I have to be excluded from SS birthdays, sports, etc.

the_mrs_2009May 18, 2010

I need honest advice. I have been with my husband for four years now. We have been married a year and half. My husband has a son from a previous relationship. When me and the husband first got together his ex was mad and vindictive about it.

In the past, my husband and his ex were able to throw joint birthday parties for their son and were able to share in his extracurricular activities and such. When we got together, that all stopped. My husband was invited but was never allowed to bring me. His ex eventually moved on and is actually engaged to be married. But she still will not allow for me to come to my SS events. The family has been divided and we have to do two of everything because she will not allow for me to be around.

I was talking to my husband today and he said that he will start going to his son's events without me. I would have thought that with some time she would be over this, but thats not the case.

I feel excluded from my SS life and I find it hard to get closer to him because there is his mother trying to keep me out. I know that it hurts my husband not being allowed to come around with me and thats why I can understand having to leave me out and behind.But it hurts. Is it the right thing to be doing? I am scared that if my husband gives into her demands that it will set the stage for it to be like this forever. I know she is bitter about their break up. Not saying that she is still in love with my husband, but that she hasnt come to terms with it. She has used his son as a tool to get her way. When she gets angry she will refuse to let us see him for weeks.

I have a son from a previous relationship too.And my husband has raised him since he was very little. My son calls my husband dad. It is the only dad he has ever know. My son is younger than the SS and they call each other brother. But it is hard to explain to my son why he cannot be included in birthday's when dad is.I feel like her bitterness has divided my family.

On holidays she calls the shots. Me and my kids have to wait around until she is done with her family's things before we can do our own family's holiday. It has become out of control. My husband takes it all only because he is scared of her keeping his son from him.

I feel like she is a third person in my marriage. I made vows to my husband for better or worse and I intend to keep those promises. But it would be nice to know that things will get better. I need advice or at least some words of strength to see me through this. I feel like Im the only one who has been through this.

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the Mrs.,

You are far from the only one who has gone through something like this. It is definitely a tough situation and if it makes you feel any better, very common.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:24PM
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Parties that are at her house? Yes, she has the legal right to exclude you. At her parents' house? Same deal. But NOT school open houses, Little League games or other public-venue things. Your husband should stand up to her on those events.

Would she be willing to go for a few sessions of family counseling with your husband? Because her behavior is harmful to her child, and it's possible that a good counselor could be able to help mediate and negotiate a truce that would allow a meaningful role for you as well as for her new husband.

Also, courts take a very dim view of parents withholding custody in violation of court orders. Does your husband have court-ordered visitation?

One other question that might shed some light on things --
Were BioMom and Dad divorced when you and Dad met? Or if they were never married, was their relationship totally over in BOTH of their eyes before you came into the picture?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 2:48PM
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So I guess that BM's fiance is not invited to SS's events either? Or is that "different"? I'm betting it's different!

Anyway, does your husband have a court order clearly outlining visitation? If not, DH needs to go to court and get one. You said "When she gets angry she will refuse to let us see him for weeks." That is not acceptable. She can get as angry as she wants about DH taking her to court but he (unless he is some kind of horrific parent) will get a set visitation schedule if he explains that he is having difficulty. Then, DH needs to start a journal and track every visitation. And you and your DS can begin attending his extra-curricular activities as you and DH please. and actually make plans for the holdiays. If BM begins with-holding visitation, take her to court. They are not going to allow her to play silly games of "Do what I say or you won't see your son".

Unfortunately I think that you are correct; if BM is allowed to behave this way she will continue to do so, and will do her best to make DH's new family life completely miserable. If your husband is too worried or frightened to stick up for himself and his rights as a father, then you need to stick up for yourself and your son. Make your own plans and when DH and SS are able to join you, they can. I know that that is not ideal at all but it is not at all right for you both to be sitting around waiting on holidays, and it is completely unfair to your DS (and to SS, for that matter.)

And no, you are not alone. My DH has custody of his son; he is here almost all the time, and his ex still tries to play manipulative games like that! She'll go months without communication, then call right before a holiday and announce that she "gets" SS8 for the holiday because she hasn't seen him in a while!

