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Ex-wife is crazy, yet she gets visitation rights
November 8, 2002
1:21 pm
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artist 2
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She is very angry. She once left the little kid alone all night. After that her visitation was restricted to 6 hours every two weeks.

My beef:

Whenever she gets him, she doesn't bring him back on time. It might be half an hour, or an hour and a half late. Meanwhile BF and I sit around and wait to get on with our evening.

further beef:

BF won't find out what her address. Says he has to ask the lawyer, who won't return his phone calls. He hasn't asked her, but expects she will refuse, so he doesn't ask. If he had EX's address he could call the police over there to have his son returned.

Guess what annoys me more than her being late, is that BF acts so passive and forgetful about the whole thing. He forgets to call and bug the attorney. He forgets to look in to what else he can do. He doesn't make her understand what can happen if she doesn't stick by the schedule.

He tells me there are few things he can do. He's afraid to lose custody by doing the wrong thing. Meanwhile, I'm sitting on the sidelines watching this whole mess going on.

Not only does she bring son back late, his behavior changes. He becomes defensive, scared, and untrusting of us. She yells all the time and manipulates the little guy. When she used to have the home phone number, she would call to talk to "her son" when all she would do would be to pass nasty messages to BF through his son. She is a real BIT*H.

I feel that she is in control of the situation. We end up waiting around for HER. i'd like to pull her hair out, because she does this on purpose to cause disharmony between me and BF. She like to cause trouble.

Another problem is i get so angry when she does this. BF says I let her get control by reacting the way I do. Could that be true? But, I can't help my feelings. That's one reason I'm looking into anger control.

Thanks for any feedback or responses, y'all.

November 8, 2002
2:57 pm
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gingerleigh
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Was this going on before you came into the picture, or only after you came into his life? If it has been going on since before you were around, likely it doesn't have anything to do with you or her wanting to rain on your parade. She sounds angry, that's for sure. I'm not in the exact same spot as you, but I can understand where you are coming from.

As far as her manipulating her son to get at your BF, well, there isn't anything you can do about that without getting yourself into a heap-load of trouble. Like it or not, they will always be a family unit, whether BF and Ex have a relationship or not. Pushing your beliefs onto BF as far as how he should handle the ex will get you nowhere, and will only make him more defensive and angry at you. And again, I understand and sympathize more than you might think. I know how frustrating it is to want him to stand up to her, to take a stand for himself, his son, and for your relationship with him, and he won't.

A few options I can advocate for you: (1)Take care of yourself. If you want to plan an evening or go do something, and she doesn't show up on time, you go. Leave BF around to wait if he must. This will send a message to BF that if he wants you in his life, he needs to work out his priorities with the ex better. It's not fair for him to drag you around in the mud just because he can't stand up for himself and work out better arrangements with the ex.

(2) Rearrange schedules with your BF so that your together time with him does not overlap on kid dropoff days. Take her out of the equation as a dependency.

(3) Cut your ties now before talks of weddings comes up. BF is at a very different point in life than you are from what it sounds like. That's neither a good thing nor a bad thing, but if your needs aren't being met, it might be best for your heart to let go now and look for someone who is in a similar point of life as you.

I think you would find that putting your foot down and telling BF how to work the arrangements with his Ex would just cause heartache between the two of you. He would be feeling powerless all the way around... first, he can't even stand up to his own ex wife. Second, his kid is getting caught in the middle, and third, his own girlfriend is unhappy with him. Sounds like a recipe for frustration and misdirected anger for him, and some hurt for you in the process.

Best wishes A2.

November 8, 2002
3:15 pm
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Hi Ging... thanks for responding. This is my response to your note:

"Was this going on before you came into the picture, or only after you came into his life?"

She has always been like that. Irresponsible and mean. Mean to him when they were married too.

I never really thought she had any focused point in hurting me because she doesn't really know me. But, yes she is angry.

"Like it or not, they will always be a family unit, whether BF and Ex have a relationship or not. "

I realize she will never be out of the picture as far as son goes. BF wants nothing to do with her.

