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Saying "goodbye" to children you love

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am a biological mom of 2 boys...I have been a stepmother to 3 for the last 5 years...currently going through a divorce. The marriage was bad. The husband was narcissistic and a cheater. Although he had sole custody, he would not parent his children at all. Everything was left up to me. Of course we had issues with the kids over the years...disagreements and discussions...Rather than strive to be a better parent to all, he completely withdrew from parenting anyone. If I went anywhere at all my 5 babies were with me. Unfortunately when he was around everything was strained where the kids were concerned...but when he was at work or out with a girlfriend...the kids and I were fantastic. We talked...we laughed...I loved all 5 of them with all of my heart.

The last 2 years I spent in depression...knowing my marriage was over. Knowing it was time to go...but I didn't want to leave the kids. My biological sons loved the home we were buying and loved their step siblings...and I loved it all...Nevertheless, in April 2009, another affair surfaced and that was "the end" of the marriage. My stepdaughter, after hearing about the divorce and that I would be leaving soon, informed her dad that she didn't want to live with him anymore. I had spent many months knowing the end was near. Depressed. Knowing I would soon never see those kids again. I would soon lose my home...and would have to move back to my hometown. That day came in May. The husband had been living with his mistress for days while I took care of all of the children. I had hoped to take care of them while I packed and moved but the stress and pain was overwhelming. We all knew our days were numbered...I couldn't even hug them without crying. On May 6th, he took them...and it felt like the world was coming to an end. As they drove away, my stepdaughter texted "I love you" to me. I just fell to the ground and cried...

They still text me from time to time. All of them. They email me occasionally to tell me that they love me...and that they just don't want to be with Dad anymore...and he won't let them move with their Mother. They ask me for help...I can't help them...And I have my own 2 sons who need me now. For the most part, my biological sons and I have been doing fantastic...we spend more time together, laugh more and are slowly adjusted to our new home...but there are still moments like this one...where I think about how unfair it is that I did so much for them, loved them so much and they were just taken from me.

I left my home in mid June. I loved that place...I miss it. More than that, I miss counting five heads as I walk to through a store to make sure that they are all with me. I miss hearing about their days...watching their shows...It's like someone ripped my heart out. I don't miss their father at all. But I do still cry...not for him...for the children I came to think of as my own.

My biological sons don't see me cry...but they do know that I miss them. We all do. How do you just let go? It feels as though my heart has just been cut out of my chest...And there is no going back...I don't even want to...I just need to know how to let go...
post #2 of 17
I am so sorry mama.

How old are all of the kids involved?

Is there any way you could contact the bio mom and talk with her about this? Why did he have sole custody?
post #3 of 17
I'm so sorry.
post #4 of 17


I'm sure it's going to take awhile. Can you contact thier mother and ask if you can help her get custody? Are you sure you don't have any rights here?
post #5 of 17
Sorry, my heart is with you.

Does your xdh know you have a relationship with the kids and allow you to visit? Your kids are loosing siblings as well...for their sake maybe your dh will allow the kids to come over and visit them (and you).

Do you know their bio-mother at all?
Could you reach out to her? Do the kids have contact with her?

Assuming she is a stable person, the kids could initiate contact with her. She needs to know if they want to see her or possibly live with her.
post #6 of 17
Many hugs...
Like others have asked, how old are the kids? How far away are they from you now?
post #7 of 17
I would consult a lawyer and find out if you have the option to take him to court for visitations; and figure out the ins and outs of whether that works for your life. If visitation is possible, I'd try three times in writing to ask him for visitations peacefully and outside of court (sending the letter by registered mail, keeping a copy, and a paper trail), then take him to court if he doesn't respond, or declines to let you see them. Give him the opportunity to realize that just because it's over between you, doesn't mean the kids should suffer. I also suggest you see a therapist to help you sort your feelings and remain level-headed. Good luck, mama!
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thank you everyone...It has been a very difficult few months. My stepchildren are girl, 14, and 2 boys, 12 and 9. I have 2 bio sons, 16 and 12. When my husband and I discussed this in early April after I was told about the affair and we decided on a divorce, I told him that I wanted visitation with the kids...He said that wouldn't be a problem at all. He told me and even told his daughter that he knew he could date 200 women over the next year and could never find another woman that could be a better mother to them than I was...This all changed over some ridiculous reasons...some ratty appliances I took when I moved, a generic drum set and some crappy furniture...He and his mistress drove over 200 miles in the middle of the night not long after I moved and stole my van, holding it for blackmail...I had no transportation and my vehicle was 200 miles away. I became a horrible person and any thoughts of seeing his kids was no longer an option to him...I left him duplicate appliances, a houseful of furniture and electronics and I left the house we had paid 40K on...and that just wasn't enough.

