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Bitter Ex - WWYD!?

(39 Posts)
3mama3 Fri 14-Apr-17 21:40:24

Me and my husband have 2 DC's together he also has a DC (who is 7) with his ex. Because the DC is still young we all must be in contact with eachother about picking up, dropping of, accidents and school etc.
They split up when she was young and we met about a year later and ended up getting married and having babies.
His Ex refuses to accept me as a parent figure in the DC's life. There have a number of issues in the past including her harassing me with phone calls and texts. According to her I should have no input in schooling, discipline, diet, well being, extra curricular activities, anything.
I have tried being civil on numerous occasions however as soon as my name is mentioned or I ask a question she starts throwing insults and demands around.
A few months ago we all agreed to have a group chat where any of us can post updates, questions or photos of the DC. However anytime I ask a question or make a suggestion she brings up historical nonsense and says I have no right to discuss the DC with her and have crossed a line because I am "not a parent."
Even if I am just passing on something the DC has said like they miss her or want to do something special with her.

I have no idea what to do? Do I continue trying to be civil and have it thrown back in my face for years? Or do I tell her where to go?

relaxo Fri 14-Apr-17 21:51:55

How much caring do you do? (I mean stuff like looking after him, cooking, pickups etc? ) Do you do this alone or with your h?

How much parenting does your h do? Does he post on the group chat?

AnneLovesGilbert Sat 15-Apr-17 00:08:45

Sounds like more hassle than it's worth you and she having any direct contact. What's your DH saying when she starts kicking off? If it's a group chat I assume he can see it all?

While it's a nice idea you all trying to work together to liaise on arrangements, if she's hostile to your involvement I can't see how it was going to work without this sort of stuff being an issue.

I wouldn't say anything to her unless you really want to and just back away and stop getting involved with her. Remove yourself from the chat, or if you want to keep up with facts and plans just stop taking part.

There isn't really any need for you to be involved with arrangements. Let your DH do that stuff and tell you, just the facts, what you need to know.

If that's difficult because you're doing pick ups and doing her favours then maybe stop that too for a bit and let your DH take on the bulk of the day to day parenting.

There's a lot to be said for a step parent being the fun one and letting the parent shoulder the crap.

I have DSC around the same age. I've never met their mum, don't plan to, and we've never once been in touch or spoken. We don't have each other's phone numbers.

DH and she email about contact and text v occasionally if plans need to change, the DC are ill, other need to know stuff. I'm very involved with them when they're here. We have them here twice a week. I keep out of her business, she, I think, keeps out of mine. By agreement between DH and me I'm a joint parental figure to them here, fun stuff, less fun stuff, but it's between him, me and the DSC. The two households operate pretty much separately and it works for everyone.

user1486915549 Sat 15-Apr-17 06:50:36

I don't see why you need to have so much contact with the ex. Poor woman clearly doesn't want it.
Let your DH make all the necessary practical arrangements.

Underthemoonlight Sat 15-Apr-17 07:02:45

Me and ex had a reasonable co-parenting relationship because our DPs keep out of it,communication goes solely through us. I don't even have ex's DW number. Clearly this set up doesn't work. I would remove myself from group conversation and let communication resume with them.

sandgrown Sat 15-Apr-17 07:12:57

Why is she a poor woman user? She has been separated from OP' s husband a long time and while she does not have to be friends with OP she could be civil. My son's ex would not allow his long term girlfriend to even be in the car when he dropped DS home. Ex now has a new partner herself and my how she has changed ! DS just had to accept her new partner moving in and living with his son full time .

CMamaof4 Sat 15-Apr-17 07:20:05

Yes I don't get how she is a poor woman either?
If you are polite and courteous to her I think she needs to grow up and get over it.
I would get rid of the group chat if she can't be civil there is no point.
It sounds like its not being used for its purpose but being used as a way she can sound off when she's in a bad mood.
Leave her to it.

howtodowills Sat 15-Apr-17 08:05:58

Been here!

Get yourself off group chat. Have nothing to do with her. Work with your DH on bringing up your (3) kids when they are in your care but leave him and her to chat about anything else. It'll cause you hassle and strife as much as you want to do things "right". Ignore her as much as possible.

It's all a nice idea if everyone is civil and has moved on but it sounds like she hasn't.

Good luck smile

3mama3 Sat 15-Apr-17 08:06:47

She was the one who demanded to have my number and she contacted me on numerous occasions even though I asked not to be. She would text me instead of my husband or ring my number instead of his. We eventually had to threaten to get the police involved as she would constantly try contact me and I didn't want it.

