Biomoms and stepmoms

imamommy

This comment was made on another thread.....

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

I keep hearing it said that mom's (and kids) don't have a choice in choosing stepmom, like it's some excuse if they don't get along... they don't need to because mom (or kids) didn't get to choose stepmom. (and the same is true that dad's don't get to choose the stepdad either)

What I don't understand, and I'm speaking as a mom since I've been a mom for 21 years and a stepmom for only 2, is why anyone with children would think it's not important to have a good relationship with someone that their children "HAVE" to be around. It was pointed out that the children and their mother can change teachers if their children or they don't like the teacher they are assigned, and that is true. You can't change to a new stepmom if you get one you don't like... that is true too. However, I would think that the fact that they didn't have a choice in picking them and the fact that they can't just request a replacement (like you can with a teacher or other person in your child's life), why any mother would not want to make the best of the situation their child is in? ESPECIALLY because she can't choose something different! Why would any mother want to contribute to a negative situation for THEIR child? How can a, supposedly loving, mother CHOOSE to participate in battle with the stepmom, knowing their child is going to HAVE to spend time there? How can a mother CHOOSE to divide their child's heart by encouraging or outright expecting them to choose them over their father? (and encouraging them to not visit their father because stepmom is there, does just that).

I'm not referring to anyone's situation in particular, but I have sat through numerous court cases where mom's are fighting to keep kids from visiting dad because she doesn't like stepmom. In most of the cases that I've listened to, the mom isn't complaining about dad' ability to parent, she's complaining about his wife. In every case that I can recall, the court was unsympathetic to these mom's and many leave the court crying or angry. It's interesting how these mother's that are supposed to love their children and want the best for their children, would rather put their energy and time, into filing court papers and fighting to cut these children off from their fathers, than to try and find a way to get along with the person that is in a place where they HAVE to send their child and may have regular interaction with their child.

Now, before I get slammed for not mentioning that the stepmom might be causing the problem or the stepmom might be the one jealous or insecure.. that may also be true. BUT, the stepmom has no obligation to the stepchildren, the parents do. The parents have an obligation to choose very carefully, the people they have in their children's life. While the stepparent should want what's best for the children too, it isn't the stepparent's responsibility or obligation to the children, it's the parent's.

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kkny

If, as you said, the stepmom might be causing the problem, it is Dad's job to deal with it. If he doesnt, then one of mom's courses of actions is to attempt to get Dad's time reduced - you are absolutely right, mom can't get Dad to get rid of SM.

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doodleboo

It is also VERY interesting to me that you rarely see bioDADS fighting with stepDADS or rufusing to speak to each other. Every time I bring that up it's just brushed off.

I also made the point that the children don't get to pick their bio parents either and was told that was an improper analogy. I don't understand how it is improper. If a child has to respect a parent they didn't choose how can you tell me they don't have to respect a stepparent they didn't choose....if you are using the choice issue as the excuse it is the same thing, is it not?

I also think it is ridiculous to not want to have some gorm of common ground ,at the VERY least, if there is a person who is helping to raise your children. I, as a parent, would want to know as much about that person as possible. That would mean being on speaking terms at the least.

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doodleboo

If it's that you just don't "like" the stepparent chances are the judge is going to tell you to grow up. The courts are not going to cut a bioparents visitation just because the other parent personally doesn't like the step. There would have to be reasonable proof the step parent was an unfit influence on the child.

It's a good thing ex's can't force each other to get rid of spouses or there would be alot of lonely miserable people in the world.

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gigglemonster

You are answering yourself Ima with the last paragraph. Biological parents do.not.have.to. interact, get along, communicate or anything with their ex's new spouse/gf/bf. I agree that it would be nice for all parties to get along, but it is hardly necessary for the childs best interests. It shouldn't extend to the child anyway.

Doodleboo, stepfathers and men in general don't really seek out or demand to speak to each other. I've seen them say hi and bye, that is about it.

No, doodleboo I don't believe it is a proper analogy. Mom and Dad choose to sleep with each other (in most cases) -- this day and age we all know the implications of what that can lead to. It is a choice and a risk they are taking. In essence, the parents choose each other and they are only obligated to coparent with each other. No outside parties. If Dad remarries, he can include SM in parenting within his home but BM does not have to coparent with a step.

Along those lines, if Dad or Mom brings an emotionally unstable or otherwise deeply flawed person into a new relationship -- IMO, the child should not have to just put up with it and learn how to cope. That is an unfair burden -- at any time the Biological parent can leave and get out of the relationship when they've had enough, but the child is just stuck in the meantime and has no power over what happens. There are major differences and I am surprised you don't see this.

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gigglemonster

I am beginning to think my area is in another country and time.

Unless there has been an obvious pattern of frivilous motions, most of the time I have seen Judges side with the biological parent filing because of a step. Perhaps because I am usually involved in the more complicated cases, but it seems to be the general rule around here that if it is signficant enough to be heard and gone through the motions (GAL's, counseling, mandatory evaluations..etc) -- then there is a problem and eliminate any obstacles between the coparenting relationship between biological parents. That does not mean that the step is in the wrong, but they will be restricted as to what they can/can't do as far as the parenting plan and it is contempt in violating it.

Again, maybe it is the type of cases I'm involved with -- but then again, what I do see on the net concerning current custody/visitation trends in most areas generally confirms what I see in my area.

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imamommy

kkny,

I'm referring to stepmom not wanting to get along with mom, not problems with the kids. If there are problems with the kids, then yes, it's up to each parent to deal with those problems in their own house. It's not up to a parent to fix problems in the other house by cutting off the other parent, unless there is abuse going on. Kids are manipulative by nature and if they can get one parent worked up to get their way,they do. My stepdaughter tells us all the terrible things her mom's boyfriend says to her and how terrible his kids are to her and she goes over there and says the same things about us. Her mom buys into it, we don't. I'm sure not all kids do that, but when a child says 'stepmom said this to me' or 'stepmom did that', then the mother should be telling her child, did you talk to your dad about it? Not, 'that stupid bltch' and start a big fight over it. If the child claims dad was told and did nothing about it, then the next step is for mom to call dad and discuss it rationally, not with hostility. If dad is not doing anything about it (assuming it is a valid complaint) after discussing it with his kid and BM, then that would be a reason to seek a reduction in time. That would be a flaw in his parenting, but what I see is that mom's jump the gun and want time reduced or stopped because they don't like stepmom, not because dad's parenting is flawed.

and you are right, it's dad's job to deal with it, but then again, there might be differences in what mom thinks is a major problem and what dad thinks is a major problem. My SD's mom complained because I stopped giving her daughter soda pop with dinner and switched her to milk or juice. Her dad thought it was a good idea and better for her too. Her mom said it was because I was being 'mean' to her daughter. Her daughter had a serious weight problem and was crying about kids teasing her at school. We (DH & I) decided to cut out junk food and give her healthy food during his weeks. Sure, it was my idea but he had no objection and who would think a mother would view it as being 'mean'? It's all in the perception of each situation. Just because mom thinks something is wrong, doesn't mean it really is. When BM called DH to tell him that I was being mean by not letting her have soda, he didn't 'deal with it' to BM's satisfaction because he didn't agree with her. She can give SD soda all day long on her time if she wants. That doesn't mean that BM has a right to reduce DH's time because he doesn't do what she says.

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serenity_now_2007

I think it's great to have *as a GOAL* that everyone ***GENUINELY*** gets along (and of course when that happens it tends to improve the siutation considerably), as long as some extremely important principles are remembered:

-It's a GOAL, not a command
-As regards my obvious emphasis on the word "genuinely" above: no amount of superficial manners, biting one's tongue, "yes, ma'am"'s, little niceties or simple rule compliance is going to substitute for a genuine like and respect for each other no matter how much you try. Not to say that some of this shouldn't be attempted all around (basic civility is a must and politeness is the grease that keeps the gears basically moving and functioning properly), but if no more is possible than this, or desired, no more should be required. (I am referring here most specifically to the relationship between SP's and BP's, or SP's and adult SK's. Obviously, if you are responsible for the care of a minor, then definitely a lot more letter of the law than by the imperative of human decency.)
-If the other party is polite, civil and does everything they're "supposed to do" in terms of basic decency and fulfilling their role obligations, then if they choose NOT to go further than that and become your New Best Friend, they are not commiting any offense and should not be treated as though they were. Such a scenario does not count as rudeness.
-It's great to have everyone getting along as a goal but it's really the WAY it's gone about that's most important. It can't be commanded or forced, for example. If you really want so badly to have some kind of closer relationship with the other party, then the best way to go about it is to simply BE and BEHAVE LIKE the sort of person that s/he would want to be closer to. (Which is to say be the sort of person *most people* get along with: open-minded, open-hearted, positive, not a control freak and not excessively competitive.) And do this genuinely, because it will be obvious and misfire if you're not genuine about it. If you can't be genuine about it, then stay out of it as not to do harm. If you have any other agenda besides simply peaceful coexistence and mutual concern for the best interests of the people who tie you together (the kids and the spouse) and the greater good, then it's best to not bother, as this will be obvious and fail miserably.
-Finally, and most importantly, if the purpose of the desired closer relationship with the spouse's ex is supposedly "in the kids' best interest", make sure you're not inflicting psychological trauma, or forgetting, said kids in the process.

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doodleboo

Did I say anything about the step being emotionally ustable or flawed? I said in some of the cases the people just don't like each other and that isn't cause enough to cut visitation.

The courts didn't side with mom in our girls case because she is the emotionally disturbed party. On the same note, the girls didn't get to choose to have a normal mother. And if what you say about parents choosing to sleep with each other is true, parenting is a RISK not a CHOICE. He never meant to get A______ pregnant. It happened and he didn't want to abort his children. We PLANNED it. Took the tests, did the whole ovulation tracking thing....that was two people CHOOSING to be parents together. Not every pregnancy happens as a planned choice. You can look up the unplanned motherhood statistics for proof on that statement.

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finedreams

I am not sure about "helping" to raise someone's child. The other parent did not ask anyone to "help" raising their child. Both parents are parenting together in a married situation and separate in a divorced situation.

If one of the parents or both choose to remarry and delegate to someone else (SM, SF or sometimes grandparents) the other parent never asked for it!

I don't believe that BMs or BDs have to be greatful that their Xs remarried and asked someone else to be involved in raising children.

I am having no problem with neither my X nor SM but I do not agree that i have to be greatful for anything. My X is the same parent as I am. It is not like it is my kid and he is just helping. he is the parent. And if he chooses to remarry I don't know why i have to be greatful. I never asked anyone for that! I never asked any women to help raising my child!

i am greatful when my parents babysat DD because I actually asked and wanted them to. But i never ask my X to remarry and SM to babysit. If he would want his wife to babysit DD it would be up to him, not me. he should be greatful she does his job, but why should I be greatful?

And most kids would be greatful if their parents stay together, so being greatful that someone else is there, it is too much to ask. they have to be respectful towards stepparents the same way as towards other relatives, but greatful that their parents brought new partners in their lives..I am not sure about that.

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imamommy

If you are in court over the cases from social services, then you are dealing with different issues than are common in basic divorce cases. There is likely serious problems that caused social services to get involved. That's like comparing apples to oranges.

Even in cases you may be familiar with, when the courts are willing to reunify drug abusing or abusive parents with their children, I can't see them cutting a parent off for being married to a person the other parent doesn't like, unless like I said, there's abuse going on. In the cases you deal with, there might be more abuse than an average divorce or custody situation that I've seen. The cases I see are people that probably never have dealings with social services. I don't hear abuse allegations of any sort in most of these proceedings. Occasionally, there's an accusation of spanking or drinking too much around the kids, but nothing to a level of removing the kids from either parent.

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serenity_now_2007

Just a side note, but I find this comment both amusing and sad:

"Kids are manipulative by nature"

and question what that makes adults, then, who have so much more experience... guess we certainly don't get more innocent as we age...

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doodleboo

great post

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gigglemonster

Imamommy, I agree essentially and I did jump to my perspective too quickly.

I do want to point out that all of this goes both ways. People are not immune to bad behavior or character flaws simply because they are Biological Parents or Stepparents.

You made a very good point about parenting differences, but again it goes both ways.

LOL, Serenity.

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doodleboo

If there are adults ina house with a child whether they are the parents or not at some point they are going to be helping eith that child. If you are married to a man who has children and they ask for help getting shoes on, or doing their homework, or running bath water...are you going to say "Go away kid, you bother me."? No. That would be a HORRIBLE person not just a horrible stepparent and if someone posted on this site that they were married to a woman who treated his children like that....the women on this blog would have a freaking coronary.

Bottom line...marriage failed. You can't be there to help your children all the time as a result and neither can your ex. There is someone willing to fill that void when necessary so the child is well cared for and happy. I think that merrits appreciation. It would rest my mind not make me defensive as it seems to with some.

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serenity_now_2007

One of my sentences in my first post should have read:

"Obviously, if you are responsible for the care of a minor, then definitely a lot more IS required of you, if not by the letter of the law than by the imperative of human decency."

And to further clarify that statement: no, you can't force genuine love and concern, even out of yourself for the sake of a child who isn't yours. But if you are a prime figure that child looks to for care and support as they are growing up, then I do believe you are obligated to do your absolute best trying. Again, not by law, perhaps, but if you want to be at peace with yourself for the rest of your life. If you try & try and just can't (or don't want to), it's your prerogative, but then it shouldn't be surprising when there's issues. Even when the SK is an adult, it shouldn't be surprising when there's issues if you (or SK!!!) has an attitude of total unwillingness to try... But it's less required in that situation to try so hard. The well-being of a MINOR child does require a lot more and is more of a priority. (I say this even as an adult SK in a very difficult relationship with my SM: I don't expect much from her now; a young child, though, is much more dependent in every way on an adult designated as one of their caretakers... the responsibility for them, then, is far greater.)

(Kind of off the topic, I know, I just wanted to clarify that particular point...)

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gigglemonster

Doodleboo, I think it is probably fairly obvious that when two people of opposite genders have sex (consensually), they are consenting to what comes with it. They choose each other to have sex with, they choose the consequences. Otherwise, there would be laws during the pregnancy that would let one parent opt out of being responsible for the child.

Doodle, you stated that other posters thought your analogy was incorrect. I gave you another opinion why I thought it was not proper -- accept it or not, it is my opinion on why I don't think it fits nor is it appropriate.

