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#1 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 12:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DP's little girl started to play baseball and her mother (my DP's ex) decided to go to every game (even when it's our days taking care of her).

I really want to go support my DSD and watch the games as a family. Do you guys think I should not attend the games and let the mom and dad go? Or should I attend them even though I know it will really bother the mother?

My DSD would love for her mom and I to meet and get along. I'm open to this, but her mother isn't.

Thanks for the help.
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#2 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 01:04 PM
 
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Iam kind of in the same boat as you except I am the mother. I would say go have fun and cheer her on. How difficult is the mother?
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#3 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The mother's sole purpose in life is to make our lives miserable. She's tried to ruin our relationship from day 1.
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#4 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 01:13 PM
 
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With that in mind I would talk to your DP and see what he says. Have you ever met her or talked to her?
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#5 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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If your presence really pisses mom off AND it is a relatively new relationship, I would consider a "compromise" of going just to the games that fall on your DP's parenting time.

I'm not one to pussy-foot around mom, but in my experience, it made life easier in the long-run to cater to mom a little bit where I could while she adjusted to the idea of my permanancy in her daughter's life.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#6 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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Can you go and just sit apart and not interact with her mom? Or would that make things awkward for you dsd?

How long have you and dp been together?

If it is a new relationship, I agree that you should just go on your dp's parenting time and try to "ease" her mom into your place in her daughter's life. If you think she would be openly hostile to you in front of your dsd, then I would probably not go at all unless your dsd specifically asked you to.

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#7 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all the help.

I would definitely only go to the games that fall on our days with my DSD (so would my DP). I just know that the mom will be there too.

My DP and I have been together for 3 years and we already have a baby girl of our own (whom I'd be bringing to the games as well).
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#8 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 06:38 PM
 
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I think you and DP should try to go to all if not then maybe a few more than you have her but thats me
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#9 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 06:45 PM
 
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I think you should go whenever you feel like it, but I would talk to your dsd and to see how she feels about the whole thing. If she says it will make her happy - don't even think twice about it.

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#10 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 08:23 PM
 
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3 years and a sibling... yeah, at that point I would go when you want to.

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#11 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 10:13 PM
 
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Yeah, I would go to the games. Just be polite and keep an eye on how it's affecting dsd. If the tension is truly terrible, it may be better to step back for a bit for dsd's sake. But I would say give it a while and see if her mom might get used to you being around.

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#12 of 28 Old 09-04-2009, 11:16 PM
 
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At this point, I would definitely be going to the games, no question.

And I am one that usually errs on the side of caution of stepping back, not trying to infringe on the mom's territory,even though DSD is with us ~60% of the time, I really try to stay in my place.

DH actually tells me to speak up and bond with DSD a little more. I have always kept my distance because - hey, I'm not her mom. But I do sometimes feel like I have done a disservice to DSD and my relationship by erring to far on the side of caution.

Given all that, let me tell you, I would definitely be at any activity that DH deemed important enough to go to. And there would be no question if it fell on our parenting time - the whole tribe would be there.

At the three-year point, obviously you are in it for the long haul. Try to focus more on your relationship with your DSD instead of her mother's insecurities. I wish I would have.

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#13 of 28 Old 09-10-2009, 06:03 PM
 
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I would say go. I have told X that he is more than welcome to come and participate at any event DS partcipates in. That's "neutral" territory to me. X has only done this once, when it fell on his parenting time, but if it happened more, I would have to suck it up and deal with him being there. Hmm, maybe if I told him I didn't want him there he would go...Anyways, back to my point. It's about the kids, really, and if it means putting differences aside for an hour to watch a game, sitting on different sides of the field, so be it.
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#14 of 28 Old 09-16-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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I attended games, etc.., and I don't think it made much of a difference. The mom was so angry that her X was going! She would never share schedules, etc, so he had to contact coaches himself when they were little. She once told him that she would take her son off the soccer field if DH appeared. DH asked his son about the soccer game and if he wanted him to come. His response was so casual and relaxed, "yeah, sure" --that we realized that he didn't have a clue what was going on. DH went, but that time I didn't go. And of course she did not pull her son out of the game.
DH leanred pretty early on not to come up to the kids after the games, etc, when the mom was there, because her attitude was incredible. However, he always made sure to wave, etc, to let them know he was there, and he'd call them about it later.
It's important to resist these impulses to withdraw out of fear of conflict.
Now, we notice that the X is often not there during special events, games, etc. and surely the kids notice it too. And I know they have appreciated DH and my attendance.
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#15 of 28 Old 09-16-2009, 03:49 PM
 
