cmw's picture

Parents and wife cant stand each other,

I married a woman 2 years ago who had 3 kids from a previous marriage.. ages today are sd7, sd6, and ss5.

We dated a year before getting married, so it has been 3 years total. My family did not come to the wedding, but honestly i did not expect them to. I was previously married for 11 years before this and have a bd6 from that marriage.

Anyway, my family and my wife do not like each other, and apparently never will. We live 8 miles away from each other btw.

I know that my stepkids annoy the hell out of my family when they are around (they are demanding and very competitive with each other for attention), and they do not consider my wife to be my kids' stepmom, just some "whore" I'm with for sex. Seriously.

Neither side has ever sincerely attempted to make ammends or call a truce. There has been forced fake shows of friendliness, but it always is quickly shot down by any random drama. So presently my wife cant stand my parents because they have replaced my role in the family with my ex-wife (seriously) and my parents cant stand my wife because they blame her for breaking up my previous marriage or any chance of us getting back together. This is not true however... my previous marriage was not good, but i stuck it out for years because I was raised in a christian home where divorce is a sin.

There are many many details to this, but I dont have anyone to seek advice from on this.

I hope this follows this sites criteria, as 4 stepkids and 2 step parents are involved.

Thanks for your time.

cmw's picture

I dont think i do.. my

I dont think i do.. my parents and ex wife are together 3 to 4 times a week, so my bd sees them quite often.
They go to church together, and my ex lets my family keep my kid on weekends when I dont have her. Every weekend I dont have her.
I know this because my kid tells me when I see her.

cmw's picture

I mentioned counseling on a

I mentioned counseling on a couple of ocassions, but nothing ever came of it.

the worst part is that my daughter doesnt like coming to my house. She immediately asks when she gets to go back home.
I believe this is a combination of being an only child at her house, and getting everything she wants because lets face it her mom gets a lot of my money... and I firmly believe that she sees whats going on between my family and my wife and knows that me and my wife are not part of what her mom and my parents have going on. Therefore she wants to be there. (no telling what she is hearing or seeing when she is not at my house mind you.)

Just for example.. I found out this week, that my ex is letting my parents take my bd on vacation to beavers bend in OK this weekend with my sister, her husband, and their kid. So the whole fame minus my house. We werent invited, which I wouldnt expect to be.

It just sucks.

cmw's picture

Youre right, Im sure that may

Youre right, Im sure that may have something to do with it as well.

but yea, I wouldnt give up what little time I get with her. Ill fight until shes old enough to make her own decisions anyway.

Kes's picture

I think your first alliegance

I think your first alliegance has to be to your wife - it can't be fun having your inlaws describe you as a whore. If the stepkids annoy them, my advice would be to cut down the amount of time you are all together, or maybe just go and see them yourself, and very occasionally the whole family.
If your BD misses her grandparents, perhaps you could discuss with your wife how she might feel about your BD having some time with them alone, maybe while your SKIDs see their father, or other set of grandparents.
I am the second wife, and I don't get on with my MIL. My DH takes his daughters to visit her and I stay home. We are civil when MIL and I do meet, but we give each other space.


Veteran disengaged SM of 14 years. Underestimate me, that'll be fun.

Ommy's picture

of course there will be

of course there will be PASing the grandparents see the girl when BM wants a free weekend, grandparents love BM and hate SM....ummm....duh!!!!!!! grandparents are horrible about PASing kids.

cmw's picture

Like I said, my BD sees her

Like I said, my BD sees her grandparents a lot.
I get 1st 3rd and 5th weekends, my parents get 2nd and 4th weekends.
This is no joke.. My ex gets every weekend free.

just sayin

cmw's picture

They are kids.. kids do what

They are kids.. kids do what kids do. They arent out of control necessarily, but they are definantly a handful. I feel like a drill sargeant in my house, especially since their ages are soooo close.

Their discipline and enforced rules seem to me to be a constant ongoing thing in our house, but I cant let up, and neither can their mom.

Im sorry, I forgot to add here that my ex and my wifes ex dated for over a year after we got married... LOL
seriously. All of the kids would leave our house and still be together with their other parents in a different house.

Delilah's picture

So you still see your

So you still see your parents? Does your sister share the same view as your parents do of your wife?

Just considering the relationship issues between your parents and wife for the moment, I dont actually think its a good idea for your wife and skids to attend any function with your family members who perceive your wife to be a husband stealing whore. God tells you to respect your wife, by placing her in that type of environment that is just providing an opportunity for your wife and skids to be attacked by your judgemental family. No wonder everyone is being fake and insincere, as what else do you do? Ignore the fact your PIL think you are awful, even when its not true?

