How to deal with your ex-husbands new controling wife

Sharon - posted on 01/30/2009 ( 66 moms have responded )

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My ex re-married and his new wife, my sons new step-mom is trying to change and control our schedule and arrangements that we already had. Its becoming a problem. Any help?

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Laura - posted on 05/21/2013

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First of all, she has no rights whatsoever when it comes to your children. It is totally up to you and your ex to set schedules etc... Remind her that legally she is overstepping her boundries. Family court will tell her this as well. Remind her that you will be more than happy to adjust your schedule if it suits YOU not her. You need to remind your ex that you will not consider anything she has to say in regards to your children. You should put her in her place and remind her who the mother is. The law is in your corner. Stop her now before it gets out of hand. I have been through this with my kids. Good luck, hold your ground. Tell your ex you will keep with the visitation schedule that you agreed upon in court unless you both come to an agreement. Remind your children as well that if they have any issues they are to bring them to their dad and not the step mom. She has no say at all regardless of anything when it comes to the kids.

[deleted account]

ANY decision that affects both households (such as scheduling) should be made with consideration for and compromise from both sides. Many biomoms tend to feel that their child is none of the stepmom's business, but that child is in the stepmom's home and the situations affect the stepmom's life and family, too. The dad has a life with HER now. She's not an object, she is a person who is affected by these situations and who is generally expected to help care for the child. So while she certainly shouldn't expect to have final say, her input should be respected and considered as she and her husband are one, a unit, in marriage. As some others have said, it'd be a good idea to find out WHY she wants to change things and whether a compromise is warranted to accomodate the family members of both households.

Stephanie - posted on 09/18/2013

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My issue is this -- if my ex-husband does not take care of the children (ie. bath them, make school lunches, take them to lessons), why on earth does he have shared custody. Yet, the courts favour shared. If it wasn't for his fiancé, he would never be able to look after them. They spend most of their time with her when they're there. Quite simply, this is not fair. There is nothing I can do about it because the courts favour shared custody. Can anyone help me with this?

Judith - posted on 02/12/2009

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I am a stepmom and a biological mom who's children also have a stepmom. Honestly I can see both sides to this situation. Of course it's difficult to have to change the routines you are accustomed to when a new person comes along. Ask yourself why is it becoming a problem? If there are legitimate reasons, you should probably have a meeting with your ex and the stepmom to explain why. If your reasons are based more on emotions and difficulty accepting the new person involved in your child's life, you may need to come to terms with that and compromise. I disagree with those who say it is only between the biomom and the ex. Yes they are your children, but your child has a bigger family now whether you accept it or not and your son is a part of the stepmom's life and family now. The stepmom has a right to give her input about what she feels is best for her family too, there may be legitimate reasons for the changes on her end as well, she may need to compromise. If there is a way to sit down and involve everyone respectfully, that of course is the best outcome for the child involved and that is what truly matters. Here is another side that may or may not be an issue for you but demonstrates the dynamics that are sometimes involved when a new person enters the picture. When I became a member of my husband's family, I became a stepmother to a 5 year old stepson and an 8 year old daughter. Although I hoped to be friendly with their biomom, she had a very hard time accepting me and was extremely jealous of my involvement with her children. I did not try to take over or compete. I just focused on having fun with my family and being a caring mom and stepmom. However the ex would not allow the stepchildren to be happy with us. She filled their heads with guilt and shame if they said anything positive about me, I could not buy simple things like I would for my biochildren while we were out without her convincing them I was trying to "buy their love." She tried very hard to convince the kids and my husband that I was bad, mean, unsafe, and that her children didn't like me and never would and encouraged them to disrespect me. Though I took care of them while they were in my home and loved them and refused to stoop to disparaging their biomom in any way, she insisted that I be shut out of anything that had to do with the children, stating it was between her and her husband and none of my business, although she strongly encouraged her new husband to be a part of everything because "everyone needs to be on the same page." Talk about double standards! I put up with all of it until she began having private meetings with my husband and the kids every time he picked them up and dropped them off. I was not allowed to be part of these meetings but the meetings were all about how the kids didn't like me and the kids don't want you to marry her, and the kids are uncomfortable with her, and you're putting you're new family before your kids, and you need to choose because they will never accept her. I put my foot down. I put an end to those meetings and my husband respected me.  Now my husband never has any meetings with his ex without me there. If she calls and tries to talk about me, he refuses to buy into her propaganda that he doesn't care about the kids. At first she threw a fit about how controlling I was but when she realized my ex would not be manipulated any longer, her attitude toward me became more respectful and inclusive and the children were able to accept me and get some peace of mind. No things aren't perfect and I suspect they never will be, but I don't need them to be. I accept and respect that the children's mom will always come first in their eyes and that the biomoms behavior was mostly out of fear of losing the loving relationship she had with her children. Once I became included, she was able to see that I did not want to replace her or come between her and her children and that has made things easier for everyone. I'm not saying this is what is going on with your family. Hopefully not.  But I do think that if everyone can sit down together and try to include each other and find a solution that works  like adults, it could be a win win situation for everyone, and you may find the stepmom will calm down if you are willing to include her and accept her as a part of your child's family. I hope this is helpful.

