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Makes me feel physically sick...

(17 Posts)
YoungStepMum Wed 31-Aug-11 11:20:32

(Before I start, I’m not technically a stepmum…my DP and I live together in a house we bought together and have had his 2 DDs at ours every weekend for a year and half now…so really do feel like their step mum)

Anyway, the 4 of us had a lovely day together yesterday and I feel that the eldest DSD is finally ‘opening up’ to me as she was a bit distant to begin with. Me and DSDs baked some cakes together and they each took one home. This sparked a nasty email from DPs ex saying that I had said ‘my cakes were better than hers’ which is absolutely not true and is actually a misunderstanding from what one of the DSDs had said. DP’s ex said I should try to limit the damage that I have already done and that I shouldn’t be cooking with her children, doing their hair or even be anywhere near them. She never refers to me by my name always ‘friend’, ‘the person you have chosen over us’ or on one occasion ‘fucking teenager’ (I'm actaully 25). She refuses to pick the DCs up from ours and doesn’t want me in the car when he drops them off which often means if we have been out for the day my DP has to go 20mins out of the way to drop me home first.

I don’t expect her to like me but I think it’s about time that she accepted that I’m apart of her DCs lives and acknowledge the fact that I exist and I’m here to stay? Like I said, it makes me feel physically sick when I see what she has been saying about me or accusing me of.

I’m not doing any damage am I? Can I expect this attitude towards me to ever change? Need some advice before I resort to locking myself in the spareroom every weekend.

SouthGoingZax Wed 31-Aug-11 11:26:15

You sound lovely.

Keep doing what you are doing, being kind to the DSDs and keeping the moral high ground by not engaging.

redfairy Wed 31-Aug-11 12:45:17

You can't force someone to accept you - this may or may not come in time.
All you can do is carry on behaving as you do. It sounds like your DSDs enjoy your company and this must be quite hard for your DP's Ex to stomach. I know because I have been there and been equally as unreasonable (didnt get as far as the namecalling though) I hated the way my daughter came back with elaborate plaits and chavvy tracksuits that the new partner had picked out for my DS. Over time I got over it and to some extent I get a dose of my own treatment now when my DH's EX decides to throw a wobbly when I do something she objects to with my DSD. This may or may not continue so you may have to content yourself with knowing you are in the right even if your Dp's EX doesn't see it. It sounds like you are doing a superb job smile

nenevomito Wed 31-Aug-11 13:15:30

Detach if you can and keep doing what you are doing.

You can't make her change her behaviour or accept you, no matter how unreasonable it is, in the same way that she can't change the fact that her dds are going to spend time with you over the weekend.

Locking yourself away or ignoring the girls may make their mum feel better, but will make them feel awkward or unwelcome and to be honest its their feelings that matter in all of this.

You are not causing harm. Don't get involved in any tit-for-tat and keep being lovely with the girls.

ladydeedy Wed 31-Aug-11 20:52:52

Also I suggest that you ignore the "you are not allowed to be in the car when they are dropped off" rule that she has decided upon. totally unreasonable and gives her fuel to continue to be unreasonable if you attempt to comply. My DH;s ex started off with that, then in some instances i was the only person available to return them (if DH working for example) or to collect them. She wanted the children to stand at the end of the road in freezing rain to wait for me to collect as SHE didnt want me to collect them from the house. i said dont be so ridiculous. She also then said she didnt want me to drive down their road!! like she can make the rules where I may or may not drive! the woman you are dealing with may chose to do this to you, if she is continuing to try and make issues. just ignore her. It is a control mechanism. You are trying to do the right thing - continue to do so and down be thrown off course by this person, no matter what she might do or say. You know you are right.

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Wed 31-Aug-11 22:51:36

Message withdrawn

YoungStepMum Thu 01-Sep-11 11:07:41

Thank you for your advice and sharing your own experiences. I find it hard to talk to my friends about this as none of them are in the same situation and it just turns into a bitching session.

I think in future I’m just going to ask DP not to tell me what is said about me so I can concentrate on having fun with my DSDs and stop second guessing everything I do. I also think I may need to grow a thicker skin as god knows how she will react in the future when big things happen like DP and I getting married or starting a family. hmm

MJHASLEFTTHEBUILDING Thu 01-Sep-11 12:33:38

Message withdrawn

mdoodledoo Thu 01-Sep-11 22:45:34

My relationship with the exW has continued to shift as we both get used to things and adjust to changing circumstances etc. So things can change for sure - but goddam it depends on so many complicating factors.

