To the step-moms out there... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 05:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have an 11-year old DS from a previous marriage. His dad and I divorced when he was just 5 months old and his dad was remarried within 3 months. I have tried and tried and tried to make friends with his wife/my DS step-mom but just can't seem to figure it out. I was hoping that the passage of time would ease things, but it doesn't seem to be the case. I try to be incredibly respectful and kind to them, even letting her take DS for weekends and other times when she is in the area and his dad is out of town. I have no problem with him calling her "mom" or anything like that because my personal opinion is the more people this kid has to love him and help him through life, the better off we will all be. Following the advice of many others, I have been extremely careful to not say anything negative about her in front of my DS and have truly gone out of my way to build her up in his estimation.

In spite of this, there is still a giant chasm between us. For example, DS's dad is deployed right now and his step-mom is in town staying with her family. Every year I help my son shop for presents for her, her parents, his cousins from her side of the family, in addition to his dad's side. We have all of the gifts for this year wrapped up right now underneath the tree. We are waiting for her to return his phone call because he wants to drop them off--he called three days ago and yesterday but she still isn't returning his call. I know it is because she doesn't particularly like me and it is heartbreaking to see my DS have to deal with this situation.

So my question is this: what can I do/say that will help her understand that I am not the enemy, that we are actually on the same team? I wonder if some of her animosity comes from the fact that she was the "other woman" (I hate that phrase...is there a better one to use?) in the divorce, even though she was only 18 and he was 25 at the time. Is the animosity really fear that DS might not love her as much as he does me? I am really at a loss as to how I can help our relationship. Like I said, it has been years now...any ideas?

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 08:25 AM
 
BelovedK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: wandering around.... with an aim.
Posts: 16,765
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm not sure if there is anything you can say to her, maybe some of the others will have some ideas. I just wanted to say that I think you are being so mature and sensible in the way you are dealing with/looking at this. I say, just keep doing what you are doing, maybe be honest with ds about it, he is old enough to get it and kids pick up on so much. It is sad thAT she won't return his call, and I hope that she steps up to the plate even though your Xh is deployed.

                                Whatever will be, already is...
 
BelovedK is offline  
#3 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 09:25 AM
 
fek&fuzz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: down in the hunker
Posts: 8,679
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Can you call someone else in her family so you can at least drop the gifts off?

She may be putting up barriers because her husband is deployed and she's hurting, and she knows if she sees your son it will be temporary and maybe it will remind her of her husband.

Maybe you could write her a letter about your feelings and then just let it go.
fek&fuzz is offline  
#4 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 11:20 AM
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
I'm not sure if there is anything you can say to her, maybe some of the others will have some ideas. I just wanted to say that I think you are being so mature and sensible in the way you are dealing with/looking at this. I say, just keep doing what you are doing, maybe be honest with ds about it, he is old enough to get it and kids pick up on so much. It is sad thAT she won't return his call, and I hope that she steps up to the plate even though your Xh is deployed.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#5 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 11:28 AM
 
Earthly_Joys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have the opposite situation. My DH's ex wife is very hostile to me and I'm the step mom (I did not cause their divorce though. She did. DH was also in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk.).

I have tried everything from being overly nice...being polite even when I did not want to. I would remind her over and over again that us being on neutral terms is best for DSD. She would play along occasionally but in the end she was just playing games.

If she has no interest in being your friend or even really being civil with you then there isn't really anything you can do. You can make an attempt at writing her a letter and seeing her response. I doubt it will really hurt anything. I wrote an email. It just made things more awkward. We went from her hating me and never being nice to her crying on my "shoulder" and telling me about how much she wanted my husband back. Just plain awkward.

