The Ex - Updated!

How do you deal with an ever-present frustration in your life?  Mine's BF's Ex-wife.

Since our whole court debacle over where LM went to first grade, where she won, she has become more and more of an overwhelming frustration.  Immediately after our court case she tried to renege on the transportation plan that she'd proposed to the judge and was questioned about for an hour.  She also tried to get BF to agree to give up one of our nights with the LM because that's what's convenient with her school schedule this semester and she, for some reason, thinks that she has the right to have more time with LM than we do.  BF was having none of that, so he told his lawyer what was up and once faced with further court time to re-decide the issue. she backed down and agreed to do what she said, under oath, that she was going to do .  It's like she thinks she's the mom and she gets to call all of the shots, like there isn't a second person in the picture with full parental rights.

And it's not just that that burns my ass, she's deceptive and manipulative and straight out lies to us to get what she wants and it's hurting LM.  Last weekend they (she and BF) worked out a deal where she would get to keep him until 8:00 pm on Sunday rather than the usual 10:00 am and we would be able to get him after school on the 28th so that we can go camping.  She's never on time, so 8:00 came and went and they were nowhere in sight, no phone call, nothing.  LM has to go to bed at 8:30, so we wanted to get to spend a little time catching up with him before bed, but clearly that wasn't going to happen.  We got a call close to 8:40 from her saying that she was still about ten minutes away. Her excuse for being so late was that it rained going to and coming from their destination.  She has no respect for our time with LM; she knew it was raining and that it would take longer to get home, yet she didn't leave early or anything, she stayed exactly as long as she'd planned to.  Then when LM finally got home we found out that they were late because they stopped at Cabela's, a national chain of hunting, fishing and outdoorsy stuff mega-stores.  We found this out because he's crying and talking about what a jerk his mom is for stopping to look around a store he had no interest in when he was supposed to be going home to spend some time with his dad.  He felt like she had cheated him out of time with his father, something that she does on a regular basis.

The week before, she asked if she could keep LM late on Saturday night because it was her birthday.  Totally rational request, I mean if we were having a birthday celebration for BF's 30th birthday, I would hope she would allow us extra time with him so that he could attend.  The thing is, she didn't want to spend extra time with him.  She went to a concert with her boyfriend and left LM with a babysitter, her sister Sara.  So the extra time she was asking for was not for her to get to spend time with her son on her birthday, it was so that her sister could spend more time with LM, time that he should have been spending with BF and me.

I felt lied to, manipulated, and just disrespected.  I feel that way often.  She's always late, usually by an hour or more.  She has no respect for my time because I don't work, something she blatantly said to BF a few weeks ago.  She's still bitter about their divorce, which she openly admitted would have happened with or without my influence.  She also still really bitter that LM stayed home with me when he was 2-3 instead of going to daycare, she acts like I took time with her child away from her, regardless of the fact that she would have been working and he would've been in daycare with strangers during that time even if they'd stayed married.

Right now, she's trying to make me put LM in the Halloween costume she made for the school party rather than the one I'm making.  She also wants me to copy her on every email I send to LM's teacher because, in her words, I'm "usurping [her] role as his mother, " and, "actual parents are traditionally the points of contact." Guess what - I'm an actual parent, LM calls me his parent, the court calls me his parent, I’m his parent.   Finally, she says that "it would be best for [LM] that if anyone represent him, it be [BF] or I." Why? She give no reason, but I called shenanigans on all of it.  I'll be driving LM to school in the costume that I made him, which he's really excited about.  She going to the party, so if she feels like embarrassing and upsetting LM by making him change costumes in the middle of the party, that's up to her and she'll deal with the consequences.  I hope she doesn't.  I hope she doesn't put him in a position where he has to choose between parents over a Halloween costume.  I hope for once she can be unselfish and let go of control long enough to let him have a good time.  And I realize that I could also be the bigger person and get the costume from her for him to wear to school, but he's already so excited with the costume that I'm making him.  He loves the idea of having two different Halloween costumes, he helped pick out the fabrics, he helped me to fit his mask and is really interested in all of the parts that I'm sewing, and he loves the idea of being something more "scary" for school.  I'm not going to take that away from him and I don't think anyone should.

What's sad is that I would have understood how she was feeling and considered changing things if she hadn't been so rude and demanding.  She didn't ask me a single question, she just told me what was going to happen.  Clearly, she doesn't have any negotiating skills.  When you want something from someone or you want someone to do something your way, the least thing you can do is ask rather than demand.  Being bitter and excessively assertive isn't going to get you anywhere.  And it didn't.

These are just a few of the recent episodes that have angered me.  She does it on a pretty regular basis.  

I'm stuck with her, she's LM's mom so she's not going anywhere, but I'm as close to him as a second mother and I'm staying right where I am too.  The most important thing for me is that this doesn't spill out into an arena where LM has to deal with the fact that his mother and I think so very little of one another.  So far it hasn't and I won't be the one to do that to him.

So how would you/do you deal with these kinds of people in your life? I'd really like to know because I'm at a loss, but I hate being angry with her all the time and it drives BF crazy.  He's able to just brush off her various unpleasant behaviors, but I just don’t know how to do that.


Here I was thinking that she was going to play the good mom and not bring LM into this little dispute over where and when he will wear which costume made by whom, but apparently not.  

Tonight as we perused the racks at JC Penney, he came to me with a look of concern on his face and said that his mom had told him that she was supposed to make his Halloween costume, not me.  

Faced with what was so clearly a little boy dressed up as a punch in the gut (definitely not the iSomething costume LM said the Ex was planning), I simply told him, with as light an air about it as possible, that I could continue making his bat costume and he could wear it to school, or he could wear the costume his mom was making him, whatever he wanted.  
He said I should keep making the bat costume.  

1 comment:

  1. I think you hit the nail on the head. You are all together for the long haul. Unfortunately, I think that means doing whatever you can to keep the peace even when you have to bite your tongue. Stay strong, be the bigger person and maybe it will give her the safe space to also be more cooperative eventually. We can never know how others feel or how they deal with loss and change or when they will be able to move forward; but I think your own patience and kindness will make it happen faster and be a good example to LM. :) all the best to all of you!