The interesting thing for me has been that my relationship with DP's exW was better than it is now - and from my perspective it seems most likely that the recent negative shift is because of my increasingly meaningful relationship with the kids. I feel that she was comfortable with it being a more limited relationship, but now that they're seeing me more and more as an intrinsic part of their lives, it's harder and harder for her and so she's retreating.

I do understand, but it's just such a shame and like other posters have said, it just makes me feel sorry for her. I had such a high level of respect for her, but that's taken a big knock recently. I recommend what others have suggested - and I like your idea of asking your DP to keep some of the info to himself rather than involve you.

You sound like you're doing loads right so keep on keeping on!

balia Sun 04-Sep-11 16:51:50

Yes, thicker skin is a good idea - her foulness isn't personal, she doesn't even know you - and the sort of person who would rather her children be miserable than have fun with you isn't someone to take any notice of at all.

I think your ideas are spot on - tell DH you don't want to know what she says, and don't read her emails. Enjoy your time with the kids - but you might want to drop the idea of them taking anything home, they are the ones who have to deal with her crap up close. Eventually they'll work out how to cope with everything.

bluebell8782 Mon 05-Sep-11 14:33:59

Hi YoungStepMum,

It's horrible but you really just have to ignore it. I see my DH's ex in town when I'm out on my lunch almost every day. She will either ignore me or look at me like I'm a piece of crap on her shoe. Rise above it!! The ex is reacting out of jealousy and until she can get over that it will be very hard to reason with her.

Your SD's will get older, they will make up their own minds and as long as you have been the one that has been mature and not reacted to any of it your SD's will respect you and will want to have a good relationship with you.

I also agree that you should ignore the demands of you not being in the car. That is just pure spite and should be given the attention it derserves - none!
My DH's ex said I wasn't allowed to be in my own house on the weekend's we have my SD - guess how much that was adhered to....

parkgate Mon 05-Sep-11 16:41:20

I agree as others have said that your DP needs to be ignoring her demands for you not to be in the car etc. she needs to realise that she can't control what happens in your lives or when the children are with you. It's a bot like dealing with a child when someone is that immature and if your dp panders to her she'll walk all over both of you.

(I've had the "fucking teenager" comments too as was 24 when Dp and I got together. He and his ex were 38 at the time. Funny thing is, I have more maturity in my little finger than she will ever have)

Rise above it my dear.

frecklesfrances Tue 27-Sep-11 17:16:16

Im in the exact same situation. Im 26 with 2 DSD 5 and 2 who I absoloutly adore.

My partners ex didnt want me in the car, left alone with the children, doing hair etc all the girlie things that comes with girls but in the end you have to do whats best for the children and make them feel at home with you and their Daddy as possible.

My advice is rise above it and then she cant throw anything back at you or what you do. I always keep in my mind how would I feel if these were my children and act in a way that suits this.

I agree ignore the car thing, we did in the end when my partners 5 year old started asking why Daddy always dropped me home, in the end its whats best for the children not the adults. Im still not allowed to be left alone, pick or drop the children off alone but we hope this will come in time if we keep proving we only want the best xx

eslteacher Tue 27-Sep-11 21:01:32

Again...I just cannot believe some of the exes that you guys have to deal with. I am in shock that there are mothers who sustain this kind of behaviour when it's so OBVIOUSLY not the best thing for their children.

YoungStepMum I have no advice for you, as I am spoiled by my DP's lovely ex who I get on very well with. But you have my sympathy, and what everyone else has said seems like very good advice. Especially "rise above it". I think you should continue doing exactly what you're doing when you're with them, but maybe to make things a bit easier to deal with you could just not send evidence of it home with them, e.g. cakes/hairdos whatever? Even though you totally should be able to...gah.

dearheart Mon 03-Oct-11 20:00:34

"I think in future I’m just going to ask DP not to tell me what is said about me so I can concentrate on having fun with my DSDs and stop second guessing everything I do."

That sounds like a really great idea.

WaitingForMe Thu 06-Oct-11 16:23:55

My problem lies with my MIL rather than the ex-wife but I found asking my DP to stop passing on negative stuff really helped.

chelen Thu 06-Oct-11 17:24:21

I don't want to know the sadly weird responses from my SS' mum whenever we try to get her engaged with his life, at the same time my not knowing doesn't help much cos if my OH is upset that affects life at home anyway. Yet another no win aspect of step parenting.

It's been a bad week - does it show?!

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