Need Wife/Ex-Wife Advice

openskies

My ex left me about 10 years ago for someone else. I eventually met someone and remarried. The relationship between the two women is not good. Consequently, there isn't much communication between them. My wife sometimes decides she wants to be equally involved in communication with my ex, but from my standpoint, it is so unhealthy and volatile that it isn't good for the kids.

I'd love advice on this. My daughter asked if she can take an old piece of sporting equipment that is her stepsisters, to use in her sport once, a sport that her Mom signed her up for. Before I could say "sure", my wife told my daughter to let her Mom know that she could borrow, but it needs to be her Mom that calls to request it, since it is her that would have had to pay for this piece of equipment. Myself and my ex each handle some of the non-extraordinary sports expenses.

The problem I'm having, is that my ex found it silly that she would have to call to ask for something that exists in this house where my daughter lives 50% of the time, when the kids regularly take things back and forth between houses. My wife is highly annoyed that my ex would not make this call or email, and told my kids she is disappointed. I always try and rise above anythink that the ex does that annoys me, and just do what is right for the kids, so in this case, I'd just let my daughter take something from here (that I contribute $$ towards anyway), and not put her in the middle as a messenger. The issue my wife has is that we pay my ex lots of $$ so she feels like she should be forced to buy this item that would be used only once.

Sorry if this is confusing, but I just need an unbiased opinion as to whether it is reasonable to ask for a phone call from my ex to officially request borrowing something, or should it have been a simple thing where we simply make it right for my daughter. That is always my approach, because I feel it isn't worth making an issue out of. I am feeling lately like my wife and I need to attend counselling to discuss these sorts of things, because the dynamic involving my ex is quite prominent in our household, and my wife doesn't like that I suck it up alot for the sake of the kids and pick my battles carefully - she tends to want to fight back when these things come up.

I know this probably seems like a minor issue, but it is one of many similar and they are getting to me - I just want to focus on what we can control in our home and be happy.

Thanks.

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gigglemonster

openskies, welcome! First time I've seen a man here, so I hope you stick around to give your perspective on other issues.

In you case, I'm with you. I think it is really silly to have Mom call to ask or buy the equipment. You are the Father and right there, maybe you can formally ask your wife. Okay, that was snark but I think it is silly and petty. Your wife is acting like you are not the parent here.

I think making it right for your daughter is the best way to go in all scenario's.

Good luck.

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sieryn

I can tell you that you're current wife probably feels like she's being taken advantage of by your previous wife which causes the hostility. She feels like you give alot of your resources to her and that she just 'expects' more by not 'asking' to borrow something 'she' bought for 'her' daughter. In turn, she gets angry at you for not 'sticking up' for her when this happens. Some can consider it rude to use the child as the messenger 'i.e my mom wants x' and it probably just added to the 'insult' your wife feels.

Its hard to work through, but counseling or some deep conversations will probably help.

I would recommend advising her just to stay out of communications between you and x. Like for this situation;
what should have happened is daughter asks Dad who can approve but if someone needs to ask it should have been you checking with wife if daughter can use equip not xwife having to call current wife. xwife should not make that mandate to the child - its inappropriate.

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mom_of_4

I dont necessarily share giggles opinion that your wife is acting like you are not the parent ... that seems a little extreme to me... but I do agree that this is an issue to just let go. I can see it from her point of view because I myself get very frustrated with dealing with the ex on a regular basis but I dont want to be equally involved in communication with the ex. I want to be completely involved in the decision making process about just about everything because it effects my life. But, that means Dh talks to ex says I will get back to you and then we discuss. Now, I do wish the ex wouldnt be so petty as to call DH (sometimes at work) to tell him to call me about silly things like she is on her way to pick the kids up or she needs this or that... she could just call me herself...its not like my DH is my keeper. But, that is annoyance I just deal with.

I can vaguely see where you wife is coming from on this ... this is my take
Ex gets money from us.... you take care of your kids... why should she assume that we would supply the equipment for this event... what if daugher was using it... even if she wasnt if she wanted my help because in essence that is what she is doing she needs to ask me for it.

Ofcourse this train of thought is useless but as I said I can see exactly where it comes from... frustration... but it should definately be let go. I have had moments of beyond irritation with ex that I really wanted to tell her to take a flying leap ..but that wouldnt do anything for the kids.. and I think you had it right... do what you have to for the kids.

I would talk to wife and perhaps counseling for blended families would be in order.. but regardless after you discuss it with wife ... wife should be the one that gives sd the equipment to use.

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serenity_now_2007

Yup, 'silly and petty', the words Giggle used, apply. I mean sure, if it was something the *ex-wife herself* wanted to borrow, then yes it's the polite thing to do to ask *anyone* permission to borrow something, in any context. But in this case the only thing the ex-wife has to do with the situation at all is that she happened to be the one to sign your daughter up for the sport in question. And what if ex-wife doesn't feel like engaging in this oddly-goading sort of farce? Is your daughter supposed to go without? Feel p.o.'ed at her bio-mom for not submitting to regulation or p.o.'ed at her step-mom for requiring it in the first place? Meanwhile, your daughter has absolutely no control over the outcome of her very simple and reasonable request while two grown women play power games with each other. It's a totally unfair position to put your daughter in, on both a practical and emotional level. If your wife's real issue is how much money goes to ex-wife in general, she needs to complain about that in particular to either ex-wife, you or a lawyer (and either find some workable mutually satisfactory solution, try and renegotiate the legal/financial agreement, let you handle it or learn to deal), anything but drag your daughter into it.

Your wife can save face and slink out of whatever damage she may have already done by restating to your daughter that she only wanted to impart to her the fact that if something were to happen to the item, that the person who would be financially responsible for replacing/repairing it should be made aware of their liability before such a thing should happen, as a matter of politeness. In other words, she should rephrase it from suggesting *ex-wife* has to "ask permission" of HER to suggesting that *daughter* might be wise to ask permission of *ex-wife* before borrowing (since ex-wife will be taking on the liability), but that this is just a suggestion, not a requirement.

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serenity_now_2007

btw, it would have also been a good idea to make sure step-sister is okay with your daughter borrowing the item in the first place. (If she isn't, that could in part be playing into this conflict.)

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pseudo_mom

I am the current wife ... I am the messenger on things related to the kids except two things ... money and visitation. I have made those very clear with both my hubby and the ex... she will call about changing days I say call him or I will give him the message. She calls about money I say call him or I will have him call you.

Lets try different scenarios you might be able to use with your wife to figure out how to handle this situation.

If you and your wife had an "extra car" hanging around and DD wanted to borrow it would your wife want your ex to pay for it?

If your wife and DD wear the same size shoe ... wife no longer needs/wears/wants the shoes would your ex have to pay for them?

If your wife has a purse she longer wanted or used... and DD showed an interest in it would she give it to her or ask her to pay for it?

Now my rant. You could say to wifey ... its ok she doesn't need that "one" I am going to buy her a "new one" this way there isn't any confusion as to who pays for what I will pay for it and it will be done.

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gigglemonster

Momof4, to clarify why I think Wife is not acting as if OP is the parent -- Wife is trying to force BM to call and request/and or pay for this equipment when Dad can easily get this equipment as well since they share extracurricular costs. If that is the deal, Dad asking is just as good as Mom asking.

And the daughter asked right in front of Dad!

And OP stated that communication is not good between the parties, why force BM to communicate when there isn't a need?

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serenity_now_2007

Agreed, Giggle, Dad & ex-wife are *sharing* liability for replacing item if lost or damaged. Dad because he contributed to buying item for step-sister, and Mom only if the item gets messed up directly because of her own daughter's use of it. Daughter asking Dad in this case should generally be sufficient (since the odds are against the thing being ruined, therefore almost certainly not involving Mom at all)... But if SM wants to now work this "it's polite to consult whoever is [actual and/or potential] Moneybags" tack (which I think she should at this point to recover herself), then technically it wouldn't be so outrageous to also remind Mom of her liability should something happen to the item. But this ISN'T really required (such things being a given), so pushing it, and what's more *inverting* it to where somehow now Mom has to ask SM permission, is taking it too far.

Note that in this new redesigned approach, discussions with ex-wife become transformed into doing her a polite FAVOR by making her aware of her share of liability, instead of putting her in the position of having to ASK if she can BUY something (??!!??!!).

As I write, this scenario is seeming wierder & wierder, and I'm thinking about it from more & more angles.... Especially now in light of Pseudo's good points about other ways to look at this question. What if it wasn't so clear-cut of a situation as a one-time use of an item specifically for a sport that just the two girls partake in? What if it was, say, OP's daughter spilling paint on rug while visiting at Dad & SM's. A rug which, for the sake of argument, was paid for by Dad and SM equally. Would SM want BM to recoup her half the cost of repair/replacement of the rug simply because it was not *her own* daughter who spilled the paint but this other woman's? Would SM want BM to chip in any money for daughter's use of the rug, in general, even if it never gets damaged?

Sit and have a long clear discussion about finances with your wife. Ask each other these hypothetical situations and mutually agree on VERY CLEAR BOUNDARIES as to what will or won't be demanded recompense from BM for use of. Otherwise this kind of picayune b.s. is going to be coming up (and at YOU) every g.d. week.

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mom_of_4

As I said because I can almost gaurantee that in her mind it has nothing to do with DH... it has to do with ex wanting something from her... well then she should ask for it.

Obviously we know that this kind of thinking is disastorous in a blended family scenerio especially when you are the step mom... there is a lot of just sucking it up you have to do. It is not fair. It is aggravating ... but there has to be a check point in your head that says is this one worth it?? If I do this what will it accomplish? What will it solve? Who will it effect? more than likely no, nothing, and the kids... SD needs it. I love SD. I dont want her to go without... check point cleared ... I'll say nothing about this.

Wifey just needs to decide what is more important "putting ex in her place" on mundane issues or putting the kids first and using a "check point" to weed out the important issues.

And I agree with seiryn... that there needs to be some deep conversation going on... because a lot of this can be a result of insecurities. And if it helps ... I have those questions taped to the back of my mirror in my bathroom... so when I have a particularly bad moment..when I have been pushed to the brink... I take a breath look at my questions and usually let it go.

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gigglemonster

I'm chuckling Serenity b/c it does just keep getting weirder the more you think about it. SD spilt nail polish on the coffee table, BM better contribute the costs to cleaner because SD came out of her uterus and they pay CS! Or everyone else at Dads house gets to have bacon and eggs, but SD gets cereal because if BM wanted her to have more then she could provide or give the money to Wife or at the very least call and ask that SD get bacon eggs, because...wait for it...they pay CS!

momof4, I get what you are saying but honestly I just don't care to get that detailed about it. It is making my head hurt. Wife is obviously not looking at it that DH is involved, but that is her problem. Not BM's, not SD's.

And I agree that Wife is trying to put her in her place, but it is kind of wacked out b/c there is no place to put her. Know what I mean?

And then imagine if you were the BM in this situation, ohhhhh lordy-be. I'd probably just buy the equipment myself, but I can imagine a bunch of people that would take offense to this and would act back just as childishly.

TGIF, I need a drink!

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kkny

First, I would make absolutely certain step-sister is OK with this, and what would happen if equipment lost or broken. Then, I have to ask OP, what are your general arrangements about money. Do you each keep your own seperate, and contribute 1/2 to running house? Do you pool money? And why should step-sisters be allowed to participate in this sport when your Daughter, who spends 1/2 her time in your house, can not. My guess is that your "picking your battles" means your daughter ends up on the short side of the stick, while your wife takes care of her children.

