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u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/stepparents

Aglet recommended Stepmonster to me, I'm about a third of the way through it, and would also recommend to you. It's refreshing to read something that isn't sugar coated, and deals with very real feelings, like the reality that you're not going to love your skids the same way that you love your bio kids. It also addresses the feeling of being an outsider in your own home, and the psychology behind why that happens.

I don't have bio kids of my own, but I can understand your feelings about your skids. I care about my skids very much, but I can't honestly say I love them. Maybe that will happen someday, maybe not. I've only known them for a year, two days a week. Love is something that takes time, and reciprocation. To be brutally honest, but also to be merely human, I care more for the one that most strongly reciprocates my feelings for her. I do my best not to let that favoritism show, and to treat them all equally, but I'll admit it's in my heart. I hope someday I can tell his kids that I love them, and they can respond in kind - but I'm not going to force it - on my part or theirs.

Recently I had a heated debate with my SO about it. He felt that I should love his kids unconditionally, and sacrifice everything for them, just as if I was their bio mom. He hadn't really thought about it until that point, he just assumed that would be the case. He's a very understanding guy, and got the point pretty quickly that I could have their best interests at heart, but that I'd need "me" time to keep myself balanced. One of my favorite analogies is the Buddhist quote which roughly says "you cannot extend a hand to help someone who is falling off a cliff, unless both of your feet are on solid ground." In other words, for you to be able to help others, it's absolutely necessary for you to take care of yourself first.

Although I'm not as seasoned as some of the others in this subreddit, if I could offer any advice to you, it would be to continue trying to get through to your SO about your needs. You should have baby-and-me time, and you shouldn't feel bad about it. Can you work with him to set aside some time, even an hour, where he takes his kids and does something with them, and you can relax with your baby?

u/LaTuFu · 1 pointr/stepparents

How do you not be a terrible step? It's all about your attitude.

We all have a choice every day when we get up. Do I want to have a good attitude or a bad attitude? Yeah, I know it sounds generalized and cliche, but when you break it down to being a step parent, it almost sounds like common sense when you say it out loud.

If you focus on your marriage, and make your husband and your marriage a priority over anything else in your life (including, and especially) your kids, then you'll have a much easier time having a good attitude towards your marriage and your kids. My wife and I have begun to borrow a vision for our marriage from Andy Stanley. We try to make marital and parenting decisions with the goal of wanting to be with each other and enjoy each other's company after our kids are gone. We also want our kids to like each other and us enough that later in life, they'll want to spend time with each other and us, even when they have the freedom to choose otherwise. So we try to make good parenting and marital choices based on those two filters.

Focus on the good things everyone does, and make a point to praise those things as often as possible. Spend a day praising your husband or your kids for what they're doing well, and I absolutely defy you to have a bad day or bad attitude after that. That doesn't mean ignore it when they screw up. It just means that if you are praising them along the way, when the screw ups happen, people are more willing to listen to what you say. After all, you just spent the better part of the day telling them how much they rock. They'll be willing to listen to how they can improve their mistakes.

Do not view any of your kids as different just because they aren't your bio. You have 3 kids. 2 just happen to have sleepovers at a different house pretty often. When they are with you, they're yours, just as much as your own. View them that way, and you will have a hard time repeating your SD's mistakes.

A few books/DVD resources I highly recommend for you as you prepare for this new adventure: The Smart Step Family comes in DVD or book form. Whichever one you choose depends on how you prefer to hear new info. I like reading books, but watching a video or listening to a speaker always helps me retain more of the info. There is a companion book for you, The Smart Step Mom that can also help you navigate the sometimes challenging waters.

Good luck on your new journey. It is one that can be frustrating and stressful at various times, but it is also one that is very, very rewarding if you invest in the relationships the right way.

u/aglet · 6 pointsr/stepparents

>I don't feel that "love" that you're supposed to give to a child.

You're a good person, and you're doing your best. Expecting yourself to feel unconditional love for a kid on par with a biological parent after 3 (stressful, hectic, full-time) weeks with your SD is a totally unrealistic benchmark to place on yourself. Let that go, first of all, and know that as long as you're doing parenty things like feeding and transportation and showing affection, that's enough. And if you never LOVE love your SD, but instead feel very fond of her in a vaguely parental way, or if you feel more like an auntie than a mother, or you feel sorta distant and can't relate but still try to be a good parent-- those are all totally acceptable forms of stepparenting, because there is no one "right" way to feel or be.

