Tag Archives: blended family issues

Something to Think About

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It is my hope that all you stepmom readers will learn something from my experience of losing both my husband and stepsons.  Some stepmoms may wonder why they should try to get along with the mother of the kids.  Why shouldn’t you is what I want to know?  I realize that some mothers are difficult to endure.  Some  are hostile, weird, crazy, jealous, insensitive, manipulative, beastly, petty—fill in the blank.  Eliza was all that and then some!  You might be thinking, Well you don’t know my husband’s ex!  While I might not know her personally, I do know the archetype.

Even though I know I tried my very best to smooth things over between she and I (in the last two years), she didn’t.  I could only control myself, and rightly focused on changing my attitude about her instead of trying to force  her to be different.

Therefore, I want to make sure that you are doing everything on your end to be peacable.  Please pick and choose your battles and think of your situation with the end in mind.  We all know that stepparents have no legal rights to their stepchildren.  Your husband is truly that connecting force between you two.  Unless, you have a stable relationship with the mother, that is (especially in the event of death and/or the children are not of age).  No him or her=no stepchildren.  You can’t force/demand/court order the biological parent to allow you to interact with their kids.   

As you see in my case, it is to your benefit to get along with the mother of the children.  I truly wish that Eliza would have honored my role and feelings.  There is no compelling reason that Nicholas and I should not have the boys in our lives.  It still hurts that she is punishing us in this manner.

If you are giving it the best that you’ve got, I heartily encourage you to keep up the good work!  Life offers few fairy tale endings and your efforts alone may not produce the desired outcome.  But speaking from experience, you won’t regret trying.

I do, however, wish that I would have had this attitude from the very inception.  While I wasn’t the one who started the fires and mostly ignored her combustive behavior, I wouldn’t have spit on her if she was on fire (as the old saying goes)!  I felt like it wasn’t my “job” to appease her (or get along with her) in any manner.  Afterall, it was her who was causing trouble, being difficult, and behaving in a bellicose manner!

So if you are holding onto grudges, insecurites, myths about the ex, things your stepchildren told you she said,  past hurts, or any other minute issues (and if it’s not life or death—IT IS SMALL!) stop while you still have time to regroup, reflect, and reposition yourself.  Like it or not, she will always be their mother.  You can’t “wish” her away or pretend she doesn’t exist.  Figure out exactly what you want your blended family life to be and go for it.  Wake up and change directions while you still can.  Most anything is possible because everyday is a new day.  Even if you can’t have peace with her because of her relunctance (or disinterest) you can have it within for trying.

With that being said,  if you still can’t think of any reason under the sun as to why it would be a good idea to be on stable ground with your husband’s ex; think about your stepchild(ren) and your life without them in it.

I Told You So

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I knew that Eliza would find  a way to make the court order our fault.  Her brother left a gruff message on my cell phone demanding that my husband give him a call ASAP.  Of course, my husband did not return his call and does not plan to.  He is not going to answer to him about anything regarding his kids.  He is not a concerned uncle, he is a dangerous goon with a terrible attitude and a notorious reputation. 

I can only imagine what Eliza told her brother.  I’m sure she told him that we have been telling the therapist bad things about her which is why she (the therapist) wrote the letter to the court.  I know she failed to mention how she intiated the court order with her letter. 

It wouldn’t matter anyhow.  Her brother is a male version of her—only worse.  When Eliza was first jailed she did not want us to have the boys.  She wanted them to stay with her family.  Needless to say, my husband wanted his children. Her brother refused to surrender the kids and spent  a lot of time threatening us for trying to get them. After two months he literally dropped them off at our doorstep because his girlfriend couldn’t handle caring for the boys.

However, that does not stop him from attempting to interfere on her behalf whenever she directs him to do so.  We have had our home phone number changed and had our alarm system upgraded since he has forced his way into our lives.  Many of our friends, relatives, coworkers, and the staff at the boys’ schools (he has been banned from both Ethan and Evan’s school and was actually arrested at Ethan’s for trepassing and demanding information) know how much he has harassed us. I like to let people know in case something happens to us the police will know exactly where to go. 

