New Step mom of a 12 year old boy - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 12:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm just wondering what my place is. My husband's ex wife will not communicate with him and tells my stepson not to tell him things. He told us that she doesn't want him to know that she's sending him to Texas this summer. He is also missing out on Track and Field this spring because she never discussed it with my husband that she couldn't afford to send him. I was going to pay for it but by the time we found out, it was 3 weeks into the season. Should i just back off? Also, he asked his ex to let him know about school photos and she never did, so he missed out on the last two years' school pictures. Would it be out of line for me to join the PTA so that my husband is more in the loop as far as school events go? Is a stepmom allowed to join the PTA? My husband works way too much to be able to go to meetings and his ex isn't interested in joining. Also, when I buy him clothing that he needs, she ruins them and doesn't replace them so he goes without. Is it wrong of me to buy him things he needs? I don't want to step on toes but if I see that he needs something, I want to provide it for him. The whole thing is depressing.
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#2 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 04:47 AM
 
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No, your husband can call the school and find out when school photos are and when sports his son is interested in start.  Are you sure she's ruining them?  He's a kid, he may very well be ruining them himself.

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#3 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 08:00 AM
 
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No, it's not wrong of you to buy him things he needs and to be involved at his school. There are some things best left to biological parents in tenser situations but you aren't a random stranger. You are in this child's life long-term and certainly, there are plenty of step-parents in the PTA. For the most part, I'd leave communication with mom up to dad. Listen if he wants to talk but don't probe about mom or grill him about situations your frustrated with her about (Not suggesting you are doing that now.... just something to keep in mind.) If mom doesn't want to share photos, I'd take him to JC Penny or some other place with a photo studio and have one taken each year for yourselves. I'm always sad to see a kid in the middle of this sort of stuff. The best thing for you is to focus on being a safe port for him... a neutral party that cares about his well-being.

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#4 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 08:51 AM
 
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These situations can be so difficult. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be clear boundary lines that work for every blended family across the board. Each family dynamic is so different. I can appreciate both your desire to help your stepson and your desire to not step on his mother's toes.

 

It might be a good idea to check out some of the really good books out there like "Co-Parenting Works" by Tammy Daughtry or "The Smart Step-Family" by Ron Deal. I think ultimately, your husband and his ex are going to have to find a way to communicate and work together in a civil way. Then your role will be more to come alongside your husband (not so much your stepson) and help faciliatate his role in parenting.

 

Your 12 y/o stepson has already figured out how to play both sides against each other. That doesn't mean he's not a good kid. Every child in this situation is going to struggle with this on some level. The sad truth is, you can't trust what he is telling you about his mom, just like she can't trust what he is saying to her about you and and your husband.

 

Hang in there. I hope things work out for all you guys.

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#5 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Both my husband and I come from divorced parents so we never say anything bad towards my stepson's mom because we lived through it. I'm happy that he is opening up to us, it is because he feels safe with us. She really makes things difficult. She actually lost custody of him for a month because she hit him really badly and bruised his face and neck. She used his key and entered my husband's apt when we first started dating and poked holes in our condoms because in her own text messages that I read, "she wanted to f up my life the way steve f up her life by getting her pregnant." Would spy on us through his apt windows (saw those texts too), keyed his car, and vowed to ruin my husband's relationship with his son if he didn't come back to her. She threatened to burn my house down and kill me. Sent me letters on Facebook, which I ignored. I ignore her and have never spoken to her because she scares me. As far as the clothes go, they get ruined within a week of him having them, so, it is hard for me to think that she isn't ripping them or just throwing them away.Also, her boyfriend assaulted her twice in front of my stepson. Supposedly, they aren't dating anymore. She would says that she was going to kill herself often and my stepson got referred to a therapist by the school because teachers overheard him saying that too. I only thought these type of people were in soap operas.
I just want to be a healthy female role model for him. Let him know that we are here for him and love him very much.
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#6 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecotime47 View Post

These situations can be so difficult. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be clear boundary lines that work for every blended family across the board. Each family dynamic is so different. I can appreciate both your desire to help your stepson and your desire to not step on his mother's toes.

It might be a good idea to check out some of the really good books out there like "Co-Parenting Works" by Tammy Daughtry or "The Smart Step-Family" by Ron Deal. I think ultimately, your husband and his ex are going to have to find a way to communicate and work together in a civil way. Then your role will be more to come alongside your husband (not so much your stepson) and help faciliatate his role in parenting.

Your 12 y/o stepson has already figured out how to play both sides against each other. That doesn't mean he's not a good kid. Every child in this situation is going to struggle with this on some level. The sad truth is, you can't trust what he is telling you about his mom, just like she can't trust what he is saying to her about you and and your husband.

Hang in there. I hope things work out for all you guys.
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#7 of 7 Old 04-21-2014, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank u for the book suggestions.
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