"Not my responsibility"
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|Thu, 06-07-2012 - 12:11am|
I've been married for 19 years. DH has 4 kids from first marriage (3 ss and 1 sd). Didn't want anymore. Although difficult, I came to accept that and chose to marry him anyway. He suffers from divorce guilt even now when it comes to his kids. I've sacrificed financially and emotionally over the years trying to do what is best for the kids. 5 years ago SD moved in with us at age 23. She was living with her BM and wanted help transitioning to moving out on her own. BM is a financial disaster and SD was in bad shape financially. SD also has self-confidence issues and trouble making decisions. Asking for help was a big deal and a positive step in the right direction. So we agreed to help SD and told her she had 5 years to figure it out. We've spent about $40K cash to "fix" her mistakes, and gave her financial training. She still overspends and hasn't taken advantage of the 5 years of free rent and help to get a degree or career training. She is now 28 and it is time for her to move out. I don't think she has planned for this and I anticipate she will continue to need some financial help and emotional support. I asked my DH what SD plans were and the old divorce guilt took over. He said some very hurtful things ("This is MY responsibility" "Don't ask her because you're only doing this to be mean" "You are just trying to make me feel guilty because your feelings are hurt" etc. etc. ) that basically boil down to "This is my kid, just butt out". I finally got through to him explaining that I believe in SD and want her to succeed and become an independent adult, which was the goal we all agreed on. I just want to make sure there is a plan, otherwise she will fail. DH agreed and talked to her but specifically excluded me from the conversation.
Here is my problem.....I knew what I was getting into when I got married, but this latest incident has me crushed emotionally. I feel like my heart has been ripped out. I am trying to be rational and compassionate.....I know SD is scared, I know DH is conflicted about pushing her out of the nest even if it is best for her, I know she isn't my daughter. But I feel so wounded. After 19 years, I feel like my worst fears and insecurities have been confirmed. This ISN"T my family. I am the SECOND wife. etc. etc. All the usual coping mechanisms have failed me this time. It has been 2 weeks and I just can't get past this and find any peace within myself. I feel totally betrayed by my husband. I don't know what to do. I don't want a divorce, but I don't want to continue to feel this way. DH is doing his usual "stick the head in the sand until this blows over" and can't be depended on for emotional support. This is affecting my attitude toward both my husband and step daughter which won't help in the long run. My emotional barriers are way up and I find myself crying at some point every day. I've done counseling before, but all the tricks I've learned from counselors in the past aren't working. I feel like I'm grieving but no one has died. I just don't know what to do.