After a couple of serious incidents at school we eventually gave in and said fine contact me but only about the child. It was her request that we accepted not us demanding to be in contact with her.

swingofthings Sat 15-Apr-17 09:01:36

According to her I should have no input in schooling, discipline, diet, well being, extra curricular activities, anything.

To be fair, my biggest worry when my ex informed me that he was in a serious relationship was that she would consider to have a right of say in how our children was brought up. Of course, it wouldn't have been an issue if we agreed on everything, but it would have been a problem if she thought had a right to have an input on the above. Thankfully, despite some issues, she never felt this was the case.

When parents are separated, it's hard enough to come up with compromises to agree on the above. Usually, before the couple would have gone ahead to have children or to separate, a common view of how the children would be brought up was set. Of course this involves with time, hence requiring communication and compromises, but the last thing that is going to help with this is a SP thinking that they have a right to be a third party to this, if it is going to involve challenging these compromises.

Let your SD parents agree on how their DD should be brought up and focus on yours. How would you feel if for instance, your kids childcare worker were to tell you that they wanted to come to your house to check what diet they were on at home, what time they go to bed, if they are being given time out properly? You would tell them that this is between your husband and you and nothing to do with them, despite the fact that (assuming they go to daycare) they might be spending more time with your kids then you spend with your SD.

As for contacting you directly, I expect it was because communication became impossible between her and your OH and she hoped that it would be easier to do so with you. That wouldn't have meant her being happy with you making decisions about her DD, only to be a go in between. This only works if indeed, that person only relays messages, not take over for the other parent.

3mama3 Sat 15-Apr-17 10:55:30

Swingofthings I completely understand what you are saying however I should have clarified that I'm on about when these things occur on our time, I shouldn't discuss school, I should only attend school events if ex has specifically said I'm allowed, I shouldn't ever tell DC off even if she's hit her siblings because I "have no right to" I shouldn't even send her for a time out apparently.

And with regard to contacting me she would ring my number and tell me to pass the phone to my OH. Or text saying "tell him this..." Even though they contact between them was possible.

I am also responsible for 90% of the childcare as we have DC every weekend and all school holidays. (My husband works 4 days and 1 day every weekend). So it is me who looks after the children. I would understand if we had only been together a couple of weeks and I never looked after DC on their own but we're married with two other children there as well.

swingofthings Sat 15-Apr-17 12:20:57

Of course you should be able to discipline her when she is with you and your OH isn't around.

I guess the issue is if the way you discipline her is much stricter than the way her mum and OH would. No right or wrong answer it's finding the right balance. For instance I had no issue with my ex's partner turning the TV off if they were not listening to her asking them to pick up their toys. However I did have an issue when my boy was 4 and still wetting the bed. OH and her knew to put a nappy on him even for a nap. They didn't and he weed on their bed. Not nice indeed but she lost it and shouted at him so much DD said he was shaking in fear. She insisted that at 4 it wasn't right he was still having accidents and he should be taken to the doctor. I did tell her then that it had nothing to do with her and she had no right to shout at him. Afterwards I sent him there with pull ups which he put on himself and he was dried a few months later.

There were thankfully no more issues after this but to me this was a step too far in her involvement with his education.

CMamaof4 Sat 15-Apr-17 15:46:09

She sounds ridiculous, and really controlling..

life07 Sat 15-Apr-17 15:53:37

while she needs to calm down and explain it better she does have a point OP.There are things that should be decided just by her and your DH such as education.

Justmadeperfectflapjacks Sat 15-Apr-17 16:00:04

A judge would tell her it's actually up to dh how much input the op has in the child's life. . As the parent he is trusted to make that decision himself. .

life07 Sat 15-Apr-17 16:12:34

in private yes, of course, they would talk and she would be involved when they are at there home but the mum has the right to say she will only deal with dad.

3mama3 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:04:53

Life07 I wanted to stay out of things, she demanded that she was able to contact me. As soon as I contact her regarding something she flips out and starts mouthing off.
I would be quite happy with her just contacting my DH but she has a history or ringing in the middle of the night and waking our young children up, turning a simple call about drop off into an argument about their old relationship. And if DH mentions that a plan would need to change because I'm at work then all hell breaks loose!
I've spent almost 3 years trying to find a way to stop her contacting us incessantly and nothing has worked. I've been civil, I've refused to talk to her, I've met her in person, I've tired ignoring her, we've suggested mediation but she refused. I'm just sick to the back teeth of being told I'm not allowed to love my step daughter.