My own PIL hated me initially. No reason given and they couldnt tell DH why, except I was "different", "opinionated" and they admitted I had been nothing but lovely to them. Yet they called me names, accused me of awful things, treated me with disrespect and contempt. I continued to turn the other cheek and make an effort, even though at times it was strained as I knew what they thought. However there came a point where I couldnt do it anymore. I could feel the venom coming off of them in waves towards me and it was affecting my health. My own DH just wanted everyone to get along and felt stuck in the middle...thing is, I didnt put him there. His family did. THEY wanted him to choose, them or me. Their actions, their demeanour, their attitude and their behaviour towards me all was designed to split us up.

IMO your family are doing the same thing to you and your wife. They admit they felt she was the cause of your relaitonship breakdown and no doubt your ex wife is enjoying going along with that, they feel that if you hadnt met your wife you would have gotten back with you ex. They are blaming you wife for something she is entirely innocent of, so no I dont blame her for not liking your family. No sane person would when they are being unfaily treated and accused of awful things, like adultery. I would be LIVID if someone accused me of that, as in my eyes that is a serious accusation.

So I guess the question is: what do you want to happen? I mean realistically?

You arent clear really about the purpose of your post. Are you venting or asking for advice on how to heal this rift or what to do (or all three)?

In my own situation my DH and I went to couples counselling. Many churches offer this for free, so think about that. Our therapist asked my DH how long he expected me to endure his families abuse, because his attempts at getting THEM to see reason was an epic fail. In fact they just escalated their behaviour towards me. As ultimately I was being reasonable. Granted I was angry with them, disliked them but I had tried in the face of hate.

My DH eventually made a stand. It was painful for him ofcourse but he cut his parents out for over a year, as well as my SIL. Eventually my MIL apologised after I extended the hand of friendship for my husbands sake (he didnt ask me) and now my PIL and I get along. We still dont speak to my SIL, as she continues to think her behaviour is acceptable.

Now not saying this would happen for you, but you have to find a way to manage this situation as what you are doing currently sounds like it isnt working.

As for your DD, all you can do is ensure you put her right about any negative things your family are saying about you and your wife. Include her in fun things with YOUR family and plan some nice things for the summer.

cmw's picture

yes most of that is true, but

yes most of that is true, but I do not go to the church that me and my ex attended.

I meant that my parents and my ex attend the same church.

me and my current wife go elsewhere. I didnt really turn my back on the christian lifestyle, I just chose to not be miserable anymore

StepAside's picture

Your parents are taking

Your parents are taking liberties because they have leverage.

If your current wife was the biological mother of your child, your wife would have leverage and your parents would think twice before blatantly disparaging her.

Since your current wife has no influence over their relationship with their granddaughter, and apparently you do not either, they are free to behave however they choose.

It's been my experience, that when leverage is the key factor in a relationship rather than love, resentment builds all around.

If your parents placed a value on their relationship with you, it's doubtful that they'd be so obvious about coming after your wife.

Who my brother dates isn't always necessarily who I would choose for him. However, who he dates is his business. I'm smart enough to figure out, that the quickest way to destroy my relationship with him, would be to take on whoever he choose to be in his life.

Your parents have your daughter by virtue of being in good with the mother. Your wife seemingly has nothing they want.

That could all change if you and your wife have any children together, or if you stay married to your wife for a long time. Then, you will ultimately be forced to get off the fence and choose. When they figure out that you will likely choose your wife, they may back off.

Also, I hope you see where this is headed with your parents. Their priority is your daughter. They won't risk losing her to your wife or to you. Hence, you may have parents who are nice to your face. But don't ever be so naive as to think they aren't breeding into her loyalty toward them over you and your wife. It's a subtle training that goes on, but they will make damn sure your daughter doesn't ever get too close with you two.

With their support and your ex-wife's support, you and your wife are going to be gradually depicted to be failures who owe her. I think you should go see my blog on Relational Aggression. Somebody else wrote on it and I pasted it on my blog. I warned my DH along the way that it was happening. He didn't think his family would do that. They did.

He wound up being viewed as having zero value in his own children's lives other than a means for cash. I have always been viewed just as your wife currently is.

If there is one thing I hope you take from everyone's experiences here, it is that you have got to set boundaries with people who refuse to have any. That will include your daughter. You can love her to pieces, but when she needs correction, you have to give it to her. If you don't, because you fear that she will jump back into the welcoming arms of her mother and grandparents, she will also adapt their thinking and her entitlement attitude will grow until you are forced to finally set a limit.

