How would you handle this mess if you were me?

Linda - posted on 02/16/2012 ( 122 moms have responded )

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I have a very confusing situation that has been a big problem in my family for 38 years now. My FULL sister married my ex-husband following an affair that started prior to our divorce. Obviously a very difficult situation right from the start for me. My 2 sons were at the time of their marriage ages 1 year and 4 years old.



My older son married in the late 90s and in their wedding program it showed on my son’s side as 3 parents: My name first, then his father’s and then my sister’s (as a parent too!). I was very upset but avoided making a scene at the wedding but did acknowledge that I found it in very poor taste that my invitation was sent to my other sister’s address. The response was that I had moved out of state and no one had my new address even though to me I knew this not to be true as I had talked over the telephone to my son several times after the move & at any of those times could have been asked for my new address. I need to also mention that my daughter-in-law is also from a divorced family and her step-father had raised her since a small child and was also listed as a “parent” in their wedding brochure. I had to sit next to my sister in the front pew with my ex-husband (with all three of us as my son's parents!) Is this done normally with the step-mother in the front pew? Obviously I was very upset with this as I thought only 2 people produced this child & would like to have had one thing that was mine during the wedding and not have to share with HER!! I felt that as the groom's mother there was absolutely no respect for me at all for doing this along with listing her as a "parent" in the program.



Over the years since my grandchildren have been born I am still dealing with another very sensitive situation with my son and his wife having the children call the grandparents as Grandpa or Grandma (1st name) including my sister is a step-grandparent. My sister has a daughter and grandchildren of her own and does not have to share with anyone since her daughter's father (sister's ex-husband) passed away when her daughter was about 8 years old. Now my ex-husband (sister's current husband) have HER daughter call my ex-husband dad and her children call him Grandpa.



I know that I do hold a lot of resentment with my sister and my ex-husband (and understandably so I feel) that in the early years during my divorce I was basically tossed out of my house to find another one. Thinking back I wonder what in the world my lawyer was doing to help me but I was told then by my ex-husband that since HIS family had co-signed for the note for us to get the down-payment that unless I could afford both the house payment and the note for the down payment that I would have to forfeit keeping the house and move out. I was a secretary and that time and not making that much money and definitely not to afford to pay for both the note and house payment and therefore moved out with the boys. I could not afford our new car payment either with the small wages I was receiving at the time. At this same time my ex-husband was unemployed but his parents kept his payments made for the house during his unemployment along apparently for the car too. My parents were very poor and both alcoholics and no help for me at all financially nor emotionally. Fresh from my divorce here I was with 2 children (at age 22) needing to find another home to live in, another car, and my sister moved right in with everything that WAS mine. I was not aware that they were even seeing each other until a week before the divorce was final and then he proudly admitted that there wasn't one but four during our marriage. My sister-in-law had told me that she saw him with some lady in a car one day but I was convinced she had to be wrong until I found a billfold of a woman's in the floor of our car! So for many years I had the repeated pain of seeing my own sister driving my car and living in my house with my ex-husband (even though I wanted to be divorced but not to my OWN sister) and the rest of my family seemed to accept all that she had done to me and just said that we needed to all get along and not be upset at each other. LOL



Now my older son is giving me a LOT of grief saying that I am being irrational about my sister being called, Grandma (1st name) and that there can’t be enough love in a family. To make it more difficult, my daughter-in-law is also a psychologist with her PhD and seems to holds a lot of clout with both my sons on how things should be handled in the family. LOL Long before she received ANY degree for anything in college, she was very apparent to me undermining my relationship with my son while they were living together in college but I continually stood strong and took it. One time in particular while he and his girlfriend (later his wife) were living together I visited with my two dogs and my son told me that I was "infringing on his dogs' space" by having to put his dogs in the basement kennel during my visit. I had driven to visit him from out of state and drove up to visit after not seeing him for probably close to a year at that time. Obviously I left then feeling very hurt.



Now dealing with the grandparent. Am I being too sensitive with all of this? I feel that 2 grandparents (of the father and mother of my grandchildren) should be called Grandma & Grandpa? I certainly feel that there should be all types of love for the grandchildren in all ways but isn't it "respect" for the Grandparents to have these titles only.



Now last month to add to all that has happened over the years, my ex-husband (my son's father) passed away and my sister (my son's step-mother) had a private memorial and my son said that she "accidentally" sent me several pictures of the memorial but in one particular picture shows her with my older son, her daughter (by other marriage) and my younger son in one photo and then photos of other family members of "his and her's" that I had divorced almost 40 years ago. My sons always brag to me about how that family get along so well and I think it the pictures were sent to me in spite by my sister but my sons uphold her "always." Just last week my younger son told me that my parents drove their kids away by alcohol and that I am with bitterness!!! With everything it appears that the general response from both my sons is "come from love" Mom but where is the love when "MY" feelings am concerned? As far as calling my sister Grandma, my sister in law's response is, "There never can be enough love given to the kids" but WHEN will I have one thing that is MINE only and not HER's and MINE to have to share? With the way my own sister has treated me over the many many years and especially with ALL the men in the world to have to marry MY ex-husband, I haven't considered her any kind of a sister at all but only as the wife to my ex-husband that I had to deal with periodically as my two sons grew up. Most people divorce and then only deal with the ex and his wife but in my case I am also dealing with MY family as he is married to my sister! BTW, my biological niece (her daughter) is not allowed (according to them by my sister) to call my sons as cousin but as "sister" being a step-sister. My daughter-in-law calls her daughter a sister and her children as nieces and nephews. I don't believe I ever heard my niece call me Aunt either LOL but I am rarely around her anyway with me and her mother nothing getting along. What an absolute mess! Now I know the term of "being my own grandpa" that I used to hear many years ago. LOL My sons both say I am too sensitive over everything but I am to the point that in order to keep my sanity I may have to have nothing to do with either my sons & stay completely away from all the drama with that family. My younger son has told me that if he isn't allowed to discuss that family with me then he has nothing else to talk about with me then. :-( The pain for me is WAY too much to deal with anymore and never never ends! How would you handle all of this? Your comments is SO GREATLY appreciated!! Linda

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

~Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2012

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I agree with Little Miss......some counseling might help.

I'm going to be blunt - you got ROYALLY screwed -and by everyone that you cared about - and it seems like no one has ever taken your feelings into account or validated how this all made you feel...

It's as if "you should just make the best of it" is what they're saying.....and there is no 'best' to make of it except for the fact that you didn't have to live with the cheating asshole all of your life (and that's what he is- a cheating asshole)



I can't imagine that anyone has ever told you this, but I will. The strength you have shown in surviving this 'mess' as you put it, is incredible. You have got to be one hell of a woman to have made it through all this. Don't ever let anyone tell you that your feelings are wrong- they're your feelings and you've earned the right to feel the way you do.



