Two homes/clothing - venting


I would send our son to visit my stbx. During this week he had a Wed night and a weekend. My stbx kept all his socks and underwear (I was potty training - so he went through underwear fast.) I had to buy all new underwear and socks. I tried to ask my stbx to send them back and he sent back one pair each.

It is unbelievable behavior - but it is a control measure they take to “maintain control” in the situation and sometimes just be be rude.

I know it sticks… take a deep breath and believe in karma… that is the best thing I can say.


Thanks…as he gets older the child sees and understands more and more of what is really going on…that’s karma enough for us right now. Unfortunately kids feel like they have to stick up for the parent who is the most of of a mess and it is sad to watch him make excuses for her so we try not to put him in that situation.


mal - I’m in and have been in the same boat. We each are supposed to buy clothing for our houses, and where we buy both boys 8 pair of jeans for school, she buys 2. We buy 10 shirts, she buys 3. We buy 2 pair of shoes each in the fall and one pair in the summer as needed, and she’ll buy one in the summer. Not to mention the extras…several packs of socks and underwear each, she buys 2 pair. The stuff the youngest wears to our house is too small, stained, or inappropriate for his age. I’ve gotten to where it’s disgusting to see the stuff his mother lets him wear so I always make sure to send him home in that. The oldest is very picky about his clothing. I usually make sure that only the stuff that I want him to wear to his mother’s is in his room when it comes time to dress. My husband has ask him to quit wearing off the nice clothes and then sending him back in junk. I have stacks of clothes in our bedroom or in the laundry room that are hidden. It’s just gotten to the point that if we want him to have anything nice to wear while he with us we have to make sure we keep it there. Even some of the stuff we send him to her house in ends up back at our house the next week. There’s a pair of pants in our laundry now that he’s been trying to wear to his mother’s for a month. I have not washed them.
He wears dirty clothes!!! And she let’s him!!! Not just dirty worn once for a couple hours…I mean dirty spilled food obviously dirty. If you want to have nice cloths at your home you are going to have to devise a way that the clothing stays there. If he starts asking about specific clothes, tell them they are dirty.


i almost laughed out loud when I read your response Stepmother…are you sure we aren’t dealing w/ the same person??? I find myself doing the same thing…hiding clothes …putting things out for him to wear back to her house and when he asks why I’ll tell him that his mother likes to see him in that clothing… She sent him back this weekend w/ pair of shorts that were a size too small and the button popped when he sneezed. I let him buy clothing or pick things out for him that are age appropriate and she dresses him like a little adult.


This is sad and controlling behavior. Same kind of thing at my house. My son never has anything to wear at my house because the ex keeps everything. I am constantly buying new this and new that, but my son has gotten wise to this situation. When he doesn’t have “his” clothes, “we” make a special trip to the “other” house to retrieve his belongings. What’s dad gonna do if the kid shows up and wants what rightfully belongs to the kid? Nothing like a SURPRISE to disrupt daddy-o’s lifestyle! I understand (well, no I don’t) if the children are younger, but they don’t stay younger forever. Sooner or later, they claim “ownership” and the “game” ends. Hang in there!


gosh, glad to hear I’m not the only one in this “boat”. Today I asked if the shorts his mother had sent over were too small and he said “yes”. I asked where all the other pairs were that I had bought…“Mommy said they needed to be washed.” yeah, 4 pairs of shorts, several shirts and sweatshirts…
I think a trip to her house to retrieve this clothing may be in order, or maybe I should just offer her some suggestions on how to keep up with her wash?



Go and get the clothes! You have to “think” a different way in a divorce situation! Instead of not having anything (that you bought!), go and get it! Doesn’t matter if it isn’t clean or not! After a while, the ex or whatever will get tired of this happening! I promise you that!


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.


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.


