Post # 1
My husband and I have only been married a month but have been together for over 3 years. When I met him his daughter was 4 years old, she is now 7. I love her to death and she is a sweet, fun, adorable little girl. The three of us have so much fun when we are together. However, there are a lot of issues with my husband’s ex wife. She calls all the shots when it comes to their daughter and he goes along with just about anything she says. This is something that we have struggled with as a couple since day one, as I have always said she has control over him and he never stands up for himself. This is not something that is going to ruin our marriage by any means, but it does get frustrating that all of our weekends and time we are supposed to spend with his daughter is determined by his ex and her schedule (she has 3 other kids btw, all from different fathers.) I’m just looking for some advice on how to fit into this scenario without being the third wheel and without feeling like I am nagging him. I just want to see him get the equal time that he deserves without the extra drama and try to keep our lives as normal as possible.
Post # 3
Only advice I can give as being an ex wife is don’t step on the real mother toes and don’t over-parent her if she is in the child’s life. And learn to pick your battles. Sometimes you just have to bite your tongue and realize the little things and brush them off. She has to realize you are there to love and also care for the child and direct them through life. The child is lucky to have an extra person to love them!
Post # 4
@FuturMrsO: Honestly, I hate to say this, but you need to tread very carefully here. You are in a difficult position as a stepmother, and my heart goes out to you. I think it’s best to try and keep out of their arrangement as much as you can. I know it’s frustrating, but it really isn’t your place to interfere too much. If you do interfere you may create some resentment in your DH. You can share your thoughts and feelings with him, but the bottom line is this is his and his ex-wife’s decision and not yours. It’s a touchy issue but you need to respect the boundaries of the parents.
Post # 5
Post # 6
Been in a similar situation (serious relationship, not husband) and all I can say is for your own sanity you need to figure out a way to step back and let him handle her and their child, and not take your frustrations out on him. I used to get so mad at my ex because I felt his ex walked all over him and overstepped her bounds. It wasn’t his fault. At the end of the day, she’s still the mother of his child, and it’s really something they need to sort out. If he’s okay with it, you need to find a way to be ok with it to, because it’s one of the few things in your relationship that you really have no control over, and to try to exert it will only drive you crazy.
Post # 7
If he wants to be less in her power he can go to court and get a court ordered schedule of visitation. However, it doesnt mean she will abide by it. And guess what it doesnt get eaiser. MM. son aged out of child support a year ago and his ex “just” found 5k worth of bills. Which we will have to pay. At this age would rather give the kid the 5k and get him a car.
Post # 8
@FuturMrsO: go for 50-50 custody or even full custody. My dad and mom had to deal with the same thing (with my brother) my whole life until he was 18. You don’t want that I promise. He needs to ensure she cant control him forever just because she popped out a kid
Post # 9
I don’t have any children nor have I been in your shoes but here’s my take on the situation: You are not the child’s mother therefore you are in no obligation to step in. He will have to figure it out with the child’s mother and if you want to you can give him advice. You married this man knowing that he had an obligation to his child so you can be supportive but he will have to deal with the ex wife. You can suggest to him to go to court to get some arrangement settled like 50-50 or something of that sort. For your own sanity, do not step in because then you will become their third wheel.
Post # 10
Ask yourself this: if you were in her position, would you allow anybody to come between you and your ex-husband when it comes to your daughter? She is not interfering with your married life so she knows her boundaries. That being said, how she arranges things with her daughter is entirely her business. It is not her job to facilitate your relationship with her daughter.
Post # 11
It’s going to have to come down to him standing up and putting his foot down about her interferring with his time with his daughter. But I do think tht you should step back and allow him to take the lead on this. Offer your support as much as you can, but don’t interfere as hard as that may be. I am on both sides of this..I am the mother who shares a child with a divorced man, and I am also in a relationship with a man who has a controlling woman as an ex. It is a balancing act for sure.
I wish you luck!
Post # 12
@FuturMrsO: Also, from being raised in a family with a step mom, with a mom still in the picture, find a way to just love the child and not have much to do with the parenting. I really liked my step mom when I was younger, but as I got older, I got really mean to her. Being a step mom is a THANKLESS job. I now realize how brutal I was toward her, but thats because I felt like she didnt have any right butting into my life as a parent. I also know it created stress for my dad because I would blatantly try and not include her in plans. Its really hard for everyone involved, just try to be supportive of your DH, because he will always have to deal with his ex because of their child!
Post # 13
@Sunfire: i have to disagree. i dont think the ex should dictate what the other family will and will not do on their weekends they have the child. she needs to let the dad be the dad. he IS a parent of the little girl. When the child is with the mother then she can parent and dictate what needs to happen, but when dad and step have her its THEIR time to do whatever they think is okay. I agree that if something came up that could affect both parties and the child , then yes both parties should discuss.
Post # 14
I disagree completely!
You are this childs stepmother. Just because you didnt give birth to her does not mean you dont get to be in her life. as parents that are no longer together, they need to accept the fact that their child WONT have just one mother and father and that is neither the childs fault nor yours!
I have a wonderfful stepson. Ive been in his life, parenting him, since he was 6. He’s now 8 and a half. His mother in the beginning had full custody and pulled us around. Then she went to rehab and we got full custody. Now we have joint becuse shes better. We do week on week off and she used to get mad when I would parent him at soccer games during OUR time until my FI stood up to her and told her that during OUR time I am the one parenting him, not her. I know my place and she knows hers.
Does your husband have a custody agreement with her? What is his current visitation schedule? We too felt like we had no power until we had some sort of legal custoy because if we put up a fight about anything she would withhold him from us. But now she cant.