Vacation Question

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Vacation Question

    I am married to a wonderful man who had 3 children from a prior marriage. Two of them lived with my husband & I for over 10 years and we raised them.
    My delima:
    We are planning a Florida family vacation (my husbands family - brothers, sisters, spouses, children, grandchildren etc.) we are renting houses and planning on spending days at the parks and evenings dining, clubing and just hanging out.

    My husbands children invited their mother to go on vacation with us!
    Needless to say, I have told my husband we are not going.
    (I am NOT spending my vacation with my husbands ex-wife!)
    Her family has a 'family' vacation every year also, & our children/grandchildren just went to Europe for 14 days with their mother and her family. I am sure they will plan another trip next year.

    We have an agreement between the 'ex's' that we will get along with each other from family functions, weddings, birthdays, some mutual gatherings etc for the sake of the children and grandchildren.  I have no problem spending a day with my husband's ex - but this is over and above the call.  I cannot stand this woman, she was/is a child abuser and has more assults filed with DSS than Tony Soprano's rap sheet!

    This is MY family's vacation and I feel my children have absolutely no consideration for me and my feelings.  I am hurt and very upset by this situation.
    This means if I want to spend the day in the park with my grandchildren, I will have to compete for their attention.  This means that meals out she will be there. This means if we have dinner at our house, she will be there.  In addition, the ex was best friends with my sister in law, so of course the rest of the family will invite her to be with us!

    This isn't a vacation for me - it is pure torture!

    Am I wrong for feeling this way and not going?
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Oh my dear, what a nightmare. I have never been divorced - so it is hard for me to feel the way you must feel. There are several people on this board, that can help you a lot better than I.
    However, my husbands ex-girlfriend still call him once in a while (after our 40 years of marriage mind you) and I don' t feel very good about it, when it happens. She is married and have 3 children of her own. I know, that I have absolutely nothing to worry about, but it bothers me, she still hangs on to him. But as much as it bothers me, I decided to take the 'high road'. I feel, that this woman must be terribly unhappy. A couple of times she even called and asked for money. She would loose her home etc. My husband was quite upset over her calls and asked me, what I thought. I told him, that this woman must be pretty desperate to make a call to an ex-boyfriend long gone and ask for money. Just imagine to have to make a call like that? I told him, whatever he decided to send her - if anything - would be fine with me. He looked at me and said, 'You really mean that?' Well, he decided on his own, that her situation would never improve - no matter how much money he would send her. So he didn't send her a penny.
    What I am trying to tell you is, that as hard it must be for you to go on a vacation with 'this woman', please do so for the sake of your husband, his children and grandchildren. You will be the winner at the end.
    The children should NEVER have invited her, but they did. It really doesn't matter how many weeks they spend in Europe with her and her family. The fact is, that no matter what happened - she is still their mother and they love her. Even though you brought them up and she is a child abuser, she is still their mother and they love her unconditionally.
    I sincerely hope you can work on the 'hurt feeling'. Somehow I feel, there is more to this story, than you give us. If your husband already have grand children, it must mean, that the children you brought up must already be adults and are able make up their own minds. Do I feel sorry for you? Yes I do. But truly -  I also feel, that you are bringing all your misery on yourself.
    I could be wrong, and if I am - I will certainly apologize. Best to you my dear.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Pingo,
    Thank you for your thoughts!
    I have no concerns that my husband would go back to her.
    I do want to note that my husband is not thrilled about going on the vacation with his ex and he seems to think we can ignore her.

    Except that would mean ignoring my grand children, which is the whole purpose of spending time with them. 
    But I cannot help thinking of 3 or 4 planned dinners - either out at restaurants or over one of the condo's.  Disney, Universal and Sea World, all spent in her company!

    I could not see myself enjoying my vacation.  I work all year long, this will be my one big vacation.

    I cannot be nice to someone who abused her children when they were younger.
    Until you pick up a child at the police department at 11:30 at night, who was punch in the stomach and thrown down a flight of stairs by her drunken, coked out excuse of a mother - sorry I cannot get that out of my mind every time I see her.  I would like to do the same to her and ask her how she likes it!

