Am I Wrong to be Mad as Hell

October 1, 2007

This makes me so mad I am thinking of leaving him.

This passed weekend I went with my fiance (will be married in Jan) to a pot luck dinner for his son's football team. I knew his Ex-wife might be there and I did not care. I will go to many things where she is at. I don't like it but I do it.

I live with him and he has his 2 boys part time. Anyway, Saturday I am busy cleaning away (I do this every Saturday) He comes in and tells me he and the boys were going to a pool party for his youngest son's football team. Then his cell rings and it's his exwife. Well I put 2 and 2 together and asked him if his exwife was going and he said yes!

I was LIVID. He was going to go there with her and the boys and not tell me. He did not invite me until AFTER I got upset. Meanwhile, here I am playing house in his house cleaning for them and doing their laundry!

Now, I realize that this is a blended family. But I don't think he ought to be sneaking around with his exwife with out me knowing. Am I wrong? How would you feel?

Comments (75)

  • aisha

    thank you justnotmartha, i couldn't have put it better. The hosts of all of the children's things will not know of any of the parent's SO's if the parents do not make it clear that this person is now a SO.

    Then the invites will naturally include the respective SO's.

    the finace should have brought her along and introduced her to the host as his finace, her position in his life would have been recognized after that, in these circles.

    HE needs to make her position in his life, and by extension his children's lives clear.

  • kkny

    Weed, I agree, OP's fiance should be honest and forthright. Although it doesnt sound like he is sneaking around with X, it is all child related. But they need to talk this out.

    Justnotmartha, good for you that you are invited to conferences. OP's fiance has kids "part-time", not custodial.

    Aisah - -

    "whatamidoing, the fact remains that you are a mature woman in a commited relationship with this guy. He no longer lives for his ex and her kids, but he should be living for you and his kids. She is no longer the primary woman in this family, you are. - The problem is that where you say fiance should be living for his kids, not her kids, they are the same children.

    I see this as territorial -- I am not certain I would be upset at not being invited.

    I dont even understand why OP is upset about X calling her fiance. Trust me, my X and I are not ever getting back together, but sometimes I call him (whose driving? Can you pick up? Do you have the swim trunks? Towels?). Doesnt help that I have a child (beloved) who would forget her own head if she could.

    At the end of the day, this is not about a pool party. It is about the relationships. And the X will always be the child's mother. And at child related functions, she will likely have priority. If OP can't accept that, there will be friction.

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  • mom_of_4

    There are a few things I would like to respond to

    1. vivian-- please do not twist my words... I used the word reward to cover the gammit of all of the fun things that go along with having kids... ie you work hard at paying for the event, getting kids to and from the events, supporting them in every other way... why should you then have to sit at home when there is something fun for the family that went along with that same event... not hardly ... and I do not do these things expecting to get a standing ovation but I do expect common courtesy to be extended.

    2.Also, there is a very easy way for the coaches and what not to know that the significant other existed... by being at the games and such. If you are at all of the games and practices etc then it will be pretty clear who you are and who you are with... if you never went to any of the sporting events then it would be ludacris to then think that you should go to the party for that event... And, as in our situation ... BM shows up so rarely that the team mom thought she was my mom one of the rare times she showed up and bought a t shirt. The invitation for any party would be going to me.

    3. In regards to how will I tell my teen that premarital sex is wrong?? I won't. I will stress safety and protection and waiting for someone whom they love and care about ... who even if things dont work out they can still hold on to a really great memory instead of a really big regret... but I am not naive enough or hypocritical enough to preach abstinance before marriage. And I personally believe in living together before marriage... with divorce rates so high ... and people jumping in and out of marriage like they are changing outfits.. I think it highly prudent to live together and have a "probationary" period before you enter into a commitment like that. You have one when you start a new job... why not when you start a new life.

    And as I said before... I knew what I wanted and expected to happen when DH and I first moved in together so I didnt hold back. I told him how I expected to be treated and what roles I would and would not play. If he didnt agree, then we wouldnt have moved in together... I was not willing to play games with him and I think that is the only reason why we lasted through the first year of adjusting to having four extra people in my home and my daughter adjusting to having three more kids competeing for attention. I highly recommend to the OP that she have that conversation with her fiance... what she expects wants needs ... what he expects wants needs... and go from there.

  • Vivian Kaufman

    Didn't think that I was twisting. "Reward" was your word, not mine.

