DH's Heartache Last Night

ashley1979September 23, 2010

As you know, SD rarely returns text messages, voicemails or e-mails. Rarer still is the unsolicited text message, voicemail or e-mail from her to any one of us. So you can imagine DH's thrill when he received a text from SD last night without having sent one to her first.

It read (and I will substitute the name with "Smith" just for anonymityâÂÂs sake) "Hey dad are you getting a Smith shirt at walmart????" DH asks me "What is a Smith shirt?" I said I didn't know and proceeded to do what all intelligent people do when they don't know what something is...Google it. What came up as the first three suggestions? A high school where SD lives is called Smith High School. So then I Googled "Smith shirt walmart" and came up with the same results. I told DH that I wasn't sure so he texted her back "what's a Smith shirt, sweetheart?" She texted back "LOL what about Smith?" So he forwarded her her original text back and she never responded.

The only thing we can figure out is that she meant to send the text to her SF...her dad.

Poor DH! I could see his face just fall and I FRIGGIN HATE THAT! I HATE to see the hurt all over his face!

I didnâÂÂt do it, but I wanted to send her a text saying "way to go...as if you don't stab him in the heart all the time now you're twisting the knife...do you ever stop hurting your dad?" I repeat...I didn't send it, but I wish someone would tell her how much she is hurting him.

But it will never be me. After the blow-up with BM over the CS review, I'm reluctant to communicate AT ALL with SD. BM accused me of manipulating SD into coming here. Oh like that is such a bad thing even if I was. BUT I'M NOT! First of all, I'm hardly as manipulative as BM. The only thing she could possibly be talking about was Christmas Eve when (after she told me she didn't know when she was coming and didn't answer my text about going to the amusement park while she was here) I asked why she doesn't want to come visit her dad.

So asking questions is manipulative???? DH told her that I was trying to do something that would benefit SD whereas BM's manipulations only harm her. Good for DH for standing up to her, but I still can't win. If I didn't talk to SD ever (i.e. "she doesn't feel connected to your family") I would be accused of hating her. But because I love her and want her to visit, I'm manipulative. UGH!!!!!!!!

As I said in another thread, I wish I had the stones that BM has to lie and hurt good people and still sleep at night. Why does it seem like DH and I are the only ones who see how wrong this is??? SF and BM's family all-but encourage it! Are they brainwashed, too?

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how rude of her, OK, she called wrong person, at least come up with some apology or say something reassuring...what a rude girl, didn't even reply back???? you manipulate by asking why she is not visiting? wtf! I wonder if DH is tempted to just give up on her

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 6:07PM
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UGH. I can only imagine how that must have struck a knife through DH's heart. :(Completely rude---yet not surprising--that she didn't respond.

I think it is just appalling how this girl treats her father. I mean, I understand why---look at who's raising her---but still. At 15, she is old enough to know what's kind and what's rude, etc.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2010 at 10:44PM
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Parent - "what a rude girl, didn't even reply back????" EXACTLY my point! It's not like DH doesn't know she calls SF 'Dad'. She could've said "oops, sorry" or SOMETHING! This is one of the things I try to stress to DH is that she is just plain rude. People are so supposed to communicate to her without her being responsible for communicating back. People are expected to send gifts to her without her being expected to even acknowledge receipt of the gift. BM is breeding her narcissism into SD and using the excuse that she's a kid. Well kids can be taught manners and ettiquite.

I think he has all but given up, but he doesn't want to. It's almost like he's being forced to give up.

Love - I agree...she is old enough to know right from wrong as she would never treat BM this way. This is why it's so hard not to be mad at SD, herself. Even with BM's poisioning, she is still conscience of not sending a text or not answering a phone call.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 10:58AM
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I'm sorry. I have no words. Just wrong... wrong... wrong on so many levels.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:02AM
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Yeah...I know. Maybe we can just have no words together.

I can't help him, and everything he tries is futile. He could get papers and all that, but, honestly, what would that accomplish?

That's why I hardly even write about it anymore because everyone is out of ideas.

I feel like SD like Ima does about her SD...she's a lost girl. At least in my SD's case she has BM involved.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:27AM
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I hear you. We have not heard from SD since we declined to take out a loan with BM for her school.