"Pushing your beliefs onto BF as far as how he should handle the ex will get you nowhere, and will only make him more defensive and angry at you. "

Too late. He and I already went through that. He says "I'm the man and will make the decision about how to handle it. Trust me." And I have trusted him, but I still get mad, uspet, and feel like he's taking her side over mine. It feels like he's not taking up for me...

"A few options I can advocate for you: (1)Take care of yourself. It's not fair for him to drag you around in the mud just because he can't stand up for himself and work out better arrangements with the ex. "

Oh, yes that is how I feel. Dragged around beyond my control. It really pisses me off.

"(2) Rearrange schedules with your BF so that your together time with him does not overlap on kid dropoff days. Take her out of the equation as a dependency."

Very good idea. Very good point.

"(3) Cut your ties now before talks of weddings comes up. BF is at a very different point in life than you are from what it sounds like. "

Too late. We've already talked about weddings... but now I wonder if he just wants to marry a nursemaid or a nanny. I wonder what his intentions are sometimes... and I don't want to go there, I really don't.

Thanks again Ginger.

November 8, 2002
4:06 pm
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"She drives...don't you have a cop friend who could check the DMV for you to get her address? Or maybe a connection down at the DMV? Next time she comes...copy her license plate number down. "

Thanks - I have thought of this one, but am afraid to mention it to BF, because he might think I'm trying to meddle again. But, I'm going to do it anyway.

"On the flip-side though, a Mother should also have phone access to her child to be able to call him and say hi...did you finish your homework, etc. Get caller ID with a *82 attached so you can screen your calls...if it's her, you can always not answer or let the machine pick it up."

She used to have access until she called 42 times in a row one day. He had the number changed after that. The only communication she can have now is through email to BF. She's now showing up at son's school. I'm afraid she will take off with him one day!

"Bottom line...you don't let your child leave the house without knowing where they are going to be at...but you also can't call the police to go there if she's only an hour late in bringing him home either."

Yes, and it gosh-darn sucks! What sucks more is that he won't find out where she lives.

Thanks for your wisdom, Blondie. Glad you're better!

November 8, 2002
6:13 pm
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gingerleigh
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A2, here's what you said...

"Too late. We've already talked about weddings... but now I wonder if he just wants to marry a nursemaid or a nanny. I wonder what his intentions are sometimes... and I don't want to go there, I really don't."

Do NOT get that ring on your finger or walk down that isle until you are comfortable with what his intentions are (and furthermore that you believe him). You deserve better than being someone's nurse-maid or nanny. Your gut is trying to tell you that something is not right here, not healthy. Whether you want to go there or not, you will eventually go there, either before the wedding or after. Much safer and more convenient to "go there" before the wedding... trust me, on this I really do know. If BF won't stand up for his own son, why on earth would he ever stand up for you?

I'm not trying to burst your bubble here, but I wish that someone had told me when I was running off to Vegas to get married... "Hey G, he hasn't seen his kids in a year, he just shoves money at them, and doesn't take an interest in their lives... what makes you think he's going to give a rat's ass about you a year down the road?" And ya know, I probably wouldn't have listened to reason, given how head over heels in looooove I was... but at least it would have been out there more in front of my face to figure out what was really going on. And that's my story, I know, your BF is different and is the primary care giver for his son, but if he isn't standing up for the welfare of his son, why on earth would he ever be motivated to stand up for you?

BF, EX and Kid are out of your control. I disagree on playing PI yourself... again, it's your BF's son, not yours, and he never will be your son unless you get married, the ex gives up all rights and you adopt him. Very unlikely. No harm in collecting the turkey prints (sounds fun actually...) but that's much easier to explain away than queries on license plate numbers and such. Your BF is entitled to take these measures for the protection and safety of his son, but unfortunately, unless he explicitly asks for your help here (and even then I think it's questionable), you really aren't in a position to start a search like this.

