Obviously I have no intention of naming the Step kids so I will use their personalities to give them a pseudonym in my posts.
The eldest I will refer to as “The Compassionate Owl”. CO for short.
I have always felt a strong urge to keep a very close eye on CO. As the eldest I think she naturally takes on a leadership role with the others and its with sadness I have seen this take her childhood.
I know there is nothing I can do other then watch my own actions to events in front of her but it hurts my heart to see how much everything has forced her to grow up too fast.
BM likes to use CO as a sounding board. I know this because you only need to let her talk in her own language about things, to understand she knows way to much.
I know all kids have those little ears open and take on everything like a sponge but when a child says to you “Mum says Dad hasn’t paid Child Support in years and never gives her any money but don’t worry she also said she’s already paid off her new car so I know you do” you know that way to much information is being given to the children.
Although I am upset that the poor kid gets told way too much information what really breaks my heart is that she now has an understanding of things beyond her years.
She has given herself the role of a buffer from her mother. For example her brother will say “Mum said that because you don’t give her any money I cant play football this year”. CO will pipe up and say “No, thats not what Mum said, Mum said if she can afford it you can play football this year”. Even if what her brother said was actually the truth.
CO will intentionally butt into a conversation that she believes will negatively impact on her mother to her father. Attempting to cushion the information that may be said to him. I actually believe this happens both ways. I do believe that CO will also do the same thing with her Mother as well. Cushioning what ever is said to her Mother about her father.
I worried that CO would find the transition the hardest but she didnt. I don’t know if this is because as the oldest she would have witnessed the downfall in the relationship first hand. Seeing the difference in her parents from when she was growing up to where it was when it ended.
I actually never saw or heard any longing from her for how things once were. I find this really strange as I would imagine that of all the children she would have the strongest memories of things being good. Maybe they never really were good in her eyes as my DH says.
CO shows an unbelievable amount of compassion. A grasp on love and understanding that I can’t believe. CO and I have always had a bond. We just naturally became close very quickly. I feel privileged that she opens up to me about things and always has.
Recently she has opened up to me about the new man in BM’s life and how she doesn’t like him. I find this strange and a little alarming. CO is not the type of kid to take a disliking to anyone. Always finding the good in everyone she meets. She tells me that BM has changed since being with the new BF. I ask her in what way. She tells me he just takes over.
“He comes into the house sits on the couch and just takes over the TV like he owns it”.
I always make a point of saying something small and letting her just talk and direct the conversation.
“He is always around and Mum only wants to do stuff when he wants to do stuff with his kids”.
Right.. so this new BF is in the same position as the Ex. Single Dad with 3 kids. From what I can gather the situation with him and his Ex are not as toxic as they are with BM and he and His Ex live close to each other so they do 1 week each.
I find this incredibly funny. I also HOPE WITH ALL MY BEING that BM gets a dose of her own medicine in the way she treats us.
CO continues “Mum only wants to go out or go places when BF is around with his kids, otherwise she just sits on her phone to him”.
I don’t know what to say. I say I am sorry this is happening and I am sorry that you feel this way. CO tells me “Its ok, its not your fault”.
All I can do is hug her and say well lets go do something instead.
I worry for CO’s future relationships. I worry that the way that she glosses over the bad things and hides her feelings for the benefit of those around her will have an impact on the way she has relationships in the future.
I do my best to remind her in a fun way when she worries about things that she doesn’t need to that “Don’t worry your pretty little face about things like that, that’s Dad & my job to worry”. I know it doesn’t work but I hope at the very least that while she is in our home she can forget about hard stuff for awhile and worry about kids stuff like books, playstation and what’s for lunch.
SO .. Out of the blue.. the “I Miss You” texts begin.
Picture this, DH (at the time Boyfriend) & I are in bed asleep, its really late, his phone lights up with a message which wakes us up. Its the Ex saying “I Miss You”.
DH says quietly “WTF”. I wake up and ask is everything ok.
DH says “You’re not going to believe this, look at this text”.
Me in my head “WTF”.
I am gobsmacked, then DH says “Go back to sleep, she must be drunk, we can deal with it in the morning”. Turns phone off and yeah.. as if I am going back to sleep.
DH wakes up in the morning and says to me “WTF is that about”. I am all over the place. At this point I am invested. I am scared but I know I have to stick to doing the right thing and so I say “What do you think”.
DH says “She is off her head, she must have been drunk”.
I swallow my feelings and say “What if she wasn’t drunk, what if she wants you back”.
