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Becoming BM - Update in Red

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I wrote a post when I first started at CM that had to do with what I learned about being a BM once I dealt with a BM.  I always say that the best thing that happened to BF was me marrying DH and having to deal with a really awful BM.  

And the other day, it became really clear that a whole bunch of women on this forum are just SMs and have never been a BM.  At this point in my life, I think I am a pretty damn good BM.  Before SM divorced BF, we had made peace and had a really respectful relationship.  I bet she thought I was an angry crazy BM for awhile in the beginning.  Partially it was true but partially it was SM rationalizing her OW status.  I had to be an awful woman for her to feel OK about sleeping with a married man...

So, I ask those of you that are not BMs to imagine for a moment, what it would be like for you to have your beloved husband cheat on you and leave you for another woman.  That you divorce him and suddenly, after years of living a happy, intact family life, you have to pack your children up for days at a time to go live with their father and his new wife.  Maybe it goes well for your kids and maybe they hate her.  Doesn't  matter - imagine how it would feel for you to not tuck them in every night.  To suddenly not know everything about what they do every day.  To maybe hear about how fun SM is and how much they love DH.

Don't take this exercise lightly.  Really try to sit with what that might be like.

And please don't say it will never happen.  That would be the penultimate pinnacle of denial.  Many of you will be divorced within 10 years.

And then I would ask each of you who deal with a difficult BM, to attempt some empathy.  To try and change the lens you see her through and imagine her behaviors as just misunderstood by you and your DH.

I know some of you deal with certifiable.  This exercise can apply to you as well.  But most of you do not deal with crazy.  I do not believe for one moment that most ex-wives are crazy.  They might exhibit crazy behavior during intense emotional times, but they are not crazy.

Does attempting to walk a mile in BMs shoes change even the slightest bit your perception of some of her behaviors?

UPDATE:

Forget the OW.  It really is irrelevant.  Forget your current BM for a moment.  This is really not about her, This is about you.  What I am suggesting is just for a moment, imagine the very real possibility that you and your DH divorce.  Maybe you want it, maybe he wants it.  Maybe it is for all the right reasons and the two of you just grew apart; maybe just one of you became unhappy.  Maybe it was done honorably, maybe one of you behaved poorly.

Just imagine that as a mother, you no longer share the raising of your children with a loving partner who is committed and interested in being on the same page as you.  Imagine that your children will experience things without you on a regular basis.  Think about how hard it is to come to agreement on issues with your DH currently when you are married, happy and in love.  Now imagine what it will be like if you divorce to reach consensus. 

Imagine the money stress.  Imagine suddenly having to go back to work, deal with your grief, find a new place to live, create a new budget with significantly less resources.

Imagine dating again.  That was my nightmare after being with BF for over 20 years!

Imagine how different your life will/would be if DH was no longer your loving husband.

I remember when I first married BF, his older sister started having children.  And I remember being so incredibly judgemental of her child rearing techniques.  I knew I would never do it the way she did and I knew I would handle things better and I knew I would be a better mother.  What do you think happened?  I faced the same challenges she did and handled many of them the same way.  You don't really know how you are going to handle a situation until you actually experience it.  So, try not to simply say "I would never handle it the way BM did".  Again, BM is pretty irrelevant to this exercise.

Empathy?  Compassion?  A bit of understanding? A different perspective? Less judgement? 

Just wondering of you find yourself shifting ever so slightly from the place some of you are stuck at with your personal situation.  What is that expression - "There but for the grace of god go I..."

 

by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Replies (21-30):
CKuse
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 11:07 AM

I do very often. I try my hardest to see things from her perspective.. but sometimes I can't dip to her level of  understanding. I think I have come a long way with my attitude and in her and I's relationship.. seeing as I JUST started dealing with her in february. And even since I became a part of these boards. I have tried to change my mindset to ignore the negative and focus on positive thoughts, because you really can change your mindset if you really want to.

There are just some things that no matter how hard I try I can't understand. She has 3 children. 3 fathers. She didn't stay with any of the fathers the full time of her pregnancy. Just because my husband, the father of her 3rd child, was the first one to get married, I am the first step mom she has had to deal with. Of course the other 2 dads have had girlfriends but I'm the first wife.. but still... did she really expect none of them to marry? She acts like she didn't. I understand the whole "not planning to share your child" kinda thing.. but seriously.. I am the kind of person where.. if you can't control it, don't try.

She tries to control every aspect of DH and I's life. Even just yesterday I got a message from her saying "why are you talking to (insert name of one of my best friends here), i hope you realize not to talk about me or any of my kids, yes that means SS)".... really? I'm not supposed to even talk about SS? Ok, so no pictures of him, I'm not allowed to talk about him, I can't cook for him or clean up after him.. it just comes to the point where you need to let go and let God lol KWIM?

