Blended Families

Perspectives please - BF, divorce, and adulthood (really long)

At the bottom is "fast forward to now" if you'd like to skip the background. 

Background:  My mom has been married now 5 times for 4 men.  My father was her first husband and they were married twice.  They were married when my mom was 17, had my brother 4 years later, divorced, got pregnant with me (oops), remarried, and divorced when I was around 6 months old.  Each parent took one child and I've only seen my father 3 times in my life and talked to him maybe 10 times so I don't have a relationship with my BF.  

My mom remarried when I was a baby and had my brother 3 years later.  They were married until I was around 7 years old.  I still have a relationship with SF #1.  His name has always been "Dad" to me.  He's always lived out of state but we talk weekly.  I've visited him on several occasions, he's visited me on several occasions, and I have a great relationship with my uncle and cousin on his side.  In fact, my dad and uncle are coming to visit me next month!  

Less than a year later, my mom remarried SF #2 and he had a daughter from a pervious marriage.  They were married for 19 years.  They had my sister when I was 9.  To say he and I's relationship was strained is an understatement.  The day I moved out was the best day of my life.  He was an alcoholic who regularly beat my mother and brother.  I endured emotional abuse and frequent sleep deprivation because of his 'rules'.  I believe he never hit me because he knew I would turn him in.  However, there were many times I would have rather been beat than what I went through.  I should have turned him in for what he did to us.  I tried.  I called the police when he had my brother, at age 6, in the front yard kicking him in the chest and stomach.  The police saw it happening, arrested him, and still let him go.  No charges were filed.  I spent the rest of my life at home protecting my siblings the best way I knew how and dedicated my mandatory sleepless nights into school, band, and cheerleading so I could go to college and get the heck out.  I ended up receiving a full scholarship.  After 19 years of marriage, SF #2 left my mom.  He'd been hiding money for 5 years to support his mistress and build them a house less than 3 miles from our house.  On Thanksgiving, he left a note and was gone.  I don't know why, but I was determined to still maintain a relationship with him because he did raise me and my mom told me that was the right thing to do.

My mom has since married SF #3.  He's an amazing man, actually.  He is closer to my grandpa's age than my mom's.  He considers my siblings and I his children even though we're adults now.  He's currently in the next state over visiting his children and will also be spending time to visit me.  He told me "I'm taking this trip to see my kids.  Why wouldn't I see all of my kids minus one daughter."   

SF #2 married the woman he was cheating with and she has a daughter.  He treats her how I only wish he would have treated me.  When I would try to do my homework or read a book, he'd tell me I was a POS and would amount to nothing more than a laborer so would make me go outside and fill 5 gallon buckets with rocks from the yard.  I find that ironic since I was in gifted education and had full scholarships for my undergrad and PhD.  When she does her homework or reads a book, she's the smartest girl he's ever met.  Whatever.  SF #2's wife makes all communication between SF #2 and I go through her.  She's also present for all time he spends with my brother and sister.   

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If you've made it this far... Thanks :)  

Fast forward to now:

I posted something on Facebook about thanking God and my mother for delivering me the greatest gift - my best friend and sister - on her birthday along with a sappy I love you.  I didn't purposely leave off SF #2.  I just don't really have a relationship with HIM anymore - all communication is through his wife.  Though, really it's no thanks to him that my sister is alive.  He DID shove my mom through the garage door where she landed on her stomach when she was 8 months pregnant.  She nearly miscarried, was put on bed rest, and my sister was delivered via emergency c-section 2 weeks later.  But apparently his wife found my post offensive (she controls his Facebook) and posted a derogatory status update to that effect.  

SF #2's daughter from his first marriage said something snarky saying I was disrespecting her father, tagging me (I deleted the tag) and I messaged her saying I did not mean to be disrespectful to him in any way, I knew his wife controlled their Facebook.  Mind your own business.  Of course, she immediately ran to SF #2's wife and she called me to chew me out.  She told me what piece of crap I was and I should respect my father and how dare I post something about my sister's birthday and not include her dad.  I told her I was equally offended by her post and she didn't know the whole story so back off.  She went on to tell me awful things SF #2 said about it, too.  My last words to her were, "You have NO idea the awful things he did to my mom, my brother, to me, and almost to my sister.  He's treated me like less than a person for long enough.  Him calling me names is worse than you calling me names at this point and I don't have to endure it anymore.  You can both go to Hell."  She hung up (understandably).  

