HELP TROUBLEMAKING EX-WIFE

Christine - posted on 01/01/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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We are a blended family, his: a boy 7, girl 11, mine: boy, 13, girl 11, boy 7 and a 2 year old girl together. Our own little Brady Bunch. 6 TOTAL. I have great difficulty with both step-children as they have acquired their mothers rude and ignorant behaviors to a point that they say absolutely nothing to me not even acknowledgment of presence and have learned to do the same to their step-siblings. Which has left my children perplexed. This family unit has been together for approximately 5 years and throughout these 5 years we have tirelessly attempted to be a family. However, our hopes are always dashed after the ex-wife catches wind that the children are getting along or that the children find that I am nice. She has even gone to the extent of trying to interfere with my marriage by contacting me to say my husband has begged her to move into her basement. She is unable to drop-off/pick-up the children off without a grand entrance and at least a 20 minute stay at my in-laws home and refuses to comply with visitation (time frames)
as ordered, as she excessively over-schedules. It is obvious to everyone she has no intention of letting my husband go (despite his remarriage to me) and for whatever reason she is threatened by me. As a result the children have learned through her to ignore me as if I was an inanimate object as well as their step-siblings which they withdraw from immediately, after their mother has wind that things are well. I don't have this trouble with my ex or my children, and I feel that over time the situation will become hostile as I have kept my mouth shut despite her comments and attempts to make scenes at the childrens sports events. Though she probably feels she has won at her game. I have since decided it best that she is unstable as are the children and in effort to protect my children there is now little to no contact between the two sets of children. I cannot expect my children to be insulted and hurt any longer and I will not permit it. The kids have also asked that they have no further involvement with his children because of this same disappointment. I keep scarce and have no involvement with visitation but I have grown quite tired of his ex over stepping her bounds. PLEASE HELP!

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Diane - posted on 01/01/2010

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Quoting Christine :

He's in the picture. He writes off the ex as a mentally unstable psycho for the most part. Therefore, the less contact the better. Which she makes virtually impossible. However, I think after all this time he has decided that its not worth the aggravation. I am grudgingly learned to stay away from my step-kids because of the dysfunction and bad example it sets for our new child. Not to mention I am tired of being placed in a situation that makes me appear as if I am making him choose between his time with his prior kids and me and our child. Because all too often my protest to him of his ex's wife controlling is misconstrued as interfering, jealousy and insecurity. None of which are true. Unfortunately, I am disappointed in myself in that I have greatly sacrificed for these disrespectful children at the expense of my own. That is a burden I have to bear but one that has taught me a great deal.


I am sorry honey. Really. It truly can't be easy living in this situation and my heart just goes out to you. I was thinking that I forgot to ask if you have tried family counseling?? Sometimes that can really help get you and hubby on the same page, but also help your kids cope too. Hang in there, you are doing the best you can!!

Diane - posted on 01/01/2010

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My first thought when I read your post was....where is your husband in this?? It is his kids, and his ex, so it's his problem and he has to step up and take care of it!! Why is he letting the kids disrespect you like that??? No way should kids that age disrespect an adult no matter what the situation is! But the thing is, you are his wife, and he should be very upset that you are getting hurt like this. He should be making sure his ex knows that treating you disrespectfully is just not going to be allowed. After all, someday she will have a new person in her life if she doesn't already and she would want the kids to treat him with respect too!!! But the only thing you can do is love them, and try to treat them differently than your own when they are there (it's hard right now I am sure) but you need to so that someday it will sink in that you are family, you are there to stay, and that you care about them. If you want a relationship with them in the future, then you really need to make sure that they know you care now too.

Tera - posted on 01/01/2010

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I know what you are going through all to well. I have been dealing with my fiancee's ex since day one and omg !!! I am so over it . His children are starting to ignore me and act out toward my children also . I have spoke to my fiancee about all this and he has been trying so hard to make his boys understand that I am not the enemy , we are a family that loves each other and will be there for each other when no one else will . I know it seems like there is no hope and it is a losing battle , but I am still holding on to the small gleam of hope that one day something will happen and they will see that I love them for them and never was or will come between them and their father !! I think you are doing the right things right now and over time I hope that things get better and easier for you . But remeber , ANYTHING WORTH HAVING IS NEVER EASY TO GET OR TO HOLD ON TO !!! Best of luck .

