Why is the ex ALLWAYS THE PROBLEM!?

Erin - posted on 01/11/2009 ( 88 moms have responded )

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After many posts and conversations I realized that most of our problems with our step kids come from their bio parents. In this conversation I'd like to open the idea up to why these probblems occur and what we can do about it to help out our step kids. I'm sure many of us have found peaceful alternatives and 'tricks' to getting our step kids through this hard time and how to 'please bio mom' just enough to get what we need for the kids well being.

Why:
I think the main reason why these bio moms are the way they are is because of jealously, bitterness and the smashed dream of the 'perfect little family' that they tought they would ahve with their kids fathers.
Understandable...yes...mostly
Mature and for the kids best interest...definitely not
How to help
I think broken families may need 'family therapy' even though they are not technically together, I think ex's should seek counseling as to how to maintain a friendship for the kids sake. I think kids need to be in a secure environment to be able to actually tell their parents how they feel about the split, the new parents in their lives and how they feel about the animosity between their parents. I think this would lead to less parental alienation and destructive family behavior. Once a family always a family....unfortunately.

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Megan - posted on 01/14/2009

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I really agree with you on this. Mine is evil too. I love my stepsons but do have to step back occasionally to protect my own self. I love them, but I cannot love them too much because in the end they are not mine and the major decisions about their lives being made are being made without my input.

Megan - posted on 01/14/2009

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I try to be really zen about the entire thing. It is really difficult and could take all day to explain but I believe the bio parents often feel threatened. So, I try to breathe through it and not to compete on any level, whether it be the amount of gifts at Christmas or the kids love. She wins. She is their mother. But, it drives her crazy that she cannot control me and our household. What my mother says is "What is not love is fear" and feeling threatened is fear.

Brandi - posted on 01/11/2009

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Ufortunately ex's can be a major problem, especially when the bio parents haven't let go.  My biggest problem wasn't the ex it was my husband.  He kept up a relationship with her and bent over backward for years to make her happy and still has a problem with it.  It's good to keep a cordial relationship and it's essential that the ex still be a part of the childs life but a lot of problems can be avoided by your partner keeping priorities in order and knowing when to put his foot down and stand his ground.  Or hers of course.

Amber - posted on 05/26/2012

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Sometimes it is the ex husband. Or the ex husbands wife. Or the ex wife's husband. It isn't always the ex wife. Everyone has probably done something to cause part of the problem in a blended situation.

User - posted on 01/11/2009

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My sons BM is evil. lol I have some real good stories that can make anyone laugh. But I do have to agree a bit about the fathers. I know there are times my husband avoids my import on things. Then later it cause problems that I have to deal with. I feel that my son is my son. I do for him as my own. I think it should be a group thing, but most people see it as its not your child. It's like all the work without the rights of being a parent.

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Jennifer - posted on 02/16/2009

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She acts all high and mighty and says she chooses things that are "healthy for her", which is not getting too close to me like we were because of her "comfort level". If she was truly over my husband and happy with her new husband and their family then why make it SO hard. She says I try to hard and should let nature takes it course. Nature?? I don't understand her sometimes. I just don't get it. Like right now she has some things going medically and I asked her about it and told her it's because I care, which I do. I'm not a person who can be cold and uncaring....and she doesn't want to get into it. Yet she asks all kinds of questions when she hears something is going on here, etc. It's all about her! I know she loves her son and claims that she doesn't talk about us but I truly wonder. How is it okay for the stepfather (and I know they live together) have so much involvement but I'm not allowed. When I do SO much more for him than the SF. My husband made a point of saying that in a confrontation to her about her attitude towards me and she didn't have anything to say and changed the subject. I know we won't be sitting around the campfire roasting marshmellows as she rudely put it to me one day because her and my husband didn't end on good terms, I don't want to "have marshmellows" I want us to be adult and MOVE ON! I don't even think of her as my husband's ex-wife it's more of my SS's mother. If that makes sense. I don't know. Maybe because my biodaughter's "sperm donator" isn't in the picture and signed his rights away 11 years ago when she was 3 that I don't know what to deal with but I am also not one who can turn my feelings off with a switch. I really wish I knew how!!! How do things not bother her??? I don't understand her. You would think she would be happy with someone like me who wants to be involved and does care and am not the evil stepmother with a huge wart on my nose. My SS told me this weekend on his visit that he is stressed out and thinks that's why he has such stomach pains because his 3 year old sister and SF stress him out because the SF is "cranky and gives his daughter whatever she wants" which of course makes it worse when the little girl doesn't get what she wants and then the SF gives in. He's 16 years older than BM and never had any kids and then all of a sudden one month before we were to be married she called and said they were getting married and then we found out that she was pregnant. I'm almost POSITIVE she planned that one. She trapped him. Just like she did to my husband by telling him that she couldn't get pregnant and then she got pregnant very shortly after they were married. My husband wasn't impressed because of it. He loves his son very much but wishes he would have had him with me and not her. She lied to him and thinks she still lies. She claims to have "grown up" but my husband doesn't believe it. I wish karma would come around but it hasn't seem to.

Erin - posted on 02/16/2009

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I agree with dawn. You can't understand, I have tried and tried. I even tried to put myself "in her shoes" to understand where she is coming from. But I can't. Sometimes the psychosis is so ingrained in their behavior it takes something life altering to change the behavior. TO some people, chidlren are just objects in their life. Children are people and childhood is what makes us all who we are and how we behave. Its disgusting to think the nex t generation of children are going to have no concept of healthy relationships because of their parents.

Dawn - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

Someone tell me HOW do you not let things bother you when they do soooo much?? If I can learn that I would be better I think. I'm just flabbergasted that this woman went to grad school for Child Developement and Family services for her psychology and admitted that she doesn't apply the theories and methods for how step and blended families can succeed! WHAT A FRUITLOOP!! I don't understand and it drives me flipping nuts!


Jennifer, I don't think there is a way to make any sense out of the bad behaviors.  Someone once told me that "you cannot rationalize with the unrational".  So true.



  My kids SM is the same way - claims to be a person who can help others with their lives -claims she chooses peace over chaos. Its a load of crap.  If she really cared about my children or my ex for that matter, she would use some of her "life skills" to help the situation instead of only making things worse.



These woman know how to behave, they know what they need to do to get along and they know what's best for the kids.  The problem is they have a choice and they don't choose the best thing for anyone involved but themselves.  Any amount of good sense they have is overshadowed by their own personal feelings.



You need to stop trying to figure her out.  There is no way to make any sense outta her.  She (like my kids SM and my husband's BM) are consumed in anger and jealously.  The only person you can control is yourself.  And the way I see it, the fact that we care enough about these kids to worry about the situation and join a support group says to me that we are far more loving and understanding and caring than these other woman with mounds of education that just goes to waste.

Jennifer - posted on 02/15/2009

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Someone tell me HOW do you not let things bother you when they do soooo much?? If I can learn that I would be better I think. I'm just flabbergasted that this woman went to grad school for Child Developement and Family services for her psychology and admitted that she doesn't apply the theories and methods for how step and blended families can succeed! WHAT A FRUITLOOP!! I don't understand and it drives me flipping nuts!

Sherri - posted on 02/15/2009

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Lara, as a bio mom and a step mom I do appreciate that we need to look at both sides of the situation - there are great moms and step moms and really wicked ones as well.  Thanks for the post. However, I think that all bio moms should have to spend a month as a step mom - just to get the feel.  I know I try to be a much better ex-wife now that I have to deal with my husband's nutty ex.



Sherri.



