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Stepkids mum is a nightmare(33 Posts)
Hi i'm new on here so stick with me!
I don't want this to be a b****y rant but im so frustrated with this person and their entitlement.
I am a mum to a delightful 9 month old and my husband has a 12 yo from a previous relationship. I've been with my husband 7 years now (married for 3) and from day one his ex (mother of his child) has just been an interfering nightmare - to begin with this was understandable, but she has just got worse over the years. We had a complete blow over it a few months ago so thank god I hardly have to communicate with the woman but she will still be a part of our life (albeit a pain in the a**).
Opinions on how you would handle this situation would be appreciated!
Without going into a barrage of detail, she is wanting to control our household and talks at us like we are dysfunctional teenagers - given me and my OH are in our 30s/40s and married, is just silly! To set the scene on the mentality of this woman she has publicly admitted on social media to spitting on homemade food she made for someone, finding it funny and acceptable as she didn't like them.
She has a strong sense of entitlement and is no less of a sponger - from the bank of mum and dad (who funnily happen to be her landlord), she works 16 hours and claims benefits and cries the poor tale to my husband despite funding quite a cushy lifestyle for herself (despite my husband having always overpaid CSA, bought clothes for his daughter which we never see again and his daughter gets treats/trips out when with us on a weekend when we have any disposable income to spoil her with).
Since me and my husband had a baby last year she has got worse and has no respect for us or our household given that we have a baby - I don't expect her to like the fact and I don't care but I would expect her to act like an adult - I have always taken on board her wishes for her child and respected that but she is completely ignorant of this, us and our baby and just messes us about all of the time. At times my husband has been on the bus to her house to see his daughter and she has messaged last minute not to bother coming as their daughter is ill or on allocated weekends he has to wait last minute on a Saturday morning to know whether he can go get his daughter or not - over the years she has self diagnosed her daughter with the A-Z of illness (the girl is a walking miracle) so this impacts on whether my husband can see his child or not. At Christmas we took the ex a gift along with his daughters gifts on Christmas morning. The ex left her daughter in the living room by herself to greet us, as she had shut herself in her bedroom because we were there with our baby and did not come out the entire time we were there - there was no civil hello, merry Christmas or thank you from her which I find very petty (given that me and my OH have been together for 7 years now) and after 3 years of me and my OH dating she wanted to 'vet' me which turned into a session all about her and slagging of my OH and his 'ability' as a dad.
I have recently found out that she has been bitching about me and my ex on social media since at least 2015 (I blocked her a long time ago but we have mutual friends who have shown me screenshots of what she has been saying. My husband also had to block her and most of their mutual friends years ago as they were telling her about our relationship and she didn't like it). Again I find this very petty and ridiculous. I also don't find it acceptable for her to be putting awful, nasty comments about her daughters dad and airing his personal business on Facebook where their daughter and their daughters friends may end up seeing these. Also what on earth is she telling their child if she is spouting stuff on Facebook?
The blow we had earlier this year was because I asked her twice (politely) to give any medication that her daughter might bring over to our house to my husband and in its box to ensure we know what she is on, side effects and it is the best way to keep it safe. I then found out she did not do this, giving the pills cut out in an envelope with written instructions to her daughter and they were given to her daughter (a minor) - she then left them lying around our house for our crawling son to get hold of, of course I was absolutely furious with the ex and I immediately locked them in our medicine cupboard out of harms way- the ex then had the nerve to have a go at me about it and insinuate that I am mentally unstable (sigh).
Do we turn a blind eye to this and leave her to it in the hope she will eventually get bored? or do we have it out - given that it probably won't change anything as it's already been 7 years? Who knows
She sounds a treat.
I have a bat shit crazy EW to deal with and I don’t get involved or don’t give her any head space (for my own sanity).
Disingage - it’s the only way to stay sane. These women won’t change. They don’t respect boundaries so you need to find coping strategies.
Remember she can’t control what goes on in your home and you can’t control what goes on in hers.
If she’s messing around with contact, get a contact order. You can’t ration with these people.
Thank you for your input - I think the disengaging will be the short term solution (which I’m willing to go with) I have no love or care for the woman but her behaviour is just time consuming and tiring. My husband, his family and I are just sick of it. I’m sure you understand. It’s just waiting for ‘whats next’ to crop up - I don’t want this crap to have an impact on my baby as he’s getting older and he becomes more aware. I just can’t wait til my husbands daughter is an older teen and has her own mind and life (hopefully this will mean less involvement with her mother and she can then focus her life on herself and finding happiness - and leaving us alone)
*bitching about me and my OH* not ex
Do we turn a blind eye to this and leave her to it in the hope she will eventually get bored? or do we have it out - given that it probably won't change anything as it's already been 7 years?
You have answered your own question here - it won't change anything as you can't change her personality. You sound like a lovely, caring parent and SM. She sounds... as Northern said, an absolute treat
Keep your head high, the older your SD gets the less contact you will need to have with the ex. It won't be this bad forever!
