Post # 1
My fiance and I are supposed to be married soon. He is one of the best men I’ve ever met. He and I both survived pretty abusive marriages. I essentially married the same man twice…dysfunction wise. One marriage lasted 18 years and he walked out out of the blue. My second marriage was way worse. I’m sure he was a sociopath and he went to jail for what he did(and he’d hidden his prison past). After LOTS of therapy and working out why I put up with all that I now feel I’ve found a wonderful man. He was also left by his abusive ex…who also cheated on him. His kids actually outted her to him.
We met way after they’d been separated and she was still with the man she cheated with and their divorce was in the works. He was in therapy to recover from all this. He has physical scars as well as mental. I understand where he comes from because I’ve been there myself. We really appreciate how we treat each other and don’t take kindness for granted considering our pasts.
At first his kids…all adults( except the 17 year old she pretty much left him to raise when he was 16) loved me and were so happy for him. We got lots of “we’ve never seen him so happy” and such. And they were still very angry at their Mom. I encouraged them to have a relationship with their Mom but set boundaries. It then started to get very ugly with their mom….she harrassed us and went crazy in front of my kids one time. Said horrible things to and about me in front of her son and both my kids. There was lots of drama ongoing with her that we did our best to ignore. His kids eventually made up with their mom and that is when things started going badly.
His kids got upset when I finally had enough of their mom making threats to call CPS and messing with my ex’s head. I posted a simple post on MY facebook wall saying I would not be putting up with any more abuse from her or threats. They DEMANDED I take it down. I did not. I refused to be censored. Things have been awful with them since then. They ignore me or are flat out RUDE. We went to the hospital to see his first grandbaby. Big scene where his ex came over to us and went crazy. All his kids sided with her. One of them then confronted ME saying I have to just take it?! After all the therapy I’ve been through and learning to set boundaries I refuse to be bullied and threatened.
My question is this: I love my fiance and wanted us to be one big, happy family but his kids(who are now controlled by his ex) won’t allow this. And I do not want to go to things where I’m treated badly or ignored. He tries to stand up for me but it is so hard for him. He is still working on why he allowed himself to be treated this way for 24 years with her. How do I make this all work? I want him to be happy but I want to be happy too….Ideas?
And on a side note. My kids LOVE him and they were a hard sell because of the not so nice guys in my past. It took a while but they love him so much. I want that with his kids but at this point I really don’t think I can ever feel that way about them. I’m pretty mad/hurt for him about how they treat him like a wallet and only call when they need something. And they refuse to be nice at all to me since all this upset them….
Post # 3
- Wedding: August 2013 - Brookfield Zoo
I’m sorry, I don’t have any advice but I just wanted to say this situation you’re going through sucks. I guess even though your FI’s kids witnessed first hand how your FI’s ex abused him, she is still their mother and something in them makes them pity, forgive, and side with her. That’s a pretty hard bond to break, and it sucks that it is making things so difficult for you.
Post # 4
I have a 16 year old, his father remarried and I found out he had become a drug attic on meth. I can tell you only from the other side so don’t take offense I am in no way taking HER side just telling you mine from a totally different situation.
I know for sure if his (new wife) were to address my son in any way negative about or towards me he would flip. I have personally called and told her to know her roll that she has no place speaking of me to my son or in a way he could see or find out. We have zero relationship and only know each other circumstantially and if she was going to be around my child she is to speak nothing but nice about me or not at all. By law in custody court these things are stated you are not to speak ill of one another in any form in front of the child. I would take the facebook comment down and address her one on one. If she is enduring abuse on either you or your man then this needs to be an address to an attorney and the stipulations of the divorce is revised. You might want to read the devoice papers and see you options and if she is already breaking some of the agreement stipulations. Acts after divorced with children of any age can and will be used against someone to discredit them as a person able to be around them. She can use this against you if she wants to as trying to manipulate the teens to be against her. I know that sounds extreme but I have been in at least 5 custody battles with my ex and I kid you not everything you do is a matter of discussion, even something as simple as a facebook post. I can tell you much more but this is already a page. Talk to an attorney.
Keep strong and just love the kids and try your best to be the better person (stepping stone I know it’s hard) and eventfully they will see for themselves the truth in everything. Mine did but I tell you it was really hard to suck up the nasty things he did and said about me to my son but in the end it’s worth it.
Post # 5
Honestly if the children are adults, there are very few times you need to be in the same place as her or have any contact with her. Schedule visits when she isn’t there. Most importantly focus on your relationship with the kids. Don’t talk bad about their mom, it will only put stress on your relationship with them.
Post # 6
More info I left out: The guy I was married to for 18 years I’m pretty sure left me for the girl he is with still. I was clueless to this until my lawyer pointed it out to me. He was so horrible to me I just felt sorry for her. I tried to befriend her and have encouraged my kids to get along with her. Even though she was not even raising her own child and had a questionable past. I just knew it was best for my kids if we all got along. And 6 years later it remains this way..she is okay with my kids for the most part and that is that. I wish my FH’s live by these rules.
