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How do you deal with a jealous ex???

(68 Posts)
PoppyPrincess Thu 22-Nov-12 13:37:13

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?

billingtonssugar Mon 01-Apr-13 22:34:58

Ah yes grin

Frikadellen Mon 01-Apr-13 20:42:20

Zombie thread alert

billingtonssugar Sat 30-Mar-13 14:20:59

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

DaemonPantalaemon Sat 30-Mar-13 07:56:57

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.

dignifiedsilence Fri 04-Jan-13 16:12:01

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

dignifiedsilence Fri 04-Jan-13 16:09:59

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!!

elliebellys Wed 28-Nov-12 13:01:55

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 someone said up post,just agree to disagree. Otherwise nothin will ever change.

UC Wed 28-Nov-12 09:46:02

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.

NotaDisneyMum Tue 27-Nov-12 20:09:02

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. sad

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 smile

Jemma1111 Tue 27-Nov-12 19:49:06

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


NotaDisneyMum Tue 27-Nov-12 19:19:25

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 ?

Jemma1111 Tue 27-Nov-12 18:59:39

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 !

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 18:32:21

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

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 16:36:20

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.

sanityseeker75 Tue 27-Nov-12 16:01:20

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.

theredhen Tue 27-Nov-12 15:45:27

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? smile

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.

Jemma1111 Tue 27-Nov-12 14:52:36

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 .

theredhen Tue 27-Nov-12 13:04:39

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.

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 12:58:52

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.

theredhen Tue 27-Nov-12 12:10:22


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?

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 10:37:20

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.

AmberLeaf Tue 27-Nov-12 09:48:38

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.

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 09:29:25

Amber - if DP had told her then why do her texts to DP say ''people have told me'' not ''YOU told me''?

AmberLeaf Tue 27-Nov-12 08:35:44

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!

PoppyPrincess Tue 27-Nov-12 08:33:20

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.

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