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:18PM
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"I feel excluded from my SS life and I find it hard to get closer to him because there is his mother trying to keep me out."

Yep. Been there, done that. And let me tell you, the years of damage that occurred to SS's relationship with me have been hard to undo. I kind of put a wall up around my heart in regards to SS and, while it is a lot better, it frustrates me because DH allowed so many things to happen (or not happen!) and the end result has been disastrous for our family and our marriage.

I used to not be "allowed" to attend preschool music programs, or holiday pageants or birthday parties. At one winter concert, BM told DH in front of SS that she would "claw my eyes out" if I attended. At SS's 5th birthday party, BM made fun of how I was dressed, called me a troll and gave me the evil eye the rest of the time. That was the last party I attended! Why would I put myself through that? And who does it hurt? SS!!!

In hindsight, DH needed to stick up for ME. He should have said "if you cannot be poligte to MY WIFE, then we will have our OWN party for SS." Or "My wife and I will BOTH attend SS's winter concert and we will sit separately from you. I will not allow you to separate me from my son and I will not allow you to separate my wife from having a relationship with my son."

The longer your DH tolerates BM's behavior, the worse it will get. The demands will increase, and it doesn't matter what you do, it will never be right. You cannot win for losing here.

The only thing to do is put on a united front with DH. He has to back you 100%.

I totally can relate to the double standard thing, too! It was NEVER okay for me to attend things, but sure as all get out, BM's last live-in boyfriend could be at EVERY event, no questions asked.

The sooner DH stands up for you, the better.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Ir really is up to your husband to stand up for you. If he is okay going to events and leave you home, then there you have it... he's okay with it, so get used to that.

If he is truly concerned that she will keep his son from him, he needs to trot down to the family court and get an order that allows him to have specified days and times with his son, including holidays... all spelled out. And he can even ask the court to give you permission to attend events. She can't prevent you from going to school functions but I guess it would make it uncomfortable for the kid to have mom upset because you are there. How sad for the child.

I also want to point out that she may have a problem with things when you are having your son call him dad. Maybe she fears you are trying to create a new little family with her son & feels threatened by it. There is nothing wrong with a kid having lots of people in his/her life that love them & want to be a part of their life, but maybe if there is a way to let her know that your son calls him dad because your son's dad is absent & he's the only father figure he has.. but you respect that she is his mother and would never dream of doing anything to interfere with that.

As for doing two of everything, unfortunately that is what happens in divorces... even when the parties never remarry. Some ex's are able to get along well enough so kids can enjoy having both parents there, but most ex's I know don't want to spend holidays with each other. I've always celebrated my kids' birthdays on a near Saturday to their real birthday. lol, today my daughter turned 20, but we had her party last Saturday. We have celebrated Thanksgiving a week early because my son was having surgery to remove a tumor from his jaw & wouldn't be able to eat. We have celebrated my grandson's first birthday a month early because my son (his father) is in the Army & was only home for leave 2 weeks but had to go back to Afghanistan. Holidays can be celebrated anytime... not just the date on the calendar.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:38PM
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"...if you cannot be polite to MY WIFE, then we will have our OWN party for SS." Or "My wife and I will BOTH attend SS's winter concert and we will sit separately from you. I will not allow you to separate me from my son and I will not allow you to separate my wife from having a relationship with my son."

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 3:50PM
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How inappropriate. DH shouldn't be doing that to you, and I do not understand join events and parties, mom does hers, dad dos his. You are too nice. I wouldn't put up with this, you are a family not some temporary girlfriend. I understand you cannot do anything about it but your DH could and should.

I agree with sweeby that she has rights to exclude anyone from her house but why does your husband even go to celebrate at her house? What's going on? is there more to the story, were you the other woman, or something. Does your husband feel guilty so he is willing to sacrifice? Did she ever explain why she is this way with you?