Nancy Brown Lawson - posted on 01/17/2010

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This is how my ex and I handled our own similar problem.



1st I asked my ex to set up a time and place that we (him and I) could meet to discuss our children and the arrangements since his new marriage. I did let him know as well, that he could discuss this with his wife previous to our meeting if he felt he needed to, but the actual arrangements would need to be worked out between us in the end.



2nd we met in private (if the spouse does not trust the ex out of her sight long enough to work this out with you in private. That is a whole different matter that is in their relationship and I was not a part of it. This is for the benefit of our children’s happiness and safety nothing more)



3rd I made sure my ex understood that HE is responsible for our children while they are with him. They are not the responsibility of his new wife nor is she their overseer or built in babysitter so he can take off and do whatever. After all visitations are just that, it is a time to be in the present with the children.



4th I did ask that if there was a time in which he needed to go do something that required he leave the children. That he consider calling his parents, and seeing if they would like the opportunity to see the children at that time. That he needed to consider that even though he had spent enough time with his new spouse to be comfortable, the children had not. And it would be irresponsible of him to leave with her when there is no comfort zone for the children. That he may need to make other arrangements for whatever he needed to do, or return the children to me.



5th I told him that I understood he had a new wife and wanted time with her. But to please remember that his children were here prior to her. That his actions in these young years of the children would carry through to their adult years. How his children perceived him then, was in his own hands no one else’s.



6th we agreed again never to discuss or cut each other down in front of or within ear shot of the children. This was also for spouses as well. This is something I feel you have to make an extra effort to do and is nonnegotiable for either side.

Children will form their own opinions as to each parent over time. When they asked me why daddy did something, I simply picked up the phone and called daddy. I would say something similar to, so and so has a question that I do not feel comfortable with answering since it is regarding you. Was I putting him on the spot in some way, yes. But what it also did do was open communications between them and let him know that what he did had an impact on the children in all aspects of their lives.



7th If at any time he did not want the kids for his visitation to please call and let me know. When the kids were older I had him call them directly to deal with his issue.

I cannot say this all went pro quo, but it did set down a basis that we both understood as did the children.

We did establish that I was the Mother and he the father of our children. No one else was to play those roles.

There will be a extended family built with the addition of new spouses. But they need to know where there place is in that family, they are not mom or dad they have names and should be utilized as such. Their opinions should be talked over with the ex prior to meeting. The ex should be advocating for the new spouse as well as the children.

You must advocate for your children.

You must always be available for your children.

You must always nurture your children, love them and keep them safe physically and psychologically.

I have seen too many children hurt by a misplaced word that they carried throughout their lives.

Yet if the road is laid out prior to hitting a pot hole the ride can go much smoother for all.

So keep communications flowing and set a basis with the ex spouse. Keep using the words our children sometimes it reminds them of the responsibility they created in having this child.

Good luck and Blessings to you and yours

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Mary - posted on 08/14/2014

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Hi!

As a bio-Mum and a step-Mum I can see both sides. It is true that stepmoms need to respect the bio-Moms role as the primary parent along with the bio-dad in the children's lives. Bio-Mom comes first in regards to the children. However, I do not believe that is the issue that most step-Moms have.

Yes, bio-Moms, your children are your children and step-Mom needs to stay out of your territory but the bio-dad is no longer your husband/partner. He is now someone else's husband and you need to respect that. Just because you share a child, that does not mean that you still have entitlements to your ex. How would you have felt if during your marriage, an ex-girlfriend was still on the scene, calling your husband up over every silly thing? Stop using your children in order to legitimise interfering in your ex's life.

I'm delighted to report that my son's father and stepmother are very respectful towards me. We do not interfere in each other's lives and only contact each other in relation to my son. We are not involved in each other's personal and respective family lives. I do not go to my former in-laws family events, even though they are my son's grandparents, aunts/uncles etc, out of respect for my son's father and his wife. Saying that, they were invited to and attended my son's birthday parties but that is a different scenario. If my son ever gets married, they will all be there also with, thankfully for my son, no tension.

I read so much about these issues and it is very disheartening. I've no doubt that some stepmoms overstep the boundary when it comes to your children and this needs to be addressed but before you act, ask yourself if you're not doing the same with her husband.

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Heather - posted on 06/24/2014

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Diana - posted on 06/10/2014

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I have recently married and become a stepmother. I have my own daughter who is independent and does not live with us. I have no desire of being a mother again and am happy with the every 2nd weekend and half holiday arrangement. I take very good care of the girls when they are with us and enjoy a good relationship with them both.
There has had to be some renegotiation of Christmas holidays (I have a family too)
Sadly I have had nothing but constant issues with bio mother from trying to control what I do in my own home from what the girls watch on tv, clothes they wear, the list goes on and on and often changes on a whim

Bio mothers need to realise, stepmothers are people too and are entitled to respect and make rules in their own homes.
What do you care 'who' feeds them or buys their clothes at their fathers house? Isn't it good to know that your children are being fed, clothed and loved? Even more so by someone that has no reason to other than she loves their father...

