Her Kids Are Very Angry - Blended Family Issues

pintonalaApril 25, 2007


Thanks for this informative site. I recently started seeing a lady with 2 younger kids who are 13 (girl) and 11 (boy). My kids - girl (11) and boy (9) live with me. We both have been divorced since 2000.

We hit it off really hard, and within the past 6 months have spent some nights at each other's house.

Earlier in the relationship, I got to know about how bitter her Ex is over the divorce (which was due to his cheating), and his desire for them to get back together. Eventhough my lady friend is not interested, the Ex kept on giving impression to the kids that he wants to put the family together, but their Mom is willing.

Consequently, her kids, especially the older girl resents the fact that her Mom is dating. In fact, this particular girl sometimes would not even talk to me when I visit (unless she needs some assistance - like a ride to some place. I try to be nice to her - knowing that this comes as part of the package).

My kids initially resisted (mainly because my girlfriend daughter has not been very nice to my daughter - in fact, she refuses to talk to my daughter.

Is this type of resentment typical, and how does one deal with it?. Her Mom has talked to them that it is over between their father and her, but they find it difficult to accept it, because their father is around, pushing for reconciliation. When the Mom refused, the guy turned adamant. Her kids visited their Dad for spring. Their Dad used to occassion to spread some very distasteful information about their Mom -- that she is not looking after them well, she is too strict, she does not love them, and that his support is not spent on them. This greatly influenced the younger child (boy, 11). He has started exhibiting behavioral problems, speaking to the mother rudely - something he has never done before. In the meantime, all the Dad does is call him, and promise this video game and that other gadget - which he knows the boy likes.

How do we deal with this -- we both love each other - but we are not sure how to deal with kids who are resistant to their parents desire to move on.

We have decided not wait and give time to the relationship. But sometimes, going there and seeing the angry faces of the kids just irks...it just seems as if we are unwanted -- I am not sure if I should feel this way - but that is the case -- how do you love someone and at the same time deal with rejection from the kids?

I would appreciate your thoughts...

Sincerely, Pp

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I think it is VERY normal for kids to have resentment towards the "new person" when their parents are freshly divorced (or getting divorced). It could last years,or it could last forever. It could last a few weeks. It all depends on the children involved,whether or not they get any counseling,and how their parent's cater to their feelings.

My nephew felt the same about his parents dating.They arent totally divorced yet either but have been going through the proceedings. Anyways,last summer he said his mom shouldnt be dating anyone but should be with his dad.Yet,his dad was dating someone else already.
I spoke kindly to him and told him his mom deserves to be happy,and that his dad is seeing someone else,so why cant his mom? I also told him if he gave the guy a chance he might like him.
So,that was a year ago. Now my nephew LOVES my sister's BF and follows him around everywhere. He also really likes his dad's GF.
It just takes time...and I dont think it helps if BIO DAD is talking bad about the kids mom. There is nothing you too can do on your part about that though.
I hope you too can hang in there and make your love last.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 6:21PM
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thanks very much -- that is reassuring...

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 6:24PM
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Your welcome.I'm sure others will have even more helpful advice. hang in there!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 6:27PM
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As a SM, I have been subject to the "if not for you, mom and dad, blah, blah, blah" stuff. I think that is pretty normal 'child of divorce' behavior. There was a little of this when DH and I got together 9 years ago(years after he was divorced). Over time, SS now sees that his bio parents not being married has nothing to do with me. However, BM has continued to discuss (even now) how much my DH has changed(her definition of this change is that he is now a successful businessman) and that she'd love to have a second chance with him. DH and I find this hilarious, SS responds with an eyeroll, SD on the other hand actually buys in to this line of baloney---and this has led to a whole host of issues between SD and I.

