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how much is enough

(8 Posts)
walterwhitesgf Mon 28-Nov-16 19:50:23

Backstory
I have been with my partner for 14 years. We were both married when we met both have children all in their 20 's and 30s now. Both marriages were failing miserably, with our partners being unfaithful, fraudulent and just plain mean, but obviously we did begin our relationships by being unfaithful ourselves.
His exwife is still extremely bitter and encouraged her children to turn against their father and one still will not have any contact with him while the other 3 do. My children do not see their father (and don't really wish to, he moved away and has not kept in touch) and accept my partner completely. He is grandad to their children and very much part of the family.
I am still not really accepted by my partners children e.g. no birthday acknowledgement etc and my partner and i have been effectively excluded from all but the perifery of recent family events because his ex wife requested it. She has had a number of relationships since their divorce and currently does have a partner.

There is another big family event looming and we imagine that at best we will be allowed to witness one small part and then told to make ourselves scarce as before, or possibly I won't be allowed to go at all.
In the past 14 years I have really tried to build a relationdhip with my partners children, entertained on grand scale for them, bought presents for, had days out , made sure they were always welcome you name it I have done it, but I am still treated very much as an outsider . I am just feeling I dont know if I want to make the effort I currently do anymore. In fact I wonder if I have tried too hard and made it obvious that I would take any kind of treatment from them and still come up offering more. I wouldn't wish to damage my partners relationship with his family but they are all adults now and I feel if they can't accept me by now they probaby never will. Would it be so awful if I scaled back my efforts with them a bit?

Wdigin2this Mon 28-Nov-16 21:56:54

You've answered your own question, if they haven't accepted you after all this time....they probably never will!
No, it wouldn't be at all awful if you stepped back a lot, I would have done so a long time ago. Would you consider asking your DH to tell his family that neither of you will be available for any part of the upcoming event, because he's taking you away for the weekend/week, better to be proactive than reactive?!
Begin small by letting things like birthdays go by, with no more than a card, be polite if they visit, but not overly demonstrative? Don't ask them to visit, don't ask them to do anything really! Your DH cannot just cut them off, but it sounds like he's getting a raw deal too, so maybe it's time for you both to put yourselves first!

Underthemoonlight Tue 29-Nov-16 11:52:54

If my dad had cheated on my mother I wouldn't be accepting of the ow I certainly wouldn't be inviting to you to special occasions or encouraging you to interact with my children, I don't know what you expected to happen here. I also wouldn't believe everything your DH has said about his exw to be true. It is never approiate to start an affair especially when there's children involved regardless of age. What did you want them to be forgivenonf and expect you as one of the family? I'm surprised they still in contact with their DF I would have want NC with DF he be behaved in such a way.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Tue 29-Nov-16 12:22:15

As you became involved before their marriage broke up, even if it was failing, you may never be completely accepted. I understand that may feel awful, however a family break up is serious and if there is any doubt that it was not just between the couple, then I can understand a certain amount of resentment.

Are you happy with your DP? If so, then you may have to let it go, this shunning by the extended family. If you both really needed each other, if you both are happier now, then enjoy that.

Also, if his ex wife wasn't great with him, then the chances are the kids, at some point, may see that for themselves. But it will have to be in their own time and their own terms, and they may always blame you.

Lunar1 Tue 29-Nov-16 14:12:20

Please don't ask your husband not to go, they are his children and you don't know what they went through when their parents separated. Especially, possibly seeing themselves basically replaced by your three children. For your own happiness I think you would be better accepting things the way they are.

Underthemoonlight Tue 29-Nov-16 14:43:51

Lunar is spot on he can still have a relationship with his DC but they aren't obliged to have one with you under the circumstances that you both got together.

walterwhitesgf Tue 29-Nov-16 14:51:34

Thank you all for taking the time to reply . I just wanted some uninvolved perpective. Wdigin I think you are right they will probably never be more accepting than they are. It's also true my partner is being shortchanged. He is a good man and tries very hard with his family. I can't see us stopping birthday gifts etc and I would never ask my partner not to attend any family events Lunar, that's just not who we are. I think I have just got a bit tired of making big efforts for little return. To answer your question Bananas I am very happy with my partner and he tells me he is with me. We know we have a lot to be grateful for. Acceptance of the status quo is the way forward it seems. My children haven't replaced my partners and have no wish to but inevitably, as my family are the easier company and actually show they want to spend time with us we will be drawn to them.

Aderyn2016 Tue 29-Nov-16 14:53:16

Did your husband's ex wife cheat on him first? If so then it is massively unfair for the family to treat you two as the villains of the piece. It is 6 of one, half a dozen of the other.
If not though, then his dc may always see you as responsible for hurting their mum. They love your dh, so will accept him more than you and you kind of have to just suck it up as going with the territory of being the affair partner.
That said, yanbu to stop making a big effort. You can't make them accept you and there is no point keeping on doing something that doesn't work.

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