How to deal with a very difficult ex gf

Jenna - posted on 10/22/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




My husband's ex is an extremely childish person. When my husband and I started dating they had already been broken up for about a year. Our relationship became extremely serious after a year, that's when she found out about me. My husband left her for a variety of reasons, she cheated on him, she couldn't accept the fact that he didn't want children. He had already given her one child but that wasn't enough for her, she wanted a huge expensive wedding, which he never wanted to get married, she wanted more kids, she has a spending problem which landed them in the broke house, they lost their house, cars everything. At that point he was still willing to stay for the baby's sake, but she said you either marry me and give me more kids or leave. He finally had enough and left. About 8 months later we met, we dated, we never told her cause he didn't want to bring a new person around his child until he was sure, so if I was wasn't going to be around their child it was none of her business what he did. She is very controlling, using the kid against him whenever she is mad. 2 years ago we found out we were expecting and that just set her off. She calls me names to her daughter, she tells her daughter she doesn't have to listen to me cause I am not her mother, she degrades me any chance she can. We have never even spoken. Can you believe this?! Your child is under my roof when she is not with you, and you refuse to even say " hi " ... This makes me back away from my step-child in a sense, cause no matter what I try to do, or say the mother has a problem with it. It makes it extremely difficult to bond with my husband child. This makes me sad.

The weird part of it all is, she got remarried, has a few kids with her new husband but still acts like a jealous ex-gf ! She hates me only for the fact that I have the life she wanted, he married me and had more kids with me, and he didn't want that with her. Or that's what it seems like anyways. My question is, how do I put the harsh feelings for this immature piece of crap aside so I can have somewhat of a relationship with my step-child ? I feel awkward around her, I don't know what to say. It's not a good feeling. No matter what I do or say to her, she goes back and tells her mother ( I personally think she's grilled, even down to the things like what I made for dinner each night ) , and my husband has to get the backlash of it. If I didn't make something their child likes to eat, he gets a phone call saying "why am I not feeding her food she will eat, do I want her to go hungry?"

How would all you other mom's handle a situation like this? How can I put my hatred for this woman aside when trying to spend time with her child? Cause in reality it's not the child's fault, and she is still a part of my husband so of course I love her


View replies by

[deleted account]

