Monday, June 20, 2011


The man's birthday party last year.
Today is the last official day of spring... even though its only begun to act like spring here.
Time for some spring cleaning... not house cleaning...
getting rid of some emotional garbage.
 I'm going to air out my feelings on the issue of my new family.
This time last year, I had only lived here for 9 days when I planned and threw the man a birthday party.
I felt very good about things... his kids, Mom and Ron and his friends.
I was grateful for a smooth transition into their lives and felt accepted.
Things were good until the man asked me to marry him.
Within a few weeks of our announcing that we were going to tie the knot, problems began to pop up.
The first being his daughter, R wanting me to know that 
when her dad died, that our house belonged to her...
not me.
As well as any family furnishings, things of worth etc.
Then she stormed off in tears.
I found this upsetting.
Not so much about the house or things, but that anyone would assume that I planned on taking anything from them.
A few days after that, his youngest son, J popped in to drag the man out to the front walk and tell him that they were all concerned over what I would take away from them and how unfair that was.
And that they wanted me to know that they were concerned about what inheritance I would take away from their mother too.
The man got mad and put an end to talk about this subject.

(Let me make an interjection here... Why would you divorce someone and then expect to inherit anything from them?  I know that happens sometimes, but I would think that would be kindness not an expectation. Just asking.)
Time passed and things seemed to get better. But we only saw Mom and Ron,
who always have been wonderful to me!
Unless his kids wanted or needed help from us.
But you know, when I was young, 
I did not want to spend oodles of time with my folks.  
I had friends and my own young family.
No biggie.

It was when we got close to the wedding that petty crap began to happen.
The man suggested that I contact all of our kids to determine when we had a date that would work for everyone.
We were aware that they had jobs and other things going on in their lives.
My kids had no trouble.
"Mom, you pick a day and we will be there no matter what."
is what the Bear said.
Her brothers gave me similar echos.

There had been troubles in the past with the man's kids over who was told something first.
So I decided that the best way not to have anyone get butt hurt was to send a batch text to all of them anytime I had a question about date and time.
When we located a date and time that worked... they all got a batch text.

We then began working on the house and yard to get it ready.
Now, we had made "loans" to his kids with the understanding that they could work off the loans instead of paying us back.
But they were always too busy.

My kids all came down here twice for 2 day work trips to help with the yard
and then a few days before the wedding to set up.
For them, it was a 6 hour round trip in the car with high gas prices.
They have never asked for loans and did not have to do anything to repay us for anything.
They did it because that is what they were raised to believe that you do for family and good friends... you pitch in and help.

A week before the wedding, R calls to find out when it is.
By this time she had gotten the text about the date, 
and texted back "whatever" ...
two months prior to the wedding,
and had gotten an invitation three weeks in advance.
The man told her again.
She says she's sorry but she doesn't know if she can make it.
We didn't allow her enough time to ask for the day  off work.
She seemed to think that we had told everyone but her... first.
The man says, she's just butt hurt about that.
She will get over it.
Or she won't.  He doesn't care.
I could see by his face that he cared very much.

I thought that was a rotten thing to do.
But she's his child and he would know what to do better than me.
But I did tell T... the man's best friend / best man / extended family member...
who has known R since she was little.
His response was "That's bullshit. I'll take care of it."
I let him.

So the day came and my  kids were here along with C4C... who drove all the way up from California to be here as my matron of honor and to help.
Half an hour before guests were supposed to arrive,
I'm in the shower getting ready.
According to C4C, who's word is solid gold to me,
R walks into the house without knocking and sets about getting in everyone's way as they are doing the finishing touches on food, and clean up.
R treats them like they don't belong there.
She gets into the liquor cupboard and proceeds to make drinks for herself and another... and leaves everything out, as if they aren't trying to get things in neat order.

After the vows, I tried twice to be friendly to R... I did not know yet that she was being a bitch to my people.
All she would say to me was "Whatever" and walk off.
She congratulated her dad, but not me.

Since then she has only been briefly anything like friendly when she wanted us to babysit for 24 hours plus at a shot.
It is not little N's fault that her mom is being such a brat, so I do babysit.

