Feeling used - what would you do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2009
Feeling used - what would you do?
9
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 2:34pm

I am totally fed up because it seems to me that my SD is everyones priority and if I don't play ball I get sarky comments from MIL.

The truth is when I was more involved it was appreciated, infact I was TOLD that it wasn't fair on me to do so much. Any time I spent with SD on her own was stopped by bioparent/s.

Consequently because I was aa key player in the blended family, we saw less and less of SD. Basically I used to mind SD if her dad was at work. SD only sees us if her dad is around and because he gets hardly any whole weekends off it's not that often. Plus as a couple we want to spend weekends together doing our own thing.

Roll on 3 yrs SD is 11 and my input is required again. And if I don't want/can't I'm made to feel bad. No one noticed or cared to ask why we saw SD less and less and no one asked me what I thought. When I mean no one I mean my inlaws.

The problem isn't with SD, she's a good kid. I just feel used. Is it wrong to develop a bond with SD, because I did when we spent so much time together. DH said my presence brought him and DD closer. It was literally as soon as we returned from our honeymoon that my input in SDs life was restricted.

Anyway now my input is required again and I'm not sure what to do.

I still get on with SD so I could start to rebuild our relationship to how it was before or I could think once bitten twice shy and refuse.

I'm still pretty cross about being cast aside and having no control over that and that is what makes me think 'no why should I be picked up again because it suits everyone else' just because it's finally been realised that actually I am a key player in this blended family'.

I haven't really had an apology for how this has bothered me. Infact I get the impression that as a SM I don't have or shouldn't have feelings for a non-bio child.

What would you do?

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2007
Tue, 02-09-2010 - 8:44pm

okay, I'm going to be blunt here, but sounds like IL's need to but out a bit!!!!!!!!

KRISTIE
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-08-2008
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 1:44pm

Well...this sort of DID happen to me also.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2009
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 3:08pm

Wow! Someone who really understands.

For ages DH said my involvement was restricted to make MY life easier yet when I told him I missed SD nothing changed. I never fully believed that story and have always been 99.9% sure that BM made this decision and DH went along with it for a quiet life. I know my DH well enough to know he doesn't change things for change sake. It wouldn't be the first time she used her kid to get at DH (the usual if you don't do this, you won't see SD - get the picture?) Eventually DH said it was to make HIS life easier and he broke down in tears. He swears it was nothing to do with BM. Like you, Nowayisthisnametaken, we had couple counselling and this was all shared with the counsellor. The bottom line is that I DID NOT feel put upon but was made to feel for a LONG time that restricting SDs contact with me was to make my life EASIER.

I feel happier knowing DH has said he doesn't see SD much these days to make HIS life easier because I am not implicated in anyway. And quite rightly too.

Like you I have removed myself, pulled back. And I won't be bullied into changing that. DH wanted me to look after SD in the morning while he was at work the other day and I said I was too busy. The sort of sarky underhand comment I get from his mum is "Son, give a busy women a job to do and she'll do more". That makes me feel undermined. I suspect DH hasn't told his mum the full story though and like all mums they adore their sons and will readily blame the wife for whatever.

I was unhappy a long time for being cast aside and I think SD feels it too because remember she was also cast aside but I am happy because DH has said it was to make his life easier. I doubt SD will feel happy though.

It's going to take a long time for me to become involved and sarky comments from inlaws won't help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2009
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 6:12pm
Just remembered another thing my inlaws do to show their lack of support or understanding.
My parents always buy my SD a small present for thanksgiving or birthday. Last time they were here and SD was here I gave her a late birthday present from my parents to her. MIL looks throughly p'd off and brings it to FILs attention who is in another room which makes me know they 'talk about SD, me, my family etc'. Not a word of thanks or anything.
You know what? Stuff them! Stuff 'em all!
SD is ok with all this and when and if she blanks all acts of kindness - then all acts of kindness will stop.
The friggin' adults who are old enough to know better will have to learn it's not all about them!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-13-2007
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 11:49pm

I'm not sure if I read your last post right...

Are you angry because your inlaws didn't say thank you for a gift your parents gave your SD ??

Tell me I read that wrong...

Anyway? Your inlaws can only make you feel badly if you allow it. Stop allowing it. The relationship between you and your SD is none of their business. They can whine and moan all they want...so what? And if you've had enough ? TELL THEM it's none of their business. I know it sounds simplistic, but stop caring what they think. Why does it matter so much ?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 1:37pm

"It was literally as soon as we returned from our honeymoon that my input in SDs life was restricted.
Anyway now my input is required again and I'm not sure what to do.
I still get on with SD so I could start to rebuild our relationship to how it was before or I could think once bitten twice shy and refuse.
I'm still pretty cross about being cast aside and having no control over that and that is what makes me think 'no..."

Sounds to me like you MIL is very childishly jealous. Whenever a new adult is added to a family, some people will get their fur all ruffled AND allow that to affect their behavior. It's because they are insecure, a little short-sighted and childish.

Now that you are no longer "new," and they effectively put a distance between you and their wonderful little jewel, they feel safe to use you as a convenient babysitter. This is just one woman's opinion. I think that you must let the knee-jerk nastiness of childish adults roll off of you without it causing any change in what YOU want to do with your life.

If you want to have more time with your SD, and it is being offered, then go for it. You are free to just enjoy the girl, and you don't have accept the day-to-day responsibilities if you don't wish to. You are very free, you may do as you wish. And you might even learn to feel a bit of pity for your very limited MIL whose world must be a very scary, black place (inside her head).

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2009
Sun, 02-14-2010 - 8:36am

"If you like your SD and vice versa, the only one that gets hurt by you staying out is the two of you."

Well put, I agree with this. Thanks for your message. I thought about what you said and think not expecting an apology from MIL makes sense. I'd be waiting a long time and life is too short for that!

I've decided that as I am going to be around for the longterm and because SD is going to always be in the picture I will look further ahead to how I want things to be and take baby steps to make that happen. She's older now and will be able to form her own opinion and make her own decisions. If I am absent or disengaged then I can expect her to treat me with indifference in the future.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-29-2009
Sun, 02-14-2010 - 8:53am

"Sounds to me like you MIL is very childishly jealous. Whenever a new adult is added to a family, some people will get their fur all ruffled AND allow that to affect their behavior. It's because they are insecure, a little short-sighted and childish."

Yes Yes Yes!!! I always thought that MIL was jealous of my relationship with SD. She tried to push me out the picture a few times by manipulating DH and tugging on his heartstrings and using SD to do this. Getting married told her I was there to stay and I agree I think it ruffled BMs feathers. BM HATES it when SD gives me a hug and kiss goodbye if she is there and has been known to pull SD away before she can. DH always said SD adored me and this was probably part of the problem.

"Now that you are no longer "new," and they effectively put a distance between you and their wonderful little jewel, they feel safe to use you as a convenient babysitter."

Wow! I never thought about it like that but you know what? That makes real sense.

"If you want to have more time with your SD, and it is being offered, then go for it. You are free to just enjoy the girl, and you don't have accept the day-to-day responsibilities if you don't wish to."

Agree! That sounds a really attractive proposition. I am going to go back to being open and giving and let go of my hurt and disappointment which has led me to be a bit indifferent, disengaged and uninvolved. My relationship with SD is still good and so can be built on. The foundations are there and as far as I am concerned they are solid. I think this will make DH very happy because all this cr*p has made him miss out on his daugther.

x x x

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2007
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 2:16pm

Sounds like you are feeling better about this and I'm glad!!!!!

KRISTIE