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HCBM wishing she could be with FH

lovetoteach's picture

Hi I'm new here! I’d really appreciate some help and advice on my situation bc I have no one that can relate! 

back story: FH and I have been together since his son was 2 (he is now almost 6.) He was never with his BM, their son was a surprise from a drunken one night stand he was adamant he didn't want to date BM based solely on a pregnancy (valid point to me, he didn't like her as a person).. back in the wee days when my FH and I were dating he used to tell me stories of how obsessed the BM was with him just based on the fact that I guess she was attracted to him and that he had a great family (they are awesome, they were there for her through her entire pregnancy and early months of SS's life, as well as to this day) his family also decided that it would be best to be friendly with BM and cordial in order to make sure FH was able to see his son more than just a weekend at a time. but back then I figured it's been years since y'all created that baby.. the sexual feelings she could've had should have wavered and maybe she should be moved on or even be looking for her own person since my FH has moved on and had even dated multiple other ppl while she was pregnant and up until meeting me, giving her zero indication that they'd be nothing other than co parents, he was very adamant to her about that.

which bring me to today....she is still very much obsessed with my FH and wants deeply to enmesh herself into the life of his family (which includes me) that she has resorted to making sure her son knows that I am essentially just a babysitter. Granted shell never say anything directly rude to me, she does petty things like act like I don't know how to pack his own school lunch and snacks, (shell pack them in his backpack for his days with us), which is extremely insulting as she knows I have worked with children for 10years, have a degree in it, teach part time while I earn another. There's absolutely nothing I love more than helping kids quite honestly. Idk if she turns a blind eye to all these facts but it is so upsetting that she put up such a fight to even allow us to keep the schedule my FH has had for 5 years, yelling that I'm not SS's mom, she is and that I shouldn't be doing school drop off/pick up. This was a huge fight they had and thankfull we got to keep things as is but the fact that she is so bothered that I am part of his daily school life is unbelievable to me. It's so upsetting to know that she will keep important school info from us. We didn't know about a field trip he took until he told us and we ultimately saw pictures on her FB which is a huge problem in general, she lives her life through FB. She tries to convey the message that she is vey much a part of FH's family by commenting on all their posts immediately after they've posted something, even tho she sees them infrequently, usually a couple minutes once a month. I'm not a big social media person, but when i see that it just upsets me bc she just likes to pretend like I'm not present in any of their lives when they mention me.. it's almost funny in a sad way. I am so worried when we post wedding photos that she'll try to outshine them by posting family portraits with our SS that are very professionally done, so that she can be taking up our family's timelines as much as our wedding photos will be...I'm very close with my FH's family so they all understand how this makes me uncomfortable, my FH has never understood bc he essentially treats her like a stranger bc that's what she was to him when they created their son.. and he's working on trying to help me bc he is seeing the damage she is doing and he can't handle it anymore either.  

there are many other instances im not listing due to the great length this already is but this is a start..

I'm just wondering, after over three years, will she ever stop trying to control our lives? Will we ever be able to live our lives without the unnecessary texts and alerts about things we already know regarding SS? she wants so badly to be a family with my FH that I fear once her son is old enough to fully understand what stepparents are, she's going to tarnish the wonderful relationship we have built all because she is so mad she didn't get to be in the place that I am in.


shamds's picture

or more and they will still contact exhusband who is happily remarried with more kids and tell their exhusband to divorce current wife so they can get back together for the sake of their kids. its just how it is and most guys even the ones wanting to avoid drama with the ex, will stay as far as possible and ignore the ex as much as possible

Cooooookies's picture

Ohhhhh I can relate.  Read my blogs, I can SO relate!  Like my DH used to do, your FH thinks it's easier to go along/ignore/not rock the boat with her vs. you.  It's easier to calm you down than it is to risk what she might do if he found his spine and put her in her place.  In his mind, she has all the power because they had a child together.

I used to be in your shoes, though my DH's family hates BM2 so I can't relate to the IL's being enmeshed.  Still, you mainly have an FH problem.  He is scared to enforce boundaries with BM so she's doing whatever she wants.  He is scared that if he puts her in her place, she'll use your SS2 as punishment/leverage.  She probably will.

HOWEVER if your FH ever wants a successful relationship away from psycho, he is going to have to take his man bits out of her handbag and start using them again.  I nearly left my DH because he would never, ever stand up to BM2 and she did some crazy ish.  She doesn't really want my DH back, she just doesn't want anyone else to have him either.  He's not allowed to move on or be happy.  In her mind, they had SS17 together so she owns DH and he is her puppet.

