The drama never stops: Got a letter from easy child's boyfriend's stepmother (got that?)

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by MidwestMom, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I got a letter today with a return address from a nearby town, no name. I opened it and sat down to read two typewritten pages about how my daughter is a *****.

    Ok, I'll backtrack.

    Jumper is dating a REALLY nice boy, but he's 17 (she's 15). She has gone to his house several times because his father and stepfather wanted to meet her, but she would come back saying that they really won't talk to her. Stepmother rules the roost and J. is the only child there.

    In the letter, the SM writes that she found her son and Jumper kissing in her house. She was also critical of the fact that when her son comes to our house they are in Jumper's room (the door is always wide rule). The reason they are in Jumper's room is because we HAVE no room. Our dogs are not that friendly to non-family members (yes, others would have put them down, but we won't) so there is only upstairs. Sonic's room is right next door and he's always in his room. This is a very small house and I am up and down the stairs all day, often stopping in to talk to the kids. I have seen them touching, but not inappropriately. I believe my daughter that nothing is going on beyond the kissing. I *do* believe they were kissing.

    I know this is rambling. The stepmother, who considers herself the mother, has sent me a set of rules (why do I always get rules? First from wayward son, now from J's One is that I have to drive Jumper to see her son every other weekend because she doesn't want to pay for his gasoline. He pays for his own gas (he works three jobs), but that's not the point. I'd be happy to drive her there to see him under their supervision, but they obviously don't like her and don't even know her and will never believe she isn't going to give them a grandchild. Yep, she wrote that she didn't want one. Hmmmmmm...guess what? I don't either and Jumper saw that and laughed and said, "She doesn't know how into sports I am and how I want to go to college and how I so DON'T want any baby."

    Jumper had tears in her eyes when I told her about the letter. I was calm and asked for information and I believe her. She felt terrible at how stepmother feels about her but doesn't want to stop dating J. because of stepmother's accusations. I feel like this is a hostile environment for her...bad juju...not good. I love J...he is almost 100% self-sufficient already and couldn't be nicer. He is a responsible straight A student and a star athlete. Jumper is only the second girl he has ever dated.

    I haven't been in this situation before. I'm not sure what to tell her. Part of me wants to keep her from seeing this boy again, even though I like him. Part of me doesn't know if I should get too involved. She already doesn't see him very much because he is always at work and lives in a town that is 45 minutes away. Jumper has no intention of breaking up with him, but her existence in this boy's life has caused him to have a worse relationship with his parents than he had before (and it was never good. J. will leave as soon as he turns eighteen).

    Since this is new to me, I'm not sure how to react. So far I have just hugged Jumper and told her I believed her and advised her to make plans today with some friends (which she is doing). I told hub and hub rolled his eyes...he said he'd take her out for ice cream (she is very close to her dad).

    What words of motherly wisdom do any of you have for me? Anything? If this were your daughter, would you make her break up with J. because of all the complications? Again, I have no doubt that there has not been any sex so I don't need/want advice or warning about that. Also, writing back is not going to happen. I have learned, from my saga with Scott, that writing letters is not a good can't have a conversation with a letter. Also, Jumper doesn't want us to talk to J's parents and feels that this would only make things worse for J. SM, by her letter, seems to have made up her mind about Jumper anyway, so nothing hub and I could say would probably make her feel better. Her whole intention of the letter was to convince me and hub that Jumper is a tramp and a very not-nice girl. I know better than to take up a losing argument.
  2. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    You are a bigger better person than I, as I'd probably have reacted emotionally and instantly without thinking things through. And I'm betting my big mouth would have made this situation far worse. Kudos to you, seems you're handling it right.

    Sounds like J is not far from going out on his own anyhow, something tells me stepmom might be a part of that? I wouldn't stop Jumper from seeing him. Since you're okay with transporting when needed, I would do so when appropriate. I would perhaps also pick him up to visit at your house from time to time, eliminating the complaint from stepmom about the gasoline costs, and reducing the time Jumper spends at that home since she probably can't feel comfortable there, and after that letter likely less so. I think that he sounds good for Jumper at this age for a b/f, and sounds like he treats her right or you wouldn't like him right? Not to mention he sounds a good influence type boy with good grades, involved in sports, a job etc. All of us moms wish our daughters had high school b/f's like that!

