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EmC
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Reged: 06/02/05
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When will some people ever learn????
      #17259 - 06/19/05 09:23 PM

We had such a drama filled day today. Now, honestly, while BM caused it, I honestly don't think it was intended to turn out the way it did.

Background: Since the day my husband moved out after catching her in her THIRD affair (well, actually second and third...he found out about the second at the same time), she has given a rat's butt about him or the kids relationship with him. Every birthday, Father's Day or Christmas...nothing. She would have died before taking the kids to do anything. So as a result, we have developed our own traditions. For every holiday, I buy my husband a "nice" gift (translation: more expensive) as a token of my appreciation for him and the man he his. But I also take the kids to the Dollar Store and let them buy whatever they think Daddy would like. The five gifts he gets there are the best. And the explanations: hilarious!

Well, the kids show up with a gift this time. It put me in a pickle because, of course, my boys then wanted to be able to buy a gift for him and of course the skids still wanted to do the Dollar Store thing. So I trimmed back my gift and took the boys to buy him something from the two of them and then also still did the Dollar Store thing with all five. Problem solved, right?

I wish....Of course, I find out right before we give the gifts, the skids didn't have any idea what BM bought so it really wasn't from them. It was a book....he already had and the skids knew it. Of course, the gift the boys got him was something he didn't have and really wanted, since they picked it out and not some stranger. The skids were DEVASTATED that he already had the book and nothing any of us said made them feel better. THEN to top it off, my boys come and are all upset because my sson told them they should have picked out a sdad card, not a dad card. When I ask him why he said it, I get the, "Well, my mom said they should and today isn't sdad day".

Sigh...I guess my issue is if she had been a stand up person through out (like my husband was....the kids have been given money to shop for their mother for Mother's Day, her birthday and Christmas every year since the divorce and THEY pick them out, not us) and had done this each year, we wouldn't have made our own traditions. But to just do this, with no regard to the other children, when she knows my husband considers them his own....was a little insensitive to them, at the very least. It made like a "line in the sand" between kids and skids and it was very upsetting to BOTH sides.

The skids went back because it is still her extended visitation right now and she called a little later wanting to know why I took them shopping since she already bought a gift and that my sson told her that my husband already had it. I confirmed it all and told her next time, she should consult me about this stuff. She, of course, said, "They are MY kids" and I said, "Yes, but he is MY husband and that was who the gift was for. If you had let me know, I would have told you that we have our own traditions or at the very least, told you he already had the book"....to which she said, "I think I know XXXX..." and I cut her off and said, "No, you don't. I don't know my ex either and I would ask his SO before I bought him a gift because it is rude and disrespectful to her." She, of course, countered with, "It was from the skids" to which I said, "No, it wasn't. YOU bought it. THEY didn't know. If they had, they knew he had the book because sson used it for a book report! The gift was from you and you stepped over the line. All I am saying is next time, given the fact that numerous holidays have passed, you might check with us on what we normally do because you don't know. It will save us all the drama of having little kids with hurt feelings and isn't that what we all want????"

She of course got snippy and then her husband got on, we had the same conversation and he agreed with me that since the kids didn't pick it out, it really wasn't appropriate and since we have five kids in our family, not three, and we operate like an intact family (no mine or yours) that all kids need to be considered.

Now, after thinking it out, maybe she did mean it. I mean, we wouldn't have said anything about it. We chalked it up to a well-meaning thing that turned out not so good. But her calling, it was like looking for the fight. I don't know....but I just wish she would think before acting. she hurt five kids feelings, three of which were hers, by not thinking out the actions.

Sheesh....anyone else feel like in a blended family, it is such a delicate balance. I didn't think it would turn out as bad as it did with the kids, but everyone had their feelings hurt.

--------------------
It is not in the stars to hold
our destiny but in ourselves.
~William Shakespeare


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Susanf31
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Re: When will some people ever learn???? [Re: EmC]
      #17261 - 06/19/05 09:56 PM

I think you are one of the "people who will never learn." Your actions were rude and it's no wonder BM got snippy. Any gift-giver would get snippy for being called on the carpet for their gift choice.

Sorry, but coming strictly from a BM's point of view here...

I have often times bought my ex something "from the kids." I was married to the man. I had children with him. I know him...and obviously she chose a nice book because he already had it...signifing that she did, indeed, know it was something he would like.

If one gives a gift that you already have, the gracious thing to do is to say "thank you." That's all, just "Thank you." You don't criticize the person who sent it or choose it and chide them for not consulting you first. Who would do that??

