Dealing With a High Conflict Ex-Wife in 5 Easy Steps

Updated on August 1, 2018
Alice Marlowe profile image

Alice Marlowe PhD, PMHNP, RN, holds a BA in Psychology and is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

You float down the aisle on your wedding day, smiling radiantly at your knight in shining armor. Absolutely nothing can ruin this moment. Except the ex-wife.

As you look lovingly at your groom, you remember the 55 text messages his ex-wife sent that morning outlining exactly how she was going to make his life (and therefore yours) a living hell if he had the audacity to marry you. Never mind that their divorce was 10 years ago. You glance around the church to make sure she isn't camped out behind the nearest flower arrangement with a bazooka pointed at your head. You wonder if you can survive this much drama.

Not to worry. With a little effort and some strong boundaries, you can.

Girlfriends, Wives, and Stepmoms: Dealing With His Toxic Ex

Sound familiar?

Even if you're not married yet, being in a relationship with a man who has a high-conflict ex-wife or girlfriend is not for the faint-of-heart. I know because I am married to a man whose ex-wife is bat shit crazy. I met him years after his divorce and I could not fathom that there was still this much animosity and abuse from his toxic ex.

I have dealt with everything from the ex trying to punch my husband to her beating on my door at 6 a.m. to see if he was at home. (He was, by the way.) I've been yelled at and received unsolicited phone calls telling me what a loser I married. I've been blamed for things I've never heard of and called a horrible human being. For the longest time, she referred to me as "the chick around your dick." She threatened to keep my husband and his son apart for the rest of the kid's life if the kid was ever going to be around me for even 5 seconds because she was not going to have "her son" around another woman. Odd, since all I've ever said to her is "Hello," and eventually, "Stop knocking on my door at 6:00 a.m."

Sound familiar? If yes, keep reading to learn how to minimize the stress caused by a vindictive ex-wife, maximize your own sanity, and keep your focus where it should be—on your relationship or marriage and children.

How Can You Deal With an Ex's High Drama?

According Rachel Stapleton, PLLC, a mental health therapist in private practice, sometimes you can't:

"Accept the fact you cannot control your ex. She may (albeit unfortunate, immature, and unfair to the children) choose to continue to act in a dramatic manner, but know that you do not have to respond in a dramatic way, nor do you have to participate."

If you're still trying to deal with the ex, and especially if kids are involved, I share these five steps that might help you.

Step 1: Recognize the Crazy

If your husband frequently receives 10 to 15 ranting and abusive emails (manifestos) from the ex-wife in a 24 hour period, this is not normal. If the ex-wife has ever texted your husband to the point that his phone battery dies, this is not normal. If you have ever accompanied your husband to drop off the kids and the ex-wife starts beating on his car. Yep, you guessed it. Not normal!

The first step is to recognize who and what you are dealing with. Any time two people with kids get divorced, there are going to be some squabbles over the years. Minor, and even a few major, disagreements are completely normal. Do not expect your husband and his ex to co-parent in perfect harmony all the time. Do, however, expect that there will be no cussing, name calling, threats, withholding the chidren, or banging on your door for no apparent reason. If any of this has happened, keep reading.

Is she "crazy" or has she actually been diagnosed with a mental illness? If so, you might like to read about When the Ex-Wife Has Borderline Personality Disorder.

For exes who are experiencing difficulty moving forward or letting go of the past, it's a common response to not want the former partner to be happy. There can be a sense of wanting to punish the old partner for things they may or may not have done in the relationship.

— Rachel Stapleton, PLLC, mental health therapist

Step 2: Get on the Same Page as Your Husband

High conflict ex-wives intrude into every last fiber of your being and into every last corner of your home. If you have one in your life, then you are all too familiar with that awful feeling in the pit of your stomach when your husband or boyfriend lets you know she is at it again. If you let it, the drama will consume you and bury you in a big pile of steaming high-conflict poo.

Tell your boyfriend or husband that the constant drama stresses you out, and tell him you need it to end. Some men take an exceptionally long time to understand the havoc an ex-wife is wreaking on the current relationship. I don't care if you have to use smoke signals: get him to understand what the drama is doing to your well-being, to his well-being, and to your relationship. Most importantly, get him to understand the negative effects the drama is having on the children. Kids are very aware, even from a young age, when mom and dad do not get along. It's up to him to end the drama for his children. He has to stop waiting for the other party to calm down, and he must take action now.

Step 3: Find Someone to Talk To

Like-minded women are out there! In droves! I had no idea that there were so many stepmoms who were in exactly the same position, married to a man with an ex-wife who had vowed to make his life a living hell.

If you have attempted to vent or sob about the crazy in your life and the other person has backed away from you slowly, then you are talking to the wrong people. Adults who have not been stepparents or who do not deal with a high-conflict ex will not understand what you are going through (lucky ducks!).

Spend some time searching for online support forums. Try out a few until you find a group of like-minded women who are a good fit for you. After spending a year lurking online, I started reaching out to some of the women I had met, and now they are real friends. These women are my saviors! When the ex decided to dance on my front porch at 6:30 a.m., they were there for me. When, one week after our wedding, she started mailing photos of her on her wedding night, shots of her wearing. . . well, less than I ever wanted to see. . . these other stepmoms knew exactly what I was going through. I cannot overemphasize the importance of finding friends who really get it and get you.

Stepmom Support

Who do you talk to the most about your stepmom problems?

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Our Family Wizard is a website that offers tools to help reduce conflict.
Our Family Wizard is a website that offers tools to help reduce conflict.

Boundaries are often important; however, you must focus on what you can control, which is yourself.

— Dr. Wyatt Fisher, a licensed psychologist and couples counselor

Step 4: End the Drama

The cycle-o-drama will continue as long as you and your husband let it. It took my husband and me almost four years to figure out how to break the cycle and end the drama. Although these measures may seem drastic or difficult, they are very effective and can be implemented quickly. Remember, the point is not to "win" when it comes to the ex; the point is to minimize the conflict so the children are not exposed to the fighting.

  • If you are personally communicating with the ex, stop. Like stop yesterday. Do not email her, text her, talk to her on the phone, or speak to her in person. In all likelihood, it is not you that she hates. She would hate whatever woman was in your shoes. Remove yourself from her crosshairs. This is easy. Simply quit interacting with her this very second. There are no excuses for communicating with someone who wants to blow your head off with a bazooka on your wedding day.
  • If he can get it ordered through a court, your husband should only communicate with her via email or on a website like Our Family Wizard. He should not text her, talk to her on the phone, or have conversations with her in person. It's easy. Simply stop. What will the ex do? Nothing. She can call all day long, but that does not mean your husband has to answer the phone. Let her leave messages and then email a response if one is needed.
  • Follow the custody agreement exactly as it is written. Do not deviate. Do not switch weekends. Do not do anything not written down on that piece of paper. (See Creating a Parenting Plan When the Ex-Wife Is High-Conflict for examples of how to create a more specific custody agreement.) If everything is followed 100%, that removes much of the back and forth. If your husband has a horrible and vague court order, then it is time to head back to court. If there is any wiggle room, a high-conflict ex will use it to stir up trouble and continue the conflict. In our house, we have a motto or two that get us through: we don't do favors for assholes, and we don't negotiate with terrorists.
  • Go "low contact." Do not respond to anything that does not require a response per the custody agreement or unless it directly relates to the health or safety of the children. Do not write more than four short and direct sentences per email. Today, my husband can get by on as few as four emails per month.

A word of warning: There will be an extinction burst. The bitter ex will use any means necessary to engage and continue the conflict. She will call, text, email, and likely call your husband every name under the sun plus a few made-up ones. Ignore.

My Zen Place
My Zen Place

Step 5: Let It Go

She may be a vindictive, narcissistic, and controlling bully. She might scream and cry and break things, but don't engage. Channel your inner zen place, whether it's the beach, the mountains, or on top of a fluffy cloud.

I can hear the outcries now: "But the children! We have to be the bigger people and try to work with their mother! If we do not switch weekends, they will miss a birthday party or a family reunion! If we keep trying, she will be reasonable." Or (my favorite): "But sometimes she is so reasonable!" Yeah, well, the ex in my life called to offer an extra overnight and then, two weeks later, punched my husband in front of their son. Being reasonable sometimes isn't good enough. You have to accept that, no matter what you do, his ex-wife will hate you.

I do not advocate following these steps because I think they will work. I suggest them because I know they will work. My husband and I are living proof! Now that we have minimized the intrusion of the high-conflict ex-wife in our life, my husband and I can have normal married-people squabbles over things like who left the milk on the counter or why the toilet seat is up. We also saw a positive change in the children, which was the goal of eliminating the crazy in the first place.

Accept the fact you cannot control your ex. She may (albeit unfortunate, immature, and unfair to the children) choose to continue to act in a dramatic manner, but know that you do not have to respond in a dramatic way, nor do you have to participate.

— Rachel Stapleton, PLLC, mental health therapist

Can You Get a Restraining Order Against His Ex-Wife? Are There Legal Solutions?

You have many legal options if he and his ex didn't have children. But if they did, your legal options are limited. When kids are involved, you'll have to follow the court orders precisely, and if there is shared custody, there will have to be at least some communication. You might get restraining or anti-harassment orders, but it's hard to get a court to issue these when parents share custody. If you have a good case, you might win, but you might need a good lawyer.

  • An anti-harassment order is a type of civil court-ordered restraining order that's available only to victims of harassment.
  • A restraining order (also called an order of protection) might help establish boundaries in a violent situation. They can put more limits on a harasser's actions and might help if you have been threatened and feel like you or the children could be in danger. There is usually no cost to file these. You can get the forms from a courthouse. Police officers not enforce these orders.
  • A civil injunction is the divorce court's version of a personal protection order. They usually require both parents to desist from disparaging one another, in front of their kids or anywhere else. They can also prevent exes from talking to or appearing at the other’s home unannounced. Police officers will not enforce these orders.

Either way, if you involve the courts, you'll probably also need to file a petition to make a major modification of the parenting plan.

Understanding Stepmoms

The most popular book on being a stepmom is Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin. Some of this book, to me anyway, is a pipe dream if you are dealing with an ex-wife who wants to blow your head off. However, there are several parts of this book that illuminate common anxieties that every stepmom experiences. It also details the history of why stepmoms are viewed as "wicked." If you are reading this article as a stepmom you probably find yourself frustrated when society deems the crazy ex-wife as perfect simply because she is the mother. The history of the concept and role of stepmothers is wonderful to further understand this frustration!

