This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Just a bit drama again(38 Posts)
Tomorrow evening is the prize giving night at DSS's school. DSS (age 11) will be given a prize as the deputy head boy so it's quite an important night for him. We are all very happy and are proud of him. DH (we recently got married after being together for over 3 years) wanted me to attend the ceremony, as "you are part of the family". I told him that it is probably not a good idea as his ExW would hate to see me there.
DH sent a text message to ExW and no surprise, she replied something like if I am going, she is not going and won't allow DSD (age 6) to attend as well (DSS and DSD go to the same school), and she added: "you'd better ask your son what he wants".
DH learnt from DSS last weekend that ExW has been pressuring him by saying how much she didn't want me to attend. DSS however replied, both to his mum and DH: "I want all of you to come". It was very nice of him to say so. I have a very good relationship with both kids and helped DSS tremendously with his 11+ exam by providing math tutoring almost every weekend for the past 2 years. DSS is moving in with us for his middle school in this September.
DH thus talked to ExW again via phone and this time she went completely mad, threatening that if I dare to show up, "she'd better prepare a change of clothes" (she threw a cup of orange juice at me previously) and worse......when DH told her that police may get involved if she does that, she yelled "just call the police, just call them!"
DH is very disappointed and annoyed as he knows that I would prefer to avoid any drama, either in private or in public, but on the other hand, he felt like we shouldn't be intimated by ExW as I will inevitably play a more and more important role in DSS's life. I feel very sorry for DSS as I know that he wants me to go and his mum is willing to embarrass him in front of the whole school just because she feels like she will "lose face" in front of some mums. (do ppl really care about your own business???)
Anyway, don't even know why I posted this. Maybe just finding some place to complain a little bit. Thanks for listening.
Congratulations on having such a good relationship with DSS. He sounds a sensible boy! Just wonder what you will do? Tbh, probably best if you don't go, it gives you the moral high ground and at least means there won't be an almighty embarrassing row! Explain to DSS why, and he'll be grateful to you for putting his feelings first.
@Singlenotsingle thanks for your kind reply. Even I hate to disappoint DH and DSS and I hate to feel threatened by anyone because of my pride (and secretly think getting police involved will probably teach her a lesson), I don't think I am going. I couldn't imagine how badly DSS would feel once he see that happen and how much bully he would receive afterwards (and DSD! she would need to stay in the same school for another 5 years!)
God I have a similar scenario with a bat shit crazy EW who doesn’t put the children and their feelings first. How anyone can hate their EX more than they love their children is beyond me.
My DSC have asked me to come to events and my OH has asked me to come. But for the sake of keeping the peace and the mother not causing a scene I decline and make my excuses. The kids ask me to come but it’s not worth the aggro with the EW.
My OH attended parents evening recently and she shouted ‘you can f&ck off’ at him in from of their 9 year old and a teacher - that’s what we’re dealing with.
They’ve been split 6 years and divorced for 5 so I have no hope it will get any better.
It’s a real shame as you are a family unit but she sounds high on aggression.
Other posters may have better experience of how to deal with this.
She sounds awful especially throwing orange juice over you
I have no advice tbh as I think whatever you do isnt going to be for the best. Especially if Dss wants you there, If you dont go he doesnt get what he wants and ex knows she can bully you into doing what she wants and but then if you do go she will cause a scene and embarrass the kids and you.
She actually didn't tell DH about the prize giving evening at all, hoping that he wouldn't know thus wouldn't go. DH only found out that the school called him up and asked why they didn't receive his RSVP......
Yep, my OH doesn’t get informed about events either. The EW even told the school not to communicate with him.
Legally schools have to communicate with the NRP - so the school contact him direct. Easier at Primary as the school is smaller. Now one is at Secondary it’s not as easy.
I think the poster above makes a good point. If you don’t go the EW knows she can bully you. I wounder how you nip this in the bud? Could your OH have a chat with the school and tell them that he would like you to attend but can they make provision that you sit apart from her?
Thinking about it, if she does make a scene she will only show herself up. Maybe let her get on with it and show the other mums her true colours?
This is a difficult one. Personally I don’t mind confrontation but my OH hates it.
@NorthernSpirit Once DSS gets into secondary it's much easier as we become the RP. I think she considers the primary school her "territory". Tbf I don't think it matters whether "the other mums see her true colour" as she have probably told every mum she knows what a bastard DH is when they separated and of course everything was his fault. I don't think ppl cares, any drama will only become a joke for them at the dinner table......
I agree that I don't want to get bullied. In her mind, I am probably the one desperate to get into her kids' life (she once threatened that I was not allowed to see the kids again and thought that will hurt me deeply).
You can’t deal with crazy....
Remember bitterness is a poison youvtaje yourself hoping the other person will die.
What the adults want in this situation is not the issue - the question should be what is in the child’s best interests? DSS may want you to attend, but if the only way to achieve that is by potentially exposing him to an upsetting scene it’s not in his best interests for you to go. It’s an extremely difficult situation for you and I sympathise with your horrible position - but your best bet may be to discover that you cannot attend after all because of [a work thing/other commitment] and tell your DSS you’re going to be so disappointed to miss it, but he knows how proud you are of him (and maybe throw in a little gift or treat just from you). He really doesn’t need to be exposed to his parents/step parents’ conflict or know the real reason you can’t go.
