When relationship with Mom and Stepmom is hostile

Beth - posted on 11/07/2008 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am stepmom to a 10year old and 6 year old, Mom and I knew each other prior to them and she is very hostile to me whenever we are together around the boys. We have joint custody. We have a rotating schedule. This week we have Mon and Tue she has wed and thur we have fri sat and sun.

Next week she has mon and tue we have wed and thur she has fri sat & sun. this is perfect for us we are never more than 2 days away from the boys. we also live within 10 mins. school is central.

The boys were 6 months and 4 years old when they seperated so they don't know any other life style. My question is does anyone have a very hostile relationship with mom due to knowing her and being friends prior to divorce and what strategies do you use to help her come around to seeing that we all want what is best for the children and they only have 1 childhood for us to get this right. there is no do-over. The past is the past and now we must live in the childrens present. get along and nurture, parent, guide, love, teach and dicipline on somewhat of an equal plain.



Or am I just dreaming....

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Jennifer - posted on 01/20/2009

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Why do we have to live in a stereotypical world where the BM doesn't want to be friends? Why can't we be friends? We tried but she said that I had boundary issues. I just didn't think of her as my SS mom and not my husband's EW. Maybe I tried to hard but she went balistic and wouldn't talk to me for a long time and i have to be careful of how much i try to contact her. If we were in a different circumstance I know we would be friends. Why can't we get passed it? Am I the only one? I'm probably just weird and diluted. I don't know why I care so much either.

Jeanine - posted on 01/02/2009

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Hello, Beth I can relate to not getting along with the Bio mom. I was not friends with her before and will never be friends with her. I have read all the posts and agree with many of the S-moms that as long as things seem ok between the two of you when the children are around then that is all that you can hope for. I don't ever want to be friends with my SD biomom. She has never treated me with respect and will never see the importance of my role in my SD life. We too have joint custody of our SD we have her for half the last part of the week and her biomom has her sun, mon, tues & wed before school. It has been this way for a number of years, and my husband and biomom split when my SD was very young. I can relate to needing to vent about the shit that the biomom puts on you! I have been called everyname in the book to my face and she talks shit to mutual friends behind my back, it's really highschool of her and she is supposed to be the more mature one, she is middle aged and acts like a 14 year old! I think that most of her anger and hostility comes from jealously and that she feels threatened that I will take her place or something....I am not my SD mother and don't want to have that title because Step Mom is soo much better! We get to have all the fun and responsibility and none of the headache or conflict that comes between a child and their real mom!! I have a great relationship with my SD. She sees me as a person that she can tell anything to, I know that I hear all of her doubts and joys, she tells me things that she doens't tell her mother or her dad! I am the one person she feels like she doesn't ned to reassure that she loves just as much as the other. I love having that realtionship with my SD and know that I will always have this!!

Hold in there, tnk only of the kids, let the biomom be accountable for her actions, call her on her negative behaviour in a respectful way and ask her straight forward questions about how she treats you in front of other people, just not the kids. That way you have a witness to the abuse that she is putting on you. Be sure to always be respectful and truthful. Buy a recorder that you can attach to your phone and keep all the proof that she treats you poorly. Any threat on you as a person can be criminally charged and take that step if you need to. There is no reason that she should be allowed treat you this way just because she is the BIOMom that is not a pass for abuse on another person. These could all also be used if the kids chose one day that they don't want to live with her anymore, it is a form of emotional abuse and will not be tollerated by the courts...good luck!

Heather - posted on 01/02/2009

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Hello, I am new to this group, but have unfortunately have dealt with this stuff for a long time. I am not friends with my step children's mother, but you are right in saying that things need to be amicable between all adults. If you have a court order, that works in everyones favor. If she is hostile around you, maybe it would be a good idea to suggest counseling. One suggestion might be for you to try to talk with her, away from the children, and ask her flat out. What is it about me that bothers you. She probably needs to hear from you that you aren't trying to "take over" her role as the "mom". If you get no where with that, then I would suggest to her the counseling. If she won't agree, I am sure that the courts would mandate this. After all, the purpose of the courts is to help keep peace when peace cannot be reached. Keep the lines of communication open as much as possible with her. You have been in the children's lives at a very early age and they probably do look at you like their mom. There's nothing wrong with that as long as you and hubby make it known to the children that so and so is their mom and that you aren't trying to take her place, BUT you can love them like a mom. Situations like this are very hard, but it sounds like your heart is in the right place. I'll be praying for you. Thank for letting me share.

