OT-Hubbies X

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from teeny331. Show teeny331's posts

    OT-Hubbies X

    Hi Ladies,

     

    It has been sooo long since I’ve been on the boards; I’ve been so busy DIYing the wedding that I haven’t had time.  7 weeks to go!  I had to make time though because I have an issue that’s nagging at me and I’m hoping to find some good solid advice. 

     

    My husband’s ex-wife is a drug addict, in recovery.  I am a full-time step mom to their daughter, meaning that I am the one who is raising her with my husband.  I am the one who tucks her in at night, makes sure she’s fed and healthy, gets her on and off the school bus and brings her too and from her various activities.  I had to cut my hours to part-time to do this.  I had to do this because her biological mother took off, for the second time, and lost her half of custody a year ago.  When I first met my husband, his wife was MIA.  He filed for divorce in that time and she returned 9 months later 7 months pregnant!  She has supervised visitation every other weekend and lives with her parents, who have legal custody of the other child.  We know for a fact that she has somehow altered her court-ordered drug tests (she is an RN) because she admitted to using for about 3 months before she couldn’t hide it anymore and took off.  After she returned from her escapades, she entered and completed a drug rehab and is now in AA. 

     

    In 2009, I became a wife, an instant mother not long after and a homeowner.  It has been a very stressful time on top of planning a wedding. 

     

    So, the other night, I get home and there are 9 missed calls on the phone, and no messages.  She called again when I was home with my/our daughter and asked if I would sit down with her face to face and talk.  I laughed and asked her what it was in regards too.  She said that she wanted to apologize for everything.  This is what is referred to as Step 9 in AA, making amends with those you’ve hurt.  I told her I’m not ready to commit to that just yet but would let her know.  Part of me wants to say no, why should I?  I feel as though she’s just going through the motions of AA and isn’t being sincere; she’s very manipulative.  My husband says it’s up to me.  I feel that if I can clear what’s on my chest to her, then I’ll do it, but if that’s not recommended, then I’ll tell her to give me a call on her 5th year of sobriety.  Everyone around her is so afraid of being truthful to her for fear of how she will react.  I feel that I will be the only person to be honest, not cruel, but honest.

     

    A lot to take in, but what do you think?  It actually feels good to let that out!


     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Will refusing to sit down and talk to the ex in any way hurt your relationship with your step-daughter?  Will she be upset if you don't make amends with her biological mother?

    Otherwise, I want to tell you to be the bigger person and just do it, but I don't know her.  Doesn't it take a long time to get to Step 9?  (If it helps, I checked, and Step 9 really IS making amends.)
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from teeny331. Show teeny331's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Thanks Lucy,

    My step-daughter is only 7, she has no idea what she's been through in her young life.  She is a competey well-adjusted, normal child.  She doesn't know that her mother and I, as well as the rest of hubbies family have a strained relationship with her.  She knows that she visits her mother and grandparents every other weekend and is fine with that.  We do as much as we can to shield her from the pain.

    I want this woman to get better, for our daughter, but I don't believe her.  She does this every 2-3 years.  Do you think I can speak my mind too?  I tried to do the right thing about 3 years ago by making a working relationship with her in the best interest of our daughter, but that blew up in my face.  That makes me very hesitant to try this again.  She treats me like I am a nanny, and not the woman who's raising her daughter.  I understand how difficult that must be, but you reap what you sew.  She should be counting her blessings that she has a relationship with her daughter and that she has someone who loves and adores her daughter.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from JEnvie. Show JEnvie's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    i usually agree 100% with what lucy has to say, but have to disagree here, you owe her nothing, i think telling her about the 5th year, is good, but not in a flippant or sarcastic way, but that is when you will listen, when you know it is sincere
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    In Response to Re: OT-Hubbies X:
    i usually agree 100% with what lucy has to say, but have to disagree here, you owe her nothing, i think telling her about the 5th year, is good, but not in a flippant or sarcastic way, but that is when you will listen, when you know it is sincere
    Posted by JEnvie


    Well, I said that I want to tell her to be the bigger person.  Note that I didn't actually say it.  Wink

