DD wants to live with dad and SM

ladyflutterFebruary 5, 2009

This has been building for a while and now has come to a head. My DD 13 wants to live with her dad. Long story short a few months back I drew the line in the sand with controlling step-mother. Since then all hell has broken loose. Now ex and SM are deliberatly letting DD do what she wants. I say no....they say yes. I took away DD's cell phone for disrespecting me and failing to do a few things I had really needed her to do. Which rarely do I ask her to do anything. Anyway, totally disrespected me. In front of SM I told my DD why she was in trouble and so-on, as things often get misconstrude.I did that so that both DD and SM were clear what my expecations were. So took DD's cell phone for the week. It was her week to be at dad's. They gave her a cell to have and sent me an email and said that they didnt think she should be punished so they gave her an extra phone. In that same email, oh by the way she wants to live with us. The week before it was an issue concerning makeup. She is in 7th and the agreement is mascara or eyeliner but not both. They put it on so dark, so I figured one or the other was a fair compromise. I saw her at her cheer game and she had gobs of makeup on. I questioned her as to why and she told me SM said she could. (keep in mind SM and I were on same page before I drew the line) I questioned SM and she said that X said DD could wear makeup. That is a load of crap! He never cared about any of this stuff and seriously doubt he does know. I spoke to X earlier this week about trying to be alittle more conservative on these types of things and not just handing over the car keys without any experience if you know what I mean. I also discussed the fact that I would like to do the things with my daughters that moms do when the time is appropriate. I mentioned tampons as an example of something my DD and I will work thru together. Stupid me! So guess who is allowed to wear tampons now as of this week? I know some of this may sound very trivial because I know that some people on here have some very serious concerns with their co-parents. There is alot more to the story but we'd be here all day. My problem...SM's kids have some very serious behavior problems. Oldest went to mental facility for cutting, got busted for stealing and youngest has some sexual issues. Soooo since my ex chooses to let the SM run the show like I did when we were married (one reason for divorce), I am frankly pissed that her morals/values etc. are being pushed on my kids. She dresses like a hooch, has her parents buy her whatever she wants(material girl) and they pay their bills when they don't have money (as margaritas and car partsare more important). So essentially when my kids come back to my house and things come up I have to steer them in the right direction and try to undo these ideals that my kids think are okay. This all makes them come off like disneyland parents and me the bad guy. Which then leads to now my daughter wants to live with her dad because I never let her do anything.

I am headed to counseling tonight to begin a process of sessions with my daughter. My fear is that unless dad and I get on the same page or atleast in the same ball-park this is going to be a nightmare for the next several years. I've asked him to go to counseling with me so we can figure out how to co-parent together. His wife's response was that I am still in love with him and the fact that I hate her so much is because I can't have him and that is the issue not the kids. (Note: I asked for the divorce and was over him long before that) His response is that I can't handle that SM makes decisions with my kids as she is his wife and they are a team. I think his statement is true to some degree. Am I supposed to sit by and have some morally corrupt woman raising my kids and be happy about it? Keep in mind SM and I attempted to be "friends" on two points in the last 6 years so I know enough about her to have this judgement. Plus I think it is his responsiblity to co-parent with me on what WE agree is right for our kids. Her words "we are going to start raising your girls like I do mine". WTF? That scares me to death and X who damn well knows what he should be doing, does nothing and let's SM pull the puppet strings.

I know I cannot control the rules at their house....but this playing games crap because SM is mad at me is really sad for my girls. Not sure there is a correct answer for any of this, but I just needed to vent. Thanks for listening.

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Ladyflutter sorry to hear about these problems. It sounds pretty frustrating. I can relate, in our situation BM is the one who 'buys' the skids. They will get anything they want pretty much, and there are no rules either. So SD10 and SD12 go to bed at 1am: if they want chocolates and icecream for dinner they go for it, if they don't want to do homework mommy will write a note, watch movies all day fine.. no rules for anything. And even though BM is a very angry and difficult person to be around, the skids still like the no-rules part and find it hard and 'unfair' that we do have rules. Nothing drastic, just that we do have a bedtime during the week, and they have to do dishes twice when they are with us, or clean their own room. Even the structure of eating at the dinner table instead of on couch is seen as a 'rule'. But I'll be damned if we hang on couch while having dinner when skids are with us.

It's probably going to be a reason for my SD's as well to not come and stay with us more, they like the 'freedom'.
Anyway, as to what you can do; you are already doing it! Going to the counselor will be a good thing, hopefully the counselor can put a few things in perspective for your DD.

Do you have a court order in place? How much do you and your ex have her? See how counseling works out before you consider anything. Would ex go back to court to try and change the order?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 6:05PM
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Document document document -- legal issues of anyone in house. YOu may need. What sex is SM with sexual issues - could they create a problem for your child?

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 7:32PM
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We do have a court order in place and our custody schedule is every other week. Counseling went good tonight, I went by myself and my DD goes with me next week. Counselor already says she wants to meet with x and SM as some things need to be ironed out. The other child in the house is 11 female and there was already once incident with her involving my youngest daughter documented with CPS. Because of the age of the girls they considered it an incident, not one of criminal intent. Stupid but true. Found out tonight that my x told my youngest DD, who is a minime, they will take me to court and take her away from me if I say anything about what they (her & dad and SM) talked about. Basically "don't tell your mom anything or we will take you away from her". So of course she is scared to death, as she hate it with them. I would never let them know the things I know that she has told me so she doesnt have to deal with their backlash. It's really really sad!

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:22PM
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My SD9 wants to live with her mom. We asked her why? She says it's more fun there. She misses her mom and when she goes there, it's 'do whatever you want'. She's competing for her mom's attention with the BF and his three kids. She thinks if she is there, mom will pay more attention to her since her mom ignores her when she's here.. and sometimes when she's there too. The bottom line, it's up to both parents to agree on what's best for the child and when they can't agree, a Judge will decide. Changing custody is usually not an easy task, but laws also differ state to state. In CA, there has to be a significant change in circumstances for a Judge to consider changing custody once there is an order. I also see the courts favoring 50/50 or significant co-parenting when possible and if your arrangement is working, there wouldn't be any reason to change it.

It really is sad that they are threatening to take her away if she talks about what goes on in their house. I would tell her that you want her to be happy in both homes & you are fine not knowing what happens or what is said at dad's house. However, I would let her know that if there is anything serious or dangerous going on, she needs to tell an adult. Let her know it's okay to tell her counselor or a teacher or any other trusted adult if she isn't supposed to tell you. (of course, as a parent I would want my child to come to me but I would also rather not cause any added anxiety. Plus, some kids will learn to manipulate the situation when they know what to say and how everyone will react)

    Bookmark   February 5, 2009 at 11:57PM
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Make certain counselor hears this threat of dont tell. She will understand right away how serious that is. I know you have had cell phone disagreements, but I would respectively submit this is one situation where DD NEEDs a cell. Tell her to sleep with it. Tell her if she is EVER in any danger call 911 right awy.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2009 at 9:05AM
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