your sgs.. I think expectations and perceptions can really screw up the mix. My stepgrandmother was always referred to as her first name. She's the only grandmother on my mother's side I'd ever known. It didn't matter that I called him grandpa and her Jill. I loved her every bit as much as I loved him. When my mother and grandfather had a blow out, she stopped being anything to me. And I didn't understand the deal. I thought she loved me. Oh well, in that case I was really disappointed. Apparently I was never more than a "step" grand to her.

So for me, my kids saw me reference my SM by her first name. My SM decided on what she wanted them to call them. I didn't feel comfortable with that. But she was in the picture before my kids were born. They hug her and tell her that they love her. She treats them like "step" grandchildren.

So for her, there was a lot of emphasis placed on what they called her. Not so much on how they felt about her. I have told her before that my kids love her like any kid would love their grandmother, but I guess at the end of the day they are really my kids and she doesn't seem interested.

I think stepgrandkids pose a whole new issue for many, and we've seen that on this forum plenty. Just sad.

sandye21's picture

This demonstrates that when a

This demonstrates that when a DH makes his marraige his prime focus the outcome is much different. It just seems so simple to set the boundaries early on. SO simple! You KNOW your DH loves you enough to do this. Unfortunately for me, my DH never seemed to adopt this concept so I am disengaged from SD and he is suffering SD's wrath because he didn't leave me. This also makes me question DH's committment to me as his wife and his reasons for marrying me in the first place.

Bluebell13's picture

I have adult stepchildren and

I have adult stepchildren and have had adult stepchildren during the entire relationship I've had with their father, which has been roughly 16 years now. We got married two years ago. However I had bean dealing with bouts of passive-aggressive behavior from my youngest SD for years and finally had enough when I sent a letter which was rather long and pretty strong explaining how hurt I was by her actions and behavior however I valued her and loved her and just needed her to talk to me if she was hurt or offended by me. I had always kept my mouth shut up until now because I realized it was getting worse and so I was allowing this to happen without saying anything for so long, so needless to say it did not go well. To her and her sister I personally attacked her because of the nature of the letter although I felt personally attacked by her this whole time and so her and her sister turned on me. The older SD tried to get their brother to do the same but he did not and remained diplomatic and objective about it as he and the younger sister have been estranged for some time. He understood both sides of the letter however chose not to alienate me as the others did. Both SDs influenced their respective spouses and for a short time the only granddaughter we have, from the older SD also wouldn't speak to me even took me off all forms of her Social Media (which doesn't help either) so it sickened me to know they were feeding her with their nonsense, she's 16 yrs old, however we did take her out a few times never mentioned anything that happened and she warmed back up to me. To make a long story short because I don't want to get into too much detail as I empathize and can relate to all your feelings and hurt on this board is that I had to learn to let go what I can't change and that is all you can do. You can't change or convince what people think of you, no matter what you've done for them. I have come to terms although it's been practice, that I know what I've done for them and I know who I am regardless of what my stepchildren think. All you can do is hope other family members can form their opinion of you. I think the worst part is the alienation, ostracizing and cutting off. I would never fathom doing these things to my stepchildren yet my SDs had no problem of doing it to me so just know that no matter what anyone says or does to you, that you have family and friends who know you and love you and don't let your SC's behavior and actions CHANGE WHO YOU ARE. Keep doing things regardless......let them be who they are, let them be nasty about you, let them tell others crap, but don't let this change you. Stay true to who you are. It takes practice but it works. If you've been nurturing, kind, loving, accepting and caring then it's their loss if that's who they choose to be....again it takes time and practice.

