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2 Bumps

Bio mom keeps apologizing, how should I react?

So, to put it lightly, my (step) daughter's bio mom and I have butted heads a few times in the past. Since I'm telling this tale from my perspective, I am going to go ahead and tell you that as far as I'm concerned I've been in the right on most of the issues - or at least I have tried my damnest to. At any rate bio mom acts nutter butters all the time and I'm usually the target of her rage. The thing is that every few months or so she makes a big to do about apologizing, telling me how wrong she was and how right I was and how very very sorry she is. The first time it happened I apologized as well and told her how much I appreciated her being brave enough to say that to me... but then she went nutter butters again for a few months and started the cycle all over again with a huge revelation and heartfelt apology. It's now been going on for years and I'm totally over any personal issues that I had with the woman but she keeps doing kinda messed up things that negatively impact my daughter. I don't speak out about it but it's really upsetting. Today she started texting me again about how sorry she is, and honestly I couldn't care less. I mean, I just don't care anymore as bad as that is. It doesn't mean anything to me. I don't want to be rude because I work VERY hard to be as nice to her as humanly possible. I haven't said a foul word to her since my husband and I got married and I go WAY above and beyond in order to try and forge a relationship because it seems like that's what's best for my little girl (and though sucking up to this woman is not my favorite pass time I'd do ANYTHING for my daughter). I just don't know what to do, honestly I don't even notice the personal attacks on me anymore so as she's apologizing it's for things I didn't even really notice (I'm so used to it). I want to be respectful and gracious for her effort but it feels like it's another pile of cheap words to alleviate her heavy conscience. I wouldn't mind affording her to lift that burden but I almost feel like she's looking for validation like it's okay to just move on as if nothing has happened, which is fine in our personal relationship but it's really not acceptable to keep on keeping on as a crappy mother. I don't know if I'll respond at all but my husband said she's asking if I got her texts. I totally don't want to be rude but I don't want her to think she has my blessing to keep being so selfish and ignorant when it comes to her relationship with my (step) daughter.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 1:56 PM on May. 9, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (5)
  • I would ignore them or simply respond with an "okay." That way, she would know that you had gotten them. If she's talking about the messages to your husband, I suspect she really may be trying to cause trouble between you and him. There's no way to win with people like this, so I wouldn't waste any more time in dialogue with her.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:54 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • Ask her why she feels the need to apologize all the time.

    Answer by AngZacc at 2:54 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • I'd just text back "thank you" and then move on without thinking any further about the nut job. She'll know you got the texts--an apology by text makes no sense to me anyway--and that will be the end of the conversation. Thumbs up to you for trying so hard; I know how difficult dealing with a stubborn ex can be.

    Answer by Ballad at 3:09 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • Maybe have a sit down with her and tell her that you recognize this apology as part of a bigger pattern of her behavior and that she has done this before. It would be nice if her behavior wouldn't get to the point of needing to issue apologies like this. I would say that if she keeps up with the rude or nutty behavior that is a clear sign that she is not sorry, because she hasn't changed her behaviors. Maybe she has a mental instability or illness that causes her to be manic and have these cycles.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 3:10 PM on May. 9, 2013

  • Sounds like she has a borderline personality disorder. Those who have it love drama (even if they say they don't). They like the cycle of emotional rollercoasters and as odd as it sounds, they think it makes them feel closer to people because they otherwise wouldn't have any normal contact with people. By fighting with people and constantly making up with them, they try to find proof that they can experience emotions. They would rather have destructive communication than none at all. Suggest to her that stress is getting to her and that counseling would help her find ways to deal with it better. If you say she has a disorder right off, she most likely won't seek counseling. For the sake of the kids and your sanity, you need to encourage her to get counseling somehow. If she won't go to counseling, suggest yoga or asking her doctor for stress pills.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 8:04 PM on May. 10, 2013

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