end of rope

wakajawaka

I thought I could do this. I have some good memories of my SD. Husband and I together since she was in 2nd grade. She could be sweet, bright and funny.
She was super close to BM, to whom intimacy means insulting a third party , gossip and backstabbing, especially against females. People are judged on appearance,money and status. To disagree is to lose mama's love. BM often acts like a jealous middle school friend.
history is, BM got husband to move across the country, then soon dumped him with no good cause when SD was small. BM got child support and he always paid extra though he did not make that much and did not save for retirement . I suggested it for years then finally filled out the applications.
He cared for SD half the time, school days,the hardest work. Because of the backstory, I saw him as devoted and noble.
BM told SD that I am responsible for her parents not being together though I met him years after the divorce. I would hear about this and other crap from SD and felt bad for her though she seemed to enjoy trying to get me mad and say stuff. I never would, just said BM didn't know me. This was true, she made a point of refusing to meet me.
I know it undermines a child to use them like this. SD was as a kid often stressed, controlling, mood swings, bad temper, sweet to people until out of earshot then trashed them,obsessed with social plots and mean-girl TV shows, verbally abusive of her dad. He would wake at 5 30 AM to make her breakfast, run her bath, and get called an idiot.
SD and I often got along. I helped with school, we played as a family. When she got nasty, I would often distract her, offer different points of view, or sometimes leave. When she said things about the "losers" at school, I encouraged her to be decent. When she teased and poked me, husband might give a weak correction she was free to ignore.
I tried telling him that letting a kid run the show and manipulate parents does her no good. It did me and him no good either. Because he did not seem to care, I tried to frame it as about SD's benefit. In short, I have talked myself practically to death, to no avail.
I have never had input in decisions, I am used to this, but sometime have been unable to keep silent about what I see.
I was excluded from her grade school graduation and husband did not see why I was upset. I tried to leave at that point. I could see the way it was but went back.He never did acknowledge the disrespect, just told me the ceremony was not much fun and held it against me for leaving town that week.
Now SD is in midteens. After dropping out of the high pressure high school her mom made her attend despite SD not being suited to the school's specialty, she missed a grade is now back in a private school and living with BM, in BM's country, where public school stinks. (BM got citizenship in US by marrying) husband) I would not be surprised if husband has stopped saving for retirement. It's not something he would be likely to tell me. There's no college money and the high school transcript is not going well.
SD plans to come back- by herself- to go to high school. She would be dependent on husband. The plans change frequently and I am told afterwards.( He says he does not want to upset me.)
I asked him many times to let me know what is going to happen. He says he can't, because... SD fights with BM, sometimes violently, refuses to go to school again, whatever the latest reason things "can't " be sane enough to let me feel secure. he wants to be "available" for SD without condition. He thinks he can help her this way. I know he cares a lot about her and would like to see more of her, I understand. But I am scared. It's my only marriage, no kids of my own, and I hate to let it be sabotaged. But I have seen it get really crazy.when it's bad, his phone is on all night, and there is no us, really.
Last week I again asked, if he won't insist there be a plan, at least acknowledge that this affects us, rather than just announcing what is to happen. The plans were reversed- she was to fly back within days, flight booked, then the whole thing was off. He just told me each development after it was planned, without mentioning what it means for us. kind of disassociated , like he was telling me some random news story.
It's supposed to not matter to me because we don't live together. With all this, I was afraid to move in with them.
He's a pushover for the drama and it "has " to be this way. It's bad for us. I have tried for years to address this. With his understanding, I could deal with whatever they do. But without him being able to hear me , and set any boundaries, I am scared and feel no choice but to seperate.
I swore I would go through anything to stay together. I finally had a "tribe". I wanted to show them I was there and we could make it. Hate to let SD go through another a split, not good for her though she has contributed to it. It is so painful.I am not so young anymore, put many years into this family, and the city can be isolating. He and I have had many good times and he is wonderful in many ways. But I can't accept these terms any more.
Thanks for any support. Please don't tell me I should have seen it, I already know.

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sylviatexas1

I am so sorry.