CMamaof4 Sat 15-Apr-17 19:57:33

She's obviously jealous, I would say keep your contact minimal and just be civil, You can't reason with stupid people.

swingofthings Sun 16-Apr-17 08:10:51

It's not about loving your SD, it's about expecting the same rights and involvement as a parent because you do so.

It sounds like you need to take a step back and leave it to your DH. If they can't communicate, that's their issues to resolve between themselves.

When there is a lot of conflict over small things, which usually is a case of 'he says she says', the best thing to do is avoid all flexibility and stick to rules. So if you agree on contact arrangement, then there is no flexibility with it. If your DH relies on you to look after your SD on a day of contact and you can't do it, then he needs to find someone else to look after her, not expect mum to change her plans, and vice versa.

Don't discuss things that take place at each other's house and don't pick up the phone. Text/emails can be used to share information. More and more information will start to flow directly from SD and this will become easier.

From your post, mainly the first one, it does sound like the issue is you over-stepping the boundaries of parenting, and this is what is infuriating her, so just let her and your DH parent their daughter and be there to support your DH and build a good relationship with your SD, which it sounds you already have.

BlueSkyBurningBright Sun 16-Apr-17 10:38:38

DH's ex used to be a bit like this, not as extreme though. She used to insist on coming into our home, esp if we were out and the childminder was there, helped herself to food and drink from the fridge. Said she had a right to as it was her DS's home. Would turn up at kids bedtime and demand to be allowed to read DSS a bedtime story. DH was trying to be nice and allow her this. I had to be the bad guy and put my foot down.

Step away from her, do not contact her. Block her from your phone, get your Dh to tell her that she has to contact him from now on. Do not engage with her at all. Ask your DH not to tell you all the things she says about you.

I did this, it is much easier now. I do not have anything to do with her and do not know anything about her. DSS lives with us too.

swingofthings Sun 16-Apr-17 10:55:27

BKBB, that is to me is more extreme than what OP describes! Insisting coming to your house? That's totally over-stepping the mark. There is a difference between a mum who doesn't want her parenting to be challenged and influenced by her kids' SM and one who thinks she has a right to immerse herself in the life of her children when they are with their father.

CMamaof4 Sun 16-Apr-17 13:19:09

I think that if your SD has something on at school and you go along with your partner the ex is just going to have to suck it up, Its not something she has any control over and she's acting very childish.
In regards to telling Step child off if she hits one of your children, of course you should be able to tell her off, Even more so as you have her some of the time on your own. If a child mis behaves they need to be taught that that behaviour isn't acceptable.

workingmumsarebad Sun 16-Apr-17 14:34:55

Something obviously happened between her and your DP which has affected her and her ability to trust. How old was the DC when they split up?

The problem for the EX, is they do always have to sit and suck it up. Whatever the EX wants he/she can do and they have no say over their child, it is an extremely difficult position to be in. You are programmed as a parent to care and look after your child. When that ability to control the environment at a young age is removed it is very hard.

cMama - Have to say if my DCS, then SM had turned up at any school event, I would have gone bonkers - she had so little to do with them and to then come along and play happy families would have pissed me off royally.

CMamaof4 Sun 16-Apr-17 19:28:51

Well that's not the case here is it workingmumsarebad as op is involved in the childs life and even has her on her own, So therefore as she has alot of involvement with the sc and is with the child's father he is entitled to bring her along to the child's events and she has every right to be there as has a step dad on the other side of the equation, They are a family together also to which the step child has siblings.
It works both ways in regards to the ex having no control and having to suck it up, the non resident parent also has no control over their child's home life either. Its just one of those things in regards to separating. Better to get over that fact than stress yourself out over trivial things such as childrens plays. Better to keep things as civil as possible for the stepchild.

Livelovebehappy Sun 16-Apr-17 21:30:19

OP keeps saying though that she didn't ask for, or want, contact with exW, but I can't see why she just doesn't cut off contact if that's the issue. Just don't go on group chats, block her number, leave it to your DH to do drop offs and pick ups, and the problem is then solved. I think it sounds like there's way too much involvement by the OP. I've been in the situation of being exW and I would have gone ballistic if my exDH's partner had started to discuss dietery issues and extra curriculum activities for my DCs with me. I would expect to discuss with ExDH only, and if he wanted in turn to discuss with his DP, then it would be fine to do so. There really doesn't need to be so much communication between his ex and new DW.

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