    I think you're dead on about not writing back. I personally wouldn't directly discuss that letter or its contents with that woman at all. I'd smile and make nice when needed, for Jumper and J's sake. I'd try to perhaps make it easier for him to get no flak about visiting at your house, thus offering to pick him up perhaps sometimes to cut gas costs. I'd not even bother to discuss the open door policy of Jumpers bedroom as a hang out space. However if the step mom brings it up again directly I'd be nonchalant and explain the size and layout of your home as you did to us, and make a comment such as "Its no different than if we had a bigger house with a rec room in the basement, they'd still not be in visual eye sight each and every second. They are well supervised, you have no worries there".
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Does J know about this letter? What are his feelings on the matter? If you're fine with Jumper continuing to see him, and they both wish to continue their relationship, it's mostly a matter of waiting things out until he's out from under her thumb. At their ages if they wished to continue their relationship on the sly they could work out ways to do it - you being open and supportive of them means they don't need to hide it from you and gives you a better view of the situation. Sounds to me like SM views Jumper as competition for J's affection and attention - not healthy for anyone involved. Can you say control freak? I would bet this also has a lot to do with why she's only his second girlfriend and might give some insight into what happened to the first one.
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    Ditto, ditto.

    Serious control freak Step Mom issues here. How long has she been Step Mom? The fact that J is planning on leaving as soon as possible, speaks VOLUMES. No, Jumper should NOT break up with him because of her. This is excellent 'practice' for dealing with different types of ppl with very different perspectives. Not easy, and it really hoovers sometimes, but it's a very handy life skill. Not everyone we meet is going to like us, but we still have to learn to deal with them effectively. YEARS down the road, if wedding bells start ringing, it's a different conversation, but it seems as if J will/would be willing to keep things at bay.

    Again, this is 'practice' for future relationships as well as life in general.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I wonder what J would say if he saw the letter. Personally, being the ***** I can be when someone goes against my kid for NO reason, I would show him the letter. But, that's just me.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have a tad different perspective on this. While I understand your comfort level and think that is fine for you, the SM or Mom knows this boy better and doesn't know you or your daughter as well as she does him and also realizes what could "possibly" go wrong here. I have been in positions where other parents thought things would be fine with my son coming into their home and playing with their kids or whatever and I didn't feel comfortable telling them all my son's personal info, was concerned for his and my liability, and knew beyond a shadow of a doubt he and I would be the ones thrown under the bus if the least little thing went awry. It is a parent's responsiblity to intervene to prevent those situations. While I understand that you are there and know things aren't going awry, she is not there and feels it's a risk she isn't comfortable with. And I believe another parent's wishes should be respected. If I felt like the other parent respected my wishes and boundaries, I would have no problem continuing to allow my son to go there. When I felt like the parent had no concept of what my son is capable of and that he/she wasn't going to respect my parental boudaries, I would want my son to stop going there.

    IOW, it's not that I think you are doing anything wrong, it's that I can see why the SM doesn't have that same comfort level and I think the only way for her to have that comfort level is for her to come to understand that these kids are being supervised appropriately, you aren't so naive to think no kid can do something wrong, and that you respect the boundaries set for this boy by his parents...and that should things start going awry, you will take full responsibility because you are the one allowing them to be together in your home. There are parents of 15 yo girls who will allow time spent with a boyfriend who's older then when/if the girl gets pregnant or abused or whatever, they want to come back on the parents of the older male. I can see wanting to prevent that situation. Just speaking for me personally, that's a very important message in order for me to have a comfort level.
  7. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    I would call her, I would tell her not to involve you, or your child, in her dysfunction. Show the letter to her boyfriend, absolutely.
    You can understand she has rules, but come on, to be creepy to a 15 year old???? Any friend of my child's is my friend. This woman must not like her step son, and she most likely doesn't like herself either. Your child should not go over there, where she is very unwelcome. How dare this woman?! Don't talk to her about the details of her letter. Save it. She has problems.
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    thank you all for your feedback.

