Why does this have to happen every time?

ashley1979April 6, 2010

Ugh! I am so frustrated with the situation with my SD! I haven't really talked about it much since nothing new has happened. I feel like I (personally) am stuck on the hamster wheel. Until something changes that I have no control over, I'll stay on the hamster wheel.

DH won't file papers...for whatever bone-headed reason. He's going to keep doing the same insane stuff he's always done. But this isn't really about him. It's more about me and my helpless feelings towards a situation I have no control over, yet DH asks me to "be involved".

A little background for those that are new. DH & I have been together over 7 years. SD was 7 and DS was 4. Up until 2 years ago, SD lived around the corner from DH. DH had a close relationship. As a matter of fact, we all had a great relationship with her. We were all involved in all of her activities (volunteering, cooking/baking for fundraisers, etc.) and spent every weekend together.

Then, two years ago, BM and SF got transfers to BM's home town and moved away with SD. They lied for months and only gave DH 2 weeks notice before they left. Since then, SD has been calling, e-mailing, texting and visiting less and less. We haven't seen her since last August. BM has busied SD with all sorts of activities so she won't want/have time to come visit. There are a wide range of excuses why she can't come visit, but the main one is cheerleading.

It seems like every time we plan to see her, a bunch of lies and half-truths come out just before so it taints (at least for me) the visit. Here's just a few example:

-Christmas before last, it was the lift tickets for snowboarding that were supposedly bought before-hand so SD had to come home early, which SD slipped and told us the tickets weren't already purchased.

-Last summer when she came for a 1-day visit with BM, SF and her sister. We had been told before-hand that she couldn't miss any cheer practice, but this visit was day 1 of their week-long vacation to see SF's parents. So somehow she can miss practice for a vacation with BM, but not to see DH.

-Then....there's the wedding. Before DH proposed, we were take a vacation. We started with BM trying to plan SD going on vacation with us in March. By the time DH (officially) proposed in July, we still had no answer. DH & I decided to get married on our already-planned vacation with the kids. After a HUGE blow-up with BM, he got her to commit to sending SD for the wedding. BM started by wanting to fly SD directly to the destination so "she won't have to spend so much time in the car". Then, a week later, BM and SD contrive a story for her to have to go home early. We ended up having to fly SD out from our vacation destination.

Now, DH and I are going to see SD in a couple weeks, and already things are getting bad. These are the things that have happened just in the past couple weeks.

-SD told us she had a competition a couple weekends ago so she couldn't miss practice to come visit during spring break. When DH called SD the Friday of spring break, she was on vacation with BM, SF and sister. She told DH that they decided to not compete in that particular competition.

-DH talked to SD the other night. She told him that the Saturday we are there, she is having a photo shoot in the morning before her competition starts.

-SD told DH that she's going to acting classes.

-SD told DH that she is supposed to go hout to L.A. for a week sometime soon for this acting thing.

-SD told DH that she is having 2 foreign girls staying with them during the time we are there.

So how come she can have time for all this other stuff, but can't carve out a couple days in 8 MONTHS to see her dad?

And how is it that BM can have strangers staying with them and sleeping in their home, but all-but refuses to let DH see SD?

And when will we actually get to see SD? She will be competing, practicing, at a photo shoot and have guests. My guess is not very much.

It's so weird how we can't get SD or BM to tell us anything about SD's events so we can see them. We have to search the internet for any information. Then, when we ask them about things we find on the internet, they won't respond. We had to TELL SD we are coming and book a hotel room just to get her to confirm she was competing!

So, now, I have this sick feeling of dread in ther pit of my stomach where I once felt so much excitement. Why does it have to be this way???? Why must every time we see her be shrouded in lies, deception, or attempts to limit the time we have with her?

(If I left something out, I apologize, but please...no ugliness. Only constructive criticism, please. I don't think I can handle all of this and arguing on GW today).