If you set the expectations for good behavior early, you have a chance. If you try to set them later, she'll bolt permanently. She has an audience who would love nothing more.

And lastly, do not let RELIGION give anyone the automatic appearance of being righteous. It's been my experience that the more holy a person thinks they are, the more they get used to doing the opposite of what they preach. Their public faith gets used as a shield and sword. Although the bible talks much of humility, the temptation to judge others with it is just more than many can pass on. My MIL has been extremely involved in her church. I used to be in such disbelief that a little, church going woman could be capable of so much destruction. Take away her church title, and based on her family history, she is an obvious contender.

The pews are filled with folks who use it for personal gain.

Short story. I was in church about a month ago. A few folks raised their hands about head level during the singing. The music director asked everyone to raise a hand during the song. When everyone raised their hands, the people who already had their one hand raised head level, raised both hands and extended their arms straight up.

Now, humility would dictate that they are no more deserving of receiving and inviting the Holy Spirit than the folks around them. Made me wonder why they were only moved to distinguish themselves by raising both hands straight up, after everyone else was invited to raise one hand. I concur, it had to do with appearance. I am a little hesitant around people who get wrapped up in appearances in church. They always seem like the ones who are hiding the most.

StepAside's picture

Forgot to mention. Some

Forgot to mention. Some others have commented before about what they were told about Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). The worst thing you can do is try to ignore it. I know you're going to hate bringing your kid into adult issues. However, if you suspect your ex and/or your parents are feeding your daughter horrible lies and depictions of you and your wife, you should seriously consider countering this with her. It will be your choice how you choose to broach the subject. But I concur with the others. The absolute worst thing you can do is try to be the "bigger person", and blow it off. They will be shaping her brain against you. Without your dose of truth to counter their effects, their stories will become her facts.

That's going to be a huge problem when she's 16, then 18, then 21 and so forth. It'll be too late at that point. You'll have to wait till she feels like discussing it with you, because she will have control over what she hears about her mother and her grandparents, who she will be eager to defend from you and your wife's "attacks".

cmw's picture

wow good good points

good good points

cmw's picture

yea, after 3 paragraphs i

yea, after 3 paragraphs i felt like she must be a psychologist

StepAside's picture

Unfortunately, almost every

Unfortunately, almost every lesson I've learned in my life I've had to experience first hand.

I wish my DH and I could have benefited earlier from other's experiences. Sadly, they are so common that you can see your future in the outcomes from other stepfamilies.

My DH stayed silent when his family was being vicious. They took his silence to mean he concurred. He does not enjoy disparaging people in general. He has his own set of convictions. However, he swayed from those and rode the fence instead. He really regrets not being true to himself. It didn't turn out to be rewarding at all. If he was going to have his daughters blame him for the rest of their lives and hate me, at least he would have felt better at this point if he had tried to put some expectations and limits on them as children instead of compensating by trying to be their friend.

The leverage took a slight turn in my situation, because we had kids together, I lasted way longer than they expected me to, and his children turned into adults who are still very difficult to deal with.

They still don't like me, but they have a much clearer picture of where the line is.

Best of luck. It sucks, truly it does.

herewegoagain's picture

A couple of issues with this

A couple of issues with this scenario.

1st you state that your parents and your wife don't get is as if you are saying "you have nothing to do with it, it is they who don't get along." Guess what? The fact is that it is in a way up to YOU to set those boundaries with your parents. If you have boundaries with your parents, this would not be happening. I have been reading a book about Emotional Incest and I can't tell you how much I have seen in my own life, my husband's life and what it has caused our family. Here are some things on boundaries in the book. And these are up to YOU to do, not your wife...You should be telling your parents this...

My Business
My finances
My sex life
How I spend my time
Whom I choose as friends
Whom I choose to marry
Whom I date
What goes on between me and my friends
Maintenance of my home
My choice of career
What goes on between me and a relative

My Family's Business
My general health
How I can be reached
Major life changes
Health of mutual friends
Death of mutual friends
Health of family members
Death of family members
Whatever information or activities "I" choose to share with them

Guess what? I don't think YOU have set any of those boundaries with your parents. Instead, you are allowing your wife to be abused by your parents because you can't set up boundaries with your parents. I know, my DH did this for years. It wasn't until he did many of these things that it somewhat stopped. But still, they try. So we stay away. No, it's not I stay away, it is WE stay away. If your parents cannot respect your wife and your life, you MUST stay away.

