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Fairness with blended families

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
My fiancee and I moved into together last April. He was living with his parents and his7 yr old son at the time. AT first things went well, then after about 4 months his mother started wanting her grandson to be at her house basically all the time. She is and always has been extremely obsessive over the child but 4 months into our relationship she took it to a level that went way beyond the normal. I also have a son who is five, she has never treated him fairly, even the 7 yr old says so, and it is visibly obvious to other people. Unfortunatly I work with my future mother in law and carpool with her, she is so persistant that her son and grandson will move back into her home she attempted to break us up 4 months into our relationship, jumped me at work, it was to the point my supervisor suggested I put a restraining order against her. We none spoke for 3 weeks, nor took the children there ( she only lives about 4 blocks from our home) and during this time, Various family members of my fiancee's family called and harassed him about my son & I. My "mother in law" told my fiancee she shouldn't be expected to treat my son the same or as well as his son, for instance his son's birthday is this weekend and she asked if she could take the boys shopping for his birthday, he replied "sure just as long as you take her son for his birthday" well she flipped out and said she wouldn't have the money to do my son the same nor she should not be expected to. Now she is starting rumors at my job that I am cheating on my fiancee to again attempt to break us up. She is obsessed to the point that she insists the boy sleeps with her when he is down there, he has reverted to babytalk when there sometimes and goes back in age to that of a 2 year old, my fiancee is on my side, but it hurts because this is his mother, I hope someone can give me advice, I desperatly need it.Thank You
post #2 of 17

This is just who she is. Don't invest much energy expecting her to be a better person. This is what you've got to work with.

I've read posts about similar situations with kid favoritism before. My personal view is that up to a point, I would accept it. It's not ideal, but it's reasonable to be a little more interested in your bio-kid, IMO, as long as it's kept decent and the other kid is still treated as a valuable human being. (In our blended family, a slightly different relationship with the biological kid is expected by everyone, even though we're close to the non-biological kiddo too.)

However it seems like the only people who insist of favoring one kid are more on the toxic end. Then IMO it's more the toxicity that you're dealing with, and the favoritism as a manifestation of that.

I would limit this woman's role in your family's life. Especially since she's trying to break you two up, involved in your work, and having a creepy effect on your poor DSS. I would especially start by protecting your DSS and minimizing his involvement with her. She sounds like what some would call "emotionally incestuous." I know that I loved my grandmothers, but if I was sent on sleepovers with them without my parents I would have been uncomfortable...not saying that's what's going on but I don't think sleepovers at grandma's are required. However if you want to keep her involved to some extent, you might do it in such a way that she won't quite realize what's happening, rather than call her up and announce it that you're limiting her role in your family.

So yeah, and I would do this because of the general toxicity.

Good luck.
post #3 of 17
I agree with sphinxie. Hugs to you. this sounds like an awful situation. Its really sad to me when extended family doesn't deal well with the blend like when my dsd had no stocking at my parents house when their other grandchild did etc. That was ignorance, but what you are dealing with is extreme! Since your DF is on your side, you should work together to limit the time your family spends with her and when you do spend time together, try to spend it where your kids are supervised by wither you or your DF. These are your children and they are whats important here, not how your future MIL feels.

I was posting about something similar on another board in here. My SIL is adopting a baby from Korea and my MIL is not dealing with this well at all. She refuses to tak about it but the problem is she is insulted that her genes aren't good enough. Silly, huh? So it all biols down to what is genetically family. When I was asking advice on the adoption board about this, someone said they responded to that by saying "so you can't love your husband b/c be's not a blood relitive?" The baby hasn't come yet and we are praying she won't play favorites. My DH says its probably a generational thing. People of that age don't typiacally come from blended families or anything like that so its very new to them. Kind of like teaching an old dog new tricks. Its hard for them. But they need to get over it in my opinion. Thats kind of the attitude we have taken on about it.

I'm rambling. I still say not to let her around the kids that much. How bad was the jumping? You may need to get a restraining order. SHe sounds like she may be unbalanced and that is not healthy for your children. There is no telling where things would lead to and your job is to keep your kiddos safe.
post #4 of 17
I would stay far, far away from this woman and limit her access to the children. she "jumped" you? Sounds violent. I would get another job and make sure that your DF is on your side... which may be hard for him since this is his mother.... Can you all move far away from her?
post #5 of 17
OOOH Yea! Move away... move far away!
post #6 of 17
Yikes! My standard response when someone is concerned that grandparents/aunts/uncles etc. are unfair with the kids is to let it be, unless they're outright hurtful. This is not a fairness issue, though. This woman is trampeling all over every reasonable boundary. What does your DHTB want to do? If he doesn't understand that this is a significant problem, then you have a huge problem. If, however, he "gets it" that this is a big deal and is ready to take action to protect you and both the boys, then it might work out OK.

