New Marriage in Serious Danger

mommyjoof3November 25, 2010

I just married my DH 6 months ago..since then its been a nightmare!! The skids ss11 sd 8 come over every other weekend sometimes 3 weekends a month. I try to be understanding because a lot has changed but weve been together and living together for over a year now. I have 3 kids of my own d10 s5 s 3. My kids are average kids, they each have their issues which I tend to as soon as they surface. My kids are well mannered and show appreciation for the little things in life and always say please thankyou as well as table manners. My dh has been working on manners with his kids for a year and they still talk with food pouring out of their mouths never say thankyou and are very rude when meeting people. weve done family outings like king richards fair six flags mini vaca in hotel with 2 pools etc..the whole time his kids are whining and crying and dragging their feet! The sd literally almost knocked over a baby at an outing to get to her dad bec i was walking near him. Every outting turns into me saying lets go home bec they ruin it for everyone. Every weekend ss does something..lighters hitting..rude wont eat food cooked(even though its something he loved a month ago) etc and has a major blow out then blames his mom for not spending time with him..these things happen at home and he is blaming dad so instead of being punished for his behaviors he is getting hugs and guilty parents are letting things slide. ex wife is constantly having to be out in her place, they can not communicate without her bringing me or my kids up...last conv. its ok her 11 yr old punched my daughter in the face bec my daughter bit her daughter a year ago during a physical altercation. She then did a search of our area and found pedifiles near us(we did this before) she called 100 times wrote emails texts and so forth asking what measures were being taken etc. After explaining we already knew as well as the ones in her area and that the children are never ALONE here she still continued to call. The ac broke at her house and she demanded my dh come fix it in may! he told her to change the batteries on the wall piece and gave her a referral to his friend. After a month of harrassing emails and texts she called the guy and he changed the battery. She has told the children and said numerous times in front of me that dh abandoned his children and her. they broke up bec on a family vaca she met and slept with another man and wanted an open relationship. she told her children he left them for me!But she kicked him out. He pays the mortgage and all of the bills including the fast food budget and fun stuff. as well as provides all their clothing for their visits. Anything we buy gets taken home and we have to constantly buy new clothes bec she will not return them. She says the clothes are second hand and throws them out. I honestly am ready to leave my husband over this crap. I love him and I really know in my heart he is the one, but I am only one person and have a right to be at peace. I work long shifts and my only real day off is sat. Her new thing is you need to spend time with your real kids on my weekend at my house for a few hours, but just the son? I dont understand it. My little ones are in bed at 7 and daughter in her own room. His son sits in my bedroom with him and they play videogames while im at work. they go to a movie..alone at least once a month. Isnt that qt? Every weekend she wants to know what were doing where were if the visits with dh are a field trip or for their entertainment. When we do stay home they want nothing to do with dh..they just wanna watch tv. Then they go home and we get taxed with phone calls. Why was my daughter told she couldnt eat in her room at 2 am, why does your wife think she can tell my kids to be appreciative and say thankyou, these are my kids and you are torturing them.They need just you not your wife and her kids, these are your children your only children and you need to stop neglecting them. What more can we do..shes either gonna get beat up or im gettin divorced!

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Well, Mj3, beating her up not only will not be a good lesson of how to have manners, but will get you arrested. Not a wise choice.

As far as divorce, that is an option. Perhaps you needed to slow things down and waited before rushing into living together and marrying. Too late for that now. Counseling may help. Blending families is never an easy thing to do. You see these kids 4 to 6 days a month...there are 5 children in the house during those days, 3 of which live completely differently than your children the other 25ish days.

That can't be easy for anybody. Add on top of that a woman who blames you for stealing her man and bullying her children ( does not matter if it's not true, the blame is there anyway). I can see why you feel like running out the door.

Your husband needs to take control of what is happening. First get the calls and texts limited. No need for husband to engage in constant contact. He does not have to accept her calls on demand nor does he have to exchange texts/emails nonstop. As for should not be emailing/texting/speaking to her at all. Serves no purpose but to fight and keep logs on the fire. Husband can go through courts to lay out a communication plan that ex would have to follow.

As far as manners, as hard as it is not too say something, stand back and let husband be the 'bad guy' who disciplines and corrects behavior violations. Yeah, food being chewed as a cow, forgetting 'please and thank-you'. Why set yourself up to be Evil Stepmom? Let husband take charge of his children. His kid does not want to eat? Not your problem. Dont' fight with the kid, he/she won't starve if they refuse to put one meal in their's husband's problem. You might even try letting husband cook and serve meals on weekends. If his kids are that frickin' picky, let him feed the family on these days.

I feel your frustration, I'd be going nuts too. Things will not get better though until husband takes a stand. He's letting another woman run his home and he's letting you be Evil Stepmom (when it comes to his kids)...time for him to step up. Only he can put a stop to all the incoming calls/emails/texts. When he either puts it off on you or shares every last little detail of them with you, he just feds the fire and sets up bio-mom and you for the fall.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 8:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

What a mess!!! No wonder you are going crazy!

Your husband needs to take charge. When his ex gets off topic of her children and onto talking about you he should just tell her "I refuse to listen to you talk about my wife and stepkids, either you stop or this conversation is over" and then hang up if she continues. When she calls him about her home repairs he should refer to the yellow pages in her local phone book. When she asks what he is going to be doing with the kids for the weekend he should tell her "I am going to enjoy time with my kids" and leave it at that. She can not control what goes on at your house and needs to stop thinking she can!!!

As for the kids let dh do all the disciplining. Let him know that you expect his children to follow house rules (no eating in bedrooms, etc.) If he refuses to correct his children on any level then counseling is a good idea. Because little monsters grow up into big monsters if nobody corrects their behavior.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 9:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your H is a whimp. I think :
1. Family counseling is needed here. So much emotion in the blended family that you need an impartial person to direct the traffic.

2. Your H and you should have a discussion about the rules in YOUR HOME. You both need to decide what rules are mandatory for all and what rules could be bent a little bit (given that his children are not in your world 24/7). When safety is concerned then as the adult you or your H will have the right to control the children. When manner is concerned then I think it is best for your H to enforce the rule.
3. He needst to let his xw know that the time the children are with him are HIS. SHe needs not to call, interfere, and check.
4. He needs to put his foot down immediately when the xw begins to discuss about YOU. He could be politely saying :"Heh, thank you for your comments, but it is INAPPROPRIATE for you to comment on my wife to me. I would appreciate if you do not do it again."

Remember, divorce carries with it many hurt feelings. So naturally there is a tendency for the x to try to destroy your current relationship. Don't take it too seriously but yet you and your H have to be firmed about your love for each other. Otherwise, you soon will be another statistic of how quick 2nd marriage fails.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 10:51AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your kids are "average" but your kid bit the SD? Ok, did shouldnt be eating in room that late, but who made your kid the boss. I can see why mom is concerned. All lot of people here talk about how bioparents can be blind to their own kids fault. I can see the aggrevation here.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 10:56AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thankyou all for the advice. I have tried almost all of these things. My dh has limited contact however the emails and texts do not stop and the phone continues to ring when the xw feels upset. We have attempted the counseling how ever xw feels the kids are not ready to talk to a professional. although I dont understand why them seeing a counselor so they have someone neutral to express themselves to she just wont do it. my daughter has been going during school and I also brought my 5 yr old outside of school, the counselor felt he was coping well and said to come back if theres any problems etc. To the person who spoke of my daughter biting. The girls were fighting as in hitting eachother and it was not found who actually did the hitting first, I am not condoning this behavior on my daughters part and she was punished by having to lose out on a family outting no phone no computer, no beach for 2 weeks. She only was allowed to eat and read. she has no history of bullying or fighting and neither does sd i believe they were both feeling territorial and dealing with a lot at the time. We had just moved into together. The issue was not the girls here but that xw justified 11 yr old ss punching her in the face by saying it was ok he did it bec etc etc. I understand that these are not my own children however I make sure when they are here that they get alone time with dad, have their own space to go to, and are nurtured to my best ability. the main rules of the house have been explained to all kids at one time from my dh. As far as bed times and certain privledges allowance and so on it is by age and maturity. My children get an allowance when they complete all daily tasks and homework. For his kids who are only here on weekends they just do small things like help clear table put away their clothes make beds etc. and they too can get an allowance. My dh has done almost everything he can to try and make things run smooth, how ever the skids that leave are different from the skids who come back. every week seems to be a new issue and every week we find a solution. My sd is very needy and young minded for 8, she does baby talk and acts like she doesnt know the rules. dh deals with this by explaining them again and telling her consequences for not following. As well as making sure she feels comfortable and loved. The major issues are not the skids, it runs deeper and out of reach of solution. Xw continues to tell kids that their dad needs to spend time with his real kids and not new family, but doesnt make sure she includes them in the new family. She is going out of her way to make sure they feel left out and grain it in their heads that if dad cared hed be home(her house). If kids have issues xw will call which is ok dh wants to be included in kids lives but its not how can we help them, it becomes this is your fault bec..5 yrs ago you werent home enough. Or you stayed in your office too much and dont know them, but she didn mind being able to spend 10k a month, or having a car just for the beach. Or that when she said going to the beach all day was too draining and she was tired, he hired a housekeeper for her. She tells the kids he was never home, but he worked from home and he changed diapers picked up at school did homework everynight etc etc. and she did not work. She is the problem and she can not be fixed. The best thing that could happen is she remarries asap. So I can have peace restored to my lives and she stops focusing on alienating my dh to make the kids feel abandoned and insignificant.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 3:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