I’ve heard horror stories from FH’s kids about the things his ex did to him. I understand kids want to side with their mom to some extent. I used to be a foster parent. I guess because I’ve come to the conclusion that they were raised amidst wild dysfunction I shouldnt’ expect too much from them. They admit she is awful and needs help. The crazy thing is she is a therapist. People who send spouses to the ER for stitches should NOT be therapists!
I only left my facebook comment because I knew it would get back to her via her kids who seem to spy for her. And it was left after the divorce was final. I’ve tried talking to her and getting along. She just yells and calls me names. My fb comment was a boundary being drawn. I came into his life after she cheated and moved out and started divorce proceedings. It’s odd. She was the one who talked out of court too to the kids as they were both instructed not to do. She always uses the kids to get to him. Puts them in the middle. His only child still at home is months from being 18 and we had to block her on his phone due the the harrassment….I do not talk badly about their mother. Even though they do. I’m not listening any more when they do. The hard part is I DO have to be around his kids at family functions. And they are either rude or ignore me completely. I feel it would be wrong to never attend things with his family just because of his kids. I do have an okay relationship with his son who has spent more time with me…but that has gotten some rocky too due to his siblings and mom influencing him. So sad.
I just want peace after all these years and happiness with this wonderful man I’ve found. And they are making this really, really hard. I feel like everything I learned in therapy and standing up for myself is being tested….and he doesn’t understand how to stand up yet 🙁
I want to stay positive and not let this come between us.
Post # 7
Feuds like this really should be kept off facebook. It is terrible that she is being rude to you and mean to her children, but posting something like that on facebook seems passive-aggressive to me. I’m not saying YOU ARE passive-aggressive, but you’re an adult and that sounds like something a high-schooler would do. Be the bigger person and take it down, and apologize for airing your differences on a social media site.
Post # 8
@futuremrsfitz18: Feuds like this really should be kept off facebook. It is terrible that she is being rude to you and mean to her children, but posting something like that on facebook seems passive-aggressive to me. I’m not saying YOU ARE passive-aggressive, but you’re an adult and that sounds like something a high-schooler would do. Be the bigger person and take it down, and apologize for airing your differences on a social media site
Don’t air things on facebook. By doing that so they would run back to tell her what you said, it sounds like you are using them as pawns to get back at her. I’m sure you don’t mean it that way, but that’s how it comes across. In their minds they are the only ones that can say how awful she really is, you are only an outsider. I hope it works out for all of you.
Post # 9
I’d keep this discussion off facebook myself. It’s very public airing of a private family matter with the added complications of children who may not fully appreciate the situation but regardless do not want to hear ill of their parents (and certainly not in that open venue). I think people post way too much on facebook in general.
Depending on what you wrote, she could also bring a lawsuit for libel. You may very well win that lawsuit, but it’d be painful to go through.
Post # 10
My post on fb was really not anything to be upset about. I didn’t use her name or say mean things. I just basically said I will not put up with threats any more. If I COULD talk to her directly I would. I’ve tried. I was definitely NOT passive aggressive. I’ve lived with openly hostile and passive aggressives and could write the book. If I wanted to be passive aggressive I’d just undermine their Dad like they do. Passive aggressives are sneaky and act innocent. I feel I communicated very mildly in the only form left to me in light of how she will NOt talk to me. I guess I fail to see why it is okay for her to harrass us and spread rumors among family yet I have to just take it? Her unfounded threats to call CPS really were the turning point for me.
I’m sure I could make trouble for her over some of the things she has done. I dont’ want to go that route. I just want to be left alone by her and be able to get along with their kids. And I don’t think saying my facebook post was “high school” is very fair. It was a very mild post and more a statement to remind myself that I don’t have to take abuse from anyone. My therapist seemed to think it was fine. And if my statement of no more harrassment on facebook is “high school”…what of her actions towards my FH, her own kids, Me and mine?! I’m pretty confused now.
They all thrive on making trouble and drama to get attention.
And I will never apologize for standing up for myself after all these years of never doing so. How messed up would it be for ME to apologize to HER after she verbally attacked me in the face of my offer of friendship towards her? I’ve done way too much of that in the past because I had to to be safe.
I’m open to any advice except apologizing to any of them. If you ask me they owe ME an apology yet I’m not demanding one. I just want them to treat their Dad better and not be hostile towards me. I recently invited one of them over for dinner and it was the same snarky comments. I’m at a loss now.
Post # 11
@halolover: I read through all of this and it is a hard situation. All I can say is even thought you don’t want to apologize, doing so might be for the better. I know that is not the advice you want, but you don’t have to apologize for what was said, rather how they must have misinterpreted it in such a way that it has destroyed your relationship with the kids.