    ...and no I don't expect the coaches, teachers etc. to know who I am just because I show up at events. Kids' sporting events around her are usually quite well-attended and I would not presume that the coach would know or care who I was just based upon the sheer numbers of kids and parents and others that surround those events. There's no way that they could know.

    I just know that in all my years of stepmothering the focus has never been on me and my place in the family or the society of parents. What was best for the kids and caused the least amount of tension was foremost. That's all. Those kids didn't choose me for a stepmother--I chose them when I married their father, and there is no room in that relationship for ego. My role is secondary and always will be.

    I suppose we agree to disagree. I could care less about those "rewards" as you put it. My rewards are much smaller and quieter--a 20 minute conversation about nothing with my stepdaughter or a quick smile and wave from my stepson before his swimming event. They know I'm here, and that's all that's really important.

  • aisha

    Judging from OP's anger, it seems that there is more to the situation than this one incident. There seems to be a regular problem of her not being naturally included where she should be by this time, she IS his finace.

    kkny, it isn't territorial, it is just the way he should be looking at things, to be fair to her. He shouldn't be putting her needs aside to please the will of his ex, as long as OP is not being unreaasonalble, and OP isn't being unreasonable. She is quite right in her position.

    His mind needs changing, and his ex needs to be put in the right perspective as they carry on daily in their lives together. THEIR lives together.

    He doesn't seem to be the kind of guy to put his kids aside, and that is what should be noted, he needs to be more inclusive of OP.

    And to mom of 4, yes I agree on the reward thing, no giving and loving and reasonable SM should be left out of the fun things and the pleasurable things that come along with those kids, as if her role is so unimportant. She is not a glorified babysitter, just looking after them in the house and left out of the fun stuff that the BM will be attending. In this situation, the BM gave up the marriage and therefore, gave up control of how the BF runs his home and personal life, the BF's life is not less important than the BM's, and not less noteworthy.

  • kkny

    I think every SM relationship is different. My Xs GF and TOSs Xs wife have relatively little to do with the children. I am not clear how much time (part-time?) the children spend at OPs, and what her involvement with them is. Her postings seem to reflect more her anger at her fiance not being honest with her (entirely justified) and also not being accorded respect as the current SO. The reason that I beleive this to be a territorial issue is that the OP doesnt seem to regret not being with stepchildren, but rather that her place at Dads side (apparently for every minute of every day) is not respected.

    We may just have to disagree on this one. Marriage to someone does not make you the parent of their children. If the mother is actively involved with the children, as this one is, at events that are centered around children, the mother is going to be a more logical invitee. Maybe the mom here doesnt mind if Dads GF shows up. I would.

    I dont see that OP really wants to go to these events, just she resents not being invited. There's a difference. Yes she talk it over with fiance. We all agree on that.

  • whatamidoing

    Wow! This thread has caused some ruffled feathers.

    For those of you calling me his GF. I am hi FIANCEE. We are getting married in Jan. 2008 in Kona, HI.

    Anyway, I DO get invited to the children's activities and sometimes I go and sometimes I do not. Like I said earlier I do not care if the Ex is there.

    IF SHE doesn't like it she should not have divorced him, because like it or not I AM A PART Of his life and the boy's life and I will go to the functions I want to. Families are complicated now days. Those of you who say the new SO should not attend is crazy and ridiculous. Think about it.

    And whoever said that I am in his life now and his Ex is not is right. Except this one instance I always come first to him.

    Anyway, when I went to the football pot-luck I did not show up empty handed to be a burden on the host like some of the RIDICULOUS posts said I brought a pot roast, a bottle of rum and two 12 packs of beer.

    This Saturday my FIANCEE and I are going with all other football parents to casino nights.

    And to those trying to downplay my role as being a mere GF, I am not. His two boys deeply love me and care about me as I do them. AND his Ex and I get along just fine. I am not jealous of her. I am 10 years younger and have been told by my M and his entire family that I am a better person "wife" and Mother than she ever was.

    Anyway, as to my situation. I decided to put it behind me and move on. He knew it upset me and went out of his way to make it better. I bet this situation will never happen again. We both learned from it.

    Thank you to those who tried to help me and comfort me.

  • whatamidoing

    I forgot to mention that I attended most of the boy's football, basketball and birthday parties WHEN WE WERE DATING and the ex was always there. I have been going to them for a few years.

    Some of the responses are ridiculous. There must be some scorned, jealous ex-wives on here sheesh.