Bluebell13's picture

I have adult stepchildren and

I have adult stepchildren and have had adult stepchildren during the entire relationship I've had with their father, which has been roughly 16 years now. We got married two years ago. However I had bean dealing with bouts of passive-aggressive behavior from my youngest SD for years and finally had enough when I sent a letter which was rather long and pretty strong explaining how hurt I was by her actions and behavior however I valued her and loved her and just needed her to talk to me if she was hurt or offended by me. I had always kept my mouth shut up until now because I realized it was getting worse and so I was allowing this to happen without saying anything for so long, so needless to say it did not go well. To her and her sister I personally attacked her because of the nature of the letter although I felt personally attacked by her this whole time and so her and her sister turned on me. The older SD tried to get their brother to do the same but he did not and remained diplomatic and objective about it as he and the younger sister have been estranged for some time. He understood both sides of the letter however chose not to alienate me as the others did. Both SDs influenced their respective spouses and for a short time the only granddaughter we have, from the older SD also wouldn't speak to me even took me off all forms of her Social Media (which doesn't help either) so it sickened me to know they were feeding her with their nonsense, she's 16 yrs old, however we did take her out a few times never mentioned anything that happened and she warmed back up to me. To make a long story short because I don't want to get into too much detail as I empathize and can relate to all your feelings and hurt on this board is that I had to learn to let go what I can't change and that is all you can do. You can't change or convince what people think of you, no matter what you've done for them. I have come to terms although it's been practice, that I know what I've done for them and I know who I am regardless of what my stepchildren think. All you can do is hope other family members can form their opinion of you. I think the worst part is the alienation, ostracizing and cutting off. I would never fathom doing these things to my stepchildren yet my SDs had no problem of doing it to me so just know that no matter what anyone says or does to you, that you have family and friends who know you and love you and don't let your SC's behavior and actions CHANGE WHO YOU ARE. Keep doing things regardless......let them be who they are, let them be nasty about you, let them tell others crap, but don't let this change you. Stay true to who you are. It takes practice but it works. If you've been nurturing, kind, loving, accepting and caring then it's their loss if that's who they choose to be....again it takes time and practice.

CANYOUHELP's picture

I have a husband who has

I have a husband who has always been Sadults buddy, rather than their father. I have never heard him correct one thing they have said or done to us, regardless of how horrible it is; he excuses their behavior and even lies to protect them until he is caught.

After he and I purchased a home together (everything was fine when he was living with me the first year in my house); all the jealousy began. I was excluded from everything, as was my daughter and at get togethers we were completely ignored or directly insulted.

I disengaged a few years later and things are better. Oh, I still hear the things they say about me around town and people tell me now about their FB postings, but I do not care. What I do not know does not hurt me.

He raised these pieces of work. He is free to visit away from me as I never want to be around them again. I blame HIM for being a coward to his kids, not the kids. They do what the are allowed to do by him, without consequences.

My only choice was to disengage and my life is much more peaceful.

notasm3's picture

SA - I am so sorry that so

SA - I am so sorry that so little has changed after all these years.

I know what works in my life - but none of us have the same life so that is of no use to you.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire." William Butler Yeats

ldvilen's picture

Sometimes I think they get

Sometimes I think they get this idea from bad counseling. SKs are often told they "just have to be cordial" to SM. But, let's face it, today's kids have no clue what that means. They think it just means, "You can't tell her to go to hell" to her face or something like that. Thus, the chill factor, as you stated.

I honestly think too, a lot of this stems from "property" issues with either BM or SKs. Bio-dad goes on to remarry, and I can almost guarantee you both BM and SKs will see dad as their property for life and SM as just an intruder. And, hey!, this is how society acts too. This is why SMs are always expected to sit in the back and be quiet, so to speak, whenever both BM and SKs are around. And, yes, DH contributes his share of setting SM up for this too. For example, I saw one blog today where the SD went on and on about nasty SM, and then just happened to mentioned that initially she gave her dad permission to date and marry SM. Yep. Dad pretty much set any relationship between his SD and new wife up for failure right off the bat, implying that SD was in a position to control bio-dad's relationships; after all, SD got to choose. No wonder the entire family was fighting like cats and dogs for control of "poor" daddy/husband.

So, adult SKs, many, think they have the right to control their father and also his relationships. Society implies this, BM more than likely implies this, bad counselors imply this, and even DH may accidentally-on-purpose imply this.

BUT, but, any adult SK who thinks they can have a good relationship JUST with dad and sans his wife is in for big surprise. Just like no spouse likes to go to events alone, so it is for dad. They will have a relationship with their father, but whatever it is, it will be no where near what it could be with both him and his wife. And, dad may just tire after a while, and feel he has to choose, and more often than not, he'll choose his wife, if anything because she is there 24/7 and is a full-time companion to him, unlike his children who feel they alone get to own him and dad's wife is just an inconveniencece.

