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Am I making too much of it?

LisaMarie.'s picture

I’m not married yet but here’s my issue. My soon-to-be’s family has a friend. I believe she’s a good friend of his brothers wife. The friend and him had a relationship at one point. His daughters ran in to her at a gathering a few months back and have started talking to her. He lets her pick the girls up for hanging out. The eldest child bought her a mother’s day gift because she has no children of her own.  The girls don’t want me to meet her and do what they can do avoid her and I bumping in to one another. They’re went as far as driving by the house and not pulling in to the driveway because I was outside. I spoke with him and we decided that they would no longer hang out together. Yesterday after being pressured by the girls, his mother and him.. I was more or less forced to concede to letting them hang out. I believe him when he says that he wouldn’t go back to her. I still don’t want her around. I’m having a hard enough time trying to bond with his girls without this interference. I’ve made unwelcome changes to their lives. Needless to say they’d rather hang out with fun time Betty than with myself. His reasoning is this the woman does no harm to him and I, his girls like her... but mostly now it’s because his eldest says if she doesn’t get to see her friend that she might considering spending time with her mom who is a worse option for them to spend time with.

LisaMarie.'s picture

One is in 8th grade the other is a junior in high school. I never asked how long they dated. I’m going to guess about a year. Apparently long enough for the children to get somewhat attached to her. For a long time they didn’t see her. It wasn’t until they ran in to her again and I came to Texas that they decided they felt the need to hang out with her again. 

tog redux's picture

I think everyone is being very manipulated by a couple kids. BUT, why have you made "unwelcome changes" to their lives? It almost always backfires on a stepparent when they come in as the "New Sheriff in Town" and start making new rules.  It's more that issue than the other woman in question being the problem, most likely.

ESMOD's picture

I will give her the benefit of the doubt until she responds with more details.. but there could be changes she needed made that are reasonable.  Like the kids were still sleeping in dad's bed..

tog redux's picture

Maybe so. But if those type of changes are done right, it's really Dad's idea and not the stepmother's idea.  And if they aren't done right, then I wouldn't stick around to be the meanie forever.

ESMOD's picture

What are some more details about your situation?  how long ago did they date.. how long have you been in a relationship with your BF?  do you live together?  what are these "changes" you think the girls don't like etc?

CLove's picture

Well, heres what I think about this, without knowing more details than what you have posted.

- Youve made unwanted changes to their household,

Opinion: What changes? Bed times? Dinner at dinner table? Rules? Anytime an "outsider" comes into an already established household, and tries to "make things better, fix things, change things" there will be resistance, especially with high conflict SD's. They want things to stay the same. They were here first...etc. I was actually told that by Toxic Feral Eldest a few times "just so you know, I was here first!" or better "that poster in the bathroom, where is it? You moved it?" Yep. Some old ugly walmart print that was ugly and faded, replaced with a cute painting, an original by a cartoonist friend.

trying to work on the relationship with soon-to-be skids, and they are trying to force dad to allow a relationship with an ex. They like Betty better, she is Better Betty. She is fun. 

Opinion: As minors, and their fathers life partner, you should NOT be excluded. Better Betty, needs to take initiative and meet you, if the children - again minors - are going to pursue a relationship with this ex. Better Betty needs to look you in the eye, so to speak. Driving by the house purposefully because you are there is ridiculous. Again, Better Betty has to move on and find her own man. If the kids are attached and she is truly a positive influence, she will build a relationship with you as well, but not keep traipsing around behind your back.

- The BM is worse. 

Opinion: Are you certain you want to embark on this marriage-venture? Read on this board - there are many different stories of Toxic and High Conflict BM's and the children that take after them, and become alienated from the father, hate the step, and make their lives miserable. If you are having troubles now, it will get worse after the wedding.

I hope that you can work this all out BEFORE you take the plunge. Its my impression that the skids are being manipulative, and Better Betty is moving in on your territory!

