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Friday, November 18, 2005

Glimpse into my sarcasm

Behind my acid tongue is something that I rarely let out. I get my feelings hurt very easily. VERY. I read in a book once - I think the book was the Four Agreements - that taking things personally so often is actually incredibly egotistical. Not everything is about me. I had never thought of that before but I suppose it makes sense. Sometimes we are so distracted by our own issues that we do not realize that others are just as distracted and are so not paying attention to you.

However, there are some things that are so hurtful that they keep rearing their ugly heads over and over until you either rip your hair out in disgust or you deal with it. Being that I am unsure how to effectively deal with these situations (other than create giant scenes), I have chosen to remove myself from the situations. That step has caused remarkable problems for my husband and me.

Situation 1: his children. For reasons that are too many for me to go into here, I have decided, after a large amount of thought and reflecting, to remove myself from caring about them. That sounds cold, doesn't it? It has taken me 9 years to realize that these kids do not care about me. I am not saying that they hate me. I do not think they wish ill upon me. However, there is no love there. There is absolutely no respect there. I am an annoyance who once in a while shows her value in the form of money for this or that or some skill that I may have that they can use me for briefly. After I have exhausted my use, I am to fade into the background once again. I have tried over and over again to win the hearts of these kids. For reasons that I can only guess, it has not worked. I bore them. More importantly, I am not their mother, who in their eyes, is the end all be all of any sort of female role model they will ever need. That is what it is boiled down to - I am not needed. As much as that hurts me, my husband has never once dealt with this. While it is true that I have just told him to let things go with them because I thought it would result in WW III, I can't help but feel slighted. I can't help but feel that if he had handled this years ago before it spiraled out of control that perhaps his kids and I would have had a chance. Alas, he did not and now it is too late. In order to protect myself from any further pain, I have elected to not allow myself to care. Therefore, I do not ask about them, I do not deal with them. Of course, I am not a bitch - they are welcome in my home because it is not just my house. I am not a petty wench. However, I am letting go of any hope that they and I will share anything other than a shared family member in their father.

Situation 2: the ex-wife. It is no secret that I despise her. She is a manipulative bitch that I don't think I will ever stop hating. I know the power of forgiveness and letting things go. I know that if I can manage to do that I will only be giving a gift to myself. I just can't. I have tried many times to let her shit go and not let it get to me. Her voice, her face, her very presence is a bur in my side that never gets any easier to bear. Is that not the most ridiculous thing? Nine years people. I mean, one would think that I could have let this shit go by now, right? I so know that. I so get how all this sounds - that I am a nut job who clearly holds grudges like they are diamonds. Maybe that's true and maybe I am a therapist's wet dream. I really don't know. However, it once again boils down to my husband not taking up for me and us. His ex has made our lives miserable more than once. She tends to go in fits and spurts with her interference. However, in the interest of not upsetting his children (he says) and not having the balls to stop taking her shit (I and a few other say), he has let her run roughshod over our lives. The anger that I feel inside for that one thing is staggering. I know that my anger should be directed towards my husband and until recently, I did not get that. Now I do. If my husband does not grow a set of balls and start to protect our family soon, there are going to be a lot of problems. I can't take it for much longer.

Situation 3: his co-workers. My husband is a firefighter. Not sure what the firefighters are like in your town or city, but here they tend to be a tad white trashish. It's true. I have little to nothing in common with these men or their wives. We are friends with one of his co-worker and his wife and that is pretty much it. It does not help that one of these co-workers is the ex's brother and another is the ex's brother's father in law. It is just one big sick family over there. So, when I came on the scene, I was distrusted right from the get go. I was the whore who broke up the perfect marriage between the ex and my husband. Yeah, ok. My point is that no one ever gave me the benefit of the doubt or even tried to get to know me. I have been maligned and made to feel uncomfortable at every single function. I have been called names that they did not think I heard, but I did. My husband has taken up for me a total of one time with these men. Once. In 9 years. Rather than approaching them and saying, "Look, this is my wife and I love her and if she feels uncomfortable, there must be a reason," he adopted the let's deal with nothing attitude that has prevailed over our lives thus far. That way of thinking is clearly not working.

So, that is where I am right now. I have removed myself from dealing at all with his children, his ex-wife (I put the child support in the mail box) and his co-workers. I know some of you may think that I am the epitome of selfish and that for my husband's sake I should just suck it up and deal with all of these things. For better or worse and all that jazz. I thought that for a long time. I really did. And I really tried. I am tired of trying and feeling like no one has my back. I am tired of getting my feelings hurt over and over and OVER. I believe that we all have a choice in how we are treated. If I continue to allow these people to shit on me, then in essence I am saying it's ok and to please pile more on me please. It's not ok. I am finally standing up for myself. Even though my husband is having a hard time with all of this and is himself a casualty, it is something that I have to do. Time will tell whether or not he is truly behind me the way he claims to be. I have to say though, that so far from what I have seen, when times get tough and a lot is on the line, I am left standing alone. I hope that changes. It is a shitty feeling.

