Selfish ex and poor dss is stuck in the middle of it all

(63 Posts)
K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 20:30:31

Dh and I have been together for nearly 3 years and we got married in February this year. Dss and I have got a really strong bond since the wedding as he has started telling me he loves me and understands me and his dad are together and I'm his step mum (not that we have pressurised this on him!) anyway, since dh and I have been together the ex has been so unreasonable and selfish since day 1.

Last weekend dss fell ill with a fever and his mum was worried. Dh said to her to take him to the hospital or phone the out of hours doctor if she was really that worried. We would've helped out but we live over 200 miles away. All her family live within 5-10 minutes from her but they've turned against helping her recently and demanded that dh and I go up there, and drop everything to go up and look after him. I am also 4 months pregnant and to be honest I didn't fancy going up there and risk catching what he had (as selfish as it may seem) we run our own business and don't have any reliable staff at the moment so find it difficult to get away.

This has resulted in her not answering dh's phone calls and texts even with him asking how dss is. Now she has got in contact because she wants money for an after school club. Am I the only one who finds this infuriating and unreasonable?!?!

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 21:21:59

And now I have had a sh**ty message from her on Facebook, really don't need her giving me grief whilst I'm hormonal angry

ratbagcatbag Thu 17-Oct-13 21:23:55

Ok, who moved 200 miles away? If you, I can understand why she is annoyed. What's normal contact like?

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 21:26:26

Between her and dh when they were together she moved in with him once dss was born and then she walked out on him and moved back to where she was originally from.

edam Thu 17-Oct-13 21:29:12

Sorry, your husband's son was ill with a fever, your dh told his Mum 'take him to hospital if you are that worried' (which sounds very dismissive and snotty), now you are surprised she's not answering your calls?

Think about it from her POV. She was worried about her son and she got the brush off from her son's father, who said something that makes it sound as if he thought she or he was exaggerating. Also sounds as if your dh refused to help.

Seems quite reasonable for her to be pissed off. You may well be 200 miles away so not of much practical help but dh should have been sympathetic and concerned. Not ridiculing his co-parent's worries and refusing to help.

I'm sure from your side it looks different, but from what you say I can see why she's upset. Where was ds's father when he needed him? Being unhelpful and grumpy, it seems.

louby44 Thu 17-Oct-13 21:30:56

No way would I be friends with my DP ex on Facebook. Infact she's blocked and has no access to me on FB.

She suggested to my DP a while ago that "they stopped being childish and could friend each other on FB". She just wants to be nosey and see what we're up to!

She can whistle!

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 21:32:20

Well it was all done through text message as she doesn't like to talk to him over the phone, I guess it could've been taken that way. He did suggest to her that he would've had him down here but didn't think it was a good idea that he spend a lot of time in the car if he's that unwell

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 21:34:01

Louby I'm not friends with her she managed to track me down somehow and sent me a private message. He message went along the lines of that she couldn't understand how on earth I was having a child with him and can I not see what I've let myself in for?

AmberLeaf Thu 17-Oct-13 21:35:28

It reads like she was worried about their son and your DH gave her the brush off.

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 22:01:36

Maybe if I wrote their history out it might make more sense and it would be a fairer story on all sides sad

K8eee Thu 17-Oct-13 22:03:39

I would be here a long while though

Mojavewonderer Fri 18-Oct-13 10:18:59

It's not the op's fault if the ex took the text the wrong way. What did she expect him to do? They live 200 miles away and they can't just drop everything to go and help which I am sure they wanted to do but it's not practical. The ex is a grown woman and surely can manage to look after her poorly child. She was there and could see how poorly her child was and either phone the doctor or pop up to a&e. It's what the rest of us have to do. Her ex was probably fed up with her going on when there was nothing he could do and it's worrying when you can't be there for your kids.
My ex lives 4 hours away and I don't ring him whenever one of the kids is poorly asking for help. I cope! I have had to cope when he's been in afghan for 6 months and my son was rushed into hospital or when I was 36 weeks pregnant and went into labour early with no one to help.
I think it just shows how the ex is using the child to be cruel to your husband because she wouldn't answer his texts but when she needs something she's straight there asking for a hand out! I am sure your husband pays maintenance which covers school trips and the like so where does she get off behaving like that. She's lucky he will even help out outside of the maintenance payments.

purpleroses Fri 18-Oct-13 11:10:14

I'd hazzard a guess at his ex finding you being pregnant difficult. She probably feels that her DS is gonig to be pushed aside in favour of the new baby.

