Drama just elevated...

Megan - posted on 09/13/2009 ( 31 moms have responded )

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My husband and I had his two children this past weekend for normal visitation. When he picked them up, the kids' stepfather tried to get my husband to fight. He pushed my husband with his shoulder, trying to get my husband to throw the first punch, which he of course did not. This all hapened in front of two children and other people at a BP in Kentucky. When my husband dropped the kids back off today he brought his brother along. The stepfather still came out with verbal attacks, with bm at his side throwing her's in as well. Again, all in front of two kids and a host of strangers. BM nor stepfather asked about SD's project for school, nor said anything to either of the kids, but instead went straight into a verbal assault against their father while the kids were trying to move their bags from one car to another.



My husband is normally a very laid back person (laid back to a fault some would say) but even he admitted to wanting to give this guy what he wanted, i.e. a fight. Meanwhile, I am sitting here in shock that people act this way. Surely this cannot be normal, right? What kind of people do this sort of thing?



We haven't spoken to our attorney about the whole thing yet, and we have been keeping a journal of occurences for some time. But how am I supposed to feel comfortable with my husband -- the love of my life -- putting himself in physical danger everytime he transports his own kids? I am not able to make the trip with him, so what do we do when he can't find anyone else to go either?



Finally, I am concerned because I have a biological child with my husband. I feel like I must do whatever I can to protect her and ensure that her environment is a safe one. I want the very best for my stepkids, but my daughter is only 21 months old and I feel very protective of her. There doesn't seem to be any way to keep the drama from entering my home.



I feel so sad for my stepkids and for my husband. I feel that their bm has chosen to live a life full of drama and to keep that drama at such an unhealthy level. I worry that for them it may be too late to teach them that there are better ways to live.



I am not really asking for answers, but I sort of needed someone else to tell me that this is not normal adult behavior. Thanks.

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Francesca - posted on 09/14/2009

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its not normal behavior, but unfortunately these things happen when there are bitter and twisted sad lonely people,who have nothing better to do but have tention and drama in their lives. i know how you are feeling. i myself was slapped round the face by my husbands ex wife. she trives on drama, when we think things have calmed down it all starts up again. even her husband has tried to have tention with my hubby, but i dont think he expected him to turn around and say "not infront of my boys" that soon shut him up.

i would say get him to record what they say to your hubby, and maybe try and get the drop offs to be between him and his ex.

good luck i know its tough

Sondra - posted on 09/14/2009

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Excellent idea to keep a journal of all activities. That is the first thing I recommend to anyone with divorce/custody issues. Maybe video taping a couple meetings with these violent and aggressive tendencies at the drop off/pick ups could help with lawyer.

My husband's ex could manipulate him and guilt him into giving her more money (even with kids with us for the summer months) so we decided that I would have all the interaction, arrange picks/drops and have all face to face. It worked well for us, may not for all. Could another relative or a court appointed mediator do pick ups/drop offs.

That behavior is not normal, but far too common.

I wish everyone would but the kids first.

Gook luck and God bless.

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31 Comments

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Megan - posted on 09/17/2009

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Thanks, Kathy. I have received so much support from some truly wonderful people in this post. I am very sad to see that so many of you have been down this road, but I greatly value your suggestions and thank you all for sharing your personal stories. I have shared these suggestions with my husband and we are in contact with the attorney. Hopefully we can get something worked out before the next weekend visitation. Thanks again.

Kathy - posted on 09/17/2009

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This is not normal behavior but unfortunately all to common. Have you thought about changing the location to a local Police Station? Many police stations will allow this as a meeting place to drop off and pick up the children. My fhoughts and prayers are with you. I have been down the same road as you are.

Megan - posted on 09/17/2009

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Thanks to Tanya, Becky, Amy, and Jessica. We will request that an officer be present until we can change to dropoff location to a police station or center for supervised visitation. My husband's brother did witness one of these altercations and will testify if it comes to that. One good thing that may come out of all this is that if we move the dropoff location we may be able to shave a little driving time off my husband's trip. He has been driving more than halfway (almost double what bm drives) this whole time, even though she was the one who moved.



Thanks for all the support and encouragement.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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Megan I'm sorry some of my comments you are already doing I didn't read through the all the posts before I responded. Good luck on the future.

