Ex-wife and her flying monkeys

Michelle - posted on 08/19/2016 ( 25 moms have responded )

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Any ladies here who have a hard time with the step children and the ex-wife? I have been with my SO since 2009 and his ADULT children still don't see me as part of the family. When they are around they ALWAYS bring up their mother. All I hear is "Dad remember when" blah, blah, blah. I understand stand having memories but they do it to try to make him think about when they were a family. This is every time they come over. They will make some conversation about when they were a family, show him pictures of their mom, take pictures with him and the grand baby but never include me in any pics. They will take numerous pictures of only him. I feel they do this to make me uncomfortable and to let me know they will never see me as anything. They believe their parents are soulmates and need to get back together. There is another twist. The mother approved of his last girlfriend of 8 years so the kids took a liking to her and still include her in everything in their lives. Although they feel their parents are meant to be, if they can't get them back together then they want him back with her. Not only do I have to deal with them mentioning the ex-wife but also the ex girlfriend. Every holiday they invite us to gatherings which include the exes being there. It's one thing if the ex-wife didn't still have feelings for him but, I'm not attending a gathering where two exes believe he still wants them. When we do run into the ex she is always touching and flirting with him. Makes my blood boil! The ex-wife is best friends with the ex-girl friend and they have pulled some crazy things together to cause problems between us. It's like my life is a joke to these people. His family still has contact with both of them and don't really like me. I'm the bad guy to his family because I helped get him off of drugs and alcohol and quit letting his family take advantage of him when it came to money. My head is scrambled these days because I am angry and stressed out from all of it. Every time I put my guard down something new happens. I am so fed up! It's been 7 years of constant bullshit from his kids and exes. I've done nothing to any of these people and yet their goal in life is to make miserable. Any advice?

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Michelle - posted on 02/13/2017

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I have been going to therapy. The therapist has me taking baby steps to figure out things. She knows i'm having a hard time separating myself from him. She said the family has put me through enough abuse that I have lost myself in the years. We've distanced ourselves away from his soon due to the way he has treated me. He tried taking advantage of me sexually, used to sneak in bathroom and watch me take showers, stole my panties and used to check our room to see if we had sex. It's a bunch of crazy crap. Now, the son is living together with my s.o.'s ex girlfriend's daughter and have been together for 3 years and they are both meth heads who go around taking advantage of others. I might see him maybe once a year. The only ones I have to deal with now are the daughters. I don't have a problem with them other then them expecting to dictate who their father should have in his life and the games they play with their mother. However, I feel that if he would point blank just tell them enough is enough that things might get better. Who knows. They have parents who are okay with them treating people however as long as they are not mad at them. These kids are 32, 30, and 25 and the 25 year old has never had a boyfriend. They don't have outside friends. The family only hangs with each other. I'm all for being close to your family but I also believe you should have a life outside of your family. The 25 year old has never worked a day in her life. Her life revolves around her mother. My other half thinks this is normal living and that every family has dysfunction in it. Lol. This is not normal. It's more like a lifetime movie. We haven't seen the daughters since Christmas Eve. They are shutting their dad out because at the beginning of January he told the oldest that I have no desire to be their mother's friend and the is no reason for him to be friends with her either. They are not young anymore and there just isn't any reason to be. Of course it upset them and now they are ignoring him. This is a common game with them. They know he can't handle going to long without talking to them before he caves and opens that door again with the mother.

Mary - posted on 02/13/2017

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Hi Ev

I fully appreciate that not all stepchildren see their parents' marriage as a betrayal but regrettably a lot do. I like to think that my stepchildren see me as a positive addition to their lives but in reality, they might not. Change is difficult for everyone and it does take many years for things to settle down. My stepdaughter was a bridesmaid at our wedding and told me how delighted that she was for us both. She added that the difference in her dad since he met me is phenomenal, for the better :) Unfortunately her mother (Ex.1) has not moved on even though she and my husband split in 2001. Upon separating from her, my husband then met Ex.2 in Norway with whom he has a 13 year old son. I naively believed that because he was in another long term relationship since their split, that she had moved on but I was wrong. She sent a funeral wreath to us on our wedding day!

I agree that many stepmoms create problems for themselves by setting themselves up as competitors with bio-Mom. This only perpetuates the conflict. The real issue that I see is far closer to home with bio-Dad not enforcing boundaries. Once my husband stood up to his exes, eventually the aggravation stopped, for us anyway. Maybe they both still do hate us but it's from afar and doesn't affect us at all.