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doodleboo

Another great post

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imamommy

Maybe I was misunderstood. I'm not saying mom's have to talk to, interact with, or appreciate the stepmom. But, when they share their feelings of hate, anger, hostility, or any other negative feelings they might have toward the stepmom, with their child, it puts the child in a position to make choices about who they are going to be more loyal to. Mom or Dad. If they like stepmom and mom hates stepmom, it makes them choose again. Do what I want and make mom mad at me? or keep the peace with mom? ... if they don't like stepmom and mom doesn't like stepmom, they are now in a position to gang up on stepmom.. alienate dad... or just manipulate the situation to benefit them (or so they think).

and FD, I think that you probably handled the situation with your DD the way parents SHOULD. It wasn't about whether you liked your ex's wife or not, you stayed out of it. You probably didn't tell your DD that she didn't have to listen to her stepmom. You probably didn't remind your DD that YOU are her mom and if her stepmom said or did anything to her that she didn't like, then you would handle it by calling her dad and raising hell. It sounds like you let your ex husband handle his home and when your DD was with you, it wasn't about drilling her for info on her dad's home or his wife. It probably wasn't about keeping conflict going... and that is what I'm talking about. There are parents that talk to their children about those things (my mom was one of them) and it hurts the children when mother's do that. I'm saying that if mother's love their children as they claim to, WHY would they put their children through that?

I think that in EVERY situation, adults should be civil. Whether it's in a family situation, including stepparents or in any other situation.. business, politics, court proceedings (other than family law).. people that are adults behave in a civil manner, or they should. Can you imagine being in a business meeting with a rival corporation and bickering like a divorcing couple? or in mandatory settlement conference with opposing parties in a lawsuit and arguing or making wild accusations(yelling, crying, etc.)? But parents do that all the time and when they do it in front of their kids, the kids are the ones they are hurting.

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doodleboo

I am mom more to my two step daughters. I don't really buy the whole bio parent as the higher authority because in my case (and in alot more I am sure) it isn't the step parent making everybodies life hell. So the stepmom as the problem in every situation doesn't settle well with me.

Giggle

You are intitled to your opinion as am I. What you think ,as well as a few other posters, has no relevance to my situation so I can't relate. At all. Every example you have ever given has gone just the opposit for me. I guess it just goes to shoe it depends on the adults involved.

On the choosing parents subject, he has chosen me to raise his girls and that's all the authority I need. He has chosen to not let his ex be the predominate caregiver because even though she is their mom right now she is totally unfit.

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gigglemonster

Doodle, that is why I asked you on the other thread about seeing issues from anything but your situation.

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imamommy

Kids are manipulative by nature.. people in general are. The difference is that adults are supposed to grow up and have a better understanding of the world. As adults, we should be more aware when someone is trying to manipulate us. There are probably always going to be adults that perfect the art of manipulation and never mature past that, just as there are those that can still be manipulated as adults. But, we as the adults should be trying to teach our children that manipulating doesn't work. When parents allow the child to be manipulative and buy into it, then the child learns that this is how to get things. Those are going to be the adults that continue to use manipulation as a tool in life.

I also happen to agree with doodle on the choosing your parents. Yes, my parents chose each other but I didn't have a choice in picking them. They are my parents and I was expected to have respect for them and obey them. My mother didn't always deserve respect, and I got lucky with getting the best dad in the world. That doesn't mean it's okay for me to be disrespectful to my mom.

Do I need to remind everyone that you don't always 'choose' the person you have your child with. Not just my situation, but there may also be situations where the couple might have been intoxicated, possibly on drugs, perhaps in an emotional state that altered their judgment. Contraception fails on occasion too. It can also occur that you think you know someone pretty well, then you find out they aren't being honest about themselves. It's too simplistic to say that you chose to have sex, knowing the consequences and therefore you chose to have a child with this person.

"Otherwise, there would be laws during the pregnancy that would let one parent opt out of being responsible for the child."

As for legally opting out.. there is a legal option for women. It's called abortion. Men can't choose to abort if they don't want to be tied to the mother through the child, but the mother can certainly abort a child the father may want, if she chooses not to carry it to term. She can also choose to carry it to term and the father has no choice in it. He will however, have to support the child for at least 18 years. She can't force a relationship, but the mother is the one with all the control during the pregnancy.

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doodleboo

very good point on the opting out topic. Women DO have a choice after conception to opt out. Men do not. And let's face it, not all sexual encounters are thought of as a long term commitment. There are ALOT of abortions and ALOT of fatherless children out there. Had it been a rationalized choice in these cases' this would not be reality.

I said before that as much as hubby was ashamed to admit to me, he did tell me he tried to talk A______ into an abortion. It wasn't untill he found out she was carrying twins that he changed his mind. It was NOT a planned thing. He was not expecting to be dealing with her the rest of his life. He has made the comment so so SO many times that he loves his girls but wishes he would of had them with me instead of a woman who obviously has many issues.

P.S. I give him hell all the time for taking her word that she was sterile. It was clear case of a woman trying to trap a man with a baby. He was just dumb enough to fall for it...hahahaha. He sure as hell didn't choose it that way though. Just ask him.

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gigglemonster

Ima, that is why I said consensually. Being on drugs, drunk or whatnot is simply not an excuse, imo. I really think that in this day and age that it is quite obvious what the consequences of sex are from pregnancy and/or std's. If it was not taught to you, the directions on condom boxes clearly state that the only birth control that is 100% accurate is abstinence.

Well, as far as that statement, I should've added "after birth." Although I think it was implied. Both parents have responsibility and obligations to the child and that is a fact of life right now regardless of what is thought about having sex without being responsible for accidents.

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ashley1979

Ima - I couldn't agree more. I have a PERFECT example to prove your point that would break any SP's heart.

One day last fall BF was going to the NASCAR races. I had talked him into letting me have FSD while he was gone and I made an appointment for us to have pedicures and go to a specialty store that my parents had given her a gift card for. She told me that we could go to the store but we couldn't get pedicures because BM had asked her the day before if she wanted to go with her and FSD had said no. I completely understood and respected that. No sooner did we drop BF off than BM called on FSD's phone. First thing BM said was "what are you doing?" (always her first question as if she's going to offer something better). FSD told her that we just dropped BF off at the races and that we were headed to the store. BM threw a fit and demanded that I bring her home that instant and that her grades were slippping and she needed to study. BM wasn't even home! She was at work and I would have to drop her off with SF. It was 1 PM! How many hours did the child need to study???? Not to mention, FSD hadn't brought any homework to our house and we were never told her grades were slipping. Plus, BM had taken her out of every extra-curricular activity about 1-1/2 years before and left her in the one that consumed the most time. My feelings were hurt, but since BF was not with us, what was I supposed to do? FSD did not tell BM she wanted to stay with me so I had no choice to take her back.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. BF had some work to do on a Sunday so I was going to leave the 2 of them alone for a couple of hours and go to the gym. When I got back, I was going to take FSD to the movies to see The Game Plan. So I went to the gym and as soon as I walked in the house, FSD and BF were staring at me. BF says "do you want to tell her?" and I said "tell me what?" FSD says "my mom says I have to go right now to get fitted for my dress and she's on her way". So I said "okay, well we can go to the movies when you get back. How about 5:30 PM?" So she says okay. So BM shows up with SF and FSD's sister. I was wondering why they all had to come along for just a fitting. But whatever. So BF asks BM if they will be back by 4:30 PM. She says they will so he tells her that I'm taking FSD to the movies while he does some work and would appreciate her having her back by that time. So I get showered and dressed and I hear the phone ring. It's FSD calling BF to ask if my feelings wil be hurt because BM and SF and sister are going to the movies and they want her to go with them. BF told her that it was fine, but rude because she had already made plans with me. So she starts crying. So BM grabs the phone away and says (which I could hear across the room) "Why did you make her cry!?" BF just said he didn't and he wasn't sure why she's crying. After FSD got back to the house, I was so angry, I left for a while. I didn't realy have anything nice to say about the situation so I felt it was best to leave. BF talked to her and found out the whole story. BM made the movie thing up on teh spot and made FSD decide. How could a mother put their child in a situation where they have to make that choice? If she chose me, her mom would be mad. If she chose mom, I would be mad. In that situation, making me mad is less of a problem for her. It put FSD in a really bad situation and also showed her that commitment meant nothing. She really did want to hang out with me, but she couldn't tell her jealous, insecure mother that without fear of being yelled at or given the silent treatment.

So, I think it's important for everyone to respect the presence of the other people in their child's life (of course I'm talking about normal and average situations without mental illness or drugs). It's all about love and everyone having a common goal in loving the child(ren).

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ashley1979

Oh, and BTW, men can opt out. They can terminate parental rights and go on with life. My sister's daughter's BD did and he has no worries. And my BF's BD did as well.

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imamommy

In your quote, you said

"Otherwise, there would be laws during the pregnancy that would let one parent opt out of being responsible for the child."

and I pointed out the law that does allow mothers to opt out and father's can't. How would adding "after birth" make ANY sense?

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gigglemonster

Ashley, men cannot opt out voluntarily ~anywhere~ in the states. If Mom wanted them to pay support, they would be ordered to. They cannot get away with that unless they are allowed too.

Your examples are oversimplified of the actual process.

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gigglemonster

Ima, you cannot see the difference? After birth, abortion is not abortion -- it's murder at that point.

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gigglemonster

Maybe I need to explain my thinking -- if you take a look at a lot of the big male rights movements, one of their goals is to have an opt out during a woman's pregnancy where they wouldn't be financially responsible for the child after birth or any costs incurred by the mother during pregnancy.

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kkny

That may be a goal, but I don't see it happening. The taxpayers don't want to end up supporting these children.

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finedreams

iamommy, of course I never said she does not have not listen to SM. But SM was never out of line or crazy but if she would, I would tell X to keep his wife from bothering my kid.

If DD would have crazy SM and I would have no power over changing visitations or my X would refuse to protect my kid and keep his wife in line, maybe I would have no other options but tell DD to not listen to SM.

Also if SM's values are compltely different from mine and she teaches my child wrong things or things that contradict what is acceptable by my standards I would talk to X, but what if my X is crazy and refuses to listen. I would have to tell DD not to listen to SM.

I cannot think of a specific example... Well maybe if SM demands something like DD attending some religious institution, or hanging out with some bad influence relatives or somehting, or she demands DD does some extreme house work like dig up holes wiht a shovel etc. And X is just not doing his job to make SM to back off. To protect DD i would have to tell her not to listen to SM. I understand it is all hypothetical, nobody here does this kind of stuff but don't you think some SMs could be crazy...

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finedreams

DH has to be greatful that SM is helping him to raise the stepkids. But BM does not have to be greatful that SM is helping her X.

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imamommy

"Also if SM's values are compltely different from mine and she teaches my child wrong things or things that contradict what is acceptable by my standards I would talk to X"

Your ex lives his life contradicting YOUR acceptable standards. He cheats on his women... or do you think that's an acceptable standard? That is an influence on your daughter, whether you think it is or not. She may decide that cheating is okay, or she may decide cheating is terrible, but her father's cheating does influence her.

and yes, there are crazy PEOPLE. Some of those people are stepparents and some of them are bio parents. and some are both.

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colleen777

Of course you don't have to be grateful, and in my view being a stepmother holds much more importance than being granted an indebtedness of gratefulness.

But if a friend or neighbor were to give your child a ride to school for example, I am quite sure you would express many thanks for that, or otherwise they would soon stop doing that favour for you.

When a bio parent withholds any expression of thanks that they would normally extend to anyone BUT stepmom, those people are demonstrating disregard and will state with enormous hostility I never ASKED for YOUR help.

But just for fun, and IF you want to see some fur flying, phone biomom and tell her how grateful you are for what she does for your stepchild.

Yes fd, crazy people come in all flavours, just like anything else. Some as sm, some are bm, some are teachers, some are etc. etc.

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serenity_now_2007

"But if a friend or neighbor were to give your child a ride to school for example, I am quite sure you would express many thanks for that, or otherwise they would soon stop doing that favour for you."

Main differences here, though, are:

1. A step-parent isn't a friend or neighbor; the main distinction is that the step-parent is at least partially responsible for proper care and decent treatment of the child in question, in a more-or-less "official" way that a friend or neighbor is not.
2. Proper care and decent treatment of a child entrusted to a step-parent's partial care and responsibility does not equate to a ride to school or other such gratuitous favor.
3. IF you're a decent human being (as opposed to say, a foul-stinking pile of s**t), you simply don't have the option to "stop doing that favor" if the child's parent does not follow your particular standards of etiquette.

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ashley1979

I'm not grateful for my DS's BD's GF. But I am thankful that she loves him and cares about him. There is a big difference in being grateful and thankful. I don't get to choose to my X wants as his GF and I don't get to make the rules at his house. But, in my situation, both my BF and his GF really love DS and I am very thankful for that. I would like to keep it that way so I work with BD's GF in a way that FSD's BM doesn't work with me. Like I said, we all need to be thakful that our children are so blessed to have more than the minimum 2 parents that love and care for them no matter how we may hate how that situation came about.

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kkny

Colleen, if I asked a friend to drive my DD to school, and the friend, without asking me, had a third person drive DD to school, I would be annoyed. The fact is when a SM drives a child to school, she is generally helping out the DAD. When my Xs SO calls me, which is infrequent, she is generally so blotto nothing she says would surprise me.

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finedreams

iammommy, DD is 20. She is a grown woman. She is in a year long cohabitating commited relationship. She is a grown woman. Maybe she would be too, should her situation be different. We were talking about children, not grown people.

Also I thought you started this topic about BMs and Sms. I am talking about SMs teaching bad things (hypothetically). and you bring her father teaching her wrong things. Why do you bring my ex-husband here i do not know. It is like if you started thread about SMs and BMs, but I would say: fathers of your children taught them the wrong things by abandoning them or being criminals or being blah, blah, blah. It would be off topic and absolutelly unnecessary.

imaommy it is up to us, the parents, what we wanted to teach DD-bad or good (when she was a child) but it is not up to SM. I and X could figure it out between us.

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finedreams

if i ask a neighbour to drive DD or ask my mother to babyist her then of course i am greatful. when my X askss someone else to drive DD then he should be greatful because this person helps him. Of course if i would be personally asking someone to help with DD (including SM) I would have to be apprecative. But i just do not see under what circumstances I personally would ask SM to drive DD or babysit her.