Becky - posted on 01/02/2009

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My hubby's ex and I were friends before. We were definitely awkward around each other for the first 2years of us getting together. My stepson was 3 and now he is 13. His mom and I started by talking on the phone. One of us mentioned the fact that if we were friends before that there was no reason why we couldn't get along now. If she has a question or concern about my stepson, her son, she will always call me. We decided the past is the past and we needed to move on and grow up so we could live our lives. My husband and I have 3 children together. My stepsons mom just had a baby with her husband. She actually called me the other day to ask me a question concerning care for her new baby. It is definitely a relief to know that we can laugh together and have a conversation without anyone being uncomfortable. My stepson couldn't be happier seeing stepmom and mom talking. Maybe start by inviting her to dinner. Sometimes laying everything out there on the table is what is needed. Tell her you miss her and her friendship. That might soften her up a bit and allow a moment to start the talking. You are not dreaming. I can be done. Good Luck for the kids sake!

Sarah - posted on 01/01/2009

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If you can't get on a common ground with the Ex then just be true to your own convictions setting reasonable standards as to the way you want to parent so at least the kids know what to expect. It must be difficult with regards to the rotational schedule to organise the children when communication isn't good must be a nightmare, We no longer have this trouble as the kids only go to bio's house half holidays and it has made life much more settled without her undermining our discipline or beliefs at every turn. It can be hard I also knew bio before she walked out though only briefly. I must admit I am not always proud of the person I am in her presence or in my dealings with her. But i do try very hard to be civil but there is no love lost between us which makes it hard. I do get jealous of her ability to be the good time mum with only the responsibilities of organising fun holidays and spoiling the kids, I would never change the fact I get to be in their lives every day and make decisions that matter for their future, and some times it takes a stern talk to myself to get me back from the dark side so I can be someone that I am proud of when it comes to the type of mother I want to be for all my kids

Elizabeth - posted on 12/31/2008

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The ex and I do not get along....mainly because she the two faces and definetly uses them. I tired in the beginning to get along and I even stuck up for her a couple times to my husband in regards to her actions. He warned me how she was and now I have just given up and I know in the long run that the truth always comes out. She has told my stepdaughter that she does not like her calling me So-Mo the nickname we came up with other than Step Mother which not sure why it bothers her....SD is not calling me "Mom", lied to my husband to try and cause problems between the two of us, lies to other people and bad mouths us all the time. The sad part is that my husband has always given her what she wants so now that he is actually challenging her on stuff she doesn't like it. They are both in the military so for four years she had SD the majority of the time with nobody challenging her decisions. My husband was going to move where they were living but when he got a promotion he had to move elsewhere. The Ex was up for transfer a year after we moved and was not even trying to come where we were (SD, myself and my husband asked her to)until my husband threatened to fight her for custody; in all fairness then she moved to where we were. My husband even after they were divorced and were suppose to split the house sold it to her for $10 so his daughter could stay in the house she was used to and at the time the Ex couldn't afford to buy him out. She sold the house and made a pretty penny. She had wanted the divorce and she acts like he was the one that left her. I met him 2 years after they divorced and you would think by her actions that I had split them up. She has told SD and my husband that I have no legal rights to SD which is right but how about love and SD is my family too. She had SD stay with her friends when both her and my husband where come after we had plans to have SD with us. She always excepts us to jump and do whatever she wants but when we asks for stuff it has to be to her advantage. When her fiancee came to visit we had to change our plans to suit them. My husband and I drive 30 to 40 minutes each way to bring SD to school every other week just to spend time with SD. One of Mom's weeks, she did not have anyone to watch SD during the day so she asked if one of my daughter's could watch her. Instead of dropping her off every morning and picking her up every afternoon(like we do) she left her all week because it was easier for her. One good thing is that SD's friends see what we do for her and they make comments to her about all the extra things we do so other people do see it which of course makes Mom mad but what can she say to 10 year olds? I just get so upset because my husband has always been really good to her as an ex and he is a good father to his daughter and I know the difference. My ex and their step mom never make any effort with my daughters but now with my husband and me they see the difference. Should be interesting in 2010 because SD has a say where she lives and we are all moving.

