Ex’s Husband’s Wife is Overstepping with My Kids

Readers:

“Boss Boning Blaire” saw my preview yesterday and emailed me to add some pertinent new developments.  Those developments require further work on that blog so bear with me as I take the time needed to fully appreciate her situation.

In the meantime, some of you can probably relate to the letter below, whether you are a parent whose kids have stepparents or a stepparent yourself.  Blended families are tough but it’s possible for everyone to get along!  Or is it…

Dear Robin:

I was divorced three years ago and I share custody of my two kids 50/50 with my ex-husband Steve. We both work full-time.  He’s a surgeon and I am a nurse practitioner.

We have always gotten along after our divorce even though he had several affairs. One of his many conquests, 32 year old “Sarah” managed to convince him to marry her last year. I have no problem with Steve being remarried but I do have a problem with Sarah.

Photos of my kids on Facebook and Instagram are now popping up on a daily basis and she calls them “my girls” or “my family.” She planned my oldest daughter’s 12th birthday party without consulting me, explained sex to my 7 year old (and promised to get her ears pierced), took the girls for haircuts etc.

I’ve tried to speak to my ex-husband about it but he feels sorry for her because they can’t have kids of their own (he had a vasectomy 2 years ago). 

Last night my ex called me and said that he would like me to consider changing the parenting time from 50/50 to 40/60 (in his favor) because Sarah doesn’t work, has no plans to work, and has more time to spend with the girls than I do. I said no and he hinted he might seek a modification in our parenting plan.

The gun laws in my state are pretty lax. Please talk me off the edge before I do something stupid. 😉

Melanie

Dear Melanie:

While I understand your anger and frustration, please step away from your google search for “undetectable poisons” and “hit-men for under $5,000.” Sarah sounds like an insufferable twatbucket, but spending the rest of your life in prison isn’t going to help your girls.

What Sarah obviously didn’t learn in her “How to Marry a Rich Man and Sit on Your Ass for the Rest of Your Life” class is how to strike the delicate balance between being a loving, supportive and encouraging stepmother and venturing into territory that should remain that of the children’s parents. 

Robin’s Musings and Advice 

1. You told me you have never met Sarah because you felt you “weren’t ready.”  That is unacceptable.

I know it is difficult shaking the hand of a woman whose lips were all over your husband’s kielbasasicle while you were still married, but you admitted you weren’t happy for years and were relieved when he suggested divorce. 

2. Your girls like their stepmom but they don’t like the overboard attempts to win their favor or being posted on social media accounts. OK, we’ve got some really good stuff to work with here. 

3.Time to call a meeting!

Contact Sarah and tell her it’s high time the two of you get to know each other. Be pleasant and warm, even though your favorite way to relax when you can’t sleep is picturing her bobbing and lifeless body, made buoyant by her ridiculous high and hard implants, bumping up against the filter in your ex-husband’s pool.

4.Invite her to come to your house so you can be on your home turf. Should you serve wine? Hmmm…

Unknown-5

5. Here’s the hard part: what to say. Thank goodness I’m here to provide your outline so you can blame me later if it all goes to shit:

A. Thank You

My girls really enjoy spending time with you. While I am sorry they come from a family of divorce, I am happy their father has met someone and created a new family unit. Thank you for being a kind and caring stepmom to my kids.

B. I’d Like to Get to Know You

I know from reading www.robindescamp.com that it is best for the kids and the parents to maintain as positive a relationship as possible between the exes and their new partners, so are you willing to get to know each other and work together?

1. (If she says no)

Stab her with the corkscrew, finish your wine and figure out where to bury the body.

2. (If she says yes)

Great! I have some ideas on how we can do this co-parenting thing and keep our relationship positive, so let’s discuss!

C. Ways to Improve Our Co-Parenting Relationship and Yours With My Kids

1. Major Kid Decisions

I need to be in the loop on decisions relating to my kids – even those issues that may seem trivial like haircuts and ear piercing. Having them come home looking so different, talking about sex or being promised things I don’t agree with is damaging. Can we agree these sort of things should be handled between me and their father?

