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Messages By: allhis

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March 10, 2006, 4:10 am CST

Have been through same thing here

Quote From: spayder

My husband and I have been together for 17 years and married for 10.  We have 5 adult children between us but all are independantly living out of home now.  (there are also 2 Grandchildren and another on the way, all his grandchildren).  He has 3 daughters and they crave his love, acceptance and some attention. 

  

He never thinks to ring them just to say hello; he never pops in to visit.  If he does speak to them on the phone it's because I have dialled the number and if we get together as a family it's because I arrange it and cook all the food.  But I am their Step-Mother.  They have a Mother of their own.  We have discussed this before and they have expressed their needs with him.  It has been accepted by all that most of their problems come from having a Mother who was not there for them as most Mothers should be and this has hugely affected their self-esteem and future prospects due to her downgrading treatment of them, by her. 

  

But I feel that if he made more effort and time that he could help that situation a little. 

He says that he is there for them for advice and helps them with loans etc, but I can't get him to see the emotional needs and he doesn't seem to know how to show it (he is the same with me). 

  

I have been there for them over the years to try and make up for what their natural parents lacked, but it is not the same, they need it to be from a parent.  As they are older now they do appreciate my efforts, but they still are starved of proper parental love. 

  

He says "well that's just me"  or "they are all adults now - they should know how to change things so that they can be the people they want to be". or "they know I'm always there for them" 

  

How can I make him see that he could make such a difference in their lives if he just did a couple of small things?  They just need someone to say "Sorry you had to go through that and none of it was your fault "  (meaning the divorce).  I did say that to the eldest one the other day and gave her a hug and she really appreciated it.  But my husband is the type to not be told what to do, and when to do it and also finds it difficult to admit he could have done better, and difficult to express emotions. 

  

I just keep telling them to try not to take it personally and that it's just your Dad and he does love you and that I put up with the lack of emtion from him too, but I know he loves me and he is really a good person. 

  

The middle one is at a stand-off situation with him.  She won't come to visit him because he doesn't go and visit her.  And when I suggest he visit her he says "Why should I, she doesn't come and visit me"  It's all so silly and very sad.  It makes me think that I don't know who my husband is.  I am so much the opposite.  I visit and ring my adult children all the time and bake them biscuits for the cupboard and go with them to appointments if they need my support.  I just don't get it!! 

  

He has watched the Dr. Phil show on this subject at various times, but nothing changes. 

My family has been through the same thing here to My husband as growing up was handed off to anyone.. but when we had children of our own the woman to whom he lived with could not accept the fact that he loved me and not her she was I guess you could say obsessed with him.. She even had us move on some ground so we would be close to her we did have any water at the time we were getting our water lines in as my husband was putting them in.. So me and my two children would go to her house to bath. but before I could bath I would have to scrub her kitchen floor on my hands and knees and my children had to watch me.. with her.. so when I stoped going down when she ws home she told my husband that If I was not gone to bath when she was not there then I did not need to bath at all..so I started calling my father in law to come get us..My husband has cut her completely out of our life. When we had our first child the happpiest day of our life she came to the hospital that same day and looked at me and my husband and told us that our baby should have never been born..
 
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March 10, 2006, 4:59 am CST

with you on that

Quote From: hamadryad

Interesting topic...  My parents divorced when I was very young and my father was awarded custody of myself and my brother (not easy considering that I am a female and this was 1970!)  I grew up in my grandparents' house in a small town in Michigan.  My paternal grandparents had seven sons, all of whom lived no more than 20 minutes away from each other as adults.  I have a total of 29 cousins on my Dad's side (not counting myself, of course) and we all grew up pretty much in each other's back pockets.   

  

Our Gramma was and still is the HeadBossLady of the family.  What Gramma sez goes!  She raised her seven boys on a farm and ruled them with an iron fist.  They all had chores to do before and after school, were expected to get good grades, had to learn to play a musical instrument, and take their turn being Altar Boy at Mass.  She waited til her youngest was in school full-time then went back to school herself and became an RN.  After the boys were grown and Grampa irritated her one too many times, she didn't fight or fuss, she just took her savings and went out and bought herself a house on the other side of town where she could have things the way she wanted!  :)  Funny thing is, that Grampa came over every day after work, ate supper there, and only left long after dark!  Eventually, he stopped going back to the farm and pretty much moved in.  They were "separated" for 18 months.   

  

From Gramma I learned that women can and should be strong, independent and fearless.  That it is perfectly acceptable to set standards and expect them to be met.  I also learned that if you want something, you should go and get it for yourself and not expect others to do for you.  She is 94 years old now and when she says "frog" Grampa and every one of her 7 boys, 30 grandchildren, and umpteen great-grandchildren start hopping! :)    

  

I just re-read that bit about Gramma and realized that it doesn't even begin to truly describe her.  Besides working all day at the local hospital, she was helping to raise two of her grandchildren (me and my brother.)  She made a place in her home for her handicapped younger brother, John.  If you caught her sitting down I guarantee that she was working on knitting, crocheting, quilting or sewing something for someone.  (She always had a project in her hands while watching TV.) Probably 85% of all our Priest's Vestments were made by my Grandmother!  Not to mention the Altar cloths and such.  She had a hot meal ready for us every night at 6 pm and 3 hots on Saturdays and Sunday.  Thanksgiving and Christmas were HUGE!  Everyone came to Gramma's house and squeezed together at three long tables set up in the expanded diningroom (Gramma had a wall removed so that the old livingroom became part of the diningroom.)   Gramma gave love to us all.   She still does.   

  

From my Dad I learned not to give up.  Not to give in.  After he was awarded custody my mother snatched us kids and ran.  For two years we were separated from our family.  When my Dad finally found us, we were in separate foster homes in California and were on the "available for adoption" lists.  My Dad had sold everything he owned and gone into debt hiring private investigators to look for us.  The fact that he found us was sheer luck.  He had sent copies of our photos to every social service agency in the country!  By happenstance, our foster case-worker recognized those old photos of us as being her clients.  She contacted my Dad and soon we were back home in Michigan living in Gramma's house because Dad had sold his land and home trying to find us.   

  

Dad is a reticent man and has never been one to say "I love you." He isn't a "huggie" kind of man, but I never once doubted his love for me growing up.  He worked midnights and slept while I was in school.  When he got home, he spent time with us; wrestling, tickling, laughing, or just sitting side-by-side watching Bugs Bunny or old Godzilla movies.  He gave up everything he had to find us.... our mom had dumped us on a doorstep on the other side of the country within days of stealing us from him.  Even at 8 years old I recognized his love for me.... it was not a "huggie" love, but it was the real deal.  But I missed hugs.  So, one of the things I take from my Dad is a "what not to do." :)  I hug my kids every chance I get and tell them at LEAST once a day how much I love them, how proud I am to be their mother, how blessed I am that they are in my life.   

  

Everything good I learned about family I learned from my Dad and my Dad's side of the family.   

  

From my mother I learned suspicion, self-doubt, self-loathing, distrustfulness...  Thanks to my Family's love and some REALLY good therapists I have managed to get past that... (although, if I am to be honest with myself and you, I still have trust issues when I meet new women... making girl-friends has always been difficult for me... I have always chosen guys as pals.  In the last two years I have conciously cultivated friendships with women and I have three girl-friends now though they are not as close to me as my male friends have been in the past... Hey, I'm a work in progress! *grin*) 

My husband says that everything good he is learning he is learning from his dads side of the family and he is continuing to learn also.. We have got to spend alot of time with his family and the childen sure do enjoy it.
 

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