To not want this woman to replace the kids she can't have with mine?

(389 Posts)
HandsOFFplease Mon 10-Dec-12 06:16:49

Get your biscuit and brew ready, long post to avoid drip feeding. Long time lurker, first time I'm posting.

Amicably split up with ExDP when DS was 4 and DD 6 months, was pleased that he moved on pretty quickly, but had issues with his new DP and the way she acted around my DCs straight away. Over the past 2 year she has become un-fucking-bearable and I'm at my wits end and clueless as to what to do about her. She was told at a young age she couldn't have children as she delights in telling everyone she knows repeatedly at every chance she gets and it's obviously been a major issue for her all her life, she started IVF privately less than three months after getting with my ExDP, and is constantly trying to undermine me and take over the care of my DC's.

1) Two weeks after he began to date ExDP she had pictures of my DC on her facebook, one of which was of her bottle feeding my daughter (I didn't even know they'd met her at this point) with the tag, 'mummy time' others has tags like 'my handsome boy' I immediately texted ExDP and told him to get her to take them down. She set her facebook to private so I couldn't see if she had them up or not and then sent me text messages telling me she was just trying to bond with the children and that I was being unreasonable.

2) I invited her and ExDP to DD's first birthday party, she spent the entire day monopolizing DD refusing to allow anyone else to hold her, insisted she was in every photograph with her and even tried to open her presents with her. When I put my foot down and refused, she told me it was unfair that I was excluding her and stormed out of the house crying.

3) Convinced herself and ExDP that DS had a wheat allergy, no idea where this came from as he has never had any issues with allergies, started him on a wheat free diet at her house and tried to make me follow it, phoned up his school behind my back to tell them he had this allergy and she was worried that I wasn't taking it seriously enough.

4) She took my DD for her first haircut w/o asking me and is constantly taking DS despite me repeatedly asking her not to cut his hair. She has kept DS off of school to take him to unnecessary Doctors/Dentist appointments w/o asking me, I only found out when I received absence letters from the school.

5) Bitched, whined and moaned from day one that ExDP doesn't get enough time with the DC, despite the fact he suggested our current arrangements and has never said he's unhappy with them.

6) Sent me nasty messages when I went back to work and chose to put DD in a nursery instead of allowing her to look after her during the day.

7) When DS starred in the Christmas Nativity she demanded I force my DM to give up her ticket to her so she could come see him (there was a limited number of tickets per child), when I refused she accused me of trying to 'keep the children out of her life'. My DM had terminal cancer; she won't be able to see him perform again.

8) Constantly feeds the DCs chocolate and sweets, knowing I'm trying to limit them, encourages DS to lie to me about this.
.
9) Tried to start potty training DD when I specifically asked her not to, as she wasn't ready for it.

10) I'm still very close to ExDP's PIL they think she is a weirdo they invited me to a family BBQ, I left children with a close family friend for the night. She spent the entire night making comments about how she would never leave them alone and said I was selfish to put a night out before my DC.

11) ExDP couldn't make it to Parent's Evening so she came instead; she repeatedly interrupted the teacher and ranted about how the school was not doing enough to support DS's learning. I have never had an issues with his schooling, I was absolutely mortified and had to apologize to DS's teacher.

12) Threw a massive tantrum in front of the DC during handover and made them cry when I told her explicitly she would not be taking them out of school/nursery to go on honeymoon with her and ExDP for 2 weeks to Australia DS still hasn't forgiven me.

13) MIL phoned me and told me she'd invited ExDP and his DP over for a meal, apparently she'd spent the night with ExDP discussing the likelihood of them getting custody of the DCs if they went to court!

14) Is CONSTANTLY buying them expensive presents turning them into spoilt brats which they can only play with at her house. DS now tells me he wants to stay at his Dad's because it's much more fun than here.

15) Found out I hadn't breastfed my DC and spent a family party telling all who would listen, had they been her DCs she would have done it because she's not selfish and cares about their health.

This all came to a head tonight at handover when she revealed she's had the DC's names tattooed horribly on her chest. I admittedly lost my temper and told her she needed to stop trying to replace me and that my kids are my kids, to which she replied she was a far better mother than me and it was unfair that she couldn't have kids and I could.

