Oh, it gets better.
technically, she isn't his 'ex' because she is dead. He was a widower when we got together. His oldest actually isn't his at all. Never formally adopted, and the bio father was about as worthless as my son's bio father. Lived in the same town and never ever met his son.
So, my husband has already raised one child he had no bio connection to, and he has done wonders with the second one-my son.
And here I am as the SM or AM to our daughter, and I feel so inadequate because I have so much trouble loving her some days. He is by far the better parent.
Add to that that we're trying to create a healthy idea of what family is, and you've got an entire side of her family we don't associate with, and my family we avoid as much as possible due to their unhealthy influence on the kids. It's hard to try to stress a healthy family relationship when you actively avoid most of your family for your own mental health!
This brings back so many memories of my own childhood. My mom hated my aunt, who I reminded her of, apparently. Now here I am as a mom, and I see traits in my daughter that remind me of her wacko mom, aunts and grandma.
How do I get rid of this?
I know the damage this can cause, but hubby and I both agree about these people, and how do you keep them away without actually telling the kids they're toxic? For starters we moved to an island.
When the kids ask us if we're going to visit rural kansas or california, we tell them planes and roads go 2 ways. We're trying to let them figure it out for themselves, but it's so hard to not just say 'grandma's nuts and has funny ideas about relationships,' or 'your aunt stole your inheritance.'
the temptation to just spill it all to both kids is so great, but I know I can't do that. I have to find a way to get past my feelings about all of these people so the kids really can figure it out for themselves when they're older.