Jessica - posted on 09/17/2009

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Oh wow that is horrible! Those two little kids should not have to live with that kind of stuff. Kudos to you and your Dh for not getting involved like they wanted. I know you aren't looking for answers but maybe next time you should request a police officer to be there with you. I think I would have called the police. That's just not right of them at all. My heart breaks for you and all the children. Good luck with the legal aspects of this. Did you get any stranger that witnessed it to maybe testify on your behave if you have to go to court?

Amy - posted on 09/17/2009

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Find a more nuetral location to do the exchange. I went through issues with my ex for awhile and I insisted on doing the swap in the local police departments parking lot. I spoke with the department, explained the situation and simply asked if we could do the exchange there. They were perfectly fine with it. PLUS it stopped the drama!

Becky - posted on 09/16/2009

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I have lived through this myself, it is NOT normal behavior. This is 2 so called adults being selfish and acting on impulse and making poor decisions without considering the ramifications it is having on the children. Be the norm for them. And think how fortunate you are to know how to love, sounds like they really need your positive example. Hang in there!!

Tanya - posted on 09/16/2009

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Hi again Megan, Very interesting to read comments above,,,,,i am in Australia, so am not sure as to diffrent laws from here and there,,,,we too were told we wouldnt get custody of SD's many years ago so my husband just dropped it, now since the incedents of the last couple months have come up child services have told us they woulod completely back us 100% for custody rather then send SD home to BM. And i do agree with you about being concerned that there is irreversible damage done i am concerned about that also,,,but take comfort in the fact that my husband and i ALWAYS tried to teach SD's right from wrong even if only 2 days out of 14( as all our work seemed to be undone once they went home to BM) but it now seems as though the girls are starting to wakeup and realise who had there best interests at heart,,, adn i only hope that we can reverse any damage in someway and if we cant then we can certainly stop more happening!....Goodluck Megan ,,,,thoguhts are with you!

Megan - posted on 09/16/2009

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Thank you Beverly and Tammy. Our attorney told us today that if she cannot get alternate pickup/dropoff arrangements in place before our next scheduled weekend to request a police officer be there. We will definitely do this. Thanks to all.

Tammy - posted on 09/16/2009

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I am so sorry for your problems, I deeply feel for you as well as the rest of your family. My prayers are with you all as well as other step families going through similar or other problems. I personally can tell you that most states have some sort of law that not only gives parents rights but responsibilities to protect their children. Check into it both in the state you live in as well as any state you may do drop offs and pick ups at. I am pretty certain you will find that you have a right AND an obligation to protect the children from this type of behavior. How can you or any parent feel good about putting their children in a vehicle with someone who is acting erratically, I am certain you all must be scared to death for the childrens safety when leaving the kids to ride with someone this angry. NOT A CUT, an argument. Vehicle's become a weapon of possible death when the persons driving them are drunk, on drugs of any kind, or angry to the point of acting erratically. The children are in grave danger everytime they get in the car with this man if he is acting this violent and erratic, and you need to check into the laws of child protection and use this as a defense to make things change for you and the kids. My suggestion to you all, that until you can get something set up legally to protect your children, I strongly suggest that if you go to drop off the kids that you either call a police officer to be at the drop off point with you or find the nearest police station to the drop off location, know where and how to get there and if the sd starts in just get the children to the nearest police station as quick as possible. They can't refuse you and as long as you take them to the police then they can't hold it against you in court saying that you didn't return the kids as you were suppose to. Good luck hon and keep me posted. ~ Tammy

Beverly - posted on 09/16/2009

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No, this is not normal behavior. I can relate to how you are feeling. My husband has two children with his ex-wife. And her husband is always trying to start some kind of drama and it is always in front of the children. It makes me sick to think that this is what my step children live with. And that this is probably the kind of behavior they see everyday. These are sad situations!!

Megan - posted on 09/16/2009

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Thanks Cheryl. It really helps to know how the courts have handled confrontational parents in other situations and areas. We will bring all of these up to our attorney.



As for custody, we have been told for so long that we don't have a chance that we had pretty much given up, until we read "Divorce Poison" and considered asking for a custody evaluation. I am not sure how much would come to light but I think it is time to move on this. BM is extremely narcissistic and a (I would say habitual) liar, but she is also very convincing to those who don't know her.



By the way, to keep the record straight, BM does work full time, as does her husband. She moved out of state before the divorce proceedings began, and moved further south from us when she got married. Although she stayed in the same state as she was before, this new residence is significantly further away.

