I was childless by choice when I met XWH. He had five kids, one girl and four boys. When we met DD was 13 and the DS's were 12,11,9 and 8. Yeah. Holy cow, right? But I loved these kids immediately, and thanks to their emotionally unavailable mother, they had room in their hearts for me. We grew very close, especially DD and I. Over the years, two of the boys got kicked out by their mother and came to live with us full time. One of them was 17 and living with us during the A. He was right there at ground zero when our family exploded.
Fast forward to now. I just spent Thanksgiving with DD, and 3 of the DS's. Oh, and their birth mother, XWH's other ex-wife. That was interesting. I was nervous but she was very nice. XWH cheated on her also, and she "laid into him" about what he did to me and they haven't spoken since. The kids are miserable and don't like OW. XWH is spending all his time and money on HER kids (19 and 21), including supporting them full time, and has no interest in his own kids. OEW (other exwife) said to me, "The best father he ever was, was while he was with you. And I know that was BECAUSE of you. Since you guys broke up, he's back to the same useless piece of shit father he was before."
Talk about a surreal conversation. I never thought I'd be having that conversation with her. She's a lousy mom and I resent her for that, but its also obvious that much of what I've been told about her are lies. Just like I'm sure OW has been told lies about me.
And DS17, who was living with us when it all ended, he had to go with XWH of course. He was so miserable that he called his mother, whom he hadn't spoken to in a year, and asked to come live with her. She said yes and he moved. OEW told me that when DS17 left, he told his father that he had lost all respect for him, and he would never forgive him for what he did to me and our family, and he would never accept OW ever, ever, EVER.
Of course its sad to see the father/son relationship break down, but XWH is getting what he deserves, not that he really cares one way or the other.
I'm driving to spend early Christmas with DD and her family tomorrow. On the way there I'm meeting XMIL for breakfast. It's just such a strange holiday season this year. So many less presents to wrap, no kid stockings to fill. Three of the five are older and moving on with their lives, so things were gradually changing anyway, but its still just sad. I went from being part of such a large family to just me here with my dog and cat.
I don't really have a question, I guess. I'm just curious how others have dealt with ongoing post-D relationships with kids that are not yours. Sometimes it's painful, because I hear things about XWH and OW that I'd rather not hear. As long as I'm connected to this family, I'll still be vulnerable to getting hurt in this way. But I love these kids, and worry about them, DS(now)18 in particular.
Anyway, sorry to drag on so long. Any thoughts, shared stories, or advice would be appreciated.
((hugs to all))
Right now is harder than it looks. ~ Van Halen
Yes, I'm flying out of state on Sun to be with my parents through Christmas day, that's why I'm seeing DD tomorrow. I have no family locally. DD22 was planning to do her own Christmas, like she did for Thanksgiving, and had invited me to that as well. But since I'm going to be out of town, I think she's going to be guilted into spending it with XWH, OW and XFIL.
It's so childish and dumb but I'm going to be sad if she does spend it with them. But since I'm leaving, I have no right to complain, I guess.
My WH is technically my childrens' stepdad, but that's never been the truth of it. They bonded with him, love him, and think of him as their father. In our case, it made it doubly a betrayal when he chose a fantasy life and relationships where we didn't exist. My oldest boy, who is also 17, was extremely emotional when he found out. It's never a good age to watch a parent do something terrible, but right there, at the change from kid to more adult, it's especially painful. They're old enough to understand, but too young to take positions based on their own preferences.
That's one nice thing about them (both yours and mine) getting older - they get to choose who they associate with. I bet yours continue to choose you. Kids are always going to gravitate towards the people that truly love them and protect their best interests. And funny to find a bridge with his ex; and even all the better for the kids.
You're important to them. You made/make a difference. You are their parent in all the ways that truly matter in the long run.
Here's a current post from DS18 on facebook:
Everyone's all excited for Christmas.... and its now official that all holidays have become like my birthday except probably more meaningless. This year, my dad didn't recognize my birthday, nor is he recognizing me. Same goes for Christmas.
Yeah, I definitely worry about this kid...
I have absolutely no contact with them at all. They have never met my DD.
I saw younger SS in the grocery store a few years ago. He said "hi" but looked uncomfortable.
DS (6), DS (18 months)
Aug 30 2013 He gives me back his ring with an ultimatum: "Get over it or get out".
Status: Done like dinner
When WS told his son last month that we were splitting up, DS cried. He moved out a year ago (to go back to the country where he was born and where we lived when we were first married), but even so he took it very hard. He called me the next morning at work to see 'if I was ok.'
We haven't spoken since. I would call, but I don't know what to say. I wrote him a letter telling him that he would always have a place in my heart and that he could call me or write me any time, but he always had difficulty accepting me as a parent so it does not surprise me that he is not making an effort to keep in touch now.
Sometimes I think about calling him, but it's so awkward. I know he's grieved and ashamed of what his dad has done, although he knows almost nothing of the details except that there was infidelity and that his dad decided to leave me. If he knew his dad had sex with a teenage girl whom he himself had hoped to make his girlfriend, I don't know how he would react. Or how he would react to the news that he has a sibling whom his dad has been concealing from everyone for nearly five years. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Maybe I should call him and try to keep the conversation about him and me, and hope he doesn't bring his dad into it. It's just so hard.
I struggle with the relationship but don't let her see it. I struggle because I have to hear about him and how much she hates him. I text her and she texts back. She has stayed with me when he travels for work with his ho worker. I try to be there for her and that is all I can do. I know the relationship will probably fade away. She is 17 and will adjust to her new life. It is not my responsibility to nurture the relationship between her and her dad. He messed it up and he needs to fix it.
I have contemplated letting her live with me but I don't think it is the best idea right now.
I was very close to my father's second wife, she's the mother of one of my half brothers. When he was married to her, we saw him every weekend, and every holiday that was his. It was the most time I ever spent with my father.
When he cheated on her, and left her for his OW, she stayed in touch with us, through my mother. I saw my half brother that way, because my father forgot he had children.
I'm 37, and they divorced when I was 12. I am still close to her, and my father has been married 2 more times. (I'm also close to my current stepmother--but me and W#2 had a real bond.)