You sound as if you're in a similar position to my DP's ex!
I am stepmother to her child with DP, me and her get on great, see each other socially, her and DP are still friends and all access/contact stuff is worked out flexibly and amenably between her and DP.
On the other hand, she is SM to her DP's child from first marriage and they have a LOT of problems with the mother. Communication is strained, she is very difficult about contact arrangements.
I have absolutely no words of wisdom except that I was struck by the similarity of your situation to hers. It sounds very difficult. Is there any kind of court order in place for contact?
Been here and have the t-shirt. Nearly had the divorce papers to match at one point, it got so bad with the ex's demands and DH's 'keeping the peace' routine
You sound perfectly sane and reasonable but you need to have a full and frank conversation with your DP as regards how his inactivity affects you personally and ultimately your lives together. It is the only way. You may have to be to the bone brutal (or not) and will almost definately have to let him mull on it for 24hrs before you get a considered response.
Don't let the ex mistake kindness for weakness but also don't make the mistake of letting it get 'her versus you' even if it's only mentally either.
It would appear from what you have said that the ex likes having all the control access wise. From my experience the only way to get peace was to remove that control officially which meant court. We had rather hoped that the thought of court would help her be reasonable but she just got worse so we had to plod on and fork out. Mind you, so did she much to her disgust
Honestly the "man up" is a real alarm bell now I'm looking with hindsight
I am on both sides of the step-parenting divide. On the one hand, my DS has a step-mother. She is wonderful. She loves him. We get on very well, are friends and spend lots of time together with our younger children. There is no problem at all on that front.
On the other hand, My DP (father of my DD) has a DS of his own. He is 4.
DP and his ex don't speak. At all. They communicate by text message whenever she feels like she wants to tell him something, but she won't ever discuss anything like an adult.
I am sitting on my hands waiting for her to make a decision about what access she will allow us once DSS goes to full time school in September. She won't discuss it. If DP makes a suggestion, she vetoes it without any conversation or reason. So we are waiting...
Now we find out that she's put DSS into childcare for 2 days a week over the summer. I am a teacher. DP works flexible hours. We live 20 minutes from them and we usually have him for 2 days and 2 nights a week. I feel as though, if she can't have him for any reason, she should at least ask DP whether he can have him before putting him into childcare. That's how it works with me and my ex-h. If I can't have DS, I ask him - and the other way round. I would never unilaterally decide to pay for childcare without consulting him.
DP is a hands-on keen parent. He provides in every way possible for both of this children. He has had to fight and fight over the years to get more access to his son. She makes it as difficult as she possibly can.
So - I am not going to say or do anything about this, because it's not my place, but I need to rant on here to people who might understand. This bloody woman is making plans that have a knock-on effect to my family without consulting any of us...again. I'm just sick of it and wish DP would man up and pull her up on it.