Is it reasonable for a stepmom to expect her husband to run arrangements by her first that involve the stepson and not just make those decisions alone or only with the ex-wife?

Theresa - posted on 10/03/2012 ( 695 moms have responded )

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My husband sometimes makes arrangements with his ex-wife about their son without first checking with me if it's okay. He also feels that he does not need to inform me of arrangements he has made, even if they might affect me. I just need to accept it without a choice in the matter. It puts me in the position where I feel his ex-wife and child come first and my opinion, as his wife, doesn't matter.

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Carolyn - posted on 11/09/2012

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All this puts me in awe.... wish my kids dad chose this. He went with his new wife and hasnt bothered to see the kids in the last 3 months. We get along great thats probally the problem she dont like.

Lauren - posted on 11/09/2012

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Nicole, you have very negative feelings toward the family unit. Did you recently go through a divorce? Trust me, I'm not Mary Friggin Sunshine, by any means, but I do know that putting effort into trying to maintain a positive outlook does translate into positive feelings (i.e. happy).



You've said that the husband & ex-wife had the child & everything is between them. Sadly, many ex-wives think that way. That is one of the reasons why so many ex-wives & step-moms don't get along. The reality is that the step-mom (SM) is the other mom. She fills in for bio-mom (BM) when BM is not there. SM cares for the child, keeps him/her safe from harm, cooks meals, bathes or ensure the child bathes, washes his/her clothes, talks about school, helps with school work, interacts, plays with, entertains, kisses boo-boos & puts on anti-bacterial gel & a band-aid, finds the comfort blanky or teddy bear that's inevitably missing at bed time, tucks him/her in, wakes him/her up, some SM's take him/her to school & Soccer Practice, etc., a Mother is not defined by blood relation & giving birth, she is defined by her actions. This is why some Mom's are terrible Mother's & don't deserve the title & why a woman never having given birth can adopt a child & love her better than her own BM.



The ex-wife tends to not want anything to do with the SM UNTIL she needs to drop them off when Dad's not home & suddenly NEEDS the SM, how convenient that now, all of a sudden when it benefits her, she acknowledges the SM's existence. The BM is not comfortable with the SM reprimanding the child, but would she understand if the child plays in the street & the SM tells the child not to play in the street & the child says "well I don't have to listen to you" so the SM just says, "oh well, he has a point." Will BM say, "I don't fault you for my child being hit by a car because I did say you weren't allowed to reprimand him, so when he refused to come inside, there was nothing you could do." Will she be understanding? No. So the children are left in the SM's care, to be kept safe, sometimes that means enforcing rules. The BM says no to reprimanding, but would want the child reprimanded if they were doing something dangerous.



In my case, my step-children's BM doesn't like me taking them on trips during our visitation cause she feels they're not getting enough bonding time with their Dad, but she's b-tching at me when I return from a weekend at our beach house in RI with my kids, & says that her kids feel left out cause we don't take a trip on a weekend we have my step-children. Well, which one is it? Am I taking them on too many family trips, or not enough? Then, we try to take them the 2nd weekend in Sept, which would require missing one day of school to go Fri-Sun, nope, she won't let them miss a day of school (that was the only weekend we could get a ferry reservation).



The BM I deal with, as is the case with several SM's I know, feels threatened when I do fun trips with them & they come home excited & talking about how much fun they had. She acts like its some contest. It's not! Get over it! If you really love your children, you would be happy they got to have a great time & awesome memories. I'm a child at heart. I get along well with kids because there's a part of me that never wanted to, & still doesn't want to grow up. I have more fun taking the kids to the beach, playing songs like "Leave It All To Me" by Miranda Cosgrove (Theme Song to Nickelodeon's Show iCarly) or "Freak The Freak Out" by the Victorious Cast Featuring Victoria Justice (Nickelodeon's Show Victorious) or just about any song by Big Time Rush (another Nickelodeon show) & I have my kids, my step-kids & my neighbor's kids & we all sing along to the songs or we play "Guess The Name Of The Song" on the trip (all the kids ask when we are gonna go again & say, remember the time when.. OR can we play Guess The Song again like last time..) - I'd rather do that with my weekend than going out for drinks with some girl friends. BM really needs to stop assuming I'm over here plotting to make her kids love me more! Cause I'm not, just trying to enjoy my time with them, live in the moment & make great memories.