In the end she is threatened by my existence and my relationship with DSD. She is jealous and feels like I'm intentionally trying to out-do her. It'd be nice if your ex's wife would listen long enough for you to tell her you don't want it to be this way...but I have not had much luck with that. I hope you have better luck! She sounds like she's normally really great with your son so maybe she's thoughtful enough to embrace your words.
Earthly_Joys is offline  
#6 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 02:02 PM
 
Halfasianmomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 3,713
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If my SS's mom was like you, I'd jump for joy. I tried so hard to establish a relationship with SS's mom but she would have none of it. She was never horrible or crazy; she just shut me out whenever I tried to make overtures. In the end, I think she was just insecure and now that we've established that I'm step-mom and that she'll always be mom, and that I won't steal her son away, we're good. Not friends by any stretch of the imagination, but we've got an understanding.

You're an admirable woman who is being remarkably open-minded and respectful; your child's stepmom probably doesn't realize how lucky she is that you are on board with having a good relationship with your ex and her. She probably has never met "the ex from hell", so she doesn't appreciate your efforts.

Like other ppl said, you can only do so much. A more direct approach like a letter or a nice conversation might work; or she might clam up even more and deny that she's being cold towards you. If your efforts go unnoticed, then you can't do much more than ignore her.
Halfasianmomma is offline  
#7 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 03:59 PM
 
Oh the Irony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: grateful for truth
Posts: 3,448
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sostinkinhappy View Post

So my question is this: what can I do/say that will help her understand that I am not the enemy, that we are actually on the same team? I wonder if some of her animosity comes from the fact that she was the "other woman" (I hate that phrase...is there a better one to use?) in the divorce, even though she was only 18 and he was 25 at the time. Is the animosity really fear that DS might not love her as much as he does me? I am really at a loss as to how I can help our relationship. Like I said, it has been years now...any ideas?
You can't do anything--she needs to reach her own conclusions in her own time. They still might not be the ones you want though. Who knows why she is like she is--it might just be her personality, maybe she is intimidated by you or maybe she doesn't like you. It could be anything and you have no control over it. I would just let it go and not focus on trying to improve things.

And would she really expect your DS to love her as much as he does you? It doesn't sound like she is really that concerned what with not calling him back.
Oh the Irony is offline  
#8 of 27 Old 12-22-2007, 05:22 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DSD's mom and I get along for the most part. We both try really hard to be nice to each other (at least to each other's faces). She has no idea that I think she is completely off the deep end. I am losing patience with her, though.

DSD's mom and I have even hung out a couple of times - minus DF.

If I had been the reason for the breakup of a couple with an infant, however, I might feel a little guilty. Maybe that is why she is a bit distant towards you?

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#9 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 11:49 AM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Some people don’t like to be involved in other’s business or in other’s lives beyond a certain point. She may be one of those people. While it may be hard to understand where someone so different from yourself is coming from, it is often still important to respect their point of view.

She is fully within her rights to remain uninvolved so long as it doesn’t interfere with the relationship between dss and his father - a non-issue since he is deployed.

I don’t think pushing or expecting her to live up to your ideal of involvement is going to help the issue.

Give her time and space, but don’t expect so much.

Just because she chooses not to interact with you doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t like you. If she hasn’t done anything to hurt you, why not just leave her alone?
nikag is offline  
#10 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 01:12 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelovedK View Post
I'm not sure if there is anything you can say to her, maybe some of the others will have some ideas. I just wanted to say that I think you are being so mature and sensible in the way you are dealing with/looking at this. I say, just keep doing what you are doing, maybe be honest with ds about it, he is old enough to get it and kids pick up on so much. It is sad thAT she won't return his call, and I hope that she steps up to the plate even though your Xh is deployed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
Can you call someone else in her family so you can at least drop the gifts off?

She may be putting up barriers because her husband is deployed and she's hurting, and she knows if she sees your son it will be temporary and maybe it will remind her of her husband.

Maybe you could write her a letter about your feelings and then just let it go.
Yeah, to both of the above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Earthly_Joys View Post
I have the opposite situation. My DH's ex wife is very hostile to me and I'm the step mom (I did not cause their divorce though. She did. DH was also in the Navy and stationed in Norfolk.).

