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I could not be in my friend's shoes

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

So I have a friend who is married (remarried) to my bf's coworker (he is also remarried), who has a going on 7 year old daughter (husband's child). His ex wife (BM) is extremely high conflict and I would not be able to be in her shoes (my friend, SM). So this morning I get a few texts from my friend (SM) saying that the BM called the cops on her and her husband, not once, but twice to do a wellness check on SD because BM could not get a hold of her. So BM likes to be in constant contact with SD when she is at her dad's, texting all day every day, calling multiple times a day. Meanwhile, on BM's time, she does not let SD talk to her dad every other day (which is what the court order dictates) and since BM is constantly invading on dad's time with child, they blocked BM's numbers on all of their phones and everything. So BM is going crazy, using apps to generate new phone numbers to text the dad on, spamming his email, and then yesterday calling the cops twice to do wellness checks.

Now, about a week ago my friend, SM said she was going to do this and I advised her against this for many reasons. 1. They are planning on taking BM back to court very soon, so playing these petty games with BM by not letting BM call the child like BM does on her time, is not going to win any favor with the judge, 2. It is just going to ramp BM up who is already off her rocker, 3. It is going to hurt the child. Unlike my SD, she does not have a phone, she does not understand about being able to call and talk to the other parent whenever, etc. This child is fully aware that SM and dad are mad at BM, so they aren't letting BM talk to her or vice versa. 

My suggestion to my friend was to let her know that at this day and this time, BM will be able to talk to SD, that way, they are still encouraging the relationship with BM on dad's time, but not giving her full range to interrupt their time with SD. Apparently, my friend did not take my advice and just went on this whole f**k BM, she is being blocked on everything, which to me, is not going to help anything. I totally understand how frustrating it must be with BM constantly blowing up the kid's phone and her husband's phone, but until they get back in the court room, they are also going against the court order by there being zero contact. 

I don't know what other advice to give my friend because her husband will communicate back to BM because he doesn't like drama so he responds when she messages from different numbers, but they have been talking about court for MONTHS and have not proceeded to actually take her to court. Which I think the longer they let all this go on without actually going to the judge, the judge isn't going to really care about BM's behavior so much because they haven't done anything to change the circumtances except totally piss of the BM and now make themselves look like they are playing games too.

Just figured I would share this with you all because I am at a loss, feel like my advice gets no where and they are just making a bigger mess of it all. Especially because they have a bit of the upper hand right now. BM by their court order has to ask BF to move out of state and he has to approve it (BM is in OH and BF is in VA), BM did not do this, but rather informed him she was moving to Arkansas. SM and BF have six months they can still file in OH after she moved before it changes to BM's current state of residence. It has been 3 months and they still haven't filed a thing. Definitely not my monkey, not my circus, but SM vents to me and I feel bad for her because her DH just tries to avoid conflict with BM instead of doing what he should.


beebeel's picture

Sounds like everyone involved enjoys the drama, or they'd have a court date by now. Your "friend" doesn't actually care about the fallout/results of these games, she's just trying to get back at bm. It's not like it's her kid on the line...

I would back the hell away from this hot mess.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I will agree that my friend does not really care. When I say friend it is more like a couple we enjoy hanging out with once or twice a month. We have vented to each other a lot because we don't know many people that could really understand and give helpful advice because they do not have any experience with step dynamics.

My bf and I personally think SM should not of gotten involved with someone with a kid for many reasons or really someone previously married. Which is just wild because she has actually also been married, but she has a hard time dealing with her DH having an ex-wife.

Probably just will listen from now on, but not offer any advice anymore

advice.only2's picture

You have offered your advice and that's about all you can do. If you feel she might be receptive maybe point her towards this site, sometimes getting an outside perspective can be helpful. Or it could just be they enjoy the drama of "control" and none of them are really looking for a solution.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I would point her towards this site, but then I have a feeling somehow it would come out to either her husband or my bf that I am on this site and I like being able to have my privacy on venting here without worrying about someone else I know reading what I am saying, especially knowing it is me. Especially when I know the SM doesn’t agree with me about bf did the right thing by giving up the fight for BM’s older child when his rights were taken and that I did not want him to continue to put time, money, energy into fighting in a lower court for her. She has never voiced that she disagrees, but when I have vented about it she never speaks up that she agrees or understands or anything, whereas everyone else I have spoken to about it, gives feedback on the topic.


Personally, I think SM really hates that her DH to a certain degree let’s BM control things and it drives her crazy. Would drive me crazy too, but I wouldn’t be with someone who lets their ex have control over my SO. Now on the side of the BF I understand he is just worried that BM who already withholds the child on his time, quite frequently, does not want to make it so she completely withholds SD, but he should just go to court then and have a judge sort that out. Basically my read is that SM wants BM to stop being so invasive which I agree, but she does not want to fight for a flip of custody like her DH does, so they are just at a standstill of complaining and venting, but no action.

justmakingthebest's picture

You gave her the right advice but that is all you can do. While what they did felt good in the moment, their actions will have greater consequences than BM's actions- just because she is the MoTheR!-- and we all know how that goes around here. 