BM's also need to realize just how often a SM has to do things they find "offensive" but there are situations it is acceptable. BM doesn't want SM involved with the schedule, but it's OK when BM needs SM to pick up the kids. BM doesn't want SM involved with the school, until she needs SM to pick up the kid from school OR help with a homework assignment. BM doesn't want SM to reprimand the kids, until the kid is doing something dangerous & could get hurt. BM doesn't want SM spending time with them cause they're there to see their Dad, except when BM has plans, Dad's not available so she wants to drop them off to the SM -OR- she's upset SM & Dad took a trip with SM's kids & it's not fair her kids didn't get to go.



It's a double standard that's not fair. BM needs to get over it. The fact is SM is part of the family. Changes in schedule affect her, affect her house, affect her plans, affect her kids. She has a right to be involved in changes. She has a right to be involved in certain decisions regarding the child, when they're decisions that affect her house or her expenses, like sending the child to a private school they share the cost of tuition for. She has a right to attend functions like Soccer games, dance recitals, school plays. SM is a part of the child's life. The child does NOT view SM as an outsider. A child sees a person who cares for & loves him/her & wants all caregivers to be a part of special days.



Last, but not least, for the benefit of the child & the sanity of the SM, it's important the child view all parents as authority figures with equal say & input. If the child starts thinking, "I don't have to listen to her, cause my Mom said so," the child starts playing parents against one another to try to get things (gifts if parents try to buy affection, interference of the one parent to get out of punishment at the other parents house, etc.).



Most importantly what happens though, is that the child is busy analyzing Dad's two separate families. Does Dad love his new wife & child more? Does Dad spend more time with them? Does Dad give his new child special treatment? Does Dad buy his new wife/child more gifts? Their whole world becomes a contest for love & what's fair. OR the new child sees preferential treatment given to the first & resents that & acts out & Dad tries to compensate by dialing back special treatment & suddenly the 1st child sees a change & feels like an outsider looking in trying to analyze why things changed so drastically & so suddenly. The only way to stop this from happening & quickly snowballing is to ensure that as early on as possible, all family members are equal, loved equally, have the same treatment, same respect, etc.



As far as your negative view that in this day & age, many marriages don't last; it sounds to me like you want to keep SM as an outsider on the off chance that Dad may divorce her eventually & your child is not hurt by this. Call me optimistic, but I prefer to put all my effort into making life a positive experience & approaching all life's moments with love, happiness & inclusion for all. I would rather have six months of pure wonderful happiness, rather than six years of dull, mundane experiences where I kept a close watch on my heart, guarded heavily by high walls to ensure I "won't get hurt." What kind of a life can you possibly have if you approach everything as though you can't get too close cause they'll most likely leave & you'll be hurt? I want my children to grow up the same way, pouring their whole selves into relationships with everyone; family, friends, & partners. You truly get out of relationships what you put in. Do you run the risk of being hurt? Yes, but you also ensure that you get the most amazing experience out of the good times, the most intense love & the most incredible happiness.



Don't get me wrong, I'm not floating on a Prozac cloud. I get down, & I can be miserable. I have had days where I wonder why I'm here & whether this is the life I envisioned for myself. Then I think about the things I have that I'm grateful for & I KNOW things can always be much worse & I'm very blessed & I have a lot to be grateful for & I'm much happier after I think about all of that.



Mel, I would encourage you to read some of what I wrote here as well because much of it pertains to your view, from your comment, that the child is not the SM's & she "must remember that." What BM's MUST REMEMBER is that if you have a loving, caring, happy, wonderful & INVOLVED step-parent for your child(ren), then you should be thankful. You should look at it as a blessing & not an inconvenience. Some children have no parents that care about & love them. Your child(ren) have 3 or 4 parents that love them, care for them, help them grow & mold them into little adults. You will have an amazing, loved, secure & confident child(ren) that will always feel absolutely special & happy to have so many wonderful & incredible people in their lives who make them feel wanted & they'll always feel that blessed, always.

[deleted account]

^ ^ Yes yes yes, exactly Lauren!