It's a shame if she really won't talk on the phone, but if at all possible I'd encourage your DP to make himself available by phone for her (or skype) if she needs his involvement in making decisions over parenting when he's not at hand. It's SO easy for the tone of a text to be misread. "Take him to A&E if you're that worried" can indeed be read with a heavy load of sarcasm and dismissing of the concerns, which might not have been what your DP intended at all.

You can block people who aren't your friends from messaging you on FB btw if you want. Or you can block just specific people from doing so.

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 11:10:15

Thanks mojave, I'm so glad someone can see where I'm coming from.

Dh has ALWAYS paid his way. Before about 18 months ago he was paying into her bank account WAAAY over limit that the CSA suggests; £200 per month. One month because his ex wouldn't let us have dss, he withdrew £100 resulting in her getting half her money. Ever since she got the CSA involved which means she has stabbed herself in the foot as she now gets less than the original £200 she got before getting them involved.

What also worries me is how she involves dss in the arguments and tells him everything that is going on between her and dh. Dh father is trying to take her to court for visiting rights and dss knows what is happening. Surely a 7 year old doesn't need to know what is going on?! The one thing I think is wrong with the whole court order thing is that FIL hasn't asked for dh to be included in the visiting rights (surely any grandparent would involve the parent?!)

PatoBanton Fri 18-Oct-13 11:19:30

'One month because his ex wouldn't let us have dss, he withdrew £100 resulting in her getting half her money.'

Eh? On what planet is this reasonable? It's not pay-per-visit you know.

She still needed to pay for stuff.

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 11:21:59

He was playing her at her own game. Pathetic and immature I know, but between the two of them they're like a pair of kids sometimes. Try living with the woman giving you grief which is unnecessary and you might sympathise. Those payments were before the CSA enforced anything.

Kaluki Fri 18-Oct-13 11:26:30

K888 you had my sympathy till I read your last post.
If my ex deducted money because I wouldn't let him see the dc I'd be bloody furious.
Kids aren't Pay Per View, CM is for the child and shouldn't be used as a weapon or to control the other parent.

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 11:46:15

And the ex is being the unreasonable one?
Not suprised she went to csa when he withheld maintainance.

She is right in her fb message. Can you not see what you getting involved with having a child with a man who withholds money on a whim, and is in your own words, pathetic, immature and like a kid sometimes.

PatoBanton Fri 18-Oct-13 12:21:22

No, I wouldn't sympathise and I am questioning why on earth you are remaining involved with someone who behaves like this.

WaitMonkey Fri 18-Oct-13 12:32:56

I was also on your side until I read your last post. Now I'm just shock . How is it possible, you thought this is acceptable ?

MsWazowski Fri 18-Oct-13 12:43:33

I'm struggling to see where the ex is being selfish tbh. Her child was ill, she asked for support and got none.

Try to see things from the other perspective op, you don't know where you will be in a few years, it could be a similar situation.

BatPenguin Fri 18-Oct-13 12:49:12

Dh said to her to take him to the hospital or phone the out of hours doctor if she was really that worried. I don't see what's wrong with him saying that? I don't think that's dismissive at all. Surely that's what anyone would say if they were told a child had a fever and their mum was worried.
Your OH shouldn't have withheld money but on the other hand his ex shouldn't be stopping your DH from seeing his son and refusing to answer calls when he is concerned about his son. They are as bad as each other. He needs to get his own court order for access and continue making payments via CSA.

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 13:02:54

Your DH is behaving unreasonably.

I suggest you heed her warning to you.

