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Who is BU? DS1 or Ex's fiancée? Step-parent related.

(75 Posts)

Have had a fraught weekend thanks to some issues with DS1. I should firstly say that DS1 is an adult (21 nearly 22) with a child of his own, also that I don't have any particular animosity towards his dad. His dad/Ex is not a horrible person, bit of a womaniser and not been that present in DS1s life at times but has been really trying since DGS was born, plus we split up when I was pregnant and I have been with DH ever since so there are no bitter feelings from me. Although I think DS harbours some resentment.

The fiancée, I'll call her T, (also please bear in mind that his dad has been engaged 3 times previously in the past 10 years and so that status holds little weight) has been with Ex for 3 years, they now live together, she comes across as alright and has 2 children of her own, but generally DS meets his dad outside of ex's house so he see's little of this woman. DS didn't attend their engagement party so in total has met T 6 times.

This weekend DS went to his dads house, where T now lives too, to have lunch and watch the football. He took DGS with him. When DS turned up, T answered the door and said "There's our boy", she then asked "How's my grandson?", DS said he decided to just act normally to this. Apparently, as the day continued, she made lots of comments in reference to DS about being their/our/her son, DGS also being hers/theirs/ours and talking about how they could be a nice little family etc. DS said this was really winding him up, but he wasn't commenting on it. She then made a comment about being his step-mum and how she hoped she could be like a second mum to him, DS then explained to her that he already has a mum but that he was pleased she was making his dad happy.

At this point, which I think was just after lunch, an almighty row kicked off. T accused DS of being rude and ungrateful, being coached by me and indoctrinated to hate her, treating her unfairly because he is very open to my DH (been with me since DS1 was born), not wanting their family to succeed and various other scathing comments about me, DS1 and our family. DS countered that she is crazy, deluded, he barely knows her, his dad has to meet him outside of the house so her children aren't upset, she is just one in a long line of women and lots of equally nasty comments about how dare she speak about our family.

I can't work out who is being unreasonable, obviously the row sounds bad but was DS1 being over sensitive, rude and ungrateful or was she being insensitive, over eager and bit unrealistic in how she thought DS would relate to her? I can go into more detail but this is already too long.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 13:20:13

I think she sounds unhinged, tbh. My own DM calls my DS 'our boy' and stuff like that and it drives me to distraction - and that's my own mum, not a girlfriend of a more-or-less absent parent.

It does sound like maybe some of DS bitterness towards his father spilled into the conversation, which isn't exactly the girlfriend's fault I suppose, but that is what happens when you have not really been present during an adult's life but then try to muscle in on that adult's own child - it brings up a lot of resentment.

So in all, I think your assessment of her is fairly correct, but she probably got landed with XP's share of DS feelings too. I can't say I blame DS for that...

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 13:23:35

I can understand your DS being irritated at a woman he knows very little assuming such a central and intimate status in his life and his son's life, without any prior discussion or even a friendship between them. I could understand if he took that to be a disguised dig at you (which it may well have been).

I suspect that his reaction wasn't all that diplomatic (in the manner it was said-the words weren't rude), but given the things T then said it sounds like a row that was waiting to happen and which he probably couldn't have prevented even with a really placatory response. Given the background, T is probably very insecure about her place in your Ex's life and she wouldn't be the first new(ish) partner to bed herself in by try to be ostentatiously good with the children and grandchildren.

I've no real advice on what to do except that you should say nothing directly, and T and your DS should exchange apologies and take this opportunity to have a polite, candid discussion with your Ex present to see where they all go from here.

Thing is DS has always got on with his dad it's just been rather intermittent contact.

I'm not going to get involved as he is an adult but he came home and was really worked up about. I think if he had been t

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 13:25:48

'trying', not 'try', sorry.

Not blaming your DS by the way-DH had his father's new girlfriend of 5 minutes lecture him on appreciating his 'wonderful' father (ha!) and all being one happy family (double ha!). We were astonished by the cheek of it, so I can well understand how your son will have felt.