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finedreams

my previous post about DD being in a relationship was cut off. it said that i was married in age 20 and DD could be married too if her situation would be different.

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ceph

Replying to various bits of this thread... I think the big thing that prevents SPs and BPs from getting along is immaturity.

Ima said: when a child says 'stepmom said this to me' or 'stepmom did that', then the mother should be telling her child, did you talk to your dad about it? Not, 'that stupid bltch' and start a big fight over it"
Yes, that's what they SHOULD be doing, but a lot of people simply aren't mature enough for that. It takes a fair bit of determination and personal security to react in the right way... And TBH, there's a lot of insecure people out there.

Serenity said: "I think it's great to have *as a GOAL* that everyone ***GENUINELY*** gets along... as long as some extremely important principles are remembered"
Good point! In any relationship (romantic, platonic, coworker, exspouse, etc) there are times when you have to agree to disagree. You might really like the person, and want to work together towards a common end, but you can't see eye to eye all the time... So once again, there's that maturity thing. A mature person says "It's OK for us to disagree, as long as we keep working together towards our goal." An immature person says "No! It's my way or the highway!"

FD said: "If one of the parents or both choose to remarry and delegate to someone else (SM, SF or sometimes grandparents) the other parent never asked for it!"
Now that BM has warmed up to me, she appreciates my involvement in A__'s life. No, she didn't ASK for FDH to get into a relationship with me, but she knew that he wasn't going to be single forever, so FDH says she considers it a bonus that A__ and I get along well, and that I make her life easier by being involved with A__. So, I think a good parent should look at it like how Pollyanna plays "The Glad Game"... IMO, a rational person thinks "OK, well my ex has found someone, and this is totally out of my hands, but I'm glad they get along with my child(ren) so well!"
(But there's that maturity thing again. It takes maturity to not be jealous that another "parental figure" gets along so well with your child)

Doodle said: "they ask for help getting shoes on, or doing their homework, or running bath water...are you going to say "Go away kid, you bother me."?"
FDH was living with his brother. FDH's brother is mean-spirited and useless. He DID say stuff like that to A__. I gave Uncle an earful one day when A__ asked his uncle if he would like to join us for lunch "Ceph made lots - you want to come eat with us?" and his reply was "No because I don't like being around you." Oh, did he catch sh!7 from me!

FD said: "of course I never said she does not have not listen to SM. But SM was never out of line or crazy but if she would, I would tell X to keep his wife from bothering my kid. If DD would have crazy SM and I would have no power over changing visitations or my X would refuse to protect my kid and keep his wife in line, maybe I would have no other options but tell DD to not listen to SM."
Very well put! And I agree with Ima that it sounds as if you dealt with SM pretty reasonably over the years...

Colleen said: "When a bio parent withholds any expression of thanks that they would normally extend to anyone BUT stepmom..."
Boy, did you hit the nail on the head! I was hopping mad the time that BM said "Well then, tell Ceph she'll have to pick him up from school!" but I have ZERO problems with being ASKED to pick him up from school... "Can you ask Ceph of she could please pick him up from school?" is perfectly fine by me!
BM rarely uses the actual words "thank you" to me, but she responds often with things like "Yeah, that would be great" or "It's good that you called to tell me" or "OK. Awesome". Which is good enough for me! I love A__ and am happy to be one of his caregivers, I just don't want to feel taken advantage of or resented. I don't expect BM to throw me a parade, but I appreciate when she is considerate and acknowledges me!
BM seems to have matured a lot this winter, both towards FDH and by stepping up to the plate to take care of her son. So I think her new attitude towards me is an extension of that.

Ashley said: "But, in my situation, both my BF and his GF really love DS and I am very thankful for that. I would like to keep it that way so I work with BD's GF"
Good for you! That's the attitude that more people need! Getting along with GF, working together with her, and even though she might not be who you would choose, being glad she loves your child!

KK said: "The fact is when a SM drives a child to school, she is generally helping out the DAD."
Probably this is generally true. But if SM driving the child to school means that they don't have to be at a daycare for two hours before school, then I would think Mom should be happy too. Or, in our case, if I pick up A__ from school, it's more likely to be as a favour to BM, who otherwise would have to make arrangements for A__ until FDH finishes work at 5:30 (that's how they do things, although I realize that's not how everyone else does things). BM once called me to say "I know A__'s dad is on nights this week, but it's my BF's birthday and I'd really like to take him out for dinner. Are you free to watch A__ tomorrow evening?" "Yeah, you bet. If I pick him up from school, can you pick him up from my place after your birthday date?"
But, yes, in most cases, it's probably Dad who's getting the maximum favour from SM driving kids around.
But there's that maturity thing again. Does it matter that something nice that someone else did doesn't directly benefit ME? Nope. The fact remains that they did something nice and I should be happy that someone I know benefited from their actions. For example, I babysat my niece a few weeks back because my brother had to attend a meeting, and her mom picked her up while I was there. Her mom said "Thanks for watching her while he was out" even though it was really a favour to my brother, not directly to HER. But I thought that was quite nice of her.

Goodness, that got long! Sorry!

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doodleboo

I do not do everything I do for the girls to help out their father. If I go and drop 180 bucks on dresses, I assure you it isn't because Hubs was losing sleep over hoe many dresses they own. I also don't read to them at night or lpay dolls with them or take them swimming thinking of how much more he is going to love me for being kind to his children. Bah.

I do things for these children because they love me and trust me and I love them back. Plain and simple and their mother, whether she realizes it or not, is one lucky woman to have me as their stepmother.

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doodleboo

I agreed with your other posts but I think this one is double standard in alot of ways....

"1. A step-parent isn't a friend or neighbor; the main distinction is that the step-parent is at least partially responsible for proper care and decent treatment of the child in question, in a more-or-less "official" way that a friend or neighbor is not.
2. Proper care and decent treatment of a child entrusted to a step-parent's partial care and responsibility does not equate to a ride to school or other such gratuitous favor.
3. IF you're a decent human being (as opposed to say, a foul-stinking pile of s**t), you simply don't have the option to "stop doing that favor" if the child's parent does not follow your particular standards of etiquette."


1. This statement goes completely against what everyone ,not you serenity, has been spewing. I have heard so many times that the step parent is not REQUIRED to do anything for the kids. It was said it is the mother and fathers responsibility therefore no appreciation should be expected. What is being said here is the opposite so which one is it. Are we expected or un-obligated.
2. If a ride to school is considered gratuitous I can't imagine what cleaning up vomit at 3 in the morning when you have to be up at 5 for work would be considered. This has personally happened to me by the way.
3. If the bio parent is a decent human being and not a "foul-stinking pile of s$&*" they would take the work and love another human being puts into raising their child consideration, by choice or otherwise, get over the petty hang ups and give a simple thanks now and again.

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doodleboo

"DH has to be greatful that SM is helping him to raise the stepkids. But BM does not have to be greatful that SM is helping her X."

I think this is the whole problem in many stepmom/biomom issues. Notice it ends with BM does not have to grateful that SM is helping her X...X being the key point, and not children. It's not about not choosing, or being an unfit step parent or not being obligated or any of that. It is about the other woman being with the X and sharing a family structure with him and his children and for alot of women the thought of that is too hard to get over. It wouldn't matter if the SM was Mother Theresa she would never "win over" the mom.

My husband made an interesting point. A woman can have a child with one man, divorce and re-marry FIVE TIMES and still never truly move on from the man she fathered the child with. He's right. That's why the OP's ex wife in the post that spun off the posts wife would never speak to the new wife. Not because the new wife was crazy, not because she was abad influence but because she is still hung up on the father.

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imamommy

KKNY, before my husband got custody, BM would call him to have me pick up their daughter when she just 'couldn't'. and I put quotes because she wasn't working and lived a few blocks from the school. She was 'too busy' and I would drive almost an hour to pick her up. I didn't do that for my husband. I did it because BM had better things to do and my stepdaughter needed me. BM never once said thanks to me. The last time I drove the hour to take SD to taekwondo because her mom asked DH to have me bring her (she would never ask me herself for some reason), she made a big scene in front of everyone there and tried to humiliate me. I guess that may be the reason she never asked me for anything... then she might feel obligated to be nice since I was doing her a favor. So, no it isn't always just helping out dad's.

BTW, when they were sharing 50/50 and SD went to school near BM's house, he would drive SD every morning over to her mom's house, SD was able to say hi to her mom and he gave her older sister a ride to school so BM didn't have to get up and take her. BM never once said thank you for that. In fact, he went there one morning and asked BM if he could get his video camera she borrowed (his $5000 camera) because she had it for over a month and he needed it. She and her mom went off on him. They cussed him out and yelled at him for asking that early in the morning. That was the last time he went to pick up SD's sister for school. It's pretty sad that he's tried to be a nice guy to her after they broke up and she treats him like that. I don't think it's because she's upset with him, I think she was upset with other things in her life but she takes it out on him and she does it in front of her kids. He wasn't going to put SD in that position again.

and I also thought that what serenity said sure sounded like a double standard to me too. There are no 'main differences' when it comes to common courtesy. You can make the argument that most of the time, SM is helping dad but as I mentioned above, that's not always the case. When a mom will leave her kids with the neighbor so she can run errands or hang out with her friends and drink but gives dad hell when he lets SM take the kids to the park without him, (or do anything alone with the kids for that matter as Ashley stated in her post), then the mom is being a selfish mean spirited person that cares more about herself than her children. If the child has an opportunity to have a good relationship with a stepparent and that is ruined over the other parent's jealousy, insecurity or hatred, then it's the kids that suffer.

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finedreams

so doodle I have to be greatful that X brought someone nice to DD's life and has a family together?...:) I am happy that DD is happy, but "greatful" is a stertch.

doodle, DD is on her 4th SM. SEe, you cannot make conclusions before you know individual situations.

DD was very upset he left SM #3. They got along well. So why should I be greatful that he dumped her and got another one? Everything settled down now and I am glad. But greatful? hhmmm


Yes, i would be greatful if X stay with SM #2 or at least SM #3. No, i am not greatful that DD is on SM #4. yes, they all nice women, he likes nice women. lol But so what?

doodle, knowing high divorce rates for second marriages, very many kids end up observe their fathers and mothers in their third and fourth marriages etc. It is naive to assume Kids will have nice stepparents and live happily ever after. We wish they would!


I do not mind and do not care (as long as children are taken care of) same as he does not mind whoever i am with. We are happily over each other long time ago. But i cannot say that i am ecstatic that he finds one woman after another.

I think it is important that we treat each situation differently. You need to understand that not every situation is like yours.

also, doodle, i personally do not know anyone IRL who is hung up on their ex-husbands. I do not know anyone, and I know a lot of divorced people. i actually know more men who can't get over their exes, I even had dates with some! In my expereince women move on faster and eaisier.

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theotherside

"You can't be there to help your children all the time as a result and neither can your ex. There is someone willing to fill that void"

What void? The child had two parents when they were married, and the child still has two parents. Why would there be a void?

And why on earth would abortion be any less acceptable just because she was carrying twins? If it is unacceptable to abort twins, it is also unacceptable to abort a single fetus.

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finedreams

yeah, that comment was strange. If parents got divorced, there is a void that needs to be filled by someone else?

When i am not there with DD, she does not feel a void that needs to be filled. I am still there, even if physically I am not in the same room. Nonbody can or should be 100% there. But it does not mean there is a void or that it has to be filled.

if neither parent remarries, will there be a void in kids' lives? I don't think so.

Now if a parent or a grandparent or a sibling dies, then there is a void, but that void cannot be filled....

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gigglemonster

"That's why the OP's ex wife in the post that spun off the posts wife would never speak to the new wife. Not because the new wife was crazy, not because she was abad influence but because she is still hung up on the father."

That's a very narrow view of women in general. There are many reasons why a parent would choose to only speak with the other parent. Certainly there are some women that are still hung up on their EX, TOW situations immediately spring to mind. I can't say I would put any blame on BM for not wanting to talk to TOW about her children under any circumstance, that is a rather cruel punishment.

But not all and probably not even a significant fraction of women who choose not to communicate with the Ex's new wife are doing it because they are hung up on their Ex. BM in my situation would prefer just to communicate with one person, and I can understand that. There is no need for me to communicate with her, she can talk to DH and he relays whatever I need to know.

In the case you are referring to in the other thread, his ex left him. Doesn't sound like she is hung up on the surface, nor does he mention Ex being hung up on him as a problem. And I would argue that SM in that situation was a bad influence in that instance, more the reason why BM has no reason to talk to her to engage in her antics. Past behavior indicates future behavior to most people, one ugly instance would cement in my mind that this person is not the person I'd want to be in communication with if I don't have too.

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mistihayes

Skimmed through many of the posts here. I just have to say that I am grateful to anyone who is good to my children. It doesn't matter if it is the Sunday school teacher offering an extra 5 minutes or a grandparent sending a pair of socks. I'm totally 100% grateful. I will always be grateful to my X's girlfriend that made my daughter smile. How could you not be grateful to someone who cares about your child?

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justnotmartha

I'm going to swing this back around to the subject of the original post by quoting Giggle; "I agree that it would be nice for all parties to get along, but it is hardly necessary for the child's best interests. It shouldn't extend to the child anyway."

I touched on this in another post, but I'll get back on my soapbox because I know from experience how very necessary it can be if it does extend to the child.

To explain; if child has no idea mom and SM don't get along - they are polite when face to face, withhold negative comments about the other from the child, do not put the child in the middle of an insecurity war to determine with 'mom' is loved more - then you are correct, it is not necessary. The two could hate each other AS LONG AS THAT IS NOT PASSED ON TO THE CHILD.

Unfortunately, what seems to be predominant on this board is that the child is placed in the middle of the 'mom' war. They are told, by one or both sides, how horrible the other is. The are placed in situations where they have to pick between their 'moms' because they are told they can't love both, or are made to feel like a traitor if they do. They have to listen to one mom call the other a know nothing, matter not b!tch.

You can not say that to live in a situation like this is in the best interest of any child. If ALL parents could act like the adults they are then getting along would not be needed because the child wouldn't be aware that there was anything but a civil, working relationship. It's when the parents act like children and put their own interests before the best interests of the child that the problems arise.

Stepping off my box . . .

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theotherside

If a parent has reason to believe that the SM, or anyone anywhere for that matter, is a bad influence on the child, or is modeling inappropriate/dangerous/immoral behavior, it is the responsibility of the parent to make the child aware that such behavior is not in keeping with the parent's moral code. If a child came home and recounted a story of the SM (or friend's mother, or uncle, or whoever) "cleverly" shoplifting a candy bar, would you not tell the child that shoplifting is wrong?

