Well, in spite of some of the good things that did exist in our relationship, I'm finally landing here. I've spent several years trying to think I can make a way for us to be in two totally opposite religions in the same household, and it's just, well I can't live like that anymore. (He converted to JW a few years ago, I'm a UU-Pagan). There have been too many deal breakers happening, too many times I've given second chances, and quite frankly I'm tired of the constant refrain of the end of the world being near. So here I am, I'm living at my mom's house, and we're sharing custody of DD 50/50. Obviously our lives are pretty screwed up right now, and that's how it's going to be for a while.
I'm also dealing with the knowledge that I probably won't see my stepkids very much, if at all for a while and/or indefinitely. That part is going to be extremely difficult. Anyone who has any tips on getting through being an ex-stepmom, I'd appreciate them.
Oh, hon! I'm so sorry!
Not a lot of advice about being an ex-stepmom... except, it gets easier over time. I still get pangs once in awhile, and I'm hoping once the girls are a little older and really into sleepover stage and their parents can get over themselves, that perhaps at least once a month my DSD can stay the night with us. I actually got to spend a bit of time with her the other weekend because ex didn't have anywhere to take the kids overnight, so everyone hung out at my parents house. It was hysterical to see my DSD and DD together now that DD really has a personality... they were like velcroed together and just giggling the whole time. It really touched my heart, and I was sad that I don't get to see that all the time. But, yeah... again, I'm holding out hope that as the kids grow and their relationship grows that DSD may want to come over and spend time with her sister and brother.
Maybe that can be something that happens for you too? I believe you have step-grandkids too, don't you? You don't think the older stepkids will keep a relationship with you?
Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula
Student, Aspiring CNM
DD ~ 1/7/09 DS ~ 9/22/10
Thanks PM. I'm pretty confident that the older DSD's will stay in contact. I mean they're across the country, so we don't see them much anymore, but I don't see them as being disconnected. Yeah, I do have a step-grandson, but we've never met them, due to the distance they live from us. Both the older girls are anywhere from annoyed to fed-up with his new beliefs and probably won't be shocked to know about it.
The younger ones, though, sigh. I've been in their lives for a very long time and that's going to be hardest. It's also going to be hard because of the teachings of his religion, and their exclusiveness. Not sure what STBX wants to do with that, he doesn't really want to talk about any arrangements. I mean, eventually, we will, but he does not want to presently. DD adores DSD and DSS, so it will be hard for her to get along without them. I'm hoping to at least arrange playdates here and there. I'm not on great terms with their mom (for myriad reasons, not the least of which is her raging alcoholism), so I can't really approach it from that angle.
Oh, also. DD is 3 (just turned about a month ago), and has using the potty very well for at least 6 months, I think probably more than that, but there's just a guess. Well, lately, she's been having lots of accidents. Anyone know how to help a girl through that? She handles it pretty well - "this time I"m not going to miss" and she doesn't get upset and cry, but it's getting excessive. Several times a day, these days. So I've bought some pull-ups. but not sure what else to do, aside from encouraging her to keep trying.
Thanks PM, for your sympathy.
It may be a developmental phase, at least I know DSD, and a few other 3 year olds that went through a similiar thing after having already been PT. She could also be picking up on the stress/changes, and it's just how it's affecting her.
Will your ex keep visitation the same for all of his kids so your DD will still see her half-sibs as much as possible? That is what my ex is doing, so unless DSD's Mom canceles for whatever reason, the kids are pretty much still seeing her about the same as they would have seen her had ex and I stayed together.
That is really tough that he chose such a dynamic change in everything fundamental in a family! I can't imagine how earth shattering that has been for you. *hugs* I just remember your posts back in blended about how cute your family came to be, and I still remember the post you wrote about when your DSS gifted you with a boogie and how you knew from then that you were in love. I remember it everytime my DD and BF interact, and she has recently gifted him with a boogie too. lol
I'm sure you have tried everything under the sun to get through to your ex. I just can't imagine someone changing their belief system so drastically! :-( My heart is really going out to you. I guess you already feel this has become more than just a phase of his life and he isn't going to change his mind?
Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula
Student, Aspiring CNM
DD ~ 1/7/09 DS ~ 9/22/10
:hug Thanks PM
STBX has primary custody, so I've arranged that DD (he didn't disagree, so I guess he's ok with it) is with me on the weeks where the kids are with their mom for the weekend. That way they've got a full week together, and he gets a weekend to himself occassionally.
It has been a major change. It's been so tough, and I've tried to make it work. But I can't keep putting myself aside for his beliefs. I've been feeling so resentful of him for the dynamic he's brought, and I don't want it to just get worse and worse. It's hard because we're still attracted to each other, and we still care about each other, but I cannot live that way any longer. It's a pretty hard core religion and they require a huge time component. I've often felt like it's almost another woman, with the way he will drop all and do as they ask when they ask. He's still totally enthralled with them, so nothing I say and do will get through to him. He may always be that way. But I cannot live that way anymore.
*hugs* to your Teenytoona. I'm sorry to hear you're finding yourself in this situation, but glad to know that you could go to your mother's.
I can commiserate with you on being an ex-step mother. I was in my former-DSS' life for 6 years and once XH and I separated, I was told I wasn't allowed to be in contact with him. At some point, DSS's relationship with XH deteriorate so much that they stopped speaking to one another and DSS left the city to go live with his mother in another province. I was glad to hear that DSS would be away from his father's alcoholism and abuse. I received a letter from him asking for us to be in contact, and giving me a new email address. I emailed him a long letter of apology, saying I felt so sorry for leaving him behind. A few days later, XH was the one who wrote me back; he'd broken into his son's email and once again forbade me to be in contact with him. It was heart-breaking but I chose to back off. I can only hope that once he's old enough, he tries to contact me and perhaps wants to get to know his sister, my DD.
Since I can't be in touch with my DSS, I write him letters and keep them. In a few years, he'll be 16 and then I plan on sending him every letter I wrote in a package, so he knows I haven't forgotten him.
As for the potty learning...I'm not help. My DD is still not potty trained at 2.5 years and it's not going very well. There are lots of dramatics due to accidents. Ah well. This too shall pass.
*hugs to you*
HAM, I wondered about how things went with your DSS. I remain hopeful for you too. You know, you and PM are some of the moms I remember most from my early stepparenting posting days.
You're right, that it will pass. Eventually. It will be hard getting there, huh?
Oh gosh, I'm sorry you're going through this. My DH is over 10 years out of the JWs and is finally able to think a little more freely. He still has moments where he reverts to that thinking, and I simply try to talk to him about it. Since critical thinking isn't really allowed, it's hard to hold a civil and open discussion to meet everyone's needs, you know? Luckily though, he realized for himself that it wasn't what he wanted in his life before we were together so I don't have as much of the Mistress to live with. there is no way I would be able to make it work if he were still involved. Open minded as I try to think I am, that is one particular religion I simply couldn't accept in a partner- it is too demanding and doomsday for me to remain sane.
I wish you peace in trudging forward.
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