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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:59 PM
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His, Her's, & Their's

Any advice/input on how to balance families?

BG: My DH's first wife (an only child) passed away at a young age & her parents are very involved; they live within 20 min. west from us. My DM lives about 1 1/2 hr away (east) & has health issues that prevent her from visting unless I pick her up.

My DS was very upset this past weekend (Sat.) because we would be spending Mother's Day at my DH's wife's parents' house for DSD's b-day.(DSD's b-day was Friday & they + DH scheduled a "family" b-day party at their house on Mother's Day).

We (DS & I) spent Sat. afternoon with my DM, but DS was upset because:

1) he wanted to spend Mother's Day with me & HIS G-ma; not DSD's GPs

2) if we hadn't had to "make-up" mother's day with my DM on Sat. he (DS) could have spent more time with his DF (my ex) on Sat., after a scout activity that his dad came for Sat. morning.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 02:04 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

IMO your DS has a right to be upset.

I don't have any suggestions on how to balance families, but I do think that a kid's needs (seeing his DF, spending time with *his* M and GM, not his DSS's GP's) should outweigh the needs of the adults (i.e. your Pseudo IL's). I understand their needs, and I'm not dismissing them, but your DS is a child. They are adults. *THEY* should have been the ones to compromise and bear the burden of a minor disappointment (as your M did, apparently graciously). *THEY* should have had DSD's party on Saturday so your DS could have done the scouting activity, spent time with his DF, gone to DSD's birthday party, then spent M Day with you and his MGM. The PIL's would have still been able to celebrate DSD's birthday and then maybe your DH would have been able to take her over there on M Day too, or maybe they could have all gone together to visit his deceased wife's grave.

IMO the onus for this is on your DH, sorry to say. He's putting his XIL's needs over those of his DSS. I don't know that he's doing that deliberately. My guess is that he's doing it blindly. It doesn't seem like he even questions if there is a better alternative.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 03:58 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

I agree with KayKay, except I think the onus was on you Snafu. I think that if you had had prior plans and your son had had prior plans (with his father), then you should have followed through and told them no, it won't work for us. And if your DH insisted on going, let him. There is no law that says you both had to be there. Especially since you probably already celebrated DSD B-day on Friday.

And even if these plans were not made prior, you still have every right to say NO, it won't work for us, even after your hubby agreed to them Pick another day and stick to it.

If you don't start standing up for you and your DS, neither will your DH.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:39 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

Well, I told DH how my DS felt (without me yelling or getting pissy ).

I think its starting to sink in to DH that he's hurting more than just me with his insistance that we do things his & his deceased wife's way. (I have also told him that it hurts me that MY DS is, in some ways, treated as if he were DH's & DH's deceased wife's son...not mine)



I have told him recently I can't continue doing things the way he and his deceased wife did. (He's said in the past it's just until DSD goes to college ) I also reminded him that the councilor said that if OUR marriage was going to work WE needed to develope OUR OWN traditions. (we have fought about this)

We had not had plans to do anything with DS's dad after the scouting, but DS wanted to & I think his dad had hoped we could (had asked if we'd seen a exhibit yet).
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Old May 13th, 2009, 09:06 AM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
(DSD's b-day was Friday & they + DH scheduled a "family" b-day party at their house on Mother's Day).
This should not have been scheduled without your knowledge and consent. When the subject came up between them, your DH should have said he needed to talk to you first before scheduling anything on Mothers Day. I think the IL's and your DH have undermined your role as a step parent. You were excluded from the decision making process. Your DH is not allowing you to parent his daughter. He has put her grandparents in that role.

BTW, I think that was a sneaky way to get your step daughter over to her grandparents house on Mothers Day.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

I've realized that I am a coward & afraid of being the being the "bad guy". Before, it was just myself that I was hurting....but I've come to realize I'm hurting MY family (my DM & DS).

I have been the enabler...I need a spine of steel....
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Old May 13th, 2009, 02:17 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

(((((HUGS))))) We're here for you, snafu.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Beth View Post
BTW, I think that was a sneaky way to get your step daughter over to her grandparents house on Mothers Day.
ITA Beth. The really sad thing is that snafu isn't at all an Evil Stepmother. Had someone ASKED her if DSD could visit GM for Mother's Day, snafu would most likely have said "of course!" Instead, the world revolved around PMIL's needs and DSD, while snafu and her DS were denied. That's really unfair.
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Old May 13th, 2009, 03:44 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

Quote:
Originally Posted by snafu View Post
I've realized that I am a coward & afraid of being the being the "bad guy". Before, it was just myself that I was hurting....but I've come to realize I'm hurting MY family (my DM & DS).

