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Question (Update in Post 20!)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
First A little background:

My husband and I have been together for two years now, married for one year this June. Currently he is deployed to Iraq, I have phone contact with DSS age 5 every other day. I have a very good relationship with DSS, he tells me he loves me and misses me several times during the conversation.

My question is this, I have expressed an interest in seeing my DSS since my husband deployed and have not been able to because BM and DSS lived 3 and a half hours away. Just last week I moved into a new house within an hour of them to prepare for my husband's return. BM has said that she isn't comfortable with me having DSS for overnights in my old town. Which I completely understand but, the last time DH was deployed for 45 days she made a fit about DSS not being on a schedule for coming over to our house and that's why he cried when we dropped him off.

Today, I asked if I could have DSS for the day to show him our new house, get him some sheets and other things for his room and may be some summer clothes. Do you think this was an unreasonable request?? I am highly uncomfortable with visiting DSS in BM's home, she is very volatile, has screamed at me on several occasions, one of which is because I asked to take him to the zoo for his b-day last year, and we never know what kind of mood she is in....

What would you do either as a BM or as a step-mom....BM's excuse is that she doesn't know me, that I might be psychotic...I have absolutely no criminal record, no traffic tickets, nothing. Step-Dad on the other hand has several arrests for assault and quite a few criminal court cases on record. Is this arguement ligit, especially since I talk to BM quite a bit too? We have always talked when DH was gone for Army stuff. I am the one who handles everything as I have power of attorney.

So, anyway, opinions, comments and suggestions appreciated.
post #2 of 23
Heading out the door from work, but wanted to pipe in that I don;t think it's a crazy request at all. Especially since you are in communication with the BM.

Good luck! Stepparenting sure does have its challenges . . .
post #3 of 23
Made me laugh, because when my bf and I started going out (a good number of years ago), his ex made a similar "maybe she's psychotic" comment about me. Funny how it's never looked at the other way (of course SD is the normal one, and you and your DH have to trust him blindly! *like you have a choice, right?* )

*tight hugs*

The request is absolutely normal, obviously BM is not going to look at it that way. I got to go out with DSD only once when her dad was away on a business trip. She was about 11-12 at the time. Never happened before or after that *sigh* Too much politics involved...

Hope it works out for you and your little one though. Keep us posted.
post #4 of 23

BM perspective here

double post, doh!
post #5 of 23

BM perspective here

I think having your DSS over for the day and shopping for bedroom stuff is a great idea. Sounds like he has been going through a lot of changes in the past year with a new marriage, his father being away and a new house. If he has a say in little things right now such as what his bedroom will look like, I think it will make the transition easier.

Some people are more rational than others, but she will most likely soften up to you in time. I think it'd be great for you to reach out to her in a friendly way, because the more cooperation between all parents the easier life with be for all of you. I think any mom in that situation would have some concerns about who was spending time with their child if they didn't know them well. My EX is actually on the road to marriage with a pretty great woman, but at first I dealt with a lot of issues such as jealously (that she was spending time w/ dd, not jealously over ex!) and feeling overprotective. Call her and tell her you realize she has valid concerns, and that you wanted to reach out to her to help ease any of them. Do it from the "what's best for your son" perspective.

Oh, and I realize you didn't expand on this so forgive me for assuming anything...but could she have been upset that you wanted to take out DSS on his b-day b/c (IMO) birthdays should always involve BM's because they are the ones that birthed their child, so it's kind of their day.
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
Birthday Thing- It wasn't his actual birth DAY...it was like the weekend before...she went off on me about how I can't even pay child support...DH had fallen behind because he was having trouble finding a job...the only job he had was National Guard Drill weekends...different story for a different time.

I have reached out to her in every way possible, the last time I did, she went off on me and said I couldn't talk to her husband anymore...when she was the one talking through him and he kept asking to talk to me about the issues she and I were having...anyway.

I called to talk to DSS...she didn't sound happy, she didn't even say anything to DH when he called...just handed DSS the phone and I only got to talk to DSS for 1 minute and 30 seconds...she apparently didn't want us talking.

I really don't know what else to do...she keeps telling me "ask any other mother and they will tell you that they wouldn't let there child even have phone contact with the step-mom" and the thing is I keep asking other mothers and they think she is the crazy one...I am seriously at my wit's end.
post #7 of 23
ew. Sounds like you have done everything you can in this situation. Maybe time will calm things still, but it sounds like right now she is set on being angry.

Gotcha on the birthday thing...I thought maybe there was more to the story.

I would definitely let my dd have contact w/ a step mom if that's what she wanted.

