Any words of wisdom on how to get through the next 9 years when dealing with a step mom who wants desperately to be the MOM?

Candy - posted on 11/05/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have been in a difficult parenting roll ever since my xhusband and i have split and he moved in with this woman who has been chasing him since highschool. 3 months after we split he moved in with her. 3 years later they were married. It has been 6 six years and this woman has been my cross to bare in this life so far. The deal is, she has tried to completely take over as MOM. She treats my son as if he has no mother and she treats me with very little respect. My xhusband has no balls at all and just goes along with whatever the Stepmom says. My son goes along to get along when he is in their home. We split custody 50/50. My son is not neglected by any means. I work full time and am a single income family. The Stepmom works but is home with my son after school on their days. She is also an occupational therapist for pediatrics so she really feels empowered. She completely ignores me in public to the point where she does not acknowledge my existance. I have talked to my xhusband and finally now he is trying to be at least cordial in public when we are at all my son's sporting events. It's brutal, we see each other at least 3 times a week at multiple sports. My worry is that they are trying to win my son over. It breaks my heart. She writes all the emails from their family email and insists that is the only way I communicate with my xhusband. My x will never change. I'm just wondering how other mom's perhaps in this same situation cope and what do they do to help their children learn to cope. I'm currently seeking a court order to get some family counseling as my X will not consent to counseling for my son. My Xhusband asks my son to call his step mother MUM. That's what she wants and he my son goes along with it when he is in their home. because of the way our schedule is a lot of the time the step mom does the reports that are due. This woman knows no boundaries and absolutely hates me. On the positive side, the step mum cares about my son and takes care of him outside of the fact that she truly wants him to be her son. I try very hard not to compete and not fight small battles but my insides are tied in knots often due to the cruelty this woman treats me with. It's very hard to be the bigger person. I try to just be nice at all times as this woman is like talking to a brick wall, i have had to filter her emails and have a friend just take out the facts as this woman lectures everyone. My xhusband has a daughter that has nothing to do with him due to his current wife. I still have a relationship with his daughter as I never tried to take over the roll of her mother. We are friends today. Is there anything I am missing here fellow mothers who have to deal with a domineering stepmom on the other side? I'm listening....and praying every day.

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Barbara - posted on 11/07/2012

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You are so right, this lady is sick. If she will ask your 9 year old son to video tape the birth of her baby, she's a nut case. I don't cut adults much slack where kids are involved because it puts the kids in a very delicate and traumatic situation. Having been a foster mom (single) for over 9 years, I saw first hand the trauma kids endured that went with family strife, not to mention alcohol and the drug abuse that plagues some families. I think you are doing the best you possibly can under the circumstances. When your now 9-y-old is about 14 or 15 you can go back to court with him and he can decide who HE wants to live with. I know that's a really long time, 5 or more years of her abuse will take its toll on you and impact your son. Let him call the 'b' what his dad wants, he knows YOU are his mom and he loves you. The older he gets the more he will see, including the garbage she put you through. I would refuse to deal with her, not respond to emails, let my x know that when HE contacts me to make arrangements, I will be happy to accommodate. You have an attorney, s/he knows your immediate situation better than anyone here. He has the law to support your rights, but it won't ameliorate her behavior, probably make it escalate to some degree. My foster kids always called me 'Mommy Barb', and not because I forced them too, they stayed sometimes 7-8-10 months or more and that was the 'role' I filled. I'm so sorry you are struggling with such a hateful woman and a stressful situation, but we both know as mom's how important your son's emotional, mental and physical well being are. If it takes a little pressure off of his young shoulders, I'd go through hell. Obviously your EX doesn't know how to remain in committed relationships if this is his third go round, maybe you'll get lucky and he'll divorce her too???? Then she won't have ANY say in anything about your son. Keep praying, it helps. My thoughts and prayers are certainly with you.

