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Since it seems that people disagree with the

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

fact that bf and I do not attend small close events/situations with BM because we do not want to risk an interaction with BM's older child when it has just been a year since BM took his rights away from her, I would love to know how everyone else would handle this. After BM rubbed it in bf's face he wasn't the biological father after passing her off as his for 3 years. After she tried for months after removing his rights to emotionally black mail him into taking care of the child still financially and physically with BM having the ability to take her away at any moment? After BM told the child she wasn't his while waiting for the court ordered dna test result hearing that made the child tell bf to his face "you are not my daddy!" After how BM any chance she gets still mentions this child to bf and blames him for it all when clearly he isn't the one who cheated, ordered the dna test, or asked for the rights to be removed? Or how about the fact the child is about to be 6 and probably has no idea who her dad is and how confusing that would be for the child to see bf because she cannot understand what is going on? It is emotionally damaging for both bf and the child.

So please enlighten me given all that how you would handle this or encourage your partner to handle this after being there with your SO through all that and seeing all the pain and such the subject has brought him, but then tell him he should go to these things where he has to see the child before he has been able to fully move on. I do not and will not put bf through that and I don't think it is right to put the child through that either.

Edit: I have NEVER told bf not to go to something for SD or said anything about not going because of BM's older child. That is bf's decision 100% and I am not going to sit here and encourage him to go after everything. So since apparently it has been misunderstood to mean I am telling him not to go, I wanted to make it clear. Also, in a max 6 months, we will live in another state from BM, the other coast to be exact, so these interactions of BM and her child will happen so rarely it is not even funny.


fakemommy's picture

Your BF was essentially that child's stepdad. And yes, I know he thought she was his, so that is different, but still. My skid had a step dad since birth-6yo. He loved skid like his own child. He really did. He has another kid with BM and he has maintained as much of a relationship as possible with skid since they divorced. He is involved with my family as well (we like him) and we often get the kids together.

Your BF is an adult. I understand why he would struggle with this, but he could make the best of a bad/difficult situation, especially knowing he won't live near his daughter soon. He has to be the adult, move past his feelings, and do what is best for his kid. The other kid will be fine. She knows he's not her dad, I am sure it is confusing, but she's always going to be there. I would handle this just the way I'm encouraging your BF handle this.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

different knowing you are a child's step dad and agreeing to be versus being told for 3 years this child is his own blood that he loved as his own, but then he decides to divorce the mother so she strips him of all of his rights. Then tries to emotionally black mail him so BM has 100% control and can use the child as a pawn WHICH SHE ALREADY DID through the divorce and custody battle.

It is really easy to say this is how he should handle it when you have not been through it. NO ONE on here has been through this.

justmakingthebest's picture

Your emotions are still so high, I am sorry that I upset you.

BM is  real piece of crap. No one here will disagree with that!

I do think that it has been a year and it is time to start being more involved with your future SD's life outside of strict visitation. IF that upsets the other child, even though it is hard for your BF, it shouldn't stop him from being a bigger part of SD's life.

When you said that you won't tell him to go, I assumed that meant that he was counting on you for what to do. I think that you should tell him to go. To be there for his kid. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

but of course it upset me because BM is still playing games with this child it is very clear. All bf wants to do is close that chapter and move on. The birth certificate nonsense is already being enough of a problem on trying to close that chapter, let alone seeing that child. If you saw his face when SD asked him that question, you wouldn't ask your SO to then THAT SAME DAY go somewhere he will see the other child.

No that was his decision on not going and I support that if that is how he feels.

lieutenant_dad's picture

His love for his child has to be greater than his own pain. It's that simple. He has to figure out ways to deal with his own pain in the situation that doesn't involve him ignoring SD's life outside his visitation with her.

SD will have a multifaceted life that will include BM and Older Sister. BF has to figure out how to handle them, even if it hurts him. He has to show BM that he WON'T be run off just because she uses her daughter to emotionally manipulate him.

