SD wrote husband a nasty note...

Megan - posted on 06/17/2010 ( 19 moms have responded )

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Hi Ladies! I have been away from this site for some time, but I would really like some advice. I am heartbroken for my husband.

My SD called this week and asked if she could not come to our house this weekend because she wanted to go to a party instead. My husband said, no, I haven't seen you guys for three weeks (because of summer vacation) so I'm picking you up on Friday. (Not to mention that this weekend is father's day and they should be with their father.) SD wrote my husband two very nasty emails. It is unfortunate that she will miss this party, but her mother moved them 200 miles away from the community in which they grew up when their mother and father were still married. So when they are with us for the weekend they can't see their new friends. I know what a big deal this is for a 13 year old.

Anyway, the emails basically said that she hates coming to our house, that anytime she acts like she is having a good time she is "faking it", that there are people in her life much more important than her father and she should be with them on father's day. What I find most disturbing is that she said that my husband has never been a real father to her and so it shouldn't matter whether she sees him on father's day or not. She said that he is only trying to ruin her life.

I know that emotions can run high in 13 year olds, but I am very upset with the way that she said those things. We had a long talk with her not long ago and we all seemed to be on the same page. But now she says she was faking it all along. And to say that he has never been a real father is incredibly hurtful. For two years, after their mother moved away and the divorce was not finalized, BM only allowed my husband to see his children at her father's house. Even though her father threatened to shoot him, he went to see his kids. Finally the divorce went through and she had to let him bring the kids to his house. Even then she interfered with visitation. My husband has spent money he doesn't have just to enforce his right to see his kids. He has tried for so long just to do the right thing, and for what? His daughter tells him that her step-father (who tried to get my husband to fight in front of the kids) is more of a father than he ever was.

Just to be clear (and since I'm a little riled up) I want to mention that my husband has been a part of his kids' lives since they were born. He spent some time overseas in the military when they were young, but for two years before BM moved away he stayed home with them during the summer while BM went to work. The only time he lost contact was on and off for about two years, from the time that BM moved away until the divorce was final. But that wasn't for lack of trying on his part.

I'm just heartbroken. And, to be honest, I'm angry. I want my husband to call her out, to explain in no uncertain terms that she cannot treat him with this sort of disrespect. I want him to present her with the facts. I really want her to see her mother for the hateful person she is, but I know that is asking too much.

Sorry to ramble. Any feedback would be helpful. Thanks

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Erin - posted on 06/23/2010

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that is one thing Im not looking forward too, as soon as hub gets to really be a "parent" and have her with us for extended periods of time, its going to be a back and forth war between bio and him. She will always complain, I know that SD is no where near the end of the 'trouble years' and will be heading to teenage years within three years and that will bring about a whole new set of drama for us to go through. Hopefully we will live in her state by the time she's 13 so we at least can have her around more and that can't be a problem and might lead to us getting full custody if the alienation continues...god bless therapists and hope they can work some majic. really more scientific studies and psychological research should be done on PAS becasue parents behave in alienating ways so often they don't even realize how damaging their spiteful behavior can be on a child or even young adult!

[deleted account]

I agree with both of you on this one- you cant live your lives like that. We did for a long time and it's the only regret I have about the whole thing- I feel like if we'd stood our ground sooner alot of really bad things wouldn't have happened. That's the only advice I can give you both. I take my hat off to you both, it's the most unenviable position to be in but you both have the best interests of your SK's at heart which is more than can be said for others in their lives.

[deleted account]

I am so sick and tired of BM thinking she has all the rights and can do whatever she pleases with the kids but as soon as we do one thing she disagrees with regarding something 6 year old SD has told her, we get a "hate" email and "suggestions" on how to parent. I am not incompetent and I refuse to live my life on eggshells!

Megan - posted on 06/23/2010

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Thanks so much for sharing all your experiences. For me, this highlights the inequities (inside and outside the court system) which work against fathers, even when they try to foster a positive emotional relationship with their children. The teenage years are hard enough on children and parents. But when you have one adult in control of the situation and in some cases manipulating reality for the child(ren), the other adult can easily be cut out of their child's life. While we try to do the right thing by teaching discipline and respect for others, BM lets SD get away with murder, and reinforces the idea that SD should be able to do anything she wants and that Dad is too strict. And he gets cut out for being the better parent (in my opinion). I am both angry and sad that in these important years of my SD's life she is getting such little guidance and good advice. But we have no power.

By the way, Sherri, I know what you're talking about. BM believes every ridiculous thing the kids have told her over the last five years. But if we were to believe everything they say about their mother, we would believe that she and several different boyfriends have slept in the same bed as SS and SD, that she taught SD how to make herself throw up, that she allowed multiple boyfriends to hit SS, etc. In other words, she gets to break all the rules while, in the meantime, we are living our lives like we are preparing for a deposition, always walking on eggshells. It is a disgusting and unhealthy situation all the way around.

