What advice would you give?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
What advice would you give?
Thu, 04-04-2013 - 11:46am

I was reading the paper last night and ran across an issue in the advice column Annie's Mailbox.   A stepmom was frustrated that her boyfriend doesn't see when his own kids misbehave but is quick to jump on hers.  Also, his ex doesn't want their children to be around each other at the same time, his daughter is having a hard time sharing her dad.  You can read the entire column at this link: 


Their advice was that it is acceptable that the ex doesn't want the children around each other, and that she should try to make friends with the ex so that she can get to know her better. 

Do you agree with this advice?  How would you try to resolve the confict?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 12:12pm

I think that advice is ridiculous & won't solve the underlying problem.  First of all, if they don't have the same weekends w/o their kids, that means they will never be able to have any time at all where they can spend free time as adults.  Since it says they are dating, now I forgot whether it said they lived together, but part of life is learning to get along with other people.  I could see if there was a lot of conflict between the kids and as a temporary measure, they decided to split them up--but permanently?  No, she can't control what her BF & his ex do, but she can control the fact that maybe she does not want to put up with this & break up with him.  and she says that she & BF have been dating 4 yrs and she doesn't know his ex?  Wouldn't his ex want to at least meet a woman who is basically helping to raise her kids, to find out what she's like and whether she seems normal? 

Now I've been in the situation on both sides.  I have 2 kids.  I got remarried to a guy who was a widower so we had his DD all the time.  My ex got married to someone w/ an older DD--since her DD is 5 yrs older than my oldest, when they were kids, they didn't hang around together all that much, but now my kids call her their "sister" not stepsister.  My DD is 24 and her DSD is 29 and has a baby and lives w/ her BF--the last time my DD was home for a visit, she went over to visit her DSS--they are really family.  How are the kids going to learn to accept each other as family members (which is what they will be if the letter writer & her BF get married) if they never spend any time together & only see each other on holidays.  I do believe that kids need some alone time w/ each parent, but totally separating them is not good either.

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 04-05-2013 - 3:18pm

I get the impression they must live together, because if they lived apart, even if they had the kids on teh same weekends, they would have separate houses and the kids wouldn't feel like they were competing for dad's attention unless he is taking them to her house all the time, or vice versa.  If they are living together, I've heard the argument before that they would have their evenings together during the week without the kids.  But its really hard to know since the specifics of the living arrangements aren't specified.  But, in general, I agree with musiclover.  While it is up to the boyfriend and his ex to figure out visitation arrangements, the kids should have to learn to live together and get along if these two plan on getting married, and you'd think if they've been together for 4 years and (presumably) living together, they are moving towards that.  While I would want to know the ex, I would not go out of my way to make friends with her.  And lastly, unfortunately I think its pretty common for a non-custodial dad to not be as disciplined about discipline with his kids on his weekends as with the step kids or girlfriend's kids when they are visiting or if they live with them.  Dad's tend to overlook that kind of stuff from their kids because they feel guilty for not having them as often.  They may need to mantra, you discipline your kids, I'll discipline mine...

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-26-2004
Tue, 04-16-2013 - 2:16am
sounds like the ex is Still getting to rule..in this case, even her ex dh's and His new gf's life! How can that be good!? It's their home,they make the rules,not the ex! Also, the kids wont get along, if they don't spend any time together. But, all that being said, I don't think this man is ready for a blended family. I've been married 7 years, with my dh for 9, and he was the same in the beginning; different rule and expectations for His kids...both very LOW expectations and standards, by the way. Lots of disparity, and with the kids grown, it has Not gotten any better. Yuck. So, I'd suggest this young lady really take a step back andask herslef if she can Live with her dh Never 'seeing' that his kids do wrong, because that may Not change..and how will she feel, if it doesn't? Trust me, it Is NO fun... Sincerely, Pepper