It's now 5 years(68 Posts)
Seven years ago, married DH against wishes of youngest sd. Was NOT OW. His ex had an affair and marriage broke down. Have two other steps, one is fine, the other delightful. Despite all efforts, youngest sd took herself off and stopped contact at 17. We tried really hard to get her to come back but she was adamant that any contact with dad HAD to be in MY absence.
So long has gone by. DH wants to try persuading her to come round again. He's astonished that I'm reticent. I haven't said no just that it's difficult for me to take any interest in her or in her return, due to the terrible things I've been accused of and blamed for.
What would you do?
Tell him he can see her whenever he wants but that you won't be involved.
What where said. It sounds like you and her want the same thing (not to see each other) so that would be the obvious solution.
I'd let your DP try, he needs to for his own sake and no matter what she'll always be his daughter. It doesn't mean you have to pretend. Let him see her on his own. Let your DP know you'd never get in the way of any relationship that redevelops.
Are you afraid for the stability of you and DP if she reenters your life? Just stand back but make sure your DP knows you support him. Just not to expect it to be happy families with you necessarily
Kids can act very stroppily esp around 17 years. Could you at all possibly be the bigger person and also give her a chance? Not to ignore the past, or let yourself be the object of her hatred again. But offer an olive branch through your DP. If she acts terribly again, then so be it for you and her. But your DP will appreciate it, he'll be facing the rest of his life in an awful stalemate with someone he lives dearly otherwise.
I have a very similar situation and haven't seen dh's son for 4 years. He now lives far away and meets up with dh regularly on the condition it's just them two. Suits me fine.
Would it be possible for your dh to do something similar, meeting up elsewhere together?
You're probably best keeping out of it, just ensure your DH knows you have no problem with him fostering a better relationship with his DD! But make it clear (as diplomatically as you can) that the time for you and her to have any kind of bond, has long gone!
Ok, thank you all, for the replies.
When the estrangement first began, I wrote a card to sd explaining that, there was no reason why we couldn't all just rub along and that she was always welcome and for her not to feel awkward about all the shitty things she'd done....we'd turn the page and start again. There were then 2-3 yrs of inviting her over but she'd only come if "she" wasn't there. I found other things to do and absenced myself but when I got home, the "occasion" had always gone belly up as DH had mentioned my name/what we had been up to and sd would throw a tantrum and leave (now aged 20). So, I said that DH and she must meet elsewhere (not in our home - as even without me there, obliging her condition to the family meeting without me, it was clearly a problem). Over the past 2 years, DH and her have met up/dined out and I've not been invited. DH was invited to a meal with his 3 kids and their partners (all grown ups now) before Xmas and when he said he wouldn't go if I weren't invited, we heard no more.
I think basically, he (rightly) wants her to come visit him in our home but I'm a) not prepared to leave the home to accommodate this now and b) sd hasn't asked for it....this is DH.
I know it's dreadful for him but we're talking 5 years of trying hard to persuade her and flat "no"s. I don't see a way forward with this. Honestly? Yes! You bet I'm nervous about the prospect of her in my life again. She's been nothing but trouble and all of her actions have been about causing difficulties between DH and me. Yes, she's older. She's just about to finish Uni (now 22), is highly intelligent, well travelled and looks down at her nose at people (me especially). I think, if she came back and I had to put up with all her nastiness again, it'd be ME who ended up leaving (homeless). Sd even poked fun at my son (from previous marriage) he has autism and crippling OCD, and one time when he'd had a rather short haircut she referred to it as a "special needs hairdo". My DS adored her. In five years, she's never even sent so much as a birthday card.
I know I'd SHOULD be the bigger person but it would be very, very hard to do. Even for DH.
Why should you be the bigger person?
She's a nasty cow, no matter who her parent is.
Does your dh know what she said about your son? Because if he does, he's being so unreasonable to even ask this of you.
Let him go for his family dinners etc without you. Do you want to go??
No, I could easily continue to live without her. DH wants us all to be happy together. He's (rightly) thinking of the future.,..weddings, grand kids, all that. But, thing is, I've never been invited to an event or if I have, I've been totally ignored. I've been invited to things which I've dashed out and bought a new frock for only to find out a week before the event that my presence was not wanted and I was expected to "stand down" and do the decent thing. Which I did. There have been times when, to avoid upsetting his ex wife or kids, he's collected them from their mum's (years ago) and then come back to pick me up, as me in the car outside their home is a physical reminder to them that he's moved in after the horrendous betrayal of his ex wife. He wasn't "supposed to", I guess. I think they thought he'd spend the rest of his life trying to rekindle their marriage. Her "affair" didn't work out and when I met him, 3 yrs later, ex-wife was still trying to architect a reunion.
It's all so messed up.
OFGoodness sake....this is ridiculous! You have done all you can with this girl, and by the way, she's actually a grown woman now, and well able to be a little more reasonable!
If I were you, I'd sit down with your DH and explain that his Disneyfied view of a blended happy family is just not possible in this situation! Obviously, he will continue to want to see his DD, and you have shown you respect that, but she does not have enough dignity to just come to your home and put on a courteous face, so it's not happening!
Regarding future weddings etc, I have a very strong issue with a close female relative of my DH's, so I just don't go to any event where she may be present! If it makes it any easier and more comfortable for DH, invent 'occasions' on any significant dates, preventing you from attending...I do it all the time!
And, as for the remarks she has made about your DS, they are totally unforgivable, and more than enough reason to permanently cut her out of your life...I cannot believe your DH said/did nothing about this cruel streak in his DD!