So he used to just ignore or go along, not wanting to upset her.  I was literally getting ready to pack and leave before he saw the light.  No way was I going to sit on the back seat of my own marriage and have another woman run my husband.  He caught on and changed after that.  It took a few years of fine tuning but we have managed to run her off.

Your FH needs to enforce boundaries and stick to them like his life depends on it.  No communication unless it directly relates to SS2.  Stick to the CO and never, ever deviate.  AND he needs to tell his family to back that bus up and drop psycho like right now!!  All of what he is doing and they are doing is disrespecting their son and any woman he might have in his life every again.

Yes, the BM is crazy but your FH isn't shielding the hits either.  He needs to start putting her back in her box.

tog redux's picture

He needs to ignore what doesn't matter (who cares if she packs snacks, and what she likes and posts on Facebook) and confront what does matter (any interference with his time, lies she's telling their son).  At first it can be hard to figure out which ones matter, but your goal is not to control her (you can't), it's to set boundaries around you and FH's life.

She's jealous and threatened about you replacing her in her son's life and about her ex moving on. Ignore all of that stuff - though I will say - it would probably help minimize the drama if you stopped taking on such an active parenting role and leave that stuff to your FH.

lovetoteach's picture

the only reason i care is bc shr is always sending us messages explaining what he has coming up in school, or what he should wear for something, as if we dont look at his school calendar. We DO. we CARE about his life and everthing involvled in it. So she is belittling us and actively showing us that she assumes we're incapable, or me for that matter. I always assume its bc shes 6 years older than me and that im in my mid twenties. But as i've stated, i work with children for a living, i know what i am doing, and i love every second of it

tog redux's picture

No, it's because she has control issues and she needs everyone to be clear that SHE is the mother. Just ignore or toss those message.

Or FH can ask her to stop reminding him, and let her know he's well aware of the school schedule. This is why everyone is saying that YOU should not be the one handling these things, in order to minimize her feelings of being territorial.

lieutenant_dad's picture

BM in my life is 6 years older than me, too, and tries to tell DH and I "things" we already know. It's not that she thinks we're stupid. It's that she HATES having lost control and wants to prove she still has it. And it burns her up when DH and I both know she's playing control games and don't play into them.

Your BM is no different than the ones we see here daily who just want their lives to be exactly how they want them, and they'll punish everyone else in the process when they don't get what they want or feel they deserve. Your BM thinks she deserves the life you have, but she can't have it so she'll make it awful for you to appease herself. Whether she hopes to get your FH as a partner is a moot point; you screwed up her plans and took her control of FH away, and she's going to punish you for it.

It has nothing to do with you personally and everything to do with what you represent. Your FH could replace you with a different woman, and it'd be the same outcome.

lieutenant_dad's picture

There are 3 courses of action that need to be taken here at appropriate intervals:

1.) Your FH needs to put up a fight when it directly impacts SS. It isn't BM's job to share school information with FH. FH needs to breathe down the next of every school administrator to male sure he is included in ALL school information sent to parents. It's his right as a father to get this information directly from the school, and if nicely talking to the school doesn't work, a firmly worded letter from an attorney might.

2.) You and FH need to disengage from things you cannot control. So what if BM packs him snacks? Either let SS eat them or throw them out. It was only a waste of BM's time and money, so no concern of yours. Also, block BM on Facebook so you can't see her postings on anyone's page. Then you'll never see the professional photos she has taken.

You also cannot control the relationships your in-laws have with her, but your FH should be protecting you from them. HE needs to tell them that they can have whatever relationship they want, but NEITHER of you want to know about her or her life or pictures she takes of SS or anything. Unless they see a credible threat to SS's safety, they need to zip it about her, and in turn, they need to zip it about your lives to her. If they cannot do that, then FH is going to have to make the tough decision of either protecting you or appeasing his family.

3.) Take a big ol' step back from parenting. Trust me, I know it's hard, especially when you want to do it. However, your FH has to be the one doing the heavy lifting parenting-wise and build those strong parenting muscles. Because you aren't mom. You'll never be mom. And with a toxic ex like this BM, you'll never get to be a "bonus mom". She won't allow it.

When you are dealing with an unhealthy/toxic step family situation, you can't go in with the same attitude of bonus mom and kids like can with a healthy one. BM will try to poison SS against you (she already is/has), and the only way to combat that is for your FH to make it ABUNDANTLY clear that HE is the parent and that YOU are his priority while his son is his responsibility. That means YOU should do all the fun things while Dad does all the dirty work.

