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Family Christmas Picture

bedazzled's picture

SD birthday was week. I am disengaged from her. DH told that he was going to breckfast with her and her kid. That's fine. So SD has stated that she wants to recreate her childhood for her kid. She is popping out #2 next week. SD is friends with DH family on Facebook. So I pull up Facebook in the afternoon of her birthday. There is SD "family Christmas picture"  taken at her birthday breckfast. SD, her husband, her kid, SS, BM and DH. All in front of a Christmas tree. DH has said he was going just with her. Turns out it was the whole "original family"  I asked DH a out it he told me he didn't tell me BM was going because I knew  I would be mad.

i asked him why didn't he just see SD by himself and BM do something seperate. So he said that SD told him that the only way he would be allowed to see her on her birthday is if he went to her breckfast party along with BM. If he didn't she would not see him on her birthday. I said fine why didn't he just see her another day. He said he wanted to see her on her birthday. BM is remarried her husband is not in the picture either. 
I am mad. I don't think DH should be in a Family Christmas picture without his Wife. I also mad that DH plays along with 35 year old SD's game of recreating the " Royal first bio family"  DH has a wife and it is no longer BM. I think DH is being disrespectful to our marriage and Me. He sees nothing wrong with it and nothing wrong with not telling me he was going with the original family plus SIL and grandkid who of course are accepted With open arms while his wife is not allowed to exist. 

second part of the story. SD is giving birth next week. I am not allowed anywhere near. I have never seen first kid who is 3. DH wants me to forget and forgive all the. narcissistic abuse and games by stepdaughter and start over. But the catch. SD will not admit or apologize to any of her actions. I have to give up ever expecting some kind of apology. I will still not be allowed to be around any of them. I will be allowed and expected to give SD a present for the new kid. In return SD will accept the present from me. 
So DH gave a letter to me and his 2 narcisstic POS. Full of bible verses and saying that he wants everyone to treat each other with love, kindness and respect. Forget the past and start over. So I said fine if his kids apologizes and take back  the horrible slander and accusations about me I will start a new. DH says no that they will never apologize or own their actions. That I need to forget about it.  I am still not allowed to be anywhere near them. He will still continue his seperate life with them. And I need to be happy about it.

How is any of that A 2 way street of love, kindness and respect? 
So I am very artistic. DH say I need to make the present for the new kid that I will not be allowed to see and show SD I am reaching out to her. No way. I will not put myself into making something to my narcissistic abuser.  I am being the bigger person and went out and bought a shirt for the kid and gave it to DH so he can give it to his mini wife. So DH is happy. I feel like crap. 
SO now SD can write me a thank you note and Daddy can see what a wonderful kind person his little princess mini wife is. 

I never dreamed that I would marry into such sick family drama. I have stated to DH that Any of them will never step foot in our house(I own the house we live in). I only did this after being forbidden to be allowed near the "royals". 

How would you react to the family picture and being allowed to give the new POS a present? 



Curious Georgetta's picture

disengaged. Perhaps out of respect for you and acceptance of your disengagement , your husband had chosen not to share information about his daughter and her activities with you. Surely it is not in the best interest of your peace of mind to inflict information about his daughter on you.

If you look at the picture as simply a representation of his daughter 's family with her parents, it becomes less about you and simply a representation of the biological  parents/grandparents.

Healthy people can compartmentalize their lives.  

Your husband is being unkind and inconsiderate by trying to inflict some kind of biblically inspired guilt upon you.

You and his daughter both have the right not to want to spend time in each other's company, and neither of you should be forced into positions of discomfort.

It is unfortunate when there is this kind of discord in families and it becomes magnified during the holiday season.

There is nothing that you can do to change your husband 's family tree. The ex and your husband will always be the daughter's parents and the biological grandparents to her children. In a pictorial representation of that status, there will always be only the 2 of them.

A picture represents a frozen moment in time. It has only the significance in your life that you are willing to assign it.

The birthday is over and your life has not changed in one iota. Do not give  head space to fleeting events that have no real impact on your life.

His daughter's desire to recreate her childhood is a fantasy which she is free to have, but it need not be a part of your reality.

That the ex and your husband are the biological grandparents is not a part of her fantasy , that is an ongoing reality. Anything beyond that exist only in her head.

You are not compelled to give any Xmas gift. Do not get caught up in trying to deal with either your husband or his daughter's family fantasy.

You spend your time with him and let him spend his time with her . The times need never intersect. 


sandye21's picture

First you write, "Perhaps out of respect for you and acceptance of your disengagement , your husband had chosen not to share information about his daughter and her activities with you. Surely it is not in the best interest of your peace of mind to inflict information about his daughter on you."  Gasligting again.

Then you write, "Your husband is being unkind and inconsiderate by trying to inflict some kind of biblically inspired guilt upon you."  Contradicting yourself.

A good therapist would never advise a married women to simply ignore lies and sneakiness by her DH.  Marriage is supposed to be based on truth and love.

tog redux's picture

Yes, I noticed that - the Happy Family Picture is just fine, but don't be hitting people over the head with the Bible. That offends CG when nothing else seems to.

