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Have any of you SMs had to completely cut yourself off from an adult SC? Advice on how you handle the situation needed.

Posted by on May. 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM
  • 18 Replies

Some of you may recognize my situation as I have written about it here a few times.  I have struggled with the problems I have had with my SS for two years and nothing I have tried has helped the situation.  The last straw with him came when he refused my "olive branch of peace" the weekend of my father-in-law's death and when he shunned my at the funeral (he turned his back on me in the pallbearers line rather than shake my hand like he did the rest of the family, etc).  So, after many conversations with my therapist, tears, attempts to talk with my DH (a major conflict avoider and obviously NO help to me), I decided with my therapist's blessing to simply be done with SS.  The therapist agrees that I have done all I can to make peace and if SS is so immature (age 24) and really a jerk (she used more "therapy type words," as to refuse my efforts, then I have done all I can.  She also agreed that this situation is hurting me emotionally and that from now on all I need to do if I am around him at a family gathering is to be polite, i.e. "hello" etc.   My question for you is, have any of you had to deal with this type situation and how did you handle it?  I am nervous and afraid my DH will force me to be around SS (his birthday is coming in a couple of months).  I don't want to be the reason DH and SS are apart although honestly SS never calls DH except on his birthday and Father's Day.  Maybe I just need some reassurance.  Help anyway, advice?  This is a new mindset for me.

by on May. 2, 2012 at 10:32 AM
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Replies (1-10):
lilangilyn
by on May. 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM
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I am liking your therapist very much. Wise. I hope she can help you to realize that no one can "force" you to anything. He might try to make you feel guilty, he might get upset, but he can't force you. Your DH is responsible for his own relationship with his son. Let him forge that on his own. I agree with the therapist that all you have to do is be polite, like you would with any stranger.

It will seem hard at first, then it will come as second nature. My SS will be 18 this month. I am polite to him, but not lovey dovey or trying to get close or anything. Honestly, he hasn't even noticed that I have disengaged. It's a win/win for both of us.

You handle it one situation at a time. One step at a time. Then the situations are going to line up over time and you will realize that you have done a very good job of letting him go and giving dad full responsibility for the relationship.

My grown children's stepmom is very disengaged. She is not mean, but she doesn't go out of her way to have a relationship with them. They like it that way and so does she. It is on their dad and them to create a bond.

darrensmom11
by on May. 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM
I've never Had to shut anyone out but I Have a step mom who has managed to convince my dad to shut his own kids out. We're all adults and Have done nothing wrong. That lady is just nuts. Everyone saw her crazy side but I refused to See it because I wanted to keep a Good relationship with my dad. He's my step dad. . But He raised me since I was one. . I'm now34. One day She just totally lost it and that was that. I don't even know how to explain what happened with this lady but she's nuts! And my dad is a weak man for allowing him to shut out his family like this. She hates my mom and that's cuz my parents were divorced for 13yrs before She came along. Loony. I wouldn't waste my time on an adult SC who didn't give you the time of day. Sounds like you did your part. Just be happy with DH.
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Tarac1012
by Member on May. 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

My SS (23) has moved out of our house 2 months ago and with his wedding coming up in a month, it's been a nightmare.  (don't get me started...) LOL.... We didn't have a bad relationship we got along rather well actually but I'll never be his favorite person or even someone he'd just really want to hang out with - he wants to be with his dad - and there isn't anything unreasonable about that desire.  