At first yes my husband was always pissed when she would drop SS of with other people and not even offer him the chance for time with him.. but then he realized you know what? That's her time with SS, if she wants to lose out on it that's her choice. Because you cannot control what happens in the other house.

And then there's the fact that she not only goes out of her way to try to talk to people to talk shit about me, and then use that crap against my husband and I. Like when she talked to my ex husband who supposedly heard that my husband and I fight "really bad" "all the time"... umm no. And even if we did it isn't her business. But then she stated "I don't want SS around you two in your house because I know how you guys fight".. no... you don't know shit. You HEARD we fight from pretty unreliable sources. If you want to know something ask me, not that it's any of your frickin business.

Ugh. I try.. really hard.. and things have improved a lot, but that's mostly because I just ignore the negative now. But it's not easy. At all. I really think she just needs to accept that DH is the father, and that he loves SS, and won't lead him to harm, and to quit trying to control everything in our life and our home, and quit trying to control every moment that DH and SS spend together.

Ms.Gwen
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:21 PM
No thankyou. I decline the invite to BM's pity party on the grounds that she abused, neglected, and abandoned the children that I love. I hope she is miserable. I will not however perpetuate her misery in any way unless by doing so I am protecting the children. I will not throw curses at her or tear her down except as an anonymous vent on CM or to my DF. I will explain to the skids that "mommy loves them in her own way" and later in thier lives I may explain to them that "she is not well" and encourage them to find forgiveness. I don't have to destroy her. She does it to herself.
dinaweena101
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:40 PM

This post is AWESOME!!! I loved reading all of the replies and the openess to seeing the 'other side'. Wonderful!

jenessamarie
by The follower :) on Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Good post PDX.

jenessamarie
by The follower :) on Jun. 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Penultimate means next to last... So did you mean almost denial??? :) 

psychessun
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

as to the update, my life would be way easier without DH, and i'm a strong and capable person.  I have no huge hang-ups about being on my own, and if i needed to do it, it's more than possible.

Bm and I are just so opposite, I would never even react to the situation like she did.  not only that, i'm not a lunatic.  that probalby helps  =D

jlg12678
by Gold Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I have been in bm's shoes prior to bm ever being in them.  I've been divorced from my first husband, had to deal with my ex remarrying, and had to deal with a sm who is in my child's life as much as I am due to 50/50 placement.

I can't understand why she behaves the way she does because I've dealt with the exact same issues, some on an even more extreme level.  And I have never responded to the things that have been thrown at me in life the way she has.   

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 2:44 PM


Quoting jenessamarie:

Penultimate means next to last... So did you mean almost denial??? :) 

Really?  I've been using that word wrong all these years?  I meant something like the pinacle or the highest order or a shitload or pull your head out of the sand of course it is a possibility...

closetmom
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM


Quoting pdxmum:

 

Quoting jenessamarie:

Penultimate means next to last... So did you mean almost denial??? :) 

Really?  I've been using that word wrong all these years?  I meant something like the pinacle or the highest order or a shitload or pull your head out of the sand of course it is a possibility...

LOL yeah I noticed that too.. but it was a truly wonderful post anyway.

I would probably be a raging bitch if I had to share my kids with a SM. It would not be pretty. I wonder how many of the SMs here would be model BMs if the tables were turned. It's not so much that they'd make the same crazy choices as their skids mother has made. Maybe they'd make different crazy choices.. but I doubt they (we) would all be super easy to deal with and all gung ho to share our children.

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:12 PM


Quoting closetmom:

 

Quoting pdxmum:

 

Quoting jenessamarie:

Penultimate means next to last... So did you mean almost denial??? :) 

Really?  I've been using that word wrong all these years?  I meant something like the pinacle or the highest order or a shitload or pull your head out of the sand of course it is a possibility...

LOL yeah I noticed that too.. but it was a truly wonderful post anyway.

I would probably be a raging bitch if I had to share my kids with a SM. It would not be pretty. I wonder how many of the SMs here would be model BMs if the tables were turned. It's not so much that they'd make the same crazy choices as their skids mother has made. Maybe they'd make different crazy choices.. but I doubt they (we) would all be super easy to deal with and all gung ho to share our children.

I got lucky with SM.  I never really needed to "share" my kids; I only had to "share" my ex-husband for a brief period of time.  I can talk a great talk with how great my relationship with exSM turned out, but she was really not interested in playing any "mom" roles with DDs.  She had no kids of her own, bailed out on any conflict DDs had with BF and really never tried to impose herself on me. 

I could be a totally different BM if BF started dating someone again with kids who wanted to change the dynamic we currently have,  Perhaps I would turn into a crazy BM on a more permanent basis.  I won't know until it happens.  And hopefully it won't.  BF is dating a woman who according to DD14 has no kids and just ended a relationship with a man who had kids so she is being really cautious about meeting DDs.  Good news to me.

May I never be tested.

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