I find all the 'overstepping' accusations are more to do with jealousy and unresolved issues with the breakdown of the relationship and not having total control over your previous partner.
The stepmother in most cases is just another casualty of the bitterness the children live through.

I get that when you had children you didn't ever think you would be separated from their father and forced into letting another woman into your children's lives, much less someone you don't know or had any choice over.

From one mother to another.... Don't waste your time trying to control the other mother in her home, don't damage your children by holding their emotions to ransom, accept the fact she didn't ask for this situation either and is probably trying her best.

Children aren't possessions, one day they will grow up - I know I want my stepdaughters to see that their step mother conducted herself with integrity and know that through it all they were loved by me

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Janileydi - posted on 05/28/2014

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I'm a step mom and I honestly fail to understand why women rather fight with the ex's new wife instead of bonding with her after all she is going to be with your babies a fair amount of time so why make a war with her instead of getting along. Honestly I get along with my husbands ex. She doesn't come to my house or party with us but she does send me pics of the kids and I help them in schools and etc. I don't get it he's gonna be with her on matter what so why try to stop something now when it should have been done when you first broke up if you really didn't want to lose him now its to late.

Cyrstal - posted on 04/30/2014

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Get real! If you ex-husband has a new wife, what right do you have to ask anything. God says, "when man an woman marry they become one" either you accept that or don't either way. YOU have no right to alienate the woman he has chosen to spend the rest of his life with, just because you share children together. Now you will share children with him and her, and whoever you marry. Maybe you should have spent more time making "alone private" time with him BEFORE you were divorced. Maybe then you would still be married, but you are not still married, so you don't get to tell him who he gets to bring into his life. Sorry but that is the truth.

Jennifer - posted on 12/28/2013

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Hi I'm having a problem too with this, my ex has a new girlfriend but she thinks she can go behind my back and add my kids to her facebook, she put herself on my daughters iPod, she's a pain the arse I don't know who she is and why she wants contact with my children in my care I don't know , my ex never keeps to our arrangements now either and I'm finally seeing a mediator next month :)

Emily - posted on 06/08/2013

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I agree with Mamato2 stepmoms are people too. I am a full time stepmom. I feed, cloth, put a roof over the kids heads, attend all parent teacher conferences, and school activities. I also participate in as many PTA things as I can. Many of my Stepdaughter's friends call me "k's mom". I'm not being pushy or over stepping my bounds, her mom doesn't participate in her life at all. So her father and I are all she's got! I'm proud to be a stepmom! For all those bio moms out there that are so afraid of the wicked stepmom replacing you, stop! It's not about you! You will always be their mom, nothing can change that. My question to all of you is: Is it really that bad to have another person in your child's life that cares about them?
About the original post; I think coming to a compromise with all parties concerned maybe in your best interest. Is there a reason the stepmom wants a change in schedule? This is a great life lesson for your children! It teaches conflict resolution, and compromise. I'm not saying allow the stepmom to run your life I'm saying try to meet her halfway, this will show your kids that you can be the bigger person. And if you can't get to a common ground then take it to court or a mediator. Please for the sake of your children don't put them in the middle. And play nice, don't trash your ex's new wife even if she does trash you ( I avoid trashing my step kids mom because no matter what these kids are half of her) show your children that you have more class then that! With divorce, remarriage, and children on the front lines of this battle ground things can get ugly quick! Do what's right for your kids.
Best of luck! :-)

Anne - posted on 05/24/2013

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My heart goes out to you. I was in a similar situation, when I was getting divorced my ex, has had a frontal lobe head injury, which takes away his ability to be rational or to have reason and control himself when placed in a situation when he feels loss of control. Hence when the divorce proceedings started I went through hell and this put my son in a compromising position, so we as a family decided that it would be best that my son go live with him and his mom until such time as everything settles down. My ex initially tried to keep me from seeing my son, I didnt give up, from having rocks thrown at me, to being strangled and pushed off the road on the highway, I continued to put myself in harms way to have a relationship with my son. Today my son lives with me and this was achieved by my ex's new wife being a narciccist and kicking my son out. The wheel turns, she (the new wife) wants my son back, because she has lost control of my life and the ability to dictate my rights. I even had her refuse to let me know where my son was living when they moved. But now the shoe is on the other foot. But I am not ugly, giving his dad access to him whenever he wants, because I love my son. She (the wife) hates that, I refuse to deal with her and will only deal with the dad, which is another bain of contention. So just keep the faith, dont discuss any negativity with your son, or your frustrations. Love is a very powerful tool and guess what, she will never, no matter what she tries to do, be able to replace you...EVER.....and your time will come..

Lynn - posted on 05/16/2013

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My son llives with his dad & his wife. She makes him call her mom, My son made a mothers day present at school & his father made him give it to his wife. They don't let me pick him up at school, use a baseball mitt I bought him, and she shows up at his ballgames even if there is only 10 minutes to go. They make me pick him up at the end of their driveway and deliver him back the same way. The court papers said, we were to meet at a certain location to do the exchanging. They have snubbed their noses at every court order that was issued. I am now taking him back to court but, he is not above lying to get his way. His wife runs his life concerning my little boy. She has kids of her own and a grandchild. She isnt involved in their lives the way she is with my son. What do you do short of doing something that would cause you to go to jail? She evens shows up at his school to watch me bring him to school.