>Will this get any easier?

This will absolutely get easier, especially since the school year's just around the corner. Summers and breaks will be harder, but as she settles in, makes friends, and gets older, she'll become less dependent on adults for companionship.

>My SO thinks I don't want her around but it's not that, I just feel out of my element and dammit I want some me time.

This is a massive lifestyle change for everyone involved; your SO might want to rethink his traveling job so he can be at home with his kid more (and take some of the pressure off you). It's possible your pre-kid life is no longer tenable as-is, so be prepared to adapt and think of creative solutions that will help you keep your sanity. This is your life too, after all. If you and your SO expect your lives to continue normally, just with the addition of a full-time kiddo, you're gonna have a bad time.

>I feel so selfish for wanting to kick them out every time a weekend comes along just so I can recharge enough for the coming week's meltdowns.

Don't. Tell your SO "I need time alone to recharge" and don't feel a lick of guilt over it. You're an essential part of the picture. The family doesn't function without you. He needs to respect that and step up, just like you respect that he needs someone to take care of his daughter while he's at work and have stepped up.

Finally- even though your transition sounds rougher than most, I don't think you're feeling anything that any stepparent in this sub hasn't felt. Read up on being a stepmom (Stepmotherhood and Stepmonster are both great places to start) and you'll see just how very not alone you are in feeling all of this.

edited for formatting

u/stepmomstermash · 3 pointsr/stepparents

Ok, here's what we have done in the past, SS is nearly 16. We hold a family meeting. We lay out what the expected behaviours/household tasks are in our house and then we ask SS if there is anything he disagrees with, would like to talk about changing, or if he has any issues he'd like to bring up. And then we talk, us adults remaining calm. In the face of any harshness from the child(ren). Sometimes it results in us changing an expectation. Most times it's a simple "that's not fair" that we explore the options for (is it fair that I do all the cleaning and cooking? For example). Kids don't have the brain ability to see other perspectives, they need it spelled out and shown to them.

If memory serves dad was abusive, I don't recall how long he's been out of the kids lives, but the older may remember more of the bad than the younger and so younger us lashing out because that's all kids really can do. They have zero control in their own lives a lot of the time other than how they behave. It doesn't excuse it or make it ok, but knowing that may help keep the empathy going.

Once the boundaries are set, the adults must choose to stick to them and not engage in the argument, as I learned from a recent listen to [Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated] ( pre/teens are hard wired to argue and attempt to maneuver out of any and all responsibilities, including skirting doing the whole thing by something along the lines of "I didn't know you meant wash the dishes as well as load the dishwasher when you said do the dishes..." which is rediculous to any adult but makes perfect sense to the teen. Stay calm, and next time give precise and clear instructions "please empty and load the dishwasher and wash and dry and put away the hand wash dishes, also wipe up any water / all the counters." (we have a white board type list where everything is supposed to be checked off, guess how often that happens unless we say do the whole list?)

I'm now rambling....

  1. Family meeting to set boundaries and expectations

  2. Listen to kids griefs and do what you will with them while remaining calm

  3. Stick to boundaries. Don't fight. Just restate the boundary. On repeat. Embrace the persona of broken record. Own it.

  4. As your SO seems to have struggled with this in the past, give her loving praise for holding the boundary. Tell her you're proud of her. Whatever way makes her feel good, do it. Reinforce the shit out of that boundary holding awesomeness. She'll need it because it sounds like SS is going to be a hard nut to crack and get on board with how the house runs.

    All that said and done. It also sounds like the kid needs to have some one on one time with mom doing something fun that is his choice. My SS still turns into a grade A donkey when he doesn't feel like he's getting enough attention from his dad. I know it's hard. It's hard to make time for everyone and still have time to sleep. But if it gets ramped up for a while and then tapered off to a reasonable mom/son date frequency he will regain the sense of security he appears, to this internet stranger, to be lacking.
u/kaybird296 · 4 pointsr/stepparents

You're already on the right track by getting all of this set out before moving in together! It sounds like you and your SO communicate really well and are both going into this with eyes open and healthy boundaries in place.

