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Old 09-29-2018, 01:28 PM
 
7,960 posts, read 17,600,009 times
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My wife passed away from a terminal illness this past January. I had played an increasingly active role as her caregiver over the last eleven years, particularly the last two.

We moved during the summer of 2017 to be near her daughters and grandchildren based on her specialist estimating she had up to two years to live. I wasn't particularly excited about the new metropolitan area but she sold me on the idea that I was not getting any younger - I am in my late 40s; she was approaching traditional retirement age - and would benefit from the support system of her family when the time came.

We had long shared our intentions to buy a home here that fit our respective needs. Upon arrival, they encouraged us to instead rent a small apartment very close to them and I "could do what [i] want" after my wife's time had come. We were baffled and didn't yet understand this was a harbinger of things to come.

We did indeed end up buying a home about 25 miles/45 minutes away from the furthest daughter. After relocating (and many road trips) from over 1000 miles away, we thought this was reasonable. They reacted in passive-aggressive ways I won't get into here.

A series of events happened after my wife's passing where her daughters made it clear they were no longer interested in a relationship with me. Some of it may be estate-related...but I've come to the conclusion that they never intended for me to be part of their life once they didn't have to.

So to compound what is already an expected level of grieving for my wife, I'm dealing with betrayal and loneliness in an area far from loved ones and a familiar lifestyle. Yet, after just literally getting my house in order, I am not eager to pack up and head back closer to home. I get angry at times because I feel like we were set up.

I guess I am venting...and wondering if some here might relate to aspects of what I'm dealing with.

Last edited by FindingZen; 09-29-2018 at 01:38 PM..
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Old 09-29-2018, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,845 posts, read 51,301,408 times
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I understand. When there is a second marriage, the children of the first often have mixed feelings. I've been on both sides of that. I prefer not to discuss details in open forum.

What I will say is; for your well being and theirs, cut it off now. You likely weren't intentionally "set up," but the dynamics are totally different now that your wife is gone. If her first marriage ended in divorce, there is almost a guarantee the kids grew up in a dysfunctional family and have their own issues. From what you stated, is seems apparent that they expect you to re-marry and move out of their lives. Let 'em go. Dwelling on them is not a path to finding Zen.
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Old 09-29-2018, 03:39 PM
 
7,960 posts, read 17,600,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I understand. When there is a second marriage, the children of the first often have mixed feelings. I've been on both sides of that. I prefer not to discuss details in open forum.

What I will say is; for your well being and theirs, cut it off now. You likely weren't intentionally "set up," but the dynamics are totally different now that your wife is gone. If her first marriage ended in divorce, there is almost a guarantee the kids grew up in a dysfunctional family and have their own issues. From what you stated, is seems apparent that they expect you to re-marry and move out of their lives. Let 'em go. Dwelling on them is not a path to finding Zen.
Thank you for your thoughts, harry.

My wife was divorced and primarily raised her children from that point on. I can see how, especially with the circumstances she shared, how that would have a negative impact on all of them.

Other than some estate resolution that is being handled by third parties, we have not directly communicated since February.

I do feel that I can connect the dots with aspects their behavior towards me/us upon our arrival and their actions after her passing. Perhaps it was part of their pre-grieving that they were preparing for me not to be around, despite the tangible commitment my wife and I made in purchasing a home. I have to presume they didn't have the heart to tell us their intentions.

I dwell upon them less as of late but cannot help but reflect from time to time.
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Old 09-30-2018, 05:17 AM
 
Location: Arizona
5,577 posts, read 4,782,672 times
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I only know of one case where the step parent has a relationship with the kids after their spouse's death and that is only a yearly visit.

Her kids want to move on with their lives. I know this is hard to accept after what you have been through but did you think you would be socializing and spending holidays with them? Your connection to them is gone. When they encouraged you to rent and then do what you want afterward it was being as blunt as they could be since their mother was still alive.

You're not the only one that found themselves in this situation. It doesn't seem right after caring for their mom and I am sure treating her children well. Unfortunately they feel they have/had a father and it isn't you. As bad as it sounds steps are usually temporary the same as in laws when the related spouse dies.

You mention estate related. Any non financial assets of your spouse should be going to her kids. Things such as jewelry and items from her side of the family such as things that belonged to their grandparents.


I'm sorry about how some of this sounds and hope you don't take any of this the wrong way. I've spent my time as a caregiver and I don't think anyone completely recovers from that. I hope that in time you will start a new life in a different area. You are still relatively young, at least compared to me.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:11 AM
 
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Thank you, thinkalot. I'm sorry for whatever grief you are still dealing with from your own time as a caregiver.

My own anecdotal data is less than scientific, but...