To get to my point, I think that a certain degree of uneasiness with a parent dating is understandable, it's a clear sign to the children that the marriage is over - and that can be tough to take.
A BP adding fuel to this unhealthy thought process by insisting that they are willing to get back together, but the other parent won't ---has to be addressed.
Have your ladyfriend have a firm discussion with her ex.
Ex wouldn't be spilling his guts to his kids about his romantic feelings for any other woman, would he?
To do this with his childrens' mother is just plain wrong.
Seems to me that he is delusional, or that he is trying to divert any of his responsibility for the divorce.
Either way, the word for this is MANIPULATION.
Try to get it stopped, pronto.
Ladyfriend, ex and their children may benefit form a sit down with a family therapist.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 7:24PM
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This is one of many reasons why I believe that divorced parents should not date, at least until the children are grown. As long as no one else is in the picture, there IS always the possibility of reconciliation - and, except in cases of abuse, reconciliation is almost always best for the children.

Perhaps her ex-husband is genuinely remorseful about his cheating (I assume you know for a fact that he was the one who cheated), and perhaps reconciliation is possible. Certainly the children will always wonder if it would have been possible without you in the picture, and will probably always be resentful.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 10:31PM
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TOS- You have shared this veiwpoint on other threads, and I respect the fact that you have made this decision for yourself. I don't necessarily think it is the general way to advise others.

While I agree that dating with children involved is complicated, I don't think that if a single person with children meets someone with whom he/she would like to build a life with, that they should just blow it off.

(Serial dating and parading random people in and out of your childrens life is unacceptable, but this situation with pintonala doesn't sound like that).

Furthermore, I believe (and understand why) the children from a failed marriage (in many instances) have a hard time letting go of the *reconciliation fantasy*. I think that maintaining single status specifically to remain open to the "possiblity of reconciliation", could potentially be worse for the children! If the marriage is dead, if the ex's do not belong together....and one of the parties is holding out for reconciliation......the only thing that could come from it is prolonged heartache.

Lastly, our perspectives are going to differ here---reconciling with an ex who cheated would send a horrible message. Dad abandoned his vows, has been off on his merry way for (in this case) 7 years, but now he's sorry and wants the wife he disrespected and the children he didn't give any thought to while he was cheating, back. Nice message to the daughter about what is being accepted, and to the son about the manner in which you treat a lady.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 11:13PM
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This is one of many reasons why I believe that divorced parents should not date, at least until the children are grown. As long as no one else is in the picture, there IS always the possibility of reconciliation - and, except in cases of abuse, reconciliation is almost always best for the children.

I don't know where to begin.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2007 at 11:17PM
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I do not believe that there is such a thing as a "dead" marriage. I also do not believe that reconciliation with a spouse who cheated but who is remorseful sends a negative message to the children - just the opposite, in fact. Obviously the operative word here is remorseful - attempted reconciliation with someone who thought that his infidelity was ok would be a waste of time at best.

The possibility is not the only reason for not dating until the children are grown - I don't think it is generally a good idea to date even in the case of a spouse's death.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 12:01AM
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TOS- As I stated in my earlier post, I absolutely respect your decision about not dating with children. I'm sure you have lots of reasons for this. But, I stand by my opinion that *no dating* shouldn't be the advice passed to all.

I was responding to the *always the possibility of reconciliation* (specifically, reconciliation post adultery) reason, as I don't agree with THAT reason. I suppose a person more forgiving than me, could go there.

I am curious about the *not even in death* reason. I think if it's handled properly and the children are not still ine the distraught stages of grief (moving toward acceptance-I'm taking years after a death, not months or weeks), it can be done beautifully.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 7:33AM
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thanks for your thoughts. I can understand the caution about post-divorce dating. But isn't it possibly that your apparent distaste for dating may be sending the wrong message to the kids also -- about healthy and unhealthy relationships - ie about being imprisoned by the past?

I am particularly curious about your statement "I don't think it is generally a good idea to date even in the case of a spouse's death"

In some cultures, and depending on the age of older women...

so, I am wondering if your thoughts require some qualifications...ie, about how soon one starts dating, the age of the kids, etc.

thanks - Pintonala

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 8:31AM
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Perhaps the most important message one can send their children is the marriage is not disposable. Committing to marriage for life is not equivalent to being imprisoned by the past.

Children are rarely better off emotionally when their parents remarry; the virtually inevitable stress and conflict doesn't help anyone, and often the parents are too involved in developing a new relationship to devote enough emotional energy and time to their children.