My husband and I have been in sort of a similar situation with his ex, though from the sounds of your story, ours wasn't quite as bad. But his ex is EXTREMELY controlling, uses her child against my DH as well as an using her as excuse and a manipulation tool to get what she wants, pushes the child on my DH when it's convenient for HER but then does many things to discourage any real relationship between the child and our family (I think out of bitterness, jealousy, and spite) when there is no direct benefit for her (BM) in it. She was jealous and angry when my DH and I had children together, has told him more than once that he better prioritize their child over the children he has with me because "she deserves it". She doesn't know me at all, but has called me names and claimed it was not good for her daughter to be around me simply because the ONE AND ONLY time we have ever spoken, I voiced my opinion about how OUR money my DH was giving her (that was NOT part of court ordered child support) was being spent while she was asking for MORE, and then I calmly but confidently called her out when she tried to lie to to my face. She told my DH it wasn't good for SD to be around me, that HER child was none of my "f*ing business" (nevermind that she is also my DH's child and he WANTED me in her's all up to mom in her eyes) and that I better stay out of it all, yet wanted me to provide all transportation and acted like I should center my word around her child. Funny...that's pretty hard to do while staying out of everything. We have heard from mutual friends how she trash talks us, and have had someone hint to us that they know she IS speaking negatively about us in front of SD. I don't know if BM in our case "grills" SD about her visits with us, but I do know we must be mentioned to some extent, because BM texted my DH angrily once after SD went home and apparently referred to me as "mom" (which we have NEVER taught or encouraged her to do). On top of that, for the first couple years my husband handled SD and the ex with kid gloves just to try and avoid all the nastiness from the ex, until he realized she was going to be nasty regardless. And SD was very moody, whiney, and demanding with us, bullied our children, at first physically, then verbally when they got big enough to defend themselves. She uses no manners, for a long time refused to interact with any of us most of the time, sought attention in only negative ways, and would only sit and glare at or completely ignore us for most of her visits here. Like you, in my head I completely understood that children are children and they are mostly innocent victims in these situations. But it was still very hard to deal with because that doesn't mean misbehaving is ok or should go undisciplined. And my SD's misbehaviors often seem to be mirror images of her mother's selfishness and sense of entitlement, so that makes it all the more irritating. But I constantly remind myself-- she IS going to learn that behavior from BM because that's who she is with most of the time. Her mom is teaching her how to play others to get what she wants, as well as raising her with the mentality that she is better than others. That's not SD's fault, she simply doesn't know any better...yet. But we can at least try to teach her better in our home over time. And BM may even be, in a sense, brainwashing her to believe that we are not nice or good people. With all of that, and having it said over and over that SD is none of my business and I'm to stay out of everything to do with her, and that she is somehow "better" than my children, I also felt very tense and uncomfortable with her for a long time. I felt like I was supposed to help my husband, but yet not do anything because it's not my place. I felt I shouldn't have to put up with disrespect to myself and my children from anyone in my own home, yet I'm "mean" and "out of line" if I said anything about it or suggested discipline. I should "treat her like my own" but I wasn't consulted or made aware of plans or scheduling, and certainly wasn't welcome to give any input on things in my own home and family that involved my SD. It's a complete paradox! And it DOES make for a very awkward situation for the stepmom. I will warn you, there will be people who will not be supportive at all because they just don't understand your situation. I was accused many times of "hating" my SD simply because I did not like her negative BEHAVIORS and expressed that she needed healthy discipline and should be treated FAIRLY in our family...not less than my own children, simply fairly! Haha. I was accused of hate for that, because I didn't believe she was above the rest of us or should be spoiled rotten and favored. People may make accusations about what kind of person they think you are, so be prepared, but don't take it to heart. What your are feeling is completely understandable! And it may not be very comforting, but you cannot change anything BM says about you. You just have to keep consistency in YOUR home, with your actions and your words. You will feel awkward around your SD for a while, but the more you focus on just being YOU and showing your SD who you truly are, the easier it will get over time. At least it has for me. Once my DH finally got on board with my belief that all the children in our home should be treated with fair boundaries, expectations, and discipline, things started gradually getting better- both the awkwardness AND my SD's behavior. BM can try to manipulate and use the child against the dad all she wants, but you two have to refuse to play her games. Manipulators all have their own little "dance" they like to do. Refuse to do the dance with her. You and your DH have to set boundaries that prioritize YOUR family, with SD as a part of that. Saying "you have to not care what BM thinks" is much easier said than done, but you really have to try. No matter what BM says, if you are consistent your SD will see that. And you and especially your DH have to just keep reinforcing, nicely but firmly, to your SD that in your house what you and he say, goes. She has to learn, and WILL learn, that the rules are not the same in everyone's houses, and wherever you are, you must respect the rules of that household. When your DH gets a call asking why you are not feeding her food she will eat, his response should simply be that you cook ONE meal for the family and his daughter was welcome to eat it. If she went hungry that was HER choice. If BM wants to make separate meals of choice for each family member that's her prerogative, but tell her that's not how your home runs, and it's not HER business to tell you how to run your home, just as she wouldn't appreciate your husband telling her how to do things in her home. This can be said calmly and respectfully. Many BMs tend to treat Dad like a babysitter, rather than an equal parent, especially in situations where BM is the custodial parent. They think they can make the rules for both households because their child is in both. It's awesome for the kids when both households have similar standards and rules, but when they don't, one parent doesn't get to MAKE the other parent change the entire rule book for their own home. Just continue to do things as you normally would, refuse to dance BM's dance, try to act as natural as you possibly can when your SD is with you, and do your best to separate her from her mother's negative qualities in your mind. Because she IS in fact her own person, even if she has some of her mom's traits, so try to focus on that. Eventually it does get easier if you are intentional about making your focus and your motives pure and centered on what's best for everyone. Continue to show her love and care in any small way you can muster, even when it feels unnatural, because it really is what every child needs and deserves. This was hard for me for a long time, but it begins to BE natural and heartfelt over time. Good luck and hugs!

Amanda - posted on 10/22/2012




I would ask your husband to call n talk to her(or both of u call) about the rudeness and disrespect to you and make it clear that it needs to stop in order for you and your husband to have a good relationship with the visiting child. There's no excuse for someone trying to make you miserable and add stress to your life.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms