Dear Outblush: B's Sweetie's Cuh-ray-cray Ex

B writes: "Heyyyyyyy! So, here's my question: I have the most awesomely wonderful man in the world. We're talking the type of guy who melts when I burp (errr, other things) because he feels that it's a sign of how open we are with each other. The hang-up is that his first run at love was a miserably failed marriage to one of the most truly awful people on the planet, albeit with two amazing, gifted, beautiful, madly-in-love-with-their-daddy children, who are a shining light in a bad situation. We've been together for more than two years, and it's been up and down. I love him to death, but having the ex in the picture as minimally as she is still so stressful. She uses the children to beat him down emotionally, makes false accusations of abuse, she won't let the kids play the sports we sign them up for (she just refuses to take them when it's during her parenting time), has her attorney attack us with anything her imagination could possibly come up with, and refuses to allow the children to grow up by keeping them in toddler car seats when they're too big for them, refusing to take off training wheels from their bikes, refusing to teach them how to tie their shoes -- anything that makes them dependent upon her, she will force them to continue doing. It makes life hard on us because we want the kids to learn and grow and explore, but their time with her makes them completely terrified of anything new or unfamiliar. BTW - a psychologist diagnosed her with this disorder that basically says that she does things to the kids to try to make them dislike their father (parental alienation syndrome) so I'm not just being the typical ex-hating girlfriend, but the diagnosis is basically useless; it doesn't prevent her from continuing to do all of those things. It takes a huge toll on our relationship, as does her constant, round-about ways to try to stay involved in my man's life (besides child-related issues). I love, love, love him...but does it get better? He deserves to have a happy, healthy, supportive woman in his life, but the ex's charades totally bring me down and I struggle to resist getting angry when he does absolutely nothing wrong. We have tried killing her with kindness and it's no use - she's alive and mean as ever. HELP! Give me some hope!!!! Or at least some relief that others deal with these situations and get past them! Love, B."

Hovercrafty: At the age of nine, my husband's mother behaved exactly like this when his dad married his current wife. She went totally ballistic by preventing him from participating in sports, having a healthy relationship with his father and new bride, growing up to be a well-adjusted kid and adult by going so far as to unnecessarily place him in special education classes. In due time, he wised up. My husband realized what parenting truly was and how it should feel. His dad and step-mom did exactly what you guys are doing now: kill her with kindness and be involved in the kids' lives as heavily as possible. Never talk bad about your man's crazy ex to the kids. That is their mother and regardless of how much you hate her, they will ultimately make their own decisions about her, good or bad. In the end, my husband now has a wonderful, flourishing relationship with his dad and step-mom; she is now the only one he calls Mom. He saw through the crap and horrible childhood experiences to realize who his real family is. Patience is a virtue even though it may feel impossible to exercise at this juncture.

Check out more editor's opinions after the jump!

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Janetor: Unfortunately, your only recourse may be to do things through a lawyer/the authorities. Document EVERYTHING and present it to CPS/authorities/etc, and continue killing her with kindness and reasonable behavior. She seems to have legitimate mental issues that are affecting these kids psychologically, emotionally, and developmentally, so the courts should NOT continue to let her have custody.

Found of You: If she's putting them in improper car seats, that's endangerment right there. They should photograph that.

One Ring to Rule Them All: Hiring a Private Investigator is a good idea. It might come up with other things that you didn't imagine. I also wonder if taking statements from previous coaches or teachers might be a good idea. And to look like you're not just trying to make her look bad to a judge, find concrete rebuttals to the allegations she's made. Also, and I'm not a mother, but taking real stock of what you're doing might be a good idea so that you can deflect anything she might say. Finally, if you love him and KNOW he's the one and are super devoted to him and his kids, maybe consider getting married sooner rather than later. If you're looking at his ex and are ready to deal with her forever, it's something to think about. But if you're looking at his kids and ex as a way out of this relationship, then he doesn't need you around.

Life: It's crazy stuff. Just when you think you've got everything settled and are sailing along blissfully, BAM! You get hit with some serious shiz. And, sometimes, you can't turn to anyone but a friend. Enter Dear Outblush, our substitute for not being able to join you in person for some girl talk over margaritas. Check out what Dear Outblush is all about, then email us to see if we can help!