I have tried everything from being overly nice...being polite even when I did not want to. I would remind her over and over again that us being on neutral terms is best for DSD. She would play along occasionally but in the end she was just playing games.

If she has no interest in being your friend or even really being civil with you then there isn't really anything you can do. You can make an attempt at writing her a letter and seeing her response. I doubt it will really hurt anything. I wrote an email. It just made things more awkward. We went from her hating me and never being nice to her crying on my "shoulder" and telling me about how much she wanted my husband back. Just plain awkward.

In the end she is threatened by my existence and my relationship with DSD. She is jealous and feels like I'm intentionally trying to out-do her. It'd be nice if your ex's wife would listen long enough for you to tell her you don't want it to be this way...but I have not had much luck with that. I hope you have better luck! She sounds like she's normally really great with your son so maybe she's thoughtful enough to embrace your words.
Earthly_Joys, I think our Husbands were married to the same woman.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
She is fully within her rights to remain uninvolved so long as it doesn’t interfere with the relationship between dss and his father - a non-issue since he is deployed.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
Just because she chooses not to interact with you doesn’t necessarily mean she doesn’t like you. If she hasn’t done anything to hurt you, why not just leave her alone?
She (the Stepmother) is hurting her (the Mother's) son! That certainly involves her (The Mother!)! Maybe she really can't do anything about it, but it's certainly her business if her son is the one being hurt by his Stepmother refusing to call him back! Her son is very lucky- if I was the Stepmother in this story, whatever my reasons fdor not contacting my stepdaughter, my stepdaugther's Mother would be using the situation to turn my stepdaughter against me, to tell her how I never loved her in the first place and other things that would damage our relationship and my stepdaughter's feelings, not encourage us to continue to have a loving relationship, like sostinkinhappy is doing. And Sostinkinhappy, I don't kniow if there's much more you can do, but I think you're doing the best you can and you're doing good.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#11 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 01:49 PM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
She (the Stepmother) is hurting her (the Mother's) son! That certainly involves her (The Mother!)! Maybe she really can't do anything about it, but it's certainly her business if her son is the one being hurt by his Stepmother refusing to call him back! Her son is very lucky- if I was the Stepmother in this story, whatever my reasons fdor not contacting my stepdaughter, my stepdaugther's Mother would be using the situation to turn my stepdaughter against me, to tell her how I never loved her in the first place and other things that would damage our relationship and my stepdaughter's feelings, not encourage us to continue to have a loving relationship, like sostinkinhappy is doing. And Sostinkinhappy, I don't kniow if there's much more you can do, but I think you're doing the best you can and you're doing good.
The situation of the child being hurt by step-mom not returning his phone call could have been avoided had mom made the call herself. I don't find in appropriate for mom to allow 11 year old son to do her bidding. While I understand mom wanting to include son in gift giving process and give him a sense of pride and accomplishment, at his age it might have been more appropriate to be more involved in communications aspect of the process. Especially since mom has been fully aware of the chasm that exists. That is not to say that the OP was or is wrong. That is just my opinion. I would have handled the situation differently had it been me.

I am getting the impression that mom's actions are a passive-aggressive way of cornering step-mom into looking like the bad guy - playing against step-mom's discomfort rather than accepting it and letting it be. I'm sorry if that is not correct. That is just my impression.

I think that in some circumstances ex's involve themselves too deeply in the personal lives of step-parents. It is my opinion that it is perfectly acceptable to do so when their children are in the care of step-parents, but not when they are not. If a step-parent needs to maintain an emotionally safe distance from the ex, then I think that distance needs to be respected, not manipulated.
nikag is offline  
#12 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 02:01 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
I am getting the impression that mom's actions are a passive-aggressive way of cornering step-mom into looking like the bad guy - playing against step-mom's discomfort rather than accepting it and letting it be. I'm sorry if that is not correct. That is just my impression.
Isn't all the parents' jobs, both the Mother and Father as well as any Stepparents involved, to get past their own discomfort and put the child's needs first? I'm sure the Stepmother is uncomfortable. But not calling the child back is alot different than not calling the child's Mother back, when it's the child who called. As for the Mother having the child call, "to do her bidding", maybe it's not as simple as that. I can tell you as a Stepmother, I'd feel so much more comfortable if my stepdaughter called me, than if her Mother called me. Then again, I can tell you as a Stepmohter, if my stepdaughter called, I would move Hell and high water to call her back as soon as possible, not leave her hanging!