Please....find a professional that you can talk to who can help you sort out your feelings and your hurt. A woman of your strength deserves to be happy.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 02/16/2012

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WOWZA! What a mess indeed. Well, what is odd to me, is that she is the Aunt and Great Aunt. Technically yes she is a step grandparent. In any other step parent situation, many step children that bond with their step parents will call them mom or dad, and therefor the grandchildren would call them granpa/grandma. That is honestly normal.



It would be sad to hear that you don't want contact with your own children and grandchildren because of your sister and your ex's extra-marital affairs.



My best advice, and this may be hard to hear, but maybe go see a counselor. It is obvious you are very hurt (rightly so) and have a lot of feelings and confusion to work out. Best of luck.

Amanda - posted on 02/16/2012

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Your son and (EDIT) DAUGHTER inlaw are right. You are talking like a woman freshly divorced. Not a woman who has learned to move on and enjoy life.



Btw my children call all their grandparents just like your grand kids, even ones that arent even blood or marriage related to them. For example my oldest twos grandma (their dads mom), is also my youngest grandma (even though she has a different father).



As for the wedding thing, I would just like to remind you that your sons wedding wasnt about you, it was about HIM. How do you think him and his wife feel that you made it all about yourself?



I suggest you go speak to a professional (which i dont suggest often to people), because you truely do have a lot of bitterness and hate you need to work out before you can have a happy life, and I would do this real soon before you miss out on your grandchildrens lives.

Tam - posted on 02/16/2012

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Perhaps I can give a perspective from another angle. Both my parents divorced and remarried when I was in my teens. Growing up, my mother tended to attack my dad's new spouse and I just tuned it out because honestly, it just sounded spiteful to me.



Fast forward several years, and I have kids of my own. My children know each of my parents and step-parents as 'grandma soandso' or 'grandpa soandso'. I honestly have no idea what else they would call them. Technically, because my step-parents are step-parents and played a role in my life in a parental capacity, they are also grand-parents to my children.



As for the wedding thing, most of my friends who have step-parents who married had much the same situation going on. In the end, the wedding is their day and the focus should be on the happy couple.



It's not my place to render judgement and I sincerely hope you don't take it as such. But you don't have to cut off contact from your children, who you obviously love dearly, just because of something that happened in the annals of time for you. Don't let the bad blood between you and your sister poison the relationship you have with your grandchildren. My mother very nearly did that with her relationship with my dad, even going so far as to criticize the name I game my daughter because it sounded so similar to my step-mother's nickname. (Unintentional, by the way.)



It is pretty messed up that your sister's actions contributed to your divorce. Yet it sounds like you were going that way in any case - not that it makes her actions back then forgivable. But if you wanted the divorce, that normally means you are ready to move on. Does it really, truly matter who he married once your relationship with him was dissolved? I divorced my ex-husband a few years ago and I honestly couldn't care less who he married, if he married at all.



I've always been on the belief that family is something to be enjoyed, cherished, and yes, shared. You can't expect to have 'something of your own' when you are thinking in terms of other people Family is not always determined by blood relations and titles do not a family member make.

Isobel - posted on 02/16/2012

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I just feel really sad for you that you are still this upset after 40 years. What happened to you was incredibly unfair and I'm sure it was tremendously painful BUT...it's been forty years, your ex-husband is dead.



What those children call their step mother (because yes, unfortunately she IS their step-mother) and what their children call their step grandmother has nothing to do with you, don't let it hurt you anymore.



I went through a really ugly divorce (not as bad as yours but still...I hated the air that he breathed) and when my children get married, my partner and I will sit beside my ex and his girlfriend and smile. period. because that's what my kids will need.



and as for calling step grandparents grandma and grandpa...my kids call my mom and her husband Nana and Papa, my dad and his wife Nana and Barmpa, my ex's parents Grandma and Grandpa, and my boyfriend's parents nana and papa,the same as they call my parents...maybe it irks my ex or his parents because they are the "real" grandparents...but I think it was sweet of my boyfriend's parents to invite the kids to call them Nana and Papa, and I know it made my kids feel good so that's all that matters to me.



I know it sucks for you, I really do, but if you try to imagine it from your kids' perspective...they never knew this woman as an aunt, always as their step mother.



I wish you the best and I hope you can find a way to heal.

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Kay - posted on 11/20/2012

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Oh Gosh!!! I am posting for the #2 time. I so agree with Ashley and Linda. Have you ever heard of Parent Alienation Syndrome. It is considered child abuse. Look it up and you will see how kids turn out when they have had this kind of crap in their growing up years. Kids, have too much going on in their lives, outside the home. Please give them a chance to grow up, with you as a good example. I feel really strong about this. If you do not know how to move on, post it here. I do believe many that have read your post, as well as myself, really care about you and want to help. So, my challenge is you start the movement.

Ashley - posted on 11/20/2012

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if you dont let it go and move on, you will only push your family away. dont lose your kids over your insecurities.

Ashley - posted on 11/20/2012

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this is not your children or grandchildrens fault. dont put them in the middle anymore, dont make them have to choose, and dont bring them into your problems. either way you go, they love you and your sister. if she would not have married him, they would still love her because she would still be there aunt. i understood you were hurt then, and you never got over it. but let it go and let life go on. she has been there step mom since they were little, so she was a big part in there lives, and there is nothing wrong with having more than one mom, or grandma. my mom and step mom were both in the front pew of my brother's wedding, and they will both be in the front pew of my wedding also. my kids have 4 grandma's, and yes at times my mother in law doesnt like that my kids call my fiance's stepmom grandma, but she has been in my fiance's life since he was 2 and she raised him like her own. she has done nothing but love my children the way she has all of her grandchildren, biological or step. it doesnt matter anymore. in these days, step is just as good as blood, sometimes even better. let it go, and enjoy your kids and grandkids, there probably wont be much time left to enjoy them. let them have good memories, because nobody wants to regret the things they could have done differantly when they lose someone. everything happens for a reason, and im not saying what your sister did was ok, but obviously they loved each other, and obviously your kids and grandkids love her also. let it go, and move on. you have wasted too many years holding a grudge for something you had no control over.

Kay - posted on 11/19/2012

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I could not finish reading this. For you, Forgive them. I realize you can't do this on your own. God has a way of doing this through us. Grit your teeth and start praying for each of them. Do this consistently and God will provide what you need. If you do not know our Almighty God, please say so here, so we can all lead you in that direction. I too have issues in my past and present of this sort. I am FREE!!! I pray for these people, daily. It finally in my heart is becoming from my heart. I will not trust them again, however I can love them in a Godly way.

