To think we have THREE children and it's not ok to exclude one just because they are not a blood relative?

(144 Posts)
GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:15:10

I have one DC from a previous relationship and two with my husband. All three have been treated as OUR children by the majority of the family.

However, one couple on H's side wouldn't ever buy birthday or Christmas gifts for our eldest. When they had DC of their own (3 years ago) they started buying for him.

However, h and I separated 4 months ago but still on good terms. This Christmas all his family bought for our three children with the exception of this couple. They did buy for my H's biological DC though.

AIBU to think this is disgusting? Just because we are no longer together doesn't mean my eldest is not H's child. To put into context, H has been in eldest's life since age two and he does not see his biological father and receives no gifts or maintenance from him. My H still considers him as his son and pays maintenance for him.

RandyRudolf Fri 27-Dec-13 18:17:01

They sound delightful. Personally I think I would make a new year resolution to cut them out of my life.

WilsonFrickett Fri 27-Dec-13 18:17:16

YANBU. Awful, petty behaviour. If you and Xp are on good terms, can you ask him to have a word?

They sound horrible. I would cut them out.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 18:20:43

Depends. Do you want to try and have a relationship with them and their child? If so, I would tell them how hurt you were when they ignored your eldest child until they had their own and how confused and disappointed you are now they have done it again. See what they say then proceed accordingly.

If you won't want to bother with them anymore just stop talking to them and return anything they send for the rest of the children.

How lovely that your DH is not being a twat and dumping your eldest because things haven't stayed working for you as a couple.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:28:47

Thank you everyone. I'm absolutely livid angry.

Eldest was meant to go to his aunts for her annual Boxing Day get together but was really ill Christmas Day and Boxing Day so H just took our youngest two.

I've just gone to drop them all off at his for his weekend contact and he handed our eldest his presents from the relatives but it was fairly obvious that there was one missing as our youngest two got more.

This couple are BIL and his girlfriend. The whole family hates his girlfriend but refuse to confront her twattish behaviour. It did play a small part in our breakup because I was sick to death of my husband allowing his SIL to treat me and my DC like shit. I've already cut them both out.

Tomorrow is our youngest's birthday party and they will both be there. I'm going to have to bite my tongue, I'm so angry. It's totally unfair on all our DC. Our youngest will become old enough to notice this unfairness. This is their brother ffs!

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 18:33:54

Start as you mean to go on. Text them they are uninvited. Stop just tolerating such shit from them. You and your kids deserve more.

maddy68 Fri 27-Dec-13 18:35:47

I think your oh should tell them tbh.

BrianTheMole Fri 27-Dec-13 18:38:36

I would say they can't come. Or get ex dh to do it. Twats. You don't have to deal with her anymore.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:38:53

I would love to Toffee.

H and I have argued a lots over this woman. She has pulled the most horrendous PA crap over the 12 years I've known her. H is totally ineffectual when dealing with his family. It's rarely an issue because I get on with all of them bar this one woman and as a consequence, BIL, because I am shocked that he could let her treat his family this way.

I told H that I didn't want her at any of our family events because she has proven time and time again that she doesn't care for them and is perfectly happy to use them as a weapon against us. He refused to disinvite her because his brother will fall out with him hmm. In my book, family don't behave in this way and therefore they're no family of ours.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 18:41:02

Do it, seriously.

She doesn't give a shit about your child,

Your husband cares more about his brother than your child.

YOU are the only one who can stand up for your child.

You won't be losing anything!

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:44:08

Forgot to mention that I'm glad that DS had to miss the Boxing Day thing because I'm imagining it would have been awkward for him to be excluded in front of the whole family in this way. I can't believe they were going to conscionably hand over presents to our DDs but nothing for our son shock.

How can people treat a child like this? This is the only family he has ever known. He's been in their lives since aged two. Bastards.

BrianTheMole Fri 27-Dec-13 18:44:34

If he can't do it, then you do it.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 18:45:20

This is the final straw Toffee and I will be telling my husband such. Either they are all treated fairly or they are treated equally by receiving nothing from them.

Iwannalaylikethisforever Fri 27-Dec-13 18:46:29

I would say in front if everyone ... Sorry it seems "whatever your child is called" can't find his gift from you.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 18:53:00

You can't rely on your husband to do the right thing for your child so you must.

bamboostalks Fri 27-Dec-13 18:59:19

I see so many of these threads where parents are enraged because their children are being slighted in some way by bio relatives of other children. All children are not equal to all people. There are so many steps, halves etc in my family that I couldn't possibly buy for all, it would become ludicrous. I'm not emotionally invested in them all, it doesn't make me a bad person. They have their own families that have no interest in their further siblings yet that's not seen as a problem. It's very presumptuous expecting wider step families to take on 2/3 children who arrive in their family.

HissymasJumper Fri 27-Dec-13 19:00:08

Seriously, ditch that witch!

Return and NEVER accept gifts from them again for the youngest two.

They are disgusting human beings and don't deserve to know your lovely children.

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:02:18

Why do you think this woman should have any interest in your son?

And why do you expect to get presents for any of your children from your husband's brother?

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:03:57

I agree Bamboosticks

gamerchick Fri 27-Dec-13 19:06:00

I'm with bamboo.

I buy for the granddaughter but not her brothers.. who have their own dads and their families. Where the hell does it stop?

I don't expect my kids to be bought for who joined the family in the same way.. They have their own dad.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:06:47

I don't expect anything from them. I expect them to treat all our children equally. So if they don't want to buy for all, they should buy for none. They have plenty of friend's children for whom they buy. We're not talking about your standard blended family scenario. This is my son's father since he doesn't see his biological dad and hasn't since he was one (ex's choice). They managed to buy when it suited them. But he's no longer family because we've separated?

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 19:08:05

This is different. The child has been brought up as family since he was 2. He isn't the child of their relatives 3 week romance ffs.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:09:14

How about if he'd been adopted by my husband? Which is what we wanted to do but my ex wouldn't allow it.

MammaTJ Fri 27-Dec-13 19:20:13

I disagree with Bamboo. My own DD was totally taken in by all DPs family when we got together.

She has her own Dad, but no other family on his side, so this made an awful difference to her life, just by being so thoughtful.

Not all children have their fathers family to buy for them and spoil them and treat them well, the OPs DS certainly does not.


ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 19:22:52

I suspect she would still be treating him like this even with an adoption going ahead.

