Just recently, my husband got an interesting text from my step daughter asking him to remove a picture off of a website. He didn’t understand what she was referring to, so he called her and she said she wanted the family photo with her in it taken off of my business website. A little background about my business, I run a licensed daycare in my home and I have a daycare website that has an “about us” page on it and on that page there is a family photo of all of us that has been on the website for at least 3 years now. So now getting back to the phone call… she said she is 18 years old and doesn’t give us permission to have that photo on the website and wants it taken down. He then asked her why she wants it taken down and all she said was that she had her reasons. He then asked what those reasons are and she said she wouldn’t tell them to him. He told her no and that the picture stays on there and there is nothing wrong with the family picture. She hung up on him. He then called the ex-wife and told her about this conversation he had with their daughter and all she did was listen to everything he said and then said Okay, which surprised him because usually she has a lot more to say to him when it comes to drama. So then shortly after he got off the phone with the ex-wife, he gets this nasty threatening voicemail message from the step daughter’s cousin (whom she is living with right now in Florida) which said to take down the photo and call him back or else, then telling him that he hasn’t talked to his daughter since she has moved there (which it has been a month). Which is not true, he has been in contact with her since she moved there and we have the text messages to prove it. Then he gets a nasty text message from the ex-wife calling him the “A” word and telling him to take the photo down. All of this took place when I was out grocery shopping and at my daughter, Megan’s cheer practice. When I got home and he told me all of this, I advised him not to respond and to just let it go. Then the next day he receives an email from the ex-wife saying she blocked his phone number from my step daughters phone and he can no longer call or text her anymore and that if he wants to contact her, he has to go through her first.
My stepdaughter got her first phone from the ex-wife when she was 11 years old. The first few years of her having a phone were awful. Only because any and everytime she was not happy with something we did or said, she would call or text her Mom and let her know. Then my husband would get a phone with the ex-wife and she would lecture or tell him what to do in order to make my stepdaughter happy again. The first incident was when my stepdaughter didn’t like whatever my daughter’s response was to her, she hit my daughter and then we found out about it and sent her to her room and then of course she tattled to her mother about it and got her involved and, of course, my stepdaughter was never in the wrong for her actions. Over and over things would happen and the ex-wife would call my husband and they would have a huge disagreement on the phone. Then when he would get off of the phone with her, my stepdaughter would conveniently get out of her room without having to apologize for whatever she did wrong to my daughters. It was awful for me and a losing battle because I wanted my husband to tell his stepdaughter she wasn’t allowed to bring her phone here anymore. He did tell his ex-wife a few times to stay out of our business, but it was never enough.
What happens at our house should stay at our house meaning when the kids misbehave, we should be able to discipline them the way we want. We shouldn’t have to console his ex-wife about any bad behavior. Finally, he put his foot down after another incident and told her she wasn’t allowed to bring her phone over, but then she would sometimes sneak it over the house anyways.
After a while of the phone calls and such finally it all stopped which I was really grateful for. Eventually, she outgrew the need to call or text her Mother after any little thing. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t against her talking to her mother while she was here at our house but not to be a tattle teller and get jail free card. My husband’s phone works fine if she were to use it to call and talk to her Mother. But this wasn’t the case she just only wanted to call her mother to get her out of punishment and it always worked in her favor. She would even call her to ask her to pick her up and that she wanted to go home and once we did take her home early. Finally after a while the ex-wife would tell her No to come home early.
I went and had a talk with AJ about everything and he told me that my stepdaughter was teasing and doing things all day to Grace and that they were picking on her. I told him he shouldn’t have said the things he said and should have stayed out of it and he agreed but it just angered him that my stepdaughter would say what she said to me and that I am not a terrible mother. AJ said he would go and apologize to my husband soon and that he felt horrible about what he said. Then my husband and I decided to go outside to talk about everything. I apologized for AJ saying that to him and he understood why he did say something because he was only protecting his mother meaning me. Then we were thinking about turning around and going home. I told him to call the ex-wife and see if she could meet him half way to get her that way we don’t have to all leave and go home. I just told him to call her and tell her everything that happened and see what she says. Even though it was going to be hard to do and have to listen to her, he did call her. She told him to let my stepdaughter cool down and then talk with her and tries to calm her down and see if we can work things out.
In the meantime while he was on the phone with her I started packing my stuff up because I really thought we might end the trip and go home. Grace noticed I was packing and starting crying because she didn’t want to go home yet. I told her we need to pray that God works everything out so we can stay here and continue our vacation. Then I went into the bathroom and cried and prayed by myself asking God to come in and fix this whole mess so we can continue our vacation. I went into the bathroom and prayed and cried about all of this.
