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I REALLY need help with my wife!!

post #1 of 110
Thread Starter 
So, here is the problem... I've been married for five months, been together for two years, and have a four year old from a previous marriage. We had a little bit of trouble at the beginning, she cannot have children, and I knew that as soon as I met her. She wants to be as involved as possible in my daughters life... I love that!!! I am so glad that I have found a great FRIEND for my daughter... when we met, she wanted to get more and more involved in my daughters life, and I let her to a point. My daughter has a GREAT mother already, and I felt like she was trying to replace her, so I put my foot down, and she backed off... we had no problems until we got married... My ex and I have no custody agreement, because we work together to do what we both think is best for our daughter. Now that I am married, my wife has, in my opinion, gone off the deep end. She wants to completely screw my ex out of custody, wants us to have my daughter full time, and she actually asked me if I would mind her adopting my daughter!!! YES I WOULD MIND!!! It is causing so many fights between us, everyday it is something new... She wants us to use decisions that my ex and I made together (no vax, co-sleeping, homebirth, extended breastfeeding) to show the judge that my ex has "extremest personality issues" I am horrified... My ex had a terrible step mother who said awful things about her moms family, her dad never spoke up, and now she has no relationship with her father. I don't want that for my daughter!!! I want my wife in my daughers life, but she has a loving mother already, and I think that my wife should respect that! I'll give an example... the other day, I had friends over that knew my ex, some of the women are still good friends with her, and my daughter was going to go play with her doll house, my wife told her that before you go, you have to kiss "mommy" bye-bye... One of the women (after she had gone) brought up that ex is mommy, and my wife said, "that b**** doesn't deserve to be a mother." She continued about how unfit my ex is until she was in tears... I understand that she wants kids, and I am more than willing to adopt other children, but she doesn't want that. She wants to have a relationship with my daughter at the expense of the relationship of my daughter and her mother... (She scoffs when my daugher calls my ex mama)... Please, any advice, it is affecting my marriage... I am torn between what my wife wants, and what is best for my daughter... btw, I have let my wife be as involved as she wants in my daughers life, so I am not excluding her.
post #2 of 110
Have you tried putting it to her this way? The way that she is acting is detrimental to your daughter and you will not tolerate it. If she truly cares about your daughter then she will do whatever is in her best interest. It is hard as a stepparent to find your role in the family at first, particularly if you haven't been given much direction from your partner (the bioparent). She should be allowed to have a voice in how your household is run, and this imo includes discipline, rules, routines, etc. But she has no say (other than voicing her opinion to you) in your ex's home or decisions that you and your ex need to make together (school, medical, etc). She should never badmouth your ex where it could get back to your daughter, ever. If there is any chance she could possibly be overheard by your daughter OR badmouthing her to your ex's friends. That is so harmful to your daughter.... That's her mama, a part of her. If there is something wrong with mama there must be something wrong with her. That is how your daughter will look at it.

A stepmother is not the same role as a biological mother. She has to realize that. Both roles have "mothering" aspects to it, but a stepmother can be a caring and wonderful influence in a child's life without trying to take over mom's role. She needs to build her own unique relationship with your daughter rather than trying to shove mom out of the picture.

I would also be concerned about adopting children with her if she disagrees with the parenting choices you have made.
post #3 of 110
I think your wife needs counseling. I don't say this in a mean way, but in a very sympathetic way.

The overwhelming need to have children can be so strong at times in a woman. I can honestly say I don't think I could have done the StepMom thing if I was unable to have my own children, it would have been far too painful for me. In helping to raise a child you grow an incredible bond but they will never ever be your own, and that can be pretty hard to swallow when you know you can't ever have your own.

I think your wife is likely dealing with a lot of emotional turmoil inside herself about not being able to have children of her own and it has manifested to extremes in behavior against your ex, likely from jealousy. Your ex was able to give you a beautiful daughter and your wife will never be able to do that... this can kill a woman emotionally.

I am not saying her behavior is acceptable! She should NEVER bad mouth the Mother in front of the child. She should NEVER try to take the Mother's place... but I think it is healthy to recognize she is a "bonus" mother. And she is part of helping to raise your daughter.

I think you should talk to her and try to understand some of the emotions she is likely dealing with. Support her to go to therapy and offer to go with her as well. It is a very sensitive topic to bring up obviously... But she really needs to work through her anguish she is dealing with before it escalates even more and creates a hostile living environement for your daughter and your working co-parent relationship with your ex.

I hope some of that insight helps. I feel for everyone in this situation.
post #4 of 110
Thread Starter 
[

A stepmother is not the same role as a biological mother. She has to realize that. Both roles have "mothering" aspects to it, but a stepmother can be a caring and wonderful influence in a child's life without trying to take over mom's role. She needs to build her own unique relationship with your daughter rather than trying to shove mom out of the picture.]