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Stupid Questions Ash... what is hubby afraid of? He has nothing to lose at this point ... how do I put this ... he won't file papers & BM's a douche ... So what is he afraid of chasing away his daughter? not seeing her anymore?

Or does he just want to wait and hope she comes around like his son did ....

I have learned to live with/by ...

expect nothing you will never be disappointed

... I want so much more for hubby and his kids and it will never be because BM is the way she is ... he married her not me I don't have to deal with her EVER.... I just get to deal with the aftermath Lucky ME!!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:06PM
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"I just get to deal with the aftermath Lucky ME!!"

Ha ha ha! EXACTLY! DH asked me to go. I originally wasn't going to go. I do want to be there to support him if he needs me; not get involved.

To answer your question...yes, he is afraid of chasing away his daughter, the little bit he has left of her. Plus, if SD is "forced" to visit, then the visits will be bad, so then she really wont want to come anymore.

He's afraid that if he files amended papers that it will be further cause for SD to stop communication with him. Already, when he presses her on an issue, she stops communicating with him for a couple of weeks. That makes him afraid to press her. But BM says it's SD's decision, so DH must go through SD first. If he doesn't, BM poisions her before DH talks to her (i.e. teling her that we had her for Thanksgiving the year before, a lie, so SD would "decide" not to come for Thanksgiving).

BM has made both DH and SD so afraid of the words "papers", "courts", and "attorneys" that they both see them as bad things (which they aren't necessarily bad; they are tools). All she has to do is say "well I've seen an attorney", even if she hasn't, and it paralyzes DH. I'm sure she knows that. I would LOVE to see this go to court because then there would be no hiding. The truth would come out and BM couldn't hang any mythical or fabricated things over DH's head.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:32PM
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I'm sorry Ashley. We have similar situations... SD will be in our state, on her last day, and call and say, I've been visiting Grandma this past week!!! Oh, ok. So you couldn't see if maybe we could see you too? Especially since when she's here we do our best so she can see her Grandma during our visit with her (BM's mom). And, this after her spring break was "booked up" and she had all these plans. Then she doesn't call when she gets home. We still haven't heard if they got home ok, from two weeks ago.

DH won't go to court. I get to deal with the aftermath. I have nothing but empathy for you. You ask "why". I have no idea. The mothers are using their daughters as friends, as confidants, as "us against the world" and unfortunately our DH's are the world. I don't know what to say to make my DH realize the courts are going to help rather than hurt, but he's overwhelmed by the whole thing.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 12:43PM
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I'm so sorry Ashley --
I know these things get murky, and that stirring the pot leads to messes...

But what do you (and Dad) really think is happening? Is it SD calling the 'not available' shots? Or BM? If Dad were to surprise fly out to see her -- would she be delighted? Or full of dread?

Has Dad ever talked to SD directly about it? Has he ever tried a 'me language' approach? Something like "When you say you're busy, I hear you don't want to see me, and I'm hurt be that." (I know -- shrink-speak. But it's very effective.)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Sorry you're dealing with this crap, Ashley.

Many girls grow apart from their dads for their teen years, but ideally, the mom is there to facilitate their relationship and keep them close... Not deliberately driving wedges between dad and daughter!

I don't know why or what you should do about it, but I wish you patience and strength!

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:31PM
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I'm sorry, Ashley. :(

I guess on some level I can see why your DH doesn't take legal action. Isn't your SD 14 or something? At this point, I don't really see a court forcing her to go spend time with her father if she doesn't want to. At the very least, a court is going to take her views in serious consideration.

It's a shame that her mother moved her away from her dad, because it sounds like DH & his daughter WERE close up to that point. :(

I think all you can do is the best you can and hope that she comes back to her dad someday. (I don't mean "comes back" as in moves back to him, but just in the figurative sense---if you love something enough, let it go and hope it comes back, all that, yada yada.)

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 1:52PM
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I think it might be too late, he had to file for visitations awhile ago before SD grew apart from him.

He could try talking to her in person and finding out what is going on because if she would truly miss him she would insist on seeing her dad. Maybe she does not understand that even if she does not miss him, he misses her and he is hurt and she needs to know it.

