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How do you cope with resentful Ex of DP and DM of step kids? Does it get easier?

(530 Posts)
Bananasinpyjamas1 Mon 02-Nov-15 15:36:50

I've noticed that this has come up a few times recently on the boards here - and I don't want to start a riot! I genuinely would like to hear anyone's experiences of DM to your step kids. This isn't to say all DMs are spiteful/resentful at all. However, it seems a bit taboo for a SM to admit to any problems - as if we as SM are somehow in the wrong in the first place just for being there.

My story - DPs Ex said that she liked me at first, I made a real effort to be respectful. Now she stirs up trouble even though I wasn't the OW and have now been with DP for several years. Ex -
- ignores me totally - pointedly
- tells her kids that I'm not their parent and they don't have to do anything I ask
- sends the kids over to our house whenever she liked
- undermines things I try to do with the kids
- used to constantly phone the house when the kids were here to speak to DP about trivial things at inappropriate times
- asked for increased maintenance after me and DP had a baby.

These aren't the worst things that I've heard on this board, and some things have got a lot better. She does love her kids. However, she just doesn't care if it works with me and DP in our household with the kids, and will happily make it more stressful. This has ultimately made it harder for her kids to accept me, and for them to feel happy with us without feeling disloyal to their mother.

DP likes to avoid confrontations too so has aquiesced in the past leaving our relationship vulnerable. She is horrible to DP if he doesn't do what she wants, but she does apologise to him afterwards as she wants to rely on him still, likes feeling that he is there for her. With me, she has never apologised and doesn't care, I'm not useful to her.

It just seems all a bit unnecessary, and totally out of my control. Do we just silently take it? Bite our lips and hope any stirring up with DSCs doesn't affect us?

m1nniedriver Mon 02-Nov-15 17:10:12

I think it must be very hard for her behaviour not to, eventually, hsvr s negative effect on your relationship not just with your DP but with the SC. Just as you respect her being their mother she should respect you bring their step mother.

I would suggest you speak to DP about it if it's getting to the stage where it's affecting your life. Perhaps him cutting contact with her other than essential communication would help?

You're right in saying SMs on here get flamed at the mere suggestion that exw is s bitch, I mean they are the mother do by virtue they can act as they like confused in RL that's not the case so don't allow yourself to be treated like that.

I completely sympathise with you having been on the recieving end of this type of behaviour. Thankfully for me it has settled down now. We have very little contact with the mother other than necessary communication between DP and her. If she is hellbent on acting like that it is impossible to have an amicable relationship. You can't just step back because it's affects your life too, you can encourage DP to step back though. Good luck flowers

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:15:51

It's awful isn't it. Be prepared for people to come along and slag you off though grin

My dp exw is horrible. She just is. I wasn't the ow either, in actual fact, she moved her now dh on the day she threw dp out.. But she has never shown me a moment's kindness or compassion, even though I've looked after her dc as my own for 5 years.

Some people are just cunts I'm afraid.

Zampa Mon 02-Nov-15 17:21:03

Lots of sympathy from me! My DP's XW is horrendous and bullies him constantly and has now started to drag me into the arguments. Ultimately, it's the children that suffer from the animosity and I feel so deeply sorry for them.

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:29:28

My dp has had a mental health crisis recently. Rather than trying to be understanding and showing some empathy, she's just ramped up the pressure and stress. The thing she's most worried about is that he can't give her any money this month as he's not working.

I detest the woman.

VimFuego101 Mon 02-Nov-15 17:31:28

I don't cope. DSD's mother has worn us down to the point where I don't even go on holiday with DH any more because she always, without fail, tries to throw a spanner in the works. She's cost us thousands in cancelled holiday costs. DSD is actively rewarded for disobeying simple requests and refusing to acknowledge me. DH knows that annoying me is far less awkward than annoying her, so he bends to whatever she wants. DSD is 15 soon, I guess once she turns 18 there's very little the ex can do in terms of wielding control. I doubt we will see DSD any more once she's not obliged to visit by a court order though.

The weird thing is that she was the one who left the marriage. I really don't understand why she would care what DH does as long as her daughter is looked after when she visits us.

swingofthings Mon 02-Nov-15 17:38:19

* However, she just doesn't care if it works with me and DP in our household with the kids*

Just to comment on this? Why should she care? Her life doesn't evolve around the dynamics of your family but her own. She cares that her children are happy when with you, that's all.

Whether she is stressing you out of spitefulness, or just because what makes things better for her turns into stress for you, in the end, she will prioritise her interests and that of her kids over yours and your OH.

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:39:03

I suspect it's a control thing Vim - I genuinely don't understand the need for the micromanagement either.

