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Author Topic: Husband's BPD Ex Wife lost custody of child for abuse. He wants custody  (Read 129 times)
tonyagood

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
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« on: July 21, 2021, 05:58:05 PM »

My husband broke all ties with his BPD ex-wife 6 years ago.  She has a history of falsifying abuse charges against him.  When he got involved with me she started accusing him of abusing her 6 year old daughter and kidnapping her 14 year old son (she had abandoned him with my husband). Neither of these children are my husband's, but he raised them from birth (his ex had mulitple affairs).  Cutting all ties meant he had to cut the ties with the kids too.  We have tried a few times to reconnect with the kids but it always ends with his ex accusing my husband of abusing them, saying horrible things about us and blowing up his phone with her angry outbursts.  Last week we got a letter from the youngest child's caseworker that her mother has lost custody of her (for the time) for abuse.  The girl has told them she wants to live with my husband, and my husband agreed without talking to me about it. He now knows that was not ok to do, and that I have my concerns. We also found out she had previously been placed with her friend's family but they decided they couldn't give her the care she needed (we don't know why) so she is now living with a foster family.  To be truthful, I don't want the girl to live with us.  I feel so guilty about that but I am genuinly worried about what that will do to my relationship with my husband, and the how that will effect my child (16yr).  My husband lived a very caotic childhood and experienced abuse.  He does not know how to set boundaries.  He has let his ex-wifes' kids walk all over him.  He feels bad for the life they have had to live becuse of the BPD ex-wife's behaviors, and has bent over backwards to give them everything, even when it isn't in their best interest.  I really don't feel like he could be the kind of parent that girl needs.  I suffer from anxiety and depression and don't feel like I could be much better. Also to be truthful we are both functioning alcoholics and my husband works long hours and isn't here much.  I have worked with abused teens in the past and have seen how much they can act out.  I also am concerned she may have BPD or Schizophrenia (it runs in their family).  It has also been disclosed that she cuts herself.  This is all too much for me, and is causing me some severe anxiety and depression.  He is suppose to start having phone conversations with her tomorrow to develop a relationship with her (she was 7 when he cut ties, she will be 14 next week).  Also we are not sure if the mother can still get custody back.  I am not really sure why the system is trying to get my husband and this girl to develop a relationship unless they are hoping to place her with us.  If her mom gets custody again my husband will break all ties again, which seems even more cruel to this child. Has anyone had any similar experiences?  Is there a chance this girl won't have some major issues and could live here peacefully? Is there any insight into how the courts work in this situation?  I have told my husband that if they interview us to place her with us, I will be very upfront about our homelife. 
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ForeverDad
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Gender: Male
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: separated 2005 then divorced
Posts: 16346


You can't reason with the Voice of Unreason...


« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2021, 10:54:47 PM »

It's clear your husband's ex's daughter has a lot of baggage.  However, at this point neither he nor you know the extent of the damage done to her.  On the surface you have valid concerns but without knowing more details — and getting to know her — there's not enough information to make an informed decision.

You know about the situation with you and your husband, and your concerns there.  If he's away at work a lot then you and your own teenager would be dealing with her much of the time.

Are you inclined to investigate further, or not?  If so, you'd need more background from the social workers about the girl, her current mental state and the legal issues.  For example, could mother get her child back or inject herself into your lives?  Was the girl impacted by her mother's influence (situational non-core behaviors) or was she also damaged with her own mental health issues (internal-based behaviors)?

Obviously, this should be a joint decision one way or the other for your marriage to not be negatively impacted.
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tonyagood

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 5


« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2021, 01:50:26 AM »

Thank you for hashing this out with me.  You would think the caseworker would want to talk to me as well as my husband.  I don't understand why the courts haven't contacted 'us' as a family.  I am probably freaking out too early.  But yes, we need more information and we don't have it.  Or I don't have it. I just don't know how the court system works and don't want to be blind sided.  I guess a small part of me doesn't know if my husband is telling me everything that was said when he talked to the caseworker.
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kells76
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Romantic partner’s ex
Posts: 1282



« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2021, 10:09:37 AM »

I want to commend you for being frank and open. It's hard to balance that sense of "well, we should be helpful, we should take her in" with the core anxiety of "I don't think my family can handle this".

