Just when I thought we were making progress- virtual hug, please!

(75 Posts)
sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 08:50:17

Hi all,

I don't really think you can help me on this one, but I would like to share something that's made me feel really sad, please! Please don't post anything mean, I don't think I can handle it this morning.

I have a DP with 2 young children, and an EW who's still very angry. They’ve been split for 2 years, we’ve been together for 1.5. He's been to court for contact and 'won' it, so from the start of the new year we've seen the children more and after a few wobbles where they’ve needed reassurance, it seems like both DC are happy with the arrangement and we have a lovely time with them. I’ve always got on well with them, and I’d say our relationship was good.

The older DC’s birthday (5th) is coming up (he’s very excited!) and last night their mum asked my DP if I was planning on going to his party. When he said I was, she went mental. She sent him messages saying how hurtful that was (to her, nothing to do with the children), and saying what a terrible person and father he was for allowing me to come, and then the piece de resistance. She sent him a video of the DC in question in which she asks him if he wants me to come to his party and he replies ‘Errrr…. No. No no no!’

It’s quite obvious that he’s only saying that because she has prompted him to, he must be able to sense that she’s not happy with me coming. He certainly wouldn’t spontaneously start talking about me coming or not, it wouldn’t even occur to him. Now I’m sure that she’s only done this because she’s very hurt & angry, but it’s made me feel so sad that she’s willing to put her child in this position, and possibly make him feel anxious/concerned about me or spending time with me for fear of upsetting his mummy. I had previously thought that him sometimes getting upset about coming to daddy’s was due to the change in routine, and uncertainty in his mind about whether he’ll ever see his mummy again- but now I think it’s clear that she’s playing a part in exacerbating this upset. If she’s willing to do this video malarkey, who knows what else she’s willing to do to try to undermine their relationship with their dad, and with me. It’s made me worry about our future relationship, if things are only getting worse not better.

I guess it also hurts that someone hates me this much. I’ve always tried to stay out of her way, and I’m very respectful of their relationship with her, and it smarts that this hasn’t made any difference.

Anyway, I just wanted to share. Thanks.

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Pogmella Wed 07-Feb-18 09:41:08

It's a kid's party. Just duck out. Make his life simple. You cant control how other people act, only your own actions.

sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 09:45:59

Yes, I'm not going to go.

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BiologyMatters Wed 07-Feb-18 09:50:32

She sounds like she's not over the break-up yet and probably still harbours feelings for your partner. Unfortunately this is going to be a long hard slog to get any better so I would strongly advise you to decide whether or not this relationship is worth the agro you're going to get off this woman. If you break up with dp, yes she will win but you won't have to put up with her trying to control your life. You're still early days into the relationship. If you do want to make a go of it then you are just going to have to detach and only have a relationship with the children when they are with you. This way she still wins but at least you don't have to stress of dealing with her and don't underestimate how stressful it can be dealing with an ex-wife who thinks she has a say in your entire life. I would make sure that you and your partner give your stepson an absolutely amazing birthday treat while he's at yours. Not to trying out do her but to show him that his birthday is important to you.

laloup1 Wed 07-Feb-18 09:54:15

Big hug. I know it’s tough.
From the perspective of the ex she’s ‘lost’ the court case in the same way your partner, as you say, ‘won’ it.
I don’t know how she and he came to separate and how she feels about that but now she certainly feels you are going to be in her face at this birthday event.
It’s still pretty soon after the split really, if she found breaking up tough.
We were very low-key about our relationship for a year and a half as my partner’s ex was really raw. (But my partner’s daughter was too young to tell!) and it was still awful when she finally found out. I don’t imagine ever bring at the same party as her ever. She would find it impossible. And frankly it would also be too distressing for my partner’s daughter, who at three knows from her Mum that her mum hates me - eg she’s scared for me if I go along in the car to do drop off in case her Mum comes to the car.
My partner’s daughter was and is manipulated in similar ways to how your partner’s son is being manipulated but there’s no video evidence (keep that, it could come in handy one day)
If your partner’s ex is really hostile to you my advice would be to stay out of her way and do what you need to do to minimise her influence on your life. Maybe it will get better in time, maybe not.

sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 09:59:03

Thanks BiologyMatters.

When I said it made me worry about 'our future relationship' I meant to my relationship with the DC- sorry, that was unclear. I do feel secure in my relationship with DP, and this is certainly not the first horrible thing we've had to deal with from her. Most of the time I can see things from her POV and don't let it get to me, but this one did!

My expectations as to my relationship with her are very low, I just hope that the DC will be ok with me being around with her doing her best to turn them against me. I'll certainly do my best to make sure they get consistency and security when they're with us, as my DP always does.

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Unihorn Wed 07-Feb-18 10:04:57

His mum's behaviour is not okay but unfortunately hell hath no fury and all that. I've stayed away from all of DSD's parties even though her mum and I are quite good friends, and try not to get overinvolved in any parenting things.


sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 10:08:50

Thanks laloup1.

I'm fine with not going to the party- we clearly were too optimistic in thinking I should go! As part of her testimony at the contact hearing she specifically wrote that I was always welcome in her home- I guess the same doesn't extend to nearby village halls. I certainly don't want to risk him having a happy birthday, and as I said earlier I don't think he'll mind if I'm not there, he just wouldn't mind either way.

When I stay in the car at drop-offs the children always ask why I'm not coming in, and I think they will ask (or the youngest will) where I am when their dad goes to the party, but I guess that low level confusion is better than full on hostility.