Anna - posted on 06/22/2010

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oh sherri you mean person! fancy hurting your SS like that! lol, why is it that BMs think the worst and just take the childs story as gospel? the same happened to me but it was drug related not "abuse" related. i was taking homeopathic tablets for nervousness and my SD went back and told her mum i was taking drugs. never did she ask me what it was about until it went to court and i was accused of being a druggy. what an idiot!

Rebekah - posted on 06/21/2010

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Wow - Just to let you know you are not alone. We are going thru the same issue with my SD. She told her dad that she wasn't bleeping coming over at all this summer..maybe 1 week and she would tell him when that was. Worse thing is that BM told SD that if she did not go to her dad's she could be held in contempt of court and she couldn't afford to go to jail...that was the most BM has done to try to get SD to understand that she needs to have a relationship with her dad. SD claims that dad doesn't even know her fav. colors...he knows 2 of the 3..her third tricks him b/c he is colorblind...so purple looks like blue to him. SD is 15 so dad has been trying to comprimise and make arrangements for her to spend summer time with her friends since that is what she is into. Well it came down to hubby has given up everything but 1 week this summer b/c our youngest son told him he didn't want SD to come over - she's boring he said...he's 4 1/2...We know that the biggest reason she doesn't want to be here is that she has a boyfriend @ home (another issue we disagree about) and that at dad's house there are rules & you don't get to be lazy and sleep till noon or later...And we too have noticed that she can complain all she wants on the phone but when it comes down to it she never has a negative word about her visits while she is here. BM needs to understand that her place is to support a positive relationship between dad and the kids. Also you may want to check into the papers to see if there is a statment in the Visitation Schedule about negative talks infornt of the kids. Nither my hubby or his ex are supposed to talk bad about each other in front of SD. The best advice I can give is to just be strong for your hubby and let SD know that no matter what you will always love her and be there for her. Believe it or not she will come around eventually...

Betty - posted on 06/21/2010

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Oh man! If I were you I would tell SD she is not allowed to send e-mails and that if she does they will be deleted from now on. Get her some stamps and envelopes and tell her she has to mail the letters from now on. She wont have the guts to mail out a mean letter but writeing one and thinking about sending it will make her feel better. People have the ability to write some mean stuff that they would never dream of actually saying and I don't think she meant it(maybe she felt pressured to send the message by someone). Hormones run high at that age, she probably wasn't thinking clearly. The best thing to do is let it go and carry on like it never happened. I know that isn't what I would want to do either but it's the best way to help SD get over her little blow up.

Sherri - posted on 06/20/2010

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Megan.

I don't have much advice to offer, but hopefully I can offer come insight. My SS is very similar. He is 13 and VERY manipulative. Every now and again, his mother has some shining moments of at least pretending to care about the best interest of her son and we too have found out that my SS is the same way. When we've done something that he doesn't like, or we punish him for unacceptable behaviour, he pulls out the drama saying how much he hates it here and hates us. He tells his mother lies about us in order to gain her sympathy and to please her. In moments of extreme volnerability, he's confessed to us the nasty lies he tells about us and we've also heard the stories from his mother. It's always half truths in order for him to midigate his behaviour. Example: he showed his mother the bruise on his forarm that was from me, but left out the part that he threw his forearm into my throat and I grabbed his wrist and threw his arm away from me and his arm hit the handle that sticks out of the stove and left a bruise. He tells the same kind of lies and half truths at our house about his mother.

BM even called yesterday and asked to have my SS overnight last night. We first told my SS that the answer is no. Then we sent BM an email and told her for the tenth time that any and all requests go through US.... not my SS. She needs to show my husband the respect he deserves and needs to speak to us instead of telling my SS "ask your dad....." We innevitably get grief from my SS if we tell him no.

I find that when BM isn't around and goes through her spurts of not calling, my SSs behaviour is fine. It's obviously his mother behind the scenes pulling his strings like a puppet and "getting on his side" as opposed to saying to him "well, if you steal, you should be punished for it." She's more interested in being the favorite than she is being a parent.

Just take solice in the fact that kids although easily manipulated by these types of wonderful parents, will grow up one day and will see the light and the way things are. They are also likely to take the side of the parent that they feel less loved by in order to gain that parents love and affection. I saw the light with my father and my SS sees the light every now and again with his own mother. I will happen. Just keep loving her and letting her know that he wants to be in her life and isn't going to give up on her.

