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Wife & daughter conflict

Posted by lkingston (My Page) on
Sun, Jun 6, 10 at 7:59

When I divorced my ex-wife I did so because she was cheating on me. I made a deal with her that if I got primary custody I would never collect child support and I wouldn't leave the immediate area until our daughter turned 18.

When my wife and I married, I told her that one condition was that we couldn't leave the area until my daughter turned 18. That was 16 years ago and it seemed so long into the future back then. But now it is simply a couple of months off. This is important to my story because my daughter wants to go to school locally so that she can be near her boyfriend, but my wife has been looking forward to leaving this town for years now.

When we got married, I was a single father with a little girl who was almost two. My daughter didn't like any other women and my wife was no exception. None the less, over time my wife won over the little girl and while their relationship wasn't perfect, it was really good for about 13 years.

Then when my daughter turned 15 their relationship crumbled. For many years my wife had organized things so that she wouldn't have to deal with having a birthday party for my daughter that her biological mother would be able to show up for. She did this a couple of ways. We would bring in cupcakes so that the kids at school could celebrate at the end of the day in school instead of coming to a party. Then we would take my daughter and a couple of her friends to a theme park or something like that. That way we wouldn't have to deal with a birthday party that my ex-wife could attend.

On her 15th birthday my daughter really wanted a proper birthday party. We planned one at a local hang gliding flight park that was run by a good friend of mine. My daughter invited her biological mother but my wife insisted that she couldn't come. This was really difficult for my daughter because she had already invited her and she had to be "un-invited". I tried to explain to my wife that the party was for my daughter, not her, and that there would be repercussions from this years later, but my wife is stubborn and the biological mother was un-invited to the party.

A few months later, we enrolled my daughter in a very good private prep school. My daughter invited her biological mother to the orientation. My wife insisted that her mother could not come. Again I told my wife to please just let it go, that this would do irreparable damage to the relationship between her and her step-daughter. Again I was ignored. The already shaky relationship between my wife and daughter got even worse.

One morning I went to wake my daughter (age 16 now) for school and she was on the floor with a bunch of saliva and blood around her head. That was her first epileptic seizure. I took her to the doctor, then a pediatric neurologist. She had what is called "juvenile myoclonic epilepsy". The neurologist put her on a drug called depakote.

One of the side effects of depakote is that it can cause birth defects. I started worrying about the possiblity that if my daughter was having sex, she might have a child with birth defects. My daughter was going to her biological mother's house on weekends and I was worried that the rules were so lax there that she would have ample opportunity to have sex if she wanted.

I decided to have a heart to heart conversation with my daughter spelling out my fears and asking her to please tell me if she was having sex so that I could put her on birth control. It turned out that my fears were well founded. She was already having sex with her boyfriend. I made an OBGYN appointment as soon as I could and she has been on birth control ever since.

My wife was furious with me. From her point of view I was giving my blessing to underaged sexual activity and even encouraging it. When I had talked to my daughter about this, I had promised her that it was just between us and I wouldn't tell anyone else. I told my wife not to confront my daughter because that would give away that I had told her. My wife of course confronted her anyway. My wife was furious and my daughter was furious.

The relationship between my wife and daughter has just gotten worse since then. My wife and I have been through extensive marriage counseling. My daughter has gone to counseling too. None of it seems to have done much good. The marriage counselor told us that in a blended family, rules and discipline need to come from the biological parent. My daughter's counselor said the same thing and my daughter really latched onto that in a sort of "even the counselor says you shouldn't try to be my mother" sort of way.

My wife and daughter's relationship has deteriorated to the point where it is just totally unpleasant. My daughter hates it at our home and avoids it whenever possible. My wife constantly goes through her computer and her private things looking for anything that she can show me to prove to me how bad the girl is. My wife had a confrontation with my daughter's boyfriend's parents which made them think that my wife was going to file statuatory rape charges (my daughter is 17, their son is 18). In the past three months my daughter has eaten dinner at home maybe twice. She has been telling me for months that she is moving out as soon as she turns 18. On school nights she comes in exactly at her curfew and goes straight to her room. She does all her school-work over lunch and study-hall at school so that she doesn't need to study at home. She is getting good grades so I can't complain, but they could be better if she wasn't trying to avoid spending time at home.

My daughter is so anxious to move out that she was going to switch to the public school and do the bare minimum school requirements and graduate early this fall so that she could move out at exactly 18 (her birthday is in November). Her grandfather talked her out of this (partially by bribing her) and she is going to finish out the private prep school she is already attending.

Several days ago I told my daughter that I was ready to work out a deal with her. I would start treating her like an adult. She could openly stay at her boyfriend's house on weekends for instance. In return she would have to behave like an adult. She would finish the high school year without leaving home in the middle of it. As she went off to college, those rules would continue. I would aknowledge that she is going to live with her boyfriend while she attends college and not fight her on this. She wouldn't drink or do drugs (she can't anyway because of the anti-seizure medicine). She would get good grades and I would support her while she goes through school.

I thought it was a good deal but my wife is furious. She feels that that move is an absolute giving up on my last little bit of parenting responsibility. She worries about how we are going to raise our son (ten years old) when we disagree so strongly about parenting. I tell her that I will happily yield the deciding vote on our decisions with him if she'll just go along with me on the decisions I make regarding my daughter. My wife feels like she is secondary compared to my daughter but I feel like none of the decisions we are fighting about are at all related to weighing the two of them against each other. We are at the verge of divorce and I hate it because I really do love my wife. While I disagree with her constantly she has the best of intentions.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

You seem to make an awful lot of deals in your relationships. My I ask why you expect others to fullfil their end of the 'bargain' when you don't fullfil yourown?

You started the mess between daughter and SM when you betrayed the daughter's 'deal' with you on keeping her medical decisions private.

Now you're making deals with daughter to spend the weekends with her BF (until graduation) after you just told us daughter spendt most weekends with her BM. Has your daughter ceased visitations with BM? Or is it BM who agrees daughter should be allowed to stay at BF's instead of her home?

You also set the SM/you up for the birthday party fallout. Why was the invitation list not discussed prior to issuing?

Again with the going through computer...one can not snoop into computer without having access to it and the means to enter the system.

Maybe not, but I supsect you've passed on the majority of parenting roles unto your wife over the years, the day in day out stuff while you were busy doing whatever it is you were doing...there didn't seem to be a problem from 2 to 15, so I doubt the intital problems started do to lack of differences in parenting styles between wife and you...the problem started when you changed the 'rules' in your household as to who was NOW going to be in charge.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Seems awfully confusing.

About birthday parties, it is acceptable for divorced parents to hold separate parties, it is understandable your wife does not want to entertain your exwife at her house, no matter whose birthday it is. I don't think you should blame her for that.

I think school's orientations are different and both parents should and could attend. Your exwife overstepped by saying "no".

at 17 she shouldn't be staying at her boyfriends, what is her mother saying? does she have a say? even if she is noncustodial, still she has to able to say something. How often does your daughter see her mother? who is making decisions here? you, mom, your wife, daughter? unclear.

when she is 18 and out for college I don't think you have much authority to allow or disallow her to live with a boyfriend. she wouldn't have to ask a permission.

being anxious to leave home at 18 is not wrong, unless of course there is no college or work plans. I got along with my daughter and we didn't have much troubles, but she was anxious to leave for college like the whole last semester of high school, I think she started packing her suitcases as soon as she got college acceptance letters. LOL I did not find it offensive to me, she was just anxious to start a grownup life plus moving to a more exciting town.

as about OBGYN visits, I am surprised you took her, not mom, but even if that's the case it is not your wife's business.

I don't know how to fix this. seems like too many problems tied up together.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

--"I think school's orientations are different and both parents should and could attend. Your exwife overstepped by saying "no".--

I missed that part somehow. I agree, Finedreams, BM had every right to attend. I just don't get this 'you and I both can't attend events thing when I read it here from thread to thread.

Unless someone has signed away parent rights or has a restraining order against contact, trying to shut out one parent or another is completely wrong. But again, I ask how has this scenerio been allowed to be set up to begin with? Surely there were events such as middle school graduations and/or activity events during 13 years that would have brought the 'who attends' to a front long before child was 15.

Really, if BM and dad both want to attend, why is SM allowed to say 'no', why would she even want to forbid BM? We've not heard anything yet on why SM has been given authoritian decision making powers. I can't believe all this suddenly came up at age 15. The power struggle, SM making decisions that should have been dad's all along. Where was the problem for 13 years?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Her BM is the one who covered for her and let her stay at her boyfriend's house (and let the boyfriend sleep over as well). If she wasn't in the picture we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

The birthday party was a big event in a neutral place. It wasn't a matter of inviting the BM into our home.

