You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘blended families’ tag.

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones on www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

BFSO is consulting the Advisory Board once again. This time we need to help a reader figure out what she should do. Below is her scenario and my response. We know the best advice comes from those who are living or have lived it. Please respond with open minds and sincere hearts.
Reader’s Question:

I’m a Mom and my ex-husband (in which we’re both remarried) have 50/50 custody. However, we live in different towns and my kids go to school in his hometown.

My problem is that my exes new wife is my children’s primary caregiver. She is currently housesitting for her mother, in which her and my children are staying there, but my ex husband is staying at their house. This is strange to me because my exes wife’s mothers home is in the same town as my exes home. My ex said that he’s getting a lot of work done while they’re gone.

I work from home and want my kids to live with me and go to school in my home town. My ex will not give them up. he says that their home is there and that their school is there. Although I agree that stability in the same school is important, my kids aren’t being taken care of by him. They’re being taken care of by their stepmom. (who is very nice by the way).

Should I take this to court since obviously my ex isn’t the one primarily taking care of them and I have the circumstances and great desire to have them with me?

What’s your thought?

My Response:

Hi Jakki! Thanks so much for stopping by.

I am sorry that you’re in this position. It’s tough when you’re really trying to make decisions based on what’s best for your children. I am sure that your decision to allow your children to remain in your ex’s hometown was based on just that [doing what’s best for them]. However, being cared for, primarily, whenever possible, by both of their biological parents is equally important. My questions to you would be: 1) How many days of the week do you get to see them as you stated that you share custody? 2) How many times a week does your ex actually have them since his wife is caring for them outside of their home? 3) Is there a reason why your children live with your ex in the first place?

All of those questions would definitely influence whether or not I would take my ex to court. But, just from the information you’ve provided above, if my children weren’t being primarily cared for by me or my ex, then something would definitely have to change. While I’m sure that your ex’s wife is a great person (after all, she’s caring for your children), I don’t think it’s fair to you, to her or to your children to have her primarily care for them; especially when neither you, nor your husband share a residence with them.

Here are a couple of options to consider:

1. Take your ex to court for physical custody as it’s almost impossible to have joint physical custody when you both reside in different hometowns. I’m not sure how old your children are, but they will adjust to a new school. If one is a senior in high school, then it might be best to allow him to finish out the year in his current school. Other than that, kids move all of the time, and they adjust.

2. You mentioned that you worked from home, so how possible would it be for you to move to the town where your children reside? This way, they could live with you, stay in their school, but still have unlimited access to their father.

I hope I’ve helped in some way, Jakki. I’ll repost this scenario so that readers will have a chance to respond as well.

Grace and Peace,

*Kela*

 

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

BFSO readers, I need your opinion.   I have been opining this subject for a while now.  Actually, it is eating away at me because I have always tried really hard to not let what an ex does or doesn’t do or something he says or doesn’t say to me bother me.   My 19 year old son, L’s, father lives in California.  We were married for 5 years.   During that time, as I have written before, he was very physically abusive to me in front of my two older boys.  My oldest son was not his biological child.

Last May, when my son graduated high school, my ex and I got into a huge argument, over the phone over his car insurance payment.   The only thing I ask him to do is pay his car insurance $72.00 a month and that has only been since he was 17.  So, the first 17 years, he never paid a dime of support or helped me in anyway.  He didn’t work when we were married.  Anyway, at the time of our argument, he said to me “Diane, our son is 19.  I don’t have to have anything else to do with you.  I don’t have to talk to you, I can talk to L from now on.”   That really made me think.  How do you say that to the mother of your child?  If it weren’t for me, he wouldn’t have his only son, his namesake.

Well, he’s right.  He doesn’t.  But, that really hurt me.  I raised this boy on my own, got the crap beat out of me by this man, and now he just writes me off  because our son is 19.  I think what bothers me more is that my son WANTS a relationship with him.   For some reason, I feel a little bit betrayed by my son.   I was the one struggling, making $15,000 a year, eating oatmeal at night so the boys could eat what little meat I could afford to buy.  I was the one crying at night wondering how I was gonna pay the daycare that next week, buy groceries and have enough money to last me to the next paycheck.

