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Adult Steps Drama

Posted by Catnipped (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 8, 12 at 21:29

I am married to a man with four children.I have one child(all grown).

From the very first meeting with my husband's children I have been interrogated about who "gets"what when we die.They have expressed wanting items that "mean something"to them.I fully understand and have made it clear the items would be handed over to them if I should survive my husband, gladly.I understand the desire to have things to remember a parent ,grandparent or their parents marriage by.

I have even suggested to my husband, maybe later as we get older, some of those things he should start giving to them while he is still here.If he wishes to do so.

I am aware of conversations(pieces of them )my husband has had with his kids privately.Some of them concerning me in the future.Now,if it concerns him and his children and has no effect on me,fine.But if it concerns me or effects me I expect to be told about it.More to it, but too long for now.It's been a problem and my level of trust in my husband has reduced.

The second issue is the very first visit with these grown children I was told of some very personal situations I did not want or need to know about.I was also asked not to tell my husband,keep secrets and essentially lie.

So,until recently, I kept it under my hat while I would hear about conversations had where husband's children flat out lied to him about the personal situations.He bought it hook,line and sinker.

Finally,my husband started to suspect his ex wife's partner was the reason for certain ...activities..of one of his children.The adult children do not like their Mothers partner or me for that matter.They have said negative things about the Mothers partner.Petty things.

I blew up and let loose all that I knew after three years of silence.The fact they asked me to keep quite about it and making it clear some lies had been and continued to be told.That he was blaming someone for situations this other person had nothing to do with.

Since,my DH has not once said he felt bad they put me in the situation to begin with upon just meeting them.

He will not acknowledge the behavior displayed toward me when I have been in their presence.He will tell me I misunderstood,etc.They asked me to lie...to him.I also wonder if my DH even believes what I've told him.He acts like it never happened.No,ah ha moment.

He also says they aren't worried about his estate when it is obvious they are.He says they never bring it up but yet slips with pieces of conversation about it now and then.

I have helped and co own some of that estate but am willing to be fair to all involved.However,I personally am out to make sure DH and I are protected and when we are both gone the children involved can receive each parents share of the estate.

The personal items of course will be handed over immediately at the appropriate time.That is even an issue with DH it seems.I'm sorry but this is our home and I expect us both to use it until we no longer need it.My child has never brought up issues like this with me.It is all coming from him and his kids.

I know they are his children but the blinders he has on causes some real problems in our marriage.It's like they can say,do,cause drama,whatever but if I make a little blunder(I did get a bit bitey last visit which is a story of its own) I hear about it repeatedly.

They have also caused drama before upon the death of another family member to the point it caused argument and finger pointing at people who had no idea they were being complained about behind their back.

Another family situation has come up recently and they are again voicing complaint and I have tried to reason with my DH if he allows this drama again his children will start to be seen as people who cause problems and please keep their complaints to himself to avoid another round of fights.

Especially any problems brought to our door over it and that is a very high possibility.If not for that fact I would say nothing at all about it.

These are grown adults,not babies or teenagers.I try to avoid it,stay out of it unless I see the potential for problems for DH and I.

How do you handle a man who refuses to see let alone step up and try to smooth out these issues?How do you handle it when you are blamed for children who started problems from the word go and it's twisted around to target you?

Or your DH insinuates you are a liar because he says he can't see his kids doing something like that?He didn't see it or hear it therefore doubts it happened.

Or adults who ask you to lie for them?My DH wants me to accompany him to visit them also.I do not want to and he continues to try to talk me into going.I see no point as they will just resent me being there anyway.

I am trying to disengage but it is difficult when he believes I should continue to try to get to know these people with no understanding of why I really have lost interest in doing so.

Sorry so long or if it's hard to understand,lol.My head is kind of spinning from it because all these issues have kind of come to a head between my DH and I recently.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Catnip, simply put up your hand and stop their rattling. "Excuse me, but I do not intend to sit here and listen to this. If you have something you feel you need to talk to your father about, please do so. If your desire is merely to gossip and spread rumors, please leave me out of it" ect ect ect. Whatever needs to be put in that little statement, do it.

I actually believe that a bio-parent that is truly close to his/her children, do not misunderstand them nor is the parent oblivious to the actions of the children...more that the parent choses to be in denial (for whatever personal reason he/her has). One of the biggest differences in 'calling out' an adult child's faults into the open is the parent loves and has a long term bond with the person whereas you don't. You see and hear them in a different light than the parent does and/or you can't as easily dismiss their words and actions.

