Hubbie has issues with his son's stepdad

(19 Posts)
HKnight Thu 08-Nov-12 04:38:55

Sorry if long, need some advice and can't find much on this topic online. My hubbie's ex-wife has recently married the man that she had an affair with when they were married. Hubbie has 1 son with his ex and 2 Step Kids who he has been told via solicitor to never contact again (he lived in their lives from babies for 11 years). His ex always denied she had affair with her new hubbie, but my hubbie read her emails and knows she did but wouldn't confront her at time (solicitor's advice). My hubbie really wants to be there more for his son who is now 10 and looks like we are being allowed more contact. However ex seems to put needs of her new hubbie before father/son contact. She won't drop him off at local station (to her) because she says her hubbie needs the car to find work (on a friday night??) so my hubbie does all the travelling to her front door (FMH) which is an epic and costly journey (and emotional). Ex always says hubbie chose to live where he does, but he is on mortgage for FMH and until they sell up we can't buy anywhere closer. We live where we do in my house, which I bought before we met. We are trying to work via solicitor to get them to do some of the travelling, but they are practically bankrupt so drop off at local station seems a fair compromise, new hubbie has no job, they are skint and in huge debt(we know from financial settlement). When hubbie first left his ex, new partner was there when he went to fetch his son and threatened him (police were involved but no charges). That was 3 years ago. Trouble is step dad calls his son by a nickname we know son hates in front of my husband, and from what my brother-in-law says exerts some kind of 'control' over the boy. New hubbie likes to walk stepson to hubbies car, this just makes my hubbie even angrier.

I feel sorry for the lad, he never mentions his step dad, no problem his mum, it's either cos he is trying not to upset his dad or plain cant stand his step dad. It must also be hard that he has to leave his half siblings behind when he visits his dad. He really enjoys himself with us, and it's touching to see him with his baby sister.

Hubbie's ex wanted us all to meet up to discuss his son (right about time I was due to give birth in mid-summer, and only on her patch, like I could travel a long way in a hot car). We refused due to pregnancy, but I know hubbie refuses to be in same room as new hubbie, and his ex won't be alone with my hubbie. My hubbie wouldn't hurt a fly, although he talks a good fight ;). Ex wife can't bring herself to look at my hubbie never mind be alone with him, refuses mediation (cost and she can't get legal aid). Ex wife just never discusses anything with hubbie, never mentions anything to him unless hubbie pushes for information. Hubbie knows from being her second husband that his ex will be trying to make the new hubbie the father of the house and expect cheques from the real dads and want to call all the shots in their lives. The other dad gave up a long time ago but my hubbie can't do that, he never saw the affair coming and doesnt want to lose contact with his son.

My question is this do I support my husband in his decision to refuse to meet the man, or do I try and persuade him as much as I can for sake of his son? Do you think anything will be gained from such a meeting with all of us, or is it likely to be WW3? I would think it best if just mum and dad met up but his ex won't meet my hubbie alone - god knows why. A MESS

Kaluki Thu 08-Nov-12 12:34:29

I can't really see the benefit of meeting either of them tbh.
Its very similar to our situation. My DP refuses to have anything to do with his ex's BF and hasn't been face to face with his ex since their divorce.
All communication is via text or email.
It sounds like your DHs ex just wants this meeting to stir up trouble and make your DH feel uncomfortable.
My advice to you both would be to rise above it and ignore their attempts to wind him up. People like this need a reaction to their games and if they don't get it they will soon give up.

brdgrl Thu 08-Nov-12 15:27:28

the only way a meeting like this could possibly do any good at all, it seems to me, is in the presence of a third party, as in mediation.

I can understand why the collecting/drop off issue bothers you and seems unfair, but would probably advise you and your DH to just continue to rise above it and carry on pursuing all your solutions through the solicitor. When communication and co-operation between the parents is totally broken down like that, maybe best to deal with things through the courts and third parties as much as possible? (but that is my sense of it without any actual firsthand experience!)

HKnight Fri 09-Nov-12 05:08:16

Thankyou brdgrl, Hubbie is doing all communication via text too. We were getting nowhere so we've involved solicitor and hubbie has managed to get his ex to agree to more holiday time with us so at least something. Trouble is its 1) expensive and 2) upsetting for the boy as he is not kept away from negativity at home.

