Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Stepmom Central Stepmom Central

Not as easy as people imply it is

Posted by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM
  • 167 Replies
13 moms liked this

 Stepping back, removing your self from the relationship, or otherwise disengaging.  I read posts on here where that is not just a suggestion but outlined as the only other option for SP's.  Implying we are idiots for not seeing how easy that solution is to accomplish.

It's right there in front of us. STEP BACK! Since being involved in your sk'slives isn't working, just remove your self from it. That will fix bm's resentment towards you and the place you hold in the dynamic. That will fix all communication issues between BD and bm.  That will show the SK's how much you care and fix their PSA effects! Gosh, why didn't I think of that years ago? Oh that's right, I did. And then the impact on my marriage hit me.  It's NOT easy. No part of it is easy. And it often leads to harsh judgment and complications causing bigger issues!

Like it or not, when marriages fail and people move on, they get remarried. That means that SP's become involved. SP's! Those folks who chose to get involved because they love their SO and that includes any children they might have.  It doesn't mean they chose to get treated like an insignificant speck, or a 3rd class citizen. So stop all the bs about how they shouldn't be involved! Their Marriage dictates they are and will be involved.

Let's focus on tools and techniques for making it work! Because having lived through the backing up first hand......I am aware of how difficult and often times ill fitted that option is. There has got to be a better way. Because backing off.... is extremely difficult emotionally and negatively impacts relationships, permanently!

by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:22 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
DDDaysh
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:26 PM
3 moms liked this

But the tool for making it work is NEVER going to be to "have the other person change" or "show the other person you're right".  That simply doesn't work.  

The person you can change is YOURSELF.  And, alot of the time, stepping back and realizing that you don't have control over this aspect of your life is the solution.  

The other solution is leaving.  If you can't figure out how to exist in your situation without impossibly getting other people to fix themselves, then you either fix yourself, you leave, or you stay miserable.  That's basically it.  

SMInProgress
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM
7 moms liked this

That's my biggest gripe of this forum. As if disengaging is the ONLY solution. Guess what it isn't for everybody.  I come from a big blended family, so does my exH, my DD's SM & my DD & her step siblings.  "Our" steplife on that end works because no one disengaged. In fact, I (the BM) had to step back a little to ensure my exH's marriage flourished with "our" new SM. As a BM, I helped by not insisting control but to help make my SM feel comfortable & SAFE in her new marriage to my exH for the sake of my DD.

In my role as a SM with a hostile BM, because she won't help in the lives of her children, or doesn't care to let go & let my DH be happy, I have to find many ways to make my stepfamily work. One of this is disengaging but not for long periods of time like some of these posters drill into people's heads.  When I disengage, it's only for short periods & very directed effects but it is only one very small tactic to keep peace & order in my home & marriage.  The other tactics do include engaging & making skid involved in my life & knows that I will never abandon him or let him fail on his own whether physical, academical, social or familial. 

My DH's & skid's family life included me as the SP. Telling me I can't love skid like my own child will make me resentful & ask "then what the hell am I doing all this for then?"  Especially when BM is no where in sight. Simply ridiculous.

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM
3 moms liked this

There is no magic answer that solves any of that.  We just have tools in a toolbox.  If you consider disengaging easy and the answer to all that is wrong, of course it will fail.  It isn't easy if you have been engaged and/or enmeshed.  It won't suddenly cause BM to respect you.  It won't immediately change your relationship with skids.  But it does ask that you focus on yourself and really obtain clarity about what you can and can't control.

I could never be totally disengaged from my skids.  But I can be 99% disengaged from giving a shit about BM.  I can't change her actions but I can change my reactions.

I can wish all I want that SSs have better manners.  Dictating it will prove to be ineffective so I need to be creative about accomplishing the same thing.  I must back off from thinking I can treat them the same way I treat DDs.  I will tell DD that she is acting like a pig at the table.  If I said the same to SS, there is a chance it will go very wrong.