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finedreams

I think mom and dad should be the ones to deal with whatever. dad's current wife has to stay out of it unless...let's say BM constantly takes financial advanatge of dads and it terribly effects stepmom or other kids in the family. but it does not seem to be the case here. but in any case it should be between the parents.

overall i think unless huge sums of money involved (like thousands) it is probably wise to not argue over minor stuff and just let it go. who cares who pays for sport equipment, if minor kids play sports let them have what they need no matter who paid for it. I never liked to argue with X over minor stuff and ask for anything. sometimes i wished i did, I bet you, he would owe me a lot of money. but it is not worth it for the sake of the kids.

I think that it is more impoprtant that kids have healthy relationship with both parents, so sometimes it means we have to let things go. Kids should not be in the middle of this.

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openskies

Thank you for all the replies. I can't believe how many people got involved to help out.

Step sister was fine with this. My wife would say she saw it as a potential ice breaker between her and ex, once again, where a nice call from the ex would have went a long way to making things better between them. But it backfired and didn't work, because it was considered a game by my ex.

Ex is well taken care of by a rich husband, so that bothers my wife when she considers that I pay support regardless of how well off they are - support that is only required based on income ratios. Ex doesn't have to work because hubby is very well off, so it means I pay more than if she worked. For me, it isn't worth fighting that point for less than a couple of hundred dollars a month at most if a judge agreed.

At the end of the day, for me it comes down to keeping the kids out of this adult B.S. and it is enough for me to know that someday the kids will know who was there for them always, but of course my wife's opinion differs.

Now I need to determine how to handle this with my wife moving forward, because it really is affecting how I feel, when you add up similar scenarios over time. Blended families are a challenge for sure.

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openskies

I forgot to mention, just to provide a clearer picture, that a big thing for my wife is that she believes I should force my ex to have to communicate with my wife, such that it is transparent in our household which one of us my ex talks to about issues. This has been a big issue a few times for us. My ex has no interest in dealing with my wife, and that bugs my wife. She resents that I do all the communication with ex and don't force ex to have to deal sometimes with my wife. For me, the fact that they don't like each other is reason for them not to communicate - it will not be good for the children.

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kkny

Glad stepsister was fine. It doesnt seem like an ice breaker to me, an ice breaker would be your current wife calling or emailing your X, with yes, we are glad to let your DD use [blank]. Requiring someone to ask permission is a power play. Your X saw it as such.

I can understand that current wife is upset that your X is married to someone well off, but that does not negate child support. CS is determined with minimal consideration to contributions by stepparents. Your daughter's stepfather is generally not required to support her. My guess is he does help provide for her. You are far better off that that is the case.

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openskies

With respect to child support, if ex and I had equal incomes, no one would owe the other. since we share equal time and joint custody, I pay only because I earn more, which is fine. The sensitive part is that ex stopped working (except for a little part time which also ended) after marrying the new guy. In our locale, I'd have every right to impute income, so that the calculation of what i owe is based on what she used to earn before quitting work, but it would not change what I owe by a significant amount, so I do not want the stress of going through that process. That bugs my wife and contributes to her state of mind on issues like this. I get that, but still, rise above it honey is what I want.

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gigglemonster

openskies, imagine the scenario backwards. Say it was your daughters Stepfathers equipment and Daughter told you that you need to call him to ask or pay him for it. Would YOU do that? Can you imagine if Stepfather was making the same amount of noise about being directly contacting you too?

I just had a fabulous idea thinking about this. Since there is a stepfather too, why not SM and SF work out a stepchild support order? It could work out in SM's favor since SF is wealthy. Take into account anything of their's that can be used by SD, broken or gas they use to drive her somewhere. It could totally work. You and BM wouldn't have to be involved and need to massage any of the stepparents egos. They can call each other so that they are both equally involved, they can discuss both of their roles in your daughters life. They can work out the agreements about stuff that is THEIRS that SD is using...like who pays for it if it is broken, and how long she can use it. Problem solved.

Any takers?


I'm sorry. It's Friday. Seriously, OP I think there needs to be some deep discussion on roles/boundaries and maybe counseling. I feel for you, but I feel for your daughter the most.

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finedreams

hahah

I like that idea. SM and SF call each other to discuss the issues. too funny hahah I do like idea of stepparent support though...lol

Seriously I have no interest to ever talk to my SO's Xwife about anything. I am perfectly fine with my XDH's wife but I have nothing to talk to her about either. I wonder why OP's wife wants to talk to ex?

I kind of see that she is frustrated that ex has rich husband but you still pay CS. But there is no end to be frustrated over things like that. it is better to just rise above it, like you said openskies.

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mrsmaddog

Sounds like a power struggle, but has there been a problem before with things being borrowed and not returned or broken, to which the EX said, "not my problem, I didn't accept responsibility for said item"? I agree it sounds like nitpicking, and the SD should not be subjected to it.
I also see where in SM's mind the Ex's new Husband, the SD's SF could well afford a new item, so perhaps she feels taken advantage of.

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openskies

No issue ever before with borrowing things. That wasn't a factor. My litmus test was that if my step children asked me to borrow something that they needed for some activity that was organized at their Father's house, I'd give it to them and would never dream of saying "yeah, but first you need your father to call me and ask". That would be unnecessary and bizarre to me.

Thanks again - the support on this forum is amazing.

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finedreams

I take it that your wife feels that you and her are taken advantage off financially. i suggest you sit and openly discuss it with your wife what causes these feelings and then come together to some kind of conclusion. i think she feels something is unfair here. talk to her one on one first and get to the bottom of her feelings. maybe some TLC is in place...:)

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kkny

I assumed that there was no real problem with the borrrowing, or the stepsister would have objected. As to new wife feeling taken advantage of, that may be the case that she feels that way, but I see no reason for her to feel taken advantage of, only envious. If that is the case, that she is envious, this is still a very real emotion, and should be dealt with. Maybe just talking about it.

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mrsmaddog

I agree, a little TLC might be needed. If my SC needed something I can't imagine DH ever expecting BM to ask for it, but it depends on the financial situation. Sometimes talking about these feelings can really help.I guess the odd part is that this is borrowing one time, and not keeping. There might be a deeper issue here.

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ashley1979

Sometimes when a person is taken advantage of over and over again, even the small requests can seem like a huge burden. My BF pays a pretty penny in CS while BM and her husband make upwards of $250,000 a year. She nickel-and-dimes him for everything. She actually made him BUY a sheet of school pictures from her for $10. Give me a break! Talk about petty! That's in addition to other things she asked him for (such as giving up some of his time for an activity she wanted FSD to do, transportation to and from the hospital for FSD when she had a baby with her new husband, and so on). So if your wife feels like the large amount you pay in CS and other things you do is taking advantage of things, she may be grasping at the one thing that she does have control over to make that stand she so desperately wants you to make. Sure, it's petty. But you have to see that from her point-of-view, it's the only control she has in a situation she has no control over. I've been in her shoes so many times. You just have to help her realize that these things need to be decided on a case-by-case basis and not in a big-picure way.

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sylviatexas1

"the dynamic involving my ex is quite prominent in our household, and my wife doesn't like that I suck it up alot for the sake of the kids and pick my battles carefully - she tends to want to fight back when these things come up."

well.

there ya go.

It isn't the sports equipment at all, is it?

I think that everything has a reason.
Absent actual physical brain problems, people don't just go nuts all at once.

Whenever I hear that someone is over-reacting or insisting on something that doesn't make sense, or that sounds like mountains-from-molehills, I always wonder what the history is.

From the tone as well as the content of your post, it sounds like your wife feels that her boundaries have been violated in past situations & her new husband's attitude has been that she needs to just "suck it up", that he hasn't acted like her partner, & that he has refused to acknowledge her right to establish boundaries...

Repeat this scenario time & time again & the person who feels violated & frustrated becomes *very* sensitive to such things.

If I were married to a man who volunteered my daughter's sports equipment, or anything, to his daughter, or to anyone, without consulting me, I'd be very p.o.ed...at *him*.

It does sound like counselling might be a good idea, & not just to put your wife back in her place & get her to shut up & go along with whatever is easiest for you.

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mom2emall

I did not get a chance to read all the replies. But from what you wrote I think that your wife needs to back off a little and let you deal more with your ex.

If your dd wants to borrow an item from your sd then let her borrow it. Tell dd that she is responsible for the item. If it does not return she will have to earn the replacement and not be allowed to borrow sd's items again.

Why would the ex wife need to call and ask to borrow item? I can see maybe mentioning to her, when you see her, that the item needs to get returned. But that is as far as I would take it.

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mrsmaddog

Wow, I can see your point. My DH sucks up too much, too. Or I should say he did. Then he started seeing how BM used him as an emergency bank, and employee on HER and TOM's summer trip to her timeshare, when he would go just to squeak out an extra week with his kids. He was the cook, nanny and maid. (She has 3 kids with TOM.I don't feel taking care of his own is wrong.But, she would leave ALL the kids behind while she and TOM went drinking, etc.) After our marriage, that came to an end because of her violence towards me, but he honestly planned for all of us to spend a week together, and couldn't see why that bothered me. I guess I just can't imagine taking my ex on a trip with us and leaving him to take care of seven kids, while I partied. This was the only vacation DH ever took, and I suspect he also paid for a lot of it.(The timeshare was a gift, so that left food, gas and activities...)
He refused to deny her every whim, and used her control over visitation as an excuse. There were many inappropriate requests made in the past. He would rather suck it up than stand up for himself. IMO, men tend to be more lenient towards their exes than women.

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kkny

Sylvia, Its hard to say whats driving it. It could be envy that X has easier life. No one is suggesting that Dad loan out SDs equipment, just who should ask. It should be fine if Dad or SD asks. Yes, it appears OPs current wife feels her standards have been violated. The real question is whether or not the standards are reasonable. In my book it is just fine, actually preferable, if Dad asks/communicates with SM. Just because someone beleives their boundaries were violated doesnt mean they can demand whatever the want.

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serenity_now_2007

Sylvia,

I see the point you're trying to make and I agree with you that there most certainly IS some larger/deeper issue with OP's wife *perceiving* being put upon in some way. (And this perception may be correct/justified or it may not be, and we don't know b/c we haven't heard every little fact about everything... perhaps wife has some valid gripes about something).

HOWEVER, the way she is going about trying to avenge herself for these perceived gripes is completely inappropriate because it unfairly involves OP's daughter and ex-wife (as mother and daughter to each other) in a very triangulated, divide-and-conquer no-win situation that ultimately benefits no one and has no real justification. (And this also has effects on OP's relationship with is daughter and ex-wife.)

There's a big leap from some possibly reasonable irritation that OP offered to loan sports equipment (which he paid for at least half of himself) "without consulting" SM, to SM deciding that the way to express this irritation at ***OP*** was to put his ex-wife and daughter through some kind of bizarre bow-down-and-beg ritual that if they don't indulge threatens to punish THEM for SM's upsets with OP.

This approach of SM's is just, well, "off the chain", and as such, she needs to cease & desist, and yes, "suck it up", at least as concerns innocent victims of what is in this particular case a warped sense of justice for perceived 'wrongs'. This is not meant to be a statement of invalidation of SM's feelings and right to express them but to say that she needs to find a means of doing so that does not damage OP's daughter and create a tangled web of resentment among and between all parties in this extended stepfamily situation. Because that will help no one.

Yes, Sylvia, OP has a responsibility to make sure that he provides a safe and validating ear for his wife to share her irritations and frustrations *with him*, but even if he were to fail to do so (another thing we don't totally know for sure), it DOES NOT excuse nor give her the right to punish his daughter for it.