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The mother's sole purpose in life is to make our lives miserable.
Do you really believe she's going to these games to make your lives miserable? Or is she going to support her daughter?

For me the decision would be a fairly easy one based on one question; how does this effect the little girl? Is there tension? Does it stress her out? The purpose is for this little girl to have fun playing baseball, if you can all be there and it's fine, then go. If not, then don't go.
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#16 of 28 Old 09-16-2009, 05:01 PM
 
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For me the decision would be a fairly easy one based on one question; how does this effect the little girl? Is there tension? Does it stress her out? The purpose is for this little girl to have fun playing baseball, if you can all be there and it's fine, then go. If not, then don't go.
But at what point does it stop? At what point does the stepmom get to stop being left out of things because Mom can't handle her being there and it causes tension? Would the little girl be more upset at the tension, or that her stepmom never comes to her events?

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#17 of 28 Old 09-17-2009, 10:47 AM
 
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My questions: has dp ever introduced the two of you? That would be a good start. He needs to do this to let the mom (ex) know you are there for good and he is on your side. Does he sit with her there or would he sit with you in a different place? Since there seems to be no getting along, I would assume you and he would sit on your own, away from her.

Have you discussed any of these things with him? What's his feeling on it all? Does he take up for her or you? Does he want you there?

Since you aren't sure what you should do, it seems like it's something you both should have a heart to heart about. I have an ex and these are things my dh and I worked out immediately so we always showed my ex he couldn't separate us and our feelings. We are always united in front of him, even if there's some little misunderstanding. We always discuss it at home, when he's not around. HTH

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#18 of 28 Old 09-17-2009, 11:08 AM
 
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Do you really believe she's going to these games to make your lives miserable? Or is she going to support her daughter?

For me the decision would be a fairly easy one based on one question; how does this effect the little girl? Is there tension? Does it stress her out? The purpose is for this little girl to have fun playing baseball, if you can all be there and it's fine, then go. If not, then don't go.
I know you mean well, but apparently, you don't have an ex. If you stop doing things with/for your kids because of what the ex does, you might as well give that person sole custody. What we should do as parents is take the high road, meaning even if the other person involved is being ugly, I will refrain from making comments and be as nice as I can. But I'm not in charge of how the other person acts or treats their child because of it. A child raised in this type of situation has to learn both sides of it and will grow up to see the truth eventually.

My ex hates my dh. Why? Because "his" kids LOVE my dh! And always have. But I would have NEVER allowed my ex to use manipulation to keep my dh from going somewhere. And as hard as it has been for the kids to watch all this happen, we have taken the high road and not treated the ex and his wife ugly. Yet they still continue to treat us this way...

Our kids know the difference now!

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#19 of 28 Old 09-18-2009, 10:31 AM
 
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Kill the Mom with kindness.

Go to the games and don't ever show that it bothers you, no matter what she does. Just smile and say hi, ask how she is doing etc.

Maybe she will warm up one day...

But, definitely GO!

In the begining things were more tense between DSD's Mom and I, but things have definitely evolved for the better over the years. Her and I actually attended DSD's orientation night at DSD's new school without H a couple weeks ago.

But, I would keep DSD's relationship forefront of your mind. After three years, I am sure you are important to her, and she probably loves you being at these games... so I wouldn't worry about her Mom, and just go to support your DSD.