Mary - posted on 02/13/2017

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That is absolutely horrendous Michelle! Such shocking behaviour. I would take legal advice over such a serious matter.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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In a way he is right but he is not doing anything to stop their behaviour.
I would be telling him that he needs to grow a set or you will walk. You don't deserve to be treated like that and not have him back you up. That's what a relationship should be.
You've been putting up with it for 7 years, he's not going to change now. There does come a time when you have to look after yourself and walk away from those that are bringing you down.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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Probably not. I just try to convince myself sooner or later things will work themselves out. When I try to leave he tells me that I am doing exactly what they want. Walking away from him so they can choose who they feel is right for him and not care about who he thinks is right for him.

Ev - posted on 02/12/2017

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Is it really worth it to stay with someone who does nothing to defend the respect you deserve just because you are a person...human being...besides the fact you are their father's SO? Is it worth it to stay with someone who will not defend you on his own terms?

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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I agree with you ladies. He just blames their behavior on their mother. Which both parents need more practice in values and moral behavior.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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I agree with Ev. Letting your adult children know that their behaviour is unacceptable isn't hating them, it's telling them to behave like adults. Like Ev said, he also isn't respecting you by not standing up for you and the way they are all treating you.

Ev - posted on 02/12/2017

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He dos not have to hate his kids to put his foot down and demand that the kids act like adults not children and show some respect to you but as I see it at the same time he is not respecting you when he does not defend you.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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Ev, his words exactly were to me "what else could I say? The damage is already done. Am I supposed to hate my kids?" I've never expected him to hate his kids. That is crazy. They are your kids but I do feel like he could have said more and I also feel like these are grown kids who know right from wrong and there was absolutely no reason to do that to either one of us. My kids are 10 years younger than his and they have never disrespected our relationship or him.

Ev - posted on 02/12/2017

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So instead of telling how it is he just continued the drama over this? His confronting them about the videos and not finding someone with the same birthmarks only encourages their behavior....

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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Well he's the one that really needs to stand up to them.
It doesn't matter if you are married or not in my eyes, the children should have been brought up with better values and taught to respect others.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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That's exactly what it is. His kids also have done something to us that he's afraid they will do again if he pisses them off. When we first moved in together his kids, ex wife, and ex girlfriend took a photo from his phone of me and then a photo they had of him and made two different videos. One of me give a whole bunch of other guys oral sex and the one sent to me was of him receiving oral sex from numerous women. He confronted them and they just laughed. He told them if they were going to try to pull something like that to break us up they could at least make sure the found someone who had the same birthmarks. Even more disturbing is what kids even want to visualize one of their parents in any kind of sexual position. It's just all crazy at times.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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It was more wanting to vent and see if others could relate. I wonder as well if it would be different if we were married. I feel he needs to step up and set boundaries. I guess love can sometimes put up with crap longer then we should.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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Your last comment said it all. He doesn't want to stand up for you with his children and they know it. That's why they get pissy and withhold the baby from him. They aren't used to their Father not agreeing with them.
He needs to get a backbone and let them know that he won't stand for any of it. He needs to be strong and stand his ground. His kids walk all over him and they know that they can't get away with anything.

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2017

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I wonder, given your responses, what did you expect to hear in response to your post? If you have been tolerating this behavior for 7 years and your SO is not going to tell his kids to behave like adults, then you don't have much option. Either continue to suck it up or force a change. Do you think they would act differently if you were to marry their dad?

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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I have turned the other cheek for years. I don't let them see that it works my nerves. I discuss with him but he is also one of those men who don't want to stand up to his children. I completely agree that it is his place to stop this nonsense but from what little he has tried they just get pissy and shun him and keep the grand baby from us.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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He was the one who pointed out that they do this to be rude. I saw through it before he did. He has told me several times that they never went down memory lane until he got together with me and says his ex wife is known for causing problems in all of his relationships. I would love more than anything to get along with his kids but I will never be okay with being disrespected for no reason. I don't say anything about their mother in front of them. We just can't understand why they can only accept me if I become friends with their mother. I don't expect him to choose me over them and I don't feel like they should expect him to choose them over me. He loves all of us. They are old enough to understand the love you have for children is different then the love for your s.o..

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2017

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I agree with Ev that your husband is the one who need to step up and tell his adult children and his ex-wife that a relationship of mutual respect is necessary.
If I did the math right, it has been at least 15 years since he divorced? The kids cannot actually think they still belong together!
I find this statement interesting:
"I've done nothing to any of these people and yet their goal in life is to make miserable"
They can only make you miserable if you allow it. Perhaps not showing any response to the actions of the ex-wife and the ex-girlfriend is a better option?