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imamommy

theotherside, I can agree to a point, but then it goes back to what is morally fine with one is not with the other. Here's an example:

DH wants his little girl to be a little girl. He wants her dressed in cute girly outfits that "he" thinks are age (7-8) appropriate for his innocent little girl.

BM wants to dress her little girl in short mini skirts and tank tops. BM likes the attention she gets when she hangs around the beach or public pool in her bikini. She takes her daughters with her and her daughter, at age 6-9, wants to dress sexy and in skimpy clothes... SD nearly breaks her neck to see a teenage or even some grown guys walking by... SD talks about this guy is hott and sexy... SD went with me to the college to run an errand and there were a couple of guys in their 20's that she insisted were checking her out. SHE'S 9. Her behavior is keeping with her mother's moral code. Is that acceptable to anyone??? What if dad's moral code is different??? Does HE get a choice in how his daughter is raised or is it up to only mom???

When it's the parent that is modeling the immoral behavior like cheating, stealing, lying or being slutty, then does that same parent get to gripe about a stepparent that is modeling the other parent's moral code which may be different? I have been criticized for feeding healthy food, for making her bathe, for monitoring tv & movies for age appropriateness, etc. I agree that a mom has the right to protect her child from being exposed to immoral or harmful things. Parents have the right to raise their children how they see fit, but they don't always have the right to decide if the other parent's morals are acceptable. When a stepparent is involved, they should be representative of their spouses 'moral code'. My husband and I are complete agreement on that. If the mom is in disagreement with the morals the child is learning at the other parent's house, they need to take it up with the other parent, not the stepparent.

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justnotmartha

"If the mom is in disagreement with the morals the child is learning at the other parent's house, they need to take it up with the other parent, not the stepparent."
Even more to the point - they need to take it up with the adult responsible, not the child.

"If a parent has reason to believe that the SM, or anyone anywhere for that matter, is a bad influence on the child, or is modeling inappropriate/dangerous/immoral behavior, it is the responsibility of the parent to make the child aware that such behavior is not in keeping with the parent's moral code. If a child came home and recounted a story of the SM (or friend's mother, or uncle, or whoever) "cleverly" shoplifting a candy bar, would you not tell the child that shoplifting is wrong?"

You are crossing morals and laws here, TOS. Yes, if an adult is demonstrating to a child, through actions or words, behaviors that are against the law the child should be told right away that those actions are absolutely not allowed and against the law. A call should then be placed to the other parent (or uncle, etc.) and depending on the situation, the police.

Now, the moral issue is a more complicated one. Let's take Ima's example of how to dress a 9 year old as an example. It is against she and her DH's morals to dress a child like a tramp. I'm certain you feel the same, as do I. But, the other parent feels it is perfectly moral and acceptable. Who is right? Who's moral's 'win'? So when you say "it is the responsibility of the parent to make the child aware that such behavior is not in keeping with the parent's moral code" do you mean the collective parent, or are you giving this 'right' to the mother? Should Ima's DH, in this case, sit his daughter down and say It doesn't matter if your mom bought you that mini skirt, you can't wear it because your mom makes you look like a slut? Or, should he leave his daughter out of the issue and address it with the source - in this case, mom? Can mom then ignore his requests for age appropriate clothing and buy her more mini skirts? Does she have the right, morally, to just declare him wrong?

Really, in this case and most other 'minor moral dilemmas' it is a matter of opinion. Unless a child is in imminent danger or we're discussing a criminal act, discussing it with the child before the other parent isn't likely the most responsible choice.

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theotherside

Yes, I do think it is the father's (but NOT the SM's) responsibility to tell his child that the clothing is inappropriate for her age. I wouldn't use the word slut, especially with a nine year old.

If my exH refused to feed the children meat (he actually cooks more or less the same way he did when he was at home, so it is not an issue), I would tell my children that I believe it is important to eat meat in order to get enough protein, iron, and calories. If they were spending half their time with their father, I would talk to him about it as well, because it would be a health issue. I think each parent has not just the right but also the responsibility to share their values and beliefs with their children, whether you are married to each other or not. He would have an equal right to share his views about vegetarianism.

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finedreams

that's what i was talking about TOS when i was trying to describe in what cases I would tell DD: do not listen to SM. If she would teach anything immoral to DD or do anything immoral in DD's presence. or simply something what I think is not right for DD. If DD would be taught wrong things at school, i would take her to a different school. But i would have no power to take her out of the house with crazy SM, so all I could do just tell DD to not listen.

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finedreams

of course DH has absolute right to instill his values in his children, and to teach them how to be modest and how to be this or that. Who says only mom should?

It is very challenging when parents have such different values but that's maybe why parents ended up divorced. So now they have to balance and negotiate and explain etc.

And it is very confusing when children are taught completely different things in two houses.

But it is still up to the parents not SMs or SFs, unless they completely replaced the other parent. Under no circumstances would i want SM to tell DD how to dress. If let's assume for example i went crazy and told DD to dress inappropriatelly, then dad has his rights to explain to her that this is the wrong way. Not SM.

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finedreams

what to do when parents have very different values....I guess ther is one thing we can do...

H we can hve children with people who at least share some basic values wiht you so in case you get divorced, you know the other parent will not dress your children in skimply clothes, will not feed them unhealthy food, will not teach them that education is not important etc etc etc. At least you will know that your children are taken care of even if you are divorced.

I can somehow understand that when people have children very young they can't predict importance of sharing values, at age 20 it does not come to mind, unfortuantelly. But when people have children in their late 20s, 30s or 40s with people who do not share their values, then there is really no one to blame but ourselves. And guess who suffers...children of course.

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doodleboo

On the abortion thing...I think it is horrible and disgusting. That's why hubby was ASHAMED (I think is the word I used) to tell me it was even considered. He told me this in his defense one night when the girls mom had an epidsode and I barked at him "What on earth possessed you to knock this woman up? Did you think she'd be a good mother? His reply was it was totally unplanned, he knew she would be a horrible mother, abortion was considered as a result. I never agreed with that and I'm glad they didn't go through with it or the girls wouldn't be here. He decided to accept responsibility for the "mistake that was made". That's quoting him. Mistakes aren't planned.

I hate to tell you but there are VOIDS in divorced childrens lives. When they are at mom's, they are missing a dad. When they are at dad's, they are missing a mom. Plain and simple. The daughter can't just go and talk to a female figure about boys, or their cycle, or wanting to buy a bra when they are at dad's. If there is a STABLE (key word STABLE, as in not the third of fourth wife, Finedreams your ex sounds like a player) mother figure there at dad's house who is a GOOD influence I think it does help to fill a void for that child. When she's at dad's she has a woman she can confide in. How is that a bad thing for a teenage girl?

And again, I'm sorry but bitterness and immaturity has ALOT to do with the problems in step/bio FEMALE relations. Notice I said FEMALE. If there is no jealousy, bitterness, competition going on why on earth would it be so hard to say "Did you buy her that outfit? It's really cute." or "She really seemes to enjoy that trip to the river. Thanks for taking her. Maybe we'll go sometime next week." Why in the hell would that be so hard to do if there were no ill feelings and if the step is NOT crazy and is NOT a bad influence and is NOT mean to the children....what other excuse would there be????

And don't tell me because I didn't choose her or she knew what she was getting into because that is just copout and a poor excuse for being openly rude.

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doodleboo

This is simple. As long as it isn't as serious as religion choice or the like there IS a simple solution. There are rules at DAD'S house and rules at MOM'S house. The girls always say "But mama let's us do it." The reply is always "Well, this isn't you'r mama's house." Their mother inforces that as well. She will tell them "Ask your Daddy and Dana." because she knows the rules here with us are different. Simple. If all parties are willing to work together and not act like brats.

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finedreams

doodle, there are voids because parents are divorced, but these voids can not be filled by anyone else but the parent. when i was not there no other woman could fill the void or when dad was not there no other man could fill the void. not every void has to be or even can be filled by someone else. unless people conciously look for a replacement fot the other parent there will always be a void. it is a legacy of a broken marriage and it is sad but that's the reality of life.

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serenity_now_2007

Doodle-

I know it's already several posts back, but just wanted to say that I mostly agree in essence with your counterpoints to the "1,2,3" points I made earlier. Where I think the conflict comes in is when the SP is *not* the genuinely caring, loving sort that you seem to be --(your earlier post about doing things for your SD's b/c you really love them was genuinely touching, and I think you are sincere in that)-- but when the SP (or even the BP, for the sake of argument) is *not*. That's, I think, the difference: I was focusing on the worst case scenarios, whereas you and other sincerely loving step- and bio- parents on here are coming from a context where you actually do care. In that case, the SP's just want to be appreciated and not hated for the things they do out of genuine love for the SK's. I can understand the frustration in that, certainly... But I still say that even if they DON'T get that appreciation, they still have a moral obligation to care for the kids properly. I think my ultimate point (again, addressing the issue from in the context of what happens in the worst case scenarios) is that when the SP DOESN'T genuinely love the SKs, and starts taking their frustrations with the spouse or spouse's ex out on the kids (either by mistreatment or denial of 'favors', etc. *to the kids*), that it's not okay or justifiable to do so simply becasue they don't feel they're getting the proper respect or appreciation from the spouse or the spouse's ex.

I guess, like most situations (and as Ceph was making this point): of course it would be wonderful if everyone was mature, had no insecurities, loved the kids in question, did their best to treat them well and to treat all the other adults involved well also. It would be such a sweet and thoughtful gesture for *both* the SP's and the BP's to say to each other: "You are so good with the kids, and I personally appreciate all you do for them." And maybe sometimes all of this actually happens. (Of course, there also is the very real and thorny issue of what happens when the adults involved, though all are well-intentioned, nonetheless strongly disagree about what "love" and "concern" even mean... for example a "tough love" vs. "unconditional love" approach...)

Let's face it: it's pretty darn inevitable that there will be *some* run-ins, disagreements, and subsequent bad feelings in these situations. And it doesn't always make people very disposed to yield too much praise (or in soem cases control/authority) to the other adults in the situation. And then there are things like jealousy, insecurity and comparisons, on behalf of ALL parties involved, that enter the mix for various reasons. Try as we might (and should) to rise above pettiness and jealousy and competition wherever we encounter it (including in ourselves), it IS natural to some extent, most especially in divorce/remarriage situations. The feelings exist, it's pretty impossible to make them disappear entirely. It's what we choose to do with them/about them that is important. (This is why in the case of Openskies' situation on the other thread, I agree that his wife as a right to her feelings and he should encourage her to express them TO HIM, but I harshly criticize what she instead DID WITH those feelings in yoking in his daughter. The feelings are acceptable, the actions taken on them were not.) Just as it may be immature and less-than-wonderfully-kind to with-hold praise/appreciation to the other parent figure, it's equally uncompassionate to fail to understand that it just might feel a little too wierd or be too difficult to muster up (especially under duress from that very person) because of the nature of the situation, and to keep insisting on it becomes a form of taunting. I truly believe there are other ways to build a relationship between the parties that eventually finds them all expressing their appreciation naturally, when they are most genuinely feeling it. It just can't be forced or insisted upon, that's against the very nature of true giving as well as true gratitude.

So, again, in terms of what ISN'T the correct way to deal with bad feelings: what I find unacceptable is when a parent (step or bio!!!) winds up punishing the kids in one way or another for their upsets with the other adults. THAT is most definitely where I feel that every adult in the kids' life, whoever the kid looks to for basic needs and basic decent treatment (I'm including teachers, grand-parents, babysitters... anyone who ever is given any kind of trust with the kids), IS REQUIRED to provide unconditionally decent treatment to that child. To cease doing so, citing (so everyone hears) "you know, REALLY, I don't HAVE to do anything for the kids at all...", to me is fundamentally wrong. While that fact may be true by law and circumstance, in that case it would be the ABUSE of that fact that would be wrong. People shouldn't do the proper thing (in this case, caring properly for a minor child entrusted to them, in one way or the other, or at least part-time) because they expect some kind of reward for it from somebody. They have a right to FEEL saddened or hurt if they don't get such rewards, and they have a right to express these feelings in the proper and relevant contexts. But I stand wholeheartedly by what I said: only a sack of s**t as a person would feel they have the right to cease treating the kids right because of the lack of the desired prize from someone else. I doubt that the majority of SP's or BP's on here would ever do that in practice, so imo it seems unproductive and mis-placed to dwell on what *technically* you don't HAVE to do...

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pseudo_mom

I have stayed out of this post with my Bulls987 going on but ....

I think My opinion I don't care what everyone else thinks or says ... but here goes

I do for my SC because I want to not because I have to ... and if I am getting nothing out of it not even the sense of satisfaction on my part, hubby's part or SC if they do not appreciate what I am doing for them I will not do it ... they are not my children I do not have to sacrifice anything for them .... He is my husband I have to do for him (within reason) I have to do for my children.

If you went into work everyday and your co-workers who have two bosses while you only answer to one ... did nothing but berate and belittle you to the other boss, how long would you continue to work there ... even though your boss is great compliments your work daily tells you what a fabulous job your doing and the minute you walk out of her office your co-workers and the other boss start slamming you .... the other boss enables them gives them comments to sling your way and your co-workers know they are supported by "their boss" and can get away with it with out any reprecussions so they just keep going and going and nothing your boss can do about she sees it but because her and the other boss are "equals" nothing can be done.

How would you feel about doing that job everyday ... if it wasn't for your boss you would find another job?

As far as a void ... no I am not filling the mother void thats her job .... but I am doing the mothering(verb)... thats the void I fill. Mom is welcome to come in and do their laundry, clean their rooms, make them take baths, do homework with them anytime she feels like it ... she can cook dinner for them everynight have a good time. I will sit with my hubby and enjoy my time with him while she does the things a mother should be doing but since she isn't here I guess I will do them so I will fill that void of a female adult in my home.

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finedreams

pseudo who does "fathering" when kids are with mom? is she remarried? if your DH would not remarry, who would do the "mothering" when kids were with him?

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ashley1979

Okay.......so what happened to teaching our kids by example? We can't control what lessons their other parents teach them. That's one reason (I'm assuming) most of us got divorced in the first place (I know it was for me). So how about teaching them about love and gratitude by example, not by words? How can they learn to be grateful if we aren't? Be the bigger person. How can they learn to rise above bad situations if we wallow in it? Treat others how you would want to be treated. The golden rule! If we want to be appreciated by others dont we need to be appreciative? The kids will see that and learn the more valuable lessons in life by your example. Kids get conflicting information. Do as I say; not as I do. We tell thim with our words, but we tell them even more with our actions. I'm definitely not perfect, but I strive for this on a daily basis. It is always on the forefront of my mind every time I slip and say something or do something I shouldn't have. I actually think to myself "What kind of a lesson did I just teach my son?" We all have to go through situations we don't like and we didn't chose. It's how we handle ourselves that situation that defines our charachter, not how well we can manipulate others or how hateful we can be towards the TOW. What lesson does that teach our kids? And, yes, it a good goal for everyone to get along. Not ONLY for the kids, but for ourselves. I DO believe that every parent (BPs and SPs) should be grateful for good, peaceful and functional relationips with the otehr parents. Because it could be a bad, hectic and disfunctional relationship they could be in and miserable.

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serenity_now_2007

Pseudo--

"and if I am getting nothing out of it not even the sense of satisfaction on my part, hubby's part or SC if they do not appreciate what I am doing for them I will not do it ..."

"How would you feel about doing that job everyday ... if it wasn't for your boss you would find another job?"

Yes, certainly it would be within your rights to "quit" such a job (or leave such a relationship) that was not bringing you any satisfaction. But as long as you are choosing to remain IN the job (or the relationship, with the kids who come along with it entrusted to your care, at least part-time), there is a responsibility to do that job.

And as with any job, you of course have some flexibility in determining how much (or how little) of the job description you are going to do. Some people choose to exceed expectations at their jobs, some do the bare minimum. But anyone who does less than the bare minimum generally finds themselves faced with certain repercussions. Either they get fired, or if it's a situation where it's harder to fire people, they get met with other forms of conflict or "freezing out" used by others to express their dissatisfaction. They generally don't get praise from any of the bosses nor any of their co-workers.

In the job of being a step-parent of a child under 18, with ANY custody whatsoever (or for the duration of their visitation) the minimum requirements are to be met regardless. These include ensuring adeqaute food, shelter and necessary items for school at all times (or at least not impeding or witholding these); addressing the child with respectful language and tone, refraining from verbal, physical, or psychological abuse (which includes witholding necessary items, criticizing, unfair and unequal treatment relative to siblings or step-siblings, breaking promises, placing child in inappropriate double-binds, forcing child to make impossible choices or forcing child to deliver verbal or psychological onslaughts to his/her parents, and blatantly levying power over child by reminding him/her that fair and decent treatment by you to him/her is soley at your discretion and caprices, based on what he/she or other individuals may do or not to offend your personal sensibilities).

On top of these minimum requirements, if you choose to go any extra mile, that's your choice (and it often ---but not always--- tends to happen that you get back the love and concern you give), but the above basic requirements must be met.

For whatever your reasons, if you cannot or will not meet these minimum requirements, then alternate arrangements must be made for the child's care (by you, your spouse, or some other adult) and you are not ever to be trusted alone with the child again. Failure to comply with THAT is called child abuse and is grounds for immediate dismissal.

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pseudo_mom

Define fathering???

Hubby was a stay at home dad until BM left ... then he had to work to support his children.... she left and stuck him with all the marital debt filed personal and business bankruptcy and since he was co-signer on all marital assets he became responsible for all marital debt.

He is still paying for a camper and truck that were repossessed. He will be done with paying for those in October.

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colleen777

It really is a conundrum isn't it? BM is not going to be replaced by any other woman and dad may or may not be trying to do just that. I can guarantee you no male would tolerate that kind of end run without a fight.

It is much easier for a male to find a female willing assume the role of tending to the children, than it is for a female to find a male who will tend to the children. CS has to be paid, and even if it doesn't have to be paid, it is going to be paid, and unfortunately society still doesn't support wage parity.

And we end up in the same place, with females depreciating each others' value and fighting with each other and SOME males standing on the side reaping all the benefits and shaking their heads at what they consider silly, ridiculous female politics. And, as someone pointed out, it is almost always the females that are fighting, and that is not because males are more mature, less possessive, etc. etc.

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pseudo_mom

I get it no matter what Stepparents (mostly SM's) should just accept the fact that they married someone with children and shut up stop complaining about a life they chose .... it doesn't matter what the Bioparents say or do as Stepparents we are second class citizens and are not entitled to an opinion on anything.

serenity ... why is it only on the SP to provide those things .... parents don't have an obligation to?

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finedreams

pseudo you said you do the mothering when kids are with you, so i wanted to know who does fathering when kids are with mom.

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imamommy

finedreams, what do you mean by 'fathering'? My husband works to support his daughter and he comes home, helps her with her homework, eats dinner with her, reads her stories, supervises her nightly routine (shower, teeth, hair), tucks her into bed. What more does a father do? I cook dinner. I help her with her homework before he gets home so she can have more time to 'play' with him, I do her laundry occasionally, again to save time for her to spend with him. What more does a father typically do? (in a marriage, not a single father. Obviously, a single father is going to handle both roles, just as a single mother would do.)

and I disagree with Serenity, it's NOT my responsibility. It is her father's. I do those things if I want to. Whether it's because their daughter wants me to so she can spend time with her dad, or because dad is working all day and wants to relax when he gets home & spend time with her, it doesn't matter. They both benefit from it. I could 'babysit' her and leave those tasks for him to do and she would not get to sit and watch a movie or play a game like she enjoys. I've never thought of what I do as filling a void but I am filling the wife/mother role in our house. I'd like to think that if he were still with BM, she'd be doing the same things I'm doing. Maybe that's why she has a problem with me doing it, I'm in HER role. Instead, she should be happy, grateful, or whatever word fits, that her daughter is well taken care of. She doesn't have to like me. She doesn't have to 'appreciate' me. But, she should appreciate that her daughter doesn't have an evil hateful spiteful mean stepmom that is terrible to her child. There are women out there that don't want the kids around and wish they didn't exist. I'm not one of them and instead of saying "I'm lucky she cares for my child" she tries to convince her daughter that I am the evil stepmother that doesn't care for her. The day is going to come when the child realizes that her mom is telling her how much I hate her and yet I'm showing her how much I care. Right now, she wants to believe her mom but she's getting older and her eyes are opening with every lie and disappointment her mom gives her.

SERENITY SAID:

"In the job of being a step-parent of a child under 18, with ANY custody whatsoever (or for the duration of their visitation) the minimum requirements are to be met regardless. These include ensuring adeqaute food, shelter and necessary items for school at all times (or at least not impeding or witholding these); addressing the child with respectful language and tone, refraining from verbal, physical, or psychological abuse (which includes witholding necessary items, criticizing, unfair and unequal treatment relative to siblings or step-siblings, breaking promises, placing child in inappropriate double-binds, forcing child to make impossible choices or forcing child to deliver verbal or psychological onslaughts to his/her parents, and blatantly levying power over child by reminding him/her that fair and decent treatment by you to him/her is soley at your discretion and caprices, based on what he/she or other individuals may do or not to offend your personal sensibilities)."

Does this only apply to stepparents? I laughed so hard when I read this because everything a stepparent must do is exactly what her bio mom doesn't. She doesn't give her adequate (or healthy) food, shelter, or help in any way with school (she'd leave it in her backpack for us to help her with on Sunday nights). She talks to her about the court case and asks her where she wants to live all the time (making her choose mom over dad) and making her feel guilty for liking her stepmom. She ignores her daughter to spend time with and help her boyfriends kids in their activities. She breaks promise after promise and blames her dad or me. She won't even break bad news to her, she puts that on me or DH. Based on your interpretation of what the minimum requirements are for caring for a child under 18, her mother is abusing her. Her mother does all those things and thinks it's okay. She is the mother so she gets a pass. She calls it abuse because I feed her healthy food or tell her to take a longer shower so she's clean.

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pseudo_mom

define fathering???

What about a 2 mom or 2 dad household???? define mothering or fathering in those families???

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imamommy

and stepparents don't have any more of an obligation to the children than the neighbor. If I'm not being appreciated for what I do, I don't have to do it. He can hire a babysitter or daycare. He can get his daughter ready for school himself. He can do her laundry and cook for her. I do those things so they can have more time together because he works. The bare minimum or being a decent human being to a child is true regardless of who's child it is. If I am giving a group of neighbor kids and my stepchild a ride to school and they are all rude to me, I can discontinue that service as I choose. Hubby can drive his own daughter if he can't get her to behave for me, just as the neighbors can drive their own children if they can't get those children to behave for me. My husband knows it's not MY responsibility to raise his daughter and it's not expected that I have to take any rudeness or feel abused by her. and I'm not a sack of sh*t. I won't be treated like one and if he wants to pay a babysitter to be treated that way, good luck. I'm not saying that refusing to do things for her would leave her out in the cold fending for herself... that is neglect. But, I don't have to be the one doing it. That's why daycares were created. or he can stay home with her if he has to.

I know you were a stepchild with an awful stepmother, but when you have a stepchild that ignores you, talks back to you or defies you, just because... but then they want you to do things for them when their parent's aren't there.... let me know how that goes. I'm not talking about basic care. Kids are entitled to food... not their favorite foods. Kids are entitled to shelter/clothing... doesn't have to be exactly what they WANT. Kids are entitled to an education. Kids are not entitled to everything they WANT. And with my own kids, I would not tolerate them talking back to me or being disrespectful. If they thought they could treat me that way, they got the things they need, not the things they want. Why would it be any different with a stepchild?

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finedreams

question: we all agree (almost all) that BMs who do not want to foster good relationship with SMs (normal not crazy SMs) hurting the children and stirring the pot for no reason. but how about SMs not willing to have a decent relationship with BMs? Do SMs have any responsibility to be decent wiht BMs for the sake of the children of their DHs? and same for SFs.

what are everybody's thoughts?

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ashley1979

Who needs to "define fathering"? We all know what is a father's role and what is a mother's role. Even in same-sex relationships, there are obvious differences in the roles. No definition needed. It's splitting hairs. Just like Bill Clinton never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinksy. LOL!

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serenity_now_2007

Pseudo, the parents of course have the primary obligation to provide the proper care & support to their children. And a step-parent has the obligation to not interfere with this care & support for any reason. (And again, I am talking about basic things, not a step-parent's more understandable prerogative to express misgivings about a parent buying their child a mansion when the rest of the family is struggling to pay rent, or some such outrageous discrepancy well beyond basic care & consideration). A step-parent DOES have a legal right to say "I'm not doin' nothin'", but in the real everyday world this can often be untenable b/c the give-and-take of any relationship, plus the facts of a minor's depndency on adults when they are in the step-parent's presence really precludes the step-parent being able to divest themselves of ALL responsbility w/o it at times bordering on child abuse or neglect. Even if there was a situation where the step-parent could completely remove themselves from all responsibility for the step-child in their presence, this is likely to create other problems. Because the spouse will probably resent the step-parent's "I don't give a crap" attitude towards their children and deep-down question what kind of person they've chose for a partner, and the step-parent in question ---having relinquished "say" by relinquishing responsibility--- will resent now that they have no say.

This is where I see the problem really happening. Because practically no person courting or marrying someone with kids is going to say "I don't want to do anything for your kids" (that may fly when the kids are legal adult age and/or out of the house, but is not likely to strike the BP as very marriageable when the kids are minors and/or living in or visiting the house on any kind of regular basis). So the step-parent, I think, most often STARTS OUT saying s/he really loves kids, yadda yadda yadda and can't wait to be part of the blended family, etc. but soon finds ---naturally enough--- that there are inevitable points of disagreement and not gleaming trophies after every laundry load or school drop-off. Meanwhile, all along, the step-parent is being touted to the kid, the ex-wife and whoever else will listen that the step-parent is like an additional proxy parent. So the child becomes dependent to some extent on the step-parent (or in any event is being told to look to and "mind" them as some kind of authority figure) and the bio-parent is becoming to some extent dependent on the step-parent as their partner in "co-parenting". And with every disagreement, every run-in with spouse's ex, every typical bratty action on part of SK that's not quite unconditionally accepted as perhaps a BP would accept it as natural, the step-parent starts to feel more and more like "why the h3ll am I doing this? I don't HAVE to do jacks**t!!!" But too often they are not willing to actually say this out loud to THE SPOUSE because they of course value their marriage and want to keep it going, and don't want to feel like they are incapable of living up to the image of Mr./Mrs. Perfect New Insta-Mom or Insta-Dad that they went into the situation wanting to believe they could be (which no one can be, btw...) So much easier to blame the spouse's ex, or the kids themselves, and to look to them and their various crimes & misdemeaneors as justification for why they don't want to (or don't HAVE to) do x, y, or z anymore than to state out loud: "Maybe I wasn't totally aware of what I was getting into... maybe I wasn't prepared for the difficult feelings and decisions involved in being a step-parent... maybe I can't keep continuing to try and give without getting praise in return like perhaps I might if these kids were my own blood... I'm not so sure I want to be as involved in all this anymore..." What happens too often is that such a conversation (full of all kinds of understandable feelings) never takes place because step-parent is reluctant to admit such feelings to him/herself and certainly to their spouse who could be anywhere on the judgemental continuum and may (worst case scenario) say something like "you deceived me! you are not parent material, and therefore you are not spouse material!" or "if you can't deal with my kids we sure as s**t aren't having any additional ones!" or "what is WRONG with you that you can't love my kids? Don't you love ME? Are you incapable of love, you hard-hearted robot?!" or any such profoundly upsetting thing...

But the impluse to pull back from giving, now even more compounded by even the whiff or fear of such possible hurtful statements on the part of the spouse (or society, or whoever), continues. But it believes it can't express itself directly. Hence the constant "I don't HAVE to do this at all!" reminder to oneself and whoever will listen, and/or more surreptitious ways of "sticking it" to the spouse's ex, the spouse's mother, the kids, really anyone but the spouse itself b/c that's too scary and there's too much to lose. And everyone hears about it (and suffers for it) except the spouse.

So I guess my ultimate point is yes, ideally, people who take on the adult responsibilities of marriage and step-parenting should ideally know and be prepared for what they're getting into and be ready to deal with the ups and downs. But if they aren't prepared (and it's true that no one can 100%) or prepared *enough*, then as soon as they realize they want out of certain responsibilities, they need to say so instead of playing stupid-a$$ games with everybody before they inflict serious harm, especially on the children. Be adult enough to admit it out loud so that new agreements/arragements can be made so the kid CAN receive proper care. But ---and here's the rub--- once you relinquish responsibility, to some extent, yes, you relinquish the right to have total say in every decision relevant to that child. That's where it gets very dicey...

