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Does your Dad prioritise his relationship with his stepchildren?

(13 Posts)
Sylviecat Sun 21-Jun-15 11:01:08

If your dad has stepchildren do you ever feel sidelined by them? Just wondering how common this is really.
My dh's dad has always put his 2 stepchildren before dh. I just felt sad for him today-his step sisters both posted pictures of his dad on fb(their dad isn't involved in their lives) saying ' look forward to our day together.. happy fathers day' etc.
We didn't know anything about a family get together, we hardly seem to be invited anymore. We only live 15 mins away. I know this sounds childish, we are all mid thirties! But I just feel sad for dh that he is never a priority for his dad. We have 2 dc who his dad barely knows, really.
I Just wondered if anyone has any similar experiences? Should we just continue to make efforts with him.. inviting him and his dw (dh's stepmum) over etc or just accept this is what he has chosen and see the relationship become even more distant?

bjrce Sun 21-Jun-15 11:11:30

Did your H make any plans/contact with his DF to meet up today?

SilverBirchWithout Sun 21-Jun-15 11:18:19

Isn't it up to the son/ daughter to make the plans for a Father's Day meet up? Don't think you can blame your DP's father for this.

Maybe you could encourage your DP to make plans and effort in future to make arrangements. It sounds like the DSD's do this.

Sylviecat Sun 21-Jun-15 11:18:29

He didn't , no. My dh can be a bit useless at arranging stuff. But I think it is also a product of years and years of being second best. Dh used to often ask his dad to do stuff, like go to cinema etc but his dad only will do things with dh if his wife is busy. So I guess dh stopped asking as much.

Sylviecat Sun 21-Jun-15 11:26:48

You're right. Dh Could do more. Fathers day was just a example really.
We always invite them over for events like dc's birthdays/special events, but didnt get invited for his dads birthday meal, for example. They come to us for dinner once every couple of months. I sometimes feel we make all the effort but don't get much back.
We just moved and they didn't offer to help out at all. They are young/fit /retired. When step sis moved dh's dad was sanding floors and all sorts! Realise it sounds petty and possibly entitled. Really we are not, just seems sad that the step siblings get all of the fatherly support and dh misses out.

bjrce Sun 21-Jun-15 11:26:50

Well there you go! There's always an excuse.

Perhaps the stepchildren have also on occasion asked the DF to go out and he's been busy, so they just keep on asking!

Meerka Sun 21-Jun-15 12:07:34

Totally sidelined due to his wife.

I have given up. He isn't interested, she has an agenda to make me look bad and shove me outside the family (as she's done with his only sister and all his close friends).

Meh. There's only so often you can bang your head on a spike-lined brick wall before you get the message that you're the one who's hurting, not them.

I get exactly where your DH is coming from. It's not about the stepchildren really, it's about his stepmother.

If you think that he is going to get somewhere, then it's worth trying again. But if it's very clearly hopeless, then don't encourage him to try again, let him make his own decision. It's near to cruel to keep pushing someone to build a relationship that they'd love to have, but the other person doesn't want.

Sylviecat Sun 21-Jun-15 16:05:51

Thanks for replying meerka
It is a horrible situation isn't it. Sorry you are having to deal with it too. And you are totally right, it is due to the stepmum, who is in control of who dh's dad spends time with. He is a nice enough man, but just follows her lead totally. In dh's case she was always very jealous of him and his sister when they were growing up. (They got together when he was 10). Over time it has become the norm that he will prioritise his step daughters.

It would actually be seen as a bit confrontational I think, if dh's did want to see his dad on Father's Day. The set up is so well established.

I think dh is resigned as to how their relationship is. He has a sister who I think finds it harder to deal with. As an 'outsider ' to their family dynamics I have in the past pushed for dh to discuss things with his dad. But I now am coming to see that there is not much that we can do to change things.

Glowlamp Sun 21-Jun-15 16:15:41

I've been sidelined for decades like this to the complete detriment of any possible relationship now. However whilst I believe that DSM did everything to drive a wedge between us, ultimately my Dad is the parent and decision maker and his decision was not to bother. I never want my kids to go through this so I won't pursue it.
I don't worry about it anymore. It's now more difficult for all involved to have a relationship than not. Sad really but life goes on.

Meerka Sun 21-Jun-15 17:08:56

Yes. Agreed. Its the not-so-D stepmother who is the driving force in my situation and the OP's, but it's the man who is allowing this to happen and allowing their children to be pushed out.

firesafety Sun 21-Jun-15 17:18:37

Yep. You have my sympathy. And sadly it is my stepmother who is the driving force. Thankfully we were all adults, allegedly.... So no childhood hurt, although both DB and myself have been deeply hurt, my brother more so than me I think.

Funny though, she's also fallen out with two of her own children (who I get on with), has done periodically, but I think it's irrevocable this time.

I hate to comment, because I know there are some fantastic step-parents, as indeed my dad was to her children and grandchildren, but she is stereo-typical, and quite frankly, toxic.

He has to take some responsibility too though.

Meerka Sun 21-Jun-15 17:26:39

Yeah, there are outstanding step mums but those old stereotypes of the wicked stepmothers in the fairytales became stereotypes because it does, indeed, happen quite frequently. More so in the days when resources were scarce too.

MiddleAgedandConfused Sun 21-Jun-15 18:29:21

Same for us - FIL's new wife has one GC who has her own room at their house. Our kids have never been invited to stay and Only get to see FIL once or twice a year. New wife makes sure FIL has no almost no contact with his DC or GCs. Very sad. But not unusual.

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