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Question
Posted by: avril | 2012-04-10

new girlfriend

hi doc, i am involved with a man who has kids his ex wife has a new boyfriend and all was fine until i met the kids , if i do anything nice for them she phones her ex husband and says we are tying to show her up and she gets verbally abusive towards me. What i do is for the kids with no harmful intent i have tried telling her this but with no avail, i feel i should just keep away when he has the kids to keep the peace, i am really at a loss, i know i am not their mother i am just an addition to the family ,but she cant seem to grasp it.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Hmm. She sounds very insecure about her own relationship with the kids, doesn't she ? SO she complains if you treat the kids well - would she prefer you to be horrible towards them ? She shouldnt be given any opportunities to speak to you, let alone to get verbally abusive towards you. Discussions with her directly are unlikely to be helpful. Clearly, she is very far from over the relationship with her former husband, and in need of therapy to deal with her own bitterness, which will potentially be damaging for her children.
Discuss this with your friend, and see what he thinks. He may need to remind her that if they are divorced, who he chooses to have in his life is none of her business, and although she might have some grounds to interfere and protest if it was someone who was horrible and harmful for the children, she has no grounds for complaining that you are nice to them. He could remind her also that you and he could go to court to get a restraining order against her to prevent her abuse, and perhaps could get Child Welfare to investigate whether her bitterness is alarming or potentially damaging the children.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: AVRIL | 2012-04-11

THANKS Doc, you advice is very helpful indeed, he is going to speak to her again and tell her if she carries on in this way he will be taking it further ie restraining order / contacting child welfare.

Reply to AVRIL
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012-04-10

Hmm. She sounds very insecure about her own relationship with the kids, doesn't she ? SO she complains if you treat the kids well - would she prefer you to be horrible towards them ? She shouldnt be given any opportunities to speak to you, let alone to get verbally abusive towards you. Discussions with her directly are unlikely to be helpful. Clearly, she is very far from over the relationship with her former husband, and in need of therapy to deal with her own bitterness, which will potentially be damaging for her children.
Discuss this with your friend, and see what he thinks. He may need to remind her that if they are divorced, who he chooses to have in his life is none of her business, and although she might have some grounds to interfere and protest if it was someone who was horrible and harmful for the children, she has no grounds for complaining that you are nice to them. He could remind her also that you and he could go to court to get a restraining order against her to prevent her abuse, and perhaps could get Child Welfare to investigate whether her bitterness is alarming or potentially damaging the children.

Reply to cybershrink

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