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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Sheri - posted on 11/02/2012

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I think it is disrespectful because it happened to me and me and my husband lost all of our communication due to I never knew how much to make for dinner or what time would they be home. It was the worst time of my life and it lasted for 5 years. It make me feel like a bad stepmom and a bad Mom to my kids. It really makes me wonder and be snoopy because he does not tell me anything.

Jacqui - posted on 11/02/2012

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I am a step mom and I have had to have a relationship with my ex and his wife. There should a MUTUAL agreement between all parties. Yes, you all need to work together for what benefits the child, but workTOGETHER. It sounds like you are not asking him not to to get his child, you just want to be included in those decision , especially if they impact you as well. That is not too much to ask.

Margaret - posted on 11/02/2012

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I don't think it is unreasonable especailly if it involves you. Your his wife not his slave and if he expects you to do something you need to have a say in it. They should have a schedualed time when the child is with your husband and that you should accept, if there is an emergency with the child you need to accept that. If they decide you should take the child to football pratice or dance class that is something you need to OK first. If They expect you to watch the child during any period of time when he is not scheduled then they neet to clear it with you. The NEEDS of a child trump that of a spouse at times, but not always. I have been married 52 years and raised 3 children and they never got all the attention they wanted and have grown up to be reasonable people.

Gina - posted on 11/02/2012

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Being a step mom of two girls I make sure I am in on all arrangements being made and make most of them myself with my husbands ex wife via text. She is very hostile towards me so doing it through text she doesn't know who she's talking to. I would never let my husband make arrangements that affect me also without my consent.

Stephanie - posted on 11/02/2012

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Ms. Shameka C., YES SIR! AND AMAN, AMAN, & AMAN! Like it, lump, or "just" leave it! But Ms. Shamaka you hit the nail right on the head! One straight hit for Ms. "S!" GO GIRL!!!









Mrs. Pettus

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Stephanie - posted on 11/02/2012

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Continuation Ms, "B" When the children visit, the father picks them up and visit with them at the his mothers house. My daughter said they could not come back until they learn how to RESPECT HER as AN ADULT. Not even step mother. Just respect due to an adult that's in authority. AND NO! There will be others reading this post. My daughter IS NOT WRONG! They are just children! True that! The way you (the adult lives) determines the outcome, the rearing of respectful or disrespectful children. Rear a child in the way they should go. Train them up right and even if they mess up, because you reared them right, they fall back into place. That's called structure and order. They have it instilled in them. When you deposit good in, you get good out. Even though they may hit a bump or two along the way, they have what's right in them (what they were taught as a child) and they will be fine! Don't train them, you already know what's up? It is what is. X drama, baby momma drama, as the world turn, days of somebodies life! It's pitiful. And after all the angry and all the mess, the child is left, confussed and really, where does he fit in? THE WIFE AND THE HUSDNAND SHOULD BE RESPOSIBLE FOR THE DECISIONS IN THE HOME FOR THEM TWO. THE X IS GONE! SHE DOESN"T LIVE THERE! IT MUST BE UNITY BETWEEN THE HUSBAND AND WIFE. NO UNITY, NO FAMILY! It's no way. When it's no unity in the home, everything is off balaced and that includes the children which is going to suffer more! YOU SEE WHY CHILREN DON'T COME FIRST? IT'S OUT OF ORDER. GUESS WHO ARE THE FIRST TWO INDIVIDUALS? THE MOTHER AND FATHER. (The Women He's Married to, His Wife) THEY SET STRUCTURE TO BRING IN THE SON WHO THEY WELCOM IN AND ACCOMADATE HIM (whatever he needs while at the fathers) AND ACCOMADATE THE X AS BEST AS POSSIBLE. Hear me, hear well please. And no disrespect to any, the "X" IS THE VERY LEST IMPORTANT HERE! HUSBAND, WIFE, CHILD. ACCOMADATIONS TO HELP X, BUT NOT INTERFER WITH THE HOUSEHOLD OF THE HUSBAND OR WIFE. IN THE END, IF IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THE BIO MOTHER WAS CAUSING ANY FRICTION THE CHILD CAN DETECT, NINE TIMES OUT OF TEN AND I SAY TEN, THE CHILD WILL GROW UP RESENTING HIS OWN MOTHER! CHILD MUST FIRST HAVE A GOOD STABLE FOUNDATION WHICH STARTS WITH FATHER MOTHER (NOT BIO MOTHER "the wife") HOW CAN A PERSON SET THE MOUTH TO SAY THE "WIFE" SHOULD NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE DECISION MAKING? I SAY SHE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ALL "DECISIONS" THEY TWO ARE NOW ONE? HOW CAN YOU SEPARATE A JOINED UNION? I BELIEVE, MY BIBLE SAYS, WHAT GOD HAS PUT TOGETHER, LET NO NE PUT ASSUNDER! I READ THE POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SOME STUFF, NOT ALL SOUNDS LIKE BLABBLING FOOLS! COME ON YOLL THINK ABOUT IT! WHERE THE WIFE'S SHOES FOR A SECOND! AND FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT ARE MARRIED AND SAY YOUR CHILDREN COME BEFORE YOUR HUSBAND????MMMMMM!!I THINK I HAVE SAW QUIT A FEW.....SURE YOU ARE THE ONLY "WOMAN" IN HIS LIFE? DON'T ANSWER! FOOD FOR THOUGHT. AIN'T UP LATE NIGHT WAITING FOR HIM TO COM HOME? THE OFFICE CLOSED AT FIVE....MMMM...CLEAN-UP CREW CLEANED UP, EVERYTHINGS LOCKED READY FOR ANOTHER NINE TO FIVE TOMORROW..........MMMMM....BABY I WORKED OVER!MMMMMMM.....IT'S ONLY 7:30 PM.....MMMMMM...BUT THE OFFICE SHUT DOWN AT 6:00 PM.MMMMM....A WELL. FOOD FOR THOUGHT. YOU WOULD BE SUPRISED HOW MANY COUPLES WE HAVE COUNCELED AND THE CHILDREN ARE FIRST IN EVERYTHING AND HE'S COMPLAINING THERE IS NO SPACE FOR HIM! SO WHAT YOU THINK HE SAYS NEXT???YOU WERE PROBABLY RIGHT! I DIDN'T WANT TO BE THE BRAKER OF BAD NEWS. Ladies, it's onething to make love, cook a hot meal, clean the house, do the laundry, wipe the babies nose when he/she is sick, and believe me, I know they APPRECIATE IT! Don't get me wrong. BUT YOU MAY ALSO NEEDS "SOME AFFECTION" from you. SOME OF THAT THE KIDS ARE GETTING FIRST! IS HE FACING/FEELING OR LONGING FOR AFFECTION? A MAN SHOULD NEVER GET TO THE POINT OF ALINATION OF AFFECTION. (Feels it's not there for him) Just food for thought. I just might say today, you can call me "THE LOVE EXPERT." I have been with my husband thirty years. We have survied a lot. Learned a lot from one another, been threw a whole lot! But regardless, you can make it no matter what if the two are willing to work together and have structure and order. The husband and wife are the key to this success. Whatever foundation the two lay. it's set to build the family thereof. Well, Ms. "B" I will check my email later to see if you responded or to see how many are mad at me. :) :)