I honestly cannot deal with this headcase woman anymore. I've tried to raise this issue with ExDP and told him that I feel like she's trying to replace the children she can't have with our DC, but he completely supports her and thinks I am being unreasonable and that it's unfair of me to not let her have an equal say in how they are raised. I've warned him that if she doesn't back off I'm going to stop contact, I have no idea what she's saying to them when they are at his house. As I said, I'm not the only person who sees this, the majority of his family agree with me.

AIBU?

PessimisticMissPiggy Mon 10-Dec-12 08:11:21

OMFG.
OMFG.
Where have you got your patience from with this situation? I'd have probably done something stupid by now.

You are not overreacting in anyway! Please get legal advice ASAP.

atacareercrossroads Mon 10-Dec-12 08:12:29

Jesus h Christ this is chilling. She's completely utterly butterly as my Ds would say.

Solicitor, now, ASAP, immediately. As others said she is definitely making plans.

CheerfulYank Mon 10-Dec-12 08:13:04

Hell's bells, I'd kill her! shock

Agree with what everyone else has said...lawyer up and do it fast! I think changing visitation to every other weekend is a good one if you can...their dad will be there then, etc.

Good luck, OP! What a situation.

kakapo Mon 10-Dec-12 08:13:49

To second what someone said upthread: where are their passports? Make sure that exDP hasn't got them passports (or new ones, if they already had them) for this honeymoon. I would get a solicitors advice on the best chance of stopping them going to Australia if exDP, as their father, decides he is taking them without your permission.

lotsofdogshere Mon 10-Dec-12 08:14:27

What a nightmare. This woman sounds like very Hard Work, to say the least. Are your children enjoying contact? The whole situation sounds very stressful for you and for the children. Legal advice yes, but you could be paying a fortune in a situation like this, over many years, whilst the conflict escalates between you. It sounds as though your ex partner is not concerned about her behaviour, and he does have parental responsibility. This has the potential for one of those intractable private law disputes that rumble on throughout the lives of the children. Find a good family lawyer, they may suggest you give mediation a go. I know, I know, it's impossible to mediate with impossible people, but there you go, you'd have the evidence to show you tried.

kakapo Mon 10-Dec-12 08:18:41

Another reason to get the legal advice now is that your exPILs are onside, and could give valuable statements etc. There is no saying they still will be on your side in time, who knows what she's got planned.

GoEasyPudding Mon 10-Dec-12 08:22:55

There are some very useful replies and comments on this thread. I don't have anything fresh to add apart from saying that I hope you feel ready to make an appointment for legal advice, maybe even today.
We are all with on this one, so good luck.

fuzzpig Mon 10-Dec-12 08:26:07

Hide their passports!

Jeez this is terrifying sad

Agree you need to see a lawyer ASAP - anything you do to try and stop her (and by implication, ex) seeing them could be turned against you. You need to tread very carefully.

FestiveDigestive Mon 10-Dec-12 08:31:39

Yanbu. Another point that's occurred to me is - what happens if this woman does manage to get pregnant? Will she stay obsessed with your children, or will she just cut them off completely as she focuses on her new baby? That could be extremely upsetting for them, especially as she has been around since your DD was a young baby. Your DP sounds like he is just being lazy & isn't thinking about the effect of her bizarre behaviour.

Do not allow her to attend anything like parents evening, school plays, birthday parties. This will only reinforce her idea that she is a parent. How about giving the Drs surgery a photo of her? Then if she turns up with a child or asking for information they will know who she is.

LoopsInHoops Mon 10-Dec-12 08:32:10

Crikey.

I have to say I agree with the others, she sounds dangerous. I would be finding a solicitor and asking questions such as can you put a stop to all contact with her? Eg at PILS.

FestiveDigestive Mon 10-Dec-12 08:32:22

Ex-DP, sorry!

kakapo Mon 10-Dec-12 08:32:26

I think it's not just hiding the passports though - as their father, couldn't he apply for new ones (lost/stolen), or apply for their first ones (if they don't have any yet)? Disclaimer: I don't actually know how applying for a UK passports works, but might be worth investigating OP?

