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How would you handle this?

Posted by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM
  • 24 Replies

Dont get me wrong, I think every blended family has it's own issues and they all get worked out at their own pace. I love my DH and I love my kids and I feel that having both mom and dad in the same house who actually get along and love eachother is the best thing for our bio kids so that is why I have had to deal with things I never wanted to deal with like having a blended family (because my experience with my SM was not a very good one) and my DH doing and saying things that make it look/sound like he still has an emotional connection to his ExW but after talking them out, thats really not the case, he just doesnt think before he does ANYTHING. 

I love my SD and I feel for her when she says she misses her mommy. But, her mom has every thursday and EOWE for a reason. She just recently got out of rehab and is trying to get her life together but still chooses to give up one of the few days she sees her daughter to go to christmas parties and get a new BF or she just flat out cant come get her because she has no vehicle. Most of the time, we are exchanging SD with her BM's dad or talking to him about issues with SD. BM still lives with her dad and working with him is much smoother than with BM. Regardless of how much DH thinks she is not doing her part as her mom and how much it frustrates him, he still bites his tongue when were around each other. So for the most part, and especially lately now that shes out of rehab, we get along. BM and I have never been rude or mean to eachother and sometimes she will come to me about things and she I will talk. Again, we generally get along just fine.

Heres where I need the advice: Tuesday was our kids Christmas Program for their daycare. Obviously BM, her dad and her sister were there. BM decided to bring her new BF to meet DH - no bid deal. When your childs class gets done with their performance, you can grab them off the stage. I grabbed our DD and husband went to grab SD but her BM asked if SD could sit with them - DH unhappily agreed. As the program ends we meet in the front so DH can grab SD and we can leave. My dad is with us and DH's grandma and grandpa were with us. His grandma is very opinionated. 

DH went ahead of all of us to grab SD, he made it very known he wanted to leave - now. He has PTSD and does not do crowds. He gets anxious, uneasy, aggitated and can flip out of he doesnt leave the situation. BUT, grandma wanted to mingle and chit chat with ExW and her family. Not so bad except at the fact that SD was crying cause she is tired and leaving her mom ALWAYS makes her cry. That adds to DHs frustration. Plus, DH told me that he doesnt want to mingle and talk with ExW and her family because that is not his family anymore and he divorced her for a reason.  OUT OF NOWHERE, grandma decides to say "were all one big happy family" and we should all get along. Let me tell you, you could hear crickets outside thats how quiet and awkward it got. Not to mention after she said that, DH took off with SD because he had it at that point. 

No one said anything for what felt like an hour. FInally, my dad being the awesome person that he is, decided to break the ice and start talking to ExW's father. They are talking and getting along - like I expected becuase they are kind of similar. Then I start talking to ExW's father and then eventually ExW and grandma/grandpa are joining in and it made it not as awkward - except that BM's BF, her sister and her BF did not say a word. DH IS NOT EVEN IN THE ROOM WITH US. Eventually we all say merry christmas, have a good night and leave. As we meet DH at our truck, grandma already starts to put in her 2 cents that we need to "act like a family because that is what we are" and that SD deserves to have everyone in a room and get along. DH flat out told her that we were NOT a family with them and that no he doesnt have to sit and have conversations with them if he does not want to. 

We have no problem being nice to eachother. SD will see us get along - that is not an issue. I dont get where she thought we didnt get along. DH said that eventually he will talk to the new BF but that this was not the place to get to know him. BUT, I am in no way, shape or form a part of her family nor is her family a part of mine. DH even said this. DH also said that if that was the case then they wouldnt have divorced and that he already has to deal with my family and that he does not want to be a part of his ExW, her sister and her dads family as well. I know damn well that I did not marry DH and have 2 kids with the man to be a part of his ExW and her family. The only thing that connects all of us is that we share custody of SD and even then so DH is the PCP. I am not related to BM, DH and our kids are not related to BM and vice versa. Even BM said that she was not expecting grandma to say what she said and I am pretty sure she and her new BF dont want to play "house" with us either. 