DH says “You’re kidding right, she makes me sick, I would never ever go back”. He then shudders to emphasis his point.
Although I laugh I cant help the feeling of dread that is welling up inside me. I just knew this would happen. I take the opportunity to remind him of what I have always said to him. If he wants to go back and try again, especially for the sake of his kids I would not stand in his way.
He looks me straight in the eye and says “Never going to happen”.
The conversation ends but unfortunately the texts don’t. Later that day DH tells me he received another text from the Ex.
“We need to talk, I miss you, the kids miss you, can we please talk”.
The anxiety fires right back up in my belly again. I know in my heart this is not going to go well. DH comes home PISSED OFF.. Ive never seen him this angry.
He tells me “The minute I am happy this (profanity) (profanity) (profanity) (profanity) wants to (profanity) it up for me”.
I tell him to calm down.
I say “This is really important and you need to hear me on this”.
“You need to spend some time thinking about what you want to do, if there is the slightest chance you think you want to make this work or you want to try again for the kids this is the time to say so”.
“Don’t think about us because if you don’t think this through and then you regret it, you will regret this for the rest of your life”.
DH calms down immediately, he tells me “That isn’t what I want, I don’t want to go back, why would I, she cheated on me more then once, it was never good, the kids were bandaids that didn’t work, its over”.
My hearts swells but I also know that this means a shit storm is ahead. As a Woman I can guess what’s happened. Her new relationship that she left DH for has imploded. I just know it. I tell DH this is what I think has happened and now she’s scrambling and is feeling regret.
I actually sympathise with her. It may sound strange but I try to see things from her point of view. Whatever happened between them happened but now she is alone with 3 children. I don’t think that would be an easy road for anyone so yes I absolutely sympathise with her.
After every relationship trying to rebuild yourself and put yourself back out there is damn hard. Its hard on your own but with 3 kids .. I don’t imagine it gets much harder.
DH continues to ignore the messages which as each day goes by get longer and more desperate. The phone calls start. Missed calls and voicemails are left. The I miss you texts now resemble 20 page essays. “You need to think about your kids” is a repeated sentence. “The kids need you”. “We need to work this out and get our family back together”. “Your kids need you home”.
It’s relentless and DH is beyond angry and if I am honest I am starting to get angry too. The I miss you texts and saying that she wants him back is one thing. But using the kids as a guilt tactic to get him back is completely wrong.
The messages go in circles, it starts with sadness, I miss you, I need you, the kids need you. When DH ignores that it’s, guilt, how can you do this to us, the kids want you home, you owe it to this family to give things another go. When DH doesn’t bow to this it becomes angry, How dare you ignore me. How dare you throw our marriage and family away. How dare you treat me like this.
I am shocked. My understanding and sympathy has a limit. I suggest to DH that he needs to stop just ignoring her or this will just continue. I suggest that I think you need to respond. DH asks me what he should say. I say I cant tell you that but I would start with saying how you feel and saying it’s not ok for her to use the kids as guilt and bait to get you back.
DH husband responds ..I think this was the first time he was angry enough to say how he really felt about everything. I think I have touched on it before but you have to understand that DH’s ex left him.
DH met the ex when he was 21. He was on the fast track to a sports career and things were looking great. The ex was older. Had a habit of hanging around after games and had been linked to other guys in his team. He was warned and didnt listen. His choice.
They were dating a couple of months than BAM.. guess who’s pregnant. I remind him all the time it takes two to tango and there must have been something there or it wouldn’t have happened between them. He likes to remind me he was 21. Young, Dumb and Stupid.
DH tells me he was the last person to find out about the pregnancy. The Ex told her family, her friends then had her parents at her house when she told him so the choice would be made for him of what comes next.
Of course as you can imagine her Dad steps in and I am told says “I will set a date at X and you two can organise the details. You are getting married”.
DOUBLE WOW. Yes you read that correctly. Her Dad set a date at a location and then the wedding was planned. OMG Right?
I mean who can blame the Dad for wanting the right thing to happen for his daughter. I get it. BUT DAMN that’s hardcore. Anyway as the story goes DH got a ring he could afford and that was that. It was a fast wedding and then their first child was born. I will call her the Compassionate Owl (CO for short). I will explain later on why.
Skim a few years and another baby who I will call Leo the Lion (LL). After that things started to get really sour. Things were really on the rocks. DH worked away so trips home would result in him being left with the kids and the ex heading off on weekends away.