From a mans point of view it looks like he has taken some stand and is working to create a new family. You can only do your best with a situation. You are not around sk often and when they come back you have to start over. What can you do about that. NOT much the bio mom has all the control and it sounds like she is a twisting the kids up. How long was he married to the Bio? I know that when I was married it took me years to get out of how my ex could mess with my head. Some good advise above he needs to control the discipline for it to work. Tip: If he doesnt see it WRITE IT DOWN so he can review it later with a clear non defensive head. He will appreciate it he will feel bad for missing what he should be seeing and hopefully work hard at correcting stuff. This should not end in Divorce thats Whimpy if you love him and he is the one. Then you will be able to find your weakness together and build up where the other is lacking.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 4:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes thats what I should do carry a pen and paper around and jot down everything they do so they not only feel weird but scrutinized..I think dad should just pay attention when kids are around so that I dont have to be the one seeing these things. Dad should also make certain kids are following the rules he and I set in place, then kids are less likely to buck them. Although the majority of times the kids are well behaved when dad is in the room he does see stuff and not say anything and when he walks away they do their stuff as if saying f you lady dad just saw me and said nothing. Also dad should always check with me when making plans because I do have a life of my own. to tell me the visiting schedule for the next 2 months is set already without even consulting me is really unfair. Esp around xmas time and so on. The only advice I am really seeking is how can I keep my family together and running smoothly with less stress and without having a nervous breakdown. I no longer acknowledge EX even if she comes to pick up the kids. im not rude I just steer clear because Im not even giving her the chance to comment on anything esp things that are not her business. The best interest of the skids is not her priority. Her priority is to keep up appearances and make it look like everything is perfect and I am the other is what it is.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2010 at 7:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You can't control her or her intentions, or your Dh & his. The only one you can control is you. I suggest reading up on detachment with love, or if that's pushing it detachment.

Best of luck. Time is on your side as they are younger. But you are allowing her behavior to push your buttons. Step back and leave it up to DH to handle all disciplining & behavior correction (unless they are in immediate danger).


    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 1:06AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks cat i did try this and its just not a possible solution for us bec dh is afraid of his kids hating him. Dh kids also make up stories to justify their actions and he will just believe it and drop it. exp. kids cant have food drinks in had a drink in rm..i told dh and he asked her she said it was in her school bag and she just took it out..dh was satisfied..I then took dh aside and said her back pack didnt come in the house its in the car!he throws his hands up like dammit..but punishes her by telling her not to do it again or shell get punished..but only for the drink not the lie. Im not like crazy strict..but this is my first house and i have put all of my money into it..its all brandnew and id like to keep it nice..the kids obv dont understand these things bec theres money trees and all but my dh and I do not just make up rules as we go along. The rules are made the reasons are you think these are unfair? No food or drink anywhere but dining rm or is to be eaten at the table using manners and no tv. tv goes off at 10pm in all rooms. Everyone gets a snack and a drink before bed than brush teeth..nothing else except water until going outside without are not allowed upstairs(my bedroom dads office ) everyone sleeps in THEIR bed no cooking without adult..have to shower daily. everyone cleans up their own stuff. and then just stuff they know not to do swearing hitting theyre not allowed in eachothers rooms

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 4:35AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I get it. You and your kids are perfect, his are monsters. Yet you threaten to beat up the kids, and to walk around writing down everything they do, to make certain the kids realize they are being scrutinized.

DH doesnt sound like he really parents -- all he can do is take kids on trips, play video or leave them alone while they play TV. Dont they bring homework or school projects over that he can supervise their work on?

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 8:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No, I'm not saying you & your DH detach. I'm saying YOU detach. If not with love-not always possible-just detach.

It is a process and I had to do a lot of reading about it
& talking with others here about it before I could get there.

As far as the rules, well everyone sets up their household differently. For me it's a bit strict. No the rules don't sound crazy strict but if it's going to work eventually you have got to let go and let your husband do the enforcing-and if something in your home gets destroyed your husband will have to replace it immediately-period. That said kids ruin stuff-they just do. This is the first time in my life I have had new furniture because we finally have a kid free house! We had really tough heavy sturdy wood (read not pretty) furniture our entire marriage. And it gets worse and they get rougher when they are teens!

Let your DH dole out the punishments on his kids and if you don't like the way he does it-let things unfold naturally. He will get it eventually. Right now you are just setting yourself up to be the meanie. Just try it for 1 month. Completely step back from the enforcer role. I think things will be better and you will be a lot less stressed. This may involve just walking away or getting in your car and going for a drive and a lot of biting your tongue. But I think if you want to stay married and you want the kids to eventually blend into a family situation you will have to this.

It does not mean they are allowed to be disrespectful of you (again husband must insist they ALL treat you and each other respectfully) or your home but DH has to address it and deal with it. And the same rules should apply to all the kids, but it seems like that is the case.

Talk with him and see how he would feel about this as it seems your situation is getting to the boiling point.

Best of luck!


    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 10:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kkny….. she didn’t say her kids are perfect at all. She has issues with his kids being disrespectful and not obeying. She threatened to beat up the EX if you read it.
And I said to write stuff down and she was replying to that saying she didn’t like the idea.
By the way I didn’t suggest you do it in front of the kids just so that you arnt like “it happened 15 times and you didn’t see one of them.” I am sure you can discretely make a note or take a break like the lady said send him a text. He needs to know when to step in when he is not in the room and this stuff happens.

I don’t think from the sound of it that is all the DH does with them either.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 3:25PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