Before my SO and I moved in together (nearly six months ago), he and I sat down to discuss our house rules. We came up with a list of simple things we both agreed on (toilet lid down before flushing, no kids in our bedroom without express permission from both of us, clear away toys/belongings before bed, etc) and we had the house rules talk with the kids when they started coming over. We set out our behaviour expectations with them right from the beginning, and promised them that we will also do our best to keep it a calm, happy household. Doing it this way has worked very well for us so far (though don't talk to me about SS13 and his sudden aversion to abiding by the toilet lid rule...) This is also the ideal opportunity for you to talk about any deal-breakers that you have. For instance, I am deeply uncomfortable sharing a bed with anyone that is not my romantic partner (and I do mean anyone). Therefore I told my SO I was not comfortable with SD5 coming into bed with us if she was scared or sick, etc. SO goes in with her if she needs soothing back to sleep every now and then, which is a great compromise for us. Your SO's daughters are older so this may not be an issue for you, but if you have any similar hard and fast rules, now is the time to discuss them.

One thing that cropped up for us recently was what I should do if I see bad behaviour when SO is out of the room. Ask your SO how he would prefer this be addressed by you if/when necessary. At first, my SO said I should call for him and report what I'd seen. When I explained why I thought this was a bad idea (undermines the authority I have as an adult in the household and makes me a snitch), he agreed that I should address it with the kids and he will decide on appropriate consequences.

I also agree with u/namegeneratorbroken that if you feel there are any areas your communication could improve, then you may wish to consider making a couples' therapy appointment (particularly with a therapist who is experienced in step/blended family dynamics). This last part is particularly important because there are still a lot of therapists who maintain the "first family comes first" POV, and a lot of research has shown that this is not a good modus operandi for long-term blended family success.

One last recommendation: pick up a copy of Stepmonster (our bible!) and read it, ideally with your SO. It does a great job covering many of the common pitfalls that come with being an SM, new or seasoned, and will offer practical advice for navigating sometimes murky waters.

Good luck!

u/Chees_a_saurus · 3 pointsr/stepparents

Hey, OP.

Hoo boy, that was not cool of that therapist. Can your SO go speak with the therapist? Can they get a new one? Does he need BM on board for this?

You are not a piece of furniture, OP. You do not rank lower than a 10 year old and an 8 year old in your home, and anyone that suggests that is doing those kids a disservice.

The child-centric thing is lovely in theory; but in reality it doesn't work. If everyone insists that you are voiceless in your own home, where you pay bills, because SO and BM's marriage didn't work out, then those kids will have to deal with watching another adult relationship crumble.

It is to his kids own benefit that your SO prioritize you as his adult partner, so that the kids see how healthy relationships work. Those involve respect and compromise. You don't turn to your partner and say "Could you please be silent and stop having needs? I once had kids with someone else and we got divorced, so please leave your humanity at the door lest anyone else have to adjust to your presence."

Two things that I would read with your SO are: The Disengaging Essay (online link) and Stepmonster (physical copy or ebook). Both provide extensive explanations on the new dynamic and where many people trip up. There are more links/materials on our Resources page, if you're interested, but I think the two that I've mentioned are the best for your situation.

Your role in your home is no one's business but you and your SO. And, frankly, I think it's best if you back off of any discipline, and have dad handle it. You don't have enough of a bond with the kids for that to go well (see disengaging essay). However, you do get a say in everything else. You and SO should come up with "house rules" for the kids to follow, and they are accountable to dad if they break them. And there won't be any he said/she said happening. If you tell him they broke a rule, there is no arguing with you.

This is also for your benefit, and allows you to build a positive bond with the kids.

And I wonder if this is what the therapist actually meant, and it got twisted into "/u/lizzieboy doesn't get a say until we like her.".... Hmm. Did you hear it straight from the therapist or was it via the kids or BM?

u/ahri9tails · 1 pointr/stepparents

Step wise, I'm sure you know about Stepmonster (on the side bar).

When it come to teaching kids/child development, I love Vygotsky. It's everywhere in all of my posts. He's the one that focuses on giving your kids the gift of confidence to help them learn and grow. If you're not yet set on a child development theorist, you can pick up a book like this for an introduction. If you have more of an idea of what you're looking for I'm happy to search deeper for you to help you find the right fit.

u/mslindz · 5 pointsr/stepparents

I won't bother repeating myself here, I'll just second this post and add a little of my own thoughts.

OP, you're relationship with your SO takes work on both of your parts and you both have to make it a priority. It is so important! Communication is super important to making things work, too. He has to be able to hear what you're saying and where you're coming from so you can work as a team to make things work for everyone.

> And seriously; read, read, read the step parenting help books.