Good luck

Georgetta - posted on 06/20/2010

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I am sorry that this is going on. The bad part is, that the BM is the one to blame. The kids get brainwashed into the other parent no caring, not being there, and not loving them. They internalize this and it takes a great deal to turn that around. It happened with my SS, we were inseparable until his BM stopped his dad from seeing him. Then he would say on the phone that he hated coming by us, that he only pretended to like me to not hurt our feelings, and that he didn't care about us. It took him lliving with us for him to come out of the negativity. He has even gotten to the point to tell us that he was told to say those nasty things. I can only hope it gets better for you guys, keep the doors of communication open, maybe it is time for your husband and SD to go into family therapy? Just a thought.

Anna - posted on 06/20/2010

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it sounds like BM is in her ear telling her what to say/write.
i know its hurtful but call her bluff and say ok go to your party, you cant force her to visit you and in the long run she'll see how vindictive her mum is/was.

i have a stack of court documents, police reports, solicitors letters and personal letters explaining that my SD didnt want to see her dad. they also have BM and the rest of the household calling my SD a liar and a troublesome child. shes now 10yrs old, if and when she starts asking questions we will produce this file and let her answer her own questions. she already hates her mum and sees the hurtful things she does.

Tara Lee - posted on 06/19/2010

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Good luck Hun! I hope everything works out. I'll be praying for you and your family.

[deleted account]

Oh good for him Megan! That's so good to hear and I know just how hard this must be for him, but for what it's worth I think he did the right thing.

Yr right it is common; I wish I could play you the tape of hubby's SD (at the ripe old age of 9) telling her mother in the most b!tchy, vengeful, hate-filled voice that my sister's dog had been run over that day and then she laughed. It was chilling. I could hardly credit that this was the same child that earlier that day had drawn me a card telling me that I was pretty, cool, nice, sweet blah blah blah.... nightmare. And that's just ONE story like that :(

The GAL sounds like a marvellous plan and in the meantime I'll be praying you guys win the lotto- LOL- or if I do I'll pay for it for you ;)

Megan - posted on 06/18/2010

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Well, he did it. He is afraid that the worst will happen, though. SD is pretty immature for her age (which is understandable) and suffers from very strong manipulation from BM. But it's done. We'll see.

The weird thing is (although I know this is common as well) that she is a completely different person while she is here, almost sheepish. She can write very hurtful and untrue things with BM standing over her shoulder (you know it's true) but when she is with her dad she acts like nothing has happened. She barely uttered two words while he was talking to her (I did not get involved but stayed within earshot). Really, how does she know what the divorce decree says??? How does she know how much my husband owes her mother??? I'm still really angry about the whole thing.

On the plus side, he is in mediation July 9 and he plans to request a GAL. I have no idea how we will pay for that but we'll worry about that later. I don't want to put too much faith into the whole thing but it would be nice to have someone credentialed come into our home, see that we are not living in filth, hear husband's side, see how BM lives, and (for once) consider the best interest of the children!!! Not getting my hopes up too high but this may be our last chance with the courts, at least for a while.

Tara Lee - posted on 06/18/2010

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Hey Megan, I totally agree with Mandie...we also had a really bad time with both SS and SD...I wont go into details, but it was really hard on my hubby...he had his say to the kids, told them he loved them and they were old enough to make their own decisions, and left it at that...it didn't take SD long to change her tune, took SS a while longer(he was really upset with hubby), but he eventually realized his dad was right and called him. It was very hard on my hubby, his kids are his world. But he can be very stubborn and was tired of them playing games and getting hurt by his own children.(BM contributed to the mess). now at 17, SD has a not too bad relationship with dad and at 21, SS and dad, well that's a whole other story, but they talk.(SS had a drug and alcohol problem)

[deleted account]

Hey Megan, I'm so sorry to hear all this is coming up again after the last time. I wont rehash but do agree with the others.

My hubby's SD (BM's oldest, who thought of him as 'dad' when they were together) did this to us too. I tried not to blame her as I've actually heard her mother tell her "Tell him you dont love him anymore" when little girl couldnt get her own way and was seeking mommy's advice as to how to "make daddy do what I want." But this child has betrayed us in the worst ways and has hurt hubby more than I though possible. His oldest who now lives with BM also did this to us to a degree.

Bearing in mind, as you said, it can largely be teenage hormones crossed with a little person learning to be an individual and taking up mommy's characteristics (esp if they've seen mommy's behaviour get results from daddy); this is what we did: Firstly a little chat about respect- both the giving and receiving of it and how that all works in the real world- and the responsibility of becoming a grown-up and how that includes taking responsibility for our own behaviour and attitudes. He also needs to outline to them that there are alot of things about their family situation that they dont have the facts about- I would leave out the details as there are reasons you guys havent filled them in up til now and honestly at this point it would only make them side with BM further. I would then go into how he loves them despite the difficulties within the 2 families and their divided loyalties.Then, tell them that he's going to let them make their first adult decision about how they want to treat people.