    I understand SM too, although I don't agree with her. I do think that they need to follow her rules at her house, BUT...that's moot as I'm sure Jumper will never want to go there again. Funny thing is, she spent all Sunday with them on a family outting and SM didn't talk to her much and she said everyone was really nice. Two-faced?

    I don't have their number and am not going to call her. There is no point. Most likely it will only end up being an angry conversation with no resolution. Like somebody said, there is a reason why J. is ready to bolt as soon as he turns eighteen. I am not part of the dysfunction as they have never invited me or my hub to get to know them or to talk to them. in my opinion it would have made more sense for all of us to get together for coffee and to have a conversation. I seriously doubt J's father knows about the letter since SM sent it from her work address.

    Jumper has typed the letter into her cell phone and is sending it to J. Right now he is at one of his three jobs (this kid is ALWAYS working). He doesn't get off until ten so she doesn't know when she will hear from him.

    J. has received a letter written to HIM hung on his door, telling him that he is not acting like an adult and that they are very disappointed in him. That's right, it was hung on his door...nobody spoke to him. I guess they write notes in their house rather than talk to one another.

    Not sure what they expect of this child. If straight A's, an ACT score of 25, being a great athlete, and never being in trouble isn't enough for them, just add in the fact that he pays for all of his own expenses and helps out at the grandfather's farm. To me, that's pretty mature for seventeen...but, hey, I have kids who whine if I ask them to wash a dish (I should say one kid...Jumper!). To me, it sounds like he is mature enough to probably live on his own if he wanted to. I feel bad that Jumper's first boyfriend is such a nice kid and that she may have to stop seeing him because SM is paranoid about sex. He's going to college next year. Is SM going to get a room in his dorm to make sure he never kisses any of the girls there?
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Sounds more like SM speaking for everyone and I'd wager not everyone knows she's doing it. I'd say wait to hear from J, and let Jumper and him make their own choice, they sound more mature than SM and more likely to choose the path that's right for them.
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Oh, I'm sure nobody else knows she did it, but, as I said, allegedly she rules the roost.
  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    My attention span is down to a 9 out of 100 today - so I didn't get all the details - but stepmom sounds WAY off track, cuckoo, and worth ignoring completely. That is ridiculous for her to be involved in this situation - it is beyond controlling - it is disturbing. I would ignore the whole thing - if possible.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm so sorry to read that you have a difficult child/SM to have to worry about. Totally in agreement that you just need to file the note away and not respond. I think you have to follow Jumper's lead and bow out. It's such a shame that there are problems in his home but, as young as he is, they are his family's problems and not yours. When he can afford to visit he will visit. They will see each other at school soon. He sounds like a easy child who has set and achieved his goals to date and I assume he will in the future too. Personally I would think it best that he visits your home and not the other way around. Geez, isn't life unbelievable? Sending hugs and support. DDD
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    I hope I am NEVER like that as a stepmom.

    Here, I thought I was controlling.

    I say - burn it. If she hasn't got the guts to call you - forget it. If J's relationship with his Dad and SM are that awful...

    Ugh. I'm sorry.
  14. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Well, I've not read the other responses.

    If it were me? I'd tell her to take her rules and stuff em where the sun don't never shine. (or maybe it does and that's her whole problem)

    Rules? Uh, no. You are not her child whom she can boss as she pleases. She can just get over herself already.

    My response would be that you have no issue with the kids dating, you have no reason not to trust the kids, the kids are under adult supervision when in your home, and that you thank her for her concern.

    Then drop it totally. No argument. No drama. No phone calls. Nothing.

    Unfortunately you'll get this occasionally. This has nothing to do with your easy child, and everything to do with this "woman's" control over her step son. I would also make it a point to calmly explain this to easy child so she realizes that this woman would be this way with any girl this boy brought home.

    Then leave it up to the kids. You can't control J or his stepmother. But that doesn't mean she gets to control you or what goes on in your house. If easy child still wants to see him knowing the situation, then don't worry about it. You can't protect her from people like this forever and the sooner she learns it's all about them the better. If J wants to see easy child, he will see easy child. Kids are like that.

