Well, happy Thanksgiving indeed. What a day. I'm looking for advice, mainly. Especially from people who have rocky relationships with their ex-spouse.
Quick backstory- DH and his ex divorced when DSD was 3. She is now 7, and DH and I have been dating since she was 4, moved in together when she was 5, and got married two months ago. DH and his ex have always split custody 50/50, with neither really doing a whole lot in the way of parenting... they were/are both servers, and their parents did a lot of the work in raising DSD. DSD generally has spent more time in the care of DH or his parents. That has all changed within the last year and a half, since I moved in.
DH and his parents had a falling out, and they are no longer in our lives. We know that DSD sees them on exes parenting time, which we are fine with. I have a job that has enabled me to take up much of the slack over the last 18 months, and DSD has spent most of her time with me, while DH worked. In the beginning, ex had no problem with this, and actually called and told me she preferred DSD was with me, and not DH's parents. However, the closer we came to marriage, the rockier things got.
She began scheduling DSD's camps and activities on our parenting time, time DH actually COULD HAVE been with DSD. She began having a problem with DSD being mainly with me... which I can understand. DH took a job for much less money than he was making, and rearranged his life so he can be home two out of the three nights we currently have DSD. We voluntarily informed ex that DH was working on Saturdays, and now, although Saturdays were split before, DSD goes to her mom's every Saturday. (Which she has a problem with, and has told me she wants to be with me every other Saturday).
There have been a lot of other little things happening.... we were letting her walk home from the bus stop by herself... half a block IN SIGHT of our house the entire way. Many other people out walking at this time of day, and one of us is always outside WATCHING her walk. Whatever, she had a problem with it, so we are now picking her up from school.
So today happens... she splits holidays, and was scheduled to be with us starting at 3. 3:30 rolls around, and she's not here, so DH texts his ex to see what's going on. She texts back that she's almost to our house and they "need to talk." So, in front of my whole family, she informs DH that DSD told her that she no longer wants to come to our house. Apparently she wanted her mom to tell us. So... after everyone is gone, we talk to DSD about this, and she starts crying and says she does still want to come, that she wants things to be just like the always are. We told her that if coming here doesn't make her happy, we all need to decide what to do together. But she insists she does want to come here, so we asked her why she said it. Her reply? "I didn't say it. Mom asked me if..." then she stopped talking and admitted that her mom was the one who asked if she didn't want to come to Daddy's anymore.
DH called ex after DSD went to bed, and his ex said DSD didn't want to talk about it front of me. That she really doesn't want to come here anymore. And oh yeah... she has a problem with the babysitter we have watch DSD for 2 hours on Friday until I'm off work... the babysitter that was recommended to us by DSD's teacher. The babysitter that is a 4th grade teacher at DSD's school. She said our homelife is very unstable and DSD never knows where she's going to be. Which is crap... she's picked up from school Wednesday or Thursday by one of us, and all three of us are home together all evening. On Friday's she goes to the babysitters until 5:45 when I get her, and she's home with me all evening. Ex lives with her mother, and we know for a fact she works on her parenting time, and leaves DSD with her mom. Which we've never had a problem with. It's her time, and DSD has seemed happy.
She's gunning to get DH's parenting time taken away. In the past, DH has been very easy-going to his ex, overlooking parenting choices she was making that were VERY suspect. Because his ex is DSD's mother, and that needs to be respected. However, he now isn't getting that same respect. She kept referencing a "meeting" on the phone that they would be attending. A meeting DH knows nothing about. Should he be preparing to go back to court? Could we really lose parenting time just because a 7 year may or may not have said she didn't want to come here anymore? Our home life is very stable. We have no other kids, and we pretty much arrange our lives around DSD. This is all starting to really scare DH and we're not sure what to do. I'm thinking this is sounding more and more like parental alienation.
Does anyone have any advice? We don't currently pay any child support, because we share 50/50, although until DH is done with school in April, we won't be able to have her on our Saturdays. This is really long, I'm sorry. DH is really reeling from all of this, and does not want to lose custody of his daughter.