Alyn - posted on 11/19/2012

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LINDA,

My darling compatriot in arms, (similar situation) I have to tell you that I read about 2/3 of yoiur note then could not go on. IT IS OVER, OVER! Why are you living in the past on and on and on? I get it that you are upset it is your sister----shame on her---she gets no vote from me, but for pete sake, move ON!! I imagine that the family can't hear you say anything because if I can't stand to read it all, and don't even know you, how can they stand to live it? I thought the idea of having your name FIRST on the wedding invitation was a classy way of dealing with a not-so-uncommon arrangement in today's families! What an honor! The in the front pew, my goodness girl you have no idea how lucky you are. Becareful, honey. You are going to push yourself right out of that family very quickly if you continue this C#@%. STOP already!! ENJOY your family, WHo cares who calls who what?? why do you care? Get over yourself and move on, by allowing this to live on in your mind, you are trading what should be awesome lifetime memories for continual never-ending pain. I saw a note somewhere that said "The best revenge on your past is to live well." So true, so very true. It helped me--I lost some weight, started to eat better and exercise some. Diferent hair style, different attitude-I have been getting nicer comments-- and they are happy to see me. If you are miserable inside, it will show outside and no one will want you around.(would you want to be aroung you?) Dont trade the rest of your life having fun around your kids and grandkids for a constant rehashing of the past> The past is GONE, over, tomorrow is no guarantee, what you have is today. LIVE IT, don't just exist miserably, you have way more than alot of us. Thank God for that. Good luck, I know you care, and I am not being mean, I really MEAN everything I said, let us know how it's going, ok?

[deleted account]

I don't suppose this magic-maker would be wiling to take the James Randi challenge or are you just a shill for him?

Kay - posted on 11/04/2012

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WOW!!! With all due respect, stop putting your kids in the middle. I hear your pain all through your post. I believe that with the God we have, he can bring you to your knees and forgive you for being the I, I, I person in this story. The children, even as adults should not be in the middle of your emotions, even if you feel that you deserve better.



If you desire a relationship at all, with you kids and grandkids, go apologize to them. It takes a big person and Godly wisdom to be able to do that. Then, get some help and try to rebuild what you have left.



Also, I found your post to be very wordy. if that is the way you are with you family, I can understand them not wanting you around.



IT IS NOT TO LATE TO REDEEM THIS. With love, I will pray for you and them.

Susan - posted on 02/21/2012

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@ Shawnn Lively, I couldn't have said it better myself. @ Linda, at some point in your life you have to accept what has happened and move on. I completely understand how you feel, but by reading your post, it sounds as if all of this happened 5 years ago, not 20 something. I think counseling would really help, but you have to be open to actually listen to what they say.

While reading this, I couldn't seem to get this one thought out of my head. In the end, how do you want your children and grandchildren to remember you; "I never got to really know my grandmother because she was always so preoccupied with jealousy and rage for something that happened long before I was born"? That's how it sounds so far.

Try to move beyond this and enjoy your family with the situation as it is. No one is ever guaranteed tomorrow. My kids can only remember their grandmother as that lady that lives in the "stinky place", nursing home, and doesn't know who we are anymore. Please make good memories for you grandchildren.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 02/21/2012

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Ok, well, first, your sister is absolutely abysmal at relationships, should have left your husband alone, but then again, he shouldn’t have played with her either. That being said...



Most children raised in blended homes will want to have the step parent acknowledged in some way. Especially if the kid was 4 years old when he got a step parent. She’s been in his life as his step mother, and has interacted with him for at least 15-16 years in that role. As you can see, since his bride also chose to have her step father listed in addition to her biological parents on the invitations, it has been done, more than once.



As far as where your invitation was sent: You acknowledged that you’d moved. Did you ever once tell your son, “Here’s my new address, I want to make sure you have it for your invitations”? It sounds like you kept waiting for HIM to ask you for YOUR address. If you want people to have your address, it’s ok to let them know what it is. We usually send out little cards when we move, to let our relatives know the new location.



Also, in blended families, it is VERY common to call the grandparents (step parents included) by first names. For example, my kids have Grandma Gloria, Grandma Roxie, Grandma Meg, and Grandma Deanne, and Grandpa Nick, Grandpa Dwight, Grandpa Morgan, and Grandpa Butch. Biological grandparents are Roxie & Nick, and Butch & Gloria, but all have remarried. To me, it is the utmost in disrespect to NOT recognize all of the figures in my kids lives. It doesn’t matter how many “grandparents” they have, after all, it’s how much LOVE they’re getting from their family.



You went through a bitter divorce, and didn’t get what you feel was “fair”. I’m sorry for that experience. However, you also seem to lay blame on everyone but you... “My ex’s parent’s paid his way, but my parents were alcoholic, so no help”...and other such statements indicate that you wanted someone to take care of you, and pay your bills too, and that didn’t happen, so you’re even more bitter. I’m not saying that your attorney couldn’t have done better, but past is past. (WELL past, it sounds like, if your kids were 1 & 4 during the divorce, and your oldest got married in the late nineties)



“Now my older son is giving me a LOT of grief saying that I am being irrational about my sister being called, Grandma (1st name) and that there can’t be enough love in a family” I hate to say it, but he’s right. There’s NEVER too much love in a family, and there’s no reason that those kids can’t feel love from ALL of their relatives.



You seem to be quite upset about quite a few things that you feel are your “rights”, but actually are infringing on others. For example, your dogs: “ I visited with my two dogs and my son told me that I was "infringing on his dogs' space" by having to put his dogs in the basement kennel during my visit. I had driven to visit him from out of state and drove up to visit after not seeing him for probably close to a year at that time. Obviously I left then feeling very hurt.” Did you ask your son if your dogs would be welcome before you showed up? Or, did you just assume that you would be welcomed with open arms when you showed up with your dogs? Because I own dogs, and don’t mind visitors, but I do like to know when people are bringing their dogs, so that I can prepare. Yes, you WERE imposing on his dogs’ space by assuming that they could stay crated or restricted in an area that they normally aren’t restricted to. You could have kenneled your dogs and avoided the issue. Rather, you left in offence because your feelings were hurt.



Just last week my younger son told me that my parents drove their kids away by alcohol and that I am with bitterness!!!´ You probably are. If my mother behaved the way that you are claiming, I’d tell her the same.



where is the love when "MY" feelings am concerned? As far as calling my sister Grandma, my sister in law's response is, "There never can be enough love given to the kids" but WHEN will I have one thing that is MINE only and not HER's and MINE to have to share?´ Um, seriously? You want the grandkids to be YOURS and YOURS ALONE without any input, or interaction with any other family member? That’s almost ridiculously childish. All those grandkids are going to see is that “grandma #1” (you) is a selfish, mean spirited person.



You’re harboring a grudge that is hurting you. I recommend counseling, and plenty of it. You’re holding your kids and their kids accountable for things that your ex did, and that’s wrong. You say that you don’t have much contact anyway, and now you’re going to completely cut it off...well, it sounds to me like you’re throwing a fit because you haven’t gotten things your way. Your kids are grown. They have patiently stated to you their views, and you continue to make it about you. Please see someone that can help you overcome the bitterness from the over 20 years since you’ve divorced. Once you get over that bitterness, and that feeling of “failure”, then perhaps you can be more open and loving with your kids/grandkids.

Roxanne - posted on 02/21/2012

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First of all, I would like to say how sorry I am for all that you have gone through. It seems like they really put you through a lot at such a young age. However, that was many many years ago. To still be dealing with such pain and resentment now is not healthy for you, or for your relationships with your son.

