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I am posting this here because this involves a non active member as well as myself and my wife, and I would appreciate all insights. 

This litterally just happened and I am kind of sick about the current position I am in and what to do. 

So, I drove my 14 yr old daughter to YW for a hike. My daughter, who has been very vocal about not liking YW or hikes, was not murmuring this time. On the way she says “oh, I guess my mom (my ex) is joining us.  I thought it was odd but wasn’t too bothered. 

When i got home just now and told my wife, she got really angry and demanded I call the ex right away and tell her to go home.  My wife is fearful that the ex, who is vocally anti organized church, will pull my daughter away from socializing with the other girls, and will disparage us and the church. 

When i refused to do that and told her I thought it would do more harm than good on many levels to tell my ex wife she was not welcome to attend our ward YW, she became furious with me and I not speaking.  She wants me to “do something about it “

My questions for you are - what do I do?  Is it our place as members to deny anyone who is not a danger to attend a ward activity?  How can I even explain this to my ex wife in a way she would understand - and ask her to notify us if she wants to attend a ward function?  Is that my place?  And I also don’t want to do anything harmful to my daughter.  Yet, I want to honor and please my faithful wife.  

All ideas are welcome - Sooner than later!!! 😩

 

Thanks!

 

MP

 

 

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Surely you have Family Court orders that govern these things?

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4 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Surely you have Family Court orders that govern these things?

Sort of. I am the custodial parent so the ex should technically ask or at least notify me of a visit, which I will address.  The bigger question that I am asking here from a latter-daysaint perspective is, if she does ask in the future, is it ok to say no? Or should we try and be more inviting.  I don’t have fears that my wife does of badmouthing us or the church, and i feel is sends a potentially unchristian message to tell someone they are not welcome at an activity. 

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I’d strongly recommend that you, your wife and the Lord thoroughly discuss this issue before you do anything. FWIW...

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I’d involve the daughter too!

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5 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I’d involve the daughter too!

I plan on it.  That will involve even more prayer. 

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For me this really isn't about your current wife nor your ex.    It is about your daughter.   Ask her how her mother came to be there.   Sounds like she may have been talking about how she hates YW to her mother and her mother offered to come with (maybe in support, maybe to undermine?)   If she is coming without being invited to youth activities, that is inappropriate (although she wouldn't be the first parent who wanted to insert herself in that maybe to assure she is protected, but also maybe just because she could).   What your current wife doesn't understand is that neither you nor she can prevent your daughter from being with whomever she chooses when she isn't directly with you, and even when she is directly with you you cannot control a teenager.   You also cannot prevent her mother from undermining your daughters faith if that is what she wants to do.   

All you can do is to stay close and open to your daughter and talk through your concerns.   Be the best example of a follower of Christ that you can be.   Talk and listen to her more.   Your wife is entitled to express concerns, but your daughter will make her own decisions.

And generally no you would not exclude someone from church meetings and activities that are appropriate for their age.

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43 minutes ago, Maestrophil said:

....................................“

My questions for you are - what do I do?  Is it our place as members to deny anyone who is not a danger to attend a ward activity?  How can I even explain this to my ex wife in a way she would understand - and ask her to notify us if she wants to attend a ward function?  Is that my place?  And I also don’t want to do anything harmful to my daughter.  Yet, I want to honor and please my faithful wife.  

All ideas are welcome - Sooner than later!!! 😩  .........................

You are correct.  Stick to your guns.  Man up.  Your good wife needs to learn that there are boundaries.  Gracious Christian behavior is called for.

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8 minutes ago, rpn said:

For me this really isn't about your current wife nor your ex.    It is about your daughter.   Ask her how her mother came to be there.   Sounds like she may have been talking about how she hates YW to her mother and her mother offered to come with (maybe in support, maybe to undermine?)   If she is coming without being invited to youth activities, that is inappropriate (although she wouldn't be the first parent who wanted to insert herself in that maybe to assure she is protected, but also maybe just because she could).   What your current wife doesn't understand is that neither you nor she can prevent your daughter from being with whomever she chooses when she isn't directly with you, and even when she is directly with you you cannot control a teenager.   You also cannot prevent her mother from undermining your daughters faith if that is what she wants to do.   

All you can do is to stay close and open to your daughter and talk through your concerns.   Be the best example of a follower of Christ that you can be.   Talk and listen to her more.   Your wife is entitled to express concerns, but your daughter will make her own decisions.

And generally no you would not exclude someone from church meetings and activities that are appropriate for their age.

 Very helpful advice.  Thank you. 

 Do you think I should’ve said something at the beginning and turn her mother away? As soon as I got home my wife wanted me to call my ex wife and tell her to leave the activity, but I felt that that would not create a good feeling at the activity

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My experience is that it's seldom wise to act without previous consideration. Revelation can come on the fly in an emergency. Usually it takes some investment of time and thought.

