iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 3:50pm

 Here I am again...just needing to vent or maybe ask if anyone else ever feels like they've been thrown back into their first marriage.  Here's the scenario I experienced with my dh last night...

 All 4 of my DD's were in the state this week for their paternal GF's funeral.  They spent 3 whole days with their father and his family, but I assumed they would make a little time for me since I live basically in their father's backyard.  Long story short, they were going to give me a whopping couple hours before they left (day 4).  I had assumed my DD28 who lives in CA was going to spend her last night at my place, but nooo...she stayed at her father's.  My DD26 didn't even have the decency to tell me her plans at all and spent all nights with her father, so I texted DD28 Tuesday morning, that I didn't NEED or WANT her and her sister's "crumbs of time", so I was going to work (had planned on taking the day off) and they could just go home.  So, I didn't seem them at all.  My older 2 have favored their father since the divorce (5 years ago) and it still hurts. 

Needless to say, I was VERY upset and needed comforting.  Dh of course was upset with my DD's for doing this to me AGAIN, but didn't really show compassion.  I expected him to hold me while I cried but he just kept his distance.  I laid on the couch and he never made a move to console me physically.  I finally was very honest with him and told him that I felt like I had married the same man all over again. My ex was the same way.  Is it just the 2 men I've married in my life that are like this or do most men have difficulty showing compassion and sympathy??  I told him he acted just like my ex and look how well THAT marriage ended!  The nice thing about dh is that he DOES tend to listen and then step up to the plate, unlike my ex.  But, in thinking about it, my oldest and youngest DD's are just like their father in this respect and totally shy away from people who are hurting emotionally.  I finally had to forgive my DD28 for how she acted during the divorce...totally favoring her father and running away from me when I got emotional and sad.  Bottom line...was I expecting too much from dh?


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2006
Wed, 07-25-2012 - 4:13pm
I don't think that you are wrong to want DH to comfort you when you are upset. I just think that sometimes we expect people to react the way we would when something happens and we need to realize that they may not think like we do. I think DH is really upset with your daughters and may be frustrated that their isn't anything he can do about it. I believe that the thought of them upsetting his wife and the fact that he probably can't confront them just upsets him to the point that he doesn't want to talk or be bothered. Most men that I have known want to have a solution for problems. When they cannot provide a solution they feel like they didn't do their part. This may be what he is feeling. Now that I think about I can't really think of a time when my DH has hugged or comforted me when sees that I am upset about something. Maybe its just a "man thing". Anyway, I hope you feel better (((startingover)))
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 7:40am

Thanks for replying, giana.  You're probably right...I probably DID expect dh to act as I would.  He was still mad at ME last night for what he called me "attacking HIM".  He felt that I was taking my anger and sadness out on HIM, but that's not what I was doing at all.  We got our anger at each other out and moved on, but he still kept his distance.  I'm thinking men maybe aren't comfortable with tears and shy away.  Dh thought just talking to me was enough, but it wasn't. 

And that IS the problem with being a stepparent.  I'm sure he'd like to just rip into my daughters for being selfish, spoiled brats...only taking THEIR feelings and what THEY want to do into consideration and never their mother's.  But, he knows he can't any more than I can with his sons.  And, believe me, there have been MANY times I would have liked to rip into his sons like no other, but had to remain silent.  It is SOOOO hard. 

I'm feeling a little better day by day, but every time my DDs do this to me, it hurts for quite a while.  The hard part is I've already bought my airline ticket to go see DD next month and now I don't want to go but can't afford to eat that $400.  I haven't heard from either of my DDs since they left and have no desire to contact them.  I had my say with them.  They know how I feel and where I stand and don't care.  :smileysad:

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
In reply to: laurena82
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 8:39am
Ohhhh...(((hugs)) to you SO!