Time to make your ex cough up maintenance. He clearly doesn't want his son to have another father so he needs to be it and pay.

tombakerscarf Fri 27-Dec-13 19:30:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hertsmum10 Fri 27-Dec-13 19:31:36

I think this awful, who wants a gift from them anyway. I bet those many years ago your son, a child accepted them as part of his family without any of this pettiness, trust a child to do what two petty adults can't.

HappyMummyOfOne Fri 27-Dec-13 19:35:20

I dont think she should have to buy either, the child is no relation to her whereas the others are by marriage. She shouldnt be made to buy more gifts simply because your eldest doesnt see his father to get gifts from that side.

Presumably if he did you would be telling him and his family that they could not buy unless they bought for all three?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:35:21

I was always a bit hmm about them not buying for DS before they had their own, particularly as they spoiled my DN's on my H's side right from the word go. But I put it down to them being a bit clueless.

This I think just sends a message loud and clear: you are no longer family. Which is what makes me most angry.

There is a CSA case against my ex but he manages to wiggle out if paying every time. I've long since given up on that.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:39:29

If he was adopted by my husband, so legally his son, would that change things?

She's not actually married to BIL so by rights she's nothing to do with any of them. The rest if the family manage it. He calls them all auntie and uncle and gets on extremely well with his 'cousins'.

And yes, my ex once bought my son a load of Christmas presents years ago and my H hit the roof. He said it wasn't fair on our DD and I totally got that. But he seems to think this is ok? Like I said, they don't have to give anything, but to purposefully exclude one child like this is disgraceful IMO. They could just buy for none of them. Problem solved.

TheCraicDealer Fri 27-Dec-13 19:41:31

I'd put the gifts in a tesco bag and hand them back at the party and explain why. If she blows a gasket who gives a shiny shite? You've split up, your ex can just say, "nothing to do with me, take it up with GoodNews".

Then when you have it out and she inevitably falls out with you you'll never have to see her again. Hurrah!

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:44:18

In my head I would do just that and ask her if she can count past two. But the gifts are at H's house and he wouldn't allow me to.

This is the merest tip of a very large iceberg. She a total cow bag and he's not much better by virtue if the fact that he never says a bloody word to her.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 19:45:26

Just because we are no longer together doesn't mean my eldest is not H's child.

Your exH has to take ownership of this. Don't deflect onto other people. It is upto your ExH to state this child is equal to a bio one.

My H still considers him as his son and pays maintenance for him.

Great, but what about the bio Dad? Bio dad is very shoddy in his responsibilities

TheCraicDealer Fri 27-Dec-13 19:47:52

Well, if having an almighty (but satisfying) row is impossible, how about donating the gifts to a local shelter or charity? Of course, this could be awkward if Satan's mistress asks the DC how they liked their presents.

Elliemayclampett Fri 27-Dec-13 19:48:44

Give the gifts for the other DCs back. Or phone and say that a gift seems to have been left behind... I was in a similar position once and did phone to say " X has left his gift from you behind.." All hell broke loose when MIL discovered that one child had been excluded.

I don't know how anyone could give presents to two children and ignore one. Mean and nasty.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:49:05

Oh, I definitely see this as H's responsibility to sort out. In all honesty, I'm extremely disappointed that he didn't say something to them at the time. But as I say, he's really ineffectual when it comes to dealing with his family. He's always so worried about upsetting them - never cared when they were upsetting his wife and DC though hmm.

There is a CSA order against my ex. He's self employed and has managed to pay about £200 total in 12 years (which goes into the family pot all children being equal).

DizzyZebra Fri 27-Dec-13 19:52:34


OHs family did this last year after previously buying for dd. They didn't even write her name on a fucking card all because i used one unpolitically correct term (despite them being racist as hell) which i have never done ever, in thebheat of the moment.

I cried. I don't even care about Christmas. It was the blatant exclusion of her because they don't like me that got me, especially as theyd previously bought for her.

I considered doing it back. I earned the money at that point and i considered refusing to buy his nieces anything on the basis that theyre not my family any more than lily is apparently theirs.

But i didn't. I ignored them because in better than someone who has to pick on a child.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:53:03

If my husband would let me give the gifts back, or even let me have them, there is no way I'd be allowing my exSIL and BIL to get away with this. H will never go for it though.

The party is at a playgym. I can just imagine what would happen if I argued with her there grin. Having said that, I'm a bit wary of BIL because I've seen him punch people for upsetting SIL even where she was the instigator. He once punched the mother of a woman he was having an affair with because SIL was acting like a fish wife and screeching at her to tell her daughter to stay away hmm. I'm so glad my DC are related to these people hmm.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:55:42

Dizzy, you've hit the nail on the head there. It's the blatant exclusion and I just know this is an attempt to get at me because SIL hates me. I'm sorry you've had to deal with such arseholes too sad. But well done for being the bigger person. I feel like I'm past that now. I've made so many allowances to keep the peace for the sake of 'family' but I don't see why I should anymore.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 19:56:34

Forgot to say, no Christmas card either. It's like he doesn't exist.

DizzyZebra Fri 27-Dec-13 19:59:08

And to the pp who said its not possible to buy for all etc, ours is not a large family. At the time there was ohs two nieces, my dd and our ds.

I would have been happy if theyd bought her a pound shop toy, or at least written her name on the card. It was the blatant exclusion.

I don't expect them to be as emotionally invested in her. Just not to exclude her. They buy far more for our sons than her (they bought for her this year again) and in ok with that. I'm just not ok with them using her to send the message that they don't like me.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 20:02:57

Time to make a choice.

The family and "SIL" or none of them.

Family isn't all that, you know. No family is better than one that treats another member like shit.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:03:16

Neither is ours Dizzy. They have two, my other SIL has two and then there's our three. They buy for all their friends children though. It's not like there's loads of step children to buy for - just my son. In the past they've put a fiver in a card. DS was more than happy with that and I was just pleased he was being acknowledged. They could have bought cheaper presents and included my son without spending a penny more than they did. But like you say, it's to send a clear message.

DizzyZebra Fri 27-Dec-13 20:04:12

To be honest grinch, and i would never say this publicly where oh might see it, But i suspect they only did this year because either his dad had words (it was his mum with the grudge) or his mum didn't want to risk me telling her to fuck right off because ive just had ds2 and she knows if she doesn't come and see me she doesn't see him (i bf exclusively). Whereas when she did it first time ds1 was old enough that OH could just take him out with them so she didn't have that worry.

