I read your posts, and most bring back memories of raising my stepchildren (two boys, one girl), and dealing with their narcissistic mother. I can relate to being SO hurt by the hurt she caused her own children, and STILL can't understand how a mother could do what she did (and does) to her own kids.
However, now that time has passed and my own children are grown, I have a different perspective... I've had to ask myself for almost 20 years how a FATHER could do what my ex-husbands did to my son and daughter. That drives me to the fridge and pantry more than the stepkids' bio-mom ever did.
I first gained a huge amount of weight in my second marriage, following a vicious court battle with their mom (full custody was reaffirmed to their father). It wasn't HER that pushed my buttons and sent me binging for comfort; once in awhile, but not constantly. It was the change in my husband's behavior.
You know when you're younger, and you THINK you're fat, but then you REALLY gain weight and can only WISH you could be as "thin" as you were when you thought you were "fat"? That's me!
I couldn't handle my husband's change in attitude, probably because I couldn't explain it and he wouldn't. The custody suit was triggered by me getting pregnant - my DD, whom we worked hard to create for a year - so I spent my pregnancy, her birth and newborn months, with lawyers and in court.
We may have won the (court) battle, but in the end I lost the war. Of course, it was a roller coaster of emotions; but *I* thought his ex had finally proved to him that she couldn't be trusted, and just how truly evil she is (it's complicated - basically she said she'd cause me to miscarry if he didn't give up custody).
After court, my husband remained strong against his ex-wife (that is, for a few years); but he turned on me AND rejected our newborn baby. We never regained the cohesiveness we had had before as a couple, despite separations and intense marriage counseling. We divorced ten years later.
The problems that ultimately caused our final separation, and showed me
I had no chance to save my marriage, were EXACTLY the same issues that caused so many problems during and after that first court battle. My precious DD has paid a heavy price for being my daughter her whole life.
I'm in a new stepfamily now - well, "new" in the sense it's my third marriage, but it has been 16+ years that we've been together. Luckily I found SparkPeople to help me with the new emotional hurdles I faced as our new family struggled to bond. (My kids accepted their SF 100%; but SD and me, not so easy.)
I am VERY lucky and blessed to have FINALLY found a man who consistently acts appropriately towards his ex-wife. He also has an excellent relationship with his mother. Don't kid yourself, like I did with my 2nd husband - that's a big factor in how a man treats his wife. Our disputes have been few.
My DH manages to balance being DF (and GF) with SF and DH, and DS to elderly parents. As far as his ex, we seem to always be "on the same page"; since the very start, he's proven his support of me by his actions. And yet, over these many years I still found reasons to binge, very few step-related!
When I had been on Spark for awhile, I realized that I binge because of ME, and that I'll ALWAYS be able to find a reason... That was an AH-HA moment, and helped me START to face and deal with the emotional aspects of my eating. Recognizing triggers was another set of "ah ha" moments.
One bit of advice I'd like to offer: if the bio-mom's actions make you crazy (whether you want to binge, the stress causes insomnia, whatever it is),
WHAT IS YOUR DH DOING IN THE SITUATION?
Is he a good support to you? Is he "there" for his kids? Can you talk to him?
Is he absent due to work, or because he withdraws? Do you feel like too much of the responsibility has been put in your lap, without the freedom and power to react accordingly? Most of all, do you need him to do something different?
Without the remarriage, there is NO stepfamily; therefore, the strength of the family relies on the marriage of the parent(s) and stepparent(s). In my years of experience working with stepfamilies in support groups, how a couple treats EACH OTHER is the main indicator of whether or not the family survives.
GOOD LUCK & BEST WISHES TO ALL!!!
Edited by: MIMAWELIZABETH at: 11/4/2012 (06:40)
My son Scott's memorial: www.youtube.com/watch?v=AopgOKaOUwY
Co-Leader on LET'S TRY THIS AGAIN Team
"I'm not telling you it's going to be easy.
I'm telling you it's going to be worth it."
"Life isn't about how to survive the storm,
but how to dance in the rain."
| Pounds lost: 58.0