Best advice I have to offer, and it's FREE. Take it or leave it.

imamommy

Once you read this, you will know what the answer is but if you choose to make excuses or find reasons that this doesn't apply to you, then you really kinda lose the right to complain. (though nobody is going to stop you from complaining, they'll just roll their eyes and probably think it's your own fault because, well... it is.)

1. If you are dating someone (or already married to them) and they put their children first, don't ever expect to be first in their life. By "FIRST", I don't mean that they are a priority like they should be. If they need medical care or are going through a crisis and need their parents, they should be first. But, if the kids don't like you so they are constantly making demands to take the attention away from your relationship, and HE ALLOWS IT, then run. Do not walk away... RUN AWAY!!! If he can't see the difference between meeting the needs of his children by being a good, devoted father and their manipulations to interfere in his relationships (with you or anyone else), then he is not "the ONE". Remember, he is single for a reason. If he's TOO NICE... that is another way of saying they can walk all over him and in that case, it's not a plus. It's great to find a nice guy but allowing his ex or his kids to treat his new relationship poorly is not very nice, is it?

2. Believe his words. Guys don't usually beat around the bush or give clues, they are usually pretty direct. If they say it, they mean it. The biggest problem I see is that women only hear the parts they WANT to hear. They tend to gloss over the bad stuff, hoping it gets better. It usually doesn't and they end up being resentful and angry things didn't work out how they wanted. So, listen to his words VERY carefully.

3. Believe his actions. Some guys don't tell you anything. We like to call them the strong, silent type but they are saying enough with their actions. If he doesn't remember important dates, it's because they aren't important to HIM. I have an ex that used to tell me we couldn't afford to take the family on vacation, and we were always tight on money... however, when he wanted to attend a convention or whenever he wanted a new part for his computer, he somehow found a way to make it happen. Family vacations were just not a priority to him. (and neither was family).

4. People don't change. I mean, sure we can start eating healthy or let ourselves go... we might go to school and better ourselves. That is not the change I'm talking about. People generally don't change their value system or morals. If he cheated on his ex with you, he will cheat on you. If he says mean things about an ex, he will say mean things about you if things don't work out. If money is more important than intimate relationship, that is not going to change. If he sees a wife and kids as part of his image instead of the individuals you are, that isn't going to change. and so on.

5. Any problems with his ex or kids are his fault, not hers or theirs. I don't care if his ex calls constantly or says nasty things. She's an ex. It's HIS job to protect his new woman from having to deal with it. If he backs away and lets his new woman deal with it directly, then he is failing in his job to keep the peace. Yes, it's HIS job to keep peace. He can refuse to allow his ex to interfere but if he chooses to do nothing or worse, let you deal with it, it is a direct reflection on how little he cares about you. He shouldn't want his new woman to deal with the b*tch he couldn't stand to stay married to. And as for his kids, parent can love their kids without giving in to every whim. A simple "she is my girlfriend/wife and you will treat her with respect" because the truth is, he wouldn't let his kids treat a teacher badly. He wouldn't let his kids be disrespectful to a stranger so why would he allow them to make his woman feel left out or hurt? If he allows his new girlfriend or wife to be stressed out and frustrated with the life he had before you, then he is not all that great of a guy.

Some guys love the drama. They love all the attention of having everyone fighting over him. And that kind of guy, I don't care how sweet he talks, what his great qualities are, etc. is NOT a nice guy. So, have a little respect for yourself and don't stay with someone because he has "SOME" great qualities or is the best guy you've met and you don't think you can do better. If that's the case, consider yourself lucky to have the best you think you can do and stop complaining.

P.S. Oh yeah, if the mother or father in law is the problem... apply this to that. A nice guy is not going to allow ANYONE to treat the love of his life poorly.

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](http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/step/msg0318564613039.jpg)

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colleenoz

Ima! Good to see you posting! And such wise words. It's all true, ladies, take heed.

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sylviatexas1

Amen, Sistah!

One item I would add to is that when it comes to words, believe them if they aren't what you want to hear, but evaluate them with some skepticism when they're 'explanatory'.

If it's all her fault, all his mother's fault, all somebody's fault, don't take it that it really is somebody else's fault;
take it that he's always going to say that everything is somebody else's fault.

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mkroopy

I thought this was a forum on Step Parenting, not a "help us find inner strength by bashing all the men that treated me like sh*t over the years and warning all other helpless vulnerable women to protect themselves from these horrible creatures" forum?

Jeez, my ex wife screwed me over, cheated on me several times, cost me my marriage, a couple hundred thousand dollars, and most importantly the ability to sleep under the same roof as my kids 7 nights a week, which is how I thought it would always be when I had kids, And while I may occasionally toss a verbal bomb towards HER in these forums...I have never since I started posting here generalized ALL/MOST WOMEN as being like her. Not one time, I guarantee it....she was just a bad egg. Actually no, she is not a bad egg...we are past it all now and talk every day since we are doing 50-50 custody...and are actually friends. She is basically a good person who was in a bad place in her life and did a bad thing.