I never asked for child support from him, not a dime.  We divorced when my son was 4.  I was so afraid of him that I didn’t want him to have any reason to come around us.  The court ordered supervised visitation, with no overnights and that he seek batterers treatment counseling, etc.   The court did order child support, but I stipulated that he didn’t have to pay it and I moved away.  My question is….why would my son want a relationship with him when he has done NOTHING  for him, ever?  Needless to say, from the time my son was 8 through now, 19, my son has seen him a total of 4 times.  Now that he is 19, my ex tries to have a father-son relationship with him, calls him on his cell, talks about the Lakers; which is both of their favorite team.   My son acts like they are the best of friends and it makes me almost physically sick because he has no idea the pain this man has caused me.   Just the raising of this man’s voice still scares me to this day.   My son doesn’t see that pain.  My son doesn’t understand the things his dad took away from me during those years of abuse.  He took everything from me.  My self-esteem, my self-worth, my pride and he placed fear in my heart.   Why does he want to  have anything to do with him?  I know I am being selfish.  My son deserves a relationship with his father….but he is a horrible father.   I have forgiven my ex, but I haven’t forgotten and I guess, I didn’t expect my son to forget either.

It bothers the heck out of me.   HELP!!!!!

Diane

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

For years the images of second wives have always wavered from one horrible image to another. If not the gold-digging young tenderoni that the man just wants as a trophy wife; it’s the much younger secretary that the man had an affair with. The woman that the ex-wife claims stole her husband, children and family. Or worst, the second wife is simply viewed as second choice and is perceived as always living in the shadow of his one true love and mother of his children. Perhaps this is the case with some second marriages, but these images shouldn’t be the only ones that we think of when we ponder second marriages. For many men, their second wives are hardly second best, but the true loves of their lives.

My Real Life Love Story

My wonderful husband often tells me that I am his one true love. He says that he didn’t truly know what love was until he experienced it with me. He calls me one of God’s most perfect creations – I love that man!! At any rate, our love definitely doesn’t mirror that of those tarnished images mentioned above.

Wedding Day

We met in high school. I was 14 and he was 15. He played basketball with my brother and some other boys from my neighborhood (he didn’t live in my neighborhood) on occasion. I also saw him everyday in school (between periods) and we would always exchange a friendly ‘hi’ and keep going. He undoubtedly possesed the sweetest, most gentle spirit that you’d ever meet. I immediately felt connected when in his presence and always knew that we would be [connected] in some way. I just didn’t know how and really didn’t give it much thought; it was just something that I keenly felt. We didn’t date in high school, but remained friends. We lost touch, however, for many years after that. I saw him again after college at a local pancake house. I was having breakfast with my mom, cousin and son and he, with his friend. He walked over to me and immediately, that same high school feeling returned. And, he was seemingly the same sweet, gentle individual that I knew long ago. We played catch up for a few minutes and then he walked back to his table. Although I didn’t see a ring and he didn’t mention it, I heard that he was married so that was it – so I thought. As he was getting ready to leave he came back over to our table. He said that he had a son who looked to be about my son’s age, and he would love to get them together sometime. I thought that would be a fabulous idea so we exchanged phone numbers. After playing phone tag for a few weeks, we finally got together, but without the boys! On our first date, he revealed to me that he had been separated for over 2 years and was going through a divorce. Anyway, we literally saw each other almost everyday after our first date, and it felt like we had never been apart.  Our boys got along great! They are only 3 months apart and soon became best friends. To this day, he is still the same sweet, gentle, loving man that I remembered in high school, and after 8 years, it only gets stronger. Our love is not one that was obtained by default; it was by design, God’s design. And, everything that we shared with our past significant others only prepared us to receive and appreciate the true love that we currently share. It’s funny because although I always felt that we’d be connected in some way, even back in high school, I never dreamed that I was passing my true love in those hallways.

I know that there are other second marriage love stories out there. We just rarely hear about them. I want to hear yours. Leave a comment or send me an email telling me about your second marriage love story. In February, BFSO will choose the winning story to post and the winner will receive a gift for sharing.