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gigglemonster

AND......DAD actually posted this time!

I'm impressed.

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lonepiper

"I get that, but still, rise above it honey is what I want."

Ugggh, anyone else find this statement condescending?

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finedreams

yes, this is great to see a a guy here to be concerned about parenting!

I also wonder (maybe I am wrong though) if wife feels insecure that DH talks to his exwife too much or something. It would not make much sense but sometimes people have irrational feelings. My SO clearly gets insecure when i talk to X. On few ocassions he shared how he feels, i appreciate honest sharing but i find it ridicilous because I have been divorced for a very long time and my SO does not even know my X, X lives very far away.

I wonder whatever OP's wife is feeling she should discuss with her DH wiht his encouragement and support not blaming her for her feelings though

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finedreams

lone, it might be just the way he is wording it here. Does not mean he actually says it to her this way.

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gigglemonster

Not in the context of his situation. I would want my spouse to rise above this situation too. I'd actually be quite embarassed if my spouse try to pull that stunt.

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colleen777

Piper, I also find it hugely condescending and I also find it out of place that skies thinks he can offer up any one elses things. It seems to me the only person who can do that is the owner of the item.

You bet you there is a lot more going on here. Like both exes think they can utilize wife and anything of hers without even consulting her. I think anger is more the feeling here than envy.

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finedreams

colleen, it seems that SD was OK letting DD to borrow whatever item unless like I said before that item is hugely expensive (like borrowing a car let's say). I would agree if ex herself would be borrowing stuff, that would be hugely inappropriate. But this item is for DD, not for OP's ex. Plus it is just one time borrowing, shouldn't be a big deal. Giving something away permanently might be a different story.

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serenity_now_2007

I think the idea of "condescending" is modified when the person one is supposedly being condescending towards is behaving in an immature and inappropriate manner in that particular situation. I think it then becomes a matter of trying to nicely reason with someone and keep peace as opposed to saying, for example, "Don't ever put my daughter in that position again, PERIOD."

From what I can tell here, OP's wife wasn't even giving HIM the OPTION of validating or invalidating her feelings. She simply went behind HIS back to compensate for her feelings of wronged powerlessness by playing these out through his daughter and ex-wife. I think it's probably more accurate for him to be upset that HE wasn't "consulted" before she demanded what she demanded of the other parties involved. It's one thing to f**k around with "someone else's" hockey stick, badminton birdie (or whatever the heck the sports item actually is) without their "permission"; it's an altogether different order of magnitutude for someone to go and f**k around with someone else's child's loyalty issues and confusion over appropriate and inappropriate boundaries and standards in the relationships between her mother, stepmother and herself, without discussing it first, and then come back and b!tch about why no one's complying with it. One situation is worlds more consequential and serious than the other.

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gigglemonster

First of all, this equipment was the stepsisters. So if there is that rule in the house that the owner must be asked -- since SM answered OP's daughter -- then SM should've said ask the owner.

But she didn't. Instead of yes or no -- it was have your Mom call and ask and/or pay for it when DAD was sitting in the same room.

That's a lot different scenario than the OP going to daughter and saying "yep, here is stepsisters equipment" or "offering" it up to her.

To add to some confusion, if OP actually helped pay for this equipment -- than I'd say he does have the right to offer it up to his daughter if the stepsister wasn't using it.

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sylviatexas1

yep.

condescending, trivializing, & out of line, & anger is more likely than envy.

How's this for establishing a simple, clear, easy-to-read rule:

Look this entitled male in the eye & say in a dead level voice,

"Keep your paws off my stuff, keep your paws off my daughter's stuff, & do not ever in this life dare to loan my stuff or my daughter's stuff to *any*fricking*body*."

(& we each can make the decision to "suck up" for our own selves, but to breezily expect it from anybody else is a slap in the face.)

& no, I don't think a man deserves kudos just for posting a message;
if someone, male or female, said, "I sold my Corvette & my motorcycle so my stepson/stepdaughter could have braces/surgery/a trip to Europe", *then* I'd be impressed!

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colleen777

And the real issue here is that wife is finding that her husband expects her to defer to his EX to keep up appearances. After all it was EX who found it silly, etc. etc. He picked a side and it was the wrong one.

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gigglemonster

colleen, it seems to me he picked his daughters side. Not the ex or wife.

Seriously, you wouldn't find it odd to be asked to call and/or pay for it by the other parent? No, not a little bit?

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gigglemonster

Hold on, clarification please. How is his wife defering to his ex?

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gigglemonster

Sylvia, what if Dad actually happened to pay for the equipment? Sure, it is stepsisters....in theory, but they are married, they have children from previous relationships in the house....they share bills...

This is silly. If he was to do that, well then when they go out to eat, SM better pay for herself and her kids, he will pay for himself and his kids. Hey, I bought that apple...only MY kids can eat it. On and on it goes.

And stepsister wasn't even using it and didn't have a problem with it.

I am failing to understand this logic. Even if SM wanted to be asked specifically, well the daughter asked her! Dad was there too, did SM want Dad to ask for daughter. I don't get it.

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colleen777

This has nothing to do with money or things. Some men are very pleased to keep their wife in laws at odds with each other. I think they should get together and talk....about him.

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gigglemonster

BM doesn't want to talk to SM, SM wants to make her. Dad and Daughter are in the middle.

What a tangled web and there is no use for it.

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openskies

Hi Again,

Many comments have now been added that do not reflect some of the facts. The comment I made about "rise above it honey" is not something I'd ever say. I was simply saying for the benefit of those reading, that my opinion is that both my wife and I, in our respective situations with ex's, must strive to rise above petty stuff for our sanity. It is not always easy as I'm sure everyone agrees. However, that is not the tone I ever use in my relationship.

It is hard to write enough stuff to make the situation truly clear. I heard enough to know that I wasn't in left field to think that the need to have my daughter report back that there needs to be a call, was inappropriate. I was not consulted at all about this whole thing, in terms of what was my opinion, nor did I offer up my stepdaughters things at all. My daughter asked my wife, and it went from there. I feel that I should have spoke up and said that if it is fine that she use the item, there doesn't need to be a call. Yes, there are deeper issues, but they manifest themselves in situations like this.

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sylviatexas1

My father paid for every school dress I ever wore, but he never would have loaned one of them to any other little girl.

If he had, I'd have felt (rightly) that he had been wrong, that he had taken my stuff without asking...
although if he'd asked, I'd have been happy to share.

& if by some chance he already had loaned one of my dresses to some other little girl, & it either hadn't come home or had come home filthy or torn, my mother would have read him the riot act, & she would have darn well talked to the other mother before any more dresses went out the door.

Initial post says,
"Before I could say "sure" (dad was all set to loan out his stepdaughter's property without batting an eye or consulting the stepdaughter or her mother), my wife told my daughter to let her Mom know that she could borrow, but it needs to be her Mom that calls to request it, since it is her that would have had to pay for this piece of equipment."

That *realllly* sounds like dad has done this kind of thing before, & that the item was returned damaged or was not returned at all & dad told his wife to "suck it up honey".

Much as my mother would have done, this mother wants to be sure the adult in the other household knows whats going on & agrees to be responsible.

Doesn't that all sound reasonable & responsible & grown-up?

& it sounds like dad doesn't care if his wife & her daughter get a little beat up, he just wants to agree with whatever comes along from his ex & their daughter.

Harmony at home isn't difficult at all if the woman in the household will just accept violation with a smile;
pass the valium, please.

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openskies

No, nothing like this ever happened before. I love my wife and we will work this kind of stuff through, but I needed to know what some others thought. Guess there are always differing opinions.

As a note, my daughter and step daughter share things all the time, but in this case, it was for a sport organized at the other house, which made it different.

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gigglemonster

Sylvia, OP said:

"No issue ever before with borrowing things." Okay, so they haven't had a problem before.

OP also said:
"I forgot to mention, just to provide a clearer picture, that a big thing for my wife is that she believes I should force my ex to have to communicate with my wife, such that it is transparent in our household which one of us my ex talks to about issues. This has been a big issue a few times for us. My ex has no interest in dealing with my wife, and that bugs my wife. She resents that I do all the communication with ex and don't force ex to have to deal sometimes with my wife. For me, the fact that they don't like each other is reason for them not to communicate - it will not be good for the children."

It would appear to me that Wife found the opportunity to try to ~force~ BM to speak to her. The power play failed.

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gigglemonster

Hey openskies, I hope you stick around a bit. I'd love to see your input on threads.

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ceph

I'm not going to deal with the previous 48 replies (I'm pressed for time and can't read them all right now) So here's what I think about the original post.

It's not unreasonable that DW wants exW to take some accountability for the equipment. I would be happy to let FDH's 9yo son use something of mine (or my child's if I had one) for something his mom needed/wanted him to do, provided she knew that it was mine and that I would like it back in its original condition. So IMO, it's fine that your DW wanted exW to be aware, but not OK for her to want SD to pass a message that she had to ask. I think the appropriate response would have been "Sure DH, she can use it, but can you please make sure that your exW knows that it was originally my DD's and that I would like it back?"

We recently had a talk on here about how it is natural to want to "protect" (there was controversy about the word, so that's why I put it in quotations) your spouse. Maybe DW feels that exW takes advantage of you, and so when she does things like this (or wants you to "fight back") it's because she thinks you're getting the short end of the stick. Maybe not, it's just a guess.

If you feel that you and DW could use some counseling, maybe you could suggest a co-parenting or blended family session? "Honey, I feel like we're going through the same things over and over, and that they all have to do with blended family issues. I heard about this blended family course/counselor/session... Maybe we should give that a shot to see if it can save us some headaches?" That way, you aren't saying "You're crappy at dealing with this and I want you to chill out" but it might help your situation.

Do you know for sure that DW's and exW's relationship is beyond repair? Maybe if they did have a little communication, it could help things. I find my FDH's ex less frustrating now that she talks to me too. I think we "get" each other better and are more willing to make compromises for one another now that we have our own relationship, that isn't always mediated by FDH. Would you be willing to "slack the reins" a bit on this and see how it turns out? Or maybe your could suggest to exW and DW that ALL of you go to a co-parenting class TOGETHER? (That could be a nightmare, or it could be the best thing that ever happened to you all!)

"I just want to focus on what we can control in our home and be happy.
This strikes me as being ~almost~ the right attitude... I think it's great that you want to be happy/peaceful in your own home, and that you know you can't control what happens outside your home... But maybe "control" isn't the right term for happiness within your own home? Maybe a better focus could be "change" "promote" "handle" or something like that?

Good for you for wanting to change things and mediate a peaceful/positive relationship. Good luck and keep us posted!

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dotz_gw

Lets call the sports item a Tennis Raquet...The ex is wealthy,(and may not want to buy an expensive item that may only be used once if the daughter turns out not to be interested in the sport, buy it and re sell it if you have to!!!!! Of all the people in the world to borrow from, she needs your current wifes daughters raquet!!!!! There is NO one elses she could borrow?Does your SD have the only one of these items in existence?Even if you did pay for it, it belongs to your SD when you gave it to her...I would be miffed to if I was asked to loan it out, why would she think of ME???? But I sure wouldnt want to talk it over on the phone either...I d just wonder what was going on with her if she has no desire to talk to your wife, but she wants her things....

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kkny

Gee and how do you know this didnt start with OP's daughter seeing the equipment, telling mom, oh my SS plays [blank], can I?

