One more day and SDs now putting on pressure

ulrike1November 25, 2009

Hello everyone! Sounds like as usual, the holidays are stirring up all those good old stepdilemmas for many of you. Same here. Here it is Wednesday and I don't think my DH has yet settled in to the idea of not spending Thanksgiving with SDs. To make it worse, they themselves have each called to encourage him to come to BM's house (well, to encourage both of us, and I think they are sincere in including me in the invite, but BM not so much).

A couple of days ago I thought it was settled. I arranged for us to go to the shore for two nights, staying in a cottage we have access to through family. I already gave our turkey to the food bank. But DH is still making some noise about "well, the girls really want us there," etc. Even though when I ask if he WANTS to go, his answer is a resounding "no."

According to my calculations and information about the girls' plans, by going to the cottage we will miss about two hours with them. They are supposed to be at our place all day Saturday and Sunday. Am I a wicked stepmother in this matter? I need a reality check. It's true that if my biokids weren't out of the country, I would certainly be staying in town and cooking a big meal.

I don't want to be manipulative with DH, but I think I am going to e-mail him and tell him that if he wants to spend the day with BM, I will not stand in the way. And maybe I will go to the cottage by myself! But I do want him to feel free and open to express his regret about the girls standing us up for the holiday, and his sadness about not being with them...except, the reason he isn't going to be with them is me, or so it feels, no matter what he says.

This is so frustrating because DH totally and comfortably agreed a few days ago that to go to BM's would represent a big step backwards in our efforts to separate out from her more.

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sounds like hubs is inviting you to take responsibility for him not seeing his daughters.

Smile pleasantly & tell him that whatever he decides is perfectly fine with you.

I my own self tell him he could find me at the cottage.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 1:20PM
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well I guess compare to this my SO's situation is not as horrible as yours. At least SO would want to stay home not go to my aunts, your DH wants to actually spend thanksgiving with his ex. LOL I guess everything is relative.

I don't know what is worse. i think spending holidays wiht ex (rather than wiht his own wife) is worse. I don't suggest you divorce over this, but it sounds like a wake up call to me. he is very inappropriate.

If he feels you are the reason he cannot see his kids, then tell him to go to his ex and also ask him why did he get divorced if he wants to spend holidays wiht ex and canot be without his kids.

would he consider to marry her again so they can be always together?

. Now what girls want is not important here. My DD LOVES when mom and dad are in same place at the same time. yet she never asks us for that. If it happens, she is happy. Girls sound like they still live in a fantazy world, 14 years later? They sound immature. Grown people don't inist divorced parents celebrate holidays together (even if they wish it was the case).

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 2:01PM
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Thanks for your insight--I think you are spot on! I'm pretty sure DH would rather slide down a cheese grater than spend a day at BM's house, but it's got to be sad for him to turn down the girls. I can empathize with him, because I feel it too--"spend time with us, Dad and Ulrike!" "No, we don't want to because we don't like your mom." Ouch.

I wish we were more comfortable being open with the girls about BM. If only we could say "We are so sorry we aren't saying yes to your invitation, but we don't want to spend the day with your mom, and with her there, we won't have a clear emotional channel with you guys anyway, so it's almost like we aren't there."

I think tonight before we leave, I will encourage DH to express how he is feeling about it--hopefully a sympathetic ear and a major hug will help him process his feelings and then we can have a good time at the shore.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 6:09PM
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Finedreams, I never said DH would WANT to spend the day with BM--far from it! And he would never in a million years go without me. (Which, having said that, I realize that in offering to have him go by himself, I am guilt tripping him, as if I am suggesting that he would go. I need to apologize to him for that.)

You said what the girls want is not important. To us it is, but ever since we've been married, there has been this tug of war, if you will, about how much we should all be a "big happy family," both houses together. They would love us to do lots of stuff with BM. And I do mean us--they have wanted me included since pretty early on. I know that is not the norm, but for some reason, my SDs have always wanted BM and me to be friends, and are always tickled when she and I chat together at events, etc.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 6:42PM
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When I got home from work, DH told me that YSD called one more time. She confessed that she wished we would come for Thanksgiving because BM and grandpa will behave better if we are there! YSD said BM and grandpa are laying it on heavy about SDs' religious choices and they know she will back off if he is there.

Those poor girls! But I think I handled it well. I told DH to suggest that they invite somebody--anybody--to come. To tell BM that "poor Caitlin doesn't have anywhere to go, can she come to our house?" Because if there is a guest, things should go better. But it doesn't have to be us! DH did suggest that to YSD, so hopefully she can find someone. And he said, "Honey, it is really not my place to protect you from Mom and Grandpa. Just tell them that you don't want to spoil the holiday and you want everyone to respect everyone else's belief and that is the meaning of the day."

Thumbs up, DH. He seems relieved, he thanked me for the idea (stolen from the New York Times this week, ha), and I think we will have a good couple of days just the two of us.

Thank you again for lending an ear--I'll let you know if he can actually let go of the guilt for the little vacation.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 8:15PM
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Ulrike, that's great that your SD told you what was really bothering them...!! And great idea to suggest they invite a friend...!! I really hope that you and your DH have a great time at the shore...!! (If you pack a "negligee", I bet he will forget his guilt really fast...!! ;D

    Bookmark   November 25, 2009 at 10:12PM
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