Aibu- sorry, a bit long and probably very whingey!

(53 Posts)
Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:12:41

First time posting in here and fully expect to be told I am being unreasonable/hormonal/pfb or all of the above smile sorry it's so long but I don't want to drip feed.

Background: DH and I have been together just over five years, married 18 months. DH has an 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship. I was not the OW. In fact I met DH because we started working together just after he left his ex. He waited more than a year before he asked me out as I was in a long term relationship that ended. I wasn't introduced to dsd until we had been together nearly a year. By this time dh's ex was in another relationship and had introduced him to dsd.

I have never officially met dh's ex. She seemed to take an instant dislike to me, evidenced in nasty texts and screaming down the phone at DH, and this ramped up after she split up with her boyfriend about 18 months into our relationship. Since then she has not had a boyfriend.

I have tried to empathise. I have no idea how hard it is to be a single mum and hope I don't ever have to find out. I have never replied or retaliated (don't even have her number) and have always tried to treat dsd the way I would want my own daughter treated, but sometimes I feel I've been pushed too far.

Every step of our relationship has been challenged by her behaviour. When I was just 'the girlfriend' I was deliberately trying to replace her, so it got to the point I refused to play 'families' with dsd where she would say to me 'you be the mummy and I'll be the little girl', I would say 'let's be sisters instead' in case that upset her. Nothing I did was ever good enough.
When we bought our home and got engaged she started coaching dsd to say horrible things to me and started contacting DH saying that him continuing a relationship with me was emotionally damaging his daughter. I know these things seem petty but when you hear it week in week out it starts to drain.
The worst thing though is that throughout our relationship she has sent DH inappropriate text messages. This even extended to calling him at work when she is drunk and saying he had to come and help her immediately because there were 'men following her'.
I trust DH. He has no contact with her unless it's about dsd.
DH has always maintained the best way to deal with his ex is to ignore her and not rise to the provocation. To be fair this seems to work the majority of the time.
On the other hand, DHs mum and wider family have not followed this advice to the point that they indulge this behaviour and overlook a lot of things that she has done because they are afraid she will stop them seeing dsd. To be fair to them, DH has not always told them the full extent of some of the horrible things his ex has done to us personally.

After we got married I discovered mil had given dh's ex photos of the wedding. At first I thought they were just of dsd as a flower girl but have since found out they were pictures of just me and DH. Apparently dh's ex had asked for them? For some reason this made me feel uncomfortable but I let it go.

Fast forward and, following three heartbreaking miscarriages, I am 37 weeks pregnant and petrified. Dh's ex has already said that me having a baby is going to damage dsd and baby isn't even here yet. There is no reason to believe this, DH will still see dsd as often as before and is not seeking to reduce any sort of payment. I am obviously very emotional (and hormonal) and have decided that under no circumstances do I want dh's ex to have photos of my little baby (God willing she gets here safely) even if dsd is in the photo with her. Sorry, I know that probably sounds really petty but that is how I feel.

Neither DH or I are on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media so the only way she would get them is via dh's family.

Aibu to feel this way and, if I'm not, how do I make it clear from the start to his family?

Thank you if you managed to get through all of that blush

OptimisticSix Mon 25-Apr-16 15:19:12

Please don't let this awful woman spoil a very exciting time for you. I wouldn't worry about the photos if DSD wants to take photos of her and her baby sibling to her mother's I would let her. I would do everything possible to foster strong ties between the siblings because it sounds to me like DSDs mother is a nasty manipulative person and this will probably continue into DSDs adulthood and DSD will need all the support she can get. You sound like you have done everything right and can feel proud of yourself. It's a shame his family don't realise how awful she it so you have more support, but it's up to you and DH how much you tell them. Congratulations on your imminent arrival and I hope you enjoy every minute grin

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:23:20

Thanks optimistic, getting very nervous now haha

To clarify- I would absolutely want dsd to have photos taken with the baby that we would have and other family members would have, I just don't feel comfortable about someone who has already expressed a dislike for the baby having any photos of her.

ForgottenFriends Mon 25-Apr-16 15:29:31

Yanbu at all, I would say you have been incredibly patient with someone who has been actively trying to destroy your relationship.

You mention that you haven't had much direct contact with her?Which is understandable given the circumstances, however you are both now forever intertwined due to the children and this nastiness won't be good for you at all as you bring up your little one. Perhaps you could try some form of mediation?

I've never been in the situation but I didn't want to read and run!

