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Should I continue to send gifts to dsd? - Page 2

post #21 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucen View Post
Thank you for the input. I can see that what you went through caused you great pain. I will say that the cards that are sent ALWAYS have dh's signature in them. He signs them first. I do underneath him. And her step-brothers names are always in the cards as well. (They were/are really almost both too young to sign their names themselves.) So I do my very best to make it look like the gifts come from him.

That's the intent, for dsd to know that her dad thinks about her. Like I said before, I'm not out for glory for myself. I just feel used and taken for granted. And I wanted to know whether I had a right to feel that way. And what to reasonably do from here on out.
I can see that you got the point I was trying to make. Just to clarify a little further though. If your husband would otherwise not make the effort to send a gift, then I'm sure that your dsd knows that and knows that the gifts are an effort on your part. There's nothing wrong with that and it's still a nice thing for you to do. I just wanted to let you know that your dsd may have conflicting feelings about the gifts. I don't think that you should send her the passive aggressive gift of thank-you cards, though, however tempting it may be. I think your husband should put a note into the card, or you should, asking for some confirmation that she recieved the gift. Something like "We'd love for you to call us when you get this because often, we're not sure if you received our packages and it's always nice to hear from you." Just be direct and hold back any aggravation that you may feel. If there's still no response, then I'd start just sending a nice card with no gift attached.

I have a much stronger bond with my step-mother than with my father. I don't have any personal obligations to him, but she's always made nice efforts with me and has been consistent. I don't fool myself that he'd ever make any efforts, even now when I'm 33 and have children, he doesn't make efforts. But she does and I still appreciate it. So, even if things aren't perfect now, she may consider you more as she grows. I know you're not out for glory, but it's always nice to be recognized for our efforts. And no matter how much you try to show that it's your dh putting out the efforts, your dsd knows the truth.

I did not mean to insinuate that you should hide yourself in the gift-giving. You absolutely should not. You're the gift-giver and whether the gift brings conflicting feelings or not, a gift should be acknowledged.

Lisa
post #22 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
I'm not sure if this would be the "right" answer, but I'd keep up with the gifts simply because I'd want to show my stepdaughter that I didn't give up on her and (we are in a volitile situation with her Mother) that, if she ever comes to us saying that we never sent her anything, we can say, yes we did, we sent you this and this and this and this, didn't you get them?
Thank you for that. I know its sort of a cya kind of thing...but it also gives me a good reason to keep it up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
I can see that you got the point I was trying to make. Just to clarify a little further though. If your husband would otherwise not make the effort to send a gift, then I'm sure that your dsd knows that and knows that the gifts are an effort on your part. There's nothing wrong with that and it's still a nice thing for you to do. I just wanted to let you know that your dsd may have conflicting feelings about the gifts. I don't think that you should send her the passive aggressive gift of thank-you cards, though, however tempting it may be. I think your husband should put a note into the card, or you should, asking for some confirmation that she recieved the gift. Something like "We'd love for you to call us when you get this because often, we're not sure if you received our packages and it's always nice to hear from you." Just be direct and hold back any aggravation that you may feel. If there's still no response, then I'd start just sending a nice card with no gift attached.

I have a much stronger bond with my step-mother than with my father. I don't have any personal obligations to him, but she's always made nice efforts with me and has been consistent. I don't fool myself that he'd ever make any efforts, even now when I'm 33 and have children, he doesn't make efforts. But she does and I still appreciate it. So, even if things aren't perfect now, she may consider you more as she grows. I know you're not out for glory, but it's always nice to be recognized for our efforts. And no matter how much you try to show that it's your dh putting out the efforts, your dsd knows the truth.

I did not mean to insinuate that you should hide yourself in the gift-giving. You absolutely should not. You're the gift-giver and whether the gift brings conflicting feelings or not, a gift should be acknowledged.

Lisa
Thank you as well. I think you hit the nail on the head. I like your idea of the note of asking for a response in the present itself. I was trying to find a way to get her to acknowledge the gift without going passive/agressive or somehow snide. And while the idea of sending thank you cards sounded good, I like your idea better. (Combining this with a self addressed & stamped smiley faced card comes to mind

I'm not so sure that I will ever have the grandest of relationships with dsd, while I know she's only going to be 14, there were very long years in there where I tried and tried and tried and finally just resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen. I suppose this might at least be some sort of bridge for the future. Thank you for the perspective.
post #23 of 35
Keep sending them!! I think it is good to include her since there are other children in the home who presumably get more of dad's attention than she does... do everything you can to encourage inclusion... this will grease the wheels for (hopefully) a better relationship as she enters adulthood (you or dh won't have to be accused of never sending anything). I have a stepmom who is very exclusionary and it hurts (I can spend as much of MY money on my kids as I want, but your dad has to clear it with me before he spends on you).