My motther's SO's daughter was and continues to be one of the most greediest and nastiest woman I have ever known. Her father knew it too. He loved her, warts and all...but he never ever under estimated her. He did not want to spend his every waking hour dishing on her or trying to 'fix' her, but he was well aware. Mom's SO has passed now, a year ago, we're almost done having to deal with her,m but she not only spent 22 yrs trying to make my mother's life h*ll, she has made the entire process of the gentleman's estate/probate a living h*ll. Not that it is going to do her any good, but she's certainly going out huffing and puffing and racking up lawyer fees the estate is having to absorb.

Mom's SO knew his daughter would do this. He was well prepared for it and laid out exactly in great detail his desires and wants in his will. It's one of the reasons this daughter has been so deterimed to be a witch during the probate and settlement. He knew his daughter, he knew her faults, he knew she would not honor his wishes and would take everything and cheat his desired other heirs. It's why he named my mother and my sister as exc. of will. He knew if he wanted his other children and grandchildren to be treated fairly and recieve what had been his wishes that his daughter could not be the one to do it. She had no idea until the end, and yes, she was livid when she found out she was not in charge/control. I can't begin to tell you the legal fees this daughter has ran up that now the other heirs will be getting much less than intended. The daughter is all 'me me me' and she quite frankly would rather they all get nothing (including her) than have to share and abide the gentleman's wishes. It's just her personality. She'll cut off her nose to spite her face.

My mother naturally gets nothing out of his estate nor for closing his estate other than normal exc. fees (they never married, she has her own money, house and property, both real and personal)which is exactly what Mom and her SO planned (totally separate estates and heirs, never meant to be inter-tangled). In this desire, legal steps were taken long ago to assure the two would have no problems no matter which passed first.

What your husband needs to do is clearly and legally draw up his will. Then he needs to refuse to discuss it other than "dont worry about after I die, I have taken care of my own legal issues". You also need to be sure your own personal and real property is protected and anything you owned prior to marriage ect goes to your chosen heir (your child or whatever).

As far as the putting you in the middle and all the lying and drama, again, put up the hand. You have no desire to bicker and/or listen to their rumblings.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Thanks for the follow up Justme.

Putting up my hand and stating I don't want to hear it is good idea.That is my plan if it happens again.I said nothing before because I was just shocked and at a loss for words.I couldn't believe they'd talk about such personal issues upon just meeting them.

I knew it would be tense,awkward but I was caught off guard.The estate issues thrown up right away gave me a sense of fear of what is to come.I plan very soon to take care of my own estate and hope my DH does as well.For me it's the fear of trouble when there doesn't have to be.

They are probably fearing I will give them problems but I have no plans to do that.There is no childhood home to be hurt over some new lady tampering with it. His other items are for him to decide.I don't want them.It almost seems they are pulling issues out of the air because they are angry DH remarried.

I would understand the confrontation more if the above were the case.

The bulk of our estate has been obtained in the marriage and I have contributed quite a bit.There is no gold mine awaiting them.But I can't control their feelings or fix their issues.I didn't cause them in any way shape or form.I can only protect my own interests.

My husband won't refuse to discuss it with them but I wish he would.We are older but we are far from deaths door.He is a big part of the problem.

***
One of the biggest differences in 'calling out' an adult child's faults into the open is the parent loves and has a long term bond with the person whereas you don't. You see and hear them in a different light than the parent does and/or you can't as easily dismiss their words and actions.
***

Yes,I agree.DH does love them and has a long standing bond with them.I'm glad he does.I know it is hard for a parent to admit their child(ren)may be behaving in ways or doing things that are not so wonderful.I've dealt with that being a parent as well.It hurts.And no,I don't have a bond with them and do see them in a different light.Thanks for the reminder of that.

I do believe my DH is in denial(for the above reason) because he started placing blame on others instead of recognizing their actions were choices made by them.
Not because of their Mothers boyfriends influence.Those choices were being made long before he came into the picture.

I won't lie,it also made me feel he doesn't want his ex but doesn't want anyone else to either.He has made many negative comments about this man because the children don't approve.

That produced the most anger because their marriage ended a very long time ago.Long before we met.The children are grown and not in any danger.It's aggravating to know their are unresolved issues and perhaps feelings after almost two decades.It's not the most secure feeling to have in a current marriage.

But it was also unfair to the boyfriend and was one step away from accusing this man of a crime...

I have some work to do for myself to just let it go.It's not worth it.

It looks like not only should I put my hand up to the adult children. I may have to put it up with the DH as well if he tries to discuss his personal conversations he has with them.They are his adult children and he should be the one dealing with them and their problems.

It feels good to get it off my chest though and I appreciate the thoughts,experiences or advice of people who have been through similar.Helps put things in perspective.