If SM wants to stand in way fine, but then if I were dad, I would start to rethink all sharing. Do I share my paycheck to support the house that my current wive's children live in? Dear OP, reading some of these posts (on this thread and previously) I get the feeling that some wives think whats Dads is everyones and whats the moms is the moms. If that is what happening to you, then I would take another stab at who is being taken advantage of.

Whether or not current wife wants the [shared] is for her to discuss with Dad. Making loan of equipment contigent upon first wife asking is a power play and is a game.

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kkny

This is just as much about Dad asking if his DD can borrow wife's DD equipment. The girl is his daughter.

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justnotmartha

Hi Openskies, and welcome. You've picked a 'fun' topic to jump on board with!

This one really can be a no win for you, unfortunately. I am a second wife married to the custodial father, and over 10 years I've been either the only one his ex would talk to, or the last person on earth she would look at. Depends on the weather.

Regarding this one situation, the only question I would have would be if your ex told your daughter to come ask - i.e.; "Daughter, go ask your step mom if you can borrower her daughter's golf club." If daughter then came to your wife and said "My mom wants me to ask you . . ." I can understand why SM (step mom) would be a little annoyed - why couldn't mom just pick up the phone and ask herself rather than use her child as a messenger. My SD's (step daughter's) mom would do this ALL THE TIME with anything from can she bring home toothpaste to can she pick her up a day early. My husband and I both agreed that to insure the 'important stuff' was discussed directly with us that we needed to request that his ex not use SD as a messenger and talk to or email us.

If that is not the case and your daughter just came up with the idea and asked, I see no reason why mom should have to call for permission. Sure, it's a friendly and polite thing to do, but if they don't have that kind of relationship it's silly to expect it. The most your wife should expect is that your ex call you. If you are comfortable replacing the equipment if it's lost or destroyed or trust that your ex would, AND your SD is fine with lending it I see no reason why this should be such a big deal.

All that said - I do feel for your wife. I spent years trying to forge a relationship with my husband's ex as I thought it would be best for my SD if we all got along - it would leave less room for my SD to try to pit us against each other. There were times along the way that we did well, but for the main part the woman flat out hated me. Her daughter and I are VERY close, and that caused her much insecurity and hurt . . . which would then be taken out on her daughter. Very long and sordid story shortened, now that she is remarried and has another child she can get whatever 'security' she needs from that relationship and treats her daughter in a much better fashion . . . which has led to she and I getting along much better as well. Believe it or not we actually slept together on a hid a bed for SD's b-day party a couple months ago!!

I am married to a man who will do most anything to keep the peace, and while at times that is great it can also be very frustrating when you feel like the collective you (husband and wife) are becoming doormats and condoning poor behavior.

There really is no hard and fast way to make this all better. My question to you - why don't they get along? Is it one sided, or do they dislike each other?

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openskies

"My question to you - why don't they get along? Is it one sided, or do they dislike each other? "

The simplest way to answer this is to say it is not completely one sided, but my ex is not a treat to deal with. My ex has a history of writing people off that don't have a purpose for her - long story short she goes through lots of friends and eventually tosses them aside. If she doesn't like someone or has conflict with them, she typically can't try and resolve, and instead she stops the relationship and moves on. So, there is no way she will like my wife - I'm sure there is jealosy that another woman is helping raise my ex's children, etc. On the flipside, my wife is not a doormat at all - she says what she thinks and is blunt about it. So, all in all, the two just don't go together.

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stargazzer

In my opinion you need to have a serious talk with your wife. It is none of her business. Sounds as if she is jealous and by butting she can cause serious problems in the household.

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doodleboo

I think considering it's the daughter who asked to borrow the equipment and not the Bio mother it shouldn't of been such a big issue. Depending on how expensive it is and how much her daughter used it I might of called mom and asked her to make sure it got back to me in one piece.

If Biomom had called and asked DAD to borrow her daughters equipment I would of thought her out of line since she doesn't even speak to his wife but she didn't....it was the daughter.

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kkny

Dear Mr. Open Skies --

How often do you talk to your SD's father?

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kkny

No matter who asked, it is Dad's daughter who evidently wants to use this "old" stuff that the SS doesnt mind. If the policy in the household is no own should share stuff then I guess this follows the house policy. If that's not the policy, Mr. Open Skies should back up his DD any time anyone wants to borrow her stuff. I would also caution Mr. Open Skies that my guess is that his current wife may have the attitude that his DD should get everything she wants from mom, so they don't have to do anything. Sometimes the problem can be with these 50/50 deals is that dad isnt home as much, and SM is really in charge. Sounds to me that this SM isnt really fair with the children.

But I don't see this as SM minding the sharing, she just wants the mom to call. But the child is also Dad's child. I see one of two things happening. Either mom goes out and buys the child the same equipment or child doesnt play. And either way, resentment breeds. As much as Mr. Open Skies thinks he is overpaying, who knows. If mom feels Mrs. Current Open Skies is calling the shots and being petty, there may be tit for tat.

Someone here said that in her experience men are more likely to please X than current wife. I think it is the other way around. Men are more likely to please the woman they are actually living with, becuase they dont want unplesant home life. Who can blame them. Notice Mr. Open Skies describes his current wife as blunt and saying what she thinks. Maybe others describe her as demanding

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doodleboo

We don't let the girls bring anything over to their mom's. The few times we have it was forgotten and they whined about it untill they went back over to her house and got it. They have toys here and toys there. Mom didn't allow them to bring things to our homw either for the same reason. Of course, our girls are only four so they forget things all the time.

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mrsmaddog

"Someone here said that in her experience men are more likely to please X than current wife."

Is that what you read?

My statement was: "IMO, men tend to be more lenient towards their EXES than women [are toward their exes.]"

This is totally different than what you said.

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kkny

Sorry Mrs. MD

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kkny

Sorry Mrs. MD

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mrsmaddog

I would feel very sorry for the man who treated his Ex better than his current wife! Ouch...

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theotherside

My daughter borrowed a nice dress from her friend, and her mom certainly didn't demand that I ask her if my daughter could borrow it. My kids have occasionally borrowed things from my exH's wife's children, including rather expensive things like a car, and no one ever expected that I get involved in any way. If for some strange reason I didn't want them to borrow the item, I would have said so to my kids when they brought it home. Of course if you damage something you borrow, you have to pay for it. That goes without saying - unless you are Biff in Back to the Future.

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imamommy

I jumped over a lot of posts, I didn't have a lot of time to sit and read them all. From my understanding in the OP, I thought OP's DD wanted to borrow something from OP's SD to take to BM's house... is that correct?

I can understand your wife's feelings a little, although I agree it's sort of petty, but here's another way of looking at it.

If my stepdaughter wanted to take my daughter's snowboard to her mom's because they were going snowboarding together, even if my husband contributed to paying for my daughter's snowboard (through joint finances), I might feel that before I let her take it, I would want to at least talk with her so she understands she's taking responsibility for an expensive snowboard and if it gets broken or damaged, I would expect her to pay for it. Can my husband relay that to her? Of course, but it's MY daughter's equipment and unless my husband is willing to replace it if his ex says there's no way she's agreeing to be responsible for damage, I might want to have her discuss it with me. (now that's assuming that my husband's ex were a normal person) Depending on the item (and expense to replace), I can understand her concern a little. It depends on what it was that she borrowed and I apologize if the item was mentioned in later posts that I skipped over, but I don't know what item your daughter wanted to borrow from SD.

My daughter's things are not 'household' property and I did see Ashley's post about control and I think there's a good amount of truth to that. She (your wife) may feel like she has no control and here's her chance to take some control. It's probably not the best way to handle it but instead of sending a message through the child to "tell your mom to call me and ask", she could have communicated directly to BM herself.

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barefoot_diva

This has NOTHING AT ALL to do with whatever was being borrowed. Nothing. Nada. Zero. Zip.

Your wife doesn't want your ex to 'phone her and get permission to borrow something'. She wants her to show a bit of respect and acknowledgement, which your ex clearly will not give her, whether it is deserved or not.

This is a woman who is sitting there in her marriage, taking care of her husbands children, and feeling left out. She wants to be acknowledged by the woman who is her husband's ex wife and her stepchilds mother.

Read it again. SHE WANTS TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED. Whether she realises it consciously or not, that's how it is.

She sees Dad chatting away to ex-wife, all friendly happy happy, husband keeping the peace, 'playing the game', while she gets to graft away taking care of her husband, family and kids/skids, and the ex wife refuses to talk to her, involve her in discussions or decisions about the children in her home.

Husband says his wife wants to be equally involved in discussions about the kids but he thinks this is unhealthy.

Dude, you know what's unhealthy? Not openly acknowledging your wife's role in your childrens lives. Not saying to her, 'Honey, thank you for everything you do for my children. Who cares whether their mother appreciates it or not, I DO!'. Not realising or understanding that while your wife is taking care of YOUR children, by excluding her from everything discussed or arranged about these children is going to make her feel resentful and angry, even if she isn't consciously aware of it.

Now ladies, go crazy and jump all over my ass - that's fine. Dad, all you need to do is try something new and see if it works. Is that a lot to ask?

Here's your homework ... and even if it seems crazy or 'stupid' just try it for 30 days and report back.

1. Acknowledge the role your wife plays in your childrens lives. Praise her, thank you, buy her damn flowers ... whatever you do, make sure that she KNOWS that you appreciate the care she gives to your children and that you respect her role in their lives.

2. Stop yakking to your ex wife so much. This is not a popularity contest. You aren't going to make life smoother for anyone by crossing that boundary. In fact, you'll end up with a miserable, angry, depressed woman who will become your second ex wife. Keep your chats with your ex wife about your kids, and cut down on the yakkity-yakkity-friendly chit chat with a few chuckles thrown in. Your wife sees your ex wife treating her like dirt (right or wrong, that's her perception), and you still treat the ex like a best buddy. You and your ex are not BFF's. You are co-parents. Change this, and watch your wife change as well.

3. Every time (Every. Single. Time) you and your ex wife discuss your children, sit your wife down and discuss it with her before you make any decisions. Tell your ex 'okay, I'll get back to you'. The point? To stop your wife feeling like an unpaid babysitter who has absolutely NO say about some of the children in her home, even though she is expected to care for them, feed them, look after them, and build a relationship with them.

4. The next time your ex makes a little dig about your wife, if you sit there and agree with her, OR if you keep quiet for whatever reason, then your fence-sitting, peace-loving ass is going to find its way to another divorce court sooner or later. When your ex makes her little passive aggressive digs about your wife and how ridiculous she thinks she is being, then you, as the man, the husband, the father, need to say to her, 'well, ridiculous or not, she still does a damn good job taking care of our kids, she is my wife, and I will respect how she feels about this/respect her/stand by her/whatever'. And if you're foolish enough to go back and tell your wife that your ex wife thinks she is being ridiculous, and that you agree with her ... what can I say.

In fact, to add to that point, don't EVER go to your ex wife and say 'my wife says/wants this'. It's called a 'Recipe for Disaster'. All that does is make your wife look like the crazy irrational jealous wife, and it makes your ex wife feel superior, especially when you don't disagree with her (can't upset the ex - what would happen??) and it makes you look like a poor unhappy miserable henpecked man. Any idea how your wife feels about that? Get her to read this and then ask her. Make sure that it appears the decision/request is coming either from YOU or from both of you, never just 'the wife'. Trust me on this one.