Also, it's almost never good to create a scene. Few things are so dire that they need to be addressed on the spot.

You may also need to consult with ward leadership. I’m not sure you get to decide who attends ward activities. 

Edited by Hamba Tuhan

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I don't know the background of your divorce so there are a lot of unknowns. I don't think it's up to you or your wife whether your ex attends a church activity, but I believe a legal custody order can oversee much of her contact with your daughter. She's 14 though and unless she is deemed unfit in some way, I doubt a court would rule that she can't meet up with the daughter when she's out and about (as long as she doesn't transport her without your permission.) Its interesting that your daughter didn't complain about this one activity so it sounds like your daughter was looking forward to seeing her mother. That's a bond that the law just can't really dictate.

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If I understand correctly your wife has stopped speaking to you, and if I understand correctly you haven't done anything to deserve the silent treatment. 

Sometimes the new wife wants you to go to war against the ex wife, and the issue she wants you to go to war over isn't the real issue.  I'm not saying that's what's going on, only that it happens. 

 

Edited by Eek!

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I knew a dad who came to ward activities to help with his and his ex-wife's very difficult son. It was a welcome thing. I think your wife's problem is that she feels like you should each have your own turf and feels she's intruding on your turf. When your daughter stays with her mom, she would have ample opportunity to trash both of you and the church, so I don't think that's the issue. Sounds like she's just being territorial and maybe your ex will have some nice experiences with church members? That would be a good thing. Your daughter needs to see that you are working on not being enemies. That's my best guess anyway. Prayers for you. :) 

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1 hour ago, rpn said:

For me this really isn't about your current wife nor your ex.    It is about your daughter.   Ask her how her mother came to be there.   Sounds like she may have been talking about how she hates YW to her mother and her mother offered to come with (maybe in support, maybe to undermine?)   If she is coming without being invited to youth activities, that is inappropriate (although she wouldn't be the first parent who wanted to insert herself in that maybe to assure she is protected, but also maybe just because she could).   What your current wife doesn't understand is that neither you nor she can prevent your daughter from being with whomever she chooses when she isn't directly with you, and even when she is directly with you you cannot control a teenager.   You also cannot prevent her mother from undermining your daughters faith if that is what she wants to do.   

All you can do is to stay close and open to your daughter and talk through your concerns.   Be the best example of a follower of Christ that you can be.   Talk and listen to her more.   Your wife is entitled to express concerns, but your daughter will make her own decisions.

And generally no you would not exclude someone from church meetings and activities that are appropriate for their age.

Hello rpn...

There are certain things here that I agree with you, and others I don't... For instance. the daughter is  14 years old...  I think the parents need to discuss this rationally together and agree on their approach and discuss this with the daughter.  Your statement that parents cannot prevent the daughter from being with whomever she chooses is not correct.  Parents have the responsibility of guiding a 14 year old in her choice of friends (this situation with the ex is somewhat different because of the parental connection).  You make it sound like the parents have NO say in their daughter's choices or decisions.   Parents need to establish parameters and guidelines for their children... particularly young teens... not just sit back and let the teen choose whomever she wants to be with... Now, the situation with the ex requires caution... the custodial docs can be a guide, but I don't think we should try and prevent her from attending a church activity or meeting unless this would be detrimental to the daughter.  Only the parents can really know that... I agree staying open and close to the daughter is important, and being Christ-like in their approach...

GG

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1 hour ago, Eek! said:

If I understand correctly your wife has stopped speaking to you, and if I understand correctly you haven't done anything to deserve the silent treatment. 

Sometimes the new wife wants you to go to war against the ex wife, and the issue she wants you to go to war over isn't the real issue.  I'm not saying that's what's going on, only saying that it happens. 

 

Also, sometimes we don't know how to react when a new and different experience rocks our world.  It may be wise to get a referral from your bishop to a reputable marriage counselor or family therapist.  Some of them have a wealth of experience that may help you.  It may be worth the investment.  If you can't afford it, maybe a family member would help with the cost, or sell something, or maybe the bishop can help with the cost.  it sounds like professional help may help shed some light on what is going on.    It seems to me that your former spouse would be bound by the parenting plan, if you had any concerns about kidnapping or anything sinister.

I don't doubt that your wife feels she is doing the right thing.  Sometimes it may seem like force is the logical thing to do.  But it may be that standing back and showing increased love may draw your daughter closer to the both of you, as she forms her own opinion of what is the best thing to do.  I'm not a professional by any means.  So please take my comments with a grain of salt. 