Then DH comes home to find another man asleep on his couch.. WTF
I mean WTF.
APPARENTLY the neighbour had come over for a few drinks and past out on the couch. Ummm.. he lives next door?
This was just the start. Things got bad. Then the Ex’s best friend decided she wanted another child so the Ex wanted one too. So things got better so she could get her way. Enter child number 3 who I shall call the Colourful Chameleon (CC).
DH tells me something drastic changed after CC. Firstly the friend who the Ex planned on being pregnant with lost her baby. A rift was created between the Ex and this friend and that seemed to have an impact on her in a big way. Secondly personally the way DH explains it to me I think the Ex had a realisation after the third baby that this life & family was not what she wanted after all.
The Ex started going out a lot. Partying with friends, out drinking, going away to festivals for a few days. The kids were left with her parents or a babysitter. When DH was home the kids were left with him and the Ex would disappear for a couple of days. I don’t doubt 3 kids would be hard work, especially with a partner away! I can totally understand the need for a break but I think there was more to it. I wonder if after the third baby she maybe felt like she missed out on something and wanted the freedom back.
Well when CC was about 1 DH put on a huge birthday party for the Ex. A great deal of money was spent, a lot of people were invited. During the night the Ex seemed to be uninterested in DH and very close with another man. A friend from work. It was noticed by DH, it was noticed by DH’s family and at the end of the night the Ex told DH she wanted a divorce and it was over, he needed to leave the house.
DH believes whatever was going on with this other person it must have been going on awhile. The kids had commented on the person being at the house a lot while DH was away at work but DH just brushed it off. He’s not afraid to admit he was shocked. I don’t know how he didn’t see it coming but its easy for me to say that from the outside looking in.
DH was asked to leave the home straight away. Despite how bad things were DH isn’t afraid to admit he was devastated. It took him awhile to get himself back together. I don’t imagine any marriage failing or family break down is easy despite what is going on in the background.
The Ex made no secret of her new relationship with the “Friend” from work. Fast forward through a great deal of hurt and anguish to DH having to quickly find an apartment and having to start again.
This brings us back to where I left off .. DH’s response to all the text messages.
DH let loose. He called the Ex out on the numerous times she cheated. How she had eventually admitted to sleeping with the neighbour but he let it go and had to move past it. How she demanded the divorce after the party and was already seeing someone else. How angry he was about it all. How the minute he found happiness with someone else she was trying to destroy it.
Well… I thought his phone was going to explode.
The barrage of texts he received back was unholy and nonstop all through the night and the next day. DH had to turn his phone off. It was like nothing I have ever seen before.
After that the guilt/sadness/anger cycle continued. It was exhausting. The Ex wasnt getting her way and she was not used to that. When she couldn’t get DH to respond to that she started threatening to call me.
She told DH she was going to ring me and tell me he was cheating on me to split us up. Of course he warned me and she didnt have the backbone to follow through. This horrendous cycle went on for a few months.
Once the Ex realised it wasnt working she came up with a new tactic. The tactic used by way to many spiteful Ex’s.
In my earlier blog I spoke about meeting my husband and how that happened.. carrying on from that post things were a little different in the beginning when we were dealing with his Ex.. BM.
If you read my previous blog you would know that I made my hubby take things very slowly.. there were a number of reasons for this, we met in our workplace, I was in a higher position to him and didn’t want to cause any friction at work, he had an ex and children to boot. There were a lot of good reasons. So that’s what we did, we took things very slowly.
I knew in the beginning that my hubby had been married and that relationship had broken down and that they were completing the divorce proceedings. I also knew he had 3 children from that relationship. From the very beginning I told him, if things were to change and he decided he needed to give things another go with his Ex for the children sake then I understood and would not stand in his way. This was really important to me.
As someone who came from a separated home and was alienated from my own Father, I would never stand in the way of a family coming back together or children needing their Dad. It’s just not something I could do. With that in mind I told my Hubby if at any point something changes tell me and there will be no hard feelings. With a look of shock on his face and a bunch of profanities he declared that would never happen.. in a strong way!
I laughed and appreciated the response but told him sternly this is important and you need to be upfront with me about this. He said “Trust me, never going to F&^*ing happen”.
So with that we moved on.. we started dating taking things slowly. I continued doing the overseas trips I wanted to do with girlfriends and things were going great. Then one day my now hubby said so I spoke to my kids and Ex last night. My heart sank.. he said.. “I told her about you”.