 



 



Quoting Lara:

I am going to speak as a bio mom so please hear me out, I am divorced my ex married the woman he had an affair with, I have since remarried, I actually remarried before he did, he got remarried right before (3days) before he took me to court to fight custody. I retained custody, physical and legal, his new wife was a friend of mine, I thought she was sweet and kind, had a lot on the ball, very organized, very creative, my former husband never wanted custody of his kids, not joint or anything else, he wanted visitation because it suited his lifestyle, that was fine with me, however, I have to wonder what kind of influence she is on my children, she was deceitful in her relationship with me, she went outside of her own marriage for emotional and sexual gratification, I don't want my children to think if you are unhappy with your spouse go find another one, even if they are married too. She is kind to my children for which I am grateful, but she oversteps her boundaries, she feels they should have decision making authority and unfortunately for her, my husband decided he didn't want that, she continually makes decisions for my children knowing I wouldn't approve, down to getting their hair cut right after I paid to have it done. So from the other side, it's tough for everyone, it is lose/lose and all we can do it make the best of it and love the life we have now, and be grateful we are no longer in the situation we were in. Sorry for the long post



 



 



 





 

Sherri - posted on 02/13/2009

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Quoting Lara:

Darlana, I agree with Kerri, your husband is making a huge sacrifice to go to Canada to see his son, I know it will be hard on your family, emotionally and financially, but his child will have a much better outcome knowing the effort his father made on his behalf, and your children together will see what a caring, considerate father they have, it's up to you to help them see it in that light rather than as a negative and when this other son gets older, he will be able to travel and he can maybe come your way rather than your husband making the trip all the time.



how is going to Canada to spend time with his SON a sacrifice?  It is the man's duty to be a part of his child's life, not a sacrifice!  My brother in law has children who live in the US, and he would love to be able to spend more time with his kids, but the bio mom won't allow them to come back to Canada where they were born and raised intitially.  I could never imagine leaving my child in another country for any reason within my control.  I know I'll get blasted for this one, but you women just don't get it!  Children first, lovers second.

Sherri - posted on 02/13/2009

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I think it goes back to basic instincts - women are very territorial and we do not share well.  I think that bio moms who are also step moms are probably easier to work with (could be a bit biased on my part, lol) because we understand both sides of the coin.  it's not part of our genetic makeup to be sharing husbands and children.  In many countries, when a woman marries, her partner's children, if any, are not allowed in the house.  Dr. Phil, who I don't really watch, but did once when he was talking about blended families, stated that divorcing couples should have to go for counselling - the problems don't disappear after the break up of the marriage and often escalate.  I guess we all need to learn how to play nicer in the sandbox as women, because I don't think there are a lot of men who have support groups to deal with the ex husband!

Sherri - posted on 02/13/2009

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I think it goes back to basic instincts - women are very territorial and we do not share well.  I think that bio moms who are also step moms are probably easier to work with (could be a bit biased on my part, lol) because we understand both sides of the coin.  it's not part of our genetic makeup to be sharing husbands and children.  In many countries, when a woman marries, her partner's children, if any, are not allowed in the house.  Dr. Phil, who I don't really watch, but did once when he was talking about blended families, stated that divorcing couples should have to go for counselling - the problems don't disappear after the break up of the marriage and often escalate.  I guess we all need to learn how to play nicer in the sandbox as women, because I don't think there are a lot of men who have support groups to deal with the ex husband!

Lazara - posted on 02/13/2009

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My husband and i have been together for 11 years, i have 2 great step children.  After all these years, i am still not alllowed to participate in any of the childrens activities, and my husband tries to do anything to make her happy, so that no arrguements arise, but she is still bipolar.  I just learned how to avoid all and any contact with her. that is the best solution.  My step children love to be with me and confide in me instead of their mother.  What bother's me is that she is married an has another child and still, when she and i have to see eachother because we pick up the kids, the ugly face is on.  I just know that all the lies she has said about their father and i to the kids, the children have learned the truth now that they are older.  Just have patience and always love your step children as if they were yours, and avoid any conflict with their mothers.. i always told my husband "when the children are older they will understand what is going on".. just remember always smile and wave hello, you are the better person, and you should for the sake of the children.

Jessica - posted on 02/13/2009

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"I am their step-mom. I love them as my own. I will do for them whenever and wherever I can. I will be there for them. But, I am NOT thier mom. If/when their mother can or wants to do something that is the mom's role, it is not my place and I will back off. If thier mom chooses not to do it, I will step in to fill the gap because it is in the best interest of the kids."


I completely understand that a step-mom should not replace the bio mom in most cases, but when the bio mom could care less, it turns into a completely different situation.  My boyfriend (of four years) has had sole custody of his daughter since she was six months old.  She is now almost eight.  She lives with us full time, and goes to see her mom every second weekend.  Her mom does not come to parent-teacher interviews, school plays, first day of school... NOTHING.  We continue to invite her, but there is always an excuse.  There are periods where her bio mom is borderline neglectful. Half the time she is over at her bio mom's, my SD is left with the most recent boyfriend, or a sitter.  My SD used to cry every single time we had to send her over there, to the point that we put her into counselling.  She has said that she wishes that I was her mom, and that she didn't have to go over there anymore. 



I am there for EVERYTHING!  I cuddle with her when she can't sleep, I kiss the tears away when she hurts herself, I go to all school events and parent-teacher interviews.  I sing with her when she is in the tub, I do her homework with her every afternoon, I take her to all of her dance lessons, and I tuck her in to bed every single night.  I have a hard time saying that I am NOT mom.  On the rare occasion that her bio mom decides she wants to do something that is the mom's role, I back off, and then my SD gets upset because she would rather I be there.



 



I have been very conscious of letting my SD make these choices.  I never speak badly about her bio mom, and am very friendly to her despite my true feelings.  I am always trying to twist the story to back her up, or make it seem like she loves her daughter more.  My SD has asked if she can call me mom, and I told her that as much as I would love that, she can not until her dad and myself are married.  If she still wants to, then it is her decision.  Being a mom is more than just DNA.  If my SD chooses to one day walk away from the relationship she has with her bio mom, I will feel no guilt.  Her mother doesn't seem to understand that every relationship must be EARNED. 

Darlena - posted on 02/13/2009

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Thank you....I really need to support him on this since he made such a big sacrifice to move from Canada all the way to Houston, TX. The least I can do is support him on seeing his son that is being a good father...Kerri iam sorry about your father he is in a better place now and he will always be watching over you as he did here...always know that he was a great dad for doing what he did. There are not too many fathers who take responsibility of thier bio-kids after they divorce and remarry....most of them feel that after thier first wives they need to become distant to thier first kids and only look after thier new kids and I dont think that is right....iam happy to have met such a wonderful person and a great father and my step son will always have a home with us if he ever decides to stay with us which i hope he does in the future when he gets older...i feel that we will get thru this financially and emotionally...I feel its the best thing to do for the childs sake.

Lara - posted on 02/13/2009

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Darlana, I agree with Kerri, your husband is making a huge sacrifice to go to Canada to see his son, I know it will be hard on your family, emotionally and financially, but his child will have a much better outcome knowing the effort his father made on his behalf, and your children together will see what a caring, considerate father they have, it's up to you to help them see it in that light rather than as a negative and when this other son gets older, he will be able to travel and he can maybe come your way rather than your husband making the trip all the time.

Kerri - posted on 02/13/2009

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Darlana, I think you are making the right decision.  That is just my personal opinion.  Growing up my father lived in Arkansas and came to visit us once a summer.  He would come and stay a couple of months so that my mother would not have to pay a baby-sitter while we were out of school.  My parents never divorced but they were not together.  He did this every year until he died of cancer (I was 12).  Even though it sounds crazy, it worked for us. You are a great person to be able to do this for your husband and his son.  It will be a financial burden and a strain on the two of you but if you can do it I would say go for it!

Amy - posted on 02/13/2009

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my stepsons bm is pure evil, she is so imature and pathetic its untrue. i just wish she would grow and execpt the fact that calums father has moved on, we have been together now for 5 years have had to kids of our own and she has also got herself a stable relationship but cant seem to let go of the fact that she is not wit the father of her child yet it was her decision to leave, she never had any problem wit laim untill he met me then she just turned very vintictive and jsut pure wierd. i have got so many stories to tell u would honestly think this woman just sits at home all day and plan ways to b a pain in the ass for my family. oh and when we told her that her son was being really nasty to his 2 year old sister and we really didnt know what 2 do bout it anymore she just laughed and said "yeah he is a bloody bully aint he"  need i say more as to what sort of mother she is???

Amy - posted on 02/13/2009

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my stepsons bm is pure evil, she is so imature and pathetic its untrue. i just wish she would grow and execpt the fact that calums father has moved on, we have been together now for 5 years have had to kids of our own and she has also got herself a stable relationship but cant seem to let go of the fact that she is not wit the father of her child yet it was her decision to leave, she never had any problem wit laim untill he met me then she just turned very vintictive and jsut pure wierd. i have got so many stories to tell u would honestly think this woman just sits at home all day and plan ways to b a pain in the ass for my family. oh and when we told her that her son was being really nasty to his 2 year old sister and we really didnt know what 2 do bout it anymore she just laughed and said "yeah he is a bloody bully aint he"  need i say more as to what sort of mother she is???