kkny if you can not fully read and process what I am saying please keep your advice to yourself. I would never tell them that i was going to beat them up! So please solicit your one sided advice else where..I have said my kids are average with their own issues, that sd and daughter have been in physical fights, that ss has punched daughter in her face..I did not say that my kids are perfect and his are monsters. By the advice you are giving and your comment Im going to have to assume that you have kids with a step mother who you dislike and who you feel is treating your kids unfairly. Maybe you should put up your own post and get some solid advice for your own personal issues before giving a step mom who really wants to provide a stress free nurturing environment for ALL of the kids terrible non-fact based opinions and assumptions. I do for his what I do for mine..its not all bad but this forum is for advice..I dont need advice on the good stuff..but to get that good stuff I had to work hard! When the kids adjust and start feeling good about things exw has talks with them and suggests feelings of being the old family. Ex tells kids dads house should be like a mini vaca and that I should mind my buisness bec theyre not my kids. Even if I didnt marry their dad, say I was ex friend I wouldnt allow them to do these things, as no adult would. If a kid came to my house and acted this way i would send them home.If they did these things at school there would be major consequences. Its only a problem because exw makes small things like thankyou reminders or telling her son not to touch lighters etc etc into me needing to mind mine and worry about my own kids. skids are always going to take the victim role when talking to mom. Theyve already learned that if they get into trouble they just have to say they miss dad or moms not giving them time etc etc to get a big hug and let off. Skids would never tell mom that they enjoy spending time with me or my kids because they are being conditioned into a mind set that theyd be betraying her. i know that i would never go against something I heard my mom say like that woman etc etc. I would adopt my mothers feelings because Id want her to see that Im only loyal to her.The weekend when I tried to have dh do all the talking to them they were very sneaky and testing the grounds, but they also felt left out and were both extremely emotional, teary eyed and having a difficult time. They felt I was paying attention to them and that I was ignoring them.If I say for them not to do something I always give them an explanation. I dont nag at everything they do, i pick my battles. The skids arent the only ones who are getting spoken to, My kids are being reprimanded for things to. The frustration I feel isnt because they are doing wrong. Its because they continue to do the same things over and over no matter who tells them not to do them. I take into consideration their ages as well I feel that an 11 yr old shouldnt need constant reminders to go shower brush teeth etc etc. I feel an 8 yr old shouldnt act like a toddler and pretend not to know how to do anything just so she doesnt have to do it. The kids do not bring projects or homework over. They dont usually have any to do. We do do arts and crafts painting making things and other stuff.However they only want to watch tv or play on computer the majority of the time and expect us to entertain them take them to mall movies etc. We also do these things but were not gonna do them every weekend. I dont think walking around in a mall buying a kid things they want is QT or taking them places that they say are boring or refuse to go on rides etc etc is a good time for anyone because it turns into crying and complaints. Unless DH takes them somewhere and buys them things or spends money the kids say theyre not spending time with him. Exw told dh to come up alone tomorrow and take only son to do something fun. They just left Sunday and ss spent weekend in his room watching tv or in our room hanging with just dad.dh invited him to grocery store and ss said no he wanted to watch tv. How is that not quality time? None of the other kids are allowed in my room and we allowed it for 1 on 1 time. I firmly believe that when ex wants to go see bf or go shopping alone (on her weekend)that she manipulates skids into thinking they get no time with dad.Or if time with dad isnt alone at a movie or something fun it doesnt count. Because when he goes to get ss or sd she will say ok ill be back in 5 hrs im going out with some friends, or will go to bfs for a quickie. These plans are things that were previous planned bec skids talked about them like mom is going to lunch or moms meeting with the girls on sat etc etc. I have seen her use kids numerous times by saying oh the kids said this but when he asks kids they really dont know what he means and then hell explain like well your mom said....and then theyll say ohh yeah!but then he will say well how bout i come get you on..and then it becomes a negotiation of this and that..well what will we do? where will we go? After this ex always has a specific time that shed like him to come and go..bec its really about her getting to do what she wants when she wants. i know first hand how hard it is to be a single mom and breaks are necessary.half her weekends kids are with her mom. So I think if she needs a break she should just say I need a break, not kids feel neglected or said this when in fact she said these things to them! For me I had absolutely no help and support. My dh pays motgage and gives her what a middle class person makes weekly. He also provides all their clothing for when we have them, he shares transport and goes to all of their school activities, if he doesnt have them on the weekend he visits with them and takes them to dinner during the week.He calls and talks to them everynight about their day school etc etc. And ex always tries to have conversation with him about nothing. Yes communication is important and he needs to stay informed about activities emotions dr visits etc etc. But if shes mad at him she will not update him. he has asked her to bring kids to counseling she refuses but made up stories along the way. He offered to do it and she said she already had one..2 months later still no counseling but said she took them kids said they went to an office but they didnt take insurance. then she says son is angry emotional and having issues..well duh why not let him go to counseling..What does she have to hide? if you see your child is bottling things up and exploding why not give them tools to cope? It makes me wonder if the reasons she turns everything on us is bec she feels guilty for her own actions. I wonder if shes afraid of them getting counseling because then shed have to face reality that not everything is our fault and shes responsible for a lot of it too. Her mother and her have both done separate conditioning on the dh spoke to her about some inappropriate things and research she did with his searching me and my family my ex etc etc on the internet.she denied these things saying ya right..and these kinds of things have telling each child privately that shell take them on trips bec they need a vacation and then tells them all the feelings that she knows they are feeling..because Dh and I are treating them like 2nd best and dont care etc etc.. is she afraid that they will find out she is manipulating the kids little by little into believing that dad doesnt care and thats why he remarried to start over. That they arent good enough so he had to get more kids. That he does more for my kids than his because he loves them more. she purposely lets son over hear her talking to room mate about cs and how dh supposedly never helped with kids before divorce. How he was never there for them etc etc. I know these things are def going on because ss has told me in exact words exw used when she told me that dh was never there..and when I asked SS why he thinks that.. he gave me her exact explanation..when he was 2 dh did...after baby 2 dh no longer...then I asked him well who picked you up from says dh..who brought you ccamping, mall friends house cook who took care of the pool ss=dh i said hmm sounds like dh has helped. SS then said well my mom said to.soandso...and I said sometimes us moms are very upset about things we cant control or we see things differently looking back bec we are so hurt right now. i said your mom was prob just venting out to her friend her feelings at the time. maybe you should talk to her and tell her you heard her. I said I wasnt there during that time so I dont know. the only people who really know are your parents. So maybe try talking to them..these are the kinds of conv ss has with me on a reg basis..along with news of his friends school..stuff he did or watched questions about stuff he saw on tv etc.exw says kids tell her everything..but ss talks with me and when he gets to things that I know are not my place to talk about I say well you should talk to your mom about that..he will say he cant talk to her about it bec she will get mad or he doesnt feel said he watched csi (or something like it) and a girl was raped assaulted and murdered. He want to know what rape meant. So after declining to talk to his mom we talked to dad and dad explained things best he could to an 11 yr old.A week later exw said that her kids never knew before i was in the picture what assault was..she was referring to my eh who was in jail for domestic abuse. So I said to dh if they have been watching csi and things like that they were exposed way before me. Did she think an 8 or 11 yr old who sat thru episodes daily would not figure it out or ask questions? Csi is murder death suicide rape drugs every crime you can think of..but again i am to blame.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 10:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow you sure are dealing with a lot and as a child psychologist and women's advocate I advise that everyone should be in counseling with the exception of the younger two. I have dealt with these issues for a long time and I can see you have serious hostility problems with ex wife, as frustrating as it is she has final say in everything. I would support your accusation questions if step son is confiding in you it is because he is questioning the things being said to him by mother (this is good when being conditioned).As for the step daughter, she is the one you need to worry about! Most likely mother will move on from ss and move onto sd for full effect! She has to prove both kids are suffering to make people believe its all dad and none her. Sd will believe everything her mother tells her because she is not mature enough to understand that mom doesnt know everything. So if mom says it, its LAW in her eyes. Most important things to watch out for in children being conditioned is withdrawal. You mentioned, when you go places they ruin it. This is part of withdrawal, they feel guilty about having fun and have conflicting feelings about what they will tell mom. First instinct at this age it truth and Sd does not want to lie to mom or betray their bond, so she will sabotage her own fun. You will see periods throughout the day where she is having fun because her love for dad or friends, family will make her forget temporarily. The moment she thinks about mom she will revert back to being sad, not wanting to play. For older children such as ss, when being conditioned they do similar things but will be more dramatic and defiant. Older children question everything and process things better. the older child will mostly make up excuses why they dont want to. ex. I dont feel good, my leg hurts, im tired. They will lie or blame someone else. I dont want to because step brother/sister is going. I was up all night. I dont like that. Its boring. If the excuses arent working,they then will negotiate in their heads. Well I will go if dad leaves step home. I will go if Im getting something. They negotiate unrealistic things, and things parents most likely wont agree to. They do this to justify not going and feel in control of conditioning. They lie about it because they dont want either parent to get mad. Mom wont feel betrayed and dad cant be mad if i am sick. I honestly think you are correct in assuming someone is doing some major manipulation here, but it may not be just mom, or not mom at all. From the sounds it is mom and grandma, but they may not even be aware they are doing it. Some people with personality disorder or other mental issues actually believe the things they say. I would need a lot more information though. When did x wife begin to insult you/ your children? Was it right away or did something happen? How long did grandma have contact with you and husband and was it necessary at first or was it random or in a manipulative way. Meaning did she directly call you or did she call and hang up then youd call back and shed say oops sorry but converse anyway? Did she send emails or suggestive texts that would say things similar to the situation, but be addressed to someone else.Like unsolicited advice? What kind of actions did you take to stop it? What kind of places did she show up at? church, kids activities, family functions? Now about ex wife: You said she calls over and over? Are you answering the calls? Have you ever had a fight? What are her main triggers? Does she only call when she actually sees you? From your posts I can see that ex wife is making every thing an emergency. She has a basic concern for her children, but is using it for excessive contact. She will continue to do this with out help because as long as she is talking to your husband and it doesnt matter the topic, she will get a feeling of being his priority. Even if shes using concerns as a foot in the door, if you find the topic is always shifting to her personal life or your husband's then you should both be on guard and careful when speaking with her. Limit phone calls to necessity. Such as pick up and drop off, or during an emergency or when your immediate attention is needed,emails and texts should not be used because she is more likely to lash out and she will have time to manipulate her intentions into them. This can be hard because you may think it is easier to just email her, but by sending emails your giving her something to read over and over, by doing this you are unknowingly causing future problems and out bursts from her. She will read these and become angry again and again, bringing up resolved issues as if youve never spoken about them before.(classic personality disorder)Emails also give her access to you 24 hours a day, by phone shed be less likely to use at 2-3 am when she is upset about something and looking for someone to blame. Texting allows her to speak to you over a period of time and is like an invitation to contact you just because. She will try and use happy moments to rekindle what she lost during divorce. Ex. She will say SS got an A on his test, or SD got lead in the play. These are things your children will share with you, how ever she will immediately call you because she will take your excitement for the children as being happy with her.(this doesnt always apply esp in children under 6) This kind of thing also makes you and the kids talk less about their achievements. Other things that may happen is when ex becomes intimate with someone, a competition takes place. She will push her partner on the kids almost immediately. She will tell kids he is paying(even if he isnt) or will have kids thank him numerous times. She will plan things and act like he surprised her. She will do these things to force kids to like him. She will talk to children non stop about partner until she is completely sure they like him. If kids state they do not like him or show signs she may start buying things while out with partner than saying partner got it. She may even go as far as a Disney trip to secure their feelings. All the while the partner has never even done more than have dinner or just be there. Ex may try and speak of intimate details, do not allow it. At pick up or drop off ex might be dressed provocatively or bring new partner. Ex will make it a point to tell you about trips or vacations she is planning, even if its 2 years away. She will try and sneak it into visiting call by saying
oh on such a day I am going with my partner to. This is all to try and get a rise out of you. It is to make you see how good she thinks she is in hopes that you will question your marriage/ life. Ex can not help these actions and most do not know they are doing it. It isnt until extensive therapy that they begin to reflect and see their behaviors.

