After general advice(13 Posts)
my partner has a child from a previous relationship - I adore her (although she does test my patience on occasion - same as I am sure all children do)
her mother is constantly sending messages to my partner picking a fight or having a dig at him.. for example, their daughter is allergic to cats. her grandma has cats, so we don't take her there, my partner's sister got a cat (his sister and ex are fairly close still) so his sister told his ex about the cat (stepdaughter visits her aunt quite often).. his ex said it was ok and that she would give her allergy stuff before hand, his sister then told her we don't take their daughter to see her grandma because of the cats.. his ex then sent him a message along the lines of "when did i ever say you couldn't take her there, you're always making me out to be a bitch, you cant stop her seeing her grandma" (which at this point I'd like to mention we don't stop her - we just don't take her to her house - grandma usually comes to ours etc.) so the next time we had her we gave her allergy stuff and took her to grandmas.. within a few hours her eyes were puffy and she was itching.. so we took her home.. within 5 minutes of his daughter being picked up he got a message from his ex "i cant believe you took her there, you know she's allergic, you're so irresponsible" etc. it's now getting to the point where things like this are happening on pretty much a daily basis... she will try to pick a fight over the smallest things, my partner isn't really one for arguing and wants to get on for his daughter's sake (all he is worried about his her stopping access as she has done so many times before).. she gets his daughter to try and find things out about our relationship (daughter is 5) like am i going to have a baby.. his ex thinks he's only wanting to get on because he has something to tell her (i.e. I'm pregnant - which I am not)...I get worked up and very annoyed when she is constantly hassling him and sticking her nose into our relationship - he won't say anything to her for fear of not seeing his daughter.. do you think i am being unreasonable in feeling upset/annoyed when she is doing things like this? i just feel like she is going to be difficult at every stage of our relationship.. we are engaged and wanting to get married, I'd love for his daughter to play a big part but i think her mother will try and dictate things or be awkward on purpose.. i want to have children with him but again i think she will make things awkward for him and put a downer on all of the stages in our life that should be precious to us.. i don't know if i am being unfair or if what i am feeling is normal? i really don't think she should have a say in what we do.. but he won't tell her to butt out! please help! i also think she should only message him about things regarding access to his daughter and any emergencies - nothing else, am i right to ask that of him?
My gut feeling is that you keep out of it and offer no comment at all.
It all depends on whether or not you live together and how long you've been together.
Hey OP. I am so sorry your going through this. My partner and I were in a similar situation. His ex used to text daily about absolute nonsense and it drove me mad to a point I said I'd rather be on my own. She now only has a number for emergencies. Anything else is discussed at drop offs and pick ups. This was all arranged through a minute of agreement. My partner used to worry about EX stopping contact also, but DP has rights and we did everything right towards DSD and that's what matters to the courts at the end of the day. Your DPs EX sounds like a control freak and unless you DP does something, i don't think she will change!
If our situation hadn't changed I'd have been out of there!
Good luck xx
we've been together a few years and do live together.. the atmosphere between us automatically changes whenever she starts! We did get her to stop at one point and she did only message for access but then she seems to slip back into old habits and starts again.. it's getting to the point where I feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall
I suggested my partner ignores her attempts at picking a fight but he thinks if he doesn't respond to the messages she will again stop access.. I have then said that he can still respond but just say "I don't want to argue, we need to get along for our daughter's sake. There is no need to message me unless it is to do with access"
I don't think that is unreasonable? But he thinks she will kick off again.. its like he is so used to her being that way he doesn't see that the situation doesn't have to be so difficult, if only he would put his foot down a little!
i just feel like she is going to be difficult at every stage of our relationship.
Yes, she probably will. People are who they are. You cant change her, and you cant change how your partner deals with her. He has to want to sort it and if you dont like how he deals with it then think very carefully about marrying him. You are marrying this situation as it is now. Please dont marry hoping it will get better because there are no guarantees of that at all. If you marry him, accept that this is how things are. If its not acceptable to you then really, dont marry him.
Thanks SurlyCue.. we have no immediate plans to get married or have children of our own.. I have made it clear to him that he needs to sort everything out with her before we can move forward with our relationship properly
Yes i agree with that. I wouldnt be willing to move forward at all until i was happy with the relationship, and like it or not, his ex and how he deals with her, is part of the relationship. It has a direct impact on the relationship.
I was here about three years ago. It drove me mad too - we had an incident where dp went for a run, which was a couple of hours, and dss hadn't yet got up, so I was left with him when he did.