If you think I'm being harsh, then that's tough. I don't think you're doing anything deliberately or maliciously. You're being a man and trying to keep the peace between two women at war. That's really tough. Really, really hard. But you need to suck it up and get your head out of your ex wife's ass and put your wife first, every time, without fail, even if you do think she's being a pain in the butt. That doesn't mean that you give in to her every demand, or that you agree with everything she says/wants. It DOES mean that you never ever ever EVER take your wife's views to your ex wife and discuss them with her. Never. Ever. Ever. You discuss it with your wife, you come to an agreement and then you tell your ex wife what has been decided.

Let me tell you again. The borrowed goods are not the issue. Your wife, for whatever reason, rightly or wrongly, needs acknowledgement from you AND your ex wife for her role in your life and in your childrens lives. Your wife takes care of your kids and in her mind their own mother refuses to even talk to her or acknowledge her role in the childrens lives, and you support this, whether you realise you are doing this or not. And that sucks.

They do NOT have to talk to each other. They do NOT have to be friends. They do NOT have to hold hands and skip off into the sunset together. Your ex wife does NOT have to discuss issues with your wife. But if YOU make your wife feel appreciated, acknowledged, respected and loved, and you TELL her that you are disappointed that your ex wife won't do the same but that doesn't change how YOU feel, then you will turn your marriage around.

Try it and see. If it doesn't work, what have you lost? If it does, I'll send you my address. I accept flowers, beer and luxury yachts.

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kkny

I don't agree with Barefoot Diva at all. . Mr. Openskies should thank his current wife for whatever she does for his children. That is his responsibility, once he accepts 50/50 custody, not Mrs. Former Openskies. Once again, it appears that a poster is ignoring that the child is Dad's child along Xs child. It seems to me from the way he writes he does appreciate current wife. We don't even know if former wife didnt want full custody. Current wife does not have right to monitor calls, commmunication with X. I havent heard here Mr. Openskies putting in digs at current wife. Mr. Openskies needs to make it clear to his Wife that he is just as much a parent as X wife.

It actually seems to me that compared to a lot of complaints here, current wife has a relatively decent situation.

And I would love to hear from Mr. Openskies, as to how much he talks to his stepchildren's father. I am going to guess not much, becuase he is too involved earning a living, taking care of kids to be playing unnecessary power plays.

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openskies

I talk to stepchildren's father every so often, cordial hello while drop-offs are taking place etc., that kind of thing. I talk to ex very little, just as necessary to parent the children, usually emails, or a rare call if necessary. My current wife does feel appreciated, so I'm told, and we do discuss issues related to both my children and her children before big decisions are made with the other sides. We like to be on the same page.

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kkny

Then it seems to me that everything is going great. I think that amount of communication is fine. I suspect your wife is resentful over something other than this "old" stuff. A little more background, am I correct that both you and your current wife have children from previous marriages. Do you have any togethor? How old are children involved. What are arrangments about college costs?

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eandhl

I think people are making this all about borrowing and I don't think that is the issue. It sounds to me like present wife would like to share a comfortable relationship with her DH Ex. Remember the DH daughter is there 50% of her time. For this I admire her. I think when all adults can get along it is best for the children. Perhaps she is not going about it in the right way but she is trying and deserves praise for this.
Sounds like Ex doesn't want to have a relationship and that is her right. Even though it is her right when when divorced people have children, especially a 50/50 custody I can't imagine all of the adults not wanting to get along.

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sylviatexas1

great post Diva!

"it seems to me that everything is going great"

& yet, for some reason OP posted the thread, for some reason his wife is unhappy, for some reason there's conflict.

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dotz_gw

Diva, Sounds like you ve been there, done that..Total agreement with your post.....

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gigglemonster

I think we all know it is not really about borrowing.

It seems a few of you are taking way more out of Openskies postings than what is there. You are looking at it if it happened in your situation.

Here is the thing. EXwife doesn't control her exhusband and who he marries. I think a number of us are bent out of shape whenever the Ex tries that in our respective situations. With that being said, trying to control is a personality trait and it doesn't affect every single exwife. It also affect BM's, current wifes, husbands.....there are just ~those~ kind of people out there. OP's wife (IMO) sounds like one of those people. OP also alluded to other situations, I'd be curious to hear them.

With that being said, I find it ridiculous for ~any~ stepparent to expect thanks, gratification or anything along those lines from the EX. (there are always exceptions though) Yes, the kids are the Ex's kids but the Ex didn't choose you to be a parent, or to have to communicate with for the rest of the kids lifes. You should be getting that from your current spouse and if you aren't, then you have a spousal problem not an Ex.

I think it is easier to be mad at an Ex though and that is where most people choose to focus their anger.

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colleen777

Great post Diva!!! Very good advice.

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kkny

Dear OP, all these people seconding Diva, unless they want to give a reason, I would suggest it is just thme agreeing that X wife should bow down and kiss A** of current wife. I would suggest Dear Mr. Open Skies, that if you do that, you will get paid back. In spades. Actions have consequences. I would be more concerned that when you are not in house, your daughter will not be treated fairly. Your daughter will start with insisting that none of her stuff be borrwowed. Then she will keep her stuff at moms house. Then she will want to be 100% at moms, and as a teen her wishes will be given some credence.

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imamommy

scare tactics kkny... shocking

I happen to agree with diva and think that what she says has nothing to do with the ex wife, it has to do with making his marriage a priority.

I'm a custodial stepmom and I will tell you that, yes, it would be nice if my stepdaughter's mom would acknowledge that I am taking care of her daughter, instead of trying to portray me as the evil stepmother to everyone that asks how her daughter is. Apparently, she tells her BF's family that I am terrible, I abuse her daughter, etc. So, I know she will never call me up and say 'thanks for taking care of my daughter full time so I can play house with my boyfriend and his kids.'

However, if my husband didn't do all the things that diva says.... showing me HIS appreciation and such, then I might not stick around for all the drama and bull. It makes is much easier to sleep at night when I feel that all the crap I have to deal with is appreciated. If he left me out of the loop and expected me to take care of his daughter but not get ANY acknowledgement for it, and he was chummy with his ex while she treated me like dirt, I probably wouldn't be married long. A marriage is a comittment to each other and if he's leaving his wife out of the decisions but deciding what she has to do, then not giving her any recognition for her contribution, he's not all that comitted to his wife, is he? The father and mother do have an obligation to raise their child(ren) together and make decisions, but a stepparent is not an outsider that isn't affected by it. I believe what diva is suggesting is for the husband to 'honor his wife'. That's his job as a husband and really isn't a stepparent issue.

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gigglemonster

I am curious to see what a few of you are seeing, where is he not honoring his wife or disrespecting her? From all accounts, they *both* brought children in the relationship so they *both* are pulling a heavier load. OP hasn't indicated that Wife is taking full-time care of his daughter, it's 50/50, she's a teenager.

IMO, people need to "own" (courtesey of our Serenity) their own issues. Whether there was more to this situation, we don't really know so I'm surprised to see the amount of injuncture that is being added.

From what we do know, Wife was wrong in this situation. OP has not indicated that Wife owned up to this and then said, the following that a bunch of posters are adding in that they would have problems with. IMO, at the least a communication problem, the worst you've got a control freak on your hands that will not even acknowledge short-comings or see another side.

It even seems to me that if Wife was concerned about just the equipment, she could've taken that opportunity to explain to the daughter rather than order Daughter to tell BM to call and/or pay for the equipment. Nothing adds up to me.

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kkny

Ima, it is Dad's responsibility to look after his daughter. Mom didnt have any choice as to SM. This isnt a situation where anyone mentioned any cr*p, it seems that X wife takes responsible care of child. No one is saying that Dad shouldnt consult his wife re borrowing of equipment, she hasnt been frozen out of decision, but SM demanding mom call her is a power play. What's the point.

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imamommy

I agree kkny that it's a power play. and I'm not saying mom got to choose stepmom. I'm saying that stepmom may feel her contribution to caring for stepdaughter is not appreciated. Mom has no obligation to appreciate stepmom, but dad has an obligation to appreciate what his wife does for his child. Just as she has an obligation to appreciate his contribution to her child.

giggle, I agree with diva that this isn't about the equipment. I think the fact that it was her daughter's equipment, she may have used it as an opportunity to take control of the situation, but I think diva hit the nail on the head. Stepmom probably feels like an unappreciated stagehand and if diva is right (and I think she is), then OP has a marital problem. Everyone should own their own issues but that doesn't mean her husband should ignore her needs and tell her to just deal with it. I agree she handled it the wrong way.

The crap that stepparents deal with should not have to be mentioned. (not to mention that raising teenagers, in and of itself can be difficult as well as dealing with ex's can be tough too) KKNY, it's hard to understand unless you have raised someone else's children. There's gonna be 'crap' that you might not have to deal with when it's your own children. That is not limited to step families. Taking in foster children, you also have to deal with lots of crap because when you enter into a situation where you have a child that was raised in a different way than you would have raised them, there is going to be conflicts differences of opinions. That doesn't mean that it can't be rewarding to be a foster parent or a stepparent, but it's certainly not the same as raising your own children.

I think we are all human and let our emotions or own issues get the better of us at times. OP's wife may have a problem dealing with her emotions, but if her husband isn't supportive of his wife, I agree with diva that she may end up his next ex wife. I think the advice diva gave was solid and is meant to help improve his relationship with his wife, not get his ex to kiss his wife's ass. If OP's wife is too insecure or a control freak and what diva suggests doesn't work, then he should be helping her get help... perhaps counseling.

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theotherside

Here is some information on the law related to the federally required time frames for schools to respond to the request for evaluation:

http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cdynamic%2CTopicalBrief%2C4%2C

Many states have even more stringent requirements.

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theotherside

Don't know how this post got here - please ignore it and I will put it where it belongs.

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gigglemonster

Ima, that is what I am not getting. I agree that the equipment was not the issue; what I don't get is the Wife's reaction (whether or not there is underlying issues.)

At some point (if there is underlying issues) this should have been voiced to the OP. From his understanding, the problem is that his Wife wants direct communication with the Ex. Not that she feels unappreciated or is doing a lot of work.

And, no indication from the OP that Wife has voiced anything about she was wrong or could have handled the situation better. I think it is extremely tough to work with someone who can't realize their short-comings or even acknowledge that they have any.

If as you pointed out, she has a problem dealing with her emotions -- then this is unfair for his daughter to deal with and BM. BM is an adult and can ignore his Wife, as we see she did with the failed power play, but his daughter can't.

I don't know, but I'm still curious to hear from Openskies some of the other issues he is having.

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justnotmartha

I'm going to have to agree yet DISagree with diva. Yes, a SM needs to be appreciated by DH for what she does for his children. . . . assuming what she does deserves appreciation. BUT, I can say that may not be the problem.

My custodial DH is VERY appreciative of what I do for my SD, and the fact I do honestly more for/with her than our 2 sons. He shows me and tells me in several ways often, and I don't feel taken advantage of at all. regardless, I still felt the need to have a relationship with SD's mom. To this day I still can't tell you why, really. Yes, because it's good for SD. Yes, because it's easier to have friends than enemies. But why did I work so much harder and worry so much more about this relationship than any other? I don't know. Maybe because, as I've said, I'm a fixer. Maybe because it was something I couldn't have, so I worked harder and harder to get it. . . . I do love a challenge!

So yes, it could be that this SM needs some appreciation. It also could be she needs something that she can't really put a name on. Acceptance? Appreciation? A snack to the head? Not for us to say . . . but certainly for Mr and Mrs Openskies to discuss. Get to it.

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kkny

JNM, SMs get into the situation voluntarily. The SM knowingly (at least for the most part) married a man with children. And yes, not everyone can predict how difficult any given situtaion will become, this doesnt seem like one of those awful situations.

