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Is it humanly possible....

(27 Posts)
Eliza22 Tue 04-Mar-14 16:32:53

To remain happily married to a man, when after years of estrangement from one of his daughters, his other daughter has now joined in and incidents are being made up/accusations thrown, at me? Suddenly, the sd I got on well with "doesn't remember" certain things happening/being said. She is in FULL support of her sister. My own son was and is bewildered by their lack of contact as initially, a lot of fuss was made of him. They have ignored my ds for a long time (going into 3rd year) and we've tried hard to keep the lines of communication open but as expected, his 3 are now sticking together, changing their perception to be more in line with youngest sd who caused all the hurt and I am the scapegoat.

I was not OW. DH has supported me all along, knowing I did nothing untoward. I tried so so hard and was rebuffed over and over again. Ridiculed and ignored most of the time. DH has said many times that he is not proud of the way his have behaved and he has never tried to defend the indefensible. DH is a great stepdad to my ds who he's known since he was tiny. He's now 13. I miss my eldest sd and am so upset at the change in attitude. I just want to give up and have nothing (and I really do mean NOTHING) to do with these nasty young people. If I leave DH, he and I, will be devastated but I can see no future for me with him where I have to have his (now adult) kids in my life.

What on earth can I do? I've HAD it and just want to tell them go away and leave me be.

russianfudge Tue 04-Mar-14 18:12:53

I'm sorry Eliza sad do you think it's something that is happening now, but that will get better and you can move on for a little while? I think we can all relate to the ups and devastating downs and when youre in that bubble it's horrendous.

But could it be that when it passes what you have left with dh will be worth it? Or is it the end?

Eliza22 Tue 04-Mar-14 18:22:48

I just cannot see us all "together". After 5 years of hostility I feel that I'm tired of being attacked and having to defend myself. DH recently sent his daughter an email and in it he systematically went through the course of events and for sd, it wouldn't have made happy reading. Any yet.... I am also blamed for the "shitty" email. I give up.

russianfudge Tue 04-Mar-14 18:28:26

It sounds like he stands by you though? Can you both detach from them? I'm sure you could but could he?

I have name changed but we used to chat about my dsd who absconded for about six months a couple of years ago. It tore us apart and I was blamed by her in lots of ways. So I know a bit about how you must be feeling. Only you've endured a lot more and for a lot longer x

Eliza22 Tue 04-Mar-14 19:09:31

Ah, russian so, you have experience. There have been a few "provisos" for youngest sd to come and talk and sort the situation. One of them being that she doesn't have to invite me to any future "occasion", in her life. And, if it upsets her, any future occasion for her elder sister and brother. Obviously they want dad to be there but I am not to come. They (cumulatively) are happy to consider my son as a step brother but, again, he cannot be included if it means I have to be in the picture. My son is disabled so, frankly that's a no. They will continue a relationship with my ds if I apologise for "driving (youngest) sd away" which is not true. She took herself off and her strop turned into a nearly 3 year sulk. She was repeatedly welcomed into our home but has refused because "she" isn't my mother and that's NOT my home, with "her" in it" What on earth can I say to that?

Their mum ended the marriage to their dad, following a lengthy affair and her refusal to finish the relationship. I came along 3 years later. My friends and family are utterly disgusted on my behalf and keep reassuring me that they would have given up long ago. But still....I can't walk away. Yes, DH is supportive and has said that if it comes to it, he will remain with me and let his kids "go" if they push him further but what on earth would that say about me, as a person? I couldn't live with that either.

Icantstopeatinglol Tue 04-Mar-14 20:45:40

Ah Eliza I feel like I'm at the beginning of this now. I've always done my best to include dsd and have always been there for her. We had a good relationship until the last 6 months or so. I think with her being a teenager now and me trying to organise our family life with our 2 small dc I've got frustrated at times when she doesn't tell us what she's doing etc. we get told things last minute or not at all and I'm currently feeling like the evil stepmother as I had the nerve to 'disagree' with her. Not even an argument just I told her what she'd done wasn't acceptable. Cue her crying to her dm who then gets in touch with my dh who then has to try and 'keep the peace'.
I'm pissed off I'm expected to be treat like a parent such as pick ups etc but how dare I pull her up on something! Aaaarghhhhhh!!!

Eliza22 Wed 05-Mar-14 07:36:52

Yep...that about sums it up icant. Can you believe that this started in 2011 when DH and I told her to a) sort out her room and b) never, under any circumstances have her friends using our home and our bed (!!) whilst we were away. She's 20 now and it seems that I have been awful to her since she was 12 years old. When the truth of it is, I (we) walked on eggshells for years, so as not to effect her having a tantrum and NOT coming to see dad.