SD deserves to have her dad at her events and to have him integrated into her WHOLE life. If he only reserves her for when she is only with him, or when he can guarantee that BM won't be involved, then SD will only learn to not involve her dad in her life outside visitation.

Listen, I've watched my DH have to interact with the man who my SKs called "Daddy" right in front of him. The man ET cheated on DH with. The man who lied about CPS visits, who stole from his kids' piggy bank, who lied about him to anyone who would listen. But, as much as DH wanted to choke the man, my DH cared too much about his kids to be excluded from their lives because he (and ET) happened to be present. And DH regrets the time he spent running because he didn't get past the hurt fast enough.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

One that I don't think anyone can understand unless they have been through it.

I get what you are saying, but everyone deals with grief in their own way and if it takes another year for bf to be able to be in that situation, I am not going to hold it against him.

lieutenant_dad's picture

So the real question in this is, is your BF actively working through his grief? Is he taking the steps needed so that next year he'll be able to come to SD's dance recital if he has money/time to be able to go?

This will always be a sore spot and a wound. The question is, how many years of SD's life will he lose out on trying to numb that pain enough that he can be involved? Just being away from a situation like this isn't going to be enough.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

when BM is over here still sending messages blaming bf for that situation and how the birth certificate still lists him as dad. I think once the birth certificate gets handled and he gets out of the marine corps (May 2021) and can cover up his tattoo of the child's name he will be able to put it behind him because other than mentions from SD all the other doors are closed.

No matter what let's be honest he is going to miss out on a lot of SD's life just simply because we will be on another side of the country for her. I am not saying outside of the agreement outlining his visitation with her that he won't try and see her more/do more with her, but because the judge was not going to separate the sisters, only way he could be more involved is if he chose to follow BM around to be near SD. Or until we have reasons to flip custody down the road or when SD is old enough to have a say. That is where we are playing the long game, we hope down the road to flip custody, but we need enough evidence of why it should flip before even touching a court room.

lieutenant_dad's picture

People actively work through grief all the time. Him getting off the BC will likely take time if it's on BM to do it, because she'll likely drag her feet until a written CO is in place and actually enforced. A tattoo cover-up costs money and time, too. So your BF is looking at another 6 months to a year before you see him really being able to put it behind him. That's a long time to keep stewing in his grief and possibly cementing inside him. It's unhealthy for him to sit in it versus learning how to work through it in the bad times.

And yes, he's going to miss out on a lot due to his long-distance custody schedule, which is why I think he needs to take the opportunities that he can, when he can. If he doesn't want to, that's fine. Just don't let that fester in him, either, if he later regrets the decisions he has made.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

You guys do what works for you. You won't get any judgement from me. If that means your DH parents SD on the time specified by the CO (assuming he has one), and doesn't attend things where BM is present outside that time, fine. That's what the CO is for. Idk if he has a CO that allows parenting time, but of not, he should get one. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

We do have a court order and this would all be moot point if BM moved over the summer like the PSA says she was going to. Now she is still 20 minutes away from us. However, she is "supposedly" moving in December or January, but if that doesn't happen we are 100% moving this May to the other coast, so this will all be a non-issue except for major milestones later down the line, but by then it won't be as fresh or an issue.

We are getting SD for 4 days for Thanksgiving then our order doesn't state for us to get her again until March. It is easier and honestly better for everyone to stick to the CO. Yes, some might disagree and say it is not best for SD, but the more communication the more issues, tension, hosility, drama, etc. which that also is not good for a child to constantly deal with either.

Holly's picture

I haven't been on here for a very long time but I am just going to put my 2 cents worth in.

1)  Why do we have to buy into the idea that all parents must always attend every single event that a child participates in and if they don't they are terrible parents and the child will be permanently damaged? Over 22 years that (if you count up to college graduation), that adds up to hundreds of teachers nights, school plays, recitals, sports training and matches, over and above the important ones like birthdays, christmas, graduations, weddings... I know that there were many times in my childhood that one or other of my parents were unable to attend something and frankly, now I can't even remember what they were. 

