How do you deal with a jealous ex???(68 Posts)
I've been with DP for 3 years and he has an ex who he has 2 kids with.
She's always been a bit of a pain in the bum but since I got pregnant last year she's got gradually worse, she nags him over tiny little things, makes up issues just so she can have a go at him, creates situations so that she can try and make him chose his kids over me and our baby etc. She's so nasty to him, if he doesn't do what she wants then she threatens to stop him seeing the kids/go to the CSA/ even go to the police if one of us says or does something she doesn't like.
It's all just got out of hand now to the point where she has now said that she won't let me see her children because I am 'mentally ill'. I have suffered with post natal depression for a few weeks which has now been treated and I'm on the mend but apparently I'm 'a danger to her children'.
She could have only found out that I have been ill by looking at my medical records through work which I am currently getting looked in to.
Everything is just such a mess at the moment, we're missing the kids, they're missing us, they're missing out on seeing their baby sister and she's making the kids think that their Dad doesn't want to see them now that he's got a new family which isn't true at all.
I wrote her an email asking her to leave DP alone and stop bullying him and to start thinking about all this is doing to the kids. Apparently she went to the police about the email and they are supposedly coming to see me, so I rang the police to check when they were coming so I could make sure I was in and they have no record of any complaint, she's just completely lost the plot!
She left DP and I believe that she doesn't want him back but I definitely think that she's jealous of what we have got and trying to ruin it for us. She's trying to break our family up every weekend by saying that he can only have the kids if he takes them to his Mum's.
It's just pathetic and it needs to come to an end but trying to talk to her is like talking to a brick wall.
It seems that she can't handle the fact that he's happy again and that he doesn't need her and that she can't control him any more. Everything with this woman is about control and money.
We will take legal action to get proper access to the kids again if we need to but we'd prefer to get it sorted without the need of the courts.
What can we do? I'm happy to let DP see the kids on his own for now but long term that isn't going to work so it will need sorting.
Anybody had similar problems with ex's? How did you deal with it?
Oh dear, that all sounds very hard.
Your DP needs to go and see a solicitor really. The longer he goes without contact the harder it will be to reinstate it.
I think what you've said about DP seeing the kids on his own for a while might be worth a shot but it should be made clear to Mum that it is only a temporary compromise; you're the mother of his kids' new sibling and you live with him so you can't be excluded forever based on a bout of pnd.
It does sound like jealously to me and that's not something that's going to disappear overnight. Sorry I don't have anything more practical to suggest!
He is still seeing the kids, she's been letting him see them in her house for a couple of hours a week and has now agreed that he can now start having them for a whole day (sunday) at his Mum's as long as I don't turn up.
That's great that he now gets them for a whole Sunday but as he works 6 days a week it's the only time that he gets with me and our baby, by the time he gets home from work during the week she's ready for bed so our Sundays are precious. He just wants all his family to be together so we can go for days out etc.
That's another condition of the contact - he's not allowed to take them outside of the local area without her permission! It's so frustrating because she's a shit Mum, does nothing with them, leaves them with babysitters 3 nights every weekend so she can go out on the piss. He's a brilliant Dad and she can't handle the fact that they have more fun with him than they do with her.
She's already said that if we get a court order that she'll ignore it, she'll go to prison if she has to if it means making sure that her children aren't near me.
Don't think she's really thought that through though...where does she think the kids will live whilst she's in prison? lol
You need to go and see a solicitor. DSD's mum was like this when DH and I first got together. She was very jealous and caused A LOT of aggro and heartache. In the end DH went to see a solicitor to get everything made official. It worked, she realised she couldn't mess him around any more. DSD ended up living with us anyway and her mum then tried aggro that way, but she gave up in the end.
She needs to see that she can't walk all over you and that you won't take her shit. Stand up to her, otherwise you're going to have years and years of all this. It's the last thing you need especially with a baby to look after. Does your DH pay maintenance?
Your DP should send a sol's letter to her outlining the contact he wants. As far as the issue of you seeing the kids and them spending time at your house goes, if you've previously had a succesful relationship with them I don't think she has grounds to stop it based on her finding out (unlawfully?) that you're suffered with pnd.
The Sunday stuff doesn't work for your DP for the reasons you've outlined above and he should make that clear in the letter.
Has your DP ever had overnights? If he has, then he should firmly request they are restarted immediately if the kids are being left with babysitters when they're with Mum. I mean at least Sunday when he's had them all day he could put them to bed etc. Are they school age? Can he drop them to school on Monday morning?
I think you're right, we've been avoiding legal action but I think we can't avoid it any longer.
Yes dp has always had kids over night and they love their time with us.
I always thought that he wouldn't be able to take them to school because he needs to leave here at 8 but they already go to a breakfast club so I suppose he could, they'd just get there earlier than normal.
The thing is that her basis for her concerns is that I've been suffering with pnd but firstly that wouldn't stand up in court and secondly she can't prove it, she would lose her job if she admitted that she's seen my medical records. We've denied that there's any mental health problems so there's nothing she can do it prove otherwise.
It's just an excuse though, we've never liked each other but she never had any good reason in the past to stop them coming to our house, now she's got her excuse and she's not gonna let it go!
My SC go to a breakfast club when they're with us for 2 reasons - one is because it makes it easier for DH to do the school run and get to work and the other is we have other kids at different schools who are all due in at the same time so I figure it's fair if they all take it in turns to go to breakfast club. As it happens they all love it and would like to go every day!