I think it is too late with courts though. At 14...

"The mothers are using their daughters as friends, as confidants, as "us against the world"".

No, they don't. Or maybe some do. Otherwise it is generalization like saying dads have no interest in their children and then complain that kids don't care about them. Should say "some".

    Bookmark   April 6, 2010 at 5:27PM
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I meant her SD's mother, and my SD's mother. Not ALL BIO-moms. I know a lot don't do that. I just saw parallels between her BM and my BM, and it seems that's what they are doing...

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:21AM
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"The mothers are using their daughters as friends, as confidants, as "us against the world"".

This is what BM does with my skids. THe skids are even filling the parent-role in her household, looking after BM instead of other way around.

I don't know if court would be too late. Yes SD14 will get to have a say and because BM has manipulated her so badly SD will tell the court what BM wants to hear. I guarantee that! SD is being loyal to her mom, she'll stay loyal also in court. And yes it will make the dad look like the bad guy for taking them to court. Our BM used to tell the skids that she might need to go to jail because of daddy and yabber.. Guess how that made the skids feel?

Even though BM kept breaching the court order and kept skids away from us, skids perceived US to be the ones who were trying to 'force' them. We were the bad guys. And I can see ashley's SD feeling the same way.

We've made the choice to leave it up to skids to come, but for us this was easier because our situation was/is not as bad as yours. BM lives 10 mins away and the skids did/do always try to keep coming to our place. BM interrupts it A LOT, but we have been seeing them regularly so it's hard to compare it to your situation. Your is more like PAS and maybe the book 'Divorce Poison' might be of some help in how to deal with it (lots of different approaches).

I hear your frustration, I like Sweebies suggestion, I think your options are limited due to SD's age. It's sad.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:09AM
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Just thinking about this some more, one advantage of us going back to court (when BM kept kids from us) was that it did make an impression on BM nonetheless. I mean she walked away laughing and we got some awful court orders out of it, but all the same she did get the message to not withhold the kids from us alltogether.

Stuffing us around, yes, playing games, yes, manipulation and pressure, yes, but keeping them away from us completely, no! She hasn't done that once since the court thing, I just realise that now. So if anything, we did gain that. And alineating tactics are nowhere near as effective if the other parent gets to have regular contact, so this might be a consideration.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 3:22AM
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"Yes SD14 will get to have a say"

at this point SD does not seem to be interested in seeing her dad. What judge would enforce 14-year-old to see her dad? you could force parents to comply with court orders but how do you force teenagers to see their parents? it is awfully sad, yes dad had to push harder when kids were younger, he seems repeating the same mistakes with his son and now his daughter.

the only thing left is him finding guts to convey to his daughter how he feels and hope she understands. I also see her age as a problem, DD is easy going person yet she was difficult at 14, kids are pretty selfish at that age.

ashley advice your DH to sit down and talk to SD about his feelings

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 9:05AM
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Ash if you need a copy of divorce poison email me your addy ... if you feel ok doing that and I will send you my copy ..... it didn't fix anything in my situation but it helped me understand it more :)

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 10:00AM
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Thanks for your support!

@Sweeby - You asked; "But what do you (and Dad) really think is happening? Is it SD calling the 'not available' shots? Or BM?"

Here's what we honestly think: BM is calling the shots, ultimately, but making SD think that she is making her own decisions.

BM fills up SD's life with all kinds of "activities" so she won't spend time with us. This started a bit before she moved away (remember the all-consuming activity?), but at least then we could volunteer or help out to spend time with her. Now it's everything from cheerleading to acting lessons to foreign students staying with them to vacations to snowboarding to family bbqs (BMs family, of course). SD enjoys these things so she doesn't want to miss them and BM knows this. So, when DH presses for her to spend time with us, BM says "okay, you can go, but we will sure miss you while we are camping" or "you can't go because you made a commitment to cheerleading" even though other cheerleaders may be taking a vacation.