No, she won't be coming for the holidays. No, she has not spent a holiday with DH since she was 1 year. DH pretends it doesn't matter but I know it does.


    Bookmark   September 24, 2010 at 11:41AM
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Silver, what do you do to not let your husband's breaking heart tick you off?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 5:29PM
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Ashley, I just hope that in a couple of years, SD grows up a little, gives her head a shake and realizes she wants a good relationship with her dad.

Teenagers, in general, are selfish and short-sighted. Fortunately, most of them grow out of it.
Right now, SD doesn't see who she's hurting or what she's losing... But I hope she realizes it before it's been so long that rebuilding will be even harder.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2010 at 7:53PM
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Ashley, I wish I had magic words for you. I play peacemaker. I remind myself that this is HIS relationship and HE is the one to get HIMSELF into this situation.

And I use a lot of mild language. "I'm sorry you feel like that" or "that must hurt" or "that surprises me" rather than what I want to say, which is "You did this to yourself, stop whining" or "why do you let this byzotch do this to you" or any other choice things...

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 11:39AM
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Hi Ashley,

What a sad story to read, I really feel for your DH. As you know we do see skids regular but the issue of rudeness is something we see a bit of as well. I sometimes feel like we are 'only FDH and Yabber' so no need to be polite. This is mainly SD14, not so much SD12.

SD14 might not answer when asked a question, even more when it's coming from me rather then FDH.

Giving us a call, just to chat? Ha! How ridiculous! Why should they have to make the effort? Isn't FDH interested enough to ring himself? Or can he not be bothered? FDH has always rung them regularly, and still does, yet they have a chip on their shoulder and question his dedication. This is the sad brainwashed truth for them. They just don't see it in a normal way. And when they are with us they need to phone BM all the time, we never interfere with it, we are never smart about it, we just let it go. But the other way around, it's a whole different story :-(

When FDH sends them a text, no need to reply. Did they receive it? Sure, they'll confirm they received it when asked later on, there's just no need to bother with a reply. No need whatsoever...

Same with anything else FDH makes an effort for. Like when we go to sports games. FDH has always paid half for all sports activities for the skids, on top of child support even though he's not required to do so. (I'm only saying because it paints a clearer picure I think, of FDH's involvement and how he doesn't deserve the bad wrap that he gets). We always go to the sports games too, yet how is it perceived? Completely different, of course. Apparently we are always difficult about the money because we don't care about their activities (Yabber wants all the money for herself!) and remember that time when we got there late and we missed the first half? That is evidence of our lack of interest in them. It doesn't matter that we made it on time to ALL other games over the years, they'll only bring up the one time we were late. And how about BM being a no-show for the medal presentation last year, stressing the kids out while she was on a bender? That is quickly forgotten. Not that we bring that up or anything, this is only from observation. No need to talk about what BM does, it will only trigger defense and that is not the point I want to make anyway...

It's all incredibly frustrating, I've said it before and I'll say it again: I admire your DH for hanging in there Ashley, I really do. And I understand your anger and frustration all too well, you guys do really well keeping it together the way you are. Hugs to you!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 12:46AM
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Ceph, I agree that a lot of it is because she's a teenager. But combine that natural selfishness of teens with BM's narcissism and expectations that everyone should have to cater to her and SD without reciprocating, and there is a real monster being formed here. It scares me to think that SD is so wrapped up in her own life and her own things that she wouldn't even go to her own brother's wedding. BM is creating a narcissist. I'd like to think she will shake off the fog one day, but at this point, I just don't know.

As far as her realizing who she's hurting and what she's losing, she'll never know because no one ever points it out to her. No one has told her that her relationship with her father is important. The focus has always been on BM and BM's world. Kids have to be taught what is acceptable or unacceptable or rude or impolite. But no one (that matters and that she'll listen to) tells her, which serves as acceptance for her actions. For example, BM and DH should've taught her years ago that it is rude to not acknowledge the receipt of a gift that is sent (as opposed to given) to her. Instead, we could mail something to her and not know for weeks if it even arrived! She doesn't write thank you cards or even send a text message saying she received the flowers, or money, or earrings, or whatever we've sent her.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:53PM
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OMG! Those are the exact things I feel like saying to him every day! I try to disengage, but he brings me back in with things like "Talked to SD today," to which my response is "Oh, well that's good." Then he looks heartbroken because I haven't asked how she is and whatnot. So, inevitably, I ask "how's she doing?" which gets me sucked in.