Darlena - posted on 02/13/2009

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Hi Iam new here however my situation really doesnt concern the BM I havent really met her since she and my stepson lives in Canada, and my fiance/husband now lives here with me and iam expecting our first child. When my husband and I got together he told me how much his son's means to him and how much he wants to be part of his life, and that is wonderful he told me he wanted to travel to Canada every 3 months and stay with his son for 2 weeks and I agreed because I have a daughter here that I share custody with my ex-husband, and I feel bad I get to see her more than he gets to see his son. Does anyone agree with any of this, or do you think its wrong for him to leave so much in the year to see his son and can cause financial issues. I am really here to support him his son is a wonderful kid he is only 5 years old, so he is incredibly young to understand...he does understand that his daddy is not in Canada and that he is having a new step-sister. I really want his son to come here as well he will always have a home with us. I dont think the step child should be treated different from our own bio-kids I know how it feels not to have a parent there...I dont have issues with the mother she is no problem, she respects our lives and doesnt intrude. Any advise anyone ?

Monique - posted on 02/13/2009

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I have noticed that with my step daughter when her mother and I get along she acts like a completely different child. After my husband and I got married I was the bigger person and appologized to BM for I still don't know what, but anyway I was the bigger person. The good relationship lasted about a year. The fighting has started again and it has been about 6 months. All we want is to be able to spend time with my husbands daughter without her mother always interferring. We don't interfere with her parenting time. Doesn't she have a life of her own? I don't know but This time I am not going to be the bigger person. If she loves her daughter as much as she says she does maybe she should be the bigger person and step up when her daughter is in need. Her main objective lately has been sticking it to us. We are not going to sit back and take it either. So needless to say we are all acting like children. All I want to say is leave us alone and we will leave you alone. Get on with your life. You say that you are happily married well focus on your new husband not on the one you threw away.

I have tried really hard to show my step daughter that I love her too and will treat her the same as my children maybe that is what her problem is. My step daughter doesn't deserve all this turmoil and I feel sorry for her the most. It's too bad that all this had to happen again all because she felt she couldn't trust us to tell us she needed Child support because of her financial strain. She instead had to go behind our backs and go for the money. All at the same time while her and my husband were negotiating on changing the summer parenting time. She knew what she was doing but yet acted like we were the one to start all of this. Now she went back to court and cut his school parenting time. All for what reason? To stick it to my husband and her daughter I guess. She can't see beyond what she wants and how it effects more than just my husband. It's pretty sad that my step daughter cannot have a relationship with her other sisters until June of this year. Is that good for her daughter? But you know she will say it is all about what I did. Whatever

Dawn - posted on 02/13/2009

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Quoting Kerri:



Just for clarity.... I don't think that EX's are the problem.  In most families communication and pride on all parts is the problem.  I don't mean to step on any toes here but I just don't believe that every biological mother is out to make life miserable.  I think divorce and blending families is hard.  It involves all aspects of everyones lives, right down to personal insecurities, emotional feelings and finances.   





 



I agree completely. 



However, communication, counseling, etc. all the good things to help families are useless unless both sides agree to use whatever tools necessary to make things work.



I am a major advocate of communication.  I sometimes talk too much.  However, in regards to my husband's ex, how can he or I communicate with her if she refuses to answer the phone or respond to emails or letters?  Its like talking to a wall.



And with my EX husband and his wife, I asked for us ALL to go to counseling, and it made them angry.  Yes, angry.  She refused to seek any sort  of help (where I was involved) - and keep in mind, her profession is that of a kind of counselor who helps people with their lives. 



So, for me, the tools of communication, counseling, etc. are of no help in my two situations.  Dealing with my problems are a day by day journey.  I just know that I have been open and willing to do whatever I needed to do for the sake of my children and my step children.  And I will continue to be open if ever the other parent comes to me in hopes of working things out.

Erin - posted on 02/13/2009

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Kerri, AWESOME AVICE!!!! To be on the 'kids side' no matter what gives the child a place to be themselves when they know how emotinally charged their bio parents are aout each other. You can be a place that is not judgemental that will let  her/him talk about feelings about both parents without you chiming in your opinion. I hope to someday have that relationship with my step daughter, ut her mother has her ailienated so that I'm not sure when and if a relationship will ever be able to start between us.



 



Casey, I agree, the entire 'family' should ahve councling to help with issues and comunication skills. IT is importatn for everyone to be on the same page. Its a shame so many ill emotions come into play with blended families.

Casey - posted on 02/12/2009

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I did not read all of the replies but I do see one thing missing from the original senerio for family counseling... the step parent. If the step parent is expected to be involved with the child they should be a part of any sort of "family counseling" they are now family. I think that it where a lot of issues come in. My DH's X IS evil. Oh and I am here for her convienance mostly. She doesn't want her children to have anything to do with me until it is convienant for her.

Kathryn - posted on 02/12/2009

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gosh...sooo many of you are speaking exactly as I feel in my situation...and yes, I keep praying as well!!!!  and God please forgive me for my evil thoughts!!!!!!!!  Bless all of you who are working and dealing with these tough situations....I have sooo much respect for you that can deal with this situation as adults......keep up the good work!!!

Lara - posted on 02/12/2009

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Thank you Kerri for some good advice. Keeping neutral is the hardest thing to do, and blended marriages and families are very emotionally charged, sometimes time helps and sometimes it doesn't. As a bio mom and a step mom, it tears my heart out to send my kids to their dad's on his weekend, I know he loves them, I just hate to send them off, I don't like my kids stepmom (too much past history) but I can see that she is kind to them, and in the end, swallowing my feelings so they aren't so stressed is more important. Its knowing when to pick your battles and knowing what to make an issue out of and when to just walk away.

Kerri - posted on 02/12/2009

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Just for clarity.... I don't think that EX's are the problem.  In most families communication and pride on all parts is the problem.  I don't mean to step on any toes here but I just don't believe that every biological mother is out to make life miserable.  I think divorce and blending families is hard.  It involves all aspects of everyones lives, right down to personal insecurities, emotional feelings and finances.   

Ashley - posted on 02/12/2009

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Quoting Kerri:



These kids are going to grow up and mimick what we do in every relationship and friendship they have.  We are teaching them life skills when they see us interact with each other.  Make it nice!





Kerri... AMEN AMEN AMEN. This is what I do on a daily basis. It is the only way that things can be good for the kids, which is what really matters. And sometimes my tongue bleeds from biting it so much! But, me being right doesn't matter... it only hurts them and sets a bad example. I also saw your other post about swallowing your pride. It chokes you going down, but it really is the only way to deal with it. You can make your life situation better but it has to start with you, and the process sucks.



I wanted to make one other comment that might help the step-moms who are waiting/wishing for things to get better. It has been my experience that it comes in ebbs and flows. Sometimes is royally stinks... sometimes it is ok and you can get along... but its life and when its hard to get along, it can be really bad or fine/ok... it takes really hard work, patience, a willingness to eat a lot of crow and a good attitude to make it "great" and that doesn't happen all that often in blended families. I'm aiming for "fine" :)

Kerri - posted on 02/12/2009

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I have not read through all of the posts here but thought I would share.  This is the best peice of advice I have ever gotten.  A family counselor told me once that EVERY step-mother she had ever dealt with had been painted as - THE BAD GUY.  Step-mother is one of the hardest roles that exist in blended families.  Why?  Because females have a natural maternal instinct to mother EVERYONE. And females also have a natural instinct to compete against each other.   Biological parents feel threatened.  Women are more easily threatened than men.  Step-mothers are forced into fitting a mold that is made by the biological mom and dad - bio-dad says to children - my new wife loves you.  She wants to treat you like her own.  She wants to be there for you and she is going to help me take care of you.  Bio-mom says - Step-mom is evil.  She wants to take you away from me.  The more she does for you the less I can do.    The feelings that mothers have are all natural and normal the key is whether or not they can overcome them and do what is best for their child.  The child is stuck in the middle and has no idea what to think.  BEST PIECE OF ADVICE - DO NOT FIT INTO ANY MOLD AND DO NOT COMPETE.  Do not let yourself get put in a situation where the mother is able to use you to show her children the negative side of you by arguing and bickering.  Be a neutral only serving the child's best interest, neither the father's nor the mother's.  Do not compete on ANY level with the mother.  Set a goal in your mind that no matter what happens, you will not compete.  Sometimes these things happen subconsiously and you do not realize you are doing until you are in the middle of it.  That is why it is good to know your weaknesses and strengths up front.  It is sooo  easy to get caught up in proving your point but the thing to remember is that nine times out of ten your point really does not matter.  Being right is not important here.  And unfortunately there are a lot of unhappy women who just LOVE to make other people miserable.  I say avoid it at all costs.  Avoid getting into a word fight or a fight of wills or even a conversation about it.  If you cannot be civil - avoid her at all costs.  Avoid conversations, emails, notes, texts, telephone calls, etc. everything.  In reality it is the father's place to co-parent with her anyway, not yours (ours).  If situations cannot be avoided and you end up in a situation where she spews venom, makes comments or is rude to you - smile, say something nice (not smart but nice) and let it roll off of your back.  Even if you are around here and she is not being rude, smile, and say something nice.  Children read facial expressions, body language and emotional attitudes.  They know if there is dislike there and it causes emotional issues for them.  Kids sometimes feel torn between their moms and dads and having a neutral party to turn to really helps them.     Dont get caught up in the he said/she said stuff.  These kids are going to grow up and mimick what we do in every relationship and friendship they have.  We are teaching them lifeskills when they see us interact with each other.  Make it nice!

