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AC's picture


I am new at this. I decided to join because I have been feeling very stresses and depressed lately. I am a stepmother of two boys 13 and 11. My fiance's ex-wife is trying really hard to break our relationship. I feel that my friends do not understand me much because they are not in the same situation. I love my fiance and his kids but lately I am wondering if it's worth it to go through so much pain. Thank you.


Shopaholic's picture

I would say no unless you are ready for a long time of heartache, pain, suffering and etc. I have been it for many, many years and it does not get any better, but always worse and you many have a few good moments but then again the tornado/hurricane will always come back around. Good Luck!

stayingpositive's picture

I have 3 step kids. I remember three years ago, when my husband and I first got together he told me "this is not going to be easy". At that time I did not know his ex. I told him we have to give it all we have, 100% and that SHE could not be the reason "this" didn't work. Now I know her, and I realize why he couldn't stay with her. Every day it is more manipulation, deception and her hurting the kids. We have primary custody, but she can't let it go (she gave them up, ironic!) I also do not feel that my friends understand because they do not have bio moms to deal with. This is the most thankless, underappreciated, and difficult job I have ever had. The thing about it is it is not just caring for and nuturing the kids,that is the easiest part, it is also dealing with and trying to protect them from JackA**...(that's what we call her). We have stopped dealing with her by phone, we only use email. She did her best to rattle him on our honeymoon, before our wedding and constantly tries to upset our peace on a weekely basis. She is never going to go away...I have faced that! I find myself wishing she would just go on a nice long walk....that is horrible! Before we were married I found myself wondering if I could really do this...I LOVE HIM, that is why it is worth it for me. My husband has put up many barriers to protect us from her. She does not come to the house, we meet her at 7-11, or she picks them up from school. When she has a gripe, which is quite often, and calls the house, he cuts her off and tells her to email him. She makes constant threats, etc. and we have learned to let them roll off out backs...afterall, they are empty threats and go no where. The best thing I can tell you is to communicate with your fiance. Tell him how ill it makes you and that you truely do not want her to come between you. Also, remember that your unhappiness is exaclty what she wants....DON'T GIVE IT TO HER! Someone in the equation is going to be unhappy and mad...DON'T LET IT BE YOU! GOOD LUCK!

AC's picture

I really appreciate your took the words from my mouth I feel very unappreciated for everything I do...all i want is a genuine Thank you. My fiance and the BM have joint custody we have the kids EOW every wednesday until a certain time and every other Monday until a certain time. She quizzes them about everything and I hate it when everything that happens in our house gets reported to her. She cheated on my fiance with her boss and later broke up and married somebody else and has 2 other children. I never thought it would be this hard. She tries to control everything...she held up our wedding plans for 2 months just because she felt like it. Just like you, we communicate with her only via email because she is such a liar and we want to avoid talking to her. We are in the procces of ammending their divorce agreement that will eliminate any type of communication with her. We want very detailed guidelines that leave no room for her to exercise her control. SHe has a problem that her ex is actually putting her behind and is building a new life for himself...she is furious the she is losing control. Thank you again for your comments.

stayingpositive's picture

After reading your comments, I have to say that it sounds as if we are in similar situations! For JA (JackA**), her title, MOTHER means everything to her as it is all she has. She dropped out of the kids' lives for the past year and a half, when she gave them up to work, go to school and party. Since then she has been unemployed twice, for 6 months or longer, dropped out of school...after running up a $6,000.00 bill...but hey, she is still partying! In October of last year she decided she wanted the kids back, we believe she thought she could get some child support out of it! We finally went to court in April, and the judge found in our favor...suprise! She sat up on the stand and lied about everything. Somehow the judge saw through all of her BS! Thank god! The court ordered her to pay 1/2 of the before and after-school care. That is just over 100.00 a week. Her part is fifty dollars a week...she can't do it. She says she has the kids four school days a month and that is all she should have to pay. Hello, Dumb Ass...the court ordered it, you don't have a say...should've thought about that before taking us to court! So, her wages will be garnished real soon.

I do want you to know that it will come in spurts. If you can find a way to deal with her BS, and not react to every little will get easier. As far as I am concerned, we take great care of the kids, we do not have to answer to her and we don't deal with her unless there is an emergency or serious valid reason! Our custody exchanges have been worked out where we drop the off at school and she picks them up. Like I said, keep the contact minimal!

As far as her quizzing the kids....I used to have a real issur with this. It was when she had more custody, and the kids were more influenced by her. This is going to sound horrible but I started discounting what she would say to them. There would be times when I could tell she had put words into their mounths about stupid stuff, like what I packed in their lunches, how much TV they watched etc. I would just say, "well...I don't buy white bread like your mom because you need some nutrition." Just find some little things to slip in without making the kids feel defensive about their mom. More like, "this is the way your Dad and I do things, so this is the way things are here." It may take a while, and they may not like it, but they will get it and that will be what they say to her...."that is the way it is at Dad's."

It is like you said...she doesn't want to lose control, the funny part is she can't control you or your fiance! SHE JUST CAN'T! Keep her on a short make the rules! Get what you can from the courts...guidleines, rules, restrictions...abide by them and hold her to all of it! If it doesn't work for you, it doesn't work!

She probably is not going to change on her own, so you have to make her fit into your plans...not the other way around! Hopefully your fiance will support you...good luck! Thank you for letting me vent!