Last week T asked me what the man's kids were planning for Father's Day and the man's birthday, which fell on the same day.
I said I had not heard a word.
When he asked if I was kidding and I said no, he said
"Well fuck them. You are coming to our house. We'll barbecue."
I said ok.

The man's kids did not call all week.
The day came and J
stopped in to bring his dad a piece of German Chocolate cake...
the man's favorite that he had gotten at the market.
I thought that was sweet.

We went to the barbecue and had a great time!
But the man's family was absent,
except Jr. did come by to pick up a check and give the man a card, but did not stay.  He and his fiancee are busy with their wedding prep.
Mom and Ron are on a trip, so they called and so did the man's sister who lives in the middle of the country.
Eventually, R did call and wished him a happy day in the evening.
On our way home from the barbecue, because we had cake left over, 
we stopped by her house to drop cake off for the grand kids.
R is butt hurt that she was not invited to the barbecue!
I do not understand all this butt hurt crap!
As soon as I wake up on my birthday, my phone is filled with texts from my kids.
I do the same to them.
When I lived there, plans were worked out ahead of time for family parties... there was never a question of "if " there would be one.
It was "when" we would gather to celebrate together.
No one cares about who is told first... and if they have not heard of the plan, they call to find out the plan.

Like T, I expected the man's kids to call and show some interest 
if they had time available.

I have made many offers to have people over for diner and they
do not respond to the invitations with yes or no.
They don't get back to me, except for Jrs family.

I'm getting a bit frustrated with all this.
I am an open and friendly person.
I try to include everyone in everything.
I am careful not to offend or to seem like a threat.
I don't know what else I can do.

I knew that blending families is not always easy.
But I am feeling so much hostility from R.
And it certainly is not okay with me that she does not treat my kids or friends with respect.

As for the house she is worried about,
this is not the house she grew up in.
This is her grandmother's house... and she does not care much for her grandmother.
She openly told me that it pisses her off that her grandmother and I are friends.
She says that grandma was not good to or friends with her mother.
She's mad because grandma did not make loans to her mom after the divorce
when asked.
I've got nothing to do with that!
The man and her mom were separated and divorced long before I got here.

The house R grew up in was sold to settle the man and her mother's divorce.
Her mom walked off with a new car and all the profit gained from the sale.
The man sold that house to his mother, the grandmother in question,
who took out a loan to pay off that house and enough money for the car and the cash R's mom demanded in the divorce.
She then made a contract with the man for that loan to be paid off by him/ now us / as payment on this house.  
When she dies, he inherits this house if he has not paid off the loan by then and gotten title.
Any of the remaining loan at the time of her death will be paid off by her insurance and the house comes to him free and clear.
But she is in excellent health and
not expected to kick the bucket for a long,long time. 
It is not yet his to decide who inherits it.
Right now that is his mom's right.

Meanwhile we are paying the mortgage, upkeep and taxes.
The only claim to this house for R is that her grandparents built it
and lived in it all her life, until grandpa died and grandma remarried and moved out.
She is not privy to the contract between the man and grandma.
She probably thinks that the man was gifted with the house.
Grandma is no dope about money!
She is not giving houses away.

I know that there is a kind of woman who "marries up".
Who will wed to gain whatever material things they can get.

I am not that kind of woman.
I did not marry the man to get his house or move up financially in the world.
It is happenstance that I have.
When the man lost his job of 15 years, he felt terrible.
He joked about hoping I had not married him only to 
end up living under a bridge.
He is old fashioned in that he believes that it is his job to take care of me.
I told him the truth... that I would rather live under a bridge
with him than live without him.
The damned house has nothing to do with it.

But, this is my home.
I do contribute to paying for it.
I keep it clean, take care of the  yard and the man because this is my life that I share with him.
My family and friends are welcome here and need to be treated with the same respect that I give to the man's family and friends.

I grow very weary of this mind game over the house.
It makes me angry because it hurts her dad.
It does not hurt me, just pisses me off for his hurt feelings.
She is punishing the wrong person.
But I've got no clue how to deal with this nonsense.
I just keep being nice and hope she grows up enough to get over it.

Got any suggestions?
Am I doing the right thing by ignoring it?
I spent most of my childhood and adult life ignoring the mind games 
that the medusa put me through.
I've gotten very good at it.
But there did come a day when I had to tell the medusa that I was finished with her drama and severed that tie.
It still makes me sad but greatly improved my happiness.
Why can't some people live without drama?