So, the other night, that above conversation happened. He told me she had this homecoming event and that homecoming event. So I said "Oh, sounds like BM will be having a good time!" Ha ha ha! He laughed pretty hard at that one because, one of our theories is that BM is re-living her teen years through SD (a lot of mothers do that). For instance, when we visited in April, BM (who is 41) had pink clip-in hair extensions. It was the silliest thing!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 3:05PM
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You have almost the exact same situation as us! Isn't it weird how we can be in different parts of the world, but have very similar experiences?

Thank you for the encouragement! It's so hard to overcome my tendancies to protect my husband and son and just refuse to be involved with SD at all. But I know that will only make things harder for DH, as he would feel torn.

I think you and your FDH are doing a great job, as well. I just don't know how else to do it!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 3:10PM
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I personally think you're doing the right thing by disengaging yourself from the situation a little.

Obviously your situation is different, but I know I didn't call or text or really talk to my dad for a good long while BECAUSE of the fact that anytime I said ANYTHING my step mom or step siblings had to have something to add. Well, that's nice and all, but I'm calling to talk to MY DAD...and she and I have never had a great relationship. On top of that, my dad never tried to listen to me when I tried explaining how I felt about that particular situation (example - I was seeing my dad for the one visit I pretty much have per year, and when I gave him a hug, my step brother HAD to hug him right then too...though he lives with MY father 24-7).

So, I disengaged from my dad. I stopped calling, texting, emailing, etc. It hurt me and I'm sure it hurt him. Now that I'm in college and grown up and made it clear that I'm not putting up with that, we talk ever couple weeks. Sure, things are still strained, but thats because of a whole host of other problems, but it's getting better.

My point is, I think things will get better as she ages, and I think it's wise of you to disengage. I'm sure you're a much better SM than mine is (I was 13 years old and I'm Jewish, so I had a Bat Mitzvah. I didn't thank my step mom is my speech (what did she help me with?! Nothing!) and she sulked throughout my whole party, and made my father yell at me in front of my friends and family in the hotel the next day about it. Psycho), but I think by taking a step back, so that when SD wises up and starts trying to build a relationship, it'll be with her father first and foremost.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 6:44PM
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"I know I didn't call or text or really talk to my dad for a good long while BECAUSE of the fact that anytime I said ANYTHING my step mom...had to have something to add. Well, that's nice and all, but I'm calling to talk to MY DAD...and she and I have never had a great relationship. On top of that, my dad never tried to listen to me when I tried explaining how I felt about that particular situation...So, I disengaged from my dad. I stopped calling, texting, emailing, etc. It hurt me and I'm sure it hurt him. Now that I'm...grown up and made it clear that I'm not putting up with that, we talk ever couple weeks. Sure, things are still strained, but thats because of a whole host of other problems, but it's getting better."


You could have been typing that from my keyboard. Pretty much the exact same story on my side. The best part is that now, over 12 years later, he's starting to come around. Sheesh.

And my dad had a couple of girlfriends before his current wife. One of them, we used to joke and say we hated each other, and it was true, but she had her space and I had mine and actually I respected her a lot for it. She'll always be my favorite because she was honest. She didn't want a kid, I didn't want a SM.

As long as you keep your cool, you'll be a lot better off. as the SD I didn't and it made me look bad to my dad. And as the SM, she didn't and it made her look bad....

Bad all around.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:45PM
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Thanks for your reply Ashley, it helps to know that there's people out there who understand, even though our situation is not exactly the same. We might see the skids more, but BM's influence is still very very strong so we have a similar outcome.