    I don't condone violence and especially against children.  That is just one of the many examples - but it was the one that got his girls away from this piece of garbage.

    I don't think I would be able to keep my mouth shut for an entire week. 
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, so sorry you have to deal with this.  It's sadly very common.  My mom and I were the outsiders when she married the father of 4 boys, and everything was a struggle.

    No matter how much your step-children love you they will always feel totally caught in the middle.  Their inviting their mom wasn't aimed at hurting you.  They, in their teenage ego-centric, immature minds, believed they could have "it all" by inviting her, too.  There is no way children of any age can imagine what that would do to you no matter how "obvious" it may seem to you, the adult.  Step-moms get the short end of the emotional stick by the very nature of the situation, not because they've done anything wrong or because the spouse's kids don't love them in their own ways.

    I don't have to tell you that divorce is devestating for the kids.  But, what adults tend to not know (in my experience) is that the kids, while they may outwardly "move on" do NOT get over it until they are much older and have the maturity and distance to process it all in a true adult fashion.  They might show all the wonderful signs of being wise beyond their years, blah, blah, blah, but inside they are hurt and wish things were different.  They do everything they can to bring things back to the "normal" they hold on to in their hearts if not their heads.

    So, this might not help in a very practical way.  I'm sure I don't know what to suggest to DO about this current situation.  But, I hope it does help in a non-tangible way to calm your heart and make you feel a bit better.

    However you choose to handle it, I hope you can internalize that your step-children love you AND their mom, and this "stunt" was driven from their emmense desire to have things the way they wish they were.  It's not meant to be a slight against you, but the fact is they wish that you'd never come and that their parents reconciled.  The step-mother coming into their lives meant their mother never would be back, a dream and hope that just about every child of divorce holds dear.

    Blessings,
    ~kar

    P.S.  I have to agree with Pingo as much as it hurts me to say that I think you need to just go and welcome her warmly on your trip.  Hopefully, seeing things from your kids' perspective will help a lot.  The warmer you are with their mom, the better your relationship with them will be forevermore.  Their mom is the victim in their minds (even though this is totally irrational - it's just how kids think, even abused ones), and you the offender.  Making things easier for their "poor mom" will earn you a lot of respect.

    ETA:  None of my comments are meant to minimize your anger or hurt.  The way kids generally react to step-parents IS hurtful even if they don't mean it to be.

    I keep thinking about this...  Going and letting bygones be bygones for the sake of your step-kids is NOT the same as condoning violence.  Those things happened, weren't your fault, and you have nothing to do with those decisions now.  Nothing you do or say now will be condoning what she did.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    kargiver and pingo
    Thank you both for taking the time to respond back.

    I can see from your responses that I need to bite the bullet and go and keep my mouth shut.
    Which I will do, but I have decided to confront my daughters about this situation and let them know how uncomfortable and hurt I am feeling - not in a accusatory way but in a general way to explain my frustrations and feelings to them.

    Thank you again for taking the time for me.

    God Bless
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Absolutely let them know.  Not only will it be healthy for you to get it out there, but your feelings are just as important as everyone else's in this family.  Also, it will serve to teach them some of those "adult" things that they really won't process until they are much older.  Do not expect them to get it or be disappointed when they resist your message; they are not emotionally capable to respond the way you would want them to.  Let them react with as much graciousness for their age and maturity as you can.

    As for "biting the bullet" I hope that before you go you can work on seeing it as less traumatic than that.  Accepting that it really doesn't have to be as painful or torturous as you are imagining and expecting it will be.  You cannot change the past, that woman, or the fact that they are her biological children so allow yourself to have fun.  I know it sounds crazy to even consider right now, but tell yourself every day from now until you go that you CAN and are ALLOWED to have fun on your vacation no matter what.  Focus on the positive of having her there for your step-kids and YOUR relationship with them.  The irony of having fun with their mom there is that your relationship with them will be strengthened.  Anything less, like just gritting your teeth and forcing a smile will do more damage.  God will be with you and be your peace.  Your peace will not come from your circumstances, but it will be there.  If you ask.  If you let it be.  Practice beforehand.