I know I am old into this topic but I had to add my two cents. I have to say the one really wonderful thing about this site is that you realize ALOT of people are going through the same things you are. My stepdaughter is 12 and years ago when I met her for the first time she was always dressed in clothes that didn’t fit (too small)or were stained. I would at the time buy her all new clothes for each season and send them home with her. I always sent all the clothes home with her and her mother would send her back in those clothes and it was good. The mother was a single mom going through some rough times and I understood having raised two children by myself before meeting my husband. Well 3 years ago she meets a guy, moves him in a week after they meet and marries him within 6 months. (he was making a really good salary & is as ugly as the day is long…not hard to snatch up one of those) but anyhow after that she started buying her clothes but they were clothes that were way too tight for a little girl but what the child thought was “in style” so we started buying clothes to keep here and when I pick her up I have her change as soon as she gets here, I do laundry over the weekend and I make sure she goes back home in the same clothes she came in. Of course I have her change into them right before we walk out the door to take her home. Fortunately I have been able to covince her to let me buy her bras and panties and some other things that she takes home so I know that at least her personal business isn’t hanging out and sometimes she goes to school dressed well. So I can relate to the “our house clothes” and “their house clothes”. I figure at least if some of my stuff makes it to her house that the child at least has some stuff to wear to school that fits and isn’t awful.


Ok, I am just venting here… we have joint custody and buy a fair amount of clothing and shoes for my husband’s son. We did this so he doesn’t have to carry clothes back and forth. He really likes the clothign we buy and will arrive at the house and immediately change. After having issues about not getting clothing back I decided to use a permanent marker on labels so he and his mom could identify which clothing belonged at our house. I routinely send back “her” clothing but cannot seem to get the same courtesy from her. She deliberately sends back clothing that is too small and is also apparently cutting out the labels, I guess so she can say that she doesn’t know which clothing is which. Is this unbelieveable or what!!!


I fought the clothes battle as well. Believe me I am a true testimony to the phrase you have to pick your battles and I know it is frustrating. The way resolved it is my daughter has clothes here and she has clothes at her dad’s. We never send clothes to dad’s for visitation. Whatever she wears on Friday from our house when she goes over for visitation she just wears home on Sunday. While she is at his house she wears the clothes he has there for her. That way none of her clothes from my house are ever left over there and she never wears clothes from dad’s to my house.

I learned that fighting over this kind of thing only hurts the child they dont understand why they can’t take things back and forth and then it becomes a real hassle for the parents to keep up with their things and have them on hand when the kids really need them. Find a simple system that works for you and don’t sweat the small stuff too much is the best advice I can give :astonished:)


you’re right…I’ve pretty much dropped this issue and decided not to worry about it. Ebay works great right now for buying lots of clothes in his size pretty inexpensively so I don’t mind as much when things “disappear”.


I too am in the same boat with the clothes issue…My stepson is 12 years old and 190lb…so he is wearing mens clothing now…We usually buy him clothes for school and at Christmas time…Usually 1/2 of these clothes went home and the other 1/2 stay at our house for him to have something to wear at our home…We never would see any of these clothes back. He never wear anything back to our house that we have purchased and sent home … the ex thinks that we sent them to her house that is where they stay…he constantly comes to our house with big oversized clothes that was his older brothers at some point and time…which is fine but the clothes are too the point of needing to be disposed off…stains, faded. The clothes that the ex sends in his overnight bag is clothes that have been purchased at yard sales and are not the correct sizes…2 pair of pants sent 38 x 32 and 36 x 30 that have been hemmed at some point and time. None of clothes that are sent back are ones purchased by us.


I’ve started worrying less and less about this issue. Sure, I still hide some of the clothes or just don’t get around to doing the laundry until I know they are going to be with us for several days but for the most part…I have started buying clothes that look decent on him and that are inexpensive (Wal-mart). That way I don’t mind so much if something gets worn off.

If my stepson wears something over that looks terrible…that item does not get washed. There is a shirt that my he wore over that has wide horizontal stripes, which everyone knows overweight people should not wear horizontal stripes, so that shirt is going to be washed and given away. I’ve gone to Goodwill and bought him jeans and t-shirts. I’ve felt better since I quit worrying so much about this.
It’s still a battle to get him to care about his appearance but I’m hoping that will come with age…