The pnd thing wouldn't stand up in court because you're not their primary carer; your DH is and unless Mum could prove contact wtih you was a real threat (which clearly it isn't) your pnd is irrelevant. Especially given that you've previously cared for the kids and this is the only thing that has changed.
Get your DP to a solicitor pronto.
Plus I had mental health nurses visiting me at home, seen a psychiatrist etc and everybody was happy with my ability to be a mother and said there were no safe guarding issues so again her concerns really wouldn't be ones which stand up in court. I've never been in trouble with police, I can get character references from my employer, the sure start centre where I volunteer, my college tutor, my friend who's a hv etc.
And in response to someone's question, yes dp does pay maintenance plus half the mortgage plus other bills. That was agreed when they were splitting up and he was moving in to his Mum's so he could afford it, now he can't and we get further in debt every month but we can't change the arrangements cos she won't allow him to, she sees it like he's taking from them to give to his new family but its not like that.
So she's now gone to the CSA to get more maintenance off him as he's no longer having them over night, but that's because she won't let him, so frustrating! And the CSA don't take mortgage and bill payments in to account, it's a nightmare!
In that case I would advise your partner to stop mortgage payments and bill payments on top of csa. I greatly admire anyone stepping up in that way with their exes but she cant have it both ways - its either a private arrangement to suit you all or a csa regulated one and you pay exactly what they dictate. Not a penny more or less. PND isnt allowed to be used in a custody battle fullstop - unless they are extremely serious using any form of mental health issues is frowned upon.
What is worrying me is how much your OH seems to be bowing to these wishes - you can fight and rage all you like but (and believe me I know how hard this is to accept - its taken me 5 years and I still have my moments) they arent your kids, its not your issue and you absolutely have to detach. Dont send her emails - it will make you feel better for about five minutes but you cant possibly think telling her she is being a bully will make her stop - bitter experience has taught me it wont. Three words you will see on here very often are:
Detach. Detach. Detach.
That doesnt mean dont try with the SK or dont support your husband - but dont take it on your shoulders or try to force things into being the way you want, dont get involved in slagging her off and dont take any of it personally. Just step back and walk away from it. Its your partners issue to deal with and you have enough with a new baby and stress of your own. What you can do is come on here and vent away - I cant tell you how much it helped me over the years.
My DP's ex was like this - he applied for a court order to resume contact and she ranted and raved at her own barrister in the Court waiting room when the Barrister refused to request that the court ordered no contact with their Dad because they didn't need him anymore (yes, really)
When you are dealing with a woman who believes that there is no need for a child to have contact with their dad, court really is the only option.
I agree with the comments about stopping the additional payments - CSA only - your DP can put extra money to one side to fund his legal bills, which hopefully will avoid him falling into the trap of thinking that he's not doing enough for his DCs. If his ex starts ranting about the DCs being made homeless, he can remind her that they have a home with him
Your DP needs to get this sorted now, before the DCs get older.
Thanks. Yes to stop the mortgage payments would be great but the only trouble is the mortgage is in his name only, if he doesn't pay his half then she won't pay it for him and it'll be HIS credit record screwed n then we won't be able to get a mortgage in the future. The house has been on the market for years and thankfully we have just had an offer on it so fingers crossed it will be gone in a couple of months so that's that problem solved.
Tbh we have reduced the bills he was paying, he now just pays the buildings insurance as legally that's his responsibility because its his house.
He does bow down too easily but that's how he is in general, he hates arguments n just wants to keep the peace so would rather just bury his head in the sand than tackle the problems head on, I suppose I'm probably the opposite which is why I take on the problems. Having seen what she's like I do understand why he does it, there really is no reasoning with this woman and he knows that if he upsets her she'll just stop contact which is the last thing he wants.
Our mums have both said they'll pay the legal fees so that's one less thing to worry about.
It's just hard to not get worked up over it when she's got such an issue with me, I love those kids n miss them n I feel like its my fault that dp has virtually lost his kids.
poppy this will never be your fight - if your DP is acquiescing to his ex to keep the peace/maintain contact then you and he will never be able to build a life together - he needs to stand up for his DCs
My DP gained a lot of confidence when he attended the 'Putting Children First' course which is for separated parents. The courts can order parents to attend as part of the process of putting a residency/contact order in place.
Perhaps your DP could ask his solicitor about it?
I understand your feelings only too well - my DP was estranged from his DD for two years because he wouldn't ditch me - she gave him an ultimatum but he refused. His position was very simple - his job is to parent his DD, if he can't do that because he's scared of upsetting her and of her refusing to see him, then what value is there in her seeing him? He continued to give her stable, consistent boundaries and this has proved to be the right thing to do as she has now chosen to rejoin our family.
Thanks everyone, you have really helped.
I've talked to DP tonight and he had already decided himself that he needs to be firmer with her and now back down to her unreasonable demands.
We will see what happens this weekend and she is apparently in the process of compiling a letter which states a list of her conditions of contact so once we receive that we can then go to a solicitor and go from there.
I do miss the kids and I do see them as my/our family but whilst I've got such a young baby (and a poorly one at that) I do think I need to try and take a step back and just try and concentrate on her.
All this stress really isn't doing my pnd much good either. Plus if I'm 100% honest it has been kinda nice to have more time with DP at weekends, we've never had weekends by ourselves so it's quite novel, suppose best just make the most of it cos with any luck we'll soon have a mad house every weekend again
"basically she is a shit mum" and he is a brilliant Dad"
Been a single Mum have you OP?