2nd on the whole Christian issue that your parents have, that is their right. Unfortunately, I have to say I get pretty sick of people using "Christinity" as a cop-out to mistreat others. Imagine if a man beat his wife. Would it be acceptable because the bible says so? No. Even though the bible says that women should "respect" the man, blah, blah, blah...Heck, it's not even acceptable to YOU to be miserable the rest of your life and not divorce, but somehow, it seems acceptable for your parents to hide behind their "Christianity" to abuse your wife, call her names, treat her with disrespect...You need to step up.

3rd once YOU set up boundaries with your parents, if your parents abuse your wife directly, she has EVERY RIGHT TO TELL THEM TO F#$%#$%ck off. And it is up to you to stand beside HER and let your parents know. "I told you the rules, you did not respect them. Sorry, but I will stand by my wife."

Good luck. Again, these situations are not easy, but it is up to YOU first to do something about it.

PS - I am rather in awe that you say that "you did not expect your parents to attend your wedding". Guess what? That was issue #1. Why? Because although I can see that you might say "I knew they would be ticked off and NOT want to come to our wedding", saying what you said and continuing to talk to them means that "you allowed them to NOT RESPECT your marriage from day one and yet continued to speak to them as if they had done nothing wrong."



StepAside's picture

"I get pretty sick of people

"I get pretty sick of people using "Christianity" as a cop-out to mistreat others."

Amen! When my OSD was 17, she came to visit. She told me that she and my MIL heard a sermon on how a man is supposed to treat his wife. After the sermon, OSD asked MIL if it's true that a man is expected to love his wife as Jesus loves the Church. According to my OSD, my MIL said, "Not if he's married to the devil."

Like that spin? Pretty convenient, hateful, irresponsible and influential. What I get sick of, are people coming to the conclusion that they get to decide how I will be treated. Those days are over. I decide that.

Want to add another bible reference? The man is instructed to leave his parents, cleave to his wife and become one. I can't stand bible-pickers. Either believe or don't. But the twisting it blasphemous.

cmw's picture

i see what you are saying i

i see what you are saying
i cut off communications with my fam for six months last year..
but the longing to have a supportive family one day brought me back to where we are

ybarra357's picture

"Neither side has ever

"Neither side has ever sincerely attempted to make ammends or call a truce."

That would be mighty difficulty in light of your below statement:

"and they do not consider my wife to be my kids' stepmom, just some "whore" I'm with for sex" Who would want to deal with that shit? I surely wouldn't. These bible thumpin', sanctimonious types are incredibly hypocritical.

StepAside's picture

Amen to that too. Neither

Amen to that too. Neither side... ha.

The INITIATOR of aggression is the one who must initiate peace. Anytime the target tries it, it's just another opportunity to be abused, mocked, ridiculed, gossiped about and destroyed. All peace offerings from the target further the aggressors assessment that they are doormats.

All sides are not created equal. Aggressors need to be removed until they stop being aggressive. Their power must be removed before they have any incentive to change.

Ommy's picture

This is not your wife's

This is not your wife's doing, this is you being submissive to your parents. Stand up and be a man. Tell them that she is your wife. That your previous marriage has ended and that you deserve to be happy. If they do not show respect for her then they can not be apart of you new life. You have to make the choice to change things; they treat your wife like dirt because you let them. If they want to see you or your kids your wife is part of the deal and she deserves respect.

Ommy's picture

Do you really have to post on

Do you really have to post on a blog 4 or 5 times with different advice? And why do you only do this on a mans blog/topic?

StepAside's picture

Are you really saying that he

Are you really saying that he should have expected his parents to call his wife a whore, if he initiated the divorce and it wasn't based on Christian sanctioned reasons?

Would you like to have a Bible-Off? I'll go with you.

Not sure which verse you are going to rattle off to justify what you think the OP deserves from his parents, but I can't wait!

StepAside's picture

It's what YOU said... "If

It's what YOU said...

"If your parents actually called your wife a whore.... you pretty much flouted ... deeply cherished beliefs about marriage.... what do you expect?"

Kinda igno igno right there.

herewegoagain's picture

"infrequent solo visits" are

"infrequent solo visits" are really "it's ok for you to disrespect my wife, it's ok for you to treat her like crap, it's ok that you don't consider her my wife, it's all ok...cause mommy and daddy, YOU come first". If you do that instead, you are the ONLY one to blame in this situation if your marriage ends. You are ALLOWING their disrespect.



cmw's picture

im reading a lot of good

im reading a lot of good stuff here.. thought provoking things..

the advice im ultimately asking for is this..
ive cut off ties with my family over this issue once for several months..
but the feeling to have a loving supportive family never left. The hope of peace and love prevails.
I do not think it will ever happen and i feel the fool for holing on to that.
I have stood up to them several times.. even lost it on one ocassion.
Ive been told to just let it go and remove them from my life... but how do you do that when all of this is going on outside of my house with my kid?