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finedreams

pseudo you are the one who brought this topic in. you said you do the "mothering" because you clean and cook and do laundry. i never use term "mothering". you did and I was rather sarcastic making up a term "fathering".

i do not find doing laundry or cooking neither "mothering" nor "fathering". i call it just the the household chores that could be done by anyone (sometimes cleaning lady or a babysitter or a grandparent).

you are the one who says (or at least it seemed to me) that doing these chores makes one the parent, but i do not think so. if DD's SM cooked dinner when she was there(unlikely because X cooks, but for example) I would not call that she did the "mothering". so i actually wanted you to define it since i do not understand what you implied by that.

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finedreams

ashley who are all "we" know the fathers role and the mothers role? who is to define these roles? what about children raised by the same sex parents? they are both parents. they is no such thing as mother's- father's role.

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finedreams

what about wealthy families where all the household chores are done by servants? and parents do not clean after the kids, cook, or even drive them places, and nanny changes diapers. but does it mean that parenting ended? I don't think so.

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finedreams

I don't know what is "fathering". lol i made it up just to play devil's advocate as a reply about "mothering"-as cooking or cleaning (disagree). I mean nothing by that because there is no such thing.

ima, as about men working...most women also work the same number of hours as men, if not more. and many men do the same number of household chores if not more just because women work just as much.

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finedreams

iamommy, I don't know what is "fathering". lol i made it up just to play devil's advocate as a reply about "mothering"-as cooking or cleaning (disagree). I mean nothing by that because there is no such thing.

ima, as about men working...most women also work the same number of hours as men, if not more. and many men do the same number of household chores if not more just because women work just as much.

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pseudo_mom

Serenity you're babbling.... I didn't get past the first paragraph ....

My point was its hard to do all the things with a knife in your back ...

So again FD I am just the maid I should have no opinion on anything thank you for making it perfectly clear.

I give up you thickheaded morons ... yes I am bashing all of you who have no flying clue what any of us are going through .....

FD your ex has no regard for you DD
Serenity we get you hate your sm and all sms'

MY SC mom is a whack she is making her children whacks..... and the only way I can deal with any of it is to shut down or explode

I have never in my life had to deal with such craziness

BELIEVE IT OR NOT SOME MOTHERS WILL SACRIFICE THEIR CHILDREN TO THE LIONS SO THEY CAN FEEL SUPERIOR.

WHAT MOTHER PUTS HER CHILDREN THROUGH HELL BECAUSE SHE CAN.... JUST MADNESS.

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imamommy

"question: we all agree (almost all) that BMs who do not want to foster good relationship with SMs (normal not crazy SMs) hurting the children and stirring the pot for no reason. but how about SMs not willing to have a decent relationship with BMs? Do SMs have any responsibility to be decent wiht BMs for the sake of the children of their DHs? and same for SFs.

what are everybody's thoughts?"

Finedreams, this thread was started for that very reason. The whole idea is that the children are the mother's children. The mother has a responsibility (or should) to her children, to make sure they are not harmed by conflict. The stepparent does not have the same responsibility to the children. It would be wonderful if all stepparents loved the children and wanted what is best for them, but the mother is supposed to unconditionally love her children and do whatever is necessary to keep them from being harmed. Conflict harms children.

If the stepmother is evil, jealous, hateful toward the mother (not the child), then the mother still has an obligation to deal with the situation without involving her children. If the children are being mistreated, obviously that's an issue that dad needs to deal with first... as it's his home. But if dad doesn't deal with it, then mom can get involved to protect her children.

The issue came up about differences in opinion on what constitutes a valid issue where mom should get involved. If there is physical or other abuse/neglect, etc. and dad is not ensuring his children's safety, then dad is at fault, just as much as the stepmom. It's his responsibility to keep his children safe and provide for them in his home. The answer is to seek a reduction of visitation if he isn't providing a safe environment.

But, if it's a difference in lifestyles, morals etc. Then that falls under the category of 'you picked him'. He is the father and if he allows the child to stay up later than you think is good, or eat foods you think are bad, or wear clothes you don't agree with... well those things can be discussed but they aren't serious safety or health issues. If it affects their life in a negative way, and the other parent doesn't care, then seek relief from a court. We've found out that the court doesn't care if you have differing lifestyles. Mom's entitled to behave like a tramp and if her daughters follows suit, there's nothing DH can do. All we can do is live our life and hope SD picks up on OUR example. Kids will choose one over the other or parts from each as they grow up. We don't tell her the mini skirts are slutty. We just don't allow her to wear them here. At mom's, it's up to mom. Here, we dress her the way we'd like her to dress herself. We involve her in activities that are meant to build her self esteem and hope she feels good enough about herself that she won't need a man's approval to feel like she's good enough. Her mom's life revolves around whether she has a man or if guys find her attractive.

But, the original intent of this thread was to ask mothers, why would any mother want to engage in conflict with a person their child spends time with? Nobody has answered that. Not one mother has said why it's a good thing to not turn the other cheek, even if the stepmom is rude to her. It's the mom that should care that her children are being hurt by the conflict. Blaming dad for getting remarried and bringing this rude stepmom into her and her children's life is not productive to ensuring her children don't have to deal with the conflict between mom and stepmom.

As a mom, when I sent my son to his stepmom's house, I worried how she would treat him. I didn't like her but I didn't tell my son not to listen to her. I didn't encourage my son to defy her or talk back, be rude or not follow her rules, even if I didn't agree with them. I realized that if my son went there and was rude or didn't follow the rules, it was a better chance that she would treat him poorly and I couldn't bear that thought. As much as I didn't like her, I was always telling my son "Now make sure you listen to SM." and if it was reported back to me that she said or did something, I would ask him what he did first. He never once said she punished him for no reason. I didn't allow him to play us against each other. I don't know if he ever went there and told them stories about me but I never got a call that I was doing anything wrong.. so apparently he never said anything to them or they didn't let him pit them against me either. Any conflict we had, never had anything to do with my son or his care. While my son witnessed some of her hostility toward me, I refused to strike back. Even when she slapped me on Christmas morning, I turned around and got in my car without a word to her. I wasn't going to fight in front of my son. Maybe she thought I was afraid of her but I was thinking of my children and being the adult. My son is 21 now and says he was treated well. I have no reason to think she was terrible to him because she didn't like me.

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serenity_now_2007

I hope it's clear that I really do have compassion for the struggles of the average, well-meaning step-parent and that I would never judge anyone for having difficult feelings, asking themselves "why am I doing this?" or even reminding themselves that they don't HAVE to do it. Where the step-kids are excessively bratty and the spouse is excessively un-helpful and un-understanding, I have full sympathy for what must sometiems feel like a no-win torturous situation. For those of you (which I believe are most of you) who genuinely care about the kids and are faced with a too-heavy burden for what feels like a thankless job, I sympathize with the frustration. The main points I'm wanting to make (and some of them are hard to hear), though, are that:

-Parenting (step or bio) often IS a "thankless" job. That doesn't mean you should *never* wish to be thanked or appreciated, especially by your spouse, for helping and caring for his/her kids, but the fundamental nature of parenting really is sacrifice, A LOT more than kudos. Again, not that you should be happy with never receiving thanks, but that there will always be more sacrifice than thanks.

-You should look to YOUR SPOUSE primarily for this thanks. Kids will be kids and are notorious for not thanking people. Spouse's ex's... if their thanks is so important to you, maybe try thanking them for what they do for the kid, or complimenting them on what a great kid they've raised, and see if you don't get back what you put out there...

-BE HONEST with yourself and with your spouse and own your feelings. Don't be afraid of their rejection. If they criticize you harshly for sharing your honest feelings, they aren't worth busting your butt for. They may not AGREE with or implement *everything* you say or propose, but they should acknowledge your feelings and try to work with you towards some satisfactory solutions. They should be willing to pick up the slack of raising their children if you tell them honestly that you can't handle the stresses that come with it. It's true: they are the ones PRIMARILY responsible for their children's care.

-Not everyone is parent (or step-parent) material. I personally doubt if I am... so I have no judgement against people who can admit that they aren't. This should always be admitted if it's the case, because otherwise the kids suffer. (And you, and your spouse, and others...)

-Ultimately, you kinda have two options, summed up in the phrase "with power comes responsibility". Either take on the responsibility of being co-responsible for the kids' well-being when they are in your presence and therefore have much more of a say and more power in decision-making relevant to the kids; or opt out because "you don't have to do anything" but accept that you will not have as much of a say in what happens with/for/relevant to them. Ultimately it's a question only you can answer for yourself: is it more important to have control over what happens involving kids (but less control over your free-time or your free-expression) or more important to have control over your free time and expression (but less control over things relevant to kids). You won't be able to control every aspect of every thing.... not unless you are in charge of and responsible for every aspect of every thing... which nobody really is, anyway.

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colleen777

You aren't the maid pseudo, otherwise you would making a whole lot more money, evenings and weekends off, PLUS people would be thankful for your work and presence. There most definitely are some remarkably nasty BMs out there, who continue to control and manipulate the other household for a lifetime if they can get away with it.

It is interesting to note that if the nanny happens to become the wife, all of sudden she goes from being a saint to an evil wicked stepmother. That in itself tells you this is a systemic issue, not a personal issue.

I know let's ask FD! Why is that?

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imamommy

I agree that your babble sounds like you actually know what it's like in a marriage where you have stepchildren.

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serenity_now_2007

I don't claim to know first-hand what it's like... I've never been married, let alone had step-children. I've been tightly intwined in two step-families, though, and have had observations at very close range (as anyone in any role in any step-family has). That's all my words are: my own observations. If they ring true, offer any insights or help anything, take them to heart. If not, you're fully free to ignore them or listen only to married step-parents.

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doodleboo

This has gone way out there and it's real simpl. I am also guilty of going to far out of my way to explain the meat and bones of IMA's original post.

The bottom line here is human decency. If another human LOVED your child, a teacher, a neighbor, a religious figure,a babysitter, exc. would you bio mothers appreciate that person for the emotion they bestow on your child...yes or no? These people may be moraly obligated to TAKE CARE of your child but not to LOVE them. So what is the differenc? How ungrateful ar you for refusing to acknowledge there is a person who would take A BULLET for your children.

I would take a bullet for my girls at any given moment. I would die for these kids. There may be some step parents (and bio parents) who give parenting a bad name but I say IF YOU KNOW that your child has a terrific step parent who is taking care of that child out of LOVE and you refuse to acknowledge that, you are the one with the problem.

The only difference between this woman loving your child is she is the one now with your EX. That should not have any affect on how you react to this person caring for your child if you don't have any hang ups.

There have been some far fetched, hypothetical and honestly, pretty ridiculous scenarios cooked up to excuse a parent of being DECENT to a step. I think this goes to show that the problem is PERSONAL and not in anyway should it be. Nobody is suggesting that bio's should kiss the step's ass, only that they realize how much this person puts into their childs interest and not treat them like a second rate citizen because they are not.

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kkny

At the risk of getting flamed, a real mother doesnt expect gratitude. A real mother beleives her hard work and the results in her childs development are their own reward. I don't get any thanks from my X and I have my DD 99% of the time. Does it bother me that he never says thanks? No. Are there times when I could use some help? Sure.

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doodleboo

Serenity-I will say that there are step parents out there who don't care about their step kids as much as me. I know this for fact but on the opposite hand, There are bio parents out there who's kids DO have step parents that care as much as me and the bio treats the step like crap anyway. I think both instances are inexcusable. That's my whole point. If the step IS a good parent the bio parent should have no reasons to be ugly,rude or to ignore that person....unless of course there are hang ups involved.

Serenity- I think your last post made alot of sense but the problems lies in this fact. Even if the step parent IS caring,loving and wants whats best for the child, the bio parents tend to want them to bow out when it comes to the decisions. So you are left loving these children and caring for them like a mother but are made to feel totally obsolete and powerless when it comes to ANY decisions. Even if you as a step parent makes that decision to be involved, you can bet you still won't be "involved" and you still won't have your free time. In my case my husband involves me in everything but in alot of cases the Bio mother complains so much the step is shut out even if they do truly care about the child. It is a lose lose for these women.

Psuedo- I totally agree with EVERYTHING you said

Colleen- Your maid comment to Psuedo couldn't have been mor dead on.

IMA- My guess if a step completely ignored, openly snubbed or (god forbid) was rude to a bio the world would fall off it's axis. They would be the nastiest and most immature person ever born. They would be jealous and have hang up's and would probably burn in hell as a result. HAHAHAHA. It's funny cause' it's true.

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doodleboo

I think all good mother's deserve thanks. If you need help sometimes....you should be able to ask for it. Ten bucks says when the kids are old enough to appreciate how hard parenting is they will thank us all.

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finedreams

pseudo why are you mad? i am not saying you are a maid. why taking it so personal? I just do not think that cooking or cleaning makes you a parent, other stuff does like you worrying about SD or talking to her etc etc. we are just having a dicussion why yelling and typing big letters. it is a general discussion about various situation and aspects of parenting. and X does have a consideration for DD. i am not sure where is that coming from.

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gigglemonster

Oh, good grief. There are many instances where a biological parent doesn't want to talk or acknowledge a person that loves their child. Ex-mil's...etc.

This is as much about the steps insecurity as it is about BM. If you really love the child, there is no need for BM to say thank you or whatever else. That is what love is, it is a reward in and of itself for both the stepparent and stepchild. To insist that a BM has to act a certain way toward you is absurd. If they are not openly rude, then roll with it. Otherwise you are going to be just fighting yourself by insisting that a BM needs to show you anything.

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doodleboo

I think that children's basic needs should count as parenting. They NEED clean clothes, they NEED to eat, they NEED to be bathed and they deffinatly deserve a clean and sake environment to dwell in. All of this falls under the parenting umbrella. The heart to heart talks and worry falls under the umbrella also but the first thing all parents are legaly responsible for is the child's health and safety. The amount of clothes I have to wash, food I have to cook, cleaning up I have to do, drinks I have to fix has, at the least, tripled since we got the girls full time. The chores and daily routines deffinatly do fall parent responsibilities, unless of course a four year old is supposed to do all these things for themselves.