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#13 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 02:21 PM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
Isn't all the parents' jobs, both the Mother and Father as well as any Stepparents involved, to get past their own discomfort and put the child's needs first?
You make a good point. I am just not entirely convinced that the child's needs are the ones that are seeking to be met in this situation. A part of me can't help but consider the possibility that the need to define the relationship between mom and step-mom is strictly mom's. Why place the child in the middle of a situation where mom knows step-mom might not be comfortable and may not respond in kind? Why not protect child's feelings while still respecting step-mom's feelings? Why is it necessary to create a situation that both hurts child and makes step-mom uncomfortable? Could it be that mom has something to prove?

I would be wary of someone who constructed a situation so that he/she could play hero or (possibly in this case) villanize someone else. Mom knew the situation. It isn't right to force or guilt step-mom into behaving the way mom would like, in my opinion. A little understanding can go a long way. If the goal were really to improve the relationship rather than hold step-mom accountable for mom and step-son's feelings, then it would have made more sense to be understanding of step-mom's point of view, instead of forcing a reaction.

My point of view comes from my being a naturally skeptical person. I don’t doubt the possibility that I could be wrong about my observations. There is really no way for any of us to truly know the motivations of any of the parties involved because we are not the parties involved. However I do think that a different perspective is useful to the conversation, even if only to rule it out.

Edit:

Her husband is deployed. Just let her be with her family for the holidays without imposing on her (since it is obvious that she feels imposed upon for whatever reasons - right or wrong). Now might not be the right time or place to make a point. Just leave the lady alone for now.
nikag is offline  
#14 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 04:35 PM
 
kblackstone444's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: MA
Posts: 3,729
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
I am just not entirely convinced that the child's needs are the ones that are seeking to be met in this situation.
Maybe that's the problem. I see it as the child wanted to see his Stepmother so he called her and she's not answering his calls and you see it as the Mother made the child call if he wanted to see her. It sounded like it was the child's initiative, to me, but then again, having a stepdaughter's Mother who would never even let her call me, much less tell her to call me, it's hard for me to imagine it any other way. I'm not sure which is the case in the situation, but I hope they all end up getting what they need for Christmas, all three parents and, most importantly, the child.

I pray for the day Family Court recognizes that CHILDREN have rights, parents only have PRIVILEGES.  Only then, will I know my child is safe.
kblackstone444 is offline  
#15 of 27 Old 12-23-2007, 05:17 PM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
Maybe that's the problem. I see it as the child wanted to see his Stepmother so he called her and she's not answering his calls and you see it as the Mother made the child call if he wanted to see her. It sounded like it was the child's initiative, to me, but then again, having a stepdaughter's Mother who would never even let her call me, much less tell her to call me, it's hard for me to imagine it any other way. I'm not sure which is the case in the situation, but I hope they all end up getting what they need for Christmas, all three parents and, most importantly, the child.
I understand where you're coming from. I have a stepdaughter's mother who is also difficult to relate to. I'd be lying if I said that my own experiences don't shape my point of view in some ways.

I guess the point I was trying to make was that a mom who places a child in a situation or facilitates a situation she knows is probably going to end badly might not be acting in the best interests of the child either. I think that that possibility is worth examining and (if applicable) taking some responsibility for. Step-mom may still be in the wrong for not responding, but mom should own up to her contribution to the situation as well....crappy as it is to have to do that when your intentions may have been completely honorable.