  • Vivian Kaufman

    "Anyway, when I went to the football pot-luck I did not show up empty handed to be a burden on the host like some of the RIDICULOUS posts said I brought a pot roast, a bottle of rum and two 12 packs of beer."

    Yeah, that was probably me.

    Just as an illustration about the geographical differences, I will say that if anyone around here showed up at a party for a kids football team with rum and beer, they would be run out of town on a rail...LOL This is an extremely religious small town. Just the way it is.

  • kkny

    Yes, I am scorned bitter Xwife.

    I dont want Xs GF at a party involving children. Cant they find things to go to that dont involve the kids?

    And if you are the better "mother" showing up with the booze at a party with children (and I live in a Suburb of NY), I question what other mother is like. You would not be invited back.

  • jeri

    WhatAmIDoing it sounds like you have worked this out and are OK with things. Yea! :-)

    Im just curious as to what your fiancés reason was for not telling you about the party in the first place??? No worries if you dont feel like answering. Im just curious

  • whatamidoing

    "And if you are the better "mother" showing up with the booze at a party with children (and I live in a Suburb of NY), I question what other mother is like. You would not be invited back."

    LOL!! every parent there (and there were at least 30-40) brought some sort alcohol beverage. I bet we are all bad parents huh. Guess what the ExW drinks too when we are at birthday parties and such. I guess being a grown up and having a few drinks at social gathering makes us all worthless drunks.

    Oh and I AM invited back. In fact, Saturday my Fiance and I are going with the rest of the football team parents to a Casino to drink and gamble. Ooooooo aren't we terrible. And no the ex won't be going.

    Why are you so bitter? She left him and now I have him. I thank God every day because he is the best thing that ever happened to me. I hope you find a new, good husband soon. Your bitterness is very unattractive. Sorry.


    Thanks Jeri. I did ask him and he said he just didn't think about it because most Saturday mornings I do get heavily involved with cleaning and laundry and usually do not attend things in the morning. I believe him and the world is right again.

  • kkny

    As I have said before, he who laughts last laughts hardest.

    Oh yes, all us first wives (me over 25 years) are trash.

    The divorce rate for second marriages is extremely high.

  • whatamidoing

    Wow KKNY, that is messed up.

    SHE left him and divorced him because she didn't want the family life. She wanted to be free and go party and stuff. My soon to be Husband is a very kind, educated and gentle man. He didn't deserve what she did to him.

    But you know what. Things happen for a reason. Now he has everything he has ever wanted including someone (me) who deeply loves him and his children with my entire heart and soul. I show him and tell him every day how much I love him and what he means to me and thankful I am to finally have met the perfect person. He wells up because he is so touched and he shows me everyday how much he loves and adores me. I don't understand why this upsets you?

    I don't mean to be rude, like you are doing to me (why I don't know) I didn't DO anything to you, but post a question in a public forum. But, I'll hazard a guess and say that your Ex-husband is now married or dating someone who truly loves and adores him and worships the ground he walks on.

    And honestly, If you acted this ugly to him, it's now wonder why he left. Who are you to be so harsh judging strangers?

  • aisha

    whatamidoing, I am glad that you have gotten this situation in perspective. That you see that the ex shouldn't have any say in anything you do for that matter, after all, you are not a GF but his fiance, and deserve the respect to go along with it.

    You were really mad when you first posted, but from your recent posts, it is clear that you feel alot better about your situation, and are working well with it.

    kkny, no one with any sense really believes that a wife of 25 years could possibly be trash, you are not trash. My mother was marries to dad for 18 yrs, he dumped her, but she is loved now much better than he did in their 18 yrs together. They both admitted this to me. He ran after the car like an idiot at her wedding for pete's sake. Some men don't know which way is up, or what they really want.

    Some men are not husband material, and the loving, giving wives of these men are made to bear the shame for their shortcomings, as if the wife is at fault for him choosingt o move on. That is a TOW's point of view, and their main source of power, It isn't real life though.

    For everything that every good wife gives, we don't deserve to be bitter. And I agree with kkny on the view that the kids shouldn't be exposed to every single gf that sleeps over, I mean, a good mother wants soem kind of moral compass for her kids, it isn't fair for some selfish, player BD to get in the way of that.

    Good wives don't always get what we deserve, but we HAVE LIFE and should keep looking.

  • whatamidoing


    For what it's worth I'd like to tell you that we dated six months before I even met his children. We have taken this relationship very slow. I am the only person that they have met that their Father dated.

    Some of you may not agree with the moral situation of me living with him before we got married. It was a very big decision for me too, trust me. Marriage is very important to me. But after discussing it, we felt it was the right thing to do and it's only for a few months.