Elizabeth at 3:49 PM



at 5:26 PM Blogger Snickrsnack Katie said...

Girl, I know what you are going through. At least I have an idea. Fortunately for me, I have been with my boyfriend since his son was under a year old, and now his son is four and a half and looks at me as a second mother. But there have been times in the past where I wanted to scream because I didn't think my boyfriend was doing all he could to make things go more smoothly with the ex. I realized that he is the non-confrontational type, and while that is all fine and dandy, it doesn't help certain situations at all. He finally started holding his own against his ex, and finally we have gotten to a point where we are all on good terms and can get along for the sake of the child. But just know that it is not your fault, and you ARE a wonderful person. And you deserve to be put first in your husband's life. It may not work out with the kids and you, but your husband has to start taking a stand for you. I guess this might be unsolicited advice from me, but I just want you to know that you aren't alone in this sort of situation. I hope you can get through all of this! I'll be thinkin' about you!

at 5:28 PM Blogger Texas_Ivy10 said...

Hi there! I've lurked a few times in the past, but really felt compelled to comment on this post.

I know exactly how you feel. Exactly. I was a step mom to 3 for 5 years. That's all I could take. After the 2nd year, I did what you are doing right now. Completely disengaging. From my exes #1 ex, his family AND his kids (I can't even tell you how brain washed these kids were against the ex and I). He was in battles with his first ex continuously, in and out of court, for everythign you could think of. The last straw was when she took him back to court, again, to get even more child support from him, and she tried to get MY financial information... I flat out told the ex, I will divorce your ass before that bitch gets one piece of paper with MY name on it! I have 3 of my own kids to support... AND no drama on my side.

HIS side... for cripes sake, it never ended. His #1 ex moved his kids 1000 miles away and didnt tell him till they were gone. That's what kind of ex he has.

Your post has totally hit home with me. I don't know what to tell you. All I know is, I couldn't and refused to take it anymore... I only lasted 5 years.

I hope everything works out, I really do. I'm sorry you are dealing with this mess. If you ever wanna talk you can email me...

Take care of yourself!!!

at 5:32 PM Blogger Nap Queen said...

Good for you. I think what you are doing is not being codependent or an enabler and I say GOOD FOR YOU. It's not selfish, it's actually very healthy and much less mentally exhausting. Good for you for standing up for yourself and taking control of your part of the situation.

This is the same approach I have to my MIL. I refuse to engage. She tries to bait me over and over via email, and I just delete, delete, delete.

at 6:20 PM Blogger The Recovering Straight Girl said...

SFG, that sucks the big one. You shouldn't have to dis-engage from the people that are suppossed to be your family and friends, your support.
Your husband should stand up for you to anyone and everyone; YOU are his wife, his life, and his first priority.
WHY are YOU putting the support check in the mail box? Why isn't HE paying his ex-wife the support check? That should be his job, not yours.
Hang in there girl, and really think about how you want your life to go; is this is? Life is too fucking short to sell YOURSELF short.

at 9:08 PM Blogger afdalieuroiuf said...

grrrl, i so much know about those westbank dynamics! i've been there, done that, for 22+ years. i'm glad i'm away from it. you should've e-mailed me when you were at the mall and target over here...you were just four miles from my house! i could've empathized with you over westbank firefighters, as you know i've known my share. i'll actually be in your neck of the woods on thanksgiving day, so i may e-mail you with my number, if that's okay. ::hugs::

at 10:14 PM Blogger Pissy Britches said...

Girll...no one thinks you are selfish...I totally agree with you on most of what you said. My husband and I have custody of his 2 kids. We got custody of them 1 week before we got married. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into. I allowed myself to care...WAY TOO MUCH and now boy am I paying for it. I can't imagine that these kids that I take care of, buy groceries for and who make my life HELL every single day that I live in this house will ever love me or help take care of me when I am old. It is fucking ridiculous. I hate being a step mother...I hate it that I ever let myself care. I know exactly how you feel. Now that I know I am only going to be blessed with 1 child I can only hope that since the relationship with all that is great that it will continue to be in the future when everyone is grown. That is my only hope.
I totally understand..you are angry at your hubby. It is ok!

at 10:44 PM Blogger Kami said...

(((((BIG HUGS)))))

I'm sorry, sister.

at 11:21 PM Blogger mamalujo1 said...