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imamommy

kkny, It's not about 'gratitude' for the things that are done. Does your ex tell your daughter that she doesn't have to listen to you? Does your ex tell your daughter anything that interferes with your relationship or ability to parent her? It's a little different to make the point between two bio parents but there are still conflicts like that sometimes, even when a stepparent isn't involved.

Let me give you an example:

Suppose your daughter becomes rebellious. She wants to do things you don't approve of. She calls her dad and daddy says "how dare your mom not let you _____." and he tells her it's okay if she does it anyways. After all, he's her father and he has the right to give her permission to do what she wants. Would you have a problem with that?

That is what happens when a mom throws a fit over everything that involves a stepmom. The child learns that they can pit mom and dad or stepmom against each other. It may start out as something small. Suppose stepmom takes the child for a pedicure and girls day out shopping. Mom gets jealous that stepmom is influencing her clothing choices and she's too darn young to get her nails done. So, mom gripes about it and makes a big deal. The child sees this and will either be upset that mom is ruining her fun or figure out that she can now play them against each other. In the scheme of life, is it life altering if your daughter gets her toenails painted? Why not say 'glad you had a great time!' to the child. Then if it's really a problem, call SM and say "I appreciate you being kind to my DD but I'd appreciate it if she doesn't get her nails painted, I don't think she's old enough yet." IMO, that would be the adult way to handle it.

As a mom, I agree that I don't need gratitude from my kids for what I do. I take care of them because I want them to be good people and nobody has to say thanks. But, I certainly expect my children to be respectful toward me. I certainly won't drive my daughter to a concert with her friends if she is talking back to me or being disrespectful. I expect to be treated fairly by my children if they want me to do extra's for them. Treat others how you wish to be treated. That's the rule. It applies to bio and step kids and it applies to people in general. When a bio parent encourages the child to treat a stepparent badly, they can't expect the child to be treated wonderfully. That's not to say children don't misbehave and should be treated badly, but as a mom, I would encourage my child to behave because I didn't want his stepmom to have ANY reason to not treat him well.

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doodleboo

The girls BM is a crazy nut who hates my guts and still loves her ex. She STILL tell's me, "Thanks for taking care of my girls when I can't be here. I know we don't get along but the girls really do seem to love you so thanks." If a mentally ustable, hung up, addicted woman can say that because, God love her, she does LOVE her girls, then whats everyone else's excuse?

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finedreams

"But, the original intent of this thread was to ask mothers, why would any mother want to engage in conflict with a person their child spends time with? Nobody has answered that."

Imaommy you wanted mothers to answer why would any mothers want do the nasty thing. You ask it to mothers but I cannot answer this question because I really do not know why would some mothers do that. If you wanted to ask specific moms who do have rude stepmoms or are rude to stepmoms themslves then maybe you had to address it towards them specifically. You asked why but I really do not know why. that's I guess why no one answered because maybe they do not know EITHER, i can't talk for other people. so that's why we are just speculating here about possible situations.

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imamommy

Thank you finedreams for your answer. I agree, I should have addressed it to moms that are rude to the stepmoms of their kids, regardless of whether the stepmoms are rude to them or not. Any of you out there willing to admit it????

and anyone that thinks this is about gratitude, or mom thanking stepmom or kissing ass or even acknowledging stepmom missed the point. GO BACK AND READ THE OP.

There are some moms out there that entertain the conflict in these situations. When the child comes to them and says "SM won't let me have pepsi with dinner." (sniff, sniff) BM picks up the phone and chews out dad for letting his wife keep her kid from pepsi, instead of telling said kid... "it's daddy's house and he makes the rules. If you have a problem with SM not giving you pepsi, you need to talk to daddy about it."

I'm talking about moms that openly talk to their kids about how they dislike stepmom or encourage the kid to side with them against stepmom and keep conflict going, instead of trying to resolve these issues without involving the kids.

I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT BM INTERACTING, APPRECIATING, ACKNOWLEDGING OR EVEN SAYING NICE THINGS ABOUT SM.

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ashley1979

"How can a, supposedly loving, mother CHOOSE to participate in battle with the stepmom, knowing their child is going to HAVE to spend time there? How can a mother CHOOSE to divide their child's heart by encouraging or outright expecting them to choose them over their father?"

I don't think it's a choice that the BM makes. I think it's an uncontrollable reaction of their feelings towards X. I don't think they want to cause the strife; I think they just can't help themselves.

In the case of my BF, his X cheated and then divorced him. She took everything away from him. Stripped him of his home, his daughter not to mention his pride and self-respect. She makes more money so she could manipulate him any way she wanted. She still does even after she's been re-married to a guy who makes more money, has had another baby and has moved to New Mexico. It's like she can't help herself. I have been nothing but helpful. When FSD was in a very all-consuming extra-curricular activity, I made a turkey for the Thanksgiving dinner, dressed up and helped her with the HUGE Halloween party, cleaned up rehearsal rooms, played games to occupy kids while a parent meeting was going on and not-to-mention all of the fundraiser items I bought and all of the performances I went to. She still did everything to hurt me. She took any time I ever wanted to spend with FSD (with or without my DS) and shredded it UNLESS she was getting something for it.

Yes, it hurt. And still does. I never wanted to be FSD's mom, but I did want to be her friend. Her mom made sure that wouldn't happen. Now FSD lives 600 miles away. I'll never get the chance now.

I never gave BM a reason to not like me. Quite the opposite. She never thanked me for all of those things I did that benefitted HER as well as FSD. I didn't expect a thank you from FSD, but I sure expected it from BM. She was the one in charge of those activities and she asked me to do it. Not for FSD, but for her. If I would've said no, she would've said "well I guess Ashley doesn't care about you since she didn't help". She would've turned it around to be against FSD.

So, no, I don't think it's a conscious choice. I think, for some reason, she wants to hurt BF so much that she will use my love of FSD and BF to do it. If she was really using her conscience, she wouldn't hate me at all. She'd be grateful that I love FSD enough to give up mine and DS's time and money to be there for her.

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gigglemonster

Doodle, well that is nice for you. I'm willing to wager that BM in your situation "hates" you b/c she knows that you consider her a crazy nut whether you say it or not. People are not dumb, mentall illness usually strikes the more intelligent. Also, to ponder another thought -- mental illness is inherited most of the time. That crazy nut of a mother may well have produced twin nuts that you love and raise.

But again, it is useless to dialogue with you because as you've stated -- you cannot see any issue but from your own situation.

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imamommy

Ashley, I disagree that she doesn't choose to behave that way. It may be that she lacks self control or the maturity to see how her actions are harming her child, but unless she suffers from a legitimate mental problem that prevents her from controlling herself, she chooses to ignore what's in her child's best interest. We all, from time to time, let our feelings get the better of us. We're human. But, if for an extended period of time, a parent has time to think and reflect on how things are impacting their child but they continue with the harming behavior, it's a choice they make.

Your FSD's mom sounds selfish and from what you have said, she has deprived her child of not only a relationship with a FSP that could love her, but she's deprived her child of her relationship with her father. I don't care what anyone says, moving a child 600 miles away makes it that much harder to maintain the same relationship. Sometimes it's necessary to move, but if it's not, then it's done in a way that harms the children. Moving for a better job or environment might be putting your child first. Moving to be with a new boyfriend/husband (or just because you want) is not, especially when it moves the child away from an involved father.

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ashley1979

My hope is that any kid in this situation will make their own judgements, when they get old enough to, based on what they've seen and know rather than what someone has told them.

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serenity_now_2007

Ashley, if it gives you any hope or consolation: when SP's are good to their SK's and genuinely love & care for them (even though both SP & SK may make a few mistakes), the SK's **DO** know it and recognize it when they reach a certain age. That's how it's been with my stepdad and I. No way did we have a perfect relationship when I lived at home, and to this day we disagree on some things, but he genuinely cares about me and loves me, and I am MOST grateful for that, always will be. It makes an enormous difference in your SK's lives when you can do that for them, and they know it.

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doodleboo

Giggle

The STATE says she's crazy....not just me. It's no big secret in the town we live in. She has made a spectacle of herself on many occasions, whether it's the cops getting called to her apartment, dragging two two year olds to a bar at 12 o'clock or getting into publice fights. She knows she's crazy. She'll tell you herself. She doesn't like me becasue she still loves my husband. She'll also tell you THAT herslf and unfortunatly there's nothing I can do to help her there because obviously husband has moved on.

You don't have to dialogue with me....I'm sure I'll survive:)

P.S. She is in mental health classes and enrolled in rehab and is showing some improvement. Even though I don't care for her I'll give credit where it's due.

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doodleboo

Giggle

The STATE says she's crazy....not just me. It's no big secret in the town we live in. She has made a spectacle of herself on many occasions, whether it's the cops getting called to her apartment, dragging two two year olds to a bar at 12 o'clock or getting into publice fights. She knows she's crazy. She'll tell you herself. She doesn't like me becasue she still loves my husband. She'll also tell you THAT herslf and unfortunatly there's nothing I can do to help her there because obviously husband has moved on.

You don't have to dialogue with me....I'm sure I'll survive:)

P.S. She is in mental health classes and enrolled in rehab and is showing some improvement. Even though I don't care for her I'll give credit where it's due.

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doodleboo

We realize mental illness is hereditary and we worry like hell for the girls. The last thing hubby wants is for them to turn out like their mother. She shot herself with a shotgun at 19 for christ's sake. Thanks for the concern and tact (or lack thereof)for bringing in up so coldly.

I don't think hahaha, it would serve you right attitudes are in good taste where kids are involved.

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ashley1979

Thanks, Serenity, for the encouraging words! I come from a 2-parent household of a minister and his wife. All my friends had a 2-parent household. I knew nothing of divorce until I was in jr. high. Can you believe that? So I have had to ask for a lot of advice and read a lot of books. I have only ever wanted to show the kids real love and devotion and how our home can be filled with love. But the closer I get, the more BM sabotages me. I started FSD a charm bracelet a few years ago. I buy her a charm for every holiday including birthdays. BM got FSD to bring it to her house. Why would she need it? BF let her do it. One day I saw her sister wearing it at a ball game. I was so upset! Why did that happen? BM told FSD that anything that belonged to FSD belonged to her sister as well. If I wasn't paying attention, it would've been lost and gone forever; just the way BM wanted.

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gigglemonster

LMAO, if tact was what you were going for than you sorely missed the mark in calling their mother a crazy nut. And totally missed the mark in snark.

I sincerely the state says she is "crazy." That is not a clinical term.

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doodleboo

There is a HUGE freaking difference between a grown woman and two innocent 4 year olds my dear and you are ig-no-rant if you don't see the difference.

The Department of Children and Families is STATE and THEY say due to her CLINICAL diagnosis by mental health professionals that she is mentally incapable of raising her children right now. So yes, state says she's crazy.

Don't bother "dialoguing" with me anymore because we have no views in common apparently and I don't consort with people who joke about the mental condition of babies.

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gigglemonster

No, there is not a difference because you deliberately misinterpreted what I wrote to play the victim card. Sorry, doesn't fly with me.

Again, the department of children and families did not state that the twins mother is "crazy" or a "crazy nut." You are truly delusional and dwelling in your view of the situation if you actually believe this.

If you post something I disagree with, I will say it. I don't give much credence to your opinions or views b/c you have stated that you cannot see any other issue any other way, but your own. So yes, it is useless to dialogue with you but it is entertaining to watch you spin it.

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imamommy

Glad this forum is entertainment to you giggle, but don't you have anything better to do? If it's so useless to dialogue with someone, why do you keep doing it?

Just because someone doesn't give the technical diagnosis of the mother's mental illness, she used a term you don't agree with. It's obvious the mother is incapable of caring for her children due to her mental state. What difference does it make to you if the term 'crazy' or 'nuts' is used instead of the actual diagnosis? If you think doodle is a fraud, then why not confront her like an adult with your suspicions instead of being antagonistic and immature in YOUR responses to her?

BTW, how many stepkids do you have? or do you have kids that go to a stepparent? and how do you get along with your kids' stepparent or your stepkids' other parent?

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gigglemonster

Ima, internet sooper dooper PI. You tell me. Look at my posts.

LMAO, I am not a member of the official SM bash the BM club no matter what a SM says. Have at it if you enjoy the group think.

In any case, being a stepparent is not the requirement to post here. Neither is being a member of the club.

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imamommy

Never said being a stepparent is a requirement to post here. I asked you that because this thread is about mom's and stepmoms and how they relate and why they do or don't get along with each other or why they might put the kids in the middle of conflict. It had nothing to do with anyone's mental illness. That may be one comment someone said about the BM in 'their' situation, but that isn't what the thread is about. I was just wondering if you had any input on the original post, not dragging someone else's comments off on a tangent. Who is asking you to bash anyone or join any club????

I guess then, since you won't share, that you get along great with your stepkids' mom. It must be great. Are you a mom too? or would you take me asking that as an invitation to bash SM's? You don't have to answer of course. or join any clubs.

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gigglemonster

I am officially (by marriage) a SM for oh, about a week and a half now. I am a BM. I am a stepchild to a SF and a SM. I have several bio siblings, half bio's and steps. Those are my credentials. Perhaps I'll start my own club.

I've already said my thoughts on this thread.

What I have objected to is Doodle's apparent disregard for women who do not think like her. She has stated that she cannot see any issue but from her own point of view and then has gone on to state numerous times in a couple threads that women that won't talk to or thank a SM are hung up on their ex.

Then, to back up her position she chooses to use BM's mental illness to try to prove that point.

I think it is crass and offensive to not only women, but people who are aflicted with mental illness.

You can disagree with my view or not, but that is why I responded the way I did.

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gigglemonster

Oh, and I don't think Doodle is a fraud. Not in the least. I think she is a good example of why BM's would have an issue with a SM like her, even a SM like her who you can truly tell loves her stepchildren.

If it is acceptable to call BM a "crazy nut" (when she has a mental illness), then why isn't acceptable to speculate that the children of the crazy nut may have produced nuts?

The term can't be used at only one persons discretion. If it isn't obvious, Doodle's obvious reaction to it (although I didn't mean it that way) is what many people with a mental illness would have. It's like fat camp, only the campers can call it fat camp.

Maybe I am the only one who finds that ironic.

