I really need some ideas, Very Manipulative SD's

shannon2356June 9, 2009

Hello, I am very new here but I need some ideas please. DH and I have been together for 5 years, and married for 2. In the past 5 years, I feel that I have tried very hard with my two SD's. Their BM is a very very manipulative woman, she has tried to continue to manipulate DH but he is doing well and for the most part, he does not play into her games anymore. I have two daughters who live with us, they are 18 and 12. SD's are 18 and 16. 16 y/o SD came to live with us for a few months last year but when we started to ask about homework and grades and DH tried to "parent" her, she went back to BM. For the most part, we do get along "ok" with this SD, she is still manipulative but she is not as good at it as her older sister and her mother!! We usually see her every 2 weeks or so for dinner or a weekend overnight. BM had DH arrested several times when they were first separating/divorcing because she kicked him out and then was very angry that he wouldn't come back when she told him to come home. SHe is pretty much a narcissist, and the two SD's are very close to her and share her personality. They are not like my DH at all, he has even joked about their possible paternity! Anyways, SD who is 18, we have not seen since Christmas. Because of BM's actions, DH did not like to call them to make plans, he has me text, email and call them to make plans for dinners or weekends etc. CHristmas was a nightmare, because every plan we tried to make with SD's was not good for them. It was very difficult, it is like SD's make it difficult on purpose to the point of us feeling like throwing our hands in the air and saying "Why are we bothering>:?" It is like they do it to manipulate us to do what THEY want to. I have many examples of their behavior, too many to list here, and BM even said to me once "the kids and I have manipulated THAT MAN -meaning DH- for years!!" I felt physically ill when she said that to me....but I kept trying to be good to my SD's and do nice things for them, include them, take them on vacation with us, etc..

Ok, so here is the problem. I have tried, I swear, to the best of my abilities, with my SD's and I have put up with Cr@p from SD's for years. I am tired. I came from an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage, and DH and I are very very very happy to have each other, we are very loving and close and I thought, shared everything. As you can see, he was used and manipulated in his marriage too. I have told DH nicely that if he wants to have a relationship with SD's then he should but that I no longer wish to go to dinner or to any functions with them. They exhaust me, they make me feel terrible about myself and I can't take it any longer. We have tried for YEARS to go out together with my two daughters and with his two, but it just doesn't work anymore. It is misery. How can I convince him to just take them out himself and leave me out of it, that it will be better all around? I feel bad, but I just don't want to do it anymore . When we are together, it is weird, he doesnt even talk to them, I do all the talking. He doesnt know how to parent them really, and now he has been calling them regularly because their BM has left messages for him that he "is never there for the children". I guess on some points, she still knows what buttons to push and she can still guilt him into giving them what they want. This is why I say above that I "thought" that we shared everything, because I was not aware that he was calling them and they were calling him. Apparently, they quite often ask him for money but he says that he tells them no. I feel very upset that I have been instructed to "make the plans" with them, and yet he has been talking to them the same day or week or whatever. He says that he tells them to call me so that I can make the plans because he tells them that he has a partner and we make decisions together. I think he wants me to keep going out with SD's and him because he feels I am a "buffer" and I keep the conversation going. Also, the SD's remind him of his ex in personality, and they have gotten into some great "fights" over the years with him so I guess when I go out with them, I am like his "protector", because they would not be nasty to him in front of me. Can anyone give me some ideas here, I told him that I thought it would be great if he took them to our cottage for Father's day weekend but he is refusing.

Ideas please, this is killing me...:(

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Step away from the train wreck...slowly...you don't want to startle the animals...

Talk about manipulation. I'd say your DH is pretty good at it too.

Be busy the next time something comes up. When he asks you to call them and make plans, be busy. Sorry honey, I'm washing my hair, why don't you just give them a ring-a-ding-ding yourself. Oh, sorry, Friday I'm going to ___________ with _________. Maybe next time.

He's a big boy. I don't think you need to be telling him options of what to do for Father's day. The girls are old enough to plan something for him. Or not. He's not your father, right? Put it in perspective, remember your role, and don't become the buffer. It's gonna wear you down.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 3:26PM
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Thanks Silversword, I just need some backup so badly, and some advice, I really really appreciate it!! I guess I always thought that as they got older it would get better, but it's not. We do so much for them, and they apparently tell him that it's not enough. We help them with extra stuff financially, all their school trips, I used to drive them everywhere because their BM had no car because she lost it because she didn't pay her lawyer bills. He then feels guilty because they are manipulating him and he wants to do more and I dont want to be mean, but I can't do more, I just can't. Not if I want to remain sane, anyways...I feel so stupid that I did not know that he was calling them, so dumb. When we got married (they don't even know that we are married, how sad is that), and even before that, we both said to each other, "WE come first,not to be mean to the kids, but because the kids can be so manipulative, so WE have to come first or we will never make it". And you're right, he is being manipulative to me too by not telling me and by not wanting to see them alone. I just felt I need some backup because I hate feeling "mean" that I am not wanting to "participate" any longer. Even our (my) two girls do not like them, they are so hard to get along with, and when DH is with them, he changes. He gets upset easily, he is not relaxed, he is stressed out and it is not fun to be around.

PS:I love the "I'm washing my hair" excuse, that is so cute!

