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I'm At My Wits End! Please Help!

CrystalRE's picture

I have a 13 yr old daughter from a previous marriage and have been with a man who has two daughters from a previous marriage (9 and 5) for over three years. Our relationship was wonderful for the first year and a half but has went down hill steadily since then. We married this past May. Now that you have the background let me explain to you my problem:

Ever since my husband and I bought our home and became engaged his exwife has been on the war path. She insults me, insults my biological daughter, accuses me of being mean to her children, makes up lies about things that happen when the children are with name it and she's tried it! My problem is that my husband WILL NOT STAND UP TO HER! When he catches her lying he will not say anything, he wont stick up for me when she insults me and my daughter...he lets her walk all over him. He even at one point almost gave up custody of his oldest daughter to her becasue of her manipulation! We are now in the process of taking her to court for custody because she moved the kids an hour from us and wanted them to switch schools. Even with the custody battle going on her wont call her out when her behavior is harmful.

I am to the point that I am considering leaving him. I feel betrayed and am constantly sad becasue of the things she is putting us through...all of which I think would subside if he would put his foot down. Any advice???

sam's picture

Your dh saying anything will just add fuel to the fire is that maybe how he feels?

Angel's picture

told him that because he is so weak that you are planning on separating? Show him what strength of character is by sticking up for yourself---without attacking him or her. It might shake him into getting a backbone. Draw a line in the sand & stick to it. It isn't the X, it is him!

CrystalRE's picture

Thanks for all of your input. I guess I should have noted that I am new to the site but Im sure that most of you have figured that out. It is important to me to have a place to go to vent about these things because they are driving me nuts! Smile

I understand what Sam says about adding fuel to the fire! You cannot say anything to her without her coming back with venom! The thing that scares me so badly about all of her lies is that she is now starting to direct them towards the kids...she constantly makes up stories about them having some strange illness that no one else notices, etc. I think that if he would stand up to her she wouldnt feel comfortable pulling all the crap that she does. It is possible that I am wrong about that.

I would be lying if I said that it isnt hurtful to me that he doesnt defend his choice to marry me and my relationship with the kids. Has anyone had a similar situation?

groovetheory's picture

Seems like you have a looong road ahead of you moving forward. Especially if your DH, takes BMs concerns over your own. It is crazy when it comes to DH's that come from marriages, they are uniquely tied to the situation and don't want to acknowlege the fact that their little ones and the ex's can be capable of such hate. I would just say to think twice about the direction in which you want this relationship to go. It will blow over eventually as long as she see's that you are not going anywhere. But BM will always have that mantra against you - till death do you part.

sam's picture

the same thing about my dh.In the beginning he did tell her off a couple times and it did nothing and changed nothing.Now my husband wont even say anything to her she cannot be talked to it is a losing battle.I was and still am hurt sometimes that he doesnt say anything to her but the way she is it is like talking to a wall!!!!I tried even to be nice to her in the beginning but let me tell you something she is jealous of your relationship and you so just remember that everytime she pulls her crap because if she wasnt jealous she would move on and be a decent human being for her kids sakes.And fighting back to her will just make her more pissed off because she really does know deep down inside she screwed up!!

CrystalRE's picture

I am glad to hear that I am not the only one going through these things. Its tough for me because we have only been married for 8 months. What makes it worse is that he hid most of these things from me until after we were married. We were married for 3 months when the court things came to light and that is how I found out. I have tried to tell him how I feel and he turns around and does the same stuff over and over! I love his kids and hate to see them turn out like her and it is so frustrating to think that he is enabling her to screw up the kids. My stepchildren and I have a very close relationship but I am scared that will change if she keeps this up also.

You guys are great! Thanks!

betterman's picture

My experience with women is that they don't feel that men have emotional feelings too (too, being the key word).
He probably is feeling torn between the ex and you. Men will do, say different things to deal with these emotions than women. "Torn", not meant to be which one do I respect more, but the importance of balance and when to stand firm and of "one voice". Does that make sense? I am not making excuses for him. He needs to side with you! Just trying to give you some perspective and give him an inch of slack.
Time will tell. Sounds like he might take a while to "get it".