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cat38

I have invited my husbands ex out to dinner with us to my house for get togethers. The ex bio mom is a nurse and works most holidays, I made Thanksgiving dinner and my husband and their son took her a tray I made for her with a card so she could have dinner with her son. My ex and I get along better now than when we were married. My kids love my husband and my husband and my ex get along just fine. My ex comes to my house on christmas with his girlfriend so we can both spend the morning with our children. i was married for 20 years. Its whats good for my kids not me.

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theotherside

"What difference does it make to you if the term 'crazy' or 'nuts' is used instead of the actual diagnosis?"

It makes a huge difference. That is analogous to saying what difference does it make if "derogatory term" is used instead of "African-American?"

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dotz_gw

And no one has answered why BM would choose to have conflict with some one the child spends time with......Altho jealousy and insecurity have been mentioned here goes all the shallow reasons I can come up with.....She s younger, prettier, better body, richer, better fashion sense, class ,personality, family status,SK likes her,still loves her X,X is having time of his life with new SM,he looks happier and better than he ever did in his life(ditched the old comfortable clothes) travels, shes stuck,he s as free as the breeze, X bought her a Swiffer for holidays, buys SM jewelry,BM thought(cliche here) grass was greener, couldnt get any one better, stuck with a non earning loser, whom she thought would make the X green with envy and coming running back,thinks poisoning the kids will help win her case, opposite result,lies, revenge, last word, more money, X needs to be heard, it will all be fine then.......Sigh....I think all this will crumble at your feet at the end of the day...My opinion, dont want thanks, dont want communication...just go... away....

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theotherside

I don't think mothers in general are seeking conflict with their exH's current wives - I think often it is just that they want the SM's to stop interfering and let the parents make the parental decisions.

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colleen777

That is the problem though isn't it? Which decisions are parental? I disagree as well, I feel many, not all, BMs just want to exert power over both households.

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theotherside

IMO, if it isn't a decision you would feel comfortable making for your child's best friend who was staying overnight, then it is parental. Apple pie or chocolate cake for dessert? - household. What to do if child doesn't complete homework - parental.

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colleen777

so about the homework, how does that work? For example if BM doesn't think it is important to do homework, should the child not be guided by a caring individual to do homework because that individual is SM? It just isn't that clear cut.

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justnotmartha

TOS, I wish it were that simple. In some cases, your as an example, it likely is. I don't take you as the type to outwardly trash your kid's SM to them . . . but your children, for the main part, don't have a relationship with her, and she doesn't desire one with them. That makes your perception of the over all issue much more simplistic than some of us have it. You may not be able to grasp this because you personally aren't the type, and I think this applies to KK and Giggle as well. You are pretty secure women who don't use your children as a crutch to improve your self esteem. You don't need to tear down the relationship the step mom has with your child(ren)to make your relationship with your child(ren) 'better.' You don't need to tear down their opinion of her to make you feel more loved or the 'best mom.' BUT - you also don't have much competition. I do wonder how it would be if they were very close to this other woman and did look to her as a parent? Would you maintain your composure and keep your children's interests first, or would you resort to the tactics many of us deal with daily? That's the problem, ladies. Not all mother's have it as together as you, and they pull this - and much worse - on a daily basis. We aren't talking about who makes choices, we're talking about telling your child(ren) that their SM is a whore, that they hate them, etc. Would you tell your kids you felt that way about the neighbor? Then why would you tell them that about the step parent . . . especially if they care for this person? If you tell them SM is horrible and they love SM, isn't that telling them they have poor taste in people to love?

So, as this has become longer than I wanted I guess I just wanted to say that this may be one of those situations you will have to think outside your comfort level on - there are mothers out there that you can't comprehend.

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oh_my

JNM, My SD's BM absolutely would tell her child that she thought their neighbor was a whore and that she hated her if she felt that way. Some people have no sense.

Recently SD wanted to win "Best Christian" award at school, but another girl won it instead. BM told SD that the other girl was a "little demon" and she didn't know how she could have possibly won that award (as reiterated to me by SD), then SD got mad because I told her I didn't want to hear that, that I asked what awards she did receive. Real Chistian-like. Where is the guidance?

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kkny

Colleen, the dad should deal with it. It is not just a choice of mom v. SM.

JNM, I don't think mine or TOSs situation is simple, or if simple, not easy (and hers is certainly tougher than mine). But we are like the majority of divorced moms who have child more than 50% of time (and even when custody agreement says joint, like mine, I have child 95-99% of time).

I think at one point my Xs SO had this vision that she would just replace me, and her life with X would be the same as mine with him. Which we all know, that's impossible -- it might be better, but different. In any event, as she has yet been accepted by his family or friends she has been verbally abusive to me and child. Child will rarely call Dad on house phone (only if emergency) and usually at work or cell. I wonder if asked, Dads SO would say this is all my fault.

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colleen777

Did your Xs SO tell you she had this vision of replacing you, or is that just what you think? How do you know she hasn't been accepted by his family and friends? Hopefully you aren't still conversing with them!

And what if Dad doesn't think homework is important either?

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finedreams

we did have a neighbour whom DD refered as whore. lol I had to agree.

We also used to have two sets of neigbours who caused us to move: they sold drugs in the building, ruined the building, stole from us, their daughter repeatdly assaulted DD and ruined DD's musical instrument (police was regularly involved as well as DD's school), then the other neighbour's daughter actually was a whore who brought men home and it created absolutelly unbearable living conditions for us and danger for DD. We of course moved.

Most certainly I hated those neighbours and most certainly DD was aware of my feelings, in fact she hated them even more. I am not sure if i used the word whore, probably not, but DD certainly did.
So if neighbours like this happen, what is the guarantee that SMs like this would not happen? Would i have to hide my feelings? Just wonder....I suspect DD would not even want to go to the house with such SM, and then it would of course be my fault...Hmmm i don't think so...

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kkny

Of course I still talk to his family and some of OUR friends. His mother is still my DDs grandmother. Nothing will change that. She has said I am still family as far as she is concerned. One of his oldest friends stopped by yesterday.

As to knowign what she wanted, I can only guess, but she was screaming at him when he told DD he was taking her to a work dinner (most people bring spouses, SOs or no-one, child if spouse very ill). I told DD she should attend anything dad asks her to.

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finedreams

colleen, what is wrong conversing wiht friends and family. Some friends are mutual, both spouses', why should she stop talking to them? and as about family. My brother is still friends with my X, why not? And i still talk to XMIL and XFIL. Not only for the sake of our kid but just because of being friends. If my brother divorces my SIL, i would continue being in touch and being friends with her most certainly. i have no plans to stop talking to her and vice versa.

I dare to answer for kkny. she said SO called her drunk and said it is all KK's fault that his family and friends do not like her. there were other examples she quoted.

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colleen777

FD, if the divorce is amicable, an EX can and should continue a relationship with their EX's family especially when there are children involved as long as the EX accepts their new role as family friend and acts accordingly. If they are using the relationships as a venue to badmouth and bash the spouse, then that relationship needs to be redefined. kkny has a lot of anger toward SO and rightfully so, therefore I doubt this is a situation of opening arms and embracing one big family.

kkny is an adult and can answer for herself. Do you kkny speak disparagingly about SO to his family and friends?

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ashley1979

I agree with Colleen that staying in contact with XILs is expected when there are children involved, but should not be a relationship where gossip and badmouthing occur. My XMIL and I were really cose before the divorce. If and when I have to talk to her it's always light-hearted and about me. I never talk about her son with her. Same with any other relatives.

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kkny

Define disparaging. I have said she slept with him while we were married - in response to his mothers repeated questions as to why marriage broke up. Did not go into details as to how she pursued him for years. How she quit work (or lost her job and has not found another) since moving in with him.

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colleen777

Have you also told his mother that it now appears he is taking another woman on his business trips? Bet you haven't, and that must have been something you heard from his friends. Because when you reveal that bit of information the issue is no longer "that woman" it is in fact her son. Have you also mentioned the drunken phone calls, verbal abuse and throwing hissy fits when EX invited his daugther to attend company socials?

Look kkny, noone would support another person breaking up a marriage, if it is ever that simple. My point is that don't pretend you aren't encouraging his family and friends to dislike her when you most certainly are. So? She deserves some heat, but your EX does more than anyone else.

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imamommy

" * Posted by kkny (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 4, 08 at 12:29

Colleen, the dad should deal with it. It is not just a choice of mom v. SM."

That's true. and when my hubby says "honey, can you help?" or even if he says "what should I do?", then he IS handling it. He's delegating to me... If BM doesn't like it, too bad. It's NOT her place to have ANY say in how we run OUR home. When SD is with her, it's her decision.

"JNM, I don't think mine or TOSs situation is simple, or if simple, not easy (and hers is certainly tougher than mine). But we are like the majority of divorced moms who have child more than 50% of time (and even when custody agreement says joint, like mine, I have child 95-99% of time)."

I had my kids 100% of the time without an au pair or the kind of money you claim to make. Sure, it's choices I made and I'm not complaining, but 'easy' is relative to each situation. I never b*tched or moaned about it but I don't think I ever thought it was easy.. it was what it was. I think JNM means you have it more simple because you don't really have to deal with your ex's GF/wife because the kids don't visit dad EOW. I agree with JNM, I had my kids 100% and it was so much more simple to raise my two younger ones without dealing with the dad or stepmom. It was a lot tougher with my older son because there was conflict, court, schedules to follow, differences of opinions, etc. I didn't have any of that with my younger kids. I made all decisions and my word was final.

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kkny

No, colleen, DD told me about latest trip. I told her she must be mistaken. His friends figured out about affiar on their own. He knows the drunken phone calls.

So what is your point, it is OK to have affair with married man, and then expect people to respect you. OK.

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finedreams

colleen, if divorce was ugly it still has nothing to do with family or friends. even if divorce is ugly there sometimes are symphatetic relatives who even take the side of the other spouse. and it really is up to the people to decide if they want to talk to x-family or friends. who are we to judge. and if people want to have private conversation with bashing or gossiping, oh well, why not if they leave kids out of it.

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colleen777

Well I guess the children weren't left out it were they? DD told kkny about the last business trip. And who honestly believes that you can leave the children out of it?

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kkny

Colleen, so what is your point -- that Dad shouldnt have told his daughter who he took on trip?

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colleen777

So now you are trying to pretend it was just the innocent sharing of information between father and daughter? If that is true, why in the world did you say to her she must be mistaken? And, then proceeded to find out his friends figured out the affair on their own.

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finedreams

how could it possibly be easier to raise children with no father in the picture than when kids do visit their father? the most difficult part would be to answers kids' question: where is their father? I think it still is easier if there is the father that they visit (at least kids don't ask where is their father) even if there are schedules and SMs to deal with. I think it is still easier for me that DD sees her father than if she wouldn't. I do not want to be the only descision maker even if it might be easier.

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kkny

I didn't pretend it was innocent sharing of info between Dad and DD, I was making the point I wasnt prying with his friends. I told her she must have been mistaken becuase I was shocked. The conversation had started with Dads is out of town on business, DD wanted to go swimming in his pool, I diddnt want her there alone, she said Dads SO was there and the conversation went downhill from there.

What I was saying is that his friends knew he was having an affair when he was married to me. I have no idea of the latest.

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serenity_now_2007

sorry: quick question b/c I'm just sitting out & observing this one but still want to make sure I have facts straight:

kkny, it was your ex's GF (the one he's had for a while) screaming at him when he said he was taking your daughter to a business event (presumably instead of GF)? Is there an *additional* woman in the picture now (meaning exH is possibly cheating on current GF)?

I was gathering that exH's GF was p.o.'ed that exH was brigning DD on trip instead of her. Then a few posts later both you & Colleen phrased some things like there was now some additional woman and now I'm confused....

????

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finedreams

why isn't it posible that people tell others about their affairs? My X did not make a secret out of why he left his 2nd wife. He even told me. ha. I certainly did not ask. Plus sometimes people just know from observations, it is hard not to know if affair is with a colleague or a family friend or if a spouse moves in with TOW/TOM the same day they move out of marital home, who would believe that they have met their new GF/BF on the same day they left their spouses?

Why is it always X-spouse's fault in what people know?

SO's X moved out of marital home into the place she rented with TOM. Neither he nor she directly told DDs, but they knew right away because she built up a nest with TOM right away. Who can be that naive?

colleen, of course, you can leave children out of it. DD does not know what I talk to XMIL about.

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kkny

Serenity, apparently there is another woman in the picture. I don't think DD (or I) knew or suspected when there was the fight over the business dinner.

No X didnt take DD on trip. Sorry if I wasnt clear. All I know for certain is he went on trip. DD told me he said he took another "friend" and DD asked what type of friend. And he explained.

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serenity_now_2007

okay, got it, thanks!

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finedreams

I don't see anything wrong in telling parents-in-law why marriage failed even it is because one spouse left the other for TOW or TOM. what is wrong wiht that? The only reason i would maybe not tell is being embarassed being cheated on. do people have to make up fake reasons or lie? I understand not telling young children, but adults? why not?

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kkny

FD, I suspect X lied to people about how long he had been with current SO ( or soon to be X, depending on ??). HIs mother kept asking if we would be getting back togethor and I said dont think so.

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ashley1979

How about lets start another thread for this topic??? This one is getting way too big and it's off the original topic.

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theotherside

If I had neighbors like the ones finedreams was stuck with, I wouldn't hesitate to let my children know how I felt about them. Whether or not I used the word "whore" (assuming the neighbor actually was one) would depend on the age of my children.

In some ways I think it would be easier if my H and his current wife were completely out of the picture. Unfortunately, he (and she) are in the picture just enough to be annoying, but not enough for him to actually be much of a father.

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justnotmartha

I get to be the last post!

I agree that neighbors like FD's can be a 'teaching point,' but I don't think I approve of name calling. Discussing how these neighbors lower property values, encourage criminal activity in the neighborhood, etc. and stating that you don't agree with that lifestyle is educational to a child. Saying they are dumba$$ idiots is a different story. One is fact, one is opinion. I agree, if chatting with an adult child I wouldn't think too much about passing opinion on, but with a younger child it seems a better example to stick with fact.

The same could be applies to, let's say, TOS's ex. Telling the kids "dad is in love/infatuated with another woman and has chosen to live with her' is fact. Saying 'Dad is a no good, cheating, lying SOB who doesn't deserve you' is opinion. (in my mind it borderlines fact, but is still opinion!)

This rules applies back to the SM/mom battle of the OP. It's all about how you convey things to a child. Maturity vs. immaturity. Intent to educate vs, intent to disparage. We all know which is which.

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