My nickname here is Lt. Dad, and I picked that name because I learned the hard way that I'm not an equal parent in my household. An equal adult and partner, absolutely. But my DH is the leader of the parenting mission to raise my SSs into upstanding human beings. I am here to assist - I am not the general who decides the orders, I am the lieutenant who signed on (as in VOLUNTARILY CHOSE TO HELP - this is key) only to help execute them. 

I'm not saying you aren't capable ofr being a great parent. I'm saying taking on that equal parenting duty will do more harm than good. It's hard to explain now because your SS is so young, but as he ages and starts seeing the relationships everyone has with one another, he'll suffer if it isn't Dad first in your home in his parenting life, and you'll suffer if your DH doesn't doubly dole out consequence when your SS treats you poorly (and he eventually will - all kids do). If your FH and SS see you as an equal parent, your SS will walk all over you WITHOUT feeling any loyalty to listen to you like he was a BP.

This brings me to my final point: your FH needs to read up on parallel parenting ASAP and how fathers can fight a very pro-BM family court system. He has another decade of dealing with her, and he needs to be establishing some really firm boundaries with everyone in his life about how all of this is going to work moving forward to protect you, him, and SS. And yes, it is your FH's job to do this. He procreated with BM amd created this mess, and he has to be the one to clean it up. If you take over those duties for him, he won't ever fully see the problem or experience the full effect of it. You should never have to see or interact with BM. You should never have to field phone calls. You should never have to run things to her house. And if your FH needs someone to babysit or pick up SS, it should never just be assumed it is you that does it - you should be asked and thanked for it, even if you're happy to help.

You may think this all seems foolish or not how you want your family life to be, but given the experience of many, many of us here, that is how you do it without losing your marriage and sanity. You have to take a step back from a parenting role so that you can take a step forward in the partner role. Your FH has more responsibilities than you do, and those responsibilities are strictly HIS to handle. You can assist ON YOUR OWN CHOOSING on things that don't cause strife. I've helped with homework but disengage from bedtime because DH and I have wildly different opinions on what is appropriate, and since they aren't my kid, they aren't my problem. That phrase may be off-putting, but it's a sanity checkpoint - I can't actually have the final say in something related directly to the kids, so I can only control my own reaction to it.

Just keep reading here. You'll likely be appalled at first, but you'll learn really quickly that most of us started where you're at and have gotten to the pointa we're at just to survive the toxic messes that are our spouses' exes.

tog redux's picture

Yes, OP - this 100%.  BM here was threatened by me, too, at first, but I never took on any kind of parenting role at all, and it subsided. She still targeted DH, but never me. I just played the role of "Fun Aunt". I helped on occasion with pick-ups and drop-offs, and the rare couple of hours watching SS, but that was it. DH handled all other parenting.

Unfortunately, this isn't for the faint of heart. This BM will likely always be a thorn in your side. If you are lucky, your SS will be a resilient kid who sees through his BM's behavior and keeps a positive relationship with you and FH, but if he's like my SS, he may strongly align with BM and end up alienated.  You will see as time goes on which way he's going. 



lieutenant_dad's picture

Yep. I have the benefit of having SSs who see through the BS, but that also means BM is ever-present. Has even gone so far as to try and co-parent when all her attempts at alienation failed and she realized she wasn't going to win at her own stupid game.

My DH isn't perfect, not by a long shot, but he has a very apathetic attitude toward BM, which she doesn't appreciate when she is alone.

tog redux's picture

Alienation was hard, but we sure did thrive without the stress of dealing with her for 3 years. It allowed us to heal and move forward, ironically.  I'm sure she hoped it would destroy DH but it had the opposite effect.

lovetoteach's picture

thank you for all your advice. and on the school topic-- i meant to say that when the school sends home important info/papers, she takes them out of his folders, so that when he comes to us with his backpack and folder, they arent there for us. I wasnt implying it was her duty to give them to us, she just shouldnt take them out, not giving us the opportunity to see. I am considering asking the admins/teachers for two sets of the same important school stuff, i just hate making their lives even more chaotic than they already are. 


also i do love to nurture and care for kids, so it is hard for me not to take on a natural parenting role, but i do know that i am NOT supposed to take on the disciplinarian role, and i never do. If i am alone with SS and i feel disrespected, i state so calmy. We have a very healthy relationship, i know he loves me, and i him. I know it will proably never be the same love as he has for his parents, and that will take time for me to accept. 


Thanks to most of these replies i can see that my FH needs o just set the boudaries firmly once and for all, bc occasionally letting her know when she goes too far just isnt cuttiing it. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

No - YOU don't ask the school to do ANYTHING. Dad does. If the school listens to you, that means they will listen to anything any of BM's future boyfriends say. Plus, you involving yourself directly with the school would be a legitimate complaint that BM has, so don't do it. If it bothers your FH enough, then he will do it.