Your H could have called her and THANKED her for book, then told her what a nice gift it was, but he already had it. Could she please tell him where he got so he could exchange it for a different book. That would have been the NICE, gracious thing to do. Then he could have gotten all excited in front of the kids about how he was going to be able to go to the book store and pick out any book he wanted!!

I'm appalled that you would get on the phone with her and proceed to tell her how, in the future, she should send gifts. Hasn't anyone ever told you that it's the thought that counts?

You were rude and you could have shown so much more graciousness than you displayed. I'm sure you don't see that and you don't see yourself as part of the problem. But anytime you have a new wife telling ex-wife that she should consult her before sending gifts, you've got to see that you are part of the "When will they learn!" club.

Remember, when ANYONE gives you or your H a gift, jsut say "thanks for the thought!!!" If you already have it, you can always discretely exchange it later.


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Spring
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Re: When will some people ever learn???? [Re: Susanf31]
      #17263 - 06/19/05 10:29 PM

From THIS BM's point of view...I think you made the best out of a catastrophe! Had I been the BM, you wouldn't have had the call after the skids went home...you would have had a different call from me inquiring if I should supply the Father's Day gift seperately or if you(and this would be my hope) had planned to have a group gift from all the kids! That would be the respectful thing to do.

--------------------
Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.


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EmC
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Interesting.... [Re: Spring]
      #17265 - 06/19/05 10:41 PM

I am just like Spring. When my ex met his SO and they became a family, I called the next Father's Day (as I had continued to take the kids shopping post divorce) and asked her if I should or if she intended to. I did it previous because there was no one else to do it. Now, she does it and it is something that the kids enjoy.

Now...Susan...sigh....as a BM (remember, I am one too...), I respect my ex's SO and her role. BTW...looking back, I sent the book report to the skids' BM (because sson got 100% on his very first book report and thought she too might enjoy seeing it) so chances are better than not that is how she knew he would enjoy it. Know him? Hardly or else she would know he loves the Dollar Store gifts and it is the highlight of the morning hearing why each child bought what. Know him? Hardly...she bought a book about his favorite sport, which 99% of his casual wear supports "his" team, so you would have to be BLIND not to know he likes this sport. Know him? Hardly....or else she would know that picking out a gift and signing the card for the kids is not what he likes. Know him? Hardly...or else she would realize that he would rather get NOTHING before having a child's feelings hurt.

You realize that my sson realized he had the book IMMEDIATELY upon seeing my husband open it. There was no time to cover. He was so upset and so was my sd. I didn't do that. Their mom did by trying to insinuate herself where she had no business. We assured him it was okay and it was the thought that counts, but since they are used to OUR tradition and the thought that goes into our gifts (not the money), he was heartbroken.

AND keep in mind, I didn't call her. She called me. I did thank her for the sentiment initially, but when she called ME out for taking them to the Dollar Store, I was honest and answered her questions directly.

You and your ex are civil. This woman is not. That is a whole different scenario and you know it. But given your stance, when he does remarry, you will be in for an adjustment when you are no longer the woman in his life.

AND you forget that five kids got their feelings hurt by her actions. Isn't that what should really be the most important thing????? We were just going to let it go....she made the issue.

--------------------
It is not in the stars to hold
our destiny but in ourselves.
~William Shakespeare


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Moi
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Reged: 05/28/05
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Re: When will some people ever learn???? [Re: EmC]
      #17266 - 06/19/05 10:43 PM

My husbands ex tries her best to cause rifts in our household.

One example: My SD called from her Mom's. She got a ferret that day and was very proud and wanted to tell everyone. So after I got the scoop she wanted to talk to SS #1. So she then recited all the ferret details to her. Then she asked SS #1 to pass the phone to SS #2. Well that child put the phone on speaker phone and all three girls were chattering away all excited about SD's new pet.

So then I hear BM in the background on the other end ask SD WHO she is talking to. She said SS #2. Then you hear BM TELL SD, "Hang up that phone. I don't like her and I told you not to talk to her and you shouldn't like her either."

My daughter was in TEARS having heard this. And for the life of me I can't think of a single reason any mature adult would try to cause problems between children who consider themselves to be sisters, biology or not.
================

Wow, we do things the same as you. I drug 5 kids out today; which is a chore in itself! LOL I bought him his "big" gift then each of the 5 kids get him a $5-$10 something. The three little ones still make him cards. (those are the best one) and the two teenagers buy cards. My kids get him "dad" cards too. Heck, my 11yo daughter even WROTE on her homemade card, "Your the best Dad in the world" and she doens't even call him Dad. What's the big deal?

--------------------
Every storm cloud has a silver lining. Will you capitalize on it or b*tch about the storm?