    I never called KKny trash. She did.

    You know I've been married before too. I've been cheated on and hurt. My marriage ended and then I found my Fiance.
    Life goes on. Life gets better and it's what YOU want to make of it. Like Aisha said, my next relationship turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me (and him).

    You make is seem like single women are whores and trash for having relationships with divorced men and caring about and loving their childen. That's messed up. Do you plan on being single the rest of your life slapping injunctions on anyone who is involved with your exH?

    In the long run we all just want love. It will happen again someday ..... if you let it.

  • kkny

    Dear Whatamidoing,

    First you say --

    "I had my kids when I was very, very young so they are now grown and on their own. My ex died of luekemia a few years ago so all he gets to deal with is me. I have no baggage."

    Then you say, you have been hurt.

    I am who I say. Frist wife of many years. I dont know all the posters here. They could be 15 year old kids for all I know. All I know is that most second wives say they werent involved while DH was married, yadayaday. And all they know is what DH, or FDH tells them. OK.

    OP, do what you want. But no GF of my Xs get invited anywhere. And he knows it.

  • kkny

    Dear Whatamidoing,

    First you say --

    "I had my kids when I was very, very young so they are now grown and on their own. My ex died of luekemia a few years ago so all he gets to deal with is me. I have no baggage."

    And you are 10 years younger than fiance, but his kids are young and yours are grown. OK.

    Then you say, you have been hurt.

    I am who I say. First wife of many years. I don't know all the posters here. They could be 15 year old kids for all I know. All I know is that most second wives say they werent involved while DH was married, yadayaday. And all they know is what DH, or FDH tells them. OK. My guess -- many "financees" are embarrassed to say what the real story is. But just a guess.

    OP, do what you want. But no GF of my Xs get invited anywhere. And he knows it.

  • whatamidoing

    Just to satisfy your curiosity. I had my first baby when I was 16. They are now 21 and 23. I was with him for several years but when we divorced we stayed close friends and I still did all of his accounting and what not. He died 2 years ago of luekemia. I came back from Hawaii a year before he became ill. Then I took care of him when he was sick. He died in my daughters arms in the hospice.

    In the years that I left him (he cheated on me too, but I forgave him), I moved to Hawaii and married a man out there for a few years (the one who cheated, etc). It was a very bad mistake. I divorced him and moved back to the mainland a few years later. We have no contact and share no children. He has zero impact on my life.

    Now you probably think I am "trash" for having kids so young. But I did go on to get two degrees. One in accounting and one in criminal justice and my kids grew up to be wonderful, smart and caring adults. One lives out of State and the other is here and in college.

    I'm glad I had my children so young because in my mid 20's I became terribly ill and almost died and after that I could not have kids. Again, everything happens for a reason.

    You have every right to not want your ex's GF around your kids. But it most likely will happen. Sorry, but it's true.

    Oh, and I did not meet my Fiance until AFTER he had already been divorced for 2 years.

    Good luck to you. I sincerely mean that.

  • kkny

    I dont think you are trash.

    I resent all the SMs bashing the child's mom. I doubt my child will have contact with Xs GF. She will go to college soon (DD, not the GF) and in the meantime has no respect for the woman who slept with her father when she was married. And if she did have contact, I doubt you would feel sorry for me. So yes, I question your sincerity.

  • kkny

    And I see no need to take advice from someone who, lets see, will be on her 3rd marriage to someone on his second. Too funny.

  • whatamidoing

    I do feel sorry to see you this angry and bashing a complete stranger. I feel very bad for you because I can see you are hurting very much. This must have happened recently and you are not ready to move forward yet.

    I hope you do find happiness soon. When you are ready it will be out there. I promise.

    I didn't bash my fiance's ex. I just said I didn't enjoy being around her and that I have been told by HIS family I do a better job. I have never slept with anyones husband.

    Yes, I have had a hard life. This will be my 3rd marriage. That is not something I am proud of. But, I'm finally happy and think I have learned some hard lessons and found the right one this time. I was very young and stupid the first time.

    You don't have to take advice from me. I came here looking for advice and got pounced on by you.

    I know you are doing it because you are hurting and not coming from a very good place from within.

    One day when you let go of the hurt and anger, someone wonderful will be there for you. I promise!

    Take care and good luck to you college bound D.