My advice to you is, if she's only young, the adults need to sing from the same hymn sheet and get the point across that respectful behaviour is expected. Good luck!

There is no answer to this. It's too late for me. It is SO depressing.

Kaluki Wed 05-Mar-14 10:03:05

All you can do now is detach. You should cut them out of your and DS's life. If your DH wants to still see them then he can see them on his own. Why do they get to call all the shots and make provisos? They are grown women FFS!!! Make a decision that you will wash your hands of them both now, stop trying to 'make the peace' because they will throw it back in your face over and over again and destroy you.
Don't let them ruin your marriage. Your DH is great for standing by you and I'm sure he doesn't want them to ruin your relationship either. If he decides to let them go that will be his decision based on their appalling behaviour and to be honest they already say that you have driven them away so if you detach from them and cut off all contact then you won't have to hear any more of their crap anyway.

russianfudge Wed 05-Mar-14 13:26:58

I with kaluki, but in practice it can be hurtful if he does see them without you

russianfudge Wed 05-Mar-14 13:30:24

Clicked too soon!

When this happened to us and then dsd decided she wanted to see daddy again but not me I said that I'd washed my hAnds of her and if he wanted to see her he'd have to go alone. Cue lots of cozy daddy dates and lunches that ran in to dinner that ran in to entire days and nights away. It was like he was having an affair. He wouldn't return texts or call if he would be late back. It would all have been seen as me encroaching on their "special time".

I m projecting now, but it was horrible. If you take that route there need to be ground rules.

Loveineveryspoonful Wed 05-Mar-14 14:11:26

Eliza, I read once that especially the dc of mums who cheated hate the sm so much because they can't bring themselves to hate her, understandably. So we are a kind of surrogate for those feelings. I get that as well, also after 5 years together, 4 of them married. No matter how tolerant or generous or empathic I am, I bear the brunt of hostile feelings.
Luckily our therapist supports me in the consequences I draw (dsd was v rude to me once while we were out, my regular treat for all btw, and so the last outing was arranged spontaneously while only dss was with us...). I have no wish to exclude dsd on a regular basis and will settle for a gesture on her part to resume our little tradition. Needless to say, dh's ability to ignore her shenanigans have reached Olympian standards.
Russianfudge, the dh and dsd dates were nipped in the bud pretty soon. Obviously the odd lunch or catching up does not threaten our marriage, but without intervention then, yes, he would have ended up dating his own daughter! As I have a ds myself, I also often find myself fighting dss corner too, no special dates for him, being the respectful child brings no rewards apparently.

Eliza22 Wed 05-Mar-14 14:58:03

Christ, I never thought of it like that. I don't know any other mums who are "steps" which is why I come on here. Essentially, his DD would be only too pleased to have dad making plans for just the two of them or, if she can manipulate it, for all 3. PLANS WHICH DO NOT HAVE TO INCLUDE ELIZA as Eliza has detached herself! The convenience of that really annoys me. Before all this, I used to suggest more 'dad and daughters/kids time'. After all, there's no earthy reason for me to be in tow each time they meet up/come over. However, being manoeuvred out of the equation, is quite a different circumstance. I was manipulated out of attending the eldest SD's graduation so that ex could go with DH and I guess, to all intents and purposes, they were the family and I didn't exist. When the photos came back, you'd have had no idea that they were estranged and not a couple. His ex had refused to go if HE went shock but then! a week before! changed her mind. No tickets left so ex obviously had mine and I stayed at home. Actually, I put on my new frock for the occasion and went out with a friend, but to say I felt shunned and unwanted after being so excited to see eldest DD graduate, would be an understatement.

I see a lifetime ahead of me being the spectre "at the back of the photo" as it were. It's feels dreadful.

Oh dear..... I appear to be wallowing in self pity here....someone, give me a slap!

russianfudge Wed 05-Mar-14 17:01:42

I could never slap you Eliza!

It's so hard... Detach and you end up with too much of what you wish for, ie. being completely outcast! And as it's "your choice" they won't even feel guilty.

Or, don't detach, and end up in a world of pain trying to have some form of control or effect on a situation involving people who would rather you didn't exist and don't give a shit about you. How much does your DH know about how you feel? Can you do a detach but with ground rules?

Our relationship was falling apart at the time and I don't think he gave a second thought to how it was making me feel. I didn't have the confidence in him to be honest about my feelings. So we drifted and drifted. We had counselling in the end and recently got very happily married. It was hard to put that treatment behind me but I knew he was a good man. He was just conditioned by years and years of emotional abuse from his ex and dsd was using all the same tactics she'd seen mum use. That and the guilt about initiating the divorce that he had never dealt with meant he handled it all spectacularly badly.