I can definitely RELATE on BOTH accounts here---

The kids only spending "crumbs" of time with you.....yes, yes, yes. And, I thought it was just a "boy" thing, as I have only sons, and, for example, when they were in college..... at Xmas time, I'll spend from Thanksgiving on (or more), getting know, ...the gifts, the tree, the meals, the cookies, the whole thing---and I do way less than I used to, but still, you're doing all of, they come "home" a day or two before hand, and stay at their dads, which is only about 10 miles from here, but nearer the one's GF's house (GF mom's house, that she's staying at).......and so they'd have xmas eve at dad's and come to my place xmas day....around noon...that's fine.......we have presents, we have dinner, they spend the night...........then, Dec 26, one by one they all have reasons to leave, SOMEtimes they'd stay until Dec 27!! .........I KNOW *intellectually* that they arent thinking, they are just staying where more convenient to meet friends, etc..........but, yes, I cry every year----------it's SOOOOOO wonderful to have them there...........and you spend 1/12 of the year (or more) in preparation.....then they are gone. This whole "empty nest" thing has been REALLY hard on me........

As re: the husband supportive...........I am fortunate that my SO will offer hugs and tell me how my kids still love/care for me (plus, LOL, he offers to "be more needy" if I want him to, so I have someone to mother :smileyhappy: )..........................but, yes, other times, when I was sad like that, esp before we lived together, I sometimes felt like he was looking for the excuse to go back home so didnt have to be around when I was sad like that.

I agree with the other poster re: men feeling uncomfortable re: not being able to "do" something about it---------other than your DH just calmly , matter of factly telling your kids that ___________really makes your mother sad, and it bothers me to see your mother so sad over this (my SO did give my kids that talk once or twice when they were more back in HS age over something or the other, ...and I really DID appreciate it----kind of puts a better dynamic on it (I think) than ME whining to them,"you dont spend time with me").

I have to keep reminding myself that when I was that age, I had no interest in hanging out with my parents, either. And I live in a rural area where MANY parents my age have kids who stay living here, and they see them all of the time, and now there are grandkids locally as well.............anyhow, I understand your feelings.

(((more hugs)))

My advice (hard for me, too), is to do your best to "get over it' and just go and visit your DD.............keep honest with them re: how you miss them and want to see them when home/in the area..........(but dont harp on it, either)
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 11:41am

{{{{Laurena}}}}   Hugs to you, too!!!

  It helps alot  to know I'm not alone and there are others out there like me.  Why can't adult children understand who their actions hurt their parents??  I have been SOOOO specific with my DDs and they just still think they're feelings should always come first and I just need to accept that.  It's not fair.  So, I stand my ground and I'm sure they just think I'm being unreasonable.  Whatever.  At this point, I don't care.  I have 2 younger DDs who live around here, so I'll focus on them. 

Part of the problem is that my ex lives just right across the golf course from me...walking distance for my DDs!  He lives in our old 6 bedroom home, so I suppose my DDs are just more comfortable there or whatever.  They also are MUCH closer to his family than they ever were mine and my family doesn't live around here nor does my dh's, so we're both rather orphans.  So, when we have holidays, it's with dh's family who only live 2 1/2 hours away, but my girls don't attend because that's not their family (their words).  I have no family to give.  :smileysad:  Being kicked out of my ex's family was just about as hard as the divorce itself because they were my family, too. It still hurts and probably always will because DDs will always choose that family over me...

I told dh the other night that we made a big mistake buying the condo we did since I can see my old house from the back of our condo (only the driving range and the 18th green separate us).  I don't care normally, but when my DDs are home and I know they're there, it hurts.  And, being 28 and 26, you would think they'd know this and not do this to me.  I was very specific with them last year right before my wedding reception that if they didn't come to my door with suitcase in hand and spend equal time at my place, then not to bother even letting me know they were in town.  This worked for Thanksgiving as they did hear me and do just that.  We had a great time, except we still "had it out" over dinner as dh & I were having dinner at the same time as their father's family.  I told DD26 that  I was sick of moving around our plans to accomodate her father's family and am just not going to do it anymore.  They will just have to choose.  5 years is enough.  I would think they could do every other year with the opposite parent, but I know where their hearts lie and it's not with me. 