And just this week there's another great example of it. The skids were supposed to come to our place for a week because it's holidays. They might be coming from Fri.night to Sat.night, but this is not even sure. The reason? Because it's holidays they want to spend more time with family. You can imagine how FDH felt when they said that :-(

SD14 often writes on her facebook page that family is most important, but I doubt she'd think of us when writing that. It's just so important for BM to prove the point that we don't really count. For example birthdays. When it's the kids birthdays she'll make sure we don't see them on the day. She used to make skids believe that FDH didn't care or make an effort (while turning FDH's request to see them down), but now that they are older she can't do that anymore. So now she keeps them busy and because family is most important, especially on a day like that...you guessed it already.

FDH's birthday is not a day we get to see them either, even though this is not an important 'family' day on her end, she'll still keep them busy. She's clever in how she does it because she doesn't deny the kids access to FDH. When they ask if they can come here for dinner on FDH's birthday she'll say "of course you can honey". Then she'll organise something and give the skids the choice, making a point of it that they should feel free to choose and not pressured by FDH. They always choose her option, no need to say. And not just that; by always telling them that FDH shouldn't pressure them, they start to perceive that FDH pressures them, even when he's not. It's programming, that's all that is.

Another example when my family visits (from other side of the world, maybe once every 2 years) BM will keep the skids away from us, also normal visits are cancelled. That is when she plans 'family' time and family is more important. And you know what? I agree that my family is not so important to the skids. They have only met them a couple of times, they don't have a bond as such, they hardly know each other. My parents send birthday cards, that is it. And that is ok. FDH and I are not married yet either, they are not family to them. No problem. But, what's the harm in the kids meeting them when they visit? Why can't we have normal visitation? We do not ask for extra time or changes, only to see them as per normal would be nice! I kid you not, when my family last visited they saw the skids for 2 hrs...

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 12:44AM
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Yabber, I have no words. It sucks!

BM does the same thing every time SD so much as THINKS about spending time with us or calling.

BM said something very interesting to DH when they had their last arguement: "I know SD loves you because she told me." UMMMMMMM...OK? Why WOULDN'T she love her father? And why would SD feel the need to tell BM that she loves her father? Maybe someone is suggesting or has suggested that she doesn't love him? Hmmmm....weird, wouldn't you say?

Also, she does the same thing as your BM in regards to the 'family' thing. SD's sister is family, but not SD's brother, even though they are both half-siblings. Thus the reason she didn't go to his wedding.

BM has convinced SD that DH's family isn't her family. In SD's mind, she only has 1 grandma. Nevermind DH's mother and even my mother (who has known SD for over half her life now). So if DH's family isn't really her family, and DH isn't really her dad (see above text message mistakenly sent to DH which should've been sent to SF), then my family (who gives sends her gifts for every holiday and birthday since DH and I have been together) REALLY isn't family.

Another thing that cracks me up is she paints DH as unstable to SD because he has 2 kids by 2 different mothers. But what she fails to realize is that BM has 2 kids by 2 different fathers. So what's the difference? I'll tell you...

BM's programming is working and even accomplished; logic and reality lose out every time.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 3:24PM
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smashley - I totally see your point and definitely appreciate your point-of-view.

I brought it up to DH and asked if he thought I have ever inserted myself into their relationship like you said your SM did above. he said he didn't think so and if I did it was because I truly wanted to be a part of their lives.

I, personally, can't think of a time where I pushed myself of SD. But DH said something very intuitive. He said "Perception is reality, but sometimes perception is what someone is told is reality as opposed to what reality is." And after he explained, I totally get his point. If SD is TOLD I am doing those things for her because I'm pushing myself on her or getting between her and DH, she will believe that is reality .

For instance, our stop to pick her up to go to the wedding. I didn't want to go, and even begged DH to let me drop him and DS off so I could go to teh mall, but DH told me I should go because it would look bad if I didn't. So I went. I didn't hardly say a word and even sat outside most of the time. But BM could've spun it to be that I just can't leave DH's side for a minute and I have to be involved in everything. SD's reality is going to be what BM says it is.

Just like me supposedly manipulating SD by asking why she doesn't want to see her dad. I wasn't manipulating. I was asking a question to which I expected an answer. If I was "being" anything it was direct. But BM told SD I was manipulating her. Even if I was manipulating her, oh what a terrible person I am for manipulating my SD into seeing her own father! Send me to prision!!!!!

