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New and in a dysfunctional arrangement

Floral_SM's picture

Hello! I am new to this site. Finally made an account after quite a bit of lurking. I have been trying to find a place where I can relate to people with step parenting for quite a few years now. I have been a step parent for 4 years, SS was in Kindy and SD a toddler when I first arrived into their lives as SM figure. The BM I deal with is very high conflict. It’s because of her my life has not been easy with falling in love with DH.


In saying that, my hubby and I have a great marriage. I feel we have battled a lot together in our early years dealing with his kids and his ex, and it has made us stronger. It was not easy when I first got with him. Now, this is where it’s dysfunctional and gets a bit complicated and I apologise if you get confused! 


I met BM and DH through my sister a long time ago. My sister has a partner and BM is his daughter (so technically my sister is a SM to BM). So for a long time I used to see them come and go through family catch ups sometimes. The kids were babies back then. Anyway long story short, BM cheated and broke up with DH, and I connected with him a few years later when he and I were single. It was not planned at all us falling in love, but it happened and we have never been happier.


Now, my sister is still to this day with her partner (BM’s dad). BM is the thorn in literally all of our lives. It’s a ripple effect in the entire family when she plays her manipulative, narcissistic games. It mainly affects my family as my sister and I get the full brunt of it. I suppose you could say my sister is BM’s SM but she refuses to take that role. I think because she disengages from BM, and wants nothing to do with her and only focuses on her own children (from previous marriage), partner and helps him with his grandkids (my step kids - haha again so sorry if this is confusing!). 


So, as I said it’s been hard over the years. BM is nasty. She gets joy out of disrupting people’s lives. She is toxic, and very immature. She has no maternal instinct for her children, and uses them as pawns. BM is impossible to communicate with unless you kiss her butt basically. I have never in my life met a more vial and poisonous person. Everything she does is a game play motive to one up on a person. Any person she feels threatened by, god help them. Myself and my sister are her favourite targets as we are her dads partner and her ex’s wife. 


You would think my sister and I would stick together battling all of this, but unfortunately BM’s dad condones her behaviour. BM is his ‘Mini wife’ basically and he laps up her crap and supports her over my sister constantly. This has led to my sister seeing she has no choice but to turn her back on me to support her partner more times than I can count and it affected our relationship a lot. I don’t like that her partner treats my sister like this, and I am shocked she put up with it for so long. BM told her dad lies about DH and I, and my sister tried to block it out on both her partner and us, and instead just went into a shell I think. I think she got some counselling, and I did as well. This all happened around the time of my wedding with DH, and it was so stressful and sad. I really really detest BM. 


It’s tough when family turns on you and the reason behind it is that one toxic person who manipulates the whole thing. So thanks to BM I’ve shed many tears of frustration, anger, and resentment in my early years of being with DH. Especially when this has affected me personally losing my sister for a year to it. Not to mention while she is ruining my sisters life, she also is game playing with DH regarding the kids. To her credit, instead of DH and I falling apart, he took my hand and we battled it together. The only reason I never left was because he supported me and had my back the entire time. So in a way she has fallen on her own sword trying to break us up over the years.


Fast forward now nearly 4 years later, things have improved. My sister and I are now have a great relationship again, but she is still with BM’s dad and he still condones his toxic daughter. I don’t know how she stands it, but it’s not my battle and it’s for her to deal with. I deal with BM as a toxic ex, while my sister deals with her as a toxic SD mini wife. 


So again sorry for the complicated back story, but it’s good to vent, and I hope to share with you my experiences in the future. I feel I am hitting another hurdle of step parenting as the kids are getting older. This blog post is mainly about back story with BM, but I do want to vent about the kids too.. so indeed watch this space. Thanks for reading! 





CLove's picture

So your BM is "double dipping" in the pool of Toxic Sludge.

AND your sister has to deal with it basically alone, because she is buying into the crap as well.

VERY sad.

BUT, you cannot prevent whats happening in her life. She needs to understand her worth and stand up for herself.

Its too bad you cannot send her HERE. Then she would understand that shes not alone.

But good for YOU, that you have a man that will have your back.

Back in the beginning days, when SDthen 15 would try to cause trouble, DH wouldnt hear of it. He ALWAYS had my back. My main issue is also a highly toxic abusive lying BM, Toxic Troll.

Keep posting and thanks for the back story.

Floral_SM's picture

Thank you and yes it is quite a complicated backstory I have so that's why I made it my first post.  
I agree, I wish I can show my sister how she should be treated but she needs to figure this out on her own. 
Double dipping is definitely what BM is doing and it's infuriates my DH and I. I'm sorry you deal with a Toxic Troll (haha such a good name) too. 

tog redux's picture

All you can do with a BM like this is build a fortress around the two of you, and DH is the gatekeeper. He has to protect you from BM and minimize the amount of disruption she is allowed to cause in your life. He also has to accept that her behavior will undoubtedly affect the kids, but he needs to continue to be a real parent to them, and not slip into trying to buy their love while BM tries to poison them. He also has to accept that there is a very good chance she will alienate the kids as they get older.

I am also still married because DH always had my back, stood up to BM, and parented his son.  We did lose SS to alienation for several years and even though he's back, he's damaged and he and DH have a very superficial relationship  This kind of mother destroys her kids.

Floral_SM's picture

We are lucky then our DH's have our backs, and DH is an excellent father to both kids. They are primary school ages now, 6 and just turned 8, it's amazing what they can see already what their mother is over the years. Well SS at least. SD is in her corner unfortunately, not much we can do about that. DH sees traits of BM in her now she's older. 

Great advice, I feel like our house is our Fortress, and I stay behind the door to keep far away from BM as possible. I don't see or talk to her ever since I've been with DH thankfully, and DH speaks to her only if he has to address something urgent regarding the kids. 
I feel she has already destroyed the relationship with SS as he is smart and can see through her games.. plus he's very sporty and active outdoor kid like DH, so their bond is strong when he stays with us. 

tog redux's picture

Beware, all of that can change quickly as they get older. In the teen years, if BM allows them to do whatever they want at her house, that's a big draw.

JRI's picture

I can relate to that statement because that's what happened with us.  If there is a bright side to steplife, it is that going thru Stephell with a man can bring you closer than if it hadn't happened.  I know, I know, it's awful.  Your BM takes the toxic cake.  We had one, too, it's terrible and, with the connection with your sister, poor girl.

Stay strong and welcome to Steptalk.

Floral_SM's picture

Thank you, I will definitely keep on rising above her BS with DH by my side. It's a constant battle we face, at least I am not alone!