I would suggest that you take drastic measures now to make the boundaries very, very clear and you must find a way to enforce them. Stuff like this doesn't just die away; it gets worse. You're not dealing with a rational, reasonable person here (and I know whereof I speak; my FIL is neither rational nor reasonable). I would think a restraining order is appropriate (since she has been violent) and that the boys should not be with her unless she's supervised by your DHTB, but that's me.

Good luck! Making a stepfamily is hard under the best of circumstances; best to get a handle on this sooner than later.
post #7 of 17
Wow I didn't even absorb the part about her jumping you. Holy mackeral.

ETA: that fact, and that she got everyone in the family to call & harass you guys afterwards, and the fact that your DSS regresses in age when he visits her from 7 to 2, suggests to me that if you scratch the surface with this individual and family you will find some seriously unpleasant stuff. Upon rereading, I would get all of these people out of your family for the most part, move, change jobs, only have contact under supervision. Don't wait for 20/20 hindsight.
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
I want to thank all who are offering us support in this manner, I do want to clarify the jumping comment, it wasn't intended to sound as though she physically attacked me, she ran up to me while I was working from behind in front of co-workers and started screaming at me, threatening me, which she had already threatened me indirectly via my fellow co- workers and almost getting us fired because at that time we both were temps with this company, I have since been hired by the company, she wasn't. Unfortunatly I have to add some more bad news to this story. Her husband has been watching our children while they are on fall break this week and my fiancee's son was supposed to go shopping with her for his birthday. Upon arriving at her home this evening to pick my boys up, and I told her she could take Brian but she tore into me about not talking to her for 2 days(we ride together) and proceeded to call me names. All of this was done in front of both the boys. I then said fine , lets go home boys and she informed me that my fiancee's son wasn't going anywhere with me. By this time my son was crying hysterically I picked him up to leave, told her that was fine, that my fiancee and I had already discussed what to do in a situation like this and that I was leaving. So with my son on my hip screaming, his son crying, she takes out after me screaming that she has a ton of stuff to tell her son about how I am cheating with this man at our job. Then she proceeded to tell me as I was walking out the door that I needed to find another (F word) to watch my (Fword) kid because they weren't gonna watch him, and to get out of her home & never step foot back in it again. So,I drove home,called my fiancee and he had to leave work early to go retrive his son. When he reached their home, he found his mother down the street at a friends house with his son. His father tried to convince him I was cheating etc, but he finally arrived to our home with his son in tow. We called the police dept to get the facts about her rights etc in case she attempted to come take him from our home while my fiancee was at work since I am going to have to take tomorrow off to watch the boys. Thank goodness I have a great supervisor that is aware of the situation and is flexible and will not fire me over taking off, although I think my fiancee's mother will be jobless. The police commented a restraining order would be to our advantage but assured us she could not take our son from our home. I also had my phone number changed after this confortation. My finacee and I have discussed this situation and he thinks maybe in a week or so he might take his son down for a trial supervised short time limit visitation but the catch is that if one word about me, my son, cheating or any negative comment, he would stand up tell his son it was time to go, not argue with them, and leave. This whole situation should have never occurred in front of our children , it has been stressful on all of us. We are all trying very hard to make this relationship work, I even had my fiancee call this woman I work with and ask her anything he liked about me supposedly cheating. I can assure all of you if I have intentions of cheating or the desire to it would not be at my job where his mother is working 25 feet of me at all times. Thank you all again for your wonderful comments and suggestions, we really need outside non biased advice.
post #9 of 17
The only advice I can offer is that:
For the sake of your family, in that situation I would move physically and emotionally as far away from her as possible. I would not ride with her for any reason, even if it cost me far more money in taxis. I would not allow her near any child of mine. I would be actively searching for a new job- trying to get her fired will do you more damage in the long run. If, on the other hand, that company loses a good worker because of her histrionics it will be held against her.
You're expecting her to behave like an adult although she has shown that she is unable to do so. This is adding to your burdens. If you expect the worst, then at least you can only be pleasantly surprised.

post #10 of 17
Actually what your mil is doing at work is called "creating a hostile work enviroment" and is a firable offense. IF your employer chooses not to do anything about it, it is then something YOU can take to the labor board.