But, I will definitely take your advice and be aware of situations where that could be a problem. Unfortunately, any contact I have or don't have with SD can be spun that way.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 3:41PM
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" SD's sister is family, but not SD's brother, even though they are both half-siblings."

Funny how that works, isn't it? SS is still not supposed to refer to me as his "step-mom" because he already has a mother - yet he's been told repeatedly that BM's BF, whom SS had met all of four or five times before he went back to prison, is going to be his "step-dad", and he is already supposed to refer to BF's mother as "Grandma" because she is going to be his (step) grandmother.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 3:44PM
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Poor SS! Be glad he doesn't live with her full-time!

It is so weird how SD could just forget her connection to DH, his family and my family.

It's pretty much the same thing with DH's son. He is his mother's only child and she couldn't have any kids with SF. She made DH's son her whole world, and DH was "never involved" or DH "abandoned" him. Neither was the case. Even when he wasn't seeing his son, he was still calling regularly, sending money, sending bday cards, and even gave him a car when he graduated high school. Although DH's son's mom is so much better (she introduced me as his SM and talked to me so I felt more comfortable), it was still an underlying thing that he was HER son more than DH's. I could also tell that she didn't really want to admit that DH's son has a sister. If SD was ever brought up, the look on her face would change.

I all fairness, the only one that has ever pushed the connection between SD and DH's son is the one person that has the least influence on them: DH. Neither mother has ever acknowledged the existence of the other sibling except in casual talk. I didn't hit home to DH's son that she is his ACTUAL sister until the wedding when she wasn't there.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 4:07PM
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ashley, with all due respect I don't think it is up to their mothers to promote or encourage their children's relationships with other DH's kids. I think since they both are DH's children, it is up to him.

It is wrong for them to not acknowledge , but they can't really facilitate that relationship. DD has 2 brothers and her relationship with them is/was entirely promoted by her father. I have no influence at all, I could only ask "how are they doing". If my ex was not facilitating anything, i wouldn't be able to do anything about it. I really don't see how is it moms job at all. If ex chose not to bring DD around his younger children or not bring them around her, there would be no relationship. I have no such power, they are not my children.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 8:32PM
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Parent-of-one I don't think Ashley meant it that literally. My skids have a little brother and sister that have nothing to do with us (BM's babies), yet it's important that we show an interest in them. After all they are an important part of the skids lives.

It's more about the attitude that the parent has towards the other half-brothers and sisters, not about organising contact between them.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2010 at 10:42PM
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You are completely right, PO1. It's DH's responsibility to facilitate a relationship between his kids. And he has tried as much as he has been able.

But, Yabber, said exactly my point, that I wasn't articulating well enough. Both BMs have put the kids' focus so much on them and their families that they dont even acknowledge the existence or familial relationship of the other kid.

PO1, at least you don't deny your DD her siblings' existance at your home. Both BMs have. Your DD can talk about her siblings with you and that's no problem. You can even ask your DD how her siblings are. Neither of DH's kids could do that with their BMs and wouldn't even think to do it as it was implied that the other one existed only when they were with DH.

Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 1:07PM
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well I understand what you are saying, but that's different.

i certainly always ask DD about them, and always ask my ex how his kids are doing. Of course I can't deny it because they are part of each other lives, if DD emails me their pics how could i pretend they don't exist and why would I.

But your SD and SS are not parts of each other lives. DD visits her father, and sees her siblings, one brother lives with ex and his wife and the other is on joint custody-my ex has 3 kids from 3 women-ouch. Kids see each other so it is hard not to ignore and not ask especially if DD calls and says I am playing with my brother now. Of course it is hard to not acknowledge.

But your SD does not see SS and possibly does not even know him, they are not in each other lives, so i don't see how moms would ask for anything? It wouldn't make any sense for Sd's mom to ask how her brother is doing because how does SD know?

I see your point but I guess if DD had a brother that she never saw or never talked to, i would not ask anything either.

maybe when your SD is grown she will be developing her own relationship with her dad and brother. DD lives on her own and sees whoever she wants. So hopefully SD grows up and sees dad and siblings on her own.

yabber, your SKs see their siblings every day, they live together, so of course you ask how they are doing.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2010 at 8:07PM
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