Kimberley - posted on 12/31/2008

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I have been with my husband for 12 years. When I met him his girls where 5 and 2. From day one the ex could not stand me as when the girls where at our house we spent a lot of time sewing, cooking and all the fun girly stuff. Therefore when they went home it was always "Kim does this and Kim does that". Over the 12 years there have been times when she chose to be civil and even friendly but it never lasted long. I always maintained my belief that you should never bad mouth the other parent in front of the children. My eldest step daughter who is now 17 lives with us full time and has very little contact with her mum because she could not tollerate the way her mother spoke about us any longer. Even to the point when my husband was diagnosed with cancer 6 months ago the ex said to her daughter "I hope your father suffers". Some people never change and unfortunatly the ex is the one that will miss out in the end. My step daughter has turned into a wonderful young lady.

Beth - posted on 12/30/2008

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Thanks and I do need my share of venting, after 5 years she agreed to go to my therapist and my therapist told her point blank that after 35 years as a therapist the #1 thing that precipitates possible outcome of children as adults is the level of safe emotional environment that the parents and stepparents allow to the children, she has for the most part been pleasant throught the holidays, and by pleasant I mean not calling me names except my birth given name and not talking trash to them, she only told them she didn't like the bow I wrapped her christmas gift to her from them in. LOL.

but I keep holding my breath, we will see how long she can sustain this, and yeah I'm happy with this if thats the best she can do.

Bethanie - posted on 12/30/2008

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I didn't know Mom prior to my relationship with my now hubby. But I do know about her. I know that how she treats me is how she's treated everyone in her life at one time or another. She owns two faces and uses them both. My step kids like yours know nothing of life without me, and I prefer it that way. It's been almost 10 yrs and Mom and I have good days and bad days. I take the good days, vent to my hubby or MIL on bad days and just love the kids. My step-daughter and I have a great relationship (she's 13) half friendship half mom-daughter and my step son and I (he's 9 1/2, yep they split when she was pregnant) have a mom-son relationship. Personally i think that's why the Mom doesn't likes us step-moms. I can't imagine having to share my biological children with another woman and having them look up to her as well. So I try to cut her some slack for that BUT if it interferes with any of the four kids she'd better watch out. If you need someone to vent to I'm always around.

Sandy - posted on 12/30/2008

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omg Do I ever wish I had the answer to that one! I am in a similar situation. although we did not know each other prior to my relationship with her ex. My husbands ex and I just cannot get along. She is obssessed with my relationship with her daughter and spends hours making my stepdaughter feel quilty for it. The emotional abuse weighs so heavily on my stepdaughter and I'm very surprised she is as well grounded as she is having to cope with all this adult stuff all the time. She is constantly having to reassure her mom that she loves her and is always explaining to her mom that she knows the difference between a stepmom and a real mom. Its heartbreaking



