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Old 05-06-2010, 11:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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and grandchildren.

How do you make that instant connection? I care alot about them, and the grandkids (5 and 1) I love them to pieces, but feel there's something missing. I don't feel as strong as I do about my own kids, and I know it will be a different feeling, AND that it takes time, we are a new marriage, but I want to be welcoming and open. DH has expressed to me that I don't take enough interest in the GCs, and I ask him what it would look like if I DID behave as a grandma, as he sees it. I'm sorry, I just don't think it's right for me to just jump in and be a grandmother. I don't feel I have earned it. I do take an interest though, and love them. I repeat, I DO take an interest in them!!

I have to admit that it hurt my s=feelings when DH told me that, I do think of them, but them gifts. DH visits them when I am at work or doing other things and rarely makes plans to go see them when I can (work and such) so I am not sure where I am "letting him/them down" (they live 2 hours away)

This is actually a complex situation and I am not even going into all of it, I guess I just want to discuss grown stepchildren when you and DPs married when they were already adults (mine are 24, 25 and 20)

My heart is really hurting over some of these family issues )revolving around the blended family) Please be gentle with me, I am hurting enough. TIA (I mainly want discussion.)

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Old 05-06-2010, 11:53 PM
 
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This is a tough one from all points of view. When my DD was a year old and I was pregnant with DS, my MIL remarried. She was deliriously happy, and we were happy for her. She and FIL had been divorced for 15 years or so, and we were thrilled she'd found someone new to love. Her husband was unable to ever have kids of his own, and was great with my kids, jumping right into the role of grandfather. We were good with that; can never have too many people love your kids.

It still wasn't the same, though. He was just a little tentative with the kids, seeming to be afraid to take ownership of the relationship. Maybe scared of overstepping his bounds? That I would suddenly freak out or something?

It's hard, because the willingness to allow the relationship needs to be there on both sides, and it's sometimes hard to figure out who should be reaching out, who should be the one making the effort to facilitate the relationship.

When MIL died, just a year or so after she married, we drifted away from her husband. He blew off three invitations to visit us in our new house when we moved, and we eventually issued an open invitation to contact us whenever he had time. He never did. I think he was ready to move on with his life and get past the grief, and in the end we didn't really belong to him. If MIL had lived longer, it's possible a deeper connection would have been forged.
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Old 05-07-2010, 05:27 AM
 
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and grandchildren.

How do you make that instant connection? I care alot about them, and the grandkids (5 and 1) I love them to pieces, but feel there's something missing. I don't feel as strong as I do about my own kids, and I know it will be a different feeling, AND that it takes time, we are a new marriage, but I want to be welcoming and open. DH has expressed to me that I don't take enough interest in the GCs, and I ask him what it would look like if I DID behave as a grandma, as he sees it. I'm sorry, I just don't think it's right for me to just jump in and be a grandmother. I don't feel I have earned it. I do take an interest though, and love them. I repeat, I DO take an interest in them!!

I have to admit that it hurt my s=feelings when DH told me that, I do think of them, but them gifts. DH visits them when I am at work or doing other things and rarely makes plans to go see them when I can (work and such) so I am not sure where I am "letting him/them down" (they live 2 hours away)

This is actually a complex situation and I am not even going into all of it, I guess I just want to discuss grown stepchildren when you and DPs married when they were already adults (mine are 24, 25 and 20)

My heart is really hurting over some of these family issues )revolving around the blended family) Please be gentle with me, I am hurting enough. TIA (I mainly want discussion.)
Honestly, I think it's unrealistic for your DH to expect you to form a close bond so quickly. I don't believe in such a thing as an "instant connection." IMO your DH is pushing you too much, and in the long run that can't do anybody in the family any good--you'll just end up resenting the fact that people didn't give you the opportunity to develop your own dynamic with your new stepkids and grandkids.

I get that he has certain expectations, but in real life, people don't fall into readymade relationships and click without the benefit of time and patience.

The fact that you want to be close to your new family speaks volumes, and I think, given time, you will find the connections that you seek. But in order to get to that point, I would advise your DH to give you some breathing space and be more empathetic.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's hard, because the willingness to allow the relationship needs to be there on both sides, and it's sometimes hard to figure out who should be reaching out, who should be the one making the effort to facilitate the relationship.
Thank you, I guess I need help acknowledging that it is not easy. I think I thought it would be different, and had no idea how awkward it would be at first.

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Honestly, I think it's unrealistic for your DH to expect you to form a close bond so quickly. I don't believe in such a thing as an "instant connection." IMO your DH is pushing you too much, and in the long run that can't do anybody in the family any good--you'll just end up resenting the fact that people didn't give you the opportunity to develop your own dynamic with your new stepkids and grandkids.

I get that he has certain expectations, but in real life, people don't fall into readymade relationships and click without the benefit of time and patience.

The fact that you want to be close to your new family speaks volumes, and I think, given time, you will find the connections that you seek. But in order to get to that point, I would advise your DH to give you some breathing space and be more empathetic.
I agree that he has unrealistic expectations After he said that to me, he wanted to take it back, and he has apologized for saying it, but not the sentiment. What he said is now tangible, it has been released and there is no taking it back. I am going to =try and figure it out, and then have a long talk with him about it. I don't know WHAT he expects, he can't even tell me, but it feels so awful (esp since I am one who loves kids) Now I feel that any effort I make is because of what he said, and not from me. It is just awful and I need to just talk to him, but am not sure I won't just make it worse.

There are other issues pertaining to our blended family, I just think I would need to start another thread about the other things that are bothering him (and me)

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Old 05-07-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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I have been both that adult child and that grandchild.

