So I had my former stepson over for his 13th birthday. We were originally supposed to see a movie, but he decided he wanted to rent one On Demand, which was fine. We also played some Wii. I would have sold the game system ages ago to cover something silly like food expenses or my well-overdue medical bills from a series of endoscopies, but he loves the game and it’s something we do together. I never touch it otherwise.
He, his mother, and his grandparents were going out to dinner, and I was invited along, but I declined. I know this sounds selfish, but I really had my heart set on watching the big football game tonight between my Steelers and their most hated rival, Baltimore. With dinner being at 6 and the game at 8:30, I might not have missed much of it, but I had the erroneous thought I might take a nap before the game since I have to return to work tomorrow after a week off and I go in at 5 a.m.
The other thing would have been how strange it would be to sit with my ex-wife and ex-in-laws conversing over dinner. I hate her for dropping me (twice) and for shacking up with my replacement. I know the focus should be his birthday, and I should maybe put my angst aside for that, but I can’t, and I’m not entirely convinced I should. How long am I supposed to be the nice guy, hanging in for the child that’s not his when no expectation of the same seems to be made of the new man? How long should I be expected to act like a member of the family from which I was evicted?
The guilt, of course, kicks in nonetheless for putting my needs, wants and feelings over his. I don’t think he is or will be hung up about it, but I still feel a little shitty anyway.
This is a slippery road, but I stayed good friends with both my ex daughter-in-laws, our relationship going from in-law to friend. If you are invited to these birthday parties by your ex and her parents, maybe they see you as a friend. Go to the next affair when invited and if you are treated well, then you know they value you for your friendship.
I appreciate the input, especially as it’s from your experienced perspective. The problem is that I don’t value my ex’s very much one-sided “friendship”. She’s very much one to take advantage of one’s generosity (trust me on this), and I would very much like to not deal with her at all. If it wasn’t for her son, I’d be the proverbial blip on the radar that just disappears.
Always difficult when friendship is one-sided. But for the love of a child, things can be difficult. Marie offers some sound advice. It’s up to you if you feel it is worth a relationship with a step-son.
~Victoria Marie Lees