The problem is that the daughter turns 18 midway through the next school year. I don't want her to break away half way through her senior year. When I first put her into school, it was borderline of whether she should start the year that she did or the year before. I decided to go with the later year. One extra year before her friends started dating, driving, leaving for college etc. seemed like a good idea at the time. In retrospect, if she was off at college already it would certainly be a little easier right now.

If I didn't take her to the OBGYN it wouldn't have happened. The last thing in the world I would want would be for my ex-wife to be giving my daughter family planning advice!

Another issue is that I've been promising my wife that we would move as soon as my daughter graduated high school. In my mind, the way that would play out is that she would head off to college in another state somewhere and we would move at the same time.

As it turns out, my daughter wants to go to a local school close to her boyfriend. We are going to move away anyway as my wife would divorce me if I went back on this long term promise. Thus at the end of this next year we will have left town and my daughter will be alone here. My wife already has the for sale sign in front of the house. If we sell the house early, we will live in an apartment until my daughter's graduation. My daughter is extremely likely to just move out when that happens If we sell the house next month, by the time we finish with closing and move into an apartment, she will be very close to eighteen. At that point I will have very little say. We have so little time left here that I want to spend it getting her ready for college and cooperating towards this goal, not fighting and accomplishing nothing.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

What a pitty party. You say "at this point I have very little control" -- yet you insisted on having all the control. You let your wife call all the shots -- not letting the childs mother go to school orientation. YOU set this in motion. If you are unhappy about things, YOU had total control for what the last 16 years. Most divorced parents can not say that. Counselors were telling you that you were unfairly cutting mom out of the picture. Seems to me that your wife has your balls in her purse so you better just turn your back and go. Dont worry, the months will go quickly


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I have to agree with justmetoo, seems everything that is done is a "deal"...

'give me custody, you won't have to pay support & I won't move away with her'
'marry me but we have to live her til she's 18'

I suspect that the first problem with your wife's attitude is that you made this deal with your ex wife and it became a condition of her marriage to you... and after all these years of 1. raising your daughter. 2. putting up with your daughter not liking her & doing what it took to win her over. 3. remaining in that location, even though she may have wanted to move elsewhere.... she may feel she has sacrificed a lot, including your household being the SOLE support of your daughter, while her biological mother can't even be responsible enough to place some boundaries so she isn't going over there having sex with her boyfriend behind your backs (which is probably why she is upset over the birth control... instead of bio mom setting rules consistent with dad's, dad is going to shrug & go along with putting her on birth control) [I don't disagree with putting her on birth control~ I believe once they become sexually active, it's necessary.] But the primary message the daughter should get is that it's not okay... she should be focused on school or her future. Giving the green light to stay at her boyfriend's is a bribe so she will spend more time at home... also, not a good message to send to the daughter.

Allowing her to sleep over with a boyfriend is not treating her like an 'adult'. Treating her like an adult is when she is working, being responsible & making mature decisions (like choosing colleges or even it being HER idea or choice to be on birth control because SHE wants to prevent an unplanned pregnancy) and THEN things like a curfew might be lifted. Being sexual is part of being human, so your wife is being a little unrealistic... as she will find out when her son is 15-17. But being sexual does not make one an adult... it is an adult thing that requires mature adult decision making.

It seems your wife is always furious with you. On the surface, it seems she is being unreasonable... expecting bio mom to stay away from everything. She is probably furious because you made her agree to your 'deal' and she may see that as more favorable to your ex wife. If you are now backing away from moving when your daughter is 18, that would explain a good deal of why she may be angry. I would be.

Your daughter has also taken from counseling, what she wants. She wants to hear that the counselor agrees with her that stepmom should not be trying to act like mom. I suspect you wife might back of if you were stepping up or if you hadn't abdicated the parental role to her all these years. I think justmetoo is right, your wife has had the responsibility all these years & now you want to make decisions like putting her on birth control or letting her stay at her boyfriends after she has done the parenting all these years... I think the first step to saving your marriage is for you to get on the same page with your wife. That doesn't mean you have to agree with everything she says, but the two of you need to talk about these things and come to agreements/compromises, find some middle ground you can agree on... that have nothing to do with your ex wife. You've already said she is irresponsible, lacks judgment, has different values, etc. Once you & your wife are in agreement on what your collective stance will be on a certain issue, then you deal with your ex wife on the issue, sticking to your stance.

You also said your daughter was furious when your wife confronted her on the confidential information. I hope your daughter was furious with YOU, not your wife. Yes, your wife hit the hornets nest with a stick, but you were the one that breached the confidentiality. If you didn't apologize to your daughter and take responsibility for it, then you did your wife a disservice. You can't allow your daughter to get angry at your wife because you did what you promised you wouldn't.. just because your wife reacted the way she did & let her know she knew. You were in the wrong on that one. (Your wife couldn't or wouldn't have confronted her if you had kept your word)

You know your wife's intentions are good. You see you're wife's anger & frustration. You can see what SHE is doing that is causing things to get worse, but I think you need to look at YOUR actions to see how they are contributing to your wife's anger & frustration... and how they are making things worse.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

OK so if parties were neutral places why did your wife insist on your ex not attending and why did you allow that? is your ex abusive to a child otherwise why was she pushed away?

I think you allowed your daughter's mother be pushed away by your wife despite common sense logic and counselor's advice. your daughter is angry and resentful.

if you move away your daughter won't be alone, she has her mother and she will be living with her BF. is that ideal? no, but sure better than current arrangement.

kkny, balls in her purse, never heard that one before hahahaha


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Ima, I dont see how you can say the wife's actions were good. I dont think it was good to exclude the mom from a school conference. Yes, I agree the wife is resentful of situation, that Dad made. While I dont normally agree with the "you knew this when you got married" the wife knew that dad had CP and was not recieivng CS.

And once the Wife broke her DH's request for confidentialily, HE has every right to be furious.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

--"At that point I will have very little say. We have so little time left here that I want to spend it getting her ready for college and cooperating towards this goal, not fighting and accomplishing nothing".--

YOU'VE had very little say at anytime during this child's life. Now you want a quick fix to fighting and the 'reward' of spending time with the daughter by cutting a deal with her.

You seem to be saying 'you don't fight with me, you can do as you please as long as my life is pleasant until I move away'. She's planning on finishing school and attending college whether you let her do as she wants anyway...so what's the point of the deal? Oh, yeah, to make your role as daddy more tolerable for YOU until YOU can move away.

Who is financing the place daughter will live after you move before college starts or if she is not dorm living? Is this BF self sufficient. Are they both planning on moving in with BM and she support them except for the educational cost? I guess I'm wondering what you think you can undo and accomplish in a another couple months that is not already going to happen.


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Statutory Rape etc.

Where I live, stat rape can not be charged for 17YOs. In any event, for SM to threaten this, without consulting Dad, is outrageous. This and the school incident are clear overstepping. At this point, I doubt the relationship can be resolved in the short time. I would suggest OP continue counseling, if nothing else, to help him and his wife get togethor on parenting roles for his son, and for OP to get his wife to agree that OP can visit his child at college, etc.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I did not say wife's ACTIONS were good. He said her INTENTIONS are good, her ACTIONS have cause a lot of problems. But, I can see how her ACTIONS were reactions to how her husband has dealt (or not dealt) with the situation.

and I don't think the wife was unaware of the deal she was making... no child support, not moving, etc. But, it appears to be that as the date grows closer, wife is anxious to leave per the agreement & now husband is reluctant. She kept up her end of it, maybe he doesn't want to move or is moving but making her feel guilty for making him move away from his daughter.... a deal is a deal.

and the dad promised confidentiality to his daughter first. He breached it by telling his wife. and he surely knows his wife well enough to know she would be angry & confront his daughter... so he tells her not to say anything, but she can't help herself so it's all her fault? I don't think so. The wife would have kept her mouth shut if the dad had kept his promise to his daughter. Both were wrong but daughter should be mad at dad, not stepmom. Dad can be mad at his wife, but next time he shouldn't breach confidentiality when he knows how his wife will react. (kkny, I can't believe you are not siding with the kid on that one... dad promised her and he broke the promise. He is responsible for the chain of events that followed.)

and I don't agree that he is right when he has allowed his wife to rule the roost in deciding what mom can attend, yes balls in purse is pretty accurate there... except birthday parties, even in a neutral place. Mom can make her own celebration with her own family with her daughter... she does not need to crash dad's party where it's likely to be uncomfortable for more than just the wife... I know my family does not want to sit at my kids' party with my ex. I know that in some situations, usually long term marriages where the family still considers the ex part of the family, it might be fine... as long as everyone is fine with it. Whether wife is right or wrong, she does not have to make a party for stepdaughter and invite mom... or allow mom to be there. Could it cause resentment? Sure. But husband should be supportive of wife on that one. Tell daughter to celebrate with mom in her own special way... tell the mom to make her own party. I get the sense that dad thinks his wife is wrong to exclude mom from the party... daughter senses that, so it's dad & daughter against wife. and yes, I also think dad has allowed wife too many liberties in raising his daughter.. and shutting out mom. I don't see him taking ANY responsibility.. in fact, his second post is saying that if mom were out of the picture, none of this would be happening. Who is shutting out mom? Sounds like dad is leading that wagon... again, I think OP needs to take out a mirror & look really hard at himself to see how he is creating & adding to the problems.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I think StepMom's way out of line issuing vetoes about whether BioMom can or can not go to public places where her daughter will be. StepMom (and Dad) do NOT have that right, and Dad, you should not have gone along with StepMom's request. BioMom had a right to be at school orientation and at the birthday party, and StepMom blew it.

