Hi. I was recently married in March. I am 44 and this is my first marriage. I adore my husband and his daughter, who is 11. But dealing with his ex has been so difficult. It's all just been harder than I thought it would be. My husband has been divorced for 4 years and we just recently started getting overnight visits with his daughter. We went to mediation for that and then his ex decided she didn't like the agreement from mediation so she got a lawyer so now we will be in court three weeks from now. His original child custody document gave him visitation rights every Saturday and Tuesday during the day and evening but no overnights. It never addressed holidays or summers or anything. He actually only got to see his daughter ever Saturday. Tuesdays just never happened because the BM didn't allow it. He used a friend of a friend for a lawyer. His ex and her father are controlling and bullies. He's been verbally abused for most of the 13 years of marriage. He was a perfect victim because he is very passive. They have joint custody. She filed for divorce. Our lawyer is filing paperwork for us to get her all weekend every other weekend, 1 day a week from after school until 8:30pm, every other week during summer (with no change in child support) and a set holiday schedule. Currently we get her on the holiday if her mom allows it or once she is done celebrating. For example, we got to see her on Father's Day AFTER his daughter celebrated the day with her grand=father. The BM doesn't agree so we are going to court. Her first concern was that she wanted us to pay for lawyer fee and she didn't want child support to change during the summer and she wanted First Right of Refusal (if SD is not with her father then the BM wants to know where she is and who she is with and what she is doing and if she doesn't approve then we have to bring her home. This included me being alone with her daughter or my husbands family or any of my SD friends). We have NO idea what my SD does or who she does it with when she is with BM. And 90% of the time when SD is with BM, she is over at a friends house during the day if school is not in session. We agreed to not change child support even if SD was with us ½ of the summer. We refuse to pay her lawyer when it's because of her that lawyers are even involved and we won't agree to her First Right of Refusal because it's a burden on us only. The BM wants to control SD when she is with BM AND when she is with her father. My husband has no parental say in anything. We find out afterwards when SD misses school or goes to the doctor. We have no say in her activities but we are expected to pay for them.
The BM communicates with us through the SD. And my DH is so passive and doesn't want to put his daughter in the middle so he puts up with it. My husband just doesn't want to upset or fight with his ex because then it affects the SD. And she is already so sensitive to everything.
Here's the main Problem. The BM is BLIND. So I sound insensitive here. She wasn't always and she was on her way to losing her sight when they got married 15 years ago. So because of this we do all the driving for picking up and taking home of SD. And the BM has NO problem having the SD call one of us and ask us to bring them both dinner or lunch. We've even give the BM rides to the store or to a friend's house or most recently my husband was asked (by his daughter) to take the BM to a doctor's appointment. Even that I can deal with (well, I try) because I do feel badly for the BM. I realize that it must be so hard to know that another woman is around your daughter and playing with her and taking her shopping and you aren't able to do a lot of that. What I just can not handle OR get my husband to understand is that I have a MAJOR problem going out of my way for the BM when in 2 ½ weeks we're all going to be in front of a judge and she wants to say we aren't fit to take care of her daughter. There is NO give and take here. There is no structure. It's just a whim. Whatever mood the BM is in decides how much we get to see SD. When she's mad at us, she won't even let DH talk to his daughter. If we're kissing her butt then she allows us access.
I'm just frustrated. I love my husband and SD very much. But I don't think I can commit to taking care of the BM as well. Not when she's so controlling and manipulative. I could tell story after story about what she pulls and she still amazes me.