Tracy - posted on 02/12/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )
My ex husband has a little boy of four with his girlfriend. We've been divorced for 14 years and my kids are 15 and 16, so I've been their main parent. He's been good about visitation and support, though, and the kids go back and forth between our houses as they want. He's a pretty good guy. His girlfriend, though, is not a very nice person. I get along with her as an adult, but she's a bully to kids. She's critical and demands respect when she really doesn't deserve it. Respect is earned and her behavior, most times, is not worthy of respect.
My daughter seems to have been able to ignore the girlfriend's tantrums and outbursts because she is so very attached to her little half brother. My son, 15, has a very hard time with this woman. He's spending most of his time with me now, and feels bad that he can't see his dad more, but it always turns into a confrontation when he goes over there. One time, the girlfriend didn't speak to my son for four days. He had shared some special Christmas cookies he received as a gift with the family, then wanted to save the rest for himself, and the girlfriend flipped out over that. That's the type of stuff she chooses to fight about.
My kids' dad realize that there is a problem, but he just won't make any decisions about anything, even though it's out in the open that their relationship is basically over. I can't change him, or his girlfriend (who honestly thinks I'm pretty cool) and my son and I have long talks about the situation. Of course, he feels like his dad is choosing this crazy girlfriend over him. We all know that if the relationship ends, then she will leave with the four year old, and that would break my daughter's heart, and my ex's.
I tell my son that she's just a rock in his stream and he needs to learn to go around her. People like her, so mad and angry and generally nasty, will never win in the long run. His dad will always be his dad and no one can change that. He's still struggling with the situation and really, REALLY resents the girlfriend.
Anyone have any other ideas? It feels like so much generic advice when it comes out of my mouth, but I don't feel like I can do anything else to help. I've tried speaking to my ex about stuff like this before, and it backfired, so I won't do that again.