[deleted account]

Hi there...I too wont repeat everything everyone else has said, but I will tell you about some things we have gone through and done in order to prevent actions similar to what your hubby is living. After several instances where his ex tried to run him down at an exchange and then claimed I tried to physically attack her during an exchange, we went to court to not only have the exchange at a neutral location (which is sounds like you do), but NO ONE can get out of their cars and there is a 50 feet distance to be kept at all times. Neither parent can speak to each other and if the stepfather is the problem, it can be ordered that he not be present at the exchanges since he seems to be the instigator in these actions. Since we did that, there is peace. We choose a Target parking lot and we park a row apart and when SD was smaller told her to look both ways and we did not leave the parking lot until she was safely in the other car.

Now getting custody.....should not be difficult if you have documentation that mom was found to be mentally ill or unstable and step father is a felon. That is a ticking bomb! You go to court with an Order to show cause for Sole Physical custody of the kids, with visitation to the mother. Then you request an evaluator be assigned to the case and get the evaluators opinion of who the kids would be better off with. If these wacko parents behave like they do during an exchange it would not be hard to obtain custody in order to provide the kids with a healthy living environment. While you may not get support from loosers, you will have the peace of mind knowing the kids are healthy, clean, getting an education and are being treated with respect and not in harms way. An evaluator was assigned to my hubbys divorce and custody and found BM to be narssitic and a pathological liar and unable to show compassion and love to a child much less have someone dependent on her. Of course BM tried real hard to put on a good act, but it was when her daughter fell and got hurt during the visit that she and her boyfriend laughed at SD and called her names that the evaluator saw that she was not good for the child.

You can also get a standing restraining order for BM and the step father for your home, for 1000 ft from ur home, vehicle, you and your daughter based on his attempts to physically attack ur hubby! Good Luck....fight for those kids and get them out of that environment! What gave her the right to move out of the state? That may be an argument there especially since she is not working full time and providing adequately for the kids!

Megan - posted on 09/16/2009

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Both my husband and I have read this recently. I have also recommended it to others on this site. It has really been helpful in allowing my husband to address some issues with his children rather than sitting in silence like he has done for the past five years. It is great to hear that someone else has utilized this resource. Best of luck to you and your family.

[deleted account]

I don't know if you are going through this or not but a great book and resource is "Divorce Poison" by: Dr. Richard Warshak.

Megan - posted on 09/15/2009

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Thanks Penny. This is a great idea. BM also makes my SD feel very guilty, trying to get her to take sides on issues she should not even know about. When BM is out of the picture everyone is happy. But all it takes is one phone call to make SD feel bad again.



The more documentation the better. Thanks so much.

[deleted account]

You can request to have exchanges at a visitor's center where supervised visits usually take place. BM would be waiting with kids inside and your hubby would come to door, the people working there would bring the kids out to your car and BM would have to wait ten minutes before leaving. Drop offs would be the opposite where he wait inside with the kids and she comes to the door to get the kids. That is what we are asking be done with our exchanges because BM is a liar and manipulator. She eggs on SD and makes her feel guilty for spending time with us. She has also lied over and over about SD's behavior before and after our visits. If you do exchanges this way it is professionally documented and they can testify in court to each parents and kids behaviors.

Megan - posted on 09/15/2009

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Thanks for the encouragement, Tara.



Sharri, I agree that the dropoff needs to be addressed in court and we are looking into that now. It helps to know that this is a fairly normal request that the courts should consider.



Thanks to everyone.

Tara - posted on 09/15/2009

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I have been thru a lot in my 30 yrs and I have always remembered the positive influences in my life even though these influences weren't my "parents." I always remember the positive even if I only saw these people 1 wkend a year. Just stay motivated and positive that you ARE doing the right things and the kids will be ok. Sound like your a loving parent for ALL children and we need more like you. My last posting for a while concerning this 'cause it may not be helpful. God bless...

Megan - posted on 09/15/2009

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Thank you Michelle. It has been my understanding that Ohio does not have an age of choice, although the older the child is, the more the court will listen to their opinion. I admit that I did not hear this directly from our attorney, rather I am going from my research on the internet. I wish that shared parenting were an option, but bm took the kids to Louisville, KY to live with her new husband. We are stuck in Dayton and are unable to move for the time being. We have been told by our attorney that the stepfather's criminal record is inconsequential unless the conviction was sexual. It was violent, but not sexual.