Ev - posted on 02/12/2017

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Then maybe your husband should have a talk with his ex wife about what she is doing. It is not alright for anyone to be treated like that at all. What I am saying is that with older kids who are adults, you can not expect them to think of you as a mother like figure in some cases. But they should be respectful of you and your house and relationship. At the same time, it should be open to them to be able to recall fond times that they had with dad and that mom was there too. Even if it happens every visit. Are they actually saying things in such a way to be rude to you are are they just remembering things and having a good time with it?

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2017

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Thank You for replying. I appreciate your understanding. I don't think too many understand that this doesn't have to do with insecurities. I am a mother and a step mother. I also come from a blended family. I have a father and step father and have love for both of them. I've had numerous step mothers and I never treated any of them with disrespect. I was not raised with the thinking that the kids got to call the shots in their parent's relationship. I don't have a problem with memories and I wouldn't have a problem with the mother if she wasn't constantly trying to cause problems in my relationship and having her kids to follow through for her when she can't. What person in their right mind would be okay being treated like this? He even points out his kids manipulative ways now. Is it wrong wanting to get along with the kids but not having a friendship with their mother. I'm not okay with someone thinking that they still own my husband because she thinks she has a golden uterus.

Ev - posted on 02/12/2017

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"Why then, do so many stepchildren see their Dad or Mom's subsequent marriage as a betrayal and see the new spouse as a rival? Why do so many relatives stoke up trouble by drawing lines in the sand in order to create division?"

Not all or many step kids see either parents' newer marriages or relationships as a betrayal. My kids did not care much for their step mothers because the women never tried with them. Their current step mom only made a fit about anything when she was not dead center of attention such as when it came to the insert in the newspaper for graduation or where she sat during my daughter's wedding. She had a fit when my daughter chose some pictures for Senior Sunday and one was me with her dad when she was a baby....they wanted baby pictures. It was not like I was going away. This particular woman was not nice to anyone save being in public. She has never really caught the heart of my former mother inlaw because that dear lady could not stand her at all...she tolerates her but that is as far as it goes. Basically what I am saying is that if the kids and dad talk about the old times that include mom then the step mom should not take that to mean anything against her. It is part of their history. It might even give some insight how the family was at a time when all were happy.

As for the second question: We NEVER did anything to make the step mom feel as if she were second best to anyone. She put herself in the situation to feel that way. She was not in my kids' lives long enough to know them that well by the time my oldest graduated high school and got married was a total of 5 years if that. Of course she was with my son as he grew up but she still did not know him well. She did not even try. She made comments about sending him off to live totally with mom because she did not want him around.

Mary - posted on 02/12/2017

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Hi Michelle and thank you for your post.

What a difficult situation you are in! I can empathise with you enormously. As a bio-Mom and step-Mom, like many of us here, I can see both sides of the situation and lets be honest, there are usually 3, 4, 5, 6 etc sides to blended family lives.

While your husband has a past, your marriage must come first. Marriage is the foundation of both nuclear/bio and stepfamilies. This does not mean that the children whether adult or still young are to be neglected. When the biological parents are still married, of course their marriage comes first but this does not mean that their children are not loved and cherished. The same applies to second marriages. Why do people believe that by putting your spouse first that you are neglecting your children from a previous relationship? This is false and needs to be challenged. Regardless of who he was with before, your husband is now married to you and that needs to be respected.

I fully appreciate how difficult it is when stepchildren keep bringing up their mother. My stepdaughter does this quite a lot. She is 22 now and I have been with her dad for eight years and married to him for nearly two. Honestly, it doesn't bother me like it used to. The ex is still her mother and it is perfectly okay for her to mention her every now and then but for you it does appear to be over the top. I wouldn't deal with this if I were you but leave your husband to deal with it in a delicate, caring manner. When I look at my stepdaughter, I see a young girl still in pain over her parents' destructive relationship and subsequent breakup. Her mother hates me and berates her own daughter for even speaking to me. So the way, I see it, I don't need to add to her troubles.

My husband has two exes so I totally get where you are coming from. If my husband's exes were putting their hands on him, say rubbing his arm or patting his leg, I would see that as being overly familiar and a breach of physical boundaries. This appears to be sending you an indirect message that your husband is still their 'property' and he needs to deal with it. Please don't rise to the bait. They want you to get upset and if that is how they feel, they are already threatened by you. That is their problem.

My brother-in-law's wife is in contact with both of my husband's exes but it doesn't bother me anymore. Who they chose to keep company with is none of my business but if the exes are invited to family events, my husband and I don't attend.