    Blessings,
    ~kar

    P.S.  I didn't mean that to sound glib...I know, know, know how painful and difficult this will be to accept.  Events will keep happening, though, and if their mom stays in their lives, all you can do is get better at truly enjoying your life no matter if she is part of it that day or not.  Graduations, weddings, babies, deaths...it's all going to happen, and she'll be around.  This will be as much an emotional learning experience for you as it is for everyone else.  Learning experiences aren't exactly fun...I get it.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    kargiver - you don't come off as sound glib at all.  You have given me insight - a different perspective. 
    The graduations, weddings, deaths, aren't a problem - maybe because I know it is just for a day or two and then she is gone. I can tolorate that.
    We have married off all three children and been in each others' company (one of them requiring a 5 day trip to Georgia). We have 4 beautiful grandchildren and have been at birth's, birthday's, BBQ's and all the rest that goes with it.  Again, for a day or two it isn't a problem. 

    I guess I don't see what my children see in her! I look at her and see a horrible nightmare, but they look and seem to want her love even more if she pushes them away!  That is what I just don't get.  These children are in their late twenties and early thirties at this point.  I would think trying to get your mother to care after all these years and getting rejected would smarten them up to her ways.  But they go after her even more!

    If a young woman contemplating marrying a guy with kids that would live with them.  I would tell her to run, run as fast as she can in the other direction, don't turn around, don't think just run for your life. Because without a doubt this has been the most thankless job I have ever undertaken.

    I am a very caring and giving person - one of the many reasons my husband married me. But I want to know when is it my turn? Selfish as that sounds I have given and given and given and I don't get anything back! It has been 20 years now - I feel I deserve some recognition!

    I have friends I've done less for and receive 100 fold back - but these children - never! They run to me to fix it, but when happy days are here again - I am nothing more than the dust in the background. And maybe that is my problem.  Next time they come running for me to make it better, I should direct them to their dear, darling mother?

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, I have every confidence you are doing everything right for your step-kids.  They are responding exactly as step-kids do to you and all your efforts.  That relationship is the most no-win one there is.  You will always be the intruder who ruined their father's chances of getting back together with their mother.  It's irrational, for sure.  We all know (and they will eventually come to realize) that there was no chance, anyway.  But, you are the scapegoat.

    And, as far as their defending their "poor mom," that's also how it goes for all the same reasons.  They see that she "wasn't given a chance to change," blah blah blah.  They are only older children in their young 20s, not full fledged adults who GET that people DO NOT CHANGE except in extremely rare instances; it's not something you can count on or expect.  Give them 10 years to figure it all out.

    The bottom line is you'll never have the relationship of mutual respect and reciprocated love that you desire so much...and deserve.  I tell you this not to depress you, but to fill you with the joy that comes from knowing it's NOT YOU. It's the very nature of a step-parent relationship. 

    The irony is that usually the worse the biological parent is that is no longer in the household, the more the young adult children stick up for him/her.  Like I said, give them about 10 years and see how they feel about her and their relationship with "poor mom" then.  It might even take their having kids of their own to get it fully and to appreciate the rock and loving person you've been all along in their lives.

    So, when is it your turn?  It's your turn whenever you decide that this will not ruin your experience with the kids.  Stop expecting them to process this in a rational, reciprocal way.  Then, when they don't, instead of being surprised and hurt you can at least be indifferent.

    Indifference is underrated.  It's not exactly as nice as happiness, but it sure is a lot better than hurt.  And, the fact is that it LEADS to happiness...it's a stepping stone from hurt to happy.  You can't skip indifferent.

    And, it will take practice to implement this new perspective.  There are many books on the subject that you could read and say, "WOW, how did they know what my step-kids say, feel, and do?  How did they know how it makes me feel?!"  It will seem like magic, but it's only that it's so common, really.

    No, do not be vindictive and send them away.  When they come to you they are showing you love even if it's not the way you'd like them to and even though they do not share the non-needy times as much.  They are giving what they can by taking...if that makes any sense.  If they hated you, they'd not come to you with their problems.  Fix them as best you can.  Be indifferent to their lackluster response.

