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BM Not acknowledging my existence unless it suits her

Petra's picture

Hello everyone,

I am living with my boyfriend and his 6 year old son that he has around 55-60% of the time.

He and his wife, the BM, are about to be divorced (the papers have been filed, it's a matter of weeks now), we plan on getting married as soon as he is divorced, because we want to and are madly in love, but also because I am not a resident, I have a special status as a grad student that does not allow me to perform my research or to work as much as my colleagues.

We have a beautiful happy home, he, my SS and I. My SS and I completely fell in love, we have a crazy connexion. This stable and happy environment has been very beneficial for his transition in his parent's separation.

The dark cloud of this happy life is the BM, who is not dealing well with my existence event though she is the one who cheated multiple times and wanted to split up. She feels I have stolen her husband, her house and her son. I have two main worries:

-She is completely disengaged from her son, granted she never wanted children and keeps resenting my BF for getting her pregnant, she tries to get us to have my SS more often. He does not want to go to her house anymore, says she does not pay enough attention to him, he hates the food (she imposes her vegan diet on him) and her roommates are big partiers. He told us that his mum felt more like a lady he had to stay at three nights a week and his real family was us. My SS's sensitivity and clarity regarding his mother's disinterest in him is good start for suing for sole custody, but in the meantime he is very distressed before she picks him up. He acts out at school the days she picks him up, he calls his dad constantly and when he is with his mum he does nothing but sleep when he never naps with her (avoidance). Let's face it, she is not a good mother and it is harming this little boy I love more than anything and we want to help him, protect him, make him feel better by the time we file for full custody.

-The BM does not acknowledge my existence, when she drops my SS off she sits in my living room and does not say hello or look at me. She is very bitchy and sometimes tries to manipulates my BF in telling him he is an awful person for forcing me into motherhood. None of this would matter to me if I weren't constantly doing her favors. I go out of my way to babysit my SS, she is always late or way too early. She refuses to communicate with me and goes through my BF who is working and can't just be the liaison. She is rude, toxic, she tries to break my couple and she is enable to co(parent with me even though she is more than glad to drop her son off to me.


What should I do to be the best SM possible and act in my SS's best interest.

Aunt Agatha's picture

Do not get married right away.  There are some red flags here that should give some pause.  What is  BM doing in your home?  You should not be dealing with her.

Give yourself some space.  When the crazy in love feeling fades, do you still want to deal with BM’s crazy?  That will only get worse.

Read Stepmonster. 

Give your BF a minute to get back in touch with himself.

Avoid becoming the new Insta mom.  He should be parenting not you.  The route you are headed leads to resentment. I’ve been with my SO for 9 years, we live together and I have never babysat his kids nor dealt with his crazy ex, and they were divorced for 2 years before we met. Crazy simply does not go away with time.

Slowing down and seeing how he handles the next year or so as the parent, without you doing the heavy lifting, will allow you to see if you feel the same after this lovey feeling moderates, how he parents, how the kid adjusts, and whether this is the right relationship for you.

Pay attention to those flags!




ndc's picture

I agree with Aunt Agatha that you need to slow down and hold off on the marriage until things settle down.  Rushing down the aisle when the ink of the divorce decree is barely dry isn't a great idea, and your boyfriend really should take time to grieve the end of his marriage rather than jumping into another one.  I suspect that won't happen, because it sounds like you want to get married ASAP because you need/want a green card (I'm assuming you're is in the US).  How long have you and your boyfriend been together, and how long have you been living together?

If the divorce is just weeks away, I'm assuming the parents have agreed on or are close to agreeing on a parenting plan.  What is the custody arrangement going to be?  You mention suing for full custody, but if the BM is not interested in parenting, is she going to willingly give your boyfriend primary custody?  If she's not willing to do so, it seems pretty unlikely to me, in the absence of facts you haven't disclosed, that he'll get full custody.  Whatever you end up with, having a set custody schedule and sticking to it for the most part is best for kids, as they need stability and to know when they're going to be in one house and when they'll be in another. 

There is no reason BM needs to co-parent with you.  You're not the parent, your boyfriend is.  It would be best to let him handle interactions with the BM.  She doesn't have to speak to you, she can totally ignore you.  If your boyfriend is at work, he's going to have to make prior arrangements with BM if she doesn't want to deal with you.  And if she's not willing to communicate, then just stop doing her favors.  If she tends to drop the child off early, make it a point to not be there until the appointed time.  Have your boyfriend tell her that you're not her babysitter and she needs to stick to the schedule.  And since it's already appearing to be a problem, can your boyfriend arrange to do pickups and dropoffs at school instead of at your home?  If exchanges need to be at your home, it would be best to keep the BM outside - she can wait in the car while the child goes in and out.  It sounds like you're doing a lot of the child care.  Don't let your boyfriend push the parenting on to you.  His son needs to spend time with him and be parented by him - that's in his best interest.  No matter how good your relationship with the boy is, you're not his parent and he needs to spend time with his parent.  Also, no matter how much you love the child, problems with a crazy BM and having parenting responsibility dumped on you by your boyfriend can lead to resentment, and that resentment will spill over to the child.  That is certainly not in his best interest.  

Step-girlfriend's picture

You are your SO’s girlfriend- who cares if BM doesn’t talk to you? Honestly you are better off without that nonsense. 

She may not care and is probably not a great mom but she is still SS’s mom- accepting her position now will only help you. She isn’t going anywhere, she will always be SS’s mom no matter how crappy she is. Trust me, BM here is a disaster and a terrible human being, but she’s still skids mom. You rank below her. 

Don’t do her favors! She will never appreciate it, it will only bring you stress and heartache. You aren’t SS’s mom, no matter the connection you feel. It sucks, but that’s how it is. 

