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Blended advice-So much going on

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
This is a 4 part question and long so thanks in advance for reading...

1. DH is gone a lot for work. He and I are not on the greatest terms right now and I have actually told him if things don't get better, then I need him to leave. He thinks I let my kids walk all over me. I do not. This is basically the root of our marital problems, although is acting like another child to be taken care of is a major factor also. I feel like I let me kids be kids, I have expectations, and things that they are expected to do, and I do things for them. I do not feel disrespected by them. Sometimes I don't think they appreciate or realize what all I do for them, but I think that is all kids in general, not just mine. He refuses to discuss this with me anymore because he says I am wrong and since I refuse to do things his way there is no point in talking about it. I want him to HEAR me. To try things my way, to talk things out. How do I get him to do that? DD16 & DS12 are mine from my first marriage, DD1 is ours.

2. DD16 is well, 16. She and her SM have been close, until recently. DD16 told her BF that she is tired of SM treating her the way she does. And realizes where she is allowed to be a child and not expected to be a grown up. (at her dad's they aren't allowed to go with friends, or do anything without a parent, they are expected to do all of the housework, and watch the younger siblings) SM has decided that since DD16 is angry with her she will alternate not speaking to her with being her BFF. DD16 is seeing through it, and most of the time is ok with it, but sometimes she thinks all is better and gets hurt. Should I do anything? I hate for her to be hurt over and over, but this woman is psycho (literally, our counselor says she has an untreated mental disorder) and turns everything around to my fault. I am not good at retorts and defending myself in the moment. WWYD?

3. DS12 is almost 13 in another month. XH constantly makes promises to him about things and breaks them. Friday was a prime example. And DS12 told him he wasn't going to go with him. XH said he was and that if he was man enough to refuse it, to stand up and be a man. Invited him to hit him, so Ds took a swing. XH proceeded to lift him up over his shoulder and slam him in to the floor of my living room. And held him down until DS said he was calm. XH is yelling at me to call the police and they will take DS to a juvenile facility. I called my dad. I didn't know what to do. XH threatened to call the police himself. And threatened DS with juvey (DS has never been in trouble before, never even had detention, until today when he gets it for being disrespectful at school) He threatened to call the police on me if I didn't make him go. Which scared DS enough to go. I have decided I am just going to grow some 'balls' and tell XH he is going to let the kids do the things he says the can do. And that they will be attending all games and events that they are scheduled to attend. My problem is this: SM has turned her attentions to DS. She 'talked' to him once he got there (her words to me in a text message) and now he is convinced this altercation was all his fault and went to his dad and apologized. I told him I agreed that he was not acting respectfully and that I expected disagreements to be handled with words and not fists. But that his father is a grown up and also acted incorrectly in the situation. He won't talk about it with me now. SM accused me of being uncooperative and rude for getting my kids for my Halloween time last night. ('They're too old to Trick or Treat so Halloween doesn't count as a holiday anymore.') I don't know what to say or do. I want DS to see where I am coming from, but with DD nothing I said ever worked as SM is very good manipulator apparently. Advice?

4. Ds was my 'baby' for 11 years. He is buying into alot of his SM things because I have a new little one, and he is feeling left out. I pointed out the 15 things I had done for him in the last week, but SM has convinced him I like DD1 better. I do take him to all of his things. I do spend time with him every week just he and I watching Survivor together (it's our thing.) I do about once a month do something that he picks and we go do, sometimes the baby has to go along, but sometimes it's just he and I. What else can I do?