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 16:09:20

Well maybe if she didn't put such ridiculous restrictions on us having dss there wouldn't be so much hatred between dh and her. Dh knows that if he doesn't pay her maintenance money he isn't allows to see him. When he has confronted her on what she spends the money on all she says is rent. Well I'm sorry but if you have a child you should be expected to provide a roof over their head. Dss wasn't planned but since day 1 dh was there for her even through the time that she walked out. He went to scans and was there for the birth. We went on holiday last year to America, and dss wanted to come with us but for his mums selfish reason (which she even told us) of that she wanted the first foreign holiday with him, he wasn't allowed so he missed out. We tried explaining to her that once we have our own children it won't be for at least 7-10 years before we would go again as we don't agree with taking babies on planes but still she felt he should miss out.

purpleroses Fri 18-Oct-13 16:37:04

Dss wasn't planned but since day 1 dh was there for her even through the time that she walked out. He went to scans and was there for the birth.
So your DP was going above the call of duty by being there for the birth of his own DS? confused

If he wants a good relationship with his ex (which would be good for his DS, and less stressful for you too) he should avoid:
- cutting her child support as retaliation for a fall out over contact
- "confronting" her about what she spends the money on. She has every right to put it towards rent and doesn't have to account to him.
- sending her texts which can easily be interpreted as "[stop moaning and] take him to A&E if you're THAT worried [and stop bothering me about YOUR child]

Sounds a shame that you didn't get to take him to America, but if your DP tries to build up a more amicable relationship with his DS's mum, you'd much more likely find things easier in the future.

TheMumsRush Fri 18-Oct-13 16:42:28

I don't think it's any of your DH's business what she spends money on, only that he pays what is an acceptable amount. It's up to her to budget it how she sees fit. If that covers the rent for the roof over dss's head, so be it.

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 16:57:07

When he has confronted her on what she spends the money on all she says is rent

Why would he 'confront' her about that?

Every time you post he sounds worse tbh.

trooperlooperdo Fri 18-Oct-13 17:00:15

surely if the mother is witholding the child and not allowing the father contact, for no other reason that other to be a cow; for that time the father is NOT the father so why the hell should he have to pay? It's about time somebody took a group of the mothers outside and gave them a good swift kick up the arse......withholding contact, who the hell do they think they are?

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 17:03:33

Im guessing there is a lot more to this and that the Mum is not the one who is being selfish here.

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 17:11:17

He confronts her on what she spends money on?

How pathetic. £50 a week to help cover food, clothing, footwear, toiletries, gas, electric, water, toys, entertainment, school related activities, travel, rent and countless other expenses is nothing.... There, btw, is the answer to what £50 a week goes on.

Keep posting. Lets find out what other charming things this person does. YOu are making him sound like a right catch..

PatoBanton Fri 18-Oct-13 17:16:10

'When he has confronted her on what she spends the money on all she says is rent. Well I'm sorry but if you have a child you should be expected to provide a roof over their head.'

huh?

Isn't that what she is doing?

Or by 'have a child' do you only mean the woman? Doesn't he bear any responsibility towards this child? I presume by 'wasn't planned' you don't mean 'his ex decided to get pregnant on purpose without his knowledge and lied to achieve this aim'?

He has been feeding you a load of codswallop and you have been swallowing it. imo of course

trooperlooperdo Fri 18-Oct-13 17:17:56

"If my ex deducted money because I wouldn't let him see the dc I'd be bloody furious."
Who do you think you are not letting your ex see his child?
"Kids aren't Pay Per View, CM is for the child and shouldn't be used as a weapon or to control the other parent." and yet mothers use their children as weapons and withhold contact or turn the children against their father by whatever means to get back at the ex for whatever bonkers reason

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 17:24:14

Feeding me codswallop? Hmm yes ok when I hear her on the phone to him and see all the messages she sends him I'm sure they're all lies!

It was once that he halved the money.

