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SERIOUSLY considering divorce...please help :(

tiredandfrustrated's picture

BM's using DH (and me) as a babysitter. She randomly wants to pick up and drop off SK. She's also shown a romantic interest in my DH even though he's told her it will never happen. I'm not happy and I don't think I can live like this anymore, nor do I want to. The constant dropping off/picking up/phone calls/inviting DH to go do things with her is wearing on me. And DH does NOTHING to set ground rules with her. My DH and I have been fighting about this for almost 3 months, and lately everything's gotten worse.

I don't feel like the incessant running around is good for anyone. The SK has no stability, and in turn, our family has no stability. We can't plan anything and my kids never know when SK will/won't be there. It's creating a bad environment for all of us. And the longer we let her do this, the more often she does it. It went from picking up and dropping off every week, to every 2-3 days, to now everyday sometimes several times in one day. The one attempt DH made at saying anything about it, she gave him a guilt trip about not wanting his kid (which is NEVER the case). I just want our family to have some kind of stability. Also, I feel like she's using SK as an excuse to see DH in hopes of rekindling something between them, which is really sad.

My DH makes almost no attempt at fixing this. I feel like he is putting BM's wants and needs over mine, and those of the SK and my kids. She is literally wearing us out. I'm tired of fighting with him. But he won't put his foot down with her. I love DH very, very much, but is he giving me any other choice but to leave? It seems like his lack of trying to set ground rules with BM says a lot about how he feels about me/us. Which is, our family and marriage isn't important enough to put BM in her place. What do I do? Any advice is greatly appreciated...

SMof2Girls's picture

Tell him this is what you're considering. He has every right and all the power to change this. I assume they have a CO in place? Make him enforce it.

If he refuses to, tell him you're leaving, and be prepared to do just that. Don't let him call your bluff. Don't let him talk you out of it. You have every right to be happy, and he has NO right to let BM or SD walk all over your life.

freedomSM's picture

I hope you don't become another stepmom statistic of divorce, making the rate 100% eventually if SM's keep leaving their partners (it's like a virus, every day there's a new post about a SM leaving - wow wonder why!!! GEEZ)

I feel for you! xoxo

tiredandfrustrated's picture

They do have a CO in place. He's been given one full week a month, which originally was set up when the child was in another state. Lately, he's been with us/her/us/her all month long (she moved here), minus 2 days SS has with his grandparents. I think he's scared if he says something, she will go back to only allowing us one week a month. But to be honest, I don't think the fear that she "might" do that is worth losing me and my kids.

I don't want to become a statistic either. I'm just tired of feeling like I don't matter. If I wanted to feel "alone" in this, I could do that without him there...

SMof2Girls's picture

Tell him to get a lawyer and have the custody arrangement amended. If she's local now, there's no reason he can't get more legally-mandated time with his kid.

Start documenting EVERY single time the kid is at your house. This will help in his case for more time.

Then you will have an agreement she is bound by (assuming she won't agree to this out of court). If you can get her to agree out of court, even better!

TheBrightSide's picture

^^^this^^^ is the right answer!!

If the SK is with you more than 40% of the time, you may be able to get child support reduced.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

That's. Part of part of our problem. I have the only income right now and I can't afford a lawyer. I wish I could...I'd like to just get full custody for him and tell her to go to hell.

Madam Hedgehog's picture

I can really sympathize with this. Our CO actually includes DAILY pick ups and drop offs with BM--with weekends being the only time we don't see her TWICE a day--and it is an absolutely HORRIBLE way to live.

You need to be really honest with your DH about what this is doing to you and to your family life. He is letting guilt control his decisions and that is not good for anyone . . . not even your skid.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

I agree. This is a horrible way for us to live. ALL of us. The problem is, I've been telling him what it's doing to our family and marriage for months. This is usually how our conversations go:

Me: This has to stop.
Him: What am I supposed to do?
Me: Tell her NO.
Him: staring blankly and no response...

And that's about how it ends, except when it blows up into a 3-hour long fight. Sigh.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

I feel like I've run out of options. And I really just want to sit somewhere and cry right now.

