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to want to hang out with my ex? or is his new girlfriend the unreasonable one?

(322 Posts)
HidingNemo Wed 27-Mar-13 13:32:27

Me and my ex broke up when our daughter was 6months, so around 4 years ago now.

It was a very mutual decision and we even stayed living together until she was 1. We do quite a few things as a family, such as he comes over for dinner or we go out or we go to the cinema etc.

I really enjoy his company and he really is one of my best friends. But we don't work as a couple and would never consider getting back together.

He has now been seeing someone for a year and she had just moved in, and is pregnant with his child - I'm really happy for him and DD seems to like her and is excited about a new brother.

However the gf has said she doesn't want ex to do family things anymore, as it would be unfair on her child when he gets older because he will be seeing his dad be a father to a different family.

When I first found out they were serious I offered for her to be a part of these activities but she declined saying it would be weird.

I just feel so sad, I feel like I've lost a really good friend and that DD has lost out too.

Aibu? sad

olgaga Fri 05-Apr-13 00:04:43

Well I think back off for now and see how it all evolves.

It doesn't have to be one or the other

olgaga Wed 03-Apr-13 23:58:26

it's her choice not to go along

Quite. It's also her choice that her DP now commits to his new family unit - which includes his DD, but not his ex!

I thank as you have invited her along on these days yanbu, it's her choice not to go along.

Snowme Wed 03-Apr-13 03:26:29

If the child is old enough to be given over to unsupervised access with her father, I don't understand why the OP doesn't do just that and keep herself out of the equation, instead of having to also be present at the child's access times.

Personally, I couldn't accept my partner's ex still socialising very regularly with him. Cinema trips, cooking him evening meals and nipping in for afternoon coffee and chat?
Oooooh, no!

olgaga Tue 02-Apr-13 23:58:32

Yellow I feel you've hit the nail on the head with your reverse scenario.

The point is, however much OP wants to resist this, the ex is in a new relationship which includes DD but does not include her.

It's extremely difficult, but par for the course.

I don't feel the OP has any right to impose her expectations of "family time" on the new family. She is not part of it. Time may change that - but this is not the right time to be putting her foot down.

Play the long game, that would be my advice.

YellowTulips Tue 02-Apr-13 16:44:22

Clearly it's just a possible scenario I posted - I was just trying to illustrate that there are complex emotions and relationships here.

As I have already said the OP does not come across as unreasonable. However we simply don't know the GF's feelings and what she has said to her DP - only what DP has said to the OP.

It's a tricky situation which is why I would counsel a degree of compromise here.

A new baby WILL change the lifestyle of GF and her DH as as a result there may well have to be an evolution of other relationships - this happens with all families.

That should not mean DD should spend less time with her father, but it may well mean him spending less time with his friend in favour of time with DSD, new baby and partner together.

I think it's great that the OP and her Ex have a great relationship but when they decided to separate the also chose to be co-parents not a family.

As I said I think there needs to be compromise all round here with the welfare of both children being the priority.

Bridgetbidet Tue 02-Apr-13 09:27:53

I think that Yellow Tulips version is actually quite charitable towards the OP.

Having been in this situation (without kids involved ) I suspect there may be more to it. There are often hangovers of being in a relationship which have nothing to do with sex which remain. For example - making important decisions about how to deal with life issues from health matters to which car to buy, where to live to what to do about work issues which really should be discussed with the new partner instead are discussed with the ex out of habit. Friends still treating the 'old' couple as the couple and inviting out DP and the Ex rather than DP and new partner. Taking second place in arrangements, eg 'but we always do this on a Friday night, why are you seeing her then'. Constant reminders of the exes relationship. Such as every time you go on holiday or have a meal out you get 'Oh we went there', 'Oh why did you book there, he always said he hated beach holidays', 'I used to buy those from Marks for him'. Etc, etc, etc.

None of the above was done to me intentionally hurtfully, and my husband's ex was a perfectly nice person. But it makes you feel incredibly insecure even when you're not pregnant. It takes an incredibly sensitive person to get around all these things. And I think a person who is taking issue with the fact he might be spending less time with her is probably not that person.

And it's not necessarily even the fact that she's an ex. I think any relationship where someone was spending that amount of time with a friend there would be a certain amount of 'third wheel' status. Even if he was a male friend I think there would be some limiting of time spent with them once the new GF was pregnant. The child of course is different, but the OP is not.