Appreciate the situation is difficult but this is a very one sided account and one gets the feeling that we are not getting the full picture.
Must be lovely to be so perfect.
Theydeserve - yes I have been a single mum thank you and did I palm my DS off on anybody who would have them every weekend so I could go out on the piss? No! Did I take him for days out and enjoy quality time with him? Yes I did. Did I look after my son well? Yes I did. You don't know half of the story. She doesn't even bath them, next week DSS is having to have half his teeth pulled out because she doesn't look after them, it's heart breaking to see what she's doing to them. So yes I stand by the fact that she's a shit mum!
I know what it's like to not just be a single mum but to be a lone parent - somebody who gets no support off the other parent, no financial support and little help from my own family. I know how hard it can be but no matter how hard it is your kids come first!
And no I never claimed to be perfect, nobody who is suffering with depression of any kind would ever for one minute think that they are perfect.
I know what I have done wrong, I shouldn't have told the woman to F off and that she's a bully etc but seriously that's all I have done wrong to the woman, it had built up over 3 years and I'd just had enough of the way she treats him.
If he was that brilliant a dad he would have had SS round there and applied for custody well before now if all you say is true. I'm sure if we were given her side of the story it would be completely different and somewhere in the middle would lie the truth.
If I'm honest it sounds like you are also very jealous of her, and if your attitude towards her shows though to the children I don't blame her for not wanting them near you.
Its very hard being a step parent even when there is an amicable relationship between parents, its not your place to go wading in with emails insulting her.
Do you really want the kids to have to choose who is going to be attending their weddings/birthdays.graduation or whatever in the future? The way this is all going thats whats going to happen.
poppy It helped me a great deal when I accepted that the DSC mum was doing her very best - even if I felt that the DSC were unhappy, or deserved more. Just because I believed that more could be done doesn't mean she was failing.
Unfortunately, losing your temper with your DPs ex has lost you the moral high ground and there are always consequences of that - but just like her, you were doing your very best at the time.
If your DP believes that his DCs are being neglected or are at risk, then there are steps that he can take to protect them, and I'm sure that he is doing his very best too.
It does sound like you are very invested in this situation - which can't be good for your own health; can you talk to your GP about how angry you feel at times? There are other things that he might be able to suggest that could help you disengage if that is what you want to do.
Notadisneymum - I've been referred for CBT to help with my depression and stress so yes I'm sure that's something we can work on to try n help me not get so worked up over it all.
Missy - unfortunatly leaving your kids with a babysitter and not cleaning their teeth isn't an offense. I wouldn't go as far to say they are being neglected but she doesn't give them the care and love that they deserve.
She has been referred for parenting classes by her hv because she struggles with their behaviour so hopefully that'll help her.
And no the kids have no idea what is going on, before this all happened we all used to attend parties together etc n we always got on. I see the kids nearly every day at school n they've not said anything, still give me a hug and a kiss like everything is normal. DSD is pretty nosey so if she knew that we'd fallen out she would have said something. From what I can gather all they know is that their mum now wants to spend more time with them at the weekend so that's why they're not coming.
They did see their mum having an argument with DP's mum but that's got nothing to do with me.
I wasn't going to go in to all the ins and outs on here but since now ppl are questioning the circumstances I'll explain in a little more detail what has happened.
I've never really liked her and think she takes DP for granted n don't like the way she is with him, his parents and the kids but I've never said anything and on the rare occasion that our paths cross we've always got on n even had a bit of a chat n laugh together, I always figured it was just best for everyone if I make an effort.
A month ago my pnd had reached rock bottom and I was feeling very suicidal, I saw my gp and she told me to go to A&E. DP came out of work so he could go with me.
It just so happened that that day was his pay day so he was due to pay her the maintenance but as he was sat in A&E he couldn't transfer the money over at that very moment but said he would take it to her when we'd finished. She kicked off big time, sent him loads of abusive texts saying that the kids were more important than me and that she needed the money straight away (despite that she'd also just been paid that same day). It was just one of the many occasions where she makes a big deal over nothing. She threatened to go and get the money off his mum and made some nasty comments about my baby.
Then when I was being seen by a dr n DP was in the waiting room she turned up at A&E shouting and screaming at him so he just gave her his cash card which she then kept for 3 days so we had to cancel it.
That is why I sent her an email telling her to leave DP alone, I wasn't even Nasty to her, just explained that we had enough going on without her adding to our worries.
She knew I was in A&E but nobody knows what was wrong with me, she'd not seen me so she couldn't have guessed by that, she doesn't know any of my family or friends so the only way she can know is by looking at my medical records.
She isn't even using the email as a reason for me not to see the kids, just the fact that I'm 'mentally ill'.
She's also fallen out with DP's mum because she had a bit of a go at her because of the way she is with the kids, starts telling them off from the moment she walks in to pick them up etc.
Hope that has clarified things.
I've read your last message and am really angry on your behalf at your dp ex .
I can't believe anyone could walk into a and e like that and carry on the way she did!
You and dp have got to start standing up to her, she is behaving like a child who tantrums when she can't get her own way and them by giving I. To her tantrums (by giving her the cash card) you are giving her permission to "kick off" next time.
Your dp really needs to deal with this because her behaviour isn't going to help your pnd.
Your dsc are important but so are you and the baby and dsc and ex need to learn that, even if its difficult for them.
Yes well we're going to start doing maintenance payments through the CSA so we won't have issues like that again, if she doesn't get the money on the day she wants it then she can kick off with them instead.