Hey, SFG, I bet that was a tough one to write about. You've described a situation that's so complicated that maybe it's just impossible, but how would I know. There's so much to try to say here. You have a beautiful home, I know how much you care about it. The people in it make it what it is. I truly hope and pray that the husband gets those balls. You need him to be there for you. I'll pray, I hope that helps. Take care of yourself.

at 2:04 PM Blogger Tammy said...

Damn, that sucks. Just deal with it the best you can. Remember, your friends out here in blogland will be glad to help you and offer you all of the love and support than you need. Don't let those other people get you down. You worry about yourself. If that sounds selfish to others, screw 'em.

P.S. It can't be all about you. It's all about me!! :)

at 2:35 PM Blogger Mama Duck said...

Wow. That's a lot of icky-sticky circumstances.

I'm the SAME way with taking things too personally. Selfish? No, I think it has to do with wanting to please other people and be liked for who you are (not ass-kissing, but you know what I mean).

I have no idea what you are going through or what it feels like but I will say that it sounds like your busband needs to step up to the plate and make it known that you are his wife and won't put up with the BS (from the friends specifically). If he doesn't I'll come down there and twist his nipple until he says, "Uncle" and promises to "grow some balls."


at 6:40 PM Blogger Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

So, you have removed yourself from dealing with his kids, ex-, and co-. Sounds good to me. My one question: Are you able to deal with HIM?

at 6:42 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your story reminds me so much of my family growing up. For a long time we distanced ourselves from our stepmother and created an acid relationship with her as a misguided way of being loyal to our mother. Two things helped: our father sat us down and told us that our step-mother came equal to us in our family relationship if not more as she was his spouse (it made sense in retrospect but teenagers are self absorbed creatures); and we grew up and got out of our mother's house and didn't have to deal with divided loyalties any more (it truly sucks to be torn between families, I remember trying to figure out if it was better to smile, look sad, etc, so as not to piss my mother off when we came home from a visit). So, though I wouldn't try to court your stepchildren, I wouldn't give up completely on them, at least yet. Good luck and keep the story going. -Julia

at 11:00 AM Blogger Cara said...

Wow, that's a lot to deal with. My husband's got a crazy ex too, but she's nice to me. It's her son that she's hateful to. And sometimes my husband doesn't do a very good job of standing up for his son. Luckily, his son and I get along just fine - but he's 13 and going through that stage of hating his mother, so he thinks I'm cool.

With my first husband, I did everything I could to try and please him and nothing was ever good enough. He treated me like total shit. One day I just woke up and said "enough". I started living life for ME, not for HIM. It felt so good and so liberating. And in return, he tried to treat me even worse. But I wouldn't allow it.

Hopefully, your husband will get on your side. You deserve it!

at 1:30 PM Anonymous lawbrat said...

Hugs to you. I cant imagine what you're dealing with. The ex has some responsibility here. When my kids started talking negatively about their dads live-in girlfriend, I asked them some pointed questions:
Is she mean to you?
Does she talk mean to you?
what is it that she does that is so bad?

Turned out, they felt divided. How can they like her when they have a mom? I told them they are lucky to have such a good woman in their lives who cares for them. Shes like a second mom to them, shes good to them and I like her. Now, the only thing saving them when they go to their dads is that they get to hang out with her.

With older children, in teenage years, it must be that much more difficult. I pray that when they are older they will see YOU for the wonderful woman YOU ARE!

Yes, your hubby needs to step up, grow some and lay down the law.

More HUGS!

at 8:44 AM Blogger Danielle said...

gurl I hear you loud and clear. I felt like I wrote what you just posted. I can totally relate to the feelngs.

at 11:45 AM Blogger SouthernChickie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

at 11:47 AM Blogger SouthernChickie said...

I feel you. I am also the evil step mother, that broke up the perfect marriage, 2 damn years after the divorce!!

Just do what I do, kill them with kindness. I think that killing em with kindness, was invented in the deep south..

But, don't think my ass is a push over. If I overhear something derrogatory, I go into bitch mode, in 0.02 secs, on whoever hurled the insult.

My attitude with my husband is, "Honey if you can't deal, I can AND do real quick"..

So what the hell, if everyone thinks I'm crazier that batshit. Atleast, they've all learned to be nice to my face, and tread lightly..

Good Luck!!

at 9:58 PM Blogger Annejelynn said...

you should see a counselor - ask Susie

at 8:17 PM Anonymous Stacy said...

I had kinda the same problems with my in-laws. After a year or so I made my husband choose. And I was ready to leave. I had it with his family and they craziness. So maybe you need to do the same. Make him choose, but be ready to leave if it is not you he chooses. It worked for me.


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