And then, just back right off. I mean right off. If they email or make contact in any way just treat them how you normally would- and tell them you love them how you normally would- but dont initiate contact and if they dont want to come, dont make them. (This will be the hardest part for your hubby, it nearly killed mine) I know it sounds totally bizarre but it works- you've said your piece and laid the groundwork for the adult relationship you'd like to have with children in a blended family, after that it becomes their choice. Either they will choose to have a relationship with you or they wont, either way you cant force it.
In our case hubby's son has done a 180- he now interacts with us better than he ever has, says he misses us and actually asks to see us more often (much to his mother's annoyance- LOL); if you'd told me 6 months ago that would happen I'd have been gobsmacked. Hubby's SD however, we havent got that far, but she HAS told her brothers she'd like to see him (after 4 years of totally ignoring him) so..... we live in hope.

Megan - posted on 06/17/2010

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Ladies, it makes me so sad to know that you have all dealt with this. Husband will be going to mediation on July 9, but we're not hoping for much. BM is extremely manipulative and not at all rational.

Erin, husband has repeatedly asked that the kids get some counseling, but BM refuses anything beyond them seeing the school counselor from time to time. He will bring it up in mediation, but the original divorce decree states that BM makes all medical decisions without input from BD (of course, he has to pay for the medical decisions she makes!) We have both read up on PAS and agree that this is definitely what is going on with SD (SS seems somewhat immune for now.) But what do you do? We've read books, we've talked to her, husband has expressed his concern, all to no avail. He may also propose in mediation that a GAL be appointed to evaluate the situation. We'll see...

Thanks to all you ladies for sharing your stories. Again, I'm sorry this is a common situation.

Erin - posted on 06/17/2010

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Megan Im so sorry!! I know how much it hurts!!!! This also hit close to home for me as well. My SD tells her mother that she wants nothing to do with her father and is uncomfortable around him. She is nine and this is a fairly new behavior for her. She treats her dad like crap and basically ignores him during their visits and only wants to spend time with her grandmother and uncle. This wasn't the case two years ago, she was always very affectionate and loving with her father before he took her mother back to court for more visitation. Ever since then the alienation started.

Look up PAS and all the symptoms. This is what is happening to our step children and it is horribly damaging and hurtful. The mothers basically brainwash the kids to think just like them. Its not ur step daughters fault...as much as it sounds like her fault. Your husband might want to seek a counselors advice or even help. Maybe have some family therapy to address your SD's hateful feelings towards him. My advice to your husband (and you) would be to stay strong. Don't stop insisting on visits and be in her life as much as possible even if it hurts him to do so. Call, write letters, send post cards, find out the silly things she likes and get into a habit of mailing her something twice a month. Literally shove your love in her face. Then with words explain to her that no matter how she feels about daddy right now, daddy will always love her no matter what. That won't change. And sometimes you can't choose your family, but they will always be your family and love you. This is the only way to battle PAS. And know she isn't "faking it" none of them are. Its just the way they have trained themselves to explain any proof of having a good time with their fathers families to their mothers. They have convinced themselves of this as a survival method. But enjoy those good moments, becasue they won't forget how they felt when they were happy with you.

Michelle - posted on 06/17/2010

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Hit close to home for me too. My SD was 12-14 when her letter came - certified mail.. I think it comes from mom not the kids. Moms only way of revenge is thru the kids. If she cant get you, she will get the kids to get you. I would just keep doing what your doing.. Love them no less, not matter what. Your SD will come around sooner or later. Mine is now. She is 19 and pregnant and wants all daddy.. Well, daddy remembers those hurtful words and its really hard for him.

[deleted account]

I am so sorry to hear this Megan. This actually hit close to home for me as well. My SD is 6 years old. We found out through her old therapist's notes that SD supposedly said she just 'fakes' having a good time with us during visits because she doesn't want to hurt our feelings. We know this is not true but it still hurts. I think it may be her way of coping because she knows her mom hates us. SD also treats hubby like crap. She will ignore his questions, act like he's not there, etc. We know it is because of what her mom is telling her about him. My hubby used to try to be friendly and ignore her behavior but since he's told her it's rude and you don't treat adults like that, she has gotten a lot better about how she respects him. I know a lot of what your SD may be feeling may be teenage hormones and knowing how her mom and her family feel about him and you guys. He needs to step up and tell her his feelings and just that he loves her no matter what and that he will always be her father and no one can take that away from them. Hope that was a little helpful!

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