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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 04:12AM

Some of you who have been around awhile may know my sordid story of being married to an exmo with estranged TBM daughters. I married my husband in 2002, met his kids once in 2003, before his ex decided I wasn't "worthy" to be their stepmother, and I haven't seen either of them in person since. Last year, my husband's 24 year old daughter cautiously reconnected via email and now Skype. He has not seen her or her sister in person since 2004, but it appears that there will eventually be a visit, especially since my husband now has a grandson.

Something pretty huge happened last weekend. My husband's daughter Skped with my mother-in-law, whom she hasn't seen in person since she was a very young child. The last time they spoke on the phone was in 2003, during that one visit with us, when she was nine years old.

My husband's daughter is still TBM and has been researching the family tree. She decided to call her grandmother to get information on the family, but probably also because she's very curious. For many years, her mother would not let her speak to my husband's mom because my mother-in-law was on my husband's side. The kids were taught to regard my husband's stepmother as their grandmother, even though the ex used to badmouth both women to each other. She'd tell my MIL that SMIL was a better grandma and vice versa to SMIL about MIL.

I remember during the one visitation my husband's kids had with us, younger daughter told me that she'd stopped talking to her grandmother because she supposedly sent her a Christmas card for her birthday (which I highly suspect never happened, but even if it did, why would you cut off your grandmother for that reason?). My husband called his mom during the visitation and the younger daughter was the only one of the kids who would speak to her. The older daughter and former stepson refused.

I think about all of the years that were wasted on parental alienation and other stupid crap that comes from nasty divorces that involve children. I wonder what must be going through my husband's daughter's mind as she talks to these long lost relatives. She's already missed being able to talk to my husband's Aunt Betsy because Betsy died suddenly in February of this year. She had a stroke. Younger daughter had found some very creative artwork Aunt Betsy had done for the kids when they were little, but now she'll never get the chance to get to know the woman who created it. I hope she's realizing how precious time is.

A side effect is that my mother-in-law, who long ago stopped thinking of herself as a grandmother and stopped telling people she had grandchildren, now has to readjust her thinking. She's a grandmother again after many years of no contact with her grandchildren. I think my husband is feeling the same way. I still don't feel like a stepmother and probably never will. But I am pleased that my husband is finally reconnecting with his kids. He loves them dearly. I'm sure eventually, older daughter will talk to him. It will take time because she doesn't handle change well.

We also learned that my husband's older daughter, who just turned 27, still lives with my husband's ex wife in New Hampshire because she's pretty much the main caretaker for Ex's youngest child, an eleven year old boy. My husband's ex stepson did help his sister temporarily move out of their mother's house to work at a summer camp in Arizona. Older daughter is an artist and supposedly has some issues with autism, or so the Ex claims. I think Ex has convinced her that she can't live on her own. Older daughter also doesn't drive, although she does apparently date. My husband told his younger daughter that if older daughter needs financial help moving, he's willing to give her money. Ex also has another daughter who is about fifteen now. We get the impression that Ex and her current incarnation of her family have left Mormonism, though my husband's daughters are still entrenched.

I have to admit, I'm actually kind of grateful to the church because I think church members helped my husband's kids when he wasn't able to do anything more than pay child support. This isn't to say I like Mormonism, because I don't. But obviously, there were some good people in the church who were very kind to my husband's daughters when their mother was abusive and neglectful. I wish they could have been in contact with us, though, because if they had been, I think things would have turned out differently.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 04:15AM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: summer ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 09:01AM

Thanks for the update, Knotty. It sounds like the younger daughter, now that she is out of her mother's control, is making her own decisions. That's a good thing. Hopefully the older daughter will follow suit.

Are you still enjoying Germany?

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 10:08AM

Oh, hell yes, I am enjoying Germany! I did always think after my husband got out of the Army, we'd finally be able to buy a house and maybe I might do something with my life... But to be very honest, life over here really suits us both. Neither of us are in a hurry to go back to the States. Fortunately, my husband is very good at his job and is much appreciated here. I just hope our current president doesn't alienate the world so much that we're forced to leave.

Anyway, the contract my husband is working on is up in 2020. We'll see what happens then.