Hopefully the house will be gone soon so the only tie they will have will be the kids.
So once we've got a court order to have proper access to the kids again then we shouldn't need to have much contact with her. I can't wait!
Things came to a head with my DH's ex recently - we've been through all the stages of thinking my SD wasn't being looked after properly etc. Mum doesn't seem able to remember when Inset days, she forgets to call SD when she says she will, she lies about having taken SD to the doc when she was ill, she forgets vaccinations etc. I thought she was basically 'a crap mum' leaving me to deal with my SD's vaccinations, dental appointments, homework etc despite the fact that I had 2 younger kids of my own.
Anyway the ex called a few days ago to speak to my DH and he wasn't here so she burst into tears to me, saying how bad she felt that she couldn't keep on top of stuff, apologised for being unreasonable and making threats, admitted she felt jealous, threatened, intimidated and basically she just sobbed her heart out. For the first time I realised she probably WAS doing her best. I actually felt really sorry for her. To the point where I was defending her to my DH last night - he can't stand her and was looking at me like "whaaat??!"
The thing is, you'll never know her side of the story or what she's really going through. The best thing you can do is detach, protect yourself and your baby and support your DH in being the best Dad he can be to your SC.
I think just the threat of court action can sometimes be helpful. I know that sounds twisted but in our situation, I think what's happened is the ex realised she couldn't carry on behaving the way she has been and the 'mess' has now crumbled somewhat. My DH is meeting her next week to 'start afresh' and hopefully the court action will be abandoned. We can't really afford it and we know it's not great for SD but until now my DH really didn't see that he had any choice.
Fingers crossed when your DP's ex receives a sol's letter she might rethink her behaviour too??
Tbh in the past I have felt a bit sorry for her and thought she mustn't be coping well but I suppose she puts this hard and cocky front on which a) makes it lo
A) makes it look like she doesn't need help and b) makes you n
Aarrgghhh stupid smart phone!
It makes you not warm to her or want to sympathise.
From what DP has said it looks like now that she is spending more time with the kids that she's actually coping better, maybe it's made her step up and take more responsibility for them.
She's said herself that the kids behaviour has improved and when I've seen them at school recently they seem happy and well groomed.
Try and look at it from her side as well. You sound so angry and wronged, that is probably how she feels too.
She was wrong to go to the hospital, of course she was, and I don't condone that for a second. But I can see why she was angry, she was due the maintenence payment on that day, she didn't get it because her ex had something more important going on, but in her eyes his children should be the most important people in his life. It has to be hard to adjust to the fact that he has other priorities now.
How do you know her HV has referred her to parenting classes?
Have you reported her to her work about the fact you think she looked at your medical records? If so what do you hope to achieve by that? She could very well have heard from someone else about your PND and if you have been to her work before knowing the full facts that is going to have a negative impact on everyone including the children. If you have been to her work and it gets proved that she didn't look at your records it makes you look vindictive.
You keep on saying how the kids have more fun with you and what a shit mum she is, this attitude is something you need to stop. Kids pick up on things like looks, snarky comments and attitudes. It is so out of order calling her a shit Mum.
You say she palms the kids off on 'anyone' 3 nights a week. Really I doubt very much she goes out 3 nights a week, and the people who are 'anyone' to you are probably very good friends of hers.
You can't blame her for him being in debt, given that the house is on the market and in his name I assume he will be getting at least 50% of the proceeds from the house so its only right and fair that he pays 50% of the mortgage. This is a seperate issue from maintenence.
You say everything is about control and money. Well he does have to support his children and she has every right to maintenence. The control, I assume, is coming from her not wanting the children to see you. You have made a bit of a rod for your own back there by sending a message to her, you say it wasn't nasty, but then you say she threatened you with the police. Be honest, with yourself if not us, that there must have been a nasty element to it, you were obviously, and understandably upset after her showing up at the hospital. This could now be used by her to prove that you don't like her and therefore its not the best thing for you to be around her children.
I understand your feelings and its hard to see beyond your own viewpoint sometimes but you need to try and see whare she is coming from too, its the only way this can move forward.
I think there are very few true 'shit Mums'. Most of us just do the best we can.
You can do the best you can and still be a "shit mum/dad".
Sometimes people need to recognise where they can improve and focus on that rather than causing as much hassle as possible for the other parent / people in the family.
Tbf thered I think in this situation the hassle is going both ways, and I don't think the, seemingly, bias view of the op is the whole picture.
There are always two sides to a story but I think we have to be careful not to make assumptions on what that other side is.
Missy - I can assure you, that 1 email I sent her has been the only contact I have ever had with her. There has been no threats, no hassle from us.
DP wouldn't say boo to a goose, in fact he bows down to her every demand.
The woman is a total nutter who can't handle the fact that she's been replaced.
This is a woman who had a go at their grandma for buying them a sticker book! A woman who says DP couldn't see the kids with his mum there cos ''they might plan to do something with them'' yeh cos she's a terrible grandmother who takes them to swimming lessons and to things like Disney on Ice etc.
I'm sure in her mind she can justify her reasons for what she's doing and her version would be something on the lines of ''I need to make sure my kids are safe, I need to know who they're with and where they are at all times'' that's what she has been saying.
She can't control certain elements of what is going on (like DP moving on) so she is doing everything in her power to control what she can.
They're missing out on seeing their baby sister you say, why aren't they seeing her then ? your Dp could take your daughter to his mum's to see them, surely. It seems like YOU are being vindictive to his kids by keeping your child away from them.
