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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?!?!

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

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.

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!

SparkleSoiree Fri 18-Oct-13 21:22:20

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

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

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

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!

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.

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.

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 19:20:57

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 19:19:47

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

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.

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

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

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..

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?

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 ;-)

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?!

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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?!

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.

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