Divorced, non-custodial parent
Hello everyone. I'll try to keep this as short as possible. My ex-husband, 8 years ago, filed for divorce, got about $20,000 from his parents and took my children promising to hand over custody to me once I was "on my feet". Well, about one month later I had met all of his demands and asked for my children. Unfortunately, he changed his mind and three months later was living with someone else. Well, like I said, that was 8 years ago and every time I tried to regain custody, with my having been single and in the military, the courts thought it best for my daughters to stay with him since he was already re-established in a secure relationship.
My daughters have been calling his wife mom for years now and even though I hate it, I'm living with it. Unfortunately, it seems that my ex-husband and his wife talk about me or something in not-so-flattery ways because my daughters, my oldest especially, talks to me like I'm dirt. I have bent over backwards to be close to them by travelling to where my ex-husband is (he's in the military as well) for years until he requested orders to Germany and fortunately have come back to the US. I have called them every single day regardless of where they were for the past 8 years to try to keep a relationship with them; however, everything I say to them is either stupid or worthy of running back to their father and 'mom' sharing what I've said. For instance, I was talking to my daughter on the phone tonight, the only time I get to spend with them since they live so far away and I hear their step-mom in the background telling her that she needs to get off of the phone. So, I ask her if I need to speak with Lori to talk to my daughter. She says with a disrepectful attitude that she'll call me later.
About three minutes later the step-mom calls me cursing saying that I was rude talking to 'our' daughter that way. Well, I explained that she is not their mom, she started cursing at me so I hung up the phone. Then, when I asked my daughter why she felt it necessary to tell what I said she said that I was rude. I explained that she needed to speak to me with respect and she said the following:
Oh my gosh, whatever. You know what i mean. Like, why should i not tell her? I think its important to tell mom what i dont like to hear. Even if you think it wasn't rude, i did. Nothing really can hurt my feelings. Its just somethings i think some people need to hear.
I realize this post is massive, and I apologize for that. I'm just at my witts end and I don't know what to do. I feel this relationship, or potential relationship slipping away. I feel like there's nothing that I can do about it. I feel like everyone who could have anything to do with this relationship flourishing could care less and well, here lately, I wonder why I'm still trying.