He's done a lot more than a lot of fathers who live out of their child's life. He has always tried to see dss but she puts holds on when we can see him, where we can take him, how long we can see him for, and when we do see him we have to stay in a hotel and drop him back to his mums when she demands him back; it doesn't matter that we have planned to take him out for the day hmm

SleepyFish Fri 18-Oct-13 17:26:41

So basically this woman is on her own with no family support. Have you any idea how scary that is when your child takes ill in the middle of the night? No? well let's hope you never have to find out.
And what is with the 'we'? You didn't want to go in case you 'caught' something but you didn't have to go or are you surgically attached to your DH?
She is being immature ignoring texts but you and your DH sound like the selfish ones tbh.
Stopping maintenance because of contact issues is beyond the pale.

Kaluki Fri 18-Oct-13 17:32:55

Of course Trooper it works both ways. Mums shouldn't withhold contact but fathers should pay for the children they have fathered regardless of how much they hate their mother. The money is for the child!
OP so DSS wasn't planned? Presumably DP had sex with the child's mother so he must have known that pregnancy was a possibility!!! Either way he's here now and he needs supporting. £50 a week is nothing when you are feeding clothing and putting a roof over a child's head as you will find out when you have yours!

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 17:34:23

This isn't about what other absent parents do. This is about what this one does.
The relationship is not about you. It's about the father and his child. Why are you doubting the things she tells him? Exactly who are you to interfere so much in this relationship? Why is everything about 'we' and not 'they'?

Kaluki Fri 18-Oct-13 17:35:10

My post was badly worded. I have never and will never withhold contact. Just to clear that up!!!

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 17:36:51

Oh and that old bollox about unplanned pregnancy. I suppose as well that she tricked him and didn't take the pill. DOesn't matter that he should have also been responsible to prevent a pregnancy.

purpleroses Fri 18-Oct-13 17:38:01

The ex is being difficult with you.

Trouble is, simply being angry with her isn't going to help, especially if your outrage at her actions boosts your DH on to continue his role in the hostile relationship that they have.

And it really is bloody scary and horrible to be on your own in the night with a sick child. Even if she was just texting out of frustration and anger at your DP, showing her some support and concern over their DS might have gone a long way towards building bridges.

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 17:46:47

She's sent me messages in the past and I've tried a variety of ways to tackle the situation. First of all the nice and friend like way which got me no where, the next time I tried to express that I didn't want to get involved and that her and dh should be concerned about how their arguments and disagreements are affecting dss but she dismissed that and now I just don't want to answer her to fuel her anger more. I have never, ever told dh what to do as I don't want the blame to come back to me that dh could blame his actions on me.

I totally get that dh shouldn't have to pay his way just to see dss, and that maintenance is essential but so is spending quality time with your own son. Isn't that just as important?!

Chandra Fri 18-Oct-13 18:00:53

Ok, see it this way, he pays her £200 a month so she in call carinf for his son needs 24/7, so she can take care of the responsibility of raising his child mostly on her own with no respite (at the end of the day if his son is ill she cannot say that she is too busy with work to take him to the hospital).

If he was trying to get a childminder/nanny to do the same job for a third of the time he will need to pay far too much more than what he is paying and he will still have to drop everything to deal with the child's needs if that nanny service was not available. So she is basically doing the lion share's of the parenting while you aremo ding your own business miles away. No wonder she is angry. I'm sure she would find it difficult and frustrating, far more so wben your musserable husband sees it fit to reduce what he is paying by 50% because of a disagreement? Do you understand she NEEDS that money to raise his son, and in reducing the amount your oh is actually taking it on his own son?

Good luck, brace yourself and pray your relationship lasts, you know now what you can expect of the father of your child if at somepoint the relationship fails.

Chandra Fri 18-Oct-13 18:04:24

Do you realise that she doesn't get to spend much quality time with her own son if she is struggling financially to raise him? You know... Being a parent is not all about having fun in the weekends. hmm

Thants Fri 18-Oct-13 18:07:27

He should be paying equally for his child so it is not unreasonable that she is asking for money.
She was worried about her sons health. You don't know how ill he seemed she may have been really panicking and he dismissed her.
Yabu.

