General Question

ette_'s avatar

My ex's (son's father) new girlfriend does not allow him to talk on the phone with me?

Asked by ette_ (1360points) February 24th, 2011

My ex’s new girlfriend has a ridiculous rule that he is not allowed to speak on the phone with me about issues concerning our son. Rather, we are only “allowed” to communicate via email or text. This really makes communication difficult and I think it is incredibly ridiculous, but yet he abides by it because he is being completely controlled by her.

I am venting for the most part, but does anyone else find this ridiculous?

This is only a fragment of the ludicrous things that I have to put up with (not to mention my son accidentally calling her “Mommy” sometimes and her telling him that she “likes it when you call me Mommy”). I am not after my ex, I have a new boyfriend who I am crazy about, and she is a controlling insecure b*tch!

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32 Answers

nikipedia's avatar

Well. You can’t control her behavior, and you can’t control his. Sounds like all you can do is provide a stable and loving environment for your child and try to insulate him from all the crazy as much as possible.

cynicaldeath's avatar

Yes. This does sound very ridiculous. It is an unreasonable rule that she puts on your ex. What I think is equally ridiculous is that your ex actually follows her rules. I think you need to convince your ex first about how unreasonable her rules are before you can do change the situation. f

Also, I agree with @nikipedia, insulate your child from all the crazy sounds like a valid idea, especially when he’s mistaking someone else as his mom.

augustlan's avatar

Don’t blame the new girlfriend… he’s the parent, and he’s allowing this crap to interfere with his parenting responsibilities. That’s on him. Sadly, there’s probably not a thing you can do about it.

ette_'s avatar

@augustlan, well, I’m certainly not blaming her entirely although her position in the matter isn’t helping. It’s just incredibly frustrating, and as a woman I would expect her to get a clue about how someone might feel if her child called someone else “Mommy” albeit unintentionally, yet she encouraged it by saying “you can call me Mommy, you have 2 mommies”. No, he doesn’t, he has one mother and one father, regardless of the family situation. I didn’t abandon him or leave. Bleh.

To my ex’s *dis*credit, he seems incredibly co-dependent on this new girl because from the get-go, everytime he talks to me, he says “We” this and “We” that as if he can no longer function or think independently of her.

I just get really tired of having to be the “bigger person” and let him walk all over me in a sense because I’M the one biting my tongue and being cordial and gracious about things. But like you guys say, there’s not much I can do about it except put up with it. And sometimes that just sucks.

augustlan's avatar

@hurtntired I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this. People can be so damn petty, and it’s a shame when people like your ex allow someone else’s pettiness to interfere with their parenting. It’s a ridiculous thing for grown people to pull.

6rant6's avatar

I know that for many divorced couples, phone conversations are a source of conflict. Since it’s imperative that the communications continue for the sake of the child, that’s the first priority.

Email can be more time consuming, but it also prevents meltdowns over the phone and one partner punishing the other by extended or frequent interruptions. And because everyone saves emails, it prevents misquoting.

So I know couples frequently come to the point where one party decides not to talk on the phone except in an emergency. This is especially true where one of the partners is extremely angry. And also when there is still romantic attraction of one or both. Either of those apply?

The fact that he is saying it’s his new GF’s rule is immaterial. He’s the one doing it. You are the one who has to deal with it. And that’s what you should do.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Can you not sort this out via the custody agreement?

ette_'s avatar

Neither of us is angry although we do have our share of disagreements. Also, there is no romantic attraction for either of us. The most annoying part of this is that it seems like he’s allowed to call me when HE feels like it but when I need to talk to him about something, I have to email or text him. Very lopsided and unfair.

Yes, ok, I know, if I feel like it’s unfair then I should just not pick up the phone. But as you said, @6rant6, email and text is often extremely time consuming. And I find it unnecessary to spend that kind of time on some of the things that we are discussing.

@MyNewtBoobs, there’s no clause or place within the Parenting Plan to say that “contrary to what the ex’s new partner says, phone communication is mandated” or something like that…I did get them to include something to say that we need to attend counseling to help us to co-parent, but when I brought up the phone thing, it didn’t really go anywhere.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@hurtntired Can you tell your kid that even though the gf says he can’t talk on the phone with you, he really can?

Fwiw, while I was 18 when my parents split up, I always remembered which parent acted like a child and which one acted like an adult. I only hung out with the one that acted like an adult, and am much closer to them than the one that acted like a child.

ette_'s avatar

@MyNewtBoobs, sorry, I know it’s a bit unclear, but what I meant was that the gf says my son’s DAD (not my son) cannot speak on the phone with me. I am allowed to speak with my son and there is a clause within the Parenting Plan for it.