Thank you Tara. We have strived since the beginning to show the children through our behavior what we believe a healthy home looks and acts like. Of course it has been very difficult, especially when bm calls the kids and creates more drama in our home, but all in all I think we have done a decent job. What we fear above all is that when the kids finally do realize that we are on their side, the damage will have been done and may be irreversible. We continue to stress to them what we feel is important, emotional well-being and education, but I fear that, in reality, we have very little influence in their lives.



Thanks again to everyone.

Tara - posted on 09/15/2009

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I won't repeat what everyone else stated. I just want to reassure you that your babies by another mama is being exposed to a "normal" stress free household (yours). Children aren't stupid and know what's going on. Just make sure that negativity isn't being exposed by you and they will if not already know what a healthy lifestyle is. As long as the "psychos" are only exerting this negative behavior at the meeting places and not your house than you shouldn't have any worries for your daughter. I don't personally experience drama from my ex but my husband's ex is just as psycho. "sarcasm" gotta love the psycho exes.

Michelle - posted on 09/15/2009

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Megan,

As everyone has already told you, this is not normal behavior for adults. I also live in Ohio and the attorney that my husband and I talked to did say that at age 12 the child could choose which parent they wanted to live with. I have also recorded everything from the time of meeting my husband, this is a dual purpose. First we have my ss (my husband has since he was 18 mths old) Bm has chosen to take only standard visitations when it suits her. My point here is, an attorney is telling you there is no way, they are full of it!!! you can start with a shared parenting, if that doesn't work, take it for full custody. Have someone video tape pick ups and drop offs, keep you book up to date, even keep reciepts for what you have spent on the kids. Trust me, it will work. Plus with him being a felon, depending on what it was that he did, and that is a matter of public record, it could be even easier if it was a violent crime.

Good luck!!

Megan - posted on 09/14/2009

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Thank you Sondra and Francesca. We are discussing how we could record these meetings from now on. Luckily my husband has some background in security and personal protection. He has requested that the stepfather not come to the pickup and dropoff before, to no avail. He also stated very clearly that this sort of thing needs to be settled when the kids are not around, again to no avail. We will end up going back to court, and although I know that sensible people are beginning to see our side and see that she is unstable and acting purely vindictively, this battle has been going on way too long.



Thank you for all your suggestions and encouragement. I am very sorry to hear that others have had to go through similar troubles.

Megan - posted on 09/14/2009

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Thank you Jessica. We do keep records diligently and are requesting to move the pickup/dropoff point to a police station. I am still saddened that things have devolved to this point and that the kids have been witness to it all.

[deleted account]

this is not normal, keep records of these indcidents, u may need to use it in court one day. call the cops too and keep reports.

Megan - posted on 09/13/2009

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Thank you Tanya. We would love for the kids to come live with us and provide them with a stable home. Unfortunately we live in Ohio and there is no age of consent, so we would actually have to sue for custody. Even with everything that has happened, bm being called "mentally ill" by one of the kid's doctors and step-father being a convicted felon, every attorney we have talked to says we would have very little chance of winning. And with the kids not knowing any different kind of life, they can see no wrong in their own mother, which I understand to a point. We've felt beaten for so long that the threat of physical violence seems unnecessary and surreal.

Tanya - posted on 09/13/2009

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Hi there,,,,First of NO i do Not think that it is at all normal adult behavior,, My husbands ex is exactly the same,,,although from day one i suggested to BM that we get along for the girls' sake she did not want htis,,,rather then be friendly or at least pretend to be ,,, she was and always is very nasty. She has even gotten one of then boyfriends to punch my husband in the face and my now eldest child witnessed this at the age of 4. So i know what you mean about protecting ur child. I dont have answers but agree that it isnt normal ADULT be haviour. I feel sad for my stepdaughters' and there father as well and as the saying goes"what goes around comes around" the youngest SD has chosen to live with us within the last month, Dept. of community services is involved, hoping to remove the other SD at some point whilst still trying to maintain my sanity and keep the madness from the home!

Good luck the only thing i can say is plz plz dont blame the step children( not that i am thinking you would) but i have been closely tempted and it really is not a childs fault how there parents choose to behave. To me seperation should be made as easy on the child/ren as possible it is not a playing field for the BM to play games!

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