Younger I would have gone round and kicked off. He was crying which has really upset me as is rare for him. I think it was just a release as he was so annoyed but still not what I wanted to see.

I've never stopped him seeing ex or ex seeing him. I've probably been a bit too honest about our split but ex hasn't ever made it easy for himself.

I've never had to deal with the issue of a step mother in a long term way as the relationships have always ended. This is the longest one yet and in concerned it's going to cause real upset.

Eldritch she did actually make digs at me, my DH and our family 'unit', and I don't doubt he wasn't diplomatic, he's always been pretty blunt, and he has 3 parents who are pretty active in arguing so I know he didn't hold back.

She called him names and was swearing at him and I know he called her various things, including mentalist harpy and a twisted bitch. He also told her to fuck off in response to her telling him to get the fuck out of her sight.

Ex apparently kept saying he can't get involved, he can't take sides and that "you two are taking it all too serious", before slamming various doors.

LongTailedTit Mon 11-Nov-13 13:48:12

Looking at it from a step-child's point of view (have clocked up three SDs and one SM since I was 8yo) -

She sounds very presumptuous and a bit deluded, an adult child of your partner does not become your step-child, the clue being in the word child!
She is obv v keen to get a cosy family unit set up, no doubt she is aware she is the latest in a bit of a lineup... You can see why she might feel a bit insecure about this and want to cement her position. But, three years in, if your DS hasn't taken to her then he's not likely to. There's a great difference between 'my stepmum' and 'my dad's partner'.

I'm not in touch with my dad anymore, but was very glad his wife never tried to bed any more than that - his wife.
My mum has a partner of about 7 years or so, he is absolutely NOT my stepdad, but is a v nice man and behaves exactly like a grandad to my DS.

These relationships vary greatly, and tbh I think your DS probably is in the right here. Sure he dealt with it badly, but then he's 21! Mature reasoned discussion isn't the strong point of many young men...

She WBU. He reacted naturally.

jacks365 Mon 11-Nov-13 13:49:45

Swbu in her assumption that an adult and father would want her to play the part of a mother and grandmother without having a good relationship first. They do sound like they both were unreasonable in the argument but your son is perfectly within his rights to keep a distance between himself and his child and her.

Makes me wonder how much of a tale your ex has spun to get sympathy in the past

moldingsunbeams Mon 11-Nov-13 13:54:59

I think she sounds unhinged too, she came into his life when he was 19, he has hardly seen her and yet she is trying to be his mum and she has gone off on one when he was unhappy with that?

She was BU not your son imo. Especially because he has had to meet his dad outside of home not to upset the children but is then part of the family and like a son?

Ok thanks for the comments. My parents are still together, as are DH's I don't really know what the norm is as my friends who have separated parents or are divorced themselves don't have similar set-ups.

It is difficult for DS, I think he is upset because he feels like he's argued with his dad. Thing is because of the way the contact has been with ex not always being available or around, I don't think DS has a family bond with him, he says he loves his dad but I don't think he's got that thing that you tend to have with your parents where you can argue with them and then its all ok because its in the context of a close loving relationship. I think his dad is more like a family friend, they get on, they go to the pub or to football etc but they aren't really close. Ds is a lot closer to DH.

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 14:10:23

Ex apparently kept saying he can't get involved, he can't take sides and that "you two are taking it all too serious", before slamming various doors

He sounds cowardly and really useless.

jacks365 you are completely right, I know ex will probably have fed her some bollocks about how he has always seen his son and they have a great relationship.

The man is a total charmer, jack the lad type and I know that she probably feels insecure and he may have been economical with the truth. However I don't think he would have said bad things about me, maybe that I'm a bit mental and harsh but he has always been kind about me to other people and admitted I haven't stopped him seeing his son. We have a decent relationship, or had, we haven't had much contact now DS1 is an adult, but we've always had a bit of banter and a love hate thing.

Although this woman does now seem to think I'm jealous of her being with him and that I want to sabotage their relationship because I'm not happy in my own hmm

Its just all suddenly become so stressful, after 21 years of managing it, I didn't think it would be now causing a problem. DS will not be just moving on from it and I know this is going to drag on and on until theres some kind of resolution I just don't know what it will be.