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Barbara - posted on 03/05/2010

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I have read many of these comments, and can relate to so much that has been said. I am also in a blended famly after I decided to accept my fiance's proposol, and live with him. I can honestly write a book, and it could easily be a best seller. However, I believe everything happens for a reason, and for all the challenges we face in life, it will either make us stronger, or destroy us, ( jeportize our health ). It is really our choice. It first starts in living with the truth. live with integrity, and keep love and understanding in our hearts. I think no matter what happens in life, we will always encounter the vampire energy drainers, as I call them. Remember young children are innocent, and they want love and acceptance too, even the older ones. Keep in mind, that when you are dealing with difficult people, (ex's), that they are the one's that need to be healed the most, So easy to judge them as awful and disturbed humans. Don't I know it. Been there, and done it. It continues to be a challenge. I am starting all over at age 50, with 4 additional children ages 8-17, and a very challenging ex. (his). It's been 3 and half years now. But the real test in this journey in life, is how we choose to react to situations and people. I was told by a wise person, that the best way to confuse a difficult person, is to SEND them THOUGHTS of LOVE and LIGHT. It's been alot more peaceful now, since I have been doing this.



Stay strong, and believe in yourself. Focus on your family, Pray, meditate, and/or find your own internal moments of peace.

Jen - posted on 03/04/2010

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It sounds to me like your husband doesn't get that, while the dysfunction is related to both his kids and his ex, when you complain about the ex, it's separate from the kids. Even you have said that it's the ex's behavior that his kids are mimicking, so she's the problem, not the kids. It's sad, but she's just using the kids as a pawn to get at you. It's tricky to deal with and feels almost impossible to resolve. I've never met you and don't know what discussions you've had with your husband, but maybe he feels like the burden is all on him? In my experience, guys tend to look past what the woman deals with and focuses on how things affect them :( I hate that! But maybe if you just sit down with him and say something like "I want us to be a family that gets along. I want our kids to just be able to be kids without being put through all this trauma/drama. I know you think she's psycho and not worth worrying about, and I'm glad for that. But she's affecting our marriage and our family at our house. I'm a good mother to the kids I've bore and, though I can never replace your kids mom, I want to be the best step mother that I can be to them. I love them and I'm just interested in making sure that they aren't being put in the middle. I talk about your ex to you because I want us to be unified in how we're going to handle everything that comes up. I want you to back me, and know that I'll back you up too. The way I feel is valid, even if you don't understand. Therefore, you should be respectful of that because I'm your wife. There's a reason she's your ex."
Okay, sorry for going on and on, but that's a conversation I've had with my husband as well. It worked! I hope you have some luck. Unfortunately, it sounds like his ex is making this a stupid competition, and she feels she's winning because she probably sees your reaction but you're not standing up to her (because you're actually a mature adult!!) And she's clearly not (mature). There needs to be some balance there. My husband told his ex that she doesn't need to speak to either of us unless it's about the kids because we don't care about her drama.
As far as her being there when you went to introduce your new baby to your in-laws? Well that's just ridiculous. That time was about you and the excitement of your and your husband's new baby. She had no business there, and if I were you, I wouldn't have gone. Her kids could've met the baby the next time they were over. I think your husband's not making a big deal about it cuz it's drama and he doesn't wanna deal with it all the time. But, all that means is that you have to deal with it alone.
It's easy to do, so just make sure you're not taking out your feelings for his ex on his children. Make sure your husband's ok with you setting boundaries for all the kids while they're in your house. Explain to him that all the kids need the same rules/guidelines/boundaries if there's going to be any semblance of sanity in your home! Okay, I'll stop ;) I just get worked up about this stuff too! GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Lisa - posted on 02/28/2010

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I think the best you can do for this situation is just continue to try and love your step children and get along with them. It is not their fault that their mother dislikes you. I know it is hard dealing with the ex, and all the behavior that comes with the kids when they come to your house. At some point your step kids will get old enough to realize what is happening and hopefully start thinking for themselves and love you back. As far as being rude to her, it is not rude to simply drop the kids off or have them ready and waiting for her when she arrives so she doesn't have to stay. You should do what you need to to make the situation more comfortable. She CAN'T keep the kids from your husband. I know it is a hassle to have to call the police or go back to court, but at some point it might come to that if she can't follow your terms and tries to keep the kids away. All your husband has to do is get a police escort and take his custody agreement to pick them up, she has no choice. If necessary you could insist that the exchanges be in a public place, even a police station. This could help get her out of your hair quicker because she wouldn't have anywhere to try and sit and chat. I totally understand that it is tough to deal with a horrible ex, but all you can do is be nice and give the kids love and make them feel you all are a family on your end. She will continue doing what she wants on her side, but you can't really do anything about it. Just talk to your husband about the exchanges and try to get him to agree to some more appropriate terms for her. There is no reason that she should still be having anything to do with his family if she can't even get along with your husband or you. Keep your chin up and focus on being the great mother and step mother you know you are!