Unfortunately my son is 4 years old and doesn’t really see the whole picture. My ex and his girlfriend are not going to say these types of things in front of him, and nor do I bring it up to my son, since it’s not good to denigrate the other parent to your child unless there is something really terribly legally or morally wrong…

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@hurtntired Ooooo. Ok. That’s a lot less… I mean, that’s crazy, but a lot LESS crazy. Unfortunately, there seem to be only two types of divorces: The antagonistic type and the really antagonistic type. But hopefully, this too shall pass.

ette_'s avatar

@MyNewtBoobs, heh, true although in this case we were never married, “just” have a son together. I try to be as amicable as possible but the girlfriend REALLY throws a wrench into things. I honestly think that we would be on good terms if it weren’t for her coming into the mix. And again, not blaming her entirely, but she really does not help.

JLeslie's avatar

Because your son is so young, it would really bother me if I were you. Communication in writing is not the same as verbal, and face-to-face, even better. However, it probably isn’t worth arguing over. The times you feel you really need to talk to you ex, invite the girlfriend to listen in maybe? If she is so insecure?

cazzie's avatar

I’m the evil step mother in this equation. I don’t understand the complete ban, but I completely understand the ‘I’d rather have this in writing.’ problem. We have issues with his ex regarding the care of his son. She calls and goes on and on about all sorts of things. I don’t have any problem with that… We all celebrate Christmas and Birthdays together and count ourselves all part of an ‘extended family’ that includes her older son by another father, regarding my husband as his ‘father’ too.

She is terribly disorganised (and my husband is even worse, probably) so she will suddenly call last minute with a dentist or doctor’s appointment we have to take him to, or we have to pick him up suddenly because she’s decided to go out of town to party with friends and claims to have told him.. but it’s such a waste of time telling him anything… I’ve told her. She needs to tell me these things, not him. It’s not him that looks after the boy when he’s with us anyway, it’s me.

This stuff has caused all sorts of problems. I’ll have to leave my work to go home and open the door, because she takes our key off his key chain and forgets to put it back on….She’ll call the taxi company and have his destination changed so he goes to her house and not ours, and never tells us, so I have to phone around to find out what happened to him… (if you know my story, you’ll know that my step son is autistic and I worry something awful about him..)

Then, when the phone calls go on between my husband and the mother, it’s more drama than actual organising and planning and it upsets our household and I can’t help but feel violated by the way she treats us sometimes.

As for the ‘calling her mommy’ stuff, that’s inappropriate. We weren’t sure how to refer to me in regards to him…. I’m not his mom. I’m his friend. He has told me from time to time that I’m ‘like his second mother’ and that’s sweet. I do everything a mom would do for her son. Kiss boo boos, read bedtime stories, treated him for worms, picked him up from school when he was younger, I wash his clothes and buy his clothes, make his birthday cakes and halloween costumes.

I know it’s hard to accept there is going to be another ‘mom type’ person in your son’s life, but the fact is, she could be your best ally in helping care for your son. If it’s as serious as all the ‘we’s indicate, you should work with her, not against her.

And I just have to add, it’s normal for you to feel this horrible, but it will get better. I’ve had friends in your exact position too, and the feelings of rage and hate for the other woman dissipated and they managed to work together for the care of the children. Nothing this woman does right now if going to right in your eyes.

ccrow's avatar

“I know it’s hard to accept there is going to be another ‘mom type’ person in your son’s life, but the fact is, she could be your best ally in helping care for your son. If it’s as serious as all the ‘we’s indicate, you should work with her, not against her.”

^^I think that is the best advice so far… if it’s at all possible to do.

JLeslie's avatar

Actually, I had not thought of what @cazzie mentions, wanting things in writing. I was thinking in terms of the girlfriend being jealous, but she might be thinking in terms of ongoing frustrations with miscommunication and he said she said.

ette_'s avatar

@JLeslie, I get that, but the reason she actually insisted on the whole no phone communication in the first place was because of her insecurities. My ex actually told me this a couple years ago because she thought that I was trying to get back together with him which is silly. And it’s not because of deceitful or bad communication that this “rule” was put into place in the first place.

I do accept that she is in my son’s life and I appreciate that she treats him well, but there is a fine line between being a “mom type” and actually encouraging him to call her “Mommy”. She has even told some of our mutual friends how badly she wants to have a baby.

So forgive me for not elaborating before, but there is more to the story than just me being “angry”. I actually sat down with this woman for lunch and we discussed things as civilized adults, but she is younger and acts as such.

cazzie's avatar

What’s your issue with her wanting to have a baby?

