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Help!! BM’s constant presence is too much

Stepmum35's picture

Hi all,

I have been on here for a while and have been plucking up the courage to post but after the week I have had I have had enough and need to vent!!

I have been with my partner 5 years, I have 2 children of my own and he has 1 daughter who is 12 and my partner has brought up his ex’s son since he was 3, he is now 16.

BM is an absolute nightmare, she keeps breaking the court order and changing access arrangements and she will message my partner every single day. Sometimes it’s abusive, swearing calling him a useless dad, other times she tries to be nice, usually when she wants something. She messages him calling him names and being abusive towards me, so my partner made the decision to only respond to urgent messages and any messages regarding the children, he ignores everything else. BM is not happy with this and she blames me for everything, saying I have changed him, however, my partner assures me she has always been this way and she wants a to control him. BM has moved on herself and has a live in partner, however she cannot seem to accept my partner has also moved on. This has been continuing on and off for the past 4 years.

I feel like BM is constantly a part of our lives, she interferes with everything we do, we can’t even go on holiday without her messaging him, last month she messaged him over 60 times, all except two messages needed a reply because they regarded the children. I have had enough of constantly talking about her and her constantly causing trouble. My partner feels down about the whole situation himself and does everything he can to try and not let her into our lives everyday but it is impossible when she is constantly texting. I have told him not to block her in case there is an emergency with the kids, so we really are stuck! On top of this she is trying to turn her son against my partner, even though he has brought him up and he now only seems to want to know when he wants money. I feel resentful that my partner was decent enough to bring this boy up even though he split with his mum 10 years ago but the boy just uses us as a bank!! My partner sees the 16 year old as his son so it’s a really difficult situation. I suppose I also feel resentful because the boy isn’t my partners biological son but we treat him exactly the same as the other children, yet all we get is abuse from his mother. He is also quite a handful and winds the other children up so I feel like we put up with a lot of crap caused by him on the weekends he is with us, which makes me feel awful for writing that down! 

We are meant to be getting married in 6 months and I am having doubts about whether I can handle the constant stresses BM causes. I love my partner and get on well with his children as he does with mine, I just can’t handle BM’s constant presence. 

Sorry if I have rambled on, I hope this all makes sense. Please help!! 

Siemprematahari's picture


Welcome to StepTalk!

You know the saying when in doubt don't do. If you are having 2nd thoughts on getting married please know this is your instincts telling you its not a good idea (listen to that inner voice) it rarely steers you wrong. It seems like BM is high conflict and toxic. I've learned when dealing with people like that its best to ignore them. Try to filter her text messages (delete them) and only reply if its an absolute emergency like if one of the kids are hurt, in the hospital, etc.

BM is still resentful and bitter and is doing everything in her power to create a wedge in your relationship with SO. Have H talk to the kids and letting them know that no matter what he loves them and will always be there to support them and be a positive example of what good parents should be like. You can't control what she does but you can control your reactions to her and not entertain her petty behavior. She will eventually get tired of being ignored, trust me.

Ignore, Ignore, Ignore and only respond if its absolutely necessary!

Mom In Cali's picture

I can total relate and am also dealing with a bitter and unstable BM.  I do my best not to react about her rude behavior or unnecessary text messaging.  It does sound like she feels as if she's lost "control" over your DH and is frustrated and blames you.  I've been with my DH for 4 years and prior to that, his ex still maintained alot of control and say so not just with the kids but also his personal life.  When he would attend the children's sporting events (and they were with her) she would literally call him asking him to bring them food because she didn't have time and to also bring her something to eat too.  My DH is very passive and to avoid argument or a negative confrontation in front of the kids (because she doesn't care who's around when she's upset), he would oblige.  As our relationsip progressed, she continued testing her control with him and started realizing she was losing it and of course, blamed me.  


Have you tried reaching out to her or do you have any sort of "friendly" even cordial relationship with her?  I've tried doing so with this BM hoping to establish communication, for the sake of the children, as well as to let her know I have their best interests at heart.  At my SS/SD sporting or school events, she will come up and talk with my DH and ignore me as if I'm not even there.  

It sounds like there is alot of game playing on your BM side and it doesn't sound like she will mature overnight but that it's just possibly part of her personality.  I would suggest staying positive and steadfast and definitely honest and open with your DH about how you feel.  Knowing that he understands and agrees with you may help you deal with the situations better, that You two are a team and on the same side.  Showing unity may hopefully cause BM to lost interest and place her negative energy somewhere else.

Rags's picture

DH needs to nail BM with a contempt motion every time she violates the CO. He also needs to vector all com through his attorney.  In lieu of communicating through the attornies, petitioning the court to mandate all contact through a mediated communication service would likely get some traction with a Judge i you/DH pile countless examples of BM's toxic sputum on the bench in front of the Judge.