Also, a question to all who say things such as- because biomom and biodad are the parents it should be kept between them, or that they can share details with stepmom but are not obligated to and stepmom has no right to expect it, that stepmom does not need to be involved, that these things are not the stepmom's business because it is not her child, that stepmom wanting to be involved is somehow putting the child at lesser importance, etc...



Does it cut both ways then??? So, stepmom does not need to feed the child when he is there...it's not her kid, right? Stepmom should not help biodad care for the child, she is NOT that child's mom, that child has a mother and father and they can take care of him, or pay the "nanny" who lives at dad's house. Stepmom does not need to be an unpaid taxi driver or unpaid babysitter to biodad's child...she didn't give birth to him, these things are a parent's job, and she is not bound to that responsibility for him. I have a feeling NO ONE would feel this is acceptable. The reasoning is that this child is not the stepmom's child so it's not her business, but everyone wants stepmom to make that child her business as far as the physical job in helping raise him. Huge double standard. And as has been reiterated several times, by several people, this whole thread was not an issue of a stepmom trying to shove out her man's child or one-up the ex. The issue here is the relationship between a husband and wife, and wanting a husband to respect the two becoming one by making his wife his "other half" in EVERY aspect of his life. Why SHOULDN'T that include his child? How is it possibly bad to bring one more person to the complete inner workings of this child's life, schedule, and family dynamic, who loves and cares about the child and has his best interest at heart to help things run more smoothly for everyone?? To the comments of "you knew he had a child when you married him" I say- SO DID HE. He knew he had a child, and he knew what the marriage vows were, and it is not a recent unknown cliche that says "two become one." That is marriage and everyone knows it. If he didn't want to bring his child into the mix of becoming one with a woman, then HE should not have gotten married. Yes she knew he had a child when she married him, she chose and is STILL choosing to be one with him, child included. It is the husband in this case who is selling his wife, and his child, short.

Lauren - posted on 11/09/2012

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Nicole, you sound like you are either the ex wife in your situation, OR you're not divorced & still married to your child's father. I'll tell you why I say this; you come off as very defensive. You have said the same as many other ex-wives in this thread have said, that she needs to put the child first & she married knowing this situation.



Like I've said in previous comments, people put their best foot forward in the beginning. Before marrying, maybe he rarely changed the schedule or asked her first, once comfortable the man will begin showing his true colors.



Nevertheless, schedule changes are nearly always for the benefit of the parent, most often to allow the parent to do something without the child like take a trip or go to the bar or on a date. I actually feel that too many changes can be hard on the child, bouncing around, without a set schedule or routine to feel comfortable in. Also, any changes always affect the wife, it's her home. Not knowing an extra mouth to feed is coming, affects dinner plans, or what if she had plans to go out & do something that is difficult to do with kids, maybe she wanted to surprise hubby with a romantic dinner or going out to see a movie? Now she has to cancel her plans last minute so the ex-wife can go out on a date instead? How is that fair?



My biggest pet peeve is being volunteered to pick up the kids or receive them while the Father is out. That has a direct impact on only her. Mom gets to go on her date & Dad's off having beer with the guys & now step-mom has to cancel her plans to make life easier on the parents? That's not fair at all. You can't assume that changes to plans with out notice is no big deal, as if step-mom is always sitting at home knitting with extra food cooking in the oven, ready & waiting to receive the child at a moment's notice & always prepared to serve extra people dinner with only a moment's notice. When you make plans, assuming it is the time you don't have the child, it can make things incredibly difficult on you to try to accommodate & sometimes you just can't accommodate. It doesn't change your love for the child or mean you're not putting the child first, but changes to accommodate the ex-wife's social life are not changes benefiting the child in the 1st place, so often when ex-wives pull the "you don't care about" -OR- "you're not putting the child first" cards, it's really just a manipulation technique designed to prey on the insecurity in the Father's mind about "appearing" as a bad Dad or "Dead Beat" Father so they'll feel guilty & give the ex-wife what she wants. Those types of mind games are not putting the child first or making decisions in the child's best interest, they are in fact mind games & tricks to manipulate, which is highschool type drama at best & just plain sad.

Mel - posted on 11/09/2012

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They have a child together....the decisions about that child should be made by the child's parents if they can still be civil enough to do this then that is a blessing. The child is not yours and his that is what needs to be understood here.