Thank you for reading. If something is vague or I left something out, please questions it. I have 100 things running through my brain right now and the stress is making me ill. Thanks in advance for any kind words you have to share.
post #2 of 8
first off, what a tough situation you are dealing with here.

secondly, when it comes right down to it, your xdh telling your son to "take his best shot" or a "swing at him" well... that is simply just wrong. i would imagine that the police would be in favour of charging your ex with assault on your son... your son is in no way a man, he is still a child at 12 and in no way an equal in terms of "man to man" with your exdh. cps would consider that sort of talk or action to be abusive and even endangerment of your son when he is in your ex'x care. i would be worried that by allowing him to go with your ex after such an altercation that you would be considered neglectful and allowing your son to attend a situation where he could easily be threatened, attack or called out as if he were a grown man. i would re-consider any access occurring between them other than via phone or texting until you find out just what the laws and regulations cps has in your area concerning situations like the one you have described. and then to have sm convincing a situation like this occurringbeing your son's fault... well imo your son is the child... your dh should never ever have treated him the way he did, slamming him to the floor i would be frightened for my son. what will come next as your ds continues to grow to manhood and continues to test the waters the way boys do at puberty. if this is an example of what your ex wants your son to imitate... or the way in which he plans to handle further altercations, because they will occur, it is a natural part of the separation process and the move towards our children becoming the type of adults they hope to become. your ex's behaviour frankly frightens me just reading about a 12 yo boy being slammed to the floor for any reason. here in bc canada the police would have charged your dh without his or your consent and cps would have also been called. your dh and his new wife would bein serious jeopardy of losing any childrenthey havein their home and enjoying any unsupervised access with the children that you share.
at 16 your dd has the right to refuse to attend access with her dad or sm, if she so chooses. and if the woman has a mental disorder that ispotentially harmful to your dd then i would encourage dd to keep her distance. our parents are not our bff's, ever... they are our parents no matter how close we are to one another. your ex and his wife sound not only toxic to your children and your relationship with them, but to their relationship with their new younger sibling and to your relationship with them as well.

i would call the police first then cps, explain what happened and ask them what they advise you to do next.

your dd sounds like a typical 16yo girl. and your son a typical nearly 13yo boy. pushing boundaries, testing waters of adulthood, seeing how far they can go before you truly mean business with discipline. they are sassy at that age, they dont listen too well, unless it suits them... they are disrespectful when they can get away with it... in those situations i always gave them a way out. we called it taking the stairs. you know when a building is on fire and you shouldnt take the elevator but rather the stairs. in our home taking the stairs meant backing up a minute and making sure that where they were headed was really the route they wanted to take or did they want to back it up a bit and start over. we found it very successful, it worked with the little ones i had too when they started the sassy years and tricky twos etc. we alwasy offered are you sure you want to go this way, or would you like to cool down a bit and take the stairs. more often than not they took the stairs. so easy for anyone to speak without thinking, more so with a teen or pre-teen... so nice to have a chance to "take back" what was just about to get ugly before it did.

perhaps there is some sort of family counseling offered in your community that could help you through this with your dh and you two could find some way of getting on the same page as far as discipline goes... especially while your wee one is still little...

lol, my response is about as long as your post, haha, i am a bit of a babbling brook when i get going. but darn parenting is hard enough in an intact family, add a couple new spouses to the picture, a baby and puberty to the mix and hoohaw we arent talking baking cupcakes anymore. it's hard hard work

you sound to me rather like the sort of mom i was to mine when they were the ages yours are now. and imo, it seems you have given your kids the self esteem to stand up for themselves when they think they are right... it is sad to watch someone undermine that... especialy a testosterone driven exdh and a crazytown sm


and please for your children's sake do contact the authorities to ensure that you are not contributing to their being in any sort of danger by allowing the kids to go into his care when a violent incident has occurred.

post #3 of 8
I could have written some of your post a few years ago. Whew!

First, know that your kids are both at tough ages as the other poster said; they are looking for boundaries and are going to push you to make them. They are sassy and confrontational and alternate that with not wanting anything to do with you. Normal for their ages.

Also normal is your son standing up for himself, but your ex was wrong to bait him as he did. My ex did the same thing to my son when he was about the same age, and my son took a swing and connected. Stepmother blamed my son even though he was defending himself from his father. End result? After years of his dad pushing him, he no longer lives with his dad. He is 18 now and a fantastic kid, a freshman in college with his head on straight. We had some tough moments through the years and I was not sure how he would turn out but he exceeded all my dreams for him and then some and I am very proud. This, despite not being equally parented on both sides.