As for my husband's daughter, she is proof that sometimes people aren't as they appear to be. I always thought she was the most alienated of the three. She wrote the most hateful letters and was the first to refuse to speak to her dad. During her Skype sessions with my husband and his mom, she has apologized sincerely and profusely.

I truly think my husband's ex wife is the most toxic person I've ever encountered. I would imagine being around her is like being in a constantly shaken can of soda that is never allowed to settle. There's never a chance for rational thought or consideration. Everything is always a crisis.

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Posted by: cl2notloggedin ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 11:36AM

Every time I see a post by you, I think of your story and wonder how the kids are. The parent who alienates the children from the other parent are doing their children a huge disservice. Kids of divorce already have a lot to deal with, let alone a parent who causes so many problems. I do watch Dr. Phil and I am SO SHOCKED by how parents act.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 11:53AM

Thank you for the update. The mormon church breaks up families. Your story is an example.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 12:10PM

Well, in fairness to the church, my husband’s ex would have alienated the children regardless. She alienated her eldest son from his father before she ever joined the church. However, the Mormon church absolutely served as an effective alienation tool, particularly when my husband resigned. I was already “unworthy” as a nevermo and he was even less so as an exmo.

No one else in the family on either side is LDS, with the exception of one of Ex’s sisters, who converted. But then she supposedly quit the church and came out as a lesbian. However, that information may not be entirely accurate, since my husband got it from his ex, who lies all the time.


Dr. Phil might find Ex a fascinating subject. She is truly certifiable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 12:12PM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: Soft Machine ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 12:49PM

Wow! She really IS a piece of work ;-)

Nice to hear you're thriving and still enjoying life in (currently) sunny Europe ;-)

Tom in Paris

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 12:54PM

They might take in someone with problems and make them worse.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:49PM

Personally, I think the church attracts narcissists. Mormonism appealed to Ex’s need to feel special and above everyone else. She has a rather complicated history. She was the product of an extramarital affair and was put up for adoption. Her adoptive mother was herself very dysfunctional and alienated her from her adoptive father, who was a Merchant Marine. Supposedly, she never met her adoptive father until she was seven years old. Mom married another guy who abused Ex and her mother later had bio kids with him. The story goes that her stepdad abused only her and she was treated differently than her siblings for being adopted.

Ex’s mom and stepdad eventually divorced and mom lived on child support. She did her best to sabotage her children in school. Ex dropped out of high school (which is where she met my husband), but claimed she had gotten into West Point and Rice University and it was her legal adoptive dad’s fault she couldn’t go... (I suspect more lies).

She also met her first husband in high school, had a son, then her husband ran into mine on a military flight from Germany. My husband was an officer while first husband was enlisted, so she dumped him and later showed up in Germany with her toddler aged boy.

She laid on a sob story about being abused and my husband, who was very inexperienced with women, bought it. Ex divorced her first husband, got a quickie marriage to my husband in Denmark, and very quickly got pregnant. Two years after the first daughter, they had another. They were together almost ten years and, according to my husband, it was non stop struggles the whole time.

Ex spent money like a drunken sailor. She’d do things like buy furniture, cars, and even a house when there was little income coming in. She made huge financial decisions on her own and would become a nightmare if people didn’t agree with her. She was truly very abusive— as abusive as any man could be and in all the same ways. But she used being female as a way to play victim. The Mormon church came in three years before they divorced and she used it to maximum benefit to look respectable and get what she wanted.

When I met my husband, he was terrified of her. It’s taken years for him to recover, but I am happy to be part of his life post divorce. He’s making up for those years in spades.

Ex married a third time and followed the same pattern... pregnant within two months of marriage with another kid later. She did her best to get her three older kids to bond with husband #3, but I guess it didn’t work. She went as far as getting my husband’s daughters to change their names and even threatened to get them adopted.