I really wish there was a lot less of the generalized man-bashing around here. Ladies, if you have had a life long track record of being treated like sh*t by men, you might want to take a look at the type of men you attract. While my ex was not a Sunday school teacher or anything, she did not have a past of being a stripper / slut / party girl / gold digger / booze addict / drug addict / drama queen / etc. While things didn't work out great for me, when I look back I don't shake my head thinking "what was I thinking?" She did have have anything in her past to make me think she'd ever go down that path with me....

I strongly suspect that most of the men being bashed here all the time by the women they scorned had a past that if the woman looked past the their feelings, they would have been able to see where it would wind up. But so much easier to and self satisfying just blame those evil men...

There are lousy rotten people in every walk of life...in relationships, in the workplace, people fixing your car/house, etc...everywhere. It's partially our responsibility to be smart enough to steer clear of them. Just like people getting scammed by the Madoffs and Enron's of the world, a little common sense goes a long way. When the market is averaging 3% and you get 15%...shouldn't get a little suspicious and not keep ALL your retirement income there?

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imamommy

mkroopy,

I'm sorry that's how you read it. I am not generalizing or man bashing. I am telling people (and I think the same goes for guys that meet a woman and ignore those little red flags because the good qualities outweigh the bad.) to pay attention to what they have in front of them. There are lots of nice guys and nice women out there but don't wrap your heart around one because you think that's the best you can do.

What I see, and have seen for years on this forum is mostly women that tell their story and gloss over the warning signs they ignored. It's really heartbreaking that we (myself included) waste years of our lives in a situation that was doomed to begin with because we overlooked the signs that were there the whole time and thought "it'll be different with ME" because that's what we wanted.

And, in no way am I implying that there were warning signs in every relationship or that people aren't broadsided by things, but my "advice" is more for the women that are in a relationship (not even married to the guy) and are having major problems with the way the ex or kids treat her or him allowing her to be mistreated, and more times than not it's the guy that allows his ex to treat his new partner like crud. That may not be you.. and some people choose not to get into a new relationship to avoid any of that drama but this post if for those first timers on here that want to hear advice on how to get the kids to be nice or complain about the ex... and the answer is: HE IS LETTING THAT HAPPEN AND IT'S HIS JOB TO PROTECT YOU FROM IT. and vice versa if it's the other way around (the new boyfriend being treated badly by the kids or ex.)

I finally divorced my husband when I finally accepted that he was not really protecting me from the way his mom treated me, the way his daughter treated me and the way his ex treated me. I also don't hate him or think he's a bad guy but I do know now that I should not have married him or gotten involved in all that. It wasted 7 years of my life. I'd hate to see anyone else waste years of their life when the writing is on the wall. And I'm not even saying they should end the relationship... if they know going in that they are not his priority, then they should accept it and not complain.

I did something that most people probably wouldn't approve of but when my ex husband started dating a lady, I wrote to her and let her know of the problems I had with my ex MIL, SD and BM. I told her good luck and I meant it. I am still friends with exDH and his new GF. They came to help me with my grand opening of my store and there are no hard feelings. However, six months later, SD is beginning to treat her the way she treated me. and while I feel a little bad for her because she is a very nice lady, if she stays and endures what I went through (or probably more because SD is a teenager now and straight up talks crap to her dad publicly on Facebook), then I don't think she has any right to complain. If you know going in, and you still move forward, you get what you deserve. (of course, I might have been seen as a scorned ex wife but I am not. I'm glad to be out of that mess.

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notsureaboutthis

That was a great post! I felt like you were talking to me. I just wish that I could have recognized, six years ago, that these things don't get better.

Thanks for sharing.

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Amber3902

Jeez, Kroopy, I notice everytime you feel someone is man bashing on here, you feel the need to bring up all the things that your ex-wife did to you.

Imamommy's post could be applied to women as well as men, it's just in general, it's the father that is the NCP, and as a result, this advice generally applies better to men than to women. I fail to see anything in Imamommy's advice that wasn't helpful or was bashing ALL MEN that walk the earth, and really the whole man bashing argument is getting old.

The majority of people that come on this forum are WOMEN that are complaining about the MEN they are dating. If this forum was mostly men complaining about the women they were dating, would you say this forum was nothing but women bashing? If you're tired of all the "man bashing" you claim to see on this forum, why don't you go check out dadsdivorce forum. You could say that that forum was nothing but women bashing, but it's just that dadsdivorce forum is used to address the issues that divorcing men are going through. It comes with the territory.