Probably every situation is different, and should be handled with the Spirit.  With 20/20 hindsight, there were times I wish I hadn't been as forceful when our children were young.  It may have been better in our case to step back somewhat, and let the Savior do His mighty work.  But force was the line of least resistance.  I'm not sure our feelings came across as loving or understanding.  And I'm sure there were times where we, in our zeal to be good parents and save them from a bad decision, stood between our child and the Savior's waiting assistance.  I'm not saying that firmness isn't called for sometimes.  This may be an opportunity to up your spiritual game and draw on the powers of Heaven to help you.  That's my two cents. 

God bless you for trying to be sensitive to your wife and daughter, and your wife for how concerned she is for your daughter, and worried about the motives of your daughter's mother. When things seem beyond our influence, prayer is a great source of peace, comfort and direction.  It can't be easy for your daughter either, a child of divorce.  She's probably confused, hurting and doing her best also to sort things out.  Best of luck to you and your family.  Maybe the Lord can help you and your wife find peace and direction in what to do.  I'll pray for you all tonight. 

Edited by Meerkat
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It is a dangerous game to start standing between a child and her mother unless there are safety issues involved.  It sounds like a pretty good guess that your daughter knew her mother would be at the activity.  If you prevent your daughter from seeing her mother, where do you think that will all end up?  Perhaps the very best place for your daughter to spend time with her mother is at a church activity. 

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10 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

I am posting this here because this involves a non active member as well as myself and my wife, and I would appreciate all insights. 

This litterally just happened and I am kind of sick about the current position I am in and what to do. 

So, I drove my 14 yr old daughter to YW for a hike. My daughter, who has been very vocal about not liking YW or hikes, was not murmuring this time. On the way she says “oh, I guess my mom (my ex) is joining us.  I thought it was odd but wasn’t too bothered. 

When i got home just now and told my wife, she got really angry and demanded I call the ex right away and tell her to go home.  My wife is fearful that the ex, who is vocally anti organized church, will pull my daughter away from socializing with the other girls, and will disparage us and the church. 

When i refused to do that and told her I thought it would do more harm than good on many levels to tell my ex wife she was not welcome to attend our ward YW, she became furious with me and I not speaking.  She wants me to “do something about it “

My questions for you are - what do I do?  Is it our place as members to deny anyone who is not a danger to attend a ward activity?  How can I even explain this to my ex wife in a way she would understand - and ask her to notify us if she wants to attend a ward function?  Is that my place?  And I also don’t want to do anything harmful to my daughter.  Yet, I want to honor and please my faithful wife.  

All ideas are welcome - Sooner than later!!! 😩

 

Thanks!

 

MP

 

 

Just some suggestions to think about: Tell your wife that you and your ex already have an understanding that she would not disparage your or the Church in front of your daughter. You may ask the leaders on the hike to ensure your daughter integrate well with the other girls. 

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11 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

When i got home just now and told my wife, she got really angry and demanded I call the ex right away and tell her to go home.  My wife is fearful that the ex, who is vocally anti organized church, will pull my daughter away from socializing with the other girls, and will disparage us and the church. 

I think your wife has a reasonable concern about how the mother's presence might affect your daughter's ability to socialize and make friends with the other girls. It's hard to do that if you're just hanging out with your mom the whole time. And if the reason your daughter doesn't like going to YW activities in the first place is - either in whole or in part - because she doesn't have a lot of friends at church, then yeah - I wouldn't consider the mother's presence to be a big help.

But if the mother isn't attending regularly, it's probably best to not make a big deal about it. Just do what you can to help your daughter make friends with the girls at church. Once she finds her click she'll go back to ignoring all of the adults in her life - including, but not limited to, your ex. 

 

Edited by Amulek

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12 hours ago, Maestrophil said:

I am posting this here because this involves a non active member as well as myself and my wife, and I would appreciate all insights. 

This litterally just happened and I am kind of sick about the current position I am in and what to do. 

So, I drove my 14 yr old daughter to YW for a hike. My daughter, who has been very vocal about not liking YW or hikes, was not murmuring this time. On the way she says “oh, I guess my mom (my ex) is joining us.  I thought it was odd but wasn’t too bothered. 

When i got home just now and told my wife, she got really angry and demanded I call the ex right away and tell her to go home.  My wife is fearful that the ex, who is vocally anti organized church, will pull my daughter away from socializing with the other girls, and will disparage us and the church. 

When i refused to do that and told her I thought it would do more harm than good on many levels to tell my ex wife she was not welcome to attend our ward YW, she became furious with me and I not speaking.  She wants me to “do something about it “

My questions for you are - what do I do?  Is it our place as members to deny anyone who is not a danger to attend a ward activity?  How can I even explain this to my ex wife in a way she would understand - and ask her to notify us if she wants to attend a ward function?  Is that my place?  And I also don’t want to do anything harmful to my daughter.  Yet, I want to honor and please my faithful wife.  

