October 16, 2006,
J.S. asks from North Charleston, SC on October 04, 2006
Dealing with Step Childrens Biological Mother
I have been married to my husband for almost 5 years. He has 2 sons ages 7 and almost 10 from a previous relationship(we also have 2 daughters together). They have lived with us since we got married. I can proberly count on one hand how many times me and the ex have gotten along! I have tried to remain civil with her for the sake of our kids. But it never remains that way. We moved to SC from Ct in July of this year. She lives in Ct. Before moving we set up visitation, giving her plenty of time we the boys. Visits during holidays,8 weeks in summer, weekend visits, phone calls everyother day and online visits via web cam . So we were more then fair with her. WE pay 70% of there transportation cost, and she pays 30% plus $80 a week in child support(which is a whole seperate issue)We also are giving her the oppertunity to come down here and see them whenever she would like. Well she just had another child a little over a month ago. She had a visit with the kids the first weekend in September, and her next visit is during Thanksgiving. She has started making a big fuss about her wanting us to send them up to Ct. in October(which isn't a scheduled visit) For the most part I handle issues with her regarding the kids, any problems, school info stuff like that. So i explained to her that we could not send them to her in Ct. because we could not afford to, or afford to take time out of work to do it.And she responded saying "it's not fair that i have to wait to see them or there new sibling see them, i have a right to see them... on and on..and this is why we set up a visitation schedule for her so there would not be any problems like this. But she is someone who is not happy unless she gets what she wants and how she wants it when it is convient for her. So i explained to her that she was more then welcome to travel down here, stay in a hotel and spend the entire weekend with them. Well that wasn't good enough for her she said no why should i have to go there to see them?? So needless to say she was very unhappy with me and precceded to tell me to stay out of anything that had to do with the boys, I had no right to be involved in decisions on what they were going to do and so forth. And that is about how every situation ends up when i deal with her. I do not know what ele to do to keep peace between us. I have tried over and over and it gets me no where. And this has been going on for the 6 years me and my husband have been together. I realize i have no choice to put up with her because she is there birth mother, but there has got to be a better way. It effects the boys and how they treat me and i don't like it. I have raised them for the last 5 years because she felt she needed a break!!!! And I feel like i deserve more respect from her that what I get(which is none) She has even gone so far as to mail me nude pictures of her and my husband(from when they were together)she showed up at my wedding while I was walking down the aisle!!! I thought when we moved things would get better because any contact we would have would be over the phone or in an airport transferring the kids, but it seems to have gotten worse. What can i do to lessen the stress on all of us?????
I.N. answers from Raleigh on October 04, 2006
This is not your problem. It is your husband's issue to handle. That will lessen the stress on you. She sounds like the loonies I dealt with (with my husband's exes). If it's legal, tell her to take it to court if she doesn't like it. Then hang up the phone. And email helps. Then you have a record of conversations and civility, if it ever comes up in court. My advice- since I've TOTALLY been there- is to take yourself out of it and let your husband deal with his own baggage.
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S. answers from Spartanburg on October 04, 2006
You have done everything and more than what would ever be expected to try to come to a resolution with the boy's mom and she is still not satisfied, although it sounds like she agreed when it was composed. Unless she is willing to get a lawyer and contest custody then she really doesn't have a leg to stand on. and if she did indeed grant custody to you and your husband simply because she wanted some time off I seriously doubt that she would be able to get custody, and might find herself getting a worse deal if he did have to go through family court. If things don't get better I would make that suggestion to your husband about getting a family court involved. They would take the child payments, they would also conduct all visitation and ensure that the times agreed upon were kept. I would maybe consider consulting with a lawyer about it. It sounds to me like she is unstable and a very unhappy woman and you have been more than kind and accomodating. I know when my parent's divorced my dad made child payments til I was 18 through the court and I went to visit every other thanksgiving and Christmas (rotated), and two weeks a summer. as I got older my parents let me choose more, but when I was younger it was the letter of the law and they never had any problems. usually my stepmom and mom would decide about travel arrangements and they were able to be peaceful with each other so it can be done. I wish you the best.