As far as the frequent DH requests for me to go to their homes and visit,I'm not ready for that yet.I believe a cooling off period is needed.

DH and his children need to resolve some of their own issues with each other and at least a little acceptance of DH's life and marriage needs to be had before I set myself up for what will most likely be an either ignore,exclude or make passive aggressive comments to Catnipped with BM in the mix.



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RE: Adult Steps Drama

And Justme..I'm sorry to hear your Mother and family are going through the difficulties with her SO's daughter.I hope it's resolved soon so your Mom and everyone else can go on with life.

Sound like your Mom's SO did everything possible to avoid what is happening now.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Ugh. I have had MANY years of this treatment from one of my adult step kids and my advice would be (since you're already married :0) Don't discuss money issues with the S-kids at all. And get your will/advanced directives in order now while you are healthy.

And keep the visits with them at a bare minimum. I had to really completely disengage for many of the same reasons. Especially since my husband is very very into being co-dependent and rescuing this adult child fom his own behavior. They kind of stoke each others fire, so to speak.

It's just sick behavior. I can't deal with it, so I refuse too. I only go on visits for special occasions/holidays and thats it. Life is MUCH better since I made these changes. This kid is in for major disappointment when we kick it as well since dh is already financally devestated to the point of him having nothing for retirement and losing his home to forclosure-but DH allowed him to get a new iphone on his aacount still pays his cell phone bill and God knows what else-which comes before my health insurance. I don't even want to know anymore. Just make sure your money is safe and seperate completely from your husbands or you will really have problems.

Good luck to you. I can relate to a lot of what you're going through.

~Cat


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Catlettuce and Catnipped - are you married to my husband? I have not spoken to 1 of my stepkids in 3 years, and very little to the other 2 stepkids. My DH believes that his kids can do no wrong. We just started marriage counselling again this last week and i THINK that maybe he is starting to see the negative behaviour that they have and that he doesnt nothing to fix. I totally feel for you, it is not easy; there have been MANY times I have thought about just packing up and leaving - Life is too short.
Good Luck.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Catnipped, Catlettuce and end-of-rope, I can relate to all three of you. my adult stepkids are the same way. I have also found out by just disconnecting from them my life is so much better. DH also thinks his kids do no wrong. I found out by just enjoying my life with DH it can be just wonderful without the DRAMA. Best of luck.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

"It looks like not only should I put my hand up to the adult children. I may have to put it up with the DH as well if he tries to discuss his personal conversations he has with them."

YES-this. That is exactly what you should do, and you will have to do it repeatedly because you are taking them out of the comfort zone by refusing to "go there"-and thus they will get your signal and know they are being inappropriate but trust me both kids and husband will try to suck you back into the drama.

It does get better though! Now they don't even try, well maybe once or twice a year but I just say, "sorry, not going there." or "You'll have to talk to your dad about that." If it doesn't directly involve me or is not just common courtesy's "Hello, How are the kids, Can I bring a dish to pass, goodbye" I do not even get into it. Ahhh sweet freedom!!

It will get easier and easier as time goes by and your marriage will get easier too. There won't always be that strain there because after awhile your husband will get that you are done with that nonsense and he will have to take care of it.

I mean even if my step does something that completely pisses off or hurts DH's feelings and he vents to me about it my only response will be "Hmm, really? Oh my, that is too bad but you should really talk to him about this not me. I'm so sorry that happened/hurt your feelings/whatever" Then drop it.

You get the idea. He hands it to me, and I gently but effectively hand it back to him. :0)

No muss, no fuss.

~Cat


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

The greed will cause many of the children to worry about what they will inherit from their parents. WE ALL DO THAT TO CERTAIN DEGREES. Don't get too hyper over the children's comments, don't get too involved with them. This way you won't get hurt.

You and your husband need to discuss or think through the following issues:

1. If he dies first then how you ALL want to deal with the assets (individually or joinly owned). what kind of assets he wants his kids to have, while still providing for you for the rest of your life. Then draw up a will with those specific items in mind. By the way, the joined properties will automatically transferred to the surviving spouse without probate.
2. If you die first .....
3. If you both die in a car accident together .....

I was a widower and am now married, so I put all of my assets and those from my late wife into a trust which will go to my own children (they don't know about this). I have arranged for my wife to receive half of our house (paid for), some of my life insurance, my retirement.

Some of the issues to think about like in the joined properties. If you both die in a car accident, and he is deemed to die before you, then those joined assets will go to your heir, bypassing his heir. Is that what you both want?


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Shakt, good advice.

