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Why Does It Still Bother Me/Surprise Me?

CastleJJ's picture

I had to delete my previous account due to giving away too much identifiable information. I have been with DH for 8 years, married for 2. DH has SS8 with HCBM. They were never married, dated during their late teens and conceived SS when BM got off birth control and tricked DH. BM dumped DH after finding out she was pregnant and the games began. She immediately raced for sole custody and hefty CS. BM is classic NPD. DH and I got together when SS was a baby and he had been split from BM for about 2 years. DH had no visitation until SS was 2 due to BM dragging her feet on settling a visitation order. DH had no overnights with SS until age 5 due to BM arguing that SS didn't know DH because DH "was absent" until SS was 2. Then at age 5, when DH was granted overnights, BM moved SS out of state to be with her GF. She has worked overtime to make GF SS's other parent. 

DH took BM to court last year for joint legal custody and more visitation. We only see SS 6 weeks per year on a long distance schedule. BM pulled every stop to allow no extra visitation from lying, to false allegations, falsifying evidence, etc. DH was denied joint legal due to SS being established with BM and distance. We were only granted a couple of extra weekend visitations. BM made this whole case about sports being SOOOO important to SS, so important that it trumped visitation with DH. DH argued and provided proof to the courts that SS's summer sport started in the last week of July. BM (who is best friends with the coach) had the coach provide a pergered letter in mid winter saying that SS's summer sports obligations were 3 days per week and every weekend from May to September. DH countered with the official team schedule which indicated late July. Our attorney said she could request changes by April 1, her attorney countered for May 1. DH said "No" that it wasn't adequate notice. BM argued that she doesn't have the team schedule in May so thats unacceptable. Of course you dont have a schedule in May for a sport that occurs in JULY... if it really occurred in May/June, you would have the schedule by May 1. The judge ruled in BM's favor that BM has the right to manipulate all summer visitation schedule to accommodate sports and she only has to provide one week notice prior to parenting time of any changes. The judge literally ruled that sports take precedence over SS seeing his Dad. DH was pissed but he didn't have the money to continue fighting. He was already $40K into a losing battle. 

Tonight, DH sends her an email confirming upcoming parenting time and letting her know that he needs 60 day notice for PTO so that summer would need to be negotiated soon or he won't be able to use PTO when SS is with us. She of course turns it into a whole thing about how the court order granted her the right to be flexible because SS's sports are so important to him and his sport obligations will only increase as he gets older. That's BM's way of saying "Enjoy it now because soon SS will be too busy to see you" BM then said that flexibility is a part of parenting and she often has to call in or change her schedule to accomodate SS, something DH wouldn't know about as the non-parent. Well BM, you only work part time (3 days per week) and you drop SS off with every Tom, Dick, and Harry every weekend and use school and daycare full time. You can barely call BM a parent, she probably sees SS 1 hour per night. She then proceeds to say, "lucky for you, the judge said that we can have any third party pick up SS so that should help you." It isnt anyone's job but DH and BM to pick up SS but she always assumes that I am just at her beck and call. BM then concluded with "I hope we can work together closer to summer to sort this out" which is her way of saying "can't wait to fight with you then." So basically BM is going to notify DH at the very last minute just to screw with him. 

SS informed us that BM wants to take him to Europe for 3 weeks next summer. Of course she does and you better believe she will pull him out of sports for that. Anything and everything to prevent DH from seeing SS and actually being a Dad. Sports are so important that he can't miss them for DH, but he can for BM. 

Sorry if I am fired up, I just sometimes cannot believe this stuff. WHAT IS IT WITH THESE HCBMs?! Every time I think she can't be more petty or vindictive, I'm surprised. I don't know why, this is her baseline. This has been her game all along. I dont even know why it bothers me or surprises me anymore. The worst part is that SS (who is a great little boy) is the one that suffers at the hands of BM's antics and that is hard to accept when DH has done everything possible, yet the system continues to fail him. 



Wicked stepmo.'s picture

It happens so often, but I truly can't understand why BMs work so hard to keep BDs out of the picture. It's very sad for these children, because they deserve to have a relationship with both parents.

tog redux's picture

Your story, and mine, are ones where I think the kid would have been better off if our DHs walked away when they found out about the pregnancy.  At some point your SS will refuse to visit and then you will have peace once you process the grief. At least that's what happened to us. 