  • sieryn

    "I am who I say. First wife of many years. I don't know all the posters here. They could be 15 year old kids for all I know. All I know is that most second wives say they werent involved while DH was married, yadayaday. And all they know is what DH, or FDH tells them. OK. My guess -- many "financees" are embarrassed to say what the real story is. But just a guess."

    Is it so hard to believe there are decent Men out there? My husbands father ran out on them when he was a baby and he has always had a resolve to never be that kind of Dad. Which is why he stuck with a shotgun marriage to a woman he didn't really love for years working two jobs, going to school, for the kids. It wasn't until she ran off on them with a 20 yr old, abandoned her kids and became an alcoholic that he filed for divorce. I know this because we've been friends for years, I know the 'real story'. And no just because I knew him when he was married doesn't automatically make me a homewrecking hussy. Second wives aren't always the reason behind the breakup.

    There are many women who fall in love with a decent guy who's had a bad first pairing, like my husband, and there are many SM's here who have stepped up to the plate for the children. They should not be the subject of ridicule.

  • sweeby

    I've stayed out of things until now, but here's my two cents worth -- I think there's a very different standard of behavior that varies a lot with the particular circumstances.

    - If Dad takes up with GF while married, then walks out on Mom and kids to be with GF, that GF is NOT and never will be due the same level of social respect as other second wives. Those GF's, even if they later become fiances or wives, retain the taint of 'homewrecker' and are, IMO, forever on shaky ground.

    - If Mom and Dad divorce, NOT due to either's infidelity, and if after that divorce, Dad meets someone new, then GF is 'untainted' and should always be treated politely and with respect by all concerned.

    - If BioMom is involved with her children and the activity in question, BioMom (and BioDad) are entitled to right of first refusal for parent-child activities. If StepMom has done all of the driving and attended all of the games, then StepMom should also get to attend.

    - At events involving the children, the child is entitled to have at least two parents there -- more if they can behave. StepMoms should apply the 'grandparent test' to an event to see if their presence is appropriate or not. If the event is one where grandparents would be entirely appropriate, then it's entirely appropriate for StepParents and fiances. GFs shouldn't expect invitations to children's events unless the children themselves issue them.

    - At events when both BioMom and StepMom are present, StepMom should gracefully take the role of 'supporting actress,' not one of the 'leads'. Where it's not awkward, she should clarify that she's the StepMom because otherwise, people will assume that as Mrs. Kidsname, she's the BioMom, and this can lead to feelings of resentment. And if StepMom can find the grace to compliment BioMom and BioDad on raising such a fine youngster, everyone will think she's a saint.

    Just my own personal "rulebook" for such situations...

  • kkny

    I think there are many decent people everywhere. But to say, oh even my FDHs family says I am the better mother -- please lets not talk about bashing. I see this competive spirit -- oh gee I am better than wife number 1, I got the man, rahara.

    And I am happy, but that doesnt mean Xs GF can take whatever she wants. I think a woman who will sleep with a married man does have issues with boundaries. And my DD knows it, without my saying anything.

    And I see a lot of GFs and SMs here who do bash wifey number 1.

  • kkny

    Thank you sweeby.

    And as to Sieryn, as I have said before, I am not looking to get involved with a man until DD goes to college.

  • sieryn

    Wifey #1 can't even stay sober past 10:00 AM let alone remember a birthday,baseball game,etc.. not to mention almost got herself killed in a drunk driving accident when she was thrown from the car then comes back and tells the kids 'its safer never to wear a seatbelt'. Its not bashing, its frustration that she treats these little ones that she conceived so poorly. Nothings worse than trying to explain to a small child why Mommy doesn't call. I try not to bash wifey #1 but its hard when she brings her own club...

    Its not about being 'better' than #1, I'd prefer #1 be in the drivers seat, hell even the passenger seat. Unfortunately she chose to throw me the keys and take a cab.

    Sweeby I entirely agree with you on the whole supporting actress thing (if BM would show up), I would gracefully allow myself to be a compliment to the decisions of the two bio parents.

  • whatamidoing

    I hear ya Sieryn, my Fiance's exW cheated on him and even took her new man to her home State to meet her family while my Fiance was in Saudi working and sending home the money to her. (I hope this is not bashing) So he did come out of a terrible marriage. He had been hurt very bad. He did not deserve the crap she did to him. BUT the good thing is now we have found each other and will hopefully have happiness for the rest of our lives.

    Sweeby, I think that is excellent advice.

