My partner and I have been together for more than three years, married for eight months. When we first got together, he told me his ex was pregnant, and I wanted to support him and be there for the child. He already had a four-year-old daughter.
From the start, his ex made things difficult. Their relationship had been rough, and they didn’t part on good terms. He only saw his son for an hour once a week for months. I met her when their son was two months old and tried to build a relationship with her.
Things got worse when she started dating a controlling guy who manipulated her into limiting our access to their son. Due to this, their son never got to meet his paternal grandmother before she passed away. Eventually, she left that guy, and my partner and I were able to have their son for three days a week.
For three months, his ex and I became close friends, but when she got back with her ex, things changed. I confronted her about it, and she accused me of ruining everything. Our friendship faded, and she made false accusations against us when my partner proposed to me.
After her next breakup, she wanted us to resume as if nothing happened, but we were cautious. We started getting her son three days a week again and provided anything she asked for him. However, trust was hard to rebuild after all the drama.
She dated another guy, and things seemed okay for a while. When their son turned two, I told her about starting potty training, but she wasn’t interested. I tried to work with him, but she didn’t do the same at her house. When we lapsed on picking him up, he regressed in his progress.
In a moment of frustration, I called her out on it, and we had a meeting with her and her boyfriend to set boundaries. During the discussion, she asserted that she would decide everything regarding their son and disregarded my input as I was “just the stepparent.”
Feeling unappreciated and used, I scaled back on the time I spent with the kids to prioritize my mental health. This whole situation has negatively affected my partner, me, and our relationship, taking a toll on our mental well-being.
We’ve had discussions about how to proceed, as there are no custody agreements or legal involvement. We wonder if we should continue as is, despite the strain it puts on us and the kids, or if we should seek legal advice to regain control of the situation.