Luckily for me, Mums new partner is vile and so he is now the scapegoat for all dsds vitriol. She "likes" me now and as such things are a lot easier even though the person she is often disgusts me and I have to put that to one side most of the time.

Anyway, the reason I'm going on about all if that is that I took, and take, a lot of comfort in the fact that Dh's eyes have been open to his less than perfect baby and he is willing to confront her bad behaviour now. He is also willing to put me first when it's needed. Is there some way you can focus on the support he gives you and that you have him onside even if he still loves his children? I kind of see it that he loves me and his dd, but he really likes me. I know it's not a competition but these men are with us because they choose to be, their love for their kids is not a choice. They are slaves to it.

If our relationship was stronger back then, or if it happened again now, I would detach but set ground rules that if he was going to spend time alone with her it would be in the calendar with enough notice for me to plan something else, it wouldn't be extravagant, and we would keep our little rituals like Wednesday date night and Friday after work pub smile

I would also want a full account of what had happened. That will sound like complete madness to anyone that hadn't gone through this, but the worst thing was when he returned after an entire day and evening out of the house and when I asked how it had gone and what they had done if just get a shrug or an "it was good, thanks". I felt so shut out and insignificant.

russianfudge Wed 05-Mar-14 17:29:50

Just one more thing. Some thing that the counsellor suggested that really worked for us was to start new family traditions with us and my dd. dsd was always welcome, but the things happened anyway.

We were forever just sitting around waiting to hear if dsd was going to grace us with her presence (rarely she did) and then he and she had things they did, and my dd and I would do things. So we started to make a life for the three of us. We started having breakfast together at the table each morning, and he started coming to stuff to do with Heidi's school and on visits to my parents etc. it sounds small but once we all realised that life without dsd went on, it was much less "kiss the ground she walks on" when she deigned to show her face.

Eliza22 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:09:50

grin at least yours has a happy ending in that after all the problems you got happily married. We went out for 4 years before we lived together and married a month later (I'm so old fashioned!) but even allowing for the "plenty of time to get used to the idea", youngest daughter could barely look at me for the first ten months. We weren't allowed to talk about the day or lead up to and for ten months after, no one was to tell ex. So, I started out as a "ghost" in a sense. I feel sad because I'd have loved DH to show me off and be proud of the fact that after being shat upon by his ex-wife, he'd found someone, married her and moved on. But it was all "hush hush" like a dirty little secret because he knew it would upset his ex-wife and therefore his kids (to see their mother upset).

I can't believe I've confided that. It is, sadly, true. And whilst he regrets it and maintains he had his reasons for it, I still feel like I'm something to be hidden away or, failing that "not invited" because I'm just too, too offensive.

Icantstopeatinglol Wed 05-Mar-14 18:36:04

Eliza my dsd is 16 so I think that boat has sailed! It's like she's some sort of faberge egg that's going to smash into 1 million pieces if anyone dares say anything negative to her. Her dm makes excuses all the time and for some reason she's always going through a 'hard time' and we need to 'support her' etc etc! Let's just ignore the fact she's being taught the wrong way to behave in life. She expects everyone to drop everything for her but doesn't think of anyone else.....aaaaarghhhh!
Me and dh are currently not speaking because of it and I just feel worn out sad

Eliza22 Wed 05-Mar-14 18:55:46

ICant it doesn't make sense does it? Speaking for myself, I went through a pretty crap first marriage and was alone (a single mum, after 1st DH left for the woman who worked at the BMW garage, where he had his car serviced) with my 4 year old disabled, only child. I met my now DH and it took us nearly 5 years to commit because he too had had an ex who had cheated and was devastated. I was so happy to be marrying a man with kids ie, I could see he was a great dad and my own son, got 3 instant "siblings"! So, why on earth would I treat youngest daughter badly? It wasn't in my interests (nor in my character) to outcast her. It was win win as far as I was concerned, having an instant "family" instead of ds and I being a unit of 2. DH and I were two very wary people hoping not to make the same mistake twice. And now, it all hangs in the balance because his daughter was pissed off, cause dad had the temerity to love someone else.

If anyone else were writing here I'd say "just get tough, say what's acceptable to you and what isn't and let them sort themselves out around it. Why can't I make a bloody decision?