If you get any good suggestions please let me know. Good luck

Sandy

Ria - posted on 11/09/2008

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Communication,(If she agrees) to meet for a coffee and a chat,tell her you just want the kids to be happy.I'm divorced,have 2 daughters,then 16 &18,now 30 & 32,at the start it was abit stressing,but I have seen so many children suffer in a marriaged brake downs,I made a promise to my-self I will not use my girls as a prawn in a marriage broke down.Once a year my family have a family Barbie,our 1st year when our marriage broke down,my youngest asked me if Dad can come,I said why not,he is still apart of the family,some of my family members asked me ,"why is my ex there,told them my reason,I want to set an example to my family that just because you can't live with your EX dosen't mean you have to hate them and make life hard for the kids.I looked in the future,my girls,may get married one day and that day is stressful enough with out worrying where the hell are you going to place your parents and will they end up fighting.My youngest,married for 6years now had a wonderful day.and thanked my ex and myself for being cival to one another,my new man was here too,and they get along,so that is great.My world is not perfect yet,my husbands Ex,both divorced 4 years before I got with him,was ok with me until I moved in with him,they have 4 kids at the time 14,13,10,& 7 it was hard,she would used the kids as prawns and my man said don't worry about it,that was my mistake.I should have asked her to met for a chat about our roles,her as a Mum and me as a StepMum.I have tried to be friendly to her over the years.Now 12 years on still not on friendly terms but at least the kids are OK,and will ring up for a chat.I'd just wish all adults think about the kids feelings,they weren't at fault in the marriage brake down,why do they have to suffer?

Beth - posted on 11/09/2008

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Thanks for the advice and the suggestion of prayer, believe me that is something I do alot,however I really don't beleive it is possible and maybe I need to change my thought process for God to even want to work in our lives. She beleives that AVOIDANCE is what helps "her" deal with the problem, I beleived that the boys wanting us to at minimum be "civil" to one another is what guides me and my behavior. I hope that the therapist can find a happy medium we can both live with. She says its so hard for her and that she needs more time, (its been 5 years since the divorce and we've been married almost 2 years so I don't think its time but AVOIDANCE and you can never conquer that beast until you confront it. But thanks to all who answered and if anyone else has suggestions I'm all ears.

Christi - posted on 11/08/2008

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I have the same advice as Kristie Lee - PRAY about it! I didn't know my husbands ex-wife but she was really nice to me in the beginning. But as soon as we got married it all changed. She took us back to court, tried to get more money, would say nasty things about us and send threatening emails and faxes to my husband. I had a really hard time with it - I was beginning to hate this person and I didn't like the feelings I was having! So I started praying about it. When you start to pray for someone God softens your heart to that person. I asked Him to change me - and He did and the relationship got much better. In fact I just got home from a football game for my younger step son - he's 10 - and I hung out with his mom the whole game. I NEVER thought that would ever happen a few years ago!

Kristie - posted on 11/07/2008

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Well, I knew the bio mom, but only by meeting her a few times, but my step daughters were 4 and 1 when we started dating. She was very hostile for a LONG time, but through LOTS of prayer, it seems we have finally found a way to co-exist and get a long. Open communication is huge! We are actually on the same rotating schedule as you are. But she lives 30 minutes away, so the girls go to school in our district. I think it is really hard for the bio mom to share their kids. They see us stepmoms as a threat to their relationship with their children. I try to be the very best stepmom I can be. If the roles were reversed and my children had to be with another woman, I would want that person to be loving and supportive. I always try to make the bio mom feel like she is the "MOM" and I am only there to help. I also always try to do my best to bite my tongue when I don't agree about petty stuff. Through lots of mistakes I am learning to speak when its important and to let it go when it's not. We are actually kind of like friends now, but it was a long road getting there! And even tonight we kind of hit a bump, but I tried not to let it get the best of me. If you can both sit down and agree that the most important thing is your children's wellbeing and that untimately their happiness is your number one priority, maybe then you can begin to heal and learn how to live in harmony. It's hard and I know there really isn't a direct answer in this, but I hope it helps! There is hope and it can get better. So no you are not dreaming. If someone said we could be friendly even a year ago, I would have laughed, but then I got to thinking. I pray that things will get better all the time, but I don't really have any faith that it will. Why would God give me something if I never really believed He would. So one day I started believing it could and IT DID! Keep on keeping on! You'll be in my prayers!

Steph - posted on 11/07/2008

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i have no advice for you, just want you to know i am kind of in the same boat as you except im not married and my b/f has his kids once a fortnight, fr-mon and she gives so much lip when she drops the kids off i will be checking back here to get some info my self, we used to be best friends me and his ex.

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