On the other hand, the Xwife doesnt have any ability to pick and chose SM.

I don't see why it is necessary for mom and SM to have a good relationship. I think as long as mom and dad communicate and agree on things, child will be fine. But even if you don't agree with that, if as in this case, SM has to bribe or force someone to talk to you, that will only make any mom/sm relationship worse, not better. IMHO.

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kkny

I doubt SM is looking for acceptance by Mom, but if you are right, Mr. Openskies should point out that mom has not been trying to get full custody (assuming that is true). That to me should indicate acceptance. Again, the appreciation has to come from Dad. SM is helping him out with the 50/50 custody he wanted.

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theotherside

"I forgot to mention, just to provide a clearer picture, that a big thing for my wife is that she believes I should force my ex to have to communicate with my wife, such that it is transparent in our household which one of us my ex talks to about issues."

It seems to me from this comment that it is not that his wife wants a relationship with his exW, but that she wants the exW to know who is REALLY in charge - she is. I don't see how this can be interpreted in any way other than a power play. Of course the exW won't agree to put her in charge of raising her daughter during the fifty percent of the time that the girl is with her father. That is for the father to do. Why on earth would the mother talk to the SM about "issues" - behavioral, scholastic, medical, or anything else?

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colleen777

And why wouldn't she? This is a woman who left her husband for another man ten years earlier. EX is the control freak here, she is used to controlling two men. So what if EXwife thinks it is silly? Exwife just wants to carry on as if Wife doesn't exist.

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theotherside

The exW is the girl's MOTHER. She and the girl's father are the ones who make decisions on medical, educational, and other issues regarding their daughter.

How on earth does the fact that she left her husband for another man make her a control freak? Those two things have nothing to do with each other. My exH is not a control freak - he (and apparently a lot of other men) is a conflict avoider most of the time.

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doodleboo

One thing I will say about the girls mother is as much as I am sure she doesn't like me she has always respected me as another adult helping to raise her children. When the girls are at our house and they'd ask their mom for a snack, to go outside, to get down a toy, exc...she would always reply "Ask your daddy and Dana." I was always included because she understood that even though I am not the girls biomom I DO take care of them 90% of the time and it is MY house. I believe she also knows that I love her children and they love me so differences aside, she respects me for that.

Adults need to AT LEAST be amicable to each other when there are children involved. I'm not saying they have to be best buddies but there does need to be communication between ALL adults caring for the children. It takes a village afterall.

The wife in this case is making a power play but it is no more a ridiculous game than the ex trying to pretend she doesn't exist at all. They both need to get a grip.

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kkny

I dont think the Xwife has done anything to imply the current wife doesnt exist, she just communicates to Dad. I dont see that as less than amicable. For all the complaints here by SMs, I cant even imagine why one would want to get in the middle. Oh yes, to remind Xwife the power that SM has over her DD. I would think it would backfire.

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colleen777

If it were a neighbor's child and her mom wanted you to call, would you have a problem with that?

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barefoot_diva

TOS and kkny ... can I ask how many stepchildren you have? And if you have any, what your relationships are like with their BM, and what your partner/husbands relationship is like with his ex?

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theotherside

As I said in an earlier post, if my daughter were to ask her friend/neighbor/whomever if she could borrow something, I would think it extremely odd if the mother were to insist that I ask. Obviously the friend/neighbor should ask her own mother or father if she could lend the item (assuming it was something expensive), but there is absolutely no reason for ME to ask anyone anything.

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colleen777

Any of your children ever borrowed anything of significance from a neighbor? Was it ever broken or not returned?

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kkny

And why isnt it just as good if Dad asks? And if Dad has a better question with the potential lender doesnt that make sense? This isnt about no parent asking? If my X asked (either now or when we were married) that would be appropriate in my book.

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kkny

I meant if Dad has better relationship with lender.

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doodleboo

I think floggin' some dead horses on the lending/borrowing topic. I think it was pretty much agreed upon that the real issue runs alot deeper here.

Mr. Openskies. Are you still there? How much of the daily routines with your children (i.e., bathing, cooking, washing clothes, picking up after, helping with homework exc.) does your current wife do when your children are with you? I have come to the conclusion that you never hear stepDADS with issues mainly because being male, the majority of them do not do the majority of the child rearing.

It's easy for women who are working their tales off to care for someone else's children to feel slighted if not given the proper respect. I think if more men pulled their load caring for their children there wouldn't be so much animosity between stepmoms and biomoms. I would be pissed off too if I was the one being the main care giver to a man's children but was treated like a lesser provider by the chidren's mother.

Now I am in no way saying you do this Mr. openskies but really think about how much your wife does for your kids and whether or not you do as much. It could be fueling the problem. There is nothing worse than being exhausted because you are a parent and then not being treated like a parent. You can't have it both ways. Either raise your own children or include the step parents in parenting affairs.

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doodleboo

Also, it doesn't matter whether or not the parents get to CHOOSE the step parent. Kid's don't get to CHOOSE their bio parents either but it makes them no less family.
Thats what a family is....relationships built with people that you don't have any say in picking out.

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theotherside

That is not an appropriate analogy. We are talking about the adults here, and the mother DID choose the father, and the father DID choose the mother. Although they may change for the worse, at least you had some say. You even get to choose your mother and father-in-law, your brother and sister-in-law, and your stepchildren - if you really don't like any of them, you don't have to get married. You get to have a say in who your children's teachers, doctors, friends, scouts leaders, babysitters, etc. are - if you object to any of these, you can change them. The only people who spend significant time with your child that you don't have any say about are stepparents/stepsiblings.

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gigglemonster

I really think this is getting ridiculous. Openskies has said more than once that his Wife wants to be the one in communication with his ExWife.

That is the problem here and I'm having a hard time figuring out why posters keep trying to imply that Openskies doesn't appreciate his wife, lets her do all the work and doesn't get thanks....yadda yadda yadda.

YES, we know it is not about the equipment. Got it. Openskies has said his wife wants to be the communicator....sounds pretty logical why she pulled that stunt after knowing that.

And what the hell is this about asking neighbors? LMAO, the girls father was RIGHT THERE in the room.

And no, Doodleboo we don't get to choose our Bio Parents. More the reason why Steps need to monitor their own reactions and take accountability for when they are wrong to their spouses children.

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doodleboo

You guys are funny.

It has everything to do with the wife feeling underminded and under valued. I don't have these problems because my husband totes his share of the load and includes me in the decision making. I help raise his children so he values and seriously considers my opinions. The power struggle come from feeling totally powerless. We have NO power struggles because we work as a team.

It is understood by ALL adults that as long as I am the predominate mother figure (meaning untill mom can get her act back together) I will be included in the girls affairs and even after for that matter. I have nothing but their best intrest at heart. Even their mother understands this.

Everyone here says only the parents can make decisions about medical, school, legal issues....blah blah blah. Not in all cases. I may not be able to go to a lawyer but you better believe the girls father takes every word out of my mouth to heart and 9 times out of 10 we agree. We have no power struggles are power play games because I feel like my concerns, opinions and ideas are heard. I am not the person who is exhausted at the end of the day after chasing after two kids that feels like they are not important in the family.

KKNY

Mothers and fathers sometimes happen by accident. Ever here of an oopsie? My husband has said many times he loves his children and wouldn't change them for nothing in the world but he wishes to god he could of picked another mother for them. They were contemplating abortion untill it became known it was twins. Mommies and daddies don't always pick each other either....sometimes nature does the choosing. The girls mom was supposed to be sterile.

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gigglemonster

So, Doodleboo what you are saying is that it doesn't matter what conflict arises because of a SM, it is always because the feel undermined and under-appreciated?

You honestly don't believe that every situation is different? Every SM is different, every BM is different? What works/doesn't work in your situation applies for everyone?

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doodleboo

That's not what I'm saying at all. The man seems to want a solution and I merely asked him a question and told him how I would feel if that was in fact the situation. Would it not stand to reason that if it's a power struggle between the two women causing problems he could eleviate it by either not expecting his wife to help with his kids and tell her to stay out of it OR make it a point to include her more so she doesn't feel out of the loop?

Wanting mom to call her is ridiculous but it's coming from not feeling included in the childrens affairs and if she is a very involved stepmother I can see why feelings would get hurt and turn to bitterness and cause these types of problems.

The stepmother was not ugly to the man's child. She was just acting desperatly for recognition. BioMom's demand recognition. How many times have we all heard the "My child" speech, or it's "OUR business" because we are the parents statement. Why should it be out of the question for a stepmothers feelings to be hurt or to feel insulted if they never receive any? It's a double standard.

I find it funny that the OP had a perfect answer that keeps him out of all the finger pointing as well. No one is perfect and obviously something is going wrong some where. It can't be ALL his wife. He speaks pretty highly of her. I just know from experience that men that avoid conflict also tend to avoid responsibility equally as well.

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justnotmartha

"JNM, SMs get into the situation voluntarily. The SM knowingly (at least for the most part) married a man with children."

Of course they did, KK. I'm not sure why that statement has to do with anything my post regarding appreciation from a DH?

"I don't see why it is necessary for mom and SM to have a good relationship."

I can explain this one, and I would hope you would give the explanation some consideration. My SD's mom made it VERY difficult for years on her daughter for loving me. There were insecurity and jealousy issues that she could not set aside for her daughter's benefit, so she would punish or guilt her daughter into tears. As SD got older she no longer felt that she was, as her mom said, betraying her. She felt that her mom was selfish. She would use mom's insecurity and jealousy to HURT her whenever she felt hurt by mom. It then created a nasty circle of manipulation and anger that has been very hard for them to unwind. They are on the mend, but I fear their relationship will never be what it could have been had her mother not acted this way in the beginning. Rather than viewing me as the enemy or the competition she could have seen me as an ally in raising her daughter. SD is with me 80% of the time and mom knows SD looks to me like a mother. Were it me, I would want a relationship with that person to see what kind of example she is setting. I'd want to talk with her how to handle 'those' questions should they come up. If that was beyond her capabilities she could have just kept her opinions to herself rather that screaming them to me in front of her daughter, and to her daughter when they were alone. Either of these paths would have put SD and her mom on more solid ground. Now, 10 years later, SD is thrilled to have her mom and I "friends." She remarks on it quite a bit. At SD's b-day party party her mom and I worked together to handle a problem SD was having of the female nature, and mom even said to me 'She deals with you better on this kind of stuff - why don't you take over?' I gained so much respect for her at that moment - she had come so far, and I knew saying that couldn't have been easy. She look on SD's face when that happened and she saw us working together was priceless - such relief and joy. THAT, KK, is why the mom's having a good working relationship can be so important. It really makes a world of difference to the kids, especially when the SM is custodial or 50/50.

Moving on -
"It seems to me from this comment that it is not that his wife wants a relationship with his exW, but that she wants the exW to know who is REALLY in charge - she is."

TOS, I have to agree with you. I smirk as I say that I am in charge here, for the simple fact that I know the schedules and handle all those mom things - who needs what for what field trip, who needs a present for what party, who needs new shoes because they have a hole in a sole, etc. BUT, when it comes to dealing with SD's mom, this isn't important. That is the child of my DH and his ex, and therefore THEIR call. 99% of the time DH would talk to mom, come discuss with me, and then get back to her for the simple reason that he didn't know if we had plans for Saturday or what time the dance recital started. I would never think that because I kept track of this info mom should call me directly though. Regardless of the relationship SD and I have, and the fact that mom likely does know he's just turning around to discuss with me, it's still THEIR call and THEIR child. Now mom just calls me if she has a question, but that's because we're BFF's. :-)

Last weekend we asked mom if she wanted a day with SD because it would have been her weekend but we had it for Memorial Day. Before saying yes she called her husband and called me back. I think it's just a matter of respect for people's schedules to discuss these things with your partner .