I have been the enabler...I need a spine of steel....
Don't be so hard on yourself Snafu. Being a step parent or blending families is not always an easy task.

++++++++++++++++

I deleted the rest of my remark. Not appropriate in this particular situation.

Last edited by Beth; May 14th, 2009 at 06:51 AM.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 09:12 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

(((HUGS)))

Dear Snafu's DuH -

Yes, I said DuH.

I am really sorry that your first wife died. I am sure it was a tragedy for your daughter, your ILs and yourself.

BUT - you remarried.

This in itself says that you took steps to move forward.

Snafu is NOT a replacement of your first wife. She is an individual on her own.

She is not responsible for being your deceased wife. She is not a fill in.

Until you are able to truly bury your deceased wife and move on - your current wife is doomed to suffer at your hand.

You have repeatedly put Snafu behind your deceased wife's parents.
You have put Snafu behind the daughter you had with your deceased wife.

When are you going to start living again - with your wife that is alive and whole?

You will forever be marking time in pain and suffering until you are able to move forward - and if you can't move forward - it would be kinder to let Snafu go. So she can move forward - without you.
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Old May 14th, 2009, 10:19 PM
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Re: His, Her's, & Their's

Well, as long as we're writing to snafu's DH...


Dear snafu's DH,

I was four years old when my M died of breast cancer, leaving behind 4 kids ranging in age from 14 to 4. I have read my father's memoirs in which he talks about his anguish at the death of the love of his life. His pain, even expressed in print 36 years after it happened, was unbearable; I can't read it without sobbing uncontrollably.

I tell you this so that you understand where I'm coming from.

My M made my D promise to remarry. She was terrified that the family would break apart, that her kids would grow up without a mother. My D promised, but just couldn't follow through. He couldn't bring himself to remarry, given his grief at losing my M. Fortunately my M was a woman with foresight and good friends. She had made her friends promise to make sure my D remarried. A year after her death, my M's friends staged an intervention with my D, telling him that my M's kids, which she loved with her whole heart and soul, were being lost and it was *his* fault... that my M would never forgive him for that. It didn't matter what HE needed... what mattered was what WE needed. God bless them.

A year later my D remarried the most wonderful woman in the world. She was a loving SM who had (oddly enough) been friends with my M in college. In fact, my M had left a list of women she wanted my D to consider marrying because she approved of them raising her children. (No, not a control freak, why do you ask? ) My SM was the first one on the list. God bless my M for caring for us even after death, and God bless my SM for stepping up to the plate.

My GM told me later that she was terrified that she'd never see us again. Her grief at losing her only DD was unbearable too. But she knew that what was BEST FOR US was paramount, and she stepped aside to let my D and SM build a family. She was relieved beyond belief that my SM had every intention of making sure that we all maintained that very important relationship we had with our only GM. Even though we lived 1300 miles away, my SM made sure that we had frequent and quality contact with my GM, plus visits as often as possible. My GM grew to love my SM like a second daughter. God bless my GM too.

Here's what you need to know.

* Having a second wife is NOT dishonoring your first wife. It is HONORING her, by finding someone loving to help raise HER daughter.
* Building a family with a second wife is NOT destroying the family you had with your first wife. It is keeping what is left of your family TOGETHER.
* Allowing your second wife authority over your DD and "say" in your marriage is NOT forgetting your first wife. It is respecting the importance that your first wife had as a MOTHER and WIFE.

Snafu's DH... I've lived this. I AM your DD. You need to be thanking your lucky stars every.single.stinking.night that snafu cares so much. LET HER CARE. LET HER BE YOUR DD'S SM. I would have been lost without my SM. She saved me. I can't tell you how very, very grateful I am not only to her but to my D for doing what *I* needed him to do, despite his pain, and to my GM for doing what our new family needed her to do, despite her pain. They all loved my M so much that they put my M's children FIRST.

If you could talk to your first wife, what would she tell you? Would she tell you that her P's wishes and feelings were more important than what was best for her DD? Would she tell you to dishonor your marriage vows to snafu?

More than you know, I understand what you're going through. But IMO, you need to step out of yourself. Stop wallowing in your own grief and finding solace in your PIL's. DO WHAT YOUR DD NEEDS YOU TO DO. You owe that to her mother, your first wife.
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