JLeslie's avatar

@ette_ Wait, she wants him to call her mommy? Too far. I missed that on my first read through.

ette_'s avatar

@cazzie I don’t have an issue with her wanting to have a baby, but she constantly puts ideas into my son’s head and talks about how he’s going to have a little brother or sister soon and how the baby is going to be in her belly and yada yada. It’s just creepy to me. I just wish she could put herself into my shoes and understand that some of her actions are due to insecurities.

@JLeslie more or less, he accidentally calls her Mommy sometimes because he sees both of us so often and it’s just a habit, and that part I get, but the part I have a problem with is that she actually encourages it in a sense. To me, the right thing to do would be to gently remind him or to be silent on the issue, but instead, she straight up told him “I like it when you call me Mommy, you can call me whatever you want.”

JLeslie's avatar

@ette_ I agree the accident is understandable, your son referring to her as mommy, but she should correct him.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@cazzie There’s a major difference between her having a baby, and her taking @ette_‘s child as her baby. Have your own freaking baby!

JLeslie's avatar

I think some of it is ego and competition. She should not feel she is competing with you especially regarding your child. I can see maybe she feels competition with the former wife, but not you as mommy.

ette_'s avatar

@JLeslie I think that is a big part of it. She got with my ex right after we broke up. Well actually she’s the reason we broke up. So I think she has major insecurities and both of them feel like they have to prove to each other that they are great partners/parents/blahblah. My lawyer told me she thinks that he is overcompensating for our bad relationship and so he does whatever he can to please her. Anyway, I understand to an extent her insecurities, but seriously can she not get it through her head that I am not after my ex, and that I have every right to feel bothered by the things that she “enforces”?

ette_'s avatar

@MyNewtBoobs I don’t think @cazzie was calling my son her baby, she was responding to my post in which I said the girlfriend is blatantly going around telling people how badly she wants a baby (it’s bizarre to me, that’s all, I can understand wanting to have a baby but you must REALLY have some kind of need or something to be going around blasting it all over town and acting as if my son is your own son).

JLeslie's avatar

@ette_ I see. So their relationship started with her basically competing with you. I was thinking she might feel compared at times to you, but she actually was the other woman. Oy. I know several people during divorce who all of sudden feel they have to prove they are actually wonderful spouses and parents, etc. Like they want to prove they had nothing to do with the breakdown of their marriage.

cazzie's avatar

Eesh… So, she was the cause of the break up…. well… I can’t even imagine how wounding that must be. Thankfully, I’m not in that sort of situation. Hubby had been well and truly out the door before I came along, by 5 years…. but she was used to having her cake and eating it too, if you know what I mean. I found out that she had me looking after her child 50% of the time, all the while claiming full child support from my husband and he didn’t have the balls to tell her enough was enough. It wasn’t until we had our own child together for two years that I got her to write a letter and stop the demands for payment and that was one hell of a shouting match between she and him.

This woman your ex is with now sounds immature. You can make her behaviour stick out like a sore thumb if you act the mature responsible adult. I can think of no better way to really insult her or show her how wrong she is. Worry less about what she says and does and look after yourself and your son. Be very upfront with your ex and her about anything she or he says or does that you feel will have a negative impact on your son. Your son should not feel he needs to take sides or that he’s being fought over. There is nothing more devastating for a child than to feel responsible for the bad feelings of a grown up he loves. That goes for all three of you.

The truth of the matter is she very well could have a baby and your son could have a step brother or sister. My husband’s ex went on a three day bender when I had my son. She was so angry. She later had the nerve to tell me to not have any more children. Hmmmm.. All she can think about is herself. You don’t want it to look that way with you, I’m sure.

Is it a 50–50 deal you have with them, or like a one weekend a month thing?

ette_'s avatar

It’s like 60/40, because during the week he sleeps at their house and they take him to school because I am still in the process of trying to get back on my feet after getting laid off a couple years ago. So during the week, I pick him up every other day and then spend some time with him before taking him back to his dad’s house. Then we have every other weekend, and on the weekends I have him, he stays at my house.

I don’t have a problem with her having her own kids, I just think that she needs to stop putting these ideas in his head among everything else, because he keeps asking me when I’m going to have a baby and when I’m getting married which is fine, I’m not bothered by it and I think it’s sort of cute, but he wouldn’t even be asking if she wasn’t putting ideas in his head.