I know OHs mum well enough to know what really pisses her off though - She hates the fact that i apologised for the unacceptable thing i did say, and she hates that ive never said she isn't welcome, because she cant pretend that im the one causing problems then.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:06:50

No family is better than one that treats another member like shit.

So true Toffee. I've been rehashing this argument with H for years but nothing changes. My family have been very good to my H even after we had separated, my DM invited him to all our family Christmas celebrations. I continue to be perplexed at how much power this woman has within their family. I just don't get it. They all dislike her, she's upset every one of them over the years but nobody wants to pull her up on it and so she knows she can get away with it.

Chocovore Fri 27-Dec-13 20:12:01

Just out of interest, do you still buy birthday and Xmas gifts for their DCs now you are separated?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:14:40

I didn't this year because he spotted something he wanted to give. I bought for our mutual friends' DC though and we agreed to split the cost 50/50 this year so I will in effect be paying half for their presents even though I didn't choose them.

Every other year I have chosen the gifts though and paid 50% for them.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 20:16:20

Time some one did pull her up on it then!

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:16:55

Re birthday presents: we've always just bought for our own family. So I buy the birthday gifts for my 6 nieces and nephews, he buys for his 4 although I usually choose the gifts. We've always done this since we got together.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 20:17:44

Don't get into I paid but didn't choose petty squabbles/thoughts. You have more important things to sort out.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:19:41

I was asked by a pp but I hadn't actually thought about it until now. Just so happened that he found something he wanted to give. He still owes me half for all the presents this year as thats what we agreed re our DC and friends/family DC.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 20:20:11

my ex once bought my son a load of Christmas presents years ago and my H hit the roof. He said it wasn't fair on our DD and I totally got that

This can be a problem with step families - unless you are all great mates and friends and get along this will happen. If I were the non RP I cant see that I would be wanting to buy presents for christ knows how many other children I didnt have an emotional relationship with.

I'll put that in perspective with DS1's mate ......he has 11 half and step siblings - and do steps disappear when the parent moves on? It was an utterly ridiculous situation ...... parents had one mutual child, each brought two previous children to the relationship, relationship split and each went on to have a further two children with new partners and the next tranch of tep parents brought in more children.

where do you call it quits?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:23:41

Yes, I totally get that. My ex had had a further three children with three different woman and DS has never met any of them. If he was seeing them then I would support him (financially) in buying his sisters presehts for birthday /Christmas as he does for the sisters he lives with. Like I help him buy for his friends too (I only let him spend £1).

This situation is different. DS has been their nephew for 12 years. He was family when it suited them. So why the change of heart? This is one extra child, not 11.

BohemianGirl Fri 27-Dec-13 20:26:32

DS has been their nephew for 12 years. He was family when it suited them. So why the change of heart? This is one extra child

The answer to that is: they were being polite to you and ExH in treating you as family. You and your son are no longer part of that extended family dynamic.

longingforsomesleep Fri 27-Dec-13 20:28:02

My nephew has 1 son and 2 step children. He's now separated from his wife but it would never occur to me or other family members to treat the 3 children differently. If you take children to your heart you can't then put them aside when a marriage breaks down.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:29:53

Yes, I know that is what they are saying by not buying a gift. That is what I object to. I don't think it's on for them to suddenly exclude him just because we separated 4 months ago. Unlikely they were being polite in the past either - once they had their own DC they wanted us all to play happy families.

I've asked several times but no one has answered: Would it be different if he was adopted? So legally his son? For all intense purposes H is DS's dad.

How old is your eldest? Can you explain it to him in a "some people are shits misguided" way? I agree your ex should be dealing with this but he at least is doing the right thing and telling your eldest he is as much his son as the other two and that is what ultimately matters. Not what a frankly unpleasant pair of distant relatives do or think.

What I suppose I'm saying is, woud the children care if they ever saw this horrible couple again? Do you really want them involved in their lives?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:37:32

DS is 14 and has just recently discovered what a shit his bio dad is as he found some nasty messages from him to me on Facebook. Plus the starting contact/dropping him again a few times (only by phone though). So I think this is badly timed and probably why I'm extra sensitive about him having the same as his sisters. I know one day he will know that just through bad luck he was robbed of the chance to have a decent bio father and extended family but unreasonably it not, I want to protect him from that. Maybe this will be the right time for him to learn that life isn't fair sad.

He says he is ok with it in that typical teenager way of saying nothing phases them but I could see in his eyes that it bothers him. He's old enough to understand the message that was intended by excluding him from the family gift giving. Thank god he wasn't there with them all when it happened. And also that at least some of H's family still see him as their family member.

In isolation I might just be able to forgive this as a one off but they pull this shit all the time and not just with us.

Oh I'm not suggesting way. Just drop contact to a bare minimum and slag them off behind closed doors with your DS in earshot grin

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 27-Dec-13 20:39:48

You need to return the gifts to the two younger children. You cannot let your eldest see you accepting stuff for them and a snub for him.

This needs to come from your exH. And unfortunately if he's not prepared to go to bat for his son... Maybe he doesn't actually see him as an equal child, as he claims and as he ought?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:41:33

Xposted there. I have asked H time and time again to either tell them to stop being cunts or to cut them out but he refuses.

His mother and other brother fell out with us all about 3 years ago and nobody has heard from her since (the mother instigated the falling out - we've offered the olive branch several times). I've told him that if he can cut his own mother out, then a toxic SIL should be no issue but he just says he doesn't want any more family falling out. I don't think my DC would care if they never saw them again. We only see them about once a year because they never make the effort.

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:42:23

I'm sorry I really don't know why you are making such a fuss about people who are not related to you or your son whom you don't even like not giving your son a present. Whether you like it or not your relationship with your ex is over; by virtue of that fact they are not part of your family and you are not part of theirs. You and your ex are for the moment getting on fine. Good concentrate on that.

The situation with your son's real father to me seems far more urgently needing to be sorted out than fretting and complaining about the actions of 2 people who are peripheral to your son.

So is her son's relationship with the family of the man who considers himself his father over?