My daughter is now 16 and she is going through some of the same things with her step mom...the step mom loves to buy affections, and equally take them away if she does not like my dd's tone.

My advice to you is not to get involved too much with what is going on in the other household. Your kids are old enough to figure things out for themselves...and in the end they will see the truth. Your job is to be consistent with them, set boundaries..etc. You are NOT their friend, you are their mother, and there is a difference.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking the time to respond.

I spoke to my attorney and a CPS worker, and police officer. Nothing can be done at this point. I am going to try and talk my son in to going back to our family counselor to talk to him about the situation. (XH has him convinced he doesn't need to go to counseling.)

I feel. Well. Ok I guess. I hate that it happened. And I feel like I should have been stronger and stood up for what I believed to be right. I am going to be working on myself in this and what I feel like I should have done differently, since one can only change their own reactions, and not someone else.

I am going to insist that the rules of my house be followed (no physical violence for starters.) I am going to insist that my children are treated respectfully in my presence. I am going to follow my instincts as far as the visitation and things go, and risk the contempt of court charge if I feel like my kids will be in physical or emotional danger if I let them go. (My attorney assures me that judges usually doesn't charge someone with contempt in these cases, but that it is possible...) I am not going to engage SM. When she tries, I will just state that I love my children and will be happy to communicate with XH regarding visitation, and that's it.

I can't think of anything else right now, but I wanted a written out list for me to follow...any other ideas?
post #5 of 8
Personally, I wouldn't allow the ex into your home. There really is no need for it.

Also... depending on where you live, your son may or may not have a choice (at 14 or 16) as to whether or not he sees his Dad as ordered. *Generally* speaking, in most states and if he's under 18, he doesn't get a choice. Not without a judge specifically allowing him to have one.

Dad & stepMom... Mine are now 16 & 18. The oldest's relationship with both has always been difficult (and this is an almost completely non-confrontational kid); the youngest's only recently so. As they have gotten older, I have made it clear to them that each of their relationships with both Dad and stepMom are between them, although I expect that they show the same level of respect they would towards me.

I have encouraged both to speak with their Dad about things that bother them - if there's a problem he doesn't know about, there's nothing he can do to help solve it. That's how we operate here, whether it's a problem they have with me, with a friend, with one another... But fists are only an option in self-defense (of a physical attack) or in protection of someone else.
post #6 of 8
I just wanted to comment on the Halloween piece. In my state, in several different towns, a lot of kids Trick or Treat through high school. This is different from when I was a teenager and we stopped after middle school. But it's very common here.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone.

I have disallowed him into my home before. He always acts decent and then I give a little and let him stand by the front door when it's cold, and then something happens. I have to quit being nice I guess.

I also usually say to the kids that they need to talk to their dad about the problems with him. Actually that's what this was really, DS telling his dad he wasn't going because of his dads actions. And it ended physically. Which is why I usually intervene. If it doesn't end physically, there is emotional abuse. So I try to take that abuse rather than have my children take it. It pisses me off, but doesn't alter my self esteem or change how I will turn out, so I figure I can handle it. I don't think teenagers or children should have to deal with it. But I have yet to meet a counselor or judge who will tell me its better for my kids not to see their dad, so I take the abuse and try to make things as rosy as possible for them with him. Is that making sense? Our current counselor agrees that he's an idiot and he needs to stop being so self centered and focus on the children, but we can't make him do that, and he says in the long run, the kids need their dad. And I know they do, I;m not saying they don't need a dad. I just wish he could be the dad they need for him to be.
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by goodmomma76 View Post
I just wish he could be the dad they need for him to be.
Well... if wishes were horses, beggars would ride...

You can't make him be the Dad they need. Anymore than I can my ex. It is what it is. And your kids will eventually work it out for themselves. However, neither of them have the right to decide to disregard a court order. That just isn't an option - not until a judge tells them they get to make that decision. So, honestly, your son was in the wrong.

In the real world, they will need to deal with people they don't necessarily like or get along with.
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