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So, this is how it went...

(35 Posts)
LaDolcheRyvita Tue 06-Sep-11 12:36:46

Reference for anyone who remembers..... "what would you do with this lady?" posting. It was about DSD's graduation, two tickets, one for her mum and one for her dad (now my DH). Her mum refused to go if dad went so, it was then DH and I. That was February. All summer this woman refused to go as she was afraid she would be "too upset/break down emotionally/couldn't face her ex husband/sit within 50 yards of him" . They were divorced 7 yrs ago and I came along after their relationship was well and truly over. She, the exW, had an affair and didn't want to sort things out hence, the divorce.

Two weeks before the event, ExW changed her mind and wanted to go. No problem there, obviously. So, lovely DSD says "I'll have to get another ticket, if poss then". But her mum then said oh, don't bother. This was the first clue that meeting up with the man she shat upon all those years ago ( and this is a good man...a great dad) was not really the issue. This woman possibly couldn't face seeing her ex husband with another wife (we've been married 2 yrs). Long story short.... I said I'd not go, she must have a ticket, she being the mum. Dh said "she's f****d about for over 6 months, has been asked repeatedly so, no.....if a spare ticket isn't found, it's her own fault". However, my DSD wanted her mum there and so, I said she must use one of the 2 tickets for her mum. I know it was the right thing to do...the kind thing to do.

Still with me?

Now, the day went well. DSD graduated, looked (and is) lovely. DH was rightly, beaming with pride in all the photos. However, what I wasn't prepared for when I saw the photos, was the poor fragile ExW who was going to need all her emotional strength to be at the same event as her ex husband, albeit at a suitable distance because obviously, she wouldn't have the emotional wherewithal to be anywhere near him physically. This lady appeared to have made a FULL recovery from her turmoil; she was able to sit next to DH for the duration of the event, some 3 hours; she was very comfortable on the photos of the three of them..... No apparent emotional breakdown.

Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't want the occasion marred by this woman's falling apart but I felt so cross to see just how "together" she was. I suspect I had been manipulated quite calculatedly; I suspect it wasn't ever about her not going if her ex husband attended but rather her not going if she was to be faced with the physical evidence that her ex husband, whom she treated appallingly, had gone on to meet another (me) and was now very very happily married.

DH who, if you remember said the exW had mucked everyone about and should therefore take the consequences (ie not be there if another ticket couldn't be found) has now made a decision. In future, when invited, the two of us will attend together and, in his own words "fuck her. She either comes to terms with it or doesn't attend" .

So, a cautionary tale here..... Don't be manipulated by ex wives, because even though I have the benefit of knowing I did a good and right thing, the woman pulled a fast one on me.

Petal02 Tue 06-Sep-11 13:49:58

I read your original thread with interest, as I expect I'll be in a similar situation when SS graduates (he's only just started his A levels, so there are a few years to go yet).

I think you're absolutely right - the ex has been deliberately manipulative, very childish and thankfully you and your DH can see right through her. Just remember that you're a better person than she is, and if she doesn't like to be reminded of what she lost, well, not your problem !!!

bonnymiffy Tue 06-Sep-11 13:55:12

So sorry to read that, I still think (even though I didn't post before) that this makes you the bigger person. How sad for her that she was prepared to make life so difficult for her own daughter, you have to wonder where she was coming from.

LaDolcheRyvita Tue 06-Sep-11 15:57:38

Until last week, I'd have said she was coming from a point of feeling herself to have insufficient emotional reserves to face the day/situation. This week, I would say she was coming from a point of not wanting her ex husband's wife at what she felt should be a "family occasion".

Unfortunately, DH's family has extended to include a new wife and stepson. This, I think, is "the rub".

I agree, I think she has behaved so badly. There was no reason why we couldn't all have attended but her leaving it until the week before the event pretty much meant only one of us could go. I do not like this lady, one bit.

theredhen Wed 07-Sep-11 08:25:58

Sounds like she doesnt' want reminding of your husbands ability to "move on". I've sat at school plays etc by myself and ex husband has brought along his girlfriend at the time (never had anyone long term) and I admit it feels a bit strange but the main thing is that me and his Dad were there for DS. I would never have been so selfish to try and emotionally blackmail him and his partner, which is what has happened to you.

