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Stepmom and ds probs WWYD?(x posted from preteens)

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
I dont know if I should post this here, or where..my son is 12. He lives with his father and stepmom, as I am abroad at the moment, am going back to where he is in a month. I will make this short if poss. My sons stepmom is constantly trying to make my son have something wrong with him. The latest is yesterday on the phone she tells me he is picking his fingers(the skin). That is a nervous habit. I used to do this as a child. She tells me he will get cancer if he keeps doing it, and she told him this. She says that is not normal child behaviour and there is a problem with him. The latest diagnosis she made for him is he is ADD. Last week it was bi polar. The week before it was OCD. She is always letting him know she thinks something is wrong with him. She does take good care of him, etc...but she is sooooooo way off base here.My son is a high spirited child with some mild anxiety, but nothing off base. He is not aggressive or anything. He has been lying a lot lately, but to me that is normal for a child to do at some point in life. IF he is not being perfect, if he is not sitting still and saying yes mam, no mam, theres something wrong with him. Last night when she brought up the thumb thing, I told her that some children have nervous habits. She started screaming at me and telling me who I am to talk because I have had bi polar illness and hide it from everyone. I have never in my life that I know of had bi polar but she always brings this up when I suggest my son is just being a kid. I dont know where she got this from unless it is my ex(the father). I am sick of her screaming at me and hanging the phone up at me. I calmy kept saying to her, lets not talk about me, lets talk about ds. She kept screaming and I kept calmly saying the same thing. Then she hung up. She thinks now that she just started lpn school she knows everything and really this has always been the case. Whereas I am very laid back she is not and she sees every thing my son does as a problem, but she never does anything about it. I have suggested to her take him to the dr, therapist, etc..but she wont do it...and continues her brigade to pinpoint a problem with ds. I dont want to talk to her anymore. It has been 10 years of this. 10 years. She will not even let ds's father speak to me or anything as she is so jealous. Its ridiculous and i want to cut the ties with her and not speak to her anymore. Everytime she upsets me, I say this and then I go back to speaking to her. She always treats me this way, like a bully really. I could go into more, (i said i was keeping this short!LOL). What should I do? Thanks.
post #2 of 29
Is there some reason why your son couldn't come to live with you? What are the terms of your custody arrangement? Would you prefer to have him with you?

I am wondering why she has so much control and you and the boy's father have so little.
post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
My son did not want to leave his town and school, that is why he is why his father and stepmother. I would have LOVED to have him with me, and our bond is very close, but this was better for him to stay where his grandparents are as well, but he just didnt want to leave his school. I will be there next month, anyway, so thats not the issue. Custody is joint custody arrangement. She has ALL the control. If I chose not to speak with her again, can I do this?
post #4 of 29
does she have any kids of her own?
post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
yes, a 18 year old son. he was a very calm and shy child.
post #6 of 29
She sounds resentful of her role as a custodial sm. She doesn't sound like she enjoys your child.

I could speculate on ideas for why this might be but they would be issues in her marriage and not something you can do anything about.

I guess my focus would be on keeping good boundaries in your and her communication or refusing to talk to her and only talking to your ex.

I would encourage you to be in touch with his school directly to see if they notice what she says.

I would also urge you to consider doing anything you can to retake custody- even if that means returning to his area. I wouldn't allow my child to live in a home where he was disliked. I would move mountains to get back to him. However we are ld ncp here so I know what I am suggesting...we know dh's children are well loved in their custodial home but were we to doubt that I think there is nothing we wouldn't do to rectify the situation.

I guess one other thing is that you may try talking to her directly about this matter and suggesting to her that all her complaints it sounds like she resents caring for him and or dislikes him- and then listen to what she says...she maybe shocked by that and realize something. YOu may discover that she is resentful for reasons you can control (maybe you don't pay cs or don't pay medical or childcare or are slow to pay).