Mrs. Pettus

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Joanna - posted on 11/02/2012

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Ideally, a family (especially a blended one) should take steps to be respectful and considerate of one another. I don't think you are out of line for wishing that your husband would inform or include you in decisions he makes that concern the family. Have you brought the issue up to him and told him that it hurts your feelings and makes you feel like your opinion doesn't matter? Best of luck to you on this..I know sometimes my husband just doesn't realize that something he is doing is hurtful.

Stephanie - posted on 11/02/2012

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Ms. Barbara B., would "BB" be OK? I think I like, "BB" personally! :) :} I learned how to make the funny faces on yesterday! Ms. "B," I am just having fun, while doing Jesus! I have to agree, it seems as when I read it to myself, whoever wrote, had some common sense! (Me, Mrs. Pettus)

I think somethings should not be made complicated and cause all this dissension. She, the wife, it's just makes no sense for this kind of stuff to be happening to her. And personally, each one of us know when we are doing whats not right to one another. Whether saved or not, everybody was born with a conscience and that feeling of bad, it's saying, what you are doing is not right. But a lot of times we override that feeling because of what the selfish person wants and doesn't consider the feelings of the other individual at hand (the wife in this case.) And it's sad, what we fell to realize, the law of sowing and reaping. What we do to someone good or bad, we are going to reap it somewhere down the road. In other words, what we do to others, is already done unto us! That's why it is a good ideal to do right by others, treat them as you want to be treated, show them respect so others will respect you. Nut shelled, we just treat others the way we would want to be treated and most of all,with everything within us, follow peace with one another being considerate of each another. Just a suggestion. Now looking on the other flipped side. Some call her "KARMA." Which only means, what go around, comes around and SHE (karma) can be hell when paid day rolls around they say! All in all, if the X would just give a little more respect to the wife. She does not have to earn it, it's due her when she said "I DO" and became MRS! Again, she is not the HOUSE MAID. but THE LADY OF THE HOUSE and have just as much say as the husband and my onion, more say so than the X! That's why it's called X! The arrangements need to be set by the husband & wife to accommodate the X! But in no way should there be conflict in the husband and wife's home because of this. No, I am not saying the child is not important, because HE IS VERY IMPORTANT and the structure of the family, will determine the success of the child. NOW, X can Annie-up, and allow a fresh good start for the child or keep TALKING ABOUT THE WIFE IS NOT THE BIO MOTHER, WHICH SHE IS NOT, but again back out give him a chance to regain security and a chance to gain stability with his father and step mother. If there is division with the wife and husband, it could cause the child to become angry, distant, and rebel against the wife. One thing I noticed with my daughter and her step daughters was, the X would say, she's not your mother, she don't tell you what to do. They would run all over my daughter and she just got tired of the disrespect and the father wasn't saying anything. So, now the children are cold towards my daughter and it's the X fought in our case. My daughter went threw the "BABY MOMMA DRAMA" for years until enough was enough. So, the girls are not allowed at the house! BECAUSE OF THE MISCHIEVES BEHAVOIR "THEIR MOTHER TELLING THEM (THE CHILDREN CERTAIN THINGS TO DO) TO UPSET MY DAUGHTER.