This is one of those things where I would just shrug next time they say anything and let them know that until they are ready to do it right, they are only hurting their case. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Well exactly. They do have a lot on BM that COULD lead to a swap of custody if they were to fight for it. However at the end of the day she is the BM and the BF lost to her in court years ago and he had a LOT against her. Not sure if it is mainly him being the dad and not the mom, or also he is active duty military that also helped on him not winning, but they have a much harder battle than BM does. Their BM plays the system well. They were supposed to use OFW, but BM did not want to or want to pay for it. So they communicate through text, which is not admissible like a court approved app would be. BM says wild stuff of f**k court and the judge, I will get you to pay me more money (she is mad because she remarried so spousal support is gone so she thinks she will get more child support now to make up the difference), etc. This BM does exactly what she wants and thinks she runs the show, but also my friend’s DH to a point let’s her, so it is more of a DH problem than a BM problem.


Then you know we add fuel to the fire, unintentionally of we have spent time with them with my SD, who is very well behaved and bf parents her, whereas because of his limited time with the child he is a Disney dad and my friend hates that. So SM gets kind of jealous the way things are handled in our situation with both BM and the child. I like spending time with this friend and they are good friends to us, but sometimes I just think they never should of gotten together because she is very insecure about BM, the child, etc. Does not help that BM has called SM fat, side wife, etc. So again, DH problem for the most part. He is a really good guy, but he hates drama and conformation and wants to enjoy his little time with his daughter.

day.drmr76's picture

Like above said, they sound like they feed off drama. If court order says BM can call, blocking her would only fuel the fire. They can set boundaries and ignore the rest. In the middle of this is a poor kiddo Sad

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Oh I know! That is what I told bf this morning. I said I feel bad that all this drama is going on, but most of all I feel bad for the SD. The SD is old enough to want to speak with her mom, communicate that, and call her on her own. Especially when the child has her own phone. Even though BM doesn’t let the kid call him when she is supposed to, he still talks to her, every few days, he is not 100% blocked like they are doing now. I think personally it might make the child resent them because she is used to BM controlling the phone calls and such with dad, but then on the limited time with dad, now there is this drama that she is being told she can’t talk to her mom and the police is showing up twice in a day to talk/see the child. I don’t agree with that and I told her it was a bad idea.


Even though BM is in contempt with not letting SD talk to her dad every other day, it will win no favor with the judge if they are doing the same stuff. Only way it would work is if they followed the court order, but BM was not. This is why in my situation, even though BM does petty stuff with bf calls SD like being in the car with the windows down or letting him talk to her while they are in a public place. When BM calls, we aren't vindictive and doing the same to her, we won't stoop to her level. 

still learning's picture

There are few rare instances for a bio parent to be blocked from contacting the child and that would have to be ordered by the court. Being irritated with the BM is not one of them.  The fact that they have completely barred the child from talking to her mother on dad's time is going against their CO.  I don't blame BM for calling to have a wellness check done. Your friend and her husband are going to lose this one. Stay out of the line of fire, sit back and watch the fireworks. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I told SM I thought what was best was to show you are encouraging the relationship between SD and BM still, but then argue to get the means of communication changed. What I mean by this is to not have unlimited access to the child on the other parent’s time (unless it is for an emergency, obviously). Show the messages that BM is playing games with the child’s emotions by the things she says such as “We bought you a pool and swing set for when you come back to me, but you won’t get to enjoy it until your dad let’s you come home,” and all the other messages BM sends to the child that is PAS, followed by the harassment of messages she sends to DH on a daily basis. That way you two look good in court, but can show how BM isn’t doing right by the child. NOW they look just as guilty as BM if not more so because they are doing it in reaction to BM, instead of thinking of what is best for the child.


Based on everyone’s comments I am seeing I am wasting breath and time putting well thought out advice that I have learned from here or from my experience in step life and I will listen, but that is going to be it because clearly it is most important to try and get revenge on BM.

ESMOD's picture

It sounds like everyone is putting their hatred of the other party before their love of their child.

Yes... of course informing BM of calling hours would be the reasonable thing to do.  Of course blocking her from every number is giving her reason to call in the police for a wellness check.. because they could all be at the bottom of a

I do believe that both parents should have the ability to access the other parent for an emergency.. "at any time".. by that I mean, that they can call and leave a message that will be read in a reasonable time period.  Not every message deserves a response.  The first call outside hours would be met with a return text.  "BM, we are all busy right now, please call back between 5 and 7 (the hours we said she would be available for calls) so that you can have your daily call with DD".  After that.. they can all ignore the texts and then make DD available at the appointed time.

