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So pissed at DH!!


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#21 A10CalGal

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    Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:52 PM

    Very tempting idea Jen! I've definitely thought of that before, but then I remembered I'm supposed to be an adult. Dang, that sucks!

    #22 NYJen

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      Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:54 PM

      Quote:
      Originally Posted by A10CALGAL
      Very tempting idea Jen! I've definitely thought of that before, but then I remembered I'm supposed to be an adult. Dang, that sucks!
      I know, I was just pissed for you girl.

      #23 MikkiStreak

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        Posted 02 October 2007 - 03:58 PM

        Christa, I think it's wonderful that you see the underlying issues--- it sounds like you've recognized the underlying issues that are causing you to be upset about this entire situation. You've been taken for granted, and taken advantage of in this situation. It's completely understandable that you would be upset.

        But, having had similar situations arise with my teen, I can say that the hardest thing I struggle with is displaced anger. I have seen in her behavior/attitude the end product of parenting issues. And, it's a lot easier to be angry with her at times for these end results, than it is to be angry at the people who have allowed this to transpire.

        In all honestly, it sounds as if you have some displaced anger toward Richard about the position you've been put in, as well as seeing his ability to take advantage of a situation to his benefit. But think of it like this: If a child had anger issues because they had been abused, would you be mad at the child or the abuser?

        That's an extreme comparison, but it is valid. How justifiable is it to be angry with the child for exhibiting behaviors that are a result of other issues?

        I don't mean to sound like it's all Rafael's fault. God knows he's in a hard position too--- and it's great that he has YOU to help encourage him to focus on parenting rather than guilt---- and it's great that his kids have YOU to help their dad, which helps them.

        I will say this: I personally don't know if it would be a good idea to sit down with Rafael and Richard together to discuss this. The reason I say this is because if Richard sees that there is a weakness in the parenting, he WILL take advantage of it because that's his habit. To change the habit, you have to change the cause. To change the cause, you have to work with Rafael and let it come from his own parenting decisions. He has to come to all this on his own terms.

        But, being the person who has to put up with all this--- you do have the right to set boundaries. You have every right to tell Rafael that you understand he feels guilty, but it's not your responsibility to accommodate this by shuttling his son to/from school. You may understand the overcompensation due to guilt, but if he wants his son driven to school in the morning- then he can be the one to figure out how that is going to happen and make all the arrangements.

        I agree that Richard should not be 'catered' to when he's the reason why he isn't already driving. But I see another circle going on here too---- Richard is taking advantage of his dad, but his dad is taking advantage of you if he's put you into the middle of this as the 'solution' to the driving issue.

        On another note---- I'm a firm believer in natural consequences---- If I had my way in your situation, Richard would ride the bus to school in an effort to motivate him to get his license. But once he got his license--- he would have to start 'arguing' his case for WHY he should be allowed to drive to school when there's a bus nearby. How exactly would his driving to school benefit you and Rafael?

        #24 DreaW

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          Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:04 PM

          Maria and Christa,
          When I suggested that Christa should sit down and talk to both R's, I meant that she should sit with Rafael first, decide how to solve the situation as adults and THEN talk to Richard together.

          #25 A10CalGal

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            Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:08 PM

            Oh wow Maria, I knew I could count on you to chime in & make me think! I totally agree with what you are offering up here. You are right, I shouldn't be mad at Richard, but I have to be honest & say that I am. And again, you are right, it is definitely displaced anger.

            That is exactly why I try my hardest to communicate honestly & immediately with Rafael when stuff like this bothers me. Generally speaking that works pretty well since he is not one to open up on his own & discuss things. So, if I open the conversation with what's bothering me, I generally get to hear what's on his mind. That was probably redundant. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is when I feel this anger/resentment (i.e. the title of this post!) I take it upon myself to address the issue with him rather than hold it in. So, I guess what will happen is that we will have a lengthy chat this afternoon when he gets home from work - based off of my initial attempt to explain why I was pissed this morning.

            Regarding the driving - it would benefit us because then we wouldn't have to shuttle him around all the time (not just to/from school, but after football practice, etc). Also, once our home is built, we will be further away from school & there will be no bus option, so he's going to HAVE to drive.

            #26 MikkiStreak

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              Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:34 PM

              Quote:
              Originally Posted by A10CALGAL
              Oh wow Maria, I knew I could count on you to chime in & make me think! I totally agree with what you are offering up here. You are right, I shouldn't be mad at Richard, but I have to be honest & say that I am. And again, you are right, it is definitely displaced anger.

              That is exactly why I try my hardest to communicate honestly & immediately with Rafael when stuff like this bothers me. Generally speaking that works pretty well since he is not one to open up on his own & discuss things. So, if I open the conversation with what's bothering me, I generally get to hear what's on his mind. That was probably redundant. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is when I feel this anger/resentment (i.e. the title of this post!) I take it upon myself to address the issue with him rather than hold it in. So, I guess what will happen is that we will have a lengthy chat this afternoon when he gets home from work - based off of my initial attempt to explain why I was pissed this morning.

              Regarding the driving - it would benefit us because then we wouldn't have to shuttle him around all the time (not just to/from school, but after football practice, etc). Also, once our home is built, we will be further away from school & there will be no bus option, so he's going to HAVE to drive.
              Good for you! Believe me, I have struggled consistently with displaced anger in my own situation. That's why I vent so much on here about it!!! I have no contact with the dipwits who caused her behavior, so I can't involve them in the solution!! ARGH!!!!