With the age at which your son's were when your ex-husband remarried, you have to understand that she was a significant part of their lives. It is your sons' choice to accept her or not in their lives, not yours. The majority of your post is all about you and your feelings, and I understand that it is a painful situation for you to deal with, but you are not the only person in the story. There are your children, your grandchildren, and the rest of your family (estranged or not) that participate in their lives. You may not like to hear it, but I agree with your sons' "come form love" response. If you bring love and respect to the table, then you will be greeted with love and respect in return, since that is what your mind will perceive. If you come to the table with resentment, bitterness and underlying hatred, you will see those things come back at you, whether they truly are or not. Sometimes, the negative emotions you portray come back to you, as you are blinded by them. You see every action as others trying to hurt you, when they may simply be trying to include you.

I agree that maybe you should seek a counsellor or therapist so that they may help you to see the damage that your internal negativity towards the situation with your sister is impacting your family. I know people who's adult children have made the decision to remove them from their lives because they have refused to seek help in order to change their attitudes towards past events. Don't allow this to consume you, seek help with open arms. It can help strengthen the bond with your children, and if it is a deep set wish for you (maybe), it could help you reach a reconciliation with your sister, which may not be a bad idea since the thing that drove you two apart (your mutual husband) is no longer there to drive that wedge deeper.



Take care and I hope that at the end of all of this you find yourself in a better place.

Sonya - posted on 02/21/2012

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I think there is a lot of good advice that has been given already. I wanted to just add that I have found that when you hold on to the pain and anger you can get stuck. It is like by holding onto it, you are allowing the people that hurt you to do so repeatedly over years and years. I have learned in my life that the best revenge is a life well lived. When you are angry and hurt, take that energy and use it to do something to improve your life. Focus on that. The worst that can happen is that your life will be better than it was before. Do whatever you find interests you, learn to paint, learn a new hobby, volunteer somewhere. It will change your perspective. I can't imagine how frustrating your situation must be, but take all that frustration and put it to good use. And when your life is fabulous you will be able to focus on so many other things. You being angry obviously is not going to change that situation, but you have the power to change your situation. Best to you!

Katina - posted on 02/21/2012

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Linda,

I certainly feel for what has been done for you in the past, but the past is just that, the past. We cannot harbor anger and resentment for the past, we must forgive and move on. These feelings are really only hurting you. It is unfortunate that your family has never taken the time to apologize, but you are preventing yourself from living this life which is short enough without all of this. Live your life, love your children and your grandchildren. You have not done anything wrong but you seem to be putting yourself in a box with a key as if you have with the finger pointing and bad feelings. We cannot make people do anything, we only get to control ourselves. Control yourself, be happy with yourself and when given the opportunity to love them, do that. Just that, nothing else. Life is difficult even on the best of days, reach for those people and those things in life that make you happy.

Marie - posted on 02/21/2012

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Linda, I agree with Sherry. You are definitely entitled to your feelings. What they did was….I can’t even think of a word that is tough enough for them. I also feel Deb was able to get through it because she got the respect you also deserved but didn’t get. Try to see a therapist. There is something about talking out loud to someone that isn’t involved with the drama. If you can’t afford a therapist, my therapist told me years ago, to write a letter to the party’s you are still angry with. A letter you don’t send. My therapist told me to do that years ago, when I was trying to work out issues that continued to make me angry. It really did help. I’m glad your ex apologized. I’m sure that relieved some of the pain.

Another thing people recommended, was to forgive Forgive so you can let go of the anger that is poisoning your life. I benefits you. In my life I realized that forgiving them didn’t involve making what they did ok. Limited involvement with them would still be appropriate, at least until your sister recognizes what she did and apologizes. The example that finally made me see it was, if someone murders a person’s loved one, the families in their grief process will have to forgive, if they are going to heal. I realized that doesn’t mean this person no long has to do their time. Your anger is poisoning your life. I believe you will have to someday forgive so you can find peace, but it doesn’t mean you and your sister will ever become best friends. People may disagree with this but that helped me finally process my anger and let it go. As time passed, I also was able to let them off the hook. Good Luck Marie

Stephanie - posted on 02/20/2012

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Seriously. Who cares what they call the other woman. As long as they acknowledge that you are the biological mother of their father and still call you grandma you should be happy. I know its hard to avoid it when family remind you of the past. What you need to do is focus on your own happiness and WHO is important to you. If your sons and grandkids are your priority then screw the other members of the family. If your sons say something you rather not discuss change the subject smoothly. As for your sister... If my sister did that to me I would not even bother with her. As for the wedding.. Usually in my culture we say the son of... Which indicates the birth mother.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/20/2012

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Sister Linda what could I say is that leave it all to Jesus' feet, all your burdens & heartaches. He is the only TRUE source of healing & forgiveness. I'll always pray for you. God bless!!!

Kristin - posted on 02/20/2012

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Forgive them both and move on...there is absolutely nothing you can do to change them or what has been done. Stand with your head held high knowing you have done nothing wrong and look them in the eye and mean it when you say "I love you"! Holding on to any bitterness will only in the end hurt you!

Sherry - posted on 02/20/2012

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I am not going to say that you are not entitled to your feelings and your emotions regarding the subject, because you do. However, holding onto the hurt, anger, betrayal, and all those other negative feelings are not serving you for your highest good. I suggest getting a therapist and getting these feelings out. Or if you do not wish to see someone to help change the negative emotions, find a couple new hobbies to keep your focus and build upon something new.



I was in a similar situation when my fiancé of 10 years left me for a woman I considered a best friend, and was the mother of my daughters best friends. By the time I realized what was going on, it was too late. I moved to a different state to start a fresh new life, and he contacted me several times a week. He never told me that he was dating her.



When I did find out, I was hurt, and angry. I went through all the stages of grief, except the one that I kept going back to was the resentment and anger. Eventually he and I talked and he apologized, but she won't even aknowledge that's he hurt me. I forgave him, and the negative feelings went away. But I also was doing other things to occupy my time. I put my focus into creating and building things. I was very much into art, and I started karoke.



Eventually, all those feelings that didn't serve me and make me happy anymore went away.



My other advise (besides not hanging on to those feelings and finding an outlet) is just smile through it all. I don't believe your kids and family are being malicious, and maybe they didn't realize they hurt you. Your children accept her as a stepmother, there is nothing wrong with that. She is still aunt, she is still your sister. She probably does owe you an apology, but is it worth spending the rest of your life miserable and in agony because of your sister's and exhusband's betrayal?



They moved on and are happy. Isn't it time you do too? I wish you all the best.

Renee - posted on 02/20/2012

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I have parents who divorced when I was 16. I am now 25 with 2 children of my own. Both of my parents remarried.

My Dad and his wife are called Nan and Poppy by my kids. And my Mom and her husband are called Nanny and Grampy Tony by them.

There was never any discussion about this. It was just what seemed natural to all of us.

