If you knew my husband, I think you'd understand even more why I take the position I do. There are a lot of jerks out there who probably deserve some of the vitriol lobbed their way. My husband is not one of those guys. He's kind, decent, considerate and very loving. He's responsible and nurturing. I would have loved it if my own father had been more like my husband is, although my dad isn't really a bad guy, either. He's just an alcoholic with a temper and lots of personal problems he's never dealt with. My parents never divorced, so I'm also one who has never had to deal with being a child of divorce. I did have to deal with being a child of an alcoholic, though, which in many ways may be worse.
Growing up, I had friends who had divorced parents. A couple of my friends were being raised by parents who'd had previous relationships, so they had half and step brothers and sisters. Most of my friends seemed to get along with their parents and stepparents, though I do remember a few who, when they turned 18, suddenly decided to change their names. I didn't know what that was about back then, but I do now. I'm sure a lot of it has to do with kids punishing their bio dads for not being there for them. I can understand wanting to do that, I guess... especially if their father truly wasn't around for them.
My husband's ex wife got her son's name changed to my husband's when her boy was little. Then, when she and my husband split up, she tried to get my husband's daughters adopted. My husband would not allow it and we made it clear that we would know if she tried to do it on the sly when we busted ex stepson as he tried to change his name while collecting child support from my husband, his ex stepdad (who was never legally his father). When the younger daughter turned 18, sure enough, their names changed to their stepdad's. I don't know if they got adopted by him or not... Since younger stepdaughter called my husband's dad and apparently still sees him as family, I'm guessing it was just a legal name change. Adoptions are more expensive and final and I'm sure ex thinks we will eventually divorce. Most of the people in her sphere eventually split up.
Besides, if the girls are faithful Mormons, they'll probably get married before long. And it also really wouldn't surprise me if my husband's daughters one day contacted him. Their brother contacted his dad (a true deadbeat who quit paying child support when the boy was 6) 15 years after their last visit. Ex seems to put people back in touch when it suits her agenda and she feels things have blown over. Of course, as long as I'm around, she'll probably be less inclined to send them my husband's way.
For me, coming from a very solid family with little divorce, all of this is very bizarre, especially since the ex and her kids are all Mormons, a church that preaches that family comes first. Before I knew my husband, I had a positive view of Mormons. Most of the members I'd met had seemed like nice enough people. But then, once I got involved with my husband and started learning more about the church, it seemed very toxic and culty. Ex did her best to use the church as a tool to break up the family. While I know that not every Mormon does what my husband's ex did, I do know now that the "families are forever" mantra only applies if everyone stays in the church, pays, prays, obeys, and believes. So it's easily used as a means of control and, in fact, makes an excellent tool for parental alienation. That's one of the main reasons why I don't like the church. It's very rigid and doesn't allow for people to live and let live.
A woman I "know" in my online life is LDS and has often indignantly explained to me that the church has no doctrine that calls for parental alienation. She is herself a stepmother to her husband's five kids. She had two from her marriage to a Catholic and has had two more with her current husband, and is now pregnant again at age 43! Her husband's kids are pretty messed up; their mother also seems to have a character disorder. But they've had contact with the kids, so their situation is different than ours is. And this woman is quite entrenched in the church and doesn't seem able to see things from my perspective. She's actually a pretty good person, from what I can tell. But she's got a blind spot when it comes to Mormonism. She thinks I hate Mormons. I don't. It's the church I don't like, even as I know that what happened to my husband would have happened regardless. Like I said, the church was just a tool.
This video was made by my online friend, Weird Wilbur... This is the first video of his that I ever watched; someone had posted it on RfM. I later moved on to his comedy songs, which are pretty hilarious. Wilbur made this video when he was married to his former wife, whom he recently divorced (very long story there). I think he makes some very good points about Mormonism, though admittedly in not a very respectful way...
Anyway, I think if I had known my husband's daughters and things were more normal... i.e. their mother was sane, I probably would have been a decent stepmother. That's not to say there wouldn't have been occasional spats; but from the beginning, I recognized that I wasn't their mother and had no wish to take on that role. I understood that time with their dad would be precious. I would have been willing to step back and let them visit; and, in fact, sent my husband to spend Christmas with their kids alone (which I was later slammed for doing). Unfortunately, our situation is such that no matter what I did, it would be wrong and twisted to be used against me. I love my husband and I don't think I could find another like him, so I'm willing to deal with it. Occasionally, I do need to come here and vent, though. I don't have a shrink anymore. And I know my friends are tired of hearing about it. Fortunately, the older we all get, the less this shit matters.