Ommy's picture

If you have First Right of

If you have First Right of Refusal then BM cant just pass the kids off on a weekend babysitter all the time.

Or have you talked to her? Is she decent? could you say look there is a lot of family issues going on and I do not want my daughter around my parents unsupervised by me.

cmw's picture

i know about the first rights

i know about the first rights rule... and ive attempted to use them to no avail. I dont know about other states but the Texas divorce and child custody court rulings here are a joke. all they care about, ALLL they care about, is if the man is paying his child support. thats all
and no she is not decent. were she decent (and im not even saying above average here) then i may not have given up everything i had just to get away from her. true story

cmw's picture

my wife watches me beat

my wife watches me beat myself up over this situation... in constant turmoil over how this could even be happening.
she tried to help, but any attempt was met with temporary indifference.
as we speak another fight just broke out and another period of "not speaking to each other" just got put into place.

my parents tell me i am blind for not seeing how awful my wife is. how she is the problem.
i tell them they are blind for not seeing what they are doing.
so all arguments are basically a waste of time.. no one listens and no one bends

cmw's picture

lol, yes i did.. he responded

lol, yes i did..
he responded by sharing our conversation with everyone in the church

another true story

StepAside's picture

Yikes. I feel you. It's so

Yikes. I feel you. It's so hard to try to navigate successfully in a relationship where the other party has no boundaries.

I think when you're tied to people in this scenario, words aren't very effective. Your family isn't going to stop, just because you ask them to. Actions speak louder than words.

One thing that has pained me deeply has not been the fact that my husband's family is willing to shred me to my husband, but the fact that I know he has listened to it. I know he has, because he has repeated their words to me. That feels like betrayal. The last time it happened, my DH should have done an about face, got in his car and driven home. Instead, he told his oldest daughter that he wished she would stop, bla bla bla. She's not going to stop until he refuses to engage her.

My MIL used to love arguing with me. If I said blue, she'd say red. Just always wanted to put me down. I stopped talking to her about anything of any substance. It's pretty hard to argue with someone when they won't engage in that topic.

I don't know of you'll wind up completely cutting your folks off someday or not. But if their relationship with you is conditional on being able to criticize your wife, then that is pretty horrible. By now, they have to know that you don't like it. I'm sure you've already told them. If I were you, I'd tell my wife that she doesn't have to worry about me every listening to another word from anyone in my family about her again. There is nothing good that will come from ever hearing it. And the next time anyone in your family mentions your wife's name, your answer should be consistent every time, "I'm not going to listen to you talk about my wife. If you don't stop, I'm going home." Eventually, they'll stop.

They may never change how the feel, but they will stop talking about your wife.

Unfreakingreal's picture

So sorry to hear this. My DH

So sorry to hear this. My DH is in the EXACT same position. He just spoke to his mom for the FIRST time in 19 months on Mothers Day. Same scenario. They hate me. Especially his sister. For no particular reason either. I think I'm better than them. We bought a house so we think we're better than them. I give advice to the nieces & nephews about their pot smoking on FB and I'm being judgmental, I think my shit don't stink. Blah, blah, blah. When I met DH, his family RIPPED BM apart to me. They said the nastiest things about her. NOW? She's Mother Teresa. She is up their asses 24/7. Gets invited to ALL family functions and we are excluded. My SD is always at their house. She hears all the horrific things they say about me and DH. I do exactly as someone here suggested, I counter attack EVERYTHING. I don't care how adult the topic is, I give SD a FULL account of the TRUTH. She is then able to assess what she chooses to believe. My DH lasted 19 months without calling his mom. I was afraid that because she's so old that the witch would pass and he'd blame me for not being on speaking terms with her, so he finally buckled and called her for Mothers Day. I do not believe I will EVER accept those people anywhere near me. They are beyond disgusting and the fact that they would treat my DH like that pisses me the fuck off. They don't deserve him. DNA does NOT constitute family. Family is those who stick by you, love you no matter what, treat you with respect and dignity. Remember that. I would NOT do solo visits, that is basically saying it's OK they treat your wife like shit and that should NEVER be acceptable.

cmw's picture

no no, i would never go that

no no, i would never go that route.
solo visits r out of the question