I am afraid that he might just show up at our doorstep.  Being that my husband works late, the odds are it would only be me and the kids at home.  If he shows up, we have decided that I should immediatedly call the police.  I am not going to waste my time explaining anything to him.  He is not welcome at our home under any circumstances.

I really wish that Eliza and her family would let us be.  But I am afraid that will never happen…

Eliza the Stepmom

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Sometimes I think about the fact that Eliza is a stepmom just like me.  So I wonder why she is so difficult to deal with? It seems that she would be much more understanding of my role considering that she knows what it is like.

Her husband, whom she married in 2005, has three children.  The youngest one is currently three-years-old.  I know Eliza had a lot of problems interacting with his youngest son’s mom as well as his daughter’s mother.  His oldest son lived with them for a few months because his mom was in jail.  He  called Eliza “mommy.” 

Ethan and Evan did not seem to like their stepbrother much, Ethan more so than Evan.  I think Evan was being a follower.  Ethan did not like the fact that he called Eliza “mommy.”  Ethan is very jealous and territorial of her.  They also mentioned that Eliza thought he was “bad” and was allowed to discipline him.

Knowing how Eliza always wanted a girl, I think she was pretty nice to her stepdaughter who was six-years-old at the time.

Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that her nine-year-old stepson was molesting the boys.  I can only imagine how she must have felt as a mom.  I do empathize with the fact that she was in a delicate position.  I was concerned about my stepsons and also felt sorry for the child because he was a victim himself a year prior.

We happened to find out about the situation two months later through a third party.  We confirmed the story with CPS and after a few weeks we received temporary custody.  Eliza was furious! 

While in our care she wrote the boys a letter telling them that her stepson would never be allowed in their lives again.  However, she and her husband married six weeks after the boys were placed back in her care.

Eliza shared her perspective of this event with me the last time I visited her alone.  She confessed that she knew it was wrong to hate a child but she couldn’t stop from doing so.  She acknowledged that he even apologized to her saying Mommy, mommy, I’m so sorry!  I already knew that he called her “mommy,” but I was surprised to hear her admit it.  Eliza would not allow the boys to acknowledge that I was married to their dad.  Even after the fact she had them refer to me as “Daddy’s girlfriend.”

She was so adamant that her boys not call me anything other than Morocco.  I thought it was pretty hypocritical of her.  Eliza even went as far as lecturing Evan about never referring to me as this.  She warned, You only have one Mommy.  Don’t ever call anyone but me Mommy.  She many left voicemails that always began with This is Ethan and Evan’s Mommy, with a heavy emphasis on the M-word.

I took the opportunity to reply, so he called you Mommy?!”  She knew the question was loaded and read between the lines. She replied halfheartedly Yes, but that’s because I’ve known him for a long time.  Funny, but she’s known him the same length of time that I have known her boys.

The boys revealed that their stepbrother spent the night with them once briefly after the case.  During this time Eliza did not speak to him and made him wait on the porch while she argued with his dad about him. When she fixed dinner that night she did not fix his plate, her husband had to do it. Ethan was proud to tell this story.  He saw it as Eliza standing up for them.

I am really not surprised at the kind of stepmom she is.  Eliza has so many insecurity issues that she views almost everyone as being a threat to her in some form or fashion.  Her other son has a stepmom, too.  I’ve heard that she has no problems with this stepmom.  But that stems from the fact that she is the puppet master controlling her other son’s father.  Eliza was also still involved with him during their relationship.  It’s really crazy that his wife is okay (I am assuming that she is) with this behavior.  There are three people in that relationship–and Eliza is one of them.

Compared to the other stepmom in her life, I’d bet she thinks that I don’t “know my place.”  I see it differently–I just refuse to let her run my household.

We have both struggled in our walks as stepmoms.  I think this would be a powerful way to learn from each other and offer support.  Unfortunately, she is not thinking what I am thinking.