Rachal - posted on 05/14/2013

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Yes this post was from a long time ago. However, I am recently going through a similar issue. The two have been in a relationship for about five years and were recently married this past year. Her and I had gotten along pretty well, but than everything drastically changed. Bottom line is no schedule for a child should ever change. This is not about the new wife and the relationship between her and her new husband. This is about promoting routine, stability, and structure for the child. If anyone's routine should be disrupted is that of the adults and not AT ALL THE CHILDS! If a woman is willing to marry a man with a past, she needs to willingly accept that past or else not accept the proposal. Vice versa to a man considering to be with a woman with so called baggage. Children come first and foremost...there is no room for one to be self centred once children are involved.

Susan - posted on 09/17/2012

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Here is my story. My ex and I share custody of our two children ages 9 and 10. When they are with him his new wife is so controlling and jealous, that when they are there, they are not allowed to call me if she is home. He can't answer the phone if it is me. She won't allow any of his family into the home when she's there. When they are with me and the children try to call him, she piscks a fight with him. If I send him pictures of the children, she picks a fight with him. My children have voiced their dislike of the situation to me, however, have not told their father for fear of "being punished". They tell me all the time how they can't wait to be 12 or 13 so that they can choose to stay with me full time. This whole situation is very upsetting and I have tried to talk to my ex-husband about it and I'm told its none of my business. I feel that it is because it is affecting my children. Its so sad when I have to bring them home because all they do is cry because they don't want to go. Not sure what to do. Have thought about taking him back to court for a modification of custody and hiring a Guardian at Litem to straighten this out. Someone with some legal knowledge please advise. This is a Massachusettes case.

Tina - posted on 09/10/2012

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I see this was all posted in 2009, however I am having a big issues with my ex husbands new wife. Him and I share custody 50/50. But she has slowly tried to push me out of the picture. They have purposely not told me about school meetings and she has even went as far as to sign as the parent. I have tried my best to get a long with her but this type of stuff has been becoming more of an issue.

Chris - posted on 08/10/2012

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Sometimes, it's in everyone's best interest to be open to changes. Its a problem how?

Erika - posted on 04/15/2012

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There is nothing easy or convienient about parenting. Schedules are going to be crazy and hectic at times. The schedule should be arranged for the best interest of the CHILDREN if the step-mom has a problem with this she should have thought about that before asking for the situation. I have an ex husband and a "new wife". I don't have any problems with her "running her household" as she sees fit as long as my children are lived and cared for but I believe decisions and discussions about the children should be between the two biological parents. I do not have a significant other in my life probably because of my "unrealistic expectations" My life revolves around the needs of my children and their activities and they will always come first. If a man wants to be a part of my life he can adjust to our way of life and what I feel is best for my children. I also do not intend to ever deal with an ex-wife, that's his job. If her and I need to relay information about small plans that is fine. Anything else is the Father's responsibility.

Sofia - posted on 02/21/2012

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To Eileen:

Putting a child in a corner because they wet the bed does not sound like a good idea. Children cant help wetting the bed at night. Stepmom apparently doesnt seem to know that.

However, what is wrong with putting on a pull-up on so her sheets, matress and clothes dont get wet? Maybe it's not just a "laundry" issue. Pee smells very strongly and makes everythign else smell as well.

sorry if this sounds abit harsh, but it sounds from your comment that you dont like your child's stepmom much.

Kay - posted on 02/19/2012

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I am the new controlling wife, or wife to be. But only because if I didn't our house would fall apart and nothing would ever be planned. My fiancé received a traumatic brain injury while he was in Afghanistan. It causes significant issues in his short term memory, impulse control, and ability to plan. I manage his schedule, my schedule, our schedule, my sons' schedules, and keep track of his daughters, so that he does not miss anything important, which he would feel terrible about later on. Luckily, his ex- wife is very understanding and works with us. If she wasn't, I honestly don't know what we would do, because while the therapies and treatments have improved his ability to function, chances are good he will never be 100% in those areas again (as if, as a guy, he ever was to begin with! ;)).



Just an alternative perspective. I think a pretty rare one, but hey, look at it this way--if your ex was terrible at managing his life while you were together, or you wound up doing it for him, chances are good that he is still the same way. In our case, it is really just exacerbated by the injury.

Sofia - posted on 02/15/2012

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Let me put it to you this way : IF you were in that person's shoe how would you like your new husband's ex wife to treat you and talk with you? Condesending? Like you have no option or opinion?

Dont forget TREAT OTHERS HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED.

I have been on both side of the coin. My daughter has a stepmother. Her and I get along just fine. And I am a stepmother.

Sofia - posted on 02/15/2012

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This can be a sticky situation. Feelings can be hurt and people might over react.

Keeping things consistant for children is ofcourse the best way to go. Children need to know what to expect.

On the other hand, life is ever changing. Sometimes the things that worked during one situation at one time, no longer works. When you and your husband made arrangements and agreements, there was no third party involved. Granted that the third party coming into this situation should understand and try to cooperate with pre-existing arrangements, however that is not always possible.