Mel - posted on 11/09/2012

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They have a child together....the decisions about that child should be made by the child's parents if they can still be civil enough to do this then that is a blessing. The child is not yours and his that is what needs to be understood here.

Theresa - posted on 11/09/2012

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Nicole, I so completely disagree with you on many points - but I don't want to go through them all. Just wanted to make an important point here....I can guarantee you that if my step-son heard you saying what you have about coming from "the child's point of view..." he himself would outright disagree with you. Maybe your comments are from your own experience, but for a majority of step-moms, their relationship with their step-children are wonderful, loving and special. My step-son has never regarded me as "not part of his family". He has even told his teachers that he has "practically two moms". He has been my only child, for 8 years, and we have a strong relationship. I bring a baby girl into the world next week, and he is very excited about meeting his sister - he refers to her as nothing less.

I think why some children have the perception that you've described, is only because the adults in their life create that perception for them, and that's really sad.

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In my opinion, once two people are married the husband's business IS the wife's business, and vice versa. That is EXACTLY why she should be in the loop. Two become one.

Idia - posted on 11/09/2012

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I think, that is their business and not yours, but it will be wise if he lets u in sometimes.

Theresa - posted on 11/08/2012

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Thanks for sharing HS. And I'm sorry to hear how difficult and frustrating it is - I've lived it, still live it. Even though I have been very communicative with my husband throughout our marriage, put up my boundaries and tried to be accommodating at the same time to everyone in the mix, there's still not a fair balance in regards to my place as a wife and step-mom. It really, in my experience, boils down to what your husband is willing to accept and allow, how much freedom he is willing to give his ex and how much consideration he is willing to give his wife. The truth is as his wife, you should always come before the ex in all decisions. I do not believe that your husband should make decisions without involving you even when it concerns your step-child. It makes for very muddy waters, believe me! We were on the brink of divorce last year after 8 years of being together, and directly as a result of the ex-wife's emotional ties to my husband and boundaries not firmly put in place. If there's any issues between you and your husband, rather make it a priority to sort it out immediately. And if you are uncomfortable with the fact that he speaks to her on the phone each day and accommodates her - you need to address this. It's not fair to you or to your marriage and it won't just stop on its own. You are within your rights! ;-) All the best xT

Shell - posted on 11/08/2012

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It is ABSOLUTELY reasonable!!!! Step-Mom and Dad should be a discuss things. Then when they are in agreement, discuss the arrangements with BM. And if need be make a compromise that (is obviously/hopefully in the childs best interest) works for EVERYONE involved. Your husband needs to be more respectful of you, his WIFE! You are a team and as such he should run things by you before solidifying anything with BM. I love what Judith said. Stand up for yourself girlie!

HS - posted on 11/07/2012

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I totally understand how you feel! I have been with my husband for 9 years and married a few months. I don't even feel like I am part of a family. It is always about the child (teenager), the ex wife and what she has going on. She has never worked, she's out of town all the time and the child stays with us 90 percent of the time. She is getting a large child support check and will call at the drop of a hat and say that she is going out of town. I never know when he is staying, when he will walk through the door, how much dinner to make etc, etc, etc. My husband speaks to his ex on the phone every day...no clue what they talk about and he accomodates her and the child no matter what we have planned. I feel your pain!! I feel completely ignored, disrespected, and like a meaningless part of this family!!

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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So glad someone can see the wood for the trees! Thanks, Lauren ;-)

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Funny Lauren, that's exactly what sparked me posting the question in the first place - it was a situation in which my husband decided to accommodate the ex-wife's personal arrangements and had nothing to do with putting the child first. It meant then, that plans I had scheduled with my husband days previously, were suddenly changed to accommodate the ex-wife. This meant, in my opinion, that the ex-wife was put first. The needs of the child was not the issue here. The mother simply did not keep to her obligations of looking after her son during the week that he was meant to be with her. Her personal plans were obviously more important. T

Susan - posted on 11/07/2012

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Nicole,



Please read the comments previous to this. Theresa clearly stated that her husband and his ex have made decisions for the ex's convenience, to have the father take care of the child on the days where the mother is supposed to have custody, and that the father expects Theresa to drop her plans to care for his child while he goes on with his plans. The ex's parents are available and willing to look after their grandson, but they aren't being asked. Theresa is being treated like a free, on-call babysitter for the child.