Michelle - posted on 02/28/2010

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i am having some of the same problems as you are. Except they were never married, they have 2 beautiful kids together. She has recently lost the kids to Social Services, due to drugs and neglect. Since then we have gotten the kids. Both of his and her first son from a previous relationship ( we didnt want to split the kids up ). She has done next to nothing to get her kids back and its almost been a year. Her right are about to be termininated within a few months. She has since gotten pregnant and still cant pass a drug test and hasnt had visits with them in a year. My fiance's kids all love me despite her trying to manipulate them. Actually her youngest calls me mommy! When we first got together, she would call me and email me and harass me to no end. Shes bipolar and manic depressent. To this day she says im trying to steal her kids from her..im just trying to show them how a real family interacts. She always threatens me and puts me down, im not sure why, ive always been nice to her and her children despite the problems she and I have. My fiance' and I are expecting my first baby in August, and lets just say she isnt too happy about that. This is my 2nd pregnancy, sadly i lost my first baby last june due to a miscarriage. The day i lost my baby she called our phone and told me " Im glad your baby died. Hes only meant to have one babymomma". i know that she hates me, but that was a very cruel and hateful think to say. We have changed our phone number and have no contact with her as of now. But i am worried that she quit drugs for a couple months, just to get the kids back..and then go right back to her old ways.

Mindy - posted on 02/27/2010

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hey i understand too i have 2 of my own and 2 stepkidsand 2 moms to deal with plus one ex myself. All 3 are certifiably insane. lol my step daughters mom just took her to the dctr for her gallbladder even tho the child has never had any problems. her mom is nothing but a hypochondriact and is turning my stepdaughter into one 2 . my sd is 16 and i love her alot,but she drives me nuts cause she is turning into her mom. it doesnt help that her mom is very jeaulous of the fact that my husband and i have been together almost 6 years and r very happy. i have learned to cope with all 3 by just loving my own husband more and trying to get thru the next few years when they r all grown. once child support,and visitation r done than all we will have to deal with is occasional get togethers. Just remember u cant change them when they r mentally incompetant. i also deal with it on my own kids dad. thank god one was just emancipated. i only have one more to go and thats only for about 6 more years depending if she goes to college.

Retta - posted on 02/26/2010

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i hear you too clear! my husband family keeps his ex around for that same reason, do she not know she only hurting the kids in the end! i too did not show up for some family functions due to her coming in town, but i was called the bad guy not allowing the kids too see their brothers! who wants too deal with an ex, none i hope! ppl just do not understand how keeping the ex around only causes more anger and making ppl very uncomfortable! kids do grow up and hopefully they will see past it all, but it should not have to be that long, she (ex) as a mother should more understand the stuation she too may be in your shoes one day! oh boy that thing called karma might just sneak up on her! best of luck and in due time, the storm will come to a cease! it did for me!

Retta - posted on 02/26/2010

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i know exzcutly how you feel! my hubby ex was a sicko, she used too call the house and curse him out than me! what the devil i do too her, but become the new wife, so for her too get back at him was through the kids not liking me and being disrespectful too me! i have a daughter, that is my hubbys stepdaughter and they adore her sometimes, if the mother thinks the kids are being nice too my kids she puts things in their heads about how she is not his daughter, he takes better care of her than them and my sons are this and that! i got very tired of it and when she went to the extreme of leaving nasty ang vigour messages on our voice mail that was the last straw! i called her back and let her have, despite of how terrible of a mother she is, the kids were begining too fall in love with me i made sure they had it all! now we do not see them nor hear from them often and if he does talk too the kids and i answer the phone, if she is sitting close by they become rude and ignore me as if they did not just call my house! sometimes it is very hard too want too be around the kid, but it is not their faults! there only doing what their being taught to do! my hubby does not allow my step kids too disrepect me when there with us! I SAY TOO YOU, PLEASE DO NOT HOLD YOUR TOUNGE ANY LONGER IT ONLY MAKES THINGS WORST, TELL YOUR HUSBAND FIRST HOW YOU FEEL AND IN AN ADULT WAY LET THE EX HAVE IT! let her know she no longer holds the power too come between your family, and your husband needs too put his foot down a little more on his kids!

Cheresa - posted on 01/15/2010

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I have the same problem with my husbands ex girlfriend and 12 yr old daughter. She comes to my house and acts like a princess and alienates my children. They feel left out cause when she's around my step son acts differently towards them also. We have custody of my step son. They stick together like glue when she's here and its ridiculous. She says rude things to my daughters that are 12 and 5. When I tell my husband he says I just don't like his daughter. I've tried many times to have a relationship with her but she resists. Her mom is a whole other story. She is rude and thinks her daughter's needs are the only ones that matter out of all 5 kids. She and my husband broke up while she was pregnant almost 13yrs ago and she's never had another relationship. She just sits at her mommy and daddy's house eating bon bons and waiting for her child support check. These chicks need to get a life. They are yesterdays news.