All ideas are welcome - Sooner than later!!! 😩

 

Maestrophil, you've already received some very good advice from a few who have responded.

How is your current wife's relationship with your daughter?  That may help us understand a bit more what may be going on here as well.

Please let us know how things went and if you were able to talk more when your daughter got home.  

Edited by ALarson

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Unless your ex-wife is a dangerous person or something, it's not healthy at all to stand in the way of her relationship with her daughter.

Edited by Gray
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22 minutes ago, ALarson said:

Maestrophil, you've already received some very good advice from a few who have responded.

How is your current wife's relationship with your daughter?  That may help us understand a bit more what may be going on here as well.

Please let us know how things went and if you were able to talk more when your daughter got home.  

Thank you all very much for your very good thoughts and especially for prayers!  

My wife spends a ton of time with my daughter, and they seem to really get on well - but my ex says that when she and my daughter are together that my daughter complains about my wife and I, church, rules etc.  I know my ex tells her that we are too strict, the church is too demanding, and that is why she left me and the church.  I feel so badly for my daughter being in such a situation.

My wife still is not speaking with me today.  But I still feel, like many of you have said, that causing a fuss over a one-time visit, potentially making my daughter feel awkward and resentful, and keeping her from her mom would not have been the wise or Christ-like choice.  I did speak to my ex wife, and she was angry too that I would presume to want her to notify us next time she plans on attending any activities with my daughter.  She went on about how my raising the kids in the church and with standards was hurting them etc. I stayed calm and explained to her my concern about our daughter's social needs at YW, and also how it would feel as a YW leader to have a parent you don't know show up uninvited to an activity (My ex was in YW presidency once).  She understood and started to calm down when she saw my concern was for our daughter.  She promised to let us know in the future before she attends anything like that, which is all I asked of her.  

I will trust the Lord to help smooth things out.  Thank you again for all your help.  I sometimes wish the church would address these situations that I am sure more and more members deal with with divorce so much more common now.  I don't begrudge the brethren for not making it a priority - but it sometimes feels like, for all my efforts, I am a misfit.

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1 hour ago, Maestrophil said:

 I sometimes wish the church would address these situations that I am sure more and more members deal with with divorce so much more common now.  I don't begrudge the brethren for not making it a priority - but it sometimes feels like, for all my efforts, I am a misfit.

You are in a challenging situation.  No doubt about it.  The thing about misfitting though, you are in good company.  We are all misfits.  We all say and do things we regret.  We do things wrong because we don't know the right thing to do, and sometimes we feel stupid or mad.  If none of that were true, we wouldn't need a Savior.  But it is, and we do.

The Brethren are very aware of the struggles of broken families, and it is a priority with them.  You may not see it because you are in the thick of a very hard test.  They provide many resources.  But when it comes down to it, you will need to dig them out and wrestle with applying what pertains to you to your life and family.

LDS.org is full of resources, as is the Gospel Library app.  The Church has LDS family services, ministering visitors, quorum and RS leaders and bishops.  If your bishop is not available or knowledgible, he can refer you to someone who is, including professional help.  I understand how hard it can be to ask for help.  But ask we must.  It's one of the great life lessons.  I think we all appreciate you asking the question here.

Here is one article from the Ensign:

www.lds.org/ensign/1987/02/how-to-unite-a-step-family?lang=eng

There are many more by professionals and people like you that have some pretty good advice.  You may not see it yet, but your family challenges provide a wonderful opportunity to partake of the healing power of the Savior's Atoning sacrifice.  If you see it as such, I believe you may be able to look back on these days with gratitude and wisdom from what you have learned.  Hopefully, even joy.  May you and your family experience that healing influence every day.

I hope you can patiently and faithfully endure this challenge.  Keep smiling! 🙄

Edited by Meerkat
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There are things I am not understanding...but please, after all conversations, meet together with your daughter.  It is important that she has a voice to assure her respect for all of you.   Be without anger when setting boundaries...

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2 minutes ago, phaedrus ut said:

My ex and I worked very hard to keep a cordial and friendly co-parenting situation with the kids.  Occasionally we ran into the situation where what we thought was us just being mom and dad caused her new husband to become jealous or angry.  It took a while to realize why this was happening and we began making sure we treaded lightly in situations where he might get his feelings hurt. 

Look at it from your wife's perspective.  Your ex wife is socializing in the church which she is no longer a member, in your family ward, and socializing with people who your family spends a lot of time with.  What if people think your ex is prettier, friendlier, funnier, more athletic than she is? People have a lot of insecurities and I suspect she may feel like an uninvited guest came trampling through her flower patch. 

Try to empathize with your wife's hurt feelings(you don't have to agree they are correct) and ask her ideas on how you can avoid this situation in the future.  

As wife #2....this is all background music to me...it really is true no matter how hard you try...you feel like....wife #2.

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