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    • profile image

      Jeibi 

      13 hours ago

      I’ve been dealing so bad with my ex husband right now. We’re just married and for the past years that me and my husband were bf and gf, her ex wife never intrude into our relationship but when she knew that my husband was married to me. She even insulted me saying that who I am that he brought to their family. I never seen her ex wife because I’m far from them. And to think that she really don’t know and judging me of who I am. I was so really hurt about it and my husband was so sad. And now she was asking my husband to get back to her. She even went to my husbands place and tell my husband to go back to her. She’s really crazy and now I don’t know if the kids asked for it that she was texting my husband to go to her house and do some chores. I don’t really know if she’s using the kids for her sake. So what I did is I said to my husband never ever go to her house. And my husband didn’t but now my husband is mad about it, and I was so sad and I don’t know what to do anymore. I really need help but I can’t tell to my inlaws what he wanted to do.

    • profile image

      springs 

      3 days ago

      I would love to share my testimony to all the people in the forum cos I never thought i will have my girlfriend back and she means so much to me. The girl I want to get marry to left me few weeks to our wedding for another man. When I called her she never picked my calls, She blocked me on her facebook and changed her facebook status from engage to Single, when I went to her place of work she told her boss she never want to see me. I lost my job as a result of this cos I couldn't get myself anymore, my life was upside down and everything did not go smooth with my life. I tried all I could do to have her back to all did not work out until I met a Man when I travel to East to execute some business that I have been developing some years back. I told him my problem and all I have passed through in getting her back and how I lost my job, he told me he gonna help me, I didn't believe that in the first place. But he swore he will help me out and he told me the reason why my girlfriend left me and also told me some hidden secrets’ was amazed when I heard that from him...he said he will cast a spell for me and I will see the results in the next couple of days..then I travel back, the following day and i called him when I got home and he said he’s busy casting those spells and he has bought all the materials needed for the spells, he said am gonna see positive results in the next 14 days that is Thursday. My girlfriend called me at exactly 12:35pm on Thursday and apologies for all she had done. She said, she never knew what she was doing and her sudden behavior was not intentional and she promised not to do that again. It was like am dreaming when I heard that from her and when we ended the call, I called the man and told him my girl friend called and he said I haven’t seen anything yet… he said I will also get my job back. And when its Sunday, they called me at my place of work that I should resume work on Monday and they gonna compensate me for the time limit I have spent at home without working...My life is back into shape have my girlfriend back and we are happily married now with a baby boy and I have my job back too. This man is really powerful...if we have up to 20 people like him in the world, the world would have been a better place...He has also helped many of my friends to solve many problems and they are all happy now...Am posting this to the forum for anybody that is interested in meeting the man for help. You can mail him to emagicp101 @ gmail .com, I can’t give out his number cos he told me he don’t want to be disturbed by many people across the world...he said his email is okay and he also have a web site if you want to visit him there’ he will replied to any emails asap..Hope he helped u out too...good luck. His web site is ericaraventemple. webs. com

    • profile image

      JenniferHZ 

      3 days ago

      My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years and he has 3 kids with his x and one is grown and we have joint custody. She try to take him to court every year. She lied and calls child services on us. She turns his teenage daughter against him it’s just awful. They do only communicate through email but he loses his cool and goes off on her all the time too it’s how he vents but I know it has to stop especially after reading this

    • profile image

      Tonya 

      5 days ago

      I moved in last June. We got married this last spring. Things have only gotten worse. Court, battles over money. At what point are my assets in jepardy due to a vendictive ex-eife?

    • profile image

      KimR8 

      9 days ago

      How do you not take the things the ex wife says personally? She does not say things directly to me but emails her "thoughts" to my boyfriend. It hurts to hear. I'm not trying to be a mom to her kids, and I do respect her in that capacity. What are some of the ways to help block out her negativity?

    • profile image

      Relief in this 

      2 weeks ago

      This was refreshing to read. The only difference is hubby DON'T have a child together with the ex. We didn't find out until later on it wasn't his child but was stuck with over 9 years more for child support and now that the child is an adult they display the same bitterness and bullying behavior as their mom.

    • profile image

      jopie 

      2 weeks ago

      I stay single and swallow everything from the ex so I can see my kids. Its not about me wanting to be respected. Its about them. If that means no partner so no extra drama, so be it. Lost my kids for almost a year cause ex didnt agree w my new bf. Well then no bf for me. Kids are most important.

    • profile image

      a fighter father 

      3 weeks ago

      In fact, this article helped me very much at least to organize my ideas, after being victim of bullying caused my ex-girlfriend. We have a toddler and a new babygirl is coming on the way... She uses my son to attack me and making her self victim. I'm a present father and if I'm not more present is just because of that lunatic behaviour...

      My main concer is our children; I just cannot imagine the idea of two inocent child to grow in a hell; and she doesn't accept the separation; even after hundreds of tries for reconciliation... but for me there's no love without respect. Period!

      In spite of this article being towards stepmoms I salute the author so maybe one day I'll have a wife, a real woman and also a mother to be my right arm!

      Sorry but I needed to wrote some words... hope everything can be in piece for all of you stepmoms. Cheers from a tiny country in Europe!

    • profile image

      Lost1973 

      3 weeks ago

      I am sadly dealing with a bad shit mentally crazy ex girlfriend who is the mother of his son. Don't know where to turn too. The cops are a joke when it comes to my boyfriend being the one abused. Called them once when she showed up and started to threaten us., cops did nothing. Her first attack, damn woman tried to run us off the road, and when we tried to go get an emergency restraining order hahaha, they can give me one but my boyfriend couldn't. The justice system needs to wake up. Males can be victims too... Not sure what to do

    • profile image

      Life is what you make it 

      3 weeks ago

      Reading this article makes me realize i am not alone in all this.

      I have been with my partner for coming up 6 years and his x is one of the most evil humans to exist. Over the years she has harassed me, my children and my family. She uses her child too hurt my husband as nothing else works anymore. She doesn't send him to school when he is in her care and says its our fault as we make him sick as he is near my feral kids, she makes him wear old torn clothes to our house and says its our fault because we wont buy he clothes for him. She cuts his hair off his head and says u look like your father hair cute . She sends 100s of abusive emails, sms messages and even passes messages through the child to give us. It follows us around at handover and at the school abusing us we just ignore it as it isnt worth even the breath. It harrassed me, my children, my family his family and even the lawyers and mediators. This women is a very evil individual and all i have for it is pitty that it wears its personality on the outside its a very ugly person.

      My husband has very strict court orders paid over 100k in court to have his rights in writing and she continues to breach these orders on a daily basis. Im sorry but it never gets any better ive lived with it for nearly 6 years and they dont change, this one even has a boyfriend and has another kid but still attempts to make our life hell. We have no form of communication with it at all like others say u do not negotiate with a terrorist. I see people commenting on there is 2 sides to a story yes of course there is but sometimes people are just evil. This person cheated on her husband many times there whole marriage, got pregnant with someone else baby and he is the bad person. She says she will tell the child he is not the father and he will not see the child. Tells the child he is not loved by us and that my children are more important. I guess the best you can hope for is that one day things do not both you and you get on with your life u laugh about the bat shit crazy shit as its shit. You control ur life so go and live it to the fullest.

      Im sorry but these people do not change they never have nor ever will. If anything i know why this women is obsessed with my husband and she knows what she threw away now its a matter of i dont want u but u cant be happy cos u left. Good luck to all the women and men as this happens to both men and women. xx

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      Burnedandscorned 

      4 weeks ago

      I don't know the details of your particular situation, but I flinch at the "bat-shit crazy" label. Did your husband and father of his ex-wife's children screw her over? Did he throw her out like yesterday's trash for another woman? I don't know when I'm going to stop hating my sociopathic ex who led a double life and stripped me of everything, but he's now with his other woman and she may very well think I'm bat-shit crazy. But I'm not the one that created a Lifetime movie out of my life---my ex and his cheating girlfriend (yes-she's also married with a kid) did that.

    • profile image

      Nurse Kitty 

      4 weeks ago

      I read this article a couple of days ago after meeting my boyfriend’s ex-wife. I had heard negative things about her from his family yet he had tried to tell me the minimal because he too wanted me to formulate my own opinion. I had been through my own divorce and am very aware that there’s always multiple sides to a story. The meeting went fine, the kids were over-joyed to see me, and excited that she and I were chatting it up and smiling. I thought everything went smoothly. A half-hour later a ranting 3-page text came to him—more after that, stating she didn’t want me around the kids and if he did not comply she would attempt to take them from him. (Good luck, he’s the one who practically raises them and has an iron-clad custody agreement.)! I realize that it doesn’t matter if it was me or another woman she would’ve found some reason to not like me. It hurts to see her use her children as a weapon against him. It hurts because I want to protect the kids and I feel that me being in this situation is making things worse. It hurts because I deeply love his boys and they love spending time with me. I want to do it’s right for everybody and I know she’s just trying to exercise power over him, but I have gone to counseling over it, my priest, i’ve talked to other divorced and remarried friends who’ve been through similar situations and I really don’t know where to turn anymore. Thankfully he fights for me and of course the kids and doesn’t put up with it but she’s made my life a living hell. I take excellent care of her children and of course my boyfriend and his family. I am a nurse for Pete’s sake. Always making sure that everyone is taken care of and I’m trying to see things from her side. I can only imagine how hurtful it can feel to see when your children are getting along with your exes new girlfriend. Even prior to meeting her, the cruel things she said and did to him and his family members were unacceptable and hurtful to the children. People close to me tell me to walk away as I have a very demanding career, I am finishing my 6th degree and have health problems. But what do you do when you love somebody so much that you want to fight for them and their kids? And if I ultimately do end it, most of the men that I date at my age have children. I just want to handle this as gracefully as possible and she’s making it very difficult to do so.

    • profile image

      Momtoboys 

      4 weeks ago

      I read this post in the middle of the battle with my husbands crazy ex about a year ago, with a 7 year old child involved, my stepson. This article is our bible, she was nasty, hated my husband, has some diagnosed mental illness, wanted my stepson to have a make believe deadbeat dad due to her keeping him away from us, tried to remove parental rights from him, would not allow up ANY visitation rights as we moved out of state and original was for sundays only. Due to her trying to take away all parental rights, We finally had to lawyer up and we were able to get an adjustment in parental agreement, she lost her battle for sole parental rights, they lowered our child support and the courts saw how unreasonable and crazy she was. I have her blocked for almost 2 years now, see my stepson every Christmas and summer and my husband is able to confidently deal with her with as little communication as possible.

    • profile image

      Misty 

      5 weeks ago

      Im at my breaking point! I’m going to check out our family wizard and see if we can use that without a court order.

    • profile image

      TimeforChange 

      5 weeks ago

      Let’s not be so stereotype. Your article describes my exhusband. He has engaged his many girlfriends to stalk and harass, he has contacted my son’s classmates Mothers sending inappropriate texts and trying to hookup......any suggestions on continued embarrassment from an ex acting like a 15 yr old???