Sorry you are going through such a tough situation.
post #8 of 23
My x is getting ready to be deployed and my dc will be having regular visits with their step-mom while he is gone. I'm very supportive of their relationship with her.
post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 
I wish you were DSS' bio-mom!! She says she is supportive but her actions speak much louder than her words and she really would rather we just drop off the face of the earth.

I do what I can though.
post #10 of 23
We have been discussing visitation since my x got news of deployment. The three of us sit down regularly to discuss what life after deployment is going to look like for our kids.

Did you, dh and bm discuss visitation before he left?
post #11 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yes, we try and discuss stuff with BM and SD all the time. We thought she had agreed to once a month visits, even SD said that's what she had suggested but she said NO when I ended up asking to see DSS.

My DH and I try and call "family meetings" with them all the time, you know to try and make this blended family run more smoothly and they just do not care what we have to say. Its like they totally ignore our say in things, which makes me kinda angry because they always make this big speech about how DSS has 4 parents but we have no say....even in our own home.

I know DH wants to go to mediation to increase his visitation time and put things into the parenting plan about what happens if he deploys again and things like that. Its just frustrating, because all it is doing is hurting my DSS in the end.
post #12 of 23
Yes, it may be that you can't do any better than you are doing for this deployment, but when your DH gets back, you all should put an agreement in writing so this doesn't happen again.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
That's what we are planning on doing, I am just so not looking forward to the mediation and the eventual screaming/fighting and all around upheaval that will occur. Its just not fair to DSS, he should have people around him that are civil enough to put their anger/hurt/resentment/frustrations aside for him. Unfortunately that is not the case.

I just wish we could have calm times, kwim?
post #14 of 23
Mind if I just offer a peice of advice from another perspective?

Granted, i know every situation is different. But would you be willing to hold your breath, put your tongue in your cheek and see DD over at his BMs house just for an hour or two? I'm the "BM" and i'm sure my ex has said numerous horrible things about me and i'm sure they deal with me being a "psycho" or something along those lines. But I'm not.. well at least I don't think I am

I think if you offered the olive branch and state that you're willing to see DS, BM would hopefully be more inclined to let you take him by yourself later on. It really sounds like she purposely said "suuuree" to visitation prior to your DH deploying, but maybe you can show that you were really serious and you really want to see him and if that means doing over to BMs house for an hour, than so be it. (i'm not taking like EVERY visit, just a single visit to hopefully clear the air and discuss whatever concerns you and her both have in a civilized way)

I just wish I could do that with my ex's (well now ex) They were together for almost 2 years and I'd never once met her. I never saw her, but she parented my DD every day that they were together and her dad had his visitation. I wish I had the opportunity to meet her. I think if I did, the "crazy psycho" feelings would have gone away. Did I think she was a psycho at all? No, but i would have really liked to meet her and just learn a little bit about her because she was spending so much time with my DD. I'm just speaking from the BM perspective. Maybe as long as she realizes you're not "insane" she'd be more inclined to entertain your request (even though IMO it's really not all that unreasonable).

Again, I realize you do have a relationship with the BM and it's not like you've never met her. I'm just thinking if maybe you somewhat validated her concerns (although they're somewhat unrealistic) she'd hopefully be willing to comprimise and you could start taking DSS out regularly again
post #15 of 23
Thread Starter 
I understand where you are coming from...BM has seen me parent before, as I am usually the one to take care of DSS when we have meetings, because she will not allow us to have them when he is not around.

I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt in the psycho department but when she started going off on me, calling my cell phone to get ahold of him to continue yelling at him and even had her Dad call our home is when she lost the psycho battle. She has only offered to let me see DSS when I was living almost 4 hours away.

Its not about "biting my tongue" its about feeling physically and mentally unsafe around her. Yes, I would be willing to go over there if its a last resort. Unfortunately she has still not given me an answer either way despite the fact that she has answered the phone everytime I have called. I know if I bring up if she has made a decision or not I will get yelled at that a week isn't enough time to come up with a decision. I mean calling 2 weeks in advance is pretty good notice IMO.

If this is coming off rude I'm not meaning it too, just having a bad day. Sorry.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Just a small update, I still have received no answer. I called and left a message on Wednesday a few hours before I was to call DSS that day. I called to talk to DSS and the SD answered the phone...I asked if she had gotten the message and he said yes but that she was helping her parents with a garage sale.

So I call again to talk to DSS on Friday...SD answers the phone again...which is highly unusual lately since he has a job again....then I forgot he only works temp jobs...but I still have not received an answer from either of them...you think if SD is there picking up the phone he could tell me right?

