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Why do people want to meet their SO's ex?

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Kind of O/T because this is not about me, but rather my friend who is married to a man who has a child from his first marriage. So my friend texts me quite often to vent about her husband's ex. The BM in their situation is very high conflict, never follows the court order, and quite honestly is a disgusting human being. To just give some brief background in February, their 6 year old daughter had a 104 fever and the BM was pissed she had to go pick the child up from BM's mom's house and leave the bar. Then refused to take her to the hospital. My friend and her husband are both military, BM has majority custody (judge's ruling) and lives states away. Friend and husband ended up calling the cops for a wellness check because BM would not take the child to see the doctor. This BM almost never lets the child speak to her dad on the phone (they have a court ordered phone schedule), refuses to take child to see her dad during his time (they are to meet halfway, rotate every other holiday, then switch every 2 weeks in the summer), making the BF either drive all the way to get her and even then BM does not allow child to go with her dad. There is much, much, much more, but that is just to give some background.

Anyways, last night my friend texts me to vent because they are having issues with the BM on the summer schedule. BM is trying to use COVID-19 as a reason to not send the child to her dad's for his time. Which is after BM had asked the BF to keep the child from April - June instead of just his 1 week of spring break because school was canceled for the rest of the year... They ended up keeping her for 4 weeks, but not longer due to their work schedule. So BM blocked the BF's phone number ... which is the only way they communicate, the judge wouldn't order them to use an app, but for all communication to be through text, call, and emails. So they texted the BM from my friend's number (SM). And the BM went OFF, said really nasty things actually, when all they asked was for her to unblock BF's number.

To make a long story short, my friend then vents how the BM never asked to or wanted to meet her (SM) ... and I told her, we are on total opposite ends of the spectrum, I have zero desire to meet my bf's ex and if she had asked/wanted to meet me the answer would of been no. The point of me telling you background on my friend and her husband's histoy with the BM is to show how high conflict she is to get a better answer to my question.

So my question is why do step parents want to meet their SO's ex? Especially when their SO's ex is very clearly such high conflict. 


P.S. supposedly the BM is going to try and get a restraining order on my friend today because they contacted her on the SM's number and is going to contact her command today













CompletelyPuzzled's picture

I will never understand it.  I am a BM and a SM.  When my exH started dating his now wife, they insisted that I do a sit down with her.  I wasn't overly thrilled with the idea but went along with it.  My exH and I generally co-parent well but there were some problems with his previous girlfriend.  It almost turned into an ugly custody battle over her abusive nature so I think exH wanted me to see that his new gf was better.

As far as my current DH, I knew BM back when they were together.  I had no reason to meet her and I wouldn't spend time with the crazy b***h if you offered to pay me


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I imagine there was no conflict or issues before with this woman that would make you against doing it. My friend's husband's ex has called my friend fat, a hoe, and last night called her "his little new side hoe wife" ... so why oh why my friend would ever want to be within any distance of this woman blows my mind.


justmakingthebest's picture

First, I am sure that the SM will talk to her command and let them know what's going on. They are used to crazy exes.

As for the meeting the ex- It totally depends on the situation. I adore my kids SM. I am glad we have the relationship we do! I had hoped that BM would see me as easy going on willing to work with her. Telling her how great I work with my kids SM and that I get it. I am a mom too. I would love to help everything go more smoothly. 

Of course that was just a waste of  breath. 

I think in your friends case it will be a waste, but if you are dealing with normal/rational people, it is nice to meet everyone involved in your kids lives.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I am not worried about the restraining order or her contacting my friend's command, just was showing how this BM is very hostile wanting to do both of those things because the BF contacted her on his wife's number since she blocked him.

Yeah I guess that is a good point! I only have the prespective/emotions regarding my bf's ex who is very high conflict as everyone here knows and after everything she has done and said, I have not a nice word to say to her. I actually told me bf if she ever said hello to me or something I would say hello back, but beyond that I have nothing else nice to say so it is better I say nothing at all. Luckily so far BM has not tried to say anything to me and it is clear that at drop off I stay in the truck and bf is 10 feet away for the exchange that I have zero interest in contact

SteppingOut_2020's picture

When I first started dating my ex 11 years ago, I did want to meet the ex to try to avoid having a non-cordial relationship.  Not that I wanted to become friends to do things with, just so that we could chat if need be about the kids, visitation, schedules, etc. and even on a selfish level so I could trust her! I even offered for my ex to have the ex reach out to me regarding a medical procedure that she was going to have that I had also previously had to open up those lines of never happened.  