WTHDISUF's picture

Oh Tired, you're singing my song!! I have been married for 2 years and the Month we got married, so many things changed because BM and DH felt secure at that point that they had a Built-in Babysitter. I think when we were dating he must have known I wouldn't tolerate this so they didn't spring it on me. But DH went from having the boy 1-2 nights on his off days mostly and maybe seeing him for others reasons 1 additional time per week to a full fledged 4 nights per week he was with us PLUS on days he didn't spend the night we had to pick him up for this or take him to that or show up for the other. And when we'd get him, it was always US doing the traveling to her to get him, to drop him off, to get something she forgot to give us, etc. It was NEVER a set night or day or event so we couldn't plan anything either. Even if we did, DH would dump the plans because he'd need to get the boy OR the boy would be sitting up in our face, with us whatever we were doing.

In part it was because before she even had an agreement BM would make her plans of what she was going to do & then tell DH when he was getting him. It never was a "can you" -just a "you need to" which basically left us with no option but to get him. In other part it was because DH wouldn't say a damn thing to her about how disruptive it was. He didn't see it as disruptive but that was because his schedule was going on as planned because *I* would be the Babysitter. The couple of times he did say something, just like your case, she'd say "Well you don't have to be bothered with him anymore; he doesn't have to be in your life" which would make DH back down because he's not his BioFather and really don't have much in way of legal rights. So he feels at her mercy and if he turns her down she will bluff that. It's not going to happen and I keep making him see that it's a bluff because she is not going to get rid of her 75% babysitters.

Anyway, it didn't help that I also started working from home so for sure I was the babysitter anytime he was sick in school or there was a teacher workday or holiday break or spring break. On my first Anniversary in Sept 11, I spent 8 hours watching that brat because BM went on Vacation at same time and DH went to work & didn't bother to make or have her make other arrangements. My surprise for him was ruined-again. By March I was seriously seriously considering Divorce too. I had the name and number of a Divorce lawyer all squared away and was looking for another place. Then a small miracle happened in April-DH's job transferred him suddenly and we had to move 4 hrs away. I was so relieved!!! I thought that would fix stuff- at least her almost daily involvement in our lives. We agreed to meet in middle every other weekend after first month there. But sure enough the very 2nd weekend we were here she was calling to dump the boy. In May we had him 3 weekends in a row. School went out and we had him half of June. Half of July and half of this Month and I was primary babysitter. She has to give advance notice unlike before because of the drive involved.

In June, the situation was so bad that I finally hit the roof and told him I was not keeping the boy anymore and if he wanted to see him he needed to be off work. Since then I've been steadily backing away from involvement. School comes back in next week so he's here this week. I made DH take off. And when school is back in, I'm only agreeing to watch him one Sunday per Month so if DH wants to get him every other Weekend or whenever BM see fit, that's cool--he has to take off work. He is not--can't do that as he works every weekend so I expect to finally have some balance in my house soon. No more impromptu drives 2 hrs away and dragging home at midnight. I'm done being taken advantage of. Dh realizes that I'm serious too so he's doing all he can to keep that kid out of my hair this time. He's aware that something has changed and he either takes off work or he stands up to DH and say no sometimes. She's not going to do a damn thing about it.

If you don't agree to keep the skid then they have no choice but to make other arrangements. To compromise perhaps agree to keep her on CERTAIN days only and have them SET. If they need errands or pick ups or drop offs beyond the days you agree to, they have to work it out themselves without your involvement. What I learned is no one can take advantage of you if you don't allow it. So stop allowing it and force their hand on changing how they interact and handle visits. I bet they'll appreciate what you do when they realize how much they used you. I hope you try that first before you divorce.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

Wow. I'm sorry you've had to go through a very similar situation. Last time I tried "un-involving" myself DH threw a fit about me not having anything to do with the SS. My DH doesn't work, so he's having to deal with it more than I am. What pisses me off so bad is how it affects us as a family. We have to drop everything or change plans the second she needs something...

christinen's picture

Well, there’s some good news and some bad news. My DH and I have been living together for 2 years and BM would CONSTANTLY try to pawn SD off on us when it was not DH’s week (he already has her 50% of the time but I guess that’s not good enough for BM). She acted just the way you said- like we were a babysitter. I got so sick of the crap, I told DH he HAS to stand up to BM. If it’s her week & she has something to do, she needs to get HER family or friend to watch SD. NOT US. Eventually, he started telling her no and the process was slow, but now he never agrees to have SD extra days (not that he doesn’t want SD over, but he understands what BM is doing & doesn’t allow it anymore). So the good news is that it CAN be stopped. Bad news is your DH is the only one who can stop it.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

Unfortunately, that is the bad news. Tried to talk to him about it AGAIN today. He said "what am I supposed to do" AGAIN and when I tried to tell him how unhappy I am, he made a smartass remark. I know he's probably tired of hearing the same thing over and over, but here's what he doesn't understand: I keep bringing it up because NOTHING EVER CHANGES. Why can't he see that?

