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How to bond/connect with BM

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I have a ss who is 4 years old and lives with BM, her hubby and their 3 kids. DH and I see him every other weekend. We've been married for a few months now and normally don't have issues with BM (hardly in contact with her except when picking up or dropping ss) but since we got married and have our own place she seems to be getting abit difficult like not wanting to talk to me or not responding to our requests to fetch him. This past weekend she refused Mil fetching him because she knows we'll also see him somehow (very supportive Mil). We think she is influencing ss as well, because he started behaving mean towards me, which he normally wouldn't be, although that was changed with his last visit 2 weeks ago thanks to DH and Mil's positive influence and we had a great time together as usual. My question is how to connect with BM in a non-forceful manner and make her realise I'm/we're not a threat to her place as BM, and create a friendly relationship for the children's well-being and our sanity (I'm expecting our first child together so ss will have another brother or sister in the near future but BM doesn't know it yet). I've tried casual texting cos we had that type of relationship once before, but this time she doesn't seem to trust it, as though there's an ulterior motive. Any tips or am I expecting thee impossible?
by on Sep. 7, 2013 at 5:15 AM
Replies (41-47):
chanizen
by Platinum Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 7:09 AM

I agree with the end.  But not the first sentence.

If a cordial relationship CAN be formed with bm, it is definitely worth the effort. So "putting yourself in the position" or making the attemp is fine.  But if bm isn't willing, then the op needs to let it go until she is (if ever)

Quoting spicy0425:

You don't want to put yourself in the position trying to form a relationship with BM. No matter what the reasons that caused her to change toward you, you just need to accept it. The more you chase and force the relationship, the more the BM will resist. I agree with another poster who sugested that 'just be nice to the step kid, be cordial but distance when  you are in the proximity of the BM. Don't try to strike a conversation with BM either. Let her do thing in her own pace ". 



teaching_kids
by Bronze Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM
1 mom liked this
BM acted similar when we got married too. There seemed to be phases. When we first started dating she was okay. When it got serious enough to move in with one another she got a little weird. When we got married she got a little weird again. Each step of our progression seemed to be something that she needed to have her own emotional process over. There was really nothing that I could do except stay true to myself and wait for her to get over things. Something about me being the new "Mrs" bothered her and mostly-it seemed to be more geared toward literally being my SD's official stepmother. And this is a woman who genuinely likes me.

So I would take what the other posters are saying with a grain of salt.

You could always reach out and ask her if there is anything she is worried or concerned about and/or if anything happened to cause her to back up. You could make her feel safe to express what is going on for her and open the dialogue in a very casual way. And if she doesn't respond, that's okay.

I've had to work very hard in making BM feel safe to share whatever her grievances have been in the past and we've both worked together to create a harmonious "between houses" relationship with our main point of interest being what is best for my SD. As women we both feel it is important that we are role models in the realm of women being able to deal with one another without any nonsense. In addition to us both having respect for our individual boundaries. She as mom and me as wife. We meet once a month if and when we can - for lunch and that has helped is get to know one another as women outside of the tricky dynamics. This has developed a "knowing"
She's from a different state. She's from the Midwest. (As is my husband) and it seems mid westerners are, think and act very different than those of us who are from Philly. Everything is about being politically correct, polite and keeping things on a superficial level. Whereas here in Philly we are more "out there" less politically correct, and geared more toward authentic expression vs politeness. Lets just say half of the things that come out of my mouth comes across as "shocking" to BM and prior to her being in my actual presence and getting my way of being and my sense of humor - she would more times than not-take offense to my very direct way of being or getting right to the point without worrying about being politically correct or polite.
But once we spent some actual time together-she totally knows me now and it's kind of cute because she now also has a space with me to be equally expressive without having to worry about censoring herself.
I do try to be a little more polite for her and she does try to be a little more right to the point for me
and that's easy to do when you know, like and respect someone....

We don't always agree. In fact, she's extremely different than me in a lot of ways...

But at the end of the day- we both want my SD to be a free child who doesn't have to deal with two grown women acting like they are enemies. That's not what we want to teach her about her own gender.

Anyway....

Way back...I reached out to her first. I introduced myself and shared to please feel free to reach out to me if my SD ever came back to her house with anything that sounded questionable to her.
I expressed I had a son and know how it can be for a young child to share things and I wanted her to feel she could question me at any time and I'd be happy to be in the conversation and happy to create a supportive co-operative dynamic since I am a mom too, I get how difficult it can be...

She was grateful. And that wasn't me "forcing" myself on her. I was just being me.

You have to find your own rhythm with BM.
leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 10:02 AM

I agree, I also understand where the OP is coming from since it seems as if it was a change which is why she is seeking to 'fix' things, perhaps it is just unfixable. Let BM work to change it back if she is ever interested.

Quoting spicy0425:

You don't want to put yourself in the position trying to form a relationship with BM. No matter what the reasons that caused her to change toward you, you just need to accept it. The more you chase and force the relationship, the more the BM will resist. I agree with another poster who sugested that 'just be nice to the step kid, be cordial but distance when  you are in the proximity of the BM. Don't try to strike a conversation with BM either. Let her do thing in her own pace ". 


Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

boysmom5
by Bronze Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 2:58 PM

Don't worry about it and don't try to connect with her.  It's not worth it.  BM in my sitch is not a person I would ever associate with in any normal circumstances, so I don't.  Focus on maintaining a good relationship with your ss.  That's what's important.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I'd focus on your new marriage, supporting your DH as he tries to maintain a relationship with his child and then give the rest time.

Everyone has their own story, background, idea of how they want things to be.  Sounds to me like BM in your situation doesn't want to deal with you, nor her ex so much--which is understandable.  So aside from supporting your DH, just hang out in the background and let time pass.  

If her own mother is facilitating visitation...be careful there too.  How must it feel for BM that her own mother is in the middle of this and not "taking her side"?

Like TK wrote, my relationship w/ BM has been all over the map.  I really do think that time can help (on both sides) and that if you just stick to your world and let her stick to hers without trying to inject yourself, you'll have a better situation in the long run.

USBrit
by Silver Member on Sep. 8, 2013 at 6:15 PM
1 mom liked this

these relationships tend to move in a direction of their own. Just don't try so hard, maybe just leave it alone for a while and see how things fall into place on their own. You are having a baby, focus on that and enjoy preparing for a nursery, etc. Sometimes when people get married it is a clear indication that things have changed forever without going back, (even though she is married too). I would just igive it some time. Good luck

TinaH13
by on Sep. 9, 2013 at 5:02 AM
Thanks for sharing ladies, I've definitely got sum new perspective now :)
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