Over the years, even despite being open-minded about her she just ruined any chance of being able to communicate.  She was regularly drunk because she hated her life, became high conflict and started, or actually demanded that my ex do things for her or she was going to take him back to court for more child support, etc. so that desire to become cordial and have a relationship that we could at least stand to be in the same room with each other quickly dwindled.   

So I think sometimes it just makes it easier if the ex and the new wife can be friendly towards each other and could possibly avoid issues in the future, but unfortunately it just isnt always possible.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

sometimes it starts that way of wanting to meet the SO's ex because there were no previous issues with the ex before, but as time went on and issues arose, that was no longer a desire.

I can definitely see I would feel different if BM was a sane, normal, calm individual, but since I have been in my bf's life, all I have seen myself firsthand that she is not that way so there would be no benefit to us meeting.

I have technically two step family dynamics in my family, my dad's dad is technically his step dad, but his birth father walked out when he was a baby and my grandfather adopted him, so until I was a lot older, didn't even know he wasn't my dad's birth dad. Then my uncle got remarried two years ago, but the kids were all teenagers and both of their ex spouses they knew before and were abusive and/or cheated so there was no getting along/meeting there. So these dynamics I don't have much to compare it to!

shamds's picture

i have not and never will meet the ceazy bitc* we call bio mum. She’s a narcissist, abusive, hcgubm and a psycho... my husband hasn’t seen her in 11 yrs and even whe sd’s pressured hubby to meet them after they ended contact 5 yrs ago, my hubby refused...

there is no reason i need to meet the ex, i take care of my kids and my husband, skids are not my problem or issue...

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

to that!

tog redux's picture

I think meetings should just happen naturally - at an event, or a pick-up. Eventually they do.

The first time I met BM was by accident - I went over to DH's apartment, we had been dating maybe a few months at that point. BM was there dropping off something for him.  This was when she was sure they were getting back together, so they were very friendly.  She looked at me over her glasses and said an icy, "Hello.".  Then she gave DH what she brought for him, and gave him a hug and a kiss!  LOL. Pissing on her territory, I guess. DH seemed a bit caught off guard.


futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

making it a formal meeting or anything like that, almost seems like the ex has a say in whether you are good or not for the kid/kids

Oh man! That is pretty wild, but obviously it wasn't her territory to piss on.

Personally, I don't think till a graduation or something like that, will there be any words exchanged, maybe not even then. I am being the bigger person by never saying anything negative to BM as myself, in person or in messages, etc. but don't really feel the need right now to be the bigger person and say a polite hello to BM right now, instead just pretend she doesn't exist is my mantra

tog redux's picture

I think I've probably said 10 words to BM in 10 years, mostly just hello.  I don't think it hurts to say hello if you see her.

advice.only2's picture

I think for most people they figure "hey I should introduce myself to this person so they know I am a normal likeable person and they shouldn't worry about their child being around me."
But that's because normal people don't think like psychopaths and don't understand the level of crazy there is out there.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This was me. It seemed like the "normal" thing to do. Parent meet their kids' friends' parents, and teachers, and daycare providers, and coaches, etc. Basically, anyone who has contact with their kid, potentially without the parent there. And under normal circumstances, I think a normal parent would appreciate that thought, even if they don't want to meet the SP or see the need for it. I think the opposite is true, too (i.e. a BP wanting to eet a SP).