My advice on ss and sd. SS should not be calling mom all weekend long. This is not healthy for her or him. They need time apart.It makes her believe that he is unhappy or not being cared for even if he is only returning a call. It allows her to track his weekend and manipulate his stay without having to be there. If x has been conditioning she will know ss trigger words. Like oh I know you hate it but courts say you have to go. Its only for the weekend and you can come home where your loved. I know your dad isnt paying attention to you. Punishments and consequences should primarily be dad but sm should never take the back burner. Believe it or not if you want to bond or be respected by his kids, do not be silent. Serious issues or physical violence should be handled by dad and then passed to mom for further speakings. (even if mom doesnt do anything about it)Ex will justify kids actions by blaming DH, she will say it only happens at his house and will refuse to punish them for it. If it happens at dads it stays at dads. This becomes ingrained in skids. They now know that they can get away with pretty much anything as long as its done before pickup. Get out of trouble free card. Do not be distressed about this. Do not punish them next visit. Punishment should never be dealt out weeks later with children unless they did something above and beyond kids stuff. Ex Do not punish them for leaving rooms a mess, instead take whatever they left out and put it in a box. eventually they will see they dont have anything. You can then explain that next time you will throw it away. They will remember this because of how they felt when they couldnt find their things. Its not being bad, its just normal kid behavior. If they are to do something severe like physically harm another person, immediately give consequences! Sit child in a chair facing a blank wall while you tend to hurt child. When hurt child and other children are in another room speak to the child who did the hurting. Always start basic, why did you do that? explain theres no excuse for what you did.Tell child it was wrong. Remind them that they can come to an adult for problems. Make sure they apologize and see the damage they caused. You then think of a punishment that will affect the child and force them to think about their actions. Id suggest for younger children a corner or timeout chair. Do not let them off punishment until they can tell you what they did, why they did it, why it was wrong and what they will do differently next time. you should ask and have them give the answer. If the child is answering wrong or easily distracted, repeat the question give the answer and give them more time. You can use this in older children too, but isnt as useful because they know right from wrong. For older child remove all fun stuff from room, do not allow any tv or electronic use.Take mattress off bed(your choice). Doing all of these can be very affective. The point of this is they can not lay down or rest comfortable(do not let them sleep)they have nothing but thoughts. Keep other children away from room,tv or radio low so child can not hear them. All of these things give a feeling of isolation and will freeze time to a child. If you feel bad allow them an educational text book to read. bible or even a book on hitting and anger. if your child gets violent or starts to scream yell or talk back about or during punishment, you can have bio parent hug child until they are calm. Once calm you add 15-30 minutes onto punishment. Every time they yell or come out or call you, you add 10-15 minutes. Check on them every 15 minutes. before punishment give a drink and allow bathroom use. If punishment is very long, bring child out to urinate eat and drink. Be sure to move other kids to a different area. After they finish eating and use bathroom, remind them how much time left and walk them back to room. If ex is suppose to pick skids up during this time, offer to drive them home and speak to her about the severity, reminding her how many times it happened. Even the hardest ex to deal with will most likely agree. For those who do not, or feel you are being cruel allow them to pick up skids. Do not fight over it or argue. When ex comes to pick up, have skid explain to her what happened. This will detour skid from lying or adding things in. It will also help with exes denial of these behaviors. Either way you gave the point. Skids will remember what dad did, even if it was a short period. they definitely will not want to sit in an empty room all day.
As SM, it is not your job, but someones got to do it will not work. Dh needs to be firm and loving. Splitting of the family will do longterm damage. Dh can not be one way with wifes kids and another with his own. Doesnt matter the age or gender. Feeling guilty for punishing kids that you only get to visit with is normal. Dh needs to do it anyway and think of it as taking care of their mental health. If he allows them to break rules or gives the same punishment no matter severity, Skids will feel they can do what ever they want. Punish them now or Police will punish them later. Ss should never have had knives. If he collects them DH should have had them locked up away from all kids. When they were taken he should have been punished for taking them. Take cell phone. When he brought them to school he should have been made to do manual labor as well as losing all of his privs. This actually scares me that both DH and ew wife tried to justify this and blame each other. Ultimately if notified ex should have checked bag and removed the knives. However DH was irresponsible in letting an 11 yr old play with knives. The fact that both parents made up excuses and blamed each other left the child without proper punishment. This was not normal behavior and he knew he would be in trouble, but continued with it. Later when Dh and ex found out sound lied about knives in bag, they should have punished him again. You said in post both children have learned to manipulate. This is learned by them misbehaving and then people over analyzing the behavior. Also can be part of conditioning. Ex SS throws rock at playmate, playmate goes and tells. Ex responds by sending playmate home. Then starts to tell child punishment. Child starts crying because he feels bad he hurt friend, his friend had to go,and he knows he is in trouble. Instead of ex(or whoever is dealing with situation) saying you should feel bad for that child who you hurt. They use this window to say oh I know you're dealing with a lot,or you miss your dad, huh?, It must be so hard for you. This action has now begun changing his consequence feelings.(over time)Although some people are just trying to help, they just gave ss a loop hole. Now if SS does something wrong or is going to get in trouble he himself will say, Its so hard for me, and the other examples. Each time he will get better and so will the excuses. He will use dh on ex, and ex on dh. He will trap all adults with guilt by using his fear of consequences and tears to gain their sympathy. ex if at school he might claim to teacher that he is being bullied, what they do, how it hurts him. At home he may say I really just miss my dad. At dads He most likely will use mom.It doesnt matter if it is a lie or true (whether these things are true or were real feeling whether now or before) once he starts speaking it becomes a conversation of sympathy and understanding by the adult. The only way to actually break ss from this is to ask exact details, write them down or if you are lucky you will catch him say something that you know for a fact is not true. Do not call him a liar! You just say well and blurt out the fact and then say so how can that be true? If he is quickly rebounding with lie after lie, end the conversation with well i will call and talk to the person. By saying this you are stating that his story is going to be repeated to the person in question. You then should give him his punishment and explain no matter what goes on in life, you still have rules. SS is probably not aware of his manipulation skills. He only knows it works. When ss starts to say these things it is important to follow through and listen. The reason is because ss may be saying lies or giving excuses but ss is actually feeling the emotional pain of what he is talking about. It may be something that was a month ago or an ongoing problem. It may just be a night he planned with mom but she was too tired. It could also be the fear of losing dad or the things he overheard. No matter what it is he is pulling the feeling from that moment and expressing it. Even though this is him just trying to get out of trouble, he is talking about his issues. The best way to handle this is allow him to talk, reinforce that you will talk to the person who he is crying about and then continue with punishment. Eventually he will stop using this technique because he will not have anything to gain. He will still get in trouble, and then mom or dh will speak to him about the issue. If it is a lie, it will be dealt with by the person who spoke about.