This is hands down the best advice. Reading books on stepfamilies and stepparenting have been invaluable to me. Both in realizing I'm not insane and in helping me head off some issues by handling situations different than I might have otherwise. Personally, I've found Ron L. Deal's books to be very helpful. I'm currently reading The Smart Stepmom by Ron L. Deal and Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin. All of the reading has helped me approach my SO a little differently and he's receptive to my insights (though our communication was solid prior to all the reading I've done, I know for a fact it's made it better). It's also helped me understand what my role is as a stepparent and how to deal with some of the struggles that arise.

Best of luck OP. It's a tough road to travel and role to take on, but with work, it definitely can get better.

u/Yiskra · 2 pointsr/stepparents

What we have is through ADT right now so it's a monitored alarm system. It has all the sensors but the actual system is what is alerting me by name which door or which window. You could absolutely look into that but I'll be honest.. It's in because she got it before we moved in. Had she not done it I would probably go the diy route.

There are systems such as this one

Or just the individual chime alarms like this:

You can also get locks like this one if you have a sliding door that you want to secure. This became a big deal for us because the backyard had a pool. Plus a prior rental agreed to allow us to put one in because the back yard was not fenced.

I know you said PM.. but I also know we aren't the only ones navigating special needs. Some maybe newer to it and wondering about the same stuff. So hopefully by leaving it up here someone else sees it that may need it.

And obviously it doesn't stop her from heading out the door it just means you will hear it and it doesn't leave it to chance that you may not. That was my big panic that my son could get out and if I didn't hear him hed just be down the road and just.. holy shit! Right? It created a pattern of hyper vigilance that took a huge toll.

u/m2guru · 6 pointsr/stepparents

I can recommend buying, reading and implementing these

The New Strong-Willed Child

Raising Your Spirited Child, Third Edition: A Guide for Parents Whose Child Is More Intense, Sensitive, Perceptive, Persistent, and Energetic

Kids behavior is a control mechanism to get what they want, and although every child is different, you can break down behaviors into one of four or five categories. These books help you understand their behavior better and give you effective, proven strategies to deal with it. All you have to do is not give up, not give in, and be consistent.

You’ve got to learn how to effectively discipline this little monster before it ruins all the kids childhoods.

u/_Keep_on_Keeping_on_ · 6 pointsr/stepparents

Can I add another book recommendation? We gave a book called It's perfectly normal to SS around the time he was 12. DH have him an overview on what it was about and said he can flip through it, do some reading and feel free to discuss anything. This book literally covers everything you can imagine. I wish I had something like this when I was growing up honestly because I had a lot of questions. Sue Johanson (from the Sunday night sex show) was my guide when I was in high school, that sassy no bullshit old lady is the bomb!

u/MzEllaneous · 1 pointr/stepparents

Here's what I have learned from 6+ years of harassment and stalking from HAVE to step out and away of SO and BM's communication. Don't reply on behalf of your SO, don't do it. Let SO handle it and then you and him can chat later about it.

You're letting her control your emotions, I did the same thing. Now that I have ghosted myself on social media, blocking her on all of them and even deleting my profiles has been a godsend. I changed my #, and downloaded a Google Voice #, gave that to my SD in case HCBM decides she wants to harass me. Google Voice allows me to switch the app off, should HCBM decide to gain my fake #.

It's important for YOU to stay out of THEIR drama. It's hard but it was the best thing I have ever done. I promise you'll have a happier life.

Also, please purchase this book and include your SO in the reading of it.

u/RuhWalde · 6 pointsr/stepparents

Get out of my Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall is a good one for dealing with teenagers, though it's not specifically intended for steps. Although it definitely focuses on the child in the sense that it aims to help you understand why they act the way they do, it is all in the context of understanding that the adults in the household have needs and feelings too. It really helped me understand my SD better.

u/VirginiaStepMonster · 1 pointr/stepparents

While not an essay, the book Stepmonster is often recommended in our community - one to read with your partner. It covers the origins of the evil stepmother myth, and delves in to the challenges stepmothers face in a blended family. and why they face them.

Many here have reported that they read it with their partners and got decent feedback. While my husband did finally get his act together, he did not respond well to the book initially. It goes into great detail regarding the bond that biological parents have with their children that is not shared by stepparents, and his only take away was, "Yes, I fucking KNOW. You can't love her like your own! I GET IT." Less than helpful. Although, that was just his initial reaction and after a bit of time to really stew on it, he softened his approach with me.

The only reason I mention his initial not-so-great take on the book is because your SO sounds a lot like my husband was. And even if your SO does have the same knee jerk defensive reaction mine did, it's a very helpful book for you to read. It may help you find the words you need to explain to your SO what is in your head without being defensive yourself.