Their mother has told me many times that she wants me to stay in their lives...I have talked to them all since the separation...and as I said above they text me and email me regularly. I do not initiate contact. They have enough going on in their lives and I am an outsider now. But if I hear from them I always respond...Biomom has had regular visitation for years. She lived 180 miles away but got the kids every other weekend, on holidays and 6 weeks during the summer.

I never really knew much about the mother. She lived in a different state. All that I knew is what my ex would tell me about her and it was horrible...But then one day I came across some audio tapes and old court documents of my husband's. He won custody because he fought her tooth and nail through the courts...ironically he was very good at keeping secrets about his own indiscretions...his exwife was not quite as good at this. What I heard on tape...conversations that he had recorded of their discussions...it didn't match up to the claims he had made about her to me. That she was neglectful, didn't care about the children and cared more about herself...She did cheat on him but recently told me that it was because she was so unhappy and wanted to be away from him---however he had told her that if she left he would "take the kids and make her pay him to keep them"...and I think the most telling part that revealed his agenda came from his own words to me. "If she was going to cheat on me and break up the marriage, she didn't deserve the kids." He has fought her for years...At that time it was her word against his...

From what I understand, he is considering allowing the 14 year old girl to go with Mom...but demanded the boys stay with him. My children and I were forced out of my home...not even given an option as to whether I could keep it for myself and my children. He filed for divorce and worked like mad to get an agreement in place giving him the house before a court date a couple of weeks ago...to show himself as the "stable" parent with a home. Yes, he has a home...but I do wonder what the judge would say if he knew what he did in order to get that home...Had an affair...kicked his wife (a mother) and her two children out of it and then...well, I could go on and on...He is not a good person. Biomom plans to move 900 miles away and the children and biomom are begging Dad to let them all go...he won't hear of it. Thinking of those children being split apart like that has been breaking my heart into pieces. I protected them from this drama for 5 years and I can do nothing for them now.

The mother has asked me to testify to the kind of parent he was...or wasn't... They have a court date soon. The crazy part is that he blamed me for his lack of parenting for years...and for a long time I actually believed that...but the kids and bio mom now say that he has treated them the same way since he has been away from me. Sad for me to hear for the children's sake...but I knew that it wasn't my fault all along.

It's crazy...when you find out you are being cheated on and you are going through a divorce, don't you usually think about good times with the ex and cry? Those thoughts never cross my mind at all...and if they do it certainly doesn't bring a tear...What brings a tear is thinking about helping my stepdaughter with her back flips...Listening to my stepson's off the wall stories...hearing about my other stepson's latest "girlfriend." Just driving down the road with all of them...laughing...talking. I'm not sure how long it will take to get past this...but I need to know how to do it.

I don't even know if I should testify...But the kids want to go to Mom's so badly...there are moments where I think that it could be the last thing I do for them...the last thing I do to truly help them.

I'm not really sure what to do...none of this is fair at all...I just miss them so much.
post #9 of 17
Tell the truth. That's all you can do. Get a lawyer to help you out of the marriage, and tell the truth in court to let your stepchildren have the best life they possibly can.
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by flapjack View Post
Tell the truth. That's all you can do. Get a lawyer to help you out of the marriage, and tell the truth in court to let your stepchildren have the best life they possibly can.
Absolutely. What a heart-breaking situation... Big hugs to you.
post #11 of 17
I don't have any advice, but I am sitting here in tears and couldn't not say anything.
So, (((BIG Hugs))) mama! I can't imagine your pain.
post #12 of 17
Yes! Helping them is what will get you past this. Your worry over their lives right now and your feelings of helplessness for them are contributing to this pain.

post #13 of 17
WOW. I'm so sorry you're going through this. No advice that hasn'y already been given but big hugs to you.
post #14 of 17
Oh momma I am so sorry. How awful. Tell what you know, give these kids a chance to be with their mom. They will remember you always.
post #15 of 17
do what is best for them. it may be hard for you, to face their father to face their mother, to throw your children into the mix and everything else. But you have to do whats in your heart you have to help them, for their own good. Maybe you;ll still have a realationship with them and maybe you wont but you have to do the best for them that you can.
post #16 of 17
That sounds really hard. Just wanted to offer hugs
post #17 of 17
I have a friend who sued for custody of her Step Children in a similar divorce. She did it so the kids would always know, on record, she wanted them in her life. The judge let the kids decide, and they chose to live with her. They are still close.
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