My husband met and got engaged to his ex-wife while she (he would find out later) was still married to her second husband. My husband adopted his own son when he married his ex in 1988. They had another son, then she met her fourth husband. She was pregnant when they separated, my husband gave up parental rights to his third child (maybe, it isn't known definitively) and her third child was adopted by husband number four. She went on to have a fourth child with her fourth husband. My husband had custody of his oldest child in 1991/1992 when his ex-wife left. Eventually, she wanted Shan back, so in 1992/1993, my husband gave her custody.
He stayed in close contact with his ex, her new husband, and the children as well as could be expected with them living in California and my husband residing in Florida. In 1994, another military transfer landed the ex and husband number four back in Florida. We also met in 1994.
From 1994 to 2001, we had the children very liberally. They (including my step children's half siblings) spent every weekend and lots of in between time with us. In 2001, they decided that they didn't have time for us any more. They had stopped wanting to visit and their mother was loathe to enforce visitation, so my husband chose to let them be. It is suspected that her fear of them wanting to live permanently with us, which would have stopped her child support payments, caused her to go to extreme measures to keep the children away from us.
In 2007, my oldest step son showed up on our doorstep. He was 20. He had two children and was being sued for support. He did not then, nor does he now have anything to do with his kids. We took him in. He lived with us for a year. That time was awful for our family. My husband's job had slowed down and the there was no overtime to be had. We struggled to buy groceries and clothes for the kids, but, somehow we stretched our means and made room for Shan. While he was with us, he went once a month to drill (Army reserves) and drilled for two weeks in Summer. Most of his pay went directly to child support. The rest he bought games with. He contributed NOTHING during his stay with us. He received a large sign on bonus in 2008 and he returned to his mother's house. He stayed there until recently when the money ran out.
My younger step son joined the Navy. He was away for the majority of the period of time that Shan was with us in '07. In June, Shad was discharged from the Navy. He returned to live with his mother after leaving the service.
In September, the boys' mother put her foot down. She is going through divorce number four, and has no room in her budget for adult children who don't contribute. The boys spent time bouncing between friends' homes until they had exhausted their welcome. Then Shad reconciled with his mother and returned to her home for five weeks while Shan stayed with us.
The problems started when Shad showed up on my doorstep. The situation around our house deteriorated very quickly until I threw both of them out. The boys then went to stay with my husband's brother, and then his sister. On Thanksgiving, my husband called his family to let them know (the condensed version) of what had happened and encouraged them to close their doors to the boys, as they had stolen from us, were violent, and unpredictable.
When the boys found out that they were no longer welcome with my husband's family, they returned to our house making yet more threats and trying to kick down the door. I physically blocked the door to prevent my husband from going after the boys. The neighbors scared them off. Their father procured restraining orders against them yesterday. I am hoping that they will stay away.
I shared the lengthy and complicated family history because I wanted to shed some light on why the boys might be as messed up as they are. It is not to say that their mother didn't do a good job raising them, it was more to explain that their formative years were very unstable. In hindsight, maybe we should have forced the boys to spend the time with us, maybe it would have made a difference. Maybe not.
Their problems at the moment are centered around the fact that they want me gone. They want my husband to believe that I have made mistakes similar to their own mother, and that I am unworthy to be his wife. No, I'm not speculating, they actually said this. They believe that if they can just get rid of me and my children, their dad will give them the house to stay in and that he'll support them, while they try to grow up. Again, their words, not mine.
If only they were mature enough to see that what they want will never come to pass. My husband came to this country as a young man. He has supported himself since then, doing anything from washing dishes, to serving, to finally engineering. He put himself through college, and then through graduate school. My husband doesn't believe in free rides. We are at an impasse. I hope that the boys move on. Maybe go to their mother's family in Virginia, or better yet Morocco. I just want to be able to move forward from here.
The damage that they have done is extensive. They have cast aspersions on my character with my husband's family, who already believes me to be the Great White Satan, so this was certainly not a welcome happening. They have hurt me and my children in ways that I can barely begin to describe. I have loved those kids for many years now, most of their lives, really. It is very hard to come to terms with them not reciprocating the love that I had for them, but worse still, outright hating me.
Then there are my children, who worshipped their oldest brother. The same brother that has made threats against their lives and stolen from them. How do we mend this hole in their hearts? How can I help them come to terms with something that I, as an adult, am struggling with?
My husband's heart is broken. He is absolutely crushed. It is said that time heals all wounds...I'm not so sure that is true.
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4 days ago