I am sure there are a few cases where a spouse has died, and after a significant length of time the surviving spouse meets someone who loves and wants to adopt the children, where remarriage after death is beneficial, but I don't think that situation is very common. I have seen too many cases where the new spouse arrives and discards all traces of the late spouse out of some rather perverted sense of jealously.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 9:00AM
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Committing to an unhappy marriage for life IS equivalent to being imprisoned by the present.

Not all children are better off emotionally when their parents remarry, but it definitely works for others. My sister and I would have had very different lives had our mom stayed with BioDad or not remarried our awesome stepdad. BioDad was an alcoholic who had problems with fidelity. I don't remember very much from those days, as we were very young, but I do have some vivid memories of BioDad being very critical of mom, and just plain mean to her. If mom had stayed with him, the message she would have taught us would have been, "it's okay to be treated like dirt." No, thank you. That's not the message she would have wanted us to have, and it's certainly not the message I would want to send to my daughters. My sister and I, as well as my daughters, have benefited from having stepdads who brought love and stability into our lives.

I'm sure some children would be better off if their parents stayed together, or they didn't have steparents. But I do think it depends on the specific situation. My stepsons probably would have been better off emotionally had their parents been able to stay together. Their BioMom has so many issues herself, she just did not make a good single parent. She even said that she was too busy focusing on the next part of HER life, and going on a dating frenzy, to spend much time focusing on the boys. Her parenting skills stink even under the best circumstances, so the boys would definitely have been better with their dad there full time.

However, the caveat to that is BioMom was REALLY mean to DH. She was, and is an unhappy person (that was her excuse), and DH put up with it for 20 years, expecting that it would change. When she got sober, he thought things would get better. When she finished her masters in social work, he thought she'd find meaningful work and be happy and things would get better. When she went on Prozac, he thought things would get better. He finally realized things would never change, that she was always going to be screaming at him and criticizing him, in front of the boys, and that what they were learning was that this is acceptable treatment.

My older SS told me over spring break that he knows both of his parents are better off without each other. His mom is happier with her new husband, he is more like her, they enjoy fighing together, and SS was there once when his stepdad called his mom a 13itch. He said that was all okay, though, because that's how his mom likes to work things out. My DH, on the other hand, never even raises his voice, and if he ever called me that, that would be an indication of a serious problem in our marriage. Son also said he knows dad is happier now. It did take son several years to get to this point, maybe even to admit it to himself. My only concern is that I hope he doesn't see how his mom and stepdad interact, and think that's normal and an acceptable way to treat your partner. I think there are few self-respecting women who would put up with that treatment.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 10:02AM
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I am sorry you are going through this. I am also sorry that there isn't much you can do about her ex "brainwashing" the children. He is apparently very selfish and is only concerned with himself when he does this if he wasn't then he would realize that adult issues are not to be discussed with children and that it is too much for their shoulders. I pray that you both do not badmouth either ex in front of the children. My husband and I deal with the badmouthing from our ex's but we know that by showing the kids the high road they will respect us more.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you moving on and deserving some happiness. There is also nothing wrong with the children having more people in their lives to love them. My oldest was skeptical at first when I met my husband and she was old enough for me to talk to her about it....keep in mind I kept it at her level. Anyway, I told her that no matter what my love for my kids will not change and that at some point they will all be grown and ready to move on with their lives just as I want to move on with mine now and that I happened to find someone who loves not only me but them also and we want to spend our lives together and when they move out I will still have someone who wants to share each day with me, someone that I can grow old with. I know that my children love me and want me to be happy and I didn't understand why she was so skeptical until not too long ago when my SS told me that sometimes kids are upset when their parents divorce and find someone new because they are afraid that person won't be good to their parent either. Suddenly I realized that is probably what my daughter was feeling because she watched me in a bad relationship and didn't want that for me again. It is quite possible that despite how much your GF's kids love their dad they know that she wasn't happy with him (kids are pretty smart) and that if their own dad was capable of hurting her that maybe you are too and it is compounded by the fact they are caught in the middle because of her ex being too imformative with them.