I understand why you told StepMom about taking her to the OB/GYN and you were absolutely right to take her there. But again, StepMom went way out of line talking to your daughter about it and going off on you. That made it clear to your daughter that you betrayed her confidence, and it undermined your position as her father. These are not her decisions to make -- they're yours. And as KKNY so eloquently implied -- you need to fish around in your wife's purse until you find your missing parts, and reassert your full right to be your daughter's father.

For goodness' sake, take down the 'For Sale' sign! It's one more year, and your daughter really needs the stability of living in the family home right now. That was the deal you'all made and both sides should live up to it. Put the sign up next spring and sell the house then. Don't make/let your daughter move out until she graduates from high school and moves 'off' to college. She should be able to live at home (not at her BF's house!) until she moves to her college housing.

If she's in a private prep school, I'm guessing you're well-educated and education-focused yourself, and that you know fully well that her desire to stay local just to be close to her boyfriend is not the world's best decision. Have you taken her to visit other colleges she might fall in love with? The kinds of places where she would live in a dorm and have the complete 'college experience'? Or is the local college that good? Is it the kind of place you and your daughter would choose for her even if BF wasn't in the picture? Because if it's not, you're allowing her to short-change her own future for a pretty dumb reason.

I've got to say I agree with your wife about letting her spend weekends sleeping at her boyfriend's house. That does sound like throwing up your hands and abdicating your responsibilities. However, that horse has already left the barn, so to speak, and I'm not sure you can now go back and try to reassert parental control. Since you know they're sleeping together and spending entire nights together, it could be that the best you can do now is to help guide your daughter to make the most independent, the most adult and responsible decisions she can.


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Who's shutting out mom?

I didnt see DAD saying mom could not attend school conference. DAD was willing to allow mom at party. So who is shutting out mom is pretty clear to me.

I think the best Dad can hope for is compromise with SM, that if DD goes away to college (best for all), Dad/SM can move and Dad will be allowed to visit college, attend all parent things, and so will the mom.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

why not letting DD go live with mom at this point? does mom object? or is it a different area so she'll have to switch schools?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Read and re-read kkny and sweeby's posts.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

lkingston, perhaps you are independently wealthy. Perhaps all the years of your being the sole support of your daughter have not affected your wife or son in any way; they've never gone without anything at all. Perhaps you've had a live-in nanny and SM has never, not once, had to help with your daughter. Perhaps your ex is a great woman and a fabulous mother who just has different opinions on parenting than you do.

Or perhaps not. I cannot imagine what kind of "mother" would make a deal to let her two year old live with her ex-husband in order to get out of paying child support. Maybe she really felt that daughter was better off with you - fine. But, if she is a parent, she has responsibilities; one of those being to help provide for her child. She has not fulfilled that at all; it also sounds like she has not fulfilled her responsibility of even basic supervision when your daughter is with her.

Does your wife work? Are there things that your son and wife are giving up because you and your ex made a deal 16 years ago? Presumably your wife knew this going in, but your son never agreed to it. Who is paying for this "very good private prep school"? Do you think, perhaps, that your wife has become increasingly resentful of the fact that (possibly) she has been helping raise your daughter, she has been helping to pay for your daughter, but she is not allowed to enforce rules in her own home, and she cannot move where you want? It sounds to me like BM is just getting a free ride on being a "parent" by showing up to take credit for her great mothering skills while SM may be the one who has done a great deal of the mundane, boring, and/or unpleasant tasks and made the sacrifices over the years.

I'm also confused by the fact that you didn't keep your promise to your daughter at all (regarding her sexual history), you may keep your promise to your current wife about moving but only because you don't want to lose her, but you have kept a promise for sixteen years to the woman who cheated on you, because, well, it was a promise.

I'd be curious to know how many times during the arguments about whether or not BM should be allowed to attend birthday parties, school orientations, etc. you said "But she's her mother!" and SM said "If she's her mother then why doesn't she act like a mother!?" I'm not excusing SM's behavior but every person has a breaking point and IF she spent sixteen years watching a woman ignoring her parental responsibilities while retaining the "rights" I wouldn't be surprised if SM's way past reached it.

lkingston, you sound like a well-meaning guy who just dislikes confrontation so much that you keep trying to appease everyone and it's just no longer working. It sounds like your daughter has had several years of BM not saying No to anything because she can't be bothered, you not saying No because you hate saying no, and SM screaming No at the top of her voice and no one listening because she's just a SM. Your daughter is almost 18 and is due to be off in school soon; you need to do what's best for the rest of your family now; your wife, son and you.


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Conflict

Or perhaps the deal was OP earned a good living, and because of that his wife could stay home with both of his children. But in any event, as long as the mom did not have her rights terminated, she was unfairly excluded from school events. Maybe SM just likes to control things.

I think we all agree that hopefully the girl will be going to college soon, Dad must take his role in helping her get to college, etc. SMs role once child is at college should be minimal. Mom's role should be whatever the child and mom want.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

well, we don't know if mom contributing or not, maybe she was not officially paying CS but did other things. If DD was with her every weekend she was fed and taken places and things were bought for her. 2 days with mom, 5 with dad and maybe dad makes way more money.

Mom was not even allowed to attend school's orientation would she be asked to pay tuition? Private schools are not a necessity. Did dad ask what mom thinks? If one parent makes unilateral educational decisions than I think it is unfair to ask for contribution.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Dad's so busy making 'deals' that I can't feel too sorry for him when things blew up in his face.

--"I tell her that I will happily yield the deciding vote on our decisions with him if she'll just go along with me on the decisions I make regarding my daughter".--

Seriously, he's now going to deal with wife to give up any decision power over the next 8 years for his son.

I still think that the over controlling stepmom was given a clear plate to control and decide what she pleased with dad's blessings. That is until daughter got old enough to start resenting and rebeling against what decisions were being made and by who. It was not until dad started having problems with daughter that he minded stepmom and her controlling ways. Now he's about to give SM decision power over the son.

Deals are what got the guy the life he's living and the problems he's having in his relationships. Dad tells us in fist posting that he promised age 18. Then dad enrolls daughter a year late in prep school and now wants to stretch that deal with wife into 'until daughter graduates from school'.

I can't blame wife for being angry and staking a for sale sign in her yard five months before what was promised to be moving day, as dad is backing away from original deal. But I can blame stepmom for taking on parenting role for dad and shutting out BM. That should have never happened.

If dad makes the deal with wife over the son, sells this house and moves away with wife and son (goodbye daughter sorry I let you down all these years), dad can pretty well expect lots more trouble coming his way when the son makes his teen years and mommy has total say. Deals. Pity party indeed.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I just really wonder why Dad would make a deal where Mom gives up custody in exchange for not paying child support. Perhaps Dad has so much money it doesn't really matter. Perhaps he had primary custody of 51% of the time, and Mom had daughter 49% of the time, and does a lot of other things rather than pay money. Perhaps Dad is a controlling freak (sorry, OP) that just wanted to "win" at all costs. Or perhaps he was so concerned about some aspect of Mom's behavior that he was willing to try to make it without CS so long as he could prevent BM from having custody.

I agree completely that if Mom has been around all these years and doing a semi-adequate job of parenting, then she is Mom, and SM's behavior is pretty poor. BUT, we don't know that. We just know that she's around now. IF BM was not around for years, not seeing her daughter, and not paying CS, and IF that is the situation that the SM stepped into, only to have BM reappear suddenly years later and SM to be told that she's suddenly an outsider, whose opinion no longer counts, that would explain a lot.

Or maybe SM's just a controlling b****. Who knows?