    • profile image

      Jen Albright 

      6 weeks ago

      I have been in a relationship last 8 years. We are NOT kids -- in our 60s. I do not have kids, but he has a 50 y.o. nothing-but-trouble daughter. He and Ex divorced 40+ years ago. Ex is NOTHING BUT TROUBLE! Constantly calling/texting because the daughter has gotten herself into some kind of mess again. Ex has done this for YEARS, ever since their divorce (SHE cheated). She has manipulated my man for so many years I don't believe he knows she's doing it. He said when daughter was small if he didn't do whatever she wanted, she would "make trouble" for him with daughter. ???? I am FED UP with THEIR (yes, HE calls/texts her all too often) constant communication. She called him when we were about to start our vacation this year and gave him some b.s. story about the daughter's latest episode -- and RUINED OUR VACATION!!!! I have tried to let my man know how much his Ex and her "games" have/are affecting our relationship AND ME! He gets TOTALLY ANGRY whenever I try to broach the subject and will not discuss the problem. ???? I cannot take much more of this. Either our relationship and I are number one, or we're done!!!!

    • profile image

      HappyWifeHappyLife 

      6 weeks ago

      What a great read! Unfortunately, too much of the last 7 years of our life (at least the early days) was reflected in the words shared. The ex-wife in our life is completely bat-shit crazy! And this coming from a self-admitted crazy woman! She’s an alcoholic with bi-polar and BPD and has ever only used her kids as weapons and emotionally abused those girls. My hubby’s kids are 17 and 19 and when his oldest turned 18 and graduated she expressed her desire to be closer to her Dad (she found him on social media) and really get to know our family (I also have a 17 y/o girl) because the crazy ex had cut off my hubby’s access to the kids, refused to give them the letters and other things he’s mailed to them for the last 7 years, and has apparently, according to his daughter, been telling them he abandoned them for me and my kid. My hubby really felt hopeful for a minute. Sadly, the wombat bitch, my special name for his ex, told his daughter that she would never see her siblings again ( yes the ex actually has a husband and another kid, that didn’t calm her crazy one bit) and that if she left she could never come back. She even took her cellphone so the kiddo couldn’t call my husband anymore and now the poor girl is planning to go into the Army to escape a one-sided battle that exists in the mind of a crazy woman. It’s such a sad and heartbreaking situation, you’d think after 10 years and building her own “new” family she’d be happier, less crazy, and stop using those kids as means to try to hurt my husband. I can’t imagine how damn wacko she’d be if my hubby and I had kids together!

    • profile image

      Stephanie 

      2 months ago

      Is there a place for dealing with the ex husband who keeps things in termoil and won’t adult all the time with me?

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      Robyn Carpenter 

      2 months ago

      Ok so i need some advice, i have been with my partner for over 3 years now, we are very happy, set up home and he has 5 children. His ex wife to be is a constant pain in the you know what, actually shes crazy, aggressive, loves making a drama and at the moment she really doesn't like me. This is because in March this year my partner had a letter from a housing association he was involved in with his ex when they rented, she moved out without informing them, or him and there is now a debt for un paid rent etc. So me being in the debt industry for my job, i wanted to help him out of this mess and all she kept doing was trying to make him pay a portion of it and said if he did his name would be taken off the tenancy, well it was all a lie and since i found out and caught her out, she has this vendetta against me. We have been on and off trying to be civil and for a few months we actually got on quite well, she would involve me with the children's arrangements, although she has always been the one messing it about and changing her mind of when my partner can see them, it has never been consistent, and after all that's what kids need right? So we eventually got to the point that she agreed on every Wednesday and every other weekend, but because she doesn't like the fact i go to take the children home with him and sit in my car, she now wants to go back to the old routine! which to be fair, we are ok with. Recently, she sent him a message very early one morning basically saying that every other weekend does not suit her anymore but with no explanation and i feel that my partner should know why. So, after a lengthy phone call, shouting and being abusive to him about everything she is going through to no fault but hers, there was no result, apart from that she now wants to meet up with me to have coffee! I have agreed to this but i'm uncertain as to what her motive could be? All i want out of it is to be more involved in the arrangements, legally it is my house and i feel that if the kids stay there then it is to do with me right? she kicks off if we cant swap a weekend etc or if she asks if we can have them on a different night and we have plans, she then punishes my partner and stops him from seeing his children. There are lots of other things that i could mention but the list would go on forever. Put it this way, if things don't go her way, we hear about it and she is the most un reasonable person i have ever met. I just want to know how to deal with it better, it hasn't come between me and the children's father but it has come close. I am trying to not let it lead my life but some times i cant help it :( do i go for coffee and we hear each other out but not trust her? Or do i stay well clear, although that wouldn't be fair on the kids in my opinion, i want to be the better person and for all of us to be at least be civil, even knowing it wont last.

      Thank you for reading this any any comments will be gratefully appreciated.

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      Kelly carby 

      2 months ago

      My husband died a year ago. And his children are stalking me. They are 17 and 20. Leaving hand written letters in my mailbox, taking my mail.

      Driving by home constantly.

      Stalking my young daughter on social media. Also stalking me. It’s been a year since my husbands death and they seem to only become more angry and their hatred for me has become very disturbing for me and my daughter. We can’t judt live life. We are scared of what they may do next

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      Red 

      2 months ago

      I’m so angry. My husbands x gets away with everything. She left , she ruined the family she had but she wants the life style she had. We take care of the children over and beyond but she expects us to pay everything and the courts side with the mothers. We can’t go broke trying to satisfy her and he says it will come back on her. I’m not that easy going. I tried the nice crap and figured out she’s a bipolar narcissistic woman. She will let the kids think the worst of us and make herself look like she needs pity. I want to get over it , it will eat me up cause It will not change. Does anyone else feel like they give everything and get nothing back.

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      KLM18 

      2 months ago

      Response to DANI if a child is comfortable and wanting to call you mom and you take it upon yourself to love and care for that child better then their own mother. Then by all means "mom" is fitting. You are adopting that child when you are married to the father in everyday...even if not legal. If it's what the child wants to refer to you as then by all means it's perfectly fine!!!

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      Renie 

      2 months ago

      I have just recentlly started a new relationship with a old fling. and things are going really good except for his crazy toxic spiteful hateful ex girlfriend , who refuses to let go and to make things worse she is threating his job and now his freedom , but having him arrested ... I have explained and talked to my boyfriend that this is to much drama and i wasnt going to give up but find that this is now very real and is not how i wanted our relationship to be or have. i am not a vindictive person but god help me , i have never been thru this before and any advice would be appreciated ...

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      daddyremarried 

      2 months ago

      SassyStepMom ,

      excellent insight. I read what you had to say about bonus moms, and it mirrors my situation with my wife,(the bonus mom).

      the ex, (the kids birth mother) has a personality disorder brought out in court at trial last summer. high conflict to say the least. it's hard on the kids, as they are constantly being put in the middle by her and the need for chaos.

      my wife and I refuse to engage now. it's all we can do since we cannot control her, or change her.

      hopefully through time, the kids will recognize what we're trying to do for them, and they will compare the two households accurately.

      the family of the BPD is also taking part in the alienation, which shows the kids truth about who they are as well.

      counseling for the kids is a good thing, and I have now been through (2) parent coordinators, (1) decree modification trial, and (2) attorneys along the way. Four years running since the divorce.

      if there are any additional threads I can be apart of, let me know please for support. Thank you.

      Sincerely,

      daddyremarried

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      The New Wife 

      2 months ago

      The last 5 years have been a nightmare because of my husband's ex wife and oldest daughter. The worst of it is the ex wife left my husband years before I came into the picture but the minute he moved on, she went into serious raging psychopathic behavior. We've moved multiple times, shut down all social media accounts, changed our phone numbers repeatedly, and yet somehow this woman and her daughter find a way to harass us online. We've confronted it, (I tried to have her charged for harassment but the judge just said we all need to get along), and we've ignored it. This woman and her daughter make social media accounts in our names and post things online blaming us all the while playing the victim. It's been a toxic insanity from day one. Police and courts won't do anything. I'm at my wit's end!

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      Morgana 

      2 months ago

      my son's father passed away recently. We had been 'together' for almost 25 years and have a son. He had 3 now grown children, in their 40s, with his first union. Now I am he hate target. She reinvents history, rewrites events and facts to fit her agenda and ,of course, I am the 'bad guy". Even though they had split up long before I met him, she had moved 800 miles away and in those past 25years never came around, she now unleashes her fury at me with wild abandon, causing drama and rifts between me and his children and siblings. I've stayed calm, did not respond in kind, if at all and made sure I always had witnesses, never spent even a second alone with her- which proved to be a brilliant tactic when she accused me of having 'disrespected' her and didn't get back up from anyone. Jerry Springer material, most embarrassing. She left a loud, emotional, hateful message on my phone yesterday, letting loose with her 'alternate truths' and accusations and then threatened to contact her 'friends' of a 1%er motorcycle club "to set (me) straight" and projected that I'd "be sorry".

      Any advice on how to proceed?

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      Rhonda 

      2 months ago

      I’ve tried everything I could for my husband and his daughter to have a normal relationship in life. But every time I tried his ex wife would do something to hurt him or his daughter. So, I finally gave up. I told my husband there was only one way and that was to block the crazy out of our lives. My husband did not agree at first, but eventually saw what the ex toxic was doing to our marriage. We just had our 5th yr wedding anniversary. I just couldn’t live like that anymore. He saw everything I had been trying to tell him for a few years before. When he finally decided, he was really scared that he was not going to see his daughter anymore. It has been 5 months now and we have not been in contact with his crazy ex wife. As for his daughter, I do hope one day she will try and contact him.

