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Older step children

Started by mistoffolees, Sep 12, 2007, 04:23:54 AM

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mistoffolees

Not really a visitation issue since the kids are grown, but that's the closest category.

I met my ex-wife when her two girls were 5 and 6 and we married a year later. While things were never perfect, we had a fairly solid relationship. Their father saw them relatively infrequently (due to his moves)-anywhere from once a month to 3 or 4 times a year, so I was the main male figure in their life.

During that time, their mother didn't work and I provided almost all their support (their father paid $300 each per month in spite of his high 6 figure income). This included private schools, a wardrobe most kids would die for, colleged education at no cost to them, school trips to Europe, vacations in Orlando, Europe, cruises, etc.

They were 20 and 21 when I filed for divorce from their mother. She immediately started telling them all sorts of lies (the term 'pathological liar' seems to have been invented for her). For example, she tells them that she can't afford Neither of them will talk to me now. I send money for Christmas, birthdays, and Valentine's Day as we always did when we were married. Out of the 8 checks I've written so far, I got ONE email thank you. When I tried to communicate with her after that, she got upset and stopped replying.

They have both had enough run-ins with their mother to know that she's not always truthful, but in this situation, they're going to believe her instead of me.

So, the question is, how long do I continue being the nice guy? It's not really a money issue (heck, the older one didn't even cash the last check I sent), but if they're never going to speak to me, why bother? OTOH, I would like to see their kids some day and don't want them to feel that I don't care any more.

My family and friends tell me I'm crazy for continuing to send money. What do you think?

Giggles

Yup...certifiable...you CAN'T buy love....if these 2 ADULTS are not adult enough to get both sides of the story and choose to believe their lying mother....then that's their choice.  

I know it's hard, maybe send them each a heart felt letter explaining your position and put the ball in their court?  If you get no response then walk away......
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

mistoffolees

>Yup...certifiable...you CAN'T buy love....if these 2 ADULTS
>are not adult enough to get both sides of the story and choose
>to believe their lying mother....then that's their choice.  
>

Part of me wants to do that, but the other part of me says that I love them and they were a major part of my life for years (and vice versa) and I hate to write them off because their mother is filling them full of lies. Putting myself in their shoes, if my mother were telling me something over and over again and put me in a position where I had to choose one or the other, I can see where they'd choose her. No matter how adult you are, if you have to choose between your mother and ex-stepfather, it can't be an easy decision.

I'm hoping that with time, it will no longer have to be a 'one or the other' choice.

Thus the difficulty in making up my mind.

Giggles

I'd choose my Dad (step-father).  My parents married when I was 10 only to later divorce when I was 27.  My Mom tried to bad mouth my Dad but I didn't buy it and eventually told her that I didn't want to hear it.  They may have divorced, but he didn't divorce me and he's the only G'Pa my kids know.

I would try the letter and see how that works???
Now I'm living....Just another day in Paradise!!

mistoffolees

The only problem with a letter is that they'll tell their mother - and she'll be calling me to yell at me for 'trying to turn them against her'. No matter what I write, if I try to maintain a relationship with them, she'll insist that they're hurting her - and I'm back where I started.

MixedBag

Keep encouring them to love you both equally and to NOT choose you over their mother.

they have the right to have both of you in their lives.

My (former) step-kids were in a similar situation where their mother made them believe that they had to choose, and we encouraged them to love both their mom and their dad and that there was no need for choice.

About the money?  only you can answer that and what you're comfortable with because to me that's a parenting question with no real right or wrong.

I give money to my older kids as I see fit and sometimes the answer is yes, and sometimes the answer is no.  But my comfort level really plays into it and that's different for everyone.