The other thing that makes me wonder is this whole "deal" in the first place. It just doesn't seem a good idea to negotiate away 16 years of daughter's life. Even if Dad has so many investments or made so much money he thought he didn't need it, he had absolutely no way to know whether or not, 16 years later, he'd invest in bad buggywhips or lose his job or have expensive medical issues - and the child support was not his to bargain away. It was his daughter's. Granted it doesn't sound like daughter is going without but again how could anyone know that? How could anyone know that daughter wasn't going to be a world-class figure skater and want to move for Olympic training?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

"IF BM was not around for years, not seeing her daughter "

where did you get that from, he said DD was with mom on the weekends, and mom wanted to attend events, birthday parties, school events. he never said mom was nonexistant. he said when DD was younger SM insisted on planning events so BM wouldn't attend, but when DD got older she wanted it to change and wanted mom present at events. he never said mom did not see her daughter. seems you just made stuff up.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Its pretty clear to me that Dad is not a controlling person - otherwise he wouldnt be acceding to so much. As long as mom hasnt given up her rights, she an NCP like a guy could be a NCP. Doesnt give anyone the right to push either mom or dad NCP out of the picture. If dad agreed to no NCP, thats the deal. If it mattered to SM that mom wasnt paying CS, she should have asked before she shot got married.


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No reason to keep blaiming mom

Its pretty clear to me that Dad is not a controlling person - otherwise he wouldnt be acceding to so much. As long as mom hasnt given up her rights, she an NCP like a guy could be a NCP. Doesnt give anyone the right to push either mom or dad NCP out of the picture. If dad agreed to no NCP, thats the deal. If it mattered to SM that mom wasnt paying CS, she should have asked before she shot got married.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

finedreams: He never said BM was around, either, other than in reference to the birthday parties, which is why I was wondering IF she was around often at that time.

Here's what I am not "making up". Her BM is the one who covered for her and let her stay at her boyfriend's house (and let the boyfriend sleep over as well). If she wasn't in the picture we wouldn't be in this mess in the first place.

If I didn't take her to the OBGYN it wouldn't have happened. The last thing in the world I would want would be for my ex-wife to be giving my daughter family planning advice!

When I first put her into school, it was borderline of whether she should start the year that she did or the year before. I decided to go with the later year.

But of course, it is all SM's fault?! SM is trying to push BM out of her daughter's life? Where was BM when the decision was made what year to start school? Why wasn't BM taking her daughter to the OBGYN already? A teenage girl needs to go for exams regardless of whether or not she is sexually active, and BM knew she was! Why isn't BM having birthday parties for her daughter (because until age 15, she apparently hadn't had a "proper" birthday party). And why did BM give up primary custody of her not even two year old in return for not having to pay child support? And how exactly, again, is that SM's fault?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

mom does not sound like a very good parent but neither is the dad.

but noncustodial does not mean nonexistant.

matttie, 15-16-year-old girl does not have to go to OBGYN exams if she is not active. I consulted with my OBGYN in regards to the age because I needed to know when to take my daughter, and no need at that age.

did you ask your doctor at what age you should bring your daughter to see OBGYN? what did he/she say? you seem to be an expert on raising girls, please share.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Actually, Finedreams, the guidelines and recommendations have changed since your DD was an early teen... or at least the push for earlier first visits. The suggested age is now between 13 and 15. That is primarily to establish the OBGYN/young female relationship and set the importance of regular female healthiness checks. Early appointments do not necessarily equate early pelvic exams though especially if teen is not having problems or are not yet sexually active.

And Mattie, considering BM was not allowed to attend orientation I highly doubt BM was allowed any say in the decision as to where/when the daughter would be going to school even if she wanted a say or not.

I'm not defending why or why not BM chose to give primary custody away and/or how involved she may or may not have wanted to be, but the statement by dad of 'The last thing in the world I would want would be for my ex-wife to be giving my daughter '...those words MY DAUGHTER rather than OUR daughter my actually speak volumes (or not).

I get what you're saying , Mattie, but for SM to confront the daughter over a choice dad helped make (birth control) and to take it upon herself to confront the BF's parents... are those things you would do in your role of helping raise your little one. I tend to think you are helping your husband and caring and tending for your SS with your husband, but your goal is not to displace and/or overrule your husband concerning his son, right?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

At 13-15 is perfectly enough to see family physician and discuss whatever issues, family physician or pediatrician can address everything without OBGYN visit, and different physicians have different recommendations. I asked what age mattie took her kids, as she seems to know what age is appropriate, and now I recall now she has a son not a daughter. I didn't take my daughter to OBGYN at young age and it does not make me a bad mother. It is fine if others take their daughters to OBGYN early.

SM overstepped in every way possible and now it back fired. No matter how people want to blame the mother.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

A little more detail. BM had a boyfriend when we divorced who took most of her time. She wouldn't see her daughter for weeks at a time, then would see her, gush all over her, tell her how much she missed her, then disappear again for a few weeks. When my daughter got older, the BM spent more time with her.

When I met my wife, she really made the effort to win over my daughter, but every few weeks the BM would reappear and gush all over my daughter for an hour or so, then disappear again for a few weeks. It was an incredible strain on the relationship of my daughter with her SM.

My ex-wife remarried and had another child. Suddenly my daughter was nice to have around to help with the new baby, so she was back in the picture. In all honesty, it was pretty horrible for my wife: being a mother and getting close to a child, only to have the BM suddenly decide she wanted to have her child back (and the free baby sitting). This was what my wife was dealing with during that birthday party episode. I don't really feel that this justifies what she did, but I certainly understand why she did it.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

fd: you seem to be an expert on raising girls, please share. That was completely uncalled for and unnecessary.

justmetoo: I agree that SM's behavior seems to be completely out of line. I was just wondering if there was some reason (not an excuse, but a cause, if that makes sense) as to why she behaved in what seems to be such a counter-productive way. And to blame SM exclusively for this mess sounds really unfair; partial blame, yes, but it sounds like all the adults involved are partially at fault.

SS is only eight so there are no issues like that; when he's older, if I really feel that DH was not being a good father (if he went completely nuts and told SS that the sign of being a man was bedding as many girls as possible or something) I'd have serious words with him, but no, I cannot imagine confronting SS over something that he and DH have discussed and agreed on. That would just be horribly unfair to put a child in the middle like that.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Nobody is blameless here.

Mom traded off a 2 year old daughter for whatever reason, she CHOSE not to be primary caregiver in exchange for financial gain... not having to pay support.

Dad makes deals left & right to keep everyone happy, yet can't understand why it isn't working. Expected mom to give up kid, expected wife to stay in area because of the deal he has with mom, and everyone that has gone along with the deal, ends up resenting it. Yet, dad is still wheeling & dealing... now with daughter.

I'm a little curious to know more about mom... I mean she seems like this ghost that handed over custody of her baby, apparently hasn't demanded her right to be involved, at least it sounds as if the wife decides & mom just shrugs a "well I guess I can't go then" and she gives up? Nowhere is there any indication mom has done anything to exercise her rights as mom. That says something, unless OP is leaving that out. Even the two crazy mom's in my life (SD's BM & DIL) have proclaimed "but I am mom!" "this is MY kid!" even though they don't want the full time responsibility. I find it odd that OP paints the picture that his wife is the one calling all the shots.

and the wife has been allowed for too long to call the shots, if that's in fact what is happening. Dad is to blame for not setting boundaries with his wife's role with his daughter early on and for his (lacking?) role as parent. Yes, Stepmom overstepped & she's to blame for that, but dad is to blame for allowing it to continue through the years.

Now he's on the verge of divorce & wants help.

Blame your ex if it makes you feel better. Blame your wife too. But unless you change the ONLY thing you can change... yourself & what YOU are doing, nothing will be worked out. If you can't admit what you've done and how it's caused problems and how it was wrong, nobody else is likely to admit they are wrong either. You will be resented because you instigated all these deals everyone has lived with. part of me thinks the wife is crazy for agreeing to such a deal you had with your ex... and maybe she is a little saintly for living up to it for 16 years. I don't think I could do it... maybe if it was what HE wanted but not because he agreed with his ex. (I mean how bad was the ex anyways? He agreed to no support & not moving away in exchange for raising the kid with basically no help.. after all, mom is not helping 'raise' the kid, she lets her do whatever she wants. What did dad get out of the 'deal'? Sounds like mom got the win-win, dad ~ not so much!)

What a mess.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I never heard of anyone taking a 13YO to a ob/gyn either, and I live in a pretty affluant area where everyone has health insurance, so if someone told me that is the recommended age for taking girls to ob/gyn I'd question it too. My pedicatriican never told me to, at that age.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

psst, the 13 to 15 bit is the recommendation of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. It's not a law, not mandatory and the 'Bad Mommy Patrol' won't come get you if you delay your daughter's recommended aka suggested guidelines. But it also has nothing to do with being 'affluant' and/or having health insurance.