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      Michell 

      2 months ago

      I have 2 ex's that have children with my husband, one has to call or text everyday, her son is 21 and can text but she text my husband and asks how he is doing. A couple of months his work was looking for a secretary and she found out about it and asks him why he didn't tell her about it that way all 3 of them (her son works with his dad) that way they could all work together (as originally planned) like 16 years ago they were together, she also called my husband when she found out we were getting and chewed his ass saying "youre never going to learn" to him and other two faced bullshit because she pretends to be friendly to me which I see as a waste of her time and mine, the other one text and would call like 7 times in a row until he answered, sent him a picture of her on her wedding night, they have both used their children to manipulate him to get what they want him to do for them, one has been with a man for the 16 years and had 3 children with him, the other has recently gotten married and divorced in 6 months (she sent the picture( I couldn't understand that I would never send my ex a picture on my wedding night (WTH)

      It's quieter now but they along with him are horrible about boundaries and him answering either one is more about habit. I get so tired of the drama, it wears me out

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      Catrina 

      3 months ago from Phoenix

      My husband and I have been married for decades. He cheated on me and had a child, he went to court and got custody she was 1yrs old when we got her. I stayed with him and we raise her together she calls me mom in her own. I love her as my own. Her other mother has supervised visitation. And my husband has to supervise it. Any chance she gets she tries to cause a problem. My husband tells me just let her play her games she's immature. But it makes me upset when cops are knocking at my door. We have other kids that all this affects also. I don't have a support system. So I figured it will vent. If anyone has advice please let me know

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      Chris 

      3 months ago

      So my fiancé his ex-wife is always using their kid over his head she’s always trying to control him and just now recently got pissed because we had family photos done and I posted some on Facebook their divorce is been finalized for a while now and now she’s threatening to pull up a social media clause which I told my fiancé not to worry about because she would have to get a judge to sign off on it and pay the money to re-open the divorce or whatever also that the social media causes would go towards her as well that it’s not designated just for one or the other if it’s in the paperwork it’s for both partiesHe has a school schedule so he doesn’t get his daughter every weekend he supposed to because of school and class and she says to him tough luck that she’s not going to work with him anymore since he doesn’t want to listen to her about posting pictures even though she post them all the time this is one of our many issues any advice?

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      cistrans 

      3 months ago

      So I'm not the ex or the new wife/mom. I was the child.

      I come from semi-blended family. My mother and father have a very contentious relationship. They both remarried. My mother got along with my step mother. My father never got along with my step father. And he refused to speak to my mother because she left him (for very justified reasons- not because she cheated or anything like that). My step parents always took care of me as if I was their own. And now as an adult I really appreciate them when I reflect back. They made me feel like their own and it made me feel incredibly valued and loved. I very much loved that they never told anyone I was their step child. I do not speak to my father anymore because he has a very toxic way of always painting himself as a victim and never being able to move on from his imagined slights. I hope that as a person who lived through that childhood and is now an adult it helps some of you feel a little better. It's easy to forget that there is a child with very complicated feelings at the very center of all this, especially when there is a monumental sense of unfairness. In the end, I think my opinion and realization of who my parents were was the only one which really mattered. Be a good person and love your little.

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      The2ndMrs.Brooks 

      3 months ago

      I am the "whore", even though my fiance was divorced from his ex-wife for nearly 7 years when he and I met, and it took three years and three sets of divorce papers to finally run her off. The child (9 at the time) even called me a whore. The mother has posted all over social media and tells everyone who will listen (even my fiance's FAMILY) how I broke up their marriage and their family, and he cheated on her with me and blah blah blah.... ALL UNTRUE!

      The mother is unfit to raise the child. They live in absolute filth (as in I have to wash the child's clothes she sends with him on weekends before he can wear them because they smell of ammonia from dog urine, mothballs and cigarettes, and the child maybe washes his hair every 3-4 days from the look of it) and spends every waking moment either telling my fiance how she is going to make both of us miserable for the rest of our lives, or actually trying to do it. She has threatened to kill me, kill him, kill her child and kill herself just so that nobdoy "wins". I have filed police reports, I have abstained from ANY communication or confrontation with her. She tried to attack me in a wal-mart parking lot with the child sitting in the vehicle watching the whole thing. I ignored her, and when she was hanging out of our vehicle crawling all over me while it was moving, she was screaming at me, "Don't you have anything to say you f***ing whore?" I simply said, "No Lisa, I have more class than that". Literally the only words I've spoken to her in 2 and half years.

      She constantly threatens she has thousands of pages of texts and photos and stuff she's going to send out to ruin our relationship and prove to me what a piece of shit my fiance is. She even has a boyfriend she's been with for over a year who can see all of this going on, and I guess refuses to ackowledge it?! She tells my fiance and her boyfriend that she still loves him and is dealing with a "complicated grief disorder" that can never be dealt with and she won't stop making us misserable until our fantasy world comes crashing down and we finally feel the way she feels.

      But I am going to hold my ground, keep my class, hold my head high - because I have done NOTHING wrong - and just keep praying it gets better, but the more my fiance tries to ignore, block, etc... she gets worse and worse with her master plan to ruin our lives. But as the article says - there will be extinction burst. I'm just hoping it comes sooner than later....

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      philipclark101 

      3 months ago

      Ex-Wife's could be something else. I called it off for infidelity reasons. First i was suspicious and later i thought i do something differently so i hired a reliable and trusted hacker:

      S O L I D A R I T Y H A C K E R a t G M A I L . C O M

      This hacker carried out a full mobile hack on her phone, it gave me access to all Apps operating on her phone, including whatsApp, facebook, instagram and others. so i viewed all her messages and phone call logs history. I saw everything from when they had started. Another surprising thing was the ability of the hacker to retrieve deleted messages and media files which gave me the access to see deleted nasty pictures of her to the dude when we were still good together. I made the right choice moving forward without her and with the kids alone, the new person already knows the rules which she did from the start. I love you but love my kids too, it is a no go area.

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      SassyStepMom 

      3 months ago

      Dani- Clearly, the people posting negative things to the bonus moms are high conflict exes. I think you're one person you would benefit from reading some books and opening your mind to your situation.

      The more people to love the child, the better. My DH's kids have asked to call me mom, on more than one occasion. Not because they think I am their mom, but because they live in two homes, and because I do all things that a mom would do. Some people believe giving birth is the only thing that makes you a mom, which is untrue. Children should never feel as though they cannot care for a step parent as they do their own parent.

      A marriage between people with children that has ended, has ended for a reason. It is better for the children to get along with everyone, to let them love everyone. But, if that can't happen, at the end of the day, kids grow up. They have the choice when they're older to live where they want to live, and if you're a crappy person, chances are, they wont choose you, no matter how guilty you make them feel.

      When you have children, being selfish for your own benefit does NOT benefit your children. Kids have two parents, whether the bio parent likes it or not, after a divorce, people move on and build new lives. You should be showing your kids how to handle these situations maturely, not like a child. Kids need both parents and step parents if that's what's in their lives. The more support, the better because those kids did not CHOOSE this life, the parent that ended a marriage chose it for them.

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      erikalynn22 

      4 months ago

      Someone please help my husband's ex-wife is a psycho they have a 10 year old together and I get to co-parent thing but she has taken it to the next level she constantly texts horrible text messages everyday she has even went as far as putting a Tracker in our vehicle and when my husband and I go out she immediately starts calling or texting saying That we need to come and get him right now when we had just Dropped him off to her again and that if we don't come right now and get him we will never see him again my husband and I have not went and done anything together for almost 7 months because of this what do I do about this please help

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      DJ 

      4 months ago

      Just to put things in perspective for you all, the ex wife meets a guy and its okay for the kids to call him dad but dad meets a beautiful woman and she’s the evil stepmom even when she treats the kids better than there real mother, who only uses the kids as pawns and then carries that same crazy bitch behavior to blackmail the kids when the grand kids arrive.

      I have been married for 25years and my ex wife is still jealous about my wife and I seeing our grandchildren if she hasn’t, she then abuses the kids about us seeing them by way of poisenpen text messages and derogative remarks about our Daughter in law.

      This woman is an absolute menace to society,

      She is absolutely phsycotic, neurotic, deceitful, narcissistic, vindictive and has a very controlling and possessive nature and will stoop to the greatest lows to gain sympathy from others for her misgivings and poor behavior, and I’m confident there are plenty out there like her.

      These types of woman are a complete waste of space and precious air that we breathe and ought to be locked up in the Physio wards they belong in and the key thrown away so that the peace loving society can carry on with there well deserved peaceful lives,

      after all putting up with their crap is just a time consuming waste of space, and I know my wife’s and my time will not be wasted on these type’s of people but will be spent seeing as much of the kids and grandkids as we like and if the other side don’t like it .

      TOUGH LUCK

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      dani 

      4 months ago

      First of all, you are not the "step" mom. You are dad's new girlfriend or new wife. The kids have a mom and its not you. Even if the "real" mom is crazy, she is still the "real" mom and is the only one who deserves the "mom" title.

      TryingMyBest--his son is not your boy. Back off and stop posting on social media that he is. You have no right to any claim on that child. If you had any amount of class, you would realize that. And your new husband, if he truly cared about his kid, should have the balls to tell you that.

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      Di 

      4 months ago

      I don’t know but if my supposedly going to be husband has drama in his life with an ex. I wouldn’t waste my time with any of them.

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      Vivi 

      4 months ago

      Wow! thank you so much! I am new to this stepmom thing...I started dating my husband a year ago and we got married two months ago. He has a 6 year old boy who is a sweetheart and we get along well, but his ex is quite the piece of work. We're having such a hard time with all of the crazy bullshit she pulls on a regular basis..and its causing friction between the two of us. I am trying to figure out how to deal with all of it and am feeling overwhelmed, so it really helps to know there are other people in my situation!

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      Moelowe 

      4 months ago

      This has helped me so much ! The ex wife I’m dealing with and the one you’re dealing with MUST be related

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      PearliePenny 

      4 months ago

      It was such a relief to read all of your comments as I have felt very alone dealing with a 'bat shit crazy' partner's ex girlfriend who very likely has BPD.

      I live in an isolated rural location in England, having moved from a provincial city (I'm a city girl at heart!) with my children and having escaped an emotionally and financially abusive marriage that took years and therapy to overcome. I met a wonderful older man who is without doubt the love of my life but who has a terrible and heart-bleeding past. He is a very kind and generous person and he was suckered in time and again.All three of his previous partners serially cheated on him. His most recent relationship finally ended in early 2012 when his ex (aged 38 at the time) ran off with a 54 year old farmer and left him, alone, at the age of 58 on a remote farm with two children and a teenager. I strongly believe the reason she left them behind - apart from the fact her new partner didn't want them - was because it gave her the perfect excuse to continue making his life a misery by trespassing in the home she had left and making demands about how the children should be looked after.. Over the 22 years of their relationship she had a dozen or so affairs but she always managed to persuade him that her heart would have broken (one apologetic letter stated that she 'would proberly [sic.] kill myself' if he left her) if he'd ended it and in any case he couldn't give up on the children whom he knew were damaged by her and her behaviour - she is also an alcoholic. So he lived in misery for years and I know some people might say he didn't have to put up with it - but he did and I, for one, know what it is like to be unable to 'move' and to despair at someone else's behaviour and at the same time feel pity for them as there is always a reason why someone behaves the way they do and it is usually childhood trauma.