The odd photo is okay but it is rude to exclude you. This needs to be addressed. I liken the situation in blended families to ones in bio-families. For example, I have a 22 year old son from a previous relationship. When he marries, his wife absolutely comes first and must never be made to feel excluded. Yes, I was there before her and yes, he will have many years of a relationship/history with me and yes, I am, along with his father, his closest biological relative but his wife still comes first!! Does this mean that when he marries that he is neglecting me? No it does not. Does it mean that I am no longer a part of his life? Absolutely not but my role in his life will have changed. Why then, do so many stepchildren see their Dad or Mom's subsequent marriage as a betrayal and see the new spouse as a rival? Why do so many relatives stoke up trouble by drawing lines in the sand in order to create division? This is plain wrong and the root cause of all of this is jealousy.

When my son's father and I separated, that was the day when we no longer had a say in each other's personal or family lives. There is now no animosity between us and we are both happily married. Our son goes between the homes with no anxiety at all. I would however, kick his ass if he was continuously discussing me in his stepmother's home! How disrespectful. She is his Dad's wife, I am not. He has a very good relationship with her that is absolutely none of my business. I do not own him. Come on people, it's time to grow up.

Why do so many ex-partners use their children as pawns in their battles with the ex, when in reality they need to grieve the loss of the relationship, heal and move on. The real victims here are the children. The present must never be held hostage to the past. When one person 'wins', everyone loses so please let's let all the divisions go and leave people to live their lives in peace!

Ev - posted on 08/19/2016

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{{ I have been with my SO since 2009 and his ADULT children still don't see me as part of the family. When they are around they ALWAYS bring up their mother. All I hear is "Dad remember when" blah, blah, blah. I understand stand having memories but they do it to try to make him think about when they were a family. This is every time they come over. They will make some conversation about when they were a family, show him pictures of their mom,}}

You have to understand that the kids will want to remember the good times with their parents and I see nothing wrong with this. It depends on how they do it. IF they are rude when speaking of it and not including you that is entirely different. But they should be able to go over the happy times and it should not make you feel bad because this was and will still be a part of their lives and your husbands. You just can not erase his past with his ex and if he sees nothing wrong with talking about happy times….there is nothing wrong.
However, if they are rude, your husband should be speaking to them.

{ take pictures with him and the grand baby but never include me in any pics. They will take numerous pictures of only him. I feel they do this to make me uncomfortable and to let me know they will never see me as anything.}

This is down right rude. They should be respectful period. Husband needs to address this. But you can not make them include you in photos though.

{{They believe their parents are soulmates and need to get back together. There is another twist. The mother approved of his last girlfriend of 8 years so the kids took a liking to her and still include her in everything in their lives. Although they feel their parents are meant to be, if they can't get them back together then they want him back with her. Not only do I have to deal with them mentioning the ex-wife but also the ex girlfriend.}}

You can not dictate who they spend time with and who they do not. If they have good relationships with those people it is their right to have one with that person.

{{Every holiday they invite us to gatherings which include the exes being there. It's one thing if the ex-wife didn't still have feelings for him but, I'm not attending a gathering where two exes believe he still wants them. When we do run into the ex she is always touching and flirting with him. Makes my blood boil! }}

They include you in the gatherings and you do not go because you think the ex wife and ex GF want him back? It is starting to sound like you are insecure in your relationship with this man.

{{The ex-wife is best friends with the ex-girl friend and they have pulled some crazy things together to cause problems between us. It's like my life is a joke to these people. His family still has contact with both of them and don't really like me.}}

The reason the family has contact with the exes is because these women have a history with his family—one was his wife and one his long time girlfriend. Again, you can not dictate who his family has relationships with.

{ I'm the bad guy to his family because I helped get him off of drugs and alcohol and quit letting his family take advantage of him when it came to money. My head is scrambled these days because I am angry and stressed out from all of it. Every time I put my guard down something new happens. I am so fed up! It's been 7 years of constant bullshit from his kids and exes. I've done nothing to any of these people and yet their goal in life is to make miserable. Any advice?}}
You knew when you got involved with this man what was going on and who his family still had relationships with or you eventually learned. You can not expect people to just stop having relationships with people just because you married this man. All those people have history/past with the guy and his kids and family. If they are okay with the way things are that is their business. You should not let that upset you or bother you. They see that it does and do more to make you feel uncomfortable. My advice is to let go of it and learn to live life to the fullest. You married this man and you wanted him in your life. You also have to take the talk of old times with the ex wife in the stories when the kids are around, you have to put up with the exes being there at holidays or other special events, you have to learn to deal with anything else that comes with being part of the extended family. It is not like you are raising the kids and having to play second fiddle to them. But you are part of a family it seems that has learned to accept and move on from the past where he and his ex wife and ex GF had hard times.

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