RoomForASmallOne Tue 02-Apr-13 09:03:38

YellowTulips

smile at your license taken.

In your version the OP admits it is her who feels uncomfortable going on days out etc.

So it is her problem.

She is struggling to accept a dynamic that was put in place to ensure the DSD is happy so wants to be put before the child.

Which is not good enough IMO.
She needs to make more effort to get to know the original partner.

There will be teething problems but as adults we should be able to cope with them and communicate about them.

It really isn't that hard smile

SongoftheSiren Tue 02-Apr-13 00:57:55

As many as 3 nights a week he is with his Ex and DSD, sometimes for half and hour as part of collecting DSD

But the OP goes to her exs and has a drink - when she drops off and when she picks up DD - so the gf would be there too (most probably) for two of those occasions.

So when you say he's spending 3 nights a week with his ex that is taking it out of context a little...

YellowTulips Tue 02-Apr-13 00:52:26

What if this was reversed? Some licence taken here obviously but here goes...

I am pregnant with my first child. My relationship with DP is generally good, but we have been arguing recently about the time he spends with his ExP with whom he has a child - my DSD.

They separated amicably when DSD was still a baby and he has maintained a very close relationship with them both. I am pleased he is such a good father to DSD and am trying my best to forge a positive relationship with her.

So what's the problem? As many as 3 nights a week he is with his Ex and DSD, sometimes for half and hour as part of collecting DSD (cup of tea and a chat) but sometimes much, much longer (dinner etc).

There are also "family days" out to the cinema etc to which, being fair I have been invited, but feel pretty uncomfortable about attending - tbh i generally feel uncomfortable about their friendship. I don't think there are any intentions to get back together but I am struggling to accept it. These feelings have got worse since I have been pregnant (hormones?) but I am actually pretty frightened.

As this will be my first child I don't know what to expect, but I have visions of DP at work all day, then dinner with ExP on a very regular basis and me alone and sleep deprived with a newborn. I can't see how we can build a family like this. I would like DSD to be in our house with DP and the new baby to share in this new experience - but most of the time when they get back it's already time for DSD bed. So DP has seen her but there will be no time for me or the baby to share with DSD or DP.

He says he and ExP are friends. The problem to me is that friends accommodate and help when you have a baby, not make it harder by creating a situation where a new mum spends hours and hours alone. Not just during the week but at weekends as well (yes, I could go with them but I just don't feel able to commit to spending time with my DP's ex when I am struggling with the practicalities and emotions of being a new mum).

I have told DP that I am worried about the current arrangements and that I will need more support when the baby arrives. He said said he will talk to ExP and let her know they will have to make some changes. He seemed sad but accepting. His Ex is ok btw - I dont know her well but she seems nice enough. Having spoken to DP I just don't know any more. Have I done the right thing to ask he spends less time with EXP (not DSD of couse) once the baby is born?

I know I am pretty emotional and hormonal about this, so would appreciate your advice....

YellowTulips Tue 02-Apr-13 00:04:38

To clarify digging heels in - the OP posted because she is thinking about next steps.

My comment thus was in relation to what she could do not what she has already done.

The fact I did a typo missing the word "start" before digging admittedly didn't help here :-)

SongoftheSiren Mon 01-Apr-13 23:48:49

You can digging your heels in, but I just see that potentially causing more issues

That's unfair to say come on ...

The OP said that DH raised what GF had said and the OP said she didn't say much back.

Digging her heels in is you assuming that she is demanding he still spends time as a family unit with them - when I don't think she is.

SongoftheSiren Mon 01-Apr-13 23:46:28

I'm quite shocked that some people cannot comprehend that you can actually be friends with your ex.

Some of the relationships I've been in I have found it sad that suddenly someone who was your best friend and spent all your time with is suddenly gone from your life - because you're suppose to hate the ex right?

A lot of people seem to assume that the ex doesn't and has never wanted to spend time with the OP and that she is the only one encouraging it - when I do not think this is the case at all.

The OP also said she takes DD to his house, so I assume she stays at his then and obviously ex, gf and DD spend time just the 3 of them then.

RoomForASmallOne Mon 01-Apr-13 23:41:30

olgaga

I disagree if the OP had a new partner, he would most likely not be keen on her having family time.

I mean, of course he might (I'm not disagreeing with that itms) but just because an attitude is common, it doesn't mean it's right.

