* All of the kids have to stay at the table during homework time until everyone is done (the kids' grades range from K-5, so definitely different amounts of homework). This is apparently being done so that the kids still doing homework aren't disturbed by the ones who are playing. Apparently, they've never heard of these neat concepts: Play Outside and Go Up To Your Room and Close The Door. Someone ought to let them know about those. (As an aside, I'm an educator, and I don't think that's a sound idea. It's going to breed resentment, especially when they get older.)
*On someone's birthday, they have to go around the room and all say something nice about the person having a birthday. I guess that XWH and the Owife take this little ritual as proof that they are doing the right thing-- look at how our kids say nice things about each other. Sure, it has nothing to do with the fact that they're being coerced into saying nice things by the adults. Nothing at all.
*As previously mentioned, the big shows that are now put on for birthdays, and even though they already celebrated DD's birthday yesterday because the stepsiblings were there and won't be there this weekend, they must have ANOTHER celebration with DD on her actual day with a friend over, decorations, etc. ETA: XWH barely wanted to celebrate once when we did the kids' birthdays, and now, the kids have multiple celebrations with him and the Owife.
If XWH had really been into this sort of thing, then I really wouldn't think much of it. But this is such an incredible departure from the person I was with for 17 years that I can only think of it as cult-like behavior, like when a person seems to change radically because he's been brainwashed by a charismatic cult leader. I don't think that the Owife has brainwashed XWH-- it's more like the two of them are cult leaders who are trying to brainwash the kids into believing that they are an amazingly close family because look at all of the loving things they do together!
I just hope that my kids don't buy it. I'm sure that the lure of all of this fuzzy, warm, married parent activity is very strong. Perhaps it seems more normal to them than life at single Mom's house. Cult leader I am not.
[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 7:50 PM, October 3rd (Thursday)]
That being said it would appear to me that doing superficial shit (such as you have described) is par for the course of these waywards.
Your kids will see him for what he really is in time. I say this as a person from a divorce situation in which my dad still tries to be Disney dad - and I am not a child anymore
"I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel". –Maya Angelou
"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be". –
They are made to stay at the table until everyone is finished eating and they are not allowed to start eating until everyone is seated. If they leave the table while people are eating then they have to go to bed. The wifestress' kids aggravate mine by prolonging it or take excessive time to sit down so then they have to eat a cold meal.
They are also not allowed to eat between meals so no snacks at all.
There is many other 'new' rules too
Nobody has been brainwashed. This sounds pretty typical for the insta-family.
My 5 year old complains to me that OWUmpteen is always there for their 'Family Dinner' (yeah, the sad clown and his three children) - "But she isn't my family?". Always posed as a question.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. When someone has no real control they start controlling the world around them in crazy ways.
Two sandwiches short of a picnic the both of them.
It's all total bullshit. Just give it some time before reality sets in and the cracks start to form. These types of people can't stay committed to ANYTHING (obviously). They'll grow tired of putting forth all this effort and the real personalities will surface once again. Remember, they're still in damage control mode now and will be for at least the first year. Your kids - at least the older ones - will see right through it if they haven't already. Once the older ones know, the younger ones will catch on quick - older siblings influence younger siblings through the things they say and the actions they take. Believe me, it's only a matter of time.
The second thing is that they are totally and completely full of shit. They are false. As we Italians like to say, they are nothing but a "fugasi".
The problem here is that your asshole ex brought the kids around OW and married her very quickly after your D. That means they haven't had time yet for the cracks in the foundation to come to light. Don't worry, they will.
I felt a lot of pain over this stuff too. It didn't necessarily involve my kids because ex couldn't bring the slunt around them for a while. But, I'm in a small community here and slunt has a big mouth so I heard about all sorts of shit that he never did with me that he decided to do with her. I'm talking exotic vacations, sports and activities, etc. Like you, I thought, "who the hell is this guy??". And, like you may be thinking at times, I thought she just must be better than me for him to make such a change.
Now? That is all a crock of shit. Nearly three years later, a common household and a total of four kids EOW, those cracks in their foundation are shining through like a m-ER f-ER.
There are no more exotic vacations. Slunt doesn't brag about sexy time anymore. It's clear that the kids drive her nuts and that his true personality and habits, which are all out there now, drives her nuts. She yells at him on the regular and uses his weakness to try to force him to discipline our kids the same as hers, and to essentially throw her kids into the forefront. She is jealous and horribly insecure. He has to be glued to her hip or she pitches a fit. They have almost no money and he lost his reputation and whatever respect his friends, family and co workers had for him. He now isolates with a few trashy people that she hangs out with.
Oh sure, they try to put on a show with the kids every once in a while with their ridiculous rules and goofy ass "traditions", but again, it's all fake. Nothing but smoke and mirrors. If she could have him back where he was - in secret A mode with full access to my salary, she would. I guarantee that.
Trust me, my friend, these leopards never change their spots. He will try to keep up with her demands and rules for as long as he can stand it. Once he's had it, this stepford wife, Brady bunch, we're all perfect parents crap will stop. Its inevitable. The time just hasn't passed enough in your case for reality to truly sink in. It will and then you will see that he didn't make a drastic departure from who he really is - he just covered himself up for a while.
Maybe they think that acting like a model family will make them something more than the lying, immoral assholes they are.
You can grow flowers in manure but it still smells like shit.
[This message edited by Housefulloflove at 2:15 PM, October 4th (Friday)]