And as another poster said, it sounds like you are jealous of his ex and thats why you can't stop sticking your nose into their business.
Also, you are accusing the ex of looking up about your medical history, what proof do you have ? none.
And how do you know what the ex does with HER children every week ? are you there ? no.
If I were you I would butt out.
Jemma - no DP has only been allowed to see kids at XP's house and she wouldn't let him take baby with him.
This weekend she has now moved the goal posts once again, he is now allowed to see them at his Mum's but still baby isn't allowed to be there cos she doesn't want her kids to have to share their dad.
But it's me being vindictive is it?
We know what she does with her kids because they can talk, we ask them what they have done and its always that they've been at their Grandma's (usually without mum), or they've just stayed at home or every now and again they'll say they went to a play centre. In all the time I've known them they've never once told us about a day out. She goes on holiday twice a year herself (once with her sisters, once with her bf) but she's never even taken the kids for a weekend in a caravan. The only holidays they've had are with us, their grandparents or aunty.
And as for me 'keep' sticking my nose in, in 3 years I've only had contact with her ONCE. And that was because it was involving me, when somebody turns up at A&E screaming at my partner whilst I'm ill it then becomes my business. Also, before I sent that email me n DP discussed it and we decided together that I should send it.
You wouldn't believe the grief she gives DP over nothing and all the time I have always just turned a blind eye to it, like when she kicked off because he left the kids with his mum for 2 hours because we had a hospital appointment for an ECV (when they turn baby), apparently I should have gone by myself, despite the fact that I was told to go with someone as I wouldn't be able to drive cos of the drug they give and there was a risk of me needing an emergency c-section if baby got distressed. The appointment was only given to me the day before so instead of him telling XP that he couldn't have the kids he arranged for his mum to have them but no that wasn't good enough.
Nearly every week she'll think of something to kick off over and every time I've always kept my mouth shut n stayed nice to her when I've seen her, but her turning up at A&E was just the straw that broke the camel's back.
I just think its so funny how people can read something and make a whole load of assumptions from it.
I still stand by the fact that I believe its YOU who is jealous of HER.
His ex left HIM 3 years ago and you have said that you believe she doesn't want your dp back, you go on to say that 'she can't handle the fact he's moved on and is happy', 'she can't handle the fact she's been replaced' and 'she can't handle the fact the kids have more fun with him than they do with her'
Honestly?, she'd hardly be causing trouble if she ended the relationship, surely she would be glad that her ex had found a woman who was good with her children?, why would she stop you seeing them after all this time if you hadn't given her cause for concern?.
Why have you never liked her?
Why haven't you answered another posters question asking you how you know she has been referred to parenting classes by her Hv?
Why haven't you answered my question about what proof do you have that she has looked through your medical notes? , maybe your dp has told her?
Theres two sides to this story and it would be interesting to know hers, I don't think she sounds like a nutter btw
I have to say I agree with Jemma 100%
You need to step back and look at this from an outside perspective, if these things are coming across to us then what is coming across to her? The first step to trying to resolve the problem is to acknowledge it.
She has stopped me from seeing the kids because she has found out that I have had mental health problems, she therefore thinks that I may a risk around her children. DP has not told her, he has questioned her about why she thinks that (over texts which I have seen) and she has said 'people have told her'. Which ppl? Nobody knows and she doesn't know anybody who knows me. She knew I was in A&E and she works at the hospital, so what would you think if you were me? I should find out soon as I have logged a complaint with the hospital and they can check who has been in my medical records.
I know that she's been referred for parenting classes because she told DP, she struggles with their behaviour (it can often be challenging, especially from DSS) so her and DP discuss it quite a bit and in one of those conversations she said her HV had referred her for parenting classes.
I have never liked her because of the way she treats DP, the way she speaks to him, the way she uses the kids as weapons etc. the things she has stopped DP seeing the kids for over the years is just ridiculous!
Yes she didn't want to be with DP anymore but I defo think it's a case of 'I don't want you but I don't want anybody else to have you either'. Why else would she have a problem with her kids seeing their baby sister?
I don't really see exactly what I'm supposed to be jealous of? Yes I'm quite jealous that she's financially better off than us, I'm jealous of the fact that she gets lie ins every weekend. But that's where it ends.
Yes I've been depressed but that was purely a medical thing, despite feeling low I have got everything I have ever wanted and I'm for the first time in my life I am soooo excited about my future.
I do actually quite pity the woman because its clear that she is obviously very unhappy.
You can think what you like but I know what is going on, so do our families. Even HER own family have fallen out with her over it, because they're fed up with her messing with the kids heads.
Just because she works at the hospital doesn't mean she has been through your records !
You don't KNOW that she doesn't know people who know you , its a small world and gossip gets spread around when you wouldn't expect it to . Also your dp may have mentioned it to her and now is telling you he hasn't because he knows you don't want him to tell her !
I honestly think you are looking for ways to make her sound like a complete bitch and I don't believe you are pitying her if your calling her a nutter !
As I said before , step back , her children are her business and your partners business , not yours !
My dp ex left my dp, she is the bitter difficult one, she is the one who upsets the children and she is definitely the one who is upset dp has moved on. She left him for someone else and has never found long term happiness with anyone since. I know other dads who were left and have seen very similar behaviour from their ex's too.
