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To feel hurt and betrayed by my DS?

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MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 10:28:42

I have been here a long time but I've never posted in AIBU and I'm not sure if that's even relevant but I have to say this to someone. My head is all muddled up and i probably should wait until I calm down but I can't.

I am so very angry and hurt by my eldest DS (he is 37) and I don't know if my feelings are justified and if they're not I think there must be something wrong with me. He is the oldest of my 3 DC's. Both my eldest DS's are from my first marriage. My DD is from my second marriage.

The back story is I divorced my ExH 10 years ago; the years leading up to the end were hideous and I was a mental and emotional wreck and thought I was mad; I was drinking too much to cope with things that didn't make sense and I was on antidepressants. ExH is what I think is called functional alcoholism so never really got drunk but couldn't be without alcohol daily; he'd had a gambling habit during university, he told me early on.
In our marriage He'd also had at least one 'emotional affair', and I once came home early in the day to find him alone with one of them who by that time he'd given a job in his service; not having sex but when i walked in he jumped back from her like a scared rabbit. She had also turned up at our house once in the evening claiming to have broken down and couldn't get back to London that evening so we put her up; a week later ExH decided to buy this woman an item of clothing exactly like the one of his that he'd leant her to sleep in because "she loved it so much" and some months I later found texts between them saying I love you.

After couples counselling during which he never accepted or acknowledged that his behaviour was unnaceptable, he left me for a woman he'd lived with whilst at Uni so it was the age old story; that affair was ongoing during the time we were supposed to be saving our marriage and i later found out he'd come to the appointments from being with her. . Eventually his clear hatred of me wasn't enough to tip me over the edge into throwing him out (because I thought the problem was mine). Either alone or together they decided to send me an anonymous letter informing me of the affair and then ExH blamed our then 15 year old DD for having sent it. i know she couldn't have and wouldn't and she was so upset that her DF had suggested it was her; the post mark of the letter placed ExH in the area he works in, too far away for DD to possibly have been in as she was at school.

She, by the way, had learned of his infidelity or put 2 and 2 together and had begged him to tell me but he wouldn't; when I found this out out her anger and spiteful comments to him and telling me I was a fool, began to make sense. I also found out that he had been stealing money from my bank account as part of the plan to screw me financially whilst I was at my most vulnerable but that particualr plan failed. I should've learned what was to come earlier when he once cleared my bank account right up to the overdraft. I know I was stupid not to end it there and then but I'd not long had our DD and had just moved into the first house we'd bought. I so very nearly did though, and I never really felt the same about him after that.

A week after he left and whilst I was still in shock he introduced my eldest DS to the new partner. My younger DS would not have anything to do with ExH.

I'm sorry for telling in such detail (and I've left loads out as you get the picture). So ExH has split with the woman and moved permanently back to the area. He has been seriously ill, very seriously. I have stayed away all this time and I'm in a much better place after lots of therapy and I haven't had alcohol at all for about 8 years and no inclination to drink at all.

But ExH is slowly inching back in to my DS's lives and the 'weak link' has always been eldest DS whose relationship with his birth dad has never been great but it's not awful either. It's been a source of tension for us as ExH is very manipulative and only ever sees people as a resource to help him get what he wants. Younger DS saw him and spoke to him for the first time in 10 years a couple of weeks ago. ExH mentioned that he hadn't met DS's young son (my DGS). It was a clear bid to get that introduction I think. DS didn't respond but I don't think ExH will give up.

I found out this morning that yesterday ExH leant my eldest DS his car to take my DF shopping; DS usually borrows his brothers car to do that on a Sat morning. But I'm told by DS that it suited him to borrow ExH's car yesterday.
Reasonable or not, I am so hurt and I feel like this man is inching his way back in by any means necessary and it's not because his illness has made him have a sudden epiphany. It's because the other relationship ended and he wants what he left behind. I feel like DS is being disloyal; by his own admission he said that if the situation were reversed and I was to spend time with people who have seriously done him wrong, telling them stuff about DS and generally including them in my life he'd be really upset and pissed off with me.

But it's ok for him, because it suited him to use ExH's car.
I have to stop typing now.

OP’s posts: |
LockdownLump Sat 24-Oct-20 10:35:32

I think at the age of 37, it's up to him if he wants to have a relationship with his dad. It really isn't up to you. You are entitled to feel upset of course, but what you must not do is show your upset to your son.

