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DH’s family

strugglingSM's picture

Since November, BM has been threatening mediation to reduce the amount of time SSs spend with DH, saying how much melodramatic SS hates being around DH, how traumatic it is for both children to spend time with us, how her family are all going to submit affadavits testifying to all for wh terrible things DH and I say about her, how I try to keep her from contacting her children while they are with me because I’m jealous of her, etc. 

We’ve told MiL this was going on and had to tell her again when she wanted DH to ask BM if the kids could come over for Easter, even though it wasn’t DH’s time. MiL’s first reaction was to think about what it meant for her. Then at Easter, MiL had to tell me after how disappointed BiL and Silent SiL’s children were that Skids weren’t at Easter.

This weekend, melodramatic SS texts DH with a picture from BiL’s house...this same child who is so traumatized that he never wants to spend time with his dad, is spending time with his dad’s brother.

I shouldn’t be annoyed by this, but I’m annoyed that BiL just arranges time on his own and doesn’t find it weird that BM is nicer about letting the kids stay with him than with their own dad. I’m also annoyed because I’m sure melodramatic SS was happy to go and not pouting or crying and saying how stupid it was that he had to go instead of spending time with his mom or friends. I also bet a million dollars that BM does not feel the need to check in with SSs several times a day while they are with BiL. Finally, I’m annoyed because I’m sure Silent SiL talked to BM. She has talked to me once in four years...and that one time was to share her  thoughts on DH’s divorce from BM. From what DH has told me, Silent SiL was not besties with BM while they were married, so that’s not the issue. Silent SiL is just a b$tch who thinks it’s her business to have opinions about DH’s divorce. 


Exjuliemccoy's picture

What a family of selfish, self-absorbed back stabbers. Their first loyalty should be to your DH.

I'm so sorry.

tog redux's picture

BM here tried to pull DH's family to her side, but failed. None of them wanted anything to do with her and remained loyal to DH and to me.  If they hadn't he wouldn't have anything to do with them anymore.

Your BM is on a campaign to alienate DH from his children. Don't be surprised if they start refusing to come over entirely.

Curious Georgetta's picture

be to whatever or whomever they believe to be in the right)

Why should the kids not be able to spend time with their cousins even if the parent's are having disagreements,?

The kids should not be forced to lose contact with the extended family because of acrimony between the parents. The kids  have not created the discord. Why  should extended family member be expected to pick or take a side in the divorce fall out? These same people were not polled as to their opinion on the wisdom of mom and dad marrying, why then are the expected to be a part of the divorce acrimony?

Adults should expect to shoulder their own discord and not expect to spread it among extended family as though it were blessings and good will.

tog redux's picture

So - his siblings believe that BM is right in trying to cut their brother's children out of his life? If that's the case, then I suppose they every right to support his ex-wife and help her cut those kids out.

But they shouldn't be surprised when DH no longer feels loyal to them. Of course kids can still see extended family in a divorce. But if that extended family doesn't tell the BM that they completely disagree with her effort to limit visitation with the children's father, then they are being disloyal.  They are supporting the very person who is trying to destroy their nephews' relationship with their father.


Curious Georgetta's picture

that particular subject. They may be looking at the totality of the marriage or they may have absolutely no feelings about the marriage. They simply may want to spend time with nieces ,nephews ,and cousins. They may feel that it is the business of the 2 adults to resolve their issues and disputes.

Not everyone  feels the need to take a side in the personal conflcts of their siblings.I The SIll, BIL, or MIL having the kids over in no way impacts  or damages the kids relationship with their father. All it does is affirm that they are still loved and welcomed by the extended family.  What is the down side to the kids in that kind of affirmation?

strugglingSM's picture

You seem to have missed the part where I mentioned that SiL has lots of opinions on DH’s divorce. Apparently, she feels as if DH and BM never should have gotten divorced and should have stuck it out for “the children”. DH speculates that she feels this way because her own parents separated, but never divorced (although by my observation live separate lives). 

Silent SiL only wants to see SKids, not DH. Skids pick up on this and know how she feels. So, she is getting involved, even if she’s getting involved indirectly. 

She is not close friends with BM, so this is simply because she feels as if DH shouldn’t have gotten divorced and would like to hold on to that for the rest of her life apparently.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Invite the kids, that is ok. She has the cousins with whom the spend time.

At the end of the day, it is not the responsibility of the extended family to facilitate your husband's relationship with his children. That is the responsibility of your husband ; he is responsible for doing whatever it takes to facilitate his own relationship with his children.

Many families  have disparate opinions about divorce, and because of those differing opinions ,many prefer not to become involved in the related  acrimony.

Your SIL is not stopping your husband from seeing his children; she is simply not providing an opportunity. It is unfair to provide him with round about opportunities. He has legally provided ways to gain access to his children.