I have told her this, almost word for word, when we were dating, and she backed off, but now, when I bring it up it is a huge fight... also, my wife SCREAMS at my daughter, and tells her she is 'bad' when she misbehaves, she thinks that i should give her a "pat on the behind" or allow her to. My four year old isn't bad... A four year old can't be bad... it really bothers me, and when I bring it up, my wife starts crying and says that I always put her last... She always acts like the 'victim' in all situations... If I disagree with her, I don't respect her. If I ask her to not raise her voice, that I want to raise a gentile child, then I am doing my ex's bidding...
post #5 of 110
Should your daughter spend most her time at her Mom's until you can get this straightened out?
post #6 of 110
I'm so sorry you're going through this!! what a tough situation!!

the screaming and the 'pat on the behind', on top of what you mentioned in your first post would going way too far for me. I"m obviously not in your shoes... but I WOULD put my 4yr old's needs and well-being before my spouse.

I feel sorry for your wife, it sounds like she's in a bad place emotionally / mentally. Sounds like she needs some help. Does she realize she's endangering her relationship with your dd and probably her own marriage to you by her behavior? Do your parenting styles really differ that much?

you sound like an amazing dad, by the way!
post #7 of 110
sorry, I just realized I posted in the 'blended and step family' forum - I saw the post on the 'new posts' page and couldn't help but reply...

I'm married to my children's father, but when we were going through tough times and considered divorce a bit ago, the situation described here was our top concern - the parenting choices we've made and how things would be different if we both got remarried, etc. it's such a hard situation to be in!
post #8 of 110
Have you asked her why things have suddenly changed since you got married? I assume since she backed off before, you had the talk with her and she understood/agreed with the expectations?

I do feel for your wife, but I feel more for your poor daughter. It sounds like a toxic environment for her right now. Being yelled at and told she is bad, and being forced to call your wife mommy...that must be terribly stressful and scary for her.
post #9 of 110
Personally, I would even go so far as to suggest an immediate (given that you say you've tried talking to her and are getting no where) physical separation, followed by intensive couples therapy to see if there is any hope of helping her deal with whatever emotions she's going through and getting her to a place where she can be a positive factor in your daughter's life.

I had two wonderful step-parents growing up. I know just how valuable they can be for a child. Truly, I do. BUT, the situation as you describe it is toxic for your daughter. Do not let it continue. Please.
post #10 of 110
I agree with the PPs that your wife needs counseling. And the two of you could benefit from couples counseling as well. I would also have trouble with the stepmom role if I could not have my own children. In fact, DH and I most likely would not be together.

I think that there are two interconnected issues. The first is that your wife needs to work through her feelings on her infertility on her own. The second is that in the end, she is you and your ex's child, and your wife should be parenting your dd in the style agreed upon by you and your ex. If you feel that yelling is inappropriate, she really needs to respect that. If someday you did adopt a child together, this issue will come up again. It sounds as if your parenting styles are radically different.
post #11 of 110
I think it is really great that you and your X wife have a good parenting relationship. This does not happen a lot and in the long run I think it benefits the child to have both parents working together instead of against each other.

I hope everything works out and it sounds like your doing a great job

post #12 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsChickenhead View Post
Should your daughter spend most her time at her Mom's until you can get this straightened out?


If I was the mom in this situation I would be feeling hostile and wondering if you were capable of looking out for dd's best interests when she was in your care. I really recommend you provide some separation so that this can be worked out without further damage to your dd.
post #13 of 110
Maybe you need to flip the situation around here and look at it like this:
If your X was tolerating another man in her house yelling at and threatening to spank your dd how would you feel? IMO, it's time for a divorce. I know that sounds extreme but I was raised in a home with a stepmother like the one you are describing, I had and still have a lot of resentment for my father for not standing up to my stepmother. Your daughter's interests come first.
post #14 of 110
Thread Starter 
I knew that my wife had different ideas of parenting than I did, I just didn't realize how different it was until after we got married... I am stressed, and I don't know how my marriage is going to make it, when 6 months ago, I could not see myself away from her... I feel like my daughter only has one childhood, and it is going to shape her forever... I don't want to ruin any opportunity for her to be healthy and secure. I DO believe in gentile dicipline and attachment parenting, it isn't just my ex. I don't know why my wife can't see that... I tell her, I don't keep anything from her, especially my feelings, We just can't seem to reach a compromise... my daughter doesn't misbehave much at all, she is on the calm end of a typical four year old, but any little 'infraction' my wife says "nip that in the bud now." I used to enjoy being with my daughter, but now there is always friction... I am thinking about sending her to her mamas more often... she has her mid thurs- sun, and I have her from mon. morning- thurs morning... exactly half the time... my ex is in school mon- thurs, so it is hard to change that schedule...
post #15 of 110
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post