Is it absolutely necessary? As a parent you make your own decision or make it with your child's ped. dr., but it's not a made up wacko group making the recommendations... and reading more on the subject, I get where the recommendation makes sense and why the age bracket has been chosen. Does it mean every female kid aged 13 should be hauled off for an appointment tomorrow? No. Googling will find one many sites on the subject but below I linked one that pretty well summed up where and why the recommendation as been made.

My first daughter now 29, I never heard of any such recommendation nor was it ever suggested by her ped. dr. As far as my current 10 year old, I'll think about it when the time comes and make a point of discussing it with her ped. dr. to get her opinion/recommendation.

Here is a link that might be useful: ACOG recommendation article


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

just my two cents...

When my daughter was a teen, not sure exactly how old but between 13-16, her pediatrician suggested she have an OB/GYN visit and get a vaccination to prevent HPV. I don't find it unusual at all for a girl that is physically capable of making a baby, to see a OB/GYN. I think it may be the responsible thing a parent could do when they find out the child is sexually active... especially if they are unable to supervise the child. The wife has no business getting angry about that... I kinda get being disappointed in the child for not waiting.. or being angry at the parent that allows the child to do irresponsible things. I am in a similar situation with SD as her mom gives her pure freedom at her house. Eventually, the time will come when she may be doing whatever she wants and I would be upset if DH didn't seem to care and put her on birth control. (I would be upset at DH's attitude, not the putting her on birth control.) It would be a different story if DH called BM and told her he doesn't approve of what's going on... or tries to get BM to tighten up the rules or in some way prevent it from happening... because let's face it, who is going to help a teen girl with a baby? Dad & SM who have done the grunt work or bio mom who maybe thinks it's cute?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Oh, the OB/gyn people recommend this? Gee maybe they might have their own intereststs in mind also?

And to get back to the OP, the overstepping I cited was SM saying mom could not go to school event and SM threatening stat rape charges.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I never said mom is not to blame, I said both parents are not that great, and on top of it controlling SM, and here we have a mess...

13-16 does not mean it has to be 13. it means 13-16. and not every physician recommends that.

It is great that dad took his daughter for birth control, it was a good thing to do. We don't know why mom didn't, who knows. This whole family arrangement is weird. Mom is pushed away yet is blamed for everything. SM is controlling and angry and keeps stirring things up. Dad makes weird deals. Very strange. I wonder what this girl thinks, she probably can't wait to move away from this nonsense.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

BM was never pushed away. She has always been able to see her daughter whenever she wants. The way that has worked out is that she didn't for long periods of time, then would come back into the picture for a brief period all gushing and loving, then would disappear etc. All this time I never once said anything bad about her. At this point BM is out of the picture because daughter refuses to see her. I have on many occasions tried to talk my daughter into giving her BM another chance but she refuses. I just want to make clear that I have never once pushed BM out of the picture. SM has tried to but I have not.

"Dad makes weird deals" amounts to maybe three deals over a period of 16 years. Looks like lots of them when compressed into a couple of paragraphs though. If you think about it, every divorce and blended family is a series of deals. Some of them are court ordered, some are not. If the father gets the kids every second weekend and several weeks during the summer, that's a "deal". If the parents exchange children at some public place like a park and it looks a little like a hostage exchange: that's a "deal". What's weird about mine I suppose is that I call them "deals". Also, I am as good as my word. I told my ex-wife that I wouldn't move away until the child was 18. There was no paperwork on this: just my word. BM may not have been attracted to me anymore, but she knew me well enough to know that this was as good as a contract.

My "deal" with the BM is that in the court we would go for joint custody. If the court refused to give us joint custody then I would be the custodial parent but we would function as though it was joint custody. I have done everything I can since then to make that happen. That the BM's lack of responsibility and interest is not my fault. Neither is the fact that BM and SM do not like each other.

Yes daughter can hardly wait to move away from this mess. Me, her younger brother and a younger sister on her BM's side are the only ones she can stand.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

"BM was never pushed away" I assume you mean pushed away entirely, but she was pushed from key educational and medical meetings/decisions. In any event, what is done is done.

I think you have to move forward. Life at your house may be uncomfortable, but it doesnt seem life threatening to me. In any event, am I correct that DD will be starting her senior year at high school in September. I think you should start planning trips to look at colleges with just the two of year. If mom wants to do any, divide up. But in any event, this will give you time with her away from house to influence her. Good luck.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

1kingston,

~If the father gets the kids every second weekend and several weeks during the summer, that's a "deal". If the parents exchange children at some public place like a park and it looks a little like a hostage exchange: that's a "deal"~

No, that is not the same as the 'deals' you have with your ex or the deal with your wife or the deal with your daughter. If a parent gets every other weekend, that's a set schedule. If parents have to meet in a certain place because there have been problems or it's less stressful for the kids or more convenient for everyone, that is an exchange location... not a deal. Just in case you don't know the difference... a deal is when you promise something in exchange for something. ie. you get child, she pays no support. she stays in area w/you til child is 18, then you will agree to move. She can spend nights with boyfriend in exchange for behaving like an adult (according to YOUR standards). Those are some pretty big 'deals' and seem to be designed to benefit you.

I totally understand what it's like when BM lacks an interest in their child... the problems it creates when she shows up, stirs things up.. then leaves again, etc. and I also understand how frustrated your wife must be working to win over your daughter, putting up with your prior agreement with your ex, and maybe being expected to raise the child but always being overruled or being blamed. She is not blameless, but it is unrealistic to expect someone to raise a child that is not theirs and not have an opinion on what values to teach the child, etc. The boundaries should have been established years ago. I can understand her resentment. I do not agree with how she has handled it or some of the decisions she has made, clearly she has been overstepping... but honestly, I can understand how she feels especially if mom is flaky, has been in & out of kids life while SM has done the 'work'... homework, doctor visits, play groups, extra curricular activities, etc. As a custodial stepmom, I can relate to your wife's frustration.

So, what is the point of your post? Do you want validation that your wife is wrong? What I picked up from the original post is that you are on the verge of divorce & want to save your marriage... yet, you have defended your actions and still finding blame in others... first your ex, now your wife. What have YOU done? Where is YOUR blame? If you can't find it or admit to it, how can you save your marriage? You have lots of folks here that agree, your ex has not been much of a mother, your wife has done the wrong thing, overstepped her role, & both have made things worse. But, I don't know any women that would stay married to a guy that says that I am the problem and he has no part in it... it's never all one person. And in the unlikely case that it is all her, why do you want to stay married to her? You can't change someone else, you can only change yourself!

Honestly, your daughter is nearly 18. I've raised 3- 18 yr olds and they can be difficult, manipulative, and many 18 yr olds can't wait to be grown up and not live under parent's rules. Girls are sometimes emotional, moody & change their minds constantly. It doesn't surprise me that she is not seeing her mom, can't stand her stepmom... but in time she may come around with both. You have tried to get her to see her mom. Have you tried to get her to see her SM's POV? (not that it's right or she should agree, but SM's feelings are as valid as your DD's)

But, really your daughter is interested in growing up, moving out, going to college & living with her boyfriend. She wants her own life. What is left is you and your wife raising your son. That is why, to me your post is more about your marriage than your daughter. The past can't be changed and throwing blame around is going to be counterproductive.


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kkny

He has already said that his daughter is interested in going to a local college where the boyfriend lives...

"As it turns out, my daughter wants to go to a local school close to her boyfriend."


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College

Dad should be trying to open DDs eyes up to other possibilites. He should encourage her to talk to her Guidance Counselor and at least look at other colleges.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Last evening the BM situation was... " but every few weeks the BM would reappear and gush all over my daughter for an hour or so, then disappear again for a few weeks. It was an incredible strain on the relationship of my daughter with her SM".

This morning it is this..."She has always been able to see her daughter whenever she wants. The way that has worked out is that she didn't for long periods of time, then would come back into the picture for a brief period all gushing and loving, then would disappear etc."

A few weeks is not much different than the typical EOW that many orders grant as visitation schedule. It might have occurred to OP that if SM were not acting all momma hen like (to a chick that was not hers) and trying to push BM away the child may have been able to have a more quaulity relationship with the child.

OP states..."I just want to make clear that I have never once pushed BM out of the picture. SM has tried to but I have not."... and this from last evening..."In all honesty, it was pretty horrible for my wife: being a mother and getting close to a child, only to have the BM suddenly decide she wanted to have her child back (and the free baby sitting). This was what my wife was dealing with during that birthday party episode. I don't really feel that this justifies what she did, but I certainly understand why she did it."

As Ima stated yesterday... " I think OP needs to take out a mirror & look really hard at himself to see how he is creating & adding to the problems"... as it's still everybody else's fault and doings in OP's opinion.