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 14:13:40

Interesting that X didn't jump in to defend either of them. I bet that's making her feel more insecure than ever. I think she thought that 'playing granny' would cement her position...

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 14:14:59

Your ex doesn't strike me as the kind of man who likes the drama, so T may be shooting herself in the foot here.

Reading that back maybe I'm the deluded one, if we haven't had contact in a few years I suppose he would be more than prepared to throw me under the bus to win over his new woman.

Maybe I should speak to him?

CleverClod Mon 11-Nov-13 14:18:46

She's jealous of your family unit and she's annoyed with your ex h, instead of resolving issues with him she's taking it out on your son.

She's being a total bitch.

Wilson and Eldritch, also right, he hates drama, and yes she probably is feeling more insecure than ever. I don't know whether to be annoyed he didn't take DS side or impressed he didn't take hers.

I know this has caused a row a their house as DS said when he left and was putting DGS in the car he could hear her screaming at his dad in the house.

I think he does care about DS in a way, he's just a shit parent.

oscarwilde Mon 11-Nov-13 14:24:55

Your son is an adult with a child of his own. I would really step back completely and just tell him that he needs to sort it out himself, that T is clearly a bit unhinged/insecure but that you are not bothered about the perspective of a complete stranger.

Let T think whatever she wants, your DS needs to simply say to his father that either she desists from slagging off his mother or he will no longer visit the house, if your Ex wishes to maintain contact, it is up to him.

qazxc Mon 11-Nov-13 14:25:05

She sounds quite unhinged really. even giving her the benefit of the doubt that she was a bit to overeager/nervous at the beginning and being overfamiliar as a result; then starting to have a full blown row because he points out he has a mum and her being nasty about your family is bonkers.
I wouldn't bother in speaking to him or her as i can't see any good coming from it and will probably make her worse

Strumpetron Mon 11-Nov-13 14:27:26

What is it about babies that turn some people into raging idiots?!

I don't think your son was in the wrong, she needed telling and has thus been told. Has Ex had anything to say about it?

WilsonFrickett Mon 11-Nov-13 14:31:07

God, don't speak to him. That will definitely feed the drama llama! Support your DS if he needs it, but Do Not Get Involved.

EldritchCleavage Mon 11-Nov-13 14:34:19

OP, this is where you stand at a safe distance and watch T dig herself further into a hole. All you need do is support and counsel your DS.

I think your right, I'm trying to just let it wash over me. When DS was telling me what she had said there was and still is a part of me that wanted to go round there, rip her weave out her head and wring her neck with it, but I haven't let on to him about that. I've just been saying she's insignificant to me and all I care about is him and his relationship with his dad not her and ex's relationship.

I won't call ex. I will try and take a step back. very hard though. All I can think about today, have done zero work. DS lives here so I'm very aware of whats going on with him, his girlfriend (mother of DGS) phoned me earlier to talk about it because he has been upset and she wasn't sure what to do. My dad who is a worrier, dropped round last night, saw DS and has been texting me about it this morning. Other DC keep asking why he has been so moody. DH will want an update when he comes home. Its just become such an issue, I think because DS is so tense and we're all so tense as its not something that I've ever had to deal with before.

FTRscreamingInTerror Mon 11-Nov-13 14:43:10

My parents split up when I was very young (2or 3) due to my fathers affair, he has now been married to her for over 20 years, she is not nor will she ever be my step mother.
I am no longer in contact with my father.
My DM met a wonderful man when I was around 20, he gave me away at my wedding, he is for all intents and purposes my dad and as such that's what I call him.
However the decision of what to call him was my decision first, I then discussed it with my step brothers to make sure they didn't mind and the broached it with my DPs.
(Sorry bit of a hijack) my point is it should be down to the child regardless of age in what to call the parental figures in their life. You can't force feelings.
I think SWDBU but I do think your DS could have made his point a little more succinctly

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