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Hello! My name is Tiffany. My DH and I are expecting our first together at the end of September. He has a precious little boy who is 5 from a previous relationship. We have DSS 50% of the time and then he's with his mother the other 50% (obviously haha).
Everything usually goes fairly smooth. DH's ex and I don't really come in contact with eachother and I am completely satisfied with that. I don't like her or respect her for the things that she does and the things that she says, but the way I see it is it isn't about anyone but DSS and providing a healthy environment for him. Now, DH and his ex on the otherhand, have always had a very explosive relationship. They get in VERY heated arguments about DSS and its never pretty. Generally the issue is she's not following the agreement that she signed and he's constantly having to babysit her and make sure she's understands everything. She does/says things to get under his skin, it just gets really messy. To an extent, I believe she's jealous that he's moved on and wants to make things difficult. It's like a cycle, they get into very heated arguments, then she'll calm down and say "I don't know why we fight, I don't care about your life I wish you and Tiff all the happiness in the world, I'm just so tired of fighting...blah blah blah". I say "blah blah blah" because its not what she really means or they wouldn't go thru the issues that they go thru...its just lies in my opinion and DH agrees but he has to deal with her. After a few weeks or months it all starts over.
I try to not let my emotions get too involved, but its difficult for me to distance myself from it because of how it affects DH and DSS. How do you all deal with it? I feel myself getting very frustrated and DH gets very edgey and it does weigh on our relationship. At this point, I don't need the extra stress, I just don't know how to balance it or deal with it.
So there's my life story thanks for reading if you've gotten this far! I hope to get to know all you and your "stories" as well.
Wow! I wish I had some words of wisdom.... DH's Ex and I get along great! And DH and her get along well too.... they were just ment to be friends..... DSS stays with us 100% of the time. His mom did not want the responsibility.... so we have him all the time... Sometimes I wish she would have him for a while.... but that is because he is a typical 11 year old! He is a great kid and I love him....
When DH and I first got together though, he and DSS's mom did not even speak! Back then DSS when to his mom's on the weekends... she would come to the house and he would run out and get in his car... there was no communication. I told DH that I wanted that to change before we even got married! And it did.... they cleared the air.... she met me, and approved of me being in her son's life.....
Hi!! Im new I just posted up my little, story lol. Umm, I hope you don't mind me commenting. My bf and I aren't married yet..but I do understand how you feel with the arguing. My bf and his ex always argue. Very rarely is there a moment that some arguement is not happening with them. I think sometimes thats why he is scared to have me meet her, he doesn't want her to exlode on me.
It is frustrating and does take a toll on the relationship, but I always try to remind myself that I knew about all of this before I got into the relationship. I hope things do work out with you and your situation, I am definatlely hoping all will work out with mine!!
Fighting is a habit. It's a hard one to break especially when so much emotion is involved (caring for a child, divorce, etc) It is really hard to just put that all aside and realize that the time for fighting is when you're fighting to save the marriage...not when it's over! Now it's becoming a battle of wills--often not so much because I really WANT things to be like this but because I don't want YOU to have YOUR way! Once you break that cycle, it is a lot easier to drop that habit. My DH and his ex used to fight like cats and dogs! Now they talk about problems with the kids and work things out. Mostly he defers to her decisions about the gils and she has very little contact with their son who lives with us so she stays out of it. My ex and I fought like crazy for years after the divorce until someone said "Why do you fight him? You don't have to deal with him. You're NOT married anymore!" and a light bulb finally went off and I decided I would inform him of whatever I needed to but since he doesn't need to know much...I don't tell him much. I rely on my daughter to tell him whatever she feels like she wants him to know for anything more than the big stuff. Of course, she's 16 so she can decide if she wants to tell him personal things--which she doesn't. lol He's been such a rotten father all of her life that I feel like he forfeited his right to know most things. (verbally and emotionally abusive)
It is very frustrating being a parent or step-parent. It's possibly more frustrating being a step-parent because you DON'T have the final say in things and you are limited in your decision making abilities when it comes to the child(ren). I have 4 stepkids whom I love dearly and DH's ex is a I can't stand her and have NO repsect for her but those kids will never know that. DH knows it and frankly, he agrees with me but he doesn't want to fight for custody of the girls. Honestly, I think he is afraid it will damage our marriage because the girls are so difficult. They have no rules and 's idea of discipline is to let things go until you lose your temper then scream at the top of your lungs and ground everyone in the house for ten years...then you cool off and take them to McDonalds for dinner because you're too tired from YOUR temper tantrum to cook a decent meal for your children. I swear I think the only time those girls get a home cooked meal is when they visit us! Both of the youngest ones (11 and 12) are overweight and the 12 yr old is morbidly obese! She is about 5' tall and probably goes 185. She's already been tested for diabetes and will have to undergo more testing soon. The younger one is just a little chubby but she's also malnourished due to the constant fast food diet. The only vegetables they eat are french fries! Fruit? Hmmm...do orange and grape sodas and fruit snacks count? How 'bout Fruity Pebbbles? I've said so many times that if I ever had those girls living with us, they would be active every day and eating well balanced diets. But...it isn't my decision so it is going to stay like this.
Anyway, we're all here to help you. Vent, gloat, seek advice....that's what these boards are for!