Kelly - posted on 02/12/2009

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I feel the same way...I am always trying to please the 'bio mom' so the kids don't have to go through anymore than they have too. I have a SS who is 16 and lives with us all the time and a SD who is 11. The problem is that the SD has to go back & forth 1 week with us and 1 with her. The 'bio mom' is very manipultive and tries to anything to get me going. I know she is bitter to me and I don't know why?? She had the affair and wanted the divorce. I have been with my husband for 10 years now and she still will do anything to talk to my husband in private (to say bad things about me and get him mad at me). He laughs it off and of course I can't, it bothers me. He tells me that she did what she wanted to do (get to you). I wish I could not let it bother me, but it hurts me when people say things about me that aren't true. If she was a good mother, she would only be concerning herself about the children and not me. I love my step-children and would do absolutely anything for them. I just get so sick of the ex. She thinks I keep her son away from her...which is not true. He chooses to stay with us. He can't take his mom lying and how she acts like such a kid. I am just hoping that my SD will soon realize what her mom is like and choose to stay with us. If the ex could just grow up and figure out that her kids come first, I think everyones lives would be so much easier. But after 10 years it hasn't happened, so don't think it is going to either. How do you deal with it?? I am so frustrated!!

Amanda - posted on 02/04/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

Jada, I think that if your daughter is comfortable calling her step-mom "mom" don't take that away. As a step-mom when my SS calls me mom it makes me want to cry, but in a good way. It makes me feel like I mean something to him. I'm sorry but I can't understand the "normal mom's who have their children go to their dad's every other weekend". It's VERY hard and hurtful and painful for me and my husband (my SS's bio dad) because if you figure it out it's only 4 days a month! How is that fair when my husband pays $500/mo for child support plus pay for half of all medical bills that aren't covered by MY health insurance. If the parents who divorced end on good terms and can get along and not fight over crap but again have to end on good terms or it's always a battle, trust me. I live it everyday. I have my own biological child but her "sperm donator" left along time ago and never was a father and signed over his rights. I don't have the step issue on my side. But i TRY AND TRY to do what the bio mom wants and it gets me nowhere but a big doormat. How am I supposed to live with that?? It's incredibly difficult and I want to give up.



I am a step-mom and a bio we get our SD every other weekend...and that can be pulling teeth too!! My husband pays way more than 500 a month plus all medical and the bills come to our house...figure that!! The ex was the one who left my husband took everything and left him with the bills (so I'm still paying off her things in her house). When I came into the picture she actually tried getting my husband back right before our wedding. I have dealt with this for three going on four years and I'll give some advice. My husband actually does not talk at all to her unless it is really needed, my rule.  She likes to fight with him so then she can get him mad and so then he can fight with me (if that makes any sense.) She tells the daughter stuff that no child should know about there split up and relationship, i.e. that her step father sent roses to her work when she was still with daddy. MESSED UP!! That her daddy left them for me and I didn't come into the picture until three years later. WHAT?! That her daddy proposed to her and she threw the ring at him and told him no way! WHAT AGAIN?!?!?



 



All I can say is have a really good support system to be able to vent things too...my husband is good...but sometimes he don't want to be reminded that that was what he used to be with.  Never show the ex that she is getting to you.  I just stay away but I will do anything for my SD and my husband so things run smoothly.  I take the high road and do things the right way.   



 



It really hurts becasue I'm above all this child stuff and it never seems like it will get better it is only getting worse!

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2009

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Jada, I think that if your daughter is comfortable calling her step-mom "mom" don't take that away. As a step-mom when my SS calls me mom it makes me want to cry, but in a good way. It makes me feel like I mean something to him. I'm sorry but I can't understand the "normal mom's who have their children go to their dad's every other weekend". It's VERY hard and hurtful and painful for me and my husband (my SS's bio dad) because if you figure it out it's only 4 days a month! How is that fair when my husband pays $500/mo for child support plus pay for half of all medical bills that aren't covered by MY health insurance. If the parents who divorced end on good terms and can get along and not fight over crap but again have to end on good terms or it's always a battle, trust me. I live it everyday. I have my own biological child but her "sperm donator" left along time ago and never was a father and signed over his rights. I don't have the step issue on my side. But i TRY AND TRY to do what the bio mom wants and it gets me nowhere but a big doormat. How am I supposed to live with that?? It's incredibly difficult and I want to give up.

Jennifer - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Jada:

I know I shouldn't even be reading this, as this is a group for step-moms, but I have stumbled upon it, read it, and now there is no turning back. As a "bio mom" I feel the need to speak up, to those of you who seem to think that all ex-wives are psycho, money hungry b*tches. Here's my story:

I left my husband because he was abusive to me (mentally and physically). He was a good dad and a terrible husband. (We basically brought out the worst in each other and are both way better off apart than we were together. We both recognize this, and we're each happier now. We get along better now than we ever have). When we separated, there was no room at my parents' house for me, so he moved into his parents' house until I could find a place to live. (The house was in his name, but he let me stay there temporarily). His parents didn't charge him rent to stay with them. They took care of all the groceries, and even bought him cartons of cigarettes. He didn't even have a car payment. His only bills were car insurance, cellphone, and 50% of our daughter's daycare fees. So, while he stayed there, he was able to pay off some debt, fix his credit, buy a new car, and put a ton of money in savings. Meanwhile, I made the entire mortgage payment, along with all utilities, my car payment, insurance, phone, toiletries for the house, etc. I also provided food, diapers, clothing, and the other half of the daycare costs for our daughter. This went on for a year and a half until I was finally able to move. Well, right after we separated, we had both started dating people we had already been friends with. She actually moved in with him at his parents' house. So they were both living bill-free, saving money, while I was struggling to keep the electric turned on (which got turned off twice while I was living there alone) Needless to say, I couldn't afford a lawyer, so we had to agree on a situation. You know what I got? Joint physical and legal custody. I only see my daughter 50% of the time. We split everything perfectly down the middle. And do I get child support? H*ll no. Meanwhile, after only dating for about a year and a half, he married the girl he was dating, and they immediately told my daughter (who was only 3 at the time) that she had 2 mommies now and that she can start calling her new mommy "Mommy". My significant other and I decided not to rush into a marriage. He was recently divorced as well, and his ex wife left him with quite a bit of debt, forcing him to file for a Chapter 13 bankrupcy (that's the one you have to pay back). So his paychecks, for the past 2 years, have been cut in half by the Chapter 13. We have another 3 years before he will see a normal paycheck again. So because of this, we are taking it easy, just trying to get by, and just playing the cards we were dealt. And instead of everything being great, I have my 4 year old referring to her step-mom as "my mommy" when she's talking to ME. And when I tried explaining that I think it's too soon to start calling other people mom or dad, that a marriage certificate doesn't automatically make someone a child's "new mommy", her father said I was just being selfish and don't care about what my daughter wants. So they continue to encourage her to call the step-mom "Mommy", even though I don't agree that it's the right time for that. And everything I confront them about, no matter how calmly and politely I try to say it, gets turned around on me. I asked nicely if step-mom could stop putting hairspray in my daughter's hair (she was 3 at the time) because her hair is still baby hair and doesn't need to be damaged by the alcohol that's in hairspray. I also asked that if she's going to paint her nails, she please refrain from using bright red. I don't think these were huge, crazy things I was asking. But since she's about 5 years younger than I am (so she was about 21 at the time) she went off on me and said I was just picking on ANYTHING she does because I'm jealous of her and can't get over someone else being part of my child's life. Almost 2 years later, we're still dealing with these issues. I can't bring anything up without being attacked. So, I've gotten to the point where I just don't say anything, and have to let them have their way. It's depressing. It makes me feel like I am the step-parent. I feel like I have no say in what goes on. My daughter comes home and tells me about the "girls days" she has with her step-mom. That upsets me. Not because I'm jealous, per se, but more because I didn't want this much time away from my daughter to begin with. But since I was paying his mortgage without any help, I couldn't afford a lawyer. And now, when it's his turn to have visitation, the visitation he HAD TO HAVE because he couldn't stand to be away from his daughter, instead of spending it with him, she spends it with her. But I'M the bad guy. I'm the horrible, evil b*tch ex-wife who can't get over it.(Sarcasm). And you know what?? On top of everything I go through, you probably all assume that I badmouth the step-mom. Well I DON'T. No one in my family badmouths her, or her father in front of her. We all smile and listen intently when she talks about them, we say nice things about them when she tells us that she got a new toy or they took her somewhere cool, or whatever. Because contrary to popular belief, not all biological moms are selfish, evil, manipulative, money grubbing wh*res. We go through the same struggles as you do. And of course, like it was previously stated, all situations are different. But no one had mentioned a situation like mine, so I thought I'd share.

