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

(minimum 6 characters)

Physically distant rude stepkids and stepgrandkids

Posted by Anonymous   + Show Post

I have been blessed in not having to deal with many step issues because my DH and I married after our kids were adults. While most now live out of state, we do visit them and have them visit us regularly. DH and I married 10 years ago, when the youngest of all was 19. 

It is interesting to me, then, that my adult stepkids, and now their children, do not acknowledge that I exist during any holidays, unless they are spending the holidays at our home. Although we send all of them birthday gifts and cards each year, I don't think one of them knows when my birthday is , they never acknowledge mine. That's no big deal. It's every Christmas that I find cards around the house that have been mailed to DH, and only to DH, wishing him a Merry Christmas.  I'm assuming that gift cards are included (I haven't asked). No mention of me.  The "kids" are specific enough that they write his name (Dad or Grandpa) on the cards so there is no mistaking that these cards are for the both of us.  

I do not have best friend type relationships with any of his kids, but I have always thought of the relationships as friendly and I have always enjoyed our visits. I am not aware of anything I have done that has hurt the kids. Even more, I have been the person who has shopped for them on birthdays and before Christmas, and I think by the very type of gifts, they have an idea of who has picked out gifts.  

I wasn't brought up like this. In my family of origin, we always acknowledged everyone who married into the family, including those who married in under more negative circumstances (like affairs). We didn't have to be best friends with them, but we certainly didn't snub them every holiday.  My kids and grandchildren treat DH like he is part of the family, and always have (the more the merrier). My grandkids call him Grandpa X.  (I am referred to by my first name by stepgrands.) 

I'm just venting about this here because I found yet another Christmas card today in our bedroom. Not even mentioning that I saw it to my DH. This has gone on for 10 years now.  

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 3, 2018 at 1:30 PM
Replies (61-68):
Anonymous
by Anonymous 17 on Jan. 6, 2018 at 8:34 PM
You misunderstand. I'm saying that maybe they do accept you and you are the one with the problem with how they accept you. Reading your replies, it seems to me that you are the one with the problem not them.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Quoting Anonymous 17: My dad remarried his wife 10 years ago. When I send him stuff I generally address it just to him and we just call her by her name. The kids (Mine or my nieces or nephews) call her by name and not grandma _____. The reason for this is not because we are cold to her, I love her lots. It's that she is in her 40's, my dad is in his 60's. It feels weird to call her grandma since she isnt much older than us kids. We are grateful to her as she makes dad really happy.

I have never asked or expected them to call me Mom or Grandma. I simply noted that my grands call him Grandpa X, as I was trying to point out the difference in “acceptance” and behavior. 

Mamba74
by Member on Jan. 7, 2018 at 10:32 PM

Could be hard to change after 10 years. I get why you feel the way you do. I wonder if it is just that they didn't know how to handle it initially, and now it is just an old habit. Either way, I would tell DH how it makes you feel and see if maybe he can't get some movement on this issue now. He has an entire year to work on his side of the family before next Christmas. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 9, 2018 at 12:54 PM


Quoting Mamba74:

Could be hard to change after 10 years. I get why you feel the way you do. I wonder if it is just that they didn't know how to handle it initially, and now it is just an old habit. Either way, I would tell DH how it makes you feel and see if maybe he can't get some movement on this issue now. He has an entire year to work on his side of the family before next Christmas. 

Likely won't change. And I think you are correct in that it has likely become habit. At this point, I wouldn't want them to feel FORCED to acknowledge me. Just venting because it's rude. Thanks. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 9, 2018 at 12:55 PM


Quoting Anonymous 17: You misunderstand. I'm saying that maybe they do accept you and you are the one with the problem with how they accept you. Reading your replies, it seems to me that you are the one with the problem not them.
Quoting Anonymous 1:


Quoting Anonymous 17: My dad remarried his wife 10 years ago. When I send him stuff I generally address it just to him and we just call her by her name. The kids (Mine or my nieces or nephews) call her by name and not grandma _____. The reason for this is not because we are cold to her, I love her lots. It's that she is in her 40's, my dad is in his 60's. It feels weird to call her grandma since she isnt much older than us kids. We are grateful to her as she makes dad really happy.