So what I'm saying here is that by you calling her "controlling" I'm wondering if you have already made a negative picture of her in your head? Are you actually giving her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she needs to have a say in what is going on in your son's life, considering that she is a part of it? Maybe she shouldnt change things, but maybe you need to take what she says into consideration. Be open to listening to what she has to say, that's my advise.

Dusty - posted on 02/02/2012

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Maybe the arrangment your ex & you had before conflicts with his & his new wife's schedule. My husband's ex thought I was such a (pardon my language) bitch for changing the schedule they had set up, but the fact was that I was the one home with the children most of the time, so it had to work around my work schedule. If the schedule that you two had arranged before isn't working into his new wife's schedule because of something important (such as work) then you need to be a bit more understanding. No, your children aren't hers, but you need to understand that she is going to be involved in their lives on a regular basis. If it isn't conflicting with their schedule (or it's something petty) then you need to put her in her place. She is NOT those children's mother, & she can't just come in & expect to change everything in their lives. If the agreement is legally binding then you can try taking it to court to get it changed. If it's not, then I would take it to court to get a legally arranged schedule.

Heather - posted on 04/06/2010

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I am the step-mom. And I am sorry but I don't agree with the it is between you and the father of the baby, now that he is married. I am very involved with all 3 of my step-kids lives. And I think I should be. I am after all apart of there life now. I do everything for them that a mother does. Now please do not get me wrong. I understand your side too. However it may be time to re think or re plan some things. You need to include her even though you may not like it. For instance my middle step-son Austin, was 3 years behind in reading due to no schedule. When me and my husband were dating I did not know this. I didn't think it was my place at the time. Now that we have been married for 2 years, It has been my place(as well as my husband and their mother). I am involved in everything from school to doctors. And now Austin is back on track with his reading due to me paying attention to him. Just because their is another person in your kids lives don't mean anything really other than they have another person who loves and cares for them. All 3 or 4 (depending on weather you are re married) need to do what is best for the child and not yourself. You may not like each other which is my case...however we deal with each other due to the kids. It is what is best for them. Always ask your kids their thoughts to...maybe she is trying to speak to you for the kids because the child has come to her and don't know how to tell you. Just a thought.

Cheresa - posted on 01/15/2010

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Quite honestly husbands are not the best at arranging schedules. They usually just let the ex tell them how its gonna be. When a new spouse steps in it is usually she that sets the family schedule and if there are other children in the home than everyones schedule needs to coincide. My husband is often times at work when his son needs to have a visit with his mom so it is between she and I to make specific arrangements. You should really just try to get along with her for the benefit of everyone involved.

Liza - posted on 01/14/2010

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Something you really have to consider, does the schedule work for their new family? The existing schedule was created when your ex only had himself to worry about. Now that he has a new family to accomodate, really, how COULD the schedule stay the same? He married her, whether you two have children or not, she should not have to rotate her life around a schedule that does not suit her just because it was created before she was there. The only thing in life that remains constant is change. That's the reality. Whether she is the parent or not, it DOES involve her, whether people here want to acknowledge that or not, plain and simple. The schedule has to work for EVERYONE. But that does include you, assuming she isnt just trying to assert her control. You need to determine that and then revamp your schedule accordingly. Really, my husbands schedule with my stepdaughter did change, but really, he went from single, to married, with a new child, and two stepchildren of his own. Of course its going to change from when he could give every minute to 1st child. Reality. Life changes.

Amber - posted on 01/13/2010

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She can only control and arrange what you let her. If her attempts dont work, she will eventually give up, and talk to ur ex. She is the new comer of this family situation and can dictate nothing, especially if she isnt negotiating. Goodluck. Been there done that, this works!

Alexandra - posted on 10/24/2009

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For the negotiation idea...that's fine in theory, but when the new deal that the husband has negotiated with his ex needs to be run by his wife (becuase it IS her business) doesn't it just make it easioer for her to be there? Let her feel included and it will make a world of difference

Ann - posted on 05/06/2009

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Quoting Ann:

I am case of yours mine and ours, I have 3 kids to a previous,my husband has the same and we share 1 child together, my ex unfortunately chose to have nothing to do with his kids,my husband has gladly steped up to the plate and taken on the role as Dad, the kids want their name changed legally to my new husbands name as this is the only Dad they have really known, I do tell the children the truth (although the youngest refuses to except that my husband is not her biological father) we have been together for nearly 7 years.On the other hand my husbands ex is constantly trying to do what she can to hurt my husband by using the kids and preventing him from seeing his kids (the oldest son raises the youngest 2 when they are with there mother and the 2 youngest have severe disabilities the oldest is only just 12 years old) The mother has been found guilty of neglect,child abuse parentification alcohol and drug abuse in front of the kids and much more. My husband never seems to have a say in the up bringing of his kids and now that the olest boy is 12 he has told his mother he wants to live with us,she refuses to allow this I guess coz then she would have to look after the younger 2.As a step mum my step son came to me before his mother or father and told me he has his 1st pubic hair. I only have anything to say about his kids if it will also be affecting my life,however I say it to my husband and leave it to him to discuss with his ex as they are there main carers.Step mums do have a say, but they should only discuss it with the father coz lets face it,your childrens schedules also affect the new family (whether its liked or not) Just simply tell the step mother if she wants an input discuss it with the father and he can NEGOTIATE with you,his new life is bound to have changed and when you have a new partner you will find your schedule will change to,kids are resiliant,if its not NEGOTIATED with and settled amicbly its the kids that will suffer the most I promise you that,then later the parents will suffer coz you will become enemies to the kids, My step kids and I have a relationship where we are friends (even though they do call me either step mum or mum I leave my name decision to them) We are now begining another court hearing,it would appear court cases happen every 2 years as the mothe hinders the access,her words have been "No court is going to tell me what to do with MY KIDS" Unfortunatly some people see the children as possessions.Just go with the flow for your childrens sakes as well as peace.Good luck