LisaMarie.'s picture

The changes I’ve made are things such as not sleeping in dads room, picking up after themselves, cleaning their own rooms and bathroom The normals rules and structure. They’re used to being lax and spoiled. I’ve been with my bf for a few years. I’ve just recently moved in and am encroaching on their territory. 

tog redux's picture

So, that's what I mean when I said that a stepmother coming in and laying down the law often backfires.  I get that you think that is "normal" stuff, but they don't, and see it from their perspective - Dad let us do it, but mean ol' Stepmonster won't.  Any kid would feel resentful in that situation.  Are you sure you want to sign on for the being the Stepmonster under these conditions? If so, then fine - but be prepared for miserable stepkids.

That being said, as far as Betty goes, the kids are manipulating their father and there is no reason they need to start viewing her as the "mother", and why would she want that?  It speaks volumes about Betty that she's allowing this weird arrangement, and about your soon-to-be H too - doesn't he see how he's setting you up ?

hereiam's picture

If you've been with him for a few years, and they just ran into her recently, I find it odd that they would all be hanging out. And that they don't want the two of you bumping into each other.

I am inclined to think that someone (or more than one someone) has an ulterior motive.

oatsnhoney's picture

Kill em with kindness. I get a sense they are doing the friendship to hurt you. Or else why the drive by. But... it doesn’t hurt kids to have people to love them. And if you and the father are strong then who cares? The bonding issue you have had nothing to do with fun Betty. And hey, more time alone with your SO. 

I bet if you guys start asking her to watch them so you can have a date night... Betty May back off.

Use this situation for good! Free babysitter! More relax time. Be strong, be unworried and unfazed, be confident in your role. Smile. Tell the skids, don’t worry about Betty dropping you off, I would be happy to say hello. I’m glad you have a good friend.

theoldredhen's picture

Great advice, oatsnhoney!

Betty (the bitch, let's not fool ourselves) is playing games. OP needs to play more effectively and your suggestions are gold. I'd step right out to the car and engage Betty with a big, welcoming smile. In fact, approach her along with your guy, ensuring that your arm is around him, displaying the tight, loving relationship that you share. F@ck Betty and the car that she drove in on....


Notup4it's picture

I find it odd that Betty is ok with this arrangement and that she is wanting to hang out with them all the time like this- my guess is Betty has ulterior motives if she knows about you? 

The kids must be confiding in her how ‘awful’ you are.... or maybe she has no idea you exist?!  Why did they try to bring her by the house? Were they wanting dad to bump into her?

i also find it odd that your SO isn’t doing anything to stop this behaviour and is actually going against your wishes on this matter. Her presence is not going to help your relationship with them.  What is the point?

still learning's picture

There sure is a lot you don't know about this lingering ex for being on the verge of marriage.  You wrote, "My soon-to-be’s family" this IMHO is your biggest mistake so far.  The girls are NOT going to be your family and they are demonstrating that they don't want to be.  In order of importance in their lives is this ex gf, then their mother.  You cannot force them to like you, want to spend time with you or be family.  You're coming in and making changes, what kind of changes?  Are you in charge now? I'm sure they love that. What does dad actually do?  

If "Betty" is your future SIL's friend then she's sure to be on the fringe of the girls life and you won't be able to completely stop them from seeing her.  If fact due to their ages I can guarantee that they will at ramp up contact with her through cell phones and social media. Your actions of no contact with this woman will only make her more desirable.  I'd consider the saying, "keep your friends close but your enemies closer."  

I had a similar situation w/ss's when I first married. They still ran in the same crowd as DH's ex gf and they were still friends with her and on social media. ss's are adults so it's a different dynamic but never once did I mention anything to DH or imply that skids should hang out with me instead of her.  As usual I curiously sat back with my popcorn bowl and just watched the show.  I was on Facebook at the time and ss's ramped up the contact with her, there were even group chats about me between all of them and other people that someone screenshot pics to me.  Eventually the ex gf moved on and got married. She and her new husband have a life that doesn't include skids.  From the fringes I hear she is friendly but the contact has dimished significantly.  I think had I cared or had my fee fees hurt that they still wanted to be friends with his ex gf things would have been extremely difficult for me.