I could suggest child development books but i am doubtful that she would recive such advice well from you.
post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks. I have suggested many books and have bent backwards to her in so many ways. I have said before, I will be back to my sons area next month, so he will be with me most of the summer. We have joint custody, nobody pays child support. We usually, in the past and will do, have open care for my son. He will go visit each others homes freely, this has always been the case. We each pay for care at each others homes, and then school issues are divided among us equally. It works well. However, I understand the marriage issue and know from my ds that the marriage is not good, it hasnt been for a long time. Its not ds' fault at all. I have tried talking to her, as I said, she screams at me, says I have a mental illness and will not reason,she starts cursing at me and then tells me I want to fu ** her husband(my sons father) which is really um crazy! LOL In truth, I just wanted to make sure I didnt have to legally speak to her anymore. I dont want to, I dont have to put up with it. My poor son is being beat down by her and I dont know what to do about it. His dad is a great father, being really hands on and spending lots of time with him. But when he tells his dad some of the things she does, he doesnt believe him, or is turning a blind eye, probably to keep the peace between the two of them. I dunno. Ijust cant wait to get back home to look after him. But she will still be in his life.
post #8 of 29
your ex is NOT a great father if he lets his child be abused by his new wife.

I tell my dh often that he is primarily responsible for his kids in our home not me so if there is something I am doing wrong he has an OBLIGATION to tell me- to stand up for his kids. I don't ever mean to do wrong, but they are not my kids. I love them but they are not my kids so I might not see things the same for them as I would for my kids- he HAS to advocate for them.

Thankfully in our situation that hasn't been nessisary but I 100% reject your assertion that he can be a good father and still ignore this kind of mistreatment of his child. Either you or the child is exagerating or he is not a good father! I just don't see any middle ground. I guess that if you know he is a good father than you can take comfort in the fact that, despite how thigns appear to you and despite how your son plays your emotions, things are really fine in that house and sm really treats him well. I do know that my skids have told their mom some real whoppers about how I treat them (and about how she treats them!) that is pretty standard for kids in divorce to play house against house.

I don't understand how you can live out of country and not pay cs, you are not taking half the time or half the expense. I think you should pay cs if you are anything less than half time. That might help with her restentment a TON. Many men are unwilling to demand their non custodial ex wife pay cs out of silly pride or some such patriarchal emtotion and that leaves a huge financial burden on a sm who either has to juggle finances and maybe drop things her own child needs- in order to meet the needs of your child. That is a sure fire way to set your kid up to be resented in his custodial home.
post #9 of 29
My sympathies. It sounds like she has some very strange issues and is not handling them successfully.

My DH had a similar issue with his ex's former partner. He did nothing, leaving it all up to his ex, though he knew she wanted to leave the guy and was unable to at the time. Finally she did leave the guy and it came out how ugly things had really been at home. Now DH has to live with the realization that his DS suffered all that time because DH wasn't willing to rock the boat. While this situation is somewhat different from yours it illustrates what's at stake.

One perspective is that while it is a big PITA for you to speak with this woman, it may actually be damaging for your DS to be partially raised by her--even if he does not get as annoyed by it as you do right now. He does not know how to set boundaries for himself yet and needs you to both protect him and model good boundaries. Try to take the long view--in ten years, looking back, what will have mattered most about this situation?
post #10 of 29
Short answer- no. You don't have to talk to her at all, ever. Soon you will be back in the same country and the phone thing won't be an issue.
This situation gives me big shudders, but don't have any constructive criticism to offer- it might be worth a chat with a lawyer about this though.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies, and the short answer, what i was looking for. First of all, ds is NOT abused in anyway(other than probably emotional) but she is not *mean* to him or anything, she just I dont think can handle high spirited children, so she seems to think something is wrong with him ALL the time. Also, she does not pay for her 18 yo, he works, is out of school and is engaged. (yeah, i know). She does not have to work either, never has, as her hubby(my ex) is loaded pretty much. We dont do the child support thing, basically because I just send money over to help pay for things and his dad doesnt really need the money. Its an agreeable situation that way. He has also told ds that he plans on leaving her eventually. He is a laid back easy going guy who kinda just lets her do things to shut her up. If you kwim. I dont want to speak with her ever, and hope that his dad will be allowed to speak with me concerning him. Thankfully i will be back soon and can be there for ds. The divorce,etc or me and his dad splitting up is not an issue as we havent been together since ds was a baby, so he never even remembers his dad and i being together. I just want to shake her and say my son is just being a teen at least he is home everyday and doing his school work and not out using drugs or anything but she wont let me get a word in and says i am in denial about things. I just usually shut up to shut her up. She has lots of issues, I could write a book about here, but i basically wanted to know if i had to speak to her legally, i dont, so good! whew!
post #12 of 29
Originally Posted by FEDUP
My son did not want to leave his town and school, that is why he is why his father and stepmother. I would have LOVED to have him with me, and our bond is very close, but this was better for him to stay where his grandparents are as well, but he just didnt want to leave his school. I will be there next month, anyway, so thats not the issue. Custody is joint custody arrangement. She has ALL the control. If I chose not to speak with her again, can I do this?
Your joint custody arrangement is with your exhusband - NOT his wife. You most certainly can refuse to talk to her - your exh (by law) must communicate with you about your son - his wife has no legal rights to your son at all. I'd also be concerned - sounds like she wants to medicate the child instead of dealing wiht normal childhood issues.
post #13 of 29
Originally Posted by FEDUP
First of all, ds is NOT abused in anyway(other than probably emotional)
Oh well if it is only emotional abuse then I guess that is OK?!
post #14 of 29
Why is your ex talking to your son about his marital problems? IMHO, parents or s. parents should never talk about marital problems with their children. Maybe if the children are grown, possilbly married themselves, and can understand such a complicated issue, but never any time else.