My point is, please understand your place. I'm not a step-parent, so I have not experienced first-hand what you go through. But I do know that if I had a step-child, and their mother was a very active part of their life (like myself), I would be there for the child, love the child, support the child, help out with the child and do whatever their father needed me to do. But I would back off when it comes to the mommy stuff and let the mom do things her way. However, if I was in a situation where my step-child's mother was out of the picture (deceased, in jail, a crackwh*re, etc), then yeah, I'd step up to the mommy role. It would be a blessing. The child should always come first, and in our situation, she does. But it doesn't mean the actions of others aren't still hurtful. And unfortunately, the pain my child's step-mother has caused me through her actions has caused me to resent her, and not to trust her. And it sucks. It's not how things should be.

One thing I forgot to mention is the constant competition. It seems like because they have more extra money than we do, that every time we have an idea of something fun to do or something neat to buy for her, as soon as we mention it to my daughter, we find out she's already done that, been there or has that. And every idea I have for something we can do together, just us girls, she's already done with her step-mom.

All I'm asking is for the step-moms to understand that although we were once married to your husband, we are not automatically evil people. Try to get to know us, and try to sympathize. I know it's hard to put yourselves in our shoes, but just try. We have feelings and when it comes to our kids, those feelings are very fragile. We are not all terrible. And those of us who are normal, like me, want the best for our kids and are (obviously) willing to sacrifice a lot to make sure they are happy.

Thanks for listening, and please try not to attack me too hard...



It's easy to say all that one you aren't going through it yourself.  You may say that you won't act that way but if you actually had to live in that situation I think you may sing a different tune.  The constant competition works that way for us as well.  She just doesn't want to lose her son to us and will do ANYTHING to keep it from happening because she has to be in control.

Lara - posted on 01/30/2009

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Jada- I don't know if you are still checking this post today or not, but I just wanted to say I understand where you are coming from, I am a bio mom and a step mom, as a step mom we have our son full time w/ no visitation w/ his mother so I am "mom" w/o boundaries, but as a bio mom I have full physical and full legal custody of my boys with their father only having alternate weekend visitation, this is not because we had a long drawn out court battle, this was me signing documentation HE drew up and saying ok, if that's all you want that's fine with me. He as I think I stated previously married the woman he had been seeing and they took me back to court for custody, he lost, because of how they acted in the year between the initial divorce and the custody fight, I retained what I had, full physical and legal, my oldest son had been in counseling for several months before going to court and it really helped, first because he had so much trouble dealing with the divorce and our subsequent remarriage and because his dad and step mom were acting so foolish and it was confusing to him and created such conflict with him that the counselor had no trouble stating in open court that the current custody should not be changed. It pays to document, even the little stuff, I realize that the limitations my sons' father has are difficult for his new wife to understand as she has her daughter full time, she has a difficult concept with boundaries anyway ( as evidence by her behavior w/ my kids and the fact that she was sleeping with a married man) but believe me when I say, IF the bio mom has a very large prescence in the child's life, everyone's life is easier if the step mom and can learn her boundaries which is her role as a mom in that child's life is secondary, she doesnt get to make decisions, even down to how they wear their hair. I realize that w/ joint custody you and your former husband each have equal say in how things go in your child's life, as you should, but it's you and your husband, not the stepmom, I am glad for your sake seems really seems to enjoy spending time w/ you child, which is the MOST important thing, that she is NOT abusive in anyway shape or form. I appreciate the fact that my childrens step mom is kind to them, it could of course be much worse,



my end point ( and I do have one) is hang in there, know that you are doing the right thing even tho it hurts ( and it does!), and if things seem out of whack or not right or grossly over the line- document it, and don't hesitate, and don't feel bad about it, your are not tattling at this point, you are being a wise prudent parent, don't throw in their face that you are doing it, just write it down, date and time, and event, there may be a place and time further down the line that you will need that type of information to prove a point even.



Again, hang in there, things will get easier as you continue to wade through this

Viky - posted on 01/30/2009

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Hang in there is all that I can say. When the kids are younger they can be easily manipulated and guilted by their difficult parent. As they get older you will see that they will come around.

Ashley - posted on 01/30/2009

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Jada ~



Thank you for your reply! Now, I'm crying too!!! LOL! I'm glad I seem to have helped someone (and myself in the process... thanks for the validation). All of the extra details you gave are so great. You are really trying and that is awesome! :)



Everyone wishes for a better situation... I know I do. But, I try to realize that it could be MUCH worse... and even when people in the "extended family" do hurtful things, we all really love the kids (even your new step-wife) and that's what really counts.I try to ride out as much as I can and keep the boat on even keel, lest *I* make it worse.



As far as your feelings, they probably don't matter to the step-mom. Much like I'm sure her feelings really don't matter to you. Its easier to just accept that and let it all the hurt roll off your back. I try to stay as impartial as possible and focus on what is best for the kids, not on what should be right for how I am treated. Otherwise, I just end up getting hurt. Its bad for me... and my husband HATES that! :) As an asside, the fact that your daughter is calling her the "other mommy" is a step in the right direction. She is still a baby and doesn't understand how it hurts you but she knows that you are her mommy. Soon, she will figure it out and adjust herself to what she feels comfortable calling her (regardless of what they want her called). You just have to hang in there and focus on being the mommy.



Have fun on your upcoming mommy-daughter day... and takes lots of pictures... :)

Jada - posted on 01/30/2009

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Ashley,



Your response actually made me cry, lol. (I cry at TV commercials, though, lol)



In response to 1: I do realize that we are all very lucky in my situation. I was just making the point that I don't have full custody or get child support like most bio moms. I did whatever he wanted, partly because of the money, and I had so many thoughts I was trying to type out that I forgot to mention that it was also because I didn't want to put my daughter through a custody battle or "take her away" from her daddy. Even if I had the money for my own lawyer at the time, I wouldn't have done that. No matter how much I selfishly want to be with her all the time. Lol. I want what's best for my daughter and in our case being with her mother AND father an equal amount of time is best for her. But I would be lying if I said I wasn't secretly jealous of the normal moms who only have to send their kid to their dad's house every other weekend. I don't care about child support because we split everything 50/50 (daycare, medical costs, school stuff) but spending time with her is my number 1 priority.



2: You are right, those are small things that are really not that important. However, my point there was, if I couldn't even get them to understand a small request like hairspray and nailpolish, how will I ever get them to understand a bigger issue? (such as the issue of calling step-mom "mommy", or where we will be sending her for kindergarten this fall) I just feel like my opinion and/or feelings don't matter, but I'm supposed to respect the step-mom's feelings. It gets very stressful. And very hard...



3: That's exactly how I wish my daughter's step-mom thought. And I'm glad that someone understands what I was trying to say. Thank you!



4: That's excellent advice. Sometimes I guess I just feel like it will be less special to her because she already did that, went there, etc with her "other mommy" (as she's been calling her recently.) But you are right. Even if they've already been there, done that, the experience will still be special and it will be a new and different experience because of who she's with.



Thanks for your response. I will definitely take your advice and keep the things you've said in mind. :)

Ashley - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Jada:

You know what I got? Joint physical and legal custody. I only see my daughter 50% of the time. We split everything perfectly down the middle. And do I get child support? H*ll no.