I have not heard from my DDs since they left and don't expect to, but DD28 will have to come around since I will be flying in to see her on Aug. 16th.  My DDs and I always have a great time when I go see them.  It's just when they come here that we have problems...and of course, it's always my fault.  DD26 said that's why she hates coming home...because I always do this!  WELL...they always hurt me.  So, it's like a merry-go-round and I'm ready to get off and cut them loose like I did the rest of my ex's family.  I thought I had gotten through to them last Fall, but apparently not.  I now dread holidays and I have a feeling they do, too.  I'm sure DD26 is happy she and her SO are going to his parents' for Christmas as his parents are still married, so there's no having to choose.  (DD28 and her SO - who is from England - stay put since she can only afford to come home for one holiday which is always  Thanksgiving).  For the most part, I just feel like running away at the holidays. 

Thanks again for the support and empathy.  As for dh, I guess I'm just gonna have to accept the way he is and move on.  sigh


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 12:06pm

I think Gianna said it really well.  We expect othes to act as we would. 

If I were to guess, he may also partially be frustrated that you continue to get your expectations up when it comes to your girls.  He may be thinking "Why does she keep setting her self up for this?  She knows how her girls are."   It is kind of like the girlfriend who is always complaining about her DH, and comes to you crying all of the time, yet does nothing to change her situation.  It gets old after a while.

Of course, I am only guessing what your DH might be thinking here. 

Also, and I hate to say this Starting, but the text you sent to your girls about the crumbs of time, probably didn't aide in repairing these relationships.  I see it so clearly in my DD26 - The nut doesn't fall far from the tree.  :smileysad:  When my DD is annoying me, I have to look hard at myself and ask if I am really looking in a mirror here? 

Don't get me wrong, if I lived far away from my kids, I would want to see them when they came to town.  Would I have hoped for more than a few hours before they left for town? Sure I would.  But from what I understand, this is typical behavior for them.  Did you really expect anything different?  Your DH probably thought the same thing. 

When I get all teary eyed, my SO doesn't necessarily get all huggy on me, either.  I think guys in general hate to see girls cry.  Then it seems to depend on the situation what they say or do. 

The main thing with your DH is you two are able to walk through it.  We have to be honest without saying the other person is wrong.  You can be honest and say "I need a hug" and he can be honest and say "I need you to tell me what you need." 

Lastly, my SO is super sensitve when it comes to communication with the adult kids we both have.  He takes a lot of things personally, and I don't so much.   Don't get me wrong, I get twinges now and again when I hear about my big kids spending time with my xH, their x-step-dad.  What is funny, is it bothers my SO more than it does me.  I am thinking "hey, my kids don't have a dad, so kind of cool they have their step-dad around," but SO's perspective is they spend more time with the SOB that I divorced. 

Anyways, so sorry the week didn't go like you had hoped, but we must always look at our part in things.  Doesn't mean the other people are right, it just means we can't control or change them. 



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 2:33pm

I think with dh, he just really does not like how my DDs treat me and doesn't understand why I forgive them so quickly.  (But, I have felt the same way about him and  his DSs as well.)  When I texted him Monday after I found out my DDs weren't spending the night, he texted back one word, "Bit****!!!  He's seen me cry too many times in regards to them and feels that at their ages, they should respect my wishes and not do this to me.  He just thinks they're spoiled & self-centered and have no respect for their mother and not being able to say anything to them, I know has to be hard.

I have been very specific with DDs about my feelings and nothing changes...except for last Thanksgiving which was really good.  I felt like they had finally heard me.  If they lived close by, I wouldn't have a problem, but because I only see them once or twice a year...time is important to me.  I may have let my anger and disappointment get the better of me this time and yes...I do look in the mirror from time to time, but I always go back to what my counselor told me during my divorce.  She told me to "set boundaries with those who hurt me".  In this case, it's my DDs, so I guess going forward, I just may not ever see them if they can't live with my boundaries.  Does this make me sad?  Of course it does.  But, my DD26 did this to me not long ago...quit speaking to me for a year and a half and I survived.  However, I still sent her cards (birthday & Christmas) along with money (which she cashed & didn't acknowledge).  I just never wanted her to feel like I didn't love her.  I have gone above and beyond for my children and yet they do this to me.  Just recently, my DD28 got a promotion at work and I sent her flowers.  I constantly tell them I love them and how much seeing them means to me and yet, I still feel I get the shaft.  I'm tired to be honest.