Am I tracking with you that your husband was with a pwBPD (person with BPD), with a then-6 year old daughter and then-14 year old son, neither of whom were your H's bio kids? So now, the 6 year old is 14, so the 14 year old is 22 and not a part of this current situation?

So the kids involved are H's "stepdaughter" age 14 now, and your bio child age 16. Is your 16 year old's dad involved in his/her life?

...

It makes sense what ForeverDad mentioned... there's a lot of unshared information right now. It seems unlikely that a placement could be made without knowing more about what other family members in the household are like, so I'm with you, I'd expect some kind of reaching out from social services, if they're serious.

It's good that you've been upfront with your husband about what you plan to say when you're contacted. I'm sure there's been enough ambiguity in your lives already. I hope it went OK to be honest and straightforward like that.

...

My H's kids' mom has many BPD traits. Not getting the full picture comes with the territory  Frustrated/Unfortunate (click to insert in post) I usually function better when I have more information, so while in the past I'd feel like "I'm just the stepmom, I can't do anything", more recently I've been more proactive about getting info about the kids -- calling the dentist, calling the school attendance office, etc. When I have more info, I can make better, less anxious decisions.

I wonder how it'd go for you if you just started calling social services, described what was going on, and asked some really specific questions. For example, the question of -- even if SD14 (14 year old stepdaugher) were to be placed with us, what does that mean legally? Does that mean her mom has had her parental rights terminated? Or is it more like "foster family"? Or what?

Another idea is that a lot of lawyers will do a free initial consultation. Typically it's around 30 minutes but ours was nice and it was like an hour. You can come up with a bunch of questions beforehand and get a sense of how courts work in your situation, if there are any legal details that aren't obvious that you need to know about, etc. Getting that kind of info could go a long way to helping your family make a healthy decision. You can also post on avvo.com, it's free (but very brief) legal advice. Check online beforehand for local lawyers that specialize in juvenile, family, and/or adoption type fields -- something related to "child placement" or "custody law" or something.

Really glad you found the group, and thank you for just being open and laying it all out there. That takes some courage.

-kells76
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tonyagood

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Posts: 5


« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2021, 02:05:39 PM »

Yes you are correct.  My husband was married to a pwBPD.  She had two kids while they lived together (both conceived from affairs).  He finally left when the son was 14 and the daughter was 6.  Now the son is 20 we don't have contact with him.  H's ex (pwBPD) shipped him off to her sister's when my husband went no contact.  The son won't talk to us now.  The daughter is 14 now.  My daughter is 16.  Her dad and I coparent very well, even spend holidays together as a family with my current husband.

Thank you for the good tips on ways I can possibly get some more info about the courts.  Also thanks for the kind words about me being so transparent.  My husband thinks that him just bringing his step daughter into our life and making her happy will solve her issues.  She adores him because he has always been funny, would take her to do fun stuff, buy her whatever she wants.  He thinks if he just does that again everything will be alright, he doesn't really acknowledge how far from perfect our homelife is and that she could have some major psych problems.  After writing everything I have here I realize we need to get into counseling.  We are far from being on the same page.  I also like to be very informed and he sometimes will not share info with me because he doesn't want me to be upset. Even if all the state wants is for my husband and this girl to have communication and she stays in foster care I think we will need a counselor to help us navigate that. Especially because she is very manipulative, (she was cunningly manipulative at the young age of 6 so I can't imagine how she is now).  My husband doesn't see the manipulation.  Hopefully a counselor can help him understand how to set boundaries.  Also I want to add that this girl is sweet.  I have always had a good relationship when we had contact with her.  She does trust me and likes spending time with me.  I feel like I am coming across so negative about her so I do want to add that part as well.  None of this is her fault I just don't know that we can help her.  Again thanks for the feedback!
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