2. Social Media

I can understand why you are proud to be a stepmom to these wonderful girls, but they are uncomfortable with the amount of photos you are posting on the Internet, and I am too. Can we agree you will try to limit the social media postings?

3. The Biggie

Sarah, as much as you care for my girls, you can’t possibly understand how much I miss them when they aren’t here. Their father and I made a decision together when we divorced to share custody 50/50. This has worked very well for us and it is what the kids are accustomed to.

I think it is wonderful you want to spend more time with them, but I simply can’t agree to a change in the parenting plan as it would be incredibly disruptive to the girls and to me.

The absolute last thing in the world I would ever want to do is enter into litigation with my ex-husband, but I will be forced to fight any proposed modification and my lawyer tells me that remarriage to a woman who wants to be a more active stepmom is not a ‘substantial change in circumstances’ that would warrant an alteration of our parenting plan.

D. Closing Arguments

1. Reiterate your desire for cooperation, communication and an amicable relationship between the families. Try not to barf.

2. Emphasize that your girls like her but she doesn’t need to try so hard.

3. Tell her that although you will not agree to changes in custody, you will be flexible on occasions when your ex-husband and his future alimony recipient would like extra time with the kids.

4. And now, the best part!

Give her this link: Un-snip Your Baby Batter Boner! and tell her this:

Sarah, your superior step mothering skills make it obvious you should have kids. There is no joy in the world that can compare to having a child of your own. You are still so young and since it hasn’t been that long since the vasectomy, the chances of reversal are pretty decent!

If Steve really loves you, he will do this for you. He gave me two beautiful daughters, the least he could do is give you a child as well.

That should keep her busy for a while.

Being a stepmom is a very tricky business and I don’t envy your situation, but I suggest taking this line of offense first because it will be exactly the opposite of what she is expecting. 

If her behavior continues talk with your ex-husband, who apparently left his balls in the doctor’s office when he chose to close his sperm bank branch.

Finally, teach your girls to stand up for themselves.  They need to speak their own minds and let Sarah know when she is acting inappropriately.  Perhaps they should flip the bird so those social media posts aren’t quite so cute.

Unknown-6

 

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Sarah

    Wow. That’s some vitriol. First, if mom bot was is a PA, she would know the proper name of her profession. It’s Physician Assistant. No apostrophe. On resurface of this post, it says she’s an NP. Which is it?

    Second, being a stepmom myself, it ain’t whistling Dixie. Robin, you should know that with your own experience. While some of your remarks are on, many are way off in left field. WAY OFF. No day as a stepmom, even if you’re custodial, is the same. I had months of ain’t life grand only to have the mom throw a tantrum over a hair cut or a new t-shirt. Suddenly she was unwilling to meet me in the way she had for MONTHS and that my stepson was suddenly afraid of me. Really? The same kid who went to the zoo with me three days prior and we laughed our heads off? Riiiight. Being a stepmom is like walking in quicksand. On a GOOD day.

    It’s also mean and cruel to just say flip remarks like “she doesn’t have kids, she doesn’t know” or “just have a vasectomy reversal”. Perhaps for other reasons you have no idea about, they have made a choice to not have kids the way my husband and I have. Illness, infertility, just don’t want ’em. We were #2 and #3. It’s ok not to have kids, too. Really. It is.

    The fact that this woman hasn’t met her kids stepmom is rooted in her own jealousy and insecurity. It’ does not make the stepmom a twatbucket because she wants to have her own sense of family with her husband’s kids. It’s insulting to insinuate that the stepmom is dumb because she doesn’t want to work. So what? My stepson’s mom is happy leaching child support from two different men she never married and went on state aid to have a third. Most of what you wrote is bio-mom insecurity issues and is heavily biased in how to hate a stepmom. That’s just not fair to those of us who do more for our stepkids than the mom does but still gets hung on a hook if we show up at a school function (how DARE I volunteer at my stepson’s school?). It IS her family – even if the kids aren’t hers. A step mom is a parent, a partner, and someone who takes on more than society gives them credit for. I’m not saying everyone is created equal, but you fanned a pretty big hate the stepmom fire.

