Long Time Effect of Double Standard
Something has really been bothering me the last few months, and I don't think there is anything I can actually do about it, but would love your thoughts. I know there are a number of SMs here where there is a different level of friendship between each spouse and their ex-spouse.
I have posted before that BM has always wanted a great deal of contact with my DH. At first she was adamant that the two of them attend my SDs' events together, without me. Eventually she became accustomed to me and mostly doesn't complain that I am along; there have even been events where she and I have both gone, without DH. Very civilized, though I do not enjoy it for the most part, especially the way BM periodically cozies up to my DH. She also exhibits a great need to be known as The Mother (as opposed to me). Again, whatever. My SDs and I have a relationship that is quite different from theirs with BM and I treasure it.
Here's the thing that is nagging at me. I may have mentioned before that my ex-husband and I still co-own a business. This generally doesn't necessitate us spending any time together. We also co-manage a trust for our children. We are cordial, and his new wife and I exchange pleasantries. But it's definitely businesslike. Our families do not interact. None of the good friends of DH and I know my ex. When we went to the kids' activities, we didn't sit together.
Why the difference? Looking back, it was because I didn't want to spend time with him. In the earlier years he would invite me to go with him and the kids sometimes, but I said no. And here is the hard part--I said no because it felt disloyal to my DH. Why did DH not afford me the same thoughtfulness? I think he was afraid of BM, and to be fair, she was relentless in her pursuit of them spending time together. He would have had to be harsh and rejecting. I didn't need to.
Last week my two kids and my SDs were all at our house. BM came to pick up SD, came in the house, stayed for half an hour, followed DH into the kitchen chatting with him, the usual. I glanced across the room and saw my daughter watching them, and I couldn't help but wonder if the disparity bothers her. Of how much her SSs' mother is in our life, compared to how much my ex is not.
Do you think I should talk to her about it? I wouldn't even know how to start the conversation. Were any of you also stepchildren in a similar situation?
Thank you. I am sorry this was so long.