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B.M. answers from Spartanburg on October 05, 2006
I have been there, myself! It sounds as though you are more than accomodating in the visitation. My husband and I just celebrated our 15th anniversary and his children are now grown (one with a child). My husbands ex and I were friends before he even came into the picture. He set up councilinig for the two of them (before the divorce) and she would never show up. Those years as the children were young were very stressful and a lot of hard work. Every family vacation we took, it seemed the kids were sick the whole week. It is hard work but I know you can make it. My husbands ex also came to our wedding. She showed up at my house the morning of the wedding in tears-trying to ruin the happiest day of my life! She threw him out! She was cheating on him! IT was HER choice to end the marriage. She showed up at the Church in a black dress and black vail! Unfortunatley she has never grown up! She would go as far as to tell the kids that "if daddy loved you, we would still be together". She now spends her time "partying" with her kids! My advice would be to be sure everything is documented. I would be sure that you have a good lawyer handling things. We spent so much time and money on court and lawyer fees. I won't tell you that it gets easier, because until they are grown, it will always be an issue. Just stand your ground and as long as you have the childrens best concern at heart, you will be fine. I know the kids are young, but perhaps you need to sit down with your husband and go over everything and even sit down as a family and discuss it with the kids. I know they are young, but they see and know more than you think. Just assure them that you love them and that you are there for them. I learned to just "smile" through the hard times and prayed for the strength to be strong. As hard as she tried, I wouldn't let her see how it affected me. I knew I was a more mature and responsible person than she was. "You reap what you sow". Be strong! It is a long uphill battle. Best Wishes!
T.C. answers from Norfolk on October 04, 2006
I know what you are going through. My husbands ex is alternately understanding and cooperative to completely unreasonable. She called me one night at 2am to tell me her fiace was cheating on her and then a few months later tries to convince me my husband is cheating on me, not to mention the emails and letters she would send to me. My husband finally had to threaten her with a restraining order to get her to stop. Is the visitation schedule legal or is it something you all agreed to? If it's not legal you should probably make it so. It may cut down on any arguments with her. Also, I would get child support through the courts and not just an agreement between all of you. My stepson gets $410 a month from my husband and he is 7 years old. I know it's expensive, but it really is worth it to make everything legal. Good luck!
R.W. answers from Charlotte on October 07, 2006
Why isn't your husband dealing with his ex instead of you? You were not married to her and the boys are their biological children. Your husband needs to take this off of you. It is his responsibility to deal with communication because he was the one who married her.
J.D. answers from Huntsville on October 04, 2006
I would tell her when she gets this way and is pushy about see her boys and acting ugly to you. Just say to her I will pray for you and the way you are acting and when I get done praying I will call you back and see how you are after I take 5 mins for myself on this.
Hope this works for you
B.D. answers from Raleigh on October 05, 2006
Well, Its difficult when dealing with ignorant people. If shes going to remain totally out of control, then you should simply tell her that if she is unhappy with the visitation order, that she is more then able to go back to court to have it modified. If she chooses not to, then thats on her plate, she can either be respectful, or she can get your answering machine.
She should be grateful that you are being a good mother to her children, when SHE chose not to raise them. As for teh boys, you are prolly going to have to let them know that they cant treat you disrespectfully and let them know, withoutbashing their mother, that her behaviour is childish and unacceptable and that them acting like that towards you will NOT be tolerated. I think that over time, the children will change. Good Luck with that woman though..
R.V. answers from Raleigh on October 04, 2006
What I would do is make it so that most or all communication (between you and her) is done through email, that way, you can save everything(Plus you wont have to hear her voice). But, you and your husband need to definately sit down and talk about what is going on (if you havent already). I had a similar problem with my husbands mom. So, I cut off all communication between her and I and let my husband handle everything. As far as the boys, I would let her talk to them on the phone but monitor the conversations. There is no telling what she is telling them if you and her dont get along. They have to respect you, you are their mom now. Their boilogical mom doesnt have to deal with problems conserning them as you do( sickness, trouble in school, etc.)Furthermore your husband really needs to step in and take responsibility with the ex. But, dont forget the emails, they could really be helpful legally. You want to do everthing by the book.