      When I met him in late 2013 he was just about coping and as I had previously lost my home (and my job!) during my divorce settlement it was decided that we three (my two children and I) would come and live with him and his three children in a large, run down farmhouse that he rented from an old agricultural estate. Now I'm just a normal person who never imagined what a hornet's nest I was walking into! Before my children had even visited the house, when I was trying to clear one of the unoccupied bedrooms so that my children could stay for a few days, his ex barged into the house, screaming and ranting and saying how dare I touch hers and her children's things! She had left the home two years previously after a three year affair. She then stormed into the bedroom that I shared with my partner at weekends and started scrabbling around under the bed! I was completely horrified and he was in tears. She would leave written notices on the front door saying he was not to spend any of her children's[?] money on me [actually she referred to me as 'that thing']. To cut a long story short.... she easily turned at least two of her children against me to the point where the two of the children didn't come on a longed for family holiday with us as she had persuaded them that I was not allowed to take her children (aged 14 and 15) on holiday with their father (she had already turned them against their father as she had told her children lies for a year before she left about how he was violent and adulterous as this gave her an excuse to run away with someone else. She was too uneducated to realize that no mother in her right mind would leave her children with a violent, adulterous father! But she did and of course her traumatized children, when she finally left one day with no notice, were abandoned by her and left with a father they no longer trusted or respected!). The result was a hostile and toxic environment where I was too constrained to voice any concerns because my partner had already had several lifetimes worth of stress and couldn't handle any conflict whatsoever. I was unable to do anything to stop the barrage of abusive phone messages from the ex along with handwritten bullet point letters about how we were bullies and pieces of s**t. One letter threatened to run us over with a tractor!. It was very hard to think about doing anything legal as her children lived in the house and their father was desperate not to do anything to de-stabilize and alienate them further. I have kept all of the letters and phone messages as evidence - as well as the tens of letters she wrote to my partner while she was still in a relationship with him in which she apologized for her latest affair and/or her abusive behaviour and told him over and over again that he didn't deserve to be treated like that by her as he had never been anything but kind and loving to her. When she found out that he still had these letters she went ballistic as it refuted all the lies she had told everyone about him. He tried to show one to his youngest daughter who was at that point 16 but she refused to look at them, saying that he had probably written all those letters himself. Worryingly this daughter shows almost all the same behaviours as her mother.

      I don't want to bore anyone with too much sordid detail but just want to say perhaps the scariest incident was when she entered the house when neither of us were there (unfortunately the farm house had a stable door that couldn't be secured front the outside - we have since built a porch with a locking front door - but this was of no use if the children were in the house as they would just let her in and attempts at forbidding her to come to the house would have made it look like we were stopping her from seeing her children) and planted fake emails on my partner's computer based email account to make it look like he was contacting women in an s&m chat room. Fortunately my partner and I had spent that day together about 50 miles away. It was designed to pull us apart - along with all the other manipulations.

      One final thing: the ex managed to steal about £6,500 worth of goods from the house - usually, we think with the collusion of her children. She stole antiques that were my partner's family heirlooms (and therfore absolutely nothing to do with her especially as they were not married) as well as small personal items like his birth certificate, school reports and prizes. She also stole (during the time he was dating me and before I moved in) the twin tanks for his beloved Harley Davidson as well as the number plate and his bike licence. Has anyone else got stories of similar peri and post relationship theft?? I have heard it is quite common with sociopaths. All this from the woman who had had an affair and left him - not the other way round!!

      It has all affected me much more than it should and I keep having to remind myself to distance myself from the ongoing drama. I is quieter now that that the eldest boy has moved to the US and got married; the second son tries to ignore his mother and the daughter has, aged 16, moved away from us to live with her mother. The worst thing I did was try to talk to some people about it all - having moved a long way away from old friends and family - as these people were locals who ultimately let the ex know I was talking about (and being judgmental) about her - I just couldn't help it at the time and so I was subjected to a load more abuse from her. I have learnt not to say anything to anyone - I can't trust anyone except my partner. Of course I have learnt the hard way that the best way to deal with these people is to ignore them; totally; not talk about them; not respond to them verbally or in writing. To not engage in any way. And to buy expensive locks.

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      Barb Vandersteen 

      4 months ago

      My husband’s ex-wife from 30 years ago still refers to his mother as mom and ma! They had no children together they haven’t spoken to each other since the divorce yet she wishes her happy birthday mom and or any occasion continues to call her ma! Are my husband and I wrong for feeling she should not call her Ma and we feel she should call her by her first name ?

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      Seven Stevens 

      4 months ago from Indiana

      I knew I wasn't the only one, my husband used to sit and listen to his ex-wife for 30 minutes go on about all kinds of craziness. None of it had to do with parenting their daughter. Finally, I asked him, why do allow her to keep her craziness "alive", don't talk to her. After a year of pleading I finally convinced him to only use text messages to communicate with her. I also told him if her text messages do not directly relate to the care of their daughter, do not reply. Since then things have been much better. Thanks for the great article, yes these methods definitely work!

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      Mary ann 

      4 months ago

      My boy friend pays his ex-wife alimoney what do I do

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      lisa 

      4 months ago

      I read this article regarding partner's ex wives. I however am the old wife and my ex's partner insists on interfering with all parenting, communication etc and she is a mean hostile woman. I have asked for her to stop writing to me when I am communicating via email and both she and my ex say that they are a team and share everything and I have to deal with it. However being called names etc is something I do not feel i have to deal with and after six years I am frankly tired of it. Is there something I can do?? Lately when I asked her to remove herself from the porch when she came to get the kids (who are older and do not like her and were arguing about why they did not have to go while I had been charming them into why it was good for them to go...) she asked me to push her so that she had a reason to break me in half. I look forward to any article you might provide.

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      TryingMyBest 

      4 months ago

      Thank you for posting this. I usually never comment on things but this was so helpful. I’m in a relationship with someone who has a child from previous relationship (I use that word loosely) I love the child as my own and try to step up and do for him what I would do for my own child. The mother has always been an issue for my boyfriend since the child was born. However until recently she seemed “resonable”. She is now mad that I have posted things like “look at our boy” when posting and tagging my bf in post. I never want to replace her as his mother but I will of course love and treat this child like my own. She recently blew up on my bf and called me every name in the book. The bf isn’t worried and says it’s normal for her. I have been trying to shake my unpleasant feelings and worries about “what is she going to do next”. After reading this I can now make some peace. I appreciate this post so much.

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      lyn88 

      4 months ago

      My stepson before he went back to the Philippines in 2013 or 2014 we lived together for a couple of months and during those days he is already doing some drugs but I don't know exactly what kind....maybe Marijuana? I really don't know if he is only a user or a dealer at the same time. I don't have any evidence right now and I don't know how can I prove it but this person is very dangerous. He's coming back now in US but two weeks ago he was convicted in the Philippines for using drugs but was bailed out. You know in the Philippines everything is all about money. Now my concern is I don't want this person to enter in our lives anymore. Just in case how and where can I report him. Since this person has an issue of drug abuse he might destroy my family and I don't want it to happen that might end up with serious trouble or hurt someone. His mother (my husband's ex) is trying to protect him. This guy is already 30 years old and every time he is in trouble the mother is always asking for money from my husband to help him. Legally as far as I know she doesn't have the right anymore to demand anything from my husband since their son is no longer a minor kid my husband has no more responsibility with him specially if he is in trouble related to drugs. She is abusing us so please tell me where to find help do I need to get a lawyer or something to stop her from abusing us. Should I tell or go the police station regarding family issues? The thing is "this guy" is still my husband's son I don't know what to do but he is a threat to our family.

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      Andrea 

      4 months ago

      Want to thank all of you folks for your stories. I was married to a narcissist amongst other issues and thought I’d seen it all till I met my now husbands ex wife. WOW, she takes crazy to whole new level. I have been off of my high blood pressure pills due to life changes for my health for about 3 months. This week had to start taking them again because of the stress of his ex. She holds my step sons hostage and makes it look like she’s protecting them from us. I could write books about her and what she’s done and said over the last 2 years. The boys tell me everything, I think that’s a good sign. They trust me and know I love and accept them for who they are. So things they were telling me/is that have been going on over the last 5 months was getting worse and worse. We ended up calling DCS (cps), the middle boy who has introduced things to my little one because they were introduced to it at their new step dads house has reaked havoc. That said boy has now changed his story to his mom and sh won’t allow the boys in our home cuz they are not physically and mentally safe. All of which my husband has tried to talk to her about in the past. We have to meet with her and her new husband in order for us to just get the oldest one who is 10 and begs to live with us every time he comes. I am so sick to my stomach and my head feels like it’s floating. She refuses to meet with us and the case manager or an officer. There’s so much more but don’t have the time nor energy to get into it. My husband informed her that we would be recording the conversation. She replied with good to know! See you then. Help!!

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      Rhonda 

      4 months ago

      My husbands daughter who is 20.. her mother and grandmother all live in the same house.. all 3 of them all get odsp. The ex wife constantly txts him or calls him for money. My husband and I are tired of the situation. He has finally blocked the ex wife from his phone. Hopefully now she will get the hint. The saddest part is that she only contacts him for money..that is all.

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      Jerry 

      4 months ago

      Any advice on how to deal with the bat shit crazy ex when she decides (after you have limited all contact like you suggest) to employ the kids as her WMD. Everyone has advice yet I (nor any other person i have met in the same position, mostly extremelly stressed men, and a few women) have never been given advice which helps or stops the easy target of manipulating kids to really screw a person over. For me the brutality intensifed, where the kids were sufferiing at great cost to their emotional wellbeing. I had to find ways to

      1. Cope

      2. Alleviate the stress for the kids.

      I don't think there is a great understanding or real help - espc when men are the victims.

      A DVO was/is not viable for me as the ex is a great manipulator. And will charm the pants of anyone, all whilst letting people think she is the victim and I am the evil aggressive controlling perpetrator.

      Any advice on that one?

    • profile image

      Diane 

      4 months ago

      I have been married to my husband for 30 years. Daughter from first marriage now has a child who will be turning 1, and she thinks we should all get along at 1st birthday party for the baby. Ex wife has threatened to kill me and our own two kids over the years, and I'm suppose to act like nothing happened because she is maniac depressive, schito, etc. etc. I did the wedding, don't need to be under the same roof with the ex every again! My husband does not seem to understand my anger!!!! Poor daughter has to compromise all the time, really? Not my fault her mom is loco

    • profile image

      General Question 

      5 months ago

      Why go to the trouble of securing a order the police will not enforce?