I also have a cousin who my Mom raised from a baby to now. He is introduced to everyone as my brother and my children call him and his wife, Aunt and Uncle.

Again, because it was the natural thing to do.

There are some relatives (my cousins biological Mom, who just so happens to be my Moms sister), who have an issue with the kids calling him uncle. But I have told her that it is none of her concern. How my children address people is between, me, my children, and the people in question.

Split families can be such a huge source of tension sometimes that it does indeed help to speak to a therapist. I have been seeing one and must say it makes a world of difference.

I would definitely consider it if I were you. It is someone who will listen to you and your feelings without putting you down or making you feel thet you're wrong.

Chasmodai - posted on 02/20/2012

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Linda, another perspective: I am 51 years old. When I was in my 20's I did some pretty stupid things. I never had an affair with a sibling's husband, but I had a brother instead of a sister, so who knows what I would have done if I fell for a sister's husband.



Point is, now I look back and think what an idiot I was. I've grown so much since, developed my values more, think before I act, try to do things I won't regret later. Back then, I had a lot less life experience and an entirely different set of standards that I based decisions on. I've paid dearly for some past mistakes. We all do one way or another.



Maybe it's the same for your sister. It's like she is serving a life sentence because she did something shitty to you once. Maybe she still is capable of tearing your life apart, but maybe she has grown up. She's done her time, has she been rehabilitated? Are you carrying a grudge or are your protecting yourself from a very harmful person, like someone who will steal from your bank account, burn your house down etc. if she had half a chance? Does the punishment fit the crime?

Deb - posted on 02/20/2012

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Jennifer Jones is right. I love herreply! It sounds like we had similar backgrounds. I am glad to hear that someone else has learned how to put the past behind them and go on. I also have loving in laws that treat me more like a daughter than my own parents. I have tried and still try with my mom but she just won't leave the bitteness behind. I know as long as I keep trying there will be no regrets on my part when they leave this earth or if for some reason I should go before them. I have even put the past behind and my former in laws are a part of my life again. Their son had left me out in the middle of no where with 4 small children and married someone else. A few years later he died of a heart attack. It's strange how things work out. At the funeral I found myself in the role as the wife instead of his present wife. Not that I wanted to be placed there but it just played out that way. She didn't even want to show up! She wanted nothing to do with the family. My former in laws except my present husband as part of the family, also. They have in the last couple of years invited us to their home for holidays along with my older children, their grandchildren. I could have sat around pouting because the kids never spend holidays at our house or I can except it this way and enjoy it with them. I figure God willing I will be around a lot longer than their grandparents and then I will have them to myself again.

Denise - posted on 02/20/2012

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I think that you need to find some way to forgive these people, for your own sake and for the sake of your children & grandchildren. True...they dealt you a terrible blow and it doesn't appear that either of them seem terribly concerned about how much they hurt you or how much you have suffered. And your children don't seem to realize that this has caused you pain. But I think your kids love you and want you in their life. I hope you want that, too (unsure how/why you could move and your kids not have your address for any length of time. Why wouldn't your kids have gotten that as soon as you knew the move was to occur?) and that you do not decide to cut ties with them. I think that your (understandable) bitterness is working against you and if you find a therapist/counselor who can help you find a way to make peace within yourself, I think your relationship with your children will improve. Perhaps some day, your sister will become a big enough person that she will offer you a genuine apology. It won't un-do anything but itt will be a start towards healing. Good luck!!

Deb - posted on 02/20/2012

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Take it from a person who was once separated from some of her children and grandchildren for a time. Life is to short for hurt feeling to get in the way of your relationship with your children. We adopted and are raising two of our grandchildren and it was not a popular decision with my other older children, even though my older children were grown and lived away from home. My granddaughters call us mom and dad. We left the choice up to them. Because we had two younger children close to their age it was just easier for them to do so rather than to explain all the time why our two called us mom and dad and they called us grandma and grandpa. All of my grandchildren are step grandchildren to my husband and they call him grandpa Bill. My first husband left me when our children were young and married someone else. The kids spent all the holidays with them.their dad later passed away. Now they spend a lot of time with their grandparents on holidays so I still don't see them for those times. Even though it hurts I know I had to make peace with the situation or risk not seeing them at all. I know the situation between you and your sister and your ex-husband is stained, but you need to make peace there also. I have recently made peace with my ex-daughter in law who is the mother of the children we are raising. My thinking is because I have had a void in my own life by being estranged from my parents and I know these girls will feel the same at some point. My son has not come around even though he has made promises to them to do so. The only person you hurt by holding onto the past and a grudge is yourself. Everybody else will go on living their life. You have to decide whether you want to be a part of their life or on the outside looking in.

[deleted account]

Wow... I read your note and all of the replies. Took me a long time, but I really wanted to see what other people had to say before writing anything myself. I agree with some, and not with others. But ultimately all that matters is what you choose to do with the replies you have received.

I was married to an abusive man for 16 years, adopted and raised his 3 kids from his previous marriage (he was a widower) and also adopted and raised to the age of 13 his grandson by his oldest daughter. People often ask me why I stayed for so long. It's a very hard question to answer. Physical abuse is almost always accompanied by mental & emotional abuse. I truly felt I had nowhere to go and no one who truly cared about me. No one except the kids. They often told me that they hated the way he treated me and wondered why I didn't leave. I gave those kids everything I had to give (he refused to have a baby with me - THANK GOD) and loved them completely for the whole marriage. I was allowed very few friends and there was one woman in particular that he allowed me to be firends with. She was also married to an abusive man and my ex constantly used his example to say he was better than that guy.

When the day finally came when I realized that he was going to kill me if I didn't get out of there, I left. Took my son (the adopted grandson) and everything I could throw into the back of the vehicle within less than an hour and drove until midnight to get to my parents' house. He of course pursued me back (mostly with threats), then stopped paying any bills that were in my name (including his own cell phone), then took the vehicle... the list goes on. He even told my parents (Retired Baptist Pastor) that they were acting unChristian for allowing me to stay with them - I belonged in a homeless shelter if I wouldn't go back to him.

As soon as the kids found out that the marriage was over, they all stopped contact, even the youngest. When they did talk to me at the beginning, they said awful things to me that were planted by their dad.

Eventually I met and married a wonderful man and we have a gorgeous baby girl - a true gift from God!!! We live within a few miles of both sets of our parents so we are able to help them and see them almost daily. I now have 3 stepkids and we have a good relationship (they are all grown).

My ex is now married to my friend. She left her husband as soon as she found out that I was out of the picture. I don't know how many times she and I talked about hurtful things and helped each other through hard times and had our kids hang out together and all sorts of things. Now she drives the car that was taken from me, lives in the house that was taken ( I had to file bankruptcy because of the way he had "arranged" the finances) and everything else. At first, I was sick with the betrayal. Not only did she stop talking to me as well as so many others, but she chased him and caught him.