Icantstopeatinglol Wed 05-Mar-14 19:03:48

Eliza it's getting to the point where I feel like I'm just fed up with it all. I'm sick of being the scapegoat when everyone goes back to being friendly and I feel like the bad one cos I 'rocked' the boat and dared to tell dsd she was wrong.
Dh is too busy trying to be diplomatic I'm loosing respect for him. I don't feel like he's got my back at all. It feels like he's happy for me to take the brunt of it all as long as it smoothes things over.
Wish he would just tell dsd dm to butt out and actually that I was right to pull dsd up on what I did cos she was out of order! That should be that! But then her dm launches into how dsd feels left out, how we need to be there for her......cue dh going on how much he loves dsd, we're always here for her (which we are!) but not at any point does dsd get told to sort herself out.
They don't realise what they're doing, they're ruining her!!

Eliza22 Wed 05-Mar-14 19:15:38

Join me Icant in a glass of wine and a chocolate Frog.....only choc in the house oh the shame of stealing DS's favourite chocolate and say "f**k it!" for tonight!

CountryGal13 Wed 05-Mar-14 21:14:59

What a horrible situation you're in Eliza. It sounds to me like you need to keep the problems with the sc completely separate from the relationship with your husband. It sounds like you have a great relationship with him, that's definitely something to be thankful for and you can not let his children ruin it for you! (wouldn't they just love that!)

My husband used to show me all the angry texts from his ex occusing us both of all sorts and how his eldest teen is depressed because he's remarried and had another child ect ect. I'd be the one lay awake all night worrying about it, taking it very personally and overthinking it massively. Sometimes I'd even feel angry at my husband for allowing all this drama into our lives, even though there's nothing he can do about it. Now I leave him to it. I don't want to know about the nasty texts or his daughters insecurities. It was affecting me badly and I need to focus soley on my baby and my marriage.

I'm still very friendly when they visit, I'll try and chat to them and cook them a meal but if they still hate me then that's their choice. I'm doing my bit and the rest is out of my control.

There's nothing you can do to make his children accept and like you. It's incredibly sad but you've done all you can and the more you try the more you'll be pushed away. I hope things somehow improve for you soon xx

Eliza22 Thu 06-Mar-14 14:44:23

I do have a great relationship with DH CountryGal and he has reiterated the fact with his three kids that under no circumstances will he tolerate their collective (well, 2 of the 3) disrespect toward his wife. But, nothing changes and things settle down again for a while and then ....we're off again! It's been 9 years altogether and I simply cannot, at my age (51) subject myself to them, any longer. If I stay with him they will always be there either ignoring me completely or barely tolerating me. If I leave, I put my own son through the bewilderment of another broken relationship and I am left a shadow of my former self. And yet....and yet I've "had it" with his nasty kids. And I really resent being told I'm a crap mother/step mother. Being judged by their standards and found wanting when their own mother did what she did. I really object to that.

Thanks for the replies all. It's very dreary, especially as I've been here (on and off) for years and now it's come to decision time so, I feel some of you must be tired of hearing my tale of woe!

russianfudge Thu 06-Mar-14 15:35:29

Not at all Eliza. I hope you didn't think me smug with my "happy ending" we still have almost daily struggles with dsd. I just wanted to explain what worked for us, in the hope maybe something might help. But what you've been through for that long, with no signs of change... Well, you're a saint!

Eliza22 Thu 06-Mar-14 15:52:22

Saint Eliza22... I like the sound of that! grin

Icantstopeatinglol Thu 06-Mar-14 20:36:03

eliza I 'think' I know how you feel and you have my sympathy. It's a hard and thankless task. I've decided the reason behind the dsc attitudes is that they obviously would love their parents to be together but also they can't possibly blame their parents for any wrong doings so we take the shit basically cos it's easier.
Have another glass of wine and put all the crap to the back of your mind. You're worth a billion of them just for putting up with it.

ivegotahousefull Thu 06-Mar-14 23:17:28

Eliza I could of wrote your post word for word. I have been with my h for 11 years, yet for the first nine my sd, was spiteful to me and my children, i know that sounds petty, but she lived in a household of adults so she spoke like a grown up. My children were common, dirty, freaks, she wouldn't sit in same room as us, in case we contaminated her!!

we went through a spell where I thought we had cracked it, but, no, six months later, I am horrible, I have stopped her from being with her father, (I have always encouraged father daughter time) I am disgusting, how dare I live in her fathers house, even though it was my home long before he came along!, she has even told her dad that as long as he is with that scum and her scum children she wants nothing to do with him.

How, we are still in a marriage I do not know, however, I have done the tears, trying to be her friend, when it's blatant she doesn't nor as ever liked me, so now I switch off, totally, detach myself from it, otherwise I would either be single and divorced or in a lunatic asylum.

I wish you all the best, as it's a thankless and unenviable task at times, but, I'm so glad, to know I'm not the only Person in this situation.

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