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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1374
Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My husband and I got married in Jan and he has an 8 yr old

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My husband and I got married in Jan and he has an 8 yr old little girl. It has been a transition but the ex-wife is being a big problem. We have the child 50% (if not more) of the time. The mother has a drinking problem and a history with the law. Lately when she has the child she pawns the daughter off on other mom's for the night (weekends and school nights). The daughter has started to close her emotions up and wanting more and more attention from her dad and being quite cold to me.

Last night my husband and I got into an argument with the ex over the phone because she was concerned about the daughter. The conversation was constantly blaming me for the daughters behavior and she is obviously very jealous and insecure but that's beside the point. She later told us that she recorded the conversation and plans on having the daughter listen to it. My husband and I basically called her a bad mother and that he could tell the daughter about the police reports that he has about the mother, but of course doesn't want to involve the 8 yr old. We have her tonight then she goes to the mother's on Wed and Thur. What do we say tonight to this innocent little girl to help her and then protect me because I am sure that the mother is going to put stuff in her head to hate me? I am feeling very helpless as the new stepmother that is trying to take care of this girl and my marriage.
How was the relationship with your step daughter and her mother before you got married? Is she the only child involved? How long have your husband and his ex been apart?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
She is the only child and they have been seperated and divorced for 5 1/2 yrs. The child loves her mother but I believe that it is a neglectful relationship and the mother has been an acholoholic for many yrs and many times is found by friends or my husband passed out with the daughter crying over her. At the end of the day she is the only mother that this little girl knows.
As long as you treat your step-daughter with lots of love, kindness, and respect , then she will see that you really do care for her despite what information her mother may be feeding her. It is a shame that the mother has brought the young and innocent child into all of this. If the mother is unfit and you have proof and the child's safety may be in jeoporady, then you can always call the Department of Child and Family Services. It is rather alarming that the mother would drink to the point of passing out when the daughter is in her care. If your step-daughter seems to show signs of depression or behavioral changes, you may want to seek professional counseling for her to assist her in dealing with this family situation.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you but what do we say to the daughter about the fight ? The mother went to her school yesterday and told her that she and my husband had a fight on the phone.

Your husband may want to have a discussion with the ex wife about what is her purpose for continually feeding the daughter with such untruthful nonsense. He may need to tell the ex wife that she is virtually doing more harm than good.


Your step daughter has already heard one side of what happened in the fight. If she hears another side, she will only be further confused and really not know who to believe. Your step daughter does not want to have to choose sides but her mother is putting her in that position. You nor your husband should want to be the "bad guy" to your step daughter. With regards XXXXX XXXXX fight, do not bring the issue up unless she mentions it...which she probably will not. But in the event that she does, simply tell her that there was a grown up discussion and one person felt one way and the other person felt another. That is basically all that needs to be said.

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