    I have learned in life that, with some people, it's really a waste of time to put forth the effort.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from katel. Show katel's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    You DEFINITELY do not owe her anythig. That being said, you owe it to yourself to be at peace with her, however that may happen. That may happen by sitting down with her and hearing what she has to say, or that may happen by deciding that you don't need to do that, but can still come to a peaceful place. If you do decide to sit down with her, I'd suggest witnesses (I'm not being cheeky).  Let her know that you are willing to hear her amends and that you have a few things that you'd like to say, also. Figure out what you need to say vs. what you want to say. The things you want to say, perhaps are better kept to yourself or said to a neutral party. 
    The things you need to say, be sure to phrase them effectively, in a way that she cannot argue with ("I feel" rather than "You make me feel", "I perceived it that" or "My interpretation was" rather than "you did" or "you said"). No one can argue with what you feel or how you interpreted a situation, but they can aruge that they didn't make you feel/they didn't do a certain thing. If she becomes defensive, repeat "I'm letting you know how I feel, I'm not accusing you of anything". Learning how to effictively communicate in way that does not put others on the defensive can often be a really successful way to get out what we need to and either come to a resolution or find peace.
    That being said, if your gut tells you that you really don't want to sit down with her or that you really don't trust her still, express to her that you're having reservations and would rather wait a bit longer until she is further along in her recovery to hash out your family issues, as early recovery is a fragile time for everyone. If she really is working on herself and her issue through the 12 steps, she will understand that and accept it. If she doesn't respond well to that, then it's clear you've made the right choice by not sitting down with her.
    Either way, be at peace with what you are feeling, own it, and continue to be the wonderful mother that you are to your daughter.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    You don't owe her this.  Absolutely not.

    But is life always about giving people only what they deserve or are owed?  I hope not.  That's what grace means; to give people something they do NOT deserve and is not owed.

    If she is following the program, she is attempting to do Step 9 and considers you someone who she needs to apologize to.  Her state of mind and sincerity are impossible to judge, although I understand the assumption that it is not sincere.  Whether sincere or not, whether she deserves a meeting or not, will it actually add that much more stress to you to meet with her once for this purpose that she doesn't already cause just by exisiting?  Yes, the meeting will be difficult, but it's not like if you don't do it the stress she brings to your life will be negligent.

    Meet with her in a neutral place where there won't likely be a scene.  Bring notes with you regarding what you want to say.  Stick to the notes, stay calm.  Let her say what she needs to say.  What if she is sincerely trying to get her life back on track and, because, in all fairness, she doesn't actually deserve a chance at all, you don't give her one?   Even if she isn't sincere it won't cost you much to do this.

    You can be right.  Or you can do the right thing.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I kind of agree with Kar.

    I guess I see this as not necessarily doing something for HER, but doing something that has a chance of improving the quality of life for your daughter.  As you said, it may not work, but on the off-chance that this woman really does stick with the program this time, you participating in Step 9 may ultimately benefit your daughter.

    However, I DON'T feel that participating necessitates that you FORGIVE this woman.  You can participate in this step without negating all past experiences.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    The AA step requires that the person ask for forgiveness.  It does not require that they receive forgiveness from whom they ask it - that's always 100% the perogative of the person being asked.
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Will your DH be there when this happens? Do you want him there?

    If you do decide to sit down with her, I'd pick a public place where it's unlikely for her to freak out (though, it doesn't sound like she's tethered to societal norms). 

    It goes both ways here. It's great that she's at step 9, but you need to be in a place to be willing to meet too. Your well-being and the well-being of your stepdaughter is also important, and if you think that this meeting will compromise those, then I wouldn't do it. 
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from teeny331. Show teeny331's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Wow, all great advice, and points I didn't even consider.  I always assumed that it would just be her and I.  I think that if my husband was there as well, neither of us would be able to completely clear what's on our chests.  Although, I find comfort in the thought that there be a witness, lol.  My first reaction was I want to have the meeting videotaped, haha. 

    My biggest concern about this meeting is that the person who is supposed to sit and listen, is just supposed to sit and listen.  I can't find advice anywhere about how the meeting is supposed to go.  I would like to be able to give my 10 cents as well, but I don't know if that is recommended.  I feel that if a person is truly on board with sobriety, then they need to ready and willing to hear what the people in their lives have to say to them. 
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Some right things to do are just plain uncomfortable.  No one would argue that this meeting could be fun.  But, how much more hurtful could it be to her well being than the situation is in and of itself whether she meets at a coffee shop for 30 minutes or not?
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from framerican51008. Show framerican51008's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I won't go into all the details, but I have been in a similar position with a family member, whose child I have been very active in raising because she is a drug addict.  She finally reached out to apologize to me on Facebook because she had done some nasty things to me specifically.  I basically said, "I appreciate your reaching out, but I'm not ready to talk to you or go back to being a "normal family".  I hope things are going well for you."
    I don't see anything wrong with your being honest with your husband's ex.  You don't have to do anything you don't want to.  Of course it's best for your step daughter if everyone gets along, but kids are very resilient and, like you said, she doesn't know a lot of things and also doesn't know any differently.