I think you have behaved impeccably in all this and can hold your head up high. Your DSD will know this too. Good luck for future gatherings.

ladydeedy Wed 07-Sep-11 08:26:57

this is very sad but you can rest easy in knowing you did the right thing. Good for you for having the moral high ground!

parkgate Wed 07-Sep-11 14:41:12

Yuk, poison. We had a situation with DSDs parents evening recently where I had a written warning not to attend because it would be too traumatic for her mum and thus traumatic for DSD.... I wasn't going to go anyway so found it a bit odd.
The day came, and she arrived with her partner leaving my DP to trapse around after them like a spare part as she introduced her partner and herself to all of the teachers.

Manipulating a person is in my opion the lowest thing you can do. But using children to do it is even worse.

You awere, and will remain, the bigger person for what you did.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 07-Sep-11 15:29:34

My dsd once asked me to go to her school sharing assembly as neither her mum or DH could go. I said I would love to and then her mum banned me as she said I was not to have anything at all to do with school. After much tears from my poor dsd her mother relented but honestly - I do often wonder what goes through her (alleged) mind...

Petal02 Wed 07-Sep-11 15:35:56

Funny that you mention schools - the ex tried to tell DH that I'm not allowed to ring SS's school. I rang up once, and said I was Mrs Smith enquiring about Little Jonny Smith's timetable (made up names by the way) - I never said I was his mother, no one asked the question, but I think they assumed I was because me and SS have the same surname. Somehow it got back to the ex, and she was NOT amused, and accused me of pretending to be SS's mother and undermining her. We laughed no end !!!

parkgate Wed 07-Sep-11 17:22:39

Why would you not want an extra person to love and care for your child when you're not there...??!!! The mind continues to boggle. Mentalists, the lot of them.

glasscompletelybroken Wed 07-Sep-11 17:35:40

That's what i've always said park. When they have their sharing assembly the parents/carers go back to the classroom with the children afterwards and look at their work. It's not that nice to be the one child who has no-one there with them and dsd's mum knew this. But it's all about her, as always...

LaDolcheRyvita Wed 07-Sep-11 18:08:29

glass completely that's a valid point.

I only have one son, he has autism (high functioning) and has been very ill for the past 10 months. My ex is in a long term partnership with a woman who I actively encourage to be involved. She is included because she is part of his "now" and possibly his future. She has been invited to meetings at school in order to discuss what's best for the boy. If this woman enhances his life in any way, I'm all for that. There will never be any of those "choices" to be made by my son.

parkgate Thu 08-Sep-11 11:45:11

Mine either ladolche I'm all for my DD's step mum being involved. My DD doesn't have any extra needs so things like parents evenings it's only necessary for me and her dad to attend but if she had something that i couldn't go to I would definitely want her stepmum there in my place. And absolutely for celebrations... if/when she graduates it will be partly due to the support that her step mum has given her so to deny her the right to go along would be plain cruel.
same with weddings etc. DSD is only 12 but i can see already the drama that will surround it. Her narcissistic mother we see to that.

LaDolcheRyvita Thu 08-Sep-11 12:52:47

Yes, I guess that's it really. I cannot claim to have played any part in this lovely young woman's upbringing. When I met her, she was already 16. But, I AM here in her "now" and hopefully, in her future. She's 22 now and I like her, not just because she is my husband's child and I SHOULD but because she is delightful and fills the room with sunshine wherever she is smile He has two other kids. A son who is very loyal to his mum and alternates between speaking to me or not (but is good with my young son). Another daughter, who I think deep down still wishes I'd just sod off! So, I guess I'm cross about what happened but mostly disappointed and sad that I wasn't there for such a big occasion.

parkgate Thu 08-Sep-11 13:23:19

Theyre hardly the finished article at 16 dolche, you've been more support than you'll know I expect grin

Libby10 Thu 08-Sep-11 16:44:14

Makes you want to scream doesn't it. The pattern I have noticed are the more "visible" the event the more likely the ex is to create a fuss. It can be incredibly frustrating when she can't be bothered to break into a sweat to help out or do things for the kids most of the time only to have her pulling the mother card when it suits. Personally I think if the kids are OK with you going, then you should go - especially once they have reached adulthood.

parkgate Thu 08-Sep-11 17:18:26

That is so true re visability of the event! Dentist appointments, shopping for school uniform, dropping off to school disco under the cover of dark - step mum's remit..