If I was the mom in this situation I would be feeling hostile and wondering if you were capable of looking out for dd's best interests when she was in your care. I really recommend you provide some separation so that this can be worked out without further damage to your dd.
also, my ex is very calm and mellow... I don't know why, I am very fearful of telling her the whole situation... I know that she would be angry at my wife, and as it goes, my wife does not want anything to do with her, and my ex doesn't understand since it is clearly in my daughters best intrest... This would just be icing on the cake, and I know that the conflict will start to grow...
post #16 of 110
Please do something about this NOW.
My son is 15 and is going through this at his dads, except his dad does nothing.
His stepmom treats him terrible. She has been in the picture for about 12 years, but recently over the last year or so starting yelling/screaming at him, cussing him out, talking about me like trash, I actually heard her scream I HATE YOU to him(he had the cellphone on so i could hear how she treats him) and his dad has custody. I have filed for custody again(we took custody in turns, i had him the first 9 years, then he wanted custody so i agreed)
we go to court in jan, not a moment too soon. His dad watches her treat him bad, and my 15 year old SON cries to his dad to please make her stop and he does absolutely nothing about it...She even told my son that I was breaking into their house and poisioning them!:


So yea, stop it now, before it gets too terrible, for your daughter.
I wish my sons father would stop what is happening to him.It breaks my heart.
I am sorry, I didnt mean to hijack your thread.I just wanted to show you how out of control it can/could get, if it is not stopped.
post #17 of 110
I saw this on the main menu and I just wanted to say that I think you sound like an amazing father. I think your dd is very lucky to have you. :

I was raised by my late stepdad from the time I was around 3ish and I have to say that I understood quite a lot about the family dynamics that went on between my mom/dad/stepdad even though they were very careful about what they said in front of me. I feel very lucky however that my two-dads were close friends and my mom and bio-dad always were friendly with each other. But, I always knew if there was any tension no matter how much they tried to keep it from me and I can still remember how hard that was. I internalized a lot of my feelings and would sit and cry in my closet feeling confused, scared and guilty. I can't imagine how hard this must be for your dd. I think that it is very very important that your wife stop this behavior NOW! Your dd has to be feeling pretty sad and confused.

I think that you've gotten a lot of good advice and I can't really add anything other than I really think that you need to tell your ex. If she finds out about this stuff after the fact I think that there is a really big possibility that her trust in you will be shattered. I think the fact that you two are able to parent so well is wonderful and that really should be nurtured throughout your dd's childhood. I am sure that your ex will be upset when she finds out but if she knows that you are putting your dd first and are staying committed to the parenting ideals that you both agree on I think that she'll be able to be objective. I think the key thing will be making sure that your ex understands that you have no intention of undermining her parenting ideals or putting your dd in an emotionally abusive situation. Also, I sort of think it's a matter of respect as well. She is the mother of your child and she deserves to be told. I am sure that if the situation was reversed you would want to know since your daughters emotional well-being is involved.

I think the idea that one of the pp brought up about having your dd stay with her mom for a while until some of this gets worked out is a good one.
I really hope that this works out for you.
post #18 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemybubus View Post
Maybe you need to flip the situation around here and look at it like this:
If your X was tolerating another man in her house yelling at and threatening to spank your dd how would you feel? IMO, it's time for a divorce. I know that sounds extreme but I was raised in a home with a stepmother like the one you are describing, I had and still have a lot of resentment for my father for not standing up to my stepmother. Your daughter's interests come first.
:
post #19 of 110
Whoa. Professional help, right away, for you and your wife. This is not something that you can untangle on your own. I could give you all kinds of advice right now, things to avoid, etc., but I don't think it'll do any good. If your wife is trapped in a destructive mind-set, there's probably little you could say that would change that. You two need to sit down with a family counselor who has experience with blended families. If your wife refuses to do that, it's time to cut and run.

I'm sorry it's so hard right now.
post #20 of 110
You do sound like an amazing dad. I think you should put it very plainly to your wife "If you don't change the way you behave with MY daughter, this marriage will not survive."

Repeat until this sinks in. Ask for what does she plan to do about this, and ask her what help does she need from you to work through these issues. There is nothing more you can do, you wife has to be the one to decide that she wants the change as well.

I'm sure you can tell where this is heading if she refuses to recognize the problem.

Hang in there...
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