Long question about visitation


I have a complex question about rights related to visitation.

Here is the general situation:

I have children who live with their mother in North Carolina. The divorce was completed in another state, and I live in a third state. (long story!)

She is the primary custodial parent. We have joint legal custody and I have visitation for 1 weekend a month (more if feasible), a minimum of 10 weeks in the summer and most of the holidays. It is generally only reasonable for me to fly to NC for monthly visitation. Driving might cost somewhat less, but would give me very little time with the children.

I talk to the children almost every day by phone. She has remarried and our communication (just parents) is poor and very limited - usually only timing details of visitation.

[b]and the issue at hand:

[/b]Some of her relatives live nearby in NC, and I usually see them when I visit (I have a positive relationship with them) . She requested that I not take the children to see these relatives, and I stated that I did not agree that was reasonable, and did so a couple of times. She has since apparently convinced the children that they do not want to see these relatives any more (they are now “uncomfortable” with visiting them).

She does not have any relationship with these relatives currently, and I feel that the children need to have the opportunity to see them without repercussions or the threat of repercussions.

She has also threatened me with litigation in NC, and appears to be convinced she can win these limitations!

Please feel free to give opinions here - am I being unreasonable? Is she being unreasonable? Is there any precedent for this? What might be a good way to resolve this?

Legal spending is limited since I am spending almost all of my income on child support, resolving marital debt issues and on my and the children’s travel expenses (we do loosely share travel expenses, but they are high!)

Thanks in advance for opinions/advice!