I believe that sometimes it doesn't matter how much you say something but it is your actions that are the proof. Maybe once they trust you more (and it could take some time) and they see how much you love not only their mom but them also then the walls will come down. Hopefully the ex will realize that it is too late and grow up and in the meantime you will both have to undo the damage that he inflicts emotionally.

God Bless

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 4:04PM
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I believe when two people divorce, it is for good. People do fall out of love and people do marry not truly loving that other person. I believe that if you stay in a marriage for the children, it will eventually be very destructive. I work with a young lady (22) that says her parents drive her crazy. She told me that they hate each other and have since she was about 9 or 10. They stayed together for her and she wished they had not. Now they DO make her life miserable and that is why she never goes to visit. Anyway Pintonala, this situation will get harder, much harder. The problem here is the Bio Dad, (usually we hear the Biomom acting this way, so this is different) which is usally where the problems come from. Until he finds someone else and gets a life,and he will, sounds like he will no doubt make yours miserable. Probably him being a man and when he finds someone, he will take his focus off his ex, men seem to do that better than women. Either you love each other enough to deal with it for awhile, that is IF he dosen't poison there mind so badly there is no repair. Talk to the kids on both sides. Sit down together. IF you and she marry, you have to treat all kids the same. If one misbehaves, you cannot let them get away with it. Your "wife" will have to do this as well. You have to be on the same page. Do not let your kids disrepect her and she can't let hers disrespect you. Good luck

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 6:00PM
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If both parties are committed to doing so, you can restore any marriage, and make any marriage a happy one.

There is nothing wrong with the father telling his children he wants to restore his marriage.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 6:16PM
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There is nothing wrong with the father telling his children he wants to restore his marriage??????

Are they children or counselors,friends, etc.?????

If their father continues to tell these children that he wants their mother back but she doesn't want to then that is making them resentful and it is a form of parent alienation. How is any of that good for the children?

TOS, did you get a chance to read jenny alabama's post? Maybe some marriages can work but there are also some that just simply can't . If the case is that the marriage just is not going to work the sooner both parties realize it the better for everybody's sake. Then, they just need to concentrate on their children and continue to work at what is best for them but just in seperate households....it can work and does quite often.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 8:11PM
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I disagree that there are marriages that "simply can't" work. If both parties want their marriage to work, it will.

Even if one believes in the "parental alienation" concept (a concept invented, btw, by a man who does not think pedophilia is abnormal), telling your children that he wants to restore his marriage is NOT wrong. Lying to your children is wrong.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 8:57PM
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And the key part of your statement, TOS, is "If BOTH parties". Clearly one doesn't, in OP's case. For Bio Dad to then raise his children's expectations is in that case, cruel. Better to say nothing, which is not lying.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2007 at 11:04PM
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Your lady friend needs to talk to her ex about what he is saying to the children.

I would get an aunt, grandparent of the children in question and get them to have a little chat to the children, about what is going to happen in the future.

Perhaps nobody has spoken to them and allayed their fears for the future. Things like mum and dad will always love them, the opportunities of having new special people in their lives...you know what I mean. Talk in positive tones about what the future will have in store.

If the DAD keeps undermining the situation, I am not sure you can do much about it, just "arm" the children so they know what "good" comments are and bad ones.

All the best to you and your family, tricky situation for you.


    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 2:35AM
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To say that you wish to restore your marriage is not the same as raising their expectations. It is merely a statement of fact and of philosophical position. Obviously it would be more convincing if he had not been the one who cheated - his children could reasonably question why, if he wanted his marriage, did he not remain faithful.

As one of my children has said, lying, even by omission, is just about the worse thing a parent can do to their children.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:18AM
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I stand by the advice I offered in my original follow-up post.
I think that a sit down with a family counselor--the divorced bioparents and the two kids only-- could be very helpful. It is not unusual at all to seek out this help for the benefit of the children. A professional counselor will not allow this to turn into a "dirty laundry fest". It is entirely healthy to have all parties clearly understand the direction of the future. Ex should by all means communicate to the children in an approriate manner why he would like to reconcile and BM should have the opportunity to explain, again, appropriately, why that is no longer a viable option. Some intervention has to take place so that the children are not left figuring out he said/she said and what that means to their future.