Candy - posted on 11/07/2012

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Barb, thanks for the great advice. Believe it or not 1 year ago I did ask his current wife, which is actually his third wife, I was his second wife. I did ask his current wife to stop emailing me and lecturing me, she wouldn't do it. I would send back small benign emails regarding only pertinent questions or instructions regarding my son, I'd get back "War and Peace". Because she wouldn't stop and it was border line harrassment, I had one of my closest friends read all emails from their family email that they both demanded I use. My friend would read them and send me only the questions or concerns that they needed answered. Any foul comments or lectures or negativity she would omit from the email. Before I did that action, I sent a letter to my xhusband letting him know that due to the harrassment coming from that address I needed to filter all emails and would only respond to pertinent questions or concerns that had to do with our son and our court stipulation. That sent her over the edge and she started refusing to to keep me in the loop of information. This woman is all righteous and not well. I had to seek therapy on how to deal with her and I have done everything in my power to eliminate the stress and pain and anger. When that didn't work out, I got an attorney and went to work on tightening up the court order so that there were boundaries that they would have to live with or consequences would take place. We are almost done with all mediation on my motions that had to do with being able to reach my child when he was on vacation or at their home (they would turn off their phone or claim that that they had no cell service), the Step mom would try to pick him up on my days and sign him out of camp and they would be late for return times, take over his school projects and exclude me all together. I can't control what they do but I can establish boundaries and they will have to live by them as will I or deal with the consequences. This woman now has a 5 month old baby and I thought it would slow her down but it hasn't much. Over the summer she took their 3 day old baby to the dugout where my son was playing little league. She took the roll as team mom on the dugout and had to be there and not miss any games, neither did their baby. She drags that baby to every soccer practice, every hockey practice and every game regardless of who's custody day it is. I show up for all the games and take my son to practices on my day. I still sustain my life as a sister, daughter, auntie, employee, friend in addition to being the best single mom i can be. It take my son to church every week and i try to keep my chin held high around the my x and his wife while they chum up with the other parents. At the end of the day, I'm not a robot, I have feelings and this woman has made things way more difficult than they need to be. They insist my child calls the stepmom MUM and I told him he should call her CArolyn not MUM. I can't control that either. I also told my son to go along to get along because I think this woman will treat him better if he goes along with her. Oh and one more thing. My son was just about to turn 9 when their baby was born this past may and she had my son video the birth of their daughter without my consent. She's sick. I keep a list of things that she has done wrong. The worst thing is it's too hard to prove in court and I can't take any custody away. We have to live this out. My son is super close to me and I intend to keep him my number one priority. Praying and my faith has gotten me through some bad painful days. Thanks for the input Mom's and the kind words....Candy

Barbara - posted on 11/06/2012

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I'm sorry you are in such a painful position. My first reaction is to do anything that will minimize the impact on your son. Let him know how much you love him, remind him to be courteous and respectful of his dad's 2nd wife regardless of how she behaves. Unfortunately, you do have to be the 'bigger' person in this situation to safeguard your son. I think the court order will certainly cause another rift between the adults, particularly with your x and could make him less willing to compromise in the future. I'd postpone that for a few months and give you and your x time to discuss the issue. If your x has a cell phone, I'd use that for communication between you and he, and not rely on emails that the 2nd wife can intercept. Adults can create impossible environments for the kids to 'live through' while still children and ill equipped to handle these highly pressurized situations. Don't gamble your son's loyalty to his dad, it will surely backfire.

I would send the 2nd wife an email that, because of the inappropriate nature of her emails, all future communications regarding your son need to be handled by his father. Then I'd spam or block her emails to avoid upsetting yourself unnecessarily with her venom. A domineering woman is a very insecure person, she has no confidence in her role as 'step mom', feels very unsettled about the situation and is taking all of that frustration, insecurity and anger out on you. That said, the primary focus here has to be on your son. His welfare, his security, his emotional state. He has already had a huge earthquake in his life with your divorce, he needs the stability, the continuity of having you there for him in as sensitive and caring a way as possible. Easy to say 'let it roll off' and very difficult to do, but that's really the bottom line. Your x isn't going to change his behavior, his 2nd wife isn't going to change her behavior, neither are thinking of the kid in the picture. You have to be the adult in this situation and keep your son's life as stable and sane as possible. Keep praying.

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