Step Daughter & Ex Wife Issues

Updated on August 20, 2010
S.M. asks from Spring, TX
14 answers

Would like to know your opinion on dealing with a stepdaughter and her mother & my husband thinking its okay continue to texted over things that their 17 year old daughter can relay over to her dad. My husband & I have been together for 10 years him dealing with his ex wife was never an issue , but it seemed to be when i would try talking to my sons father (who chooses to not be involved) it was an issue when we were dating. I would say i never had a problem with them until i found out that she was a buddy on his my space page and i was clueless he even had a page (as he denied it for so long. ) Well him and his wife text on things that a 17 year old could be the go between on . It really aggrevates me due to the fact he hides it from me and seem to mainly talk to her when i'm not around. If i am a round he talks like as if he's talking strictly bussiness ,but i know when alone they conversate like normal. I have told him & her that i feel if its something major and its not something their daughter can relay over like (troubles with school, she's ill, or misbehaving her mother) i dont have an issue with that just the tedious ones really wreck my nerves . Am i wrong? Should i be upset if she sends freind request to his facebook knowing how i feel about that. my husband blames me for this new threat of court cause his daughter is upset & thinks her dad does nothing for her . I think there is an issue of jelousy on their part that he has a family . His daughter totally disrespected me and tried to humilate me cause i had an issue with her mother & father texting. ( i mean he only picks & chooses when he wants me to know until i see out cell bill...) If you dont do what either of them want they threaten court. So he jumps hoops for them .

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answers from Dover on

First of all, the kids should NEVER be the go between. Parents should be able to always communicate regarding thier children. If they are on good terms, there is no reason they can't be friendly acquaintences.

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answers from Boston on

As a stepmother, I have to say that the child should NEVER be the go-between, regardless of age. That's giving her adult responsibilities re parenting. Do your children relay messages of importance between you and your husband? No. So this teenager needs to know that her parents are her parents, that they can be civil and cooperative where she is concerned.

I think the secretive texting is a HUGE problem. He should not be lying to you. THAT'S the issue, not the ex-wife or the stepchild. He needs to TALK to his ex-wife one-on-one, and you need to deal with it. The chats should be open and not secretive. They should ONLY deal with their shared daughter - school stuff, behavioral issues (who's she hanging out with, for example), medical, college plans, whether she should have a cell phone and what she should use it for, etc. Nothing about the ex-wife's other issues, nothing about your family, and so on. It should be cordial but business-like. And the texting needs to stop or be cut way back. It's probably expensive, and it's certainly trivial if it can be communicated in a quick text. I'd only use that for things like when he is picking up his daughter, if he's late and in the car, and so on. Nothing of significance. If they can't TALK then they need to use email when the messages can be more in-depth and better thought out.

He should not be using social networking sites to communicate with his ex.

I don't know what you mean about a court case. Does it have to do with her thinking Dad does nothing and now Mom is going after something? Do not let your husband be blackmailed. Court is expensive for the mom so she needs to have a really compelling case to justify the lawyer costs and court fees. If she's threatening your husband, he needs to block her from texting but accept her phone calls, or have her direct her demands from her lawyer through your husband's lawyer. If he won't do this, then is it possible he is using the threat of court expenses to get you to stop insisting about stuff? Then again, there's a problem between the 2 of you.

Your husband is responsible for disciplining his daughter. She should not be talking to you about her mother's relationship with you - and you should be excluding yourself from parenting issues between him and his daughter, at least in front of her. The daughter should not be involved in a decision about texting, and she should not know your feelings on the issue. She is 17 and not an adult. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be talking to him about things and being his partner. But not in front of her. If she is not treating you with respect, your husband should be demanding it from her. But right now, your husband is not treating you with respect either - he's hiding things from you. So THAT is the issue to be working on with him, privately and with a counselor. You'll get your feelings validated, find out how you can give up a little control, and get him to start being honest and develop a healthy relationship with his daughter and her mother.

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answers from Jacksonville on

I would echo Lynn's comments below. The caveat is: when/why does he feel the need to be secretive in communicating with his child's mom?

If he initially was NOT secretive, but you made a big deal about it, and THEN he became secretive, then he is probably justified in trying not to start an argument with you over trying to be a good parent to his kid. If he had a reason to believe that you would overreact to him communicating with his ex, then, again, he is probably just trying to keep things simple for himself- you don't see/hear it = he doesn't get into an argument with you = life is simpler.