Every time this crap comes to my mind, I remind myself of the myriad wonderful blessings God has poured out on me because I finally depended on Him and walked away. I believe that everything happens for a reason and so there is a very good reason for those kids and others to have put me out of their lives and minds. I don't think that they think of me or anything anymore. I believe they have gone on with their lives. And I refuse to allow them to control even one second of my wonderful life that I now have.

I don't really have any advice, but I thought that maybe hearing my story might help you feel not so alone. I know that I felt a tug in my heart as I read your note.

Hugs to you, and I pray for you a daily serving of Faith and Hope.

Sarah - posted on 02/20/2012

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Colleen, with all due respect I disagree with your advice. No child (or adult child in this case) should be put in the middle of their parents issues. What happened between the OP and her husband and sister have nothing to do with her children and they shouldn't be constantly reminded of it every time the family gets together. By doing that it puts the kids in an uncomfortable position. Perfect or not, he is their father and should be treated with respect, not remind the kids what a poor husband he was to her. Her children were obviously loved and treated by their dad and aunt/step mother. For they love them back in return. They should be allowed to love them for how they were to them, not carry their mother's resentment for what was done wrong to her.

Colleen - posted on 02/20/2012

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Wow Linda, what can I say but your situation really sucks. what your sister did is unforgivable. As someone who was divorced many years ago I understand that it is not just the pain of what happened back then you are holding on to. but you continue to feel the pain every time you hear your sister referred to as grandma by your grand kids or spoken about lovingly by your kids. One thing that stood out to me was when you said" they say there can't be enough love but were was the love shown to me about my feelings". Its hard for families to talk about hurt feelings and easier to gloss over them. If I were you I would never give up on my relationship with my kids and grand kids. It might help to have a conversation with your sons about how hurt you were by what their father and your sister did to you, and that reminders of it are still painful. Hopefully they will acknowledge/validate your feelings and you can move on from there. You can only hold onto bitterness for so long. there comes a time when you have to let it go for your own sake. Show them you are the bigger person and show nothing but love for them.

and for those of you with divorced mothers who get annoyed with their comments about your father/stepmothers, maybe it would be helpful for you to acknowledge their feelings, show them some love & support and the comments might stop coming. Good Luck Linda.

Coleen - posted on 02/20/2012

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Just because they are family doesn't mean they are right! Alcoholism is a sad and distructive to many generations to come. When you are the only one being treated badly noone wants to cause drama by standing next to you for what is RIGHT they just want you to stop making them feel uncomfortable for going with the flow and NOT having a spine. Its hard but you need to DO what makes you feel good. Which in the end you know is go to therpy and LET GO of these people in your life. You only live once don't let sick people make you unhappy forever. you can only change yourself NEVER anyone else.....Good luck and God bless....

Michelle - posted on 02/20/2012

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First of all, I'm so sorry for all you have been though, that is more than most people go through their entire life. I hope you have found God and pray daily. I would be bitter as well. Unfortunately no one likes to be around a bitter person or one who would talk about this situation in detail. I feel that step-parents could be called grandma especially if they have been in their lives for a long time. Please accept my sincere apology for your sister who probably never apologized for ruining your life. It is easier to accept when a stranger ruins your life by stealing your husband away. You need a therapist to talk to about this situation so you can forgive everyone and stop resenting your family.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/20/2012

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Hi Linda,



You have had a tough turn, you poor thing. I understand your hatred of your ex and your sister. I can't imagine the weight of the years after that either.



You asked what I would do. I would write a letter to my children and put all of the pain and hurt in it. Then I would put it in an envelope and seal it. Then, finally, I'd put it away. Maybe one day, when your children are older and wiser, they can understand. Maybe they never can, but that's okay. Would you, in your heart of hearts, want them to feel these tings acutely for you? Or do you just want their love and respect?



Your ex and your sister probably gloat about how very right they were to hurt you so badly because you're miserable, and there's little doubt your misery is coming to the table with you. As others feel it, they become angry and hostile, blaming you for the bitterness and thinking they'd be better off with minimal contact. This is not fair - your reasons for being wounded and bitter are some of the most valid I've ever heard... but the sad truth is that life is not fair. You know it, but it seems like you have not yet found the tranquility to accept it.



A councilor may help, but I personally would sit down a.d think about my priorities, what I can realistically achoeve of them, and what I can't. My guess is respect and love from your children and family is not possible. I wouldn't hold out looking for it or analysing every bit of detail in hope of a scrap of it from the table to give me hope of another. My goal would probably be to start over with the grandkids, spending as much time alone with them as possible to avoid painful reminders and remembering to learn my lesson from what happened with my own kids: don't expose their innocence to the bitterness you feel lest they go the same route. They're a new chance.



With regards to your own children, they may come around when they see you aren't making your feelings their problem anymore. They might not too. It's hard to say what's gone on over the years - bit take care of yourself, don't rely on them to care about you or make you feel better.

Jesse - posted on 02/20/2012

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you poor thing! omg my goodness what an ugly mess! I just want to give you a big hug :(

Honestly I am a step mum and my daughter calls me mum and she calls my mother nana(first name) but i think that is normal for the situation we are in....my poppy's new wife wanted the grand kids to call her grandma and there is no way in hell that my mum or me wud allow that. so every situation is different!

She is your sister that is NOT RIGHT!!!!!!! I can not believe the betrayal and the cruelness on your sister or your x husbands part! how cruel to put another person through this, and then no support from your family either! just the fact that she is your sister she shud back off!!!! just out of respect she should be lowering her head in shame.....

it's back enough that she sleep with your husband before you were even divorced let alone also trying to steal your children hubby and house! the whole situation is just wrong.....



HUGS XXXXXXXXXOOOOOOOOOOOOO I really feel for you hun good luck I think maybe go and see someone to talk to not that u have done anything wrong but it might make you feel better to talk! XXx

Anna-Maree - posted on 02/20/2012

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My parents got divorced when I was 6 and that was also the last time I saw my mother. I met up with my mom's family again 15 years later. My dad remarried. They wanted my son to call my stepmom granny. I don't like it. So, he has another name for her. Instead he calls my mom's sister granny.

I can imagine what you must feel like, but I don't think you should let the name grandma upset you. In some cultures every lady over a certain age is called "grandma", not only biological grandparents. It is more a sign of respect and love. I can understand that you would want something that is just yours, so why don't you get a name that you like and ask your grandchildren to call you that? What about "grandma" in another language? In Italian it is Nonna or in Afrikaans it is Ouma or how about a Native American language?

Just a thought.

Jenni - posted on 02/20/2012

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Easier said then done, but be glad you are not married to your ex!

Jenni - posted on 02/20/2012

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Know that YOU are the only one who gave birth to your sons and only you own that, even if they call your sister mom.