              Anyways--- always trust your instincts--- from every post I've read from you about your step-parent role, your instincts are DEAD ON!!! That's one of the things that makes me really mean it when I say that those kids are really lucky to have you in their lives. :)

              And the driving thing--- I completely agree that it would be a huge benefit to you guys. I've started using this philsophy with Audrey and it's really helping her to develop her ideas because she has to see it from my perspective in order to argue her case effectively. And I like making her argue her case because when she has to be self-sufficient in her own adult life, she will constantly have to defend her position/ideas in work and life. :) Kind of helps get her half-way into that line of thought to start now. :)

              For the driving thing, we told her that if she drives our vehicles, we are liable for her mistakes as well as liable for seeing our own insurance rates increase. So she's working on her 'argument' for why we should be willing to take on those risks. And she knows me well enough now that her arguments have to show the benefit to ME, not her. (ie: if she gets to drive the car, she can run errands for us after school so we don't have to do them after work; she also has to incorporate into the argument how she plans on showing us her responsibility if we let her drive. I figure- hey, why should I do all the work to tell her yes/no for everything and define her boundaries/limitations with the privledge? She should have to persuade me, since it's MY vehicle/time she would need!) :)

              #27 A10CalGal

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                Posted 02 October 2007 - 04:47 PM

                Wow, great tactic Maria! Really great!

                Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. I tend to be the "voice of reason" around here, which is kind of crazy, but if I compose myself & have a relevant conversation with Rafael outside of the "i'm pissed" paramenter, we should make some progress.

                #28 StephanieMN

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                  Posted 02 October 2007 - 11:34 PM

                  I do have to agree that the boy is being spoiled and you are being taken for granted.

                  #29 Lizzy

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                    Posted 03 October 2007 - 12:18 PM

                    Christa, teenagers are such a joy to behold! Not!! When my kids were that age they were constantly trying to manipulate every situation. I was remarried and constantly dealing-or not, with my guilt over the divorce and my bad choice for a stepfather and husband this time around. My situation was different from yours and Maria's in that their stepfather was abusive, verbally and emotionally. I was so torn between protecting my kids and trying to keep peace in the house. I ended up coddling the boys, and despising my husband. There were so many things I could have and should have done differently. To this day one of my boys has done very well. He's a wonderful husband and father and a great son. Another one not so much. He has had many struugles throughout his life. He's a very loving daddy to his 2 girls, but his self confidence was crushed into the ground by his step-dad. I wish I had had the strength at the time, to fight back, but I didn't do enough. I wish I had had someone to advise me, like we have in this wonderful group of women (and a few men). Take heart Christa, you are being pro-active and that is the best thing you can be. Be firm in what you want, expect and need.
                    I wish you all the best, I really do!
                    For the dance, at the reception, Maggie wore her crinoline and a lovely lace top. Looks like Tadd likes it!

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                    #30 A10CalGal

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                      Posted 03 October 2007 - 01:03 PM

                      Thank you for sharing. It really does help to hear other peoples perspectives.

                      So, I am emotionally exhausted today. We had a really not-good evening last night. Despite my attempt to talk reasonably to my husband about why I was so pissed about yesterday morning, he just couldn't get it. He just didn't understand why "I'm sorry, I forgot to tell you" wasn't enough. Then he says I'm calling him a liar by not just accepting that statement. He went so far as to say " I don't even know what you do all day, it's not like you have to be at work." That really pissed me off. Talk about a cheap shot.

                      Anyway, we did the "i'm silently pissed at you" routine up until dinner. Can I just say how much I hate that routine? Totally not my style. After dinner I tried again, and here's what I find out:

                      I am being insensitive and harsh in my expectation that the boy just get on the bus & ride it. I do not understand all of the things he has been through. He has never had to ride the bus. He is a junior. This is a pride thing for him. This is a big deal, and although nobody told me it is a big deal, I should have known (you know my super power mind reading skills and all). We have to treat the situation gently. I am more sensitive to our animals than I am to the child. Yeah. cool.

                      I made the suggestion to Rafael that he is coddling the boy over what should be a really cut & dry situation, and I think he is doing it out of guilt. He denies my theory, yet everything that he is saying screams "GUILT" to me. He can't see it. I ask why he let Richard stay home from school - he says because he was tired and sore. What? I did not say this, but he is doing exactly what his ex-wife does with their youngest son that pisses him off so much - coddling him, making things nice for him when he should just suck it up & do his job, which is going to school.

                      I think I've finally hit that step-parenting sucks wall. How do I support my husband and live in harmony when I whole heartedly disagree with how he is handling this situation? I know, I am not a parent. I have not been divorced. I do not know how this feels for him. I can see he has a lot of guilt, and he is allowing it to influence his parenting decisions in a really odd way right now.

                      I can also say that I am a child of divorce. My mom expected a lot from me in terms of figuring out how to be where I needed to be, getting good grades, being a good person, helping around the house. I was sad that I didn't have a father in my life, that impacted me for a long time. Yet, I did not need to be disabled in my development by having my mother coddle me. She turned out a very capable, responsible, productive person in me...and for that I am very thankful. So, yes, I know what it feels like to be a child of divorce. I also know what I'm seeing & it scares me.

                      I've seen other step parents go thru this - where it ruins their relationship because they disagree with how their spouse is parenting. I really don't want that to be us. I'm pretty sure counseling is in order here.




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