If, however, he had normal communications with her, you were fine with it and didn't object or behave in a jealous manner, and then suddenly he became secretive about it... then I would be concerned that there is a less innocent reason behind it.

Only you know which scenario accurately describes your history.

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answers from Austin on

You and your husband need to go to marriage counseling, if you cannot get over your untrust or jealousy.

I also suggest you, your husband and his daughter go to family therapy.

There seems to be a basic communication problem and a huge lack of trust problem going on here. Seek professional unbiased assistance.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Yeah--the problem with the daughter being the "go between" on school issues, etc is that she can spin it any way she wants. He needs to hear the situations from the girls mother. Maybe your hubby hides the fact that they have contact b/c you give him so much drama over it. This is his CHILD--as I'm sure you can relate. You & your ex should have open communication and the 2nd spouses just have to deal.

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answers from Toledo on

I'm sorry, but it sounds to me like you need to get over whatever jealousy issues YOU have in this situation. You need to accept the fact that he has family other than you and yours. His daughter and yes even his ex are his family, like it or not. Unless you have reason to not trust him, he is probably not telling you the whole truth because he knows you'll flip out over something so silly as him communicating with the mother of his child. Socia media sits are a major tool in communicating these days, as is texting. A child, no matter what her age, should NEVER be the go-between for her parents. Its not her job to communicate back and forth for her parents. That is involving children in adult issues and WILL cause long-term damage to her. You need to respect your husband as a man and a father and appreciate that he is trying everything possible to "keep the peace" between himself and his ex for the sake of his daughter.

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answers from New York on

The 17 year old should never be the go between the adults. It puts her in a very touchy place and gives her the same level feeling as the adults. If you are feeling some kind of way. Deal with your feelings. He isn't being open with you because everything was seemingly fine but now isn't and you (judging by your post) aren't being seemingly reasonable or rashionale about his contact with his exwife.

I'm not clear on why the 17 year old would even be in the middle of the three of you and naturally she is going to side with her mother (that's her mother).

He jumps through hoops in an attempt to keep the peace between 3 women. Poor man because no matter what he does he is going to loose if he doesn't take charge of this situation and if you don't take charge of your emotions.

Either you trust your husband or your don't, he needs to feel like he has a friend in you and not the exwife. They have history and so do the two of you and if you don't want your relationship with "your" husband to become history get a grip on what you can or can not live with and make some changes in you and how you are responding to him when he does something that you don't like.

I know this post of mine may seem hard or harsh but I really hope it is helpful too.

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answers from Indianapolis on

I am going to answer this before reading others so it may sound the same as others and it may be totally different. First I feel if you've never been a step-parent you have no idea how hard it is. I've been one now for 13 yrs. Step-son is 17 yo's.

My thoughts may be random so bear with me...First you are expecting way to much from a 17yo, she shouldn't be expected to relay things to dad, she is a teenager and lucky to "remember her head." Nor should she be doing this, even if it is something minor it is putting her in the middle and that should not happen. My husband and ex talk/ text over everything because we DO NOT expect the child to do this. I don't care if it's something big or small, it is not the child's place. She and I also talk/text alot as well about most things. Are we friends and that's why we do this, no, it's because you have to get along for the sake of the child. The child is what's most important here, not your feelings getting hurt. Also, if they talk during the day when I'm not around I don't expect him to tell me everytime, big deal.

Here's a little tip about men...the bigger of an issue you make about this, the more he's going to stop telling you about because when he does you're going to give him grief about them talking and he doesn't want to hear that. Why is it a big deal for them to be "friends" on face book? I don't understand that. The fact that he denied even having one is a totally different problem within the marriage and probably him denying it has nothing to do with him being "friends" with his ex, there's another reason he denied this for a long time.

The other reason for needing to get over this and get along with the ex is because you will always be the step-parent and a mother can turn that child against you in a heart beat and they will make your life hell. Which unfortunately sounds like is already happening. I suggest going to a counselor and deal with your trust issues and jealousy of the ex. Which is exactly what sounds like this all is.