The nice thing is that your husband and SS can do stuff together - just the 2 of them. You can suggest to your husband - it's SS's bday you should plan to go golf or go to a baseball game, or whatever it is they both like to do. this is who your SS wants to be with and you don't need to be involved. You know you'll probably still have to see him at the occasional large family functions but a wave or a nod or a brief hello is all that's required.  After time, he may get over his behaviour and stop acting like a brat. If he doesn't - you still don't have to put up with it. But there is no rule that says because your husband is doing something with SS, you need to be there.  Show your husband that you care by asking how SS is after he's seen him - it won't seem like you are angry and that you are interested to know SS is doing well (it's a nice gesture and will let your husband have a few moments to talk about his son). Wishing you the best.....

zannahdeux
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 11:47 AM
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I honestly think this will be easier than you think. I know you feel guilty but just give it a try. your ss is an adult even if he doesn't act like one. Like you said you will not stop your DH from seeing his son you just choose to be busy that day, have other plans, have to finish something for work, your mother/sister/best friend/neighbor needs your help....etc. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Let us know what happens.

Seychelles1409
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 5:01 PM


Thank you.  My only difficulty with following your advice is the extreme pressure my DH puts on me to be with him when he sees his son.  He doesn't feel it is right to do things with him and leave me out.  I know that sounds odd, but that's how he feels.  He wants the four of us, i.e. SS's wife too, to all do something together, like go out to dinner, because he wants to "build a normal family."  That's what i can't do.  I know my DH is just biding his time until he thinks "I am over it."  That's what conflict avoiders do.
Quoting zannahdeux:

I honestly think this will be easier than you think. I know you feel guilty but just give it a try. your ss is an adult even if he doesn't act like one. Like you said you will not stop your DH from seeing his son you just choose to be busy that day, have other plans, have to finish something for work, your mother/sister/best friend/neighbor needs your help....etc. YOU CAN DO IT!!! Let us know what happens.


Seychelles1409
by Silver Member on May. 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM


I think you sound wise too!  Yes, my therapist is wonderful! :)  I am glad I found her.  My DH goes with me to see her.  He's a harder case to help than I am.  LOL!   I will reread your advice several times to get it firmly in my head so I can handle seeing SS.  What a jerk he is!  I deserve better and I am not going to lose any more sleep over him!  How did you ever get to the calm place you are in?  Was your DH understanding?  Mine has not been.  He's determined that I will forget all this and "move on" just "like the rest of them have."  He wears such blinders and as my therapist says, he has such high expectations of me, much more so than he does of anyone else.   I will take your advice!!!!  I hope my politeness doesn't come across as sounding snobbish!  LOL!!!
Quoting lilangilyn:

I am liking your therapist very much. Wise. I hope she can help you to realize that no one can "force" you to anything. He might try to make you feel guilty, he might get upset, but he can't force you. Your DH is responsible for his own relationship with his son. Let him forge that on his own. I agree with the therapist that all you have to do is be polite, like you would with any stranger.

It will seem hard at first, then it will come as second nature. My SS will be 18 this month. I am polite to him, but not lovey dovey or trying to get close or anything. Honestly, he hasn't even noticed that I have disengaged. It's a win/win for both of us.

You handle it one situation at a time. One step at a time. Then the situations are going to line up over time and you will realize that you have done a very good job of letting him go and giving dad full responsibility for the relationship.

My grown children's stepmom is very disengaged. She is not mean, but she doesn't go out of her way to have a relationship with them. They like it that way and so does she. It is on their dad and them to create a bond.


looneytunes290
by on May. 2, 2012 at 6:23 PM
I did this- I had my dh's blessing- I encourage him to keep a relationship with his girls(I wish the kids knew how much I encourage it) but I have been really really busy for about a year now. Have only seen one of them briefly in the last year. It's a lot better! And it's getting easier. The hardest part has been watching dh struggle with them on his own. They are not pleasant people- and while we used to be together during their times he doesn't enjoy spending time with them without me. I can't imagine it- he is a very caring sensitive person who has done the best he can- and his daughters are carbon copies of their mom in behavior. They are selfish spoiled brats- they dont have normal relationships with anyone- its not just him. Soooo he feels terribly guilty if he doesn't jump when they say- but when he does it's miserable to be around them. And especially now because it's just Jim and them- no buffer. Be supportive of his relationship with him, and enjoy your time off. I try to do something nice for me and our kids when he spends time with his.
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tiredmama42
by Silver Member on May. 3, 2012 at 9:09 AM