As you have a stake in whatever their future holds (building a life with them and their mother) it would also be in your best interests to have all of this put to rest. In a blended family, you will have contact with, and -best case scenario- a parenting team with him. The sooner any latent animosity can be addressed, the better.

Bottom line, there are folks who believe reconciliation is should be(with few exceptions)a goal. That is clearly not the case here. For the mental health of the children this "fantasy" has got to be debunked.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 8:31AM
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I think sometimes adults refuse to beleive that children are hurt by divorce, and just say they have to move along.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 1:16PM
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"I think sometimes adults refuse to beleive that children are hurt by divorce, and just say they have to move along."

I don't think I have read on this thread, anyone discounting the hurt of the children. I (like most of us)have no doubt that a divorce is devastating for children.

I have heard on other threads about SC "not having a choice", etc. And it is absolutely true that children are subject to the decisions made by their parents. That is why, once divorce becomes a reality, it is up to the parents to make decisions about how to handle themselves and how to help their children.

There are positive ways to make the transition from Original family to Divorced family to Blended Family.

This OP is looking for ways to move EVERYONE along.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 2:19PM
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You're taking things slowly and that is key to the children adapting. It is totally normal for there to be resentments, especially if the SD thinks that you stand between her parents reuniting.

I personally believe that it is unaccaptable for the ex to vocalize to a CHILD that they want the other party back. It is emotionally harmful and it puts the child in the middle of an adult issue. It makes the child feel responsible to put the marriage back together, and gives the child feelings of anxiety and resentment when the marriage has already been disolved. Not to mention that it sends the unhealthy message of clinging onto something that isn't there.
I'm not sure that there is much that your partner can do about that situation. Will her ex actully listen to what she has to say and respect her feelings? If so, then she could talk to him, but don't be surprised if he keeps it up. Hopefully he'll find someone else and move on.
Best of luck to you!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 6:44PM
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Thanks very much for all your comments.

I expect this to be a bumper road. The ex apparently is unreasonable, and would not give up despite several messages that it is over. According to her, it was he who moved in with different women, and finally decided to stage a come-back when those other relationships failed.

So, I don't know how this would play out -- I will hang in there - hopefully, things will change.

thanks again - Pinto

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 9:54PM
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I am sorry to revisit this but I am concerned when kids are in adult situations. I remember as a child overhearing my parents talk about adult issues (finances, jobs, etc., and it worried me, so I can't imagine having been put in the situation of having to be the referee had my parents ever divorced. Anyway, I found this on a piece on parental alienation....it makes sense to me...and just place yourself in those poor childrens shoes.

2. Telling the child "everything" about the marital relationship or reasons for the divorce is alienating. The parent usually argues that they are "just wanting to be honest" with their children. This practice is destructive and painful for the child. The alienating parent's motive is for the child to think less of the other parent.

So it's not just me but unfortunately I have seen the devestation that this causes for children not only in my own children but through my line of work....please be careful on putting too much on the childrens shoulders. A divorce is hard on them and it doesn't help to make them knowledgeable about the "whys" and "ifs".

God Bless

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 1:23AM
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Hi, Other Side

I'm curious. Why did you exclude marriages where there is
abuse? Since you didn't even exclude marriages where one
party is dead. Don't you think some abusive spouses can be rehabilitated?

What about attempted murder? Since the spouse didn't finish the job, making their mate dead and themselves therefore not elible to date. Shouldn't that marriage be reconciled, too? I really think you are discriminating against abusive spouses here. I just don't think you can totally exclude one group.

By the way, was your marriage reconciled?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 8:07AM
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Hi, Pinto

My story is very similar to yours, and I am going to give you some very good advice.

My husband and I were both divorced, and my ex-husband
initiated our divorce, but surprisingly afterwards he was very bitter, just like your GF's ex. My husband's ex- was also very bitter, but their divorces had been over for a decade.