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

I have an issue that I’d like to reach out to the BFSO Advisory Board (that’s you readers, by the way) for advice on. It’s about my ex and his relationship with our son. Most of you know, by reading the blog, that my ex is an overseas basketball player and has been since I was pregnant with our son. As such, he’s been living out of the country ever since our son was born and he’s now 11. As a result, they pretty much don’t have a meaningful relationship. My ex wants to change that and so do I, but we clash on how to do so. He is only in the states about 8 weeks, maybe a little more on occasion, out of the entire year and has been since I was pregnant. Therefore, my son has never had the opportunity to develop a meaningful bond with him. It took my son a long while before he actually wanted to go over to their house, without being forced.  Over the past few years, however, it has gotten better; especially since his wife and son stay behind while he goes to Spain to play basketball. It has allowed my son to spend more time in his second home, with his second mom and little brother. Now, he loves to spend as much time with them [his second mom and brother] as he can, and I certainly don’t mind. As a matter of fact, my husband and I are both very happy that he asks to go over every weekend, holiday or whenever he has a break from school. It confirms that his second mom really makes him feel at home when he’s there.  I thank God for that…what a relief! The problems occur when my ex returns for his 8 week visit. My son almost instantly withdraws and doesn’t want to go over.  Last summer, he even said, “I’ll just wait until dad leaves before I go over there again.” When I asked him why he said that he just didn’t feel comfortable when his dad was there. He said that he’d like for him (his dad) to get to know him better.

Let me explain…my son is a highly intelligent, straight A student. He started booting up the computer (on his own) and playing educational games at age 18 months, putting together 100 piece puzzles before age 2 and reading, fluently, by age 3. He’s our brainiac who loves anything having to do with science. Some of our conversations are even over my head! Additionally, he’s the sweetest, most kind-hearted, compassionate, wise individual (not kid, but person) that you’d ever meet. Most people (his teachers, friends’ parents, etc) literally compare him to Ghandi. His bio-dad, on the other hand, is a jock. He’s the professional basketball player, who like most (I don’t mean to stereotype, but it’s true) are self-absorbed individuals, who think that world starts and stops around their schedule because they play basketball. Are you starting to see how the two completely clash??

With that said, I can really tell, especially since my ex is getting older and finally growing up, that he desires a more meaningful relationship with our son. But, he wants our son to do so on his terms. He thinks that by forcing him to stay the entire summer (the 8 weeks that he’s here) that their relationship will automatically improve. I told him that forcing him would potentially do more harm than good. By the time my son gets over the shock of being forced to stay in an environment that he’s not comfortable in, it’s time for the ex to skip town again, for a year, and they get to do it all over again the next summer. I explained to him that forcing him to be with him will not do any good until he decides to stay put for more than 8 weeks in the summer. Additionally, being a parent is much more than just having him in the house with you. You have to spend time with him and even do things that he wants to do at times.  And, because you’ve never had an opportunity to bond, alone time is essential as well.  My ex just doesn’t get it at this point. I will say, however, that I can really tell that he’s making a concerted effort to understand where I’m coming from. I’m so happy that although we don’t agree on everything or even always understand each other’s points of view, we both talk about it like adults and then attempt to work out an optimal solution. And, at the end of the day, we both really want what’s best for our son. What a blessing to have finally arrived at this point!

My question for the BFSO Advisory Board is, should I force my son to stay the 8 weeks in the summer, if he doesn’t want to? Legally, I am not obligated to do so because the judge ordered that he give 60 days notice prior to arriving in the states, which he has never done because he said that he just can’t. However, I’m always flexible with the parenting time schedule and allow my son to see his dad and/or second mom as much as he wants. My thoughts are that if dad were doing everything that he was supposed to do, we wouldn’t have to force him. I’ve told him to call regularly, not just from time to time. Use email to communicate with him on a regular basis. I even suggested a webcam for more frequent contact. But, he’s acted on none of my suggestions. Why should I be flexible and bend over backwards to achieve this goal [my son spending more time with him], and why should my son be forced to be uncomfortable, if dad can’t hold up his end of the bargain? Whether it be because he can’t or isn’t willing? What do you readers think?