So maybe if you're tired of all the "generalized man bashing" that goes on here, (eye roll) then maybe this forum isn't for you. I've tried to give you the benefit of the doubt in the past, but you know what I'm tired of? YOU complaining about the perceived man bashing and you having to constantly tell everyone what your wife did to you. So who's fault was it that your wife cheated on you, twice? Her's right?

So whose fault is it when a man says he can't afford to marry you, but he can afford to buy his kids name brand sneakers and every xbox game ever produced? Whose fault is it when he won't discipline his kids, but tells you to give your kid "something to cry about"? Whose fault is it when a man lets his exwife harass his current wife, when he lets his kids be rude and disrespectful to his wife?

Just because the complaints happen to be about a man doesn't make it man bashing. And when a man posts on here about his wife and her kids, you can't say that the advice he's given is any different than what would be given to a woman.

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dotz_gw

Amber, Great post...Also tired of the accusations of man bashing, female bitterness and hearing the cheating story ad nauseum for years now...I see nothing man bashing about the OPs post...Me thinks someone protests too much...

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mkroopy

You're missing the point though. Actually several points.

"The majority of people that come on this forum are WOMEN that are complaining about the MEN they are dating"

Uhmm..no it's actually supposed to be a forum about STEP PARENTING, not dating issues, That's why I am here...to maybe see what others go thru in this difficult aspect in all our lives and hopefully learn from what others have been thru and maybe offer up advice that other's can find useful

And you can do you little "eye-rolls" all you want about whether man bashing goes on here or not (uhm, it does), or about whether or not I actually "deserved to be cheated on" (ya I'm sure if a guy ever said that it would go over real well around here), and for the record my ex has long since apologized to me for what she did, saying it was very llittle to do with me and a lot to do with where she was at the time, which is a big part of why 8 yrs later I actually consider her a friend and really don't harbor ill feelings for her.

My point in bringing up what my ex did to me was simply to bring up the fact that I have never painted women in general as evil creatures to he wary of because of the actions of one or a few persons which seems to happen all the time around here. I think it's unfair. Most guys I know are good guys, good dads and bust their asses for their families. When I see men painted with such a broad brush like the majority of them are dangerous creeps, to the point where it was even suggested that women run "background checks" and also get in touch with someones' ex wife BEFORE a first date...OMG the insanity..it drives me nuts.

And if you can read the OP and not see any man bashing...well good luck then you are really lost in your own world...

This post was edited by mkroopy on Thu, Mar 13, 14 at 16:48

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dotz_gw

Eye Roll :(...For the record, I read the Step parent forum because I m a step parent and I read the Marriage forum because I m married...And you are, neither a step parent, or married??? Honestly, its so annoying for you to put your bias in and attribute it to some one else...NOONE said or implied you deserved to be cheated on (your words) Dating is a HUGE component of being a stepparent..No reason a woman cant come looking for advice when she s dating a man with children..Or a man if he s considering marriage.(which you have stated is not in the cards for you......Seems like on the marriage forum you are actually in agreement with OP...Deception and Affairs Nov 5th,11 "Should have really assessed her character before marrying her, if I think back there were warning signs. I just ignored them..Probably there was never a strong reason not to continue, plus, she was a"hottie"...The issue is amount of time that has passed since the cheating, amount of time spent discussing the cheating which you also remind everyone, over and over, you and ex are BFFs now. it comes into every thread, and then you proceed to arrogantly bash everyone that asks for advice. Because I feel you think you handle things correctly, and nobody else here does/can. I struggle with some step parenting issues.But I would NEVER handle things the same way you do..Doesnt make me stupid, not in the real world...Just different..I m sure if I asked DH to read OP s post (and maybe I will) he would find NOTHING man bashing about it...I find many of your posts offensive. Really , you don't have to stick up for all the men in the world..If they re men, they do it for themselves...

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mkroopy

"So who's fault was it that your wife cheated on you, twice? Her's right?"

Dotz you really don't think that's implying I deserved to be cheated on? Oh come on...

And if you think that there is any significant difference between dating someone for 6+ years and being more of a father to her son than his father ever was for him (and those words come from both of them, not me...), then you are just hung up on technicalities. Not sure what to tell you about that. I've paid for his summer camps, taught him to fish, camp, been there for his elementary and middle school graduations...all things his d*ck father didn't do. I am also prepared to pay for his college because his father is a loser who can't keep up with his 600 dollar a month child support...but because I don't have a ring on my finger, I can't participate in a "Step Families" forum? Really? F*ck off if you truly believe that.

If you don't like my posts then don't read them. I've contributed for years here...and while I have had some ongoing disputes regarding things (like sylviatexas and her opinions sometimes), there have been MANY times when I agree with her and make a point of how I actually agree with her this time. Since you seem to have the time to actually research my old posts, go ahead and look that up.

