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ex wife constantly manipulating my step daughter. Help please!

Started by Natacha, Apr 30, 2009, 07:40:05 AM

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I already made commented about false sexual allegations, but I need to start my own thread. My step daughters mom has always hated me from day one. She has caused us so much pain in so many ways. Now that we have already brought her to court, and still continue to go for custody, she still continues to manipulate her daughter to try to make her hate us, or feel unsafe with us. I have to let a lot slide with her because if we went to court over every issue we would be in court for the rest of our lives. In fact I will be going to court against her personally in a months time.

In our home, We have my son, my step daughter and a child together. My boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. We have a fantastic relationship, and our only problems are the one his ex wife gives us. I have a very good relationship with my step daughter. No matter how much the mom has tried to tear us apart, it hasn't worked because I believe my step daughter knows and feels that I really love her. My husbands ex wife hates the fact that her daughter and I have a really nice relationship.My step daughter is in such a bad position, and its really hard to help her.

She has tried everything under the sun to cause trouble. I know she will always continue to do so. We still go to court, and she has calmed down a lot because I assume she is afraid to get in deeper hot water, but she does things more discreetly.

ex: In our home. I am the person who sets the rules. My boyfriend is a very successful business man, but he is far too soft with children. They can walk all over him, and he doesn't seem to know how to stop that. Ofcourse when I see they are trying to take advantage of him, I intervene. We know he should take more control of the situation, but for some reason he is just way to soft. So in our home, it is me that sets the rules. I know this could back fire on me, but it has been working very well. I am the type of person who is very playful with the kids, and I plan alot of activities for all of us to enjoy together. I know they think I am fun, but they also realize I have bounderies. Something they do not see with my boyfriend.

Anyhow I guess my stepdaughter has told her mom, that I am the one who sets the rules or gives time outs. Yesterday she said to her dad" dad, mommy told me that I shouldn't listen to Natacha because usually when a step mom gives time outs, the step daughter will end up hating her, and I shouldn't listen to her, and I should only listen to you. My boyfriend replied " You need to respect all adults, just as you do when you are in school"

I know it should be the father who takes more charge, but that doesn't work in our home, and it works really well the way we do it. Some how it evens out. My step daughter has alot of respect for me. It seems like her mom is trying to destroy this, by trying to convince her that it would be normal for her to hate me, and that she shouldn't listen to me. I don't know what to do because we are constantly repairing damage that his ex wife creates, and then when it is some what repaired she starts on something else. I know it bothers the ex wife that we will be getting joint custody. The judge wants it to start in June when school is over. Its like she wants to make our lives impossible or something. Its very hard to deal with amongst all the other problems she has created. Fortunately for me, my step daughter loves me a lot, but she is only 9 now. I am afraid for as she gets older. Her mom has been so persisitant on manipulating her, and trying to turn her against me, I beleive she will never stop. One day my step daughter is going to hate me. Then what?

Kitty C.

One thing I strongly recommend is that your BF take parenting classes.  Even without the BM causing problems, the child could very well resent you when she gets older, if only for the simple fact that you enforce the rules and her dad doesn't.  You both need to be on the same page and react equally in regards to discipline.  BT, DT and still dealing with the repercussions.  One thing that stands out is that in a blended family, both parents most definitely need to enforce the rules equally, but the biological parent needs to be the predominant enforcer.  Otherwise, resentment can build within the child against the step-parent doing the majority of the discipline.

As for the BM always finding something to fight about.......get used to it.  Maybe some time in the next 9 years something will happen for her to get the proverbial 2x4 upside her head and stop using her child as a pawn...but don't count on it at all.  Once you come to the realization that NOTHING you do will be okay with her, the better off you will be.  I know that worked for me, knowing that regardless of what we did, we knew that SS's mom would pitch a fit over and it actually helped us to stay one step ahead of her. 

Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......


Thank you. I understand what you are saying. It is not to that extent that he will not enforce what I am saying, because he always does. He will never go against me. That is not really my issue though. As I explained I have a fantastic relationship with my step daughter. Thats not the problem. I do fear that her mother will be able to influence her to hate me one day. My boyfriend says its impossible because his daughter really loves me, but I remember when I was a child, I believed anything my mom said. I only realized she was wrong when I was 28 years old. I have an ex husband, and he remarried to a really nice girl. She is really nice to my son, and my son only speaks highly of her. I respect her very much. She has never cause one problem for me. As for my boyfriends ex-wife she is the total opposite. we are in and out of court. I have a upcoming lawsuit against her. Its not a situation that we can easily brush her off. I wish it were that easy. She is always making false allegations. She has already lost in court. Thats why we have joint custody. The court is also aware I am the one who takes care of my step daughter and my boyfriend has to travel for work quite often. The judge still granted us joint custody. Unfortunately my step daughter has been though a lot with her mother, and we had to take action. Why I refur to "we" instead of he, is because his ex wife got me equally involved in the divorce. and I personally had to take action against her to protect the kids. Which I still continue to do so, but now its just between her and I. I have a law suit against her. Now because I am so involved and close to my step daughter, I really have no choice but to enforce rules. Other wise my home would be totally dysfunctional. Which is what I believe his ex is persistant with trying to achieve. She is not happy about joint custody and she didn't have a choice of the matter, but only because she played very dangerous games with her daugher, and didn't think anybody would fight her in court, and then the court realized what she was actually doing because of much gathered evidence, and she got her self in trouble. We personally didn't want any of this to happen, but we didn't have a choice but to fight back. If it was just a matter of the ex calling me names, or making stupid rumours about me....well I can handle that. I can't handle her trying to destroy my son and her daughter. She just seems so angry, that she is so caught up in some sort of revenge tactic that I believe she doesn't even realize the damage she is actually doing. I want to add, that I am not the reason of this divorce. I met him 6 months later. Actually there wouldn't even be an excuse to justify her erratic behavoir.