I know sometimes people don’t believe me when I share these stories, but I swear, I have been here to witness the madness. I could write a book. :)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 01:53PM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: Cheryl ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 06:28PM


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Posted by: TheHumanLeague ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 12:41PM

Finally a POSITIVE story...or something worth reading.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:14PM

Cool! Finally contact. When you posted about this I remember thinking this was my worst fear - my wife threatened no contact if we divorced. I told her I would unleash the law as best I could if she did.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:36PM

I knew they would eventually make contact, but I must admit, I didn’t think it would be this way. It’s so far much more civilized and loving than I ever expected. They were very hateful for so many years.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2018 01:36PM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:38PM

I thought it would never happen because I think you talked about his oldest daughter more.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 01:55PM

The older one seemed less alienated. However, she seems to be somewhat less emotionally resilient.

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Posted by: Elder Berry ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 04:21PM

Sorry, I hope they can reconcile one day. It sounds so awful that one parent can do that to the other and with their god's blessing to boot!

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Posted by: frankie ( )
Date: July 10, 2018 08:58PM

I understand your feelings and your husbands feelings very well. My exmo sister has been estranged from my family for years. Even though she only lives 30 miles away. My family is a mixture of exmo children, tbm parents and 1 tbm sister. I have tried to make contact. she would only allow contact through facebook and then cut that off years ago. It hurts, I even got disciplined by my brother in law for leaving a message on this estranged sister's work voicemail whishing her a Happy birthday last year. It hurts.

Congratulations on the progress that is happening in you and your husband's family

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 12:15AM

You were "disciplined" for contacting your sister on her birthday? Wow... That is unbelievable.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2018 12:15AM by knotheadusc.

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Posted by: MexMom ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 12:37AM

It's so good to hear that some family healing is beginning for your dear husband. Awesome news!

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:27AM

I remain cautiously optimistic. As I mentioned before, I never thought it would happen in this way, although I did believe one day we'd hear from them. Hopefully, they will reconcile completely, but I expect there will be some backlash when Ex inevitably finds out she's talking to my husband. Ex is very vindictive and will likely do whatever she can to mess things up.

I think the best thing is to realize that everyone involved is now an adult and free to make their own choices. If things go awry again, at least my husband knows he can survive it. But we'll see what happens. At least younger daughter is getting some perspective she didn't previously have.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: July 11, 2018 01:12PM

My stepdaughter is pulling the same alienation stuff on her ex. Her kids who *shun* visits with him are then treated to hamburgers, fries, and milkshakes at Red Robin, approving pats on the head and you-name-the-reward by her and her mother. Any affection toward their dad is met by silence treatments from her. I believe that their fear is her withholding her love. They are correct--she will.

Alienation is becoming recognized as child abuse, and even a crime in some jurisdictions. I've witnessed it so much on the part of this stepdaughter, that I will soon testify in behalf of the alienated dad.

Damage to children can be life-long, even after they have reconnected with the alienated parent.

There is nothing mysterious about *evil.* It's that kind of thing.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 07:11AM

My husband Skyped with his daughter last night. Evidently, her mother is now treating her the way she used to treat my husband. I also have a sneaking suspicion she has a “friend” in Mesa who is stalking my blog, looking for dirt. I suspect the pressure will be on older daughter to toe the line, since younger daughter a former stepson are now pretty much no contact.

Ex evidently attempted suicide when younger daughters left home and blamed her for the suicide attempt. She now has her youngest daughter with #3 emailing about her suicidal tendencies...

What a mess.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: July 12, 2018 08:59AM


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2018 11:09AM by kathleen.

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Posted by: kathleen ( )
Date: July 13, 2018 12:11PM

Knotty, just be careful.

I deleted my second post—-it didn’t seem to be what I meant to say to you.

I’ve seen so much parental alienation, both personally and professionally.

The dynamic changes when these children reach adulthood. That’s why DH and I are intervening in the case of our grandchildren while they are young—-at least one of them anyway.

Bear in mind, the kids were not only victimized, but also trained. Once they reach adulthood, they can become opportunistic while making the once-alienated parent believe they have their child back.

Hopefully, I’m all wrong here in the case of your hubby, just be careful.

Love to you.

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Posted by: knotheadusc ( )
Date: July 14, 2018 09:56AM

Believe me, I am not totally buying into it yet. Like I said before, I barely know her and her brother screwed us over before her. But her behavior is not like his was. My husband wants to give her a chance, so I support that.

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