But.. they are enjoying the conflict and looking to WIN... no matter who gets hurt.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I definitely agree! It is clouding the actual important issues that would help them get some siding with the judge with all the times BM is in contempt of the CO. Which believe me they have LOTS. However, it is going to get lost on the petty revenge that is going on.


Personally, I don’t think it is the BF in this, it is the SM. I like her as a friend and enjoy hanging out with her, but I think she got in a situation that wasn’t right for her. She is very insecure about BM, especially when she also was married and bought a home with her ex. Which she still owns and rents out and her DH went and helped her fix up before finding new renters. SM wants control on their time with SD, not BM, which I get, but she lets it get to her tooooo much. I have never been married, bought a home, or had children (she does not have a child of her own or with DH yet), and I am way more secure about it all without being married to bf yet, but my bf does prioritize me over BM, I can’t even give an example of a time he did not. Maybe closest thing was in the beginning of our relationship and BM was sending all these messages to bf about wanting to work things out, etc. and bf was ignoring her instead of saying no, it’s over, etc. Which he ended up doing for me because I was bothered by the fact that he wasn’t, but it was because he didn’t want to start more drama. Other than that, he has been nothing, but good to me.

ESMOD's picture

It sounds like in SM's opinion.. he isn't "done enough" with his ex.. so she is waging a war of control.  Sure, I am on board with the "the Ex doesn't get to tell us how to run our home.. and doesn't get to set rules for a child when they are with the other parent".  But, there are SM's who resent the implication of any residue that their SO was in a relationship with the other person.  the kids become pawns.. or barely tolerated evidence of the relationship.. EVERYthing becomes a conflict and battle of wills etc..

There are also situations where it is clear that the SP is trying to take over the parental role and that , in itself creates conflict too.

But.. it's like many people on here who are very wedded to their "I am right" POV.. even when someone points out that their actions are making a situation worse.. they then get upset because they aren't 100% validated.. and this is a venting site.. yeah.. you can vent of course.. but it is also a resource for solutions.. if someone is part of the problem.. they may not see it from their own perspective.

For those people.. and your friend may be one of them.. you just have to change the subject when they start venting because it's like talking to someone that keeps hitting their thumb with the hammer cause they are holding the nail wrong.. they don't want to know what their problem is.. just want to blame the hammer.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I totally agree with this point of view on the topic. I just don’t get it I suppose when she has also been married before. Granted, she does not have any children, but she even said “I will be so pissed if BM has a child with her DH before I have my first child,” which it’s like why do you care? I mean I kinda get it, I guess, that it would be cool to give SD her first little sibling, but my life won’t be ruined if it does not happen that way. Plus SM does not want to have a child for another 3 years so it’s not like it is in SM’s immediate plans either or they have been trying.


I think she just struggles with there was another woman before her and she can’t deal with the fact that her DH does not shut it down when BM tries to prove dominance over the situation.

EveryoneLies's picture

Although I can understand your friends' frustration that there are others before her, I think she needs to grow up.

I don't like the fact that my DH made stupid choices before he met me either. His mistake of choosing those women caused issues still to this day lol (our home and his car were vandalized by one of his ex gf's family member. I wasn't the reason why they broke up, so it really just that they wanted to get back on him. This is of course a crime and we did file a police report, although, I don't expect anything to happen)

I also don't enjoy dealing with my SS or his mom. I kept only necessary contact with his mom. Mostly DH takes care of it. I have nothing to say to that woman, and this strategy has worked out great so far. 

You acquaintance friend needs to grow's not like she didn't know he was married before they were married.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Or did not know he had a child, she knew all of that. 

simifan's picture

Just an aside, if they are already in different states and on a long distance plan, no court will stop Bm from moving with the child. 

justmakingthebest's picture

You are correct. The long distance parenting plan will stay in place like it is now. I have already had to deal with that possibility with my exH and DH- both still active military (even though both the old farts have been in 21 years!). Thankfully exH has already moved away so if DH gets orders and we decide for him to stay in 2 years from now, we are in the clear to move. ExH has no grounds to stop it. 

Aniki's picture

Your friend can block BM's number but her DH? NO. Not without a RO or something legal stating she cannot call his phone. What if someone was using BM's phone to let him know she'd been in an accident and SD had to stay with him?

He definitely needs to go to court and address this issue. In the meantime, I suggest he get a cheap second phone only for BM calls and give her set times for calls because he's "out doing whatever", "doesn't carry his phone 24/7".

If he doesn't want to get a second phone, he could max out his voicemail so it only allows 1-3 messages (is full). Turn off the phone or ringer and return calls later.

Certainly sounds like they're all into drama. Ish. Care about loving your kid more than sticking it to the ex.