I feel for you, mal. I’m pretty much almost exactly in the same boat, except clothing is not the main thing with us. I too have no children, but work hard to help my BF with his, especially since he’s so broke there have been weeks where there might not be food had I not provided it for him and the kids. The ex is fine with me doing things for the kids only if it’s a case where she might be inconvenienced by having to do it herself.
The remainder of the time she is actively trying to keep me from the kids, and is trying to get terms put in the divorce agreement such as I am not to be within 1000 feet of her house, not be allowed to ride in the same vehicle as her kids (much less take them anywhere), nor be with the kids after 9pm at night or on any holiday. Needless to say, the kids aren’t particularly happy with this because they are being caught in the middle and jerked around, which is the last thing they need with everything else they’ve gone through.
Odd thing is, is that she has allowed these things if it meant that she might have to skip her night with her divorce support group or show up late to it, might have to make a 20 minute drive to pick up a child from an activity, or provide money to pay for food and school items. So, some days it’s OK if I take a child to an after school activity if it means that she gets to go play, other days she has nothing else to do, so she gets angry that i might be in a car with them going to see a movie and we get the 20 minute screaming phone calls saying that she is going to get a restraining order against me. It’s pretty much a crapshoot.
The way I look at it, as aggravating as it is, she has such a deep seated need for control (one of the main reasons for the failure of the marriage was her controlling nature) that she must find a way to control anything that she can. The kids are a focus because somewhere deep inside she feels that if they get along with me, it means that they don’t love her enough.
I know that this really doesn’t help solve your problem, but just know that I’m there in spirit with you. Second wives or GFs get clubbed with the short end of the stick. It’s not you, it’s her and her self-esteem is such that she feels she must always compare herself with you. Truth is, if she hadn’t been such a person from the outset, she might still be married to her ex.
[i]Originally posted by mal[/i]
[br]and the saga continues....I think this whole clothing this is the lightening rod upon which this person can focus her attention and try and find room to criticize me since we don't communicate about anything else. As someone who came into a marriage without children I think I've done a pretty admirable job being kind and fair to these kids...buying things, arranging vacations, encouraging dad to spend time alone with them when necessary...I feel like just writing or yelling at her ... "Why can't you give me a break?!!" I know that this wouldn't work and that at the core of this she is threatened by me.