Step Mother vs Mother

I have identical twin step sons whom I love and treat as I do my own daughter. The problem is their mother. My husband, the biological father of the twins and my two children, is retired and starting to get a little forgetful, but we don't forget child support payments. We get paid once a month and the first bill we pay is child support.

The boys' mother is the most evil person I have ever met in my life. She hates my husband who she was once married to and had the boys with. When the boys were younger and couldn't make decisions she would use them as pawns against us, but now says their father has never been in his sons' lives.

My problem today is that one of my step sons got into trouble at school and we finally heard about it through the grapevine. Well, I got mad and called his mom and asked her why she didn't tell us about this when it happened. She claimed that my husband has never been involved in her boys lives and hung up on me. Obviously, this is not true, but all she cares about is that we send her the checks on time.

I told her that we have the right to know when something is going on in the boys' lives and that their father should be told immediately after she finds out.

I cant help it that she hates my husband and don't want to make these phone calls, but she sure doesn't have a problem using the phone if the check is a day late.

Meanwhile I sit here a nervous wreck. God forbid something bad should happen ... who knows how long it will be before we will find out.

Is there a legal way to make her inform my husband of changes in the boys life or do we have to sit around and wait to here it from the grapevine?

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May 23, 2010
Advice for Dealing with My Kids' Controlling Step Mother
by: Sad Mom

Advice for Dealing with My Kids' Controlling Step Mother

My situation is very complicated. I was divorced about 11 years ago. My ex husband and I had three children together and the three kids were with me when we were divorced.

My two sons, now 17 and 18 went back to live with their dad, after he was remarried, a few years ago. The woman he married is a type A and extremely controlling. She takes care of everything for my children because my ex travels out of the country for his work, frequently. He is affluent and he now also has two small children by his second marriage.

The step mother to my children hates me and resents paying child support. She has made it her mission to make my life hell and make sure that my children think I am a low life and hate me. Our situation is complicated as we have lived in different states for a number of years.

Recently, my daughter (still living with me) and I negotiated a relocation to the state where their father lives in hopes the children will have a little time left together and to save my daughter from flying back and forth between states.

Step mom is constantly setting me up to look back in front of my children. Wants me to pay for college for my now, 18 year old. Haven't had any opportunity to be involved in his college choices and boys don't want much to do with me.

I accept child support, but step mother is constantly controlling my daughter's schedule, making decisions against my will and intervening when she shouldn't be. It's easy for my ex husband because he doesn't have to deal with emotional "stuff". He lets her take care of everything for the children.

She texts my daughter at 10 p.m. at night and then bullies her her about being rude if my daughter doesn't respond. She also has a psychological degree and studies up on how she can undermine my parenting with my daughter.

She's destroyed most opportunities for me with my sons' communication.


Feb 09, 2009
build a relationship instead of a wall.
by: Cynthia

Ouch! The mother of these wonderful boys is evil? How can that be if they are here? The boys understand how you and their father feel about their mom and you are making them choose sides. Take the stress out of this for the boys. Imagine how hard it would be for you to problem solve with someone who felt you were evil. Changing how you view and reflect about the mother is the quickest way to improve the relationship.

And, sorry to say, this is not your battle. These boys have a mom and dad. Consider Dr. Joy Brown's role for step parents as "host and friend." The dad needs to be as involved as possible. The mom may feel much more open to communicating with the fahter if you are not involved. Remember the evil comment?

Our children are so much smarter about our feelings and actions then we can imagine. In the long run anything You do to make them more comfortable and welcomed will be remembered by the grownups they will become.

Your children need to find a way to love both birth parents for their own relationship future. No matter what problems their mom may be having, the more open you and their father are to them talking about loving their mom, the more open they will be to having you more involved in their lives. And maybe with three involved and supportive adults in their lives there will be less need to act out in school.

I too have identical twin 16 year olds with a quite troublesome father. I work hard for my boys to see the good things they get from their father and to get along with his multiple girlfriends. As much as I love to complain about him to friends, the children never hear it. That is my issue and not theirs. I don't want them to diminish the part of themselves that comes from him. Make your home safe and welcoming to them by NOT complaining about their mother. And try to convince yourself she isn't evil. She and their father made these beautiful children and so she has great value.

Feb 09, 2009
Be creative
by: Nick

When I see step problems like this I'm reminded that the problem is that someone is focused on their feelings and not on their children. Then I look for ways to be creative in getting something close to what is best for the children.
Each court order is written differently so you'll need to check yours to see how much freedom you have. For contact with the boys, the check can be delivered to them during a visit. If the court order is written so that the legal custody is shared arrangements can be made with the school to notify you about everything, grades, events, parent-teacher conferences, problems. If it's possible you or your husband can volunteer at the school. I know Dads who give their kids a ride home from school so they get the seven minutes of face time. They say it's worth it.
For a while I worked a state away from my kids and face time was severely limited. I called them often. I sent them cards and letters as well. As they got older they saw more clearly what was so about their mom and me and made decisions based on what they could see rather than just what she said.

Feb 09, 2009
Been there!
by: Danie

Dear fellow stepmother, I don't personally know the answer to your legal question, I only write to offer you some emotional support. I have been a stepmother for 15 years with the same type of "mother" figure to deal with. I drove myself crazy for years with thinking there was something I could do to improve the relationship or that I wasn't doing enough...finally just realizing within the past couple of years, that I can't change her. She does have some control over our finances as far as deciding when the girls get braces, go for medical visits and such, but the most damaging thing in my life, was the control she had over my emotions. I did find a couple of books about dealing with emotional vampires and narcissism to be helpful so that I could take a step back and see what my true role was with in this family. While reading these books help, my most peace-giving help, (I don't know where you are spiritually, I'm only letting you know what helps me) is to pray and acknowledge the control that God has over not only my life, but my stepdaughters and their mom. I love on them when they are here and are there for them if they call and as they have grown older and a couple have moved out of her home, our relationship has definitely improved, the girls can now see the truth of the relationship.

In regards to the legal aspect of this, I haven't found the courts to be very helpful in these types of matters where it's basically telling the mother to do something. The "mother" in my situation has basically ignored the orders in this area and unless one is willing to file a contempt of court motion, which is always after the fact, nothing is really done to her. Plus, court is just another cost. Blessings on your being a stepmom!

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