SleepyFish Fri 18-Oct-13 18:09:47

If he's so concerned about the amount of contact why isn't he doing something about it. He can go to court and get a contact order if he's not happy with things as they are.

Chandra Fri 18-Oct-13 18:15:40

It may not be a convenient option for him? It is interesting that many non resident parents (men and women) complain about limited contact time but are not prepared to take the responsibility of having the child around for longer periods. It is just easier to say the resident parent(man or woman) is just being difficult.

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 18:16:07

He did pay £200 now he pays less apparently.

Why all the 'we' why do you need to be present for visits?

I feel sorry for this woman it all sounds like a nightmare and on top of that she has the OPs DHs Dad taking her to court for access?

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 18:24:22

Is there a problem with me wanting to form a bond with my dss? What step parent wouldn't?!

Chandra Fri 18-Oct-13 18:39:41

Op, this is not about bonding, it is about your other half's pettyness.

For what is worth I have a wonderful bond with my exboyfriend's DD, she is still my partner in crime. That doesn't mean however that I am parenting her. We just had some wonderful weekends together. Because good parenting is about putting the needs of the children first, and being agreeable to your oh paying half of the child maintenance doesn't look to me like putting DS' interests first.

Now before somebody think I am unfair, my ex can testify that everytime he started thinking about reducing the financial support he was providing to her ex, I was the first one to give him a good bollocking ;-)

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 18:44:04

No but what about allowing them to bond together. You don't have to be this involved.

Also, why should dh dad involve dh in the contact agreement? It's him that wants to see his gs, so doesn't have to include anyone. Even more so when he will be the one footing the bill..Oh, and like it or not, the child will be informed about the court case, because cafcass will see him. Isn't it better for him to be aware of this beforehand so that he is prepared and is aware of the process, or would it be better for it all to come as a shock?

ihearsounds Fri 18-Oct-13 18:47:24

Oh and she is probably pissed because she will be aware that once this child is born, csa will make a further reduction..

kitsmummy Fri 18-Oct-13 18:51:13

In what world is £200 a lot of money to pay towards your child??!

ChristmasPixie123 Fri 18-Oct-13 18:55:01

She sounds bad OP but your OH doesn't sound so sweet either. I think people have been way too harsh on you though but I do think this is an emotive subject. Don't tell MN too much or you might be branded an interfering step mother!

I would of done the same as your OH if I was refused contact with my son because she was being a snotty bitch. Well I guess she got a taste of her own medicine. All those harping on about 24/7 care - his mother wanted it that way by the sounds of it!
Congratulations on your pregnancy OP thanks try not to stress yourself with this and let your hubby deal with this.

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 19:19:47

We don't know why he was refused contact though.

ChristmasPixie123 Fri 18-Oct-13 19:20:57

No we don't so everyone seems to jump down the OPs throat - no doubt because she is the SM.

AmberLeaf Fri 18-Oct-13 19:34:13

No, I think people are responding to what she has posted regarding her DHs actions.

It is him that is the target of criticism.

ChristmasPixie123 Fri 18-Oct-13 19:37:22

I suggest you heed her warning to you.

So your not criticizing the OP just her Judgment.

K8eee Fri 18-Oct-13 20:03:14

I'll take the 'wicked step mother' branding.

She was the one that walked out on dh. He was mortified that she had gone, mostly because dss was taken.

edam Fri 18-Oct-13 20:26:28

I really don't get stepmothers (or stepfathers) who think they have the right to judge what resident parents spend maintenance on, and get all outraged if it goes towards rent. How is putting a roof over your child's head NOT a good thing? That's what maintenance is for, FGS, housing, feeding, clothing - all the things that go to keeping a child safe, fed, warm and educated.

OP, you are p/g. When your baby is born, do you not expect your dh to contribute towards the rent or mortgage? Of course you do. Why is it somehow outrageous of your dh's ex to put some of the maintenance towards rent? That's what it is FOR, as well as utility bills and food and clothes and everything else!

lunar1 Fri 18-Oct-13 20:31:41

Your dh really doesn't come over well on all this.