Good luck. Show love to your sons and yourself, don't worry about the drama of others the best you can even though it is a twisted mess

Susan - posted on 02/20/2012

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Linda: The general concensus here seems to be that you are the problem; that you should just let all this go. I disagree. What you have been through and are going through is very painful. You have been betrayed by the very people who are supposed to be there for you and love you no matter what. Your sister sounds like a horrible person and your sons lack of sensitivity seems to have come straight from their father and your sister. No mother wants to be in competition with another woman for the affection that is supposed to be reserved for a Mom. I'm sorry, but you just don't go around in life loving other people the same as you love your Mother. And for people to expect you to understand this is crazy to me. They'd feel differently if this were happening to them. Forgiveness is a good thing. The Bible teaches us to forgive but you didn't say that your sister asked you to forgive her. You can forgive her anyway and let go of the pain that she so selfishly inflicted on you. I can't imagine either of my sisters hurting me like that. I agree with you. There are many men in the world and your ex, your children's father, shouldn't have been someone she would even consider hooking up with. She seems incredibly selfish, and I'm sorry to say, so do your sons. If your son has a wife who has a PhD in psychology she must have gotten it from some cartoon college. If she were really a PhD she would understand what this has done/is doing to you and would encourage her husband to be more patient with you and to refrain from hurting you. None of the things you say they've done make any sense if she is really an educated person. Granted, a child needs a lot of love in this world but not by pretending that your sister is their grandmother. She is their Great Aunt and the parents should make sure the children know this. Your sons' loyalty should be to you. I'm not suggesting that they be cruel to their Aunt, just that they should always put their Mother's feelings (i.e., your feelings) first.

You are being slammed here because you have some bitterness, but in light of the things that have been done to you by the very people you should be able to trust, it certainly makes sense to me. Granted, sometimes we have to just be the bigger person, but in this situation you have been hurt beyond measure.

If you can just turn this all over to God, He will help you through, and just pray that your sons will see reason and understand how painful this is for you.

As for the PhD daughter-in-law, she sounds like someone who didn't get much from going to school. I don't have a PhD in psychology but human nature tells me that this hurts you. Ignore her. She seems stupid.

I pray that you will find peace and that your sons will come to understand that YOU are their Mother and they owe respect and honor to you for that alone. Blessings.

Carolynn - posted on 02/19/2012

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Linda, you certainly have had some lumps in your life.

But if you read back over your letter, it's all about how you were affected by this. What about the children, and the grandchildren? Would you be happier if they all carried around a big grudge against most of their relatives? Would you be happier if they all hurt as much as you do?

One way of looking at this is that there is a lot of trying to be inclusive - e.g. the wedding. Kids love the ones they love, and there doesn't seem to be any real anguish on their part. I'd say that this means that many of you have done a good job with them. My take, since you asked, is that you find delight in who the children and grandchildren have become, love yourself for your part in this, and move on from the hurt. You deserve a life that isn't mostly filled with pain and grief. Get someone to help you with this.

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2012

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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that you were abusive! The abuse with our relationship is over and done with. Now all that's keeping us apart is her attitude about... well, everything. I just want her to be happy. It kinda makes me mad at her to see her throw away what could be a happy life over something that doesn't need to matter so much now. It would be nice if I could share the joy in my life with her without getting hit over the head with how angry she is with my brother or a snarky remark about my mother-in-law :(

Andrea - posted on 02/19/2012

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I'm not trying to be mean, but the mistake was holding on to the anger...look at it this way, be thankful you got rid of him as a husband, it clearly wasn't worth it..once a cheater always a cheater.. since you havent talked to your sister, you dont know if he cheated on her as well, and she either never knew or didnt want it thrown back in her face that she lost him the same way she got him... when my ex-husband cheated on me, i wasnt mad, the girl and I became friends, when she asked me why i wasnt upset that he was sleeping with her, i responded that as long as he was with her, I didnt have to worry about him trying to get me back in bed and could move on with my life

Linda - posted on 02/19/2012

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Very powerful message & greatly appreciated, Jennifer!!! I am SO very happy that you have found peace with your life and I will too if I have the same attitude as you have!!! Thanks again, Linda

Linda - posted on 02/19/2012

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Thanks so much Jennifer for your input. A lot of similarities and appreciate your post very much!

Linda - posted on 02/19/2012

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I was never abusive to my children but my mistake has been keeping my children in the middle when they mention any of the things going on with his father's side of the family.

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2012

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Reading this post, it seemed like I was reading about MY OWN MOTHER. She even has hashimotos and fibromyalgia and was raised by abusive parents. Her mother, my grandmother, STILL is bitter and upset about her own childhood and spent her years being angry, bitter and abusive with her own children. My mother was angry, bitter and very abusive with us. She has stopped hitting us (obviously) but, is pretty angry that we have relationships with step-parents and in-laws and her anger pushes us even further away. Why would I want to drive all the way to Arizona to visit one person, who is so angry (!) all the time, when I can go to Utah (roughly the same distance) and see my multitudes of in-laws who are happy to see me and don't try to pick old fights? Not many people are keen on spending their limited time and money to visit someone that makes them uncomfortable. I've forgiven my mother for all the rage and abuse that happened in my youth, and would be happy to have a normal relationship with her now, but everytime I open my heart to it, she shoots it down with her current anger at me for being close to my in-laws. My brother (who she was VERY abusive to and who moved into foster care at 12) was kind and invited her to his wedding 8 years ago. She still stews that his foster mother was listed as his mother. This is brought up pretty much every time she talks to me. It doesn't make me want to talk to her.... it makes me want to distance myself even further. It sounds like your sons are at least willing to talk to you. When I talk to my mom, I don't want to hear about how angry she is about the past. I want to hear about the good things she's doing NOW. I don't want a guilt trip because I'm not angry at the same people she is. I want to hear about the happy relationships she is having with friends in Arizona. When I visit, I want to know that she's happy to see me because we're going to have a good time... not because she sees it as an opertunity to fight on her turf. I most definately don't want to model these unhealthy behaviors infront of my kids :S You're letting your past rob you of your future. The people that you're mad at hurt you in the past... but, you're hurting yourself now by holding on to it. My 85 yr old grandmother is STILL angry and hurt from things that happened to her 70 years ago. My mom's in her 60's and is following that same path. I could go on for PAGES on why I could be upset with people in my past and how I suffer with painful chronic health issues, and current trials, but.... I'm not upset. I gave all my hurt and my pain, and my anguish to Christ. It took me a few tries without wanting to snatch it back and nurse old wounds, but I eventually gave it all away, and I'm NOT going back. Other people's sins are between them and God. When Christ suffered the Atonement, he suffered for all our broken hearts, sicknesses and injuries, and sins. He suffered for the sinners, and the INOCENT. He did this for us because he loves us!!! But, he can't take these things from us. They need to be given to him willingly. I am so humbled to think that he offers this so freely to a girl who is so extremely far from perfect. I'm grateful for the peace in my heart, when I justifyably could be holding onto emotional hurt and physical pain. The only things we take with us after this life are our family relationships, and what we've learned. Let go of your past and build a better future!!! Let go and LOVE your sons and their families. I promise, they'll warm up to you when they see your heart has warmed too.