Graduations, parent's evening, birthday dinners, weddings - mum's remit grin

Libby10 Thu 08-Sep-11 17:38:34

Glad I'm not the only one operating a concierge service on the side.

LaDolcheRyvita Thu 08-Sep-11 18:30:00

Oh God.... Is this what I'm going to have for the rest of my life? mooching around in the shadows, like I don't really exist?

glasscompletelybroken Thu 08-Sep-11 19:48:44

even I am not sure I exist any more. It's only my own children and grandchildren that make me feel real.

LaDolcheRyvita Thu 08-Sep-11 20:23:42

Oh GlassCompletely that's rotten. It wouldn't have made any difference to my decision to remarry but there are times I just think......"I absolutely don't need/want this".

glasscompletelybroken Fri 09-Sep-11 08:04:52

Me too - I love my DH beyond measure but I just want it all to be how I imagined it would. It makes me cry sometimes that I have got to this point - 5 years in - and have such a disappointing relationship with my dsd's and feel such a failure. I have zero say in practically everything and am so full of resentment it's turning me into a horrible person.

LaDolcheRyvita Fri 09-Sep-11 09:39:03

That's EXACTLY how I feel if it makes you feel any better Glass, just knowing there are more of us "out there".

I try to reassure myself that, had I had three children, who's to say my DH would have liked all of them? And it's not for want of effort. I don't know his son at all but then he's 21, has no reason to get to know me..... Visits are brief and I'm under no illusion that he comes to see me.... He's here to visit his dad and I cannot ever see that changing. The younger SD has found it difficult as I think it was tolerable for her dad to have a lady friend (at a distance) but the lady (me) relocating, moving in and marrying was not really what was wanted, for her at least. Of late, we've be fine with each other but I recently told her to sort out her bedroom (having shut the door on manky undies and filthy tissues and SO much crap on the floor, I couldn't hoover it, at all FOR TWO YEARS!!!) and now she's not visiting her dad because he supported me in that "clean your room" decision. SD was expecting her dad to override me but frankly, he agreed that I/we had put up with enough on the bedroom thing. It actually smelt. Badly.

I too have been tearful at it not being how I'd imagined it to be. I just keep telling myself that I tried (then tried some more) and my "advances" have been conditionally accepted. My mum was here in the summer and she had previously commented how relieved she was that youngest SD and I seemed to be ok together. However, at the dinner table, I said something that SD didn't like, said in a jokey way and my mum commented later that SD's reply and the way she spoke to me was rude and condescending. Whenever there's even a small issue to be resolved however, it all goes belly up again! It's like walking on bloody egg shells!

My son adores his step dad. It didn't happen overnight but DS loves my husband and tells him so. He misses him when DH works away from home and interestingly, when son was in hospital recently the only person he wanted to call on the phone was his step dad and i think he was so reassured to hear DH's voice that my boy just burst into tears. That says a lot about the man I married and about my own son, I think.

I'm lucky Glass, as my DH always includes me, supports me when he thinks I'm right about something. I don't know how I'd manage in your situation. Does your partner know how you're feeling?

glasscompletelybroken Fri 09-Sep-11 10:12:40

He does know how I feel and he has tried to be supportive. To be honest I think he's sick of talking about it all - I think I must be a disappointment to him although he says that's not true at all. We have quite different ideas on discipline and he just wants the kids to have a nice time ALL the time and that leaves me feeling like the housekeeper around here. We started in a bad situation because his ex said I was only allowed to clean & cook for the kids and she told them that too. In their eyes that's what I'm here for.
On a day to day basis my lack of influence manifests itself in my constant picking the kids up on little things. I keep telling myself I won't do it anymore and I hate myself for it but I can't seem to help myself. I look at my own (grown-up) children and think how lovely they are and that I did a good job with them but now I have turned into an evil witch step-mother.

Sorry - have totally hijacked your thread -

sneaks away quietly...

LaDolcheRyvita Fri 09-Sep-11 10:26:05

glass.... Got me some chores to do and vittels to shop for.....I will then reply. You haven't hijacked. Sounds like your need is great.... Have a brew. I'll be back.

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