We’ve moved to www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com. Find this post and a host of new ones at www.blendedfamilysoapopera.com.

The topic of insecurities has been directly or indirectly mentioned in several posts and comments, that I felt the need to thoroughly address it. It is no secret that discord in a blended family can stem from insecurities from either the ex or current wife or both. And, as we all know, the blended family functions much better when the ex and current wife are working together and getting along. The questions that still remain, however, are; 1) Why can’t women seem to get along? 2) Why are we so vicious to one another??

It sickens me to believe that long ago, the women before us were able to collaboratively strive for success in the arenas of political activism and social justice. When they told us we couldn’t vote we banned together. We also banned together to demand our respect amongst our male counterparts in corporate America. Yet, when it comes to what should be most important to us, our blended families, we just can’t seem to work together, or just refrain from trying to tear each other completely down.

Jealously is a common factor in competition among women and insecurities grab hold of many of us. We want what she [current wife] has. We want the attention she is getting. We may feel like we deserve it more than she does. We feel the need to fight to prove that we are better. By that same token, women feel the need to fight to hold on to what she has. We throw it in the faces of the other woman [ex-wife] that we have what she couldn’t hold on to.

With that said, fear on the ex-wife’s behalf can also create an enormous amount of tension within the blended family. The confusion and fear usually displays itself in the form of insecurities which sometimes causes the ex-wife to act out. Through my posts about my ex I have been more than honest about feeling hurt once he remarried. It wasn’t because I wanted him back because I had also moved on. It was because for so many years he was all I had known.  We spent years together even before we had our son. We had a child together, and we had planned to spend the rest of our lives together. I didn’t plan on having to deal with all of the issues that a blended family faces. I didn’t want my son’s family to be broken.The mere idea of starting over was enough to make me want to run back to a relationship that I knew wasn’t good for either of us. It was scary! And, if we are all honest with ourselves, many of us have had these feelings when it comes to the demise of our relationships with men that we have children with. This is why I often say I can relate to the feelings that an ex-wife feels when she’s finally faced with the fact that she’ll never have her family together again. What I don’t condone, however, is acting on those impulses.

All of my second moms have a few insecurities that they often deal with, too. For some, it’s hard to see their husband have to what they perceive as catering to another woman, his ex-wife.  Some can’t even deal with it when he’s friendly towards her and performs simple gestures such as an innocent hug. It symbolizes that he once loved this other woman (who is also the mother of his child(ren) that they will all be forever connected to. Of course we know that our husbands had a past before us, but let’s be honest, it’s much easier to deal with when you aren’t confronted with that past on a regular basis.

I want to acknowledge both the ex and current wife’s insecurities by affirming that they are completely normal. It doesn’t mean that you are an overall insecure woman; you’re just human. Dealing with a failed relationship is like grieving the loss of an entire life that you once knew, but will never have again. That’s hard to deal with. Additionally, feeling like you have to fight to hold on to a family that you love so dearly due to the insecurities and issues of an ex-wife, is also alot to deal with. Once you accept these feelings as normal you won’t feel like you have to defend your position.

So, I encourage both my current and ex-wives to acknowledge their own fears. Why do you feel threatened or upset with the current wife? If you are blaming her for the demise of your marriage, realize in most cases (except for adulturous situations) your marriage was over before she came along. And realistically, you had to have known that your ex-husband wasn’t going to be single forever or even just until you found someone.  And for my second wives, why might you feel threatned or upset with the ex-wife? Understand that the prior relationship did not succeed and, therefore, is not a threat to your current relationship. You should rely on your husband (and hold him responsible) to honor and protect your marriage, even where the ex-wife is concerned; instead of focusing on what she might be doing to tear it apart.

“There are many things that we would throw away if we weren’t so afraid that others might pick them up.” ~Oscar Wilde

Blog Stats

  • 34,856 hits

Vote Now!

Contact Me

kela_price@yahoo.com