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 4:01PM
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"(they don't even know that we are married, how sad is that), "

W H A T!?
Why in the world are you tolerating that? So he delegates maintaining a relationship with his daughters to YOU? (But doesn't talk to them when they're there.) And tells you that it's because you are partners? (But hasn't told them you're his wife?)

"I came from an emotionally and verbally abusive marriage"

I'm sorry -- but you haven't come far enough. You're being manipulated and used in THIS marriage too.

Let Daddy manage his own relationship with his little darlings. He can make the phone calls and juggle their petty preferences. He can have his own conversations with his own children -- or let there be silence. I've got a suggestion for something to talk about -- How it is that he got married and neglected to tell them...

    Bookmark   June 9, 2009 at 6:14PM
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THanks for your input to my post. DH has not told SD's we are married because he is basically afraid of them. Of the two SD's, the older one is very much like her Mom and once when he came to younger SDs basketball game, (to which he had been invited), the older one wanted to have him ARRESTED, just like her mommy did. SD said he had "no right to be there", and started screaming and yelling in public, so we just quietly left. These kids are so messed up, and we both tell them very very little about our lives because of how alienated they are. I made it sound like it was just HIS fault that they don't know that we are married, but it is also my doing. We didnt invite them to the wedding for many reasons (they are both not well, being number 1!!) and BM used to threaten us all the time that if and when she found out where and when we would be getting married, she wanted to come to the wedding...can you imagine her at our wedding, I am personally afraid of her because she is not well. THe thing that does get to me, and as you guys pointed out, is that I am NOT his messenger girl. At first, because BM had him arrested twice (Once we were in the attorney's office, preparing paperwork for him to pay ADDITIONAL child support without her asking, because she had the kids full time because the kids did not want to be with him part-time, which he and I understood, because they are teen girls and their "home base" was with Mom, and BM called him on his cell phone, the lawyer and me and DH and secretary of lawyer were all there, and she says to him (she didnt know where he was and that he was preparing to pay her extra child support even though she had not asked for it), anyways, she says "the cops are coming to get you, because I feel like stirring up crap, so get ready". She did this because it was labour day weekend and she KNEW that if he got picked up, that he would spend THREE days in the clink, for NO reason. Just did it because she could...He did get picked up but thank goodness the lawyer vouched for him and they let him out in an hour, after listening to his lawyer swear that DH had been right there with all of us!! Anyways, at first, that was why I would call the kids for DH or pick them up to bring them to visit us, etc..because BM is just vindictive and not well mentally and is angry and crazy-acting. BM tells us now that she thinks she is bipolar. I don't think she is bipolar, she is a narcissist for sure though. Anyways, I just wanted to sort of further explain what is going on but I do agree with you 100% that he needs to look after "his little darlings", as you put it.

I guess that I don't want to spend time with SD's anymore and I need some help validating that. I feel gulity to a certain degree and DH said to me "well I tolerate a lot from our kids . To me that is just him laying guilt on me. I can't stand to see them "use" us and be mean to him. DH does not want to spend time with SD's without me, because as Silversword put it, I am the "buffer". How do I get out of this role that I have gotten myself into, I like the "I'm busy" message, any other ideas as well...how do I explain to DH how they make me FEEL....? I think they make DH feel the same way, because he said to me "they don't like me either you know" but I can't accept the way they act, I can't "fake" it anymore, he wants me to go out with them and act all happy and hahalalala for a few hours and then we don't have to see them again for a month or so. Am I being difficult, I guess that's what I am trying to figure out. SD's are just so not NICE. I did tell DH that for Father's Day, HE should take them camping . DH just about had a heart attack and said "I am NOT doing that!" Every time we take them somewhere, one of them gets aggressive and nasty and fights and gets mad at DH, one time we were 3 hours away and he wanted to get in the car and drive them home they were so bad!! And dumbdumb me says "oh no, they'll be ok, give them a chance!!" No wonder he wants me along!! sheesh...!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:10PM
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I agree with sweeby , let hubby take care of this.
BUT heres my honest opinion...with all the details you have given, i can understand wtih good reason why he doesn't spend time with these girls. They have been brain washed and to such an extent where i personally would not go near them. Sorry its an extreme case where simply put:
1. You should be having hubby dear do his own communication. If he doesn't...step back, respect the fact that he doesn't and its on his shoulders.
2. You are being used by him to buffer himself from the abusive of ex wife and stepdaughters. Stop it. tell him you will have to stop it for you own sanity and if he doesnt want anything to do with his kids, its on his shoulders.
3. When the kids are old enough , and act like civil adults and not be unreasonable like mommy dear then maybe contact can be rekindled.
You are a rug to your husband. ANd he is a rug to his ex and 2 mentally abusive taught daughters..
From how you explain and the details you have given on this forum. This is the advice i would give you. Back off. let him handle it, stop being the whipping middle person. If he doesn't want any contact with his kids.. His loss. And in this case, save your sanity, dignity and let bm keep raising them the way she sees fit.
You keep enabling this abuse. STOP IT. You know they are aggressive and nasty, You see it, both of you have. WHy do you continue to expose yourself to such people? WHy because they are his daughters?? BULL. Take a stand both of you. If the daughters cannot act civilized and loving, then tell them the door will not open until they begin to act liek civilized human beings.
I didn't see my father for 9 years....for good reason as well!!!

    Bookmark   June 10, 2009 at 3:42PM
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