Step-kids are refusing to meet me after 10 months of marriage

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016 ( 12 moms have responded )

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I am newly married 10 months to a wonderful, very kind and loving man. However, his two kids, ages 12 and 16 are refusing to meet me or come to our home unless I were not there or stayed out of sight in another room. My husband said no to anything like that and sees them only OUT of our home.. The ex is very bitter and clearly is alienating the kids against me and trying to see to it that they never form a relationship with me. She also alienates and manipulates the kids against their father, but not to the point where he has no relationship with them. Rather, he sees his kids 2 hours a week and then about 5 hours a week every other week, even though legally he is entitled to every other weekend plus one night a week.

My question is if the kids are already behaving this way and the ex is very determined to continue the step-alienation, should I not try to fight it and just let husband see his kids without me outside the house; or, instead, should I do what I can to fight the status quo such as by letting mutual friends know what is going on and see if they can speak? Just getting her to pursue therapy would be a huge accomplishment

My fear right now is that even if the kids finally agreed to meet me, they'd be rude, hostile and look for things to criticize me about to report to their mother, who in turn would then harass my husband. My husband says he won't allow the kids to be disrespectful and rude to me, but sometimes the daughter in particular is extremely rude and nasty even to him and he has a hard time disciplining her since he sees her so little.

The kids and ex were informed of our engagement about a year ago, two months before the wedding. They took it extremely badly. The daughter carried on about how her father "wasn't allowed" to even date until her brother who was 12 at the time graduates from high school. No doubt this was from the mother. Given their reactions, my husband didn't feel it was right time to try to introduce us all.
Before our engagement, the ex and my husband were still in court over various financial issues and it also was not right time to tell anything. We made sure to keep our relationship very private with just close friends knowing.
Advice??

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Ev - posted on 07/08/2016

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With all due respect to you and your husband, Annie, I have to say that I think he made the mistake of not introducing you sooner to his kids and explaining what you were in his life. I also think he made the mistake of not telling them of the upcoming marriage of you two as well. He should have introduced you to them so you could start having some sort of relationship with the kids. I do not know how you expect things to change if he does not step up and enforce things. Of course at their ages, in some states, even where I live, kids in their teens can decide not to go to visitation and it won't come back to haunt the custodial parent. I am not sure where you live or what the laws there are but if like here the older one may not have to visit. But on the other side of the coin there is no need for them to hate you because they do not know you and they only know what mom is saying which is also wrong.

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Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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I had heard all kind of stories about step-mothers and never thought it would be easy, but I never imagined that the reality in my case would be never meeting them and never seeing them.

The worst of it is that the ex lives in the same community as us and goes around to lots of mutual friends telling countless lies and slander to win sympathy for herself. I know this because when I first met my husband and asked a few people about him I heard many of these lies such as that he wasn't supporting his kids and was a bad father, etc. Fortunately I made sure to hear his side. Turned out he was paying about $6,000 a month....

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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Sarah E. : I just turned 60 so can't have our own kids. We've talked about adopting or being foster parents and my husband says he is open to that, especially since I've never had kids, but I'm not sure if it would be a good idea or if it would work with us. He cares deeply about these two kids and 12 year old son would likely boycott him again for who knows how long if we did pursue one of these options. But should we let this child determine our life choices? This is a kid who says he's fine with only seeing his dad less than 5 hours a week and every other week just 1.5 hours, even though it could easily be much more.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2016

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i am sorry I misunderstood; I thought you were offering to leave so the kid would come over and dad could get his fair share. This is unfortunate and the kids are losing out on getting know someone who is such an important part of dad's life. Will you be having any kids with him?

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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Sarah E.
I most definitely do NOT leave our home. My husband only sees his kids OUT of our home, and takes them for dinner or to the park or the library, or bike rides, etc. If my husband tried to put his food down, they'd just refuse to come and the ex will say she's not going to force them to go anywhere. So you can't get them inside the car. Daughter is old enough that she has legal right to refuse to go. And she can be unbelievably nasty

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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His daughter and I have never met and she is the most hostile.
When we were engaged, I once met son by accident when my husband's mother died. It actually went fine in that the son was polite and respectful, though I was only introduced as a "friend" and let he and his father do most of the talking. But when the ex heard of the accidental meeting, she exploded at my husband and said some sort of poison to the son so that the next day he told his father he hated him and never wanted to see him again and then refused to see him for three months. During those three months, we got married. The kids and ex were informed of our engagement about a year ago, two months before the wedding. Before then they did not know anything about us.

Sarah - posted on 07/08/2016

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I see where you are coming from in your offer to vacate your home so your husband can enjoy his legal visiting time with is kids. That is gracious of you but it really give the kids the power. I don't know why they have been permitted to behave like spoiled toddlers. Dad says he would not permit them to be rude to you but they are already being permitted to be rude by dictating the rules of visitation. I really don't know how I feel about this but I'd think I'd like to see dad put his foot down and bring the kids over for visitation; if they want to stay locked in their rooms all weekend, with no phone, TV, computers or food? Fine.

Ev - posted on 07/08/2016

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I never said you were a factor in anything that went on with his marriage ending. I was just curious how long you had been in the picture. So there has never been any contact?

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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Evelyn, my husband left that marriage about 2.5 years before he and I met. I was not a factor in the breakup of the marriage.

Annie - posted on 07/08/2016

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Thank you Jodi for your post. My husband has been speaking to them about the situation but they remain adamant. Daughter insisted to him that it is "normal" to never meet a step-parent or have a relationship. I'm not saying I would trash-talk the mother to anyone, but I would be honest, open and factual and see what ideas may come up. That approach has worked in other areas with this ex and my husband.

Jodi - posted on 07/08/2016

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You do NOT start bad mouthing the situation to your friends to put pressure on anyone. That's actually reducing yourself to her level. You need to stay out of it. Your husband needs to have a conversation with his children and appeal to their good natures to stop this vindictive behaviour. It's like when a child says they don't like a food before they have even tasted it - these children haven't ever met you. They have no right to make judgement, and their father needs to have that conversation with them around being good people. But whatever you do, you have no right to be airing the dirty laundry to your friends. Your husband is the one who needs to man up.

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