SonOfABrisketMaker's picture

If BM is so high conflict, don’t expect the divorce to be over quickly.

You really need to get your visa status sorted out and don’t depend on this marriage to save you. 

How is it that you ended up living with a married man? Where were you staying before if you couldn’t work? What do your parents think of this? 

shamds's picture


if pickup time at your house in 3pm and she arrives at 2pm knocking on your door, open the door and say she’s 1 hour early and come in an hours time. If she bangs like a crazy person screaming etc, call the cops. Say she is trespassing...

do not worry about what the bm says/doesn’t say or thinks of you. It should mean absolutely NOTHING!

my hubbys exwife had clearly been cheating on him which hubby didn’t find out till when divorce was finalised and she married the bloke within days of divorce being final... 

she was in her late 30s and bragged at hubbys workplace to her ex workmates (they worked at same company - thats how they met) and claimed she was so in demand that everyone wanted her and no one wanted my hubby he was an old man... hubby was 44 when divorce was final.

4.5 yrs later he met me, much more younger, western educated, caucasian and attractive and yeah exwife went on a bitch rant calling hubbys eldest sister how she had to protect her daughters whom she’d kidnapped over a yr prior to me meeting hubby (in reality she found an angle to psin things her way), she claimed i was a half naked prostitute and shame on hubby.

lol she was being so petty and jealous that i’m everything She can’t be. Hubbys family fell in love with me and accepted me, were happy to come to our home when we had family bbq or i catered for their yearly family gatherings... 

sd found out bm lied about me and confronted her about it so she invented that she is a born again religious person and now adores me for loving her kids like my own.... now i do not love her kids like my own, hubby knows this and is ok with it. His kids have so many issues and me being civil is all they deserve if anything for now.

so what she says or does is of no concern to me. She has tried to dictate things pertaining to our household and i have shut that down pretty quickly. She has no say in how our household runs or demand i be present for skids meet with their dads... her kids do not tell hubby that mummy says stepmum must come or we can’t see you... i shut that down completely

bm has suspected this and now has her daughters buy over the top presents for my kids that are tacky and things they simply cannot play with so i told hubby no more presents are to be given. If family is important then they will make time to visit us and spend time with their half siblings. Its been 7 months and they have refused. 

So again ignore anything about bio mum

you need to reflect first on what you want out of this relationship and marriage and what basic rules and expectations should be that everyone agrees to. Its great the future ss is on great communicating terms with you so this should make it easy for you all to sit down and discuss what you expect of one another and say quality family time together so future ss knows he’s a member of your household and you can spend family time together for example every few weekends

don’t just marry him and expect everything falls into place as it rarely does and most of us here can attest to that.

in all honesty i wouldn’t have gotten in a relationship with this man till divorce was finalised because exwife has ammo to spin things her way that you were dating whilst they were separated. Until he is officially divorced, he’a not a free man.

in my case exwife can’t say or do jack shit because she’s a lying toxic manipulative narcissist and people know that

elkclan's picture

Oh Petra - don't do this.  I know you're in love, but once you start making a life in another country - and especially if you have kids - you are stuck away from your other family and one day that will really matter. Take it from American forever stuck in England. I mean, I've made my life here it's not the end of the world, but it's also not ideal.

Petra's picture

I know, but I am a Native American rights specialist and I work on Arizona tribes environmental issues haha there is no job for me in Europe... I tried and I was miserable because I was not doing what I have always wanted to do. I came here and decided to do my life here before I met him. I am aware that we are much better off in Europe for health, retirement and many more things... But I have a greater cause to serve Smile

Hopefully as a scholar I'll have enough vacation time and enough moey to fly back home every summer; I am already flying back home for two months without my boyfriend and even though I'll miss my boys, I am more than happy and want to make this a regular thing.

elkclan's picture

on a separate note - BM owes you NOTHING. Not a hello, not a glance and certainly not co-parenting. You are not this kid's parent so she doesn't need to co-parent with you. And it does sound like you have her man, her house and her kid. You may think that's only right because she cheated, but I guarantee you only know a part of the story of their relationship.  

You are a support to your boyfriend if you want to be. I get that you say BM doesn't want to parent this kid, but she may not always feel this way. And here's the hard truth - your stepchild is BETTER OFF being mothered by his actual real mother if she can, if at all possible. That isn't you. I grinds my gears when I see guys who want 50:50 or more but then dump a lot of the parenting on the step-mom just so they can avoid paying CS. That's not what is best for the child. This doesn't sound like what's going on here, but just saying. 

The BM in my life barely acknowledges me and it's super frustrating, so I get it. I genuinely feel like I am a positive addition to their lives, but I get no thanks from her and not even an acknowledgement of the sacrifices that I make for HER children. Not even a consideration of my schedule and she expects her whims to come above my parenting time with my son. And I don't have my son all the time, so that time is precious. But you know what - my SO does appreciate what I do for his kids and we work together. 

My ex acknowledges my partner but it's a step too far maybe to get him to appreciate the parenting role that my partner takes with my son. My ex has always been happy to dump the hard stuff on other people, he's not going to start appreciating now what SO does or even what I do. I'm just happy that they seem to get along ok and that when there was a crisis in my BS's schooling he didn't seem upset that my SO was sitting down at the table with us to discuss and plan. But when it came time to meet the school official, only my ex and I went to the school. 

Rags's picture

Except in rare circumstances when the past breeding partner is reasonable and invited no X should ever enter the home of a Sparent.


Rags's picture

Except in rare circumstances when the past breeding partner is reasonable and invited no X should ever enter the home of a Sparent.


overloaded's picture

Whatever Rags says, listen,.Also love yourself enough to have boundaries. There is NO reason she should be in YOUR home.