He was 9. He got up and came down, I said "would you like some breakfast" and he said nah, I said, "not even some toast?", nah. So, I didn't get him any. I'd had mine. I then made some tea and had some chocolate and offered him some which he had. Ex went mad later sending texts saying I had 'not allowed' dss to have breakfast when he'd asked for it but had 'instead' given him chocolate.
Dp just replied saying 'dss is 9, he can get his own breakfast'.
I doubt dss lied though, probably she interrogated him (it may have been the first time he was left alone with me) until he thought he was in trouble so he changed the facts a bit to make out he hadn't done anything bad. He hadn't! (I should have just given him some damned toast!).
Another time she went into the house [he was still living in the marital home, she wasn't] and saw some of my clothes on the sofa and texted to say we were 'disrespecting' her furniture. He was going to text back this, that or the other but in the end I persuaded him just not to reply.
Anyway - two things:
1) it actually does get a bit better. She will start to relax more, especially if dp shows it's not having an affect on you. I fully understand the fear of contact being cut, isn't it awful that people have to worry about this? Then the NRP gets accused of being too soft with the child, which they are for fear of child complaining to RP and RP deciding that NRP can't see them any more.
Replies should be just be simple - 'OK', or 'sorry, yes', or none at all. Don't worry about telling her 'you only need to contact me for blah' it will only feed her resentment.
2) I think you need to try to stay out of it as much as you can. dp is a bit hopeless at seeing the big picture, so I do often explain things to him from a different point of view, but there's no point keep going on, he still has to make the decision and take the action. He prefers the quiet life and, in fact, he's right, even if it annoys me that he seems to be being taken advantage of.
Oh, 3) relationships with men who have kids go MUCH more slowly than other relationships, at least a year behind. So I would say just sloooow right down on everything. If dsd asks things like about whether you're getting married, just say 'maybe one day', try not to feel drawn into that kind of thing. Luckily for me dss never did this and he never said [so far!] "you're not my mum", but dp made it clear early on that if he is with me then I am the adult in charge so whether I am his mum or not isn't really relevant at the time. Same with the ex 'no plans! ' is enough I think.
Ditto what melon has said.
My dp frustrates the he'll out me when he just says 'yeah ok' or fine. I feel like he is being walked all over but in actual fact it's the best way to deal with heightened situations.
Take things slow and just go with the flow. Make sure you an dp communicate and are in the same page.
It's not easy being a step parent but just don't be too hard on yourself. Focus on you and let dp deal with his kids behaviour.
thank you both melonfool and alwaystryingtobeafri
I am lucky enough to have a brilliant relationship with his daughter.. in that her mother has 2 other children so they don't get much mother/daughter time so I tend to paint her nails and make cakes etc. with her.. her mum (on her better days) has said that she appreciates I do those things as she doesn't always have time and that their daughter is always talking about me when she goes home (hopefully all good)... I just wish her mum could be as reasonable all the time!!
I have never been in a relationship where my partner has a child from a previous relationship and I have found it difficult to adjust in certain ways but I think I am slowly making progress.. I adore his daughter and (in my opinion) despite all her mums faults she has made a wonderful job of bringing her up.
I never know whether I have the right to give my opinion on anything regarding her though.. I try not to say anything when it comes to my partner's decisions with her because she isn't my daughter.. when is it right to give any sort of opinion?
Ah, yes, my dp is very laid back, both his best and worst feature
As for when to give an opinion, well - I can't help it so timing isn't an issue for me, but I do try to have calm chats over dinner after having given issues due consideration. But now and then I get mad and he sees my point of view in the end. I don't need him to agree with me, just hear me and take account of what I say. I am happy for him to have a different opinion but mostly he hasn't thought about things at all.
It's a tough learning curve and I like kids but still struggle with having dss, though he is mostly a good lad.
Oh this is me 10 years ago....I was always in the wrong no matter what I did. I just want to offer hope it gets better, or at least it can do! Now things are good between all parties, I think it's a bit of jealously on all sides about the bonding which causes issues. Imagine the most important person in your life, the one you love the most, beginning to feel for someone else, that's how I think of how my dsd's mum must have felt when we met. It must be scary and overwhelming, but it also shows your doing a great job as a sp. Just be patient, try to have joint rules and love your dsc, it can be so rewarding for both of you x
In general I would say, most men see things in black & white....they look at a situation, and it is was it says on the tin! I've come to the conclusion that only women see the grey areas of life, and their inevitable consequences!
Join the discussion
Please login first.