I think you should go get your son ASAP if at all possible in any way. A month is a really long time to a child that age, heck even to me as an adult. Either that or ask your son if he'd rather live with you. I know you said he didn't when you first left, but maybe his mind has changed now that you've been gone and is too scared/inimidated/thinks you'll say no, w/e to ask?

I was emotionally abused and belittled as a child and never knew it til I was an adult. I cannot even BEGIN to tell you what that does to a person. Thanks to that I now have a very struggling relationship with my parents. I was never physically abused but sometimes think maybe that would have been easier. Emotional abuse is never to be taken lightly. I would do anything, and I mean ANYTHING to stop my dd from being emotionally abused. Sell my house, quit my job with nothing else lined up, move across the world, you name it I'd do it.
post #15 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for people that advised me in my question.
post #16 of 29
I am sure it's hard when your so far away.
I don't have any advice just wanted to leave
the hug. Safe travels on your way home.
post #17 of 29
she just I dont think can handle high spirited children, so she seems to think something is wrong with him ALL the time.
I think you hit the nail on the head right there. Especially if her ds was a calm mellow kid. Hey, sometimes bioparents dont know how to deal with high spirited children!

I agree with the short answer too. No, you dont have to talk to her, and I want to give you a pat on the back for trying. That kind of effort does make a difference for a child to see.

And a big to you and your ex for working out a comfortable custody/cs arrangement. I understand how difficult they can be at times.
post #18 of 29
Thread Starter 
Yes, she has done a lot of hurtful things to me but I have always turned the other cheek. She does not emotionally abuse my son, I was saying that as a ?? really, as she doesnt say or do anything wrong to him, but does let him know she things something is wrong with him. So thats not good.
New development today. Ds is at my dads 4 days a week during the summer holidays for a couple of hours each day as sm is going to college. I called him today over there and he told me there was a big fight last night between his dad and her because his dad found a recorder by the phone and found out she has been recording every call ds and i had, ds has with his friends, HER 18 yo has with his fiance and calls her hubby(my ex) has with people. OMG.
Ds was upset about this too. The reason ds knows so much about the marriage is the fact that she does not hide it from him if they are arguing she will yell at ds' father in front of ds and he knows all the business. Not good either. Ds also told me today she spanks him occasionally. She knows how I feel about spanking. (SIGH) He will still go over there when i move back as his school is a super good one and out of my district so he will live with them during the school days and be with me on non school days. But at least I will be there. Thanks for hugs, I need them!
post #19 of 29
can you contact your ex at work or cell phone to talk to him about what is up? His wife sounds like she has a screw loose and she is loosing touch.
post #20 of 29
From my days as a legal secretary, I seem to remember it being pretty easy/standard to have a clause disallowing corporal punishment -- or at least in the case of anyone other than bio/legal mom & dad. I would put a stop to the spanking by the sm immediately. This also worries me a bit because even mainstream parents usually find 12 to be too old for spanking. I'm seeing red flags on that one...if nothing else, I'd want details on how spanking is happening -- pants down? stick?...
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