Your hands really are tied here. You can't force BF to put the law down. You can't make his ex turn into a reasonable human being. All you can really change here is yourself. Time to set some boundaries for yourself, what you will tolerate, and what you will not. If you say that you cannot tolerate her bringing back the boy an hour late every time, well, whatcha gonna do about it? Cry? Explain how that makes you feel (again)? Get angry and yell? Throw a rock through her windshield? Rat her out to the judge? And will that really get you anywhere near the goal you want? Probably not, all it will get you is either more fights with BF, or you will little by little relax those boundaries, accepting 15 minutes late, an hour late, 4 hours late, a day late... all the while you seethe in anger and unmet expectations.

I'm painting a bleak picture here, but can you see where this might lead? And only giving you a slight whack to the noggin' because I think you will appreciate the directness. Hope I haven't overstepped my bounds.

November 11, 2002
3:49 pm
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Thanks again for the advice. I will try to get the plate number. It will have to be pretty obvious because she's not allowed inside the yard. If she comes, she'll be sitting in her car on the street. I guess I could go sit outside and try to take a peek. Good to have not to take action on. That's his job.

As far as marriage, I think I'll have to wait it out. It's hard because of the trust stuff. I can't let that pollute my perception of him. Need to wait a few more months I think...

This whole thing is a hard lesson in boundary setting. A good lesson to learn though...

Solution to her being late: Me take me to a movie or go shopping and not be around when she might be late.

November 11, 2002
4:16 pm
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gingerleigh
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Probably be nice to remove that much more stress from your life, not having to deal with the ex face to face. His job, not yours, right? Who needs that? Yuck! I'd rather go see what holiday sales are going on...

November 11, 2002
4:39 pm
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Thanks for listening!

November 11, 2002
4:46 pm
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Cici
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I dunno, it's his issue. His kid, his ex, and my mantra is "The only person's behavior I can control is my own. To attempt or desire to control the behavior or actions or others will only cause further stress in my life."

Choose your battles, artist. You can either get really upset about what BF does, which you will never be able to control, or you can get mildly creepy and stalker-like and get all up on his ex.

I think that in many ways BF may be reulctant to bring up the issue because it's a tense situation. There is guilt involved in having a child with someone you don't love, but the child is there nonetheless. So your Ex has a psat - accept that, forgive him for it, and let go. If the Ex starts getting in your face, and you are involved in the issue without your own intent, then that's a different story.

Ginger is right on. But in the end, you'll do what you chose to do, and stress over what ever you want to stress about, needlessly or not. My deal is, I have enough of my own personal stress. I don't dare take on the burdens of others unless it's a life or death thing.

November 11, 2002
6:51 pm
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Hmm I dunno - whilst I agree with your premise Cici, I also tend to think that if it is impacting your life (and I think that things that happen in your SO's home/personal life affect you in some part), you at least have the right to state your views (which I think is different from forcing someone to do whatever YOU think they should do).

Anyway, I do find it somewhat concerning that bf doesn't seem to find it imperative to find out where his ex lives (and where his son is being taken) - after all, she knows where he lives and since he is the custodial parent he should be aware of what his child is doing, right? But ultimately that is his decision. Remember that he is coming from a position of knowing the type of person his ex is, so probably has an understanding of the best way to deal with her. Hopefully nothing will happen to the child. It might be a good idea to get fingerprints and licence rego as a precautionary measure, but I wouldn't push the issue if bf is reluctant to deal with it since you'll just end up creating more problem as he will perceive you to be interfering.

I get frustrated by 'waiting' for other people too - the feeling that you can't do anything because they might turn up at any moment so you don't want to get immersed into tasks that you have to suddenly stop, yet the time drags and you could have done it anyway. If bf is prepared to put up with the child being returned home late, then there isn't much you can do about it other than to remove yourself from the frustating situation (ie take up your shopping idea). Remember of course, that whilst it might be a bit of a 'power play' on the mother's part, incidents do happen which can cause people to be late.

Whilst it's an irritating situation for you, it's really up to your bf to change the situation if he doesn't like it. I think as his partner, you have the right to state how you feel about the situation and offer some support and suggestions for how he can change it, but if he isn't willing to do anything about it, you need to respect that that is his decision.

November 13, 2002
9:40 am
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I agree with you Squeezles. thanks

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