    That being said, I like how Poppy worded this:
    "However, I DON'T feel that participating necessitates that you FORGIVE this woman.  You can participate in this step without negating all past experiences."

    All you are doing if you meet with her is allowing her to apologize to you.  You can still say you're not ready to forgive but you appreciate the gesture.

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

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Exactly.  Allowing her to ask for forgiveness is just that, nothing else.  There's no burden on you to forgive, forget (who can?), or anything else.  You could even put a time limit on the meeting, say 10 minutes, and move on with your life with a nice, hot coffee.
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Does it have to be a face to face meeting, or would you have the option of asking her to just write you an apology letter to which you can respond?
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from Peonie. Show Peonie's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I totally agree with Poppy in that just because you do sit down with this woman, it does not mean you have to forgive her for anything. Seems like this is more for her, and her AA step.

    Interesting that she chose you for this step. I wonder if she will sit down with her daughter one day, when she is older.
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from poppy609. Show poppy609's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I think a time limit is a great idea.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from teeny331. Show teeny331's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Honestly, I think I would prefer to sit down with her face to face, rather than give her the easy way out.  I was going to tell her I'd agree to sit down with her when she dropped our daughter off on Sunday, but she didn't even look at me.  She called right after she left, and I assumed it was to talk to me, because maybe she didn't want to say anything in front of the child, but she asked to talk to the child because there was a rainbow.  Last night she called while my husband was with the child at karate, and again, assuming she was going to ask me again, she asked for the child.  I know I'm being difficult, but I want her to ask me again, I want to know how bad she wants to make "amends".
     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Playing games with her about this will ultimately be less satisfying than you hope, I'm betting.   For your own sake of not dealing with this any longer than necessary, I hope you'll take the reigns, set a definite appointment, and get it over with.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    She may be giving you the opportunity to bring it up, especially if you asked for time to think about it.  If she reached out by making the request, she may think the ball is in your court, and, if you aren't willing to do it, she isn't going to want to upset you by constantly pestering you.
     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from teeny331. Show teeny331's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I'm not so sure I agree, and I am most certainly not playing games with her!  She has put mine and my family's life through heck!  I have been nothing but disrespected by her from the day she decided to come back into the picture 4 years ago.  If she can't even look at me when she is handing her daughter back into my care, how can I believe that she is sincere about making amends with me?
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucy7368. Show lucy7368's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Not looking at you is weird.

    Even if you caught her the previous night in a threeway with Santa Claus and the Pope with a bottle of rum in one hand and shooting heroin with the other, when you do a hand off, she should still smile and at least say hello.  Not necessarily for your sake, but for your daughter's.
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from kargiver. Show kargiver's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    Making her ask again is a passive aggressive game that won't tell you anything.  Yes, she's made a mess of her life and negatively impacted yours and your kids with the games that all addicts play.  The fact is, though, you can never, under any circumstances, know if she is sincere or how much she "wants to make ammends."  You are kidding yourself to think you can.  Just meet and get it behind you so you can forget about it.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinkkittie27. Show pinkkittie27's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I wouldn't tie yourself up in knots trying to figure out what her next move is. She's clearly unpredictable- at best.
    If you really want to have the sit down, tell her. If you want to leave it up to her, be prepared to wait a long time for her to get around to it.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from WhirledPeasPlease. Show WhirledPeasPlease's posts

    Re: OT-Hubbies X

    I think you should approach her about sitting down to talk--because let's face it, if we wait for the crazy people to do anything, we'll be waiting forever. Maybe wrapping this up will give you peace of mind too, instead of the stress of waiting for her to act like an adult. It sounds like that will never happen, and the best you can hope for is moments of a non-moody teenager. 

    It sounds like you've decided that you do want to sit down with her?
     
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