BM also grills SD after her visits. Why would SD choose to visit when she's just going to get 20 questions asked and yelled at when she gets back?

Also, BM guilts her. Get this, when she came for the wedding, BM MADE her print out a picture of BM, SD and sister to carry with her. Huh? She was only gone for 3 whole days and part of another.

You also asked "If Dad were to surprise fly out to see her -- would she be delighted? Or full of dread?"

I think she would he happy. I know she loves DH. And she always has a good time with him/us. She loves DS, too. It's more out of sight; out of mind.

BUT, just like it seems like this visit is turning out to be, the last time DH went out there, he hardly got to see SD. BM had planned all this stuff (family bbq) and expected SD to attend, even though DH was there. It's kind of bittersweet and seems to hurt DH and make him more wistful. That's one reason why he wants me to go this time: he knows he'll be spending a lot of time without her and doesn't want to be alone.

The other part of that is that it's cheaper for her to come here. If he/we go there, we have to get a hotel room and pay for gas or airfare or car. We just don't have the money...honestly. It's not like we have it and we just don't want to spend it; we really don't have it. It's going to cost well over $400 for us to go for 3 nights. $150 for the hotel room (which we found at a GREAT rate), $150-$200 in gas, and then tickets to the competition which will be $24 and then food. Oh, and did I mention SD's b-day is a couple days later so we will have to make sure she gets her b-day gifts while we are there. Not to mention the time off work we are both taking. If she came here, BM would only spend $250 for a plane ticket.

"Has Dad ever talked to SD directly about it? Has he ever tried a 'me language' approach? Something like "When you say you're busy, I hear you don't want to see me, and I'm hurt be that." (I know -- shrink-speak. But it's very effective.)"

This is a good idea! He has talked to her directly, but the only response he's ever gotten was a doe-eyed stare. He's asked both her and BM to not schedule activities that would prevent her from visiting him, both agree, but then go back and do what they want. I never thought of the 'me language' approach. I'll let him know about it.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:16AM
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@Ceph - you said "Many girls grow apart from their dads for their teen years, but ideally, the mom is there to facilitate their relationship and keep them close... Not deliberately driving wedges between dad and daughter!"

Yes, yes, yes! You are exactly right! Although I never did that in my own life (my mother wasn't really the 'motherly' type), I've seen this with a lot of my friends.

In the case of most of my friends, it was the need for a "friendship" on the part of the mother.

I know BM is not happy in her marriage. She told SD once. But there are other signs, such as not one single 'family' picture that includes the SF (only BM, SD and sister) on BM's Facebook page or any of her family member's pages (DH is 'friends with them), or (that I ever saw) in their house when they lived here and also SD and sister (7) still sleep in the bed with BM and SF (creepy, I know).

I think BM uses her kids, especially SD, as a buffer for her bad marriage.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 11:33AM
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Ashley, that's what my SD's mom does too "oh, you're missing ________________ while you're there.... oh... we're doing __________right now, too bad you aren't here". Gag me.

She can't possibly enjoy her time when there are so many distractions (I could be ________ right now!!! When I get back I'm going to ________) Last time we went camping and immediately when she got back BM took her camping. First time they had ever gone, but she had to outdo our trip so SD would remember the second one as being more fun.

It really takes all the fun out of doing things with her when it's a constant competition (not from us, but feeling the competition vibes).

Mom also makes stuff up, like telling SD that she remembers people/family we're going to see when she had never met them. It's really hard not to just be cutting when that happens. I have a hard time keeping my smile on and not calling her out to SD for the liar she is.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:00PM
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@FD - you said "he seems repeating the same mistakes with his son and now his daughter."

Yes! He is! The strange thing is that it's the same woman who is the catalyst in both situations. And she's not even his son's mother!

I am tending to agree with you more and more that she's really too old for forcing her to visit.

My advice to DH was that he at least get the papers modified, anyway, and then leave it alone. That way, if she comes back and says "You didn't want to see me" or "You didn't do enough" he can say "yes, I did".