2) It's perfectly obvious that the BM in this case is a supreme sh*tstirrer and would love to create drama - for that reason alone it would be a H*ll No in my house - and no, I wouldn't be making that call, my DH would.

Recently, my DH's elder (now adult) daughter - after living in her mother's house during Covid lockdown - told him that now she gets why he chose to avoid the drama and is happy that she has one parent who is calm and rational.


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

1. I don't know why it is that way either. If it isn't going to cause drama and you have the ability to go, yeah I say you should go. However in our case, it opens the door to a lot of drama and tension which ultimately isn't good for either SD or the other child, that isn't even counting bf's emotions in this. Honestly, bf thinks BM would try and set him up somehow if he were to show up to something like this since the countless calls to the cops and CPS she has made with false allegations over the last 3 years.

2. Amen.

Well that must of been very nice to hear

Thumper's picture

I know why....

It fuels the drama in court. DAD is bad because he wont go to activities to see his child, dad doesnt CARE, dad really doesnt love his poor is absentee dbag deadbeat... DAD then plays defense all of the time.


Whats next, dad is bad unloving, uncaring dad because he doesn't stand at the bus stop during moms time with child?

IGNORE IT. Judges hear this junk all the time. None of this is new.

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I agree, the whole helicopter parenting thing is relatively new and has gotten out of hand. My dad is of the Boomer generation and he was telling me about when he played little league baseball. He said parents didn't usually go to the games, and his coach was an older kid. When i asked why, he said "that was our thing", meaning by the kids/for the kids. Looking back, my parents mostly went to the big things. They didn't go to every track meet but they did go to the district championship. They went to my dance recital once a year but would probably rather be at the dentist than watch a practice. I was encouraged to either walk from school or get a ride with someone if possible. I can't imagine my childhood with a parent hovering all the time. Parents who let their kids have the independence we had in the 80s would likely be reported to social services in today's climate.

justmakingthebest's picture

I would agree with you in this case if they weren't planning on moving out of state and will have minimum visitation after that happens... Her BF is about to have limited access and "could" wind up really regretting not taking these few moments with his daughter while she is young.

stepgirlfriendfurmom's picture

But isn't that kind of what happens usually when parents get divorced? You miss things like this and if you're going to get divorced you need to accept ahead of time things are limited. I don't blame OP honestly after all that has happened seems like lighting yourself on fire might be more pleasant and less risky. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I don't know the whole backstory, or why her BF won't have any parenting time after the move. Usually if it's long distance the NCP can at least go for summers and holidays? 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

other Christmas, every spring break, and 6 weeks of summer. What people are saying is because we won't be 20 minutes away to see a dance audition after we move that bf is making a mistake not sucking it up and going and seeing BM and the other child

Stepmama2321's picture

My SO raised his SD as his own from the time she was 6mo until they divorced. They had 1 bio together during marriage. The SD had an involved father so he never had rights over SD but looked at her as his own. Once they divorced, she no longer allowed contact. It hurt him and still does. It's been 5 years and he's came to terms with the fact he raised her but will no longer have a relationship with her. Now BM has a new man who is both girls' "SD". I think it's more damaging to the child to put someone into their lives just to take them away. But that's a HCBM for you. They think of themselves before their child.

In your situation - if they were married and SD was conceived due to cheating but DH was unaware and raised child as his own - he should have legal rights over her regardless of paternity. Was it his choice to no longer have contact or courts said he has no rights? 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and that is what happened in this situation too. BM used the child as a pawn and also thought she could take away his rights then make bf still act as a parent to the child.

In the state of Virgina the biological mother can terminate the "perceived" father's rights if he had no knowledge of not being the child's biological father and the mother wishes to disestablish paternity during divorce. That is just a sum of what the law states. BM at the pendente lite hearing said that the older child cannot be considered for the visitation schedule due to the child not being biologically bf's to which the judge ordered a court ordered dna test which proved he was not the father and pushed forward bm's agenda to strip him of his rights. So he has no rights to her whatsoever.