My husband came and got me and we went outside to talk again and it turned out my stepdaughter had a change of heart and said she wanted to stay and make things work. So I was really relieved to hear that and thankful to God because it was him that answered my prayers. Then all three of us sat down in the living room and I apologized for calling her a Brat and she didn’t say one word to me or apologized for calling me a terrible mother or for calling Grace a Brat. All she did was cry and hyperventilate. So then I left and she went in the room for the night.
One weekend my stepdaughter came over with big surprises for my both of my girls they were ages 8 and 9 years old at the time. I had no idea what she had for them. Then she brought them out two American Girl Dolls that used to be hers, she was giving one doll each to both of my girls since she outgrew them and didn’t play with them anymore. I was really surprised and even thanked my stepdaughter for giving the dolls to my girls, it was just the kindest thing she has ever done for my girls up at that point. My girls were so excited and so happy and gave her a big hug for the dolls. My stepdaughter even had a bunch of accessories that she also gave to them to have. Then the next kid weekend we had them my girls didn’t do something that my stepdaughter liked and didn’t play the way she wanted them to play with her. She got very mad and called each of them both Brats. Then my husband punished her and sent her to her room. I was in another room at the time when all of this went down. So I didn’t know what was really going on at the time. Then all of sudden a big loud cries came from my daughters room and then I rushed into their room to see what was going on. My stepdaughter had come into their room when she was supposed to be in her room for punishment and took both of the dolls and all of the accessories that she could grab out of their room and told the girls they will never get the dolls back and that they are gone for good. My girls were crying so hard. And of course, my husband and I got into it with one another because he didn’t tell my stepdaughter to give the dolls back to my girls. I was really mad at her that she would give the girls dolls and then take them away like that. The fact that my husband would let her get away with taking something she has already given to someone else back because she was mad at them made me furious. She insisted on wanting to go back to her mother’s house, which was totally fine with me since her behavior ruined the rest of the weekend.
The following year I ended up getting them each a new American Girl Doll for each of their birthdays to make up for the great loss of the ones they used to have. Even after that all happened my girls still loved and adored their stepsister, which I was grateful that I didn’t raise daughters that hold grudges.
The valuable lesson I taught my girls that weekend was to never take back something you give to someone else only because you’re upset with them. When you give something to someone else it’s theirs to keep, Taking gifts back after you give them is never okay.
Has anyone dealt with this issue with your stepchildren? If so, how did you handle it?
My stepdaughter recently graduated High School this past June. I really wanted to be there, in fact, I bought three different sundresses for that special day and I really wanted to be there to celebrate it. About two months before the big day I was going to buy the tickets for the graduation ceremony, the ex-wife called my husband and told him she does not want me there because she doesn’t want their daughter under any stress and she’s afraid of it really putting her through a lot of stress. When he came home to tell me this, I was so hurt that I cried because I have missed a lot this year with his kids and yet here’s another thing I couldn’t be a part of. At first I was hurt, but then I got angry and said I have every right to be there and that I was going to go to it anyways and my husband agreed with me. Then as the weeks came closer I had mixed feelings about it all and felt that if I went that she would make my husband pay for it somehow or another. After talking to a lot close friends and family about whether I should attend or not. The day before the ceremony I decided that I would not attend. It was not any easy decision to come to because I hate the fact that I feel like she’s not just the boss of my husband most of the time, but she’s now the boss of me and I hated the fact that I was letting her have that power over me. I also really hated the fact that no one else on my husband’s side of the family could attend the ceremony which made him going by himself. Having a child graduate High School can be an emotional day and to have to attend it alone without your spouse being able to be there is very hard and then to have to deal with the ex-wife and her family being able to be there is very hard on top of it. That’s why it was also hard for me to not go because I really wanted to be there for my husband beside see my step daughter graduate.
The day of the event all I did was cry at home, feeling so hurt from it all. As soon as it was over and my husband came home, all he did was hold me and let me cry and he cried with me feeling bad that I couldn’t be there. The other bad thing is that all of the pictures he took didn’t come out; they were all blurry which made things worse. Sometimes I just feel like she still is married to my husband because of all of the control she still has over him. He rarely argues with her on things which make me mad, but I do see why he does do what she wants, because he’s afraid of her taking him to court and having custody taken away from him, which she has done in the past. Overall, that was a very hard and emotional day for my husband and me.
Have you ever missed an event due to the ex-wife telling you, you can’t attend it? How did you deal with it or handle it?