A nine year old is hard to be a stepmom to if you are only just now coming in to this. I met my SD when she was four, and it took us six years to get it right. Now at 10, she and I have a solid relationship. And that's pretty much the average time line, five to seven years to really and truly "blend" the family.

u/mbrace256 · 1 pointr/stepparents

I came here to cautiously recommend therapy. My recommendation caused strain on our relationship. It turns out guys don't want you to send constant emails about every therapist within 20 miles who sees kids... If they go to therapy and you're privy to the info, read up on the diagnosis to see how you can help them thrive! I'd also spend less time parenting and more time reading up on step/parenting. Terrible twos often bleed into the threes. Reading was incredibly therapeutic for me.

Stepmonster - popular here, I'm a fan
Single Girl's Guide - never read, well reviewed
How To Talk So Kids Will Listen
The Whole-Brain Child
Subtle Art - best book ever

u/Anon-eight-billion · 53 pointsr/stepparents
  1. counseling is absolutely an option. Just because you guys don’t have a certificate doesn’t mean you’re not eligible

  2. you need to talk with your partner about boundaries. I read the book “the single girls guide to marrying a guy, his kids and his ex-wife”.

    You being an instant mom isn’t necessarily part of the package when you date or marry a guy with kids. The kids are HIS baggage, not yours. My fiancé would NEVER get upset with me for going out and getting drinks. In fact, he encourages it! He is a capable father and doesn’t need me to run his family.

    If your man can’t be a father, it’s HIS job to figure out how to do it, not to rope a girlfriend in to do it for him.

  3. it’s never too late to leave a relationship. If the only reason you’re staying with someone is because it’s easier than leaving, that’s a BIG red flag. You are still young and you deserve a life that you’re excited about living
u/WaffleFoxes · 1 pointr/stepparents

That's a great question....but you said they have their own rooms? Something tells me he'll choose to move when the time is right. Maybe casually mention it from time to time. Also, I couldn't recommend the book It's Perfectly Normal more highly.

u/mewmewlicious · 3 pointsr/stepparents

I have read the book Stepmonster by Wednesday Martin which is targeted to stepmothers and is about stepmothers mostly. I thought it was really good in validating the really shitty stuff that we don't often like to admit (jealousy/anger/etc.).

I also read How to talk to kids so they listen and how to listen to kids so they talk because as a non-bio parent walking into a relationship with an 8 year old girl, I had a lot of learning to do, including communicating with a child (that wasn't a student/cousin/neighbour's kid/etc). Sometimes the example situations are overly positive but I've taken a lot of the techniques on board because who doesn't want to be listened to at the end of the day?

That's all I've really read in depth and that has helped me. The best thing tho in my opinion is to seek counselling for the family if it's really hard or at least couple's counselling. Because it all depends on the relationship of the couple...

u/ceeece · 3 pointsr/stepparents

The Smart Step Family There's also "The Smart Step Dad" and "The Smart Step Mom"

u/thekittenisaninja · 7 pointsr/stepparents

Not a bioparent, but my ex-husband is a narcissist. If you let them continue to engage you emotionally, you'll find yourself exhausted. When ending a relationship with one, the rule is no contact - because the number one thing a narcissist needs is attention. If they can't get your positive energy (adoration or praise), then they'll do anything possible to get attention through negative emotions (frustration and anger).

You can go no contact, and it will save you a lot of grief. BD can't, as he has shared custody.

However, he can control how he interacts with BM. Insist on only discussing the matter at hand - custody, child support, etc. Refuse to become emotional in any way. Limit interaction to texts and emails vs. phone calls and face to face conversations.

I suggest the book "Say Goodbye to Crazy." It's an amusing read and has some good advice on how to deal with high conflict people.

u/Karissa36 · 7 pointsr/stepparents

BM is going to get mad that the iPad was broken. She is also going to get mad that a 5 year old boy was unsupervised on a second floor balcony. I would. Boys being boys and five year olds being five, I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to climb around on it.

Replace the iPad and put a better lock on the patio door. Something like this:

>We didn't ask for him to bring it.

You didn't take it away from him either. You were willing to enjoy the benefits of the iPad. (Leave me alone while I cook the turkey.) Those benefits come with the responsibility to supervise expensive electronics and small children. I don't see any way that you are not responsible to replace it.

That being said, it would be a very very long time before SS had the privilege of using any tablet in my house again.