Nicole - posted on 11/07/2012

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I agree with you... as long as the parent going into the meeting keeps the childs best interest in mind...



Lastly...



In todays divorce rate, which is more than 50%, I believe that for our childrens interest it should be specified that the child family are his father and his mother but that the love goes far beyond that and they children are love by their step-parents as well...



If ever the parent and step-parent should seperate chances are the child would feel great loss and I, as a parent, would not want my child to go through that.



I believe in being a unity and yadi yadi yada but all that is just fairytales... at least in todays society...

Holly - posted on 11/07/2012

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I think that the step parent should have EVERY right to have a SAY in it, maybe not THE say in it, but if her SO came to her went over what was being discussed, she could give advice, or tell her SO that something she just wasn't going to be ok with, what she can and can not compromise on, and then he go into the "meeting" and know that. then life at home can run much smoother... and your comment about "he childs point of view his family is his mother and his father not the step-mother/step-father etc." is bull

Nicole - posted on 11/07/2012

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Sorry but I dont agree...



If you look at it from the childs point of view his family is his mother and his father not the step-mother/step-father etc.... You can say all you want about this "when they said I do they became one thing" but in today's society it's just not the same case as it was 20 years ago... considering the divorce rate.



Although I do agree with the step-parent not being/feeling like and outsider I don't believe that he or she should have a say in what is best for the child. It is up to the parents to discuss and agree. The step parent has no business to be included in the decision making but to support the decision that the parents made together.



Don't get me wrong... I am for all 4 parents and step-parents to respect and value the role they all play in the childs life... But this child was made by 2 people and the decisions in its life should be made accordingly...

Holly - posted on 11/07/2012

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sorry, but when he said his "I do's" he and her became ONE... not he and his ex and child became one and she is an outsider looking in. he LEFT his ex, they are no longer a family... he needs to realize that his responsibilities belong to this NEW family that he has, and to make IT work... she is not asking him to neglect his responsibilities to his child... but to be part of it, as a family

Nicole - posted on 11/07/2012

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I am sorry, but I do not agree at all.



Your husband and his ex-wife had a child together. You have no leglal/emotional/financial obligation towards his son so why would he need to "check" with you if it's ok. It's not like you have the final word?



His first obligation in his life is be a father to his son, you come after. As his wife you should respect that, as well as respect the ex-wife. If the tables were turned, would you care about the opinion of the "new" wife? I don't mean to be rude, but if you guys got divorced tomorrow his son would still be there and not you.



Although I completely understand how you can feel left beside, not as important or even insecure... But the fact is that you got involved with a man who had a child. YOU should be the one accepting the fathers feelings and ways to manage things... not the other way around.

Lisa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Hi Theresa,

I expect my ex husband to include his gf in our decisions. She is living with him and helping raise our children. (They may not be married yet but that is just a small detail-they will be someday so I consider her the same as step-mom) I'm sure if we make any decisions he will run them by her. After all her and your advice and decisions affect everyone and of course include you! I don't always feel I get the proper respect or feedback all the time from my ex but I still try my best. I also don't agree with comments and decisions my ex's gf make but I try not to dwell on the small stuff. I know she is there for our children. I sometimes make decisions and tell my current husband later but he is easy going and I know the small stuff he will be fine with. The big decisions should be discussed with everyone. You are getting a bad deal here. You should and need to be included!

Best of luck!

Antonella - posted on 11/07/2012

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let her be with her insecurity's and her disapproval cause shes threatened by you ESP cause your havin his baby, she realize that he wont run decisions by her anymore cause its not just about him and you you guys will have ur own to take care of, but best bet is to have a strict schedule for his son unless u guys say u want him to come over

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Hi Michelle

Sorry, to hear how hard it has been for you - I do understand - also about the "putting off the wedding part." Blue Ladle has a lot of advise I've found helpful - worth the read ;-) T

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Christine, I agree with Blue's advise to you. Don't make the same mistakes I did. T

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Blue I agree with your advise to Christine. Christine, don't make the same mistakes I did. T

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Yes, Christine, I agree that you should definitely be asked and not simply be informed! T