Congrats on the pregnancy btw!flowers

WannaBe Mon 25-Apr-16 15:31:37

Your dh is right in that the best way to deal with her is to ignore her.

I understand how you feel re her not seeing pictures of your baby, however this is going to be your DSD's sibling, and chances are she's going to talk about the baby to her mum and even show her pictures. If her mum says anything negative about you or the baby then that is down to the mum. The less you respond to those comments, the more the DD will grow up to realise that her mum is the one putting barriers in the way iyswim.

Unfortunately the reality is that this woman is going to be a part of your lives by virtue of your DSD for the foreseeable future. It's far more preferable to just not rise to any of it, given there's not actually anything you can do about it. If I were DH though I'd be talking to the wider family about why they feel a need to retain contact with her given the history... If they then continue to do so that is their prerogative but I'd take their reasons on board and share with them accordingly if I felt that they might pass every bit of information to her.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:36:51

Thanks forgotten.

At the start of our relationship she made it clear she didn't want to have anything to do with me. I was just 'the girlfriend'. I don't have her number, email etc and I wouldn't feel comfortable with her having mine.

I know eventually she will have to meet baby, unless she's excluded from her sister's birthdays etc. Especially since, considering how traumatic the last 18 months have been, they may be each other's only siblings.

I guess I am being unreasonable aren't I?

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:40:44

wannabe I do agree with you about the wider family issue. It just seems it's forbidden to ever criticise or put an alternative forward. They do seem genuinely terrified they wouldn't be able to see dsd. I've explained to DH I would never let that happen, would go to court etc but I think they think smiling and nodding is easier than rocking the boat

WannaBe Mon 25-Apr-16 15:41:20

Also, are you absolutely sure that all these things your DH says have happened, actually have happened? Or is there a chance he could be embellishing some of it to make her look worse than she is? Especially given that you've never met her and haven't had any dealings with her other than what your DH is telling you?

I often read threads on here where people talk about all the horrible things their partner's ex has said about them and all the mad things they have said/done, and it turns out the new partner has never actually met the ex and so this information is coming second hand from the DH/DP <disclaimer I'm not talking about threads where people have had direct experience, but those where "he said that she said that," and it's been taken as truth.>.

My view on those is almost always that there are three sides, his side, her side, and the truth, which is probably somewhere in the middle.

Boomingmarvellous Mon 25-Apr-16 15:42:07

You are not being unreasonable at all. I would not want this nasty woman having any window on my life, however small.

If you can try to talk to someone about this behaviour and you might be helped to ignore it.

WannaBe Mon 25-Apr-16 15:49:10

Well, she may meet the baby - she may not. As your DSD is eight now you're potentially getting to a point where you could have individual birthday experiences if you so chose.

But yes, they are siblings and at some point your baby's path may cross with her's. But one would hope that in time she can move forward with her own life and live her life rather than staying too invested in yours.

It may in fact be that she is sad that her ex is having a baby with someone else. Even if she doesn't want to be with him. My ex had a baby with his new DP last year and I wasn't prepared for the feeling that my DS had a sibling which wasn't my child, iyswim.

FWIW the only time I ever rang my XH and ranted at him about his DP was when he'd claimed that I had had a go at her through him, which resulted in her sending me a text saying that I could have her number so next time I could have a go at her directly. Number subsequently blocked and ignored but I categorically hadn't said anything about her. But the call I made to XH could easily have been reposted back here as the ex ringing up to rant after she'd been the unreasonable one."

So do keep an open mind when it comes to getting information back second hand...

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:49:16

Unfortunately I've seen the messages and i was working with DH until about six months ago so I heard all the tearful phone calls. When we got engaged we mad ether mistake of telling her before telling dsd and I sat on the sofa next to DH whilst he had an hours worth of being told he was ruining her life and her daughters.

When baby got to 24 weeks we told dsd ourselves she was going to have a sibling and DH actually asked his mum to tell his ex at the same time. I think this was cowardly but as he pointed out, I'm not the one who will get the phone calls and texts.

I agree with you that obviously DH can't have been a saint in their relationship. No one is in a relationship that breaks down.i do often feel sorry for her. DH and I have been very lucky (not with the miscarriages) but in other ways.

WannaBe Mon 25-Apr-16 15:52:27

Fair enough. smile tbh, she will be her own downfall eventually.

The problem with people who use their children as pawns and who are quite so toxic is that they seem to lose sight of the fact that their children won't be children for ever and that one day they will grow into adults, or even teenagers with the ability to decide for themselves what is right and wrong.