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#20 of 28 Old 09-20-2009, 07:26 PM
 
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But at what point does it stop? At what point does the stepmom get to stop being left out of things because Mom can't handle her being there and it causes tension? Would the little girl be more upset at the tension, or that her stepmom never comes to her events?
I don't know at what point it stops but I generally try to take things one day at a time. If this is what my kid needs today, then good and tomorrow is another day.

Honestly, I have yet to meet adult child of divorce who've told me they were glad their stepmother/father kept coming to events inspite of the tension and quite a few who've shared stories of wishing none of their parents had come to games/graduation/their wedding because of the unspoken, ever present tension.

I don't have an exhusband, and I've not seen it in this thread, but far too often I've seen children's activies and big days used as the modern day way of, excuse my language, pissing to mark ones territory. In one year I had two good friends who had to deal with the "crisis" of divorced parents current spouses being upset with my friend that she wanted a picture of just her and her parents.

As I said, I don't have an ex but it is strange for me to read, especially here of all places where children are so respected, that the default is to put the adults feelings ahead of the kids.
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#21 of 28 Old 09-20-2009, 08:07 PM
 
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I don't know at what point it stops but I generally try to take things one day at a time. If this is what my kid needs today, then good and tomorrow is another day.

Honestly, I have yet to meet adult child of divorce who've told me they were glad their stepmother/father kept coming to events inspite of the tension and quite a few who've shared stories of wishing none of their parents had come to games/graduation/their wedding because of the unspoken, ever present tension.

I don't have an exhusband, and I've not seen it in this thread, but far too often I've seen children's activies and big days used as the modern day way of, excuse my language, pissing to mark ones territory. In one year I had two good friends who had to deal with the "crisis" of divorced parents current spouses being upset with my friend that she wanted a picture of just her and her parents.

As I said, I don't have an ex but it is strange for me to read, especially here of all places where children are so respected, that the default is to put the adults feelings ahead of the kids.
I don't know about this. You may be right but I do know that my DSS has several times expressed that he wants everyone, his whole family, to be in one place together and he does better when everyone is getting along. Maybe he wouldn't want this if we had more tension but I know since our relationships have less tension and we are around each other more and his brother, my DS, can go to his mom's house to play he is a happier kid.

ETA: I also think that for someone who has spend his entire life with everything in his life split in half he benefits greatly seeing the people in his life have some unity celebrating him even if it is hard and uncomfortable for the grown ups.

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#22 of 28 Old 09-20-2009, 08:09 PM
 
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I would definitely only go to the games that fall on our days with my DSD (so would my DP).
Your DP should go to all of his daughter's games.

If you have a good relationship with your SD, it will be hard enough on her to have you and her baby sister go to only half her games. But if that's what you decide to do, she will probably have a sense of why that's happening (that you're trying to be considerate of what a hard time her mother seems to have, sharing her).

But it is unhealthy for your daughter to see that one of her parents would miss half her games because of her other parent. That's just wrong. Whether your DP wants to avoid his ex or whether he thinks his ex wants to avoid him (and who knows which thing the little girl believes!?!?), the parents' animosity should not cause either of them to miss any of her games, her recitals, her school plays, her parent-teacher conferences, her religious ceremonies - anything.

It tells her they have the wrong set of priorities; that:
1- Their conflict comes before the important events in her life; and
2- Her Dad is only her parent during "his" parenting time. Outside that, he's not part of her life. That may be exactly how his ex wants it. His ex might make his life hell if he doesn't butt out of their daughter's life during "her" parenting time. But he should be willing to go through hell for his daughter. And he should want to see every point she scores.

BTW, I'm not saying you should necessarily skip half her games, either. I'm just saying if you decide to, it's a little different than if her dad does.

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#23 of 28 Old 09-20-2009, 09:27 PM
 
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I don't know at what point it stops but I generally try to take things one day at a time. If this is what my kid needs today, then good and tomorrow is another day.

Honestly, I have yet to meet adult child of divorce who've told me they were glad their stepmother/father kept coming to events inspite of the tension and quite a few who've shared stories of wishing none of their parents had come to games/graduation/their wedding because of the unspoken, ever present tension.