But, normal people are rare, especially in divorce, so what may seem like a mundane, "normal" request gets twisted or used in malice. Then the stories about how these requests are ploys spread, and people assume the worst, even if your intention is "the best".

ladybug3's picture

I used to want to meet DH's ex in the sense that I was open to it if she wanted it. She never wanted to meet me and decided to hate me from day one, so I got over that desire real quick. I think it's a control thing. SMs who are that involved and want to meet with or talk to BM are really just looking for a way to control the situation. That's for high-conflict BMs, of course.

twopines's picture

It never occured to me to specifically want to meet DH's ex. The first time we met was at SD's high school graduation. "Hello, nice to meet you" and various social pleasantries while DH and SD were doing pictures. But for me it definitely wasn't, "Oh yay I finally get to meet BM and see what she's all about". I couldn't care less. 

hereiam's picture

I could have gone my whole life without meeting BM, and have only been around her a couple of times, for very short periods (in 23 years). An official "meeting" was never done. I already knew what she was about, so....

I think some people are more curious than anything else.

BMs claim they want to meet the new GF or SM because they want to know who is around their kid (I mean, that sounds good, right?) but again, I think it's just curiosity or wanting to make their "position" known. Yeah, yeah, we know the kid came out of your birth canal, who cares?

Polar_Sun's picture

I didn't have any desire to meet BM but I thought it was part of the process because whether I like it or not, she will always be part of my DH's life because of the kids. She really wanted to meet me and I was ok with that, it had a lot to do with curiosity and trying to "defend" her territory. 

The meeting was ok. She tried to make it "for the kids" but given the kind of questions and comments it was clear it wasn't about them. I let her ask questions, put her in her place when needed and was 100% backed up by my husband. 

Sandybeaches's picture

Of course if the BM is high conflict there is no reason to meet her as it is unlikely going to go well.  

However in all other situaions I think that meeting the Girlfriend, new Step-mother is a nice idea.  I don't know if it has to be a fomal sit down though especially if it a new GF but to meet the other parent might be nice if they are around your kids or if it is your DH's ex if you are all going to be present at events. 

Ideally unless the ex is crazy, high conflict or wants your spouse back it would be nice to meet them.  My ex's 2nd wife was wonderful to my son and I am still friendly with her to this day.  His third wife is nice and I do get along with her as well.  Everyone on that side is ok with eachother they like my husband too.  My husband's ex is high conflict, crazy and after 20 years still thinks she is married to him.  This situation is the exact opposite.  I was never formally introduced as she started her craziness right away.  It got worse and worse through the years.  It is too bad it also changes the relationships with me and my step-children.  Very sad!!

Cbarton12's picture

Personally, I've never had the desire to meet BM. I mean we've "met" at SD's extra curriculars and such. But I mean we know each other's names and that's it. We don't talk. 

I have no interest. She's very high conflict

ndc's picture

I wanted to meet BM out of curiosity, to put a face with the name, and because I knew I'd be in contact with her regarding logistics so it seemed a good idea to "know" her.  Apparently she wanted to meet me even more, because she showed up one morning to drop something off that her brother was supposed to bring to DH, knowing that I was there, and it was just a barely veiled excuse to meet me.  Anyway, she's not high conflict, so meeting her made sense.

I'm not sure why someone would want to subject themselves to a high conflict ex.

MissK03's picture

I met BM during a skid drop off. Everything seemed normal. First time I had a "one on one" with her was during  a morning drop off as she use to wait for SD to get on the bus. (At the time she took them every other weekend and her drop off was mon am) During this convo she told me SO was her "best friend" and she even suggested her and I go out sometime. RED FLAG! I never followed through with that offer.  I told this to SO and he was like wtf and thought that was very awkward. I did have sympathy for her in then. Got married young, kids young etc. We would sit togther at skids sporting events (that she only attend on her weekends mind you) and she told me so much information about things I just did not need to know. Like I was her BFF or something. I just sat there and listened. At that time too she  had a lot of control over SO that he didn't see  Everything was "cool" for about a year and half/two years.  I saw early on though her true motives. Then finally or falling out happened. Called her on her BS. Haven't spoken to her in over two years now. She ruined her relationship with her "best friend" too LOLLL. 

In my case, it was never about skids. It was her control over SO. He even admits that she always looked at him as a back burner.  When I stopped biting my tongue with her trying to get in between us and using skids as pawns in her reasonings that's when you see the real person shows. Not a pretty one either.