I asked nicely if step-mom could stop putting hairspray in my daughter's hair (she was 3 at the time) because her hair is still baby hair and doesn't need to be damaged by the alcohol that's in hairspray. I also asked that if she's going to paint her nails, she please refrain from using bright red. I don't think these were huge, crazy things I was asking. But since she's about 5 years younger than I am (so she was about 21 at the time) she went off on me and said I was just picking on ANYTHING she does because I'm jealous of her and can't get over someone else being part of my child's life. Almost 2 years later, we're still dealing with these issues. I can't bring anything up without being attacked. So, I've gotten to the point where I just don't say anything, and have to let them have their way. It's depressing. It makes me feel like I am the step-parent. I feel like I have no say in what goes on.


My point is, please understand your place. I'm not a step-parent, so I have not experienced first-hand what you go through. But I do know that if I had a step-child, and their mother was a very active part of their life (like myself), I would be there for the child, love the child, support the child, help out with the child and do whatever their father needed me to do. But I would back off when it comes to the mommy stuff and let the mom do things her way. However, if I was in a situation where my step-child's mother was out of the picture (deceased, in jail, a crackwh*re, etc), then yeah, I'd step up to the mommy role. It would be a blessing. The child should always come first, and in our situation, she does. But it doesn't mean the actions of others aren't still hurtful. And unfortunately, the pain my child's step-mother has caused me through her actions has caused me to resent her, and not to trust her. And it sucks. It's not how things should be.


One thing I forgot to mention is the constant competition. It seems like because they have more extra money than we do, that every time we have an idea of something fun to do or something neat to buy for her, as soon as we mention it to my daughter, we find out she's already done that, been there or has that. And every idea I have for something we can do together, just us girls, she's already done with her step-mom.


 



Jada ~ I have been a step-mom for 5 years. I have two stepchildren and a daughter with my husband (she's 2). I don't have an ex or bio-kids that have step-parents. I don't plan to bash you in any way. In fact, I love your post and I'm glad that you stumbled upon this group. I think that we are all suffering from all sides and whatever we can all do to increase our perspective (on all fronts) is a good thing. So, welcome :)



I picked out a couple of quotes I wanted to respond to (see above)...



1) Divorce is obviously a horrible thing, we can all attest to that. And, it looks like you and your ex husband did what you could to be responsible through it (you ponied up to worked hard and provide the house for your daughter; he let you stay in it and didn't throw you out on the street). In the end, you got what I think all of us hope and pray for - JOINT custody with NO MONEY in either direction. The turf wars and money wars can just get outrageous. Also, just like you and your new family, he and his new family deserve half time. Its only fair. A lot of us in this group don't get that because the law often sides strongly on the side of the biological mother, which isn't right either. No one likes to be on the side that's not getting at least 50%. So, 50% is fair. Right down the middle.



2) It is so easy to bicker over small things. In my opinion, hairspray and nail polish fall into the "small things" category. There will be bigger issues down the road and you might want to save your ammo for when it will really count. I'm glad to read that you've started to back off of that stuff. But, try not to let it depress you. If you all agreed on all of that stuff, you might still be with your ex. I've found that the same differences that prompted the divorce are underlying of a lot of the disagreements on how to raise the kids. Just let it go and save it for when it really counts. The first couple of years of my experience were pretty rough because I internalized a lot of frustration and anger related to "little stuff bickering". It just isn't worth it. Day to day life gets really bleak. It only ends up hurting you and has the potential to really hurt your daughter and your new marriage.Your worth more than that.



3) You also have really taken the high road on the issue of your daughter calling the step-mom "mommy ". I really don't think that is right. The step-mom is only the mom in situations where she has LEGAL custody of the child. I have a backlog of stories I could share but this is my basic mantra: "I am their step-mom. I love them as my own. I will do for them whenever and wherever I can. I will be there for them. But, I am NOT thier mom. If/when their mother can or wants to do something that is the mom's role, it is not my place and I will back off. If thier mom chooses not to do it, I will step in to fill the gap because it is in the best interest of the kids." You are spot on and I hope that other step-mom's here in similar situations can learn from that part of your post. It took me about 3 years to figure that out. And, thank God, I made it to where I am now. It doesn't mean that I don't survive frustrating situations. But, it really helps to do what's appropriate for the kids... thier relationship with their mother... and thier relationship with me.



4) In some parts of your post, it looks like you are still harboring a lot of pain about the past. Let go as soon as you can. It will only hurt you (and your daughter) more the longer you hold on it it. You can't change your ex or your child's step-mom, otherwise you'd still be with him. So, you can't control what he (and she) does with thier time, as long as it is safe and lawful. All you can do is the best for your daughter while she is with you. And, I would suggest that even if she has already "done that, been there or has that" with the step-mom, that you take that opportunity to DO IT AGAIN and make some real mommy memories. She will experience it differently with you. You are her mother and she deserves those memories with you. Just do it again and enjoy it. No-one can take that from you.



I hope I've helped you. I know that just reading posts here helps me, as long as I keep my mind and heart open to understanding other people's perspectives. We all need to try to continue to do our best to let go of the anger and love our kids (ALL of them, bio and step).



Good luck :)

Jaime - posted on 01/30/2009

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The BM better be careful because it can be used against in court... If the court feels that she is undermining her daughters relationship with your husband... I would document the conversations... That's what me and my husband do.... The BM in my situation isn't smart or nice.... Was laughed out of court by the judge.... My husband documents everything just in case.. Even as little as money that she is supposed to give us for medical reason and decides not to because she can't hold down a job... We my SS full time because she moved away... But document everything...

Dawn - posted on 01/30/2009

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Tammy, you're right.  My husband's baby mama and he were never married.  Barely even had a relationship.  And I've dealt with 10 times more crap from her than his actual X-Wife who he also has children by.  Its simple, she got pregnant on purpose - trying to trap him.  He didn't stay with her and from that she was going to make him PAY. Nothing is about the child or money or anything other than jealously, angry, bitterness and resentment.



Jada - girl - some of us are bio moms and step moms too.  I'm certain my ex's girlfriend thinks I'm crazy and jealous etc....the reality of that situation is that they came after me.  Not the other way around.  And people just have to blame someone else - don't they?



Sounds like you have it figured out.  I don't think these conversations are about the X who kind, and understanding (I have one of those who I appreciate greatly).  Its about dealing with the ugliness of what adults (women) do to one another sometimes without thinking of how the actions will affect the children.

Tammy - posted on 01/30/2009

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What about the step moms that the BM was never married to the childs father? What is the reasoning behind their crazy actions....True reasoning??? Its never about the child, its always about us. How do you deal with that?

Tammy - posted on 01/30/2009

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I have never heard that saying "What is not love, is fear". That really makes you think...and it is so true.

Thanks.

Jada - posted on 01/30/2009

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I know I shouldn't even be reading this, as this is a group for step-moms, but I have stumbled upon it, read it, and now there is no turning back. As a "bio mom" I feel the need to speak up, to those of you who seem to think that all ex-wives are psycho, money hungry b*tches. Here's my story:



I left my husband because he was abusive to me (mentally and physically). He was a good dad and a terrible husband. (We basically brought out the worst in each other and are both way better off apart than we were together. We both recognize this, and we're each happier now. We get along better now than we ever have). When we separated, there was no room at my parents' house for me, so he moved into his parents' house until I could find a place to live. (The house was in his name, but he let me stay there temporarily). His parents didn't charge him rent to stay with them. They took care of all the groceries, and even bought him cartons of cigarettes. He didn't even have a car payment. His only bills were car insurance, cellphone, and 50% of our daughter's daycare fees. So, while he stayed there, he was able to pay off some debt, fix his credit, buy a new car, and put a ton of money in savings. Meanwhile, I made the entire mortgage payment, along with all utilities, my car payment, insurance, phone, toiletries for the house, etc. I also provided food, diapers, clothing, and the other half of the daycare costs for our daughter. This went on for a year and a half until I was finally able to move. Well, right after we separated, we had both started dating people we had already been friends with. She actually moved in with him at his parents' house. So they were both living bill-free, saving money, while I was struggling to keep the electric turned on (which got turned off twice while I was living there alone) Needless to say, I couldn't afford a lawyer, so we had to agree on a situation. You know what I got? Joint physical and legal custody. I only see my daughter 50% of the time. We split everything perfectly down the middle. And do I get child support? H*ll no. Meanwhile, after only dating for about a year and a half, he married the girl he was dating, and they immediately told my daughter (who was only 3 at the time) that she had 2 mommies now and that she can start calling her new mommy "Mommy". My significant other and I decided not to rush into a marriage. He was recently divorced as well, and his ex wife left him with quite a bit of debt, forcing him to file for a Chapter 13 bankrupcy (that's the one you have to pay back). So his paychecks, for the past 2 years, have been cut in half by the Chapter 13. We have another 3 years before he will see a normal paycheck again. So because of this, we are taking it easy, just trying to get by, and just playing the cards we were dealt. And instead of everything being great, I have my 4 year old referring to her step-mom as "my mommy" when she's talking to ME. And when I tried explaining that I think it's too soon to start calling other people mom or dad, that a marriage certificate doesn't automatically make someone a child's "new mommy", her father said I was just being selfish and don't care about what my daughter wants. So they continue to encourage her to call the step-mom "Mommy", even though I don't agree that it's the right time for that. And everything I confront them about, no matter how calmly and politely I try to say it, gets turned around on me. I asked nicely if step-mom could stop putting hairspray in my daughter's hair (she was 3 at the time) because her hair is still baby hair and doesn't need to be damaged by the alcohol that's in hairspray. I also asked that if she's going to paint her nails, she please refrain from using bright red. I don't think these were huge, crazy things I was asking. But since she's about 5 years younger than I am (so she was about 21 at the time) she went off on me and said I was just picking on ANYTHING she does because I'm jealous of her and can't get over someone else being part of my child's life. Almost 2 years later, we're still dealing with these issues. I can't bring anything up without being attacked. So, I've gotten to the point where I just don't say anything, and have to let them have their way. It's depressing. It makes me feel like I am the step-parent. I feel like I have no say in what goes on. My daughter comes home and tells me about the "girls days" she has with her step-mom. That upsets me. Not because I'm jealous, per se, but more because I didn't want this much time away from my daughter to begin with. But since I was paying his mortgage without any help, I couldn't afford a lawyer. And now, when it's his turn to have visitation, the visitation he HAD TO HAVE because he couldn't stand to be away from his daughter, instead of spending it with him, she spends it with her. But I'M the bad guy. I'm the horrible, evil b*tch ex-wife who can't get over it.(Sarcasm). And you know what?? On top of everything I go through, you probably all assume that I badmouth the step-mom. Well I DON'T. No one in my family badmouths her, or her father in front of her. We all smile and listen intently when she talks about them, we say nice things about them when she tells us that she got a new toy or they took her somewhere cool, or whatever. Because contrary to popular belief, not all biological moms are selfish, evil, manipulative, money grubbing wh*res. We go through the same struggles as you do. And of course, like it was previously stated, all situations are different. But no one had mentioned a situation like mine, so I thought I'd share.



My point is, please understand your place. I'm not a step-parent, so I have not experienced first-hand what you go through. But I do know that if I had a step-child, and their mother was a very active part of their life (like myself), I would be there for the child, love the child, support the child, help out with the child and do whatever their father needed me to do. But I would back off when it comes to the mommy stuff and let the mom do things her way. However, if I was in a situation where my step-child's mother was out of the picture (deceased, in jail, a crackwh*re, etc), then yeah, I'd step up to the mommy role. It would be a blessing. The child should always come first, and in our situation, she does. But it doesn't mean the actions of others aren't still hurtful. And unfortunately, the pain my child's step-mother has caused me through her actions has caused me to resent her, and not to trust her. And it sucks. It's not how things should be.



One thing I forgot to mention is the constant competition. It seems like because they have more extra money than we do, that every time we have an idea of something fun to do or something neat to buy for her, as soon as we mention it to my daughter, we find out she's already done that, been there or has that. And every idea I have for something we can do together, just us girls, she's already done with her step-mom.



All I'm asking is for the step-moms to understand that although we were once married to your husband, we are not automatically evil people. Try to get to know us, and try to sympathize. I know it's hard to put yourselves in our shoes, but just try. We have feelings and when it comes to our kids, those feelings are very fragile. We are not all terrible. And those of us who are normal, like me, want the best for our kids and are (obviously) willing to sacrifice a lot to make sure they are happy.



Thanks for listening, and please try not to attack me too hard...

Erin - posted on 01/30/2009

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Quoting Christa:

As a mom, stepmom and mother of kids with step-parents, I don't believe that the ex is always the problem. Truly, you're trying to raise the same set of kids. It's a noble goal and shouldn't be taken lightly. WORK TOGETHER. Not only have I never been threatened by my kids' steps, I have never felt that my steps' moms were threatened by me. I think it's this simple...
1. Know your place. As the bio, no one can take your place. As a step, don't try to take mom's place - you can't and shouldn't. Treat all the kids under your roof with love and respect.
2. All kids need different things. Kids aren't going to understand that sometimes, nor will the other adults in their lives if you don't communicate.
3. Make a rule to never hit your steps and that your spouse never hits yours. That will eliminate a lot of problems.
4. Respect each of the other adults, regardless of whether you feel they deserve it. Remember, this person was/is close to someone you love.
5. Never, ever, ever talk about the other adults in front of the kids. That's cruel.
6. Nice matters. Teach it, live it, share it.


I think this is wonderful advice. I only wish that in many of our situations both parties could agree to these rules. It just doesn't happen that way. And when one parent can't follow the rules it is impossible for anyone else to either..not completely anyway. Children are often manipulated and turned against their non-custodial parent because of the bio's anger, jelousy and bitterness as well as fear. I belive my husbands ex is super threatened by our "happy little family" and thinks his daughter would choose to live with us if she could. Yet we would never encourage this, his ex is living by herself and has had a boy friend for years but no family with him. She thinks her father would speak harshly of her in front of their daughter and he wouldn't, and meanwhile she is getting her daughter to tell him she hates him for being mean to her mommy and never wants to see him again. Yet he hasn't been mean to her mommy, her mommy cries because she is still hurt about something that happen seven years ago. anyway, sorry for ranting. But in essence, its not that simple, God I wish it were.

Jennifer - posted on 01/29/2009

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Dawn, I can completely relate to you in almost every aspect. My husband's ex has a masters in Child Development and Family Services and is an Executive director in a state funded crisis center but doesn't work with families and that's the most confusing

Mika - posted on 01/29/2009

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Quoting Dawn:



I'm a bio mom and a step mom.  I'm on both sides.  I have to deal with a crazy ex and my husband's live-in girlfriend who has completely refused to meet me, speak to me or look at me.  






Being nice (as Christa) mentioned is great - you should always be nice - however, nice got me no where with either of these women.  As a matter of fact, my invitation of coffee to my ex's GF cost me thousands!  And, this woman, also is some sort of wanna be professional in human behaviors. 






I have learned only a few things as a Bio Mom and a Step Mom in regards to dealing with "the other woman".






 Never speak ugly of the other woman.  However, that doesn't mean you don't have to be a little honest about things.  Our children know the reason they don't see their step brother is because his mom won't let him come.  We never told them that - they got it on their own.  We mearly confirmed it for them.  As with my husband's girlfriend, my kids know that she don't like their Mommy - soon, they will realize on their own that she don't like them either (breaks my heart).






You can NEVER rationalize with an unrational person.  Nothing you say or do will make the other person see thing thru your eyes unless they are willing.






No matter what you do or say or how hard you fight it out, nothing you do or say will make another act in the best interest of a child.  NOTHING.  You have to go with it, with a sad heart, and be there for the child when he needs you. 






Other than that, it is a day by day process.  Sometimes you have to fight and sometimes you should just ignore the bad behaviors.  Its figuring out when to do what - is the hardest part.






 





AMEN....i couldnt say it better, as a step mom/mom who has dealt with my share of my kids having step-moms i would have to say it is very hard to get along with the 'Other women",as a step-mom to two kids whose mom is incarcerated, im just tring to be positive around the kids, help with homework and see their faces light up when they bring home an A on that spelling test , i made them work so hard on is all that i need at this point, i think that in time they will see that I have been there for them and their bio-mom will be a distant memory.

Dawn - posted on 01/29/2009

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I'm a bio mom and a step mom.  I'm on both sides.  I have to deal with a crazy ex and my husband's live-in girlfriend who has completely refused to meet me, speak to me or look at me.  



Being nice (as Christa) mentioned is great - you should always be nice - however, nice got me no where with either of these women.  As a matter of fact, my invitation of coffee to my ex's GF cost me thousands!  And, this woman, also is some sort of wanna be professional in human behaviors. 