    • profile image

      AGL 

      5 months ago

      I was annulled from an alcoholic exwife who turned me into an essentially single dad even while we were still married. I payed all the bills despite her work, took care of the baby and did all the major chores. What few chores remained I had to hire help for which I payed entirely myself as well. I finally caught her with another man in her hotel room and it went downhill faster from there. She blackmailed me for 3months by hiding my daughter from me and I saw my daughter deteriorate medically until I sued her. She counterfiled annulment but still retained custody because of the biased local laws for minors. She now continues to harass me and new wife using my first daughters visitations as a medium for sending insults and curses. Sadly, the court is the only way to crush any and all attacks from an ex. Document, video, record and then compile any and every harassing detail she does to you and file it as one overpowering story of years of torture. The story holds more water if it is filed in conjunction with your partner who is more of a victim than you are thanks to the lack of history between them. Isolate yourself but also record all violations and legally retaliate with full force. It is a sad truth that for many of these bitter exes, the only way to stop them is by creating painful legal repercussions they cannot bear each time they harass you in any way. That’s from my experience so far. Good luck to you all.

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      Brett Brunett 

      5 months ago

      David Hill I am in the same position as you.

    • profile image

      Twilight 

      5 months ago

      And just as often, it can be the ex husband/bf that is high conflict. My ex married about 5 yrs ago..and when I told him that I was getting married recently, he immediately went & filed for full custody. I am fighting against money & his family, which is the only thing that makes him powerful. My 14 yr old child has never even made a B while I have been the custodial parent..apparently, this doesn't matter. The fact that the only unexcused absences on record are on his time this last 3 months even with text proof that he didn't even know where the child was make no difference when a person has money to drag a decent parent thru the legal system with harassment tactics. Ex didn't even allow our child to attend my wedding, planned a bon fire with all her friends on my new husbands birthday when we had family dinner plans. None of it apparently matters. It is ALL how much money you have to fight. Proof of false allegations in the original motion filed by Ex..doesn't matter. Signed mediated agreement that ex refuses to sign & wants to back out of now that he found his CS is going up even though he was the one that started it all...doesn't matter. Telling the child to lie to me..doesn't matter.

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      Nonya 

      5 months ago

      This article is for the completely self-absorbed. Number 2 is just plain stupid. A man has absolutely no control over what his ex-wife does.. Or his current wife for that matter. Making him responsible for your feelings is abusive and you deserve to be divorced too.

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      Max 

      5 months ago

      How can I ever ancknowlege the woman who partially ruined my family? He cheated, and she informed me. Co peranting with Her? Never. My children will never refer to her as my “ stepmom” that is something that need to be earned.

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      SJordan11 

      5 months ago

      What has been the hardest for me to understand is the psychotic behavior of someone who didn't want to be with him anymore! She doesn't want HIM, she just wants someone to pay her bills and take care of her house, and let her spend his money, so why cant she just move on and be thankful she doesn't have to put up with such a "POS" in her life anymore. Good riddance you would think. But no...she spends all of her day and night with the "hate texting", which he never responds to but she usually manages to make him feel bad by threatening to keep the kids away from him, or how he has "ruined everyone's life" and the kids are going to be so screwed up. And all she does is cause the kids to worry and stress all the time by telling them that they are going to be poor now and they will never have anything again. And that because of their dad, she cannot buy groceries, and so they will always be hungry now. "Its your dad's fault that you cant have this or that". Such a Beeotch. He gives her a lot of money every month but she wont spend it on them. She has to get her hair done and nails and clothes etc. Total POS mother. She bought a house in the middle of the divorce without talking to him about it first and then whined that she didnt have the 20% down payment and so he gave her 30k, BUT instead of putting the 20% down, she put 10% down and used the other money to get her boobs fixed! And she cant understand why he doesn't want to get back together?? But continues trying to poison the kids against him and he is a good dad. She has started texting me now, but I refuse to engage with her. She refuses to move the rest of her stuff out of the house so she always has an excuse to come over there. She goes in the house when he is not home and looks through all of his stuff and even steals things that he has just purchased, right down to the salt on the table! She goes thru the drawers and looks for receipts of money he has spent on me and then hate texts him about what he got me for xmas. He is getting the locks changed finally. She saw me at the store one day and assaulted me. I had bruises on my arm where she dug her claws in and grabbed me. She keeps texting me that she cannot wait until we meet again etc. She told my boyfriend that she must not have scared me enough at the store and she will have to try harder. Gaaaah! I dont know how long i will be able to do this. I really love him...we have known each other for 20 years and he was my boyfriend then but we married different people and had kids etc but now we are both divorced and I believe we have a second chance for a reason. But I try to live a drama free life now. I am trying to avoid getting the police involved bcuz of the kids. She is very unstable though. I am going to send this article to him and see if we can try these things. It cant hurt...thanks for sharing.

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      Anne 

      6 months ago

      Thanks so much for this! You have given great advice and I am somewhat calmed by your observation that there are so many psychotic exes out there. Adding to the anger, even if the ex is being outrageous and aggressive does not help. Step away. Step away.

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      Jay 

      6 months ago

      I have been divorced now for 10 years. Since my kids were 2,4 .. I have basically always had a really bad relationship with my ex wife. Mostly over kids and my new fiance. My ex wife hates my fiance with her guts and has for the last 8 years. Has gotten so much negativity into kids head about my new fiance it's ridiculous. From " fiance isn't there mother " she can't tell kids anything, or discipline them . Unless it's convenient for my ex wife. She always threatens me to go back to court for custody. I'm so sick of it. Can't deal with it anymore. Any advice? Basically I know I'm a good father but the thought of going to court and possibly losing time with my kids literally scares the hell out of me. ..

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      Recovering dad 

      6 months ago

      I wrote and deleted an essay lol. But let me get to the point.

      Ex wife is an abusice narc. In every way imaginable, including physical, environmental, emotional etc. Anyone reading can probably relate. She needs to control every single aspect of daughter's life (and used to be the same with mine until I escaped)

      Daughter is 13 and swims competitively... the kind of swimming where parents demand their kids make it to the Olympics... I hate the culture surrounding this sport. I think it can be very damaging for kids unless the parents can check themselves. Ex wife is about as bad as you can get. Conditional love, emotionally abusive punishment for not making PR times etc. She's thrown her towel on the floor and made her pick it up and told her she deserves it because she is wasting her time etc. this is all just what I remember from two years plus ago when I was still with ex wife. It's ruined swimming for daughter.

      Anyway, daughter and I have both made big strides since the divorce. I'm really proud of her and the more-free person she is becoming. She's finally starting to feel safe around me and is starting to realize that mom is not God incarnate. She's starting to explore other interests etc. she tells me constantly that she hates swimming and wants to quit. She refuses to go to practices. I really try my best to encourage her to stick with it, but the truth is the more free she becomes when she's with me the less she wants to swim. I truly think it's her way of testing to see if it's safe to be honest with a parent about how she feels about swimming. She wouldn't dare defy her mother, and for two years was afraid to defy her by proxy when she was with me. Now the truth is coming out.

      At swim meets, on weekends she's with me, she sits with mom. These last all day. Mom still controls everything. I feel like the assertive thing to do is somehow not allow it to continue to happen...but on the other hand, daughter is very dependent on mom for controlling every aspect of her swim meets. It's bad for her long term, but it's all she knows. I don't know how to stop it. By saying anything to daughter, or by demanding daughter stays with me at meets,I feel like I'm just putting daughter more in the middle. Like I'm showing her she is a prize to be fought over and that it goes against the freedom I've been working hard for two years on trying to instill in her.

      Any advice is appreciated.

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      Latisha 

      6 months ago

      I met the love of my wife t

      'll the ex wife destroyed what he feared the most . Now I'm being harassed and my personal life violated . our relationship went from the best to distrust with him being told i can't be around his children. My question is should I just let go being that she has made several statements that I was being used or should I just stick it out now that she's told him I'm not trust worthy

    • profile image

      Leah 

      6 months ago

      Thank you Alice - this is some great advice. I am glad I came across your article.

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      Ashley 

      6 months ago

      Oh I forgot to add!.. We have Mediation next week on my 31st Birthday.. February 9th. I don't know whether I should laugh or cry!

    • profile image

      Ashley 

      6 months ago

      I met my husband in EMT class. We are married now. We have been together for 12 years.. Will be 13 years this October 2018. It was love at first sight. Then the ex-wife started texting him, asking him if she could meet me. They have a son together. I kept telling him that I don't want to meet her. I was always a very quiet, smart, and shy person. Didn't want any drama in my life bc I was busy in college and finally found the person I knew I was going to marry. He told me that she cheated on him and was a drunk. I found out that it was true bc she cheated on her second ex husband and went to jail for being drunk and hitting a cop. They (she and her second ex husband) have two kids together and we found out that she also cheated on her second ex ON THEIR HONEYMOON on a cruise. He couldn't find her for 5 hours and then found her with another man in a different room. ..So she and my husband were divorced for two years already before I met him in class. So one day he and I were at the college and she started circling around us in her car. He got a text from her. She was of course asking to meet me. So then I was like "no..ummm is that her Mazda circling around us? He was like yes. So then I was like "fine I'll meet her".. But knew this was a bad idea. So I met her there in the middle of the street. She was obviously jealous bc as we were walking away she called him over to her asking about their son. It was obviously a stupid question she asked, bc my boyfriend at the time, who is now my husband, said "what????" She was just looking for something to say to bring the focus to herself. So we walked off holding hands and after that day.. She got worse. Me and my husband started coaching my step sons tball team, and she showed up, and right in front of me, she handed her dad a piece of paper to give to me.. And it was about a husband and wife..it said something like this "I'm the MAN of the house and I demand a hot dinner when I get home etc.. and who is going to comb my hair? And the wife said "the funeral director." I showed it to my husband bc he was standing behind me and neither of us thought it was funny. It seemed odd and demented that she would hand me this in the middle of tball practice. She is suing us now bc she hasn't seen her son in two years and is blaming us. She left her son alone in a hotel room for 12 hours (step son counted the hours), and my husband told her she can't see him anymore, bc he was afraid for their sons life. She disappeared for two years. She didn't try to even see her son at school ARD meetings (he has Autism) or lunch or soccer games. It's such a crazy situation for me to be in. I wish I never met her. She is crazy and jealous and can't be trusted. She also waited to sue us and take us to court right after we bought our first house. We also have custody bc she made him miss 87 days of school.

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      Camilla 

      6 months ago

      This is the best advice on dealing with a combative ex-wife. My husband had a few years of this sort of behaviour and I was threatened several times resulting in police involvement.

      In the end my husband had a zero tolerance on any communication except in writing and only concerning the health or welfare of the children. He refused to speak or return calls or texts, no matter what the subject and no matter how provocative. He never deviated from the Court agreed arrangements over contact. It was overwhelmingly in his children's best interests for it to be that way. She eventually stopped. You don't have to be terrorised in your children's best interests. You must do whatever leads to the greatest stability and peace for them. In some cases this means that you must work hard not to engage or fan the flames of madness and aggression, by indulging in communication with somebody who just wants to hurt you.