Sometimes I think that we women need to learn from men;
we talk, & suggest, & hint, & try to get along, & try to be "supportive" & "loving", & if we ask for what we want, we ask for it timidly, & we think that that'll make people value us more *but many times it has the exact opposite effect*.
Nobody has to give us anything, including consideration or respect, because there are no consequences;
no matter what happens, no matter how badly they treat us, we stay.

That's a sure-fire recipe for doormat-dom & a bleak future.

If we were to say what we want, & go get it for ourselves if it isn't forthcoming, & think of ourselves first, & be willing to vote with our feet (leave when the situation is insupportable), I think we might have far fewer heartaches.

Whatever the dynamics or reasons behind this co-dependent family relationship, it's their family, not your family;
they'll be "the family" until they die, & you'll be...something.

I guess.

You don't live with him, you're scared to live with him, & he evidently finds that just fine;
that is no way for an adult man to behave.

You aren't getting anything positive from this mess, & you're at risk for a bleak future & maybe even worse (do you & husband own property together? Do you own property that a plaintiff might be able to convince a court is actually community property or property held in common? if his daughter wrecks his car & puts people in the hospital or if she goes off the deep end & sets fire to someone's house or to the city hall, your assets will be subject to some big old lawsuits, & you'll likely lose everything.)

If you suspect your husband is no longer saving anything, it's a pretty sure bet that he isn't, which leaves you without a safety net or financial security.

You don't have a tribe;
tribal relationships involve mutual support & obligations.
That's why people form tribes.
That's why tribes work.

These 3 are in their own little spaceship, & you're just along as a sort of hanger-on.
If the air supply runs low, you're the one who'll get ejected into outer space.

Please take care of yourself.

I wish you the best.

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wakajawaka

Thank you for taking the time to support a stranger, I really appreciate it.
This is unusual for me to send something out into the ether, but writing helped me articulate my situation and I was moved by the other stories here.
Your response made a big difference. Clearly you get it and think I make sense.
The day after writing this, I spent time with some newer friends who are positive, respectful and mentally stimulating. This helps me feel sane and so did you!
Some other good realizations came from your response,including the concern about the car. In New York it's very costly to have one, and you made me so grateful I don't!
Also,reading your comment I realize I DID get a lot out of the situation in the past,I felt good remembering that, though as you said not so much anymore.
Moving ahead with protecting my interests and reinventing my life. Thanks again.
Also, the forums concerning estranged adult children make me see the likely future of the situation.The kid is already fond of cutting people off.
I wish you the best and am so grateful.

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Lanky-Jayne

I have stumbled accross this post, and it meant so much to read that I am not the only person going through the same things.

I hope things have lightened up for you in the meanwhile. I can only pray that one day I will also be in a better situation.

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wakajawaka

what a surprise to see your reply.it really makes me glad I wrote. I also very much appreciate the woman who answered me.it's very hard to accept the reality of peoples fears and limitations. We dream for the best. We may be conditioned by what we've seen in our lives earlier in terms of what to expect.
I had a dream last night in which I said to my husband, so you'd really rather break up then talk to me? He dropped his head and nodded.
I stood up, and walked away saying nothing. I made way to my bike, to go home with my heavy bag.
I have realized the way it is so many times and through so many signs. Still part ofme can't believe it yet.
He loves his kid in an ultimate, unconditional, codependent way and who knows what he feels about the birth mom.certainly it hurts that she's been allowed to do what she does.people have called me the voice of sanity in the situation. but that doesn't matter.what matters what I think.I spend most of my time by myself, as it happened I have somewhere to go.we are amicable the kids still will not talk to me the mother has never apologised and I think my husband is sorry but he'll never give me what I want.
my friends say oh she's almost grown up, hoping it will get better when she goes. Maybe. But I couldn't hang around for more. I guess I am rebuilding my life. So yes, 8n a way it has lightened up. I am in my mid 50s, by the way.
There is so much hype about being coupled up as some kind of answer or solution or happy ending. Really life is a journey and a process.
I have let my step teen know I miss her and would love to hear from her. But 5here is little danger of that. Best wishes to you. This tooo shall pass.

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