My ds is just as safe and well looked after when he is with his dad as with me. I'd love to see his reaction if I tried controlling what he does when he has ds!

m1nniedriver Mon 02-Nov-15 17:45:13

swing. The mother shouldn't care but is clearly actively making things difficult so obviously she does care. She shouldn't, but she does! By telling the childrrn not to listen or co operate with their SM she is making it her business. It's terrible! Poor kids!

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 17:45:32

I would never try deliberately to cause trouble in my exes new household. I have no interest whatsoever. However I certainly do not "respect her role as step mother". Why on earth should I? I didn't meet, fancy and decide to install her in MY children's lives. She means nothing to me. I would be as courteous and respectful to her as I would any person I came into contact with but I do not see her as having any important role in my children's lives. I know this is not a popular view but it's how I feel. I don't dislike her, I am indifferent to her and ultimately I do not her as having any parenting role in my children's lives.

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:52:34

Does that mean you don't allow her to look after your dc then Nicki?

NZmonkey Mon 02-Nov-15 17:53:39

I can really relate to this OP and I'm hoping you get some more useful answers to your questions. I just don't know how I can take the constant interference and nastiness for the next decade/rest of my life.

Swingofthings I believe the ex should care that is works in the other house hold with the kids because if it doesn't her kids also suffer. I'm wouldn't think any mum would want that but I'm not a mum just a step mum so I don't know.

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 17:53:40

Preferably. They've a Dad to do that. Though if he chooses to leave them with her, the obviously that's their business.

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:53:58

Because surely someone that treats your children with respect and kindness deserves respect, regardless of their role or label? Do you not respect your dc teacher, for example?

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:55:22

I'm not trying to be a knob btw. Genuinely interested. I'm a mum and a stepmum, and I've also been a stepchild for many years.

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 17:55:47

Sometimes I respect my children's teachers, they've had some poor ones tbh. However it's not at all the same. I make informed choices about my children's education and I have loads of input into it. This is not the case with my exes household. It's a choice he alone made. Why should I automatically respect that?

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 17:57:28

I wouldn't have said it should be automatic respect. Just something that's perhaps earned over the years, whilst she is wiping your dc bottoms, cleaning vomit, holding them when they've had a nightmare, that kind of thing. Clearly it isn't earned then.

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 18:05:12

Well she won't ever do that stuff because my kids are older and wouldn't let anyway. But even if she did why should I respect it? I don't ask her to do it and would prefer their Dad did it. But obviously that's up to them.

There were four of us in our family unit. One of us decided to leave it and later made a new one with someone else. He didn't ask any of the rest of us if we minded and I didn't expect him to. I don't understand why I am expected to "respect" her position as my children's step mother as was stated earlier in the thread.

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 18:05:34

Wouldn't let her anyway

BlissfullyUnknown Mon 02-Nov-15 18:12:11

I can actually see where Nicki is coming from. I'd say it's more important for a step parent to have acceptance than it is to have respect. I'm not sure respect actually comes into it. Just my opinion.

m1nniedriver Mon 02-Nov-15 18:17:58


the issue for the OP is that her DPs ex is going out of her way to cause problems. I'm quite sure she wouldn't care less if the ex respects her or not, sounds like she just wants her to stop being a bitch, it's not difficult really. I never suggested you should respect anyone unless you are infact the OPs exW and you think that specific statement was directed at you hmm?

I'm sure your children's SM respects you as much as you respect her. All good in that case smile

OP you will find it near impossible to maintain a civil thread about Exw on here, hopefully this one won't decend into SM bashing but it's not looking good!

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 18:22:40

You said that the mother should respect OP as her children's step mother. I can directly quote if you like but it's there for all to see.

And the discussion had moved on in that I was directly answering another posters questions.

There's no SM bashing here so I am not sure why you're saying that.

I think too many people involved in blended families demand respect when they actually mean deference and that's when the problems start, and I include ALL parents in that, both birth and step.

m1nniedriver Mon 02-Nov-15 18:36:37

Maybe respect was the wrong word then no need to directly quote, I don't deny it wink. So anywaaay ...

I think you need to ignore her, get your DZp to do the same, she has no hold over him he shouldn't be worried to stand up for himself. My DPs ex used to speak to him like that then apologise when she needed something. He eventually saw through it and realisedhe didn't have to put up with it. Was a tough transition but totally worth it now. We rarely get any hassle from her, nothing in it for her if she sees it having no effect! I don't want to speak too soon with Christmas coming up grin

NickiFury Mon 02-Nov-15 18:45:55

Not sure why you're being so rude and dismissive confused

I just think advising someone that they automatically deserve respect in an already strained situation isn't particularly helpful and was trying to explain how others might perceive this situation. I believe my point of view is as valid as anyone else's on here and I find your attempt to label it as SM bashing rather confusing.

NotTheSpiceOfLife Mon 02-Nov-15 18:48:43

I guess there's always a bit of confusion as to why mums that aren't stepmums come i to this section. Don't really know why you bother, you have the whole of the rest of the forum to play with confused

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