    It doesn't HAVE to be this way, but it always is if there is not proper counseling and handling of the fear, insecurities, and such for the older kids of divorce.  People assume they are little adults and seem "fine" so their emotional needs get neglected, and they internalize them instead of saying, "Hey, over here, I need help sorting through all these adult issues."  Anyone going through a divorce has all they can do to get through it themselves.  If their older kids seem fine, they take it as they are fine.  But, they aren't, and these are the ramifications.

    I'm not trying to point blame, but to explain what has happened and why things are the way they are.  (Probably.  I mean I have to admit I've got very limited info here, but what I have heard is cookie-cutter divorce with older kids and remarriage issues.)  And, to let you know you are in for the long haul.  "Your turn" is going to be a long way off unless you process all this differently than you have been.

    When it's your time is really just up to you, not anyone else.  I know that sounds like a cliche, but the fact is this situation isn't changing for a long, long time so you may as well change your perspective and move on to indifferent toward what is hurtful to you today.

    Blessings,
    ~kar

    P.S.  I recommend going on Amazon and looking for a book on this subject that is highly rated by other step-moms.  There's so much out there that you would probably find very helpful to understand what is going on and to learn some coping mechanisms specific to these issues.  You are far from the first step-mother who's had their high hopes and expectations of a wonderful mothering experience dashed.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, still thinking of you...

    I did a search in Amazon on "step mothering," and came up with a lot of highly rated books that I'm sure will shed a lot of light on your situation to you and help you cope.  One, for instance, is titled, "Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out, or Wicked."

    So many have gone before you down your path, I hope you'll take advantage of the knowledge that is out there that has come from others' similar experiences.

    ~kar

    P.S.  For $11, the worst that can happen is it ends up in a yard sale. ;)
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    kargiver:
    Thank you, I am going to B&N at lunch time, another friend suggest the same book!

    I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last.
    But damn it - I will be the best!
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    In Response to Re: Vacation Question:
    [QUOTE]kargiver: Thank you, I am going to B&N at lunch time, another friend suggest the same book! I know I am not the first, nor will I be the last. But damn it - I will be the best!
    Posted by RedSox13[/QUOTE]

    I saw some other highly rated ones - maybe go online and check them out before you go in case they don't have that one or you see one you might like better.  I find B&N to be sorely lacking in variety...every time I've gone to find a book there I walk away empty handed.  Good luck, though, and let us know what you find and then how it impact you.  I'm so concerned for you as you go through this.  It was very difficult for many, many years for my mom, and I hate to see you suffer similarly.  I wish she had read something back then that could have given her an easier way to deal with it.  She just suffered alone with no help or guidance at all.

    As for hoping you'll be the best, as a reformed (mostly) perfectionist, may I remind you that your best will never be perfect, and it's OK.  No relationship is ever perfect because we are all imperfect people.  And, the step-parent/step-child relationship is the hardest one going.  What I hope you'll strive for instead is methods to handle the hurt and manage the relationships better.  Leave being the "best" to someone with a wish to punish themselves for "failing" when things don't go perfectly.  Don't let that be you!

    Please remember to update us.  I'll be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

    ~kar
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from putt1. Show putt1's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Good morning RedSox

    I have been reading your post and agree with you 100%..you have every reason to feel this is your well earned vacation with your husband and grandchildren.  It was very selfish of his children to invite their mom without at least mentioning it to you and their dad first.  The mother would have shown a little class to have turned the invitation down seeing as she just spent two weeks with them in Europe.

    Your vacation should be spent doing what makes you happy, not sharing it with an ex wife.  If it were me, I would cancel and do something fun with just you and your husband and schedule a vacation with the grandchildren at another time.  Just my opinion.

    putt
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Good Morning Putt:

    While I agree with you and that was my initial reaction, I have to agree with kargiver and pingo as well.
    I have lived with this for 20 years - however when the kids were younger and living at home with us - believe it or not - this wasn't an issue! They wanted to have nothing to do with their mother!
    The girls actually encouraged their dad to divorce their mom, because she was cheating on him, going out drinking and drugging etc. (My husband was in the military and often away for long periods of time).
    It has only been in the last 2-3 years that they have spent more time with their mom.  She has also sobered up and given up the drugs, got herself a steady boyfriend who is a pretty decent guy.  So I think my kids are giving mom a 'second chance'.  While they know their parents will never get back together, I think what I see isn't a turning away from me so much as a trying to get to know their mother and give her a chance.
    I don't think it is right to stop that from happening.
    While I am not thrilled to go on a family vacation with her, (nor is my husband) there will be 25-30 other family there and I hope that I am mature and confident enough to pull it off. We can work out something where we don't spend every day, every minute with her, but the girls will have to understand and compromise that while we will do lots of stuff together it won't be like vacations we have had in the past. Simply the art of compromise!
    The more I thought about kargiver and pingo's words, the more I realized I had a lot more than most step-mom's ever get.
    I do know they love me and care about me - so I should be giving and give their mom a chance too!

    Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts. 
    I have read and absorbed and thought about what really is happening here and realized that I may have jumped the gun to quickly.

    Bless you
     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from pingo. Show pingo's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Dear RedSox,
    I was truly happy to read your post to putt. I sounds like you have been working out some of your frustration these last few days. I think mostly due to Kargiver's wonderful and thoughtful posts.

    -----I think what I see isn't a turning away from me so much as a trying to get to know their mother and give her a chance.
    I don't think it is right to stop that from happening.------


    I think this is the key!
    I was really worried about you. When frustration and anger get the best of one, one cannot think straight. I have been - for completely different reasons - in that situation sometimes, but if I gave it some time and thought more about it, I found thinking to myself, "Who is your attitude hurting? Yourself the most. The villains don't care. They are not going to change one bit to make you feel better".

    You telling us, that your step daughters' mother has left drugs and alcohol and now has a decent guy as a steady boyfriend - certainly changes this picture a whole lot. I am sure the girls are happy for that change and want to give their mother another chance. So please let them.

    I can still understand your frustration about not having a vacation with just your husband, his children and grandchildren. Anyone should have that luxury. To invite their mother (and boyfriend?), was inconsiderate  of them. They should have asked first, if anyone minded. However, if they are going to be happy, so will their children be. Your husband will be happy and I believe so will you.

    With so many people gathered, I am sure there will be a lots of time, you don't have to spend time whit 'that woman'. If they want to go to the Magical Kingdom, you and another part of the group go to Epcot. And truly, how in the world will you be able to get 25 - 30 people together for all rides and the restaurant meals? The place is packed and you cannot make reservations most places.

    Please go with our head held high and tell yourself, you will have a good time. Somehow I believe with your newfound attitude, you will.
    Bless you and your family - Pingo

    Ps. Please don' t forget to give us a report on how the trip went. I am sure you will surprise us all.


     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Thank you, dear Pingo.  You have added to her comfort, as well.  And, if my advice is deemed good it's only due to God's grace manifested in my own painful experiences and learning something from them.  Life might indeed be good, now, but "God bless the broken road..."

    I have every confidence that RedSox will read her book before she goes, process all this new perspective and actually have fun on her vacation.  It won't be her ideal "fun" fantasy, but it will be a great time of healing for her.  Facing this graciously and out of love for her step-kids and respect for what is going on with their immature minds and hearts will bring her a peace she has not known in this situation.  She's never had to deal head on with it before, and this will be a fabulous chance to conquer a lot of fear and insecurity that is bubbling up inside.

    Go RedSox!!!  We're routing for you!  Get it?  HA!  Cool

    Blessings,
    ~kar

    P.S.  I've been thinking, too, about the practical.  Would it be feasible to schedule some things before you go or the first day at the latest?  Set aside time for the kids to go alone with the mother and her bf, some times with you and DH, and (I know this is the tough one) both couples and the kids.
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Wow - this has been so good for me!
    Free therapy sessions!
    I did go to B&N - you were right nothing! But I order some books from Amazon.com so I have a bit of reading to do.

    I spoke to my husband and we are going to have the kids over and talk about this and lay down some ground rules and explain to them how we feel about the whole situation.
    We are going to work out a rough schedule of times together and time to spend doing other things - because they will also want to do things with their cousins (who are all around the same age, married w/kids around the same age).
    I am not sure if the BF is coming, but it would actually be better if he did come - they would then do some stuff together as well.