    KKny, I think it is wrong to sleep with other people's spouses. I get the picture, your ExH was sleeping with someone else and now he is with her and you don't want the kids around her. I don't blame you for being so upset. But not all SM and GF are like that.

  • jeri

    I also agree with everything sweeby said

  • theotherside

    I, too, agree with Sweeby's rules, with the exception that if the "untainted" stepmother turns out to be like lilysuzanne's and tries to interfere with the children's relationship with their father, she no longer deserves to be treated politely.

    BTW, I live in a very liberal state, and if any parents showed up with alcohol at a party for high school or elementary students, everyone would be horrified. If there is alcohol present, how do you make sure that the kids don't consume any of it? If anyone under 21 does drink anything, the hosts and the person providing the alcohol are breaking the law. I can't imagine too many parents who would want to risk that.

  • sweeby

    Good point TOS (about lilysuzanne's psycho StepMom) -- But then normal 'rules' never seem to apply to psychopaths, narcissists, borderlines or addicts...
    My sympathies to those of you who are dealing with them and can't completely disengage.

    Interestingly, my son's StepMom recently let me know that my Ex (a narcissist) had pressured her to become super-involved early on, and that she knew it had caused some problems between her and me. (She volunteered at his school and called for teacher conferences and doctor's visits without consulting me -- and I WAS and AM involved. She also never corrected people who assumed Mrs. Kidsname was BioMom.) She told me that he had been running this imaginary "best Mom" contest and pressuring her to play, and actually apologized for her part in it. Knowing Ex and his sicko issues, it was easy to accept her apology, and having seen that she actually IS a good 'Mom' with many of the same instincts and approaches that I have -- it's much easier to co-parent with her than with Ex. So now at school functions, it's always "the two Moms" running the show with Dad tagging along behind. Strange, but it works for us...

  • jeri

    Sweeby I think my sds bm has npd. (LOL that sentence reads pretty strangely!) Anyway, do you have any books, websites, ??? you could point me to? Particularly in regards to how it affects the kids and what one can do to balance the negative


  • sweeby

    Jeri - I'm surprised that I don't! My Ex was diagnosed with NPD right at the end of our marriage, and my response was to get the heck out of dodge and try to put it behind me. I focused more on the symptoms (Ex tried to alienate our son from me and his StepDad) rather than the pathology of NPD, which I knew so well from having lived with him for so long...

    The book 'Divorce Poison', while not specifically about NPD, was very useful at helping me deal with him and his manipulative games.

  • plasticgarden

    Sweeby,great rules...shame they cant be stickied as a guideline on the forum.
    What is NPD? Just curious.

  • sweeby

    NPD = "Narcissistic Personality Disorder

    From Wikipedia:
    "Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), is defined as a mental illness primarily characterized by extreme focus on oneself,"

    Diagnostic Criteria
    At least five of the following are necessary for a diagnosis (as with many DSM diagnoses, they must form a pervasive pattern; for example, a person who shows these criteria only in one or two relationships or situations would not properly be diagnosed with NPD):

    1) has a grandiose sense of self-importance
    2) is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
    3) believes that he or she is "special" and unique and can only be understood by other special people
    4) requires excessive admiration
    5) strong sense of entitlement
    6) takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
    7) lacks empathy
    8) is often envious or believes others are envious of him or her
    9) arrogant behavior

    Clinical Experience
    Pathological narcissism occurs in a spectrum of severity [6]. In its more extreme forms, it is narcissistic personality disorder. NPD is considered to result from a person's belief that he or she is flawed in a way that makes the person fundamentally unacceptable to others [7]. This belief is held below the persons conscious awareness; such a person would typically deny thinking such a thing, if questioned. In order to protect themselves against the intolerably painful rejection and isolation that (they imagine) would follow if others recognised their supposedly defective nature, such people make strong attempts to control others view of them and behaviour towards them.

    Psychologists commonly believe that pathological narcissism results from an impairment in the quality of the persons relationship with their primary caregivers, usually their parents, in that the parents were unable to form a healthy, empathic attachment to them. This results in the child conceiving of themselves as unimportant and unconnected to others. The child typically comes to believe that he or she has some defect of personality which makes them unvalued and unwanted [6].

    To the extent that people are pathologically narcissistic, they can be controlling, blaming, self-absorbed, intolerant of others views, unaware of others' needs and of the effects of their behavior on others, and insistent that others see them as they wish to be seen [4]. They may also demand certain behavior from their children because they see the children as extensions of themselves, and need the children to represent them in the world in ways that meet the parents emotional needs [8]. (For example, a narcissistic father who was a lawyer demanded that his son, who had always been treated as the "favorite" in the family, enter the legal profession as well. When the son chose another career, the father rejected and disparaged him.)