What if he had adopted? Would that even still be an option?

missfliss Fri 27-Dec-13 20:44:26

I understand your feelings but I have had this charge levied at me by my SIL who has 2 daughters from her previous marriage, I have no emotional relationship with them and was lambasted for suggesting that 18 was old enough to cease gift buying for my much younger half siblings / and all nephews and nieces. We have 15 kids between us, it is SOOO expensive. I am a stepdaughter too, and never received presents from my stop mums family even when she went on to have kids with my dad. I wouldn't have expected to. I really resented somebody dictating to me whom I should buy for.

She got all precious saying that I'd understand when I have kids..well I do now, and my brother ( SILs husband) hasn't remembered once. I. Not bothered. He lives in Boston USA and has no real relationship to DS2, if it upset me I'd just buy a pressie on his behalf.
I do feel for you, but can see the other side too.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 20:44:42

You are separated so no need to ask your exH anything. You do what you need to do now. Tell your son they have behaved in a way that is not acceptable and from now on you will not see them as his family.

If he was adopted then they would be doubly twatty if they dropped him now you are separating but the fact is they have and you have to deal with the situation you find yourself in.

If they can't treat your eldest the same then I would be walking away from all of them if it was me.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Fri 27-Dec-13 20:45:09

It's just occurred that they could so easily get a "family" present like a DVD or a board game, and avoid the whole situation entirely.

But they didn't because they're shits angry

Don't put all the blame on the SIL either. The BIL chose her.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:45:15

H has started taking our DC quite a lot on his weekend visitation. He wouldn't listen if I told him to stop.

Part if the problem is that we're no longer a team like we used to be so he doesn't listen anymore. Well, he wouldn't listen when we were together either.

You've made a good point HoldMe. Maybe DS is not as equal as he makes out sad. I'm drawing the line though. Once the party is out the way I will be having words. I am not standing for this anymore.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 20:47:43

Don't be ridiculous Caitlin17.

This child has been in the H life for 12 years. The BIL girlfriend has been in the family a long time. There just isn't an adoption certificate for the child or a wedding certificate for the girlfriend but for years everyone has treated them as if there were, then suddenly they aren't as it suits them.

OP walk away. You are not being seen as part of the family, your eldest isn't either. Can you let your younger ones be treated differently?

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:52:19

Xposted quite a few there.

I've said it before, but this is the tip of the iceberg. They seem happy enough to have my son playing with their DC, have him round to their house etc. Just not treat him the same as his sisters by including him in the gift giving.

I hold BIL equally responsibly but he's like a wet blanket when it comes to her. Seriously, I've no idea why he doesn't just tell her to stop being a dick. None of his friends like her either.

I'm not just saying this either, very few people like her because she's such a difficult person. It's not like she's lovely and has made this decision due to finances, drawing a line or whatever. She's sending a message to me. As has been pointed out, there's several ways they could have got around the issue without being cruel angry.

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 20:54:56

What is ridiculous? OP doesn't even like these people. Why is it so bloody important they maintain a relationship? Her ex is still treating the boy as his own?

Personally I think all these expectations that aunts, uncles and other relatives should buy presents is plain grabby.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 20:57:50

It's not just about a present. Stop being obtuse. It's about the message it sends to a child who sees these people as his family.

I'm wary about cutting them all out. My H's sister is lovely and has been very good to my son. Her DC get on really well together too. These people plus my very small famil are all He's got.

These people live in the same town as us, they don't have 100s to buy for. There are no good practical reasons for this. SIL doesn't even have any DNs on her side as she just got one step brother who is 16 without children.

Also, I don't love my DNs by marriage like I do my biological DNs. Doesn't mean I don't treat them equally though. In fact, I have adopted family members, I forget half the time because they are family and have been since they were welcomed into our family.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 21:00:15

Grabby? Couldn't care less about the gifts. In fact, my DSis and I agreed not to buy for each other's DC this year due to finances. But they ALL got nothing. Fine if BIL and SIL wanted to opt out of gift giving, but do it for ALL, not one.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Fri 27-Dec-13 21:01:07

GNG - I get it totally what you are saying. Caitlin is being deliberately stupid.

It is obviously NOT about wanting gifts as you would be happy for all to get less/nothing as long as ALL children were treated the same.

I can't stand it when kids are treated differently. It is spiteful.

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 21:01:24

OP you have made it very clear you dont like the gf. Your opinion of the girlfriend is irrelevant. Your ex's brother must like her and that's all that matters as between them. Maybe she's fully aware of what you think of her and as you and the ex are no longer an item she's failing to see the need to continue giving presents to a child where there is now no connection.

missfliss Fri 27-Dec-13 21:03:01

I think I've revised my opinion here.
I realised I wasn't comparing like with like. My SILs 2 elder girls from a previous relationship have a strong relationship with their dad and his family.
Not the same.
I would be angry too, and although I would choose my words carefully, I would be very explicitly asking them how they think a little child would feel about this.
Sorry for not understanding fully before my first post.

BrianTheMole Fri 27-Dec-13 21:05:18

GNG - I get it totally what you are saying. Caitlin is being deliberately stupid.

Yes. Sounds about right.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 21:09:43

Why is there no connection though? My DS will continue to be the son of their brother/BIL respectively. And she's a bitch if she's forgetting that.

No I don't like her. She's a nasty person. Like I said, tip of the iceberg. Until earlier this year, I was perfectly nice to her in the face of her twattishness since I didn't see it as my place to pull her up on her behaviour when the rest of the family didn't want to.

I think it's really short sighted of them to treat DS this way. I would love for none of my DC to have contact with her as she's toxic. Unfortunately, H doesn't agree with me.

missfliss, don't worry, I think a few posters have been comparing the situation to ones that are familiar to them but are different. DS is H's son for all purposes except genetically. He would have liked to adopt him but ex wouldn't give permission.

Caitlin17 Fri 27-Dec-13 21:11:41

I'm failing to see why OP is so fixated on insisting 2 people she doesn't like give her son a present. She has just split up with the second father of her children and has a difficult relationship with the first father. I would have thought there is far bigger fish to fry at the moment.

missfliss Fri 27-Dec-13 21:12:19

Thanks for understanding.
I think it's appalling for adults to show such a lack of concern for a little persons feelings.
I would address it, but be prepared for answers you don't like. I. Which case cut them out and move on, they don't deserve a role in your kids lives if they can't see what they have done is very wrong.
Good luck, I hope they see sense.

SamU2 Fri 27-Dec-13 21:20:43

This is one of the reasons why my relationship with the in-laws is so shabby.