The process of blending families is not easy, but having a bitter ex in the picture makes it more difficult. The more threatened the ex feels by wife, the worse it will get. In most cases with personality disorder ex will have a secret obsession with new wife. Ive had women tell me that they would research, call family members, question kids, they would do anything to destroy new marriage. They would pick at every thing whether good or bad. Some would throw away items, gifts picked out by wife. If children brought up new wife these women said they would automatically tell kids new wife was wrong or degrade her to children. Some said they wouldnt even let the kids speak of it and would shut it down or walk away.Most of these women explained feeling of extreme jealousy and envy. The symptoms they experienced were that of a stalker. Infatuation, the need to know, urge to seek out, wanting to talk to wife or hurt wife. Most admitted to picturing wife nude with dh during intimate moments. Some said every time they had intercourse new wifes image would flash through their heads. The severely ill ones would actually commit physical violence even after 5-10 years. One ex told me that every time she would see wife, she would become flush, her heart would beat violently and she would get shaky. She was only able to hide this by making pick up drop off very short. Almost all of these women kept their wife infatuation to themselves. Never once told another person because they wanted to be able to deny the feelings. they felt if they denied the feeling it wouldnt be true. Some said the new wife was very beautiful. loving , caring, and theyve never seen ex so happy. They all had feelings of being inadequate as women and mothers. The part that I have found most alarming in these patients is almost all of them with very few exceptions were unfaithful or initiated the divorce. Over half of them have never told their ex because of hope that he will come back. All of these women had children and the ex had remarried within 2-4 yrs. 3/4 of my patients did not seek counseling or medical help until their children were teenagers. Of the women who openly talked of conditioning their children only 2 were aware of what they were doing so thats 1 out of 8 divorced women. When medicated and not depressed most women admitted that they were trying to show ex what he had done, to prove a point by making the kids feel bad and giving them excuses on why they might feel bad. 3 women told me that they prepped the kids before dads weekend, by bringing up things they wanted said in front of dad in the car. They said by mentioning their boyfriend over and over, plans or money problems, the kids would take parts of info and talk about in car or on arrival. These women said dad always asked kids about school and stuff and then would say hows your mom. the kids would then talk about the stuff she mentioned instead of shes good. They said if it comes from the kids it will hurt a lot more and by having kids mention money dad would be more likely to up support, ask what family needed or take kids shopping.

Numbers on here are just rough estimates and all information is from my own experiences and not from a study. These are all maybes and could bes. No diagnosis has been made just an assumption by using information provided in posts. All information in this post is my personnel advice and not clinical information. This post is mainly just to give you ideas and thoughts on the situation. It does not mean all information pertains to poster. Some children may have symptoms of conditioning who have not been conditioned. Do not use this information to make accusations legally, or verbally.If you suspect a child is being conditioned a counselor would be able to determine whether or not it is true. If it is found to be true the counselor will take measures to help. Personality disorder is not uncommon in these situations, but can not be diagnosed with out seeing and speaking to a patient. It is also common for children who develop personality disorder to have multiple mental illnesses and in most cases parents have one or more as well. In this post there is a mother and grandmother who both exhibit symptoms of a mental illness, but some symptoms may occur with normal body changes and functions and this is not a diagnosis. I do not suggest you do or do not get a divorce. I would also like to inform you that longterm stress can lead to many other complications and health issues. So take a vacation!

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 4:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

To kkny I am wondering why you are bothering to post advice on a forum without first reading it? Do they have a bitter ex-wife forum on here where you may rant and rave? When talking with people please remember that they ARE NOT your ex's wife or your children's SM. Have you had some counseling to help alleviate you of your issues? Just by reading your comment its quite obvious that you are the ex wife who pushes steps into these forums. Im sure your children are perfect and the exes steps are monsters, the step mother must have framed your children! Your comment about her being blind to her childrens faults or who made her daughter boss was completely off. One had nothing to do with the other. Do you get drunk and go write in forums? Anyways I also thought I should let you know that mommyjoof husband is not your ex!! Do you feel like you are getting revenge by being a PEW and acting as though this is all about you? Do you know how many parents choose not to discipline their kids? As a choice not as being lazy. Discipline is important, but it is only a small piece of parenting. If you read these posts you would know her dh does more than a lot of men. Just because they dont have custody of skids doesnt mean shes the evil step mother. They also just married. You probably have no idea what she is really dealing with because had you remarried you would not be posting bitter remarks on here. I really feel terrible for you because in just a few lines I can tell how miserable and sad you must be. Your husband left you remarried, her kids are perfect next to your monsters. They probably only took your kids for weekends and then after trying for a while he decided it was in the best interest to cease contact. Not because he didnt love his children, but because he didnt love you. After dealing with your bitterness, your inability to cooperate, your frustrating complaints your lack of self control and respect he realized something. One day his kids would grow up, and they would understand his choices. They would be old enough for the truth. It has probably been agony for him to be without them, but you have caused enough unhappiness in his life and he was sparing the kids the alienation, the hostility, and the weekend transitions where his new wife probably cried herself to sleep because you had poisoned your kids to the point that having them over became hazardous to her health. Im sure you didnt think when he said I want a divorce he was serious. It prob didnt even bother you when he moved out and had a girlfriend. You probably got along fine before she took on the title of wife. She has you husband who is officially hers, her cute kids and the life you want. Of course you couldnt allow her a bond with your children because then youd be all alone with no one to tell you they love you. Well you got what you wanted.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 6:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hmm Alley, you and OP both new members, same writing style.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 7:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

yup thats me?!?! I go on forums under all different accounts to give myself advice? Thats just dumb. Im actually here to get some real solid advice and have gotten plenty. I have also been able to talk about things that most people just dont get.I already feel less stressed and better about the situation. Venting does that lol There is hope after all:) KK i dont mind someone telling me that im doing something wrong. Its why I am here to see what i am doing wrong and how i can help or fix it. i would just ask that you actually read it and give a real opinion of what is typed. Alley ty for all that info I really do appreciate it. Im not sure on the punishment you suggested though because the kids all share their rooms. If someone did that to my kids I would be really mad. Its borderline abuse in my book. Cat thankyou for the ideas and support I am going to take baby steps into withdrawing in the punishment area. Im doing this because our kids have been through enough and it is just stressing me and them out. Theyre only here on weekends and I dont want them to feel like all I do is punish them. My dh and I have talked and come to an agreement that something has to change because its just not working out. Ive been reading all the forums and see that the skids mother is probably adjusting too. maybe shes having a tough time. I will try and be more sensitive to it. Ive also noticed my ss using guilt to get out of trouble but after thinking long and hard about it and researching it and reading my post and these I dont think hes been conditioned. I just think hes a really smart kid who wants to make everyone happy and likes to listen to his moms private conversations. My sd is very loving to her dad and everyone around her. When we go places shes not doing the happy sad thing because of mom. I think its more she wants dads attention and this is how shes getting it. She follows him around and wants to be with him the whole weekend. I dont think she would do this if someone was conditioning her. After thinking long and hard about how far I came after I chose to divorce my own ex. I put myself in her shoes and pictured her house. If shes anywhere but her room my ss will be able to hear her. Im starting to think he is telling me these things not because theyre being said to him, but because hes sneaking around to hear mom on the phone or something. So who else can he tell but me without mom catching him? The stuff hes hearing may not be true but it could just be how she remembers feeling or he could be adding extras in there. So im not going to take the things hes saying and let my mind wander. i will just listen because if these are her personal feelings and not something shes saying to him then she has a right to them. SS might have only heard parts. He told me she was saying old and new family dad loves new kids more, it could have just been her talking to her mom about things she was afraid the skids were feeling. Im going to try to view her as a person and not as my enemy. Maybe making these changes will help skids adapt better and make things easier. ill let you know.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 9:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Stopped reading part way through OP's last posting and never bothered to get into the one that followed. Not enough coffee this morning to wade through mile long postings without breaks in presentation.

I left off on this statement -- "Its because they continue to do the same things over and over no matter who tells them not to do them. I take into consideration their ages as well I feel that an 11 yr old shouldnt need constant reminders to go shower brush teeth etc etc. I feel an 8 yr old shouldnt act like a toddler and pretend not to know how to do anything just so she doesnt have to do it."--

Yep, gets old real fast, but is it something let take center stage in everything else that is going on? Nope, should not have to, BUT if the weekend mood depends on a on it...let the annoyance slide off. So kid is 10, should not have to be reminded. Give them the reminder moves on.