Document, document, document.  It helps make your case, keep the facts front and center and gives you a ton of ammunition to beat BM about the head and shoulders with to confront her toxic crap.

Take care of you, bare  her ass as your hobby and have fun doing it.

Go for it.  I would if I were you.

And welcome by the way.  I hope that  you find this to be a good place to vent, contribute and to pick up some useful advice from others who are living the blended family dream. 

Deep breaths and hang on.

Notup4it's picture

I would say get a home phone and block her number. The chances of there being an emergency are slim to none.... and even if there was very little likelihood she would call DH anyways. If it was a hospital they can call his cell phone from that phone. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Welcome to StepTalk.

It sounds as if you are dealing with a high conflict BM.

Sixty texts per month is excessive in my opinion. How exhausting! Is there any pattern to her texts? More during skid visits, or when she's fighting with her SO? And have you shared with your SO just how intrusive and annoying you find this behavior?

It isn't really possible to coparent with a HC ex, so your SO should look into parallel parenting. He can also petition the court to order all communication go through a parenting program like Our Family Wizard, and/or have his attorney send a cease and desist letter to his ex.

You need to draw a line in the sand and require him to sort this out before you marry him. It's intrusive, toxic behavior, and since it's sadly common for HC BM's to ramp up their abuse when an ex remarries, he needs to shut this down ASAP.  If he can't or won't, don't marry him.

ldvilen's picture

Honestly!  Why do women (or men) bother wasting their lives on a manipulative, controlling primary custodial parent (BM, in this case) and a weak, enabling spouse (DH, in this case).  A marriage wasn't meant to be a 3-way, and if you're unmarried and just living with the guy, the same applies--to them, the divorced couple, you wind up being little more than a family servant and free babysitter.  Now this may be incidentally, it may be on purpose, or it may be accidentally on purpose.  But, manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH = step hell for life.

A$$holes never change.  BM, in this case, isn't going to suddenly or even over time realize what an a$$ she has been and suddently start being nice.  BECAUSE, what is rquired for someone to change, is for them to admit they are wrong or need to change.  BM doesn't think she needs to change.  She thinks she's being screwed somehow and wants to make sure that everyone, including her own children, pay the price for it.

BM's ex-husband, your DH, in this case, is going to do whatever works for him, and what works for him, and many DHs in these types of instances, is to continually kowtow to his ex-, lick her boots, and then turnaround and act like he had no choice, or it's for the kids, or he doesn't want to be put in the middle, etc.  What he is a cojones-less man, taking the easiest way out he possibly can.  He has no problem selling out his current wife or partner and throwing her under the bus to satisfy his ex-.  Thus, his ex- winds up still being his wife, #1 wife, while his new spouse, SM winds up not only being wife #2, but last in whatever family line BM and DH have in place.  She could even wind up being behind the family dog.

So, no, no, no.  Women in the year 2020 should not be putting up with manipulative, controlling BMs and weak, enabling DHs in any manner shape or form!  No, it is not the SKs or their children making your life a hell.  It is them--BM and your own husband.  He needs to grow a pair!  BM, you cannot do anything about.  Sure, she'll piss all over you and her ex- and make sure the kids feel and do the same.  BUT, you cannot personally do anything about her.  Your husband, however, you can do something about that.  You can have a 'coming to Jesus' moment with him and lay down the law and put your foot down and leave it there, and tell him if he cannot treat you like his wife, his one and only wife, then he can either: a) Move out, or b) Move out back into BM's house, because obviously they belong to and want to belong to each other, for life.

If DH asks you, "What do you expect me to do about it?"  Then say, "I expect you to take the responsibility for your own divorce and your own children and figure it out.  There is no way in H- I should have to bear the responsibility for someone else's divorce and someone else's children triple-fold because you and your ex- can't."  Women (and men) are much better off being single for their ENTIRE lives, than they are spending the rest of their lives fighting the stigma of family scapegoat, family lackey just because of the word "step."  No woman in the year 2020 should be that desperate.  If you are not treated like the wife (or long-term) you are, then why do you feel you have to put up with this?

Parents are to parent.  If mom and dad fail to parent, how the SKs turn out, is no reflection on SM.  SM's main role, if not sole role, is as dad's wife.  And that is how every SM should be treated--like a wife to her husband--because that IS what she signed up for and took vows for.  She did NOT sign up to have her right (and it is a right) to be by her husband's side stripped from her any time BM feels like it, and that includes constant interruptions and demands from BM.  If BM is a witch and DH is a ball.less wonder who can't even remember who he is married to, then that is on them.  If they can't parent, then that is on them.  No one can save them from this, not even a well-intended SM; she'll just wind up, down the road, being collateral damage.


Rags's picture

Go Idv!!!!!!