This is the millionth time she's called me to b!tch me out about something I said or didn't say to my SF - his father's day card was late and had his name (which I've always called him by) on the envelope instead of Dad...  I didn't send him a Christmas Card (neither did he)...  I didn't call on his birthday (I did, he answered wasted and we talked PLUS I sent a gift)... I didn't call on HER daughter's birthday or HER birthday... etc.  Which, they've never called on my birthday or sent a card, called or sent a card for SS's birthday, DH's birthday... 

My sister is now upset (sad) because I've written off her father.  I protected her well from all of it growing up so she doesn't know the whole story.  My inclination is to say screw it - I'm done.  Why would I have ever tried to maintain a relationship with a monster (trust me - it was really bad growing up I just didn't get into all the details)? He treats my husband like crap - saying things like, "some of us work for a living so are better than you"... DH works full time or over time while SF #2 was just fired from job #3 in 2 years.  I don't get that at all but that's his favorite thing to say to DH.  He ignores SS.  DH wants me to have nothing to do with him or his wife because of how upset it always makes me.  

The other part wants to forgive, as I always have, because technically he was a father figure - the whole 'respect your elders' thing - and it would make my sister less stressed.  I forgave him because as long as my brother was old enough to fight back and he was away from my mom, he couldn't' hurt them anymore.  I learned to ignore the derogatory things he said to me.    

Am I being a brat or justified in cutting ties?  The other option is to say if he wants a relationship, let him call.  If he doesn't, problem solved.  He won't call.  He never does.  

 

image

"To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue...gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."

Re: Perspectives please - BF, divorce, and adulthood (really long)

  • imagewendilea:
    You get to choose who you allow in your "bubble."  Toxic people can stay out.  It doesn't matter if they are family or not.  Live your life without him in it, and enjoy!

    Thank you.  I just feel guilty.  I tried cutting him out SO many times growing up only to get a guilt trip about it.  It's hard.  I DO know that those that I keep on my "inner bubble" love me unconditionally and always have my best interests at heart as I do theirs.  I think it would be easier if I didn't feel like I was upsetting my sister by not having a relationship with her father.  It was always for her that I pretended everything was A-OK.   

    image

    "To be able to practice five things everywhere under heaven constitutes perfect virtue...gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness, and kindness."
  • wwnbwwwnbw member

    I would cut him out. I mean you don't even really have a relationship with him but rather his wife. How old is your sister now?

    ETA: Has he ever acknowledged the way he treated you?

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  • You should forgive him for yourself. But forgiving doesn't mean you keep the relationship. This man abused you. His daughter (not your sister) and current wife are probably living a closer life to what you had then you think. Someone that thinks these thing are okay doesn't change over-night.

    I second everything Sue said!

    You didn't deserve what he did to you as a child and you don't have to endure his, his wife, or his daughters abuse now! The only person that should feel guilt is him. Just because he lived in the same home with you doesn't make him a dad.

    Move on knowing you are doing the right thing! Be honest with your sister and enjoy your relationship!

  • WahooWahoo member
    imageCheerilee:

    I don't know why, but I was determined to still maintain a relationship with him because he did raise me and my mom told me that was the right thing to do.

    Of course, she immediately ran to SF #2's wife and she called me to chew me out.  She told me what piece of crap I was and I should respect my father and how dare I post something about my sister's birthday and not include her dad.  

    He's not your father. 

    My sister is now upset (sad) because I've written off her father.  I protected her well from all of it growing up so she doesn't know the whole story.  My inclination is to say screw it - I'm done.  Why would I have ever tried to maintain a relationship with a monster (trust me - it was really bad growing up I just didn't get into all the details)?

    He treats my husband like crap - saying things like, "some of us work for a living so are better than you"... DH works full time or over time while SF #2 was just fired from job #3 in 2 years.  I don't get that at all but that's his favorite thing to say to DH.  He ignores SS.  DH wants me to have nothing to do with him or his wife because of how upset it always makes me.  

    The other part wants to forgive, as I always have, because technically he was a father figure - the whole 'respect your elders' thing - and it would make my sister less stressed.  

    Am I being a brat or justified in cutting ties?  The other option is to say if he wants a relationship, let him call.  If he doesn't, problem solved.  He won't call.  He never does. 

    The title of your post specifically mentions adulthood.  ADULTS pick and choose their own relationships.  I don't see that here - at all.  You basically have allowed other people to dictate to you what your relationship should be with SF#2, what you should call him, how often you should call, etc. 