Seriously, text the hubby and say 'hey, it's time for showers and bedtime routine'. Let him wander in and announce 'time guys, tonight so and so goes first'. Better to make it a planned routine than to make an issue of it or play 'will they remember'.

It's the little things.

I can actually see a need for Dad to spend a bit of one on one with each child. Maybe one time Dad can take the girls to run errands, a walk in the park, a time the boys. Rather watch tv? Not an option. Kids will not run home and tell Mom , Dad made us go for walk in the park. If they do, well at least he made time for them.

I really think the communication needs addressed between Dad and Mom. If it takes a court order, then it takes a court order. No, can't call 24/7. Nope can't be shut out of school updates...Dad can communicate with teacher/school without Mom's blessing. Dad can set times and days to phone his kids (via court order if necessary) to talk to kids and get their self updates.

As to the drinks/food in the bedrooms or elsewhere...I get it. New house you've worked hard to acquire, proud of it blah blah. But it is a home, not just a possession. Accidents happen, carpets can be cleaned, items can be steamed. It's not the end of the world. No one wants rules broken and one feels disrespected when rules are ignored.

I get all that, I really do. Kids are kids and they don't run like little programed robots. They do stupid things, they forget (or deliberately disobey) kids who never live in blended families do the same things. They really do.

Maybe counseling for OP on her own to learn to pick 'the battles' and how to deal with the chosen ones in a productive manner might help. If nothing else, as Cat suggested, it will help OP put things into a true sense of what is what and how to deal with it and what to let go.

Based only on what OP is saying, BM is not doing her children any favors here. Daddy is not going to 'come home' no matter what game she plays nor what agenda she sets her kids up for. How unfair to tell kids they don't have to listen to OP? That's why it is very important to do things like text Dad and it is him who announces. Take away the power of the game.

Plan the visit to be on a postive arrival. Pleasant greeting, general remiders given in a new way "I've got some great snacks for this weekend that we'll be eating in the kitchen before bedtime routine."

And for Pete's sake...why are there lighters laying around in a home where there are toddlers! Not only is clicking lighters annoying, somebody might burn your house down. Can't click if not available to click. Yep, kid will find something else...tap foot, drum fingers on the table. Little things, let them go. Excuse yourself and take that drive Cat suggested. If kid was doing it on purpose, you just removed the fun, if he did it unaware...well it least it can't bug you.

Oh, and as an aside, stop tossing rocks at is KKNY's opinion, scroll over it if you don't agree with her. Little things in life, learn to let them go. Your life goes on no matter what she, me or anyone else here writes and/or thinks.

It's a public message forum, we all have different ideas, come from different situations and see things from different angles. When one comes here one opens themselves up to be advised, criticized, read between lines on possible things not really said blah blah. Posters call it as they see/hear it. Think of it as the kid clicking the lighters...don't feed into it.

****Waves to KKNY*** you've not been on much of late, hope all is well with you and yours.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 10:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Just me ty. I finally had a chance to sit down and actually read all of this. Fyi the lighter was not from my house it was from home. These are some great suggestions. Every time I get another I feel a little better because its one step closer to finding what works. As far as the shower battles. Even when dad tells them its a big deal. They had issues with the soap and the shampoo. So we got them the kind they use at home. Then they had issues with the time. So again we said if you want it in the morning do it! If you dont you will have to take it at night. Dad has been initiating showers but only after me saying hey ss or sd hasnt showered or brushed their teeth at all. If I dont say it it will not get done and this is bec dad never had to tell them at home, they have a routine and just do it. Also mom washes up 8 yr old. So if she showers dad or i have to go in and say wash ur hair use soap, dont dump the shampoo.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2010 at 6:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

And these are the stories that I pray never start with My name as the exwife.. I could not be a step mom, I think you ladies that have to deal with garbage like this must be supermom's and amazing wives because I just really don't know if I could do it or if I could love another person's children. I know that sounds awful but I am honest and I do not have stepchildren, so I can say that..

I think that one more opinion might not help you but I will say this, I think that the problem is your husband has not set boundaries with his ex. I had to do this with my mom. I am serious. I love her but I am 30 and she cannot run my life anymore. I do not answer her phone calls unless it is sunday. She leaves me messages, I listen to make sure everyone is still breathing ok.. I do not respond to her emails. She stopped emailing. And she knows that on sunday's I will call her after I have gotten my kids in bed and have time to myself. So maybe he should set those same type of boundaries.
You set up 1 day or 2 days a week for co-parenting "phone" meetings. Don't do email.. you will just get lost in the words. And your husband is not responsible for her a/c.. if she is desperate enough, she can find google and/or a phone book...

I think the word BOUNDARIES.. is much needed here..
As far as the kids, I have nothing for you there.
Is there any way at all you can have his kids when yours are not with you? at their dad's or set up a system with a friend or relative to keep the kids so you can have only one set of kids at a time? unfortunatly both sets of kids need 1 on 1 quality time with their parent.. and they can't get it if they are struggling to fight over 1 person with 4 or 5 other kids.. Put the kids first, work out something so you can save your marriage.

I really think blended families should have to wait a lot longer than a year to get married.. it needs to be a very slow process.. I have seen a lot of people that are so excited cause the kids play well together, have so much in common until they have to share a room or a bathroom and then all heck breaks loose..

the kids aren't going to behave for you because they are trying to make you miserable. Their own mother is making them miserable by grilling them for information as soon as they walk in the door and has probably got them terrified to even "think" about liking you. What a shame for those kids.. I grew up like this and it's one of my "boundary" issues with my mother..

good luck

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 3:59AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Appreciated reading your input , tho, yikes was long and hard to wade thru....Your imput was scary, my life...Question tho, in your practice...Do these ex s ever change???? Weddings, grads, births, been thru these life changes, and nothing ever changes..Kids are old enough to get it,nobody gets it... Ex still dragging a$$ to court, almost FUNNY to see a GRANDMA now dogging I NEED my CHILD SUPPORT...Baby is 20 something!!!! EX still goo goo eyed looking at my EX like he s Justin Timberlake or somebody....What does it take???????

    Bookmark   November 28, 2010 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sorry but most of the time the ex does not change. I have found that these women will back off and ease up when in new relationships or if re married. Sadly if things do not work out or can not compare to DH they will just cycle and continue to do these things. If new relationship is unsatisfying or the ex becomes unhappy she will also become unstable. So if you think youre making progress and moving on to a better co parenting relationship continue with guards already in place. Court orders or orders to remain from harassment should be kept in place. If you do not have any of these like dotz said, set up boundaries. The stricter you enforce them with ex the better you will feel. The problem in these situations is DH will normally worry that these restrictions will allow ex to think she no longer has to inform him about his children.

However it is her responsibility as a mother to do so. If the divorce agreement states that ex and dh switch off weekends, make sure and do so. If it states mother will keep dh involved, she must to so. You can always do more than what agreed, but never do less. If your step children are grown, its now time to block the ex from phones and emails. there is no longer any need for contact. As far as skids, well theyve grown up with ex whispering in their ears. Theres nothing you can do, but be pleasant when around them.

Mommyjo from your posts I can see that you and dh have been putting aside time for just him and his children. This is good! However do not send your children off and vice versa. children adapt very well when not being told what to think and feel. This would not even be an issue if the adults in their lives werent making it one. Blending a family means learning to live together, to do this you have to be together. i find it strange why your dh ex wanted him to come spend time with ss and not sd? Was there a reason? Also it is strange that this was done on her holiday weekend. Im thinking SS was not in need of dad, but ex was. Holidays will trigger the ex to yearn for what was. As I said before to her using the children as bait or pawns is not a problem. If dh goes, she will most likely try to arrange something she or the kids need help with. This is so she gets extra time with him and can feel like he is still the man of the house. If dh refuses or negotiates the day, she will verbally attack him. She will do it because he has just denied her need, but she will also be furious because in her mind what if the kids did need him? The ex who does these things is not stable. You can not talk sense or be rational with her. She will not see the issues she has or causes. To her she is right, everyone else is wrong. Some exes might manipulate or sculpt their mood or feelings and then have them call their father. Some may just explode on the Dh, depending on the level of patience and rationality. Almost always the kids father will be able to calm and reassure the children or child. When this happens it just makes the ex act worse. She is now pissed that dh was able to sooth the kids because by him calming them he has taken all her power away. I suggest having very specific days and times to see the kids and never breaking them. The only time visits should be negotiated is if dh lives far away or holidays, summer and vacations. Other than those visitations should always be routine.