I'm really trying to help you not get super hurt in the future. Everything may turn out just fine, but the more involved you are, the more BM is going to try and cut FH off as punishment for your intrusion. What you do in your home in regards to helping with homework or making lunches is on you. Outside of that sphere, it is 100% your FH's responsibility to handle AS HE DEEMS APPROPRIATE. And what he deems appropriate or problematic will not always align with what you think is appropriate or problematic.

tog redux's picture

Yes, this, OP. As FH's girlfriend, it's really not your place to manage school issues, and not even as his wife. This is the stuff that will set BM off and make your life more stressful.

And learn from experience here - eventually you will resent doing FH's job for him. Especially when you have your own children to parent.

lovetoteach's picture

And to be clear--- they NEVER dated, not even while she was pregnant, so i refuse to call her an ex. and when SS grows up and likely asks how his parents even created him, i would hate if BM decided to lie about it. He would be confused, he had only ever known his father to be with me in the early years of his life. why do we lie to kids? we dont need to tell them details of how theyre created, but to lie about the relationship of their parents, when it happened? that seems so psychologically damaging and wrong

tog redux's picture

Well, be prepared for her to lie. In her mind, you stole FH from her so don't be surprised if you become a "homewrecker" in her victim stories.

susanm's picture

I love this.  "You are a homewrecker."  In your dreams, darlin'.  There was never a home to wreck.  He did not even know your last name when you called to say the stick had 2 lines on it.  Yet somehow it was a beautiful romance doomed to a tragic end.  LOL

lovetoteach's picture

yeah that is crazy..... they knew each other for two days when they decided to drunkingly have unprotected sex(both held accountable)...then he didnt talk to her ever again even tho she tried to pursue him, bc he was disgusted with himself bc he didnt like her at ALL... two weeks later she texts him that they need to what a relationship!!!

susanm's picture

I will never understand women who try to force a relationship just because they got pregnant and made the choice to continue the pregnancy.  If they thought that somehow love was going to strike when the crushing obligation of unexpected parenthood was dropped onto a man like a mack-truck on a mouse then they are a moron.  Should he have known better than to have unprotected sex?  Of course!  But his stupidity equivalent to hers does not mean she gets love and devotion as doorprize along with the winning sperm.

tog redux's picture

I know - it might have worked in 1945, but not now.  I don't really get men who have unprotected sex with women they can't stand though. My DH knocked up BM pretty quickly, but he was at least dating her.

susanm's picture

I know, right?  From what I understand, it frequently involves tequila.  And almost always a belief that they have gotten lucky when some girl lets them play with her goodies despite having put in zero effort to seduce her.  DANGER WILL ROBINSON!!!!!!!!   :) 

lovetoteach's picture

Believe me...the more i had to be around BM it was hard for me to not be disgusted w my FH for knocking up a stanger, and someone as gross as her for that matter. I rarely get to rant about how stupid they both were, bc his family has a couple of oopsie babies...come on ppl  stop having unprotected sex!!

but in general, FH used to tell me how drunk he was on the two nights he saw her at the bar, he had just found out his ex of 3 years cheated on him, blah blah, so he basically took the next girl that looked his way, and his BM looked at him and has never wavered.... 

sickofstephell's picture

I have never been in your shoes as my step daughters mother left them like they never existed. But no, I doubt she will ever leave you alone and stop controlling the situation. This will be your life forever. Is he worth it?

Devonsher's picture

Hi, I literally just joined a second ago and read your post. My new husbands son is 6, we became serious when he was 2 and his ex wife still pretends like I don't exist at all. Makes dumb comments and shit about it being their kid why would I need to know or care about what "they" are doing as parents and I will understand when I'm a parent type of bullshit. I've also been worki with children for 12 years and see all the terrible things she's doing. 
Im so happy to know someone out there feels the struggles and pain. I'm so sorry but and thank you so much for sharing. Maybe this site is helpful? 

lovetoteach's picture

It's so crazy when people can have that mentality... it's sad too. If the parents of a child choose to not be together, for any reason, then they should both be able to have healthy relationships in the future with other people. And that very much means their SO with their child. Why, oh why, does the world still villianize stepparents in today's day and age when we have so much progression in other ways. Divorce/blended families have been around for a long time now, and the easier we make it for the children, the more successful and strong they will be! I hope you got some great advice from my post! And if you ever need a place to vent, my inbox is open, or this thread/site for sure! :) 

Thumper's picture


Nope just nope,  not entering this zone.