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Thanks, Amy, but unfortunately the ex-wife is not at all interested in me discussing anything with her pertaining to my step-son. So I leave this between her and my husband, but expect him nevertheless to do me the courtesy of letting me know arrangements, asking my opinion and considering that I too have a say in what happens in my home. Thanks for your comments :-) T

Theresa - posted on 11/07/2012

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Re your comments to Karen....Exactly my thoughts, Lauren ;-) If some of my earlier posts were read by some, then it would be understood that in my case, this ex-wife is emotionally tied to my husband, and in fact, her insecurity has jeopardized my marriage - which I am completely in my rights to protect. And in as far as decisions are made for her son, it is really not always in his best interests, but her own. The ex-wife has made it very clear to my husband and I that she also does not accept my marriage to him or the fact that I am pregnant with his child. She acts like in some way this is a competition?! Of course, that's got serious repercussions for her son in the whole mix. T

Antonella - posted on 11/05/2012

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Wow how u managed to take that sanly is mind shocking I would have snapped aloooong time ago lol and ya I hear u my sister had more baby photo's than me and it drove me insane. Now with my two boys I make sure eeeverhing is even so they don't go threw that issue I did

Lauren - posted on 11/05/2012

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Antonella, I hear you. Sorry you have to go through that. One woman my Dad dated for five years, had her own daughter. Her daughter lived with her four nights per week. I lived with them three nights. When they bought a house together, we had to choose rooms. It had been a three bedroom house, but an addition had been built for a huge master bedroom, literally half the size of the house. It had French doors that opened to a long hallway, the first room on the left was a work out room, followed by two separate walk in closets, one for her, one for him, the next was a huge bathroom with a sauna, jacuzzi tub, double sinks, then the next was the master bedroom, HUGE.



The house's previous master bedroom was half the size of the new master bedroom. It had its own full bath off the room. There were two other very small rooms. Each smaller than the master bedroom's walk in closet, maybe 10X9. Because his GF's daughter was there one extra night per week, she got the old master bedroom & I got the room barely the size of the closet. I couldn't even fit a dresser in there, only a twin size day bed & a TV. That should have been the warning her daughter would always get put first, and she was.



She got the brand new TV. I got the 10 yr old clunker that still had a dial to change channels. She got the DVD player, I got to borrow it if I was lucky. She got to decorate her whole room with paint, stickers, matching throw pillows, knick knacks, stuffed animals. I got to buy a comforter & it wasn't even the colors I asked for. Everything always went to her & I got the leftovers or had to compromise on everything. When he split with her, he apologized to me & said he was always so worried about making her happy, he always put him & me last. That's why in my own family, I always work very hard to try to make sure everyone is being treated fairly & no one is getting preferential treatment. It's hard, but I think I really make it work well. :)

Kassie Lynn - posted on 11/04/2012

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I am a step- mom to 3 boys. Their ages are 10, 15 and 18. You husband should talk discuss it with you at all times. At first my husband didnt but he saw how much it hurt me and how much it caused proplems. You are part of your step-sons life just as much as your husband and his ex-wife is. My husband just said your husband is in the wrong. You need to sit down and discuss this issue with him and get him to understand your feelings. You will always be apart of this childs life. Maybe get the ex-wife involved with the discussion too.

Antonella - posted on 11/04/2012

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lauren oh i hearrr u about the foot forward than slack off part lool me n my fiance goin on 4 years 2 kids and well we still have our issues we had when we first started dating -_- and hmm i didnt really think of it like that. my dad was more so of me and my sister havin to bend and break to keep the family happy basically he made us stand down to make his wife happy which was frustrating and now that i have my own kids and i refused to let her use a crib before my second son was born well cause it was built and to be honest i bought it for My children not someone elses ( this is back in may 2012) and we spoke about this after the event had went away and her son and his wife n kids went back to halifax shes STILL trippin bals about it and i told my dad, this time she has to bend and break. im not backing down and i wont apologize and now any events such as christmas is ruined cause she wont get off her high horse, ive told him ive spoken about the event with her and that her acting like this is her stupidity i got past the issues she didnt well than she needs to grow up. im 21 and i managed to get passed such a stupid issue and she kept bringing more issues up and making things worse to the point where i stopped going over and the only time my dad seees me is when he comes to me, but i let him take my oldest son as a sign of good faith and to make her feel liek a bitch, ,lool and i didnt think about the whole social life part,

Lauren - posted on 11/04/2012

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Antonella, I had step parents growing up too. My parents fought as well. I have kids now that have a step mom. I'm also a step mom to three. I've seen all sides. Many people have said she knew before marrying him, obviously. Men do tend to put their best foot forward in the beginning of relationships & slack off when they're comfortable. There is also limited interaction between the new woman & the ex in early stages as well because the new woman is too new so she is waiting for time to pass to prove she is sticking around.