I think you have every right to make a complaint to the hospital. If it turns out she didn't look at your records, then they need to look into who has told her about your depression as they have breached confidentiality, its a serious offence. If I did that at work I would be sacked.
You are getting a hard time on this thread, I don't know why but on most stepmum threads OPs are never believed and are always portrayed as jealous or vindictive. Some of your comments haven't helped you (calling her a nutter and jealous!) But really there ARE women out there like this! Not all birthmums are saints.
There's a difference between posting on MN about your feelings and thoughts and expressing them in real life. Telling OP to butt out is ridiculous, she has only contacted the BM once and for a very good reason!
Of course you have a reason to file a complaint with the hospital if you suspect your medical records have been accessed by someone who had no right looking. I'm not sure you'll get the answers you want though - employees share passwords regularly in the NHS and just because the system says so and so's password was used, it won't mean it was them looking at your records. Well that's the way it worked in the hosp I worked at 5 years ago. Things may have improved.
I think there are more supportive sites for step-mums than Mumsnet. There's an American one called Steptalk which has an increasing number of UK members. I'd recommend reposting there. I also think you're being treated harshly here.
Families Need Fathers is a good forum for your DP to join too - loads of very helfpul and legally informed Dads on there. My DH gets a lot of support from them and is an active member himself.
Jemma There are women who have left a relationship/marriage whose expectation is that their ex will remain single, as that is the best way for them to support the DCs (and the ex) after the split.
I know several women like this, one of whom demanded that her Barrister seek a court order that her DCs should spend no time with their Dad if he ever entered into another relationship - Dad even offered to keep the DCs and any future girlfriend apart but that wasn't good enough for her - as far as she was concerned, her ex would fail his DCs if he ever moved on.
We obviously only have the OPs side of the story - but in my experience, it is perfectly credible and should not be disbelieved for the reasons you have given.
Thank you. I have been giving things a lot more thought last night and this morning and I've started to see that her problem isn't really with me, it's more with DP and the way she perceives the situation which tbh DP hasn't helped by sometimes using me or baby as an excuse when she starts demanding things.
She never used to be that bad until once when the kids left some clothes at our house and she wanted DP to take them back that evening at 10pm. He'd had a couple of glasses of wine with our tea but rather than saying that he said he couldn't cos I was out and he was babysitting my DS (I was still pregnant at this point).
So she saw that as his new family are more important to him than his original family and that thought just won't shift.
Like the other week we'd been to visit some of my family who live in a different city, we were on our way back to pick kids up for the usual time when she rang to ask if he could pick them up an hour early so that they didn't have to go with her for her nail appointment, when DP said we couldn't get there an hour before and explained why her response was ''so once again my kids are suffering because of your new family?''
It's silly little things like that and she just blows them out of proportion, but as I've said, DP prob hasn't helped by using us an excuse on occasions.
Maybe she didn't look at my medical records, maybe she's just guessing, who knows. But I think it's just an excuse so that she can demand that DP sees the kids without me there, so that he can prove that the kids are still as important to him as they always have been. Which of course they are, just because you have a new baby it doesn't mean you love your existing ones any less. But if he gives in to her demands it's just going to give the message that she can still call all the shots.
She knew I was in A&E but nobody knows what was wrong with me, she'd not seen me so she couldn't have guessed by that, she doesn't know any of my family or friends so the only way she can know is by looking at my medical records
It is very possible that your DP told her.
My EX tells me unprompted, all manner of things about his current partner that Im sure she wouldn't be happy with him telling me!
Amber - if DP had told her then why do her texts to DP say ''people have told me'' not ''YOU told me''?
No idea, but I think as she is an NHS employee she would be aware that it would be a breach of confidentiality and that you would assume she had looked at your records.
Maybe your DP told someone who told her?
I agree 100% that your depression shouldn't be a reason for her to say you can't be around her children though, lots of mums have post natal depression! If she took that to court they would send her packing.
How she found out is pretty irrelevant, we can suspect all we like but it's unlikely that we'll ever find out as I doubt she would have been so stupid to look at my notes under her own password.
It just feel at the moment that its just one thing after another, there's always something she's giving DP grief over and we feel like we're forever walking on egg shells in fear that she'll kick off over something. I can't even discipline the kids cos they might tell their mum and she might not like it, I worry about making sure I give them healthy meals cos I don't want them going home and telling her they've had junk food, I feel like we've got to do something fun every weekend because I don't want them going home telling them we've spent the day in Ikea or doing the gardening etc. that's how daft it has become, it's like she's judging everything we do, we make a wrong move and all hell breaks loose.
I'm dreading Xmas because last year she was questioning why my DS got a bike AND a scooter, why didn't her kids get a scooter as well as a bike? Ermmm that'll be because the scooter was off HIS dad!
I've noticed DP practically ignores our baby whilst the kids are here and I suspect it's for similar reasons, I think he doesn't want them telling mum that dad doesn't play with them cos he's too bothered about baby.
I just wish she'd trust us, we try our best to treat all the kids fairly and every weekend we try and make sure they get some time alone with dad and also some time with all of us together. We're trying our best but it feels like our best is never going to be good enough.
You are walking on eggshells trying to appease her for the sake of a quiet life. Ask yourself this, Is it working? Are you getting a quiet life? Are the step kids well adjusted and happy because of you walking on eggshells?
I suspect the answers are "no".
The ex might threaten to not abide by a court order, she might make life a bit harder for a while but I can guarantee you that long term, if you are true to yourselves and the children that you will benefit.