You sound overwhelmed with anger and frustration, like I have been in the past. There’s a lot you can’t change and I think that the only way you can regain some peace of mind is take a big, big break in your mind from her. Easier said than done!
But vital or it becomes all consuming. My DP has accused me of being obsessive of EW and believe me I was keeping 90% of my feelings to myself! Or Mums net, so I do get you.
So list it out - you actually get low interference by the sounds of it. Nasty, but not in your face.
- social media - just absolutely do not look, read, mention, acknowledge. There is zero you can do about it. Block it. Don’t let DP mention it.
- her mucking up times, don’t let your DP moan to you anymore. It becomes too much of an intrusion into your relationship. He needs to sort that or if not, what can you do? Let it go.
- medication, again just check the kids bags or DP to do it, as they will need supervising taking it anyway. Do it as soon as they come.
I’m honestly not minimising it, but if your DP and step kids are not being pulled away, you’ll be fine. My DP and DSDs are in what’s called a loyalty bind I think! And that’s destroyed our relationship. Don’t let it destroy yours.
Agree with above poster. I’m only 4 years in and I realised 18 months ago things wouldn’t change. Only I could change the way I deal with things.
I still get that sick feeling in my stomach when my OH says she’s being in touch. My OH attended a program to help him deal with her. I could spend the whole afternoon telling you what despicable things she’s done to her own children to ‘punish’ their dad.
What my OH learnt is you can’t control these people. These personality types don’t take any responsibility for their own actions. You made them do it, it’s your fault. Any normal personal knows that’s the case.
So how do we deal with her.....
No texts. If you are a normal person and can send a polite text message then that’s fine. If you send a vitriolic rant (and at one stage there would be pages and pages) then you don’t deserve to use that communication. My OH had it built into his contact order that she’s only to email and either party is to respond within 4 days. No response and the request is accepted. She can’t stick to this (the response timeframe) but you have to let the small things go.
We don’t interfere in what goes on on her time, so she has no say on our time.
My OH only communicates in a business like manner to her. She sends emotional rants telling my OH what a pathetic father he is. That’s her choice. My OH never responds.
I don’t get involved with her at all. My OH deals with her. You can’t deal with crazy.
We never bad mouth in front of the children (the same can’t be said if her, that’s her choice).
We hardly discuss her as a couple. As any mention of her and it drags us down. I really don’t give her any time. And I feel so much bettter for it. Once you adopt this attitude things are so much better.
My SC are 9 & 12 now. She wouldn’t allow them to ring dad, or allow my OH to ring them. But the 12 year old is getting old enough to challenge this. I look forward to the day we don’t have to have anything to do with her.
Remember bitterness is like a poison you take yourself hoping the other person will die...... so sad.....
Agree too with @northern you can’t deal with crazy! The less head space the better.
If your DP is not letting it affect your relationship then that is KEY. Unfortunately my DP took it out on me and also got defensive. That’s when the poison has indeed seeped into our relationship. And that you can’t ignore v
@Bananainpyjamas11 - sorry to hear that. I bet she loves the control. So sad, she can’t move on while she’s so bitter. Hope you can work things out.
Thanks @northern you would think she hasn’t moved on but is engaged to someone! He’s on the other side of the country though so the frequent messaging of DP often occurs when she is on her own / bored. I often wonder, does her fiancé know she’s often called DP midnight, 6am, even 2am?! As recently as last month?! He’s a doormat, I’ve met him, sweet but very much a yes man.
@Bananasinpyjamas11 - nothing worse than a weak man. How disrespectful to her fiancé (and you) - calling and texting her EH all the time? Hasn’t disengaged and still thinks she ‘owns’ him.
When I got engaged to my OH the EW sent a vitriolic email (normal) to my OH saying how dare he, as the mother of his children she should of been consulted beforehand. I shit you not!!!! Honestly my friends think I make some of this crazy stuff up!
Thank you all for your messages - def food for thought and a way of tackling this from within our household. Luckily it doesn’t affect my husband and I relationship wise we are solid and on the same page - will take on board what you’ve suggested and hopefully there will be less eye rolling in our home in future!!
Whenever your stepdaughter comes over, ask if she has any medication to take, as you/your DH need to put it safely away as the adults in the house.
Don't let the Ex dictate what goes on in your house.
I’m glad that you are on the same page, anything is survivable if you are united!
Your DSD will soon be a teenager. When mine reached that age she told her DM that she would be arranging her own contact. In her case she could have used public transport but her DF collected her.
We had much the same problems with my DH's ex as you do, OP. They mostly fizzled out when DSD was old enough to be autonomous. All of a sudden her mother's power to keep father and daughter apart vanished. It was lovely.
She does sound like a nightmare and agree with Prawns that soon your OH will be able to arrange contact with his DD directly.