  1. I would honestly dispense with the niceties and instead be polite but very honest. You need to just tell her what is acceptable and what isn't.

    My mother had a very similar issue with my paternal grandmother. My paternal grandmother would constantly play mind games and whip up imagined insults to justify her anger at my mother.

    Finally, after years of trying, my mother just stopped caring and put her foot down.

    The straw that broke the camel's back was when, during a talk aimed at revitalizing their relationship, my grandmother complained that my mother had been rude to her by not offering her coffee at my grandmother's last visit.

    The visit in question had taken place immediately after the death of my mother's own mother, and my grandmother's reference to it sent my mother over the edge.

    "You're mad that I didn't offer you coffee?" my mother asked. "My mother had just died. I had just come back from her funeral. You're lucky I didn't tell you to get the fuck out of my house."

    It took my grandmother years to get over that one, but my mother didn't hesitate to let her know she should "mind [her] own damn business" when my grandmother again stepped over the line.

    That may be a bit too blunt for your situation, but I know it made all of us feel better.

  2. BrightenedBoy- You may indeed be right and maybe I should tell her how I feel.I don't want to spend the rest of my life dreading what she will come up with next that might hurt her dad.

    Near as I can tell, she is not good with relationships because she is always looking for what the other person does or doesn't do for her. She fails to wonder what she can do for them.

    The issue with her grandmother is about that exactly. She feels that her grandmother was not a "good" one... no baking cookies, no expensive trips to Disney Land, etc. She frets over it.
    Yet at Christmas, grandma says to her to please come to visit anytime and bring the kids too. Her response was "No. That's an hour on the freeway with two kids fighting in the car." No good bye or thanks for the offer. No suggestion that they come to her house instead. Of course she never turns down the gifts that grandma provides either.

    I'm not sure that she will ever get why her relationships don't work.
    Its emotional blackmail!

  3. Testing... testing...

    (Just checking to see if I can post before I type more...)

  4. OK.

    Well, I think you're doing all you can do myself. Don't cut her out, don't cozy up. Babysit if you like the little one, why not? Just don't expect any appreciation. If things get weird, you can always just say "you have to talk to your father about that."

    What else can you do? Some folks are just like that. You just do your thing and either she'll warm up or not. Probably not, but that's up to her.

    Keep your expectations low and you won't be disappointed ;-)

  5. Cricket- LOL at the "testing"!

    You are the calm voice of reason. That's one of many things I like about you. I agree that I am doing all that I can. I am a nice person darn it!

    You know I think to myself that I try to treat them like my own family. But that's really not true... ask my kids! When they were little and they got upset over stupid stuff, we had a saying... "Whaaa!" (that's a phoney crying sound) Not very mature perhaps, but it worked.

    I don't want this to escalate and I don't want it to be come a war where daddy is expected to choose all the time.

    I hear in my head the theme to SNL or MadTV's... I forget which..."Lowered Expectations" dating service. Thanks, I needed the giggle.

  6. anyone worrying about an inheritance is an economic failure. any person who is incapable of amassing their own wealth would surely piss away someone else's wealth if it was given to them.

  7. billy pilgrim- Oddly enough, the one kid of his who did not show up to worry about inheriting anything was the one who owns his own house and nice things.
    I never have promised my kids any inheritance and I did not expect to inherit anything from my parents.

  8. I wouldn't confront her. It's way too soon. I'd just be civil and let it slide off you as best you can. If it were a hateful relative of yours, it might be different. Might. But I would leave it for your new husband to deal with since it's his family and not put yourself in the middle of it.

  9. secret agent woman- Good words. I do not under any circumstances want to put the man into a difficult situation! As you said, it is his child, not mine. And she is not the first child of a former marriage to act up.

    I'm just frustrated!

  10. dang, i am sorry to hear all this. people can just be so damned self-involved. i think cricket and secret agent make good sense.

  11. OMG. Finally on my home computer where I am allowed to comment on your blog! This is a late comment, but I would have said the same thing as Secret. Stay out of it as much as possible. It is really your husband's problem to deal with. All you need to do is support him and trust that he'll step in if one of his children ever says anything to you that is way out of line.