CrystalRE's picture

You do make sense and I have often thought that he lacks emotion in some cases so I generally take it easy on him becasue I understand that we do not feel and display emotion the same. He tries hard to find a balance, I think. He took me away this weekend so that we could have some time alone together without all of the drama that has been so overwhelming at home lately! Smile

Really-ImTrying's picture

I really felt like she always gets her way in any disagreement, that he always consults her on every little stupid thing, that she completely butts into our life, and that he just rolled over and took it. We had a very long discussion about it just this past weekend and I have come to realize that I'm right - well, mostly! Smile

Here is his take on BM. She is selfish and inconsiderate. She was when he was married to her and she still is now, with some jealousy and insecurity added in for some flavor. He is constantly doing this mental juggling act trying to decide how far she or I can be pushed and who will suffer most if one of us snaps. Basically if BM snaps, SD suffers and if I snap, DH suffers. So he's taking one for the team, so to speak. I always told him that one of the two of us is going to be angry with you, why is it always me?!?! You have to LIVE with me!! But he's right in the sense that I'm more calm and rational and my anger will subside more quickly and I will inflict virtually no long lasting emotional pain on his daughter.

I came to realize that dealing with her is not a lot different than dealing with my ex. I have just learned to live with my ex's faults and accept what I must. I think DH's learned to live with BM's and I will eventually too. Throughout this conversation, it occured to me that my biggest problem was that he appeared weak when dealing with her and I was losing respect for him. So, I'm going to try to make the effort of viewing him making his decisions for what he is, a strong man struggling for the most positive outcome overall. Sometimes that outcome is not going to be what I want and I have to accept that too.

Finally, to close this chapter-long essay, I asked that he just try to remove me from the situations that he knows will bother me. One tiny example, frequently BM will drop SD off with McDonald's or a shake or a slushie or something. I think that's very inconsiderate as we have other children in the house. I would NEVER take my children to someone else's house with a treat unless I had enough for everyone. That's just plain rude in my opinion. In the overall scheme of bs that we deal with, this is not at all a big deal, but it still bothers me. Soooo, DH will start meeting her in the driveway, let her suck down whatever she can, and send the container back with her mom. That way, I don't ever even have to know about it or deal with my kids saying "that's not fair..."

That's just what I think will work best for me. I'll let you know how it turns out! Wink

CrystalRE's picture

"Im Really Trying": I loved your input! It really sounds like you know EXACTLY what I am going through! My husband and I have had the same talks. Do you think that if he WOULD stand up to her she would back off or do you think it would just make her angrier??? What really upsets me the most is the lies...she fabricates all kinds of crazy things. Dont you think that she would stop the lies if she knew he wasnt buying it????

Really-ImTrying's picture

In very simplistic terms, for MOST people, if you stand up to them, they'll buck harder for awhile, then back down. The very personal issue, that no one is in a better position than your DH to answer is if it's worth it.

Take the lying for example. Flat out calling her a liar is hardly ever a good idea. But just ignoring the lies that are clearly crazy and telling her that you're ignoring these types of statements may be okay. If she constantly says that the child hates you and doesn't want to visit anymore, you tell her you've spoken to the child, that you don't see any indication that's how the child feels, and that if the child expresses that to you and your DH, you will handle it accordingly. Then just drop it. If she brings it up again, repeat what you told her the first time and move on.

Someone on this board once posted that we should treat the ex with a business-like relationship. I, for one, grabbed that life preserver and hung on for dear life. In any type of business relationship, you treat people with respect, you keep to the facts, you keep your emotions in check, and so on.

Will she quit if she knew he wasn't buying it? Maybe, maybe not. But she'd be a lot quicker, IMHO, to quit if she thought she was wasting her time and not getting any satisfaction out of it (like not getting a rise out of you). This is no different than telling kids to ignore the kids that are teasing them. If the teasers are not getting a reaction out of the teasee, they will stop. A lot of these BMs are really like dealing with 3rd grade, school yard bullies! Wink

CrystalRE's picture

I think what you have said makes a lot of sense. You have given me a great deal of perspective on this topic. I will share these thoughts with my husband! Thank you so have no idea what piece of mind you have given me!