You are trying to keep her happy and failing, and in the process are teaching the children that her behaviour is acceptable and that she is "in charge and in control". The children will lose respect for you because of it.
Like a child having a tantrum, she will up the ante when she realises her current methods aren't working, but eventually she will start to see that she can't control your lives and you are a family unit in your own right. She might not like it, but that's her problem and not yours or the children's.
As long as you do the best you can for the step kids (if you have your own DS, I'm sure he gets junk food sometimes or goes to Ikea with you and you know you're not a bad parent for doing so), then you can hold your head up high. You might do things DIFFERENTLY from DP ex but that doesn't mean you are wrong or indeed that she is wrong. Sure, the ex will kick up a stink when she realises she is losing power, but you will deal with it as you do now, the only difference is you won't feel so controlled and manipulated.
If for no other reason, you are allowing your DP to treat your baby as second class in your own home and you must not let that happen because of his ex. If you allow that to happen then she has got exactly what she wants hasn't she?
Redhen you have totally hit the nail on the head with everything you have just said.
I think you're right that she probably will get worse before she gets better but I do want her to stop the control that she has over our family, I just want us to be able to get on with things.
I wouldn't say that dp treats baby as second class but he's definitely not as attentive and tends to leave most of her care to me, whereas we usually split things pretty equally. I don't think he knows he's doing it and I've not said anything to him because he gets nagged enough by the ex, I don't want him feeling like he's getting it from all angles.
DP and his mum are going to see a solicitor on fri, it would usually be me going with him so it's a bit of a relief that his mum is getting so involved, it means I can try and take a step back and let them sort it. Detach, detach, detach.
Poppy, I used to feel worried I would damage dp self esteem further by criticising him, had I left him because I couldn't cope with his "accommodating" of his kids and his ex, his self esteem would have taken far more of a battering. You have every right to tell him about your feelings, it's not just his and his ex's feelings who matter.
I'm glad your dp is seeing a solicitor, if he gets a chance to go on the court ordered parenting course, encourage him to go, it's a about putting the kids first, which sometimes means standing up to the ex.
Reading many posts on these threads it always seems to be the birth mother who is the trouble maker . Funny that , I know of many women who have nothing but hassle from their children's stepmother , a lot don't seem to like the fact their partners have a history and children with their ex , my children's stepmum is an absolute bitch to my children but she wouldn't admit to it ! And SHE has tried her hardest to drive a wedge between my kids and their father .
Yep and over in the lone parent board you will read of nasty step parents and over here you will read of nasty "birth" parents.
That is hardly a surprise is it?
There are some terrible step parents out there and there are some terrible "birth" parents out there.
The arguments start on here when someone is determined to believe that only one or the other are terrible.
As an earlier post advised, there are always more than one side to a story. One week I could tell you I get on ok with DH Ex and others I could tell you she is a complete cow who seems to get a kick out of making our life a misery - I am sure if you asked her how she feels about me then she would probably tell you the same.
That does not mean that PoppyPrincess is wrong in how she feels or even is not being truthful about the things that are happening. I can relate in full to quite a few of the situations she has found herself in eg one year (a long time ago) Ex advised that DH was to take the DSC presents round to hers on boxing day for them to see them open them. I refused point blank, my money had contributed to the presents and I wanted to see them open them - it was just not going to happen. Ex advised they wouldn't come then, I advised if she was going to stop them coming altogether to let me know because it would simply mean my DS had more presents. I had to explain that she can not have it both ways and expect her children to be treated equally to mine but not expect me to share in moments.
What I would advise to you though Poppy is to pick your battles, some things you will never change and never have control over and you will in time learn to let these things go. Other things that directly involve you, your home and you DD then you should stand your ground but you need to do this with D as well as Ex - he should not be using you as an excuse for reasons not to do things as this makes you out to be the enemy - he should grow a backbone and explain he will not do it because he does infact have his own mind and is capable of making decisions himself. Reading lots of threads on posts on MN has made me realise that DP/DH seem to share the gene that makes them try to keep the peace and this often seems to mean that they keep the peace with everyone bar current partner/wife.
PND is definitely not a reason to withhold your contact from DSD and this is why courts are so important. Our Ex (and I say our because I feel I may as well have had the relationship with her sometimes) accused me of physically ripping earrings out of her daughters ears and advised I did nothing but slag her off to them, however she also sent me a text when she stopped contact advising that she wished me all the best and that I was brilliant to her kids it was just their Dad they no longer wanted to see (age 4 and 7 at the time). I was advised that Dad may have to see Kids on his own until we went to court for a few weeks and so for 3 weeks he had them for 2 hours on a Saturday until court date came through. We were granted access every weekend and shared holidays.
Being a SM is a rollercoaster and there are definitely times you will want to get off, but the child is not going to go anywhere and therefore neither is the ex - it is your coping strategy that you need to change as that is the only real thing you have control over.
Maybe that's something to do with the fact that this is a step parenting thread so therefore the viewpoint of stepmums? Strange.
You say that your kids stepmum is a bitch to your kids, but who knows, she might be one of the stepmums on here moaning about you?
My son has a stepmum and we get on fine, well we very rarely see each other but on the occasions that we do we get on. I don't interfere with what his dad does with him and he does the same with me. What each of us does with DS in our time with him is our own choice, the only conversations we have with each other is to discuss how DS is or share any funny stories about him. That's it.
Not all stepmums are bitches and I would guess that those who are probably wouldn't be on mumsnet seeking advice and support.