Post # 12
@halolover: I’m open to any advice except apologizing to any of them.
Unfortunately, sometimes to become the “big happy family” that you hoped for in your initial post, you have to be the bigger person and appologize. I wouldn’t suggest apologizing to the ex, but I would to the kids regarding posting on facebook. To the ex, I would suggest minimizing all contact. I still think you should keep everything related to this topic entirely off facebook. (Not actually naming her helps, but if people can figure out to whom you are referring, it’s a thin veil to hide under.) You’re the adult, so act like it. If the kids are rude and disrespectful then call them on the specific behavior when they do it – and you should get dad to support you 110% on this. If it’s at a family gathering, other adults can back you up if needed (although really it just needs to be you & dad.) If they ignore you, ignore them back. Even if they are over 18, they are still acting like kids and it sounds like they’re trying to get attention and a rise out of you. Don’t give it to them, remain calm, and be patient. Be the adult in this situation.
ETA: Two wrongs don’t make a right. I’m not saying she’s acted correctly in this situation, but you can only change yourself, not others.
Post # 13
I think you seriously need to drop your concern with this woman. Personally if my step mom ever did what you did I would not be happy (and I LOVE my stepmom). I don’t think you should facebook about this situation, talk to her, or talk about her. THere is really no reason for you to have any relationship with her beyond graduations, weddings, etc. The more you drag this all out the less the kids are going to want anything to do with you. She is their mom and will always be, and trying to play these games, you will lose everytime.
As far as your Fiance ‘s relationship with them, he needs to work on that seperate from your relationship with them. That is the most important thing. Let them know you love them and want to be involved in their lives, but give them space.
Post # 14
And I held my tongue for months while their mom harrassed us. And trust me…my comment was nothing to take offense at. They just like to create trouble. I’m not participating any more in that dynamic than I have to.
But I don’t want my FH to feel bad. He wants us all to get along. But to me that does not mean letting their mom treat me badly. One daughter even told me that is what I have to do….because that is just “how their mom is”….and I’m thinking them too.
I haven’t posted anything else of this nature on facebook since. If it had involved the kids themselves I’d have talked to them directly. One of his daughters was recently fired for getting involved with a customer conflict that didn’t involve her…and being beligerent. The same one who told me to “just take it”. And I would have much rather have been able to have a civil conversation with their mother….
The outcome to all this would have been the same even if I’d have told them directly I was tired of their Mom’s harrassment. I didn’t do that because I didn’t want to involve them. They chose to become involved….
I agree….she has no part in our lives now. Blocking her calls/texts really helped. I’ve been the bigger person with the exception of my fb post. We all have moments when we say “enough”. And his kids and I didn’t have mutual friends and it was a general statement that I can’t in any way be truly apologetic for. If it hurts them that I stood up for myself that is just too bad. It hurt ME when their mom called me names in front of my children. Guess the hurt she did to my much younger kids is less important than my boundary I sort of set on fb?!
Post # 15
I think your FH’s kids were right to ask you not to comment publicly on their mother…especially if you’re FB-friends with them. It seems disrepectful to them–people you seem to care about–even if their mother is a crazy horrible person, it is their mother and they don’t want to have that kind of dirty laundry out for the world to see. Whether or not you said something ‘appropriate’ to the situation doesn’t matter–there was a 6-month period when I didn’t talk to my sister and was furious at her but if anyone else said a bad word about her (even in regards to what she did to me) I would have been upset as well. The point is, if you want to have a good relationship with your FH then you’re going to have to accept his children and the fact that they love their mother despite her many flaws. You say you won’t apologize–but will you at least concede that from their point of view the FB post was at the least upsetting to them and they have the right to feel hurt that you would not consider whether or not their feelings would be hurt by seeing that? And of course they’re going to say you just have to put up with it–that is what they have had to do for years! Because they don’t want to lose their relationship with their mother!!! You may not agree with it, but come on….and now you’re online smack-talking your FH’s kids….seriously, right or wrong, you need to make up with them, because in the end your FH will (and should) prioritize his relationship with his children over his relationship with you.
Post # 16
@halolover: from your experience you should definately know you can’t reason with someone like that. She’s abusive and irrational. She is looking to get under your skin and has succeeded.
I know its hard to ignore the crazy actions of an insane person, but feeding into it only adds fuel to the fire. She is using your reaction to get her kids against you.
Don’t give the kids a reason to dislike you. By saying something about their mom, you are just giving them something to grab on to.Don’t take the bait she sets out. Your FH’s relationship with his kids will always be different from yours. You each need to work on your own relationships seperately before you can work on them together to become that happy family unit.
The kids grew up in an unstable household. Unfortunately that will most likely play a role in how they react to this whole fight betweeen the mom and you and your FH. Do your best to not feed in to it. Her behavior will never change.