Don't give it any more thought Eliza, she has made her decision, and if she's so immature she can't get passed it, it's not your problem or your responsibility! Carry on with your otherwise happy life, and just allow DH the leeway to pretend it's all fine....I can do it, so can you, it's worth it!
Was going to try "to give it no further thought" at least for a while. DH is now contemplating how he can persuade her to come round. After 5 yrs. "What will it take to make you consider coming back?"
She can be his problem. But you be very clear; your home should be a happy place for you as well as him and if he wants to have a relationship with her, it needs to happen elsewhere until she can show basic respect for you.
Wow, that's worse than I first though Eliza. She hasn't budged at all? And been nasty about your son?
I don't think there's much you can do about your DP, he's soft like mine. But it's just not going to happen is it. So in that sense perhaps don't worry too much, let your DP fret and ponder. If he asks you just say to him that you are sorry for his pain, and don't get pulled in. She's never going to actually come round and maybe this is why your DP is bringing it up. He probably knows deep down that his daughter basically doesn't care for him, if she did she'd make the effort. But it's too hard for him to see. Just be non committal.
If your DP does ever try to suggest you are to blame though or suggest you need to do something to make this girl welcome, be firm and say you've done all you can and the rest is up to her.
I've had a sort of similar experience, my DSDs not terrible, but eldest did 'suggest' heavily that it was 'uncomfortable' to visit house while I was there, and insisted DP see her at her mums or outside, and basically planted the seed of guilt in both of us, we both ran around her, with DP like yours wondering what he could do to make her visit more. Neither me or DP had done anything unwelcoming. In the end they just have to get over themselves! It's really painful for you and DP though, thoughtless and nasty.
What, he actually expects you to accept her coming into your home on a regular basis??? Even after he's witnessed her discourtesy to you, and cruelty to your son???
I think you need to make it very clear to your DH that, while you accept and even support him trying to rekindle his relationship with his DD...you don't need or want one! Tell him that you are not prepared to receive someone in your home who is openly rude to you, and you certainly don't intend to make yourself scarce to accommodate her visits!!
Does he realise that his actions are endangering his marriage...if not, tell him so in no uncertain words!
Thing is, I know for a fact that it's not sd's hope to "come back". It is DH who is wanting her here, in our home. I'd prefer he continues his relationship with her as far away from me as it is now because frankly, she's trouble and it will ALL happen again, I'm sure.
The thing your DH will not managed to maker her 'come back' if she doesn't want to.
And she clearly doesn't so in some ways, there are no issues there.
You have made your pov clear. You need to reiterate the fact it's your house too so whatever happens, you can't be made to feel that you are kicked out of it.
After that, I would leave your DH handling it.
I would also note that he HAS put you first for the Christmas meal by saying it was either both of you or no one so maybe you need to try and aupport him too, in your own ways.
DH wants us all to be happy together
Then frankly he is the problem. His DD wants to see him alone, you are happy for him to see her alone, so why is he pushing things that no-one else but him want? It's very selfish of him to put pressure on you, and to plan to do the same on his DD.
He is worried about wedding and grand-children? For one, would you actually want to go to her wedding? And as for grand-children, frankly if there is a time when she could possibly change her mind about you, it is likely to be when she becomes a mum herself. She might want your OH to babysit and she might accept then that if they come to the house, they will have to interact with you. Many women grow up once they become mums.
I expect he is grieving for a normal relationship with his child. It's not his fault that she continues to effectively emotionaly torturing him by refusing to be civil. Nor is it yours. The difference is he hasn't accepted the loss yet, but you can see more clearly. I know because my DP is exactly the same, and if he's not blaming me or trying to get me to pretend it's fine, I feel really wretched for him. It's basically an awful thing for a child to do to her father and partner.
But he's seeing her. Having dinner, visiting....whatever. I don't ask because it's pointless and a bit hypocritical of me to show interest in someone who dislikes me THIS much.
Think is a very much like, care for and am interested in his other two because they've always been fine with me. I treated them all the same and before she left, I had years of being ignored, screeched at and jealous pops at my son. Enough.
DH says she's matured now but I don't see it. Sd has made no approach to be in touch with us as a family. It's all about her and dad. And I think that was her objective from the start.
So does she really think her dad should have forgiven her mum's affair and waited for it to end before begging her to return? Does she apply this to her own life?
I haven't seen my SS for 4 years. For 11 years before this I had treated him as my own took him on days out on school hols because his mum did nothing with him and his older siblings who were nothing to do with me or my hubs. He once came down and said his mum had gone mad because his older sis had said she wished she had a stepmum like me because my SS did lots of fun things and they didn't. However after him being nasty and telling lies I told my dh to see him alone and as dh could never see him do any wrong (Disney dad) I wasn't letting our kids see him without me there and at the moment I didn't want to see him. 6 months later I say OK he can come down but he doesn't want to - wants to see my dh and my kids who are his half siblings alone. Put my foot down, he can only see my kids if I'm present. I can't trust my dh to take our kids side if SS dies anything as he is terrified of no contact. Now 4 years my kids haven't seen their half brother and don't care tbh but dh sees him once a week. I don't see it as my place to keep the relationship between my kids and my SS as if I'm not there I don't trust him
Sorry so my answer to you is me and my kids and dh have a happy life. I no longer ask about SS when dh has seen him as I don't want my kids to think I'm interested. My SS has missed out on 4 years of holidays and days out through no fault of mine. Enjoy what you have and don't fret over what you can't control. Xcx
Except your DSD is losing her Dad, little by little, and it's her own fault. Over years it will be harder for him and if he can't share with her his life with you (totally understandably by you), then she's fracturing her own relationship with her father. You have widely just kept up with those who have accepted you.
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