Edit: I checked your post history and saw that your SS lives a long distance away. Is this the same iPod that SS uses to skype and face time with his DH every day? If so and you don't replace it in the way that she prefers, I pretty much guarantee that DH won't be getting any more skype or face time with his son. Even if the Order says so and you file a motion for contempt. "Your Honor, they allowed my 5 year old son to throw his iPod off a second floor balcony and I can't afford to replace it." You will lose that motion. Also, isn't it likely that BM sent the iPod so that she could skype and face time with SS?

u/LocalAmazonBot · 3 pointsr/stepparents

Here are some links for the product in the above comment for different countries:

Link: The Single Girl's Guide to Marrying a Man & His Kids

u/her_nibs · 3 pointsr/stepparents

You'd probably also get a lot out of How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk and "Liberated Parents, Liberated Children" by the same authors.

u/ayriana · 8 pointsr/stepparents

Someone on here suggested "Get out of my life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?" and I read it this past week. I definitely found it useful. There were chapters that were almost word for word things he said he "wished he knew what to do" about. There were a couple parts that I read out loud to DH and he kind of dismissed me. I told him that he should read it and he was not interested at all. It's frustrating because yes, my son is a lot younger and DH is a more experienced parent, but at the same time- I have experience working with teenagers (education). Not to mention, I used to be a teenage girl who had some of the same behaviors that are frustrating him. Sometimes I think he just wants to complain about a problem more than solve it.

u/Throwaway98764965 · 17 pointsr/stepparents

She is emotionally abusing her kids, your SO and you.

1/ Get a solicitor/lawyer now!

2/ Document EVERYTHING

3/ ONLY the BD should communicate with the BM

4/ All communication should be written - it’s evidence

5/ Send an email explaining the terms that were informally agreed and ask for it to be maintained

6/ Send an email stating that you ONLY want to hear about issues relating to the children, any other emails/texts/phone calls will be seen as harassment

7/ if the harassment continues, call the police. Communication about children is fine, comments and berating you/SO is not

8/ If she calls, voicemail it, no message, no response. The rules I use are email for all normal (not urgent comma), texts for important things that need a response quickly, phone call for absolute emergencies. Give examples in an email to her. Always respond to texts, if the voicemail isn’t urgent then respond with an email

9/ Set boundaries with her, you control the boundaries. She will learn them

10/ Read this book:

11/ In ALL communication, keep it business like and do NOT stoop to her level, regardless of what she’s saying

12/ If she’s not civil - no response

This approach is slowly working for me. I’ve been through exactly the same thing. It’s got so bad that I’ve filed for residence of my children due to her emotional abuse of the children.

u/stepmomtothestars · 1 pointr/stepparents

We just finished [](Say Goodbye to Crazy: How to Get Rid of His Crazy Ex and Restore Sanity to Your Life book and of all the books I've read, this has been the most helpful.

We have two high conflict exes, who actually collaborate together despite my ex being strictly forbidden by our parenting facilitator to have contact with her (her = DH's ex wife). ExH bcc's her on emails, etc. they are ridiculous.

They are also both very wordy, reactive, and angry. A fun combo.

After reading that book we've dropped the last F from BIFF (now it's just Brief Informative and Factual), 3 sentences or less, responding ONLY if necessary and after 24-48 hours has passed since you read the email. Zero sharing of opinion, emotion, anything.

For example, BM mailed a 3 page, single spaced, TYPED, certified letter to DH's work (because God forbid she acknowledge our home exists) letting him know all the reasons why he is a selfish, horrible person, how awful we both are, how lucky the kids are to have her and their stepdad in their lives, (falsely) accused DH of trespassing and violating the decree by not advising her of our summer travel plans. None of that is true or required, but she thinks it is and put it in writing. Somewhere in there she included her summer vacation dates, then went off again about broken promises and how he should give her more than court ordered cs because blah blah blah.

His response? An email back confirming her summer vacation dates. One sentence.

Ever since we've completely ignored 99% of her emails, respond ONLY to the most necessary and ignore her accusations of stalking, harassment, trespassing (by dropping off one of the kids' retainers, btw. Kid came out to the car to get it-didn't even step out of the car), financially negligent we are by not going above and beyond the decree, etc etc. Now she adds how he refuses to coparent by ignoring her attempts to communicate and tells the kids how their dad won't talk to her even though she tries 🙄🙄🙄

Same sad story with my ex.

Don't feed the drama llama.