 Anyway, I feel I need a break from the pain they inflict on me, so by just letting go of them completely, at least I'd get what I feel is a much needed break.  Dh is taking this from his DS29 now.  After 6 years of him bailing him out and nothing changing, he's cut him loose.  He told him he loved him, but can't help him anymore and not to contact him until he straightens his life out.  I may need to tell my DDs the same except tell them that when they are ready to give me the same time and consideration they do their father, do not contact me.  We'll see.  I'm leaving it up to them right now.  I feel by doing what I did, I made a stand and and maybe they will have heard me...loud and clear.  And, then again...maybe not.  Time will tell.  Personally, I wish they'd hurry up and have families of their own, so they'd better understand what being a parent is about.  Even at 28 and 26, they are still so much about themselves... 

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 3:00pm
((((((Even at 28 and 26, they are still so much about themselves... )))))

I have said before how my mom jokes us girls were not much good for anything until we were 30. Honestly, I don't know that I didn't become an actively aware DD until I was closer 40.

Just out of curiousity, as far as this specific trip goes, was there ever any set plans to see any of the girls, or was it all tentative? I ask, just as a thought after you mentioned setting boundries.

I am sure getting all 4 together at the same time may have been impossible, but I guess I am curious what boundry you set before they ever came to town. (just a side note: I hate the counseling terminiology of boundries. It is being honest with yourself so you can be honest with others)

You have heard me talk about SO going months and sometimes even over a year without talking to his kids. He could relate to you Starting, sometimes it is easier to remove yourself. When he does, it always eventually comes around. At least so far with the younger two. Yet to be seen with the oldest. She is pretty messed up.

Anyways, not trying to beat up on you, Starting. Just trying to put myself in your girls position as a daughter, and your position as a mother.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 5:03pm


   Don't worry that you're beating me up.  I do enough of that myself.  My own mother and I have had our own set of problems due to that fact she's a total control freak and of course I worry that I inherited some of her genes.  (Yikes!)   She and I have gone  twice in our  lives without speaking...2 years each.

My family is more like your SO in that regard in that we "remove ourselves" from painful situations.  My DD26 did that with me shortly after the divorce (long story).  She didn't speak to me for a year and a half and I survived.  Maybe I just need to cut them loose until they're over 30!  :smileyhappy:  They just want to do everything their way with no regard to my feelings whatsoever.  I sat both of them down last Fall the day before my wedding reception and talked to them about how I felt.  (The boundary of sleeping at my house half the time or don't bother seeing me at all.)  My question to them has always been, "Why can't you ever put my feelings first?"  To which DD26 replies, "And why can't you put mine first??"  Stalemate.  The problem IS is that what they do hurts me...not the other way around.  All I'm asking them for is equal time.  That's fair.  All's they want is to be where they are comfortable...with their father's family and at his house.  :smileysad:  They don't care that it makes me sad.  See what I mean??

As for whether we had any set plans when they were  DD26 didn't even have the decency to tell me when she and her SO were getting into town or when they were leaving.  I'm sure she knew I'd ask for some of her time and she most likely just didn't want to deal with me.  I assumed that she & her SO were driving back home after the burial on Monday, but later that day in texting with DD28, I found out they were actually spending Monday night at their father's and not leaving until Tuesday!  Yea...THAT hurt.  Dh even saw DD26's SO out running Saturday morning which told me they were at her father's, so I texted her that dh had seen her SO (he didn't even stop to say hello), and neither did SHE.  She could have come over and said hello and had a cup of tea with me, but no.  She never even let me know they were there.  Wow.  Painful.  Anyway, I texted DD28 later Monday afternoon (assuming they were back in town at that point) letting her know her "room" was ready.  Her flight wasn't until 4:00 on Tuesday, so I told her I'd take the day off to spend with her and take her to the airport.  She texted me back that she & DD26 had planned on coming over Tuesday morning before they left!  This was news to ME!  I assumed that since all of the goings on with their father's family was over by noon on Monday, that she could spend the rest of the time with me. I was so wrong.  When I asked her why she had to spend Monday night at her father's, she texted me back, "Because we r in mourning!!!!!!!!!!!!"....just like that.  Whatever.  I saw the "mourning" pictures on Facebook...all smiles and drinking.  Yea.   Plus, by Monday was only her father left of "the family" she wanted to "spend more time with".  More hurt. 