SMof2Girls's picture

Then maybe you need to pack up some stuff and leave for a while. Do you have a friend/relative you can stay with for a few days?

Tell him that if he's not willing to change or contribute to his abilities, then you have some serious considerations to make about how much longer this marriage can last.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

I pay the rent, apartment's in my name. But I could tell him HE needs to go somewhere else for a while. I'm not willing to move my kids, even temporarily. But him leaving for a while is definitely an option. Besides, his baby mama is constantly at his mom and dad's. He can over there and let her use and manipulate him somewhere far away from me.

SMof2Girls's picture

I meant to say if he's not willing to stand up to BM or consider getting a change in custody.

Maybe you give him the options and then walk away. His whole "What am I supposed to do?" is a cop out .. he's a grown ass man .. he can figure it out .. and if he's not willing to listen to or respect you, then he can figure it out alone.

WTHDISUF's picture

I stopped talking and made my decision. He had to live with it or he could hit the door. He's living with it. So as long as you give your DH a choice and try to get his cooperation on changing things, it's likely not going to happen. So you have to stop waiting on him to talk or do anything. Just stop babysitting. Tell him that and let him stare blankly at the wall...

tiredandfrustrated's picture

Nowhere for me to go. But he can leave if he doesn't man up. And I worried about trust issues too. But he complains every time she does this so I don't think he has a hidden agenda. I really think he's just a chicken s#$%.

mskaye2012's picture

My bf pays enough in child support to pay their rent and her car note AND we have him more than she does AND she is always complaining, interfering or just plain ignorant for no reason at all. Geez my bf is my best friend while they are not around. At least I see my bf making some changes...

tiredandfrustrated's picture

So here's what I'm considering. Telling him he has 2 options for how this works out. They are as follows:

1. He can buck up and act like a man and stop letting her manipulate and control our lives. Which means very strict ground rules that he needs to enforce.
2. He can let everything continue to go the way it is now, and he can do it alone. I'm not willing to let her control my life. And if this is his choice, he can pack and leave now and save us both a lot of headaches and fighting.

And we'll see what he says...

Sound fair?

tiredandfrustrated's picture

I don't really see another option. Either man up or leave. That's pretty much all I've got. And he doesn't really have a apartment and my money. He has no rights to where we live.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

I think that's my biggest problem. I know what I need to do-I just don't want to face it I guess. It's hard. Especially on a second marriage. That whole "great, I failed AGAIN at marriage thing". I know it isn't my fault but it doesn't make it seem any better.

tiredandfrustrated's picture

So, I threw it all out there, and not very nicely either. And we fought for 4 hours and I'm exhausted today. BUT-DH finally saw where I'm coming from and agreed there needs to be some rules. He's telling her not to call unless it's about the SS, he is keeping their pick ups/drop offs very short, and says no longer will we plan anything around her. So we're getting somewhere. He also says the being used as a babysitter thing is getting out of hand too. He is trying to be understanding of her odd work schedule, but the multiple pick ups/drop offs in one day needs to be addressed. He has also made it very clear to her that he has no romantic interest in her and hopes that will stop all of that. So maybe this will work...guess we'll see. At least he's finally willing to try-that's more than I thought would happen.

Wish us luck Smile

SMof2Girls's picture

Fantastic news! I'm glad he was receptive. It's up to both of you to stick to these ground rules. Maybe when you're both in a calm and rested place, you can write these basics down. So if he ever wavers in the future, you have a solid reminder of what you agreed to. This will hopefully avoid any "that's not what I meant" or "that's not what I agreed to" defenses in the future.

Jsmom's picture

Agree - Write down what he agree to and hold him to it. If you waiver, then a few months from now, you will be right back venting and looking at divorce lawyers....

tiredandfrustrated's picture

Good advice, I'll do that. Hopefully I won't be back here venting again. I think he knows I'm serious now about wanting him to leave if it doesn't change...