DoIgetastickerforthat Mon 10-Dec-12 08:33:25

I think you need to elicit a 3rd party to talk to your exdp about her behaviour. Coming from you makes it easy for him to shrug it off as 'jealous women' syndrome but if someone like his parents, for example, broach it independently of you then he may be more inclined to listen. Do you think they would be prepared to step in like this? Are they aware of all of her behaviour?

Don't let this trundle along, it can only escalate and this women doesn't sound like she's capable of getting a grip of herself so you have to take control.

I would also be quite worried if she did manage to get pregnant, my guess is she would drop your kids like hot potato's.

TandB Mon 10-Dec-12 08:35:18

YANBU
This is what I think you should do:

1) Have a proper, serious talk with your PILs about the issues you have set out in your OP - if you haven't done so yet. Get confirmation as to whether they are willing to support you through the legal process. Ideally, see if one of them is willing to attend a solicitor's appointment with you. Reassure them that they will get contact no matter what happens.

2) Arrange an appointment with a solicitor. Take as much evidence as possible - eg lists of GP appts. Ideally a letter from the GP/school/dentist confirming that there have been problems and that you will be informed in future. Print out any emails and save any text messages. Do as detailed a chronology as possible - it is much easier for a solicitor to get on board immediately if they have a neat, easy-to-read list of the issues, rather than you sitting there saying "and then...and then...and then...". Be aware that solicitors often do have people coming in with outrageous allegations against their ex's and any sensible solicitor will want to analyse everything before throwing themselves into your arms and crying "You poor thing. This woman is insane and we must have a contract taken out on her." So if a solicitor says a lot of "hmm" and "I see", it doesn't necessarily mean they don't believe you - it just means that they are approaching things with an open mind. Hence me saying it would be helpful to take an in-law with you.

3) Approach everything from the point of view of being concerned about the effect on your DCs' emotional well-being - try to avoid focussing on your fear of the children being turned against you. You will come across as far more credible if everything is about the children, rather than your understandable upset and fear.

4) Try to have actal meetings with the school, the GP surgery manager etc and have this documented and the agreed course of action put in writing. This will serve to highlight that all parties are taking this seriously. If the appointments she took them too were pointless, try and get a letter from the GP confirming that there were no issues.

5) Your solicitor will want you to try to approach everything amicably. Agree to mediation if it is suggested and approach it as calmly and open-mindedly as possibly.

6) If you have to go to court, constantly reiterate that you want your ex to have as much contact as possible and that your concern is to find a way for this to happen without any emotional upset for your DCs.

7) Talk to your GP or HV about the best way to talk to your DCs about the situation. They might be able to give you details of someone who can advise on an age appropriate way to explain some of these conflicts and to give them coping mechanisms for if the other woman starts criticising you or trying to get them to do things they don't want to do.

8) Get some support for yourself.

This can all be sorted out. It won't necessarily be easy or pleasant, but it can be done. Try to treat this woman like a tantrumming toddler - do everything properly and calmly and let her rage and rant as much as she wants.

DoIgetastickerforthat Mon 10-Dec-12 08:35:48

cross post with FestiveDigestive.

Christ sad She sounds terrifying!

kakapo Mon 10-Dec-12 08:41:10

Good point DoI. Maybe the teacher from parent's evening could back you up? And/or the doctor, although the surgery sounds a bit daft to be honest!

Actually, I think the tattoo is one of your strongest lines of ammunition. Have you seen it for yourself (i.e. she/exDP/DS isn't winding you up)? The parent's evening/doctor's appointment are certainly out of line, but she could claim that it was for their benefit, especially if DS did turn out to have a wheat allergy. The tattoo has no benefit to the children at all, and so goes some way to proving it's about her not them. Make sure there's no way out of explaining the tattoo, such as her having siblings with coincidentally the same names, and then I would use it. Everyone will think it bizarre, surely?!

gloomy1 Mon 10-Dec-12 08:41:29

tattooing the childs name on her is insane yanbu,

Wow, I don't know what to advise but my jaw is on the floor reading your post. Seriously unbelievable behaviour. I'd be very scared about what she might do next. Just shock at her lack of boundaries. I would get legal advice pronto and somehow stipulate that your ex-DP must be present whenever kids are with her. Let everyone know (GP, dentist etc) so that she can't worm her way any further in. sad

kakapo Mon 10-Dec-12 08:43:13

Great advice from Kungfupanda!