SD can still have impact, but I set boundaries and have strategies to deal when the potential for impact is greatest.  I work really hard at disengaging from her and it is hardest for me to do.

If a relationship with a spouse is built around acting like an intact, engaged, happy family then of course there will be impact when disengagement happens.  But truly, things weren't great anymore anyway if disengagement  was a proposed solution.  There was clearly a problem to begin with.

And sometimes, relationships just don't work out.


DDDaysh
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM
1 mom liked this

That is a sad truth.  Love doesn't conquer all.  It's not only in step situations, there are really a thousand and one reasons why people who love eachother won't have a successful relationship.

Quoting pdxmum:


And sometimes, relationships just don't work out.



packermomof2
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Don't get overly involved at first and you (general) won't have a reason to have to step back.  It really isn't that hard.  That is how it worked for our situation and my husband has no problems with the kids.  They respect him, they listen to him,  They love him.  He loves them. 

That is how it worked for his SF.  His mom did the work, his mom didn't let another person get involved to the point there would be issues from the beginning. 

That isn't how it worked for his SM and he doesn't have the relationship with her that he does with his SF.

That isn't how my kid's SM did it either and she isn't even around anymore after jumping in head first and acting like anyone had to care that she did anything at all.  Her help wasn't needed or wanted and because of that it truly wasn't "help" but more like getting in the way.

pepper504
by Gold Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:46 PM
5 moms liked this


Quoting pdxmum:


I could never be totally disengaged from my skids.  But I can be 99% disengaged from giving a shit about BM.  I can't change her actions but I can change my reactions.


This 100%. 

bottomline
by Silver Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:50 PM
2 moms liked this

 Exactly! Sometimes relationships just don't work. I am so sick of seeing the "disengage" option thrown out like it's some kind of fix all solution. It's NOT!  It never will be. Is it a tool...maybe for some. But some folks in here throw it around like SP's are idiots for not seeing it. As if it's the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. And forgetting to mention all the side effects that come along with disengaging.

For one, it goes against human nature. People don't get married to live separately from their SK's or their spouses. At least I didn't.  Disengaging doesn't correct the effects of PSA. Disengaging does not remove the hostility displayed by bm. Disengaging doesn't accomplish much...except self reflection. Whoopee!

I knew these children weren't mine. I would have been completely psycho to think any differently. I also knew that marriage is a partnership, a team effert if you will. That includes blending the family. Raising the children. Creating relationships. Learning to love one another.

Telling every SP to disengage to solve the family problems is implying they are the problem. That is simply ridiculous.  The original family didn't work before SP's arrived on the scene. Maybe the advice on this forum should be for BD and bm to disengage. Disengage from the PSA, the lies, the hate, the juvenile games, using the children as weapons....etc. Maybe then we would actually get something accomplished?

Quoting pdxmum:

There is no magic answer that solves any of that.  We just have tools in a toolbox.  If you consider disengaging easy and the answer to all that is wrong, of course it will fail.  It isn't easy if you have been engaged and/or enmeshed.  It won't suddenly cause BM to respect you.  It won't immediately change your relationship with skids.  But it does ask that you focus on yourself and really obtain clarity about what you can and can't control.

I could never be totally disengaged from my skids.  But I can be 99% disengaged from giving a shit about BM.  I can't change her actions but I can change my reactions.

I can wish all I want that SSs have better manners.  Dictating it will prove to be ineffective so I need to be creative about accomplishing the same thing.  I must back off from thinking I can treat them the same way I treat DDs.  I will tell DD that she is acting like a pig at the table.  If I said the same to SS, there is a chance it will go very wrong.

SD can still have impact, but I set boundaries and have strategies to deal when the potential for impact is greatest.  I work really hard at disengaging from her and it is hardest for me to do.