    1. Robin DesCamp

      Sarah: thank you for your comment. I have to disagree with a couple things, but first I’ll note the mistake re: her profession was mine and one which I need to correct, so thanks for pointing that out.

      I am certainly aware of the difficulties of step parenting. The reason I referred to stepmom in this case is because I saw her Facebook and Twitter feeds and her excessive posts about these kids were not only weird, they were making the kids very uncomfortable.

      In addition, I gave bio-mom very constructive language with which to speak to stepmom, acknowledging stepmom’s love for the kids and a desire to work together. I think you confuse my efforts at humor (which clearly fell flat with you) with fanning flames of stepmom hate. As you pointed out, I have and am a stepmother, and I am very fond of my son’s stepmother.

      Clearly your own situation is one in which bio-mom has made you feel unwelcome, but I think that may be coloring your reaction to what I actually wrote and advised. As for me being “mean and cruel” and my “flip” remarks, is this your first time here? That’s my M.O. It’s not for everyone.

      1. Sarah

        I respectfully disagree again. Though it’s nice to throw in humour and try to lighten the atmosphere, name calling is beneath just about everyone.

        I really don’t care about my relationship with my stepson’s mom. Hey, if she wants to be pissed at me for being the only one in the surgical waiting room to talk to the surgeon after my stepson’s hernia repair, well, *shrug*. No skin off my nose.

        As Facebook and Twitter, again, who cares? It made the bio-mom uncomfortable. That’s up to the spouse to address. If my husband told me something similar, I’d probably laugh. I would NOT invite this woman into the bio-mom’s house for a confrontation. There’s no way in hell she should go there to be ambushed. That’s what coffee shops are for. But if you look at the other comments on the resurface: “Push her off the max tracks in front of a train”. Well, isn’t that a nice way to treat someone! The reason Eddie’s ex hates Leanne? Jealousy. Sure, she calls the kids hers and it may make some people uncomfortable. It’s really not her problem to palliate your issues is it? Just as I don’t GAF that my presence at school events, doctors appointments, and so on makes his mom seethe with fury. At times, I rather enjoy it, thank you. I am hardly a twatbucket and if I am, I’m one who has both a medical and a law degree. My stepson adores me and I’ve been the one to help him weather the storms of his mother’s cray cray over the last 8 years. She doesn’t like me simply because I don’t let her push me around and when she lied to me about a very serious issue that endangered my stepson, that was that.

        Truth is, no person dreams of growing up and being a step parent. Keep in mind that people do searches to find a soft place to land when they think they are losing their minds as a stepparent because there’s just no handbook for it. We’d all like to work together as adults and for the good of our kids. She’s pissed because Sarah (not me, obviously) was a “conquest and she’s jealous of the efforts she’s making. If they are overbearing, sadly, mommy dearest is going to have to choke on her own kielbasasicle and get over it.

        1. Robin DesCamp

          Point of clarification: the children were very upset by the Facebook and Twitter activity. That was made clear in the piece. I doubt you don’t care about how those kids feel but if you don’t, there’s not much to argue over because that mindset is probably one that cannot be changed. Nor, I suspect, are you interested in having a positive relationship with the mother of your stepchild (nor she with you). That’s too damn bad for your stepson. I grew up in that paradigm and can attest it creates anxiety and sadness that can last for years.

          But hey, the only feelings that seem to matter are yours and hers. Your comments seethe with anger and resentment and a complete disregard for anyone’s feelings but your own. They also illustrate your lack of objectivity on the subject.

          As for people searching for a soft place to land, I have written tens of thousands of words in support of stepparents. Perhaps you weren’t interested in those.

          You are certainly not a twatbucket, an “insult” that has no meaning. But you may be selfish, self-centered, unaware of the impact your behavior can have on others, and utterly lacking in a sense of humor or ability to tweak your view of the world. But hey, at least you have a law degree and a medical degree. Those accomplishments clearly place you above anyone else.

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