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How do I tell ex that my son doesn't want to see his stepmother any more?

(20 Posts)
Rooners Sat 07-Sep-13 08:33:36

I've got to have this conversation soon and don't know how to handle it.

Background is that ds is 10, has been seeing his dad for a couple of years and does not like his step mother, who is (in his dad's words) jealous of his children and can be very blunt.

Last week she told ds he won't pass his 11 plus. (which is next week). She was also very hungover when he arrived and didn't get out of bed till he got there. He can't stand her and I don't want her to be anywhere near him as she is regularly a bit of a cow to him. His older children no longer visit (I am told because of her).

OTOH there is not really anywhere else they can go of a sunday morning in the winter.

How can I broach this? Sorry if I am repeating myself, I did ask on a thread last week but there were not many replies and I am wavering and fretting blush


Offred Sat 07-Sep-13 08:56:16

Good lord, you simply explain this to your ex and then he deals with his wife.

What on earth is he doing sticking with a woman that he has identified is systematically alienating all his children?!

waikikamookau Sat 07-Sep-13 08:58:53

can they meet up without her?

Offred Sat 07-Sep-13 08:58:55

If ds doesn't want to spend time with her for what sound like good reasons then he shouldn't have to tbh and his dad should be doing a better job of being a father in protecting his kids from his wife's behaviour to them.

I am shocked that he has identified her behaviour and still chooses her...

Zoe999 Sat 07-Sep-13 08:59:12

can you phrase it in a way that is less likely to be perceived as controlling? or as an attempt to control. Say that your son would really value time alone with his dad. Say that your son would love the father /son time. Say if you were in a conventional family set up he'd get to spend time doing men stuff and he has been chatting to his friends and realised that he never gets his father son time !

waikikamookau Sat 07-Sep-13 09:00:14

and ther eis always another sideof the story, perhaps she actually said You wont pass unless you work harder, or something.
have you met her?

Dahlen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:01:17

You tell him what you told us in your third paragraph.

Children often have to be made to do things they don't want because it is in their best interests. Sometimes that applies to contact with a parent who doesn't live with them (e.g. if they're not going because of a misplaced sense of loyalty to the resident parent). It most certainly does not apply to a step-parent (or parent for that matter) who is bullying the child. Your DS has every right to choose not to go and to be supported in his decision.

Your X needs to decide if he wants to see his DS without his DW/DP around. If he won't, he loses his relationship with his son. His loss. Hard for your son, but I'm guessing this is just another nail in the coffin for their relationship, since a man capable of letting his partner abuse his child is probably displaying other crap dad characteristics anyway.

I'm sorry for your son. sad Please support him in this.

Dahlen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:04:40

I think the distinction here is that the dad has freely admitted that his DW/DP is "jealous" of the DC and "can be very blunt" (a euphemism for rude at best and abusive at worst). Also the fact that all his other children refuse to visit is very telling.

Otherwise it would of course be pertinent to ask exactly what was said (children not being famed for repeating what they've been told accurately) and to ask questions like how long have the dad and SM been together? Was she the OW? Do the children see her as usurping their mother? etc.

DeckSwabber Sat 07-Sep-13 09:05:13

How is your relationship with your ex?

Dahlen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:06:52

Thing is, even if the children were mixed up and unfairly jealous about the SM because of emotional fallout from their mother's relationship with their father breaking down, a sensitive father would handle this differently and introduce the SM very very slowly in order to establish a positive relationship.

Dahlen Sat 07-Sep-13 09:07:08

Sorry for multiple posts. blush

DeckSwabber Sat 07-Sep-13 09:10:56

Sadly some men will do anything for a quiet life. If new partner wants to smoke in front of kids, spends all weekend in bed, or wants to do something 'without the kids' on an access weekend, they roll over rather than confront the behaviour.

Bitter experience.

Rooners Sat 07-Sep-13 09:18:10

'What on earth is he doing sticking with a woman that he has identified is systematically alienating all his children?!'

I think this is partly the problem. He chooses her because she conveniently allows him to have zero commitment to any of his own children.

He is always there for hers though, funnily enough.

In other words he is hiding behind her.
He is very weak imo.

I will support ds as best I can in this. My feeling is that no contact with either of them might be best for him, but he is keen to see his father and they went to the woods last week (without her) and had a great time. He can put up with her as she is there, at the house when they arrive back and also they eat together etc but he doesn't want to put up with her. He just wants to see his dad.

To complicate things they both have alcohol issues, and the fact she was hungover means his dad will also have been blotto the night before which concerns me as he has a huge history of drunk driving and I have no way of knowing if he is still over the limit when he collects ds.

Also last month we missed the visit (it is only once a month) because his dad failed to tell us that he was going to some festival across the country, with her and her children, and I was very angry about that. (still not had that conversation either though I texted to say ds was upset about it)

In short ds comes last, but when his dad is with him, he's generally very positive and gentle and kind.

I loved him for a long time after he left (yes she was OW briefly) and that's how/why I got him back into ds1's life, thinking it was worth it - but actually now I see it for what it was, I just think he's a liability and a bullshitter. He has great qualities but he is not honest or dependable and as you've said, he's chosen someone who is guaranteed to alienate his kids.

Rooners Sat 07-Sep-13 09:19:46

Sorry for epic post.

I have met her. She is awful.

BarbaraWoodlouse Sat 07-Sep-13 09:24:50

May I suggest that when you speak to him (ex) you focus solely on the issues directly affecting your son. Not saying that her being hungover and having apparently alienated his other children isn't telling/worrying etc but I think to keep your discussion straightforward and as unemotive as possible you have to keep bringing everything back to DS and his experiences and feelings.

Poor him (and you). How is access currently agreed? Is there a court order to consider?

Offred Sat 07-Sep-13 09:25:20

That is really sad. I am in a similar situation with my big two's dad (stepmum is not nasty to the kids but he doesn't care about them). I have not found the solution and nor has my friend who has similar with her son's dad.

All we are both doing is getting on with our home lives as much as possible, trying not to take responsibility for the ex's relationship with the kids and trying to support our children to correctly identify when they are being treated badly. Also, not letting the disruptive contact arrangements be too disruptive. But it is as impossible as it sounds. sad

Offred Sat 07-Sep-13 09:26:35

I think you can focus on what he has said about her too tbh.

BarbaraWoodlouse Sat 07-Sep-13 09:29:37

Sorry cross posted. Re the hangover thing, totally see your point re the alcohol problem sad. I'd still say though that you have to talk to the real issue, his potential drink driving. Have you had any suspicions that he's been over the limit (I do realise you can't always tell)? You can buy testing kits cheaply but getting him to agree to take one won't be simple.

Viking1 Sat 07-Sep-13 09:30:38

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rooners Sat 07-Sep-13 09:45:20

Thankyou all so so much. I am blown away by the sympathy and understanding and so sorry for those of you going through similar.

I feel I brought it on ds by trying hard to get his dad back into his life (he left when ds was 18mo)

There's no contact order etc, I suppose it is good for ds to have a father he can identify if nothing else, but I don't know what is best.

He is very anti confrontation or discussion of these matters. He will run screaming from an argument, and would be massively offended at the suggestion of drink driving, though he knows full well I know he does it and did it with his other children for years sad though he was proud nobody noticed at the time.

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