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answers from Houston on

My ex and I text and email daily. Does it mean I want to get back with him? Nope, it just means we have a good communication lines and I tell him everything that is going on with the kids. I do not put my kids in the middle. Sometimes we talk about the kids sometimes we talk about random stuff. Especially when we are both at work. We get bored and talk cell phones and what not. I have been dating a guy for two years and my boyfriend has no problems with this just as I have no problem with him talking with his ex. As a matter of fact I am thinking about adding his ex on my FB. She is sweet as can be.
Now if there are other trust issues besides what you mentioned than you might need to look into that. But as far as him talking, texting and messaging I wouldn't give it a second thought. That is his daughters mom and she will always be a part of his life. Sorry but that is the way it is.

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answers from Chicago on

I assume he is being secretive because you are nagging him. I commend your husband for having a good relationship with the mother of his daughter, it's extremely important. It is important that that continues & you back off from microscoping his communication with the ex. You didn't mention if you feel that there may be sparks between them so I am assuming that that's not an issue, but if it is then you have other issues to deal with & trying to get them to stop talking isn't going to end anything. You are ABSOLUTELY wrong to think that the dghtr should be the go between with her parents, that's a BIG mistake & that's when kids take advantage & manipulate their parents. You obviously are making a big deal about the texting in front of the daughter between her parents & that was a huge mistake, you will never win & she will defend her mother over you all day long. So never talk about your step daughters mom because you will do major damage with your relationship with her & your relationship with your husband & cause unnecessary chaos, in fact I would say the best thing to do would be to apologize to the step daghtr for talking bad about her mom, she has no control over her parents communication with eachother.

I personally think if you back off about the texting it will go away &/or he may be more open about what they talk about & not feel the need to hide it from you. The ex knows that you have a problem with this so she may be pushing your buttons intentionally. And you should have some relief that she is 17 & communication should start to dwindle once she graduates H.S. Good luck

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answers from Toledo on

I think you should relax a bit. You've been together long enough to trust him, and it seems you are the only one distressed. Parents have a life-long connection to each other, whether they remain married or not. He probably is secretive because he knows it will cause problems, and he just wants to avoid them---not right, but typical guy. Let him communicate with both of them any time or way he wants, and be OK with it. Everyone's stress levels will go down. The girl is 17-- she won't be around much longer. She'll move on in her life, but you don't want to be seen as the troublemaker between her and her dad. Believe it or not, she'll thank you for being understanding some day.

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answers from Lake Charles on

YEah, I agree with the part about the Kids should never be the go Between. That's not good for the kids. But as far as them being friends on myspace and facebook, that is out! My ex and I are not friends on facebook or myspace, and there is a reason for that. I am remarried and I respect my husband. My ex and I are on good terms now and we do discuss our 5 year old a lot, but I never hide it from my husband, he is more than welcome to read my texts if he wants and I talk to my ex in front of my husband. No big deal! If it wasn't a big deal for your husband, he wouldn't be hiding it!!
Good Luck!!



answers from Detroit on

Wow you have a lot going on. I think if it were me I would sit him down and tell him that this isn't right and exactly how and why you feel this way. I agree he shouldn't be doing things behind your back or making it out like you are the bad guy. She sounds like a typical teenager, today they only want to be around adults if they are getting something out of it. He should be talking to the Mom and if I were the two of you I would got to he courts and set something up so she can't keep holding it over your head she knew exactly what she was doing but not getting them involved. I don't think that the kids should be the go between but saying I will be there at this time etc. really isn't an awfull thing. He shouldn't allow her to talk to you that way either, just remember she is a teenager and is being influenced by her Mom. Good Luck I hope something I said has helped.


answers from Dallas on

I'm confused and not really understanding what is going on completely. Are you concerned about "content" when it comes to texting and My Space? If not I think it would benefit the kids to have several adults they can turn to and talk to. My sons sometimes went to their aunts or other adults to talk. I was grateful. i can see where it would be a little harder in your case because of the dynamics, but unless you think these adults are saying inappropriate things then let them have that relationship with the teens and be grateful.

Make a pact with the other adults not to put the kids in the middle. You are sort of putting your son in the middle by disapproving of his relationship with his step mom (if I'm getting it I said had some trouble understanding your post). He is hiding it because of that. If you don't think she is inappropriate try to get past your feelings of jealousy and let your son know you are happy they have a good relationship.

The threat of court sounds awful and must make things hard. I'm sorry. I hope I understood your post properly and my post made sense to you.

Best of Luck!

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