    These traits will lead overly narcissistic parents to be very intrusive in some ways, and entirely neglectful in others. The children are punished if they do not respond adequately to the parents needs. This punishment may take a variety of forms, including physical abuse, angry outbursts, blame, attempts to instill guilt, emotional withdrawal, and criticism. Whatever form it takes, the purpose of the punishment is to enforce compliance with the parents' narcissistic needs[8].

  • onedown

    Get out now while you still can. Be a smart WOMAN... I look back and see the crap DH lied to me about and I feel so stupid.It only gets worse.I'm lucky in a way because BM abandon BK's, A whole other life of hell. I'm serious. Cut the ties. If this is happening now it's a sing.Listen to your instincts. You've been in love with more guys than him. you'll get over it.I wish I would have made different choices. 10 years together and still having major issues. 3 different counselers, not bitter, just realistic.Why put yourself through it. I did it all because of LOVE. DON'T

  • imamommy

    The issue I read in the OP isn't that she wasn't invited so much as he didn't tell her he was going. My DH would tell me about SD's activities that he was going to whether his ex was there or not. It's probably more about trust and respect. Is there a reason he didn't tell you? If you haven't discussed this, I'd think hard before getting married.

  • mlly

    oh gee I am better than wife number 1, I got the man, rahara.

    KKNY -thats not why I am better than wife number 1 -

    I am better than wife number 1 because I would NEVER EVER abandon my child and/or let some other woman raise her.

    I know this is hard for you to understand because you sound like a good BM who loves and cares for her child. but not all BM are like you - just like not all SM are alike

  • finedreams

    I would never expect or wanted my X's GF or fiancee (which is the same thing in my mind) to attend any of our daughter's events. Neither one of us would bring GF or BF if both of us were there. Parents are parents.

    As about talking on the phone. We call or email each other in regards to our daughter constantly. It is no one's business. We have no interest in each other and were divorced for 16 years, but we remained parents. Our SOs have to accept that.

  • imamommy



    How truly SAD for the child that cannot have the love or attention from ALL the adults in his/her life. I cannot imagine a child, excited to be in a play or sporting event, saying to his best friend, "I only want my mom and dad here" but I could hear him say "I feel so lucky to have so many people here that care about ME" If a child is saying they don't want mom or dad's new SO there, it's probably because of the hostility the adults create with their jealousy and insecurity of their roles as parents that they cannot share a moment with someone that isn't a parent. Or would it be okay for them to have a mentor or other adult there, as long as it isn't someone that reminds us of the breakup of our family?????

    THOSE POOR CHILDREN.... that's all I have to say!!!

  • finedreams

    no, you are incorrect iammommy.

    If it would be about love for children then SM's posts wouldn't be about unappreciative SK who dare not to put SMs first (?), and SMs would not openly express their wish that SK didn't exist at all just because they remind SMs about previous marriages of their spouses. A lot of insecurity.

    I don't see much here about what benefits for the children but rather about SMs establishing their territories and their insecurity of not being #1. I see a lot of jealousy, insecurity and unrealistic demands expressed by SMs. I know women are territorial but one cannot demand always being # 1. Especially if people are not even married, these demands seem unrealistic.

    I just tried to show in my example they we do not allow any drama or confusion around our child. She is blessed with that.

  • finedreams

    I also wanted to add that if it is all about children then SMs would not be upset over their spouses calling his ex or having children events together. What's the big deal? If it benefits children, then why do you care and how is it even your business? Especially if young children are involved. Neither me nor my ex allowed other people make these unrealistic demands that we stop talking to each other or drag our SOs everywhere so they don't feel left out. Come on, put the children first.

  • imamommy

    besides telling me I'm incorrect, I can agree with most of your point.

    Children are not property. They were brought here by a mom and a dad. That parent/child bond is always going to be the strongest, even if mom or dad is a piece of cr*p. It's because the child is a part of their parents. The level of those feelings will vary from child to child. That is why some adopted children feel a need to seek out their birth parents and some don't think it's so important. That's really up to the child to decide how they feel about their parents.

    What I hear is mom's saying "It's MY child and I should be #1" and that's NOT true. Most children WILL put mom #1 and it depends on each situation. Giving birth does NOT make anyone a good parent.