Momma Of 4 - posted on 11/02/2012

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Ultimately its both THEIR choices. I know it's hard, I'm a step-mom too. Sometimes they discuss things that I am not involved in which is hard... but then I remember, she was their mom first! I just ask to be included as much as possible.



But all in all, the most important thing... is maintaining a stable home for your step-children. So if it bothers you, you need to speak to your husband so you don't feel disrespected or feel any hostility towards the ex-wife.

Naturesownpath - posted on 11/02/2012

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I'm a stepmom, of one full time, two older teenagers who've never been around except for once a month.

My hubby has always run things by me, and if he didn't, id probably speak plainly and respectfully to him about it, expressing my needs to him. If that didn't help, I would have to insist that he either gives me some respect, or I would make sure that he and his child/ren had the house to themselves the entire time he/she/they were here...don't get in the middle, just be as respectful as you can and try to comminucate as clearly and non threateningly as you can. Ten Principals of a Loving Lasting Marriage, it was very helpful to me...

Stephanie - posted on 11/02/2012

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Ms. Joy S., AND THAT"S WHAT THE LORD SAID! AND IT IS SO! THE HUSBAND, THE WIFE, THE CHILDREN, AND THE X! THE HUSBANDS FIRST OBLIGATION IS TO HIS WIFE, HOW HE MAY PLEASE HER. THEN THE CHILDREN. AND THE X'S INPUT WITH BIO CHILDREN. BUT THE WIFE SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN ALL DECISION MAKING CONCERNING ANY STEP CHILDREN. IT'S VERY DISRESPECTFUL WHEN DECISION MAKING COMES, THE WIFE CAN'T BE INCLUDED BECAUSE SHE AIN'T THE BIO MOTHER. PLEASE! IT'S REALLY STARTING TO AGGRAVATE ME, SEEING SOME OF THE RESPONSE/FEEDBACK THAT'S BEING LEFT BY SOME ON THIS TOPIC. ALMOST, LIKE, BABY MOMMA DRAMA THAT NEVER ENDS! THE BIBLE SAYS, IN ALL THY GETTING, GET UNDERSTANDING! BOY! IF THERE IS NO STRUCTURE IN THE HOME, THEY WILL BE UNSUCCESSFUL RAISING THE CHILDREN. THAT'S WHY GOD GAVE ORDER FOR THE FAMILY. IT'S SAD HOW MANY DON'T UNDERSTAND THE "GOD ORDAINED" STRUCTURE FOR THE FAMILY! THAT'S WHY THERE ARE SO MANY PROBLEMS IN SOME FAMILIES NOW. PUT THE CHILD FIRST, THEY GROW UP TELLING THE PARENTS WHAT TO DO AND HOW TO RUN THE HOUSE THE PARENTS ARE PAYING FOR! BUT, PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE. IT'S NOT IN DEGREES, WHAT YOU HAVE OR WHO YOU THINK YOU ARE. BUT KNOWING STRUCTURE AND CORRECT ORDER FOR THE FAMILY. REALLY, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL FAMILY AND HAPPY HOME. SO, WELL SAID MS. JOY! AND WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING DECISIONS FOR THE BIO CHILDREN, THE WIFE SHOULD HAVE JUST AS MUCH INPUT OR MAY I SAY, EVEN MORE THAN THE X! YOU SEE, THE WAY I SEE IT IS, SHE IS THE WIFE, THE "OTHER MOTHER" OR "MOTHER AWAY FROM HOME" THEREFORE, HER AND HER HUSBAND SHOULD COME UP WITH AN ARRANGEMENT FOR THE X AND ALLOW HER INPUT. I AM GOING TO LET THE RUBBER MEET THE ROAD, IF I HAD THIS SITUATION, ME AND MY HUSBAND WOULD COME UP WITH A PLAN FOR THE X PARENT! THIS MY HOUSE! AND I AM THE WOMAN OF MY HOUSE AND NOT THE MAID! THEREFORE; I REFUSE TO BE DICTATED TO BY THE BIO MOTHER OR FATHER! WE ARE MARRIED AND WE WOULD MAKE THE ARRANGES FOR HIS CHILD FOR THE X AND ACCOMMODATE HER AS BEST AS POSSIBLE. NO THE X WOULD NOT, ABOSULTY NOT, BE TELLING ME THAT IT'S BETWEEN HER AND HER X BECAUSE IT'S THEIR BIO CHILD. SHOULD THAT BE SAID, HE NEED TO HANDLE THE X, AND LET HER KNOW SHE WON'T DISRESPECT ME BY SAYING, IT'S BETWEEN THEM TWO ONLY! THE WIFE NEEDS TO BE PROTECTED, AS WELL AS HER FEELINGS CONSIDERED. CAN'T BE DONE? HE WOULD GO ON BACK OVER THERE WITH THE X AND THE BIO CHILD SINCE THAT LOOKS TO BE MORE IMPORTANT THAN ME OR MY FEELINGS. IT'S ONE THING TO LOVE, BUT I ALSO NEED TO KNOW THAT MY HUSBAND IS GOING TO PROTECT ME, BE HERE, AND CONSIDER ME AND MY FEELINGS REGARLESS OF WHATEVER THE DECSION MAKING MAYBE. I KNOW MANY WILL DISAGREE WITH ME. BUT IT IS WHAT IT IS! IT IS SO MANY THAT HAS SAID, THE CHILDREN COMES FIRST. IF YOU FIND SUCH A STRUCTURE IN THE BIBLE, PLEASE SEND ME BOOK, CHAPTER AND VERSE. IT'S NOT SO! ALL HAVE BOUNDRIES. WE NEED TO FIND THEM, AND STAY WITHIN THEM.............