What in the hell would you do in this situation?

by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 11:26 AM
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Replies (1-10):
faerie75
by Ruby Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:11 PM

 let him deal in his way. when he is calm, maybe suggest he be polite but aloof in public. and when you have to deal w them just be polite. he feels the way he feels and these ppl are his problem.

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM

That has never been a problem for me, DH's family can't stand BM or her family. BM and her family don't show up for anything like that for SD.

I think DH needs to have a talk with his family. There's nothing wrong with being friendly in situations like that where you're all together, but like your DH said, he and BM divorced for a reason and when they divorced they became 2 seperate families. 

Refurbished
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:33 PM
1 mom liked this

It sounds like your DH doesn't do well in crowds, but she misinterpreted that and thought it was them that he was getting irritated with.  Maybe explain to her that he just was struggling with the crowd?

I hope that he wasn't saying "we aren't family" in front of your SD.  That's tough when you are a child, having the family you love draw lines in the sand. 

KimberlyMKasten
by Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:38 PM

I have no advice for you. We have custody but BM has never once been to anything that SD has been in. She's been invited never shows up. Being polite is one thing but they are no longer married so they don't have to act like a family either. It sounds like she just needs to butt out. Good luck!

TarynKElley
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:44 PM

He has PTSD from his deployment. Crowds trigger his PTSD. He cleared up any mixed feelings with BM and her dad and they understand - we think his grandma may have forgotten about his PTSD but we both agreed his grandma was wrong to say "we are all one big happy family" because we are not and even BM kind of notioned that same feeling when we were texting about it. 

The kids were in the truck when he was arguing about it with grandma. But even aside from his PTSD, the first time she mentioned that we need to go talk to them cause were family, DH replied with "No we dont because were not!" I dont get why she is so pushy about it when its not her decision and this situation is not hers.

Quoting Refurbished:

It sounds like your DH doesn't do well in crowds, but she misinterpreted that and thought it was them that he was getting irritated with.  Maybe explain to her that he just was struggling with the crowd?

I hope that he wasn't saying "we aren't family" in front of your SD.  That's tough when you are a child, having the family you love draw lines in the sand. 


TarynKElley
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 1:46 PM

Everything has been pretty seperated. This was the first time something like this happened to where we all were under the same roof. 

Quoting KimberlyMKasten:

I have no advice for you. We have custody but BM has never once been to anything that SD has been in. She's been invited never shows up. Being polite is one thing but they are no longer married so they don't have to act like a family either. It sounds like she just needs to butt out. Good luck!


whatIknownow
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Given your DH's PTSD situation, you and he should have gone straight home, and had grandma or someone bring SD home after she was done mingling and visiting with her mother after the show.

MomGoingCrazy78
by Silver Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:12 PM

I'd let DH deal with it the way that he feels comfortable dealing with it. No pressure on him, he handles it his way.

That being said, we (DH and I) just attended SD's school Christmas party and BM wasn't there. Didn't surprise us in the least. At least BM is making an effort to be at her kids programs/parties.

movieq
by on Dec. 20, 2012 at 2:48 PM

It seems like there's really nothing that needs to be done - just one of those momentary situations that pass and everyone can just move on.  I don't think anyone has any expectations of things going forward and it seems like things are fine as a rule.  Don't stress about it.

Derdriu
by Gold Member on Dec. 20, 2012 at 3:14 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't think you need to do anything.  The only confused individual seems to be grandma.  If she makes another comment along those lines, then it may be worth reminding her that divorce rends apart families... the entire family.  BM and her family are no longer any relation to DH and his family.  The kids are shared; that's it.  As many kids would prefer to have their mom and dad back together, I think it's confusing and sends mixed messages when adults attempt to enact one big happy family.  Fact of the matter is that the kids' family is split, while BM and DH ceased to be relatives upon divorce.  That doesn't mean that folks can't be friendly to one another as acquaintances.  Civil is good.  Friendly is better.  Pretending to be family, not so much.

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