Things can & do change very much after getting married or living together for years, so you can't ever say she should have known all these things before marrying. It's not necessarily true.



Of course being the child in the situation, especially a child who had issues with divorced parents, will say put the child first. The problem with that is that this has never been really just about the child. Also most changes in the schedule don't necessarily benefit the child either. Changes to the schedule are most often benefiting a parent. Maybe the parent has a social event, but no babysitter or doesn't want to pay a babysitter. If there are no plans, as a step mom, I'm more than happy to accommodate the change for extra visitation time. If we had plans to go out because we've secured our own paid babysitter for my kids, then I won't put the extra burden on the sitter by adding more kids, or the expense on us for extra care, or canceling my plans to make the ex wife's social life better. That's the reality of it.



If my partner agrees to take the kids without consulting with me, I'd be upset. It doesn't mean I'm not putting the kids 1st & it doesn't mean I don't want them over, but it does mean my nights activities are ruined solely to allow the ex wife to go out to the bar & drink & no one felt the respect of asking if I mind canceling my plans.



I actually went through this when I had a sitter for the 1st time in 2 yrs for my step mom's 50th birthday party. The ex wife wanted to switch weekends do she could go somewhere with her husband kid free. I told my fiancée's that I refused to ask my mom to watch 5 kids when I told her it would only be 2 & my Dad would be upset we RSVP'd as 2 guests, he paid for both of us to attend & now my fiancée would have to stay home to care for his kids. When I started considering taking a friend of mine instead, he called his ex back & told her he forgot we had a family members 50th birthday to attend & we couldn't take the kids Saturday night. He told her we could watch then Friday night til 3 on Saturday, but that's when they had to return home. She wasn't happy, but that was the compromise, take it or leave it. She took it, but Saturday he had to deliver them to her Mom's house to keep them for the night. So she had someone to watch them, she just preferred to try to make us reschedule our plans, anything to be difficult.



In that situation, we weren't not putting the kids first, we were simply not putting the ex wife first. She tried the argument to try to make him feel like a bad Dad, oh Lauren's family is more important than your own kids? No, Lauren's family is more important than your social life...lol! She wasn't pleased, but it's the truth!

Antonella - posted on 11/04/2012

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alot of good arguments here but i come from the childs perspective.. my parents were divorced and my dad always took my step moms side and my mom n dad were ALWAYS fighting never on the same page. be happy him and his ex r civil to each other but i do think he should inform u but unfortunetly anything to do with his kids r decisions made between his and his ex. u knew he had an ex and im sure u guys lived with each other before u guys got married and he had his kid come over before u guys were married so u knew the situations of when and when he didnt get the kids, sorry ur a step mom now and u will have to make sacrifices considering u knew he has a kid. but my suggestion is involve urselff and when he says something tell him that if he had any respect for u, he should tell u so u dont have to drop sudden plans because he wants his kid to come over explain ur not telling him u dont want his son there and that u dont want to take time away from seein his son but he needs to realize that u guys ARE a married couple he DOES have to run stuff by you. and if he doesnt want to go to the event that he should tell u before hand and same with when he is getting his son, but i also suggest u make friends with his ex, ( from experience, it makes shit HELL of a lot easier for u guys) when u and his ex wife get along and can have a convo or even discuss dates of when you and your husband have set for time but like i said yes he should inform u of when things are occuring but u dont have much say in what he wants for his child. and i can see how u feel about how he puts his kid amd his ex wife first and in all honesty u come second a child is his life and sadly ur just his wife but i do agree u should be put second considering he divorced his ex she is on the side lines.

Sarah - posted on 11/04/2012

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it also depends on where the child is staying. both the ex wife and the new wife have to be informed before any decisions are made and the child be made aware of the decision after te fact. it also depends on whether either of the women are insecure in their positions.