He allowed SM to be 'mother' to his child and finds it bad for SM that BM tried to have interaction with child as it upset SM and interfered with his new wife playing 'mother'.

And he continues to play honorable gentleman who is a victim (which was a self creation).

Even today we get this one..."I am as GOOD AS MY WORD. I told my ex-wife that I wouldn't move away until the child was 18. There was no paperwork on this: just my word. BM may not have been attracted to me anymore, but she knew me well enough to know that this was AS GOOD AS A CONTRACT".

Yet his word was good for nothing when it came to keeping it to his daughter and set into motion the confrontation between BM and daughter over the birth control.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

How exactly does any of this benefit me? My ex-wife was not a fit parent. I have seen the courts in action and they are biased towards giving custody to the mother regardless of any other circumstances. All these years I've paid for private schools, medical insurance, dentists, clothes, and everything else. Do you have any idea how expensive medical expenses are for a child with epilepsy? The drug that my daughter is on just went generic within the last few months. Before that it was $300 AFTER INSURANCE! Has anyone priced brain scans at the neurologist lately? I just found out that my daughter has four impacted wisdom teeth. I have no dental insurance. The idea that the arrangement benefited me and was a way of weaseling out of paying child support is absurd. I tried to make a deal because I didn't trust the courts. That's all.

As far as the keeping my word to my daughter goes, is there one person here who would put their daughter on birth control and not tell your spouse? That is simply absurd. I had to tell her. Spouses are supposed to be able to tell each other everything.

By the way the confrontation was between the daughter and the SM (not the BM) over the birth control. The BM was fine with it and thought it was a good idea.

What does "OP" stand for?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Original Poster

And if you think you "had" to tell your spouse, then why does you spouse not "have" to keep her mouth shut.


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Absurd?

Nothing absurd about it. I would not make a promise like that to my child inwhich I knew I would not keep. I woul dhave told her it was a promise I could not make.

The tirade over medical expense, your child is not the only child with high medical cost nor with a special condition. Many NCP parents provide health insurance for their child and is factored in as part of CS. Your child did not develop the condition at the time of 'deal' to ex wife. If you are sole responsible party to health expenses and educational expenses it was your own doings. Unfit mother or not, does not legally clear a parent of their share of taking financial responsibilty for their children. You made that deal yourself.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Ha, lkingston, haven't you figured out from reading some of these posts that you could have walked in on your ex smoking crack while posting ads on Craigs' List offering your daughter up for sale to Turkish slavers and it still wouldn't be enough for you to have taken it upon yourself to decide that she was not a fit mother?

I understand completely why you did what you did; my DH had originally made a deal with his ex where he was paying her CS even though he had the baby (now SS8).

But you really put your wife into an unfair position. I understand that it may have been with the best intentions, and no one can foresee the future. I missed the original posting, but if BM was showing up erratically every few weeks for an hour at a time, you were probably thinking that she'd just lose interest entirely at some point and wander off never to be seen again. (You put BM into an unfair position as well but frankly I don't much care about someone who would sell custody of their child.)

At any rate, whether on her own or with your assistance, apparently SM viewed herself as at least semi-Mom, only to be suddenly shoved out of that role by you, her husband, the same person who allowed her into it in the first place. I would have felt betrayed, lied to, and used, honestly.

I have on many occasions tried to talk my daughter into giving her BM another chance but she refuses. Why? Why on earth would you try to talk your almost 18 year old daughter into giving an unfit parent another chance?

It sounds very much like you are sending completely mixed messages to everyone around you. SM is supposed to play Mommy until you no longer want or need her to. BM is an unfit parent except when daughter should be giving her another chance. You are incredibly ethical and keep promises except when you don't.

I think most people understand that each decision that you made along the way seemed like the best thing at that time. You were in a difficult spot and I'm sure did the best that you could. However, just because you tried your best doesn't absolve you of responsibility for the consequences of your choices.

OP is original poster; you, in this case.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

It seems that you and your daughter are the victims. I say dump the SM. You and your daughter should live together with the boyfriend. It will give you a chance to make up for all those years.

I don't understand the BM. She never taken any responsibility with your daughter, cheated on you, cover up for your daughters mistake, lies... It seems that she is not a great influence for your daughter to begin with. It is up to your daughter to accept or not accept her BM. Does BM still have this unstable life? Is she still a cheater or a lier? Has your daughter witness or been part of her BM cover ups?

I don't understand the school thing. Does her mom have a car or the means to attend the school function? She could have gone on her own if she really wanted to. Does the SM have that much power? Can the SM laser beam BM with her eyes?LOL

I hear SM over stepping. What made the SM overstep or be so controlling? Was she like this when you met her? It seem that you and the BM weren't taking the responsibility from the beginning. You had no problem when SM took cupcakes to your daughter school or help her with other activities. NOW you have problems with SM giving any input. What is up with that? It sounds like SM really cares and have good intentions but doesn't know how to handle it.

It seems that you give up to easily your parenting responsibility. You gave them up with your daughter when your remarried(how convenient) and now you are ready to do it again with you son.

You are the victim.:(

I feel for the daughter. It seems that none of adults is giving her guidance.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

About the original 'deal' --- LKingston felt BioMom was not the best parent. Perhaps BioMom sorta knew it too -- but didn't want to have to be put in a position where she'd have to admit it on record in court? So maybe BioMom kind of wants to live 'her own life' without being a de-facto single parent to a very young child? The ability to waltz into and out of a child's life without all of the day to day drudgery is a pretty attractive option. (No - It's not good parenting!) And the OP's 'deal' with BioMom -- to provide a stable home for DD and not make her pay child support -- that's a pretty good deal all around if it means the child gets a stable and loving home and BioMom gets the 'freedom' she appears to have wanted. Assuming Dad had enough money to take care of the child adequately, which from the private schools etc., it appears he does.

Actually, I don't really have a problem with the other 'deals' either -- or even the word 'deal'. But let's substitute 'agreement', because that's what they are. (OP - Do yo by chance 'make deals' for your profession?)

Anyway -- The whole 'deal phase' is coming to a close. DD is almost grown, and it seems everyone agrees that for her to move out relatively soon would be the best thing. Is there any chance she could graduate early and start college in the spring? Or might family counseling help you all reach an agreement that will help you all live together peaceably until she starts school in the fall?

And you've not responded to either of the two 'look at other colleges' comments. Is the local school really the best school for her for non-boyfriend reasons?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

My daughter had expressed interest in one out of state college several months ago. I lined up the trip for her and I to take together but at the last minute she refused to go. I would LOVE IT if she would go to an out of state college and have been talking about her doing that for years. It would be SO good for her. Right now she refuses to discuss it. I have put this on hold. Later if she wants to transfer to somewhere that is out of state I would support that.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Dear 1K, why dont you try to get her Guidance Counselor to talk to her and suggest she at least look at a few other colleges. Maybe also suggest she can bring a friend (not BF).


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

You have the checkbook, which gives you leverage. For a decision this important, I would not hesitate to use that leverage. Besides, a Dad & Daughter road-trip? Could absolutely be fun -- should be fun. And will give you two time to talk and bond without SM around.

One tactic I frequently took with my very stubborn older son was to tell him that I could only take his opinion seriously if I knew that he had given the matter the time and serious attention it deserved, and had compared his preferred option to several other possibilities. That if he wasn't willing to at least consider other options, that this behavior alone proved he wasn't mature enough to be allowed to make the decision on his own -- in fact, that his preferences shouldn't be given much weight because they weren't well-founded. So I made him look at several other choices, and for every option (including his favorite), he had to give me three reasons why that option was a good choice, and three reasons why it was not good. That if he couldn't come up with three advantages and three disadvantages, it proved he wasn't thinking clearly. Then he could present why his choice was the best option for him.

That tactic often resulted in his changing his mind.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

OT -- "You have the checkbook, which gives you leverage"

And people wonder why I fought for so much to get mandated as CS. Answer, I dont want dad to say I'll only pay for this if you dance to SM's tune.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

What has life done to you kkny?
You only have heard one side of the story.

Are you a SM,SD or neither?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I was responding to Sweeby's comment re "you have the checkbook" I am a mother, X has oodles of money, and I dont have to tolerate the X has the checkbook.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I think Sweeby was referring to ~dad has the checkbook to pay for college, so he has the leverage to help her decide where to go.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I agree, Ima, I thought that was what Sweeby meant. My comment meant in my sitch, not so simple.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

"If the father gets the kids every second weekend and several weeks during the summer, that's a "deal"."

no, it is not a deal. what you described above is a normal arrangement court ordered or between parents. a 'deal" would be if in exchange of seeing or not seeing a child you would excuse them from paying their share or charge them extra. those are deals. By the way i never heard of anyone asking for custody in exchange of not paying CS, it is as crazy as it sounds.