I have learned only a few things as a Bio Mom and a Step Mom in regards to dealing with "the other woman".



 Never speak ugly of the other woman.  However, that doesn't mean you don't have to be a little honest about things.  Our children know the reason they don't see their step brother is because his mom won't let him come.  We never told them that - they got it on their own.  We mearly confirmed it for them.  As with my husband's girlfriend, my kids know that she don't like their Mommy - soon, they will realize on their own that she don't like them either (breaks my heart).



You can NEVER rationalize with an unrational person.  Nothing you say or do will make the other person see thing thru your eyes unless they are willing.



No matter what you do or say or how hard you fight it out, nothing you do or say will make another act in the best interest of a child.  NOTHING.  You have to go with it, with a sad heart, and be there for the child when he needs you. 



Other than that, it is a day by day process.  Sometimes you have to fight and sometimes you should just ignore the bad behaviors.  Its figuring out when to do what - is the hardest part.



 

Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2009

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AMEN! It's VERY HARD! If my SS wants to call me mom, which he does easily, then I won't stop it. I've talked to him about it and he wants to. he likes to.

Catrina - posted on 01/28/2009

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Quoting Christa:

As a mom, stepmom and mother of kids with step-parents, I don't believe that the ex is always the problem. Truly, you're trying to raise the same set of kids. It's a noble goal and shouldn't be taken lightly. WORK TOGETHER. Not only have I never been threatened by my kids' steps, I have never felt that my steps' moms were threatened by me. I think it's this simple...
1. Know your place. As the bio, no one can take your place. As a step, don't try to take mom's place - you can't and shouldn't. Treat all the kids under your roof with love and respect.
2. All kids need different things. Kids aren't going to understand that sometimes, nor will the other adults in their lives if you don't communicate.
3. Make a rule to never hit your steps and that your spouse never hits yours. That will eliminate a lot of problems.
4. Respect each of the other adults, regardless of whether you feel they deserve it. Remember, this person was/is close to someone you love.
5. Never, ever, ever talk about the other adults in front of the kids. That's cruel.
6. Nice matters. Teach it, live it, share it.


In some rare occasions the ex's are actually able to move forward in a positive manner. However it's not always the case, as it seems that a lot of us in this group are dealing with complicated situations. In my life the "rules" you've listed are things that are obvious, unfortunately we live in a world where the obvious isn't simply understood with one of the bio's. For whatever reason, or another.



It's apparent that the ex's in a majority of the cases, don't follow cardinal rules. Sucks for all involved. Being a Step Mother, the stress and emotional strain it takes to deal with biomom's down right INSANE mental state or reasonings....hurts. I know I will never be my steps MOM, but I am their mom as well. They decided this. I won't change what they feel comfortable calling me.

Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2009

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Quoting Christa:

As a mom, stepmom and mother of kids with step-parents, I don't believe that the ex is always the problem. Truly, you're trying to raise the same set of kids. It's a noble goal and shouldn't be taken lightly. WORK TOGETHER. Not only have I never been threatened by my kids' steps, I have never felt that my steps' moms were threatened by me. I think it's this simple...
1. Know your place. As the bio, no one can take your place. As a step, don't try to take mom's place - you can't and shouldn't. Treat all the kids under your roof with love and respect.
2. All kids need different things. Kids aren't going to understand that sometimes, nor will the other adults in their lives if you don't communicate.
3. Make a rule to never hit your steps and that your spouse never hits yours. That will eliminate a lot of problems.
4. Respect each of the other adults, regardless of whether you feel they deserve it. Remember, this person was/is close to someone you love.
5. Never, ever, ever talk about the other adults in front of the kids. That's cruel.
6. Nice matters. Teach it, live it, share it.


I am a step-mom and a bio mom and agree with you but is not the case in a lot of families.  Like the EW stated again who is masters level in psychology with her masters in Child Development and Family Services, doesn't use her education in our situation especially as she KNOWS how it should be worked out nor does she apply theories to her own life in other aspects.  So the respect all the way around does not happen and I would never take the mother's place and I have stressed to EVERYONE involved.  If you treat them with love and respect, also don't be treated like a doormat which is the case a lot of times, with me I know.  If ANYONE hits any child, they should not be a parent in my book as that DOES NOT solve anything but show that it's okay to treat people with complete disregard.  I respect the mother but it's hard when she shows blatant disrepect for me.  I do teach nice, live it and share it, but it has smacked me right in the face SO many times with her that it's ridiculous.  I live the Golden Rule but as my husband told me there are not that many people out there that will treat you the same and she is not one who has come to that conclusion but claims to be a Christian.  She is a hypocrite and manipulative and is teaching my SS how to manipulate.

Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2009

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Quoting Mika:



Quoting Rachel:




Quoting Jennifer:

The EW is getting between our marriage because i can't handle her attitude. My husband doesn't want to listen to it because he knows she won't change. Why does it have to be hard? Does anyone else feel jealous of the BM by the way their lifestyle is better because they can afford more things because of child support and we struggle. Maybe it's just me. I don't know how to let her not bother me. At first I thought she was doing things on purpose but maybe not??? I don't know anymore.







My husband's ex is living in a 5 bedroom house and just bought 2 new vehicles. She gets child support from both of her ex hubands, is remarried has health insurance, and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment, very old cars, no health insurance and on food stamps. One time child support took out the money in our bank account that we were going to buy a crib with. We couldn't buy a crib, someone donated a crib to us. BUT, this is not the ex's fault. Laws are the things, the law doesnt' care that the the ex husband can't take care of his new family, as long as the children with the ex are taken care of. Which I don't get, why take from one child to give to another who is being taken care of? that's a whole nother topic









the one thing i would like to say is i am a step-mom , who takes care of my step -children- the bio mom actually is suppose to pay my husband child support, she doesnt make an effort to keep her support paid . she has made comments to my husband that she shouldnt have to pay support because we both work have a house , nice cars. well thats all bull-hit. just because we maybe better off then her doesnt mean she doesnt have responsiblities to her kids. i shouldnt have to support her kids along with taking care of mine.....Mika






Well that is just bull-hit that she said that!  I carry all our the insurance on our family including my step-son and my husband carries just eye insurance as it is offered through his work.  I can support financially and with insurance, etc. but that's where my responsibilites are supposed to stop which is CRAP!  It is VERY unfair to me.  His step-dad has WAY more to do with him that I do and I get the whole " he lives with him"  well to me I still have a hard time with that and find unfair.  She has her two husbands, so to speak, and I get to be the odd one out.  It's a GREAT feeling let me tell you.  (VERY SARCASTIC)

Christa - posted on 01/28/2009

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As a mom, stepmom and mother of kids with step-parents, I don't believe that the ex is always the problem. Truly, you're trying to raise the same set of kids. It's a noble goal and shouldn't be taken lightly. WORK TOGETHER. Not only have I never been threatened by my kids' steps, I have never felt that my steps' moms were threatened by me. I think it's this simple...

1. Know your place. As the bio, no one can take your place. As a step, don't try to take mom's place - you can't and shouldn't. Treat all the kids under your roof with love and respect.

2. All kids need different things. Kids aren't going to understand that sometimes, nor will the other adults in their lives if you don't communicate.

3. Make a rule to never hit your steps and that your spouse never hits yours. That will eliminate a lot of problems.

4. Respect each of the other adults, regardless of whether you feel they deserve it. Remember, this person was/is close to someone you love.

5. Never, ever, ever talk about the other adults in front of the kids. That's cruel.

6. Nice matters. Teach it, live it, share it.

Catrina - posted on 01/28/2009

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in regards to child support -- the court system is bogus when it comes to a Father's family. As it was mentioned why is it ok to take from one family to give to another family who's already floating so to speak? A family who has the majority of custody with the multiple jobs, cars and a brand new house vs a family in low income housing and food stamps - taking money for what again? I'm so bothered with how the courts do this crap. Especially when they want the less custody parent to be responsible and show they can supply a situation safe and healthy for the kids - yet take the money away to pay for those things?!

A financial responsibility is always going to be there. But when one parent chooses to leave the state against orders, and with the children's best interest at heart - the children aren't YANKED back -- it seems the parent with the best interest of the kids at heart always get the short end of the stick.

The money hungry parents (not calling anyone here that - just naming a group in general) who will react for money, but will not do the responsibilities that come with being a "CO-PARENT" shouldn't get a damn thing.

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