The problem is that I don’t think my ex feels she can do anything wrong. She told me that he shows her ALL of the emails and texts that I write so basically it’s full disclosure. And when I told him that it bothered me that my son was calling her “Mommy,” he goes, “why does it bother you so much?” I mean, REALLY?

cazzie's avatar

ewww… ick… The guy sounds rather clueless as well. The mommy thing, if it bothers you… it’s a respect thing. You are his mother. But it also sounds like he’s so young, that perhaps being able to say that to her makes him feel more secure? There needs to be some sort of compromise on this, because he’s so young. I’ve heard of steppies (step parents) being called slight variations.. like pet names, but still leaving the honoured name for the correct person.

I’ve heard of some little ones calling a step mother, Monny, so there’s Monny and Mommy.. quite different. One little boy called his step mother Ma’m, which I thought was cute. One little girl’s pet name for her steppie was Nanna.. something she had read in a book. If she’s smart, she’ll respect the ‘Mother’ title and take a title of her own. She can have a very special relationship with him and in the long run, if she shows him she understands respect, he’ll respect that.

6rant6's avatar

Seems like the kid is getting lost in all this. “What I want.” “What she wants”.

Don’t you want him to have as normal a childhood as he can? If your ex is going to have another child, it’s good that they are working with him, rather than springing it on him out of the blue, no?

Does the other woman go to school functions with him? If so, isn’t it normal and appropriate that he call her mommy? If you said how much time he spends with each of you I missed it. But if he spends much time there, you want things to be as simple as possible, no?

You said that your relationship with him would be pretty good if she weren’t in the mix. Well then, it stands to reason that she is jealous. To put it bluntly, if he’s a stand up guy he will not tell you if he has a resurgence of feelings for you. Maybe she thinks he does.

I’d be willing to bet that if you back off that in time the “e-mail” only rule will evaporate as things in the extended family normalize. Until then, show some respect to her – even if you don’t feel she’s showing it to you. It’s without a doubt the best thing you can do for your son right now.

othermother01's avatar

I can understand step mother’s situation since I too am in the same. I have children of my own and now I have another from an “egg donor”, who I can say is not a mother by any means. First let me start by saying any of us can have a baby but we all don’t deserve the title “mother”, “mommy”, “momma” or whichever term the child uses. Those titles are earned. Mother’s take care of their young, nurture, educate, care for, feed, provide shelter and protection and the list goes on. If a biological parent simply has a baby and then does not do those things for that child then she doesn’t deserve the title. If a step parent provides all those things than that step parent should be called “mother” “momma”, “mommy”. In my case i didn’t tell the child she had to call me mother, she simply chose to because I am in fact her mother in that I am providing the home, food, clothing, nurturing, education, protection, etc. The biological put the child in harms way and did not provide these things and now only gets her two days out of a month and sometimes doesn’t even take her for that time. Yet she has the audacity to have a problem with this child calling me mother and usually the basis of any phone call she makes to the father is to rant about the baby calling me “momma” so therefore, I asked him to just limit the phone calls with her to when she is supposed to have her and keep it on topic because I’m not putting up with her negativity and her trying to cause problems in my home. As I stated before, I am her child’s mother because I earned my title.

Jeannele's avatar

OMG! I have this exact same problem! My ex left me for a girl that broke us up. She had been waiting for a while for us to break up…then to attempt to get me out of the picture she helped him try to take my son from me. I didnt know about her for the first year after we split up and maintained a physical relationship. I broke it off when I found out about her and told him we both had to move on. He kept denying her as his GF….so she sent me an email confessing their luv for each other. She seemed very vindictive and threatened by me. I Atribute alot of her behavior to his dishonesty…I replied to her email explaining she was wrong for attacking me and I ended it after learning of her. But ever since then she directs her anger towards me and has stopped my sons father from any communication that she can. She controls our conversations and has to be present for all of our phone calls…she set up an email for “him and I” to communicate and she controls and even responds pretending to be him. If I email something regarding our son she responds pretending to be him and makes the conversation about herself i.e ” youre just jealous of how happy I am with my wife. My wife is the best thing that ever happened to me” that has nothing to do with our son! I feel its easier for her to hate me out of jealousy and insecurity but she chose to stay with him….thats not my fault nor my sons fault. My sons father is literally not allowed to look at me and barely talk to me unless hes very rude when shes around. Otherwise he tries to be cordial. She purposely does things with my son to piss me off such as taking pics of her and him kissing each others cheeks and him holding her stomach and posting them online. Shes crazy! Ive gotten married since and she had the nerve to email me accusing me of having a fake wedding because I was jealous of them! She has stalked me online stalking ALL of my profiles on a regular basis. My son pays the price for this since his parents cant even communicate effectively because shes so jealous and insecure.

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