      Although I was involved in several legal and police processes over her harassment of me, I have never met his ex-wife face to face. I did not go to my step-sons wedding last year in order to save him the stress of 'what might happen' and I didn't want his special day overshadowed. My husband has just received a message from his ex saying that it would be much better if we could all be together in one room for the sake of the children once the new grandchild arrives later this month. I was speechless!!! Pity it's taken 20 years to figure it out!

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      Sally 

      6 months ago

      Last year I met this wonderful man. He was really upfront about his life, his (ex)wife (they are not yet divorced) and his children.

      Dating a separated/divorced or man with kids has always been a dealbreaker for me, so before we started dating we talked a lot about what he’s looking for, how the ex feels about it, the children’s feelings. As it was a new situation for me, and him, i felt cautious but confident we could make a go of it.

      At first it was amazing, we are very good together, and with our work schedules he could still see the kids mostly every day and make time for our relationship as well. It seemed to be working really well.

      Fast forward to just before Christmas when he had a date with me but I heard nothing from him as he was arguing with his ex. This made me feel really uneasy and I explained that if that was going to happen he should contact me, or really walk away and continue when they were both calm again another day. He never told her about us, but he lives on a small island where I would visit and even though we would be really cautious someone could have easily spotted me getting into his car etc. On top of this she demands he does EVERYTHING for her, even down to the fact he has to pump fuel into her car as she refuses and says without him doing it she won’t be able to take the kids to school etc....she’s in her 30’s, and lives on the same street sans her partents and siblings, surely they could help? So all of a sudden he’s not there on her demands, so every time he sees the kids she’s fighting with him, then she started to make up lies. She lied about the nativity play times for the kids performance so he missed it and then told him it was because she was so pissed off at him...!!!

      Christmas comes and I’m away with my family and he spends it with the kids at the family home. His communication in this time with me drops off and then when I talk to him he’s very withdrawn and sounds depressed.

      After one whole day of her telling him that he’s ruined the children’s lives because he’s happy he tells me he had to make a decision of weather to be happy which means he’s being selfish, or be unhappy and not selfish. I start to feel really worried I will lose him, but after my vacation I come back and everything seems great again... until I work all weekend and he spends al that time with her and the kids and I don’t hear anything. I asked if he can have the kids by himself but she refuses and tells him that she will poison the kids again him.

      We had a strained week and then I see him the other day and he tells me that even though he loves me and be haloy with me, his feelings can’t be a priority as that’s him being a terrible father, and happiness makes him feel guilty. I ask him if anyone has been saying anything to him about this (I don’t mention the ex’s poisonous words) and he says no it’s all his decision, but he forgets all the screenshots I’ve seen of her words so I know what she’s doing to him.

      I’m the first person he’s dated and I love him very much but now feel so hurt and confused. I really can’t see how him being happy would result in unhappy children. He says he’s scared to lose me and wants to be friends (I refuse on the grounds it’s not healthy) and still insists he’s coming on a holiday I have planned in the summer...?!?

      He then also told me that he’s realised that for the children’s sake he cannot date until they have left Home....and that the best way for him to deal wth his emotions is to stop seeing me as happiness has interfered with his life.

      I haven’t contacted him since and don’t really know what’s to do. My friends think he just needs to stand up to his ex wife.

      Should I try bd contact him and be friends? Should I just stay away? Any advice?!

    • profile image

      Anonymous 

      7 months ago

      My husbands ex has tried everything in the book to keep their daughter away from him. Now she is trying to pull me into the equation. All of the sudden she doesn't want me to pick her up when he can't. I just don't understand how a person can hate their life so much that they do their best to try and destroy yours.

    • profile image

      Adriana Tristan 

      7 months ago

      It looks like I'm heading there in 6 months. Long distance never met the ex and she's already making plans to come over whether he is there or not.

    • Lisa Larson-Cox profile image

      Lisa Larson-Cox 

      7 months ago from Lake Havasu City, Arizona

      We have the kids

      I am a step parent to 2 boys. My husband had these boys since I met him, they were 5 and 7.

      They are now 13 & 15, and bio mom has been a nightmare (well she has always been) but more so since we got married.

      I have a long story and I am sure we all do, but after my husband and I (along with the boys) came back from our destination wedding, ex wife wanted to try for custody of the boys AGAIN... well lets just say she managed 2 go to rehab twice, and get thrown in jail for DUI as well, in those 3 years aka $60,000.00 worth of attorney bills for us time period.

      I don't want to complain about mom here because most of us can relate to the craziness of someone like the mom in my story.

      I want to rant about the legal system for letting this crazy lady wreak havoc in our lives when ever she can get someone to pay for her attorney, when we can no longer afford one.

      I want to cry about the fact that I don't have the strength to let it go anymore, to stay strong believe in God's power and what is meant to be will be.

      I just feel like I can't be involved in this anymore, I cant be here for my husband anymore. She is winning and I know that. I am giving her everything she wants and failing myself, my husband and my step children in the process.

      This makes me disgusted in myself.

      My husband was awarded legal decision making a 1 1/2 years (in Arizona they don't have the term "custody" , finally when she was caught drinking with the kids in her visitation (which was a violation of her parenting time).

      Here it is though the boys are getting older and they have their own issues as young teens.

      How can I go on with this when I just feel that I can't anymore? I know 80% of myself only stays because of the feelings that my husband and the children would have if I left.

    • profile image

      Katie Hopkins 

      7 months ago

      I have a partner who has a wife still

      There still not divorced and have been with him now 2 years plus living with him. His ex has done nothing but make me feel worthless as his partner and now have a court order for him and still manages to cause havoc we argue so much about this as I do not get it at all. I have two children myself. She still wears her engagement ring

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      Wife to be 

      7 months ago

      At last i saw people who was having the same problem as i am.

      I had a nasty incidents with the ex wife, im already at my limits not to fight back. She had cheated on my man for the third time and the last time she already got knocked up. And thats the reason my man said enough, no longer saving the marriage it for the sake of the kids.

      Im totally pissed of with her, the typical scamming filipina, my husband already gaver her almost all the things he worked hard for, and still keep on harrassing us using the kids. and now she is dragging my husband in a death threat with her married lover.

      I cant help but wish she just fall on the ground dead!

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      Shawn 

      7 months ago

      Wow! Sounds so much like my ex. Unfortunately police do not like to enforce the custody orders even when it is on paper in front of them. It happened to me and it was dreadful and not being able to see your children is heartbreaking. I have some advice for the unfortunate ones of vengeful ex's who are like this - ask for a watch commander immediately if the officer is not willing to help you, but ALWAYS try to get your ex to show up and communicate with them before calling the 5-0 (if they're like my ex, they will either ignore you or get belligerent). Print your papers out for custody AND print your state's penal code showing the code of the law for "custodial interference". ALWAYS tell the police you want to press charges immediately and you want a warrant issued for an arrest based on the penal code in your state and that you intend to follow up with the prosecuting district attorney and would like their information. If the police fail to help you (most of them do), tell them you want the police report, their names and badge numbers, and tell them that since you don't know where your children are (because they sure aren't where they're supposed to be), that you will be calling the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and escalating the matter federally - and yes, they do have a 24/7 hotline. This attracts attention at a federal level where the FBI becomes involved and I guarantee they will be kicking the police in the butt to get them moving or showing up to you instead of the police. Your child instantly becomes the center of a manhunt underway when you initiate this action. And when they ask if you called the local police you can say you did and they didn't offer any relief to help you, therefore you had nowhere else to turn.

      After you get your child(ren), instantly file a contempt of court motion (emergency orders and Restraining order including the child on it), change of custody to full or extremely limited custody or supervised visitation only, new child support papers, and then call into court by subpeona the police officers who refused to help you before the hearing. You want to bring them to the stand and ask them WHY they did not bother to enforce the order the judge signed and I would go so far as to ask that charges of contempt be brought to those officers as well before they leave the court room. This is about the only way to deal with these types of ex's. If you've read this before it happens to you, then you're in luck, but a lot of the time, it takes it happening to you a time or two. But it is a golden card to parents who get cheated by their ex and for finding a way to counter-act bad police.

    • profile image

      Sound advice... 

      7 months ago

      Thank you for this insightful article and the comments from "Not My Circus of Monkeys..."

      I could not have expressed it better myself. I'm in the same position and we can no longer continue to be part of the cycle of crazy my husband's ex insists on living in at the risk of hurting the son we have together, our life, our marriage. My stepdaughter has lied, twice, to get her mother to call CPS and her mother has been waiting and threatening to jump at the chance to try and hurt me for years. I'm done. It has been a very painful process but there is no way to live with the constant abuse and threats from his ex, and my stepdaughter is too afraid of her mother to do anything else. I feel that at this point, the ex can have the "loyalty" she had been raging about from her daughter, stop punishing her whenever she felt threatened by me, and we can be left to live our life in peace and health. It has been 8 years and I finally realized it was time "to drop the rope" and protect my family and marriage. I'm still in a state of shock that it had to come to this.

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      Not my circus or monkeys... 

      8 months ago

      We dropped the rope 10 years ago. The child was playing into the mother's games, and I told my husband I was done. I'd always been willing to help before- with transport, being with the child during his time if he wasn't quite off work (and the ex tried to make a big deal out of it until my husband pointed out how often ex left the child with her then husband. All complaints about me on that front stopped.) - and when the child lied for the ex, I said nope. Not in my house.

      What if the child lied about me out of anger, or the ex's direction, or whatever? I'd potentially face problems and inquiries about MY kids.

      That was when it ended, for me. That child is not mine, and has no respect for their father or the rest of his family - and the child and the ex are not my problem. I have to advocate for MY kids.

      My husband called ex and child on the lies. They told him to F off.

      Done. We wish them great joy together. The kids can't help that their mom is hateful and crazy, but I didn't marry the woman or have kids with her and my kids are my priority when up against her.

      I'm sad for my husband and his child that a mean, sick woman has ruined it for them- but at some point, you have to care for your own vs continuing to hurt for another.

      Our lives are better without the worry, stress, anger, and feeling of always walking a tight rope. Ex and the child have continued in their negative, drama-laden ways. I feel for the child, because mom has a death grip. And the child can't get away, but must proclaim publicly how much they love mom and all her antics.

      Sad, yes. But no longer my circus or monkeys. I can't save the monkeys or stop them from constantly flinging shit.

      So drop the rope, back away, and take care of your kids and your marriage.

      Good luck to all still in the trenches.

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      HibiscusKitty427 

      8 months ago

      Wow, this is so much like our sad lives. Thanks for the article! I found it extremely helpful to know my family isn't the only ones going through this, by the terrorist as you so call these kinds of birth mothers.