It was bf's choise to not continue a relationship after bm stripped his rights away because BM at any time could end that contact since he has no rights to her, so the only person it would help would be BM till she found a new man or was mad at bf, etc.

Stepmama2321's picture

In my state that is not the case and I'm sorry your DH is going through this, I can't imagine raising a child as my own and then finding out they aren't your bio but still want contact and not getting it. BM is punishing her X but ultimately damaging her 6 yo. What a monster.

Aren't you also the one who posts about DH still having finacial responsibility over said child? She's on his insurance? So he is not allowed contact but she still expects him to financially care for her? That makes no sense.

In this situation, I do agree with your DH wanted to completely cut ties. Why prolong this heartache when BM isn't going to give him rights and neither is the court. However, I do believe he should go to any and all functions of his DD that he is able to. Doesn't mean he needs to interact with BM or even the other daughter. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Yep, BM is a total monster.

So kind of. Bf has not been able to remove the child from his insurance because BM has not changed the birth certificate like the judge told her to and she legally has to. It has been over a year and she still has not followed through so we sent her a letter threatening legal action against her. It is either 1. BM doesn't want to dish out the money to get a new birth certificate, 2. BM is using bf's insurance for the child for the next 6 months until he gets out so she doesn't have to spend money on insurance for her.

Exactly, it doesn't make any sense when at any moment BM could make it so he never sees the child ever again after caring for her emotionally and physically even longer than he already had.

advice.only2's picture

BM used what she thought was an optimal power play and it backfired in her face. All of the resulting issues are her essentially throwing a "tantrum" because she got her way and she can't take blame for her own actions, so she's going to continue to blame your BF.
Hence the reason BM hasn't done anything to change the birth certificate, why she keeps sending him nasty messages, and why she's now working on poisoning his birth daughter against him.
I know you think with the subsequent move this will help issues die down, but be prepared this BM is going to ramp up even she has the ultimate weapon, denying visitation. Justmakingthebest is a prime example of what your BF probably has in store for him.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Well it is going to ramp up one way or another because either today or tomorrow she will be receiving the threatening legal action against her letter via mail about her not changing the birth certificate. BM is stupid, but I don't think she will deny visitation. Maybe thanksgiving because it is not in the CO, but the time in the CO I think she will follow, but at the exchange will probably try to start drama which is what she usually does.

It's called she needs to be an adult and take responsibility for her actions because they were all her's alone.

SeeYouNever's picture

Who is disagreeing? People in your life? I don't share much about step life to people in real life, other than my mom. There is no reason to air that dirty laundry because you will get looked at as an evil stepmom by even your friends. Vent only to people you trust or online. 

If it's your BFs family that is giving you shit about this I always just say "it's all up to him." I have had my in laws try to pin blame on me for either not making my DH do his visitation time or for telling him not to visit. Like you I haven't told him not to do him time either, but people like to make it your fault for getting in the way or for not pushing him "to be a better father." Ugh, it's not our fault or our problem!

Just keep these thoughts close to the chest, and when people try to give you crap about it remind them that it's up to your BF, it's his kids, his ex and his choice. You're just there to support him. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

are on this site when I posted venting about BM's continued petty games. People were saying that bf needs to suck it up and go to support SD and him not going because BM's oldest child will be there that basically he is being a bad dad and hurting SD.

Luckily I suppose, my bf does not have much family. His grandparents are deceased, no relationship with his mother, his siblings are all half and are a mess. The only family he keeps in contact with is a cousin and his dad, but he does not discuss these smaller issues/games with his dad. My family does not criticize the choices he/we have made on topics relating to the older child or step life just sometimes ask questions because they don't understand.

Thank you for the support!

SeeYouNever's picture

I stand by it that it is his choice and his problem. It's not your responsibility to make him go and if you aren't trying to make him skip things then you aren't at fault.