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EmC
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Something else....Susan [Re: EmC]
      #17267 - 06/19/05 10:44 PM

So you think it is okay to send a married man a gift? I think it is not, unless he is family or you are friends with the man and his wife. She is neither. Keep in mind...the skids knew NOTHING of the gift until she drove up that day. They didn't know what it was. They had no say in picking it out. Never mind all the other reasons it was wrong, it is entirely inappropriate to send a gift to a married man you have no friendship or family relationship to. Dear Abby, simple etiquite and good manners tell you that, unless you are trying to lift your leg and mark territory that is no longer yours.

--------------------
It is not in the stars to hold
our destiny but in ourselves.
~William Shakespeare


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Spring
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Re: Something else....Susan [Re: EmC]
      #17269 - 06/19/05 10:49 PM

LOL...oh I forgot...SD10(still lives with Mom) used her own money to buy some chocolates for Dad. She asked Mom what she should buy...Mm told her "Oh your Dad just LOVES Hedgehogs!" so that's what she bought. My husband hates them and BM knows this, especially since she 'knows' him...and has 'known him longer than me!". LOL! The sad part is, SD thouught she bought him the bestest gift in the world! Now hubby is pretending he likes them.....lol.

--------------------
Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.

Edited by Spring (06/19/05 10:49 PM)


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EmC
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That is even worse! [Re: Spring]
      #17271 - 06/19/05 10:57 PM

That is awful Spring! Purposely setting sd up for disappointment. That is what Susan doesn't get. When a child gives a gift, THEY are more excited than the gift getter! No matter what we told sson (including we would all go exchange it for something we could share together and that my husband had "lost" his copy...) made it better. She set him up to be disappointed when he saw the book, not my husband.

She has done little things like that before. Like before football practice, she took them for snacks on her weekend. Sson asked to buy dad something with his money from his allowance here and she suggested an item with something in it my husband has ALWAYS hated and is allegric to. My husband couldn't even PRETEND to eat it because he would get sick.

Or the time I gave sd money to buy lunch for all the skids (we were at a tournament and BM offered to drive over). I have a heart condition and I told sd a salad (fast food is a killer for me...literally). SD, who was 6 at the time, forgot and BM reminded her I wanted a Quarter Pounder with cheese and fries. NO ONE ordered that and BM is well aware of my heart condition.

The more I think about this, the more likely this was planned. Susan doesn't get that the rules change when you remarry and everyone has to be sensitive to that.

--------------------
It is not in the stars to hold
our destiny but in ourselves.
~William Shakespeare


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Debi
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Reged: 06/03/05
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Just curious [Re: EmC]
      #17272 - 06/19/05 10:59 PM

Did she know about your tradition? Last year I volunteered to take my SO's kids shopping for Father's Day since they hadn't gotten him anything for his birthday and he was very hurt. I was snubbed when I made the suggestion (his x pretended I didn't offer and took the kids shopping on her own), so this year I didn't offer. You guessed it. Not even a card. I have no problem with his x taking the kids shopping or even picking something out as long as they recognize their father. I'm not taking sides on this at all, because I leave it to my x's wife to shop for him either with or without the kids. It's her job if she wants him to have more than the kids homemade cards and gifts (which I treasure and don't need anything else.) I think some people just like to remind the current wife that they were there once upon a time. Silly in my opinion since I don't even want to claim that I ever knew my x much less was married to him. (we all know THAT story though)

I think your tradition is a great one. I do the same thing for Christmas. No matter how hard you try though, you can't be exactly like an intact family because you're not one. I'm not trying to be mean but both sets of kids have another parent and you can't control how that other parent operates. You can only control how you deal with each situation. As for the comment your skids made about your H not being your kids dad, kids are territorial. My SO does more for and with my kids than their own dad ever has, but his son reminds them every now and then that my SO is HIS dad, not theirs. I'm sure when we live togther it will happen more often. Especially since my kids will be with him more than his.

You have to take everything with a grain of salt because if you don't you are allowing her way more than she deserves.


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Spring
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Re: That is even worse! [Re: EmC]
      #17273 - 06/19/05 11:06 PM

Yup...if everyone could just respect each other, how less traumatic the whole divorce experience would be!!

Truthfully tho, the gift thing we just laugh between ourselves at. One day, she'll(SD10)will figure it out all on her own. No way will we take away her proud moment! I know how you feel about how it hurts the kids! One reason we have her blocked from calling the house line! If she can access my home to start trouble, she will.

BM's like this live to play games and cause havoc if they think they can. We try hard not to let her get to us but once in a while, something slips past our highroad mentality and makes us all ornery!!

--------------------
Never consider the possibility of failure; as long as you persist, you will be successful.

Edited by Spring (06/19/05 11:08 PM)


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