Mediation seems ideal but we'd have to pay for his ex too and its not something we're prepared to do if not taken seriously. Will try to get hubbie to rise above it all as you suggest.

Cloverhoney Fri 09-Nov-12 08:21:03

I'm not sure you would have to pay for ex's mediation? I think it's deemed her responsibility to pay her share.
My DH isn't paying for his ex despite him being the one that initiated mediation. I might be wrong. Anyone else know?

NotaDisneyMum Fri 09-Nov-12 08:48:07

Sometimes, one party will pay for the mediation costs of the other - often if the cost has been used as the reason for refusal.

I've paid for ex's sessions in the past, and more recently, he's paid for mine (we've mediated lots!)

Cloverhoney Fri 09-Nov-12 09:02:51

Oh right.....maybe we are paying then....she hasn't shown up yet!

elliebellys Fri 09-Nov-12 10:30:44

Knight it might be that the ex is strugglin with payin for petrol for the drop offs if she,s near bankrupt nd using hubby needin car as an excuse.i think the poor boy knows theres accrimony on both sides ndwnt want to talk.very very sad.whether your hubby likes the step dad or not he is part of sons life .mediation might really benefit all of you.it would be much better for all 4 of you to discuss a way forward..its got to be worth a try.

HKnight Fri 09-Nov-12 15:24:32

Yeah I agree about the mediation might be worth a try, if we could afford it (have to look at costs). Just wondering whether its money down drain or not. I dont want to push hubbie into it if likely to be futile. With respects to petrol costs, maybe that's the case, but why can't she just say it? We might be able to meet some costs. For us its the time involved in travelling that's the issue, hubbie has to get a taxi to her door from her local station and back (he's commuting across London on a friday night after work). Taxi money could go towards fuel costs.

I spoke with hubbie last night he says he'll meet with his ex but never, 'him'. Also not sure whether us step parents need to be there at mediation?

elliebellys Fri 09-Nov-12 16:08:49

Pride is prob why she wont say anythin.steps dont have 2 bethere,but if they are a big part of childs life then surely it would be the best for the child.why exactly has he got such a grudge against step dad?

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 05:40:35

I thought I'd re-activate this old thread in light of the similar thread about the DP who has huge resentment towards the ex husband. The other thread was a bit of a light bulb moment for us. DH is no closer to resolving Xmas and holiday contact, he got an unusual email from the ex saying she thought DH was a good dad, that she's glad he is in DSS life and she would never restrict contact. But she won't agree to proper holiday contact and mediation looks inevitable now. In the past DH had agreed with Ex for her to drop off at her local stn, but after 2 successful drop offs it was stopped with a text to DH, I won't be doing drop off cos my partner doesn't like it. Then when DH tried to work with his ex abt his Ds she informed DH he must do all contact abt DSS through her new hubbie (the man who broke up the marriage), which DH point blank refuses. Hence solicitor is involved. If she continues to refuse to seek legal advice (and we're 99pct sure her hubbie is actually working and they are not bankrupt she thinks DH will cave in as before) and Cafcass/whoever get involved are they not going to take a very dim view of this behaviour?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 06:10:04

I don't know.

Just go down the legal route. It sounds like that's all that's left to you.

but I do believe it is actually the responsibility of the non resident parent to get to and from the home or other agreed pick up point. so you would be best served letting go of that one. I don't believe there's any requirement to meet you at a halfway point or anything.

I wonder if she is being controlled by this man. All communications re your husband and his ex re their child to be done through her new bloke? I don't think so. That's actually quite troubling.

Keep all texts and emails. You may need them in mediation/court.

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 08:02:42

Regarding pick-up responsibilities why should DH have to undertake all the legwork? He had to get a train and then a taxi to FMH, then another taxi, train and 2 tubes to get home with DSS on a fri night. He asked for her to drop off at local stn to help.

DH lives in my house our home other side of London and he is constantly told that it was DH choice to move here. We can't move so long as he's still on FMH mortgage.

So if contact is so important as she has made out, drop off to local stn is not a big ask is it? Besides DSS is tired from all the travelling, and this one thing she now does after sols involvement means her son would be at ours. 40 mins earlier and not be to bed late.