What are your opinions on that? Would it be a waste of time and money?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:06PM
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Silver...BM does that crap, too. Get this...last summer when they stopped through on their vacation...DH's brother and family were just ending a week's stay with us. BM, SF, SD and sister show up a day early, without telling us. BM says "We thought we'd bring SD early because we knew you were going to be here".

GAG ME! What a crock! She thinks DH has "probably" told them how he hadn't seen SD in 6 months and BM is keeping her from him, so she shows up early with a BS excuse so SHE looks like the hero.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:11PM
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Ashley, I'm sorry; it is so hard on you to be expected to be the involved SM yet know that any of YOUR suggestions can be vetoed because you're "just" the SM.

Have you tried asking BM and/or SD to pick visitation times? Maybe that would work if you just sent a nice (registered) letter, saying that you know she has many activities but that there are surely, say, three weeks out of the year that she is available, and which ones will they be? None is not an acceptable answer, and I disagree that a judge is not going to force a 14 year old to spend time with her father. Certainly at 14 kids have a lot more activities scheduled, and begin to disattach from both parents in order to be with their peers, but it is just not believable that a 14 year old is so booked solid that she has no free time at all. (I realize that there is no telling what judges may do, but it's not the same thing as a 17 year old refusing to go visit because Daddy gets drunk at the bar the whole week - it's a 14 year old saying that she doesn't want to miss the activities that were scheduled for her).

I know this situation is really hard, but I think sometimes that parents forget that their kids will be acting somewhat erratically at that age regardless of whom they live with. If she lived with you she'd be liable to grump and complain about a scheduled family vacation, you'd drag her along anyway, and she'd end up having a mostly decent time.

None of that really helps you though because you cannot go to court or send letters or whatever. Hopefully some more experienced SMs will have fabulous words of wisdom!

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 12:36PM
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"What are your opinions on that? Would it be a waste of time and money?"

I think if my daughter would not see me, I would take dad to court to show that I am serious.

On the other hand it could make SD angry because mom would probably tell SD lies why dad is filing in court (like he is doing it to punish BM?).

i think in case of SD dad should find the strength and tell her how he feels. I find out that when i am upset with DD saying or doing something, i have to directly tell her how i feel. But then again she is 22, not 14. at 14 they think they know it all.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2010 at 7:09PM
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Quick update:

There was some texting with BM in the vehicle on the way, but mostly just annoying stuff like her not answering us about SD's schedule.

What's really frustrating is we got here an hour early and DH texted SD to see if we could stop by for a few minutes before she goes to bed. She asked where we were and he told her at the hotel. She texted back "I have to rest for tomorrow".

What kind of crap is that????

She is almost 15 and it was only 8:00 PM! We drove over 10 hours!

Sounds like a BM answer to me.....

    Bookmark   April 15, 2010 at 11:04PM
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I sent my adress to your SMO address :)

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 1:04AM
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It sure does!!

When my skids are with BM she keeps them up all hours, they have an early night if they go to bed before 12 midnight, also during school nights :-(. They are only 12 and 13.

But when they are with us, boy is BM all of a sudden concerned with their bedtimes! Do they get enough rest at our place, they sound tired on the phone and on and on.

It's not the same as your story, but the bottom line is the same: to keep control over the kids. Sad sad sad

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 1:07AM
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Your situation is truly PAS. I really hope that DH will have a talk to SD, as Sweeby suggested.

It must be extremely hard for you to just be happy and nice when you finally do see SD, with all the stress building up. I can imagine this being very difficult. Do the best you can, I wish you guys luck. >>

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 1:12AM
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need to rest...is not anxious to see dad? dad should talk to his daughter how he feels. i find it very sad.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 6:09AM
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@FD - you're right...it's VERY sad! Up until the move, she was always a daddy's girl. I can't believe how in two years he has no more place in her life than a stranger.