As frustrating as it can be sometimes and as much as we’d like to, we (people) can’t control how others behave. The only people whose actions we can control are our own and that's hard enough. Sometimes the only thing we can do when others don't do what we expect is to run damage control. It sucks, but it’s sometimes the only way to remain neutral, open to possibilities, and to keep from burning necessary bridges. I know how frustrated I get when others are being unreasonable. I want to make them do the right thing. But that just isn’t possible. What are some alternatives?

As for the kiddo, my best advice to mom is to do what she can to help soften the emotional blow and try to help him understand the situation in a way that will allow for reconciliation in the future should the opportunity arise and all parties are willing.
nikag is offline  
#16 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 12:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Sorry about the delay in getting back with you nice folks! With the holidays and all, time just kind of ran away, you know? K. finally called Captain Knuckle back on Jan. 2--she came over with his sister before she left for TX and we had a nice time together with them opening presents. I am glad that they finally were able to get together--all's well that ends well, you know?

I really appreciate all of the thoughtful and insightful comments I received. I knew I could count on (most) of you for good advice! I also knew that I would get snarky/judgmental comments so I was prepared for that too. However, I truly take exception to some of the comments that nikag made, implying that I was trying to be manipulative and imposing myself onto my ex-husband and his wife's lives.


This is for her:

Ooooo, girl, you had better be thanking the cyber gods tonight because I had a pithy and wickedly brilliant response written up for your comments. I spent some time crafting it because I wanted every word to be perfect and to convey exactly what I meant. I "previewed" it to check for grammar, etc., and when I hit the submit reply button, the browser crashed and my scathing response to your impugning comments were lost in cyberspace forever.

Let's just say, methinks your response reveals more about you than it does about me. Since you know nothing about me and I know nothing about you, I will give you the benefit of the doubt. I asked for advice and I guess you gave yours. Thanks, I think?
_____________

But seriously, thanks to all of you for your responses. I will continue to teach my son to be thoughtful, kind, and generous and how to weather the storms of life, regardless of what nikag thinks I am doing.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
#17 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 12:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
I guess the point I was trying to make was that a mom who places a child in a situation or facilitates a situation she knows is probably going to end badly might not be acting in the best interests of the child either. I think that that possibility is worth examining and (if applicable) taking some responsibility for. Step-mom may still be in the wrong for not responding, but mom should own up to her contribution to the situation as well....crappy as it is to have to do that when your intentions may have been completely honorable.
I just couldn't resist--I have to respond. Good night, woman! Do you think that I am that stupid? I was doing what they wanted me to do! THEY asked ME to have HIM call them, a system that has worked perfectly well now for 18 months. We all felt he was and is mature enough to do something as simple as that. I do not have him call when we need to discuss serious issues--this was simply a, "Hi Mom, I wanna see you before Christmas" phone call. That is i.t. Nothing more, nothing less. I had no idea this would "end badly" as you implied it did, as there had not been a history of her treating him unkindly, just a history of her being rude to me and about me in front my son.

By the way, it did not "end badly." "Strangely" enough, we were once again able to work together for the good of this little boy. Maybe this doesn't happen in your neck of the woods, but we really do try to make an effort here in mine.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
#18 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 01:21 AM
 