But I am with the rest of the planet here, move away, move as far away as you can. :
post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

addition to post #3

Today has been another stressful day regarding my current situation. My fiancee's mother called my ex husband fishing for information and begging him to call my fiancee to let him know what a horrible person I am. I spoke with my ex and he was amazed at the lengths this woman was going to, she left messages on his cell phone insinuating he needed to contact them regarding his son. When my ex called her concerned about his son, she told him she was going to beat me to a pulp, or whatever it took to any of us. She also called my fiancee at his work today and told him his father wasn't going to eat until he seen my fiancee's son. This whole post I have wrote sounds like a fictional story or a soap opera, but unfortunatly it isn't, I am in shock & amazement this is occurring in my life . I love my fiancee very much and the boys have brought together as a family, we are all happy together with the exception of his parents. It is just extremely stressful and worriesome. Thanks again to all who are replying we take each of your comments,suggestions and opinions to heart, it helps immensley.
post #12 of 17
I just wanted to chime in to agree with previous posters and offer support. I'll be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

Update on this situation

I placed an EPO on his mother as did his sons biological mother, things have quieted down since that, and the court date for the EPO is set for Thursday the 26th. My fiance and I are trying to keep our home as stress free as possible. Please continue to keep us in your thoughts. Thank You!
post #14 of 17
Although I see you've put a response to the pp's comments, I figured I'd pipe in here. I have a similar situation with my own mother. Just prior to my DH and I getting married, I took my then 5 yo DSD to my mother's which happened to be the first day she met my DSD. I had my then 4 yo DS with me. He immediately ran to his toybox she kept for the kids, and invited my DSD in to play. My mother immediately took DSD by the arm, and told her "You have to stay on the mat, little girl". She wasn't allowed into my mother's home, like she was a dirty animal. My mother continued this behaviour into my marriage, when my grandfather died in 2003 (we were married in 2001). Keep in mind, my DH has always had custody of the two children from his second marriage (the oldest - 18- just recently moved in with us). Anyway, we've always had the kids in our home, and when my grandpa died my mother told me it would "be inappropriate for Sam and the kids to come to the funeral as they are not family." WTH?? Not family? Of course that started an immediate fight. There've been other similar comments made over the past couple of years, the most recent is what broke the camel's back. My ex owed me CS to the point my State's attorney general went after him and arrested him. He agreed to sign over his rights to my DH if I waived the last portion of the CS owed (otherwise he'd go to jail). My mother happened to be there for the *one* and only time my oldest DD met her bio-father at the age of six (she's nearly 14, and he was arrested just before she turned 12), and from that one meeting decided she liked him and that he should not be excluded from my DD's life. She then basically bribed me, told me that she would pay DH and I the remaining 10k my ex owed me if we did not go through with a step-parent adoption. This truly bothered me, especially since HER second husband adopted me. Apparently what was good for the goose wasn't good for the gander in my situation. I have not seen my mother in almost 2 years, and have only spoken to her twice - on accident. She has now alienated my oldest DD by telling her I should not have married my DH without her and my brother's permission - that he should have asked for my hand first. I was 29, single mom of two and owned my own home at the time, mind you, and I am not of a heritage that would relegate that decision to someone other than myself.

If I were you, I would stay far far far away from your "MIL". The favoritism will not get better, and it is heartbreaking to have to witness. On top of the step-child favoritism, we also have to deal with gender favoritism with not only my mother, my grandmother but also my younger SK's grandmother - they all favor the girls and could give a whit less about the boys. It makes me truly angry.
Best of luck, it's not fun I know.
post #15 of 17
I don't know what an EPO is; but if that's not a restraining order; I'd get one...FAST.

Your posts might be emotionally charged here; but if she's really this crazy; she's a threat to BOTH of the children and you.

I thought my X-MIL was bad...I stand corrected!
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to post an update to our situation. The EPO was dismissed due to the fact that I am not legally related to her. My fiance's parents called social services out of spite and revenge, so we had a meeting with social services on Oct. 30th, which was my birthday. The social service worker had already been to our childrens school and spoke with our boys prior to coming to our home. The social services lady was fully aware why they had been called, but still had to visit us. The day after the visit, my fiance's father called my work impersonating my fiance stating he knew my boss was groping me and having sexual relations with me ( which is untrue) and threatened to harm everyone at my job. My fiance's aunt was whom his parents confided the truth to regarding the things they have done. We have since consulted and hired an attorney in this matter, whom has stated they will either get tired of doing these things or go to jail. The attorney also stated that neither child should be around my fiance's mother until she gets counseling. My fiance's father called him at work crying and acting remorseful for his actions, but his mother got on the phone and attempted to put him on a guilt trip and act as though her actions have been justified. We have decided until she realizes that her actions have been cruel, wrong and damaging that we will not go around them, and that will not even be a consideration unless she gets the help she needs. So this is presently how our situation stands, thank you again to all of you for your words of support and wisdom.
post #17 of 17
Originally Posted by sphinxie View Post

This is just who she is. Don't invest much energy expecting her to be a better person. This is what you've got to work with.

Yes, this is true.

I have a step daughter, and my Mom treats her exactly the same as she treats my daughter. I know she is far more attached to my daughter, but she would never let it be an issue. My step daughter never expects anything from my MOm (step dd is grown) and is always pleasantly surprised that she is treated the same as the rest of us.
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