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kkny

But here, Openskies did discuss with his partner. And this is not a situation where Xwife has abdicated responsiblity.

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justnotmartha

I think, actually, she responded before they discussed it? Not sure though from the OP. I agree she was out of line here - there hasn't been a question of that. I'm delving more into the 'what made her react this way' part of it - that often things aren't discussed? Maybe this was a breaking point? Hard to say.

Say say you about the ease of a good mom/SM relationship though . . . or are you still giving my post careful consideration? :-)

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starr

I'm sorta surprised by the responses to this thread. I have read through them all. I hate to admit this, but I agree with kkny and TOS. I'm not sure how a lot of posters have made the leap that SM is trying to gain some appreciation from BM. That very well may be the case, we don't know all the facts, but why can't it be simply the way Dad explained it - these two women just don't get along and so he prefers they don't communicate.

Since they have been divorced for ten years I am assuming daughter is at least a preteen but possbily even a teenager. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect the daughter to make sure the sports item is returned and make the sole responsibilty be on the daughter. I agree that this was a failed attempt by the SM in some sort of power play with a woman who she just can't get along with. This was a poor decision and it didn't work.

What is suprising to me about this thread though is how many times have we seen countless posts from TOS and KKNY where they have accused the majority of the SMs here for having the attitude of "SMs are always right, and BM is always wrong." I always get so angry when they post things like that. Ladies, I think you have made a strong case for them that there might be some truth in that statement. SM in this case made a poor decision, and there are so many posts in here excusing SM for this by saying she must not be appreciated. That very well may be the case, but the fact of the matter is, SM made the poor decision and that's it and now husband is paying the consequences of it by being put in the middle. Are we all really so aligned with SMs that we try to find an excuse for their bad behavior? I'm disappointed.

I agree whole heartedly that it is most beneficial if all the adults can get along with each other. It's a shame for the daughter that she has to be stuck in the middle of BM and SMs power play with each other. With the information that openskies has provided, I think it is admirable that he recognizes the harm that his daughter would suffer if these two women have to deal with each other. Even BM recognizes this and chooses not to communicate with SM, as is perfectly within her rights. The only one who doesn't like that arrangement is SM and in this case, I think she needs to get over it.

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gigglemonster

Doodleboo, this is exactly what I am not understanding. It has been stated over and over by me, the OP has posted that his Wife wants to be the one in communication. He has *not* posted anything deragotory about his ExWife other than she does not want to and prefers to communicate with OP. What is wrong with that? And since this is the case, making the case that Wife is doing a lot of work and is unappreciated is even ~more~ bizarre. OP is doing his share of work, the Wife just wants to be the communicator.

This isn't a power struggle. Quite frankly, I'm struggling to understand how some posters on this thread have jumped to the conclusion that it is one.

Starr, I'm right with you. I agree with KKNY on most things, anyway though.

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doodleboo

Starr, who said that the stepmom was right? I'm confused. I never saw where anyone said that she was in the right. Rather people where giving suggestions of why she might be acting ridiculous.

Openskies seems to want to stay married so I don't think telling his wife to "get over it" is the answer he is looking for. I think it was a case of wanting suggestions on how to smooth the situation over so all parties are semi-happy. I don't think this woman is a controlling crazy person or he wouldn't be speaking so highly of her.

I never said she was in the right for telling the daughter to tell mom to call her. Never. Just to make that clear....

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kkny

I dont think we can tell what is driving SMs request. She may be resentful of the mom -- not having to work, and wants to make it clear that if the equipment is broken or lost, the mom, not the dad will pay. However, that is between dad and mom. But Openskies says this is a general request, that she and X speak. I think Openskies should ask his wife WHY she wants to talk to X? If I were Openskies I would tell wife that before she knows it, DD will be off to college.

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justnotmartha

KKNY - I agree. There needs to be some getting to the bottom of the reasons why this is so important to SM.

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kkny

Maybe he did try to tell us -- "forgot to mention, just to provide a clearer picture, that a big thing for my wife is that she believes I should force my ex to have to communicate with my wife, such that it is transparent in our household which one of us my ex talks to about issues. "

I am not quite certain I understand that -- but it may mean that SM wants to make certain that mom understands that SM calls the shots. Again, whether SM calls shots in her household is between her and DH. DH is there to see that child is treated fairly. He can communicate to X.

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gigglemonster

Thanks for reposting that KKNY. One word out of that perked my ears -- "transparent." That word is commonly used by marriage counselors (of a certain variety) to help in adulterous situations.

I.E. Husband cheated on Wife. Wife now wants the passcodes to read Husbands email to start making their relationship/situation "transparent." The wayward partner is supposed to make everything "transparent" in his life to repair the relationship, the relationship is then to become "transparent" so that the betrayed partner can start building back trust in the wayward partner.

Initially I found it curious that OP used that word, then quickly forgot about it. In no way am I stating that Openskies cheated on his Wife, but I am curious to know if Wife perhaps has had issues in past relationships.

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kkny

I just see it as SM not only wants to control, but wants to make certain mom knows it. Seems counterproductive to me. Likely to annoy mom.

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justnotmartha

I've wondered as well if SM has some insecurities regarding her husband's relationship with his ex thus resulting in her need to be seen and the head honcho. Interesting take on 'transparent.' Openskies, if you are still around can you shed some light?

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sandra3022

Ok folks lets remember your asking a DAD to read al these posts!lol
Lets all pay atention to his first line"My ex left me about 10 years ago for someone else."I eventually met someone and remarried. That is the story in a nut shell. Read it a few times.
Now in every divorce there must be ground rules with all party's. Dad needs to be responsible for his daughter and her needs and step mom needs to take care of her daughters needs.
As children get older their needs change and in order for her needs to be met she needs to communicate with her parents. If mom signs up daughter for sport those costs should be shared by both parents child support generally does not include activities .If they were married still how would this have been handled. That is how it still should be handled. The parents are no longer MARRIED however they are still parents.
Step mom needs to raise her children and in no way shape or form should the BM have to ask her for anything. The daughter should be told when you have a item that you need for school, sport ect ask both parents and decide who will take her to purchase it. Let daughter start taking responsibilty for her needs it will help her for when she is on her own to know steps to doing things.
step mother needs to face the fact that when she married him she knew he came with a daughter and he wants to be a father. SM needs to attend to her own children and there father .Blending families are very challenging but if everyone can stop and realize this will pass and they will be grown up and then depending on the childrens feeling for you will mean whether they include you in there future. Weddings grandchildren ect. Look at the bigger picture. Set good examples for how to deal with situations try not to rock the boat. Make a packed to love each other enough to step back and let each person be a parent even though they are no longer married to there exs remember they were parents prior to marriage to you ,fact is you signed on for the whole package . Your children will thank you one day and your spouses will love you for being a positive support for them.
Now Dad move on your no longer allowed to drag that dead blanket of "my ex left me for someone else" Your remarried to a person who deserves you only thinking about your future with her not your past with someone who was soooo stupid to leave you. The best revenge is happiness. try it. Just thank your ex for leaving you so you could find the person you were meant to be with. Tell your current wife you love her for being there and loving you and your daughter and one day this wont matter. good luck Sandi

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kkny

I am not certain Dad is dwelling on his X left him, he may be just trying to tell us that his current wife was not involved in the marriage break-up. Which I think is important background info. Others may disagree. It sounds to me that he does love, honor and respect his current wife. I suspect current wife is a little on the controlling side (NOT crazy as someone said). If Dad is doing a good job, and mom is living up to her responsibilities, I don't know why SM would want to communicate. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

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finedreams

Justnomartha, I suggested the same thing in one of my previous posts (insecurity). SM might be having an issue with her DH's relationship with BM (talking too much on the phone, being too nice to her, or maybe not being completely over her etc). Insecurity came to mind right away. And trust. SM might not trust her DH. So she wants to be the one in control. I suspect that what it is.

Other than that I cannot think of any other legitimate reason. If My X's wife asked me to call HER if DD needs to borrow anything in her dad's house, I would assume his wife lost her mind. I don't think it is a normal request, so there is more to this story...

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jacci

Hi! I don't think any issue in the best interest of your children is minor. I think it's great that you are reaching out. I agree with you, I think counceling would be key. I wish my hubby was on speaking terms with his x wife she refuses to speak to him regarding their two children, it's sad. I urge him to develop a civilized relationship with her for the sake of their children, but she refusues. I wish it to be as normal for the kids as possible. I guess I feel a break up between parents doesn't need anymore negativity added to it. In my opinion my hubby's x still harbors anger and resentment towards him for their failed marriage and getting remarried? I believe a lot of x wives feel they are entitled to more? I think your current wife has feelings of anger in having to deal with her in your daily lives along with being taking advantage of? I bet she also feels that your x is ungrateful for all that you guys do? I agree that your x should not have to call her for approval and she definitely should not involve the children. Counceling may help her see this without thinking your taking the x's side? As a human current wife myself these feelings aren't welcomed, but there they are and it sucks because you feel bad, but you don't want to be a door mat either. my hubby and I also send tons of $$ in CS and his son lives with us. My hubby's x still collects $$ for him and refuses to straighten this out with CS since she's local, she wont budge. We had to hire an atty. When you or someone you love is being taking advantage of our reactions aren't always nice. I've tried to be disciplined with these feelings, but I think we too may eventually have to seek counceling someday? I think you're great and with patience it will all work out. Best of luck!

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openskies

Hi Again,

I must admit I didn't envision that I'd have to read so many posts to answer questions :)

There is completely no issue here in our household about either of us being appreciated. You'll have to trust me on that. I am very involved in the raising of my own children and stepchildren, and do plenty of the housework, cooking, driving, etc. We thank each other often for some of the things people sometimes take for granted.

There are alot of assumptions and interpretations here that are kind of going off on a tangent and incorrect.

I would like to point out that someone correctly understood that I was not dwelling on the fact that my wife left me, but was merely clarifying that my current wife was not involved in my 1st marriage breakup, because otherwise there would be lots of questions/assumptions centered around the possibility that my ex doesn't like my wife because of something like that.

To answer another question, there is definitely no concern on my wife's part about too much communication with ex etc.

All I can say is we all handle these things differently and have different needs. I do not have a need to be in the middle of my wife's communication with her ex. It just isn't important to me. If he calls, he asks for her, he doesn't run things by me. My wife and I do talk and share opinions between us about all of our children, but she communicates either her or our shared opinion to him. So, my needs here are not the same as my wife's, ie. to become actively involved in communication. kkny seems to interpret fairly accurately without me writing a 10 page document that would describe more and more detail.

