Step advice

It doesnt seem that writing her will do much good considering it has gone on for 4 years. It sounds as though she is very bitter. Your husband needs to get a backbone and just stand up to her. You are only treated the way you allow yourself to be. Not you, this will only make matters worse. You should try to play more of a friend role. Maybe ask her if she would like to go to lunch…get to know her and vice-versa. Explain that you are just trying to get along, and how it will benefit the children.

we tried the whole coffee thing in the very beginning. There is too much that has happened over these past few years and I really don’t want to get to know her. It is hard for me to even be in the same room with her because of the things that I have watched her say and do. I guess I did make it sound like my husband doesn’t have a backbone. He definitely says “no” and stands up to her but usually tries to ignore her antics and be the better person - which is not hard. They have tried a counselor but she is not willing to agree to much or will agree in front of the counselor but then call and change what she said she was going to do.

Please DO NOT write her. She will only use what you write against you. She will show the children and use anything you provide her with to turn her children against you; which in turn will make things difficult for their father. Until I started reading some of these posts, I thought my story was so far out there that NO ONE would believe it. But I see now that there are MANY of us out there who are kind and try to do the right things only to have a vindictive hateful person turn everyone’s lives upside down. I would suggest that you and your significant other go to counseling together. The only thing you can really do with a person like this is to work together to understand the situation you are in and the counselor will help you define boundaries. Since no one can control her behavior, it will be up to you and your significant other to get educated on how to change your behavior with her; then in turn she WILL begin to react differently. But trust me, it is NOT a quick process. My husband and I were in counseling for 3 years because his ex was so evil and harassing. The only way we were able to keep our relationship intact was to understand what we were dealing with and obtaining the professional advice.

My husband and I have been in a very similar situation. She left him, for another man, she left the children with him while she partied for 3 months, until I came along she didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that they were split up and he was going to divorce her. When he and I started dating, she actually told people that he threw her out so that I could move in and raise his kids. She put us through hell for over a year, walking on eggshells around her and the children. I wrote her several letters and vented like crazy to her but I NEVER sent them and deleted them from the computer. I found it made me feel better just to write them.
The only reason why his ex stopped acting like this was she started medication for manic depression. I have yet to say one single word to her since the whole thing started. At first it was simply because I don’t consider it a discussion to be screamed at, now there’s jsut no reason. My husband is very active with his children, so there’s no reason for she and I to be “friends”. There’s nothing that she and I need to discuss. I know that there are few other stepparents out there who have this luxery but I’m grateful that she is no longer screaming at him and cursing me in front of the children, but there’s still nothing for she and I to discuss or any reason for us to be “friends”.
Counseling may not be a bad idea, but you and your husband need to discuss with each other how her actions make you feel and decide if there’s anything you can do to change it. With this going on so long it sounds as though you need to accept how she is. Make sure that the children know that things at YOUR house are more “normal”. Don’t let what she MAY do or say affect how you and your husband want to live your lives. Don’t give her that much control over how you live and she won’t have it. This is much more difficult than it sounds believe me and will not happen overnight, but if you take each situation and figure out what part is your responsibility and what part of it you can control it will eventually be second nature to say, “I’m sorry, but I didn’t create this crisis and I can’t fix it” or “you know, this really isn’t a crisis after all” Pick your battles and remember the big picture.

Never put in writing what may be used against you later. My ex tried the same crap with me. I told her I’m not her whipping boy and she’ll have to deal with her “daddy issues” on her own. She has been informed that I will not tolerate her making disparaging remarks about me or my girlfriend. If she gets verbally abusive, she gets hung up on or I walk away. I discovered that nothing makes her blood boil more than being ignored, or refusing to respond to every comment she makes. Imagining the veins popping out of her forehead and her growing new wrinkles makes me feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. There are no conversations with her unless it deals with when I’m getting to see the kids, or when I’m taking them back. Unfortunately, there isn’t really a way to make this behavior stop. We’ve found that little clever comments when she gets out of line shut her up too. For instance, when she starts bad mouthing you, tell her that “hating me isn’t going to make you any thinner or prettier than me.” I know it sounds childish, but it shuts her up EVERY time. The two of you will have to take comfort in the fact that you’ve taken the “high road”.

Thanks for two of my favorite post(ers) (Hawkman and Stepmother) for responding. You’re right, writing something wouldn’t get me anywhere and would probably be used against us at some point. I know she has lots of issues and she is incredibly jealous of us or she wouldn’t act the way she does.

Ok, I know I’m just venting but would like some advice from either side of the fence. For the past 4 yrs I’ve been watching my husband’s ex try and manipulate him, scheme, imply that he is not a good or caring father(he is) , verbally abuse him, and basically just look for opportunities to act like she is the wronged party and this martyr who does everything for the children (she doesn’t and won’t let us help even when we offer)…This all despite the fact that she’s the one who left and who was the reason for the divorce. We suspect a lot of her behavior is some baggage that she has from being a child of divorced parents but I’m sick, sick, sick of her antics and am SO sorely tempted to write her and tell her this. Has anyone done this? Had it done to them?