Never go into the exes home or visit with the children in her home as a sitter or grandparent may do. This will either make the kids miss the way things were pre divorce or make them see dh as an outsider because he is now just a visitor.
Do not include ex in visits, dinner or plans. It gives her a feeling of being in control. Never invite the ex to your home when youve been remarried. Do not discuss your wifes ex or her childrens lives. This will keep tensions low because ex will become jealous or volatile. some will try and contact the wifes ex in order to cause problems for wife and kids.

A basic guideline for dealing with your ex or dh's ex is this. If you wouldnt tell it to the skids teacher, do not say it to the Ex.

You must also be cautious when speaking in front of the skids. Esp about money because the ex feels she deserves it. You could be paying her 75 percent of earnings and she will never be satisfied. Most ex will spend their own money on themselves and only spend cs on children. Most men paying cs and alimony are supporting 75% of the exes household and will continue to do so until kids are out of college. During this time ex will make sure to ask dh to grab this or pick up that. She will give him the more expensive items on the wish list at holidays. Anytime you reward your children or skids with money or presents always buy them first hand and be the one to give them to the child. Never reimburse the ex for these.1. she will show the court you could afford extra that week, so why not every week? 2. she will be the one doing the actual rewarding and undermining how happy or proud you are.
Do not talk about plans or vacations unless the skids are going along. A lot of times they will tell ex and she will find a way to sabotage it or will make certain to have an emergency. In some cause,(mostly older children) they will do the sabotaging.
Never allow the ex to pick up or drop off at a location where you and the family will or did spend quality time together. Such as the park or beach. Doing this will make her feel welcome and she will be more likely to intrude next time by showing up early to join in the fun. If you are taking the kids somewhere other than your home for the weekend do not be specific. If you will be at the beach house just say the state. The only time she needs to know the exact place is if the kids are flying. So you would just say where to rather than what hotel. I recommend this when you will be in close proximity especially. The ex may find reasons to come see where the kids are staying. SS forgot his teddy or sd didnt pack a toothbrush. This will be to remind kids how great she is and make your wife uncomfortable.

Never allow the ex to directly or indirectly involve herself in your wifes business. The skids are your wifes business because she is their step mother and has no choice but to know about them. The ex causes chaos and makes her life known to you and your wife. She will feel as though it is her right to know who her children are around. After she has met your wife once that itself is enough. You can even let her do a cori check. This is enough. She no longer needs to know anything else. Anything concerning your wifes kids or your wife should be kept private from the ex. Again if dh would not tell skids teacher something, or if it is irrelevant to skids directly it should never be said to ex.

Never allow ex to talk finances, bills or expenses with you. The only time this should be done is if still settling debt with both parties names involved. However her bills are now hers and yours are yours. Any thing joining you should be settled split or negotiated. The only thing dh and ex should have together is the skids.

Dotz unless your dh children are in college or he owes back support she should not be able to get it. Also if the skids do not physically reside with her. make sure you secure proof and bring it to court! Honestly now that skids are all grown up maybe you and hubby should plan to move at least 2 hours away. Not today but make it a goal. If this is not an option be sure to block her in every way possible.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 12:25AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

After Sat night with the ex calling and sending dozens of text I have come to the decision that im just not dealing with the crap anymore. I had one night out with hubby in over a month and she had to call text and guilt trip him. he chose not to go on sat because he told ss he would pick him up thurs. ss said no! Now if he really missed dh he would have gone with him. So sat dh spoke to both kids and we went out. Ex called and text saying sd wanted to talk to dh but sd was not calling it was ex. Ex began calling dh deadbeat and saying if I were a woman id understand kids need him. yup I get it..but hes followed through on all his promises and visits and even offered extra! Not my fault ss didnt want to spend time with dh unless it was the one night we had. Whatever ex can kiss it. I am through with her she even called my phone! I am no longer going to be civil. Next time she calls my phone i will be sure to make her feel stupid.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 6:49AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My DH's ex had SD call us continuously on our honeymoon... I mean at least once every hour, EVERY DAY we were gone! He refused to ignore the calls because it was his DD calling. She was 7, so obviously it was BM behind it... either allowing her to harass us or more likely (now that I know her better) encouraging it or instructing her. It was irritating to say the least but it was also very transparent that BM was jealous. (She did the same thing a year later when we went away for our first anniversary, but by then DH agreed to turn off the phone the entire trip!) and that's all you can do. Telling her something, giving her a reaction... TRYING to make her feel stupid is NOT going to do anything other than FEED her desire to get a reaction. You cannot make someone like that feel stupid... a normal person would feel stupid just thinking of how it would make them appear to be calling their ex all the time like a psycho ex. But they never see themselves that way.

She is calling him a deadbeat, she is trying to guilt him from having a life that SHE can't control. Saying "if you were a woman" are teasers... designed to get a big volatile reaction from you guys. She was waiting, anticipating the battle she was trying to create... it's exciting for her. It isn't about whether the child WANTS to see dad because he probably does.. and his mom probably made him feel guilty so he said no he doesn't want to go... but then she can use that to make dad feel guilty for not taking him anyway... and if dad took him anyways, she would have said why are you forcing him to go! It's a no win situation and poor kid is stuck in the middle & if you decide to no longer be civil, things will escalate. She will up the ante & you will get frustrated... she will enjoy the game & you will start thinking of divorce, running, getting away from the drama, etc. (unless you enjoy drama in your life) but that is not a good place for children.. his or yours.

I'd suggest that DH tell her that unless it's a life or death emergency, do not contact him. And when she does need to tell him something during an emergency, she should text it. and if she calls, don't answer it.... turn off the cell phone when you're out. Above all, don't give her any reaction... and understand that while she is playing this game to manipulate your family, she is also doing the same to her own child... using him to manipulate the situation as well. That kind of woman is NOT looking out for her child's best interest AT ALL!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 9:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

-- "Whatever ex can kiss it. I am through with her she even called my phone! I am no longer going to be civil. Next time she calls my phone i will be sure to make her feel stupid."--

Bad plan. Why does she even have your cell #? Change your number. Don't feed into it. Why give her more ammo to use against you?

Except for a few minutes of satisfication of blowing hot air, what do you seriously think will be productive and beneficial from reaming her out on the phone? Is your goal to 'protect my man' from that woman? Won't work. Husband needs to control his own phone calls/texts. He obviously is not yet ready to do that. When he is, there is a legal way to stop the nonsense of at least the communication going on.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 9:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Alleyx, that is some very good advice! Very sound, reasonable solutions to some very tricky situations that we SM's find ourselves in. Thank you.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 1:41PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks, waves to JMT, my mom is much better, now I am dealing with insurance company. GRRR

    Bookmark   November 29, 2010 at 9:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"Do not talk about plans or vacations unless the skids are going along. A lot of times they will tell ex and she will find a way to sabotage it or will make certain to have an emergency. In some cause,(mostly older children) they will do the sabotaging."

Oh so true, in our case adult SDs insist on going with us and we end up taking them (read: ruined vacation) or make dad fell guilty that he is not taking them (he is guilty the entire trip with me, read: ruined vacation), he is not taking them but is not going with me EITHER (read: ruined vacation sitting home). This year we told them 2 days before our vacation, after we already had tickets purchased and room paid for. They had no chance of ruining it. That's the way to do it.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 6:19AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"This year we told them 2 days before our vacation, after we already had tickets purchased and room paid for. They had no chance of ruining it. That's the way to do it."

If kids are not going & ex/kids might sabotage trip, I'm not sure I would even tell them at all... maybe send a postcard while on the trip & tell them when you get back. Even two days before can cause someone to lay a guilt trip that will still ruin a good time.

