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step parent / parent harassment

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What is the name of your state? California
I am the step mom and my husband has custody of his 2 kids. Problem-mom calls, faxs, mails letters/talks that threaten (not physical), attacks my husband, me and my 11 yr old daughter verbally. She has gotten worse over the year and is now saying things about my young daughter that is untrue and damaging. She also discusses these issues with her children and takes information that they tell her and twist it to be untrue. Her actions has caused me so much stress that I have developed medical problems related to stress. She claims that I have attacked her and that is the reason why she is attacking me. Last event was my neighbors child wanted to spend the night at her house with her children so the mother (neighbor) called me and asked what she was like. I did not say anything bad about her, in fact I told her she wasn't a bad person but she does not offer the same supervision that I do. I admitted to her that I am protective and do not allow my children to do the same things she lets her kids do (walk to the corner store-1 mi away- and go to the park). I assured her that she wouldn't to do anything to hurt the kids and there was not any activity going on there-that I knew of-that would be harmful. I feel that with everything that she has done and said, I was being nice. I am at my end and am looking for anything to get this person to stop causing so many problems.


Senior Member
My response:

This is an "emotional" question, and not a "legal" question.

Look, when you married a man with children, you knew, or should and could have known, that you were also "marrying" the other bio-parent. Welcome to Stepparenthood.

From a legal standpoint, all you can do is divorce your husband, and get your life back. Otherwise, in the absence of divorce, all you can do is live with the situation, and learn to accept it.



Senior Member
I'd also suggest you and your husband go for some family counseling. You need professional advice on how to deal with the situation so that it does not impair your health, and you both especially need professional assistance to find out how to minimize the effect of this woman's behavior on all the children.

Since the ex-wife has children with your husband, as long as you are married, she is always going to be part of your life. This is likely a long-term situation so I expect some professional assistance on how to deal with things will pay huge dividends for you and your family.


thank you

I realize that she'll always be in our lives. I have tried communicating with her on a positive level (sending newsletters updating what activities the children have, where they are/going, how they are doing in activities or school, help they need, whatever). I would spend a lot of time trying to get her involved in their daily/school life but she won't because I'm there. I'm not sure if we have a legal leg to stand on unless she follows through with one of her threats.
We have been looking into finding help. I am most worried about the children because she has in the past lied to them and made them feel bad because they like me. From what they say she gets really mad if they mention my name. I also see her childrens attitude towards my daughter change - not always for the better. Because they are afraid to tell us anything that she says (she gets outragously mad) I'm not sure if it's her influence or just a sibiling thing.
Anyhow, thank you for your advise.


Senior Member
Ask your family doctor for a referral. He or she will be well acquainted with therapists who are expert in this field.

Good luck.

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