Anne - posted on 12/31/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )
Okay... This may get long-winded, but I'm looking for honest opinions. Let me first explain that I have three kids from my first marriage, but also have a 6 year old stepdaughter. I DO understand that being a stepmom is sometimes not the easiest job in the world, but I am very fortunate that the BM in my case is someone I've actually come to like after getting to know her. As a matter of fact, when something needs to be done concerning my stepdaughter, she prefers to communicate with me about whatever it is rather than with my husband. We have a great relationship that I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.
All that being said, here is my issue. My children's father has been remarried for about a year and a half now. We have just concluded a custody battle that has taken almost two years. Here's a quick rundown on the custody issue... In December of 2007 he filed a motion for emergency custody based on a material change in circumstances. His claims were that I was living with someone I was not married to, that we were both drug addicts, and that we had no water or electricity in our home. True enough, my husband and I were not married at the time, and my husband did have a history of some not so wise decisions in his younger days. There were no issues with our utilities, but since I was served less than 12 hours before I had to appear in court, there was no way to gather the documents to prove that in time. Long story short on that part, he was granted temporary custody.
Let me point out that he had the kids future stepmom living with him on and off for roughly a year and a half before this happened, but moved her out about a month before filing. From the time he got the kids he would make overtures, implying that if I would do certain things for him, I would see the kids when I wanted, not have to pay child support, etc. Needless to say, he was turned down. In the meantime, the future stepmom would go around telling people (including my own family) that I kept trying to sleep with him. Funny, considering that the day he told me they were getting married he made the comment that things should be okay between the two of them as long as he didn't have the opportunity to be alone with me. Which was thoroughly inappropriate on his part but not particularly surprising. What made it even more appalling was that he said it in earshot of my husband.
After their marriage, she decided that she had control of my kids. They would not allow any kind of regular visitation (unless they wanted to go to the bar and needed a babysitter) and many times would not answer the phone when I tried to call the kids. When I would try to get in touch with him, she would go ballistic and tell me that if I needed something about the kids that I could deal with her, because she didn't want me talking to him.
Let me explain that had she even been DECENT to my kids, I could have tolerated most of her crap. But she couldn't even do that. She would fawn over them in public, even making posts on her FB about HER kids, but treated them horribly when she thought no one would see. The two of them transferred the kids to another school, where she acted as though SHE was their mother.
I ended up regaining custody after all of the turbulence (two years and $12,000 later) and thought that maybe things would calm down after all of their lies had been proven to be totally untrue. But it has only continued and possibly gotten worse. The day I went to pick the kids up I told their father that they would need to send a few school uniforms, as I was picking them up on a Thursday afternoon and they had school the next morning. The few uniforms they sent were received with grease rubbed into them and holes cut in them.
Here is my latest run-in with her though... I went to the courthouse yesterday to pick up their first child support payment. When I got there, the clerk asked me if they needed to change their records, as the last names did not match. Even though I am remarried, I chose to keep the same last name as my children. I told the clerk that what was on their records was correct, and the last name on the check was my husband's last name, not mine. When I left the courthouse I sent the stepmom a message (she was the one who wrote the check) with this exact text-"Just picked up the check. For future reference though, my last name is still Thornhill. Thanks." Her reply was to tell me if I sent her another message I would be charged with harassment.
I'm not exactly sure what to do about her. She's evil to my kids, she does her best to thwart any efforts their dad and I make to get along, and she makes things as difficult as she possibly can. I would really appreciate any insight any of you may have as to what I can do to remedy this. I look forward to your responses.