@GingerAndPrickles Thanks! Won't see the kids for the next weekend as we have something planned but throw in a little treat is a good idea. I am afraid he already knew the reason as his mum was trying to get him to say no to DH but you are right, he probably doesn't realise the consequences yet.
OP, it's awful that she's behaving like that, but I think for your DSS's benefit it makes sense to sit this one out - as PPs say, it's about DSS, not the 'adults'.
I think if I were in your situation, I would:
1) give DSS a nice congratulations card if you're going to see him on the day, or give it to your DH to give to him if not;
2) take DSS out for a celebratory dinner with DH another day before or after the prizegiving; and
3) ignore the mother as far as you can and try not to get drawn into the argument.
Once DSS gets into secondary it's much easier as we become the RP
??? Resident parents? Your DP becomes the RP. That doesn’t mean his ex is giving up her child, never to be seen again and you get to be mum. Being able to be part of his life - including attendance at school events - will surely be more important to her than it is now? I wouldn’t assume things will get easier. I would anticipate things getting more difficult.
@LonginesPrime Thanks! I am leaving the office now to get a congratulation card and will pass it on to DH tonight!
DSS did mention he's never watched the original jurassic world, so maybe a movie night at home and then take him to the cinema for the new one )
I have had a similar situation with my DH ex wife, except they have been separated for 13 years!! She won't let me attend anything she will be at. She lives in a different country and says that if I ever enter 'her' country she will not let me or my DH see 'her' son. I have toed the line like you to avoid the drama, but I am getting more and more annoyed about constantly giving in to her. Just because she acts like a child and is willing to sacrifice her child's happiness for the sake of her ego, shouldn't mean she always gets her own way. So I completely understand your frustration...I would love it if you stood up to her, because it might not get any better from now on in...when is the time to draw a line and say no to her?
@ohreallyohreallyoh we will have to play by ear, but the secondary school will be >30min drive for her and she couldn't deal with the kids academically at all. When DSS was preparing for his 11+, she could't help at all, nor could she discipline him into doing things.
Could you go and get a seat in the back?
Tbh, I don't think many mums would want to be there if the step mum was there.
Poor kid stuck in the middle. Why was your DH discussing this with him, as much as why was his mum? I wouldn't be surprised from experience if he is telling both of them what they want to hear because of the pressure on both sides and each then using it against the other.
Funny how on the other thread, the SD is told not to go to an open day because the dad has an issue with it, even though that SD is a resident step-dad, yet almost everyone here seems to think you should be going.
I am so grateful that my kids SM knew that it wasn't her place to attend such event and respected my position, but maybe it's because she had that issue herself with her kids' SM.
Was you the OW OP, as this is the only reason l can imagine why there is such anger against you from her.
Trying That’s not the most helpful contribution - I think you’ll be able to find many SMs on here who were not the OW and yet the EW bears a lasting, unexplained and aggressive hatred towards them.
* we will have to play by ear, but the secondary school will be >30min drive for her and she couldn't deal with the kids academically at all. When DSS was preparing for his 11+, she could't help at all, nor could she discipline him into doing things.*
So what?! Many parents couldn't. Honestly you sound like you think you're better for her child than she is. She will have picked up on that. No wonder she feels threatened and doesn't want to be around you. And as for all this "how can she hate her ex more than she loves her child" crap; she clearly does prioritise him in that she's agreed that he goes to a secondary school more than 30 minutes drive away, presumably because it's the best thing for him? And has also agreed that he should move in with his father and you. Sounds very much like she is putting him first to me.
Stay away from this event, you'll get your days in the sun, given that you'll be one of the two main contacts at his new school and no doubt be tutoring and coaching him through his time there.
To be fair on OP (after re-reading), you wrote that your told your OH that it wouldn't be a good idea for you to be there and it's him who seem to have made a drama of it. Why couldn't he accept your position. The whole 'you're part of the family' statement is all about him and wanting to show you and being condescending that he had his perfect little family. The reality is that the grand parents, aunts, uncles, cousins are family too. Did he invite them? Of course not.
Your OH needs to stop causing conflict by wanting to impose you. He doesn't need to do that to prove anything.
OP did say that and then in the rest of her posts went into detail about why she actually should be there, at this important event and intimated that she might still go so as not to be "intimidated" by the ex wife. The DH is even now still trying to convince the ex to allow it as you said Swing and they seem to be trying to work out a way for it to happen. I think OP believes she deserves a place there citing the tutoring for 11+ etc and I don't agree that she does.
My child is leaving year 6 to go to secondary school next year. It's a milestone. That child deserves to be able to enjoy this exciting time without having to mediate between his parents. I shouldn't think he actually gives two hoots if OP is there, he's just saying what everyone wants to hear. I also think that his mother, his actual parent deserves to be able to attend that event and others at the primary without all this tension too. This is the end of an era for her. Next year her child is no longer living full time with her and will be some distance away. She's not bat shit or crazy or selfish or anything else she's been labelled on this thread, not on the basis of this particular situation anyway.
GingerAndPrickles - in your opinion it may not be helpful, but as I'm actually in the same situation but from the other side i.e the Ex wife - l was trying to ascertain the background so l could then offer my thoughts