I would add, if a partner is afraid of undo influcence by ex's partners, drugs, whatever, some of the kids money could be put in trust, with a neutral party (eg, someone other than stepparent) as trustee.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Yes we are seeing an attorney soon.

*The greed will cause many of the children to worry about what they will inherit from their parents. WE ALL DO THAT TO CERTAIN DEGREES. Don't get too hyper over the children's comments, don't get too involved with them. This way you won't get hurt.*

I can understand their desire for certain things.I'm not hyper(at least now ;)I was pretty upset initially and upset over DH's attitude and venom spewed)I'm tired of stress caused due to the comments and the strong reactions of guilt my DH has bc he left their Mom almost two decades ago long before I entered the scene.DH is the real problem.

I wish he'd seek counseling for that and yes I realize divorce hurts children too but these are issues they all should seek to resolve together or separately.So,I do distance myself and protect myself emotionally.I can't fix them.

*Some of the issues to think about like in the joined properties. If you both die in a car accident, and he is deemed to die before you, then those joined assets will go to your heir, bypassing his heir. Is that what you both want?*

No,I want everything to be fair to all parties involved(he may be fine with my heir bypassed as he has stated it's my responsibility to provide for my child but expects me to go the extra mile for his children.He has made some suspect comments.Such as ,it's not his responsibility to even see to it my child receives personal effects like photo's,etc. He expects the door flung open for his children to retrieve his personal items though.I am curious to see what attitude he will display in the attorney's office).

I have given much thought to it.DH has given me much grief over it.ALL his comment are toward what he wants for HIS children.Not one word of concern for mine or even me really.He wants to be viewed as hero Daddy to make up for his mistakes although his ex wife made some too.I'm putting a hole in his cape and trying to pull him back toward earth,clear the clouds from his mind,so he can perhaps be capable of reason and fair mindedness toward his entire family.

My spouse and I protected first as far as our home is my concern(homestead rights-our home will be probated in our state bc we have no biological children together only separately.I will look into the dying together scenario,thank you for bringing that to mind).

Then distributed fairly to all children involved after our passing except personal items which can be given right away as far as I'm concerned if one of us survives the other.DH as stated above is the only spouse with an issue in regard to that.I will have to document my personal items too and plan to give my child most of those items hopefully bf my passing unless I go suddenly.

I am familiar with the laws of my state to a degree. The next step is setting up a living trust and there is no way I'll name DH as trustee or my child won't see a cent.That is what I don't want.I don't want that for his children either no matter my feelings toward them or his own attitude.I have no desire to be trustee for his children either.

Thank you for the advise.I will be getting my affairs in order this year.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

You know, I really appreciate the reminder to get legal affairs in order. I do need to update my will and it's easy to procastinate on these things. Much good advice. I need to get on it as well.

-Cat


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Catnipped, it sounds to me that you want to be uber protective of your kid, but can not understand that your DH feels the same way. Given that women generally live longer than men, he should likely have MORE a concern than you that his kids end up with his estate.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

All I have to add after the last couple postings here is: be extremely detailed on what you (whether it be you or husband)exactly want. Be ridiculously specific leaving no room for a need of clarification...even if you/he now may believe there is no need to go to such extreme aka outlining even the simplest things which may have no monetary valve in the thick of things (personal items).

--"The greed will cause many of the children to worry about what they will inherit from their parents"--(Shakti)

It broke my heart for some of my mother's SO's heirs as I watched what the one daughter did and what she put them all through. SO only had two children, one had become deceased a number of yrs before SO passed. This daughter automatically assumed then everything should be hers. SO wanted his deceased child's three children to have the deceased son's share. He also left a portion of his estate to his two stepsons from his 2nd marriage. This part was due to the fact their mother (wife #2 married 15 yrs, and she was now deceased 20 plus yrs) had invested in building the house...it was a return of their mother's investment. Something SO had promised wife #2 when she died that he would honor. And he did.

What shut daughter down at her every attempt was that iron clad overly detailed will and his immaculate record/bookkeeping.

Oh, but it was not just the items of valve that this daughter made noise over. She screamed, yelled and totally made a stink over every last little item. She then proceded to drag up countless items that gentleman himself had given away over the yrs while he was still very much alive. Seriously, for example SO gave so and so (a grandchild) a china set 15 yrs ago so according to daughter so and so should now have this count towards a portion of the division.

Then daughter tried the old 'this or that is missing, where is it'. What she was squealing about on this one was SO had (without informing and/or consulting with this daughter because it was none of her business) sold his mother's wedding rings (something that had been left to him by his mother). Daughter claimed they were in the safe and somebody has them hidden and Daddy said she could have them when he died. In reality the gentleman sold them all on his own. What was actually in the safe fortunately was the reciept from the sale of the item ...so that shut her up for a few minutes, well, until she came up with the next item to acuse and scream over.

