Handling SK's sporting events and functions

newwife58September 28, 2009

At sporting events and school functions do you sit next to BM? When we arrive at baseball games or the like, DH and I sit seperately - SS8 and SS5 are free to go back and forth and visit BM when they arrive with us. I believe this is how it should be- each family has their space. BM however tries to sit next to us any way she can and if we do not sit next to her she makes a point to ask why not. This is outrageous to me- we are going through a bitter custody battle which involved her falsely accusing DH and I of punching, yes PUNCHING, the children. The boys are unfortunately all too aware that we do not get along. The only reason I can imagine that BM wants to be in our space is to make her snide passive aggressive comments and to exhibit any control over the children she can.

Am I right to think it's best for the kids for each family to maintain their space when forced to be at functions together? Of course it is necessary to be pleasant, but should BM actually be sitting right next to us? Should DH send an email to her asking her to give us our space? Otherwise she makes a scene out of trying to squeeze right next to us on bleachers or the like- it's very odd...

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That's crazy. Your DH should tell her to sit separately. Its a shame that she even needs to be told that. When my ex and I attend school functions or DD's sporting events, we always sit separately and he has never tried to sit near me and my family and I never had to tell him to sit somewhere else. It should be understood. It may be that she enjoys making you and your DH feel uncomfortable. I'm sure she is aware of how it makes you, if not your DH, feel.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 6:27PM
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If relations are good, then it's really nice to be able to sit together. I'm happy to be able to say that I reached that point with my Ex's wife, and we can honestly share in the pleasure of watching 'our' son. (Yes, that's me the BioMom using 'our' to refer to sharing my son with StepMom.)

But that's if relations are good. When they're as strained as your seem to be, then it seems silly at best --more likely passive aggressive. The kids can surely feel the discomfort, even if they can't put a finger on it.

Newwife -- Is it possible the kids' BioMom honestly believes you punched them? Because this is something one of the kids said for some strange private temporary reason, and now can't back down from since it's caused such a stink? Because it's really not unusual for kids to say outlandish things about the other household -- particularly when it gets a big reaction.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 6:59PM
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No we don't sit together but BM would/will if given the chance.

I think it's exactly what marie said, she is doing it because she knows it makes you uncomfortable.

What would happen if you guys made a point of getting somewhere with only minutes to spare? Can you make sure BM arrives before you so that she is already sitting down when you arrive?

If this isn't an option, or if BM moves to sit where you are, then DH really needs to tell her it's making everyone uncomfortable---and yes, kids can pick up on that tension for sure!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 7:04PM
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Thanks for the input.

Sweeby- I absolutely applaud your recognition of SM's role in your child's life. That is very commendable of you and I'm sure wasn't easy! It is certainly possible that BM believes we have punched the children. In fact it has been confirmed by a court ordered psychiatric evaluation she went through that she honestly believes this happend because of something 'our' 5 year old was apparently overhearad by her sister saying to his 5 year old cousin- BM's niece- back in April. Talk about a game of telephone! BM immediately called social services it was dissmissed- she called again- dismissed- she drug the kids to multiple doctors/therapists trying to get them to confirm these allegations all of which were dismissed by to date 9 different professionals. Basically "our" boys spent their entire summer being carted around by BM to various doctors trying to get them to say that we beat them. They have a TON of anxiety because of this. She refuses to listen to all documentation by professionals that we ARE NOT abusing the children and has been advised by the court to stop the "witch hunt." Anyway, when I first became involved in their lives I made a ton of excuses for her- thinking she just needed time to adjust to my role in her children's lives. I have run out of patience and compassion and appreciate the validation that sitting next to each other after everything she has put us through this summer is rediculous!

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Yikes! It's a shame that she's more convinced by that 'telephone chain' conversation than she is by everything else... What a pity for the children, for you, and even for her. She must be frantic with worry to act the way she does. When a court 'advises' -- you listen!

But it's good of you to believe her intentions are honest (though paranoid) rather than malicious.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2009 at 9:50PM
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I agree with Sweeby. At DS' events, the 4 of us sit together. But we get along. When we were battling, we avoided eachother at all costs.

You don't have to sit next to her. My X used to just stand off to the side if I was there before him and vice-versa.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 12:51PM
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We sit together depending on how things are going at the time. If BM is 'off her meds' as we say, we try to stear clear. If she's 'medicated' at the time we will sit together.

This is, of course, for the few things she actually shows up at.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2009 at 5:21PM
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Either BM is really frantic because she believes the 'abuse' is real, or she's having a major powertrip.
I'm thinking it's the powertrip, but maybe that's because our BM suffers from that behavior and so it's colouring my judgement. Anyway, I'm going with it for now. After all: Why would BM want to sit next to you if she truly thinks you abuse her children??

Maybe she's trying to show the kids that it's not her that's making things difficult, after all she's always making an effort to communicate and sit and share together, right? It's not her, it's you. As crazy as it is, the skids might just buy it (mine did for a while).

And then there's the passive aggressive attitude towards you guys; she trying to prove a point to you. She can do what she wants, sit where she wants, SHE is mum. She has a right to communicate to the children's father, blablabla..
She's probably feeling a great sense of entitlement, telling herself that she's doing it in the best interest of the children, I bet ya.

My advise is a bit different; I'd say let her sit next to you. Don't engage in this powerstruggle. If you try and establish the boundary of not sitting next to you it will only give her something to rebel against. She's not going to listen to a reasonable email from DH, if she was reasonable you wouldn't be where you are with her, so forget about asking her to not sit next to you. She will only become more fired up. She's probably hoping to get that response from you (prove to her that you're not even able to just do this for the children's sake..as she is), so don't indulge her.

Imagine if she'd sit next to you and you don't show this bothers you, stay polite, ignore her nastiness and only comment on the game the skids are playing. Put a smile on your face. It's uncomfortable and not easy to do, but it can be done ;_)

It works for us, and the skids benefit. And if you don't play her game and she doesn't get anything out of it; I'll bet she'll stop doing it. Unfortunately then it'll be something else, but you can only take it as it comes.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2009 at 11:06PM
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I wish I could say that we all sit together happily for the kids but thats not the case.
We sit seperatly at all functions. The girls always play with thier friends near BM if it is our time with them or hers at SS10 BBall ot FBall games. We do have to get a lil close sometimed after the games but, she does not speak to me. I catch her looking starring at me sometimes but thats it. I would be very uncomfortable if she tried to sit with us. She has her lil group, I have mine.
The kids try not to talk to us in front of her, and dont like to walk to close to us in front of her. Now i dont know if that is just them or her. Back on topic the woman has no reason to sit next to you.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 2:56PM
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Jess3, all that is is loyalty towards their mom. The kids don't feel like they can express love towards their dad in BM's presence. I've experienced it myself and it is very sad. My skids couldn't even acknowledge our presence at times, but we still went every time. That is all you can do.

Accept it and keep in mind that the skids do KNOW that you are there for them and they appreciate it, but they just can't show it.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2009 at 8:53PM
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