Posted on 05.26.11 at 7:29 PM

Dear B.,
You have my sympathies. My husband's current wife is a man-hating, evil person intent on punishing him FOREVER for leaving her. While I feel sad for the ex's circumstances (abused as a child by a sibling), she now uses their daughter as a pawn between them. She has done this for the last 12 years. She uses their daughter as a weapon, actively prevents him from seeing his daughter, and encourages the daughter to disrespect her father.

My suggestion is to examine very, very carefully whether you will be able to put up with this for the next 12-15 years. The children are young, right? As long as they are minors, you will have to deal with her, and likely much longer.

The grief the ex has given my husband has lead to tremendous stress, tears, heartache, fights... You have the right to be happy and have a drama-free life. I know nobody will say break up with this man, but it's something to give serious thought to.

If you are intent on staying, your best bet is to take Judge Judy's advice and mind your own business/don't get involved. Their childcare/custody/issues have nothing to do with you. The more you get involved, the more tension it will cause for everyone.

Good luck. I hope you find your happy.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 4:20 AM

Seriously? I liked Outblush when it was just a fun, positive shopping blog. Could you consider moving the 'girl talk' to another website? Or off the main RSS to the side bar?

One Ring to Rule Them All

Posted on 05.27.11 at 9:44 AM

Well katie, we get a LOT of mail requests for shopping and since we've introduced Dear Outblush, a lot of requests for WWOD? or manners (why they come to us, only heaven knows).

So far, we've only gotten great feedback - with the exception of your comment. And that's totally cool. We're working on the formatting, the responses, and all that, but we understand if Outblush is where you go to get away from this stuff.

Does anyone else have any other comments, negative or otherwise? It's always good to know where we stand.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 10:33 AM

I love reading this blog and do so every day. Although the "dear outblush" and advice doesn't completely annoy me it does seem sort of strange given what I believed the theme of this website was. I can understand a question with a back story that eventually asks for some sort of shopping or gift advice but a post devoted only to advice just seems unnecessary. I agree with moving it to a side bar or a different section of the website.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 10:48 AM

I have to agree with Cathy. I am addicted to this website, and I am pretty sure I would also be addicted to another website containing the "Dear Outblush" posts. But they really don't seem to fit here.
Although, I will probably be sending a "Dear Outblush" question sooner than later....


Posted on 05.27.11 at 11:08 AM

Actually, this all started BECAUSE of a reader request - just like Personal Shopper started with a reader request. But, if you don't want to read these posts, we understand. Just skip ahead to what's next!


Posted on 05.27.11 at 2:18 PM

"So far, we've only gotten great feedback - with the exception of your comment."

A poll might be an easy way of getting a better snapshot of whether this appeals to your readers. Many people avoid the trouble of commenting, especially when there are extra fields to fill in like a CAPTCHA.

"I can understand a question with a back story that eventually asks for some sort of shopping or gift advice but a post devoted only to advice just seems unnecessary. I agree with moving it to a side bar or a different section of the website."

This is pretty much exactly how I feel. Keep the Jerry Springer on the sidelines if it has to be here, please.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 2:33 PM

Posted on 05.27.11 at 11:08 AM

Actually, this all started BECAUSE of a reader request - just like Personal Shopper started with a reader request."

Since this is a SHOPPING blog, the Personal Shopper section makes sense. I can see "Dear Outblush" existing in a forum somewhere on the site (which really isn't a bad idea at all - a discussion forum for shopping and personal life), but honestly, why would anyone care what a group of random shoppers and tastemakers have to say about personal issues? There are better blogs for that, and recently it seems there are better blogs for shopping as well. Stick to shopping, please.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 3:42 PM

If it all started from a readers email then clearly they WANTED Outblush writers advice. Don't hate on the poor girls who wrote in!

One Ring to Rule Them All

Posted on 05.27.11 at 4:43 PM

Ok, kids. Let's slow down.

1. Wow, with the response, you'd think we completely took out the shopping portion of the site. Or that we made some kind of roadblock so that you can't get around the Dear Outblush post. It's just something new we're trying. Can you blame us for wanting to help out our readers? Give it a try, and also give us the opportunity to see if we even LIKE doing it.

2. Coraline, a poll is a great idea! With the holiday and such, we'll put one up on Wednesday so that people can both vote and comment.

3. Forums - man, do we want 'em. Will we ever get them? It's not as easy as that, cuz we want forums that work and don't suck.