It would be manipulative of you to tell him you're so upset. You would be making him choose basically, which is unfair.

ChristmasStocckings Sat 24-Oct-20 10:52:31

YABU to stop him from having a relationship with his own father. This is not your decision to make for him at 37 years old (or any age if there is no abuse involved for young children).

He shouldn’t have to pick sides and it is completely unfair and childish of you to expect him to do so. The issues between you and your ex should remain just between the two of you.

CovidNightmare Sat 24-Oct-20 10:56:47

Your adult ds's relationships with their dad is completely separate from your relationship with your ex. You may feel they are intertwined still, but they really aren't.

You stay away from your ex and let your ds's decide for themselves what relationship they want with their dad.

Fiddlersgreen Sat 24-Oct-20 10:58:58

If I’ve read right, this man is/was your DS’ stepfather.
So I can partly see why you might feel betrayed however, at 37 your DS can see who he likes it’s none of your business and also if he feels like this man was a father to him then why wouldn’t he want to maintain contact.

My mum and he ex spilt when I was 15, he’d been having an affair but I loved him like a father and he’d been in my life 10 years. My mum, consumed in her own grief at the relationship break down, could not understand why I missed him and wanted to remain in contact with him. She, too, felt betrayed and our relationship suffered for it

MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 10:59:52

Thank you. It is not his dad, it's his step dad but that's a detail I guess.

I must have unnaturally high expectations of other people; and now I'm questionning my own sense of what loyalty should look like; I hadn't looked at it like that before.

OP’s posts: |
ChristmasStocckings Sat 24-Oct-20 11:04:13

I guess I’m confused on the timing - did your ex take on a step dad relationship with your son?

Florencex Sat 24-Oct-20 11:06:37

Way too much unnecessary back story there, very hard to read.

But in a nutshell, you cannot tell a 37 year old not to have a relationship with somebody who I cannot even tell if it is his dad or former stepdad, but I don’t think it even matters which it is.

romeolovedjulliet Sat 24-Oct-20 11:06:39

it is ds's choice who he wants a relationship with, it hurts but you have to stand back and let ds make his own opinion about things, he knows the deal but this isn't about loyalty to you or your ex, he is doing what he feels right for him.
i think the worst thing you could do is get involved with slating ex, just smile and wave when the subject comes up 'that's nice' sort of thing. you might find you force your ds's hand other wise and ex might come out more favourable as a result, you need to be neutral, you will always be mum,

Enko Sat 24-Oct-20 11:10:13

I dont think yabu to expect your ds to have some sort of loyalty for you. I have a very casual (facebook) relationship with my x step parent and would never get close to her as an adult as I know it would hurt my dad.

MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 11:10:29

Yes he was step dad.
I know there's too much detail.
I have always known that eldest DS has had some kind of relationship with ExH and I've lived with it. I also know that he tells ExH things about me which I don't want him to. I want that to stop because it adds to the sense of betrayal I have.
But yes, I get it. I'm unreasonable here.

OP’s posts: |
PicsInRed Sat 24-Oct-20 11:12:49

So your DD is biologically exh's and it is you and DD he seeks to hurt by weasling his way into your sons' (his step sons') lives and also placing himself in your own father's life (by lending the car) and by attempting to inject himself into your gran children's lives.

It feels like he is encroaching on your like a net from all sides. I would imagine the end goal is to weasel in with you so that you'll care for him - with DD as backup - in his final years - men like this see people only for their utility. He's using the menfolk to get to the carefolk.

How long was he the step dad? How old were the boys and did they get on with him at the time?

PicsInRed Sat 24-Oct-20 11:15:44

I also know that he tells ExH things about me which I don't want him to.

What does son tell exh? You have the choice of going low contact with your son - you can do this by seeing him but basically telling him nothing material of your life. He isn't worthy of your trust if he takes your info and stories to your abuser.

Thinkingg Sat 24-Oct-20 11:16:02

I can't work out how long you were together with ex-h. But it's your DS's right to see who he wants to see, and this man was a family member to him. You need to accept that or you will push him away.

