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Advice on comparing yourself

AlwaysVeryTired's picture


I am really quite new to asking for advise. I guess I spent a long time trying to just deal with everything on my own but it's not really something I can do.

My partner has three children from a previous relationship, which lasted ten years. The ages of the children range from 4 to 11, so there is quite a gap! I was introduced to the children around 3 years ago and moved in around 2 years ago - and we all get along quite well.

However, the birth mother and I do not get along, she does not get along with the father, and she does not like me. It's been years of us dating, and years of the BM having various relationships, but she still continues to cause issues between the children and myself or just pester my partner for no reason.

The other night, we had a long conversation where the children started talking about how I do not have the same last name as all of them (including pets they got after the seperation) and that meant that I am, in fact, not family according to their mother. These sorts of comments happen all the time, along with compairisons between stuff I do and stuff she does. If I get plates, they are the SAME plates as Mommy has! I have a cat, which I had before her cat, but my cat is *just like mommy's cat!*. My favorite food is the SAME as moms! It's just a constant stream of that. 

We've had issues in the past where, when she was trying to fix the relationship between my partner and herself, the BM was literally doing whatever I did - going to the same venues, doing the same hobbies, and constantly stating she was doing the same so why was my partner dating me when he could have her? 

It's so hard to not compare everything I do to everything she does, especially when the children are quick to compare and when, three years on, my partner's parents still talk about her constantly and she stilkl continues to be such a big part of our lives (of course she always will be, she is the kids's mother after all).

How do people deal with that? 


Harry's picture

He should be stopping all of this. He should be. Teaching his kids about respect.  This goes for the in laws also.      As long as he allows this it will continue.

Stepdrama2020's picture

Ignore the skids. When they comment just say "dang thats nice" then change the subject. I used to do that.

What does your DH say or do when the skids try to compare apples and oranges? He should shut that shit down if he knows it bothers you. Have you told him?  Heck it should bother him. Like why the heck would he want to hear about an ex all the flipping time.

OR make this shit fun,. Every dang time the little skids bring up comparisons you do the same. Skid said they came in second in a race, you say my bio came first. Skid shows off new clothes you say bio just got tons of new. Trust me the lil demons will STFU. One up them. Yea I know immature but dang it , it would be fun.

futurobrillante99's picture

I'd say to the kids, "Actually, I've been doing this for years, but it's nice to hear that your mom is trying the things I like."

Or, I'd start doing weird things that you don't like just to get the BM to do them!! LMAO.

I'd casually say, I'm thinking about cutting my hair short and dying it purple. Or, I think I'll get a tattoo of a howling wolf on my neck. I think I'll buy myself some leather army boots.

Just any random stupid sh*t that they'll report back to her to so she can copy you, except she won't be copying you. LOL

CLove's picture

It sounds like BM is obsessed with YOU.   And they do say that is a form of flattery. LOL. Toxic Toll Bm tries to tell people that DH "makes me curl my hair to look like hers", and mine is super curly naturally. She loves telling people I copy her...and actually its all made up. 

So, change the subject or make it funny.

For example "she has the SAME cat WOW!!!! It looks like it might be blue skies today!" or raining, or snowing...


"she has the SAME plates as me? Maybe we were twins in another life!!!! Your in an alternate universe, the upside down world" or whatever. Im really not that funny...

It does sound like the kiddos are her little minions trying to unsettle you.

As to the inlaws always talking about her, that needs to stop. Your partner needs to shut that down.

futurobrillante99's picture

Oh snap, I'd talk about a former lover in front of them all. That might make her partner tell them to STFU. If everytime they bring up BM, she brings up a former partner, I think her partner will get sick of it.

JRI's picture

This sounds similar to the situation we had.  I think it boils down to BM's jealousy.  It is so aggravating.  I used to think, "Get your own job (she didn't work), get your own house (still living in the family home with DH supporting), and get your own husband (contentious relationship with BF)".  It all eventually happened but not fast enough for me.  Lol.

AlwaysVeryTired's picture

She also doesn't work (I do) and has sat around telling the children that she deserves the house we pay for, she deserves the car we have, she should have the fruniture we have, etc, and the kids would come over stating that we had "stolen" them from her somehow.

JRI's picture

It's envy about what you've worked to achieve.  Sad, that's what we saw, too.  As the years go by and you achieve more, their bitterness continues.  Sigh....

