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New stepmom concerns

HU-706959479
5 years ago

My ex and I have been divorced for 5 years and the coparenting with joint custody was going pretty well until he got engaged last summer. She moved in 3 months ago and my children (ages 9 and 11) are really struggling. We started counselling with my oldest son after he had a meltdown one night about how unhappy he was. Through my discussions with the kids, I am concerned about how they are being raised. The counsellor is also concerned and I believe an investigation is going to be started. Some of the examples from the last 3 months include:

• Calling the kids jerks, other swear words

• Saying they are torturing their stepmom or making her life hell frequently

• Skipping some of the kids activities, including mandatory team practices and games

• Pinching and twisting their nipples or legs, hitting them (they just told me about this today)

• Dad smacked youngest son in the face (no marks left)

• Dad refused to let son brush his teeth before bed as punishment, said it was a privilege

• Kids say dad only does what stepmom says and she sets all the rules, including lots of chores.

• Stepmom sending me rude very long texts and emails, demanding changes to our parenting schedule so they get more days in a row with the kids, messages are manipulative, condescending and include inappropriate personal comments, I asked her not to message me and then sent more messages a month later

• Stepmom refusing to put kids in summer camp since she is unemployed and will watch them, but keeps changing her mind. Dad refuses to commit to a summer schedule.

• Stepmom blames me for making the situation with the kids toxic, since my son read one of her messages to me on my phone. Her messages blame me and the kids for pretty much anything you can think of.

• My ex has a history of lying but he comes off very charismatic and has said everything is going great. He also has a history of drug use (every day or other day use of pot primarily), which he hides well. I am not sure how effective the investigation will be if both dad and stepmom lie and twist the facts, as I have seen in the messages they sent.


In spite of all the issues, I know their dad loves them and they love their dad and I want them to have a good relationship with him if possible. My kids have always been very active, in lots of sports and activities, they have lots of friends and do good in school. I am at a loss as to how to protect them, i.e. should I try to get custody of the kids, wait for the outcome of the investigation? I don’t think they should be out there this summer all day with their stepmom with all these concerns. Any advice?

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