If you're worried about her actually getting the gifts, try an e-gift certificate that she can get by email, and usually you can make sure the email was 'picked up', and some will even include a link in the email so she can send you an email thank you reply. It sounds like she's pretty tech-savvy. My dh gets these all the time from his fave geeky website and they're great cuz there's nothing to lose -- no card or piece of paper.
post #24 of 35
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skolbut View Post
If you're worried about her actually getting the gifts, try an e-gift certificate that she can get by email, and usually you can make sure the email was 'picked up', and some will even include a link in the email so she can send you an email thank you reply. It sounds like she's pretty tech-savvy. My dh gets these all the time from his fave geeky website and they're great cuz there's nothing to lose -- no card or piece of paper.

Thanks for the idea! She does do email, but it's unreliable how often she checks it. However, the texting works fairly well, so dh can always alert her to check her email if we did something like that.
post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucen View Post


I'm not so sure that I will ever have the grandest of relationships with dsd, while I know she's only going to be 14, there were very long years in there where I tried and tried and tried and finally just resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't going to happen. I suppose this might at least be some sort of bridge for the future. Thank you for the perspective.

I just felt moved to address this. I have had the same stepmother for 33 years. From the ages 6-11, I tolerated her politely because, I was expected to be respectful to everyone, especially adults. From 12 to my early 20's, I hated her and told her so on many occasions, and while she never told me that she hated me, she said and did some very bad things to me. After that I matured and controlled my dislike better ( and so did she) and in just the act of behaving tolerantly, we kind of opened the door for a better relationship, and in the past 17-18 years, a relationship has evolved. We are not best friends, but we are friends of sorts. My father left my mother for her and even now at 39, that's hard for me to let go of entirely. I don't know if we will ever be closer than we are today, but I'm open to that, if it happens. We are always respectful and friendly and it has been a long, long time since we last exchanged bitter words. She has two kids with my dad but no other grandchildren. She is a loving grandmother to my child and that went along way toward repairing the relationship.
I'm not implying that you are doing anthing to contribute to the animosity between you and your stepkid. I just wanted to point out that I had a very poor relationship with my stepmother, it seemed hopeless, but time and maturity can really do wonders. GL and don't give up! Take a break if you need to, but don't give up for good.
post #26 of 35
Thread Starter 
Daphneduck -

Thank you for your insight. Dsd was 4 when dh and I met, and he had been separated from the ex (they were never married) for at least a year at that point. And she was the one who left, they never had a good relationship to begin with, imho she used him to get what she wanted until she could do what she wanted on her own and then left. None of it had anything to do with some other new relationship. I, however, wonder if dsd will ever throw that at me. But nothing untoward is in the books on that end.

Her mother has married in the past year and will bless her with a step-sibling this Spring as well. On many levels, dsd is getting a very raw end of a bad deal. So I feel for her. But there really isn't much that I can do. I suppose I will keep up the gifts with dh's input and some modifications. But I will probably remain disengaged from as much of it as necessary to keep my sanity. Too much effort that I have expended in the past was for naught.

But I appreciate that there might be hope for the future, even if it isn't until dsd actually grows up to be an adult that we can have a decent relationship.

Thank you. I appreciate you sharing your experience.
post #27 of 35
my standpoint?

I don't give anything to anyone expecting anything in return. Sure a thank you is nice but I don't give something because of the thank you, I give something because I think the person would appreciate it.


That is why I don't do ANY gift cards. No one appreciates a gift card, except one of my co-workers that turns all gift cards into card quilts that are really really cool.

But other than that? They get tossed into a drawer or trashed when they no longer seem relevant.