Curious Georgetta's picture

else on this site. This is just a place where faceless strangers share opinions. Disagreeing with someone is not rude. No one is required to have a certain opinion or point of view.. 

The OP ''s very first statement is that she is disengaged. That is a distinct and definitive statement that she wishes to be separated from anything to do with his daughter.

The husband respects that declaration and is then accused of being sneaky. It is hardly sneaky to be  compliant with your wife 's desire to be disengaged. Disengagement means that you no longer want to be in the orbit of information or contact with or about your daughter and her activities/life.

tog redux's picture

I'm pretty sure disengagement doesn't mean she's just fine with him taking Christmas Pictures with his ex-wife and daughter as if she doesn't exist.

sandye21's picture

Disengagement has nothing to do with honesty and loyalty from your partner.  DH said he didn't want to tell SM about sharing the event with BM because he said he didn't want her to get mad.  He knew this would make SM mad before he left the house but he did it anyway.  That's sneaky - period.  Just wonder what you would say if the situation were reversed.

Gimlet's picture

Holy cow, no.  Your husband is a spineless liar and based on your former blogs, this is nothing new.  I think I read that this has been going on for 15 years?  When are you going to get tired of eating these shit sandwiches?  

He never should have left his first family, and if it wasn't his choice he should have remained single.  What are you getting out of this relationship, OP?

simifan's picture


I'd be furious. I'd have a real problem with DH going off to play happy family with BM. If he couldn't show more respect for our marriage then I would see not reason to be married. best fo luck to you. 


shamds's picture

so I couldn’t care less if skids wanted, allow or didn’t allow me to attend them at hospotal when they have kids... if you are disengaged, you don’t have to do anything for skid ever!! No gifts!! No forgive and forget while they are allowed to never apologize. 

Your husband is a poor excuse of a father to not set rules and model good behaviour with his kids

susanm's picture

I am not a religious person but apparently your DH is.  It seems to me that he is doing a pretty serious Chinese menu approach to his infliction of biblical requirements.  While there is a great deal in the bible about forgiveness, there is also an absolute mandate that children respect their parents.  I don't recall a word about parents deferring to their children.  I also seem to remember a little reference in the marriage service to joining as one with the spouse.  Not being as one when except when it is inconvenient and then pretending that the marriage did not occur.   And in most Christian marriage ceremonies, the congregation at some point is asked if they object or forever hold their peace and then asked if they will promise to support the marriage and the response is "we will."  Presumably the SD was there at the wedding and so he should remind her of this?  If he is going to use religion as a weapon against others then perhaps he should consider living according to ALL the rules, rather than cherry-picking, and then actually following them himself.  Just a thought.

tog redux's picture

"A picture represents a frozen moment in time. It has only the significance in your life that you are willing to assign it.

The birthday is over and your life has not changed in one iota. Do not give  head space to fleeting events that have no real impact on your life."

Really - her husband lying to her, excluding her and playing Happy Family with his ex-wife has no real impact on her life? A picture is just a frozen moment in time that has no significance? So if saw a picture of her child being abused, it's "just a frozen moment in time" and "only has the significance you are willing to assign it"?  That's some twisted logic there.

OP, he's betraying you repeatedly to keep his daughter's fantasy alive and well, so that she doesn't cut him out of her life. It's disturbing, to be honest. and I think 15 years is plenty of time for you to have put up with that nonsense.

notasm3's picture

I shut any BM interactions down when DH and I were dating. BM and I both lived in the same city. When DH moved here he stopped by to tell her hello. That was 100% unacceptable to me. It was early enough in our dating that had he objected or tried to get defensive I'd have just said "next" and moved on. 

when the first baby was born I had not banned SS and GF from my life. I bought some cute baby clothes for about $25.  By the time the 2nd child arrived they were long banished. But I didn't want DH asking them what they wanted as I knew it would probably be something very expensive. I sent him with a package of diapers- not even wrapped. That satisfied him. 

fedupinwa's picture

I was seeing red just reading your post!  What a betrayl. If I were to see my DH posing in a happy first family photo he would be in hot water and we would be in counseling ASAP.  Especially if he lied about just having breakfast with his daughter.  His actions are totally disrespectful and now he is gas lighting you!  

hereiam's picture

So he said that SD told him that the only way he would be allowed to see her on her birthday is if he went to her breckfast party along with BM

Your husband is so pathetic. Besides being a lying, scheming, gaslighting jerk, he is pathetic, letting his daughter make these kinds of demands.

I wouldn't create or buy anything for his kids or his grandkids.

Rags's picture

A husbands loyalty is unequivocally to his wife.  


If not, he should not be married.  If not, his wife should not tolerate him. Period.


The same applies to a wife towards her husband.

MissTexas's picture

by using The Bible to shame you into submission, remind him that a husband is to love his wife as CHRIST LOVED THE CHURCH, and that you have to guard your heart, and a husband and WIFE ARE TO BECOME ONE. Those are things MY BIBLE has written in it.

