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wondering if long term disengagement is best?

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM
  • 14 Replies

I began this quest of disengagement to create a better atmosphere in our home with SD and it worked great for a few weeks but now I'm wondering if I did the right thing? I stepped out of reminding about homework, school work etc etc, becuase it only caused high blood pressure and fighting. DH is in charge of all that including discipline, totally on his own. SD went from honor roll to failing three classes because DH doesn't keep up with the homework, schoolwork, etc. Doesn't remind SD to do homework and then today he forget to send her to school with a uniform for yearbook photos. He texts me his pity party about it all and I'm wondering if I should just suck it up and do everything again. At least SD would be passing.  

Since I stepped out the SD, actually thinks less of me, if that's even possible. She has lived with us since she was 6 and only sees her mother 4 times a year. Her and her father speak in whispers, it's actually just crazy. Before around December, I did everything involving her except for take her to school in the morning. I was a coach, a tutor, the carpool queen, the party planner, shopper...you get it. 

SD is very manipulative and puts a lot of guilt on my husband. 

Anyway, if you have any thoughts or suggestions I would be open to ideas!

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:02 AM
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Replies (1-10):
E_is_4_Ethan
by Platinum Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM

This is what needed to happen in order for them to see how much you did, and for them to see that they need to step up. How old is SD?

 Did you think everything she was doing was going to stay the same...Honor roll, homework, schoolwork, etc? When someone stops enabling a person, that person usually has to fall hard in-order to take responsibility. 

This is the time that being disengaged is the hardest. My suggestion is therapy for you. 

Where is BM?

tottaxi
by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:19 AM
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It looks as though SD is a chip off the old block...dad is pretty manipulative, too.

I'm in a live-in relationship...after my gruesome divorce I doubt that I ever legally marry again.  Since I became involved with SO my mom has been concerned that SO's main interest in me is that I can do all those things that you mentioned for his DD so that he doesn't have to do what is required of a parent.  I sincerely hope that is not the case, but I think that if my situation were like yours I would think that is a definitely possibility.  I am sure you don't want to be used any more than I do.

I would stay disengaged.  That is the only way you will know what sort of person your DH truly is.  If he sits by and lets his daughter fail then you will know who he is.  She is HIS responsibility.  While it is great that you have done for her in the past, that was above and beyond the call of duty for you.   In this situation you should be his wingman.  Not the only one flying the plane.

lovingflamama
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:27 AM

Thank you! SD is 12 and BO is worthless, barely pays child support or calls. She would not be an ally to anyone in this case. She discourages the Southern manners we teach, if that tells you anything...she is in Ohio, us in Fl. I will keep tough, I'm not picking up the pieces anymore. I have a 3 year old son and would love one more...very frustrating!

E_is_4_Ethan
by Platinum Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Trust me I know how hard it is to stay disengaged. I'm very hands on with the other kids. I slip with SD15... just this past week I was slipping bad. BUT as of last night I stopped and said, Self WTF are you doing? Disengaging is like a diet. LOL

BTW... I was just wondering about BM. I didn't really have a point when asking. BM is not around for my SK's either. 

Quoting lovingflamama:

Thank you! SD is 12 and BO is worthless, barely pays child support or calls. She would not be an ally to anyone in this case. She discourages the Southern manners we teach, if that tells you anything...she is in Ohio, us in Fl. I will keep tough, I'm not picking up the pieces anymore. I have a 3 year old son and would love one more...very frustrating!


mommamaggi
by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 11:43 AM
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She and her daddy need to learn to handle these issues on their own, I think. It's great when a step mom can be "mom" but sometimes it's just not possible because of the lack of cooperation; sounds like this is your case and you're doing what's right for your situation. Eventually they will ask you for help, and when they do you can make clear that if you're going to take that role you're going to be respected. That's all you can really do.

lovingflamama
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:19 PM
Thanks for the support and it is like a diet!! Just gotta stick with it!
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chanizen
by Platinum Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 12:44 PM
Do the southern manners you teach include whispering about you?

Are you sure dh is on the same page?

I wouldn't bring a child into the situation. It doesn't sound stable.


Quoting lovingflamama:

Thank you! SD is 12 and BO is worthless, barely pays child support or calls. She would not be an ally to anyone in this case. She discourages the Southern manners we teach, if that tells you anything...she is in Ohio, us in Fl. I will keep tough, I'm not picking up the pieces anymore. I have a 3 year old son and would love one more...very frustrating!


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lovingflamama
by Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 1:53 PM

No, not at all! I am referring to yes ma'am, no sir, etc. I'm hoping to have a more "stable" environment by not being the parent. Anyway, thanks for the support!

Ksterling02
by on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:28 AM
My disengagement started in June /July, but it was slow..I just decided not to provide anything extra financially for SD, to put my focus on ds who has gotten short end of the stick for past 2 years sd has been in our home. My decision to disengage occurred after mil told me and DH that she'd never give up guardianship and DH was ok with it. I gave my all to SD treating her like my own, spending DS child support on things for her so.she wouldn't feel.left out. I was the captain of the ship doing everything! I decided DH and mil need to take full reign.

Fall last year DH was put to the test...I did not do anything if he was home. SD failed first test of the year and I kindly reminded DH and her that study skills and enrichment work needed to be done like last year. Neither of them listened. SD did ok wth grades but could do better. She just didn't apply herself, but jealous that DS aces tests and gets straight A's consistently. I still made sure SD was fed, clothed (reminded DH if she needed things), shown affection and told I love you everyday! I did however stopped really trying to open up to her more. I really just felt SD and mil have bitchfests about me and it's pretty obvious when she would come home from mil house.

So due to my disengagement SD says she is unhappy, feels unloved, or like an outsider to mil in December. Turns out they discussed SD living with her again ..SD is 9 there is no way she would think of moving on her own.DH and mil decided SD would go back after Christmas break...30 min away. DH keeps saying she will be back but we have to work on this home life. He has been told HIS child needs therapy, he needs to be sole custodian /guardian, and needs to take care of the family ..not me!

I'm not sure how SD and I will be when she comes over this weekend, but I will just go with the flow. I'm hoping to be able to let go of resentment because I apparently am the reason SD wanted to leave. She did send us a letter last weekend, kind of annoyed me.don't call me mom..I am not that and if she really felt that or knew what love and caring really is, she would understand that I am not "mean " I am a parent. It is not my job to be a friend! I'm not sure how to repair the relationship besides seeing a professional. I have to get my mind right and move forward.
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sassy711
by on Jan. 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM
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I recommend remaining disengaged.  It's going to take time for DH to realize that he's not doing as good a job as you did.  Trust me, this will blow up in his face once he gets called by teachers and the "blame" land squarely on his shoulders.  DH hasn't had time yet to understand the ramifications of his actions (or lack thereof).

If you re-engage now, then you will lose credibility with DH and SD.  They will never take you or your concerns seriously again.  While this is tough on you, you have to let DH and SD learn this life lesson the hard way.  You tried and apparently ran into a lot of resistance from DH and SD.  So letting DH bear ALL the responsibility for SD is appropriate now.  He has to learn that being a parent requires HIS involvement, not pawning it off on you.   Stay the course and let DH parent his child.  Eventually y'all should consider counseling cause it's likely DH and SD may develop some resentment that will be directed at you, even though all of this is the responsibilty of DH.  He needs guidance on how to parent.  Good luck

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