    You also, as a married adult, need to respect your H.  It is crappy of YOU to continue in a relationship with someone who shows disrespect to HIM.  If you married in a church, you vowed to put your DH before all others.  And, as an adult and stepmother, you should be protecting your own SS.  Your sister is a grown up - let her handle her own relationships.  If Wife#2 throws a fit at your sister's graduation, excuse yourself and say "this is SS's day."  SF#2 is not your father.  You have plenty of great men in your life - you don't need to waste time on one who treats you like dirt.

    I agree with the PP who said you need therapy.  You are so used to allowing people to tell you how to act, what to think, how to address your cards.  I will tell you this - you are still being treated badly now, because you allow it to happen.  Of course, when you were a little girl you couldn't protect yourself (it was your mom's job), but at this point in your life - - you are making a choice to allow yourself to allow the abuse to continue.  And you are making the choice to allow your DH to be abused.  And SS.  PLEASE get yourself into counseling so you gain the strength you need to make better choices!

    FYI - - my H cut off ties with his own father because his stepmother treated him (and me) badly.  He got a LOT of pushback from his siblings (and extended family), and then, over time, his siblings stopped communicating with their father as well.  It took someone like my H to stand up for himself for them to realize that they didn't need to put up with SM's cr*p.  His story is complicated............but in the end people learned to respect my H's decision, and if they didn't, to keep their mouths shut about their opinions.

     

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
  • WahooWahoo member
    imageCheerilee:

    I don't know why, but I was determined to still maintain a relationship with him because he did raise me and my mom told me that was the right thing to do.

    Of course, she immediately ran to SF #2's wife and she called me to chew me out.  She told me what piece of crap I was and I should respect my father and how dare I post something about my sister's birthday and not include her dad.  

    He's not your father. 

    My sister is now upset (sad) because I've written off her father.  I protected her well from all of it growing up so she doesn't know the whole story.  My inclination is to say screw it - I'm done.  Why would I have ever tried to maintain a relationship with a monster (trust me - it was really bad growing up I just didn't get into all the details)?

    He treats my husband like crap - saying things like, "some of us work for a living so are better than you"... DH works full time or over time while SF #2 was just fired from job #3 in 2 years.  I don't get that at all but that's his favorite thing to say to DH.  He ignores SS.  DH wants me to have nothing to do with him or his wife because of how upset it always makes me.  

    The other part wants to forgive, as I always have, because technically he was a father figure - the whole 'respect your elders' thing - and it would make my sister less stressed.  

    Am I being a brat or justified in cutting ties?  The other option is to say if he wants a relationship, let him call.  If he doesn't, problem solved.  He won't call.  He never does. 

    The title of your post specifically mentions adulthood.  ADULTS pick and choose their own relationships.  I don't see that here - at all.  You basically have allowed other people to dictate to you what your relationship should be with SF#2, what you should call him, how often you should call, etc. 

    You also, as a married adult, need to respect your H.  It is crappy of YOU to continue in a relationship with someone who shows disrespect to HIM.  If you married in a church, you vowed to put your DH before all others.  And, as an adult and stepmother, you should be protecting your own SS.  Your sister is a grown up - let her handle her own relationships.  If Wife#2 throws a fit at your sister's graduation, excuse yourself and say "this is SS's day."  SF#2 is not your father.  You have plenty of great men in your life - you don't need to waste time on one who treats you like dirt.

    I agree with the PP who said you need therapy.  You are so used to allowing people to tell you how to act, what to think, how to address your cards.  I will tell you this - you are still being treated badly now, because you allow it to happen.  Of course, when you were a little girl you couldn't protect yourself (it was your mom's job), but at this point in your life - - you are making a choice to allow yourself to allow the abuse to continue.  And you are making the choice to allow your DH to be abused.  And SS.  PLEASE get yourself into counseling so you gain the strength you need to make better choices!

    FYI - - my H cut off ties with his own father because his stepmother treated him (and me) badly.  He got a LOT of pushback from his siblings (and extended family), and then, over time, his siblings stopped communicating with their father as well.  It took someone like my H to stand up for himself for them to realize that they didn't need to put up with SM's cr*p.  His story is complicated............but in the end people learned to respect my H's decision, and if they didn't, to keep their mouths shut about their opinions.

     

    image "Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.
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