Anne 8102's picture

But if you have a husband who doesn't mind using the word NO to his ex-wife and his children, who does not parent his children out of guilt, who presents you to his children as a co-parent and insists they respect you as an authority figure, who has your back in matters of discipline, who doesn't put BM's demands ahead of what's best for the family he's creating with YOU, then no matter how bad it gets, you'll probably weather it fine. How he handles issues with his ex-wife, how he parents the children... those are the key factors. If he's weak in either one of those areas, it should be a big red flag.

I think all husbands experience over-activity of their idiot glands from time to time, but as much of a jerk as my husband can be, that's one thing he's always been good at... not letting his ex control us and not being one of those Disney dads. Over time, it has gotten better. There were major control issues in the beginning, but not so much these days. There have been lots of days that I wondered if it was worth it. Today, looking back and looking around at my life now, I say yes. I say it was worth it and I'd do it all again. Tomorrow, I may have a different answer! Wink

A few things that keep us sane are these:

1. Pick up and drop off at a neutral location. If you have to make the exchange at the house, then she doesn't set foot in your house and he doesn't set foot in hers. That's what driveways and curbs are for.

2. We try to make sure all communication with BM is via email. It's less hostile, less invasive and you have documentation in case you need it.

3. We never talk to the kids about their mother. If the kids specifically ask us a question, then we try to answer it in a way that doesn't make their mom look bad. If we can't, we say, "You need to ask your mother that question."

4. We have a written discipline plan that applies to all kids evenly across the board and that both of us have the power to enforce. Included are rules and expectations, along with consequences for breaking rules and/or failing to meet expectations. There are different "levels" that apply, depending on ages, but they all have to follow the rules we create for them.

5. When issues arise, you and DH have to create a "judgment-free zone" to talk out problems. That means you each get to say what you feel without fear of being judged by the other. You also have to both understand that some problems can't be solved and it's okay. Some things, like vindictive ex-wives, you just have to live with.

6. And last, but probably the most important, don't give the ex-wife the power to make you miserable. As long as you give her an audience, she will continue to perform. Take away her ability to get to you and you take away her power. Live your best life in spite of her. Never give her the satisfaction of a reaction. One phrase that comes in handy is, "Gee, I'm sorry you feel that way." It sends them reeling, because it's hard to fight with someone who won't fight back. And don't fight back. It's not worth it.

About feeling unappreciated, I know that feeling very well, too. At first, I felt a little used when the skids didn't thank me for all the things I voluntarily did for them... make them fabulous home-cooked meals, make sure all their clothes are washed, make sure there's plenty to keep them entertained, turn myself inside out trying to find just the right birthday/Christmas gifts, etc. Then I realized that my own kids don't exactly "thank" me, either, for all the "mom stuff" I do for them! I mean, they all - kids and skids alike - have great manners and are pretty well-behaved, but for some reason, I was looking for a major show of gratitude from the skids that I didn't expect from my own kids. I guess I felt like I was owed that gratitude because it's not my job to take care of them. Then I had an epiphany. They have a mom at their house, sure, but they think of me as the "mom" they have at their dad's house! That really helped with the feeling unappreciated stuff. It wasn't that they were ignoring me or didn't appreciate me, they just thought of me as another mom doing mom-like things for them. That makes it a little easier to swallow.

Welcome to the site. Having a place like this to dump your anger and vent your frustrations does make it easier to live this life we've chosen.

~ Anne ~

"Love, having no geography, knows no boundaries."
(Truman Capote)

luvdagirl's picture

Thats the third time I have seen this question lately, I would- no doubt at all. I told someone recently I would spend eternity sitting next to BM in hell if thats what it would take to have my children and husband-and I would. I won't say I have never wondered about how easy it could've been if only but then I wouldn't be me and they wouldn't be them either.
BMs seem to have an endless amount of energy just to put into making us as unhappy as they will always be but when it is all done and SD is grown she will know I did it out of love not obligation just as I do with my stepmom.
I guess it boils down to wether or not you are willing to work harder in your relationship than any or most couples you know and face some of the crummiest consequences that had nothing to do with your actions,take responsibility for what others have and will do, and bite your tongue off in quarter inch sections until theres nothing left(I know I make it sound really inviting) but you should also know that all that disappears when the s-kids tell you they love you or when they call you mom without realizing it (no not as an insult) and after all these years of doing this I can honestly say that our marriage is stronger than any one else we know and alot of those who married after us are already divorced-if you get thru this everything else seems alot easier.
I hope this helps atleast a little- If you are not running from the computer screaming yet then I should say Hi!

AC's picture

I appreciate your comments...I love my fiance and he loves me and I do hope that these tough times will make us stronger. The good news is he does love me and backs me up on everything..I guess that's why the BM is loosing it. Thank you ladies. I do feel much better after venting and getting your input. Thanks,

OldTimer's picture

Is you take it day by day by day. Keep good records, documents, and keep organized. Let DF and BM hash it out... don't engage with her. When you do have an encounter with her, let her look and be the fool. Treat her like a business transaction, nothing more, nothing less.

Smile, smile, smile... kill her with kindness, and take LOTS of bubble baths!

Wink StepMom

Man has the intelligence to change his life,
Sometimes, he just fails to use it...

proud mom's picture

Welcome, you have found a place to vent, recieve support and suggestions. It is the greatest site on the internet.

As for weather to do it or not here is my take on it. I always put my kids first but I do try to put my self into the mix now and have relized that my children will not be home forever they will grow up and have lives of their own so I make sure they have everything they need and most of what they want and that they are happy but I also try to make myself happy. So step back and look at the whole picture befor you make an decisions.

Live for today,you may not have a tommorow