Also i do not understand how you could promise 16 years ago to move out of state. In 16 years many things change: economy, health condition, job market, housing market, child's need. how could you possibly predict 16 years ago to be able to move out of state? In my state you can't even sell a house.

you made this promise to your wife without thinking of possibilities and your child's needs and now you either have to get divorced or keep making deals. You made promises to your ex and to you wife, but both promises make very little sense to me.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

"I was responding to Sweeby's comment re "you have the checkbook" I am a mother, X has oodles of money, and I dont have to tolerate the X has the checkbook."

"I think Sweeby was referring to ~dad has the checkbook to pay for college, so he has the leverage to help her decide where to go."

That is exactly what I meant, and KKNY was a smart cookie to assure her Ex. wouldn't be able to pull that kind of carp on DD if she had reason to think he might. Of course, if KKNY's DD had wanted to go somewhere KKNY didn't feel good about, who's to say KKNY might not have used her own checkbook leverage to influence wayward DD's decisions? Thankfully, KKNY's DD had her head screwed on pretty straight and didn't pull that kind of stunt.

I know I had a few straight-forward conversations with my son to the effect of "My financial contributions are directly tied to your efforts. If you goof off in high school, it's no expensive private college for you!" I don't feel that's in any way a misuse of parental authority or 'checkbook power'; though "I'm only paying for this school!" might be.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I totally see what you're saying, Sweeby, but in this case I doubt the reasoning with daughter you suggested you had success with your son will work for OP.

This girl appears to be 'lovesick' over the BF and very willing to chance her future over the guy. Local and so-so is good enough for her if she thinks it means not being apart from BF. I think if dad pulled all funding, girl would still be set on staying where she is.

I'm curious as to what Bf's goals and plans are for himself and his future career. I'm also curious as to if BF has been banned from the home of OP...either by OP and/or the SM. Forbidden fruit and all that. I'm wondering if a 'deal' might be more benefiting to all if it was more along the lines of trying to accept the BF and getting BF and daughter on the wavelength that a different school/move would be enhancing 'their' successful chances of a bright future together.

Finedreams, your last post with the 16 year old promise, I would have thought too that somebody who goes through life making deals would have had some kind of contingency plan in the arrangement.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

OK I worded it wrong. When I told my ex-wife that I wanted custody she immediately said "I'm not paying child support". I said "I won't ask for child support. You won't have to pay me anything. I just want the child." I was never ordered to pay child support or bargained it away or anything like that. I just came to an agreement with my ex-wife that we could both live with.

I had a friend at the time who was going through a divorce and the wife was granted custody of the three children in spite of the fact that she was cheating on him and living with the guy the kids called "Uncle Dan". I was scared of this happening to me so I worked out an agreement that she and the courts both agreed to: that I would be the custodial parent and she would have unlimited visitation rights. That no court ordered payments would be made. Since that time I have paid every expense except for a couple of fun things here and there like shoes or a new outfit. Not the best situation in the world but it beats giving half my paycheck to "Uncle Dan"!

Since then the BM has gone through a slew of boyfriends and one husband. The past few months since my daughter has had her falling out with her BM, she has told me some horrendous stories of things that were happening at her mother's place when she went to visit over the years. There was one occasion where the daughter came very close to being raped by a male relative.

In a court case you don't see people for how they are. A woman can go in in a pretty white dress and cry and say something like "I was scared he was going to hit me" and next thing you know your little girl is sleeping between in a bed with a passed out mother and her boyfriend. I would have payed child support and kept the child if I had to.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

--" I worked out an agreement that she and the courts both agreed to: that I would be the custodial parent and she would have unlimited visitation rights"--

Another 'deal' not followed. Must be uninvited to birthday party, can not attend orientation...

Nobody said you had to send the kid to an unsafe home for unsafe visitations but why was BM denied public contact? You seem very selective as to what deals and how those deals are honored. Yet the one with SM is airtight?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

"As far as the keeping my word to my daughter goes, is there one person here who would put their daughter on birth control and not tell your spouse? That is simply absurd. I had to tell her. Spouses are supposed to be able to tell each other everything. "

Where does it say you must share private intimate details of your children's lives with your spouses. It is hideous notion. yes if the other spouse is that child's parents, but if not? and even then if I want to share with my mother something private, she is not going to run to my dad, and we are intact family.

why does a stepparent need to know about birth control, absolutely does not have to. Especially if you know your wife is the type to create problems for everyone, surely in 16 years you know your wife. it seems like she runs everyone's lives and you are OK with it.


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birth control

"By the way the confrontation was between the daughter and the SM (not the BM) over the birth control. The BM was fine with it and thought it was a good idea. "

if both parents are OK with birth control, why is it SM's business at all? I think SM should apologize to DD.


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16 years plan

"Finedreams, your last post with the 16 year old promise, I would have thought too that somebody who goes through life making deals would have had some kind of contingency plan in the arrangement."

exactly, can't predict things that accurately especially when it comes to economy, I am a big planner, yet would never predict that people absolutely cannot sell a house in my area, even for a half price. Who knew 16 years ago?

and 16 years ago DD was 6, I could not possibly predict what college she would be attending, how could I know and make such promises to anyone. that many years ago both I and ex planned on having more children and moving somewhere together, I cannot even begin to tell how many different things happened since then! And I am a planer!


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

justmetoo: Nobody said you had to send the kid to an unsafe home for unsafe visitations In my state, the standard for even getting supervised visitation is incredibly high (or low, depending on how you look at it). The parent either has to have already committed or be found to be at high risk of committing serious abuse - serious being something that causes physical impairment, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse to the point of causing stuttering, bed-wetting or similar. There is not a snowball's chance in hell that "your little girl is sleeping between in a bed with a passed out mother and her boyfriend" would meet that criteria.

I can understand why lkingston made the agreement he did if BM was that unfit; it is ridiculous that anyone should have to wait until daughter was emotionally scarred for years - what I don't understand, to be honest, is why he feels that he had to honor that promise for so long. To me, it's like a legal contract signed under duress; it's not binding.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

Mattie, my comment was in response to OP's latest attempt to expand his story and his blurp about "Uncle Dan" and little girls sleeping between blah blah.

He said he learned recently of horrid conditions. There was no mention of early fears (at time of divorce or young childhood)... why would he agree to unlimited visitations? He also states he never tried to push BM away himself, but that SM did. If your BM is exposing your child to horrid things, would you not try and do something about it right then? Of course you would and even if it was hard to prove and/or took time, you'd scream from the rooftops trying to get somebody to take you seriously.

Considering OP set his own agreements and vistation allowences, don't you suppose if he'd have had concerns or seen signs of a daughter in distress he would have went to court and persued a proper court hearing and done all he could to cease unlimited vistations and/or attempted to get supervision visits? Don't you think we here would have heard early on that BM was being pushed away because of these horrid things?

We got quite the lengthy run down ...we know the kids medical history, her sexual life...why did it take 60 post to come to 'oh and poor kid visited BM often and went through horrid things'. We first got BM never came around, only made things hard for SM who was trying to play mother, allowed BF to sack up with daughter at her house ( after BM decided she wanted daughter back in her life when daughter was older)...not one word about daughter's safety or being traumatized during the 13 years inbetween custody and 15th birthday fallout. If this woman allowed daughter to have a horrid unsafe childhood in her home, why is OP telling us how he has been trying to get daughter to give BM another chance?

--"BM was never pushed away. She has always been able to see her daughter whenever she wants. The way that has worked out is that she didn't for long periods of time, then would come back into the picture for a brief period all gushing and loving, then would disappear etc. All this time I never once said anything bad about her. At this point BM is out of the picture because daughter refuses to see her. I have on many occasions tried to talk my daughter into giving her BM another chance but she refuses."---

I realize you have a very different situation with your SS and his BM and therefore do live in fear while SS is on his visitations and have a true need to worry while he is gone and how the visit may have affected him with the before and aftermath. But you also don't give promises of unlimited vistations and you do all you can to assure your SS's safety and use lawyers and courts to assist you.

My comment was more in line with the fact that no one here was suggesting the child should have been sent unlimited if there were a problem. Why would he agree to such a thing? This 'problem' did not appear until way into this thread, and frankly, I'm not buying there was real concern or reason for such a concern during the girl's early years.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

You obviously think I'm not being honest. Exactly what would be the point that? I don't know any of you here and you don't know me. I have expressed things here that I haven't told anyone that I actually know. I have poured over lots of threads in this "step parent" forum and my story isn't the only one that seems a little crazy. I don't doubt anyone's integrity though. I just realize that when you are going through something so endlessly frustrating, that even the most sane person can make mistakes and do things that seem inconsistant.