Best thing for step-mom to do at weddings--either go looking like Sofía Vergara in a red dress and play the flaming 2nd wife to the max., or avoid the whole thing and plan a spa day with friends, people who actually care about you.

sammigirl's picture

Everyone here has covered

Everyone here has covered most all the bases; therefore, I won't repeat by telling my boring story of the same ole' treatment my SD56 has handed out for 37 years.

The reason she has hated me for 37 years is "jealousy" and she has admitted that she hates our happy marriage, because DH and BM never had that type of happy relationship. My SD has told me she is jealous, because DH spoils me in every way. DH has NEVER neglected his children, EVER.

In regards to SD having DH come visit without me, I don't care any more. I am tired of the disrespect, lies, passive aggression, and most of all the continued drama that has been handed to me by SD56 and my DH. I've had enough and have been totally disengaged from my SD56 for seven years. DH has never been kept from his kids (SS58, SD56, and SS53). He can go anywhere he wants, anytime he wants, and for as long as he wants; he never has to ask for permission. DH does not want to go without me and he does not ask me to tolerate the bad treatment any longer.

We do not discuss it and we move forward with our life. It is DH's choice to do as he pleases, concerning his children; but I have asked him to not expect me to be included, unless it is my choice. He honors my request, after I kicked him to the curb, via Law Enforcement, and forced him to go live at SD's house for weeks. She wanted her Dad, she got him; nobody liked the arrangement, except me; I had a nice break from it all.

DH loves me, I love him; we are doing well. I know he understands without any words. He has put SD56 in her place, without discussing it with me, and is tending to our marriage. It has been a rough road the past 3 years, but he is doing well with letting his children know that he loves them, he loves me, and they have no say to how he leads his life. That is all I can expect from him. I do not trust DH, where SD is concerned; but I do not let that stand in my way to have a peaceful, loving marriage. If they betray me ever again, and I find out, DH lives with SD forever and they both know that will happen.

SD56 stays away from me and is mad at her Father for working at our marriage. SD is punishing her Dad by not coming around to see him (suits me), calling him, or making any contact with him. He calls, texts, and tries to stay in contact with her. It is sad to see; he is being punished for being happy.

StepAside: I hope it will open your DH's eyes to what you really want and how important it is to keep your marriage between the two of you, thus he can still enjoy his children and grandchildren. I hope you can agree to disagree, that is what my DH and I have done.

moose's picture

This is also my life After 13

This is also my life

After 13 years of putting up with my DH'S kids abuse and bullying, I have totally disengaged from the kids. SD32 had a kid 7 months ago I have not seen it and will not see it. SD and her husband have managed to break up her husbands mothers marriage(2nd marriage) this year and are working on Bio moms(3rd marriage) marriage now. It is all about them. I have not seen SD since her wedding in September 2015. SD and SS were raised to be narcissistic and they are. I can now see the whole picture must better since I stepped away. DH allowed it to happen. He could have made it different but he choose not to. He was to busy being scared of his own children to stop it from happening.
The relationship that DH now has is his own fault. We will stay married but we will just be companions. There will never be the trust or closeness that there could have been and should be. This is DH own fault. If he would of set boundries with his children from the beginning, I believe the relationships between his children and myself would be much different.
DH has to live with what he created. His grandchild will never be in his house, never go on a vacation with him etc. He created this. His children got their wish and totally removed me from the picture. DH will have to always go see them and the GC by himself. He will have to go to every event by himself. He is more that welcome to. I just don't want to hear anything about them. He was and active part of letting his children do this to his wife. The pain that they caused me was horrible. DH stood by and watched it. He said I should just be more patient, stronger skinned, realize this is who they are and just take it. I drove me down to the bottom. I will not go down there again.

It could of all been different had DH not been so weak. Not let them run his life and set the rules for him. He could of enjoyed his GC with his wife. He choose not to. He still thinks it will all just blow over. He thinks his kids will come around and change their minds. It is way to late.

I will take care of me. I will stand up for me. I will never be bullied by those people again. I feel sorry for DH those kids don't really love him. They have no idea what love is. They will keep using him, minipulating him. He will always be one step away from them pulling the rug out from under him again and again. How sad to have such fear of your own kids. All they care about is being the center of the universe.