Flor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: California
Posts: 5,119
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
You sound wonderful! When I first married dh, I was extremely insecure about the ex. She was his first love. They had had their first child together. He married her! This was all hard to get my head around. I felt filled with anxiety when she would call. Even though I knew dh and her basically couldn't stand each other-- it wasn't like I thought they'd run away together-- it was jealousy of the past, of her being his first everything. I tried to play it cool, and be mature, and in general I think I did, but it took years for me to geniunely feel comfortable in her presence. She would sometimes reach out to me and say "Thank you for taking care of dss. I know you love him." and things like that. Personally, it would have been easier for me if she'd written it in a card or something, because I never knew how to respond, but I think hearing that stuff did help. I'm sorry she isn't calling your ds back. That's terrible! Though, I guess I did dread, to the point of feeling like I'd throw up, calling the ex's house .
Flor is offline  
#19 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 01:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
You sound wonderful! When I first married dh, I was extremely insecure about the ex. She was his first love. They had had their first child together. He married her! This was all hard to get my head around. I felt filled with anxiety when she would call. Even though I knew dh and her basically couldn't stand each other-- it wasn't like I thought they'd run away together-- it was jealousy of the past, of her being his first everything. I tried to play it cool, and be mature, and in general I think I did, but it took years for me to geniunely feel comfortable in her presence. She would sometimes reach out to me and say "Thank you for taking care of dss. I know you love him." and things like that. Personally, it would have been easier for me if she'd written it in a card or something, because I never knew how to respond, but I think hearing that stuff did help. I'm sorry she isn't calling your ds back. That's terrible! Though, I guess I did dread, to the point of feeling like I'd throw up, calling the ex's house .
I like your idea of reaching out to her in a card! I really do appreciate her efforts to parent my/our son most of the time--I can't imagine it would be easy to be in her shoes (or your shoes for that matter). The event that brought up this latest round of "What can I do differently?" has resolved rather nicely for all of us. When she finally returned his phone calls, I didn't ask her why it took so long or anything--it is what it is. I just invited her to stop by on her way out of town, which to her credit she did. I really appreciated her making an effort in what must be difficult circumstances--sending her a note thanking her for it might be just what the doctor ordered, or at least a step in the right direction.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
#20 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 05:34 AM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Clarification is good. Now I know. Wasn't really clear before.

Defensiveness is unnecessary, but telling. The observations I shared were not intended to be accusatory. They were intended for examination if for no other reason than to rule them out. Sometimes people (myself included, believe me) do things without fully examining why. Sometimes circumstances, emotional blocks, or past experiences cloud our judgment. In my opinion, it's often advantageous to take a moment to consider one's own contribution to a situation especially when change is not forthcoming from the other individuals involved. It may be that they are reacting to or seeing something that you can't see for whatever reasons. Better to consider that possibility, address it, and get it out of the way rather than risk impeding the process of reconciliation - if reconciliation is the primary goal.

Good luck to ya.

Hope it all works out the way you hope.
nikag is offline  
#21 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
In my opinion, it's often advantageous to take a moment to consider one's own contribution to a situation especially when change is not forthcoming from the other individuals involved. It may be that they are reacting to or seeing something that you can't see for whatever reasons. Better to consider that possibility, address it, and get it out of the way rather than risk impeding the process of reconciliation - if reconciliation is the primary goal.

Good luck to ya.

Hope it all works out the way you hope.
I couldn't agree more, which is one of the reasons I posted my query in the first place. Thank you for the good wishes.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
#22 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 12:27 PM
 
TinkerBelle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 3,282
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
She may actually be feeling some shame for being the "other woman". Maybe that is why she won't face you.

She ought to be thankful that you seem to have moved beyond and seem very forgiving. I know that I would have a very hard time even speaking to someone who slept with my husband. You are very strong.

You are a very kind person, Mama. Perhaps she will come around. Maybe your ex could talk to her.
TinkerBelle is offline  
#23 of 27 Old 01-05-2008, 08:09 PM
 
nikag's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 475
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sostinkinhappy View Post
I couldn't agree more, which is one of the reasons I posted my query in the first place. Thank you for the good wishes.


I was just playing devil's advocate, mamma.

Plus I couldn't help but relate the her...not in terms of being the other woman, but in terms of not being entirely comfortable having a relationship with DH's ex - but in our case, it would be impossible anyway as she isn't open or particularly nice or if she is, it doesn't last long.

I thought that since I could see it from a certain point of view, then it is possible that she could see it from the same point of view. That isn't to say that's your intention....but I thought it worth considering. If she does see it that way, maybe she'd be open to hearing that it isn't that way at all.