If a relationship with a spouse is built around acting like an intact, engaged, happy family then of course there will be impact when disengagement happens.  But truly, things weren't great anymore anyway if disengagement  was a proposed solution.  There was clearly a problem to begin with.

And sometimes, relationships just don't work out.

 

 

bottomline
by Silver Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 12:52 PM

 And if those people disengaged???? How do you think it would end for them? Disengaging is not the answer to fixing blended families. IMO.

Quoting DDDaysh:

That is a sad truth.  Love doesn't conquer all.  It's not only in step situations, there are really a thousand and one reasons why people who love eachother won't have a successful relationship.

Quoting pdxmum:

 

And sometimes, relationships just don't work out.

 


 

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Aug. 22, 2013 at 1:06 PM


I will gently say that your words still imply it is others that need to change.  That your idea/ideal of a blended family is correct if only others would accept it.  

I think both DH and I thought that we would now raise our children together once we fell in love and got married.  Reality is, we don't.  We are far from disengaged from caring and loving each other, bt a certain amount of reality entered our fantasy as we lived life as a blended family.  Our relationships, while quite parental in nature, are much less engaged with each others kids.  He is primary and I am support with his kids and vice versa for mine.

And as far as impacting PAS and hostility from BM or laying blame for all that is wrong, who knows why that happened to begin with!  Yes it might have been because you were an overstepping covetous SM or it may have been because BM is a whackadoodle.  And yes, the most important part about disengaging is self reflection and understanding your role, what you can control and what you can't.



Quoting bottomline:

 Exactly! Sometimes relationships just don't work. I am so sick of seeing the "disengage" option thrown out like it's some king of fix all solution. It's NOT!  It never will be. Is it a tool...maybe for some. But some folks in here throw it around like SP's are idiots for not seeing it. As if it's the easiest thing in the world to accomplish. And forgetting to mention all the side effects that come along with disengaging.

For one, it goes against human nature. People don't get married to live separately from their SK's or their spouses. At least I didn't.  Disengaging doesn't correct the effects of PSA. Disengaging does not remove the hostility displayed by bm. Disengaging doesn't accomplish much...except self reflection. Whoopee!

I knew these children weren't mine. I would have been completely psycho to think any differently. I also knew that marriage is a partnership, a team effert if you will. That includes blending the family. Raising the children. Creating relationships. Learning to love one another.

Telling every SP to disengage to solve the family problems is implying they are the problem. That is simply ridiculous.  The original family didn't work before SP's arrived on the scene. Maybe the advice on this forum should be for BD and bm to disengage. Disengage from the PSA, the lies, the hate, the juvenile games, using the children as weapons....etc. Maybe then we would actually get something accomplished?

Quoting pdxmum:

There is no magic answer that solves any of that.  We just have tools in a toolbox.  If you consider disengaging easy and the answer to all that is wrong, of course it will fail.  It isn't easy if you have been engaged and/or enmeshed.  It won't suddenly cause BM to respect you.  It won't immediately change your relationship with skids.  But it does ask that you focus on yourself and really obtain clarity about what you can and can't control.

I could never be totally disengaged from my skids.  But I can be 99% disengaged from giving a shit about BM.  I can't change her actions but I can change my reactions.

I can wish all I want that SSs have better manners.  Dictating it will prove to be ineffective so I need to be creative about accomplishing the same thing.  I must back off from thinking I can treat them the same way I treat DDs.  I will tell DD that she is acting like a pig at the table.  If I said the same to SS, there is a chance it will go very wrong.

SD can still have impact, but I set boundaries and have strategies to deal when the potential for impact is greatest.  I work really hard at disengaging from her and it is hardest for me to do.

If a relationship with a spouse is built around acting like an intact, engaged, happy family then of course there will be impact when disengagement happens.  But truly, things weren't great anymore anyway if disengagement  was a proposed solution.  There was clearly a problem to begin with.

And sometimes, relationships just don't work out.


 



Talis
by on Aug. 22, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Thank you.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)