3. Katie - Holy Moly, girl! There was A LOT of anger in that statement, and call me crazy, but I don't think it's all because of this one issue. It sounds like we've let you down in some way! I'm no mind reader, so spell it out - but hold the temper, please!

Finally, this is an honest-to-God thanks for your feedback. We DO need it to continue on, and we know it's not always gonna be great. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, right? ....but it IS our site. And we'll post if we want to.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 5:29 PM

I did not read "A LOT" of anger into Katie's statement. Actually, I didn't think her comment was angry at all.

For the most part, I agree with Katie.


Posted on 05.27.11 at 7:33 PM

As someone who has been reading Outblush since its inception, yes, I have been disappointed with the blog for the past several months for various reasons. However, my earlier comment was not at all intended to be an angry statement. I was simply stating that a Personal Shopper section makes much more sense to me than an Ask Outblush section (unless it's an Ask Outblush section on shopping, fashion, makeup, etc.).

As far as forums that "work" and "don't suck," you have a lot of options. PPHBB (simple to look up) is free, and easy to use, as well as free of suckatude.

I'm also not telling you what you can and cannot post, I'm just saying that as an avid reader of a shopping blog, I'd rather have three new posts about shopping than one long post about someone's personal issues. I do think that there are other blogs out there that tackle personal issues better than Outblush can. Outblush is where my friends and I go for shopping advice - not personal advice. I'm not against discussing personal issues in a forums area, but I'm sort of not crazy about it popping up when I'm looking for shoes, for example. And yes, I could simply scroll past the post, but I don't see its place in a shopping blog and I would prefer having my "own team of personal shoppers" devoting their time to finding the best and most exciting new products rather than doling out advice on how to hire a private investigators or deal with sex-life questions.

Whatever. I'm not psyched about it and have been 'shopping around' for other shopping blogs for a while now. For me, this is just another reason to keep looking.


Posted on 05.28.11 at 5:31 PM

I rarely comment, if ever, but I just had too many thoughts on this to go unsaid.

katie, move on already. Your bitter butt can go on to another blog, stop stinking up this one. You have an OVERLOAD of make-up, fashion, and shopping sites/magazines. So please pick one and shhhhhh.

Since, I am being my often blunt self, I will continue to say I enjoy "Dear Outblush". It's real and relevant. Example: I know the importance of marriage to a woman's world. But all the money, time, and space on this blog for ONE day in a life. At least "Dear Outblush" talks about the issues and struggles that make life.


Posted on 05.31.11 at 8:54 AM

Just wanted to add a positive note to the haters - I've actually quite enjoyed the Dear Outblush posts so far.

Although I do agree with the commenters who suggested a shopping theme - ish. For example I think the post the other day regarding the crazy vacation couple tied in perfectly with the current theme of the blog and dealt with readers issues.


Posted on 06.01.11 at 1:39 PM

I agree with Zoe (and others), I really enjoy the Dear Outblush posts. I did think that the post about the crazy vacation couple tied in nicely with shopping, but I really do like reading all the posts. The outblush writing staff is very talented and I love reading them all!


Posted on 06.01.11 at 2:14 PM

I don't think Katie was being bitter or mean, and I agree with her. Outblush has changed, even before the "Dear Outblush" columns. I haven't considered buying something recommended here in a long time.


Posted on 06.01.11 at 3:57 PM

I would like to present to the Outblush ladies the other side of the Katie coin:
I have been following Outblush from its inception as well, I still check it multiple times daily, I still swoon over 90% of the items found, and I do appreciate the Dear Outblush feature and I like how it personalizes the people behind the computers (all of us).

I am here to ask you to please, don't just push people's real life stories and questions to the side of the page. We come to YOU girls for help with shopping or life or anything. Outblush has been a fantastic shopping blog, and I am glad to see that it is willing to go with the ebb and flow of the tides and wishes of its readers.

There are so many shopping blogs out there, if you don't like how this one has changed, please feel free to move along and I invite you to do so with more grace than other people have.


Posted on 06.01.11 at 4:07 PM

Maybe Katie should send in a Dear Outblush trying to overcome her bitter biatch issues. If you don't like a site.. don't come to it. It's real simple. ;) She's obviously angry about something if she keeps coming here to reply over and over.

I've really enjoyed reading the posts and seeing people giving/getting good advice on life's little struggles. They're trying to help out gals while continuing to bring us fabulous finds. Keep fighting the good fight, ladies!

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