I have never asked or expected them to call me Mom or Grandma. I simply noted that my grands call him Grandpa X, as I was trying to point out the difference in “acceptance” and behavior. 

Not sure how I am the problem. Please enlighten me. Seriously. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Jan. 9, 2018 at 12:57 PM


Quoting goldpandora:

Maybe it's time he did it again. And this time he should add how embarrassed he is that they are treating your this way and how ashamed because he thought he brought them up to be decent people. And that they are teaching their children to do likewise is just awful.

Quoting Anonymous 1:


Quoting goldpandora:

I coud accept that they gave my spouse a gift and not me - after all,  they have a special bond with him. However, sending him a card that doesn't even acknowledge you, doesn't have your name on it is rude beyond possible. No, worse than that, it's rude and insulting and feels almost petty to me. Your husband should have spoken to them about this a long time ago.

He did. They have ignored him. 


I agree with you. I think he has given up. 

Anonymous
by Anonymous 19 on Jan. 9, 2018 at 1:25 PM

DH's Dad's side of the family is like that, as are his two brothers.  What gets me is I am DH's first and only wife, we have been married almost 20 years and have 4 kids together.  And as far as I am aware, there is no reason for them to dislike me.  Nothing has ever happened to cause a problem.  

DH's Mom's side is the complete opposite, as soon as we announced our engagement, I was part of the family.  We are in regular contact, and they happy to spend time with us when we come to visit.

DH's parents were married until MIL passed away a few years ago.  So, it's not like divorce was a factor for anyone.

I have just decided to let it go.  I continue to send cards and gifts, without any expectation from his brother's or Dad's side of the family.  If we are at a family event, with his Dad's side of the family I just find a way to excuse myself and go do my own thing.  They have a tendency to over drink and become mean towards "non-family".  

Anonymous
by Anonymous 17 on Jan. 9, 2018 at 1:54 PM
You obviously are not satisfied with the way that they accept you. You point out that your kids and grandkids call your husband grandpa-x and point out that your step-kids and step-grandkids do not call you that. You point out that they only address your husband on envelopes and not you. You use these as examples of how your step-kids don't accept you. Did you ever think that this is not them not accepting you? Maybe they don't call you grandma because it feels weird to them. My nieces from my DH sister don't call me Aunt because they were 8 and 10 when DH and I got married, it feels weird to them. It does not mean they do not accept me. As far as the addressing of envelopes, maybe they only address the envelope to the man of the house but it's implied that it is for everyone. I know many people who do this. Maybe it's your husband who doesn't show it to you not accepting you and not his children. Maybe the problem isn't them at all but the problem lies with you and your husband.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Quoting Anonymous 17: You misunderstand. I'm saying that maybe they do accept you and you are the one with the problem with how they accept you. Reading your replies, it seems to me that you are the one with the problem not them.

Quoting Anonymous 1:

Quoting Anonymous 17: My dad remarried his wife 10 years ago. When I send him stuff I generally address it just to him and we just call her by her name. The kids (Mine or my nieces or nephews) call her by name and not grandma _____. The reason for this is not because we are cold to her, I love her lots. It's that she is in her 40's, my dad is in his 60's. It feels weird to call her grandma since she isnt much older than us kids. We are grateful to her as she makes dad really happy.

I have never asked or expected them to call me Mom or Grandma. I simply noted that my grands call him Grandpa X, as I was trying to point out the difference in “acceptance” and behavior. 

Not sure how I am the problem. Please enlighten me. Seriously. 

lalabobo
by New Member on Jan. 9, 2018 at 4:10 PM

My DH does not treat his father's new wife (whom he married when my DH was well into his 20s) as he would his mother (or anyone else in his family, for that matter).  She is not a stepmother to him and he is not a step-child to her - nor are your now-husband's children to you. They are adults and you married their father.  They don't have to treat you in a parental way.  It doesn't sound that they are being rude, it just sounds like you wish they were more giving towards you.  If you enjoy giving them gifts etc. then keep doing so but you should not expect his children to treat you with the same affection they give their father.

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)