So should you keep sending gifts? Only if you want to. Regardless of weather or not you get a thank you, she is definately thinking of you guys when she opens the gift.
post #28 of 35
I love gift cards.
post #29 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary-Beth View Post
I love gift cards.
Theres always someone who does
post #30 of 35
Yes, keep sending gifts or gift certs.
post #31 of 35
Are you 100% sure she is getting them? I do like the stationary idea. I would not just do the thank you but different types and don't forget stamps. I would have your dh ask her just to send you a quick e-mail, call, or voice mail letting you know she got them. You can play it off as you want to make sure that the companies are doing what they are suppose to. Last option, I would send them certified to make sure they are arriving at the house.

Also have you thought about going back to court? Since her mom moved out of state she could be force to pay for the visits.
post #32 of 35
Thread Starter 
I've been doing delivery confirmations on the packages. So I know that and when they get delivered to the house. Now, whether or not maybe the mother confiscates the packages and doesn't pass them on to her daughter, that I don't know... I don't think she would do that, but then, I don't know, she may. (But really, even if you hate your ex, would you do that to your kid?)

We'll come up with something to get dsd to contact dh when she gets the next one. I'd like to make sure it gets to her.

Trying to talk dh into anything that involves dealing with the ex and dsd is nearly impossible. He doesn't think going to court would be productive at all. Plus he thinks since he's the father the system is to completely skewed in the favor of the mother that he doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to just about anything dealing with dsd. (There is a child support modification hearing coming up in two weeks, which she initiated, which will mean higher support payments, but there won't be a chance to deal with the visitation part then, that would have to be done separately.) Plus going to court would be fairly expensive, and money is tight as it is, without much of a reassurance that it would produce the desired result. And, isn't that something he should have done 3 or 4 years ago when her move was actually just about to happen? Isn't now too late?
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucen View Post
(There is a child support modification hearing coming up in two weeks, which she initiated, which will mean higher support payments, but there won't be a chance to deal with the visitation part then, that would have to be done separately.) Plus going to court would be fairly expensive, and money is tight as it is, without much of a reassurance that it would produce the desired result. And, isn't that something he should have done 3 or 4 years ago when her move was actually just about to happen? Isn't now too late?
I would consult your lawyer on this one... in some states, all money issues are dealt with together, and other issues separately. So the cost of the visits might be more appropriately brought up at this hearing. It probably depends on if you actually have visitation time ordered that is not being used.
post #34 of 35
We keep sending gifts, but usually we don't hear anything back, or get a call when things arrive, or anything like that. I like to think it will lodge in their brains and their hearts somewhere that their dad and I kept doggedly trying to pick out meaningful and loving gifts over the years, without a lot of acknowledgement. I also hope that sometimes we'll hit on a 'just right' book or activity that they really value, whether or not we hear about it.

Once in a while when we inquire specifically about a gift, we'll learn that they enjoyed it, which is great. It's not so much a matter of giving "in expectation" of thanks, it's just that when you spend time trying to find something meaningful, and you just kind of drop it into a void, it's a bummer!

On the one hand, yes, I think it's rude never to call and acknowledge/thank, but they've had it modelled very energetically by their mom, and access is always so precarious that insisting or even guiding too much could result in months of non-contact, so we just carry on. In many other ways, they're great kids, and they're very much stuck in the middle, so it may be easier not to go out of their way to offer thanks.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sprucen View Post
I've been doing delivery confirmations on the packages. So I know that and when they get delivered to the house. Now, whether or not maybe the mother confiscates the packages and doesn't pass them on to her daughter, that I don't know... I don't think she would do that, but then, I don't know, she may. (But really, even if you hate your ex, would you do that to your kid?)

We'll come up with something to get dsd to contact dh when she gets the next one. I'd like to make sure it gets to her.

Trying to talk dh into anything that involves dealing with the ex and dsd is nearly impossible. He doesn't think going to court would be productive at all. Plus he thinks since he's the father the system is to completely skewed in the favor of the mother that he doesn't have a leg to stand on when it comes to just about anything dealing with dsd. (There is a child support modification hearing coming up in two weeks, which she initiated, which will mean higher support payments, but there won't be a chance to deal with the visitation part then, that would have to be done separately.) Plus going to court would be fairly expensive, and money is tight as it is, without much of a reassurance that it would produce the desired result. And, isn't that something he should have done 3 or 4 years ago when her move was actually just about to happen? Isn't now too late?
No it isn't to late at all. It is can also be part of child support. Her move out of state made an extra finacial burden on dh. That money should go to him being able to aford to see his daughter.
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