Frustrated with situation

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2011
Frustrated with situation
4
Mon, 03-25-2013 - 9:17pm

My DH has sole custody my SS, and things with BM have never been good since her and my DH split. My DH and her cannot talk without her bringing up things from the past, that only she remembers, that 99% has either been fabricated or twisted into a half lie. I know this because I constantly catch her in lies. But my point is because they could not talk, I have tried to talk to her about SS and issues he has, sending pics of him while he's here, relaying messages, telling her about school problems, etc. She initiated talking to me because she didn't want to talk to DH about SS. Well that's no longer working, because I don't agree with what she thinks is appropriate and safe. We honestly don't know what to do, SS had been doing better at school when visits were reduced, until his mother told him about us going back to court again, and since then he has been in trouble every week. He knows court's over and nothing really changed for him, if anything he sees his mom more than before. When we talk to him about his behavior he is very flippant, and has the I don't care attitude. My DH disciplines him for his behavior (ex. losing video games, etc) and talks to him. Then his mom talks to him and says "I'm still proud of you because at least you didn't hit anybody" and then procedes to take him to outings every visit he goes. I stupidly made a comment to her about it after she critizied my husband and I on how to discipline SS and I was basically told not to question what and why she does things at her house, and I didn't need to get my panties in a wod for her giving me "logical advice", Her logical advice was to not give him a happy meal, I didn't see a problem with it since his punishment was not being about to go to the movies, but I was not asked what his punishment was by BM. I was also told not to do the "he said" games, because I told her about him blaming her saying that "she doesn't think it's a big deal", so she could deal with it. She won't deal with it, but instead talks to him on the phone like two children talking, same for when he goes to visit he is basically let to run wild. I feel like he's always going to have issues because she won't discipline him or talk civil with DH or me. We have been told by SS's therapist that they believe she has BPD. Really don't know what to do. Any suggestions?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
Tue, 03-26-2013 - 5:11pm

I feel bad that you are dealing with all of this, it doesn't sound good for anyone involved. It's not healthy for your SS to be getting opposite messages from both parents, I would start documenting everything for if/when you go back to court. You and your husband need to maintain balance in his life, don't relax on the rules and make sure he adheres to them. You can't control what she does in her own home, but you can demand his respect and appropriate behavior in yours. What type of custody/contact is she allowed? I think this is one of those cases where your DH needs to handle all contact and keep it to written communication if they can't maintain verbal contact without fighting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 03-27-2013 - 8:30am

I think that you have to step back and stop communicating with her.  Period.  About anything.  Let your husband and her battle it out. 

Regarding your SS, I don't know how old he is, but it could simply be a phase.  But, some very stern guidelines would be helpful, as well as positive encouragements and one-on-one time with Dad. 

You can't control the other parent.  All you can do is what you can do.  Good luck.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2009
Thu, 03-28-2013 - 11:47am

I suggest not talking to her. keep verbal communication to a minimum. do not tell her things that YOU think. let her know what DH thinks. this way it isn't about you being a "stepmom telling a biomom" what to do. all communication should go through text, this way you have "evidence" and "proof" to back up any claims that are made. when SS acts up, do not expect her to follow through with any punishments... she seems to be one who just wont do it, because it is something you suggested. keep punishements to your house. if he is grounded for a set amount of days, (like 7 days) do it for that many days, whether it needs to be spread out between the days you have him. like for the next 4 days you have him, then the next 3 after he comes back.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2011
Thu, 03-28-2013 - 10:11pm

Rangerfan- Your right it isn't healthy for my SS, because of these issues he's been seeing a therapist since he was 4. And it is a hard situation and stressful for my entire family. Some days it's really hard especially when BM is harassing to put on the fake smile for SS and pretend like everything is ok, because it's not. The only way we will go back to court is if BM makes leaps and bounds in fixing her "issues" or they start discussing putting SS on medication again. Frown My DH and I are very consistent with rules and discipline, because it gives SS stability. Her contact with him is 9 hours every other weekend, daytime visit only. My SS's therapist doesn't want DH involved because when DH and BM have to talk she takes it worse coming from him than me. And when she gets upset with DH she is violent, and SS ends up hearing about it from BM about how much she hates DH, etc. She can't control her temper at all. Thankfully the court order addressed face to face meetings, and that we aren't suppose to discuss anything in front of SS. Everything has to be text or written, or mediated by the therapist.

Okmrsmommy: I have quit talking to her, I use to tell her everything because as a mother myself I would be devastated to only see my son 18hrs a month. I tried to put myself in her shoes, but it's not appreciated its demanded and expected. The only thing she is being informed about is behavior at school, doctor/medical issues/appts. The rest of the information we make copies and send with SS for her to see. I don't think it's a phase because he's been having issues like this since DH and I met, and even before then. He was 3 when I became involved in his life.

Holly: "do not tell her things that YOU think.let her know what DH thinks". BM will ask what DH and my opinion's are and then when given she doesn't like the opinion so we are then told to mind our own business and that what we say doesn't make sense. So we don't say our opinion anymore to her, we do to the therapist and she deals with BM. Your right DH can give a suggestion and she will say it's stupid, but the therapist gives the same suggestion and she will actually at least listen, she may not agree but she doesn't argue either.

Hope yall have a happy Easter! Smile