What do you do when BM refuses to co-parent?
This is a long vent - so apologies - don't read it if you don't want to - I'm just venting.....
I am so lucky to be married to a wonderful DH and I have a fabulous SD11. We have been married 4 years. DH and BM divorced approx 6 years ago (before I met him) due to BMs extramarital relationship. She ended up marrying that person after getting pregnant. All was "amicable" between BM and DH until DH and I got married. Well, to be more specific, all was well until DH stopped doing BM's bidding. He began questioning things and standing up for things and basically didn't just "do" whatever she wanted. He also realized that she had a financial ax hanging over his head because of a verbal agreement they made after their divorce was final. When he realized that, he attempted to have a voluntary modification, but she would not cooperate. After telling him repeatedly that she would not take him to court, she did just that. They had a formal mediation where she got almost everything she wanted as far as custody/visitation arrangements. My husband was able to got some things in his favor as well - so all in all, you would think it was a good resolution. Well.... it has been hell.
BM has custody of SD the majority of the time. We have her from 5:30pm - 8:00am on Mon and Tues. Then we have her from 5:30 Friday to 8:00am Monday every other weekend. We live about 2 miles from BM.
BM and DH are supposed to collaborate regarding SD11 schedule for extracurricular activities. For the past 3 years, BM has created VERY heavy extracurricular schedules (9-11 hours of dance classes) for SD11. BM says that she only does it because SD11 wants to. BM will sign forms and make payments and commit to everything before getting any input or feedback from DH. When DH tries to put his foot down, BM bullies everyone by threatening to punish SD11 for "backing out" by making SD11 repay fees that BM incurred. Historically, DH has caved so that SD11 doesn't have to repay.
This year, BM has done it again. SD11 auditioned for "company" level stuff without DH having any idea that it was happening. BM attended a company meeting that outlined all of the requirements and didn't tell DH. BM notified DH a few days later and told him that SD11 made the audition (which is really cool all things considered) and said that the 1st requirement fell over a weekend that SD11 would be with DH and I and would that be ok? He replied asking her not to commit to anything until the 3 of them could sit down and discuss everything. She replied back to him that she had already made the commitment and made payment because the deadline was soon (we still haven't hit the deadline). She still did not tell him what the requirements would be and he kept telling her that he could not agree to the schedule without knowing what it was. He was able to speak with the dance instructor who told him what the requirements were. Basically, the requirements don't allow us flexibility over the weekends to visit his family who live out of state (SD11 is very close to her cousins and we typically make that trip every 6-8 weeks). We also would not be able to take SD11 to other outings that we have discussed taking her to. So, he spoke with SD11 (last night was the first night he was able to discuss things with her) who told him that she didn't really want to audition, but that "mommy" said it would be a good idea and she didn't want to take all of the classes associated with the company. When she realized that she was going to have to be tied up the 1st 3 weekends of every month, in addition to 2 weekends during the summer AND not being able to do anything during the month of November (apparently BM did not explain all of this to SD11 - imagine that!) she said that it was too much and she didn't want to do that.
DH informed BM that the requirements will not work for the family and that he would not be taking SD11 to the company events. He still supported her being involved in the 1 class that she wants to be involved in (which happens during our visitation time), just not the level of involvement for company.
BM's response: Everything was explained to SD11 and she signed the papers and it has cost BM $$$. If SD11 is backing out, then SD11 will have to repay BM for the $450 that she shelled out (before consulting with DH). And BM will not consider anything that DH wants for SD11 (she never has considered anything before) in the future. And she will not consider other activities (soccer) that SD11 has said she wanted to do in the spring (SD11 has been wanting to try soccer for 3 years)(that BM said was OK before all of this). And she will not support SD11's involvement in church choir (this was mutually agreed upon last year - and BM did not take SD11 to all rehearsals anyway).
I am absolutely aghast that this woman would do this to her child!BM's words: "I am simply doing what you have have always done to me and SD11 is about to find out what that is. No activities for her on my time. I'll be sure to explain it to her, and where it came from. She will be busy every weekend working to earn back all of the money already spent for her on Company and it won't be me she will be working for." She is also throwing up that DH missed SSD11's blackbelt (another activity that BM signed SD11 up for without consulting DH)test because he was attending my graduation from Grad school which was out of state.
I just don't know how to help HIM deal with this. I don't know how to help SD11 deal with such emotional abuse and bullying from her own mother. I just feel so helpless.
These 2 people just can NOT agree on how to deal with each other and what is best for SD11. They each have different priorities and philosophies in how to raise her. Why can't the woman admit that she is at fault for signing papers and paying the money without consulting with DH? He would have said it was too much from the get go and we wouldn't be in this situation. SD11 said, "You aren't taking an experience away from me, you are trying to keep my family time together." Why can't BM see that? UGH!!!!!