Its sad that your DH is not supportive to you when your the one with him all the time and his son treats you this way.   Id be angry over that.   We have a situation the same but my SD's anger is addressed at both of us.  No reason just pissed because we came to the hospital when our OSD asked us too while having our grandbaby.    Well I contacted her after trying to encourage her to talk to her father.   She said she would talk to him .. met with him for 20 minutes and was supposed to ask him to walk her down the aisle for her wedding.  She didnt. Hes hurt.  All because we went to the hospital.  Well.. we give up.  They want to be adults and have no manners there is nothing we can do.  Seems a generation of kids with no respect and the world revolves around only what they want.  But for our own peace of mind we live our lives focused on the ones who want to be a part of the family.  The balls in their court and we are not chasing it down anymore.     If my DH didnt support me.. didnt defend me.. then there is no way I would subject myself to that miserable surroundings. 

AmyB118
by NA Rocks on May. 3, 2012 at 9:17 AM

I've done this w/OSS20.  The cherry on the icing on the cake was HIS behavior when FIL passed last October. Oh that and the fact that he said to DH in a VM "You know how I feel about your wife and that fucking bitch daughter of hers" (DD is 13).

I don't interact w/OSS nor his GF and they both live less than two miles from us.  I also don't stop DH from spending time w/OSS - that's HIS kid and I'd not get in the way of that.

I've always told DH that SSs don't have to like me - I was HIS choice for a mate,  not theirs, KWIM.  At one point, DH tried to force a relationship between us and I told him I wasn't going to do it while SS is in his present state- he was allowed to quit school w/an 8th grade education, doesn't have to work or do anything productive w/his life and spends the limited amount of time he's awake drinking, doing drugs, or buying shit w/his GF's limited income.  If he were to ever change his lifestyle, hold a fulltime job for an extended period of time and become a productive member of society I'd have no problem interacting w/him.

YSS is the total opposite of him and we get along fine.  He's a great kid who's in college to become a Physicist.

lilangilyn
by on May. 3, 2012 at 11:27 AM
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It took me about two years of being in utter stephell to come to this place. I had therapy, and I vented and sought advice here on cafemom. Because my steplife was atrocious, I was very open to advice and took what worked for my situation. No to very low contact with BM, and complete disengagment from SS. I also stopped revolving my life around the step situation. I stopped letting it control who I was as a person.

Since becoming a stepmother, I have changed my religion and personal beliefs, gone back to school, supported our family when DH was out of a job, made new friends, and read a lot of good books. I garden also and have a cute little dog. DH is a motorcycle fanatic and just bought me a pink helmet so that I can ride with his clubs. I exercise and eat right. It has been a journey and it didn't happen overnight. It happened in stages over 7 years. I also took the energy I had been investing in my SS and put it towards my kids and grandkids. I realized I had been pulling that away from them to give to him. Now that energy is back where it belongs.

Now SS's graduation from HS is this month. I am proud that he is graduating, but also relieved that mandatory CS will be over soon. Anything SS does from this point out is on his own shoulders, right or wrong and whatever his relationship with his dad becomes, well, that is up to them.

Quoting Seychelles1409:

 

I think you sound wise too!  Yes, my therapist is wonderful! :)  I am glad I found her.  My DH goes with me to see her.  He's a harder case to help than I am.  LOL!   I will reread your advice several times to get it firmly in my head so I can handle seeing SS.  What a jerk he is!  I deserve better and I am not going to lose any more sleep over him!  How did you ever get to the calm place you are in?  Was your DH understanding?  Mine has not been.  He's determined that I will forget all this and "move on" just "like the rest of them have."  He wears such blinders and as my therapist says, he has such high expectations of me, much more so than he does of anyone else.   I will take your advice!!!!  I hope my politeness doesn't come across as sounding snobbish!  LOL!!!
Quoting lilangilyn:

 


 

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