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This is my first time on this site, but I'm looking form some advice or maybe I just mostly need to vent. Sorry it is a little long...<br><br>
I have been married for about 3 years now. Have 2 step sons (8 and 13), a daughter, age 6, by a previous (her dad's not around at all) and a son with my husband. We have all 4 kids all of the time and have a good family.<br><br>
My problem is my feelings toward my step-sons' mom. She only sees the boys about every few months, but does try to come to as many of their baseball games as she can. The problem is that I don't like when she sees them or talks to them at all. I really hate her for cheating on my husband and leaving her kids. Being a mom, I can't understand how any mom could just leave their kids and not see or talk to them for months at a time. This has been the situation the 4 years that I have been around now. She is very selfish and only sees them when it is convenient for her. I am thankful that she is not around much but everytime I find that she has called or wants to see them, I get so angry all over again. It usually causes arguements with my husband. I know she is their mom and should get to see them, but I don't think she deserves to since she is the one who has messed up her life (she was into drugs and I know she still goes out and drinks and parties several times a week) and she is the one who doesn't make the effort.<br><br>
Her visits with them are usually short and the boys are fine with me once they are back, so I keep telling myself I need to let it go. She asks like she is the perfect mom when she is with them, which bothers me since I am the mom in every other part of their lives. I treat them like my own kids and see us as one family. I believe they see the real her (at least the oldest does and know they have a good relationship with me. I don't ever speak to their mom and will not let my daughter or youngest son be around her.<br><br>
How do I try to let this hatred for her go and find some common ground where I can be comfortable with the boys seeing her?
 

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Just let it go. It will feel good. I promise. Look at the blessing you have - the kids will KNOW who was there for them, who did all the "mom things", and they will know who wasn't there for them, and just visited once in a while for "a perfect mom" show. It doesn't change the fact that kids love their parents, the good, the bad and the ugly.<br><br>
Don't argue with your husband. She might not deserve to see them, but the KIDS deserve to see their mom at least a few times a year. It's not for her, it's for their sake. You are not doing her a favor, you are supporting your kids. By starting arguments with your husband you are hurting your family, and your kids. It should be as simple as: "Do they want to see the mom?"<br><br>
It's their choice, and if it puts a smile on their face, then be happy for them, not bitter. Encourage them to send their mom Birthday cards, and call her when exciting things will happen. The kids love their no-good parents as much as they love the good ones. I'm sure they are sensing your attitude towards their mom, and I guarantee you, it hurts them. If you look at it from that perspective, it might help the "lettin go" part.<br>
It was the hardest thing I had to do. And it's been a big relief since I have mastered this skill. Look up to your husband, he seems to have even more reason to dislike his ex than you do. Yet he is letting it go for the kids' sake. He sounds like a great guy. Learn from him, ask him for patience, remind him it's hard for you, but that you want to change. Laugh together when things are coming up.<br><br>
Hang in there!
 

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Keep in mind that there are things you probably don't know about what went on between your dh and your stepsons' mom, and that furthermore, they're not your biz.<br><br>
I thought my ex's first wife was a hideous, horrible, shockingly selfish woman. Cheated on him, had him waiting on her hand/foot, etc. Of course, I never heard the other side. It wasn't until our own marriage was falling apart that I began to suspect the story wasn't quite as presented, and indeed I eventually got a very different story from him. I still don't know what she'd say, and am just glad that I'm not in the middle of it. I've learned my lesson about taking sides when it comes to other people's exes, esp. when I really don't know the exes. So yes, your dh's ex may truly be a horror, but...well...you just don't know, so you may as well avoid judgements.
 

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I think that one of my roles as a stepmom is to raise a happy, well-adjusted boy. And, I think the only way that can really happen is to facilitate his relationship with his mom (who sounds very similar-- addict, non-custodial, flakey). Instead of being repulsed by her and filling with anger, things have been much better since I've helped her keep in touch with dss, reminded her of appointments, encouraged him to call her, etc. When he'd bring home a picture from school I'd say, "Hey this is awesome, do you want to send it to your mom?" He is happy that he can trust me (and he actually talks to me about his mom now), he is happy to please his mom, she is happy to receive the picture, and she will remember to call him when she receives it. I really think he has to see for himself and take what he can from the relationship. She's not a great mom, but he has fun with her and likes to hang out with her. He feels more complete when she is a part of his life.
 

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The absolutely best thing you can do for your kiddo (step or not) is to give them unconditional permission and encouragement to love their other parent, whether they are in the picture or not. I've got an XH that 'flake' doesn't even come close to describing, and two in-and-out birthmoms for my two eldest kiddos (adopted) that make Andrea Yates look like mother of the year. "Allowing" them to still love these parents, however screwy they are, has yielded so much growth in our relationship with each other, not to mention built an immense amount of trust and loyalty between us. As DS says, "She (meaning his birthmom) will always be my mother, but YOU (meaning me) are definitely my MOM!" They know who soothes their soul and heals their heart...and it's not the in-n-out parent, regardless of their gender.<br><br>
I know it's hard...I really do. Would it help to ask your DH to tell you what attracted him to her in the first place? Sometimes trying to see them as human in nature can spin it in a more positive light. Also, keep using your coping strategies...vent here, talk to girlfriends, see a counselor if need be, etc. so you aren't harboring all of this bitterness inside and letting it eat at you. Keep in mind that this woman is a part of this child. Whatever you dislike about her will be even harder to like in him. Dealing with it now will help SO much in the years to come.<br><br>
Hope that helps, sorry this is such a rough road!!!<br>
Bellevuemama
 

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I agree with all the other posters. She is their mother and they love her no matter what. She loves them, too, otherwise she wouldn't be around at all, and it sounds like she is. Not only is she around but she tries be be perfect for them. And that might help you in changing your thought processes and letting go. Instead of thinking that this perfection is just an act, think instead, she is trying to be perfect <i>for them</i>, she is trying to make up for her imperfection in the past. It will go a long way in helping you. Be grateful that you have custody. I have a DSS who has an extremely dysfuntional bio mom but we don't have custody so it is very, very painful to watch how she deals with him. Your children will appreciate positive feelings and attitudes. Give her the benefit of the doubt, it cannot be easy for her either to see you raising her babies.
 
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