I just don't know what to do...should I just drop it and give up?
post #17 of 23
Just wondered about a couple of things...

Have you asked them again? I mean, directly when you are talking to SD, asked him? Maybe that would be better than just asking if they got your message?

The other thing is, I notice you have three DSS, but this is only in regards to the youngest, right? Maybe if you could arrange a visit between all three kids (don't know where the others are) that would help things out a lot? The idea that you are then facilitating more blood relationships?

As a BM...it's hard for me to wrap my head around the relationship that the girls must have with their step-mom. I know that she has been nice with them, that they enjoy her, and when they wanted to send her a mother's day card I was delighted and promply sent one with a new picture. But at the same time, it is really hard for me sometimes to send my kids away to their dads...just because its far away and long distances. And I don't know if there's any history in your DH and his Ex's divorce, but in my case, my ex had an affair and later married her...so now the woman who broke apart our family is the step mom. It makes it hard sometimes to see her in a good light.

Also, as a kid, I had a stepmom from ages 1-12 that I really didn't like at all...she was never nice to me, spoiled my little sister, etc. So I haven't had a good experience with non-custodial stepparents, and it would be a little harder for me to trust that. Not that I wouldn't get over it if my kids wanted to have short, daytime visits (I probably would NOT be willing to do overnights), but still...just adding that sometimes people have baggage that makes it really hard to be impartial, whether any of those things apply or not.

Hope that helps! And good luck getting some time with DSS, helping him set up his room sounds wonderful, and getting him summer clothes, etc., sounds great.
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I'm not "allowed" to talk to SD, still not sure why but she said its not appropriate?? Probably because I would ask him how DSS was doing since there was a time that she was never there because of work or errands....they are very strange.

I really don't know what else to do because they get upset if I ask to much, I think the original time and leaving a message asking for a decision should be enough. I just find it funny that someone who tells me I don't act like an adult, because I ask my DH to ask them simple questions sometimes, can't even return calls.

DH does not have contact with his other children...the oldest we just found out is truly his, the mother wasn't sure and the middle son lives in the state of Oregon. I'm not gonna get into my DHs whole story because it is VERY complicated, and that's still an understatement. BM has said to me that she holds a lot of anger and resentment towards my DH. She blames him for everything that goes wrong in her life, this is mostly by her actions and her screaming at him constantly....as far as the cheating goes, She is now married to the man she had an affair with.

I at this point have given up, I am truly out of energy and it really hurts because just yesterday DSS was begging to come see me and telling me that he will love me forever. Its really hard because I know he is not my child, but I love him and take care of him just the same.
post #19 of 23
I hope you feel better, I know it is hard to feel tired and not want to fight anymore. I often feel this way then think that we (DH and I) need to be accountable to DSS so when he asks why we didn't see him more, longer ect... he knows it is not from lack of trying. I am not saying blame the BM (at least not to DSS) just fighting for the right to see the kid/kids because the other option is to not fight for them.

Anyway I agree with pp that getting something written into next agreement is so important, I hope this goes well. Also I would suggest if you do go over to her house. Have a tape recorder on you just in case kwim. When we were having problems with BM of DSS we always had a tape recorder on us at pick up/drop off times. This is legal usually as long as one party (yourself) is aware of it. You can't plant the tape on the kid when you are not around but you can tape what is going on when you are around. Our attorney said although not admissable in criminal court juvenile court took the tapes all the time.

Hope things get better.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 


So BM called yesterday and tried to start a fight...I'm a pagan, she's not and she has control over DSS religious upbringing which she takes as I'm not allowed to talk about any religion or anything like heaven when in my home. Basically she was trying to make herself angry for no reason. I asked her what my religion had to do with seeing DSS and basically it turned into a big blubbering mess from there. We were on the phone for about an hour and forty-five minutes.

We know that this probably won't be the last fight/misunderstanding but we are trying to do what's best for DSS...I was completely honest with her about pretty much everything, some stuff I probably shouldn't have told her but yesterday was a very emotional day and some things just came pouring out.

DSS has pink eye right now but once it starts getting a little bit better I am gonna go up there and spend time with him, she feels that seeing how DSS and I interact will help her with him coming over for a few hours once in awhile. She knows that I feel it would be in DSS best interest to start getting used to coming over again before his Dad gets home from Iraq so that the transition isn't as hard, yk? He needs that interaction with this side of the famliy as well.

So all in all it turned out to be a good conversation, we both know that this step-parenting thing isn't easy because she is a SM as well. We know that its going to take years of work and that there will be lots of backsliding cause its inevitable with this many people involved. We've agreed to keep trying.
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