I have three children from my first marriage. My youngest boy was just two years old when my new husband moved in so he has no memories of not having my in-laws in his life.

I have two more children with my current husband and my in-laws spoil them rotten but not my first three. The first three from my ex do get xmas gifts but nothing like the other two get and that only increased when we had a word with them about it.

It does send a message to them that they aren't as loved and important, which is hurtful considering they see them as grandparents because they were so young when they met her. Their feelings were getting hurt and they just couldn't understand why they were treated so differently. I should add it wasn't just about gifts, but the difference in treatment towards them all in general.

The children did have a relationship with their dad (until he died two weeks ago) and that side of the family but they still viewed my in-laws as their grandparents.

I don't think YABU OP. If your ex is the childs father, biologically or emotionally, then they should all be treated the same.

missfliss Fri 27-Dec-13 21:23:07

I think this is what sums it up best from SamU2

I don't think YABU OP. If your ex is the childs father, biologically or emotionally, then they should all be treated the same.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 21:30:23

Thank you SamU2. I'm really sorry to hear about your ex's death flowers. I agree it's not in for adults to behave this way and honestly, I don't know how they have the heart to do it to them sad.

Ok, caitlin, you're being a bit presumptuous there. I have tried my hardest for years to make my ex be the father to his son. I have long since given up hope that he will ever be able to be that for him. So according to you, I should keep flogging a dead horse so I can be distracted by am issue that is happening now? Ok then. Are you really 17? I'm guessing so. You'll keen soon that life is not quite so black and white as you seem to think it is smile. I'm guessing you don't have children either? Maybe you'll understand when you do. I'm not 'fixated' either. I'm the right level of concerned over something that has just happened.

GoodNewsGrinch Fri 27-Dec-13 21:31:26

Too many typos. Hopefully you'll get the gist.

phantomnamechanger Fri 27-Dec-13 21:32:25

I find it hard to understand why people who have been in this child's life so long suddenly cut him out. I just wonder whether there could be any other reason, eg, they don't buy for kids over 13 or something? I'd like it to be that easy, that they just think everyone realises this because that's what they always do....but thats probably being too kind. As others have said they could buy a joint gift for all to share. its just mean.

MrsDeVere Fri 27-Dec-13 21:33:58

It is threads like these that make me appreciate my family, with all their faults.

10 years ago a tiny scrap of a baby was handed to me in a Family Court.
My family didn't even know this child existed until I called them.
I had only found out myself the week before and I wasn't sure what was going to happen until the last minute.

This baby came from my OH's side of the family.

He has never for one minute been treated as anything other than our child. My family have always included him, accepted him and treated him the same as our bio children. They did this before we adopted him (which took a long time).

If they had not done this I wouldn't have wanted them in my life.

Who wants to be connected to someone who would treat a child in the way described in the OP? It shows a serious flaw in their morals and personalities. Not the sort of people I want to be around.

legoplayingmumsunite Sat 28-Dec-13 00:17:18

I find the attitude of some people here unbelievable. My cousin is a foster parent (short term). Everyone in the family bought a small gift for their foster child because we all thought it wouldn't be nice for a 2 year old to not get presents to open when the rest of the family did. It doesn't take much thought to realise that. And unless you are very short of money an extra £5 gift really isn't much to tell a child they are cared about.

Pimpf Sat 28-Dec-13 00:30:02

I personally wouldn't leave it to your h, I would tell them myself that they're not welcome. You know he's not going to do it, so you either have to put up with them there or do it yourself.

And I agree, it's not about the present, it's about treating all the children equally, I'm amazed that people can't see that

MusicalEndorphins Sat 28-Dec-13 01:27:41

if you don't say anything, and if you still welcome someone into your home, who was rude, disrespectful and insensitive to you and your child, you have nobody to blame but yourself. In your case, I would hand the presents given to your other children back to them. You are a mother, act like one. If you don't stand up for your children, and set an example of right and wrong, who will?

Dh told a close family friend of his grandparents whom we usually only saw at Christmas and maybe 2-3 times tops year round, only gave to ds and ignored my ds from previous marriage that it was all the children or neither of them. The grandparents friend then gave family gifts from then on on to all of us. I would have preferred nothing, as I was offended and hold a grudge when it comes to my children being treated unfairly and rudely. Happily we only saw him a few times after that, as he moved back to his homeland a few years later.

MusicalEndorphins Sat 28-Dec-13 01:41:07

Hope that made sense. I rushed it, here is what I would edit it to, if we had an editing feature here.
Dh told a close family friend of his grandparents, of whom we usually only saw at Christmas time and then maybe 2-3 other times tops year round, only gave to ds and ignored my ds from previous marriage one year.

DH phoned him the next day when we realized that there was no gift for ds1, (we didn't notice on Christmas Day, as there were so many presents being opened, and a large crowd) and as politely as possible when broaching an awkward situation, explained to him that it had to be presents for both of the children, or neither of them.

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 28-Dec-13 03:13:28


You've named your dd in a post you may want t report it and get it edited unless I'm Mixi g you up with someone else your dont want your ex working out your nn

DoubleLifeIsALifeOfSorts Sat 28-Dec-13 03:48:39

"Who wants to be connected to someone who would treat a child in the way described in the OP? It shows a serious flaw in their morals and personalities. Not the sort of people I want to be around."

As MrsDeVere wrote, I second.

I wouldn't worry too much about the dissenters, I've noticed a few of these grumpy sounding nay Sayers hanging around this December, Christmas doesn't bring out the best in everyone .

Greenmug Sat 28-Dec-13 08:03:43

I'm absolutely gobsmacked that anyone would think that this is ok. This lad has not just 'arrived' in the family, he has been a part of it for 12 years, so in my view is still a part of it. That the OP and her H have separated should not mean that ANY of the children are no longer considered family, the fact that the OPs son is not a 'blood' relative is not relevant IMO.

My sister and her H separated two years ago and we all still consider her ex's daughter part of the family she joined 10 years ago. Whd

Ledkr Sat 28-Dec-13 08:14:50

Give them a thankyou card from all the dc then quietly point out that "I bought dc1 a gift from you as I didn't want him to think you were leaving him out"
Passive aggressive? Absolutely.

DoesntLeftoverTurkeySoupDragOn Sat 28-Dec-13 08:24:35

I have asked H time and time again to either tell them to stop being cunts or to cut them out but he refuses.