WannaBe Mon 25-Apr-16 15:53:34

It's very easy to manipulate an eight year old. When she gets to twelve/thirteen/sixteen, not so much.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:54:24

wannabe sorry just saw your most recent post.

I've never been in your situation so can't imagine how hard it is for you flowers

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 15:57:15

I absolutely agree with you wannabe, but my god sometimes it's hard to bite your tongue. Wish you were my dh's ex hahagrin

igglepiggleisanarsehole Mon 25-Apr-16 16:02:09

You could be me. I've been in a very similar situation for 6 years, except I've had my baby and I'm pregnant with my second.
You having a baby is certainly not damaging to your stepdaughter, it sounds like bitterness disguised as concern.
What a sad little life she has. Best of luck to you and enjoy that baby! X

Janecc Mon 25-Apr-16 16:03:15

I understand your feelings. Unfortunately the little girl is going to want photos so it is likely to happen. As the previous poster said, I would get some kind of help/talk to someone to help you with these feelings. You sound like a reasonable and very caring lady. Dsd is lucky to have you around and if her mother really is this bad or perhaps even worse, this little girl is going to benefit from having you around. Perhaps you are the mummy figure she needs. I would try to ignore this lady as much as possible. She sounds incredibly jealous and hopefully when she finds a new man, she will be otherwise occupied and retreat.

diddl Mon 25-Apr-16 16:08:37

Congratulations!

You've been together a while now so it@s about time she started to accept the situation.

His ex might be jealous, not necessarily of you being with him, but that you get to play happy families with her daughter seemingly without the hard work.

And of course it will be hard for his daughter going back to her mum & leaving you three behind as a family that she is only part of intermittently.

But she'll only be damaged if adults allow it, surely?

My husband left me for someone else & she was pregnant before we were divorced!

Much as I didn't want him back(nor him me, obviously), it was upsetting, because there was an element of "that should be me" iyswim.

We had talked about children & even names.

I think that it would be hard for her to never see a pic of the baby, but perhaps your stepdaughter might prefer pics of her with baby rather than just of baby anyway?
maybe initially your stepdaughter could have a pic of her holding the baby towards her so that baby can't really be seen iyswim.

I think it's a play it by ear situation rather than hard & fast rules before the outset.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 16:08:40

Yeah, I am being a bit precious aren't I?

Oh how I would selfishly love for her to meet someone. It probably would make life soooo much easier.

iggle your username made me laugh out loud.

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 16:12:54

diddl that is awful. I know you shouldn't judge but seriously some people have no shame!

I do think she may have thought I had known DH before they split up because she obviously knows we were working together and I can see why it would be upsetting to think that, but she can see my HR record if she wants!

And that is a very good idea about positioning baby, wouldn't make it seem like such a big deal then

tinyterrors Mon 25-Apr-16 16:36:22

I can completely understand you not wanting your dh's ex to see a picture of your baby, I felt the same. We had so much hassle from my dh's ex I couldn't stand to be anywhere near her and didn't (still don't) want her anywhere near my dcs.

Tell your in laws, or better yet get dh to tell them, that they are not to give the ex any photos of your baby. It's inevitable that she'll see one eventually but there's no need for your mil to be the one to give her any.

As for her seeing your baby, that's easy enough to stop. Don't go with your dh when he picks dsd up and don't let him take your baby with him either. There's no need to go to birthday parties that the ex throws, have your own or have a day out for dsd's birthday. My dsd is a teen now and we've never been to a party with her mum. Yes it may seem petty but when someone has caused years of grief it makes you want to keep your child well away from them.

We had months of trouble from dh's ex when I was pregnant, including trying to split us up by threatening to stop contact, and then she wondered why I refused to let her see our baby.

Sorry, went off track there, but what I'm trying to say is do what makes your family unit happy. If that means not letting the ex anywhere near your baby then so be it.

YelloRoses Mon 25-Apr-16 16:40:41

If this was a man posting people would say how he took advantage of a woman who just came out of a relationship. Rebounds dont ever work out and the screaming psycho ex is why.
Stay if you like the drama but me personally could never deal with that crap..

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 16:42:05

Sorry yelloroses, who is on the rebound?

Snoopysimaginaryfriend Mon 25-Apr-16 16:46:06

My DH and his ex had separated more than a year before we got together. They had sold the flat they had owned for two years, she took all the belongings and she was in another relationship before we got together. I'm hardly a rebound?

exciteddani Mon 25-Apr-16 16:47:38

OP ignore yelloroses she doesn't seem to have read your post properly and has just had her thread deleted by MNHQ

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