CastleJJ's picture

That's what I told DH last night. My DH does not have blinders on to the situation. I said I almost need an "All or Nothing", where we either see SS all the time or we don't see him at all because this 6 weeks a year and having to mentally prepare myself for BM's crap every few months is terrible. As much as I love SS and want DH to have a relationship with him, I hope he does stop coming. Then at least I can move on emotionally. Otherwise it's 9 more years of this back and forth. 

tog redux's picture

When my SS stopped coming over, it was really hard at first - and then we thrived. My DH now wishes he had walked away and just paid child support.  He has a superficial relationship with SS21 at best, and BM has ruined him. 

CastleJJ's picture

My DH is teetering on this edge. He wants to try for a continued relationship with SS but he knows the day will likely come. He did tell me though that he will give up a relationship with him if it continues to do damage to our relationship and I can't handle it anymore. The thing is, SS is a great kid and it is clear he loves me and DH, and it is also clear he is conflicted between us and BM's antics. He started crying to DH last year and said "I want to move back to our state. I hate my state and I don't have any friends and I want BM to move us back. I keep telling her I want to see DH and your family more and she says, Well see, which I know means 'No' because it never happens." It broke DH's heart because SS is figuring it out but has no power to change it and clearly the courts aren't going to support us in that fight. 

1dad4kids's picture

The child is 8 years old and the judge ruled sports over time? Is this child a prodigy? 

Is there something your DH can work out at work about scheduling or changing his PTO? Maybe if he explains his situation they will be able to help. 

I know it's not ideal, but is there any way you guys could take a week holiday together during the summer and go camping where SS lives? Then DH can bring as to him sports and you guys still get time, plus camping is super fun. 

CastleJJ's picture

SS is no prodigy. SS is actually mediocre at the sport. He isn't built for it. BM thinks he will make NFL someday and be her support after CS ends. This kid lives, breathes, and sleeps football. Its all he does. He has friends over, BM makes him practice football. Every weekend, he watches football. He told DH last summer that he doesn't even like it very much but BM is insistent. The judge is just super mother favoring. 

DH's work is willing to be flexible to a certain extent. DH works in IT so the company schedules mandatory work weeks during tech launches and software updates. Its all hands on deck in case there are bugs and issues. They let him know they will be scheduling these for summer soon so to update the calendars with any PTO dates so they know, but it is hard to predict those when BM doesn't have to confirm time until a week before. BM kept saying he can just call in, but 3 call ins equal termination. 

We have done visitation in SS's home state. We used to go down for a few weekends every year. We stopped doing that because BM made it a boundary issue. BM tried forcing DH to committing to 7 weekend visits in her state per year. DH didnt want to commit to anything because he didn't want it used against him, said he would do it when he could. Its expensive to get a hotel and do all that. SS lives in a major city. For a long time, we simply couldn't afford to do that. 

Ultimately, BM wanted out of state visits so she could show off her "fabulous" life to DH. Well, we went to see him a few times and BM would show up at every sporting event for SS and come sit right next to us. DH would try to ignore her and you would literally hear her trashtalking DH to the other teammates' parents right in front of him. Then when SS's sports would finish and we would plan the rest of our weekend, she would try to invite herself to different activities with us. DH would tell her "No" and it would lead to a fight in front of SS. Then BM would always remind DH "how lucky he is that she even approved this non-court ordered visitation" also reminding him that she can end it at any point. Before you knew it, SS suddenly had "another commitment" and needed to be dropped off early. There were times she wanted DH to come down and see SS do x, y and z but then she wouldn't let SS stay in the hotel with us. We would literally travel all that way for an hour here or there and that's it. DH once drove 8 hours one way, leaving at 2 a.m. to see SS's game. 

Visiting SS in her state always made things worse, not better. It gives her too much control. BM wanted the judge to order DH to come to her state 3 weekends per year during the big holiday weekends (Memorial Day/Labor Day) and the judge said "No" that he won't mandate out of state time in our case. BM made that her hill to die on and it extended DH's court case by months. She thinks if parenting time happens out of state, then it means DH doesnt have to have parenting time in our state. 

simifan's picture

It bothers you because quite simply as a normal empathetic human being, you cannot fathom hating your ex more then loving your child. You would never use a child as a weapon.


CastleJJ's picture

This is exactly it. I told DH if we had children and for whatever reason it didn't work out, I would never alienate or play these games. It makes me sick.