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 4:51PM
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@finedreams: No, I was never the other woman. They had been split up for a couple years before he and I even got together. I believe my DH sat around waiting for her to get her partying and dating out of her system and I think she thought he would always wait until she was ready to resume their relationship.

DH's brother and BM's sister are both married and DH father is with their aunt. So when it comes to birthdays and such DH has a lot of his own fam there too. I believe he wants to go to them because he feels guilty that he isnt there. When we throw SS our own birthday his fam wont come because they already went to the one big one the BM threw for him.

The funny thing is when me and DH got together she hated me from the beginning. I had no idea who this woman was but she knew me apparently. She would tell DH every rumor she heard about me she would solicit info about me from acquaintances(sp). She had it out for me. And it has just escelated from that point forward.

The real kicker is she later got together with my cousin and got pregnant a couple months after she found out I was pregnant with me and DH first child together. When she found out I was pregnant she told my DH "well I guess it is really over between us" .This was after 2 years of us being together. So that being said SS has two little half brothers, who are actually second cousins too, but they cant know each other because BM refuses to have anything to do with me. She had forbade my cousin from talking to me. It is all the signs of a woman scorned I guess.

It is all so silly and for nothing. She has tried to turn it around on me and portray that I am the one with the problem and the one who has been hateful to her. There is no reason for her to be so spiteful.It would seem to me that she is engaged to be married and has has a new baby but is so hell bent on making life difficult for my DH.

I know that birthdays and holidays can be celebrated at any time of the year, I have no problem doing it, but my DH cannot fathom not having SS on the actual day. He is the one who wont budge. I have aksed and asked for him to file a parenting plan, but he hasnt. He pays child support and we have SS every weekend, thats when BM isnt keeping him away. DH is by no means an absentee father. He has every right to take her to court, but chooses not to.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 1:29PM
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First, I think you are absolutely right that you should be included. And that your DH bowing down to this is wrong, and that BM imposing these restrictions is rude and wrong.

Second, be careful what you wish for. I only recently started to be invited (meaning within the last 18 months after 12 years of marriage and almost 15 of a relationship) to "family" events where BM would be present, Thanksgiving, birthday parties. Each time has been progressively more uncomfortable at least for me with the last time being a birthday party for DH's grandsons where BM drunkenly told me that SS, SD, SGSs were "her" family and a bunch of other choice things. I don't know if or when I will be invited to anything like that again but it is unlikely if she is there that I will attend for my own mental health. Also not sure what exposure to BM I want DS7 to have quite frankly.

Not to say that will be your experience. Your DH should always stand up for you.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 4:19PM
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I get along with ex yet do not understand mutual parties especially if DH attends parties at ex's home. your Dh and ex act like they are a family. it is inappropriate. It is easier to blame BM but you are not married to her, she owes nothing to you. Your DH is to blame. I don't understand why you settle for this. He makes very inappropriate choices.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:08PM
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Read it again, finedreams, the families are tied. The child's uncle (brother to DH) is married to child's aunt (sister to BM) and the child's grandfather is 'with' an aunt. When the families are tangled like this it would be hard to get the extended families to attend two different parties for the same event.

But that does not mean OP should be pitched away and forgotten and left out. This would not even just be parties for the child...if DH wants to attend a party or throw a party for his brother, that means BM's sister (brother's wife) and maybe BM herself would attend/expect to attend.

BM seems to think OP stole her man and intends to never ever have anything to do with OP. Lady needs to grow up. Tosses man aside and then gets childless when man finds another.

OP's best bet would be a legal order with dates/visitations laid out...but DH refuses. He's rather torn here. He's got a brother and dad tied in the other family and if he p$sses off BM with legal stuff, he sets off worse family feud.

OP/DH need set schedule with alternating events. One time BM, next time DH and who comes or does not come would be up to the invited guest (this way BM would be left out part of the time also if she can't be civil and come to event).

As far as sporting events and other types of public child activities, Dh needs to tell BM that event is large enough to have all involved attend...no, you don't have to sit together at a ball game, no socializing required...but it's silly to ban OP from a ballgame (or the like) when there's lots of people attending and they all can just pretend they don't see and/or know each other.