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tiredpom Wed 07-Feb-18 10:11:22

@sothisisnew. Have a huge hug, I know it's so tough. No she isn't being reasonable, in time she will see this. Let them have their party. Make sure you have something with your DP and the kids. Maybe dinner, movies bowling - with cake, balloons etc. It will get easier, from a step mum 10 years on who has been banned from parties, when flights are booked etc. We now all have an amicable relationship .... spend birthdays, Christmas together etc. I never would have thought this possible years ago. Good luck OP - I know it's tough x

Winteriscoming18 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:14:51

Look at it from her POV they were married and after they split up within 6 months he was in a new relationship with you, it must be hard to deal with especially when feelings are still raw. As a woman she’s no doubt envious of you and it’s hard pill to swallow having another woman around your child maybe more so if she didn’t want the relationship to end. I speak as someone in that situation although I don’t dislike my ds sm she nice and we get on. However I love the fact that I don’t have to share my other two dc with anyone but me and their df. When ds seeing photos of them as a family did sting at first however things overtime do change.

I would bow out of the party and just take a step back it’s still early days in your relationship maybe do something separate with the dc.

Lastoftheusernames Wed 07-Feb-18 10:16:33

I'm surprised you thought you would go to the party to be honest. Unless things are very amicable I think that's actually quite unusual until a lot further down the line. If the mother feels anxious at your presence, it will spoil her enjoyment of the party, which will impact on the DC. I think it's too much too soon after a difficult court case. If there are other parents there that she's friendly with (likely) she will of course feel uncomfortable. Some might say she should suck it up for the DC but you haven't been on the scene that long and you aren't married so not actually SM.

Children's parties are about the children. You think the DC wouldn't say he didn't want you there, but I don't think he'll much notice if you aren't as he'll be busy with friends. He also wouldn't want an upset mum.

This isn't about you. You've got a lot more of this ahead of you. Try to think if it from all perspectives.

billybagpuss Wed 07-Feb-18 10:17:07

Have a cyber hug xx

It can't be easy, but from her point of view the court case must still be very raw and she is still resenting contact at all. Your doing the right thing by bowing out and staying clear and not making a fuss about it.

I would plan a great day out for DSS on the nearest contact day to his birthday and enjoy getting to know the kids properly over the next year or so. They are getting to the stage that they will soon realise what she is doing and it will backfire on her.

sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 10:22:18

Lastoftheusernames I think I've made it quite clear that I don't think the party is about me. I'm not going to go to it, and I agree that, yes, we were optimistic about me getting to go- in fact probably too optimistic about me ever getting to go to anything that their mum as it.

I just said it made me sad, that's all. I'll get over it now.

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sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 10:22:42

*is at

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QuiteLikely5 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:24:23

What an awful woman. She is emotionally abusing her children whether she realises it or not.

Honestly what the hell do these crazy women think they are doing to their children!

sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 10:27:12

Ha, no beating about the bush there QuiteLikely5!

Thanks all, I appreciate your posts & your sympathy! I can now take a deep breath & go back to hiding in the car smile

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Confusedwife84 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:28:31

@sothisisnew I've been there, it's hard. In our situation the EW also eventually got a partner, and insisted that he be there, and all parties were awkward events for the 4 adults involved.
Things have moved on now and we all get along well, if a little awkward at times. We manage to put it behind us for the sake of a few hours at a kids party.

Myddognearlyatethedeliveryman Wed 07-Feb-18 10:29:38

Imo split dps mean 2 birthdays. Can't imagine the atmosphere gonna be great for the dc with him there and her still venting.

MrsDc7 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:32:21

I've been in your shoes and now years on I can tell you it will get better. What started as an incredibly acrimonious relationship with my step child's mum is now quite a pleasant one. We'll never be best mates but when we have to be around each other we sit together and chat. You have to be the bigger person, never talk badly about her in front of the kids and let your partner do all the interactions with her. Over time it should improve

MrsDc7 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:32:43

Oh and I agree with PP... have two parties. We always have

Karigan1 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:38:21

No. If things aren’t 100% right between you you have no right to interfere with a mums day at her own child’s party. If you get in fine no issue but if you don’t you’ll just cause upset.

Personally my ex and I do seperate parties for my son. He came to the first one only and now he’s expected to arrange his own. I get on fine with his new partner and actually like her but I still would not have her at my son’s party. She may be the new step mom but he’s my son, I’m bloody well paying for it and I’ll enjoy my time with my son on his birthday thank you

TaDah99 Wed 07-Feb-18 10:41:06

Totally with QuiteLikely5 on this one, what an awful thing to make your child do, and yes as a previous poster said, you must keep the video evidence as it may come in useful in the future.

Horrible situation for you, but on this occasion it is better to take a step back. If she is going to behave like this then in future it may be best to make sure you do something separately with the DSC. That's what I do with mine, I am not invited to their parties, incidentally nor is their father, but that's fine, we just do our own thing and everyone is happy.

GreenFingersWouldBeHandy Wed 07-Feb-18 10:41:14


I think if you care about these children, you need to take a step back.

1.5 years is not a long time - you have plenty of time in the future to develop relationships with the kids. And as important as it is to you, the most important thing at the mo is their relationship with their primary carers - their Mum and Dad.

Yes, her behaviour is pretty lousy in terms of manipulating the 5-year old, but I think you need to be the bigger person here and set an example of rising above it.

Yes, it sucks, but take a deep breath and act like the adult here, don't sink to her level. She is, and always will be their Mum. Think long-term and give it time.

KayaG Wed 07-Feb-18 10:41:52

God, she sounds awful. I hope your DP is making a note of her dreadful behaviour for the courts. They will not like the video at all, make sure he keeps a copy.

Just keep loving the children, they'll realise what she is soon enough.

sothisisnew Wed 07-Feb-18 10:42:50

Actually Karigan1, it's on my DP's weekend and he has paid for it...

But absolutely, yes, I get your point.

They are trying out joint parties for the DC, I guess they'll see how it goes for future ones.

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