FFS just tell them yourself then. Clearly it bothers you more than it bothers him so stop whinging about it and just bloody tell them.

helenthemadex Sat 28-Dec-13 08:47:02

I have a similar situation with exh and his family, when we split up I was pregnant with our 3rd dd. None of this family have ever bought anything for her even though she is his biological daughter, they dont really acknowledge she exists, she is 5 now it makes my blood boil. The ex inlaws are practicing christians to.

I buy my daughter something extra to open when the older two are away with their father for Christmas, assholes the lot of them

GoodNewsGrinch Sat 28-Dec-13 08:47:19

Thanks everyone. I'm glad that most people can see where I am coming from on this and think IANBU.

MrsDV, how lovely that your family have been so accepting of your little boy. I mentioned up thread that I have adopted nieces but I always forget that they are not 'blood' relatives - they're just my nieces iyswim. I can't imagine my family behaving this way had my H brought a child that was from a previous relationship into our family.

The party is at a playgym so I'm not sure about my options for excluding them. In the past, most of her shitty behaviour was aimed at me and the stuff that affected the DC could be explained away if they tried. This though, completely shows their attitude towards my son and I don't think it is on.

I'm not very good at confrontation but thought about sending an email or text. Is that a complete cop out? Whilst I would love to cut them off completely, without my H on board it's going to be difficult. He wouldn't like me dictating who his DC can and can't see. Having said that, I will be discussing this in very strong terms and letting him know that if any of his family don't consider ALL our children as family, then none of them are family.

Similarly the gifts are at his house so I don't know how I would be able to get them to give them back. I love all the pa suggestions made here though. If only my H would cooperate angry.

pixiepotter Sat 28-Dec-13 08:47:48

however much the os doesn t like it the fact remains that her younger two are related to her ex 's family her ds is not. If you have chosen to io down the route oe having children with different fathers then this is the deal .they are going to have different extended families , who may not have the means os inclination to treat non related children the same .

GoodNewsGrinch Sat 28-Dec-13 09:05:33

Oh, ok pixie. Should have foreseen this then and it's only what DS deserves since I was foolish enough not to have all my children with the abusive wanker I got with as a 12 year old hmm. He doesn't have another extended family - this is his family.

Although, SIL has a step brother through marriage but she refers to him as her brother. Also, her father is not her bio father either but she calls him dad and he treats her as his own, as he does his step son. So it's ok to do this when it suits her.

Pimpf Sat 28-Dec-13 09:23:28

Pixie that's outrageous, and very hurtful but I guess you know that..

Goodness grinch, ignore that completely, you sil is a bitch, call her and tell her she's not welcome, her children are but she's not

SamU2 Sat 28-Dec-13 10:02:57

Pixie, that is a disgusting attitude. I honestly find it hard to think that people like you exist.

How sad it is that someone can't love a child as much as a blood relative. I find that SO sad. It is sad my MIL can look at her non bio- grandchildren and not love them the same as her bio grandchildren, simply because they are not blood related. Or at least have the kindness to pretend they do.

I wonder how these people would treat an adopted child? Not my blood relative so I don't need to treat it the same.

GoodNewsGrinch Sat 28-Dec-13 10:17:50

Thank you pimf and sam, for a second I thought it was the 1950s hmm.

If my DS was ever to get with someone who already had children, I'd like to think I would treat them as my own and certainly would never pick them up and drop them again. It would have been one thing if they'd never included DS in the gift giving but they did for a while and you shouldn't be able to pick up and drop like this. My son has dealt with enough rejection from his bio family. It's infuriating that these people have chosen to do the same.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sat 28-Dec-13 10:23:00

Seems that Caitlin17 has a sockpuppet friend in that they are both being ridiculous and immature, pixiepotter joining in.

OP - forgive me if I speak for you. I suspect that actually you would not mind at all if none of your children were given a gift or if all were given a comic. It is the fact that they aren't all treated the same. When, as a child, you have someone in your life for a very long time who you see as a father, auntie, family and then suddenly they treat you like you are nothing it is very hurtful.

OP - you can't expect your ex to speak up for your son and put him first. He has chosen his blood family before the child he brought up as a son therefore he is no longer in a team with you and it is down to you now to put them first, last and in between. If that means your other children no longer see their relations then it is not the end of the world and I suspect they would choose not to bother with them when they are treating their brother so disgustingly anyway.

Pixiepotter and Caitlin17 should you ever find yourself having children with more than one man I think you will then understand that life does not always work out as you would expect or do you decree that you are allowed to have kids with one man and that is all so if it doesn't work out, or the man dies, you stay with an abusive man so they keep their father or you aren't allowed to love again as then your children will have another family to deal with. Let us all limit the amount of people who love our children hmm.

flowers and brew for OP.

pixiepotter Sat 28-Dec-13 10:56:27

can i make it clear that i doo t agree with treating step children differently , i am not so naive to believe that others won t think that way

pixiepotter Sat 28-Dec-13 10:59:37

and no i dont say you should necessarily have all yous dc with one partner , but you should be aware that you are creating a situation oe disparity

HissymasJumper Sat 28-Dec-13 11:01:38

Horrified at the shit from prickxiepotter and c-wordlin17!

Probably hairy handed idiots, ignore them.

OP, DO have a word with this woman if she turns up to the party, along the lines of 'thanks for coming/the gift for the party child, however if you aren't going to treat all of my/our families children equally then please don't buy anything, at all, for any of them.

And make sure you say to her to feel free to decline any invitation in future as people with her attitude shouldn't be included in family celebrations.

If she wants to participate, by all means, but not when children are treated poorly.

Andanotherthing123 Sat 28-Dec-13 17:03:48

YANBU.I would politely tell DH that unless all three DC get a present,you'll refuse to accept any presrnts from's about a childs feelings and its important he knows he's equal to his sisters in tje eyes of his aunt and sister has fosterws for years, up to

GoodNewsGrinch Sat 28-Dec-13 17:53:01

Not got time to catch up with the thread just now as I've friends coming over very soon but just wanted to update that they didn't turn up to the party. Had to confirm numbers in advance so just wasted money on them sad. They never even let us know. Oh well.

needaholidaynow Sat 28-Dec-13 18:39:31

My DSD has a mum and all of her family. I came in to her life when she was 5 and has always, always had her mum's side of the family. Therefore should me and her father split I would not be paying maintenance for her for one, and neither would I be be forcing my family to maintain a relationship with her as I wouldn't myself.