This extreme childless behavior of BM because she thinks she's been done wrong, can't be good for the child. I can't even imagine the bad things she likely says to child or in front of child about daddy's wife who is forbidden.

Tell that Dh of yours, OP, to grow a backbone and deal with getting a schedule. He's disrespecting his wife and his son and his extended family (brother/father) are disrespecting him with this silly party stuff/sporting activities. Geesh, all this sounds like a good ol' mountain family feud, time everybody man up and think about the kid instead of all the grudges the child has nothing to do with.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:54PM
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"Read it again, finedreams, the families are tied."

I got it the first time, I don't care if they tied, no need to go to BM's house, other family houses yes, hers no need. In my opinion Dh is being inappropriate. In such circumstances separate events are more appropriate.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 7:27PM
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Thank you justmetoo! It is a sticky situation, and I guess I signed up for it but I thought by now things would have been made better.

Because the family is still so involved, our union has caused everyone to pick sides. DH's brother doesnt talk to him because his wife, BM's sister, doesnt like me. The two brothers cant hang out with their wives included because she has to hate me too. It's ridiculous.

BM kept SS away for three weeks and last weekend was the first time we had him. It wasnt because BM decided to let us see him, but because SS got on a different bus from school to our house! He told DH " I just missed you so much dad. Mom was mad, but I missed you". BM will have a lot explaining to do to SS when he gets older. DH says that is why he doesnt lash back at her because soon enough SS will see it all for what it is. She is the one who is hurting SS, not us.

In the mean time though, I hate to feel excluded. I feel that she is getting her way and is teaching BM that she can call the shots. It will only get worse. I am just going to have to ride the DH harder to get the support order.

As we speak right now, we are trying to take SS to a prayer meeting. He has always gone with his dad. And BM is giving DH the third degree. I told him if he had a parenting plan then he could designate days and weekends that he could have SS. It is like talking to a wall.

DH doesnt know what its like to be in my shoes. DS's father is not in the picture, so DH doesnt have to deal with an ex and all the headache that comes with it. I think if he knew how much easier life would be with it, he would get it done. I cant make him do it and I cant do it for him. :( So frustrated. I married him not her!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2010 at 9:06PM
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why not go to court and get visitation rights established, no one has rights to keep his child for 3 weeks, what does the custody agreement say?

as about families tied, I think it is not only DH's and BM's but also DH's family fault.

If my brother chose my ex over me and went to ex's house for holidays but never to mine I would be devastated and I just don't see it happening. My brother is friends with my ex, but i cannot imagine him not talking to me because of ex this or that. I am still his sister.

DH's and BM's families are very strange people. I would not marry in a situation like that, no way. Did you know all this before marrying?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 6:27AM
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The_Mrs._2009, you are in such a painful situation! By kowtowing to BM, your DH is delivering a message to the whole family that of his two wives, one of them comes first in his life--and that wife isn't you. Ouch. Does your DH realize what his actions say about the degree of respect he feels for you, and the degree of caring he has for your children? And The_Mrs., whether he really does or not, his actions suggest he isn't entirely over her. Not saying he feels that way AT ALL--but someone would certainly think so, if he leaves you at home to go to events with her...in a country where legal recourse is in place to prevent one parent from withholding a child from the other one. His excuse that she will keep the child from him does not hold water.

However...if this is what he wants to do, you can take steps to nudge things in a better direction. First of all and above all, protect your own children. Don't be defensive, don't list your reasons, just act as if your kids come first, just as he does with his. So, holidays. Ask him well in advance for the time when the celebration will be. And then do it. Tell him "I don't want to disappoint the children, I'm sure you know how that feels, we can open SS's presents when he gets here." Stop being the wife who gives in, and he might be a little less of a wuss with the one who doesn't, ha!

Think about it this way. What message does it send to your kids that they must be on hold for their stepsibling? Might they be picking up that he is more important than they are? And that their mom's husband has another woman who can demand he be with her instead of his wife? Would you want that for them when they grow up and get married?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 5:09PM
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