I have 2 SDs who still have issues with me after many years and I would be interested in hearing other viewpoints, advice or recommendations that anyone can offer...
My husband left his wife in 1995 when his daughters were 24 and 22. His wife was very angry and bitter and dragged out the divorce for 8+ years. The divorce was finalized in 2004, we married in late 2004 and now have a son. I recently saw a photo of the ex-wife (now in her 70's), and she still wears her wedding rings after being divorced for 7 years. (Talk about holding on!!!) She also lives near her daughters (across the country from us) and fills their minds with horrible lies about me. She tells everyone that her ex-husband left her penniless (to feed into the gold digger scenario that she has pegged on me) which is far from true. She also tells them that I manipulated my way into their family and blackmailed my husband to leave her. It's totally insane!!
Unfortunately, I am close in age to my SDs which I think is one of the big problems. Another issue is just that a spoiled rich b*tch is not getting her way with her daddy. Although the SDs come to our home to visit, there is discomfort and tension, and they make it obvious that they are there to see their dad and our son and NOT me. I do allow them time with their dad but join in at dinners, etc. I had never been out to visit them, but we found out recently (when my husband proposed a visit around the holidays) that one SD will not accept me in "her space". SD voices the exact same lies that the ex-wife says about me. My husband was/is very hurt by all of this as he cannot fathom having a relationship with her without including his new family. He really thought that the SDs had accepted me and the whole situation, but he was totally shocked to find out something different. After many horrible e-mail exchanges, SD now says she can be "open to trying to change her feelings" about me but I know she is only saying this because she feels that she is in danger of losing her father's affections. Even the language of her statement is so non-committal.
I have known all along that she does not like/accept me (small slights over the years combined with "women's intuition") but have always taken "the high road" and tried to be interested in her and engage with her whenever she is here. I have also sent cards and gifts in my husband or son's name. I don't think I can ever climb the mountain that she has put between us, but I am concerned about my son who is only 6. The SDs say that the "love" him very much, but I cannot believe that they can be objective and treat him fairly when he comes from me and a union that they oppose. The older SD (the one who will not accept me in her space) has also perpetuated the hatred of me in her own children. They also dislike me and won't come to visit because of me. I also fear sending my son out to visit them with my husband as the kids (spiteful, bratty and undisciplined) might repeat some of those awful lies about me to my son, and I don't want him to be hurt by all of this. I am concerned about what the future holds. I would like my son to have family, but I am beginning to see that family isn't all it's cracked up to be! And the insanity in this family may just be too poisonous.
I am reading some things (Stepmonster, etc...), and, although they offer lots of explanations, I don't feel that the scenarios apply exactly to my case. Maybe someone has a similar experience or some great insight that they'd like to share??