For as long as I am with her dad, yeah, we're family. But if we split, we don't carry on being family. In situations like this, I think that blood really is thicker than water.

But, in the Op's case and my brother's case, it's a little bit different. My nephews biological gave up his rights to the children and my brother adopted them. They have our surname and they call him dad. He has chosen to bring them up as his own. If he and my SiL split then he would continue to be their dad and my family would continue to see them as family. They have nobody else apart from a few people on their mum's side.

It's very very different to the relationship I have with DSD. I am not her mum and any relationship I and my family have with her really all hangs in the balance as to if me and her dad stay together.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 09:22:44


I'm hoping I've massively misunderstood here, but if you and your husband split up, you would turn your back on a child who has been part of your family since she was 5, as would the rest of your family?

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 09:45:20

As I said it's not the same situation. No I would not maintain a relationship, and no I wouldn't pay any maintenance. Most partners of someone with a child/ step parents do not have obligations towards the children in the event of a split. I don't see it as "turning my back on her", because I am not her parent. I have no legal or moral responsibilities, and neither do any of my family. She has a mum and a dad and on both sides a very close and loving family. If me and my family disappeared it would not affect her.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 09:52:03

Oh, and if we do ever split, I'll make sure I ask DP's ex and her family to buy my children some presents if they ever expect me and my family to carry on buyin presents for her child. Would they? Na, thought not. Why would they? Same applies.

ladymariner Sun 29-Dec-13 09:59:52

How old is your 'd'sd now holiday?

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 10:10:10


needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 10:11:58

Can't believe I am being vilified for this. I really can't. My situation is not even comparable to the OP's, or any one else's where the "step parent" has taken on PARENTAL RESPONSILIiTY of a child.

ladymariner Sun 29-Dec-13 10:53:22

Guess not. I mean, with your attitude there is no chance of your d'sd becoming close to you, is there, not when

''It's very very different to the relationship I have with DSD. I am not her mum and any relationship I and my family have with her really all hangs in the balance as to if me and her dad stay together.'' hmm

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 11:00:55

Yeah, what's wrong with that?

If me and her dad are together, me and his daughter are in the same family unit. If we split, then we are no longer family. DSs will be family to her as they are her brothers, and would maintain a relationship through their dad. But what would dsd be to me? "ex" stepdaughter until another woman comes along and fills my boots?

I don't have an attitude by the way. I'm being very realistic.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 11:11:23

But hey, I guess I am just giving stepmums a bad name aren't I, for not coming to an agreement at the beginning of the relationship that I will take on my DP's daughter for life no matter what?

If her mum wasn't involved in her life I would have treaded carefully, because I would have known full well that I could may well be the only mother figure she would have and she might call me mum. But if I decided to take her on I would without "turning my back on her" she would be my daughter. But the fact is, it's not like that with us is it? I'm not her mum, she isn't my daughter, and I have no parental responsibility towards her.

My brother's eldest children aren't his biologically, but he is their dad and we don't see it as any other way.

Ledkr Sun 29-Dec-13 11:13:19

That's sad.
I was with my xh for 18 yrs, he was with my boys from aged 1 and 2. We had two more dc,a home,holidays,Xmas,illness,death and all other stuff a family experience. When we split up his step sons were teenagers but he has maintained contact and still does.
Being related is about more than blood.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 15:32:45

Needaholiday that is really really sad.

My children's step mother is still a massive part of my children's lives even though their dad has died.

She continues to see them and call them and help out financially. It is early days but I have no reason to believe that she will turn her back on them in years to come. Her opinion is that they are her step-children, she loves them, why would she ever want to stop seeing them? same would go if she had divorced their dad instead of him dying. They are still her family, she still loves them.

My mum still sees her adult step-children and she separated from our dad over 20 years ago. If you truly love your step-child then divorce or death wouldn't stop them being a part of your life forever.

I have no doubts whatsoever that if I divorced my current husband he would continue to see my children too, because he loves them and they are family.

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 29-Dec-13 15:47:41

Oh for fucks sake.

Loads of step parents if a relationship breaks down end up having nothing to do with any step children,life tends to put good intentions aside.

Its considered to be unusual to stay involved with step children after a breakdown of the relationship with the parent.

Mainly because its almost impossible due to the reasons for the relationship ending to do so without a court order and step parent contact orders are very very rare.

I still maintain and have contact with my ex stepchild and every single time without fail I've mentioned it on here or in RL the reaction is surprise.i am the only person I have every come across in real life (and I work in a industry that comes across broken relationships more frequently than people who are still together) who still sees or has anything real to do with a sc that was an actual child when the break up or relationship ending happened.

So why flame a poster for admitting that upfront

IneedAsockamnesty Sun 29-Dec-13 15:48:38


My situation is the same as yours my sdc's dad died

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 15:59:10

I just simply can't imagine being a part of a child's life from such a young age and not continue to see them after a divorce if able to do so.

No flaming here but I just can't comprehend it.

Maybe I have just got 'lucky' because my DC's step mum has become a very close friend throughout the years so I have always felt we were one big family and my kids would be devastated to lose her. I have always felt like they are 'our' children, almost like they had four parents to love them.

givemeaclue Sun 29-Dec-13 16:12:37

Well you are not with dh box more so there is on reason to invite bil and sil to any events. You don't need to have anything to do with them

GoodNewsGrinch Sun 29-Dec-13 16:30:33

Hmm, I can see both sides of the argument. I have a colleague who still calls her step daughter her daughter as she came to love her as her own and she refers to both her bio daughter (who is not biologically related to her other daughter) as sisters. Her DH died a few years ago but she gets on well with SD's mum and frequently has her to stay over.

I guess it depends on whether you develop any familial feelings of love towards the child in question. I think that is why I feel so upset about it. Clearly these people do not feel that for my son. However, as much as that would have been nice after 12 years, I did not expect it. What I do expect is equal treatment of all my DC. They are being very short sighted because our DDs will certainly notice at some point and I wonder how they would feel about it.

I have half siblings. We're not very close due to age gap and they live quite far away but I consider them my full siblings. My parents have been very open about their intentions for their will and we have ALL been gifted equally, even though my dad is not their bio dad. I would think extremely badly of my parents if they did anything other than this as it is right and fair.