Yea...I think a break is definitely in order.  5 years of this is enough.  But, again...I'm supposed to be flying out to see her in 3 weeks, so not sure how this is all gonna play out. 

Divorce is really easier when kids are little because the courts mandate how much time they have to spend with each parent and which holidays.  Adult children can choose and I'm the big loser in the whole thing.  My dh told me he can understand how I feel because his ex's parents were divorced and he saw how his ex and her 4 sisters favored their mother and how left out their father felt.  So, when my girls do this to me, I just tell dh to call me "AL'  (his XFIL). 

On a positive note, DD25 is coming over for dinner tonight.  She's in a wedding on Saturday and borrowing a pair of my heels, so I took the opportunity to invite her for dinner.  It's a rare occurence as she and I work opposite schedules.  Dh and I are going to this wedding as it's one of my best friend's daughter (and DD25's friend) who is getting married.  I will finally get to see one of my DDs walk down the aisle...even though she's not the bride.  Oh, well.   :smileyhappy: 



Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Thu, 07-26-2012 - 5:40pm
I think in some respects we need to be grateful for the little things, like DD coming over for dinner.

We got a pleasant surprise last night. I pulled in the driveway yesterday evening and both DSD21 and DSS17 were sitting in the garage with SO. Him and DD21 recently reconnected after a year of silence, and DSD had not been over, nor had I seen or talked to him, since he moved out in February.

I was so excited to see him I asked if I could give him a hug. All the drama aside, I hate to see SO struggle with his kids. Would I let him move back in? No. But still crazy about the kid.

He actually found himself a decent job! We were excited to hear all about it. DSD21 is getting ready to graduate doing her externship right now.

They stayed for dinner and I think they both enjoyed all eating together again. It was wonderful to have all 3 of the younger kids together again.

Just have to relish those moments. I usually only hear from my DS23 when he needs something or is really upset over something. But honestly, I am okay with that. Been a little itchy to see him more though.


DD26 is in her first wedding in two weeks, well...I should say a domestic partnership ceremony. A sign of the times. Never would have thought....
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 8:01am

That had to be soooo nice to come home to!  Glad to hear they came around.  I wish I had at least SOME feelings for dh's kids.  I DO care about them, but I doubt I will ever be crazy about them as you are.  You and SO sound ike you have more of a "blended family" than ours which will never be. 

So, what good job did DSS17 get?  DSS19 was supposed to have a second interview at a place here like the Home Depot and we were SO hoping he'd get it, but they never called back.  Dh said he's pretty bummed.  He quit his job at KFC.  So, I suppose we'll end up spending major bucks to get him his license back, a he can get over to the CC and get some training in something.  Dh said if we don't, he'll just veg in our basement for 2-3 more years and neither one of us want THAT.

What externship for DSD21?  My DD25 who came over last night was supposed to have an externship this summer in Medical Assistant, but she dropped out in January due to her arrest for possession.  She wanted to work more at her job to pay off her fines.  I keep telling her she better finish or she will always work low-paying jobs and be broke as she claims to be all the time. 

You mentioned DSD23 being "all messed up"  How so?  She certainly couldn't be more messed up than dh's 2 older sons. 

DD25 and I had a nice dinner, but I was little miffed at dh.  He was still sulking, so hardly said a word to DD and of course she noticed.  My girls aren't all that fond of dh as it is for things he's done in the past, so this doesn't help.  :smileysad:  After she left, I confronted him and he was still mad at me and had expected an apology from me for "atttacking him"!  I was floored!  My apology went something like this, "Fine.  I'm sorry I expected something from you you obviously don't have to give. My mistake.  Next time I'm upset, I will cry in the bedroom alone and not expect anything from you."  He's such a baby.  UGH

Well, I'm really happy for your SO. He and I do sound much alike.  If it wasn't for my trip to see DD28 coming up, I would just remove myself from their lives for now.  I need it.  I did this earlier this year only because I was tired of being the one to always contact my DDs and they never called ME.  It was DD26 (after 2 months) who called and asked me if I was alive!  Finally!  She told me keeping in contact goes both ways which is ironic because THAT was the message I was trying to make!  I'm just exhausted from trying to get my DDs to care about me.  I'm done.