As far as I go, I am posting here at a little before 2 in the morning. I won't be getting much sleep tonight. My daughter left for the night again. I begged her to stay but she wouldn't. I thought about physically restraining her but I just couldn't. One of the last things she said to me is that if I care so much about her, why is there a for sale sign in front of the house (my wife put it there a few weeks ago)?

My wife and I haven't slept together in a long time. I sleep on the sofa and put away the pillow and blanket before my son gets up. I hardly sleep at all these days. If I get two hours of sleep in a night that is a good night. Every time I lie down my mind just keeps going over what I have done wrong and trying to think of ways to somehow right the ship.

It is my son's birthday in a couple of days and my wife's two days after that. She is going to celebrate it by going away to the beach for the weekend. Do I leave with them and forget about my daughter for a couple of days? If I stay home my wife will tell me that I've chosen my daughter over my son yet again and the fact that she is the one who left will be irrelevant. If I can't leave for two days, what am I going to do when my wife takes my son and leaves town next spring? Pack up my pillow and blanket and move to a new couch so that I can be close to my son?

I can't see any way to delete my account so I'll just say goodbye and stop posting. Some of you have situations much worse than mine and I really feel for you. Others seem to just stop by when they need a break from gardening. Good luck to all of you and wish me the same. Chow.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I tried to post a while ago, so if double posts show up, it was not meant to.

Kingston, don't go away. It is very helpful sometimes to pour it all out and vent. It is also very hard to get a clear take from cold black print from a new posters handful of paragraphs, what is coming across clear though is the fact you're miserable, you're jammed up between a rock and a hard place and you're being asked (demanded?) to choose between wife/child/children.

What is also coming across very clear is that you love your daughter and you're very concerned with both her welfare and her future. And rightly so.

While you've said the plan was always to move away, I don't think you've actually said why. What are the plans after the sold sign goes up and the bags are packed? Is this a move you yourself want to make? Will your currently strained relationship with your wife really be better and you see a happy future in your marriage if you go to another city?

Only you know these answers and only you can decide if this move is indeed what you want to do. Personally I think it's unfair to demand this move unless perhaps in delaying it would seriously affect what the goal in the move is really all about. Are you turning down career moves if you wait another year. Putting off retirement plans?

Besides a promise you made 16 years ago, why the need or intense desire to move at exactly the time daughter turns age 18? If you go is everything automatically all fixed in your marriage? Or will it fall apart even moreso because of fear and worry over your daughter?

I think you really need to sit down by yourself and sort through what it is that YOU want, what is best for YOU and make some serious decisions on what is next in YOUR life while at the same time being sure you have the best interest of your children in your decision making.

Forget the past, start today, right now, as your important focus, start with what is currently going on in your life and how you need to deal with it.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

justmetoo: Thanks for your reply; I do realize that I am biased sometimes. Actually DH did used to give BM "unlimited" visitation. The reason was that, for her, unlimited meant that she'd see him every couple of months. Now the judge has told her that she'll get in trouble for canceling/no-showing visitations. So now she has no choice besides to see him even when she doesn't want to, which seems to us to be a really bad idea. All we really wanted was some kind of set schedule, with a decent cancellation notification, and no penalty for cancellations so long as it's far enough ahead of time (by which I mean days, for instances where she just doesn't feel like it.)

LKingston: It sounds like you are so exhausted and stressed that you may no longer be seeing the forest for the trees. It kind of sounds like your daughter is running the show at your house. Why on earth should you even have to think about whether or not to spend the birthday weekend at the beach with your son? Why should the whole family have to stay home because a 17 year old is in a snit? It honestly sounds like your son is getting overlooked in all of this drama surrounding your daughter.

Your daughter is almost 18; her morals, values and character should be formed by now. You need to trust that you did a good job raising her and let her go. I don't mean abandon her! But it's time to begin to focus more on what's best for you, your wife, and most importantly, your son. He is going to very soon be entering his teenager and is really going to need his dad.

It sounds to me like you've spent so much time and effort "making up" to your daughter for the fact that you're divorced that it's become a habit. If you were still married to BM and had a 10 year old with her, and Mom and daughter were fighting (and believe me, it happens with teenage girls and BM's as well!) would you even be considering not going to celebrate wife and son's birthday?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

OK - DD's already spending the nights with her BF; apparently you can't stop her. So why not make her sleepover 'official' for the beach weekend and 'choose' your wife and son. (Just FYI, I don't see it as 'choosing' them, but if your wife does, then let her see it that way. Let her know you value her, your son, your marriage and your family.)

Then try to repair your relationship with your wife. You two still have a young son together who really needs both of you. I seem to recall you said you really love her and want your marriage to work. If that's true, TELL her that, and SHOW her that. Then get into counselling and get OFF of the couch. She complains that when it comes to parenting that you two aren't on the same page? Well, LISTEN to her. It's clear that you're not. Now that doesn't automatically make her right about everything, but if you show a willingness to listen, to try things her way, to compromise -- it might make a big difference. Ask her to agree that SD is parenting 'water under the bridge' at this point, and accept responsibility for not always doing everything right. You do want to do better with your son, right? Then say so! Family counselling can help you two get there.

The first order of business in the counsellor's office should be the 'For Sale' sign. Yes, your 'deal' was until your DD turned 18 -- but for goodness sake, that happens in the middle of her senior year in high school! What kind of parent packs up and leaves in the middle of their child's last year of high school? (Ask her that -- in just those words.) I get that she hates where you live. I get that she really, really needs to 'get out of Dodge.' But the very real needs of this young girl need to come first for just a few months longer. Let her graduate from high school in the house she knows and feels secure in. Your wife should be willing to do that much... Acknowledge that you're 'stretching' the deal and own that fact -- but ask her anyway. (And if she insists on leaving, DON'T allow her to take your son with her in the middle of the school year. It's not what's best for him either. That fact belongs in the conversation also -- that a mid-year move isn't best for him either.)

When it comes to your daughter, as the politicians say "Mistakes have been made". I'm not going to point fingers and try to suss out who is MOST to blame, because it really doesn't matter. The indisputable fact is that you have a young girl with some issues, some strengths, some major rebelliousness going on, and some resulting family trauma. You have to deal with it. To some extent, your wife needs to deal with it also, for a little while longer. Apologize to her for your part in the errors of her upbringing, and ask her to forebear a little longer -- to stick with you and not break up the family until she's established in her college home. It's not that much longer!

It's clear that nothing good will come from pulling your family apart on your daughter's 18th birthday. How could that be good for anyone?


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

do not say good bye, people just saying how it is, everyone does, some are gentler than others but nobody wishes you harm, people in real life would not tell you how it is, but because we don't know you, we just may.

1. first of all i wouldn't worry that she will take your son away. please do not make any deals with your wife. if you must go separate ways (am not saying you must but just in case), do it the proper way through the court system. your wife would not be allowed to just take a child and move unless you give permission. you may get join custody and you both could stay in the same area.

2. who does your house belong to? both? you? her? she has nor rights to put up signs if you both did not agree to sell at this point. take the sign off. your daughter has another year of high school and you simply cannot sell anything now, you cannot move now.

3. yes leaving for 2 days is OK if you know where your daughter is. honestly until my DD turned 18 if I left town for short vacation (which really didn't happen that much), she was staying with dad/grandma/my brother or other adult. after 18 is a different story. but 17 might not be a big deal either. why not leave for 2 days?

Honestly what i would do is wait until DD is done with high school, see where she is going, help with college, make sure she is situated etc but then decide to move or not.

nothing can be decided now, when you have kids you just cannot make hasty decisions. it is sad that your wife does not understand that you simply could not predict 16 years ago how things would turn out. and honestly your wife contributed to a problem with DD, so she should understand you can't just pick up and go.


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RE: Wife & daughter conflict

I just ran past this post today, and honestly haven't read all the way through to the ending, but wanted to share my view on taking the daughter to OB/GYN earlier than later. I had a "condition" unbeknown to me when I first had sex that caused a near fatal occurrence. It was physical and somewhat uncommon, but none the less, my emergency OB/GYN that had to be called within hour(s) scolded my mom for not taking me for an appointment sooner in life. It's not always about money or so they can have sex, but it's always good to know that physically there is nothing wrong that would cause emergency. Not to go into too much detail, but I lost over half my blood and was 10 min's away from fading away completely. 5 simultaneous IVs and ambulance later, I was okay. But, it was totally unnoticeable and undetectable, as is the case today. (I have 2 sets of ovaries and cervix's) I took my SD around 14 just to make sure.


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