Sarah - posted on 11/04/2012

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it also depends on where the child is staying. both the ex wife and the new wife have to be informed before any decisions are made and the child be made aware of the decision after te fact. it also depends on whether either of the women are insecure in their positions.

Carisa - posted on 11/04/2012

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You are pregnant? Fix these issues now or you may be the free babysitting place as I see to be.

Carisa - posted on 11/04/2012

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Hugs!! I feel you're pain! WE are the ones who chose marriage over just having a baby together. Count your blessings..my guy barely parents his first born maybe out of fear. She was with custodian mom for 7 years till we saw her by chance at a park I.I hate the mom who took away our beautiful girls right to know her big sis ..by 23 months..they look like daddy & at times I feel she has bipolar as he does. Child treated us like well not full family. She was told other half sisters grew up with daddy was hers! Please friend me and we'll figure out advice later. Our girl will be teenage this year

Lauren - posted on 11/03/2012

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I agree that putting kids first at all times is leading to this generation of lazy & entitled kids. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy spoiling my kids to an extent. We must also learn when to say no. I really don't think my step kids hear no at their Moms. My step son just got an iPad for his 9th birthday! I grew up in a family where I had to work my butt off to get anything. At age 12 I had to work part time at my step dads catering business or doing chores at home just to get money to buy back to school clothes & supplies. By the same token, I was probably one of the few kids that spent over $500 on back to school clothes each year.



There are ways to put kids first while teaching them about personal responsibility. Now I'm not saying you say no when they want to come see their Dad, but are they just wanting to come "see" their Dad because they want to escape a punishment at Mom's house? Then at that point are you saying yes for the right reasons? Also if we say no to a schedule change that is only benefiting the Mom, it's not a case of whether we are putting the child first, that's putting the ex wife first. The ex wife will try to cry out that you're being selfish & not putting the kids first when you say no, but if she's requesting a last minute change that will ruin plans we already made..oh well. Using that argument we're not putting the kids first is just her mental manipulation to try to coerce us into making the decision she wants by threatening to make him look like a bad Dad. I refuse to fall for that trick.

Melissa Marie - posted on 11/03/2012

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I have made many plans without talking to my Husband(step-father) and He is just fine with that......We Love our children and even though we have two togather he treats my others as his own and loved to see them on the weekends when I made arrgemnts to keep them for my ex.....That is his child and he should feel that his child can be at his home anytime without a fight....god forbid something happens then you have him full time you wouldn't want him to feel like a birden. My husband would be more upset if I Made plans for them to be gone longer then having them extra days ....That said I think he should at least tell you of his plans so you can arrang your life to suit!

Raquel - posted on 11/03/2012

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I think that he has to have respect for u as his wife. Me and my ex husband just text when it comes to our kids out of respect to both our relationships. My boyfriend now has a baby with an ex and we have an understanding that i respect her as his babies mom but they have to respect me as his gf and the he lives with. Its all about respect but i never tell him he cant when it comes to his baby.

Stephanie - posted on 11/03/2012

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Ms. Shirley, you are exactly right! If the husband shows no respect, the X definitely will not either. The child, can follow the same pattern which will cause him to start rebelling against the "Wife" in the which, will be another issue they will have to deal with as well. That's why, we as parents must be the "GOOD" role model for our children. They only do what they "SEE" us do as the parents. Well put my dear!





Mrs. Pettus

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Amie - posted on 11/03/2012

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This is a fine line. You do and should come first being his wife, but being a second wife and he having a son before you is tough. He's probably trying to prove to them that being married doesn't change his relationship with his son, but it should change the way things run. I have a stepmom (a rather strange one), so growing up and "dealing" with her was a little crazy. My dad did put her first, which I now understand as a wife, however, as a child it was very frustrating. I would say try and be understanding in the situation. Have a talk with him that you understand why, but he still needs to include you.

Shirley - posted on 11/02/2012

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No, your not wrong feeling the way you do.

Yes, the boy is "his" son, but, YOU are his WIFE.

He should include you in his decisions, by him not including you, or asking your opinion, or putting his ex on hold till he can talk to you, is out right DISRESPECT to you!

(this also shows his ex, his disrespect for you)...

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