Survivingstephell's picture

You need to toughen up your own skin and let her games bounce right off you. If you plan on being around a long time, then you need to fortify yourself.  Be confident in who you are, the choices you make and how you present yourself to the world.   BM's like this are extremely insecure and are doing image management.  No matter who left the relationship first, there was an ego injury that drives them to this annoying behavior.  It's some wacky thinking that if they change themselves to be like the new woman, then people will think poorly of DH, as in why leave when he just replaced BM with the same thing.  Sane people can see through it. Hang with those people and leave the crazy to wallow in their unachievable goals to make themselves look normal.  

ESMOD's picture

Are they 4-11 now? or 7-14 now? not sure if the ages you gave were when you met.. or current.. because the advice is a bit different.

In the case where they are 4-11 .. certainly the younger kids have a fairly small universe and it might be natural and to them.. not something they realize is rude.. to continually compare people to their parents... or their life with them.

If they are older.. they should be getting to the age where DAD should be helping them understand that while they are perfectly welcome to love their mother.. that not everyone is going to love being compared to her.. or hear about her all the time.. because.. mommy and I are not together.. because we couldn't get along.. so I don't really need to hear about her.. AVT likely doesn't want to hear much about her either.. kids need to start learning their 'audience' at some point.

ESMOD's picture

For the younger range of age.. I kid's universe is pretty much their parents.. it's natural to talk about mommy... and to be clueless that you could care less..haha.

I think you can kind of do the zone out.. the "yeah.. that's nice" and change the subject.  Eventually.. they may catch on that every time momy gets broght up you change the subject.. exit the conversation etc..

For the older kids.. dad can start giving them more direction on "it's not generally nice to compare or bring up mom all the time.. . you wouldn't like it if we always brought up your EX friend.. ex bf or whatever right?



Mominit's picture

At 4-11 kids like to contribute.  To projects, to dinner, to conversations.  They're trying to figure out where they fit in this big world.  So they compare everything to everything and see the reactions.  They're probably not trying to rile you.  They're comparing two things that seem equal or similar.  So in this case it's can be considered a compliment.  Comparing you to Mom, because they see you as a Mom.  Or at least a female authority figure.  First by finding out what all Mom's have in common (like that's a thing!?), and then by finding out where they differ....and eventually which is right (because at that age there's always a right way and a wrong way).  Not because they're being difficult, but because they want to know how to be a grown up.

Do all Mom's like cats?  Do all Mom's like those plates?  Should I like those plate?  What makes those plate the best...etc.!  I always let the kids talk about their lives.  Mom and I went tobogganning! Cool!  What was the best part? (note, not did you have fun, because that could start a complaining competition and I wanted to be positive where possible).  And because the kids were free to talk about anything, they were relaxed, comfortable, anxiety-free in our home.  But at BMs house she HATED us (we were told), and forbade them to speak about us in her home.  Causing them to be on pins and needles lest they slip and mention us.  One day the youngest said "BM doesn't like you, do you like her?".  I just said,  "That's unfortunate.  We don't really know each other!" and that was the end of it. 

If they're being rude, put a stop to it.  If it's incessant, let them know you'd like to change the topic for a little while.  If they're just sharing their lives with you, see if you can take it as a compliment that you're a safe space and an opinion they value.  In the end, BMs house for many reasons was the source of so much anxiety the kids (now grown) openly said they prefer living with Dad and don't have a lot of respect for a lot of BMs parenting decisions.

Floral_SM's picture

I have a Toxic BM say to the skids something ridiculous about DH's dog. Apparently I am not our dogs 'Mummy' she is, because she got the dog with their dad first. I told DH who had to sit SS down and explain the difference between a dog and child. So ridiculous! 

I agree with what everyone else has said. This is a DH issue and my advice is eventually you will develop a thick skin when you hear what the kids say. Sometimes I say 'Ok let's talk about something else' just to shut it up or it comes across a lot firmer by my DH and he says 'I really don't care'. Haha. It's better it coming from him, than you basically. I'm not very good at brushing it off these days, and I've told the kids how annoyed their mother makes me, as she uses them. They aren't stupid and know their mum hates me. She fell on her own sword with these games, and your BM will too. Just rise above it and have self satisfaction you are the bigger and better person.

Ispofacto's picture

A person's favorite ice cream can tell you everything you need to know abou them.  EVERYTHING, I TELL YOU.

I mean, what kind of savage likes Butter Pecan??

But seriously, what kind of idiot thinks two people are interchangeable based on a few common preferences?  That's absurd.

Next time the skids make a stupid comparison, give them a bland look and ask them directly what their point is.  Like a broken record, every single time.

"What's your point?"  "So?"  "What's your point?"