My husband and I felt like we finally had a chance for happiness, and we married relatively quickly after we met (about 5 months). He had 2 kids (13 & 16), and I had 2 kids (3 & 5). His son and my children lived with us.

1) Don't try to kindle a relationship with her children.
Be cordial, but don't initiate a friendship with them.
Let them come to you. Their issue is that by being friends with you, they feel that they are being disloyal to their father. Don't take them places or buy them gifts. Don't try to do things with the entire family. Wait until they start suggesting it, and eventually everyone will relax and it will happen. It may take years.

2) Don't participate in the bitterness. Learn to ignore the nasty comments that are made by the ex's. It just proves that they are jealous of your happiness. Let them
marinate in their bitterness, but enjoy your relationship with your GF.

3) Don't ever criticize their father. You can say things like "I don't know...you will have to ask your father", or
"I'm sorry that your father feels that way", or "I don't know why your father said that--your mother is a wonderful woman, as you know", or anything you want, but bite your tongue otherwise.

4) Know that a step-family is difficult to maneuver, and there are many conflicting loyalties and hidden adgendas that may not surface for a long time.

5) Set boundaries, and do not allow yourself to be a doormat. Don't get angry, just say "I wish I could, but I can't", or calmly "I am not going to allow you to speak to me that way. I will listen when you can speak to me with respect".

6) Back each other up, and don't allow disrespect for either parent or children against each other.

Who cares if the kids don't speak to each other? For that matter, don't let them spend time together, until they suggest it. Reward good behavior and punish bad behavior. Don't allow yourselves to reward bad behavior just to buy the kids' good will.

Don't try to combine the families until your children start to suggest it. It will happen when they are ready.
If you are planning on marriage in the near future, that is
a different issue, but if you are just dating now, don't plan things with the entire family.

That's it. Good luck and hope is works out.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:06AM
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I am going through the same with my kids, except I am the mom. My 12 year old daughter is very resentful towards my boyfriend and we have been together for 3 years now, so yes it is normal for kids to feel like this. My suggestion is you have to be the hero, you're the adult and she still has a lot of growing up to do. If there is arguing between the two of you it will make things that much harder on the relationship. You don't want the mom to choose, so be patient and eventually she will respect you for having stuck around while she was she was going through this.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:12AM
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Hi Southernsummer,

Thanks very much for your practical advice. I tend to agree with the idea of waiting it out until they approach you. Yes, and trying to draw them in (to get close to me), might instigate feelings of disloyalty.

So I will wait it out - it is the most prudent.

We will not start to combine families -- my GF and I discussed the imprudence in that -- the writing is on the wall: my daughter is very close to me and demands a lot of attention, and she sees my GF as competing for that attention, hence, we would not combine families now.

I am trying to avoid them spending time together -- though sometimes it is hard. What usually happens is the 3 of them (SS, my son and daughter) play nice together, often to the exclusion of the SD who is the bitterest. I don't find the atmosphere healthy, hence I avoid it as much as possible.

My GF suggested we go on Disney vacation over the summer -- it is appealing, so long as we all stay in separate hotel rooms -- but I still wonder if it is ok ( my kids do not seem ok with it, mainly because they think her kids are either cold or mean to them).

But starting next academic year, we might move closer to the same school district so we can be closer and support each other.

But yes, time and patience is the key.

Thanks again !!


    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 9:56AM
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Hi, Pinto

You have made a very good point,about one set of kids being okay with togetherness, and the others not so much.

We have eventually evolved to going on all family vacations with my kids and without his. His kids have always avoided spending time with us, and surprisingly, when we don't include them they are much more inclined to become involved.

It's okay to take 3 kids, and let SD stay with her dad, if that's more peaceful. It's her choice, but if she comes, she has to be respectful.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:24AM
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Thats the case -- very often SD_to_be avoids playing with the rest - she stays in her room. For example, we plan a long distance trip next weekend. According to the mother, she has already indicated her unwillingness to come along..so it is very likely that she will stay home with an Aunt -- her father lives in a separate city -- at least, that is better than coming along and making everyone unhappy.