 

Ann - posted on 05/06/2009

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I am case of yours mine and ours, I have 3 kids to a previous,my husband has the same and we share 1 child together, my ex unfortunately chose to have nothing to do with his kids,my husband has gladly steped up to the plate and taken on the role as Dad, the kids want their name changed legally to my new husbands name as this is the only Dad they have really known, I do tell the children the truth (although the youngest refuses to except that my husband is not her biological father) we have been together for nearly 7 years.On the other hand my husbands ex is constantly trying to do what she can to hurt my husband by using the kids and preventing him from seeing his kids (the oldest son raises the youngest 2 when they are with there mother and the 2 youngest have severe disabilities the oldest is only just 12 years old) The mother has been found guilty of neglect,child abuse parentification alcohol and drug abuse in front of the kids and much more. My husband never seems to have a say in the up bringing of his kids and now that the olest boy is 12 he has told his mother he wants to live with us,she refuses to allow this I guess coz then she would have to look after the younger 2.As a step mum my step son came to me before his mother or father and told me he has his 1st pubic hair. I only have anything to say about his kids if it will also be affecting my life,however I say it to my husband and leave it to him to discuss with his ex as they are there main carers.Step mums do have a say, but they should only discuss it with the father coz lets face it,your childrens schedules also affect the new family (whether its liked or not) Just simply tell the step mother if she wants an input discuss it with the father and he can NEGOTIATE with you,his new life is bound to have changed and when you have a new partner you will find your schedule will change to,kids are resiliant,if its not NEGOTIATED with and settled amicbly its the kids that will suffer the most I promise you that,then later the parents will suffer coz you will become enemies to the kids, My step kids and I have a relationship where we are friends (even though they do call me either step mum or mum I leave my name decision to them) Good luck

Ann - posted on 05/06/2009

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Quoting Lia:



is the arrangements you and your ex have court ordered or just a verbal agreement between the two of you??  have you asked her why she is trying to change the arrangements or schedules? maybe there is a conflict with there schedules? i now to my husbands ex wife im considered controlling bc i make all the decesions of the household and she doesnt like that he has to talk to me about things first before he makes any decesions. but i would ask if maybe there is a reason she wants to change everything and if there isnt a legitamite reason, basicly put her in her place and tell her she doesnt have a say in anything that its between you and your ex. I wouldn't completely agree with the fact that it has nothing to do with the step mother as when the child is with the father the child is also with the step parent if you have this attitude it very well may rub off on the child and sometimes as we all know Dad doesn't see the child do something that could be potentially dangerous and step mum could very well prevent the death of your child, you also wouldn't want your child to disrespect another adult just because that adult happens to be your ex's new partner. The child is also spending time with the father in the new wifes home,I personally would not allow a child to walk all over me just because I'm step mum, You all need to learn to get along and negotiate and not dictate, it will be alot easier for adults as well as kids, after all we should all be wanting the same thing for the kids....To grow up happy, healthy and respectful, mature, loving young adults and they WILL always lead by our examples as parents.





 

Lori - posted on 05/05/2009

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this change is definately hard both for you and your son. I suggest you have a sit down with your ex, and his new wife and talk things out. Explain why you need the schedule to remain as is, and be ready to support your reasoning (ie: work, playdates, etc.) be as reasonable as possible, and hopefully you will get a few things you straightened out. Face to face she might back down, it can't hurt to try.

Tamara - posted on 04/29/2009

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Unfortunately, your ex-husband has to step in and let his wife know that this is between the two of you. Only you and he can do this, and if he isn't willing to, bad news is you're probably going to have to deal with it for some time to come. Sorry that I am not really any help, but I know what you're going through and I will be in prayer that God intervenes and that you and your ex can work things out for the best.