@Yabber - I wish DH would/could talk to SD, but (as this weekend proves) BM will do anything to keep that from happening.

This is the first moment I've had all week to give an update so here goes:

As you know, we couldn't see her on Thursday night. We were told by BM to be at the competition at 3 PM Friday, so we figured we had until then to do whatever we wanted.

Friday morning, BM sends a text stating that she has to pick SD up from practice at the school and take her over to another girl's house where all the girls were getting ready and we could go if we want. *scarcasm intended* OH HOW WONDERFUL BM IS! SHE'S LETTING DH SEE HIS OWN DAUGHTER AND LETTING ME COME, TOO! OH WE SHOULD BOW AT HER FEET AND WASH THEM WITH OUR HAIR! I saw right through this. This was to show SD and Dh "see, I'm not so bad".

Anyway, we went over to their house, waited around awkwardly while she cooked food for the foreign girls and then rode over to the school in her car. Talk about awkward. It's really hard to make small-talk with someone you don't particularly care for. Especially when she's not asking anything about us or DS, and going on and on about how wonderful they are and how happy SD is and how busy she is and what a great mom she is sacrificing for her kids.

We get to the school and walk in and there are a couple of moms there. BM starts talking to them, I guess forgetting we were tagging along (or maybe she was trying to put off introducing us). After about 10 minutes, she introduces DH just by his name and doesn't introduce me at all. When the next mom came in, she finally introduced DH as "SD's dad", but still left me out. Then the coach came in and she introduced DH as "SD's dad" and then introduced me as "Ashley, his wife". I'm pretty sure those words burned in her throat.

Finally SD walked in and she goes "Daddy!" and runs over to him and gives him a hug. It was so sweet! Then she gave BM a hug and then me. I was just so happy that with all those people around she gave me a hug, too. So we left and went straight to the other girl's house and dropped her off. We went back to BM's to pick up our truck and BM wanted to chit-chat. She even threw in a "if you lived here..." speech. To which I was thinking in my head "if we lived here you still wouldn't let us see SD". Weird and awkward again. She did, however, say we could come over to their house the next day because all the girls will be getting ready there. *scarcasm, again* OH THANK YOU GREAT AND WONDERFUL BM FOR LETTING US STEP FOOT INTO THE HOLY TEMPLE OF YOUR HOUSE INSTEAD OF FORCING US TO STAY AT OUR HOTEL ROOM AFTER DRIVING 10 HOURS TO SEE SD!*

When we got to the competition, their tickets had seat numbers and ours didn't. So we didn't get to sit with the rest of the group where SD could see us. It was like a dagger to my heart when I would look over and see BM, SF, sister, aunt, cousin and foreign girls all sitting on the front row together like we didn't even belong. And, basically, we didn't. We did, however, get to take SD home that night because BM had so much to do to get ready for the next day that she left early. So that was about 6 minutes we got to spend with her.

The next day, we went over to their house and hung out for about 4 hours. SD ignored us for most of the day. Almost everyone in that house ignored us, unless we were in their way. The only people that didn't were SD's GMA, Aunt, and cousin. They were nice to us, but talked very little. At one point, I went out back to check out the view. SF was out there cooking on the grill and he started chatting me up about how much SD has grown since being there and how happy she is and blah, blah, blah. We did convince SD to come out to the truck for a few minutes to open her Christmas and birhday gifts. That lasted for about 8 minutes. On a positive note, she seemed to genuinely like all of her stuff. Shortly after it was time to get to the competition.

We couldn't sit with the rest of the group again, and this was an even longer night. BM stayed until the end this time. Get this: when we were leaving, we were walking out with them. DH said we could take SD home again and BM looked at SD and said "Is that okay?" Ummmm....wy wouldn't that be okay? Of course SD said yes and BM said "okay I'll see you in 10 minutes, okay? 10 minutes". Then BM hugged SD and whispered in her ear "10 minutes", which I heard because they were right next to me as we were in a crush of people trying to leave. Weird, huh?