Christine - posted on 01/14/2010

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We've tried all of that being short stuff. It doesn't work. She has her kids so tightly wound up they won't leave her without the typical hanging around. We also tried the privilege thing. They don't care. They get on the phone and tell their mother and/or refuse to do anything because Mom says they shouldn't and she wouldn't agree. It doesn't help that his family just makes it easy for her to stick around. Despite how unconmfortable it makes others feel. She insisted on making an appearance when we brought our daughter home from the hospital to meet my husband's family, and reminded the children that was only their half-sister. As a result when I introduced my lil girl as their sister they were quick to sat "thats not my sister". She just had to put a dark cloud over the festivities there wasn't one person in that home including my husband that thought she had any business there. She has everyone wrapped because they are all afraid they will never see the kids again. And I am the bad guy for not wanting to be part of the dysfunction anymore. I kind of feel like thats what they want. No matter how nice I am or how kind it is never enough. Shutting the door in her face I am told is "rude". As is just dropping the kids off and leaving. It is traumatizing, I am told. Oddly enough my kids do it all the time and it is helpful and prevents upset. But that cannot be done to her, because she may get upset and keep the kids from him. The court thing is something he has done. Things settled down and now we are back to square one. Whenever he threatens court or tries to come to a resolution or steady visitation with the kids she agrees to review and shoots down every suggestion and gives no option. I have thrown my hands up with the court stuff as I am the one that files all the papers and does all the work. Nice way to take advantage of your wife the paralegal. My life has become much more manageable and peaceful the less I have to do with his children as I don't have to deal with the rude obnoxious behavior their mother has gifted them. Nor do I have to deal with the over-exaggerations and drama she creates and has taught them to mimick.

Kristen - posted on 01/11/2010

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I agree with most of these comments. Your husband needs to put his foot down and discipline his kids when they are disrespectful to you or the other children. If they can't get along, then they should be removed, or a priviledge taken away. Plan to get ice cream, etc and if they can't be nice, they don't go. Also try to do fun things together. It's crazy that you both have a boy and girl the same age and they are mean to them. As for his ex, keep your distance. Deal with her as little as possible. When they kids come over, let them in and shut the door. She's not there to visit, they are. Maybe have something planned where you have to leave right away so you don't have time for her to stick around at first. If she can't stick to a schedule, take her to court. This seems like her way of having control and pulling the strings. I do think counseling would be good too. It would be a positive thing for the kids to do together. And kill them with kindness. Their mom must be a real piece of work if they call hold up that wall and ignore you or the other kids. This is just not natural and they probably need some help. Good luck. I hope it gets better or you can find a way to make it work!

Sheryl - posted on 01/10/2010

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I know its challenging when your sk act this way to u and your kids but keeping ur family seperated is not doing any of the kids any good. I would suggest family counsling, it seems like the ex might have parent alianation syndrome and if thats the cause maybe u should contact a lawyer to get custody so the children will have a better shot at being model citizens. What ever u do, u should to get all the kids into counsling to try and help them work through this turmoil and be able to better make decisions for themselfs and to not let other people influence them so much even if it is their mother.

Amanda - posted on 01/10/2010

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Christine.
My name is Amanda and I have delt with similar situations with my step childs mother. I have two step children and they both have a different mother. One of my step childrens mother is a control freak which makes it difficult.

I love both of my stepkids very much and from the begginging I treated them just as my own. Loving them and with discipline also. They respect me and no matter what there mother says they love me. Because they know that I am there for them regardless of what there mother does.At first it was a little challenging and they tried to push my buttons but I did not let it affect our relationship just as I would not with my own children.

I would suggest doing everything in LOVE. Dont let the mother get to you or your family. If your visitation is an order then you should call the sherrifs dept evertime she does not stick to the plan. They will be happy to go with your husband to get his child. Make every attempt to stick with the order. Never talk about their mother in front of them. In fact I would challenge you to say nothing negative about their mother for 30 days. Just to keep her out of your mind. If she tries to cause confrintation look over it and walk away or say something like. I am sorry you feel this way but I love your kids and will always keep their best interest in mind.

The children may be unstable due to her unstableness but its not helping them by seperating them from a normal family. If your family is the only thing that they are apart of that is stable, then that's the only stability they see.