Mrs Pettus

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Stephanie - posted on 11/01/2012

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Ms. Holly M., GIRL! OH GIRL!! THAT IS "SHOW" NOUGH REAL TALK! AND THE ABSOLUTE TRUTH! 100 HUNDERD % TRUTH! I FEEL YOU AND SEE EXACTLY WHERE YOU CAME FROM! AND YOU ARE SOOOOOOOO RIGHT! WHAT MORE CAN YOU SAY? CASE CLOSED AND PROPERLY TOLD! SOOOOOOOOOOO TRUE!





Mrs. Pettus

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

User - posted on 11/01/2012

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You as his wife SHOULD be 1st. I do not know how religeous you are, but it states that the Husband and Wife come before the children. & he should definitely tell you about any arrangements or ideas of things to happen with you 1st. or at least include you in them. Are you not his PARTNER? He has no consideration for you then, and he probably doesn't SEE you as part of HIS family life. The longer he treats you as an outsider, the longer you will be one.



Im a step parent myself and my husband includes me in everything & we make decision together regarding his daughter. At at times, he says one thing to me & gets caught doing something else. Ive learnt to just step back, and not allow it to upset me. Because the fact remains, the child is not my responsibility, its the bio parents. Its one less stressful element I don't need in my marriage nor life.

Shameka - posted on 11/01/2012

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As much I as respect everyone's decision, I believe that you should be respected as his wife and once he divorced his ex-wife, his immediate family is his priority. I do agree that his son is very important and should come first but, you also are there at the top. He may just be responding out of habit, but he needs to show you the respect that you deserve as his wife. You should be at the forefront of every decision he makes because he is married to you, especially if it involves you connecting with his son as his step-mother. If you are feeling that his child and ex-wife come first, it will cause a lot of resentment in the future and needs to be dealt with upfront. Remember, the ultimate betrayal is not saying what needs to be said where it concerns your emotional well being.

Andrea - posted on 11/01/2012

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He should not be arranging to meet his ex-wife if it is un-kid related. If he must I agree that he should share with you what the reason is. If it is with the kid or an emercancy concerning his kid than he must go, but he should still be able to run it by you when he gets through. He is married to you and committed to you and his son, not his ex wife, and there should be no secrets between you too.



That is just my opinion, sorry if I sound offencive

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2012

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Hi Theresa.



We have a blended family and I believe all should be on board since we are all adults that take care of the children.



It's important that the children know that all the adults are their caregivers and that they should respect all involved. I think that your husband isn't being nice by not informing you and that has to change. You could tell him that you'd like to be involved with the decisions being made after all you all are a big extended family now.



So, I say everyone should be around when plans are made.



Michelle

Michelle - posted on 11/01/2012

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I'm in the exact same boat as you. Its very new to me and hard to deal with sometimes for sure. It has caused us so much problems we put off our wedding and he is living with his mom.we both have two kids and 1 on the way together,I could go crazy just thinking about it all.

Crista - posted on 10/31/2012

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You know another thing that we do in our household is we have a big agenda book that has on each day if there are things going on. With my husband having a son from his ex girlfriend, us being foster parents and with a possible job coming up for me, we need it. My husband and stepson will ask if we are busy on this day and I say look on the agenda because I can't remember every little thing. Maybe that might help as well. I wish you luck.

Julie - posted on 10/31/2012

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Your husband should check with you FIRST

then talk with his ex.

then involve the child ...