If you think my posts are offensive, that's fine...everyone has an opinion. I'd like to think my years on here without everyone thinking I am a d*uchebag say otherwise. I enjoy the exchange of opinions here. It's one of the few places where I have felt the anonymity of this place hasn't turned people into a-holes. Apparently you don't share that feeling...sorry about that.

Again it's a forum largely populated by women, many whom are slightly on the bitter side. Can't help feeling like I have to stick up for my gender to a certain extent...sorry if it offends you.

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imamommy

mkroopy, maybe you can point to where I am bashing men? I started with generic they/them but I did use he/him later, mostly because most of the people asking for advice are ladies. We have heard for years, posts by women who have the same problem over and over again. They're not yet married and his ex is a problem or his kids are wreaking havoc on the relationship or he's having her do the majority of the responsibility for his kids and she feels unappreciated or disrespected and are looking for advice. I am offering advice to those ladies that come with those problems and saying that she is in a relationship with him so it's his responsibility to ensure that she isn't cleaning up the mess that he made. He should deal with his ex. He should take care of his kids. And he should insist that she be treated in a dignified manner by his family (ie. His kids, his parents, and his siblings) The same advice is true for a guy that is dating a woman who has the same problems with her ex or her kids bring disrespectful. Favoritism happens with mom's and dads. I am simply saying that people need to get to know what they're getting involved with and if they look the other way at warning signs or gloss it over because the good qualities outweigh the bad, then suck it up and accept the bad because it's not going anywhere. If they are not happy with the situation before they get married, it won't get better after. And for goodness sakes, don't bring a child into a bad situation. That won't fix anything! There are lots of nice people (men & women) out there so don't waste your time on someone who let's you be so stressed, annoyed, irritated or unhappy that you need to ask for help on a forum of strangers.

And yes! Everyone should do a background check on someone they are going to date. Men and women! There are scam artists and pedophiles that target single parents to gain access to children, there are gold diggers that can walk away with a chunk of wealth you've worked half your life to obtain... so yes, do a background check. There's nothing more important than your life and the lives of your children and family so who you bring into their life is the #1 priority.

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Amber3902

MKroopy, the fact of the matter is, yes, it’s a step parenting forum, but the MAJORITY of people that come on here are women talking about their BF/SO/Husband.

First you say it's not a dating forum, but a step parenting forum, yet later on you say that there's no difference between dating someone and being more of a father to someone's child than their own father and that it's just a technicality. And you're right, for all purposes you are a step parent, in the same situation as all the other people that post on here that are dating someone with kids.

So surely you can see how when someone is in a relationship with someone who has kids, issues are going to come up. The fact that they are just dating doesn't negate their need for advice.

And I never said you deserved to be cheated on.

I said "So who's fault was it that your wife cheated on you, twice? Her's right?" I thought the answer was obvious, it wasn’t your fault your wife cheated on you, that was HER fault. The same as it’s the man’s fault when he lets his kids misbehave, when he spoils his kids, when he lets his exwife harass his current wife.

The person who is at fault here is usually the bioparent, which in most scenarios presented on this forum, is the MAN.

And the advice to run a background check or talk to someone’s ex-wife was given ONE time, and not by the OP or in this post.

You claim the women on this forum are bitter, yet the only person who constantly feels the need to drag out the story of how their spouse cheated on them, is you.

You may think telling your story proves that you never paint all women with the same brush, yet constantly telling what she did to you over eight years ago could be considered bashing as well. If you truly didn't harbor any ill feelings toward her, you wouldn't have to mention how she "cheated on me several times, cost me my marriage, a couple hundred thousand dollars, and most importantly the ability to sleep under the same roof as my kids 7 nights a week, which is how I thought it would always be when I had kids" - suuuuuuurre, that doesn't sound bitter at all.

I could trot out my story of all the terrible things my ex-husband did to me, but I’ve MOVED ON with my life.

"If you don’t like my posts don’t read them.” Great point and I think you should take your own advice. If you feel like the posts on here are man bashing, then don’t read them!

This post was edited by Amber3902 on Fri, Mar 14, 14 at 9:43

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mkroopy

"..but I’ve MOVED ON with my life. '

Yeah, I guess I haven't. Been happy in a relationship for 6+ years, peacefully co-parenting my kids with my ex, acting in a step-father role to another child who essentially has no father, lots of friends, successful in my career....yeah sounds like i'm living in the basement consumed with plotting my revenge.....

Whatever...I thought I'd offer up an opposing viewpoint, in a respectful, constructive way.. Clearly it's not taken too well sometimes around here.

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dotz_gw

F off? D*** father? D **** bag? Not exactly what I d call respectful post..Wouldnt be one bit surprised if Garden Web is monitoring "your respectful" post, you are not removed from the site....

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momof3_stepof1

I agree all the way with your post ima!! Long time no see everyone!! Hello!!

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