We planned a cruise w/SD & the day we were to leave, BM claims SD is too sick to go. All day, phone calls back & forth stressing out DH because he didn't want to go.. it was his week to have SD & he felt he needed to stay home because she was "sick", throwing up all day. We decided to make BM think we were NOT canceling our trip (though if SD really was that sick, DH would have stayed) but we told BM that my family would keep SD while we were gone since she was sick (yeah, BM didn't want to keep her because it was DH's week) and at the last minute... as I was driving to BM's to get SD, she tells DH that SD is feeling better & can go. I pick up SD & she was fine the whole trip... no sign of her mysterious illness. Looking back now four years later, knowing what BM has put SD through in the last three years, maybe SD really WAS throwing up all day... maybe BM made her feel so guilty or conflicted about going that she got physically sick. We went & she seemed to have a great time. Now I wonder if she felt guilty the whole time for being there?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"This is part of withdrawal, they feel guilty about having fun and have conflicting feelings about what they will tell mom. First instinct at this age it truth and Sd does not want to lie to mom or betray their bond, so she will sabotage her own fun. You will see periods throughout the day where she is having fun because her love for dad or friends, family will make her forget temporarily. The moment she thinks about mom she will revert back to being sad, not wanting to play. For older children such as ss, when being conditioned they do similar things but will be more dramatic and defiant. Older children question everything and process things better. the older child will mostly make up excuses why they dont want to. ex. I dont feel good, my leg hurts, im tired. "

LOL! When we went on our honeymoon, we took SS, because we had no doubt that otherwise BM would cancel to thwart our plans. (See ex will make certain to have an emergency....) Our mistake was in telling SS where we were going; he (naturally) told BM, BM had never been and proceeded to make SS feel badly that she had never "gotten" to go, and we heard every one of the listed excuses (tired, sick, hurt leg), complete with mood swings.

Now we are more clever. SS is not informed of details of vacations ahead of time. At this point it's debatable whether he'd allow BM to ruin his trip anyway, but we are not going to put him in a position where he may feel that he has to keep secrets from her.

PO1, I cannot imagine being an adult and trying to tag along uninvited on one of my parents' vacations! A family vacation is one thing but how bizarre for an adult to feel that they are entitled to go along on parent's vacations for perpetuity.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 8:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

No plans of reaming her out just cleverly making her question herself and see how stupid it is to call me. I text her back that she only call me in an emergency because I am an emergency contact only. I then told her by her calling me when its not an emergency will get her a delayed response when she actually has an emergency. She said sd was the one calling looking for her dad. Well if sd was calling me and dh why were we receiving texts at the same time? Also she specifically has told ss he cant call me, so why is it ok for sd? Its ok bec it was never sd it was her. She got my number from sd calling her from my phone on my wedding night or maybe from ss. SS asked me for my number and was calling me a few times a week to chat or texting me about how happy and excited he was. He would text me anytime he had a question about the wedding or had a happy thought about the future. I did not ask him to he just wanted to. His mom later intervened. He text me one day asking what kind of cake I was thinking about (he loves to cook) and I replied. He said can I come to pick it out? I told him that we could def arrange it. She later text me from his phone saying it was inappropriate for me to have contact with him without her supervision and deleted my number from his phone. I dont know if she spoke to him too but he hasnt done it since. this is also how grandma got my number and got dh family numbers and email addresses. Its sad to think that they would use ss to get at us and our families.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 12:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Being civil with her isnt me just staying quiet or keeping the peace. Being civil with her takes work and a lot of it. I will not engage with her or cause issues, but Im no longer going to go out of my way to keep the peace. Thats what I meant by that. Most sms know that being civil in these situations isnt your average civil. Theres a 2 way st and I can be nice pleasant and stay withdrawn when needed, but the more she comes toward me or speaks and pokes and prods the more I have to work. Im simply saying i will no longer make an effort.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 1:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"No plans of reaming her out just cleverly making her question herself and see how stupid it is to call me." Mommyjo, you're not going to "win" this because you and BM want two different things. You want a reasonably calm, orderly life - BM wants drama, chaos and to be right in the middle of your and DH's lives.

Every time you respond to BM she is getting what she wants. Every time DH responds to BM she is getting what she wants. It's like an obscene phone caller (I remember them - back in the days before caller ID and reverse calling!). It was the reaction that they were craving. One reply to BM asking that she not contact you on your cell phone except for emergencies was enough - and you shouldn't even have sent that until hours later or the next day.

You are not going to convince BM of anything using reasoning or logic, she doesn't care. What she wants is to upset you, to be a third person in your marriage, to interrupt your evening out...and she accomplished exactly that.

Believe me, I know just how tempting it is to want to tell her just one time what you really think - but it would be extremely counter-productive. It would be feeding the monster.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I'm in year 5 of dealing with a BM that would do a lot of what you describe. She thought she could decide everything that happened in our house during the time HER daughter was there because everything we did when her daughter was there, affected her daughter.

Since you are in a relatively new situation & it most likely will only get worse... unless she finds a new purpose, my suggestion is to remove yourself as much as you can from the entire situation. Do not attend exchanges & do not take any phone calls, including "emergency" calls. What kind of emergency would there be that you might get a call? If the kids are with you & DH, then anything she needs can go to DH's phone/voice mail. If the kids are with her, then she can just as easily leave a message on DH's phone if he can't answer it. I'm assuming the only reason she would call your phone is if DH doesn't answer his & you are together. If you are not together, calling you does nothing to get any message to DH... unless you have a secret number to call him and/or want to play middleman. But really, there is no reason for you to be involved in the exchanges or phone calls. If he wasn't with you (or anyone), he would have to handle this on his own.... so let him. Take your kids to the park, get your nails done, take a bubble bath & watch a movie.... but leave it all up to him. Trust me, not seeing her or talking to her will help a lot. And tell your DH to only tell you important things regarding the kids... like if they are in a school play, etc. Ask him to not share her rants about you and your kids unless it's something HE is concerned about. HER concerns, rational or not, he should discuss with her. If HE thinks they are irrational, why get you worked up by telling you? That creates unnecessary drama.

It's very sad when someone uses their child to get attention or maintain a connection or involvement, but they do and there's NOTHING you can do about it. It is THEIR child they are hurting and the best thing you can do, for you and for the child, is to remove yourself as much as possible & let his/her parents sort it out. Unless you have done something to warrant her treatment of you, then it wouldn't matter WHO he is dating/married to, it is not personal toward you. It is HER problem.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 2:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

mattie, SDs go on vacations with BM, SO and me, SD's DH's family because it is all free for them.

This year they went to cruise with SD's DH's parents, are going on tropical vacation with BM and BM's BF this winter and then wanted SO and me to take them on a short trip, which we did, and it was a disaster.

BM and SD's DH's parents are wealthy, very wealthy, SO cannot measure up. When he is not measuring up, they gravitate towards other people and ignore dad so he goes out of budget to drag them on vacations with us. I think it is horrible.

SD is 29 and married, both she and her DH are very well off with nice careers, why they need all these free trips i do not know.

They also report to BM everything we do. Couple of times BM called screaming that if SO can afford this or that (that she can only learn from SDs) then he should spend more money on SDs. LOL But they also report to SO what BM does. Ridiculous. Currently BM promised SD down-payment on the house so SD spends every free moment with BM and shoving in dad's face that he cannot afford such lavish spending.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2010 at 5:30PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

When your children/steps get married, move out etc. Financially they are no longer your responsibility. Tell Dh to stop taking her on trips and giving her money. That responsibility is now on her husband and her. Let her mother do it all. It cant be made a competition if youre not competing.

Can you imagine being 29 and your parents still competing for your love? The only thing you should be buying for her is gifts on holidays, home welcoming etc at your discretion!

Stop feeding into it now because once she has children, everything you have been through will start again!!! She has learned from her mom and will use her children as a pawn to get what she wants from dh.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2010 at 3:12PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Too much?? advice please
Hi. I am a Mum of 2- one being a step child, I am 27...
how much child support do you pay?
Hi everyone. I have been a non-custodial stepmom for...
if I could tell stepmothers of adult children anything
My dad remarried last year, a year after my mother...
His ex controls the situation through the kids
I have been dating my BF for over 3 years now and his...
grown adult stepchildren
I married my husband 2 years ago, his wife had died...
Sponsored Products
Area Rug: Summerton Life Style Collection Green Ivory 7' 6" x 9' 6"
Home Depot
Handmade Mandara White Cotton Rug (2'6 x 6')
Domus Ventures Rantum Double Sunlounger Chaise Lounge - 433HN
Missoni Home | Jacaranda Indigo Pillow 12x24
New Orleans Saints Baby Throw Blanket
$17.99 | zulily
Moooi | Paper Buffet Patchwork
Juno 6" Line Voltage Gold Alzak Recessed Light Trim
$50.99 | Lamps Plus
Home Decorators Indoor/Outdoor Home Decorators Collection Rugs Chantilly Brick
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™