I would also suggest if you do not have a church to find one and go as a family. Get into the word and pray for your stepchildren and their mother. I know that's hard to swallow. Praying for the mother. But this is exactly what the bible tells us to do. Read Luke 6 27;42.

[deleted account]

I have been in the same situation has you are for 7 years. My three step-son who don't have any respect for me. At one time they all lived with us and my three kids from my first marriage, which my husband adopted. The two older ones don't come around now as they are adults unless they want money. Their mother has made it clear to them that their dad and I are not any good and we have done everything that as gone wrong in their lives. The third one has down syndrome and my husband has guardianship over him and she is always getting in the way. We finally moved him out to a friends farm to try to ease it, but all it did was make it worse. I finally stood up to her and just told her to stop. I explained to her that all of her crap wasn't going to get her anywhere. I don't allow her in my house anymore and if she wants to say something she can write it down and send it in. My husbands ex has never payed child support so she shouldn't have a complaint, sense she steals all of our clothes he goes over in and sends him back in stuff she finds that don't fit right, even if it is for an hour that she has him. My husband has decided not to send him over their anymore until we get his stuff back and she is not willing to give it back, because she going to need it when she has him over night or when she has him during a week. I will say a prayer for you and your family. I sure say enough for us. I think you need to talk to your husband and let him know how you feel and you two come up with a plan. That is what my husband and I did.

[deleted account]

Well, of course, you can't control your husband, only yourself. How you react depends largely on how often he has his kids. Try to fill your heart with love, for those kids and even for the x-wife. As difficult as that may be, they are all people who are motivated in different ways. Clearly, no matter how bizarre she behaves, she is distrubed and emotionally damaged to need attention this way. That is sad, and it is sad for your stepkids to be emotionally dragged through that confusion with her. There is so much pain and so many sharp edges in your situation.

First off--your stepkids WILL grow up, and, if you can be the loving and stable (and forgiving) one, they will come to truly see things for what they are and see your for who you are. Your job until then is to be the healer of hearts and the smoother of jagged edges, to nurture spirits so that bitterness and anger don't take root.

If you need, tell your kids that x-wife acts like she does because she hurts inside, though she doesn't know it. Step-kids hurt inside, too, but they've never known another way so they can't see it either. Explain that they need patience. Then, only you can balance "time on" with "time off" so that you (and your kids) aren't always gone when steps are there, but also so that you guys aren't there so much that you lose the ability to have gentle hearts.

Blessings to you in this difficult situation. Just remember that the only person you can truly control at all is you, and how you handle things speaks volumes to everyone in your life. Be the light they all need. ((((()))))

[deleted account]

I completely understand, his son and daughter and my son and daughter. All I can tell you is that for years, I treated his just like I would mine. I included them in everything we did as a family. Whether they came or not (still lived w/their Mom) they were invited. What I did for mine I do for his. When my children and I moved into his home, I made sure their rooms were not disrupted, to the point he built a garage apt for the oldest so they did not have room double up. It was tough for a long time. I was "that woman", ignored and disregarded to the point that my children did not want to see me hurt so they pulled away. But, if you put your children and his children best interest at heart it will all work out. Today, his son 21, my daughter 20, his daughter 19 my son 19 all get along and they treat me better than I could have ever expected. See, yours too will grow up and will see the moatives of their Mom as well as Yours. And they will be able to see who did what, and was it done out of Love or out of anger/revenge. When one of my steps came to me with tears and a hug and appologized for anything they had ever done to hurt me, because of the lies that had been told about her Dad and I, it changed all our lives. I had told my husband that one day they would see the truth, and he did not want to believe it. But, that day he said, you told me so. Hang in there, your love for your children, husband and his children will break thru the wall that has been bulit, but it will probly take longer to undue the wrong that has been done to those children. Good Luck and I pray God give you the strength and wisdom to guide yours and his down the right path in how to treat anyone in their lives.
Sincerely,
Been there and done that

Christine - posted on 01/01/2010

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He's in the picture. He writes off the ex as a mentally unstable psycho for the most part. Therefore, the less contact the better. Which she makes virtually impossible. However, I think after all this time he has decided that its not worth the aggravation. I am grudgingly learned to stay away from my step-kids because of the dysfunction and bad example it sets for our new child. Not to mention I am tired of being placed in a situation that makes me appear as if I am making him choose between his time with his prior kids and me and our child. Because all too often my protest to him of his ex's wife controlling is misconstrued as interfering, jealousy and insecurity. None of which are true. Unfortunately, I am disappointed in myself in that I have greatly sacrificed for these disrespectful children at the expense of my own. That is a burden I have to bear but one that has taught me a great deal.

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