As mentioned above, SIL is from a step parent situation so you would think she would understand. But I suspect this is more about her hatred for me than anything else.

Thank you to Toffee, you have summed the situation up perfectly.

I actually started a thread here a while ago about wanting to exclude SIL from the party and I think I was more or less told I was BU to want to exclude her as she was still 'family'. The problem comes because H refused to ask her not to come as he didn't want to fall out with his brother even though they frequently let us down by not showing up when they've been invited and paid for. He paid for half the party so it's difficult to make demands about the guest list. This was hard enough to negotiate whilst we were together, let alone now.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 17:01:49

Every situation and everyone is different. I don't slate people for staying in touch with their stepchildren and the stepchildren's mother, or for contributing financially towards them. I wouldn't be able to afford to contribute financially even if I wanted to.

All I am being is honest. I don't expect to get slated for my thoughts and feelings. There is no sinister feelings behind what I have said. But I don't love DP's daughter like my own and I never will. I have made that choice, just like the ex in the OP's situation made a choice to be the eldest child's dad and that child will be his family no matter what. My situation is very very different.

dsd's mum and I don't have a "close" relationship. We are pleasant towards each other but that's about it. I wouldn't wish to form a friendship with her if I split with my partner. I woulnt be arranging sleepovers or days out with her mum. But again those that do then I can't call you for that, but because I choose the opposite I don't expect to be vilified for it.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 18:52:13

I hardly think that a couple of people saying they find it sad is slating or vilifying you.

ToffeeOwnsTheSausage Sun 29-Dec-13 18:59:45

GNG - I am pleased you appreciated my post. I didn't want to speak for you but felt things were getting out of hand with some posters.

I hope 2014 brings you a happier family life.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 19:06:37

Certainly feels like it. I never went in in this relationship in the mindset that I would have a life time obligation (and certainly not my family) towards DP's daughter. If people (DP and his ex mainly) gave the the impression that this was the case then I would be very reluctant to proceed. If it wasn't for the boys being here then I doubt i would even keep in touch with DP if we split. That says it all doesn't it?

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 20:08:31

I'm not vilifying you but I find it terribly sad, from that child's point of view, you are abandoning them, someone who was a big part of their life now gone. As I said, very sad

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:13:05

Very strong and emotive word, "abandoning". I don't think it is an appropriate word to use unless the stepparent was the only mother/father in the child's life and had always been clear that they wanted to be the child's mum/dad, again like my brother/ OP's ex.

ladymariner Sun 29-Dec-13 20:24:34

But surely if you enter a serious relationship with someone who already has a child you accept that they come as a package and I would have thought you'd develop a bond with them. Obviously not in the same way as with your own child but still.... Tbh holiday you sound very cold towards your dsd.

And before you start, I'm not vilifying you. I'm just going by your posts.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:38:47

Na I'm not cold towards her. But what I don't like is this expectation that I take her on as my own just because I am with a man with a child. Sure I have a friendship with her. We get on, we do things together as a family, I do all of the jobs around the house that all children need to to do (eg cook for them, do their washing, do their hair etc..) I even provide for her financially as her dad is unemployed. So I do a heck of a lot for her both emotionally and practically. But, what if (heaven forbid) me and her dad split? It's a bit pessimistic how I keep banging on about it I know, but no relationship is set in stone and this one has the added complication of a stepchild, as in "Do I carry on doing all of this that I have been doing for her? Do I maintain a relationship- have her over, take her to school, on days out etc.. Do I provide for her financially?" when the child is not my child. Naturally you'd do all this no matter what for your own, but I think it is very unfair to automatically expect a step parent to carry on or else they are just abandoning the child. If they want to then great, but there shouldn't be this expectation thrown around.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 20:39:08

Yes it is a strong word, and that is how, I believe, a child would feel in that situation

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:42:10

I guess that is the difference.

If I was to marry someone with children I would enter that relationship feeling like I have life long obligation to them to continue to love and care for them no matter what. If I wasn't prepared to do that there would be no marriage.

I would never, ever marry someone with kids if I wasn't prepared to do that because I couldn't run the risk of hurting a child who had developed a strong bond to me knowing I would never plan to see that child again in the event of death/divorce.

It is sad for the child and yes, I find that cold. To me, family is family, blood related or not.

Which is why I am so grateful for both of my children's step parents. If their step-mum stopped seeing them it would break their hearts into a million pieces and yes, they would feel abandoned because in their heads they would not be able to understand why someone who loved them and was a huge part of their lives would just stop being there.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:45:07

And with the support from their parents and other family members they will be ok. I wouldnt have missed my stepdad if he suddenly disappeared when i was a child. I'm not convinced that a child with both parents involved in their life would feel abandoned if their step parent wasn't around anymore. Not convinced at all.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:47:24


I guess we will have to agree to disagree smile Like I said, I would expect to be a part of a step child's life forever where possible. I expect the same from my kids step-parents and thankfully they agree.

Obviously your relationship is different but do you not think for one minute how hurt your step-child might be? would you simply tell them to suck it up if they wanted to carry on seeing you? How do you think that would work if you (god forbid) divorced and the child still asked to see you? could you seriously say no?

BTW I don't want to come across as slating you, I am genuinely interested.

SamU2 Sun 29-Dec-13 20:48:52

Maybe that is the difference.

If someone has a great loving step parent of course they are going to be missed if they disappear.

I don't know about you but if I love someone it will hurt a lot to lose them. Why would it be different for a child?

My kids dote on their step-parents.

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 20:51:52

I think it all depends on how often she would want to see me? Of course my first priorities would be my children and accommodating them first and foremost. Everything would be different and not as simple as before.

What if me and her dad were on bad terms? What if my work meant that I couldn't see her? What if I didn't have enough money to come and see her or provide for her if I had her with me? What if it was just too much to take on all at once? What if my boys just didn't want to share me at a very difficult time?

So many barriers.

Pimpf Sun 29-Dec-13 22:27:51

I would hope that all your children have a good relationship and they would wish to continue seeing their sister

needaholidaynow Sun 29-Dec-13 22:36:01

That is very important so of course.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 29-Dec-13 23:55:55

I agree with you OP.How awful is that especially for a child to see that someone has left them out?Even a smaller token wouldve been kinder than nothing at all.This does affect children,it can make a child feel less part of a unit.I have a child in my family who is not biologically linked but to me they are our family,they are just as important to me and I feel honoured to be part of their life.

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