Its no wonder dads lose contact with their kids if mother's get to call all the shots. I'm ending the marriage, I'm keeping the kids and home, you keep maintaining us all, you can't move on because you have kids already (but I can), you must see kids when I say so, you must do all the travelling and pay the costs.

DSS is suffering, having night terrors, crying and won't say why to DH. The ex thinks DSS is fine, adolescence is around the corner and I can spy some right fun and games ahead.

I will tell DH to keep all correspondence. what actually happens in mediation? I assume ex can't take hubbie in with her? I hope not, DH will not co-operate in such a circumstance.

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 09:01:50

I believe from reading many, many threads and from talking to people who happen to be in similar situations that that's just the way it works. I don't know why but the impression I get is that's the expectation - of the court too, generally. i am not a solicitor or involved in this sort of thing.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be ideal for parents to cooperate, co parent amicably and meet each other half way - of course it would.

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 09:38:40

If we could live closer (but not unitl DH is released from FMH mortgage) then he would have no issue in drop off collection.

Is there possibility then that court will order him to do all the travelling?

What abt xmas and birthdays DH wants to alternate annually, we live too far to just share each day. Likwise DH is wanting 5 weeks hols, 2 in summer, 1 in easter, 1 in xmas, (ex works in a school so she sees him every school holiday as of now). Solicitor tells DH contact request is reasonable and so is asking for help regarding pick-up etc.

But we r not legal types and don't know if what sol says is true. Is my DH wasting his time and money? should he just accept EOW and whatever other scraps of contact the ex throws his way?

HECTheHallsWithRowsAndFolly Fri 07-Dec-12 09:43:43

I don't know. I'm not an expert and it would be irresponsible of me to give anything other than my layman's take on things and make sure I state clearly that it's just a pov.

I think you should see a solicitor who perhaps specialises in this area.

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 10:35:12

My DH has sought legal advice, but just wondered if any other SM's have had DP's go through similar and what the outcome was?

EMS23 Fri 07-Dec-12 10:49:24

You may not think it relevant but one thing that really stands out to me, is your DH's refusal to have anything to do with Ex wife's new DH.

I agree that her asking your DH to go through this man re their son, is unnecessary and wrong but on all other levels your DH needs to be open to seeing this man etc..

Your DSS may hate his stepdad but can't tell his Dad for fear it will cause an almighty row and doesn't want to make life difficult for his mum.
OTOH, he may like his new stepdad but feels conflicted because he knows his Dad hates him so the stress of that could be causing his troubles.

For the child, it's better if all the adults in his life, parents and stepparents can try to get along or at least not be too open in their contempt and hatred for one another. If not, the child will just always feel torn.

HKnight Fri 07-Dec-12 12:35:53

I think its relevant and I can see what you are saying but in DH eyes he feels that his ex and he chose to have his son and not the new hubbie. He just wants to be able to discuss with her and not the new fella their son. My DH lost his 2 step kids he brought up as his own (encouraged by the mother for 13 yrs) the day the new man replaced him. And it pretty much was like that, DH moves out next day new man moves in.

After 3 years he still gets upset about, and some men are sensitive and can't just suck it all up. Everytime I slightly suggest he did include the new man I get shot down in flames.

I don't think DH will ever forgive the new man. He doesn't forgive his ex but has accepted that he has to deal with her pleasantly for sons sake. The new man has no respect for DH, and I've seen it myself. DH always ignores him when he sees him and tries very hard not to mention how he feels to DSS.

But I just can't see him at this stage being able to sit down and discuss DSS with the ex and new man. God if I were the one pushing to be in on the talks with the ex, putting my opinion in, after splitting a marriage up I'm sure I'd be told to butt out.

I can see there is a lot of double standards in our society, step fathers seem to be a lot more accepted than stepmothers. And everyone is happy for them to become heads of the household.

DH has got one unhappy christmas ahead of him, yet another without his son. And DSS who asked to spend Xmas with us, is again piggy in the middle

How the ex cannot see how much better it would be for her and DH to resolve things now and work on a future including Sf and SM once the dust settles I'll never know.

Is there any support or counselling DH could look into about his issues? I'm not the right person and have enough on with our baby.

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