Overbearing step mother won't leave me alone - advice please!

Lulu - posted on 09/17/2012 ( 1 mom has responded )

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My 12 yo son's step mother is very controlling. She claims to be a legal guardian and signed paperwork saying so, introduces herself as his mother, directly contradicts things that me and his father agree on carrying out, punishes him by taking his cell phone away (the only way that he can get a hold of me), tells him that the way I do things is wrong, etc.. My son's father just let's her take the reigns and handle everything. He's not even around the majority of the time that my son is scheduled to be at his house. After years of asking that issues concerning my son (including scheduling) take place between the legal guardians only (me and my son's father) I am at the end of my rope. I try to contact my son's father and she replies. He doesn't give me information about my son, she does. I've had to block her emails because she won't stop contacting me even though I have repeatedly asked her to stop and made it clear that my son's father is the only person I should be talking to. She acts like she is the other legal guardian in the matter and my son's father acts like he's not. She is manipulative and incessant. She purposefully makes her emails sound all nice and fluffy, rather than threatening so it is difficult to bring charges against her, but they are relentless and she won't stop no matter how I ask. After blocking two email accounts, she's resorted to calling me on the phone. I feel harassed and bullied! Why should I have to deal with her at all? She has no boundaries and is not a legal guardian. Is there something I can do legally to make her stop? Anyone have experience with this kind of thing? I need help! Thanks!

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Lauren - posted on 09/17/2012

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I have not experienced this, but if I were in the situation, I would have a face-to-face meeting with your son's father. I would calmly explain what's been happening and how it affects you, your son, his relationship with his son and your life overall. (And be sure to have evidence of everything at home)



At this conversation, I would be clear with your son's father, saying you absolutely want him in your life but that if this behavior isn't stopped IMMEDIATELY, you will take legal action to ensure your son isn't around her. And everything you say, I would put down in writing and have it with your other materials should the issue need to be taken to court. If you son's father does agree to help make it stop, the two of you could perhaps outline what action he will take right away, what the step-mother's boundaries are and the rules for your son's time with his dad (his dad NEEDS to be there, maybe it's not overnight, etc.).



The simple fact is, unless your son's father makes a change now, it will NEVER stop. And if it does continue, you are drained, therefore, making your attention to your son less than what it could and should be. And additionally, your son will be greatly affected.



My fiance grew up with divorced parents since he was 2. They constantly insulted one another (particularly his mom insulting his dad) and put him in the middle of it. Today, he has resentment toward both of them. He has a hard time on occasion voicing his opinion since everyone else dictated what he could and couldn't do, and he has an extremely difficult time standing up for himself to his mom in particular. And this is now causing issues with our children, as his mom feels she "deserves" a certain amount of "alone" time with our oldest son and fights us when we won't cave to exactly what she wants to do--even if we offer an alternative.



My recommendation--show your son's father you mean business about the situation for the best interest of your son; that you want him to be a part of your son's life, but if this behavior continues, you will take legal action...which would likely result in him only having time with your son either supervised or with you or when she legally isn't allowed to be there. Whatever you do, remind your son he is loved by both you and his father and keep him out of the middle of the issue unless absolutely necessary. And remember to track and document everything. Good luck!

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