From your posting style, it seems like you still need to process the relationship - the story is very muddled and you're still holding anger about what happened years ago. Maybe you have trauma from it. Get therapy if you need to, then let it go and focus on good things in your current life.

Stompythedinosaur Sat 24-Oct-20 11:16:28

Whatever happened between you and your ex, your ds has the right to maintain a relationship with you both.

MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 11:17:45


Yes. Yes. Yes. You get it. That's how it feels exactly. And because I know him so very well, that's why I feel so vulnerable, angry and upset. He has just moved back to the home town I moved from only 6 months ago; having lived quite far away. It can't be a coincidence.

He will become ill again, he had cancer and he's still smoking heavily and drinking. He is looking to be cared for because he is estranged from what's left of his own family.

OP’s posts: |
MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 11:18:06

We were together 20 years.

OP’s posts: |
EarlGreyJenny Sat 24-Oct-20 11:20:28

Sorry but YABU. As someone with step parents who have been brought in to my life, and then had them removed from my life, it really bugs me that parents can think they can introduce someone into their child's life and then get upset when a relationship is built. It is very selfish. You introduced this man into your child's life, you live with it now. You need to keep your upset to yourself.

Starlight39 Sat 24-Oct-20 11:20:50

I think YANBU to feel hurt over this. Your ex treated you (and your daughter) terribly and now your DS(s) who are not related by blood and presumably have coped fine without him for years, are suddenly rekindling (or accepting a rekindling of) the relationship.

I think I'd say to your DS that it's his choice of course whether to have contact with this man but it does hurt you given how hard you struggled to get over the whole thing and how much of an impact it had on you. I'd also say if he continues to have contact, that's his choice but you don't want to hear about ex and you don't want DS to discuss you or anything about your life with Ex.

Essentially, you grey rock via proxy and do not allow your ex a line into your life via DS's (if they're willing to do this). Maybe if there's no link to you because DS's keep the relationships separate, your ex will decide they're not useful and quit trying.

Thinkingg Sat 24-Oct-20 11:21:08

He will become ill again, he had cancer and he's still smoking heavily and drinking. He is looking to be cared for because he is estranged from what's left of his own family

I don't get why this is your problem. Just ignore him. If you don't want to hear about him, tell your son you'd rather not talk about him. Stop giving him your headspace.

What kind of stuff is your son telling your ex, that bothers you?

Gazelda Sat 24-Oct-20 11:22:21

I'm sorry you are hurting. It's totally understandable.
But your ex was in your DS's life for a very long time as a father figure. And seemingly from a very young age. Your ex hasn't (from what you say) done anything cruel or harmful to your DS. What happened was between you two.
Don't push your DS away. Don't make him feel he has to choose.
But absolutely tell him he mustn't talk with your ex about anything to do with you. That is disloyal.
Does your DD have anything to do with her DF?

hillfda Sat 24-Oct-20 11:23:31

YANBU to be upset but I think for your own sake you should just let him do what he wants. If he wants a relationship with your exH then fine but to be gossiping about you is incredibly disrespectful. Try to continue your life as normal, you're stronger now and have gotten away from your past.

MsSweary Sat 24-Oct-20 11:23:47

He tells him of my general plans i.e. that I moved house and where I work - things that I consider private and for me to share with people I who want to.
I don't think DS does it deliberately, with malicious intent but ExH is very good at spotting people's vulnerabilities and exploits them so really anything he wants to know about me for whatever reason he would find out from DS. DD has eyes wide open about her DF and still believes him to be a pathologial liar. She would never tell her DF anything about me.

OP’s posts: |
PicsInRed Sat 24-Oct-20 11:26:44

Do your sons have a relationship with their own father?

It may be the case that they are (or the older one is) desperate for a father son relationship and you will simply have to be a bit guarded with information (and refuse any involvement in care, financial or physical) until you exh dies. It may also be that your exh has made testamentary promises (true or fabricated) to your son. Being in someone's will isn't just a financial pull - it can also be an emotional one to the normal person. "Wow, he must really love me". The heir can then feel a caring obligation, no matter how abusive the other party was.

Are you able to ride out the final few months or years at a safe emotional distance? It sound like the end may not be too far away. flowers

Frdd Sat 24-Oct-20 11:26:51

You can’t control the people your son, at the age of 37, has relationships with.

I’m sorry you’re so hurt though.

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