Welcome Tiffany, I am Chantelle, one of the co-hosts here on BF's. I am a step & bio mom, my DH has an ex who is basically what you described your Dh's ex to be, same issues as them having an explosive relationship (because that's the way they've ALWAYS dealt w/ one another)... it used to frustrate me but I've come to realize that it's not my problem. If they want to be immature & co-parent in a toxic way, that's their issue, not mine, not to mention, I have no legal say in any of this. All I can do is be the supportive person to my DH. On the other hand when my DH complains how his ex isn't going by the legal agreement, my response is usually "if you are unhappy, or she isn't obiding by the agreement, go in to the court & petition that she is in contempt, which is no cost to us about the exisiting order, unless you want to adjust the order, then it costs money & you need a lawyer, but I've said to DH "either do something about it or I don't want to hear about it anymore"... it's been 4 almost 5 years that I've had to deal w/ this drama on his end & frankly, I've had enough. I'll be there for him but I wont sit there & say "OMG, what a witch she is, how dare she!" which is what I USED to say, now I just nod my head & acknowledge the comments made & move forward. Again, it's up to him what he wants to do, and you can't make them change things. We teach people how to treat us, and your DH & his ex have taught one another that this is how it's suppose to be. The unfortunate piece in this is the child, the son is having to be brought in the middle of his parents poor co-parenting, which I will guarantee you that this will be an issue for him as an adult & since he has no voice, his way of expressing his anger, hurt & frustration will end up coming out it weird ways. I have so many weird ways that my DSS has voiced his hurt & anger & the list goes on.
As far as not needing the extra stress, this is where you have to step back & ignore what is happening, you have to remove yourself from their drama, otherwise you will end up being in the middle.. and speaking from experience, that's not a good place to be. If I may recommend a good read, it's called Ex-Etiquette for Parents & it's a good tool to have on hand.
Some people are just not happy, they love drama & want the fight, no matter what. They are jealous, angry, and this is how they live their lives, I don't doubt she has this issue(s), but it's not your problem, walk away from it & know that you aren't part of the problem. Her snippy remarks to your DH or even you (if she has), is something she is doing out of insecurity. Realize that this has nothing to do w/ you what so ever & just brush it off. All you can do is be a POSITIVE role model for the child/DSS & in your house.
HIH, please keep us posted & I look forward to getting to know you better Tiffany!
We teach people how to treat us, and your DH & his ex have taught one another that this is how it's suppose to be. [/b]
What a great statement! That is so true. We do teach people how to treat us by what we allow and what we don't. That is what's known as commanding or demanding respect. If you allow someone to treat you disrespectfully, they will do so. The flip side of that is that when you treat someone else respectfully, they tend to act accordingly or they look bad. I work at home, taking calls for a major company. I get a lot of customers who call in with a HUGE attitude, just sporting for a fight! I treat everyone with the utmost respect and what usually happens is that they calm down and begin apologizing for being so obnoxious when they first called in. They treat me respectfully and most will actually thank me for being so helpful when they're done EVEN WHEN I DON'T GET THEM THE RESULTS THEY WANTED! They just want someone to listen and empathize with their situation and not blow them off. I do whatever I can to help them but sometimes I just can't do anything because of policy. I try hard to take that same attitude with me in any situation I encounter in my life. The old golden rule--Do unto others as you would have done unto you. We seem to have lost touch with that. So, put yourself in the other person's shoes and think how you would feel about the situation. Defensive? Angry? Scared? All of those? Then, act accordingly. If I am scared, I want reassurance. If I am angry, I want to be heard. If I am defensive, I want to know that you are not against me.
Thank you all so much for the replies. I completely agree with everything said. They definitely don't treat eachother with respect and that is the way its always been between them, they unintentionally set themselves up for failure by the way they speak to eachother. It recently has gotten a bit better, and I'm so thankful for DSS sake. DSS is only 5, but he's so grown up for his age. He is definitely a lover not a fighter, and its almost like he knows that his parents are toxic together but tries to bring peace to both of them because he knows when it comes right down to it they both love him so much and would do anything for him. Recently, after one of the big up roars DH and his ex were talking in front of DSS, they were just talking about the normal updates and stuff and DSS says, "wow you guys aren't fighting?!" DH told me and I laughed because he's so intuitive, but DH didn't think it was funny because he thinks DSS shouldn't even know to say something like that. I thought to myself well he's been living thru it for his entire life he knows better than anyone else...I of course kept that to myself because they are working on making better.
Chantelle, you're right the best way to handle it is by stepping back and realizing that even though I'm here in this with him, this isn't MY battle. It's easier said than done but ultimately the only thing I can offer to the situation is support and love, and a positive influence on DSS life.
Dani, I really couldn't have said better myself, "We seem to have lost touch with that. So, put yourself in the other person's shoes and think how you would feel about the situation. Defensive? Angry? Scared? All of those? Then, act accordingly. If I am scared, I want reassurance. If I am angry, I want to be heard. If I am defensive, I want to know that you are not against me". Its not brain science, but when emotions are involved, pride gets in the way of treating eachother with respect but that has to start from the get go and it has to be done in a loving way, you can't just DEMAND respect.