    As it's been said here before, most of the SM's that come here for support, information and advice, do so because they have encountered problems and may be frustrated, looking for help. If everybody would act like grown ups and stop fighting over their "territory" and treating their children like "Possessions", then perhaps the stepkids would not take sides or be so unappreciative.

    I have two teenagers living at home as well as my SD. I won't allow my teenagers to disrespect my husband and if they are not appreciative of the things he does for them, I tell my kids that he won't do anything for them.

    PARENTS ARE SUPPOSED TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN HOW TO BEHAVE and if a parent doesn't discourage their child from being disrespectful of others, then who can blame it when a frustrated step parent comes to a place like this to vent about it?

    What is it teaching a child when parents are bickering over who can go watch him in his activities?

  • finedreams

    Of course kids have to respect SMs and SFs (if it is mutual). But it is hard to demand respect toward people who resent or dislike them just because they are from the previous marriage.

    Also if there open hostility coming from SM toward BM (as it was decsribed a lot on this forum) it is unrealistic to accept children love and respect their SMs. I know for sure that my daughter would not tolerate anyone speaking bad about me or her father. I have no question she would have very little respect toward those people.

    We also have to remember that with the divorce rate there is a very high chance that step-parents will become ex step-parents in few years. But parents will remain parents even if marriage does not work. In most cases anyways

  • finedreams

    As about bickering, it seems that SMs are the ones who are bickering over not being invited everywhere

  • imamommy

    apparently you are not a step mom. I'm both a step mom and a bio mom. From what I'm hearing from the bio mom's here is "I won't allow so and so to be there because she's not a parent" and THOSE are words of an insecure mom being territorial. I did not hear the OP saying she was upset for not being invited. She said that he withheld the information that his ex was going to be there and that is an issue of trust and respect between THEM, not having to do with the ex.

    But some of the responses here have blatantly said they would not want the SM or dads GF to be there... Period!!! That is being self centered and territorial that it's more important how THEY feel because it's THEIR child.

    You obviously aren't going to get the point. and that is for the grown ups to act like adults, not just the parents but the step parents too. If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I'm not taking sides with anyone but the children.

  • finedreams

    SM would be OK. My point is about GF and BF. I would not be extending special invitation to GFs, it is unrealistic. What if there is a different GF every few month or a year?

    Same as i would not expect my BF be invited to every school event. It is just not realistic if event is intended for parents. SMs and SFs although are step, qualify as parents. GFs and BFs do not. It does not mean they can't hang out with our kid, of course they can and they do, but they are not mentioned on invitations.

  • kkny


    I dont think the OP had the children's welfare at heart, just resented her not being invited (and the children's mom was). The OP resented her BF attending a party for children where the X would be. Dont you think that smacks of insecurity? Can divorced parents not be seen togethor at events for children? Does the GF have to be there to chaperone? Do adults really have to be joined at the hip.

    I dont blame OP for feeling like the maid, but that isnt about the kids, it is about her relationship with her BF. It certainly isnt about the mom, who doesnt live there.

    I dont think my Xs GF has ever done anything to show she cared about DD. I doubt she minds being excluded.

  • imamommy

    "This makes me so mad I am thinking of leaving him.

    This passed weekend I went with my fiance (will be married in Jan) to a pot luck dinner for his son's football team. I knew his Ex-wife might be there and I did not care. I will go to many things where she is at. I don't like it but I do it.

    I live with him and he has his 2 boys part time. Anyway, Saturday I am busy cleaning away (I do this every Saturday) He comes in and tells me he and the boys were going to a pool party for his youngest son's football team. Then his cell rings and it's his exwife. Well I put 2 and 2 together and asked him if his exwife was going and he said yes!

    I was LIVID. He was going to go there with her and the boys and not tell me. He did not invite me until AFTER I got upset. Meanwhile, here I am playing house in his house cleaning for them and doing their laundry!

    Now, I realize that this is a blended family. But I don't think he ought to be sneaking around with his exwife with out me knowing. Am I wrong? How would you feel? "

    Here's the original post, do you mind pointing out where she is angry she isn't invited??? It's pretty clear she's upset that he didn't tell her ex was going to be there like he's hiding something. That's an issue of trust or respect between them, but you can twist it as well to fit your agenda. Her follow up also says she doesn't have a problem with him attending without her, in this case she seems to be upset that he kept information from her.

  • finedreams

    I would think it implies that ex will be there just because she is a parent. I have no doubt that OP is reasonably upset that he did not tell, but at the same time, it is kind of understandable that mom would be there..

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