I was gobsmacked.. my heart was racing thinking this can’t be good. He said “She asked what your name was and looked you up on facebook”… I was thinking what the hell!! He said “She thinks your really pretty and asked how old you are because you looked young”. OK at this point I am completely weirded out.. I was thinking ok not only did you and you Ex stalk me on FB you had a good old chat about how I looked etc…
He said “No it went really well, she said she was glad I was happy and that you looked like a nice person”. I wanted to fall off my chair. This was not how I thought things would go down. Don’t get me wrong I was really glad it went well and felt really special that he reached out to his Ex to tell her he was seeing someone and it was serious. The reaction was not what I was expecting at all. So the conversation was left at that.. I was glad everything was going well, he had told his Ex and everything was upfront GREAT I thought, this is fantastic and I couldn’t have hoped for more.. his Ex was happy with someone new, hubby and I were happy all was out in the open.. BUT you know what happened next.. everything changed.
A little about me, I have been with my now husband for 6 years and last year we had our first child together. Our road to marriage and a family of our own has been HARD, I am not going to lie!
This blog & my Twitter page have been my outlet and safe space to share my experience & read about others experiences because something I have always felt during this journey is a sense of being alone.
When I first started dating my hubby I can certainly say I had great reservations, I was honest with him about that and out relationship with the BM (Bio Mum) started very differently.
Interestingly enough it was my husband who was left in his previous marriage. At 21 he found himself in a new relationship with a baby on the way, BM is older and was ready for a family, hubby was not but with pressure from BM’s parents and being the person he was he decided to make it work. To this day hubby’s Dad will tell you how he tried to tell hubby he was making a mistake and wanted to stop the wedding .. but decisions were made and I tell him all the time there must have been something there to begin with because lets be real.. there always is whether we want to admit it or not.
Fast forward to an unhappy marriage, three kids and a wife who liked to play while the husband was away. There is still pain when my husband talks about how he came home from working away and found another man asleep in his home. Needless to say after planning a massive birthday for BM and during the night BM being attached to another man all night BM declared she wanted a divorce and him gone. What a story right? I just can’t imagine it .. and if it hadn’t happened to my husband and been backed up by his family who were at the event I wouldn’t believe it.
In any case the separating happened and BM quickly moved onto someone, the same person from the party.
I first met my husband while working together.. cliche yes I know! I was in a relationship and my then partner worked with me too. My now hubby was recently separated and enjoying the single life.
My relationship was rocky. The guy I was with had more interest in his mates then he did with me. It was going nowhere and neither of us wanted to admit it. Everything came to head when I asked him to go travelling with me. Something I had always loved and wanted to do more of while I was earning good money and had a disposable income. I wanted to go for 6 weeks and see Europe. My ex lost it. He refused to go and said he would give me 10 days and that was it. I told him we didn’t need to go right away and that we could go anytime that was good for him but he wasn’t interested. I asked him to compromise with me he told me no and it was then I realised he never would compromise and I would always be living in the shadow of his social calendar with his friends and I was nothing to him. I ended it.
The minute I ended it I booked a ticket overseas and didn’t look back. I met family overseas, travelled, partied, spent way too much cash and came back the old me – prior to my ex. My ex tried for a good couple of years to get me back after that. Personally I think he was so full of himself he couldn’t handle being left behind and how happy I was. He would literally turn up on my doorstep and then try and put moves on me to stay the night or just “help each other out” I was gobsmacked and laughed in his face.
Enter my now husband..
I came back from travelling refreshed and back to my old self. Full of life and laughter. My now hubby noticed and asked me out on a date. I said NO! Hahahaha he loves to tell the story now of how hard I made him work for it.
You see I didn’t want to get involved with someone at work. I didn’t want the whispers at work. I didn’t want it to go pair shaped in front of everyone and I didn’t want to be accused of favouritism. I was in a decent position and my now hubby was not. I just wanted to keep it professional. Hubby tried over and over to convince me to go out with him. I was having none of it! The funny thing is the person who convinced me to finally go on a date with him was my boss of all people.
My boss knew my ex and my now hubby. We were all friends through work. He told me how good a guy my hubby was and that I should give him a chance. Our first non-date was my hubby bringing me food to my place when I was unwell and away from work. He didnt have a car where we worked so he bought takeaway, knocked on my door and left.
Well played hubby, well played…
We went on a few dates after that and I was smitten.. I was scared by the idea that he had been married before and had kids so I resided myself to just taking it slow and seeing how it went.
Well I guess by now you know it went well and its been 6 years.