Any new partner I had would have to fit around my family (and I around his) and both new relationships would be absorbed, slowly with all the DCs coming first.
I understand this can be a juggle but not impossible with committed adults being adults.
With blended families or whatever we call them.... the dynamics shift and change.
But the experience for children should be that their nucleus doesn't change, only added too.

YellowTulips Mon 01-Apr-13 23:09:48

Some real nastiness and vitriol on this thread....

All families and the dynamics of the relationships change and evolve over time, so I don't quite agree with the point that one party or the other should "suck it up" or indeed "fuck off" as circumstances change.

OP it's great you have such a positive relationship with your ex and I think you come across very well.

I think though your situation is unusual in that you are such good friends with your ex and whilst this in my view is admirable I can see how the GF, especially whilst pregnant with hormones ranging (well mine were!) is struggling here.

Your ex's new partner and her pregnancy are bound to change the overall dynamics between you all and personally I would try and navigate that change as sensitively as possible. As a new mum she will need more time and support than she did previously and my guess is that she is worried about the prospect of being alone several evenings a week.

You can digging your heels in, but I just see that potentially causing more issues. I would be looking to compromise here. Your current integration with ex has worked because he didn't need to go home for dinner. He will do now, taking DD with him. However the relaxed handovers with a cup of tea would be non negotiable for me.

The family day outs are a good idea, but give her time to warm up to that? Maybe short trips out to build the relationship?

olgaga Mon 01-Apr-13 22:38:29

Except this new partner is about to give birth to a child, so the ex has a new family unit, and it doesn't include the OP. She will always be DDs mum, but his new family unit is the NP, a new DS (expected) and DD who will spend time with the new family unit when he has contact.

If OP had a new partner, he would most likely not be keen on her going out and having "family time" with the ex and DD either.

I think it's something the OP will have to get used to. It's very sad but that's how it is in most cases when there's a new partner. Life moves on, everyone has to adjust. The most amicable partings tend to be the longest, most drawn-out. As in this case.

RoomForASmallOne Mon 01-Apr-13 22:20:17

Hear, hear SGB

Basically when a new partner appears after a family unit with non-coupled parents has been working well for years, the new partner is the one who needs to adapt or fuck off.

cheerup Sat 30-Mar-13 07:16:06

You are welcome to hold it up as the gold standard in your particular circumstances. That doesn't make it incontrovertibly the right way to do things in all cases where there hasn't been abuse.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Fri 29-Mar-13 21:12:27

I have two Ex's that I have DC's with. One who doesn't spend 'family time' with his DS AND me, and one who does.

The DS whose Dad does spend that family time with me present too is far better adjusted to the situation of having separated parents than the one who doesn't. So from my very limited personal experience, I truly believe if it is at all possible to do this, then it is better for the children.

Obviously in cases where the absent parent is or has been abusive to the resident parent, it is then not in their best interests, but that aside, I personally hold it up as the 'gold standard' in co-parenting a DC after a failed relationship.

riverboat Fri 29-Mar-13 20:34:49

I think this is an interesting thread, despite the OP apparently not being here any more.

I think its opened a lot of good questions about co-parenting after separation, dealing with new partners, whether its optimal for a child to spend regular quality time with its separated parents together, and not just separately.

Frankly I don't think we have nearly enough information about the OPs situation to really know to who is being unreasonable and to what extent, and we're unlikely to get it.

StanleyLambchop Fri 29-Mar-13 20:27:04

Hi Fleecy- am I not entitled to post my thoughts on what I have found to be an interesting thread? And as you seem to have noticed what and how I have posted maybe you are like a dog with a bone too! Or is it different when you post?

Fleecyslippers Fri 29-Mar-13 20:08:26

'I think the OP got a bit overwrought on page 5, when she said this Most people have made me out to be a deranged monster, desperate to try and get her ex back, refusing to let him spend time with his daughter and trying to break up a new family'

I think the OP might have been being a tad sarcastic wink

And the laughing ? It's not in a good way wink Especially when you are pagemarking and cataloguing the OPs comments. You really are like a dog with a bone on this thread.

But the ex might not be happy with the hanging out either - that or he is as expat said a lily liveried prat.

I must admit whenever Ive been single, I'll go out with male friends, then when im in a relationship, I tend to back off a bit - and them too.

I hope the new gf isn't jealous - only time will tell really. I think there's a world of difference between regular dinners/cinema etc and a happy coffee at handover.

We are all in agreement the kids must come first.

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