K8eee I wish I had a magic formula to send to you on how to magic up a great relationship with your partner's ex, unfortunately it is total pot luck as to what kind of person the ex turns out to be. It's regardless of how much effort, respect, time or money you spend trying to build things up.

Either the ex is someone who understands what it means to put the welfare of a child first (regardless of negative feelings about the non-resident parent) or they don't. If you have the first type of ex you have a great chance at building good bonds which involve all adults over time, maybe with the odd blip. Otherwise you have the kind of ex which, for whatever reason, is so eaten up with emotion that they cannot put the welfare of their child first and are hellbent on making things as difficult as possible for the non-resident parent, whether they realise it or not.

I have friends who have great relationships with their stepchildren and their mothers and know others who, like us, have a nightmare of a situation. We do everything that has been said on this thread and more to try and build up bridges (after nearly 9 years together and we are also a 2hr drive away) and STILL the ex is using their children to fight this battle that she insists on maintaining. Now DH doesn't get to see his children. He has never hurt them, hurt her, been violent, taken drugs, committed a crime, made a bad parenting judgement or anything that a court may consider a court order for and as for money, well. So why is she still playing games, hurting her children in the process and continuing the drama? It all really kicked off after I got pregnant not long after we married a few years ago. Take from that what you will. This is a woman who can barely look at DH when speaking to him only to insist on seeing our baby in DH's car one time when he was collecting his children. Of course since that day his children have said mummy keeps telling them our baby is NOT their sibling. How horrible for all children involved that they couldn't relax with each other as other siblings do. She smirked when DH asked her about it. She knew the damage had been done and that was fine with her.

Feeding the situation with fuel keeps things going for somebody that could already be upset and needs some real help to come to terms with a situation. Perhaps everyone taking time to step back, calm down and reconsider the situation will help put things back on some kind of even keel in which to try and start a dialogue. DH's ex will only communicate via text too, with one worded replies, which strains communication and doesn't allow the children to see their parents being positive and civil towards each other. When trying to have phone conversation with them (which has stopped now due to their stress) his EX insists on having her ear to the phone at the same time which restricts his child feeling relaxed in the conversation.

I can understand how infuriating and unreasonable of her it must seem when she ignores your partner's concerns about his son only to then text and ask for money. However if your partner was to text back agreeing to give the money for the after school club then he could try, civily, to continue the texting conversation with asking after his son. If she still chooses to ignore those questions then it may be advisable to put his request in writing to her in the coming week as a precursor to taking a more formal approach.

If somebody refuses to communicate with a parent without valid reason in a parenting situation then, for the benefit of the child, you should follow through with a more formal procedure. If we knew 5 years ago what the situation would be like today we would have done it all different and not been so passive and agreeable. We behaved in that way because we're relatively nice people, love all of our children, don't want them witnessing ugliness and thought this is how divorced parents are MEANT to behave. However it has got us nowhere at all and because of it we both feel we have failed DH's children.

On a separate note congratulations on your pregnancy! Try to keep yourself mentally distanced from the situation at the moment. I know people share problems or issues in relationships because they are looking for support but maybe he could shoulder this one himself for a little while to allow you to enjoy your pregnancy. smile

ThisWayForCrazy Fri 18-Oct-13 21:56:36

My stepson was ill, my husband left work straight away and drove 500 miles to be with him. I would have been furious if he hadn't!

PatoBanton Sat 19-Oct-13 08:06:39

I think it's a bit naive to say you want to 'bond' with your stepchild when you partly didn't want to go to him because you might catch something.

Being a parent isn't about picking and choosing the bits you enjoy.

If you want this boy in your lives then you have to accept him, ill or not ill, and if you don't like the sound of that then really you have not got a leg to stand on.

TobyLerone Sat 19-Oct-13 08:13:27

Every time you post about him he sounds worse.

I still don't understand why he couldn't have gone to visit his DS without you confused

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