There are good books out there on step-oarenting... read them; you are in a unique and hard situation and thank-you for being a good one - that child had no say in his parents splitting which was life-altering for him FOREVER ...

Barbara - posted on 10/31/2012

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you need to talk to your husband and let him know how you feel.Im sure you feel left out and you want to be a part of your stepsons life as well.Let him know you are all a family and you should have a decision on what ever arrangements are being made that take part in your home.Get professional help if you cannot do this on your own.

Keunte - posted on 10/30/2012

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You might not like my answer but......as long as you aren't put in a situation to where it affects your job then no. But speaking from a mother and current wife's point of view, the child does come first, he was there before you married him, and yes as his wife it should be ran by you, he should atleast tell you his plans, after all you are his wife. I went through the same situation and I sat my husband down and told him how I felt and we both make the arrangements but I have no say so in anything else, I made sure from day one he knew that I was not going to get in the middle because I'm not his mother and I don't expect for him to call me mom, or step mom. I am Mrs.Keunte to him and nothing more. It's a hard pill to swallow but you have to remember sometimes the ex doesn't want you to have a say so, it takes time for a mother to get used to or allow another woman to have say so in their child's life

Keunte - posted on 10/30/2012

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I have been married to my husband for almost 6yrs and he has a 7yr old son. I meet his son for the first time when he was 23months old, his mom.....well yeah she didn't like me from the start. But I did make an effort because I knew I wasn't going anywhere. So once she figured out I was black, she refused to let him see his son. 4 1/2 years went by with them going back and forth, and as much as I wanted to make my voice heard I said nothing ,all the lies, still said nothing. Finally my husband won visitation rights in court and no matter what she said or did she couldn't by law keep his son away from him. About a year ago is when I just couldn't keep quiet, especially after hearing her telling his son that his daddy didn't love him and if he went with him he'd never bring him back and he'd never see her again.......man did I let her have it. Long story short I went through the same thing and it's best to let his parents discuss things of that nature, but you should have some input, you are his wife and you should have some say so, to a certain point. Either way he does need to inform you.

Lauren - posted on 10/30/2012

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Christine, I have had the same issue. On more than one occasion, I was volunteered to accept my step children earlier than the normal visitation schedule & to watch then for several hours before my fiancée got home. I've sat my fiancée down & said, this is what I had planned. Now you've put me in a predicament. I have two options, cancel my plans to help you, or keep my plans & leave you to reschedule. Now, in that circumstance I said I would help by canceling my plans, but the next time arrangements are made for me without checking with me first, I am not canceling my plans. I also reached out to the ex to say the same thing.



Definitely make it am issue right away & make it very clear that it can not be a regular occurrence. With my fiancée he misunderstood. I told him before that I wouldn't mind getting his kids early if I was available. He didn't process the if I was available part. So he said, but I thought you told me you could get them early anytime? I said no. I can get then early if I don't have other plans. The only way to figure out if I have other plans is to check with me before you answer your ex. So you need to ask me first. Sometimes guys really need to have it completely spelled out for them, all variable as well. Also sometimes reaching out to the ex helps cause they're often more organized than the husband. It's easier for two planners to make arrangements I think. Sometimes the ex is difficult, like the one I deal with. In my situation she is going to have to learn the hard way. Next time she refuses to check with me first, I won't be here to receive her children. Maybe she'll learn her lesson then. Good luck!

Blue - posted on 10/30/2012

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Also, an afterthought for how to approach your boyfriend with your concerns….



Most men fear shame just as badly as most women fear abandonment/being unloved. This is *huge* for them. When they feel shamed they shut down and become unapproachable. So, when we need to bring something up with them, our efforts will be far more successful if we approach them with this in mind.



When we bring something up with them, our message will go much farther if we bring it up *respectful*. It doesn’t matter if we don’t think they’re being respectable at the moment. If you want your message to be received, you have to show respect. (Not whimpiness, but respect. It’s okay to stand up for yourself.) Just like if he needed to bring up a criticism of you, you would want him to do so lovingly. It wouldn’t matter if he didn’t think you were being lovable at the moment. You would need him to approach you this way in order to receive the message. This is one of the ways that men’s and women’s brains are hardwired differently. Our core desire is usually to be loved, and we fear the opposite - abandonment. Their core desire is usually to be respected, and they fear the opposite - shame.



So approaching him respectfully, in a pleasant tone of voice, will enable him to hear you. “A spoon full of sugar helps the medicine go down.” Maybe something along the lines of, “Hey, John, could we talk about the way we make our plans with each other? I want to be able to help you and be there for you when you need help with something, such as watching the kids. It can be difficult for me to make it work when I get short notice, and it makes me feel like you don’t value my time and opinion. One thing that would really help me to be able to work my schedule out with you is if we could discuss the schedule in advance. That way, I can make sure I don’t have conflicting arrangements that would prevent me from being able to help you….” This way there are no accusations, implications, name-calling, etc. Has a high rate of success if he’s a considerate type of guy.