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      Kay 

      8 months ago

      Common sense- obviously you have never been in a situation like this.

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      Common-sense 

      8 months ago

      Just a thought but, have you ever considered you are crazy? Why are you bothing with a man who has a child with someone else? Have you thought about the child? Maybe you should step away and let THEIR family work it out? Whether as friends or partner's? Women like you are JUST as insane. Get over your self and stop writing entire ridiculous blogs about a problem that really isn't your problem. *This message is not intended for crazy exs with out kids. Clearly there is a difference.

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      lisaisdrivingusnuts 

      8 months ago

      Help. My husband and I have been ignoring, his ex's calls and texts for seven years. She hasn't stopped harassing us, and recently tried to assault me in front of their 2 daughters. It's too much to handle on a day to day basis.

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      Jill37 

      8 months ago

      Yey, I finally found my people! It is going on 5 years now and I have at last given up waiting for her to 'come around'. I have also come to accept her right to hate me. While these may seem like small steps, they were hard-won victories for my own peace of mind. Many people have mentioned looking for a support group. Here are a few:

      Secondwivescafe.com

      Stepchick.ning.com

      Steptogether.org

      Childlessstepmoms.org

      Stepmomsonamission.org

      Stepsforstepmothers.com

    • profile image

      Crazy for trying 

      8 months ago

      What if your husband can't not answer the phone from the ex ? He still honors her even though she left him . Hell , after being with him for 4 years he told me today that he has their dishes stored up in the attic in case the kids want them or we can use them in our cabin we want to get one day !!!!!

      Some men enable the exes bad behavior and there's nothing you can do .

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      Bonus Mom 

      9 months ago

      WOW! This article really hit home and the struggle is so real. My husband allows his ex-wife to control soo much. She claims everything she does is in the kids best interest and it isn't about money, but she is truly just hurting the kids and I worry about their mental health. The only time she is good is when it benefits her. She is literally making our lifes a living hell and my husband seems so scared of losing the kids that he bows down to it. I don't really know how to even attempt to get this under control!

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      Anyways Lori 

      9 months ago

      I spent ten years in a marriage where my now ex-husband’s ex-wife badgered, threatened, and harassed us. The problem was my ex-husband did very little or anything at all about her behaviour despite my suggestions to ignore her. Hence why we are separated. And now she continues with her behaviour where she ran into my manager and told my manager that my marriage ended. Now this is personal. My exhusbands exwife has crossed my personal boundaries and I want to tell her this. As m.tully has mentioned below about filing a report with the authorities but I would like to send her a letter first telling her that her behaviour is unacceptable and needs to stop. Any suggestions? Thanks

    • profile image

      m. tully 

      9 months ago

      Another tip (and not for the faint of heart) is to document the unsolicited and vulgar texts, emails, and phone calls with your local law enforcement. We asked that a report be written but not acted on until and unless it was necessary (thankfully they agreed to do this).

      The point is not to bombard your local PD with domestic issues (they don't have time for non emergent issues and generally won't get involved with custody related incidents)

      The purpose is to show that these are not isolated incidents and that there is proof of a reasonable request for the ex to STOP the behavior.

      It took us a year to finally act on the report filed in the previous year and we added MORE copies of text messages and emails to the existing report. When the police officer called the ex, she laughed and said "I thought it might come to this"! But guess what? She STOPPED! And really that was all we wanted.

      Those very negative and hurtful behaviors of the ex can become such a distraction from taking care of the kids and learning how to co-parent. In our case, the x has absolutely zero respect for my husband as a parent or human being for that matter, so his request for her to stop the harassment fell on def ears. One call from law enforcement (with a warning to discontinue or they would press charges) did the trick tho.

    • profile image

      natasha lustig 

      9 months ago

      This could not have been written any better. I have lived the hell for last 3.5 years of my life and my relationship with my fiancée. We aren't married yet because we've gone through hell thebmost expensive custody court hell possible and basically are back to saving up plus I didn't want to do it in this hell. I've had a child and she has had her life thrown up and down and once we got out of the custody hell (we did not get what we should have because my step son tells terrible lies about my partner claiming physical abuse all lies but they believed it all she had been planning this for three years) and my daughter hadn't seen her siblings for over six months she now is going through hell trying to adjust with them but only sees them two weekends a month. Do not allow this to go on as long as I did! Get these evil ppl out of your life now. One thing I had to keep telling my partner was you don't need to speak to her every single day, or even every other day you shouldn't need to speak unless something has happened

    • profile image

      Merrie 

      9 months ago

      My boyfriends ex told the kids to give him an ultimatum, either them or his girlfriend. He already broke up with me once over this. He later felt awful and asked to work things out. As soon as his family found out we were together, they said they didnt want anything to do with him again and havent talked to him in 2 months. We recently moved in together and I am afraid that they could give another ultimatum where he leaves again. His wife was sending me harassing text messages hoping she would give me information about his past that would destroy us. I told her to stop as her texts were evidence of harrassment. She finally did. I am feeling lost with the drama...

    • profile image

      Christina L 

      10 months ago

      Let's say your husband's ex wife learns how to hack your computer... steals money, deletes incriminating emails, sends virus... how expensive is it to prove in court?

      Take it a step further the psycho includes ME the spouse on contempt of child support (on an invalid order) How can I protect myself legally? She does not even make sense, she operates on jealousy!

    • profile image

      Clao 

      10 months ago

      AS long as husband and wife are together in everything including court order , everything usually flows better . I have found out That when I tell my husband what to do with his sons mom I usually am mad and want it my way . But now what I do is try to relax and explain my feelings towards the situation in a calmer way , he responds better . And most of the time what the other person wants ( the sons mother )

      Is for the couple to get mad at each other until they separate , and so she wins.

    • profile image

      Jo 

      10 months ago

      Thank you for this. I'm going through a very xXxX ex wife and she uses the kids like trophies and makes my man feel like a shit father cause he can't take the kids at her beck and call. It makes m3 wick cause all she cares about is money and making him feel like a shitty father.

      It's so frustrating because I feed them, teach them, wash clothes and they do love me. But that's expected cuz she thinks she is priviliedge to everything.

      I love my man and this twat just makes life unbearable.

    • profile image

      Carolyn 

      10 months ago

      HAd my first argument with the ex last night & had to tell her to leave my property. Betcha that's not happened to her before seeing as she is a respected Marine. But she crossed the line, yelling horrible things, banging on our door, so I told her, if she cant talk reasonable inside, then she's got to go. Im super upset about it, I hate confrontation and usually like to work things out. But disrespecting everyone in my house was NOT going to happen. Hopefully she takes a look at herself, but I doesnt seem she will. But I stood up for myself, my husband, and all the kids in the house. Nope Nope & Nope.

    • profile image

      Frustratedd 

      10 months ago

      Thank you for this article. Just not sure my SO would agree to do this. It just got to a point where i refuse to pay for his petrol back and forth to work because he jumps when his ex wife needs him and she is using the children as bait to get to him. I'm just so frustrated.

    • profile image

      Tired 

      10 months ago

      First Thank you for this article. It helps me confirm I am not crazy.

      My question is what do you do if you have talked to your husband about how when his ex text him sharing her good news, accomplishments or compliments him on how good he is looking that when he responds with proud of you, you look good too or great job this feeds her ego and keeps her claws into you.

      He disagrees and says he is just being nice. I don't feel he is going to go back to her but this helps keep the crazy going and she feels she has the upper hand.

      She told me to stop being strong the last encounter we had and that she is going to lose her s*** on me if she ever hears me hurting her daughter.

      I have also been getting harassing calls from various numbers and been cussed at.

      The thing is none of this started until we got married which has been a little over a month ago.

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Sarah Rock 

      10 months ago

      Yes! Thank you for this article. On the positive side, the diagnosed crazy ex that my husband and I deal with isnt as bad as the author's)

    • profile image

      Frustrated Step Mom 

      10 months ago

      I find whats frustrating is that us as Step parents are not always the bad guys. Why can't moms have an appreciation for someone else being a role model in their children lives? I help feed them, and pay for their activities, and take care of them when sick, why all the fuss and rude messages and then say " you don't have the kids interest in mind, just you and your new fiance" thats not fair. What is the best way for step moms to deal? cope? learn to let it go? It kills me.

    • profile image

      crap 

      11 months ago

      Thanks for this post. My ex wife is just this type. To the point that she committed adultery and still thinks she can harass me is beyond me. I just watch in horror as she continues to be high strung considering poor judgment. I am patiently waiting to get the last laugh in this matter. I am waiting...

    • profile image

      Feeling Demented 

      11 months ago

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. I came across this page by chance and have sat reading it in tears. It finally feels like someone understands, I could have wrote this myself. There have been times I have questioned if I can carry on in this ridiculous situation despite how much I love my partner.

    • profile image

      The New Wife 

      11 months ago

      And here I am thinking I was the only one cussed into having The Crazy in my life and my relationship. At one point I even thought she was bipolar or mentally challenged honestly. Recently I've been receiving so many emails and I had decided on responding and telling her off the same way she provokes the life out of me. I'm so glad I came across this post now I will never utter a word to her as I've seen she thrives on getting me miserable. I'll not be giving her the satisfaction any more. I feel sorry for my husband's baby girl living with this miserable bitter woman.

      If anyone knows of these online support groups please may you post a comment on several the we can also join. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Danielle Claire 

      11 months ago

      This is a great article, much of which my husband and I do. His children are all grown, but are swayed by their mothers emotions. She is bitter, manipulative and an alcoholic! She demands that my husband meet with her to talk about the "kids"! Their ADULTS and have their own lives. She has ruined any chance of me having any kind of relationship with my husbands extended family. She agreed when they got divorced to always talk positively about each other. She has done the exact opposite. I'm not "allowed to look in her direction of talk with her even to say hello". I come from a blended family and find it very distasteful when the ex-wife makes the adult children feel guilty when they come to our home for a visit. My husband is supportive, loving and giving of his children, but is always criticized by the ex. Prior to us getting married, his ex told me that I deserve better than him. No, I think he deserved better than her!

    • profile image

      the Ex-husband 

      11 months ago

      Yes Cha it often takes two to tango, but sometimes, just sometimes, there are genuinely bat-shit crazy ex's...who honestly do this stuff. Complete disengagement is the only answer and it's what MY counselor recommended to me. IF it was the husband who was the root of all evil, why wouldn't the ex not just be happy his gone a get on with her life?

    • profile image

      Cha 

      11 months ago

      Perhaps you should examine what part your husband contributed towards his ex-wife's behaviors.

      It's easier to say the EX is crazy without acknowledging your husband was part of his former marriage & divorce.

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