PinkPeanuts Mon 10-Dec-12 08:44:57

One of the bigger problems here is that your Ex is condoning her behaviour, therefore making it seem as if you're just a woman scorned that can't handle your children being around his new partner or being jealous or whatever. As long as you are the only person pointing out that her behaviour is beyond unacceptable, she never has to face up to the fact that she is overstepping boundaries on a massive scale so I second getting PIL involved as well as seeking solicitors advice. I'm actually livid on your behalf!

Personally, I would be reassessing contact. Not stopping it, just changing it so that it takes place at your house with just your ex. I wouldn't trust a woman that unbalanced anywhere near my children let alone be unattended with them. What a nightmare situation to be in.

TandB Mon 10-Dec-12 08:58:10

Sorry - I keep thinking of more things!

This woman clearly has A Plan and is trying to present you in a particular way. You need to be a little bit calculating and think about how you present yourself in response.

When you talk to your solicitor and anyone else in the legal process, make sure you focus on the key issues, but find a way to slip in the other little bits and pieces like the tattoo. So when the solicitor asks if there is anything else, you reply "Nothing that directly affects the children. I don't suppose we can get a court order to have the tattoos of their names removed from her chest, after all." Little tinkly laugh. Solicitor now knows about tattoos - you look like you are rising above it.

On a similar note, courts and lawyers like to see that people are willing to compromise and make concessions. What rings alarm bells is people who say that absolutely everything the other party does is wrong. So try to make concessions where possible. For example, if her physical/practical care of the children is good, say that. "I have never had concerns about her day-to-day care for the children's needs, even when they were babies. DD always came home clean, fed and content. My concern is about their emotional well-being in relation to her apparent competition with me."

Or "I have no issues at all with her collecting them from school or dropping them off at nursery. I have never doubted that they are physically safe in her care. But I have very real concerns about her attending parents evening due to the fact that her accusations against the teacher is damaging our previously good relationship with the school."

Hope that makes sense!

TandB Mon 10-Dec-12 08:59:56

If you are in either London or the South-West, feel free to PM me. I can give you specific names of family solicitors who would be good for a case like this.

Lia87 Mon 10-Dec-12 09:00:11

Agree with everyone elses posts that she sounds like a danger to your children with trying to take them away etc, but is there any chance she'd ever consider adoption? Is it worth trying to put the idea there, highlighting that it would be her own child, you could say as you've seen how she's enjoyed caring for yours during their dads visits to avoid it sounding like its purely to get her away from yours? I'm just thinking it might be safer getting her to calm down and focus on something else on her own will first than to risk completely antagonising her with removing contact instantly etc. Thats providing the loopy behavior seems to be with her wanting her own children rather than her actually being a deliberate danger (as in you don't feel she'd be a danger to an adopted child)

also i think theres court orders to ban a parent from leaving the area/country without permission which you can get, i can't remember what they're called, but they are for cases where kidnap is a worry.

I really hope exdp finishs with her, its not fair on you or your children to have her trying to come between you.

I think the problem at the moment is, while she's doing a lot thats out of line and downright strange, it could be twisted to look like its just for the childrens good that she's doing it, would it be worth having a conversation with her infront of ex pil to see her crazy reaction to have as extra evidence

TandB Mon 10-Dec-12 09:04:35

And another thing!

Highlight the wheat allergy thing. I'm not massively up on allergies but can't cutting something out increase or create an intolerance further down the line? Get confirmation that he has no such allergy and that there is no need for him to be subjected to restrictions on what he can and cannot eat - restrictions that might cause social difficulties (on going to friends' houses for tea) and possibly actual physical effects.

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