Ex hit stepson...how do we deal with it without scaring stepson?

shonapMarch 2, 2009

We have a very manipulative, inmature, drama seeking ex that my husband and I have to deal with regularily. We've been together for almost 10 years and from the very beginning I knew it was trouble but you can't help who you love right?

So...last week my husband got a call from his Ex, she was very mad saying she was going to hit his son. My husband was never told what the argument was about and when he spoke with his son (11 years old) he said he was ok and wanted to stay cause it was his Moms weekend. This weekend he was over with us and told his Dad that his Mom hit him in the leg while they were driving and then she swung at his face but missed. Obviously my husband was very upset and angry but chose to wait until his son was not around to talk to his Ex. While I was out taking his son for a hair cut he called his Ex. She had the nerve to get mad at my husband for bringing it up! Then later called and talked to my stepson and got mad at him for telling and told him to talk to my husband so that he would not call childerns Services becasue she would go to jail and he would get taken away from her! Because of how she handled it and included my stepson in the adult situation and conversations(which is normal for her and just another form of manipulation to get what she wants) we now are confused on how to handle this situation wihtout my husband looking like the bad guy to his son.

My step son repeatedly asked my husband not to call anyone. My husband explained that it was not right, and that he wanted his Mom to get help and we weren't trying to take him away but that it was not normal behaviour and neither was getting mad at him for telling...now he won't want to tell his father anything! If I had the time I would give a summary of some of the things over the years we've dealt with but at this time I'm just concerned for my stepson and the Ex's mental state. I know a little of her upbringing and from what I gather fighting and hitting was normal, my husband remembers her with two black eyes becasue ehr father hit her.

I feel that he should suggest that his son live with us or at least increase his time with us because sons at this age need more time with their father, perhaps spin it so that "She needs a break and it would good for eveyrone" if he come to live with us. The problem is that then she won't be entitled to child support...which will be the end of that conversation and then we're back to calling childern's services...Help!

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could it be that SS exagerrates to get some type of reaction out of dad? although i do not condone hitting or spanking etc, i don't think that one time accident should cause people to lost their children let alone go to jail. did she slap him on a leg or hit wiht the fist? i never had such situations in my life so i do not have any advice but I think maybe investigation is in place to find out what really happened.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:04PM
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but fd, she called OP's hubs & *said* she was going to hit him.

"she swung at his face but missed."
doesn't sound to me like "spanking", & doesn't sound like it's open to misinterpretation.

What a nightmare!

since she won't want to give up child support, & since you can't call off CPS if they open a can of worms, trying to work out a "trade" with her might be a viable option.

I think I'd get an investigator to check into her lifestyle & behavior-
most people have some secret ("they say") that they don't want publicized, or that would cause them negative consequences, & maybe your hubs could propose, as you say, a "break" for her, accompanied by the subtle mention of her Achilles heel.

it might be the quickest, cleanest way to put a stop to the hitting & threats of hitting.

about your stepson repeatedly asking his dad not to call anyone-
that's normal.
not healthy, not good, but normal.

He's been loaded up with a huge amount of guilt & a sense of responsibility that his mother's behavior is his fault, & that it'll be his fault if his mother has to face consequences for her behavior.

He'll need lots of support & reassurance, & he needs to get out of that environment; every minute he stays there brings further damage to him.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 3:46PM
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Do you think Hubby could ask Mom to take pareenting classes as a condition of him NOT calling CPS? That's really what everyone wants, right? -- For her to learn how to be a better parent?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 4:06PM
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personally (and I realize I am not in the majority with the whole spanking issue) I think calling cps on her for a hit on the leg and "swung at the face" (which is an interpretation of an 11 year old which can be way blown out of proportion) is a little extreme.... well more than extreme. I am in favor of a well placed smack to the ole behind for certain situations. To me, this just is not enough to be a cause for concern. Now if there are other factors that are included in this such as ongoing abuse (emotional or physical) or extreme hazardous behavior then I would have to change my opinion. But, as of right now I think mom would have every right to be angry that you would question and threaten cps... the results of which can sometimes be disastorous for a family. And, I can only assume that was thrown around on the phone or that would not been her first conclusion drawn... and by how angry you said your DH was.(but like I said I assume and could be wrong)

Ofcourse, her reaction of telling ss was not appropriate but again I could easily see it as an act of desperation thinking the worse may be coming and she needs to stop it somehow. Again wrong but...