As I mentioned earlier, SO loved his daughter with his whole heart, but he never ever even yrs before his death underestimated the lady. Clever old man kept quite detailed records of what had been done and/or given away or sold over the years and is will was detailed and solid. The daughter got exactly what the SO had desired her to have as far as possessions and division as did each and every other heir...but in the end they all got less actual money than they would have because two lawyers (the daughter's and the estate's) got a larger chunk than should have happened if she'd have just abided by her father's wishes. Now there is anger amongest the heirs at the daughter over this sad ending.

Final checks were cut last week, but I have no idea what will happen as far as any kind of personal relationship between that family now. So much anger and fighting. I can't imagine the family has much of a chance of ever reuniting and being a 'family' again. I'm just glad my mother is finally clear of them all now that the job of closing the estate is over and can walk away from them.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Catnipped, it sounds to me that you want to be uber protective of your kid, but can not understand that your DH feels the same way. Given that women generally live longer than men, he should likely have MORE a concern than you that his kids end up with his estate.

Oh kkny,I don't mean this offensively,ok?I am uber defensive of my kid bc of the crappy comments my DH has made indicating he didn't even want to deal with handing over personal effects,not I.Wanting to protect your kids is one thing,being obsessed with them to the point of wanting to screw over your wife and everyone else involved is another.

I am the one who has suggested protecting ALL involved not my DH.Yes,I am a woman and may live longer or die of cancer like two thirds of my family.Who knows?I am willing to be fair to his children when we see an attorney.DH being willing to be fair to my child remains to be seen.

Oh,I could be an evil step relative(poison apple in hand) and live longer and take my husbands entire estate leaving his independently well off kids with zip,zero.However,I AM the one who suggested he have a trust for his dear children for their protection while he has sit and twiddled his thumbs doing nothing.

I could have went and made a trust for mine ,said nothing and let DH and his kids sit and spin in regards to his portion of the estate that I pay for monthly and several thousand I put down already to his hundreds....'nough said.

Justme,Yes we are going for an iron clad will that will detail everything that can be thought of to prevent trouble, protect us,his children and mine.

Your poor Mom and her SO really went through the mill,didn't they.Geese.See,this is what I don't want bc there is absolutely no reason for it.I take note of the book keeping,record keeping comment.I'd hope his kids wouldn't cause that big of a stink.It's sad to allow things like this to cause anger to the point of a family estrangement.

This is the other reason I'd like to avoid it by seeing an attorney and getting things in order so it will not end up in a situation such as the one you describe.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

Justme,I reread your post above(I had to take a deep breath;)so I could thoroughly absorb it.1ST I am glad your Mom is free of that whole mess.

Such a shame for the other heirs as well. I'm sure they will never forgive the daughter for causing so much pain,stress,etc for all involved.It's a shame her Dad had to spend so much energy to make sure his wishes were respected bc someone he loved so much wouldn't when energy could have been spent on quality time and love with his child.

You said she threw fits over every last thing..and made issue over items given away.So obviously she was taking inventory.

*Seriously, for example SO gave so and so (a grandchild) a china set 15 yrs ago so according to daughter so and so should now have this count towards a portion of the division.*

Just,Wow...

Did the gentleman's daughter make it obvious she was taking inventory?Such as coming in her Dad's home looking around at things and zero in visually on certain items?Did she make comments like,"Oh,there is such and such item.That has been around for x amount of years", in front of your Mom and her Dad quite often?

I'm curious if she did or she was silently casing the place.


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RE: Adult Steps Drama

--"Did the gentleman's daughter make it obvious she was taking inventory?Such as coming in her Dad's home looking around at things and zero in visually on certain items?Did she make comments like,"Oh,there is such and such item.That has been around for x amount of years", in front of your Mom and her Dad quite often?""--

There was nothing subtle in the way SO's daughter made clear to all that what was his would be hers. Heck, what was not even his should be hers. A extreme case of entitlement taken to a whole new level 'me, me, it's all about ME'. Of course though it was a long trait of the daughter. It was nothing new nor something that developed when her parents divorced, or when wife #2 died, let alone when my Mother entered the picture.

She would have been the very same if the situation had been only the passing of an intact family's parents. Even in that type of situation she would have still wanted everything to herself sharing nothing with her brother (if he had been still alive). She was always a jealous nasty person even as a child, teen, young adult...with her it could be a personality disorder as much as anything else.

Anyway...good luck to you. Get your affairs in order legally, not leaving anything to chance.


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