I remember when I first met her. I knew there was alot of problems between her and my bf, but that wasn't my problem. I still respected her very much because she with the mother of my bf's daughter. I also been through all of this years ago in my own situation so I was aware of how delicate of a situation it was at the beginning. I was very nice to her, and she seemed very nice to me, and then bam.....all kinds of strange things started. She showed up at my work, she was constantly giving her daughter messages to give to me. She started with all kinds of allegations. Unfortuantely I have been in court with her since. I guess she figured I would just break up with my bf, but with the allegations she claimed, she put me in a position where I felt I had no choice but to fight her in court. In fact if I would have walked away, those allegations would have grown. As you can see 5 years later nothing has progressed, there will never be a winner because of all the damage that has already been done. My only reason for the law suit is to totally to protect me and my family, and she causes a lot less problems when she is being followed by the courts. So as you can see there is no repairing this situation. It is impossible to be civiled with a person like this. We have tried everything and she is simply out of control. We have even got experts involved, and tried everything to solve these situations. I realize the justice system takes very,very long. Alot of people probably just give up, and alot of people probably get away with really bad things. I will not give up even though this has made my life very stressful. A part of me now is used to it. I hate it, but I don't have a choice. My concern is I started a family with this man. I have a son who loves him dearly, I have a step daughter who I love dearly, and now we have a little girl together too. I want to live a normail life, but this is hardly normal. I am afraid that my step daughter will hate me one day. My bf is afraid she will hate him too. No matter what her mom does to us, we only speak highly of her to her daughter. We try our best to make the best of our situation, but its really hard when you know the ex is working so hard on trying to turn her daughter on us. My bf always says one day when she grows up, she will realize exactly what has happened. Thats a sad thing because she is really going to be hurt more so then ever. Or she may choose to stand by her mother and hate us. I just wish I knew how to handle this situation in the best way. I am not exadurating when I say I have begged youth protection for help. Not only to keep their eyes on her, but to keep their eyes on us as well. I could be a very bad person just trying to get somebody in trouble, and I do not expect anybody to believe my word. I just wanted them to be involved with us because I seen the situation was out of control. Youth protection totally refused to help because they said it was very unfortante that this happened, but unfortunatly this was a divorce matter and these things happen in divorce all the time. So basicly a child who is physically abused will get help. Thank god for that. A child who is mentally abused, can be abused for a life time and nobody will help. I don't understand that. so we just have to hope for the best in the futur, and hope that the child wasn't deeply effected, and wait for the child to actually be old enoough to defend themselves and speak for them selves. In alot of cases that never even happens because the child turns into a wounded adult and doesn't even know why.Then spends years trying to repair the damage that was created when he/she was a child. OR never even has the strength to do so.
So basicly we are really sad, because we are totally helpless.Sorry for such a long message.


I really feel for you. It is really tough being a SM. Maybe you need to sit down with SD and your BF and have a discussion that the rules in the house our made by BOTH adults and it is both your jobs to make sure everyone follows them. You are certainly in your right to tell her that her mom has rules in her house and how she chooses to enforce them is up to her, in your house the rules are up to you and your boyfriend and not anyone else.

About your SD loving you and being close at 9, my SD was really close to me. She used to chose to sit on my side of the booth at restaurants, hold my hand and sit on my lap more than her dad until she turned about 11. I think hormones kick in and all those years of BS than her mom fed her really sunk in. After that, she acted like I wasn't important to her and wouldn't even talk to me anymore. She acted like I killed her dog. She is 18 now and for the past about 7 years I have become less of a family member to her and more as a background character. She is usually not overtly rude to me (but has been), but I can tell the closeness has ended. Don't take for granted that she will be close to in the next 2-3 years because she is now. I don't mean to scare you, but I thought the same thing and my heart has been sick over the change in our relationship.

Good luck with everything


Quote from: Kitty C. on Apr 30, 2009, 09:25:10 AM
Maybe some time in the next 9 years something will happen for her to get the proverbial 2x4 upside her head and stop using her child as a pawn...but don't count on it at all.

This was brilliant! lol (It also applies to my very similar situation.)

Kitty C.

*chuckle*  This actually happened to DH's ex..........after she went through her 2nd divorce.  Prior to that, I was the wicked stepmother, and since she actually asks MY opinion on things!  The first time it happened, I almost fainted!  But the real kicker was at a football game of SS's, where she told DH that the atty. she had for her 2nd divorce told her she could take DH back for more support...but I was blown away when she said she really didn't want to do that, since everyone was getting along so well.  On top of that, SS overheard what she said and told her 'Thank God, because if you did, I'd disown you!'  And SS was only 11 at the time!  (He's 15 now.)

The only reason I can see for her 'change of heart' was that she didn't have enough animosity for both exes, so she just dropped it with DH and me.  The elevator still doesn't go to the top floor, but SS certainly isn't suffering anymore and that's all that counts.  But she's done the damage........SS has already made it plain he thinks she's nuts and can't wait to graduate so he can get away from her.  Oh well, her loss..........
Handle every stressful situation like a dog........if you can't play with it or eat it, pee on it and walk away.......