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barefoot_diva

Sounds like the perfect marriage then ;)

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mrsmaddog

I just find this whole subject bizarre...I have no desire whatsoever to "communicate" with my DH's Ex. Now, I do NOT mean I have not nor will not talk to her, but her kids are DH's kids, and they need to communicate, not me.
In the beginning, BM implied that someday we would be friends, or "get along just fine." She also wanted me to call her if I had a problem with (disciplining) her kids- while she was 850 miles away. I would have spent 5 hours a day on the phone with her, and to what end? This kind of long-distance parenting seems odd; doesn't it make more sense for their FATHER to handle their behavior in our house?
My point is, expecting BM to ask for an item for DD (to use once?) from Dad's house seems strange. SM and Dad could have decided together if this borrowing was ok or not. If it was lost or broken, it could be replaced the same as buying new to begin with. This is why I do not believe this issue is at all about some sports equipment.
The only way this need for communication makes sense to me is if SM felt put out because BM could easily afford a new gadget, and SM feels BM is being cheap/taking SM and Dad for granted/assuming anything in Dad's house is automatically DD's by default.(My SC have no qualms about going into their "dad's" room, using anything they please, or hiding stuff in their suitcases before they fly home.)
Since OP did not state that BM suggested this borrowing, I can't figure out what his wife is thinking, but I thought of one reason why SM wants to communicate with BM. Not having any direct communication with BM might make SM feel like she is always left out of the loop. Like BM and DH are running the show, and she is just an observer. Especially since there is 50/50.Perhaps SM just wants her voice heard and to hear from BM first hand, not translated by DH or SD.

Finally, we don't know how much OP really does in caring for the home or children, but my gut says his wife doesn't like feeling like an unpaid employee who is never invited into the boardroom.

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theotherside

But the biological mother and father ARE supposed to be running the show, when it comes to raising their daughter.

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kkny

TOS, that seems to be the basis for many hard feelings here. Some SMs with absent or virtually absent moms give advice that while I am certain is well intended doesn't translate well to situations where the mother is not absent. Its fine for SM to complain on this board, or to Dad, or to her own mother, but the mom and the dad are the ones who are supposed to be running the show.

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finedreams

absolutelly agree, kkny, most of the situations described in this forum are situations with moms being on drugs, or criminals, or living far away and very minimally involved in parenting. But these situations are rather uncommon IRL. I have met very few such families in my entire life. So when people tell me I have to be greatful for everything SM does for my kid or SM needs to be in the "boardroom" with mom and dad, it is hard not to laugh.

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ashley1979

I think many men (no offense Openskies) tend to leave out little details from their discussions with BM. Then SM is left holding the bag because she didn't have all the info in the first place. There have been plenty of times when I've had to cancel plans that I made because my BF left out a critical part of arrangements made with BM. In that case, I can see why SM would want to be party to conversations. Especially if she's the one that does the planning of things. Maybe it's been a problem. We don't really know. There have been times when I've repeatedly (and I mean like 10 or more times) asked my BF to get woth BM for info on something FSD is doing and he never did. So I have called her myself so I know how to plan something.

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mrsmaddog

TOS, I agree except this:
When it comes to people or things in SM and Dad's HOUSE, Dad and SM run the show. Not just dad for dad's kid or stuff and SM for SM's kid or stuff.If each adult has exclusive rights over "their" child or belongings, then we are back at square one- sports equipment belongs to SM's child.
So, by your reasoning, SM was correct to demand a conversation with at least one BP about the borrowing, although in my eyes she should have chosen Dad. More reasonably, she should have agreed on her own, unless there was a major reason to deny the request. If her denial was questioned by BM, through the SD or Dad, then she should have the right to address BM. It doesn't matter who bought the thing, the question is who owns it now? Are SC's belongings only half theirs if they were paid for by BP and SP? No. If we buy something for my SS, my son doesn't have a "right" to use it just because I contributed.It would be nice of him to allow SS to borrow it, but not mandatory. Do all of our children have the right to eat the food we bought for the entire family, yes. Does SD have a right to the food items bought specifically for her, regardless of who paid for them? Absolutely. I could go on with this for days...
I suspect that SM might see it as her child only has one home, and one set of things, while SC has two, including a wealthier set of parents in her second home.

In the original post, Openskies said,"The issue my wife has is that we pay my ex lots of $$ so she feels like she should be forced to buy this item that would be used only once."

This is why I believe SM feels put upon or taken advantage of. Just because OP contributed somewhat to the purchase of said item, that does not negate SM's feeling of ownership.
Of course, remarried parents could play this game right down to the squares of bath tissue.
It appears petty, but in SM's mind, it might be that she is trying to set up boundaries, before the borrowing of more important things come into play.

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kkny

If Mrs. Openskies is worried about more borrowing, she can express that to her DH. And why would Mrs. Openskies think her children only have one set -- they have a father too. As someone else pointed out, assuming that child has assets from other household can be untrue.

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sylviatexas1

sounds like Mrs Openskies hasn't had much luck expressing her worries/concerns/wishes to her husband.

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mrsmaddog

"And why would Mrs. Openskies think her children only have one set -- they have a father too. As someone else pointed out, assuming that child has assets from other household can be untrue."
Wow, you answered your own question.
OP stated his Ex is wealthier, but didn't mention SM's Ex's financial status.Perhaps her own child truly only has one set of parents (Mr and Mrs Openskies) with any financial means. If BM is more well off than OP and his wife, why shouldn't OP's daughter have two sets? Oh, wait, because his EX expects OP and his wife to buy her daughter extra stuff in addition to paying CS and feeding and clothing her at their house per the 50/50 arrangement. Can you possibly see where SM's angst is coming from, now?
And before you say it, of course Mrs Openskies' daughter deserves to have a Biodad who supports her, but we cannot assume she does. We can assume that Mr Openskies' daughter has a Biomom that CAN. Does she?

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kkny

CS is determined by another of things, including income of both parents. SMs X is not absent, as OP has had conversations with him. Maybe BMs DH makes more, but stepparent income is not ordinarily imputed for CS purposes. As I said before SM may have envy, and there are no easy ways to deal with that. But it is important for Mr. Openskies to recognize what the real issue is. If it is envy -- the reaction of making demands that Xwife talk to her will likely not be productive.

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mrsmaddog

You are right, but this is about extras, not CS. If SM feels that on top of CS and regular necessities SD requires (during her 50/50) that BM is expecting Dad (and therefore SM) to pay for extras, I can see her problem.
It would feel like BM considers her husband's money as separate and not to be used for her child, but SM's to be part of Dad's available income. Who would be purchasing the sports equipment if there was no SM, and therefore no item to borrow? Assuming Dad's income was the same, and his CS and custody the same, could he afford this item on his own, or would he ask BM to split the cost? (BM could use some of her CS, or ask her husband to help.)If both parents were still single, how would the item be procured?
This is all outside the context of the original post, but it makes me wonder.

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serenity_now_2007

"You are right, but this is about extras, not CS. If SM feels that on top of CS and regular necessities SD requires (during her 50/50) that BM is expecting Dad (and therefore SM) to pay for extras, I can see her problem."

The problem is that not only are there bound to be plenty of costs for "extras" that are going to be incurred in raising children (I mean, if we're considering anything beyond food ---but not necessarily FAVORITE food, just food--- and, like, Hanes 3-pack basic white tees as clothing and the cheapest uglist Walmart notebook and Dixon Ticonderoga #2 pencils as "extras")... but that the definition of "extras" is very debatable...

"It would feel like BM considers her husband's money as separate and not to be used for her child, but SM's to be part of Dad's available income. Who would be purchasing the sports equipment if there was no SM, and therefore no item to borrow? Assuming Dad's income was the same, and his CS and custody the same, could he afford this item on his own, or would he ask BM to split the cost? (BM could use some of her CS, or ask her husband to help.)If both parents were still single, how would the item be procured?"

I just gathered that there happened to be already in existence in the house an item of the kind that was required, which was not being used by anyone else at the time it was going to be needed. In that case, why SHOULDN'T OP's daughter be able to use it? Is it inconceivable that OP's daughter would loan something to her step-sister in a similar situation? Has that never occured before? I mean, yeah, I suppose that for everyone to be perfectly even and everything to be perfectly fair, there should be two of absolutely everything in the house for each of the girls, no matter how easily worked out a sharing plan may be... just so nobody feels like BM is "getting off scot free" or "taking advantage" of the already-purchased hockey stick (or whatever it is). But why spend the extra money (which Dad would be, since he's presumably already paid for half of his step-daughter's item, we can presume he'd be paying half of this item too) or insist or suggest that someone else (BM) spend extra money when there is a perfectly good item right there, which will not be in use, and which the user of (step-sister) has already agreed to lending? It's not costing step-sister or SP anything to lend it, and if it's damaged it won't cost them anything either b/c Dad & BM would pay for a replacement. The only reason would be to (pardon the pun) "stick it" to the person(s) who would be asked to pay for a second one, in one way or the other. Now, obviously, if the item is lost or damaged, or if OP's daughter will be using such an item more frequently in the future, then it's appropriate to purchase another. But to go around and imply that anything shared in the house that's an "extra" has to be purchased separately even for one-time use is just not very family-like. In intact families, no one would dream of proposing a waste of money (on anyone's part) or excessive consumption (and clutter?) of this sort as a general practice...

I guess that's what I find so colossally sad in these blended family situations. That, as much as many SP's regard the situation like the SK's are "spoiled" b/c they have two households, it's just as often that they end up getting shafted b/c everything gets nickel-and-dimed and bickered over to death. And I'm not even really thinking about in the *material* sense, but psychologically... How do you think it feels growing up where every little item or expense you require as a kid is argued over, debated, and you're made to feel like you're such a source of financial burden and your parents arguing all the time and the expenses paid for are all conditional on how well you (or your mom) behave? Like someone's sitting there all "ca-ching! ca-ching!" every time you express a cereal preference that costs an extra 80 cents, or scowl ("deduct a dollar for the "extra"-nice notebook b/c of your attitude! I don't HAVE to do anything for you!")... and you may, perhaps, be in the regular presence of a step-sibling who (b/c his/her parents aren't divorced) doesn't face the same kind of nickel-and-diming, or you feel like you have to run a decathalon of requests and requests-for-requests to DARE to borrow the item of its "rightful" owner, whom it WAS procured for, presumably without much hubub... I CERTAINLY can understand the need to budget to the point of splitting hairs (b/c there's no choice) when funds are tight (but in OP's case it didn't sound like that was necessarily the case)... but when the situation is more comfortable, nickel-and-diming is unnecessary and rather depressing. Not to mention an enormous waste of energy and a veritable minefield packed chock-full of potential explosions at every little teensy turn. (Which, btw, ain't so great for the marriage, either...)

Come up with a plan, an agreement, based on reality, decency, common sense, and what you think "family" should mean and general principles of what will/won't be split (or set a dollar amount limit, or an age limit, or limit the extracurricualr activities by quantity). Figure out and decide once and for all on the definitions of "extras" you and spouse agree on and everything should fall into place. If this can't be agreed upon between current spouses, it is not the ex-spouse's fault, and they shouldn't be dragged into the mess. If the CS arrangement is unsatisfactory to both current spouses, seek to have it changed instead of whining/nickel-and-diming/b.s. psychological games. If it's satisfactory to one spouse but not SP, or if expenditures just CANNOT be agreed upon no matter what, then maybe consider splitting finances. But acknowledge that it is the CURRENT SPOUSES who cannot agree on expenditures or come up with a workable plan, so it isn't anyone else's fault or burden to bear if you two can't work it out between yourselves.

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ldvilen75

Geesh, buddy. You are acting like you have two wives rather than one. Pick one and/or grow a pair. If you still want your ex- as your wife, then inform your current wife that you prefer your ex- and keeping her happy is going to be your #1 preference, because that is pretty much the way you are acting now. That way, your current wife doesn't have to try to read between the lines any more and suffer for it.

Yep! I get it now why your ex- and current wife don't get along, or however you put it. Manipulative, controlling BM and weak, enabling DH = step hell. Apparently you are OK with a 3-way marriage. Your current wife, on the other hand, is not, and personally, who can blame her?

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