I don't have an exhusband, and I've not seen it in this thread, but far too often I've seen children's activies and big days used as the modern day way of, excuse my language, pissing to mark ones territory. In one year I had two good friends who had to deal with the "crisis" of divorced parents current spouses being upset with my friend that she wanted a picture of just her and her parents.

As I said, I don't have an ex but it is strange for me to read, especially here of all places where children are so respected, that the default is to put the adults feelings ahead of the kids.
See, it sounds to me like the OP and PPs are focusing on the needs of the child-the child's need to have all of her parents involved in her life balanced with the child's need to not have to see any nasty outbursts that result from the stepmom showing up at her games. I don't get the impression anyone is telling the OP to go to the games just to spite her dsd's mom or in spite of dsd not wanting her to go. Sounds like she wants to go see her stepdaughter play and her dsd wants her to be there.

OP-since this is obviously a long-term relationship and you consider yourself her stepmom, I think you should go to your dsd's games if you want to/she wants you to. I agree with PP that your dp should be able to go to any games whether it is his parenting time or no. School/sports events etc. are commonly seen to be "neutral territory", and I assume there is the option to just sit apart from you dsd's mom.

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#24 of 28 Old 09-21-2009, 12:10 AM
 
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I remember, early on, asking my stepson if it was OK if I went to his first basketball game, and him saying instantly, "you'd better be there!". This was at a time of *intense* tensions between his mom and dad (and his mom has barely spoken to me in 8 years; that that point she couldn't even say hi). Years later, we started getting unsolicited thank yous for having attended things. I don't think he's lying.
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#25 of 28 Old 09-21-2009, 01:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi. First, I want to say thank you to everyone for giving me such genuine advice. I went to a couple of the games so far and the mom gave me a mean look and then ignored me the whole time. It was uncomfortable and stressful for all the adults involved but my DSD loved having us all there. She did ask me after the game: "Did you notice how my mom didn't say 'hello' back to you? She told me she doesn't like you." Of course it broke my heart; she seemed clearly saddened by her mom's comment. I told her I was sad to hear that because her mom doesn't really know me. I now keep having to deal with the mom badmouthing me. I guess that happens.

What I wanted to say is that I didn't want to go to the games because I wanted to mark territory, nor because I thought my DSD would be upset if I didn't go. The main reason I wanted to go (and this keeps coming up with other situations) is that I really want to create and have a family, a real family. I am convinced that if my DP and I don't put in the effort and make sure we all do things together when DSD is with us, that's never going to happen. I don't think DSD will automatically feel like we're a family, and I think this sense of belonging to something so good can only benefit everyone involved, including my little baby.

So, I have a really hard time when people tell me to let my DP do things alone with his DD. It's not that I don't want to give them time alone; I just want to solidify this family unit, doing things together for a while. DSD loves me and the time we all have together. It's going to be hard enough to have bad things being said about me to her all the time. And I've been really fighting to not have my family divided (my DP and DSD vs our new baby and me.) I haven't been married before and I don't have kids from previous relationships.... can I still get to have this family I always dreamed of? or do I have to give that up?
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#26 of 28 Old 09-21-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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I've been in your position for 4 yrs, with older stepchildren, and I say, never give up on this dream. We try our best to do things as a family as much as possible, given the children's age differences. It pays off.
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#27 of 28 Old 09-21-2009, 03:54 PM
 
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Would the little girl be more upset at the tension, or that her stepmom never comes to her events?
A question best answered by the little girl, I think.
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#28 of 28 Old 09-21-2009, 10:31 PM
 
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You don't have to give up your dream but I do think you need to be mindful of the fact that you live with her dad full time and she doesn't. Over time she will have to deal with her feelings about the fact that her father does live with one of his children full time but not her. She needs special time with Dad alone where his attention is not subdivided with you and the child you have together. That only becomes an "us vs. them" thing if you invest in that pov.

I grew up with parents who stayed together and some of my best memories are having my Dad or my Mom to myself while the other parent was with my sister. I still cherish time I spend with groups of people I love and the one-on-one time that I also carve out with individuals.
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