Sherry - posted on 04/25/2009

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I am both an ex and a step-mom, The scheduling should be clearly written out and legal and agreed upon by both you and your ex... she really has nothing to do with the scheduling and should not try to change things... any discussion of changing the schedule should be between you, your husband, and your sons... she should propose her suggestions to him, and he should ask you. She married a man with children, she will have to make adjustments. She needs to make them feel welcome when they are in her home and she needs to realize that her husband has to share them with you... and hopefully your husband realizes that your sons were first, before her and he can help her understand this. Hopefully she is a nice and caring person and good to your children, if not, your children will eventually distance themselves from her and their dad, which I don't believe this is a good thing. Unfortunately, you and your husband will be associating for life because you have children, so hopefully you can all become friends. Once the kids are grown, there are graduations to attend, showers, weddings, daughter-in-laws, grand-children... and it just never ends. Don't sweat the small stuff, take your sons fishing and enjoy them while you have them. Good luck

Christy - posted on 04/22/2009

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I have to ex's with children thank goodness i don't have this problem, but my sister does. Is she changing them just because she doesn't like them or are there real reasons for needing them changed. If she just doesn't like doing things the way you and your ex had them arranged then you need to talk to your ex and tell him that it needs to be fixed or take it to a judge. I just recently had to take an ex back to court to force him to take our duaghter to her softball practice on his weekends. I also had a problem with my other ex's girlfriend who told me she was going to spank my son for a punishment, i basiclly put her in her place and haven't had a problem since. Be firm as long as it is reasonable is the best advice.

Heidi - posted on 04/22/2009

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as an ex and a new wife (bio mom and step mom) i can see it from both sides. in my opinion everyone should be involved as the outcome affects everyone, both step and bio parents. we have had this argument with DH's ex and my ex who both believe that their new partners should be involved, which is fair enough, BUT my ex doesnt think my DH should have anything to do with it and DH's ex doesnt think i should have anything to do with it, which is very 2-faced. very slowly we are making headway with both sides.
i dont realy have any advice for you, other then, only you can deside weather or not you want to include/deal with the new wife.

Jodie - posted on 04/09/2009

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What a great question!  I am so glad that I took the time to read these replies.  I have a very similar situation with my ex and his new wife.  However, my problem is that their dad is still very bitter about our divorce (2 years ago now) and doesn't know how to be mature and have a grown up conversation with me.  We constantly go round and round about big decisions, because he will not work with me to find a solution.  During several conversations that I have had with him over the phone, I can hear the new wife in the background saying snide comments.  All along I have chosen to be the better person, though.  I have been the better person, because I know in the end my kids will see all of this behavior and they will make their own decisions about the situation.  I will always hold my kids above all of this silly drama because they are what matter the most!!!



On the flip-side of things, my boyfriend also has a son that I am a step-mom type figure to.  My boyfriend and I talked things over in the beginning of our relationship and decided what our approach to these kind of situations would be.  We decided that each of us would work with our own exes.  That we would always keep each other informed about the decisions by the biological parents regarding schedules, routines, discipline techniques, etc.  This works out perfectly with his ex, but not so well with mine!



Sharon, I wish you luck with this very difficult situation!!!! 

Crystal - posted on 04/08/2009

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As long as you have court papers saying the schedule you are fine. First of all its none of her business. Your child and ex-child is between you not her. You just need to be nice and say I'm sorry but i'm not talking to you this is between my sons father and I

Mom To - posted on 04/08/2009

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My personal story is way to long and ongoing to share at the moment but I do have a little advice. No matter what put your son first, don't bad mouth his new 'mom' to him and don't let her see that it bothers you. It seems like a control issue...maybe on both sides? I know my situation is definately a control issue on both sides and it has affected my 'son' so much you wouldn't believe. Regardless of how it makes you feel that 'she' is ruling things and your his mother unless it is harming your son just try to let it go and eventually I bet she will stop. Always be the reasonable, agreeable and flexible one - it will drive her crazy and in the process you will have done nothing to hurt your son and that is reward enough for being the bigger person. If at all possible try going through the sm concerning the scheduling, I think you will be amazed at the difference it will make, even if you feel that it's none of her business. Unfortunately for you if you make her feel unimportant and powerless I would be willing to bet things will get worse really fast. Giving in and compromising doesn't mean that you are giving her the control over you and your son it just means your son and his feeling of security means more to you than not allowing her to arrange the schedule however she feels necessary. I am trying to look at this from both sides and it keeps coming back down to doing whatever saves that kid from any hurt, sadness or being put in the middle.

Sherri - posted on 02/13/2009

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I think you have gotten a lot of really good advice and to be perfectly honest, I am quite surprised with the quality of replies. It's Awesome! When i read your question I thought to myself, 'Uh oh, this should bring some interesting replies...". But the replies were great and helpful also to me as I am in the same situation as you are. Thanks!

Jean - posted on 02/11/2009

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Lots of good things said here. I am also both a mom & step mom. Dealing with my 2nd husband 's ex was much harder than dealing with my kids step mom. Alot of it depends upon you. Do you want to get along with this woman and hopefully make life a little easier for your own children or do you want to have your way because you are the mother. Talk to your ex and find out exactly what is the problem with all the schedule changes and come to an agreement with him or if need be, him & her. She may stop being a control freak if she feels like a valued person in the circle. Try nice first, If that doesn't change things after a reasonable amount of time & effort on your part, tell the Dad to put her in her place or you will do it for him. Don' t be a b.... but don't be a doormat either.