We drove SD home and asked her if we could pick her up the next morning for breakfast. She said yes, but said she needed to ask BM. BM said it was okay, but SD needed to be back by a certain time to go to acting class. Then BM did the WEIRDEST thing she's ever done. She invited us in for food and to see the house. Isn't this the same woman that had SD kick us out of her house just a couple years ago????

We went in and I wanted to see SD's room. Just as I suspected, no trace of our existence. Pictures of BM, SF and sister, but no pictures of DH. And I've even mailed prints to her of wedding pictures and pictures of some of her visits. Then BM starts showing me around. Even shows me their bedroom and bathroom. Odd....very, very, very odd. Everyone sits down and starts chit-chatting for about an hour. During this time, BM makes it a point to tell DH not to send SD stuffed animals (we had just sent a small bunny for Easter) becaue SD is "growing up". SD started looking tired so I told DH we'd better go.

Next morning we picked SD up and had a really, really, really wonderful breakfast (BM was at work). It was all of an hour and then we had to get her back home. We got to their house, took a couple of pics, and said our goodbyes. I was so proud of DH! He didn't get mushy or ask a ton of questions. He ended with "Come see us". We got in the truck and started backing out of the driveway. SD stood at their gate as we drove off. I think she might have been crying. I know DH and I were. We were both looking the other way so we wouldn't see eachother cry.

I'm glad it ended on a good note, and I'm genuinely glad she's happy. So is DH. But it's hard to swallow her being happy with DH not a part of her happiness. You know what I mean?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:27PM
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Ashley, well that just stinks. Do you know what the 10 mins was about? That's weird.

Has DH visited SD one on one anytime the past few years?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:48PM
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"Do you know what the 10 mins was about?"

DH thinks it was so that he would take SD straight home, but I don't know.

"Has DH visited SD one on one anytime the past few years?"

Do you mean going there without me or just spending time with her alone?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 2:59PM
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"DH thinks it was so that he would take SD straight home, but I don't know."

That's just weird, I almost read it as Mom was reassuring SD, like "only 10 minutes."

"Do you mean going there without me or just spending time with her alone?"

Both. Just alone time. Without Mom/Stepdad/You/DS, without activities etc etc. Just alone...Dad and SD time. Has he tried to organize anything for just the two of them to do? I understand that Mom interferes, just curious.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 3:11PM
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Yeah, I guess so. I have never really been more involved than DH or BM want me to be. Having to deal with X's GF who WAY oversteps her bounds has helped me to hang back a bit.

I have disengaged almost completely, but DH feels like I shouldn't. He thinks I should be MORE involved. I don't see how that will work when she will barely talk to him.

I assumed he was going on this trip alone, since he'd been planning to go since the first of the year. But then a couple weeks ago, he invited me. He had a feeling he would be spending a lot of time alone since she was in a competition.

Since she moved away, he does all the airport pick-ups and drop-offs by himself. He drove out to her town last year alone, and spent very little time with her because BM organized a family get-together. When she was here the night before we left for the wedding, I had a bunch of things to do, DS was with X, and DH and SD wanted to go get ice cream. They went alone. The Christmas before last, DS was at X's and I was at work, so they spent 1 whole day together and then he had to take her to the airport the next afternoon while I was at work.

Even on the wedding/vacation, they spent some time alone. They rode the jet skis together while DS and I rode together, and he took her to the airport by himself.

I don't listen in on his calls with her, either. He told me that BM used to do that wit his son's mom and then grill him for hours about it, so he started calling while he was at work or away from the house. I would never do that to him.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 3:28PM
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your post actually made me cry, not just because mom interferes in dad's relationship with his daughter but because of the sadness of the whole situation of everyone who does not get to see his/her kid as much as they want to. I think your DH needs to keep going there and seeing her even if it is so very little, he shouldn't give up. He needs to maintain relationship with her no matter what it takes. Even these short and limited visits are better than nothing for both him and her. I hope when she is an adult, she will see dad much more on her own and have her own relationship with him and you without mom interfering.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2010 at 5:34PM
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I'm sorry it made you cry, FD. That was definitely not my intention. It makes me cry when I think of her standing at the gate as we backed out of the driveway and back out of her life. I think you're right...he just has to keep on trying and keep on visiting, even though it hurts.