When I was a child, my mom's dad remarried a woman who had adult children and grandchildren of her own. She was lovely to all of us kids and I really liked her. We were actually fairly close. Even though I called her by her first name, she was more grandma to me than any of my other grandmas.

I did notice that there was a difference between the relationship with us vs. her biological grandchildren, but even as a kid it seemed logical to me.

My dad remarried when I was in my late teens, but I wasn't close with him or my stepmom until I was an adult. She is a very friendly person, and the relationship between her and I went slowly but smoothly. I am very glad to have her in my life. She will never be a true "mom" figure to me, but she is a woman that I care about and respect her advice. I think that it is fine that you are moving slowly - when the stepchildren are actually adults, trying to be instant stepmom could come off as weird or disingenuous.

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Old 05-07-2010, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for that perspective. yes, it feels weird to be a "step *mom*" figure to them, but I make myself available. DH I think expects things to happen quicker than is natural. I sure hope they grow to value their relationships with me. It is really hard though to go from having a 10 and 15 year old and no grandchildren, to being an insta-grandma (It doesn't feel right when they say "grandma-BelovedK") and My SD (mom to the 5yo GD) acts weird when the other grandmas call me a grandmother (ALL of the grandmas are in both GC's loves)

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Old 05-07-2010, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for that perspective. yes, it feels weird to be a "step *mom*" figure to them, but I make myself available. DH I think expects things to happen quicker than is natural. I sure hope they grow to value their relationships with me. It is really hard though to go from having a 10 and 15 year old and no grandchildren, to being an insta-grandma (It doesn't feel right when they say "grandma-BelovedK") and My SD (mom to the 5yo GD) acts weird when the other grandmas call me a grandmother (ALL of the grandmas are in both GC's loves)
just want to mention that they don't call me grandma or anything like that. The 5yo calls me by my first name.

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Old 05-07-2010, 09:17 PM
 
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It sounds like you are wonderful stepmom/step grandma. You're DH shouldn't ask for anything more! You love them and are welcoming and open and by doing that, you are a true blessing to that family!

My situation is a little different. I am a stepmom and an adult stepchild. DSS is 18 and was 8 when I met DH. DH had and still has unrealistic expectations of me as a stepmom. I think DH's insecurities/fears fuel these unrealistic expectations and what he wants just isn't possible. I love and care about DSS very much, but I am not his mom. He has a mom and I can't in anyway compete with her.

My situation as an adult stepchild is totally opposite. I was 18 when my dad met and married my stepmom. She didn't love or care about us and it was very difficult. My dad and I were very close until she came into our lives and it felt like my dad abandoned me. 20 something years later, things have slowly changed and I now consider my stepmom a good friend. I think she has grown to love me and I have grown to love her. My mom passed away a few years before my DD's were born and I am so thankful they have my DSM. She is a much better grandma than I ever imagined she could be. She can't replace my mom and has never tried to, but she has slowly become my friend.

Being in a blended family is so hard. Just keep doing what you are doing. From my own experiences, I think the most important role of a stepmom of adult stepchildren is to be a friend.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think the most important role of a stepmom of adult stepchildren is to be a friend.
THIS is what I needed to hear! Thank you I am right on track then, I guess if I allowed some time to pass, my relationship with the grandchildren will unfold. Thank you guys, it has helped me so much to hear your perspective

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Old 05-08-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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My Dad's wife is a friend. I'm quite fond her, she's good to my dad and that is what matters to me. I was a little weirded out when I had DS and she wanted to be called 'Grandma". She'd been married to my dad for 15 years, but was an adult when she married him, so I don't see her as a mother. But my sisters' and brother's kids had called her 'Grandma" so I let it go.

She is good to my son and he loves her, but she is closer to her biological grandkids and that is understandable. DS is closer to my mom, partly because I'm closer to her too.
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I could tell SD was weirded out when her mother called me 'grandma' on my FB wall (initiated by her) I would be.

I just wrote a long letter to DH about this, and thank you all for the perspectives.

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Old 05-13-2010, 06:42 AM
 
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I find this relationship difficult. My parents both are terrible at relationships. My father has been married & divorced 4 times; my mother is on her 5th marriage. These are marriages. There have been tons of semi-serious/co-habiting relationships in there for both of them. My mom remarried 2 years ago when I was 27 and my sister was 19. He has 3 children, who were 17, 19, and 22 when the marriage occurred.

I like her husband, and in fact, I think he's the best fit for her and best person all-around of all of her relationships. Still he's not a father figure in any way to me. He just can't be, ya know. He's a nice guy. I enjoy chatting with him when I visit, but that's the extent of what I think is normal.

As for my children, well that's a different story. My mother calls him "Papa" to my children. Fortunately we don't see him enough for me to worry about what they call him. I don't want my children to develop an attachment to him, though, because of how quickly my mother goes through relationships.

My mother is very grandmother-ish to his grandchildren, though. They are 1 and 3, and they both live close by. Even though my mom takes care of his grandchildren on weekends and for my step-sisters to go out or get things done, there's still been some conflict. My SD told my mother once that she was resentful because they weren't *really* her grandchildren and that she'd be different if they were my or my sister's children. My sister & I had a good laugh about it because there's absolutely no way my mother would want our children around often. She didn't even like us when we were small. The point is - & I hope it's relevant - that some of these issues will play out regardless of how good you try to be to the new grandchildren. There's been little written or said about adult step-children. Negotiating it is different from being/having step-children who are in fact, children, but it's complicated nonetheless.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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