    I will keep you all posted on how the trip goes, but it isn't until October 2010 so it will be a while - and a lot can happen between now and then.

    Until then I have this year's vacation to look forward to Kansas to visit our oldest daughter, SIL and granddaughter. So I will have an entire week with my granddaughter and nothing makes me happier than that!

    As for our "Red Sox" - there is always next year - now that they have won not one but two in my lifetime - I can wait another year or two.  Surprised

    I have been - for completely different reasons - in that situation sometimes, but if I gave it some time and thought more about it, I found thinking to myself, "Who is your attitude hurting? Yourself the most. The villains don't care. They are not going to change one bit to make you feel better".

    That was the key sentence - when I read that I realized that I was hurting myself more than anyone else.  You are right nobody cares about this except me. So I then did some soul searching and asked myself why should I feel this way.
    The answer because I am jealous and insecure.  Over what - I don't know. My inner child came out and threw a temper tantrum!
    But looking at it another way:
    I have her husband
    I have her children
    I have her grandchildren
    She had nothing left. 
    So she finally smartened up and went straight.  Good for her, and good for my girls too, because maybe they can learn something from her 'fall'.
    And if she can have some kind of relationship with her children, than I should be willing to step back and be confident in what I did over the years to KNOW that the girls do love me and do appreciate all that I have done.
    So I needed to grow up, because this hadn't happened before and I didn't know how to deal with it!

    So Kargiver, Pingo and Putt thank you for help me.
    And if I can ever help you, please let me know, because that is what it is all about.
    Helping each other.
    God Bless........
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, you have come far, my dear.  I think you will find the answers to why you are jealous and insecure.  It's perfectly natural and to say it's common is an understatment.  It's covered in your books as well as how to deal effectively with it, putting it behind you.  Identifying it is the first step.  You're doing well to be in a place emotionally where you can really benefit from the reading.  Believe it or not, that IS far.

    I'm glad to know you are having a family sit down over this beforehand.  May I suggest 3 things.

    1.  Read your favorite of the books you ordered first.
    2.  Do it well before your trip to give everyone a chance to process what is said and respond BEFORE the heat is on.
    3.  Make notes of feelings/thoughts you have that you want to share as you are reading or right after your shower (where I get all my key thoughts!) or upon waking up.  Keep a journal of sorts that you can refer to during your discussion.  That way, when you are nervous talking about it you won't forget anything you'd wish you'd brought up.
    4.  Start all your sentences with "I feel" (or something else I-centric) instead of "You make me feel."  The fact is no one can make you feel anything, and when you say that it unfairly places blame for your feelings on someone else, and that will not be well received.  You can find tips on this online by doing a search on "I message".
    5.  Keep the fact that they shouldn't have invited their mother out of it.  The fact is that they shouldn't have.  But, for many deep seated immature reasons they did.  Bringing that up will not have a positive outcome because no matter what you say they won't get it nor can the past be changed.

    I'm sure these are things you could come up with on your own, but when we are in the middle of emotional situations sometimes it's hard to think rationally about everything that should go into such discussions...at least it is for me.  Easy for me to spout off what you should think about - I'm literally and figuratively miles away.

    ...but close in heart. 

    Be sure to update us with your experiences.  They won't be all good nor all bad, but you'll learn a lot about yourself and will continue to heal your relationships through whatever happens because that's what you truly want in your heart.

    ~kar
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, I've been out of town - what have you been reading and what's going on?

    Blessings,
    ~kar
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Well, I got a couple of books, that I was going to start reading this weekend.
    But.......
    We had a 'family conference' on facebook earlier this week and my husband I explained to the girls our feelings about going on vacation with their mom. 
    Surprise, surprise! My oldest popped up with - oh no, we NEVER even considered that! Sorry, sorry, sorry.......
    Lots of discussions have gone forward with some good stuff coming out.
    We can all still go and tailor our time around each other - we even brought mom into the facebook wall to let her have her say. 
    So we are not sure at this point, because it is all in the planning stage.  But the girls mom thought she might want to go another time with the grandkids, instead as she has never been to Disney before and wanted to do and see some stuff also with the grandchildren. So mom is bowing out at this point and is planning on a long weekend with the grandchildren in Florida instead!