Sandy - posted on 02/19/2012

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I think your sister was a bitch back then for having an affair with your husband while you were still married to him. However, it's been a very long time. Get over it already. If you can't do it on your own, seek professional therapy. You can be bitter forever, but you're only hurting yourself. As long as everyone else accepts her, then you are the one being difficult about it. Sure she hurt you twenty something years ago. People have been killed over less. And perhaps no one else may have seen what a huge betrayal it was to you on many levels. There is something to be said about being the bigger and better person, if only to help you get on with your own life. Get on with your own life. Take a vacation at Disneyland or cruise to not that place where the captain sunk the ship and abandoned it but somewhere else. ☺

Jennifer - posted on 02/19/2012

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Wow! I'm sorry that I didn't have time to read all your note- it is kind of depressing!!! I think you need to talk to a counsellor of some kind. You need to find some ways to be happy no matter how crazy your relatives are acting- life is too precious to spend any more time being unhappy. Someone who made a big impact in my life is Louise Hay (You Can Heal Your Life). The only thing that occurred right away is that you should think of a name that makes you feel special, and ask that the grandchildren call you that (Nonna, Gram, Granny) This site has all kinds of ideas



http://grandparents.about.com/od/advicef...



You would also feel like you were in control of SOMETHING that was happening in this situation.

Andrea - posted on 02/19/2012

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I'm sorry, but to me you need to grow up, who cares if your grandchildren call her grandma? really my older kids call my current husbands mom grandma Chris, my mom grandma, my grandmother, is grandma choochoo, and they call my exhusband's mother grandma brenda.. it shows love, if you cant deal with it maybe you should step away from being a grandparent.. yeah your sister married your exhusband 38 yrs ago.. not the best thing, but if they were happy and treated each other and your sons with love, its time to let it go.. your only hurting yourself and those who love you like your sons.. now your sons call your niece sister, so what? they grew up together as a family so thats what they are... i know i sound mean, but really its time for you to grow up and let the past go.. its done and over with, and unless you want to lose your grandchildren because of this bitterness you need to let it go

Amo3ks - posted on 02/19/2012

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How horrible! I'm sorry! If you told your kids all this what would they say? Sorry but they grew up with little respect for you so of course they wouldn't care how you see everything. I feel for you but I also feel like you kids wouldn't put up a fight if you threatened to leave. How dare they treat you like this! If you are capable of moving on with no regrets then do it. I know no one will agree with me but you can't hurt like this for the rest of your life with people who don't care. I hope you find in your heart what you are capable of and start a new life. Maybe you can find people who aren't blood related that will love & care for you more then your family has. Good luck & best wishes!

Linda - posted on 02/19/2012

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Dear Linda,

It sounds as though you came from a very selfish family. After all is said and done there is really nothing you can do to change any of the family members with which you are involved. ...Nothing. The only one you can change is YOURSELF. I've been told that, "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." It's time to seek both spiritual and mental counseling to help you deal with this situation.



And remember, "Success is the sweetest revenge!" Get out, get a life, reinvent yourself. Try not to focus on this drama all the time. You may need to break ties with some of the family to give yourself time to heal. Life is much too short to let other people decide how you are going to live it.



Good luck and God bless in your future dealings with this situation.

Chasmodai - posted on 02/19/2012

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It sounds to me like all of your happiness in life is hinging on whether other people in your family do what you want them to do. But they are separate people. I think the most pain and grief comes from trying to get other people to do what you think they ought to do. You can't control any of them. Not your sister, not your ex, not your kids. Quit worrying about what they do. Stop having an opinion about their choices. Not only does it not work, but it takes up way too much of your energy. Focus on YOU. Focus on your own choices, your own decisions, and your own life. Live for yourself! If you don't like how someone treats you, use some "non-violent communication techniques" (if you run a search on non-violent communication techniques you can learn all about it.,) to tell them what you need. If that doesn't work, consider going out and finding yourself a new family. I have done these things: Taken control of my own life, stopped trying to "make" people do what I want, surrounded myself with new non-toxic people. Counseling will help a lot. Find a counselor you can work with.

Louise - posted on 02/19/2012

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I agree you were dealt a raw deal but so was your children and they chose to make the best of a raw deal and you are choosing to let your sister continue to hurt you. You are loosing the best things you have your grandchildren and you can't show them love if you have bitterness in your heart. When your sister is brought up in conversation the best thing is to choose to allow her a space in your son's and grandchildren's lives but love them so much that they think of you as a very loving mother/ grandmother. I was a foster parent for many years and never once wanted to replace my children's biological parents nor cause any more strain in the biological family than was obvious but not from my part. I love all my children adopted and foster but I know that without that biological family I would not have had so many children to love. Look to Jehovah God for guidance not imperfect people to help you resolve in your heart the pain and hurt and love your children and grandchildren with all your heart. Maybe you should have found a kennel to leave your dogs or put them in the basement in their own kennel. I'm sure they felt the tension also. and would you have let your son bring his dogs to your home and ostricized yours in their own home.

Meredith - posted on 02/19/2012

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As I was reading your letter I could feel my heart grow heavy for the pain you have had to carry all these many years. I only read a few responses but was glad to see that those people really have empathy for you. Your sister, first of all, gave up the right to be called such by you. I think that the bottom line of your feelings is that you were abandoned by everyone you thought cared about you and to be thrown out in the cold is totally unforgivable and since your ex has passed I believe he has had to answer for what he did to you and your children. He also threw his kids to the wolves, so to speak. Actions do speak louder than words. When I decided to leave my ex, he promised to help me financially to get another place with my 15 yr old son, (he had been a great step-father for the past 10 years), I found a small place and yes he helped me, to the tune of $20! I was worse with my previous 2 ex's. Down deep it still bothers me. I guess that what I'm trying to say is that what has happened to you is terrible and yes you do need to speak to a professional, I did, to help you see your way out. I think the biggest problem is that not one of those sorry people has validated you and your feelings or even been considerate of them. You are in the right but what does that solve. Talk to someone and get those feelings validated and then go out and find the wonderful man that is out there waiting for you. I didn't give up and now I have that person in my life. I didn't look for him, nor he for me, but we found each other and see that things happened that eventually led to us meeting. In a few days we will celebrate 11 years married and 16 years since we met. Don't loose anymore time looking back, let them all be 'happy' for what they've done, call each other what they want. As long as you are suffering they have 'won'. It's time for you to be the winner by making yourself happy with someone else. We all have to 'defend our life' when we leave this earth and His word will be final. If, of course, this is how you believe. I do and if you don't that's OK, I just can't speak on any other belief since I don't have one. Bless you and the rest of your life and be happy today as we don't know what tomorrow will bring.

Heather - posted on 02/19/2012

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I feel that it's not that big of a deal, to be honest. We call my parents Grandma and Papa, my father in law and his wife, my husband's step-mom, Grandpa and Nana, and my husband's mom, Grammy. My son started calling my dad Papa, so we just stuck with it. I am sure when he is older, he will call him Grandpa, and there won't be any confusion to him as to who he is referring to.



What's wrong with You being called Grammy, G.G., or Nana? I don't see what the big deal is.

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