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why are people so selfish?

November 18th, 2009 at 03:16 am

I know this is not financial, but it is really frustrating me and I have to get it out somewhere. And I know a lot of you are parents, and a few of you are step-parents, so I hope I can get either some insight or understanding on this matter.

To be honest, this issue does not even concern me. The only way it relates to me is that it is about a friend - and it is annoying me. So I realise I should stick my nose elsewhere - but that is exactly what I'm doing - I'm sticking it here! Big Grin


So, I have this friend (the same one I mentioned that has an addiction to gambling and racked up $2k on her credit card doing so). Let's call her E.

E has been with her partner N for nearly 3 years. They have two boys together, a 2 year old and 8 month old. N has an 11 year old son from a previous relationhip. The 11yo lives with his mother and visits E & N on some weekends and some holidays.

E does not like the 11yo boy. I guess it probably stems from the 11yo not initially warming to her. She is not nice to him, doesn't include him in things with the other two boys etc etc.

Obviously this has gotten back to the mother of the 11yo and she is not happy about the situation. It has caused strain on the relationship between the two exes and strain between N and E, as N does not like the way E treats his son either.

The 11yo forgets things sometimes, and leaves them at N & E's house. The mother of 11yo gets annoyed at this and has told him if he keeps forgetting things he won't be allowed to visit his father and will have to do day-trips, as they live far apart and it is a hassle to retrieve the things he forgets. N offered to post any items his son forgets, so that it doesn't cause the mother hassle and he still gets to see his son.
In light of this knowledge, E now HIDES things that 11yo forgets, in the hopes that he gets in trouble so he doesn't visit.

Apparently this has all been going on for quite a while, and a mutual friend just told me the other day that the mother of 11yo (so - N's ex) sent E an email. In it she suggested they meet face to face as they never have before, sort out their differences so that 11yo can have a good relationship with his father. She went on to say that she is unhappy with the way that E treats her son, and that he should not be excluded the way he is, that E should behave like an adult and accept that 11yo is a part of her family. She also said that she thinks E might have postnatal depression and that she would really like to help her out with any issues she might be facing. She then said if this cannot be worked out then for the well being of her son she will be forced to stop N seeing his son, as E's negative attitude towards him is affecting his self-esteem.

E's reaction to this email, she sent in a text message to our mutual friend, was that 'how dare she speak to me like that and tell me what I am thinking. Post natal depression, what a load of rubbish. I am NOT meeting with her, and her son is NOT a part of my family so why should I treat him like it? And really, it's no bother to me if 11yo never visits again anyway, so why do I care?'
To make matters worse, the father, N, has no idea any of this is going on. He probably only sees the tip of the iceberg, when E excludes his son in front of his eyes - and he does pick E up on it when he sees it. So he thinks he is putting a stop to it, but in fact it is so far from the truth.


Is it just me, or is this friend of mine being a horrible, selfish, insensitive, uncaring b****?
The sad thing is that she doesn't know I know any of the latest developments, and I know that she won't talk about it with me because we don't really talk about subjects like that - we are not really close. But I am disappointed because the one person she has chosen to tell, our mutual friend, is one of those types that will never say what is on her mind and will just agree with E to keep the peace.
So, even though we are not close, it still really affects me because I keep thinking about it and feeling sad for that poor little 11 year old boy who is stuck in the middle of all this.

It seems like every couple of weeks I hear something E has done or is doing, and I lose a little bit more respect for her each time. Honestly now, I don't think I could stand to look at her. *sigh*

Why do people do these things? What exactly is going through their minds that makes them think what they're doing is alright?

8 Responses to “why are people so selfish?”

  1. miclason Says:

    No. She is being a total b****, and, the kid is HER SONS' BROTHER!!! if not for the poor 11 yo, she should think about her sons... this will affect them, too... I could understand if she didn{t include the kid in activities because of the age difference, but, she{s just being mean... Frown

  2. momcents Says:

    There is no excuse for what E is doing. Kudos to the mother of the boy for standing up for her son (though she seems a bit unreasonable about her son losing things). The father should be ashamed of himself for allowing his girlfriend to treat his son like that. To intentionally be mean to a child is just not right and especially if his esteem is negatively impacted. Can you tell the father exactly what the girlfriend is doing? Sounds to me like she is immature and jealous, and sad thing is she is a mother herself. Just my two cents ...

  3. buddy Says:

    Yikes! What if someone were doing this to her kids?

  4. fern Says:

    E. is acting like an immature jerk; having had 3 step-parents, I'm familiar with the complexities of step-parent/step-child relationships. However, like it or not, the 11 year old IS a part of her life and being the responsible adult she is obligated to make her husband's child feel welcome. She may not love him the way she loves her own children, but she should really not exclude him or treat him differently in any way.

    that being said, the 11 year old's mother was wrong to intervene and speak in such an demanding and confrontational way; that will only cement E.'s dislike of the boy becus what the boy really represents to E. is her husband's former relationship with another woman. The 11 year old's mother should have spoken to her ex-husband about it and had him intervene. It's too easy for him to avoid getting involved, but that's the only way the situation can be worked out.

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    No, this friend of yours is just a terrible person for mistreating a child like this. And unfortunately, she is also in the role of a parent....

    Given my own personal experience and general personality, I could not be friends with someone like that for long. At least not without chewing her out for treating a child so poorly.

  6. firstthingsfirst Says:

    I agree... sounds like your friend has alot of growing up to do. Especially since she is a parent herself, it seems that she'd be better prepared to handle the situation with the 11-year-old.

    Plus, she should realize that eventually (if her boyfriend is any kind of dad at all) her mistreatment of his other son will lead to big problems in the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Wouldn't she be surprised if he moved on and found someone else, who would treat all 3 of his sons decently. I hope she wakes up soon for the child's sake.

  7. ceejay74 Says:

    That would weigh on my mind too if I were you. In fact, it's weighing on me now, thinking about that little boy feeling unwanted and demoralized just because she can't be bothered to try and be nice to him for his and his father's sake. Some good advice about the father getting informed and involved, though I doubt there's any way to make that happen from where you are. Frown

  8. Jerry Says:

    What a mess. Yes, she's completely out of line, and it can't lead to anything good for her, her husband, or any of the kids - and they are all involved. The fact is, acting like this is only insurance that the current relationship can't progress as it should, either. Again... what a mess. Sorry about all that.

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