    I guess what I'm saying is let it stay in his family where the issue lies.
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I was at a friend's house today. I hoped not to bring this up to you board folks, but my daughter is bi-racial (part black) and they feel this has something to do with her attitude. After all, they are farmers. What do you think? daughter said naw, but I'm not so sure.
  16. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Do you really care why she has an attitude? As long as J accepts her for who she is and they're happy, I wouldn't worry much about the whys.
  17. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    MWM, if she has a problems she needs to discuss it with her step son. You are a parent to you daughter and you aren't unhappy with her behavior. As long as daughter is respectful and appropriate, then you don't have to follow her rules. Your daughter needs to follow yours and her stepson is to follow step mothers. You are under no obligation to drive your daughter to her house. It's actually something the youngsters need to figure out. If they ask for a ride that's your choice but to have this stranger to insist on your driving is rude.
    I understand her concerns but it's still incredibly rude for her to write this letter and make demands.
  18. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That could be part of HER issue but if she's been there before why is it an issue all of a sudden. You said she had just been to a "family gathering" with them recently. Could it be that someone in the family DOES have an issue? I don't know. The plot thickens. What is J's reaction?
  19. keista

    keista New Member

    Let's see if I'm reading this right. Your friends think that Jumper being biracial is why J's step mom thinks that Jumper has an 'attitude'? Not that Jumper actually has an attitude, or that your friends think that Jumper has an attitude, but step mom sees biracial and instantly thinks that Jumper has an attitude. And Step mom is a lily white farmer. Yes. I do believe that may be part of step mom's problem.

    Regardless of the motivating factor, the woman is being unpleasant and unreasonable. Jumper cannot change this woman's attitude, she can only control her own responses to it. Being the kind, polite, gracious kid she is, is sufficient.
  20. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Thanks again, guys.

    Yes, my friends, who grew up in farm country, feel that my daughter's race could be a factor as to why she didn't even try to get to know Jumper, but decides she is undesirable. However, I agree with those who said that if it is, it is HER problem. J. certainly doesn't care. He is obviously crazy about her.

    Jumper has already decided she will never go to J's house again. I don't know why his family asked her to their outting. According to Jumper, they largely ignored her and she felt uncomfortable. As it stands now, if J. wants to see Jumper, he can, but not at HIS house (Jumper decided this). If he is no longer allowed to use his SM's vehicle to drive to see her, he wants to buy a car. Since he has been working three jobs, getting a beater in good condition shoudln't be a problem and my hub, who is a mechanic, would help him find a good car. J. also has the option of living with his mother, however she has NEVER reached out to him, yet she is the only other place he has to go. Kind of a sad life for a very good looking boy with so much going for him. I mean, my kids were pampered and all of them are, in come ways, brats and I laugh thinking about them getting A's while working even ONE job.

    J. has been a wonderful first boyfriend for Jumper. She told him that she wants to be a virgin when she marries and he agreed. He is the first boy who asked her out who agreed to that, and I am sure nothing is going on. Good heavens, if SM had found the two of them with even their shoes off, she would have included that in her letter.

    Jumper went to her friend's house this evening and her friend has a pool and there was a group of friends there. She was having fun and I stayed for a bit and talked to the adults there. When I finally left I asked Jumper if J. had called her yet, but she said "I guess he's still at work." It was 10:15. She has no idea how it will go when she tells him about the letter. He is supposed to come over Sunday, but she has no idea if he can. Or will. I hugged her and said, "Are you all right?" She said, "I'm upset, but I can deal with it."

    I left her to sleep over at her friend's house, and will update everyone once I hear something. I have to let the kids work this one out alone.

    No stranger is going to tell me when to drive and how often I have to do I wouldn't mind driving her to meet J. somewhere, but certainly NOT his house. My poor Jumper. Growing up is hard even for a easy child...and although I call her a easy child, Jumper has many learning disabilities which hamper her, so she does have some problems too. She was so excited that J. liked her. Oh, well.