When my stepmother died, her children and grandchildren continued to keep in touch with my father. The dynamic may be different in that my Dad helped raise the grandchildren at some point. Even I would still have a cordial relationship with all of them, were I to see them again.

A consoling friend told me that she and her siblings wished to maintain a relationship with their stepfather after their mother died but it was he who withdrew.

"Did you think you would be socializing and spending holidays with them?" Frankly, yes..and so did their mother. I didn't expect them to spend every weekend with me - especially after griping about the distance - but I thought I might see them several times a year including some holidays. I feel I had a lot to offer to the family, especially memories if not also another adult role model, that they could have benefited from.

Regarding the estate, I'm not opposing them on any personal property that belonged to their mother. I had prepared to give them some of it during our last interaction and they rejected it...and that was well before I found I was legally required to do so. There are other issues that need to be settled that mostly require their mere signatures. It may tak

If I really wanted to sell the home and move back towards home, I could probably absorb the loss on closing costs and such. I'm just not eager to pack up again after such an extended effort to get mountains of boxes *un*packed. But once the aforementioned estate issues are resolved, I may re-examine whether such near-term discomfort in relocating again is greater or less than the longer-term discomfort of being in a place where I'm not very comfortable.
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Old 09-30-2018, 06:12 AM
 
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Oh and to be clear: yes, I am seeing a therapist and am about to join a grief support group. I just wanted to know if anyone could relate to the situation I have been going through.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:37 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
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I have no advice to give - just want to see I'm sorry for the double whammy you have been hit with.
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Old 09-30-2018, 07:54 AM
 
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Thank you chiluvr1228, I appreciate it.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:25 AM
ERH
 
Location: Cary, NC
1,030 posts, read 1,490,687 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FindingZen View Post
"Did you think you would be socializing and spending holidays with them?" Frankly, yes..and so did their mother. I didn't expect them to spend every weekend with me - especially after griping about the distance - but I thought I might see them several times a year including some holidays. I feel I had a lot to offer to the family, especially memories if not also another adult role model, that they could have benefited from.
My husband and his siblings are living a similar scenario. Their mother remarried about 32 years ago, when the kids were 18, 12, and 6 (the 18yo had already moved out of the family home).

As adults, the siblings and their spouses tolerate the stepfather's existence purely for their mother's sake. He's a nice enough guy, but they each had and continue to have strong relationships with their father, and thus have no need for a "replacement."

While we are glad that he has been a good partner to their mother, we have no intention of including him in family gatherings should my mother-in-law pass away first (she is about 10 years older than him). She would be heartbroken and angry to know this, so nothing will ever be said. Compounding the situation, he has a disability that will become increasingly bothersome as he ages, should she not be in the picture. None of the siblings are going to step up and become his caregiver, but that is also an unspoken assumption by their mother.

I cannot speak to your situation, OP, but I would venture to say this is more common than not. Family dynamics are extremely complex. I can tell you firsthand that my husband's siblings, along with we spouses, feel no obligation to maintain the relationship with the stepfather when the mother is no longer in the picture.
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Old 09-30-2018, 08:33 AM
 
15,824 posts, read 18,440,406 times
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So sorry for your loss.

Obviously you and your wife chose to buy a home....and you did so knowing that your wife was going to pass away soon.

It seems that you are hurt because her kids do not want to continue a relationship with you. Did you have a real relationship with them prior to your wife's passing? Did you spend time without your wife being part of this time with them?

I think perhaps you feel betrayed now because you thought that they really cared about you personally....when they obviously only cared about you in relation to their mother....and they perhaps were even taking advantage of you being willing to be her care taker.

I feel badly for you....but you will have to put this into perspective. Regardless of them, you spent time with your wife because you loved her....that is all that matters. If they cannot respect you for that, then they are not worthy of having you in their lives. It is their loss. One day they may mature....and they may realize what an important connection with their mother they gave up when they tossed you aside. Or they won't. Either way, your grief is yours....do not let them sully your grieving process by their blatant disrespect. That is on them.

The other thing is that you can have the peace of mind that comes from doing for your loved one what you should have and giving to her the gift of being close to her family at the last. That was invaluable to her. That will have to be your inner comfort.....that you can raise your head high knowing that you have been a quality partner you have been.

Now grieve, and look for support in your grief from others...there are groups on city data, their are many, many websites online. It will help you if you can try to separate how they are hurting you from your loss of your loved one, because they truly are different issues.

https://www.pinterest.com/counselork...ities/?lp=true

Coping with Grief: Exercises to supplement the book “Transcending Loss” – Ashley Davis Bush, LICSW

https://articles.extension.org/pages...elp-you-grieve

https://healthprep.com/pain-manageme...SAAEgIofvD_BwE
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