Tina - posted on 10/30/2012

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I would like to be consulted before any changes made also but would certainly never make a big deal of it if it allowed my husband to have more time with his kids.

Blue - posted on 10/30/2012

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Hi Christine,



Regarding the specific question you asked – what opinions people have toward your scenario, I would like to share a few thoughts that I hope will be helpful to you.



1) Pay close attention now to how your boyfriend is treating the situation. Do you feel like he takes you for granted sometimes? Does he sound like he understands when you bring your concerns to him, or at least tries to understand? It is important now to think about these things, because any difficulties you have now will be exacerbated if you get married. When we are dating, we all try to put our best foot forward. This is his best foot forward, so he is not likely to put his best foot forward even more after the wedding. If he doesn’t consider how it affects you now, he is not likely to do so after the wedding, either. If, on the other hand, he seems concerned and genuinely didn’t understand how it would affect you and seems resolved to improve on this situation in the future, watch to see if it does improve. He might just need some education on how it affects you.



2) On a very pragmatic level, I think it must be difficult for you being in this situation - dating but already living together. In my situation all that was needed to correct these kinds of situations was a little “re-education”, but we were not living together, so that offered a bit of room to breathe while I determined that. When you first walk into the situation you don't know which way it will go yet. If it turns out he is willing to learn how to respect you, fantastic! If he is not willing to respect you in this way, it is much harder to pick up and leave when you share a home with children – and if you do, it is much harder on your children to have their home structure rearranged (perhaps for a second time if divorce caused a prior "rearrangement").



3) Due to the stakes from #2 (especially your children’s adjustment), I would encourage you to determine very soon if you two will be able to work out a level of respect and communication you can live with. I don’t mean to sound dramatic (or unromantic!) but I think that the sooner you can weed out/resolve the problem areas (or problem relationships) the sooner you can get to your happily ever after!



Shared as a ridiculously happy stepmom who has lived through it, addressed it, and wound up completely happy with it.

Rachel - posted on 10/30/2012

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I do think he should at least run things by you. Especially if they're going to affect you.

Christine - posted on 10/30/2012

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I am not an official "stepmom", but the girlfriend to a man with 2 children. I can relate to this situation, and would like to know what opinon people have toward my scenerio. My boyfriend and I are both divorced and parents to our own 4 and 8 year old children (I have girls, he has boys). He decided to change his arrangement with his ex, and swap over nights without consulting me first. This change caused him to be responsible for childcare. Upon finding out his babysitter was unavailible, he then told me about his choice to switch nights with his ex and asked me to babysit for his kids (10 hours) while he worked. I was upset because he made it MY responsibility (as his GF) to watch his kids. He also couldn't understand why I was upset at him for making the change in the first place without consulting me. We live together, so any change to schedules with our children affects both of us! I don't mind helping out, but unless it's an emergency, I believe I have the right to be informed of these types of decisions before they're made... not after!

Angel - posted on 10/30/2012

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I know it's long, and I hope it helps.



I'm in a unique position. My child's biodad is single and lives with his parents, but dates periodically, and I'm a stepmom of 2 teens in a pretty new marriage. When it comes to making decisions as to schedule changes and things of the sort I run everything by my husband, and (when his ex was still alive) any decisions of the sort that came up with him got ran by me. Now, I encourage my daughter's biodad to run everything by his parents and any girlfriend he has at the time to make sure it will work with all of their schedules. There are a few times when changing the schedule is necessary either for a special event, or (yes) sometimes the convenience of one or both of the parents. My ex tries to get my husband uninvolved in decisions all the time. I've made it clear that I don't make decisions without my husband. Its a fact of my life.



My husband took a little while to come around to that notion when it came to his kids. But I told him that he chose to marry me, to make me one of his kids' moms, therefore he chose to have someone else to help him make decisions when it came to his kids. His ex HATED me being a part of their business. But she didn't have a choice about including me, only about how she handled it. She would try to interfere with the kids' schedule (wanted them to cancel visits with friends, participation in plays, etc.), and it was only for her own selfish wants (she rarely took the kids unless it did something for her, otherwise she never showed).



My suggestion: calmly talk with your husband, have a frank and respectful conversation, show him how he could use you and your viewpoint to the advantage of your child (step still makes them yours too). Also, keep in mind that the ex is going to feel threatened by you, and your husband may feel that you're questioning his capability to parent his kid (whom he's known longer than you have). A lot of the arrangements that will be made will really impact your life in small ways, so they may not be something that you really need to worry about. But let your husband know that you would like to play a more active role in your kid's life, you may find that the child is telling you things that would effect decisions made about them that they wont tell their parents. Most of all, make sure that the best interests of the child come before everyone else, no matter who they are. You, your husband, and his ex all need to keep that at the forefront.



