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Need outside perspective on sticky situation

mommers2620's picture

So my step sons mom is not someone who makes coparenting easy. Every week she has to do something to my step son to make him cry everytime he is in our care. Court order says that step son can only stay the night with us every other weekend, and on Wed and Thurs we get him till a certain time. Well a year ago his mom started dating someone and said we could switch the schedule to where on our weekends, that Wed and Thurs he can stay the night with us. Well last week I guess he told his cousins on his mom side that when two people kiss they are having sex. So mom got mad and wants to put him in private school now and also said she wants to go back to court order days and will be taking him to court again so she can fight to have him in a private school in a different town. Should I add that mom is a school psychologist in the town we all live in. So she says she knows best. She has to constantly have her way and be in control of everyone. She's even told me to my face she needs to control all of us. Okay anyways, this is the part I need advice on. Mom texted dad and said she wants to take SS to Hawaii during summer vacation. Dad said okay sounds great, if you're taking him on your days. But if they dates land on my days then no. This is the first time in 4 years that he has told her no. She will take everything to an extreme to get her way and she always does, well dad is sick of her dictating everything so he wanted to put his foot down. She took away the nights he gets to stay with us and said we're sticking to court orders so thats why dad said no. He told her he doesn't get the same time she does and does not want to miss out on the days he does have with him. Boy did she go off on him sent him about 20 text messages and made her son call dad crying so he could be the one to tell him it's his fault why he cant go to hawaii now. I need an outside perspective on how to advise my husband to handle the situation. We of course want SS to go to hawaii we do not want to deprive him of that experience but just need help on how to go about it. 


strugglingSM's picture

What does the CO say about traveling out of state? You could file a contempt order for her ignoring his time or taking the child out of state without permission, but I don't think it will get you much, because a) it seems like contempt orders are rarely enforced; and b) the court will wonder why the parents couldn't just reach and agreement. Also, your DH will end up looking bad no matter what, because mothers always get more sympathy. 

The best he could hope for would be to have some make-up days. 

As a general piece of advice in dealing with someone like someone who has been dealing with someone like this for 7 need to decide how much aggravation you want to put yourself through when BM will get what she wants 99% of the time, because she is likely not above lying and using the child as a weapon to get what she wants. The best thing we ever did was to stop engaging with BM. It means that DH often gives up some time, which used to bother him more, but now that the kids are PA'd it's not even fun to be around them....BM has won...and taken her children down in the process, so congrats to her. 

CastleJJ's picture

Yes, this. All of this. DH and I have a BM similar to yours; she has to be in constant control. My SS is 10 and lives 4 hours away from us now. We engaged in her games for 6 years before finally saying enough. When BM lived local to us, BM sent daily harassing and abusive texts and emails to DH, fighting him on his parenting, his job, his ability to provide for SS, our relationship, etc. BM would freak out if SS ate sugar with us, stayed up too late with us, if we did an activity with SS that BM didnt want us doing, etc. We couldnt have overnights until SS was 5 due to SS being "uncomfortable." We werent allowed to enroll SS in daycare or seek medical attention if we needed to. We were constantly jumping through hoops to see SS, which kept BM happy. In 2019, we were done. We took BM to court for more visitation. We gained absolutely nothing, which only emboldened BM in her behavior. Finally, after court, we decided to drop rope - we let BM make all the decisions and we pick our battles. Why? Because BM is going to do what she wants anyway so is it really worth the fight? Now, we hear from BM like once or twice per month and we respond "Thanks for the update." We see SS 6 weeks per year and only fight for visitation if it means enough to us to fight for. Our life has gotten so much more peaceful. At the end of the day, you are never going to win with a BM like this... eventually SS will PAS out and BM will have won the war, yes, messing SS up in the process, but that's on her. 

ndc's picture

Rather than depriving the SS of a trip to Hawaii, I would let him go in exchange for make-up time (including the Wednesdays and Thursdays you were previously getting) - in advance, of course.  With a BM like this, no good will come from ruining the trip.  I DO think he should stand up to her, but this might not be the best time to do it for the first time.

advice.only2's picture

When it comes to GUBM’s getting an iron clad CO is usually the best practice.  This way vacation days are set in stone for BM and DH.   Schools can’t just be changed on a whim because mommy doesn’t want to talk to her kid about sex.  Your DH needs to get that iron clad CO and stick to it, no deviations…down side is there are no deviations so your DH has to stick to it as well.

It sounds like your DH does not want to deprive his son of a trip to Hawaii…but at the same times sometimes you have to teach kids “Daddy’s time is important too!”  Whatever choice your DH makes he really should get the CO updated.

mommers2620's picture

Thank you for the advice about the vacation days on the CO i forgot thats something you can do. Will definitely be filling that out when they go back to court. They went to court in August last year so she could move towns and switch to private school and the court already denied her so hopefully that will be the case again. Private school won't change the fact that sex exists haha. Yes no matter what they're going back to court because we want to request the same amount of time she gets with him. 

notarelative's picture

Sometimes court is not a bad thing. Get uninterrupted vacation time put into the court order for each parent. 

Private school. Just day no. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

And if your DH has been keeping a calendar of days he has had his son (as ALL parents who split custody should, especially when the other P is high conflict) he should also petition the court to make that charge official. How can BM argue against Dad having more time with SS if she's already giving that time to him, right??

Survivingstephell's picture

I don't know, Hawaii? Land of bikinis and hot surfer dudes ?   What an idiot.  Nothing changed in our situation until DH called out BM for her game,  exactly, no hinting around the elephant.  Bluntly put he pointed out that her games were a direct effort to alienate skids from him.  Short of going back to court,  stick the CO and make her stick to it. Consequences if she doesn't.  Real simple BM, you can't have your cake and eat it too.  (At least not until I piss on it first.  )  Time for a long range game plan.  

mommers2620's picture

Yes she is the queen of having her cake and eating it too. If she needs us to have him on her day we say yes, if she wants to go out of town we say yes he can stay with us. We want the extra time with him, but my son was sick yesterday and dad asked her if she could keep their son so he doesn't get sick and she was pissed! Can you believe that? Dad isn't even home hes out of town for work and she really had a problem with it when i was only trying to be considerate of her son. My son ended up in the ER he was that sick. But she was like wow aren't you guys so nice. This is the kind of crazy we're dealing with here. My son is currently sick because she sends her son to school and to our house no matter how sick he is. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Detailed documentation is essential in high conf?It situations like this. The dates, times, and whys should be recorded and used to your DH's advantage.