How did your husband feel about spending family vacations alone without the rest of the gang? Did you have any kids together? If you were to do this all over again, how would you approach it differently?

Thanks - Pintonala

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 10:34AM
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Hi, again

My family (meaning my parents, my sister, BIL, brother, myself, and all our kids) have been vacationing together in one big house at the beach long before I met my husband.
The first time, after we married, he insisted that his kids come along, even though they said that they didn't want to.
It was a disaster, because the usually peaceful week, turned into constant conflict.

After that, my husband did not invite them back.

Actually, we took one trip a couple of weeks after we married, with all the kids. We went skiing in Utah, and it was the same thing.

My husband doesn't even mention taking them along, because they spoil the trip for everyone.

We have no children together.

If we did this all over again, I would not have tried as hard to shape everyone into a family. It didn't work. Also, I would not have tried to form a cordial relationship with his ex-wife, because that didn't work, either.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 1:46PM
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I assume you are being facetious. Yes, I believe some abusive marriages can be reconciled, but obviously it is risky and you have to be extremely careful. I stated that I didn't believe dating was generally a good idea no matter why the marriage ended - divorce (whether abuse was involved or not) or death. I don't know what you mean by your statement that I excluded abusive marriages but not marriages that ended in death. Excluded from what - reconciliation or dating? It's a little difficult to restore a marriage where one spouse is dead.

No, my marriage was not restored, unfortunately.

If you wish to reconcile yet hide that from the children, they will grow up thinking you are ok with divorce. It is very wrong to allow your children to think you find divorce acceptable if that is not the case. If you thought abortion, or eating meat, or war, or using drugs, or any number of controversial activities were unacceptable, would you hide that belief from your children? It is the responsibility of parents to provide a moral foundation for their children.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 5:39PM
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TOS ...I understand where you are coming from with the whole dating issue. I am guessing you are referring to kids growing up with a lot of "uncles" aka mom's boyfriends.

But if people are looking to or posting on this forum. They are way past reconciliation.

Would you take your hubby back now?
Would it be best for the children?
And if your husband beat you and cheated on you why would you want him back?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:19PM
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If my husband were remorseful, I might take him back, even after all these years. There is absolutely no question that it would be best for my children who are still at home. If I'd had a husband who beat me, then I might feel differently, but that was not the case.

I don't agree that everyone posting on this forum is way past reconciliation, if there even is such a thing. I have read posts from people who are separated but not divorced, or who are dating separated people, or recently divorced people, or who complain that the person whom they are dating is too involved with his ex. Clearly none of those people are way past reconciliation.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2007 at 11:44PM
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Pinto...I can understand where southernsummer is coming from on the issue of vacations and whether or not to invite all of the children to come along. If the kids decide they don't want to come, or if when they are invited and do come they cause constant conflict, I can see how it would be reasonable for them to stay at home or with the other parent...BUT, I will tell you, as a child of divorce...I am hurt by the fact that my Dad never took family vacations with us when my parents were married, but has taken several vacations with his wife and her son and even some with her son and her son's girlfriend, and my brother and I have NEVER been asked or included in any of them. I hope that you would at least invite her children to join you, and if they decide that they don't want to be a part of things, let that be their decision. Don't make it yours. Just be as loving and as patient as possible. It's obvious that these children are confused and are being emotionally pulled in the wrong direction by their father. Good luck to all of you.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 1:05AM
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Hi, Raek

Your post is comforting to me, because I always feel that
the reason that my step-kids never accepted me is that I
tried too hard to include them in the beginning. We even took 2 honeymoons--a 4 day honeymoon without kids, and then a 4 day "honeymoon" ski trip with all the kids. No act of kindness ever went unpunished, over a period of years. Disengaging has been the only way to keep my sanity and cause some slight improvement in the situation. My kids are so different, and my husband is good to them, but he never has tried to be involved with them the way I tried to be involved with my step-kids. I know that this is not going to change, but it is a great sadness in my life.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2007 at 9:22AM
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