    Strange how things work out sometimes.
    All that hurt, frustration and angst for nothing!
    Well, not for nothing, we all learned something from this situation and hope to grow better for it.

    It isn't the traditional family anymore and society and the 'norms' have drastically changed with 'extended' families.
    I am still going to read over the weekend - we need a manual for 'extended' families and all the headaches that go along with it (just like the old fashioned 'family')
    Mmmmmmm, maybe I should write a book!



     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    I forgot to add the books:

    Stepmotherhood - How to survive w/o feeling frustrated, left out and wicked.

    No One's the B-itch.

    Somewhere to start, there were quite a few that looked good!

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    RedSox, what a great update, thanks for sharing!  I'm glad my assumptions and experiences turned out to be applicable to your family, too.

    And, as far as the mother bowing out goes, sometimes when people know they are welcome that's enough; they end up not needing/wanting to go, after all.  If she'd been shunned, I bet she'd have wanted to go for sure, and the kids would have been resentful, blah, blah, blah.

    I know you're already thankful for how things are working out and what you and the rest of the family is learning, but beyond that I believe you'll look back at this crisis as THE turning point in your relationships and cohesiveness of your family.

    Keep posting your revelations and concerns.  We're here!!

    Blessings,
    ~kar
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from TarheelChief. Show TarheelChief's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    How did the children get so much power?
    If you are working,it is your money as well as your husband's money which is going into the vacation.This is not a minor point when planning any vacation.
    The vacation time for school children is 7 weeks in the summer,one week at Easter, four days at Thanksgiving, and ten days at Christmas.Make a schedule where you include or don't include the ex-wife or ex-husband.It's difficult because events,sports,and work change,but it's not impossible.
    It's called a divorce for a reason,and it seems the children don't understand this.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Tarheel and crzn
    I agree with you and I was plenty mad and hurt when this first came up.
    However, no matter how well you bring them up and show them the ropes, they sometimes just do not think - and this was one of those instances - open mouth, make statement, engage brain at a later date!

    Because we do have family events especially for grandchildren we all have learned to get along with each other.  The kids see me and their mother talking and laughing sharing stories and antidotes about our grandchildren they forget that we don't really like each other! So it was an instinctive thing, they were talking about going to Disney, someone said why don't you come along and didn't think another thing about it.
    My kids were a bit shocked when we came back at them with this, at first.  Then when we explained to them they got it. They just didn't think.  Which of us, can say we or our children think about the implications of what we do 100% of the time? So once the feelings were explained, things changed and were retracted and it is back to my husband's family - with no ex's tagging along. (For which I am thankful, as is my husband)
     
    There is a part of every divorced kid that wants their parents to get back together - even if their head know it will never happen, their hearts still wish. it doesn't matter how old they are (and our girls are 27 & 28)

    So yes, the kids do have power - in their 20's, married, working they can make their own decisions.  They may not always make the RIGHT decisions, but they have to live with the results of their actions.
    As do we all.

    Therefore I have to overlook a lot and have had to overlook a lot of things.
    Interestingly I got more grief from teachers because I was their step-parent instead of the 'real' (!?!?!?!) parent!
    As I explained to the teachers, my husband is in the military, and he and I had custody of the girls and the teachers wanted to know where the 'real' mother was - talk about stupid people!
    Talk about prejudice people, no wonder step mothers have a difficult time. Between the kids and society's stupidity and ignorance.......

    Anyway, we were able to resolve the matter in an adult manner.
    That is what is important in the final outcome is that we are all STILL family!




     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    My step-brothers were in college when my mom married their dad, and they were crushed to think that it was extinguishing "any hope" of their parents getting back together.  They didn't have a clue that there was no hope to begin with.

    RedSox, you have been reading!  :)  Look how far you've come...

    ~kar
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from user_1393332. Show user_1393332's posts

    Re: Vacation Question

    Yes kar, I have been reading.
    Also put myself in the kids shoes for a minute or two.

    It is all perspective!

    Thanks much for your support!
     

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