He should be happy that extended family members continue  to have loving and normal family engagement with the kids.

strugglingSM's picture

I’m not implying that SiL should facilitate DH’s relationship with his children or that his children should be kept from seeing his extended family in his absence. I am expressing my displeasure that his family doesn’t find it odd that it is easier for them to get access to the children than it is for him. I also think that by continuing to ingratiate themselves to BM, they are enabling her, which is actually prolonging the acrimony.

I realize that you are the resident contrarian however, who insists on telling everyone they are wrong for feeling the way they do (which is ironic, considering that you claim to be a former therapist). You’ve also never been a SM and supposedly came to this site due to a beef you had with a supposed “wicked SM” in your life who “confused” your niece, so I shouldn’t be surprised that you’ve made it your job to criticize everyone. 

Curious Georgetta's picture

Opinion, why should they get involved. Suppose that they felt that the kids were being damaged by their parents ' divorce, do you honestly believe that the mom or dad would have welcomed that input  even if that was the universal and absolute belief of the entire extended family?

strugglingSM's picture

Why does BiL never reach out to DH to find out about inviting him down to visit when he has SSs? 

He only seems to want to hang out with SSs when DH is not around. 

And DH has reached out to BiL to do things with him and SSs. Sometimes BiL does, but mostly he declines.

Also, I’m not saying that SSs shouldn’t be able to see BiL and family, I’m just saying that BiL and family should find it a bit odd that it’s easier for them to get access to Skids on BM’s time than it is for DH - the father of the children.  

twoviewpoints's picture

Just my 2 cents, but IMO I think mediation might be a good thing, especially if the parents are currently working under a slightly aged parenting plan.

The phones and communication are a real problem on Dad's EOWE (with BM under the impression her little daring should have entire 48hr free access contact with her). When Dad p*sses her off here comes a nasty from BM's lawyer informing Dad/SM they've been 'naughty'.. 

Second is the sport thing. How often during the year and how many sports at any time can/will be mutually agreed between homes... and then how information must be shared in a timely manner about dates/times. Example, the recent flag football , last minute notice, cancelation of Dad's camping trip to race to it. 

These boys are indeed at the age where sports are going to be a 'big deal' to them. And yes, even if that means they personally desire dumping Dad's visitation to missing the fun and participation of their event and socialization with peers. 

That doesn't necessarily mean the kids should call the shots, but it's not unreasonable to expect two parents to manage to work together to alow the boys to have that participation. Of course not sports every weekend year long, but one or two activities (six-eight weeks each) that falls on Dad's EOWE. Dad agrees to take kids for the 2 or 3 weekends it falls on his time. There is still plenty of weekends to do camping, skiing whatever. The boys are growing older and it's only natural their likes/dislikes change. That doesn't mean they don't 'like' Dad anymore. It's merely normal growing up and being able to be a young teen who participates like their peers do.

Just some things to think over that mediation might actually help with. 


strugglingSM's picture

BM demanded mediation at the end of October and threatened to take DH to court if he didn’t comply. BM wanted to mediate with some lawyers she currently has a business relationship with.

In November, DH got a lawyer who sent a letter to BM’s lawyer suggesting some alternate mediators to ensure they were impartial. BM’s lawyer said it was “unfair” to expect him to drive 20 minutes out of his way. DH’s lawyer responded with another alternative that would not require the lawyer to drive.

BM then emailed DH telling him this was “the last time” she would try to resolve things outside of court. DH’s lawyer’s response (to DH) upon seeing BM’s message was that clearly BM had not consulted with her lawyer before sending it.

In the intervening months, DH’s lawyer has followed up repeatedly with no response from BM’s lawyer.

A month or so ago, BM’s lawyer sent a letter with crazy accusations that ended by saying that he thought they could resolve their differences over a four way phone call.

Then we had a drama-filled weekend. DH’s lawyer sent multiple requests to BM’s lawyer stating that it seemed as if mediation was the only way to go considering the interactions and again asked to schedule.

To my knowledge, DH’s lawyer has not heard anything from BM’s lawyer since the crazy letter. I want DH to send another inquiry this week to find out how to expedite things.

BM does not really want to mediate unless she knows that the mediator will be sympathetic to her. She also does not want to mediate with lawyers because really she wants to sit in a room and tell DH how terrible he is (as she did at their last mediation that resolved nothing). 

DH could go to the courts and claim alienation and disruption of his time, but I think that would reflect poorly on him in the long run because BM would present herself as the sainted mother who has to do everything for her children because DH does nothing. 

DH’s lawyer concluded early on that BM was a bully, but not sure she could successfully convince a judge that DH was the victim, because BM would sit there and cry and also likely knows all family court judges in her county (her job is to complete the financials for divorce cases). Also, DH is a big guy, so even though he is a complete teddy bear, his size can make him intimidating to people.