Sanityseeker - what you say makes an awful lot of sense and you're right, maybe instead of me trying to change her, change the situation, maybe I just need to learn to ignore it...maybe I need to drink more? Lol
DP is defo one for just trying to keep the peace but recently he has started to stand up to her a little more.
Anyway, I'm going to leave this thread now because its got me over thinking things too much and I can feel myself getting worked up over it whereas I think I should be just trying to put it to the back of my mind and leave DP and his mum to sort it out.
Thanks for the advice though, it's just good to know we're not the only ones experiencing problems like this x
Your damn right Poppy , my children's stepmother might well be posting on here moaning about me , as she is a complete bitch who is jealous of me !
jemma if your DCs are subject to poor behaviour towards them from their stepmum why isn't their Dad standing up for them? What sort of parent does that make him - as good as you and much better than any step-parent could be?
Or is it just Mums who are perfect, and Dads and Stepmums are the nasty, jealous, bitchy ones ?
Well funny you should say that NADM , ex is currently divorcing his wife , reason being he has finally woken up to how this woman has been treating his children and is getting shot of her !
No its not just mums who are perfect , obviously, and there are very good stepmums too . However I can read threads and to me it seems more stepmothers have a problem with their partners ex rather than the other way around . That's my opinion .
Leaving this thread too as I can't be bothered to argue , let's just agree to disagree
I'm sorry that your DCs are experiencing more disruption - I have to say, my biggest fear is that exH and his DW will split and my DD will experience another family breakup.
If you are genuinely interested in the social Conditioning which has influenced your opinions of SM's, then I recommend a book called Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin. It is an excellent review of research into the role and perceptions of Stepmums around the world in a range of cultures
Jemma, you really do seem to be projecting your experience onto all of us. There are SMs out there who are kind, caring and generous to their SDCs, just as there are some who aren't. There are also mums out there who are difficult to deal with, feel they own their children and don't want the dad to have a relationship with his DCs, and who try to control the dad's time with his DCs.
Remember this board is aimed at step parents - those who have an easy time of it with their partner's ex (like me, we get on brilliantly) don't need to post their frustration on this topic, as there is none. My posts on DP's ex would be very dull, as I'm sure would hers about me.
Why the bickerin? Everyone is entitled to their own opplnions. this is a board for step parenting but anyone has a right to post same as any other board on here.if a post upsets you or winds you up just ignore..as someone said up post,just agree to disagree. Otherwise nothin will ever change.
I have to wholeheartedly agree with Poppy. I am in a similar situation and I don't think there is anything my OH's ex won't try. We've had solicitors letters claiming child abuse, that I'd been abusing her kids over social networking sites, my car has been tampered with on several occasions, the list goes on! I do thing in part our respective partners have something to do with how they are now but whats important is how they deal with it now. I'm not allowed to see my future step daughter at her mothers request because the last time she came she didn't want to go home she'd had such a good time. It really ticked me off for months when I look at what sort of person she is and how her other kids can't see their dads and how she has emotionally blackmailed my OH with his daughter for 4 years. I find it ridiculous that she can't let go and get on with her own life! I have struggled to remain silent about it and I will because the minute I say something my OH won't be able to see his daughter ever again!! If she doesn't want me there she doesn't want me there, fair enough I say because in the not too distant future that poor kid is gonna feel totally excluded from her dads family and never feels like she belongs.......will that be down to me and her dad? NO its down to her mothers petty jealousy! If these so called mothers would put their children 1st they would allow the dads to be dads and unless there is some serious concerns about abuse keep the hell out of it!!
Poppy you did the right thing reporting her to her employer if you're wrong you're wrong but with situations like this you have to start sticking up for yourself. I'll do the same if there is another abuse claim my way I feel the way she lives her life social workers will have a field day!!
Meant to say unless you have been on the receiving end of something like this you cannot judge. If I'd of known what was going to happen I would have dealt with it differently
Also, before I sent that email me n DP discussed it and we decided together that I should send it.
I am VERY surprised that no one has picked up on this. Why is your DP agreeing that you should contact his ex to complain about her behavior? Is he so totally spineless that he has to have you do his dirty work for him?
I agree with the posters who say that you have contributed to the mess.
Detach, detach, detach and let him sort it out. If any emails should be written, it should be by him.
I might have missed something but it's his house she's living in, so he's not paying half of her mortgage, he's paying HIS mortgage (and will presumably profit from the eventual sale of the house) and she is renting off him for the time being. So, despite the fact that he would like to have the children overnight, if he isn't paying the full whack of CSA then I'm afraid she is right to ask for more money. But he is within his rights to "put the rent up", so to speak. The CSA can only be pro rated if he is actually having them overnight.
It sounds to me like he is angry at having to give her money, but isn't doing anything about it. Which is a very passive aggressive move. His actions are upsetting you, his current partner, and leaving things very uncertain for his children. I shouldn't feel he feels all that good right now either, trying to keep both you, and his ex happy.
Personally, I feel you should sit him down and ask him what about this situation he is actually unhappy about. And what he plans to do about those aspects. You can support him in whatever he decides to do, be that getting SS involved, going to court, rebudgetting if he feels he needs to carry on charging her only half rent on his property... Etc etc. you might find he's happy with the status quo and that it is you who's getting their knickers in a twist. I have been there. Trust me, NO ONE else will suffer but you. And you won't win any points or get any thanks for putting things "right". I think you need to pass this back to him and then decide what you can proactively do to support him. Good luck with it all, it's a shit journey xx
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