You and your husband do need to make sure you have time for yourselves. That you have mutual respect and that you act lovingly in all that you do towards each other.

Angela - posted on 10/30/2012

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My husband and I have 6 children between us. Some are mine, some are his, but all are ours. Theresa, I think if it is an emergency situation yes a decision should be made with or without yourself or even the ex-wife. What we need to remember is yes, children always come first. This applies to the benefit of their well-being not of their personal wants. I feel parents think they need to be at their children's beck and call at all times. This is not true. As parents and adults there are things that need to be done (paying bills, house work, yard work, planning dinners, and even time to communicate with your partner). It is our jobs as parents to prepare our children for the future. It is not going to hurt the children to have to entertain themselves for a bit while parents deal with adult business. I am not saying that children do not need interaction with their parents because this is a extremely important part of molding children. Even though this is your step-son ( I use the term lightly) I am sure you love him as if he were your own. YOU are the mother in your house. Yes, your husband should consult with you about any decisions regarding any and all of your children (whether your born or not). If it is a decision that is only going to affect your household then you and your husband are the only people it needs to be discussed between.

Amy - posted on 10/30/2012

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It is reasonable for you to feel that you should be involved in the arrangement decision making for your stepchild. However it is my experience that if you will have an open line of communication with the child's biological mother things will go much smoother. I have a 17 year old stepson and know firsthand that in most cases the stepmom usually ends up being the primary caregiver for the child during visitation, with that said if you and the biological mother are able to communicate with one another the arrangement making tends to be easier for all parties involved. I have since divorced from my stepson's father however the open communication has allowed myself and my daughter to have a wonderful and healthy relationship with my stepson. I do not consider him a stepchild he is just like my own. I have played a parental role in his life since before he was two years old. Now on the other side of that as the biological mother of a child with divorced parents the current female involved doesnt even want my ex-husband to communicate with either of his children's mothers. Therefore he doesnt have a healthy relationship with either child. I am not saying this is any of fault of the new girlfriends but this is a clear example of how differently things can go in this situation. I am not sure this can be any help to you and I know my case is one in a million but it can be food for thought. I hope things improve in your situation.

Damali - posted on 10/30/2012

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He should run it by you as that's the considerate thing to do. You are his wife not just his girlfriend.

Debbie - posted on 10/29/2012

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I was in that situation just last year. He would schedule his kids, my step kids whom I love!, to be at our home and I would be able to care for them. He neglected to talk with me about this first. The thing was, is that then they would come over when I was at work. He then ended up taking time off work to care for them and blaming me for not putting his kids first. If you are going to schedule another one's life, you must first check with them. It is courtesy and logic.

Stephanie - posted on 10/29/2012

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Ms. Karen, I can respect your input, don't get me wrong, you point out a lot of things to consider, however; my input would be, he needs to consult with her with ALL things because she is considered to be the "other mother" when he's (the son) with the father. I myself have saw/read input/advise, and some things I can't believe some would even find themselves to say.

Stephanie - posted on 10/29/2012

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And Ms. Sherry C., you are absolutely right! Go "GIRL" That's real talk!







Mrs. Pettus,

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Stephanie - posted on 10/29/2012

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Mrs. Christi L. Sad! I am sorry you have to deal with it. Hang in there! That's the good thing, if you love him, you will accept the unacceptable which doesn't make you look bad, but they need to get it together with you. It's just respect that's due you as the "Lady of the House" who is the wife and not the part-time maid.







Mrs. Pettus,

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Stephanie - posted on 10/29/2012

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Plainly put Lauren B. Good points brought out and need to be observed. A lot of info to look at and learn from. From the talk situation here, one could get some understanding and see the under cutting hand of the bio mother. It's sad! But it happens.





Mrs. Pettus,

Shelby, NC

stephaniepettus@ymail.com

Sherry - posted on 10/29/2012

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I completely agree with Mama To2 :) . I have been in that situation and was made to feel like I didn't want the kids around or even love them all because I questioned them both about including me on the planning. Especially when I was the one who was watching them most of the time they were with us. In order for any relationship to work, there has to be give and take from both sides. It just shows that he cares about you and your input if he includes you. You should take the kids into consideration as well, but all in all you should come before your husband's ex. After all, there is a reason that she is the ex.

Lauren - posted on 10/29/2012

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Karen, you assume that if the step mom has issue with the bio mom that the step mom has insecurity or feels like the husband may want the ex back. I can say the same thing then about bio mom. If she has issue with the step mom, maybe she is insecure or still wants the ex back. I personally am very good at reading people. In my case I've called my step kids' mother on many things & I'm usually correct. I knew that she was lying about the cost of daycare to weasel money out of my fiancée for her own personal gain. Even my fiancée defended her. Then we get her on video admitting she paid $11/wk for daycare & pocketed the extra $39/wk he gave her that was supposed to only be for 50% of the daycare costs. I'm very good at picking up on her lies & her reasons for doing certain things. When she gets caught in a lie she gets flustered & doesn't want to talk about it any longer & usually pulls out some stunt like refusing to let him see his kids.