He knew this well in advance, and the fact he knew you wouldn't be happy about it and did IT ANYWAY speaks volumes.

You should be glad you're not "allowed" to be around these toxic bottom feeders. I wouldn't want to be if I were in the picture. Consider it a blessing. I wouldn't have BOUGHT ONE THING FOR ANYONE in this group. They all deserve each other.

TwelveLongYrs79's picture

No speaky, no gifty. Point blank. And let her believe you’re a witch, she already thinks it without the free stuff. 

After 15 years, why are you still tolerating this? 

BethAnne's picture

Adults who insist that events must be celebrated on exactly the correct day always seem very immature to me. Even most children manage to wait until the weekend for their birthday parties. I am not sure why a woman of 35 and her parents all believe that the day of her birth is sacred. His excuse is ridiculous, sd is controlling and your husband is enabling. 

sammigirl's picture

This is ridiculous head games on your DH's and SD'S part, at your expense.   You are totally disengaged from your SD.  Your DH is attempting to weaken this disengagement, by suggesting you forget and forgive.  I have been through this speech also. 

The family picture, is cruel disrespect to you and your marriage.  You will need to come to terms with yourself and make this turn around, or let these games continue.  How you handle this will entirely be your choice, not anyone else.  

After 30+ years of the same type of games in my marriage, I had enough.  I let it build up and that was not a good thing.  Take it slow, make it all happen for you, but correct it by taking control of your own life.  Make boundaries for you, not them.  I took control, regained my alpha female position, and absolutely take no abuse and have not for the past 6 years.  

I was called a b****ch, etc.  My SD never had respect for me before, so now she can have her dadeee....any time she likes.  Since I made this clear, 6 years ago, to them all, they stopped all the games, because I refused to play by their rules. 

I simply told DH to go live with SD, BM, SS, whoever, but I was not playing the game, I was finished.  They are, and always have been free to visit, cruise, whatever they wish, but leave me out of their dysfunctional family.  I met it and will never go back on my disengagement.  I should have stopped it years before I did.  

Give them each other, they won't play long.  I am civil, but do not get involved.  Block your Facebook. 

Do not ask questions or view something you do not want to hear or see the raw answers.  I haven't been on social media with STEPKIDS for 8 years.  Not a clue about them.  So peaceful.  Not interested.  DH respects my disengagement now too.  

Hugs.  I get it.  But you have to fix it.  Stay here for support.


still learning's picture

Your DH obviously likes to cherry pick from the bible. Funny how he thinks a few verses can excuse his years of throwing his wife under the bus.  Poor DH stuck in the middle, right where he put himself.  

somethingwicked's picture

Leave all the SD drama behind and stay disengaged.  You are not welcome to be included in this family.

You know this.

Your DH is still an Ahole expecting you to forgive ,forget then bend over and take more abuse. You are expected to make all the concessions in his  tiny mind. Don't let any of his  gaslighting and lies to benefit himself or his spawn weaken your resolve to respect yourself.

Leave these idiots to their celebration .I  am surprised you have stayed with this man. He can't be all that . Think of your  life time you are wasting,burning away having to be made to feel so awful ,seek therapy to try deal  , and all the while you are habitually treated with such disrespect like a leper by him,by his family.

Please make 2020 the year you dump these losers.


CLove's picture

That you are going through this, and have gone through this for so long.

Dont let them control you! Take yourself back.

Stay disengaged.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm here to offer support, and to suggest that you start investing more in yourself and your life as an individual. The more you fill your life up with hobbies, activities, and positive people, the more your soul will be nourished and the stronger your self esteem will be.

Your H is a weak, foolish man who wants to have his cake and eat it, too. He wants what makes him feel good, seems to operate out of fear, and uses manipulation/religious psychobabble to control you and rationalize his unfaithfulness to your covenant. In short, he's a bible-flavored fruit loop who's still chasing crumbs from the Holy First Family.

Stop being so available for him to hurt you. No arguing or explaining; just get busy creating a happy life without him. Let him wonder what you're doing and with whom. Let him come home to a dark, cold home. Leave him to shift for himself, while you come home late, happy and fulfilled. He likes to chase? Let HIM feel lonely, and see if he chases you.

Doing this was part of how I recalibrated my own marriage. My H was unhappy that I had disengaged and was no longer doing all the emotional labor or acting as a meat shield with his kids and the in laws, so I let him FEEL how lonely life was without my support and devotion. Despite all the chasing, most skids wouldn't urinate on their fathers if they were on fire, and it didn't take long for my H to recognize that life was better with me. Either your marriage will improve or it won't, but you'll be better positioned with lots of supportive friends and activities if it doesn't.



bertieb's picture

Wow, picking and choosing his BIble verses!  What about husband and wife becoming one flesh? That means you, not the ex-wife or daughter.He is weak and disrespectful to you- putting his daughter first and then asking you to suck it up and buy gifts? Apparently you have accepted this sort of thing for many years so I can just say sorry, and keep venting if it helps you. Exjuliemccoy has some great suggestions and I'm happy for her being able to create a change. Until you can move on from caring about this drama you will be unhappy I'm afraid.