I understand how difficult this situation is. My suggestion is the same that I have given my husband whenever the children flip flop about coming over because they are angry at me…they do not have a choice…and if they make a choice it it going to be permanent.
The children are still telling each parent what they want to hear and since they are older, there are other issues involved.
We have our system set up that they have most everything at our house and similar at their mother’s. There is very little except school stuff that they have to carry back and forth. It sounds as though he has equal time with the children so would it not be easier to have clothes and supplies for them at his house. Then if there’s something that they “forget” to bring with them, they will just have to live without it for the week. As for staying with friends…that would only happen on weekend nights and it would be up to the parent that has custody for that week.
The ex coming by the house should be stopped if at all possible.
My husband’s ex has been to our house 2 times. Once before we moved in and one time prior to us getting married after I had left for the evening. If they have to meet to pick the children up or drop off items, they have a neutral place or somewhere in between the two homes.
Your BF needs to realize that if you are going to be part of his life then he has to set the boundaries with his ex. No more coming to his home unannounced. No more arguing with her about you. Let her rant and rave all she wants, but let her find someone else to do it to.
If the children are failing at school or treating their father badly, that is something that he will need to put his foot down on. They both should make sure that the children are doing their best in school, that is one of their jobs as parents. The children need to realize that their “job” is school and using their parents divorce as an excuse is not going to cut it anymore. Ground them, take away some of those “amenities”…when they complain to Mom, let her know that when they bring home better grades they will be allowed those activities again…He’s got to set some ground rules. He has to realize that this is his home and these children are his responsibility.
My husband and I are having a difficult time with our situation at the moment also. The boys seem to have started treating me like they do their mother…which means they are disrespectful, at times ugly, and they don’t listen. My husband and I have discussed it and realized that this behavior can NOT continue for too long or it will become a habit. Just some things to think about. Just because they are teenagers does not mean that they are now in control…
This is only my opinion, but maybe it will give you some ideas…