Anywho, good vibes and best wishes once again.
nikag is offline  
#24 of 27 Old 01-06-2008, 03:03 AM
 
momsadvice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Beautiful Florida
Posts: 132
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Honestly I think too much time has passed and she has come to terms with the relationship you already have. Some do not like change and if it is working for her then she may not even consider change. I would keep trying but get dh involved more. What have the custody split visitation been like for all these years as well. That could have a huge part to do with stuff as well. I will say I wish you were my step children's birth mother and would pick you to deal with if all is true any day over the one I am stuck with.
momsadvice is offline  
#25 of 27 Old 01-08-2008, 11:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsadvice View Post
Honestly I think too much time has passed and she has come to terms with the relationship you already have. Some do not like change and if it is working for her then she may not even consider change. I would keep trying but get dh involved more. What have the custody split visitation been like for all these years as well. That could have a huge part to do with stuff as well. I will say I wish you were my step children's birth mother and would pick you to deal with if all is true any day over the one I am stuck with.
I have had my moments of my head popping off and spinning around (like the day I found out that they had been involved when she was his HS student--she was 18 at the time so it was all legal, but still...come on folks! That was the same time that he told me her maiden name for the first time. We are/were from a small town and he knew I would know immediately who she was, especially since her dad was my freakin' therapist at the time!!!! Trust me, I truly have had my moments, but fortunately I have never had them in front of DS or her.

I have had primary physical custody for the entire time we have been divorced, but he does spend he majority of his summers at their home. I have talked with DS dad in the past about this, but he is adamant that he can't control his wife (which is true) and therefore won't talk to her about the issue. When I try to talk to him, it just causes more grief than not so I pretty much have just let the issue be--"accept the things I cannot change." It's just sometimes, the lack of what ever it is that is needed to have a truly functional relationship is more apparent than others. This was one of those times and it brought the questions of what I could do to help foster things along. Perhaps the best solution right now is to just express my gratitude that she stopped by and invite her to do it again when she is in the area.

Certainly, this has been a learning experience and a good chance to reexamine my motives and reasoning.

Thanks again for all of the thought provoking comments and advice! (And that does include you, nikag! )

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
#26 of 27 Old 01-09-2008, 12:00 AM
 
violet_'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,166
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by sostinkinhappy View Post
I have had my moments of my head popping off and spinning around (like the day I found out that they had been involved when she was his HS student--she was 18 at the time so it was all legal, but still...come on folks! That was the same time that he told me her maiden name for the first time. We are/were from a small town and he knew I would know immediately who she was, especially since her dad was my freakin' therapist at the time!!!!
Oh, well that gives a new insight. Maybe her trouble in dealing with you is related to her youth? I'd be intimidated as hell if I were 18 and trying to figure out how to be a stepmom to my former HS teacher's kids!

Just a thought..

violet_ is offline  
#27 of 27 Old 01-09-2008, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
sostinkinhappy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: VA
Posts: 824
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
Oh, well that gives a new insight. Maybe her trouble in dealing with you is related to her youth? I'd be intimidated as hell if I were 18 and trying to figure out how to be a stepmom to my former HS teacher's kids!

Just a thought..
She's 28 now...I could understand it when she was 18, but I was hoping that maturity would have set in by now. Perhaps it is, as evidenced by her stopping by on her way out of town. She didn't have to do that and I really appreciate that she did, for DS sake. It made him so happy to see his sister and see her.

I have just chalked her hesitancy and stand-offish behavior to her age mostly , to the circumstances of her hooking up with my ex, and to the things I am certain my ex MIL said about me (that woman hated me with a white hot passion because I wasn't the "right kind" of girl because my bio-dad was headed to prison for child molestation...like that was my fault?). At any rate, maybe enough time has passed that she is beginning to see that I really don't hold her at fault for what happened 10 years ago--she was just 18 for crying out loud! I just want our DS to be happy and not to feel like he has to live with a heart divided between his families.

I am hoping that her visit, which took tremendous courage on her part, marks the beginning of a thaw in relationships.

Dissertating wife of Mr. Amazing Man, mother to Boo Bear ( ) Captain Knuckle (13), and The Professor (5). Expecting Penelope Rose 5/10/2010 via planned c/s.
sostinkinhappy is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off