There have been times for me that I wanted to skip SD events and my husband has to make the choice to go without me or to skip it and be with me. Again, it is HIS CHOICE. It's totally within your rights as a stepmom to be like "nah no thanks" and if he chooses not to go because you aren't going then it's a choice he's made. 

Likewise if he decides to go and it causes drama then it's on him too. It's totally acceptable for us to vent and get frustrated about these situations our SOs get themselves into. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I totally agree with that!

lieutenant_dad's picture

Nope, not saying he's "basically a bad dad". I'm saying he needs to think past his own hurt to make sure he doesn't inadvertently hurt SD in the process of protecting himself, or in the process of being truthful to SD when she asks questions.

Even though my DH doesn't have the particular hurt of having BM lie about the paternity of the boys (though I personally question it because of her behaviors), he does have the hurt of having a lying,, thieving, cheating ex whose sole purpose in life is/was to hurt him. Now that he's nearing "the other side" of it all, he has regrets about some of what he let her control out of his own discomfort.

No one disagrees that your BM is one of the worst, or that your BF has a crap situation to deal with. How he approaches that crap situation is what folks, especially folks with military and veteran partners, are trying to offer different perspectives on.

So, looking at this situation logically, BM is a liar and likely isn't moving in December/January. Once you all move, BM is likely going to make it an uphill battle to even TALK to SD, CO be damned. Public events are likely going to be one of the few ways that your BF will be able to see/interact with SD outside his summer and holidays because BM likely won't allow phone calls and you'll spend 6 months waiting for a court date for a contempt charge for the judge to wag a finger at BM and tell her not to do it again. Family court doesn't like the military, current or former, so it'll likely be a rough, expensive battle.

Now, because BF isn't involved in the day-to-day, he won't know when recitals are, if there is an online viewing option, etc. But, if he gets to know the dance instructor, and the dance instructor can put a face to BF and see he is active (versus the story BM will tell, which is that BF is a deadbeat who moved with his mistress across the country and left her without a pot to piss in to raise BOTH girls on her own because he "adopted" the oldest but lied during the divorce to not have to pay CS for her), the dance instructor is more likely to share direct information with him about the happenings versus if he doesn't.

Still doesn't mean he SHOULD go. It DOES need to be a thing he thinks about. If you're playing the long game, that also means looking past current hurts to see the domino effect things have down the line. It's NOT easy, and if BM catches wind that he's purposefully avoiding things because of Older Child, she's going to drag her feet as much as possible on EVERYTHING, including the BC.

So, he needs to be very thoughtful about his actions. Likely, anything he does will be twisted, but he needs to pick the kind of pretzel he's willing to be twisted into. There is benefit to going to the recital, but also the potential for negative. I don't know which outweighs the other for him, and if he goes, if he's willing to tell BM to knock off her BS to her face. But it's not unreasonable to go, just like it's not unreasonable not to go SO LONG AS he can explain why to SD if she asks and if he won't regret his decision in the future. I've found with my DH that his anger at BM flashes and dries up far quicker than his regrets in regards to his kids.

skell76's picture

She didn't ask to be placed in the middle of this garbage and ultimately she's the one who will end up getting hurt.  Take BM out of the equation.  Would he go and support his daughter? By not going he's conditionally loving her and punshing her because of BM's actions. 

Trust me, I don't fault you both. We've been accused of so much, spent 80K + fighting BM's court filings, which we won but still it's a HUGE financial strain on our family and the worst part is....we know it won't ever end. I get sick to my stomach with her and the crap she pulls. 

But at the end of the day when SD comes running to her dad and hugs him and me, it's all worth it.  We never sit next to them and in a parent meeting with therapist, BM wants to be friends <eye roll> no, that ship sailed due to your false abuse allegations and just constant BS.  We'll be cordial when we absolutely have to be in close quarters but otherwise we stay on opposing sides of rooms for functions.  My point being, it can be done.

Do the right thing for the kid.