Partners family are the issue!(4 Posts)
I am 26 years old and I have been with my OH for 3 and a half years and he has a 6 year old daughter with his ex.
From the very early stages I always assumed his ex would cause issues and that it would be a conatant battle but, although it hasn't always been easy, my OH and his ex now co-parent very well and we are all civil and everything works fine!
My OH is in the military and he has his daughter every other weekend or 2 weekends in a row and 2 off, it depends on when he is working so I don't see him during the week and then get limited time with him at the weekends.
My issue is his family. They are not very understanding of our situation and I am left very upset by their words and actions on a regular basis. I will go out of my way to avoid seeing them just to save my feelings! No one has ever asked me how I feel or offered support (bare in mind I moved 300 miles away from my family to make our relationship easier so I am alone during the week). I feel so unappreciated and insignificant! Maybe I am being selfish? I don't know how to make sense of my feelings and I am so disapointed in his family's actions. I have been screamed at by his brother's wife for 'ruining' her bond with her neiece. I can't win! If I have a good relationship with her (which I do) I am the baddy... If I didn't have a good relationship with her I would be the baddy! they are very hypocrytical and when my OH was away for 6 months on tour they made no effort to see her which hurt his and her feelings quite badly.
I feel like me and my OH can't enjoy the relationship or do things just the 2 of us as we are judged. I am too scared to tell anyone we are going on holiday this year, just the 2 of us, in fear of the backlash! Is this normal?! Anyone else experience things like this? Thanks
Several step-parenting advice books include information about the relationship between the stepmum and her Inlaws, so you are definitely not alone.
There are a lot of conflicting emotions for the parents of an adult whose marriage has ended - grief for loss of the son or daughter in law, guilt if they disagree with the way that their adult child has behaved, embarrassment if their former daughter/son in-law is publicly critical of the former partner and of course the fear (particularly for parents of men) that they will lose contact with their grandchildren.
It's very unlikely to be anything to do with you, as a person, it is what you represent to them that they are struggling to cope with.
I have a very distant relationship with my DHs family - they have actively excluded me from family events and their passive-aggressive gifts to me at Xmas and birthdays are now a standing joke. My own parents have never spoken to DH, at all.
Sadly, it's a case of growing a thick skin, accepting that this is how they are coping with a situation they find challenging and not allowing their behaviour or words to upset you.
It's frustrating isn't it? Because you know they view you as not that important to their grandchild/niece/nephew, but yet they still expect you bend over backwards for the same child and treat them as if they are your own. I've actually on a few occasions felt like telling them that they are welcome to come and step in for me, take dsd off my hands and why don't they pack their jobs in so that they can see to dsd on dp's time to have her when he's at work. Then they will realise that actually I play a massive role.
A few months ago, dp's brother asked dsd why would she rather be with me than them (he lives with his/dp's mum and dad) when dp is at work.
As if its pointless her being here when DP is at work and she should be with her "real" family.
But yet I can 110% guarantee that if I was to say that I don't want dsd to be here when DP is at work and they should have her instead, they would say how awful I am!
I used to have a similar issue with my mil so I completely understand what you are dealing with.
She was very jealous because before I came along she had the Dsc when dp was at work and then after I met them and we moved in together they stayed with us. She never made any effort to see them unless we took them to her and she never asked or offered to have them and would decline if we suggested the kids stayed with her. Damned if we did and if didn't.
You won't win unfortunately so my advice would be stop trying and expecting. I know it is hard but it is the only way! As long as your dsd is happy that is all that matters
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