However, I do not get at all why you had a blow at her about the medicine. Surely if your OH knew that his DD was taking medicine, why didn't HE asked her to give it to him? And what difference does it make that it was in an envelop rather than the box, it would still have been as dangerous to your boy. As for the leaflet, one click on google and you would have had it.
I think when you have an ex who is difficult, you have the pick your battles, and in my view, that was one that wasn't justified.
Oh dear - yes she definitely sounds like 'one of them'! We had the same mind-set as you - thinking she would get better over time etc. She didn't - things just carried on and it was horrible.
Things only started to change when we got a solicitor involved and contact 'set'. Nothing is official as we didn't go as far as court, however, the letter we got written up seemed to shock her into realising that she couldn't get away with everything being her way forever. She's still a bitch as that is her personality but she has certainly lost the power she used to lord over us. It cost some money but not as much as we were expecting as the letter we sent from the solicitor seemed to be enough to show her we were serious. Maybe have a think about doing that?
NorthernSpirit Apart from a few details your experience, attitude and how you deal with the ex sounds very similar to my situation. My DSD is now 15 so her mum doesn't seem to contact us as much but even now when we drop her off my heart still jumps and I feel sick if my husband's phone happens to go off that evening. I've spent hours researching into personality types trying to figure out why she behaves the way she does as it just seems so unreasonable and unfair - I've realised she's just horrible but thank the Lord my DSD seems to have taken after my husband lol.
NorthernSpirit she was 13-14. I remember that day. She rang us, so happy and triumphant that her stand against her mum had been successful. It was a very brave thing to do.
Before then we sometimes didn't see her. She was "ill" or sometimes it would be flat refusal for months. We just kept reminding each other that so long as DH expressed his love whenever he could, so long as we said not a word against her mum, and so long as she knew our home and our feelings about her were reliable, she would know she had a place in our lives and that her DF would never desert her.
This gave DSD the confidence to tell her mum to stop interfering with her relationship with her dad. She was well aware that her DM was a difficult woman, with a terrible temper and a drink problem. If I'd been the type to bitch about her mum I could never have been as effective as her mum's behaviour. We didn't join or echo the drama. My DSD needed to know her DF and I were there for her.
I think part of why our relationship is so strong is that I always saw it as part of my love for DH to do everything in my power to facilitate his relationship with her. He was a devoted dad and he wouldn't have been happy without his DD in our lives. We also backed each other up. When she shouted once (as they all do) that I wasn't her DM, I said she had a perfectly good DM already but that I was her dad's wife and my house, my rules. That worked because DH backed me.
Now she's a woman grown and when her DM is kicking off DSD rings me to offload, knowing I'm never going to share it with anyone else.
Yep, good luck all it’s not easy.
My own theory is that these women are so emotionally damaged they can’t see what they are doing. Apparently my OH’s EW is a wonderful mother (so she tells us regularly) and my OH is a shit pathetic dad. This is a dad who was stopped seeing his kids and spent thousands through the courts to see them (my OH had the audacity to leave her). Apparently he doesn’t deserve to be a dad because if this.
I felt a bit sad earlier when someone said to me they think my DSD has some issues. I could spend hours telling you the despicable things the mum has done, using the children as weapons to punish their dad. Not letting them speak to him on their birthdays, stopping a trip to see the grandmother on her 70th birthday (that they were excited about), stopping contact for 2 months because he wouldn’t (he couldn’t) give her a £3k lump sum. It goes on and on.
I don’t think it ever gets easier. I actually feel sick when I see her (the first time I saw her my OH was dropping the kids off and she came running over screaming ‘fuck off you piece of shit’ I think the kids were 7 & 10 at the time. You just find ways to deal with it. I don’t mean to belittle or mock but in my particular case I think the mum has some mental health issues.
My DSD is very close to her mum, and mum keeps her young. When I met the kids they were 6 & 9 - they couldn’t wipe their own bums. Mum did it for them. She was angry my OH taught them as she said it’s her job. She tells the kids mummy loves them more than daddy (which breaks my OH’s heart). But like you we never badmouth and we don’t stoop to her level.
I really hope the day of independence comes soon.
Sorry to add to an already far too long post, I'd like to add that if your SC have a toxic unstable parent then there's likely to come a time when a SC assess the situation and see who really puts their interests first. They compare the two setups. When that time comes you may find your relationship with SC improves. I may never love my DSD quite as devotedly as her DM obviously does, but I have more often put her interests first than her DM has. A nasty ex can try to poison children's minds but once that child realizes a parent is unreliable and malicious they are likely to reinterpret
NorthernSpirit, 6 and 9. JFC. You're right. The woman has big problems. What the fuck did the poor kids do at school?
Just keep on keeping on, doing your best, being a trustworthy adult. When they're little DC are easy to manipulate. As they grow they start making comparisons, though they won't tell you at the time. My DSD compared her DM to other mothers as well as her DF and became aware that her DM was very hard work.