I mean my own ss BM slapped ss across the face about a month or so ago because of the way he was talking to her... and while I think he is to old for any kind of spanking type consequence... he was also talking to her like dirt and it was probably about time she got his attention. It would have been more than inappropriate for me to want to call CPS on her or anything else.. or use it as a method to get custody without us paying her off with cs like we do now.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:33PM
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well I dont mean DH shouldnt have questioned it... but a calm conversation of what happened and why it happened and what you each feel would be an appropriate reaction in the future.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:38PM
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Personally, I think it was a mistake for your husband to call his ex. We've dealt with this for two years now, SD goes to her mom's and tells mom 'stuff' and mom calls dad up, yelling & ranting at him.. not 'discussing' as reasonable parents should. From your post, it sounds as if he didn't call when he was calm & reasonable, he was upset. She responded with anger or defensiveness, which is not going to resolve any conflict or resolve the problem he hopefully wants to resolve. (and my SD has also been sitting next to her mom when mom calls dad to yell at him and she'll be crying and begging mom to stop... then I'm sure she feels this is all her fault. Not a good position for a kid to be in.)

Kids will play up the parts of a story they know mom or dad will react to and the truth is, there isn't much you can do about what mom did. Unless there is a bruise of other evidence of abuse, involving CPS on a one time incident is going to subject the child to further trauma... if it's an ongoing problem, then maybe intervention would be appropriate but it sounds to me like mom was stressed out and reaching out to dad for help by calling him.

When she called to say she was going to hit him, what did dad say to her? Did he offer to take the child since she was obviously stressed out? I think one resolution would be to give mom help with reducing stress, which may be more time at dad's and maybe the parenting classes or counseling to help her deal with problems. I don't think it would help to call CPS or file to take her child away from her if she is otherwise a reasonable parent that just had a bad day.

Last year, I was put in the position of being accused of hitting my SD. She wanted her mom's attention so she told her mom that I hit her all the time. Her mom called CPS on us claiming my 18 year old daughter grabbed SD by the arm, dislocating her arm. All of it was untrue, nobody has ever hit or grabbed SD in our home and CPS closed the case because it was an obvious lie, but the point is that it put my SD through additional turmoil of us having to take her to the doctor to be examined and she was pulled out of class at school to be interviewed... and all the time, she knew this was because she told her mom that I had hit her.. which was made worse for her because she knew it was a lie. I don't think she realized what a big deal it would become. and it's no picnic to be falsely accused of abusing a child!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:57PM
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sylvia are you suggesting to blackmail the mother? Threaten to reveal her secrets if she won't stop hitting? I don't find it to be "a clean way".

And really "hitting him on the leg" is very much open to interpretations. It is entirelly possible that she reguarly hits this child, but then if she did wouldn't SS told dad about it? If he told about this accident only, I think it could be that it only happened once. And in fact she warned dad that she is so frustrated she is going to hit him, what did dad do about it? how did he help?

I would try to watch and listen and see if it happens again.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 6:42PM
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Thank you all for your advise and comments. We have talked more about it last night and my hubby is going to call his Ex today while SS is in school to discuss further. If however she can not be reasonable and discuss without arguing or placing blame we will likely call CPS. Its not just physical abuse we're concerned about but mental as well and her state of mind. We do not want to drag this into court and have a battle but over the years we've learned that there is no other way to deal with Ex, I am very hopeful that they can talk today and things go well for SS.

SS had told dad that they had a fight over hockey and discussing his performance turned into an argument, from what we were told. Ex hasn't told hubby what happened yet and just gets mad. When hubby was called he did offer to go get ss, ss talked to my husband and told him not to worry about it, everything was fine. This was before the actual hitting incident occured and this was actually the following day when it happened.

As said before if I had time I would get into detail about other things and Ex's behaviour over the years but it is a very long explanantion and lets just say her mental state since I've known her has always been in question as far as I'm concerned, not just as the "new woman" but her friends and family as well. There is a constant form of chaos in one form or another in her life with someone, us, her parents or friends. She was physically abused as a child/teen and has been hit by her current boyfriend. She called CPS on her father for punching her and giving her 2 black eyes when she was a teen. We are concerned that ss will think this is normal behaviour and don't want it to happen again.

We talked about moving into ss school district to make shared parenting easier and my husband is going to try and have a serious conversation with his Ex about these things. I just hope she can listen to reason.

Again thanks for all the advise! Any additional comments would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 8:16AM
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When a child is being hit & begging dad not to say anything to the person who hit him, & when the person who hit him holds the cards this person seems to hold, "playing nice" or "clean" is very much beside the point.

You do what you have to do to protect your child with the least amount of chaos & risk.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 1:29PM
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