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Issues with ex-girlfriend and her grandchildren


Issues with ex-girlfriend and her grandchildren

I broke up with my girlfriend just over 1-year ago.  For the last 7-years I have been her granddaughter's best friend.  She still spends at least one night at my house every week.  I love her as my own.  She is a wonderful little girl.  Her mother is unmarried, no contact with the father, bipolar and on public assistance.  Her grandmother, my ex, has never spent any real time with the girl; she claims not to know how to communicate with kids.  The mother is equally disinterested in doing anything with the girl or her older brother.  


My ex continues to bring up bad things that happened to us in the past, but never seems concerned when I do things with her grandchildren.  I spend all the money.  If they go somewhere I am the one who pays.  Since the ex is constantly miserable to me, and unavoidable since she lives in the same apartment complex as the kids, I am at my wits end.  I hate to remove myself from their lives altogether.  But it is obvious that both the mom and my ex see me as little more than someone who pays attention to the kids and helps provide for them.  I was recently threatened with never seeing the girl again because I did not buy her a new Halloween costume, which I had no idea she needed.   


Do I cut the cord?  Or should I try to live thru the misery to provide at least some support for two kids who I see as never having a normal life.  FYI, neither has any close friends, the little girl is still taking classes remotely and the boy spends almost his entire day playing video games.  I must admit I am leaning toward ending the relationship with the grandchildren even though I know I can make a positive difference in their lives.

Regular Social Butterfly

This may seem drastic, but it seems this child needs your care, so contact a lawyer first, then, if they recommend, DCS. You've bonded, she needs you to not be what her heritage will lead her to be. You can save her, so please, as hard as it is, try?



Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Regular Contributor

To Web unWise Woman: That is the worst advice ever. Did you not read that he is not a relative, so what lawyer is he to contact? He wrote he is the boyfriend of the grandmother and therefore not a relative.

Again, he is the ex-boyfriend of the children's grandmother. !

Contact DCS, do you mean Department of Child Services as in claiming child abuse and initiating foster care? Have you ever talked to someone who has gone through the Foster Care System, it is a horrific and could be worse than the current living situation. Foster Care will not keep the 2 children together, did you consider that aspect? Did you not read that the writer lives in the same apartment complex and calling DCS who will tell and reveal to the mother who made the call, what do you think the living situation and blow-back would be for the writer? The writer wrote: "the ex is constantly miserable to me, and unavoidable since she lives in the same apartment complex as the kids" what do you think the situation will be after the writer makes a DCS report? How could you not realize the writer is already in a tough situation, you think it will improve after a DCS call?

What exactly do you mean about heritage your statement "she needs you to not be what her heritage will lead her to be" explain that comment.

I am suggesting a name change for you to Web Unwise Woman.

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Regular Contributor

This is a tough situation. It is clear the ex and the child's mother view you as an ATM and use the emotional connection of the children to extort financial support. Although the daughter is 7 and you don't mention the age of the son, is it possible to have a basic and simplistic discussion about the acrimonious situation with the daughter?  By discussion, I do not mean a list of who did what and why or any type of accusation or adult level discussion, by discussion I mean that you explain at an age appropriate level how healthy and respectful relationships work and how relationships fall apart because they do not work due to dysfunction. This is not a discussion about blaming, judging or criticizing the mother or the ex, this is not a discussion or opportunity to take swipes at the mother or ex's behavior or lifestyle.  This is a conversation to explain how and why relationships end and that it is not interpreted as abandonment by the child. Affirm to the child that your decision to remove yourself is not their fault.  If this situation with the ex and the mother is as toxic as you describe, you should not be having either child in your home alone, I foresee the opportunity for the ex and mother to blame you for inappropriate behavior.  If you choose to see the children do so outside of the home, in a public place such as a nearby playground or library and email the mother and/or the ex for approval and acknowledgment of the playground or library meet. Please consider consulting the child's school guidance counselor or some other safe intermediary. These children need to know and learn how to ask for help and support.

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Super Contributor

This is a heartbreaking situation because it seems you are the only postive influence in these childrens' lives yet, you can't let it ruin your life.  

Would it do any good to get Family and Childrens' Services involved, I wonder?  Or, would that only make a bad situation worse?

I'm sorry for you, sorry that being a kind and caring person has put you in this painful, difficult place.  

Maybe you can remove yourself from the situation, but still try to help the children remotely, e.g., sending things like clothes, school supplies, etc.?  

I'm not helping much, I know.  I'm sorry for you in this.   Man, no good deed...  😞

People will stop asking you questions if you answer back in interpretive dance. - Meme
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