Michelle - posted on 02/11/2009

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Maybe now would be a good time to stop and evaluate if the current schedule really is working for everyone. Sometimes we get caught up in the way that we have always done things and an outsider can see a better way. Or maybe she is just trying to assert her control. I would seriously consider the change that they are proposing (if it is reasonable). Will it be better or worse for the kids? If the kids won't mind then the needs of both mum and dad need to be balanced. When I first became a step mum I insisted on having a regular schedule. That was because there was no schedule at all and it was too inconsistent for my stepdaughter. I think step mums do have a right to make suggestions and have their ideas considered, however at the end of the day it is up to the mum and the dad

Jennie - posted on 02/06/2009

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i'm the ex and the new wife.. my husband was also married before.. we both have boys..

our kids are now grown and we have been married for almost 12 years.. but when we were going throug this, he dealt with his ex wife and i dealt with my ex husband and it worked out pretty well.. we had our issues to say the very least but his ex wife was pretty good about not butting into our business nor did we hers or my ex husband's.. we had our issues to say the least but if he stuck to his and i stuck to mine, things went ok.. it's hard.. very hard for the stepmom more so i think.. especially when you run into the problem of the other child not behaving.. my husband never wanted to correct his son cause we didn't get him very often but he soon found out later that he should have.. i bit my tongue off more than once but i did my best to keep peace in my home..kids (on both sides) are unfortunately put in the middle and that's never good.. no matter how hard you try to keep peace, it's tough.. it's a 50/50 for both sides and if there is not good communication and both sides dont try, there will always be turmoil.. good luck!

Gladys - posted on 02/06/2009

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Honestly everyone here has a point to some of what they are saying. In all reality if she says anything to the new wife she will become deffensive. The new wife tends to have the control issue. Us as women make this mistake thinking well I'm the new wife I'm in charge it 's my way or no way. It is really on him the father to make sure that he continues to provide a Happy Medium so everyone can go about their business. If he can't do that he basically has surrendered his manhood to his new wife and obviously can't handle is own. Me being the ex I have been there done that. He made the kids with the ex not the wife with the ex. Lets get it together now. So best thing let her know that you are not him and will not allow her to run things.

TopSecret - posted on 02/03/2009

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I can certainly see how this would throw a wrench into life. I am both an ex and a stepmom and this is my second time around. My advice to you, is to bend and flex but expect reciprocity. Life is constantly changing, situations, schedules, etc. Both parties should expect the other to be somewhat flexible for each other and for the kids. My guess is that their household needs a change but they are not going about approaching you about it the best way. If it were me, I would send an email (when appropriate) stating something along the effect of:

"I understand that you need a change in the established schedule. I'd like to be able to come to an agreement that we both can live with. Please let me know if your change is temporary or permanent. I'll do what I can to accommodate changes but expect reciprocity as well."

Try not to get too wrapped up in *who* needs the change, or *why*.

Sherri - posted on 02/03/2009

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Hi, I'm an ex wife and a second wife, so I certainly see both sides.  As a second wife with 2 step kids, the ex can be pretty intimdating (and you are very pretty - even worse for the new bride!).  Perhaps she's trying to exert her role in her husband's life, albeit she sounds like she's being unfair and a bit too demanding.  I guess you could approach this one of two ways - one, acknowledge that the new wife is probably acting out of insecurity - the hand that rocks the cradle, so to speak, and perhaps you could try a friendly conversation with her - approach her for her help rather than being confrontational.  Sometimes you have to take the higher road.  Or you could discuss with your ex that you are finding it difficult to manage your schedule with constant interruptions and changes (do not blame his wife or even bring her name up - that's not fair to him, he's trying to balance everyone's feelings and probably knows he's failing).  Ask him to meet at a convenient time (so that he has time to talk with his wife) so that the 2 of you could work out a mutually agreeable schedule.  His life has changed, so he needs to accomodate his new family as well, however, he needs to work this out with you so that you and your son both know where you need to be and when.  Good luck and try to be the bigger woman here - your son will see it as he gets older and you will role model the kind of woman he will want to spend his life with.

Eileen - posted on 02/02/2009

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I hate to sya this..but we' haven't had any good experience in this either...



My ex'es girlfriend yells at my daughter, now 41/2 and puts her in the corner when she wets the bed.. needless to sya i'm not happy!  She even insists on diapering her in a " pull'up " because she doesnt want to deal with laundry.. and my ex just stands by and goes with it...



if htere's any hope of resolution, try for it, try to talk to her.. beyond that? just sitck to you guns and hold your schedule! put your foot down..or up  (wink) of where ever it needs to be to keep your family sanity in tact!



 

Diane - posted on 01/30/2009

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I would think the best thing to do is remind your ex this is his to resolve. Doesn't he have a problem with the upheaval? Kids need stability during life changes and a big part of that is continued routine. But your sons need to see your ex problem solving this conflict. All parenting decisions should be made by the two of you, and clearly explained to the stepmom and kids.

Lia - posted on 01/30/2009

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is the arrangements you and your ex have court ordered or just a verbal agreement between the two of you??  have you asked her why she is trying to change the arrangements or schedules? maybe there is a conflict with there schedules? i now to my husbands ex wife im considered controlling bc i make all the decesions of the household and she doesnt like that he has to talk to me about things first before he makes any decesions. but i would ask if maybe there is a reason she wants to change everything and if there isnt a legitamite reason, basicly put her in her place and tell her she doesnt have a say in anything that its between you and your ex. 

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