I started tearing up when SD read the birthday card DS gave her. It broke my heart! It said "Dear SD, I hope you have a very happy birthday. You should come visit sometime. I want to go ride bikes at the park. I miss you so, so, so much. Love, DS". It seems so unfair to him. He was 3 (almost 4) when he met SD. We spent every weekend DS wasn't with X (and some weekdays) together for 5 years. And then, all of the sudden, she's gone.

Maybe it's easier for her to avoid talking to and seeing us than to have to say goodbye. I think her head has been filled with so many things that when she does see and/or talk to us it contradicts everything she's been told and doesn't know what to think. Maybe it's easier to live 90% of her life believing the crap BM tells her than to actually think and decide what she believes for herself.

I'm not perfect and I know I've made mistakes where SD is concerned. I probably still do. I don't know any parent (step or bio or both) that doesn't. But I came to this forum to better my relations with BM, SF, sister, SD, DH, DS, X, and X's GF. I really do try very hard not to be like some of your SMs, and I definitely don't want to be like BM when she was a SM to DH's son. I want to encourage DH in his relationships withhis kids, but not be a catalyst for trouble.

So when he asked me to go, I saw one of two scenarios happening: 1) they think "well I guess he just can't do anything without her now that they're married", or 2) they think I'm controlling him. Neither of which is even remotely true.

The truth is that DH has no connection with his own daughter anymore and knew he would be spending a lot of time either alone or with BM and SF. He asked me to go because 1) he's scared to death of being hurt by his daughter's ambivilance to him, which he knew was probably going to happen; and 2) he didn't want to be alone all the way there, all the way back, and while he was there.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 3:37PM
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it is very understandable for you to go with him, you are a family.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 5:59PM
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Oh Ashley it breaks my heart too, in my minds eye I see you backing out that driveway. The awful things parents do to their own kids, it's just heart breaking.
"Maybe it's easier to live 90% of her life believing the crap BM tells her than to actually think and decide what she believes for herself. "
I think this is the nail on the head. BM is alienating SD from DH, and because SD lives with BM it's almost impossible to withstand the (longterm and probably subtle) brainwashing. Kids are still so impressionable. They just don't stand a chance against their own parent whom they love and trust to do the right thing. And when they do start to doubt things, they almost can't perceive it that their trusted and much loved parent would do such a thing. So easier to put doubts aside and ignore their own gut-feeling that something is wrong.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:34PM
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Oh hugs Ashley. Big hugs. The driveway scene got to me too. Why don't parents let kids have their own relationships??? SD won't love her mom less! She'll just have more love!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 11:46PM
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what if a dad calls or emails now and says that SD is coming over in July for a month/two weeks or whatever is appropriately and he is buying a ticket RIGHT NOW and needs to know the dates? what would SD say? There are no activities in summer, what could SD say? Ask SD first and then mom? Not ask if SD could come but just what dates is SD coming? Like it is a done deal. Is he very timid with them? Like what if he sounds all decisive? Like wouldn't take "no" for an answer? Just wonder...if he uses different strategies

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 6:06AM
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Oh, Ash...
Your trip story sucks. I hope that your DS's card helps SD give her head a shake.

Keep trying. SD needs to know that her dad kept trying if he has any hope of a good relationship with her down the road.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 5:03PM
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Hugs, Ash. That just sucks, no two ways around it. It sounds like you have a PAS mom with a teenage it's-all-about me-right-here-right-now SD who will feel the hurt after the fact, but not before her actions have hurt you and her dad. I would just hope that in a few years, once she's matured a bit, she will again see the value in a relationship with you guys. Having been through that age with my SD, I know the selfless moments are pretty few and far between. I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 11:17PM
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