Yes sometimes the step mom has to request changes to plans or say no we can't accommodate. When my fiancées ex wants to change weekends so she can go camping with her husband, but we already had plans for our own trip, oh well. Next time she needs to make plans further on advance. It's not affecting the kids. They'll still see their Dad on the regular schedule. It only affects bio mom that she can't go spend time with her husband alone. Oh well. Welcome to my world! Alone time with your partner with no kids around? What's that like? My kids see their dad for maybe a week every other year. It's been nearly 2 yrs. I have no sympathy. There are plenty of parents, like me, that have the kids 24/7. We put our kids to bed, lock the bedroom door & voila! Alone time.



Just because we can't accommodate a change that is pretty much only benefiting the bio mom, doesn't mean we aren't thinking of the best interest of the kids. Besides when we wanted to change the schedule one time, she said no because the changes weren't good for the kids. They needed structure & stability & to know in advance which weekends they would be at their dads. So I could use the same argument when she wants to change the schedule! Also, issues aren't our insecurity. Often we are picking up on insecurity of the bio mom & we become resentful that her decisions are made based on her own emotional issues rather than what's best for the kids.

Karen - posted on 10/29/2012

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I continuously read the thread, just for curiousity and see how everyone feels...but, in the end its always personal feelins that come out. OK, does he want to be with the EX? probably not...you guys are married, which in and of itself speaks volumes. The Ex-wife/gilfriend always seems potrayed poorly. What you do when your childen ae with their father has no bearing on your stepchildren...it doesn't make your decisions right or wrong...also if the bio-mom wants contact, it doesn't make that wrong. If it was a father tying to contact a child people would feel he should have a right, but the mother gets labelled interfering. Its the same street. I speak fronm exoerience as well, I am the ex-gf who gets labelled alot of things, however, I don't have any interest in my ex, I do want contact with my child when he's gone. We talk about discisions to be made, I inform my spouse after....his very well may decide whether or not its appropriate...and THAT is why I don't always agree with whether or not the soiuses should be consulted. Because if the spouse is disagreeable, it overrides both parents choices. THAT is not fair or just to a child....and its usually the female spouse, at the times the spouse of the mother, but usually of the father. I think each situation is different,....and there are considerations for each case. You need to think about why your having the issue...is it an insecurity? if so, is it founded? do you feel your husband would prefer to be with his ex? or is it just your fear? but yes, if he expects you to do things he hasnt run by you, then obviously, he needs to include you where he has volunteered you. Othewise, if its just about the child, as long as he tells you what him and the mother discussed, why is that a problem?

Tracy - posted on 10/28/2012

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In my case I was the ex-wife and in my opinion it depends on the circumstances. As mentioned in other posts if it has to do with vacations, holidays, etc. then yes all the parents (birth and step) should be consulted. However, when it comes to simple things like picking a child up from school, running them to a dance practise those are the types of thing that my ex would agree to and then talk to his wife about. Often his discision would change or the next time I called she would give me a flat no. Ultimately I belive she was insecure with me and any relationship I had with her husband was threatening. It would have been much better for the kids if she had not stuck her nose in so many things and perhaps if we had been able to discuss things like adults it would have all worked out better. Unfortunately my children have very little relationship with their father and even less with their step-mom. It's too bad the kids couldn't have had the entire family supporting them.

Amber - posted on 10/28/2012

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If the decision involves the child then no he does not have to clear anything with you. However, that being said, as his wife if they are asking you to pick up or take the child somewhere then they should make sure that you can reasonably help without issue to yours or the childs schedule. Overall though no his discussion and decision about the child with his ex-wife do not need to be cleared with you, and as to who comes first, the child should always come first and you knew he had a child when you married him and should have settled issues like this before saying "I do." As your husband though it is also true that he should not keep secrets from you and it sounds like maybe a good family counselor can help all of you figure out a productive way to resolve this among all the adults so that the child, or any other children in the family, are not negatively affected by the situation.

Tina - posted on 10/28/2012

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First I think that its important that you sit your husband down and tell him how you feel. Its important that the lines of communication stay open, because if this continues you will soon learn to resent your husband and the relationship that you have with the children will be a total disaster. You need to set boundries of what you expect as a step-mom but this really should have been done before you got married. But since it wasn't, the longer you wait, the bigger the problem will be. What I would do is sit your husband down and tell him that you want to be included in all the decisions that pertain to the kids if it has to do with you and your home. Unfortunatly he was a package deal and even though he should be respecting and including you in these decisons anyway, he seems to have failed to remember that now you are playing a very important role in parenting his children. Keep it real, don't hold back and be honest with him. If you try to hold back or sugar coat the issues it will only fester and get bigger till it wrecks your marriage.

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